Thursday, April 30, 2009
This is the Oklahoma (OK!) GOP Platform for 2009. No matter how much of a Poe it looks like, it is real. Seriously. No, really, it is.
I won't review everything, because quite frankly there's only so much I can take for the team, but I will highlight the truly nuclear stupid.
Under Statement of Principles:
4. God is the Author and Creator of life and that all human life, both born and unborn, should be protected. So, no atheists, no abortions, no stem cell research and probably no IVF. This sounds like the statement of principles of a church, not a political group, but Christianity has been conflated with patriotism and politics for a long time, so it's hardly surprising.
5. In traditional marriage consisting of one man and one woman. not much on the equality, either. hardly surprising.
6. It is the private sector and free market principles that best stimulate economic development rather than government subsidies or programs. not liking the stimulus, either. we don't call them "the party of no" for nothing.
7. Taxes collected at all levels of government should be used only for legitimate government functions, and those functions carried out efficiently so that tax rates may be kept as low as possible. I'm pretty sure we can all agree with that one, on its face, but way to claim that position as Republican.
9. It is the right of every parent to act in his or her children’s best interest including choosing the form of education, whether public school, private school, or home school. stop telling my children gays are human, too!
Their "constitution" has its own section just for families, that reads like a statement from om nom NOM.
Traditional marriage, consisting of one man and one woman, is designed to provide for each family member’s physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, and social well-being. Both parents are needed to support and encourage happiness, health, and a good education for their children,creating the next generation of citizens who are constructive members of society. Multigenerational families foster mutual respect and cooperation while providing support for extended family members and forming enduring relationships. We believe God is the Author and Creator of human life and that each individual should be treated with dignity and compassion. We insist that any candidate receiving money and/or support from the Republican Party shall affirm and promote the Pro-Life concept.
Do I really need to mock that for you?
next they make an unintentional argument for removing the government from all marriages, making the government's involvement limited to civil unions for everyone, and marriage an extra thing the religious can choose to add. i doubt they intended to do this.
We affirm the state’s recognition that marriage between one man and one woman is a covenant relationship, instituted by God, does anyone remember god instituting marriage? because i don't. it's not in the bible. god does not marry adam and eve, and while the ten commandmants do forbid adultery, marriage itself isn't mentioned. and they're not interpreting the bible. uh huh. not to be entered into casually are they proposing some sort of test to see who's serious and who's casual? yikes., and is fundamental to our very existence and survival as a nation. um, yeah. okay. Therefore, we strongly support a U.S. Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. of course you do.
6. We believe that in order to encourage and protect family values, those promoting homosexuality or other aberrant lifestyles nice. homosexuality is found in nature all over the place, but it's aberrant. i suppose i should feel lucky they didn't use the word "sodomite"., should not be allowed to hold responsible positions over children which are not their own or over other vulnerable persons. wow. that could be interpreted to mean that gays, and people like me who support gay rights, would be barred not only from adoption and foster care, but from working at a day care, a school, a YMCA, a church, a nursing home, a hospital. that's nuclear crazy.
11. We believe marriage should not be entered into casually and should not be dissolved easily.Therefore, we call for states to repeal “no-fault” divorce statutes. back to the good ole days of airing your dirty laundry for all the world to see in order to get a divorce. this from the party of newt.
Wow. I haven't even gotten to Right-to-Life and Medical Ethics yet. This is definitely a multiple poster.
The deception of personal notions of beauty, I guess.
From Ireland, by way of Pharyngula:
JUSTICE Minister Dermot Ahern has defended the introduction of a new crime of blasphemous libel, stating that a new definition was required by the Constitution.
Speaking after an Oireachtas committee meeting, Mr Ahern yesterday defended a fine of up to €100,000 that will be imposed on blasphemers.
The Government moved to revive the crime by placing it onto a fresh statutory footing following advice from the office of the Attorney General.
Gardai will now have the power to seize blasphemous material from the home or any other premises used by a person convicted of blasphemy.
Just out of curiosity, are there any tenets of faith of one religion that are not blasphemous to others? In fact, many tenets of faith held by various Christians sects are blasphemous to other Christian sects.
This is so ridiculous, I'd ignore it, but Ahern and others are serious about this. I suppose it might be amusing if anyone actually tried to enforce the law, as everyone, including the enforcers, would end up in jail.
Ireland: we're all criminals now!
Byron York seems to long for the good ole days when blacks only counted as 3/5 of a person:
On his 100th day in office, Barack Obama enjoys high job approval ratings, no matter what poll you consult. But if a new survey by the New York Times is accurate, the president and some of his policies are significantly less popular with white Americans than with black Americans, and his sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are.
Just in case you didn't get the memo, Byron, black people are a part of this country. Their opinions even count! (Although this does explain a lot about the Republican party's popularity, or lack thereof.)
Unfortunately, some of the comments to the article are even worse:
DonL doesn't seem to understand that other people might see things differently than him: Unless blacks have a special ability to see greatness, they make serious deecisions based upon the color of one's skin -a fault that was condemned by Martin Luther King. His dream has turned into a nightmare of near worship of a Godless advocate of infanticide and abortion which on a percentage basis hurts the black community more that any other. Keeping the black community dependent upon government for their solutions is nothing more than a form of voluntary slavery. Those who recognize such actions might very well term it self-destruction.
Jack doesn't seem to understand exactly how much the media loves a scandal (and, ew!): Obama could bone his own children on the steps of Capitol Hill. The media would cheer the 'closeness' of the Obamas, and blacks would start defending incest. Those opposed to his behavior would be labeled racist and closed minded.
Uncle Joe's Patriotic Taxpayer revives the "welfare queens" meme:
The majority of blacks pay no income tax. Why wouldn't they favor Obama's tax and spend policies? For them it is only spending.
Chris Jones comes to the only conclusion possible, for a racist: The only conclusion one can reach is that blacks don't have a grasp of any of the issues. They think whatever Obama says or does is great because he shares the same skin color.
Okay, now I'm just depressed. RACISM. IS. NOT. OKAY. asshats.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I thought same sex marriage was dead in the water (for now) in New Hampshire, but I was wrong.
The New Hampshire Senate has approved a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in the Granite State.
After surviving an early vote to kill HB 436, the bill passed the New Hampshire Senate Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 13 to 11.
The Senate version of the bill made minor amendments to remove gender-specific language, so it will now go back to the House for a vote.
Gov. John Lynch has said marriage is a word that should be reserved for the union of a man and a woman, but he has not said specifically that he would veto the bill.
Unexpected good news- the very best kind.
I've heard of Dinesh D'Souza before, but this is the first time I've ever read anything by him, and I have to say, not impressed. I'm not impressed by the atheist bashing, and I'm not impressed by the amazing history fails.
(The article itself is fairly long, so I'm going to indulge in some ". . ." for brevity's sake.)
When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” he called the proposition “self-evident.” . . . This idea of the preciousness and equal worth of every human being is largely rooted in Christianity.
Since when? Many Christian sects today do not consider all human beings to be inherently equal. What about Christian homophobia? Would Mr. D'Souza claim that gaybashing fundies recognize the inherent equality of all human beings? What about complementarians? Would Mr. D'Souza claim that people who think wives should obey and be subservient to their husbands consider all human beings equal? Clearly not.
Those examples are just two modern examples of inequality in Christian thought. What about 50 years ago when many Christians believed that whites and blacks should not be allowed to intermarry because blacks were unequal to whites? What about 200 years ago when Christians believed that slavery was acceptable for the same reason?
. . .
In ancient Greece and Rome , individual human life had no particular value in and of itself. The Spartans left weak children to die on the hillside. Infanticide was common, as it is common even today in many parts of the world. Fathers who wanted sons had few qualms about drowning their newborn daughters. Human beings were routinely bludgeoned to death or mauled by wild animals in the Roman gladiatorial arena. Many of the great classical thinkers saw nothing wrong with these practices. Christianity, on the other hand, contributed to their demise by fostering moral outrage at the mistreatment of innocent human life.
