Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy: Sodomite Semen edition.

So there’s a Pastor in NYC by the name of David James Manning at a church known as ATLAH (“All The Land Anointed Holy”) Worldwide Church that has a reputation for preaching some pretty hateful attitudes towards homosexuals. In addition to being the head Pastor at the church Manning also makes YouTube videos to spread the Good Word in a series he calls, humbly enough, The Manning Report.

In his most recent report, Manning tells us about how his church was recently visited by “sodomite protesters” who were armed with a “big bucket” of Starbucks coffee and assorted Starbucks paraphernalia. Which gives him the perfect opportunity to inform his dedicated following of why they shouldn’t drink Starbucks coffee. First, he believes that your local Starbucks is “Ground Zero” for Ebola because it’s popular among LGBT people and the doctor who was recently in the hospital in New York because he came down with the disease often frequents Starbucks himself. This was stupid enough in itself to get him and his church mentioned on a number of news sites and blogs, but now he points to an even more insidious concern: Starbucks is spiking their drinks with the semen taken from sodomites!

Seriously, he actually said that. Check it for yourself:

Here even goes on to cite a legitimate news site, The Inquisitr, as his source for this revelation. Turns out they did run an article titled: Were Semen Samples Really Found In Starbucks Drinks Nationwide, Initiating An FDA Investigation? It’s just a shame the good Pastor didn’t actually read the whole article:

Those stories will definitely put Starbucks on a pedestal of respect, but another report may destroy all of that. Apparently, semen was found in Starbucks drinks nationwide, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently investigating the situation. The article picked up steam when it was shared among numerous social sites, including Facebook and Twitter. This will surely hurt Starbucks’ reputation, right? Fortunately for them, the derogatory article is fake.

It’s clear that Manning didn’t read much, if any, of the article because this important tidbit is at the end of the second fucking paragraph. Doesn’t matter, Manning buys into it completely saying:

And the Inquisitr news… online news service carried this as a major story the week before that what Star… what Starbucks was doing is that they would take and specimens of male, uh, semen and they were putting it in the blends of their, um, their lattes. Now this is the absolute truth. Right there, you can see it right there on the Inquisitr online services, the big article on the investigation into Starbucks using male semen and putting it into the blends of coffees that they sell. I mean can you imagine that, and I believe that they were doing that. 

youreseriousHe goes on to cite the fact that once upon a time Coca-Cola used actual cocaine in their soft drink apparently thinking it proves that companies use potentially horrifying ingredients in their beverages all the time.

He is so keen to believe that Starbucks is spiking their coffees with semen that he doesn’t bother to check on whether or not there is any basis to the story. Something he would’ve discovered easily by reading just two lousy paragraphs of the very news item he cites as proof of it happening. He carries on endlessly about how The Inquisitr is a “reputable online news service” that wrote “three pages on this event.” Which is pretty funny because A) it’s not three pages and B) he didn’t read enough of page one to catch the bit about it being a hoax.

But that’s not important! What is important is his question of “where are they getting all this semen from?” His answer? They’re getting it from sodomites, natch! It just makes sense! Especially if you’ve been dropped on your head repeatedly as a baby.

You really have to watch the whole thing because it just gets crazier from there. Especially when he starts talking about how semen is just like “cord blood” in how it contains “millions and millions of little zygotes in it” which “flavors up” the coffee. Next thing you know he’s going on about killing babies and drinking their blood and the soon-to-happen closing of Starbucks after the FDA completes their investigation.

It would be hilarious if it weren’t for the fact that this nutcase has people who believe every word he utters as though it were, well, the gospel truth. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you’re willing to buy into the idea of an all-powerful being that popped the universe into existence by sheer will alone and spends all his time micromanaging it and the creatures within to win a cosmic popularity contest against another entity he created and could have eliminated at any time, well, you’ll probably believe just about anything.

Christian news site finds Chemist who doesn’t believe in Evolution.

whystilldustFor all the talk Christians engage in about faith and how believing despite a lack of evidence is part of what it means to be a Christian, there’s quite a few of them out there that will jump at any chance to quote a scientist — any scientist — who might provide some argument in their favor.

