What about the “Moderate” Muslims?

In episode 153 “Islam: Take 2,” Dan and I asked the question, “Are there moderate Muslims?” In order to make the point that the teachings of Islam itself are extreme—death penalty for adultery and homosexuality—we played the following video:

One of the things that stood out to me while watching the video is how hard it would be as a Muslim to disagree with the speaker’s position. On what legitimately Muslim grounds could you make your case that a woman who commits adultery shouldn’t be stoned?

The following video from the BBC did shed some light on this question:

What do you think? Is Islam unique in its threat to liberal western values?

The Spirit of the U.S. Army

So, in our last podcast I talked about the Army’s so-called “spiritual fitness test,” also apparently known as the Global Assessment Tool / Soldier Fitness Tracker. Unfortunately, my source for info was a little hazy, so I took to the Google-web to try to find more. That’s where I found this site which had these screen-caps of the test itself:

 Don't worry- we're totally qualified to assess your spirit... we're the Army!
 Fitness is very important to an army…

As far as I’m concerned, this represents a whole shit-load of what is wrong with how our society treats religion. It is so revered that when a link is established between lack of religiosity and soldier suicides, nobody bothers to ask why. They just assume that religion itself is the answer, and then red-flag anyone who doesn’t have religion. They completely ignore the fact that, while they have established a relationship between religious practice and not-killing-self, they’re nowhere near demonstrating a causal relationship.

Why is that so important? Because, among MANY other reasons, they’re missing a huge opportunity. HUGE! If they took half the money they’re putting into this ridiculous “fitness” evaluation, and actually looked for what, exactly, was the root cause of the added resilience religious soldiers seem to have, my guess is that they would have some very interesting data on their hands. Data that could possibly be used to design programs that could be useful to all soldiers, not just the ones with extra Jesus.

But that’s not what the U.S. Military wants. They don’t want to be in the business of safeguarding their soldiers’ psychological well-being. They just want to create automatons who won’t embarrass them later by doing something stupid like having mental health issues or killing themselves. They want to make killing machines who won’t think too much about what they’re doing. They want order-followers.

So they evaluate “spiritual fitness” in the hopes of weeding out those who won’t off themselves, rather than creating well-balanced, emotionally ready soldiers. And the suicide numbers go up… and the cycle keeps right on a-cycling.

A Few Things From the Podcast…

Some fun/frightening items for this holy week. First, the vid of "Passover Rhapsody" in all its puppet-y glory. 

 

 
Yikes. I can't believe I've missed the phenomenon of cheese-ball Jewish productions. Here I was thinking that only Christians had the collective dopiness to create something as awful as this. Oh Jewish community, I'm so sorry for doubting your cheese! And just to prove that this wasn't a one-off fluke, TGIA proudly offers this:
 
 
Shalom, y'all!

FAIL!

Oh… my… GOD!!!

We failed you! In spite of all our BEST efforts, we were unable to cobble together a podcast for this week! Mea Culpa! 

Humbly, we are chastising ourselves, appropriately flagellating and scourging our bodies, and looking into systems that we can put into place so this doesn't happen again (maybe next time, we'll just run an episode of Touched by an Angel backwards and see if you guys hear any hidden messages…).

So… until late Wednesday night, which is when we usually post our little show, I'll have to leave you with this bit of wackiness (middle-aged white guy nuttiness begins at about the 0:30 mark). There's a prize for anyone who can understand more than three words this guy sings…

Slight Delay…

So, sometimes folks get sick. Or a family emergency occurs. Or somebody hits his head really hard on something.

If one of these eventualities occurs (let's say the last one, for example), and you run a two-man operation, it can mean that you have to postpone your podcast release for the week. So no podcast today. Sorry. Look for it Sunday evening!

(If I were you, I'd start building my excitement now about it… then when you finally get to listen to it, you'll be so stoked that it will blow your mind!)(Or you'll be hideously disappointed. One or the other)

In the meantime, here's this. You're welcome.

 

Announcing… PODCAST!

tgia-podcast-large.jpg

TGIA HAS A PODCAST! WOOHOO!

Isn’t that FUN? It’s me (Dan) and fellow non-believer Frank opining away about current events and livin’ la vida ateo…

So, if you want to listen, you can stream it from our web site, or scoot on over to here, or (recommended) go to iTunes and type “Thank God I’m Atheist” into the search bar. Then click “subscribe”, and sounds of joy and jubilation will spring forth from your computer, and choirs of angels will sing, and confetti and balloons will drop from your ceiling, and the lion shall lie down with the lamb, and all will be well in the Universe. Thus sayeth the Lord. And by Lord, I mean me. And I could be lying….