Thursday, October 7, 2010

Islamic Center in NYC?

I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired of hearing people rant and rave about a "mosque" at Ground Zero. One, it's really more of a community center, like the YMCA (Christian in name, but I've never heard of any indoctrination going on there either). Two, you cannot judge an entire religion just by its extremists. If we could, we would say that because the KKK invokes the name of Christ, all Christians are white supremacists. Three, many Muslims were killed in the attacks as well. And atheists. And Jews. And Christians. And probably some Buddhists, Taoists, agnostics, and anything else you can think of. It was a WORLD trade center, after all, and culturally diverse.
But a Senate hopeful from Nevada seems to think that not only should the Islamic center a few blocks from Ground Zero be blocked, she is convinced that Islamic law has taken control in a couple American cities. Talk about delusional! Read about it here.
I suggest you Google a list of names of the five dozen Muslims who died that tragic day, and as you read them, think of them with the same compassion you would show for anyone else.
Then read more about this story that talks about a young man named Salman Hamdani. He was on his way to work when he stopped to offer his skills as an EMT. The pieces of his body were found nearby later. Some of my fellow ambulance crew members in my small little town are very against the community center, but they should think of Hamdani along with the 343 FDNY firefighters who died as heros that day and realize that this center is not an affront to America's freedom, but rather an affirmation of it.

Meditation: Sacred or Sin?

It seemed to me that the main argument this preacher has against yoga is meditation. But Psalms 12:4 says
"Consider, and hear me, O Lord, my God. Enlighten my eyes, that I never sleep in death"

Hmmm.... enlightenment...isn't that one of the goals of meditation? But what does this preacher's holy book have to say about meditation itself?

And the words of my mouth shall be such as may please: and the meditation of my heart always in thy sight (Psalms 18:15)

My mouth shall meditate truth, and my lips shall hate wickedness. (Proverbs 8:7)

Sounds to me like these Southern Baptists ought to read a bit before denouncing what many people would say is a healthy practice. And have they even looked at their own rituals? What is kneeling if not a pose/posture, and what is prayer if not meditation and those recitations of the Lord's Prayer and the Doxology sound an awful lot like chanting to me. Where do you stand?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

No Parking

Dear people who parked in front of the ambulance bay: I apologize if you feel the inconvenience of walking a few extra feet in the rain outweighs the value of a timely ambulance response. However, you cannot block firetrucks and ambulances with your vehicle. One, the time it takes to track you down and have you move your car are minutes that make a life-and-death difference to someone in need of emergency care. Two, it is illegal. Please do not cuss and argue with us. K, thanks, bye.

(The kicker to this is that they were using the fire station for a church dinner. You'd think church people would not be so mean, argumentative and selfish. Proves my point of hypocrisy once again.)


New profile in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Moderates Unite

At first, I wasn't sure this was a real thing, but I really hope it is, because it makes perfect sense. The recent Beck spectacle made me embarrassed to admit I'm registered to vote as a Republican. I'm not one to go to rallies, but I live within a couple hours of this one, so if I find myself in the area, I might check it out.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I know what I believe. But I wonder what to tell my daughter sometimes. I have spent the past week out of town helping my grandparents. My grandfather has been fighting lymphoma for five years, has been just been referred to hospice. They will need constant help now. Being the oldest grandchild and the only one in the family with medical training, I took the first shift so I could work with the nurses to set up medication schedules and help get a routine started. My family has a very deep Christian faith and I am glad my grandmother gets some comfort from her prayer and devotions, because the Xanax she's on isn't quite enough. But what do I tell my daughter in response to her questions about death? She completely rejects the idea of the Easter story as illogical nonsense. But I'm worried that she may need a myth or two until she's older and her information processing centers in her brain have matured a bit more, just something vague. On the other hand, I don't feel comfortable telling her something I don't believe myself. Any advice to share from somewhere who's been there?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Implicit Attitudes

A lot of people think they know what they think, but these guys think you don't really think what you think you think about a lot of things.
I'm not convinced that the test isn't flawed, but it does give you an interesting little something to think about.

Try it out, especially one that will really challenge your most cherished beliefs. Return, discuss, and tell me if you think the test is biased.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Southern Style Granite

Helping out my favorite blogger...pass it along. Apparently, this particular business would rather refuse to work with a specific portion of the population than expand its client base for more profit. That's their choice, of course, in this great land of freedom and capitalism, but a little encouragement to be a little more open-minded is a good thing. Read the link, then consider re-posting it yourself. Thanks.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Follow Up

About a month ago, I posted a link to an NPR story about anti-gay legislation in Uganda. Here is the link to the follow-up story. It is even more disturbing. The National Prayer Breakfast organizers in this country are the same ones who helping design the legislation that calls for the death penalty for homosexual acts. I find it unbelievable that Americans who are taught to value individuals and freedom could become so twisted by their religious zeal that they lose sight of the value of human life.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I have finally created a Twitter account. Follow me @iblamereligion

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I pledge allegiance...

