Posts Tagged ‘pope’

Episode 4: Partial Transcript

February 28, 2013 1 comment


Today’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by the new Internet provider for fundamentalist Muslims, Ameri-Qur’an-Line.   With new features like face-to-eyeslit communication; secure money transfers through paypalestine and triple encrypted email services through Linkeinfidel, Ameri-Qu’ran-Line is the best way to enjoy the 7% of the internet that doesn’t directly conflict with your worldview.


Join now and get the free detonator mobile app.


And now, the Scathing Atheist:



It’s Thursday, It’s February 28th and when I asked for more reviews on iTunes I meant good reviews, but thanks anyway.

I’m your host Noah Lugeons and from New York, New York, THIS is the Scathing Atheist.

On this fortnight’s episode:

  • A school board in Jackson, Ohio decides there’s nothing explicitly Christian about a picture of Christ,
  • Eli Bosnick will join me to try to fuck up the rhetorical meaning of the phrase “Is the Pope Catholic?”
  • And I’ll try to figure out what all these little knobs on my new mixer do,

But first, the diatribe:


Today I’d like to talk about being the only atheist in a room full of theists.  It’s a diatribe I like to call “There is too a God, now pass the fucking string beans!”  Because that’s usually where it comes up.  It’ll be at some social event or a family gathering, you’re sitting around the table, minding your own business and suddenly those 7 fateful words’ll come up.

Somebody’ll say “So you don’t believe in God, huh?”

And you don’t want to have the conversation.  You don’t feel like playing “stump the atheist”.  You even try to distract them with something like “hey look, your kid’s on fire”, but it never works.  They’re in that zone.  They lean in really close and they put on their best “profound” face and then they’ll pose… “the challenge”.

The challenge usually come in the form of a question, and the question usually starts, “So how do you explain…”

And that’s where I stop them.  I’ll say, “Hey man, I’m gonna let you finish your question and everything, but before you do, I’d like to point out that my ability or inability to answer whatever question you’re about to ask has absolutely no bearing on the existence of God.  When I say that I don’t believe in God, I’m stating a lack of belief, not a claim of knowledge.  I’m not an expert on the origins of life or the cosmos any more than the next guy and failing to be so doesn’t disqualify me from atheism.  What’s more, whatever question you’re about to pose is also one for which you have no answer.  I know that you think you have the answer, but ‘my guy has super-powers times infinity’ doesn’t really count at all… but by all means, carry on.”

I don’t want to dissuade them, after all.  It’s pretty easy to argue with a Christian, since they only really have about three different arguments.  So they’ll throw out Pascal’s wager or the Lunatic, Liar or Lord shtick or the First Mover argument or whatever and I’ll refute it in whatever way I refute it.

Sometimes you’ll even get that “sophisticated theist”, you know, that one who went on that there internet and looked up ways to stump atheists?  And that’s always fun because you get to hear them try to pronounce words like “abiogenesis” and “flagellum”.  And you can refute these points too if you want to, but there’s usually no point.  Most of the time they don’t even understand the argument they’re regurgitating enough to know when you’ve countered it.

So you sit there suffering the slings and arrows of their tortured logic and you’ll come out on top, but eventually the tone of the argument will change altogether.  It’ll no longer be a rational discussion on any level.  It’ll turn into something like “Well I don’t want to live in a world without God,” or, “There is too a God, now pass the fucking string beans!”

And that’s when the real nature of the argument comes out.  That’s when it becomes obvious that this conversation was never about logic, it was never about reason, it was about emotion.  It wasn’t about the world you observe, it was about the world you want to observe.

Eventually you’ll have to come to understand that there is no logical reason to believe in God.  If there was, atheists would believe in God.  We got where we got by using logic and believe me, if there was a shred of evidence to suggest that I get to live on for eternity in space Disney Land, I’d take that deal even if it meant I couldn’t have fish on Fridays.

But even knowing that logic will never work, you’re still going to try to employ it you silly little Christians that stand between me and a second helping of mashed potatoes.  So I’d like to make a request of you.  Before you bring your “logical” argument to me, I want you to take a deep look at it and ask yourself, “If this was evidence going the other way, in other words, if this was offered as proof that God doesn’t exist, would it sway you at all?”

If I walked up to you and said something like, “I’m gonna prove to you that God doesn’t exist.  Now let me tell you about the bacterial flagellum.” Would you listen to anything else I had to say at that point?  And if the flagellum evidence ended up swinging the other way, would you give up your belief in God altogether?  Are you subscribing to all the flagellum blogs and newsletter so you can know for sure if this God thing holds water?

You’re never going to win an argument with an atheist by using logic.  We’re just better at it.  That’s kind of our thing.

You have to admit going in that yours is not the rational argument.  If you insist on arguing with atheists, at least be honest with yourself about where your beliefs come from.  And I’ll give you a hint, it’s not your brain.


Joining us for the headlines this fortnight is Heath Enwright.  Heath, are you ready to inform?

Hello, Noah Lugeons.  As you said, I’m Heath Enwright . . . and there’s nothing clever about our names.  

