Thursday, March 01, 2007

Photoshop Love: Religion Roundup!

No Clownin' Around in Church!
For the coulrophobic theophobic in all of us. At least the kids didn't get bored.

Many stories, all crammed full of Jesus, all in one post. Giddyup!

UPDATE:Hannity's Talons
Hannity uses Religexplodera spell on Obama! To say Hannity has stepped in it would be inaccurate as his shoes are made of it. First the madrasa smear, now Hannity says Obama's Chicago church is more like a cult. His guest had never even been to the church.

Yes, sometimes I do want to punch something.

(Updates also at end of Catholic and below as Mark of the ...Minister?)

Our Taxpayer Monies
Our dearly beloved Combative Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday by a bunch of atheists. Bias: So the hand-picked, right wing lifers recently appointed to SCOTUS still leave it liberal enough to be pegged as combative by the far right, and the Irish Catholics in Boston aren't lettin' atheists get past them.

Here's the story without the bullshit: The President is spending our taxpayer money on religious organizations through his "faith-based initiative." And per the religious tunnel-vision of our Minister-in-Chief, you can imagine that Caucasian churches (not temples, not mosques) are getting the biggest slice of pie. And the least bit of oversight. Many people (ooh, me! me!) don't agree with this. They want to sue the government to stop it. Georgie says no one's allowed to file suit about how he spends taxpayer money. SCOTUS is going to decide whether or not it is allowed. Plain and simple in the center, surrounded by fire and brimstone.

I've Found Jesus. He's in my Trunk!
Okay, I haven't found him, and he's not in my trunk, but an ossuary, or series of them. Researchers have found a grouping of tombs that contained a Jesus, Joseph, 2 Mary's, and ...a son of Jesus, Judah. Dag, yo. If Jesus had a son - ? Stop right there with your dogmatic slippery slope. Nobody is challenging your faith (least of all you). FOX already called them names (sur-prise, sur-prise), throwing out words like "preposterous" and "fraud." If you'd like information about the movie (bankrolled by James Cameron) without the bullshit, you can check it out at the Discovery Channel. March 4th, 9pm (ET).

The Jesus Machine
The Jesus Machine by Dan Gilgoff
The Jesus Machine is a'rollin'. "How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America are Winning the Culture War." First reaction: Must Read This Evil. But then I did some digging. I'm taken aback. The information I was able to find appears to reveal that this book doesn't lean.
"Dan Gilgoff has written an excellent account of the political activities of Focus on Family and its important role in national elections. Fair and factual, this book can be profitably read by allies and adversaries alike."
–John Green, Director, Bliss Institute, University of Akron
It's like this everywhere. I am in awe that someone can write a book about something so charged, something so fundamentally driving the country into subcultures, without saying if it's bad or good. Just telling what happened. There's some Buddha/Jesus action going on just in that.

But the picture on the cover still looks like a John Hagee wet dream.

Cherry-Pickin' the Bible
A pediatrician has refused to treat a child because the child's parents have tattoos.

Hippocratic Oath? Mmm...not so much. Do unto others? Screw that. It's against my religion.

This is the manifestation of what is wrong with religion.

Catholic Shenanigans
We all heard about the Edwards bloggers, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, and how they wrote some things that offended Catholics, and how they resigned because Ultra-Bigot Bill Donahue of the Catholic League flipped out on them and the smell of blood attracted the vultures. It hasn't gotten much better.

Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the greatest Wednesday of all, ushering in the season of Lent. But some folks' hearts weren't all wrapped in swaddling Jesus love on the high holy day. The problem? The theme for Lent in Orange and LA counties of California was to focus on immigration reform. And that pisses people off, even in church:

"It goes to show you that the Catholic Church has no scruples when it comes to separation of church and state. The church should stay out of government business unless it wants to lose its tax-exempt status," Gilchrist said.

The man has "christ" in his name! But not his heart. Fuck empathy. And sympathy. Right in the butt.

Pope Benedict XVI has officially spoken out against designer babies. No, not the ones with Louis Vuitton embroidered on their foreheads, but the hip new bandwagon all the cool kids are jumping on: embryonic screening for defects. After all, if God wants to give you a baby that will live a miserable existence in order to punish you for your sins, that's His right.

Truthfully, he's afraid. Refining human genetics could jeopardize the advancements he has made in preparation for his Clone Wars.
Rebel Designer Babies!

There are some things only Catholics are good at believing: that saints aren't idol worship, transubstantiation (that's where the wafer/wine actually, physically turn into blood...ewww), and exorcism. Thanks to the last of these and some extra zeal, the Catholic faith is down one nun. 23-year-old Sister Maricica Irina Cornici thought the devil was talking to her. Daniel Petru Corogeanu went all Ol' School Catholic on her ass and she "died of dehydration, exhaustion and suffocation."

