#0013 RRS Newsletter for June 13, 2007

hellfiend666's picture

Things of interest today are the first post under community (great videos, until he mentions god that is, haha). Maybe not relevant, but still interesting and inspiring. Posted by now.with.50%more.smartass, thanks go to him.

There is an extensive Entertainment section today, since everyone needs to laugh.

Catch you all again tomorrow, and thanks for reading.
"Think for yourself, question authority..." -- Timothy Leary

Stay rational,
and the RRS MI team

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The first meeting for the Rational Response Squad Michigan chapter, a 4th of July BBQ party!

Hosted By: Jack Wynne
When: Wednesday Jul 04, 2007
at 2:00 PM
Where: Jacks house
321 Central
Inkster, MI 48141
United States
This will be an informal event, a chance for us to meet an discuss what we want to see out of this chapter. This will be a BYOB event, but I will be cooking the main courses, including baby back ribs, various grillable fish, chicken, some game, burgers, and hot dogs. If anyone feels so inclined to bring a side dish to add to the spread, I will not object! Space to crash for those who may need it will be available, so I hope to see all of you locals here! You schmucks in Canada and Ohio too!

Click Here To View Event

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Giant Bird-Like Dino Was Big As T-Rex

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Jun 13, 2007 6:49 PM

Science of Religion


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This is a series that admits to "microevolution" (though modern science doesn't recognize a difference between micro and macro) It's hard to get through, the ignorance and spouting of cherry-picked science are disgusting. These people like to cherry-pick science as much as they like to cherry-pick the Bible...

It also features Ken Ham. It's an 8 part series, so I'll post 4 today and 4 tomorrow, so you don't have to sit through all this drivel at once.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 13, 2007 7:13 AM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Way of the Master
Date: Jun 13, 2007 12:14 AM

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The Conscience Bears Witness


What do you say to someone who says, "There's no God?" You reason with him that every building has a builder, and that every painting has a painter. Then you swing from his intellect to his conscience. You need to do this to be effective in reasoning with him because, according to Romans 8:7, his carnal mind is in a state of hostility toward God. The following verse says that his hostility is directed towards God's Moral Law. So, you must learn to speak to his conscience. Romans 2:15 tell us that the conscience "bears witness" with the Law. So, when you say, "You know it's wrong to lie and steal, don't you?" his conscience bears witness, and when conscience begins to do that, it's the first step toward an awareness of the true nature of sin, and the need for God's forgiveness. There goes another minute. Gone forever. Go share your faith while you still have time.

"What are you doing? You're insulting my intellect. And so I am."
- Ray Comfort

We are The A-Team and how can we have a giant douche like Ray Comfort without a giant douche maker?

A douche indeed, guys!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team Date: Jun 13, 2007 10:55 AM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Jun 12, 2007 10:21 PM

Barna Poll.


I'm an atheist, a registered voter and I volunteer time at a few charities. and i also wonder if all those believers do the "nice" things they do because the really care or because they think it makes up for all the "sins" they commit, and will make their chances better when they die of getting into heaven.


Well, I suppose we could spend time arguing about whether or not atheists are nice people, but in my view they are people, and therefore some of them nice and some of them are turds. Just like theists. The larger question is this: Whether or not people vote or do volunteer work or whatever has absolutely no evidentiary bearing on the question of whether or not there is a theistic god in the universe and so cannot persuade me to believe or disbelieve anything.

As to whether there is an "evangelistic" strain to the current discourse on freethinking, well, I consider myself morally at liberty to call shenanigans on bullshit supersitions if I want to. If the mere fact that I do is interpreted as a desire on my part to draw others into sharing my world view, that's not my fault or my problem. I don't really care whether anyone else decides to join me in my disbelief, but if others want to believe that I do care, let them.

unbearable being of lightness:

If it's a scientific poll, then so be it. Atheists are probably less likely to be charitable than christians. apparently i've seen respectable poles show that liberals are also less charitable than conservatives. ya know, what're ya gonna do. start some atheist charity initiatives or something. lol.


I think us atheists and agnostics need to be more active in the community to show people there are non-believers that do care about there community. I'm active in some areas, but not so active in others. But showing these kind of statistics are very important to let non-believers know that it's good to be involved and be concerned for there communities. And to show believers that we are not devil worshiping criminals that don't care anything or anybody.