So it is that the folks at Christian News Network came to publish the following article: Renowned Chemist Says Evolutionists Do Not Understand the Origin of Life. In it they describe Rice University professor Dr. James Tour as follows:

Dr. James Tour is a well-known professor at Rice University, specializing in chemistry, nanoengineering, and computer science. Over the last 30 years, Tour has authored over 500 research publications, and he was recognized as one of “The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today” by TheBestSchools.org. Tour has also received awards and recognitions from the American Chemical Society, Thomson Reuters, Honda, NASA, and others.

Clearly he’s a Big Deal, though I’m not sure why anyone thinks getting an award from TheBestSchools.org is worth bragging about as it appears to be Yet Another College Ranking website that’s popular mostly among religious institutions.

Still, that’s not the point! Awards! He’s gotten several awards for knowing that of which he speaks! Clearly then we must take him seriously when he says things like:

“I will tell you as a scientist and a synthetic chemist,” Tour said, “if anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me, because I make molecules for a living, and I don’t just buy a kit, and mix this and mix this, and get that. I mean, ab initio, I make molecules. I understand how hard it is to make molecules.”

Well, that depends. Has Dr. Tour actually studied evolution? This is an important question because the article then goes on to say:

Despite his experiences and expertise, Tour admits that he does not understand how evolution could account for life’s existence.

Here we run into the first problem: Evolution doesn’t try to account for life’s existence — that would fall under abiogenesis and is a separate field of study — Evolution just describes the processes that take place after it showed up.

But let’s get back to that question I asked a moment ago. Has Dr. Tour spent any time studying the Theory of Evolution? The article seems to indicate that he hasn’t:

“I don’t understand evolution, and I will confess that to you,” he says in the video. “Is it okay for me to say, ‘I don’t understand this’? Is that all right? I know that there’s a lot of people out there that don’t understand anything about organic synthesis, but they understand evolution. I understand a lot about making molecules; I don’t understand evolution. And you would just say that, wow, I must be really unusual.”

Right up front he’s admitting he doesn’t understand the theory. Though don’t lose faith in him just yet:

However, Tour says he is not the only one who does not understand how life could have arisen through natural, unguided processes.

“Let me tell you what goes on in the back rooms of science—with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners,” Tour stated. “I have sat with them, and when I get them alone, not in public—because it’s a scary thing, if you say what I just said—I say, ‘Do you understand all of this, where all of this came from, and how this happens?’”

The answer he inevitably receives, Tour explained, is: “no.”

“Every time that I have sat with people who are synthetic chemists, who understand this, they go, ‘Uh-uh. Nope.’” Tour said. “And if they’re afraid to say ‘yes,’ they say nothing. They just stare at me, because they can’t sincerely do it.”

Oh my goodness! Someone who doesn’t understand Evolution knows other people who aren’t studying it that also don’t understand it! That surely must prove it’s a lie, right?

Well, no. Not really. It just means Dr. Tour and some of the other scientists he hangs out with don’t understand the theory. The fact that he seems set on it explaining the origin of life, which the theory doesn’t do, would probably go a long way to explaining his lack of understanding.

The article is based roughly on an hour and a half lecture Dr. Tour gave in late 2012 on the subject of Nanotech and Jesus Christ at Georgia Tech which you can watch on YouTube by clicking here.

I don’t dispute that Dr. Tour knows his organic chemistry and is clearly an expert on nanotech, but that doesn’t mean he’s an expert on Evolution or should be expected to know much about it. The Christian News Network article also goes on to quote from one of his blog posts in which he pretty much says his understanding of Evolution is, at best, as a layman. Here’s the big the article quotes:

Fair says there is an important distinction between microevolution and macroevolution—the former is clearly observable and repeatable, but the latter has never been witnessed.

“From what I can see, microevolution is a fact; we see it all around us regarding small changes within a species, and biologists demonstrate this procedure in their labs on a daily basis. Hence, there is no argument regarding microevolution,” he wrote in a blog post. “The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution.”

