Da eish*

Generals gathered in their masses,
Just like witches at black masses.
Evil minds that plot destruction,
Sorcerer of death’s construction.
In the fields the bodies burning,
As the war machine keeps turning.
Death and hatred to mankind,
Poisoning their brainwashed minds.
Oh lord yeah!

Not exactly the kind of way to kick off the week, but the world’s pretty messed up 24/7, so what the hell.

And one of the biggest contributors in recent years to this messed-up world is ISIS. Otherwise known as Daesh. It sounds so innocuous doesn’t it, but can mean anything from “trample down and crush,” to “a bigot who imposes his view on others.”

It’s being reported today that Daesh have blown up the ancient temple of Baal Shamin in Palmyra, Syria. This temple had been standing mostly intact since 17AD, until these cretins came along to wage their religious war on mankind. Just last week, these retarded bastards beheaded the 82-year-old retired chief archaeologist of Palmyra, who apparently refused to cooperate with them.

Many newspapers report that ISIS/Daesh follow or practice a harsh version of Islam, but I don’t buy that. There is only one version of every religion, which unfortunately has been perverted over time by idiots like these. Off course religion generally, does not help its cause by being so bloody ambiguous. Which to my mind is one of the clearest signs that the whole thing is just man-made.

As far as the song is concerned: Black Sabbath may have composed War Pigs as an anti-war song, but it works well as an anti-ideology song too. And ISIS propagate a religious ideology that’s about as ghastly as it can get.

*eish. A South African word originating from the Xhosa language to express exasperation or disbelief.

Sowing the seeds of fraud… with John Oliver

With apologies to Tears For Fears…

High time we made a stand and shook up the views of the common man,
and the love train rides from coast to coast.
D.J.’s the man we love the most.
Could you be, could you be squeaky clean and smash every hope of democracy as
the head line says you’re free to choose
There’s egg on your face and mud on your shoes.
One of these days they’re gonna call it the blues yeah, yeah

John Oliver’s made a stand. He’s shown us how easy it is for preachers to take money from people who willingly buy into a religious belief system – by setting up his own Church. Yes, Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption was given birth on live television, a medium so beloved of evangelists out for the kill.

The video above is 20 minutes long, but hilarious from start to finish. I promise, but unlike the preachers, I keep mine. See for yourself.

There you go, I am true to my word, aren’t I? So, are you going to continue funding these charlatans’ private jets and ranches, or will you help shake up the views of the common man?

There’s gonna be hell to pay

church101

This week I read about a woman who’s been kicked out of church for not paying her tithes. Now I know what most of you are thinking – that’s pretty mean and un-Christian.

Well, you’re wrong. First African Baptist Church (FABC) of Bainbridge’s Pastor Derrick Mike is perfectly within bounds for turfing Josephine King of Georgia out on her 92-year old ass. Once one buys into the whole religious belief thing, one should sure as hell* expect to pay. Nothing’s free (except the coffee apparently), for anyone of any age.

In the video embedded in this article, you will notice that the FABC is one big-assed Church. It must surely cost a pretty penny to keep that monster suspended like belief afloat. Church management are reasonable to expect payment. It’s all business after all.

* If you’re wondering how an atheist can speak of the surety of hell, wonder no more. Hell does exist – in vast parts of Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the world, being ruled by either religious zealots or dictatorial psychopaths, or being torn apart by either or both.

And it came to pass…

faith

It was to be expected when self-proclaimed prophet TB Joshua’s House of Cards came tumbling down, he would use all means possible to evade responsibility. In September last year when a guesthouse under construction on his Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) property collapsed killing over 100 people, he claimed that it was caused by a terror attack.

This week Coroner Oyetade Komolaf found that the church was culpable due to criminal negligence, and should be prosecuted.

TB Joshua off course rejected this finding, still hanging onto the ludicrous assertion that the incident was due to sabotage. But never mind Joshua’s refusal to accept liability. It is well within character for a charlatan to avoid accountability. It was to be expected. And so it came to pass.

But what about his followers and the family of those tragically killed in this titanic abuse of trust? Would they denounce him and call for his head?

Off course not! They are believers. And so it came to pass that they would rationalize this tragedy using every foul excuse in religious doctrine. Here are some of the more absurd:

One woman said the coroner’s ruling was “nonsense” concocted by “earthly experts” who know nothing about spiritual matters. The church could not be blamed for “work of the devil.” She went on to state that she does not believe in “scientific findings for spiritual matters”.

Another said the investigation was “devilish”. Yet another invoked the devil, accusing him/her/it for wanting to destroy his bishop.

The worst has to be the statement from a church spokesman who told AFP that it was “unfortunate” that the coroner ignored submissions that “having building approval is not [a] panacea for building collapse”. WTF? How insane is that?

Now that the coroner has made a finding, will TB Joshua actually be prosecuted?

That to my mind is unlikely. He is well-connected politically in Nigeria. It’s no secret how corrupt their politicians are. And he has been rather busy visiting family of the victims, palming off blood money and currying favor.

And it shall come to pass that justice will not be served.

