FLA Woman Prays Instead of Driving; Crashes

From the ‘no shit’ section of the Okaloosa County Florida newspapers, a 28 year old woman, was taken to the hospital for evaluation after driving into a Mary Esther house Thursday morning.Capture1.PNG

The woman told Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies she was praying at the time and had her eyes closed, according to the OCSO.

The Fort Walton Beach woman was traveling eastbound on Marcia Drive when she failed to stop at a stop sign, went through an intersection and into the yard of a home on Miramar Drive.

She tried to back out but got stuck in the sand, the OCSO said. She was cited for reckless driving with property damage. No one in the house was injured.

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Yep, you read that right. A completely grown woman ran a stop sign, jumped a curb, drove through a BIG ASS yard and hit a house hard enough to get stuck in the sand surrounding it. Because she was talking to herself or if you like, her imaginary friend. She was literally driving with her eyes closed, talking to herself while in operation of a 2,000+ lbs vehicle.

Now the million dollar questions, should having a literal ‘jesus take the wheel’ moment exclude you from being qualified for a drivers license? What level of magical thinking WOULD exclude someone from that privilege? If you genuinely believe that one day you may be raptured out of your car leaving it to careen down the freeway, you are being severely irresponsible. On the flip side, if she had been talking to little purple people only she can see on her dashboard, would she get the same treatment? Why or why not?

For those of you living in southern california where I live, please, pray at home if you need to pray, or while its in park. I would like to continue existing for a little while longer.

 

Episode 2: The Efficacy of Prayer

This, admittedly, is a topic that’s beat to death in atheist writings over the last few years. Yet, even with all of the discussions we’ve had surrounding prayer, it seems the faithful still tout its uses while the non-religious look on in disbelief as millions of people around the world pray for help with their jobs, their schooling, their families health, the unbridled success of their friends and the relentless destruction of their foes or punishment for the wicked. Come along with me as we discuss what prayer is, and whether it works or not.

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Click HERE for episode 2, of the Freeligion Podcast.

The Podcast is ALIVE!!!

Well, now I’ve gone and done it. I’ve recorded and edited Episode One of the Freeligion podcast. This might be the most vulnerable feeling thing I’ve ever done. I hope you enjoy it, and please keep the comments coming. The ones that help are great, the ones that dont, well lets be honest I delete those.

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Now, with no further ado, I give you: Episode One. Enjoy.

Dig on Swine Man

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I recently came across another ‘article’ letting me know what God doesn’t want to tell me himself. This time it was 15 reasons God doesn’t want us to dig on swine. The only reason this is getting the blog treatment is because there were SO many incorrect statements (spoiler alert: ALMOST ALL OF THEM) that I really just couldn’t let it pass me up. So please, fire up the grill, toss on some ribs and enjoy this post.

  • A pig is a real garbage gut.It will eat anything including urine, excrement, dirt, decaying animal flesh, maggots, or decaying vegetables. They will even eat the cancerous growths off other pigs or animals.
    • So do a TON of other animals we eat. Hell, WE we eat some of the things in this list. Regardless, this statement relies on a misunderstanding of how digestion works. The items they eat are either broken down to their constituent parts or they are excreted. The ‘urine’ for example would not pass from the gut to the muscle (the part you eat) in any meaningful way. The pig doesn’t store the ‘feces’ it encounters in its muscles or fat. This is just basically tricking people who don’t understand biology.
  • The meat and fat of a pig absorbs toxins like a sponge. Their meat can be 30 times more toxic thanbeef or venison.
    • Toxins like what? An example would be nice… is there bleach in there? What? 30 times more toxic. Again, 30 times WHAT number exactly? Not to mention that modern farm raised pigs are give exceptionally good food and are not often allowed to forage or even access the urine and feces mentioned above. Just making a statement as if it is fact, does not in fact make it fact.
  • When eating beef or venison, it takes 8 to 9 hours to digest the meat so what little toxins are in the meat are slowly put into our system and can be filtered by the liver. But when pork is eaten, it takes only 4 hours to digest the meat. We thus get a much higher level of toxins within a shorter time.
    • This simply is false or at the very least unfounded. It takes no less or more time to digest one mammal meat over another. Oh, and take note where he mentions the LIVER is the organ responsible for toxin removal.

