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Posts specifically regarding Christianity

Ray “The Banana Man” Comfort -VS- …The Vatican?

ray-bananaThere is an article on The Living Waters website about “The Banana Man’s” (hereafter referred to as BM) disagreement with the Vatican’s “endorsement” of evolution.  Yes, in February the Vatican officially endorsed the notion that Darwinian evolution is compatible with the Bible’s account of Genesis. BM decided to take the gloves off and evoke the written testimony of non other than…wait for it…JESUS! Yes, I said Jesus. BM actually said:

Ray Comfort, author of the hottest Christian book on Amazon, “You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence But You Can’t Make Him Think,” points out Jesus himself backed up the Genesis account of Creation when he said, “In the beginning God created them male and female.”

 Well, that seals the deal! I didn’t know Jesus said it. I think BM was serious too. BM would make a great prosecuting attorney, “Your Honor, allow me to call forward my next witness to this terrible homicide…the tooth fairy. The tooth fairy herself was hovering above the house of the victim and will back up the prosecution’s account of how the murder took place”. Calling forth Jesus as a witness to the validity of creation is like verifying the existence of Santa’s workshop by …asking Santa. I can’t understand why anyone even listens to BM. Every time I hear or read anything he says I find myself confounded by his sophomoric ramblings. Here is BM’s next revelation:

“But the Vatican has chosen to officially believe Darwin rather than Jesus,” added Comfort. “That belief reveals a shallow understanding of the claims of atheistic evolution. God gave us six senses, and the sixth one is common sense. That one doesn’t get used when it comes to Darwin’s theory. And that’s the problem – its devoted believers don’t think too deeply. That’s why I wrote the book. It shows that Darwin’s theory is a fantasy – a ridiculous and unscientific fairy tale for grownups.”

BM suggests (in his support of Genesis) that Darwin’s theories are, “fantasy – a ridiculous and unscientific fairy tale for grownups.” Yes, one of the biggest evangelical proponents of creationism (Adam’s “rib”+ God =Woman) believes that Darwin’s theories are a, “…fairy tale for grownups”.  Truly boggles the mind.

The story ends with a commercial to promote the sale of BM’s books. He has written over sixty. Nice little business BM has going. Remember what Jesus said BM, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” I know it’s true because Jesus said so!

Some of Us Are Closer to Primates Than Others…

monkey-0214-12

I couldn’t possibly count on all of “God’s” appendages how many crazy fundie opinions I have read or heard through the years,  but this one might take the cake.

Sean McDowell at WorldViewTimes.com has written a brilliant article on the recent “Monkey Attack” in Connecticut. His article  ingeniously illustrates why Charles Darwin was directly responsible for this animals savagery.

Allow me to quote Sean:

Nevertheless, we need to ask a basic question: How could something like this happen? How is it that we live in a culture where people think it’s safe to have a chimpanzee as a pet? Where do people get the idea that we ought to take a wild animal and treat it like a human being? The chimp owner treated the animal like a son who ate at her table, slept in her house, and even drove her car.

Ideas do not exist in a vacuum. In fact, there is one culprit for the idea that human beings and chimps are really not that different and should be treated that way: Darwinism.

Yep, Darwinism!  Sean’s article seemed silly enough so as not to even deserve rebuttal… but I couldn’t help it.  Sean is right about one thing. Ideas don’t exist in a vacuum. Blind faith exists in a vacuum. To blame a scientific theory (Darwinism) for an animal attack is silly, but to suggest that this theory alone makes the case that we are similar to chimps is insulting. Darwinism, by itself, doesn’t suggest we are similar to apes. It is evidenced by our own DNA! We share 95% of our DNA sequence and 99% of the coding of DNA sequences with primates. Sean continues:

Yet, ironically, this week we witness a brutal act that seems to logically follow from Darwin’s ideas. You may be wondering how I can possibly link Darwin to this atrocious event. But think about it, if humans are deeply related to chimps then why not expect them to act that way?

The attack, “logically follows Darwin’s ideas?!?” Crazy person says what? This last statement almost sounds crazier than the rantings of The Banana Man himself, Ray Comfort (Monkey story = Banana Reference).  Sean wants to know why, if we are so “deeply related,” chimps don’t act more human? We need to first identify which humans Sean is referencing. I guess Sean “disremembered” these world class examples of God’s work:

  • David Berkowitzz – aka “Son of Sam” and “The .44 Caliber Killer”; convicted of six murders in New York
  • Bloody Benders – family who killed guests at their inn in Labette County, Kansas in 1872
  • Robert Berdella – convicted of killing six men in 1988 in Kansas City, Missouri; sexually tortured and dismembered his victims
  • Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, Jr. – aka the “Hillside Strangler”; killers of 13 women and possibly involved in three other killings
  • Richard Biegenwald – convicted of killing five people in the early 1980s in the Asbury Park, New Jersey area; suspected in at least  six  other murders
  • Arthur Gary Bishop – Utah man who murdered five young boys; executed in 1988
  • Terry Blair – Kansas City serial killer and rapist; active 1982–2004
  • William Bonin– aka “The Freeway Killer”; with several accomplices, claimed the lives of 20 boys in California
  • Robert Charles Browne – convicted of two murders in Colorado; confessed to 48 murders
  • Jerry Brudos – aka “The Lust Killer” and “Shoe Fetish Slayer”; killed at least five women in Oregon
  • Ted Bundy-law student who raped and murdered more than 35 women in six states

These are just the B listers from the United States.  Did Sean forget that even humans are capable of “animal like” savagery? Sean’s expedition into the absurd ends with a condemnation of “Darwinism” being wrong (a little presumptive) and corrosive (unlike Christianity, which in all of it’s history never hurt anyone… *wink*… *wink*). Considering some of the humans God saw fit to include in his plan for the earth, I think Sean owes all chimps an apology for comparing them to mankind.

