Monthly ArchiveJune 2009
Christianity Thomas on 30 Jun 2009
I will be over in the LA region sometime over summer and extended the invitation to Ray for a discussion. Not a debate I find those to be kind of pointless summaries of two positions. A discussion allows individual points to be pursued to a logical conclusion. It also allows it to become clear when people are evading answering the question.
Real scientists were taken on a tour of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY:
Some of their impressions:
most left more offended than amused by the frightening way in which evolution — and their life’s work — was attacked.
“It’s sort of a monument to scientific illiteracy, isn’t it?” said Jerry Lipps, professor of geology, paleontology and evolution at University of California, Berkeley.
Lisa Park of the University of Akron cried at one point as she walked a hallway full of flashing images of war, famine and natural disasters which the museum blames on belief in evolution.
“I think there’s a lot of focus on fear, and I don’t think that’s a very Christian message… I find it a malicious manipulation of the public.”
“This bothers me as a scientist and as a Christian, because it’s just as much a distortion and misrepresentation of Christianity as it is of science,”
Daryl Domning, professor of anatomy at Howard University, is described in the article as a Christian.
Lisa Park of the University of Akron is described in the article as “a professor of paleontology who is an elder in the Presbyterian Church.”
Daryl and Lisa, you are “intelligent Christians”. Please open your eyes and look at the nonsense you worship. Please come to Whywontgodhealamputees.com, open your minds to rationality and abandon your absurd religion.
To every scientist who took the tour, please email this post to your religious colleagues.
Christianity Thomas on 30 Jun 2009
Here is a classic Christian scam:
As Easter approached, the ad ran repeatedly on the Inspiration Network: David Cerullo, clutching a Bible, told viewers they, too, could receive prosperity, physical healing and other blessings God gave the ancient Israelites.
All they had to do, the televangelist said, was send $200 or more.
“Go to your phone,” he said. “Sow your Passover offering and watch God do what he said he would … Call now.”
Pitches like this have transformed the Charlotte-area cable network into one of the world’s fastest-growing Christian broadcasters, beaming into more than 100 countries on five continents. They’ve also helped turn Cerullo, Inspiration’s CEO and on-air host, into a wealthy man…. His network, with a budget of nearly $80 million last year, sprang from the remnants of Jim Bakker’s PTL Club. Cerullo and his colleagues have raised much of the money by repeating this on-air assertion: God brings financial favor to those who donate.
If only Christians would understand that GOD DOES NOT ANSWER PRAYERS and that AMPUTEES PROVE IT, this sort of scam would be impossible. But Christians – apparently millions of them – refuse to accept reality.
Christianity Thomas on 29 Jun 2009
Christianity Thomas on 29 Jun 2009
A June 23, 2009 report from Al Jazeera (English) by Josh Rushing, “Fault Lines – Religion in the Military”, expertly covers a topic the US media has been reluctant to address: an aggressive effort, often abusive, coercive and even illegal, to advance a heavily sectarian, supremacist form of Christianity in the United States military.
Several videos in the link demonstrate the problem.
Christianity Thomas on 29 Jun 2009
Interesting infographic from the New York Times showing that red states tend to subscribe to more porn sites than blue states. Red states also have higher teen birth rates and divorce rates:
If red states are more religious than blue states, why would this be?
Christianity Jim on 24 Jun 2009
Hello, I saw your video. I make it my goal to help you. So I have signed up and here we go. You said:
You ask at 1:00, “Why doesn’t god supply every need that we have on this earth?” That is a very good question. Very good indeed. Is that not what your god will do in heaven, according to your mythology? In heaven, everything is perfect. Every need is supplied. So why not here on earth? Do you believe your god WANTS people to suffer? What sort of god is that? Why would you worship him?
Your god also says:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And which of you are anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Matthew 6:25-31
If your heavenly Father knows that you need them, what has gone wrong? That does not work for starving children. How do you explain this?
You say at 1:50 “because of the fall of man in the garden of eden”. Do you believe that? You believe that your all-knowing god created sinful beings, and then punished them for creating them that way? Again, why worship this beast?
