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cleanhippie's Journal
cleanhippie's Journal
January 31, 2012

Religious humor

January 30, 2012

Religious Memorial Bills Join Long Line of “Christian Nation” Tactics

Congress is playing fast and loose with the sacrifices and courage of our nation’s heroes, and they’re doing it for all the wrong reasons.

HR 290 encourages the use of religious symbols in war memorials
HR 2070 would place a prayer on the WWII Memorial
The term “stolen valor” generally refers to a false claim of military service. This might be just being a veteran, claiming a medal not earned. The Supreme Court is currently determining whether instances of “stolen valor” are protected by the 1st Amendment. To greatly simplify the issue, the Court must decide if the 1st Amendment protects lying. Just as nefarious individuals sometimes claim national honors not theirs, individuals around this nation are claiming that their personal beliefs represent all military service.

At Mt Soledad in San Diego, in the Mojave Desert, at Bordelon Field in Hawaii, on Big Mountain in Montana, and at Camp Pendleton, large Christian shrines have been called war memorials with no purpose other than to give Christianity a privileged place in government. This tactic confuses the clear Constitutional issue separation of church and state with military service, aka stolen valor.

Another kind of stolen valor is when our veterans organizations use power derived from the collective service of veterans to secure Christian privilege in government. In the Summum Court case, veterans organizations said that allowing non-Christian monuments to stand aside Christian monuments would somehow desecrate war memorials. In Houston, the VFW and American Legion have stepped on the wishes of grieving families to make Christianity the default religion at our national cemeteries.

More recent hysteria regarding an innocuous visitors policy at Walter Reed Hospital inspired a Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to turn the right to free exercise of religion into the right to proselytize wounded and ill service members. Hospital leaders have yet to determine whether they will bow to pressure and allow unregulated, unrestricted distribution of Christian materials to patients.


Even this long list of violations and ongoing issues are only a small subset of politicized, or Dominionist, Christianity. These efforts to Christianize memorials are tantamount to Christianizing our government. Christians may disagree, but most seem to be complicit with silence, along with Jews, Hindus, and Muslims who stand aside while these violations continue. MAAF continues to support atheists and humanists in the military, identifying these culture pressures and building a supportive community to weather the storm.

January 29, 2012

Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs

This is an amazing photo that captured the moment a gay man hugged a member of a Christian group, that came to Gay Pride to apologize for the way the church has treated homosexuals. It’s nice to see people of faith have common sense enough to know that hate and prejudice is wrong. A step in the right direction towards equality and something everyone should learn from. THIS is the kind of compassion that religion teaches, but far too often doesn’t follow. Well done.

Since seeing this photo, a friend of mine had introduced me to more of the story. A man, by the name of Nathan, is the one you see above hugging the gay guy in his underwear, or Tristan rather. Well, Nathan wrote a blog about this day and this moment and what his and his fellow church-goers had done. Here is what he had to say:

I hugged a man in his underwear. I think Jesus would have too.


January 29, 2012

‘How do atheists find meaning in life?’

The correspondent was blunt: “Why don’t you atheists just go out and kill yourselves right now?”

True, most Christians phrase it rather more delicately, but atheists are regularly informed by a certain kind of believer that our lives can have no value if we do not believe in their God. What is the point, they ask, of being kind or loving, caring about suffering or doing anything at all, if one day we just die?

It is true that in the absence of a divine plan our lives have no externally determined purpose: an individual is not born for the purpose of becoming a physician or creating a spectacular work of art or digging a well in an arid corner of Africa. But are the sick less cured, the pleasure to the art-lover less intense, or the thirst of parched villagers less slaked, simply because a man sought his own purpose rather than following a diktat from on high? Do we really need a deity to tell us that a life spent curing cancer is more worthwhile than one spent drinking in the gutter?

Why should we not find satisfaction in alleviating suffering or injustice, just because we’re all going to die one day? The very fact that this life is all we have makes it even more important to do everything possible to reduce the suffering caused by poverty, disease, injustice and ignorance. To describe such attempts as meaningless is to say that avoidable suffering does not matter, hardly a moral stance.

Many Christians claim we have no reason to care about others if there is no God. But this is itself a religious claim, arising from the theological concept of Original Sin, which declares humankind fallen and corrupt. We can safely ignore it, for in reality we do not need childish stories of eternal reward or damnation to coerce us into being good: research shows that the least religious societies have the lowest incidence of social ills, including crime and violence. Healthy humans have empathy built in, and the explanations for this lie in psychology and evolutionary biology: no gods required.

Life cannot be meaningless so long as we have the capacity to affect the well-being of ourselves and others. For true meaninglessness, we would need heaven.