Now, before we jump into our lead story tonight, I should note that the Pope is still stepping down. Of course, we’ve known that shit for weeks, but that hasn’t stopped media outlets everywhere from covering it nonstop as though it somehow remained newsworthy even after everyone knew it.  In fact, I’ve spent two weeks combing through news items for this segment and, like far too many altar boys in the past, I’ve been up to my balls in bishops and cardinals the entire time.

So what follows are the few non-papacy related nuggets I could dig up in that morass of ass-rapists and ass-rapist enablers.

In our lead story tonight, the House of Representatives recently passed HR 592, a bill that would allow taxpayer money to be allocated to houses of worship as part of FEMA federal disaster grants.  The bill, which passed by an overwhelming 282 vote margin, was created in response to recent caterwauling by Christian Leaders over FEMA’s refusal to grant churches and synagogues relief money after Superstorm Sandy.

When FEMA abandoned black people after Katrina, I gave them a pass.  But now they’re neglecting Christians and Jews.  A line has to be drawn somewhere.          

Amen brother.  There are, of course, numerous compelling reasons not to grant federal money to churches, but strangely Christian leaders have chosen not to address any of them and instead opt for a policy of crying, whining, bitching and flailing about like wounded animals.

Take pastor, author and latenight-accident-attorney-infomercial clone Paul De Vries’ recent Op-Ed in the Christian Post.  Rather than tackling the constitutional and logical concerns one might have against giving taxpayer money to organizations that don’t pay taxes, he instead chooses to obscure the issue with a series of points that can easily be refuted in three sentences or less.  Are you up to the challenge, Heath?

Game on.

#1      “…[the policy] treats churches as outsiders” After all, why should a groups devotion to god make any difference when it comes to public policy?

1.  That’s why they should be paying property taxes, rather than being treated differently in public policy because of devotion to god, and getting a tax exemption.  
2.  If they were paying taxes this whole time, they would – in turn – be eligible to receive federal disaster aid.
3.  That’s how taxes work.  .  

#2       “This ‘discrimination’ could open the door to “other risky discrimination”.  Will the government stop providing churches with firefighters and police officers?

1.  They should stop providing them with police, fire fighters . . . roads, water, electricity, freedom of speech, and any other government-provided privileges, unless they pay taxes.   
2.  Again . . . that’s how taxes work, and this is a basic principle of organized society.
3.  And even if they did pay all the same taxes as everyone else, churches are clearly not the most important thing to rebuild.  

#3      “…[the policy] ignores the immensely positive roles churches have already played after Superstorm Sandy”, and then he lists how many millions of dollars churches donated and raised for victims.

1.  Don’t they justify their tax exemptions by citing their benefit to society?!?  
2.  They’re honestly trying to say, “The reason we should get tax-funded aid without paying taxes is the same reason we don’t pay taxes.”  
3.  That’s like saying that a disputed book is valid because in several passages within the disputed book, it indicates that the disputed book is valid.

Not to mention that “look how much money we had to give away” is a shitty argument when you’re asking for money.

Is their an entire bad tautology department at Christianity HQ?

And finally,  My personal favorite, #4: “blocking FEMA grants to churches is to pretend to be ignorant of the continuing soul care needed by the many and various victims…”

I guess we can always feed starving children with the bullshit the church consistently feeds parishioners.  
And of course, deep-fried figurative cannibal wafers would be good soul food.  
You’d think that somebody with a good batting average could have been praying for the hurricane to go offshore: If that praying shit works, forget the church volunteerism after the storm, and try some simple fucking preventative medicine, idiots.   

Well, they’ll probably say that the gay marriage interfered with their prayer frequency.

Can’t imagine a lot of people needed blankets, jackets, and bibles.  If you gave bibles to homeless people in NYC after Sandy, they would have been burned in trash cans, just like the bibles they started with before the storm.

One can only hope.  Anyway, the bill will now go to the Senate where we expect it will die quietly.

Like the way god died.

De Vries Op-Ed:

Taking a page out of the Catholic playbook, a Baptist group has fired the independent investigators that were looking into child sex-abuse allegations against a member of the group mere weeks before the findings of their investigation were scheduled for release.

The Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, or ABWE has terminated the investigative firm “Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment” or “GRACE”.  They cite a laundry list of general complaints about GRACE’s investigative technique, especially, one would speculate, the ones that result in them finding massive culpability within the group.

GRACE has issued a response to the allegations, pointing out that the ABWE refused to meet with them to address the alleged poor-practices that led to their eventual termination, repeatedly breached their contract by refusing to disclose documents and make witnesses available for interview, wantonly delayed the investigation and have the far lamer acronym.

Reminds me a little bit of the internal affairs department within the Gestapo.  I think they were called Hitler Examines Internal Legality, or HEIL.  They made sure that atrocities were carried out with dignity and GRACE.   Brought it back full circle – nailed the joke.  Seriously though, the Nazis would probably have gotten in big trouble if they hadn’t disbanded HEIL right before the release of their controversial report on the morality of holocausts.  I’m led to believe that HEIL did, in fact, uncover one or two questionable practices.   

Main Story:
GRACE’s response:

In other news, Heisman Trophy winner, Christian Evangelist and former 3rd string New York Jets mascot Tim Tebow has cancelled a planned April appearance at the First Baptist Church in Dallas.  The church, which is led by controversial pastor Robert Jeffress, is decidedly anti-gay, anti-Islam and anti-Mormon.

