Monday, December 10, 2007

Children--Your New Sunday School Teacher is an Atheist

Just how often does anyone think that the phrase above would ever be uttered in a fundamentalist Christian church?

My guess is never.

So, why in the hell would they expect a legitimate scientific institute to hire a nutbag that believes in Creationism? Well, that's exactly what some seem to expect.

It seems that one Nathaniel Abraham of India is suing the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts on the basis that they fired him because he didn't accept the Theory of Evolution. This nutbag's suit was already thrown out by The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination because "Abraham's request not to work on evolutionary aspects of research would be difficult for Woods Hole because its work is based on evolutionary theories."

But, Abraham the Creationist persists. This would be like me getting upset at a church for firing me because I wouldn't teach about God in Sunday school class. The Woods Institute has a reputation to uphold for work and research based on solid scientific foundations. Allowing some idiot who rejects these foundations to do research and then publish his nonsense as an employee would discredit the institute in the scientific community and ruin the careers of the real scientists who work there, not to mention ruin the educational value of the institute.

Mr. Abraham seems to be doing fine though, because he now has a position as a biology prof at Liberty University which was founded by Jerry Falwell. He should fit right in at this place and will be somewhere that his unfounded, unscientific views on biology will be blindly accepted by the ignorant. Liberty University, however doesn't offer any degrees in science, because they can't get the accreditation necessary to do so, so at least Mr. Abraham won't be training scientists.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Reverend Ron and His Glorious Future--Amen

Hallelujah!! My deliverance is at hand, for yesterday I officially became an ordained minister. Praise be to God, etc. etc. Yes folks, at ????? today I received notice that my application for ordination in the Universal Life Church was accepted. I can now marry, bury, bless, and curse people with the full backing of the great bearded one, or as the e-mail I received puts it, I am "authorized by the church to perform all peaceful rites and ceremonies of the church, including weddings, funerals, baptisms, blessings, and to preach, teach and hold meetings." I am also "...entitled to all privileges and courtesies normally offered to members of the clergy."

I have already ordered my ordination certificate and the certificate entitling me to be called "Reverend Ron." I started to go for "Mother Superior," but changed my mind because "Reverend Ron" seemed a better money-making title. I also wanted Popenfuhrer, or "Panzer Cardinal," but some guy in Italy has already claimed both titles.

This also means that I can now endorse a presidential candidate. I'm waiting for the endorsement requests to come in before deciding who pays best, and therefore deserves my endorsement. Unlike Oprah or Chuck Norris I have no plans to choose a candidate based on their skin color or religion.

I haven't decided on a name for my ministry yet but am leaning towards:
Reverend Ron's Guaranteed First Class Ticket to Heaven Only True Apostolic Faith Assembly Holy Spirit Church of Christ, and God International
It seems that Stairway to Heaven was already used in some song or something.

However I have decided that I will not seek tax-exempt status, because, as all church leaders know, our lord, savior, and all around good guy Jeebus commanded that we should pay our taxes, and his most high sometimes cranky father, God commanded that we not try to take tax exemptions for donations to him or his representatives a.k.a. don't eat of the offering you have made, and since I am a nice man-of-God I don't want to lead any of my future flock down the road to Hell--bankruptcy court maybe, but not Hell.

This should keep me out of trouble with not only He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Vained, but also on good terms with the Senate Finance Committee.

I have also decided not to set up house in Las Vegas despite the fact that it is the perfect place for a preacher due to the availability of money and prostitutes. It seems that some fellow men of God have deemed it to be on the list for God's wrath, and I don't want my ministry cut short by some faith-based-bombing.

I figure that within the year I should have enough brain dead followers giving me money that I will be able to buy prostitutes, steal money, buy politicians, buy judges, drive fancy cars, smoke meth, and live in mansions just like the rest of my fellow servants of the Lord. I'll just have to do it in Atlantic City, Reno, or maybe Texas. Though with all of the mega-ministers that are based in Texas the competition for money might be a bit much.

Anyway, keep an eye out for a new blog on the teachings and life lessons from my new ministry.

Amen. Pass the plate. And don't forget that God is watching and wants you to give generously.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

I thought that it was about time that I wade into the great American popularity contest known as the Presidential Election.

In recent years elections in this country have undergone an Amereicanidolization of sorts in that people tend to vote based upon who likes or dislikes a candidate. This is far simpler than actually listening to the candidates or researching their positions on various topics important to the well being of the voter or this country. Being a good American I have decided to dumb down for a while and give this sort of thinking a try.

I do ask your indulgence for my attempts because I have never watched a single episode of American Idol so am new to this sort of thing. Anyway--here goes.

First off--Rudi Giuliani is out. This hurts a little, because he was the only leader this country had on 9/11, and we should all be grateful for his leadership during that horrific time. But, he now has the endorsement of Pat Robertson. If this moron likes Rudi then there must be some secret agenda that we are unaware of, so no to Rudi.

Then there's Mitt Romney--Didn't really like this guy to begin with but do remember the Tabernacle Choir's Christmas specials when I was a kid. Though, now that he has been endorsed by Bob Jones, I really don't like him. After all, this bigot endorsed our current idiot in chief.

Huckabee-Baptist minister/president--I don't think so.

Stephen Colbert does have the support of Jon Stewart which is a big plus, but since he's only running in South Carolina I'm not sure he will make it.

Then there's the underdog, Ron Paul--I have gotten e-mail asking for my support for this guy, and a good friend of mine likes him, but I'm not too fond of his positions (oops I slipped-forgive me). Anyway, while preachers are supporting everyone else, Paul did recently get a pretty good endorsement from some people in Nevada. If prostitutes are willing to put their reputations on the line and endorse this guy then maybe he's worth considering, but I will have to wait and see who Britney and Paris are supporting before making my decision.

No "Fruity Little Club" in Germany--Xenu Wins Again

L. Ron Hubbard and the rest of Xenu's victims are probably quite upset today due to news out of Germany.

The German government has decided that The Church of Scientology is not "an organization that is compatible with the constitution (of Germany)," so have ruled it unconstitutional. It seems that they don't consider Scientology a religion. They see it as "a cult masquerading as a church to make money." Go figure.

Now, while I'll whole-heartily agree that this fruity little club is not a religion, and is a money making scheme, it seems a little hypocritical to pick on these poor thetans while allowing other money making cults (a.k.a. churches) to operate with impunity.

After all, a cult is merely a church that someone else belongs to, and all churches are in one way or another money making schemes, so if the Germans or anybody else for that matter, are serious about getting rid of organizations that prey on the weak for monetary gain then they need to look at all of them, and not just Tom Cruise and his deluded friends.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


To quote Trent Reznor:

"God is dead, and no one cares."

It seems that God was murdered recently while getting drunk at a club in Greensboro, NC, and no one has come forth to claim responsibility.

Thanks to Ian by way of Planet Atheism for this bit 'o info.

Bigotry is Alive and Well

Who says bigotry is dead in this country (aside from old-white bigots)? Well here is proof to the contrary. Maybe T.T. can get together with Denny Altes and burn a few crosses for God at the next Republican convention.

Thanks to Jesus' General for leading me to this nutbag.

Nicholas Day for the Nicolas Atheist

Happy Nicholas Day everybody.

Here in the Nicolas household today in the traditional start of the Christmas season which runs until Twelfth Night on 6 January.

