To all you nonreligious people out there, here’s a forum for discussing human rights and social justice issues from a secular perspective.

Kyriarchy are the structures of domination working together as a network - not just one group dominating another. Its branches include but are not limited to racism, sexism, cissexism, heterosexism, ageism, and ableism.

Greta Christina says: “If you want to copy this list and re-publish it on your own blog or forum or website or whatever — and you want to add to/ subtract from/ make changes to it as you see fit — please do so. I’m not only okay with this: I actively encourage it.”

So here you go!  Spread this around as far and wide as you can, and follow a few of these blogs while you’re at it.

INDIVIDUALS

Mina Ahadi, founder of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims (Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime) and the International Committee against Stoning
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Infidel and Nomad, activist, politician, founder of the AHA Foundation
Norm Allen, author of African American Humanism and Black Secular Humanist Thought, editor-in-chief of Human Prospect: A Neo-Humanist Perspective, secretary of Paul Kurtz’s Institute for Science and Human Values, former head of African Americans for Humanism
Apanage21, blogger
Maggie Ardiente, director of development, American Humanist Association
Homa Arjomand, coordinator of the International Campaign Against Shari’a Court in Canada
Hector Avalos, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Iowa State University, speaker/ debater, author of The End of Biblical StudiesStrangers in Our Own Land: Religion in U.S. Latina/o LiteratureSe puede saber si Dios existe? [Can One Know if God Exists?], and more
Donald Barbera, author of Black But Not Baptist: Nonbelief and Freethought in the Black Community
Dan Barker, co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation, author of several books, including Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists and The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God
Jamila Bey, atheist comedian and journalist
Naima Cabelle, atheist activist and member of Washington Area Secular Humanists
Caribatheist, blogger, No Religion Know Reason
Ian Cromwell, musician and blogger, The Crommunist Manifesto
Ralph Dumain, creator of Black Freethought group on Atheist Nexus
Sanal Edamaruku, author and paranormal investigator, founder-president of Rationalist International, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, creator of The Great Tantra Challenge
Afshin Ellian, columnist for Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad and Elsevier; blogger; poet; law professor at University of Leiden
Reginald Finley, founder of Infidel Guy radio show
MercedesDiane Griffin, blogger/ activist
Debbie Goddard, campus outreach coordinator at the Center for Inquiry, speaker, head of African Americans for Humanism
Jacques L. Hamel, Scientific Affairs Officer with United Nations, international science and technology policy expert
Zee Harrison, blogger, Black Woman Thinks
Mark Hatcher, founder of Secular Students at Howard University
Sabri Husibi, speaker, Tulsa Atheist Group
Sikivu Hutchinson, writer and editor, author of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and Secular America, editor of BlackFemLens.org, Senior Fellow for theInstitute for Humanist Studies
Leo Igwe, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Nigeria 
JeansTake, video blogger
McKinley Jones, president, Black American Free Thought Association (BAF/TA)
Alix Jules, chair of diversity committee on the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition for Reason
Kenan Malik, writer, lecturer, blogger, and BBC Radio broadcaster, author of Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and its LegacyStrange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate, and more
Derrick Alaiyo McMahon, gay/ feminist/atheist blogger, The Anti-Intellect Blog
Hemant Mehta, blogger at Friendly Atheist, author of I Sold My Soul on eBay
Ian Andreas Miller, blogger, Diaphanitas
Jeffrey “Atheist Walking” Mitchell, atheist street philosopher and member of Black Skeptics
Micheal Mpagi, blogger, Quitstorm
Maryam Namaziem, rights activist, commentator and broadcaster on Iran, rights, cultural relativism, secularism, religion, political Islam and other related topics; spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Taslima Nasreen, author and activist
Ramendra Nath, professor and author; head of Department of Philosophy, Patna College, Patna University; author of Why I Am Not a HinduIs God Dead?The Myth of Unity of All Religions, and more
First Nation, blogger, Native Skeptic
Kwadwo Obeng, author, We Are All Africans
Adebowale Ojuro, author of Crisis of Religion
Charone Paget, producer/host of LAMBDA Radio Report, WRFG, Atlanta; on leadership team of Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta; founder of Queer and Atheist of Atlanta
Ernest Parker, leader of African Americans for Humanism DC
Anthony Pinn, author of numerous books on humanism, head of Institute for Humanist Studies, Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University
Bwambale Robert, founder, Kasese Humanist Primary School
Sid Rodrigues, scientist, researcher, organizer of Skeptics in the Pub
Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things and more, activist
Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic VersesMidnight’s ChildrenLuka and the Fire of LifeGrimus, and more
Amartya Sen, Nobel-prize winning economist
Alom Shaha, science teacher, film-maker, and writer
Labi Siffre, poet and songwriter
Simon Singh, author, journalist, TV producer, libel reform activist
Greydon Square, atheist rapper and spoken word artist
Wafa Sultan, author and critic of Islam and Islamic theocracy
David Suzuki, scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster; co-founder of the environmentalist David Suzuki Foundation
Red TaniFilipino Freethinkers
Mandisa Lateefah Thomas, co-founder, Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta
Maria Walters, a.k.a. Masala Skeptic, blogger, Skepchick 
Ayanna Watson, founder of Black Atheists of America
Wrath James White, author, blogger at Godless and Black
Clarence Williams, author of Truth
Donald Wright, author of The Only Prayer I’ll Ever Pray: Let My People Go
Zhiyah, writer/blogger, The Affirmative Atheist

