Wednesday, 28 November 2007

The Business of Killing God

A Gross Mismatch At First Glance, But Size & Might Don't Necessarily Win The Fight

In the natural world, size and power does not necessarily manifest itself as a overwhelming advantage, and this is something that all biologists and most laymen can attest to: After all, who hasn't been laid low by the influenza, a disease caused by viruses that can only be measured in nano or micrometers? Or the feisty little wolverine, no larger than a poodle, fending off and chasing away a bear many times its size?

Such disparities in terms of attributes can sometimes be skewered against the odds: For all the bravado about strength, size and other positive, physical traits, the Davids & the underdogs of the natural world can deal the giants a punishing blow, so much so that one begins to wonder:

Can God be fair game in the macabre game of life and death?

The God Conundrum

The God of Abraham is a strange contradiction: While he is claimed to be a loving deity, he is prone to the odd jealous pang:

".....for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” - Exodus Chapter 32:14

While the theists never fail to remind our infidelic brains that God is the supreme Creator of Earth and the Cosmos with his omnipotent powers, he is not above wrestling with mere mortals: God, in his rather mysterious mien, chose to engage in a bout of wrestling (God, a sumo wrestler?) with Jacob and, surprise, surprise, Jacob got away with nothing more than a dislocated thigh! A minor injury, indeed, considering that Jacob is actually having a one-on-one duel with an omniscient deity!

Wrestling With God: An Ancient Sport?

"Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him.

Then he said, 'Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.' But he said, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me.'

So he said to him, 'What is your name?' And he said, 'Jacob.'

He said, 'Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.'"

Genesis 32:24-28

While some Christians may think that such allegories are merely "out of context" drivel sprouted by atheists in a bid to undermine their deity, it is precisely this very visceral description of God as a deeply flawed, humanoid-like asshole that gave rise to the next evolution of the Abrahamic religion: The long-suffering, gay loving, pretty looking Son of God.

Murdering The Son of God

Revolutionizing the God-Murdering Enterprise: Nailing Jebus to the Cross.......

While atheists and infidels alike have long been accused of blasphemy and an assortment of deity-defiling acts, none of them are as vicious & violent as the acts of gruesome murder and cannibalism inflicted (at least on the imaginary plane) upon their deity as the Jews and subsequently, the Jebus lovers of the Catholic Church.

While the God of the OT was prone to having a fling or two with his minions, he was, at least on a mythical perspective, undefeated by his dimunitive underlings. Unfortunately, the NT scribes added a small chink in God's supposedly impervious armor: Along comes Jebus, long hair, white robe, gay-loving and all, walking amongst the masses, preaching his wishy-washy, love-embracing, sinner-loving tirades to the masses. Like his OT predecessor, he occasionally flares up, casting demons into swines (Those filthy swines.....they deserve it! Oink!), & not to mention that damn fig tree which had the temerity not to bear fruit in the off season!

& so the mad hatter story goes, Jebus riled up a few Pharisees, who plotted and forced Pontius Pilate, the Roman official, to nail Jebus' ass on the cross.

Followed by Two Thousand Years of Cannibalism & Vampirism!

A neat start indeed to two millennial of God-killing ethics: The Catholic Church, with all its pompous and blood-letting ethics, decided to carry on with this tradition of God killing one step further: The act of transubstantiation requires, horror of all horrors, the desecration of Jebus' body via the breaking of the bread, and the drinking of Bloody Mary a gross representation of his blood!

Herein lies the supreme irony: The God of the Jews was instigated by the Jewish priests themselves to die at the hands of the Romans, & subsequently mutilated, butchered, eaten and sucked dry by the Catholic Church.

Atheists: Not In The Business of Godly Murder

While the figure of Jebus has been butchered and defiled, at least in a metaphorical sense, for more than a thousand years, Christians all over have now accused atheists of plotting to "murder" a deity that seems amusingly prone to murder by his own beloved followers!

And the very root of such ridiculous claims? Apparently, the anti-cinematic Church has pickled the recent controversial movie, the "Golden Compass", a brain child of the incorrigible atheistic author, Philip Pullman.

The gist of the story, it seems has all the elements of blasphemy in it: A child, fighting against the forces of the Catholic-like Magisterium, and ultimately killing God himself (A new low in the apparent tradition of God killing).

Yes, he of the "God-killing" confessions, expressing it in is perverted, disgusting, repulsive...........& so Christian-like!

The Catholic League, it seems, is hell-bent on reserving this proud tradition of God lynching for the Catholic Church, and is against the idea that Pullman is trying to wrestle the right of murder from the opulent church.

According to the Catholic League President, Bill Donohue, pious folks should give this movie a miss: "Eighty-five per cent of the people in this country are Catholic or Protestant and I'd like them to stay at home, or go see some other movie."

Much as us atheists may try to wrestle the "honor" of murdering God, ye Christian folks have beaten us to it for two millennial. This "ban the atheist movie" propaganda is just another ploy to stop atheists from making our presence felt in a Scientology-dominated Hollywood.

Sure, give this "murderous" movie a miss, and spend the next Sabbath drinking a deity's blood and eating his broken body, if that gives you a more euphoric high.

"If Jesus had been killed 20 years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little Electric Chairs around their necks instead of crosses"
-Lenny Bruce

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Oh Lordie, I Am Gonna Be Burning In Hell!

Hell, From A Buddhist Point of View: Regardless, Fire Is the Central Common Theme of Most Religious Infernos

From time to time, I receive unsolicited advice, both online and offline, with regards to the condition of my "spiritual life", whatever that means. The Christian elements will tend to invoke the blood debt: The cleansing of the "Original Sin", an indelible mark that has to be washed with the blood of Christ, i.e The Crucification. Their Muslim counterparts, while still sheepish about the eventual 72 virgins in heaven, do note that hell awaits for the kafirs, while leaving us wondering about the impending fates of women in the Muslim heaven (Do they still wear burkas???).

The souls of non-believers, according to theists, will suffer horribly in the deepest bowels of a burning inferno. Hell, it seems, is not exactly reserved for villains: Anyone who lacks faith in the deity in question, or simply refuses to believe in the existence of hell's Creator, will suffer the horrible fate of being standard BBQ fare for the rest of eternity. Such an ignominious fate, indeed, for the insufferable infidel!

Indeed, hell is a place where all sane people should do well to avoid. According to the all-loving, gay-loving Jebus, you will do well to lose an eye, rather than suffer the irreversible fate of burning for infinity and beyond:

"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."
-Matthews 5:29

The subject of hell is a burning issue, both paradoxically and realistically: Whether Hell exists or not is beside the point. The reality of the situation is that Hell is merely part of the "Carrot and Stick" mentality that creates a mental delusion in the minds of religious folks who may somehow have smelled a rat emanating from the bullshit pandered about by religious institutions & scumbags alike. It also serves as a selling point for proselytizers who may encounter infidels who are somewhat inclined to the "Guns & Roses" culture, rockers and rocker wannabes who may actually have second thoughts(understandably so!) about singing boring Christian hymns for the rest of eternity.