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  • Unlike other mammals, a pig does not sweat or perspire. Perspiration is a means by which toxins are removed from the body. Since a pig does not sweat, the toxins remain within its body and in the meat.
    • First, pigs DO have sweat glands, just not very many. Sweating is a function used for cooling, not toxin removal. This is again a play on people that have no knowledge of general biological function. Fish don’t sweat, they drink urine and eat feces… why aren’t we against fish? Can Muslims eat sushi? If so, a lot of the rest of this article is going to make noooooo sense…
  • Pigs and swine are so poisonous that you can hardly kill them with strychnine or other poisons.
    • A) this makes no sense, something BEING poisonous doesn’t make it resistant to poisons. B) It takes MORE strychnine to kill a person than a pig. The LD50 in dogs/cattle/horses/pigs is .5-1mg per kg. In people, its 1-2mg / kg. So, this is just a lie.
  • Farmers will often pen up pigs within a rattlesnake nest because the pigs will eat the snakes, and if bitten they will not be harmed by the venom.
    • There are several animals that have been found to have convergently evolved ammino acids in their nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. So, if a pig were bitten, would it be unhealthy to eat? No. This is a play on people not knowing the difference between venom and poison. Poison is ingested venom is injected. We can safely suck the venom out of a wound, because it requires direct injection into the blood stream. There are also studies showing the significantly lowered efficacy of hemorrhagic toxins.
  • When a pig is butchered, worms and insects take to its flesh sooner and faster than to other animal’s flesh. In a few days the swine flesh is full of worms.
    • This might be true depending on the conditions the pigs are raised, butchered and stored in. Improper care of ANY meat can make it dangerous to consume.
  • Swine and pigs have over a dozen parasites within them, such as tapeworms, flukes, worms, and trichinae. There is no safe temperature at which pork can be cooked to ensure that all these parasites, their cysts, and eggs will be killed.
    • While there is a historical basis for caution regarding trichinosis, it’s no longer a threat that should concern U.S. pork consumers. In fact, the odds of getting trichinosis from eating pork sold at retail stores is only 1 in 154 million.

