A heartfelt goodbye to an atheist icon.

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Four Decades and 20,000 Abortions Later, Anne Nicol Gaylor’s Organization is Still Going Strong

Anne Nicol Gaylor is an 86-year-old abortion provider with no medical training of her own. Her “office supplies” consist of little more than a pen, paper, checkbook, and a telephone. On a Tuesday morning this past July, in a retirement home just outside of Madison, Wisconsin, I sat in her living room as we waited for calls from women who needed (or wanted) to obtain abortions but just didn’t have the ability to pay for them. She is their last hope for a handout.

As the founder of Women’s Medical Fund, Inc., a non-profit group she formed in 1976, Gaylor asks intimate questions of strangers without the slightest hesitation. There’s no time for emotion. There’s work to be done.

Are you single or married?

How much money do you make?

Did you use contraception?

Is the man involved helping you?

How much will your procedure cost?

Did you see a doctor yet?

Have you had an ultrasound?

Gaylor has answered the phone like this more than 20,000 times. Since 1995, WMF has raised and spent nearly $3,000,000 to help women, with most of the money — just over $200, on average, per caller — going to a small handful of providers like Planned Parenthood. The funding comes mostly from individual donors, though about a quarter of the funding last year came from foundation grants. Its mission is to make sure that a woman’s right to reproductive choice is not denied because she doesn’t have enough money, regardless of whether the pregnancy is unintended or unwanted. The organization has no paid staffers, only dedicated volunteers. And, for the moment, Gaylor is just sitting in her recliner, waiting for the next caller, waiting to write her next check.

Anne Gaylor at her 80th birthday party (via Annie Laurie Gaylor)

Depending on who you ask, I’m sitting in front of a sweet woman in the final years of her life or someone who will dread meeting her Maker; a modern-day savior or a prolific serial killer; one of the great feminist activists of the past several decades or, as one newspaper columnist put it, “Granny Blood-Money.”

There are only a few prerequisites that must be met before a check can be written: the caller must live in (or plan to obtain the abortion from a shortlist of clinics in) Wisconsin, she must be more than eight weeks pregnant, and she must visit a clinic to confirm her pregnancy. Once Gaylor can verify that information, she writes out a check for up to $400 directly to the hospital, clinic, or physician performing the procedure. She also refers the callers to another national organization that may be able to write out an additional check, allowing the women to pay as little out of pocket as possible. Gaylor used to give out some of the money as a loan, hoping to get paid back eventually, but she knows better now. The women are just too poor. Still, she tries to get them to put up a little money of their own, even if it’s only $25, so that they don’t see her fund as a form of free birth control.

When I ask Gaylor how young her callers are, she opens up a nearby nightstand and pulls out a folder containing a stack of papers, all records of her phone conversations over the past few days. A sheet near the top documents a phone call she received the day before my visit, concerning a 13-year-old girl who had been raped by her 17-year-old brother.

How is anyone even supposed to process information like that?

I’m not sure whether to follow up with a question about the incest, the rape, or their ages. All crimes are reported to the police by the clinics, so Gaylor doesn’t deal with those issues. Her primary concern is whether the caller (in this case, the girl’s older sister) can pay for the procedure.

She’s immune to the horror stories by now. While it’s the first time I’ve ever heard such an awful story, she hears them on a regular basis. The youngest caller this year, she tells me, was only 11.

Gaylor knows the trends, too. While she hears from women all throughout the month, the calls tend to come near the end of the week, when some of the women receive a paycheck, and around the first of the month, when the welfare checks arrive. They don’t cry as much as they used to. They all cried when abortions were harder to come by, she recalls, but now only some shed tears. Most are just nervous. Emotional. Worried about how to pay for it. Wondering how they’ll reconcile their religious faith with their decision. Wondering if they can keep this a secret from their immediate and extended families.

Do you ever hear back from the women who call for help? She shakes her head. Few of them ever want to talk about the procedure after it’s happened. Gaylor herself has never had an abortion. In 1958, a few years after giving birth to her fourth child, she had a tubal ligation (something she highly recommends to women who’ll listen).

I wonder if there’s anything that could help make things better for her organization. More donations? Paid staffers? Nope. None of that. She just wishes women had easier access to birth control. She wishes young women could more easily report instances of rape and get immediate help. But “as long as men keep attacking women, you’re going to have a need” for abortion services.

Women’s Medical Fund, Inc. unofficially began in March of 1970, just after Wisconsin’s anti-abortion laws were declared unconstitutional by a district court. The ruling effectively made first-trimester abortions legal in the state. (It wasn’t until 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, took a similar position.)

