Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Hitchens on those who welcome the end of the world

Posted by Paulo on May 4, 2012

How many times in my own life have I heard Christians, Muslims, and whoever else lamenting about how evil this world is and how they can’t wait for this world to end. The late Christopher Hitchens says it much better than I ever could.

Yes, he sounds like an arrogant bastard in the beginning but don’t let that put you off. Keep going and listen to what he has to say. He is dead on.

Posted in Tributes, Video | Leave a Comment »

Joe Rogan vents on religion…..

Posted by Noraa on August 10, 2011

I haven’t posted on here in forever, but watching this prompted me to……

 

Posted in Rants, Video | 7 Comments »

An Excellent Video on Morality (and its Absence in the Bible)

Posted by dsc01 on July 31, 2011

Posted in Video | 4 Comments »

Angel raping

Posted by Ann on June 27, 2011

If you rape angels God will destroy America. So don’t rape angels.

..and then I think he said something completely insane about Sodom and gay marriage, but I didn’t really hear it because I was thinking about angel raping and what that would entail, like how does one hold an angel down what with their wings, flight ability, special powers and all.

Posted in Humor, Religion in the News, Video | 1 Comment »

Charlotte’s Elevation Church & Their Disability-Free Worship

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on June 19, 2011

In keeping with the conservative, right-wing tendency to make use of Orwellian doublethink in naming institutions or organizations (e.g. compassionate conservatism), the founders and leaders of a modern, warehouse-style church here in Charlotte, North Carolina named their church Elevation. When I first started seeing Elevation stickers stuck to SUVs all over Charlotte, their name alone gave me a precise picture of the style of church they are. Having grown up in the evangelical Christian culture, the word elevation connotes to me that rush of elation constructed by the merging of music crafted to elicit strong human emotions and the use of lyrics that feature heavy repetition (chant-like phrases that repeat things like “Oh Lord!” and “Jesus!”), till a trance-like state of sinner-wallowing is achieved by the congregation. I imagined they would have a large projector screen (it turns out they have several), a live rock band to play modern worship music that sounds suspiciously like the worst of popular soft rock, country and alternative radio music, and a congregation full of people who like to “feel” their God through a near-orgasmic experience of arm waving, closed eyes, open mouths, and other signs typically connected to sexual arousal. In other words, they like to chastely fuck Jesus in a crowd of several hundred other mystical Christ lovers. Here is a taste of what their worship services are like:

Although the name Elevation does a good job of communicating the format of the service you’ll encounter, it turns out it is also an indicator that they are capable of little else besides rousing, musical love-making to Christ. See, these folks like to “rock out” to Jesus, but they don’t like what they term “distractions.” And just what are these “distractions” that will get you removed from the fellowship of worshiping brothers and sisters in Christ? Well, worshiping while having cerebral palsy is a no-no. That’s right, these Christ-like folks at Elevation Church removed a boy with cerebral palsy for becoming a distraction when he said “Amen!” Here is the printed story, as told by the local Charlotte news, Special Needs Boy Removed from Church Service (click on the video link on the left-hand side to see the news report).

Really it goes without saying, but being a Christian doesn’t make you any more empathetic than anyone else. In fact, as I have argued on numerous occasions on this blog, being a Christian typically has the opposite effect: it makes you think you know absolute Truth and are an authority to declare what is universally good or evil. Regardless of what various passages in the NT say about reserving judgment, knowing Absolute Truth means you can’t help but judge people and behaviors based on criteria that are eternal and holy. Also, the Christian faith teaches that suffering exists due to sin, so it is inevitable that believers will connect human suffering (in the form of disabilities, disease, etc.) with sin. This boy with cerebral palsy thus becomes connected to the concept of sin in a Christian’s mind, and who wants to be reminded of evil on the holy ground of a worship service?

What I found most interesting about this scandal is the church’s defensive reaction to this news story. You’d think that people used to asking for forgiveness from God wouldn’t have a problem asking the mother of this boy to forgive them. Wrong! Instead, church spokespeople told the local news they “focus on worship, not ministries,” and they issued a press release saying, among other things, “It is our goal at Elevation Church to offer a distraction-free environment for all our guests.” Yes, this church is totally free from the “distraction” of humans with disabilities. How nice. Their lack of a focus on ministries is the clue to unlocking their missing empathy towards others different from themselves. On the “About Elevation Outreach” page of their website (which you have to get to by clicking on a tiny little “outreach” link at the bottom of the main page — the location of the link and size of the font is a hint to their lack of interest in community service) the church includes a paltry excuse for why their church doesn’t care about human suffering in the community:

Many churches have people who are passionate about feeding the hungry in their city, and they feel the need to start a food pantry. So they do. The youth group adopts a neighborhood, the seniors read to kids at school, the women’s ministry serves food at Thanksgiving, the men start a remodeling ministry and on and on it goes. All of these things are wonderful, but there is a problem: spreading out the leaders, resources and manpower results in maximized exertion but minimized impact.