GROUPS/ ORGANIZATIONS/ GROUP BLOGS

African Americans for Humanism
African Americans for Humanism DC
Atheist Association of Uganda
Black American Free Thought Association (BAF/TA)
Black Atheists of America
Black Freethinkers Yahoo Group
Black FreeThinkers social network
Black Freethought discussion group, Atheist Nexus
Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta
Black Skeptics
Buddhiwadi Foundation
Filipino Freethinkers
Central Council of Ex-Muslims (Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime)
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
The Grenada Free-thought Community
Harlem Community Center for Inquiry
Hispanic Atheists of all Ethnic Groups
Indian Rationalist Association
Secular Students at Howard University
South African Skeptics
Uganda Humanist Association

A few of the good ones:

Penis goes in, baby comes out. You can’t explain that.

Is that a banana in your pocket, or have you also been designed especially for me?

What happened before the Big Bang? I used this ridiculous pick up line on you.

Imagine the greatest possible sex in the world. Now, if it did not exist, then it would not be the greatest possible sex - therefore it must exist in reality, because to exist in reality is greater than to exist solely in the imagination.

I’m free!

I’m so happy to finally be a young, thin, white woman who loves young, hard-working white men!  I realize now that it was a delusion, brought to me by the Evil One, that I could ever deny the fact that there are only men who love women and women who love men.

You see, sometimes that voice inside is really someone speaking to me, and that someone would be the Holy Spirit.  Unless it’s Satan.  How do I know the difference?  It’s not always easy, but it’s a good sign that it’s God speaking to me when the messages align with what some middle-aged white men have recently decided that an ancient text was really trying to tell us.

I realize now where I strayed from the path.  I tried to follow my own heart, tried to find my own happiness by being true to my genderqueer self.  Only, the Bible doesn’t want us to be true to ourselves, because we’re made of sin, especially women.  It’s only when I confess my selfish desires and sense of fairness and standards for empirical evidence that I can finally find God.

Thanks to the help of Exodus International, I’ve managed to see what lead me down my dark path.  First, sensitivity: Their research tells me that I shied away from physical aggression and I never wanted to hurt others.  I was also sensitive to criticism and always wondered whether I was good enough.  ”Inability to be comfortable in one’s own skin has brought an endless quest to have someone else’s – and never succeeding.  The years of failed attempts have created loneliness, hopelessness, dependency, and yet isolation.  Even from God.”