Tebow, who claims to have only recently realized that this church is even more ridiculous than average, announced the cancellation on Twitter, but added “I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those needing a brighter day, except the ones who are fans of whatever unfortunate team has me on its roster.”

If god wanted Tebow to be a star QB, and big spokesman for religion, why did he give him the throwing ability of Helen Keller’s less-coordinated little sister?  
He looks like a drunk redneck throwing a folding chair at a bowling alley fight.
He looks like he’s throwing a gallon of milk, but without the container.  

This is only the latest piece of evidence that suggests that Tebow is as bad at picking PR events as he is throwing a fucking football.  You’ll recall that in 2010 Tebow appeared in an ad where he encouraged women to ignore any doctor who said they had high risk pregnancies because “what do those doctor’s know? Just look how good I turned out.”

We can’t deny that without the Tebow fetus avoiding responsible parenthood planning, the Jets certainly wouldn’t have been able to convert those 3 fake punts, salvaging a 6-10 season in 2012.   

And I apologize to all our international listeners who could give a fuck less about all these American football references.

Sticking with the regional focus, Oklahoma becomes the latest in a dishearteningly long list of state’s that are pushing some cretinous law that would give creationism a foot in the door of public schools.  Republican State Representative Gus Blackwell has introduced a bill which he, of course, vociferously insists has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, claiming [quote] “I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks”.

And in my mind, it’s about damn time somebody stood up for the right of students to ignore all those realities in the curriculum.  What gives textbooks the authority to determine what is and is not a fact?  Other than school boards, textbook guidelines, knowledgeable authors, federal and state educational mandates and rigorous review by experts, I mean.

Can’t students study falsehoods at church like they always have?  Isn’t there already a chapter in the science texts at Sunday school, that’s discusses in detail, many baseless claims about creation?

But you don’t understand.  Blackwell promises with all his heart, so help him die, that this bill is in no way informed by his religious views or the multiple decades he spent working for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

Is he claiming that he intentionally erased his subconscious?

That probably wouldn’t be the dumbest thing he’s claimed.

Oklahoma Creationism Bill:

In other news, a horrible bitch is suing New York’s Department of Education because they did not grant a religious exemption to vaccination for her five year old daughter.  Proving definitively that there’s no stupid like religious stupid, she argues that [quote] “To inject invasive and unnatural substances into [god’s] divine creation is showing a lack of faith in God and His way”.

I forget which verse, but I’m pretty sure the bible does eloquently suggest, that law suits against public school districts are a good show of faith in god and his way.

I believe it’s in the book of Macabee-otch

Is it? Could’ve sworn it was in the Penta-douche.

And finally tonight, Jackson Ohio has become a central front in the battle for the proper separation of church and state.  A recent lawsuit by the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation charges that a portrait of Jesus that hangs in a public middle school illegally promotes religion and stands in direct violation of the first amendment.

Those Jews are always rubbing our smaller noses in the fact that they had Jesus first, aren’t they?

Rather than politely acknowledging their error and removing the portrait, school officials have dug in their heels and cobbled together an argument so disingenuous you almost expect them to use the word “quantum” at some point.

Damn godless hippies trying to take down our jesus poster.  Somebody better stand in the way of this progress . . .
Is that approximately their argument?

Even worse, I think.  They say that portion of the wall is reserved for clubs within the school to place pictures of “inspirational figures central to the club’s meaning and purpose”.

To get me pumped up before a big game, in my locker, I would always keep a little figurine of the sports god named Baal.  I think he stood for good sportsmanship.  I really idolized that little guy.

Well that’s, of course, the “now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t, pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain” legal defense, but the layman’s defense is the same ones that worked so well when it was used to justify slavery, oppose women’s suffrage, rationalize prejudice against gays and validate circumcision: “It’s been there a really long time”.

That’ll do it for headlines, when we come back I’ll be joined by unlikely papal candidate Eli Bosnick.


I made a request in last fortnight’s calendar for help finding a good online source for atheist, humanist and skeptical events in Australia and I got a few responses, but I really have to single out one listener in particular, @workMX on Twitter seemed to take this as a personal challenge and helped out a lot, so I decided that on this episode I’d devote the calendar section entirely to March Meet Ups in the land down under.

On March 13th – The Brisbane Rationalists are meeting from 6:30 to 8 and encourage anyone who enjoys rational conversation in an informal environment to join them… Although I’m sure if you show up in a tux they won’t turn you away.  The monthly meet up will be held at the Coffee Club on Albert Street.

On March 20th we have a few events worth noting – The Central Victorian Atheists will be holding their monthly gathering at the Albion Hotel in Kyneton. Or Keyenton. Or whatever. I’ve gotten some mixed advice on the pronunciation there.  All free thinkers in the area up for an evening of godlessness are encouraged to attend, regardless of how they pronounce it.

Also on March 20th in Adelaide the Humanist Society of South Australia will be holding their monthly meet up as they do on the third Wednesday of every month.  The meeting runs from 7 to 9 at the Weatsheaf Hotel

Moving 1400 kilometers due east, on March 24th Sean Faircloth, author of “Attack of the Theocrats” will be appearing with AC Grayling and other secular speakers at the Sydney Opera House.  This appearance will kick off a national “Reclaiming a Secular Australia” tour organized by the Rationalist Society of Australia and the New Zealand Association of Humanists and Rationalists.  Additional appearances include:

March 26th at Melbourne University

March 27th at the Kyneton Mechanics Institute

March 28th at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne

For a full calendar of appearances, including stops in Perth and New Zealand, check the link on the shownotes for this episode at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.

