Friday, April 30, 2010

Mushy Christians: More evidence Christianity is Dying

I love this new phrase: Mushy Christians!
Most American "Millenials" – those born between 1980 and 1991 – don't pray regularly. Few read their Bibles or other religious texts, and many don't attend church on a weekly basis, according to a LifeWay Research study. ...

Sixty-five percent of Millennials called themselves a Christian in the study that was conducted on 1,200 young Americans in August 2009. But Rainer estimates that 85 percent of young people are lost.

"Many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only," [Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources] told USA Today. "Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith."
Isn't that a great term? Mushy Christians! They want to be Christians, probably because of family, a sense of nostalgia or social pressure, but when it comes time to be a Christian ... they get mushy.

We're in a "second generation" effect. It's exactly like what happens to immigrant families' language. The first generation learns to speak English when they come to America, but at home they still speak their native Polish, Spanish, Russian and so forth. They have kids, the kids become truly bilingual, but English is their primary tongue. And when they have kids, they speak English in the home. The grandchildren, who never hear the old language except when they go to Grandma and Grandpa's house, never learn the family's native tongue.

I see this same effect happening to Christianity in America.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ha Ha! New Noah's Ark Age Proved with CARBON DATING

I love this stuff. Reality deniers, also known as Creationists, have for decades been refuting the scientific data about the age of the earth. Since some of the strongest data comes from radiometric data – the radioactive decay of various elements – they long ago "proved" that radiometric dating techniques are all wrong. Useless.

After all, if carbon dating says a frozen mastodon carcass is 20,000 years old, it must be the test that's wrong, since we know the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

That's why I gave a big hoot the other day when I read about the latest claim that Noah's Ark was found.
Yeung said he filmed inside the structure for about an hour. He brought back samples that were later tested in Iran.

They say the wood has been tested and carbon dates to around the time Noah was afloat.
Got that? Carbon dating.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Religion or Not?

Monday's blog about Alcoholics Anonymous brought quite a vigorous response from AA's defenders. The blog discussed scientific studies that show that attending AA makes people less likely to recover than if they got no treatment at all, and many readers were apparently offended by this.

The discussion reminded me yet again why I think religion is bad for society as a whole. It teaches that faith trumps reality, and convinces people that if they want something to be true, it must be true.

On the one hand, you have people trained in the sciences who work hard to remove their biases so that they can find the truth even if it is disagreeable. They've developed techniques that make it hard to fool themselves, such as randomly assigning people to one treatment or another, "double blind" studies where those evaluating the outcome don't know which person was assigned to which treatment, and many other tricks that help eliminate our wants, prior beliefs, and desires from biasing the results.
"A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, a mere heart of stone."
– Charles Darwin
On the other hand, you have a large group of people brought up with religion.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Christian Shocker: God-Based AA Program Harms Alcoholics

Did you know that the Alcoholics Anonymous twelve-step program, which has God as the foundation of its program, doesn't work? Not only doesn't it work, but many scientific studies have shown pretty clearly that it does more harm than good! What's more, it appears that the religious component of the AA program is the culprit.

I was quite frankly shocked when I heard this. While I'm not religious, I have always admired AA members for their dedication and selfless efforts to help one another. I've had close friends and family members who were alcoholics, and wished they could find the strength to acknowledge their disease and go to AA for help.

But no more. After reading this damning article, which refers to dozens of scientific studies including several sponsored by AA board members and advocates, I now see AA for what it is: another faith-based folly that continues because of faith, not reason. In study after study, scientists, sociologists and doctors find that AA is worse that getting no help at all.

And it's pretty clear why.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Christian Whiner: JPL Scientist Punished for Proselytizing at Work

I respect honest Christian proselytizers, but I'm disgusted by whiners. If you read this story, you'd think David Coppedge is a poor innocent Christian who happens to believe in "Intelligent Design," and was demoted by NASA's JPL laboratory merely for being a Christian. You'd think that those JPL scientists were intolerant, disdainful and contemptuous of anyone who didn't share their atheist science. You might even get the idea that JPL is an exclusive atheism club, that they were trying to drive a competent scientist from their midst merely because he didn't kowtow to the atheist intelligentsia who run the place.

The truth appears to be much simpler and less sinister. According to this story and other reports, David Coppedge just plain broke his employer's rules, repeatedly. He violated the JPL personnel guidelines by discussing religion at work and passing out DVDs of the ID proponents' pseudo-science (which has already been ruled to be religion, not science, by courts).

Discussing religion at work is strictly against the JPL rules (and every employer I've ever worked for), and Coppedge knew it was against the rules because he was warned several times by his supervisors. He persisted, and finally was demoted for violating the rules and for ignoring his supervisor's explicit orders.

