October 3, 2011

I Love Sunday Night TV This Time Of Year

I don't make excuses. I'm a fifty year old who can't get enough of Family Guy and American Dad. I watch The Simpsons, but I could actually cut the strings if I had something better to. I can't put my finger on it, but that show has become a bit cliquish and it sort of tries to talk down to its audience in a way I just can't explain. The Cleveland Show is good, but why wouldn't it be as it is the creation of Seth MacFarlane (who is responsible for both Family Guy and American Dad for those living under a rock).

I'm not just into cartoons on Sunday nights. I discovered Boardwalk Empire over the summer, a series that is loosely based on actual happenings on the East Coast of the USA in the 1920's. It is a good replacement for The Sopranos.

And of course, my favorite non cartoon show is Dexter. Its new season kicked off last night. No disappointments.

Six shows, 4 straight hours of being in a TV zone. I'm kind of like a shark in a feeding frenzy by the time Family Guy begins at 9.

What was really neat about last night is that 3 or the 6 shows brought up atheism.

The Simpsons was first. Bart was at a National Park with Superintendent Chalmers. Chalmers told him that Teddy Roosevelt built the park. Bart replied that he alway thought God did it, and then acknowledged that Chalmers gave him a lesson in atheism, much to Chalmers embarrassment.

Next, was the most cringing reference. It came on The Cleveland Show. During a hurricane, Cleveland Jr. came out and told his family he didn't believe in God. However, when Cleveland "accused" him of being an atheism, Jr. quickly denounced that by calling atheism a religion, referring to Brian (the atheist dog on Family Guy) as preachy.

OK, so whoever wrote that part of the script yesterday is basically making a distinction that a non believer is just a non believer, but an atheist is someone who doesn't believe and makes a big deal about it. Wrong. Someone who doesn't believe in God is an atheist. End of story. The degree of militancy matters not. And atheism is not a religion unless one wants to argue that baseball is a religion too.

Bottom line: Cleveland Jr. is an atheist.

A case was made for faith by Cleveland's wife. It was sort of a why not have the crutch?

The third atheism theme appeared in Dexter. It appears that the idea of faith will be a big issue for the entire season. (Spoiler Alert)

Dexter's child is now ready for preschool. He has heard good things about a Catholic school. During the interview process, when the head nun (no her knees were not dirty) asked what faith Dexter was, she received a no for everything rattled off on her list. Dexter admitted he is a non believer. The word atheist was not mentioned. Dexter basically stated he lives his life as if there is no higher power.

Dexter has to deal with the dilemma of having to give his child the option to believe or not, so he winds up selling himself on going out of is way to get his kid into the school. Throughout the series, Dexter believes he is a monster, and now being a single parent, he wants to avoid having his kid turn into one too, though he believes the writing is already on the wall.

This years serial killers are a couple of weirdos who are looking to speed up the Apocalypse (something that could be a worry if someone like Rick Perry ever wins Presidency).

Finally, Dexter's kill of the week was a cross wearing wife killer who had a tattoo of Jesus on his chest. Dexter asked him how he could rationalize killing his wife while being a Christian, and was told that Jesus forgives, to which Dexter said that is way too easy (or something like that).

Dexter didn't buy into any of it but I think he might have his faithlessness tested this year in coming episodes.

By the way, the best laughs in the evening came during American Dad. All three Seth shows took place during a hurricane. Seth was probably hoping for some hurricane news going into this week. Unfortunately for him, not too many people care about whether Newfoundland exists or not.

September 20, 2011

Real History Of The Israeli Palestine Conflict

H/T Elder of Ziyon.

I'm sort of tired of the anti-Israel stance taken by many free thinkers. I really don't think half of them know much of the history of the conflict, nor do they give Israel any room when it comes to the fact that almost every country on this planet began through might and/or negotiations. Thus, I put up this video, though admittedly one sided, it is full of real history, not rhetoric.

Also, the false idea about Palestinian land is a non starter to me. Land has no DNA, and the land between where two Arabs live is not Arab land by default. Especially when we are talking about non sovereign land, which was the case in Israel prior to 1948 and still is the case in the West Bank and even Gaza today.

I don't get the shot at Obama at the end of the video. Using the 1967 borders (which really never existed) as a starting point isn't a new idea. George Bush Jr. used the same line of thinking when he wanted to come to a solution.

I still believe the settlements were a mistake. But the Palestinians have never shown a desire for a lasting peace either. The settlements are pretty much a diversion, as the ethnic cleansing of Jews in Gaza showed.

However, with the world getting smaller, this perpetual conflict cannot last very much longer, at least when it comes to definable borders. Something is going to have to give, and very soon.

Finally, I really think the support coming from the GOP (which is blaming Obama for the upcoming UN vote...somehow) is not helping when it comes to overall support of Israel by the West, right now.