Second, this may or may not be the result of an inability to relate to my mother’s femininity or to feel a strong masculine love from my father.  Sorry parents, we still don’t know if it’s your fault, but we don’t want to rule that possibility out too soon.

Third, I was probably abused.  Sure, I don’t remember being sexually abused, but we all know that repressed memories happen all the time!  I also witnessed some intense physical situations between my parents when I was a young child.  Who knows if that made me afraid of heterosexual relationships?  Then there’s the verbal abuse of being told that I don’t fit in with the other girls, which might have made me conclude they’re right, I’m not a girl at all.

Fourth, puberty might have been too confusing.  All those thoughts and feelings, and if nobody was there to tell me how to sexually pursue boys in a normal way, it’s easy to see how I could mess it up and go after girls instead.  Luckily, science as filtered by Exodus International was there to see me through to the bright side of life!

No longer am I a slave to the ways of the world, to the uniqueness and diversity of humanity nor the wonders and mysteries of science.  I’ve found freedom in my personal relationship with my invisible friend, unlike the rest of you billions and billions of selfish people who totally are so full of yourselves that you’d rather burn in hell for all eternity than live forever in eternal bliss, just because you hate God.  What’s wrong with you?

[Cross-posted from War On Error]

Intro:

Christian apologists from around the world gathered in San Diego to discuss honestly their misgivings about defending the faith.  It was an unprecedented, no-holds-barred, “skeptifest” of Biblical proportions.  It had been long supposed that Christians could stand up to any intellectual attacks and hence had nothing to fear from brandishing their confidence for all to see.  Everyone was encouraged to get their most skeptical thoughts and doubts “out there” and see what others had to say.  By some accounts, from some of my atheist friends who were allowed to attend, this apparently snow-balled into mass apostasy.  I’m still a little skeptical, but I’ve pulled some intriguing quotes from the transcript.  Take a look…

At first everyone was a bit squeamish to speak and a few offered some rather vague random points of contention that really didn’t matter that much to the big picture.  Finally, William Lane Craig just blurted out why he’d apparently stopped trusting the Holy Spirit:

Of course, anyone (or, at least any sort of theist) can claim to have a self-authenticating witness of God to the truth of his religion. […] they’ve just had some emotional experience…

Dead silence.  Um…that’s the HOLY FREAKING SPIRIT you are talking about.  And yet Richard Swinburne cheered Craig on and was remarkably sarcastic noting (with air quotes no less) we’d never want to be forced into certain absurdities based on that kind of evidence:

…if it seems to me Poseidon exists, then it is good evidence that Poseidon exists.

He had the whole crowd rolling with laughter since they all knew that the Greek pantheon had a long history of success in the hearts and minds of ancient Greeks.  Were they really going there?  Maybe I’m missing something.

Staunch evidentialist, Lydia McGrew, wanted to turn the conversation to more tangible matters and get the ball rolling on discussing her lack of confidence in the resurrection of Jesus

Well of course the prior probability is very low and we all know that. […]

There’s a most unfortunate passage by G. K. Chesterton in which he says, “If my Apple woman, the woman who sells me apples tells me that she saw a miracle I should believe her. I believe her about apples so I should believe her about miracles.” That’s a paraphrase; it’s not an exact quotation.

I really wish Chesterton hadn’t said that because that’s just wrong as an approach. You don’t just automatically say, “Oh, somebody says they saw a miracle, I’m going to buy it.” You have to have much stronger evidence than that.

Indeed.  I can agree with that.  Triablogger, Steve Hays immediately piped up with three pertinent examples of the kind of evidence we would need to justify various kinds of similar extraordinary claims

[In reference to having an alien spaceship]  On the face of it, I could discharge my burden of proof by showing you the spacecraft.  Of course, you might insist on having it properly inspected (to eliminate a hoax).

So what evidence would I need to prove that I own this unique coin? […]  Ideally, the only evidence I’d need to prove that I own this unique coin is the coin itself. My ability to produce the coin upon request.  Maybe you’d demand that the coin be authenticated. Fine.