I'm assuming that this proclamation comes as something of a surprise to some readers due to my atheism, but I wasn't born an atheist I became one, so Christmas was a part of my childhood and has remained part of my life since. Atheism on my part is the result of combining intelligence, common sense, and scholarly pursuits--Christmastime traditions, on the other hand, come from family traditions. I believe that intellect and reasonable thinking are an important aspect of a good life, and I also believe that tradition is important to a good family life. I firmly believe that the loss of traditions and the absence of rites of passage are two major contributors to a lot of society's ills.

Anyway, I meant to talk about the Nicolas' celebration of Nicholas Day, and not preach, so let's move on.

The traditions surrounding Christmastime here in the Nicolas household go as follows:

On Nicholas Day (today) the tree (always a fir tree) is purchased and brought into the house. That evening it is decorated along with the rest of the house. But, any lights on the tree remain unlit until Christmas Eve. A statue of St. Nicholas (or Grandfather Frost for my Great-Grandmother--Russian immigrant) and another of Krampus are placed in front of the tree to remind the children that they should be good.

The Nicholas/Grandfather Frost and Krampus thing, as I understand it, is an amalgamation of Russian and German traditions that my paternal great-grandparents brought from their prospective ancestries. My great-grandfather was Irish/German, and my great-grandmother Russian. Only in America could such combinations happen.

Without going into all the history of these traditions (which I have done for myself) I'll just say that when I was a child, Grandfather Frost/Nicholas represented getting presents on Christmas if I was good while Krampus represented getting nothing if I was bad. My grandmother told me that for her Krampus represented a great deal of fear because the way she had understood it Krampus would come down the chimney on Christmas Eve and drag her off if she had been bad--Nicholas would take Krampus' place if she had been good and bring her fruit and a toy. Thankfully, this tradition had been toned down a bit for me, because I was already having nightmares about Dad's "Satan" coming to get me for celebrating Christmas with my grandmother.

You see, somewhere along the way my father had become a fire and brimstone Pentecostal who thought celebrating Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and any other fun holiday (including birthdays) was evil because of their connections to the Catholic Church and pagan tradition. However, my grandmother is an extremely strong woman and forced my father to let my brothers, sisters, and me stay with her through Christmas.

Anyway, I digress again.

So after the tree has been decorated and Frost/Nicholas and his buddy Krampus have been placed, the children and I light a candle for their mother. I started this the year my wife died because it was she who had made Christmas purely a time of fun for me. Since she was Catholic, Christmas was a big deal for her, and through her I began to enjoy Christmas even though by the time I had met her I had lost every bit of my belief in Christ. While she was alive, I accompanied her to mass throughout the Christmas season despite the fact that I could not actually participate in the various rituals.

After Nicholas Day it becomes pretty much a time for the normal hum drums of life with the occasional Christmas party thrown in until Christmas Eve when the tree is lit, Krampus is put aside, and a large family dinner is devoured. After the kids are in bed the presents are hauled out of hiding, assembled if need be, and placed under and around the tree. Midnight mass was on the agenda for several years, but I haven't been in a church since the day I buried my wife, except for touristy visits to St. Patrick's in New York.

Christmas morning is set aside for my children and me to open gifts and such, then the rest of the day is visiting/phone call time for family and friends.

On New Year's Eve I am in the woods somewhere camping. Sometimes the kids go with me, sometimes they don't. This night is more of a personal tradition that sprang up the year my wife died. I was extremely depressed after Christmas, so as is my way when life gets to me, I packed up my camping gear and went to the woods a few days after Christmas. That year I woke up at about two in the morning New Year's Day and it was snowing outside the tent. That was an extremely emotional moment for me, so I have been camping through New Year's every year since. This year ice climbing on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire is tentatively on the agenda, so the children probably won't go--it's way too cold for them there this time of year. Rock climbing in Red River Gorge Kentucky is the back-up plan, and the one the children are pushing.

The final event on my family Christmas calender is the taking down of the tree and all Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (6 January) or as my wife called it "Epiphany." This is done (again according to my father's family) to avoid the bad luck that leaving these decorations up would bring to the household.

So there it is. Today, for me and mine, is the start of a truly mixed set of traditions brought from Russia, Germany, Ireland and who knows where else to the small house in the woods of Kentucky, USA where my grandmother lives then exported with a few additions to the small house in Indiana where I live.

Hopefully, these things will be carried at least in part to wherever my children end up living in their adulthood.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Explains a Lot

I was reading through some of the posts I had missed recently on Ms. Kat's site and came across the following meter. I am not at all sure how they come up with the rating but I liked mine, and will proudly post it here.

This does go a long way toward explaining why I have had to explain things over and over sometimes before people understand me. I thought it was because I was stupid or something--well according to the above I'm not. It's always nice to have someone stroke your ego once in a while.

Another Battle in the Great Crusade

The newest Anti-Christ?Well folks, it seems that there is a new evil afoot that Christian fanatics are battling to protect us from--Nicole Kidman.

Well maybe not Nicole Kidman per se, but her new movie The Golden Compass.

It seems that the children's books that this movie are based on contain some anti-religious tones.

Having not read the books myself (yet) I can't say with any authority that these claims are true, but according to some the bad guys in the books are a religious group that has power over people and does bad things to them. Sounds to me like reality.

The movie has prompted calls for boycotts much like the ones on the Harry Potter, and Da Vinci Code books and films, and we all know how successful those boycotts were--I personally have all the books and DVDs, and will buy the fourth Harry Potter movie when it comes out on DVD next week.

You would think that with war, famine, genocide, global pollution, natural disasters and such that these groups could find something to fight that was a worthwhile contribution to the betterment of the downtrodden or even the human race as a whole. Instead they attack a fantasy that makes their fantasies look bad. Anyone who watches, reads, or listens to the news on a somewhat regular basis will see things that cast Christianity in a far worse light that any movie could.

I probably wouldn't have spent the time or money to see the movie in question in the theaters, but if Christians are raising this much hell about it then it is probably worth a look see.

Birthdays and Angels

Miranda Kerr the angelYesterday I had another birthday (The present I had hoped for, but didn't get pictured at right), so have managed to survive for 42 years now which far surpasses most people's expectations and I am sure several people's hopes.

For my birthday I got to work overtime, have an argument with some idiot at the grocery about his complete lack of manners concerning his language and an elderly lady, and a sore throat.

But, my children did let me watch the Victoria's Secret fashion show last night, so the day wasn't a total bust.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Black Friday

Here in the good ole U S of A we have a wonderful tradition on the Friday following Thanksgiving. It is on this day that the Christmas shopping season officially begins. In recent years this day has become known as Black Friday, due to it's importance to the bottom line of many retailers.

Over the last few years it has become the trend for many large retailers to offer what they call "early bird specials" on Black Friday. These specials are usually phenomenal deals on big ticket items such as computers and HD TVs that only the first few people in the door at opening time get.

As it turns out, this year I was drastically in need of not one, but two new computers. My daughter entered high school this year and was sorely in need of a laptop, and the computer I had at home was roughly the same model that God used to e-mail the Ten Commandments to Moses.

To my delight, both Best Buy and Circuit City were having really good Black Friday deals on laptops and desktop PCs, so I jumped into the fray. My Black Friday experience was enough to make me decide that from now on I will pay standard retail or buy ones that have "fallen off of a truck."

My foray into the world of early birds started with my setting up camp outside Circuit City at 9 P.M. Thanksgiving day. I thought I was being sly by getting there eight hours before opening with a camp chair, a thermos, and a sleeping bag. As it turned out I was number 52 in line behind people who had brought tents, battery operated televisions, portable heaters, and had support teams to bring them fresh coffee, and food. I was quite a rookie, and way out of my league, but I stuck it out.

