Friday, July 31, 2009


wwjd, money, christian, christianity, jesus,
Probably not run a credit collection agency. I have no idea what the legal issues involved in this are, but I find it uniquely hilarious that a credit collection agency's motto was "What Would Jesus Do?"

The plaintiffs in the suit, Mark and Sara Neill, claimed they were harassed and oppressed when they received a collection letter from Bullseye Collection Agency that included the acronym "WWJD," which is often considered to stand for “What Would Jesus Do?”

Bullseye, however, argued that "WWJD" is not oppressive as a matter of law and cannot violate the law. Furthermore, the agency argued, if any law actually prohibits the use of "WWJD" as a business motto, then such law is unconstitutional, because it violates the company’s freedom of speech, freedom of religion and equal protection rights.


Luke 12:15- Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Matt 19:21- Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Jesus would not have been all into the credit collections. But muches lulz on putting WWJD on a collection letter.

So You've Been Left Behind . . .

rapture, god, jesus, bible, premillenial, dispensationalism, satan
I found an honest to goodness left behind letter! (As well as numerous pictures of materials actual people keep in their homes for those of us left behind. I got that comforter for my birthday, btw. It's incredibly light and incredibly warm.) In case you're confused, a left behind letter is a letter written by a believer in the Rapture to their loved ones to be read after the Rapture occurs. Mind you, these people believe that every Real True Christian(tm), as well as every child under a certain age (around puberty, cuz puberty is Teh Sinful), has disappeared off the planet, en masse, in the "twinkling of an eye". Consider the insanity that would follow such an event, and then read the letter.

Dear loved ones and friends:

Please forgive me if I don’t begin this letter with a proper salutation because i'd totally be offended by a lack of "proper salutation" after every child on the planet has disappeared, but since I don’t know who will read it when the time comes, I can’t properly address it to any particular person. Suffice it to say that it is intended for anyone who reads it. It is early January, 2002, as I type this, and early June of the same year as I revise it (and just a few months later--late August--as I post this online version on Geocities). (Now that it's 2009 and Geocities will be going out of commission later this year, I'm moving it, and all my other Web sites, to , as I’ve said. the fact that 7 years has passed and still no Rapture hasn't fazed her a bit!.

By the time you read this letter i'll be dead. no, wait, ascended into heaven. it is too totally different!, millions of people will have disappeared from the earth--including me! I’ve printed some information from the Internet, and enclosed a booklet titled “What to Do if You Miss the Rapture!” and a video titled “Have You Been Left Behind?”--all of which will explain what happened, and what you need to do. I’m including that information with the hard-copy version of this letter, along with a pocket-sized New Testament, a separate copy of the Gospel of John, and several salvation tracts. food, water and medicine to help you survive the ensuing chaos, not so much. First, though, I want to say a few things.

What’s happened is that God has taken all Christians to Heaven. which is entirely unlike death in every way. Every person who received Jesus as Lord and Savior, and every baby and child who’s below the age of accountability (or, rather, not old enough to understand the concept of sin and what it can do puberty) has been taken to be with the Lord. He’s given us brand-new bodies--bodies that will never die, or get sick or hurt. sucks to be you, down there on earth in your old, dying, sick, hurting body. anyway . . . And not only has He called all live Christians to Heaven, He has resurrected every Christian and child who’s died since Jesus ascended to Heaven, 2,000 years ago. everyone before that can suck it! He’s given them the same kinds of bodies He’s given us. (If you visit the area cemeteries, you’ll discover that many of the graves are now empty.) Not only are all adult and teenage born-again Christians gone, so are the babies and young children, both the living and the dead. They’ve been taken up, too, as I’ve said.

(BTW, there may be supposed Christians who were left behind. If so, you need to know this: many think they are Christians simply because they try to be good people, or because they go to church, or because they come from Christian families. Only the person who recognizes his sinfulness and makes the decision to accept Jesus’ offer of salvation can go to Heaven, and these people have failed to do that. If you want to read about how Jesus saved my soul, click on this link.) they weren't Real True Christians(tm) like me! and now they'll pay for it!

The first thing I want you to know is this: I am not dead! I am in Heaven, yes, but I did not die to go up there. first of all, what is the difference to this left behind loved one? and how does this "fact" help them with their grief? you're still gone. That's right, my soul and spirit are still firmly attached to my body, which is now made of a material that can live in both Heaven and on earth! teflon? (It's the same material that Jesus' body is made of. spandex?) I am just as alive and well as I was before I left earth, and maybe more so. So please don’t grieve. what is this, the fourth paragraph of gloating so far? i'm in heaven, make of teflon (or possibly spandex) and you're stuck down there!

The reason I’m typing this is because my concern, now, is for you. and the gloating. it's delicious. You need to know what’s going to happen and what you need to do. The information I printed out and stored in the envelope will explain, better than I can, those things--please read it! All of it! And watch the video, too! It’s vital that you do so, and I’ll tell you why. boy, i hope i don't get killed by the antichrist while reading this apparently useless letter. the videos are better! ! !!

What happened to the other Christians and me is something that God predicted 2,000 years ago. Long before that, He predicted that there would be a resurrection of the good and the wicked, but only after Jesus came did He predict that there would be a generation of believers that would never know death, but go to Heaven without dying. you know, the people that actually knew Jesus were expecting to be that generation. suckas! We are part of that generation, and I had the privilege of being caught up when the day came. man this woman can gloat! We will be in Heaven for 7 years or more, until Jesus comes back to this planet. and then it's back to earth for us. with you. and your sucky, nonteflon body.

In the meantime, terrible times are coming for the people left on the earth. too bad you're not made of teflon. There will be a 7-year period that the Bible calls the Tribulation, and Jesus Himself said that it would be so bad that unless He cut it short, no one would be saved. he could cut it short, but he won't. god's a dick like that. Thankfully, Jesus said that, for the sake of those who accept Him during that period, those days will be shortened. by death! Unfortunately, the vast majority of people will die while the Tribulation’s in progress. God’s wrath will be poured out on the world during that time. It will be His last-ditch effort to get people’s attention so they’ll turn to Him because simply holding a news conference, or arranging every star in the sky to read "believe in me" wasn't an option.; unfortunately, the majority of the people will refuse to listen, and will die and go to Hell as a result.

My plea and my prayer is that you will not be among those people!!! if you're going to die, die believing. Please heed what I’m writing, what the people who wrote the information I printed out wrote, and what’s explained on the video. I can’t promise that you’ll survive physically, actually, according to what i just said, you won't. but if you’ll do what I’m telling you, I promise that you will survive spiritually, not as good a deal as my teflon body, but what can you do? and then when it’s over, you’ll be resurrected, too--to spend eternity with Jesus. When that happens, we’ll be together again, always.

There will soon be a one-world government, headquartered in Europe, and its leader will be an extremely wicked man that the Bible calls by a number of names--the Antichrist, the Man of Sin, the beast, etc. no, he's never referred to as the antichrist, but whatever. He will sign a 7-year covenant with Israel that will officially start the Tribulation. The Antichrist will be possessed by Satan himself, will have the ability to deceive people, and will demand worship. but god, in his infinite mercy, will totally blame you for being deceived by a powerful, supernatural being. you know, mercy. And the way he’ll get it is this: he’ll set in motion a system where people have to accept in the hand or forehead something that the Book of Revelation calls a mark. No one will be able to buy, sell, or hold a job without one. To receive the mark, they’ll have to worship the Antichrist and reject all other gods, including the true God. To make it worse, there will come a time when anyone who refuses the mark (which will be either a tattoo or, more likely, a computer implant) will be martyred. mercy is a relative term.

Please, please, don’t--I repeat, do NOT--accept that mark!!!! accept the martyring. The Bible makes it very plain that to do so will be an unforgivable sin. Anyone who does will be condemned to Hell for all eternity--they will not be able to accept Jesus as Savior if they’ve accepted the Antichrist’s mark. If you take it, we’ll never be together again, and you will suffer God’s wrath forever. i recommend a heroin addiction. you may as well have fun with your ability to buy things. I don’t want that to happen to you; PLEASE heed what I’m saying! I beg you. who actually says "heed"?

When the 7-year period ends, Jesus will return to Earth, and we who were Raptured or resurrected will come with him--on white horses! teflon bodies and ponies! Jesus will bind the devil and lock him in a bottomless pit for a thousand years. and then let him back out. for no apparent reason. Everyone who accepted the mark and worshipped the Antichrist--those who are still alive when He comes--will die. slaughtered by Jesus while the people on white horses watch. Those believers in Jesus who survived the Tribulation will go into Jesus’ new Kingdom as mortal believers. no teflon bodies for you! They will marry, have children, and hold jobs or own their own businesses. what sort of business does one own after most of the world's population is roasting in hell? They will live throughout the 1000-year period. The only people who will die during the Millennium will be unbelievers who commit serious sins wait- unbelievers? (some of the believers’ children, grandchildren, etc., will be unbelievers, sad to say with Jesus standing right there? seriously? that's like not believing in trees.).

