I've Moved!

Atheist Morality is now West Coast Atheist at Wordpress. Stop on by and feel free to comment over there!

29 March, 2010

Christian Militia Group Raided

Hutaree Christian Militia group has been raided and at least three arrests have been made. It has been speculated that the charges involved selling pipe-bombs, but the FBI hasn't made an official statement as of yet.

Hutaree is a group whose stated purpose is "preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive." Why do they dress in camo, provide weapons training and call themselves soldiers? Because they believe that the End Times are near and that "The hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so god wills it."

At the same time, they insist that they will be merely protecting those that are saved and saving those that aren't. But why would you need to arm yourself for that? What would Jesus do?

The Hutaree are one more example that Christians–any religion, in fact–can be just as extremist, violent, and delusional as Muslim terrorists. They can quote the Bible just as easily as the Qur'an is quoted to to justify suicide bombing.

Attending a town hall on health care reform over the summer, there were buttons being sold that actually depicted President Obama as the Anti-Christ. These buttons have been sold by Republicans and Conservatives to Republicans and Conservatives and have been largely ignored by our so-called "liberal" media, so it's hard for one to argue that the news outlets are to blame for this type of hysteria acted upon by the likes of the Hutaree Militia and others like them. Right-wing media has called into question the death threats and violent speech against Democrats this last week, saying that the "liberal media" is playing these things up to make the Tea Parties and Conservatives look bad.

How long can they argue that the rhetoric that has been spewed by the Right since Obama was elected has no consequence and doesn't incite violence? How many more arrests? How many more death threats? Even more frightening, is someone going to be hurt before the Republicans are held responsible for their words?

Hutaree is one more example of how religion and politics can be used to control masses and incite violence. In a secular nation, these questions about the anti-christ and this anger over health care reform backed by large religious groups should not be an issue at all. In a secular nation, home-grown terrorists are not supposed to get their targets from ex-governors and and their representatives in Congress. Groups like these, the pundits that endorse them, and the congressmen that lead them are the enemies of democracy and liberty, not the protectors. What will it take for the nation to wake up and see that?

27 March, 2010

"A" week on Facebook

I'd like to bring to my readers' attention that starting next monday, the Richard Dawkins website The Out Campaign is beginning a week-long event on facebook to encourage more people to come out as atheists and to let people know that if they doubt God, they are not alone.

For instructions on how to participate in this event, see this website here. Copy the event, joint the event on facebook, tweet about it, etc.

It's time to let the world know that you are "good without God."

24 March, 2010

Health Care Reform Has Been Signed Into Law

President Obama signed health care reform into law yesterday, after many months of debate and many years of effort. Already, approval of the legislation has gone up. Goes to show you what civil discourse will do for an effort. What with the teabaggers spitting on lawmakers this past week and continued hints at future violence by their leaders, the American people are seeing how ridiculous the Republicans are being.

08 March, 2010

State Senator Ashburn, Republican, Gay Man

Last week, California State Senator Roy Ashburn was pulled over and given a DUI after leaving a popular gay nightclub with an unidentified male. After much speculation, Mr. Ashburn finally admitted on a radio program that he is, in fact, gay. When asked why he voted against gay rights legislation consistently in his political career, his answer was that he wanted to vote how his constituents would want him to vote.

The answer seems noble enough, but is it honest? Why not come out earlier? I suspect that it is because there is no place in the Republican Party for gay people, a message that constantly reiterated by the GOP. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, lunatic-fringe extremist group, 'Young Americans for Freedom,' or 'YAF' berated the GOP at CPAC for inviting GOProud, a gay, Republican group, to be a co-sponsor of the event. To come out as a gay Republican is political suicide.

Which is why, I believe, Ashburn is only coming out for two reasons: 1) He was caught. 2) His term limits are up and he can't be elected as a State senator in California again. He has since given up exploring a bid for Congress. These are not reasons at all to come out of the closet. They are forced, and whether someone believes their "personal life" should stay personal or not, knowing his constituents wanted him to vote against gay-rights legislation, isn't it a bit dishonest not to tell those very people that they in fact voted for a gay senator?