Really? Do I really need to mention the Crusades? All 9 of them? There's always the Spanish Inquisition if the Crusades aren't enough.
. . .
Christianity did not immediately and directly contest patriarchy, but it helped to elevate the status of women in society. The Christian prohibition of adultery, a sin it viewed as equally serious for men and women, and rules concerning divorce that (unlike in Judaism and Islam) treated men and women equally, helped to improve the social status of women.
First of all, when did Christianity as a whole ever directly contest patriarchy? In most Christian sects, women are not allowed to lead congregations or achieve positions of power. In many Christian sects today, women are regarded as little more than fetal containers for the next generation of worshippers.
Secondly, the "Christian" prohibition of adultery? Is Mr. D'Souza forgetting what part of the bible the ten commandments are found in? That would be the Jewish prohibition of adultery.
. . .
Mr. D'Souza's defense against Christianity's support of slavery is downright laughable.
But Christianity, from its very beginning, discouraged the enslavement of fellow Christians. We read in one of Paul's letters that Paul himself interceded with a master named Philemon on behalf of his runaway slave, and encouraged Philemon to think of his slave as a brother instead. Confronted with the question of how a slave can also be a brother, Christians began to regard slavery as indefensible. As a result, slavery withered throughout medieval Christendom and was eventually replaced by serfdom.
You know what the difference is between slavery and serfdom? Very little.
Serfdom is the socio-economic status of unfree peasants under feudalism, and specifically relates to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe. Serfdom was the enforced labour of serfs on the fields of landowners, in return for protection and the right to work on their leased fields
Bragging that Christianity replaced slavery with serfdom is like bragging that you quit heroin by taking meth.
. . .
The end of the article includes this amazing warning about the decline of civilization at the hands of atheists, completely without facts.
Let me conclude with a warning first issued by one of Western civilization's greatest atheists, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The ideas that define Western civilization, Nietzsche said, are based on Christianity. Because some of these ideas seem to have taken on a life of their own, we might have the illusion that we can abandon Christianity while retaining them. This illusion, Nietzsche warns us, is just that. Remove Christianity and the ideas fall too.
because atheists don't have morals, or value civilization. we're all crazy anarchic nihilists, just waiting for the chance to blow it all to kingdom . . .um, well, nowhere, I guess.
Consider the example of Europe , where secularization has been occurring for well over a century. For a while it seemed that secularization would have no effect on European morality or social institutions. Yet increasingly today there is evidence of the decline of the nuclear family. Overall birthrates have plummeted, while rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births are up.
And how is that bad, exactly? care to give my some facts and figures on how that is affecting people in Europe? basically, Mr. D'Souza is arguing that divorce and low birthrates are bad because they are. Bad, that is. No studies, no facts, no figures, just a bald assertion.Nietzsche also warned that, with the decline of Christianity, new and opposing ideas would arise. We see these today in demands for the radical redefinition of the family, the revival of eugenic theories, and even arguments for infanticide.
In sum, the eradication of Christianity—and of organized religion in general—would also mean the gradual extinction of the principles of human dignity. Consider human equality. Why do we hold to it? The Christian idea of equality in God's eyes is undeniably largely responsible. The attempt to ground respect for equality on a purely secular basis ignores the vital contribution by Christianity to its spread. It is folly to believe that it could survive without the continuing aid of religious belief.
if you're going to tell me that atheism causes eugenics and infanticide, at least give me a link. i have no idea what the fuck Mr. D'Souza is talking about, and no proof that Mr. D'Souza does, either.
and i do enjoy the idea that atheists are not capable of maintaining freedom. because we don't benefit from it or anything. apparently, we're not just anarchic nihilists, we're slavers, too!
If we cherish what is distinctive about Western civilization, then—whatever our religious convictions—we should respect rather than denigrate its Christian roots.
and keep the atheists from killing the babies, apparently.
Somebody tried to Ray me into christianity yesterday. It was spectacularly unsuccessful, but quite amusing nonetheless. And yes, I will now mercilessly mock them.
The following exchange is from the comments to my From the If It Rhymes, It's Poetry School of Thought post.
two issues right off the bat: (1) I talk like the proverbial sailor- on meth. I don't have any friends that don't use profanity. (2) Starting the conversation with a self righteous screen name probably isn't the best conversion strategy.
logical answer: i'm not a physicist, i'm a legal secretary. the theory colloquially known as "big bang" isn't bad, though. there's a link in this post to universe beginning theories, if you want to learn more.apparently, my friend may now begin using profanity.
the fact of the matter, little friend, is that unlike you, i don't need absolute answers to every possible question. I'm fine with not knowing things. I don't know how to perform neurosurgery, I don't know how to build cars, and I don't know how the universe "started" (some theories seem to imply it didn't start or that start isn't really the right word).
Your 'little friend' said...
I didn't say that I 'need absolute answeres to every possible question.' So don't jump to conclusions. Anyways, you say that you don't REALLY believe in anything- but if you WERE going to believe in something, it would be the big bang.Here's what the big band says: Everything (umm... that would be NOTHING) came together, spun really fast, and then blew up and created... everything!Now that just doesn't seem logical.
classic Ray Comfort right there. he puts words in my mouth, parrots the line about nothing into everything and then tells me it's not logical. and does it in the most ungrammatical, misspelled way possible.
and then I get snide:
First off, don't put words in my mouth. I said I don't know, and that I lack the knowledge base to make an informed decision on the issue.I thought maybe I'd come on too strong, but my little friend is persistant if nothing else. and just a little bit confused as to what an ad hominem attack is.
However, that is not what the big bang theory states. That's what Ray Comfort says the big bang states, which is an entirely different thing.
What you did there is called a Strawman Fallacy. You built up a rather silly argument, attributed it to me, and then tore it down. Good for you, but all you did was display your ignorance.
Thanks for playing.
I'm not finished. What you just used in your last comment is called an 'ad hominen attack'. It's where you attack the person instead of his arguement. So you pretty much refuted my arguement by attacking me, good job chap. i seriously considered changing my name from Personal Failure to Good Job Chap.
You still haven't answered the question; the question is this: 'How was the world started?' All you've said so far is that you 'don't know'. So does that mean that you're open to sugestions? Or are you going to be ignorant with your own knowledge?
*sigh* telling a person what logical fallacy they committed is not considered an ad hom. an ad hom would be if i called you a liar, or stupid or a criminal, thus implying that nothing you say can be trusted because you are a bad person.geds jumps in with a new name for my little friend (which made me spew 7up):
please learn the fallacies before you accuse people of them.
how could a person be ignorant with their own knowledge? that doesn't even make sense. do you know how the brain works? what about DNA? are intimately familiar with the inner workings of your own DNA? do you know exactly how your computer works?
every day every person on the planet, no matter how smart or educated, proceeds with ignorance. we are all ignorant about lots of things. there's simply too much to know to know it all.you, and everyone else on the planet, are totally fine with this. you're clearly living your life instead of being paralyzed by the weight of your own ignorance, so why is my ignorance on a very esoteric subject of so much interest to you?
to put it another way "you can't prove how the universe got started" is not going to convert me. do you have any other strategies, or are you new at this?
Um, listen up, Sparky.An ad hominem attack would be me saying, "You're wrong because you rape puppies." Saying, "You're wrong because your arguments are stupid and fallacious," is called "rhetoric."
You might want to re-think what you're doing there...
charmingly, my little friend actually adopts the new name!
your 'little friend' Sparky said...
