Showing posts with label Satan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Satan. Show all posts

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hypocrite Christine O'Donnell "Dabbled in Witchcraft," Doesn't Lie, and Promoted "Ex-Gay" Ministry

     Republican Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell (Delaware) is a liar who claims she doesn't lie, which makes her a hypocrite.  She also has a video trail that is currently being mined.  Here are the latest highlights, which include her witchcraft and satanic days, her refusal to lie even to save an innocent life, and her history with "ex-gay" therapy.

     Back in the late 90s, O'Donnell admitted on national television that she "dabbled in witchcraft."  Here's Bill Maher on the witchcraft "dabbling."  Does this mean that after her dabbling days, she went through her church's ex-witch ministry?

     O'Donnell also claimed on national television that she never lies, and wouldn't lie, even to save a innocent person from being unjustly killed by someone like Hitler.  Was her grandfather Pope Pius XII?

     But when it comes to her political history, O'Donnell has no problem lying, claiming that she beat Vice President Joe Biden in two of Delaware's three counties in the last senatorial election. When confronted with her lie, O'Donnell backpedaled by substituting another lie.  (And no innocent lives were at stake.)  Christine, it's time to join Liars Anonymous.

     Here a former victim of O'Donnell's "ex-gay" ministry speaks out. Also, Rachel Maddow interviews the founder of Truth Wins Out, Wayne Besen, concerning O'Donnell's involvement in the "ex-gay therapy" scam. So if O'Donnell is elected, will she try to pass laws requiring all homosexual Americans to go through the SALT's de-gaying program?  After all, it worked so well for George Rekers.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Bully-Induced Gay Teen Suicide: Justin Aaberg, 15

     The hateful bullies of LGBT students have claimed another victim.  Justin Aaberg, 15, of Anoka, Minnesota, hanged himself after being bullied at school.  Sadly, he's not alone
Image via WCCO
     His mother Tammy Aaberg has taken up the fight to challenge the school system on its anti-bullying policy.  

     Watch the video report here.  It's very moving, but unfortunately can't be embedded.

     In the weeks since she found her son dead in his room on July 9, Tammy Aaberg has heard from many of her son's friends at Anoka High School. They told her Justin Aaberg had been bullied and had recently broken up with his boyfriend.
     Those same students also opened up about their own experiences, telling her they feel harassed and unsafe as gay and lesbian students.
     "These kids, they just hate themselves. They literally feel like they want to die. So many kids are telling me this," said Tammy Aaberg, fighting tears.
     She spoke up at a recent Anoka-Hennepin School Board meeting about the district's sexual orientation curriculum policy which states, in part, "Teaching about sexual orientation is not a part of the District adopted curriculum; rather, such matters are best addressed within individual family homes, churches, or community organizations."
     "I'm asking you all to rewrite the policy in order to give teachers training in how to be more sensitive to GLBT students," Tammy Aaberg told the School Board on Aug. 23.
     After Tammy Aaberg spoke, two other recent graduates spoke too. One was a lesbian student who asked not to be identified.  "If you have students feeling like they're isolated, like they have no one to turn to, and then they fill with self-hatred, are we surprised that we're having suicides in the district by GLBT students? Something needs to happen," said the graduate.
     That student and a teacher, who also asked not to be identified, believe three of the five suicides in the Anoka-Hennepin District last year were because of struggles with sexual identity. They say name-calling and bullying happen often in the district because teachers and students don't stand up to it.
     Sadly, we live in a nation where bullying LGBT persons at the ballot box and in political campaigns is status quo.  Take for example New York Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino, who is running on the promise "to take out a culture, to bring that culture down once and for all" and "to take on the demons."  We live in 2010, yet talk of those who are different as "demons" is still acceptable in political debate.

     The bullying needs to end.

     Hopefully, Tammy Aaburg's pleas to her deceased son's school system will be heard and a few more children will learn the truly American values of tolerance and equality.  And hopefully, lives will be saved.

