Friday, November 11, 2016

Anti-science Christians to Blame for Trump

I am unimaginably angry with Christians and Christianity today. They have delivered us into the hands of a greedy sex-crazed sociopath and con artist. Christians and Christianity are to blame, and if that is not immediately clear then I will connect the dots for you.

Way back centuries ago when science was a fledgling thing, some people figured out that the earth went around the star which we call the Sun. Unfortunately Christianity had assigned us a place at the very center of everything as God’s “special creation.” Christians and Christianity pushed back strongly against the basic observable fact that the moon is the only thing which goes around the Earth. But Christianity was eventually forced to surrender its place at the center of everything, and that should have been the end of Christianity. But through monumental pomposity and arrogance Christianity ignored the fact that in comparison to the vastness of the galaxy, our planet is but an insignificant speck. Astronomers later figured out that many of the bright lights in the sky were in fact other galaxies on a scale similar to our own – and that compared to the vastness of the universe our galaxy was also an insignificant speck. So our planet is an unremarkable speck near the periphery of a larger but equally unremarkable speck. Plus recent discoveries suggest that our planet is not unique. A spacecraft known as the Kepler Space Observatory has detected numerous planets orbiting other stars. In fact it appears planets orbiting stars may be the rule rather than the exception. Extrapolating the relatively small sample size to the entire galaxy and neighboring galaxies suggests there are billions of other planets and at least thousands of planets like ours. Yet here we are in 2016 and Christianity still arrogantly and ignorantly insists that it was all created just for us.

Now consider the major event in 1859 when Charles Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” was published. Not only did mankind stand upon a planet unremarkable in its insignificance, mankind himself was nothing remarkable. He merely sat at the end of one of the many branches of the evolutionary process. Christians pushed back strongly against this because it directly challenged their fairy tale of divine creation in the Garden of Eden.  A long running series of skirmishes ensued as Christianity has sought to protect its position of authority against the growing body of evidence supporting evolutionary science. History records the Scopes Trial and today we see the pretend-science of “creationism” and “sudden appearance theory.”

Let’s talk about evolution for a minute. White Christian Supremacists need to get a grip. They did not evolve from Apes. Black people did that for them. White people evolved from black people as black people adapted to inhabit northern climes. So white people are merely a sub-species or “phase” of the original people who were black and who evolved in Africa. The fossil record and DNA evidence both clearly speak to this. That means white people aren’t anything special. Everyone on earth descended from Africans, so Africans are the “master race.” White Supremacists are just a pale, greedy and aggressive “breed” of regular (i.e. black) people. White Christian Supremacists please get over your selves.  

Returning to the main theme of this writing, we see a pattern of Christians and Christianity pushing back against the increasing body of knowledge which we call science. The major component of this push back is to sow doubt regarding the veracity of scientific facts and conclusions reached after examination of scientifically collected evidence.  Stated another way, Christianity has been conditioning adherents to ignore inconvenient facts. Christians now believe that they are free to believe whatever they wish without any accompanying responsibility to base their actions on reality. This is a problem for democracy when they cast votes based on whimsy rather than reality.

Add greed to the equation and we a get a synergistically toxic brew. Christians and Christianity are greed enablers.

On the eleventh of January in 1964 the U.S. Public Health Service released a report linking cigarettes to lung disease. This threatened the profits of the nicotine industrial complex. Consequently the greed-driven industry set about sowing doubt about whether or not cigarettes were addictive and carcinogenic. The fact that cigarettes are both addictive and a leading cause of cancer is established scientific fact, yet you would never know it from what politicians say and what the public believes. This is because the seeds of doubt cast by the nicotine industry fell on well-prepared ground. The public was already conditioned to hold scientific findings as suspect – conditioned by their Christian leaders in the religion business.

