It would be a good place to start…

christinchristmas

Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy: Canadian Resurrection Edition

There’s a passage in the Bible (Matthew 10:7-8) which reads as follows:

As you go, announce this: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, drive out demons. You have received free of charge; give free of charge.

Among a particular segment of Christians there is the belief that this means that anyone, so long as they truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, can do as Christ did and raise the dead. You can find all manner of Christians making this claim including no less than Pat Robertson of the 700 Club.

No, really, see for yourself:

So it’s amazing that we don’t hear news stories like this one more often:

Hamilton family left corpse upstairs for six months expecting resurrection.

Peter Wald, 52, died “probably around March 20th” last year, according to the agreed statement of facts read out in court Monday. He’d suffered from diabetes and his left foot had become infected. But he had refused to go to the hospital and believed God would cure him.

He went into a coma, she says, and days later she noticed his stomach bloating and signs of rigor mortis on his forehead.

She then left him – his body covered with two blankets, his head with a toque – in the bed and padlocked the bedroom door.

Kaling sealed in the door and the vents with duct tape to protect her family from the smell of the cadaver. And then for six months, life went on and they prayed for their dead husband and father in the bed upstairs as they awaited his return.

Yes, this is a real church sign.

Yes, this is a real church sign.

You’d think after a couple of weeks they’d give up, but that’s the amazing thing about faith. If you have enough of it you can keep hoping for something that’ll never happen for years on end. Hell, Christians have been waiting for Christ’s return for over 2,000 years when he promised he’d be back within the lifetime of his disciples.

Wald’s body was finally discovered by Sheriff’s when they showed up to evict the family for defaulting on their mortgage. Needless to say it wasn’t in great shape after laying around for so long and having rodents feasting on it.

“It’s an extremely sad case…she truly believed her husband was going to be resurrected from the dead, even after six months,” said assistant crown attorney Janet Booy.

[…] Kaling – who has no past criminal record – had her sentence suspended and was put on 18 months of probation and ordered to seek counseling around the “public health concerns” of the incident.

“Your belief that your husband would resurrect is not an issue,” Superiour Court Justice Marjoh Agro said at her plea Monday.

I’d dispute the idea that her religious beliefs aren’t an issue. This woman allowed a body to decay in her home possibly creating a health hazard not just for her and her children, but the neighborhood in general, specifically because of her religious belief that her husband would be resurrected by God. She may not have had criminal intent, but that doesn’t mean her beliefs weren’t the cause of the issue.

And, like any other good Christian, this utter failure on God’s part to answer her prayers has in no way shaken her faith or her belief that raising the dead is a thing people can do:

But she still believes strongly in resurrection, and says there have been many “documented” cases of it around the world. Her faith was not shaken by the legal consequences, she says.

“In fact it has cast me more at the mercy of God, because He is the ultimate judge.”

It’s not that there isn’t a God to grant her the power to raise her dead husband after not granting the husband’s prayers for a cure, it’s just he works in mysterious ways/has a Grand Plan that didn’t include bringing the dead guy back.

The good news is she’s at least sensible enough that she says she won’t try something like this again. Of course a lot of religious nutcases say that and end up doing it again because the prospect of pulling off their own little miracle is just too tantalizing to pass up. See any number of stories of people refusing medical treatment for their kids and nearly killing them in the process who tell the judge they’ll never do it again only to do it again and have the kid die on them.

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?

Far Right Religious Nuts: Disney’s “Frozen” will turn your daughters into lesbians!

I’ve not posted much about the far right Christians in awhile in part because I’ve tried to stop paying too much attention to them for the sake of my blood pressure, but sometimes I’m so amazed and how divorced from reality they are that I can’t not bring it up.

If you really want to get a feel for just how looney these people can get you can’t do worse than listening to the likes of Kevin Swanson who hosts a daily Internet radio show over at the Generations with Vision website. On Wednesday of last week, Kevin and his co-host Steve Vaughn talked about “Disney’s Progressive Agenda” which, according to them, is to turn your daughters into lesbians via seemingly innocuous movies like Frozen. Check it:

Given this shot from the film you have to wonder how these guys didn't work Incest into the list of things it indoctrinates your kids into accepting.

Given this shot from the film you have to wonder how these guys didn’t work Incest into the list of things it indoctrinates your kids into accepting.

I love that he takes a moment to point out that he is “not a tinfoil hat conspiratorialist” and then proceeds to suggest that Satan bought Disney sometime in 1984 with the goal of releasing movies designed to indoctrinate 5 to 7 year-old kids into becoming lesbians and accepting homosexuality or bestiality and apparently Frozen is one of those films.

