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Well, ladies and gents, I have good news. Mr. Webster Cook, who many of you may remember as being involved in the “crackergate,” incident earlier this year, has had his impeachment from the SGA senate overturned and sent back to the senate for additional review due to the charge that SGA officials violated due process in the process of his impeachment trial.

The vote on the charge of violation was 8-0-0 in favor of violation and a 7-1-0 vote to return the case back to the Senate.

Cook was impeached from the 40th Student Senate in August on the charge of misfeasance. He then appealed the decision on the basis that SGA officials did not publicly post notice of interviews with witnesses pertaining to the June 29 incident. I only hope that the insanity has died down enough for the senate to realize the inanity and stupidity of the charges.

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Only a breath divides belief from doubt,
‘Tis muttered breath that makes a man devout,
Yea, death from life only a breath divides–
O haste to drink before that breath is out.

~The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Richard Le Gallienne Translation

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When I first started this blog, one of the early posts concerned a Mr. Webster Cook, accused Eucharist thief. In the aftermath of what has colloquially known as Crackergate or Wafergate, there were calls from many catholics for Mr. Cook’s expulsion from the University of Central Florida. Thankfully, cool heads prevailed and a panel made up of both students and administrators unanimously determined that there was no clear evidence that either Mr. Cook or Ben Collard (his companion during the cited incident) had done anything which merited suspension or expulsion.

This is wonderful news people! I would love to see Donahue’s face when he reads about this. But aside from my vindictive streak, I think this is an excellent decision on the part of the school. Sadly the student government is not quite so reasonable and has scheduled an impeachment hearing to determine his fitness as a student senator on August 28th. Send him your support people!

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I found this absolutely beautiful story written by the late Arturo Vivante which was just published in the latest edition of Freethought Today. (Thanks to the Hemant the Friendly Atheist for the heads up.)

It’s a beautiful piece about a situation almost all of us have been in. A Christian comes up to you in the street and asks if you have been saved. I only wish that I could match the beauty and articulation of the Arturo’s responses in this story. Without further ado:

An Atheist Meets A Theist On The Street (more…)

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It is time… for a change. I say to you today, my fiends that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. I have a dream that one day warlocks atheists will rise up and cast off the shackles of oppression.

I have a dream that one day we will no longer be judged upon how different we are from you.

I have a dream that one day, we will be looked at and labeled simply, as ‘friend’.

I have a dream that one day, when this all occurs, that we take advantage of surprise and slaughter as many of you as possible. I have a dream that one day there will be no structure left standing, no man or woman left un-decapitated and no babies left un-devoured. I have a dream that none of you are spared from the horrors of our rule.

FREE AT LAST! YOU’RE ALL DEAD, BUT WE ARE FREE AT LAST!

(more…)

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I got this article from the IndyStar newspaper in my email from my good friend Shelley and I couldn’t resist commenting on it. It is the story of a group of people in rural Indiana where protesters have been protesting a sex shop and harassing its customers in a 24/7 effort since august 2005. The protestors take pictures of the customers and their license plates, threatening to contact the customer’s employers and inform them of their shopping habits. Both sides of this case are claiming free speech rights and that the first amendment is on their side.

What would be interesting is if the protesters actually did contact the employers of one of the people who entered the store. I believe that such an action would be grounds for that individual to file a harassment lawsuit against the protesters.

I am consistently amazed at the visceral need of many humans to know and police what other people do both in their private lives and in their bedroom. The government and society in general has no right to regulate what goes on in your bedroom as long as no one is being harmed (Insert obligatory sado-masochism joke here.) I will not pretend to even understand why they think that a sex toy store will increase the number of child rapes. If anything it might help, maybe the guy who is eyeing the little kiddies can go to the store and get something to get his rocks off and avoid kidnapping a child.

The part of this case that I think will be a deciding factor is that the protestors have established what amounts to an Evangelical Center, complete with cross, on publicly owned land… I believe that this would more than likely fall under the precedent that a strictly religious monument cannot be established on government or public property.

In the end, I think it comes back to what I said about people having this need to control what others can do. It is not enough for the protesters that they have the option not to shop at the store, they must infringe upon the rights of their fellow citizens. I sincerely hope the protesters get a through thwack from the judge. Perhaps it’s time to have people taking pictures of the protesters and their license plates. Then post that with their home address with it. I wonder what would happen if someone took this up a notch? Maybe Lion’s Den should invest in a higher fence.

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And we’re back from a long road trip up to Ohio. A friend and I drove up there for the Ohio Atheist Coming Out party (Well to be fair she drove…) Got to meet the Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta, who gave me some great blogging advice, now if only I could find that damn piece of paper that I wrote it down on.

We even had protesters, though they were very nice. Not at all like the wackos I’m used to dealing with on campus every few weeks. Their signs just said, ‘God loves you’ and ‘You Still Matter to God.” I got to give them points, for once the grammar was correct, though that might have been due to the brevity of their slogans, but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. They were pleasant and we brought them water and food. No need for them to dehydrate on our account. It’s a nice change from the one’s on my campus who think that I have horns because I’m an atheist.

There was great food, a little bit for everyone. My favorites were the various chicken dishes and a coffee cake, both of which I really did over indulge it. Oh well, gym here I come! I have to say there is something very refreshing and freeing in being in a group of atheists. You can just let yourself talk and not worry about offending someone’s supernatural sensibilities. Hell, sensibilities in general. All the people I talked to were wonderfully open minded and entertaining. I met a great many very nice people, including a intriguing young lady who writes the blog Gadfly Society.

After lunch everyone went up to listen to speakers. Hemant was hilarious and drove home some very good points. First of all, he compared our efforts to churches and pointed out what we can learn from them, such as charity work. He also pointed out that we need to take ourselves less seriously which led to the “Yo’ atheism is so militant” jokes, which included, “Yo’ atheism is so militant, PZ Myers started complaining about your billboards.” And Yo’ atheism is so militant, crackers desecrate themselves on hearing of you. And Yo’ atheism is so militant, you’ve been excommunicated by the Unitarians.

Probably the weirdest and most entertaining part of the whole formal portion was the de-baptism ceremony which included a communion of root beer and crackers with peanut butter and honey. The whole thing started off with Frank Zindler, president of American Atheists pronouncing, “Do you agree that the magical potency of today’s ceremony is exactly equal to the magical efficacy of ceremonial baptism with di-hydrogen oxide, and od you agree that the power of all magical ceremonies is nonexistent?” The answer was obvious chorus, “AMEN BROTHER!”

They de-baptised you with, you guessed it, (more…)

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