That’ll do it for the Calendar this fortnight.  On our next episode we’ll turn our eyes to Austin and breakdown the schedule of events for the American Atheist’s 50th annual meeting, which I hope to be attending.

As always, if you’re involved with or aware of an atheist, secular or skeptical event that’s in need of some free publicity, feel free to email me or send me a Tweet.  You’ll find all the contact info, along with links for all the events covered on this segment, at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.


I wanted to respond to a couple of quick emails before I closed out the show.  First a correction: how quickly we forget. The Pope announced his retirement and within days I’m already forgetting the asshole’s name, apparently.  On Episode 3 I accidentally called him “John” Ratzinger.  Quick slip of the tongue while my mind was focused on a pretty crappy “John Ratzenburger” joke.  Sorry about that.  Kind of kills one’s credibility when one does shit like forgetting the Pope’s name.

Anyway, on to a more serious correction.  I woke up to a pretty compelling comment on the blog on Sunday.  John took me to task for repeatedly calling Ex-Benedict a Nazi in the last couple of episodes.  As he points out (and as I will readily admit), mandatory membership in the Hitler Youth does not a Nazi make.  But rather than frame this simply as an ad hominem, John hits me where he knows it will hurt.  It’s not just an ad hominem, but a lazy one.  After all, why go after a spurious connection to Nazi-ism when one could just as easily point to all the horrible shit that he actually did without being forced to by the state?

So I apologize for calling that sexist, homophobic, child rape enabling, child rape ensuring, genocidally anti-condom, thoughtless, heartless, antiquated, purposeless, money-laundering, hypocritical, superstitious, felonious Palpatine lookalike a Nazi.  It won’t happen again.

That does it for our show but if you want more, there’s more.  The interview with Eli went on a lot longer than I anticipated and when I cut it down for the show I left a lot of great stuff on the cutting room floor.  If you want to hear the full version, check out Scathing Atheist (dot) com and click on the “Extras” tab at the top of the page.

I want to thank Heath and Eli for joining me and I want to wish Eli good luck in his bid for the papacy.  I encourage you to follow him on Twitter if for no other reason than to see pictures of him wandering around Manhattan on Ash Wednesday with a smiley face drawn on his forehead.

We’ll be back in two weeks with our Countdown to Austin Edition.  Between now and then, check out our erratically published blog and follow us on Twitter.  If you liked the show, help us spread the word by leaving a good review on iTunes.  If you have questions, comments or death threats, you’ll find all the contact info 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 4 is Up

February 28, 2013 Leave a comment

by Noah Lugeons

We just polished off episode 4.  It’s recorded, edited, processed, published and awaiting your approval.  You can get it through iTunes (which I recommend if for no other reason than it ups our showing and gets the show in front of more people), but if you can’t wait for all that synching bullshit, you can also listen to it now by clicking here.  And in case you haven’t picked up on this yet, this show is certainly NOT SAFE FOR WORK unless you work in a really cool place.


Episode 3 Partial Transcript

February 14, 2013 4 comments

Episode 3: The Valentine’s Edition:


“Today’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by the new national restaurant chain for Christian cheapskates and penny-pinching pastors.  If you’ve got a party of 12 rowdy jack-offs who’ve managed to forget Christianity’s central tenant on the drive from the sermon to brunch, bring them down to your neighborhood Papal-bee’s.  Our friendly wait staff will be happy to accept a snarky message on the receipt and a Jesus-pamphlet in lieu of a living wage.  So come on out to Papal-bee’s and enjoy the Last Supper… you’ll ever tip for.



It’s Thursday, it’s February 14th and it turns out Catholics get really pissed when you lick your thumb and wipe the schmutz off their forehead.  I’m your host Noah Lugeons and THIS is the Scathing Atheist.

On this fortnight’s episode…

Some ex-Nazi who ran the inquisition is looking for work,

We’ll toss all the legislators in the Bible Belt into the ring and see who can out-stupid who

And apparently I’ll sound like a more smug, more scripted Dennis Miller,

But first, the Diatribe…


This diatribe can be considered a companion piece to an incomprehensibly stupid Op-Ed I found on the Huffington Post the other day.  It’s by one Dr. Peggy Drexler and it’s titled, “Why Kids and Religion Mix”.  If you’d like to get your bearings before I disembowel her argument and strangle it with its own intestines, you can pause the podcast and find the link on the shownotes for this episode at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.

Or better yet, don’t bother because it’s so engorged with stupidity that even a casual encounter with it might actually lower your overall capacity for intelligent thought.

Dr. Drexler, a Research Psychologist, Gender Scholar and bona fide horse’s rectum has decided that even people who don’t believe in God should still get their kids some good church-learnin’ and she makes the case for it in the circuitous way one has to if one intends to justify such a brainless proposition.

