Tags: Christianity, Curiosity Mars Rover, Gale, Mars, Mars rover, Mars Science Laboratory, NASA, Red Planet, technology
Hopefully the rover will send back information I want to know. But seriously, what good will it really do for our f’d up society who for the most part still think the earth is six thousand years old and all life was magically placed here by an invisible guy in the sky and that we are the center of the universe?
If we discover that life can exist elsewhere in the universe (and why wouldn’t it) then what? If we ever advance to a point where it’s possible to travel to distant planets on which life exists; we will likely take their lands and steal their resources by declaring war. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the christians will send missionaries to convert the new heathens, so what’s the point?
I see the cost for this endeavor, two and a half billion dollars, and I wonder how our government can spend that much to send a car to Mars when we can’t have decent health care for everyone or streets without homeless, hungry people. I think our collective priorities are out way of whack. We simply cannot afford it at this time (but nobody bothered to ask me). Sure it’s great, it’s groundbreaking, but so is that new 3D TV I’d like but won’t buy because I don’t have the money right now. I suppose it’s the American way from the top on down to the little guy who has to have the jet ski even though he’s in debt up to his eyeballs.
- Life on Mars: Internet pranksters show how things could have been when Curiosity touched down (with a little help from Photoshop) (dailymail.co.uk)
- We Went to Mars Again, but the Only Surface Photos of Venus Are from 80s Soviet Rovers (motherboard.vice.com)
- Curiosity rover: why does sci-fi always look more marvellous than reality? | Jonathan Jones (guardian.co.uk)
Tags: Christianity, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus
This morning’s round of fun with jehova’s witnesses*, for some reason reminded me of an incident that happened some years ago. It irritates the hell out of me when these folks come to my door. I turn into the mean crazy lady.
I live in a rural part of a small town. You cannot see my house from the road so you have to drive for several minutes along my private driveway to get to my house. Yet they still find me. I was spending the morning reading when the dog and I heard voices coming from outside followed by a knock on the door. I looked through the window at two smiling men, standing on the front porch, holding up a bible and pointing at it.
I opened the door and stared at them as they started their spiel. I said, “You’re trespassing.” to which jh1 replied, “There’s no sign.” I said it doesn’t matter, you’re trespassing. And, you know what other sign isn’t at the entrance to my property? A sign that says, ‘If you don’t know me feel free to drive onto my property and disturb my peace or interrupt whatever I am doing so you can attempt to shove your religion down my throat.”
jh2 then said, “Give us you’re house number and we’ll make sure no one bothers you again.”
I have tried that but to no avail, they keep coming, like ants. I said, “How about this, you put everybody who hasn’t invited you on the list and leave the rest of us the hell alone. Most people I know think of you as pests much like they think of mosquitoes, gnats, and killer bees but most people are way more polite than I am.”
I guess their visit made me think of this incident because both are supposedly about creating good christians.
Awhile back I had a pickup truck. It was one where the back glass in the cab had a sliding window. I had gone into the post office and when I came out I discovered I had locked myself out of the truck. The back sliding window was open a couple of inches and I am rather petite so I considered climbing in. However, I was meeting someone, it was hot, and I didn’t want to arrive dirty and sweaty. About this time a man came out with a small boy (about 7 or 8) so I stopped him, explained my dilemma and asked if he might allow his son to climb in the back and open the door.
He looked at his kid and said, “What do you think, you want to do it for ten bucks?” I was more than a little taken aback…as most people would have been more than happy to be helpful. If the situation were reversed I would help and it wouldn’t cross my mind to ask for money. I countered with five dollars, my offer was accepted and the little tycoon opened my truck in under a minute (that works out to three hundred bucks and hour). I forked over the five bucks and as they walked away I heard the father say to his son, “See that! When you are a good christian the lord takes care of you and now you are five dollars closer to getting your new bike.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t christianity teach helping others in need without asking for payment?
*I refuse to capitalize anything having to do with religion.
Tags: C. Peter Wagner, Christianity, insanity, New Apostolic Reformation, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, separation of church and state, Terry Gross, Thomas Muthee
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.
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, hisco-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
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.”
Tags: Atheism, Christianity, god, Religion
In recent discussions with an atheist who happens to be coupled with a non-atheist (read christian) some thought and concern was given to how the hypothetical children might be raised. This got me to thinking about the basic differences in the approaches to child rearing between religious folks and atheists.
Clearly I cannot speak for all atheists, but I can speak from my own experience and my observations of others with whom I am personally acquainted and share my non-beliefs. My ex-partner in marriage shared my views on religion and god so it was rarely, if ever, an issue of discussion in our home.
