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.

Today’s I’m-Feeling-Old Moment: Kids react to a Walkman.

I should really stop following TheFineBros‘ YouTube channel. All it ever does is remind me how old and decrepit I’ve become.

Kids these days don’t know how good they got it with their “em-pee-three” doohickeys and their smartass phones. Why in MY day we had to get up to change the damned channel on the TV and we had only three major networks and a couple of minor UHF channels to choose from!

This does seem very familiar indeed.

Simon’s Cat perfectly captures yet another of the joys of being roommates with a feline:

In our house this fun is doubled as it seems to infect both cats at about the same point in time. At least once a night we’ll hear something fall to the floor in another part of the apartment and ask aloud to each other “What the hell was that?”

This seemed appropriate today.


Not that you’d know it by looking at the weather reports. Yesterday was pretty warm and today it’ll be in the low-50′s, but we’re slated to drop back down as the week continues. Still, compared to the past few months this is practically a heat wave. Of course once summer gets here and it’s unbearably hot we’ll all sit around and bitch about that too because that’s just the kind of assholes we human beings are. There’s about a two week period in the spring and fall where the weather is perfect and then the rest of the year we bitch about it.

As an aside, I’ve been waiting most of a year to use that graphic.

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.

We are officially looking for a home to buy.

CalvinonAdulthoodIt’s taken entirely longer than I ever imagined it would, but Anne and I are finally in a position to start looking for a house to buy. Having read umpteen million horror stories of first-time buying experiences over the years it goes without saying that we are a little intimidated by the whole process, but we’re jumping in with both feet because there’s really no other way to get started.

Ironically enough, our opportunity springs from Anne becoming unemployed. Her previous employer had an Employee Stock Purchase program as its form of retirement savings and as she is no longer employed there she had to option cash it out, which she did, and after taxes and penalties it’s just enough to make a 5% down-payment on a house of $150,000 or less. So that’s what we’re looking for.

We started browsing homes online Wednesday night on and I have to say that it’s amazing how quickly a real estate agent will get back to you even after 8PM. The first three homes we filled out “we’re interested” forms on called or texted me within 10 minutes of us hitting send. One of them already has a pending offer on it, which is a shame because it looked perfect online and was close to work. Another one had just listed that day and already had 11 offers so if we were pre-approved (we’re not) and ready to make a fast decision (we’re not) then it was an option. We passed on it. The third one in Whitmore Lake we’re scheduled to go look at this evening after work. Of the three, it’s the one we were least excited about — it’s an old house built in 1940 — but we figure it doesn’t hurt to look so we will.

All of the agents are, of course, trying to lock us into using them for any additional searches and that brings up the first problem we’re facing: How do you know which agent is willing to put up with us long enough to find a good deal on a home? A coworker suggested I ask each one how many homes they would have to show us before they got annoyed. I have a feeling we’re going to be a particular pain in the ass because A) we need something that’s ready to move into as I’m far from a handy man and I won’t be able to afford a contractor anytime soon, B) being that I’m buying a home so late in life I have every intention of making it the only home I ever buy… unless I win the lotto, C) I’d prefer to have city water/sewer and a finished basement, though that’s not a deal breaker if it’s a really good buy, and D) I’d prefer to avoid places with Home Owner Associations.

Our lease comes to an end in May and we need to let the apartment complex know if we intend to renew it a month ahead of time and that’s the second problem we’re facing. Rent is likely to go up (jumped nearly $200 last year) and if we try to do a 6 month or a monthly it’ll be even more ridiculous. So do we sign up for a year and then break it when we find a home? I think our agreement includes a clause allowing us to do so if we buy a house, but I’d have to double check it to be sure. We’re going to go into the office and discuss it with management soon.

So, yeah, the next weeks and/or months are sure to be filled with joy and peace as we undertake what I understand to be one of the more stressful life events you can engage in. Change is always fun, but if we don’t do it now I don’t think we’ll ever own a home of our own. Feel free to leave your horror stories of first-time home buying in the comments and, if you have any advice, that would be good too.

According to a FOX News host we found Noah’s Ark some time ago.

FOX News has a well deserved reputation for disseminating a lot of misleading information. So much so that it’s widely regarded as the propaganda arm of the Republican party. So I suppose it shouldn’t come as any surprise that while discussing missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, host Bill Hemmer asks if we’ll ever find it considering that it took 2,000 years to find Noah’s Ark.

No, seriously:

If it were true that really would be news, but the last I checked it’s still just a myth. yourmouth

Not only that, but his time estimate is completely off. If we assume for the moment that he’s referring to the folks in 1959 who (wrongly) claimed to have found it and we go with the best estimate for when the myth is supposed to have taken place (2,349 B.C.) then the actual time frame would be more like 4,308 years.

This is the quality of journalist that FOX news puts on the air. Not only ignorant of reality, but also ignorant of his own religious viewpoint. Granted, this is nitpick of a throwaway comment in a segment that had nothing to do with Noah’s Ark, but it’s so indicative of what passes for intelligent commentary at FOX that it sticks out like a sore thumb.