Thursday, August 14, 2008

Moving Blog

I'm moving my blog over to WordPress. I hope to see you there!

Blog Cancer

That would be work. My new job has eaten into, hell it's completely decimated, my blogging time. Plus, there is so much to learn and do on it that by 3 PM my brain has usually been turned to goo and I need to use my headphones to prevent it from leaking out my ears. I "feel" connected because I listen to podcasts, but that connection is an illusion because it's been only one-way. I realize I need to do more to participate, like using my lunch time to keep my blogs up-to-date, at least once a week. Unfortunately the firewall here is somewhat finicky about what I can and can't get to. I can get to Galactica Watercooler, so I will attempt to participate on the forums there more. However, I can't get to Atheist Nexus. I also can't get to Photobucket, so anyone who has images linked from there I just see that lovely little picture with the red x in the corner.

But lately there has been a little writer in the back of my head saying it wants to be heard. So at least once a week, I'm going to let it out.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Arizona S.C.R. 1042 Equates Homosexuality with Incest

It starts innocently enough, in the beginning SCR 1042 proclaims March 29 as Vietnam Veterans’ Day in Arizona. And then it changed, to a strike-everything amendment.

As passed by the Senate, S.C.R. 1042 proclaims March 29 as Vietnam Veterans’
Day in Arizona.

The House of Representatives adopted a strike everything amendment that does the following:

Subject to voter approval, constitutionally defines marriage as a union of one
man and one woman.

Statute prohibits certain people from marrying. Specifically, A.R.S. § 25-101 proscribes and nullifies marriage between parents and children, including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree, and between brothers and sisters, uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews and between first cousins. Section 25-101, A.R.S., also specifies that marriage between persons of the same sex is void and prohibited. Therefore, Arizona law does not recognize a marriage contracted in any other state or country that is between two persons of the same sex.

The 2006 ballot included Proposition 107, which constitutionally stipulated that only a union between one man and one woman is valid or recognized as marriage in Arizona, and prohibited legal status for unmarried persons that is similar to marriage from being created or recognized by this state or its political subdivisions.

Proposition 107 was not passed by the voters.

There is no anticipated fiscal impact associated with this measure.

To Senator Robert Blendu, who voted Yes to this blight,

You are to represent all of your constituents, not just the Fundamentalist Christian constituents. Not just the extremist homophobes. Not all Christians feel threatened by legal unions between members of the same sex. Not all Arizonans are Christian. And many of us believe in reason and compassion over dogma and superstition.

As a registered Libertarian I am often confronted with the assumption of others that I am more likely to vote Republican than Democrat. In the past that may have been true. However, during the past eight years I’ve witnessed our government expand as never before under the current Republican watch. With the growing theocracy of Republican leaders, such as yourself, I can only see the current Republican policy as an affront to the American philosophy of freedom and liberty. The bulleted highlights of your bio list you as a Bible Study teacher, Chairman of the Finance Committee and member of the Official Board of the Glendale Light and Life Church. Since you put so much emphasis on your religious affiliations it is no surprise that you have a failure to understand the secular nature of your position as Senator. SCR1042 equates homosexuality with incest. There is no explanation for restricting marriage to one man and one woman that isn’t fueled by superstition and dogma.

In a free country, consenting unrelated adults should have the right to form whatever configuration of union they wish. It is not government’s business. It is not your business. Whenever I next see your name on the ballot, I will be sure to check the box without your name, regardless of who that person may be.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Simple Life

In his response in the negative to the Templeton Foundation question, “Does Science Make Belief in God Obsolete?”, Cardinal Schönborn writes,