There’s an important bit from the very start of the entry, however, that they decided to leave out:

Assuming that I have something significant to contribute to the evolution vs. creation debate, many ask me to speak and write concerning my thoughts on the topic. However, I do not have anything substantive to say about it. I am a layman on the subject. Although I have read about a half dozen books on the debate, maybe a dozen, and though I can speak authoritatively on complex chemical synthesis, I am not qualified to enter the public discussion on evolution vs. creation. So please don’t ask me to be the speaker or debater at your event, and think carefully about asking me for an interview because I will probably not give you the profound quotations that you seek. You are of course free to quote me from what is written here, but do me the kindness of placing my statements in a fair context.

Dr. Tour considered this important enough that he placed it at the very start of his blog entry. He goes on to say that he’s often cited as a proponent of Intelligent Design and he’d really wish people would stop doing that.

I have been labeled as an Intelligent Design (ID) proponent. I am not. I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might. I am sympathetic to the arguments on the matter and I find some of them intriguing, but the scientific proof is not there, in my opinion. So I prefer to be free of that ID label.

The rest of his blog post outlines a couple of the issues he has with macroevolution and why that makes him skeptical of it and, overall, it’s pretty reasonable. He does go on to claim that there is some persecution of scientists who express skepticism of macroevolution, but refuses to cite specific examples of such.

What’s interesting to me about the Christian News Network article is that it’s author, 

I’m not sure why Mr. Haley seems to think that finding a scientist who is a Christian and who has doubts about a scientific theory he doesn’t personally study should be newsworthy. There are lots of them out there. Hell, the field of Engineering is rife with creationists for some reason. The fact that these people are out there isn’t evidence that the theory is false. It just shows that people who haven’t studied it much may have trouble trying to understand it.

On picking the right battles.

jesusr-no-runningSo there’s been a couple of news items recently about restaurants causing an uproar by offering discounts to customers displaying their religiosity. In one case Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, NC was offering a 15% discount to customers they saw praying before eating their meals.

The owner claimed it was more about public displays of gratitude than religion, but the receipts did list it as a ‘praying in public’ discount, which makes that claim seem a bit dubious. That said, it was never officially advertised and was handed out entirely at the discretion of the service staff for years before a pleasantly surprised customer posted a photo of their receipt with the discount to Facebook and it went viral. It wasn’t long after that the the owner was contacted by the Freedom From Religion Foundation — a group I support — with a letter informing them that the practice was a violation of the Civil Rights Act. The owner ended up deciding to discontinue the discount despite a lot of offers of free legal representation and visitors to the diner are now greeted with the following note:

“While you may exercise your right of religious freedom at this restaurant by praying over your meal to any entity or non-entity, we mush protect your freedom from religion in a public place. We are no longer issuing the 15% praying in public discount. It is illegal and we are being threatened by a lawsuit.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor told News & Record that the group didn’t threaten a lawsuit, but a lawsuit “would not have been off the table.”

She added that it’s illegal to “charge an atheist more than a Christian.”

Now the FFRF has contacted Bailey’s Pizza in Arkansas for offering a 10% discount to people who bring in church bulletins:

Sent earlier this month, the letter alleges that Bailey’s owner, Steven Rose, is discriminating against patrons who have not attended church.

“The law requires places of public accommodation to offer their services to customers without regard to race, color, religion or national origin,” wrote FFRF representative Elizabeth Cavell.

Bailey’s, which opened last month, also allows patrons to write Bible verses on one of the restaurant’s walls.

In an interview with local media, Rose denies that the discount violates the Civil Rights Act, telling CBS affiliate THV11 that the discount “has nothing to do with excluding anybody.”

“It’s not specific to any church. It’s another way to bring people in and make them feel welcome,” said Rose.

“I offer discounts to others too — like college students, teachers, military, police and senior citizens.”

Now, technically, the FFRF is correct in that both of these policies violate the Civil Rights Act which includes religion as one of the criteria that public businesses cannot discriminate on and offering discounts for public displays of religiosity or church bulletins is a form of discrimination. Steven Rose disagrees and is vowing to fight the FFRF if they sue saying that if atheists really want the discount they can just download a church bulletin off of a website and bring it in and no one would question them on it. Which, yeah, you could do if you don’t mind dishonestly misrepresenting yourself to knock a few bucks off your pizza. I don’t think atheists should be forced into essentially lying to a business just to net a discount.