Jax the Ripper:

I am a strong Atheist. I have absolutely no shame in this.
I also vote. In every election. I hold my rights dear to me, and even if my vote does not count, I will continue to do so. Too many women fought for my right to vote and I intend to utilize that right.
I have volunteered at local animal shelters. I spent a certain religious holiday at a homeless shelter, dishing out trays of food. I make sure all of my pets are adoptees, getting a second chance at a good life. Do I deserve a medal? No. Absolutely not. I just do what a good human should.
If a man or woman on the street asks me for spare change I give it to them if I have it. A lot of times I don't. Sometimes I just have enough change for the bus, and on those occasions I usually feel guilty. There's always someone worse off than yourself.
But I'm an Atheist. I probably worship the Devil.


Yes, there are a number of serious methodological issues here. From their website:

This report is based upon a series of nationwide telephone surveys conducted by The Barna Group with random samples of adults, age 18 and older. These surveys were conducted from January 2005 through January 2007. In total, those studies included 1055 adults who identified themselves as atheists or agnostics. The maximum margin of sampling error associated with the aggregate sample of atheists and agnostics is ±3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The cumulative sample of active-faith adults was 3011 interviews, accurate to within +1.8 percentage points. The minimum number of active-faith adults interviewed in each study was 250 individuals (+6.5 percentage points), while each study included a minimum of 100 atheists and agnostics (+10.0 percentage points). Statistical weighting was used to calibrate the sample to known population percentages in relation to demographic variables.

First of all, they mention "studies;" are they comparing results from different researchers, different samples, or different research protocols? My guess is they are being intentionally vague here. They do not mention whether they used a computer program or other means to determine which individuals to contact, in order to be included in their sample population, or by which criteria they selected or rejected participants.

Also, will their results be submitted to any type of peer-reviewed journal such as the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion? Again, my guess is no, b/c they are aware of the reactions that their "research" will provoke from the scientific community.

I am planning to give them a call tomorrow afternoon, in order to obtain a copy of their findings. I will bring whatever they send me in to the Social Psychology lab I work in, and get some feedback from the other researchers. If this blather appears in a respected, nationally syndicated news source, I would like to be prepared. Keep your eyes peeled, and thanks for the heads-up.


I just talked with a Mr. Terry Gorka of the Barna Group (he works directly with David Kinnaman who wrote the main article for Baran in regards to the poll/study)

Study Sizes Up Gaps Between Christians, Atheists and Agnostics

Mr. Terry Gorka admitted to me he was the one who put up the picture of a sniper's scope taking aim at a church. He said he bounced it off a few people and said that he got no negative feedback, and then I asked him if any of them were atheists or agnostics or even secularists, and he tap danced around that answer, and basically said "no" but we don't try to purposefully exclude, or alienate atheists/agnostics.

I also remarked how overtly ambiguous the phrases were like "active in the community". I asked him what that meant, and he said those who donate or work with charitable organizations has being a criteria for active in the community...and I asked him to give me an example of one...and the first one was, guess what, Salvation Army (an evangelical organization). I immediately pointed this out to him, and he began to back track and say he meant to say "Habitat for Humanity".

Mr. Terry Gorka, seems vastly unprepared for the backlash he and Mr. Kinnaman will be receiving from this, and I detect that there was carelessness in their investigation. Mr. Gorka said that he wasn't about to remove the picture, but would have a "serious" conversation with Mr. Kinnaman about it and they would call me back either today or tomorrow.

You're welcome to call Mr. Gorka as well ...(805) 639-0000 (ext. 202).

This is what happens when you don't ask enough questions, or bounce things off the appropriate people (you know like US, atheists and agnostics)....this amounts to journalistic irresponsibility, disregard for a minority group, and lack of a sensitivity monitor.

They should be held accountable for their mistakes.

The A-Team and we approve this message.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 13, 2007 5:17 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Jun 13, 2007 5:29 PM


Debating God is tough work. For starters, in most circumstances, the audience is not on your side. Agnostics and Atheists are the minority in a country where the population describes itself as either religious or very religious. Secondly, anyone debating against the existence of God seems to have the difficult task of trying to disprove the idea, rather then rightly asking any of the claimants for proof. Finally, the last difficulty is the fact that as a general concept, “God” is so loosely defined that any theist can easily wiggle out of tough theological question.

The Audience is Not on Your Side

Any sports team will tell you how helpful it is to have home field advantage. There’s a palpable feeling in the air, a raw energy that can be drawn from it. So, undoubtedly, having the audience on your side is a great help. Sadly, the support for the views of atheism is placid at best, hostile at its worst. Though most Americans are taught that religious tolerance is a hallmark of good citizenry, it seems that the same attitude does not apply when having no religious feelings whatsoever. In fact, when asked who they would least likely vote for as electoral candidates, atheists finished dead last in terms of minorities. Clearly, we aren’t wanted.
Although I won’t try and make any excuses for poor debaters having been unable to defend their points accurately, there is nevertheless a sense of hostility in the air as one tries to debate against the existence of a higher power. One gets the feeling such ideas are not very welcome, and such a debater is not a likely to win any popularity contest. As a result, although there may be many individuals capable of defending the views of atheism, the reality is that the expression of such views can often make one terribly unpopular; even despised.