…suppose I call you up and tell you I’ve just won the lottery (and on the first occasion I’ve ever bought a ticket). Surely that’s an extraordinary claim. Naturally you’re skeptical, so I invite you over to my house, where you see with your own eyes both my ticket and the newspaper reporting the winning numbers. I’d say that would be sufficient for you to rationally believe that I’ve won the lottery.

So it was a case of a highly improbable event that required evidence of a[n] admittedly powerful […] kind in order to be rationally believed.

I can’t help but note that it was almost as though the words of atheist, Richard Carrier, were on the minds of all those in attendance:

If Jesus was a god and really wanted to save the world, he would have appeared and delivered his Gospel personally to the whole world.

Recognizing of course that Jesus didn’t do this, Craig spoke up again to say what had been weighing on everyone’s mind since the conference began

…you are thinking, “Well, goodness, if believing in God is a matter of weighing all of these sorts of arguments, then how can anybody know whether God exists? You’d have to be a philosopher or a scientist to figure out whether God exists!” In fact, I agree with you. A loving God would not leave it up to us to figure out by our own ingenuity and cleverness whether or not he exists.

People were clearly shocked.  And it got everyone lingering on the problem of evil.  Hays spoke up again to point out that the long standing explanations for evil from Calvinism and Arminianism both suck

…it sounds bad […] to say that God predestined sin and evil. However, it also sounds bad to say that God allows sin and evil.

Everyone was dismayed by this.  How could they all have been defending such bad explanations for evil all of this time?  How in the world had Christian apologetics kept up with it?  They weren’t all that stupid and/or delusion were they!?!  No one especially wanted to hear atheist, John Loftus, say, "I told you so."  Even though their faiths seemed to be cracking under the weight of their collective doubts, they all agreed no one wanted to hear that guy gloat. 

Hays had clearly been thinking things through and gave everyone an astute analogy to help explain where most everyone had gone wrong with their apologetic sensibilities: 

An ufologist is often a smart, sophisticated individual, deeply committed to secular science. […] And while it’s easy to make fun of ufology, an astute ufologist has a well-lubricated answer to all the stock objections. […] Conspiracy theories are the snare of bright minds. They have just enough suggestive, tantalizing evidence to be appealing, but never enough evidence to be compelling. […] As far as I’m concerned, the issue is not how long it would take for a legend to develop.  Anyone can write anything at any time.

Almost too proud of himself for how well he’d explained things, something clearly snapped in his mind.  Hays collapsed on the floor in front of everyone and started mumbling almost incoherently.  It seemed he was talking about himself though he couldn’t bring himself to even speak in the first person:

…he indulges in so many ad hominem attacks […] which includes that constitutional incapacity for self criticism in its judgmental criticism of others which emboldens him to openly expose his emotional insecurities, oblivious to the disconnect between the image he is laboring to project and what is really coming through.

It also seemed that he was admitting that all of his previous apologetic efforts could not be said to:

…move us from a state of ignorance to a state of knowledge.

He’d realized that too many people had been wondering if Hays was:

…really that dense, or if he is just playing dumb to advance his agenda.

And whether or not it was always just a “rhetorical tactic:”

…to impose an all-or-nothing dilemma on the reader.

Hays was okay apparently and someone nursed him back to health in a corner of the room as the conference moved on.  Was he really talking about himself?!?  We may never know.

The next day after Hays had recomposed himself, he was overheard talking to fellow Triablogger, Jason Engwer, about all the horrible things that he’d said about agnostic, Ed Babinski, to get out of the force of the case in Ed’s “The Cosmology of the Bible” chapter in “The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails."  Hays finally admitted it was implausible to dismiss all the evidence that the Bible embraces a false cosmology:

Mixed metaphors are mutually inconsistent if taken literally, but a wide variety of metaphors can and do figurate the very same concept.

So I guess they did understand the criticism after all to all their hairsplitting?  Not sure. 

