How do you feel about abortion now?

March 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Beliefs, political, Religion | Leave a comment
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The Answer is Bah Humbug!

December 11, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Atheism, Beliefs, Jesus, Religion, social comment | 3 Comments
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Ebenezer Scrooge

When they ask the questions, every year, I sense some apprehension; as if my answers will have an impact on what is to follow.  If only that were so.  My answers are NO, NO, and I DON’T DO THAT.

The first question concerns my state of readiness for christmas*?  Depending on my mood I either inform the inquirer I don’t celebrate christmas or I say NO, and ask if christmas will not come unless I’m ready.  In my fantasy I have this power.

The next questions involve my level of excitement about the impending holidays and whether or not I have all my christmas shopping done, because isn’t christmas really about shopping?  (I hate shopping of any kind at any time of year.  I try to stock up on my needs before Thanksgiving hoping to avoid the chaotic crowds of sheep at the market until at least the second week in January.)

I hate holidays, all of them, but I hate christmas most of all.  Bah Humbug!

*See The C-Word

11-11-11 – Is it the end of the world?

November 11, 2011 at 11:16 am | Posted in Beliefs | 3 Comments
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I’ll let you know tomorrow.

When Jesus ate the magic mushrooms

October 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Posted in Beliefs, god, Jesus, social comment | 1 Comment
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By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What a strange and wobbly time in which to live. We refuse to believe something until it’s “proven” via scientific method, but once it’s proven half the nation immediately discredits it because science is for elitist liberals and only creationist Jesus and a sad gang of very dead, enormously repressed Bible-writing priests from 1,500 years ago actually know anything about “truth.”

Meanwhile, the best and most illuminating of nature’s medicines remain underground, sidelined and fringe while the costly synthetics rage on full force, addicting millions, numbing out the soul of world, most no better (and often far, far worse) than placebos.

Did Jesus take magic mushrooms? Can we deliberate for a moment? How about Buddha? Allah? Eve? Was the gleaming apple from the tree of knowledge not laced with ayahuasca and wormwood and dark rum? Can we safely assume? Oh, we absolutely can.

This much we know: mushrooms inspire a numinous state, and Jesus was nothing if not a card-carrying mystic. A seer. An anti-establishment, proto-hippie, street-screamin’ visionary who hung out with prostitutes and freaks and loved everyone equally, saw everyone as full incarnation of pure divinity right here on earth. And he was what, sober? Sure.  entire article

What would Genghis do?

October 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Atheism, Beliefs, Current Events, humor, Jesus | 1 Comment
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My new favorite T-shirt.  There are other products here with the same image; the perfect answer to what would Jesus do?

Crazy christians seek dominion over politics, business and culture

October 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Posted in Beliefs, government, insanity, political campaigns, Religion, sick & Twisted | 3 Comments
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Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air must be the world’s most patient person.  I could not have interviewed this (I can’t even find the right adjective) person and maintained my cool.  I don’t know how she managed for forty-five minutes.  Though I believe C. Peter Wagner is completely off his rocker, listening to him and those like him scare the hell out of me.

Courtesy of C. Peter Wagner C. Peter Wagner, pictured with his wife, Doris, is one of the leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation.

A new charismatic Christian movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture in preparation for the end times and Jesus’ return is becoming more of a presence in American politics. The leaders are considered apostles and prophets, gifted by God for this role. Several apostles affiliated with the movement helped organize or spoke at Rick Perry’s August prayer rally, The Response.

Among the topics discussed on Monday’s show are: Wagner’s explanation about a recent video that has been shown on television in which he claims the emperor of Japan had sex with the sun goddess, a power of darkness headed by the kingdom of Satan, and how that resulted in the decline of the Japanese stock market; how demons figure into the belief structure of NAR; the role of prophets and apostles within NAR; what Wagner means when he describes the NAR’s mission as taking dominion over business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, family and religion; how he felt when he found out that Ted Haggard, his World Prayer Center co-founder, had used drugs and had sex with men; spiritual mapping; and the role of Jews and Israel in preparing for the second coming.

You can  read the interview highlights here, or click the link below to listen.  Even if you don’t listen to the entire interview (I couldn’t) I would suggest listening to some of it, because hearing the guy gives you a much better sense of who he is than simply reading his words.

To listen to the entire interview click
http://www.npr.org/v2/?i=140946482&m=141006184&t=audio

A few of my own favorites:

On people in American politics being possessed by demons

“We don’t like to use the word possessed because that means they don’t have any power of their own. We like to use the word afflicted or, technical term, demonized. But there are people who — yes, who are — who are directly affected by demons, not only in politics, but also in the arts, in the media and religion in the Christian church.”

On demon identification

“Sometimes they know. Sometimes the demon has identified itself to the person. Sometimes you can tell by manifestations of superhuman, unhuman behavior. Sometimes you can tell by skilled deliverance ministers. My wife has a five-page questionnaire that she has people fill out before she ministers to them. So she asks the kind of questions that a medical doctor would ask to find out, to diagnose an illness. So she actually does diagnostic work on people to discover not only if they have demons, but what those demons might be.”

