Category Archives: religion

The end of the world is coming! On May 21, 2011?

The world is going to end in about five months. According to a movement of Christians loosely connected by radio broadcasts and the internet (All praise of World Wide Web, damn it!), they say the world shall end on May 21, 2011. Roughly about five months from now. People who believe this interpretation of the Bible have been getting their message out with billboards and bus stop benches. Marie Exley, a 32-year-old Army veteran, has organized traveling columns of RVs carrying the message from city to city. Harold Camping, the leader of an independent Christian ministry in Oakland, California, is the man who calculated the May 21 date based on his reading of the Bible.

End of Days in May? Believers enter final stretch. – MSN

Wait, I thought the end of the world was supposed to be 2012? I thought the Mayan calendar ended in 2012 and the world would just stop revolving like somebody flicked a switch? (This isn’t true. The Maya calendar doesn’t end on December 21, 2012 like some say. But the date was significant to the Maya. “It’s the time when the largest grand cycle in the Mayan calendar – 1,872,000 days or 5,125.37 years – overturns and a new cycle begins,” said Anthony Aveni, a Maya expert and archaeoastronomer at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. The Maya kept time on a scale few other cultures have considered.)

There has been many dates selected for the end of the world and, as you can see by the fact you are reading this now, the world has yet to end. Despite our best efforts to kill ourselves. Recently there was a TV program put out by National Geographic called Aftermath: Population Zero where we are shown what would happen to Earth if we just disappeared. All of our towering skyscrapers and concrete roads would slowly erode and be taken over by nature. New York would be a forest and Las Vegas would return to the desert. After 500 years of humans being gone, only our most hardy and lasting structures would still survive. After a 1,000 years of our absence even those, the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower, would crumble into ruin.

So, if a whole bunch of people end up disappearing on May 21, 2011, taken up in the Rapture, then we can worry. But since Harold Camping’s first prediction of Jesus Christ’s return in 1994 didn’t come true, I wouldn’t be holding my breath that he’s right this time.

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under fun, oh my god, religion, society

Atheist billboard in NYC and the Catholic billboard response. The reason for the season and the religious aspect of Christmas.

Ah, December. We just came down from the turkey high and now it’s time to start shopping and start thinking about Christmas. Right? Yeah, I hate it too. You’re not a humbug and a lot of other people think just like you about the holiday season. As both a holiday hater and a non-Christian person, this story just tickles me pink.

Atheist ad campaigns stir the pot during holiday season –Yahoo! News

We’ve all seen religious ads on billboards while driving down the road. Some are humors, others are more serious. Well, in New York City just outside the Lincoln Tunnel are two ads dueling it out for drivers’ attention. One ad, put up by the American Atheists, announces that the story of Christmas is a myth. You know, the whole Three Wise Men and Star of Bethlehem guiding the way to the manger where little baby Jesus lay? You were probably a camel or sheep in third grade because of it. The other ad was posted by the Catholic League and proclaims the story of Jesus to be real. “You know it’s real,” reads the Catholic billboard, “This season, celebrate Jesus.”

As a Pagan, I can tell you that the reason for the season is in fact the rebirth of the God and the return of the sun. On the winter solstice the days begin to get longer, signifying the return of the male deity and the solar aspect of the divine. Scholars now argue that Joseph and Mary would probably never have traveled in the winter months and that Jesus was most likely born in the spring. “Christmas” and the celebration of the birth of Jesus were likely moved to December to supersede the Pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Really, the celebration of Christmas as we would recognize it didn’t gain in popularity until the Victorian times in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The Christmas tree, the giving of gifts and even Santa Claus/Father Christmas are relatively new concepts. (In the Middle Ages, you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting some sort of religious holiday. During that time, Epiphany overshadowed Christmas. Epiphany is celebrated in January and focuses more on the visit of the magi and Jesus’s baptism in the Jordan River.)

