Blog Archives

What is the potential of the youth vote in the election?


It’s a pretty substantial 20%… the question is will they show up? Here’s the demographics:

Here in the Shepherd University area where we see an awful lot of the youth category daily, we are curious as to how involved students are getting in the campaigns. From what I see it is minimal at best.

How is it where you are? Does it look like we will surpass the 2008 election or fall below it’s total of young voters? We’ll have to wait and see.



AFA News Director Says Liberal Churches, Media Share Responsibility for Colorado Shooting

From Right Wing Watch:

Fred Jackson, American Family Association

Fred Jackson, the American Family Association’s news director, while discussing the Colorado movie theater shooting today said that liberal Christian churches and liberal media helped contribute to violent incidents by supposedly deemphasizing the fear of God and the Bible.

During AFA Today, Jackson had on as his guest Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries to discuss his column on the AFA’s OneNewsNow blaming the shooting on a waning fear of God and Hell, and blamed the American Civil Liberties Union for destroying the public school system by supposedly forbidding students from reading the Bible. “You wonder why all these terrible things are happening to us when there is no fear of God,” Newcombe said.

Jackson maintained that unlike in the communities of forty years ago, liberals in the media and churches, along with movies and the internet, have “have come together to give us these kinds of incidents.”

Later in the program, Jackson and co-host Teddy James of AFA Journal said the shooting is a sign of God’s judgment for the failings of the public education system and liberal, mainline Protestant churches that affirm gays and lesbians.

Maybe you understand why I have so little respect for right wing Christianity. What mystifies me is that there are people who believe this bullshit.

Can we Pleeeez keep the damned Church away from the State?

David Barton, is a Republican Party activist, pentecostal preacher and fast-talking, self-promoting, self-taught, self-proclaimed historian who is miseducating millions of Americans about U.S. history and the Constitution.

Barton has been profitably peddling a distorted “Christian nation” version of American history to conservative religious audiences for the past two decades. His books and videos denouncing church-state separation have been repeatedly debunked by respected historians, but that hasn’t kept Barton from becoming a folk hero for many in the Religious Right. His eagerness to help elect Republicans has won him gratitude and support from national as well as state and local GOP leaders. Former senator Sam Brownback, now the governor of Kansas, has said that Barton’s research

provides the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today – bringing God back into the public square.”

David Barton seems to have discovered the scientific principle of testing your theories. He has actually developed a thesis and he says he could go a lot of places with it. I’m sure you can imagine most of those places he is going.

Here, see what you think about Barton’s new thesis:

Wouldn’t it be interesting to do a study between those that are on welfare and see how much and how often they read the Bible. You know, if Booker T. Washington is right that Christianity and reading the Bible increases your desires and therefore your ability for hard work; if we take that as an axiom, does that mean that the people who are getting government assistance spend nearly no time in the Bible, therefore have no desire, and therefore no ability for hard work? I could go a lot of places with this. I would love to see this proven out in some kind of sociological study, but it makes perfect sense

So you welfare collectors would all be successful workers if you only read the Bible! I bet folks like me who get Social Security (for which we worked our whole careers contributing to) but don’t read the Bible are on the same social bottom.

Think about how much more successful a Mitt Romney is, since he has The Book Of Mormon as well as the Bible.


As a “Kind Atheist” being preferred by any God is a gift I do not require, nor would I open it if received.
However, “Hateful Christians” are in the same category to me as “Hateful Muslims” or “Hateful Jews” or even “Hateful Atheists.” Being hateful is one of the reasons this whole world has been steadily going to pot.

Millard Fillmore's Bathtub

Actual photo, from the Rose City Park United Methodist Church, in Portland, Oregon.

The sign got a mention in Larry Bingham’s column in The Oregonian, and he says it’s making more headlines.

The Rose City Park United Methodist Church minister’s recent sign, which says “God Prefers Kind Atheists over Hateful Christians” is making headlines all over the place.

My colleague, Religion Writer Nancy Haught, cites it in her story on the shifting terminology between “religion” and “Christian.” And The Christian Post also has a story.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Kathy Paxton-Williams.

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Belief and politics

I read somewhere, very recently, that an acknowledged atheist in our society, no matter how qualified or politically necessary, can never be elected President. Damn… there go all my hopes for the future.

Perhaps the majority of voters think we need a god to keep the world at peace, or feed the hungry, or raise the poor from the economic miasma.

And what about giving us an edge on foreign religions? Hell, don’t they believe in the god as well?

And what about the conflict between religion and science? Don’t we need science for civilization to progress? And don’t we need to reinforce education, rather than lay off teachers,  to promote science?