Republican Carl Paladino Is Not "Intimidatable" & Is Anti-Religious Freedom, Anti-Gay, and Anti-Women's Rights

     Republican gubernatorial nominee for New York, Carl Paladino, won Tuesday's nomination in a landslide.  He's running on the promise that  he will seize the land on which Parc51 (Islamic center two blocks away from Ground Zero) is to open.  It also sounds like he's also setting up an eminent domain argument that could lead to the closure of the two mosques that already exist within blocks of Ground Zero or any other place of worship that he deems unfit.  So much for religious liberty and freedom of worship.
Image via Towleroad
     He is against equal civil marriage rights for same sex couples.  When asked about these rights, he responded, "No."

     He is against women's reproductive rights and believes that women who are raped, even in cases of incest, should be forced to have their perpetrators' babies.

     This is the Republican Party of 2010.  These radical Christian extremists are no longer teabaggers or Tea Party candidates.  These extremists, who thrive on hatred and fear, have won a huge number of Republican nominations for office across the nation.

     The language being used this election season is chilling.  Paladino promises to "take out a culture, to bring that culture down once and for all" and then equates people who have different political beliefs as him as "demons."  This sounds like an inquisition or a lead into some sort of cultural cleansing.

     Here's the larger "take out a culture" quote from Paladino on CNN:
     We put out a clear definitive message of who we are and what we intend to do...I'm going to Albany to take out a government, to take out a culture, to bring that culture down once and for all, and to restore a government of right size, to tend to the issues and desires of the tax payers, who pay for that government. (Mumbles)  In doing that, I've illustrated, I believe in intestinal fortitude to take on the demons.  I'm not afraid.  I'm not intimidatable [sic].  I'm certainly not politically correct.
     He's also at variance with the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence, for he doesn't believe that all people are created equal and deserve equal protection under the law.  Nor does he believe in religious liberty and the separation of church and state.  If he wins, New York is in for a very dark four years.

     Here's the entire CNN clip.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Anti-Gay Lutheran Pastor Tom Brock Is Secretly Gay and Attends Catholic Twelve Step Program to Control the Gay

     For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.  --Attributed to Jesus of Nazareth, Luke 8:17
     Another Christian leader, known for his anti-gay preaching and politics, has been outed.
     Tom Brock, Senior Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis, is secretly a member of the Catholic Church's Courage Apostolate, which helps homosexuals to "move beyond the confines of the homosexual identity to a more complete one in Christ" by using the "Twelve Steps of Courage" to overcome their "addictive" sexual urges.

     Does "complete" in Christ include persecuting honest gays and blaming them for the evils of the world?  It does in Brock's case.

     John Townsend in Lavender Magazine writes:
     He[Brock] is known for his denunciation of homosexuality and GLBT rights on hid dailty KKMS AM 980 radio program, The Pastor's Study.  His video series lambastes with outrage the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for progressive attitudes toward women's reproductive rights, racial equality, ecological stewardship--worst of all in his view, openly gay or lesbian pastors having the right to minster if they are in a committed monogamous relationship with a member of the same sex.
     When a tornado touched down near the ELCA’s national assembly last year, on the same day it voted to allow the ordination of openly gay clergy in committed relationships, Brock claimed it was a sign of God’s wrath.
     The Lavender Magazine article reports another of Brock's gaytanic portents:
     Brock, who finds omens in any number of things, noted that what he calls the ELCA "sex statement" passed by 66.6 percent--a reference to 666...The actual vote was 559 to 451.
     Let's see.  559 + 451 = 1010.  555/1010 = 55.3%.   Apparently, Brock needs twelve steps to better math skills.

     At one of the meetings, Brock, dressed in a "tight fitting, short-sleeve shirt that accentuated biceps and triceps more ripped than the month before" reported having a "sexual breakdown" while attending a clergy meeting in Slovakia.  Lavender reports:
     Brock admitted, "I fell into temptation.  I was weak.  That place has this really, really weird, demonic energy. I just got weak, and I had been so good for a long time...There's a lot of gypsies there...They're toothless, filthy; they smell, stink; and the gypsies are trained in how to pick your pocket."
     To break the tension of  admitting his sexual sins in Slovakia, Brock spoke of a side trip to Hitler's Eagle's Nest retreat, after which a fellow Courage attendee made a comment about the Nazis loving Richard Wagner and intoned "Flight of the Valkyries," to which Brock rose his hand and conducted.  I guess in this particular Courage chapter, it's better to be a Nazi than gay.
     Later on, Brock told of a Catholic priest...who recently officiated the funeral of a man who had lived with a longtime same-sex partner.  Brock questioned the rightness of this situation, pointing out if he were in the priest's shoes, he would have been reluctant to conduct the funeral.
     Yes, because those, who live in the dark, should judge those living in the light.  Wait a minute. I don't think that's what Brock's Jesus had in mind with the whole lampstand parable.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gay Malawi Couple Is Pardoned by President, to be Released Tomorrow

     Here is some shocking good news!  Yesterday, President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi pardoned Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga.  He did so under pressure from UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon, who is visiting the nation, and Sir Elton John.

