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My Pick

February 15, 2009 @ 12:18

With the Academy Awards just a week away, I thought I'd throw in my two cents worth.

I probably won't watch the awards because they're much too long, and I find these shows to be much too incestuous. Most of these stars claim that they don't care about awards and that the art comes first, but on Oscar night hypocrisy literally seeps out of my television set on to my laminated flooring.

I've seen four of the five movies nominated for best picture - Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, Benjamin Button and Frost/Nixon.

I haven't seen The Reader, but maybe I'll be able to catch it by next Sunday.

I don't think it will matter anyway, because my choice for best picture didn't get nominated in any category but that shouldn't be surprising because the subject matter still doesn't sit well with large portions of the United States, where far too many people are still in the dark ages when it comes to the church.

Bill Maher's Religulous was the best two hours I spent watching a movie in the past year.

I absolutely loved it, because Maher did a superb job of handling the absurdity of organized religion, the trouble it has caused, and the people it has sucked in and destroyed.

It also acknowledges the wholesome intent of religion, but exposes the beakdown of that message by so many evil messengers and the refusal of millions to accept the logic and proof of evolution.

This is not a documentary for atheists, it's more for agnostics or as Mahr calls us, rationalists.

Maher doesn't believe in god, but he doesn't go as far as to claim there isn't one, his premise is that nobody really knows for sure but we sure waste a lot of time and shed a lot of blood over something we're not sure about.

And he's right, nobody does know for sure.

However, as the years decades go by and science is able to explain more and more things, the idea of a man sitting in the clouds judging each and every one of us and controlling the outcome of the odd football game is totally whacked.

As time goes on the argument against a god and religion far outweighs anything that religion can come up with. All religion can come up with is the Bible and several other documents of similar fantasy but anyone who takes the time can easily poke holes in stuff like Adam and Eve, walking on water, immaculate conception, arranged marriages, making women second class citizens and my favourite, female circumcision.

The Bible was written to explain what couldn't be explained hundreds of years ago, but that has all changed with science and technology, so now the Bible has been reduced to something along the lines of Harry Potter.

Whacky reading, especially if you've smoked a joint beforehand.

Religulous is a movie that everyone should take the time to see, even if you vehemently disagree with it, and here's why.

Even though we've advanced in leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades, and much of what religion represents has been exposed as a cover for corruption, greed and much too often sexual assault, Religulous is valuable in the sense that it gives the "other side" equal time.

As Maher points out in the movie, the idea of Santa Claus visiting every house on earth in one evening is ridiculous, but the thought of one man having the capability of controlling the earth and being privy to all our thoughts is widely accepted.

How screwed is that?

Even though we know so much more and so much more can be explained, it's still not generally cool to question the existence of god or the silly little book that promotes him.

Its fine to talk about all the superhuman and supernatural things that god can do, even though he misses the odd plane falling out of the sky and he let that AIDS thing get by him, but it's still not generally acceptable to question his existence.

That's why so many theatres throughout the United States refused to run Religulous.

Because they are still so entrenched in the ridiculous fantasy that is god and the bible and preaching and collection plates that nobody should be allowed, even for two hours, to consider the other side.

That is dangerous.

If you're reading this and you believe in god and all the baggage that comes with it and you think I'm just a big asshole, that's fine. If god works for you and makes your life better and provides the answers you need, great, all the power to you.

Although I might ask, where was god on Thursday night when 12 year old Shawn Mossop and 49 others were burned alive on Flight 3407?

Oh right, I forgot, that was the devil... or is it one of those situatiions where we write it off as "god working in mysteriouos ways?" That's always convenient.

You can't prove there is a god any more than I can prove there isn't, but as each day passes the evidence against a god piles up.

There is another side.

That's what Religulous is all about - and it was released on video this week - if you haven't seen it... let's be doing it!

20 years in jail for men who translated Quran



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298 Responses to "My Pick"


Phil Evans
February 15, 2009 / 16:13

Older story, but 51% of Americans reject evolution

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/22/opinion/polls/main965223_page2.shtml


Right Uppercut
February 15, 2009 / 16:24

...and worldwide figures show a much higher rejection of the cult of Darwin, as well.

