Petition the Veep: Stop Evil-lution in Schools!

COE 235Ooh, sign me up!

A petition addressed to VP-elect Mike Pence asks for (drum roll, clash of cymbals!) …


(A “moratorium.” Just until we can figure out, you know, whether it’s really true or not.)

They’re looking for (drum roll again, even louder clash of cymbals)


—You know, a stunning tidal wave of deep passionate concern from Americans.

Some absolutely verbatim excerpts from the petition:

It is obvious to us that Evolutionism-Darwinism is an anti-Christian atheistic dogma masquerading as science. According to renown (sic) philosopher of science, Professor Michael Ruse blah blah blah blah.

Evolutionists, indeed, themselves speak about their “theory” blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah “the scientific equivalent of the Holy Grail.”

Blah blah blah denying the work of a divine creator in the natural order blah blah blah sweeping theological contention blah blah blah!!!

Blah blah blah blah the Neo-Darwinian paradigm is on the verge of collapse blah blah!!

Blah blah blah! Blah blah its flawed historical narrative of origins which includes telling students that humans are walking sarcopterygian fish! Blah blah blah!!

It ends with:

We therefore urge you to persuade President Trump to issue an executive order imposing a nationwide indefinite moratorium on the teaching of evolution in public schools. For it to be effective, this order should clearly state that it supersedes the decisions of state and district boards of education regarding the science curriculum. Those schools that don’t comply with it should be completely denied federal funding and aid by the Department of Education, just as it is proposed that cities that provide sanctuary to illegal aliens ought to be denied assistance. We hope that you will act upon this very urgent matter and uphold truth and the American way of life we hold so dear.

(Yeah, one peep out of you freedom-hating bastards and we’ll jerk your funding so fast your head will spin! But hey, no pressure. We’re all about that “equal exposure and then letting the kids decide for themselves.”)

I’m seeing an opportunity in the comments section.


What’s That Sound? Oh, Shofars. Cool. Now Everything Will Be Better.

Someday I’m going to write a long, detailed piece about something I call “the 180-degrees-opposite thing.” Religion is mostly based on it. Once you become an atheist, you see it everywhere.

For instance: Rather than “Yeah, it’s sad, but people die. They just stop existing.” it’s “Oh no, death is just the beginning! We live on! We live on FOREVER! In paradise! With all our loved ones!”

Yeah, like that — 180 degrees opposite reality.

So here’s this:  Sound the Shofars in the Nation’s Capital

( BTW: According to Wikipedia, “A shofar is an ancient musical horn made of ram’s horn, used for Jewish religious purposes.” —Hey, if I want some musical instrument played in The Nation’s Capital, I want a CHRISTIAN instrument, possibly a pedal steel guitar borrowed from a smoke-and-beer-smelling honky tonk, or a red-white-and-blue banjo made from the casing of an unexploded artillery shell. Not some nancy Jewish instrument made from a ram’s horn that nobody even knows how to play a tune on. /snark )

The event itself is this:

Nov. 6, 7 and 8—three nights leading up to the most important presidential election since the Civil War, concerned citizens will be gathering at the Upper Senate Park across Constitution Avenue from the U.S. Capitol to pray for the election and the nation’s future.

The rationale for the event is this:

The organizers believe that prayer, not politics, is the only hope and answer to America’s problems. “Where people are praying, there is hope. When people pray things happen,” says Pastor Dan Cummins, an associate pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, California, and the onsite pastor of The Jefferson Gathering Worship Services which are held weekly in the nation’s Capitol building for members of Congress, staff and all federal employees.

There’s the 180-degrees thing.”When people pray things happen.” From seeing to the medical needs of children to having some real effect on the larger world through hands-on action, this is the exact opposite of the truth.

But, hey:

“Skyline Church is involved because we understand that America is in a crisis moment. The nation—as we know it—is gasping for air.  This is neither melodramatic nor defeatist. It is simply fact,” says Dr. Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego and oversite pastor of the Jefferson Gathering. “The kingdom of God will be fine—with or without America. But America may not survive. We pray for voters to enter the voting booth with a healthy reverence of God, casting a ballot for biblical concepts and principles.”

Wait, that wasn’t a shofar. Sounded more like a conservative dog whistle.

Though the event is advertised as “non-partisan” the focus of its prayers will be for the nation and the election. Organizers believe that it was upon the influence of Judeo-Christian ethics that America was founded. They hope that this election will be influential in bringing the nation back to its core values.

Let’s see. Careful denial of partisanship. But then “bringing the nation back to its core values.” Yeah, that does sound dog-whistley. And ooh, there’s that clever mention of “the most important presidential election since the Civil War.” And sure, I guess we have gotten far away from those “core values,” what with this NEGRO in office, and this WOMAN poised to continue his anti-American policies.