Gaylor was already a vocal abortion-rights advocate at the time. In 1967, she wrote an editorial (she believes it to be the first of its kind) in favor of an overhaul of the state’s abortion laws. In the years to follow, she joined the Association for the Study of Abortion and the Wisconsin Committee to Legalize Abortion, spoke about the issue on radio and TV shows, and wrote a number of letters-to-the-editor of local newspapers. But in 1970, building off a program launched by scientist Paul Ehrlich, Gaylor began the Zero Population Growth Referral Service (ZPG), where she could direct women to cities where abortion services were readily available. After the Wisconsin court’s ruling, her phone began ringing — women knew they could get abortions now, but they weren’t sure from where, and they believed the outspoken Gaylor would have the answers.

On August 12, 1970, Gaylor placed an ad in two local newspapers that included ZPG’s post office box and her personal phone number. The ad urged women to contact her if their doctors weren’t helping them obtain an abortion. In the weeks to follow, nearly 100 women contacted her. Playboy magazine later mentioned her as a resource for women who needed such help, which only ramped up the number of phone calls. (“Contrary to popular opinion,” she later wrote, “Playboy readers rarely went to bed.”)

Unfortunately, local hospitals were expensive, often had long waiting periods, and required getting through all sorts of bureaucratic red tape (including, in one hospital’s case, letters from two physicians confirming that the procedure was required to save the life of the woman). One provider in Madison, Dr. Alfred Kennan, opened up an outpatient clinic for women who needed abortions, but he was limited to seeing about 100 patients a week. It wasn’t long before Gaylor began referring her callers to sites in Mexico, where the total cost for the flight, procedure, and hotel room was still less than a trip to the expensive hospital next door. (Abortions were illegal in Mexico, and still are in many parts of the country, but bribes to police officers allowed some doctors to practice without problem.) Referrals to New York soon followed.

With the help of University of Wisconsin professor Robert West, Gaylor began Women’s Medical Fund, Inc. in 1972 as an outgrowth of the service she was already providing. It was incorporated as a non-profit in 1976 and is now said to be the country’s largest and oldest independent, all-volunteer abortion fund.

The Hyde Amendment, passed by Congress in 1976 and still in effect today, resulted in an even greater demand for Gaylor’s service. The legislation bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, with exceptions made only for rape, incest, and to save the life of the woman. Because Medicaid funds are included in this ban, poor women are disproportionately affected and they frequently need financial help to go through with the procedure. According to the National Network of Abortion Funds, which WMF is a member of, “[t]here are 15 states that use their own money to pay for abortion care as part of their Medicaid programs, but there are 35 that do not.” Wisconsin is one of the 35.

WMF no longer advertises as it once did, but local clinics are aware of it and they frequently refer clients who need financial assistance to Gaylor’s organization. It’s not hard to see why: the non-profit has virtually no overhead costs and, as the group’s financial records show, more than 99% of its income goes right back to paying for abortion care.

If you called WMF today, using information available on some older websites, you might reach the offices of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), another organization Gaylor founded in the late 1970s. FFRF is a church/state separation watchdog, writing letters of complaint to those who appear to be violating the First Amendment and filing lawsuits against them if needed. Gaylor officially retired from the organization in 2004, though she still holds the title of “president emerita.” Staffers at FFRF screen the callers and only then give them Gaylor’s direct line — to the phone in her living room — offering her an additional layer of security. (Most clinics, after screening the women, give them Gaylor’s number directly.)

After 61 years of marriage, Gaylor’s husband Paul died of brain cancer in 2011 and she moved into the retirement home where she now lives in the summer of 2012. Gaylor herself suffers from macular degeneration and glaucoma, but her voice, while frail, is still strong enough to answer the calls. (Her daughter Annie Laurie Gaylor said about her in a 2004 tribute, “She may be losing her eyesight, but she is not losing her vision.”)

Gaylor’s only daughter inherited her mother’s activist streak. Annie Laurie Gaylor is one of the co-presidents of the FFRF, along with Dan Barker, and she’s also no stranger to anger from the opposition. At FFRF’s headquarters in Madison, they even have a system in place for dealing with all the hate-mail they receive: Serious threats go in one pile, angry letters go in another.

According to Annie Laurie, fighting for church/state separation is similar to fighting for abortion rights, but “they want to kill you more” when you do abortion work.

The elder Gaylor is used to that kind of hostility, too. When I asked how she responded to threats, her voice became a little stronger, a little more confident.

“I ignore them.”