Let's make this clear: he was not demoted for espousing Christian ideas. He was demoted for violating policy and then ignoring his boss when ordered to stop. His Christianity was irrelevant.

I hate that sort of Christian revisionism.

Judge Backs Atheist Parolee who Refused God-Based Treatment

Here is some great news on the legal front for atheists. A judge in Northern California sided with an atheist who was forced, as part of his parole from prison, to attend the heavily religious Alcoholics Anonymous program. Barry Hazle kept complaining to his parole officer that he wanted a non-religious drug-rehab program, but the parole officer ignored his requests.

But Hazle was persistent, though consistently polite and non-confrontational. He continued to go to AA, but also continued to bug his parole officer. In frustration his parole officer finally arrested him and sent him back to prison for three more months.

The judge's ruling was perfect, saying the parole officer's behavior ran "afoul of the prohibition against the state's favoring religion in general over non-religion." Hazle is now suing the state for damages related to the extra three months of incarceration he had to server merely for being an atheist.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Celibacy IS the Issue: The Catholic Elephant

Did you know that only two percent of Catholic Priests keep their vow of celibacy?
"Survey and statistics that show only two percent of priests have been absolutely faithful to their vows of celibacy. Adjustment problems abound as demonstrated by repeated reports of priests abandoning their callings, fathering children, being charged with child molestation."
This is from a thesis written almost twenty years ago, back in 1992, entitled Celibacy Is the Issue by Thomas G. Lederer, which explains and predicts the current crisis of pedophilia in the Catholic Church.

Here are a couple interesting quotes.
"In late 1990, A.W. Richard Sipe's book, A Secret World – Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy, caused a veritable flood of controversy. The author, psychotherapist stated that that at least half the U.S. Priests at any given time are involved in some pattern of sexual activity."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Doctor Death is Back! Kevorkian on CNN 360

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the famous or infamous "Doctor Death" of euthanasia, is back, and is a powerful advocate for the rights of terminally ill patients to have doctor-assisted suicide. Kevorkian spent six years in prison and two on probation after his conviction for assisting a suicide, and now that he's off probation, he's free to speak again.

Anderson Cooper on CNN had an amazing interview with Kevorkian last night. Here is one of my favorite exchanges. They were talking about one particular suicide Kevorkian assisted, and Cooper asks:
Cooper: "Did you find it sad?"

Kevorkain: "Well of course! You don't like to end a life. ... If someone has cancer of the hip, you don't take the leg off ... because you want to do it. ... Nobody says, 'I can't wait to take that leg off.'"

Cooper: "But a lot of people say that you're playing God ..."

Kevorkian: "Isn't the doctor who takes a leg off playing God?"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

GameStation Owns your Soul!

Do you actually read the Terms and Conditions of products you buy? Apparently, 7,500 gamers don't either, because they gave away their immortal souls to GameStation! The web site put a legally-binding clause in their terms of service contract that claimed the immortal soul of all who accepted the terms.

I have to give a hearty mea culpa – Only a very few of us actually read most of the stuff we agree to. GameStation had an "opt out" checkbox that let you keep your soul (and if you found it, you got a gift certificate), but only a few gamers claimed the prize.

I have to wonder though, how much is the immortal soul of an atheist actually worth?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mike Huckabee: Gay Marriage is like Incest, Drugs and Polygamy

Is 2012 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee deliberately torpedoing his own campaign? Can he really be this stupid?

Huckabee is now comparing gay marriage to incest, drug use and polygamy, according to the transcript of an interview he gave this week. Got that? Incest, raping your own child or sibling.


But now I'm confused. I thought politicians were a bunch of clever, political animals. They're supposed to get up there and pander to the crowds. Some good ol' boy from the South who's still racist knows he'd better keep it to himself. A young Democrat from New York who thinks his constituents are too dumb for democracy and that they need a socialist government to take care of them, well he'd better not say it out loud.

So what's with Huckabee?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Speaking April 18 in San Diego

Hey, faithful subscribers, are you in Southern California? I've been invited to speak this Sunday at the Humanist Association of San Diego at 6:00 PM. Here are the details (or click here for their announcement):
April 18, 2010
6:00 pm
Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center

1220 Cleveland Ave.
3900 Vermont Street
San Diego, CA 92103
619-646-2191The Joyce Beers Community Center

Potluck. Bring a dish to share if you like.
I hope to see you there!

Another Brilliant Vatican Science Discovery! Pedophilia Caused by Homosexuality

This just makes me sick. From an AP News story:
The Vatican's second-highest authority says the sex scandals haunting the Roman Catholic Church are linked to homosexuality and not celibacy among priests.
–Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state
This is from the number two man at the Vatican!