***

Nevermind the Oscars; the liberal-slanted media should get the Razzie for "The most BLATANT SUCKING UP" as they continue to fall all over each other to treat Barack Hussein Obama as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

As if Obama can & will... do NO wrong.

Sheesh.


Buffalo Boy Mike
February 15, 2009 / 17:20

Freddie Great post man! Im going to buy the DVD this week. I loved the movie, saw it in the theatre and you are so right, there is more evidence for evolution than there is for God yet the majority of Americans don't believe in evolution.
Its incredible that we have advanced scientifically as much as we have yet can't get ourselves around the supernatural hocus pocus of a book that was written 130 years after Jesus supposedly lives.
Im agnostic/borderline Atheist myself and I felt like it was a fair representation of all religion.


Brenda's Boyfriend from Cambridge
February 15, 2009 / 20:26

Apologies if I make anyone angry...

I've always thought of organized religion as a kind of brainwashing.

You get a message implanted in your mind from someone who tells you what you should think/how you should act.

Then you go back every week (or more often) for re-enforcement.

Just my 2 cents. Now, where's my purple kool-aid at...?


Steve
February 15, 2009 / 21:11

Brenda,

Yes you go back every week (or more often) for re-enforcement, AND throw some cash in the basket for the privelige. There's the rub, and the scam.


Buffalo Boy Mike
February 15, 2009 / 22:33

My wife goes to Church, I don't because I just don't buy into it, I would hope she doesn't waste money in the basket, I suppose Im better off not knowing. I think even if I did go, I wouldnt give my money to the cause.
If god is so powerful why does he need money?
Thats the reason they all use too, God needs your money, its never, I need your money to pay my Reverend's salary and to pay for the roof over our head, not too mention to put out our political agenda for which churches should be taxed for doing so. Its amazing that Churches are not taxed.


Sid
February 16, 2009 / 10:40

Then we all head to Church for weddings, christenings and funerals.


Ed
February 16, 2009 / 11:15

Why doesn't the church pay taxes? Everyone else in Canada does. Have a look at George Carlin's religion is bullshit, funny stuff.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o


Chet
February 16, 2009 / 13:39

Believe what we all want to believe. No one forces anyone to walk into a Church and donate money.

As for the age old if God wanted us to fly he would have given us wings...he gave us brains to invent airplanes.


Nick
February 16, 2009 / 21:17

Chet, that's the stupidest argument out there. He gave us brains to invent airplanes? What? Why not just give us wings??? That's like saying there's no need to have peanut butter in the stores, as long as they carry peanuts.


Argie
February 16, 2009 / 22:13

"stuff like Adam and Eve, walking on water, immaculate conception, arranged marriages, making women second class citizens and my favourite, female circumcision."
--------------------------------------------------
Thanks Fred, for pointing that out. You'll notice the fist 3 items on your list are beliefs rooted in the Christian faith. You can laugh at these ideas but when you compare them to the final 3 items, they dont seem so destructive. Those final 3 belong to religions that I also find scary.

Then again, the irony might be lost on someone who despite being in their fifties, still smokes the odd J.


Mikey
February 17, 2009 / 00:22

Yes Argie, those three fairy tales might not be so scary, but when you take a closer look at the Christian faith you see that it needs to be treated with the same contempt and disgust as any other monotheistic religion.

I saw Maher's movie this weekend, so this is a timely post Freddie (for me at least...). I enjoyed it, but it's objective was to entertain just as much as it was to inform. If anyone's truly interested in this subject you owe it to yourself to read the books by Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkin. You'll really get a sense of how much religion has done to limit the development of our species and our civilization.


Chet
February 17, 2009 / 10:18

don't forget the flood!!!!!!


Argie
February 17, 2009 / 10:27

Mikey: The point that most people seem to be missing is that maher is a comedian (and usually he's pretty funny). However, his film which is categorized as a comedy missed the mark on that very one goal - to be funny.

Most critics agreed that the film wasn't funny. What's the use of a comedy that isn't funny???