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  • Pig meat has twice as much fat as beef. A 3 oz T bone steak contains 8.5 grams of fat; a 3 oz pork chop contains 18 grams of fat. A 3 oz beef rib has 11.1 grams of fat; a 3 oz pork spare rib has 23.2 grams of fat.
    • Yeah, that’s why we trim the fat off pork products… Duh. Or, you could go with lean pork, which has less fat than most other meats.
  • Cows have a complex digestive system, having four stomachs. It thus takes over 24 hours to digest their vegetarian diet causing its food to be purified of toxins. In contrast, the swine’s one stomach takes only about 4 hours to digest its foul diet, turning its toxic food into flesh.
    • Another attempt to confuse people who don’t know anatomy and physiology. A cow needs 4 stomachs to digest cellulose (its basically wood) which it eats. A pig doesn’t eat this, so it needs one stomach. Toxins, as we know, are cleared from the body by the liver and kidneys, which both cows and pigs have one of. (one liver, one set of kidney)
  • The swine carries about 30 diseases which can be easily passed to humans. This is why God commanded that we are not even to touch their carcase (Leviticus 11:8).
    • First, its carcass. Second, if you COOK your food properly, there is almost a zero chance of disease transfer. Zoonotic diseases (ones that can actively pass between different species of animals) are fairly rare in the large scheme of things. But lets get detailed on this one. Pigs carry (or can carry) around 60 diseases. 10 of those are bacterial and 9 of those you come into contact with on an almost daily basis. Prevention is washing hands and proper food handling. 5 of the diseases are viral and influenza is the most common, the others are either rare or nonfatal in humans. 6 are internal parasites, fungi or mites ALL of which are preventable through hand washing and proper cook temperatures. ALL of the rest, are destroyed in proper cooking. Moral of the story? Cook your food.
  • The trichinae worm of the swine is microscopically small, and once ingested can lodge itself in our intestines, muscles, spinal cord or the brain. This results in the disease trichinosis. The symptoms are sometimes lacking, but when present they are mistaken for other diseases, such as typhoid, arthritis, rheumatism, gastritis, MS, meningitis, gall bladder trouble, or acute alcoholism. (In addition: One of the biggest concerns with eating pork meat is trichinellosis or trichinosis. This is an infection that humans get from eating undercooked or uncooked pork that contains the larvae of the trichinella worm. This worm parasite is very commonly found in pork. When the worm, most often living in cysts in the stomach, opens through stomach acids, its larvae are released into the body of the pig)
    • See above. I think we already discussed how rare this disease is. Again…cook. Your. Food.
  • The pig is so poisonous and filthy, that nature had to prepare him a sewer line or canal running down each leg with an outlet in the bottom of the foot. Out of this hole oozes pus and filth his body cannot pass into its system fast enough. Some of this pus gets into the meat of the pig. (That is the reason why pigs’ feet are so sticky when cooked)
    • This is just simply false. Dissect a pig, look at a pig, or better yet just take an anatomy class. This is a ludicrous claim. Why are religious people seemingly so against doing any research at all?
  • According to Jewish law, pork is one of a number of foods forbidden from consumption by Jews. These foods are known as “non-kosher” foods. In order for a meat to be kosher, it must first come from a kosher animal. A kosher animal must be a ruminant and have split hooves – therefore cows, sheep, goats and deer are all kosher, whereas camels and pigs (having each only one sign of kashrut) are not kosher.
    • True, but who gives a shit? There are a couple of historical reason pigs were off the menu, but they primarily lay with the fact that pigs required so much water.
  • 15) Quran, Holy book of Muslims also prohibits consumption of pork.
  • “HE has made unlawful for you that which dies by itself and blood and the flesh of swine and that on which the Name of any other than The One G-D has been invoked. But he who is driven by necessity, being neither disobedient nor exceeding the limit, then surely, G-D is Most Forgiving, Merciful.” Quran 2:173
    • Again, true, this is in Koran, but who gives a shit? The Bible says rabbits chew cud. Spoiler, they don’t.

I Took A DNA Test…

This one gave me a chuckle this morning.

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I wonder where they got the paternal sample? The only person to presumably have a direct DNA connection to ‘god’ is Jesus, and well, he’s nowhere to be found with no DNA evidence left behind. Not to mention the angel rape that is performed on Mary… but that’s another issue for a morality post.

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Obviously I’m being sarcastic, but this image does raise a point I would like to address.

People like the con-men at Answers in Genesis like to say how DNA evidence is flawed and untrustable as a way of determining historicity of human evolution. They have been presented with the mountains of evidence that show very conclusively why there could have been no actual ‘adam’ or ‘eve’. But on one hand they toss this science out, but then will gladly use the terms inappropriately to back their cause. It’s like the way Deepak cons people using the term ‘quantum’ in a way it isn’t meant to be used. They allow the use of confusing science to back their own cause, but then deny that same science when it stands up against their faith.

This is basically the premise behind Jerry Coyne’s new book ‘Faith vs. Fact’. Get it HERE if you don’t have it already. In short the book explains how if you are willing to take things on faith, then you are intrinsically anti-science. There may be some cognitive dissonance that allows people to have faith as well as agree with science, but at some point those two worlds are going to collide in a way that dissonance wont be able to deal with.

So, in review, if you are going to use scientific evidence then use it correctly and consistently. If you aren’t, fine but don’t pretend.

 

Live Like You Actually Believe It

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The way I read this when you take the horrible grammar, structure and unnecessary platitudes out is ‘God has decided to kill off more people this year than I can count, so instead of being honestly upset about that, I’m going to thank him for sparing me a little longer’.

