Those who oppose women’s rights are dropping the phrase ‘religious freedom’ all over the place, trying to redefine it as the right to take away someone else’s right of conscience through discrimination and economic pressure.
Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check (via atheismfuckyeah)
Christmas Wars & Conspiracies: Conflicts over the Meaning of Christmas Season

atheismfuckyeah:

  • What are the Christmas Wars?:
In his infamous tract “The International Jew,” Henry Ford wrote “The whole record of the Jewish opposition to Christmas, Easter and other Christian festivals, and their opposition to certain patriotic songs, shows the venom and directness of [their] attack.” The John Birch Society complained that the “Godless UN” was conspiring against Christmas. Today, conservatives claim that secularists and liberals are trying to replace Christmas. The enemy changes, but it’s still the same conspiracy story.
  • ‘Happy Holidays’ is an Anti-Christian Statement:
It is claimed that use of Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas excludes Christmas and is anti-Christian. This is nonsense. People use Happy Holidays to cover all holidays during the season, including Christmas. Christians who get upset over this aren’t seeking tolerance or respect, they are seeking privilege and status. They want others to make them feel better about themselves by treating Christianity as special and more important than other religions.
  • Why Not Just Say Merry Christmas?:
If you say Merry Christmas, you assume that the other person celebrates Christmas - often a fair bet, but not as guaranteed as it once was. As the religious pluralism of America increases, so must the sensitivity of its citizens. The fewer traditional Christians there are around, the less people can assume that everyone is celebrating the usual Christian holidays and doing the usual Christian things. It’s impolite to make assumptions about people you don’t know.
  • Christmas: Religious or Secular Holiday?:
Many Christians complain that Christmas is a religious holiday, but is treated in an inappropriately secular way in contemporary America. This has some merit, but it’s not the result of any conspiracy. Christians have been transforming it into a secular holiday by moving it out of churches and into the public, secular sphere. Pagan elements of Christmas have come to dominate its public celebration and Christian meaning has been lost.
  • Christmas as a Political Statement:
Many reactions to the decreasing importance of Christianity and Christmas are more tribal than religious. Some are turning the phrase Merry Christmas into a fetish, something done for its own sake instead of using it as a sincere greeting. It’s an aggressive statement about one’s own identity that is thrown in the face of others as a challenge or even an insult. It’s not about defending religious meaning in Christmas, but defending a religious identity and a set of traditional privileges.
  • Religious Pluralism in America:
There is no plot among atheists and liberals to take Christ out of Christmas or to eliminate Christianity from the holiday season. The truth is that the growth of religious pluralism is behind the decline in importance of Christianity and, by extension, the religious aspects of Christmas. Fewer people, including Christians, see Christmas as a time for religious observance. The current status of Christmas is a natural outgrowth of how people (mostly Christians) behave.
  • Commercial Interests and Christmas as a Commercial Enterprise:
Christmas has become more of a commercial enterprise than a religious observance - the responsibility for which lies with Christians and the free market (which conservatives usually defend). Retailers must cater to a broad public, not just Christians, which means that exclusively Christian elements of the holiday season fade into the background while aspects which appeal to everyone (usually pagan or recent elements) grow in importance. Christmas is more about Santa than Jesus today.
  • Secularization vs. De-Christianization:
Complaints about the the status of Christmas in America often focus on the secularization of America and Christmas, and it’s true that both have occurred. Lost in the rhetoric, however, is the fact that much of what is seen as secularization is really de-Christianization. The holiday season remains religious with many religions taking part, but it no longer exclusively Christian. It sounds better, though, to complain about secularization than about the loss of Christian privilege.
  • Christmas Wars and the Loss of Christian Privilege:
Conservatives’ anger is due more to the fact that Christianity no longer dominates American culture; Christmas is simply an egregious example of this trend. The “right” they say they are losing is the “right” to dominate discourse, culture, government, and society. The loss of Christmas as the focus of the holiday season and the loss of public acknowledgment of the religious elements of Christmas represent the loss of Christian privilege occurring throughout American culture.
  • What is the Real Meaning of the Christmas Season?:
The most important issue behind the debates over Christmas is what the “meaning” of Christmas is or should be. Conservatives want to return to a Golden Age when the meaning of Christmas was wholly religious, uncorrupted by pagan, commercial, or secular elements. What they seek is an illusion. There are traditional meanings and religious meanings, but no “real meaning.” The meaning of Christmas is whatever people celebrating decide to give to it.

