Showing posts with label atheism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label atheism. Show all posts

September 16, 2023

"Listen up GOP candidates and your pious flock, according to me and my son, woke is good." God*

By Hal Brown

* Disclaimer: I do not profess to know God actually said "listen up GOP candidates and your pious flock, according to me and my son, woke is good." I think that the Bible's deity probably would say this. There's more about my faith history on bottom of the page.

I read the following in Raw Story:

Click above for article

This was my comment in Raw Story in response:

 If there was a capital G god, the most real tradtional all powerful diety decision maker ruling over Earth and all points in every direction to the end of the Universe and perhaps beyond, you know, the capital G god who looks like one of the images below, why would capital H he have had a son he sent to Earth who preached a message to mankind that in its essence was what the GOP is calling woke. Read (Newsweek) "Evangelicals Are Now Rejecting 'Liberal' Teachings of Jesus" here.


The Newsweek article has as its central premise that Trump, other GOP presidential candidates, as well as many members of the party who are pandering to Evangelicals  have "transformed the political landscape in the U.S. to the point where some Christian conservatives are openly denouncing a central doctrine of their religion as being too weak and liberal for their liking."

I didn't read the Daily Beast article cited in Raw Story since I don't have a subscription but I did look at the other article. It was from The Christian Post (below) describing the speech Ron DeSantis gave which concluded with this sentence: He told the audience, “As president, we are going to leave the woke mind virus in the dustbin of history, where it belongs, once and for all.” 

Click above 

Here are two other Raw Story comments with illustrations (click to enlarge):

A commenter who goes by SailorRet posted many more images here.

Below are a few of the other comments in Raw Story which I think make excellent points:

“I don't know how you could be a leader without having faith in God," DeSantis said. 

The only member of the Founding Fathers who had beliefs similar to Evangelicals was John Adams, and get this, he was also the only member of that group who was an abolitionist.

(Yeah, maybe that was a big reason he and Thomas Jefferson hated each other. But the point is clear.)

Yeah. Woke is why young people are putting off getting married and having kids. Not because they can't fucking AFFORD to have kids thanks to 40 years of union busting and trickle down pushed by their own party. 🙄

Too bad for them, the young people aren't buying their line of bullshit the way boomers and a chunk of my generation (X) did.

No lie. My 20 year old asked me what they could do to avoid struggling with bills and stuff the way I sometimes do. I looked them straight in the face and said "Don't have kids unless you have a great job and you're living with someone who also has a great job. I love you and your sister, but kids are expensive and you need two solid incomes to raise them" (my ex, their mother, was stay at home and ran off with her affair partner just as she was supposed to go back to work, but that's a different story). My 20 year old is LGBT and doesn't want kids anyway. My 20 year old also votes. And NOT for RepubliQans.

So thank 40 years of GQP union busting and trickle down. Not woke (whatever the fuck that is).

"And it’s the faith in God that gives you the strength to stand firm against the lies, against the deceit, against the opposition."'s having a strong moral compass and a desire to do the right thing (for others as well as yourself) that keeps people unwavering.

It's very weak, and irresponsible, to act as if some invisible being is directing and supporting you, because it's a lie and you know it. You do what you want, giving into your hate and fear, because then you can take it out on others - and blame the outcome on your deity.

As for "COVID-ism", Vivek? We all know every single one of you candidates is vaccinated. So you can fk off with that bs.

And you'll never eradicate "wokism", because that's just respect for others and not trying to control who people are. Us telling y'all to stop banning books is not the same as you telling us which gender we are. You're just so convinced you're right, when you're very, very wrong!

Ex-Vice President Mike Pence told the audience, "The facts speak for themselves. Today more young people are delaying having a family altogether. The share of never-married adults has tripled since 1980. People are getting married later, having children later in life; declining U.S. birth rates" — all the "hallmarks of decline."

Phvck YOU Q-Tip! That's called freedom to decide when or what to do in ones life. What is declining is American's showing up on Sunday mornings for sermons, which now a days at many churches are white Christian nationalist propaganda.

