Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Think I May Be God's Favorite Little Light and Other News

We'll start with the other news because what can follow the discovery that I may potentially be God's favorite little light?

When it comes to adolescents genuinely committing to their faith, a study found that their social environment determines how strong their faith level will be.


According to the study, titled “Seven Anchors of Religious Commitment,” parents, religious leaders, a faith community, rituals and traditions, faith tradition or denomination, God and sacred texts are crucial to a young person's faith.

Emily Layton, who conducted the analysis as part of her M.S. thesis for the study, explained to The Christian Post, “Relationships were extremely important – relationships with parents, with church leaders and relationships with people in their faith community. That was interesting to me, the relationships with other adults in their faith community as well as other younger teens.”

Shock, shocked I am! Religion is a function of society? The more religious the people around you, the more normalized ritual is in your community, the more likely you are to believe and believe strongly? It's almost like religious belief is like every other sort of belief: a function of it being so pervasive and normal that you never really think about it.

Well then.

Anyway, in the wake of the horse killing homophobes, somebody in real life* told me that the perpetrators could not have been Christian. For the record, I did not say that the perpetrators were Christian, I said that many of the people who spew homophobic hatred are. She not only strawmanned my argument, she whipped out a No True Scotsman so fast I got whiplash. I, of course, argued against the No True Scotsman and was told to read Isaiah and see if anyone who could do such a thing- kill horses, not spread hatred, I don't think she was really opposed to that- could possibly be the light of God, i.e., a Christian.

It's a damn good thing she used the phrase "light of God" because Isaiah is a big book, and what she was referencing, I think, is in chapter 58.

They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?

So . . . I'm a socialist, which makes me obviously against worker exploitation, and I'm not in favor violence . . .

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice

I am so against injustice!

and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

I am so trying to break every yoke! It's the whole point of my blog.

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

I do that (and then end up being the hungry, but whatever) and I rarely don't have someone sleeping on the couch in the basement.

when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

I've never actually seen a naked person in public, but if I did, you'd better believe I rush to cover that up.

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;

Metaphorical healing, perhaps . . . wait! Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is totally making me better mentally.

then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

If anyone can make an argument that "righteousness" and "rear guard" actually mean "Jägermonster", I will worship the Christian god with a fervor previously unseen in all 2,000 years of Christianity.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

oppression like American business and landowners being free to legally discriminate against gays? Malicious talk like telling people the gays are coming for your children? Like that?


10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

How do they syncretize this with going galt? am I insane or are they?

then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

Which would doubtless make it hard to sleep, but seriously folks, by this measure, I'm the greatest fucking christian of all time and god's favorite little light. (Or the greatest Jew of all time, given that Isaiah is Old Testament.)

*Remember the lady who told the bus driver that god gave him his house? It was her. I wasn't talking to her, I was talking to another woman and she jumped right in to fallacy me into sputtering. She's fun like that.


  1. Which would doubtless make it hard to sleep, but seriously folks, by this measure, I'm the greatest fucking christian of all time and god's favorite little light.

    Not surprising. I've had more than one Christian tell me that they wish more of their follow Christians were as Christ-like as Pagan me.

    And scolding Israel for not taking care of the orphans, the widows, and the destitute is a common theme for many of the prophets......

  2. Every fundy I know (of) can quote Leviticus and John 3:16 like it's their own name, but I've never heard any of them invoke that particular part of Isaiah or reference the Sermon on the Mount.

    You know what it's like? The new movie version of Atlas Shrugged. The train theme of AS was there because trains were a big deal when Rand wrote the book. To set the movie in the present day, you'd have to exchange trains for, I dunno smart phones or something, to retain the same theme of the book.

    So what do the producers do? Keep the damn trains. It's like they think that AS is a love letter to the railways or something.

    Same thing with the Bible. "Help poor people. We cannot say it enough, help poor people" comes up over and over again. If there is a theme to that book, other than God's a murderous bastard, "help the poor" is it. So what do Christians do? Spend their time arguing what, exactly, is meant by "head covering".

  3. Well, of course! If the main message makes you uncomfortable, find a tangent!

    And now I have the chorus of Petra's song "Witch Hunt" running through my head. Mostly due to the line, "Off on a tangent, hope the Lord won't mind it."

  4. Well, they had to keep trains. If they did planes (the new way most of us do our long-distance travel) they'd run into the uncomfortable reality of how a) poorly they are run and b) how much government assistance they get.

  5. I wrote a response to this:

    which I hope will be taken in the light in which it was intended....


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