January 29, 2012

Cops kill cop in California

he officer was manning a DUI checkpoint when the shooting occurred shortly after 1 a.m. He was declared dead after emergency surgery at Marian Medical Center, Santa Maria police Chief Danny Macagni said in a statement.

The officer, a four-year Santa Maria department veteran, had just learned of the internal investigation of an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, and it became necessary to arrest him immediately, Macagni said.

“We had no choice,” Macagni said in video of an afternoon news conference posted by KCOY-TV. He said investigators had evidence “that demanded that we go out and take this officer off the street immediately.”

Supervising officers were sent to make a felony arrest, but he struggled with them when they arrived, first putting up a physical fight, then firing his gun but hitting no one, Macagni said.

“He chose to resist, he drew his weapon, a fight ensued, he fired his weapon,” the chief said.

Several officers came to help the police making the arrest, and one of them shot the suspected officer in the chest once, Macagni said.

Detectives had begun investigating the alleged relationship on Thursday night, and minutes before the shooting had confirmed that an “inappropriate” and “very explicit” relationship had been going on, Macagni said.


January 29, 2012

Pennsylvania House passes resolution praising the bible.

You can’t make this stuff up, folks. In a blatant violation of the Establishment Clause in the United States Constitution, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring 2012 ‘The Year of The Bible,’ and praised the book as the greatest book of the year even though there are still 11 months left until 2013. The resolution declares that the Bible played a major role in the Constitution and the founding of America, even though there is no mention of the Bible, God, Jesus, or Christianity in the Constitution. The resolution goes on to cite the many Presidents who supposedly ‘paid tribute to the influence of the Bible in our country’s development,’ and declares that Americans ‘need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.’ Here’s the resolution in full:

Declaring 2012 as the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania.

WHEREAS, The Bible, the word of God, has made a unique
contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and
blessed nation and people; and

WHEREAS, Deeply held religious convictions springing from the
holy scriptures led to the early settlement of our country; and

WHEREAS, Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil
government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, Many of our great national leaders, among them
President Washington, President Jackson, President Lincoln,
President Wilson and President Reagan, paid tribute to the
influence of the Bible in our country’s development, as
exemplified by the words of President Jackson that the Bible is
“the rock on which our Republic rests”; and

WHEREAS, The history of our country clearly illustrates the
value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the scriptures in
the lives of individuals, families and societies; and

WHEREAS, This nation now faces great challenges that will
test it as it has never been tested before; and

WHEREAS, Renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through
holy scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people;
therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives declare 2012 as
the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania in recognition of both
the formative influence of the Bible on our Commonwealth and
nation and our national need to study and apply the teachings of
the holy scriptures.


I guess all of the reports about States having severe budget shortfalls are all exaggerated. They seem to have enough money to give to lawyers in a futile attempt to defend what is clearly Unconstitutional.

January 28, 2012

Not Natural

January 28, 2012

Wisconsin High School Student Endorses Biblical Death Penalty for Gays

There’s nothing quite like the right to write an article in your school paper endorsing murdering people because you don’t like who they have sex with. That’s what happened in Wisconsin, recently, when 15-year old Brandon Wegner, a Shawano High School student, wrote a column for the editorial page of the Hawks Post that, says the Green Bay Press Gazette, “cites Bible passages and calls homosexuality a sin punishable by death.” A column appearing with Wegner’s, by Maddie Marquardt took the position that gay people “are as compassionate, caring and suitable parents as heterosexuals.” Copies of the student paper went out as inserts this month in the Shawnee Leader, the local paper. (Green Bay Press Gazette has a pdf of both articles, which can be read in full here).

This is, in part, what Wegner had to say:

“If one is a practicing Christian, Jesus states in the Bible that homosexuality is (a) detestable act and sin which makes adopting wrong for homosexuals because you would be raising the child in a sin-filled environment.

“A child adopted into homosexuality will get confused because everyone else will have two different-gendered parents that can give them the correct amount of motherly nurturing and fatherly structure. In a Christian society, allowing homosexual couples to adopt is an abomination.”

He further cites Leviticus 20:13 which states that “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”


Leave it to Liberty Council, a group supporting Newt Gingrich, to step in at this point. In a gross misuse of the term “bullying” Liberty Council addressed the issue with this headline: “15-Year-Old Student Bullied for Supporting Biblical View of Family.”


I've said it once and I'll say it again. Isn't religion a wonderful thing, especially when it is used to demonize and oppress other people?

Question: How does one reconcile the fact that for some, a religion can bring out the best in a person, yet at the same time, it often brings out the worst? And when it brings out the worst, why is "because it's my religion" tolerated as a valid excuse?

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