Anne Nicol Gaylor and daughter Annie Laurie stand near the family tombstone (via Annie Laurie Gaylor)

Just as I’m leaving Gaylor’s apartment, with my computer packed up and my keys in hand, the phone rings. Gaylor answers it while instinctively picking up a pen and a form. She listens quietly for a few seconds while jotting down some basic information about the caller. Gaylor asks where she’s from. And how much the provider is charging. And if she’s visited the clinic for her first appointment. There’s an extended pause after that question, after which I hear Gaylor gently cut in: “You have to have that appointment before I can take your application, because at that point, they will do the ultrasound which will confirm exactly how far you are, and then they’ll be able to tell you exactly what the cost will be.”

The call lasts only two minutes before Gaylor hangs up the phone and smiles at me. “Ordinarily, they’re more interesting to listen to,” she jokes.

WMF won’t last — can’t last — much longer in its current form. Gaylor won’t always be around to answer the phone. But a contingency plan has already been drawn up. When the time comes, the group’s board of directors and additional volunteers will take over the phone calls and other menial tasks that Gaylor has been doing for decades now. They haven’t worked out all the logistics yet, but thankfully, they haven’t had to. They’re considering getting a dedicated cell phone that is assigned to volunteers during shifts or getting a phone number that goes straight to voicemail and having volunteers call the women back. For now, Gaylor is able to answer all the calls herself on a landline without leaving her home.

One of WMF’s board members, Nora Cusack, wrote to me that if abortion services were covered by health insurance providers or Medicaid the same way as other medical procedures, the phone might just stop ringing. Or at least not ring as much. That, too, would ease the succession problem.

Gaylor’s mission when she began WMF was to help women obtain legal abortions even if they couldn’t afford them. That mission hasn’t changed, but as she sits back down to wait for the next call, she reflects on the grander vision she has for the future: “It would be nice to not be needed.”

-Best wishes to the family of Anne Nicol Gaylor, a woman who did more for humanity than most in taking care of the needs of women and fighting religious bullies on their own ground! This is a sad time for all who respect the separation of church and state.

The gospel of lies

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Joel Osteen’s church theft opens can of worms: Jaws drop as folks do the math

Joel Osteen recently reported the theft of $600,000 from the safe in his church, but the theft wasn’t the only information of interest revealed. After finding out that this large chunk of money was from just one weekend of Osteen’s collected church donations, jaws dropped around the nation.

Joel Osteen's church robbery opens a can of worms!

According to News Max on March 18, it didn’t take long for folks on the outside to do the math. Based on Osteen’s reported amount of money in this theft, it appears his Lakewood Church takes in an estimated $32 million a year, but some say that is a very low estimate. Calculator keys were punched around the nation taking the $600,000 for Olsteen’s weekend donation collection and multiplying this by the 52 weeks in a year.

Many consider this a conservative estimate of donations this church receives, as March is just an average month with no holidays for the church. The spirit of giving around the Christmas holidays has to net this church more than the average week. Then there’s Easter and other holidays, not to mention the weekdays. The amount reported taken from the church was only for their take over a weekend.

Osteen’s church released a statement at the time of the theft last week saying:

“It is important to note this was not an electronic data breach, but was instead limited to donations made in the services on March 8 and 9, 2014. You were not affected if you put your offering in a drop box, you gave online or through other electronic means, or you made a bookstore purchase.”

If you combine the stolen money with what Osteen’s church rakes in from “other electronic means” and from the folks who give “online,” this amount must be astronomical. The “electronic” and “online” donations were an undisclosed amount of money that wasn’t included in the money stolen. Putting all this together you are more than likely talking about a substantial amount of money, much more than the estimate of $32 million each year.

With Osteen’s best selling books, his TV work and the tours around the world, Osteen and his church are more than likely reaping rewards that are unimaginable.

If you think about it, this heist got the sum of money that you’d expect to hear was raked in from a casino heist! It seems that the reported theft of the money in Osteen’s church last week opened a new can of worms. It’s the church’s astronomical donations that should really be the headlines here. What happened to the days of the poor boxes filled with change?

-Funny how stupid people can be huh? 99.99% of these people are taking an 84 Billion dollar a year tax break on their backs and have been for some time!

Bigoted asshole!

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Wells Fargo’s gay couple ad sparks evangelist protest
By Jackie Wattles @jackiewattles

In April, Wells Fargo became the first American bank to feature an LGBT relationship in its ads
Christian Evangelist Franklin Graham has sparked an angry Facebook debate about gay rights when he announced he is pulling all of his organization’s millions out of Wells Fargo accounts in response to the bank’s recent ad campaign featuring a lesbian couple.
“Have you ever asked yourself–how can we fight the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay & lesbian community?” Graham wrote in a Facebook post on June 5. “At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we are moving our accounts from Wells Fargo to another bank.”