During the next 8 hours I got very little sleep, but did manage to witness the true meaning of Christmas. The lack of sleep wasn't due to the sub freezing temperatures or off and on light rain, because my sleeping bag is the one I use quite often on mountaineering and rock climbing trips, and is quite bombproof in such conditions. No, the lack of sleep was due to the constant barrage of idiocy that seemed to be centered in the line ahead of me.

I was pulled from slumber twice due to local rednecks making rather rude and unwelcome propositions to the very attractive young woman in line in front of me. The first one left after she called him something in Hindi (she is of Indian descent) which she later told me roughly translated as a shit eating dog. The second guy left only after I told him that if he didn't I would [paraphrased] feed him his manhood. After that incident she called her brother who came with coffee for me, and company for her until the opening bell.

My beauty sleep was later interrupted when local law enforcement arrived to resolve an argument about someones place in line, or lack thereof. Following a five minute conversation, the officers escorted three people out of line and off the property which moved me to number 49.

Things were quiet after that until 4 A.M. when store employees started handing out vouchers. It was this presentation of golden tickets that we were all in line for. It seems that in years past retail establishments have had problems with fights over who gets in the door first, so they began handing out vouchers for the items on sale. These things are hot tickets because there may only be a few of a particularly hot item in stock so the early bird does in fact get the worm.

Due to my rookie status and high place in line I missed out on the laptop voucher, but I was lucky enough to get a desktop voucher. I felt like I had won the lottery because I got the last one. Thank Frodo those idiots arguing with the police got escorted away. Anyway, with my precious voucher in hand I was foolish enough to think my experience with greed and gluttony was over--once again I was proving just how much of a rookie I was.

Shopping day in AmericaWhen the doors finally opened I was damned near trampled to death by the horde of electronics junkies behind me, because I wasn't in enough of a hurry to get inside. Then once inside I decided to check out some of the other deals, and give the voucher lines time to die down a bit.

As I was looking around, I noticed a particularly good deal on a digital camera that would be a suitable replacement for one that got destroyed in a rather long fall off of a mountain in Columbia a few months ago. As I reached for the camera I was all but assaulted by an extremely obese woman who had eyed the same camera. Luckily my reflexes were better than hers so I got the camera and managed to not loose a limb in the process. She called me names in some rather un-ladylike manner, but then moved off to swallow other less agile shoppers.

This ordeal was followed by a 90 minute qeue to pay for my hardfought booty.

Granted, I got an incredible deal on a great computer (with which I am writing this story) and have a shiny new camera for my upcoming trips to Red River Gorge, New River Gorge, and the Creation Museum in Kentucky, but I vow to never again put my self in such peril just to save a few hundred dollars.

Oh, and in case you are wondering--I later found a really good deal on laptops that I didn't have to enter Gladiator school to get, so my daughter is currently IMing away with some 17 year old boy who isn't aware that I not only know his name, but his address and what he looks like.

So, Happy Christmahanaquanzica everybody.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Note on Comments

During my absence many people have seen fit to reply to my various posts--for this I say thank you.

While many of the remarks left beg for a retort, and many more were just rehashes of previous remarks there are only two that I will deal with for now--both of which were remarks left on my last pre-hiatus post

The first remark I'll address is the one from "James" whose profile is inaccessible. He said that "...Christians are treated unfairly. They are the most singled out and persecuted religion behind perhaps Islam".

Now, I am not sure what country, or even planet James is from, but in this country (United States) as well as the rest of the Western World, saying that Christians are persecuted is like saying that white males are discriminated against---it's impossible. You cannot persecute a majority unless you have some kind of apartheid control over them.

Christians in this country control everything from foreign policy to social programs. They have more power in the legislative, judicial, business, and educational bodies than anyone else, and therefore maintain control over the lives of virtually everyone on the planet in one way or another.

Christians are and have been the biggest persecutors the World has ever seen: the Inquisitions, the witch hunts in Europe, the Crusades, the Ku Klux Klan, Christian support of slavery, and Jerry Falwell are but a few examples of persecution in the name of Christ. A Christian screaming "persecution!!!!!" is similar to Hitler (who claimed to be "...fighting for the work of the Lord."Mein Kampf, Ralph Mannheim, ed., New York: Mariner Books, 1999, p. 65.) calling someone a bigot.

The second remark I would like to address is one left by my friend Dan Marvin.

His comments leave open a lot of replies, but the one I'll address here is:
You all [atheists] seem to be fine and tolerate buddhism (sic), muslims (sic) or yes even satenism (sic) but when it comes to Jesus you get a deep hatred foaming at the mouth and slander whoever brings up the name Jesus Christ.

First of all, of course I tolerate Buddhists, Muslims, etc., just as I tolerate Christians. I just don't tolerate any of their attacks on me, or their baseless mythologies when they threaten to affect me or the ones I love.

Second, I have never slandered any body. Challenging their beliefs, and defending mine is in no way slanderous. Saying that they did something to me that they didn't would, however, be slanderous. As would saying that I have never backed up what I say.

Then there's the issue of hatred for people who bring up the name of Jeebus. I don't hate them, in many ways I pity them. And, in fact, I was married to a devout Catholic whom I loved very much, and to this day maintain correspondence with the Priest who held her funeral mass despite my having told him in a fit of grief at my wife's wake that his god could "go fuck himself if he was so compassionate that he would take my children's mother away from them and me." I have since apologized for that comment, but not the feelings behind it.

Now that I have addressed past comments I will move on with things and only address new challenges.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Congress and the Whore of Babylon

During my sabbatical many interesting things occurred in the faith based community. Most of these events were the run-of-the-mill preacher activities involving sex, greed, drugs, and gambling, and are far too numerous to mention.

But--(I bet you all saw this coming) there is one ongoing event that has really peaked my interest--the investigation by Republican Senator Robert Grassley into the financial activities of six of the U.S.'s top televangelists.

Now, I am not so naive as to believe that this investigation will change the blind stupidity suffered by those who give money to these con-men, nor am I so stupid that I believe that a Republican Senator is going after members of the largest demographic of Republican donors without some ulterior motive. But, it does make for some pretty good entertainment, and material for my arguments when idiots like Creflo Dollar are grilled about their Rolls Royce, mansions, and corporate jets.

Hopefully, by now, at least one reader has wondered about my reference to the Whore of Babylon, because the explanation for this reference follows.

The Whore and her mountYears ago I had a discussion with a co-worker about the popular Protestant belief that the Pope is the Anti-Christ. The topic was brought up by this idiot and struck a nerve with me for two very different reasons. First, it is a topic that I suffered through for my entire childhood. When I was a child, my fanatic Christian father would quite often get on one of his many Holy Spirit and alcohol induced tirades and babble on for hours about the evils of the World. His second favorite topic during these sermons was Pope John Paul II's un-holy alliance with Satan (his favorite topic was my going to Hell because I was not a good kid).

The second, and major reason I attacked this moron's preaching about the Pope was my late wife. She was a devout Catholic, and an extremely good person whom I loved very much, and my idiot co-worker continually rambled on about her going to Hell for her beliefs, so, as is my nature, I did some reading, and confronted my antagonist with passages from the Bible which showed that, in fact, Billy Graham (this guy's favorite preacher) was the Anti-Christ not the Pope.

Part of my "proof" revolved around the Anti-Christ coming from the Whore of Babylon, and went something like this:

According to the Bible salvation and sex are gifts from God. A prostitute is evil because she charges money for something that is a gift from God, not a commodity to be bought and sold. Salvation is also a gift from God delivered by Jesus Christ who made a point of throwing a hissy fit when he caught people doing business inside a church.