So, yes, I think the FFRF is right that this is a violation of the law, but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort to pick a fight over it. I don’t really care if religious folks get slightly cheaper food from a particular restaurant. If anything, it just makes me want to avoid that restaurant.  If they don’t mind alienating part of their potential clientele then so be it. Atheists in general, and the FFRF in particular, already take a lot of shit for fighting battles over displays of the Decalog and crosses on government property and I think those are worthy fights to be had. I’m not sure the extra ill-will we get from forcing a restaurant to cease offering preferential treatment to religious people is worth it.

That said, I would be sure to make it known to the owner of any restaurants that I did visit that had such a policy that I find it disappointing and wouldn’t recommend folks eat there as a result. Maybe that would make them rethink it and maybe it wouldn’t, but there’s plenty of places to eat that don’t discriminate to choose from. If their goal was to make people feel welcome and I don’t feel welcome, well, they failed in their goal.

One of the neat things about having had a blog for 13 years is that you can figuratively go back in time and see the person you once were simply by browsing through the archives. I was 34 when I first started blogging and back then I probably would’ve been right there with the FFRF decrying this as something that should not be! It’s an injustice against my people and will not stand!

fuckloadingfailI don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and just don’t have the energy I did 13 years ago, but these days my reaction to hearing about eateries like these was “meh.” It seems like you hear about this sort of thing every week now and it seems like a huge waste of resources trying to fight each one.

There’s also the fact that religious belief in America has been on a downward trend for some time now so it’s a problem that’s likely to take care of itself by the end of the century:

Every piece of social data suggests that those who favor faith and superstition over fact-based evidence will become the minority in this country by or before the end of this century. In fact, the number of Americans who do not believe in a deity doubled in the last decade of the previous century according to both the census of 2004 and the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) of 2008, with religious non-belief in the U.S. rising from 8.2 percent in 1990 to 14.2 percent in 2001. In 2013, that number is now above 16 percent.

If current trends continue, the crossing point, whereby atheists, agnostics, and “nones” equals the number of Christians in this country, will be in the year 2062. If that gives you reason to celebrate, consider this: by the year 2130, the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Christian will equal a little more than 1 percent. To put that into perspective, today roughly 1 percent of the population is Muslim.

The fastest growing religious faith in the United States is the group collectively labeled “Nones,” who spurn organized religion in favor of non-defined skepticism about faith. About two-thirds of Nones say they are former believers. This is hugely significant. The trend is very much that Americans raised in Christian households are shunning the religion of their parents for any number of reasons: the advancement of human understanding; greater access to information; the scandals of the Catholic Church; and the over-zealousness of the Christian Right.

So let them have their little discounts if they want them and save those resources for the bigger fights. Consider it a consolation prize as they’re headed out the door. Hell, if anything, this sort of thing does more harm to their cause than good. This sort of subtle discrimination only contributes to their downfall because it reveals them for the bigots they are.

Feel the Christian Love: Rick Wiles says Ebola “could solve America’s problems” with gays and atheists.

Rick Wiles, for those of you who have blissfully never heard of him, is an end-times preacher who is always on the lookout for signs that the apocalypse is about to start. He is so full of Christian love for his fellow humans that he recently expressed on his “Trunews” program that if Ebola were to break out and become a pandemic in the United States, why, that might be the best thing ever to happen.

No, really:

“Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming,” he said. “Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion.”

“If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you, you better make sure you have been marked by the angels so that you are protected by God. If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper.”

via Rick Wiles: ‘Ebola Could Solve America’s Problems With Atheism And Homosexuality’ | Right Wing Watch.

jesussavesApparently being a believer in Jesus Christ is all you need to protect yourself from Ebola. Nevermind the fact that the two Americans — Dr. Kent Brantley and Nancy Writebol — who were trying to help deal with the outbreak in Liberia only to end up contracting the disease are, themselves, Christians. Perhaps they just didn’t believe in Jesus hard enough. 

Wiles is so scared of atheists and gays and people who fuck more than one person and people who film themselves fucking more than one person and people who, for whatever reason, decide not to go through with a pregnancy that he gleefully imagines them being wiped out by one of the more horrible viruses you can die from while his flock of True Believers™ are protected by the magic sky fairy.

This shouldn’t be surprising considering that he’s also pushing a conspiracy theory that President Obama might use this an excuse to give people an ineffective vaccine and then force them into FEMA CAMPS!