These. Christofascists. Are. Insane. I've posted this quite a few times over the past several years on quite a few threads, but it bears repeating: When you mix religious fanaticism with political fervor, you have big trouble. Wasn't it Barry Goldwater who said, "when fascism comes to the United States, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible"?

...""protect children from 'indoctrination' in public schools.""...
Now THERE is projection on steroids... Religious schools of ANY religion are breeding grounds for extremism and bastions of indoctrination. Manipulation at its finest.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" ... OOPS forgot about that, did you? If we all followed the dictate of keeping government out of religion and vise-versa, and ENFORCE that, we'd be much better off.
But NOOO, they claim to be pure and god-fearing, but then reality bites ... right, Kristi Noem and Corey Lewandowski? Donald Trump and (..MANY..)? Ken Paxton and his side piece?

As it is, there are millions running around proclaiming that they "live by" the demands in their religious texts, but they fail to even provide a modicum of proof that their god exists.
Should that not be STEP #1 before committing to your chosen cult? ... I.E. Prove there is a basis for your beliefs in magic? Asking too much, I know...

A personal note:

I was raised a secular Jew.

I suppose I am so un-Jewish that I just had to be reminded what today was, so I am adding this to the blog:

My town of Mt. Vernon, NY at the time I lived there had a very large Jewish population and I barely knew any Christians. There was one Christian family on my block. 

As a adult I was amazed to learn that three of the major players in the failed illegal attempt in 1947 (when I was three) to buy the soon to become a sovereign country of Israel a surplus aircraft carrier named the Attu for $125,000 (described in article here) were my neighbors. They lived literally next to my house or one house away. I discovered that the men I knew, the fathers of my best toddler friends, were being investigated by the FBI and there were agents prowling the treelined streets of my  tranquil neighborhood.  I am still in frequent touch with two of these friends.

My great-grandfather was one of the founders of a major synagogue tthere.

Click above to enlarge

Most of my male friends and all of my boy relatives went to Hebrew school and went through the   bar mitzvah ceremony with the attendent big party afterwards. My parents couldn't afford this and didn't believe it was important anyway. 

They taught me that God was simply a force for good.  I used to say the "now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to God my soul to keep, God bless Mommy and Daddy etc." prayer every night when I went to bed. I stopped believing in God when I pretty young after one experience. I had terrible stomach cramps and was sitting on the toilet. I was already doubting that there could be an actual God but was in such pain I said out loud "God I promise that if you stop the pain I will believe in you." The pain persisted for a long time. I figured nobody with the power to stop it existed because after all I knew I was a good kid and didn't do anything which I needed to be punished for.

Now if I had to describe my position on matters of faith I would call myself an ethical atheist.

December 22, 2022

Musing On My Mortality: A scary dream and then scarier Covid news

Musing on my mortality:
A scary dream and then scarier Covid news
By Hal Brown

I woke from a scary dream this morning. 

I was sitting in the chair at my dentist's  office and he was about to work on a cavity in a molar and I saw that he was about to use the biggest dental drill I'd ever seen. It was about 3/8ths of an inch in diameter like this:

I said to him and his dental assistant "that's the biggest drill I've ever seen." I was girding myself for the inevitable. I was apprehensive but not terrified. I tried to relax and then I woke up before he began to drill.

Then I got up and made a cup of coffee thinking about the dream. I had no idea what I would blog about until I read an article about emerging Covid subvariants.

My morning online ritual is to first look at my email. This trending alert from Medscape jumped out at me:

Click above to enlarge to see what it looked like

It linked to:

So far I've avoided Covid although I have friends and acquaintances who have had it. Except for one who was hospitalized their cases were fairly mild. 

I did have pneumonia last month though. More than 40,000 people die of pneumonia a year in the United States. 

Mine was so severe that my doctor considered having me hospitalized. Instead he decided to treat at home with a strong antibiotic and prednisone. I was bedridden for three weeks with a vaporizer blowing mist at me and coughing up disgusting sputum which I won't describe here. 

Now recovered I feel healthy. I appreciate every day when I feel good knowing that the current triple disease threat is out there: germs to the north of me, germs to the south of me, germs to the east of me, and I have no idea what potential threat is to the west of me that will put me in the hospital or the grave.