I want you all to be part of this, too--those of you who were left behind--so I’m leaving you this information, both this online version and the hard-copy version. I’m also leaving you my Bibles, my Bible prophecy books (both nonfiction and novels), and my other Christian books, videos, audiocassettes, and CDs. Please read them, watch them, and listen to them; in particular, watch the video I’ve enclosed with the hard-copy version of this letter, read the information in the manila envelope, and read my Bibles--they’re yours now. And pray that God will protect you and guide you, because now as never before, your lives depend on your doing so. because being martyred is "protection". mm hmmm.

That’s all I can think of to say right now, so I’ll close off here. Now that you’ve read my letter, please read carefully the information I included in the manila envelope with it, and watch the video. The video itself is just 15-20 minutes long, so it won’t take you long to watch it all. 15-20 minutes, in fact. I will pray that God will see you through the times that are coming right up until you are martyred for following my instructions, so that we can be together again. Until then, know that I love you!

If you are able to survive till then, you will do the same.
the same what? If not, you will be resurrected and given a new body, and you’ll be part of the new Kingdom, too. And either way, we’ll be together once more, and it will be a happy time, believe me! happy except for mourning all the people who died horribly and then went to hell for all eternity. Then, after 1,000 years, God will sentence the devil to be trapped forever in a horrible lake of fire (along with everyone who refused to accept Jesus). wtf? He’ll destroy this earth, and create a brand-new one and a brand-new universe to go with it. cuz this one's getting a little run down. even god likes that new house smell. Everyone who had a personal relationship with God will live with God on that new earth forever, in the kind of resurrection bodies those of us who were Raptured or resurrected are enjoying now. see, eventually you get teflon bodies! it just takes a while.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

40 Days

iran, neda, revolution, murder,
Although Michael Jackson's death wiped it right out of the media, unrest and rebellion continues in Iran. Today, 40 days* after the infamous murder of Neda, protests have begun anew at a graveside memorial for her.

Iranian police fired tear gas and beat anti-government protesters with batons to disperse thousands at a graveside memorial Thursday for victims of post-election violence, witnesses and state television said.

Demonstrations that drew thousands more later spread to other parts of the capital Tehran and more clashes with security forces erupted. Witnesses said police fired tear gas at dozens of demonstrators on Valiasr Street who set tires and trash cans ablaze in response.

. . .

Neda is alive, Ahmadinejad is dead," some of those at the ceremony chanted, referring to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who the opposition claims won the June 12 election by fraud. Witnesses said plainclothes forces charged at them with batons and tear gas, some of them chanting, "Death to those who are against the supreme leader." State television also reported that police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Sarah and others I have spoken to in Iran: I hope you are well and safe. I hope that the sacrifices of you and your fellow Iranians leads to that which you are willing to fight for, and I take for granted: a vote that counts. Be well.

*Shia muslims honor the dead 7 and 40 days after death. During the 1979 revolution in Iran, protests and rebellions washed over the country in 40 day cycles for almost a year, the violence on each 40th day leading to deaths that caused another wave of violence 40 days later. The weird thing about today's events in Iran is that Khomeini and Ahmadinejad know this, because they benefited from it 30 years ago. You'd think they would have seen today coming.

What Is Wrong with People?

secretary, legal, stupid,
I am a legal secretary at a law firm that has four partners, six associates, two of counsels and 8 secretaries/paralegals. While the receptionist is on lunch, I answer the phones. It's only an hour, but every day I learn to hate phones and the general public a little bit more.

Conversation 1:

client: Attorney X, please

me (sitting 10' away from Attorney X, who is clearly on the phone): He's on another call, would you like to leave a message?

client: He's trying to call me.

me (listens to Attorney X's conversation for 30 seconds. He is clearly not leaving a message): I'm sorry, Attorney X is having a conversation with someone on the phone, would you like to leave a message?

client: He just called me 5 seconds ago.

me: He's probably going through his messages and returning calls. I can take a message for him and have him call you back.

client: hmph! He just called me! How can he be on the phone with someone else?!

me: headdesk

Conversation 2 (within 5 minutes of Conversation 1):

client: I need to speak to someone about my will.

me: Is someone here drafting your will already, or . . .?

client: I was talking to one of the girls about it.

me (it wasn't me): Which secretary were you talking to?

client: I don't know!

me: Well, there's Jane, Joan, Janet and Jean. Was it one of them?

client: How would I know?

me: Okay, which attorney are you working with?

client: Why do you need to know that?

me: Ow!

Seriously, what is wrong with people?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The English Language

english, spelling, grammar, metaphor, simile
Why is it the average Middle Easterner seems to have a better grasp of English than the average US blogger? Sure, nonnative speakers will misplace apostrophes, misspell and construct the occasional awkward sentence*, but I rarely see them abusing English the way native speakers do.

For example, certain words cannot be combined with modifiers, such as "unique" or "confidential". One of the attorneys where I work just told me something is "very confidential". No. Either something is confidential, or it is not. Nothing is "somewhat confidential" or "really confidential". The same goes for unique. Either something is entirely unlike everything else or it's not, but nothing is somewhat entirely unlike everything else. Duh.

Oh, and can we discuss metaphors for a moment? Most people seem incapable of creating appropriate metaphors. I offer up for your perusal an example that while screamingly funny, also makes me want to cry. Or punch kittens.

A Stronger, Healthier America by Scott Robinson. It's a screed about letting poor children starve and letting old people die of easily treatable illnesses because, well, that's American or something. What's actually worse than the uberGOP rhetoric? This metaphor**:

Fortunately, she didn’t let the looks she was getting, where people seemed to scream with all the color in their eyes “why is there a crazy person taking a picture of the poster on the wall?” stop her from capturing this image.

"Scream with all the color in their eyes"? Really? How does one do that exactly? Can I, a brown-eyed person, scream louder than a blue-eyed person? (Less melanin, dontcha know.) That left a big ole bruise on English's tender face.

We'll end with a quick reminder of what appear to be very confusing English words:

They're, their, and there: they are, possessive of they, a place

It's and its: it is and possessive of it.

insure and ensure: relates to insurance and to secure or guarantee

affect and effect: when you affect a situation, you have an effect upon it. or, verb and noun.

continual and continuous: continual is frequently, recurring and intermittent. continuous is unceasing.

whose and who's: possessive and who is.

feel free to add your own. oh, and "add" is to unite or join so as to increase in number. "ad" is short for advertisement.

*Really, don't we all? I do it, though part of the problem is that I know what I meant to say, so when I reread what I've written, I'm not entirely reading what's on the screen, I'm also reading what's in my head.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blitz, Blitz and Blitz Again

Jim Johnson, master of the blitz, passed away today. He will be missed.

Well, That Explains a Lot

fox, news, middle east, iraq, egypt, lebanon

This is what Fox News, and their viewers, think the Middle East looks like. Either Egypt has miraculously switched continents, or somebody is a fucking moron. Although I suppose it's possible we won the war in Iraq and decide to recycle an old name. You know, for lulz. And who knows what happened to Lebanon in this brave new world of Fox's.

Props to Sadly, No! and props to me for figuring out how to post more than one picture, and put them where I want them. I've only been doing this for a good 10 months.

A Day in the Life

jesus, christian, christianity, bible, god, atheism, atheist,

There used to be a band from Long Island named A Day in the Life. I met the lead singer at a club, years ago, when they were opening for Vision of Disorder. His name was George and he had blue hair that day. He was one of the most genuinely kind and interesting people I have ever met. This post has nothing to do with the above, at all.

Former pastor Bruce, whom you should be reading regularly, wrote an interesting post on the belief that many Christians have that they are somehow different from the rest of us, special in that creepy way Gabriel/Sylar so desired in Heroes. If these Christians are particularly isolated from the rest of the world, they develop the belief that they are so different, so special, that the rest of us are aliens in human skin.

So, I will share a day in my life, a day in the life of an atheist, and feel free to share a day in your life.

6:30 am- woke up.

6:30 - 6:40 am- started coffee, walked dog, poured cup of coffee. very little sugar, lots of cream. somebody used my favorite mug, the red Starbucks mug I got for christmas 3 years ago, and I don't like using other mugs, although other mugs are exactly the same as my favorite mug.