This one gets me. The people who post this kind of meme also post ones that talk about how the end is coming and Jesus is going to make everyone whole again. They post memes of their hopes of being reunited with lost loved ones. If you are a believer in the Christian god, then wouldn’t you be better off begging for God to take you instead of others so you can enjoy the respite of heaven? Why in the WORLD would you be happy that you have been left out of that joyous promised land even for one more second??

This is what I mean when I tell people I don’t think most, maybe not ANY, Christians live in a way that’s consistent with their professed worldview. If it’s the single most important thing in existence to praise, exalt and follow to the letter the laws of God so that you can make it into this perfect afterlife. I don’t see that in real life. I don’t see people actually pushing the ‘world’ aside and devoting to the worship. Not really. Not if you really think that any moment could be your last and you would genuinely stand trial in front of the supreme judge.

Heaven v. Hell is an ETERNAL reward and punishment system. I dont want to get into the immorality of such a system (how can you possibly have infinite reward or punishment for finite acts?), but rather to discuss how if you had the foreknowledge and the honestly held belief that these are your two options, an ACTUAL eternal hell of glorious reward, wouldnt you think you would be able to dedicate EVERY action to ensuring that outcome? If you truely thought God could know your thoughts, that he could see your actions, wouldn’t you be petrified of the possible outcome if you were to slip for even a second? Somehow thats not what happens. What happens in actuality if that people try to be good, which they tend to do anyway, and when they are unable to be good or at least consistent with Christianities laws they beg for forgiveness or explain away their actions by cherry picking the book they pretend to hold so highly.

Personally I have no need for a pretend metaphysical punishment and reward system. I’m just going to do like the song says, “Be Good, for Goodness Sake”.

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The PodCast is Coming

I’ve talked about it for quite a while now, but the hardware is officially on the way!! The Freeligion Podcast will be launching in 2016, hopefully in January. I will be sure to post more details on the start date, time, live v. recorded and if/when I expect guests.

In the meantime, have a look over the Hardware. Aside from the pop filter and the mic stand I picked up two major pieces of hardware.

One is the Behringer Q802USB 8-Channel Mixer.

71dBuCO2TQL._SL1000_This baby runs 2 state-of-the-art XENYX Mic Preamps comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps. Built-in stereo USB/Audio Interface to connect directly to your computer; Free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins downloadable at behringer.com. Studio-grade compressors with super-easy “one-knob” functionality and control LED for professional vocal and instrumental sound.

And then there is the Mic. The MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount.

81QiFDEoHjL._SL1200_3/4″ gold-sputtered diaphragm Attractive vintage body style with champagne finish 30Hz-20kHz frequency response 130dB maximum SPL Sensitivity: 15MV/pa Equivalent noise: 20dB (A-weighted) Wired with Mogami cable.

Well, that’s it for now. More to come and I likely will be putting some articles together logging my experience getting this baby going. See you in January!!

Moral Majority?

As someone who realizes that America has been a Christian majority for a VERY long time, I saw this today posted by a Christian family member and was instantly set to agree with her.

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I couldn’t agree more, which is why you see so many of the ‘good old things’ disappearing and no thanks to any help provided by Christian sects. In fact Christianity seems ‘designed’ to correctly use a term William Lane Craig misuses so often, to keep people down… to keep certain people in check… to allow certain others to thrive…

Like the way slavery went away, I mean, we fought a war over it. How does ‘thou shalt not kill’ get completely cherry picked around?

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Like the way we watched women’s suffrage go…

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Like the way we watched civil rights overtake race-frightened policies

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We saw creationism lose in court over being a ‘legitimate’ science

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We have seen marriage equality passed

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We are seeing women’s reproductive rights take over…

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The majorities accepted these falsehoods, lies, evils but ultimately in the test of daily life, and ever increasing acceptance of secular based morality they have been pushed from being acceptable practices. Religion is losing its revered status and assumed powers. People dont believe that ‘because god…’ is a good enough reason anymore. Today’s young adults need options, freedom, control,  evidence, proof and rational discourse. The future is looking up. Thanks for the post Grandma!

