27 February 2009


        Several times a week I pass three or four churches with signs in front. They always have a supposedly inspirational saying, quotation, or Bible verse. I often wish I had my camera with me, because while many are clever, some are inane or just plain funny. 
       I wish I could remember all of them, but of course, I usually forget one as soon as I pass it. The only one I can remember seeing lately was: "With God, expect the unexpected." My question is, if one believes in God and one believes he answers prayers, wouldn't a believer expect the expected rather than the unexpected with God? Wouldn't a believer think that an atheist would be more likely to anticipate the unexpected?

        Recently I found CHURCH SIGN GENERATOR online, where anyone can make his/her own church sign. There are 17 different designs to choose from. You can choose font styles, make up the name of your own "church" and add any short saying or quoation to your sign.  On some you can choose a symbol (Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist, or Brights, for example) and change the colors. You can save your completed signs to your computer. (I copied mine and pasted them in Photoshop and saved them as jpg files.) 
        So click on the link and make your own UN-CHURCH signs. Be sure to leave a comment that includes the url to your results.

        Below you will find a few of my meager efforts. (I made up the names of the "churches" ---if by chance I chose the name of a real organization, oops!)

25 February 2009


• “Never engage in a battle of
wits with an unarmed person.”

• “
Obscenity is whatever gives a judge an erection.”

• “The wages of
sin are unreported.”

• “The difference between
genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”

• “The only thing necessary for the triumph of
evil is for good men to do nothing.”

• “
Talk is cheap because the supply exceeds the demand.”

• “A fool and his money are soon

• “
Chaste makes waste.”

• “
Cats are like Baptists. They raise hell but you can’t catch them at it.”

• “Everybody is somebody else’s

• “There is nothing so
insignificant that it cannot be blown totally out of proportion.”

• “There are
lies, damned lies, and church statistics.”

(These quotations are all from unknown sources.)

23 February 2009


ASIMOV, ISAAC, Russian-born American biochemist and author (1920-1992):

• “It seems to me that it’s insulting to human beings to imply that only a system of rewards and punishments can keep you a decent human being... I have a conscience. It doesn’t depend on religion.”

BIERCE, AMBROSE, American journalist (1842-1914):

• “Abstainer, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.”

• “Moral, adj. Conforming to a local and mutable standard of right. Having the quality of general expediency.”

THOMSON, ANDY, American psychiatrist, author of Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith

• "Morality is doing what is right regardless of what we are told. Religious dogma is doing what we are told no matter what is right." (from video presentation Why We Believe in Gods)

21 February 2009



In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this post is a part of my series of reports featuring the
bad behavior of religious people, past or present....

Look for other posts showing the bad behavior
perpetrated by members of other religious groups

When I think of monks and priests (homosexual pedophilia aside) I usually think of quiet, pious men who care deeply about their God and their religion, men who may have differences with others, but who act respectfully and kindly. Like all believers, a monk may be deluding himself about God and Christ, but still, I think of him as someone who would set a good example for lay Christians by resolving differences with discussion, mediation, consensus, or other congenial means, perhaps simply agreeing to disagree.

In some cases, that would be true, but Christian monks have taken petty, centuries-old territorial disputes over two religious shrines to the point of violence, time and time again.

In October of 2008, it was reported that a rooftop section of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, is in such bad condition that it could cause the whole structure to topple. The entire building needs renovations but the roof has been classified as being in an “emergency state” according to an engineering evaluation.
Six denominations share the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the world’s holiest sites for Christians: Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Ethiopians, and Copts who are mainly Egyptian. In 1757, the area each controlled was defined down to the last inch. For six centuries previous to that, the rival sects had such bitter disputes that the keys to the church were placed in the hands of two Muslim families, the Joudeh and Nusseibeh, who have had to mediate disputes over matters as trivial as the position of a chair or who has the right to clean a particular step.
The dispute over the rooftop monastery dates back to 1970, when the Coptic monks who controlled that area left to pray in the main church and left the rooftop unattended. While they were gone, Ethiopian monks changed the locks. Coptics refused to give up their claim and posted a single monk there 24/7. In a heat wave of 2002, the guard moved his chair from a sunny to a shady spot. The Ethiopians took that move as a hostile signal. Eleven monks needed hospital treatment after the ensuing brawl.
Because the two factions still dispute who has the rights to that area, no decision can be made about the rooftop repairs. The Israeli government has offered to pay for repairs to the popular tourist site if the monks can agree who is responsible for that section of the church, but it seems unlikely that will happen anytime soon.

