Mark Twain sings the hits

Persecution of witches
Persecution of witches (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Christian’s Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same; but the medical practice changes…The world has corrected the Bible. The church never corrects it; and also never fails to drop in at the tail of the procession- and take the credit of the correction. During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. the Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumb-screws, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood.
Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry…..There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain.

Mark Twain
– “Bible Teaching and Religious Practice,” Europe and Elsewhere

Check out Bill’s Coldplay shots


If you haven’t seen our photography partner Bill Whitmire’s shots from a recent Coldplay concert here in Chicago, check them here at Time Out Chicago.

Bill and I kind of compete for the big acts, and I was proud of him for landing this one. He’s not a fan, but knows enough that if he lands the big boys, it gets mad attention and publicity.

What a dream to shoot these guys, whether a fan or not. They are all over the place, and their level of entertainment is through the roof.



It’s Wednesdog!


This Wednesdog is brought to you by Sam and Anna, Jude C’s pups.

You may think this is just your average, run-of-the mill lie in the grass session, but Sam and Anna just saved the town of Montreal from utter and complete destruction by disarming a nuclear weapon planted by terrorists who hate Canada’s red headed “French”-speaking, stepchild.

After the panting-induced hours pouring over the ticking time bomb, Sam told Anna to clip the red wire — indicated by the written word on the plastic, not by the color — with only 2 seconds left on the clock.

“Phew,” said Sam. “That was a close one.”

And that’s how Jude was able to send this picture in for Wednesdog, and not because he was on a walk and told them to lie down for a quick photo.

I mean, that would be pathetic.


Thanks, Jude!



It just donned on me … we’re all part of hate groups

I’m running through my usual blogs and news sites and it just occurred to me, no matter what you do, no matter what I do, everyone is part of a hate group.

I legitimately don’t hate Christians. But I really don’t like Christianity — or any religion — at all.

I’m sure my Christian friends don’t necessarily hate me. But they hate the shit I write about or say about the things they hold dear.


But this realization that everyone seems to be associated with hate, it’s really dampening the definition of hate.

Pretty soon, we’ll all realize that hate needs an upgrade. Hate will have a definition like “bad” did in the 80s. It assumed the opposite of its traditional meaning.

Hate will soon need a plus sign after it. Or a decimal point with numbers following it. You might hate.001 a dog pooping on your lawn but you hate.566 ignorance and hate.999 abortionists, or something like that.

The next time you tell me what you hate, please be specific.

That way I know the exact level of your hate.

Okay, okay. I don’t want him out. Akin can stay.

“Todd Akin is the victim of forceable assault.”

Hey Bryan Fischer! The whistling from the wind between your ears is particularly loud today.

My dad sent me this article in Jewish World Review on the topic. You can check it out. One of my favorite lines (Mecklenburg is the target of criticism for the misinformation):

Finally, Mecklenburg said it was likely that the rapists — because of “frequent masturbation” — were unlikely to be fertile themselves.

The video is from Christian Nightmares. 

Professor Negy forced to hold his student’s hands. What are these? Home schoolers


A letter to his students was recently posted to from Dr. Charles Negy, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida.

It was reprinted at that liberal-loving rag Huffington Post.

The letter tore into one of his classes for misunderstanding the purpose of the collegiate experience. Oddly enough, it was as if he was talking to my 18-year-old self, but instead of only one miseducated class member, there were many.

And they made their stand against deconstructing and discussing religious bigotry, a topic that was not up for discussion with many of his students.

If I would have received the letter that Dr. Negy sent out, I likely would have ignored it. But by the end of my four years, I may have said to myself, “Jeremy, Negy was freaking right. I wish I knew that four years ago.”

You can read the whole letter here. The gems I took from it are below:

The purpose of a university, and my course in particular, is to struggle intellectually with some of life’s most difficult topics that may not have one right answer, and try to come to some conclusion about what may be “the better answer” (It typically is not the case that all views are equally valid; some views are more defensible than others). Another purpose of a university, and my course in particular, is to engage in open discussion in order to critically examine beliefs, behaviors, and customs. Finally, another purpose of a university education is to help students who typically are not accustomed to thinking independently or applying a critical analysis to views or beliefs, to start learning how to do so.

A note on the above: I was taught to think critically as a student. My parents were at the forefront of wanting me to have my own opinions and express them. The issue was that I thought the information I was getting at school and church was top notch, when it wasn’t. Thank goodness I figured that out.

That’s not to say I know everything now. I don’t. I’m not sold on anything completely, as I’m open to what news and information are available.

More from Negy:

We are not in class to learn “facts” and simply regurgitate the facts in a mindless way to items on a test. Critical thinking is a skill that develops over time. Independent thinking does not occur overnight. Critical thinkers are open to having their cherished beliefs challenged, and must learn how to “defend” their views based on evidence or logic, rather than simply “pounding their chest” and merely proclaiming that their views are “valid.” One characteristic of the critical, independent thinker is being able to recognize fantasy versus reality; to recognize the difference between personal beliefs which are nothing more than personal beliefs, versus views that are grounded in evidence, or which have no evidence.

Students in my class who openly proclaimed that Christianity is the most valid religion, as some of you did last class, portrayed precisely what religious bigotry is. Bigots—racial bigot or religious bigots—never question their prejudices and bigotry. They are convinced their beliefs are correct. For the Christians in my class who argued the validity of Christianity last week, I suppose I should thank you for demonstrating to the rest of the class what religious arrogance and bigotry looks like. It seems to have not even occurred to you (I’m directing this comment to those students who manifested such bigotry), as I tried to point out in class tonight, how such bigotry is perceived and experienced by the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists, the non-believers, and so on, in class, to have to sit and endure the tyranny of the masses (the dominant group, that is, which in this case, are Christians).


Universities hold a special place in society where scholarly-minded folks can come together and discuss controversial, polemic, and often uncomfortable topics. Universities, including UCF, have special policies in place to protect our (both professors’ and students’) freedom to express ourselves. Neither students nor professors have a right to censor speech that makes us uncomfortable.

Thanks, Xina for the link!