And Math?

And the Arts?

It seems, though, that the fundamental beliefs of the atheist in human development and responsibility are meaningless when compared to the beliefs of the prayer-meeting politician.

I signed a petition this week to have “Under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. I’d sure like to see “in God We Trust” taken off our money. Neither is likely to happen.

I know the rich keep getting richer while the poor trust in a god to lift them up to a mythical “next life.” The don’t see that they are being used… kept in their place by that upper class.

Now, I CAN’T take advantage of the poor. I’m what’s called in NYC an “Ethical Humanist.” It doesn’t make me much of a political guy in West Virginia… but, at least, I can live with myself.

A quote for this morning… from my favorite Atheist Commentator

Ken Ham is currently hawking his new book, Already Compromised, in which he whines about the way universities — even many bible colleges — don’t take the Old Testament absolutely literally. This leads, of course, to students actually examining evidence and arguments outside the Bible, which inevitably leads to…atheism.”

– P J Myers in Pharyngula

Here’s one of Ken Ham’s dribblets:

In Genesis 6:19-20, the Bible says that two of every sort of land vertebrate (seven of the “clean” animals) were brought by God to the Ark. Therefore, dinosaurs (land vertebrates) were represented on the Ark.

Gee… where did they go?

A Beautiful Day for the End of the World…

The sun is shining and it looks like a nice day for the Morgan’s Grove Market and the final side of the Community Garden deer fence.

But wait! Today is the Rapture according to Harold Camping, no? All those fine, saved people (and the bodies of the buried, saved people, arise from the ground and float upward) should be headed to heaven to sit at the feet of the Lord.

Except, it has not happened yet. Maybe later today.

I’m off to the Market in an hour or so. Elly is subbing for Ruth at the Four Seasons Book Store booth (which doubles as the Sustainable Shepherdstown handout area) and I’ve pledged to sit in for Joy at her ceramics booth while she uses her truck and the Fence Puller to stretch the last side.

Anyway, come Hell (which has been predicted for the likes of me) or High Water, we will get something accomplished today. Hope you do, too (unless you are taken up in the Rapture… if so, bask in the pleasure of knowing I was wrong.)

The History of Religion in America Returns for the Weekend.

I’m re-watching the God In America programs on Public Television today, having watched both nights (4 hours) last week. I find it a fascinating view of American History as it relates to the early congregations that escaped Europe to eventually found our country and the development of Reform movements, both in Christianity and Judaism, and, of course, the parallel rise in the 20th Century of non-belief and how it fits into the religious population of the American continent.

While the program followed the interpretations of biblical scholars, mostly, and not those of scientists or humanitarian thinkers who question the faithful and find solutions beyond holy creation. Getting through the Spaniards trying to convert the Pueblo Indians to Catholicism as their ONLY religion and creating a war because of it, the Puritans leaving England for the freedom to worship in their way and then denying any different method to others, the arrival of Methodists, Baptists (with “rebirth”), Congregationalists and others, we run right into Jefferson who believed that we had the freedom to believe and worship any way we wanted, since this was God’s plan.

The Anglican Church in Virginia is shown as a taxing authority and the new Protestant religions, especially the Baptists, drew converts which pulled government away from the Anglican rich. The licensing of preachers in Virginia was the jailable issue that brought the Baptists into revolutionary fervor. And, finally, the attachment of Thomas Jefferson to the cause of a religiously Free Virginia brought the passage of a bill which allowed this risk to be taken… a year before the Constitution was made in Philadelphia.

I learned a great deal in this program about the creation of Reform Judaism and the Conservative response to it (not to mention the Orthodox response to both Conservatives and Reformers.) There is very little difference here between the actions of Reform Jews and the actions of Reform Christians, other than the Deist interpretation of Christ.

I’ll watch the rest of this… although I wish the series was longer and got much further into non-belief.

Quote of the Day – From Brit Hume to Tiger Woods

Brit put this one out on Fox News Sunday:

“The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger would, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’ “

Ain’t religion grand?

Collision: Hitchens Vs. Wilson

I’m not going to be in NYC or LA at the end of the month, so it is highly unlikely that I will see “Collision” right away. What is it? A film about debates between known atheist Christopher Hitchens (author of God Is Not Great) and Douglas Wilson, a Christian Cleric on whether or not Christianity is good for us. It was put together by filmmaker Darren Doane.

Here’s the Trailer:

And here’s the poster (blow it up, print it out, and hang it on your bulletin board):


If you don’t get to see it around October 29th, I understand there will be a DVD available. Their web site,, says it will be available at