“I Got My Feelings Hurt on the Internet!” Here’s an Idea, Turn Off Your Computer

Very few things have caused me to roll my eyes harder than reading an article about an atheist feminist who is claiming to have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of harassment on the internet.

I+need+feminism+because_a0d10b_5101878

This woman is not related to the story at hand, but her sign fits rather well.

A Washington woman has come under fire over claims her PTSD caused by online harassment and Twitter trolls is equal to that of military veterans.

Melody Hensley was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 16 months ago following online abuse, which she says is the result of her being an outspoken feminist and atheist.

She caused upset to many military veterans and their families and friends when she claimed her PTSD from Twitter trolls was as bad as mental anguish suffered by those who do active duty.

- Daily Mail

I’ve often stated that those being bullied on the internet have a very simple solution to their problem…turn off the computer or delete the twitter or facebook account that is the source of your trouble, change your email address, etc. This is usually in response to children being harassed by peers or similar issues, but it’s even more applicable when it comes to an adult woman who fears her mental health has been compromised by her internet activity. Internet hate fuels me, but I understand it can be upsetting for some, which is why an adult needs to learn their limit and disconnect from the social media causing their distress when it becomes to severe.

Continue reading

Liberal Atheists* Are Basically Giant Babies

MjAxMy1lNTZlZThjZmE1MzIyZDMwActually they’re much worse, because babies don’t troll through popular culture, the internet, and day time TV for things to get offended by.

Why do I compare atheists to giant babies? It’s simple, they take everything so personally and they try to force people to change their personal thoughts to make them more palatable for Atheists.

They are also wimps. I have heard them complain about how “bad” someone’s opinion of Atheism makes them “feel” and I can’t help laughing.

How thin is your skin? Not everyone is going to like you, especially when you constantly attack their religion and beliefs.

Continue reading

Spoiler alert: Don’t Read This if You Believe in Santa Claus (AKA if you are a member of American Atheists, turn around now)

Apparently Santa is real…or atheists are just confused and trying to be witty.

I wasn’t home last night, and even when I am I rarely turn on Fox News for anything other than The Five or Red Eye, but when I got in it was to hear from my dad that Hannity had been talking to the President of American Atheists on his show, about a billboard they have put in in Times Square.

Thanks to The Blaze for putting up this photo.
Credit goes to American Atheists for the photo itself.

Apparently atheists are operating under the idea that Santa is a real person or something.

Technically I suppose they were trying to be witty and reference how the secular trappings of Christmas are a-okay with them, but cut out the religion right this very minute because they can’t stand one myth being talked about…but the other myth of the jolly fat man in a red suit is perfectly fine.

Can we just take a moment to recognize how utterly ridiculous this is?

No really, does American Atheist understand how stupid they are for implying that only one of those images is a myth?

Santa and Rudolph and the sleigh with all the toys are a myth. They know that right?

Last year I wrote a post about Nativity scenes on public property and this was part of it.

So why is it that a holiday that is based on some fictional account of a baby being born in a barn, is so offensive to an Athiest or Liberal’s sensibilities?

I know that Star Wars is just a story, completely fictional. However there is an entire religion based on The Force. There are huge groups of a devoted fan base that worship The Force and even those that don’t follow the religion still collect relics, dress in odd clothing, and attend huge gatherings to, essentially, worship the films. Do I ask that Star Wars conventions be shut down? No, absolutely not, because while I’m not a Star Wars fan (I’m a Trekkie okay) I know that it’s just a story, that some people enjoy and maybe put a little too much of their lives into.

So if I don’t demand that Star Wars conventions be shut down (which are both more physically and olfactory offensive than Christmas and probably much less healthy for the convention attendees) why is it that a bunch of plaster fictional characters on a lawn can invoke such irrationality?

Atheists reject one myth, because it’s more popular or believed by more people, but completely accept another myth as socially and politically acceptable in the public forum, simply because they believe it’s secular.

