Posts Tagged ‘agnosticism’

Episode 65 Partial Transcript

May 15, 2014 4 comments

by Heath Enwright and Noah Lugeons

Note: Transcript contains elements that were removed from the episode due to time constraints





Warning: Lucinda isn’t feeling quite up to recording so this episode won’t even have that typical shred of innocence.



Today’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by Unborn Life Savers brand abortion-safe coat hangers.  Our Donut-shaped, soft-plastic coat hangers have been scientifically designed to dissolve instantly in vaginal mucous.

So if you’re a conscientious Christian with a closet full of murder weapons and you can’t help but notice that your slutty daughters are suspiciously childless, try Unborn Life Savers: Responsible For More Homeless Babies Than Wilt Chamberlain.

And now, the Scathing Atheist.



It’s Thursday,

It’s May 15th,

And Johnny Football gets media attention for taking a shit. Imagine if he takes the Browns to the Super Bowl.

I only have so much imagination.  I’m Noah Lugeons,

I’m Heath Enwright.  And from “A black guy, a Puerto Rican, and Jew walk into a bar” New York, New York,

And “Oh hell no they don’t” Podunk, Georgia, this is the Scathing Atheist.

In this week’s episode,

  • We’ll discuss Noah’s rash,
  • A Tennessee college will stand up for cousin-fucking,
  • And Cash from Atheists on Air will join us for a ReasonCon-versation.

But first, the diatribe.



I get this message on the Scathing Atheist Facebook page the other day.  It’s from a Catholic dude who’s going way out of his way to be an asshole politely.  The message asks if we support “free speech” on our page, because he would like to politely hop on the page and politely counter some of the arguments that are being made.

Now, this struck me as odd because there’s really no argumentation on our Facebook page.  I mean… did he want to dispute the fact that the show notes and transcripts for episode 64 were available?  Did he want to refute the fact that we would be interviewing Cash from Atheist on Air this week?  Did he want to disagree that I was finally done reading Psalms?

So I responded with an analogy I was proud of; it was one that I thought succinctly made my point in a language he could understand without being rude.  I said, “suppose your church put up a Facebook page where you coordinated the bake sale and posted upcoming mixers and stuff.  How polite would the atheist that came on the page to dispute the existence of god have to be before you wouldn’t think he was being an asshole?”

I went on to explain the debating religion isn’t really the purpose of our Facebook page.  We maintain it to keep our audience up to speed with what’s going on with the show; I use it to share information on atheist events or share new stories that I think our audience will find interesting.  That being said, there are no shortage of Facebook pages set up specifically for atheists and theists to debate.  I offered a few links and told him to knock himself out.

I even went on to say that he was, of course, perfectly welcome to post anything he wants on our Facebook page, but I warned him that he may not get polite, respectful responses.

I thought it was a good answer.  I thought, for some reason, that he might realize that not every atheist venue is designed to engage religious people… some of them are for atheists.  But apparently he missed all the words but one.  I wrote three paragraphs of explanation, but all he saw was that I used the “a-hole word”.

So rather than engaging me on any of the points I made, he sends a follow up message where he politely psychoanalyzes me and the anger issues that drive me to use naughty words so much.  He admitted that sometimes he (and I quote) “uses the F word and regrets it”, but only when he’s really, really angry.  So why was I so angry at god?

And if you follow us on Facebook, you may have already seen my response, but if you haven’t, it went a little something like this:

Dear Polite Asshole (except I actually used his name),

I should start off by pointing out that your idiosyncratic aversion to profanity is of absolutely no concern to me. If you strictly use “fuck” as an expression of anger, you’ve obviously overlooked the multifaceted utility of this wonderful syllable. I use the word “fuck” for a variety of reasons and an expression of anger is only one of them. Often I use it because (when you’re not dealing with people who are irrationally prudish) it gives the discussion an air of informality that allows it to be more familial. This is probably not true for most practicing Catholics, but as neither my show nor its ancillary Facebook Page is for practicing Catholics, I am under no obligation to give a shit.

Additionally, I often I use the word “fuck” because it has a vulgar explanatory power that no other word has. If I were to refer to the systematic rape and torture and consequent global cover-up that you financially supported by giving to the Catholic church, for example, I could refer to it as “child molestation” but that has such a clinical feel to it. It fails to have the emotional impact of “child fucking”. When discussing such horrors, I feel obligated to do so in a way that doesn’t sugar coat it.

But it’s true that I also use “fuck” as an expression of anger. When, for example, you hear from a person who has funded a worldwide cabal of child rapists that thinks he deserves an explanation for filthy language on the internet, it is tempting to tell that person to go fuck themselves. Any lesser expression would fail to properly encapsulate the aversion I have to such petty nonsense.

Respectfully, Noah

So once more, to any masochistic theist who is listening; you’re an uninvited vegan at a barbecue.  Eat some chips and shut the fuck up.



Joining me for headlines tonight is the Rush Limbaugh of good, Heath Enwright.  Heath, are you ready for some justified assholery?

Right – I’m a bigot, but for the left.

Annie Hall reference for the win.

In our lead story tonight, in “Goodell Without God” news, despite the best efforts of an allegedly omnipotent being, this year’s NFL draft made the league less Christian, and more openly gay.  For many Amyrrhicans, it might as well be soccer at this point.

And for our British listeners, soccer is what we call that sport you guys pretend is hardcore even though you don’t need any padding to play it.  And for our Australian listeners, think Australian rules football only it makes sense and Colonel Sanders isn’t there.

This story has two parts: First, we have San Diego State running back Adam Muema, who skipped this year’s scouting combine at the last second because he was (quote) “following God” (end quote).  Muema claims God told him that if he skipped the event, he would definitely get drafted by the Seattle Seahawks.  Turns out a bunch of players – even Christian ones, oddly enough – did show up for the combine, so he obviously went undrafted.

He must have received his divine instructions out of context.

