Monday, June 30, 2008

Get Behind Jesus

And old link I rediscovered just now:

Not Tolernace, but Reality

I was originally going to preach about tolerance today, but instead I'm going to bump that topic for a day and talk about the reality of religion... xtianity to be specific.
Now, for those of you who follow my writing, you know I speak very frankly about things, and sometimes even a little more so than is necessary. But I also just tell things like they are and this is one of those times. So today you're not only going to get some good insight into the reality of xtians, but also into guys themselves.

In my youth, that is to say, before I got married... no wait... let me move forward to what started this to begin with.

This weekend, I was discussing with Faithinate the aspects of fidelity. And we decided that there are many levels of infidelity. And of the many levels, fucking her hot friend is definitely what we would consider infidelity in the 1st degree, right... a capitol offense so to speak. OK, so that's the basic premise.

So that got me thinking, strictly hypothetically of course... what would it take to fuck her hot friend? What obsticles would I have to overcome? Because like it or not, this is what guys think about. OK, so I'd first have to get past her loyalty to my wife. They've been friends for a long time and she wouldn't fuck over her friend like that. 2nd, her husband and kids. That's a really big one because she's really into her own husband and it would be hard to convince her she needed to risk everything to fuck me once or twice. Girls aren't as easily convinced of that kinda shit as guys are. But you know what never entered into the equation? That's right... the fact that she's a xtian.

The truth of the matter is that getting through religion most of the time is easier than getting through virginity. I can't tell you the number of girls I've picked up at church and in fact, the church where my wife and I met (many years ago) housed a girl who was very into the whole jesus scene. She was as holy as they come. She was always at the functions, recited the bible like nobody's business, never cursed, all that standard stuff. And I'm here to tell you she snuck me in her bedroom late at night a number of times. What can I say... religion's just not a factor.

Now that really says something about it doesn't it? The fact that religion isn't considered practical enough by its practitioners to limit their everyday actions only tells of the lack of any real belief in god or his principles. If god is such a powerful force then why doesn't he instill more fear and loyalty in these people? Hell, back then I was a xtian too and I thought nothing of sleeping with whomever I saw fit. The two were separate. You had religion for the really bad stuff like don't kill and don't worship anyone else. And you had the real world for getting laid and studying for your exams.

It's like wedding rings... and this is where the ugly side of guys really comes out. We would always hit on married or engaged chicks. We did it all the time. And do you know why? Because a lot of times that ring means about as much as god does when it comes to getting laid. We had a saying... rings only stop amateurs. So only guys who didn't know how to pick up chicks stopped when they saw a ring. So you really wanna know how successful you can be going up against a wedding ring? If I had to guess, I'd say about 40%. It was in the neighborhood of 4 out of 10 married chicks we hit on ended up coming home with us. And I don't know about you, but in any kind of sales, those are good odds and well worth your time. And I'd have to say that your odds are even a big higher in church.

Ok, I've shown you how depraved men can be. It's pathetic I suppose, but it's true. Getting laid is a numbers game. The more women you hit on the more chances you have. But the 2 things that are never a limiting factor are marriage and religion. They just don't factor in enough to concern yourself with. And when they do factor in, it's really hard to say if that's what's really factoring in, or if they just don't like something about you and they get with the next guy whom they really do like.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dan Savage on God

I'm a big Dan Savage fan, and I loved what he had to say on a few famliar topics (here's the full article):

Homos are marrying in California as of this week (congrats to all), and should a tornado—or an earthquake or a meteor or the Incredible Hulk—flatten, say, San Francisco's City Hall during a big gay wedding, respected leaders of the religious right will rush to cable broadcast studios to insist that the tornado/earthquake/meteor/Hulk was God's divine judgment, His righteous wrath, the Baby Jesus's latest temper tantrum, wocka wocka wocka.

"I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing," said the Rev. John Hagee, John McCain's ex-BFF, when asked about Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans just before a "massive homosexual rally," a/k/a an annual street party called Southern Decadence, was supposed to take place in the French Quarter. "I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the Day of Judgment. And I believe that Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans."

And God got His way: By drowning all those little old ladies in their attics in the Ninth Ward, God prevented that massive gay rally—for one year.