Alright, so I don't have a clue what I'm talking about. In fact, I'm new to this planet Earth, thank you for clearing things up for me. You STILL haven't answered the Q. All you've been doing is attacking me; you don't even know who I am or what I believe!
angry much? also, exactly how many times do i have to answer your question? i can definitively say that you are some sort of theist, because atheists don't Ray each other. (unless someone was poeing me)
now pay special attention to what my response is, because apparently sparky will not.
I'm not attacking you, but I also don't let logical fallacies go. I already told you what I know and don't know. I don't know what started the universe, I don't think it's god, and certainly not the god of the bible, or any other holy book I've read. If I saw proof of god (other than the creation itself), I'd certainly accept it, but that's hardly belief.sparky then replies twice:
your 'little friend' Sparky said...
Alright, you're finally getting somewhere...Now you're a person looking for proof, that's great!
Here we go...If you saw a coke (you know, like the good old-fashion coke) would you say that someone created the coke, or that it just came into existence?
total Ray, with the addendum that he is not talking about illegal substances. just in case.
no, i've never said I "know" there is no god. i've never seen proof of god. the bible isn't proof of god. your feelings aren't proof of god. existence proves nothing, because i've seen good scientific explanations for existence that don't rest on stories thousands of years old.
you're trying the new twist on the watchmaker argument. it's fallacious and silly, and i'll even explain why.
i can follow the delivery truck back to the manufacturing plant and watch people making coke cans right in front of me. i can touch those people, smell those people, see those people, hear those people, and if we're particularly friendly, i can taste them.
can i watch god making anything? no. do we have pictures of god making anything? no. can i smell or taste or hear god? no.
so, we've gone through two Comfort evangelization strategies, just for practice do you want to try another? the ten commandments exercise is always fun. presumptuous, but since we're apparently "friends", go for it.
in fairness to Sparky, that's actually not a twist on the watchmaker argument. it's still silly.
I really thought Sparky would stop after that, but no, he goes for the "you're so ignorant and stupid, i won't even bother" (although he does):
your 'little friend' said...
Well, to tell you the truth, I hadn't even heard of Ray Comfort until yesterday, so all of this is coming from your dear lil'o friend. Explain to me how Atheists can look around them, and not see that someone created everything... I look at the computer I'm typing on right now, and I KNOW that someone created it!
Besides, there are TONS of faults with the 'big bang' theory and evolution. If you wish, I can tell them to you, but chances are, even if I refute everything evolution has ever standed for, you'd still be ignorant.
yeah. sure. and what exactly did evolution "standed" for? (I'm the ignorant one?)
and now the big finish:
your 'little friend' said...
This is refering to your earlier point:What if I showed you a picture of God? Would you believe then?
I'll answer that for you: No. You wouldn't believe. Even if I provided you with every proof that God exists, you still wouldn't believe. But one day you WILL believe, and I hope you're on the right side, or you'll be 'Forever In Hell'. Christ says that "EVERY knee will bow and every tongue will confess..."
this is fantastic! i don't even have to answer his questions anymore- he'll do it for me! Sparky does totally get the name of my blog, but an argument to consequences is not a good one.
I suppose you're right in one sense. If you said that I did not, in fact, have a niece, and then I showed you my niece, you wouldn't "believe" in my niece, you would accept the verified existence of my niece.
You seem to be saying that if god appeared before me right now, I'd shut my eyes, put my hands over my ears and start shouting LALALALA, which is just silly.
But one day you WILL believe, and I hope you're on the right side, or you'll be 'Forever In Hell'. Christ says that "EVERY knee will bow and every tongue will confess...Can you predict the future? Of course not. You have no idea what I will or will not do. Having lost the argument, you are now resorting to threatening me with your special book.
This is the fallacy of argument to consequences: do it, or suffer. it can be convincing in certain situations, but that doesn't make it any less fallacious.
By the way, I call bullshit on the idea that you have not heard of Ray Comfort. You have been giving me, word for word, all of Ray's Way of the Master evangelism arguments. If you really have not heard of Mr. Comfort, then whoever taught you those arguments certainly has.
I imagine the hilarity is now ended, but it was fun while it lasted.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Swine Flu an Act of Biological Warfare?
. . .
Freedom Watch, a public interest watchdog, an organization led by Larry Klayman, who sued Hugo Chavez, Barack Obama and his own mother. believes that there is a very good possibility that the precipitous outbreak of the virus in Mexico, which has now spread to the United States and other western countries, is not the result of happenstance – but terrorism. oh, really? it wouldn't be easier to release it in the US? wait until you see the explanation for this.
"What could be more clever than planting the seed in neighboring Mexico and allowing it to spread to the United States?" Freedom Watch asked. i think the word you're looking for is "unreliable".
The organization speculates for no apparent reason that after President Obama's outreach to Iran and other Middle Eastern leaders, coupled with his denunciation of Bush administration interrogation TORTURE techniques, his defense of the Muslim world his including muslims as part of the world could be seen as an asset to terrorist groups and may explain why the pandemic began in Mexico – to protect the president. so, they hate the US so much, they hit us with swine flu (that hasn't actually killed any USians yet), but they love the President so much they did it through Mexico (where over 150 people have died)? does that make any sense? at all?
"In this dangerous world, with an American president who is widely loved in the Arab/Muslim world … one must ask the hard question: Is this a coincidence or the result of a slick way to attack the United States without having President Obama, a perceived long term 'friend,' blamed for the attack?" Freedom Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman said. because the same people that hijacked planes and slammed them into buildings are known for their subtlety.
. . .
and here's where we get the amazing history fail:
But ALIPAC a group that can be referred to nicely as "nativist" is criticizing the Obama administration's handling of the outbreak – saying its failure to act may cost American lives.
"Obama was playing golf Sunday. So, when a plane slammed into the WTC, actually killing people, and Bush continued with his photo op, that was okay? When Katrina reduced New Orleans to a third world country, without potable water, emergency services or food, and Bush was on vacation, that was okay? But Obama playing golf while 8 people have a mild form of flu, that's the end of the world? do you people even listen to yourselves speak? Instead, he should have been addressing the nation, securing the borders, and filling the gaps in our government leadership from an emergency command center!" filling gaps? you mean like with the head of HHS, whose confirmation is being held up by Republicans? said William Gheen. direct quote from Gheen: "Call me old fashioned, but people should be able to shop at Wal-Mart without worrying about catching [t]uberculosis." "He refuses to send troops to the border to stop the violence from spilling over or the Mexican flu from crossing into America. Instead we get second-tier bureaucrats telling Americans to wash our hands and cover our mouths when we cough like a bunch of 1st grade students." because that's how you keep diseases from spreading. shooting mexicans is not on the CDC list of recommended prevention strategies.
There's nothing like having a racist and a litigious asshole as the public faces of your cause, is there?
I regularly get emails from Dr. Gary L. Cass at the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (aka the Persecuted Hegemon). They're always filled with exaggerations, if not outright lies, but none have been quite so comical as today's invitation to become a part of the Gideon 300.
I want to share a personal message with you straight from my heart. wait for it.
About three weeks ago I was praying about a meeting I was having that evening with a group of Christian Anti-Defamation Commission supporters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. My heart was heavy because the burden of our finances oh, yes was almost unbearable. You see, since the first of the year our income has fallen off a cliff. We have barely been able to keep CADC alive. oh noes! wait, maybe there is a god, and he's been listening to my thoughts. that's an uncomfortable thought, that.