The nicotine industrial complex and religion business would soon be joined in their attacks on science. Most notable among the greedy hordes were those who profited from fossil fuels and toxic chemicals. For example climate scientists are virtually unanimous in their conclusion that Global Warming is real, caused by humans, and an unfolding environmental and economic disaster. But thanks to people who discount science so they can believe in the fairy tales of the mystical Garden of Eden, people and politicians do not hear or believe the climate scientists. As the ice on Greenland and Antarctica melt most of Florida is going to disappear under the Atlantic Ocean, yet Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, has forbidden any mention of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” by state officials. When sea level rise inevitably swallows the cities of Florida Rick Scott has directed state officials that the inundation may only be described as “nuisance flooding.”    

Monsanto is a huge agricultural corporation which profits from the indiscriminate use of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, and genetically-engineered crops. Their products and the farming practices they promote are suspected of many things. You may have heard something about Monsanto’s aggressive attack on the World Health Organization after researchers determined that one of Monsanto’s very profitable herbicides is likely carcinogenic. The rancorous debate over glyphosate was mostly ignored by the media as they pursued and promoted the spectacle of a conman running for President of the United States of America. This in itself speaks to an incredible dumbing down of citizens as science and critical thinking have been undermined by religion and chemical profiteers. The conman should have been challenged or ignored by the media. More time should have been devoted to his proposed policies which would loosen regulations governing dangerous chemicals such as those pushed by Monsanto and other greedy corporations. If they had ignored the con-man’s campaign then it would have starved from lack of free publicity as would have been fitting and proper.

Monsanto products are also implicated in the collapse of honey bee colonies. This is not getting the attention it deserves – generally for the same reasons causing us to ignore the facts surrounding the use of glyphosate. Honey bees are hugely important in the intricate web of life. These insects have evolved along with many plants such that each is entirely dependent upon the other. Plants have no way of their own to efficiently transport their pollen from one plant to other plants of the same species. But many plants have evolved to “trick” hungry insects into carrying pollen for them. In exchange the insects receive food perfectly tailored to their needs. Over the course of time the insects and plants have evolved together to form what is often call a symbiotic relationship. Unfortunately, our indiscriminate use of pesticides appears to be killing honey bee colonies across the country. This is bad news for all kinds of plants which rely on these efficient pollinators. This includes plants which are important to us such as apple trees, tomatoes, and virtually any beautiful flower which is displayed in our gardens and city parks. If honey bees continue to decline then many of our favorite crops will disappear along with the bees.

The increasing fact-resistance of the United States also provides fertile ground for crank economic theory. One such theory is called “trickle-down economics.” Statisticians and Economists tell us it does not work. I can paraphrase “trickle down economic theory” such that it becomes immediately obvious why it does not work. “Everyone will be ever so much better off if only we would allow the wealthy to hoard all the cash.” Of course proponents of “trickle down economic theory” would never use these terms, but my paraphrasing is a distillation of the crank economic theory which they are pedaling. More importantly we have evidence that “trickle-down economics” do not work as advertised. One need look no further than the formerly great state of Kansas where Governor Sam Brownback and his cronies have effectively turned the state into a festering petri dish of failed economic policy. Yet fact-resistant Christians merrily go along as the Republican Party proposes to take this failed experiment nation-wide. It is truly mind-boggling.

The ill-logic of Christianity and Christians is legion. For example they believe junk news seen in scandal sheets and gossip magazines. They believe the Obamas have somehow sullied the reputation of the White House. There is no reputable source or evidence to support this, yet at the same time they seem to believe that bringing a white man back in will restore the dignity of the institution – despite the language which the prospective President has used and that he is an adulterer accompanied by a gold-digging harlot. Where, gentle reader, is the dignity in that?