In December 2007, at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Greek and Armenian factions fought with fists, brooms, and iron rods over how to clean the church, one group claiming the ladders of another encroached on their territory. Five monks and 2 Palestinian police officers were injured. Like the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, this church is shared by various branches of Christianity, each jealously guarding a part of the holy site.

In November of 2008, a dispute between Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher turned violent while Armenians were celebrating an annual feast day. The Greek Orthodox monks claimed a long-standing right to have a guard in the tomb of Christ during the celebration. The Armenians denied that right, resulting in a fight between monks that was joined by worshippers and clerics on both sides. Kicks, punches, candlesticks and banners flew as shocked pilgrims and tourists watched. Police broke up the fight and detained two Armenian priests.
Archbishop Shirivanian said, “Regrettably, it doesn’t leave a good impression, since two Christian denominations were involved in the fight in the most holy place.”
There have been numerous disputes at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for more than eight centuries. A priest accused another of trespassing when he placed a ladder on a ledge above the main entrance. The ongoing disagreement has left the ladder there for more than 100 years. In 1995 the church resolved a 17-year dispute over how to paint part of the dome. In 2004 during a Greek Orthodox celebration, a door was left open which was considered a sign of disrespect. A fight resulted in several arrests. On Palm Sunday 2008 police were attacked by rival factions. Several of the injured were transported to a hospital.
Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor, who has witnessed many disagreements during 40 years in Jerusalem said, "I'm not hopeful - either for peace in the Middle East or for peace in the Holy Sepulcher.”

19 February 2009


Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion —several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself, and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.”
(from "The Lowest Animal")

17 February 2009


In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this post is a part of my series of reports
featuring the bad behavior of religious people,
past or present....

Look for other posts showing the bad behavior
perpetrated by members of other religious groups.


In the December 2008 issue of Freethought Today, the Freedom From Religion Foundation published some of the lovely, heartwarming letters they received from Christians. You know Christians, those religious people who are kind, caring and compassionate, who love their neighbors and their enemies.

Spelling and punctuation have not been corrected:
(To Dan Barker) I hear on your interview with FOX News that you are shoveling snow today... if you are, please keep it up... Hopefully a rude, hateful, God hating sonofab***h like you will have a fatal heart attack.....One can only hope. Have a Merry Christmas you piece of sh*t. Mark Cooper

You poeple need to shut the f*** up.... I can show you the way to hell if you think their is no god! So... quit trying to ruin my christmas... People like you make me sick and I think you need to be kicked out of this country! have a great day!

Please find it in your atheist heart to go F*** yourselfs. In the midst of doing so please find a job. You’re spending entirely way too much of your GOD given time trying to get the word out about your pathetic org.

MAY YOU ALL BURN ETERNALLY... have a nice day.

“God bless you”... you bunch of idiots.

Subject: National Prayer Day
I think “F*** The Freedom From Religion Foundation in the Ass Until It Bleeds Day” would be a much better idea. Don’t you agree? Thanks and have a great day. Chris Goylan

And they wonder why some of us have chosen to reject their wonderful, friendly, loving, generous, and considerate religion.

Order a subscription, a sample copy, or a back issue of
Freethought Today at the FFRF website.

15 February 2009



In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this post is a part of my series of reports featuring the
bad behavior of religious people, past or present....

Look for other posts showing the bad behavior
perpetrated by members of other religious groups

Recent bushfires, blamed on arsonists, in Victoria (Australia) have burned towns, killed more than 200, and left many people homeless. Catch the Fire Ministries (CTFM) leader Pastor Danny Nalliah said he was not surprised by the bush fires due to a dream he had 10/21/08 relating to consequences of abortion laws passed in Victoria.
"In my dream I saw fire everywhere with flames burning very high and uncontrollably. With this I woke up from my dream with the interpretation as the following words came to me in a flash from the Spirit of God. That His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb.” (ABC, Brisbane)

I find that the "God of Love" is so willing to kill hundreds of people just to prove a point about abortion.
Nalliah seems to have taken his queue from several American evangelicals.