“There is a steady undercurrent of targeted efforts to remove God from every vestige of American life and culture. These battles confirm a tangible reality that the things we hold sacred are slowly eroding away all around us,” says Lea Carawan, president and executive director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation. “Thankfully, God’s people are unifying with one heart and one voice in prayer for the country and those who lead her. God has been and always will be our only source of hope.”

The focus of evening prayers will span from the White House to every house in America. The Supreme Court nominees and the judicial system will be a center of focus.

Heh. Heh. Heh. “Supreme Court nominees.” There’s a whiff of anti-abortion if I ever smelled one.

This bit tickles me:

The organizers ask that no political clothing, apparel, banners or signs be worn or brought to the event. This also includes any type of musical interments or shofars.


But don’t bring any shofars.


We Are SO F*cking Doomed

Jesus LightSaw this pic on Facebook, with the caption

do you see jesus? type “amen” if you see him

How many typed “amen”? I didn’t go through and inspect every single response, but in the looking I did do — the most recent several hundred responses — every person typed “amen” or something even more goddy.

As of 9:45 p.m. today, the post got 125,177 comments, 310,000 likes, and almost 13,000 shares.

Oh, and Donald Trump just won the primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. It wasn’t even close.


On the plus side, I think Hillary is going to crush him. The comedic dynamic of the GOP primary is that the “joke” candidate is kicking the asses of the “serious” candidates. The GOP built this monster, and if he runs amuck and destroys the whole party — while they tear out their hair and scream to the heavens “What have I done!!?” — that’s fine with me.

But still … that he’s getting votes at all is a testament to the utter gullibility of some of you Earth people.

Hey, come to think of it, that light in the clouds looks a lot like Donald Trump! Someone alert Fox News!

One Billion Atheists: The Army of the Other Side

Billion Atheists copyLook at this:

Evangelicals Aim to Mobilize an Army for Republicans in 2016

One afternoon last week, David Lane watched from the sidelines as a roomful of Iowa evangelical pastors applauded a defense of religious liberty by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. That night, he gazed out from the stage as the pastors surrounded Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana in a prayer circle.

For Mr. Lane, a onetime Bible salesman and self-described former “wild man,” connecting the pastors with two likely presidential candidates was more than a good day’s work. It was part of what he sees as his mission, which is to make evangelical Christians a decisive power in the Republican Party.

“An army,” he said. “That’s the goal.”

And Mr. Lane is positioning himself as a field marshal. A fast-talking and born-again veteran of conservative politics with experience in Washington, Texas and California, Mr. Lane, 60, travels the country trying to persuade evangelical clergy members to become politically active.

That’s what we’re facing.

What Mr. Lane, a former public relations man, does have going for him is a decentralized landscape in which a determined believer with an extensive network of ground-level evangelical leaders and a limitless capacity for talking on the phone can exert influence on Republican presidential candidates eager to reach evangelical voters.

I used to go to town council meetings in my little mountain town and sometimes almost burst into delighted laughter at seeing the hidden political mechanics in action. I HATED the sonsofbitches and what they were doing, but I marveled at the coordination, the deftness of manipulation of the public sentiment, the streamlined perfection of the lies.

Seeing it was a daily lesson in political strategy in a small town, and beyond.

Nothing they did was done for the people of the town or the surrounding mountain environment. It was purely extractive and manipulative — a roofied drink and a followup rape in every sense but the sexual. But damn, they were good at it.

I don’t want us to ever forget that this is out there, working day and night to take advantage with lies and subterfuge, to wrest the future out of our hands and make it theirs again. To wreak short-term profit by keeping the world as it is.

God, The Wet Blanket

COE SquareOne of the things I enjoy doing on my daily van trips — I’m in transportation at an addiction recovery facility, and I drive every day a round trip between Schenectady, NY and New York City — is play tourguide. Since the trip is close to three hours long each way, there’s plenty of time to point out interesting details of the scenery along the way. I often see deer (today I saw a doe with a newborn fawn in the roadside grass), sometimes wild turkeys, occasionally great blue herons. There are apple orchards along the way, cattle, horses, a grass-field airport, hills and forest.

But I also drive through numerous road cuts which bare sections of Upstate New York’s fascinating geology. Most of the rock here is sedimentary — that layered, sometimes multicolored stuff — and almost all of it has undergone folding or uplift. It’s common to see the layers standing on edge, or at some angle quite far from the horizontal, and you’ll sometimes see it humped and bumped so that the naturally flat layers are rippled into a crude sine wave with red and white layers alternating.