6:40 - 7:30 am- showered, shaved legs, washed hair, blow dryed hair, styled hair, restyled hair, put on makeup, fixed makeup, obsessed over crow's feet, brushed teeth, got dressed, changed, again, drank coffee, drank more coffee

7:30 - 8:00 am- watch news, play with dog, drink even more coffee, obsess about lines around mouth. restyle hair.

8:00 - 8:30 am (or so)- walk to work

9:00 am - 12:00 pm- work

12:00 - 1:00 pm- lunch, which usually means run errands and try to find enough time to get to Dunkin' Donuts and buy an iced coffee.

1:00 - 5:00 pm- work

5:15 - 5:30 pm- ride bus home

5:30 - 11:00 pm (or so)- make dinner, clean up after dinner, do dishes, do laundry, Swiffer floors, vacuum rugs, walk dog 3 more times, clean up after dog, brush the amazing shedding machine otherwise known as my dog, watch tv, play video games, blahblahblah.

so tell me, other than replacing a little video game time with "went to church" or "read bible", how is my life any different from any other upper lower class/lower middle class USian? how does Jesus make anyone's life any different at all?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Welcome to Fail, Population: Ray Comfort

ray, comfort, bible, god, nasa, science, stupid,
I know I should stop reading anything written by Ray Comfort. I just need to stop. Preferably before his idiocy causes me to headdesk myself into a coma.
His post on science/NASA, oddly, has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus, God, the Bible or, well, anything. And yet it's possibly the most infuriating thing he's ever written. (I know, it's amazing.)

A recent news item said, "Scientists have detected that New Zealand was moved about 30cm (12 inches) closer to Australia by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the Tasman Sea last week." I really wish this guy would link something. I'm not even sure you're allowed to quote people like that without attribution. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's plagiarism. Anyway, the whole freakin' island moved? Awesome! I bet there were some very surprised sheep that day. And being sheep, they showed it by continuing to eat grass and look stupid.

There was another report saying, " . . . on the west coast of the South Island and a 2-inch tsunami reported in the Tasman Sea to the north of the epicenter, according to the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center." again, total lack of attribution. and i still can't figure out what his point is . . . wait, it's the end of the world as we know it! right? the rapture? four horsemen of the apocalypse?

A whole country moved 12 inches, and a two-inch tsunami. Wow. And people wonder why we lose faith in modern science when they come up with such silliness. nope. why is the movement of an island and a tsunami scientific "silliness"? Is Ray trying to say those things didn't happen? what . . . wtf?

Think of the incredible achievement of landing a man on the moon. yeah, that was pretty cool, huh? especially considering that the computers they used were collectively less powerful than my xbox. When it happened, it was a huge deal. still a big deal, Ray. i mean, c'mon, the moon! have you ever been to the moon? have you ever been to reality? What do we have to show for it 40 years later? WE WERE ON THE MOON! A cure to cancer? A cure for the common cold? A permanent solution for starving nations? why would landing on the moon produce any of those things? what does Ray suppose NASA's mission is, exactly? it's taking things from earth and shooting them off into space. they succeeded. repeatedly. Nope. We have rocks. Moon rocks. see, now i would have said that MOON ROCKS! FROM THE MOON! HOW COOL IS THAT? THE MOON! yeah, i totally wanted to be an astronaut when i was a kid. actually, I wanted to be Uhura, but astronaut seemed the closest achievable goal. i was five.

The CAT scan and a number of other inventions typical of Ray, I had to provide that link came from the space industry, but think of how much more could have been achieved if those billions had been put into pure science instead of rock-finding. okay, can anyone think of a better example of "pure science" than freakin' NASA? apparently, science is only "pure" if it's curing diseases that don't need curing. because millions die every year of the common cold. asshat.

Now they are talking about landing a man on the moon once again. The estimated cost for more rocks--$100 billion dollars. The cost of Ray's evangelism course? $99.95 for the intermediate course. which would you rather fund?

However, knowing the Creator and what He has in store for those that love Him, helps bring all this into perspective. There’s no hurry to check out the universe. We will have eternity to do that. was that non sequitur supposed to tie this post into the stated goal of Ray's blog? i have no idea. i suspect that Ray doesn't, either.

Back In the Saddle

Yes, it's a weird pic. Of course, when one is trying to not include the outbreak of shingles* on one's chin, weird in guaranteed. Anyway, glasses, check. Short hair, check.

*The dreaded vaccine debate. I'm not going to tell you how to raise your children, but if you don't vaccinate them for chicken pox, shingles is what they have to look forward to. Nothing like a little searing pain and intractable itch to make pneumonia even worse.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Little Light Reading

ray, comfort, god, bible, jesus, religion, christianity,
The cold that became pneumonia seems to have eased off a bit, so let's reboot with a little light reading.

Oh, back when the cold was just a cold I did get my hair cut and got my glasses, but I can't seem to upload pictures to blogger from an iphone, so that'll come later. (And I'll change the donate button when I have a screen big enough to see all the html on at once.)

Ray Comfort's latest post:

"Sorry Ray, I do not take my morals from a God who drowns opposing armies in the ocean, killed every living thing on Earth in a global flood, punished humanity for all time for eating a piece of fruit, rained fire and brimstone on entire cities because he didn't like their behavior, killed the first born of an entire nation, and murdered his own son. Thank God he does not exist." askegg

This is the kind of thing that got me in trouble at Catholic school, btw. I would respond to these sorts of stories with horror, easily able to imagine the terror and pain of those god killed in the flood, in the genocides, with fire and brimstone. Even at the age of 6 I was capable of making the leap to understanding that these were people, just like you and me, just like god's chosen. God created everyone, according to the bible, why did he only love a few? And if he was capable of randomly hating his own creations, did he hate me?

Don't ever think too much on bible stories, it will wreck your faith.

It seems that you don’t know your Bible. oh, yes he does. God didn’t "kill every living thing on earth in a global flood." He allowed all the fish, and a family of eight people to be saved. oh, well, then, that makes it all right. hey, hitler was a really nice guy- he allowed a few jews to escape. let's all start celebrating hitler's birthday! He didn’t punish humanity "for all time for eating a piece of fruit." original sin? Adam was punished for his "disobedience" (see Romans 5:19). If you refuse God’s mercy, you too will be punished for your disobedience, not for Adam’s. what's interesting is that ray doesn't link to the actual story in Genesis 3. It's pretty clear all humanity was punished. we were expelled from the Garden of Eden, never to return. Women were punished with pain in childbirth, men were punished by having to work for food. Yeah, we were all punished, Ray.

You are also wrong when you said that "God murdered His own Son." well, god is omnipotent and omniscient. therefore, god knew exactly what would happen. also, according to your theology, Ray, Jesus/god had to be sacrificed to god/god just as jews sacrificed animals to take away sin. apparently, not even ray listens when ray speaks. The Bible says that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. Jesus of Nazareth was the Creator in human form okay, was god in jesus or was jesus god? those are two different statements. (see John 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:16). The reason God became a Man was to suffer for the sin of the world (taking the punishment that is due to us). because omnipoent god couldn't change his own rules why? We violated God’s Law (the Ten Commandments), and Jesus paid our fine. That means you can have your case dismissed. ray has no fucking idea how jurisprudence works, clearly. It means you can escape Hell, and receive everlasting life as a gift from God (see Romans 6:23). and why are we condemned to hell in the first place, ray?

God warned the Pharaoh ten times that He would judge Egypt, and hardened pharoah's heart twice to keep it all going. that's right, kids, pharoah wanted to let the israelites go, he wanted to end the plagues. god forced pharoah to keep it going to prove how powerful he was. yeah, that's not psychopathic. and you pin-pointed the reason for God drowning his army. It was because it was an "opposing" army. That's a good lesson for us: oppose and you lose. that's like a heavyweight boxer beating to death a toddler for talking back. not a fair fight. Like Pharaoh, you have been warned (through the Ten Commandments) that God will judge the world because it is at war with Him (see James 4:4). If you refuse to surrender and carry on with your rebellion, God will give you over to what the Bible calls a "reprobate mind." hell? I would hate that to happen to you.

You are right though about the fire and brimstone. The same Justice of God that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah abides on you (see John 3:36), believe it or not. yes, mass murder is always justice. Please, think about your eternal salvation. There's nothing more important. not that i do believe in god, but even if i did, i still wouldn't worship such a cruel, heartless, disgusting monster. i'm also not worshipping hitler or pol pot. get over it, ray.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm Not Really Sure What to Call This

rapture, christianity, bible, prophecy,
Delusion? Cognitive Dissonance? I really don't know.

Surrender asked the denizens of the Rapture Ready Message Boards:

I was wondering how long you've been actively waiting for the rapture? I'm so interested in the responses of "old-timers".
Was there a time when you really "felt" like it was soon (i.e. months or a couple years away)?
Did you feel like crying - were you hugely disappointed - as the time went on and the rapture didn't take place?
What do you feel has been the most motivating, encouraging thing that has helped you through the waiting?