Wiles was speaking with evangelist Augusto Perez about how the spread of Ebola in West Africa has implications for the End Times. The two speculated that the American government may exploit the outbreak in order to grow the size of government and require people receive a vaccine.

“Obama would claim executive powers to mandate that every human being in the United States be vaccinated,” Wiles said. “They could use the panic to stampede hundreds of millions of people in this country to be vaccinated, in fact billions worldwide, they could stampede the world to receive to a vaccine against a deadly virus and nobody knows what is in the vaccine.”

- See more at: Rick Wiles Links Obama To Ebola Outbreak

Alas, Ebola isn’t the plague Rick Wiles hopes it will be. While the virus is definitely dangerous and often fatal, it’s not easily transmitted from person to person. It requires direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person which is why healthcare providers have to wear those fully enclosed hazmat suits you see on TV.

Yes, it’s killing a lot of people in West Africa, but that has more to do with how poor the healthcare system there is combined with superstitions of the people who live there and the rituals they have for handling dead bodies. Much like Rick Wiles, a lot of people there are buying into conspiracy theories that Ebola isn’t real and that their loved ones are being kidnapped for various reasons including cannibalism. So they’re hiding sick individuals and, in some cases, breaking them out of hospitals putting themselves and everyone they come into contact with at risk:

In recent days crowds gathered outside clinics and hospitals to protest against what they see as a conspiracy, in some cases clashing with police as they threatened to burn down the buildings and remove the patients.

Amadu Sisi, a senior doctor at King Harman hospital in the capital Freetown, from which the patient was taken, said on Saturday that police found her in the house of a healer.

Her family refused to hand her over and a struggle ensued with police, who finally retrieved her and sent her to hospital, he said.

“She died in the ambulance on the way to another hospital,” Sisi said.

not_driving_behind_youThis is what ignorance and fear does to people. Rick Wiles is guilty of his own brand of ignorance and fear and he’s foisting it onto his audience. He’s really no different than the “backward” people in West Africa who do stupid things like the above. Instead of cannibalistic doctors it’s the U.S. Government using “chemtrails” to weaken us and a dangerous vaccine to intentionally infect us with a horrible disease so they can round us all up in FEMA camps. He doesn’t say what happens to us then. The FEMA folks probably eat us. It wouldn’t any stupider than anything else he’s said.

This is the sort of brain damage buying into Gods and demons causes to otherwise rational human beings. If you’ll accept the outlandish things the Bible says happened as being true then there’s nothing anyone could tell you that would be so egregious that you’d have any reason to doubt the validity of it. Believing Obama is out to intentionally infect people with Ebola is easy when you buy into the idea of a talking snake causing the downfall of mankind.

If it’s too much to ask these idiots to throw off the shackles of these ridiculous beliefs can we at least ask that they try not to be too happy about the horrors they expect the rest of us to suffer at the hands of their “loving” God?

Rep. Louie Gohmert proves the existence of God.

Well, we had a good run my fellow atheists, but there comes a point when you have to admit you’ve been beaten and that moment is now. You see, Republican Louie Gohmert has come up with the ultimate proof of the existence of God. What fools we’ve been!

Check it:

OK, so technically this isn’t really Louie’s argument, but something he heard from some dude named Bob Murphy out of Texas. In case you didn’t watch the video clip — you should, it’s short and stunning in its stupidity logic — here’s what old Bob had to say:

“Ya know, I feel so sorry for atheists. I do. You know, think about it. No matter how smart they think they are, an atheist has to admit that he believes the equation ‘nobody plus nothing equals everything.’ How embarrassing for an intellectual to have to say, ‘Ya, I believe that. Nobody plus nothing equals everything.’

“Well, you couldn’t get everything unless there was something that was the creator of everything, and that’s the Lord we know”

headdeskI think neither Mr. Murphy nor Rep. Gohmert have talked to very many atheists. Perhaps there’s a few out there who might make such a statement, but I can’t think of any off top of my head. It’s certainly not what I believe because it shows a fundamental lack of understanding of some of the better known theories on how the Universe came to be.

