Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The End of the World

I bet you have all heard the story that the Mayan Calendar predicts that the world will end on December 12th, 2012. (If not: Google Mayan Calender 2010)
Ha Ha Ha, all those people will feel REALLY stupid when the world actually ends October 21st, 2011!
THAT will teach those 2012 Mayan-End-of-World-ers not to make stupid stuff up!
See: When the World REALLY ends

Now, the Mayan Calendar ends on December 12th, 2012, so if the end of a calendar is to be taken as an indication for this world’s demise, then MY calendar predicts the end of the world to be on December 31st, THIS year!
THAT will teach those people from WeCanKnow not to make up silly stuff!

So, anyway, I’m obviously not buying a 2011 calendars this year!

(Because they’ll be much cheaper in January 2011)

There’s one thing that really puzzles me, though:

The WeCanKnow people are obviously very devout Christians with a very literal view of the Bible. But despite their self confessed claim of a strictly  literal interpretation of the Bible, they take a quote from the Bible, and then say: “Err.. NAH, that’s not true”.
Granted, there are some passages in the Bible that are quite nebulous, pure gibberish, actually, so it’s to be expected that people disagree about their meaning.

The mentioned quote however, is not one of those; it’s one of the more straightforward, to-the-point, clear, unambiguous statements. In fact, the WeCanKnow people admit that all the different Christian factions that fight over differences in Biblical interpretations, agree on this one! It’s THAT clear: NOBODY knows when the Rapture will be. NOT EVEN JESUS!

Mark 12:32 (KJV) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Then, given that one holds the Bible as the literal, infallible and inerrant word of an all-knowing and all-powerful Lord, how twisted a mind does one need, to then turn around, point at a VERY clear statement, and say: “Sorry, My Dear Omniscient Lord, but you’re wrong!”?

How can anyone say such a thing without myriads of very loud alarm bells going off and huge red flags being raised in the logic-and-reason department of his or her brain?

The mind boggles.

PostHeaderIcon Sorry, no cracker today

Wafer“Polly wants a cracker”

Sorry Polly, can’t have one, cuz you voted for Obama, and by doing so, you have aligned yourself with ‘intrinsic evil’.

For details see: link

If you know me you will now expect a long and bitter rant about abuse of (in this case: perceived) authority …

But I will show strength and restrict myself to a simple remark, since my blood pressure is way too high already as it is.

Concerning the remark by the volunteer church lector:

“I don’t understand anyone who would call themselves a Christian, let alone a Catholic, and could vote for someone who’s a pro-abortion candidate,” said Ted Kelly, 64, who volunteers his time as lector for the church. “You’re talking about the murder of innocent beings.”

“anyone who would call themselves a Christian, let alone a Catholic …” let alone a Catholic? Can you say ‘arrogance’?

Oh RIGHT, I forgot, Catholics are those Über Christians. I know: I was raised as one.

“You’re talking about the murder of innocent beings.” .. True! But I’m just wondering: Are you a vegetarian, Mr. Ted Kelly?

 

PostHeaderIcon Xmas (or Festivus for the rest of us)

labarumI meant to make this my Xmas post, but hey, I’m a procrastinator.  Bite me!

Anyway, I recently read the CNN commentary “You can’t take Christ out of Christmas” by a certain Roland S. Martin. You can read it here:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/12/20/roland.martin/index.html

Somewhere in the article Mr. Martin tells us:

And I’m sorry, forget X-M-A-S. Malcolm X? Yes. X replacing Christ? No. 

I immediately decided to write a post about this in order to clarify this misconception to ignorant people like Mr. Martin. Share knowledge and educate .. you know.

But before I get to XMAS and the origin of the word, I must confess that I was somewhat surprised that an obvious deeply religious man like Mr. Martin can be so ignorant concerning ages old habits and traditions of his own religion. After reading such a grand blooper, I wondered who IS this Mr. Martin? Forunately, the footnotes in his article shed some some light on this question:

Roland S. Martin is a nationally award-winning journalist and CNN contributor. Martin is studying to receive his master’s degree in Christian communications at Louisiana Baptist University, and he is the author of “Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith.”