According to Think Progress Pastor John Hagee on 9/18/06 said hurricane Katrina was the judgment of God against New Orleans because of the planned gay parade on the Monday that Katrina hit.

In 2001 Rev. Jerry Falwell knew exactly who to blame for the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC. “The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.’”
To which his pal Pat Robertson answered with, “I totally concur.” (As reported by ACT UP)

Interesting that another religious zealot was the real culprit for 9/11 ---but of course, he wasn't of the RIGHT religion.

13 February 2009



In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this post is a part of my series of reports featuring the
bad behavior of religious people, past or present....

Look for other posts showing the bad behavior
perpetrated by members of other religious groups.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation puts out a newspaper-sized publication Freethought Today ten times a year. In each issue, a 2-page spread is devoted to their “Black Collar Crime Blotter” ---crimes committed mostly by ministers, priests, rabbis, choir directors, deacons, Sunday School teachers, but also some by church employees and other religious individuals.
In the June/July 2008 edition (for example), 31 crimes were listed under arrested/charged, an additional 13 perpetrators convicted, 13 sentenced, 11 civil suits filed, 2 civil suits settled, 2 additional updates on other legal issues and one “Creep of the Month.”
The “Creep of the Month” was a CA minister accused of murder, attempted murder, theft and embezzlement in a scheme to inherit an elderly gentleman’s fortune.
Predictably, the majority of crimes are sex-related (rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, lewd conduct, molestation, child pornography). In that same issue, other crimes included embezzling church funds, armed robbery, failure to file income taxes, and theft.
A female minister in GA was charged with conspiracy, money laundering, making false statements and fraud. She had grossed over $500,000 by targeting illegal aliens and charging them for legal papers ---but what they got were fake documents.
In a case of misapplication of federal funds, $450,000 intended for a “faith-based-initiative” social service was diverted to the church’s building fund and to pay for the minister’s private debts and his son’s wedding reception.
In the January/February 2009 issue, 15 crimes were listed under arrested/charged, an additional 11 sentenced, 5 civil suits filed, 2 suits settled, 1 update on another legal issue and a report of the Ohio head of the governor's faith-based initiative charged with involvement in a prostitution ring.
The “Creep of the Month” was a Mormon Bishop from UT charged with abuse of three sisters aged 6 to 12.
The crimes listed in Freethought Today are submitted by FFRF members from newspapers nationwide. The reported incidents probably aren’t even close to the number of crimes committed by "good Christians," just the ones reported to the FFRF by members and limited to those that fit on the two pages devoted to such crimes.
The FFRF subtitles this section of their publication "By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them."

Order a subscription, a sample copy, or a back issue of
Freethought Today or become a member at the FFRF website.

12 February 2009

CHRISTIANS BEHAVING BADLY #3 lying creationists

In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this post is a part of my series of reports featuring the
bad behavior of religious people, past or present....

Look for other posts showing the bad behavior
perpetrated by members of other religious groups.

Christians are always saying that in order to be moral, one must believe in God. They claim believing in Jesus makes Christians kind, compassionate, tolerant, honest, and ethical.
Does it?
A few nights ago, my husband and I watched a rebroadcast of a PBS "NOVA" program "Judgment Day, Intelligent Design on Trial" about the Evolution/Intelligent Design case in Dover, PA in 2005. Some of the citizens who were against “Intelligent Design” in the classroom, candidates for the school board (running to oust the Creationists), and Judge John E. Jones who heard the case, received death threats from some of the “good Christians” of Dover.
In his ruling, Judge Jones (a George W. Bush appointee, no less) stated: “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.” (Judge Rules Against “Intelligent Design,” MSNBC, 12/20/05)
According to the Washington Post 11/11/05, after the citizens of Dover voted all eight school board members (who had approved ID as an alternative to evolution) out of office, Pat Robertson (founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Christian Coalition) warned on his daily TV show: "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God -- you just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there."
Robertson has a long history of apocalyptic warnings and provocative statements.

TODAY: 2/12/09
is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.