Billy and another fine American ChristianWith these points in mind, a televangelist, who makes money by promising to deliver a gift freely given by God is merely a whore. The Whore of Babylon in the bible is obviously an institution, and the primary institution on this planet that exhibits whore-like qualities is televangelism. Billy Graham was the first major televangelist (born from the Whore known as televangelism) in the World, so is the primary candidate for Anti-Christ.

Since my discovery, I have often referred to televangelism as the Whore of Babylon as I did above.

Have a great day all, and beware of people promising salvation (or a good time) for money.

Let the Games Begin---Again

Jeebus Christ--I disappear for a few months (Well almost a year) and people try to hijack my blog to spread their own messages. I guess I should be flattered.

Anyway--sorry about the absence. I had an incredible opportunity to do some things, and see some places, so I jumped on it, but the fun's over and now I return to my normal life, and my normal rants.

So, let the games begin---again.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Debate With Dan--Part Four

Continuing from comment on Fighting the Good Fight

This comment from Pastor Cornell illustrates the problem with many believers' opinions about atheists. This guy is a believer speaking to believers. His intention is not an explanation, it is retention. He is trying to keep his flock in line by making assertions that he knows nothing about.

Relying on a preacher to explain atheism is like going to a Republican for an explanation of why there should be a Democratic president.

"An atheist assigns himself to life without ultimate purpose."
Wrong. It is just a different purpose than the pastor's.

"The atheist must also suppress the demands of logic."
Terribly wrong. It is logic that breeds atheism.

"...the very existence of the universe seems to be a colossal violation of the laws of nature (i.e., a miracle)."
Wrong again. But, this guy knows that. He is talking to believers not atheists.

"The atheist must also deny the validity of historical proof. If he accepted the standard rules for testing the truth claims of historical documents, he would be forced to accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
Wrong again. I have already covered this in a previous post.

"Always remember that the atheist's problem with belief in God is not the absence of evidence but the suppression of it."
Wrong. There is no evidence for God outside of the Bible which I have repeatedly said and shown is an unreliable source of information.

"This is what scripture teaches."
His only source of evidence.

This is a sermon, not an explanation. If you want your pipes fixed you get a plumber not a roofer. If you want to know what atheists think you ask atheists, not someone whose source of income is dependant on people believing in a fairy-tale.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fighting the Good Fight

There's an important case coming before the US Supreme Court next week brought by Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). Gaylor will argue that President Bush's Faith Based Initiatives is a government promotion of religion and therefore unconstitutional.

While news reports about the case aren't very optimistic about Gaylor's chances of winning, they do concede that she and the FFRF have been successful over the last few years at whittling away pieces of the initiative.

Religious legal groups argue that "real people with real problems are no longer getting help because of some of their [Gaylor and the FFRF] lawsuits," but don't mention that money given to these Church groups could be just as easily given to government programs that are forbidden by law to discriminate.

Whether Gaylor wins her case or not, it helps me have some hope for my children's futures to know that there are people out there with the time and resources to fight the good fight.

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Fifteen Minutes of Stupidity

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol's death.

I am old enough to remember Warhol and The Factory, so remember, and appreciate the contributions that this man made to art, and pop culture, and have been fascinated for decades with his life, philosophy, and work.

NYC Warhol 7-02-06

I was also lucky enough to have seen some of his work at MoMA last summer when I was in New York with my son. I took the picture above while I was there. While there, something that really showed me just how brilliant Warhol's work is, was my son's fascination with it. He (my son) knew who Warhol was because of his part in "The Doors," the Oliver Stone movie about the band, but really didn't know any of his work. Then as we went through the museum the only piece of work that grabbed my son's attention more than the Campbell Soup Cans was the Richard Avedon portrait of Lennon (at left), which is itself similar to some of Warhol's work.

Along with his creating "Pop" art, Warhol was fascinated with fame, and is known for the quote:
"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
As time went on, and he got tired of being asked about the quote he occasionaly changed the quote to "In the future 15 people will be famous" or "In 15 minutes everybody will be famous," but the original quote is something that has turned out to be somewhat prophetic.

With the popularity of stupidity like "Survivor," "American Idol," and other so-called reality TV shows (which Ron Jeremy has compared to porn flicks), and the World's fascination with people like Anna Nicole Smith, and Paris Hilton whose only claim to fame is fame itself, it seems that the Western World's main goal behind war is bringing Warhol's statement to life.

Case-in-point, during the time I have sat here writing this there have been two news spots on the Anna Nicole stupidity, and a full length segment on Britney Spears head-shaving rehab-quitting maneuvers on the morning news, and no mention of the mess in the land of the fabled Garden of Eden.

Everything I've read about Warhol seems to point toward his wanting and being fascinated with fame, but I really wonder sometimes what he would think of the fame machine now.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hey, NAE. Wanna Help? Then Get Out of the Way.

Last month the National Association of Evangelicals, sans Ted Haggard, announced an effort to begin protecting the environment. This extremely belated decision is quite a change from two decades ago when the Secretary of the Interior for the then Evangelical in Chief, Ronald Reagan, announced that environmental issues were a waste of time because of the impending return of Christ who wouldn't allow us to self-destruct before he got here.

But, now even Pat Robertson has come around, and no longer thinks that Global Warming is a hoax perpetrated by the evil Christian hating, Gay loving, feminista left.

According to the NAE's announcement they will start looking for ways to "reverse the degradation of Creation," and "not allow it to be progressively destroyed by human folly." Naturally, I have some suggestions for ways they can help.

First step: They should actually mean what they say. On the same day that the NAE announced their new stand on the environment, there was an announcement on the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance's website saying the exact opposite. For some, this contradiction says that there is a split in the Evangelical community over the whole issue, and I agree, but it also points to the NAE's attempt to play both sides of the issue, which will ensure that their current flow of money will continue pouring in to them. Money that people like the NAE's former leader, Ted Haggard, will need for prostitutes and meth.

However, the most important step they could take, would be halting their attempts to take science back to the Dark Ages.

The people who are now calling for "fundamental change in values, lifestyles, and public policies required to address these worsening problems before it is too late," and are pledging to "work together toward a responsible care for Creation and call with one voice to the religious, scientific, business, political and educational arenas to join them in this historic initiative" are the same people who routinely call for an end to the study of real science in American public schools, and are thereby promulgating their ignorance of science.

While famous failed attempts at dumbing down our children in places like Pennsylvania, and the comedic back and forth on the issue by educators in Kansas draw a lot of media and public attention, it is the daily battles fought by fanatic undereducated educators that really harm our society's chances to do something positive about the damage we have done to the Earth's environment.

Luckily, other economically powerful countries and groups like Japan and the European Union aren't as stupid as ours when it comes to science education, which goes a long way toward explaining why the richest and most powerful country on the planet consistently ranks behind virtually every European and Asian country in terms of the science and math proficiency of its students.

Luckily for the rest of us, these same countries have taken positive steps to help matters, despite the current American administration's continued road blocks over the past six years.

If the NAE really wants to make positive steps toward a survivable environment, then they simply need to take several steps away from public schools and education, and accept the Constituion's stance on religion and government, thereby allowing people who know what they are doing to get things done.

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Jesus de Florida Update

Well it seems that CNN finally got word about Jesus being in Florida. I found out weeks ago. However, CNN did get some details that I was originally unaware of.

I knew about the whole "no sin" thing, and I knew that he had a lot of followers, but I didn't know that there was a club tattoo. It seems that instead of just giving him lots of money, like with any preacher, you also get to get a nifty tattoo of the number 666 (must be Iron Maiden fans).