The Difficulties in Proving a Negative

Anyone with a scientific background will tell you that any attempt to disprove a negative is a futile effort, not only because of the infinite amount of things that would need disproving, but also because the claim does not first offer the possibility of falsifiability. If I make a claim that an invisible, weightless dragon is in my garage (a favorite example from the late Carl Sagan), any attempts to disprove its existence will be met not only be resistance on my part, but also by the implacable and insoluble nature of my claim. Any claim made without evidence is baseless, and should be disproved without evidence. Unfortunately, with ideas as old and entrenched as gods, the weight of evidence is not physical, but rather historical; we’ve believed in gods for a long time, therefore, the argument follows, surely we couldn’t have been wrong for so long, could we?
Yes, surely we have been wrong about a lot of things throughout our comparatively short stint here on Earth. Historical claims, at best, demonstrate that there is an odd tendency for humans to be religious, and at worst demonstrates that, like old theories on what “stuff” was made of, or how the Cosmos operated, they almost always start out by being terribly wrong.

Theologians Use Ever Varying Concepts of God

Luckily, in most circumstances, most of the time, debates remain fairly civil, and unless dealing with a radical, can be very constructive. But in general the three problems outlined above make debating God an often futile effort; in particular, the broad and all-encompassing definition of “God” makes the act of debate seem pointless. If I am engaging in an argument over the existence of God with a Christian, just who’s god are we debating anyway? Am i debating with God the all loving Creator, the God turned Man, or a “Prime Mover”? Is it possible that perhaps my opponent is himself unsure?
Let us suppose for instance that a debate was going on. I would begin by making a case that the illusion of design is primarily responsible for our idea of God. We are easily fooled by the apparent intricacies of the human eye, or the vastness of the Cosmos, and attribute these to be the work of some divine planner. We’ve been doing this for some time; long before we had any real way of understanding complex forces without the use of an outside influence. If nature can satisfactorily be explained without a designer, then there is no need to include one in our hypothesis about how the Universe operates. Even if we do run into problems, or gaps in our information (such as the origin of life or the Universe itself), we cannot infer that it is appropriate to interject a “God in the gaps” to satisfy our incomplete view. The notion that the Universe could have begun (and this is a tricky word, since time itself is not a constant, and as such, the idea of a beginning is not the adequate picture) without an outside cause works based on the information we already have at hand. Even if it did not, our inability to comprehend why there should be a Universe instead of nothing does not imply a creator.

My opponent might at this point argue that although it may not prove the existence of a creator, it is certainly not completely negated either. Fair enough. I would be on shaky ground if I tried to argue that the Universe functioning without the need for interference from a God instantaneously disproves the hypothesis. The “God” that atheists will always be incapable of disproving is isolable, immune to any testing or verification specifically because the concept demands that “He” is. Such a deity is outside of reality and the Universe, and as such, is not a relevant player in it. Although the theologians, apologetics and other religious defenders argue in favor of such a concept, they do so out of the necessity to first possess a concept of God that is irrefutable to their own selective concepts upon. However, theologians are not interested in a God that is completely outside the Universe; they require a deity that interferes with human affairs, that takes sides, that offers rewards, that can produce a son, or offer divine revelation to the few that can hear them. This God is not insoluble, since we can at least measure the impact “He” supposedly has in human affairs.

Regardless of his tactic to prove that the Universe could contain a God of some kind, why would my opponent think that the concept he has outlined in any way resembles the God he believes in? Why is it that apologetics engaged in heated discussions about the existence of Go fail to argue properly in the God as they so effortlessly define Him as being Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnibenevolent? Of course I cannot prove the non-existence of God as an entity that exists completely outside our realm of experience, but so what? That definition in no way resembles God as he is described in The Bible, or the Koran, or any other “holy” book for that matter.

The recent debate of Sharpton vs Hitchens is a good example of this; Reverand Sharpton argued that Hitchens did not disprove God in his book, “god is not Great”, but rather mentioned only the evil and wrong-doings of organized religion. What does Al Sharpton believe? Well, his comment about Mitt Romney (tongue in cheek of course), who is a Mormon, not believing in the right God obviously demonstrates that he has a solid idea of what this God is, and certainly this God is the one contained within the texts that Hitchens so venomously attacks.