How many times does it have to be said that the Big Bang theory does not say there was nothing prior to the big bang? Everything that is in the universe now was there at the beginning all scrunched up into a very tiny point called a singularity. There is no need to assume that everything came from nothing because, according to the theory, there wasn’t nothing. We still don’t know everything there is to know about the start of the universe because the closer you get to the moment of expansion the more general relativity and quantum mechanics start to fall apart in their ability to describe what things were like, but the theory overall has a lot of evidence backing it up such that accepting the idea of everything has always been there all smooshed up until it exploded into the universe we see today isn’t any more far-fetched than accepting the idea some all-powerful being willed it into existence.

If you’re going to insist on the idea that there was “nothing” prior to the universe then we can turn to theoretical physicist and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss who has argued that it’s quite possible to get something from nothing and wrote a whole book about it called A Universe From Nothing. In it he explains exactly how such a thing is not only possible, but probably inevitable. I’ve written about Krauss and his lecture about this several times in the past and if you want to watch a video of his lecture you’ll find it in this previous entry.

There’s also the option to just admit that we don’t know how the universe came to be and that the evidence it was willed into being by a creator is unconvincing. Just because we don’t know the answer to the question that isn’t a good reason to presume that God(s) had a hand in it.

But the thing I really want to point out about Rep. Gohmert’s little anecdote is how shallow the thinking he’s using is. Some blowhard puts forth a strawman argument that doesn’t actually represent anything I’ve ever heard any atheist say and Gohmert acts like it’s wisdom carved on stone tablets from on high. It doesn’t make an argument in support of the idea of a creator God, it just tries to paint atheists as illogical hypocrites. It ignores all of the other possible explanations for the existence of the universe for a cheap shot at a despised group of people. Of course, he’s preaching to the choir who don’t need any convincing that a God popped everything into existence because reasons we’re too puny to comprehend. Ha ha! Those dumb atheists think they’re so smart when really they’re super stoopid! Ha ha!

Guess how convinced I am by that argument.

Theories on God.

2013-05-22-The-Miracle

By Jonathan Rosenberg over at Scenes From A Multiverse

Jonathan posted this comic last year and I’ve had it bookmarked forever waiting for the proper post to use it on and then I decided it deserved its own post. It’s eerily similar to actual conversations I’ve had with True Believers™. You should go read Scenes From A Multiverse a lot. It’s quite good. Though there are some comics I don’t quite grasp. Probably because I’m not as smart as Jonathan is. Still, it’s worth reading even those.

OH HOLY HELL! The KNEES! The KNEES are EVERYWHERE!!!

An example of the threat to man's holiness! Just look at it! Being all sexy and shit! Who wouldn't think impure thoughts with that being shoved in their face by those wicked vixens!

An example of the threat to man’s holiness! Just look at it! Being all sexy and shit! Who wouldn’t think impure thoughts with that being shoved in their face by those wicked vixens! Where’s my fainting couch?!?

Pity poor Pastor Martyn Ballestero for he is traumatized on a regular basis. The source of his torture is the scandalous sight of naked knees at church where they tempt the menfolk from the path of righteousness.

They’re Everywhere!! | The Ballestero Blog

They never used to be seen in Pentecostal Churches, but they are now. If they were ever seen in church in the old days, an embarrassed apology was made. But not any more!

Now, they come to many church and do not mind being obvious about showing up. They seem to enjoy the attention they attract, too.

Some of the time they come to church and no one notices them when they walk in, after they finally sit down. Then it’s like, they say Boo! and get your attention. They sure know how to catch folks off guard.

Damn those sneaky knees with their seductive caps baring it all in such a wanton display of lust! And all that noise making with the constant “boo”ing that interrupts my sermons and gives me awkward boners that make the baby Jesus cry!

I remember them never being seen in church anywhere years ago. But now, they’ve evidently got religion and so they come to almost every service.

In the old days, someone would try to help them hide from if they came, and make sure they stayed out of sight, but no effort is being made anymore. They seem to enjoy being seen in church. More and more of the folks are becoming comfortable around them.

[…] It used to be a problem when they showed up anywhere, especially church. But now, they’ve even come to church with some preacher’s wives and daughters. Go figure.

Clearly the solution to this problem is to insist that people leave their knees at home! Or, better yet, people should never acquire knees in the first place. All they ever do is spread temptation everywhere they go. Oh why can’t we go back to Victorian times when knees — and women —  knew their proper place?!?

