Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

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‘Unconstitutional,’ Atheist

judiciary / politics / religion / security

One of the purposes of returning to full–time(ish) blogging was to engage the public with the ideas that religion is part of our everyday life. Regardless of what specific religion, we all have a varying relationship to the supernatural. I would even go so far as to say that some people value their supremacy over supernatural things to be what they would call their religion.
I won’t argue with that. That’s the central idea of Atheism, the belief that humans are not subject to some set of supernatural laws. It is the belief that myths are the natural outcome of fear and ignorance. Atheism can be convincing.
It would make sense then, that Atheism wouldn’t be popular in the armed forces, One of the ways the soldier keeps himself in good morale is through the use of the supernatural. The idea that someone or something is going to keep them safe, even though logic would say otherwise. Another manifestation of hope — whether it be real or imagined — is always encouraged.
After reading a story today about a Soldier who was decrying an ‘unconstitutional’ treatment by the US Army, I could see his argument. That would be, of course, if there was at least a token effort to research the most salacious claim in the article:

His sudden lack of faith, he said, cost him his military career and put his life at risk. Hall said his life was threatened by other troops and the military assigned a full-time bodyguard to protect him out of fear for his safety.

Excuse me, but WHAT?
The part about the bodyguard makes this entire story read differently. Of course, the reporter wouldn’t know (or care) that Army units only do that as a last resort. They just don’t have enough people around to babysit all day.
From my (admittedly limited) experience, I know there are only thee times you put a bodyguard on somebody:
1. They are a threat to other people (think sociopath)
2. They are a target of revenge
3. They are wholly incapable of performing their job (thus need protecting)
For the sake of argument, I’ll give him that he is the target of revenge. Okay, so where are the investigations? If the Haditha Marines taught us anything, it’s that the military will eat it’s own young long before any of us find out about it. Is there any more to this story than a claim of ‘intolerance’?
Probably not. But that’s more of an experienced–based gut feeling than from the (horribly biased, incomplete) known facts of the case. My opinion is that this is just a trouble–maker whose story got to the right desk, and now it’s part of the leverage in some political statement, and not about (and never was about) this kid.

“Our Pentagon, our Pentacostalgon, is refusing to realize that when you put the uniform on, there’s only one religious faith: patriotism,” Don King Weinstein said.

Um, yeah. What I thought.

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Don’t they have Sunday school for that now?

religion

wur is ur god now?
That picture should not be that ironic:

Another finding almost defies explanation: 21 percent of self-identified atheists said they believe in God or a universal spirit, with 8 percent “absolutely certain” of it.

This is what happens when you take away absolutes. Not even anti–deists can get their flock to obey.
[Via]

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Boys given detention for refusing to pray

education / religion / security

In England:

Two schoolboys were given detention after refusing to kneel down and ‘pray to Allah’ during a religious education lesson.

Parents were outraged that the two boys from year seven (11 to 12-year-olds) were punished for not wanting to take part in the practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped.

They said forcing their children to take part in the exercise at…which included wearing Muslim headgear — was a breach of their human rights.

This is what we were told would happen in George W. Bush’s America, right? Key points to take from this are that the children were forced to participate, and they were forced to participate in something that wasn’t Christian. I await the ACLU’s response.

[Via]

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One Nation

religion

One-Nation-Under-God.jpg

“One Nation” By Luis Garcia from CreativeMYK

This is the image I cropped to stick as the holiday banner (see it on the home page). Gonna use that as the default for all the more patriotic holidays.

Honestly glad to find this image to use, since I don’t really think I need to be using Charisma Carpenter wearing that flag any more. And by “honestly glad,” I mean, “I wish Charisma wasn’t wrapped in that flag, I wish she was wrapped up in some Suppa–Huggy Johnnie Bear!”

That would be me. I…would be…the Suppa–Huggy…thing.

Too much information. Note to self: learn to fight impulses.

But I am incredibly thankful for the blessings I do have, even if those blessings are relatively Cordy–free.

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I picked a good time to start up again

politics / religion

Okay, first we have to give more to charities, now we have to go and serve?

Wasn’t Mike Huckabee supposed to be the one running for Preacher–in–Chief?

The next eight years may see a lot more politics / religion if this keeps up.

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Why I am here

politics / religion

Two years ago, I gave politics up in a huff. While I had my reasons, when I dropped the format life got duller. A nice duller.

However, as we are all want to do, I needed the thrill. I needed the action. I needed the obsessive–compulsive disorder to make of mockery of my social life (again). I had to get back in the grift.

The problem with grifting is this: usually, you want something out of the deal. Whether to inform, persuade, or — in my case — to make all that mad blog money the kids seem to talk about all the time. You use your angle to get leverage to take the thing you want. That’s the grift.

In 2008, I need no leverage. There’s nothing I want.

Dogs, hunts, and not having them

During this latest presidential primary season, I never had a candidate. Never in the 2004 primaries — er — 2008 primaries (just feels like it’s been going on since then, I guess), did I endorse a candidate. Not even when there were 19,033 Republicans on the stage could I pick one.

It got so bad this year that I actually tried to find out something about the Democrat candidates. No, not the only ones that were going to win the thing — the ones who would actually do something different in government. Depressingly, no candidate brings much of anything other than status quo.

Well, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul would, but they have been deemed unelectable. We all want change, as long as it’s not us that gotta do the changing.

The can–you–believe–it short version

The past couple of weeks have really changed my outlook on the current presidential elections. I’ve weighed the consequences of speaking out against what I believe to be wrong versus the safety and calm of silence. For whatever reason, I chose today to stop being silent. The reasons for breaking my silence would take longer than you’d care to read, but suffice it to say one major reason was a speech in a church.

Churches are near and dear to me, whether you understand them to be the buildings we go to meet each other, or the people who meet. The church is a body, with many parts, with many different functions. Since I value everything in a caste system starting with God, then family, then country, then other stuff, I usually think clearly.

So when somebody claims to be doing good for God, I usually think, “really?” For those of you who don’t understand the fundamental plank of Christianity — that none of us are good — American pragmatism tends to take over.

But God does not require us to do “good things.” He requires obedience. And, rightly, when God requires something for his purposes, it will benefit those whom he chooses (again for his purposes, not ours). And God is bullish on the future, things happening now may not have a relevant impact for decades — or centuries.

Long story medium: politics and my relationship to God are incredibly important to me. Seeing bad doctrine preached, or watching people lead the church astray get me motivated. That’s why I’m here.

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Where was I?

politics / religion / technology

Okay, last time I stopped doing this thing, the Republicans were going steadfastly into defeat, nobody was reporting the good news in Iraq, religion was being blamed for everything that’s wrong, and my biggest source of traffic was spammers going through a link on TechCrunch.

Yep, seems like I never left.

Oh…this is probably a big mistake…

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