Five Fascinating Facts about Mark Twain

Originally posted on Interesting Literature:

Fun Mark Twain facts, including his inventions, unusual lecture topics, and numerous pen names

1. Mark Twain wrote a pornographic story set during Elizabethan times. Titled ‘1601’, this bawdy tale – known as a ‘squib’ – was written in 1876 and purports to be the excerpt from a diary written by Queen Elizabeth I’s cup-bearer. Elizabeth has conversations with numerous notable persons of the age, including William Shakespeare and Sir Walter Raleigh. When somebody breaks wind, Elizabeth tries to find out who did it. (Spoiler alert: Raleigh did it.) As John Bird notes, ‘one of Twain’s points’ was ‘that the figures we now hold in such high regard habitually used extremely coarse language’.

It is surprising to reflect that neither of the books which are now considered canonical and quintessential Twain – Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn – was Twain’s bestselling book during his lifetime:

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What the devil?

In the latest bout of absurdity from the world of pious prats, Iran has banned spiky and other unorthodox hairstyles for men.

Apparently the self-appointed terrestrial regulators of the celestial overlords have decided to condemn trendy hairstyles as “devil worshipping,” and pronounced them in contravention of Islamic regulations. The head of Iran’s Barber’s Union Mostafa Govahi, is quite pleased with this ruling because the prosecution of his fashionable but unregistered competitors, would send business to unionised barbers who toe the religious line.

Currently, those ghastly bushy beards (which for some inexplicable reason is propitious to the celestial overlords) are not compulsory for Iranian men, but who knows how long these men will be allowed to keep good clean faces, what with the theological tyrants constantly looking for new ways to heap misery upon mankind.

Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before Iran’s Underwear Union declares anything but Bridgette Jones type undergarments to be religiously legal. Maybe the Mormons can get a piece of that action.

And The Winner Is!

lennymaysay:

Can’t really say I can promise the same…

Originally posted on nerd on the bridge:

Dear religious blogger,

I apologize for all my blogposts that offended your beliefs. I am truly sorry.

What you choose to believe is entirely up to you.

If you wish to home-school your children in order to instil your beliefs without opposition is entirely up to you. If you wish to discriminate against certain sections of society – women, gays, black Jesus, dogs, pigs, fornicators, atheists – as the bedrock of your belief is entirely up to you. If you choose divinity over science is entirely up to you.

It is disrespectful of me to point out the countless times throughout history that religion has been wrong about everything from biology to astronomy to meteorology to zoology and anthropology; it’s disrespectful of me to question absurd assumptions if they make total sense to you.

I am tired of the conflict, the turmoil and heartache my opposition, scepticism and resistance to the gospels, conversion therapies…

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Respect faith? Hell no!

religionrespect

Lizzylo, a recent addition to my long list of detractors commenters seems to think the reason I write this blog is because I yearn for respect.

Well, Lizzylo, let me make this quite clear. I DON’T.

I don’t really care whether you respect me or not. I have never cared whether anyone respects me, even outside of this blog. I don’t demand respect, nor do I give it easily. In my job, I tend to piss off a lot of colleagues because I demand competency and productivity. But in the process, I make a whole lot more people happy, including my customers.

I don’t sulk when my colleagues are angry at me for being demanding. I live with it. It’s a trade-off. Similarly, when people respond negatively to my blog posts, I don’t let it affect me. The fact that I tick people off, is actually quite revealing. It puts a smile on my face, just like those positive comments do.

scienceandfaith

Another thing I get quite often is quotes from the bible or some other religious text about faith. People seem to think that these texts are authoritative and that I’m supposed to be moved or threatened into submission by them.

Let me make this quite clear. I give ZERO fucks for faith or your holy quotes about it.

I don’t believe your quotes, nor do they scare me or move me in any way whatsoever. I also think faith is a dreadful disease that needs to be eradicated. I’d really like to bash your skull in, but not through violence. All I have to throw at you is words.

So there, I hope that was painful.

Pastor Crafty Dollar wants a new jet

A pastor wants his flock to buy him a $65 million dollar private jet. A state of the art Gulfstream G650 to be exact. It’s not the sort of thing your average millionaire thinks about splashing out on – this is serious billionaire territory.

But Creflo Dollar, the preacher with the pornographic surname (his wife is Taffi Dollar; I kid you not) is no billionaire. He’s your average multi-millionaire evangelist who’s made his loot screwing credulous sods who either don’t know any better, or don’t care to.

The following clip of his plea for donations on YouTube is no blue movie; it’s far worse. It promises to not only fuck you over thoroughly and leave you with a false sense of satisfaction, it will leave you much poorer and none the wiser too.

I have no doubt that Creflo will get the money which will ensure he becomes the flashiest flying preacher-man out there. I know this because there is an endless supply gullible people out there.

Apatheism

lennymaysay:

Not quite an apatheist, but there are times when the world appears to have gone ape-shit bat-shit crazy, I feel like one.

Originally posted on colemining:

I learned a new word recently. That doesn’t happen all that often- although it is occurring more frequently since I moved into a job significantly outside my regular wheelhouse of history, literature, religion, myth, story, music and etc.

I was watching a TEDTalk (have I mentioned how I’m hooked on these things? No wait. That discussion is in a post that is still languishing in the drafts folder. I need to stop being so easily distracted…) by Dr. Ben Goldacre.

This TEDTalk here:

I was watching it for a couple of reasons- I am working in the healthcare industry at the moment, so the subject matter is relevant to my day-to-day involvement in scientific, evidence-based research and the public policies that are informed by this research.

Mainly, though, I decided to check it out because there has been a whole lot of irresponsible let’s call it ‘journalism’, for lack of…

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