We start by meeting Sam, a child of two Catholic apostates who were surprised one night when their son decided to start a meal off by thanking Jesus for providing everything.  They shouldn’t have been too surprised, of course, as we all know that Christians aren’t above proselytizing to children without their parent’s permission.  But regardless, we now find Sam’s parent on the horns of a dilemma.  They don’t want to force their kid to adopt their take on religion (after all, that’s what they’re parents probably tried to do to them) but they also don’t want their kid being indoctrinated by some morally-dubious charlatan either.

Personally, I’m a firm believer that this shouldn’t be a dilemma.  On the one hand you have a group of people actively pushing unverifiable claims about the very nature of the universe and on the other hand you have reality.  You wouldn’t want your kids muddying their minds with alternative forms of mathematics or biology.  You wouldn’t leave it to them to decide if scientific or homeopathic medicines work better, so why would you feel any differently about religion?  Sure, eventually you want your kid to go out into the world and make up their own mind, but shouldn’t you start them with a firm grounding in reality the way you would with every other subject known to humanity?

But as you might have guessed, Dr. Drexler would have you believe otherwise.  She goes to great lengths to list all the perceived virtues of church-attendance, largely by vaguely referencing studies that she fails to cite.

But a lack of data doesn’t stop her from making rock-solid claims like “Participation in a religious community may help kids develop a strong moral core”, “religion seems to be somewhat comforting to kids” and “…[Religion] can provide a certain stability that children welcome in a world that’s full of change”.  Well it’s hard to argue with facts like those.  No, seriously… it’s hard to argue with.  What the fuck does any of it even mean?

Later she says, “In the wake of Newtown and all the other tragedies worldwide, more and more we’ve had to rely on some kind of a God to get us through” and I assume she typed that with a straight face.  I can’t speak for a theist, of course, but as an atheist I find it profoundly comforting that an intelligent, omnipotent god didn’t knowing allow the massacre at Newtown to take place.  I would imagine that thinking otherwise would be a source of stark terror more than comfort, but then again, maybe that’s why I’m an atheist.

But the Op-Ed gets more asinine still.  At one point she launches into a series of sentences that seem to be competing for the title of the stupidest assemblage of words ever accomplished in English:

“News-making men like Lance Armstrong, who cheated and lied over many years …give us reason to increase children’s exposure to people and ideas that will help them develop a strong moral code.”  And with this, cue the pedophilia jokes.

Really Peggy?  You’re really going to put the fucking CLERGY up as your standard for strong, moral behavior?  You’re going to take the only profession in the country that is synonymous with child rape and suggest that they are the moral alternative to Lance Armstrong?

Okay, okay, so maybe I’m being too Vatican-centric here.  Maybe Peggy and her flock would hear that and say, “not all priests are pedophiles”.  This is true, but the very fact that you have to point it out is certainly ammo for me, but for the sake of argument, let’s set all of that aside.  Let’s instead think of all the Baptists and Pentecostals and Evangelicals who manage to keep their dicks to themselves and instead simply instill good, Christian values like hating gay people and women who exercise biological autonomy.

Not good enough?  Alright, let’s even set aside those assholes and consider the most liberal, open-minded, Six-Flags over Jesus church you can possibly imagine with a watered down message, a full time rock band and a fucking Starbucks.  Let’s say that you found a church where the transgendered, pro-choice, anti-gun, pro-sunshine and puppy tails priest is a fucking Nobel laureate and gives 94% of his income to charity.  What happens to the strong moral code when your kid starts reading up on Jesus and finds out that he’s a pro-slavery misogynistic bigoted liar that promised to return 2000 years ago and still hasn’t made good?  In other words, what happens to an edifice built on bullshit when the shit starts to rot?

But wait, Dr. Drexler’s not through being stupid.  Immediately after suggesting that the group of people that brought us the Inquisition, the largest pedophilia scandal in human history and Monsignor Meth are somehow better than a one-testicled cyclist on steroids, she throws out an assertion you couldn’t justify to a retarded sea-monkey:

“…in a world where evil often trumps good, religion can’t hurt.”

She makes no attempt to justify it at all.  She just leaves it standing on the page their like a nerd who was just thrown naked into the girl’s locker room.  RELIGION CAN’T HURT!?  I’m quite certain I heard something about religion being used to start wars, subjugate minorities, justify slavery, inhibit science, oppress women, tyrannize nations, roll back social evolution, rationalize suicide bombings and otherwise validate every morally repugnant institution in the history of human civilization.  In fact, if I’m not mistaken AS I SPEAK someone if being murdered because of it.

No, sorry Peggy, but you’re putting your stuffing your lunch up your ass again.  It’s ATHEISM that can’t hurt.  At its best religion is naïve and arrogant.  At its worst it’s fatal.


Our top news item today, John Ratzinger is fallible again.  As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Pope has decided to hang up his Mitre and his Zuchetto and call it quits.  When asked why he has chosen to be the first Pope to resign since the death of Joan of Arc, the Pope responded “I’m 85 years old, which is pretty much dead.”

While the Vatican sites his advanced age, the blogosphere is abuzz with speculation that there might be more to it than that.  Some suggest that he’s trying to avoid the fallout from the ever widening child rape and torture scandal; others propose that he’s trying to avoid the fallout from the looming money-laundering scandal; still others submit that he’s trying to avoid the fallout from being indicted by the International Criminal Court; still other suggest that all those atheists on Twitter finally got to him.