I have news for you. Nothing about Christmas, from it’s name right down to the elements of the celebration, is based on secular ideas.

Okay, possibly Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph are purely secular and capitalistic creations, but the core traditions are religious, whether they are Christian or not.

Let’s break this down shall we. What are some of the key ‘secular’ parts of Christmas.

Christmas Trees: Extreme pagan and Christian religious symbolism.

The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime.

The modern Christmas tree, though, originated in western Germany. The main prop of a popular medieval play about Adam and Eve was a “paradise tree,” a fir tree hung with apples, that represented the Garden of Eden. The Germans set up a paradise tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of  Adam and Eve. They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian sign of redemption); in a later tradition the wafers were replaced by cookies of various shapes.

- Encyclopedia Britannica

Lights: Lights on the tree and elsewhere came from a Christian practice, as well as pagan practices.

Candles, symbolic of Christ, were often added [to the Christmas tree].

- Encyclopedia Britannica

The Celtic fire festival of Yule was a time of renewal and rebirth, celebrated by lighting fires to welcome back the lengthening days. The remnants of this practice may be found in the charming tradition of the Yule log, still enjoyed by many people at Christmas even today.

The lighting of candles and modern Christmas lights is also a relic of this ancient need to bring light to the darkest time of the year, and even in this era of electric lights that dispel the gloom all year round, many people still enjoy the warming feeling of seeing a beautifully lit tree or an array of lighted candles.

Decorations

The circle of the Yule or Christmas wreath represents the pagan “Wheel of the Year” or “Circle of Life” that marks the annual changes in the seasons at the Festivals celebrated at the solstices and equinoxes.

The Germans set up a paradise tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of  Adam and Eve. They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian sign of redemption); in a later tradition the wafers were replaced by cookies of various shapes.

Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick: Literally a Catholic saint and the basis for the modern Santa Claus that was so wittily placed on a billboard mocking Christianity. Brilliant move American Atheists!

Santa Claus, legendary figure who is the traditional patron of Christmas in the United States and other countries, bringing gifts to children. His popular image is based on traditions associated with Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century Christian saint. Father Christmas fills the role in many European countries.

- Encyclopedia Britannica

Giving gifts:

“The giving of presents at the midwinter feast almost certainly began as a magical more than as merely a social custom. Saturnalia presents included wax dolls, given to children. A charming custom, no doubt, by times of record, but with a macabre past: even contemporaries thought this probably a vestige of human sacrifice, of children, to aid the sowing.”

- History Today

We have many recorded events in history that show the giving and receiving of gifts dates back at least to the 4th century. St. Nicholas, a Christian Bishop, was known for his generosity in giving to those less fortunate than he, as well as giving to children of all backgrounds simply because he felt they needed to savor their childrood, and have joyous times to remember.

- Wiki Answers

These really aren’t that secular after all then. So I guess what your real problem is, is that Christianity is involved (in which case, no Santa for you either, he’s a Catholic Saint).

If you have a problem with religion in general, then keep in mind that those lights you are hanging, that tree you are decorating while singing secular x-mas carols, and those gifts you are giving out, all have religious connotations.

So you should probably ask your job if you can come in on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, to let other non-Scrooges enjoy a day with their family, since you can’t stand any religions at all. Since you totally reject all religions that believe in “magical sky daddy’s” or whatever mocking phrase atheists are referring to god by these days.

Fresh from her high school prayer banner victory, Jessica Ahlquist throws her hat into another ring.

I would like to start this post by saying two things.

First, I absolutely hate the cruel and violent words that have been used against Jessica Ahlquist. You will not find me on friendly terms with anyone who I find have insulted her.

Secondly, I would like to note that I have read her blog and it reads like the blog I kept at the age of 16.* I was also a very adamant atheist at the age of 16 and I believed I would never change my mind on the subject. I regularly sought out Christians to argue with and reading over the old posts I offered in arguments with Christians is actually an embarrassment to myself. I give age and overabundance of zeal, though not knowledge, as an excuse for my words at the time.** I did not remain in my atheism, not that I claim Ahlquist will change her mind on that, and my ignorance and need to change other people’s minds or even to police the public expressions of religion.