So today I have no patience or tolerance for Christians or Christianity. They value their fairy tales over the common good and have with their ill-informed votes brought us to the very brink of self-destruction. May the Flying Spaghetti Monster have mercy upon us all. Ra-men.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Confronting Christian Privilege

Don’t act so surprised. Christian Privilege is a very real thing. It has many things in common with “White Privilege.” Most obviously the beneficiaries of each are so accustomed to freely exercising their privilege that they are quite oblivious to the fact that they have it.
Before one can confront a thing one must be able to identify it. So let’s look at some examples.
Roy Moore was Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court. Then he decided to place a monument to the “Ten Commandments” in the rotunda of the court house. This was quite obviously contrary to the “Establishment Clause” of the Constitution of the United States. So he was challenged regarding the imposition of personal religious belief on visitors to the court house. The case was Glassroth v. Moore and resulted in the eventual removal of the monument. Now you may not think this sounds much like privilege, in fact Christians believe it was religious persecution. But consider for a moment how protracted the legal battle would have been if the monument had been dedicated to Atheism, or (gasp!) Sharia Law. The battle would have been over before it started.
Judge Roy Moore had his monument to the “Ten Commandments” installed on the first day of August in 2001. The monument was still there on the twenty-third day of August in 2003 when the other eight justices on the Alabama State Supreme Court decided they had best comply with Federal Court order that the monument was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Judge Moore was eventually removed from office over this ethics violation  – which some would categorize as persecution of Christians. But Moore recovered from this and was voted back in as Chief Justice despite his history of ethics violations. Consider if Judge Moore had brought Sharia Law into the courthouse. His career would have been over. End of story. I submit that the difference between the two possible outcomes is entirely attributable to Christian Privilege.
Like Roy Moore, Kim Davis believes it is her God-given right to assert her religious beliefs over other people’s religious beliefs. You may recall Kim Davis as the county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian citizens. Her actions should have resulted in termination. Last I checked Kim Davis had spent a few nights in the slammer. But Kim Davis still has her job and even got tickets to attend Barack Obama’s Annual State of the Union Address earlier this year. As with Roy Moore I submit that the difference between the two possible outcomes is entirely attributable to Christian Privilege.
Roy Moore is actually a repeat offender. He engaged in shenanigans similar to placing the Ten Commandments in the court house rotunda when he was a circuit court judge prior to getting the job as Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court. If there were no Christian Privilege then Moore would have never been elevated to such a position of power in the first place. And Moore has not given up on basing official government actions on his personal religious beliefs. He was suspended from his position as Chief Justice on May sixteenth of this year for issuing orders contrary to those of the United States Supreme Court.  If history is any indicator then Moore will be back – his career again saved by Christian Privilege.
What can you do about Christian Privilege? You can start by calling attention to it whenever you see it. If the existence of Christian Privilege is denied then do what I did here and draw comparisons in outcomes if Islam was substituted for the Christianity. If there is a difference in outcome then Christian Privilege is to blame.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Delusions of religion: the fertilizer of all evil

1 Timothy 6:10 - For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

According to First Timothy 6:10 the love of money is the root of all evil. This seems to suggest that evil grows – and the last time I checked things that grow - particularly things that grow from roots – they do better with a little fertilizer.

Evil is growing fast. The evil weeds of greed are choking the boardrooms of our corporations. Metaphorical weeds of evil crowd the halls of power in our school boards, state capitols, and even the nation's capitol. All those weeds must be getting an awful lot of fertilizer!

I was hiking one afternoon recently. While hiking, I often ponder things or think about topics about which I might write. This particular day I was pondering whether or not I could support the statement “All evil can be traced to some combination of greed and religion” in an essay. I was having difficulty phrasing the question more narrowly to include only “evil” arising from the conscious actions of mankind. Things like evil arising from addiction were troublesome enough to make me abandon the original line of thought. But I had also been thinking about how extremes of greed are enabled by irrational beliefs. I had recently written an essay regarding how religion spills over to poison the public discourse. That line of thought went something like this: religion needs to protect favored fairytales, so religion conditions people to ignore science and to ignore evidence, and because religion is pervasive it has many opportunities to condition many people to believe what is comfortable rather than to believe what is scientific and factual.

Once people are conditioned to ignore science and facts then they are easy targets for opponents of environmental regulations. The fossil fuel industry is able to leverage people who have been conditioned to believe that which is comfortable to believe. So they are able to get people to believe that there is no global warming, that the Keystone tar sands pipeline will create jobs and lower fuel prices, and that there is such a thing as “clean coal.”

