Pharyngula

Happy National Day of Prayer!

Today is actually the National Day of Prayer. Really. Let that sink in for a moment.

We have regional coordinating groups — Minnesota is having events at the Capitol today. Did you know that prayer is “America’s strength and shield”? I didn’t. Our governor has issued a proclamation asking citizens to “open our hearts in thanksgiving”. It’s a weird document. It announces that we have all these problems like poverty and sickness and crime, and then declares that we’ve been strengthened by the “conscience-based actions of people of faith” … I guess we people of reason don’t have consciences, and I think it’s setting the bar awfully low anyway to declare prayer an “action”. It’s more like an inaction, with lame excuses.

The head wackaloon of this year’s National Day of Futility is Shirley Dobson … of those Dobsons, the fundagelically evil kooks behind Focus on the Family. This was supposed to be an ecumenical event, as near as something that celebrates religious idiocy can be ecumenical, but it has since evolved into an exclusively evangelical Christian church service, sponsored by our federal government. Using her vast powers as chair of the national task force, Dobson requires her coordinators to sign this statement of faith.

I believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of The Living God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One by which I can obtain salvation and have an ongoing relationship with God. I believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, his sinless life, his miracles, the atoning work of his shed blood, his resurrection and ascension, his intercession and his coming return to power and glory. I believe that those who follow Jesus are family and there should be unity among all who claim his name. I agree that these statements are true in my life.

Hello, Jews and Moslems! Nice to see you’re joining us atheists in rejecting prayer. Oh, you’re not? Well, at least we’ll be able to keep each other company with all the other second-class citizens.

Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

I can scarcely believe my country is officially pandering to such willful stupidity — elevating evangelical kooks to positions of prestige, trumpeting the virtues of sectarian religion, and actually crediting the successes of America to the fact that a subset of deluded, demented fools sit on their asses and beg an invisible man to protect us and help us kill people in foreign countries. What a waste, and what an encouragement of further waste.

I feel like just declaring this the official National Day of Derangement and writing it all off, maybe spit in the soup of people who say grace, or flip off any group I catch trying to do a collective exercise in ritual invocation of nonexistent beings, but the Minnesota Atheists have a more productive idea: they are calling this a National Day of Reason and are setting up to demonstrate in the Minnesota capitol in St Paul today. They actually have a prime position, and all the legislators leaving their workplace to join in the National Day of Inanity will have to troop by them. In my dreams, these politicians would feel a little sense of shame at the foolishness of the official events, but in reality, I’m sure they won’t.

Comments

  1. #1 Zeno
    May 1, 2008

    PZ: Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

    Amen.

  2. #2 Donnie B.
    May 1, 2008

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

    Not.

  3. #3 MAJeff, OM
    May 1, 2008

    Happy May Day!

    Workers of the World, Unite!

  4. #4 Scienceman123
    May 1, 2008

    MAJeff, as a citizen of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, I can get behind that!

  5. #5 Edo
    May 1, 2008

    ***** PZ for President *****

  6. #6 MAJeff, OM
    May 1, 2008

    MAJeff, as a citizen of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, I can get behind that!

    After the recent news about our Speaker of the House, and the failures of DSS in protecting children, we’ve got a way to go before we’re the people’s republic…

    It could always be worse, I suppose….the Pope could have visited.

  7. #7 Goatboy
    May 1, 2008

    Damn but your government likes to take the piss.

    Anyway, with apologies due to the international labour movement;

    Then raise the science standards high.
    Within their shade we’ll live and die,
    Though cowards flinch and morons sneer,
    We’ll stick with reason over here.

    Fuck the bosses.

    Especially imaginary ones

  8. #8 Stephanurus
    May 1, 2008

    PZ, I agree with you, but your way of saying it will be noticed by the kooks and they will use your words against you. What does THIS have to do with evolution, they will ask etc etc. Or, THIS is atheism etc. Tone it down and stick to science.

  9. #9 wazza
    May 1, 2008

    Yes, Steph, this IS atheism. We don’t believe in God, and now all the atheists are being told to join in a day of prayer?

    Plus, it’s equally about how this day has been hijacked. A jew or muslim, or for that matter a buddhist, might be just as angry.

    The pols in Minneapolis will just see the atheist demonstration as a perfect example of why prayer is needed. But that doesn’t mean we should shut up.

  10. #10 Moses
    May 1, 2008

    I”m celebrating the “National Day of Prayer” by not working. A holiday should be celebrated, in my mind, proximately with the origin/results.

    And since prayer doesn’t work, neither am I. I’ll just wait for the dishes to be unloaded by the great sky fairy. Later I’ll be looking for my manna from heaven.

  11. #11 Kyle W.
    May 1, 2008

    I had an email from the 700 Club this morning that said:

    “May We Pray For You?”

    …which had a link to a prayer request form. I request that they pray Pat Robertson’s head be removed from his ass by the grace of god.

    Fuck Pat Robertson more than the National Day of Prayer.

  12. #12 Geoffrey Alexander
    May 1, 2008

    The National Day of Reason has been organized nationwide and is recognized and supported by a variety of state and community freethinking groups. There are many events here in Iowa as well; here in Des Moines they are focused on the Botanical Center tonight beginning at 7:00pm for those of you in the area, with a couple of films (including “The God Who Wasn’t There”) along with free food and music. Find out if there are events in your area (probably are) and get out there!

  13. #13 Andy James
    May 1, 2008

    National Day of Prayer = National Do-Nothing Day.

  14. #14 Moggie
    May 1, 2008

    And yet that article has a quote from the Minnesota coordinator claiming that “It’s a Judeo-Christian observance”. As is so often the case, it seems that the “Judeo” part is just a flimsy disguise for an aggressively Christian event.

  15. #15 Jeff Chamberlain
    May 1, 2008

    “I can scarcely believe my country is officially pandering to such willful stupidity”

    Sure you can.

  16. #16 Hank Fox
    May 1, 2008

    Holy shit. I read that article in the Minnesota Monitor and I’m really shocked. I mean, we all SAY we’re shocked from time to time, but … damn. It just blows me away what these people are doing.

    As to the rest: I’m right there with you, PZ.

    I think those who say you should tone it down aren’t paying sufficient attention to what’s really happening in the world.

    Considering what the last few thousand years of pandering and keeping quiet have gotten us, and especially considering the territory the nice Christians (and others) have made clear they intend to conquer in the near future – the field of biology, schools, medicine, American history, government, the military – I say it’s time to fight the battle on all fronts, legal, social, rhetorical, and even (ahem) spiritual.

    Otherwise, we’ll keep losing.

    And that “statement of faith” applicants to the NDP Task Force volunteer coordinator positions are required to sign? Dayyum.

    Fuck the National Day of Prayer, and all the exclusivist evangelical Christian bastards running it.

  17. #17 BaldySlaphead
    May 1, 2008

    I went and checked their website thinking that perhaps they would have some clearly defined goals, the stats for which some enterprising bastard could then obtain under the Freedom of Information Act, but their aims are so vague that there’s not any way that you could even test whether their prayers had any effect.

    Shame, since I reckon I know how that would have panned out.

  18. #18 Damian
    May 1, 2008

    Christ on a bike!

    I don’t know the US well enough to comment, but from across the pond it sure does seem like there is a theocracy creep happening right before our very eyes. Maybe it has always been like this, but I don’t think that it has, has it?

    I’m pretty disgusted for you all, and I mean that. I really don’t know what to say. My sincerest apologies. You deserve better.

    Oh, Stephanurus, say what? You do understand what is happening, don’t you? Your country is having a national day for something that has been shown to have as much success as trying to get someone pregnant by sticking it in their ear hole. Well, at least there is some chance of success doing that, if you’re lucky.

    If I were an American citizen, I would be absolutely livid, not blaming PZ for stating the bleedin’ obvious.

  19. #19 Matt
    May 1, 2008

    National Talk-To-Your-Imaginary-Friend Day? Come on, America.

  20. #20 Daniel
    May 1, 2008

    I know that the NDoP is asinine, but it seems to me that the more they force the issue and the louder they get, the more sensible people they push to our side. They probably also keep a lot of the people they would have kept anyway, so net gain for churchlessness and reason.

    And the louder we get, the more people we bring to our side because we have evidence for things and we don’t usually act like complete loons.

    Does that sound right?

  21. #21 SteadyEddy
    May 1, 2008

    Fortunately I’ve come down with a slight cold- perfect for hawking luggies into some soup. Perfect for exposing the faithful to the benefits of science-based antibiotics. Beyond that, if I can get away, I’ll join the small group of reason in St. Paul. Snort! Ptheeww!

  22. #22 Gary
    May 1, 2008

    Come on P.Z. Don’t be wishy-washy. Tell us how you REALLY feel.

  23. #23 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    Sometimes I almost wish I didn’t read this blog. Somehow, I had avoided learning about the arrival of this great day. Until now :\.

    If anyone brings this day up to me, I’m just going to tell them about Kara Neumann.

  24. #24 The Science Pundit
    May 1, 2008

    Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

    Well, it is the first of May, and outdoor fucking starts today.

  25. #25 uncle noel
    May 1, 2008

    If God is “our strength and shield” we should be able to cut the military budget. Oh wait, that’s if anyone actually believed it.
    It is indeed a disgrace that anyone in our government would recognize a fundamentalist Christian event as a “national” one, the Constitution be damned.

  26. #26 Mr.Mom
    May 1, 2008

    FUCK the national day of prayer

  27. #27 mlf
    May 1, 2008

    This is embarrassing.

  28. #28 Katie
    May 1, 2008

    I think the only thing that really bothers me about this nonsense is the Statement of Faith… if they really want to have a NATIONAL day of prayer, then it’s only fair to include everyone who wants to participate. As much as they don’t want to believe it, Christians don’t have the monopoly on deities.

  29. #29 ellazimm
    May 1, 2008

    Well PZ, I’m not sure why you’re disappointed; your state did elect a wrestler to be governor at one point.

    National Outdoor Intercourse Day (NOID) is a viable alternative.

  30. #30 Kurt
    May 1, 2008

    Hmm… National Day of Prayer set for May Day. Which, IIRC, was celebrated as a sort of Socialist holiday in the old USSR (including those wonderful parades before the Kremlin where you could check out who was in and out in the Politboro. (sp))

    Coincidence? We think not.

    - Kurt

  31. #31 chancelikely
    May 1, 2008

    I should have looked over the National Day of Reason website ages ago… they don’t have a fraction of the events that the prayer-bots do.

    Well, I’ve got a year to put something together in my community.

  32. #32 Aaron
    May 1, 2008

    Not that I expect most people to know about this, but May 1st has been traditionally “May Day”, a pagan holiday also known as “Beltane”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltane

    BELTANE is what has been hijacked here. The Fundagelicals just hijack it more. (like, they steal it and THEN urinate on it)

  33. #33 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    I have a powerpoint presentation on synaptic vesicle fusion I have to give today @ noon. I haven’t finished it yet. I have a feeling it will be a rush.

    Do you think I can tell my professors I was too busy praying to finish it? That based on the obvious empirical evidence in support of prayer (why else would we have a whole day devoted to it?) I was sure that my prayers would get the thing done? That sure would be a lot easier…

    In nomine patre, et filii, et spiritu sanctu,
    Amen

  34. #34 LanaXZR
    May 1, 2008

    I’m with you, Etha. I sometimes ALMOST wish I didn’t read this blog because it makes me mad. Praying is worse than doing nothing because people think they’re doing something.

  35. #35 freelunch
    May 1, 2008

    Well PZ, I’m not sure why you’re disappointed; your state did elect a wrestler to be governor at one point.

    Jesse Ventura was as outspoken in his disdain for religion as PZ is.

  36. #36 Wallace Turner
    May 1, 2008

    It’s just pissing into the wind.

    I’m with Etha Williams on this. A sad, sad day.

  37. #37 BoxerShorts
    May 1, 2008

    Perhaps the National Day of Prayer should have been held on April Fools Day rather than May Day.

  38. #38 Stephen Couchman
    May 1, 2008

    Gobbing in their food? I love it! You may have finally discovered an approach that neither elevates our ignoble foes by the mere act of engagement nor is too subtle to make your point.

  39. #39 Steve LaBonne
    May 1, 2008

    Screw that prayer stuff. Happy May Day! I’m wearing a bright red shirt to celebrate.

  40. #40 freelunch
    May 1, 2008

    BELTANE is what has been hijacked here. The Fundagelicals just hijack it more.

    You wouldn’t believe how profoundly ignorant most of those people are of all other religious traditions. If you point out that there are all sorts of non-Christian religious traditions that have been imported into Christianity, they immediately get defensive and deny it.

    As the saying goes, God helps those who help themselves. America has definitely not helped itself lately so we can rely on God to ignore our prayers.

  41. #41 G. Tingey
    May 1, 2008

    Day of Paryer?
    AFTER PZ’s post last week about how ineffective prayer is?

    And on MAY DAY?

    THIS:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=webzwcd4FSA&feature=related
    http://www.filk.co.uk/chingford/photos/lvenice2.jpg
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/larrydart2001/80872248/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/larrydart2001/336194337/

    Is what people SHOULD be doing
    ( Incidentally I’m in all the photos … )

  42. #42 MartinM
    May 1, 2008

    It’s worth nothing that Shirley Dobson’s NDoP ‘task force,’ despite appearances to the contrary, actually has no official standing whatsoever. They just like to pretend they’re in charge, apparently.

  43. #43 Lynnai
    May 1, 2008

    “Fuck the National Day of Prayer”

    Well it is also Baltane so that would be traditional.

  44. #44 Spiv
    May 1, 2008

    I suspect jews have been second class citizens for a while, moslems have been third class ever since 9/11 right along with the atheists. Buddhists like myself are that “oh yeah, forgot about you quiet little religion-with-no-deity” group forever.

    ellazimm @ 29: Viva la NOID! Where do I sign up?

  45. #45 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    Oh Jesus Titty-Fucking Christ.

    Some excerpt’s from the NDoP “Task Force”‘s website:

    The National Day of Prayer Task Force’s mission is to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, mobilizing the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church and Family.

    In accordance with Biblical truth, the National Day of Prayer Task Force seeks to:

    * Foster unity within the Christian Church
    * Protect America’s Constitutional Freedoms to gather, worship, pray and speak freely.
    * Publicize and preserve America’s Christian heritage
    * Encourage and emphasize prayer, regardless of current issues and positions
    * Respect all people, regardless of denomination or creed

    And

    The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Our Task Force is a privately funded organization whose purpose it is to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.

    Emphases mine.

    The really depressing thing is that this garble of Xian-promoting and superficially “tolerant” nonsense is all on the same page within the site! I fucking *hate* how they pay lip service to first ammendment freedoms (which still don’t justify this ridiculous “holiday”) while meanwhile blathering inanely on about Judeo-Christian values.

    Have the integrity to at least stick up for your One True Religion, wouldn’t you? Then maybe it would be more obvious to people how stupid and wrong this national government-sponsored holiday is. (“People of all faiths”, my ass. What about people of no faith? Yeah, you really see how the atheist agenda is taking over America…gosh, how did I ever ignore it?)

    ((I don’t know why I’m using so much profanity this morning. Possibly because this is the first miserable thing I read when I woke up…))

  46. #46 noncarborundum
    May 1, 2008

    In nomine patre, et filii, et spiritu sanctu,

    Ahem.

    • patri
    • spiritus
    • sancti

    I feel better now. Carry on.

  47. #47 Chuck Lunney
    May 1, 2008

    The National “Day of Prayer” is a colossal waste of time, resources and effort. Prayer does nothing, and all these people getting together to pray are sacrificing nothing but their own vanity and self-serving egos.

    A better way to counter this nonsense, in conjunction with the National Day or Reason, is to participate in the National Gift of Life Day, where atheists, agnostics, secularists, humanists and everyone else who thinks prayer is an ineffectual waste of time actually go out and do something beneficial, self-sacrificing and positive – donate blood.

    I don’t know who will receive the blood I donate — he or she could be black, white, Asian, gay, racist, Christian, Muslim or atheist — and I don’t care. I am willing to stand on my feet, giving freely and openly of my own flesh and blood to provide a direct and demonstrable part of myself for the benefit of others, as opposed to all those on their knees who are wasting their time doing something that benefits no one.

    Show the religionists how ethical, caring and significant the atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists and other nonbelievers can be. Donate and show everyone the way to effectively and rationally make a difference in the world.

  48. #48 Michelle
    May 1, 2008

    I agree. FUCK ‘EM!

    Wait no. Don’t fuck them. I don’t want to help them reproduce. Either way, they are hypocrites and the idea that they are NATIONAL FUNDED is a NATIONAL SHAME. You can’t favor a religion over another, jackasses!

  49. #49 Edo
    May 1, 2008

    -Kurt

    The military parades on the red square where not on May day, but on November 7 (Socialist revolution).

  50. #50 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#37 BoxerShorts –

    Perhaps the National Day of Prayer should have been held on April Fools Day rather than May Day.

    Haha, I love it! Thanks for brightening my miserable morning with that. I think it’s a great idea…if the holiday can’t be gotten rid of, make it a joke. Literally.

  51. #51 Snarki, child of Loki
    May 1, 2008

    Heh. I’d settle for a national hour of reason.

    In fact, have you noticed that the “importance” of these politically designated times are inversely related to their length?

    Presidents get a day. Black history gets a month (shortest month, so maybe that’s actually *good*). International year of the woman. Of course, the international geophysical year was actually about 2 years long. Hmmm.

    Okay, all you bloggers get your femtosecond now. Take two, they’re small.

  52. #52 Jason Failes
    May 1, 2008

    Steph #8 wrote:
    “PZ, I agree with you, but your way of saying it will be noticed by the kooks and they will use your words against you. What does THIS have to do with evolution, they will ask etc etc. Or, THIS is atheism etc. Tone it down and stick to science.”

    You can stick to the science if you want, be this generation’s Stephen Jay Gould, and also, I might add, be as ineffectual against the rising tide of evangelicalism.

    PZ is who he is, and writes what he thinks, no “framing” asked for, no quarter given.

    Your strategy seems to be based on the classic idea that with enough effort put into popularizing science, knowledge will naturally displace superstition, or at least tame the more extreme forms of superstition. Sounds good. Doesn’t work.

    PZ, on the other hand, seems to advocate an all-fronts attack, including not only science and reason, but a concentrated effort to ridicule, mock, and embarrass these fools out of existence.

  53. Does this mean they will be getting rid of Sundays?

  54. #54 Sili
    May 1, 2008

    Marx would be so proud.

  55. #55 Spook
    May 1, 2008

    We’ll be celebrating the National Day of Reason by going down to where the NDoP people are gathering and trying to raise money for the vets. At the end of the day, we hope to show that action works where prayer fails.

    Which is *everywhere*.

  56. #56 MartinM
    May 1, 2008

    I don’t know why I’m using so much profanity this morning.

    Clearly, it’s because you’re a heathen, and as such incapable of moral behaviour. I’d pray for you, but as an amoral heathen myself, I’m contractually forbidden to care.

  57. #57 Andrew
    May 1, 2008

    “”conscience-based actions of people of faith” … I guess we people of reason don’t have consciences”

    Ahh, there is another way to read that though. It could be that people of faith making conscience based actions is merely worthy of special note because it happens so rarely.

    Afterall, people of reason don’t have centuries old dogma and shrieking fanatics to get in the way of their consciences… ;)

    Also, 2008 is the International Year of the Potato. This shameless attempt to subvert a whole day of this glorious celebration is sickening!

  58. #58 Jason
    May 1, 2008

    hehe, this reminds me of a Yom Kippur service I went to back when I still went to synagogue. Mind you – it was an orthodox synagogue and I think the message STILL comes to be what PZ is saying about action vs. prayer.

    A huge storm is forecast to hit a guy’s area, but instead of leaving he figures that he will pray to God to save him from the storm.

    The storm hits and results in a huge flood. A rescue crew comes by in a boat and offers to take him aboard. The man says, “No, I prayed to God to save me – if I deserve saving, then He will.”