Now I want to address what this post is actually about.

Jessica Ahlquist and her fellow atheists who are extremely talented at making mountains out of molehills.

I will admit that, constitutionally, she had a case when it came to the school prayer at her school in Rhode Island. This isn’t about that.

I can empathize with some of what Atheist’s do, especially when it comes to say…the Ten Commandments being placed on courthouses. After all, I’m not a Christian and I don’t want to be judged by the Ten Commandments in court, neither does anyone else of other religions in this country.

But then there are things like this. Where atheists, who Jessica Ahlquist has thrown her hat in with, are protesting the existence of a WWI/WWII memorial in Woonsocket, R.I. which has a cross on top of it.

As previously reported, the Christian cross, which was built in Woonsocket back in 1921, is causing a great deal of angst among secularists who stand firmly opposed to its presence on public property. Taking on even more significance beyond WWI, the monument was re-dedicated back in 1952 to honor three fallen WWII soldiers who lived in the area and has since been a public statement of remembrance.

In a April 13 letter sent from the FFRF to Leo Fontaine, the city’s mayor, FFRF staff attorney Rebecca Markert called the presence of the cross “unconstitutional” and claimed that a concerned citizen made the group aware of its presence.

- The Blaze

Jessica threw in her hat by tweeting, recently, that she supported the removal.

My question is…why?

Sure it’s on public property.

Sure, it’s a war memorial.

But it’s not like they are using current tax money to put the memorial up.*** In fact, I’m quite sure that if the issue was that the state was using tax money for upkeep of the statue, that the more than 1,000 people who have gathered to support it would be willing to pay for the cleaning and upkeep of the memorial.

But that isn’t what the Atheist organizations want. They want the monument gone.

Why?

Is it causing them undue emotional distress to even see a cross or walk past one? In which case, why aren’t they trying to sue every church they walk past for pain and suffering?

Is it uncomfortable for them to have to explain what that strange T shaped object on top of that stone is to their children?

Does the idea of Christianity just offend them so much that historical monuments and memorials to our service men just have to go?

There are crosses and religious symbols on many of the historic monuments in this country. Should we tear down every single one of those as well, because atheist just can’t handle the stress.

I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that cross on a historic monument is creating a situation where you can’t live comfortably. Nor do I think it is making you a second class citizen, nor do I honestly believe it is constitutionally wrong.

There are many issues in this country that you could be starting useful fights about, but this is not one of them.

Teen Atheist Jessica Ahlquist Supports Removing Woonsocket Cross | Rhode Island

Image Credit: ABC6

Jessica, I fully believe that, no matter what your religious beliefs in the future, you will regret getting involved in this fight at such a young age. No matter how mature you think you are, or you actually are, you will not keep the same 16 year old beliefs, all your life.

_____________________________________________________________

*No, I can’t show it to you. I cleaned out the old posts on my old blog a long time ago…because most of them, quite frankly, embarrassed me.

**Though I must admit that the Christians I debated often had an overabundance of zeal and an underabundance of knowledge on their side.

***In which case I would understand their upset and even support their case.

Christmas, Nativity Scenes, Federal Holidays, and the First Amendment…oh my.

Ah Christmas, the time for family to gather together and…get into arguments about whether Nativity scenes can be placed on public property?

What? You’re family doesn’t do that? Mine does, or at least my brother and I do…sometimes my parents come along for the ride, but my brother and I are the most vocal about it and it doesn’t look like either of our opinions are going to change any time soon.

However our argument made me think about something and so I decided to devote and entire post to discussing just what I put in the title.*

I certainly don’t claim that Christmas doesn’t mean different things to different people and, as this is a free country, you may celebrate the winter holidays in any way that you choose. You may even call it Christmas and be completely secular and atheist.