     Last week, the Malawi couple was sentenced to the maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison for their crime of having an engagement ceremony.  Hopefully, when they are released, they will be well protected.  They have been in custody since December.

     Mr Ban hailed the president's decision as "courageous." "This outdated penal code should be reformed wherever it may exist," he said. The BBC's Karen Allen, in Lilongwe, says Mr Ban is trying to put pressure on parliamentarians to reform anti-homosexuality laws that date back to colonial times.
     Correspondents say Malawi is a deeply conservative society where religious leaders equate same-sex liaisons with Satanism.
     Mr Mutharika, who has in the past dismissed homosexuality as alien, said he had set them free on humanitarian grounds. "In all aspects of reasoning, in all aspects of human understanding, these two gay boys were wrong - totally wrong," he said after meeting Mr Ban. "However, now that they have been sentenced, I as the president of this country have the powers to pronounce on them and therefore, I have decided that with effect from today, they are pardoned and they will be released."
     Translation: I think they are still satanic, but I didn't want to lose my funding.

     Still, we'll take it as a victory against the Gospel According to Hate.  Let's hope that this is a sign of much needed change in a part of the world, where so many nations still outlaw homosexuality.

(Image from JoeMyGod)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Taking Back America Tour: President Obama Is god's Punishment and the Democrats Are Demons

     Republicans and Tea Partiers gathered this weekend in Tyler, Texas, for the "Taking Back America" tour, where they claimed to know the will of their gods and denounced President Obama and the Democrats as "demons" and "God's [sic] punishment."  They preached the divine inspiration of the U.S. Constitution and called for their "army" of Tea Partiers "to take their country back."  All of this was done in Jesus' name.

      Conservative firebrands were out in force in Tyler, Texas over the weekend, speaking at a Glenn Beck-headlined "Taking Back America" rally.
     "I believe that Barack Obama is God's punishment on us today, but in 2012, we are going to make Obama a one-term president," declared Texas state Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
     Berman's extreme words were accompanied by other comments from conservative figures, including Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), who, in the height of the health care debate last month said that "demons" had invaded Washington and were causing Democrats to mislead voters about the merits of the bill.
     Glenn Beck, speaking at the event, said: "Do you believe this is God's land? Do you believe our constitution was divinely inspired? Why do you believe those things?" Beck asked. "If God is with us, who can possibly stand against us? The answer is no one."
     Texas Gov. Rick Perry also made an appearance and called the Tea Party an "army" that was gathering to "take their country back and send a message to this administration, to this Congress," an army that he said he was "proud to be in."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vatican Exorcist Claims Devil Is in the New York Times

     Do you recall how just three weeks ago, Father Gabriele Amorth, self-proclaimed exorcist of the Roman Catholic Church, claimed that the devil is in the Vatican?  Guess where he's saying good old Satan is now?

     Seriously, guess.

     You're correct!

     The Catholic News Agency reports:
     Noted Italian exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth, commented this week that the recent defamatory reporting on Pope Benedict XVI, especially by the New York Times, was “prompted by the devil.”  Speaking to News Mediaset in Italy, the 85-year-old exorcist noted that the devil is behind “the recent attacks on Pope Benedict XVI regarding some pedophilia cases.”
     So, the devil is in the Vatican and the devil is attacking the Vatican from outside.  Satan is everywhere!  

     Or, maybe Amorth is off his meds again.  No, he's just your everyday opportunist that's using the pain of victims, the ignorance of some folks in the pews, and the sexual abuse scandal to sell his book. 

