Vatican Adds to List of Stuff You Shouldn’t Do

March 10, 2008

CNN reports that the Vatican has announced that drugs, pollution and genetic manipulation have been added to the Catholic Churches “you’re gonna have to pay more now to get into Heaven” list.

Catholic Church adds Sins

When asked to list the new areas of sinful behavior, (Monsignor Gianfranco) Girotti denounced “certain violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments, genetic manipulations.”

Also interesting was the fact that:

Girotti said the Catholic Church continued to be concerned by other sinful acts, including abortion and pedophilia.

He said Church authorities had reacted with rigorous measures to child abuse scandals within the clergy, but he also claimed that the issue had been excessively emphasized by the media.

Interesting, considering that some statistics show that 6% of Catholic Priests could be abusive. The Great Realization points out that this would mean 24,000 Abusive Catholic Priests!

Read more about the new sins here!


Man Who Claims He Went to Hell Scams Christians

February 20, 2008

Bill Wiese is a scam artist. He claims that he went to hell for exactly 23 minutes and now has written a book and spends his life lecturing about his experience in hell.

hell

Here’s a link
to the guy’s web site.

My first thought was – “Okay, so this guy had a nightmare and now is getting rich by convincing people it was true?” If that’s the case, I could make a great deal of money lecturing people on the dangers of going to school naked.

But Wiese assures us that it wasn’t a nightmare:

But first I want to address a couple things, questions that might be in your mind. The first question that would be inbill wiese mine, if I was listening to me, would be, “How do you know it wasn’t just a dream that you had? A Bad dream?” A couple points to make, first of all, I had left my body. I saw my body when I returned, lying on the floor. So I know for sure it was an out of body experience. Some Christians have said, “Oh a Christian can’t leave his body.” But that’s not true, In 2 Corinthians 12:2, when Paul was caught up into the third heaven, He said, “whether in the body, or out of the body I do not know.” So if he didn’t know that must mean it’s possible. And also he said in verse 1 that it was a vision, so I believe this comes under the classification of a vision.

What a fucking lunatic. Here’s some video from FoxNews about the story:

Christianity’s motivation for morality is fear. There is no better example than Bill Wiese. Christians want to be good because of fear that if they don’t they will be put into a burning place to work for eternity. They will define what “hell” would be like in Earthly terms – fire, etc. Yet to describe what “heaven” would be like is supposedly beyond what we can comprehend. What a load of garbage. Your religion is based on fear. That’s weak.


Christian Poster Child Tom Coburn Endorses John McCain

January 18, 2008

faithwatch
PFW:28

Beliefnet.com reports that Tom Coburn has endorsed Senator John McCain for President. Let’s talk about this endorsement for a second.

coburn

Tom Coburn is a U.S. Senator for Oklahoma with some extremely hypocritical views that are closely linked to his never-faltering Christian beliefs. From calling his fellow Oklahoma citizens “crapheads” to radical pro-life views, he’s a few cards short of a deck. For example, Coburn is ‘pro-life’ and goes with the “sanctity of life” right-wing buzzphrase that “all life is sacred” as if liberals hate life. Meanwhile, Coburn advocates the death penalty for abortionists. Pretty funny for a guy who has admitted to have performed abortions. The list goes on.

So congratulations, John McCain, on picking up thie stellar endorsement from a hypocrite. I’m sure it will ring loud and clear with psycho-conservative Christian people everywhere.


Huckabee Wants to Change Constitution to Include “A Living God”

January 15, 2008

faithwatch
PFW:27

Mike Huckabee, according to the Drudge Report, recently said that The Constitution must change:

“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’shuckabee wants to change constitution what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”

This couldn’t be further from what the founding fathers of this nation intended. Please help put a stop to this man’s political endeavors by letting people know what the founding fathers intended when they purposely did not include a mention of “God” in our Constitution.


American Atheists on Faith and Politics

January 14, 2008

faithwatch
PFW:26

American Atheists President Ellen Johnson has posted a fantastic monologue about Faith in Politics and John F. Kennedy. I’ve transcribed the speech below. I feel that it would be important to spread the transcript and/or video as much as possible, especially in the coming year. She poses the question “Would JFK be electable today with his stance in the issue of the separation of church and state?”

Here is the full transcript:

Welcome, and thanks for visting the American Atheists Web site. I’m Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists. By the time you see this video, the Iowa caucuses will be history. We still have 11 months to go until the 2008 Presidential Election, and odds are, that even right after the New Hampshire and Michigan primaries, we still won’t have a clear fix on who will be the nominees for Republican and Democratic Parties. One thing is for sure, however; religion and religious faith are playing a disproportionately large element in the race for the White House. And nearly all of the candidates feel the pressure to declare religious belief as a credential for public office.