    The water gets even higher, and the man goes to his roof. Some time later, a helicopter comes along and offers to take him to safety. The man refuses, saying, “No, I prayed to God to save me – if I deserve saving, then He will.” The helicopter crew eventually gives up on him, and moves on to others in need.

    Finally, the man is overtaken by the flood water and drowns. Now facing God in person, he asks, “If I lead a good life, why did you let me drown? I prayed for your to save me – how come you did not?” God replied, “I sent a warning that the flood was coming, I sent the boat, and I sent the helicopter. What more were you looking for?”

  59. #59 noncarborundum
    May 1, 2008

    the idea that they are NATIONAL FUNDED is a NATIONAL SHAME.

    Their web site claims they’re privately funded. But I’m a little confused about their status. Their site calls itself the “National Day of Prayer official website”, which implies it has some sort of government sanction (the NDoP was instituted by Congress & President Truman in 1952), but exactly what the connection is isn’t made clear as far as I can see.

    By the way, how anything so Chock Full o’ Jesus can call itself “Judeo-Christian” is a wonderment to me.

  60. #60 eewolf
    May 1, 2008

    National Day of prayer is much worse than a “do nothing” day. It is “do nothing and then claim you have accomplished something” day. It is shameful.

    Before this day is over I will have transplanted 2 new trees into my yard and removed another that is poorly located and dying. I think I will make this an annual event to do some real “materialist” work on this day.

    Next week I will have a real “do nothing” day. But I won’t pat myself on the back for my great accomplishments, I will just quietly enjoy my time.

  61. #61 Sally
    May 1, 2008

    The first lines of the ’2008 Prayer for Our Nation’ written by Dr. Ravi Zacharias just goes to show what a vain, self-important tool prayer can be:-

    ”Holy Father, in a world where so many are hungry,
    You have given us food in abundance;

    In a world where so many are hurting,
    You offer to bind up our wounds”

    If that doesn’t make you feel special, and much more loved that the other people in the world (who God apparently doesn’t care about and so doesn’t feed or take care of), what will?

  62. #62 freelunch
    May 1, 2008

    What does THIS have to do with evolution, they will ask etc etc. Or, THIS is atheism etc. Tone it down and stick to science.

    The Fundagelicals don’t. They have tied their religious lunacy to a war on science. Even John Derbyshire of the National Review, hardly a hotbed of intolerant atheism, calls this A Blood Libel on Our Civilization. He isn’t just talking about the absurdly dishonest movie Expelled, but the entire anti-Western Civilization bent that radical Christianity is taking in America.

    If the hatemongers and purveyors of ignorance at places like Focus on the Family or the Discovery Institute get their way, there will be no science in America. That is why everyone who cares about the future of America needs to stand up to them, in whatever way they can.

  63. #63 JackC
    May 1, 2008

    It’s old but:

    Give a man a fish, he eats for a day
    Teach a man to fish, he eats for the rest of his life.
    Teach a man to pray and he starves to death waiting for god to give him a fish.

    NYC has this as a day wherein they call for all Atheists and others to give blood. If I were a bit closer and a bit less lazy I would go do that. It makes an immense amount of sense.

    JC

  64. #64 Jerrald Hayes
    May 1, 2008

    I like the “National Day of Reason” idea a lot. It reminds me and makes me think about the real value of the saying:

    “Two hands working, achieve more than a thousand pairs of hands, clasped in prayer”

  65. #65 Katharine
    May 1, 2008

    We atheists have a much more fun holiday:

    Outdoor Fucking Day!

  66. #66 Crossman
    May 1, 2008

    First of May, first of May

    Outdoor prayin’ starts today.

    What a crock. Thanks for speakin’ out loud and clear, PZ. Behind ya 100%.

  67. #67 MAJeff, OM
    May 1, 2008

    Posted by: david mabus | May 1, 2008 9:22 AM

    Looks like someone is fussy and needs to be put down for a nap.

  68. #68 PZ Myers
    May 1, 2008

    Obviously, in every post I make that mentions the word prayer, I have to include a stern injunction at the end.

    I DO NOT WANT TO EVER HEAR THAT DOGDAMNED STUPID BOAT “JOKE” AGAIN.

    I may have to add a few terms from it to the spam filters.

  69. #69 Tulse
    May 1, 2008

    Well, it is the first of May, and outdoor fucking starts today.

    And here is the obligatory link to the Jonathan Coulton song: First of May

  70. #70 geroronimo
    May 1, 2008

    Outside the US we celebrate Labour Day, and I’ll do my bit by posting a cute little poem by the Norwegian poet, socialist and atheist (author of “Christianity – the tenth plague”) Arnulf Øverland. Translated from norwegian by me (and surely done better by others).

    Tear the Christ-Cross from your flag
    and hoist it red and clean
    Let no one lead you to believe
    a saviour has been seen

    And if you will not die in chain
    then freedom is your own to gain

  71. #71 Daniel
    May 1, 2008

    It reminds me of that joke about a guy on the roof in a flood, and then about thirty people hit me on the head with a crowbar because they’re sick of reading that joke over and over again in the last comment thread.

    I might have to overcome my aversion to giving blood. I’m a postgrad, so this is one way I can actually be useful.

  72. #72 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    So I was looking up “national day of prayer” + ACLU on google, in hopes of finding something vaguely uplifting, and came across from this gem from the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice): The National Day of Prayer Poses No Constitutional Crisis. It starts out with the following faith-affirming, heart-warming 2 paragraphs:

    September 11th changed everything. The way we live. The way we view our country and our faith.

    As our nation continues the healing process and grapples with the uncertainty of what lies ahead, Americans are finding solace in their faith and are expressing their patriotism like never before. Students in classrooms across the nation are now reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The song, God Bless America, rocketed to the top of the music charts. There’s a renewed spirit of patriotism and for millions of Americans, a desire for spiritual renewal. As President Bush said not long ago, “The prayers of this nation are a part of the good that has come from the evil of September 11th.”

    More religious misappropriation of a tragedy — but really, should anyone be surprised by this kind of amorality on the part of the “faithful”? The essay continues:

    But what happened September 11th and the ongoing battle against terrorism does not silence the critics – those troubled by any patriotic expression that includes a mention of God.

    Damn right I’m troubled by any patriotic expression that includes a mention of God! Have you learned nothing from history? Does Gott mit Uns not ring a bell? Anyone? Anyone?

    After detailing a garbled argument for why the establishment law does not prohibit, and in fact encourages, this utterly moronic holiday, they give one of their most bizarre arguments yet, citing the following:

    “there is a crucial difference between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses protect.” Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226, 110 L.Ed. 2d 191 (1990)

    I’m not familiar with that particular case, so maybe I’m getting it all wrong, but isn’t the NDoP an example of the *first* case. You know, government speech endorsing religion? I’m pretty sure encouraging prayer is endorsing religion. And how these morons got it into their heads that somehow people’s ability to privately pray is being encroached on by the vicious atheist majority of this country is beyond me.

    They begin their conclusion, as all good high school essays do, with a recapitulation of their Godly Patriotic message:

    In light of the terrorist attacks, the theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer is “America United Under God.”

    and

    As President Bush said at the National Prayer Breakfast not long ago, “Tremendous challenges await this nation, and there will be hardships ahead. Faith will not make our path easy, but it will give us strength for the journey.”

    Strength for the journey. Yeah, that’s what I was afraid of.

    Finally, they deliver this last, terrifying line:

    All Americans should welcome the National Day of Prayer.

    …I don’t even know what to say in the face of that statement.

  73. #73 freelunch
    May 1, 2008

    The first lines of the ’2008 Prayer for Our Nation’ written by Dr. Ravi Zacharias just goes to show what a vain, self-important tool prayer can be:-

    Clearly, when they were reading Luke 18, they got confused about which prayer Jesus condemned and which one He wanted people to offer. This is just another National Day of American Arrogance (God loves us so much that He gave us 366 days to be self-righteous and self-regarding this year).

  74. #74 Decoy
    May 1, 2008

    Jon Coulton has a song about todays more important observation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRhPeJ3uzOc

    He also wrote a song about what it is to be a giant squid:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RFEzpUsUBk

    Interestingly, Coulton doesn’t look entirely unlike PZ. Coincidence?

  75. #75 danley
    May 1, 2008

    But it really works you guys!

  76. #76 extatyzoma
    May 1, 2008

    I wonder just how many people who are praying today actually befall some hideous end or accident anyway, assuming i dont (die) today and im not praying it will be true to say god is either a cunt (because somebody somewhere who IS praying will probably have a car crash WHILST doing it!)or has something really bad planned for me. either way i wont be praying.

  77. #77 Damian
    May 1, 2008

    I think that David Mabus is quite possibly mentally ill. Have you seen what he posted on the CFI forum?

    I couldn’t be arsed reading it all, but apparently he thinks that Nostradamus should win James Randi’s monetary prize. Or something like that, anyway. It made my eyes bleed.

  78. #78 danley
    May 1, 2008

    Like those fucking Norman Rockwell paintings. Insipid drivel.

  79. #79 Tom Marking
    May 1, 2008

    “Fuck the National Day of Prayer.”

    Oh great leader of the atheist cause, we poor followers who lack your great understanding do not understand your latest directive. We do not understand how copulation with a nonexistent being is possible, nor do we understand how copulation with the communication to said nonexistent being is possible, nor do we understand how copulation with a day honoring such communication is even possible. Please enlighten us Oh Great One. Perhaps a few anatomical diagrams would explain it to us poor ignorant fools. Our spirits are willing (i.e., we are horny enough) but our understanding is weak.

  80. #80 WRMartin
    May 1, 2008

    Old saying in my house:
    Spit into one hand and pray into the other then tell me which one fills up faster.

    Oh, and FUCK The National Day Of Prayer.

  81. #81 marco sch.
    May 1, 2008

    “Fuck the National Day of Prayer”

    Way to go PZ! Excellent post, this blog is getting better and better. Thanks.

  82. #82 Scott
    May 1, 2008

    Hell, I’m Christian and even I wouldn’t be able to sign that agreement without lying (and laughing hysterically). At least my state was the last to support it last year:

    http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070501/27188_N.Y._Governor_Last_to_Back_National_Day_of_Prayer.htm

    From what I can tell so far, any events in NY this year are taking place in churches and without government funding. Good. My life (minus the Internet) has been fundie-free so far, and I would really like to keep it that way for as long as possible.

  83. #83 Latina Amor
    May 1, 2008

    david mabus, #66

    We all observe you’re extremely delusional, it’s ok…at one time most of us were, too…but it’s time to WAKE the fuck UP!

    Now put on your thinking cap and think about this: your worshipping and praying to a FUCKING GHOST!

  84. #84 longstreet63
    May 1, 2008

    On the plus side, it’s apparently Save the Rhino Day, too. I sure hope the rhinos aren’t depending on prayer, though.

    And at least this year Bush didn’t declare it National Loyalty Day, as was done in 2002.

    I’m going the ‘wear red’ route today, myself. Now if I can only find a ringtone of ‘The Internationale.’

    Steve “NonPrayers of the world, Unite!” James

  85. #85 Ubi Dubium
    May 1, 2008

    I would like to give blood today, but I have lousy veins, so I can’t.

    And I would like to give a bunch of money to a food bank (or other worthy cause)today, but I don’t have a bunch of money, so I can’t.

    And I would like to spend all day volunteering at a nursing home, but I am coming down with a cold, so I shouldn’t.

    So today, on this day when so many xtians are begging their sky fairy to make the world better, I will sit down with my children and have a conversation with them about rational thinking and science. And I will have done the world more good than all the prayer-bots put together.

    Then maybe we will go clean some trash out of our nearby creek, as a bonus.

    Hurrah for a national day of Actually Doing Something!

  86. #86 Dana Hunter
    May 1, 2008

    While I’m celebrating the National Day of Reason, I think I’ll also designate this the National Day of Get the Fuck Off Your Knees and Do Something Useful. Woo-hoo!

    Wonderful post, PZ!

  87. #87 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#61 Sally –

    ”Holy Father, in a world where so many are hungry,
    You have given us food in abundance;

    In a world where so many are hurting,
    You offer to bind up our wounds”

    That’s…that’s just absolutely revolting. And these people call themselves moral?

  88. #88 Cuttlefish, OM
    May 1, 2008

    It’s time to raise our voice in prayer,
    And pray to–well, there’s no one there.
    No god to urge to do our bidding;
    Go on and pray–just know you’re kidding.

    It’s time to all sit on our asses,
    And pray forgiveness for trespasses
    (Or is that to forgive our debtor?
    Who cares, as long as we feel better.)

    It’s time we all embrace god fully,
    Feel all righteous, good, and holy–
    Or be some atheistic jerk,
    Roll up your god-damned sleeves, and work!

    It’s time to say “I do not care
    To join you in this day of prayer.”
    Sure, a day off looks like fun,
    But there is work that must be done.

    Our problems will not fix themselves
    There is no god to send in elves
    To do the work of human ranks
    So… join, today, in prayer? No thanks.

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2008/05/national-day-of-prayer.html

  89. #89 craig
    May 1, 2008

    National Day of Mental Masturbation.

    This Mabus guy is a hoot. I love those types – perfect display of Christian morality.

  90. #90 Leigh Shryock
    May 1, 2008

    Around here, our group is doing a blood drive as a counter to the demonstrably useless day of prayer.

  91. #91 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    May 1, 2008

    pz myers…you will share the fate of dawkins and randi

    He’ll be popular and fairly wealthy without compromising his principles? Sweet!

    On topic: Perhaps today should be called Marx Was Right About That Opiate-of-the-Masses Thing Day.

  92. #92 craig
    May 1, 2008

    “Fuck the National Day of Prayer.”

    Actually, this offends me.
    It’s people like you who are giving the word “fuck” a bad name.

  93. #93 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#93 Naked Bunny with a Whip –

    On topic: Perhaps today should be called Marx Was Right About That Opiate-of-the-Masses Thing Day.

    Because this is an oft-quote mined quote, I just want to point out the full context of what Marx said re: religion (which I think is quite a bit more complete and thought-provoking than the OOC quote, as such things often are):

    “Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions. (Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right).

  94. #94 Ken Cope
    May 1, 2008

    Lenny Bruce has a routine about how men are animals, that they’ll schtupp mud–but I’ve got to decline PZ’s suggestion about what to do to Day-o-Prayer. I wouldn’t fuck that disease-ridden prostitute with a rented dick.

  95. #95 Hank Fox
    May 1, 2008

    Cuttlefish, you rock. Dang, that was good.

  96. #96 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    Can we just rename this day “National Punch-a-Prayerful-Person-in-the-Face Day”?

    Nah, I don’t mean that. Not really, anyway.

  97. #97 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    May 1, 2008

    Thank you, Etha! I learned something because I wasn’t wasting my time praying.

  98. #98 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    Fuck the National Day of Prayer. I still have to gather my thoughts on this one, it’s so outrageous.

  99. #99 longstreet63
    May 1, 2008

    Incidentally, to follow up my own comment, the lyrics to ‘The Internationale’ contain a phrase like this:

    No one will grant us deliverance,
    No God, no Tsar, no hero.

    …In every language but English.

    Which waters it down to:

    No saviour from on high delivers;
    No faith have we in prince or peer.

    How can we beat the Day of Wishful Thinking if even our Socialist agitators can’t bear to disown the Sky Daddy?

    Steve “Happy Labor Day, everyone” James

  100. #100 Marty
    May 1, 2008

    From Ingersoll:

    “Hands that help are better than lips that pray” and “Hard work is the only prayer that’s ever answered”. Words to celebrate this national holiday.

  101. #101 Nan
    May 1, 2008

    National Day of Prayer? No way. It’s Vappu. Be Finnish for a day. Go out and party till you puke.

  102. #102 Hank Fox
    May 1, 2008

    If there ever is a National (World?) Atheist-Rationalist Poet Laureate title established, I nominate Cuttlefish.

  103. #103 craig
    May 1, 2008

    Watched the latest episode of “House” last night… that show has to be written by atheists… not only does he mock I.D., he closes his door in the face of a Jehovah’s Witness, to great comedic effect.

  104. #104 co
    May 1, 2008

    Quick (perhaps ignorant) question: Why all the comments about wearing red today? Does this refer to the Red Men from Bealltainn celebrations?

  105. #105 Jen
    May 1, 2008

    Surely, with all this prayer going on, somebody can show some statistics that prove that there are less murders/burglaries/carjackings on May 1st than on those godless heathen days either side of it?

    No?

    (Sounds like a good excuse to take a half-day off work, erect a maypole, drink mead and dance about half-naked, though I don’t think my boss would agree).

  106. #106 anon3.1415
    May 1, 2008

    @#89 Etha

    Unfortunately, they call themselves Christians.

  107. #107 gir
    May 1, 2008

    I am celebrating by taking the day off work to get a root canal. Praise be to modern dentistry!

  108. #108 Mcstabbity
    May 1, 2008

    National Day of Prayer? Boooooring.

    It’s Beltane! The greatest holiday ever! Many Wiccans celebrate it in honor of fertility and the coming of summer.

    And let me tell you. This here atheist is more than happy to celebrate fertility.

  109. #109 longstreet63
    May 1, 2008

    “Why all the comments about wearing red today? Does this refer to the Red Men from Bealltainn celebrations?”

    It’s because pretty much everywhere else in the world May 1 is Labor Day, which commemorates workers, unions, socialists, etc.

    The sort of thing that got ‘Under God’ stuffed into the Pledge in reaction.

    Steve “International Irritate Theists Day” James

  110. #110 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#101 longstreet63 –

    Incidentally, to follow up my own comment, the lyrics to ‘The Internationale’ contain a phrase like this:

    No one will grant us deliverance,
    No God, no Tsar, no hero.

    …In every language but English.

    That’s very interesting. I looked at the translations, and you’re quite right — the closest we get is, surprisingly, in the American version, which has:

    We want no condescending saviors
    To rule us from their judgment hall,
    We workers ask not for their favors
    Let us consult for all:

    The British version loses the meaning of the original lyric even further:

    No more deluded by reaction,
    On tyrants only we’ll make war!
    The soldiers too will take strike action,
    They’ll break ranks and fight no more!

    If you translate reaction to religion, it sort of has the original meaning, but this relies on some rather creative interpretation.

    Despite my distaste for the particular Chinese brand of communism, I really like their version of this section, which wikipedia translates:

    There has never been any saviour of the world,
    Nor deities, nor emperors on which to depend.
    To create Mankind’s happiness
    We must entirely depend on ourselves!

  111. #111 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    Couldn’t they use the money and maybe make a “give medicine to sick children” day?

  112. #112 Spiv
    May 1, 2008

    Apparently it’s also immigration day? How many days are crammed into this schedule anyway?

  113. #113 co
    May 1, 2008

    “Why all the comments about wearing red today? Does this refer to the Red Men from Bealltainn celebrations?”

    It’s because pretty much everywhere else in the world May 1 is Labor Day, which commemorates workers, unions, socialists, etc.

    Ah, of course. And here I thought it was something subversive. Thanks for the explanation. I think I’ll just wear whatever the hell I want today.

  114. #114 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#114 co –

    I think I’ll just wear whatever the hell I want today.

    [sarcasm] Typical show of atheist amorality! Without god, all forms of dress are permissible! Don’t you know this is a national day for personal repentance and prayer? Go put on a sackcloth, if you love America, that is! [/sarcasm]

  115. #115 rightsaid
    May 1, 2008

    Posts like these are why I read PZ.
    He speaks the truth.

  116. #116 Keith
    May 1, 2008

    The real outrage is that May Day is, in most other parts of the world, a celebration of workers rights and social reform, protest and activism. You know, all that actual work people have done to improve the lives of the working class and poor. But here in the US? Screw workers or actual work. Let’s all just pray.

  117. #117 raven
    May 1, 2008

    pz myers…you babbling idiot…you will share the fate of dawkins and randi…you FUCKER….

    Oh, the Schizophrenics are here. Not taking your meds again, I see. Bad crazy. The last time this happened you were arrested for wandering around the park, barking like a dog, and chasing cats up trees.

  118. #118 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#112 Dennis N –

    Couldn’t they use the money and maybe make a “give medicine to sick children” day?