So how does a douchebag like Hagee explain away the tragedy in Iowa last week? A tornado struck a Boy Scout camp, killing four and injuring scores more, and the Scouts are famously anti-gay and anti-atheist. Well, we need only consult the same interview with Rev. Hagee to learn the answer: While all natural phenomena represent God's "permissible will," says Hagee, "it is wrong to say that every natural disaster is the result of sin . . . . No man on Earth knows the mind of God."

See how that works? Not every natural disaster is the result of sin, you see, because sometimes natural disasters happen to us, not just to them—and when they happen to us, well, the Lord sure moves in mysterious ways, and no man on Earth knows the mind of God. But let a natural disaster strike San Francisco this week, next week, or ever again, and Rev. Hagee will be able to read the mind of God like it was a large-print edition of Highlights for Children.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

AOTD: The Latest Religion Poll

First a side note: I first read this in my local printed paper, and then came home and searched on the paper's site so I could quote more easily. They're not exactly the same story (the printed article is the Boston Globe version, and the online is the AP article). What interests me is the spin, indicated here just by headline, each version of the story puts on it:

  • Americans see truth in a range of faiths, massive study finds (Boston Globe website)
  • Religious Americans: My faith isn't the only way (AP article online and local paper website)
  • Majority of Americans are believers, poll says (printed local paper)

Um, different emphasis much? Not that there's necessarily anything WRONG with that, it's just....interesting. "Yay tolerance!" "Yay tolerance!" "There are lots of us!"

The survey was conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Pew pew pew.
The findings...can either be taken as a positive sign of growing religious tolerance, or disturbing evidence that Americans dismiss or don't know fundamental teachings of their own faiths.
The numbers:

  • 92 percent of Americans believe in God
  • 74 percent believe in life after death
  • one in four Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants and Orthodox Christians expressed some doubts about God's existence, as did six in ten Jews

  • 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life
  • 63 percent say their respective scriptures are the word of God
  • 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion

  • 21 percent of self-identified atheists said they believe in God or a universal spirit, with 8 percent "absolutely certain" of it


God's Cumrag.

We were watching Dawkins last night and he was interviewing a slew of religious leaders about what they believe and how they can believe it, etc. Personally, I think he comes on a bit too strong if he wants to keep them talking, but I do the same thing so I think it's all reasonable.

So he's talking to these guys, asking them specific questions, and they go off on one tangent or another. One baptist guy (a real prick this one, he was caught fucking male hookers) just started accusing him of being arrogant and how he doesn't know everything in the world and he needs to realize that he isn't perfect. WHAT? I simply asked you how you can not believe in evolution when all the evidence points to it.

Another one... muslim, started talking about how everyone has raped their lands and their women and how athiests don't have any morals and they approve of people fucking in the streets, etc.

Seriously, can none of these people answer the simplest of questions about the gross contradictions in their religion and science? The answer to that question is this:

What are you fucking stupid? Who do you think you are? You don't know everything. And I'm tired of you letting fags fuck in the streets, and letting women dress like whores and put on makeup. Who do you think you are? You arrogant prick.

But seriously... of course they don't have answers to these questions. What are they going to say when they tell you the world is only 10,000 yrs old and you show them fossils from millions of years ago? What possible explanation could they possibly have for that? What are they going to say when you say evolution is real because we can prove that animals have gone extinct? Just the fact that we know that there are species that aren't around anymore proves evolution because they've evolved out. They were a failed line of evolution. If god put them here, then they'd still be here because that's how he designed it. So if we've got mastadon skeletons and no mastadons, then what the fuck happened to them? And you can't say that they're around as regular elephants because that would mean that they've evolved into regular elephants and you lose anyway. There's no way around evolution. It happened. It's not a theory. It's a fact.

What would you say if you came home and found semen all over your sheets and your wife asleep naked on the bed beside it? Would you think that maybe she just shagged somebody rotten, or that god put the semen there to test your faith in your wife? Don't be ridiculous, you'd go with the evidence and do what needs to be done (whatever that is).

So when you're presented with evidence contrary to what your bible tells you, don't be ridiculous, go with the overwhelming evidence and give it up already.

