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

 

Do you love Jesus? Does he love you?

iranianatheist:

So if you love Jesus, you must accept that looking at women with lust is considered adultery you must gouge your eyes out instead

Jesus says cut off your hands and pluck out your eyes if you think you might sin. This advice is given when he says that anyone who looks with lust at any women…

I live in a county that is perhaps the most conservative and ‘Christian’ in California. It has a 75% divorce rate.

godlessmen:

'This is about God'. Pastor threatens to stop wedding ceremony because it shouldn't be about photography, but god. The look on the couple's faces says it all.

A Christian wedding is certainly NOT about the bride and groom and their love and commitment to each other. It’s about their celestial overlord and His sovereign consent.

Anonymous asked
What do you think about gay marriage?

You mean what do I think about the reactionary homophobic opposition to gay people enjoying the same life, liberties and pursuits of happiness as everyone else?

I think it’s despicable.

Science completely contradicts Christian's anti-gay bigotry...

confrontingbabble-on:

This issue is one of oppression, bigotry and government colluding with religious fundamentalists to withhold equal rights from a sector of its citizens…

"Along with many other Right Wing Christian groups, [the American Family Association (AFA)] is a hate group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. On a recent show he spent most of one segment ranting about all the awful things that will happen to America if the Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act. In particular, he asserted that it would lead to incest, pedophilia, and bestiality.Fischer is clearly not a very good historian….He’s trying to convince us that homosexuality is really bad and destroys empires. This is a testable claim.

Children of Gays.

  • In 1996, Mike Allen and Nancy Burrell published a peer reviewed study on the subject. They found the following: “The results demonstrate no differences on any measures between the heterosexual and homosexual parents regarding parenting styles, emotional adjustment, and sexual orientation of the child(ren). In other words, the data fail to support the continuation of a bias against homosexual parents by any court.” (The full text is available through PsychNet if you’d like to read it. There is a modest fee for membership.)

  • In 2006, Gregory Herek replicated the conclusions: “The data indicate that same-sex and heterosexual relationships do not differ in their essential psychosocial dimensions; that a parent’s sexual orientation is unrelated to her or his ability to provide a healthy and nurturing family environment.” (Also available through PsychNet.)

  • In 2001, Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz discovered something rather startling. While children of gay and lesbian parents don’t “become gay” any more than children of heterosexuals, daughters of lesbian couples do display one very different behavior: They play better with male children and have more gender-neutral views of society. (Isn’t that what we want? For women to choose their own destinies sans gender impositions?) "53 percent (16 out of 30) of the daughters of lesbians aspired to careers such as doctor, lawyer, engineer, and astronaut, compared with only 21 percent (6 of 28) of the daughters of heterosexual mothers."

  • Overall, Stacey and Biblarz found that "Lesbigay parents and their children in these studies display no differences from heterosexual counterparts in psychological well-being or cognitive functioning."

Adult Gay Relationships

Failing to prove that children are harmed by having gay parents, many Christian bigots will go on to claim that homosexual relationships are “inherently” less stable, less emotionally fulfilling, and psychologically damaging. This claim is also contradicted by the evidence.

  • A 2003 empirical study by Gottman, et al, of the interaction between heterosexual and homosexual couples found that "same-sex couples actually demonstrated more positive (and fewer negative) behaviors during their interactions than did married couples."

  • The 2003 study had a small sample, so Roissman, et al, conducted a more thorough and broader series of studies in 2008. They found "individuals in committed same-sex relationships were generally not distinguishable from their committed heterosexual counterparts, with one exception—lesbians were especially effective at working together harmoniously in laboratory observations."

  • Empirical evidence for actual levels of infidelity in either heterosexuals or homosexuals is very difficult to come by. Varying cultural and ethnic definitions, self-reporting bias, and social concerns have rendered the body of evidence difficult to interpret. At best. There is no data available for divorce rates among gays — since gay marriage has never been allowed in the U.S. However, it’s important to note that there are no reliable studies linking homosexuality with higher levels of relationship infidelity.

  • Recent publications have questioned the reality of monogamy as a historical tradition. In The Myth of Monogamy, Barash and Lipton present a compelling (and cross-disciplinary) argument that heterosexual couples have never been paragons of fidelity to begin with. In other words, it appears that lots of people — both gay and straight — cheat. The Roissman study backed up this conclusion with the observation that both gay and straight couples’ relationship satisfaction was based more on non-sexual factors like parental support and modeling. Not sexual orientation.