Surveys indicate that the overwhelming majority of voters are mostly concerned about issues like: the budget deficit, war in Iraq and healthcare. A small but well organized coterie of evangelicals though, exercise a disproportionate amount of influence — especially inside the Republican Party. They vote, and they vote as a block. They’re well organized and when they vote, it’s not the Constitution or secular policies that guide their decisions. They’re convinced that America was, or is, or should be, a so-called “Christian nation” where the Bible is a template for how government and society should operate. We can all learn a lesson from their organizational skills and commitment to their cause.

Could John F. Kennedy be elected President of the United States today? It’s doubtful, given the current theo-political climate. Back in 1960, when JFK won the Democratic nomination for President, religion was a major campaign issue. Kennedy was a Roman Catholic and no Catholic up to that point had been elected to the White House. And in 1960, people were wondering if Kennedy’s Roman Catholicism somehow compromised his ability to serve the United States over the Vatican.

John F. Kennedy was one of the few Presidential Candidates who openly and proudly enunciated his support for the separation of church and state. Today that is almost a taboo phrase, “separation of church and state.” Mitt Romney uses it occasionally — so does Reverend Mike Huckabee. Ron Paul doesn’t even think that it should exist! He says, “The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of the founding fathers.”

Most candidates today repeat the myth that the separation of church and state is not in our Constitution or that its a legal fiction or that it simply means that the government cannot tamper in the affairs of religion. But all of those claims are simply wrong. It’s true that the words “separation of church and state” are not found in the Constitution, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not part of our legal code. The words are an interpretation of what the Establishment Clause means. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, which is the free exercise clause. And it guarantees our freedom from imposed or government compelled religion. That’s the Establishment Clause. Our courts have been consistent over the past 50 to 60 years that the First Amendment was intended to erect a wall of separation between state and church.

Unlike Huckabee and Romney and other candidates who want to showcase their religious beliefs as a credential for public office, John F. Kennedy embraced both elements of the First Amendment. He supported the right of people to believe in and practice their faith, so in long as those beliefs were not forced on other people. He also enunciated the principle that the state should not serve the church — any church — including his own. He opposed the official diplomatic recognition of the Vatican, complete with ambassadorial exchanges, fearing that it was unconstitutional and gave his own church too much power. Kennedy declared that if elected to the Presidency, he would put the Constitution first — not private religious beliefs. He also sent a clear message to the Catholic hierarchy that they should not interfere in the political affairs of the United States. Wherever Kennedy went, he was hounded by ads, picket signs and charges that he was a stalking horse for Roman Catholicism. Most of these accusations came from Protestant groups. So Kennedy, true to his style and principles, confronted his accusers during an historic appearance before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association at the Rice Hotel in Houston, TX on September the 12th, 1960. Let me read you some of the quotes from his speech and then ask yourself if any candidate today would have the guts to stand up for these principles.

He began his talk to over 600 Protestant ministers by say that there were “far more critical issues than religion.” He said, “The hungry children I saw in West Virginia; the old people who cannot pay their doctor bills; the families forced to give up their farms; and America with too many slums, too few schools and too late to the moon and outer space.” And he said, “They are the real issues which should decide this campaign and they are not religious issues for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barriers.”

Kennedy blamed religious sectarianism, especially the obsessive focus on his private Catholicism, as being responsible for obscuring what he called “the real issues” of his campaign. And just minutes into his talk, he put it all on the line. He said, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the President, should he be a Catholic, how to act; and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.”

Kennedy’s enlightened vision of a secular America — a polity free from religious dogma — is like night and day compared to our current political climate. I particularly like these following quotes from JFK.

“Whatever issue may come before me as President on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views — In accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power, nor threat of punishment, could cause me to decide otherwise. But if the time should ever come — and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible — when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office.”

We’ve come a long way since the 1960 campaign and yes, there has been progress in defending separation of church and state thanks to groups like American Atheists. But we need to work very hard to make the politicians aware that a quarter of the United States population are not religious. We are a huge voting block. If we non-religious Americans make our issues our primary concern on election day, then we can make our voting power work for us.

Vote your atheism first, and together we can enlighten the vote. Thank you for visiting our Web site, I’m Ellen Johnson.


Huckabee’s Religious Christmas Ad

December 19, 2007

faithwatch
PFW:23

A little bit of fuss has been made about a new Ad from Republican Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee:

A lot of the hub-bub was about the fact that the bookshelves in the background make a cross. Am I way out of line by saying “who gives a shit?”

I mean, cmon. It’s an ad about Christmas – with a Christmas tree and a Christian message. What difference does it make that there’s a cross or not a cross? I don’t get it.

Even Ron Paul got on the bandwagon:

It reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once said. He says, ‘when fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.’ Now I don’t know whether that’s a fair assessment or not, but you wonder about using a cross, like he is the only Christian or implying that subtly. So, I don’t think I would ever use anything like that.

Funny coming from a guy who believes that this country was founded as a Christian nation and that there’s a war against Christmas.