Sharpton, like all religious people, rely on the insoluble God to debate with atheists, even though, when the debate is broken down, the real argument is rather about a anthropomorphizes and active God then the improvable one. We can measure such a God, and we can certainly refute it. The simple fact is that prayer, for instance, has been shown to absolutely nothing in double blind studies (in fact, people who were sick and knew they were being prayed for did worst). However, so long as any debater falls back on the insoluble concept of God (related more to deism then to theism), then the atheist is effectively wasting his time. He will never be able to disprove this idea, anymore than he can disprove fairies or goblins.

Al Shaprton VS Christopher Hitchens

The A-Team and we approve this message.

Jet-setting, "faith-healing" fraud Hinn still begging for $$

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Jun 13, 2007 5:57 PM

No Indoctrination

Jet-setting, "faith-healing" fraud Hinn still begging for money

This guy just keeps getting more and more vile. Ol' Pastor Benny Hinn, whose bogus "faith-healing" extravangazas were thoroughly exposed in this Canadian television documentary, is claiming that he's four months in arrears on his airtime bills to TBN, which he says total $450,000 each month. As if Paul Crouch, who's entirely complicit with Benny in fleecing the gullible, would ever kick his cash cow pal off the air.

The face of sleaze.

Of course, if Benny's so hard up for cash, what the hell's he doing buying a $46 million Gulfstream jet? What's he doing staying in lavish hotel suites costing up to $4000 a night, and living in a palatial $10 million mansion? If he's so broke, why doesn't he sell off some of his $1000 designer suits and pick up a few things from the Men's Wearhouse instead? Why not trade in his $80,000 Mercedes SUV for a Corolla? Hinn's ministry reportedly raises in the neighborhood of $100 million every year (compare that to the pittance a group like the National Center for Science Education has to subsist on, and feel the steam emerge from your ears), and its finances have gotten the IRS's attention. Really, at a cool hundred mil a year, Benny could meet his broadcasting bills to TBN with ease, and still have $94,600,000 to play with.

Benny whines that it's the evil secular media that distorts his spending. But that isn't the case. Hinn has refused to join the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. A Christian watchdog group, MinistryWatch.com, has issued a warning about associating with or donating to Hinn's ministries. Among their conclusions:

[Facts presented] on NBC DATELINE – coupled with MinistryWatch.com's previously stated concerns about Hinn espousing the self-serving "prosperity theology" message – has caused MinistryWatch.com to recommend that donors consider redirecting their gifts to one of the many biblically-based ministries that are not only more transparent in their dealings with the public but also treat donor's funds as a sacred trust dedicated exclusively for the Lord's work.

I'll say it again with glee: This swine should be in prison. But I suspect that, unlike Kent Hovind, he's probably just a bit smarter about hiding anything he could get really nailed for from the proper authorities. Sadly, our culture's insistence upon treating religion, no matter how absurd or exploitive the practice of one might be, with "respect" means we can't exactly criminalize the guy for standing up on a stage and lying to idiots that he can cure them of any ailment they've got (including AIDS) as long as the cash buckets are appropriately filled. Am I wrong in insisting that's gotta change?

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----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: now.with.50%more.smartass
Date: Jun 13, 2007 3:55 PM

traverse city, detroit, flint, ferndale
ann arbor

To quote Hunter S. Thomson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.... "there was feeling that whatever we were doing was right, and we were winning!"

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 13, 2007 11:04 AM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ~ J†J ~
Date: Jun 13, 2007 12:47 AM

Congress Watch

Eight Congress Members for Impeachment

Submitted by davidswanson on June 12, 2007 - 10:17pm.
By David Swanson

Democratic Party Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Chair of the Out of Iraq Caucus, has joined Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as well as Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Yvette Clarke, William Lacy Clay, Albert Wynn, and Dennis Kucinich in cosponsoring Articles of Impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney (H. Res. 333). For details, see: http://impeachcheney.org

The list of state Democratic Parties that have passed resolutions urging the impeachment of Bush and Cheney has recently grown to 15. Meanwhile, 11 state legislatures have introduced such resolutions, which have now been passed by at least 77 cities and towns and a growing list of labor unions and other organizations. These resolutions are all listed at

TODAY Wednesday, June 13, Waters and Kucinich plan to hold a press conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss "Renewed Efforts in the House of Representatives to Impeach Vice President Cheney." The event is planned for 9:30 a.m. at the Cannon Terrace (on the outside of the Cannon House Office Building).