Argie
February 17, 2009 / 11:26

Fred: Why do people over look the good organized religion does? Without the help of Christian charities in this country, the poor, the sick, the elderly and handicapped would not survive. The govt spends its most of its resources on able-bodied individuals who simply don't feel like working while letting the many Christian charities look after the legitimately underprivileged.

Of course most people don't think about that as they run to the big box centres each weekend to get the latest material thing in hopes of finding true happiness.

I can't defend the world's other religions that force young girls to be circumcised, or where arranged marriages are the norm (look no further than Brampton for that), or where people are stoned to death for committing adultery. What I can defend is the claim that ALL organized religions are corrupt and a waste of time. That simply isn't true.


Mikey
February 17, 2009 / 11:43

The movie's actually classified as a documentary, but since Maher is most well known as a comedian most people will see this movie as a comedy. Maher does use comedy as a vehicle to get his message across, which might detract from the seriousness of what he's trying to say.

Regardless, Bill Maher is by no means the leader of the current antitheistic movement. There are others who do a much better job of getting this point across.


Mikey
February 17, 2009 / 11:53

Argie - if you want to reduce religion to social work, that's fine. There are many secular organizations in Africa helping to fight AIDS, and they're actually telling people it's alright to use condoms. Hezbollah does plenty of charity work, that seems to get overlooked quite a bit as well.

This notion people in North America have that christianity is somehow better or more enlightened than other religions is dangerous and foolish. The only way our species can truly expand past it's childhood is to rid ourselves of these institutions.


Horace Mann
February 17, 2009 / 12:00

lets tell the billion dollar organization called the Catholic Church to fold.
They do a lot of good as mentioned with charities and hospitals.


Argie
February 17, 2009 / 12:16

Mikey: First of all, mentioning a terrorist organization as a charitable entity is laughable. Hez'a did help with hospitals and schools but ONLY in Lebanon (I don't believe they're helping with the poor in Africa, Indian, South America, etc). It was done purely for the reason to get the general public on their side.

Secondly, while some religions are forced on its people (convert or die) Christianity is provided as a option, as a way of obtaining inner peace.

Its no coincidence that in the past 40 years the influence of religion has declined while we've seen the erosion of family, the increase of divorce, the increase of unwed pregnancies, abortion, crime, a greater reliance of prescription drugs, illegal drug abuse, and so on.


Mikey
February 17, 2009 / 13:05

Christianity not forced? Let's put aside the fact that it frightens children into believing before they've reached the age to reason for themselves and take a look at what happens when you choose the other option. Sure, you can reject Jesus Christ as your saviour, but do so and you will spend the afterlife in everlasting hell, spending eternity in misery and torture. Doesn't sound like much of a choice to me.

It's not moral to lie to children, or the uneducated and ignorant of the world, so that they will take up your cause.

I cannot believe that you'd take the stance that more christian influence would increase our morality, which is I believe where you were going with your last paragraph. Christianity would help avoid unwed pregnancies? I'm sorry, but no one should accept being preached to about sexuality from sexually-ignorant virgins.


Argie
February 17, 2009 / 14:20

"I cannot believe that you'd take the stance that more christian influence would increase our morality, which is I believe where you were going with your last paragraph. Christianity would help avoid unwed pregnancies? I'm sorry, but no one should accept being preached to about sexuality from sexually-ignorant virgins."


So you believe its just a coincidence? Hmm. Is it also a coincidence that Uganda where the RC church still has a strong influence on its people is also one of the few African countries where the number of people with AIDS is actually declining. Check out WHO stats.


Mikey
February 17, 2009 / 15:33

Again you are reducing religion, and christianity in particular, to its social work. Again I'll have to point out that there are secular organizations that can and are doing this work, and doing a better job at it as well.

The reduction in AIDS in Uganda was due greatly to the ABC campaign they implemented: Abstain, Be Faithful, Use condoms. A very healthy approach if you ask me. The President of Uganda that spearheaded this campaign, Yoweri Museveni, had to eventually ask the Catholic church to stop demonizing condom use. Please try to find a non-Catholic source that says condoms did not help as part of the overall strategy to fight AIDS. It's fine to preach abstinence, but then to turn around and say that you, somehow, know that god does not want us using condoms is evil, because you are condemning people to death with that message. Being married to someone with AIDS should not be a death sentence.