16th U.S. President

• “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
• “The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.” (Joseph Lewis quoting Lincoln in a 1924 speech in New York)
• “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”
• “I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
• “It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity.” (quoted in What Great Men Think Of Religion by Ira D. Cardiff)
• "Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them." (Letter to Thurlow Weed, March 14, 1865)
• “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
• “My earlier views on the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation have become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.”
• "To remain silent when one should protest makes cowards out of men."
• “What is to be, will be and no prayers of ours can arrest the decree.The United States Government must not undertake to run the churches. When an individual in a church, or out of it, becomes dangerous to the public interest, he must be checked.”
• “When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.” (attributed)

LINCOLN, MARY TODD (1818-1882)
first lady, wife of Abraham Lincoln
• "My husband is not a Christian but is a religious man, I think." (Toward a Mystery)

TODAY 2/12/09
is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my favorite presidents

10 February 2009



In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this post is a part of my series of reports featuring the
bad behavior of religious people, past or present....

Look for other posts showing the bad behavior
perpetrated by members of other religious groups..

In November 2008, Reuters reported that Oregon Jesuits had settled a sexual abuse claim in Alaska for $50 million.
"It seems that Alaska was a dumping ground for predators," said Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The settlement covered 110 victims in native villages. "What happened in these villages was that they sent in a predator and people there had no contact with the outside world for four, five or six months, and during that time a guy could abuse every child. There is a whole generation of children who were abused."
Ken Roosa of Anchorage, Alaska, one of the victims' attorneys, said, "In some villages, it is difficult to find an adult who was not sexually violated by men who used religion and power to rape, shame and then silence hundreds of Alaska Native children. Despite all this, no Catholic religious leader has yet to admit that problem priests were dumped in Alaska.”
On February 5, 2009 The Seattle Times reported that 29 more plaintiffs were added to a similar suit which was filed in January in which 43 Alaskan Natives claimed they had been abused as children and teens by Jesuits or those supervised by Jesuits. Claims range from fondling to rape.
According to Insurance Journal, an investigator in those and similar cases in Alaska, Patrick J. Wall of Newport Beach, Calif., said 28 Jesuit priests accused of sexual misconduct against young parishioners in previously resolved lawsuits, pending lawsuits and others which have yet to be filed were sent to the Fairbanks Diocese from 10 other provinces, including four overseas.
Roosa said, "It was a pedophile's paradise.” Operating in impoverished hamlets far from police agencies in a diocese where the bishop also was a Jesuit, those priests were the ultimate local authority.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that Rev, Patrick J. Lee, the current provincial issued a statement last month through a spokesman stating that Jesuits were assigned to the Fairbanks Diocese at their own request because of their “deep desire to spread the gospel.”
It should be noted that Jesuits are “The Society of Jesus.” One can hardly find a group more “Christian” than that.


In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this is the first post in my new series of reports featuring
the bad behavior of religious people, past or present....

Look for other posts showing the bad behavior
perpetrated by members of other religious groups.


A patient sued Presbyterian Medical Services Rio Rancho Family Health Center and nurse practitioner Sylvia Olona in Federal Court for removing her IUD without the patient’s permission.
The nurse claimed it came out accidentally when she attempted to shorten the string, but then told the patient, "I personally do not like IUDs. I feel they are a type of abortion. I don't know how you feel about abortion, but I am against them."
Later Olona said, "Everyone in the office always laughs and tells me I pull these out on purpose because I am against them, but it's not true, they accidentally come out when I tug.”
So, this apparently has happened quite often and the rest of the staff laughs about it? And Olona’s response to birth control methods she doesn’t like is to remove them, so that the patient may become pregnant and then decide to have an abortion?
Apparently IUDs prevent pregnancy by impeding the movement of sperm, not by preventing implantation of fertilized eggs. Would you be happy having your reproductive health in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand this?
The plaintiff demands damages for battery, constitutional violations and negligence.

For more information:

“Woman Says Anti-Abortion Nurse Removed IUD Without Permission, Then Lectured Her” at Courthouse News Service

“Anti-Abortion Nurse Works to Increase Abortions” at Strollerderby

“Christian Nurse Removing IUD from Patients” at About Agnosticism/Atheism

“Ooops....She Did It Again: Anti-Contraception Nurse Takes Women's Wombs into Her Own Hands” at RH Reality Check

03 February 2009



There are many reasons why I have rejected
religion. When I started to read about the atrocities religious people condoned ---all in God's name ---throughout history, I wanted no part of religion.

