Monday, July 28, 2008

Hillsong's "Shine" Class Drags The Woman's Movement Back To The 90's...The 1890's

Hillsong is an Australian Church Organization that has turned franchise and popped up all over the place. (You can check out their site here)

Mostly known for their praise music, they also have quite a bit going on in the schools as well.... PUBLIC schools. And what do they learn? Let's read a little from the article I found:

Every Tuesday afternoon during the first term at Matraville Sports High School, a group of young women take part in classes intended to boost their self-esteem. Some have personal problems, others have behavioural issues, while a few simply go because their friends do.

For the next two hours they learn a range of skills including how to put on make-up, do their hair and nails, and walk with books balanced on their heads.

Really?? That's supposed to boost self-esteem? Being a good little woman? How about TEACHING them something. Or... maybe try talking to them like human beings and not "training" them to be subservient. Didn't this shit die out right around the same time Polio did? (Ironic that religion tried to keep BOTH around, read some Hitchens to see what I mean)

Let's keep reading:

Hillsong describes Shine as a “practical, life-equipping, values-based course” and its website is awash with glowing testimonials from young women whose lives have been improved by learning about “being a good friend” and “learning about myself”.

Practical? Maybe, but don't girls learn ALL of this in everyday life? I mean, I never had to take a class on how to ride a bike or play man-hunt. (if you don't know what man-hunt is, its basically hide and seek but more... manly.... or something.... I don't know, it was what almost every guy has called it to make it seem a little less childish that they played hide and seek when they were 14... just drop it!)

Life-equipping? I don't even think that's a real word. Isn't that just a hot-button term that fills up space on a powerpoint presentation? Life-equipping. My Mom works with "Special Needs" and I think that's one of the things she has to do. Life-equipping. I had that lesson course; My Dad called me once and said, "Ray, don't grow up to be like me". Does that count?

Values-based? Okay, they like hyphens. By the way, from now on when you hear the term "Values-Based" just go ahead and use this equation:

Values Based = Christian Rules + Fear of Homosexuality - Tolerance

Let's keep reading:

“Through skin care, natural make-up, hair care, nail care girls discover their value and created uniqueness,” the material says.

Jesus Christ on a PogoStick, what the hell does that MEAN??? Oh, right. Let me translate that;

"Troubled girls often dress like Godless sluts and we want to change that. It's about time we had a return to good Christian Values."

See? That was easier to understand.

Thankfully, most people are aware of the blatant attempt to "infiltrate" the schools and the minds of young women:

“Over the last two or three years teachers have been coming to us with concerns about Shine,” said the president of the Hills Teachers Association, Sui-Linn White. “It is the gender stereotypes that they are imposing. The focus on skin care, nail care, hair care - it objectifies women … These are things women fought against for centuries - they’ve got no place in a public school.”

Parents groups from Queensland and the Northern Territory have complained that their schools have tried to sneak Shine in almost unnoticed.

“In our view, this is a way of getting religion into schools through subterranean means,” said one parent, Hugh Wilson. “The principal or the chaplain decides it’s a good idea and, next thing you know, your kids are being taught about make-up by the Hillsong Church.”

I love you, Hugh Wilson. Thankfully, parents like him are there to spot this. But why does it continue? Do some girls lack the older female role-model they need? Sure, so do some boys. But that is so far removed from the "teaching" that goes on in these classes that it just reinstates horrible stereotypes and societal controls that we have long since removed from our communities.... And I went to Home Ec!!

Oh, and for those of you that read the article and noticed the Anorexia Tag at the bottom, I'll be covering that VERY soon.

In Space, No One Can Hear You Pray

Answers In Genesis is yet another wonderful tool used by Literalists to brainwash kids. If you haven't heard of it, I really recommend finding out about it. They are the people who started the Creation Museum, the monument to "Make Our Own History" that plagues the religious world.

ANYWAY, I just came across this page in their kid's magazine...

Would you like to walk on the moon or fly in a space shuttle? Have you considered becoming a scientist? Scientists get to study all sorts of amazing things. And Christian scientists can study science in a way other scientists can’t. Knowing who God is and what He said in His Word, the Bible, is where knowledge really begins!

Um, I'm pretty sure you need to know a lot more than whats in the Bible to become anything like an astronaut. Physics helps. So does complex Geometry and the like. Oh and understanding that the earth is ROUND would be good as well, considering Galileo was tortured to death by the church for stating the very fact that the earth revolves around the sun, it doesn't look likely that "Christian Scientists" are very open to interpreting the facts correctly.

Christian Scientist.... is that not the most preposterous combination of words that you can imagine? Let's see, we'll take two words that have NO correlation and combine them to create a "field" that goes against the very foundation of knowledge and intelligence. First we tried a few other terms, but it didn't work out that well.

We tried Cookie Doctor, but there was a split in the group about "chewy" or "soft".

Isn't it just a little too close to Disney's Imagineers? Now I'm starting to get it. A massive organization that takes wants your money and constantly talks about their dead leader... I can't tell them apart. (other than Walt actually existed)

Why Can't They Make A Coherent Video?

This video starts out as someone's idea of a clever little "letter to God" and devolves into what can only be considered the youtube equivalent of a crazy, muttering senior-citizen in the throes of a "back in my day" fit. Enjoy!


Considering the church shooting that just happened hours after I posted this, I would say the entire opening of this clip is voided. Unless God isn't allowed in church either? I really hope I don't sound careless when I point out the irony of a church shooting.

The Top Ten Worst Films To Stunt The Growth Of Humanity

1. Expelled

2. Passion Of The Christ








10. Anything With Larry The Cable Guy In It

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Elbows What Now?

This makes me... what?? And still the need to throw pictures of Passion of the Christ up there with it? Really? I mean... wtf?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Christian Websites: Why So Terrible?

While searching the interweb, one thing is clear; Christians don't know how to make a website. Some with awful navigation. Others have no discernable point or scary ethical/moral veiwpoints. And some websites are just so overloaded, they can make you blind. Whatever the case, these websites exist and it's time we recognized them.

Let's take a look at some!

We'll start with this great site. Put on some sunglasses for this one. Are the makers of this website talking about Jesus, or his technicolor dreamcoat? Oh, and don't ask me what that panther(?) is for on the bottom left corner. Now that I have blown your retinas, lets continue down the wonderful road of terrible, mind-numbing websites!

Here's another great one. (OK, so it's not a homepage, but it DID come up on a Google search, so I'm counting it) I think its wonderful to see that Jesus can set you free from the shackles of... okay, I can't even finish that sentence sarcastically. Pornography, Smoking, Overeating and Homosexuality. Are these really top of the list on the sin chart? I don't think so. I'll give them Homosexuality, seeing as it seems the be the sin-du jour for most uber-christians and I'll even grant them Porno seeing as it fits well with the whole... Puritan.... thing. But OverEating? REALLY? Smoking??! I'm starting to think that these issues are more about what the site creator has been "battling" rather than what's "best" for the world. But I'm not one to throw stones. I just hope that Jesus can help that fat, gay, wheezing, pervert.

Moving on. Let's look at another site. Here's a perfect example of two things that a LOT of Christian sites seem to love; Long, droning, list-like sites that seem more like a pamphlet and less like a website, and Space. Christian web developers LOVE Space. LOVE IT! Can't get enough of it. Take a look at some, you'll find at least a few on your own that have stars and space elements running through them. What's curious is that I can't understand how God is involved with Space. Is it supposed to represent where He is? Whhat He sees? Or is it just supposed to make you feel small? Whatever the case, I don't really envision a galactic theme when considering Jesus. ANYWAY, I do enjoy that they try to say something to everyone on this page. And it starts with the Jews!... And then, ALL of Mankind. Cuz the Jews aren't in that category? Oh, and don't you think that would be a little better than this? It's like going to and finding a little site that says, "Soda is tasty, right? You should drink it". I'm sure there are a few zealots that really wish they could have that URL, but have to settle for throwing in a hyphen or an underscore in their address. Jealous?

Here's another example of the two things these websites love; SPACE AND DRONING!! I do find it ironic that the title is Let Us Reason.

These guys must have fallen victim to having to break up the Jesus and the Christ inthe URL. They must hate Oh, and what is the main theme here?..... Hmmm..... Oh, yeah.... SPACE AND DRONING!!!

This one just confuses me. It says that its the "enter" page. A splash of sorts to get you to the site... but there's. no. site. It's perplexing really. FamilyFriendly something-or-other, the header is Give Your Life To Jesus, and then just a bible quote? And I have tried, TRIED to click on anything imaginable, but nothing. I don't get it. If you figure it out let me know.

And perhaps my favorite one, which I'll be tackling more thoroughly in a later post. This is so full of vitriolic ranting that it's hard to read more of a few sentences without either laughing or throwing up. And yet again, more Droning.

Finally, a website I can get behind. I think it should be linked in every Christian site!

That should do it. I hope you enjoyed the lovely tour through the intranets. If you have any sites that you think should join the list, let me know! I can imagine you might know of a few.

Remeber, just because you read it on the internet, doesn't make it true.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Atheistica! A Great Place To Visit

I've started my own country! That's right. I have. And you can be a national along with me if you want.

All we need to make Atheistica a bustling city is people to go to it. That's all, no clicking or anything, just go there and the country gets better. Why? Because I don't ask for much, that's why!

So join me, and if we get enough people on board, we're making it legit!... maybe not.


To Atheistica!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Praying For Gas Part 2

Here's a video of the group praying for lower gas prices that I posted on a few days ago.

Funny thing about this: Adding in the extra lyrics to "We shall overcome" about lower gas prices. Is this really.... REALLY... what you want to do with your day? Be the Weird Al of Prayer? I want to see these folks drive by a homeless shelter and tell me that gas prices are the real trouble in the world.

I also love the "proof" that God is listening to their prayers because the price went down 8 cents.


If God were listening, do think he might be able to do a little better than that? Is Exxon more powerful than God? Maybe God is trying to send us a message about using a non-renewable fuel source that destroys the planet? Or maybe, and this is a big maybe, praying for the price of ANYTHING is just about as far away from the message of this particular deity, that it shows just how absolutely ridiculous people can be.

Join me next week at BlockBuster Video where fellow Atheists will be praying and singing for the end of the tyranny that is paying almost 6 dollars for Miss Congeniality 2. (See how over the edge it sounds?) Stop praying for gas and start lobbying for a new fuel source. Personally, I'll stick with just hyperventilating when I fill my tank.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Praying For Gas Prices

The Washington Post had this little gem on their website today.

My favorite line?

"Nobody else is doing anything," she said. "God is going to do something."

Really? Maybe God could make us less dependent on oil, foreign or otherwise. Or maybe He can make cars run on nothing. Even better, Prayer!

When people pray, it's one thing when it's for a cause that could be considered altruistic, but when it is for the cost of something to go down? What about more affordable healthcare? Housing? Food for the poor? Nah, gas prices.

It's seeing people gather together in the name of a God and doing... nothing that bothers me so much about this. Am I bothered that they do this because it's praying? No. It bothers me that they call themselves Christian and, instead of HELPING someone... anyone, they put their time and energy into a self-serving and insignificant "mission".

Here's a fun game; The next time you see something religious going on, a building being built, a function taking place, ask yourself this: "What else could that money and those people do?" In this case, I wonder what would have happened if these people volunteered somewhere, again ANYWHERE. Claiming to be a part of an organization that supposedly stands for the betterment of "the people" comes with one bitch of a stipulation; Actually bettering something.

I would write more, but I'm about to start a prayer vigil for my car payments to go down. Here's hoping Jesus can help an Atheist out on this.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Brainwashing 101

I understand how this kid's parents could think, "oh! How cute!"

But once you start thinking about how children at that age simply mimic what they see adults doing, it takes on a whole new meaning. Through this kid's eyes, its just yelling and slamming the pulpit. Of course, I tend to see a lot of it that way, too.

Animal Testing: An Open Discussion

My friend, Jesse over at A Wild Change has recently posted a very interesting piece on animal testing sparked by my March of Dimes post.

I can completely see where he stands on the subject and feel inclined to agree. However, I need to state up front and honestly, that (in the words of Penn and Teller, not verbatim, but close) I would personally choke a Gorilla to death if it meant curing Cancer.

I think that in the world of testing, some cases call for a re-examination of our values; Where does our desire to protect animals come from and when does it interfere with our need to protect Humans? This, while cold sounding, is an important question to raise when considering a possible cure being found for any number of diseases that may not be found otherwise. To inherently adhere to an ethic is one thing, but to blindly adhere is another.

Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely agree with Jesse's position that animal testing for frivolous reasons is abjectly disgusting. When it comes to self-serving products (read: ANY "Product") it is nothing more than a horrible, and consuming glutton that allows an animal to be used.

BUT, when it comes to the all-too-hard to define, "Greater Good" (and I use that term hesitantly as it is mostly used by a person wishing to control you) it is harder to know when the suffering of an animal is malign. I would gladly lay down my life if it meant the cure of AIDS. I say that with all the possible truth and genuine meaning I can. And so it is with that thought that I approach the subject of animal testing with a question; How much is too much? To that question, I have no answer. But like T.S. Eliot, I'm not concerned with offering any facile solution to such a complex problem.

I encourage anyone who reads this to chime in on the comment area. I would love to see a discussion started. Any viewpoint is welcome.

I look forward to reading!

Oh, and if you need to relate this to Atheism: What would God do?

Monday, July 7, 2008

What What (In The Butt) Acoustic Cover

I can't believe I just did this. Don't judge me. My friend Kelsey said it couldn't be done, well... it can and has.

May Non-God have mercy on my soul.

Rays Number Four!!

The Atheist Blogger is hosting the latest round of Carnival of the Godless, an atheist... blog-zine/massposting/everything. I enjoy these and, sadly I don't get to read all of it most of the time, the stuff I've read is really interesting.

Oh, and notice number 4 on the list? Why, that's me! Now I shall go forth and be arrogant to my fiance about how I'm on the list.

Thanks for putting up with me.

The Best Video To Give A Fundie A Heart Attack

South Park already managed to make this better, but I would love to sit a Fundie down and watch them as they melted from watching this.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

One Of My Favorite Lists

I absolutely love this list. I just want to know one thing:

What's your favorite one?