I found this on the atheist media blog. What I want to point out is about 6 minutes and 30 seconds into the film, the young boy finds “compassion” for his parents. Through that new lens, he can see their feelings and needs and no longer saw them as bullies. He could then see them as humans. This is very much the consciousness behind Nonviolent Communication. Seeing people for what they are feeling and needing rather than the labels we often put on each other.
The video also makes a strong statement about evangelical Christians or others who use a book as anything more than guidance in life.
h/t: Atheist Media Blog
A new website titled the Charter for Compassion states that compassion is at the center of all religions and could be used to unite people. The site’s homepage says:
“By recognizing that the Golden Rule is fundamental to all world religions, the Charter for Compassion can inspire people to think differently about religion. This Charter is being created in a collaborative project by people from all over the world. It will be completed in 2009. Use this site to offer language you’d like to see included. Or inspire others by sharing your own story of compassion.”
I love this idea, but I also have some doubts that it will unite anyone when it comes to religions. Those that need a new outlook on those with differing religions are not likely candidates to buy into this idea. Fundamentalist Muslims and Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians hold conversion to their faith in much higher regard than they do compassion or peace. I suspect those are not the type of people to embrace the idea of uniting people in the world. Many see the differences in the religions of the world as a challenge that must be won like it is a mission from god, a “holy war” not a moral and just effort for humanity. Many such believers are willing to fight to be right rather than be compassionate for the sake of peace.
I do still feel inspired by anything that brings us remotely closer to a world without violence and war. I support and applaud the efforts that ask us to stop and live in new ways. I just can’t help feeling disaapointed that those who need this are not the ones who will embrace it.
Dr. Sa’d Al-’Inzi: When a person commits an abominable act, like homosexuality, for example, or lesbianism, in the case of women’s parlors this constitutes “spreading corruption in the land,” and should be punished by death. […]
Moderator: Other than life imprisonment and the death sentence, what can be done?
Dr. Sa’d Al-’Inzi: According to Islamic law, a homosexual should be thrown from a tall building.
Moderator: What would you do with them?
Dr. Sa’d Al-’Inzi: To be honest, death is too good for them. They should be gathered in a public place, where they would be flogged and tortured, so the truth about these people is made clear and they serve as a lesson to others, because they are an epidemic plaguing society. Read more
I wonder if he really thinks god is love too! Turture, thrown from buildings, public flogging and god loves you. I am baffled at the morality of those who claim to be moral.
H/T: Atheist Media Blog
It shouldn’t need to be said that I am against Prop 8 and Prop 102, but I will say it for the sake of reinforcing it. I am completely against Prop 8 in California and I am against Prop 102 in Arizona as these do not meet my needs for equality and fairness. I am a married gay man who hopes to stay married in the eyes of my government.
With that out of the way, I can’t help but feel some anguish and disappointment over the numbers, the facts or lack of them and the misuse of science. I realize both sides of this argument feel they are right and in my eyes one of them is right. What disgusts me is the ignorance of most of those on the “Yes on 8″ side of this argument when it comes to the science, the history and the real impact of the arguments. One of the pieces of this that is embarrassing to us as a Country, is that the average citizen in America doesn’t know the history of marriage. They have blindly taken the word of their pastors or right wing leaders. They have not pulled out the history books on Ancient Rome, long before the bible was even written or its fictional characters where even born, and learned marriage was a civil arrangement of property. Most marriages had little to do with love, but keeping property in the wealthy families.
The average citizen in this Country also doesn’t know all of the science concerning homosexuality. Why would they? Most red state Americans are against teaching science in the classroom unless it fits with their view of world through the lens of their bibles. Sadly, most of the time, the science disagrees with religion and that has become dangerous for us as a Country. The average American still believes (because of anti-gay hate speech) that homosexuality is some chosen lifestyle, gays all live the same lifestyle, and that we can become “ex-gay.” This writer wonders how we will ever stop global warming, HIV/AIDS or Avian Flu when we don’t even teach kids facts through science, we teach them social opinions. We should be showing them the science as it is current and available in the age of information.
Prop 8 supporters will tell you the rhetoric that they are voting to “support traditional marriage”, but we all know that is bullshit. The facts cannot be ignored this time. They are not voting “for” anything, they are voting against gay people using fear and lies as their guide. All the while, raising millions of dollars that could so easily have saved thousands of people from poverty, starvation, foreclosure and disease. I am convinced that if you ask any average American who is losing their home, living in poverty whether or not they would like to protect marriage from the homo’s or find a way to keep their home, marriage would drop low on the list of priorities.
