Friday, November 20, 2009

Atheist billboards and a possible emerging Twilight paranoia


Jewish date:  3 Kislew 5770 (Parashath Toledhoth).

Today’s holiday:  Friday of the Thirty-Third Week of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism).

Worthy cause of the day:  “Support Early Education - The Petition Site”.

Topic 1:  “Atheists turn to billboard sites”.  Thus is it written:  “The group behind a controversial atheist bus-poster campaign is urging parents not to label their children with their own religious faith.”  I already mentioned kind of this stunt in my review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, and my original comments still stand:
As part of showing off for fellow theist-hating atheists, Dawkins makes proposals designed to help make society more atheistic.  For one thing, he would like people to stop attributing religion to small children, e.g., that we should say “children of Christian parents” instead of “Christian children” (Dawkins 2006, p. 339).  It is correct that small children normally have poor or no understanding of basic religious concepts and cannot truly be said to be believers.  On the other hand, membership in religions is frequently defined in terms other than mere belief.  E.g., because a child is baptized in the name of Jesus, he may be considered Christian, whether or not he/she truly understands Christianity.  One may even be a rabid unbeliever and still be considered a member, e.g., “self-hating Jews”.  Dawkins would also like people to stop indoctrinating their children (Dawkins 2006, pp. 325-340).  The idea that this may be against certain religions has either not crossed Dawkins’s mind or he does not care.  It is also difficult to imagine how this would be done without teaching about religion at all (which he does not seem to favor (Dawkins 2006, p. 340)) or that anyone intelligent and seriously religious would voluntarily comply.
The British Humanist Association should be collectively ashamed of themselves for trying to foist such a bad idea on the public.

Topic 2:  “Twilight is a 'deviant moral vacuum': Vatican slams blockbuster New Moon film”:  I am downright puzzled by this article, with an explanation claimed which is downright opaque due to a severe lack of specifics.  Thus is it written:

'This theme of vampires in Twilight combines a mixture of excesses that as ever is aimed at young people and gives a heavy esoteric element.
'Men and women are transformed with horrible masks and it is once again that age old trick or ideal formula of using extremes to make an impact at the box office.
'This film is nothing more than a moral vacuum with a deviant message and as such is something that should be of concern.'

While I have not read the Twilight Saga, the descriptions of it I have encountered seem mild by contemporary standards; it is not every contemporary love story in which the happy couple waits until marriage.  I am so puzzled by what the quote is supposed to mean that I have written the Vatican asking about it, including the question of whether it is even genuine, and I anxiously await a reply.  Intuition suggests this may be another witch-hunt along the same lines of Harry Potter paranoia.

Topic 3:  Some lighthearted stuff to end on:  First, Bizarro’s take on early Christmas commercialism.  Secondly, some of that over-the-top Christmas commercialism:  the USB Fiber Optic Christmas Tree.  And finally, “It’s the End of the World”, a take on the 2012 hype:

funny graphs and charts

Peace, and Shabbath shalom.

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