Tag Archives: god

Almost enough bacon?

bacon church robot

I have not knowingly eaten bacon in over 25 years, but I might be convinced to worship at the United Church of Bacon. Why? Well, the sensibility of the church’s teachings brought smiles to me at the same time as making sense. According to the church’s about page,

The United Church of Bacon holds to a list of 9 Bacon Commandments. We tried to make it 10, but ran out of space on the tablets and didn’t want to start over.

Our mission is:

  • We oppose supernatural claims. We are skeptics and atheists. In our religion, we doubt religion.
  • We fight discrimination. Atheists are not inferior and should not be hated and marginalized.
  • We raise money for charity
  • We perform legal weddings, always for free. How joyful!
  • We expose religious privileges as silly by claiming the same rights for Bacon.
  • We praise Bacon! If you don’t like pigs, praise Vegetarian Bacon or Turkey Bacon.

In the accompanying YouTube video, the church provides suggestions about the nearly miraculous powers of bacon. Prepare to be…well…be chuckling.

I’m adding UCB to the sidebar.

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Thanks, Jeanne Manford!

Jeanne Manford, the founder of Parents and Friends and Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), died 8 January 2013. She showed a lot of us the way. It’s a sorry time, because she was such a pioneer. As PFLAG says, “It is with great sorrow that we share with all of you the passing of PFLAG’s founder, Jeanne Manford.”
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Ms. Clinton on religious freedom

Many people who know me will know that I hold little truck with religion. At best, I consider religions woe-begotten variations on reasoned ways to live one’s life humanely. However, as much as I find religions untenable, I shall defend folks’ right to espouse religious—or anti-religious and especially non-religious—views. Thus I was thrilled to hear the US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “Remarks at the Release of the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report” in which she delivered one of the most inspiring defenses of religious freedom I can remember hearing.

Whether you might agree or disagree with Ms. Clinton’s political positions, I think most people will agree that the core of her remarks are a spirited defense of foundational principles of human freedom. I hope people everywhere, regardless of political stripe, can watch or read this talk. There are, to be sure, the usual segments of the talk that have to do with thanking contributors to the talk, thanking allies, and calling out miscreants. But there are, as I heard it live while driving home from a meeting yesterday AM, sections of the talk that discuss fundamental human aspirations. Reminders of the ideas of principles on which the US and other democracies were based hundreds of years ago.

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I reverse a position on religion and politics

I read with interest Damon Linker’s column in the Washington Post on Sunday 19 September 2010, “A religious test all our political candidates should take.” Given my resistence to mixing political and religious views, my first reaction when I read the headline was to disagree. After all, I know quite well that Article VI of the US Constitution very plainly states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification [for] any office or public trust under the United States.”
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Advertising public morality–Is gay O.K.?

Dan Neil, one of my fav newspaper writers, has a great take on a flap about advertising and not advertising controversial ads on the Super Bowl mini-minutes. It’s about an ad for a gay-curious Web site, mancrunch:

The most subversive part of the Mancrunch.com ad is not its open acknowledgment of gay life, or even its portrayal of two guys kissing — and kissing for comic effect, much like the Snickers Super Bowl ad of two years ago that caused a flap. No, the ad’s real transgression is to imply that football-loving straight men, the sort who high-five after touchdowns, might under the right circumstances act out sexually with another man.

No Coming-Out Party For Super Bowl.

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Mr Deity returns

As one or two of the two or three regular readers know, I’m impressed by the Mr. Deity shorts. Well, after a delay following the second season, the third season is available. I recommend it.

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Dick Cheney did something right

Although I disagree with him about many issues, I applaud former Vice President Richard Cheney’s answer at a National Press Club appearance 1 June 2009. As the following clip shows, Mr. Cheney said that “people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish.”

As I’ve noted before, I object to government interfering in marriage, which is essentially a religious matter. It seems to me that the state’s (i.e., the government’s) concern is granting licenses for two people to form a special type of corporate-like partnership in which the two assume joint responsibility for care of children, financial matters, and so forth. Precisely because that function—licensing these mini-corps—is a governmental role, in the US form of government it is inappropriate for the government to discriminate among classes of people who may obtain those licenses. Beyond concern about insuring that those who obtain licenses are informed and making applications freely (i.e., they are mature and know what they’re getting into), government cannot say “only Blacks can get these licenses” or “only red-heads may have licenses.”

Some people who forms these legal mini-corps (“civil unions”) may choose to have a religious ceremony connected with the licensing. The state has no authority over those ceremonies. It can’t say that people should dress in a certain way at the ceremony, that only certain people can speak at the ceremonies, or that people may say only certain words. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, though they would not be eligible for the legal benefits of government-sanctioned mini-corps, those religious ceremonies can be held by people who don’t even have a legal license to form the union. Shoot, parties should be free.

The major problem, in my view, with this entire debate about gay marriage is that legal and religious interests have historically been intertwined, and we need to separate them. An essential feature of the US government is captured in “separation of church and state.” Marriage mixes the two. Let’s determine what parts are legitimately functions of each and partition those functions. We need to sunder the licensing of the mini-corps from the party sanctioned by dieties.

See also Dan Eggen’s “Cheney Comes Out for Gay Marriage, State-by-State” from the Washington (DC, US) Post or wire service versions of the story published by the Boston Globe (here) and Los Angeles Times (here). Follow the story via Google News.

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