At first, I thought that it might be a noble thing to do to only vote as the people in his district would have him. After all, that is what representative democracy is all about. But then I realized just how ridiculous that sounded. If he can represent his constituents, but can't tell them who he really is, then he isn't really honest, he's just trying to stay in power. If he were eligible for re-election, would he have been so quick to come out? If he hadn't been "caught" would he still be living a lie?

I've just been on his website and on the biography page, it proclaims that he is "a champion of openness, accountability, and bi-partisanship." Obviously, openness is in the eye of the beholder-until it explodes in the media.

06 March, 2010

Evidence of Things Unseen

Faith is the highest of all virtues in any religious group whereas peer review and correct methodology are the highest in science. The reason study after study has shown a correlation between IQ and atheism and/or liberalism is because people with higher abilities to reason and understand logic are less likely to take words as evidence and more likely to think critically about what they are told to believe. How could a person with these abilities not one day look at the most important belief in their life-the belief in God-and not examine the reasons behind the belief. Investigating and not finding any evidence for the Bible or Koran or whatever it may be would not make the person angry like it does the Young Earth Creationists who soapbox on street corners, it would impel them to change their hypothesis.

There is a war, however, from the right on the legitimacy of science. But instead of actually using the scientific method that has brought us knowledge of our Cosmos, a higher standard of living, the curing or prevention of numerable debilitating diseases and conditions and the technology we all use to live in comfort, they simply accuse Science of doing exactly what religion has been doing for thousands of years.

First, they say that evolution is "only a theory" that "Darwinists" believe in without any evidence at all. They do not understand the difference between the colloquial use of "theory" and the scientific definition of the word, else they would drop that argument altogether because "theory" is, in a scientific sense, just a system to explain evidence and facts. The fact of evolution is already there, Darwin's theory of evolution explains the mechanisms of evolution. You can read more here. In their uneducated and angry minds they are convinved that "believing" in a "theory" is equal to believing in a 2,000 year old book that has been handed down from king to king, thus science should not be held in any esteemed regard because scientists won't endorse teaching the Judao-Christian creation myth in public schools.

But what have they done there? Not only are they completely misunderstanding evolution, science and the definition of a word, but they are not defending their position at all. "Evolutionists {their word, not ours} believe in evolution without any evidence at all!" But there is no evidence that the stories in the Bible are true at all. So to degrade the act of believing something without evidence is just degrading their own beliefs. Not only that, but no evidence is good enough for them. They have a book. We have fossils, DNA, variation, biology, zoology, research, transitional forms, etc.

Second, they claim that Evolution claims that life came from nothing. Again, they are merely projecting their own beliefs onto science that they continue to fail to understand. Evolution explains how life forms change, not how they got here. For the latest on the origins of life, look up the chemistry behind Abiogenesis. It's intriguing stuff. It is, in fact, the Creationists that insist life came from nothing. God either made Man out of mud, which was made by God from nothing or god simply created Adam out of nothing, depending on which creation myth you choose to believe in Genesis, as there are two accounts in the first book of the Bible.

Is it any wonder that these are the same people that claim that a handful of meteorologists, many with ties to funding from Exxon Mobile and other energy companies, constantly deny Climate Change? Is it any wonder that these people buy into right-wing spins and demagoguery and populism while never once looking at who right-wing economics and policies are actually protecting: the richest 1% of the nation that hold 70% of the nation's wealth?

It's amazing that any group in this day and age would hold faith as something to strive for. It's like saying that wearing a blindfold while wandering around the Grand Canyon is something everyone should hope to do in their lifetime.

02 March, 2010

Avatar, a few months later

Despite Avatar being the highest grossing film of all time, I seem to be the only person on the internet that liked the movie. Seriously. The backlash of amateur critics and bloggers has been huge, and yet the movie has made more money than any of them will ever see in their lifetime. Maybe it's because I'm an evolution/biology/geography geek and my boyfriend is a linguistigeek. Plus, I'm totally for pantheism.