The "Hell" Doctrine: God Loves You To Bits, But He Still Kills You Eventually

While polytheism exhibits religious piety, it seldom has the "love" element in it: The Chinese for example, worship the Gods of Longevity and Prosperity just as fervently as the pious Christian, but both deities are not mutually exclusive (the Chinese are quite comfortable with praying to a vast pantheon of Gods, just like the ancient Greeks), & if anything else, Gods of the pantheistic variety do not practice absolute insistence on belief, and hell is more exclusive for doers of evil deeds than non-believers.

Monotheism, however, invokes Hell for a solely different purpose. God, being the sole cosmic superpower of the Universe, is somehow enthralled by the going-ons in this puny planet of ours. Every thing we do, from stealing cookies from the cookie jar to breaking someone's arm, becomes a paramount concern to the deity. According to Christians and other deities, this Cosmic Superman loves us to itsy-bitsy pieces, and such a love is manifested in his "Creation". Of course, sometimes he screws up (intentionally or carelessly, you take the pick), regurgitating volcanic larvae, wrecking coasts with tsunamis and all, drowning, immolating, decapitating and.....oh well, God still loves us to itsy-bitsy pieces, and that is the whole point, isn't it? Gawd loves us, & he demonstrates his love for us with mass murder!

The Jealous God

The Jealous God?

The Gods of monotheism tend to to guard their jealous exclusivity to the point of absurdity: The Christian God, for example, does not condone the presence of other Gods. "Thy Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me" is an absolute maxim, supposedly cast in stone in the form of the Ten Commandments. The Koran is replete with verses on how to deal with and skewer kafirs (infidels).

With little or no room for negotiation, God becomes a incorrigibly unreasonable despot: In order to keep the religious flock within the sanctity of a religious institution, the deity must impose both love and hate in extreme polemics, and while this may sound ironic and stupid to rational thinkers, God, the omnipotent, omniscient and omni benevolent deity, invokes both the flurry clouds of heaven and the burning inferno of hell to herd his ignorant flock.

Hence the favorite Christian adage: "God loves you, believe in him and he will reward you with an eternity of God wanking in the fluffy clouds of heaven. However, because of your Sin, hell awaits you, if you do not believe in God and repent of your sins".

The idea of bridging the dichotomy between love and hate aside, the "heaven and hell" concept is simply religious drivel meant to restraint doubt and put a lid on the forces of apostasy and other non-desirable elements in the theist's book.

Whose Hell Do I Go?

While the concept of hell seems erroneous when love is concerned, the more mundane and down-to-earth question would be: Whose hell is the real hell?

As always, almost every religion that exists on this planet has incorporated some form of eternal torment for evil-doers and, in the case of monotheistic religions, non-believers. If the deity-in-question happens to be Allah, for example, then those Christians who engage in the simpleminded worship of Jebus may find themselves in a totally unexpected eternity with the burning infidels. Reverse the roles, and one could imagine the chagrin on the Muslim terrorist's face, when, after eviscerating himself with the sole aim of fucking 72 virgins in heaven, a cauldron of hot, boiling inferno awaits him.

Hell In A Cell: An Irrational Concept Based On Fear

The concept of Hell is based on nothing more than pure, unadulterated fear.

Because death puts a dramatic full stop to life, it is quite inconceivable to the human psyche that life ceases to exist after death, and despite the dearth of evidence, we want to believe that our lives can go on after our impending ends. This "extended" life manifests itself in the form of the "Soul": a spiritual entity that supposedly survives our bodily deaths. It is the soul that is supposed to survive either an eternity in heavenly bliss, or eternal suffering in the bowels of hell.

Hence, religion seizes upon this persistent fear of death and the belief of an afterlife to invoke it's fear-based beliefs. Follow my religion and you go to heaven, failure to do so and you go to hell.

In sum, the religious concept of hell is a two prong psychological weapon: To scare backsliders from probing and questioning their religious beliefs and faith system, as well as a mental blackmail to scare infidels into joining their insidious cults based on fear, exclusivity and bigotry.

Marilyn Monroe: Sexing It Up for The Devil.....Mama Mia!!!

Elvis: Still Rocking & Rolling.....Hell Rocks, Babe!!!

The next time someone tells you about the horrible tales of an afterlife in Hell, just tell him or her that you are in good company: With Elvis crooning away and Marilyn Monroe swaying and sauntering in the heat of the blasting furnace, you can bet your last dollar that hell is going to be the next party place for party-loving swingers!

The Vengeful, Evil God?

"Who needs Satan when you have a God like this?"
-Robert M. Price

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Perverse Religious Ruling: Rape Victim In Saudi Arabia Sentenced With Whipping

As an atheist and a secular humanist, it seems to me that whenever religion is thrown into the cauldron of a judiciary system in a bid to form a religious court, more often than not, the askew judgments and gross abuse of human rights become centerfold: From gross misogyny to outright ridiculous punishments of victims & criminals alike, religious laws belong to a somewhat archaic age, when it was customary for thieves to have their hands chopped off, or mandatory stoning for convicted adulterers.

For various obvious reasons, most democratic, modern nations do not ascribe such ridiculous concepts of law into their statutes, and while some countries still practice the ancient, non-reversible death penalty in their books, it is safe to say that as civilized countries go, most countries have removed a significant number of barbaric punishments from the law books.

There are, however, some religiously-charged countries, particularly in the Islamic mold, that still dish out unacceptable punishments for certain crimes, and it really galls me to say that most of these supposed "crimes" are merely deliberate acts of lynching meant to subjugate one particular class of human beings: Women.

Saudi Gang-Rape Victim is Jailed
By Frances Harrison
BBC News

An appeal court in Saudi Arabia has doubled the number of lashes and added a jail sentence as punishment for a woman who was gang-raped.

The victim was initially punished for violating laws on segregation of the sexes - she was in an unrelated man's car at the time of the attack.

When she appealed, the judges said she had been attempting to use the media to influence them.

The attackers' sentences - originally of up to five years - were doubled.

Extra penalties

According to the Arab News newspaper, the 19-year-old woman, who is from Saudi Arabia's Shia minority, was gang-raped 14 times in an attack in the eastern province a year-and-a-half ago. Seven men from the majority Sunni community were found guilty of the rape and sentenced to prison terms ranging from just under a year to five years. But the victim was also punished for violating Saudi Arabia's laws on segregation that forbid unrelated men and women from associating with each other. She was initially sentenced to 90 lashes for being in the car of a strange man. On appeal, the Arab News reported that the punishment was not reduced but increased to 200 lashes and a six-month prison sentence.

Subjugating Women and Stoking the Male Ego

Burkas: A Symbol of Misogyny

For all intents and purposes, the Syariah (Muslim Law) has, within its tenets, rules that subjugates women: In Saudi Arabia, women can't drive cars, step out of their homes without the mandatory burkas (The ugly veils that make them resemble out-of-place Martians), & yes, generally speaking, women are conspicuously absent in a large proportion of a male-dominated social setting.

In short, Muslim women living under the shadow of the law live a shady, oppressed kind of existence, their survival deemed as nothing more than tools for raising children, looking after the household and yes, perpetual sex slaves for males destined for 72 virgins in Paradise.

Sickening Ruling

The idea that a rape victim should be able to seek legal recourse without undue fear of reprisal is strangely absent in Islamic courts: As for the case in question, the farce just keeps snow-balling into gross miscarriage of justice: For the mere act of getting in a car with a male driver, she gets 200 lashes, up from the earlier sentence of 90 lashes.