Elsewhere, William Lane Craig was overheard discussing the many universes hypothesis with Robin Collins:

We appear then to be confronted with two alternatives: posit either a cosmic Designer or an exhaustively random, infinite number of other worlds. Faced with these options, is not theism just as rational a choice as multiple worlds?

They both agreed they hadn’t taken the hypothesis seriously enough in the past and that we really weren’t in any position to decide between two rational options.   I didn’t think Christians were capable of agnosticism on that issue…

Near the end of the conference there were a lot of tears shed and everyone was looking around at each other a bit anxiously, thankful they had not brought any babies to test their new atheist appetites on or any children to dismember to make sure they were made of all atoms.  Triablogger, Paul Manata went around poking walls, waiving his arms up and down, and testing various places on the floor to check on the uniformity of the universe for everyone.  He kept yelling, “It’s all clear!” over and over again to the annoyance of all.  Finally they told him to shut up and that they should just go with it until further notice.  However everyone was still bracing for impact and wondering how they could prepare for the inevitable Nazi-brainwashing-rapist-regime that was sure to sweep the whole world away from them now that they’d changed their minds about Jesus.

Fortunately libertarian renegade and (former) theologian extraordinaire, Vox Day spoke up to call attention to atheist, Sam Harris’ book, “The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values”:

I have to applaud Sam for having the intellectual courage to seize the bull by the horns; unlike his fellow New Atheists (except Daniel Dennett), he has recognized the weak point of the lack of universal warrant and is attempting to do something about it.

So amazingly, all was not lost. 

Outro:

If anyone has any other interesting quotes from the conference, post them in the comments, please.

Ben

Super Gender!

A month ago, elsewhere on the Nexus, I was having a conversation with a woman about who counts as a Real Woman (tm).  I am of the opinion that everyone has the right to declare their own gender for themselves instead of being forced into the mythical binary.  She interpreted that as me saying that womanhood itself is a myth.  I clarified that not only do I believe women are very real, I also would gladly defend her right to call herself a woman.  That’s when she dropped this line on me*:

"You’ll never need to defend my right to be a woman."

My god, we’ve found it.  This woman has no ordinary gender.  No, she has super-gender!  Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and deflect bullets, her gender is beyond questioning and above scrutiny.  Unfortunately, she’s one of a kind.  (I take that back, I believe Chuck Norris also is in possession of a super-gender.)  As for the rest of us, we’re subject to having our gender card revoked at even the most trivial of violations of the gender code.  Don’t believe me?  Google it.

According to Ask Men, a Real Man (tm) is strong, focused, knows the importance of family, doesn’t gossip, strives to be a role model, makes his own fortune, doesn’t look like a woman, keeps his house in order, and can defend himself.  Or if you want a more indie source, Mocha Dad says a Real Man (tm) has integrity, compassion, self-control, perseverance, bravery, and humility.  Of course, we could always ask Urban Dictionary, which says:

A true man can best be described as rugged and that does not have any fears. A man has a good deal amount of knowledge about tools, cars, the outodoors, knows how to act around women by being a gentlemen, but is not always serious and can have fun with them. Men financially provide for others and themselves and are overall responsible. Men are clean, well groomed, and can have a very short beard to portray that image of ruggedness. True men do not think about themselves. They do not always think about sex. They stand up for what they believe, take responsibility for their actions, help others, they are self confident, physically stong and in shape, have a sense of humor, generous, honest, and are considerate. They provide a sense of security. Men are brave and do not need to show off for their friends nor do their sway their opinions because of their friends. Now even if you are biologically a man, this does not mean you fit my definition of all the components of what a real man is.

So what about women?  Don’t worry, as much as society loves judging men, it loves criticizing women even more.  Ask Men keeps it simple: a Real Woman (tm) wants a Real Man (tm).  Chastity Call has a very long list, a few of which are likes being a girl, knows she’s special, wants to do God’s will, gives compliments and praise, appreciates her fertility, never uses other people, loves babies, finds strength in her husband.  Then this weird site has a whole essay about it, a few points being she’s independent, doesn’t solve men’s problems, looks nice all the time, stays calm, doesn’t need much money, has nice dresses, runs late, makes men spend money on her, isn’t afraid of mistakes.

