Monthly Archives: October 2008

Saturday Cartoons: Hailin’ Palin

What if, by some miracle, McCain actually wins the election? And what if, tragically, something were to happen to him, and Sarah Palin became President? Would Jesus be Palin’s VP? For the cold hard facts of one possible future (hey, if the Dobsonites can do it…) watch this cartoon:

BoundlessMultimedia

Funny side note: When I was adding tags, I accidentally typed “theocrazy” instead of “theocracy”. Hmmm….


Sarah Palin: A Victory For Women?

I’ve come across quite a few people lately, mostly self-proclaimed feminists, who say that even if we don’t agree with Sarah Palin’s politics, women should be proud to see another woman running for Vice President because this is a victory for women.

Is it really, though ?

Sarah Palin has been used and exploited by the McCain campaign. She is embarrassingly unqualified for the position of VP, but we won’t let that stand in our way; let’s just dress her up like a $150,000 Barbie doll and get her to smile and wink for the camera. Oh, and make sure she keeps her mouth shut unless she’s being told exactly what to say or can divert it to hockey and mooses.

In other words, “You don’t have to know anything, Sugar, just be a good girl and smile for the camera like you’re told.”

Can someone please explain to me how that is a victory for women? Because it looks to me like the exact same kind of degrading treatment that women, and especially feminists, have been trying to overcome for generations. I would think that feminists, of all people, would be outraged by this, rather than supporting it.

If we settle for this and call it a victory, we haven’t come nearly as far as I thought we had.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Why Homeschool? Faggots and Liberals!

Raani Starnes of Fort Worth, Texas has a website entitled Baptist Homeschooling. Included on the website is a page which lists a few reasons some people might choose to homeschool. The number one reason, at the very top of her list, is this:

The desire to have control over what your child is being taught Today’s public schools are teaching evolution, humanism, liberal political agendas, tolerance for homosexual “lifestyles”, and more. Christian parents should be teaching their children from a biblical perspective. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

OK, so this sounds pretty typical, really. No real shocker here. She doesn’t approve of a lot of what she perceives is being taught and promoted in public schools, and has chosen to keep her children home and teach them her Christian values.

But what does this mean to Raani? What is the biblical perspective of which she speaks? Let’s have a look, shall we?

We won’t be able to see the original post which was entitled Perilous Times: Sodomites in School because Raani deleted it presumably due to an onslaught of traffic and comments after PZ Myers linked to it from Pharyngula. Fortunately, Evolved Rationalist saved a screen shot from her Google reader. I found it at The Teapot Atheist. Here is an excerpt (emphasis mine):

Yes, I’ve seen the previews for Will and Grace where they’re lying next to each other in bed platonically. Isn’t that cute? The homosexual agenda wants people to think that homosexual men are safe for women to hang around and even be alone with. Nothing could be further from the truth. The stories about Sodomites in the Bible teach us that they do violate women as well as men. I’ve also known of people personally over the years who were known as gay yet “experimented” with the opposite sex. The term bisexual is an unnecessary distinction, because a faggot wants to defile anyone or anything he can get his hands on.

A friend recently sent me this article about a “gay-friendly” high school. If we were living in a biblical society, homosexuality would be punishable by death so such a school would be unnecessary. Although I’m against the special accommodations, perhaps this new trend of segregation will protect straight kids from these predators. With any luck, some radical will blow up the gay school. No, I’m not condoning vigilantism–I’m merely saying that it would be poetic justice.

And there you have it, folks: the moral highground! Hatred and extremism are the lessons of her Baptist Homeschool, and will be taught to her young children, in the name of a superior moral agency. And supposedly, this is more moral than teaching tolerance, respect and inclusion.

Raani has replaced the deleted post with this little gem. Also, while I was writing this, she changed her display name to Janine and her location to Farmington, NM. I wonder what’s up with that.

I also wonder if Raani’s maiden name is Phelps

Update: Here is the Google cache of the original post including comments and a lovely photo. And here is a mirror of Raani’s original profile which still links back to that cesspool she calls a blog. (H/T Thinking Meat)

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


My Atheism

My friend Gary has tagged me to answer a few questions regarding my atheism. Sorry it’s taken me so long, Gary. I’ve been a little preoccupied with U.S. politics, as I’m sure you can understand.

Anyway, here goes:

Can you remember the day that you officially became an atheist?
It was actually quite a process, so I couldn’t say exactly when I no longer believed. I do recall the first time I ever used the word to describe myself. It was strange but liberating.

Do you remember the day you officially became an agnostic?
Given that agnosticism is a statement or position of knowledge that can apply to atheists as well as theists, I’d say I was always agnostic. Well, maybe not always, but probably from around the same time I figured out there was no Santa, which was around age six.

I’ve always known and accepted the difference between belief and knowledge and, therefore, have always been agnostic.

How about the last time you spoke or prayed to God with actual thought that someone was listening?
I guess about eight years ago. Although I still believed that someone might be listening, I admit that I was beginning to feel a bit silly.

Did anger towards God or religion help cause you to be an atheist or agnostic?
This is the question I was looking forward to, in a way. I’ve avoided discussing this for years because I know how easily my answer can and will be misconstrued. I will begin by saying that, despite claims and accusations made by theists, no atheist is angry with any god. Anyone who is angry with a deity is not an atheist by definition. You cannot be angry with someone you don’t believe exists.