Happy Easter, Fr. Gabriele!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Christian Pastor Attacks Gay Mayoral Candidate in Gainesville with Hate Speech in the Name of Jesus

     The Gospel According to Hate is alive and well in Gainesville, Florida, where openly gay mayoral candidate, Don Marsh, is under attack by the Christian right. 

     Pastor Wayne Sapp of the Dove World Outreach Center (How gay is that name?) put a video on YouTube in which he preached his hatred and homophobia.  I would have posted it here and commented, but it's been removed from YouTube because it violated You Tube's terms of service.

     The Independent Florida Alligator was able to post the video before it was taken down.   Watch the video by clicking here.  Look into the kind of ignorance that breeds such hatred in the name of the Christian god.

     "Here in Gainesville, they’re getting ready to have a run-off election between two candidates, and one of them is openly a homo, gay, fag — whatever you want to call him.  We got one running for mayor of Gainesville, trying to convert Gainesville into Homo ville. We can’t have it." 
     As his anger and hatred boil, Sapp nearly strangles the camera, but he claims to represent a loving god.

     Here is a link to a different video from the Dove World Outreach Center website explaining how they don't judge gays.   The video rips homosexuals for spreading lies and hating free speech, and then goes on to say that:

  • Homosexuals only live to age 40. 

  • 36% of homosexuals are child molesters. 

  • 80% of homosexuals have STDs.
     These ignorant lies are what breeds hatred and violence against LGBT persons.  The speaker claims that Dove's Christians don't hate homosexuals, but their pastor's words include gay-slurs that are hate speech and have been used historically to incite violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.  (The video also displays the hatred that Dove's pastor stirs up toward Muslims.)

     I need not pass judgment on the holy Christians of Dove World Outreach Center.  Their own words stand as judgment.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Catholic Exorcist Claims the Devil is in the Vatican

     Father Gabriele Amorth, a self-proclaimed exorcist of the Roman Catholic church, claims that the devil is in the Vatican.  Big surprise.

     It was only a matter of time before the crazies in the church came forward to make a buck off of the sexual abuse scandals that have been rocking the RCC, and blaming Satan is the easiest way to excuse the church of its wrong doing.  If the devil made mother do it, then mother is still holy, unblemished.  This is classic Vatican II language: mother is not a sinful church, but a church of sinners.

     In all my years of seminary and priesthood, I never once heard of anyone that was an exorcist in the RCC.  There were no classes or mention of exorcism from any of the academics who "formed" me.  Some seminarians gossiped about how every diocese had its own exorcist and that it was (conveniently) very hush hush, for if it was talked about it the light then the devil would win and take over.

    It's all absolute bullshit, and according to Catholic theology, Star Wars style gnosticism is and has been considered a heresy for two thousand years.  There is no Catholic belief in a cosmic struggle between the light and dark sides of the force.   Jesus has already redeemed the world.  The Kingdom of god is already present, but not yet fully realized (another nonsensical paradox).  He will come again at the end of times to usher in the full realization of the Kingdom.  This is what the church professes.  Anyone who believes that the devil could ultimately win, that it's a toss up, doesn't know their Catholic theology.  So if there is a secret society of Vatican appointed exorcists then the church is a gnostic church and needs to come out as such.

     Here's the report on mister self-proclaimed chief exorcist and believer in satan.  His true motives become apparent in the interview.

    The Times UK reports:
    Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican", according to the Holy See's chief exorcist.
    Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon".
    He added: "When one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true – including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia."
     Yes, blame the devil for all the violence and sexual abuse in the Church.  That's much easier than putting the blame on the church and its clerics and holing them accountable for some real change and contrition.

     Still, I can't get this image out of my mind: Pope Ben Projectile vomiting pea soup while he violates himself with a crucifix. Ew.

     Here's the kicker: Amoralith just published a book, Memoirs of an Exorcist.  This publicity tour isn't coming from some holy and righteous cause to battle evil.  It's about selling books and making a buck!  Hypocrite.