On the other side of the coin – the tails side I guess – we have former Missouri defensive end (he’s a power bottom) Michael Sam, who is now a St. Louis Ram, and the first openly gay player in the NFL.  I especially enjoyed that in the process, Sam made millions of Christians squirm with bigotry when he kissed his boyfriend on national television after being drafted.   Many congratulations are in order here …

Most of all to the Rams head office.  Because anybody could have drafted him, but only the Packers and Browns would have offered up an easier slate of buttsex jokes.  So go Rams.

And congrats for taking a roster spot from Adam Muema, who tweeted about talks with the Rams pre-draft.  And most importantly, congrats for ensuring that the first openly gay player is a Rams Defensive End!!!  You can’t make this shit up!!!  The only way this gets better, is if he moves to the other side of the ball, and learns to play tight end.

God’s #1 pick still on waiver wire:

And in “Exiting two by two” news tonight, a Christian college in Dayton, Tennessee has lost nearly a quarter of its full-time professors in the last couple of months after the board of trustees insisted on glorifying incest.  Faculty at Bryan College…

…”Go Lions”…

… were responding to a recent update to the school’s statement of belief, which added an assertion that (quote) “Adam and Eve were historical people that were not created from previously existing lifeforms” (end quote)

“Have we ever observed evidence of Adam or Eve?  No.  But like I said, they’re not observational people …  They’re historical people.”

School president Stephen Livesay insists that these minor “just how seriously do we want to pretend to take this doctrinal horse shit?” type dust ups are common in Christian Colleges, oblivious to the mathematical result of repeatedly losing a quarter of one’s faculty.

How much faculty do they need to study 2 books?!?  And you know they skim over Psalms.

Students have joined in the protest by signing petitions, writing letters to the board of trustees and wearing black armbands.  Their message is clear, “We want some true stuff sprinkled in with the wacky bullshit we want you to teach us.”

Christian college loses nearly a quarter of it’s professors after insisting on biblical literalism:

And from the “Clergymen in Black” file, Pope Franetarium finally weighed in on whether Catholics should splash Martian space travelers with heaven water, if said aliens sprung to existence, came to Earth, and asked nicely.  And yes, they should.

I mean, sure, this sounds silly, but promising to baptize Martians might be the most substantive thing he’s done in his pontificate.

Along with letting atheists apply for Catholic heaven … Apparently the Pope isn’t the first church official to consider hydro-fracking souls on other planets.  Vatican scientist Guy Consolmagno made a similar suggestion about baptizing aliens in 2010.  But let’s just pump the brakes here … There’s something called “Vatican Scientist”?!?  What’s this guy been doing all this time?!?

Here’s my guess.  Day one they sit him down and say, “justify transubstantiation with your fancy science words.”  Like a Manhattan project of futility there.  Bunch of brilliant scientists that didn’t read the fine print on the employment contract.

So here’s a real statement from the Pope: (quote) “If – for example – tomorrow an expedition of Martians came […] Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them … [Just like vaguely racist children paint them] … And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?” (end quote) … They would bathe those green men, is what would happen!  Useless counterfactual parsed!  We are Catholicism! Good night Vatican City!

Pope Francis would baptize martians:

And in “What about the Father and the Holy Ghost of Sam?” news tonight, Jesus has forgiven the slightly infamous underachieving serial killer David Berkowitz for murdering the same number of people in his entire serial killing career as die every year from fatigue.

Son of Sam, one one hundredth as dangerous as auto-erotic asphyxiation.

So despite being an unrepentant murderer, and such a crappy one that more that half of his victims survived, Berkowitz was able to exploit the little known loophole in Christianity known as the “we’ll take whoever we can get at this point contingency” and earned his way into Heaven.  Me? Still going to hell.  Son of Sam?  Golden-fucking-ticket.  Great theology you guys have going there, by the way.

Just reinforces the terrible message that everyone should be working the Saint Augustine strategy … Which goes something like, “Lord: Grant me chastity and virtue, but not just yet.”  Just let me finish this murder spree, and then I promise I’ll get all saved up, right after that.

Berkowitz explained his application of apostolic white-out this week while being denied parole for his feeble little serial killer career.  And I’m sorry to keep talking up what a crappy serial killer he is, but I think New Yorkers need to hear this shit.  He’s ranked right up there with such well known serial killers as Robert Berdella and some crazy chick that killed her family.  And you guys were scared shitless of this dude for a whole year.  Seattle’s had seven Son of Sam’s in the last three weeks or something and they aren’t pussing out about it.

It was probably that thug Richard Sherman … And like 6 other guys.

Son of Sam claims Jesus has forgiven him:

And in “Blue Waffle Ridge” news, school offi- (Google that by the way) School officials at Blue Ridge High School in Greenville, South Carolina decided to censor a painting by senior Tracie Holtzclaw entitled Rape Culture, removing it from the district art exhibition two days prior to the event.  The student artist is a victim of rape herself, and says that the piece explores frustration with the reaction of her Christian community, most of whom told her she was probably dressing too slutty.

Well the painting was kind of asking to be force fucked by a passing art patron.

Holtzclaw disputed the decision to remove the piece, and despite playing her permanent rape victim card that trumps everything, still no love … So what’s their problem with Rape Culture?

They seem okay with it when it’s not a painting…

Well, not only did the title have a scary word like ‘culture’, the painting of a topless, tattooed woman has a pre-censor bar painted over what the district assumes would have been a nipular side boob area.  And this particular brand of whimsy was a little too nuanced, even for the art historians and museum curators that run the censorship program in Greenville, South Carolina.

Proof that she kind of nailed the whole concept of “art” if you ask me.  I don’t know why people think “art” is so hard to define.  If it pisses off conservatives in Greenville, South Carolina and it isn’t a black person voting, it’s art.

Seems like at the very least, they could have allowed the piece, but with the word ‘rape’ blacked out.  (Or maybe hang a hijab over it.)  Or just call it Nonconsensual Attempted Fatherhood Culture that day … Or some other clever title that two offensive atheist assholes could come up with on the spot right now …

So 30 seconds on the clock … “Sexually Explicit Artwork Titles” … GO!!!

I wanna start with the Hymen Pop-Art master Glandy Warhol… hm… something about some soup… in the can… Shit, I pass…

Botticelli’s “Girth of Penis”

Same subject as the “Penis de Milo”… also known as Venus on the half-stock.  Cautionary piece on the dangers of repeated handjobs, I think.

With the arms falling off … That’s a highbrow lowbrow reference … Very hard to pull off … What about: “Permanent Scarry Night”?

That one’s by Unmarked Van Gogh, right?

Yeah same guy that did that famous mugshot of himself … “Self-Portrait of a Rapist as a Young Man”

Girl with a Pearl Necklace?

Generous lovers give you the necklace and the earrings … Was she wearing those when we walked into the museum earlier? … What about: “Dogs Playing Poker in the Rear”?

Little too highbrow for me.  How about the Arc de Triomphent Ropes of Jism.

Yeah better high brow than right in the eye … Black Snake Mona Lisa … You always notice that bored look in her eyes, no matter where you stand.

Two girls, one fur-lined teacup?  …two art history majors laughed out loud just now.

The Procreation of Adam … Touching portrait of the time God fingered his first man.

Should have called it “Adam squealing on the ceiling.”

Art show censorship in South Carolina school

And finally tonight, from the “Itchy Rash on my SCOTUS” file, Roanoke County Supervisor Al Bedrosian reminded everyone this week why the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding official prayers at government meetings is fucking stupid.  In the wake of the ruling he called for revisions to the county’s policies to ensure that only Christian prayers would be heard since, of course, his religion is the right one.

Which divergent sect of the right one is he, again?  Baptist?  Because someone recently told me very confidently that God was a Methodist.  And he sounded pretty sure.

Somebody’s full of shit…

At least one of them… maybe both…

In one of earth’s greatest examples to date of not getting it, Bedrosian promised to reject any non-Christian invocation, explaining that (quote) “That does not infringe on their freedom of religion.  The truth is you’re trying to infringe on my right, because I don’t believe that.” (end quote).  So yes, it is clear from that statement that Al Bedrosian actually thinks that the founders of this nation specifically meant freedom of Al Bedrosian’s religion.

So this was a preemptive strike against people praying for God to convert to Islam?  Which he thinks might have worked?

I think you’re giving him a lot of credit when you say “thinks”.

In wake of SCOTUS ruling, Virginia asshole promises Christian-only invocations:

Well, I guess we’ll have to take a break from infringing on Al Bedrosian’s rights because that’s all we’ve got for headlines this week.  Heath, thanks as always.


And when we come back, Cash from Atheists On Air will be here to talk about herding cats.



Before we clock out for the night, I wanted to thank everybody who sent my wife well-wishes this week.  If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter you might know that the lovely Lucinda lost 4 ounces the hard way last week when she had her gallbladder removed.  She’s recovering nicely and all the love she got from all of you really made her smile when she had no other good reason to.  She’d be thanking you herself but she’s still a little dopey so on her behalf and mine, thanks a ton.  Too many to mention everybody by name, but specific thanks to Dee, Bill, Suzy, Deb and Vinny.  And then nonspecific thanks to a lot of other really awesome people.

That’s all the blasphemy we have for you tonight but we’ll be back in a hundred and sixty eight hours with more.  If you can’t wait that long, though, you can catch me on a recent episode of the Quranify Me podcast as well as an upcoming episode of “An American Atheist”, you’ll find a link to the former in this week’s shownotes and link to the latter on our Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus accounts as soon as it’s available.

Quranify Me Podcast

And speaking of awesome podcasts that’ll be linked on this week’s shownotes, another quick thanks to Cash for giving us a bit of his time.  If you haven’t checked out Atheists on Air yet, I highly recommend it.  Cash is hilarious, he gets great guests and because it’s a newer show, there’s a damn good chance you can chat with his guests live if you call in.  Anyway, he’s on blogtalkradio but you can also find him on this week’s shownotes.

Atheists on Air Podcast

And speaking of speaking of awesome podcast that’ll be linked on this week’s shownotes, I also need to thank David from the “My Book of Mormon” podcast for providing this week’s Farnsworth Quote.  Basically giving the Book of Mormon the Thomas and the Bible (slash) Quranify Me treatment and doing it in a baritone that damn near makes me come; again, shownotes, links, et cetera.

My Book of Mormon Podcast

And at the risk of overthanking this week, I need to thank Heath for keeping the rape jokes classy.  I need to thank Lucinda, who should be back to her regular Scathing Atheist duties next week.  But most of all I need to thank this week’s best people, Shelly, Chuck13, Lawrence, Jamie, Donovan, Bill, Quinn, Vadim, Vinny, Ken, Jason, and Rizado.  Shelly, Chuck13 and Lawrence, who are so quick-witted their neuronal pathways have onramps; Jamie, Donovan and Bill, who are mild mannered by day, but ninja-cidal by night; Quinn, Vadim and Vinny, who saw and conquered before they came, which is better; and Ken, Jason and Rizado, whose erections will be the undoing of the Extenz Hose guy’s patent..

These twelve paragons of altruism have beaten back the forces of destitution that constantly threaten our noble effort to combine secularism with the finest in flatulent humor this week by giving us money.  Only those with the most impressive genitals and/or intellects have the genitals and/or intellect to give us money but if you think you’ve got the aforementioned genitals and/or intellect, you can make a per episode donation to the show at Patreon (dot) com (slash) Scathing Atheist, whilst simultaneously scoring yourself some cool Scathing Atheist shit.

You can also make a one time donation by clicking the donate button on the right side of the homepage at Scathing Atheist (dot) com, or you pick up our new book; “Diatribes, Volume One: 50 Essays From a Godless Misanthrope” as an ebook or a paperback at Amazon (dot) com.

And you can also leave us a glowing review on iTunes because, shit, that’s free.

If you have questions, comments or death threats, you’ll find all the contact info on the contact page at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.  All the music used in this episode was written and performed by yours truly and yes, I did have my permission.

