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stone space

stone space's Journal
stone space's Journal
March 3, 2015

Idaho Sen. plans to try and stop Hindu prayer at Statehouse

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- An Idaho lawmaker says he's working to stop a Hindu prayer set to open at the Idaho statehouse Tuesday morning.

Idaho Sen. Steve Vick wrote on Facebook that he's "extremely disappointed" after learning about the planned prayer after the Coeur d'Alene Press reported on the story over the weekend.

The prayer will be delivered by Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who said in a news release that it's the first time a Hindu prayer has opened the Idaho senate.

"It is interesting that as a Senator I have to learn about this from the newspaper," Vick wrote in the Facebook post. "I am working to get it stopped. Contact your Senator and find out where they stand."


February 28, 2015

Atheist Group Makes CPAC Debut

Atheist Group Makes CPAC Debut


Jamila Bey is a mom, a business owner, a Pittsburgh native—and a board member of the group American Atheists. She also, apparently, identifies as conservative. After introducing herself to the crowd, Bey used her three-minute spot to invite audience members to drop by the American Atheist table in the exhibition hall and learn more.

American Atheists is at CPAC on a mission, according to the organization’s president, David Silverman. “By our calculations there are approximately 17 to 20 million atheists in this country who would vote Republican but don’t,” he says. “And we theorize, very reasonably, I think, that they don’t vote Republican because the Republicans are pushing them away. I don’t vote Republican because Republicans push me away.”

The group wants conservative leaders to consider doing the unthinkable and not leading with their faith. “If they come out with ‘We’re a Christian nation,’ that’s akin to saying I’m somehow less of an American. So why should I vote for that?” Silverman asks. “If somebody comes out and says, ‘I can’t trust people who don’t pray,’ well, I don’t pray. So when the conservatives come out, instead of saying we’re for small government, and responsible gun rights, and a strong military, they’re saying all of that after they say I’m a second-class citizen.”

Silverman thinks this would be a win-win, benefitting both atheists and the GOP. Republicans would gain access to tens of millions of secular voters who agree with them on the issues already—and right-leaning nonbelievers would get a real choice. Right now, “atheists by and large only have one party for which to vote,” he says. “We’re voting Democrat in huge numbers, but it’s a defensive move. It’s not because we agree with the policies, it’s because atheists are afraid of Republicans, because Republicans are overtly hostile to us. And that’s wrong.”


February 24, 2015

Can Science and Mathematics coexist?

Is Mathematics the "Queen on the Sciences", as it had been dubbed, or are the methods of Mathematics inherently in conflict with the methods of Science?

Can science and mathematics coexist?

20 Things You Didn't Know About... Math


2. The great 19th-century mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss called his field “the queen of sciences.”

3. If math is a queen, she’s the White Queen from Alice in Wonderland, who bragged that she believed “as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (No surprise that Lewis Carroll also wrote about plane algebraic geometry.)


February 23, 2015

Does the individual exist?

I'm somewhat of a skeptic by nature (assuming that I exist, of course!).

My skepticism extends way beyond doubting the existence of a God or Gods (about which I am skeptical enough to call myself an atheist atheist).

My skepticism leads me to doubt my own existence as an individual. (And YOU, too!...lol.)

What do folks here think about the existence of the individual?

Do you and I exist as individuals?

February 23, 2015

Angry White American Man

(Crossposted from Religion.)


This was originally posted in the religion forum, but a couple of folks there suggested that I crosspost it here, also.

Published on Feb 12, 2015

A song in memory of Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Razan Abu-Salha, 19, killed on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 by a deranged man. The particular form of derangement suffered by the killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, is a sort of anti-theist variation of the "disenfranchised white American male with illusions of grandeur" syndrome, and this is what I'm attempting to explore in this composition.


He was 46 years old, he had 2 parking places
He got angry if one of the residents took one of the visitor spaces
In the apartment complex that might provide one little clue
That this middle-aged man had accomplished little that he set out to do
He spewed anger at all of his neighbors and he hated religion so much
Maybe that's why he moved to the Bible Belt, because hatred is such a good crutch
He spewed anger about all religions with his back against the wall
Why stop at just hating one of them when you can just hate them all

Another angry white American man with a gun
Another angry white American man

He was 46 years old, he didn't live among his peers
Neighbors mostly younger by about 24 years
Neighbors from all over, some in religious dress
But what in hell the man was thinking, we can only try to guess

Another angry white American man with a gun
Another angry white American man

He was 46 years old, his neighbors had a meeting last year
To talk over what they might do about this man they feared
He carried a loaded pistol, no telling what might inspire
Him to pull it out one day and fire, fire, fire

Another angry white American man with a gun
Another angry white American man

Another angry white American man with a gun
Another angry white American man
February 22, 2015

Gods of Metal: Blessing the Bombs.