Of course other religious leaders are calling Jesus a cult leader. He doesn't just say that the spirit of Christ is in him--he says that he is Christ incarnate, and was told so by angels. Naturally he preaches that his particular brand of Christianity is the one true one, and his followers believe him. Sounds like any number of Christian churches to me.

Maybe he is a cult leader, but how is he any different than any number of other religious leaders? As long as he isn't bombing abortion clinics, preaching hate, or calling for the assasination of World leaders, then I say if people are going to follow him, and give him their money that's their problem. If they are that gullible they would just be following some other con-man with a Bible if this guy hadn't shown up.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stop the Madness

Well folks, this whole "bald celebrity" stupidity is getting way out of hand.

So, now we are looking at the possibility of Donald Trump's sporting a chrome dome, based on the winner of a choreographed dance between two steroid-ridden morons?

What's next--Oscar loser shearings? Least strange Scientologist head shaving?

Maybe they could just have a contest to see who can jump from the tallest building before news programs are full of shiny bald heads.

Dead Strippers and Bald Has-Beens: Story at 11--And Every 15 Minutes Until Then

In the last couple of weeks there have been terrorist attacks in India, continuing death in Afghanistan and Iraq, continuing war in Somalia, increasing Cold War type tensions between the US and Russia in places like the Czech Republic and Poland, and a successful Chinese test of a rocket that can knock satellites from orbit.

President Bush seems determined to start another war; the Congress is too busy arguing about who supported what war when to deal with rising crime and poverty rates; and the mess called the Middle East is getting worse daily.

But what have been the big stories on television news? The paternity battle over a dead stripper's kid, and the hairdo, or lack thereof, and mental breakdown of a washed up pop star.

This is sad for so many reasons it's hard to pick one in particular to rant about. First we have the obvious stupidity of the average American news consumer, and then there's the obvious entertainment over information priority of the news outlets. But I guess the easiest target for a rant would be who has been picked for all of the attention.

When was the last time Anna Nicole Smith did anything that could even be remotely considered to be an addition to pop culture? It's been many, many years since her Playboy spread, and she wouldn't have even been in the news lately if it hadn't been for her drug using son's dying. Now she's the recipient of widespread mourning, and damned near 24 hour news coverage. Why? How many drug-addict strippers have died in the last year? I don't know either, so why is this one so damned important?

Then there's Britney. I don't give a shit if she's bald. But, obviously, the major news outlets seem to think I do. This last thing this pop-tart contributed, that I can remember, was her "take-me-from-behind" statue, and her musical contributions before that weren't anything to sing about. Let her have her breakdown, maybe then someone will take her kids and put them somewhere safe.

If the media needs a singer to talk about: today is Kurt Cobain's birthday (my son let me know that one before he left for school this morning). Surely they can milk his story for a couple of days, and, at least he actually contributed some good music to the World and had a real effect on American culture.

OK. I'm done ranting now. I guess I'll run a search for Paris Hilton, and Jessica Simpson--wouldn't want to lose track of who they're banging, and with the other two bimbos getting so much attention, they are surely planning something newsworthy.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Kentucky's New Family Fantasy Fun-Land

By way of Planet Atheism, I found an article at Discover.Com about the new Creationist Museum in Kentucky.

This place is definately being put on my to-do list for the Summer. My children love fantasy themed exhibits as much as I do, so it will probably be a family outing, and since it's only about an hour and a half away it will make for a good day-trip.

Hopefully, by then they will have an exhibit about how the Sun orbits the Earth as I plan on doing a post on this subject soon, and would be interested in their take on the subject.

Debate With Dan--Part Three

And so we come to Part Three. This part is significantly shorter than the others because the debate keeps taking a circular route around the actual issue of the debate, which is the validity of the Bible as an inerrant life-manual.

Below I address only those questions or statements posed by Dan's latest entry that are relevant to the debate. The entire comment can be found in the comments section of Debate With Dan--Part Two.

His statements are in quotes and blocked, my statements follow.


So are you saying that you have no answers to my questions about the inaccuracies and contradictions of a supposedly divinely inspired truth? I have pointed out dozens of flaws in the Bible and the beliefs you have pulled out of it, and you have addressed none of those points with anything other than sermons. Is that because the fairy tales and resulting religions have no defense or just that you don't know enough about either to offer the defense.?

The questions you have asked me with your comment are addressed below. The preaching serves no purpose in this debate, so unless it is relevant I have excluded it.

"Not to disapoint you I will copy you as a responce to your post"
I am not really sure what this means since I didn't write any of the stuff you use below.

"I guess there is only one thing to ask then: Do you think The Bible is a fake?"
I believe that it, like other religious texts, is nothing more that philosophical beliefs codified in literary form. I don't believe that it is a historical or true account of a real, supernatural entity.

"I believe it was written by 40 or 50 people over 1500-3000 years all pointing or prophesizing (sic) events that did come true (provable throughout history and no other book in the history of the world can claim that)..."
The authorship of the Bible is far from being that simple, but that subject has been covered by scores of books, and treatises which I cordially invite you to read. As for the prophecies, I don't have the time or space to address the inaccuracy and fallacy of Biblical prophesy, but there are many others who do. One good article I have found on this subject can be found HERE.
H. G. Wells predicted the atomic bomb, aerial bombing, robotics, and many other things in his stories--does that mean that you believe Martians will invade the Earth?

"...and that has lasted or transcended all sorts of rejections, and hundreds of different governments, over this many years and has moved 500 men (at first) back then to preach the good news ...the 2 billion people of this day ... all believing in the same thing..."
If longevity is proof of validity, then shouldn't you be Hindu? Or Buddhist? or Jewish? These religions are hundreds or even thousands of years older that Christianity. As for 2 billion people believing the same thing: there are over fifty different version of the Bible, and over 300,000 different Christian sects--this is hardly believing the same thing.

"The book has eye witness account (sic) of very credible people in that time frame and throughout history (too many to count here) comparable and more accurate then (sic) any history, written about those times, books we have to date."
The Iliad has a credible report of Troy, so do you believe in Zeus and Achilles? And, the accuracy of the Bible's history is more flawed than most fantasy novels. The Bible has people alive in time periods after they died, the wrong leaders in the wrong time periods, and hundreds of characters and events that have never shown up in any contemporary documents or accounts. The Bible also repeatedly contradicts itself on stories that can't be proven to have happened in the first place. This is far from being historically accurate. There are literally thousands of historical documents and books, and many works of fiction, that are far more accurate.

"...Can you honestly say that this Christianity thing is just fake, fad or that there are that many very confused people?"

"Aren’t you concerned that maybe you missed something or maybe missed the bus? That would frighten me if I missed something that most all of humanity understands and welcomes."
No. More people don't believe the Bible than do. And, I would counter that very few of those who believe actually understand. Otherwise they would be able to answer some simple questions--questions you have dodged repeatedly.

"There is a movement these days to debunk Christianity but that also was written in the bible (sic) talking about the last days."
And here we go again with the only defense you ever offer, the fear of a supernatural being written about in a collection of tales that cannot be shown to be accurate much less divine.

"Good luck and may God bless you on your path; my advice to you is to pick the narrow one."
Okay. Thank you. Are you supposed to believe in luck?

Once again the debate was ignored and other subjects were turned to. It is starting to look like there is no defense other than the circular tactic of turning to the Bible to defend itself. So I pose only the following questions (again).

If the Bible cannot be validated as inerrant and truthful, then how the Hell can it be used as the only proof for its own validity? If it can be shown to be inerrant and truthful then why can't you do so?

