Russell Brand sings the hits


Talking about the soldier attack in Woolrich back on May 22, Russell Brand writes:

The extremists on both sides have a shared agenda; cause division, distrust, anger and violence. Both sides have the same intention. We cannot allow them to distort our perception.

[Snip]

To truly demonstrate defiance in the face of this sad violence, we must be loving and compassionate to one another. Let’s look beyond our superficial and fleeting differences. The murderers want angry patriots to desecrate mosques and perpetuate violence. How futile their actions seem if we instead leave flowers at each other’s places of worship. Let’s reach out in the spirit of love and humanity and connect to one another, perhaps we will then see what is really behind this conflict, this division, this hatred and make that our focus.

Read the full text here.

 

America, home of the free now equipped with freedom of religion …


When good, loving Americans get together and stand behind an all-American business that pulls its advertising from a show featuring Muslims, we should all standup and give a warm round of applause to those who support such capitalistic strategies.

I mean, check out some of these awesome shows of love and admiration for America collected by Buzzfeed from Facebook.

Keep in mind that America is the land of the free, where you and your loved ones are free to worship (or not worship) whomever or whatever you please.

I’m personally fond of the one that reads, “Congratulations to Lowes for having the  guts to stand up for traditional Americans! Stick to your decision.”

And by “traditional Americans” he means Native Americans, I’m sure.

Thanks, Xina!

Be sure to check out the rest at Buzzfeed!

 

 

3.

 

Orphans vs. non-orphans


This update on Facebook got me.

It reads, “There’s a difference between worship led by the son and worship led by an orphan.”

Jesus is the son of god.

Muslim was an orphan.

There’s a silly heritage of us vs them within the evangelical Christians and Islam. There is a common sentiment that Jesus is a living god that you can have a personal relationship with. Muhammad is dead.

Within the Christian circle, that’s a big hairy deal.

Based on doctrine and tradition, Christianity beats Islam. And within the church, Christian religionists can say that and feel better about themselves. That’s like being poor, and making your poorness feel better by saying, “People in poverty are happier than rich people.”

But rich people are far more successful, usually more educated and there’s no proof that rich people are sadder than poor. It’s just something said to soothe the pain of poverty.

It has no weight on anyone else, but the insider.

Orphans vs Sons is a childish idea.

The fact remains, believers are practically incapable of criticizing their own faith. I get it. Yes, atheism is criticized for being like religions, because the things its adherents “believe” are just as impossible as Christian or Islamic myth.

But I’m yet to hear a Christian say, “The whole story of Jesus is just as crazy as any other faith or lack of faith, we just choose to accept it.”

From an outside perspective, all of these systems of thought are wacky.

And there’s no difference between worship led by an orphan or a son. It’s just that the son worshipers didn’t grow up in orphan worship and vice versa.

Otherwise, they might not be so catty about the whole thing.

 

 

Daily Show takes Mormonism, Christianity *and* Judaism … yee-ha!


You gotta watch this clip from the Daily Show. Ostensibly it’s about whether or not we can have a Mormon as president. But the dialogue dips into pointing out the silly behind all three of the big-bad American religions (minus Islam).

It’s as if you took an atheist conversation about all three and pointed out what’s wrong with all of them and stuffed it into a few minute segment.

The clip will take you from Le Café, but it’s worth it. Come back and tell me all about it.

Via Atheist Media

My 9/11


Ten years ago today, I woke up for work to my clock radio set to NPR. Michele Norris or one of the newscasters was talking about something major in New York City.

It was a typical day in Chicago. I woke up around 7:15 or 7:30.

On the radio, Michelle was saying, “Smoke is rising from one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center,” she explained. “At this point, it appears to be an accident. A plane has crashed into one of the buildings. We don’t have any more information.”

I walked over to the TV. I turned it on. I never watched TV in the morning. But I figured something like this must be covered by regular TV. I didn’t have cable.

As soon as I turned the TV on, I saw images of what the radio voices were describing. Smoke was rising from near the top of a New York City building. I was ignorant of the New York skyline, so it was Greek to me.

In the voices of the radio personalities, there was definitive panic behind the “calm.”