I admit, I had no clue what “Christian Communications” meant. So I looked it up: you can get an idea here:

http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-communication.html

I guess the command “Be kind to one another – Ephesians 4:32” sums it all up nicely. And in that respect, I fear that Mr. Martin, in calling people “idiots” and their different views “ridiculous” and “pathetic”, still has a looooong way to go in his studies.

I can’t resist quoting a few more gems from this article. Says Mr. Martin:

What the heck are “Seasons Greetings”? Can someone tell me what season we are greeting folks about? 

Then a bit later he answers his own question by the befuddling:

we should continue to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Thereby a) acknowledging that he DOES know what season we’re greeting and b) acknowledging his ignorance concerning the REAL reason for the seasons (the Earth’s axis being tilted to its orbital plane).

Here’s another curious remark:

Don’t get me wrong; I’m very respectful of other religions.

A rather non-Christian attitude! The Bible is less respectful of other religions (Deuteronomy 13:6-10). And I won’t even mention the Inquisition.

And when Mr. Martin said:

we shouldn’t dismiss Muslims when the annual pilgrimage to Mecca is held during December. In fact, Americans are so ignorant of other faiths..

Speaking of “ignorant of other faiths”: I wonder if Mr. Martin is aware of the fact that the annual pilgrimage to Mecca is not necessarily always in December. But what IS clear, is that Mr. Martin is ignorant of certain aspects of even his OWN faith, which brings us back to his nonsensical remark about the word Xmas.

I won’t touch on the mystifying reference to Malcolm X (which is, to adopt Mr. Martin’s Christian Communications writing style, “so ridiculous that it’s pathetic”). I only would like to explain that the X in Xmas, contrary to what Mr. Martin seems to believe, does NOT stand for ‘crossing out Christ from Christmas’. To abbreviate ‘Christ’ by the letter X is a centuries old CHRISTIAN tradition and is based on the Greek spelling of “Christ”. This ages old symbol for Christ(usually depicted as a combination of an X and P) is known as Labarum. In modern typesetting, the P is now often dropped and just the X remains. But it is STILL a thoroughly Christian (Xian!) symbol and tradition.

It’s ironic that Mr. Martin is now discarding part of his own Christian heritage, solely based on a religious ignorance that he so easily accuses other Americans of.

Mr. Martin… here are some simple research tips for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xmas:

In ancient Christian art, X and XP are abbreviations for Christ’s name. In many manuscripts of the New Testament and icons, X is an abbreviation for Christos ..

http://www.christmaspast.info/forums/Main01/messages/647932485.html

The scribes who copied New Testament manuscripts had no intention of taking Christ out of the New Testament. They used the abbreviation simply to save time and space. …

http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/xmasabbr.asp

Oh, and yes, I DO know that Xmas is a holiday that got hijacked by Christianity from a much older Pagan tradition and that it’s based on celebrating the winter solstice (in the Northern hemisphere), but I fear that would be too advanced a topic for Mr. Martin.

See for instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas#Pre-Christian_origins

In part, the Christmas celebration was created by the early Church in order to entice pagan Romans to convert to Christianity without losing their own winter celebrations

PostHeaderIcon 666

749For a long time, Judeo-Christian people have considered the number 666 to be the mark of The Beast (The Devil Himself).

Interestingly, it now appears that this number once had a lower value: 616 to be exact.

See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_the_Beast

In May 2005, it was reported that scholars at Oxford University using advanced imaging techniques[9] had been able to read previously illegible portions of the earliest known record of the Book of Revelation, from the Oxyrhynchus site, Papyrus 115 or P115, dating to the mid to late third century. The fragment gives the Number of the Beast as 616 (chi, iota, stigma), rather than the majority text 666 (chi, xi, stigma).[1] The other early witness Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C) has it written in full: hexakosiai deka hex(lit. six hundred sixteen).[10]

Significantly, P115 aligns with Codex Alexandrinus (A) and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C) which are generally regarded as providing the best testimony to Revelation. Thus, P115 has superior testimony to that of P47 which aligns with Codex Sinaiticus and together form the second-best witness to the Book of Revelation. This has led some scholars to conclude that 616 is the original number of the beast

This means that the devil’s number is subject to inflation!