That new bank will be BB&T, the association confirmed. But social media users were quick to point out the North Carolina-based bank is a sponsor for Miami Beach Gay Pride, an annual festival celebrating the LGBT community.
In response to Graham’s decision, BB&T’s chief corporate communications officer, Cythina Williams, issued a statement saying the bank “embraces diversity and inclusion for our associates and in all aspects of our business” — but the company declined to take a formal position on gay rights, saying its sponsorship of the gay pride event does not imply an endorsement.
Graham’s association is moving forward either way. A spokesperson confirmed the organization has begun the 30-day process of moving its accounts, which could total more than $100 million. According to the most recent financial disclosure forms available for the nonprofit, BGEA was worth $128 million in 2013.
Graham is the 62-year-old son of famed televangelist Billy Graham, who became internationally known in the 1950s for his large religious rallies and radio/TV sermons. The younger Graham now heads the North Carolina-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — which continues to broadcast sermons, coordinate community service and offers a $99 online school of Evangelism.
In addition to closing his accounts with Wells Fargo, Graham wrote that he plans to boycott Tiffany & Co. (TIF) in response to an ad the jeweler released in January that shows two men getting engaged.
franklin graham
Franklin Graham is the president and CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Graham’s Facebook (FB, Tech30) post received more 95,000 likes and 42,600 shares, but not all responses were positive. Its 11,000-plus comments contain a slew of angered users that disagree with Graham’s stance.
“It is so hypocritical of him and so many others to pick just the one rule from a plethora of rules that allows them to discriminate against a group of people that they consider less than,” one user, Betty Miliano, wrote in a recent comment. “They know that they have lost this battle and are on the wrong side of history.”
Related: Bogus gay marriage study sends news outlets scrambling
Wells Fargo (CBEAX) stood behind its ad campaign and issued a statement saying its support of the LGBT community “reflects our company’s values.”
“We were not naive to think that there would be no negative responses,” Wells Fargo spokesperson Valerie Williams said. She added that the vast majority of reactions to the ad were not in line with Graham’s, and overall the response was “overwhelmingly positive.”
Tiffany & Co. also responded to Graham’s post. Spokesperson Carson Glover said, “We want everyone who shops with us to feel welcome and appreciated.” He also pointed to a February press release from the company saying the nontraditional couples depicted in the ad “represent the spectrum of people who visit Tiffany every day.”
Graham is also the president and CEO of the $200 million humanitarian aid nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse, though a spokesperson for the organization said its finances are handled by a different bank.

-How about you take your assets and stuff them up your myth-believing, hate speech riddled asshole, you tent revival, bible-beating bigot!! Fuck you and fuck your church of the poisoned mind you Chik-Fil-A gobbling jackass!

If he could have only been allowed to jerk off……

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Sisters Jill, Jessa open up about Josh Duggar’s abuse

Two of Josh Duggar’s sex-abuse victims, sisters Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, told their stories in the second part of an exclusive interview with Fox News. VPC

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Two of Josh Duggar’s sex-abuse victims — sisters Jill Dillard, 24, and Jessa Seewald, 22 — told their stories in the second part of an exclusive interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox’s The Kelly File.

The interview, which was previously recorded, aired Friday night on Fox.

Seewald defends her 27-year-old brother, who inappropriately touched four of his sisters and a family friend during his teen years.

“I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying,” Seewald told Kelly. “I’m like, ‘That is so overboard and a lie really.’ I mean, people get mad at me for saying that, but I can say this because I was one of the victims.”

USA TODAY does not usually name victims, but in this case, they have named themselves.

Dillard, who was 12 at the time of the molestation, said, “I was shocked. And I’m sad because this is my older brother who I love a lot. I was angry at first. I was like, ‘How could that happen?’ ”

Seewald said she was 9 or 10 years old during the situation. “In Josh’s case, he was a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls. And that got him into some trouble,” she said.

The women said that their parents put up safeguards in the home, including not allowing the boys to babysit, locking doors at night, not playing hide-and-seek or being alone with each other.

Both sisters said that they were unaware of Duggar’s actions until their parents sat them down individually. “It wasn’t like we were keeping a secret,” Dillard said.

Seewald got teary-eyed when she spoke about the InTouch article that came out last month. “I was in tears. I couldn’t believe what was going on.” She said she called her husband. “How do they have a right to do this? We’re victims, they can’t do this to us.” They both told Kelly that they felt victimized again by having the story appear in a tabloid years after it had happened.

The InTouch story, which included pictures of 2006 police documents it was based on, reported in May that Duggar was investigated for multiple sex offenses, including forcible fondling of breasts and genitals, against five underage girls. Some of the alleged offenses investigated were felonies.