Now I admit that I haven’t seen the film yet, but from everything I’ve read and heard about it from folks who have seen it, it’s hard to fathom how it would work as an indoctrination film for the homosexual agenda. Apparently there isn’t a girl-on-girl scene to be found in the movie nor does anyone get busy with the reindeer supporting character that features throughout the film. About the worst that can be said about the film is that the character of Elsa was originally supposed to to be the villain of the movie, but ends up really being the protagonist in a story about being who you are instead of who others want you to be. An empowered woman? No wonder the far right nutcases are having a shit-fit over this film. How the fuck will they ever get her to make them a sandwich if the uppity bitch is out being the Queen of Winter and shit?

If you listen to the rest of their podcast you’ll find they’re also upset that Disney has pulled funding from the Boy Scouts over their policy of discrimination against gay troop leaders. Because according to Swanson if you have a gay man leading the troop he’ll have no choice but to turn all your sons into sodomites:

Swanson: I’m guessing the majority of American parents don’t want their little boys turning into sodomites, at this point. if you were to interview, stick a microphone in front of most parents dropping their kids off at the average K-6 school in Colorado where they’re sporting their GLSEN signs everywhere, but if you just interview them and you ask them: “Is your vision for this little 6-year-old boy, 8-year-old boy, 9-year-old, 10-year-old boy that he turn into a sodomite?” My guess is that 60 to 70 percent of them would say, “that would be my worst nightmare.”

Given the popularity of anal sex among heterosexuals I’m not sure how not having a gay troop leader will keep most kids from growing up to become sodomites. When you consider that — according to some Christian interpretations — any sexual activity that isn’t procreative is sodomy then there’s even more folks out there engaging in it regardless of their exposure to gay people. As long as the folks engaging in it are consenting adults and aren’t hurting anyone then I don’t see what the problem is, but then I’m not a Christian with a persecution complex.

Frozen is a bit of an anomaly for a Disney film in that it provides a positive portrayal of an empowered woman and that’s the real threat these asshats are reacting to. There’s no room in the far right Christian’s mind for women who aren’t submissive to men. Isn’t it enough that they can vote and drive cars? Do we really have to let them think for themselves as well? If the idea that a woman could be happy and fulfilled without a man in their life to tell them what to do were to catch on that would be the real nightmare.

Dave Daubenmire can’t resist the porn so he thinks we should ban it all.

I hear you asking: Who the fuck is Dave Daubenmire? He’s another Bible Thumper who made a name for himself by being sued by the ACLU. Seems he used to be a high school football coach who had a tendency of coercing the kids he was coaching into praying which brought on the lawsuit back in the late 90s. After settling the case he decided to leave behind his career as a high school coach to become a Coach for Team God. Not a bad decision as far as future athletes at his high school are concerned. Since then he’s attracted a bit of a following with a number of YouTube videos and setting up his own ministry called, get this, Pass the Salt Ministries. Think of him as a less popular version of Joe the Plumber.

Anyway, he caught my attention with a recent YouTube video he did for NewsWithViews.tv in which be bemoaned being tempted by pornography while surfing on the Internet and decides we need to recriminalize it:

There was almost a coherent argument in that little rant. He starts off by talking about how he was minding his own business on the Internet when a popup window suddenly appeared with an ad for a porn site and he was strongly tempted to click on it. He doesn’t say if he did click on it, just that it’s one of the greatest temptations in all of society. He then tries to explain why he thinks we should criminalize porn. As near as I can tell, his argument is that because we are a “rational people” we want to ban smoking and guns and drunk driving and bullying so we should also ban porn because he feels it’s more dangerous than all of those things combined.

That’s about the extent of his argument, though he does try to use shame to convince you it’s legit. He wonders aloud on just how many people in any given business or church are regular consumers of porn and marvels at what a “dark, dark secret” it is. He goes on to say:

“It’s nothing that anyone likes to own up to. Nobody likes to talk about the fact that they’re looking at pornography because we know this, don’t we, that the end result of pornography in most cases when men in particular are looking at pornography it ends up in, what, masturbation. No man wants to talk about that. No man is proud to say that he does that.” 

I don’t have a problem talking about it. I occasionally watch porn with masturbation being the whole point of doing so. There’s not a whole lot of other reasons to watch porn. The acting is pretty terrible, the story all but non-existent, no real special effects to speak of in the majority of it. Some of it can be pretty funny, sometimes even intentionally so, but not enough to make that a reason to watch it. The simple truth is that my libido and my wife’s occasionally don’t sync up and I have a choice. I can make myself into a royal pain in the ass trying to get her to engage in sexy time or I can go blow off some steam with a little porn. Am I proud of it? Never really occurred to me that it’s something to be — or not be — proud of. I don’t advertise the fact that I watch porn mainly because I don’t think anyone really is interested in whether I watch porn, but I don’t consider it a dark secret that I won’t own up to.

