- Genetics will not be used to abort straights OR gays
- On "fixing the gays" and science used for evil
- Natural sexuality
- Apparently even Humanists can be sex negative
- Anti-Porn event - emotional appeals and dangerous misinformation
- Your personal opinion does not trump scientific studies
- When religion protects sexism
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
To put it simply? The current research sucks.
Although a huge amount of data (not always of good quality) have been accumulated in the last 60 years, we still need more research on one of the most challenging aspects of female sexuality.
“Do you believe you have a so called G spot, a small areas the size of a 20p coin on the front wall of your vagina that is sensitive to deep pressure?”
"The Waiting Game is about a guy who saves himself for marriage only to have his fiance leave him on their wedding day. He must now decide if it's worth it to wait again."
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
* Since PZ Myers has offered to shave his beard into a hideous '80s mustache if he wins -- and really, you should donate to our side for that reason alone -- Adam Lee at Daylight Atheism has agreed to grow a beard if Team Awesome wins. Thus preserving Atheist Blogger Beard Homeostasis, and preventing the world as we know it from collapsing into some sort of hideous beardly space-time nexus.
* Matt Dillahunty at The Atheist Experience TV program will do one episode of the show in drag.
* JT Eberhard of WWJTD? will shave his head... and wax his legs.
And what will Greta Christina do? I hear you cry.
* Greta Christina -- she said, with a quiver of dread in her voice -- will do karaoke.
Let me be very clear about this: I have never done karaoke. I have never wanted to do karaoke. I am a karaoke virgin. But if Team Awesome wins the Camp Quest fundraising challenge, I will pop my karaoke cherry. And I will get it on video, and post the video to this blog and to my Facebook page.
I'm throwing my own embarrassing bribe into the ring, though preventing PZ from performing beardocide should be motivation enough to donate to Team Awesome.
If Team Awesome raises more money than PZ by June 1st, I will attempt to learn how to ride a bicycle, and videotape the whole inevitably hilarious experience.
Yes, I never learned how to ride a bike. Yes, people (especially my family) like to tease me about this all the time. Yes, I feel ashamed when a 4 year old zips past me on the sidewalk without training wheels. No, you're not the first person who came up with the joke "It's just like riding a bike! ...Oh."
I say attempt in my statement because I can't assure you that I will succeed. A boyfriend tried to teach me how to ride a couple of years ago, and I failed miserably. Partially because he gave up on me - yes, I was that bad. But I will attempt, and either way I promise you will get hilarious footage.
But only if you donate to Camp Quest. I'd say so children can learn to be skeptical and ride bikes, but I have no idea if they ride bikes at camp.
And if you don't donate before May 31st? You will have to suffer through a 80's porno mustache on PZ. Not to mention an even bigger ego - who knew that was possible?
So do it! Donate!
[Screener]*, M.Ac. has worked in the field of crisis intervention, with a specialization in suicide prevention, since 1993. She earned her master's degree in acupuncture from Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 2002, and has completed her certification as a yoga instructor (RYT ® Yoga Alliance, 200 hours). Integrating an understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Yoga with training in mental health issues, [Screener] offers a holistic and culturally sensitive approach to crisis intervention. [Screener] is a certified counselor in the state of Washington.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
So let’s reframe. For every mention of Hitchens, counter with a mention of Hecht. For every theory that male atheists are purer or more confrontational, let’s ask why we gender the philosophy of nonbelief to begin with. The ranks of atheists who don’t fit the popular profile are increasing, and with more attention paid to who isn’t a white male author with a fancy-pants book contract, the public face of nonbelief may begin to look as diverse as atheism’s adherents actually are. And if the work of women like Hecht, Jacoby, McCreight, and Gaylor indicates anything, it’s that there’s a need for atheist voices from all genders and sexes to—very rationally—make themselves heard.
Monday, May 23, 2011
But Camping said that he's now realized the apocalypse will come five months after May 21, the original date he predicted. He had earlier said Oct. 21 was when the globe would be consumed by a fireball.Saturday was "an invisible judgment day" in which a spiritual judgment took place, he said. But the timing and the structure is the same as it has always been, he said."We've always said May 21 was the day, but we didn't understand altogether the spiritual meaning," he said. "May 21 is the day that Christ came and put the world under judgment."
