Posted: April 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Religion | 1 Comment »

coming soon

If Atheists Rule the World

Posted: April 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Religion | 2 Comments »

This video is hilar!! People reading quotes directly from fundamentalist forums. As Pat says, "I’m dissolving!"

Also, watching gay men have sex? That’s what porn’s for.

Good News, Everyone!

Posted: March 10th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Religion | 1 Comment »

A new poll gives me cheerful results (says author of the awesome blog Pharangyla []):

A wide-ranging study on American religious life found that the Roman Catholic population has been shifting out of the Northeast to the Southwest, the percentage of Christians in the nation has declined and more people say they have no religion at all.

Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2 percent in 2001 and 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

Northern New England surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region, with Vermont reporting the highest share of those claiming no religion, at 34 percent. Still, the study found that the numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state.

for link to the study
PZ Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He runs the science blog, Pharyngula.

this actually makes me like oprah

Posted: December 28th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Religion | No Comments »

i hate to give them clicks but…

right wingers are carazy yo

i totally agree with everything that they say oprah is a blasphemer for saying

My Favorite Catholic Priest…gets excommunicated

Posted: December 17th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Religion | No Comments »

Father Roy already had my hesitant admiration for the work he does to close down the School of the Americas, the military arm of U.S. Corporations in Latin America, funded by you and me and directly involved in training paramilitaries to torture and murder those who speak out against their exploitation. After his standing up against the sexism of the Catholic church, I like him even more. I only wish that he could break free completely from the bindings of catholicism and know that all of the other rules are just as arbitrary and oppressive as the one against ordaining women. Especially the anti-contraception rules. Someone is burning in hell for that…

You may have noticed (yeah right) that I’ve been posting more links instead of complete articles. Yes, I’m lazy, but more importantly when you click and go to the site you give them more hits which means more money from their progressive advertisers and you might just see another article that catches your interest. Here’s this one in it’s entirety though, and I encourage everyone to read up on this man and on the SOA. Enjoy the ending, ladies :)

A Catholic Priest is About to be Excommunicated — Guess Why

By Stephanie Salter, Tribune Star News. Posted December 13, 2008.

Father Ray Bourgeois has been a public advocate for the ordination of women priests, attracting the ire of Church authorities.

The place: Heaven’s gate.

The time: Around 2028, give or take a few mortal years.

The scene: A large crowd of newly dead, not yet liberated from their earthly forms, is trying to maintain order despite a cluster of men who shout, wag their fingers and, occasionally, shove.

“Gentlemen, gentlemen! For pity’s sake, please!” one of the non-combative people in the crowd cries out. “What in God’s name has you behaving in such an unholy way?”

A man whose body is of average size, but whose essence emanates a royal purple aura, whirls around with a contemptuous look. Pointing to another man, also of ordinary physical dimension, but whose aura seems made of sunlight, the angry man barks:

“What is he doing here? He has no right whatsoever to stand among us at the gates of heaven. Don’t you know? He was excommunicated!”

The non-combative person, who is long-limbed and thin, appears to be male, but he has an androgynous quality that sets him apart from the others.

“You mean he’s Roman Catholic, and he so offended the church leadership that he was officially denied the sacrament of Communion?” the gentle man asks.

“Correct!” booms the purple-aura man.

“What did he do?” the quiet man asks. “Was he among the thousands of mentally sick Catholic clergy who sexually abused children? Was he among the hierarchy who knew of these men’s illness but, in the name of protecting the church, continued to assign them to parishes and contact with more children?”

The purple-aura man grows more purple. In a low voice, heavy with fury, he responds: “He was indeed a priest. His name is Roy Bourgeois. But his excommunication had nothing to do with that unfortunate subject.”

The non-combative man smiles broadly and embraces Bourgeois.

“Father Roy!” he exclaims. “I know of you. Your tireless efforts to bring peace and justice to the oppressed of Latin America are legendary among good people of many faiths. Your courage in non-violent protest of the military training facility known as the School of the Americas is much admired.”

Bourgeois bows his head.