“Coach” goes on to claim that porn is “laying waste to this land” and destroying families and careers and, oh my goodness, our young people! He doesn’t elaborate on how, exactly, it’s doing this. He just tosses the claim out there and expects you to accept it as true. I can’t speak for anyone else, but so far it hasn’t ruined my family or career, but then I have managed to develop halfway decent impulse control as I’ve gotten older. To borrow a turn of phrase from the gun nuts: Porn doesn’t destroy people. People destroy people.

So, in summary, his entire argument seems to be: I was tempted to look at porn and I have bad self-control so I think we should ban it. Perhaps “Coach” would do well to install any of the dozens of porn filter applications on his computer that’ll block any websites that might contain temptation inducing naughtiness from his system? Or maybe he needs to hang out on a better class of website that doesn’t accept porn ads. It’s very rare that I have a popup for a porn site show up on my system, but then I don’t tend to frequent sites that are likely to accept those kinds of ads. If I see pon on my screen it’s because I went straight to it.

At the start of the video he says that what he’s about to say “…may seem really radical to ya…” and it’s really not because it’s not a new idea. Porn was banned for a long time and people were prosecuted for both making it and consuming it. Technically it still is illegal in many places as none of the laws have been removed from the books as far as I’m aware. Enforcement is rare because that’s easier than the political process of revoking the laws, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t used on occasion or couldn’t be used again in the future. The truth is: Much like alcohol and (increasingly) recreational drug use, banning it doesn’t seem to abate people’s desire to partake of it.

You were right when you said it was a “supply and demand” problem. What you don’t understand is that getting rid of the supply side won’t do anything to eliminate the demand for it. And when there’s enough demand there will always be someone willing to provide it no matter what the risks.

How not to convince your girlfriend to go to church.

lovejesusChristians are charged by their religion with the task of trying to convert others to the cause. This can be a rough undertaking at the best of times and stressful when you consider the fate they believe will befall loved ones who don’t do what they’re supposed to to be in God’s good graces. At times they can get a little desperate when the usual cajoling fails and that’s when they resort to more… extreme measures.

Measures like this:

Woman refuses to go to church, man holds pillow over her face at knifepoint – WHP CBS 21 Harrisburg

Rusty James Leighty, 22, of the 100 block of Cottontail Court, Lancaster, was charged with simple assault and making terroristic threats after a domestic disturbance at his girlfriends home.

The 36-year-old victim called police on Nov. 24 around 8 a.m. and told police that Leighty had held a pillow over her face and threatened her with a knife when she refused to attend church with him.

Now I’m not a Christian myself, but I have read the Bible a number of times. Mind you, I’m no expert, but I don’t think this is a Jesus approved method of getting people to attend church. Rusty’s heart is in the right place… actually, no… no it isn’t. The guy sounds like a psychopath and his girlfriend should not only break things off, but consider a restraining order and perhaps moving to another city and/or state.

Your typical Christian reaction to a rebuttal of something they wrote.

I already shared this on my G+ account, but it was too amusing not to share here.

It appears that Clay Kraby of Reasonable Theology isn’t too happy with the rebuttal I wrote of his Four Miracles of Atheism article. He hasn’t approved the pingback to his article on his blog so I left a comment about it on his Reasonable Theology G+ page and now it appears he’s blocked me from following him on G+.

Below is a screenshot of the RT G+ page in two browsers. I’m signed in to Google+ on the left and not on the right. Notice anything different between them?

Click to embiggen.

Click to embiggen!

Yeah, there’s a distinct lack of content on the side I’m logged in with. I’m not surprised, just amused. I bet if I were to comment on his Facebook page I could get myself blocked there as well. To his credit he hasn’t deleted the comments I made on one of the entries on his G+ page, but he certainly doesn’t seem to want me to keep up with any other bullshit he’s shoveling. I hear this works pretty well too:

La la la la I can't hear you!

Another reason why Christians are seen as the bad guys.

Between groups like the Westboro Baptist Church asshats, the nutcases behind World Net Daily, and the Catholic Church in general, the image of Christians in the minds of a lot of people can end up pretty tarnished.

But you don’t have to be a part of an organized group to help contribute to the your religion’s image problem. You can be like Dean Saxton and just go around holding up a sign that says ‘You Deserve Rape’:

Source: Ryan Revock/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Source: Ryan Revock/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Dean Saxton — also known as Brother Dean Samuel — regularly preaches on the UA Mall in front of Heritage Hill and the Administration building. On Tuesday, his sermon drew the attention of onlookers, several of whom either personally confronted him or complained to the Dean of Students Office.

Saxton, a junior studying classics and religious studies, said his sermon was meant to convey that “if you dress like a whore, act like a whore, you’re probably going to get raped.”