Also, please see how well the Catholic ban on condoms is helping the spread of AIDS in Latin and South America. The attitude of the religious that they know more than the rest of us has to stop.


Argie
February 17, 2009 / 15:52

Mikey: What you and many others dont seem to get is this: If you agree with and follow the teachings of the Church you won't get AIDS. The one exception is getting it through a blood transfusion (very rare and tragic).

In other words, if you abstain from pre-marital sex AND don't have sex with someone other than your spouse you won't get aids. Why is this difficult to understand???

I'm not saying this is the only way to be healthy and free of AIDS, I'm only trying to explain that there is no connection with the spread of AIDS and people who adhere to the teachings of the Church. In fact those individuals stand a better chance of not being infected.


Mikey
February 17, 2009 / 17:33

Yes, abstinence and faithfulness will help to prevent AIDS. However these concepts are not the unique teachings of religion, any sound program to prevent STD's would include them.

As for there being no connection; the church does not allow condom use. Condoms help to prevent STD's, and not using condoms helps to spread them. Therefore, the teachings of the church do and will continue to directly contribute to the spread of all STD's. This is only the tip of the iceberg.


Buffalo Boy Mike
February 17, 2009 / 22:06

Sorry Argie but I think Mikey Wins on this little debate, besides, the Church can't even keep it in their own pants with their little boy molestors, I mean priests......


Steve
February 18, 2009 / 10:25

Nice rant by Carlin. The only thing as ridiculous as the blind worship of one deity or another, and the resulting argument as to which is the best, is the blind worship of the Leafs versus the Habs. You know who you are.


Gene
February 18, 2009 / 11:26

Yea, but nobody ever died over it.


Argie
February 18, 2009 / 12:03

Its funny how so many people who laugh and deride organized religion and/or God, will insist on being married in a Church/Temple/Synagogue. Considering you dont believe in a particular religion why not get married at a country club or provincial park or even City Hall ? Quite hypocritical if you ask me.

I'm sure most of the religion haters here fit into the above description.


Ghost Rider
February 18, 2009 / 13:21

Argie,

I agree with you.
The smugness of guys like maher is like wow, I guess blind faith is a little too much to ask for in these times.

This is another reason why Canada is going down the shitter! You don't have to practice the faith, but the morals help keep society civil.

I.e don't bang it if you can't pay for it.

Work for it, don't steal it.

etc etc.

Seems the cool thing these days is too shit on people who have some faith.

Oh well.


Common Sense
February 18, 2009 / 14:12

"Thou shalt not kill, steal, tell lies, worship material things, screw your neighbor's wife, etc." a short paraphrase of The Ten Commandments.

Living by that code makes so much sense.


Mikey
February 18, 2009 / 14:12

I wasn't married in a church, or any other religious meeting place, but if you want to marry someone of faith sometimes you have to bite the bullet. You can't pick who you fall in love with, and you'd be foolish not to marry for money because the ceremony will be religious.

I'm assuming that I'm lumped in with the religion haters on here. I don't hate religion itself, I'm just sick using their intimate knowledge of god's will as a tool to bully people into following. Religion needs to be challenged, especially since in continues to influence public policy and world leaders.

Ghost Rider - why is blind faith a trait that should be commended? If I told you that I will believe anything anyone tells me, no matter how far-fetched, and not only that but I will follow those teachings, would you respect me? I should hope not. Blind faith is what allows people to do disgusting things in the name of god, like strapping bombs to themselves, or shooting doctors that offer abortions, or trying to rid the world of an entire ethnicity.

Religious morals help keep society civil? Do you truly think that homo sapiens would exist today if, before god couriered the ten commandments to Moses, our species spent 90,000 years thinking that murder, stealing and rape were acceptable? The idea that morals come solely from religion is insulting to my intellect, and should be to yours too.


Mikey
February 18, 2009 / 14:15

It's not "screw your neighbours wife," it's "covet your neighbours wife." That's right, this god can convict you of a crime not just for your actions, but your thoughts as well.


Mikey
February 18, 2009 / 14:18

Hopefully my other comment gets posted, it answer all the other points that were brought up.


