Monday, December 20, 2010

Kentucky Gives Initial OK to Tax Breaks for Noah's Ark

I can't make this shit up. This is wonderful news. As if the world needed another reason not to go to Kentucky.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – A group of investors looking to build a replica of Noah's Ark as part of a proposed $172 million theme park cleared its first bureaucratic hurdle on Monday.
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority granted preliminary approval for state tax incentives for the project. An economic analysis must be done before being considered for final approval.
"Actually, all we're doing is saying 'go do your study and bring it back to us,'" said Darrel BeShears, a member of the financing panel.
Mike Zovath, co-founder of the Answers in Genesis ministry that opened the Creation Museum in Kentucky three years ago, said investors are looking to build a full-scale replica of the ark in what would be an expansive theme park that could draw some 1.6 million visitors a year.
Investors, attracted by Kentucky's tourism tax incentives, are considering an 800-acre site near Williamstown, just off Interstate 75.
Gov. Steve Beshear, who gave the proposal in a Capitol press conference earlier this month, has said he favors tax incentives for the ark park that is projected to create about 900 permanent jobs and have a $214 million economic impact in its first year of operation.
Some detractors, including Americans United for the Separation of Church and State executive director Barry Lynn, have objected to the state providing tax incentives for a project with a religious theme. Lynn said religious projects should be supported by voluntary donations, not the government.
The newest project would include an ancient walled city, a petting zoo, live animal shows featuring giraffes and elephants and a replica of the biblical Tower of Babel.
The Tourism Development Finance Authority also gave final approval Monday to tourism tax breaks to Kentucky Speedway, which will host its first Sprint Cup race later this year.
Kentucky Speedway is undergoing an $82 million expansion to accommodate the Sprint Cup. That includes expanding seating from 60,000 to 102,000.
Ark Encounter:

The Reason for the Season . . .

As we enter the holiday season, I thought it appropriate to reflect on a few of the loving words of Jesus. Share these with your family as you enjoy the warmth of the season and all its blessings. Ahhh . . . good times.

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."

- Jesus (Luke 14:26)

"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."

- Jesus (Luke 19:27)



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."
- Thomas Jefferson

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Not All Bad Out There...

This is awesome! I love seeing folks get behind their team. I love seeing our team playing well on such a huge stage. They've worked their asses off.

Every American should give-up whatever they now do on Sundays, get out in the park and play some soccer. Our real sins are committed at the dinner table. Soccer could offer a real cure.

U-S-A !!!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You got to Respect the Mormon

Yes you do! With all the crazy religions in the world, and all of them are crazy, you have to clap your hands for the Mormon. Nobody gets hurt. And as ridiculous as the Mormon faith is with all its idiosyncrasies, i.e., Joseph Smith and his verifiable criminal record, The Word of Wisdom, which clearly defines a Mormonic diet, the allowance of polygamy, a dead person's spirit in prison, and Jesus visiting the Americas to name a few, still the lasting effects of being a Mormon are nominal at best. In truth the Mormon, and I'm speaking of the Mormons I've encountered in my life, stick to their beliefs. They don't end up on T.V. involved in some homosexual scandal, they don't rape little boys on a global scale, or sneak off and do crank for a weekend in a seedy hotel room with some guy made up like Tammy Faye Baker in a really bad dress.

The point is that we spend too much time saying one thing and doing another. Having come from a religious upbringing I do hold religious people to a higher standard, just as they hold non-religious people to a lower standard. "One without religion is bound to do evil things" is the dogma when all my life its been the opposite way around. The atrocities throughout history fall on the shoulders of the religious. Except for the Mormon, anyone remember the Mormon Wars? Me neither. While, to me, they may be the silliest of all religious systems in America, they are pretty harmless. I just can't get passed the fact that they are always in close proximity to a public school.
Otherwise....Bravo Mormon, Bravo!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Project Reason Video Contest

This is one of the finalist from the Project Reason video contest. This is an amateur video created by reasoning folks like you and me. It's a hopeful glimpse at a post-religion existence of humans. Please check it out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Andromeda Society Meeting 7:00PM

A couple of us attended a meeting of the local Andromeda Society recently because of an advertised video and discussion about the Big Bang Theory. I thought it would be an interesting break from reading about religion. Imagine my surprise when I found myself in a discussion with a member in which each time the science behind the theory reached an area it wasn't sure about, he immediately interjected God. I though it was hilarious. Scientist - as egotistical and cocksure as they can be, are perfectly comfortable saying "I don't know". Ignorance is often honesty. The religious guy was absolutely sure God caused the unexplained questions in the theory. I finally had to tell him statements like that were not only ridiculous, but they are conversation stoppers.

