Monthly ArchiveNovember 2012
Christianity Thomas on 27 Nov 2012
Paul Krugman describes the insanity of religion – Religion requires its followers to reject evidence
A great essay from Paul Krugman that zeros in on the insanity of religion:
The quotes in this article are priceless:
Like striated rock beds that speak of deep time, [Rubio's] inability to acknowledge scientific evidence speaks of the anti-rational mindset that has taken over his political party.
What was Rubio’s complaint about science teaching? That it might undermine children’s faith in what their parents told them to believe. And right there you have the modern GOP’s attitude, not just toward biology, but toward everything: If evidence seems to contradict faith, suppress the evidence.
The most obvious example other than evolution is man-made climate change. As the evidence for a warming planet becomes ever stronger — and ever scarier — the GOP has buried deeper into denial, into assertions that the whole thing is a hoax concocted by a vast conspiracy of scientists. And this denial has been accompanied by frantic efforts to silence and punish anyone reporting the inconvenient facts.
Coming into the recent election, state-level polling clearly pointed to an Obama victory — yet more or less the whole Republican Party refused to acknowledge this reality. Instead, pundits and politicians alike fiercely denied the numbers and personally attacked anyone pointing out the obvious; the demonizing of The Times’ Nate Silver, in particular, was remarkable to behold.
His article closes with an indictment of Republicans and Christians:
We are, after all, living in an era when science plays a crucial economic role. How are we going to search effectively for natural resources if schools trying to teach modern geology must give equal time to claims that the world is only 6,000 years old? How are we going to stay competitive in biotechnology if biology classes avoid any material that might offend creationists?
And then there’s the matter of using evidence to shape economic policy. You may have read about the recent study from the Congressional Research Service finding no empirical support for the dogma that cutting taxes on the wealthy leads to higher economic growth. How did Republicans respond? By suppressing the report.
On economics, as in hard science, modern conservatives don’t want to hear anything challenging their preconceptions — and they don’t want anyone else to hear about it, either.
So don’t shrug off Rubio’s awkward moment. His inability to deal with geological evidence was symptomatic of a much broader problem — one that may, in the end, set America on a path of inexorable decline.
Republicans and Christians have become a national embarrassment to the United States and they “set America on a path of inexorable decline” both scientifically and economically. This article demonstrates how badly Republican economic policies have hit all working Americans:
A half century ago America’s largest private-sector employer was General Motors, whose full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today’s dollars, including health and pension benefits.
Today, America’s largest employer is Walmart, whose average employee earns $8.81 an hour. A third of Walmart’s employees work less than 28 hours per week and don’t qualify for benefits.
Republicans, which is to say Christians, are willfully destroying the lives of American workers.
Yes, it is time for religion to start paying its taxes because preachers, ministers, rabbis, preists, etc. frequently break the law when it comes to their tax exempt status:
Religious organizations are given consent to declare themselves non-profit charitable organizations by simply signing and filing 501 (c)(3) papers with the Internal Revenue Service. They, unlike other non-profits, are exempt from keeping accounting records, and the only requirement to be exempt from paying taxes is that they refrain from endorsing, preaching against, or supporting any candidate from the pulpit. However, religious groups around the country break their agreement with the IRS with impunity, and it has prompted a group in Wisconsin to say enough.
The group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the IRS for failing to audit thousands of churches that violated federal tax law by engaging in partisan advocacy. The lawsuit alleges, “The Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of the Defendant Shulman, has followed and continues to follow a policy of non-enforcement of the electioneering restrictions of §501(c)(3) against churches and other religious organizations. As a result, in recent years, churches and religious organizations have been blatantly and deliberately flaunting the electioneering restrictions of §501(c)(3), including during the presidential election year of 2012.” Back in October, in a flagrant violation of 501(c)(3) rules, over 1,600 preachers engaged in Pulpit Freedom Sunday and actively campaigned from the pulpit to challenge the IRS rules that allow them to leach money from taxpayers.