    Now come on, that would be ridiculous. That’s like telling a church to decrease its pastor’s $100k+ salary and give the saved money to the poor, or to spend their money helping the sick and hungry rather than buying new vestments for the clergy! Obviously, if God blesses your church with all this wealth, it’s because the pastor is doing a good job, and deserves these things. Likewise, if God blesses the people of this nation with enough wealth to spend money on things like the NDoP, it’s because He approves of the way we’re spending it.

  119. #119 Gerlach
    May 1, 2008

    Despite how evangelical the NDP has become, it still isn’t enough for some of them:

    A receptionist with the National Day of Prayer in Colorado Springs stated that the Honorary Chairman’s prayer does not include the name of Jesus so as not to offend the Jewish participants in the event, and that others are free to pray in Jesus name if they desire. Contrast that betrayal of Jesus Christ with the faithfulness of the first martyr, the Apostle Stephen, who died in a hail of stones for his fearless preaching of Christ crucified to the Jewish religious leaders of his day.

    Source: http://christiannewswire.com/news/374126370.html

  120. #120 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    From the OP:

    I can scarcely believe my country is officially pandering to such willful stupidity — elevating evangelical kooks to positions of prestige, trumpeting the virtues of sectarian religion, and actually crediting the successes of America to the fact that a subset of deluded, demented fools sit on their asses and beg an invisible man to protect us and help us kill people in foreign countries.

    (Bold emphasis mine.)

    [sarcasm]
    But don’t you know that that subset is a very, very large subset? Aren’t you familiar with the popular and entirely valid argumentum ad populum?

    PZ, sometimes I think you’re just willfully ignoring all the important truths Xians have worked so tirelessly to teach you.
    [/sarcasm]

  121. #121 wazza
    May 1, 2008

    If you do give blood today, don’t forget to repeat every six or seven weeks…

    longstreet: how is that watered down? They say “no saviour from on high”, that counts as “fuck god” in my book

    And what happened to the gods you could fuck? If ever there was a revival of one of the old roman sex-cults…

    I might just rediscover my spirituality

  122. #122 Dahan
    May 1, 2008

    @48,

    “I agree. FUCK ‘EM!

    Wait no. Don’t fuck them. I don’t want to help them reproduce.”

    That’s why a phrase like “Fuck ‘em with a pogo-stick.” work better IMHO.

  123. #123 freelunch
    May 1, 2008

    Go put on a sackcloth, if you love America, that is!

    But it’s fine to wear the burlap over a silk or wool suit so you don’t actually have to suffer, except some ridicule for being a totally self-aggrandizing fool.

  124. #124 notthedroids
    May 1, 2008

    Semi-related, and if I had a blog I might blog on it:

    Last night’s episode of Carrier (“True Believers”) had some interesting observations on the conflicts between Christians and non-Christians on the ship. I’m liking the show.

  125. #125 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    May 1, 2008

    “give medicine to sick children” day?

    Obviously, you are an evil Commie heathen. Those freeloading children should get jobs!

  126. #126 Mena
    May 1, 2008

    I like the Day of Reason stuff. Focus on the Anus et al changed the Day of Silence to an unhinged Day of Truth crusade so I think that we should do something positive in this case to counteract that stupidity. Oh, surprisingly enough, from that site:
    How do you know your “truth” is the absolute truth? Isn’t truth a relative term?
    Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). In over one hundred passages in the four gospel accounts of Christ’s life, He either begins with the phrase, “I tell you the truth…” or identifies Himself as the source of revealed truth. As Christians, this provides us with the assurance that Christ is the one and only source of Truth of God.

    When there is no standard for truth – when truth means different things to different people – the consequences can be tragic. Most people would agree that the commandment from God, “Thou shalt not kill” is truth. But what happens if someone rejects that as truth, and their “truth” allows them to engage in the killing of innocent human beings? We are simply pointing to what our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, recognize: that there are absolute truths, and that such truth comes from our Creator, God.
    More would-be murderers who are only restrained by delusions of having someone who lives in the sky watching what they do all the time?

  127. #127 negentropyeater
    May 1, 2008

    “In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.”

    And Reagan is also the one we owe this pathetic “God bless America.”

    Many people seem to believe that America has had a slow descent into unreason. But not at all.

    Basically, because there was no dominant player like in Europe, a competitive market, that’s what happened when one started applying the techniques of direct marketing, the tupperware parties and other infomercials used to sell weight watcher programmes to sell religious endoctrination. Greedy people saw an easy way to exploit people’s ignorance and need for “spirituality”, and there you go. It spread like wild fire, because there was nothing else to counter it.

  128. #128 Snitzels
    May 1, 2008

    Ahh, in accordance with the divinity of this special day, this is the first thing I read this morning, an email from a family member. I stared at it in bewilderment and then anger, and finally just laughed and threw it in the trash. But I had to get it out when I realized from this blog what the stupid email was for. A typical example, and with a nice reference to a bowel movement:

    Subject: Fw: P.U.S.H. 7% I am one

    P—–pray
    U—-until
    S—-something
    H —-happens

    I need this back… If you’ll do this for me… I’ll do it for you…

    When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need.
    Take 60 seconds and give this a shot! All you do is simply say the following small prayer for the person who sent you this.

    Father,
    God bless all my friends and loved ones in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of your peace, prosperity and power as he/ she seeks to have a closer relationship with you. Amen.

    Then send it on to five other people . Within hours you caused a multitude of people to pray for other people. Then sit back and watch the power of God work in your life.
    P. S. Five is good, but more is better.

    When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you!

    If you are one of the 7% who will stand up for him, forward this with the title 7%.

    93% of people won’t forward this. “

    That last bit is what made me laugh, and provided a bit of hope. If 93% of people who recieve this spammy Xtian garbage don’t forward it, that means 93% of them dont’ actually care. Lovely…hee hee…

  129. #129 Reginald Selkirk
    May 1, 2008

    Several people have mentioned this already, here’s an article:
    Atheists protest by donating blood

  130. So Jesus was a zombie AND a ghost? Talk about a supernatural two-for-one.

  131. #131 Reginald Selkirk
    May 1, 2008

    Look at the bright side: I guess this means there are 364 National Days of Non-Prayer every year.

  132. #132 Kyle W.
    May 1, 2008

    noncarborundum:

    would you like to run through some declensions to get it fully out of your system?

  133. #133 Glen Davidson
    May 1, 2008

    I think a national day of prayer is a great idea, provided we insist on performance evaluations for it.

    Come on, this is our nation’s strength. Let’s see if our Raptors fly faster, the Abrams tank is especially strong and lethal, watch to see if amputees grow their missing pieces back, inflation goes down, and productivity goes up.

    If that all happens, I say let’s have another next year. If none of it happens, I guess we’ll know that prayer is a waste of oxygen.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  134. “Fuck the National Day of Prayer.”

    I’d be tempted to, but I find the demand for missionary-position-only-with-the-lights-off far too restrictive…
    ;-)

  135. #135 co
    May 1, 2008

    [sarcasm] Typical show of atheist amorality! Without god, all forms of dress are permissible! Don’t you know this is a national day for personal repentance and prayer? Go put on a sackcloth, if you love America, that is! [/sarcasm]

    Unfortunately, all my red shirts are in the laundry now. So I’m having to go with my 50/50 cotton/polyester blend, with the orange racing stripe, and the pentagram put on in puppy blood. It’s long, so I declare it to be a meta-sackcloth.

    Besides, it shows off my heathen man-nipples well.

  136. #136 mikeg
    May 1, 2008

    fuck the national day of prayer and the POTUS!

  137. #137 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    #127 Mena quoted

    How do you know your “truth” is the absolute truth? Isn’t truth a relative term?
    Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). In over one hundred passages in the four gospel accounts of Christ’s life, He either begins with the phrase, “I tell you the truth…” or identifies Himself as the source of revealed truth. As Christians, this provides us with the assurance that Christ is the one and only source of Truth of God.

    Y’know, usually when someone tells me repeatedly that, “I tell you the truth” I get a little suspicious. Why would they need to preface all their statements with this proclamation if they didn’t have some untruths to hide?

    But I guess that’s just me being the contemptible faithless skeptic that I am….

  138. #138 freelunch
    May 1, 2008

    … and the POTUS!

    He got us first.

  139. #139 Masklinn
    May 1, 2008

    Well, in France (and most other countries, really) May 1st is International Worker’s Day, which we celebrate by not working at all.

  140. #140 Tulse
    May 1, 2008

    Tom Marking:

    We do not understand how copulation with a nonexistent being is possible

    Hey, it’s you guys who think a god made a virgin pregnant, not us. I would think copulation with nonexistent beings would be old hat.

  141. #141 longstreet63
    May 1, 2008

    @122
    “longstreet: how is that watered down? They say “no saviour from on high”, that counts as “fuck god” in my book”

    I consider it watered down as opposed to the explicit “No God is going to help us” equivalent lines. “Saviour from on high” can certainly be interpreted as ‘any authority figure’ (e.g. President, clergy, Party Secretary, self-appointed guru, King)if you don’t want to seem atheistic, just a sentiment of “Only we can do this” without explicitly denying the power of gods to influence the struggle.

    After all, the power structure always (officially) has God on its side, which was a support mechanism that required specific refutation.

    Steve “The French always did make great songs of revolution.” James

  142. #142 MikeTV
    May 1, 2008

    It’s also my birthday…

  143. #143 Skepdude
    May 1, 2008

    Prayer=I am too lazy to take any real action. I feel guilty because I am too lazy to take real action. I pray so that someone else may not feel too lazy to take real action. I feel better!

    Prayer #2=I am a damn hypocrite.

  144. #144 Alcari
    May 1, 2008

    Incidently, I gave this morning, making my contribution to society vastly greater than that off al praying christians.

    It feels good to think.

  145. #145 shonny
    May 1, 2008

    Hey, tell the godfuckers to get the hell clear of INTERNATIONAL WORKER’S DAY with their prayer-crap.
    Pretty well all churches have done their best to keep workers in ‘their place’ (cfr that polish shithead that crapped out a while ago and gave the catlickers the not-so-ex HitlerJugend as head of their pedophilic organisation) by telling them that some filthy book tells that they are not to question their ‘masters’ and ‘betters’.

    PZ for president and for sanity in The US!
    And triple-fuck prayers day!

  146. #146 Joshua Zelinsky
    May 1, 2008

    The trackback URL doesn’t seem to be workin so just noting that I’ve blogged about this here: http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/2008/05/national-day-of-prayer-and-first.html

  147. #147 Andrew
    May 1, 2008

    Happy Birthday, MikeTV!

    Tonight I shall eat a chinese in your honour, to celebrate your birth and the dawn of (your) new age!

    Ok, I was going to have one anyway but surely thats not the point. :p

  148. #148 speedwell
    May 1, 2008

    Happy Birthday, MikeTV. :)

  149. #149 Ranson
    May 1, 2008

    I’ll have to wait about a week and a half on the blood, myself — can’t donate again until then. I’ll dedicate that pint to this cause, though. May that one and all the rest of the Ninth Gallon go forth and be used as needed!

  150. #150 bunnycatch3r
    May 1, 2008

    I think science has shown that prayers, when said on this day, are 2 to 3 times more likely to be answered.

  151. #151 freelunch
    May 1, 2008

    Our Red Cross has a little bragging rights program called the One a Week Club. I shall have to check to see if the FFRF or someone similar is listed next time I’m there.

    If you do give blood today, don’t forget to repeat every six or seven weeks…

    In the US the Red Cross limits whole blood donations to once every eight weeks. Plasma and platelet donors can go more often.

  152. #152 freelunch
    May 1, 2008

    Happy Birthday, MikeTV. Remember, when you get the golden ticket you need to give it to someone else or a great disaster will befall you.

  153. #153 Cliffy
    May 1, 2008

    As is mentioned once or twice above, I don’t believe Dobson’s NDoP Task Force has any official government standing or sanction, it’s just opportunistic. I think the existence of a government-denominated National Day of Prayer is stupid and unconstitutional, but it doesn’t seem like it’s being funded by tax dollars in any serious way.

  154. #154 ndt
    May 1, 2008

    @#29

    Well PZ, I’m not sure why you’re disappointed; your state did elect a wrestler to be governor at one point.

    And he was the best governor we’ve had in decades. He also refused to sign a National Day of Prayer proclamation.

  155. #155 dennis
    May 1, 2008

    if this day of prayer results in a reduction in the crime rate, no doubt people will rejoice and point out that prayer really works.

    i will point out that the criminals must have been doing something else today.

  156. #156 wÒÓ†
    May 1, 2008
  157. #157 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#153 Cliffy –

    I think the existence of a government-denominated National Day of Prayer is stupid and unconstitutional, but it doesn’t seem like it’s being funded by tax dollars in any serious way.

    I agree re: the NDoP, but tangentially related to the tax dollars thing –

    Am I the only person who gets incredibly pissed off that churches, etc get tax exempt status? If they want to do charitable tax-exempt work, fine — they can set up a separate organization, which will employ people of all creeds (or lack thereof) and will not push their religion on the people to whom they’re being charitable.

    But the church itself — an overtly religious institution — does not deserve a dollar of tax $, nor does it deserve the tax money it is getting implicitly by not paying taxes (to understand how this is basically just them getting tax money — just imagine that they do pay taxes, and then get it all back from the government). And if it does get tax money in this way, then I say it has no right to hire or fire based on creed, sexuality, gender etc. If a satanist or a gay person or a woman wants to become clergy in a sect that disallows that, then they should be forced to be considered for the position along side the Xian heterosexual men — after all, the institution is getting funded publicly.

    Also, imagine all the revenue we would collect taxing rich, greedy churches….

    /rant

  158. #158 Mena
    May 1, 2008

    Etha Williams #138:
    Y’know, usually when someone tells me repeatedly that, “I tell you the truth” I get a little suspicious.

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, only that these people are in love with the idea of telling the truth but not enough to actually do so. This one is ironic. Here’s a quote from that, this time without not hitting the preview button due to being interrupted:
    How does an individual seeking answers to life’s questions tell Christian truth from lies?
    Far from contemporary beliefs, truth is an absolute. There is truth and there is error, more commonly known as lies. One cannot define truth in any relative terms which downgrades the concept of truth to merely one man’s opinion. No! Truth is a standard based on an absolute and solid foundation. That foundation is the Word of God. Jesus prayed for this very matter before His false arrest and mock trial. John 17:17 recounts: “Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” This was Jesus’ declaration to the Father. By this, we may understand that the Word of God is truth.

    Maybe it’s that there is truth and there is Christian TruthTM.

  159. #159 Adrian Burd
    May 1, 2008

    Congratulations to the Monitor for good reporting. This is what we get here
    in Georgia

    http://www.ajc.com/living/content/living/stories/2008/04/30/prayer_0429.html

    I particularly love the bit “…Most local events are organized through the National Day of Prayer Task Force in Colorado, a conservative Christian nonprofit. Because the energetic organization works with Christian churches and groups, the services are largely Christian with few Jewish participants.”

    Yeah, those Jews, slackards, and as for the Muslims, Hindus and other faiths, well they’re
    just not in the picture.

    I despair for humankind.

  160. #160 Colugo
    May 1, 2008

    Fuck the National Day of Prayer?

    That’s cool.

    Myself, I’m going to pray for a National Day of Fucking.

  161. #161 snead
    May 1, 2008

    “…a subset of deluded, demented fools sit on their asses and beg an invisible man to protect us and help us kill people in foreign countries.”

    Perfect.

  162. #162 Michelle
    May 1, 2008

    @#131: “So Jesus was a zombie AND a ghost? Talk about a supernatural two-for-one.”

    Well, after his body was destroyed in the “Deadly Zombie Uprising of the year 33″, there’s been some spreading worldwide confusion. Some say that his spirit ascended to heavens, some say that he now haunts the Earth. There’s been strange occurances ever since, such as stains on walls bearing ressemblance to him and sandwiches with the face of his mother (who claimed she’s a virgin but someone claims she most likely was raped by a sick guy that glued eagle wings on his back and called himself “God” or “Michael”. The identity of the man is unknown to this day, lost in the ages.).

    These appearances seem to cause strange delusions in some who sees them. They often start talking to themselves at the sight of the markings. Ghost Jesus is a plague really.

  163. #163 PatrickHenry
    May 1, 2008

    I would encourage our government officials to spend all day in prayer, every day. While thus occupied, they’re not regulating and taxing the rest of us.

  164. #164 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    #157 Mena quoted –

    Truth is a standard based on an absolute and solid foundation. That foundation is the Word of God. Jesus prayed for this very matter before His false arrest and mock trial. John 17:17 recounts: “Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” This was Jesus’ declaration to the Father. By this, we may understand that the Word of God is truth.

    Ummm…even after seeing this Xian “logic” in action many times here, I still get kind of amazed every time I see it:

    Argument to be demonstrated: The Word of God is absolute truth.
    Premise 1 (implied): The Bible is the Word of God.
    Premise 2 (implied): The Bible is true.
    Evidence: According to the Bible, Jesus says that the Word of God is truth.
    Conclusion: The Word of God is absolute truth.
    QED!11!!!1!

    What’s most bizarre about this argument is that the “evidence” isn’t even needed, if you actually accept the two premises.

  165. #165 Joel Schooling
    May 1, 2008

    “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” MAtthew 6:6

    IN SECRET!!!! PRAY IN SECRET!!!!

    NOT NATIONALLY!

  166. #166 AJ Milne
    May 1, 2008

    A yes, pious public posing. The second to last refuge of a scoundrel. Wasn’t there somethin’ in one of them thar’ gospels about this, too? ‘When you pray, go to yer room, close the door’? Or somesuch?

    For all those books’ many flaws, I personally think that passage, at least, is especially good advice for US public figures ’round now. Seeing as, I’d expect, for at least some of their electorate, the notion that this is their solution for anything doesn’t exactly inspire confidence…

    So… my esteemed elected representative, what’s on your mind? How you figure we can deal with the economy?

    Oh, you’re gonna pray about it, you say? Real hard, even?

    Wow, but that’s… just… I mean, dude, that’s just great. I feel so much better. You’re getting things done, man, damn straight.

    So I’m thinking maybe we could rewrite Matthew 6 6, slightly, along these lines: ‘If your approach to the duties of your elected office principally consists of making wishes to yer magical sky fairy, please shut the hell up about it in public. It isn’t especially reassuring. Thanks kindly.’

  167. #167 Sloan
    May 1, 2008

    From Wikipedia:

    There have been several national days of prayer in the U.S. before the day was made official in 1952. The Continental Congress issued a day of prayer in 1775 to designate “a time for prayer in forming a new nation”.

    On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law. It was in 1972 that the National Prayer Committee was formed. It went on to create the National Day of Prayer Task Force, with the intended purpose of coordinating events for the National Day of Prayer. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law decreeing that the National Day of Prayer should be held on the first Thursday of May.

    The intention of the National Day of Prayer was always that it would be a day when members of all faiths could pray together in their own way. It would involve Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Aboriginals, Zoroastrians, Bahá’ís, Satanists, Pagans and all others, of any faith or of no organized religion, who had a religious faith and wished to participate.

    Some of you people crack me up, with your comments about “theocracy creep.” Events like this have been going on a long time.

    Further up the entry, it indicates that, evidently, only in Minnesota is the day designated as a specifically Christian event.

  168. #168 AJ Milne
    May 1, 2008

    Jinx, Joel.

  169. #169 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    The Christian Science Monitor wrote an entire article on groups protesting the Day of Prayer and how it is not inclusive. You’ll notice they failed to mention any atheists, because as we all know, atheists don’t exist or are too busy plotting to overthrow morals and convince everyone to deny the obvious Truth. Its actually titled “How inclusive is the National Day of Prayer?”, and doesn’t once ask the obvious question. What bullshit.

  170. #170 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#164 Joel Schooling –

    “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” MAtthew 6:6

    Personally, I like the KJV better:

    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    Based on this (because we all know the Bible is best in its original KJ English, the language spoken by Jesus ;>), I think there should be a national movement: the Into the Closet Campaign

  171. #171 John
    May 1, 2008

    I had no idea there even was a national day of prayer. Seems harmless enough as long as they’re not asking me to join in. That we are spending tax dollars to support something this ridiculous … well, there are certainly ample precedents for stupid government spending (can you say Iraq war?).

