Oh shit, 5th graders are praying in the classroom … some group is bound to have a conniption

How dare the teacher of this 5th grade class allow his students to sing “One Day” from Jewish rapper Matisyahu?!?

Doesn’t he know that when kids say that they’re praying for something, that means there’s PRAYER in the classroom … prayer brings GOD into the classroom … NOOOOOOOOO!

Oh wait, they’re praying for peace. Praying for the end of war.

This bleeding heart liberal atheist approves!

Take it away Alex Gamble from Kansas City, Kansas and your class of rockstar, cool kids who are having a blast.

Somehow, I can get behind this kind of indoctrination.


Lyrics for the song below the fold

Continue reading “Oh shit, 5th graders are praying in the classroom … some group is bound to have a conniption”

Put prayer and religion back in schools? Really? Let’s put edu-fucking-cation back in school

Yesterday, Kottke posted some newly found photos of the Titanic that surfaced recently.

You can go look at them here. They’re great.

After posting them, he posted a collection of tweets from kids who didn’t know the Titanic was a real event. The news made me snicker at first, but the more I think about it, the angrier I get.


There are religious groups that want to put prayer and faith back in schools. I understand the argument, and there was a day when I argued for the same thing. But those things don’t lend themselves to improvement in knowledge. They appeal to people who think prayer benefits kids … when there’s nothing that supports a positive or negative effect.

How about putting reality in schools? How about putting history back in schools?

Here is the screen cap of tweets:

Titanic is real

Pharyngula’s Why I am an atheist series

I have mentioned PZ Myers’ Why I am an atheist series before, and thought I would recommend a recent one.

All PZ did was ask for his readership to submit their stories and he posts one a day. He has oodles lined up in a backlog. I try to read through a few a week.

A recent one from Sam Salerno struck a chord with me. I’m going to post it in full, but the original is here.

 March 9, 2012 at 6:59 am  PZ Myers

AtheismWhen I was a child indoctrinated into the catholic church I said my prayers. I prayed for the starving to be fed. And I prayed for the end of all wars. Realizing that as hard as I prayed, thousands of people were still starving to death and war continued, they weren’t being answered. That or it was a resounding it’s part of gods plan.

This was the beginning of my ascent into the enlightenment. Then there was the hypocrisy of idol worship. I couldn’t understand the priests telling me not to worship idols while they prayed to the various saints. And then the all completely unbelievable; we are the right religion, every other religion is wrong.

Following my catholicism I tried other religions because I was still sold on the god thing. But I soon realized that none of these religions could produce a valid miracle or an answered prayer that wasn’t just as easily answered by praying to a milk carton And of course, god himself could not be produced.

I found myself thanking science for seeing reality as it really is. I have to say the final straw for me was watching Carl Sagans “Cosmos.” Telling the story of the emperor crab opened up a door to a whole new world for me. And from then on it was Atheism for me. No more guilt, no more sin, no more fear of hell.

Sam Salerno
United States

Prayer, the *oldest* form of wireless communication?

This one is going around.

“Oldest form of wireless communication. Never a dropped call.”





Okay, I get it. From the Christian perspective, god created man the same time he created animals. But did Adam and Even pray to God in the garden of Eden or did they just open their mouths and speak Hebrew? You know they spoke Hebrew, right?

Did Adam and Eve pray to each other? Or did they grunt and point?

There are other languages that predate Hebrew, but that’s what the bible was written in, so they spoke it.

And there is never a dropped call?

Wait, what?

I remember getting put on hold one too many fucking times.

I happen to know a load of people are praying for yours truly, and that call is getting dropped like AT&T in Afghanistan.

Contrary to most atheist thought, prayer isn’t a complete waste of time. Prayer is a time to connect with the self and discover the things that you need, want and hope for.

Thinking it’s effective or that a being hears prayers and is doing something about it, absolutely not.

Do me a favor and don’t pray for me. Pick up the phone and call me. Find out how I’m doing. Do it for everyone on your prayer list.

You’ll get much better results.

I swear.

