Apr 072015

In a Fark thread discussing a particular modern religion – let’s call it “Celebritology” – someone made a good statement that once and for all clarifies the difference between a  “cult” and a “religion:”

“The difference between a cult and a religion, is that a cult has a guy in charge of everything, who knows it is all made up and a big lie.  In a religion, that guy is dead.”

 Posted by at 11:16 pm
Apr 032015

So, a local TV news organization in Indiana sent out a reporter looking for businesses that supported the recently enacted, more-recently adjusted “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” bill. They found one such in the form of “Memories Pizza,” a small mom-and-pop pizza and ice cream joint; the daughter of the owner said that they were a Christian business and they wouldn’t cater a gay wedding. The responses were predictable, such as:

“Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?”

As a result of the barrage of threats, Memories Pizza decided to close up shop. So… terrorism works, I guess.

But then there’s this GoFundMe effort:

Support Memories Pizza

Purpose: To relieve the financial loss endured by the proprietors’ stand for faith.

One day into the funding campaign, it has reached the paltry sum of… $536,155.



Because such things need explaining these days: I see both sides as full of jackasses.

1) If you’re a business… why would you turn away business?

2) If a caterer didn’t want to do business with you… do you really want to do business with them?

Let’s take it to an extreme: you’re putting together a bar mitzvah. You need to get a caterer to provide… well, whatever it is folks generally eat at bar mitzvahs (Hamburgers? Pizza? Cake? Lutefisk? I dunno, not my area.) You have a choice of caterers. One of whom is “Adolphs Bakery,” currently having a special on Swastika Cakes and Aryan Muffins. Do you *really* want them providing your chow?


 Posted by at 8:31 am
Mar 202015

Top violator of women’s rights around the world? It’s Israel says UN

And by “UN,” what is specifically meant here is the “Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)” which condemned a grand total of one nation… Israel.

I’m sure the womenfolk of Syria and Iran and Iraq and Egypt and Pakistan and Afghanistan and Sudan and Saudi Arabia are thrilled to hear they have it so good.


I’ve said it before: the UN’s time is done. It needs to be replaced not by a deliberative body of *every* nation, but one that selects nations based on common agreed-upon cultural tenets. Sort of a NATO writ large.

 Posted by at 9:24 pm
Mar 112015

So, the trial of Boston Bomber Joker Whatshisname continues. Recently revealed evidence includes the inside of the boat where he was eventually found. He had scrawled a message on the inside of the boat, sort of a short-form manifesto explaining the Surt-worshipping creed that had caused him to decided blowing up random civilians was a good idea. And after he scribbled it… the cops showed up and poked some holes in the side of the boat with firearms. As a result, some of the missive was lost, due to having a sudden appearance of a bullethole. Thus the transcript uses [hole] where a bit of the original text was shot out. And the results are… well, entertaining.

I’m jealous of my brother who

ha [hole] ceived the reward of jannutul Firdaus (inshallah)

before me. I do not mourn because his soul is

very much alive. God has a plan for each person.

Mine was to hide in his boat and shed some

light on our actions I ask Allah to make me a

shahied (iA) to allow me to return to him and

be among all the righteous people in the highest levels

of heaven.

He who Allah guides no one can misguide

A [hole] bar!

I bear witness that there is no God but Allah

and that Muhammad is his

messenger [hole] r actions came

with [hole] a [hole] ssage and that

is [hole] ha Illalah. The U.S.

Government is killing our innocent

civilians but most of you already

know that. As a M[hole] I can’t

stand to see such evil go unpunished,

we Muslims are one body, you hurt

one you hurt us all, well at least that’s

how Muhammad (pbuh) wanted it to be [hole] ever,

the ummah is beginning to rise/awa [hole]

has awoken the mujahideen, know you are

fighting men who look into the barrel of your

gun and see heaven, now how can you compete

with that. We are promised victory and we

will surely get it. Now I don’t like killing

innocent people it is forbidden in Islam

but due to said [hole] it is allowed.

All credit goes to [hole].


 Posted by at 3:52 pm
Mar 082015


Augustine College is pleased to announce the 17th annual Weston Lecture, a free public lecture given this year by Dr. R.R. Reno titled Against Critical Thinking.

Dr. Reno has served as the editor of First Things, America’s most influential journal of religion in public life, since 2011. He received his PhD in theology from Yale University and taught theology and ethics at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska for twenty years. He has published in many academic journals, and his opinion essays have appeared in Commentary, the Washington Post, and other popular outlets. His most recent books include Fighting the Noonday Devil, Sanctified Vision and a commentary on the Book of Genesis.

In his talk, Dr. Reno will argue that the life of the mind is based on our capacity to know and affirm truth. Today’s academic culture overemphasizes critical questioning and doubt. This fails to train us how to assent to truth. For that we need a pedagogy of piety, which means an approach to instruction that is ordered toward that affirmation of truth.



And there’s the requisite propaganda poster which draws heavily from science fiction iconography, and seems to be claiming that things like “doubt” and “skepticism” and “questioning everything” are “evil.”



And of course there’s also this:

A freewill offering will be taken.

Yup. A “freewill offering.”

The irony here is that Augustine College is probably named after St. Augustine. While Augustine tried and failed to use logical arguments to prove his faith, he did have the occasional bit of wisdom. Wisdom that the good Dr. Reno should take to heart:

“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. “

Since this lecture has presumably already occurred, it might be interesting to find out how it went. Whether there were any hecklers. Or even just any critical questions or comments. Like “why should I believe you?” Or “Since I don’t need to think critically, I’m’a gonna go join an ashram.”

 Posted by at 12:11 am
Feb 262015

What’s dumber than a western political leader calling for government funded homeopathy and astrology? How about a pack of Surt worshippers trashing their own cultural heritage? Gentlemen… behold:

And on top of trashing a museum full of artifacts, the Islamic State representatives did this:

Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul’s libraries

Remember, kids: you’re a racist if you think some cultures suck.

 Posted by at 6:21 pm
Feb 252015

Astrology could help take pressure off NHS doctors, claims Conservative MP

level of stupid

He criticised the BBC and TV scientist Professor Brian Cox for taking a “dismissive” approach to astrology, and accused opponents of being “racially prejudiced”. …

“I do believe that astrology and complementary medicine would help take the huge pressure off doctors.


“Ninety per cent of pregnant French women use homeopathy. Astrology is a useful diagnostic tool enabling us to see strengths and weaknesses via the birth chart.

“And, yes, I have helped fellow MPs. I do foresee that one day astrology will have a role to play in healthcare.”


I looked this dumbass up on Wikipedia. Apparently he’s for real. And apparently his interest in BS “alternative medicine” is real and not new:

Tredinnick supports alternative medicine including homeopathy and chiropractic.[9] In October 2009, he told Parliament that blood does not clot under a full moon; a spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons of England warned his colleagues would “laugh their heads off” at the suggestion.[10] In the same debate, Tredinnick characterised scientists as “racially prejudiced“.[9]

Health journalist Victoria Lambert has interpreted Health Minister Jeremy Hunt’s call for traditional Chinese medicine to be available on the NHS as an endorsement of Tredinnick’s call for integrated alternative healthcare. Tredinnick claims that “herbal medicine is not quackery”, is cost-effective and, unlike Western medicine, has been used for thousands of years in China.[11]

In July 2013, Tredinnick sponsored an Early Day Motion congratulating a farmer for his decision to use homeopathy.

Ye gods. And I thought American politicians trended towards derp.

 Posted by at 6:16 pm