In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Bullied for Not Believing in God...

confrontingbabble-on:

Despite secularism and atheism being on the rise, some areligious students feel discriminated against—at times violently. Now teachers across the U.S. are creating Secular Safe Zones to “curtail anti-atheist bullying, discrimination, and social isolation.”

The Secular Safe Zone initiative is designed to create “safe, neutral places for students to talk about their doubts without fear of religious bullying.” That’s done by recruiting “allies” and training them to recognize and respond to anti-atheist bullying. The initiative is modeled off of Gay Alliance’s LGBT Safe Zone program, which was started several years ago, in that it allows mentors at schools to explicitly demarcate spaces where “students know that bullying won’t be tolerated.”

School faculty members who affiliate with the program never have to say a thing; they hang the yellow, green, pink, and blue emblem, and students come to them.

“It’s shocking how often people tell secular students that they don’t belong in America,” Jesse Galef, communications director for the SSA told me. “Sometimes there are threats of violence against students who openly identify as atheists … We’re calling on supportive role models nationwide to stand up for these students.” That can include “teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, RAs, even chaplains, who want to create safe places for people to discuss their doubts and be open about their identities.”

Read in full http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/09/bullied-for-not-believing-in-god/279095/

Public Shaming: Bigots Pissed Their Favorite Baseball Teams Don't Want Them to Bully LGBT Youth

publicshaming:

October 17th, 2013 marked the fourth annual Spirit Day, a day where purple is worn to show support for LGBT youth and take a stand against bullying.

This year, the MLB and it’s teams worked with GLAAD to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people. Very cool!

But, not *everyone*…

Fuckin people…

ryking:

Sorensen, “The Bully Rights Movement.”

Actually, the GOP does defend bully rights. Not to marry but to bully with religous immunity. I think many conservatives view bullies as a form of social-correction task force… punching the gay away and curing nerdy-ness with wedgies. It’s part of their general party platform that if someone victimizes you, you probably had it coming.

ryking:

Sorensen, “The Bully Rights Movement.”

Actually, the GOP does defend bully rights. Not to marry but to bully with religous immunity. I think many conservatives view bullies as a form of social-correction task force… punching the gay away and curing nerdy-ness with wedgies. It’s part of their general party platform that if someone victimizes you, you probably had it coming.

Can Religion Justify Bullying Children?

Sean Faircloth, author of “Attack of the Theocrats”, talks about how your tax dollars are used to support the corporal punishment, physical and mental abuse, miseducation and discrimination of a couple million American kids via subsidies to religious fundamentalists schools. He calls on secularists to seize the moral high-ground on the treatment of children.

(Source: Richarddawkns.net)

sirmitchell:

Trailer for the upcoming documentary Bully.

Be sure to sign the petition to have the MPAA rating changed from R to PG-13 so they can show this movie to kids. 

nonplussedbyreligion:

This makes me furious.  I cannot believe they changed the rating of this from PG13 to R.  This needs to be shown to school kids, more now than anything.  This is less graphic than 90% of the things shown on TV, even in cartooons.  I get that the they believe kids need to see this with their parents, but we all know that the children doing the bullying won’t be made to watch this by their parents.  I really hope schools pull together to get this viewed by their students.  When I was in High School, we saw Schindler’s List with the approval of our parents because it was important.  I can’t imagine anything more important than a movie showing the impact of bullying.  Bullying that has been leading to suicide more and more lately. ~ Kim

Bully Documentary Given R Rating, Can’t Be Shown in Schools

The Weinstein Company has lost an appeal to have the rating of its documentaryBully, a harrowing examination of the bullying epidemic in America, changed to PG-13 from R, which will prevent it from reaching its targeted adolescent audience.

The documentary, which will be released March 9 and follows five bullied kids during the school year, received the R rating due to language used by children in the film. The decision to uphold the initial R rating follows a plea made yesterday by Alex Libby (pictured), one of the children in the documentary, before the MPAA’s Classification and Rating Appeals Board. Libby stated that an R rating would prevent the film from reaching the adolescent audience that would most benefit from watching it. 

