7.27.2012

What Is Humanism?: A Video Featuring Richard Dawkins, AC Grayling & Tim Minchin

Via The British Humanist Association:
Humanism is sometimes mistaken for another form of religion, or something which is very complex. Here, some well known humanists explain that all humanism really is, is people wanting to live ethical and happy lives, thinking for themselves, without religion imposing its own morals on them which are not necessarily compatible with living ethically today.
The below video, created by the BHA, features Richard Dawkins, AC Grayling, Phillip Pullman, Tim Minchin, and others.

Watch:



Stephen Colbert Takes On Chick-fil-A's Anti-Gay Stance

Watch:


7.25.2012

'Miracle' Spares Aurora Shooting Victim, Insults Those Left Grieving

While any positive news regarding those injured in the Aurora theater shooting is certainly welcome, I find proclamations of miracles in the aftermath of such tragedy to be a slap in the face to those whose family members and loved ones did not survive.

Via Christian Post:
It is still unclear as to what exactly about Colorado shooting victim Petra Anderson's physical makeup helped save her life after one of four shotgun pellets went through her nose and into her brain cavity.

Was it a previously undetected birth defect? Was it a brain abnormality? Or was it simply the more common trait of having a channel or "void" that winds through the brain?

Brad Strait, who is the senior pastor at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colo., where Anderson attends, and who was along her side in the emergency room, believes the 22-year-old's life was spared by a miracle.

"It seems as if the bullet traveled through Petra's brain without hitting any significant brain areas," Straight wrote in his blog post "A Miracle Inside the Aurora Shooting: One Victim's Story."

He continued, "The doctor explains that Petra's brain has had from birth a small 'defect' in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear. Only a CAT scan would catch it, and Petra would have never noticed it."

He writes that the doctor talked about Anderson's recovery in "Hallmark Hall of Fame" terms, but that he and her mother, Kim, "know a miracle when we see it."
What are the faithful, church-going folks who lost their loved ones to believe? Did they simply not pray hard enough? Did their loved ones not deserve divine intervention?

These miraculous proclamations beg other questions: If God is powerful enough to ensure that stray buckshot enter at this precise brain location, why couldn't he simply have caused the guns to jam before any shots were fired? Or, better yet, why didn't God jam the exit door so that the shooter could not enter the theater? Why allow 12 deaths only to deftly navigate buckshot through an abnormality in the brain?

While it is certainly great news that Petra survived to see another day, is it necessary to lob metaphysical baggage into the laps of grieving families who were nut as lucky?
After he describes an awestruck surgeon explaining his analysis of what happened with the bullet in Anderson's head, Strait writes, "In Christianity we call it prevenient grace: God working ahead of time for a particular event in the future. It's just like the God I follow to plan the route of a bullet through a brain long before Batman ever rises. Twenty-two years before."
If we are to entertain this notion of "prevenient grace," we have no choice but to also entertain the notion that God planned the massacre.

Does that not make God a terrorist?

There is a part of me that says, "Whatever helps you get through the day." However, when that very thing that helps you get through the day insults those left grieving in the wake of such a horrible tragedy, people ought to consider keeping their miracles to themselves.





7.24.2012

NC Pro-Amendment One Group: 'Stop Bullying' Chick-fil-A!

The North Carolina Values Coalition is the new moniker of the anti-LGBT organization Vote For Marriage NC. If you were signed up to receive their 'pro-family' emails leading up to the May 8 vote, you now are receiving emails like the below, signed by Tami Fitzgerald. Same crap, different name.

In the bizarro-world of the NC Values Coalition, the bullies are not those who aggressively discriminate against others because of their sexual orientation. The real bullies, according to this group, are the those who stand up for kids who are made to feel that they are not wanted, who are told that they are "twisted,""audacious,"and unwelcome.

Here is the latest email from the NC Values Coalition, asking that Bible-loving, anti-LGBT individuals support the August 1 Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day by opening their pocketbooks up to the company that funnels millions into anti-LGBT hate groups.

(Note: a protest against the Appreciation Day has been scheduled for the same day -- a National Same-Sex Kiss Day At Chick-Fil-A.)




More Chick-fil-A Bigotry From CEO Dan Cathy: 'Redefinition' Of Marriage Is 'Twisted'

via Good As You:
DAN CATHY, president and COO of Chick-fil-A:"It's very clear in Romans chapter 1, if we look at society today, we see all the twisted up kind of stuff that's going on. Washington trying to redefine the definition of marriage and all the other kinds of things that we go—if you go upstream from that, in Romans chapter 1, you will see that because we have not acknowledged God and because we have not thanked God, that we have been left victim to the foolishness of our own thoughts, and as result, we are suffering the consequences of a society and culture who has not acknowledged God or not thanked God—he's left us to a deprived mind. It's tragic and we live in a culture of that today."

Watch: