Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Death is Forever

I am heading into what I hope will be my final surgery to reconstruct my bone structure after the Christian man Mark Nigon nearly took my life while driving drunk last July.
As I prepare to go under the knife, I am forced to think about the permanence of death and how Christians seem to have absolutely no understanding of it. If you are interested in the accident please visit www.nomoredrunks.blogspot.com

I have discussed the detriments of how Christians live for the next life instead of living for the one that they are in here. The mindset that you are going to spend eternity in another world can only have a negative effect on how you treat the world that you are currently in. After all if this world means nothing compared to the next then what possible reason could there be for you to take care of it? I would like to discuss another danger of this type of thinking though. This involves the permanence of death.

Because Christians are living for the next life and not for this one they will likely miss out on what this life has to offer. The idea of living for the next life has been used effectively throughout history as a means to keep the masses under control. With this idea so embedded into the majority of the population though a new danger has come about. Christians genuinely believe that there is another life beyond this one. This belief leads to a general downward spiral that devalues human life, or any life for that matter.

Christians believe that when you die you will either go to Heaven
or Hell. Because of this belief mixed with the selfish nature of human beings, an utter disregard for life
will be created. If a human is “evil” or “wicked” and he is killed then he will go to hell and thus get what he/she deserves. If a person is “good” or “just” then he/she will go to heaven and yet again, will get what they deserve. Most people regardless of their religious affiliation are assumed to go to heaven because it is just much nicer for us to think of them in that way after they have departed. If you ever go to a funeral you will hear things like “He is in a better place” or “He is with God now.” The only people that are assumed to go to hell are criminals that are high profile in our media, or people that may have had very few others that cared about them.

Here is the problem. If there is no wrong in death because everyone that dies will get their “just desserts” then there is no wrong in taking a life by accident or through negligence. This gives people a free pass to be reckless with human life. A Christian man can drive drunk and nearly kill someone then go to the trial and say that they are praying for that person in an attempt to have the judge reduce their sentence based on their faith and good candor. A Christian might feel that they are doing God’s work by removing a non-believer from this world.

It is no secret that Christian belief is deadly in many areas. The interpretation of scriptures by different people can result in varying beliefs about the meaning of that scripture. This is dangerous because Christians feel that their laws are superior to the laws of the land even though countries that are more secular tend to be more progressive and humanitarian. In other words, if you injure or kill someone out of negligence or religious intentions, you will be punished in the same manner as if it was intentional. There is no way to reverse the damage that you do by ending someone’s life. They are gone, dead, finished. There is no heaven or hell or afterlife, however comforting you might find the thought. You must directly pay for your actions. So what is the answer for the person that is concerned that they might be caught in the crossfire, in the wrong place at the wrong time? Make better decisions, don’t be in bad places, and don’t hang with bad people. If you are putting yourself in situations that increase the possibility of you being involved in the harming of another human being then be prepared to accept responsibility.

Shaking in Frank Walton's Boots!

To be fair to Christians I must say first and foremost that Frank Walton is not your typical Christian. As a matter of fact most Christians find him embarrassing. Frank Walton is scared to debate me after our last encounter and is using his tactics to keep voices like mine silent in his forum. This type of censorship of information does not lead to healthy discussion. It is the type of totalitarian technique that has been employed throughout history by fascist regimes. I am just thankful that Frank Walton is alive in this day and age and that he is only a college student with no real power. History has shown that Frank Walton under different circumstances, in a different time, would be the type that would condone the torture and murder of anyone who did not have a view similar to his own.

I have offered to debate Frank Walton. He has turned it down. Frank Walton is scared. He should be scared. If he debated me he would be forced to answer real questions that he does not have the answer to. He would be forced to admit that he censors comments on his site based on more than just his “rules.” I have even offered to answer his question directly. Frank Walton is scared. He might say he isn’t but his refusal to answer me clearly shows that he is. Actions always speak louder than words. So keep that tail tucked between your legs Frank Walton. I am watching you.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Drunk Christians!

Ever wonder who the Christians in your community are?


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Think People, Think!