Modern Christmas celebrations have little or nothing to do with Jesus, the Feast of the Nativity, or the Incarnation. Consider some popular Christmas traditions: erecting and decorating a tree, hanging wreaths, sending cards, drinking eggnog, giving presents, hanging mistletoe…where is Christ in all of this?

If people give it a religious meaning, it will be a religious holiday for them. If they fill the day with other meanings (gifts, family, etc.), then it will have those instead. Because the meaning of Christmas depends upon what people do with it, the only way for Christians to reclaim a religious meaning for Christmas is to personally eschew secular, pagan, and consumer activities in favor of religious ones. Give to the poor instead of to Wal-Mart. Go to church instead of a mall. Pray instead of gathering around a lit-up tree.

What they cannot do is insist that the wider culture endorse this and also shed pagan, commercial, or secular aspects of the season. They can’t turn the tide of commercialization and secularization. They might convince individual Christians to turn away from it all and focus on religious aspects of a holy day, however. If enough Christians change, perhaps the culture will as well, but the focus should be on what Christians do as individuals.

Trying to force the culture to change by attacking greetings like Happy Holidays is silly. There is something profoundly wrong with the behavior of Christians using Christmas in their Culture War against modernity.

From About.Com

Personally, I ADORE Christmas, as anyone who follows my personal blog can attest. And I’m pretty sure y’all know how strictly atheist I am, and from a strictly atheist family, too. 

The way Christmas is being turned into a political thing, the way the religious right are attempting to use it to play the martyrs and so, it’s just ridiculously pathetic, as well as annoying. 

~Mooglets

A Question About Objective Morality vs. Subjective Morality

ghost-n-the-machine:

Why does morality need to be objective? How is it possible FOR it to be objective? For an action to be considered good or evil, it needs to at least potentially impact the consciousness (i couldn’t imagine “killing” rock being considered evil) of some thing, but “objective” means that a particular concept is true independent of a subject, or consciousness. So there seems to be a conflict. Rape wouldn’t be immoral in a universe devoid completely of conscious life, composed entirely of lesser lifeforms like bacteria or inanimate objects like rocks. Here, rape doesn’t exist. It seems to me that the only kind of morality that there can possibly be is a subjective one.

I’ll jettison the idea of moral relativism right now, we can all basically agree it’s insane, and, if not, don’t bother responding to this (as if anyone is going to anyways). However, on to the first question. I don’t see a clear reason why morality needs to be objective. Disregarding the notion that i don’t believe it is even possible, if it were, why need it be? As i’ve said, any act that doesn’t impact the consciousness of some creature, while also being committed by a conscious creature, can’t really be considered immoral. Imagine if Will Smith was alone on a planet, save for a few billion zombie-vampires, and he were to burn an empty house down, would this really be considered immoral? I don’t see how anyone could possibly say it would be.

I’m sure i’m wrong about everything that i’ve said, but i would like to eventually be right so…bring it on.

You didn’t really say much other than to jettison moral relativism while arguing one of its main points that morality is subjective.  That what we find to be moral has more to do with how we think about morality than universal truth is the essence of moral relativism.  It also means that we can and do act in a morally subjective hierarchy.  If presented with a moral dilemma that forces us to act in a way we think to be immoral but, have a choice of one immoral act over another, we are still able to choose the act that stings our moral compass less, making morality relative.

Though some argue that the objectivity of morality isn’t in the fine tuning but in an overall sense that human, and other sentient being’s, well being is what is morally objective. After all morality wouldn’t exist in a world without these sentient beings. It’s objective for us to seek this well being but not how we reach it perhaps. Though I’m still on the fence about such objectivity myself it does make sense to some extent. 

Proof That Atheism is a Religion

cleatora:

Some people just don’t understand that different fields of study disagree with others. If you feel I’m wrong, then take the time to understand from my perspective. Not everything in your perspective is solid. I can admit that not everything from my perspective is solid. But it’s still factual. Just not to other fields of study.

http://creation.com/atheism-a-religion

This link not only provides proof that in certain fields of study and by certain definitions of the term “religion,” atheism falls into that category. It also provides some debate from those who don’t believe it. 

If you feel that atheism is not a religion simply because theism is not technically a religion and because there are religious affiliations that are atheistic in nature, then you’re also saying agnosticism is not a religion simply because Gnosticism is not a religion and agnosticism covers agnostic atheism, agnostic theism, and agnostic neutralism. 