My heart was particularly heavy because at the same time our finances are dwindling, the attacks on our faith increasing! there's atheists everywhere! and gays, right there, being all gay in public! how can i believe in jesus with gay people and atheists around? Consider for example the pending hate crimes bills in the Congress. if you naturally assume that your faith will be classified as a hate crime, you might want to reconsider your belief. Or think of the recent Miss USA Pageant that humiliated Miss California, Carrie Prejean, because as a Christian she boldly stood up for traditional marriage. boldly, eh? she was barely intelligible. btw, when did christians get into pretty girls parading around half naked for money? Then there's the memo that came out of the Department of Homeland Security warning that people who are pro-life and pro-marriage, i.e. Christians, are potential terrorists! no, they warned that potential terrorists are potential terrorists. they released a similar report about extreme left wingers before that. why is it not a single liberal assumed the left wing terror report was about them, but every conservative assumed the right wing terror report had their name in it?
At the same time our opportunities to impact our nation for Christ are also dramatically expanding. wait, you mean my money could feed the hungry, clothe the naked and comfort the suffering?
American Family Radio has started airing our daily radio Action Alerts and other networks have also expressed interest in airing them. in which gospel did jesus command daily radio action alerts?
Traffic to our website is growing and more concerned Christians are signing up to receive our email Action Alerts. We're building an army to stop anti-Christian bigotry and reclaim America for Christ. "reclaim" implies the US was ever "for Christ". History begs to differ.
Opportunities are increasing for me to appear on radio and television programs across America to address defamation and attacks on Christians. it would be so sad if that didn't happen anymore.
"Why?" I pleaded with God for an answer. maybe god doesn't like your little group? ever think of that? maybe there is no god? there's a lot of possible answers here. Dr. Cass goes for the most crazy. He didn't answer my question but He gave me a vision. a vision is not an answer to a question? you'd think to christians a vision would be at least as good as a letter. The message was clear! oh, dear.
There was a time after Joshua died when the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. And when the Israelites cried to the LORD for help the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon and said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior. Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand." Even though Gideon felt totally inadequate for the task, the LORD used him and three hundred faithful warriors to route the entire army of Midianites that was so enormous that their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore. which sounds like poetic license to me, but whatever.
The Lord never uses the masses to accomplish his plan except of course, when he does. -- even though the enemy seems overwhelmingly entrenched and powerful. He uses a faithful few so when yhwh ordered 12,000 Israelites to go after the Midianites (Midianites come up a lot), that was a "faithful few"?
That's when it hit me. God was telling me to seek 300 faithful friends to stand with me for a great victory! that was your vision? god likes the number 300? is a descent into numerology inevitable for christians, or am I just noticing it more lately?
Please take a moment to ask yourself, am I one of the faithful few that God can use to put a stop to the egregious ongoing defamation of Christ and Christians in America? stop persecuting the hegemon! The most difficult part of being chosen by God to fight a battle is making the commitment. well, and the slaughtering. it's messy. After Gideon and his 300 faithful warriors accepted the challenge, God fought the battle for them. Not one of them was killed while a Midianite army -- so massive that it couldn't be counted it totally could have been counted. it's not like you can run out of numbers. i would believe that nobody was into counting as the battle started, but it was certainly countable.-- was totally destroyed!
GOD WILL BLESS YOU FOR FAITHFULNESS the promise of every prosperity minister. nowhere in the bible does it say that giving money to church leaders will pay off in the end.
I need you. I can't fight this battle without you. Will you be one of CADC's faithful Gideon 300 that will provide a monthly base of support to keep CADC alive and strong? and on the radio, instead of giving money to soup kitchens or homeless shelters. priorities, people! We are praying that God will give us three hundred faithful friends giving $25 a month, or $300 a year, will make the difference for us.
I know that someone will say, "I am stretched to the limit. I simply cannot afford another $25 every month." but, hey i got needs, and i don't really care about your needs. If that is true for you then please give what you can. one dollar? fifty cents? c'mon people! I have no desire to ask you to do anything that is outside your capability. well, i do, but it doesn't look good.
However, on the other hand, I know that you might be able to do much more than $25 each month. you know you've got money. what about that money you are selfishly using to buy food. do you really need three meals a day? If that is true for you, please don't be limited by my request for $25. that's just the lower limit. i won't stop you from going higher. Do whatever you can ... whether it's $50, $100, or even $1,000. I promise you that the battle is intense and entirely made up. we're 76% of the population. we're hardly a minority. our high holy days are federal holidays. nobody thinks twice if they see someone carrying a bible or wearing a cross. going to church on sunday is expected activity. this persecution is so hard to bear. and every gift you send will be spent to hold those who defame the name of Christ and His followers accountable for their evil deeds and words. screw the starving, we need to smack down those atheists. and get those gays back in the closet.
This is a transitional time for America. we can't have tolerance and equality- what ever will I preach about if not hate? Will we move further away from God and become slaves to Midianites I assume in this analogy "midianites" are "tolerance and acceptance". at which point the "slaves" portion of the analogy falls apart. or turn back to God and again become that bright shinning city on a hill can we please retire that? that our founding fathers sacrificed so much to create?
God is powerful enough to win this battle. He only needs a faithful few. Will you be one? omnipotent god apparently can't handle a little wire transfer.
Sincerely yours in Christ, lulz
Dr. Gary L. Cass
P.S. Please respond today to let me know that you will be one of the few faithful friends who will help CADC put an end to Christian-bashing and bigotry in America as a Gideon 300. "a Gideon 300" is the most awkward phrase ever. oh, and criticism is not persecution. being gay or being an atheist is not persecuting christians. get over yourselves.
Monday, April 27, 2009
I really have to wonder if the new GOP strategy to taking back the government is to kill everyone who votes Democrat.
Here we are, at the beginning of what could be the Great Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009*, and not 2 months ago, Republicans voted against funding for pandemic preparedness.
Senator Schumer: All those little porky things that the House put in, the money for the [National] Mall or the sexually transmitted diseases or the flu pandemic, they're all out," Schumer said.
Think about the way population centers work in the US. Big cities generally vote Democrat. Rural areas generally vote Republican. Pandemics are more likely to rip right through a crowded city than a rural area. Ergo . . . you can draw your own conclusion, but either way, I suspect that the GOP simply hates us all.
*before you start panicking, nobody in the US has died of swine flu yet. In fact, most cases have been very mild. wash your hands, you'll probably be okay.
I used to love poetry, then I read this.
Consider the Evidence, my Atheistic Friend "atheistic"?
By: Maxine M.
Are you one who puts the subject of God as far as you can from your mind? i think about it all the time. hello, i blog about asshats like you on a regular basis.
You’re considered a “good” that has to be the first "poetic" use of sarcastiquotes. person but towards anything religious or spiritual you’re not inclined i gotta be me.
Seeing so much hurt and injustice all around, IF there is a God, He must be blind or he's a sadistic asshole. or not nearly as omnipotent as you say.
Something happened when you were young…something you could never accept or understand oh, c'mon! the "atheists were all hurt by god as a child" meme? we haven't retired that yet? most US atheists were christians in their childhoods and into adulthood. we do not have some traumatic childhood experience that caused us to abandon god. yeesh.
A hurt so deep that couldn’t possibly have happened if a sovereign God was in command
A victim in childhood…of life’s ever insidious destructive demands that hurt my brain
So you hardened your heart & rejected even His very existence no, i lack a god belief. i'm not freakin' pharoah. (whose heart was hardened by god, btw.)
You laugh at those who pray to this FATHER with devoted persistence no, mostly I shake my head in bemusement.
Thinking you’ll be less vulnerable if you never expect Divine assistance i certainly won't be waiting around for things to happen. instead, i'll actually be doing something about it.
But stop!! Just LOOK in the mirror & think…give a reasonable explanation if you can
To whatever theories YOU have as to the origin of man
Because human existence cannot be denied…living out a normal life-span i'm guessing "living out a normal life-span" was put in to make it rhyme, because it certainly makes no sense as a part of that sentence. and yes, evolution does explain the origin of man. quite nicely.
But WHERE did it start? How DID this complex body of ours come to be? evolution. repeat after me: evolushun.