Episode 2 Transcript:

January 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Today’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by the world’s top-selling spiritual supplement, “5 Hour Piety”.  So if you’re desperate to go to church but you’re still carrying the stench of Saturday night’s heroin, Wild Turkey and underage hooker sweat, reach for a bottle of Five Hour Piety.  Hours of virtue now, no Jeremiah 2:13 feeling later.  And NOW, the SCATHING ATHEIST.


It’s Thursday, It’s January 31st and it’s hard out there for a Pope.  I’m your host Noah Lugeons and THIS is the Scathing Atheist.  On this fortnight’s episode, we’ll find a catholic priest who might be going to jail for something other than molesting children, we’ll look forward to the big game and figure out why Christian athletes always forget to thank god for helping them lose and Heath Enwright will join us for a seven and a half minute segment that includes no fewer than 85 poop jokes.  But first, the Diatribe…


The numbers are in and once again in 2012, the world’s third largest religion was “Give me a fucking break”.  In the recent pew survey on the global religious landscape, roughly one in six people identify with no religion at all; which puts the worldwide number of non-religious at well over a billion.

Numbers in the US are actually significantly better than the worldwide average.  About one-fifth of Americans now claim “no religion”.  That’s an increase of 25% over the last five years and it’s up from basically zero when they introduced color TV.

And as bad as this looks for the imaginary friends camp, it’s actually much worse.  When you break down the demographics, the non-believers are more plentiful the younger you go.  Nearly a third of Americans between 18 and 29 have kicked the habit-habit and the numbers are likely even higher for the under-18 category.  Add to that the fact that religious people have a head start on senility and you can see where this is going.

And make no mistake, the divine-osaurs have seen it too.  Their pathetic attempts to rationalize away the preface to their obituary are clogging the blogosphere like digital-cholesterol.  They point to signs in some polls (but not others) that show that the rise in irreligion might be leveling off.  They go all Orwellian and try to make “no religion” somehow mean “still pretty religious”.  They rant and rave and try desperately to maintain some modicum of relevance in a world that’s already been to the heavens and brought back pictures.

But to be fair, I’ve seen a few atheists misrepresenting these data as well so let’s be clear on exactly what the numbers do and don’t say.  In the recent Gallup poll, they asked respondents “What is your religious preference?” and then offered these choices:

  • Protestant
  • Roman Catholic
  • Mormon
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Another Religion, or
  • No Religion.

When faced with that question in 2012, 17.8% of people answered “No Religion” or refused to answer.  And according to Pew’s annual study, we’re actually doing better.

The current media narrative on the “nones” is that most of these people aren’t atheists, but rather seekers, doubters and temporary apostates.  But the fact remains that they answered “no religion” and the effective definition of atheist is “person with no religion”.  Sure, these numbers include agnostics and those people who say that they’re “spiritual” and then can’t say exactly what the fuck that means.  Only about 2% of people are actually willing to identify themselves as “atheists”.

Of course, a lot of the noncommittal are dictionary atheists.  They’re people like Neil Degrasse Tyson who is quick to say that he’s not an atheist, but he doesn’t remotely believe in god or a spirit or any of those things one needs to believe in to not be an atheist.  A lot of these people are atheists that simply don’t want to get lumped in with assholes like me.

Some are just atheists who’ve been convinced that there’s some intellectual nobility in riding the fence.  They think that agnosticism is the logical default position when it comes to God.  But look, I’m not willing to say with absolute “gnostic” certainty that I’m not going to get raped by bigfoot tonight, so maybe in a technical sort of way I’m agnostic about it, but I’m certainly not living my life with non-consensual sasquatch-sodomy as even the remotest concern.  So am I a bigfoot-rape agnostic or a big-foot rape atheist?  And when the chips are down, is there any difference?

But as much as we make in the godless community about the technical differences between agnostics and atheists, that’s not really where the nomenclature becomes a problem.  I call it the “agnostic gambit”.  What many of them are saying is “I’m an atheist as long as it doesn’t piss anybody off.  I’m an atheist but I don’t want to argue about it.  I’m an atheist as long as it doesn’t interfere with my chances of getting hired (slash) promoted (slash) laid.”

I understand where that comes from, but it has to change.

When I look at that 18% of non-religious, non-atheist respondents, I see opportunity.  I see the target market for our devangelism.  I see a group of people who are ready to have the conversation, ready to embrace the certainty, ready to hear exactly what we have to say.  We may only be 2%, but keep in mind that that’s still six million people.

You’re never going to convert a devout 45 year old evangelical with a logical discussion, but a twenty-something wavering skeptic is ripe for reason.  We shouldn’t be ashamed to devangelize.  We shouldn’t hesitate to defend ours as the only logically coherent position.

I’m not suggesting you go out and knock on doors, hand out blank pamphlets and ask people “Are you prepared for the eventuality that you just die?” (Although incidentally, if you do, please send me the youtube link.).  What I am suggesting that next time you hear someone say that they’re “spiritual” or “agnostic” or whatever, don’t be afraid to put on your best salesman smile and give them the pitch for atheism.

There’s a marketplace out there where people are selling “truth” every day.  I’m just saying that I think the people who are actually telling the truth should get in on it.

Global Numbers:

National Numbers:


Hoping that the 4th time’s the charm, Missouri State Representatives have resurrected a piece of unconstitutional legislation that was already defeated in 2012 and twice in 2004.  House Bill 291, or “The Missouri Standard Science Act” was introduced on January 23rd and seeks to require “the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design”.

Arguing that requiring science class to carry equal amounts of science and religious bullshit is something of a nationwide trend with Missouri joining Colorado, Montana and Oklahoma in introducing similar bills.

Lawmakers unconvincingly argue that there’s nothing religious about discussing religious theories in science class, so apparently the “not lying commandment” is less important than the not believing in biology one.

Not to be outdone, Arizona Republicans have proposed a law that would withhold a graduating high school student’s diploma unless he or she took an oath swearing fealty to God.

To be fair, the oath is actually the Uniformed Services Oath, which ends with the lines “So Help Me God”.  Of course, it also includes the words “I take this obligation freely”, so one way or the other it’s a pretty stupid thing to require people to say.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee is seeking Bankruptcy protection.  Spokesperson, oh, I’m sorry, they’re Catholic… Spokesman Jerry Topczewski says that their savings, reserves and investment earnings have all been exhausted and it will be unable to pay its monthly operating expenses beginning in April.

Some observers cite the poor economy for the church’s troubles, others cite lower church attendance.  Still others point to the more than 9 MILLION dollars the archdiocese has paid in legal fees and settlements in relation to an unending stream of sexual abuse litigation.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles made headlines when recently released documents prove that higher ups in the church went to great lengths to cover-up instances of child sexual abuse and worked to ensure that the abuse continued by moving priests into new, unsuspecting congregations.

In a related story, the sun rose in the east yesterday.

In other “What-the-Fuck-is-wrong-with-Catholic-Priests?” news, Monsignor Kevin Wallin was arrested in a drug bust in Connecticut on January 3rd.  Authorities allege that this 61 year old, cross-dressing priest was selling upwards of $9,000 worth of Meth a week, laundering the money through his North Haven sex-toy emporium.

If convicted, he could face life in prison, where his experience with cross-dressing and sex-toys should be well appreciated.

Proving that you don’t have to be Catholic to be a conspiratorial pedophile, Hasidic leader Nechemya Weberman was sentenced last week to 103 years in prison for 59 counts of criminal sexual acts, abuse and child endangerment.

A popular and influential leader in the ultra-Orthodox Satmar sect, Weberman was convicted of abusing a girl over a three year period in a Brooklyn neighborhood where he worked as an unlicensed religious counselor.

After years of trying to bribe, discredit and bully the accuser, the Satmar community, which largely stood with the child-torturing rapist in the belief that such things should be dealt with inside the community, was ultimately unable to cover up the crime.

This case gives new hope to the unknown number of abuse victims in the community that are still seeking justice.

In other legal news, the Supreme Court has declined last Tuesday to hear the case of three North Carolina men given excessive sentences by a religious zealot (slash) judge.  Brothers Josiah and Andrew Deyton and friend Jonathon Koniak plead guilty to 11 counts of armed robbery with a deadly weapon.   Their heist netted about $3000.  During the robbery a gun was discharged, but nobody was hurt.

They were sentenced to between 53 and 71 years in prison.  The reason for the extreme length of the sentence was, or rather, most certainly was not, the fact that the three chose as their target the Ridgeview Presbyterian Church in Bakersville, North Carolina.

Apparently the Supreme Court believes that the judge’s religious feelings were not a factor in his harsh judgment, despite the fact that during the sentencing he was quoted as saying, “You didn’t just steal money from those people.  You took God’s money.  You took the Lord’s money.”  This revelation, in my mind, would suggest that it was a victimless crime, but apparently the judge felt differently.

The Supreme Court also declined hearing the case of Rob Sherman, an atheist activist who was trying to block the state of Illinois from appropriate $20,000 of tax payer money to restore a giant cross that sits atop Southern Illinois’ highest peak.

Apparently the justices also see nothing religious about a gaudy, 11-story, 63 foot wide, fully illuminated symbol of the Christian faith that can be seen from 50 miles away.

And now it’s time for an update on the number one threat facing humanity today.  Montage of crazy You-Tube preachers, would you care to guess what it is? {Sound insert} No, I’m sorry, Condoms was the right answer.  We were looking for Condoms.

In the Vatican’s indefatigable effort to defeat common sense contraception in over-populated parts of the world, the church is now attacking a new law in the Philippines that would provide free access to contraception to every citizen.

Luckily for the Philippines, the Catholic Church isn’t in charge and the people are pushing back against this stone-age dictate.  Speaking to a reporter from the Calgary Herald, 30-year-old roadside vendor Giselle Labadan summed it up better than I could ever hope to, saying “I have prayed before not to have another child, but the condom worked better.”

A recent study from the California based Barna group shows that a majority of Americans are worried that religious freedoms will erode in the next 5 to 10 years.  If you pair it down to only the religious respondents, a slight majority say that religious freedoms have already eroded.  This is interesting because that’s not an opinion based thing.  It’s either true or it isn’t.  And it isn’t.

Atheist Census

That’s it for headlines, when we come back, we’ll discuss one of the most controversial theories in all of Christian Apologetics.


It’s time now for the Atheist Calendar portion of the show.  I promised on the last episode that we’d be covering some international festivals and conventions on this episode and I’m a man of my word.  We’ll get started with a couple of Skepti-Camp events.  If you’ve never been to one of these events, well, join the club.  I’ve hear good things, though, so even having never been to one, I feel confident in highly recommending them.

We’ll start out down under because who couldn’t use a little summer right in the middle of winter?  On February 9th in the beautiful Aireys Inlet just southwest of Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road Skeptics are hosting the Surfcoast Summer Skepticamp.  Sun, surf, science and secular skepticism in the middle of February… if anything’s worth a 20 hour flight, that might just be it.

If you’ll be in the wrong hemisphere for that one or just prefer cold and ice to warmth and sand, perhaps you can make it to Skepticamp Ottawa on Febraury 24th.  It’ll start at 1 pm and run until 6.  The day will consist of a series of 15 minute talks by a variety of skeptics with the final lineup still being hashed out.

On the weekend of April 13th we’ve got an all-star event in Manchester, England.  The QED is a two day conference on Science and Skepticism and will feature a who’s-who of atheist and secular speakers including (but not limited to) Ben Goldacre, Lawrence Krauss, Natalie Haynes and the paragon of gnu-atheism, Richard Dawkins.  Unfortunately this one’s already sold out, so if you’re just hearing about it now, it’s way too late.

We’ve got two big events in May.  For my German speaking listeners, you can check out the 22nd Skeptics Congress in Cologne from May 9th to the 11th.

For those who prefer their atheism in English, we have “Imagine No Religion 3” on the following weekend in Kamloops, British Columbia.  This event features Dan Dennett, DJ Grothe, Mr. Deity and some people whose names don’t start with D as well.