Blessing the Bombs

George Zabelka

Stopped when the A-bomb hit Hiroshima on the morning of August 6, 1945, this watch belonged to Kengo Futagawa, a 59-year-old who was crossing a bridge 1600 meters from the hypocenter. Horribly burned, Futagawa jumped into the river for relief, and later made his way home, but died on August 22, 1945.

Father George Zabelka, a Catholic chaplain with the U.S. Air Force, served as a priest for the airmen who dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, and gave them his blessing. Days later he counseled an airman who had flown a low-level reconnaissance flight over the city of Nagasaki shortly after the detonation of “Fat Man.” The man described how thousands of scorched, twisted bodies writhed on the ground in the final throes of death, while those still on their feet wandered aimlessly in shock—flesh seared, melted, and falling off. The crewman’s description raised a stifled cry from the depths of Zabelka’s soul: “My God, what have we done?” Over the next twenty years, he gradually came to believe that he had been terribly wrong, that he had denied the very foundations of his faith by lending moral and religious support to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Zabelka died in 1992, but his message, in this speech given on the 40th anniversary of the bombings, must never be forgotten.


I asked forgiveness from the Hibakushas (the Japanese survivors of the atomic bombings) in Japan last year, in a pilgrimage that I made with a group from Tokyo to Hiroshima. I fell on my face there at the peace shrine after offering flowers, and I prayed for forgiveness—for myself, for my country, for my church. Both Nagasaki and Hiroshima. This year in Toronto, I again asked forgiveness from the Hibakushas present. I asked forgiveness, and they asked forgiveness for Pearl Harbor and some of the horrible deeds of the Japanese military, and there were some, and I knew of them. We embraced. We cried. Tears flowed. That is the first step of reconciliation—admission of guilt and forgiveness. Pray to God that others will find this way to peace.


As a Catholic chaplain I watched as the Boxcar, piloted by a good Irish Catholic pilot, dropped the bomb on Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki, the center of Catholicism in Japan. I knew that St. Francis Xavier, centuries before, had brought the Catholic faith to Japan. I knew that schools, churches, and religious orders were annihilated. And yet I said nothing.

Thank God that I’m able to stand here today and speak out against war, all war. The prophets of the Old Testament spoke out against all false gods of gold, silver, and metal. Today we are worshipping the gods of metal, the bomb. We are putting our trust in physical power, militarism, and nationalism. The bomb, not God, is our security and our strength. The prophets of the Old Testament said simply: Do not put your trust in chariots and weapons, but put your trust in God. Their message was simple, and so is mine.

We must all become prophets. I really mean that. We must all do something for peace. We must stop this insanity of worshipping the gods of metal. We must take a stand against evil and idolatry. This is our destiny at the most critical time of human history. But it’s also the greatest opportunity ever offered to any group of people in the history of our world—to save our world from complete annihilation.


February 22, 2015

What Things Really Exist?

February 19, 2015

Hi. I'm a militant atheist. Do you fear me?

Some folks on DU find militant atheists threatening:

because militant atheists want to kill believers

And burn churches, that is not ok. Anyone calling themselves a militant atheist is in the same groupnas hicks and does not belong on this site.


Do you fear me?

February 18, 2015

Norwegian Muslims volunteer to protect synagogue

Norwegian Muslims volunteer to protect synagogue

After deadly attack at prayer site, activists intend to form a human ‘peace ring’ of protection after weekend services

By Stuart Winer February 18, 2015, 12:28 pm

In the wake of a deadly shooting attack at a synagogue in Denmark last week, a group of Norwegian Muslims intends to hold an anti-violence demonstration at an Oslo synagogue this coming weekend by forming a “peace ring” around the building.

“We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening,” Arshad told the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK in an interview cited by The Local News website on Tuesday.

She noted that the group aimed to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims.”


Arshad promoted the initiative as an event on Facebook, and by Wednesday morning over 630 people had indicated that they would attend.

“Islam is about protecting our brothers and sisters, regardless of which religion they belong to,”
the event page explains. “Islam is about rising above hate and never sinking to the same level as the haters. Islam is about defending each other.”


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