Don't be God's cumrag. Be your own cumrag.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lewis Black: Me of Little Faith

I just read Lewis Black's book Me of Little Faith. I wasn't all that into it because I've been over a lot of the themes lately, but it wasn't bad.

Lewis claims he is not an atheist, but he doesn't really believe in his Judaism, either. His belief in an undefined higher power seems to be based on some drug-induced blissful trips and his inability to accept the possibility that your life force just winks out and ceases to be when you die.

I found it an interesting window into the minds of believers. He notes himself that many hard-believing Christians show the same blissful, happily and willfully ignorant high that drug users obtain. Interestingly he quit drugs because he had nothing more to gain from them, yet he seems unable to consider atheism a viable alternative to undefined feelings of a higher being.

Regarding my own awe at the universe and my inability to grasp and understand it all at times in the past had led me to the same fuzzy belief in some undefined greater force of nature. But recently I realized I don't define that as a god so much as just there are so many things I'll never understand them all. This life is awe inspiring, and I don't get why so many of the faithful seem to be so eager to get it over with and move on to the next thing.

I also am no longer bothered by the idea of winking out at death. I'm not sure that happens, of course, but I don't see evidence of anything else. It doesn't bother me because there have been billions of humans before me who have already died, and it's just the way things are. I should be able to handle it on average as well as they all did.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Prayer that wasn't there

I've got this friend who told me last week he was having to go in to have a pacemaker put in. And rightfully so, I was concerned. I sent him an email at the beginning of the week telling him that I really hoped he was ok, and basically to not die on us.

He's a religious man, and I know this. So he sent me a reply saying that he could feel my prayers and he was grateful to have a friend like me basically doing such good work for the Lord.

I'm sorry, did I say I was going to pray for you? Something tells me that even for me it's not acceptable to tell him that the last thing I would do would be to pray for someone. I'll just let him think what he wants, but man... people sure do read things into stuff don't they? The well-wishing is good enough that I don't have to call upon the powers of the tooth fairy's ex-boyfriend for help.

Anyway dude, I'm glad you're alright, even though you don't read this blog.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

And Jan. My dear Jan...Isn't God gorgeous?

For those of you who haven't seen the Very Brady Sequel:

Roy: Marcia. Oh, Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. You have grown up to be so gorgeous!
Marcia: I know.
Roy: And Jan. My dear Jan... Isn't Marcia gorgeous?

I’m rereading the forward to "I Sold My Soul on Ebay". It's still amazing to me the misunderstanding Christians have about atheists. "It takes great faith to stare at a sunset, to hear a symphony in full swing, to watch a young child take her first steps, and not see something divine." It doesn't take faith NOT to believe in God, it takes the overcoming of superstition. You may as well say, it certainly takes a lot of faith to see the intricate frost on a window and not see the work of winter fairies. Well, actually, no. It is superb, it is supremely good, it is wonderful, and makes me feel joyous. But there is nothing that intrinsically links something wonderful to someone imaginary.

I'm not even close to being the first that's said this, but it's really annoying that God gets all the credit for things that are just as (if not more) wonderful on their own - either as natural occurrences or as a product of humankind. Watching my children grown and prosper is amazing, and I am indeed filled with wonder that my gorgeous baby, who came from a microscopic beginning, will be taller than I am in a few years. I experience "divine" joy from sunsets and forests, a deep wonder when I look into the intelligent eyes of a gorilla or elephant. I am moved by acts of kindness - like today at the pool, when two strangers jumped to my young son's aid as he panicked.

But I do not have to struggle, and rely heavily on antireligious faith, to un-believe in God. Why can't life just be wonderful sometimes?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Action Figures?

Why, tell me WHY, do the Deluxe Miracle Jesus and the Talking Jesus Doll amuse me so? Thanks, Friendly Atheist.

BTW, I'm reading FA's book, "I Sold My Soul on Ebay". It's actually directed at Christians, and I think it's a fine read. Starting and finishing it today. But first, and without irony, Hell's Kitchen.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Lucky Crusifix

This really isn't anything new, but I keep thinking how lucky xtians are that Jesus died on the cross. As if the whole thing isn't morbid enough can you imagine what it would be like if they all walked around with say a guillitine around their necks? Or maybe a chainsaw with beard hair dug into the chain? How about about buzzards picking at a guy in an iron maiden? Just think about some of the inquisition tortures that could have been inflicted on him and be grateful that all we have to put up with is a guy bleeding to death on a piece of wood.