And don’t the very heavens declare that a Divine Creator created you & me? creation proves the creator? sorry, no.
The earth and all that’s above or beneath it…all the beauty in nature we can see it's amazing, isn't it? still doesn't prove god.
Is your theory EVOLUTION, a cosmic explosion or a mutation of a cell?
But how could CHANCE make man DIFFERENT from an animal? poetic misunderstanding of evolution does not prove god. Diverse species distinctly excel
Was it luck or fate that put the sun in the sky…established a conscience as well the sun was there before us. life developed as it did on this planet in reaction to what was already there.
How could an accident or single cell organism have brought all this into being?
All those theories require SOMETHING to start with…are you still disagreeing? that "something" still doesn't prove god.
Only an all POWERFUL OMNIPOTENT God can create from NOTHING…the universe all agreeing no, the universe does not all agree.
How could an unplanned event establish veracity, truth and wisdom? no, but human consciousness would.
Where could the higher complex thought process of humans come from? the workings of the human brain. duh.
If we evolved from apes, WHY are there still apes…wouldn’t they all have had to succumb? *headdesk* we did not evolve from apes, apes and humans share a common ancestor.
Do your theories explain how a baby grows & moves in the womb? yes, actually.
How the seasons come and go and, at an APPOINTED time, that is caused by the earth's rotation around the sun. did you miss that day in the second grade? the wild flowers bloom
Doesn’t it all indicate a “MASTER PLAN” NO…this constant renewal of life that we will resume?
So the Creator says, “You have NO reason NOT to believe in Me, by that logic, I have no reason not to believe in Krishna, Odin or Zeus. just look at the sky
Search for Me!! Seek My face, you’ll find Me if you sincerely try now i know why i'm an atheist: i just haven't been trying hard enough.
Accept My Gift of Grace, become My child anytime BEFORE you die hypothetical bus
During those “HARDTIMES” you MISSED the message they were to convey god lets 6 year olds get raped to convey a message? he couldn't send a letter?
They were meant to show YOUR NEED of Me…BUT you went the other way i guess 6 year olds deserve to get raped
Just as the same warm sun melts butter but hardens clay worst analogy ever. i am dumber now for having seen it.
That pain, hurt and disappointment in your life…your humiliation at which cruel people would laugh which just proves how awesome god is
My own Son suffered that and MORE to die at Calvary…die on YOUR behalf
The sinless Son GIVEN for sinful man…at Adam’s fall, THIS the plan I would draft” god caused the fall, for one. for another, why would god have to sacrifice god to god in order to change a rule god made? my mind is now boggled.
Now could THAT be the reason you didn’t want to think about Him at all "jesus? who's that?"
It was easier to say He doesn’t EXIST than to respond to His inviting call yeesh
To face personal sin & short comings…PRIDE has built up a defensive wall atheists DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD. we're not denying god to spite him even though we believe in him. not everyone is exactly like you, get used to it.
Easier to say “I know I’ll die one day, but like a dog and a fruit fly and a jellyfish. you are not a special little snowflake, get over it…just be in OBLIVION forever”
Ignoring that man has an IMORTAL if you're going to go allcaps on a word, at least spell it right soul…that we’ll live on, ceasing never
Uninformed that there’s a Judgment Day when the Lord will judge our every endeavor that's it. atheists have never heard of heaven and hell. sure.
So do you see how foolish it is to avoid a God who WILL have the last say? oddly, telling me that your imaginary friend is going to spank me is less than convincing.
BUT you are determined you are right…what a dangerous game to play!! more hypothetical bus
Now JUST for argument’s sake, let’s say you’re right & we both die one day
If you’re right & I’m wrong, we’ll just enter one long dark endless undiscerning night
But, OH the awful, dreadful anguish of an eternal Judgment plight
For there is NO 2nd chance…if YOU’RE WRONG & I’M RIGHT!! the big finish is Pascal's Wager. meh.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
One of the things that has always bothered me about the christian god is the supposed quality of omnipotence: almighty or infinite in power, as God.
What bothers me about Yhwh's supposed omnipotence is that every time you turn around you see an example of something that really needs to be fixed. People dying in floods or fires, children being raped, people being tortured, people starving to death, people dying slowly of terrible illnesses. Any reasonable person looking at that is going to experience some serious cognitive dissonance trying to reconcile an omnipotent, loving god with what actually happens here on earth. Some people resolve their cognitive dissonance by retreating into "god is ineffable", some people become atheists. However you do it, eventually you have to reconcile yourself to the inevitable conclusion that either Yhwh doesn't care or Yhwh isn't omnipotent, but he certainly isn't loving and omnipotent.
In my opinion, pagans have the best solution to this problem (without resorting to the "oh, fuck it, I can't believe this shit anymore" of the atheist): specialization rather than omnipotence. Pagan gods and goddesses are like modern day medical professionals. If I have a brain tumor, I want a neurosurgeon, but if I need my hip replaced, that's not the doctor I want in the room. Pagans have different gods and goddesses for every occasion, and they are clearly not omnipotent. Thus, if I ask a pagan why didn't Thor or Zeus or whoever save those people from drowning, I'm not going to create any cognitive dissonance. The answer is simple: it wasn't in their power.
Writers tend to deal with this problem in the same way: they remove the element of omnipotence. Either god is space aliens/humans from the future, vastly more powerful than our bronze age forebears, but not omnipotent, or god is limited in some way. For instance, Stephen R. Donaldson creates a god limited by his own creation in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. This of course brings up the issue of how does god create a rock so big he can't lift it, but at least we know why we're counting on an antihero to fix things.
Feel free to chime in with your favorite explanation of why god is the way god is. Book recommendations always welcome.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I have to thank the Slacktivist for giving me this link, though I'm sure this isn't what he had in mind. Yeah, well, I gotta be me.
The Courtship Path . . . to the Love of Your Life
by Alex S. Leung
[this post is from a book, 5 Paths to the Love of Your Life (ed. Alex Chediak. Th1nk Books, 2005.)]
The Courtship Path
Courtship is the active, involved authority of the young woman’s father (or head of the household) in the formation of her romantic attachments leading to marriage. in other words, daddy chooses whom you will marry. your sole involvement is basically to show up at the church on time and submit for the rest of your life.
Courtship is not egalitarian because it believes in a female submission to a male head of the home. well, duh.
If there is an absence of headship, either because of neglect or a literal absence, young couples should seek out advice from their church on how to continue their courtship. This will probably result in an assignment of surrogate parents. because we can't possibly let people just pick whom they will marry by themselves- that might result in, oh, i dunno, happiness or something.
Physical involvement when courting should be completely avoided. you wouldn't want to find out if you were sexually compatible or anything. wait, what am i thinking, women aren't supposed to have fun with their vaginas. if they were, they would have clitorises and be able to achieve orga-- wait, i'm confused. After the couple is engaged, it should be limited to holding hands, brief kisses, and hugs. tongue, or no tongue? and is that special kind of hug that homophobic guys practice wherein you lean forward and only touch at the shoulders, keeping the genitals as far away as possible?
The will of God is rarely an acceptable excuse to conduct courtship in a self-defined way, such as a man pursuing a woman who has repeatedly rejected his interest in her. rarely? the fact that "the will of god" is ever an acceptable excuse to continue to pursue a woman who is not interested in you is appalling. really, how is this different from arranged marriage?
Platonic relationships are a myth apparently, i should be looking for unicorns over here, because i'm living in a myth! and are not an excuse to spend one-on-one time with a member of the opposite sex outside of courtship. we wouldn't want the poor girl to actually get to know a man, now would we?
Numbers 30:3-5 When a young woman still living in her father's house makes a vow to the LORD or obligates herself by a pledge 4 and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. 5 But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the LORD will release her because her father has forbidden her.
Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Okay, the Numbers quote sort of has something to do with matter at hand, but wtf do the Genesis quote and the Psalm quote have to do with courtship? Do they think we won't look these up? And, if we're following the mating rituals of bronze age desert nomads, why aren't we following any of the other customs of bronze age desert nomads? Why are we eating shrimp and wearing clothes made of more than one fabric?
Key Benefits now that's an odd use of that word
Love develops within a supportive, protective, and encouraging environment. but not an environment that would actually allow one to get to know a person that well. well enough to say, decide if you want to spend the rest of your life with them.
Sexual purity is more realistic and attainable. please stop obsessing over other people's vaginas. it's weird.
Trust in the relationship results because intentions are more obvious from the get-go. yes, desperation is the most honest policy, isn't it?
Baggage occurs less often because all aspects of the relationship are more intentional. how could you possibly get to know someone well enough to incur any baggage in this situation? also, baggage isn't necessarily a bad thing, if you learn from your mistakes.
Courtship creates an environment for obeying God by honoring one’s parents. well that's my biggest concern when picking the person i will spend the rest of my life with.
Courtshippers may become overzealous to the point of forcing their method on others. um, how?
Parents may become domineering and manipulative, using the authority of courtship to make unwise, ungodly decisions in all areas of their children’s lives. what about using the authority of courtship to make unwise decisions in the area of the courtship? hello?
Couples may claim they are courting to appear Christian but may ignore the real principles and make up their own unhealthy rules. like touching one another?
funny how the fact that you couldn't possibly get to know someone well enough to decide whether or not to spend the rest of your life them isn't a potential problem. the inherent misogyny of a father choosing his daughter's husband isn't a problem, either.
The above is not the blogger's opinion, this is all from a book he is reviewing. What follows is the blogger's opinion, and it is scary.
In my humble opinion, this path so far seems to be the most biblically complementarian. And thus, for those of us who are not egalitarian and rather proclaim ourselves to be complementarian, it would be rightly appropriate for us to “court”. To say that we believe in the male headship in the family and the church, and yet do not exercise this in the way we are involved in our children’s romantic life is hypocritical; to not seek the lady’s father’s authoritative validation for a relationship would be Pharisaical. not being a misogynist is a one way ticket to hell!
What more, is that in a postmodern what does that even mean? culture where much such? many? physical expressions of love are acceptable, the high standard of absolutely no physical involvement is very difficult to adhere to. The benefits for sexual purity to be more realistic and attainable is certainly a big plus, not having any idea what you're doing in bed, and all but assuring that your wife never has an orgasm are pluses? big pluses? but considering how scarce it is for any human being to be wired for no physical involvement, and why would you want to be married to that person? this is definitely the boundary that is hardest to stay within. I am humbled i'm am weirded out by Wilson’s call to zero physical involvement, for I know that it is an area I most struggle with. This is the area where disciplined holiness and self-control is most trying for men. that's right, kids. men are uncontrollable beasts and good girls don't ever want sex. if this asshat could read my thoughts right now, his head would explode. i'm surprised i'm not catching on fire. (If you give a mouse a cookie, he will soon ask for milk!) at least he didn't go for "if you can get the milk for free, why buy the cow?"
Lastly, I take heed of Wilson’s call for us to stop making excuses to spend one-on-one time with a member of the opposite sex outside of courtship. cause you wouldn't want to view members of the opposite sex as people, would you? (given my interests in sports and video games, and my general blunt . . . um . . . earthiness, i generally get along better with men than women. i don't, nor do i usually want to, fuck my friends. i know, it's just mind blowing.) This is a part of my life that I am currently re-evaluating to see what true intentions there are in my heart for those friendships in which I do spend significant amounts of one-on one time, in person, over the phone, or on the web. you're kidding. internet interactions, which carry no risk of sex at all, are out, too? wtf is wrong with these people? it's like they operate under the assumption that if you like it, you shouldn't be doing it. I do not think that Wilson is saying that they are completely unacceptable, but simply that we should not be hypocrites and nor be lying to ourselves that we are just friends when one or the other has wishes for more. according to what you posted above, he said they were completely unacceptable.
Heck, if this approach to relationships really brings less baggage to the table, I’d be all for it! because it's really annoying that the women i meet aren't still factory fresh in the original packaging. the fact that i have to deal with their emotions and personalities is just beyond annoying.
well, that was enough naked misogyny for one day, don't you think?
Friday, April 24, 2009
First of all, I need to say that if you are going to reference a study, an article, etc. in a post, you need give a link. Stop making me do your research.
Secondly, can we please give the "atheists are immoral and dangerous" meme a rest? Please? Atheists act just like everyone else. To be fair, we're better at marriage (the more fundy you are, the more likely you are to get divorced), but there appears to be little real life relationship between believing a thing is wrong and actually not doing it. (See: The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion.)
Makarios pulls out and dusts off this meme, yet again, in his post Atheist Richard Dawkins. (I don't know why he feels a need to put the word "atheist" in front of "Richard Dawkins". It's sort of like saying "Catholic Pope".)
Preaches the atheistic anti-life dogma i can't decide if he means that atheists tend to be prochoice, or that we're just against life in general. either way, stoopid. that works AGAINST natural selection natural selection has nothing to do with birth control. i don't know much about the subject, but i would think that birth control and fertility medicine are skewing our results a bit. by causing in atheists an aversion to reproducing their genes atheists are in no way averse to reproducing. most atheists i know, like most people i know, have children. what a strange world Makarios lives in. (out of three marriages Dawkins could only stomach the creation of one child that's just rude. first of all, his wives would have had the final say in whether or not they got pregnant. secondly, we don't know if his wives were infertile, or if dawkins has fertility issues. makarios could well be mocking some poor woman who desperately wants to have children and can't. lastly, in the end, whether or not to have children is a personal choice. i choose no, you choose yes. good for both of us.), and/or killing their offspring by the millions every year. wft?! anyone seen those news reports? seriously, what. the. fuck.
The Barna Research Group found regarding atheism and the morality that those who hold to the world views of atheism or agnosticism in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviours as morally acceptable: (as I said, there is a huge difference between finding something to be immoral and actually not doing it, but let's play along)
no, wait, let's not. I found the study Makarios helpfully didn't bother to provide a link to. It's from 2003 and it is not what Makarios represents it to be.
More than four out of five adults - 83% - contend that they are concerned about the moral condition of the nation. Given that 84% of all adults consider themselves to be Christian, they have good reason to worry about the moral state of the country: many of [Christians'] views conflict with the moral teachings of their professed faith.
wait, that's not atheists or agnostics. that's christians. i assume Makarios is engaging in a No True Scotsman here, but he's misrepresenting the study. the participants in the study were not atheists and agnostics- they were christians.
and this is how christians felt about a variety of issues in 2003:
illegal drug use; 17% of those interviewed felt that was acceptable. hardly a majority.
excessive drinking; holy ambiguous, batman. 35% were in favor of "drunkenness".
sexual relationships outside of marriage; 42% were okay with this, though with the caveat that the relationship is hetero.
abortion; 45% in favor of.
cohabiting with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; 60% were fine with it
obscene language; 36%. more people were okay with abortion and adultery than with saying "fuck"? seriously?
gambling; 61% in favor of. I wonder if they reminded people that the lottery is a form of gambling. as is bingo.
pornography 38%. abortion and adultery yes, porn no? where did they find these people? and obscene sexual behaviour wtf is that?;
and engaging in homosexuality and bisexuality 30% weren't bothered by Teh Gai at all.
the rest of the post is some quotes from dead philosophers that I guarantee Makarios does not understand, but that was fun. It's nice to know what christians are really all about.
Eutychus* commits classic projection in his post, Gay and Alive.
In psychology, psychological projection (or projection bias) is a defense mechanism where a person's personal attributes, unacceptable or unwanted thoughts, and/or emotions are ascribed onto another person or people.
