Another Mass Shooting.  More Thoughts and Prayers.

Y ’all, I’m tired…this shit makes me so mentally and emotionally exhausted.

I used to ask myself:  How many tragedies have to happen before we do something? But after a guy walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 kids and Congress did nothing…we, as a country did nothing, I stopped asking.  We decided then that guns were more important than the lives of children, so I stopped wondering what it would take to get people to drop their guns and do something.  If the lives of 20 children in a school didn’t do it, nothing ever would. So each time I see something like this on the news…the Orlando shooting, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs… I mourn the victims, sick to my stomach because I know I CAN’T do anything to change it, our government WON’T do anything to change it, and this WILL happen again…maybe not for a couple of weeks or a month, if we’re lucky.

In the U.S. we average 1.08 mass shootings per day.  ONE. MASS. SHOOTING. PER. DAY.  You can tell me that’s not about guns until you are blue in the face and I still will never believe you. Why? Because it IS about fucking guns. No other country in the world has problems like this because no other country in the world has more guns than people.  Not one.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported that the number of guns manufactured in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2010 and 2013 from 5.5 million to 10.9 million…and most of those guns stay on U.S. soil with only 400,000 exported in 2013 (so fewer than 4%).  The gun homicide rate in the U.S. is over 25% higher than in any other high-income country. And guns kill over 1,300 children in the U.S. EVERY SINGLE YEAR. And we do nothing. Except produce and sell more guns.  And pray…which is really what this article is about, so I’ll get off my gun soapbox (since clearly it will never do any good anyway).

Thoughts and Prayers

So this morning I was watching the news in the aftermath of the Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting…once again I watched in horror as I got ready for work…nearly in tears as they talked about the families and the children that we mercilessly killed for apparently no reason (as if any reason would make it any better).  Anyway, Chris Cuomo was interviewing the governor of Texas (Greg Abbott…who of course has an ‘A’ rating from the NRA) and Chris asked what he feels his responsibility as a leader of the community is in a situation like this. You know what this asshole said??? (Paraphrasing) ‘Well Chris, there is evil in this world and all we can do is rely on the power of God.’

I’m sorry…the what, now?  My sadness was immediately overcome by anger.  Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these people?  The governor of Texas thinks that the way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people is to “work with God.” Where was your god when these people were getting mowed down yesterday morning, Governor? There is nothing more useless that anyone can do than sending people thoughts and fucking prayers. When things like this happen, I have to pretty much stay off social media because I can’t keep the outrage over the “thoughts and prayers” brigade to myself.  I find myself screaming at my screen ‘FOR FUCK SAKE, GO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING’ whenever I see them out in force.

And the Sutherland Springs shooter was apparently an atheist

Of course he was…so today it was worse than most other days…because according to the news, this guy was an atheist. There are people on the news talking about how the shooter ‘preached atheism’ as if that is a real fucking thing. But people (Christians) will see it and believe it. Because they don’t know the first thing about what being an atheist means and they remain ignorant of it willfully.  I went to Hemant’s Facebook page to the visitor’s section (since there is a screenshot of the shooter’s FB profile and he just happened to ‘like’ The Friendly Atheist) to see what kind of shit he was getting and it wasn’t exactly pretty.  There weren’t as many messages as I thought there would be, but atheist activists and other well-known atheists are definitely taking a hit over this one.

For any Christians (or other religious people) who might be reading this, we (atheists) don’t have any sort of unifying dogma or belief system. BUT of the atheists I know and know of (and that’s a lot), exactly NONE of us condone this kind of behavior for any reason, period.  I may not like your religion, but I am a humanist and I care about YOU. I care about the victims of this (and every other) shooting.  But I can’t do anything about it or anything to stop the next one without your help. And help does not consist of thoughts and prayers.  Christians continue to think and pray and rely on the power of god.  It’s been just over 500 days since Orlando.  There have been over 500 mass shootings.  There have been zero actions from Congress or the President.  Over 600 people have died.  Nearly 3,000 people have been injured.  If religious people want to do that shit on their own time, fine…but right now is the time to demand change.  Choose right now that our children and families are more important than arsenals and let’s actually do something to stop the next one.