“I think that girls that dress and act like it,” Saxton said, “they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they’re pretty much asking for it.

Ah, the classic asshat tactic of blaming the victim. Those poor men. So tempted by the slutty sluts who dress in a manner Brother Dean finds inappropriate that they just can’t help themselves. If women would just dress the way Saxton thinks they should then rape would probably disappear completely! You gotta admire a man who is so confident in his beliefs that he’ll shout them from the rooftops no matter how much it offends the folks he’s trying to win over.

Jesus loves you, Brother Dean, but everyone else thinks you’re an asshole.

Palm scanners have Louisiana religious nuts all upset.

The folks at Moss Bluff Elementary School in Louisiana are implementing a new high-tech method for kids to pay for school lunches and some Christians there are seriously not happy about it. The new palm scanning system uses an infrared light to scan the unique pattern of veins in the kid’s hands to ID them and automatically charges their account. This allows the kids to move through the line more quickly and with fewer billing mistakes.

Outraged parent Mamie Sonnier. She knows what it’s going to end up coming to.

Cue the religious nutcases who articulate their opposition in almost literate fashion:

While the letter notes that parents can opt their children out of the program, parent Mamie Sonnier told KPLC-TV that she was angry and disappointed by the program, as the scanner violates her beliefs. She contends that if the scanners actually make it to the school cafeteria, she’ll be transferring her kids to another school.

“As a Christian, I’ve read the Bible, you know go to church and stuff,” Sonnier said. “I know where it’s going to end up coming to, the mark of the beast. I’m not going to let my kids have that.”

I had to boldface that part of the sentence because it really brings home the education level of the people we’re dealing with here.

I was once a Baptist and I can remember being told that in the final days when the Antichrist had taken over the world that everyone who was left would have to accept the mark of the beast to be able to do much of anything like buy food, pay rent, etc.. That said, I’m not sure how she figures this is the mark of the beast. This thing doesn’t tattoo you or imprint anything on you, it just reads the patterns of the blood vessels in your hand. It’s not reading anything that isn’t already there. Plus, as near as I can tell, the Antichrist hasn’t shown up yet, Tea Party member’s insistence that it’s Obama not withstanding.

Though I suppose if you believe in all-powerful entities living in the sky that demand you spend a good portion of your time telling them how awesome they are that it’s probably not too much of a stretch to see the mark of the beast in time-saving and error reducing technological systems.

If a tablet is good then a Christian tablet must be even better!

Everything you love about tablets removed for your soul’s protection!

One of the things Christians love to do is Christianize everything they can get their hands on. Everything from super heroes to full-contact martial arts have been slathered in a thick layer of Jesus and sold to the faithful. With the popularity of tablets like the iPad it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a Christian take on the concept.

Holy iPad slayer! Company releases world’s first Christian tablet | Fox News.

Billed as the world’s first Christian tablet, its genesis came with the inevitable intersection of technology and religion, according to Brian Honorable, a technology supervisor at Family Christian, the group that sells the tablet.

“We wanted to be able to offer our customers the ability to use our Holy Bible application, which has 27 different English translations of the Bible,” Honorable told FoxNews.com in an interview.

“It goes along with our mission: trying to get people closer to God … through a tablet.”

Because if there’s one thing Jesus made clear, it was that when the day came that tablet computing was popular his followers should find some way to use them to bring people closer to God.

The Family Christian Edifi tablet, as it’s called, is a basic Android powered tablet with 512MB of RAM and 8GB of storage in a form factor similar to Amazon’s Kindle. It’ll set you back about $150 making it about $50 cheaper than the aforementioned Kindle:

But the Christian tablet is more than just an e-reader. It also comes with movie-watching capabilities, Christian radio stations, and even a web browser with built-in “safe search,” so the tablet is safe for the whole family. “We put that on there just in case it was given as a gift to a child, so they wouldn’t have access to things they shouldn’t have access to,” said Honorable. “We definitely had to tailor it to our customers.”

Based on the description in the article it’s hard to say exactly how this is any better than just loading up your choice of Bible app and installing safe search software on any other tablet you might care to own. Is having that stuff pre-installed really worth settling for a cheap knockoff that costs almost as much as what you’d rather own anyway? The YouTube video promoting the product doesn’t reveal anything particularly special about it compared to other tablets.

One thing they don’t mention is whether or not it has access to the Android app store. Having access to thousands of apps is usually a big selling point for other tablets, but other than mentioning that you can download free software to connect to unnamed social networking sites there’s no word on what, if anything, you can install on the Edifi. I suppose that’s OK if you’re happy only reading Christian books, listening to Christian Internet radio stations and watching Christian movies, but it seems like a lot of freedom to give up for a sub-par tablet.

But then it’s not about your freedom. It’s about your ever-lasting soul, right?