I can understand that you don’t believe it, but if you’re too closed-minded to even admit that it does fall into a religious category by at least one definition of the term “religion” then I’m not giving you the time of day. What I’m providing is fact based on a sociological perspective.

My question is “What religion do westernized atheists belong to if atheism is not a religion?”
Many atheists actually agree that atheism is a religion in that sense, but are most atheists so against religion that they don’t want to be classed as one? 

I have nothing against atheism because I’m an agnostic neutralist and atheism could very well be right for all I know. (And forcing that idea on me is no better than a theist forcing their beliefs on me). 

You’re source isn’t a creditable one my friend. It tries to blur the lines between science and religion, which creationist failed to do with creation science and are failing to do again with intelligent design.  

It gives a false explanation of evolution to make its point for its narrative argument.  It then attempts to undermine Darwin in its experiential argument which of course makes it fallacious.  

It then attempts to convince the reader that one can not be happy unless there is a purpose to life which is only possible if there is an after life.  I think even you should realize how ludicrous that is.  

Then comes the argument of everything in my book has been proved true so asserting things we can’t see to exist is logical. Also false.  Its next point is a false cause fallacy about totalitarian communism oppressing people with atheism, then quickly goes into the typical misunderstanding of evolution to yet again claim “I don’t understand therefore blah.”

Next an attempt to call atheism humanism which are different things.  Even Christians can be humanists, but they can’t be atheists.

Then it calls atheism moral relativism.  Again an absurd idea. Oh look more ad hominem attacks follow that one up, a long with atheists have rituals mumbo jumbo.

A false dichotomy is then set up for deriving morality from evolution in which it says only 2 out comes are possible which is false in the extreme.

It gives no real definition of religion to base its arguments on but instead says we must look at characteristics that something must have only a few of to be a religion.  By applying this tactic I can make being a parent a religion, playing dungeons and dragons is a religion, being affiliated with a political party is religion, and so on.  If you can shift the definition to include almost anything then the word has no meaning.  Not to mention even if it did fit “A” definition of religion, words with multiple definitions are actually different words.  The context changes the meaning therefore when we use the word in different situations to mean different things we aren’t qualifying A with B we are saying different things.  To confuse A with B is dishonest and that is exactly what this web page is doing.  The funny thing is it didn’t even make a compelling argument for atheism to mean A or B it just attacked evolution.  Evolution is not atheism.  It’s just another failure of creationism to gain legitimacy in a world that is becoming too smart for it.

Did anyone else notice Ted got demoted from Cap’n?

Did anyone else notice Ted got demoted from Cap’n?

HAPPY BLASPHEMY DAY!

faithorarrogance:

Who wants to commit acts of heresy and sacrilege with me?!

Ooo, ooo, ooo! I know! Let’s promote federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and force all places of worhsip to pay their due property taxes! We can even legalize gay marriage! Oooo, and then we can talk about evolution and as a one-up, let’s ban creation from being taught in public schools!

Let’s get real fiendish, people!

Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters serenade anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church

atheismfuckyeah:

Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters band mates on Friday counter protested the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, which had targeted the band’s Kansas City show at the Sprint Center.

“You have no proper thoughts of the God that created you, but we’ll be there to make sure you don’t forget when you haul your rebellious carcasses into the Sprint Center to watch God-hating fools do their shtick,” the group said in announcing their protest. ”God hates fag enablers.”

The band pulled up to the protesters in a modified truck dressed in fake facial hair, long wigs and cowboys outfits to serenade the group with a rendition of Keep It Clean, which includes the lyrics, “Driving all night, got a hankering for something. Think I’m in the mood for some hot-man muffins.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, God bless America,” Grohl said between sets. ”Land of the free, home of the brave, it takes all kinds. I don’t care if you’re black or white or purple or green. Whether you’re Pennsylvanian or Transylvanian, Lady Gaga or Lady Antebellum. It takes all kinds.”

“Men loving women and women loving men and men loving men and women loving women – you know we all like to watch that.”

“What I would like to say: God bless America, y’all,” he added.

From ChicagoPride

(I’m not back yet - my computer will undoubtedly die at any moment - but this was too good for me to simply NOT try to get it up on tumblr for you guys to see!) 

~Mooglets

Why ask for an opinion and then attack someone for being honest?  Oh right because you’r Fox News.

The only way — and I mean the only way — that the Catholic Church is going to change its stance on [the child abuse] issue, or indeed on any issue, is if Catholics vote with their feet, and get the hell out of there.
Greta Christina (via atheismfuckyeah)

Another from QualiaSoup.  I love this channel.