badness, humor

Brain, or uncritical devotion to your religion: pick one.

This was my good deed for the day last week.  Some high-schooler on my feed (daughter of one of my parents’ work friends I think?) posted this, and I just had to respond (with humor, because anything else is met with defensive lashing-out).

Meahwhile, wtf, who writes this stuff?  Do people think these things just get pooped out of Jesus’ butt and get flushed straight into Facebook?


also, god hates when you humblebrag all over twitter.

Objectively, this is an elegant equation: Religious + Facebook capable = particularly exploitable.  Therefore, religious chain letters that claim that all who read it “are being tested” is a perfect concoction for mindless reposting.  Those crazy enough to think that the creator of the universe is watching whether they’re gullible enough to repost anything that implies they might be punished if they don’t will repost.  Those who realize that the person who created said chain letter couldn’t possibly know whether it’s an officially god-sanctioned test (y’know, like Abraham almost killing his son) won’t.  If this had a Pepsi label in it, it would be a genius viral marketing tool.


badness, life

Everyone play nice

I feel like this sometimes.

There’s some strange force field covering the concept of religion that does not extend to people, which is insane.  If we treated people as well as we are forced to treat religion, we would all be eligible for sainthood.  Talking plainly about religion as a theory is considered offensive by most religious people, which means a calm, logical conversation with religious people about religion is impossible.

Our court system is something I bring up whenever attempting to have a conversation like that.  I don’t understand how we can all agree to use a court system that relies upon scientifically substantiated evidence to determine guilt or innocence, while at the same time refusing to believe that science is a reliable resource for producing plausible theories for the origin of our universe, our planet, our humanity.  Everyone agrees that forensic evidence is admissible, while visions from god are not.  I can’t imagine the family of a murder victim choosing to allow the murderer to be judged by god instead of by a jury of his peers.

badness, goodness, life

Oh, Imaginary Thing, please protect me from this other Imaginary Thing

faith's all, CHILL, I GOT THIS

What I love (read: despise) about religion is that it claims to be the only cure for a problem it creates.  That’s like stealing everyone’s light bulbs, then “helpfully” selling them flashlights.

Leave it to the Flemish painters of the 16th century to illustrate this idea perfectly.  Check out this drawing by Maarten van Heemskerck, entitled “Man Protected By the Shield of Faith.”

As if the devil (whose penis is a forked tongue, and knees are capped with beast heads, because being the devil isn’t enough, apparently you really have to illustrate it with messed up genitalia and patellas) isn’t a fabrication of the very faith that claims to protect man from him.  Without religion, faith and the devil disappear, and this illustration becomes a drawing of a man playing a game of “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.”

But then, without  the talent of Flemish artists to freak us out, and religion to freak them out, we wouldn’t have paintings like this one by Joos van Cleve, where Jesus is totally ripped and wearing a Superman cape while squashing some poor fat putti (tiny pudgy angel kids).  I recall from my art history classes (which I loved) that Jesus is often depicted as physically fit when placed in a Last Judgement scene, which this is.  Still hilarious, though.  “He died for your sins, then went to Gold’s gym to pump iron and check out the ladies on the treadmills.”

meanwhile, everyone in the foreground is all, WTF WHY DID WE BRING OUR BED SHEETS TO THE APOCALYPSE FML

badness, life

Raptor Jesus would be disappointed

I’m having a crisis.


I love singing in a choir, being part of a group that creates beautiful, inspiring music.  So I joined the office choir that performs only at the office holiday party.  Notice it’s called the “holiday party” and not the “Christmas party” because it’s supposed to be non-denominational.  So I figured the holiday songs would be more about sleigh bells than Jesus and boy, I could not have been more wrong.  Every song we do it’s JESUS this and SAVIOR that.  What the hell?  I’ve gone to two of four practices, and I think I’m gonna have to bow out.  I sang in a choir for eleven years (age 10-21), in the children’s choir, then the girl’s choir, then the adult choir in the church associated with my elementary school.  Most of that time I was an atheist, but I loved the music because it was traditional, Latin, old-church perfection.  It was gorgeous!  And everyone loved doing their best, while this choir is sorta… casual.  Which isn’t a sin, but… *sigh*.  I miss it.  And I just can’t handle singing about Jesus if it’s gonna be this kitschy.  I object as an atheist, and as a human being with good taste.  I can’t go against my belief system that there is no god, and that We Need a Little Christmas is just awful.

Not looking forward to telling the co-workers about this one.  Most of them are Jewish, so that might make it a little less awkward.  Maybe.

goodness, life

New Atheist role models

so true

A great article about the social and biological roots of religion was published in the LA Times a couple days ago.  I’m always surprised and delighted to find people working at major companies (like the LA Times) who are willing to have their (very unpopular) opinions against religion published.  I find it soothing.  J. Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer, you’ve made it onto my list of respected people.

My favorite part of the article:

“We can be better as a species if we recognize religion as a man-made construct. We owe it to ourselves to at least consider the real roots of religious belief, so we can deal with life as it is, taking advantage of perhaps our mind’s greatest adaptation: our ability to use reason.”

And that really sums it up; an Atheist chooses reason over blind faith, not for the sake of cold cynicism, but for a love of logic.