600 Subscribers! Thank You!

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has subscribed to this blog since I started it. You people all rock! It’s been so much fun blogging on WordPress and I wish I had started here instead of at Blogger.

I never would have guessed this blog would have garnered 600 subscribers but we are at 601 as of the time of this writing.

Right now I’m battling a crappy cold, but it’s not horrible or anything. I made a new YouTube video the other day. I’ve been playing around with editing software and trying to learn how to use it. So in my most current video (that I spent about 6 hours making) I added images and effects to the video. So if you’re interested, I hope you’ll check it out.

Either way, thanks to all of you who read, write and comment on this blog. You guys and gals keep me motivated and make writing this blog worth it.

Have a great day!

Calling Out Bigotry Doesn’t Make You Less Christian

It astounds me how people who pronounce that their religion promotes morality, ethics and good behavior are so easily capable of the most unthinking bigotry. They then pretend they’re promoting ‘truth’ instead of poison.

For example, take this blog I read today called, The Biggest Fool.

In this post you have the obligatory back hand slap towards atheists, with that well known quote about being a fool if you don’t believe in God:

Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)

Strange that some people in this supposed morally upright culture seem to think it’s okay to call a whole group of people fools.

Then the author goes on (without much of a point as far as I can tell) about times he thought he would die but didn’t.

For the record, I’ve had those times as well. I’ve survived three horrific car accidents – one with a humongous buck and one where I got hit from behind by a five ton truck, which pushed me into oncoming traffic so I could get nailed again by another car.

God didn’t save me. Luck did, and medical science sure didn’t hurt none.

I’ve also been hit by a bus while on foot – no God intervened. Just more medical personnel. I got hit so hard I still don’t remember it happening.

But then this bigot posts a video at the end of his post with this sentence in the description:

God, forgive me. For those times I have lived the lifestyle of the atheist, forgive me.

WTF?

And so I posted a comment calling him out on his bigotry. He tried to say I hadn’t read his post, but I wonder if he bothered to read the description of his own video. It’s not okay to paint an entire group of people as immoral like that. I don’t care what group it is. Change the word ‘atheist’ to any ethnic group, and you will quickly see how bigoted that statement is.

  • God, forgive me. For those times I have lived the lifestyle of the Jew, forgive me.
  • God, forgive me. For those times I have lived the lifestyle of the homosexual, forgive me.
    • God, forgive me. For those times I have lived the lifestyle of the Christian, forgive me.

See how disgusting it sounds?

So here’s the exchange I had with the author.

response

bigot

There’s more but it hasn’t appeared on his blog yet. I’m not sure if he decided not to publish it or if he just hasn’t approved it yet. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he likely hasn’t approved it yet, although I posted it about six hours ago.

In those comments he tries to deflect me to another blog post but I refuse to take the bait. I don’t care about that blog post because I was commenting on this one.

Not only does this bigotry go unremarked by his fellow bloggers, many of which are clearly Christians, but so far this post has garnered (at the time of this writing) a whopping 59 likes and a few boot-licking comments applauding him for his open bigotry.

For example:

god_bless

Blessed devotion? He just smeared a whole group of people and called them fools and said their ‘lifestyle’ was so dirty it required forgiveness.

ancients

It’s not a great post, Ancients. It’s an abhorrent one and one that happens too frequently. It’s also something that could be stopped if even one person speaks up and points out this type of bigotry. You’ll notice that the comments stop after my comments. The likes slowed down, and I don’t know if it had anything to do with me, but if it prevented even one person from condoning this crap, then it was worth my time.

Christians, you can stop this nonsense from spreading as well. Read what you’re liking and think about it before posting a comment or liking the post. Really think about what’s being said.

Don’t be a part of the problem. Be a part of the solution. It won’t make you any less Christian to point out bigotry when it rears its ugly head.

 

Atheism Isn’t Code For Being A Douche

It pisses me off when religious people use douche-y examples to describe atheists or atheism in general.

Take this post with the title, Christian or Practical Atheist?

Basically, she’s trying to describe someone who says they are a Christian but act as if they’re atheists.

I had no idea what practical atheism could mean. The actual definition made me stop and examine my own life, with more than a little fear.

You see, a practical atheist doesn’t go by the label “atheist”. They actually would identify as  Christian.