That, however, is not what this post is about. This is about legal definitions and whether Nativity scenes on public property, such as a courthouse, is legal according to the First Amendment.

The United States of America there are 11 Federal Holidays, usually these are a chance for businesses to close, banks to shut down, and for people to have a day off…or to get paid time and a half if they do work.

Most of these, such as President’s Day and the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day, are completely secular and related to historical or political or cultural norms.

However there is one very different holiday on the Federal books.

Christmas.

What is Christmas?

Well here are a few definitions.

A Christian feast on December 25 or among some Eastern Orthodox Christians on January 7 that commemorates the birth of Christ and is usually observed as a legal holiday

- Webster’s Dictionary

Christmas, Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus. The English term Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) is of fairly recent origin. The earlier term Yule may have derived from the Germanic jōl or the Anglo-Saxon geōl, which referred to the feast of the winter solstice. The corresponding terms in other languages—Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, Noël in French—all probably denote nativity. The German word Weihnachten denotes “hallowed night.” Since the early 20th century, Christmas has also been a secular family holiday, observed by Christians and non-Christians alike, devoid of Christian elements, and marked by an increasingly elaborate exchange of gifts. In this secular Christmas celebration, a mythical figure named Santa Claus plays the pivotal role.

- Encyclopedia Britannica

Christmas or Christmas Day (Old English: Crīstesmæsse, literally “Christ’s mass”) is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ,[5][6] celebrated generally on December 25[2][3][4] as a religious and cultural holiday by billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide.[7] Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world’s nations,[8][9][10] is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians,[1][11][12] and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.

- Wikipedia

Two of these 3 definitions do address what I mentioned earlier, that any number of secular of pagan traditions have become part of the traditional celebration of Christmas and many secular and non-Christian people still celebrate “Christmas” as a gift giving holiday in mid-winter, however all three have something in common.

All three note that the origin of the Christmas holiday is Christian in origin and it is a religious celebration at it’s core. I, as a non-Christian though not an atheist, have no problem with this. I listen to religious Christmas carols and listen to the story of the Nativity every year before I open presents with my family. These aspects are not particularly important to my enjoyment (well the carols are, I prefer them to most secular carols), but they certainly don’t offend me or make me feel marginalized or an outsider in my own family. It’s part of Christmas, always has been, always will be. If I chose to celebrate solstice the situation would be different, but I don’t, I choose to celebrate the Federal and religious holiday that is Christmas.

Now that we have established the Christmas is both a Federal and religious holiday, we can talk about how ridiculous it is for people to demand that nativity scenes be removed from Public Property.

First, as Pat Condell said, it does not actually physically or emotionally harm anyone to see a Nativity scene. If it does cause you emotional harm…well I hate to be rude, but stop being a wimp and grow the fuck up. It’s a plaster and plastic cast of shepherds, sheep, Wisemen, parents, and a baby in a manger. Even if certain church or denomination has hurt you grievously in the past and caused to irreparable emotional scarring, I highly doubt the nativity is going to be the object that brings back debilitating flashbacks of horror.

Second, should there be secular displays and displays of other religions as well as the Nativity? If the display is maintained by a public organization, such as the city or state government, then absolutely. If taxes are going to maintain it, then we should put up displays that show the belief systems of the other holidays that are celebrated at this time of the year. This is not because those are Federal holidays, which Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and Solstice are not, but because we are a country that has many diverse religions and traditions and we should show that proudly. However, if the display is paid for and maintained by a private entity, which many are even when they are placed on public property, then that entity is under no obligation to put up other displays to represent any other faith.

Third, is it a violation of church and state? No, it is not. ‘Huh?’ you say, ‘but isn’t a Nativity scene favoring one religion over another?’ Well, yes, I guess you can put it that way, if the only display is the Nativity. However it isn’t really, because it is a Christmas decoration and Christmas is the Federal Holiday so the display is honoring a specific holiday. The Nativity is just as much a Christmas decoration as a Jolly Old Saint Nick or a Red Nosed Reindeer and tiny little elves and snow flakes.