    I do worry about the impressionable minds that will be led astray by these quaint beliefs in the supernatural. But as long as they’re spending their time praying, going to church, etc., the less time they are spending bothering the rest of us.

    Some small consolation, I know. I think I’ll just ignore the day. It will be over soon enough.

  172. #172 freelunch
    May 1, 2008

    I would love to give the invocation at a prayer breakfast. I would read from a prayer and the story related to the prayer written by one of America’s greatest and most respected* writers.

    The short prayer was “God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!” since it was a war prayer and the longer prayer ended “Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

    Shockingly this prayer was answered, though not quite as those praying had envisioned.

    I wonder how many times this short story has been read as part of a sermon in a Christian Church? How many times has it been read at a Prayer Breakfast?

    *there is one area of his writing that most Americans might object to, but that is quibbling. Twain was great and The War Prayer is a brilliant parable.

  173. #173 Timothy
    May 1, 2008

    I would like to pray to the Almighty Dollar that next year we can replace this national embarrassment with a National Day of Shutting the Fuck Up About Imaginary Friends.

  174. #174 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#166 Sloan –

    The intention of the National Day of Prayer was always that it would be a day when members of all faiths could pray together in their own way. It would involve Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Aboriginals, Zoroastrians, Bahá’ís, Satanists, Pagans and all others, of any faith or of no organized religion, who had a religious faith and wished to participate.

    Firstly, some of these faiths don’t even pray in the traditional meaning of the word. Presumably by “in their own way” is meant to mean “pray, or meditate, or chant, or take drugs to induce divine revalation, or…” but that certainly isn’t the meaning that comes across from the simple word “prayer.”

    Secondly, as mentioned by Dennis in #168, this seeks to minimize or deny the existence/importance of atheists. (After all, as George H W Bush kindly reminded this nation, atheists aren’t *really* citizens.) The “all others, of any faith or of no organized religion, who had a religious faith and wished to participate” is similar to “optional” school prayer. It’s may not be compulsory enforcement of a specific religion, but it’s still unconstitutional.

  175. #175 Quiet_Desperation
    May 1, 2008

    Well PZ, I’m not sure why you’re disappointed; your state did elect a wrestler to be governor at one point.

    Which is worse than electing another career politician… how, exactly?

    I’m always mystified by the “Oh noes! They elected a [insert non political occupation here] into office!” types of comments. You *like* being raped in the wallet by professional politicians whose only “experience” is how to better game the system?

    Fuck this prayer day and fuck career politicians.

  176. #176 Ryan
    May 1, 2008

    “Further up the entry, it indicates that, evidently, only in Minnesota is the day designated as a specifically Christian event.”

    And that would make it non-Christian everywhere else?

  177. #177 Ferrous Patella
    May 1, 2008

    *Today* is the National Day of Prayer? Does anyone else picture in their mind a bunch of evangelicals running around shouting, “Mayday! Mayday!”

  178. #178 SplendidMonkey
    May 1, 2008

    Instead of doing nothing, watch some science videos!

  179. #179 Quiet_Desperation
    May 1, 2008

    Hey, tell the godfuckers to get the hell clear of INTERNATIONAL WORKER’S DAY with their prayer-crap.

    Or we cold just be all inclusive.

    Fuck International Worker’s Day, too.

    There. Better? :-)

    Here in Los Angeles it’s also Let’s Open The Borders To Another 50 Million Uneducated, Unskilled And EXTREMELY CATHOLIC People Day.”

    And people wonder why I’m looking at retirement property in Belize.

  180. #180 bigjohn756
    May 1, 2008

    Here in East Texas, of all places!, we are celebrating the National Day of Reason( http://www.nationaldayofreason.org/ ) by holding our Atheists Meetup.

  181. #181 Glen Davidson
    May 1, 2008

    prayer is “America’s strength and shield”?

    That’s too bad, because we all know how hopeless the situation is when prayer is all that we have to rely upon.

    Or maybe they mean that prayer is like an antiquated piece of armor, “the shield”, and that is also the strength of an America that is smart enough to buy really snazzy weapons to protect all of that “strength”.

    Still, I’m with the ones who barely care one way or the other about it. The social reasons for it involve trying to raise awareness about certain problems and increasing cohesion among the people. But the proverbial ineffectiveness of prayer (when you “don’t even have a prayer,” you’ve been stripped of even your illusions) tends to defeat the purpose, and to make it just a feel-good day for certain theists.

    Kind of annoying, but it’s not going to bother me today. I doubt even many religionists are going to notice it, though the noxious aspect is that certain religious groups are going to watch the pieties of legislators who do or do not publicly go to “prayer breakfasts” and do other tiresome rituals. Well, sure, but still, same old….

    The “academic freedom” acts in Florida, and now in Michigan, matter far more than do the church ladies watching to see if our legislators pray today.

    Ideally, we’d just call it stupid and move on to something that matters.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  182. #182 Kitty
    May 1, 2008

    I’m seriously concerned for your blood pressure – all of you.
    Please take a break and refresh yourselves at one of the oldest celebrations of the first day of summer.

    Oss! Oss!

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ugXt5vMEv5k

  183. #183 mothra
    May 1, 2008

    Give a man a prayer and he’ll fight sectarian wars forever.
    Teach a man to pray and he’ll realize the nonsense involved, walk the other way and constructive help others.

  184. #184 Emmet Caulfield
    May 1, 2008

    Haber Process, in a world where so many are hungry,
    You have given us food in abundance;

    Medical Science, in a world where so many are hurting,
    You offer to bind up our wounds

  185. #185 Tim Fuller
    May 1, 2008

    Yes, Fuck the bullshit prayer day and Fuck the Dobson God machine.

    We both say the same thing but I bet only one of us has tenure.

    Enjoy.

  186. #186 MikeB
    May 1, 2008

    david mabus needs professional help. Seriously.

    National Day of Prayer? Really?

    If their god knows everything then shouldn’t it already know what they are going to pray for? Only one prayer needed: So, heh, god, what are you waiting for?

  187. #187 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#184 MikeB –

    david mabus needs professional help. Seriously.

    Let’s all pray for him.

  188. #188 Derik N
    May 1, 2008

    What I hate is when people brag about how much they have prayed for something.

    Drives me fucking insane.

    I respect people who donate their time or money, or skills to a cause rather than just sitting on their asses and meditating on the issue.

    Fuck Prayer indeed

  189. #189 Colugo
    May 1, 2008

    shonny: “gave the catlickers the not-so-ex HitlerJugend as head of their pedophilic organisation”

    Interestingly enough, Hitler celebrated May Day too.

    “And triple-fuck prayers day”

    Would that be a four-way, or fucking it sequentially thrice?

    ——————

    I’m reminded of a joke:

    A huge storm is forecast to hit a guy’s area, but instead of leaving he figures that he will pray to God to save him from the storm.

    So the idiot drowns. In his last moments he hallucinates an encounter with God who says to him: “Guess what – I don’t exist. But you’re still dead, motherfucker.”

  190. #190 Richard Harris
    May 1, 2008

    Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

    Deluded feckin’ edjits! And feck their feckin’ god-thing too! except, how the feck could I, when the bugger doesn’t exist anyway.

  191. #191 DLC
    May 1, 2008

    Cuttlefish comes through again!
    All I could think of to match that was a reference to
    the (should be) famous “Vatican Rag” by Tom Lehrer.
    I will not be having a national day of mumbling to the invisible dragon in my garage any more than I will be singing the internationale and raising the red flag.

  192. #192 Brain Hertz
    May 1, 2008

    Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

    LOL (literally).

    I really must learn not to read your blog during meetings ;-)

  193. #193 jimmiraybob
    May 1, 2008

    Can anybody tell me when the National Day of Finger Crossing & Good Juju Invocation is held? I can never remember if it’s the one at the beginning or end of summer.

  194. #194 JimNorth
    May 1, 2008

    I entered some comments on the Vision and Faith section of Toon’s Blog at the F**K the NDOP website. They are truly sincere with this America was founded on Christian Principles(TM). At least they’ve been polite to me. Maybe I’ll tell them I’m part of the EAC.

  195. #195 Brocken Spectre
    May 1, 2008

    Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

    Don’t be so hasty…prayer works!

    But not for the reason you may think.

    Not because there is a God who “answers our prayers” but because of the human mind’s ability to CREATE it’s own reality. The thoughts we have today are creating tomorrow’s reality. This is a perfectly reasonable, rational and yes, even scientific phenomenon.
    We are responsible for our own reality, which we create each day with our own thoughts.
    Prayer is just one way that we train our minds to focus on what we want to happen, rather than dwelling on lame excuses to explain our failures and unhappiness.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYCamVx4fSQ

  196. #196 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    re: my #33 –

    A miracle has occurred! Despite frequent procrastination & spending half my time commenting here instead of working on the presentation, I finished my presentation a full 45 minutes ahead of time, and even think I understand the material.

    Thank you guys so much for all your prayers. I know you guys were PUSHing (Praying Until Something Happened) and guess what? Something did!

  197. #197 Alex
    May 1, 2008

    Prayer, holy, blaspheme, soul, heaven, hell, angel, demon, god, miracle, bless, curse. Meaningless words with no parallel in reality. Just bits of shiny cloth used to dress the invisible emperor.

  198. #198 robbrown
    May 1, 2008

    Say what you will about Jesse Ventura, but when he was governor, here is what he had to say about National Day of Prayer: “I believe in the separation of church and state. We all have our own religious beliefs. There are people out there who are atheists, who don’t believe at all. They are all citizens of Minnesota and I have to respect that.”

  199. #199 Alex
    May 1, 2008

    “We are responsible for our own reality, which we create each day with our own thoughts.”

    I’m pretty sure that reality exists just fine outside the human experience.

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Philip K. Dick.

  200. #200 jeh
    May 1, 2008

    The advice they were given by their leader: “But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.”

    Of course they don’t usually follow his advice. Bigger, louder, and more ostentatious displays of “piety”–now we’re talking!

  201. #201 spencer
    May 1, 2008

    I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One by which I can obtain salvation and have an ongoing relationship with God.

    This always seemed unnecessarily bureaucratic to me. So is Jesus like God’s Chief of Staff or something? In order to reach The Big Guy you have to go through his Right Hand Man?

    Always seemed weird to me, is all. Even when I was a kid, not really knowing or caring enough to question it all.

  202. #202 Todd
    May 1, 2008

    I always get the National Day of Prayer confused with the National Day of Slayer.

  203. #203 yank in london
    May 1, 2008

    We just call it May Day (and did you know that “fuck” is a very, very bad word?).

  204. #204 craig
    May 1, 2008

    Hmmm. There has to be a way to monetize this without having to actually mingle with the god-besotted.

    How about a website, ClickToPray.com? “For every click on the banner, your prayers will be multiplied 1x”
    Give nice feedback after they hit 100, 500, 1000 clicks… a printable certificate or something.

    And of course each click opens a op-up window which earns you money with google adsense or something. Keep it topical and serve only religious ads, whatever.

    ClickToPray.com – using the power of the internet to let you speak louder to God!

  205. #205 CWD
    May 1, 2008

    …that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One by which I can obtain salvation and have an ongoing relationship with God. I believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ

    emphasis mine

    Not that I give a hoot other than to chuckle over the delicious irony, but it appears that modern christians have embraced polytheism.

  206. #206 Brocken Spectre
    May 1, 2008

    “We are responsible for our own reality, which we create each day with our own thoughts.”

    I’m pretty sure that reality exists just fine outside the human experience.

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Philip K. Dick.

    You’re not getting it.

    Let me give you an example:

    “If we want our cars to run well and be dependable, then we need to think and behave in a way that produces that situation. I suggest that whenever you get into your car, or any other form of transportation, you take a few seconds to:

    Bless your vehicle with love. Reaffirm that you love yourself and you’re safe. Declare that you’re always surrounded by excellent drivers. Affirm that you’ll get to your destination on time, easily and effortlessly. Then, start your car and move into the traffic. If you come upon a difficult situation, send love to the other drivers. As you do this for a few days, you’ll notice how much easier the whole driving experience becomes for you. You can do the same thing if you’re a passenger.

    Remember, you create your experiences. You can change the sort of drivers and driving experiences you have. Driving can change from an ordeal to a joy!” -Louise Hay

  207. #207 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 1, 2008

    National Day of waiting for Iron Man opening.

  208. #208 wisnij
    May 1, 2008

    I recommend we all instead celebrate a National Day of Actually Doing Something Useful, by donating to our favorite charity or organization. Mine’s going to the ACLU.

  209. #209 Holbach
    May 1, 2008

    It should rightly and blatantly be called the National Day of Prey. For what else could this call to the insane rabble be as viewed by thr rational among us? This is not just retrogression on a massive scale, but an increase of the deranged masses to dictate policy and incredible waste of all that civilization has supposedly advanced us. Such insane behavior in spite of contrary logical evidence to prove that all their insane supplication is utterly useless. How many more examples of insanity as noted on this site will verify that the majority of our country is horribly deranged?

  210. #210 markbt73
    May 1, 2008

    National Day of Prayer? Boooooring.

    It’s Beltane! The greatest holiday ever! Many Wiccans celebrate it in honor of fertility and the coming of summer.

    And let me tell you. This here atheist is more than happy to celebrate fertility.

    Posted by: Mcstabbity | May 1, 2008 10:13 AM

    Maybe they’d be okay with that. I mean, as long as you’re shouting God’s name, does it really matter why?

  211. #211 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    Rev. BigDumbChimp, Amen.

    11 hours and counting.

  212. #212 Angel Rose Young
    May 1, 2008

    PZ: Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

    Hallelujah! Praise be! Amen!

    I know prayer doesn’t work. No matter how diligently you pray. It’s a hoax – plain and simple. I used to pray, when I was a kid. I prayed hard too. I prayed to have the things that many of my friends were able to give thanks for. I prayed for the strength to trust in my parents. I prayed for my parents’ love, their approval, their trust in me. I never got any of it. I finally stopped praying for it. The prayer was getting old and it was leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. But the prayers didn’t stop; they just changed. I was now praying that His Lunacy upstairs grant me the peace of eternal damnation with the devil and take me away from this family for good. I said this prayer from the time I was almost ten until after I turned twelve and actually tried to commit suicide.

    By that time, I already knew the potential dangers of mixing phenobarbitol and alcohol. Fortunately for me, I ended up with a fake lot of “reds”. Fortunately for me, my acquaintance was a cheating scoundrel. He had removed the phenobarbitol from the caps and replaced it with gelatin and aspirin. Asprin poisoning sucks! When I realized that I was going to live I was severely pissed. No one was listening to me when I was crying. Though, while I was “waiting to die”, I had a short chance to think about things. I realized that I didn’t really want to die. I just wanted the fuck away from my family. So I turned around and took another route. I started disappearing from home for days at a time. I hid in the woods and traveled through the storm drains. It was quiet and peaceful and there was no angry and implacable god looming over me anymore. I was finally out of their house and out from under their control at sixteen.

    FUCK the National Day of Prayer! PRAISE the National Day of Reason!

    Stephanurus (#8) - PZ, I agree with you, but your way of saying it will be noticed by the kooks and they will use your words against you. What does THIS have to do with evolution, they will ask etc etc. Or, THIS is atheism etc. Tone it down and stick to science.

    Stephanurus, there is no doubt in my mind that PZ knows that they will take it and run with it. If he sees these people as being as irrational as I do, then I am fairly certain that he gets the same amusement I do when I say something anti-religious and get to experience the innane rantings of the irrational masses. There is always one of them who comes up with something that just stops you dead still with its perfected irony and stupidity. That is when you laugh so hard you nearly puke or piss on yourself.

    I have a deep personal resentment and despite for fundamental christianity. I really must say that I love the way it seems to be undermining its own self lately.

    Kyle W (#11) - …which had a link to a prayer request form. I request that they pray Pat Robertson’s head be removed from his ass by the grace of god.

    Fuck Pat Robertson more than the National Day of Prayer.

    I wasn’t aware that anyone hated Pat Robertson as much as I do, always have, and always will. His voice makes chills run up and down my spine, across my scalp, and down my arms and legs. I get sick feelings in my stomach and chest, like the feeling of the impending doom you feel when you have a severe panic attack, and the need to throw up over the feel of something evil crawling across your already sensitized skin.

    But I would love to have one-tenth of the money the IDiot has spent trying to prove that the flood was world wide. I could be quite comfortable right now.

  213. #213 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 1, 2008

    I wasn’t aware that anyone hated Pat Robertson as much as I do, always have, and always will.

    Well I once had the secret service come to my house for threatening his life during his run for president…..

  214. #214 Saddlebred
    May 1, 2008

    Although the handle David Mabus is somewhat witty for a nutter preaching about Nostradamus, his claims about Nostradamus are long debunked. Yet all the Nostradamus crap continues, no matter how thoroughly shredded the claims are.

    Who else does that sound like?

    Potential new member for the “Big Tent?”

    get this…lungfish

  215. #215 spencer
    May 1, 2008

    You *like* being raped in the wallet by professional politicians whose only “experience” is how to better game the system?
    Fuck this prayer day and fuck career politicians.

    The only problem with this logic is that non-career politicians, once elected, are often ripe for the fucking by career politicians who know the system inside and out.

    So you can be idealistic or pragmatic about what type of candidate you’d prefer to vote for. But either way, you’re gonna get fucked by somebody.

  216. #216 HadasS
    May 1, 2008

    It’s Holocaust Day today in Israel.

  217. #217 thalarctos
    May 1, 2008

    Today is my 50th birthday, and in a couple of hours, I’m going to be taking a neuroanatomy exam. I can’t imagine anything else I’d rather be doing to symbolize going into my next half-century.

  218. #218 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    It’s Holocaust Day today in Israel.

    Be on the lookout for Stein to try and exploit it.

  219. #219 Jay Hovah
    May 1, 2008

    “Fuck the National Day of Prayer.”

    Well spoken SIR!

  220. #220 Brocken Spectre
    May 1, 2008

    I’m pretty sure that reality exists just fine outside the human experience.

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Philip K. Dick.

    Oh, but it does. Reality is our interpretation of our experiences.

    It’s not so much what happens to us as it is our attitude towards it.

    Life is nothing more than going about our business…and “getting there” only requires us to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

  221. #221 Tom L
    May 1, 2008

    Prayer is our shield? I thought Strategic Defense Initiative was supposed to do that!

    …on the other hand, both work about equally well.

  222. #222 Rita Bennett
    May 1, 2008

    Salute to freelunch #62

    I sent a thank you to John Derbyshire.

  223. #223 Kai
    May 1, 2008

    I encourage everyone to post on their blogs.

  224. #224 ZombieJeebus
    May 1, 2008

    Posted by: david mabus | May 1, 2008 9:20 AM

    Aww, look…a batshit crazy troll on the loose.

    Somebody get a taser.

  225. #225 haate
    May 1, 2008

    I’m celebrating today by listening to a lot of Pat Condell on youtube.

  226. #226 JSW
    May 1, 2008

    Snitzels: So am I correct to assume that you’re not going to partake in the seven per-cent solution?

    Opium of the masses, indeed.

  227. #227 Quiet Desperation
    May 1, 2008

    The only problem with this logic is that non-career politicians, once elected, are often ripe for the fucking by career politicians who know the system inside and out.

    *shrug* The problem still lies with the career politicians.

    So you can be idealistic or pragmatic about what type of candidate you’d prefer to vote for.

    I hesitate in using the word “pragmatic” when forced to choose which sort of rape I’m to receive.

    But either way, you’re gonna get fucked by somebody.

    We are in agreement here. :-(

  228. #228 Djur
    May 1, 2008

    Let’s Open The Borders To Another 50 Million Uneducated, Unskilled And EXTREMELY CATHOLIC People Day.

    Yeah, fuck those bestial , worthless papists.

  229. #229 Patricia C.
    May 1, 2008

    Fuck national day of prayer. Good job PZ. When are you going to post photos of yourself as Jack in the Green with your trophy May Queen? Happy Beltane you godless heathens!