So…a Christian then? If someone says they believe in Jesus and are Christians, then that’s what they are. Just because they might do things you think are un-Christian-like, doesn’t make them an atheist.

And why were you afraid?

The very fact that this loving religion made you afraid should be a red flag of epic proportions.

A practical atheist accepts God in theory but rejects him in..you guessed it..practice.

Do you follow everything in the Bible?

If you did, you’d likely be in jail. I guess you’re a practical atheist.

Then she gets to the actual meat of her post by giving examples of practical atheists.

This should be a hoot…

This is the church-goer who screws people over in day to day business dealings without a smidgen of remorse.

Church clearly isn’t doing anything for them then. Either that or they’ve learned the lessons too well and think they can just ask forgiveness later and a magic being will make it okay to be a douche. Religion is very good at taking away personal responsibility and hefting it onto the shoulders of a deity.

This is the person who asks God to bless them but never invites God into any other area of their life.

What does that even mean?

This is the woman blasting Gospel music on her way to meet her married boyfriend.

Um, no. That would be a Christian being a douche. Not all atheists or even a majority of atheists go around sleeping with married people.

Please take head out of buttocks.

Then she attempts to describe what it’s like to be a Christian:

Let me put it another way. Anyone who has encountered the living God comes away from that experience a different person.

If you were hit by a Mack Truck, people would be able to see the evidence. If you claimed to be hit by a Mack Truck, but your car was fine and you didn’t have a scratch on you, people might have a hard time believing you’d really been in an accident.

That sounds thoroughly unpleasant. So being a Christian is like being hit by a transport truck.

Being a Christian merely means believing in Jesus. The rest is just window dressing. Christian’s can’t even agree on what Christianity wants, which is why you have around 40,000 sects.

This dear friend said she’d been a “Christian” for a long time, but a few years ago, looking back, she’d never really seen the evidence of it in her life.

Maybe because it’s a myth and this deity doesn’t exist?

Practical atheists (and actual atheists, for that matter), God loves you so very much. While you are still breathing, you can turn to him and ask for a legit relationship, for forgiveness, and salvation. He doesn’t hold grudges and he will help you walk through what it means to actually follow him.

I didn’t know you spoke for God, but thanks I’ll pass. I can ask for forgiveness from the real people I’ve wronged. No need for an invisible entity, and certainly not one as ethically reprehensible as the one described in the bible. If I ever need instructions on how to stone disobedient children, commit genocide by drowning or how to treat a slave, I’ll turn to your bible.

How about having a relationship with real people. They love you as well.

How My Family Betrayed Me: Part 2

Alrighty, so I’ll continue the story I began in Part 1, which you can read by following the link.

So a little while went by and I continued to do my own thing. I stopped telling my family personal details about my life, but I figured the whole ordeal was over.

Then my Ex called me again. She told me that my family (my sister and mother) were planning on having an Ex-party. I asked her what the hell an Ex-party was, and she explained that a few weeks back, my sister had invited her to my mother’s house, along with a couple of other Ex’s of mine. She said that at the time she had agreed because she had still been a little sore over our breakup, but that she had later declined because she realized that it wasn’t something she should be doing. And because she thought I deserved more respect than that.

I couldn’t believe my ears. I knew that my mother still talked to a few women I had relationships with, but that she and my sister would plan such a thing infuriated me.

My Ex also told me that it had been my sisters idea and when I asked why she would do such a thing, I was told that my sister had thought it would be funny.

For the life of me, I can’t think of any way that it is even remotely funny.

So I texted my sister. She didn’t respond so I called my mother. By this point I was extremely angry. I rarely get angry but I was splitting flames from my mouth.

My mother didn’t deny it. She said it hadn’t been her idea and she was only allowing it to be held at her house. She said that I had no right to tell her what to do in her house and that it was not a big deal; it was only a small gathering of friends and not an ‘Ex-Party’. It was all innocent and I was making a big deal about nothing.

I got even angrier. I yelled. I told her that she was acting like an idiot. I told her that just because she could legally have an Ex-party at her house, didn’t make it right.

She told me that it hadn’t happened yet and so I shouldn’t worry about it. It probably would never happened.

I told her that it shouldn’t have even been thought of. That it was a stupid, hurtful thing to talk about and that when my sister had suggested it, I would have hoped my mother would shoot it down immediately.

