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Archive for December, 2011

Wouldn’t have believed it until I saw it myself, but apparently Fox News have finally done something news worthy including Christopher Hitchens in their ‘Who We Lost In 2011’ segment.

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Today I learned that Pete Stark, a congressman for California, is an open atheist. The only one in congress. This gives us hope that one can still be a politician in the US and be open about one’s atheism.

Stark is the first openly atheist member of Congress, as announced by the Secular Coalition for America.[25] Stark acknowledged that he is an atheist in response to an SCA questionnaire sent to public officials in January 2007.

On September 20, 2007, Stark reaffirmed that he is an atheist by making a public announcement in front of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, the Harvard Law School Heathen Society, and various other atheist, agnosticsecularhumanist, and nonreligious groups.[26] The American Humanist Association named him their 2008 Humanist of the Year,[27] and he now serves on the AHA Advisory Board.

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I thought I’d share a few photos from my trip to Raine Island in Far North Queensland, Australia. I was there with a group of other scientists looking at a range of things from the birds and turtles, to the effects of climate change on the island and sea level, etc. I was there for the turtle work as a volunteer.

It’s a secluded sand cay about 800m long, and maybe 2km of beach the whole way around and had the bird guano on it mined during the 1800s. It has a tower at one end made from the surrounding phosphate rock on the island, and was made in only 4 months by convicts in 1844, making it the oldest European structure in Australia’s tropics.

Anyway, here are some photos of the turtles, sharks, birds, the tower and all the rest. Enjoy.

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Photos were taken by Me, Gemma, Nathan and Andy.

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This is a great behind-the-scenes documentary film made in 1972 on an evangelist preacher named Marjoe. He was raised by his parents from an incredibly young age of less than 4-years-old to preach to churches around the USA to make them a great deal of money. He believes now in hindsight that he probably made them up to 3 million dollars or more from the age of 4 to his mid teens. None of which he ever saw, or was ever spent on his education or upbringing but to train him as a child preacher to make his parents even more money.

He takes the camera behind the mask of his evangelism and tells the audience exactly what he thinks, feels and believes when it comes to Christianity and his job as an evangelist preacher. It’s pretty disturbing when you hear Marjoe speak about what he does. He seems like a pretty nice and gentle soul, but is using his preaching skills nowadays (in the 1970s at least) to make money off of blissfully ignorant Christians. It’s pretty creepy when you see him change between these two people, his normal self and his preaching self. It makes you think just how many preachers are in the same boat, not believing a bar of what they preach and yet having few options as that’s all they’ve ever known or done to make an income. Anyway, have a look for yourselves!

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I only stumbled upon this recently, but it’s from a few years ago. It’s a video of Chuck Norris and his wife opposing the separation of church and state. Instead they think the bible should be taught in all schools as part of the curriculum. Chuck Norris is now the ultimate Chuck Norris joke…

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Fuck me… every other news article these days involves people seeing the face of Jesus in a sandwich, chocolate bars, and now some woman’s drying laundry? What’s more frightening, other than the fact that a 38-year-old woman from Kent, England. noticed what she thought was the image of Jesus’ face in her husband’s sock, is the fact that the media think it to be news worthy (my hypocrisy may be showing considering I’m also writing about it)…

They even talked about creating a shrine to the sock but then the face was lost when they moved it.

Gee, what a shame! Seriously though, have we nothing better to report on? This just proves that people need to get outside more often.

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Skepchick Rebecca Watson has raged up at atheists in a post she’s titled “Reddit makes me hate atheists” after a disgusting show of sexism and chauvinism on www.reddit.com‘s r/atheism forum.

She starts the post with:

Before I joined Reddit, I never thought of myself as a masochist. The great thing about Reddit is that you can subscribe to particular subreddits that represent your interests – in my case, that might be skepticism, atheism, feminism, science, and pictures of baby animals – and ignore the subreddits that make you angry, like Men’s Rights, Beating Women, Space Dicks, and [Choose Prefix] Jailbait. The problem is that Reddit is infested with shitty, racist, sexist, bigoted people, to the point where it’s nearly guaranteed that some of those people will post in your special interest subreddit. The larger the subreddit, the better the chance that this will happen.*

And so it is with r/atheism. R/atheism is very large, and so it is jam packed with assholes. And yet! I continue to read it every day. I read it even though I usually learn nothing new from it and it only serves to create and foster inside me an intense hatred of my fellow atheists.

Two days ago, 15-year old Redditor Lunam posted a thread called “What My Super Religious Mother Got Me For Christmas“, in which she linked to a photo of herself holding Carl Sagan’s Demon-haunted World.

She goes on and on to post a lot of the disturbing, sexual, derogatory comments that members from r/atheism posted up in reply (quite a few… in the many hundreds). I agree with her in that they are absolutely uncalled for and revolting. However, I don’t hate atheists for it. She should be hating on these atheists because of their remarks, but not hating on them as ‘atheists’.

This sort of rubbish happens in all cultures, in all societies and in all groups and races of people from men. Atheism doesn’t have a monopoly on sexism and chauvinism. Christians use this line of logic for hating atheists all the time when they use Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, etc. “They did terrible things, and they were atheists, therefore I hate atheists.” Atheism, the absence of a belief in a god/s, didn’t make either of these groups of people do what they did, so hating them because they’re atheists is irrelevant and pointless as it had no baring on their actions.

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