  230. #230 negentropyeater
    May 1, 2008

    Matthew 6:6 (N.I.V. NT)

    “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” < \blockquote>

    Still wonder how they manage to concile the concept of “national day of prayer” which is a complete circus with mega prayer ceremonies all over the place with that instruction from the bible ?
    But I guess one more contradiction isn’t a problem for Christians. What the heck ????

  231. #231 Schmeer
    May 1, 2008

    Brocken Spectre,
    You are insane.

    Reality is our interpretation of our experiences

    No. Our interpretation of our experiences is our interpretation of our experiences. Reality is all that stuff that doesn’t care what games you play in your head.

  232. #232 Tim B.
    May 1, 2008

    I might be wrong, but wasn’t the NDoP inaugurated by the founder of that creepy crypto group called The Family?…that same “Jesus Plus Nothing” cabal of religionists and politicians? I think Sam Brownback and Hillary Clinton are among its adherents.

  233. #233 me
    May 1, 2008

    I DO NOT WANT TO EVER HEAR THAT DOGDAMNED STUPID BOAT “JOKE” AGAIN.

    Hey, PZ! Did you hear the one about the boat? Two guys, a boat and a roof walk into a bar…

  234. #234 Tom
    May 1, 2008

    The only thing that could make my life more complete is for “Dr.” James Dobson to get caught with his hand down Ted Haggard’s pants.

    I will reaffirm what so many others here have said: Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

  235. #235 Saddlebred
    May 1, 2008

    [quote]Two guys, a boat and a roof walk into a bar…[/quote]

    …bartender says, “where’s the helicopter?”

  236. #236 Tom Marking
    May 1, 2008

    “We do not understand how copulation with a nonexistent being is possible

    Hey, it’s you guys who think a god made a virgin pregnant, not us. I would think copulation with nonexistent beings would be old hat.”

    The adjective “nonexistent” should have been a clue for you. Who do you mean by “you guys”, Christians? Ask yourself this question: Do Christians believe God is nonexistent?

    BTW, your hand doesn’t count here because it actually exists. :)

  237. #237 DwarfPygmy
    May 1, 2008

    I hope they offer a short prayer for all of the PYGMIES + DWARFS!!!

  238. #238 azqaz
    May 1, 2008

    Well, here is my prayer for NDoP.

    Jesus Christ, those people are idiots. God damn it! What in the hell were they thinking?

    Noncarborundum, if the phrase up top set you off… :)

    Romanes eunt domus

  239. #239 Dave
    May 1, 2008

    “National Day of Prayer,” ewwwwww, better wear my I am an Atheist T-shirt today. Thanks PZ I had absolutely no idea why I was receiving some weird text msg’s on my cell phone

    “(John 14:27 KJV) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

    Although I did find it hilarious that the person who sent me this msg. is an emotional wreck and one of the most ignorant persons I have ever met.

  240. #240 Dave
    May 1, 2008

    Whoops, was going to add this one in there. I sent this back to her.

    Matthew 10:34-35

    “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.”

    hahahaha, proof that the bible doesn’t contradict itself<—-Sarcasm

  241. #241 Dustin
    May 1, 2008

    The National Day of Prayer is really a day set aside so that the Nationalist Christians can parade around flaunting their piety where they typically aren’t allowed to. They’re trying to start fights.

    That’s what this is about: interrupting lectures and meetings and good old all-American hard work with a sanctimonious display, daring us to do something about it.

  242. #242 Monty Python
    May 1, 2008

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooaGhYFHIzg

    All things dull and ug-ly
    All creatures, short and squat
    All things rude and na-sty
    The Lord God made the lot

    Each little snake that poisons
    Each little wasp that stings
    He made their prudish venom
    He made their horrid wings

    All things sick and cancerous
    All evil great and small
    All things foul and dangerous
    The Lord God made them all

    Each nasty little hornet
    Each beastly little squid
    Who made the spiky urchin
    Who made the sharks, he did

    All things scant and ulcerous
    All pox both great and small
    Putrid, foul and gangrenous
    The Lord God made them all

    Amen…(and women!)

  243. #243 markmier
    May 1, 2008

    From the “loyalty oath”:

    I believe that those who follow Jesus are family and there should be unity among all who claim his name.

    Sounds like all Christians have been unified and all must take responsibility for what everyone else says. Phelps, Falwell, Robertson, Hitler, etc all included! “No true Christian” is no more! Whee!

  244. #244 Dustin
    May 1, 2008

    Matthew 6:5-8:

    And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    Shorter Jesus: Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

  245. #245 Also Monty Python
    May 1, 2008

    Let us praise God. O Lord…
    O Lord…
    …Ooh, You are so big…
    …ooh, You are so big…
    …So absolutely huge.
    …So absolutely huge.
    Gosh, we’re all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
    Gosh, we’re all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
    Forgive us, O Lord, for this, our dreadful toadying, and…
    And barefaced flattery.
    But You are so strong and, well, just so super.
    Fantastic.
    Amen.
    Amen.

  246. #246 Rhonan
    May 1, 2008

    Not only are they excluding Muslems and Jews, that line about believing that the bible is inerrant also excludes most of the world’s Christians.

    As for the Day of Rationality, I agree it is better than the National Day of Prayer, but I still feel there is a religious alternative that is even better. I think I’ll go help this pretty little pagan I know celebrate her religion’s holiday today. I like how they do it.

  247. #247 janet
    May 1, 2008

    @243 I can’t believe Monty Python said that about squid. Just shows everybody has their blind spots.

  248. #248 Dr. Squid
    May 1, 2008

    Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

    But use a condom so you don’t get a disease.

    Joke stolen from tristero at Digby’s place.

  249. #249 Elwood Herring
    May 1, 2008

    Well I have to confess I prayed twice today.

    In my first prayer I prayed for god to grant my second prayer.
    In my second prayer I prayed for god NOT to grant my first prayer.

    That should keep him busy for a while.

  250. #250 Pocket Nerd
    May 1, 2008

    Expected talking points for the blogs of religious fundamentalists:

    The evolutionist pope, PZ Myers, isn’t content with crashing movie showings and online polls. “F*** the National Day or Prayer,” he screamed in a recent blog post. Now he’s exhorting his faithful Darwinist followers to “spit in the soup of people who say grace,” calling God’s Chosen “kooks” and “deluded, demented fools.” Laugh if you want, Herr Doktor Myers, but one day your knee will bend and you too will confess that Christ is Lord (Isaiah 45:23). I just pray for his sake that day comes soon enough for him to avoid the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.

    Please not I’m not saying PZ should stop doing what he does; nothing would please the theocrats more than seeing the infidels willingly police themselves into a silent, obedient minority. I’m just gritting my teeth against the inevitable spin job…

  251. #251 CrypticLife
    May 1, 2008

    National Take-Leave-of-your-Senses Day?

  252. #252 Nentuaby
    May 1, 2008

    I propose we all go outside and pray loudly to our favorite explicitly fictional deity. Here’s mine (at the moment, having just read the books):

    Oh, Spirit of Man of the Stars, forgive these fools who know not how they offend you with their false gods; reprogram their cores, erase their sins from your memory banks and encode them not in your ROMs.

    ENDFILE

  253. #253 cwd
    May 1, 2008

    Nentuby –
    David Drake, right?

  254. #254 mnvnjnsn
    May 1, 2008

    “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day.
    Teach a man to feed a fish, and round and round we go.”

    -Hank, Corner Gas

  255. #255 cicely
    May 1, 2008

    @244

    O Lord Please Don’t Burn Us

    O Lord, please don’t burn us,
    Don’t grill us or toast your flock,
    Don’t put us on a barbecue,
    Or simmer us in stock,
    Don’t braise us or bake or boil us,
    Or stir-fry us in a wok.
    Oh please don’t lightly poach us,
    Or baste us with hot fat,
    Don’t fricassee or roast us,
    Or boil us in a vat,
    And please don’t stick thy servants, Lord,
    In a Rotissomat.

  256. #256 Nentuaby
    May 1, 2008

    Yep… The General Series. S.M. Stirling actually wrote it, but from an extensive outline by David Drake.

  257. #257 Longtime Lurker
    May 1, 2008

    I was planning on burning a hekatomb to the Olympians, but the high commodity prices make that difficult.

    At least Walpurgis Night went well.

  258. #258 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 1, 2008

    Today is actually the National Day of Prayer. Really. Let that sink in for a moment.

    International Labor Day: ur doin it rong.

    Ahem.

    * patri
    * spiritus
    * sancti

    Nope, patris. Pater, patris, patri, patrem, patre, patres, patrum, patribus, patres, patribus.

    Klingon doesn’t have separate declension classes :-)

    Of course, the international geophysical year was actually about 2 years long. Hmmm.

    LOL! :-D

    I might have to overcome my aversion to giving blood. I’m a postgrad, so this is one way I can actually be useful.

    Ouch.

    Interestingly, Coulton doesn’t look entirely unlike PZ. Coincidence?

    Same number of tentacles…

    Subject: Fw: P.U.S.H. 7% I am one

    Chain letters for Jesus.

    The mind boggles.

    Have they no decency? At long last, have they no decency?

    What next? Adware for Jesus???

    So Jesus was a zombie AND a ghost?

    :-D

    “Saviour from on high” can certainly be interpreted as ‘any authority figure’

    Is that how you’d interpret “on high”?

    Well PZ, I’m not sure why you’re disappointed; your state did elect a wrestler to be governor at one point.

    Hm. Couldn’t that occasionally beat electing yet another lawyer?

    (Oops. Sorry for the pun.)

    Interestingly enough, Hitler celebrated May Day too.

    National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Nuff sedd.

    That said, every country except the USA and Canada celebrates it today.

  259. #259 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 1, 2008

    Oh shit. There were 190 comments, then I wrote mine, and mine is number 260.

  260. #260 BAllanJ
    May 1, 2008

    From the OP:
    “Did you know that prayer is “America’s strength and shield”?”

    Well, now I do! So the next time you lot get all hot and bothered about some dictator, leave the tanks and cruise missles at home and pray at them! Please!

    Oh, and that Brocken Spectre Poe…breaks me up…heehee.

  261. #261 noncarborundum
    May 1, 2008

    Romanes eunt domus

    One of my favorite scenes in that movie.

  262. #262 Rick
    May 1, 2008

    Wow, I think there is actually more hatred on this site today for Christians then those who don’t believe in man made global warming. I’ll pray for you all ;)

  263. #263 AlanWCan
    May 1, 2008

    Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

    Did you just read my mind as I was reading that first paragraph? How did you do that? That’s amazing.

  264. #264 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 1, 2008

    Brocken Spectre, if anyone is the solipsist, it’s me.

    Christ is Lord (Isaiah 45:23).

    Hmmmm… ehem. Isaiah? Christ? Time machine?

    P.S.: Romani, ite domos. (The film has it wrong — they don’t all go into the same home.)

  265. #265 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 1, 2008

    hatred on this site today for Christians

    Two words: First Amendment.

  266. #266 ildi
    May 1, 2008

    I remembered to take my new bus pass this morning…

  267. #267 Brownian, OM
    May 1, 2008

    Well I have to confess I prayed twice today.

    In my first prayer I prayed for god to grant my second prayer.
    In my second prayer I prayed for god NOT to grant my first prayer.

    That should keep him busy for a while

    Elwood Herring wins teh intertoobz!

  268. #268 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#257 cicely –

    I just wanna be a sheep! (baa, baa, baa, baa)
    I just wanna be a sheep! (baa, baa, baa, baa);
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep –
    I just wanna be a sheep!

    ((Oh crap…that’s a real song…))

  269. #269 Kseniya
    May 1, 2008

    Happy National Day of Lose Your Mind and The Consitution Too.

    NDoLYMaTCT

    That’s pronounced, “N’Doleymatc’t,” rhymes with “unholy mat kit.”

    Yes, it’s a little clunky, but I’ll work on it…

    N’Doleymatc’t!

  270. #270 windy
    May 1, 2008

    National Day of Prayer? No way. It’s Vappu. Be Finnish for a day. Go out and party till you puke.

    Too late, the drinking starts on May Day eve. Puking may continue today, though.

  271. #271 ndt
    May 1, 2008

    As a Minnesotan myself, I’m surprised there’s not more outcry from our state’s Jewish population, small though it is, about the Governor’s Christian-only Day of Prayer.

  272. #272 themadlolscientist
    May 1, 2008

    Jonathan Coulton FTW!

    Speaking of Jon Coulton: I nominate “All We Wanna Do Is Eat Your Brains” for Unofficial Fundamentalist Theme Song. It’s been made into a video in WoW, it’s been done in anime, let’s see someone do it with clips of televangelists! (Sorry, I don’t have the means; confuser is too old and puny. I can barely play videos on it.)

  273. #273 Kenny
    May 1, 2008

    What I don’t get is why the author of this blog is so unreasonable. I mean honestly it sounds like some psychological problems with the author here.

    I think we all know someone who is an Atheist, but this is a little out there. I don’t know of any Atheists personally that will go this far to go after religion.

    The author here talks about reason and then turns around and creates the most unreasonable post ever.

    He acts like someone who is a Christian killed his baby. He has an irrational vendetta against people who want to worship and I find that really sad. Get some professional help. You should make enough money for it.

    Let those people worship the way they want to. They have a right to the freedom of their religion. Let them have their day of prayer and you have your day of reason or whatever.

    Get some help, seriously.

  274. #274 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#271 Kseniya –

    Happy National Day of Lose Your Mind and The Consitution Too.

    NDoLYMaTCT

    That’s pronounced, “N’Doleymatc’t,” rhymes with “unholy mat kit.”

    Yes, it’s a little clunky, but I’ll work on it…

    N’Doleymatc’t!

    It actually sounds rather Slavic. Something like: ????????????? might be an appropriate transliteration.

    In other news, I’ve been on campus for about 3.5 hours, heard numerous Happy May Days, one instance of a group of people singing the Internationale, and not a single mention of our dear little ????????????? holiday. Thank FSM for small favors, I suppose.

  275. #275 Cliff Hendroval
    May 1, 2008

    I note that in #208 Brocken Spectre approvingly quotes a person named Louise Hay. Oddly enough, her name turned up a couple of days ago on a music mailing list I belong to:

    According to American New Age Guru, Loiuse Hay in her “You Can Heal Your Life” book, every physical illness is a manifestation of faulty thinking/behaviour.

    Blame the victim, indeed. I wonder if she’s ever shown up on Oprah.

  276. #276 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    May 1, 2008

    Let those people worship the way they want to.

    We were. Then they decided to make a big, government-endorsed spectacle of it.

  277. #277 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#274 Kenny –

    He acts like someone who is a Christian killed his baby.

    Oh, you want to talk about baby-killing? How’s this for baby-killing:

    O Babylon, you devastator,
    Happy shall they be who pay
    you back
    what you have done to us!
    Happy shall be they who take
    your little ones
    and dash them against the rock!

    That’s from Psalm 137, BTW. And I know, I know — even the devil can quote scripture. Or I don’t know how to read. Or I’m deliberately shutting Jesus out of my heart. Or whatever excuse you want to use this time.

    Let those people worship the way they want to. They have a right to the freedom of their religion. Let them have their day of prayer and you have your day of reason or whatever.

    I don’t understand why they *need* a day of prayer. They can pray whenever they want to. They can pray every minute of every day for all I care. I don’t object to people practicing their religion. I object to it being a national holiday, suggesting that religiosity is a must in our nation. It’s this kind of shit that encourages statements like George HW Bush’s claim that, “I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

    People can worship and pray of their own accord all they want. I may think it’s irrational, I may think that it hinders moral and intellectual development, and I may think that these people would be better off without what Marx called “the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world…the spirit of a spiritless situation…the opium of the people”. (Gotta get a Marx quote in on International Workers day!)

    But I wouldn’t dream of preventing these people from holding and being able to express the beliefs and traditions they have. That would be wrong. It would be an insult to the basic concepts of human dignity and respect. I just want these people to show the same basic respect towards me. And that includes not telling me, implicitly, that I should be praying if I am really a valued part of this nation (and that is implicit in the name National Day of Prayer).

    (And I also fully recognize that many believers *do* show that respect towards me. There are believers who think the NDoP is wrong, and unconstitutional. I am not making a blanket statement about the actions of all believers — but unfortunately, it does describe the behaviors of many, eg, Kenny.)

  278. #278 Sven DiMilo
    May 1, 2008

    Let those people worship the way they want to. They have a right to the freedom of their religion. Let them have their day of prayer

    Who wants to point out to Kenny how, exactly, he just…doesn’t…get it? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler? (sorry)

    Well, I’ll drop a hint: It’s not the “day of prayer” thing Dr. Myers is upset about, Kenny. Really, all of us atheists just kind of roll our eyes at the waste of time that is “worship.”
    It’s the National part of the “NDoP.”
    See? We atheists are fine upstanding citizens of this great nation, yet it’s our government, which is s’posed to be of, by, and for us, that is officially proclamating this bullshit.
    Aw, why do I waste my time this way?>
    (A: stack of lab reports to be graded)

  279. #279 Sven DiMilo
    May 1, 2008

    Naturally, the more terse and the more eloquent beat me to it, but what the hell. There’s procrastination to be done!

  280. #280 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#280 Sven DiMilo –

    Naturally, the more terse and the more eloquent beat me to it, but what the hell. There’s procrastination to be done!

    And it’s procrastination for a good cause — given their love of the argumentum ad populum, maybe if enough people yell the same thing at them, they’ll start to listen.

    …nah. They’ll just use denial & projection to worm their way out of any argument they get in (and, indeed, start). Well, it gave me hope for a fleeting moment anyway.

  281. #281 AJ
    May 1, 2008

    I didn’t see this already mentioned, but i only skimmed for “Bush” in the comments.

    Just in case we had any doubts left about the incompetence of King George, well….

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2008, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God’s continued guidance, comfort, and protection.

    http://www.ndptf.org/press_room/Index.cfm?Entity=4&Department=4&Dept_Order=1&This_TopicOrder=8&This_SubtopicOrder=1#3

  282. #282 Christophe Thill
    May 1, 2008

    The National Day of WHAT???

    In most of the sane world, the 1st of may is Labour Day. Trade unionists grab their banners and their giant balloons, they prepare their slogans and songs, they get together and they march around. As for people who don’t wish to demonstrate and get a sore throat at the end of the day, they can stay at home and sleep late, because it’s a holiday. None of that prayer crap around here, sir (though of course, if you prefer to spend your day in church, you’re free to do whatever you want with your time).

  283. #283 clinteas
    May 1, 2008

    >Let those people worship the way they want to. They have >a right to the freedom of their religion.

    We are Kenny,and yes they do.Just as atheists or jews or hindus have a right to freedom from the christianist religion in the public domain in your country(and mine).
    But if you make it a national holiday and have your wingnut government endorse it,than it is against your constitution,you might want to read it some day.

  284. #284 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    #282 AJ quoted –

    I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God’s continued guidance, comfort, and protection.

    That’s…horrible. This is the kind of thing that I’m talking about — it implicitly suggests that atheists are, at best, second class citizens, since all the “citizens” GWB is addressing have “his or her own faith”. It also is very suggestive of the notion that polytheistic religions, religions that don’t believe in a god per se but believe in some higher plane of existence or whatever, religions that don’t call their gods “God”, etc are not valid, or at least are not as valid as his “faith”.

    When I say things like this, people often accuse me of quibbling over semantics, but it’s really not. These meanings exist, and are very much present in the conscious and unconscious minds of the people who listen to this blather.

  285. #285 Centurian #18
    May 1, 2008

    “Get some help, seriously.”

    Posted by: Kenny | May 1, 2008 4:10 PM

    Dear Concern Troll,

    Fuck off…

  286. #286 clinteas
    May 1, 2008

    Etha,

    “one nation under god” says it all,dont you think?
    That sort of blabber reminds me of the middle ages and crusades,its just unbelievable.

  287. #287 Kenny
    May 1, 2008

    >Oh, you want to talk about baby-killing? How’s this for
    >baby-killing:

    All you really have to do is research and find out what it really means. Here I did the work that you could not do:

    http://www.easyenglish.info/psalms/psalm137-taw.htm

    This really takes it step-by-step, so that even you can understand it.