Harvey Weinstein, cochairman of the company, released a statement, that read:”I have been through many of these appeals, but this one vote loss is a huge blow to me personally. Alex Libby gave an impassioned plea and eloquently defended the need for kids to be able to see this movie on their own, not with their parents, because that is the only way to truly make a change.

With school-age children of my own, I know this is a crucial issue and school districts across the U.S. have responded in kind. The Cincinnati school district signed on to bus 40,000 of their students to the movie – but because the appeals board retained the R rating, the school district will have to cancel those plans.

I personally am going to ask celebrities and personalities worldwide, from Lady Gaga (who has a foundation of her own) to the Duchess of Cambridge (who was a victim of bullying and donated wedding proceeds) to First Lady Michelle Obama (whose foundation has reached out to us as well), to take a stand with me in eradicating bullying and getting the youth into see this movie without restriction.”

Joan Graves, chair of the MPAA’s Classification and Rating Administration, issued a response to Weinstein, that read: “Bullying is a serious issue and is a subject that parents should discuss with their children. The MPAA agrees with the Weinstein Company that Bully can serve as a vehicle for such important discussions.

The MPAA also has the responsibility, however, to acknowledge and represent the strong feedback from parents throughout the country who want to be informed about content in movies, including language.

The rating and rating descriptor of ‘some language,’ indicate to parents that this movie contains certain language. With that, some parents may choose to take their kids to this movie and others may not, but it is their choice and not ours to make for them. The R rating is not a judgment on the value of any movie. The rating simply conveys to parents that a film has elements strong enough to require careful consideration before allowing their children to view it. Once advised, many parents may take their kids to see an R-rated film. School districts, similarly, handle the determination of showing movies on a case-by-case basis and have their own guidelines for parental approval.”

CPAC Panel Speaker Says Anti-Bullying Policies Led To 'Thought Control'

vinegarwilliams:

sarahlee310:

paxamericana:

Focus On The Family’s Candi Cushman said at a CPAC panel titled “In the Name of ‘Tolerance’: Countering Sexual Identity Politics in Schools & Wait No More” said that anti-bullying policies aimed at protecting gay students have led to “thought control.”

The panel, according to CPAC’s program, was focused on how to “respectfully and practically counter activist agendas in public schools and protect parents’ and students’ rights, as well as how we can work to find ‘forever families’ for the more than 100,000 legal orphans waiting in our country’s foster-care system,” and was sponsored by CitizenLink (which was formerly known as Focus on the Family Action).

So just let kids be driven to suicide by bullies.  Those are some real family values.

Because making you feel small and worthless, is my right as a Christian American! God Hates Fags and what not. Don’t take my guns, Barack Obama! Don’t abort your babies! It’s my right to make a law that says you can’t get the pill, because I’m a Christian, and I’m a marginalized majority! Fuck the poor!!

Jessica Ahlquist and Christian love.

abaldwin360:

nonplussedbyreligion:

proudtobegodfree:

serialmatrix:

If you don’t know, Jessica Ahlquist is a 16 year old girl who wanted a school prayer mural removed as it was unconstitutional. A judge ruled in her favour. You should see the disgusting abuse she’s getting. From every angle; Twitter, Facebook, comments sections of any site running articles on the story. Her home address is being posted around by people hoping to exact some sort of revenge. She has already had to leave the school.

Here’s just an example of the things people are saying to her. Feel the Christian love, eh?

I joined twitter yesterday, and it took me like 5 minutes to realize that it’s a cesspool of ignorance and stupidity.