I hung up. Later I thought some more about it and decided that I shouldn’t have yelled or called my mother an idiot. I called her back and calmly apologized for my tone and then poured my heart out, telling her how I felt. I expressed my hurt and disappointment and told her that she had taught me to be honorable and honest. I felt that she had been neither and that I shouldn’t have to learn such thing from my Ex-girlfriend. It astounds me that she had more respect for my feelings than my own family.

When I was finished talking, I asked if she had anything to say. My mother said she had company and couldn’t talk right then. I told her that was fine and to call me when she could talk.

I haven’t heard from her since.

My sister meanwhile, used the same story as my mother.

However, my Ex shared a text message from my sister that blamed her for telling me. She said that my Ex shouldn’t have told me and that she had only been trying to help my Ex get over ‘what I had put her through’. She said that they would probably never hear from me again, thanks to her.

When my sister tried to play innocent, I pasted her text into a message and sent it to her.

Instead of apologizing, my sister said she would call the police for harassment if I texted her any more. Basically, she threatened my livelihood, because being a social worker means having a clean record. I know the police wouldn’t charge me with such silliness, but even so I feel that was a low blow.

My sister also said she would contact me if anything happened to my mother.

Even typing this I feel my anger building. So that’s enough for today. I’ll post Part 3 tomorrow, where I’ll talk about the aftermath and how I feel about the whole thing.

Thanks for reading and comments are always welcome.

 

How My Family Betrayed Me: Part 1

IMG_20150827_013403578

Spoiled dog getting his teeth brushed

I mentioned two posts back that something terrible (not life threatening or anything though) had happened to me in my personal life, and in this post I’m going to explain what that was.

As many of you know, a few months back (September to be exact) I had a three year relationship end. I’ve since moved out on my own, and even though our relationship didn’t seem to work, my ex and I are still really good friends. We see each other on a regular basis and we do hang out.

Anyhow, I began to date and in October my mom invited me down for Thanksgiving (this is October since I’m in Canada) and asked if I wanted to bring anyone. I said I sure would, and I brought a woman I had been seeing for a bit.

During our visit, they (my date, my mom, my sister and a female family friend) decided to go for a walk. During this walk, my family decided it was okay to tell my date all about my past relationships, including how long they had lasted and the names of the people I had relationships with.

My date didn’t tell me till a few days later, because she understandably didn’t want to rock the boat.

For my part, I mostly let it slide. I told my sister and mother that I was a private person and didn’t want details of my life given out willy-nilly. If someone wanted to know something about me, they could ask and I would tell them if I wanted them to know.

My family assured me that they knew this and wouldn’t divulge any personal information about me in the future.

I let it drop. I didn’t need the hassle and I figured that since I told them how I felt (without divulging that I knew they had already breached my privacy) this would be enough to deter them from flapping their gums in the future.

Fool that I am…

The next time I visited my mom, she had her best friend over. She’s an out-of-towner and so I don’t see her often. She kept asking about Dexter (my dog) and making small prods at me. For example, our conversations went a bit like this:

Friend: So GC, how’s Dexter doing? Everything okay?

Me: Oh yeah, Dexter is doing wonderfully.

Friend: That’s not what I hear.

And so forth.

Again…I let the matter drop. I didn’t want to argue and I just found the questioning weird. But I was a guest in my mothers home and causing an issue wasn’t something I aspired to.

A few days later, my ex sends me an email. She says my mother had contacted her and said that she didn’t think I was looking after Dexter properly. She said that my mother worried that because I was dating, Dexter would not be my main priority. She worried for his safety and had supposedly told my ex that she feared I would sell him.

I assured my Ex that Dexter was fine and I urged her to come see for herself.

She did. She checked his ears (Dexter suffers from allergies and is on a strict diet) and looked him over. She said he looked great. I showed her his food, medicines etc. My ex admitted that my mom had been completely wrong and that she thought Dexter looked great.

At this point I was fairly angry. Not at my ex, but at my mother who thought I would actually harm my best friend, Dexter. Since my breakup, I’ve had some rough days, and let me tell you guys and gals, Dexter has seen me through many of them. He’s sat with me and snuggled when I was down. He’s made me laugh when I wanted to rage or cry. I wouldn’t harm a hair on his head.

Again, I approached my mother calmly and asked why she had told my ex these things.

My mother said my ex had misunderstood and she hadn’t meant any of it.