Girl kicked out of school for refusing to join prayer circle

Description of the video via YouTube:

This is me saying the Pledge of Alligence as it was originally wriiten. When the basketball team I play for was saying the Lords Prayer. The next school day i got kicked out of HARDESTY PUBLIC school for standing up for what I thought was right. we have a lawsuit against the school.Was on TV 10 news but say they now have no record of it. The Christain juggernaut is at work 24/7
P.S. By the way the girl Hugging me at the end Told me “GOD FORGIVES YOU, AND I FORGIVE YOU.”
So then thinking for yourself is a SIN?

Who put the Christ in Christian?

What does Jesus recommend to his followers about public prayer?

Matthew 6: 5-6

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Sermon on the Mount, baby!

This is me, taking away your freedom … boo hoo.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a lawsuit against Texas Governor Rick Perry’s exclusive day of Christian prayer.

This, dear reader, is how atheists are taking Christian’s freedom from them.

I kid you not.

I have a couple points.

No one is telling anyone they cannot pray. We’re declaring using government funding to support a day of prayer is unconstitutional.

It begs the question: are your regular, church-led prayers not good enough for god?

Are public prayers more effective than the weeping screams of a starving child?

Gosh, it reminds me of that one time Jesus said, “Don’t pray in public like the Pharisees.”

Turn with me to Matthew chapter 6, verse 5. 

Regardless of whether or not the religionists believe that their constitution is for or against state-led prayer, I point to Jesus’ own verbatim commandments.

What would Jesus do? Well, in this rare case, we have the EXACT answer. He would recommend keeping your prayers private.

Go, then. Pray as Jesus prescribed. Try non-hypocrisy for a change. It’s much more becoming.

Bizarre, unfounded arrogance

Recently some guy named @chuckbalsamo followed me and he responded to a message telling him that it was a poor choice to follow me. Lately I respond to almost every “follow” on twitter with a personal message.

I want to know who you are. Don’t just follow someone without announcing yourself. Especially when there are a million jackasses, porn sites and other hogwash out there following me every day. I block everyone who follows me unless they give me a reason to follow them back.

It doesn’t matter if you’re atheist, Christian or someone in between our outside of that spectrum.

You know what that Chuck Balsamo responded with when I told him it was a bad idea to follow me?


Continue reading “Bizarre, unfounded arrogance”

Close your eyes and bow your heads

Back in high school, the powers that were decided that they would mold me into a Christian leader. I was a recipient of a Christian Excellence Award. And, among other things, I was inducted into the smart-kids club and served in a number of leadership positions.

During an induction ceremony in which I gave a speech as president of the smart kids club, I sat on stage in front of everyone. During the induction, I would tap one new member into the club with my fellow smart kids. To start the ceremony, a faculty sponsor delivered a prayer at which time I decided to find my inductee in the crowd.

This ceremony was like smart kids duck, duck goose … and let me tell you, there was a better chance you were a loser than a winner.

People knew they were getting inducted, because their parents showed up and sat in the parents’ section. But for the most part, it was a surprise. Some smart kid would walk about and tap you on a shoulder and bring you to the front and put a golden key ribbon around your neck.

Like I said, during the prayer, I decided I would locate my inductee. There was no telling where he was sitting, and I was to speak right after the prayer. In my head, there wouldn’t be time for me to find him otherwise.

There I was scanning the room for my guy during a time when everyone else’s heads were bowed. I finally found him before “amen”. Just in time, I shut my eyes, bowed my head, to raise it with everyone else.

In my head, I clapped my hands like batting erasers and stood up to give my part of the ceremony. I obviously avoided everyone seeing me with my eyes open. If congress had nothing else to legislate in terms of gay marriage and abortion, the next big legislation on capital hill would be mandatory eye shutting and head bowing during prayers. It’s really a big deal in Christian circles.

The ceremony went well. I tapped the inductee as needed. And we all left to welcome the new kids with a small reception of punch and peanuts. If you weren’t inducted, you were brought to a small, damp dungeon and whipped.

