Happy Winter Feel Good Time


And there is this, last week, from Monica Guzman for SeattlePI.com’s Big Blog:

They say Seattle is a secular city, but not everyone here agrees with the statement on the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s latest Seattle bus ad.

Photographer Josh Trujillo spotted this alteration on a Metro bus last week. The full message? “Yes, Virginia … There is no God.”

Metrovangelization: December, 2009.Freedom From Religion is no stranger to controversy — even here. Last year the group stirred up trouble in Olympia when it placed a sign alongside a Christian Nativity scene in the Capitol announcing calling religion “myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

This year’s holiday-themed message is a bit more tame, but no less stern, said foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor.

“The main purpose is to express something that’s true that doesn’t get said very much — there is no god — and it shouldn’t be a taboo,” she said. “If people are mad about it, it’s because it’s true.”

And she also put together a lovely little capsule timeline of the last twenty-five years of Washington state’s blithering and dithering over religion.

Happy Winter Feel Good Time! May these days, and all others, too, treat you well.

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The Year of Dying Famously


This can’t be good.

I mean … damn it. Keith Coffman reports for Reuters:

Police said a gunman opened fire outside the New Life Church in Colorado Springs after Sunday services and that three to five people had been taken to local hospitals. No fatalities were reported.

Police said they had detained a suspect but gave no details about his condition or a possible motive.

In an earlier incident, 70 miles away, two people were killed and two were wounded shortly after midnight when a gunman entered a training center for young missionaries in the Denver suburb of Arvada, police said.

Right. that New Life Church:

The New Life Church, which has about 14,000 members, was founded by pastor Ted Haggard, who resigned in disgrace in 2006 after admitting to sexually immoral conduct.

Right. That New Life Church. As Noel Black puts it:

Despite the homophobia that pervades the church and its teachings, almost everything about Haggard’s church is a flaming testament to his repressed homosexuality and meth-ish megalomania.

Don’t get me wrong; I was as surprised as anyone that Haggard actually got caught. Just because everyone knows you’re a repressed, hypocritical piece of shit doesn’t necessarily mean you’re stupid enough to get caught. But those of us who live in Colorado Springs knew something was up. And we knew because the church itself told us everything Haggard was hiding.

I’m caught between reports.  Another I just found says that there are five dead at New Life:

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa told AFP there was “one gunman down” and “four deceased, possibly one wounded” in the incident but said the casualty toll was “preliminary.”

This is just not what anybody needs right now. The best we can hope for is a completely random tragedy. Anything remotely more complicated only detracts from the value of the human toll. What is it about the holiday season this year? What the hell is going on?

I guess we have to stay tuned.  Or not.  ‘Tis the season to be jolly, after all.