See, Eutychus apparently can't view two men in close physical proximity without thinking about homosexuals. He then proceeds to blame this on gays- they've stolen the word gay!- by quoting a rather oddly worded article that compares gays and incestuous pedophiles. (Yes, we have been here before. It comes up a lot.) Apparently, in Eutychus' little world, men can't even be friends anymore, because people might think they're gay!
Close, intimate male friendship is no longer possible to the degree it once was. And every man has suffered for it. Frankly, so have women.
Here's a little story for Eutychus.
My hubby was involved in a message board disagreement with a poster he'd always been friendly with. The discussion became quite heated, and the poster posted a picture of two men hugging. Hubby shows it to me and says, "Oh, no, I think this guy thinks I'm actually mad at him. Look, he's trying to say we're still friends."
So, hubby replies with, "of course we're still friends. i can disagree with someone without hating them."
Poster replies, "I was calling you gay."
Hubby ends the whole thing with, "Homophobia fail. And, no, we're not friends anymore."
My point? Eutychus can't help but think gay! every time he sees two men walking within 5 feet of one another, and that has nothing to do with actual homosexuals. Hubby would see the same thing and think absolutely nothing of it. The problem is with you, Eutychus, not the LGBT community.
*Eutychus was a boy tended to by St. Paul. He fell asleep due to the long nature of the discourse Paul was giving and fell from his seat out of a three story window. Paul then picked him up, insisting that he was not dead, and carried him back upstairs; those gathered then had a meal and a long conversation which lasts until dawn. After Paul left, Eutychus was found to be alive. This is related in the New Testament book of Acts 20:9-12.
It is unclear whether the story intends to relate that Eutychus was killed by the fall and Paul raised him, or whether he simply seemed to be dead, with Paul ensuring that he is still alive. Recent translations of the text differ on this point.
The name Eutychus means "fortunate".
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Connecticut's Governor signed into law a bill legalizing gay marriage and transforming existing partnerships into marriages.
Hartford, Conn. —
A decade-long battle for same-sex marriage in Connecticut has ended with the governor's signature on a bill updating the state's laws.Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed the legislation Thursday, one day after the state House and Senate both approved it.
The bill removes gender references from state marriage laws. It also transforms existing same-sex civil unions into legally recognized marriages as of Oct. 1, 2010.
The law comes after last fall's state Supreme Court ruling that gay couples have the right to wed in Connecticut. Even if the bill hadn't passed, same-sex marriage would still be legal because of the ruling.
Three other states - Massachusetts, Vermont and Iowa - also allow gay marriage
Our friend emissary has learned something about himself: he's okay with government regulations against businesses discriminating against blacks, not so much when the regulations protect gays.
I ran across a very interesting forum discussion that caused me to question some things I had always assumed. It all came down to a simple question: Should government be able to regulate who whom! WHOM! a private business must (or must not) serve? In researching further on terms brought up by the discussion, I found that one person was arguing what's known as "the libertarian concept of freedom of association".
The libertarian concept of freedom of association is often rebuked from a moral/ethical context. Under laws in such a system, business owners could refuse service to anyone for whatever reason. Opponents argue that such practices are regressive and would lead to greater prejudice within society. Right-libertarians sympathetic to freedom of association, such as Richard Epstein, respond that in a case of refusing service (which thus is a case of the freedom of contract) unjustified discrimination incurs a cost and therefore a competitive disadvantage. (wikipedia: freedom of association) i provided the link, i'm not sure why emissary couldn't.
Here's my problem with libertarian ideas: they look great on paper, but fail to take real human behavior into account. Our current economic crisis is the result of unregulated capitalism. Libertarians will argue that regulations on businesses are bad, that businesses will, if left to their own devices, be run in a manner that produces the most profit and the least loss, and that businesses that are run badly will fail. There is no need for government to interfere. That, of course, fails to take into account that certain greedy assholes will cheerfully run a business into the ground in order to achieve personal short-term gain, and that there are enough greedy assholes out there to do serious damage to the world's economy. (see: reality)
Let's look at the explanation of freedom of association above. " unjustified discrimination incurs a cost and therefore a competitive disadvantage." Sounds true, doesn't it? Refuse to serve between 5 and 10% of the population, and you will be at a competitive disadvantage to the other businesses who do serve that market. However, this is not the reality we live in.
If every business in the area refuses to serve homosexuals on religious grounds, then the business that does serve homosexuals is likely to lose a significant portion of its business, the people who agree with emissary. Unless the number of homosexuals in the community is larger than the number of homophobes in the community, serving homosexuals puts businesses at a disadvantage. Therefore, homosexuals will not be served.
Government regulation solves this problem. Every business has to serve every segment of the population- homosexuals, blacks, women, atheists, muslims, etc.- and therefore no segment remains unserved. Because of the regulation, businesses can hide behind "well, we don't really have a choice" if someone like emissary complains.
I do like the end of the post, where emissary almost has an epiphany about his own bigotry. Almost.
Growing up, I learned about prejudices against people because of their differences (especially race and religion). So I had never before questioned that government should have laws like this in place.But the homosexual marriage issue has caused me to pause and really think about it.
9 marks (I don't get the reference) explains what evangelism is- by defining what evangelism is not. (Go ahead, explain to an alien what a cupcake is by telling the alien what it is not. I'm sure the alien will get a really clear picture of cupcakes from that.)
The Impossibility of Imposition. Many people equate evangelism with imposition - someone imposing their religious views on another person as a ploy for power or control. But this idea is mistaken. keep going . . .
To equate evangelism with imposition implies that Christianity is only subjectively true - true and binding for me, but not for others. so it's totally okay for me to beat you over the head with The Origin of the Species? i can't even deal with this "objectively true" nonsense. clearly not, or we'd all be christians . . . oh, wait, these are the same people that don't accept evolution . . . and now i'm reduced to cogito ergo sum. Christianity is not man's subjective opinion. no, it's your subjective opinion. It is God's objective truth, regardless of our subjective opinions. oh, dear.
To equate evangelism with imposition implies that Christians are able to convert people themselves, which is entirely false. this is a "planting the seeds" argument. essentially, evangelists excuse their overwhelming failure to convert most people they try to convert by saying that only god can convert people, christians are only responsible for introducing people to the idea. as if anyone in the US has not heard of jesus. (I think I'm going to say to the next evangelist I meet "Jesus? Never heard of him." just to see what they do.) In fact, of all the religions in the world, Christianity is the one least amenable to such imposition because of its theology of conversion. uh, yeah.
Humanity is so entrenched in sin worthless! you're all worthless without god! that unless God's Spirit does the converting work Himself, none of us would ever repent and believe. it's not my fault these stupid heathens won't believe!
Therefore, Christianity is actually unique among world religions for the impossibility of imposing its belief structure on others. has he studied any other religions? buddhism, maybe? any pagan sect? Only God convinces people to repent and believe. well, cool, then, just leave us all alone then. we've all heard of your god, apparently he hasn't gotten around to converting us, so go get a hobby.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Justtruth.net warns of the coming judgement (you know, the apocalypse). That part of the post is standard "quote some revelation and scare the masses" fare, but the commentary afterwards is priceless.