Huh? Generally, only one thing is needed to kill someone, and if you are listing the three above, while all three can result in death, suffocation has a certain finality to it that the others don't. But hey, bust out the Pope Juice, 'cause win or lose the life, the evil spirit's gone. Cheers!

Mark of the ...Minister?
Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda says he is God, filled with the actual spirit of Jesus. He has a "666" tattoo and his followers are following suit. Innocuous? No. This church has a twenty year history ...and bullet points.
  • Followers have protested Christian churches in Miami and Latin America, disrupting services and smashing crosses and statues of Jesus.

  • De Jesus preaches there is no devil and no sin. His followers, he says, literally can do no wrong in God's eyes.

  • The church calls itself the "Government of God on Earth" and uses a seal similar to the United States.

That's about 15 lbs. of crazy too heavy for me. Damn.

Crazy for the Environment/Jesus
The Reverend Jerry Falwell says global warming is "Satan's attempt to redirect the church's primary focus" from evangelism to environmentalism. Ha ha hah ha, are you serious?

Nutty Haredis...
Some crazy sector of Judaism is treating women like Rosa Parks. Wait a second, I wrote about this (If I Were a Bitch, Man) two weeks ago. I guess the Brits don't listen to NPR.

So in lieu of some earth-shattering denouncement or deduction about how we view religion in America, I've brought with me a gay dog (available for same sex weddings), lesbian koalas, and gay penguins. Who wears the suit? They both do. They're penguins, silly.

And to close? Bad Religion's MySpace page.

"I know I am God because when I pray to him, I find I am speaking to myself"
- Peter Barnes

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

U.S. Displays Iranian Tubes

U.S. Displays Bomb Parts Said to Be Made in Iran

"Among the confusing elements were cardboard boxes of the gray plastic PVC tubes...."

If they only knew. These are not weapons. It's obviously a carefully interconnected plot to bring the internets to Iraq.

Flashback: Ted Stevens.

"It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."

Enormous amounts of material. Terrorist material. On the Internets!

Is anyone checking inside those tubes?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Drudge Leaves Gore Defenseless

Drudge's link to FOX's content of "Gore Responds to Charges His House Uses Too Much Electricity."

Story enlarged for readability.

Conservapedia: Jesus Christ on a ...what?

Some of you may have already heard of Conservapedia, the conservative, retarded cousin of Wikipedia. The speed at which it loads lends itself to the idea that it is hosted on a dial-up 386 in some teenage kid's basement bedroom.

There is well-founded outrage being shot all over the internet (Jack & Jill's a good one). Honestly, I was surprised the word "Coon" wasn't used (oh yes it was. Now if someone could tell me what the origin of the name Coon Rod is).

But where there is outrage, there can be entertainment! You can read about
  • Feminism: "Feminism is the philosophy that the sexes deserve to have equal rights." No need to click; that's the whole entry!

  • Siddhartha Guatama "was a Hindu" and five other sentences about the life and religion of the Buddha.

  • Hinduism: "It dates back to the ancient days."

  • Unicorns: "At the very least, it is likely that they were taken aboard the Ark prior to the Great Flood." They're serious.

  • Pacific Northwest Arboreal Octopus (This is a spoof - dang kids!)

  • And dinosaurs: "...created on the 6th day...between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago" and how the bible...good Lord. Literally.

Jesus on a Dinosaur
You've got to be fucking kidding.

I did not doctor this photo. It is from the Conservapedia Dinosaur entry. No Photoshop needed. Yes, the Lord's holdin' a 'gator while riding Littlefoot sidesaddle.

Conservapedia: openly racist, entertaining, appalling, concise. With lots of clapping and pomp, Conservapedia gets the WTF Award!

This is junk science, junk history, and probably junk math, with the most terrifying friend: Authority. People will read this and believe it and relate it and quote it. It will spread like mullet-sportin' DNA.

These people must be stopped. Until then, have a laugh or two at their expense.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sean Hannity: I am Junk Science

On Friday's Sean Hannity radio show, a caller named Terri brought a huge revelation to listeners concerning global warming. Or she may have thought. Here's the exchange (all emphasis mine, scan the bold parts if you're ADHD):

SEAN: Terri is next. Virginia Beach. Hey, Terri. How are you?