A Muslim apologist can argue that the male rapists didn't go scot free: But how does one justify one deserving punishment for a misguided (& misogynistic one at that) one?

This is another classic example why religion should never be allowed to meddle in court matters, or any other issue for the matter. Wherever religion trots on secular ground, the end result is often a disaster in the making.

"When I began to study the Koran, the holy book of Islam, I found many unreasonable ideas. The women in the Koran were treated as slaves. They are nothing but sexual objects. Naturally I set aside the Koran and looked around me. I found religion equally oppressive in real life. And I realized that religious oppression and injustices are only increasing, especially in Muslim countries. The religious terrorists are everywhere. But if I criticized Muslim fundamentalists and mullahs in particular, it is because I saw them from close quarters. They took advantage of people's ignorance and oppressed them. They considered women as chattel slaves and treated them no better than the slaves of the ancient world."

-Banglasdeshi Writer, Taslima Nasrin

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Religion & The US Army: Not The Best Soul Mates

Scary Stuff, But This Is What The Pentagon Wants: An Army of Proselytizing Christians In Iraq

In the previous post, I have discussed at length, at least from the military perspective and to some extent, the political standpoint, of invoking Religion as a rallying point to refocus on the Bush Administration's unpopular war in Iraq, & how a shadow religious group has been making inroads, with the blessings of the Pentagon top brass, to evangelize to the military personnel of the US military.

The impetus to invoke the high heavens to provide a shroud of legitimacy is a historical reminder that even in the 21st century, we still rely on mandates from imaginary deities to sell wars to the general public. It is a stark fact, one that even the most optimistic atheist will have to lament but agree.....but.....

Taking things from a realistic perspective, juxtaposing a modern army fully equipped with weapons designed to kill en mass with archaic, Bronze Age beliefs is a gross mismatch, as I intend to illustrate.


Land Pandur II: A Typical Armored Personnel Carrier. This is What The US army in Iraq Needs, Not Bibles

In what I felt was the biggest fiasco that has been leaked to the press by the incompetent Pentagon, we learned, to our disgust, that the Pentagon intended to smuggle in shipments of bible packages to its beleaguered troops, only to back down at the last minute to avoid embarrassing lawsuits with a secular watchdog.

This is a classic example of what I would like to coin as "misplaced priority": The top brass has become so distant & so disillusioned that it has all but lost touch with troops on the ground: Almost every week, we read about stories of regiments diving straight into patrols without adequate armor plates on the Humvees, soldiers running around with little or no body armor, & a high percentage of these soldiers were sent to Iraq with insufficient training to deal with insurgencies of the Vietnam War era-style.

Clearly, this is more than enough evidence to suggest palpable negligence.

In Sun Tzu's Art of War:

"The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected."

While I do not expect the American military brass to comprehend Sun Tzu's war treatise (Considering that they are all awaiting for the Rapture and hugging their bibles), it is quite unpardonable that when 100,000 or more troops are sent into a desert hell hole, that even basic needs are not adequately met. And to even have the temerity to invoke religious support by sending non-essential bibles on transport craft that would have been better used to transport body and vehicle armor instead spells of high treason.

Too Many Gods In The Cauldron?

Gods: Like Cooks, Too Many Deities Will Ruin Battle Plans

Another potential hot spot when it comes to inciting religious sentiments is the multi-religious element: Unlike the ancient Crusades, or even in more recent times, say the US Army fighting in the WWII theater, the US army is a potpourri of numerous races and cultures: Asians, South Americans & even the odd Muslim brethren mix around with the standard rednecks in a some what "ragtag" military, a reflection and reminder that first and foremost, the population of the United States of America is essentially a migrant population.

Given the multiracial and multicultural identity, any attempts to introduce a singular, mutually exclusive religion into the military with the intention to "galvanize" military morale becomes a sheer fire way to disaster.

Even within the ranks of a single religious cult, say Christianity for example, various factions or denominations vie viciously to guard their masses from straying from their respective flocks, not to mention that however minor their doctrinal differences despite coming under one umbrella of Jebus, chances are, given the opportunity, you will not expect the respective members of these denominations to slit each other's throats.

In short, the army may end up alienating military men and women who do not wish to be brainwashed and strong-armed by these unwelcome religious ethics of their army superiors. The potential for desertion caused by this doctrinal objection may be too much for the Pentagon to stomach.

Such is the divisive nature of religions to exclude other faiths, that unless you can be pretty sure that virtually everyone is inclined to one standard, rigorous religion, it is quite detrimental to introduce a religious element in today's modern army.

God & The Army: Not The Best Bed Fellows

The idea of a "God smite thy enemies" prayer is a practice steeped in generations of ill-conceived barbarity: Considering that both warring factions would be praying earnestly for the destruction of their adversaries, the question of whom the supposed deities may be helping may simply boil down to who is praying to the relevant, bloodthirsty god.

It may sound a little odd, coming from an atheist, but invoking a deity once in a while in less unctuous occasions (e.g employing chaplains to oversee a funeral), once in a very blue moon is generally harmless enough, but to advocate the practice of religion en mass & ubiquitously throughout the rank and file of the military spells a recipe for disaster.

Last but not least, it would be a potential PR nightmare if US soldiers insist on proselytizing their new-found Christian faith, courtesy of Pentagon-approved bibles and bible software. Given the unpopularity of the Iraqi invasion amongst anti-American Arabs, the last thing the American troops really need is an increased incursion of insurgents and road side bombs.

"Once again the songs of the fatherland roared to the heavens along the endless marching columns, and for the last time the Lord's grace smiled on His ungrateful children. "

- Adolf Hitler reflecting on World War I, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 7

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Proselytization In The US Military: A Sinister Motive?

Jebus & His Trusty Gun

Since the days of the Sumerians and the Almighty Greeks, kings, generals, and other warring factions have found it prudent to invoke divinity & the supernatural to stir up & inflame murderous passions in times of war: By invoking tribal exclusivity and invoking an imagined reward scheme for those who did martyr for the cause, religion has been an ancient form of propaganda, aimed at providing cohesion amongst the rank and file, as well as an insidious attempt to invoke fearlessness in the face of certain death.

The ultimate aim is to secure ultimate victory,and while rational people may find such cultist nonsense to be irrelevant in modern day warfare, one need not look further than the United States military, which, for the past few years, have shown signs of increased proselytizing amongst it's senior ranking officers.

Chaplains in the US armed forces are not a recent trend (they have been around for at least as long as the Civil Wars, maybe even longer); however, the election of George Bush, and his infamous "God told me to attack Iraq" speech has served to imbue the US military with a fresh impetus to peddle their Christianized dogma to otherwise unwilling recruits.

According to an Oct 19, 2007 article from the Christian Science Monitor, there has been a rather disturbing, sinister campaign by a shadowy Christian group to evangelize recruits through string-pulling & coercion via the rank-and-file system in the military:

1. "At Speicher base in Iraq, U.S. Army Spec. Jeremy Hall got permission from a chaplain in August to post fliers announcing a meeting for atheists and other nonbelievers. When the group gathered, Specialist Hall alleges, his Army major supervisor disrupted the meeting and threatened to retaliate against him, including blocking his reenlistment in the Army."