Swearing on the Bible

Steve Wells over at Dwindling in Unbelief has a great post about Obama’s second round swearing in.

During “Take Two” of the Oath of Office, there was no Bible used for the ceremony. “So help me God” was still tacked on the end, despite the words’ glaring absence in the Constitution, but the lack of a Bible was a step in the right direction.

As Steve puts it…

The Bible, of course, is worse than useless when it comes to consistent advice on morality. But the New Testament (to avoid confusion, ignore the Old Testament on this one) is pretty clear about one thing: Christians shouldn’t swear. Not to God and not on the Bible or on anything else.

He then quotes Matthew 5:34-37

34 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

…and James 5:12

12 Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.

…to back up his argument. That seems pretty clear to me. Not only shouldn’t the Bible be used (according to the Bible itself), but the swearing in shouldn’t happen at all! Evidently, it’s a pretty UN-Christian thing to do.

So if our Constitution requires our President to take an oath of office, which is contrary to what the Christian religion allows, does that mean that our country isn’t a Christian nation?

I love irony.

A Dark Journey

Unreasonable Faith is in the top three of my favorite blogs and Daniel Florien has completed four parts (so far) in a series called “An Evil God? A Journey Through the Dark Parts of the Bible” in which he points out some (many) of the problems with the Bible… especially when it comes to using it as any kind of moral guidebook.

He does a great job of laying out his arguments and it’s definately worth a read.

Christian Bashing?

From the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission comes this list of the top ten instances of Christian bashing in 2008.

Ebonmuse over at Daylight Atheism wrote a nice piece about the absurdity of the whole claim of Christians being persecuted. intelekshual hits on the topic with her (I think) customary acerbic wit.

Christian Oppression?The whole idea of Christians being some sort of persecuted minority is just absurd. The criticisms generally only come when Christians attempt to push their ideology and dogma onto the real minority groups. The blind arrogance of acting as if they are somehow the underdog, as if they have a lock on the “Truth,” as if they’re better than those with different beliefs, as if they deserve pity for withstanding so much persecution… it’s just incredible.

The CADC’s mission statement is this:

The mission of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) is to advance religious liberty for Christians by protecting Christians from defamation, discrimination, and bigotry from any and all sources by means of education and selected legal services including litigation, inside the United States and internationally.

“…protecting Christians from defamation, discrimination, and bigotry…”

Who will protect the rest of us from their defamation, discrimination, and bigotry? That remains the much larger issue.

A Perfect Example

Today, I read a perfect example of how religious dogma transcends all rationality and practicality. The link to the article is at the end, but here’s the synopsis.

A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him “constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil.”

Evidently, the priest distributed a letter to parishioners telling them that they are “putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.” The article goes on to say “A few church leaders said parishioners risked their immortal soul by voting for candidates who support abortion rights.”

Doing penance for their vote? Risking their immortal soul by voting a certain way?

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Seriously? He is?

I’ve read quite a bit recently about Barack Obama being the Anti-Christ. There’s a chain email (in multiple versions) going around giving the Biblical predictions for this. It’s been covered on Snopes, but I just wanted to re-emphasize the nonsensical nature of it because I personally know someone who claims this to be true, citing the email as one of the pieces of evidence to back up her claim.

Here’s the gist of the email.

According to The Book of Revelations the anti-Christ is: The anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal…. the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything. Is it OBAMA??

Read the Snopes post for the full debunking, but there are a few points I want to reiterate here.

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The Ten Commandments: Why most of them aren’t even good suggestions (Part 2)

The source for the following essay is Deuteronomy 5:6-5:21.

Well, here we are with commandment two.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

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Founded as a Christian Nation? No.

One of the common claims that tends to irk me more than some others is the claim that the United States was founded as a Christian nation or based on Christian principles. This misconception has been refuted a multitude of times, but the refutations always seem to fall on the deaf ears of self-righteous, Christian ignorance.

The claim is usually made during political discussions, but the intellectual morose of the argument is evident regardless of context. I most frequently hear the statement from people who don’t have the information required to back up the claim and who refuse to acknowledge any evidence that threatens to penetrate their self-imposed cocoon of ignorance. For good reason, it seems, since if they did choose to acknowledge the evidence, their claim would be simply invalidated.

Looking at the text that the Founding Fathers of the United States of America used makes it unquestionably evident that a “Christian Nation” was not what they intended to create.

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The Ten Commandments: Why most of them aren’t even good suggestions (Part 1)

The source for the following essays is Deuteronomy 5:6-5:21.

How many times has the debate on religion begun, only to end in short order with the religious apologist arguing that what you say may or may not be true but you can’t argue that the TEN COMMANDMENTS weren’t a great contribution to out collective civility.

Wrong. I can. Lets take them one at a time. Over the next ten weeks I’m going to be discussing one commandment per week. Here goes.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

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