Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bible Verses + Firearms = Holy War

A company called Trijicon has a multimillion dollar contract with the U.S. military to manufacture sights for firearms.

The serial numbers on these sights actually turn out to be encoded New Testament Bible verses.

Well . . . if nobody notices, what's the harm?

That question is moot now because someone has noticed and the media has reported the findings. The company doesn't deny doing this and doesn't see any problem with inscribing military firearms with encoded Bible verses.

After all, the holy, illuminating light of Jesus will help our military forces acquire their targets with Godly accuracy.

What a way to convince the world that we aren't waging a Holy war against the Musli . . . er, I mean, terrorists!

History has already shown us that when we allow religion to control the government, we get brutal inquisitions.

Allow religion to control the military, and we get a Holy war.

The radically Religious fundamentalists who want to wage a Holy war tend to think their god will triumphantly bring victory with him when he returns to earth. (Returns to earth? From where?) I fear that such believers secretly rationalize that a powerful weapon like a nuclear bomb would be the perfect way to commence the coming of their savior and the end of the Age.

Ergo, the triumphant end of the Holy war.

See why even the smallest mix of church and state is harmful? See why we don't need scripture verses inscribed on the gear of our military? See why we don't need a theocracy?

Can you see nuclear missiles raining down upon the earth causing everyone to suffer-- even those who thought they could win victory through such horrific means?

Can you see why we do not need a Holy war?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cursed with a Curse

I've heard reports of people saying that the tragic earthquake that rocked Haiti was due to a curse.

Unfortunately, I'm not only speaking of Pat Robertson. Relative to my environment, I've locally heard reports of people saying such things.

I don't want to accuse the whole religious world for such comments, nor do I want to accuse all Christians for such comments.

While I've only heard the comment from Christians so far, I'm certain that not all Christians feel this way. My mom, who is Christian, disagrees with the idea that the earthquake of Haiti was a punishment from God. I'm sure she isn't the only Christian who is appalled by comments by the likes of Pat Robertson.

Geologists know that Haiti sits on top of two separate tectonic plates. While this earthquake couldn't be predicted days in advanced and was a shocking surprise, the potential of a massive earthquake happening to Haiti is of no surprise. Not only is this true for Haiti, but also with California (which had earthquake quite recently. Are these earthquakes connected? Not metaphysically. I mean in geological terms). And other places around the world also have the same vulnerability.

I've also noted a low mummer of spiritual people who claim to have had dreams that would have, could have, or did predict the earthquake of Haiti. And in turn, the earthquake of Haiti is the heralding of greater catastrophes, like the invasion of space aliens, human kind being caught in the struggle of waring forces, or simply the beginning of even more horrific earthquakes like the world has never seen.

A prediction does little good if no one hears of it prior to the foretasted event.
I'd like to see space aliens war against each other over the earth while we humans get caught in the middle. And then, on top of that, people logically conclude that somehow the earthquake of Haiti somehow predicted such!

(As the Lion would say) Oh, Really?

People have a right to voice their views and hold their opinions. But people need to know when their opinions are just that-- opinions.

The phenomenon of Religion is real. But the flavor of any given Religion is an opinion. People must not enforce their religion upon others, threatening the wrath of their god onto someone else. What can be said when I turn the tables and threaten with the wrath of my god instead?

Life on earth is far too diverse to assume your religion opinion is absolutely right.

Those who project the wrath of their god upon the people of Haiti should be very careful. When tragedy befalls the cursesayers, what then? Will they say that God is only working in mysterious ways? Or, God is simply doing what is best for his child? Is he testing your faith? Teaching you? Or are you, too, cursed with a curse?


If you are one who prays, certainly do that for the people of Haiti. But, don't only pray; Consider supporting Haiti with a donation towards a charity that you trust.