Months earlier, Hall charges, he had been publicly berated by a staff sergeant for not agreeing to join in a Thanksgiving Day prayer.

2. "On Sept. 17, the soldier and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) filed suit against Army Maj. Freddy Welborn and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, charging violations of Hall's constitutional rights, including being forced to submit to a religious test to qualify as a soldier."

The ruling Zeitgeist in the US military seems to imply that in order for a military man to perform his duties to his utmost, he must, amongst his other more practical duties (e.g bearing arms), include participating in Christian festivities and passing religious exams in order to qualify as a soldier.

Little wonder, then, that the US military is more obsessed with sending shipments of bibles than life-saving armored personnel carriers (Link to my previous article here.)

3. For Mr. Weinstein -- a former Air Force judge advocate and assistant counsel in the Reagan White House -- more is involved than isolated cases of discrimination. He charges that several incidents in recent years -- and more than 5,000 complaints his group has received from active-duty and retired military personnel -- point to a growing willingness inside the military to support a particular brand of Christianity and to permit improper evangelizing in the ranks. More than 95 percent of those complaints come from other Christians, he says.

While this may sound a little strange even to the most dogmatic Christian, a huge bulk of the complaints have come from the Christians themselves, who do not fancy being indoctrinated by another brand of Christianity other than their own peculiar denominations.

& if you think that the religious epidemic in the US military is bad, check out what Lt. Gen. William Boykin has to say about a Muslim warlord he was tasked to pursue :"I knew my God was a real God and his was an idol." And our enemies will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus."

Why Religion?

Historically, the use of religion and deities are good rallying points, both for bolstering flagging morales, as well as serving a viable moral focus to justify the horrors and dangers of war.

From a military perspective, the US military has had a problem both with recruitment as well as desertion.

According to the Associated Press Writer (Nov 17 2007, "Army Desertion Rate Up 80 Since '03):

"Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003."

And to add to other logistical and manpower woes, recruitment has fell short of the military recruitment target, and mounting casualties and widespread discontentment against extended tours of duties all add to a myriad of problems that the current US military has found almost impossible to cope with.

Adding to this complex brew, wide spread disenchantment against the unpopular Iraq war due to mounting Coalition casualties has fostered an almost cynical view towards the ruling White House incumbent and the US military.

Little wonder, then, that the "God Delusion" has been roped in to harness the drug-like euphoria of religion. Hopefully, the religious drones can provide a surging tide of support for the Bush Administration, which has helped propelled George Bush the chimp into the White House and remained as an incumbent for a second term.

In sum, this may be a last-ditch effort to legitimize an unpopular war which is already in the process of degenerating into a political disaster. & the unfortunate truth is, the powers-that-be are colluding with high-ranking military officials & a shadowy Christian cult into deceiving the American public.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Atheism, Divorce and Custody Battles by Larro

Somebody in my extended family is undergoing a custody battle with her divorced husband. She is a good Christian and her ex wants joint custody. I just got off the phone with her and thought to myself "Good thing you aren't an atheist."

What made me think this? Cruising around the net will explain why.

Carson v. Carson, 401 N.W.2d 632, 635–36
(Mich. Ct. App. 1986) (quoting trial court as opining that it “was a little bit distraught in finding that there was no particular affiliation [held by either parent] with a church,” because “[p]robably 95 percent of the criminals that I see before me come from homes where there’s no . . . established religious affiliation,”

Sharrow v. Davis, Nos. 244043, 245117, 2003 WL 21699876, at *3
(Mich. Ct. App. July 22, 2003) (noting that “[father] never attended church and his older children were not baptized,” that “[father] felt [the children] should experience many religions and choose one when they were older,” and that though “[mother] did not attend church regularly, she attended periodically and would take all of the children with her”);

Goodrich v. Jex, No. 243455, 2003 WL 21362971, at *1
(Mich. Ct. App. June 12, 2003) (noting “that [father] has a greater capacity and willingness to continue to take the parties’ daughters to church and related activities,” and that trial court had been “concerned with [mother’s] belief that her minor daughters are capable of making their own decisions whether to attend church”);

Sims v. Stanfield, No. CA98-1040, 1999 WL 239888, at *3–*4 (Ark. Ct. App. Apr. 21, 1999)
(noting that lower court based award of custody to father partly on father’s having “‘rekindled’ a relationship with his church,” “regularly attend[ing] services,” and providing “a Christian home,” but declining on procedural grounds to review this);

Tweedel v. Tweedel, 484 So. 2d 260, 262 (La. Ct. App. 1986)
(noting that “The child attends church regularly with the mother and receives religious instruction. The father testified that he has not brought the child to church because the child did not want to go and that he would not force the child to go to church.”);

Staggs v. Staggs, No. 2004-CA-00443-COA, 2005 WL 1384525, at *6
(Miss. Ct. App. May 24, 2005) (noting that “[w]hile [father] is an agnostic and testified that religion is not important to him, [mother] testified that religion is very important to her”);

Weigand v. Houghton, 730 So. 2d 581, 587 (Miss. 1999)
(noting chancellor’s “weighing heavily” as factor in mother’s favor that “mother has seen that [the son] is taken to church and undergone religious training, along with the entire family” and that “[the son’s] best interest would be served by providing religious training”).

Gancas v. Schultz, 683 A.2d 1207, 1213–14 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1996)
(reversing lower court’s transfer of custody from mother to father, based partly on lower court’s “fail[ure] to consider ‘all factors which legitimately have an effect upon the child’s physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual well-being,’” and in particular that while “[m]other . . . takes [daughter] to church whenever [daughter] is with her,” “[f]ather, an admitted agnostic, does not attend church”).

Myers v. Myers, 14 Phila. 224, 256–57 (Com. Pl. 1986)
(“Although the issue of religion is not controlling in a custody case, the religious training of children is a matter of serious concern and is a factor that should be considered in rendering a custody decision. ‘A proper religious atmosphere is an attribute of a good home and it contributes significantly to the ultimate welfare of a child.’ Where it appears that the religious training of the children will cease upon placement in a given custodial setting, courts lean in favor of the religious-minded contestant.”), aff’d without op., 520 A.2d 68 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1986);

Scheeler v. Rudy, 2 Pa. D. & C.3d 772, 780 (Com. Pl. 1977)
(awarding custody to mother, noting as factor in her favor that she often took children to church, while father rarely did, that “[t]his court has often noted the absence of any regular church attendance in the pre- sentence reports of those who have been convicted of some crime, which appear on our desk,” and that “a religious education and upbringing can have a substantial effect upon the outlook and attitudes of a child, and in turn upon the life of the adult he or she will become.”)

Pountain v. Pountain, 503 S.E.2d 757, 761 (S.C. Ct. App. 1998)
(upholding denial of custody to father whom court described as “agnostic,” and stating that “Although the religious beliefs of parents are not dispositive in a child custody dispute, they are a factor relevant to determining the best interest of a child”);

In re F.J.K., 608 S.W.2d 301 (Tex. App. 1980)
(noting “the mother’s neglect of the children’s religious upbringing,” and “[a]n atheistic philosophy [being] . . . discussed by the new husband to some extent with the daughter, prompting her to advise her nursery school teacher that she was ‘not a Christian or a Jew but an atheist’”).