Personally I find it relieving that the cross is the public symbol. I mean, how would you like to explain to your kids that your passing a church because at the top of the steeple is a portrail of a guy getting shived in the shower by a mexican gang? Doesn't make religion so enticing now does it?

And what would the KKK do? How in the world do you build a wooden statue in somebody's yard of someone in the electric chair without them seeing you? It's impossible. And would you really want to set all that hard work on fire? Absolutely not! I'll tell you one thing though... it would have really cut down on the hangins.

So 3 cheers for death by exposure!!!

Speaking in Tongues

Let me begin with an aside: We were talking this weekend about why we're down on Christianity in particular. I mean, Judaism and Islam and Buddhism are - if not equally ridiculous - at least more or less equally worthy of dissection. And there comes a simple answer: I live in the freaking Bible Belt. I don't have cause to be annoyed by Jews and Muslims and Buddhists very often, if ever. But Christians, man...I have 10+ Christian churches of differing denominations WITHIN A MILE OF MY HOUSE, and seven of these within a quarter mile of my house. We're goddam surrounded.

Anyway. Tadpole and I were talking today about etymology and linguistics, and how "language" and "tongue" can mean the same thing. She says, Oh, like in my Mom's church when they're "speaking in tongues..."

Hold the phone. "What? They speak tongues in your mom's church?" Affirmative. Oh, my. That amuses the hell out of me. So I've been doing a little reading. First off, Wikipedia tells me that

Glossolalia is commonly called "speaking in tongues". ... speaking in tongues is the vocalizing of fluent speech-like but unintelligible utterances, often as part of religious practice. Its use (including use in this article) sometimes also embraces Xenoglossy - speaking in a natural language that was previously unknown to and that is not understood by the speakers common in black cultures.

Here's a bit from Christianity Today, which has the general feel that yeah, we think it's weird too, but whadyagonnado?
The phenomenon of tongues (or glossolalia) is identified by many as the supernatural utterance of foreign human languages (Acts 2:4,6); others contend that it includes speaking an angelic language (1 Corinthians 13:1) or some other verbal expression requiring interpretation . For many years, speaking in tongues was seen as the distinguishing characteristic of the Pentecostal and charismatic traditions within the church. Some Pentecostal Christians, in particular, laid heavy emphasis on speaking in tongues as "initial evidence" of baptism in the Spirit.

And here's another:
Speaking in tongues has been controversial among Christians, with some thinking it is not an appropriate modern-day practice despite its use in biblical times. The Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board adopted a policy last year forbidding the consideration of missionary candidates who use a "private prayer language."

Not appropriate despite use in Biblical times? I thought it was a gift of God, a sign that you've been double baptised. Are you saying it's voluntary? Controllable? HMMMmmm. Seems kinda silly if you're doing it on purpose.

Here I'm searching through YouTube...there are plenty of vids on "speaking in tongues", but they range from confused revival melees to how to guides to a guy who filmed himself speaking in tongues for demonstrative purposes, but only after boring the shit out of you for over 7.5 minutes first (notice how nicely I *DIDN'T* make fun of his creepy wal-eye?)

Going back to the Wiki article: the Apostle Paul talks about speaking in tongues...don't forbid it, it's great, I do it all the time, everybody should do it. Wait, what are we talking about? Oh yeah, not SEX, certainly not. We're talking about speaking in tongues. So anyway, he "indicates in the church more value is found in understandable teaching so that the church may receive edifying, saying that with speaking in tongues, only the individual is edified (1 Cor 14:18-19). Paul discourages simultaneous speaking in tongues in the presence of unbelievers or the unlearned" - ya fuckin THINK? - "believers are to prophecy and be understood rather than speak unintelligibly."

I guess this all comes down, once again, to how ridiculous all this is. Buy now, and you'll not only get the love of an invisible, inaudible being, and the big outdated book of how to live your life, but also the ability to babble incomprehensibly so you can feel good about yourself and alienate those close to you!

Caveat emptor, huh kids?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Faith Themes in Movies

I caught a couple of movies lately and noticed faith themes where they don't necessarily belong.

