Tuesday, January 31, 2006

WTF! Carnival # 3

Yeah, yeah, it's the fourth edition and we have the same basic contributors. But all good things take time to get off the ground, and if you enjoy this, I encourage you to promote it on your own blog. Now without further ado, this month's assortment of quips; you get 3 votes, and voting ends on the 15th:

1: How about... never mind.
2: No, tell me.
1 Oh, you wouldn't understand.
2: Try me
1: O, nunca entenderias.

A guy walks into a bar. Then he has a Guiness, two Budweisers, and a Sam Adams. Then he plays pool for a while, and snacks on peanuts. Then, when he's in a state of complete inebriation, he ravenously feeds upon peanuts and hits on several waitresses. Then, as his drunken condition intensifies, he rolls about on the floor with his shirt off. Then, the barkeeper throws him out, hollering "Next time bring a punchline, you bastard!"

1. Hello, I have a message for a ‘Jeffrey’, have I reached him?
2. This is he. Who is this?
1. I am of no consequence, but I have a message for you.
2. From who?
1. A person.
2. Oh. Give the message.
1. Alrighty. *ahem* … ‘Is your teakettle as homosexual as you are? Because if it is, it will have homosexuality coming out of the wazoo.’
2. …
1. If in future you too require my unique services, I can be
reached at 1-800-UP-WAZOO. Call toll free! Thank you.

The dark side: Not affiliated with the light side. Although they have some pretty snazzy parties.

I couldn't stand FDR, but then again, neither could he.

1: You have to think outside the box!
2: Okay, and how do I go about doing that?

It was just a minor fender-bender, but twelve people in the other car died.

The apathy police called, but nobody cared enough to listen.

1: Oy, is that a bald spot on your head?
2: I think so, but you're one of the first people to notice, so it must not be too serious.
1: Wait…lemme look closer…oh, geez.
2: What?
1: That's not a bald spot…that's a tumor!
2: Oh, well, I guess that explains the searing pain.

Everything I say is a lie. Heck, even this sentence is a lie! Actually, that's not true.

This how-to guide got me through writing this how-to guide.

1. I have spoken with the Lord!
2. Oh really? What did he or she look like?
1. Well, he was wearing a hat.
2. A fishing hat?
1. No…
2. Oh, he is no lord of mine.

Some of the things submitted to this carnival are funny. This is not one of those things.

Girl: Uh, do you wear mascara?
Boy: Heh, no, I'm just naturally beautiful.
Girl: I see.
Boy: Yep!
Girl: Well, then you really should see a doctor about those dark things under your eyes.
Boy: …Oh.

If you laugh at this, you're gay.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


The next WTF! Carnival will be here on Tuesday. Send all quips to me by 6PM tomorrow if you want to be included.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Religion and the Invention of Homophobia

So I'm writing this History paper on the differences between Lesbianism and Male Homosexuality during the Middle Ages and I came across an interesting tidbit.

The early branches of the Catholic church are almost entirely responsible for the existence of homphobia. It had thrived in the ancient times of the Romans and Greeks and same-sex unions were even permitted in many cases.

Enter Catholics, they made homosexuality less and less popular by passing legislature which allowed homosexuals to be burned at the stake, have their genitals tied to a pole and exiled.

The ironic part to me though is that many debates are held about whether the Bible contains homosexual themes. Of course, the Bible is an all-encompassing book right?

Any thoughts? If you're interested in reading more about the history of homophobia, I would highly recommend Homophobia: A History by Byrne Fone. It's quite comprehensive.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Oh yes, the new GOD or NOT carnival is up at Back of the Envelope. Read and enjoy.

Friday, January 13, 2006

What we're ranting about... vs. what we SHOULD be ranting about

All of you should read this article, it explains my point of view on the issues we've been ranting about very precisely. We go on about the words on coins, when there are much bigger issues we should rant/deal about, some of them even regarding religion! So, we can rant about religion and about something important having to do with it... rather than the pointless drivel I've been hearing in the posts and the comments, I'd like to have some intellectual discussions about real-world issues, rather than pointless flame wars that eventually result in some theological type telling us that we blaspheming, sinning atheists will be saved and discover Jesus some day.

So, somebody get posting! You think I'm going to start this?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Fetch the Book of Armaments!

As many of my friends know, I used to be a member of a Reconstructionist Jewish congregation. Reconstructionism has been described as a more liberal approach to Judaism, but most atheists should realize that a liberal religion is still a religion. Reconstructionism takes a hypocritical stance, claiming that some parts of Jewish teachings may not be true, while teaching other aspects as the basis for a good life. It says that people should find their own meaning in religion, as long as they don't follow the (modern) socially unacceptable parts.

In other words, Reconstructionists realize that parts of scripture do not make sense, but are afraid to actually question their religion. In some cases, such moderation is worse that orthodoxy; as people like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have argued, moderation provides the ground on which religion cannot be questioned. By admitting that the Bible is faulty while maintaining that this is nothing wrong, hypocrites such as the Reconstructionists become the people for whom "religion has been helpful." You know, whenever you're debating someone about religion, and they say "but mindless worship is good for some people!" Moderates are those people.

In many debates over religion with my Reconstructionist mother, she has claimed that the Bible is more than a random crazy book. She says that sure, it may not be literally true, but it is still a good source for people who are looking for morals…like moderates.

That insight could only come from someone who has not read very much of the Bible. After an hour or two of skimming, any rational person should realize that the Bible is not a stable source of morals. It is inconsistent, vague, and downright outrageous. Whether or not certain passages may be meaningful to someone, the book should not be relied upon as any sort of moral guide. If you want pretty poetry, there are better places to look.

Harry Potter has morals. The Series of Unfortunate Events has morals. Mein Kampf has morals. Does this mean they should be given a special standing over all other books?

In conclusion, acknowledging that the Bible is not literally true is not a significant step if one still believes that it is a valid moral source.

Religion kills people (whaddaya know?)

CNN - Hajj stampede kills hundreds

So you've got a bunch of Muslims climbing over rocks to find some holy spot, and they have a ritual involving throwing stones at a 'symbolic devil.' It seems like a recipe for disaster, and this disaster has even happened before. Will they never learn?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Oy, would anyone out there have a legitimate objection to me offering to host the next WTF Carnival here?

Just checkin'.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Yad Vashem

So for vacation, I made a religious "pilgrimage" of sorts to Israel. You can't really go to Israel and avoid Yad Vashem ("The Memorial of Names") or more literally, Jerusalem's spectacular Holocaust memorial. You walk through a long gray corridor and watch personal testimonials of Holocaust survivors and German soldiers. Although I'm a pretty emotional person myself, I don't cry unless I've got a good reason to cry, i.e. the Children's Memorial.

Visitors walk inside a cave where five candles are reflected millions of times over in a hall of mirrors to represent the souls of one and a half million children who died in the Holocaust. A voice states the name, age and birthplace of each dead child. This overwhelming sorrow consumed me, keeping me stationary in that one spot. Think about it. Among those kids, we may have found the cure for cancer, a great world leader or a loving parent.

Now I know that an event like the Holocaust draws a line between the theistic and atheists. I've heard both sides argued quite convincingly and it makes me wonder: how many modern atheists are so deeply affected by world traumas versus their own inner questioning? In my case, the Holocaust didn't confirm my belief in any sort of deity.

So my question is: How did the Holocaust (or other similar events such as the Rwandan Genocide or the Darfur Crisis) affect your view on theism?

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