    The day of prayer is to remind people to pray about things. You can pray any time of the day but it is to remind you to pray for things and to keep these things on your heart.

    Atheists can be considered citizens and patriots (although I wonder how patroitic they can be, I mean we all know that most liberals hate displaying the flag).

    If you don’t believe in God you are free to have your own “Day of Rational thinking” or something. Nobody is going to stop you. You can be as illrational as everyone else.

  288. #288 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#287 clinteas –

    “one nation under god” says it all,dont you think?
    That sort of blabber reminds me of the middle ages and crusades,its just unbelievable.

    One Nation Under God…Gott mit Uns…it all starts to blur together after a while…

  289. #289 clinteas
    May 1, 2008

    >One Nation Under God…Gott mit Uns…it all starts to blur together after a while.

    yeah,or THAT period of course.Scary stuff indeed.

  290. #290 Tom Marking
    May 1, 2008

    Great job guys. There are 285 posts and 74 F-bombs which may be a new world record for this blog. And what are you all getting worked up about? A so-called “event” which has absolutely ZERO coverage on any of the following web sites:

    CNN News
    Fox News
    News Max
    Vox Day’s blog

    I mean, c’mon, there is no mention of this so called National Day of Prayer even on Newsmax or Vox Day’s blog. So how important do you actually think this event is to Christians? I’d bet that 99.9 percent of Christians have never even heard of this event. There is absolutely no major news coverage of it at all.

    If you do a Google search on “National Day of Prayer 2008″ you come up with the following news articles:

    Dakota Voice,
    OpEdNews, PA
    The Leader Newspapers, NJ
    Memphis Democrat
    .
    .
    .

    These are all podunk news sources. Oh my, atheists will really be quaking in their boots now that the Dakota Voice has a hold of the story. It’s one big joke.

    Check out the prayer rally here:
    http://leadernewspapers.net/modules.php?name=News&file=comments&sid=7013&op=Reply&pid=
    I count 17 Christians in this so called prayer rally. I mean, you would find more of them at a tupperware party. I want a see the real fire and brimstone stuff, you know, the burn the atheist rallies and all that. This year’s event is a BIG disappointment.

  291. #291 khan
    May 1, 2008

    I’m giving blood tomorrow (unit # 154).

  292. #292 Harper
    May 1, 2008

    “Fuck the National Day of Prayer.”

    Brilliant. As if there needed to be a special day when politicians could drop all semblance of rationality and indulge their sky-fairy lust. On public property.

    I’ll second (and third, and fourth..) the motion… PZ for President!

  293. #293 Patricia C.
    May 1, 2008

    Happy 50th birthday!!! I celebrated mine by announcing my complete deconverstion, then sat about thinking what blaspemy I could commit first. Got drunk and danced around the bonfire chanting:
    I’m 50,
    I’m free,
    No more.
    fucking god,
    for me!
    Happy birthday & many blasphemies!!!

  294. #294 Kenny
    May 1, 2008

    >See? We atheists are fine upstanding citizens of this
    >great nation, yet it’s our government, which is s’posed to
    >be of, by, and for us, that is officially proclamating
    >this bullshit.

    Well get someone to represent you and you can have your own day as well. Scientists are a minority and so are atheists. So you will need someone to represent you.

    Nobody is stopping you from doing anything. You have as much freedom as everyone else. You just have to work harder because you are a minority.

  295. #295 Sven DiMilo
    May 1, 2008

    Kenny, you are just a stone-stupid dumbass moron.
    I am both an atheist and a liberal (clue: these are not the same thing) and I am proud to display the flag. Got one I fly on the house and I got a sticker on my windowshield (John Prine reference). Know why? Because to me that flag stands for everything I love and respect about the USA: government of, by, and for the people; a rational system of government explicitly designed to prevent tyranny; a country of tolerance and diversity. The Constitution, in short.
    Of course there are things I don’t like about the USA too, including the arrogance, short-sightedness and greed of many of its most powerful citizens and leaders, and the high proportion of stone-stupid dumbass morons among its populace.
    But I bet that last one is just what you like best about it.
    I’m done feeding this troll. Fuck you, Kenny, you successfully pissed me off.

  296. #296 markmier
    May 1, 2008

    Cool! Then that means that the white Christian men can go around and do whatever they want to, because they’re in the majority and therefore right!

    …oh, wait…

  297. #297 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#288 Kenny –

    All you really have to do is research and find out what it really means. Here I did the work that you could not do:

    http://www.easyenglish.info/psalms/psalm137-taw.htm

    This really takes it step-by-step, so that even you can understand it.

    Firstly, that article says the following:

    What he thought was right in 516 B.C. But it is not right now. Jesus gave us new rules.

    While I am glad that they don’t think it is right *now*, I think it’s utterly abhorrent that they could think such a practice was right *ever*. This is your absolute morality, Kenny? That it was okay to dash babies’ heads against rocks as long as it was over 2 millenia ago?

    Also, Jesus also said, “”Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18) so…not sure what that’s about. I guess that’s what they mean by even the devil can cite scripture — the whole book is such a tangle of contradictions anyone can get anything from it. Again, I’m glad you didn’t decide to take the baby killing part.

    Though I also have to wonder about this part of the article:

    War is when countries fight each other. They even did this to *Jewish children in the Second World War.

    …ummm, what? People throwing rocks and Jewish children was ok because it was war? Also, though the article isn’t clear, I assume they are talking about European Jewish children here, in which case being stoned was really the least of their worries :\.

    Atheists can be considered citizens and patriots (although I wonder how patroitic they can be, I mean we all know that most liberals hate displaying the flag).

    1) Most liberals who don’t like to display the flag don’t like the blind patriotism it has come to symbolize — they can still be patriotic, and many are.

    2) There are conservative atheists, you know.

    If you don’t believe in God you are free to have your own “Day of Rational thinking” or something. Nobody is going to stop you.

    Ooh, really? Can we have our own National Day of Rational Thinking, proclaimed by Bush himself? Please? Pretty pretty please? With a cherry on top?

  298. #298 Colugo
    May 1, 2008

    Kenny, us anti-patriotic liberal atheist ambisexual monkey-marrying scientists certainly appreciate a good rib-tickling. So I congratulate you, sir, on an excellent impersonation of an inbred jingoistic ignoramus! Superb Poeing, my good man!

  299. #299 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    If you don’t understand why a nationally endorsed religious event is contrary to the separation of church and state then you are just dumb. It’s clear you spend too much time reading from only one book.

  300. #300 Kenny
    May 1, 2008

    Separation of church and state is overrated. You have to have some separation, but it has gone too far. If some kid brings a Bible to school he can get charged with some hate crime.

    “Fuck the National Day of Prayer”

    Well, so much of this being anything scientific.
    Now it’s just a mess of opinions rather than facts.

    However, it rarely has ever been about facts. It
    has just been a propaganda post on how the author of
    the blog needs to get some help for his mental issues.

    It’s kind of like those white power people that believe that
    they are superior to every one else. They are off-the-wall nutcases. They need serious help and so does the author of this blog.

  301. #301 negentropyeater
    May 1, 2008

    Kenny,

    I just have one sincere question, how do honest Christians manage to reconcile the instructions given in no uncertain terms with regards to prayer in the the gospel :

    Matthew 6:6 (NIV) – But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    With this kind of “circus” :

    Tens of thousands of prayer events are planned across the country on Thursday May 1, 2008 in recognition of the 57th Annual National Day of Prayer. In churches, parks and on courthouse steps, citizens will pray for our nation; government leaders, media, military, schools, churches, businesses and families.

    New events are being added every day and can be found at http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org . To highlight a few:
    Chapel Hill, N.C.: While the campus is still reeling from the murder of their student-body president, UNC will host a student-led community event on May 1.

    Prayer Flight: Private pilots from around the country are banding together to fly over and pray for all 50 state capitols.

    A first-time event will be held in Shanksville, P at the 9/11 crash site of United Flight 93.

    Please, as a Christian, I just would like your honest opinion.

  302. #302 Kseniya
    May 1, 2008

    It actually sounds rather Slavic. Something like: ????????????? might be an appropriate transliteration.

    Heh… Yes, indeed it does. I thought you might pick up on that. :-)

    I’d try to keep the kah in there, though: ?????????????. Celebrants could be called ????????????, ???????????, ? ?????????????. :-D

    (????????????? looks like an infinitive, though. Can we lose the trailing myagkiy znak? Or can we only do that if the stress is on that last vowel? Hmmm. Well, I hear it with the stress on the “mat”, so I guess the trailing soft “t” makes sense – da?)

    While we’re on the subject of non sequiturs, why wasn’t Jesus named – or even called – Emmanuel? Why why why?

    Etha’s sheep song reminds me of another one…

  303. Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go-o-o
  304. I wanna be an ovine
  305. Nothin to do no where to go-o-o
  306. I wanna be an ovine
  307. Glory Hallalujah! Hallowed Be His Name!
  308. The story’s pretty gory but He didn’t die in vain!
  309. I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain!
  310. Oh no oh oh oh ohhhhh
  311. Baa baa ba baa ba baa baa ba baaa
  312. I wanna be an ovine
  313. Baa baa ba baa ba baa baa ba baaa
  314. I wanna be an ovine
  315. #303 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    It is not overrated. That is not a hate crime, but I could understand why you’d think so; the bible is chock full of enough hate for millions of crimes.

    This is a blog, filled with PZ and our opinions. This is not a peer-reviewed science journal. He’s expressing sentiments we all feel (all except you).

    If there’s anyone to compare to white-supremacists, it is Christians who make up 80% of the country, are in a position of privilege, and still have the audacity to claim the mantle of victim hood. Sounds a lot like white southerners after 1865 who thought they were being persecuted by blacks having the right to vote. Oh the humanity. (Or your lack thereof)

  316. #304 thalarctos
    May 1, 2008

    Thank you, Patricia–you have given me an absolutely *wonderful* idea for a birthday celebration! :)

    Blame the victim, indeed. I wonder if she’s ever shown up on Oprah.

    Louise Hay’s teachings are both 1) widely accepted in New Age circles, and 2) thoroughly reprehensible. Of course, she is entitled to her own vicious opinion, but anyone who argues that children are born with birth defects because they “chose” to be, as she does, is taking “blame the victim” to unbelievable new heights (or depths, as the case may be).

    Despicable. I wouldn’t listen to Louise Hay for a weather report, much less how to live in the world and interact with other people in a caring way.

  317. #305 MAJeff, OM
    May 1, 2008

    If some kid brings a Bible to school he can get charged with some hate crime.

    That was a good one. You sometimes have me going, but then you throw in things like this. You go overboard with statements no sane person could make. Good joke, Kenny.

  318. #306 markmier
    May 1, 2008

    If some kid brings a Bible to school he can get charged with some hate crime.

    Citation, please? Or were you just talking out of your ass?

  319. #307 Brownian, OM
    May 1, 2008

    Happy National Day of Flaying, everyone!

    (Xipe Totec don’t give a chili for prayer–remember: if it ain’t a flayed skin you’re wearing, fruit your harvest won’t be bearing!)

  320. #308 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    You know what just dawned on me? Churches don’t pay taxes. The National Day of Prayer is funded by taxes. And I am newly enraged all over again.

  321. #309 Sven DiMilo
    May 1, 2008

    Can we lose the trailing myagkiy znak?

    You know, I often ask myself that same question.

    What about it, people? Can’t we all just lose the trailing myagkiy znak?

  322. #310 Kenny
    May 1, 2008

    >This is a blog, filled with PZ and our opinions. This is
    >not a peer-reviewed science journal. He’s expressing
    >sentiments we all feel (all except you).

    Then he should not call his blog a science blog and it should not be posted on scienceblogs.com since it has nothing to do with science.

    >If there’s anyone to compare to white-supremacists, it is
    >Christians who make up 80% of the country, are in a
    >position of privilege, and still have the audacity to
    >claim the mantle of victim hood.

    A nutcase is a nutcase it doesn’t matter who they are. However what he believes sure does fit right in with their philosophy and their superior beliefs. I can surely understand what Ben Stein was saying and I have not even watched the movie.

  323. #311 Kenny
    May 1, 2008

    >You go overboard with statements no sane person could
    >make. Good joke, Kenny.

    Have you watched the news? Seriously? Do you know what is going on outside of your own bedroom?

    Sanity has nothing to do with it. It is called common knowledge and it has been on the news for quite some time.

    You know you have to be an Atheist when you call everyone that doesn’t believe like you “insane” and “stupid” and then you completely ignore the obvious.

    There is nothing more truth than the above statement and it is proved over and over again right in this very forum.

  324. #312 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    Yeah, PZ is so crazy. A nice family man, talented scientist, who happens to use words on a blog to get his point across. You’ll notice he won’t delete your posts. However, try commenting on an IDiots blog and see if it sticks.

    I don’t think you get to decide what goes on scienceblogs.com. Especially because we have seen your very weak grasp of science.

    Kenny, you are very confused. Should we avoid calling bullshit when we see bullshit so that we don’t look like we’re acting superior? How exactly can we point out how monumentally wrong this is without giving off an aura that offends your very sensitive shell?

  325. #313 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    I’m sorry Kenny, what is going on outside my bedroom? An unconstitutional event? I already knew that. What’s going on outside your bible, Kenny? It’s a thing we call reality, and it conflicts with your narrow views.

  326. #314 MAJeff, OM
    May 1, 2008

    That’s a good parody troll, Kenny. Feign indignation when called out for making an over-the-top assertion without any factual basis. You’re good, but again. The crazy statements like “hate crime for bringing a Bible” make it clear that you’re a parody. No one can really be so insane.

    Nice act, though.

  327. #315 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    Nah, I think Kenny is the real deal. Just goes to show Poe’s Law, you can never really tell.

  328. #316 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    May 1, 2008

    since it has nothing to do with science.

    How would you know? You don’t even know what science is.

  329. #317 Blake Stacey
    May 1, 2008

    We are responsible for our own reality, which we create each day with our own thoughts.

    Those poor, irresponsible children with terminal cancer. Someone should really tell them that happy thoughts can stop metastasis. Why, as long as you face the day with a smile and bless your surroundings with unconditional love, even a parasitic amoeba eating your brain is just a drop in the bucket of universal joy.

    Fuck the New Age and the quantum crystal it rode in on. Hell, that sounds like fun: I bet the crystal vibrates.

  330. #318 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    Kenny wants to put science in a box where it can’t touch god.

  331. #319 Kseniya
    May 1, 2008

    It’s…. Pharyngula! Home of The Terse and The Elegant!

    I like it. I’d like to see it done up in a ’50s B-Movie poster or pulp-fiction format.

    Anothing thing I “like” is this:

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” (Attributed to Sinclair Lewis)

    “When fascism comes to America, it will embraced by FOX News.” (Maureen Farrell)

    “Sure we’ll have Fascism here, but it will come as an anti-Fascism movement.” (Huey Long)

  332. #320 brad.tittle
    May 1, 2008

    While I am on your side for the idiocy of the religious event. We aren’t exactly alone. Germany has “Buss and Bet tag”. I am sure that others are equally silly. The muslim countries don’t worry about the day of prayer, they just treat every day as NDOP. Actually I think they do that six times a day.

    The statement made by the spokesman is a prime example of “repetition”. Get people to stand in front of other and say “I BELIEVE” and the will. They will inspire others to get up and say “I BELIEVE”. We don’t like to say that we were wrong so it is a great way to get people into conformity.

  333. #321 Patrick
    May 1, 2008

    IF I were inclined to pray it would go something like this…

    GOD, protect me from your followers.

  334. #322 Patricia C.
    May 1, 2008

    Where’s Holbach? Somebody loose the bandogge…

  335. #323 Kseniya
    May 1, 2008

    Kudos to Etha for getting her presentation done. Your avoidance skills are impressive, grasshopper, and yet you manage to get your work done, too. Congratuations, and a happy Nedolymatket’ to you!

    I just realized why I’m so cranky and depressed these days. I don’t get nearly enough Blake Stacey? in my daily diet! Errr… I mean, in my intellectual diet, of course!

    The myagkiy znak is important, too. I didn’t mean we should eliminate it completely.

    Re: Kenny. I can understand why our reactions upset him. But he can’t understand why this upsets us – nor does he have the shadow of a ghost of a whisper of a clue why it might disgust and horrify the men who wrote our Constitution. And that – in my incompletely informed opinion – is emblematic of the real problem.

  336. #324 keith
    May 1, 2008

    I have managed to crosspost by copy the most vile elements of this particular post thread to about 14 popular sites today to illustrate the nature and character of the sewer pigs who post on the evocrap posting sites.

    It’s good for Americans to realize there is an Enemy Within and to take any and all actions to resist their filth, blasphemy, and intolerance of all things spiritual.

    It’s a good thing I don’t have to worry about your effect or destiny, otherwise I might be overly concerned.

  337. #325 Sven DiMilo
    May 1, 2008

    It’s uncanny…now my eyes start rolling uncontrollably just before Keef Eaton shows up.
    Hi, Keef! Have you met Kenny?

  338. #326 Brownian, OM
    May 1, 2008

    I have managed to crosspost by copy the most vile elements of this particular post thread to about 14 popular sites today to illustrate the nature and character of the sewer pigs who post on the evocrap posting sites.

    It’s a good thing I don’t have to worry about your effect or destiny, otherwise I might be overly concerned.

    So, you exercised your lack of concern about this blog by spending your time copying and pasting this blog? Man, you Christians do like to waste your time on ineffective activities. Happy National Day of Prayer indeed.

  339. #327 MAJeff, OM
    May 1, 2008

    Hi, Keef! Have you met Kenny?

    Ah, true love.

  340. #328 Brownian, OM
    May 1, 2008

    How come Keith didn’t just pray to end our filth, blasphemy, and intolerance?

    Have fun in hell, oh ye of little faith.

  341. #329 gburnett
    May 1, 2008

    Woo hoo! I want “Fuck the National Day of Prayer” on a T-shirt! :-) What a bunch of idiots, pandering to the pious.

    I love to look around when people are praying at all the other atheists who are also looking around – it’s like a secret society of rationalists fighting the man!

  342. #330 themadlolscientist
    May 1, 2008

    http://www.easyenglish.info/psalms/psalm137-taw.htm

    Lamest. Inaccuratest. Wrongest. Fakest. Insultingest. Biasedest. Pseudo-biblical pile-of-crap-that-claims-to-be-a-translation. Evar. I wouldn’t give it to a first-grader to read.

    Kenny, if that’s any indication of your general religious “education,” your rantings and ravings are even more pathetic than I thought.

    Someone said above that there are conservative atheists. Very true. There are also liberal people of faith — not just Christians but people of all faiths. Personally, I’m a liberal because I’m a person of faith.

    And I’m also proud of what the US flag represents — a secular nation, one in which everyone is free to practice their own religion (or nonreligion) as long as it doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s equal freedom, but no religion is allowed to lord (or LORD, if you prefer) it over our society.

    At least go get yourself a real Bible, Kenny. You’re making religion look even stupider than most of the people here already think it is. You’re even embarrassing me, and in my 55 years I’ve seen a lot of embarrassing crap done in the name of religion.

    Stuff like you’re spouting is a major reason why I greatly prefer to hang out with atheists and agnostics: They don’t expect me to check my intelligence at the door, and they don’t check theirs at the door either. Would that more of the faith community did likewise — the world would be a much better place.

    (I really do have a bee up my butt today, don’t I, guys? Sheesh! Time to stop chewing on Fundies — I should know better anyway, because they taste terrible and give me a stomach ache — and go eat some real dinner. CUL8R.)

  343. #331 WRMartin
    May 1, 2008

    Someone has to say it:
    FUCK you Kenny.

    And lest we forget why we’re here today:
    FUCK the national day of prayer!

  344. #332 Kseniya
    May 1, 2008

    Duck the Fashionable Pray-Off Nadir.

  345. #333 themadlolscientist
    May 1, 2008

    p.s. @ Keith: Feel free to quote me too. In fact, I’d feel honored. I’ve poured out a lot of righteous wrath over the past day or so on various threads here in regard to Fundagelical überstupidity, and I stand by every word of it.