My knowledge of geology is rudimentary. I have wished all too often that I could drive the roads of New York with a qualified local geologist, so I could learn how old the stuff is, what era each layer originated in, how far back in time I’m seeing.

Anyway, today I’m driving two clients, a man and a young woman from New York City, and pointing out bits of this and that along the way. (Orange County Choppers, the motorcycle customizers from TV, is right along the way, and that always piques interest.) But as we come up to a section of vivid vertical layers in a road cut, I start to explain about sedimentation and layering, and how significant it is that these normally-horizontal layers of stone are now almost completely vertical.

For myself, I LOVE knowing that this stone MOVED, over however many millions of years, and is, in fact, still in ultra-ultra-ultra-slow motion. And I love imparting that tidbit of knowledge to others.

But this time, as I’m in mid-explanation, the man breaks in and says happily “And you know who did all that? One guy! God! He made EVERYthing! He did it all! Ain’t that amazing!” He wasn’t correcting me or anything, he was just sharing HIS knowledge, adding his own remarks to what he thought I was getting at.

That was the last of the tourguiding on today’s trip. For the next hour or so I thought about how limited, how disturbingly frozen and ungrowthy is religious thinking.

I’ve often reflected that the entire world around us, every aspect of it, projects information at us. If you have ears to hear and eyes to see, the entirety of existence is this constant COMMUNICATION, and that fact in itself is endlessly fascinating. For the open mind, the world burns hot with knowledge — throwing off the sparks of pictures, processes, drama, wonderfully deep sequences of ideas and understandings — and it just makes me laugh to think of it.

But religious thinking of the “God did it all!” sort is a wet blanket tossed on that fire, dousing it to ashes. Nothing remains but the dead gray cinder of faith, separating each believer from an entire world of luminous knowledge.

Damn. That’s just so … sad.

Catholic Church Flexing Muscle in U.S. Hospitals

According to Wikipedia:

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care services in the world. It has around 18,000 clinics, 16,000 homes for the elderly and those with special needs, and 5,500 hospitals, with 65 per cent of them located in developing countries. In 2010, the Church’s Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers said that the Church manages 26% of the world’s health care facilities. The Church’s involvement in health care has ancient origins.

What a sweet bunch of guys, huh? Actually yes, I’d say.

But check this out:

US Bishops Working To Ban Hospitals From Providing Women With Common Form Of Birth Control

Last month, seemingly without notice or reason, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops changed its policy and banned Genesys Health System, a Catholic medical center in Michigan, from performing tubal ligations, the second most common form of birth control for women in their 30s and 40s in America. Upon a woman’s request, immediately after she had given birth, doctors would “tie her tubes” to prevent future pregnancies. 700,000 are performed annually across the country.

According to ProPublica, quoted in the article, “Ten of the 25 largest health systems in the nation — and four of the five largest nonprofit networks —are now Catholic-sponsored.” This is important, as the article says, because Catholic Bishops control policy in Catholic hospitals in thousands of communities across the United States.

It matters what’s legal, and we’re all behind maximized access to reproductive care for all women. But what’s LEGAL and what’s AVAILABLE are unfortunately two different things. And may soon be even more so.

The Catholic Church of course believes it has the right to limit health care to women according to various tenets of its core doctrine. But isn’t this the same thing as a cab driver in Alabama refusing to pick up a black man, or a bakery owner refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding? The driver and baker have every right to their private views, but out in the public sector, they MAY NOT USE THOSE VIEWS as grounds for refusing to provide full and equal service to members of the public.

If these are public hospitals — and they are — this policy is intolerable.



Carrie Underwood Click-Bait. Meh.

ChickenWe had chickens when I was a kid — White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Bantams — and I loved feeding them. I’d go out with a bowl of cracked corn and call “Chick, chick, chick, chick-EE!” And they’d come running, looking up at me with their stupid prehistoric faces, brainlessly eager for something tasty. Never realizing that they were OUR food, that this was all a scam to get their eggs and meaty selves on our table in the near future.

I hate to think of people like that, but — all too often — we are.

So here’s the cracked corn:

Atheists Outraged By Carrie Underwood’s Latest Song

In the song, Underwood sings about baptism and “being washed in blood,” which refers to the blood of Christ. The whole message of the song is that we humans are lost without God.

Atheists are outraged that such a hit-maker as Underwood would dare to sing about Christianity, but Carrie doesn’t seem to care.

“Country music is different. You have that Bible Belt-ness about it,” she said. “I’m not the first person to sing about God, Jesus, faith or any of that, and I won’t be the last. And it won’t be the last for me, either. If you don’t like it, change the channel.”