Tim LaHaye, co-author of the best-selling "Left Behind" novels about the end times, recently called Camping's prediction "not only bizarre but 100 percent wrong!" He cited the Bible verse Matthew 24:36, "but about that day or hour no one knows" except God."While it may be in the near future, many signs of our times certainly indicate so, but anyone who thinks they `know' the day and the hour is flat out wrong," LaHaye wrote on his website, leftbehind.com.
This is David Eller. I realized soon after the incident that I had violated one of my own most valued principles: just as I ask atheists to stop "speaking Christian," so I realized that I had as a male unreflectively "spoken male." It is exceptionally difficult, as anyone will admit, to see one's own prejudices and failings. I recognize the male privilege on which my reference was founded, and I learned something from the occasion. Actually, I learned two things during the weekend: a Jewish man reminded me that "Judeo-Christian" is a Christian-privileged way of speaking about religion, since Judaism and Christianity are really quite different. So I am more aware now of both the Christian privilege and the male privilege in my speech and thought, and I will try to overcome and eject both.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
"This may sound like a petty update but Damon's parent's (my parents as well, obviously) threw his possessions outside on their front porch and they have left town on "vacation." They won't answer our calls. Currently the only thing missing is his Playstation 3 (that he bought with his own money). I hope that it will turn up. We're still trying to contact the parents about it."
Friday, May 20, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
My graduation from high school is this Friday. I live in the Bible Belt of the United States. The school was going to perform a prayer at graduation, but due to me sending the superintendent an email stating it was against Louisiana state law and that I would be forced to contact the ACLU if they ignored me, they ceased it. The school backed down, but that's when the shitstorm rolled in. Everyone is trying to get it back in the ceremony now. I'm not worried about it, but everyone hates me... kind of worried about attending graduation now. It's attracted more hostility than I thought.My reasoning behind it is that it's emotionally stressing on anyone who isn't Christian. No one else wanted to stand up for their constitutional right of having freedom of and FROM religion. I was also hoping to encourage other atheists to come out and be heard. I'm one of maybe three atheists in this town that I currently know of. One of the others is afraid to come out of the (atheist) closet.Though I've caused my classmates to hate me, I feel like I've done the right thing. Regardless of their thoughts on it, basically saying I am ruining their fun and their lives, I feel like I've helped someone out there. I didn't do this for me or just atheists, but anyone who doesn't believe in their god that prayer to Yahweh may affect.Moral of the story: though the opposition may be great, majority doesn't necessarily mean right. Thank you for reading. Wish me luck at graduation.EDIT: Well, it hit the fan a couple hours ago. They've already assembled a group of supporters at a local church and called in the newspaper. I've had to deactivate my Facebook account and I can't reason with any of them. They refuse to listen. The whole town hates me, aside from a few closet atheists that are silently supporting, which I don't blame them looking at what I've incited here. Thanks for the support though.
My brother has been cut off from all communication by my mother. He is not allowed to speak to me and I live 6 hours drive away from him. There's nothing I can do. My sister is supposed to go pick him up tomorrow and he will no longer be living in that town or with my parents. He's coming to Texas with me.
[...]My sister called my brother and was able to conference me in without my mother knowing. My brother is overwhelmed by all the support that I told him about. He literally didn't know what to say and was not expecting this to happen. He is extremely grateful for all your support and he says "Thank you." He will be on the internet tonight to respond personally.As far as his spirits are concerned, he sounded scared. Really scared, actually. He sounded as if he was about to cry on the phone with me, although I'm not sure if it was because of all the support here or because he's scared. He has gotten death threats already and threats of bodily harm if he shows up to graduation. We're still assessing if it is safe enough for him to be there.
As a personal note, I have disowned my family over this. No one will ever keep me from my brother, not even my mother. The moment any family starts acting like this, they aren't any family of mine.If I told you the story of how this all started, you'd think it was something out of fiction. I think it's a story that my brother needs to tell, though. This is his time.Sadly, because of this, my brother is probably going to be cut off financially from my parents and I will be taking up the slack of making sure he gets through college. I don't mind this, it's just a matter of fact. We've got a long hard road, yet.