    Oh, and I’m with Patrick: God, protect me from your followers!

  346. #334 PZ Myers
    May 1, 2008

    Keith! You’re back! You must be here to exercise your powers of prognostication again.

    I’m upgrading my estimate of the worldwide revenue from the movie from 500 million to 750 million after the latest screening rave reviews.

    So, how are you feeling now that the movie is about to evaporate from screens all over the country and move into church basement purgatory, lucky to gross $5-8 million, at best? It’s not even going to recoup the producers’ investment.

  347. #335 negentropyeater
    May 1, 2008

    Congratulations Keith :

    The logical structure of post #325 is very illogical:

    1. I have worried a lot about this blog (otherwise why did I bother cross posting to 14 other different sites ?)

    2. But it’s a good thing that I dont’ have to worry about it

    3. Otherwise, I might be overly worried (concerned)

    So to summarise

    I am worried, but it’s a good thing that I am not worried, otherwise, I might be overly worried.

    Forgot to take your anxiolytic Keith ?

  348. #336 Brownian, OM
    May 1, 2008

    #288, #331:

    Thanks for the translations, but I’m afraid I don’t believe in Boney M.

  349. #337 kmarissa
    May 1, 2008

    Separation of church and state is overrated. You have to have some separation, but it has gone too far.

    I’m not sure if this is the funniest or saddest thing I’ve read all thread. And it HAS had some gems, so it’s quite a competition.

  350. #338 Patricia C.
    May 1, 2008

    You’re not leaving me out! Fuck you very much Kenny. Why don’t you join your pal Keith in a corner and commit an abomination. Quote me too, Keith. As a proud Norwegian I pray that Thor will shove his mighty hammer up your ass and pound you back to freeze in hela forever. Fifty years of good little church lady speaking. Fuck you.

  351. #339 Colugo
    May 1, 2008

    The Poe version of a Turing Test:

    Respond as if the fundamentalist commenter is a Poe. Even if it there is no way that he/she is.

    If he/she is a Poe, they’ll be gratified. If he/she isn’t a Poe, they’ll be really pissed off.

  352. #340 Brownian, OM
    May 1, 2008

    So, how are you feeling now that the movie is about to evaporate from screens all over the country and move into church basement purgatory, lucky to gross $5-8 million, at best?

    It’s probably good that he wasn’t right, otherwise we’d have to consider him a witch, and we all know what the bible says to do with witches, don’t we?

    Wow Keith, your abject stupidity just saved your life.

  353. #341 windy
    May 1, 2008

    Joe and John were identical twins. Joe owned an old dilapidated boat and kept pretty much to himself. One day he rented out his boat to a group of out-of-staters who sank it. Joe spent all day trying to salvage as much stuff as he could and was out of touch all that day and most of the evening. Unbeknownst to him, his brother John’s wife died suddenly. When he got back on shore he went into town to pick up a few things at the grocery. A kind old woman there mistook him for John and said: “I’m so sorry for your loss, You must feel terrible”. Joe, thinking she was talking about his boat said: “Hell no! Fact is I’m sort of glad to be rid of her. She was a rotten old thing from the beginning. Her bottom was all shriveled up and she smelled horrible. She was always holding water. She had a bad crack in the back and a pretty big hole too. Every time I used her, her hole got bigger and she leaked like crazy. I guess what finally finished her off was when I rented her to those four guys looking for a good time. I warned them that she wasn’t very good and smelled. But they wanted her anyway. The damn fools tried to get in her all at one time and she split right up the middle…….” The old woman fainted.

  354. #342 Cheezits
    May 1, 2008

    I DO NOT WANT TO EVER HEAR THAT DOGDAMNED STUPID BOAT “JOKE” AGAIN.

    I may have to add a few terms from it to the spam filters.

    Hurray! My prayers were answered!

  355. #343 James F
    May 1, 2008

    #335

    PZ,

    Don’t forget this tidbit: Expelled is down to 655 theaters.

    (HT: Benny H, PT)

  356. #344 Tulse
    May 1, 2008

    Expelled is down to 655 theaters.

    This turkey isn’t going to make it to $8 million. I’d wouldn’t be surprised if it is out of theatres completely in two weeks.

  357. #345 negentropyeater
    May 1, 2008

    PZ,

    It’s not even going to recoup the producers’ investment.

    There was an interview with Logan Craft the Chairman of Premise Media in the Dallas Morning News on April 27th and he mentionned that the movie cost $4 Mill. to produce and a “multiple of that” to advertise and market.
    Seeing the kind of campaign they have done, I doubt very much this multiple is less than 2, which means their minimum costs musts have been in the order of $12 Mill.
    To this, you need to add the distribution margin (what the theaters earn) and the local taxes which vary, but ball park figure is about 40%.
    This means that to break even they need to get a box office revenue of $12 / 0.6 = $20 Mill.

    They are definitely going to end up losing a lot of money on this turkey. Not just a few dollars.

  358. #346 Blue Gal
    May 1, 2008

    ONLY 347 comments? Geez, PZ honey, you’re slipping. :)

    My only prayer is to meetcha again at the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State thingy next November. Hope you can come to that again, but it’s your turn to buy the Sam Adams. xoxo

  359. #347 Sastra
    May 1, 2008

    We are responsible for our own reality, which we create each day with our own thoughts.

    What particularly bothers me about this sort of statement is the inherent ambiguity on which it feeds. It almost sounds like the mundane but fairly reasonable stance that our attitudes, decisions, and interpretations effect our moods and actions. Well, yes. And I suppose an occasional reminder is nice and helpful and all.

    But of course this is New Age woo, and it apparently descends rapidly into quantum consciousness nonsense. The reasonable-sounding part is only there as the hook for the supernatural pseudoscience.

    Same with prayer. I’ve had liberal theists assure me that prayer is just like meditation and a kind of centering, internal pep talk, learning to accept, gaining courage, etc. “It’s not for God, it’s for the person praying.” But of course that’s not where they stop — and it’s not how most people use it. It’s magic petitions for magic solutions.

    My little town always makes a big deal of National Day of Prayer as the mayor prays on the city hall steps, leading the REAL citizens in those religious rituals which so successfully unite ALL of us (except for the atheists, who don’t count because “In God WE trust” and “One Nation under God.”) Yes, Kenny, it is the government issue.

    That, and the common smug assumption that prayer is so virtuous. You need voices to disagree.

    As for me, I am late to this thread because yesterday some local pastor wrote an op-ed in the newspaper titled “Religion, science can go hand in hand” endorsing Intelligent Design and urging people to go see EXpelled! So I celebrated the National Day of Prayer this morning by composing and sending a letter to the editor.

    They don’t let you pick the heading they print it under, but I hope it’s titled something like “Bull — and now God’s in Trouble too.”

  360. #348 longstreet63
    May 1, 2008

    In the wake of what is being called “Fuck the National Day of Prayer-gate,” Senator Obama distanced himself from Dr. Myers and his blog, saying “I never heard of the guy! What are you people talking about?” while Senator Clinton said “Obama really loves that guy–they want to have alien squid babies together and eat puppies. I have the video. I condemn the words of Dr. Mason, Obama’s Evil Cannibal Mentor and bind him in Jesus’ Name.”

    In other news, Senator McCain received the endorsement of Ben Stein during the course of a two-hour make-out session that included a hot oil massage and a shared bowl of spaghetti. Asked for comment, Senator McCain said “Ben Who? Where am I? Get off my lawn!”

    Steve “Kenny could not be reached for comment, thank God.” James

  361. #349 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @# 304 Kseniya –

    I’d try to keep the kah in there, though: ?????????????. Celebrants could be called ????????????, ???????????, ? ?????????????. :-D

    (????????????? looks like an infinitive, though. Can we lose the trailing myagkiy znak? Or can we only do that if the stress is on that last vowel? Hmmm. Well, I hear it with the stress on the “mat”, so I guess the trailing soft “t” makes sense – da?)

    Good point about the infinitive-looking thing, but I think it needs to be there to preserve the pronunciation (though it’s been almost two years, so I’m not totally certain). In any case, we could probably rationalize this by saying that ????????????? can be used either as a noun (the holiday) or as a verb (to celebrate the holiday). I’m not sure how many such words actually exist in Russian, if any, but hey, what are neologisms for if not breaking linguistic conventions? ;) Also, I think the celebrant forms (????????????, ???????????, ? ?????????????) should be usable in a similar way as “comrade” — as a title for a person. So:

    ? ??????????? ? ?????, ??????????? ??????!

  362. #350 NF
    May 1, 2008

    May first is a much more interesting day at my alma mater. A day when, instead of praying, folks strip naked and ride around on bicycles at high noon.

    My kind of celebration, really, it’s a shame i missed it this year. Last time I did it, there was a crazy christiany guy waving his hand at us and shouting “you’re so sinful, just look at yerselves!”… while he was videotaping the whole thing. perv.

  363. #351 noncarborundum
    May 1, 2008

    Klingon doesn’t have separate declension classes :-)

    True, but that’s no excuse. I spent 5 years studying Latin, dammit. I shouldn’t make that mistake.

    Of course, that was more than 30 years ago. Maybe that’s an extenuation.

  364. #352 noncarborundum
    May 1, 2008

    Also, I once heard a native French speaker say “le table”. I remind myself of this every time I catch myself making a mistake in a language not my own.

  365. #353 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#302 Kenny –

    Separation of church and state is overrated. You have to have some separation, but it has gone too far.

    I suggest you take a look at what the first amendment had to say about this:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

    (Emphasis mine)

    Notice something? It says *no* law. Not “too much of a law”. *No* law. So no, it hasn’t gone too far. In fact, it hasn’t gone nearly far enough.

    Also, please at least attempt to recognize it’s two part nature: it disallows not only the prohibition of free exercise of religion, but also the establishment of religion. Not of *a* religion. Of religion. Period. NDoP is establishing religion. Calling the US a nation “Under God” is establishing religion. Optional school prayer is establishing religion. If people were being prohibited from praying on their own time and of their own volition, that would be a violation of the second part (free exercise). But let’s see your evidence for that…oh yes, you “provided” it:

    If some kid brings a Bible to school he can get charged with some hate crime.

    In your previous response to my post, I was gaining a vague sense of hope…you provided me a link. It seems, however, you are back to your “just google it if you don’t believe me” strategy, this time replacing “google it” with “common knowledge” (see your post #313). Ah well. I always had a feeling that any vague semblance of progress you might show would be short lived….

    Also:

    It has just been a propaganda post on how the author of the blog needs to get some help for his mental issues.

    We both know I and most posters here disagree with you, but I’d like to point out that you should learn to use the English language correctly. Although I understand what you *meant* here, if you read it literally it sounds like PZ is putting out propaganda in order to convince people he needs to get mental health help. You should have written “propaganda post demonstrating how the author…”.

    I don’t know why I try to help you. Maybe I think learning how to make arguments in which you demonstrate your “evidence” and how to use language correctly will lead to an overall increase in your rationality. Maybe I just have no life and, like a perverse version of Sisyphus, enjoy repeating the same exercise in futility over and over again. Yeah, it’s probably the latter….

  366. #354 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    Of all the things one could think of to say in response to this utter nonsense, all I can think of is…

    *sigh*

    On the bright side, it’s more motivation to finish that NZ immigration paperwork I’ve been putting off.

  367. #355 Sven DiMilo
    May 1, 2008

    Etha, dealing with people like Kenny is indeed Sisyphean. He’s been here before; he’ll probably be back.
    Have you seen this thread? PZ had to cut it off!

  368. #356 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#312 Kenny –

    I can surely understand what Ben Stein was saying and I have not even watched the movie.

    Oh, this is funny! No, you really have no idea how funny it is! (Of course, you wouldn’t recognize irony if it slapped you across the face and then slapped you again if you turned the other cheek, so…this isn’t saying much.)

    When PZ, upon learning about Expelled (for which he was interviewed under false pretenses) called the movie in effect a piece of mendacious crap that would appeal to the LCD of religious Americans (something one can easily discern based only on the previews and information out at the time), his review was posted on the Expelled site, with the attribution “PZ Myers, on a film he has not seen” or something along those lines.

    You are doing exactly the same thing — endorsing a film you have not seen — but I’m sure the Expelled folks would be thrilled to see how they’ve suckered you into wasting your energy defending them (most of whom, I am suspecting more and more, were probably just in it for the $ and don’t give a damn about the issue).

    And while we’re on the topic of the unintentional humor you bless us with whenever you come by — in #313 you wrote:

    You know you have to be an Atheist when you call everyone that doesn’t believe like you “insane” and “stupid” and then you completely ignore the obvious.

    There is nothing more truth than the above statement and it is proved over and over again right in this very forum.

    The projection, it is hilarious! Though a bit disturbing as well.

  369. #357 cyan
    May 1, 2008

    Little bit of triumph for May 1st:

    Came home to find a May basket hung on my doorknob: forsythia branch and plum blossoms (oh, the lovely smell) in a beautifully constructed basket, made and delivered by Gwennie, the 10-year old home-schooled daughter of atheist, biophilistic neighbors. Gems, the whole family.

    I made May baskets, too, as a child, and am now considering making them again next year, to celebrate and spread the joy of May as a natural wonder, to try to get even just a few people to remember the times when they experienced the beauty and wonder of life before they were indoctrinated with the unchanged-over-millenia first, supernatural, explanations for it.

    Seemingly little actions can so trigger or amplify the joy that our fellow humans experience from the processes and results of nature.

    If you are in a temperate zone, consider making May baskets
    next year, both for your own pleasure and for the hope that it may (pun!) stimulate a culturally-masked thirst for nature in your neighborhood.

  370. #358 Sven DiMilo
    May 1, 2008

    um…this is the thread I meant.

    Though elephant seals are very cool.
    time to go home

  371. #359 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#357 Sven diMilo –

    Have you seen this thread? PZ had to cut it off!

    Hmmm…the link you provided sent me to a marinebio.org site about the Northern Elephant Seal. Interesting, but no Kenny-filled comments thread that I could find. Perhaps you c&p’ed the wrong url? Or am I missing something?

  372. #360 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#325 Kseniya –

    Kudos to Etha for getting her presentation done. Your avoidance skills are impressive, grasshopper, and yet you manage to get your work done, too. Congratuations, and a happy Nedolymatket’ to you!

    Your congratulations are appreciated, but not warranted. You see, I prayed, and the good LORD blessed me with the understanding of synaptic vesicle fusion and synthetic fluorescent molecules. And when I had to give my presentation, the Holy Spirit answered my prayers and entered into me so that I could speak about what I understood with eloquence, and bullshit the rest with grace.

  373. #361 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    In re: my 362 — I forgot to mention…the Holy Spirit entered me through the very laminin that keeps me from falling apart. Naturally.

  374. #362 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    the Holy Spirit entered me

    gees, I hope you were using protection.

    Is he as small as the rumors suggest?

    (you knew you were going to get a list of corny jokes for saying that, right?)

  375. #363 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#326 keith –

    I have managed to crosspost by copy the most vile elements of this particular post thread to about 14 popular sites today to illustrate the nature and character of the sewer pigs who post on the evocrap posting sites.

    Please tell me the URLs of one of these posts at a popular site. I really hope one of my vile evocrap made it on. Maybe the “Jesus Titty-Fucking Christ” bit? Please?

    It’s a good thing I don’t have to worry about your effect or destiny, otherwise I might be overly concerned.

    Others have already pointed out the superb absurdity of this statement, but I must say, this is one of the funniest things I’ve read all day.

    With true believers like you, who needs strawmen?

  376. #364 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#364 Ichthyic –

    gees, I hope you were using protection.

    As PZ pointed out, atheism is a condom for your mind!

    Is he as small as the rumors suggest?

    ‘Course. How else could he have raped Mary in her sleep without her even waking up for a moment?

    (you knew you were going to get a list of corny jokes for saying that, right?)

    Actually, I was counting on it. I’d like nothing better than to give keith some more atheistic sewer garbage to post on 14 popular sites that happen to be very difficult (thus far impossible) to find using google.

    (I obviously need Kenny’s crash course, The IDiot’s Guide to Googling.)

  377. #365 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    The IDiot’s Guide to Googling.

    why, it’s right on the first page of google’s search engine, right underneath the entry box for your search terms.

    there are two buttons there, and one says:

    “I’m Feeling Lucky”

    :p

  378. #366 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    sewer pigs

    I thought it was alligators that lived in the sewers?

    Who knew pigs could be flushed down toilets and end up in the sewers too!

  379. #367 phantomreader42
    May 1, 2008

    Etha Williams:

    The Holy Spirit entered me

    Ichthyic:

    Is he as small as the rumors suggest?

    I’m not sure about the Holy Spirit, but I’ve heard Jesus was hung like this: *stretches out arms*

    Of course, that’s not too impressive when it takes you three days to get it up again. :P

  380. #368 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    Of course, that’s not too impressive when it takes you three days to get it up again. :P

    not only that, but before the three day rest period, the viagra took the form of some serious sadomasochism, too.

    I mean, if I had to have somebody whip me, nail me to a stick of wood, and stick me with a fucking spear just to be able to get it up again…

    OTOH, I guess I can understand how the market for Viagra blossomed so quickly; must be all those devoted xians out there.

    take it, phantom!

  381. #369 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#349

    As for me, I am late to this thread because yesterday some local pastor wrote an op-ed in the newspaper titled “Religion, science can go hand in hand” endorsing Intelligent Design and urging people to go see EXpelled!

    I think it’s hilarious, just hilarious, that PZ has written at least two blogposts talking about how one can be a theist and a scientist (though the systems of thought underlying each are inherently contradictory); and then religious people completely undermine the argument by publishing arguments like the aforementioned for how science and religion can go hand in hand (just so long as by science, you actually mean vague or non-existent scientific concepts distorted so far that they’ve gone past misinterpreted, past pseudoscience, and right into the realm of “insane”).

    If you ask me, PZ’s doing a lot more for the side of theists in science than these “people of faith” have done. And yet, who are all the fundies screaming at?

  382. #370 noncarborundum
    May 1, 2008

    markmier:

    Cool! Then that means that the white Christian men can go around and do whatever they want to, because they’re in the majority and therefore right!

    Indeed. I have an image of dear Kenny celebrating the National Day of White Supremacy, and when confronted about it, saying

    Well get someone to represent you and you can have your own day as well. Negroes are a minority and so are mulattoes. So you will need someone to represent you.

    Nobody is stopping you from doing anything. You have as much freedom as everyone else. You just have to work harder because you are a minority.

    Dennis N:

    The National Day of Prayer is funded by taxes

    Actually it’s not, which may be the only good thing about it.

  383. #371 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    If you ask me, PZ’s doing a lot more for the side of theists in science than these “people of faith” have done. And yet, who are all the fundies screaming at?

    You’re both right, and wrong.

    the role of the firebrand is to act as the lightning rod to help shift the frame of discourse.

    PZ has chosen that role for himself, as has Dawkins, and they both understand what is at stake, and are both very careful to simultaneously push the envelope, and be accurate as well. I always applaud those willing to take the heat in major sociological debates like this, as there have certainly been times in history when they weren’t there, to the detriment of all.

    OTOH, there are many roles to play in this fight, and the theists, while not always picking up the slack, also play an important role, even it the underlying philosophy is a dead-end one.

    example:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clergy_Letter_Project

    Panda’s Thumb has rather evolved into more of the “Ken Miller” approach as well.

    It’s just that the firebrands always need much more support to maintain than those who try to push with soft hands.

    Myself, I have changed from supporting the soft-pushers to the firebrands over the last few years, as the soft-pushers have recently apparently forgotten the fact that the firebrands are the ones that end up shifting the envelope the quickest.

    Moreover, there is the tactical side and the strategic side of this thing, and in the end game, PZ is far closer to where I would like to see things end up than someone like Ken Miller is.

    Religion, even in terms of many theologists, is a dead-end philosophy.

    http://mnatheists.org/component/option,com_seyret/task,videodirectlink/Itemid,61/id,16/
    http://www.amazon.com/End-Biblical-Studies-Hector-Avalos/dp/1591025362

    The writing is on the wall, it’s just going to take many generations, and both firebrands and theists themselves to move this to its inevitable conclusion.