This caught my attention because my suspicion was that most people who are actively looking forward to being transported to heaven (naked!) haven't been doing it long. I mean, how long can you possible keep up a now! no, now! wait for it . . . now! mentality?

Apparently, an extremely long time.

christiangrl777: Around 10 to 15 years, I'm 22 and I was taught about the Rapture pretty much my whole life after I was old enough to understand it, but I don't remember the exact time I first heard about it. oh, c'mon now, you haven't been actively waiting to die since you were 7. well, hopefully not. death cults- now for children! yikes.

Brinkley: I began my anticipation in the late seventies when I came to know about it and really got my intetest peaked around 1980 by listening to J. R. Church.Until then, the term I always heard was, "the end of the world." That was always spooky to me and I.....yes I......was a scoffer. I said people have being saying that for a long time, but can't you see things are getting better all the time. Then I got educated, thanks to the Holy Spirit, J. R. and others. so, 30 years or so? how do you keep that up for 30 freakin' years? eventually, wouldn't the obvious occur to you? oh, look, people have been saying it would be any day now for about 20 years, maybe they're wrong about this whole end of days thing. you'd think anyway.

OED40 apparently didn't learn much from Brinkley: My anticipation began just this year when I became saved. I've been anxiously waiting and I know time is drawing much closer! which is what Brinkley has known for 30 years.

Damaris: I've been waiting since about 1975 I guess. i was born in 1975, mind you. i'm not young. I remember the book "88 Reasons Why the Lord Will Come in 1988". and that didn't teach you anything? My sister's pastor was all exited about it. I was skeptical. I use to watch more carefully each year around Rosh Hashanah, and I was mildly disappointed. I don't know that I really believe it will happen until it does. ummmm? Please don't take that wrong, I would compare it to my wedding day or the day my first child was born, even though you know it will happen you have been waiting so long that it seems unreal. I will tell you that all the signs everyone was pointing to in the 70's and 80's seem trivial compared to today. God's time is perfect so I have never been disappointed to the point of tears. I guess the main reason I'm not disappointed is my church has a strong soul-winning programme hmmmm . . . a brit, perhaps? and we see people saved every week. So until God saves the last person, He will wait. We just don't know when the last one will be saved. What a great reason to win the lost! just accept jesus as your lord and savior so i can die, already! actually, that explains a lot.

JesusFreak78 has the same sort of eternal hopefulness common to dogs: I have been waiting since I first learned about it around 9 years ago (don't remember exactly when). It makes me excited every time I'm thinking of it could happen at any moment. my dog is like that. every single time we go for a walk is a joyous occasion worthy of dance and song. seriously. 5 times a day. for last 10.5 years. that's not a quality i expect in humans.
What makes me get through the waiting is I know God is faithful in His word/promise and it will happen at His perfect timing. It doesn't stop me from being impatient hoping it would happen today.

skywatcher: I grew up Lutheran, and--believe me---they taught me nothing about the rapture (I knew Christ would return for us some day, but the book of Revelation was not taught at all, so I didn't even expect the tribulation! )

In 1976 (long story ) the Lord led me --in steps--out of the Lutheran Church into a non-denominational, pentecostal congregation, where I learned to seek ALL that our Lord wants us to understand! I've been watching and waiting ever since -------(Hey, they don't call me "skywatcher" for nuthin'! )

I have to admit being a little disdappointed in 1988 (yes, I thought many of those arguments in that little book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988, by Edgar C Whisenant, made a lot of sense) There was one particular day when my daughter and I focused on our Lord all day, expecting to be raptured at any time......(SIGH!) and this taught you nothing? Well, Lord, we know You ARE coming for us soon, so we will keep watching, praying, praising and serving You until that glorious day! Maranatha! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

btw, I know some former fundys stop by here occasionally, so why 1988? i totally got the whole millenium thing, because the number 2,000 is big and round*, but why 1988?

ClosetLady: Waiting almost 50 years! . . . If I die right now, which means I miss a living rapture, I still get snatched from the grave BEFORE YOU! Ha! dead, not dead, it's all good. How cool is that? If I die right now and miss a living rapture, that means there is at least ONE MORE soul coming into the Kingdom, and how cool is THAT? If I live another 50 years (which would miraculous in and of itself) and the rapture doesn't happen, I am still to be about the Father's business. Someone said....don't be so heavenly-minded that you are no earthly good... actually, that's not bad advice for fundys. One thing is to remember is we are not to live in a spirit of fear. If we concentrate on the way the world is weirding out on us, we get fearful; that's not God's plan for blood-bought Christians. The weird, wild and wacky world is how we know our snatching away is closer than ever before. Look up! i think of weird, wild and wacky world as a thing to enjoy, but whatever.

Trance: I always thought it would have been Yassar Arafat or Kofi Annon. Still not ruling out Kofi, however.... nothing like a little xenophobia with your death culting. Kofi Annan, btw, was Secretary General of the UN. Ooooh, scary! Who doesn't have nightmares of Boutros Boutros-Ghali?

KaiafromBergen probably got pretty close to Jerusalem Syndrome: Since 1985 when I was at the Western Wall - trying to figure out what prayer to write down and put into a crack in the wall . . . all of the sudden the chorus of a song came to my mind, and that's what I wrote down, and have prayed for ever since:O Lord Jesus, how long, how long Ere we shout the glad song, Christ returneth! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen. Hallelujah! Amen.

Seated has an unusually precise answer: 36 years, five months, 16 days (Jan 28, 1973)

Jesusrules proves that experience teaches nothing: Im hoping it is by the end of the year. I too have a feeling it is a little while off, but not too far. I have a feeling God is going to step in at the last minute.

OldFella is the sort of person cult leaders drool over:

Around the 54 year mark for me. I remember we always used to have bible studies at home and with friends, prophecy was always not too far below the surface at these occasions.
I remember getting excited around the 6 day war and then again on the 7/7/77 and then again on the 8/8/88. Also there were predictitions of the planets aligning in the 80's. Basically after every event that I thought significant I would think of the next one.
But thinking about it now, that was just a 'condition' of watching and waiting. I still think He is coming every day and am not dissappointed if He doesn't because that means there is someone else He is waiting for.
I always thought my father and mother would be alive but I was wrong, I thought my wife would be alive, but I was wrong.
So now I am content to wait on His timing and to be in His will in the meantime.

All of this is interesting study in some sort of psychological phenomenon I don't know a name for. It seems to be the same sort of thing that causes people to believe, no matter what the evidence to the contrary, that their significant other will really change this time. Despite the fact that 30 years worth of evidence to the contrary says that they won't.

*I totally calmed somebody down by pointing out that the year 2,000 was over 3,000 years ago by the Jewish calendar.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Rare Action Shot

I was trying to take a picture of him sleeping on his back, which is Teh Cute, but apparently, he didn't like that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Abuse of Power

homeless, evangelism, witnessing, religion, abuse,
Dominic Mapstone at has captured exactly how I feel about so-called "faith based initiatives": it's an abuse of power. It's an abuse of power to combine evangelization with helping the needy.

Imagine yourself in the shoes of a homeless person. Every moment of your life is fraught with difficulties and indignities. You have no home, so you have no safe place to sleep, no bathroom, no shower, no refrigerator, nothing but what you can carry on you. Your needs are enormous and basic and no doubt overwhelming. How you will pay for a meal is complicated by the fact that few businesses are willing to tolerate those who cannot bathe or do laundry on a regular basis. Most people won't even look you in the eye, let alone seat you at a table.

Where I work is where most of my city's homeless congregate. I see this every day. I listen to people in the convenient store next to my work mock the homeless who dare to go step inside to buy something to eat or drink. "He should have bought some Tide," they say, or "How about a bar of soap to go with that?" This from teenagers working a part time job to pay for clothes or gas for their cars. Once, I asked the cashier exactly where she thought that man could wait, naked, while he washed his only set of clothes. "Don't be such a bitch," was her reply.

Now imagine being this man, and having the person who does offer you a meal, and maybe a place to sleep that night, ask you about your religious beliefs, or invite you to pray with them or attend a church service. What would you say? If it were me, I'd agree with their beliefs, pray along or attend the service. I'd be too afraid that disagreeing or saying no would mean no more meals and no bed to sleep on. Maybe, if I do well enough at praying, I can have clean clothes, I'd think. Maybe even a bath and a toothbrush. That'd be pretty sweet.