And here are the lyrics:

“Something In The Water”

He said, “I’ve been where you’ve been before.
Down every hallway’s a slamming door.”
No way out, no one to come and save me
Wasting a life that the Good Lord gave me

Then somebody said what I’m saying to you
Opened my eyes and told me the truth.”
They said, “Just a little faith, it’ll all get better.”
So I followed that preacher man down to the river and now I’m changed
And now I’m stronger

There must’ve been something in the water
Oh, there must’ve been something in the water

Well, I heard what he said and I went on my way
Didn’t think about it for a couple of days
Then it hit me like a lightning late one night
I was all out of hope and all out of fight

Couldn’t fight back the tears so I fell on my knees
Saying, “God, if you’re there come and rescue me.”
Felt love pouring down from above
Got washed in the water, washed in the blood and now I’m changed

And now I’m stronger

There must be something in the water
Oh, there must be something in the water

And now I’m singing along to amazing grace
Can’t nobody wipe this smile off my face
Got joy in my heart, angels on my side
Thank God almighty, I saw the light
Gonna look ahead, no turning back
Live every day, give it all that I have
Trust in someone bigger than me
Ever since the day that I believed I am changed
And now I’m stronger

There must be something in the water
Oh, there must be something in the water
Oh, there must be something in the water
Oh, there must be something in the water
Oh, yeah

I am changed

I’m free

Now, who do you suppose this headline and this story and this song were for? Who are the chickens that will come running? Is it atheists?

Nope. It’s Christians. Those poor, besieged Christians.

This is a manipulative, parasitic song and article to fuck over people — real human beings, a lot like you and me — who identify as Christians … mostly because they don’t know any different.

Behind the song and article — and probably a lot of preacher-talk to follow — is a millennia-long religious INDUSTRY aimed at fucking over people. Aimed at lying to them. Aimed at brainwashing them. Aimed at sucking the life out of them. Aimed at creating misery that can be turned into profit.

That’s what this is all about. This is one of those things that you can never see until you get religion out of your head. Before, it all looks like sweetness and light, families home for the holidays and Hallmark moments of all sorts. After … you start to see it for what it really is: A sort of invisible monster that eats human minds, human lives.

The way this particular story is presented, that business about Christians being under siege, is a way of deflecting attention onto others for the REAL siege being carried out by the presenters. It’s a dirty little magic act where they pose as your friend — rather than cracked corn, they throw out a scary picture of The Common Enemy — so you never notice them consuming you and everybody you love.


I actually like Carrie Underwood a lot. I especially like the song and video for “Before He Cheats Again.” It’s beautiful musically. The video is fabulous. But I don’t kid myself about what it’s really about, a young woman vandalizing a man’s truck — to a felony-level thousands of dollars — merely because he’s out with another girl.

Right now he’s probably slow dancing with a bleached-blonde tramp,
and she’s probably getting frisky…
Right now, he’s probably buying her some fruity little drink
’cause she can’t shoot whiskey…
Right now, he’s probably up behind her with a pool stick,
showing her how to shoot a combo…

And he don’t know…

That I dug my key into the side
of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive,
Carved my name into his leather seats…
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
Slashed a hole in all 4 tires…
Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.



Several days after, I realize the REAL headline that should be attached to this story:

“Religious Advertisers and Marketers SHIT-SCARED Because Atheists No Longer Buying Into Their Crap.”

Wait … What? —Take 2

Plane JewMan, those ultra-Orthodox Jews must NEVER get laid.

Ultra-orthodox Judaism forbids physical contact between men and women unless they are first-degree relatives or married to one another

They don’t fly well either.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Men Cause Flight Delay By Refusing To Sit Next To Women

I’m not even sure what to say about this that probably isn’t already obvious. The story itself says the women felt “bullied and harassed” — which is precisely how they should have felt.

I’d feel better if one or more of the women were quoted as saying “I told the cheeky bastard to buzz off. I’m not moving. If he doesn’t want to sit next to a woman, he can take a boat.”

There’s a petition to El Al Airline that is almost too even-handed, seems to me, suggesting fair solutions to solve the dilemma of the men. But the title is just right:

Stop the bullying, intimidation, and discrimination against women on your flights!

Wait … what?

Plastic Bag JewGiven the reputation of Mail Online, I can’t say I totally believe the below-linked story.

Orthodox Jewish man photographed covering himself in plastic bag during flight because faith forbids him to fly over cemeteries

But IF it’s true — I say IF — I have to wonder a couple of things.

This was the bizarre sight that greeted plane passengers when an Orthodox Jewish man covered himself under a plastic sheet.