It’s good to know there are holy men out there who are standing up against the encroaching scourge of uncovered knees. Why just imagine what would happen if we let this slide? Next you know folks will be wearing shirts with sleeves that stop above the elbow! That’s just crazy!

Astronomical events can still cause the overly religious to go nuts.

Source - Wikipedia

Source – Wikipedia

There was a Blood Moon a couple of nights ago which you probably heard about because news shows and publications had been talking it up for the better part of a week. If you’re not sure what it is, it’s just a lunar eclipse of a full moon which results in it taking on a reddish tint. Back before science explained exactly what was going on folks tended to take a blood moon as a portent of Very Bad Things About To Happen. Today most folks won’t even notice the event happening and those who do won’t think much of it.

Even the deeply religious won’t be too alarmed by it because it’s known to not be an unusual phenomena. However, when you get 4 of them in rapid (from a cosmological perspective) succession — as we will over this year and next — there are still a few True Believers™ out there who are ready to start predicting Very Bad Things About To Happen:

‘Blood moon’ sets off apocalyptic debate among some Christians – The Washington Post.

Recent books capitalizing on the event include “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs” by Washington state author Mark Biltz; “Blood Moons Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel, and the Four Blood Moons” by Oklahoma pastor Mark Hitchcock; and “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change” by Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee.

Naturally, it’s Hagee’s book that’s attracting the most attention because he’s making the biggest prediction:

This time, Hagee suggests that a Rapture will occur where Christians will be taken to heaven, Israel will go to war in a great battle called Armageddon, and Jesus will return to earth. Hagee planned a special televised event on Tuesday (April 15) on the Global Evangelism Television channel.

Yes, apparently Hagee has learned nothing from the stunning failures of other big Christian leaders making predictions about the end of the world and is declaring the coming blood moons are a sign of the End of the World! Nevermind the fact that this sort of thing has happened previously and isn’t all that uncommon. This time is different! Why? Cause Hagee said so!

“When you see these signs, the Bible says, lift up your head and rejoice, your redemption draweth nigh,” Hagee said in a sermon, according to the San Antonio Express-News. “I believe that the Heavens are God’s billboard, that He has been sending signals to Planet Earth but we just have not been picking them up.”

So the good news is we have until September 28th, 2015 before the apocalypse arrives to give everyone except the truly faithful a really shitty day. The bad news is we’re going to have to listen to Hagee and his ilk hype this shit up for another year and a half.

Ken Ham: “God is mercy which is why Bill Maher will fry in Hell.”

I’m always impressed with the ability many Christians have to hold two opposing concepts in their head at the same time. Like “God is Love” which is why a place a horrible as Hell exists where he tosses all the undesirable people who don’t accept his love. The fact that so many seem to be able to do this without any apparent signs of the cognitive dissonance that most normal folks would experience is even more impressive.

Ken Ham, for example, has this skill down pat:

Ken Ham: Bill Maher will roast in Hell, because ‘God is a God of grace and mercy’ | The Raw Story

Yesterday, Answers in Genesis patriarch Ken Ham took to his website to reassure his readers that Maher will get his in the end. It was Ham who debated Bill Nye the Science Guy last month, playing to a friendly local audience in Kentucky who, like Ham, reads the Bible literally.

“So why does God allow Bill Maher to continue his increasing God-hating comments? He really is tempting God. It’s as if he’s saying, “Come on God, I’m saying more and more outrageous things about You — come on — come and get me!” Bill Maher is blaming God for death because he does not want to accept that he is a sinner in need of salvation. He wants to be his own god — he shakes his fist at the God who created man and also provides the gift of salvation for those who will receive it.”

But Ham pointed out that Maher is just living on borrowed time, and sooner or later he’ll have to answer for his shenanigans. “I’m reminded that God is a God of grace and mercy,” Ham says, and God will have the last word. Then, as the Bible says, “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Yeah, that about sums it up.

Yeah, that about sums it up.

One of the (many) reasons I left my belief in the Christian religion behind was because of the difficulty in accepting that a truly loving God would condemn anyone to an eternity of such unimaginable suffering as Hell is supposed to provide for any reason at all. I can’t think of a single crime that is so terrible as to justify a punishment like Hell for forever. It’s hard enough to wrap one’s head around the idea of infinity alone let alone an infinity of endless torment.