Epiphany (holiday)
Christmas (holiday)

The amount of people in America who say they are atheists has grown to 15 percent over the past 20 years. Atheist organizations have taken to the same means of marketing as other religions, including billboards and TV commercials. This is not always met with grace and vandalism of the billboards and announcements is common. In June a billboard displayed by a local atheist organization in North Carolina proclaiming “One Nation Indivisible”, as the Pledge of Allegiance read before the 1954 insertion of the words “under God”, was defaced when a vandal spray painted the two words over the sign. There are many more reports of such billboards and signs also being vandalized.

I find the comments on this post very interesting. Some of them support the right of any group to advertise and speak their message, as supported by our First Amendment. Yeah, that little thing we like to call the Bill of Rights. Others are appalled that the billboards are up during the holiday season and even that they were allowed to be erected at all. Nothing irritates me more than someone telling someone else what to do or how to think. The signs have a right to be displayed with any message they wish. If you are insulted that there are Atheist billboards up during the Christmas season than I get to be insulted by the millions of Merry Christmas signs and religious TV commercials I get bombarded by during the end of the year. But I also know that thinking like that is stupid, absurd, and immature. What should it matter what I am thinking or what I believe if it has nothing to do with you? Why are you so threatened by a billboard?

But the best, the absolute best, comments on this article are those who state they are not the type of Christian to press their beliefs on others nor do they hate Atheists (or Gays or Muslims or Hindus or whatever the poster choose to write to make their point) and say they pray for everyone. People, as a Pagan, I can tell you that most of us just want to be left alone and that’s good enough. But I also can tell you that we want you to stop thinking we need to be saved by the Christian faith. The word ‘hypocrite’ comes to mind.

4 Comments

Filed under news, oh my god, rant, religion, society

North Carolina student, Ariana Iacono, returns to class and the comments are horrendous.

I have so much to talk about and so little time to post them! Why did I ever think I wouldn’t have enough content to post about? Coming up, a follow-up piece to the Ariana Iacono piercing/religion versus school dress code story. More specifically, my reaction to asshole comments on the latest article. We’ve got the last of the Economides family post and a post about bullying coming up. Then I’ll probably post a round up of the Samhain party I attended last Saturday. Fun will be had by all.

Last week a federal judge ordered the school Ariana Iacono attended to accept the teen back into classes. In the beginning of the school year, Ariana was suspended for refusing to remove a nose piercing. She and her mother, Nikki Iacono, belong to the Church of Body Modification where piercings, tattoos, and other body art are a central part of their doctrine. The school refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the religion and kept Miss Iacono on suspension, causing the teen to miss 20 days of class since the start of the school year. There is another hearing scheduled for November 3rd.

Today Show article – Judge tells school to take pierced NC girl

The comments attached to this Today Show article disgust me. Commenters had taken to calling Miss Iacono “nosepin girl” and making fun of the Church of Body Modification. The depth of disregard is shocking, as is the unparalleled childishness. People who defend Ariana Iacono and the federal judge who ordered her return to classes are blasted by “damn liberal” accusations and complaints of twisting the Constitution any way they want. Supportive comments receive outrageous counter examples of other “religions”, like being allowed to walk around naked because nudity is a sincerely held religious belief.


More comments can be read here.

I could go on. Boy, could I go on. Many of the commenters are dismissing the Church of Body Modification, much like the school did. Our First Amendment protects religion and you do not get to pick and choose. That is what truly disgusts me about this. Many are proclaiming that a ‘religion’ has to be recognized by an institution outside of itself, the government or at least society as a whole, before it can be considered a true religion. Well, let’s all head back to Rome because, pop!, there goes Christianity.

The commenters on this article truly confound me. We should be right along side Miss Iacono and her family, outraged that a school would so callously disregard a religion. A religion that has 3,500 members nationwide and was incorporated in Pennsylvania in July 2008. America was populated by people who fled their native country because of religious oppression. This type of bigotry, not just from the school but from the commenters, is saddening this day and age. I truly don’t understand where such prejudice and intolerance is coming from.