  384. #372 Patricia C.
    May 1, 2008

    Sorry PZ & everyone else on the list, but it’s almost 7:00 pm in Oregon and us old gals get tired. Thanks for the great Beltane orgie of fuck you’s! I’ve felt absolutely naughty all day, and hummed Fry & Laurie’s “Kicken Ass” until my throat hurt.
    Next year PZ please post a warning for the National Day of Prayer Virgins to strap on their Iron Bras, magical bracelets, tighten their corsets, don the depends, and step into their wellies. The National Day of Prayer ‘don’t come easy’. Thanks for all the fish, and fuck you Keith.

  385. #373 PJC
    May 1, 2008

    I’d just like to say that in Australia today (2/5/08)is ‘Starlight Day’. This is the day that the Starlight Children’s Foundation sells merchandise and takes donations to raise money for services for seriously ill children. They provide video-games and televisions, screen movies, organise games and activites, grant children’s wishes and provide a variety of support services for family and friends. If you want to actually make a difference today then please DO NOT pray. Instead donate on their website at http://www.starlight.org.au/StarlightDay/Pages/default.aspx

  386. #374 Daniel R
    May 1, 2008

    As a French atheist, I am with you, American friends !

  387. #375 themadlolscientist
    May 1, 2008

    Patricia C. sez:

    Fuck you very much Kenny…. Fifty years of good little church lady speaking. Fuck you.

    You tewtally RAWK, girlfriend! Let’s hear it for uppity middle-aged women! The Spirit of Molly lives on in a new generation!

    Oh, and Blue Gal, I’m jealous beyond words at your (and anyone else’s) getting to go to an AU “thingy.” If I only had the bucks……….

  388. #376 Tom
    May 1, 2008

    Just need to get it in one more time before I hit the sack:

    FUCK the National Day of Prayer.

    Keep up the good work, P-Zed.

  389. #377 Hematite
    May 2, 2008

    The nation that has separation of church and state prominently enshrined in its constitution has a national day of prayer? May 1? Shouldn’t that be April 1?

    I assumed at first that the “National day of…” was just some bible group irreverently hijacking the concept of national days, but to quote Etha quoting the NDoP Task Force quoting an act of Congress:

    [The National Day of Prayer] was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.

    Is this some kind of sick joke?

    Now that I’ve expressed my outrage, I’d like to bring a ray of sunshine into everyone’s lives. I worry that the world will be drowned in a sea of physically manifested angriness, à la Ghostbusters II. I’ll put it in another post; mixing happy and angry isn’t as nice as mixing jelly and peanut butter.

  390. #378 Hematite
    May 2, 2008

    I’m glad to say that in New Zealand we don’t have a national day of prayer – or if we do, I’ve never heard of it which might be even better. Anyway, since we live In The Future here it’s already May 2. What did we do on May 1? We dissected a COLOSSAL SQUID, as I’m sure most of you heard via PZ.

    What’s even better is one of the follow-up posts. I quote:

    a squid was
    in a tank
    the squid came from
    Antarctica, from the
    deep, cold ocean
    

    Mila Rollo, age 5

    Don’t miss the picture that goes with it! It’s the cutest thing ever!

    What a great girl, she even capitalized Antarctica! Rarely have I felt so proud to be a New Zealander.

  391. #379 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @#379 Hematite –

    Is this some kind of sick joke?

    Sadly, no.

    The worst part — when I saw the website PZ linked to, citing the OT verse about the Lord being our strength and our shield, I thought, well, at least this massive Christianization is a private group, not the actual government proclamation. (Though the government proclamation of a prayer day, no matter how non-sectarian, is bad enough — almost worse, since people will brush it off as innocuous ecumenicalism without recognizing whom it is that ecumenicalism leaves out, ie, the non-religious.)

    Anyway, returning to the point at hand, this blatant de facto Christian Day of Prayer sentiment has found its way into the annals of whitehouse.gov. Seriously:
    A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

    National Day of Prayer, 2008

    A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

    America trusts in the abiding power of prayer and asks for the wisdom to discern God’s will in times of joy and of trial. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we recognize our dependence on the Almighty, we thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us, and we put our country’s future in His hands.

    From our Nation’s humble beginnings, prayer has guided our leaders and played a vital role in the life and history of the United States. Americans of many different faiths share the profound conviction that God listens to the voice of His children and pours His grace upon those who seek Him in prayer. By surrendering our lives to our loving Father, we learn to serve His eternal purposes, and we are strengthened, refreshed, and ready for all that may come.

    On this National Day of Prayer, we ask God’s continued blessings on our country. This year’s theme, “Prayer! America’s Strength and Shield,” is taken from Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” On this day, we pray for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform, for their families, and for the comfort and recovery of those who have been wounded.

    The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on our Nation to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society by recognizing each year a “National Day of Prayer.”

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2008, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God’s continued guidance, comfort, and protection. I invite all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.

    GEORGE W. BUSH

    What I find most perplexing is the fifth paragraph. After rambling on and on about god as Father/Him/Almighty (obviously Xian interpretation of theism), citing the OT, etc, Bush suddenly switches tacks and talks all inclusively about “giving thanks, each according to his or her own faith” and what not. (Again, I don’t condone non-sectarian versions of NDoP by any means, but this just makes no internal sense.) I mean, seriously, what the hell is going on here? I really don’t know.

    Also, re: the “On this day, we pray for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform, for their families, and for the comfort and recovery of those who have been wounded” bit — more action, less prayer. Actually, only action and no prayer would be even better.

  392. #380 BaM
    May 2, 2008

    National Day of Reason? Anyone who says, “Fuck the National Day of Prayer” is beyond reason no matter where they fall on the religious spectrum. Way to promote peace, love and understanding, PZ. Your attitude really makes me want to become an asshol–I mean atheist, too.

  393. #381 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @#382 BaM –

    Anyone who says, “Fuck the National Day of Prayer” is beyond reason no matter where they fall on the religious spectrum. Way to promote peace, love and understanding, PZ.

    Yeah, because government promotion of religion (National Day of Prayer) is really a great way to promote peace, love, and understanding. Especially when it’s just a thinly veiled attempt to foist your One True Religion on people while paying lip service to general ecumenicalism and not even mentioning the existence of non-believers (see comment #381 above you, and also my blog post on the subject.

    Sometimes, the best tool against a lunatic majority like the religious right is to be downright offensive. Which is the reason why I say, with conviction: Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

  394. #382 AndyD
    May 2, 2008

    This reminds of Australian Federal, MP Wilson Tuckey, who, in February this year, refused to participate in a “National Sorry Day” (an official apology to Aborigines) adding that he didn’t support tokenism in parliament and that he said a prayer for them instead! At least he was willing to take real action instead of relying on stupid, meaningless, patronising, tokenist words.

    He noted, however, that it apparently didn’t work. I was surprised. I actually thought that his loud prayer (and it was reportedly LOUD) would have magically washed away all the ills and grievances of the Australian Aboriginal people and I wondered why no one had thought of it before.

    Of course, our parliament always starts with the Lord’s Prayer and it should be pretty clear to all involved that it hasn’t solved much of anything to date.

  395. #383 Lelouch
    May 2, 2008

    At this point, I have to say it.

    Fuck BaM!

    Putting aside Etha’s good response to BaM’s comment, I have to say one more thing; that is, it is perfectly rational to voice disdain for something we don’t like. Please explain. How is voicing our freedom of speech not rational?

  396. #384 Hematite
    May 2, 2008

    As Etha (#74)quoted:

    “there is a crucial difference between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses protect.” Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226, 110 L.Ed. 2d 191 (1990)

    Private speech endorsing religion is protected! The government is just funding private speech endorsing religion! Why do you hate Americaaaaaa?!?

    But seriously, I’m expecting an argument like this to come up pretty soon. Not about religion, but probably about spying on Americans: No no! The government cannot spy on American citizens, that’s why we contracted it out to the private sector, who can do what they wish (God Bless America).

  397. #385 Olaf Davis
    May 2, 2008

    It’s also Flag Day in Poland, which I for one shall be celebrating.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Poland

  398. #386 Hematite
    May 2, 2008

    Okay, one-liners roundup:

    noncarborundum (#353):
    Of course, [my study of Latin] was more than 30 years ago. Maybe that’s an extenuation.

    Try and keep up with modern usage noncarborundum, Latin is a living language!

    My favourite, not that I can quote it without some Google cheating: Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur

    Kseniya (#304):
    Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go-o-o
    I wanna be an ovine

    Nice, but now I’ll never be able to listen to the original with a straight face. Shame on you :)

    Happy birthday to thalarctos and MikeTV

    AJ (#283):
    I only skimmed for “Bush” in the comments.

    Glad to hear you’re getting into the fertility celebration, hope that worked out for you.

    Etha Williams (#122):
    Aren’t you familiar with the popular and entirely valid argumentum ad populum?

    It’s popular? Ah, well it must be a good argument then!

    PZ Myers has inadvertantly started the “man on the roof” in-joke. You see, there was this man who was in a flood and he prayed for God to help him and AAAAH Help! PZ is trying to kill me!

    To Rev. BigDumbChimp:
    I am… An Ore Of Iron Maaaaaan!
    (apologies to Black Sabbath)

  399. #387 baley
    May 2, 2008

    WTF since when May 1st is the Day of Prayer? It should be the workers day instead, I guess Americans cannot celebrate this it way too communist-ish

    PZ: Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

    Amen.

  400. #388 RHM
    May 2, 2008

    We had a National Prayer Day?
    Well, damn. I missed it!
    But then, I used to suck my thumb during the “moment of silence” in 1st. grade.
    *shaking head*
    Always out of the loop.

  401. #389 Hematite
    May 2, 2008

    Etha Williams (#198):

    A miracle has occurred! Despite frequent procrastination & spending half my time commenting here instead of working on the presentation, I finished my presentation a full 45 minutes ahead of time, and even think I understand the material.

    Now Etha, there are two conclusions we could draw from this experience:

    1. Through the support and prayer of your community you finished your assignment in the nick of time. Praise the Lord! Perhaps with more prayer you will finish even earlier next time. You should post here at every opportunity.
    2. Through hard work and (a small amount of) diligence you barely finished your assignment on time. You should get a proper amount of sleep and not procrastinate where there is work to be done. Oh, and then you should post here at every remaining opportunity ;)

  402. #390 Notkieran
    May 2, 2008

    Dennis @#301

    I once commented in my diary on the same phenomenon. Quoting (with fair use!) Perez-Reverte on the subject:

    >… with time, I learnt that although all men are capable of good and evil, the worst among them are those who, when they commit evil, do so by shielding themsleves in the authority of others… And even worse are those who believe they are justified by their God. Because in the secret dungeons of Toledo, nearly at the cost of my life, I learned that there is nothing more despicable than the malevolent individual who goes to sleep every night with a clear conscience. That is true evil. Especially when paired with ignorance, superstition, stupidity or power, all of which often travel together.

    >And worst of all is the person who acts as exegete of The Word– whether it be from the Talmud, the Bible, the Koran, or any other book already written or yet to come… Never trust a man who reads only one book.

    Arturo Perez-Reverte, Purity of Blood.

    http://www.opendiary.com/entryview.asp?authorcode=A434612&entry=22710

  403. #391 Rob
    May 2, 2008

    @Kenny:

    Your using of the flag as an example is far more apt than you think.

    Promiscuous display of the flag is as much patriotism as the this holiday is useful.

  404. #392 Strakh
    May 2, 2008

    If anybody is still listening, I found a very interesting coincidence with the timimg of the National Day of Prayer. It’s also Beltane Day for Wiccans.
    Considering the outright copies of old pagan festivals that became xmas, easter, and all that other filthy shit, this seems a little too pat.
    This follows the pattern of the old testament, the new testament, and everything else xian: copy/steal, copy/steal, copy/steal.
    So, just to add another wrinkle to the disgusting filth that is religion in all forms: old or new, pagan or xian, ask these batshit crazy fuckers if they even know they’re celebrating their god on the day pagans celebrate theirs. It’s fun to watch them squirm, almost as fun as when they get caught doing the very things they condemn others for.
    So, as any good dyslexic commie would say,
    “Happy Yam Day and Workers of the world untie!”

  405. #393 Kseniya
    May 2, 2008

    copy/steal, copy/steal, copy/steal.

    Indeed.

  406. #394 SEF
    May 2, 2008

    The LOLcats appear to have joined in the mock-prayer-because-it-doesn’t-work theme too.

  407. #396 Jesse
    May 2, 2008

    I’m a few days late to the party (My dissertation wasn’t going to write itself, now, was it?)

    Here’s my prayer:

    Clatuu! Verataa! Nicto!

  408. #397 BaM
    May 2, 2008

    Okay, let’s put the shoe on the other foot. “Fuck PZ Myers.” “Fuck atheists.” How does that feel? Do you think that sort of language fosters any sort of informed dialogue? Hardly.

  409. #398 Dennis N
    May 2, 2008

    No, BaM, it would be more like “Fuck the Confederate Flag at the SC Capital Building”. Your analogy is faulty.

  410. #399 BaM
    May 2, 2008

    Okay, “Fuck the National Day of Reason.” You get my point.

  411. #400 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @#399 BaM –

    Okay, let’s put the shoe on the other foot. “Fuck PZ Myers.” “Fuck atheists.” How does that feel?

    Like something I’ve heard far too many times to count. I’m sure you, too, have had to suffer through a long day of people all around you saying, “Fuck the national day of prayer” every year. No wonder after all these years of hearing that you’ve become biter.

  412. #401 kmarissa
    May 2, 2008

    Okay, “Fuck the National Day of Reason.” You get my point.

    The National Day of Reason has been federally recognized? That’s wonderful news!

  413. #402 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @#401 BaM –

    Okay, “Fuck the National Day of Reason.” You get my point.

    No government is implicitly suggesting that you should be participating in the NDoR, but ok. Go ahead and take it a step further — say “fuck reason” if you like. I have to warn you, though, it won’t do much for your arguments’ persuasiveness…

  414. #403 Rey Fox
    May 2, 2008

    So cry about it, BaM.

  415. #404 Dennis N
    May 2, 2008

    Some people genuinely don’t understand the separation of church and state. They all happen to be the majority religion, Christianity. At least smaller cults understand what would happen if that wall came down. Christians don’t think about how the odds are unlikely that their sect will have control, and they won’t be free to worship as they please either. In summary, religion shuts down your ability to reason. I think that’s my (unspoken) conclusion to everything I say.

  416. #405 Kseniya
    May 2, 2008

    In summary, religion shuts down your ability to reason.

    If I may refine that thought… I’d say that it works to relieve one of the need to reason, and thereby reduces ones inclination to apply reason to any given situation, religious or otherwise. The impact on ones ability to reason is a longer-term negative effect.

    Not disagreeing – just adding. :-)

  417. #406 Strakh
    May 2, 2008

    RE#398 by Jesse:

    Be sure to say it right now!
    Remember what happened to poor Ash?

  418. #407 Strakh
    May 2, 2008

    And as regards BaM and his cry-baby, whiney-ass, tittie-boy laments:
    Yes, as a matter of fact, I would RELISH a xian or some other batshit crazy dip wad telling me “Fuck reason.” At least in that ONE case, the said batshit crazy dip wad xian or whatever would be, for probably the ONLY time, honest about how he/she/he-she/she-he/it feels about reason.
    You see, BaM, I’m not goging to rub your nipples and coo in your ear. If you’re fucking stupid or batshit crazy, I’m going to tell you right to your face. That’s how I differ from every fucking xian on this planet: I don’t lie.
    Perhaps it’s because I don’t believe a lie two thousand years stale. I’m not going to suck off some man in a bathroom then go and try to push laws denying homosexuals human rights. I’m not a liar, I’m not a xian.
    And don’t whine that that’s not what xians do. Xians, whether they like it or not, are humans and they fuck up just like everybody they love to think they are better than.
    So yes, BaM, Fuck the National Day of Prayer. It’s fucking stupid, it’s fucking illegal, and it’s just fucking pathetic.
    Now go sit in your backyard and eat some worms.

  419. #408 Etha Williams
    May 2, 2008

    @#406 Dennis N –

    Some people genuinely don’t understand the separation of church and state. They all happen to be the majority religion, Christianity.

    Well, there’s also Ben Stein. But he probably understands it and just wants to…oh crap…there’s no way I can say this without sounding like I’m trying to state a religious stereotype that I disagree with…um, I’m just going to shut up now.

  420. #409 Monado, FCD
    May 2, 2008

    How can you celebrate May Day without its anthem, written by Lerner and Lowe?

    “Tra-la, it’s May, the lusty month of May!
    That lively month when everyone goes blissfully astray!
    At last, it’s here, that shocking time of year
    When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear.
    It’s May! It’s May, that gorgeous holiday!
    Whence this fragrance wafting through the air?
    What sweet feelings does its scent transmute?
    Whence this perfume floating everywhere?
    Don’t you know it’s that dear forbidden fruit? …
    It’s time to do a wretched thing or two
    And try to make each precious day one you’ll always rue!
    …It’s May! It’s May! The month of “Yes, you may,”
    The time for every frivolous whim, proper or im-
    The lusty month of May!

  421. #410 Monado, FCD
    May 2, 2008

    I vote for re-maming it “Kara Neumann and other children who were prayed to death Day.”

    Beltane works, too. It’s cold and rany here so the start of Outdoor Sex Season has been moved to June.

  422. #411 salty valty
    May 2, 2008

    Fuck Cinco de Mayo too. Assholes trying to make me eat salsa.

  423. #412 Ichthyic
    May 2, 2008

    say “fuck reason” if you like. I have to warn you, though, it won’t do much for your arguments’

    LOL

    Fuck Cinco de Mayo too. Assholes trying to make me eat salsa.

    Think of the beer, man!

  424. #413 Kseniya
    May 2, 2008

    And the limes! The limes! The…

    Oh, sorry. Wrong thread.

  425. #414 Saddened
    May 3, 2008

    Gosh, when your cause is defended by such articulate and well-spoken posts (“fuckity fuck fuck” and etc.), it’s a wonder why your only real outlet for communication is a science blog.

    But we prayed for you guys yesterday anyway.

  426. #415 Atropos
    May 3, 2008

    Fuck the National Day of Prayer.

    Dr. Meyers,

    Though Dr. Richard Dawkins, Dr. Eugenie Scott, and Dr. Hawking deserve many accolades in their own right, you have become my favorite scientist – for that statement alone.

    I recently discovered Pharyngula after your latest appearance on SGU. It has been a source of much frustration and humor since. Thank you.

  427. #416 Crux Australis
    May 3, 2008

    When my workmate died of leukemia, my other workmates prayed that she should go to Heaven. When my friend died of leukemia, I raised money for the Leukemia and Blood Foundation by shaving off my hair in a public event. $700 does a lot more than 700 prayers.

  428. #417 Rey Fox
    May 3, 2008

    “But we prayed for you guys yesterday anyway.”

    Hilarious. I guess “I prayed for you” or “I’ll pray for you” is like the universal equivalent of the Southern “God bless him”, or perhaps “With all due respect”.

    Please. Your false concern is worse than your honest contempt.

  429. #418 catlebrity
    May 5, 2008

    With all due respect, PZ, the spitting is a bit much.

    More thoughts on my blog:

    http://dawkinsdouche.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/pz-myers-is-spitting-mad/

  430. #419 Ichthyic
    May 5, 2008

    Hilarious. I guess “I prayed for you” or “I’ll pray for you” is like the universal equivalent of the Southern “God bless him”, or perhaps “With all due respect”.

    …naw, I think it’s more insulting than that, personally. It’s like giving someone an empty package tied up with a bow, and calling it a “gift”.

    rather thoughtless, at best.

  431. #420 Ichthyic
    May 5, 2008

    With all due respect,

    liar.

  432. #421 Jacques
    June 6, 2008

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ll just repeat it because I so want to type it,

    Fuck National Day of Prayer

    oh, and Fuck the dobsons too, and all of the other lunatic leaders of that horror cult that is American christian fundamentalism.

    God bless Atheists.

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