And Huckabee, why is it necessary to be a Christian to be nice to people? Can non-Christians hypothetically run a campaign without attack ads? You’re implying that attack ads aren’t Christian-like, but is using your religion to gain political power Christ-like?


Tony Snow Warns of “War on God”

December 17, 2007

Think Progress has the story:

Former White House press secretary Tony Snow is apparently attempting to remake himself into the image of Billtony snow O’Reilly. In a series of recent public events, Snow has adopted the mantle of the right-wing’s perceived “secular-progressive” war on conservatives.

Last Friday in an address to the Academy of Leadership & Liberty at Oklahoma Christian University, former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow launched a rhetorical broadside against college faculties in America and mourned this nation’s “war on God.” Oklahoma City Friday reports:

The winsome and articulate Snow charmed his audience with wit:

“The average Iranian is more Pro-American than virtually any college faculty in this country.” And with serious talk about the war on terror and “the second war in this country, the war on God.” […]

Snow also said he loved being on a stage where he could say the word “God.”

So calamitous is this “war on God” that Tony Snow never once mentioned it from the White House podium when he served as Bush’s press secretary. The “war on God” is no more real than the right-wing’s perceived “war on Easter” and the “war on Christmas.”

Appearing on the O’Reilly Factor last Thursday, Tony Snow endorsed Bill O’Reilly’s purported war on Christmas:

“I don’t think they’re going to beat Jesus. … You’ve mentioned the fact that you’re not allowed to have Christ at Christmas. I mean, I went to a Christmas store this week. It didn’t have anything about Jesus. It had all sorts of funny little ornaments in it, but nothing about the holiday. People are tired of that.”

Being a phony champion for purported social conservative causes appears to be Tony Snow’s remedy for resuscitating his image following the Bush years.


Colorado Springs Gunman Wrote on Anti-Christian Forum

December 11, 2007

The man who shot and killed church-goers in Colorado this week hated Christians according to postings found by him on an anti-Christian web site, reports CNN.

Matthew Murray wrote on an Internet forum of how he hated Christians between attacks on a mission center and church on Sunday, according to Denver-area media reports.

“You Christians brought this on yourselves,” Murray wrote at 11:03 a.m. on Sunday, CNN affiliate KUSA reported on its Web site.

“I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill,” the KUSA report quoted from the final posting.

With the exception of symbols used to replace an expletive, this was the same wording used by Eric Harris in a posting before he and Dylan Klebold went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in 1999.

The posting, under the user name “nghtmrchld26,” was made several hours after Murray killed two people at the Youth With a Mission Center in Arvada, Colorado, and a few hours before Murray killed two people at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. He later died in a shootout with a church security guard.

First of all – this guy was a nut-job. Watch and observe how quickly his actions will be tied to an “anti-Christian sentiment” in this country, which will in turn be tied to an “atheist movement.” Anyone filled with enough hate to take the lives of others isn’t right in the head. I’m not sure what is to blame, but all this does is help fuel the stupid “War Against Christians” headlines that we see this time of year every year.

**UPDATE**
Administrators and users of the web site where the killer’s postings were found have fired back at media, claiming their site is not an anti-Christian site, but rather one to try to help folks who have been hurt by the Pentacostal Church. So it sounds like an anti-Pentacostal site. I have not seen the site. I can guess that many of the postings on it are not pleasant. If you know of the site, please comment with a link!


Crucifixes Being Manufactured in Sweatshops

December 3, 2007

From Democracy Now via The Atheist Revolution:

The labor rights watchdog announced Tuesday that the crucifixes were made by young women working 14- to 25-hour shifts for less than half of China’s legal minimum wage. The report implicated the New York City-based St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity Church, and, at the national level, the $4.63 billion dollar Association for Christian Retail.

crucifix

We shouldn’t find it surprising, really. For an item that millions of people feel that they NEED to buy in order to be holy and live a good life, the necessity is that they need to be able to be sold cheaply or given away for free. To do so would kill the paychecks of those working in the holy places not to mention the retailers and manufacturers unless they moved the production overseas.

The interesting and possibly ironic part of the whole story is that its the supplied items are being manufactured in a country with such a history of persecution of Christians.


Pastor in California Prays for Demise of Americans United Staff

August 16, 2007

After breaking laws regarding electioneering by the church, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State asked the IRS to investigate the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, California.

The response on the part of the church, instead of following laws deemed necessary by our society, was to PRAY FOR HARM ON THE AMERICANS UNITED STAFF!

prayer

“In light of the recent attack from the ememies (sic) of God I ask the children of God to go into action with Imprecatory Prayer,” Drake said, in an Aug. 14 press statement issued from the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park. “Especially against Americans United for Seperation (sic) of Church and State.”

Another article here and here.

What is imprecatory prayer?

According to MosesHand.com:

Imprecation: A curse, denunciation that conveys a wish or threat of evil).

Imprecatory prayer: To pray for evil or misfortune (malediction, anathema, execration)

More here.