Argie
February 18, 2009 / 14:25

"covet your neighbours wife."

My interruption as to why that is a commandment is that you should appreciate what you have (your spouse) and not lust after your neighbor's or friend's wife. Even if you don't act on it, you're in someways cheating on your wife. Shouldn't you be lusting after her?


Mikey
February 18, 2009 / 14:50

Not only his wife, but his possessions as well. Don't ever aspire for anything more, be grateful for what god and your leaders have given to you. We are spied upon from the time we're conceived until after we die. Sorry, but this is a totalitarian regime that I want no part of.

Also seems to go against the principles of a capitalist society. If no one can aspire to anything greater, how do we ever improve ourselves? This sort of teaching belongs in North Korea, and all of us would like to rid them from there as well.


Argie
February 18, 2009 / 15:00

The biggest argument against religion is that it has inspired people to do horrific things. Like our friend Mikey states (btw I'm assuming you're too old to be called 'Mikey'), anywho, I digress, Mikey gave some examples of these horrific acts - one of which was murdering an abortion doctor. You'll notice I used the singular form of the noun as there is only one case of an abortion doctor being killed by someone (granted the killer was a nutbar but ONE case). To put that in the same sentence as suicide bombers is ludicrous since these bombings happen on an hourly rate in the muslim world.

Mikey was making some valid points until you stated that one.


Mikey
February 18, 2009 / 15:37

Only one? Please look that up. Just last month, someone purposely crashed their SUV into a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Paul, MN, because Jesus told him to (http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/38230064.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUjc7YUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU).

You cannot reconcile these acts by saying this violence is done by the insane, but suicide bombings are done by religious fanatics. They are all fanatics who believe they are on a mission from god, and don't have to look any further than their own holy book, whatever their book may be, for justification.

Garson Romalis, Hugh Short and Jack Fainman are doctors that have been shot right here in Canada for their willingness to perform abortions. Is it really only muslims capable of brutal and cowardly violence due to faith?


Argie
February 18, 2009 / 16:40

One dr has been killed - that's it. Just think had he followed the Hippocratic Oath to 'do no harm' he would have been alive today.

To brush aside all religions as dangerous is like outlawing school because a few crazy ass students killed a few other students in the halls one day. How many times have we seen that around the world?

The point is some people are just plain nuts. There are billions of people in this world who are deeply religious and don't want to kill or harm anyone.

So to use a lefty catch-phrase, you're using a 'strawman argument'.


Whose body is it?
February 18, 2009 / 17:18

...in addition; the 'arguement' used by those who provide the 'service' of killing the unborn, ("It's the woman's body"), doesn't hold any water.

She could have kept her legs shut. Or; at least used birth control.

What about the body of the unborn child which will grow into a full-fledged human being? Who does that belong to?

Hard to be pro 'choice' when one denies that 'choice' to a person simply because they are unborn.


Mikey
February 18, 2009 / 21:32

Why don't you ask the Pope what he thinks about birth control?

Argie - Your quote "Just think had he followed the Hippocratic Oath to 'do no harm' he would have been alive today" is frightening. What that says to me is that you support this murder. I wonder how many women's lives he saved by terminating ectopic pregnancies alone (which is also forbidden by the church)? Nobody likes abortion, if you believe that you are deluded far beyond simple belief in a celestial dictator; abortion should be used to protect the health of the mother. Your abhorrent comment has more than proven my point of the danger religion poses to society.

There's no doubt that there are millions of believers that choose to ignore the literal teachings of their particular holy book and use their good judgement when living their lives. But just because you choose not to murder (although you have shown that you support that behaviour) doesn't mean it's not part of the dogma.

Your argument about school is flimsy to say the least. What school has condoned murder in it's name?


Mikey
February 18, 2009 / 21:40

In my opinion, you should not have any voice in the abortion discussion when you oppose proper sexual education and contraception.

Also, are you giving attackers that fail their mission to murder innocent people a free pass? Only the ones who complete the murder are crazy? I can't believe that could be the case, but you have put your cards on the table. These particular religious fanatics are better than suicide bombers because they are pathetically inept at their task?


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