religion

The Anti-Crusader

Good thing these religious nuts let people have faith in god, of their own volition and not forced belief, right?

The Anti-Crusader

At Mikey Weinstein’s home in the suburbs of Albuquerque, the picture window in the living room has been twice shot out. Sometimes Weinstein opens his front door to find dead animals on his porch, feces smeared on his walls, or slashes in his tires. Men have called to threaten his daughter, women to chant rhymes about shooting him in the head, small children to inform him that he will burn in hell. To his critics, he says, “Take a number, pack a picnic lunch, and stand in line.” He’s not going anywhere, and neither is his 5’6″ ex-Marine security guard, Shorty.

Weinstein is the middle rung in three generations of soldiers. A former Air Force JAG and White House attorney for Ronald Reagan, he has adopted a shock-and-awe approach to battling efforts by the military to impress Christianity upon American soldiers. “We have the Christian Taliban and the Christian Al Qaeda inside our military,” says Weinstein, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, “and they really have WMD, unlike Saddam.”

An amateur pugilist with shoulders like a butcher block and a head like a cannonball, he several times challenged evangelical minister Ted Haggard to a boxing match. (Haggard declined.) His adversaries call him, to his great delight, “The Field General of the Godless Armies of Satan,” though his friends prefer nicknames like “Ticktock” and “Motor Mouth.” During one of his trademark rapid-fire, profanity-laced diatribes, he proclaimed, “Our job here is to kick ass, take names, and leave sucking chest wounds on the people who are trying to engage the machinery of the state to push their biblical worldview.” To allies who suggest that perhaps Weinstein should appoint someone more diplomatic to lead the foundation, he offers, “First they will have to prove to me that what we are engaged in is a polite exchange of views” with right-wing Christians, “instead of a bloody battle that only ends with the last person standing.”

Religious scholars mull Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster is getting some attention California:

Religious scholars mull Flying Spaghetti Monster

When some of the world’s leading religious scholars gather in San Diego this weekend, pasta will be on the intellectual menu. They’ll be talking about a satirical pseudo-deity called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose growing pop culture fame gets laughs but also raises serious questions about the essence of religion.The appearance of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the agenda of the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting gives a kind of scholarly imprimatur to a phenomenon that first emerged in 2005, during the debate in Kansas over whether intelligent design should be taught in public school sciences classes.

Supporters of intelligent design hold that the order and complexity of the universe is so great that science alone cannot explain it. The concept’s critics see it as faith masquerading as science.

An Oregon State physics graduate named Bobby Henderson stepped into the debate by sending a letter to the Kansas School Board. With tongue in cheek, he purported to speak for 10 million followers of a being called the Flying Spaghetti Monster — and demanded equal time for their views.

“We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it,” Henderson wrote. As for scientific evidence to the contrary, “what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage.”

The letter made the rounds on the Internet, prompting laughter from some and vilification from others. But it struck a chord and stuck around. In the great tradition of satire, its humor was in fact a clever and effective argument.

Between the lines, the point of the letter was this: There’s no more scientific basis for intelligent design than there is for the idea an omniscient creature made of pasta created the universe. If intelligent design supporters could demand equal time in a science class, why not anyone else? The only reasonable solution is to put nothing into sciences classes but the best available science.

Judge: Druggists may withhold “morning-after” pill

Great news! Pharmacies can now cite religious reasons for not making the ‘morning-after’ pill available to those who request it! What’s that you say? Your health/life might be in danger? Too bad! It’s the pharmacist that really matters here, not you. Just think about how the pharmacists must feel, I mean, Jesus very specifically said “Thou shalt not dispense morning-after pills to potentially pregnant women who requesteth”. Would you want to burn in hell for eternity (give or take a few days) because you gave a 14 year old girl morning-after pills? Not me, that’s for sure.

Judge: Druggists may withhold “morning-after” pill

A federal judge has suspended controversial state rules requiring pharmacies to dispense so-called “Plan B” emergency contraceptives, saying the rules appear to unconstitutionally violate pharmacists’ freedom of religion.

The rules appear to force pharmacists to choose between their own religious beliefs and their livelihood, Judge Ronald B. Leighton of the U.S. District Court in Tacoma wrote Thursday.

Some pharmacists believe the emergency contraceptive pills, also called “morning-after pills,” are tantamount to abortion because they can in some cases prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.

“Whether or not Plan B … terminates a pregnancy, to those who believe that life begins at conception, the drug is designed to terminate a life,” the judge wrote in a 27-page order granting a preliminary injunction.

Thus, Leighton said, the current rules “appear designed to impose a Hobson’s choice for the majority of pharmacists who object to Plan B: dispense a drug that ends a life as defined by their religious teachings, or leave their present positions in the state of Washington.”

Under Leighton’s order, pharmacists may now refuse to dispense the medication but must refer a patient to “the nearest” or “a nearby” source for the drug.

State officials said it was too early to say whether they would appeal.

“This is a complex issue with a complex ruling,” said Donn Moyer, a state Department of Health spokesman. “We’re certainly going to talk to our lawyers.”