Archive for November 2008

Kansas pastor defends Mulsim President sign

November 22, 2008

Why would anyone follow this guy?
If he feels just fine lying on signs, why would he tell the truth on the pulpit?

He may not feel Obama is a christian (he apparently has a very narrow view of Christianity that would probably wind up excluded quit a few Christian sects), but he never explains why he thinks he’s a Muslim.

I also find it odd that these churches speak against separation of church and state when it comes to shooting their mouths off, but are just fine with it when it comes to not paying taxes.

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Nova: The Bible’s Buried Secrets

November 20, 2008

PBS played a documentary on the Hebrew bible on Tuesday night from the stance of “what the archeology really says”. Not too bad. Not great, but pretty good. I would say that it takes a kid gloves approach to critical analysis of the OT and it panders to religion a bit too much (in an effort not to offend, I suppose). It would probably be a good first step for for the odd person teetering on atheist/agnosticism. Or someone that doesn’t know that they are allowed to question three thousand year old mythology. Netflix it and play it for your mom. Look out for a documentary called the Exodus Decoded, though (done by James Cameron, sadly). It’s pseudo-science gone wild. On the plus side, it seems to piss of Christians as well as atheists since it takes the faith out of the exodus.

Israel Finkelstien has a book called the Bible Unearthed that covers the same subject, but a bit better IMO.

Finally, A Message From Up Above

November 18, 2008

billboarda_01

Colorado Springs,long known by some as the The Protestant Vatican, will be seeing some signs that are not from god.

On Monday, billboards that say, “Don’t Believe in God You are not alone” will wind up peppering the Colorado landscape, one in Colorado Springs, and ten in the Denver area. Inspired by the recent bus sign campaign in the UK, The Colorado Coalition of Reason is renting the billboards for four weeks. Meanwhile, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is funding an even larger campaign to put up atheist billboards in 46 states.

Most of us drive by several Christian billboards on our way to and from work. It is nice to have at least a few of them that speak to us atheists, even if they will only be up for a short time.

No doubt, cries of persecution will be heard.

Yeah, Well Muhammad Never Existed Either

November 17, 2008

Muhammad Sven Kalisch, professor of Islamic theology, has come to the conclusion, after years of research, that the prophet Muhammad never existed. Personally, I never got the feeling that Muhammad was mythical (you know, like Jebus) simply because mundane aspects of his life seem to be recorded as well as the glorious moments, and that seems to be the hallmark of the validity of an historic character.
But, this guy knows his subject a lot better than I do. We’ll be watching the fallout from this for awhile, I suspect.

Link To Article

I’m starting to lean toward the Jesus Myth postion, myself. I just ordered the Jesus Puzzle, which I’ve heard good things about… not from Christians, though.

More Priests Condeming You To Hell

November 16, 2008

“The priest at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in downtown Greenville has told parishioners that those who voted for Barack Obama placed themselves under divine judgment because of his stance on abortion and shouldn’t receive Holy Communion until they’ve done penance.”

Don’t you hate it when religious groups attempt to control people with humiliation and threats of hell? This priest it trying to punish the members of his congregation that dared to vote differently than him. I really don’t see why any person would stand for this type of controlling behavior from their priest or anyone else. Personally, I would leave any group that tried to punish me for the way I voted and I have no respect for anyone that won’t. What’s the difference between this and any other type of mental torment? Here’s one, this group has tax exempt status in return for them not endorsing political candidates. BTW, John McCain never took a hard stand on abortion, either. So, I wonder what this priest is really judging Obama on?

Link To Article

The Jesus Collection

November 16, 2008

In 325AD, the Council of Nicea met to discus the nature of Jesus. There hasn’t been agreement since. The council of Nicea debated on whether Jesus was made of the same or a similar “substance” as God. That’s right, they debated on whether a person they never met was composed of the same substance as a being they had no proof of (as we’re supposed to respect religion).