As I was leaving, a school administrator pulled me aside and said, “Hey Jeremy, can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Sure,” I said.

He said, “During the prayer, you had your eyes open. You should make sure that when there’s a prayer, your eyes are shut. A Christian leader should always act as an example to those around him.”

“Yes, but I was …”

“It doesn’t matter. You must make sure that when you are in front of a crowd that your eyes are shut during prayers.”

I reddened from embarrassment, and I said, “Yes, sir,” and I walked away.

Of course, l’esprit d’escalier got me later and I thought of everything I should have said. Like, “You’re a Christian leader and your eyes were open.”

It was definitely one of those events that didn’t make complete sense to me, and heightened my exploration for all things contradictory about the church regarding Christian etiquette and behavior. That leader should have at least explained his rationale for his eyes open if in fact, “All Christian leaders should have their eyes shut during prayer to make an example to others.”

Or maybe some rules apply only to those in the spotlight.

Don’t forget, it’s about appearance, not truth.

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty”—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.*

*Reference here.

“Proving that prayer is superstition”

Here’s a fun little condescending video that “proves that prayer is a superstition.”

As a Christian, I remember learning the concept that one of the answers to prayer is “no.” It is the believers’ answer to doubters despite the bible’s assertion that asking anything in Jesus’ name will be given to you (Mark 11: 24). Mark is not the only book to make the claim that belief will end in positive answer to prayer.

But I’ll post this patronizingly childish video anyway.

Via http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

A lack of reviews of the Hitchens vs Dembski debate

This morning, a bald Christopher Hitchens debated Dr. William Dembski at a Christian school in Texas. I wrote a little about it here.

Without re-watching the debate, I can’t give a full review. I listened to it in the background while I was working, so I took very few notes.

But I wanted to point out that I haven’t seen any reviews online. This is troublesome. Did no one else watch it? Did no one else respond?

At the same time, people are bombarding Le Café looking for the debate. Or they are possibly looking for responses.

Let me reiterate, Hitchens trounced Dembski. Dembski bumbled and mumbled his way through his responses and I would have felt badly for him if he weren’t such a slimy liar advocating creationism and  “Intelligent Design.”


The one thing I wanted to point out was the end of the debate. The moderator invited some guy on stage to deliver a closing prayer.
This guy stood up in on stage, and he gave a weepy thanks to Dembski and Hitchens for the debate. He said something to the effect of, “As I sat in the audience confused by both debaters, and as I pondered all my research on the debate between atheism and belief, I know that since 1970, I’ve been sure that Christianity is all I need.”

Wait, what?

He was confused, but he’s sure? He sat there and the information caused some confusion, and yet he stood in front of the audience and said, “I’m certain Christianity is right.”

This is what I don’t get. You can’t be confused and sure. If you have confusion, there is an absence of certainty.

This is what gets me about belief. People can hold two opposing ideas and continue to be positive about one way. They can be absolutely positively certain that Christianity is correct despite having a curiosity that maybe if they delved deeper, they might not believe what they currently believe.

This guy walked into the debate sure. He left confused. But despite confusion, he was still sure.


That is the definition of Christianity. Even Dembski sat on stage — ruffled by Hitchens kicking his ass — saying he wasn’t sure about the concept of hell, but he was sure about the concept of god, his goodness, Jesus’ forgiveness, and that Intelligent Design IS NOT connected to Christianity.

So finally the guy who was supposed to pray prayed. And when he prayed he said (not exact), “Dear god, despite the fact that I’m confused, I know you’re the god that I should worship … blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.”


It was that lame.

If you’re a Christian, and you’re confused, own up. Pick up your toys, get out of your crib, straighten your bib and own up. It’s okay to be confused and move forward with uncertainty.

To be fair, if you’re an atheist, and you’re confused, own the fuck up and be confused.

I, for one, was not confused.

Hitchens trounced Dembski. Dembski should only fall asleep tonight after a cocktail or two, because no back rub from any spouse should alleviate the pain of getting demolished that badly.

Dembski is a failure for his cause.

That’s for certain.