“Thank you,” he says, humbly. “I became a Maryknoll priest in 1972 after I was in combat in Vietnam. I served for 36 years until …”

The quiet man asks, “What did you do to warrant the ultimate deprivation of Christ’s body and blood in Communion?”

Father Roy sighs and answers, “I concelebrated a religious ceremony with a woman priest. I publicly advocated the ordination of women priests. I refused to recant my belief that God calls women and men to priesthood and that Catholic teaching to the contrary was wrong and unsupported by Scripture.”

At this, the purple-aura man explodes: “I am a cardinal, the head of the Vatican office that warned Roy Bourgeois in 2008 to recant or face excommunication!”

“You were,” the thin, non-combative man says.

“Were what?” the purple-aura man snaps.

“You were a cardinal and the head of an important Vatican office,” the quiet man says. “Your earthly life is over. You’re just another soul here, waiting to pass through the gates of heaven. All wait regardless of their mortal status: Catholic popes, Anglican archbishops and Episcopal bishops, directors of the mighty Southern Baptist Convention, television evangelists, pastors of megachurches. And the admission criteria are deeds, not job titles.”

A man who hasn’t spoken but who had been among the arguing, shoving cluster steps toward the thin, androgynous man. He, too, emits a purplish aura, but it is more violet than royal.

“What do you know about Anglicans?” he says, with noticeable irritation.

“I know some of them in the Episcopal province of the church pulled away from the Anglican Communion about the same time Father Roy got into trouble,” the quiet man says. “Four bishops in the United States and thousands of U.S. and Canadian laypersons, formed their own province, the Anglican Church of North America. Their objections centered around ordination of homosexuals and church blessings of same-sex unions.”

The quiet man continues: “As I recall, two of the bishops also shared the Catholic hierarchy’s prohibitive view of women priests, even though the Episcopalian Church had been ordaining women since 1976. Funny, if only Father Roy had been Episcopalian. He would have been celebrated by most of his church instead of excommunicated. Aren’t religious rules fascinating?”

The violet-aura man looks as if he’s been slapped.

“Rules?!” he fumes. “We are talking about morality. God’s will. How dare you trivialize that by calling it ‘rules’?”

The thin, quiet man raises his hand in reconciliation.

“I’m sorry,” he says. “I meant no offense. By chance, were you one of the dissenting bishops?”

The violet-aura man nods.

“Did you also agree with some of your fellow dissenters that women never should have been ordained in the Episcopal Church?” the quiet man asks.

“No, I did not,” says the violet former bishop. “The bishop who presided over the entire U.S. Episcopal Church in 2008 was a woman. She did a perfectly fine job.”

The thin, gentle man mumbles, “rules,” turns back to Bourgeois and asks, “Father Roy, what did you tell the Vatican when you were given 30 days to recant?”

Bourgeois pulls three sheets of paper from the breast pocket of his coat and says, “This is my letter.”

The quiet man takes them and begins to read to himself. Tears well in his eyes. He says to the crowd, “Listen,” and reads aloud.

He quotes Bourgeois’ citation of a 1976 report, commissioned by the Vatican and conducted by Scripture scholars who found “there is no justification in the Bible for excluding women from the priesthood.” He reads Bourgeois’ question, “Who are we, as men, to say to women, ‘Our call is valid, but yours is not?’ Who are we to tamper with God’s call?”

His voice rising, the thin, gentle mans reads on: “Sexism, like racism, is a sin. And no matter how hard or how long we may try to justify discrimination, in the end, it is always immoral.”

The recitation continues, of Bourgeois’ process of “prayer, reflection and discernment,” the compulsion of his conscience “to do the right thing,” and of the realization through his social justice struggles that there “will never be justice in the Catholic Church until women can be ordained.”

The thin, quiet man finishes reading, presses Bourgeois’ letter to his own heart and, finally, hands it back to the former priest.

“Look,” he says, pointing to the gates. “They open for you, Father Roy.”

Bourgeois seems overwhelmed. He moves toward heaven, then stops abruptly.

