Poe’s Law Rears its Hilarious Head Once Again

Below, making a guest appearance on Glenn Beck’s ridiculous shit-storm of a show, is Rabbi Daniel Lapin.

You don’t have to bother watching it if you have better things to do. I’ll just sum up his main point; namely…

“I do believe that atheists are parasites in the sense that they are benefiting from everything that religious culture has built in America, but they’re doing nothing to add energy into the system.”

Okay, okay. I understand that this guy is just a fringe idiot with a backwards view of history. We all know that the “religious culture” has “built” just as much fear, bigotry and hatred as it has anything else even remotely constructive. So I’m more than inclined to simply file Rabbi Douchebag alongside all the other non-influential fringe a-holes.

But when his stupidity inspires someone to create a blog devoted to so-called “atheist parasites,” it is quite a site to behold. In a truly laughable way.

Upon clickage, you’ll quickly find that it’s difficult to tell whether or not this is intended as satire.

Example:

The Mark Twain parasite was first discovered by researchers in 1835, and may have had some connection to the arrival of Halley’s Comet (which occurred that same year).

This insidious bug has since infected American literature with such maladies as Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the latter of which has been considered by many of the infected to be the “Great American novel.”

This parasite infects those who read its literature, and can propagate by inspiring some of its hosts to attempt writing their own novels and short stories, which in turn can be used to infect others.

AVOIDING THE MARK TWAIN PARASITE: This parasite infects any hosts that dare to read its novels, wit, and wisdom, therefore it is best to avoid any American literature written after 1865 (the year of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, which was the first recorded Twain outbreak). To keep your children from being infected, insist that their school exclude them from any classes on literature.

To be extra safe, avoid books and libraries altogether.

See what I mean?

To accept this blog as non-satirical, I would have to believe that there is at least one person out there with an internet connection, who not only thinks that Mark Twain has done nothing to contribute to American culture, but also thinks that excluding Huck Finn from the classroom is a good plan of action for neutralizing this “threat.”

In fact, we should “avoid books altogether”! Because reading will only cause you to become another despicable, educated atheist. Take it from me… it’s true.

Seriously, I need to know if this is fake. Anyone?

(via Pharyngula)

Yahweh is an Asshole

The following murders are either encouraged or sanctioned by the Judeo-Christian invisible sky-man. Keep in mind, this is an incomplete list:

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives. (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)

But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)

One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the LORD’s name. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother’s name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put the man in custody until the LORD’s will in the matter should become clear. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes the LORD’s name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD’s name will surely die. (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)

Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles take place. If the prophets then say, ‘Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,’ do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Since they try to keep you from following the LORD your God, you must execute them to remove the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT)

But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.’ You may wonder, ‘How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?’ If the prophet predicts something in the LORD’s name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)

So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)

For the LORD had said to Moses, ‘Exempt the tribe of Levi from the census; do not include them when you count the rest of the Israelites. You must put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and its equipment as you travel, and they must care for it and camp around it. Whenever the Tabernacle is moved, the Levites will take it down and set it up again. Anyone else who goes too near the Tabernacle will be executed. (Numbers 1:48-51 NLT)

The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: ‘Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death. (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

A priest’s daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

If you find it (that a person in a town worships another god) and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. (Deuteronomy 13 NLT)

They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord.” When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

The best you can say in defense of the Christian god is that, according to his purported “word,” sometimes it’s okay to kill homosexuals, promiscuous teens, and people who work on Saturday.

If anyone, after reading all this, still somehow thinks the bible is a tried-and-true source of perfect, absolute morality… please stay far away from me.

(via Wikibooks)

The “No True Scotsman” Fallacy

Vjack over at Atheist Revolution wrote a post about a religious canard that I hear in almost every interaction or religious dialog I have with people of almost any belief system, whenever I happen to make a criticism about their religon.

It’s known as the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Antony Flew famously summarized it thusly:

Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the “Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again.” Hamish is shocked and declares that “No Scotsman would do such a thing.” The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again and this time finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, “No true Scotsman would do such a thing.”

In my life, I’ve heard pretty much every permutation of this fallacy from people of all the world’s major religions…

“I know those psychos at the Westboro Baptist Church are terrible, immoral people, but they’re not true Christians.  So please don’t lump us real Christians in with them.”

“The terrorists who fly planes into buildings are not really following Islam. True Muslims would never behave that way, and you shouldn’t make a generalization about Islam just because of what some self-proclaimed Muslims say.”

“Real Jews should be fighting to preserve the state of Israel, but peacefully. The ones who think that shooting Palestinians and throwing bombs is justified by Jewish prophecy are not truly following Judaism.”

There’s a big problem with this logic. And the problem is, who controls the definition of a “true believer”? Because religion is based on individual interpretation, there’s no set of universal, objective standards upon which someone can make this distinction.

In science, we do have universal, objective criteria. And that criteria is evidence. The difference between a man who says “Earth is flat,” and another who says “Earth is a sphere,” is that the evidence overwhelmingly supports the latter conclusion. That data is testable, repeatable and verifiable.