Source: Atheists Discriminated Against in Child Custody Cases

In 1992 a South Dakota man "will agree to present a plan to the Court of how
[he] is going to commence providing some sort of spiritual opportunity for the [children] to learn about God while in [his] custody." Similar language was couched in 2005 Arkansas, 2002 Georgia, 2005 Louisiana, 2004 Minnesota, 2005 Mississippi, 2006 New York, 2005 North Carolina, 1996 Pennsylvania, 2004 South Carolina, 1997 Tennessee, 2000 Texas, and, going back to the 1970s and 1980s, Alabama, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Montana, and Nebraska.

In 2000, the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered a mother to take her child to church each week, reasoning that "it is certainly to the best interests of [the child] to receive regular and systematic spiritual training" in 1996, the Arkansas Supreme Court did the same, partly on the grounds that weekly
church attendance, rather than just the once-every-two-weeks attendance that the child would have had if he went only with the other parent, provides superior "moral instruction."

All this is done under the rubric of the "best interests of the
child" standard, the normal rule applied in custody disputes between two parents and this standard leaves family court judges ample room to consider a parent's ideology.

Source (PDF):
-><- atheist child custody - Google Search
atheist child custody - Atheist Blogroll Search
atheist child custody - Google News Archive Search

Regardless if any of these opinions and judgments were overturned the court statements speak for themselves of the bias and prejudice toward non-believers in the US. The United States is not alone in the ideological divide and the personal prejudices that justices take liberty with while on the bench. These are local and state judges who are not appointed but elected. What does that say about our so-called secular society?

As an American, our constitution is a text left open for interpretation by the Judicial branch. When judges waver from the first amendment it saddens me to no end.

Essentially, I think we should all get the message very clearly. Christians think atheists (or even non-churchgoers) are shit and not worthy of raising their own children if it doesn't fall in line with so-called "moral instruction".

The first amendment stands on one leg.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Jebus And The Amazing Snake Charmers

Snake Charmers: A Hazardous, Low-Wage Vocation.

The sight of the skinny, wiry snake charmer, clad with little else but a turban on his head and a sarong around his waist, is quite a sight to behold: His slight, almost impossibly tiny body is well-imbued with the heart of a lion, as he attempts to "charm" a snake, usually of the cobra & viper variety, out of its basket. Almost in cue and in tandem with the music (So it seems: Snakes cannot "hear", but they do feel vibrations in the air), the snake emerges from the basket, oblivious to its surrounding, seemingly fixated with the hypnotic sound of the snake charmer's flute. & if the snake charmer feels a little bit on the charmed side of life, he might even pander to his delighted crowd with a kiss on the snake's slithering mouth.

Make no mistake about it: Snake charmers really do live on the edge. Besides having a distinct lack of fear for these poisonous reptilian creatures, he must be able to comprehend the behavior and mood of the snake he handles, and learning to avoid being bitten by a swift, lightning attack from an angry serpent becomes a form of art unto itself. The art of snake handling is definitely too hot for an amateur, especially when the amateur is drunk and intoxicated with the religious alcohol of faith.

Christian Dies From Snake Bite; Family Sues Health Doctors

Indeed, handling deadly cobras, vipers and other poisonous creatures is akin to a dance with death: These creatures have evolved successfully for millions of years, and have thrived for such an incredible span of time precisely because manipulating poison works extremely well for them. Be it for defense or hunting, a snake that utilizes poison to stun and/or kill prey saves time and effort: One bite is all it needs to paralyze or kill prey (or aggressor). The art of poison is a evolutionary success, and poisonous snakes do not need a second invitation to prove it to the unwary victim.

It is therefore foolhardy to even consider handling these dangerous creatures without professional training: Some religious morons, however, think that by virtue of their "mountain-moving" faith, they can be rendered impervious to all manner of poisons, & nowhere is this stated more clearly than the Holy Babble:

"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Mark 16:17-18

Apparently, Jebus had just "resurrected" from his staged "death" on the cross, and was addressing his dewy-eyed, uneducated flock of brainwashed buffoons. And it is on account of such ignominious teachings of Christ that the money-hording droves of TV evangelists and all manner of Christian crooks base their evil schemes on: Get a few morons to speak in tongues, smite them with your holier-than-thou palms, and watch them writhe and fall all over the stage. I am not kidding. These incredible charlatans, armed with nothing more than glib tongues and loads of bullshit, rely on such dubious, uncouth scribes of the Holy Babble to beguile and dupe their ignorant flocks of sheep.

& it gets worst: Whipped up in a state of religious frenzy, believers fall under the delusion that, armed with the invisible armor of faith, they too, can enjoy the protection of God's divine protection, just as Jebus had promised.

Alas, that was not to be, as these Christians found out, to the detriment of one of the faithful:

Family Sues Hospital Over Snakebite Death

As a woman bitten by a rattlesnake during a church service in London struggled to breathe, hospital employees made derogatory comments about her religious beliefs rather than providing proper care, contributing to her death, a lawsuit charges.

The case arises from the Nov. 5, 2006, death of Linda F. Long, 48, a London homemaker. Police said at the time that Long was handling a yellow timber rattler during a service at East London Holiness Church when the snake bit her on the right cheek.

People bitten by poisonous snakes during religious services sometimes refuse medical treatment. But others at that service quickly took Long to Marymount Medical Center in London.

According to the lawsuit, on the way to Marymount, someone in the vehicle called 911 at 7:46 p.m.; a dispatcher connected the call to the hospital, and the driver asked for an air ambulance to fly Long to Lexington. Hospital employees assured the Long family a helicopter was available.

A nurse met Long and those with her in the parking area outside the emergency room. Rather than take Long in right away, the nurse engaged Long and her family "in a lengthy and time-consuming series of questions" that went far beyond getting information needed to treat the snakebite, the lawsuit states.

After being taken into the hospital at 8:09 p.m., Long said she was having trouble breathing, and asked for oxygen. Hospital employees gave her a portable, oscillating fan as they allegedly "snickered and made derogatory comments" to employees -- and Long's family -- about the religious beliefs and circumstances under which she was bitten.

Her blood pressure dropped; her heart rate went up; her neck, face and tongue swelled; and she went into shock. However, a doctor failed to properly treat her and did not put in a tube to help her breathe, according to the lawsuit.

At 8:28 p.m., hospital personnel contacted the air ambulance service. When the helicopter arrived 12 minutes later, the crew asked the doctor to put in a tube to help Long breathe, but the doctor said her airway was not the problem and told the flight crew to get her to Lexington quickly, the suit says.

Long's heart stopped on the way. She was pronounced dead at 10:50 p.m. at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Religious Stupidity Revealed: Faith Doesn't Move Mountains

The very notion of refusing medical treatment for snake bites baffles me: Does the pious Christian really believe in the healing powers of the deity in question? If the answer is a resounding yes, I think God must be a least held accountable, provided, of course, he exists: He seems to have abused the trust of these pious fools who risk life and limb just to kiss his big, fat, obnoxious ass. If not, then the pastor or reverend who is responsible for perpetuating such steaming piles of bullshit ought to be shamed and vilified for this utter nonsense.

