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Monthly ArchiveJuly 2008



Christianity Johnson on 22 Jul 2008

The four great questions

Here are the four great questions facing humans. Religion offers one set of answers. What are yours?

1) Who are we?

2) Where do we come from?

3) What should we do?

4) Where are we going?

Christianity Johnson on 20 Jul 2008

A debate

Here, an articulate Christian explains his proof that God exists:

And a scientist explains his proof that God does not:

Christianity Johnson on 20 Jul 2008

Things Creationists hate

A long list:

Things Creationists hate

See also: Intelligent Design Made Mankind?

Christianity Johnson on 18 Jul 2008

Christians as electrified pickles

A quote: “Now look what happens. As the energy gets added to that pickle, all of a sudden that pickle looks a whole lot different than its buddies. Just like when a person becomes a Christian, their life looks different.”

Yes, Christians do look different:

(The sound in the prior video is Benny Hinn “speaking in tongues”)

(In the prior video, the man on the floor has just been baptized)

(about half way through, all hell breaks loose)

Christianity Johnson on 17 Jul 2008

A behind-the-scenes look at the Amish

A member of an Amish community escapes at age 15, gets a college education and tells her story in this interview:


Escaping the Amish – Part 1

The Amish, it turns out, are more deeply delusional that you would ever suspect. For example:

I loved learning, and cried when I couldn’t go back to school the fall after graduating from Amish 8th grade. The Amish do not send their children to formal schooling past 8th grade. A Supreme Court case prevented forcing Amish children into high school on grounds of religious freedom. I knew that, by US law, I wasn’t considered an adult until eighteen. I didn’t want to wait until then to go to high school.

Also:

The Amish take the Bible verse “spare the rod and spoil the child” in a literal sense. Parents routinely beat their children with anything from fly swatters, to leather straps (the most typical weapon), to whips (those are the most excruciating of), to pieces of wood…. Even little babies get abused for crying too much during church or otherwise “misbehaving.” I’ve heard women beat their babies — under a year old — so much that I cringed in pain.

And:

The rape, incest and other sexual abuse that run rampant in the community.

When you hear about communities of people doing crazy stuff like this (not educating their children, beating their children, withholding medical care from their children, raping their children, etc.), why is there so often a religion behind it? A theory: In order to believe in religion you have to willfully suspend portions of your rational thinking processes. Perhaps it can’t be compartmentalized completely, and the irrationality leaks out, affecting the person, and the community, as a whole.

Another theory: what if the smart people see through the religious crap and escape communities like this, leaving behind those who are less smart?

Another: What if religion selectively attracts evil people and concentrates them?

Thoughts?

Christianity Johnson on 16 Jul 2008

Richard Dawkins talks about the universe

Richard Dawkins – The universe is queerer than we can suppose:

Christianity Johnson on 15 Jul 2008

A tramp walks into a church…

A tramp walks into a church, and guess what happens. The congregation, in large part, rejects him.

My congregation were not impressed when a tramp staggered into Sunday service. Not one of them offered to help me

From the article:

Now, I understood that some of the congregation would be concerned for their personal safety issue when a tramp tried to enter the church, but surely distant concern would have been preferable to a look of condemnation, and a spirit of acceptance – if only conditional – to an attempt to erase all signs of my presence with bleach. Getting into the church proved much more difficult than I anticipated. Those on “welcome” duty looked daggers at me and sent me scurrying away in an efforts to protect their cars from a man who was clearly trying to steal them, even if he couldn’t stand upright for long.

The joke is that the “tramp” is actually the church’s minister in disguise.

This article contains a photo and a video:

Flock shocked by ‘tramp’ minister

These are the folks who “follow Jesus” and go to church each Sunday to connect with Jesus at a “spiritual level.” Apparently that isn’t what church is all about.

Just think about it. If the members of any church were to consider the church building for more than 15 seconds, they would reject the church. Jesus never said, “hey, you should get a mortgage, purchase land, build a large building and then come to that building once a week.” Jesus said you should sell everything, give the money to the poor and follow him. See this article for details:

Notice your church

What are Christians supposed to be doing? In 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, Christians are supposed to “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” In Acts 2:44-45, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”

This tramp experiment is reminiscent of the Samaritan experiment described here:

Are You a Good Samaritan?

Most Christians failed this test as well.