In domestic news, the Obama Administration recently proposed updated guidelines for the Affordable Care Act, designed to further placate Christian opposition to the requirement that employers provide insurance coverage for birth control.  Arguing that they shouldn’t be mandated to pay for something they morally oppose, Christian leaders have managed to wring compromise after compromise out of the president.

The latest round of capitulations expanded the definition of “religious based organizations” to include religious hospitals, universities and charities.  While employees of these organizations would still be able to receive contraception through their insurance, the employer would not be burdened by the cost or the unbearable encumbrance of guilt that paying for birth-control pills might incur.

Christian leaders aren’t satisfied with the compromise, of course, and vow to continue to fight the good fight until the exemption includes any-damn-body who wants it including Religious Institutions like Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A.

Common sense, of course, would kindly ask these religious institutions to go fuck themselves as a law that was passed by a democratically elected majority is supposed to trump the prophetic dictates of an infanticidal space-phantom.

We’ll be keeping you abreast of further compromises as they occur.

In other Christians-thinking-they-should-have-special-privileges-and-getting-them news, the Southern California Christian School has filed suit against two former teachers who refused to provide proof of their faith.  The teachers were asked to take their son, whom they love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering or, failing that, provide  a statement of faith and a reference from a pastor.

Two teachers refused and were fired.  When they threatened litigation, the school pre-sued, igniting a case that will challenge a landmark religious ruling by the Supreme Court last year.  The Hosanna-Tabor  (Tay-ber) ruling essentially exempted religious institutions from the laws all other employers have to follow with regards to religious discrimination.  But by failing to specify what constituted a “religious worker”, the court left the status of teachers uncertain.

The school is seeking an injunction to prevent the teachers from suing for $150,000 each.  Regardless of the outcome of the case, one can only hope that the discharged educators can go on to find employers willing to pay for their contraceptive insurance.

Amish defectors can sleep a little easier tonight knowing that the notorious drive-by stylist Samuel Mullet, Sr. will behind bars for at least a decade.  Mullet, the leader of a splinter group considered stringent even by the standards of the Amish, was found guilty of forcibly shaving and barbering at least five Amish people.  He and his fellow maverick Mennonites were sentenced to between 3 and 15 years in prison.

The team of criminal coiffeurs was convicted of conspiracy to violate a federal hate-crime law, which is probably the most sinister way you can possibly describe aggravated hairdressing.  US Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach should be commended for not only procuring the conviction, but also thinking of something poignant to say afterwards to make the case seem way less bizarre and stupid than it actually was.

And in the ceaseless competition for the most pro-Christian, anti-Constitution piece of legislation in the bible belt, we have three worthy contenders this week:

Taking the Bronze medal is Virginia where the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections recently voted to endorse an amendment to the State’s Constitution that would allow prayer at graduation and allow students to opt out of assignments if the assignment “violates their faith”.

Senator William M. Stanley, a sponsor of the bill argues unconvincingly that this amendment has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution.  He points out that it would allow, for example, a Muslim student to be excused from dissecting a fetal pig in biology class.

This line of argument would be far more compelling if anybody believed for a second that there had ever been a case of a Muslim student being forced to dissect a pig or if we were all spontaneously generated yesterday with no memory or intellect.

Taking the silver is perennial contender Alabama where legislators are pushing for a law that would allow the 10 commandments to be displayed on any building in the state.  The bill, which sports the Orwellian title: “The Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment”, would offer legal protection for a practice that is already pervasive in the state.

Despite the brazenly unconstitutional nature of the law, Alabama tax-payers needn’t worry about the state wasting any money defending it if it’s passed, as third party groups have already stepped up to offer funding when the inevitable lawsuit occurs.

But the gold medal goes to the reigning champion of stupidity, Mississippi, where we find a seemingly innocuous bill that makes it legal to pray before public school groups.  The bill, which passed unanimously through the House Education Committee, would ban teachers from penalizing students for expressing religious views in schoolwork, it would require allowing students to organize prayer groups and religious clubs and it would force schools to allow religious groups to use school facilities in the same way as nonreligious groups.

So what does the law do other than legalize a bunch of shit that’s already legal and force schools to do things they’re already doing?  It also allows for prayers before “limited public forums” in school, which doesn’t sound that bad until they define “limited public forums” as things like football games and the morning announcements.  Apparently, by limited they also mean “all-encompassing and mandatory”.

And while they failed to reach the podium this time around, I thought I should still toss out an honorable mention for Arkansas where the state legislature recently passed a bill with overwhelming majorities in both the house and senate that would allow the carrying of a concealed weapon in church.

While this law is probably every bit as stupid as the other ones, I don’t think it qualifies as pro-Christian or anti-Constitution, but I’m sure Arkansas will try harder next time.

And, lest I get all the way through the headlines only fucking with the Catholics once, German Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller has come under fire for saying that recent criticism of the church leaves [quote] “an artificially created fury… which sometimes reminds one of a pogrom sentiment”.

This statement was quickly condemned by virtually every sentient being on earth; who collectively pointed out that legitimate denunciation of the anti-gay, anti-woman, pro-child rape platform of the Vatican is not really very much like inciting a population to genocide at all.