I hope it goes without saying with my readers, but I'll say it anyway, that first and foremost, he is wrong. There is and has never been any credible scientific evidence supporting this claim. It's pure BS, noise designed to distract us from the real root of the Roman Catholic pedophilia horror: celibacy.

The other day, I asked the question, "Why can't just one pedophile priest admit, 'I'm guilty, I'm sorry'"? The Roman Catholic Church could help so many people and start putting this scandal behind them if they'd just admit their faults, without any hesitation or backpedaling.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Religion Virus is Finally Available!

Dear Faithful Readers,

The longest wait of an author's lifetime starts the day the last period is typed at the end of the final chapter. For me, it's been over two long years ... finding an agent, getting a publisher, then almost a full year waiting through the trade-show, marketing, sales, book design and printing cycle.

And now it's here! The Religion Virus is now for sale through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other locations, or you can order it through your local bookstore if they don't carry it. Click Here to learn more.

I'm very excited today. It's been a lot of work, but I think we have a message that's important, one that may nudge us one more step towards a more rational, healthy society and world. If you've enjoyed my blogs, I hope you'll consider buying my book, and pass the word to your friends.

Best wishes to all of you, and thanks for reading! We're just getting started!

Hitchins on the Immorality of Jesus

One of my favorite topics is the idea that Jesus can forgive your sins. Even when I was a little kid, I couldn't figure this out ... if I hit you on the nose, some other guy can forgive me and make it OK? It just seems wrong. No, it's more than wrong, it's immoral. So why does Christianity have this at its core?

I've written about this before, but today I want to bring you a four-minute video by Christopher Hitchens, who explains this incredibly well. Click the "READ ON" link to see the video...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Discrimination! Christian Anti-Porn Filter Ignores Atheists, Jews and Muslims!

Reader Jef from France sent me a link to the cool new plug-in for the Firefox browser. It's a Christian Anti-Porn filter! For real!
Flee sexual immorality (1Co 6:18). Christian Anti-Porn will filter links and alert the user if any porn websites are clicked. This will not block but warn every Christian that he is going to crucify Jesus Christ again if he proceeds to such websites.
This really raises an awful lot of questions!

What's an atheist, Jew or Muslim supposed to do? We don't have our own porn filter!

Is Christian porn somehow different than atheist porn? Like, are there web sites that are OK for an atheist but not for a Christian?

What about Jews and Muslims? Is there some kind of pork porn that's OK for Christians, but not Jews and Muslims? What about Hindu and Buddhist porn, is it even the same stuff? It makes the head spin!

And I'm confused about how "this will warn every Christian that he is going to crucify Jesus Christ again..."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Why Can't Just One Priest Admit, I'm Guilty, I'm Sorry?

Just when you think the Catholic Church pedophilia scandal could get no worse, with the scandal brushing the Pope himself, yet another even worse story breaks. This one is truly horrifying.

The Church decided to dump pedophile priests into the remote villages of Native Alaskan and Canadian villages. Out of sight, out of mind. Unless you were one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of Native Eskimo children who were molested or raped. The numbers are staggering: "They knew of 345 cases of molestation in Alaska by 28 perpetrators who came from at least four different countries." There were so many pedophile priests in these small communities that at least one girl was raped by two different priests.

And rather than an exile for these pedophiles, it became a virtual paradise of unaccountability. Warning: The following will make you sick. You should stop reading now if you don't want to ruin your day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Woman Preacher Gets Southern Baptist Church Expelled

It's hard to believe in these modern times that there is still overt, legal discrimination against women. But leave it to religion to be in the dark ages when everyone else has seen the light. The Druid Hills Baptist Church, a thriving Southern Baptist congregation in Atlanta, Georgia, has been declared "not a cooperating church" because its associate pastor is a woman (*gasp*!).

The official policy of the Southern Baptist Convention is that the role of pastor is "limited to men as qualified by Scripture."

Yeah, that's the right idea! Let's take the morals of a bunch of farmers, goatherds and rabbis who lived two thousand years ago, and decide that by golly, they got it right!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pray for Me: April Fools Day is Pray for an Atheist Day!

Ok, all you Christians, it's time to pray for me!

April Fools Day 2010 is Pray for an Atheist day! (Here's their Facebook page!)
Do you believe God can do amazing things through prayer? We want you to select an atheist friend or relative and pray for them by name each day during the month of April, 2010 (and beyond!) It’s easy and could make an eternal difference for someone you love.
And I'm your man! A real Atheist, but also an honest one who would admit that he's wrong! But I'll warn you, I'm a pretty hard case.

In fact, why not make it a challenge? If all you Christians each pray for a different atheist, what's God going to do? He can't convert us all, that's too much work even for Him. So why don't you all get together and pick ONE atheist, and everybody pray for that person?