But really that is not what the video asks. It asks, “Why won’t god heal amputees?” which is saying, “why does your god answer prayers for some, but ignore prayers for others?” At 2:40 you say, “I can’t say exactly why some people get prayers answered and others don’t. I can definitely say that god does answer prayer. It absolutely does happen.” If you think, you will see. The prayers that do not get answered (amputated limbs, starving children) are all prayers that cannot be answered by coincidence. This page will help you to see:
Every “answered prayer” is a coincidence. When you see that, you will understand many things.
Write back your response in the comments please, and I will try to say more to help you.
Christianity Thomas on 24 Jun 2009
The LA times:
Former high-ranking executives tell a newspaper that church leader David Miscavige hit staff members and encouraged others to do the same.
Scientology leader David Miscavige is the focus of this special report from the St. Petersburg Times. Former executives of the Church of Scientology, including two of the former top lieutenants to Miscavige, have come forward to describe a culture of intimidation and violence under David Miscavige. These former Scientology leaders served for years with Miscavige.
Many people, no doubt, have read horror stories about what occurred on Flag and I can personally attest to the fact that they are true. This might lead one to wonder why a person would join such a group in the first place. How could anyone put up with such abuse? In writing this testimony, I hope to give people some insight into this question. The fact is that I didn’t join Scientology to be ordered around and abused and I don’t know anyone who did. The group I thought I joined, as an idealistic eighteen-year old bore little resemblance to what Scientology actually was and still is.
This week the God Squad takes on the topic of “Cafeteria Christians”:
A “cafeteria Christian” is defined in this way:
The label “Cafeteria Christian,” was coined to describe people who pick and choose the beliefs and rituals they like in a religion, while leaving out others. I understand your frustration over this trend.
The problem is that EVERY Christian is a “cafeteria Christian”, as the author is forced to admit. Many of the teachings in the Bible are insane, according to the author, and must be discarded:
Many people leave behind on the theological cafeteria line the old teachings about the role of women, the condemnation of homosexuality, teachings prohibiting certain forms of birth control, and dietary laws in favor of vegetarianism. Old religious teachings in some places justified slavery and discrimination, and leaving such teachings behind was a good thing.
The amazing thing is that Chistians look at the insanity and deny that it as insanity. For example, the idea that a magical being in the sky answers prayers is insane. Most “Cafeteria Christians” accept it nonetheless. The idea that a man rose from the dead is insane. Most “Cafeteria Christians” accept it nonetheless. Most Christians retain the homophobia and use their “god” to justify it. These beliefs that they accept are just as insane as slavery.
The big question: why don’t Christians recognize obvious insanity? Why do they instead embrace it?
Why don’t Christians see that a “god” who advocates slavery and discrimination is insane and then reject the whole package?
Christianity Thomas on 22 Jun 2009
A great question:
The Communist MP who led the call this week for an inquiry, André Gerin, denounced the garments as walking prisons. In his request, backed by 57 other MPs, mostly from Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right UMP party, he said: “The sight of these imprisoned women is already intolerable to us when they come from Iran, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia … It is totally unacceptable on French soil.”
In the United States the Hijab is more common:
Why not ban it too? It imprisons as well.
Christianity Thomas on 20 Jun 2009
This blog is certainly a parody:
The author makes this completely valid point:
In the 100 or so years since the beginning of Christian fundamentalism, certain key doctrines have reigned supreme, including the belief in literal 7, 24-hour day creation, a literal Adam & Eve, a literal world-wide flood, etc. Absolute belief in these and other aspects of Scripture is demanded due to the fear of the “slippery slope.” That is the idea that if any one of these stories is allegorical, fictional, or mythical at all, then we have no way to know what else in the Bible may not be literal, which potentially compromises the resurrection account. Give up one aspect of literal interpretation, and the whole Bible fails, in their way of thinking.
The problem is, when fundamentalist children go off to college, they are often compelled to face reality, and reality says the Bible is fiction. There was no flood, no creation, no Adam, etc. So they reject fiction and embrace reality. As the author puts it:
It’s been presented their whole lives as all or nothing, black or white. When Christian fundamentalism no longer fits with what they know, they must reject God and become atheists.
The author also points out the insular insanity of fundamentalists, which would be another reason for their children to leave:
This fundamentalism went so far as to cast doubt not only on Christians who disagreed with them, but also on Christians who continued relationships with Christians who disagreed with them. One famous example of this is Bob Jones’ rejection of his friendship with Billy Graham due to Graham’s continued friendships with “liberal” Christians, and Jones’ ending his relationship with John Brown for his friendship with Graham (this is an example of the 3 degrees of separation rule many fundamentalists employed).