In my early teens, I loved history. But as I read and learned more about the history of the world, I became more and more astounded at how many people had been killed and/or tortured in the name of God.
Thousands had been accused of witchcraft and killed (the Bible says witches should be stoned) mostly from the Middle Ages up to the Salem witch trials.
As an adult, I became more interested in recent history. It seemed that nearly every world conflict was based, at least in part, on religion. Religious intolerance of other religions is found nearly everywhere. Despite our religious freedoms, religions seem to tear people apart more than they join them together.

As Mark Twain said: “Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion ---several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself, and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight.”

Yes, I know religious people are capable of good deeds but religion has been, throughout history, the source of atrocities, too -----Nazi exterminations of Jews, conflicts in Northern Ireland, conflicts between India and Pakistan, the Spanish Inquisition, Middle Eastern conflicts, religious terrorism.
In ancient Greece, people were executed because they didn't believe in Zeus.
In Peru, when Pizarro captured the Inca ruler Atahualpa, he promised to free him if the Incan people would fill a room with gold. Once the task was completed, Pizarro killed Atahualpa anyway. His reason? The Inca was not a Christian, thus he decided he had no obligation to fulfill a promise to him.

The tragedy of 9/11 is a perfect example of Muslim zealotry gone bad. But then most Christians conveniently forget that Christians killed every man, woman, and child in Maarat and Jerusalem ---at least 50,000 people--- during the First Crusade (1098 and 1099.) They killed everyone: Muslim, Jew, Christian, man, woman, and child ---and even ate the bodies of those they had slain, all in the name of Christ.
There were nine Crusades in the Middle East and numerous others elsewhere. Although the main targets were Muslims, Crusaders also targeted pagan Slavs, Jews, Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians, and political enemies of the popes, among others.
Most of us have no idea if our own ancestors were involved in The Crusades, but the Muslims know. They meet in coffee houses where the entertainment consists of relating family histories for generations back to the Crusades as if it all happened yesterday. This is why Muslims were so horrified when George W. Bush used the word “Crusade” in remarks about his War on Terrorism.

In the 1950s, Sir Steven Runciman wrote a resounding condemnation of the Crusades: "High ideals were besmirched by cruelty and greed... the Holy War was nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God".

Eric Hoffer: “ . . Faith organizes and equips man’s soul for action. To be in possession of the one and only truth and never doubt one’s righteousness; to feel that one is backed by a mysterious power whether it be God, destiny or the law of history; to be convinced that one’s opponents are the incarnation of evil and must be crushed; to exult in self-denial and devotion to duty —these are admirable qualifications for resolute and ruthless action in any field.” (The True Believer, 1951, p. 126)

It always amazed me that no matter what religion someone was, s/he thought God was on his/her side.
In my youth, I was horrified by bigotry among religious people. In the early 1960's, the Presbyterian church my family attended in an all-white suburb sponsored a Cuban refugee family. The first time the family entered the church and people realized the family was black, several members of the congregation left the service.
It has been said the most segregated time each week in America is when Christians are in church. Churches, by far, have been more segregated than schools, government offices, businesses, or even neighborhoods.

The atrocities, the bigotry, the violence that I have barely touched on here ---all in the name of religion ---are just some of the many reasons I am am atheist.
copyright 2009 C. Woods

01 February 2009

Roy Zimmerman sings about TED HAGGARD

LUST demotivational poster

Anyone from outside of the U.S. may have missed the story of Ted Haggard. He was the head of the New Life Church and president of the National Evangelical Association, an evangelical group that oversaw 45,000 churches. He was a confidant of George W. Bush with whom he had a weekly phone conversation about what Jesus wanted the government to do. Haggard was outspoken about the evils of homosexuality.

Well.... that was until Mike Jones, the man he paid for gay sex, informed the media about their monthly interludes which included Haggard's use of crystal meth. Of course, Haggard denied the charges, but eventually admitted to the gay sex. He said he bought the meth once, but threw the drugs away without using them.

Now he is saying that he is a heterosexual with "issues."
(Read more about sex and religion on my post "Is Religion a Guarantee of Moral behavior? Part I" which can be found HERE.)

Please enjoy this humorous song by Roy Zimmerman called "Ted Haggard is Completely Heterosexual." It is a gem.

(Note: The reference at the end is to another U.S. evangelist, Oral Roberts.)

Other humorous religion-related videos by Roy Zimmerman:
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