Being fully vaccinated from Covid and having had my flu shot, and hoping I have some pneumonia antibodies, I was resting easy enough to figure I was as protected as I could be, at least from debilitating or fatal viral illnesses. 

I don't want to live my life in fear. I am prudent about mask wearing and have a stock of N95's. I still go out to eat, and did throughout the pandemic once restaurants reopened. 

Knowing I was vaccinated was the key to enabling me to going to favorite restaurants like The Colony Pub in the lovely little town of Aurora, Oregon and Wild Fin on the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

I missed this article on Medscape when it first was published on Dec. 22 but got it in the email this morning when it trended:

This is how the article begins:

It's a story perhaps more appropriate for Halloween than for the festive holiday season, given its scary implications. Four Omicron subvariants of the virus that causes COVID-19 will be the most common strains going from person to person this winter, new research predicts.

Not too dire so far, until you consider what else the researchers found.

The BQ.1, BQ1.1, XBB, and XBB.1 subvariants are the most resistant to neutralizing antibodies, researcher Qian Wang, PhD, and colleagues report. This means you have no or "markedly reduced" protection against infection from these four strains, even if you've already had COVID-19 or are vaccinated and boosted multiple times, including with a bivalent vaccine.

On top of that, all available monoclonal antibody treatments are mostly or completely ineffective against these subvariants.

But evidence from other countries, specifically Singapore and France, show that at least two of these variants turned out not to be as damaging as expected, likely because of high numbers of people vaccinated or who survived pervious infections, he said.

Still, there is little to celebrate in the new findings, except that COVID-19 vaccinations and prior infections can still reduce the risk for serious outcomes such as hospitalization and death, the researchers write.

The rest of the article is largely technical but you get the idea. 

The title is interesting in the inclusion of two contrasting words, alarming vs. worrisome. It begins with this sentence:

It's a story perhaps more appropriate for Halloween than for the festive holiday season, given its scary implications

Halloween, lest we forget, was mostly cancelled as a fun holiday  during the height of the pandemic.

The writer seems to be ambivalent and not sure about how loud to sound an alarm due to the scientific findings. Consider:

Not too dire so far, until you consider what else the researchers found.

All this tends to make this almost 79 year old think of his own mortality. 

There's a grave in the new portion of the historic Cemetery at the Green waiting for me in Massachusetts. My late wife grew up in a house which had its backyard adjacent to the cemetery so whenever we from from Michigan to visit my in-laws we'd walk though it looking at the colonial tombstones in the old part of the cemetery..

Click above to enlarge

No remains of me will ever be buried there. I don't particularly care where my ashes go. 100 years from now somebody may notice why there's no date of death for me on my late wife's family monument:

Something is going to get me in the end. To quote Albert Camus:

"Once one's up against it, the precise manner of one's death has obviously small importance.... 

Despite this ultimate truism, the precise (using the word literally) manner of one's death is generally unknowable, even for someone who has a terminal illness.  Only those about to commit suicide know exactly how they will die.

Some people, perhaps most people, think they know what will happen after they die. In fact, nobody knows, or at least there is no proof of an afterlife that hold up to rigorous scientific proof.

I believe with absolute certainty that in no way, shape, or form is there any life after death. This puts me among the 7% of the world population who are atheists. Others find great solace in believing with the conviction of unshakable faith that there is. 

Well meaning people sometimes tell those who are beset with grief that their loved one "is in a better place" without realizing the person beginning the process of mourning, and the person who died, were atheists. Such is the way of the world. 

So there we go... from a dream about a terrifyingly large dental drill to "worrisome" news about Covid subvarients... to my writing a non-political, dare I say philosophical, blog.

Nixon and Kennedy were evenly matched intellectually in their first debate. Nixon lost because of how he looked on TV. Trump may lose because he "loses it" on TV. By Hal Brown, MSW

  Read: Team Biden bets an unfiltered Trump at the debate can shake up the race GOP pollster Frank Luntz said the June 27 faceoff will be &q...