Why do most Christians go to church each Sunday? If it had anything to do with following Jesus, then Christians would pass these kinds of tests with flying colors. Instead, they fail. That happens because “church” is a giant social club that has little to do with the teachings of the Bible. If it had to do with the teachings of the Bible, the church would not exist.

Christianity Johnson on 14 Jul 2008

Officers’ Christian Fellowship

Imagine the most powerful military organization in the world. Now imagine that it is run by evangelical Christians. That is the goal of the Officers’ Christian Fellowship:

Officers’ Christian Fellowship

Surfing through this site offers an amazing look at just how bizarre and destructive religion can be. Let’s start with the organization’s mission statement:

Christian officers exercising biblical leadership to raise up a godly military.

What does that mean? If you look at the page entitled Leading Effective Small Groups, you find this vision statement:

A spiritually transformed military, with ambassadors for Christ in uniform, who are empowered by the Holy Spirit and are living with a passion for God and compassion for the entire military society.

And this statement of purpose:

To glorify God by uniting Christian officers for biblical fellowship and outreach, equipping and encouraging them to minister effectively within the military society.

According to one article, 15,000 military officers are active members.

Now look at the Statement of Faith:

Inasmuch as I am a sinner and deserve the wrath of God, and since Jesus Christ died for my sins, was buried, and has been bodily resurrected, according to the Scriptures, I have accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior and am saved by His Grace alone.

So, think about this… If you have accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, what might be your next step? Perhaps it might be to follow Christ’s teachings in the Bible. Perhaps you might do that by following the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment. Or perhaps Mark 10:21 would be a good verse to follow:

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Luke 14:33 echoes that :”Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”

Matthew 5:43-48 is also interesting and inspirational:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.’ “But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and them which despitefully use you, persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…”

In other words, it would be impossible for someone who has accepted Jesus as a personal Lord and Savior to also participate in the military. Which makes this organization a gigantic exercise in delusion.

Try reading through the site. It is easy to see the real goal.

This article is also relevant: US military accused of harboring fundamentalism

A similar group is called Christian Embassy and is highlighted here:

From the video: “One of the reasons this is so sensitive and so controversial is that top commanders know that Al Qaeda and other fundamentalist Islamic groups often make the claim that the U.S. military is in, if you will, a crusade against those of the Islamic faith.”

Not to mention the fact that Christians in the military target people who don’t share their delusions:

Islam Johnson on 13 Jul 2008

The French Muslim Woman

You may have heard this week of the Muslim woman from Morocco who emigrated to France. She was denied citizenship in France because of “insufficient assimilation.” Here’s what Time magazine had to say about it:

Too Muslim To Be French?

From the article:

The July 27 decision was revealed in Le Monde, which began its story asking whether “the burqa is incompatible with French nationality” The story suggested the answer is apparently yes, and unfurled that tale of a 32 year-old native Moroccan woman identified as Faiza M. as evidence. Though married to a French citizen and the mother of their three, French-born children, Faiza M. was denied citizenship on the grounds that she has “adopted a religious practice incompatible with essential values of the French community, particularly the principle of equality of the sexes”…

Here’s a UAE magazine talking about it:

French put secularism before faith

When rational (i.e. non-religious) people look at it, it is possible to see the real problem. The real problem is that the Muslim religion turns women into slaves, and that is wrong:

France: “No Woman Enslavement Allowed”

From the article:

Of course, we can expect to hear from those who believe that women should have the “right” to dress and live in this inhumane and oppressive manner. These “liberal” cries appear to be based entirely on the blatant bigotry which supposes that anything done in the name of religion – no matter how vile – is just peachy keen. If, however, a Western, non-Muslim woman were living in a totally submissive state and forced to cover herself from head to toe not in the name of religion, would not the same people be yelling for intervention, to help this woman free herself of her abusive husband and this patent imprisonment? The woman in this current story would be freed and sent to a domestic violence shelter, with protection from the law against her husband – if she were not imprisoned by so-called religious ideology.

Unfortunately, France is punishing the wrong person. France should give the woman asylum and therapy, and deport the people who enslaved her.

In the interest of balance, here an Islamic woman discusses her opinion on her position in Islam:

But don’t forget Honor Killing, another quaint practice.

Christianity Johnson on 12 Jul 2008

The communion wafer

The beginning: A student “steals” a communion wafer, as described in this article:

Student ‘kidnaps’ Christ

It then becomes a story in the media:

Communion wafer held ‘hostage’ raises holy heck

From the article:

Under the headline, “It’s a frackin’ cracker!” Myers wrote in an at-times profane blog entry: “Crazy Christian fanatics right here in our own country have been threatening to kill a young man over a cracker. This is insane.”