     The Times continues:
     Father Amorth, who has just published Memoirs of an Exorcist, a series of interviews with the Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti, said that the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II in 1981 had been the work of the Devil, as had an incident last Christmas when a mentally disturbed woman threw herself at Pope Benedict XVI at the start of Midnight Mass, pulling him to the ground.
     Seriously, the devil made these mentally ill persons do it?  I thought we were past the age of blaming mental illness on demon possession.  Of course, Amorth has no interest in scientific reason.  He has books to sell.
     Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a Rome-based exorcist, said that Father Amorth had "gone well beyond the evidence" in claiming that Satan had infiltrated the Vatican corridors.
     "Cardinals might be better or worse, but all have upright intentions and seek the glory of God," he said. Some Vatican officials were more pious than others, "but from there to affirm that some cardinals are members of satanic sects is an unacceptable distance."
     Yes, cardinals' sole purpose in life is to seek the glory of God, especially Cardinals Law, Mahony, and those guys that have been renting seminarians and choir boys in the Vatican.  Of course, no cardinals are interested in climbing the Holy See's ladder.  Up periscope on both counts!
     Father Amorth told La Repubblica that the devil was "pure spirit, invisible. But he manifests himself with blasphemies and afflictions in the person he possesses. He can remain hidden, or speak in different languages, transform himself or appear to be agreeable. At times he makes fun of me."
     The devil is a "pure spirit"?  Who's the one devil worshiping now?
     He "make fun" of you?  How come if a priest or religious person talks about god, the devil, or the virgin speaking to them, we tolerate it and let it be, but if someone kills someone or does something bizarre and claims god, the devil, etc. made them do it, they get locked up in a maximum security psych ward? 
     It's all the same.  If you believe that supernatural beings interact with the universe and tell people to do good things, then why could they not tell people to do bad things?  At least the ancient Greeks had this one figured out.  Of course, their gods are just myth.
     Let me offer you a moment of satanic possession, Fathers Amoralith and CooCooRoll: you're morons, and yes, I am making fun of you.
     The Devil

Friday, February 19, 2010

An Atheist's Guide to Lent: Part Three, Almsgiving

     Welcome back to An Atheist's Guide to Lent: How to Lose god and Find Peace in Forty Days or Less!  

     We've already covered the Lenten tenants of fasting and prayer, so that leave us atheist almsgiving.  Many religious people have been conditioned to believe human beings are intrinsically concupiscent, "fallen,"  and sinfully inclined and that without religious salvation, humans can't do good.  Well, that just isn't so.  We non-believers have consciences and do good deeds.  Join us for forty day.  Give a forty day god-fast and atheist almsgiving a try!

  1. From your atheist "prayer" exercises considering the frail mysteries of unknowing, life, the planet, and the universe, look at how you interact with the world and ask yourself how you want to be remembered, known.   Honor those you love who have died, by keeping them alive in your actions, embodying the best of their essence and learning from their shortcomings and mistakes.  Do good because it honors them, it honors the future, and it honors the every person with whom you come into contact.  
  2. Give credit where credit is due.  Quit blaming the devil, sin, or evil, and admit that you are the one that is capable of hurting others.  Quit putting off changing your ways for the better to the next life, because god will forgive you.  There will be no divine "do over."  Accept yourself, as you are, here and now.  Acknowledge your gifts and limitations, and then go do what is good, because you only have one life to make a difference.  
  3. Give alms to future generations by doing something that will decrease your carbon footprint in the world, because to a non-theist this is the only world, the one chance we've got.  There will be no parousia, no apocalyptic cleansing, and no rebirth into eternal life for the "righteous."  Planet Earth is at risk thanks to "dominion" theology, which gives us the "right" to use the planet for whatever purpose we see fit, and hypocritical religious fundamentalists, who decry "sinful" scientific knowledge (evolution, psychology, global warming, medicine, etc.) but are quick to use scientific advances (swords, guns, bombs, airplanes, biological weapons, etc.) to kill in the names of their gods.
  4. Research aid organizations that are god-free, that give aid to all persons without any imposition of personal religious beliefs or expectation that those receiving the aid must conform or convert.  Give because it helps others, not because you fear partial eternity in some purgatorial suburb of hell, while your loving, omnipotent, and compassionate god watches from a heavenly perch until satisfied with the torture you've endured and welcomes you into "loving" bliss.
     Thus ends our journey through the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  If any of your other free thinkers, post-theists, agnostics, and atheists have other prescriptions for these "Lenten" practices, please add them to the comments below.
     So, what do you believers have to lose?  You can always quit and return to your pre-Lenten ways at any time, but maybe you'll come to see that non-believers are capable of choosing and doing good..  
     What's holding you back.  I dare you.   Give up god for Lent. 