Apparently Ham thinks the recent rant by Bill Maher — wherein Bill said that if the Biblical story of the flood was true then God would be a “psychotic mass murderer” —  would be enough to justify such an experience. You’d think a truly omnipotent God would be above such criticisms. You’d think a truly loving God could come up with a better method of reforming souls than abandoning them to endless suffering.

What’s really impressive, though, isn’t the fact that Ken Ham and others like him have no problem with this rather barbaric method of punishment. It’s that they so often seem to delight in the idea that people they don’t like will suffer it. The glee with which some Christians have told me I’ll burn in Hell one day is almost frightening and shows that it’s not just God who may be psychotic.

Anti-Gay pastor Steven Anderson: “Women should STFU in church.”

Pastor Steven Anderson, previously in the headlines for preaching about praying for the death of Obama — which netted him a visit from the Secret Service awhile back — as well as for being virulently anti-gay in his teachings, is once again making headlines by doing the unimaginable: Actually preaching what the Bible says.

You see, The Bible isn’t much on that whole female equality thing and you can find a number of passages that make it clear that man is God’s favorite of the two sexes. Which is why Anderson recently told women they should stop saying “Amen” in reply to his preaching the way the men do. In church, your role as a woman is to sit there quietly and learn and if you have any of your stupid questions or opinions you’d like to share you should save it for when you get home where the man in your life can instruct you on what an idiot you are.

Don’t blame him, it’s says that right in the Bible:

Pastor Anderson first attempted to justify the silencing of women by quoting 1 Timothy 2:11, “[l]et the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

He then asked the congregation to flip to 1 Corinthians 14, which says “[l]et your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak, as it is commanded to be under obedience as also sayeth the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is shameful for women to speak in the church.”

Now before you ladies get your panties all in a bunch, the good Pastor points out that prior to the service you can talk in Church as much as you want as that’s only to be expected and when it comes time to sing you should definitely participate because you have lovely voices, however…

“But when it’s learning time,” Pastor Anderson said, hammering his lecturn, “it’s silence time.”

Shut the fuck up, bitch. I’m teaching here.

The sad part is, I’m sure Pastor Anderson is far from the only Christian out there who is teaching this. He’s only making headlines with it because he’s already gotten journalist’s attention with that whole please-God-won’t-you-kill-Obama thing.

Yeah, that's really in the Bible too.

Yeah, that’s really in the Bible too.

It’s not like he’s wrong. The Bible does have these passages in it and if you really do believe it is the inspired word of God made manifest then it’s hard to justify ignoring those bits just because you don’t like them. If you’re a woman in a Christian church then your place is not to try and do the teaching, that’s a man’s job, and you certainly shouldn’t interrupt with any silly opinions or questions you have. Save that shit for your husband when you get home so you don’t look quite so stupid in front of everyone else.

“This is why I don’t believe women should say ‘amen’ during the preaching either. Because ‘amen’ means ‘truly’ or ‘verily’ … it basically means ‘that’s true.’ So when I’m preaching and I say something that you agree with and that you believe in, and you say ‘amen,’ you’re saying ‘that’s true.’”

“So here’s the thing,” Pastor Anderson concluded, “when I’m preaching, women should not express their opinion, even if it’s a positive opinion, even if she agrees with me.”

He doesn’t need you to agree with him because he already knows that he’s right.

And, if you’re a woman, don’t even think of disagreeing with him:

“I was preaching one-time, and a woman actually disagreed with me in the middle of preaching. She said I was wrong, and you know, I kind of blew up at her.”

Who the fuck do you think you are to disagree with Pastor Anderson? I don’t see a penis swinging between those legs of yours! Your mouth, like your legs, should be kept shut so you don’t miss out on any of that sweet learnin’ you so obviously need. You can trust him, sweetheart, God said so.

Regardless of whether you accept the Bible as entirely literal or a mixture of history and parable, as a Christian this is the view of women held by the religion you practice. It is inherently misogynistic so you shouldn’t be surprised when misogynists latch onto it so tightly because it tells them they’re right to be that way.