At Elevation, we have decided to flip this model of church outreach on its head. Rather than spread everything out, we’re focusing! We concentrate all of our efforts on strategic outreach partners who are already having tremendous impact in our city and across the world. Currently, Elevation is partnering with 26 different organizations. Our goal is to continue to reach out through partnerships that are making a difference in our community and beyond.

Note how they list all of the good things other churches are doing as if it’s not that helpful to the community. They dismiss those things with the phrase “these things are wonderful, but there is a problem.” This is followed by the unsubstantiated claim that this community service work leads to: “spreading out the leaders, resources and manpower” resulting in “maximized exertion but minimized impact.” Essentially, this statement claims that the way community service work is being done by churches today is seriously flawed. Their solution to a problem they claim exists without evidence? Well, “Rather than spread everything out, we’re focusing!” they claim, by forming “partnerships” with 26 community service organizations. I looked at the list of organizations they are “partnered” with, one of which I work with (Urban Ministry Center), and I can tell you that this whole page of their website is smoke and mirrors. They want to give you the impression that they actually work closely in conjunction with these organizations and provide them with funds. However, note how careful they are to avoid saying precisely what role they play in these partnerships.

Let me explain what the reality of these partnerships is. When I worked on a grant for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I had to obtain numerous letters of partnership from various local groups, such as colleges, non-profits, individuals with expertise related to the grant’s focus, etc. In order to obtain a letter of partnership, I would simply say to an organization, “I am applying for a U.S. government grant, and your organization has expertise we need. We’re not looking for any involved obligation from you or your organization, we are just looking for a letter from you stating that you support our efforts and will be available to answer questions or give advice should we feel like calling you up to get it.” My guess, based on Elevation’s blanket dismissal of other churches’ community service work, and their deliberate lack of information about the extent of their involvement in the 26 organizations they list, is that they called up these organizations and said the following: “We are a large church with four locations in the Charlotte area, and we have thousands of congregants we can point towards your organizations. We’d like permission to list you as partners on our website, and we’ll be sure to tell our congregants to go to you, if they’re looking for a place to volunteer for or give funds to.” Based on their webpage, there is no reason to believe their link to these groups go any deeper than that. My overall point is this: all the clues you need to recognize the self-centered nature of this “church” is right there on their website. Since they are all about getting their self-centered Jesus fix for the week, it’s not surprising they would immediately remove any “distraction” that might keep them from focusing intensely on themselves.

(Thanks to Stephanie at Stuff Christian Culture Likes for bringing this story to my attention.)

Posted in Morality/Ethics, Religion in the News, Video | 6 Comments »

Irreligious Song #17: Aesop Rock, “Holy Smokes”

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on April 24, 2011

Here is a song by another underground hip-hop artist, Aesop Rock.

Aesop Rock – “Holy Smokes”

(Man 1: Give him one of these pills if he has any pain.)
(Woman 1: A parable….
Woman 2: What is it?
Woman 1: Well, it’s a little story with a lot of truth in it
An earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
Jesus told many parables to grown-ups and children alike.
He told them simply and sincerely, in words everyone could understand.
So that all might learn the lesson he was trying to teach…)
(Yeah!)

Well they were selfish with the helmets on the little bus
‘Till brake fluid sewage crippled up the get-retarted nickel punks
slowly cope but swore his lowly robot foley folk
would one day rise in sections to interrogate the Holy Ghost
(I knew it!)

Holy smokes!
Father. Black suit, white collar.
Kiddie porn dungeon, guns, and three fingers for your daughters
caught belly-up. Antique Nazi paraphernalia.
You can not pay you bills with holy water and Hail Mary luck. (Oh my!)
Shucks, fucker. Enjoy the Alcatraz shower fun.
And mommy’s mad; I’m cliché generation X Agnostic front.
It ain’t the nifty faith in 1958 before the New-New Testament approved altar-boy fistic rape.
And take me to your leader ‘long as he don’t manipulate toddler-beaver. (Leave him alone!)
Call me crazy but I’d bet that wasn’t God’s demeanor.

