There were flags. There were speeches. There were songs.
There were men in uniform. There were women in uniform. There were even children in uniform.
A few hundred people attended today’s Memorial Day ceremony, a solemn occasion that’s become annual tradition here in our neighborhood in The Lakes section of Las Vegas.
Most moving of all were the veterans who proudly stood before us and made speeches in which they remembered their fallen comrades — in Korea, in Vietnam, in the Middle East. Indeed, today was (and is) a time to reflect upon and commemorate the ultimate sacrifices of all those whose voices have become faint echoes and distant memories, now entombed with the earth. We need not have known the fallen to honor them.
Sincere thanks to The Lakes community association, organizers, attendees, musicians, Congressman Joe Heck (who attended and gave a moving speech) — and most of all, the veterans.
Hooray! Let’s hear it for the nuns! Oops, make that the “nones” — as in those of us with “no religious conviction.”
Earlier this month, one of America’s most respected polling organizations, the impartial and non-partisan Pew Research Center, announced their findings in a nationwide survey on faith and religious practices. This was the first comprehensive survey conducted on the subject since 2007, and included 35,000 respondents from all across the country. The poll results revealed startling decline in adherence to mainline Christianity, losses suffered equally by Protestant and Catholic denominations. In fact, according to the poll, there are now more “nones” in America right now — defined as persons with no religion faith nor affiliation — than Catholics. That’s a first in our history. Nearly one-quarter of the entire U.S. population (projected at 80 million people) self-identifies themselves as agnostic, atheist, or answers “nothing” when asked about their religious faith.
As encouraging as this news is to those of us who champion secularism, nonetheless, I’m still convinced the Pew Research Center data grossly underestimates the actual number of Americans who have no religion conviction. Allegedly, it’s now 23 percent of the population according to the 2015 survey. I suspect the actual number of non-believers is significantly higher, and I’m about to explain why.
Are we finally splintering off from the evil epoch of organized religion’s incontrovertible power over vast populations, on the verge of entering of a new age of reason?
This certainly appears to be the case in many the world’s most advanced cultures and countries, and no where is this metaphysical revolution more blatantly obvious at the moment than what’s happening within the Republic of Ireland (and Northern Ireland, too — although the casualty here is Protestantism).
Once one of the most fiercely loyal Catholic societies on the planet, Ireland is now changing before our eyes, certainly by the day, and almost by the minute with every new birth certificate being inked. Each new birth currently means it’s more likely that child will not be part of what used to be called the traditional religious order. So severe has been the decline of conventional practices of faith and the collective national trust in organized religion within Ireland, that a whopping 25 percent of all former practicing Catholics (from just a generation ago) have since abandoned the church. Two things — (1) rampant indifference to organized religion and (2) secular humanism — have stepped in and filled the void. READ MORE HERE [SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN]
Driving down La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles at about 1 am tonight and while waiting at a red light, I pulled up alongside this veritable lighthouse of crime. And that’s when it suddenly hit me.
Look what’s open for business 24-hours a day, seven days a week. A self-professed “psychic.”
How in the fuck are these businesses even legal? And more important to the current discussion facing so many of us in what’s become a time of crisis, how is there an active movement and well-oiled machine to outlaw playing poker on your home computer here in the United States of America, but there’s no such even remotely comparable righteous indication targeted towards the swindlers and liars and con artists and menaces to society that make up those who run these cathedrals of exploitation? Where are the Sheldon Adelson’s of the world on this subject?
Congratulations to President Barack Obama for finally standing up and challenging the fables of historical Christian righteousness in a bold speech he delivered yesterday in Washington.
Predictably, the speech pissed off lots of witch doctors in the audience and has since frenzied the political right into a pack of rabid wolves who are now foaming at the mouth after what they heard the President say.
His controversial remarks about religious extremism and Christianity’s long and loathsome tradition of violence (READ MORE HERE) were offered at an annual gathering of Christian leaders called the National Prayer Breakfast. Organized by a super-secret organization known as The Fellowship Foundation, the group purports to “provide a fellowship forum for decision makers to share in Bible studies, prayer meetings, worship experiences, and to experience spiritual affirmation and support.” The meeting has taken place every year since 1953. [Footnote 1]