The GOP is despised at this time by the majority, while Obama is someone who squandered his ability to lead the way he wanted to. The GOP is doing a great job of alienating the middle and lower class by emphatically stating that they won't cut taxes on the rich, while they are for doing away with the payroll tax credit (thus taxing the lower classes more). They are also viewed as the anti-science/anti-progress party.

Today, both Romney and Perry brought up their undying support for Israel. This could lead to a lot more Americans rethinking their support for Israel. The cognitive dissonance that goes on when someone you disagree with on very important issues (the government and the economy) makes any statement regardless of whether they are bringing in good points or not, can cause people to change their minds about what were lesser issues (like supporting Israel to the average American). This could even spill over to Europe and Canada as well.

September 4, 2011

Dominionism: The Christian Taliban (Perry and Bachmann Are Members)

I just learned about a new movement today: The Dominionists. Sounds benign enough, but the goals are not, and with Perry leading Obama in some polls right now, it is downright scary.

Here are a few snippets:

Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry aren't just devout—both have deep ties to a fringe fundamentalist movement known as Dominionism, which says Christians should rule the world. Ed Note: Sounds like what I believe Islam wants to, except it wants Muslims to rule the world.

....Rick Perry examined his relationship with the New Apostolic Reformation, a Dominionist variant of Pentecostalism that coalesced about a decade ago. “[W]hat makes the New Apostolic Reformation movement so potent is its growing fascination with infiltrating politics and government,” wrote Forrest Wilder. Its members “believe Christians—certain Christians—are destined to not just take ‘dominion’ over government, but stealthily climb to the commanding heights of what they term the ‘Seven Mountains’ of society, including the media and the arts and entertainment world.”

In many ways, Dominionism is more a political phenomenon than a theological one. It cuts across Christian denominations, from stern, austere sects to the signs-and-wonders culture of modern megachurches. Think of it like political Islamism, which shapes the activism of a number of antagonistic fundamentalist movements, from Sunni Wahabis in the Arab world to Shiite fundamentalists in Iran.

Dominionism derives from a small fringe sect called Christian Reconstructionism, founded by a Calvinist theologian named R. J. Rushdoony in the 1960s. Christian Reconstructionism openly advocates replacing American law with the strictures of the Old Testament, replete with the death penalty for homosexuality, abortion, and even apostasy. The appeal of Christian Reconstructionism is, obviously, limited, and mainstream Christian right figures like Ralph Reed have denounced it.

"Dominionism is simply that Christians of this belief system must take control over the various institutions of society and government. Some things that make this group unique is that they have some unusual concepts of what they call spiritual warfare that have not been seen before in other groups. Spiritual warfare is a common term in evangelicalism and in Christianity but they have some unique approaches and some unique spins on this that distinguish them from other groups."

On the topics at Rick Perry's rally

"The major topics at these events [are] anti-abortion, anti-gay rights and the conversion of Jews in order to advance the end times," she says. "And this was very visible at Perry's events as these Apostles led all of these different prayers and repentance ceremonies at [his rally].'"

Have a listen here. Rachel Tabachnick is an expert on the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), which is the Dominionist Movement. Tabachnick was raised a Christian Fundy but converted to Judaism because of marriage.

I still strongly believe that the Religious Right is a marginalized group, so once an actual GOP candidate is announced, and if the ticket includes either Bachmann or Perry or Palin, I believe that Obama will win be a landslide. What bothers me is that I could be wrong.

No matter what, it seems Perry and Bachmann are on a mission. The idea of converting Jews to fast track the second coming is really disturbing.

August 18, 2011

Rick Perry, Typical Anti-Science GOP Candidate

Here is goes with the evolution is just a theory crapola:

No one really knows how old the earth is....it is really old though. 10,000 years is pretty old to Perry most likely.

On evolution and creationism:
"I figure out you are smart enough to figure out which one is right"
Obviously Perry isn't smart enough.

He doesn't even know that creationism isn't taught in his own state of Texas...but he said it is. Wow. And this guy is one of the GOP faves?

Not only the age of the earth and evolution, when it comes to global warming, he believes it is a scientific conspiracy as scientists are out to make a fortune from it:

He seems to be patting himself a lot on the back regarding job creation. Seems that in the past 4 years 47% of new government jobs in the USA were created...in Texas. I thought the GOP's platform is there is too much government.

One more thing. He might be another one of those GOP anti-gay closet homosexuals:

Is Rick Perry a hypocritical homosexual? I report, you decide:

August 10, 2011

If I Openly Vandalized A Business, I'd Expect To Be Shot

What is going on in Britain right now is ridiculous. If rioters were raping or murdering in the open, they would be warned and then shot at. To me, there is no difference when it comes to vandalizing and looting a business.

Warn and shoot. It might take a couple of dead youths, but the riots would stop very quickly.

I'm a major proponent of deterrents. I especially believe they work well on the "devil made me do it crowd," but I'm also sure that it keeps the odd atheist from doing stupid things too.