Apparently Real GenderQueers (tm) never knit scarves while watching TV.

Anyway, Ms. Super-Gender, you may never have your gender validity questioned, but the rest of us probably will at some point or another.  And I’ll be right there defending them, as I hope they will me.  Because, as you may have noticed, none of us have the magic power to prevent others from questioning our identities, no matter how proud we may be of who we are.

*Sorry, can’t link to it.

1. What is prayer? It is the eyes of the world looking back at God (Pavel Florensky).

So if there is a god, then even atheists are praying, every time we criticize its supposed actions as reported by believers and holy texts.

2. Can theology penetrate into the mystery of prayer? Yes: theology burrows into prayer as the ant makes its tiny tunnels in the earth’s immense dark turning orb.

Can theology ever start making more sense than this?  I’m not so sure…

3. Once when I was sleeping, the sound of rain on the roof became, in my dream, the hammer of war drums beating in a jungle: a real sound, vibrating in my ears, echoed in the chamber of my dreams. In the same way, the vibration of eternity echoes in the chamber of our world when people pray.

Prayer makes us imagine things exist that are merely constructs of our subconsciousness.  Check.

4. Prayer is restlessness and silence and sadness. It is jubilation and a cup running over and the sound of all the gum trees clapping hands.

It is spilled milk and a baby’s fart in the afternoon breeze.

5. ‘We do not know how to pray’ (Rom 8:26). The whole uniqueness of Jesus of Nazareth lies in this: that he knows how to pray, because he knows to whom he is speaking. His greatest miracle was not healing or walking on water or driving out devils, but teaching his followers to say, ‘Our Father’ (Luke 11).

The ability to form two simple words and to instruct others toward the same, now that requires bending the laws of space and time! That is a miracle!

6. Why do we close our eyes when praying? Prayer is not a turning inwards, not a withdrawal into the silent recesses of the self. Prayer is open-eyed attention. It is waiting all day on the shore for the glimpse of a rare bird. ‘You must wear your eyes out, as others their knees’ (R. S. Thomas). 

I never close my eyes during prayer time.  Atheist wins at prayer again!

7. Nothing could be further from the truth than the notion of prayer as a spontaneous inner glow or an uncontrollable gush of sentiment. Prayer is discipline, order, hardship, habit, obedience: whatever it is that makes up a life, that is what prayer requires.

Cookies.  Life requires cookies.  Prayer requires cookies.

8. Prayer and obedience are one. The monastery – that momentous institutionalisation of prayer – is founded on this truth. In order to pray, I bind myself to a rule, bend my will to another, submit to a grievous curtailment of the self. The vow of celibacy in many religious orders signifies this curtailment. There is some part of what it means to be human that is crushed in prayer. For the person bound to prayer, it would not be right to represent life as fruition, satisfaction, fulfilment. 

God loves you so much, it wants to crush you.

9. At the same time, there is no greater freedom than the freedom to pray. Does God command us to pray? Yes – just as you might give water to a thirsty man, and command him to drink. God gives us permission to speak to God: that is the whole liberty of the gospel.

Oh, and I thought there was some sort of “forgiveness of sins” message in there somewhere.  Glad we cleared that up.

10. ‘There is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in’ (Leonard Cohen). The life that prays is an ontological fissure, a crack in being. In prayer, shards of light break through, and the creatures that dwell in darkness rub their dazzled eyes. 

The creatures are living inside the lives?  Now I see how prayer is important: it’s inhumane to keep them caged up like that.

11. What is it that really sustains the church’s life and witness? Our sacramental hierarchy? Our teachers and clerics? Our projects and resources? Our thick books of doctrine and law? Or is the whole church perhaps upheld by one old woman who shuts herself away all day to cry to God with sighs too deep for words?

