Archive for April 2009

Woman’s Attempt to Kill the Antichrist Foiled

April 29, 2009

catholic-antichristRoman Catholic priest Reverend Michael Massaro was stabbed twice in the back by 57 year old Josephine Gatchell who said he was the Antichrist. She in currently in police custody. The Antichrist says he forgives her.

Of course, it hasn’t been proven that he’s the Antichrist yet, but the Catholic Church surely can’t take these things lightly and I’m sure an investigation is underway.

Michelle Bachmann: Village Idiot

April 28, 2009

According to this Star Trib story, Michelle Bachmann thinks the swine flu outbreak is “interesting“.

Rep. Michele Bachmann says she finds it an “interesting coincidence” that the last swine flu outbreak in the U.S. occurred under a Democratic president — though her claim is historically inaccurate.

Yep, Republican Gerald Ford was in office at the time of the outbreak.

I swear, this woman is so dumb I’m surprised she remembers to take a breath every few seconds. I understand she’s from the opposing party, but if the best criticism she has for President Obama is trying to link him to the swine flu, she needs to take a break. Does she think she sounds smart when she says these things? Does she think that a huge rally protesting Obama’s secret biological weapons lab will form? I mean, who the hell voted for this idiot? She’s great fodder for comedians. They don’t even need to change anything, it writes itself. Stephen Colbert can’t keep up, she’s sending up the Republicans for him.

But I shouldn’t be too hard on her. She does provide some good to society I suppose: Village Idiot

The Great Sex (and no common sense) Church

April 28, 2009

“A church giving sermons about sex may have to find a new home. Brevard Public School District’s risk-management department has threatened to boot New Hope Church out of Sherwood Elementary because of a worship series titled “Great Sex for You.”

And rightfully so! Having a pastor tell you the proper way of stimulating your lover is not the most appealing thought in the world. I don’t really care if Jesus was a gentle lover or slapped Mary Magdalen’s ass when they did it. It’s not my cup of tea.

The pastor of this church complained that Christianity is too mum on the subject of sex, but I don’t really see any reason it needs to meantion it. Christianity is NOT a sex class. It also is silent on truck driving skills and hints on winning karaoke contests.

He also, inappropiratley enought, advertised his sex talk at an elementary school. The guy sounds like a bit of an ass, too me.

NY Times article

April 27, 2009

There is an excellent article about atheism in today’s NY Times.

Rabbi Confused by Wind

April 27, 2009

scary-ghostExorcisms and ghost stories aren’t unique to Christianity. A rabbi in North London is claiming a ghost resides at his flat.

The rabbi at Enfield and Winchmore Hill synagogue had recently moved into the accommodation attached to the synagogue when he found he had been joined by an unseen force capable of opening windows, as well as knocking at doors and making other inexplicable noises.

Inexplicable noise, huh? Those must have been pretty weird. I wonder what on Earth he could do about it.

“A man contacted him about a haunting in an office and the rabbi told him – and this is Jewish law – that no chimney, window or door should be completely sealed off, so spirits are allowed to move in and out.

“This particular man discovered that there was a sealed window and once he opened it up, the problem went away.”

So …ghosts can open windows to scare people, but can’t open them to get outside? Interesting rules these ghosts play by. It seems their behavior is completely driven by whatever happens to creep people out.

A spokesman from the Church of England said:

… the only case he had encountered in 18 years was of scratching and moaning apparently emanating from a chimney. It turned out to come from a trapped cat.

At least he’s a bit more sensible.


The reporter in the story makes a reference to the Pig/Legion story in the New Testament, which is one I’ve always enjoyed. In it, Jesus drives demons out of a man and into a herd of pigs. He then sent the pigs to jump off a cliff into the sea to drown (Mark 5:9). Problem is, Gerasenes does not have any steeps cliffs. Perhaps they gently waded into the sea?

Some scholars have proposed it’s actually a parable comparing Roman occupation (a “legion” of soliders) to demon possession, which makes sense, to me. It would essentially be calling Roman soldiers a bunch of swine, and that’s a better explanation than a god that can’t figure out a better way to get demons out of a man.