In his statement, Duggar said he confessed to his parents and they “took several steps” to address the situation. He also apologized to the victims.

“We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling,” he said. “I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”

Duggar was never charged with a crime, and the statute of limitations has now expired.

InTouch reported that his father took Duggar to an Arkansas state trooper who was a personal friend, who took no action other than a “very stern talk.” That officer is now serving a 56-year term in prison for child pornography, the magazine reported, and no case was ever brought against Duggar.

During the first interview, which aired Wednesday, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the Christian conservative reality-TV stars of 19 Kids and Counting, talked about how son Josh approached them and told them that he had “improperly touched” some of their daughters. Josh was a teen at the time.

“We were shocked, we were devastated,” Michelle Duggar told Kelly in the first interview. “As parents, we felt we’re failures. We tried to raise our kids to do what’s right — to know what’s right. And yet one of our children made really bad choices.” The pair were interviewed at their home in Tontitown, Ark.

The Duggars said that in 2002 and 2003, when he was 14 and 15, Josh had groped the girls while they slept (the girls slept in the same room), and that he did this more than once even after his first confession to his parents.

They got him out of the house and sent him to a non-professional Christian-based counseling program in Little Rock, Ark. Jim Bob Duggar said it was “the best decision” they made, because Josh became “closer to God” as a result. “It was a turning point in his life,” he said.

The TLC network has pulled the show’s reruns from its schedule but has not decided whether to cancel the series entirely. Meanwhile, advertisers, including General Mills, Payless Shoes and Choice Hotels, have cut ties with the family of the popular show.

In the aftermath of the first interview, folks have come out for and against the family.

On Twitter, viewers slammed the Duggars for defending their actions as parents. They also took shots at Kelly for how she conducted the interview.

Montel Williams tweeted, “What the hell is the point of interviewing ANYONE if you aren’t asking questions that matter? Not asking #Duggars tough questions=stupid.”

Piers Morgan agreed.

Sarah Palin posted a diatribe on her Facebook page on Thursday, defending the Duggar family and attacking Girls star Lena Dunham.

“Hey Lena, why not laugh off everyone’s sexual ‘experiments’ as you haughtily enjoy rewards for your own perversion? You pedophile you,” Palin wrote. She was referring to when Dunham came under fire for a passage in her memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, where the actress said at age 7 she would bribe her little sister with candy for kisses and to see her genitals.

-I actually believe that this kid suffered from complete oppression and suppression of natural behavior and urges arising from puberty and was shamed by his parents into never showing his budding sexual urges. Hell, this kid could get into hot water just for beating off! How do you develop healthy sexual urges when a bunch of fools raise you to believe that a monstrous mythological being will damn you to rot and burn forever for having the natural urge to flog your dick?

Goddamn Duggars!

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exodus amid scandal
By Frank Pallotta @frankpallotta

TLC pulls ’19 Kids and Counting’ over Duggar scandal
TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” has lost more than a dozen sponsors since one of the show’s stars, Josh Duggar, admitted last week that he had molested several girls when he was a teenager.
Companies including Ace Hardware, ConAgra foods, Party City, BEHR Paint, Pure Leaf Ice Tea, Ricola, Firehouse Subs, Pizza Hut, Sherwin-Williams paint, Crayola, Allstate Insurance, and King’s Hawaiian have pulled their sponsorship from the reality TV show, which has run on the network since 2008.

Those companies join Walgreens, General Mills, Payless ShoeSource, and Choice Hotels who have previously said they were yanking their ads from the show.
Each of these companies took to social media to explain to fans and consumers that they were ending sponsorship of the show.
“We share your concern for the safety of children and have no plans to air Crayola commercials during future episodes,” Crayola tweeted Wednesday.
Duggar, who is now 27, apologized last week following an In Touch Magazine report about the molesations.
Related: ’19 Kids and Counting’ episodes yanked over scandal
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Duggar wrote on Facebook last week. “I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
In response, on Friday TLC pulled all episodes of “19 Kids” from the air saying, “We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.”
The network and parent company Discovery Communications have not yet indicated if the show will return.
With so many sponsors pulling away from the show, the channel finds itself on the defensive dealing with an advertising exodus.
TLC did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

-Does anyone actually wonder why, in 2015, that this show about a bunch of science-denying, hate-speech spewing fucks had become such a hit? People are fucking cattle who love pablum that puts the mind to sleep! Fuck these Duggars and their repulsive attempts to bolster ancient mythology in modern times and fuck the ignorant bullshit channels that broadcast this drivel! Of course the sponsors are out, they are going to lose money by continuing to back these throwback fanatics! They only care about the money, not the damage that the Duggars do teaching their incredible host of lies!