Warning: Spoilers of I am Legend and Kung Fu Panda ahead.

The plot of I am Legend has nearly nothing to do with religion, but a smug scientist curing cancer shortly followed by a cut to an abandoned, overgrown NYC hints at an anti-scientific point of view, but I didn't think much of it at the time because something has to kill everyone off to make this movie.

But after the movie is done the religious/faith theme is very strong. The main character Robert is shown to be sticking to scientific principles in an effort to cure the bad effects of the engineered virus. But then enters the girl searching for the survivor colony who has faith. There is tension between them due to the faith versus science bases.

I think the film intended to portray a faith conversion and religious self-sacrifice of Robert as he protects the others by suicide bombing the attacking diseased humans. Then the girl goes on to find the survivor colony which of course has a bright shining church in the center of it. Not subtle at all there. But ironically it was the adherence to the scientific method that enabled Robert to find the cure and send it with the girl. And I think Robert's sacrifice is just as valid if it were nonreligious. You don't need faith in a god or religion to sacrifice yourself for others.

I'm really not sure why the film needed to introduce the faith themes and especially why it tried to co-opt science with faith at the end.

Kung Fu Panda was much more subtle with the faith theme but just as self-contradictory. It was shown that the turtle studied and practiced long and hard to be the master, yet later is portrayed as more of a mortal deity.

And again the Panda studied and practiced, uh, short and hard to learn Kung Fu and matched the enemy well. But I think they nodded to faith when the Panda suddenly and inexplicably gained mystic powers during the battle with the bad kitty. I believe the film was trying to indicate a faith conversion yet the only explanation was "I figured it out myself".

The concept of the chosen one and destiny are also faith-based I think.

It's quite possible I'm over-analyzing, and some mystic devices are often needed to create or move a plot, but I think especially with I am Legend they tried a bit too hard to shoehorn faith into the theme gratuitously.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Thanks to Atheist Blogger.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is anything too ridiculous?

Do you think there is ever a point where a devout Christian says to him or herself, "Now wait a minute...this is too weird even for me. WTF?"

Having said that, I give you this post from "Debunking Christianity", with this most wonderful of all possible phrases:

In the end, it was Charroux who “won” the battle of the foreskins...
But seriously. At any point, over these hundreds of years, did anyone say "Oh hang on, this is fucking silly. Christ's leftover penis skin?" Hell, I can't even get my kids' ultrasound photos into their (blank) baby books...I'm having a hard time believing Mary preserved her son's foreskin and passed it on to others.

That aside, I go back to the main point. You're trying to discover the one true FORESKIN? What kind of blessing do you think would be conferred on you if you were to visit the shrine of such a relic and kneel there? (Sorry, kneeling at a foreskin, way too easy....)

I wonder if we could find the one true lock of Jesus' hair from his first haircut. I have snippets from my daughter and son...I bet Mary slipped a few hairs into a baggie. Or maybe a little vial of blood, like that actor (was that Billy Bob Thorton that did that?) Or a jar of toenail clippings like the kid on American Idol. It would really benefit the Christian (especially Catholic) world most if Jesus was some kind of creepy obsessive-compulsive bio-packrat, with stone jars filled with tears, sweat, ballhairs, whatever...

Christ, guys, get a grip. His FORESKIN?

AOTD: Chris Hitchens to Cream in Pants

This is the stuff upon which Pulitzer-winning media is based. No, no, but I did love the title, and article: Hitchens: "I Might Orgasm In My Trousers" Over Fall Of Bill Clinton

I don't necessarily have anything against Clinton - I haven't looked into it - and I rather like Obama. But anyway, there you have it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Book Review: Why Darwin Matters (Shermer)

So I read "Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design" by Micheal Shermer, as part of the Atheist Blogger book club. I thought it was a wonderful book and a good read. Nicely laid out arguments, clear and to the point.

Chapter rundown:

Prologue: Why Evolution Matters - Starts with an interesting insight into Darwin's travels around the Galapago Islands, and goes on to answer the book's premise question.

1. The Facts of Evolution - Clearly the facts that support evolution. Addresses "Where are all the fossils?"

2. Why People Do Not Accept Evolution - Simply speaking, because people thing that evolution is a direct attack on Christianity. Discusses the 1925 Scopes trial, in which a TN law forbidding the teaching of evolution was challenged.