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Old MacDonald's Barnyard Freaks

Well folks, it seems that Ole' MacDonald the god of barnyard animals and vowels is trying to send me a message.

I made a statement in another post about never having seen a four-legged bird, then today I am told about a four legged chicken in Romania, and then I find a story about a four-legged duck in England.

Okay, Lord MacDonald I apologize--E, I, E, I, sayeth the Lord.

One Truth? Two Truths? No Truth.

Well folks, since I said in my last post that my next post which is this post, would be about Gospel proof vis. Matthew and Mark, that the New Testament cannot be a collection of truths which were written by divinely guided hands I here present the contradictions and fallible comments of the Gospel according to Matthew and Mark.

Why Matthew and Mark?

I could have used any two, any three, or all of the Gospels for this post, but there are reasons for just using these two:

  • Matthew and Mark were presented to me in a previous comment as examples of the accuracy and infallibility of the Gospels.
  • Matthew, being the largest of the Gospels is the one most people use when speaking about the teachings and life of Christ, and is the only Gospel that contains all of the most familiar stories making it the obvious choice as one to be compared to the others.
  • Matthew contradicts all of the other Gospels in many ways making it the best source of contradictions.
  • Like all of the Gospels, Mark contains contradictions with the other three. Basically it is as good as any of the others for this purpose, and it does contain some of the more easily explained contradictions.

Explanation of Comparison:

It has been my experience here in this blog and in other venues, that some people do not understand the point of my making comparisons such as this one. So, before I begin I will explain the concept of comparison as it pertains to the Bible.

First of all I am not comparing two normal pieces of literature or chapters, whatever you want to call them--I am comparing two pieces of work that hold the distinction of being considered by many to be divinely pre-edited by an omnipotent entity. According to this belief, everything contained in these works is the truth. Though written by fallible men, the hands and thoughts of these men were supposedly guided by one perfect being. If this is the case then the works should agree on detail thereby revealing one truth, because there cannot be two truths about an event.

Establishing the validity of the Gospels is important, because they and the rest of the New Testament constitute the only place on the planet with mention of Jesus' ever having existed. If the Gospels can be shown to be unreliable sources of factual information, then they can not be used as valid proof of the laws and existence of Jesus, and since there is no other substantiated evidence for his existence, the whole thing becomes no more valid than stories of other mythological beings like Zeus, Thor, elves, gnomes, and even Frodo Baggins.


None of the Gospel writers were present at all of the events recorded, and Mark, Luke, and Paul who is given credit for the Epistles, weren't there at all, so these writers have to have divine guidance or else they would not get the story right. The New Testament cannot be considered historically accurate if the stories in it contradict each other


One omnipotent God+One occurrence+divinely guided writers=The same story written by different authors.


Two different stories about the same event=No Omnipotent pre-editor, and no validity for their claims.

So, do Matthew and Mark tell the same divinely guided inerrant story? Let's see.

Of all the tenants of the Christian faith, the passion story of Jesus is the most important. It is through his death and resurrection that Jesus acquires his standing as the Savior. No resurrection--no divinity. No divinity--no authority to make rules. No authority--no reason to believe.

The importance of this story is a central point in the rest of the New Testament, and in the religion that has formed around it. Therefore, if there is any story in the Bible that is important enough to be presented correctly by God, then this is it.

Please feel free to follow along with your own Bible, or use the links I provide here. (all book, chapter, and verse references are from the King James Version of the Bible, since that is the version most fanatics use)


The accepted story to the point of Jesus' resurection goes something like this:
Jesus is born of a virgin, he grows up and then begins his ministry following a baptism, he gathers twelve disciples, he performs some miracles and teaches many people many things, he is betrayed by one of his disciples, he is arrested, all of his disciples run away fearing for their own welfare, Jesus is tried, crucified, and dies, he is then buried.
There are many contradictions in the New Testament concerning all of this, but those things are for another time.

Contrary to the three days and three nights that Jesus is supposed to spend dead, he is resurrected after two nights on the morning of the second day after his death.

The proof of the resurrection comes first from his tomb's being empty. Who found the empty tomb?

Matthew 28:1 says that Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" (not his Mother) go to the tomb. Two women go to the tomb.

Mark 16:1 says that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, AND Salome go to the tomb. Three women go to the tomb.

Normally a story where there is a difference of opinion about the number of women involved wouldn't be a problem. But, this is supposed to be two inerrant accounts of the same event. One's wrong.

When the women get to the tomb what do they see?

According to Matthew 28:2-7 two women arrive and feel an earthquake and watch an angel move the stone away from the opening. The guards around the tomb pass out. Then the angel sits on the stone, and tells them that Jesus is no longer there. The angel then invites the two women to look into the tomb, then tells them that Jesus will meet the disciples in Galilee and commands them to go tell the disciples what they have seen and heard.

According to Mark 16:3-7 three women head toward the tomb wondering among themselves how they will move the big stone in front of the opening. When they get there the stone has already been moved, and the guards are gone. So, they go inside. Inside the tomb they find a young man in a white robe who tells them the same thing that Matthew's angel said.

So is it two women showing up to see some guards and an angel who moves the stone, or is it three women who see an open tomb and nobody around except the young man inside. Mark's version is not as exciting, and is obviously different. One story is wrong.

Both stories say that the women freak out and run away. What do the women do after they leave?

According to Matthew 28:8 the two women do what they are told, and head out to go tell the disciples what has happened.

According to Mark 16:8: the three women just run away and tell nobody what they have seen. Later Mary Magdalene tells the disciples, but that's covered below.

So do two women go straight to the disciples or do three women just run away and tell nobody? One story is obviously wrong.

So now that Jesus is out of the tomb who does he appear to first?

According to Matthew 28:9-10 Jesus appears to the two Mary's as they are headed to tell the disciples. Then tells them again to go tell the disciples.

Mark 16:9-10 says the Jesus "appeared first to Mary Magdalene." This is after she and the other two women ran away from the tomb. After Mary (alone) sees him, she does what the the young man in the tomb had told her to do--goes to tell the disciples.

So, does Jesus appear to two women on their way to the disciples, or to just one woman who then goes to the disciples. The only thing for sure here is that Jesus seems to have had something for Magdalene, and that God and/or proponents of an inerrant Bible can't count.

So after Mary, or Mary and Mary tell the disciples about Jesus' not being dead anymore what is the reaction of the disciples?

Matthew's version has the disciples believing the women and running straight to their secret hideout in the mountains near Galilee. "Holy resurrected messiah Batman. To the Bat Cave!"

Mark's disciples are a bit more skeptical. They don't believe Mary. "Yeah right, you lying whore. Next thing you're going to tell us is that you're carrying his love-child. Run along Monalisa." Not only do Mark's disciples not believe Mary, they don't even believe two of their own club that Jesus appears to while they were out for a Sunday stroll through the country.

So, do the disciples believe the two Marys and run off to the mountain in Galilee, or are they agnostics and call Mary Magdalene and two of their own crew deluded liars? Obviously, either Matthew or Mark has his divinely guided facts wrong. Or do both of them have the story wrong?

Now that Jesus has appeared to either two or five people where does he finally catch up with his whole posse?

According to Matthew, Jesus appears to his faithful followers after they arrive at their mountain retreat in Galilee.

According to Mark, the disciples stay put, so Jesus surprises his little band of agnostics while they are having supper. He then jumps their shit for not believing Mary, or the two he appeared to out in the country.

So, did Jesus have to catch a bus to Galilee or not. Somebody wasn't listening to God while he was writing his story, otherwise they would be the same story.

So, now Jesus has convinced his disciples that he is really not dead. Now what?