See also:

Crackers, Cartoons, and Teddy Bears — OH MY!

Here is Myers’ piece:

IT’S A FRACKIN’ CRACKER!

Here is a sampling of the email Myers’ has received:

I get email — special cracker edition!

Christianity Johnson on 12 Jul 2008

The history of religion in 90 seconds

Christianity Johnson on 12 Jul 2008

The Church of Oprah Exposed

Evangelicals do not like Oprah’s religion, and they are fighting back. They produced this video:

From the video: “Today she has turned millions of her adoring fans over to new age doctrine. Christians are letting this into their homes and are being deceived.”

They are also using the press. See, for example, this story:

Conservative evangelicals team up to counter Oprah’s ‘foolish twitter’

or this:

Oprah’s ‘gospel,’ influence concerns some Christians

From the article:

In May, two dozen Christian newspapers pooled their resources to publish an article titled “Oprah’s ‘gospel’” that prompted higher readership and more letters to the editor than any story some of the individual papers had ever published.

In a first-of-its-kind venture, the evangelical newspapers hired Colorado writer and editor Steve Rabey to write the story.

“For some Christians who have considered themselves part of Oprah’s electronic family, her sins against evangelical orthodoxy have increased in number and seriousness,” Rabey said.

Here is the story that Steve Rabey wrote:

Oprah’s ‘gospel’

Christianity Johnson on 11 Jul 2008

Debate between Sam Harris and Hugh Hewitt

Christianity Johnson on 11 Jul 2008

The Darwin Conspiracy

An amazing web site:

DarwinConspiracy.com

From the site:

If you are a person of faith who has always known in your heart that Darwin was wrong, the revelations on this website will help you to know with certainty that you were right all along, and that Darwin was wrong all along.

On this website we reveal three fatal flaws in the Theory of Evolution that conclusively prove Darwin was wrong.

You have never read about any of these fatal flaws before. Evolution scientists know about these flaws, but they have successfully covered them up with the help of a worldwide Darwin Conspiracy that actively suppresses the fact that Darwinism is not scientific but just an atheist doctrine.

We have discussed the three fatal evolution flaws with scientists and doctors we know and they have all agreed we have found real flaws in the Theory of Evolution.

Each of the three fatal flaws revealed on this website proves that Darwin was wrong.

Is it a hoax?

Something similar: Dinosaur Adventure Land – where dinosaurs and the Bible meet!

Here’s a tour of adventure land:

Christianity Johnson on 11 Jul 2008

A response to “10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer”

Here is a long and lucid response to the video entitled, “10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer”:

A response to “10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer”

About midway through the document, we get to the meat of the matter:

Question #1: Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?

I have to admit the question is quite clever. The problem is that it’s based on a false premise (that is, that christianity teaches that God heals everybody).

Also:

While some christians believe that [God answers prayers], that doesn’t automatically mean that christianity, as a religion, teaches that, or that (assuming God indeed exists) it’s true.

Clearly, the author is an intelligent person. Unfortunately, as with many people trapped by religion, he is not thinking clearly about his faith. If you are a Christian, and if you agree with the author, and if you would like to explore his line of reasoning, here is a place to start. Please read this article…

Proof #1 – Try praying

It lists many verses where the Bible specifically promises to answer prayers from amputees. If you are thinking clearly about your faith, you can see that the question, “Why won’t God heal amputees?” is not based on a false premise. It is based on specific verses from the Bible which, clearly, are wrong.

You have to explain why all of the Bible verses listed on that page are wrong. Why are all of these Bible verses completely incorrect when applied to amputees?

How do you explain it?

For intelligent people, careful consideration of this question yields a chain of logic that shows that God is imaginary. If you simply take the time to think about it using the critical thinking skills that you learned in college, the question “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” is sufficient to prove that God is imaginary.

Then, please take a moment to read this page:

Why is the question “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” so important?

The evidence in this case is undeniable. All of the Bible’s verses about prayer are wrong when it comes to amputees. But, if you have been practicing religion for any length of time, your brain will invent other rationalizations and excuses. This is the nature of religious faith, and the reason why it is so dangerous. As you invent them, please send in your excuses and let’s talk about them.

Also, continue thinking about the question, “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” It is a remarkably interesting question on which to meditate.

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