Finally, beginning on June 7th and running to the 9th, we’ve got the British Humanists Association Annual Convention in Leeds.  They’re still hammering out the lineup, and, of course, we’ll keep you updated as we learn more about this one.

As always, you can find more information, including links to the homepage for each of these events on the show-notes for this episode at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.


Heath Enwright will be joining be momentarily for an apologetics segment that’ll include the classiest run of poop jokes in Podcasting history, but first I thought we’d turn our attention to the Big Game coming up on Sunday.

There are three things I feel confident expecting: Some elusive play-making from San Francisco’s dynamic sophomore quarterback; some high speed, brutal hits from the rejuvenated Ravens defense and some egocentric Christian athletes thanking God when they do well and then forgetting all about him when they lose.

Of course, many people see thanking God for their success as a humble gesture and I’m sure that’s how the majority of these athletes see it as well.  But to me, it’s the quintessence of arrogance to think that an all-powerful, all-knowing, father-of-all-things would have chosen to favor you over the defensive linemen during your touchdown run.  After all, isn’t it this same “God likes me better” attitude that justifies all the wars religion starts?

I sympathize with the religious athlete, though.  I can understand what it must be like to have your whole career dependent on a series of ultimately chaotic plays where centimeters can be the difference between mediocrity and glory.  A wide receiver can practice 12 hours a day in the off-season, study tape for weeks before the game, perfect his routes and know every play backwards and forwards, but none of that helps if the Quarterback overthrows him or the corner makes a spectacular play on a well-thrown ball.  All his preparation can be rendered worthless by a mistake of less than an inch, but what’s more, it doesn’t have to be his mistake.

So, when we’re faced with a situation that we can’t control, many of us turn to magic and bullshit in a fruitless attempt to control it anyway.  The whole institution of religion is built on exactly that so it’s no wonder that a lot of these people turn to God and it’s no wonder why most of these teams have a prayer before the game.  You can’t actually control every aspect of the game, so you might as well pretend that you can then pretend that you did and then put it out of your mind.

Sometimes this backfires, sure.  If you actually start believing this shit you’ll accidentally start wars, inter-factional bigotry, oppression of women and minorities, opposition to science, fear of gays and suicide bombings.  And of course, at best it’s a waste of time, so your best bet is to accept that praying is stupid and move on, but some people are clearly unwilling to do that.

But even amongst those of us who have, sometimes sports can be the exception.  I’ve heard an atheist football fanatic chanting to the screen, “Interception… Interception… or just sack that bastard and knock them out of field goal range at least!”  Now what is that if not a prayer?  Sure, he might not say, “Please God, just that bastard and knock them out of field goal range in Jesus name, Amen”, but it’s the same basic concept.  Of course, the atheist probably doesn’t think that his chant has any magical powers or anything, but he still does it.  Or she.  But probably he.

And think of all the silly little superstitions that sports still bring out in people.  How many otherwise rational skeptics start crossing their fingers and turning their hats inside out when their team is down?  How many generally rational or at least semi-rational athletes stop shaving or changing their socks (slash) underwear in some vain attempt to dupe fate into favoring them?

Now, obviously, I don’t believe in any of this crap or I wouldn’t be qualified to host this podcast.  I tried out every stupid religion or pseudo-religion I could find for a while and found that science was the only thing that seemed less like a complete load of shit as I learned more about it.  I cast away the demons of faith and magic a long time ago, but along the way, I did learn an awful lot about it.

And of course, the majority of people in this country and this world still do believe in this gobbledygook.  They believe that somehow that some inter-dimensional, omnipotent space man will personally reach down from heaven and directly influence the outcome of what even I as a football fanatic will admit is a pretty silly competition.  They believe that while he can’t seem to be bothered to end all the wars or cure all the diseases or do any of those things one would expect even the most derelict of inter-dimensional, omnipotent space men to do, he will nevertheless find the time to see to it that Ray Rice hit’s that first down marker or that Michael Crabtree gets both feet down inbounds.

Because I’m an atheist, of course, there’s nothing “absolute” about my beliefs.  I have a pretty scientific approach to the world and I try to maintain the ability to change even my most cherished beliefs if new evidence appears that contradicts them.  And while I don’t hold out any “hope” that God exists, I am willing to occasionally grant, for rhetorical purposes, that the possibility of him existing are greater than absolute zero.

So I figured that as a person who (a) knows a little bit about a lot of religions, (b) doesn’t believe in any of them and can thus speak from a detached perspective and (c) is willing to grant for rhetorical purposes that the possibility of God’s existence is non-zero, I’m uniquely qualified to offer the religious and otherwise superstitious folks of the world some advice if they’re going to be doing any pre-Superbowl praying.

  1. Pray with Pizazz – You figure, if there is a God (and there isn’t), he’s getting pelted with a million contradictory prayers before a big game like this.  You gotta make your prayer stand out.  Iambic pentameter is a must but if you really want to get his attention, make that shit rhyme.  He’ll appreciate the effort.
  2. Be specific – If you’ve ever seen any of those angel movies (and for your sake I hope you haven’t) you’ll know that God’s a trick little fucker when it comes to teaching us larger lessons and what-not.  Make it clear that you want the Ravens to win, but you want them to cover the 3 and a half point spread as well.
  3. Don’t Pray to Jesus – I know, I know, you’re Christian and praying to Jesus is kind of your thing, but trust me on this one.  Everybody and their mother are praying to Jesus and he’s not even a football fan.  So fifty million people pray to Jesus and each of them gets one fifty millionth of his devotion.  But if you’re praying to the Gurzil, Alala or the Etruscan God “Larau”, you’ve probably got their undivided attention.  And those dudes love some pigskin.  And that lead me to…
  4. Pick the Right God – It’s not going to do you much good to pray for a Niners victory if you’re praying to a God who’s a Baltimore fan, right?  Now clearly you never really know who a God is pulling for, but you can make some pretty educated guesses, right?  I mean, if you’re a Ravens fan, pray to Odin.  He loves Ravens.  Seriously, just ask Huginn and Muninn.  Who are Huginn and Muninn? Odin’s fucking Ravens.
  5. Burn Some Shit – Seriously, go all out.  Don’t just put two hands together.  You need to inscribe a circle of salt on the floor, burn some incense in a copper bowl, sacrifice a rabbit and whip yourself to you bleed.  I can’t restate this enough: Everybody is praying.  You’ve got to be praying harder.
  6. Spread the Love Around – Why pray to one god when you can pray to two, three or eighty six?  If you’re going to waste time babbling to fictional characters, why not waste as much time as possible?  Don’t stop at Gods either.  Seriously, praying to Superman, Steven Spielberg and Hanna Montana are every bit as effective, so you might as well toss them in as well.

