“Time and time again, atheists are compelled to show restraint out of fear of offending the religious. We shouldn’t have to. We have actual evidence on our side. We don’t just make up a bunch of stories and demand people believe them on insufficient evidence.”
~ Staks (Dangerous Talk) has an interesting post in which he claims that atheists, at least those of us in the United States, show too much restraint when it comes to our dealings with the religious. He describes some recent instances where he went out of his way to avoid saying anything that could possibly be construed as offensive by religious believers. (http://www.atheistrev.com/2012/02/alternative-to-atheist-restraint.html)
Conservative Christians, from the Puritans to today’s Religious Right have never done anything good for mankind, is not good for this country and only supports war, oppression, inequality and misery. Civil Rights, Woman’s Suffrage, Public Education, Immigration Reform, and Racial Integration, are just a few examples of where they were on the wrong side of history. The conservative Christian ideology was able to be spread world-wide by the sword, not by the ‘Sermon On The Mount’.
(NOTE: So, those that support a “shoot first because i am frightened of my shadow and/or i just dont like you because u are gay/black/muslim/woman, etc” bill should be shot. if they survive, they can ask for what reason then.)
The just-passed Minnesota bill to expand “Castle Doctrine” gun rights should be called the Shoot First law. The Minnesota law—and bills like it pending in Texas, Pennsylvania and other states—allows gun owners to use deadly force outside of their homes on the basis of merely feeling threatened. No longer would there be any onus to retreat from perceived danger. That’s why the term Shoot First is appropriate.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the global Anglican communion: Laws against sexual minorities were equivalent to racism, and warned that legal regulation of consensual sexual conduct “can be both unworkable and open to appalling abuse – intimidation and blackmail.”
Judge who came under fire for throwing out a harassment case against a Muslim man accused of accosting an atheist activist who dressed as a zombie version Mohammed in a Halloween parade said he would not do anything differently
War Protests: From Afghanistan to Hancock Air Base — to Prison?
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
ANN WRIGHT Wright, a former State Department diplomat and retired Army colonel, helped re-open the U.S. embassy in Kabul in 2001. She resigned from the State Department in protest of the Iraq invasion in March of 2003. She said: “There’s been real blowback from the burning of the Quran, but there has also been real blowback from the killings from continued drone stikes.” Wright is a defendant in a trial today for protests outside the Hancock Air National Guard Base in New York.
KATHY KELLY, http://vcnv.org/ Kelly is just back from Afghanistan and may be sentenced to prison today along with other peace activists for protests outside the base. She is with the group Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Along with Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, she just wrote the piece “The Ghost and the Machine: Drone Warfare and Accountability,” which profiles an impoverished Afghan family with a five-year-old, Aymal, whose father was killed by a drone attack: “Aymal’s grandmother becomes agitated and distraught speaking about her son’s death, and that of his four friends. ‘All of us ask, “Why?’” she says, raising her voice. ‘They kill people with computers and they can’t tell us why. When we ask why this happened, they say they had doubts, they had suspicions. But they didn’t take time to ask “Who is this person?” or “Who was that person?” There is no proof, no accountability. Now, there is no reliable person in the home to bring us bread. I am old, and I do not have a peaceful life.’ …
“In June 2010, Philip G. Alston, then the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, appeared before the UN Human Rights Council and testified that ‘targeted killings pose a rapidly growing challenge to the international rule of law … In a situation in which there is no disclosure of who has been killed, for what reason, and whether innocent civilians have died, the legal principle of international accountability is, by definition, comprehensively violated.’ …
“A new book from Media Matters was just released that chronicles the history of Fox News and explains how a small group of wealthy, politically connected conservative partisans conspired to build a pseudo-news network with the intent of advancing the right-wing agenda of the Republican Party. And that network, known for its drooling anti-liberalism, is scared spitless”.
by Joseph Palermo‚ Feb. 29‚ 2012
Cultural insensitivity of the kind illustrated by the recent Koran burnings at Bagram Air Base might be an understandable lapse in the first months of a military occupation, but after ten years? It wasn’t long ago when General David Petraeus asked a good Reverend in Florida intent on holding a “Koran Burning Day” to cancel the event because it would make life more difficult for his soldiers in Afghanistan. Now the situation has been made far worse because the Koran burnings were done at an air base on Afghan soil where the U.S. jurisdiction is already under dispute.