The ongoing debate over the Pledge in schools has caused a lot of outcry from the Christian ranks. They claim removing the recital of the Pledge from schools is another attempt to undermine the values upon which they believe this country was founded. Those who wish to remove this tradition from the daily routine of the classroom don't object to a show of patriotism and respect, they only take issue with two words: "under God." The answer to this seems simple- why not revert to the original version (1892), or at least the 1923 version:

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Notice the conspicuous absence of those two pesky words. Maybe this country wasn't founded on the ideals that some claim. Maybe they would be surprised to learn that a writer of another great document in our nation's history, Thomas Jefferson (Declaration of Independence), was in fact, an atheist.

So let's dispel this delusion that to be patriotic one must be Christian. I believe the most patriotic position is that of tolerance and freedom of choice, the opposite stand of mainstream Christian voices.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CCC: Earthquakes 101

RR: "Welcome class, to Earthquakes 101 here at Christian Community College. I'm your professor, Reverend Rick. Today we will be discussing the earthquake in Haiti. 6 months ago, a devastating earthquake left Haiti in a pile of rubble. We will look at how and why this terrible disaster happened."
Independent Thinker: "I know how earthquakes happen, Rev Rick. They are the result of shifts in tetonic plates."
RR: (Completely ignoring IT's comment) "The Haitian people made a deal with Satan and have been worshipping darkness for generations. God sent visited this devastation upon them as punishment for their evil ways."
IT: "Isn't Roman Catholicism the national religion of Haiti?"
RR: "That's just a cover-up by the government to hide their voodoo rituals from decent society. Moving on, God unleashed his wrath on the Haitian people in the form of this terrible earthquake. Can anyone tell me why God is angry at them?"
Brain-Washed Student: "Because God is a jealous god who has commanded 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me' and wanted Haitians to stop worshipping Satan and spirits?"
RR: "That's right, BWS. This was a warning. If they don't change their ways, they might be wiped out like Sodom and Gomorrah."
IT: "Sounds more like a pouty kid trying to get attention than an all-powerful god to me. What did he do, stamp his foot and make the earth shake? That sounds way more likely than plates under the earth's crust shifting."
RR: "I don't appreciate your tone, IT. I'm assigning you a research project to assist in tomorrow's lecture."
IT: "Research, seriously?"
RR: "I want you to look up statistics on earthquakes. Find out how many occur each year, their strength and the amount of damage. I want to show the class how rare a quake as massive as this are and what a record number of people died and how as the world moves farther away from God, there are more and more quakes."
The next day...
IT: "My research shows that earthquakes are random events with magnitudes and frequencies all over the board. While there does seem to be a bit of an increase in recent years of stronger quakes, this is likely due to natural processes. Although this particular quake was quite strong, the USGS lists over twenty of a stronger magnitude world-wide since then. The extreme damage incurred in Haiti is due to poor structural integrity and large population of the urban Port-au-Prince area. Most other quakes occurred in less populated areas and/or in places with stricter building standards."
RR: (obviously surprised at the facts differing from his theory) "Thank you for your research, IT. Moving on, let's take a quick peek at next week's topic: 'Hedonism in Hollywood: Why California is prone to Earthquakes'. Class dismissed."

Author's Note: This fictional college scene is based on an actual conversation I had with my father, a lay minister, after his relief trip to Haiti. For further research, please visit to see a year-by-year breakdown of quakes world-wide. This post in no way intends to make light of the suffering of victims of this and other natural disasters.

Religious Education: An Oxymoron

So I heard an ad today for a Catholic school on the radio. They were explaining the consolidation of the schools in a local district and said how they hoped they could "keep your children in the Catholic education system." I found this interesting. Imagine if you heard an ad that went like this:
"Send your children to us to learn dead languages, superstition and dogma. Our classes will fully prepare them for a future of fear and guilt."
I suppose it would appeal to those who have no wish to communicate in a global market or understand the emerging science of a new millennium. As a mother, however, I would prefer to give my child the best possible educational foundation for her future. I want her to know that there are microwave signatures at the center of the universe, clear evidence of a big bang. I hope she chooses a language class that will be useful, maybe something Asian since there are such rapidly growing economies in China and India. I want her to grow up full of curiosity: I want her to look at the stars and wonder how many have already exploded into supernovas before their light reached us, not simply say "Wow, God made it so pretty."
I guess my point here is that religion would have us believe that a supernatural being made everything and would rather we didn't ask how. That is in direct opposition to the goals of education.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

a link to check out

This story from NPR is a wonderful (although very upsetting) example of why I blame organized religion for the vast majority of the problems in this world.

Give it a read, do your own research, and return to discuss.


Hello. If you are here, you probably fall into one of two categories. You may be one of those devout types of any flavor looking for people to harass or use as examples. Or you may be one of those who prefers actual evidence on which to base their ideas. If you are belong to the former group, you are welcome to keep reading, and who knows, you might learn something. If you belong to the latter category, you are a minority in this country. Depending on the source, estimates for our population average around 3% of Americans. So welcome to a blog full of science, reason and independent thought and completely deviod of magic, superstition and cat pictures with grammatically incorrect captions.