Sod-o-meter peaking. (Me too!)
But Long Island was Jesus every weekend spoon-fed to appease traditional upbringing
of a Middle Pennsylvania shit-hole where elders movement
stressed the stellar therapeutic Bible cycle. (How?)
One church with a bait and tackle store next door and not much more.
So the two moved to New York, made babies raised on what they’d saw.
Christmas morning smelled fresher than angel pussy.
But immaculate conception came second to playful goodies.
Like laser-tag was way more spiritual than blood and body wafer bags
and manger staff as long as Santa ate the cookies (Well…)

Grandma was a saint while he’d paint with snakes and bullies
Said “If only you’d memorized your prayers like you did your Kool-Gs”!
By the time I was old enough to know what religion was
I was Catholicism-numb and truly didn’t give a … FUCK!
94′: Moved out the crib and it ain’t seen a steeple since
While Knievel-Evil seeps in a Christian leader’s pitch
till priest’s lap slapped with parental advisory warnings:
“I’ll be auditioning Gods in my office on Monday morning”.

(Yeah!)
(Yeah!)
Uh-oh! And yet another pill slipped
down the hatch It patch him through the kill-switch
(Yeah!)
(Yeah!)
I need a couple As for Qs
I’m not an asshole I’m just a little confused

(Woman 1: This story reminds us of the one Jesus told about people who were kind and helpful to others.
He said that one day the king would say to these people
“Come, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
For when I was hungry you gave me food
I was sick and you visited me.
I was in prison and you came to me.”
But the people asked
“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?
Or sick or in prison and come to you?”
And the king answered
“In as much as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren,
you have done it unto me.”)
(Yeah!)

Just a little bruised in the back of the pews
acting amused with a mask on them Vatican blues
for in the eyes of the organization I was raised in
Aes’ is just another sinning brick in Hell’s basement.
Cubicle adjacent to the killers and rapists.
For what? Drugs and fucking is part of growing up.
Like cups offa dumb shit’s better than the schools!
I’m not an asshole I’m just a little confused.

Just a lit fuse in the back of the pews
watching a thousand flavors of the same God feud.
I figure ultimate-peace is the common theme.
So it’s a no-brainer-peace when the blood hit the screen.
Got a basic good and evil sensibility born
Good neighbor know a halo wouldn’t fit over horns.
I’m more science than faith, I’m more karma than bread and booze.
I’m not an asshole I’m just a little confused.
Not an asshole I’m just a little confused.
Not an asshole I’m just a little confused.
Not an asshole I’m just a little confused.

(Man 2: You know what, to be completely honest, Aesop, you’re a fucking asshole.)

Posted in Music, Video | 2 Comments »

Irreligious Song #16: El-P, “Flyentology” (feat. Trent Reznor)

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on April 24, 2011

I finally found an irreligious hip-hop song (featuring Trent Reznor!). It’s by an alternative hip-hop artist named El-P, and the song features some incredibly creative and well-constructed lyrics. The lyrics require a certain level of interpretive sophistication. In other words, you have to be a close reader. Take a look at some of the online discussions concerning the meaning of this song to see what I mean: the people who self-identify as Christian appear incapable of doing anything other than a surface analysis, and that analysis leads them to see their own beliefs in God reflected back at them. To summarize, they think the song is pro-faith. They are dead wrong. Take a listen and follow along with the lyrics. It would be interesting to hear your own interpretations. To get us started: 1) What does the sky represent in this song? 2) What do you make of the stanza describing the way in which the narrator adores God? 3) The narrator states, “This is Flyentology,” so what exactly is he saying it is?

“Flyentology” (feat. Trent Reznor, Rob Sonic)

[Trent Reznor:]
Keep me in the sky, that’s all that I cry
I’ll become your servant if it’s worth your time
Keep me in the sky, that’s all that I’ll say
I’ll become your soldier, at least for this day
Keep me in the sky, that’s all that I cry
I’ll become your servant if it’s worth your time
Keep me in the sky, that’s all that I’ll say

[El-P:]
I know I haven’t been walking a humble path
I know I cursed at your name and then laughed
And though I found it inane to bend calf
The servitude of groveling framed as pained task
I gotta figure, it can’t hurt to ask
Suspension of disbelief in uniquely freak flash
Admission of the faithfully shaken, now trapped
30 thousand and dropping it’s on and popping at last

[Trent Reznor:]
Keep me in the sky, that’s all that I cry
I’ll become your servant if it’s worth your time
Keep me in the sky, that’s all that I’ll say
I’ll become your soldier, at least for this day

No!
There are no atheists in the foxholes
No!
There is no intellect in the air
No!
There are no scientists on the way down
Just a working example of faith versus physics [x2]

[El-P:]
Flyentology (oh god)
Everybody get your ticket today
Flyentology (oh god)
Welcome aboard, sir, right this way
Flyentology, flyen-flyentology (oh god)
Our bible is in your seat back pocket
Flyentology (oh god)
Tuck your head between your legs, now pray