OH NOT ME!!” you don’t know what I have done you've butchered the english language, at the least. is there a special place in hell for that?, I have broken every commandment really? - I have murdered is he writing this from prison?, committed adultery yeah, you and your exwife care, not me.. etc.. "etc" would include worshipping false idols, bearing false witness, stealing, putting another god before yhwh. everyone has no, I have not murdered, stolen, cheated on my spouse or worshipped false idols. freak show., don’t ever think you’re alone in this world. Romans 3:23 says ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… that doesn't mean we've all murdered and cheated on our spouses. asshat. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death…according to your theology, either we all live forever in heaven, or we all live forever in hell, but either way there's no death. stop being inconsistent. but Hebrews 7:25 - “ he is ABLE but not willing to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him; since he is always alive to make intercession for them” - I love this verse - it says Jesus is able to save. ABLE but not willing to save to the uttermost, completely, perfectly finally forever and for all eternity…. Since he is ALWAYS stop that. stop capitalizing randomly. if you don't have a WYSIWYG editor figure out some basic html and use a little bold. maybe some italics. alive to make intercession for us, Jesus is there praying for us, eternally.. Jesus loves you so much he goes before the holy throne of GOD to say “Father, Joe needs help, strength, encouragement” to present our needs, no matter how trivial, Jesus is amazing! why wouldn't god know that already? he's omniscient, right? how inconsistent are we going to be today? Because he is so involved in our lives, so in love with us, his creation he sees our needs, and takes them to God almighty before we even ask! you mean like child sex slaves? what about people that die in storms, earthquakes, accidents and war? did they not need help, strength and encouragement? or was god so busy with joe, he forget about all the rest?
Jesus loves us this i know, why else would he have given himself as a human sacrifice for us? uh, yeah. there is so much wrong with that, i never know where to begin. why on earth would god need to sacrifice god to god in order to change a rule god made? Now it’s easy to look at if it’s a mass… catholic services, what? “Bob jumped on a grenade to save 50 people in a bunker in WWII” thus Jesus died to save millions… wtf?! No - Jesus died to save thousands, nope.. Hundreds? No, tens? NO! you… that's right. just you. heaven's a lonely place. just you. oh, and that guy who got raptured. if it was were. if is always followed by "were". hate that. a mass thing, then why would Jesus be present in a personal way? i can't even follow this. In a personal life? in an impersonal life? Jesus prays for each of us.. Stating our needs, our case to God almighty. except for the sex slaves. and people tortured by psychopaths. they can go fuck themselves. Individually. He doesn’t stand before God almighty and simply say “Humanity needs you Father” he says “Tom needs you, Michele needs you, Jeff, Donna, Charles, Rene, and Ramona NEED YOU!!!!!” lets think about it… i'm afraid of how stupid i will become if i try.
what follows after that is a really in depth description of torture. i'm not into torture porn, so i'll pass.
Nate Phelps, son of Fred Phelps, of Westboro Baptist fame, spoke at the American Atheists Convention.
It's a bit of a difficult read, but certainly worth it. Nate Phelps is clearly a good man, and Fred Phelps is to him both monster and father, and his shadow still looms large.
The danger inherent in these messages was not apparent to me until an event that occurred when I was about 8 years old. I recall sitting in a church pew, my father’s voice droning on in the background with yet another sermon about suffering for eternity in a lake of fire, where the worm that eats on you never dies. With an emerging obsessiveness, I’m determined to grasp the concept of eternity. As my mind struggled with this issue I’m suddenly in the midst of a panic attack. Tears come unbidden. The message was getting through.
Next up, a physical virgin (you tell me, what does that mean?) gives us advice on having great sex. (My advice would be, if you're planning on sex in the great outdoors, bring a blanket. And check for poison ivy. And don't attempt to have sex against a newly planted, $500 Japanese Maple. Other than that, as long as you're enjoying it, who cares if it involves a wiffle ball, a skein of yarn and a clown with a violin?)
First, let me say that I am a proud physical virgin seriously, what does that mean? and I plan on remaining one until my marriage. spiritually, he's a slut? i can't figure this out. I cannot give firsthand experience. then you probably should not be giving the rest of us advice about sex then, should you. What I can do is refer you to the top sex expert out there. that crazy german lady? she is awesome. The One I am talking about is very serious about sex - He invented it! not the crazy german lady then. I am of course referring to God. shoulda seen that coming If you had a problem with your computer, you would likely look to the manufacturer for help. BWAHAHAHAHAHA. apparently, someone's never called their manufacturer for help with broken computer. good luck with that. Please don’t take my word on anything of significance wasn't really planning on it- look to God and His word. wasn't planning on that either. here's a clue for the clueless: sex- if it feels good and everybody's happy, you're doing it right.
Sex was God’s idea. God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28) cause after making 2 people, he couldn't possibly make more. He also said(Genesis 2:24) “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” that always gives me a horror movie image of two people melting into each other- ew! This means many things other than physical care to name them?, but you cannot deny the physical implications. God made man in the garden of Eden, but He knew that it was not fit for man to be alone. His solution? To form a woman out of Adam’s side. because he couldn't just make adam and eve at the same time, or make a million people all at once. genesis is a weird story. Before sin Adam and Eve did not see their “nakedness” - or shame. they would have to see their nakedness, if they were capable of seeing at all. they may not have particularly perceived it, anymore than my dog does, but they certainly saw it. I do not believe that God supernaturally had Adam and Eve’s eyes lie to them and believe they were wearing clothes, *sigh* but rather since they were originally morally pure, they did not have shame in any way. i doubt it's their "moral purity". it was ignorance. hello, adam and eve were newly made. they may have physically been adults, but mentally they were infants. my 7 month old niece doesn't see anything wrong in nudity, either. Adam and Eve as the first life partners could have enjoyed unlimited intimacy and pleasure. sex, everywhere! sex, as far as the eye could see! sex, sex, sex all the time! dude- get laid.
Then they were deceived to sin. really? i'd say they were tempted into sin by god's extremely unkind placement of the trees of life and knowledge of good and evil. if god really didn't want anyone eating from those trees, why didn't he just put them at the top of a mountain? or make their fruit singularly unappealing? Do you realize how much we have missed out on? sexy sex sex, all the time, apparently. The absolute best that God had for us in the garden - intimacy with Him and with each other in an unshamful fashion - was torn. dear salvador dali this guy has issues. When disobedience entered into the picture, Adam and Eve were seperated by the feeling of dirtiness they had. please give me a bible quote for that one. adam and eve were said to notice their nakedness, there was nothing about dirtiness. i think i just learned more about the writer than i ever wanted to know. The first husband and wife felt the need to form makeshift coverings from fig leaves (Genesis 3:7). which mormons recreate today! Then the couple hid from God (Genesis 3:8). The intimacy with God and each other was put on hold. Later, the Creator Jesus would restore that connection to those who will turn from their selfish life to one of faith in Christ. wait, so if i convert, i get hot sexy sex sex sex all the time? well, sign me up then!
Physical intimacy is wonderful. how would you know? It is so great that in today’s society a great multitude want to jump the gun and have sex before they are ready. again, how would you know? maybe they are ready. God invented water, but I do not recommend drowning in it. that's a freudian analogy in my opinion. water=wet=well, you know. In the same way, you need to use sex in the right way. is this the instruction manual for my blow dryer or something? First, it should be within the confines of marriage. cause nothing's sexier than two virgins nervously fumbling about. 1 Corinthians 7:2 gives us a problem and solution scenario. The problem is sexual immoraity. The solution is relations between one man and woman. wait for it . . . The verse says “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” because married people never, ever, ever cheat on their spouses. ever. in the history of time. Obviously the Bible tells us that the morally pure way to have the best sex ever no actually, the bible says absolutely nothing about "best sex ever", just religiously acceptable sex. those are two entirely different concepts.- sex the way the sex designer made it - is within marriage. When you wait until marriage for sex and build up that relationship with your future spouse, you are growing in intimacy. I don’t have to tel you that the peak of physical imtimacy for a couple - sex - is very peasureable. since you're a "physical virgin", apparently i need to tell you that. However, it is nothing to compare to the connection we will have with our Savior Jesus in Heaven. how would you know? The Christian who enjoys marital sex is going to have his mind blown away by the joy of Heaven. oh. dear.
More coming soon: lust and homosexuality. It's gonna be like christmas!