Famous Hitchens quotes.

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 RIP Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011

The 20 Best Christopher Hitchens Quotes
December 16, 2011 by Daniel Florien 246 Comments
Christopher Hitchens has a lot of quote-worthy material, but here are 20 of my personal favorites:
“What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”
The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.
The Portable Atheist
By trying to adjust to the findings that it once tried so viciously to ban and repress, religion has only succeeded in restating the same questions that undermined it in earlier epochs. What kind of designer or creator is so wasteful and capricious and approximate? What kind of designer or creator is so cruel and indifferent? And—most of all—what kind of designer or creator only chooses to “reveal” himself to semi-stupefied peasants in desert regions?
The Portable Atheist
The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.
God Is Not Great
What happens to the faith healer and the shaman when any poor citizen can see the full effect of drugs or surgeries, administered without ceremonies or mystifications? Roughly the same thing as happens to the rainmaker when the climatologist turns up, or to the diviner from the heavens when schoolteachers get hold of elementary telescopes.
God Is Not Great
Religion looks forward to the destruction of the world…. Perhaps half aware that its unsupported arguments are not entirely persuasive, and perhaps uneasy about its own greedy accumulation of temporal power and wealth, religion has never ceased to proclaim the Apocalypse and the day of judgment.
God Is Not Great
Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion.
God Is Not Great
The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.
God Is Not Great
If god really wanted people to be free of [wicked thoughts], he should have taken more care to invent a different species.
God Is Not Great
Is it too modern to notice that there is nothing [in the ten commandments] about the protection of children from cruelty, nothing about rape, nothing about slavery, and nothing about genocide? Or is it too exactingly “in context” to notice that some of these very offenses are about to be positively recommended?
God Is Not Great
Religion has run out of justifications. Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, it no longer offers an explanation of anything important. Where once it used to be able, by its total command of a worldview, to prevent the emergence of rivals, it can now only impede and retard—or try to turn back—the measurable advances that we have made.
Sometimes, true, it will artfully concede them. But this is to offer itself the choice between irrelevance and obstruction, impotence or outright reaction, and, given this choice, it is programmed to select the worse of the two.
Meanwhile, confronted with undreamed-of vistas inside our own evolving cortex, in the farthest reaches of the known universe, and in proteins and acids which constitute our nature, religion offers either annihilation in the name of god, or else the false promise that if we take a knife to our foreskins, or pray in the right direction, or ingest pieces of wafer, we shall be “saved.”
God Is Not Great
Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.
God Is Not Great
Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
God Is Not Great
Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did.
God Is Not Great
If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.
God Is Not Great
I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves.
Hitch-22
Faith is the surrender of the mind; it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It’s our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.
Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.
Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.
Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.

I am reminded every day of why I have such high regards for the late great Christopher Hitchens. He was one to shun foolish PC crap, yet champion the rights of everyone as long as they were trying to play well with others. In this day and age, we are constantly reminded of why we need in-your-face, unafraid intellectuals such as Hitchens to bring people back to their senses. I will never abandon his wariness of anything religious due to it’s ability to take believing in mythology too far and create false morality around it! I LOVE Hitch and his honesty, even though there are areas in which he and I would have most likely strongly disagreed. He might have well told me to piss of as he did some of his best friends due to political differences. I actually LIKE a person who is not afraid to tell a close friend that he thinks that he is fucked up in thinking a certain way! THAT is a person in which you can invest trust! That is a man who will not sell you out, an honest man. GAWD bless you hitch, and may Jeebus keep you in the eternal cheese pit of the Christentatious!

Polyamory-In other words, fucking around made PC.

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Funny thing, this fucking day and age of scrutinized everything. Certain things needed to be scrutinized, but as usual the human animal takes it all to extreme and practices the same as slut-shaming on anyone who doesn’t agree with the pop-speak of the day. Jonah Hill uses the word ‘Faggot’ in the heat of the moment because he was brought up in a day when high schoolers used the expressions, ‘That’s so gay,’ or they called people ‘Faggot’ as a pejorative. We enlightened folk now know that these things are wrong and that the terms marginalize a vast majority of our population that have struggled through the years to overcome the mostly religious-based discriminatory policies of the times. The LGBT people of our world are normal people and have been persecuted for eons and I, for one, am glad that people are getting smarter.

My daughter’s generation has also grown up with the ‘That’s so gay,’ term and I can’t remember how many times that I heard it from so many people in her high school circle in 2010. I chastised her so many times and reminded her that her uncle was gay in order to purge this prejudice from her general repertoire. She eventually listened and now reminds others of their insensitivity when using pejorative terms. I am extremely proud of this. On to the reason for this post.