Again I let it drop. I didn’t want to argue and I thought (again) that she would learn her lesson and not talk behind my back.

I would be sorely disappointed once more.

I will leave the ending for Part 2 of this post. If you’ve managed to make it this far, thank you for reading.

 

Stop Excusing The Murder Of Children

Yesterday I briefly responded to James Bishop’s ‘refutation’ of my post ’10 Ways To Improve The Bible’. In that post, he defended slavery and made excuses for it, but in part 2 of his refutation, he goes a step further and actually excuses the killing of children.

Here’s what he said:

This is a critique of the law that imposed a severe punishment on intensely rebellious children. However, GC is being far too simple in his analysis for, as exegete Paul Copan explains, “We’re not talking about a little practical joker or even about a teenager who won’t clean up his room. No, he’s an utter delinquent whose hardened, insubordinate behavior simply can’t be corrected, despite everyone’s best efforts. He’s a repeat offender: “when they [his father and his mother] chastise him, he will not even listen to them” (Deut. 21:18). He’s a picture of insubordination—“a glutton and a drunkard” (v. 20; cf. Prov. 23:20–21). This serious problem would have had a profoundly destructive effect on the  family and the wider community.

Let me get this straight…this powerful being couldn’t figure out any other way to handle ‘intensely rebellious children’ than to have them stoned by the community?

You’re kidding, right?

Apparently he is not because he continues:

The parents aren’t in the picture any longer; they’re not taking charge of punishment. Rather, the community carries out this exercise of social responsibility. And when it takes this drastic action, it’s a tragic last resort to deal with this trouble” (4). I take such a child to be an uncontrollable burden to his community & family that threatened its stability. God commanded his people to be holy as well as to “purge the evil from among you” (Deu. 17:7) and I believe that such a child brought evil & disrepair to the community and thus needed to be dealt with since no other method of discipline had worked prior. For the people of God it would seem that these punishments were to be sobering reminders of what God expected.

And yet we don’t need to resort to such barbarity today, because we understand ethics, sociology and psychology (among other things) better than this supposed God.

God was way behind the curve it seems, because He was ordering the murder of children as the only possible solution when dealing with particularly difficult children.

It disgusts me in the extreme that this person is apologizing and excusing the killing of children behind a banner of morality.

Also, there’s this little tidbit about my point that this God could have provided the bible in all the known languages to avoid confusion:

Is GC really being serious here? Does he expect the Bible to have been written in all 6500 world languages (1)? That would be a mess. Again, like most other arguments by GC this is a non-sequitur.

Is that too much to ask from a deity, who has put in place a main requirement to understand and believe in Him? You make it sound like it’s beyond His power and is not a reasonable thing to expect from a being who can literally create everything, but fails to realize that Hebrew is not the ideal language to pass along a message and that providing copies written in languages everyone can understand could help avoid a TON of confusion.

I also don’t think you know what ‘non-sequitur’ means, but whatever.

Does GC think that God is some magical vending machine that you poke and then expect something to pop out? It would appear so.

No. In fact, even when you’re excusing child murder, you might notice it’s people who have to carry out the punishments.

Funny how that works.

He then goes on to tell us that the bible has knowledge that someone of that time couldn’t have known, such as:

To name a few, the authors mention details such as the creation of the universe from nothing

Which this God got wrong. The order of events is wrong for one thing.

the early Earth being covered in water of which is an accurate scientific description of early Earth

Between the very large asteroids and meteors, that covered the surface in molten lava.

And why couldn’t someone of that era guess that the world was covered by water?

the Earth being stationed in the expanse of space (Job 26:7)

Space is not mentioned. You’re grasping at straws. It says it’s hung over nothing. The Earth isn’t hung on anything and I wouldn’t call gravity nothing.

the description of springs at the bottom of oceans

You mean ‘fountains’? And this is after this God created a flood that scientists can find no evidence for; that closely resembles other flood myths that predate Christianity; a global flood that would break the laws of physics?

That flood?

He ends his refutation with:

I am also sure that Godless Cranium and I will have further interactions.

That’s unlikely, sir.

When someone excuses slavery and the killing of children, I quickly realize that they are probably beyond reason. They will make any excuse to continue to believe in their favorite myth. Further discussion is likely a waste of time.

But I wish you well. I hope that at some point, you realize that excusing child murder and slavery isn’t a good use of your time, and is unethical to say the least.