Well Jesus tells his little band of evangelicals to run out and spread the word. Then:

In Matthew Jesus tells them that he will be with them always. End of story.

But, in Mark Jesus ascends to Heaven and sits down next to his old man thus giving us two gods looking down on us. From there Jesus helps his posse spread the word. Amen.

So, did Jesus ascend or not? This is a pretty big deal. You would think these guys could at least get this part of the story straight. But, considering all the other differences between Matthew's stories and Mark stories, like take the staff, no wait a minute don't take the staff, I guess it is to be expected that they wouldn't tell the same story about this.

Unless of course, they were divinely inspired and their hands and minds were guided by an omnipotent God who doesn't make mistakes, and then went on to write a believable story about a real person and a real series of events, that could be used as a valid basis for the way a person should or should not live his or her life.

But as we have seen here--that simply cannot be the case.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Debate With Dan -Part Two

And so it continues.

My Debate with Dan continues, and since the comments back and forth are sometimes rather long I have promised to make separate posts as things go along. I am doing just that here.

This post is a reply to the last comment Dan left on Debate With Dan. The comment can be read in its entirety there, but I will be posting the parts replied to here for clarity. I will edit the comment only in the following ways:

His comments will be in quotes and blocked.

I will break down parts of the comment to make it easier to read.

I will emphasize with italics specific points of debate (unless otherwise stated all italics in his comments are mine).

I won't present parts that are irrelevant to my reply unless they are needed for context, though as I said above the entire comment is on the other post.

So, let's get started.

Part 1:

"It was funny that you made the comment on dumbing it down for me. The bible says the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. So maybe I should dumb it down for you."
The comment I believe you are talking about is the following:
"As to helping you understand, I would say again to read all of what I write. Beyond that, I could simplify the language I use if you want, to make what I say easier to understand. I didn't do so before, because I didn't want you to feel that I was talking down to you, or doubted your abilities of comprehension."
You are the one who said: "The bible is infallible. Please point something out so I can understand what you are talking about" in the prior comment. This implies that I hadn't pointed out anything for you. As I had pointed out within my posts and comments that your parable was wrong; that the creation stories in Genesis were in fact fallible; that there couldn't be two different inspired truths about a single event; and pointed out in my comment that your reply didn't address any of these issues but had wondered off in different directions, I felt that either the language, or metaphors were confusing which was why you didn't see or understand my post and the points contained therein, or that you hadn't read all of it (which was my main point).

I often confuse people that I talk to, and have to change my vocabulary and allusions to help them understand. I didn't say that I would dumb down for you, only that I was willing to use simpler language.

As for you needing to dumb down--I have no problem understanding your points, allusions, metaphors, similes, or vocabulary, even when they are misspelled, use the wrong tense, aren't punctuated, used improperly, or used in poorly constructed sentences, so there is no need for you to dumb anything down for me, but thanks anyway.

Part 2:

"It makes me remember a verse I just read not too long ago what (sic) Moses said to God when he was chosen for the task of leading his people to the Promised Land. Moses said in Exodus 4:10-12 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say."
I am not sure what a discussion between Moses and God about Moses' public speaking abilities has to do with writing. Unless you are implying that one or the other of us is uttering the inspired words of God.

Part 3:

"You are a funny guy to say the least."
Thank you Dan--I try. But I don't see the relevance.

Part 4:

"Let's go further with it shale [sic] we. I put what I wrote you and the other Christian site in quotes and if you Google it you will see that not even I wrote it and that is why the quotes are there. My original comment was for the other Christian site and I thought it was fitting to you so I copied you for your rant."
Generally, in what I write, and in what I read, when someone else's words or ideas are used they are attributed to their sources so that the quote or idea can be placed in context, and to avoid the appearance of plagiarism. While I didn't actually say anything about your using other's word except that such tactics wouldn't dissuade my views, it is something I have always felt strongly about.

As for what I called "the form letter" part of the reply in question, I stated that the reply made no sense in context to the post of mine you were replying to, and that its style showed a deal of disingenuosness. Also implied was that by using out of context form-letter replies you convey an appearance of not having read my posts and/or replies, or don't have answers to the questions stated and/or raised.

Part 5:

"My first priority (sic) is my wife and three kids and I talk to a lot people (sic) a day whether it's one on one witnessing or online (as you can see) or even preaching in online games. I really don't have that much time to spend with people that (sic) are hard of heart because God made you (sic) that way (remember 2 Thessalonians 2 comment in the past blogs) so I give most all of my attention to the humble at heart and sow the seeds for God to water."
As for your priorities I would expect nothing less, and never implied that I did. Neither have I implied or said that your replies weren't timely. In fact I would prefer that you take all the time needed to read what I write, toss it around for a while, and make your replies your own.

Due to my work schedule I have a lot of time to read and write. Due to my academic background and line of work I have become adept at thinking about several things at once, and retaining what I read. These things combined with my children being old enough that they prefer to do for themselves and don't require the maintenance they once did, and my not having any kind of time-dependant relationships or hobbies, I can usually reply relatively quickly, but I do not expect the same from others--unless they press me for quick answers in which case I press back.

As for your referance to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, and the sentence preceeding this referance: the passage, as I'm sure you are aware, talks about servants of Satan who follow him due to his "power and signs and lying wonders" whom Jesus WILL cause to believe lies so he can punish them--basically supernatural entrapment. This is to happen after the rise of Satan into prominence.

Since you said that God had "hardened my heart," and then used this chapter to explain yourself. Am I to assume that you, like many in the Bible, believe that thought comes from the heart? Are you saying that Satan has risen to prominence, so the end is nigh? Worst of all--Are you saying that I have seen the signs and powers of Satan and worship him?

As for the first two questions: that's on you. But, as to the third question: I have never seen the powers of anyone or anything that I am willing to worship. I don't believe in a Satan, and as a result don't worship it.

As for the rest of the comment--it is always easier to feed the people who want to be fed, so I understand why you put so much time into it.

Part 6:

"If you tell your kids there is a Santa Clause then you have lied and you are a liar even though you claim not to be, you are too proud to see that. How many lies does it take before someone is called a liar 1, 3, 10, 400 if I lied to you once, you would call me a liar? If I stole $1.00 or $100.00 from you I am still a thief. How many murders before you are called a murderer? Jesus said if you hate someone you are a murderer of the heart. You lied when you said you have never committed adultery because Jesus said in Matthew that if you look at someone with lust you commit adultery of the heart. God knows our thought life and we will be judged by his law (The Ten Commandments). The fifth Commandment is Honor you Mother and Father, Have you done that every time (sic) even when you were a teenager?"
"Have lied," and "are lying" are two different things. Just because I slept last night does not mean I am sleeping now. If you lie to me once I will say you lied. If you lie to me now I will say you are lying. If you lie with every opening of your mouth I will say you are a liar. But all of this is merely a matter of semantics and is somewhat based on opinion. The context for this part of your reply is my statement that I do not live what would be considered a sinful life and, my use of examples of how my lifestyle differs from that of many evangelical leaders.

I did not lie about my not committing adultery. First: adultery is defined by Websters as: "voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband," and is something that I never did. Second: your definition of adultery is based upon Biblical statements, the validity of which you have still not established. Third: my affinity for Angelina Jolie didn't begin until well after my wife died (I first saw her in Gia which came out around 98 or 99 I believe--four or five years after my wife's death), and I never lusted after anyone while with my wife. The commandment you should be referring to is the one in which I made the Jolie comment in context with--#10 And no, Brad Pitt is not my neighbor. Fourth: you are again in violation of Jesus' instructions as per Matthew 5:22.

