Welcome to another end-of-weekend link roundup! Your Cool Atheist of the Week is the creator/producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Joss Whedon.
The Onion: Is there a God?
Joss Whedon: No.
O: That’s it, end of story, no?
JW: Absolutely not. That’s a very important and necessary thing to learn.
In the writer/director commentary track to Episode 16 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 5 (The Body), Joss makes the following remarks concerning his characters’ responses to death and mourning in general: “…at this time a lot of people turn to, as Tim Minear would call him, The Sky Bully, but since I don’t believe in The Sky Bully, and don’t really have that to fall back on, I haven’t really found any lessons in death other than I wish it wouldn’t.”
Over at Hack-a-Day, they’ve built a toaster modification that could be a virtual goldmine if coupled with an eBay high-profile seller account — every toast made in it makes a pattern that looks like Jesus. Or maybe Charles Manson. Either way, it must be blessed by the holy spirit!
A Sikh boy is withdrawn from school after officials refuse to allow him to wear a kirpan — one of the Five K’s that a baptized Saint-Soldier has to wear at all times. Regardless that a kirpan is a “weapon of defense”, anyone could take the thing off him and do real damage to him or someone else. I don’t care that it’s a tenet of your faith that you have to carry a weapon around — that does not override public safety concerns. There should be, frankly, absolutely zero religious exemptions from public programs like school in a world where religious exemptions lead to all manner of nonsense from refusal to perform blood transfusions to “faith-based healing” to exemptions from learning science that conflicts with your dogma.
And while we’re talking about fundamentalism, fundie teenagers have a higher pregnancy rate. How’s that abstinence-only campaign working for you? I realize one of the goals of religion is to pop out more sprogs that you can train and indoctrinate into the religion before the insidious public school system gets its hooks into them and teaches them about reality, but at some point your lies for Jesus have to be called out for what they are. You have no intention of teaching kids how to avoid pregnancy at all. You just want them to get pregnant (and never have any abortions), and telling them not to even think about having sex is the easiest way to get them to be fruitful and multiply.
A new ScienceBlogs blogger posts about his book, Evolution for Everyone, and theorizes that atheism is becoming a stealth religion. In a way, I can see that — with prophets like Bill Maher, who apparently does not disbelieve out of a sense of rationality but rather in an effort to undercut the established religions of the day. David Sloan Wilson however takes a number of, in my view, unmerited swipes at the “New Atheists”. This blog is sure to widen the Great Rift that everyone seems to think atheism is developing. He does, regardless, make some excellent points about how the right-wing folks that love them some Ayn Rand so damn much, conveniently forget that she was one of the first “New Atheists”. And frankly, Rand as an example of atheism as a “stealth religion” rings far too true.
In case you’re wondering whether an omniscient, omnipotent deity is even possible, here’s nine plausible and evidence-based proofs that Google is pretty well exactly what people have been longing for in inventing their religions throughout the ages.
While we’re on lists, Vizhnet itemizes his top ten reasons he’s an atheist. Zdenny chimes in with more circular logic! Hooray for trollspotting!
A Muslim baby mysteriously and “miraculously” develops quotes from the Koran on its tiny body. Doctors have no explanation. I’m assuming because they have dismissed out of hand the thought that maybe the parents are abusing this poor kid, given the brands disappear after a short while. I personally suspect the kid is allergic to something, the parents figured it out, and are using that allergy to make short-term quotes on the baby’s flesh.
Mike Haubrich documents Sean Hannity’s latest salvo in The War On “The War On Christmas” — crying foul over the atheist subway ads running in NYC, saying there would be a hue and cry against Christian ads in the same subways. Never mind that such Christian ads, and even established propaganda stands, have been present in the NYC subways for years now.
And pursuant to this, DanJ recognizes the pretty obvious pattern of outrage by theists any time someone mentions even the very concept of godlessness, using as examples recent events like the Twitter “No God” trending topic and Sean Hannity’s latest epic fail.
Be good for goodness’ sake, folks. Whether you believe in Santa or not.