On whether other religions and nonbelieving Christians are demonic

“Well, it means they’re not part of the kingdom of heaven. It means they’re part of the kingdom of darkness. An apostle, a friend of mine in Nepal, once told me that every Christian believer in Nepal that he knows of has been delivered from demons. That their former Hindu religion had implanted, or the demons had gained access, and that in order to become Christian believers, the demons had to be cast out. Of course, we have many examples in the Bible of the same thing.”

On spiritual mapping to cast demons out of cities

“When you talk about demons over cities, we’re talking about what — sometimes what we refer to as territorial spirits, and they’re more high-ranking spirits in the hierarchy of darkness and they’re more powerful and they require different approaches, and it’s not as easy as commanding them to leave in the name of Jesus. So sometimes there has to be repentance, sometimes there has to be — there has been bloodshed in that city that needs to be repented of, there has been idolatry in the city that has ruined the land. There’s been immorality that needs to be repented of, and there are several social things that people really need to acknowledge that they’re bad and repent of them and ask forgiveness. … There are certain individuals in our whole movement that have special gifts for doing that, and they’re helping lead the way in weakening the power of the spirits. We don’t believe we can kill demons and sometimes we don’t believe we can completely get ‘em out, get ‘em away from a city, but we can reduce their power. We can bind them, and then we can move strongly with the kingdom of God into the city.”

On Thomas Muthee praying over Sarah Palin at the Wasilla Assembly of God, and asking for Jesus to protect her from the spirit of witchcraft

“What Thomas was probably doing, and he and I are friends also, what he was probably doing was speculating that there would be some people who practiced witchcraft and other forms of the occult who would try and take Sarah Palin down through certain rituals or curses or other techniques that witches have and try to destroy her through those things. And I think Thomas was praying a shield of protection around Sarah so that she would not be affected by them.”

Your god is a psychopath with a twisted sense of humor

September 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Posted in Atheism, Beliefs, Religion | 3 Comments
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Derech Etz Chaim Simchas Torah Dancing 5768

Image via Wikipedia

Recently I was told about a sect of orthodox Jews, who on a holiday called Simchas Torah, get drunk, dance around, and do somersaults.  Only men are allowed to dance and somersault.  I don’t know what the women are doing while their guys are enjoying all the fun.  I imagine them on the sidelines, as in the Olympics, holding up scorecards rating the somersaults (extra points if they stick the landing).  I believe this might be the origin of the phrase holy rollers.  I did a little research and it seems not all members of this particular sect participate in the drunken somersaulting, but it is not uncommon.  Please explain how performing acrobatics, while under the influence, serves one’s god?  And has anyone ever been arrested for AUI?

What Happens on Simchas Torah STAYS in Simchas Torah!

(Unless, of course, you blog about it.)

Each year, the Torah is completed and started anew – Simchas Torah celebrates that. The festival includes dancing, flag-waving, and copious drinking by the menfolk. In Chabad circles, there’s a Simchas Torah tradition to “mach a kula.” You haven’t seen anything in life until you see a drunk chossid do a somersault. On second thought…   (read more at Fancy Schmancy Anxiety Maven)

As is almost always the case one thing leads to another, and I wondered about other religious practices and what possible purpose could be served by them.  I keep coming up with the same conclusion:  god (or god’s inventor) is a  megalomaniac with a sick and twisted sense of humor.

Imagine if you didn’t buy the god delusion or belong to any religious group and were instructed to do things such as; cut off the tips of all male children’s penises, engage in symbolic ritualistic cannibalism (taking communion), when, where and how to engage in sexual intercourse, avoid types of foods, or avoid eating certain foods together, how to dress, stick ashes on your forehead, tell your deepest darkest secrets to a hidden stranger, give a percentage of your income (in addition to what the IRS already takes)…I think the answer would be WHAAAAT?

There are now and have been power happy cult leaders among us who have engaged in mind control to the point where their followers believed they were serving a greater good by giving up, to and for their leaders, things ranging from all their worldly goods, money, friends and family, to their lives.  Cult leaders get off on watching people engage in all manner of insanity at their behest.  Your illusory god is doing the same thing on a grander scale for his/her/its amusement.  Along with the ridiculous rules god has set forth to retain membership, you are forced to deal with wars, tragedy, plagues and pestilence.  On the plus side you really must admire the management and multi-tasking skills involved in such an undertaking.

Several years ago I wrote a short post, that caused a long stir called God did Not Create Man, the premise being the reverse.  It would seem I am not alone.  From the Los Angeles Times:

Science and religion: God didn’t make man; man made gods
Op-Ed
In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion’s “DNA.”

July 18, 2011|By J. Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer

Before John Lennon imagined “living life in peace,” he conjured “no heaven … / no hell below us …/ and no religion too.”

No religion: What was Lennon summoning? For starters, a world without “divine” messengers, like Osama bin Laden, sparking violence. A world where mistakes, like the avoidable loss of life in Hurricane Katrina, would be rectified rather than chalked up to “God’s will.” Where politicians no longer compete to prove who believes more strongly in the irrational and untenable. Where critical thinking is an ideal. In short, a world that makes sense.

In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion’s “DNA.” They have produced robust theories, backed by empirical evidence (including “imaging” studies of the brain at work), that support the conclusion that it was humans who created God, not the other way around. And the better we understand the science, the closer we can come to “no heaven … no hell … and no religion too.” to keep reading (definitely worth the time)

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