TERRI: Hi. I'm fine. Um, I teach meteorology at a university, and I'd rather not say which one, and, um, when you talk about the greenhouse theory of global warming, the theory is that we' re putting CO2 into the atmosphere and it's making the planet warm. That's the theory. And when you look at the data, and you see that, in the middle ages, they had the medieval warm period, where the planet was warmer than it is today, and they know that because England supported a grape - they grew grapes in England and they, uh, produced wine. So the middle ages was warmer. If it's the CO2 that is driving the warming, what made the CO2 go up in the middle ages? And no one has answered that. And when you look at the data, you see it's been warmer, it's been colder, and there is a correlation with the carbon dioxide But no one can say - except for right now - we're burning fossil fuels and we're putting CO2 into the atmosphere and that's making it get warmer. But no one can say what made CO2 go up and down in the past.

SEAN: I - B-boy, I'm listening to you and I'm thinking you need to write a book on this.

TERRI: And so It's really frightening that people - And, and if we stop all fossil fuels tomorrow, I personally don't think it would make a difference. What is very scary is that people are starting to talk about: let's sequester CO2, let's build mechanisms to take CO2 out of the atmosphere. And that's really scary. 'Cause that's messing with the climate.

SEAN: You know what, that's very, very well said, uh, I hope you'll write the definitive book on global warming hysteria. Would you do that for me?

TERRI: I actually sent you an email about a week ago. I was listening to you on the way home and I got so angry about the global warming discussion. And so I wrote you a, a pretty detailed email, and there's something called Milankovitch Cycles, which you probably haven't heard about unless you've actually looked into global warming. And what Milankovitch Cycles say, is that the sun, the intensity of solar radiation changes over time. And if you think about the Earth, the Earth is what, three-quarters water? And if you think back to you fre- to your high school chemistry, the gas laws tell you that cold liquid holds more gas than warm liquid. That's why your Coke goes flat if it gets warm, because the CO2 goes out of -

SEAN: Yeah, I hate that, by the way, when that happens. I want you to know that.

TERRI: Well, if our Earth is covered with three quarters water, and if the, what's making our Earth go up and down in temperature is changes in solar radiation, then wouldn't it make sense that CO2 goes into and out of a solution? And perhaps the warming that you see, if it truly is warming right now, is because of solar radiation, and that the CO2 is just following suit because it's going into and out of solution.

SEAN: You know what, Terri? I am a lucky host. You wanna know why? 'Cause I have smart people like you and others in this audience that really just, you said it so well, I, I could never, ever even venture that I could ever get that close to being that articulate and knowledgeable. So thank you. And, and write this book.

Serenity now (not the Seinfeld episode, the ship.)! Take me away.

No, don't punch the screen. Let's hit some points, shall we?

Medieval Warm Period
Yes, grapes were grown in southern Britan during the Medieval Warm Period, but it was not their (or Europe's) greatest time of wine-making. They make wine in Alaska now. Climate is only one of the considerations to good wine.

Yes, it was warm then, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change disagrees that the MWP was actually warmer, world-wide, than it is right now.

CO2 went up in the Middle Ages? It did not. Just the temperature. Check the graphs.

Milankovitch Cycles
Acutally, "Milankovitch studied changes in the eccentricity, obliquity, and precession of Earth's movements." These do not correlate with the changes we can predict (outside of the 100K ice age) and have nothing to do with the last decade. The NOAA says "While Milankovitch cycles have tremendous value as a theory to explain ice-ages and long-term changes in the climate, they are unlikely to have very much impact on the decade-century timescale."

'Cause that's messing with the climate
Pumping as much CO2 as we are into the atmosphere is messing with the climate. Trying to capture and "undo" that is not.

This is why your Coke goes flat
Admitted Nitpick: Your Coke goes flat because you leave it out too long. The CO2 escapes. If you leave it out in the heat, it happens faster. If you open it at room temperature, or even in the heat, it is not flat when you open it. (clarify)

I Am a Lucky Host
Sean Hannity has a large audience of ignorant people who already think him an expert on everything. When he verbally bows to a caller who waves around the tag "college meteorology teacher," the listenership is being inoculated from reality by something bordering on papal infallibility. And don't get me started on papal infallibility.

What happened in this exchange was junk science, well propagated. Today, thousands more people are not only misinformed, but have the "proof" they heard on the radio, even if they can't remember how to pronounce "Milankovitch."

This is ignorance. This is grabbing onto pieces of handholds on the discarded scat of what any informed person calls science. It is not research. It is not credible. It is uninformed opinion. It is the goiter on the body conservative that is threatening to take over the organism. Run.

Our caller admitted to not wanting to identify her university affiliation. Neither would I. If I said the things she did, it would not be from an unbelief in global warming that I might be fired, but a public statement of disbelief and lack of faith in the field in which I claimed to teach. Or just plain ignorance.

"Ignorance is easy to fix. That's just not knowing. Not like stupid. There's no fixin' stupid."