This what the future of our country sounds like America.  These are the automatons that seem independent, yet are run on the hatred programmed by their parents, and will grow up to continue the cycle of ignorance and intolerance.  I’m pretty sure their parents are good God fearing Christians too.  These are the people who don’t have the strength to stand up publicly like Jessica did and fight for their rights.  Social media has made everyone tough.  I’d love to know why none of them were doing anything in real life to stop her if they felt so strongly.  These are the moments that I’m glad I have not bought a child into this ugly hate-filled world.  Wow, just unbelievably disgusting. ~ Kim

I love how they’re all pissed at her for complaining about something that is against the law under the constitution.

Some of the statements about this by the staff at the school are even ridiculous, a school committee member, Michael Traficante, was quoted as saying, “What’s ironic is this banner has to be removed because one individual after 50 years believed it to be offensive because of her disbelief in any religion,” 

It doesn’t fucking matter how long it was there, it’s unconstitutional, and she had every right to complain.

This is bullying because someone upset the status quo and these people are a fine example as to why I have such a problem with organized religion.

MICHIGAN: Religious Exemption Stripped From GOP’s Anti-Bullying Bill

nonplussedbyreligion:

Thanks to Democratic state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer and a shitload of bad national publicity, the religious exemption has been stripped from the anti-bullying bill working its way through the Michigan legislature. But gay groups are still unsatisfied, as the edited version of the bill does not specifically outlaw bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We are grateful that this legislation moves forward without the license to bully based on an outrageous religious exception, but that said, it won’t be effective,” said Michael Gregor, a spokesman for Equality Michigan, a gay rights group in Detroit that wants vulnerable groups enumerated in the anti-bullying bill. Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, agreed that enumerations would strengthen the bill but said Muslims were still “relieved” that the Senate bill is likely dead.

Stand by for screams of outrage from the usual nutjobs. Michigan is one of only three states with no anti-bullying law.  ~Joe.My.God

goodreasonnews:

Asian American teens are bullied more than youths belonging to any other racial group, according to new data from the U.S. Justice and Education departments. (via Bullying By Race: Which Teens Get Picked On Most | DCentric)

goodreasonnews:

Asian American teens are bullied more than youths belonging to any other racial group, according to new data from the U.S. Justice and Education departments. (via Bullying By Race: Which Teens Get Picked On Most | DCentric)

I <strike>may possibly</strike> hate this despicable, lying, hateful, evil, homophobic woman

nonplussedbyreligion:

“Special rights for homosexual behavior are not needed. This makes me very sad for every child in our schools who will be subjected to this deception. There is a very well-traveled path out of homosexuality that every child deserves to hear about. But no, this will become like California in every state, a bigoted mandate to force everyone to accept and approve of homosexuality. Please call our Ohio senators, Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, tell them in that in the upcoming, big education bill, we don’t want the federal government using bullying prevention as a tool to force approval of homosexuality and gender bending on children, teachers and families.” - Linda Harvey, on pending federal anti-bullying legislation.

As I’ve pointed out before here, I don’t hate Christians.  I hate their religion and the way it intrudes on my life.  However, this woman is such a vile, disgusting, and loathsome creature, that I’m having a hard time finding a word other than hate to describe how her words make me feel.  Every time she opens her mouth I want to scream.  Last month it was her talking about parents letting it be known that they do not want homosexual doctors and nurse caring for their kids because apparently the homosexual ‘agenda’ includes recruiting kids when they’re sick.  Her words were so vile that even CNN called her out on them.

She and her ilk are so blinded by pushing their version of sex, sexuality, parenting, and family values down our throats, that they are willing to allow the continuedbullying of children to go unchecked.  These asshat religious zealots, don’t give a damn about the kids bullied for their weight, or race, or the fact they can’t afford the latest fashion.  They don’t give a shit about the kid, that gets bullied for sitting quietly in the corner and never speaking up because they’re too shy. They don’t care about kids bullied for any reason, but most importantly, they don’t give a flying fuck about kids who are bullied because they are lgbtqa.  They are willing to fight every single measure that’s presented to ensure the safety of all children, so that lgbtqa kids don’t get protection.