This for me, is about priorities and nonviolence. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it well when he said we need to “gather all the information and then educate all involved” of the facts. When we really look at the science of sexuality, the history of marriage and the facts the “yes on 8″ campaign is using to raise money we see that facts are the furtherest thing from the argument. In fact, the entire argument is void of facts all together. Ask any reputable biologist what they think about their facts about sexual orientation, then ask any professor of ancient history of marriage then put the two together and watch all of the arguments fall apart for the entire anti-marriage campaign.
What bothers me most is the money we are being forced to spend to save gay marriage while the evidence and facts are ignored in favor of theocracy. $100 million would save so many lives, buy lots of homes, feed lots of homeless. Instead, we are using $100 million dollars to have a worthless discussion over nonexistent facts all the while ignoring the real facts and real history. How frustrating it must be to be starving, losing your home or dying because you can’t afford medical care, to learn that Christians spent millions oppressing people in spite of the facts when they could have been treating the neighbors to life saving assistance. Truly our priorities are severely out of sync with reality.
The Rev. Dl. Foster writes today in his mission to lead people “to” Christ:
“Saints should understand that it is our job to oppose evil and wickedness in the church and in the world. We are to speak out and use the tools God has given us to restrain the works of the devil until our removal. We are not here to make friends, fit in or promote false unity and inclusion. Our sole allegiance is to our King and his Kingdom.”
but Christ says:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
Go figure! It is these contradictions that started my questioning of the bible. Once one loses faith in the book, there is nothing left to validate a belief in Christianity.
One piece of literal readings of the bible that get me is the idea that the earth was created, including man, in just 6 days. The idea that in the year 2008, anyone still believes this to be true shocks me every time I hear it. ABC news is running this great series about the fossil records of man. I would urge you to take a look as just the record shows that this 6 day, 10,000 year old earth story is outlandish.
The story walks you through much of the evidence for the evolution of man. I think one of the reasons that religious folks don’t want to accept this evidence is that it means they need to reject a part of the bible. In their eyes, if one piece of the bible is wrong, it is all wrong.
Photo: Frank Franklin II / AP file
Some guy, with what are being called “extreme Christian” views, has claimed that gays and lesbians should be executed because the bible is clear on that. The remarks were made during a school debate of Federal candidates (it is unclear what office he running for). David Popescu replied to a student asking his opinions on gay marriage by saying gays should be executed.
During a telephone interview later in the day, Popescu reasserted his view.
“A young man asked me what I think of homosexual marriages and I said I think homosexuals should be executed,” he said. “My whole reason for running is the Bible and the Bible couldn’t be more clear on that point.”
Why does it seem to me that hating gays is just fine as long as you claim God told you to do it……
UPDATE: After some thinking and reconsideration, I have decided to take my words back about this one. I am not really sure if I think this is motivated by hate as much as it is fear of god. I think this man truly wants to live by what he believes the bible says about the laws. Funny enough, I would rather chuck it up to hate because I think that is fixable with understanding, empathy and information. Fear of god, I am not sure I can do much to change that one.
H/T: PZ Myers
I get asked often why I am so against religion. This ten minute video really sums up my thoughts on those who believe in talking snakes and space men with H-bombs!
H/T: Atheist Media Blog
This article is just amazing and it scares me. Sam Harris points out problems with the soccer-mom for president thinking that I had not even thought to consider. I urge you to read this article.
Quote from Sam Harris on Sarah palin:
We have all now witnessed apparently sentient human beings, once provoked by a reporter’s microphone, saying things like, “I’m voting for Sarah because she’s a mom. She knows what it’s like to be a mom.” Such sentiments suggest an uncanny (and, one fears, especially American) detachment from the real problems of today. The next administration must immediately confront issues like nuclear proliferation, ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and covert wars elsewhere), global climate change, a convulsing economy, Russian belligerence, the rise of China, emerging epidemics, Islamism on a hundred fronts, a defunct United Nations, the deterioration of American schools, failures of energy, infrastructure and Internet security … the list is long, and Sarah Palin does not seem competent even to rank these items in order of importance, much less address any one of them.
For whatever reason when I hit my stumble button I end up at bible sites all the time. Most likely because I have chosen religion as an interest. Today, I stumbled upon this passage from the gospel of Mark. I remember reading it when I was in school, so it was rather nostalgic for me since I don’t often hear these stories. Anyway, here is the passage:
Jesus Calms a Storm
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
One of the things I happen to notice here is that Jesus fell asleep and the boat fell into danger. Only when he awoke did he calm the storm and pull them out of danger. Now, I have to admit, it is stories like this that led me away from a belief in Christianity. Could God/Jesus not pay attention to his followers safety while he was sleeping? That doesn’t sound very “all powerful” to me. He also woke up surprised and annoyed that his followers were afraid? Had he no compassion for their feelings? Add on to all of this that his followers were in awe of what he had done, but ignored the fact that an all knowing god would have known that they would have been put into danger and left afraid. He allowed it for awhile as he slept? What kind of god does that? He also knew, being “all knowing” that they would be afraid, so why did he wake up surprised they were afraid when being all knowing he should have known every detail of that before it happen? Lastly, why didn’t he calm the storm before he went to sleep or better yet, if he created everything, did he not create the storm in the first place that left these men in danger and afraid? Nice god, don’t ya think?