After all, if you’re not willing to pray to every imaginable God, follow the rituals and sacrifices described for them exactly, devote endless hours to it and self-flagellate, haven’t you already admitted that prayer is bullshit?


From time to time on this show, I’ll be setting aside a few minutes to tackle some of the more common apologetics arguments and a few of the paradoxes that arise in a world with an all-knowing, all loving God.  On this episode, Heath Enwright had rejoined us to tackle one such debate, known in academic circles as the “Shit-Porn Irregularity” or the “Shit-Porn Inconsistency”.  Heath, fill us in on the basics of this debate.

Sure thing Noah.  In the Shit-Porn paradox, the skeptic argues that a universe in which God and Shit-Porn coexist is logically untenable.  It was first proposed by the Greek Philosopher Heap o’ Crappus who noted that if an all-powerful and omnibenevolent God did exist, shit porn would not.  Since shit porn does exist, it follows that an all-powerful and omnibenevolent god must not.

And what of the classic rebuttal to the Problem of Evil that suggests that God is simply allowing us to prove that we are incapable of ruling ourselves before he cures the world of Shit-Porn?

Well, the “Jehovah’s Shitness” defense can’t really be applied to the Shit-Porn Paradox.  The existence of Shit-Porn shows that we’ve already crossed any reasonable line of depravity.  Nobody can say where the line should be drawn exactly, but all philosophers agree that it should be drawn before Shit-Porn popped out.

Now, apologists haven’t taken this lying face down, they’ve pushed back against this intrusion in a number of ways, haven’t they?

Right, they weren’t just going to let this pass.  Early apologists had a spotty record dealing with this paradox.  At first, they tried to argue that shit porn didn’t exist.  For a time that was the accepted defense, but in his seminal work “The Fecal Fallacy: Evidence for Shit-Porn”, Reverend Corholius Pile pointed to little known works such as Armegeddon Shit On, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turdholes and Stools of Engagement as unambiguous evidence that shit porn did, in fact, exist.

And of course, as we all know, his work was famously attacked by Cardinal Deficatus in his number two theodicy commonly called “The Poophole Loophole”, which was basically a much less watered down version of his number one theodicy.

Yes, the Shit-Porn Debate was buried for centuries until Deficatus stepped back into it in the late 1700s.  He argued that Shit Porn might actually represent a higher good of which we are unaware; perhaps saving the participants from later digestive issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Diverticulitis.

I see where he’s going there, but couldn’t an all powerful God find a way to insure a high fiber diet for these people without having to resort to Shit-Porn?

Deficatus’ theodicies weren’t meant to redirect the argument.  What they do do is soften it.  They suggest that Shit-Porn might be a necessary kernel in the proper functioning of the human social unit.  Could true purity exist in a world without Shit-Porn to counterbalance it?  Could it be that without overcoming the lurid temptation of Shit-Porn, a soul could never achieve true communion with the Holy Spirit?

Of course, today’s apologists have stepped away from that line of argument altogether, isn’t that right?

Modern day shitologists hold their noses at it, yeah.  The Poophole Loophole defense was really wiped away in the late 19th century when philosophers on both sides came to agree that Shit-Porn was too vile to be compatible with a loving God.  While earlier works such as The Princess Diarrheas and Poop Fiction could be justified on the merit of their social commentary, the late 1800s saw the rise of titles like Number 2 Fast, Number 2 Furious and Mr. Smith Goes to Wash His Ass; heinous anus-related depictions of fecophelia that would have made Richard Gere blush.  It was impossible to continue to argue that such depravity was part of God’s plan.

So what was the next real movement in the debate?

The whole thing really erupted again when noted British Philosopher Dr. Dick Brown took a back door approach to the question.  There are three premises in the Shit-Porn paradox that apologists can attack: One is that Shit-Porn exists.  Number two is that a world without Shit-Porn is preferable to a world with Shit-Porn.  Attacks on those two premises had failed in the past.

But Brown took a different approach?

Brown looked at the third premise; that an omniscient God could create a world without Shit-Porn.

But if God is powerless against Shit-Porn, how can he still be all powerful?

Brown’s approach was to suggest God himself was a Shit-Porn and that if he were to rid the universe of Shit-Porn altogether, he would also have to remove himself from the universe.

And as popular as it was with laymen, a lot of his colleagues said he really didn’t know shit.  In fact, this theory stained his academic reputation considerably, didn’t it?

Stained him?  It damn near wrecked him.

So do modern day theologians still wrestle with this shit?

I guess the most familiar example of the modern argument is the Shit-or-be-Shit counterpoint first offered by American philosopher Ann L. Bead.

And for those who haven’ turd of her before, tell us who Dr. Bead was.

She had a number of duties at the Pew Public Policy Forum and briefly held the Lucasian Stool at Cambridge.

And her later career was absolutely covered in shit, isn’t that right?

It was.

Tell us what she piled on to the existing debate.

Bead proposes a mental exercise where someone was about to accidentally watch Shit-Porn and you could prevent it by shitting on them.  Now, most people would agree that shitting on someone is justified in certain conditions.

If they were on fire, for example.

Or if they were singing “Whoop it Gangnam Style”, yes.  But Bead takes the analogy one step further.  What if you could prevent someone from watching Shit-Porn by Shitting on them, but someone was watching you and they were masturbating at the time?  Would you then be Shit-Porn?  Would it still be a moral act?