Hello Mrs Family values, do you not see how thoroughly fucked up your actions are!  INNOCENT CHILDREN regardless of their sexual orientation should not be allowed to suffer in such a manner that they are driven to suicide, with no consequences to their bullies.  I try not to hate, but she spews such evil that I’m finding it hard to imagine there is any good in her.  ~ Kim

These people disgust me. It’s not just the fact that they want to prevent LGBT (or even precieved lgbt) young people from being protected from harassment. They actually believe that bullying is a corrective force in society; that the bullies are some sort of moral police that get to decide what manerisms or behaviors are acceptable. These religious non-humans think that the bully is some sort of vigilante hero saving us from homosexual indoctrination. The ultimate irony comes when this old barnacle scorns the effort to protect kids from being victimized in school “a bigoted mandate to force everyone to accept and approve of homosexuality” (WTF) and a “tool to force approval of homosexuality and gender bending on children, teachers and families.” (doubleWTF) It is hateful nonsense like this that allows me to dispense with the pleasantries and have no problem saying that I HATE Linda Harvey and anyone else (Tony Perkins) who would make a career out of advocating for bullies, all under the pretense that NOT allowing them to terrorize others amounts to some form of oppression. They really remind us how morally bankrupt their religion is when they fight for the right to bully children as an expressed religious prerogative.

A petition against Michigan's bullying law

religiousragings:

gaywrites:

In the face of Michigan’s horrid new bill condoning bullying for religious purposes, someone has started a Change.org petition telling the state government not to pass the bill.

A strange side note - the author of the petition used the text from the GayWrites post about the bill as the body of letter. And I swear it wasn’t me! Whoever did this, you’re pretty cool.

Sign the petition at the link above! 

SIGN SIGN SIGN!!!

Michigan Senate passes bill ALLOWING bullying for "religious reasons"

abaldwin360:

sanityscraps:

gaywrites:

Michigan Senate Republicans passed a bill yesterday that not only does nothing to aid anti-bullying efforts, but actually gives a “license to bully” based on “moral convictions.” From the Michigan Messenger:

The full language of the insert is: “This section does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil and parent or guardian.”

In a floor speech Minority Leader in the Senate Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) slammed the Republicans over the amended language.

“Here today you claim to be protecting kids and you’re actually putting them in more danger,” Whitmer said. “But bullying is not OK. We should be protecting public policy that protects kids — all kids, from bullies — all bullies. But instead you have set us back further by creating a blueprint for bullying.”

The legislation passed 26-11 (not a single Democrat voted for it) and will now move to the Republican-controlled House. 

I’m furious. How in the hell can these individuals justify telling kids it’s okay to bully as long as there’s a “moral reason” for it? This bill is outlining a way for kids to get away with being vicious and cruel. It’s disrespecting the students who committed suicide because they were bullied and it’s disrespecting those who are tormented every day. What if the people who drove our teenage LGBT friends to suicide last year claimed their homophobic bullying was just a religious statement? Would they be exempt from blame? 

This is an outrage. We cannot let them get away with this. Call Michigan reps and tell them they must vote “no” on this bill, even if you’re not from Michigan. This bill legalizes and practically encourages bullying, and we cannot stand for it. 

Republicans are forever terrible. Oh my god.

This “religious protection” bullshit is really getting out of hand.  

This is pretty simple evidence that republicans (especially every single one in the Mich. State senate) are despicable, vile people. It also highlights the moral impairment of religious conviction. This bill is egregious! If you must enshrine some religious idea in state law, how about John 8:7 (let he who is without sin cast the first stone)? If Christians followed that little bit of scripture, 99% of their political activities would cease.

peeves-the-poltergeists-sidekick:

Paula - A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home.
#StopBullying
Teaching- your doing it right

peeves-the-poltergeists-sidekick:

Paula - A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home.

#StopBullying

Teaching- your doing it right