So far so good. Fundamentalism is insane and the Bible is fiction – the author accepts that. The parody comes at the end where, in accepting that, he still accepts Christianity.
He has some great comments given that the blog contains only four posts. An elaborate parody.
Christianity Thomas on 20 Jun 2009
Why does religion so often lead to crime? Here is another example:
In its February 2006 decision, the arbitration panel said Kinkade and other company officials used terms like “partner,” “trust,” “Christian” and “God” to create “a certain religious environment designed to instill a special relationship of trust” with the couple.
What the company didn’t tell them, said their attorney, was that they would have to sell Kinkade’s works at minimum retail prices while the artist undercut them with discount sales, some of which he made himself on cable television.
The good news: “An appeals court has awarded $2.1 million to two gallery owners.”
Christianity Thomas on 19 Jun 2009
This video contains a statistic at 1:00 that is interesting:
25 million Americans visit porn sites one to ten hours per week, and another 4 million in excess of 11 hours per week. 57% of attendees at a Promise Keepers event admitted to visiting a porn site in the prior week. According to pastors, pornography is the number one issue faced by their congregations. 33% of pastors say they have visited a porn site, and 18% of these said they did it more than once in a week. For every 10 men in church, 5 are struggling with pornography. That’s 50%. 20% of churchgoing women are struggling with the same issue.
If “57% of attendees at a Promise Keepers event admitted to visiting a porn site in the prior week”, exactly what promise are they keeping?
Contrast that with the earlier fact: “25 million Americans visit porn sites one to ten hours per week”. That’s about 10% of American adults. People who go to church seem to be outpacing the general population by a factor of 5.
Advice for women looking to get laid – forget the bars. Go to church.
Christopher Hitchens debates William L Craig. Part 1 is a waste.
Part2. Opening statements (20 minutes) start with Craig at 3:00 :
– Part 3 (Craig continues)
– Part 4 – Craig completes his opening statement. Hitchens begins at 3:30.
– Part 5 (Hitchens continues)
– Part 6 – Hitchens completes his opening statement at 3:30. Craig begins a 12 minute rebuttal.
– Part 7 – Craig continues. Hitchens begins his 12 minute rebuttal at 6:30.
– Part 8 – Hitchens continues and finishes at 8:40. Cross-examination begins. Craig asks 6 minutes of questions with Hitchens answering
– Part 9 – Craig completes his cross-examination. Hitchens begins his.
– Part 10 – Hitchens cross examination ends at 2:10. Craig begins 7 minutes of responses. He finishes as the video ends.
– Part 11 – Hitchens begins 7 minutes of responses that end at 7:35. Craig begins 5 minutes of closing arguments.
– Part 12 – Craig ends his closing arguments at 3:05. Hitchens yields his time. Audience questions begin.
– Part 13 – audience questions
– Part 14 – audience questions
– Part 15 – audience questions.
It is Sunday, the fourth day of Pessah. S. is surrounded by his sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren, who have all gathered at Bikur Holim Hospital in downtown Jerusalem to support him.
A non-profit organization called Brit Yosef-Yitzhak, which has provided more than 35,000 pro-bono circumcisions since it was founded 20 years ago, is footing the bill for the entire procedure.
A doctor has assured S. that the cut will not hurt. A mohel has patiently explained the procedure dozens of times. A special kosher-for-Pessah feast has been prepared to celebrate completion of the brit mila.
A Jewish couple are suing their neighbours in a block of flats, saying an automatic security light is keeping them prisoner in their home because it forces them to break their Sabbath rules.
Dr Dena Coleman and husband Gordon claim they cannot leave their holiday flat on the Sabbath because when they do they automatically trigger the light in the communal hallway – contravening a religious ban on turning on electrical items from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday because it constitutes ‘creating fire’.
Much of the support comes from fundamentalist Christians, who believe in biblical prophecies that Jews will inherit the land of Israel. Ardent followers also embrace literal interpretations of the Bible that a thriving state of Israel is a prerequisite for an apocalyptic end-time and the return of Jesus to earth. Often led by the charismatic leaders of megachurches, these grass-roots groups across the U.S. raise millions of dollars each year.