The increase in leisure and health brought about by our increasing mastery over Nature has not resulted, as the ancient sages supposed, in an increase in wisdom and the contemplation of the good, the true, and the beautiful. Instead, our technology-based leisure is more likely to result in quiet hedonism, consumerism, and mind-numbing mass entertainment. While many still claim belief in God, the course of their lives reflects de facto agnosticism in which the “God hypothesis” is far from everyday experiences and priorities.
A few times I’ve started, but never finished, A Canticle for Leibowitz. Six hundred years after a nuclear holocaust, an abbey of Catholic monks survives during a new Dark Ages and preserves the little that remains of the world's scientific knowledge. “Preserve” meaning they’ve turned found objects into relics, they don’t themselves retain any scientific knowledge. This is because after the nuclear holocaust, those that remained blamed science and intellectuals for their condition and purged humanity of both during the Simplification. What very little knowledge that remained was “preserved” in monasteries.

The world we live in now, at least the U.S., appears to be in danger of undergoing a Simplification of its own. The majority of consumers of technology-based leisure, indeed the majority of people in general, do not have the education level to understand what or how all that technology exists. There aren’t gangs of Biologists shooting it out in territory battles with gangs of Geologists. The tools of our destruction are in the hands of those who didn’t create them. Education does lead to “wisdom and the contemplation of the good, the true, and the beautiful”, and not enough of us are getting that education. Neither our leaders nor our voters are equipped with the education necessary to get us through the complex problems that face our society. Those that do understand the complexities of both the problems and the answers lack the power to act on those answers and are ignored or attacked by those that don’t.

The Discovery Channel, which I love, had to toot its horn over,
“an average audience topping 1.34 million. First quarter was the youngest ever for Discovery, with a median age of 36 largely thanks to hit series Dirty Jobs and Mythbusters.” (Cable360.Net)
With a U.S. population of over 301 million, that’s whole lot more people whose myths aren’t getting busted. I don’t care that more people have the choice to watch So You Think You Can Dance, I care that more people actually choose to watch it. The educated are “elitist”; a word that’s certainly getting thrown around to vilify Obama. The love of learning, of appreciating the world around us at a level that requires our active engagement, isn’t spreading to enough people. And respect for science and those that understand science isn’t either. It isn’t religion that the mind-numbed masses need. What we need is a way, or the will, to un-numb our minds.

Nielson Ratings this week:

Thursday, June 12, 2008


As I'm married to a Belgian, who has for years been pointing out that Europe has been paying $6 - $7 per gallon while we were paying under $3 - so what are you Americans complaining about anyway, suddenly having to pay $63 to fill up the car (when only a year ago I swear I could do it for $45) doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is how happy it makes me.

Suddenly the freeways aren’t so congested. Suddenly SUV's aren't all the rage anymore. Suddenly driving the speed-limit doesn't feel like being a boob.

I admit, I'm a get-out-the-left-lane-because-I'm-speeding asshole (
and now a check on traffic). I'm also a go-ahead-and-ride-my-ass-I'm-speeding-as-much-as-I'm-going-to asshole. Now, however, I've cultivated being a smug, travel-the-speed-limit-and-piss-everyone-else-off, Hypermiler asshole. Going the speed-limit, and maximizing coasting and deceleration, I've improved my gas mileage by 20% this week.

The Carpool Heretics will also be adding another person to the pool. Though we didn't include religion in our interview so there may be a True Christian™ infiltration of the pool.

I saw on the news about people who literally can't afford to pay the high gas price. They interviewed a couple who have started commuting to work on their bikes, the husband has to go 15 miles each way and has lost 20 pounds now, and have started to grow vegetables to save money. Oh my Shiva, we're getting healthier and driving more responsibly? This is horrible.

High gas prices are making the world a better place because it's forcing us to adopt behaviors we normally wouldn't.

The Curse of the Holy Blood

I've been nudged by Ordinary Girl and The Chaplain reminding me that I've been neglecting the Atheiosphere.

A couple months ago, I was in Belgium visiting my husband's family on vacation. Eight years ago, my husband proposed to me on a beautiful bridge in Brugge (Flemish spelling) in front of the beguinage. Motivated by the recent viewing of a movie called In Bruges (French spelling), we went back to Brugge.