I adore you
The same way that others always adored you
Emergency, humility
Just break glass
I implore
With no knowledge of dogma to conform to
I know I don’t deserve it, but save my ass
And if I’m going down, let me do it in first class
The paganistic prayer of a heathen with wild past
Please forgive my bastardized style dash
And anoint me with salvation in form of non-crash

I wanna live so bad
All my life, I’ve been so arrogant
This is the vessel of my ‘wakening
Please father, put your hand out
Carry it
I wanna live so bad
All my life, I’ve been so arrogant
This is the vessel of my ‘wakening
God damn it, put your hand out
Carry it

[Trent Reznor:]
No!
There are no atheists in the foxholes
No!
There is no intellect in the air
No!
There are no scientists on the way down
Just a working example of faith versus physics [x2]

[El-P + backing vocals by Trent Reznor:]
This is (oh god)
This is flyentology (oh god)
Flyentology (oh god)
Flyentology (oh god)

[Trent Reznor:]
Keep me in the sky, that’s all that I cry
I’ll become your servant if it’s worth your time
Keep me in the sky, that’s all that I’ll say
I’ll become your soldier, at least for this day [x2]

No!

Posted in Music, Video | Leave a Comment »

Irreligious Song #15: “The Skeptic in the Room”

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on March 25, 2011

This song is a little different from the other irreligious songs I’ve posted in the past. Namely, it doesn’t make heavy use of dissonance! If you found my other song posts a bit too noisy for your tastes, see what you think of this one. It’s a very funny little ditty by someone named Eddie Scott called “The Skeptic in the Room.” Scott plays an acoustic guitar while he sings, and his song consists of five “chapters” that cover the topics of auras, UFOs, homeopathy, Christianity, and vaccinations.

Posted in Faith vs. Evidence, Humor, Video | Leave a Comment »

The Fear, Hate, and Madness of Evangelicals

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on March 22, 2011

Remember Victoria Jackson from Saturday Night Live? She’s the one with the high-pitched, air-head voice. She used to grate on my nerves for that reason, before I knew what a hateful, nasty human she was. Whenever I debate Christians, I always try to go to the root of their beliefs in sin. To me, that belief in the inherent evilness of all humans, and the equating of the “sinner” with Evil, is what makes Christianity rotten at the root. It is an ideology that hyperfocuses on the imaginary existence of Evil, and is therefore a mainly negative belief system. Talking about Jesus’ love is nice, but words are cheap.

Posted in Religion in the News, Video | 11 Comments »

Irreligious Song #14: My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, “Kooler Than Jesus”

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on March 19, 2011

When I was first introduced to My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, after I had been suspended from my Christian college but prior to my status as full apostate, I admit I was a bit freaked out by their open use of and frequent allusion to symbols and content related to the occult. Their music is VERY campy, so their use of the occult ends up being very tongue-in-cheek. It’s almost as if they are embracing the occult wholeheartedly (with a wink) as way of parodying Christianity. And boy, do they ever mock Christianity. I had a difficult time deciding which song to post, because they just have so many to choose from. The one I ended up choosing is one of their most popular ones, although it’s not one of my favorites. Still, it gives a good idea of what their music sounds like, and it’s a good introduction to their style of heresy. I haven’t bothered to include the lyrics, since they consist of short snippets of samples and individual phrases. They’re pretty easy to catch on your own, and I’ll go ahead and share my favorite lines: “I am the electric Messiah. The AC/DC God.” It’s meaningless but filled with heresy and, therefore, fun!

Posted in Music, Video | Leave a Comment »

Christianity is a delusion (as is all religion)

Posted by Ann on March 7, 2011

This video makes me laugh. It seems so clearly obvious. And the tone of the narrator is spot on (and so polite, sorta). The video outlines why what you believe, if you believe in religion or god, is a delusion. If only it was as easy as emailing this out to all of my faithful family and friends who are living under the delusion of Christian normalcy.  Sometimes it feels as though I should be able to take people by the shoulders, look them in the eyes point blank, and shake them out of the spell woven by their own minds.  Or maybe pry their eyes open and make them watch this video a dozen times (I kid, of course). A deprogramming video from WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com (with credit to Loftus for pointing me there):

“Thinking is the solution. If you will turn on your brain, the depth of your delusion will become obvious to you, and you will be able to start down the path to recovery.”

Posted in Humor, thoughts, Video | Leave a Comment »

“The Atheist Experience”

Posted by Noraa on January 21, 2011

This show has some pretty funny call ins. This is just one example……..

Posted in Video | 22 Comments »