If the accusations alleged by these Christians are true (Which I really doubt: How many Christians tell the truth anyway?), the ambulance crew and doctors must surely be held at least partially responsible for the death of the victim, although much of it has to do with the stupidity of the victim who, in the midst of a whipped up religious fervor, ignored the butterflies in her stomach and chose to ignore her gut feeling, handling a poisonous reptile that doesn't like to be manhandled in the first place. Let's not forget the Church too, for propagating such snake-handling sessions, which really says a lot about how religion and stupidity, plus an obnoxious dose of faith, does to human brains.

Suing the hospital staff aside, why is no one suing the church for negligence? Why were untrained persons allowed to handle extremely dangerous snakes without due supervision?

Lawsuits and apportioning blame aside, one thing is certain: Faith doesn't move mountains. Any pastor who thinks that faith can make you impregnable to poison should get himself bitten by a viper or some vicious, poisonous snake, and just to make it more interesting, the bite should be located in a sensitive region, preferably near the ass or the crotch.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - Carl Sagan

Friday, 9 November 2007

All Those Murderous Darwinists & Atheists

In light of the Finnish shootings by Pekka-Erik Auvinen, an atheist friend of mine, Raj, predicted that Christians would definitely descent upon this event, like vultures encircling a dead corpse, and feed upon this dramatic, albeit disastrous shooting to expound on their hate-spewing propaganda against Science and of course, those dastardly, murderous atheists. & how right he was: On the exact day he made his prophesy, I encountered just one such article, which, for all it is worth, attempted a cheap swipe against (what else?) the purported evils of Darwinism and Atheism.

Reports of The Finnish Shootout

As 7 students and a teacher laid dead in the aftermath of the carnage, and including Pekka himself, who committed suicide, some theists seem adamant that atheism and social Darwinism were two very strong recurring themes in the mind of the teenage killer. Apparently, Pekka had, amongst other pre-suicide moves, uploaded a video of himself threatening to carry out the shootings, plus some notes on Youtube.

According to CNN:

In rambling text posted on the site two weeks before the shooting, Auvinen called himself "a cynical existentialist, anti-human humanist, anti-social social-Darwinist, realistic idealist and god-like atheist."

"I am prepared to fight and die for my cause," he wrote. "I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection."

At first glance, it seems quite fitting that the shooter seems to be killing for a just, albeit misguided cause: It is as if the killer was actually assuming the mentality of a terrorist: Committing mass murder in the name of Darwinism, which some Christians have eschewed it to be a form of a dogmatic Scripture. & who else, but the immoral Atheist, would have been stupid enough to believe in the falsehoods of Darwinism?

The Truth Behind The Smokescreen

Before we begin to unravel a more rational and balanced view of the tragedy, it is imperative to note that, the teenager was a emotionally and mentally distraught kid:

According Tuomas Hulkkonen, who claimed to know the student well: "
He withdrew into his shell. I had noticed a change in him just recently, and I thought that perhaps he was a bit depressed or something, but I couldn't imagine that in reality he would do anything like this."

If anything else, his writings suggests a confused mind which does not correspond to the reality of the real world:

"Cynical existentialist, anti-human humanist, anti-social social-Darwinist, realistic idealist and god-like atheist."

These were the exact words he had sprouted in an apparent bid to vent his frustrations, although I cannot imagine how one can call himself an "anti-human humanist", or a "realistic idealist" for the matter. These are oxy-morons in the class of square circles, and it is hard to fathom how anyone sane can take his words seriously.

Unfortunately, in the minds of moronic Christians, the words "Social Darwinist" and "Atheist" are adequate proof that heathens of these class of sub-humans are a danger to society.

And to sum it all up, Darwin's theory of natural selection has even been cited as a major reason behind the shooting: Perhaps Creationists might want to grasp this opportunity to denounce the teaching of Evolution?

To even consider blaming natural selection as the basis of this shooting is laughable: Natural selection is a natural, observable phenomenon which weeds out species or individual creatures which do not meet Nature's survivability criteria. If anything else, Natural Selection is part and parcel of Biology, not Theology. To blame Natural Selection for the massacre is akin to blaming the murder on a documentary depicting the scene of a carnivorous lion immolating a Thomson's gazelle on National Geographic.

Atheism: Not a Valid Creed for Murder

While atheists are not incapable of the most dastardly of crimes (of all those harbingers of evil, Stalin, unfortunately, is still the only prominent mass murderer in modern history who happens to be an atheist), Atheism is not a valid reason for anyone to commit murder.

The reason is fairly straightforward, and one which theists conveniently miss out, either through sheer ignorance or deliberation: There is no codified scripture or law which atheists can conveniently turn to for a moral lesson.

Unlike our theist brethren, we do not have books instructing us to stone disobedient children, put homosexuals to death, stone people for picking up sticks on a Sabbath, kill infidels/kafirs, harboring slaves or treating women the equivalent of oxen and donkeys. Atheism, if anything else, is an affirmation to be godless, and I personally doubt the validity of even considering Atheism a philosophy. After all, we are all atheists with regards to Zeus, Bumba and all the other conceivably implausible deities, but yet no one in his or her right mind will even consider such a non-belief as a philosophy.

Because of its non-dogmatic nature, it is quite absurd and ludicrous to even consider Atheism as a valid tool for murder: One would hardly expect a person to kill another on behalf of atheism than a person to kill on behalf of quantum physics. They just don't add up.

Religious Propaganda: Putting the Blame On Science and Unbelief

Like murderous hordes of hyenas in a Savannah plain, theists are constantly lying in the bushes, waiting eagerly to pounce on any horrendous news that even remotely connects to Science and atheism. While the infidel may consider this as an act of treachery, this is apparently a knee-jerk reaction against the numerous victories won by the Scientific community against attempts to kick-start Creationism and its cheap tuxedo, Intelligent Design, in government schools, and the increasing skepticism across the board has made religious beliefs an unsatisfying way of understanding even the basic realities of life.

(For a more detailed read of religious bigotry, visit here. Be warned: The blog owner, Tim, is a somewhat inept writer, so reading his writing for long stretches of time will give you a tumultuous headache.)

Monday, 5 November 2007

The Punishment Must Fit The Crime

All too often, when religious proselytizers prance about, hawk-like, waiting for any unsuspecting heathens to fall into their elaborate traps, in the hope of spreading their "good news" to the heathens, infidels and other non-religious affiliates, the subject of "Sin" inevitably crops up. Sin, in religious parlance, refers to acts of malice or ill-intention that are not in compliance with religious tenets: There is a "crime" or "sin" that is committed, which is duly dealt with and punished, at least through divine intervention. Be it Buddhism, Christianity, or other more or less "morality-based" faiths, the subject of crime and punishment seems reasonable.

After all, the Court of Law in every civilized country specifies and dispenses relevant punishments for all manner of crime: Incarceration, caning (in barbaric, pseudo-democratic nations such as Singapore), or the death sentence (again, Singapore, & I must say, some US states, still executes it's inmates), are meted out to offenders who fail to toe the line. From minor crimes, such as petty theft, to significantly more harmful ones, such as murder, every punishment that is meted out is inevitably designed to fit the crime. After all, one would not expect a judge to ascribe a death penalty to a burglar, or a week's jail for a serial killer. The punishment, if anything else, must fit the crime.