I can't imagine what these sorts of evangelizers think they are proving. All they are proving is that desperation breeds a certain sort of agreeability. That's not a win, people.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fail, Fail Again, Persecution Edition

gay, oppression, mass resistance, angela, rockwood, beetlebabee, homophobia, hate, splc

If you've been following this blog for a while, you may remember Angela Rockwood aka Beetlebabee, who fights the good fight against gay teens. (Because somebody has to stop them!) Recently, Angie has hooked up with Mass Resistance (a group the Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes as a hate group), which I could write a book about, but other bloggers have done it better than I could, and Mass Resistance's hatefulness isn't the issue here.

The issue here is Angie's hilarious persecution complex. That's right, the same woman who champions any cause that seeks to oppress gays, including minor children, who are the primary targets of Mass Resistance, is quick to call "persecution!" at any opportunity, as evidenced here:

At comment 34, Joel Bailey asks (about a photo of a minor child wearing a T-shirt with "His Name Shall Fall" on it):

Anyone know what the “His Name Shall Fall” T-shirt is a reference to? I assume it’s regarding religion, but not sure…

Joel Bailey may not be sure, but Angie is:

Joel, it probably is a religious reference unfortunately. The same sex marriage movement has an anti religion stance, and they’re especially hostile toward Christians.

Hilariously, "His Name Shall Fall" is not a reference to religion, but rather to a local heavy metal band. From their website:

His Name Shall Fall is a metal/hardcore band from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The band was first put together in the summer of 2006. The band's original lineup was Mario on drums, Phillipe on guitar, Evan on bass and Shawn on guitar. After well establishing their name in the community (originally as Fourth Lie), the band realized things were becoming more serious and decided to change their style as a more heavy metal/hardcore band.

They changed their name to His Name Shall Fall and went through some lineup changes in 2008: Nick was added as the guitarist and Phillipe dropped as being the guitarist and went to vocals. With this lineup, they went on to play The Worcester Palladium twice and play a butt load of shows all over MA. Late 2008, Shawn decided to drop from the band. It was his own decision and we wish him the best of luck. Not long after, the band recorded their first EP. Early 2009, Steve was added to play guitar. The lineup has been the same ever since. Later in 2009 His Name Shall Fall will record their debut full length. The band has now firmly established their name in Massachusetts and continue to play shows all around the state. They have had great success and support from all their fans. Please promote the band by moshing and all out having a good time by going to their shows!

In conclusion, I'd just like to say, Angie, we don't hate religion, we just hate you, and everybody else who sees minor children as fair game for their political machinations and bigotry.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Proof is that there is no Proof

bible, prophecy, jesus, god, proof, unfulfilled, ray, comfort,
Ray Comfort has made his silliest argument yet, and it's one many a Christian makes: all the prophecies in the Bible have been fulfilled, and the ones that haven't been fulfilled will be, and that's proof that God exists.

Wait, what?

"In Mark 14:62 in response to the chief priests and the council who have posed the question 'are you the Christ,' Jesus says: 'I am. And YOU will SEE me sitting at the right hand of power, and COMING with the clouds of heaven.' Did those men SEE him coming with the clouds or sitting in power? They almost certainly saw him die, but the Bible never confirms that this prophecy was fulfilled. In fact, when the Bible record ends, his disciples are still awaiting His coming. It never happened. It still hasn't happened 2000 years later. Why Ray? Is Jesus a False Prophet?"

You forgot that the hour is coming when all that are in their graves shall hear His voice (see John 5:28). There is going to be a resurrection of the just and the unjust (see John 5:29). Every eye will see Him. The chief priests will bow the knee before Him. So will Hitler and every murderer, rapist, thief and liar. Richard Dawkins will bow down to Jesus Christ as Lord of the Universe and Creator of all things (see Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10). By Him, everything was created (see Colossians 1:16) and every human being will see him in His glory, including you. John saw the resurrected Christ and trembled in terror. He shines with a brightness above that of the sun (see Acts 26:13).

So it would be wise to stop asking whether He was a false prophet. Instead confess and forsake your sins, and put your trust in Him while He extends His mercy to sinful men and women. He has waited for 2,000 years because He is not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance. Everything Jesus said would happen has happened throughout history (see Matthew 24 and Luke 21), and you can therefore bet your very soul that those men to whom Jesus said will see His coming, as sure as Hell will see it.

First of all, that's not an answer to the question, nor is it proof. It is a bald assertion, followed by a threat. Think about this for just a second. If someone borrowed $500 from you and promised to pay it back "soon", and then after a year, you asked them for the money and they said, "oh, yeah, soon, don't worry about it", would you accept that answer? Really?

Secondly, let's look at Matthew 24 and Luke 21. (Oddly, those were the two that Ray did not link.) In Matthew 24, Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple where the Dome of the Rock - مسجد قبة الصخرة‎ - now sits. At this point, the Temple Mount had already been destroyed once, by the Babylonians almost 600 years previously. Predicting that something that happened in the past may happen again in the future isn't that much of a leap.

What follows are the conditions that will precede Jesus' return, and what a unique set of circumstances those will be! Wars, rumors of wars, wars, famine, disease, earthquakes and lawlessness. Seriously? That's a prophecy? I predict that tomorrow, somewhere on the planet, it will rain. Because that's never happened in the history of the world.

Luke 21 contains the exact same text, word for word (or very close to it) as Matthew 24.

So there we have it, folks. Jesus predicted the predictable and the commonplace. And anything he predicted that hasn't come to pass, will. You have someone's word on it.

There are, in fact, a number of unfulfilled prophecies in the Bible, starting with Adam and Eve.
God says that if Adam eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then the day that he does so, he will die. But later Adam eats the forbidden fruit (3:6) and yet lives for another 930 years (5:5). 2:17
As a punishment for killing Abel, God says Cain will be "a fugitive and a vagabond." Yet in just a few verses (4:16-17) Cain will settle down, marry, have a son, and build a city. This is not the activity one would expect from a fugitive and a vagabond. 4:12

God promises Abram and his descendants all of the land of Canaan. But both history and the bible (Acts 7:5 and Heb.11:13) show that God's promise to Abram was not fulfilled. 13:15, 15:18, 17:8, 28:13-14

God says that the Israelites will destroy all of the peoples they encounter. But according to Joshua ( 15:63, 16:10, 17:12-13) and Judges (1:21, 27-36, 3:1-5) there were some people they just couldn't kill. 7:24

These verses [in Isaiah] falsely predict that Babylon will never again be inhabited. 13:19-20

This verse [in Isaiah] predicts that there shall be five cities in Egypt that speak the Canaanite language. But that language was never spoken in Egypt, and it is extinct now. 19:18
"The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold." Well, this is one prophecy that will never come true. Since the moon has no light of its own, but only reflects that of the sun, it could never shine like the sun. And the sun will not, at least not while there are humans to see it, shine 7 times as bright as it does now. 30:26

"David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel." But the Davidic line of Kings ended with Zedekiah; there were none during the Babylonian captivity, and there are none today. 33:17
"They shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them." Despite this promise, the Jews have been continually uprooted and their lives disrupted. Even today, their land ownership falls into question. 9:15

The gospel of Mark claims that John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy given in Malachi. But the Malachi prophecy says that God will send Elijah before "the great and dreadful day of the LORD" in which the world will be consumed by fire. Yet John the Baptist flatly denied that he was Elijah (Elias) in John 1:21 and the earth was not destroyed after John's appearance. 3:1, 4:1, 5

That's just a short listing of all the unfulfilled prophecies and promises of God. Christian apologists who are Biblical literalists will tell you that some of those prophecies were fulfilled, because while the Bible says x, it really meant y. I guess it all depends on what the meaning of "literal" is.

Fear Itself

health care, crisis, public, plan, liberal, obama, democrat,
I think I may have figured out the motivation behind a certain type of health care reform trolling.

Before I discuss that, I would like to say that not everyone opposed to health care reform is an idiotic troll. We've had some good discussions about health care reform here, and while I didn't agree with everyone's opinions, those opinions were researched and well thought out, so I respect them. That is not the sort of thing I am talking about here.

What I am talking about is the sort of person who sees a post about health care reform and automatically comments something like this: I WORK* and that's why I have health insurance. I don't see why I should have to pay for health insurance for people who don't WORK. Because I WORK.

That's just the most asinine response to the health care crisis in the US, and so far removed from reality, that you have wonder what planet they're visiting from. The US pays the most to get the 38th best health care system in the world. That's right, we're behind Malta, Oman, Andorra and Chile. I've never even heard of the second country before, but apparently I'd rather live there.

Beyond that, most of the almost 50,000,000 USians that don't have health insurance either do work or are not working through no fault of their own (laid off). Those that do work either work for a business small enough that it doesn't have to offer health insurance, or they can't afford the health insurance their employer does offer. Then there's people like me who have insurance, but can't afford to use it due to high deductibles and copays. I WORK is not a relevant response to these issues.