I grabbed the phone. I called Tina. She picked up.

“Hello?” she said.

“Did you hear the news?”

“I’m looking at it now.” She had been on a morning TV kick for a couple months, and they were covering the story … just like everybody else.

We were on the phone when the cameras were pointed at the building. Eery black smoke wafted from it. Suddenly an airplane entered screen left and hit the other tower.

Profanities flew from my mouth. “Holy shit, did you see that?”

Tina said yes.

We watched in awe as the newscasters tried to say that this must have been a coincidental accident on the same day into the other building. At that point, no one knew anything about anything.

After a few moments, I said, “I’ll call you back. I gotta call my parents.”

I called my parents’ home line. My mom picked up. I was panicking. I asked if she’d seen the news. She said yes. Her words were something to the effect of, “They did it again.”

Key word: “They”.

“Who’s the ‘they’, Mom?” I asked.

She explained it was the same people who bombed the World Trade Center in the 90s. Back then, I didn’t give a shit about such things. I guess I didn’t care. I was a dumb Christian at a dumb school at the time.

Mom explained that the Muslims were probably to blame.

I knew shit about Islam.

At the time, I was a robot. Despite the world changing catastrophic event, I looped my tie, pulled it tight, and went to work. I caught a bus. Pushed myself on a train. It was run of the mill.

At one point, a guy got a phone call. He answered. He said, “In New York? Really?” He hung up and said to a nearby passenger, “Something happened in New York.” The other person said, “What?”

He said, “A plane flew into a building.”

“You didn’t hear?” I piped up. “Two planes flew into buildings in New York City.” I didn’t explain that “They” did it.

I was surprised so many people didn’t know about the attacks. It seemed that the majority of people didn’t know anything. I felt like a celebrity of sorts explaining to the group what happened.

After I got to work, everyone was in the know. People were panicking. The building I worked in was surrounded with cops as it was one of the biggest buildings in the city (but not the tallest).

Soon after the towers collapsed, there was an announcement that we could leave work. I was so scared and out of my mind, I left without Tina.

After a few hours, Tina and I met at her place.

Then, just like everyone else, we watched the news for the next week as America picked up the pieces.

My view of the world would never be the same. I’m not sure many Americans felt any differently.

9/11 gave me the strength to walk away from religion and faith.

For others, it made their faith stronger.

Ahhh, perception.

PZ Myers vs. The Islamic Psychobabblers


PZ Myers posted the above video of himself cornered by some Muslim men wanting to have a conversation with a well-known atheist. The Three Amigos would say an “infamous” atheist. He’s not just famous … he’s in famous.

The Muslim men in this video aren’t “idiots.” I mean, within their own understanding of intelligence, they come off as, well, somewhat intelligent. This isn’t uncommon among the religious. I know lots of intelligent believers. Just like I come off wrong in whatever display of intelligence I have to them, they come off wrong to me.

But what comes off as stupid is how they corner PZ Myers with an agenda and a camera, and when PZ Myers responds, they cut him off with machine-gun style psychobabble.

What is psychobabble? Psychobabble is what William Lane Craig does. It’s what a lot of believers do when the troll-off on this blog. It’s talk without cause, empty of solid rationale and easily poked with holes.

There are points along the way that the  psychobabble from the Muslim men in the video avove leads us listeners into questioning their credibility. When PZ says that he’ll start talking and predicts that when he starts an argument the guy will interrupt him. The muslim man does it immediately as predicted. When PZ Myers says that you spout the same thing as Christians and Jews, the Muslim man says, “No we don’t. We’re not Jewish or Christian,” and then he goes into the same arguments that all of them use.

When the discussion of a flood story comes up, one of the Muslim men denies it’s in the Qur’an, when apparently it is in the Qur’an.

I guess we can’t all be as perfect as PZ Myers.

Honk.

I recommend watching the video, though. It’s a fascinating watch. You might click on it thinking, “Over 30 minutes, I’ll watch parts.” But then you get sucked in.

It bothers me that we never get to see the faces of the Muslim men until closer to the end when they talk to Dick “Redmeat” Dawkins.

But whatevs … give it a whirl.