Which made me wonder what the devil’s number is TODAY.

So, after two years of focussing my considerable mathematical knowledge and skills on this problem I can now reveal the 21st century value of the number of The Beast.

It’s …

 749.

(I’m SO sorry for the folks in Reeves, Louisiana:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,318765,00.html)

PostHeaderIcon Mitt Romney’s faith

Mitt Romney faith speechJust a few loose remarks about Mitt Romney’s “faith”-speech:



Mr. Romney said:

..I am an American running for president. I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith.

Considering that he also mentioned that he did not “confuse” religion and politics, I wonder if he would agree with a slight broadening of the last sentence of the quote given above: “A person should not be elected because of his faith or lack thereof nor should he be rejected because of his faith or lack thereof.”

I fear his campaign would have been over had he said it that way …

As for his remark:

Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom

uhm… been to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan or Iran lately, Mitt? And if you plan a trip to these countries, better keep that quote to yourself! Religion is NEVER about freedom.

He furthermore mentioned that:

… some have taken the idea of separation of church and state beyond its original meaning by trying to remove any acknowledgment of God from the public arena

Not quite. The vast majority of ‘secularists’ simply don’t want their tax dollars being spent on such “acknowledgements of God”. That’s all. Sure, there may be a handful of folks who’d like to see it “removed from the public arena” altogether, but they are greatly outnumbered by the ones who prefer to force their beliefs down everyone’s throat (10 commandments in courthouses, religious dogma in science classes, you name it). In that respect: the number of people who take the constitution beyond its original meaning is negligible compared to the ones knowingly violating it on a daily basis.

On the same topic he reminded us that:

It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America — the religion of secularism. They are wrong.

This, of course, is nonsense. NOBODY who favors a strict separation of church and state favors the establishment of a new religion. They either are “in it” to protect the freedom of the faith they already have (quite a few!), or they’re not interested in a religion to begin with. To call ‘secularism’ a religion is not understanding the issue.

But all in all, compared to a Mike Huckabee, who calls himself “a Christian Leader” and actively plays the “faith card” .. Romney’s slight downplaying of his faith and its influence on his politics is .. ever so slightly .. refreshing.

PostHeaderIcon Death Threat II

bibleAh, yes, I said I would continue the death threat post… Well, here goes.

First of all, I feel I should apologize, not only for waiting this long with the follow-up, but also for my overly dramatic intro to what I really wanted to post about: some of my readers interpreted my post as if I was fleeing from the mentioned threat. This was not the case.
Let me quickly go over my previous post, beginning with the end: my “if I survive this” was not a reference to forementioned threat, but was solely triggered by my fear of flying: every single time I board a plane, I’m CONVINCED it’s going to crash.

The “… it stays there” was, of course, a reference to a popular TV commercial for a city in Nevada “What happens in Vegas, STAYS in Vegas”, and yes that was the far away place in the desert where I went to attend the Freedom Fest conference. As for things staying in Vegas … it’s clear that they are referring to your money! It definitely stays there! It’s an amazing city .. but also a city built by losers.

So, what about the threat then? Was there a death threat? Well, to be honest, the man uttering the threat doesn’t know me personally and he threatened MANY people. But still, I do, kind of, take this personally, and yes, I think this is one scary dude … and so are his followers: VERY scary people.

Who am I talking about?

I’m talking about an extremist fundamentalist group of Christians calling themselves Reconstructionists and their leader, a certain Gary North.

In brief, they simply want to implement THEIR very extremist religious views and laws as this nation’s law and anyone opposing this idea should be put to death.