“[In the past, non-religious students] respected the majority of their classmates and didn’t say anything,” [Bastrop High School staff member Mitzi] Quinn said. “We’ve never had this come up before. Never…And what’s even more sad is this is a student who really hasn’t contributed anything to graduation or to their classmates.”
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Q: Why May 21?
A: Camping calculates May 21 is exactly 7,000 years from the date of the Noah's Ark flood. In his book "Time Has an End," Camping writes. "The year 391 B.C. is the year when the Old Testament was finished, and 2,011 + 391 - 1 = 2,401, or 7 x 7 x 7 x 7." There you have it.Q: Any other reason?
A: Yes. Gay Pride and same-sex marriage. Camping says God will punish America and the rest of the world for Gay Pride and same-sex marriages, just as Sodom and Gomorrah were punished with fire and brimstone in the Old Testament.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
...Because arbitrary, constantly evolving, man-made social customs are exactly the same as physical laws of the universe that have been empirically tested.
......And because gravity works by making things go downward.
.........And planes fly by...no, I can't even keep thinking about it. I need these brain cells for school.
Thank you, FotF, for adding "fucking scientifically illiterate" to your resume. I'm sure it looks nice below "hateful stone-aged thinking bigots."
INDIANAPOLIS | Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.Seriously, were my family's votes the only thing keeping this state from going totally insane? Did three liberal people moving plunge the state into complete madness? Aaauuuggghhhhh!!
In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.
If that article isn't upsetting enough to you, you should check out Feministe's summary of the effects of Indiana's new abortion laws and defunding of Planned Parenthood.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
"While the world is tortured in this terrible Apocalypse, who better to help the world than atheists? Elite squads of godless heathens, who already live all over the Puget Sound, will help bring people out of the rubble and rebuild their lives. The Post-Apocalyptic Pony Express will help restore communication service by carrying letters across the tattered remains of civilization, giving humanity hope with the sight of the cutest ponies money can buy.
Of course, it's always possible that these religious zealots are wasting enormous amounts of money, time and life with a gigantic fearmongering campaign. It's happened before. On the off chance that they are completely wrong, Jesus doesn't come back, and life continues as normal, we will do our part to help the next generation avoid getting into this heartbreaking situation themselves.
If there is a universe left after all this, Camp Quest West, which teaches children critical thinking and science, will receive a check. Why, you ask? Because when children know how to think for themselves, they don't get taken in by every terrible idea that comes across their desk."
Monday, May 9, 2011
My previous post is a perfect example of this. A Hasidic Jewish newspaper photoshopped Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Director for Counterterrorism Audrey Tomason - the only women - out of the White House Situation Room in what is now an iconic photo. I didn't comment much on my previous post because I was busy at work. But I need to say more now that the newspaper has responded to the widespread fury over their photoshopping:
The allegations that religious Jews denigrate women or do not respect women in public office, is a malicious slander and libel.Except that you are denigrating women, soooooo... yeah, not slander and libel.
The current Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, was a Senator representing New York State with great distinction 8 years. She won overwhelming majorities in the Orthodox Jewish communities in her initial campaign in '00, and when she was re-elected in '06, because the religious community appreciated her unique capabilities and compassion to all communities. The Jewish religion does not allow for discrimination based on gender, race, etc.Except that you do discrimination based on gender, since that's kind of what you did. Not that hard to wrap your head around. You do not post photos of women. You happily post photos of men. Discrimination.
We respect all government officials. We even have special prayers for the welfare of our Government and the government leaders, and there is no mention of gender in such prayers.Except it does relegate them to lower status, because your religion is saying the mere existence of women is somehow immodest. You're not giving an impression - you are being disparaging to women. You have a special rule that women can't be seen and men can. That is sexist, no matter how much you scream "We're not sexist!"
In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.
And people complain about Islamic extremists who keep their women covered in burkas? At least they can be seen covered up. Heaven forbid if a man knows women actually exist in the world!
Sometimes I think men should be the ones getting most upset about these ridiculous "modesty" laws you see in almost all religions to some extent. They're all based on the idea that men are brutish pigs who can't control themselves and will fall to sin and temptation at the mere idea of something with a vagina being in a ten mile radius of them. Isn't it convenient how the solution to that problem is the oppression of women, and not self control and accountability of the men?