3. In Search of the Designer - Discusses why people have a belief in God. I LOVED this chapter. Also Clarke's Third Law, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indisctinguishable from magic."

4. Debating Intelligent Design - How and why and where and by whom ID is debated. This is by far the longest chapter (44 pages).

5. Science under Attack - Defines and defends science. Discuses the Kitzmiller case of 2005...simply wonderful.

6. The Real Agenda - Shows that the ID movement isn't science, but religious propaganda.

7. Why Science Cannot Contradict Religion - Science deals with nature, religion with the supernatural.

8. Why Christians and Conservatives Should Accept Evolution - As it says.

9. The Real Unsolved Problems in Evolution - This I really like. There are unsolved problems with evolution, and scientists are more than willing to cop to them...partly because of what Shermer says earlier in the book: science builds on past mistakes, works on filling in the gaps in understanding.

Epilogue: Why Science Matters - A good closing note.

Coda: Genesis Revisited - This is a wonderful "scientific revision" of Genesis. "In the beginning--specifically on October 23, 4004 BC, at noon--out of quantum foam fluctuation God created the Big Bang, followed by cosmological inflation and an expanding universe..."

And FSM bless Richard Dawkins, but Shermer's 153 page "Why Darwin Matters" was an awful lot easier to get through than the 374 page "God Delusion" (which I adore, and am still working on).

Scientific American's Take on "Exposed"

Ben Stein's Expelled Exposed. Nice.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Forever Untitled

I'm not even sure what to title this post because it just makes me tired to even think about it.

So I was talking to my mom this morning and she told me that she had talked to her pastor about the problems I have with Noah's ark. You know, the fact that there was no vegetation for the hervivores to eat and no meat for the carnivores to eat when they all got off the boat. So she talked to pastor James about this, and here's basically what he said:

God handled it. Humans aren't meant to understand how these things get done. He promised he would take care of everything and he did.

So you're telling me that's an acceptable excuse? People are just too fucking stupid to understand it? And you're also telling me in the same breath that religion doesn't turn off your brain? I asked her 3 distinct and completely different questions and the answer to each of them was "that's the way god wanted it." OK, so god did it all. There's never any reason for us to ever consider anything ever again because the answer will always be 'god'.

Then of course she goes off onto this diatribe about how I wouldn't say those things if I could just know His true power. And she starts telling me a story about when I was growing up. Now I've heard this story before and it usually changes in the details. However, it goes something like this.

When you were growing up and your dad and I split up, we didn't have much money. I sat at the table one night and did the math and we didn't have enough money to pay our bills. I just didn't make enough. So I pushed the bills to the middle of the table and told god I was going to put it all in his hands. I wasn't going to worry about it one bit. I would trust him to get us through this. And you know what? He did. Every month all of our bills got paid and to this day I still have no idea how. That's the power of the Lord.
End Story... believe me.

Ok, so after hearing that story, I usually quiz her about the specifics. So that conversation goes something like this...

So you didn't have enough money to pay the bills? You actually did the math and you made say $1,000/mo and our bills were like $1200/mo... is that the basic proposition we're dealing with here?

Yes, I didn't actually make enough money.

Ok, so where did the extra money come from then?

See, that's the thing... I have no idea. God just gave it to us.

Now, god didn't just put an extra $200 in your account. It had to come from somewhere. Where did the money come from?

I don't know. It just appeared.

No it didn't. Money doesn't just appear. Where did it come from? Did you get another job to bring in more money?

Yes. I went out and got another job.

So the money didn't just appear. You got off your ass and made more money. And you still have no idea where that money came from? Are you serious?

Well, he gave me the job and I have no idea where it came from. He gave it to me.

How did you hear about it?

I answered an ad.

Let me guess... an ad that god put there just for you. And there's no way that ads go up all the time and you just happened to catch this one. How long had you been looking?

Oh, probably for a couple months. But I kept after it and he gave it to me.

So it's not possible in the least that the ad was going up anyway and you caught it because you were looking every day?

Nope. It's too much coincidence.

And of course all of this leads to the question of how you know when god is helping you and when you're doing something on your own. The answer is:
well, when something good happens, it's god helping.