It was believed the man is a Kohein, a religious descendant of the priests of ancient Israel, who are banned from flying over cemeteries.

First, no way this can be a very OLD religious belief. I have a hard time imagining early Jews making up rules about FLYING over cemeteries.

As a controversial solution – not entirely allowed by those in the Jewish Orthodox – the plastic bag creates a kind of barrier between the Kohein and the surrounding tumah, or impurity.

Point two, how do they know plastic, which also didn’t exist in ancient times, is the right solution? What if Death Cooties can phase right through plastic?

Some flights go to great lengths to take specific paths to avoid cemeteries.

Point three … uh, really? Really? Do I pay extra so people who are essentially superstitious savages can avoid being polluted by corpses lying in the ground 30,000 feet below?

30,000 feet is 5.7 miles, by the way. Why can they come near a cemetery on the ground (as it says in the article), but can’t be FIVE MILES from it in the upward direction? Although I have to admit, I too would hate to be struck and killed by souls rocketing skyward.

Speaking of pollution, a side bit in the story addresses a separate, offensively sexist issue.

A strict code of conduct prevents Orthodox Jewish men and women from mixing in public, with Israeli airline El Al seeing an increase in the number of religious men demanding to be reseated away from women in recent years.

Yeah, “Women unclean.” Dayyum.



Okay, there IS the issue of the man potentially asphyxiating. But hey. Comedy.

Well, This Is Just Sad As Hell

Got this thing on Facebook, but it’s very little different from stuff I’ve been getting for years via email. Here it is in full, with picture attached:

***A MUST SHARE***A young man working in the army was
constantly humiliated because he
believed in God. One day the captain
wanted to humiliate him before the
troops. He called the young man and said:
– Young man come here, take the key and go and park the Jeep in front. the young
man replied: – I cannot drive! The captain
said: – Well then ask for assistance of
your God! Show us that He exist! The young man takes the key and walked
to the vehicle and begins to pray…… …He
parks the jeep at the place PERFECTLY
well as the captain wanted. The young
man came out of the jeep and saw them
all crying. They all said together: – We want to serve your God! The young soldier was astonished, and
asked what was going on? The CAPTAIN
crying opened the hood of the jeep by
showing the young man that the car had
no engine. Then the boy said: See? This is
the God I serve, THE GOD OF IMPOSSIBLE, the God who gives life to what does not
exist. You may think there are things still
To the person reading this, I pray the Lord work A SUPER MIRACLE in your life today that would look like a lie In Jesus Name I Pray..
Write ‘Amen’ to claim this prayer

The weird irregular line lengths, the punctuation, the rumpled language, all are verbatim from the Facebook post, and absolutely typical of the multiply-forwarded stuff I get via email. Whoever does these things has equally meager computer and linguistic skills.

There is so much wrong with this, but I’ll touch on only two items:

First: Considering the level of religiosity the military is known for, the claim that he was “was constantly humiliated because he believed in God” is pure horseshit. It’s KNOWN that atheists are the ones treated badly by the brass.

Second: To me, the really amazing thing about little stories like this is that they’re MADE UP. They’re complete fictions. And yet — and here’s the crucial point — THEY’RE USED TO JUSTIFY BELIEF IN GOD.

I have friends back in Texas who have sent me stuff like this for years. I just know they come across these things and nod knowingly to themselves “See?! See?! God can do ANYTHING!!” — never realizing if the story itself is false, the thing it appears to justify must be on damned shaky ground.

The comments to the piece are a mix of critical and fatuous, and some of the fervent believers — “amen,god can do all things, that man can,t” — are disturbing on several levels.

My daughter was healed of infantile spasms when I decided to take a leap of faith and take her off her medicine.. She has not had a seizure since. Our faith in Jesus is what will make us whole. By his stripes we are healed. Don’t listen to people who are Godless and faithless. Instead pray for them.

I especially liked this one:

To the people questioning if the Army is “serving for god”… I’m not serving for god. I do not believe in god. I believe in freedoms and rights, and I believe in your right to believe in whatever you please. Like, you can totally believe this bullshit post that is completely fake and would NEVER be allowed to happen, and would NEVER be able to happen.. considering all soldiers learn how to drive in basic training.

One commenter really nails it, though:

I’m all for a touching religious post. But this picture is of a soldier, SSG Lonnie Roberts, crying at the memorial service of a fellow soldier named Gregory Huxley Jr, who was killed in action. Whoring his picture out for cheap likes alongside an obviously fake story is shameful and wrong, and whoever created this post is a terrible human being.

And yes, that’s true about the source of the picture, as you can see here: Pulitzer Archives.