Here’s what Pulpit Freedom Sunday is all about:
The future of religious freedom depends on a free pulpit to communicate fundamental, biblical principles to congregations across America. Join a growing movement of bold pastors preaching biblical Truth about candidates and elections from their pulpits on October 7, 2012.
It seems to be a clear cut violation – so make churches pay.
What would happen if churches had to pay taxes like everyone else? According to this article:
the church in America saves roughly 71 billion dollars annually by being tax-exempt. Imagine how much food that could buy to feed the hungry, or how it could help those less fortunate. This might be acceptable if the church was actually encouraging strategies to reduce human suffering, irresponsible behavior that harms others, ending violence in our neighborhoods and other critical issues. Churches do not serve the common good; they propagate ancient supernatural mythology that brainwashes people into believing the unbelievable and impedes social and scientific progress.
$71 billion! Yes, churches should start paying taxes.
Christianity Thomas on 10 Nov 2012
What is it like living side by side with Christians in the United States? Oftimes it means having Christianity rammed down your throat:
When Hewett spoke with King City Manager John Cater at the time, Cater responded to the veteran by telling him he would have to answer “to God and Jesus Christ upon [his] death” for complaining.
How should religion be treated in public? The phrase that sums it up: “freedom of religion also means freedom from religion”. Those of us who know that Christians are completely delusional in worshipping their imaginary, powerless God should not have to constantly have Christianity rammed down our throats.
And every “moderate” Christian who thinks “well, I don’t act that way” should ask themselves why they want to be associated with the millions of other Christians who do. Start thinking – turn away from delusion:
Christianity Thomas on 06 Nov 2012
If God really existed, then this story would reflect reality rather than being in The Onion:
THE HEAVENS—Responding to inflammatory remarks made by Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock during a debate Tuesday night, Our Lord God the Almighty Father sought today to distance Himself from both Mourdock and the entire right-wing fundamentalist Christian movement, sources confirmed.
“I want to make one thing absolutely clear: Mr. Mourdock’s comments from last night in no way reflect my position on this or any other issue,” said the Divine Creator, speaking at a press conference this afternoon to address Mourdock’s remarks that rape-induced pregnancies were God’s intent. “And furthermore, I would like to take this opportunity to say definitively that I, God, do not officially sanction or condone the words or actions of anyone involved in the fanatical, conservative Christian faction that Mr. Mourdock represents.”
The fact that God is silent, despite the fact that people like Mourdock claim to speak on his behalf, proves that God is imaginary.
No further comment is necessary, but if you would like to see some comments, check here.
Where does this level of delusion come from?
When you think about how insane religion can be, there are few examples better than the tendency for religious people to blame natural disasters on some group of people. Case in point:
Look at what the gays have done now.
Hurricane Sandy is just the latest weather calamity being blamed on gay people. Who is doing the finger-pointing? This time, it’s self-appointed biblical scholar John McTernan of Defend and Proclaim the Faith ministries in Pennsylvania, who made the connection between gays and Sandy, writing this week the hurricane is “a huge bucket of vomit in America’s face during the election,” forcing us to choose between “a pro-homosexual Mormon along with a pro-abortion/homosexual, Muslim Brotherhood promoter, Hard Left Fascist.”
Here are five other natural disasters mankind suffers because of the gay agenda…
Imagine this: 1) a large group of people who 2) believe in a loving God in heaven and this God 3) sends huge natural disasters that kill innocent people and destroy billions of dollars in property because 4) why? Explain that again – why would a loving God do this?
Didn’t Rick Warren say that “Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.” Why yes he did. God had a plan in creating everyone, according to Rick Warren. Therefore, the idea that God would throw a hurricane at NY/NJ, disrupting the lives of millions, in retribution for the acts of people that God created is beyond insane.
Of course Rick Warren’s logic is also insane, as discussed here.