Andy Thomson: Why We Believe in Gods

April 26, 2009

Liars For Jesus

April 25, 2009

America is the only nation on Earth that has been founded on a secular constitution. It’s a piece of history that truly does make me proud to be an American. That’s why it’s dumbfounding to see the large number of people that adopt a twisted Christian version of American history. You may recognize these people from their love of tea bagging, their insistence that fossils are the work of the devil, and a belief that it would take a revelation from God to make anyone believe that murder is wrong. This revisionist history is particularity perverse because it denies the very freedoms that the American government was founded on.

They all seem to use the same language when they talk, so you know that they got it from the same source. And that source is …David Barton. Barton believes that America was a full blown Christian nation until 1963, when the Supreme Court said that schools couldn’t force children to recite prayers to invisible men (this is often misinterpreted by Christian zealots as prayer being banned in schools, which is so mind numbingly wrong that you wonder if the have any kind of conception of equality. Classic straw man argument though: invent a problem, then attack that imaginary problem).

Anyway, I’ve discovered an excellent looking book. “Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right’s Alternate Version of American History” by Chris Rodda. She has heroically taken it upon herself to set the record straight. It seems that the freedom of religion deniers only buy books from their pre-approved Christian bookstore, so I’m sure none of them will ever read it, but I think I’ll pick up a copy to reward her for her hard work.

Richard Dawkins at the American Atheist Convention

April 22, 2009

Richard gives an informative and entertaining speech at the American Atheist convention Easter weekend. He focuses on “Quote mining”, Tony Blair, the Anthropic Principle, mentions some good sci fi books that I’ll have to track down, and does a Q and A at the end. I wish I could have attended this year. I went to the convention last year in Minneapolis and it was the best conference I’ve ever been to.

The Laughing Jesus

April 21, 2009
Ha ha ha, sucker!

Ha ha ha, sucker!

The Buddha has many incarnations that are labeled after a significant trait, and one of the most popular ones being the laughing Buddha. But, have you heard of a laughing Jesus?

The Laughing Jesus is an old Christian story that was, obviously, not included in the New Testament. It is found in the lost writing of Basilides, and we know of it thanks to it’s retelling by Irenaeus. It is a “re-imagining” of the walk to Golgotha sequence.

As you may remember, during the long walk to Golgotha with the cross over his shoulder, a “passer by”, Simon of Cyrene, heroically offers to bear the burden of the cross for Jesus. The whole exchange is summed up in one verse in Mark.

They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.(Mark 15:21)

According to the Laughing Jesus story, when Simon takes up the cross, Jesus uses his divine ability to transform  his appearance to look like Simon, and he changes Simon’s appearance to that of him. The Romans then crucify Simon while Jesus stands to the side and laughs. Pretty funny, huh?

There is a scene in the fabulous movie the Life of Brian that mirrors this story. During the walk to the hill, all the condemned men are dragging their crosses down the street when a man steps out of the crowd and says, “Let me shoulder your burden, brother”. The condemned man then takes the opportunity to run, for his life (quite literally) while the do gooder, attempting to explain the mistake, gets whipped by the Romans and told to get back in line.

Funny as the story is, it does send up some brands of Christianity that focus purely on the grizzly bloody death of Christ, ignoring any positive impact he may have had during his ministry. Perhaps it is asking, if Jesus did not die, would he still be God? That may be a significant question for some.

Anyhoo, I’ll sign off with “I’m Brian … and so’s my wife!”

Religion and Music: One and the Same?

April 20, 2009

brainHere’s an interesting post on the brains response to music vs religion. As it turns out, they are nearly identical.

I’ve often noticed a similarity at people’s behavior at any rock concert or rave as compared to their behavior within a charismatic religion. Kids in a mosh pit make me think of what the followers of John the Baptist might have been like at the banks of the river or what voodoo practitioners feel when in a trance. If we removed the music from religion, would religion fall apart?

The human brain does have a tendency to fall into trance states. Other than raves and speaking in tongues, what other type of behavior induces intense trance like states? Selling on the NY stock exchange?