As I was fuming over the general stupidity of people, it hit me. These people aren't visitors from The Planet of the Trolls, they're afraid. They look at the world around them, and deep down they know that all those bad things that happen to their fellow USians- layoffs, bankruptcies, foreclosures, health crises- could very well happen to them. Deep down, they know this, and it terrifies them.

I WORK is the health care crisis equivalent of whistling in the dark. They say I WORK because they mean "These bad things will never happen to me because I play by the rules and I try really hard and no, I will not end up in a gutter, dying of a treatable illness. All those people who do end up there are bad, lazy people who did it to themselves. I WORK!"

So, if you're going to feed the troll (and sometimes, you just can't resist), hit them where they're most afraid.

*I can't find the thread I saw that on yesterday, but that is actual how the commentor wrote "work" every time they wrote it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Palin: Running Away from 254 Dead People?

palin, alaska, medicaid, scandal,
Still wondering why Palin suddenly bailed 2 1/2 years (remember that number) into her term as governor of Alaska? You may not have to wonder anymore. (Hat tip to Scarecrow!)

Alaskan Medicaid Scandal:

State programs intended to help disabled and elderly Alaskans with daily life -- taking a bath, eating dinner, getting to the bathroom -- are so poorly managed, the state cannot assure the health and well-being of the people they are supposed to serve, a new federal review found.

The situation is so bad the federal government has forbidden the state to sign up new people until the state makes necessary improvements.

No other state in the nation is under such a moratorium, according to a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

. . .

A particularly alarming finding concerns deaths of adults in the programs. In one 2 1/2 year (did you remember that number?) stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.

So, it's entirely possible that while Palin was setting herself up for a 2012 run at President, 254 Alaskans died for no good reason. You know, Palin's starting to make me wish I did believe in hell.

Note to Texas: It's Called Public School for a Reason

textbooks, texas, schools, board of education, bible, christianity, christian
I attended high school in Texas for two years, 15 years ago. So I can attest to the fact that Texas has about the worst public school system in the country.

It's about to get worse.

The Texas Board of Education is suggesting the following changes to state curricula:

revamping the K-12 curriculum to emphasize the roles of the Bible, the Christian faith and the civic virtue of religion in the study of American history. Two of them want to remove or de-emphasize references to several historical figures who have become liberal icons, such as César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall.

Mind you, this is in Texas public schools. If they want to teach this crap in private schools, fine. If you send your kid to Baptist Elementary, you expect them to learn about the Bible and Jesus. In fact, you pay for that privilege. Now, the Texas BOE wants to emphasize the roles of the Bible and Christianity in schools attended and paid for by atheists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. In other words, the Texas BOE seeks to turn every school in Texas into a Christian school.

Seriously, wtf?

A few other choice teachings for Texas' public schools:

The conservative reviewers say they believe that children must learn that America's founding principles are biblical. For instance, they say the separation of powers set forth in the Constitution stems from a scriptural understanding of man's fall and inherent sinfulness, or "radical depravity," which means he can be governed only by an intricate system of checks and balances.

The curriculum, they say, should clearly present Christianity as an overall force for good -- and a key reason for American exceptionalism, the notion that the country stands above and apart.

Why this should scare you:

Nearly every state has its own curriculum standards, and there are scores of social studies texts to choose from at most grade levels, so what happens in Texas won't necessarily affect other states. But the Texas market is huge, so most big publishers aggressively seek approval from the board, in some cases adopting the majority's editing suggestions nearly verbatim.

In other words, textbook publishers aren't going to make different textbooks for each state. They're going to please their largest customers (Texas) and the rest of us will suffer for it. I hope everyone enjoys explaining "radical depravity" to their children.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Context is Everything

bible, translation, christian, christianity, belief,
Hat tip to Bruce*!

تو این قضیه انتخابات ، چیزی که جالب ِ موضع گیری مردم کشور های دیگست .نه اون مردمی که ایرانی هستند و توی کشورهای دیگه زندگی می کنند . اون مردمی که کلاً متعلق به کشورهای دیگه هستند. می خوام براتون یه چیز جالب تعریف کنم. من توی وب سایت پائولو کوئلیو ، نظر دادم و توی فرمش، وب سایتمم گذاشتم. یه دختر آمریکایی نظر منو خوند و توی وبمم نظر داد. می دونید چی اینجا جالبه. این دختر ،نمی تونه فارسی بخونه در نتتیجه نتونسته بود وب منو بخونه و از من خواسته بود که وبشو بخونم. توی وبش اینقدر خوب، با مردم ایران همدردی کرده بود که واقعاً تعجب آور بود و حالا بعد از چند روز و کمی آرام تر شدن جریانات داخلی ، بازم برام نظر گذاشته و گفته هنوز دارم براتون دعا می کنم تا شما هم مثل ما روز استقلال داشته باشید . وبشو میگذارم که اگر شما هم خواستین بخونینش

The above is a blog post by an Iranian named Sarah. At the end is a link to my site. I have no idea what that says. I tried putting it through a translator and got this:

This theorem election you something interesting that the position of countries Dygst. Iranian people nor I are countries دیگه I live. I totally belong to countries who are دیگه. Are defined خوام براتون I do interesting things. My website my Paulo Coelho, I and my comments Frmsh, Web Saytmm put. American girl I Khvnd comment me and I will Vbmm comments. Dvnyd What is fantastic here. This girl, do not wish Bkhvnh in Persian Nttyjh Web Ntvnsth was me and asked me Bkhvnh was Vbshv Bkhvnm. So my good wishes, sympathy with the Iranian people was really surprising was that after a few days now and become a little more relaxed domestic trends, بازم me comments and say that I still pray براتون you like to have our Independence Day be. Vbshv Mygzarm if you Khvastyn Bkhvnynsh.

My point is that the bible is a lot like the above. The bible you've read is a translation of a translation of words written thousands of years ago by people whose lives were entirely unlike our own, originally written in languages now dead. As a historical document, the bible is a fascinating, if confusing, glimpse at times gone by. For any other purpose, well, Vbshv Mygzarm if you Khvastyn Bkhvnynsh.

*clicky the linky, it's an excellent post.

Gender Norms, Tropes and My Hair

gender, tropes, hair, feminism, feminine, feminist, stupid,
I'm getting my hair cut for the first time in about 8 months on Saturday (engagement party. not mine, obviously). I want the above haircut. I've wanted that haircut for a long time. It would look better on me than long hair. My hair itself would look better, too. (Actual quote from my doctor: You're too sick to have healthy hair.) It'd be easier to take care of and style, a big plus if holding your arms over your head for any period of time reduces you to a quivering ball of pain. (Blow dry hair for one minute. Rest for two. Blow dry hair for one minute. Rest for three. Repeat literally ad nauseum and you have my morning.)

So, why don't I just do it? I'm independent, I'm a free thinker, I'm a feminist . . . I've looked through 16 women's magazines and found one person with short hair: Rihanna. Everyone else has the long hair I never will- lush, full and shiny like a horse's tail got together with a bolt of satin and made sweet, sweet love.

I watched a lot of tv while my xbox was away, and every sexy young thing has a head of hair to make Lady Godiva weep. You know who has short hair? The dumpy, the frumpy and the old. If a woman is a stressed housewife who lost her sexy long ago, she has short hair. If she's a grandma, short hair. If she's hopelessly geeky and not about to be transformed into a superhotty, short hair. (Oh, and lesbians. Apparently, lesbians' hair stops growing after it reaches 2" long.) Just because universe hates me, for the 30 seconds the tv was on before I turned on the xbox last night, I caught a preview for some new movie in which the male lead's solution to the female lead's lack of man was longer hair.

The worst part of all of this is that I know how stupid my hesitation to have the hair I've always wanted is. My hair doesn't look good long. Most people's hair doesn't look good long. I can count on one hand the number of women in real life I've seen with tv hair. Everyone else has a mop of frizz, split ends or grease. That's because models and actresses are paid to have great hair. They have a team of hairstylists placing every hair just so before any pictures are taken. I don't. Yet here I am, my own woman, independent and capable, being held hostage by gender norms and tropes.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stop Being Smart!

atheism, atheist, atheophobia, dyslexia, wahlberg, makarios,

So Makarios finally comes clean about his atheophobia: it's caused by his learning disabled children.

Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction, too.

It's like they're caught in a time-warp, showing off to anyone who will listen just how clever they are. It makes me gag. I feel embarrassed - for them! To actually judge another person’s value and worth by that person's level of intelligence or intellectual abilities creates within me a level of disgust that is disturbing even to me. Maybe it’s because six of our seven children are learning disabled. I feel VERY protective of them.