Meme images used from: http://mindsoap.org/2015/07/06/honest-christian-meme-i-am-a-christian-i-believe-in-the-bible/ 

 

How this Atheist gives Thanks

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I’ve been asked a lot over the years about how, or more often why, an atheist celebrates holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Considering they are big social events in the US, I didn’t really understand the question until this year.

Since today is Thanksgiving, I thought I might focus on that holiday. The current vibe of thanksgiving in the US is to give ‘thanks’ for what we have, who we are with and all of our ‘blessings’. Now, I obviously don’t feel there is a creator or an all controlling master of the universe. So this current culture of needing something to thank is difficult for me. But this year I think I figured it out. I don’t need to be thankful to a god for the things I have I need to be thankful for things and to the people I have. So, to keep it short because I know we all have family we would rather be spending time with than reading my blog, here is my list of Thanks.

Thanks to the people who have supported me, I couldn’t go on without you.

Thanks to the people who have doubted me, as you have strengthened and educated me.

Thanks to the people I work with, you have made the time I spend at my job better each day.

Thanks to Amy and Summer who have shown me how to be me just that much more.

Thanks Mom and Dad. I wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for you.

Thanks to the soldiers who have volunteered their time and possibly their lives for doing the best they can in protecting this nation we call home.

Thank you to m Ex’s. That one sounds odd I know, but without my ‘failed’ relationships, I would not have been able to grow into who I am today.

Thanks to my ‘family’. Tom, Michael Shane, Monkey, Todd, Frank, Angie/Mark, Anthony/Stacy, Jack, Shane, et al. You are too numerous to mention you all, but please know I am so thankful for you all.

Thanks to those in the humanism and atheism movements who have help myself and so many countless others to shed the cloak of religion, you are my heroes and I hope to give back what you’ve given to me. Too many to name again, but a few I would like to call out are Matt Dillahunty, David Smalley, Russell Glasser, James Randy, Chase Littlejohn, Ben Schuldt, Jennifer Zuniga, Hitch (we miss you hitch), and so so many others…

Lastly, I am thankful in general for this world/universe/life. I have a chance to be, in a time I mostly love, in a universe that fills me with wonder and astonishment daily. I’m thankful that I get to meet, love, help, and learn other people. I’m thankful that I have a house that isn’t being bombed. I’m thankful that MOST of the people I come in contact with aren’t trying to kill me.

I’m sure there is more, but I hope after reading this that you can see what is important to me. What makes me thankful, and how I can just as easily celebrate this holiday as anyone else.

Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving.

You just gotta have, Faith?

It appears that Rod Parsley, no not the guy from Veggie Tales, has cancer. Rob Parsley for those of you who do not know has spent a career scamming people out of money while performing ‘faith healing’, also known as ‘bullshitting sick people because you are and asshole’.

Now, it’s very common for the faithful to get sick. I mean, they are only human after all. But what happens when one of the Lords chosen gets cancer? Surely its just a phone call to the big guy… no? Okay, maybe just a visit to a Benny Hinn show… Nada? What about a hundred likes and shares on Facebook… damn…

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Looks like the faithful actually have to ultimately rely on the same healing power of Hospitals that the rest of us do. Rod Parsley is taking radiation treatments at his local hospital. But, dont think for a second that the irony and obvious lack of Godly intervention made an impact on Parsley one little bit.

“Whatever medication I take, I stand against any side effects. I say, “This medication will do exactly what God and my doctors purpose it to do, and will harm me in no way.” The Bible says, Mark 16—and I’ve stood on this, “If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not harm them,” meaning whatever comes in to my body to help bring healing will not harm me, for I’m a child of God.”

I hope Rod gets better. I do.

But a dark part of me might be just a little glad that after all the people he has steered away from effective medical treatments so that he can buy another car, boat, or house that he gets the chance to realize how worthless he has really been to people all these years. Good luck Rod, and you really better hope you are wrong about hell.