But, yes, I would say that anger with God played a part in my becoming atheist. Allow me to explain:

Throughout my life as a Christian, I often had questions and doubts about things. When that happened, I sought guidance from fellow Christians who reminded me that faith is the substance of things not seen, etc. I was discouraged from “thinking too much” — literally what I was told on more than one occasion. My doubts were just Satan trying to draw me away from God, and giving any time or consideration to the questions in my mind was dangerous to my faith and my “walk with the Lord”.

Being Christian and believing in God was all I had ever known. My mother was a preacher’s kid, my father a deacon in the church. I didn’t know how to be any other way, didn’t really see a need to; so I did what I had to do to preserve my faith: ignore the questions, pray and ask God to remove the doubt from my mind, order Satan to flee from me in Jesus’ name, etc. I did anything and everything, with the exception of being honest with myself and giving myself enough credit to accept that I was an intelligent person with legitimate questions and that I deserved better than excuses and fairy tales.

After a long battle with cancer, my younger sister died in agony at the age of thirty. And you bet your ass I was pissed off at God! This time I was angry enough, for long enough, to begin critically examining my belief system. I no longer accepted what I was being told. I was not “speaking” to God, so I couldn’t distract myself from rational thought by praying. I allowed myself to think and refused to feel guilty. I figured that if God couldn’t stand up to scrutiny, he wasn’t much of a god; if my faith couldn’t endure examination, it wasn’t worth having.

It was a process, but one by one, I was able to peel away the irrational beliefs I had held for more than thirty years. I did it with reason and good old common sense, by letting myself think. Eventually, I realized that I was no longer angry with God, but only because I no longer believed there was a god to be angry with. I was free to grieve my sister’s death without the added burden of a loving god who let her die and betrayed me in the process. It was cancer. It was dreadful, but it was no longer personal.

So, yes, anger played a big role, in that it lead to the process of critically examining what I believed and finally realizing that there was no reasonable foundation for believing any of it.

Here is a good one: Were you agnostic towards ghosts, even after you became an atheist?
I guess as agnostic as I am about anything else for which there is no evidence, one way or another.

Do you want to be wrong?
I wouldn’t say I want to be wrong, but I wouldn’t mind being wrong. To echo Gary (who echoed Christopher Hitchens) knowing God exists and choosing to worship God are two entirely different kettle of fish. And I would not choose the latter.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Popularity Contest 2008?

Colin Powell did not betray his friendship with John McCain!

All over the internet, people are saying that Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama is a betrayal of his friendship with John McCain. Are these people serious? Or perhaps a better question would be: are these people adults?

Every time I come across someone making this juvenile claim, this is how it translates in my mind: OMG! He’s not voting for his BFF?! That is just, like, so totally not cool! OMG!

Grow the hell up, people! This is not a high school popularity contest, for crying out loud! This is one of the most critical Presidential elections in the recent history of the United States.

We are in extreme financial crisis and in the middle of a war that seems to have no definite end in sight. And that’s just for starters, as if that weren’t enough.

Colin Powell explained thoroughly and eloquently why he is voting for Barack Obama, and it’s certainly not part of a childish hissy fit like some people are having in response to his endorsement.

There are plenty of people I could enjoy having a beer with, both in politics and outside of it. That does not qualify any of them to be President of the United States. If you ask me, the adolescent mentality of voting for someone you might like, OMG!, rilly rilly enjoy hanging out with down at the mall is indicative of someone with a very loose and shaky grip on reality or the emotional maturity of a pre-teen.

Those who criticize Powell for not supporting his BFF OMG shine a spotlight on their own ignorance! They expose how shallow, uninformed and immature they are. They reveal their inability to think critically about the more serious issues, or to even comprehend that there are more serious things at stake. They exhibit a complete lack of understanding regarding the Presidency and the responsibility of voting.

Besides, shouldn’t John McCain and his supporters be praising Colin Powell for reaching across the aisle and stepping across party lines — for being a maverick? Or is that just a bunch of talk that flies out the window the minute it doesn’t work out for them?

If history is an indicator, I’m guessing the latter.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Christian Math

Courtesy of Bill Mutranowski


Powell: Obama Is Not Muslim

Accusations by McCain supporters that Obama is Muslim have always bothered me, not only because they’re blatantly false, but because of the implication that there is something wrong with being Muslim. Colin Powell’s response reflects my own thoughts on the subject:

“I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the [Republican] Party say… such things as ‘Well, you know that Mr Obama is a Muslim’.

“Well the correct answer is, ‘He’s not a Muslim, he’s a Christian, he’s always been a Christian’. But the really right answer is, “What if he is?’ Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is ‘No’, that’s not America.”

BBC News

Actually, I don’t think Obama was always a Christian. Obama is a Christian whose religious views have evolved in his adult life. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama writes that he “was not raised in a religious household.”

But that’s not the point, is it? The important point made by Colin Powell here is that it shouldn’t matter, and I agree. Those who think it does or should, and who use the term “Muslim” as a slur or insult, only reveal their own ignorance, prejudice and bigotry.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On