First of all, somebody else's intelligence shouldn't make you feel anything about your children. (Also, learning disabled doesn't mean less intelligent. It just means that you don't pick up and retain information the same way most people do. On average, dyslexics are more intelligent than average. I know all this because two of my nieces are dyslexic.)

Think about this for a second. Suppose I tell Teh Hubby that I want to watch the latest Mark Wahlberg movie because Mark Wahlberg is TEH HOT SO HOT I CAN'T STAND IT- should Teh Hubby be horrible offended that I find somone attractive, that, in fact, other people are attractive? Is Mark Wahlberg's physical attractiveness in some way offensive? Should Mark Wahlberg's so very fine muscles make Teh (quite average) Hubby feel less?

The answer to these questions is no.

I think what Makarios is getting at is that atheists (well, atheists with blogs, I suppose) demand proof and logic and stuff instead of bald assertions and feelings. And that makes him feel bad . . . because his kids . . . have feelings?

I'm sorry your children have learning disabilities. My nieces struggle with dyslexia and I know it's very hard. However, that does not excuse your hatred of atheists.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tehran Jange

iran, protests, tehran, jange, ahmadinejad, dinner jacket
I bet you didn't know there was Iranian hip hop, did you? In all seriousness, the protests continue, and people are still being injured and killed. Twitter #iranelection for the latest news.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Children Shouldn't Pay

palestine, palestinian, israel, conflict, children,
As a general rule, I don't weigh in on the Palestine/Israel situation. It's complicated, it represents decades, if not centuries, of festering hatred, it involves religious and racist elements, passions run high on both sides . . . I'd rather debate abortion with Bill O'Reilly on national tv, naked.

However, no matter how you feel about the issue, I think you, and anyone else in the world, can agree that children shouldn't pay the price of this conflict. And they are. It's horrible.

More than 300 children were among the 1,400 Palestinians killed and many more were wounded during the 22-day Israeli offensive that ended on January 18, according to Palestinian figures.

And experts say a vast majority of the children who make up more than half of Gaza's 1.5 million population, will bear the psychological scars for years to come.

"Children here have lost joy in life. They can laugh but there is no joy. They are unable to maintain hope," says psychiatrist Eyad Sarraj, who heads the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.

Seven-year-old Ahmed Salah al-Samuni smiles timidly as he is tossed a green plastic ball but quickly loses interest, instead digging his nails into a couch in a brightly coloured room used for psycho-social counselling sessions.

"I remember that Israelis came and ordered us out. Shells were fired," he says when asked what he remembers of the war.

"Grandmother and grandfather are dead," he says, going on to list about 10 others who died when his house was bombed. In all, 29 were killed in the attack, 18 of them from his direct family.

"I love Azza and want her back," he says of his two-and-a-half year-old sister who was among the dead.

After the attack, he lay in a pool of blood. It's only when he cried out for his mother that she realised he was still alive.

A large scar runs across his face, another along his hip. His nose is still deformed from the shrapnel wounds.

Just a few months ago he had regular fits of rage, when he'd beat his brothers and break whatever was in his path.

"He'd scream out at night: 'The Jews are coming to kill me'," his father says.
I have no answers, no comfort for a little boy who misses his dead sister, no words of wisdom to end decades of hatred and conflict. I can only say that I wish hugs could fix the world.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Green is the New Black, Boots are the New Gloves

christian, cadl, christianity, god, atheism, atheist, stupid,
Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation League (I know, right?) has a new message for fundys: ignorance is the new knowledgeable.

Yes, really.

Part of the problem of with defending the Christian faith is that we Christians have been systematically maligned and insulted by non-Christians in our education system and media to the extent that we are often intellectually intimidated. it's not the fact that other people actually know things that's intellectually intimidating, it's the insults. Non-believers arrogantly present themselves as superior, rational and scientific in what way is a fundy rational or scientific? are there new definitions of those words i am unaware of? and belittle Bible believing Christians as inferior, irrational and unscientific. i don't think of fundys as inferior, but yeah, irrational and unscientific fit.

While this may be what most people believe this is patently not true.
i don't suppose you did a study . . . oh, right It is exactly the opposite. really? that seems . . . unlikely The only true rational and scientifically justifiable position for living in this world is the biblical Christian position. OW! my brain just broke. "rational and scientifically justifiable"? wha?

In the Scriptures
comma Almighty God, who cannot lie he's omnipotent, right? if he's omnipotent, he can lie., reveals the objective truth OW! STOP IT! about the real condition of the mind of the believer and unbeliever. Many Christians know much about the mind of the unbeliever because of their life experience before they were regenerated by the Holy Spirit. and many unbelievers know the mind of the believer because of their life experience before they realized the truth. and? We can also examine the fruit of both the believer and unbeliever’s thought to see which system can best account for the facts. OW! IT BURNS!

The Unbelieving Mind is Not Neutral

The mind of man, like the rest of man’s being, has been profoundly affected by sin. yes, yes, we're garbage. dirty, filthy, worthless garbage. It has been darkened and rendered futile (Ephesians 4:17). Proof of this darkened futility is demonstrated by mankind’s refusal to obey Christ’s great commandment to love God with, among the other parts of his constitution my vagina? should i love god with all my vagina?, all the mind (Matthew 22:37). Therefore, the proud and ungrateful unbeliever “becomes vain in his reasoning” (Romans 1:21). quoting the bible is what "rational and scientific" now means?

He cannot “receive the things of the Spirit”
which are not scientific! because spiritual matters are rendered foolishness to him (1 Corinthians 2:13, 14). This has cut him off from the only fountain of truth, because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” therefore the unbeliever actually hates knowledge crap. my brain just burst out of my skull and ran away. i should've treated it better than this. (Proverbs 1:7; 2:14). This is just a reflection of his pathological enmity towards God himself i cannot have pathological anything towards something that does not exist. you know, gary, you have a pathological emnity towards the flying spaghetti moster. repent! and reap the noodly rewards.; “The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7).

The unbelieving mind cannot be artificially distinguished from the rest of the unbeliever’s person.
what? He is in a lost condition and therefore his mind is not able to be purely objective and rational. like you? Only God is purely objective and perfectly rational. i don't think my brain's coming back.

Because of the unbeliever’s fallen condition and illicit covenant with Satan ummm . . . what? now i'm hostile towards one thing i don't believe exists and illicitly involved with something else i don't believe exists? his mind in blinded and bound (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is irrationally hostile and in constant rebellion against God as his Creator and Christ as the only Redeemer. and against the tiny pink unicorns in my basement, as well as Ishtar, Zeus and the Mayan wind god.

Rebellious man is a usurper. He vainly desires for himself what he resents about God.
for the last time: I. DON'T. BELIEVE. IN. GOD. i no more resent god than you resent the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Man wants to be the final judge of what is true. until god starts sending me postcards, that is. But this right is reserved for the holy Triune God (not that one-une god, allah), who alone knows all and judges the world in righteousness.


The Christian Faith Reclaims the Mind

The Christian mind operates on an entirely different principle from that of the unbeliever irrational paranoia?, whether the unbeliever is an atheist or a religious non-Christian mooslins. This is because there is a supernatural aspect to restoring proper thinking. uh, what? By grace the Christian mind has been and is continuing to be “renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:10; cf. Ephesians 4:23). you can dress it up in whatever bible quote you want, but ignorance and irrationality are not good qualities.

The proper Christian mind is devoted to thinking God’s thoughts after him. christians think the thoughts of an omnipotent, omniscient being? then why aren't they all winning the lottery? But this is only possible by the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit who renews the Christian mind (Romans 12:1&2). The Spirit applies all aspects of the redemption wrought by Christ, including the restoration of man’s cognitive obedience and worship. oh, so thinking god's thoughts involves worshipping god- wtf? god worships god?

i don't think i ever truly understood the phrase "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing until i read the following paragraphs. it's like he heard how the brain actually works at the same time someone was reciting that famous bit of Shakespeare, sound and fury signifying nothing, and this was the result.

The atheist's worship of the creation (Romans 1:25) destroys any basis for meaning, communication and reason. If everything is derived from matter and chance, communication is reduced to arbitrary gibberish and random sound waves signifying nothing. How does impersonal matter plus chance account for meaningful abstract ideas and symbolic language? Words are not real, rather they are concepts. If chance is ultimate then words are not fixed, but are accidental. So, their definitions are random and subject to change at any moment. This destroys communication.

But even atheists can communicate in spite of their beliefs because God, not matter and chance, is ultimate. God communicates within the Godhead and to his creation. He is the source of all communication and because we reflect his image, we can communicate meaningfully, too. Human communication is a derivative of God’s nature.