Analyzing the nature of Jesus (Christology) is a tricky bit of theology, and it’s not a field of study that will come to a conclusion anytime soon. As it turns out Jesus can be fully human, fully divine, both, and everything in between. Like so many themed Barbie and Ken dolls, you can take all your Jesus’s and line them up on a shelf. But, be careful, if you take them out of their original package, they lose their collector value. Here are some of the Jesus’s you can collect:

  • Adopted Jesus: Adoptionism teaches that Jesus was a regular old guy. That is, until, like a messianic Webster, he won Yahweh’s heart and was adopted as his son, either during his baptism, or at his death.

  • The “I’ve Got a Secret” Jesus: Popular amongst the earliest Christians, Gnosticism is the passing on of special spiritual knowledge usually through visions or revelations.

  • The “I Ain’t Got Nobody” Jesus: From the Greek for “to seem”, Docetism teaches that Jesus was fully divine, and that all appearance of Jesus’ humanity was merely an illusion. Sort of the antithesis of the Betsy Wetsy Jesus. No embarrassing messes!

  • Trinitarian Jesus: Like Man-E-Faces of the Masters of the Universe collection, Jesus can be part of a triad of infinite confusion. That’s three persons sharing a divine nature. And one of those persons has a second nature. That’s the one (or three?) you can display on your shelf!

  • Just Plain Human Jesus: No X-Ray vision, no Kung Fu grip. This Jesus’ only power is a good sermon and lots of charisma. A favorite of Liberal Christian teachings, like Unitarianism. Not a high collector value.

  • Mormon Jesus: I have no idea what this Jesus does.

  • Jewish Jesus: He hasn’t arrived yet. He’s been ordered, but he’s still in the mail.

  • The “Personal Friend” Jesus: He’s the latest fad. The one all the kids have to have. He may be absent from the Bible and pretty much all of Christian history, but that doesn’t stop him from taking over the toy shelf. You can tell this Jesus all your secrets and hold him close to your chest … but not too close, that freaks this Jesus out. He’s not that kind of friend.

So, the next time you’re asked, “Do you believe in Jesus?” You can answer, “Which one? I’ve got the whole collection.”

Ok, Keep Your 10 Commandments. Just Put This One Up, Too

November 15, 2008

An erection is going up on trial … erection of a monument, that is. Since 1971, there has been a Ten Commandments monument in a public park in Utah. Now a small religious sect, calling itself Summum, wants to erect a monument commemorating their religion next to the existing Decalogue.

They are, of course, meeting with some opposition and are fighting it in the courts. And they are not approaching the issue as a church/state separation issue, but rather a free speech issue.

The original Ten Commandments monument, a clear homage to the Hebrew religious belief system, was allowed to be constructed on public land because the sponsors, The Fraternal Order of Eagles,  claimed that it had historic value (even though the people erecting it were most likely of Anglo-Saxon, not Jewish, decent. Therefore their only connection to the 10 Commandments would bea religious one, not a historic one).

Interesting thing about the Ten Commandments. They are mentioned a couple of times in the Bible, and they are different each time. They are first mentioned in Exodus 20 when Chuck Heston brings them down the hill then smashes then before anyone can see them (you would think that tablets that  were carved by Yahweh himself would deserve more respect). Then they are mentioned again in Exodus 36, and this in the first time they are actually referred to as the Ten Commandments. The commandments are ordered to re-made exactly the same as the originals, but they seem to make a few changes in them. See if you can spot them.

First Set, Exodus 20 (destroyed by Moses in a fit of rage)
1) I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.
2) You shall not make for yourself a graven image. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.
3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5) Honor your father and your mother.
6) You shall not kill.
7) You shall not commit adultery.
8 ) You shall not steal.
9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10) You shall not covet.

Second Set, Exodus 34
1) Thou shalt worship no other god (For the Lord is a jealous god).
2) Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
3) The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep in the month when the ear is on the corn.
4) All the first-born are mine.
5) Six days shalt thou work, but on the seventh thou shalt rest.
6) Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, even of the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
7) Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread.
8 ) The fat of my feast shall not remain all night until the morning.
9) The first of the first fruits of thy ground thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
10) Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk.

I’ve always thought that #4 implies child sacrifice and that the Abraham and Isaac story was a means of telling folks not to do that anymore.

Link to monument article

Link to some 10 Commandments info