I can assure you, that I, personally, am NOT in favor of implementing biblical law in this country: hence the death threat!

To keep this post short (I could go on and on about this, but it would be detrimental to my blood pressure) I’ll just quote something from an article I just read (link here) [emphasis mine]:

North has called for the death penalty … for youngsters who curse their parents, gays and others who violate HIS interpretation of biblical law.

He has argued that stoning is the preferred means of capital punishment, noting that it is a communal activity and “the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost.”

So.

There you have it.

This poor excuse of a man, this incredibly stupid ignorant idiot, thinks stoning people to death for … whatever he is afraid of … should be made lawful. And oh, it’s also cheap and a stimulating social activity (unless, I have to assume, it’s YOUR child that’s being stoned to death).

Incredibly scary! Just suppose that this man gets his way. Then he will manage to do what the worst weapons of mass destruction would never be able to accomplish: He would wipe out the entire human species within one or two generations!

Given the fact that all teenagers have their genes hardwired to ‘disobey’ their parents, they will ALL be stoned to death. As said, that will take care of the human species REAL fast. Good riddens.

Anyway, if you think gays are human too, and if you want your kids to live past age 18, even though they just informed you that you know NOTHING and that you’re only here to make their lives miserable, or if you simply don’t like stoning people to death for not agreeing with something … then you just have been warned!

From another source: [link]

The members aren’t necessarily dangerous, but the movement is Very Disturbing in it’s [sic] ideology.
And if it ever came to political power, it would be disasterous [sic] for this civilization.
Freedom under a Christian Reconstructionist government would be similar to that of Stalan [sic] or Hitler.

(and that’s ‘not necessarily dangerous’ HOW?)

And here’s another, quite readable, article that mentions that even some fundamentalist associates of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell find these reconstructionists ‘scary’: link to article.

Now… if Falwell followers find people ‘scary’ for being too fundamentalistic, you KNOW you’re on to something REALLY creepy!

PostHeaderIcon Jesus goes High Tech

Jesus chipOnline casino Golden Palace.com gets a chance to extend their collection of Holy Apparitions (they were the ones who purchased the ‘St Mary-In-The-Cheese-Sandwich’ artifact for $28,000 – link -): This time Jesus Himself appeared … but it’s not exactly the booming voice from the sky … you need an electron miscroscope to see His image on a 4 Gig flash memory chip from Samsung.

Don’t you agree with me that Jesus REALLY looks like Osama Bin Laden!

Scary, isn’t it?

(“Jesus appears in Samsung Flash memory chip” – link -)

PostHeaderIcon Plain Nucking Futs

Nucking FutsI haven’t introduced a NutCase Of The Week in a long time.

So, one of my most dedicated readers took it upon herself to provide me with some input. (Thanks Deannie, for the links .. you’re now officially a Research Fellow for paulclaessen.com/blog – that means, you can now put RF-CCB behind your name! .. And in case you’re wondering about compensation: it’s an Honorary title!)

The case I’d like to mention here involves not one but TWO Nutcases (yes, that’s with a capital N).

Not only does it involve two of them… they are even married. And it is a sad sad story. Horrifying, in fact.

It’s the short but sad story of Joshua Royce Mauldin and his wife Eva Marie Mauldin.

And their two months old daughter Ana Marie.

And Satan.

What happended? This simple one line quote from the article (link) sums it all up:

Eva Marie Mauldin said Satan compelled her 19-year-old husband, Joshua Royce Mauldin, to microwave their daughter May 10 because the devil disapproved of Joshua’s efforts to become a preacher.

Not sure why I blog about this, because, upon re-reading that sentence, I’m at a loss for words!

Where is the logic? ANYONE who wants to become a preacher KNOWS that Satan isn’t happy about such a career path! So why on earth would a wannabe preacher appease the devil by burning the one child that he loves so much? The horrible case of Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children, because she thought they weren’t worthy enough to appear before their Lord Jesus Christ, makes more sense than this! (okay… only slightly more). WHY burn your beloved child to appease a creature that you intend to warn the world about?

