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Christmas Wars: And Now, the Rest of the Story

9:23 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Disclaimer: I’m an atheist who has nothing major against non-secularists. But sometimes this whole Christmas War nonsense is more tiring than Black Friday sales. Sigh.

Christmas in Regional Command-East [Image 2 of 3]

Christmas in Regional Command-East

“…and now, the reeesstt of the story,” as newscaster Paul Harvey used to say. For the past few years Paul’s pithy prose describes something we should all remember when it comes to the infamous Christmas Wars – look at the other side.

The latest battle has been fought before, yet it never seems to die. Christian organizations in Santa Monica, CA won’t be able to place their annual 14-scene Christmas nativity decorations in the city park and they’re miffed.  The Washington Post headlined the story this way, Atheists’ move halts Christmas tradition in Santa Monica, churches go to court to get it back.

The problem is the atheists didn’t kill anything. They simply applied for slots in a lottery the town set up to allow equal access to the city park. Not surprisingly, city officials grew tired of being accused of being “anti-Christian” for following the law, so they killed it.

Of the 21 available slots, atheists won 18 draws, Christians won 2, and Jews won 1. Since the drawings were blind, I’m not sure how to account for the imbalance, but my guess is atheists put in more applications and Christians fewer. In other words, they played by the rules and won fair and square. Yet, the atheists are a vast anti-Christian plot.

I won’t argue that atheists put up some displays that Christians found offensive and I won’t defend them for it. However, they are as entitled to do that as Christians are to say just as bad or worse things about atheists. The Constitution protects speech, it says nothing about friendly or agreeable speech.

Understandably, there are bad feelings all around – from both sides of the story. Although I follow the “logic” of some of the Christian backlash, it seems pretty lame, and frankly contradictory, to me. Cynthia Dermody offered “10 Reasons Atheists Can Go to Hell Over Holiday Decorations Fight” on Cafemom. Here are her “reasons” (with much of her snark removed): Read the rest of this entry →

Ayn and Paul Sittin’ in a Tree…

8:59 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Ayn Rand FU

(Photo: monkey_bob99x/flickr)

Paul “Mr. Weinermobile” Ryan has stepped up to the Veepstakes plate and taken a few tentative swings at his opponents. Of course, the punditocracy has already decided the election is now a dead solid Republican landslide or Democratic landslide or a wash, depending on their point of view for the next three minutes or when George Stephanopoulos asks an embarrassing question…whichever comes first.

It’s far too early for reasonable predictions and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool or, well, a fool. However, there are some interesting details that may or may not be important in the end. Here is one of them:

Arch-Aynrandist Ryan is stepping away from his beloved Ayn (pronounced “eye-n” for the uncrapulists among you). This is particularly surprising since Ryan claims Ayn led him down the garden path of individualistic objectivism with the aplomb of Jerry Sandusky pied pipering little boys to his basement.

Queue the Bee Gees, ‘How Deep is Your Love?’

In an ABC interview, Ryan professed his deep love, “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are. It inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all interns and my staff.”

“The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism vs. collectivism.”

It sounds like Ryan frenching Sarah Palin’s lipsticked pig – any more tongue and we’d all choke on a river of pig spittle.

However, Ryan has learned the waffly ways of his Tea Party masters well and they fit with his titular boss’s like a flip-flopping mitten.

“If devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking,” Rand wrote.

Ryan has spent many a year in a zero-reflection bubble. He is not given to “greater, nobler, more heroic thinking”, despite his position in the pantheon of Great Republican Thinkers like New Gingrich.

Ryan’s heroic thinking is blind to the notion that objectivism, or believing  you’re out for yourself and to hell with everyone else, is as flawed as Stalin shipping the peasants off to the collective (or cemetery should you have looked askance on his perfection).

A Mixed Faith Marriage Not Made in Politics
Read the rest of this entry →

Anne Graham Lotz Helping to Create a Boston Bible Party

3:18 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

The First Bible Lesson

(Photo from Boston Public Library via flickr)

 

Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, took time out from her swim in the shallow end of the Graham family gene pool this weekend to assure everyone that she would NEVER vote for an Atheist.

This isn’t particularly unusual. The Graham family has a long-held antipathy toward Atheists and other minorities. Son Franklin Graham entertains rather birther-like suspicions that maybe Barack Obama isn’t a Christian.