3 Comments

Filed under politics, rant, religion

a long rant about my pet peeves and assholes

About the middle of this month there was a news story floating around that hit two of my biggest pet peeves. Absolutely guaranteed to make me kick you in the balls type of peeves; people trying to tell other people how to live their lives and religious issues. You have no right to so much as open your big fat mouth and comment on how I choose to lead my life in any fashion. I get so mad I want to tear people’s eyes out. There is very little that will make me think you are a horrible person and that you will burn in whatever version of Hell really existed after death than being a prejudice asshole trying to control other people. (The other thing is cruelty to animals and I define cruelty in a much broader sense than most people. More on that later.)

Fourteen year old Ariana Iacono in North Carolina was suspended from her school for refusing to take out a small nose stud. Clayton High School says that it violates the school’s dress code prohibiting facial piercings. The teen and her family state the nose stud is an expression of her religion as they belong to the Church of Body Modification.

First pet peeve triggered: people trying to tell other people how to live their lives. Mostly, this is an “I’m not hurting anybody else” reaction. I think that no one should have the right to dictate how I live my life so long that I’m not hurting anybody else. (This statement covers all laws and ethnic and moral angles. Stealing=hurting someone else. Exposing myself to children=hurting someone else. Reading a book with gay characters=not hurting someone else. So don’t give me that old argument about my attitude allowing people to break the law and other shit. It don’t fly.) The school states that it has this policy to prevent distracting piercings and other disruptive behavior. Bullshit. It’s a nose stud and it’s barely there. I had to lean against my computer screen and really search for it to even find the little silver dot on the side of Ariana Iacono’s nose.

You know what would have happened if a student had come in with a piercing to their tongue or eyebrow. This= “Hey man/girl. Neat piercing.” And then the bell would ring and everybody would sit down and not give a shit because no shit was given about it. Do you know how much damn crap we could avoid if other people would just shut up? Tons of shit. People have a tendency not care about crap until one asshole decides they don’t like it and then suddenly thousands of other people suddenly don’t like it either when they had no problem with it before. Shut up. Get on with life. It’s not that important.

I know what probably happened here. An asshole teacher in fifth period, after four other teachers had already seen the nose stud and not gave a damn, decided his penis was too small and decided to make himself feel better by ordering a student to remove their nose stud. It got passed on to the higher ups after she refused and she got suspended. Now, they can’t stop being assholes because otherwise they would look like assholes picking on a student because they have small penises and want to make themselves feel better. Wait. Too fucking late!

[pause] I told you I get really mad about this stuff, right? Whole tendency to curse a lot comes with that. I’d say sorry but I’m really not so we’ll just continue on to the second pet peeves this triggered. (Gods, I may need to kill a pillow when I get home. Even talking about it pisses me off.)

Religious issues, complete with a basket of fuck off cakes. Christianity may have brainwashed 3/4 of the world but they are not the only legitimate religion in existence. Just because my religion is not Christianity does not make it any less valid and you do not get to decide whether or not it is. The principal of the high school in question said that he did not believe that the Church of Body Modification came under religious rights and thus Ariana Iacono’s nose stud was not protected in that way. You asshole. You do not get to decide what is a valid and what is not a valid religion. Full stop. Period. It should have ended right there. It didn’t, because you are an asshole. [Gods, I want to hit something.]

I’m a Pagan and Witch. (Have I made the Pagan/Witch post yet? Geez, I need to.) My religion is really not a big deal. You are never going to know unless you outright ask and then I’ll tell you (I’ll never not answer a direct question but I’ll kick your ass if mess with me) or you grab my right hand and yanked it up so you can see my ring. I wear a pentacle ring on my right hand. People never notice. It’s small and easily overlooked. Geez, kind of like a tiny nose stud. Go figure. But I wear it as a representation of my religious views and to remind myself of my outlook in life. It’s the same thing as a person wearing a cross.

The fact that the Church of Body Modification is not on a damn census form does not make it any less of a valid religion. The fact that it was dismissed out of hand by the school just makes my blood boil. People have no right to impose, preach, or otherwise force their views, religious or secular, upon another person. You don’t have to agree with me about it but you do have to respect it. Even if the only way you can respect it is to keep your damn mouth shut and leaving me alone.

News post about this story can be found @
CBS News.com and The State.com

1 Comment

Filed under oh my god, rant, religion