Thursday, September 30, 2010

International Blasphemy Rights Day 2010

Center for Inquiry's International Blasphemy Rights Day

"The purpose of this event is to set a particular day as a day to support free speech, support the right to criticize and satirize religion, and to oppose any resolutions or laws, binding or otherwise, that discourage or inhibit free speech of any kind. The focus on 'blasphemy' is simply because it is such a salient issue, and one for which a lot of consciousness-raising is necessary."


Speaking freely is such a pain
when one is forc-ed to constrain
the words that print upon the page
to keep the crowd in temperate rage.

To type the words upon a screen,
so that, by others, they may be seen,
and think about a little thought
what every person ought be taught:
That your ideas may be your own,
but they should not be all alone
for fear of death or harm to you
from sticks and stones they throw or threw
when passions' riot doth take control,
of voice and pen and freedom stole!

The Holy Ghost, I'm not so sure,
would make Mohammed's caricature
a crime to punish via death,
yet blaspheme once, and brimstone's breath
will in your throat and nostrils fill
a taste so bad it might well kill!
Or so say Christians whose trinity
is three-in-one and one-in-three,
and that just makes no sense to me.

So blaspheme, me, this Holy Ghost,
as it's never seen on toast,
And surely that's the sign of fiction.
Now I can't be accused of dereliction!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Melancholy State

Due to yet another online "discussion" regarding creationism vs evolution. One of the posters, "sheep1", seems like someone who might be able to learn evolution, but due to long experience, I doubt he or she would bother taking the time, so I hesitate to waste the time.

Melancholy State

Pensive thoughts oft come to mind,
when see I dialogues of this kind.
It tears me up that some don't see,
The beauty: How we came to be!

The chemistry is hard, 'tis true,
what evolution plainly do:
the evidence that's in the rocks,
our genes, our skulls, and even locks!
The birds doth show similarity
with dinosaurs! Oh my, Oh me!
And who'd have thought that whales would stride,
on ancient lands so near to tide,
that they would one day swim full time,
to eat on fish and shrimp in brine!

This beauty, how we came to be,
it tears me up that some don't see!
For dialogues oft of this kind,
Yield pensive thoughts: My sad, sad mind.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

PZ Myers, Sunday Sacrilege

Shoot, might as well make this the first official post.

PZ Myers, Sunday Sacrilege (Link):
I will not respect a book of lies. I will not tolerate intolerance.

Lately, there has been considerable angst and fury over a bad book, the Koran. Terry Jones, a fundamentalist lackwit, gets called out by the American president, not for being a professional fool taking advantage of our lax laws that encourage the promulgation of religious inanity, but for being insufficiently sensitive and deferential to another gang of fools promoting a different brand of religious idiocy. Then six British racists got arrested, not for real crimes against their neighbors of a different ethnicity, but, again, for the sin of disrespect for a holy book. In both of these acts, the culprits are people for whom I have no respect, who I would not normally support, but they are guilty of 'crimes' that are not crimes. What we are witnessing are efforts by authorities to confer special secular and legal privilege on the intangible aura of sacredness — a figment of the imagination of deluded believers, which they insist all we non-believers must honor.

I refuse.

The insistence by the faithful that we all must treat their precioussses as magical and inviolable has convinced me to re-evaluate the books on my shelves, and I've decided that no, they aren't worth keeping. These holy books have been influential, that's for sure, but it's been a pernicious kind of importance — that we hold these awful, terrible, ridiculous books aloft as the guiding ancient wisdom of our civilization doesn't so much exalt the books as it demeans our culture....
More, and a video, at the link.

How do I feel about this? I think PZed has good ways of making points on these issues. Not as inflamed as, e.g., Terry Jones of the I'll Burn the Koran - But Now I Won't (For Now) fame, but still disrespectful irreverent to make a point.

Would I myself do this, with books given to me? I don't know. I have a Book of Mormon given to me by a co-worker from decades past, and I don't really feel any animosity to him, so I don't think I'd burn that. If I were in PZed's shoes, though, with random people giving me Bibles or Korans or BoMs to try to show me the light, I think I might. Under the right circumstances, and, like Myers, to make a point relevant to the issue.