“Wait a minute,” he says. “I just realized. There are only men in this crowd. Please, don’t tell me heaven is as sexist as mortal life?”

The thin, quiet man actually chuckles. “No, no, Father Roy,” he says. “Most of the women are already inside.”

why christians are scary

Posted: October 15th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Religion | 3 Comments »

charles G Finney -revivalist, makes my skin crawl

would a god of any other name smell as sweet?

Posted: September 22nd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Religion | 4 Comments »

We cannot understand our world. We cannot travel back in time to see how it was created. In fact, the notion of a beginning is inside the human mind. Any notion, therefore, of a god that created this world is abstract because it is not an object that is readily in our world. Art represents a way for humans to captivate what they believe happened and create it in a substance to endure time. ‘god’ is not here with us and cannot be founded through our senses unless we create ‘god’ in some relic. Art gives humans a way to make the intangible tangible or the unreal real. If god is all the natural structures behind what we see every day then art is another way to personify the underlining meaning we can never truly perceive. ‘god’ is abstract; art is concrete. By creating religious art humans try to make what they cannot experience through the senses into something that can be experienced by all. Since ‘god’ is dead we must create him order to justify our conception.
If ‘god’ is a hidden power that controls our world, it is only natural for humans to want to bring this ‘god’ to life through the art of creation. Just as language is the symbolizing of abstraction, religious art is the symbolizing of religious abstraction. What we cannot understand we define and symbolize in order to categorize our world and live in structure. There is no true image of ‘god’ therefore the human mind creates one, naturally, in order to cope with the dire lack of understanding. If ‘god’ is life and death, destruction and regeneration, then it is perfectly represented in the symbol of the Jesus figure. One can create an object in order to feel closer to a belief; the object representing the belief on behalf of comforting the masses individually and collectively. In this way, everyone can take part in ‘god’. Is it not more logical to think that man created god in his image rather than ‘god’ created man in his image? Humans are naturally story-tellers. Native Americans, for example, personified all realms of life. The sun and ocean were alive and could be communicated with and worshiped for community gain. Jesus functions much like this; he can be prayed to, believed in, and worshiped. When man could not understand the world around him he created stories to symbolize the earth’s happenings. Where must lightening come from? For sure there must be a man in the clouds throwing it down on us. We can only understand the world through ourselves and our experiences because anything else is beyond us. This is why ‘god’ gets a human face. Religion functions as a tool for the church or government to teach the citizens moral conviction. Art has also been used as a tool to teach morality. Religion and art go hand and hand in creating certain paradigms to pass along to the citizens. The government has employed artists in order to strike deep into the mind of the public. Before mass media occurred art was a main means of propaganda. If the church (hegemony) wants to propagate to the masses something that they cannot experience through senses, then it only makes since for the hegemony to create a ‘god’ that can be experienced through senses. Would a ‘god’ by any other name smell as sweet?

The Evolution of Religion in America

Posted: June 23rd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Religion | 3 Comments »

The Evolution of Religion in America
Religion in the United States of America has become personalized due to the oppressive nature of Christianity and other institutionalized organizations. The oppression of women, no matter the ethnicity, has caused America’s notions of religion to evolve in ways that personalize spirituality to suit the needs of the individual or community. Prior to racial slavery, women were slaves to men, “That experience, which was available to men prior to the invention of slavery, was the subordination of women of their own group” (Lerner 77). Slavery is a form of oppression that only intensified the split between American minorities and the governing white paradigm. This oppressive force acted as a catalyst for new spiritual growth among Americans that were at the top of the American hierarchy. Patriarchy exists in the Christian religion and has thus oppressed women to the point where they have become disillusioned with dominate religion and those in control.
Americans have been able to make religion adapt to them as opposed to conforming to certain religious constructs and obligations. With the breaking down of social hierarchy, a backlash of oppression, religion has taken on a new significance as people are investing interest in personalizing religion to suit new individual and social needs. Some have left god behind all together and seek to obtain a sense of purpose through haunting acts self control and meticulous habits. Others have created hybrids of already established religions in order to not leave differing cultural origins behind. Women have had to add the maternal to religion where patriarchy has left it out.
The oppressive force of Christianity has lead to Americans personalizing religion in order keep up with an evolving social atmosphere. The Christian Church has spread disease, patriarchy, and racial oppression, all over the world. It is important to realize the origins of Christianity when discussing its influence over America,

To those who have accepted the myth that the church improved the status of women, it will come as a startling revelation to learn that, on the contrary, it was the Christian Church itself which initiated and carried forward the bitter campaign to debase and enslave the women… (Davis 229).