The bible is a load of hogwash.
This lecture is a summarized and shortened version of many of the main points made in the bestseller, The God Delusion.
Just brillant stuff!
Why will no Christians or religious folks answer this question. I have been asking for years, but never get a straight answer.
“If god is all knowing, and knew before creating you that you would burn in hell and suffer…
why did he create you?”
The following is a comment left for DL Foster on his website in response to his latest post which calls Christians to take up arms and fight “the homosexuals.” It is a frightening article and the language should concern all of us.
“Make no mistake the American political homosexual movement is involved with this having exported their hatred of critics of their sinful abomination to countries where governments are seduced by their money. Are you ready to have your church monitored by undercover homosexual activists? Are you prepared to have homosexuals target your business to test your acceptance of their sin? What will you do when they file an expensive lawsuit against you? In case you havent heard, the war is on.
…This is not a fight to be won with carnal weapons. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Get yours out and get it ready.”
My reply is below:
Why the metaphors of war? Wars are commonly associated with violence. When you ask the everyday person to tell you what war brings to mind the pictured returned will not be spiritual.
I feel terrible concern for the safety of gays and lesbians when I read articles like the one I have read here today. The intention is clearly to rally the troops, but sadly the outcome of this type of language is anything but positive. The underlying message read is that war (violence) is justified as long as it is in god’s name. That may not be the message you wanted to put out, but it is a part of your message.
The use of words like “weapons” and “warfare” added to statements that put fear into people like the one above stating gays and lesbians are going to do things to christians like the Nazi’s did to the Jews are statements that invoke fear into the hearts of men. Fear is the driving force behind violence. Man resorts to violence when he fears for his safety, the safety of his kind or the safety of his very soul. To put such fear into others is to scare them into violence against GLBT folks.
I would request that you begin to take steps to move away from this metaphor of warfare and start using language that is less a call to arms and more a call to look for solutions where religious folks and gays and lesbians can both have their civil liberties respected and honored. I would appreciate that you use language the engages people in solutions to the problems we face not entice them into battles to win against other people. I would ask you move into directions where we seek to have power WITH people not over them. I would request you begin to frame your arguments into winning OVER your opponets not winning AGAINST your opponets. I would request that you present solutions where both sides views and needs can be met without rally cries that could end in violence.
UPDATES: Some of the replies to this scare me. One women wrote that Hitler was a homosexual (not factually true), another wrote about the rapture and flames. Another commenter writes:
“Joe must begin to understand that it is the use of GOD’s weapons that enable us to win others to Christ. His weapons combined with our love for the individual is the start.
Whew! It’s sending shivers through my body watching the Bible’s prophetic revelations come true before our very eyes!”
So lets revist this comment with some editing for the sake of learning.
the commenter wrote:
“Joe must begin to understand that it is the use of GOD’s weapons that enable us to win others to
Christ“Allah”. His weapons combined with our love for the individual is the start.
Whew! It’s sending shivers through my body watching the
Bible’sKoran’s prophetic revelations come true before our very eyes!
If that doesn’t scare you, it should. We must be careful when allowing anyone to be so commited to “god” or religion that they are willing to start wars. I don’t care if it is Christ, Allah or John Frum, if you cannot solidly prove the existence of your god, then you damn well better not be ruining lives for him.
I wish I had not read the papers today. I woke up in a pretty good mood and I am currently taking some time today just to appreciate my safe surroundings, the safety of those I love and the next breaths I take. It is all you can do when you add up the death, destruction and suffering that has occurred in the lasy 5 to 7 days. Close to 100,000 human beings have lost their lives in disasters, bombings, and weather extremes in the last week and an esitmated, mind boggling number of people are currently facing hunger, disease and homelessness.
In Myanmar, an estimated 1.5 million people are facing grims futures. In China, over 18,000 people may be buried alive in rubble from an earthquake. In India, 45 people have been killed in bombings. In Florida, USA wildfires are leaving humdreds of families homeless.
This sounds like one of those days where it is worth stopping what you are doing for just five minutes and recognizing the beauty of the fact you are alive and safe. For so many, that is not the case. In the wake of such destruction, loss and pain, I feel grateful to be healthy, safe and alive.
Whenever someone says to me that I should believe in god, these are the reasons I cannot believe. This is the evidence that god does not exist or at least confirmation that the current evidence is pretty weak.
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"Be the change you wish to see in the world"
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King Jr.
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