RCimT: First Sunday of the decade!

It’s the first Sunday of the decade, and I have a slew of links for us heathens to ring in the new year.

In Santa Monica, a poor defenseless decorative gnome put up by the local Atheists United group was destroyed by vandals. As though Charlie the Gnome (named after Darwin!) was hurting anyone.

More below the fold…

Jewish leaders are growing angry at the Vatican’s decision to fast-track Pope Pius XII’s potential canonization. Given that Jews and Catholics worship the same god ultimately, and given the total lack of action on Pius’ part during WW2, I can see why the Jews are a bit upset.

Jim Gardner has been fighting with a Twitter “street-preacher” named @Starchasr as of late, and it spilled over onto his blog. It’s an entertaining read, if a trifle predictable — Starchasr’s not terribly original, you see, and his arguments are approximately identical to other such street-preachers’.

And on Facebook, a Christian asked people not to forget the “reason for the season”, and was quickly educated as to what those reasons actually are. Pure hilarity.

Also hilarious — a live feed of Twitter, searching for tweets praising God or Jesus for various things, and “fixing” them by changing the target of the praise to something slightly more realistic.

The New York Daily News reports that hundreds of animals were found dead in apparent religious sacrifice. Religion can make you do some scary and absurd things. Seriously. Yes, not EVERY religion — but only religion is powerful enough to subvert normal rational thinking patterns to think that killing random animals can actually affect your life. You know, outside of the obvious providing of food.

James Tracy at anatheist.net has a discussion regarding the burden of proof for the existence of deities over at his blog, wherein he and a theistic apologist go back and forth on who needs to prove what.

Epiphenoma has a good roundup of 2009’s most notable news for us heathens. It’s an excellent link anthology, well worth perusing if this week’s round-up doesn’t do it for you.

There’s a poll over at Blag Hag asking for votes on who’s the most influential female atheist of 2009. Dunno why Jen didn’t include herself, but modesty wins you no accolades I guess. (Either that, or she figures someone like Ophelia Benson would run away with it.)

Another Pastor was arrested trying to cross over into the States at the Sarnia, BC border, having been picked up on a warrant issued the day before in Ontario regarding outstanding charges of child abuse and sexual assault from as long ago as 40 years prior.

While we’re on the topic of Christians’ superior moral compases, Hemant Mehta asks, why would a Christian parent not allow a child to see her mother? Whether their mother was a lesbian or not, taking her biological child away is horrible — especially when the non-biological mother converted to Evangelical Christianity and decided that the biological mother’s continued Lesbianism was an affront to her newfound deity. Thankfully, a right-minded judge gave the biological mother custody ultimately.

Apparently Mormons are getting up in arms over “Hot Mormon Muffins”. Because Mormon women are not allowed to be sexy — the Mormon men might mess in their magical anti-sex underwear.

The UK seems to have been developing a bit of a problem lately with Islamic extremism, especially on university campuses. The problem here is, it’s difficult to weed out the extremists from the Islamic youths legitimately looking to study. And short of outright racism, how do you fight this apparently growing threat?

PZ Myers reports on how apparently doomed a philosophy atheism is — at least, according to someone that has precious little information outside the usual suspects’ apologetics.

And finally, Brit Hume suggests that the only way for Tiger Woods to atone for his sins is to convert to Christianity, as Tiger’s a Buddhist and they believe you pay for your sins during THIS lifetime rather than some imagined future one. I’d suggest that converting to Christianity would merely serve to console him in his sins and give him a false peace with himself — allowing him to commit any crime he should so choose, with the promise that he’ll be forgiven because of Jeebus. What a bankrupt ideology.

It’s obviously been a really busy week… if you don’t have enough to read here, I’m sure you could find some stuff of interest over at ScienceBlogs. And if that’s not enough, I dunno. Go find a book or something. What am I, your only source of entertainment? What, I am?! Aww, you’re making me blush.

Have a good week!

RCimT: First Sunday of the decade!
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