This is not true for religion. There is no objective way to determine the difference between two statements like “the Bible says we should own slaves,” and “the Bible says we shouldn’t own slaves.” Or “the Koran says we should destroy non-believers” and “the Koran doesn’t say we should destroy non-believers.” Or “Yahweh thinks homosexuality is wrong,” and “Yahweh thinks homosexuality is okay.”

Which church teaches “true Christianity”? Presbyterian? Baptist? Evangelical? Methodist? Lutheran? Episcopalian? Roman Catholic?

And even if you pick one, like “Methodist,” which one? United Methodist? Wesleyan Methodist? Free Methodist? Methodist Episcopal? Southern Methodist Episcopal? Southern Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal?

Each and every denomination of Christianity would say that they are the “true” Christians. But on what authority do they make this claim? And the same goes for the many factions and schools of Islam. Sunni? Shia? Sufi? And which sect of Judaism teaches real Judaism? Orthodox? Hasidic? Reform? Sephardic? Messianic? Reconstructionist?

The more I hear this “no true whatever” claim, the more it seems like nothing more than a silly way of absolving one’s own beliefs from criticism. If an enthusiastic Christian (as I once was) loses his faith and becomes an atheist, then he wasn’t a “real Christian.” If a self-proclaimed Christian ties a homosexual to the rear bumper of his truck and drags him around, then he wasn’t following “true Christianity.” If you’re a conservative Christian, you can simply claim that liberal Christians aren’t truly following the bible. If you’re a liberal Christian, you can claim the same thing about conservatives.

Vjack puts it curtly and accurately:

Pat Robertson is a real Christian. So is the Pope. The fact that these people have said or done things you might not like does not change the reality of their Christian status. The fact that they might believe in a somewhat different version of Christianity than you do does not change it either. Accept it or recognize that you are turning your backs on reality.

So, Christians, it’s time to retire this silly, stupid tactic and start defending what you do believe, rather than demanding to be treated differently from people who worship the same imaginary friend that you do.

The whole thing kinda reminds me of a famous joke by Emo Philips.

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

Classic.

Here’s the video version, chaps. Enjoy.

Black Jeezus’ News Quickies

The Australian state of fuckin’ Queensland recently passed a shitty fuckin’ law that would allow cocksuckin’ cops to fine citizens for fuckin’ swearing in public:

Thousands more Queenslanders could be slapped with fines for offences that would never have attracted police attention in the past under sweeping reforms to police powers.

Experts fear swearing in public, with a fine of $100, will be a major money spinner for the state and could become the weapon of choice for frustrated officers on the beat.

What is this, Kindergarten?

Needless to say, this isn’t going over well with many Queenslanders. Good for them.

(via Reason)

* * *

Orthodox Jews in Israel don’t want boys to go to school with girls.

Tens of thousands of black-clad ultra-Orthodox Jews staged mass demonstrations on Thursday to protest a Supreme Court ruling forcing the integration of a religious girls’ school.

Protesters snarled traffic in Jerusalem and another large religious enclave, crowded onto balconies in city squares, and waved posters decrying the court’s decision and proclaiming the supremacy of religious law.

(via Cynical-C)

* * *

Here’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about the responses by US banks to new laws regarding overdraft fees. They’re calling it the “end of free checking.” I sure hope not.

* * *

Ice-T said it best. “Fuck the police.” Or was that Ice Cube?

A city councilman who spotted a traffic cop blow through stop signs while yakking on the phone confronted the officer – and got slapped with a $165 ticket, the irate lawmaker said.

Dan Halloran (R-Queens) wants his summons dismissed and is demanding a review of every ticket the Queens traffic agent has ever written.

“The traffic agents spend a lot of time ticketing in my community and yet they feel they’re above the law,” Halloran griped.

* * *

I know I’m a bit late for this, but here’s to the late Jimmy Dean. You shall be missed by pork sausage lovers worldwide.

Jews: Still Crazy After All These Years

In an effort show that they can be every bit as wacky as those pesky Christians, it seems the Jews have offered up an alternative theory behind the Haitian earthquakes, as well as a way to prevent future natural disasters:

“Thirteen months before 9/11, on the day New York City passed homosexual domestic partnership regulations, I joined a group of Rabbis at a City Hall prayer service, pleading with G-d not to visit disaster on the city of N.Y. We have seen the underground earthquake, tsunami, Katrina, and now Haiti. All this is in sync with a two thousand year old teaching in the Talmud that the practice of homosexuality is a spiritual cause of earthquakes. Once a disaster is unleashed, innocents are also victims just like in Chernobyl.

“We plead with saner heads in Congress and the Pentagon to stop sodomization of our military and our society. Enough is enough.”

Wow.  Just, wow.  (Now I’m all verklempt.)

Umm, Jews… thanks for Matisyahu, Hebrew National beef franks, and the cast of Seinfeld and all.  But in the future, keep your unfounded, irrational, crackpot theories to yourselves.  Sound good?