When we had a child we didn’t raise our child to be an atheist. In fact, since god seems to be everywhere…and not in the religious sense…it was inevitable that our child would be exposed, on some level, to god and religion. To us, this was not a problem; we both believed our child should be allowed exposure to any and all beliefs and be allowed to choose freely. There were occasions, when coming home from school, my child discussed god. I listened and was engaged in the discussion of what had been experienced or learned, but never once did I say to my kid, “There is no god.”
Once, upon seeing an old poster from the Nixon era, in which Nixon appeared as a large dominant figure clutching dog leashes restraining his cronies in the Watergate debacle; my child said, “Look mommy, that’s a picture of god.” I asked where god was and, sure enough, the index finger pointed to Nixon. Amused, I simply replied, “So that’s what god looks like.”
Like all non religious children, my child heard, from kids at school, talk about church and god. Wanting to fit in, my kid went to church, with friends, on several occasions (at various stages of childhood) and decided against pursuing it further.
In religious families, it seems important that the children be taken to
indoctrination stations church (synagogues, mosques, etc.) from the beginning, so that young impressionable minds can be molded before the capacity for independent thought develops. By the time a child reaches puberty these beliefs have become so ingrained that it would never occur to most of them to question their teachings. Put simply, religious parents raise their children to embrace their own beliefs.
This is part of the dilemma for the atheist and the non-atheist should they decide to go forth and procreate. I suppose one solution would be for the atheist to concede and allow any offspring to be taken to the indoctrination station, and upon reaching a certain point in their lives be told, in the same sitting, there is no Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, or god…it’s all just good childish fun. Though I think it is more likely deprogramming, much like that used in recovering a brainwashed child from a cult, would be required. Another approach, and to my mind a better one, would be to raise a free range child (like mine) who is allowed to ask questions and explore wherever curiosity takes him or her and when the child reaches an age where they can engage in critical thinking the religious parent can then expose the child to their ideology.
I wonder how many people would have taken a different path had they not experienced this early indoctrination. Had those with strong beliefs in the invisible magic man in the sky and various forms of religion been raised in a fashion more like my child I think the world might be, at least slightly, a more sane place.
- Grief Beyond Belief — How Atheists Are Dealing With Death (gretachristina.typepad.com)
- The Cutting Edge of Atheism (onistee.com)
Tags: bible, Calendar, Christianity, Circular reasoning, Jesus Christ
We’re all familiar with circular reasoning. I found this clip amusing because it adds a new twist…at least for me…using the calendar as proof of all things christian. Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that the second guy in this video thinks we non believers don’t have a right to be using what he considers to be their calendar?
Whenever I hear this kind of non-reason, my first reaction is to think the speaker must have been dropped on their head early in life. This leads me to wonder if the occurrence of babies being dropped on their heads isn’t more common than one would imagine.
Tags: Christian, Christianity, Dominionism, Jesus, prayer, Pro-choice, Religion & Spirituality, School prayer, Stephen Colbert, United States
I refuse to capitalize christian/christianity (unless it begins a sentence). It’s not that I don’t respect your right to believe as you please, in fact if you are truly a christian I respect your beliefs and would like the same in return. What I don’t respect, and in fact resent, is the level at which christianity is ever increasingly being shoved down the throats of those of us who don’t happen to subscribe. Christianity is used as a vehicle to dictate cessation of behavior that you deem inappropriate, censor anything that offends you, and deny equal rights to those who aren’t christian…in your eyes. I’m tired of your incessant insistence that we are a christian nation! We are NOT! If you want a christian nation I suggest you all hire a great big boat, I hear Noah’s Ark isn’t being used, get on it, and start your own country.
I am offended when political events and public proceedings start with a prayer or a religious benediction. I don’t think that our president should take the oath of office on a bible or that we should ever know or care what the private beliefs of any elected official might be. The sky could literally be falling on your heads, and if the only person on the planet with the ability to hold it up happened to be pro-choice on abortion, you’d let the sky fall.
Organized prayer has no place in public schools, so stop trying to bring it back. The lack of prayer in schools is not responsible for the moral decay of this country; in fact there is no proof there is any moral decay…except that you say so. What you describe as immorality has always existed. The only differences are that now it’s more in-your-face, because of the information age, and there are waaaay more people than there used to be. And if we are going to have a pledge of allegiance to our flag, then let’s go back to the original version. The revised version, fortified with god, causes indigestion (I forgot to mention I don’t capitalize the g-word either).
From the blog, Dover Beach,
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”
- Are we a Christian nation? (antwrites.com)
- Is the US a ‘Christian nation’? Should we want to be? (pocketpurposeblog.wordpress.com)
- The Creationism Pledge (dangeroustalk.net)
- The Slide to Perdition (pacificbullmoose.wordpress.com)