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    The Devil and Pat Robertson

         The unimaginable destruction that rocked Haiti this week is tragic in the most complete sense of the word.  The images and stories of total destruction coming out of Haiti would move any human being to action, empathy, and mourning; however, those who practice the Gospel According to Hate, see better to use Haiti for their own purposes.

         The laughably "Reverend" Pat Robertson quickly blamed the devastating earthquake on the leaders of the two-hundred year old Haitian slave revolt that ousted the French.  According to Robertson, the slaves made a "deal with the devil" to get rid of the French, and this earthquake is god's ongoing punishment of the people .  Robertson called for prayer for Haiti's repentance.  This is to the shame of not only Christians, but human beings everywhere, especially the ones that died in Haiti, including some of Robertson's fellow believers, including the Roman Catholic Archbishop Miot of Port-au-Prince and Dr. Zilda Arns Neumann, founder of a service organization for Haitian children, not to mention possibly more than 100,000 others, people of all creeds and ages. 

         To what god does Pat Robertson pray?  And why anyone is still following this bigoted and self-serving ignoramus is beyond my comprehension.  In a time when we should all be coming together to support the suffering people in Haiti, Robertson is scapegoating and tossing his own projections of a mythological satan  upon blameless victims in order to appease his own faith's impotence in the face of such inexplicable tragedy.  Robertson is a sick bastard and a hypocrite to the supposedly loving Christ he claims to preach. 

         Not far behind is another high-priest of the Gospel According to Hate, radio-hack Rush Limbaugh, who immediately spun the Haitian tragedy to his self-serving gospel of right-wing extremism and not-so-veiled racism.  Limbaugh stated that President Obama's swift response to the tragedy is a ploy to win credibility with the both the "light-skinned and dark-skinned black community."  But, he's not a racist and not a bigot!  Limbaugh went further, telling a caller not to give to charities helping Haiti because our country has already done enough for them.  Why is anybody still paying this sorry excuse for a human being to be on the air?

         In response to both Limbaugh and Robertson, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs succinctly  responded that their comments were "really stupid."  I couldn't agree more.

         My dear friend from high school, Pooja Bhatia, is working in Haiti as a fellow for the Institute of Current World Affairs.  I am relieved and thankful that she survived the quake.  Here's an article that she co-authored for The Wall Street Journal.  She has also written an op-ed in the New York Times about  the place of god in such tragedy, entitled "Haiti's Angry God."  She reports:
         Entire neighborhoods have vanished. The night of the earthquake, my boyfriend, who works for the American Red Cross, and I tended to hundreds of Haitians who lived in shoddily built hillside slums. The injuries we saw were too grave for the few bottles of antiseptic, gauze and waterproof tape we had: skulls shattered, bones and tendons protruding from skin, chunks of bodies missing. Some will die in the coming days, but for the most part they are the lucky ones.
          If you are interested, you can follow Ms. Bhatia's tweets, here.

    Pat Robertson's explanation of the Haitian earthquake:

    Haitian Ambassador Joseph's response to Robertson:

    Keith Olbermann's scathing response to Robertson and Limbaugh:

    Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Eugene Robinson's response:

    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    Santa's Dark Side

         Have you ever seen a child scream when placed on Santa's lap?  Have you heard the adults nearby laugh at the frightened child's agony?  Has it turned your stomach?

         Have you ever wondered if it's at all abusive that we subject our children to lies that Santa exists, force them sit on a strangely dressed and frightening old man's lap, and encourage them to tell him their deepest desires and wishes?

         Beyond the joy of the gift giving, it's all a bit sadistic.  If you are naughty, you deserve nothing and you get nothing.  You will be punished by some white-bearded guy, who is omnipresent throughout the world's edifices, and descends from above to inflict his judgment.  No wonder children cry on his lap: what pressure!

         Get ready for the extreme.  ABC news reports:
          Elsewhere [in the world], Santa has a much darker side.
          The Netherlands' Sinterklaas does have a white beard and a big book with children's names in it, much like the gentle Santa who keep a list of who's naughty and nice, but he also goes about with a posse of soot-covered sidekicks called "Black Peters." [Not a racist sounding name at all.]  If Sinterklaas' records show a child to have been particularly bad, legend has it he or she could be carried off by a Black Peter to be turned into a cookie.