In Muller’s defense, I’m sure people inciting pogroms probably did occasionally make accusations along the lines of “those Jews are a bunch of conspiratorial child-rapists”, but of course when they were saying it, it wasn’t true.

In other news, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sued florist Marina Plowman on January 25th in Rhode Island.

Atheists who follow the blogs will recall the case of one Jessica Ahlquist, who won a legal battle to remove a prayer banner at her high school and consequently became a target for religious blowhards throughout her community and the nation.  In a show of solidarity with the young woman who was notoriously called an “evil little thing” by Rhode Island State Representative Peter Palumbo, a Madison, Wisconsin based secular group attempted to send the evil little thing some flowers.

Evil bigger thing Plowman refused to deliver to Ahlquist citing “fuck you, that’s why”.

The FFRF seeks a bouquet and an apology in the lawsuit, but they’ve indicated that they might be willing to settle out of court for fifty cents and some envelopes.

And finally today, a new Church in London called “The Sunday Assembly” has quickly garnered a large and enthusiastic congregation.  The brainchild of standup comedians Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones, this church offers what one attendant described as “a bit of community spirit but without the religion aspect.”

While its creators are careful not to call it an “Atheist Church”, seeming to prefer the term “Cultural Humanism”, it offers a clear and welcome alternative to religious ceremonies in the Western World’s least religious nation.

Services include singing, comedy, readings from books way better than the bible and discussions of science.  While the service is meant to entertain, it also offers inspirational moments designed to invoke the wonders of life and the cosmos without placing any of its authorship in an imaginary being.

That’s it for headlines, when we return I’ll be joined by Lucinda Lugeons and Heath Enwright for a special Valentine’s Day panel discussion.



“Hi, I’m Carl, I’m the Assistant Manager here at the East 14th Street McDonalds.  Thanks for coming in for the interview.”


“Yes, Yes.”


“Here, have a seat.  Would you like something to drink?  A Coke maybe?”




“Alright, Mr… Rater…”




“Rat… in… zer?”






“No.  That is mailman from Cheers.  I am Ratzinger… like, you sing to mouse, no?  Rat-Singer?”


“Oh, Ratzinger, got it… now… I’m detecting a little bit of an accent there.  Is English your first language?”


“No. German”


“Okay. Do you speak any Spanish?  Because a lot of our guys only speak Spanish.”


“I speak 7 languages.”


“Wow… that’s pretty impressive…”


“9 if you count Ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew”


“Okay, well… we don’t.  There’s not a lot of ancient Greeks or biblical Hebrews here in Sheboygan, but still… you never know.  Anyway, I’ve gotta say, this is a pretty impressive application.  It says here that you used to be pope?”


“Yes.  Was Pope.”


“Awesome.  Did they do the whole colored smoke thing?”


“Yes… was colored smoke.”


“Awesome. And what would you say was your favorite part about that job?”


“Job come with… infallibility.”


“Well that’s a nifty perk.  What would you say was your least favorite part about being pope?”


“…hm… The Hat.”


“They made you wear a hat?”


“A silly hat.”


“Ssss…. Now, you will have to wear a hat to work here.  Would that be a problem for you?”


“No… I wear normal hat.”


“Yeah, a hat like mine.”


“I wear that hat, sure.”


“Okay. Cool.”


“So I have job?”




“What ‘Well’?”


“Well… to be perfectly honest, your application had a few ‘Red Flags’”


“What is Red Flag?”


“Well, for example, it says here that you’re a former Nazi.  Is that true?”

“Hitler Youth.”


“I’m Sorry?”


“Hitler Youth.  Was member of Hitler Youth.”


“Wow… See, McDonalds is kind of against the whole Nazi thing I think.”


“Was mandatory.”


“Oh… Okay.  Well in that case it might be okay.  I mean, we can’t hold it against you if it was mandatory… I think.”


“So I have job?”


“Well, there is one other thing… it says hear that you’re currently under indictment from the International Criminal Court.  Is that true?”


“You know… is silly.  They are silly.”


“Sssss…. Can you tell me what you’re under indictment for?”


(mumble mumble)


“I’m sorry?”


“I help cover up with the fondling of thousands of children.  You know… is little stuff like that.  Other charges are even sillier.”


“Other charges?”


“You know… inhibiting humanitarian efforts in developing world by opposing use of contraception in AIDS ravaged nations and places plagued by overpopulation.  And parking tickets.”


“Ssss… See, I think that might really be a problem.”


“No, I make fry.”


“Yeah, I’m sure you make great French fries and all… but McDonalds corporate has kind of a policy against hiring people that are under international indictment for crimes against humanity… It’s an image thing, I think.”


“I… make… fry.”




“I am good enough to serve as head of world’s largest religion, but not to make fries in your crappy restaurant?”


“I’m sorry… but at East 14th Street McDonalds, we just have higher standards than the Vatican.”


Keeping you abreast of all the major happenings in the world of Atheist meet-ups and conventions, it’s time for the Atheist Calendar portion of the show.  We’ll be skipping ahead a couple of weeks and focusing on some events around the country coming up in the first half of March as we build toward the big one in Austin on March 28th.