It is only rational that our sense of justice is aligned with our "ethical" compass: Our sense of right and wrong is often weighed in from a social point of view, and not delegated or bestowed upon us through a rigid code of conduct which we must all allude and seek advice when meting out punishment.

While secular law has a fairly accurate system of meting out punishment on a "pound-for-pound" basis, that cannot be said of Religion, which, if anything else, perverts and distorts the meaning of justice wholesale.

In determining what is and what isn't punishable, I would like to set up a few parameters that are central to my arguments in this post:

1. Since I am fairly well-versed with Christianity (No, folks, I am not a theologian), I shall use Christianity as my primary focus for this topic.

2. "Punishment" in this case refers to the mythological definition of hell: A cauldron of burning inferno for recalcitrant souls. I shall not deal with the punishments afflicted by the Inquisitors and other religious mad men in this post.

Proving The Existence of God

As an institution based on hearsays, superstition, fabrication and sheer subterfuge, religion has to maintain a facade of dignity and authenticity, and this can be especially tricky, when the whole institution of religion is based on a imaginary Father in the sky. Not only is the Emperor without clothes, he seems to have vanished with his clothes altogether!

If reality is based on a God-centered existence, the very mundane trait of belief would have been an all-natural and inevitable affair: For example, no one doubts the existence of George W. Bush. We see him on TV gawking and staring in our TV screens, talking gibberish like a half-evolved chimpanzee. We know him for the moron he is precisely because he is real, and that he speaks gibberish, and doesn't seem to get his act right. We need not necessarily evoke belief (Although sometimes I wish I could invoke disbelief when asked to explain why someone so stupid can be an American President) to ascertain that he exists. It just comes with the territory.

Not so for God, who, incidentally, has Bush as his biggest, dumb-assed fan. God doesn't exactly talk to us (If someone tells you God talks to him literally in his head, recommend him to the nearest psychiatrist. God may be a figment of his imagination, but Schizophrenia isn't.) like George Bush jibbers to us on TV, and no, for the love of Jebus, we can't exactly see him, although his son, Jebus, occasionally appears on pancakes and fluffy clouds as weird apparitions to beguile the masses. We can't smell God, so we don't exactly know if he has bad breath (excluding the burnt pancake with the image of Jebus on it......), got the drift.

So, God seems to be quite absent from our mundane lives. None of us can talk to God as if you were talking to a friend: In order to "communicate" with this rather invisible Pink Bunny, we have to clasp our hands, bow our heads, and intone wistfully in a relevant, almost servile voice (verbally, or as always, in our minds. Doesn't that give us a clue or two that God may be no more than the products of our own depraved minds???) to invoke the aid of the Divine One. Hardly a friendly Deity! If you were a Muslim, you will need to prostrate yourself on the floor and align yourself in the direction of the Mecca (A huge problem indeed, for the Malaysian astronaut who had the opportunity and ignominy of zipping around Earth in orbit at phenomenal speeds!). Indeed, the idea of this made-shift character is an alien and distant one: He may have been omniscient, omnipotent and omni-benevolent, but try asking God to buy you a jolly good round of lager!

Since we cannot define God on a personal basis, the last ditch attempt would be Science. Some theists, in a bid to add a little credibility to the God conundrum, will use the Air Hypothesis: We can't see air, but we know it exists. But we know air exists because we can prove its existence in a laboratory! Try filling up a test-tube with hydrogen, throw in a little flame, and watch out for the fireworks. One of the most fundamental flaws here drummed up by theologians is that we can only verify a phenomenon through sight alone: Alongside our other senses, Science is a good, reliable indicator for testing a potential hypothesis, including the God Hypothesis.

It is not good enough for theists to simply reject Science as a means of testing God through NOMA (Non-Overlapping Magisteria), which states that Science cannot interfere in matters of theology and its related dogmas. While scientists are quite willing to bend its back to accommodate this quaint little idea, note how fast theists would react, if Science were to truly find the first remnants of a reliable piece of evidence pertaining to Noah's flood. Scientists may be willing to play the ball, but don't expect theists to play fair. Religion, after all, is a dirty player, and that fact alone has been found indelible in centuries of sectarian strife.

On this count, Science has turned up a pretty blank patch: There is not a single scientific hypothesis, theory or experimentation that can triumphantly prove the existence of God.

In sum, since we cannot, in any sensible, reliable method, define God within a logical parameter, the God hypothesis has little common ground to play with.


As we sieve through the layers of subterfuge, hearsays and myths from the Christian fabric of lies, we realize that, hey, presto, God really isn't there in the first place! Try as theists may to explain the metaphysical, spiritual and whatever essence of an imagined deity, there is no denying the fact that God is either reluctant to acknowledge our pathetic existence, or simply doesn't exist.

With this uncomfortable butt plug in the ass of Religion, belief becomes an unnatural anal-retentive stress reliever: Not only must believers be constantly reminded of the perils of apostasy, Religion ups the ante by defining the disbelief of God as a crime punishable by death i.e eternal damnation in the form of an imaginary barbecue pit, Hell, to prevent a mass exodus of the religious flocks of dull-witted sheep.

Forgiving the "Blood Debt": Infidels & Blasphemers Need Not Apply

As depicted in the Gospels, one could be forgiven, and even pardoned, for all manner of crimes: Apparently, Jesus is quite the gracious host in welcoming all manner of sinners to the proverbial kingdom of heaven:

"If you had one hundred sheep, and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it? And then you would joyfully carry it home on your shoulders. When you arrived, you would call together your friends and neighbors to rejoice with you because your lost sheep was found. In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away!
(NLT, Luke 15:3-7)

That said, Heaven, it seems, has no place for the unbelieving soul:

“There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

&, not to forget, those that commit blasphemy against the Holy Ghost:

"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." (Matthew 12:31)


Clearly, such litanies of religious diatribes seem ridiculous to the point of absurdity: When punishment is meted, punishment is delegated based entirely on the elegance of one's creed, instead of the arcane or, on the other extreme end, law-abiding actions of a person. Another remarkably sinister and similar trait is the atrociously malicious nature of the God dilemma: Like a cruel tyrant and despot, God has little tolerance for anyone who smears or violate his "good" name (In this case, God seems to have a dubious fixation with Holy Ghosts). Isn't this enough evidence for the average human brain to sound the alarm bell, that this very caricature of the despotic tyrant in heaven is no more than a figment of a nobleman's desire to enslave the slavish masses through sheer vehement threats of violence?


As if this is not enough to befuddle the most logical of minds, consider this: If a mass murderer, half a step away from the noose that is about to snap his neck at a snap of the throttle, decides to recant: His "sins", or should I say his evil deeds, are automatically wiped clean. He gets a clean slate, a clean bill of health for his otherwise wretched soul and presto! Off he goes to join the merry bands of hairy angels in heaven!

Conversely, imagine the man who, throughout his life, slogs slavishly in the fields to feed his children, finds time and effort to do great deeds of charity, but hell, he dies without believing in the right deity. When he meets God, he quivers in his knees, begs God to give him a chance on account of his good deeds........but no........hell, fuck no. He didn't pay the right allegiance. Off to hell he goes, with the rest of the scumbugs, infidels and Hitleristic characters who had consigned themselves to an eternity of punishment not as a result of their deeds, but on account of their wrong or absent allegiance to the right deity.