In short, the arguments from the Christian bigots fail. They do not reflect reality, but rather a religious ideological agenda. There is no evidence that homosexual marriage destroys society. There is no evidence whatsoever that gays are inherently less healthy, happy, or faithful than straights. There is no evidence that children of gays suffer any harm. In fact, there’s reasonable evidence that children of lesbians are more socially accepting and well adjusted — especially girls. Fischer and all the other anti-gay bigots are wrong. They are factually, objectively wrong, and there is no excuse whatsoever for giving their hate any place in even one point of law.”

Read in full  http://www.examiner.com/article/science-completely-contradicts-christian-s-anti-gay-bigotry

Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker says, "Same sex marriage ban is part of a ‘healthy balance’ of LGBT rights"

iranianatheist:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker argued recently that a ban on marriage equality was part of a “healthy balance” of rights for LGBT people if other anti-discrimination laws were in place.

Well, I guess if we use this idiot’s logic, then we can argue that throwing food in the garbage is just a healthy…

christiannightmares:

Methodist jury convicts pastor Frank Schaefer for officiating his gay son’s wedding (To read the story, click image or here; For a related video, click here http://christiannightmares.tumblr.com/post/33969618553/not-a-nightmare-missouri-pastors-anti-gay-rights)

christiannightmares:

Methodist jury convicts pastor Frank Schaefer for officiating his gay son’s wedding (To read the story, click image or here; For a related video, click here http://christiannightmares.tumblr.com/post/33969618553/not-a-nightmare-missouri-pastors-anti-gay-rights)

Gay Marriage Exorcism: Illinois Bishop Plans Prayer Service Opposing 'Evil' Marriage Equality Law

With Illinois’ new marriage equality bill set to be signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn next Wednesday, one Illinois bishop is planning to mark the occasion with a ceremony of his own: an exorcism.

Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki announced Thursday he will preside over prayers of “supplication and exorcism” in response to the state’s pending legalization of same-sex marriage, which the bishop said “comes from the devil and should be condemned as such” in a statement reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

For years, I’ve had a common retort to those who oppose gay marriage on biblical grounds: Do you make women wear head coverings in church? That’s because prohibitions of homosexuality and head coverings have about the same amount of biblical attestation. When I ask that question, my interlocutors most often pivot to arguments from natural law. That’s because no one — NO ONE — is really a biblical literalist. We all live on the slippery, relativistic slope of biblical interpretation.

Indiana Makes Same-Sex Marriage Applications a Felony Punishable by Prison

On July 1 of next year, same-sex couples applying for a marriage license in Indiana will have committed a felony punishable by 18 months in prison an a $10,000 fine.

The new crime stems from the revival of a1997 law forbidding false information on a marriage license as a Class D felony. It will also make it a Class B misdemeanor — punishable by up to 180 days in a jail and a maximum fine of $1,000 — for clergy, judges, and others to perform a same-sex marriage.

The New Civil Rights Movement explains how the new rule works:

Because Indiana marriage license forms have a space for “male applicant” and “female applicant”, any same-sex couple filling out the form would automatically violate the law. The harsh penalties Indiana lawmakers have approved make it difficult for protest movements like the Campaign for Southern Equality’s “ We Do” Campaign, which encourages same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses as a protest in states that prohibit same-sex marriages.

Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana, but legislators are contemplating adding a ban in an amendment the state’s Constitution. The vote will be held in the January-March 2014 legislative session.

Source

Ender’s Game author and anti-gay activist Orson Scott Card responded to boycotts threats against the upcoming film adaptation starring Harrison Ford. The queer geek group Geeks OUT is organizing boycotts and “Skip Ender’s Game” events in several U.S. cities because of Card’s views on homosexuality. 

He wrote in 2008 that “marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.” 

Card responded to the backlash in a statement to Entertainment Weekly: “With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. … Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.”

One day you’re threatening to bring down the entire government, the next you’re making an ironic plea for tolerance.

Ender’s Game author and anti-gay activist Orson Scott Card responded to boycotts threats against the upcoming film adaptation starring Harrison Ford. The queer geek group Geeks OUT is organizing boycotts and “Skip Ender’s Game” events in several U.S. cities because of Card’s views on homosexuality.

He wrote in 2008 that “marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”

Card responded to the backlash in a statement to Entertainment Weekly: “With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. … Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.”

One day you’re threatening to bring down the entire government, the next you’re making an ironic plea for tolerance.