As for the honoring of parents thing: that is another Biblical concept, and once again, I point out that you have not established the validity of the Bible.

Which brings me to an interlude.

Once again you are quoting scripture to convince me. The original basis for this debate was a statement you left on my blog referring me to yours. After reading yours I told you that what you referred me to was nothing new, and I said that Biblical quotes and form-letter sermons would not convince me.

You continued to press the Bible and said: "I can prove there is a God." When I said that you had to prove the validity of the Bible, and raised a number of my reasons for saying so, you started going off subject, accused me of not presenting reasons, and have yet to answer questions that I have posed. You haven't proven there is a God, and you haven't shown how my points about the unreliability of the Bible are wrong.

I understand that you are using points given by Ray Comfort's Atheist Debate Instructions, but, frankly, this is why you are floundering. These instructions assume that the believer can control the conversation, and that the atheist can't or won't put the believer on the spot with questions. I have never seen this tactic work in person, and it is impossible to pull off in a venue like this.

What is happening here is that you are dodging questions in an attempt to wrest control. While I am willing to play point/counter-point with you, your increasing use of prejudicial attacks on my character as a means to try to scare me to the arms of Christ and side step the issues being debated will not only not scare me, but will weaken your point in the eyes of anyone reading this, because it makes it appear that you have no answer to my replies and questions, which weakens your position to anyone who does not already accept it. Side note: I am more than willing to openly, publicly debate the validity of my thoughts and ideas in a collegiate venue as the Living Waters evangelism resources page suggests its followers to do.

Back to your comment.

Part 7:

"Come on who are you trying to convince here me or you?"

Part 8:

"The first commandment...Have you broken that commandment?"

Part 9:

"God said if you break one commandment you break them all. You are in serious trouble here on judgment day. If you die in your sins then you will be guilty of [breaking] God's laws and what do you think that will be, heaven or hell?[sic] Justice will be served be sure of that."
You have yet to establish the validity of the Bible so this segment is irrelevant, because I have no reason to believe much less fear it. Again, see Matthew 5:22. I don't believe in heaven or hell, and anyone's going to either is in doubt according to the Bible anyway.

Part 10:

"What if someone raped you (sic) child and then died in his sleep the next day of a heart attack. Do you think justice would be served?"
His odds of making it to the next day if I know him would be slim at best. But to answer your question--no.

Part 11:

"Be sure God will punish the wicked and evil..."
See part 9 above.

Part 12:

"...(you are 54% evil right? or is that just your site)."
My site--it says so in the sentence before the number 54

Part 13:

"You sure are a proud of that aren't you?"
Yes. Using the same scale yours is 37%.

Part 14:

"Go to and click open for more."
The link doesn't work properly, but I have taken this test before at another's site, and found out that even if you answer innocent to every question you are still condemned to Hell, so it is a useless test--the thing should just get to the point.

Part 15:

"I am man enough here to say I have broken every single commandment 10 times over and I am very grateful that God gave me a way to wash away my sins and avoid Hell (God's jail) So I will follow him because I am grateful and humbled to his glory and kindness towards me."
I am happy for you, though a bit shoked that you have killed ten people, worshiped ten false idols, worshiped ten other gods, and commited adultery ten times.

As for how this applies to me: that is covered by my comment on part 9

Part 16:

"Matthew and Mark two different people are describing the same things. Describing not interpreting. Do you need the definition for you (sic) to understand the analogy I was giving? It seemed to go over your head a little."
You said: "In Matthew and Mark two different people are describing the same things. They do not use the exact words because two different brains are interpreting the same occurrence."

I said: "they are not 'interpreting' an event they are reporting said event."

You say they are doing both--I disagreed and said they were describing (reporting is a synonym for describing). So who needs a definition? (again you have resorted to attacks)

I understood your analogy--Matthew and Mark reporting on the events of say "Easter" Sunday is compared with the two of us watching fireworks. I explained how this analogy fails in context with my statements about contradictions. Very little I read goes over my head. So the real question here is which of us is having trouble with comprehension.

As for Matthew and Mark observing the SAME thing. I don't want to use the space here to cover this inaccuracy and the contradictions, but will do so with my next post.

Part 17:

"You crack me up because you said that you believe in Einstein's relativity and you don't even know that even one of the smartest men in the world ever, believes (sic) in God, here is (sic) some of his quotes: "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." Or "God is subtle but he is not malicious." Or "God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.""
I said I "believe" relativity, not "believe in" it. That's two different things. Einstein is dead therefore believes nothing. As for whether or not he believed in God: I will let him speak for himself on the subject:

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954. It is included in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, published by Princeton University Press.

"Thus I a deep religiosity, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of 12. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached a conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true....Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this attitude which has never left me." The Quotable Einstein

You might want to find the quotes you used in their original context, so you understand what they mean. You should probably read his thesis on relativity, because that will help too.

Part 18:

"So you are a very lost and (sic) sad and misinformed person."
Read the quotes above. Then reread your quote here, cite it to yourself, and you have my answer.

Part 19:

"You are the one that (sic) is not sincere because look at your bio you just love Pissing people off and...Well that's the biggest one except maybe exposing stupidity for the World to see."
And I seem to have done both here.

Part 20:

"I am not angry at you... ."
Your continued barrage of personal attacks belies this comment (see below).

Part 21:

"...but I pity you."
And I you.

Part 22:

"So you are a proud person, until that day when God changes your heart to help you with your conviction."
We STILL haven't seen your establishment of the validity of the book that this statement is based on.

Part 23:

"(an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence in case you didn't understand)."
I know what conviction means, but you obviously don't. The definition says nothing about proof or evidence. You are defining a religious form of faith.

Part 24:

"So you are wrong I am sincere but I am not taking you seriously, how can I? You are trying to disprove a creator."
I said your use of form-letter replies give the appearance of insincerity, I never made a statement as to whether or not you were sincere. cf. my final comment on Debate With Dan. I am not trying to disprove a creator--I am proving the fallibility and contradictory nature of the Bible that constitutes the only so-called "proof" of the Biblical creator, in response to your assertion on my post that I was wrong. You have yet to debate any of the points I have made in that debate, with the exception of your incorrect assertion that I didn't understand the fireworks-viewing analogy you made that I replied to and have yet to see a rebuttal thereof.

It is obvious that you aren't taking me seriously because you have yet to answer any of the points I've made or questions I've posed.

Part 25:

"I think everyone is worth a chance to help them understand The truth my blog (sic) at"
We quit debating the accuracy of your blog long ago when I said that it was well written but flawed and you said you would prove the accuracy of it and the existence of God; then went on to dodge every question and/or point I posed. If you can't address these things then admit it.

That marks the end of my reply to this latest comment.

As I have stated numerous times in this post, the original debateing points have not been addressed, so I will, as promised earlier, do what you requested with the statement "The bible is infallible. Please point something out so I can understand what you are talking about." I will present one of my points by discussing the contradictions contained in the two books you threw at me (Matthew and Mark KJV Bible) as sources of reasons that I should believe in your god.

My point in that post will be that the two books have different versions, not interpretations, of the same series of events surounding one of the most important and critical events in all of the New Testament, and thereby have no validity as a divinely inspired collection of truths, based on the premis that there can be only one true series of events in any situation.

So, you are welcome to restart the actual debate with my next post, unless you wish to address all of the unanswered questions and statements contained in my previous posts instead.

Your choice.

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The above post was edited on 19 February 2007 to correct my using the word right when I should have used write. This stupid mistake was spitefully pointed out by another reader, and since it seemed to distract him from the issue at hand I corrected it.Thank You,