Christian notions should be seen as responsible for the degradation of women as well as other minorities. Elizabeth Gould Davis, in her book The First Sex, discusses how early Christianity, which derived from Hebraic tradition, taught that women do not have souls and only exist to serve man (230). Women want to claim back a sense of agency which man has taken away through organized religion. This is why Americans will go to all links to have a sense of control, purpose, and identity. Americans have tailored religious affairs in the U.S. in order to make up for, or in response to, the oppression that has taken place in all American history. Davis claims, “In spite of the social advances of the past hundred years, the doctrine of female inferiority is still tacitly accepted by the vast majority of the population of the United States” (328). One example of this is the way that women make themselves suffer in order to conform to the accepted notion of beauty. Religion can take many forms when Americans look to themselves to define self worth as opposed to an oppressive American religious culture.
The personalization of religion in the U.S. can be seen taking form in innumerable shapes. Americans can take traditional religions like Christianity and bring new aspects to it while keeping some of the old. Another way to manage the expectations of a society and religion is to create a whole new religion all together. Jean Graybeal in her article entitled Cathy on Slenderness, Suffering, and Soul claims that weight control has become a religious phenomenon among women. As a backlash to women’s growing power in the United States, Graybeal claims, women are encouraged to diminish their bodies and recoil from strength (181). Graybeal relates the suffering taking place in modern dieting to medieval Christianity (191).
Modern women may not find fulfillment in Christianity any longer but some of the ways in which religion is being personalized show clear signs of past oppression being the cause. Dieting as a personalized religion gives us“…a way to experience the values and virtues of devotion, persistence, and faith in an era when such values have lost their anchors in traditional religions and in traditional women’s roles” (191). Since women are no longer getting what they need from religion, they still need to find some way to practice their virtues. With weight control diseases becoming a serious problem in America and the never ending celebrity worship, it seems women are willing to suffer themselves to perfection.
Religion and politics supported the oppression of women and were against women becoming equal; this lead to women, especially black women, no longer supporting the power that oppressed both their home and the public sphere. Black women, having Christianity forced on them through slavery, had to interject themselves into a religion that they were left out of and oppressed by. This created not only hybrid forms of Christianity but also more personalized forms. Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees shows how women began to form more personalized perspectives of the world and how spirituality fit into it. It was no longer the white master and his white god; the black Mary exemplifies this shift. August claims in the novel, “May and June and I take our mother’s Catholicism and mix in our own ingredients. I’m not sure what you call it, but it suits us” (90). The Catholicism passed down from though slavery was now beginning to break as America moved into a more pluralistic society. African Americans had various forms of Western religion pushed on them when they came to America and they had to find a way not to lose sight of their own culture. Whites used religion and notions of white supremacy to validate oppression of this form. Many African Americans would mix African religion with Catholicism to get a hybrid form of Christianity.
In Kidd’s novel the black women characters have personalized their religion. They have the Wailing Wall to put aside worry and they prey to the Black Mary to heal their suffering. There is an emphasis on the maternal side of things which is not found in traditional Christian notions. Instead of a man being the head of their personalized religion, they prey and worship the feminine side of things, represented in “Our Lady of Chains” (110). The tradition of worshiping a black Mary, among August’s people, was passed down from woman to woman; they are bringing back the feminine where it was left out in fundamental Christianity or Catholicism.
In Modern Temper, Lynn Dumenil states, “Certainly religious faith persisted, but religion was less important in the public arena of American life” (130). By 1964, the time The Secret Life of Bees was set in, there was less of a focus on mainstream religion, especially among African Americans. Many continued to mold and reshape religious beliefs over time. Spiritual responsibility was internalized and no longer took place in strictly public areas. Individuals could build their own unique faith which could incorporate personal characteristics not derived from dominate Christianity.
Religion will always evolve to meet the needs of constantly evolving humanity. Oppression as served as a catalyst for social change and improvement. The enduring human spirit will rise to overcome struggle and come out a more learned and experienced species. Through hardship we are able to learn from the mistakes of the past. The personalizing of religion shows the human capacity for adaptation and ability to triumph over adversity.