Well.. there IS no logic. In fact the husband denied that that’s what happened. While STILL a terribly sad and horrible case, he claims he did it while being totally stressed out. A more believable scenario. How many crying babies have died horrible deaths by the hands of their completely stressed out parents? Unfortunately… many! WAY too many. It SHOULDN’T happen … but it happens. And while WE would never do such a thing and express out disgust … deep down… VERY deep down .. quite a few of us understand how it could have come to that. SOME of us! Not you, of course, and not me… Just a few of us.

So where, then, does the devil come into play? The wife! She has SEEN the loving father. But also witnessed the horrible event. And simply refuses to accept the horrible truth. Cannot face reality. And the mind starts looking for soothing, numbing explanations.. something outside reality. Like so many people do. And then the stories of supernatural beings ALL GOOD or ALL EVIL come to mind. Faith comes to mind. And then there’s that sudden solution to the problem: GOD told me to drown my five children .. SATAN told me to put my child in the microwave.

So, maybe, after all it’s not simply a case of being a nutcase. But more one of out-of-control stress. And pathological denial, fed and nurtured by superstition.

But it remains a sad and disturbing story.

And more disturbing than the story of the lady who put her poodle in the microwave to ‘dry’ if after taking it for a walk in the rain!

Because that’s based on sheer stupidity as where in the “husband’s” case, he may claim stress.. but stress still is no excuse for violence.

And this was an act of violence.

PostHeaderIcon My achy breaky heart

Survived this oneLast Monday morning, around 2am.

“You KNOW God is with you right now, right?” .. whispered she from behind me.

In other circumstances I gladly would have engaged in the discussion by informing her that I, in fact, did not know that, and more specifically, that I was pretty sure he wasn’t, and that if he WAS, he wasn’t doing his job.
But this was neither the place nor the time, so I kinda nodded. After all, she was a very nice girl and meant well.

Just before entering a room she stopped and walked up next to me, turned around, grabbed my hand, gazed me in the eyes and said: “Do you want me to pray with you?”
This is always a bit of an embarassing question to a devout atheist like myself, but in this instance even more unsettling, since a) I found myself in a situation where the LAST thing you want to hear is people praying for you, as it usually means there’s nothing else they can do anymore, and b) I just had several people ‘work’ on me, from hooking me up to an EKG, to taking chest X-rays and stabilizing my blood pressure, heart rate and pain (administering nitroglycerine, lopressor and (yummie!) morphine), and now I was ‘supposed’ to be rushed to have a CT scan to look for blood clots, so I found it a bit disturbing that this, undoubtly well meaning, nurse delayed this process by trying to take out some time for praying to God.

I’m fairly sure (not really, since I don’t believe in God) that if God didn’t want me to have this heart attack, I wouldn’t have been here in the first place.
So I responded with something like “Mwnaah”, with that friendly “Maybe not today” look one uses when someone tries to sell you something for a good cause at your door when you’re watching a Spurs playoff game (Go Spurs!).
“Well”, she smiled at me, “be sure that I certainly WILL pray for you!”. Again, friendly as it may have been meant, I didn’t find it very encouraging for my situation.

Then, when she prepared me for the CT scan she happily informed me that I was going to experience the closest thing to female menopause (something about a warm feeling like I had been peeing all over my self  (apparently induced by the injected dye liquid) .. ? .. Uhm… okay).

The whole procedure made me think of going through a whirring rotating mini-Stargate.
But that was all.

When she enthousiastically enquired about ‘that’ feeling, I had to tell her that I, truthfully, hadn’t experienced anything of the kind.
She was visibly disappointed by this. She didn’t speak a word while she pushed me back to the ER.

No feeling of peeing all over myself, and no prayer sessions, it must have been a disappointing night for her.

Mine wasn’t too great either: Around 4am I was admitted.

PostHeaderIcon Understatement of the year: “You can understand we’re a little different”


Dear IRS, we cannot pay our income tax, as it is against our faith