I read recently that Dr. Richard Carrier, whom I had had incredible respect for, had recently left his wife. I have had a divorce myself and was not overly skeptical of the matter in Carrier’s situation until I read in many articles, including those that included quotes from Carrier himself, that stated that his divorce was due to his “Coming out,” as polyamorous. I say that he came out as ‘I can’t help what I stick my cock into and I’m trying to classify it into the same category as a legitimate sexual orientation,’ situation. Call me intolerant of the fucked up PC bullshit of our time, but if I can’t keep my cock in my pants, I sure as Hell wouldn’t marry someone who would pay for all of my degrees while I don’t fucking hold a goddammed job! This asshole has gotten EVERYTHING off of the back of his wife and then dumped her when he got Atheist famous!

Am I the only fucking atheist who thinks that this asshole gives us a bad name due to the fact that he demonstrates the atheist amoral bastard who can’t have morals due to a lack of sky fairy? This asshole stinks and I would never have him at MY dinner table because he would most likely flirt with my 21 year old daughter. We, as atheists, need to hold our own accountable for their choices, and I mean the popular folks that we have speak at our events. It’s not just about beliefs, it’s about an entire movement built on getting myth out of our lifestyles once and for all! Carrier made the mistake of trying to meld his reprehensible lifestyle with the movement that made him famous. He also used another human being in order to achieve his goals, which is  very prevalent in the area of religion, and if we are to demonstrate our ability to go beyond the idiocy of sky fairy, we need to use common sense and NOT fall into the common traps of the religious community! They are having a field day on this Carrier thing right now, just read they’re fucking blogs as I do!

This so-called news is really hot stuff, because Richard Carrier looks like the jerk of the fucking century! He should have kept his personal shit to himself AND he should have waited until all logic and sense died with my generation due to the fact that we still remember that Hitler was the architect of the movement called, ‘PC.’ Maybe in the future, people who are completely vapid and follow the leader will digest this POLY shit and accept it as some sort of fucked up norm, but until then, sense will prevail and Carrier will be looked upon as a narcissistic opportunist who believes that he is way smarter than the legitimate people in his midst.

I caution my atheist brethren on associating with someone as reckless as this and will continue to exercise skepticism and individuality in this particular matter. POLY is nothing more than naming the want to fuck multiple people. There is nothing wrong with fucking, just don’t fucking use someone else who is goddamned stupid enough to believe in you to reach your goals. I don’t care if you fucking fuck a gerbil before you go to sleep tonight, but don’t involve MY movement in your personal dealings and try to fabricate excuses. Fuck you POLY assholes and your PC verbiage to describe fucking around! You want to fuck around, PERIOD! Label it honestly, don’t fucking be a total amoral piece of shit about it, and leave atheism out of your personal shit, you narcissistic motherfucking, self-important assholes!

Musings on the week in news.

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First of all, I would like to send out a heartfelt thanks to B.B King, who died this week, for all of his incredible contributions to relevant awesome music. This trailblazer has been a staple of my music selection since I was in my late twenties and will be there until the day I also pass. He was the master blaster of Blues guitar.

I would also like to commend the jury in the Boston Bombing case for handing down the verdict to smite that little scumbag, Joker Tsarnaev, from the face of the Earth. Batman, you won’t be needed here, and The Joker won’t go to Arkham this time, he will he injected with a poison to snuff out his worthless existence once and for all! Thank you Logic, for prevailing in the face of uppity Massachusetts liberal elitism that dictates that saving scum is a humane and forward thinking practice. When shitbags blow children up rape and murder, kidnap them as so many prisoners in the system have done, it says little for our race that we are backward enough to justify not putting them to death. And when a dirtsack can tear apart so many bodies in the name of a mythological figure and be considered for a life sentence, the Human race really needs to take a look inward at where their thought processes have become so utterly twisted.`I can safely say that I hope this rat squirms in his chair for an hour before succumbing to the cocktail of drugs that will make this world a better place on that historic day. Fuck him and fuck his belief in his despotic killer deity.

Due to the content of this rant, I would like to add a few things about my system of belief that will shed some light onto why I am such a logical, clear-headed person. I grew up in very scummy neighborhoods across the country that were inhabited by the very poor and the scum that preyed upon them. If you had intelligence, you figured out how to keep yourself safe most of the time, while at other times, even the most wiley could end up catching a stray bullet for no apparent reason. If you were a bit dim, then you perished or learned to make the best out of being used by thugs and reprobates for the rest of your miserable existence.