“You have to ask him,” Graham said in a February interview. “I cannot answer that question for anybody. You have to ask every person. He has said he’s a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is.”

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich: Holy Men?However, he gave Rick Santorum more benefit of any doubt. “Do you believe Rick Santorum is a Christian,” Frank was asked.  “I think so,” responded Graham. Why? “Well, because his values are so clear on moral issues. No question about it. I just appreciate the moral stances he takes on things. He comes from a Catholic faith… I think he’s a man of faith,” he said.

Ditto for serial thou shalt <del>not covet thy neighbor’s wifer</del> Newt Gingrich. “I think Newt Gingrich is a Christian, at least he told me he is.” Newt’s decidedly unchristian behavior to the contrary.

Frank isn’t so open to other faiths either. On Mitt Romney and the Mormons, “Most Christians would not recognize Mormons as part of the Christian faith,” Graham said. On Muslims and Obama? “Under President Obama…the Muslims of the world, [sic] he seems to be more concerned, than Christians who are being murdered in Muslim countries,” said Graham.

Even Big Daddy Graham had a Romney-like semi-commitment to racial equality and antisemitism in the closet. He kept his “eye on public opinion, and the shifting winds of American culture”  before finally settling down and denouncing his previous, less tolerant, positions. Plus, Billy tried to sue me once, but that was another story.

But back to Anne. Read the rest of this entry →

Mormons! I Smite Thee in the Name of Common Sense

6:09 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Get a Brain Mormans

Theists, I appreciate your prayers for my heathen soul, but there’s no need. Really. I’m an atheist. I’m good. And Mormons, posthumous baptism is even more than one step over the line. That’s even more unneeded, creepy, and unwanted – unless you want to modify that whole 72 Muslim virgins thing to a Mormon Unlimited Virgin Plan.  I’m a big believer in more virgins at lower prices. It’s proof of the value of free markets.

When I’m dead, I’m dead. You can’t baptize me unless you want to bless an unholy ooze of font water, ashes, and genealogical records that artificially boost the number of Mitt’s Minions on the books. Second, even though I’ll be dead, I find it offensive while I’m still here. I own the copyright on myself in perpetuity and will defend it vigorously.

Posthumous baptism is no academic exercise.  Moroni’s Acolytes recently transplanted Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal’s parents from Judaism to Mormonism. It’s not the first time Joseph Smith’s gardeners pulled Jews up by the roots and carried them to the Zion Botanical Garden of Eden either.

The church has been sued several times over their ecumenical necrophilia and each time they’re caught, it’s always the same chapter and verse. They throw one of their own fontheads to the heathenous hordes by explaining he’s just an overzealous mailroom Warren Jeffs with a hankerin’ for more Mormon ghosts milling around with too much time on their hands.  Each time they lay the blame, tithe the damage awards, and seemingly go back to doing what they do best – creating jobs by buying Schwins for the White Shirt/Black Tie Army. But, they always seem to reemerge like a reliable grasshopper plague.

Clearly, the LDS Church isn’t anti-Semitic.  As far as I know, they’ve never picked on anyone other than Jews and Christians who don’t believe New York Native Americans are a lost, wandering tribe of Jews. However, they seem to discriminate against Muslims, Atheists, and other religions apparently under the belief we are too far gone to pull from the burning fires of a hell fueled by untaxed 10% tithes. After all, they wouldn’t want to damage the tires of all those missionary bikes. Inner tubes are expensive and stink when they burn. Being good, non-cultish citizens, they wouldn’t want to stir up the EPA.

This is exactly the sort of thing that causes violence between religions. One would think the Mormons would know something about that after they were chased coast to almost coast to escape a never-ending string of massacres by  and against outsiders.

I’m proud to say there are no records of Atheist-on-Mormon homicide either. There probably weren’t enough of us in the 1800s to pull together a tar and feather brigade.

I think religions are being too soft on these shenanigans by merely accusing Mormons of running a cult. I’m thinking more along the lines of  the swipe of a 2X4 to the head of these poor, misguided geneologists. Something to get their attention if you will.

Say it with me, “I smite thee in the name of common sense you moron(i).”

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!