I wouldn't know about my readers, but I have a sense of outrage that amounts almost to the feeling of blasphemy to even refer to religious biasness of this form as "religious justice".

While murderers who had recanted on their deathbeds may really have "repented" of their guilt, the appalling idea that the likes of terrorists, murderers and other hideous monsters may somehow lurk in the realms of heaven strumming a guitar and having sex with 72 virgins sounds like a gross miscarriage of justice, to say the least.

Let us just hope that the likes of Jerry Falwell are being embuggered by legions of crotch-sniffing, cock-loving angels who can't get enough of his homophobic ethics. Now that is what I call JUSTICE!

Friday, 2 November 2007

From Science Fiction to Religion: Scientology Inc.


In recent years, Scientology has become a "celebrity" cult of sorts: Thanks to Tom Cruise and John Travolta, two of the most outspoken Hollywood Scientology advocates, Scientology has made it into the front lines of many news reports, and like other mainstream religions, it thrives on publicity, both good and bad, to expound on some of its rather incredulous beliefs, and the likes of Hollywood hillbillies like Tom Cruise and Co. merely add to the trendy side of the Scientology fad.


Scientology is not a recent phenomenon, however; since its first official inception in 1954, it has been around for more than five decades, and is just as well-established, if not more so, than some of its evangelistic counterparts of the Christian religion.

In this article, I shall attempt to explain the intricacies of Scientology, and hopefully satisfy the morbid curiosity of the readers.


The word "Scientology" has little to do with the actual workings of real authentic science, even if it does sound eerily like the real thing.

The original meaning of the word, however, was the brainchild of a philologist, Allen Upward. In a bid to coin a new meaning to pseudoscience, which basically deals with the supernatural phenomenon, he had attempted to hijack the field of science to provide a shroud of legitimacy to the realms of the supernatural.


While Allen Upward was instrumental in the creation of Scientology and its weird ethos, he did not bring it upon himself to propagate his ideals to the whole world.

That role was usurped by a science fiction writer, L.Ron Hubbard.

L.Ron Hubbard: Founder of Church of Scientology

Using Allen's ideals, Hubbard managed to set up the Church of Scientology and build upon his beliefs, some of which are hilariously funny, that one would suspect that part of it seemed to be inspired by the purported UFO incident in Roswell.


According to Hubbard:

1. Around 75 million years ago, Xenu, a galactic tyrant of sorts, first kidnapped certain individuals who were supposedly deemed surplus to requirements in their own planet, and exiled them to the planet of Teegeeack (Earth) via special inter-galactic spaceships.

2. These wretched individuals, known as Thetans, were already abused by Xenu through a series of wanton destruction and brainwashing (Could George Bush be a Thetan???)

3. Xenu was supposed to stack hundreds of billions of these abused victims around Earth's volcanoes before blowing them up with hydrogen bombs.

4.The souls of these dead Thetans managed to survive the holocaust, and subsequently clustered around human bodies, possessing them. These "body thetans", souls of dead thetans seeking bodily refuge in homo sapiens, can only be removed using advanced Scientology techniques.

5. Xenu, the archetypal intergalactic warlord, is allegedly imprisoned in a mountain by a force field powered by an eternal battery.

If you find these ideas fundamentally absurd, consider the sheer ludicrousness of the bible: Stories of global floods, talking snakes and parting waters are just as fictitious as this looney Scientology tale, and incredible as it may seem to be, the more fantastical the tale, the larger the congregation. This axiom is applicable to every other religion that has predated the existence of Scientology.



Like other major religions, the church of scientology has its own set of weapons to deal with the "unclean, supernatural world".

While the Church Fathers exorcise demons with holy water and crosses, Scientologists prefer to harness the power of digital technology of putting things right, in line with what Scientologists consider as "legitimate science".

E-Meter (Electro-pyscho meter): A portable device that resembles a portable radio, with two wired dido-shaped rods attached to it. John Travolta and Tom Cruise both swear by it. So, how exactly do you use this apparatus, other than shoving it up into the place "where the sun doesn't shine"?

The process of using this rather erotic-looking device, referred to as auditing, requires the user to hold the rods in both hands. The E-meter will then measure the mental state or change of state of a person. The auditor and the parishioner will then assess the mental and spiritual state of the user through the readers and advises the user accordingly.

Besides the fact that there is absolutely no scientific proof to back up its mental-imaging properties, the instrument is built in such a ridiculously crude manner that one actually wonders whether the rods are actually crafted by and for porn stars!


Other more centralized beliefs include:

1. A person is an immortal spiritual being (termed a thetan) who possesses a mind and a body.

2.The thetan has lived through many past lives and will continue to live beyond the death of the human body.

3. A person is basically good, but becomes "aberrated" by moments of pain and unconsciousness in his life.

4. What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. No beliefs should be forced as "true" on anyone. Thus, the tenets of Scientology are expected to be tested and seen to either be true, or not, by Scientology practitioners.

Immortality, oppressed Thetans, evil galactic warlords: What more can you ask for?

If anything, Ron Hubbard has proven one thing: If you peddle bullshit by packaging it with a religious tone, people are going to buy it; crap, packaging and all. And remember to slap a few Hollywood faces: Branding is just as crucial to the commercial world as the religious one.


Just like its Christian counterparts, the Church of Scientology is firmly entrenched at grassroots level, with many programs set up to propagate Scientology crap.

Ever since the Church of Scientology was first incorporated in Camden, New Jersey as a non-profit organization in 1953, numerous Scientology-funded programs have sprung up all over America.

This includes:

1.Drug treatment centers (Narconon);

2.Criminal rehab programs (Criminon);

3. Activities to reform the field of mental health (Citizens Commission on Human Rights);

4. Projects to implement Hubbard's educational methods in schools (Applied Scholastics);

5.A "moral values" campaign (The Way to Happiness);

6. World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, or WISE, which licenses Hubbard's management techniques for use in businesses;

7. A consulting firm based on Hubbard's management techniques (Sterling Management Systems);

8. A publishing company, e-Republic, which publishes Government Technology and Converge magazines and coordinates the Center for Digital Government;

9. A campaign directed to world leaders, as well as the general public, to implement the 1948 United Nations document "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights" (with particular emphasis on the religious freedom elements).

10. An organization dedicated to bettering plant and animal life on Earth that applies Scientology tools, such as "The Dynamics" (Earth Organization)

Clearly, the Church of Scientology is very well-organized, and are certainly a force to be reckoned with.


The success of the Scientology Church may perhaps be an indication of what is in store: More cults springing up in religion-mad America, attempting to share a slice of the profitable, religious cake.

While religious groups remain dominated by evangelistic, megachurches, it would be interesting to see Scientology-wannabes taking up the challenge of unhorsing the monopoly of Christian evangelism over the religious throngs, although from an atheistic point of view, it can be depressing to see people falling for such unspeakable nonsense.

"I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will - and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all.

For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain."

- Gene Roddenberry, American Screen Writer and Producer, best known for his work, "Star Trek"