Life was extremely tough and I was given no breaks at all in my journey through the ghettos of America. I suffered and was forced to steal to support and feed myself as well as the many others who were not given a choice of lifestyle. I, though, decided on my own, without assistance from anyone else, to figure out how to leave this life behind for good, this was called, “Taking personal responsibility.” Many never do this and are instead, given lip-service considerations by the liberal elites as having absolutely no way of alleviating their own suffering. This is the thinking that the poor buy into that keeps them down and looking like mooches on the system as their community leaders would have them do. I, of course, refused to bring a family into this and made the conscious choice not to do so. Not everyone can use insight such as this, but through widespread, actually funded socialized education programs, instead of the dismal failures of a system that we have now, poor kids would at least be given a chance in the Corporate States of America, to succeed and elevate themselves beyond poverty.

But then that would eliminate the desperate masses of poor factory worker mentality people that the Koch Bros. are cultivating so that the can keep them at a perpetual minimum wage. People can change this at the grassroots level by deciding not to commit crimes and banding together to resist the influence of the oligarchy. Yes, it seems to be an insurmountable task, but it beats prison and being referred to as sheep by the intelligent folks who actually made their way out of the ghetto under the same oppressive circumstances the current residents still face.

Idiots will say that because I am white I had a better chance. I will counter that I made the right choices and consciously decided not to hang with a criminal element and chose to reject drugs as a way to anesthetize my bruised self-esteem. I made my choices. I busted my ass. I didn’t get help from anyone besides myself…..see a pattern? I will again refer to Personal Responsibility. Why did I not turn to the same fate as that do-nothing Scummerlan Tsarnaev? That self-righteous bastard and his brother, who were brought here from another country by their parents, supported by the American Welfare system and lived in Section 8 housing because they were lazy sacks of shit? Why, you ask, did I not sit around on the public dime hatching plots to steal or harm others? PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! I will say it over and over. That worthless piece of shit couldn’t even hold a job to support that idiot wife of his and the child that they knowingly brought into their terrorist midst! What a testament to how extreme liberalism has utterly failed and how extreme conservatism exploits the weaknesses of the left by stealing all of the wealth! As a side note-don’t even get me started on that weak-kneed sop of an idiot, Katherine Russell who converted to an oppressive religion and gave up her freedom and who had inside knowledge of what was going on in her own hovel and refused to do the right thing except for being a punching bag for a terrorist bully. She lucked out when she should be behind bars, if anything, for being a complete waste of space!

The only way out of the world’s current problems, is through aggressive population control. If you have to have a license to operate heavy machinery, then you should be required to have one to do the most important job that you will ever do. Fuck freedom at this level, NO ONE has the,’right’ to abuse a child and that is what happens when people are allowed to breed like roaches. We have over 25 million human slaves in the world today, partly because of an unchecked population, and partly because of the criminals that, as I mentioned before, haven’t been rightfully put to death because of liberal bullshit twaddle thinking! With DNA evidence or, as I say, the smoking gun in hand and fresh blood on the shoes, pedophiles, rapists of any kind, murderers, human traffickers, the criminally insane, should ALL be eliminated as soon as possible! This is only LOGIC, not pithy bullshit elitist sentiment designed to cloud the mind with false morality, just logic and the ONLY way to save children en masse and save the Earth from eminent demise.

Corporate welfare needs to be eliminated, green energy needs to be widespread NOW! A system of social education needs to be enacted to level the playing field instead of relegating the poor to welfare and servitude. Drug addicts need to be given prescription for heroin and given needles so that they may continue their destructive behavior without criminalization. When they decide to get clean, then, and only then will rehab work for them. Court mandated rehab is an abject failure and needs to be gone. Many will fall by the wayside due to their own poor choices and that is just life. Invest the wasted money into prevention and early intervention. Build camps where criminal drug offenders can manually work off their sentence when they victimize others. If they desire to reenter legitimate society, then get them rehab!

I can tell you that the reason that I’m an atheist is because it allows me to think much more clearly and to separate the morality from mankind’s penchant for enacting systems of socially enforced PC false morals. I skeptically approach EVERYTHING and do not give any credence to populist speakers and leaders who try to shove unworkable shitty policies down the throats of the masses. My style can best be described as informed, workable, sensible and logical, flying directly in the face of the current ideas of the backward thinking intellectual elitists who claim to be sooo enlightened above the realm of common sense. In other words, I’m not a pedantic fucking asshole who does 2 years of Peace Corps work and afterwards locks myself behind the gates of a rich community to tell everyone how goddammed unequal the social system is without getting my feet dirty EVER again. I’m not that type of fucking hypocrite. I just do my research and spell out the hard workable sensible choices that need to be made.

These are a few of my thoughts and musings and if they smack some in the face, well then, TOO FUCKING BAD! Don’t listen or read! Peace out everyone and I’ll see you later!