Actually, you know what, I really like this idea.  And not just the old women: everyone, go ahead and shut yourselves away for prayer.  Get out of the way of the rest of us who are actually working hard to try to make this world a better place.

12. God is colour-blind. All that is powerful and wise and impressive, all those things blur together as a single colour – God can hardly make out the difference between them. Only the small, secret things are clear and distinct to God’s poor eyesight. The secrecy of prayer makes us visible to God: ‘your Father sees what is done in secret’ (Matt 6:6).

God is clearly a hipster.

13. We often complain about unanswered prayer. But if sometimes God doesn’t listen, or doesn’t hear, or doesn’t answer, we ought to be relieved. The Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind – and Job was lucky to survive the ordeal. Nothing is more terrifying than the prospect of an answered prayer. ‘For the sleeping god may wake some day and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return’ (Annie Dillard).

Atheists are again the most blessed of all people!

14. Sometimes I think prayer is all that matters. Sometimes I hardly dare to pray.

Sometimes I can’t stop craving cookies.  Sometimes I don’t even want one.

“Wait a minute, Bug Girl,” you may be thinking.  ”This dude used his observations of forced copulation in insects to theorize about rape in humans?”  Why, yes, he did go there.

And that is bullshit. Rape is a sexual hate-crime.

It’s not some Neanderthal Nookie legacy. I have been as open as I can be online and IRL about my status as a rape survivor, mostly because I feel that it’s important for people to know that rape does happen, and it happens to people that they know.

And what if Nazism was selected for evolutionarily?  Would that make it OK?  And what about Godwin fails?  Could evolution suddenly make them less faily?

Daylight Atheism put it best:

I was incredulous when I clicked on the link, but it’s exactly as the comment described it: a Mormon editorialist who’s frustrated and upset that non-Mormons can so easily find out about the more secret and esoteric teachings of Mormonism without converting - which is, according to the author, “an easy way to do yourself more harm than good”.

What this really means is that Mormonism has some ideas so off-putting, so outlandish, so bizarre, that the church leadership deems them too dangerous to teach to seekers and newcomers. It’s only after a person has already become a Mormon - after they’ve already invested time and effort into the religion, after they’ve integrated it into their identity and personal life, after the cost of walking away has become much higher - that the church believes they can safely learn these things.

But then it occurred to me that Mormonism isn’t the only religion for which this is true. There are other religions which have teachings meant only for the elect, teachings which they’d be highly embarrassed to see disclosed and discussed in public.

So, since we’re all fearless, icon-smashing atheists, let’s blow the lid off of them and let in the daylight.

Balázs Kovács:

I don’t know how many of you heard of this, but here in Hungary, the party in power put together a new constitution and the head of state just recently approved and signed the document.
 
The whole conception of it is questionable. They only debated in parliament for 9 days and there was an overwhelming 2/3 majority of right wingers there.
 
There were several peaceful demonstrations against some of the points of the constitution, and several international groups, like Amnesty International also spoke out against the document, not to mention the European Union itself.
 
Some of these highly questionable points are:
 
- Empahsis on our christian heritage.
- Disturbing lack of clarification on civil liberties.
- True life sentence in prison. Before, life sentence wasn’t really a life long incerceration. You could get out after a few decades, earlier if you behaved.
- A fetus has rights from the moment of conception. Basicly outlawing any kind of abortion.
- Marriage is only recognized between a man and a woman. N/C
- Genetically modified organisms are forbidden.
 
There are also a few point about granting the government more power, but didn’t look into that part.
 
More on the subject:
http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/hungarys-new-constitution-family-friendly-hostile-gays-news-503455
 
http://www.euractiv.com/en/central-europe/hungary-constitution-trojan-horse-authoritarianism-news-504128

Theocracy is the enemy of democracy.

Also unmentioned above is the fact that parents can now gain an extra vote for their children.  First person who can give me three reasons why that’s a bad idea gets a cookie: rainbow cookie