We’ll start in the Windy City where the Chicago Skeptics will be hosting a Skepticamp event on March 2nd.  It’ll be held at the Irish American Heritage Center in Shy-Town from 11 am to 6 pm.  If you’re going to be in the Chicago area and would like to meet up with some awesome skeptics, I hear they’ll have a few.

Skipping a week ahead and 150 miles Northwest, we’ve got Freethought Festival 2 in Madison, Wisconsin.  The lineup offers a powerhouse of heavy hitters including Debbie Goddard, Darrel Ray, Dan Barker, Greta Christina, the Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta, Andrew Seidel and more.  If you’re like me and thinking this sounds way better than your plans for the weekend of March 8th, there’s still time to register.

Hell and gone from Madison?  Perhaps you can attend the National Atheist Party’s first convention in San Francisco on the 9th of March where they’ll feature virtually every prominent atheist speaker that won’t be in Madison that weekend: Aron Ra, Jessica Ahlquist and Jerry DeWitt to name a few.  Should be a good time for a good cause and tickets are available as of this recording.

On the Ides of March the Wichita Coalition of Reason will be hosting an event with the irresistible title, “The Skeptics of OZ” featuring speakers such as JT Eberhard, DJ Grothe and Darrel Ray, who is seems to really be racking up those frequent flyer miles.  It’s an all weekend event and no offense to Kansas, but what the hell else are you going to do in that god-forsaken wasteland?

Finally, don’t forget Pi Day coming up on March 14th.  Almost certainly my favorite math-inspired holiday, the holiday is typically celebrated by telling people that it’s Pi Day and then trying to explain what that means and then trying to explain why you give a shit.

A quick request before I close out this section: Apparently this podcast is getting quite a few downloads down under, so if you’re aware of a good online calendar of atheist and secular events in Australia or if you’re involved with a conference in need of a free plug, email me or send me a tweet.  You’ll find all the contact info on the “Contact Us” page at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.


Just a quick note before we close out the show.  If you noticed a bit of inconsistency in the sound quality during the program, I apologize for that.  We’re in the process of upgrading our equipment so some segments were recorded on one rig and others on a much better one.  By our next episode everything should be smooth and steady and I thank you for bearing with us through these growing pains.

I also want to thank everyone who took the time to leave us a review on iTunes and everyone who sent us an email.  I couldn’t be more stoked with the response we’ve gotten so far.  I also want to thank everyone who’s listening.  I appreciate you giving me 30 minutes of your life and I’ll work really hard to earn another 30 minutes.

And if you enjoyed the show and you haven’t done it yet, please take a couple minutes to hop on to iTunes and give us a review.  It really helps us spread the word and, if you need a more personal benefit, 8 people left reviews and I bought a new mixer and two dynamic headset mics.  So basically, leave reviews and the sound quality gets better.

Finally, I want to throw out a big thanks to Heath Enwright and Lucinda Lugeons for joining me tonight.  We’ll be back in two weeks with a special farewell in the “Pope-ulation Zero” edition.  Until then, if you can’t get enough of us, check out the blog at Scathing Atheist (dot) com or follow us on Twitter @Noah (underscore) Lugeons.  If you have questions, comments or death threats, you’ll find all the contact info on the Contact Us page of the website.  All the music used in this episode was written and performed by yours truly and yes, I did have my permission.

Patron Saint of Genital Diseases Could be Yours!

by Noah Lugeons

Sometimes, I only wish I was kidding.

Next Sunday you will have the option of purchasing the decapitated head of Saint Vitalis of Assissi at auction.  As if this wasn’t macabre enough, the head belongs to the patron saint of genital diseases.

Instead of focusing on what a post-mortem “fuck you” it is to be posthumously associated with genital warts, I’d rather take the angle that I don’t think the Catholic Church can really afford to be giving up that relic. Given the ever-expanding scope of the sexual abuse scandal, it’s only a matter of time before they really need this guy. Or, at the very least, their victims might.

Apparently St. Vitalis of Assisi was something of a player in his life (and with a name like “Vitalis”, how could he not be?). He spent the first half of his days fucking everything he could hold down and the last half atoning for those sins. No word on how many venereal diseases he managed to collect in his lifetime, but clearly it was enough that “genital disease” was the first thing that popped to mind when people thought about him after death.

But now, centuries later, his mortal remains have become something of a ghastly souvenir. The auction house expects his skull to sell for somewhere between $1200 and $1800 according to published reports. I can only imagine how bad your syphilis has to get before you’re willing to spend $1800 on a pagan relic to get rid of it, but that’s beside the point.

What is the point?

Well, that’s hard to answer and it’s even harder to answer without the use of a dick-joke, but I’ll try:

There is a worldwide institution with about 1.1 billion members that thinks that the skull of some Lothario has the magical powers to rid them of their pubic lice. Nevermind that the same institution is guilty of a worldwide child-rape cover-up and continues to depress the availability of condoms in AIDS ravaged Africa. Nevermind that they illegally influence the sovereignty of other nations. Nevermind the fact that they suppress the truth about their perverse and demonic history. The pertinent fact remains that these are people that think a 700 year old skull has super powers, and there are a billion of them.

Just keep this in mind next time someone accuses you of being “disrespectful” to their faith. Does a group that worships the remains of a 14th century philanderer really deserve anyone’s respect?