The reference to "renewed" efforts may be related to this discussion of impeaching Cheney in which Congresswoman Waters engaged in April 2006:
Congresswoman Waters has spoken out strongly on this issue since June 16, 2005:

The A-Team and we approve this message.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Jun 13, 2007 4:29 PM



Baptists see atheist books as sign of panic
Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:32PM EDT

By Ed Stoddard

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A run of best-selling books belittling religious belief are a secular backlash that highlights the success of Christianity, Southern Baptist leaders and theologians said at a conference.

"If you shoot down an alley and you hear a yelp, you know you've hit something," said Mark Coppenger, a professor at the Kentucky-based Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

"Apparently Bible believers have hit something and so it is a measure of the success of the church that the opponents are so stirred up right now," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting.

Combative British writer Christopher Hitchens' "god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" is the latest atheist best-seller to hit the stands.

It follows "The God Delusion" by Oxford scientist Richard Dawkins and "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris.

In their different ways, all set out to prove that science trumps faith and reason trumps religion.

Such books are bound to stir passions in the United States, where religion -- Christianity in particular -- has a much firmer hold than it does elsewhere in the developed world.


Opinion polls vary and are subject to dispute but generally show that around 40 percent of Americans attend church on a weekly basis, more than double the rate of most western European nations and almost 10 times the rate of some.

A survey last year by the Pew Research Center found that 78 percent of Americans view the Bible as the word of God, though only 35 percent believe the Bible is literally true.

Evangelical denominations such as the Southern Baptists -- who take the Bible very seriously and place much emphasis on the individual conversion experience -- have grown rapidly in the United States.

With 60 million evangelicals, that is one American in five.

"We have made some serious inroads into society and some people are increasingly antagonistic toward that," said Southern Baptist Convention president Frank Page, who saw the recent intellectual attacks on faith as "aggressive atheism."

Many secular Americans resent the intrusion of religion into politics, with the so-called "Religious Right" delivering votes for the conservative Republican Party and the Democratic Party recently trying to woo the "Religious Left".

The mix of religion and politics has shown up in the public sphere in renewed battles over the teaching of Darwinian evolution in public schools. Many evangelicals have pressed for the teaching of Biblical creation or "intelligent design," which holds that the complexity of life points to a creator.

A Gallup poll last year showed almost half of Americans believe that humans did not evolve but were created by God in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

Coppenger said that "after well over 100 years of pressing the Darwinian project, still half of Americans don't believe it, they are not buying it."

"There is a great indignation now and an astonishment so they (secularists) are redoubling their efforts because they are finding out that they're failing," he said.

Edward Pauley of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth told Reuters the onslaught of atheist books was a reaction to the "receptivity" of the American public to intelligent design theory.

But the success of the recent wave of atheist books has been seen by some as a reaction to the intensity of religion in America and its intrusion into public life.

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Now, a video from one of my favorite bands, a perfect circle. For those that are don't realize why this video might belong in an atheist newsletter, I will include the lyrics after the video. I'm sure I'm wasting my time typing this, as you all undoubtably know all this already. I just love this song! lol


You're such an inspiration
For the ways that I will
Never, ever choose to be
Oh so many ways for me to show you
How your savior has abandoned you

Fuck your God, your Lord, your Christ
He did this, took all you had and
Left you this way, still you pray, never stray, never
Taste of the fruit, never thought to question "why?"

It's not like you killed someone
It's not like you drove a hateful spear into his side
Praise the one who left you broken down and paralyzed

He did it all for you...
He did it all for you...

Oh so many ways for me to show you
How your dogma has abandoned you

Pray to your Christ, to your God
Never taste of the fruit, never stray, never break, never
Choke on a lie even though he's the one who
Did this to you, you never thought to question "why?"

It's not like you killed someone
It's not like you drove a spiteful spear into his side
Talk to Jesus Christ as if he knows the reasons why

He did it all for you...
He did it all for you...
He did it all for you

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 13, 2007 11:00 AM

♥ Angel ♥ ™ ~ ~For Truth~ ~
Decentralized by Conditioned Guilt

Top Ten Signs You're A Fundamentalist Christian


The A-Team and we approve this message.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Jun 13, 2007 6:15 PM

You scored as Scientific Atheist, These guys rule. I'm not one of them myself, although I play one online. They know the rules of debate, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and can explain evolution in fifty words or less. More concerned with how things ARE than how they should be, these are the people who will bring us into the future.

Scientific Atheist




Militant Atheist


Spiritual Atheist


Apathetic Atheist


Angry Atheist




What kind of atheist are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

This video is on my page, but one of my members posted it, and I've always loved this!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Russ St.Onge Date: Jun 13, 2007 6:41 PM

Dance Monkeys Dance!

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Eastern Thought on "FUCK"

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Jun 13, 2007 8:58 PM

Al-Mostami3 Bey (E.C.)