Once people are conditioned to ignore facts and simply believe that which is comfortable to believe then they will choose to believe the propaganda of “income redistribution” and “job creators.” The propaganda says that if taxes are kept low for the rich then the rich will invest and create jobs. The facts are that the alleged “job creators” will create a decent-paying job in this country only after all other options have been exhausted. People who have been conditioned by religion will also believe propaganda about “income redistribution” to lazy welfare recipients. The facts are that the wealthy have already redistributed income – from the poor and middle-class to the burgeoning plutocracy of greed.

People conditioned by religion are also susceptible to propaganda issued by the gun lobby. They are convinced not only of a “God given” right to bear arms, but are additionally convinced that we would all be much safer if more people carried concealed weapons and if military-style assault were more widely available.

Attacks on what is left of our democracy are often aided more directly by religion. Folks conditioned by religion are often single-issue voters. Politicians will leverage this by taking up the causes of protecting everything from “unborn babies” to “traditional marriage” and “traditional family values.” The facts often stand in stark contrast to the claims of the politician. For example if the politician truly cared about “unborn babies” then he would work to assure universal access to neonatal care.
These are but a few of the ways in which religion aids and abets evil. If we return to the metaphor then it is clear that the fertilizer of religious delusion has prepared a rich soil in which the love of money has taken root and flourished.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

American Atheists Convention 2013

I’m attending the American Atheists Convention in Austin Texas. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of American Atheists in the city where it got its start. There is a billboard campaign to go with the convention.

There are apparently at least six different versions because there are English and “en EspaƱol” versions of one featuring the CEO of the Catholic Corporation. I say it is money well spent! See more at

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A new way to help publicize

I have posted some files which you may print and distribute. The printable files are designed to get key ideas from in the public eye. I have two pdf documents prepared for this purpose. religions_card and religion_poisons_card are intended for printing on 8.5 x 11 card stock. I print on both sides and then cut the card stock in half. If you are careful in orienting the paper for the second trip through the printer then the front and back of each half of the card will have different messages. If you find that Adobe Reader is causing a problem by printing with wide margins then I’ll be happy to share the original Microsoft Word .doc file on request.
Feel free to print and distribute wherever you like!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Carbon dioxide fairytales

I just watched the documentary “Greedy Lying Bastards” – a movie about how the petroleum-industrial complex has very successfully created doubt regarding the veracity of global warming. I don’t believe they would have been so successful if the religion-industrial complex had not conditioned so many people to doubt science. If you’re interested in that line of thought then click on over to my essay “Codependent irrationalities vs. the economy.” But that is not what I am going to write about this evening.

The movie included a lot of clips of “Climate Change Deniers” saying really dumb stuff – some incredibly so. It was made worse because it was dumbness wrapped around deceit. For example one of the “Climate Change Deniers” was blathering on about how “carbon dioxide is not a pollutant” and how “carbon dioxide is beneficial to plants.”

Well, I’ll tell you what else is beneficial to plants: bull shit. Cow manure makes a most excellent fertilizer. But you don’t want to bury your plants in the stuff. Too much nitrous waste will cause fertilizer burn – even if you don’t bury your plants in cow manure. The thing which “Climate Change Deniers” pretend not to understand is the concept of “too much of a good thing.” This is a simple concept. A little salt enhances the flavor of food. A plate overloaded with salt is an entirely different thing. Folklore carries this further with ritualized “salting of the earth” to symbolize utter annihilation of an enemy and their lands.

Carbon dioxide is an interesting thing. According to the National Climatic Data Center if all carbon dioxide were removed from the atmosphere then the average global temperature would drop from the current fifty-seven degrees Fahrenheit to around zero. But a little goes a long way. Carbon Dioxide accounts for only about 390 parts per million of Earth’s atmosphere. The activities of mankind have increased that from pre-industrial levels of about 270 parts per million.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Even more regarding disdain for evidence

The disdain for evidence instilled in people by the religious-industrial complex spills over to poison the public discourse. If you wish to read more about this then you’ll want to click on over to my essay “Codependent irrationalities vs.the economy.”