Commenter Chris Lawson had an additional good point that needs to be made:
You know, I might take them seriously if they put a black rectangle over the image of Clinton and labelled it with her name -- it would still be sexist and objectionable, but at least it would be honest and it would let their readers know that she had participated. By photoshopping her out, they are lying to their readers and pretending she is a nobody. That is not respectful.Exactly. This isn't just about women not being able to be seen. What they've done is rewritten history to remove these women entirely.
Hasidic Judaism is an extremist sect, and obviously not all Jews or all religious people agree with these sort of actions. But this sort of defense of sexism in the name of religion is seen over and over again, and is why it's so important that we speak out. You certainly have the right to practice your religious belief - but I also have the right to say you're wrong and your actions are harmful.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Hopefully the Force reminded you to call your mom today.
PZ, I know you're scared of the godless blogging army facing you. It's now me, Hemant, Greta, JT, Adam from Daylight Atheism, and you were even betrayed by Digital Cuttlefish. But this is rash. Isn't the beard the source of all your power?
The man knows not what he does. Save PZ's beard by donating to the opposition's fundraiser for Camp Quest. I hear you'll help kids learn to be critical thinkers too.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Ron Paul: Completely off his rocker fiscally (durrr, isolationism, that worked in the past amirite?!?!), but oddly says very sane things about most social issues. Maybe not all of the policies I'd implement, but lots of things I could live with. This made me feel oddly dirty while watching a Republican debate.
Herman Cain: Makes all of his points while counting on his fingers (though usually doesn't keep track properly). His credentials are being the head of a pizza chain I've never heard of. Apparently there's one in Tacoma, and we're tempted to make a trip to try it out. Because seriously, if the man can't even make a good pizza, can he run the country?
Tim Pawlenty: Bland and unmemorable, which means he probably has the best shot at the nomination amongst the crazies. Oh, and apparently he comes from a working class family, which he reminded us about ten billion times. We dubbed him the Republican John Edwards.
Rick Santorum: Scares the fucking shit out of me. He is my nightmare. Can't...can't even summarize. By far produced the most screaming at the television.
Gary Johnson: Again, didn't agree with everything, but was scared when I did find myself occasionally noting that he had a sane stance on something. Refreshing in the "I know I don't have a chance so I'm speaking my mind" way. Oddly reminded me of a muppet.
And overall impressions? I learned it's super important that we list the religion, marital status, and number of children of each candidate lest we vote for the wrong type of Christian. And that all of these Republican candidates are fucking jokes.
Brain cells died, but the liberal in me rejoiced. Obama isn't my dream candidate, but he's better than the alternatives.
Unsurprisingly, the bus ads are now down - but not because someone took a magic marker to them. They mysteriously disappeared from all of the buses while locked in a guarded area, and look to have been removed professionally rather than ripped off. And of course, the bus company refuses to replace them.
Man, if religious people are that afraid of atheists saying "There's probably no god," we better bring the smelling salts for this conference. I'm sure they'll love my talk about how "God" is a misogynistic, abusive asshole. Hopefully I don't disappear in the middle of the night too.
I'm not sure if I have any Canadian tradition I forgot to check out when I spoke in Vancouver. I mean, I ate poutine and learned about Canadian politics - what more is there do to? Though I hear I probably shouldn't bring up Canadian politics right now, ahem... Hey, at least your conservatives aren't as bad as ours, right?
Anyway, I apologize that I haven't been producing as many substantial posts lately. The end of the quarter is approaching, which means things are a little crazy on my end. Have a presentation next week, need to finish my research, then make a presentation for that, then choose a lab that I'll be in for the next four years... Just a tad bit busy. But fear not, my real posts will return soon!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I was holding it together until Woody appeared. Is that silly?
This commercial about the It Gets Better Project just aired as a commercial during Glee. I can only imagine how many kids it reached. Saving even just one life makes it worth it.
Dan Savage, you've done an amazing thing.
(Via Friendly Atheist)
Monday, May 2, 2011
It's long, but I think the panel went really well, so it's worth the watch. I certainly learned new things!
Sunday, May 1, 2011
*That would be traveling to and from work. Yes, I am a pathetic nerd.