Works Cited
Davis, Elizabeth Gould. The First Sex. Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin Books Inc., 1972. 229, 230, 328.
Dumenil, Lynn. Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995. 130.
Graybeal, Jean. “Cathy on Slenderness, Suffering, and Soul.” God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture. Ed. Eric Michael Mazur & Kate McCarthy. New York: Routledge, 2001. 181, 191.
Kidd, Sue Monk. The Secret Life of Bees. New York: Penguin Books, 2003. 90, 110.
Lerner, Gerda. The Creation of Patriarchy: The Woman Slave. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. 77.

16% of science teachers believe in creationism

Posted: June 19th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Religion | No Comments »

16% of US science teachers are creationists
*****When Berkman’s team asked about the teachers’ personal beliefs, about the same number, 16% of the total, said they believed human beings had been created by God within the last 10,000 years.*******

Despite a court-ordered ban on the teaching of creationism in US schools, about one in eight high-school biology teachers still teach it as valid science, a survey reveals. And, although almost all teachers also taught evolution, those with less training in science – and especially evolutionary biology – tend to devote less class time to Darwinian principles.

US courts have repeatedly decreed that creationism and intelligent design are religion, not science, and have no place in school science classrooms. But no matter what courts and school boards decree, it is up to teachers to put the curriculum into practice.

"Ultimately, they are the ones who carry it out," says Michael Berkman, a political scientist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

But what teachers actually teach about evolution and creationism in their classrooms is a bit of a grey area, so Berkman and his colleagues decided to conduct the first-ever national survey on the subject.
‘Not shocking’

The researchers polled a random sample of nearly 2000 high-school science teachers across the US in 2007. Of the 939 who responded, 2% said they did not cover evolution at all, with the majority spending between 3 and 10 classroom hours on the subject.

However, a quarter of the teachers also reported spending at least some time teaching about creationism or intelligent design. Of these, 48% – about 12.5% of the total survey – said they taught it as a "valid, scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species".

Science teaching experts say they are not surprised to find such a large number of science teachers advocating creationism.

"It seems a bit high, but I am not shocked by it," says Linda Froschauer, past president of the National Science Teachers Association based in Arlington, Virginia. "We do know there’s a problem out there, and this gives more credibility to the issue."
Better training

When Berkman’s team asked about the teachers’ personal beliefs, about the same number, 16% of the total, said they believed human beings had been created by God within the last 10,000 years.

Teachers who subscribed to these young-Earth creationist views, perhaps not surprisingly, spent 35% fewer hours teaching evolution than other teachers, the survey revealed.

The survey also showed that teachers who had taken more science courses themselves – and especially those who had taken a course in evolutionary biology – devoted more class time to evolution than teachers with weaker science backgrounds.

This may be because better-prepared teachers are more confident in dealing with students’ questions about a sensitive subject, says Berkman, who notes that requiring all science teachers to take a course in evolutionary biology could have a big impact on the teaching of evolution in the schools.

i was looking for a great picture to include and came upon this site:
among the evidence? :
2. Art work and various ancient artifacts depicting live dinosaurs by themselves, or interacting with humans. These include burial stones, burial cloths, clay figurines, cave drawings, etc.
Ok…the egyptians also had artwork depicting animal headed gods. did those go extinct too?
These people pretty much think there are still dinosaurs walkin around the African Congo ("and maybe even in America"). Riiiight. flintstones42.jpg

the problem of evil

Posted: May 21st, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Religion | No Comments »

a little old but still good final_paper.doc (26.62 K)