Well, as interesting a nugget as that is, I don’t see how it relates to the larger debate.

Here, Bead is straining to push through an analogy that spreads the blame around a bit without smearing it on God.  Basically, she’s asking if we can know the true cost of Shit-Porn from a purely mortal perspective.  The idea is that if you can introduce one instance of justifiable Shit-Porn, it stands to reason that God might have a higher purpose in allowing it to exist.

And given God’s well documented opposition to homosexuality, how does Bead’s argument hold up against gay Shit-Porn?

Great question.  Some say that might be the fatal flaw in her argument.  The whole thing really craps out when you start considering titles like Charlie in My Chocolate Factory or Jock, Cock and Two Steaming Barrels… and a cup.

So having weighed the arguments on both sides, what do you think it all says about God’s existence?

While it’s easy to argue that their might have been a divine touch in films such as The Turdman of Alcatraz, Fahrenheit 98.6 and Dark Shitty, I believe that films like Starship Poopers, Deuce Almighty and 21 Dump Street prove definitively that God is a load of shit.


I want to close the show out today by responding to a few emails I got regarding our inaugural episode.

First a quick correction: last fortnight I accidentally referred to the American Atheists’ Annual Convention as the “Reason Rally”, which is, of course, incorrect.  I had “from the people that brought us last year’s Reason Rally” written in the notes and managed to skip a line when I recorded it.  Thanks to Doug in Jacksonville for pointing it out.

I also wanted to acknowledge an e-mail we received from a listener that didn’t leave their name.  They were curious about my penis size and wondered if I’d like to enlarge it with an herbal supplement.  So to this listener, look… I’m not sure what you’ve heard but I have a really small wife, so I think I’m good, but thanks for the concern.

And finally, I wanted to offer an apology to someone who commented on the blog in response to a post I put up a while back about how much of an asshole God must be if he exists (which he doesn’t).  Autumn writes:

“Your points are very valid, but like most atheists you’re defining god as the Abrahamic god, a fatal error for your credibility. All you’ve put to shame is Christianity which isn’t very hard to do, and says nothing about the idea of god in general.”

The criticism was invalid, as the opening line of the post was “I sometimes argue with Christians” so I think I made it pretty clear that all I was tackling in this post was the Abrahamic God.  That being said, I do want to apologize to Autumn for not putting her definition of God to shame as well.

Since the most convenient defense against having your beliefs eviscerated is failing to precisely define them, it might be some time before I happen upon whatever wishy-washy, evidence free incarnation of a logically impossible creative, theistic force you happen to subscribe to.  Just be assured that I’m working on it and I’ll get to you as soon as possible.  If you’d like to speed up the process, feel free to take me up on the long standing invitation to tell me exactly what your definition of God is.

That’ll do it for this episode.  Be sure to check us out next fortnight for a special Valentine’s Day episode that’ll feature full frontal nudity.   I want to thank Heath Enwright for joining me tonight and I’d also like to thank Zach, Nesbitt, Josh, Joel and Lucinda for brain storming Shit-Porn titles with us.  If you enjoyed the show (and how could you not?) please help us spread the word by leaving us a glowing review on iTunes or wherever.  If you have question, comments or death threats, you’ll find all the contact info at “Scathing Atheist (dot) com”.  All the music used in the show was written and performed by yours truly and yes, I did have my permission.

90% of Americans Believe in Space Fairies

June 3, 2011 3 comments

by Noah Lugeons

In surveying the national tenor, one could be forgiven for believing that the atheists are gaining ground. While it might seem in some areas that reason is outweighing superstition and secularism is encroaching on stupidity, the numbers would like to respectfully disagree.

In a recent Gallup Poll, more than 90% of Americans still believe in god despite the fact that in the same survey, 100% of them had no evidence upon which to base this asinine assumption.  What’s worse is that among the remaining 9% or so, only about a third were willing to go as far as to say they were “convinced that god did not exist”.  4% of the total took the fence-riding position of an agnostic atheist (“I don’t believe in god but I don’t have the guts to own it”) and 2 % actually said they had “no opinion” on the existence of god.

Gallup has been running these religion surveys for upwards of 70 years now and the total number of non-believers has been remarkably flat in that time. It looked for a time like atheists were gaining ground, but in truth this was a surveying error.  When Gallup recently amended their survey to include a question about belief in a “universal spirit”, a solid eighth of all Americans are willing to sign on to that option.

So is this good news or bad news?

Well, the trend lines are a bit tricky but one thing is certain: organized religion is losing ground.  The number of people who express an actual “belief in god” has been in steady decline for more than a decade. But not all of these gains are going to the atheist camp. Many choose to reject bullshit specifically but not in general. This growth of the “spiritual” movement has been rapid enough to all but wipe out any gains atheists might have seen in the past 50 years.  In fact, as recently as 2008, Gallup’s research showed a reversing trend line.  The number of professed atheists actually dropped by almost a full percent which, perhaps coincidentally, was almost exactly the same percent gained by the more Unitarian belief.

The saddest finding is under a category where Gallup asks respondents about the certitude with which they accept god. They allow for 5 potential answers:

  1. Convinced that god exists
  2. God probably exists, but I have some doubt
  3. God probably exists, but I have a lot of doubt
  4. God probably doesn’t exist, but I’m not sure
  5. Convinced God doesn’t exist.

In the results of this question we find that as many as three-quarters of Americans are unwilling to even entertain doubt that god exists. Officially, 73% were counted in that 1st category with only 3% selecting the correct answer offered at the bottom.

Of course, our perception of this is often colored by where in the country we live.  Those in the West (where atheism and “spiritualism” are at their highest) might be tempted to dismiss the findings altogether while those in the South are likely shocked to find so much rationality in the country.

The issue, of course, is a lack of devangelism. Atheists are too damn nice and too willing to pretend to be “agnostic” about the existence of god. Hell, 2% of respondents were so on the fence that they couldn’t even call themselves agnostic and instead chose “no opinion”. It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone more sentient than a potato could have no opinion on the existence of god, but nobody ever went broke overestimating the vacuousness of Americans.