I have to wonder, what would we know about our universe and ourselves if we could leave this nonsense out of the equation? Science has been forced to operate - not in light of religion, but in spite of religion. Why are people comfortable interjecting ideas for which they have no evidence and couldn't possibly be sure of, as if they are? Religion holds this immunity in conversation.

It could be that spirituality in the absence of religion is a good thing. I happen to think there is evidence of this. There could be spiritual truths that could be reconciled with scientific truths - and could be held at the same time. It's probably through getting to the core of this that we can finally discover Universal Truths. The idea gives me goose bumps. It sounds like a world in which I'd like to live. Not to sound trite, but can you imagine a world where we can finally admit to ourselves that God doesn't write books, promise little sections of beach to certain chosen groups, or answer prayers about your illness or the promotion at work? That God doesn't always side with the nation in which you happen to be born for all matters (including wars), that God doesn't take away your sins and only you are responsible for the relationships you create around you?

Could it be that Love, Peace, and Harmony are the Universal Truths we seek? Could it be that they are the basis of all morality? Could it be that we hold these truths - and always have?

Could it be that freedom from bad ideas is all we need to make us aware again?


Monday, February 15, 2010

Marcus Brigstocke On Religion

This is great. Everyone should see this. A funny take on the sad truth.

I am often forced to contemplate whether or not religion is harmful inherently to our existence or if only through its misuse and abomination. These days, I cannot see the difference. The question is essentially - Is religion itself bad? Or do humans do bad things in the name of religion? What's the difference? Again, I don't see one. As Voltaire famously wrote, "As long as people believe absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities."

No one pondered and studied this question more than Thomas Paine. Fortunately for us, he wrote, with great eloquence, on the subject in The Age of Reason. Interestingly - considering the pre-Darwinian context of his writings, one stands in amazement of his insight. He knew the origin of the world around him was greater than the church's explanation. But the church's adherence to flawed explanation and its efforts to restrict further examination (one can only suppose because its fear of the truth) was the aim of Paine's dissatisfaction. Consider this passage from the above mentioned text:

"[W]hen a system of religion is made to grow out of a supposed system of creation that is not true, and to unite itself therewith in a manner almost inseparable therefrom, the case assumes an entirely different ground. It is then that errors, not morally bad, become fraught with the same mischiefs as if they were. It is then that the truth, though otherwise indifferent in itself, becomes an essential, by becoming the criterion, that either confirms by corresponding evidence, or denies by contradictory evidence, the reality of the religion itself."

All religions are built upon lies and deceit. The idea that good will eventually come from them is irresponsible. It is an idea overdue for abandonment.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Do We Ask Too Much From God?

Dear God,

Please create us in your image, shape us, shape our lives, oh wait - create the universe first, create the Earth, create the sky above us, create all the species (both living and extinct), create the seasons for us to air condition, and please God I really need that raise. Please send us your son for us to kill and ignore, no wait, for us to adore for the rest of time or until you call us up to heaven - I know it's coming soon, and please make it soon before this foreclosure goes through, did I mention that raise? Please God, how about those Saints in their first Superbowl this Sunday? You know, I have $100 on them and I already promised 10% to Rick Warren's Mega Crutch for the rest of his hair plugs - and goddamn, they're called the Saints for chrissake! (sorry, and sorry). Anyway, could you also favor the country I happened to be born in for all matters (especially wars)? Please guide our lives, tell us whom to marry, whom to love, guide me in voting for the right (Right?) candidate, guide my career decisions, habits, friendships and acquaintances. Also, please look after Grandma and her surgery, please look-after all the babies - wait not those babies, these babies. Please make the weather nice so I can go mountain biking tomorrow, please help me understand fossils and science in general. I really need that raise God. Please create other "false" religions for us to compare ourselves to, and later annihilate. And if a plane crashes somewhere with 200 people on board, please save at least 1 so we can call it a miracle and not lose faith, so help us God. In God We Trust,

"Die stimme der vernunft ist leise."