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Creationism pushed in Louisiana schools

The Friendly Atheist reported on this recently but I wanted to point out some more violations contained within Zack Kopplin’s slate article.

As pointed out by Hemant in his article an email between a teacher her respective principal:

You wanted me to let you know when I was planning the Creation point of view. I will be doing this on Monday 3/21. The students will actually be doing most of the presenting. We will read in Genesis and them some supplemental material debunking various aspects of evolution from which the students will present. We will start off at the beginning of the period and I do not anticipate it lasting the entire time. That will be 1st and 2nd block.

But it doesn’t stop there at all:

After the hearing I followed up with the Ouachita Parish school system to learn how the “discrepancies” in evolution were being taught. I obtained a PowerPoint about the origin of life that is used in Ouachita Parish Junior High School’s life science classes. It presents evolution as just a theory and says that theories are “possibly true” but “not known or proven to be true.” Creationism is also presented as a theory and given equal footing with evolution. Students are taught that the “[b]asis for creationism is founded in Genesis of the Bible,” and “Creationism relies on the claim that there is a ‘purpose’ to all creation known only to the creator.”

creationism-1

 No shit it says it right on the presentation. The entire thing, which I highly recommend you glancing over, goes through pages and pages of strawmanning and misrepresenting science to put Creationism in a positive light. The Creationism page is just one page but yet evolution and science gets shit on for multiple pages… Fair and Balanced my ass.

Of course it doesn’t help with comments from the goddamned Governor like this:

School boards have also used the act to push for creationism. At a 2010 Caddo Parish School Board meeting, board member Steve Riall “said he knows the Governor has granted permission for districts in Louisiana to give equal value in teaching evolution and creationism,” according to the meeting’s minutes.

Oh yes… Jindal is really looking to teach both equally. If by equally you mean defeating a strawman version of science.

Opinion

If you’re going to educate your child into ignorance, that’s fine but don’t force other kids that would actually want an education to do the same. You’re supposed to serve the public and that means the lowest common denominator and I can guaran-fucking-tee you that it doesn’t include goddamned christian beliefs.

The government is tasked with being secular but these fucknuggets don’t want it to be secular. They want a theocracy where they can force everyone to believe what they want them to believe.

(h/t Friendly Atheist, Zack via Slate)

Christians suing over “God’s Not Dead”

I shit you not. Christians really fucking care about this movie as well as who gets the credit for producing and creating this pile of dog shit movie. But you won’t guess who has reared his lil Dennis Leary looking head to bitch about this movie?

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are John Sullivan and Brad Stine… Brad Stine… this name should ring a bell because a video went viral sometime last year and I made a response to it:

Yeah that guy who apparently destroyed evolution with one of the worst comedy sets ever. It’s one thing to purposefully act like a dumbass about science / evolution and it’s another thing to do it without realizing it.

He was completely serious.

As for the actual lawsuit goes, I think they have a pretty good case for it because as Hemant points out the plot of Proof, the title of film the lawsuit is also concerned with:

At the core of this internal conflict is an engaging professor described and/or portrayed by Plaintiffs in the Proof Treatments as a militant atheist (the “Atheist Professor”) who openly mocks Professor Daniels’ Christian ideology, and further goes so far as to administer a failing grade to a Christian student (“Josh”) who incorporates “Intelligent Design” into one of his papers.

Now, it’s obvious that key points in this general description are prevalent in the film God’s Not DeadThey, Sullivan and Stine, had tried to sell the movie script to the studio for a few thousand but ended up turning it down. After that, Pure Flix started on their own version of the film that Sullivan and Stine had presented but declined to sell.

My guess is that they will win the suit and get a portion of the profit that the movie made which was 30x the price of production.

(h/t Friendly Atheist)