And for those who don't pray, perhaps you already believe action is the preferred course. Well then, the only way to express that philosophy is to consider sending support to Haiti in the form of a donation to a charity that you trust.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Theocracy + Nukes = Colorful Expletives

On Tuesday, January 12th, nuclear scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was assassinated in Iran. Mainstream media reports from Iran claim that the U.S. and Israel instigated this tragic incident.

One could speculate that somebody within the Iranian leadership called for Ali-Mohammadi's assassination. After all, he openly supported the protests against the 2009 elections results where Mir Hossein Mousavi won lost against the current Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Now officials of Iran claim that the (alleged) terrorist act by the U.S. and Israel will only hasten the goal of turning Iran into a nuclear power.

We can all rest assured that their nuclear goals are totally peaceful, right?

I don't like the idea of a theocratic society having nuclear weapons.* At any given moment, someone in leadership can become convinced that the end of the age has finally come. I fear that someone will one day decide that nuclear weapons are a wonderful way to usher in the ultimate punishment, retribution, wrath, and final victory blow of their god.

Can this happen to a secular society? Well, the urge to press the button might be there, but hopefully the leadership of a secular society will at least pause and consider that fact that we cannot obliterate our adversaries with nuclear weapons without ourselves facing grave consequences. If one leader says that god wants the missiles to fly, other leaders (even religious ones) will undoubtedly require more evidence than that-- even if the extra evidence they demand happens to be falsified!

Perhaps this is not simply about religion, but about all radical ideologies. The extreme views of any ideology can become very dangerous very quickly. To me, religion often fuels extremist views because religious leaders tend to discourage openness of ideas (heresy) and open inquiry (the challenging religious authority).

Should two nations decide to retaliate by exchanging nuclear weapons, the whole sky will eventually turn black and the earth will turn cold. We will all suffer.


Everywhere.


And our suffering will not come by the wrath of god, but by the wrath of our own stupidity as a human race.

When I consider the awesome, destructive power of nuclear weapons, I utter colorful expletives. When the wrong group of extremist leaders gain nuclear capabilities, all of our lives will be in their hands, not gods.


Holy expletive!


* Pakistan is not a theocracy to my understanding. But, that nation does seem quite unstable. One never knows what will happen there in the next few years. That alone is cause for colorful expletives!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Don't Blame the Blasphemer

Suppose a blasphemer speaks out against a deity, causing many offended worshipers to angrily spew death threats and stage destructive riots.

In such a situation, who did the most harm?


Suppose a blasphemer speaks out against any given deity and one or more of the various followers apprehend and murder the culprit.

Who was wrong?


To me, any free nation that supports a blasphemy law (national, or international) is reminiscent of a parent who is willing to do anything in order to circumvent a child's temper tantrum. Such a parent hopes to avoid all conflict because the child is in control and not the parent.

Many children hold their parents hostage in this way.

So then, at what point will the child decide to become reasonable and stop making unrealistic demands without the threat of throwing tantrums? What will finally satisfy the insatiable drive of a spoiled, rotten little child?

At what point will any sort of blasphemy law curb violent outbursts from worshipers of a deity that has been insulted? Who (or what) is protected by blasphemy laws? Who is the true victim when a potential blasphemy law is broken?

Who is the victim when someone is fined, flogged, or even place on death row for blasphemy?

Are we not all blasphemers against at least one other deity? Even theists refuse to pay honor and respect towards any deity in which they do not believe.

Yes, even the theists who desire to enforce the absurdity of blasphemy laws is in some sense guilty of blasphemy themselves!


Does blasphemy injure worshipers so horribly that they have a right to call for fines, imprisonment, beatings or even capital punishment in order to protect their faith?

Why follow a deity that can't protect his worshipers, his religion, his specially chosen leaders, or --for that matter-- himself?

Why follow such an inept being?

I dare say that such a deity is asking to be blasphemed.

And furthermore, the worshipers of such an inept deity needn't throw tantrums.

After all, it's not the blasphemer's fault that their deity cannot stand up for himself.