Meaning is also found in our relationships and persons. If impersonal matter and chance is ultimate, then there is no soul or mind and certainly no love. Man’s self-consciousness is reduced to a biochemical brain response that signifies nothing. Love or even hatred for another person is nothing more than a chemical illusion.

Well, there you have it: irrationality is logic, ignorance is knowledge and we're all just jabbering meat without jesus.

Romans 13:1-7

bible, atheism, atheist, democracy, constitution, god, godless
Watching fundys debate the real meaning of Romans 13:1-7 is more than a little amusing. The meaning of the passage is pretty clear: all earthly authority has god's blessing, no matter who it is or what they do, so obey. But, these people hate Obama and his librul gubment, and they really don't want to obey. They descend pretty quickly into interpreting the literal word of god or just dismissing it altogether.

The outlimitz can't quite reconcile his love of the 2nd Amendment with what the Bible actually says: I consider myself highly patriotic to the USA (not how the adjective "patriotic" works, but okay) and I am really, really furious about the nature of things that are being committed against us by those in high places. health care for everyone? stimulus jobs? it's insanity! As a red blooded American as opposed to what? i'm way out in left field with Ghandi and I still bleed red part of me wants to fight the powers that be and make my final stand. oh, dear. now we've descended into revolution porn. This feeling inside me grows stronger although I know fighting is not the answer. Last night I opened my bible and came to Romans 13:1-7.

1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

So is this passage saying that Obama and his administration were put into power by God? seems like, don't it? From this passage I take that I should respect the powers that be and that I should pay my taxes et al don't use latin abbreviations if you don't understand them. you're looking for "etc."....but I am really curious on when one should fight for what they believe in or should one just sit back, pray, and hold the course? apparently not even fundys think prayer really does anything.

Can someone help me out regarding this passage as it pertains to my post?Much appreciated and God bless!

HisBride (could someone explain her avatar to me?): Yeah, we've all had to look at that since the election. Yes, God allowed Mr. Obama i'm pretty sure you mean "President Obama" to be president of the US. Let's face it, we've fallen so far from anything remotely resembling a Christian community or country. you can't fall away from something you never were. All we have to do is read the scriptures and see that God has often allowed corrupt leaders. oh, yes, he has. In fact, when the Letter to the Romans was written, it was a very difficult time for Christians. We are no different.

Right now, we pray for God's children and God's will. But I know that if push came to shove and my rights as an American citizen were violated, I would have a hard time being passive. praying's okay, until they take away my guns. God will show us. I know that isn't much comfort, but we must stay close to the Lord in prayer and the study of His Word. He will show us as the days get darker what we must do. He will not let us down. We will certainly be walking more and more by faith!

grayling seems to have missed the point: The pilgrims left England because of the oppression from the Church of England. that's debateable. Our founders and colonists fought against the British Empire for freedom of religion no, they didn't and against taxation without representation that i'll buy. The founders understood that rights are not given by man but by God. debating the religion of the founders is a waste of time, but they were not today's evangelical christians. jefferson's bible was not a bible any fundy would recognize. I've always held the belief that we should stand up for our constitution and not allow it to be trampled on through unconstitutional laws. uh-huh. so, romans 13:1-7 is as meaningless to you as it is to me?

grapplewithgod actually calls grayling on it: Are you saying pilgrims actions supersede biblical commands because you benefit from the outcome?

thechef71 has found the loophole! I think it means to submit to Godly authority. Surely the Lord would not wish us to submit to Hitler for instance. you are discussing the same omnipotent being that allowed hitler to torture and kill 6 million of its "chosen people", right? If we see something is evil in our society we should speak out against it. The same goes for our churches many of which have been very silent considering our slide as a Nation for many years. Our freedom is also a gift from God shall we give it away? Never. We should stand against evil and tyranny to the point where God must remove the Church for Jesus to return. That is my goal my plan. you're planning on forcing god's hand? good luck with that. What say you?

grapplewithgod is just too knowledgeable to be in this conversation: Paul wrote what he wrote just before Nero began the great persecution of the church. Since scripture is divinely inspired, it's not a very strong argument to say "surely God would not wish..." since he wished to instruct the church regarding this knowing full well Nero was on the throne.

dpetty is still looking for that loophole: God also allows the Devil to do his dirty work too so I have a real issue following the Great Usurper and his minions. if it's god's dirty work, then by following the devil, aren't you following god?
. . .
Well what I was trying to say is God sometimes allows the Devil to work in order to bring a person or even a nation to there knees so they return to God. so, why would you want to fuck that up? The current crop of elected officials and appointees for the most part seem to be of a very Liberal bent it's all relative. and what I have seen so far take a dim view of anyone who is a Christian. yes, democrats despise christians. it's true. So in saying all that I am speculating maybe we are being led by people who are not on the side of God? Is it possible that is the case? There is a an! old saying "You will know them by their works" and what I am seeing so far is these guys do not seem to be on the side of God. yeah, i think i've already established that democrats are all satan worshippers, right? what, i didn't tell you that?

beagler's had it with this god stuff: Who or more accurately, what is the ruling authority in this country?It is NOT those elected to office. The real authority is the Constitution itself. When those elected to represent us are refusing to be bound by the Constitution, it is they who are in rebellion, and that rebellion needs to be put down by We The People. there is so much wrong with that, i'm not sure where to begin.

dpetty's on board: I do think soon we will all have to make a choice on what side we fall as a 2nd American revolution is at hand. yeah, revolutions are all fun and stuff! what's that, Iran? oh, they're not? what?! people die? that doesn't sound fun at all!

mrsb seems to live in some alternate reality: I don't know what to think about looking at the constitution as our authority rather than elected officials. Paul was referring to people in authority over us. probably because he wrote that a good millenium before the Magna Carta and about 1700 years before the Constitution was written. just a thought. Those people can never be put in place of God - like some are apt to do today. But they are in position of authority whether we like it or not. Whether they are godly or not. God has raised up many rulers over the centuries that were not godly - for His purposes.

William Tyndale did the work of God against the wishes of the church of England and King Henry VIII. wait, are you supposed to obey authority or not? When he was caught he was burned at the stake because he would not recant. His dying words were a prayer to God, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes!" Now...I'm looking back to what someone did before us. well, yes. But I believe he was following scripture in doing what he did. you mean the scripture that says to obey earthly authority? The Pilgrims - Puritans and Separatists, to be more specific what other Pilgrims were there?- left Europe to come to America and felt led by God to come here. Maybe they were. But, where can we go? There is no free America to flee to. It's gone. that's right. you don't even have a message board to exercise the first amendment rights you don't have anymore- wait, what?

the outlimitz seems to have conflated the constitution and the bible: The Constitution was divinely inspired by God was it not? no. what are you talking about? With that in mind we should stand up for what we believe in like:1. Freedom of Religion freedom of religion directly opposes what god commands in the bible, you know, the first commandment? 2. Freedom of Speech again, directly opposes what god commands 3. Right to a Well Armed Militia okay, god did seem to be in favor of the killing And so on and so forth. Conversely, we are to remain subject to the powers that be, even if that means persecution. Any further thoughts? Am I on the right course here? no.

christina is holding firm to the belief that you can read the bible literally and interpret here and there: In a nutshell, we are to obey the powers that be unless they are in direct opposition to God's Word. just as a reminder, Romans 13:1 - Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. absolutely nothing about "unless they are in direct opposition to god's word. If the government started closing down churches and telling Christians they couldn't read their Bible what planet is this happening on?.....well we already know what the Lord has to say about fellowshipping and congregating with fellow believers as well as how we are to be in His Word so if the government were to try to implement some law to ban this we would be within our rights to disobey the government not according to Romans 13:1.....however.....taxes or freedom of speech are not things we are to fight against um, wouldn't you need freedom of speech to talk about god and his word?....render to the Lord what is the Lord's and render to Caesar what is Caesar's...I don't see any percentage that tells us how much to render to Caesar so it is whatever the government puts it at regardless of how fair or unfair it is. God said for us to obey (as long as it doesn't go against HIM) so we must obey, regardless of how fair it is or not. you know, unless you decide you don't want to.

ShowUsTheFather has a loophole for rendering unto Caesar: How do you deal with the idea that taxes are providing funding for abortions? Not just here, but overseas? Does God want people to stand against that?Obviously we vote for those who stand against it, but what about boycotting it? and what about my taxes that go to funding faith based initiatives? betcha she'd throw a hissy fit if i said i wasn't going to pay that portion of my taxes.

This proves at least one thing: even people who swear they believe the bible is the literal word of god interpret it to their own liking.
Creative Commons License
Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at