Monday, February 27, 2012
MIKE BONANNO, ANDY BICHBAUM, Bonanno and Bichbaum are with the group The Yes Men, which released a statement this morning: “Massive Leak Reveals Criminality, Paranoia Among Corporate Titans.” http://www.theyesmen.org/stratfor
Bonanno was one of the participants at a news conference in London this morning with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and media partners from around the world as well as other activists. Video of the news conference and further background is available at: “WikiLeaks Publishes 5 Million ‘Shadow CIA’ E-Mails.” http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/02/26-2
The Yes Men news release states today: “WikiLeaks begins to publish today over five million e-mails obtained by Anonymous from ‘global intelligence’ company Stratfor. The emails, which reveal everything from sinister spy tactics to an insider trading scheme … also include several discussions of the Yes Men and Bhopal activists. (Bhopal activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India, that led to thousands of deaths, injuries to more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.)
Greg Perreault, a doctoral student from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, is getting some publicity for a recent presentation he made at the Center for Media Religion and Culture Conference on Digital Religion. (Yep. That’s a thing.)
His finding: “… Many newer-generation video games equate religion with violence in the game narratives.”
“In most of these games there was a heavy emphasis on a “Knights Templar” and crusader motifs,” Perreault said. “Not only was the violent side of religion emphasized, but in each of these games religion created a of problem that the main character must overcome, whether it is a direct confrontation with religious zealots or being haunted by religious guilt.”
(NOTE: I found it humorous about the first couple of comments I read in response to this story. Why? You ask?. Well, they seemed rather low-key, not to anti-religion or anti-Non-religion…UNTIL I got to the one with the Bald Eagle and American flag, (BrianClaydon, 28 February 2012 11:24AM) no doubt, posted by a fellow American, like myself. What you see in this response is what most Americans see about Christians, at least those who are the most vocal, the ones who make laws taking away a person’s rights while trying to pass bills acknowledging Christianity’s positive affects on the USA, traveling the world, like to Uganda, to help motivate their rulers to create laws that sentence gay people to death, all the while they whine all day and night about being persecuted.
In America, we have a big problem. We are not taught about the negative and positives of our very short History. It wasn’t until 9/11 did I actually take the time to really look into what the US government’s world view really was. Talk about mourning. I knew my government was not perfect, but when you are brought up being taught that your country is the best and the propaganda machine allows only positive news, stories, movies, etc into your culture along with demonizing every other country for doing the same, you are left blind, and uneducated. To top it off, to some, calling out our president in a time of war for war crimes will get you killed in one year, but after an election, and a different party is in power, you would be called a hero, this leaves Americans looking and acting quite close to what a crack-head must feel when coming down, going up, and doing it upside down and backwards. Though this is not a good enough explanation to let us Americans off the hook, it may help people understand that, yes, many of us are dumb asses, but most of us are just uniformed.
Sad as this may sound, this is the reality we in America must face, and religion has been allowed to slip into out politics like no other time, other than out very first days, when our ancestors came to make a better life for themselves, which included genocide, invasion, rape, murder and oppression, of others. This is still how the US government is run, and slowly I think Americans, at least those non-fundamentalist Christians, can see what danger we are in.
Conservative Christians, from the Puritans to today’s “Religious Right” (aka “American Taliban”), have NEVER done anything good for mankind. The ideology itself is pure evil, “Profits before People” is the bottom line. They have taken over so much of the USA. in politics, the military, foreign policy etc. Civil Rights, Woman’s Suffrage, Abortion Rights, Evolution, Separation of Church and State, Public Education, Immigration Reform, and Racial Integration, are just a few examples of where “conservative Christians” have been, as it is said; “on the wrong side of history”. They have ALWAYS been AGAINST minorities. This will NEVER change. The conservative Christian ideology was able to be spread world-wide by the sword, not by the ‘Sermon On The Mount’. Conservative Christianity is not good for this country and only supports war, oppression, inequality and misery. END NOTE)
“Are Christians their own worst enemies in Britain today? This question is raised with unusual frankness in a couple of paragraphs of an all-party parliamentary group’s report into Christians and discrimination, which was launched yesterday.”