At Least Read What I Wrote Before Refuting Me

Fellow blogger, James Bishop, has written a rebuttal to a mostly tongue in cheek post I made quite awhile ago, where I set out a few ways (10 to be exact) that the bible could be improved.

You can read the entire post he wrote by following the first link above. The second link is to my original post.

I’m not going to respond to it all, because after reading his rebuttal a few times, I find myself wondering whether he actually read my entire post before responding.

For example, he writes this in his response to my first point:

Further, GC’s comment that “this book is not to be taken literally” is further silly because the Bible is not one book as he seems to think it is. Instead it is 66 books written by 40 or more authors over a period of 1600 or so years. You would think that someone who is telling us how to improve the Bible would at least know this.

Okay, so keep in mind he doesn’t think I know that the bible was written by multiple people.

But in the last point he’s responding to, I literally wrote this:

GC: “Have one person writing the bible. You could solve so much with this one alone. Hell, better yet, why not do the writing yourself.”

Ummmm…clearly I understood the bible was written by many people…because that’s exactly what I said in point 5 of my original post.

So why, dear James Bishop, would you think I did not know that in the first point you responded to?

Anyhow, moving right along. I want to respond to this point he makes:

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved…” (10:9) – are we to really believe that Jesus was a literal wooden door with a door handle? Obviously not. On the other hand Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the 5000 thousand as attested in all our gospels almost certainly happened and reads as a straightforward historical narrative (this miracle passes the criterion of multiple attestation & undesigned coincidences thus i take it as historical).

Come on man. Do you take me for a fool? Of course most people don’t think Jesus was a literal wooden door. It’s freaking obvious.

However, you’re second assertion is false. You can easily find many people who argue that the whole feeding 5000 people thing was an allegory. For example, you have this one here:

The five loaves represents the five books of Moses, in which we find five refreshments for the soul. The first loaf is the rebuking of sin by contrition; the second is the laying bare of sin in confession; the third is the abasement and humiliation in satisfaction; the fourth Is zeal for souls in preaching; the fifth is the sweetness of our heavenly home in contemplation.

Another words…blah, blah, blah. You’d think this God would know that the written word is a poor way to pass on a lifesaving message. Did He not know this was going to happen? Did he intend on not being clear?

A quick Internet search is all that is needed to show that not everyone thinks the feeding of 5000 people is strictly fact and not allegorical in nature. Of course this is the case, because even some people of faith have a hard time convincing themselves of magic.

And you can take it as historical fact all you want. Please show evidence that anyone is capable of doing what Jesus supposedly did. Then I’ll believe you. Until then, I don’t believe in your magical story.

Then he goes on to defend slavery…errr…’indentured servitude’:

What we see is that God puts in place laws to protect servants (or as the atheist likes to call them “slaves” that resemble the 18th century slave trade) from experiencing abuse at the hands of their masters. Old Testament “slavery” was more analogous to “contractual employment” or “indentured servitude” – much like a sports player who is “owned” by a team or a person contracted to serve a set time in the military. However, instead of abolishing indentured servanthood outright God installs laws to protect the servant.

What the…

Are you insane? These people lived in horrid conditions. They were owned. They weren’t like the rock star athletes you so whimsically reference. They were used for labor and sexual gratification.

I feel a blood vessel throbbing in my temple so I’ll leave it with this – a quote from Greg Carey who is a Professor of the New Testament:

Don’t let anybody tell you that biblical slavery was somehow less brutal than slavery in the United States. Without exception, biblical societies were slaveholding societies. The Bible engages remarkably diverse cultures — Ethiopian, Egyptian, Canaanite, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman — but in every one of them some people owned the rights to others. Slaveowners possessed not only the slaves’ labor but also their sexual and reproductive capacities. When the Bible refers to female slaves who do not “please” their masters, we’re talking about the sexual use of slaves. Likewise when the Bible spells out the conditions for marrying a slave (see Exodus 21:7-11).

I could also reference dozens of biblical passages about slavery, but I’ll urge you to read the book for yourself, which might prevent further humiliation brought about by having to defend slavery.

I don’t know what else to say. The rest was merely mental gymnastics and I don’t feel it was worthy of a response.

I look forward to the second part of his rebuttal.

What do you think of his article and do you think he makes any valid points?

As always, thanks for reading!

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 604 other followers