         Dutch journalist and filmmaker Arnold-Jan Scheer has studied St. Nicholas' scary side. He says some parents feel it's good for their children to be taunted and intimidated by St. Nick's helpers.
         "I think the mother thinks, well, this is tradition, this is part of life, this is how it has to be," Scheer said. "Children need to be confronted with their fears."
         In parts of France, St. Nicholas is accompanied by a cannibalistic child killer named Père Fouettard (or the "Whipping Father"). He flogs children who have been naughty and dispenses lumps of coal, leaving St. Nick to bestow gifts to the good. In village parades this time of year, sinister Père Fouettards grab children and whisk them along, while some cry in fear and others taunt him back.
         In parts of Austria, it's worse still. When St. Nicholas makes a house call, he is accompanied by a demon named Krampus. While St. Nick rewards good children, Krampus beats the bad ones. Wearing fierce-looking masks, horns and animals skins, he overturns tables, sets fires, and grabs adults and children to spank them while St. Nicholas watches from the sidelines.
         I was unable to embed the video, but please click here to watch it.  You won't believe your eyes.

         A collared cleric, Canon James Renthal, President of the St. Nicholas Society, speaks in awe of the "good reason" for exposing children to this cannibalistic demon as being to teach them the difference between good and evil.  Ask that of the screaming and wailing children in the video, who are being ripped from their parents and carried off by the demonic side-kick to be eaten as Santa, mommy and daddy all watch in delighted laughter.  Is it just me, or is there something sinisterly ironic about a cleric speaking of what's best for children?

         But is there really a difference between what these European Santas and their evil sidekicks do to children and what religion does?

         If you are nice you will go to heaven with our loving and white-bearded Father and be rewarded with everything you've ever wanted, but if you are bad, the devil will pull you into the fires of hell for an eternity of pain.  It's a Merry Christmyths after all.

    Image Credits:  
    My Scrapbook 

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    I'm Glad I'm Not in Dixie. Hooray! Hooray!

         Yesterday's L.A. Times had an update on the situation in Asheville, North Carolina, that I blogged about a few days ago.  It appears that a lawsuit may be coming against Councilman Cecil Bothwell, because he's an atheist and the North Carolina state constitution won't allow for that.  The Times reports:
         A conservative group has distributed pamphlets warning locals that Bothwell is "Satan's helper" and a "radical extremist" who is "bashing religion."
         Isn't it just wonderful when religious people revert to calling any person with different beliefs Satan?  It really helps the dialogue, now, doesn't it?  What are they going to call Esther Manheimer, who was sworn in with Bothwell, with her hand not on the Christian bible, but on two Jewish texts?  Where does it stop?

         I like that Bothwell refers to himself as a "post-theist." I find that a very good description of what I've been through in my life, as well.  I did not "lose" my faith, as religious friends imply when they patronize me by saying "I know you're not Catholic, but I hope you didn't lose your faith."  I know this is very harsh, but to me that's like saying, "I know you're not a child any more, but I hope you didn't lose your belief in Santa."

         I didn't lose my faith.  I evolved beyond it and left it behind.  In fact, I've found that my life is fuller, more loving, and more peaceful since doing so.  But that doesn't matter to so many people in our Christian nation.  To them, I'm just someone who doesn't fit into their "religious" worldview.  I'm a threat that must be destroyed and/or disenfranchised; a devil to be exorcised and not engaged; not human.

         H.K. Edgerton, a former local NAACP president who has paraded in public wearing a Confederate Army uniform and waving a Confederate flag, said his lawyer was preparing a lawsuit against Asheville.
         "If you're an atheist and don't believe in God and still want to hold office, I have a problem with that," Edgerton said. "And the constitution of North Carolina has a problem with that."
         Yes, Mr. Edgerton, and the Constitution of the United States of America has a problem with that!  But that's right, you don't live in the U.S.A.  You live a fantasy life in the revisionist version of the Confederate States of America, or at least you wish you did.  How can anyone take the threat of a lawsuit from this man seriously?