So what about evil... doesn't the devil do good things for you too... to lure you in?

Yes, absolutely. And you have to watch out for that.

But you just said the good stuff was god. Now the good stuff can also be the devil too?


So the original question stands with a small alteration. How do you know when it's god or you, or the devil making something happen?

Because god won't ever do anything bad to you.

Ok, that doesn't answer the question at all, but we can go down that road if you like. God allows bad things to happen, right?

Yes. He does it to test you.

Ok. I'll accept that. But does god actually DO anything bad to you?

No. God doesn't actually cause anything bad to happen.

And do you believe that god controls everything or does he just sit back and see how things play out?

He controls everything you do. He has that power.

OK, I'll accept that too. And do you believe that a lie of omission is the same as a spoken lie?

Yeah. If you know something and you don't tell it, then yeah, you're lying about it.

Ok. Good. We agree on that. Now, if you're sitting there watching someone carry a big box and you can see something on the floor in front of them and you can see that there on the same path and they're going to trip and hurt themselves, yet you say nothing and you just let them fall and get really really hurt. But you could've stopped it by just saying, hey dude, look out for that skate. Are you guilty of hurting him through your omission of knowledge you had that could've prevented it?

Well, yeah, I suppose. Because I had the ability to stop him and I didn't.

So the same same as a lie of omission. You're guilty of tripping because you could've easily prevented it and didn't, right? Just like you're guilty if you let your kid play in the middle of the freeway, right?

Yeah, I suppose.

OK, then why is that not true when god just sits back and lets something happen? Isn't he also guilty of tripping you up because he could easily have prevented it? And since he controls everything, didn't he put the skate in your path to begin with? So he's definitely guilty of doing you harm in more ways than just one. Both passively and actively. Because he put the skate there, and then failed to tell you about it.

No, I don't see it that way.

How can you not see it that way? Tell me what's the difference in what you've already agreed to and what god's doing? He kills kids all the time. Innocent kids who never did anything.

He's taking them back to his house where they can be safe. Most of the time it's kids that are in pain for one reason or another and he's relieving that pain.

Pain that he gave them to begin with. He controls everything, and he gave them abusive parents, or burned them, or gave them a disease that's causing their pain. Wouldn't it be more prudent to just not fuck them up to begin with? I mean, ultimately, he's fucked them up and then killed them for it.

Well, for one thing there are far too many people on this planet and it's god's way of population control. He needs to do that somehow.

Like with hurricanes, earthquakes, etc, right?

Yeah, those are all ways god's chosen to provide population control.

But I thought it was a punishment for sinners. Isn't that what you said last time?

Well, it is a punishment for sinners because the wicked shall be punished.

So which is it... population control or a punishment for sinners? And because some asshole across the globe does something horrible like sucking some other guys dick, god's gonna kill a 5yr old girl with leukemia? What the fuck is that about? Do you want to be put to death for someone else's killings?

No, of course not.

OK, then how is it that god punished innocent children for sins they haven't even been around.

Well, that's just god's way and we're not meant to understand it.

OK guys I'm done. I'd like to say, see how hard it is to talk to my mom about all this, but it's no different then talking to any other xtian about this shit. They talk in circles and there's no one ounce of logic to any of it.

Kill me.

Jesus In Everything You Do

I've been too busy with work lately to ponder much about atheism and religion, but while working on a PC at someone else's desk I noticed one of the inspirational notes many people leave for themselves. This one said something to the affect of including Jesus on everything you do or doing everything through Jesus. Weird. Does every nose-blow and email sent really need consideration to Jesus? I'm not sure what they who wrote that are aiming for here, and I'm not sure what the person who posted it to herself expects it to do for her, but I'm curious.

I also find it interesting that in Christianity Jesus is the conduit to and from God, or in some cases part of a holy trinity that is--what--a ternary deity? God is omniscient but needs a human press agent with super powers?

I've been traveling a lot and have not noticed the in-your-face religion that I see around my hometown a lot. Maybe I'm just not paying attention, but I don't see people reading bibles in a manner that others will be sure to see or having big crucifixes bobbing around on their chests. It reminds me that I had the idea to bet an atheist icon to wear such as a FSM necklace. I really should do that.