The actual question you should be asking is. Is Christmas as a federal holiday a violation of church state separation? Possibly, but do you really want to take Christmas out as a Holiday? Is it really hurting you so much to be surrounded by holiday cheer and Angels singing on high and peace on earth, goodwill toward men? If so, then I have one thing to say to you. Hello there, Scrooge, I hope you get a few visits from some ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Fourth. I know quite a few atheists, or did once upon a time when I considered myself an atheist as well. Now I basically just know my brother. However one of the key things that I heard a lot of things about how the Bible was really just a fictional story that (depending on the person) was very poorly written, very well written, interesting, boring, morally reprehensible, had a few good things to teach about morality. Just a story. So why is it that a holiday that is based on some fictional account of a baby being born in a barn, is so offensive to an Athiest or Liberal’s sensibilities?

I know that Star Wars is just a story, completely fictional. However there is an entire religion based on The Force. There are huge groups of a devoted fan base that worship The Force and even those that don’t follow the religion still collect relics, dress in odd clothing, and attend huge gatherings to, essentially, worship the films. Do I ask that Star Wars conventions be shut down? No, absolutely not, because while I’m not a Star Wars fan (I’m a Trekky okay) I know that it’s just a story, that some people enjoy and maybe put a little too much of their lives into.

So if I don’t demand that Star Wars conventions be shut down (which are both more physically and olfactory offensive than Christmas and probably much less healthy for the convention attendees) why is it that a bunch of plaster fictional characters on a lawn can invoke such irrationality?

Sure, almost all religions have their problems and almost all have done bad and harmful things to society at one time or another and I fully support stopping harm done to society by religion, but how is Christmas and Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus hurting society? I’d say the story of Christmas, redemption and hope, are one of the best things imparted by Christianity.

I just don’t get it.

 

*Mostly because the presents are wrapped already, baking is in the oven, my family (minus the brother) are all at Christmas Eve services, and I still have several hours before I can start unwrapping the ones with my name on them.

Christopher Hitchens, ‘bloodthirsty barbarian and a club-carrying primitive’. All the more reason to like him I say.

Never let it be said that following Pharyngula on twitter isn’t a blood pressure raising experience…at least for a conservative.

For the past day I’ve been discussing Christopher Hitchens with various conservative friends of mine, plus seeing numerous tweets from conservatives (Christian conservatives at that) like Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza, and Andy Levy (…okay, I don’t know his religion and he’s actually a libertarian) confessing regret that Hitchens had shuffled off this mortal coil. Conservatives liked him and he was proof that, like gay people are not constrained to the political left for their sexuality, atheists are not bound to liberal ideals (like cultural and moral relativism) because of their lack of belief in god.

So it was no surprise to me to read a post on Pharyngula entitled “The dark side of Hitchens”. His atheism may have been a common thread uniting Hitchens and PZ Myers together, but his political beliefs about war, terrorism, and his beliefs that Islam is not a peaceful religion, but a religion of hate, was enough for Myers to say that Hitchens was a “bloodthirsty barbarian and a club-carrying primitave”. Myers proof that anything Hitchens claimed about Islam, war, or terrorism was false?

Nil.

But that won’t stop liberals from believing him.

F0r myself, I liked Hitchens. His death is a blow to reason, intelligence, and the truth. Not a crippling blow of course, but a terribly sad one. He did not care what people said about him, he unapologetically stood for what he believed and backed up his beliefs with proof and eloquence. He refused to bend to political correctness and sought the truth. We could all stand to learn a few lessons from Hitchens. Not the least of which is, that when liberals are calling you a barbarian, you are probably doing something right.

Of course I didn’t always agree with that man, but I did agree with him on a lot of major points.

Hitchens on Islam

Hitchens on war on Terror

Hitchens hating on Michael Moore

Of course he isn’t the only one who sees the truth of Islam…and these are big names for Atheism. What does Myers have to say to that?

Harris

Dawkins