    Seriously?  You wish you were in Dixie?

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    I Hate Satan: Part II, Ways to Use Satan to Control

         Here are just a few methods for using your belief in Satan to get what you want in life. I hate them all.

    • The Hellfire Method
         It’s helpful to use Satan to control people by threatening them with eternal hellfire and brimstone. As they said in Field of Dreams: “If you scare them, they will come.” (Or something like that.) This method has been proven extremely successful by preachers and parents.

         Subtext: “You will go to hell or Gehenna (whatever cozy name you create) and be tortured for eternity by Satan if you don’t adhere to how I interpret god’s will.” Or “I love you so much, that I’m going to threaten you until you do what I want you to do, because I’m too frightened and weak-minded to act on my own without everyone being just like me and doing what I want them to do.”
         Jesus loved this method and even used it to encourage self-mutilation. (Mt 5:22, 29-30)
         St. Paul absolutely adored it (2 Cor 11:14, 2 Thes 2:9, 1 Tim 1:20)
    • The Mirror Method
         This method is best used in situations where someone’s differences make you see something in yourself that you don’t like, that you are too afraid to face. In this instance, simply project that little bit of Satan in your own heart onto your brothers and sisters. You’ll feel much better for it, and you’ll protect your false self in the process.
         The best known example of the Mirror Method is Jesus’ “Get behind me you, Satan!” to Saint Peter. (Mt 16:23, Mk 8:33) Jesus employed this method after Peter, who could see the writing on the wall that Jesus was going to get himself crucified, expressed his logical and loving concern for Jesus’ well being. But Peter’s concern just made Jesus doubt himself and feel tempted to abandon his death-wish-on-the-cross mission, so he simply deflected his fear and uncertainty onto Peter.
         Peter, the first pope according to Catholics, was called Satan by Jesus. Wow, maybe I’ll be pope someday!

    • The “What Me?” Method
         Employ this method by using statements like “The devil made me do it.” Use it to get out of situations where you don’t want to deal with the consequences of your own actions or admit your own selfish desires.
         In other words, “I have no control over my own actions, so I have to blame some imaginary demon within me, because there really isn’t a part of me that is capable of doing anything wrong or hurtful, and as long as the devil made me do it and I’m sorry, then I’m still a good person and god loves me and will give me everything I want in heaven.”
         Or be poetic about it, and blame the thorn in your side. (1 Cor 7:5, 2 Cor 2:11, 2 Cor 12:7)
    • The Aversion Method
         Satan is everybody’s favorite when it comes to dealing with a person who says or does something of which you disapprove or whose actions you can’t explain.  In this case, it’s best to use the Aversion Method. Rather than go through all the dirty work of trying to dialogue with them and find some common ground, simply call them Satan and move on from them, shaking their demonic dust from your shoes.
         Clarification: this method is more a dismissal of a person than the Hellfire Method, which is more about keeping someone in the fold.
         Jesus was fond of the aversion method and even commissioned his disciples to use it regularly. (Lk 13:16, Mt 10:14, Mk 6:11, Lk 9:5)
         St. Paul loved it, too. (Rom 1:27, 1 Cor 5, 1 Tim 5:15)
    • The Total War Method
         If someone is different, then they are Satan, evil, possessed, etc. and need to be destroyed. Attack them. Stone them. Kill them. Burn every last vestige of the fact they ever existed. Exercise them from your memory. Un-invite them from your slumber party. Delete them from your cell phone. De-friend them on Facebook!
         In the Old Testament, this method is what the Israelites used to back up their theory of total war: “the ban.” This is why everywhere they went and whenever they encountered people with different gods than their Yahweh, they invaded their enemies, burned everything (including their crops), and killed everyone (including their livestock, women, and children). Don’t believe me? Just read your Old Testament cover to cover.
         This method has inspired such great historic triumphs as the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Nazis, and countless jihads currently being waged throughout the world.
         A few biblical examples: Joshua 6:18-21, 1 Sam 15:3-20, 1 Sam 30:17, Ezk 44:29, Rom 11:20-22.

    Postscript:  If you are wondering what my favorite method is, I deplore them all. But, the one to which I’m most prone is the Aversion Method. It’s a real gut check, when I realize I’m using it.