Brugge is home to a holy relic, a bottle made from crystal containing the coagulated blood of Jesus Christ and brought to Brugge during the crusades. I had my chance to go up and honor the blood. No fee was demanded, though a donation of 2 Euros was suggested. My husband, brother and father-in-laws did go up and show their respect. My husband claimed that he only did it because, though he doesn't really believe, his Dad didn't want to do it alone. I called him a hypocrite and stayed smugly behind.
Two weeks later, on April 27, I was laid-off work along with 30 other people.

I must have been punished for my unbelief and blasphemy. Though what the other 29 people did to deserve it I don't know. Jesus does do collateral damage I guess. Woah... I suffered two long weeks of unemployment before finding a job that pays more than I was making and pocketing the other 4 weeks pay from my severance package. Yay I did suffer… I'm now horribly busy doing a job full-time that focuses on the one small aspect of my former job that I considered play; developing in SharePoint. Because of that business I've been unable to spend as much time in the Atheiosphere with the rest of you heretics.

Learn from me, ye heretics! If you're ever in Brugge, be sure to stop at the Chapel of the Holy Blood and disrespect the relic. Afterwards, relax with a Belgian beer in comfort as you await the wrath that is sure to come for you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Eostre

Ever since reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman I’ve had a great sympathy for Easter. As portrayed in the book, this poor goddess of Spring is unknown while her name and symbols have been stolen by the Christians. I wanted to research this and write a blessy about it. My theme being; give this woman back her holiday! I don’t care that she’s fictional. I don’t care that holidays are “made up”. It breaks up the year and gives the kid inside me free reign to pretend. I’m fully behind Linus and his celebration of The Great Pumpkin.

Then I got sidetracked in my research by the editorial on Easter over at ChristianAnswers.Net. On the one hand they fully acknowledge that Easter was a pagan holiday and that rabbits and eggs are fertility symbols. Their solution to this is to recommend using the phrase "Resurrection Sunday" rather than "Easter". They then use the Bible as their primary historical reference to show how “this terrible false religion” had its origins from the Tower of Babel. Because they believe Tower of Babel was a pyramid-shaped structure, they claim that any culture that built a pyramid-like structure as well were decedents of those scattered away from Babel when god confused their language.
Most, if not all, of these people carried their evil Sun-God-based religion with them.
Their conclusion:
"Easter" is simply one of the names of a woman [Queen Semiramis] who mightily deceived the world and whose religion has caused untold suffering and misery. She was clearly an enemy of Christianity, and her son Tammuz was an anti-Christ, a false messiah that ultimately deceived millions.

How is it possible to be an enemy of a religion that did not even exist at that time? How is it possible to be an anti-something that hasn’t been thought of yet?

The seductive symbols of ancient ungodly religions inspired by Satan have been incorporated into people's everyday lives, even to this day continuing to obscure the truth of God.

Christians naively use symbols and practices that unknowingly perpetuate ancient anti-Christ traditions - symbolic customs followed by the same religious cults that inspired the destruction of great numbers of Christians and Jews.

Yeah, you True Christians ™, if you happen to stumble onto the fact that there were all these pre-Jesus religions that had myths about gods-made-flesh, born to virgin women, that had spring celebrations celebrating their resurrection from the underworld, be assured:
If you are Christian, it is not difficult to discern the bizarre deception and confusion that Satan has successfully orchestrated.
While all those stupid ancient peoples were worshiping the wrong born-of-a-virgin-died-and-resurrected gods, you can be assured that you are in fact worshiping the right one. Because it's all the trick of another supernatural entity that, while having all the powers and abilities of your god (based on his reputation, if he does exist he's obviously a stronger more influental god), isn't considered a god because there's only one true god. A modern person such as you couldn’t possibly be deceived they way those ancients were.

Could you?

Reference: Easter; Its Pagan origins , Eostre