A while back I made the statement to my mother that if someone could present proof that God existed that I would have no choice but to believe. My mother, having genuine concern for where my soul will eternally rest found Laura, who claimed that she had the evidence that I was looking for. This is the resulting email that I received from her. My Critique is in bold and the chit chat “nice to know you” stuff has been edited out. Christians think that the Bible is proof of their claims. They need to understand that the Bible is fundamentally flawed and that if they want to convince anyone of its divinity that they have to look for outside sources. This is what it will take to convince the world. The scientific community would call it “empirical evidence.” Enjoy!

In 1613 the Italian scientist Galileo published a work known as "Letter on Sunspots." In it, he presented evidence that the earth rotates around the sun, rather than the sun around the earth. By writing this work, he set in motion a series of events that finally brought him before the Roman Catholic Inquisition under emotionally charged suspicion of heresy. Eventually, he was forced to recant. The reason for him being so mistreated was that the Church claimed that what he said was contrary to what the Bible says. If the Bible is so accurate in scientific fields, why did the Catholic Church say that Galileo's teaching that the earth moved around the sun was not scriptural? Because of the way the authorities (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 6, 1967, p.252) interpreted certain Bible verses. Were they correct? There are some scriptures they quoted so let me share them with you. Ecclesiastes 1:5 says, "The sun rises, the sun sets; then to its place it speeds and there it rises." According to the Church's argument, expressions such as "the sun rises" and "the sun sets" mean that the sun, not the earth, is moving. But even today we say that the sun rises and sets, and most of us know that it is the earth that moves, not the sun. When we or others use expressions like these, we are merely describing the apparent motion of the sun as it appears to a human observer; The Bible writer was doing exactly the same.

First and foremost I would agree with you that the majority of the damage that has been done throughout history has been done by religious organizations. The Bible in and of itself is only indirectly responsible. Its inaccuracies and inconsistencies are the reasons that such assumptions are reached. So this topic makes me wonder, if “God” knew that the sun was already fixed and that the earth rotated around it then why is it written that Joshua made the sun stand still? Joshua 10:13. How did Isaiah make the sun move backwards? 2 Kings 20:11 and Isaiah 38:8. Also I have to wonder if the true size and movement was understood by biblical authors then how come they were under the assumption that these massive things in the sky called “stars” could fall to the ground? Daniel 8:10, Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24-25.

The other scripture says: "You fixed the earth on its foundations, unshakable for ever and ever." (Psalm 104:5) This statement by the Church back then interpreted it to mean that after its creation the earth could never move. Another scripture at Ecclesiastes 1:4 says, "A generation is going and a generation is coming but the earth is standing even to time indefinite". Actually, the verse stresses the permanence of the earth, not its immobility. (The earth will never be shaken out of existence, or destroyed, as other Bible verses confirm. Psalm 37:29 says, "The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it." So much for everyone dying and going to heaven or a fiery hell; just a little Bible side point for those who believe in it)

I believe that the point you were trying to get at here was that of a fixed earth. Although you quote a vague scripture in Psalms that is easily interpreted many different ways, the Bible is actually very clear on the earth being non-moveable. It is only our nature to think that we are the center of all things. The Bible states that when God created the earth that he set it on Pillars. 1 Samuel 2:8, Job 9:6, Psalm 75:3. The Bible is also very clear on its claim that the earth does not move. Psalm 93:1, 96:10, 104:5.

So in Galileo's time, it was the Church, not the Bible, that hindered free scientific discussion. The Bible really does not get involved in saying whether the earth revolves around the sun or the sun revolves around the earth. They should have listened to Galileo.

Actually yes it does get involved, and yes they should have listened to Galileo.

Also we can think back to the time of Columbus and how the general consensus was that the earth was flat. If they would have read their Bible they would have learned that the earth was round and it had nothing holding it up. The scriptures that tell us that are, one, Job 26:7 and it states," He is stretching out the north over the empty place, hanging the earth upon nothing."

Actually, the notion that the earth was flat was only generally held amoung the uneducated. Thank you though for showing the Bible points out that the earth hangs on nothing. But the Bible also says that the earth is set on pillars and that it was built on a foundation. Seems that God couldn’t remember how he set up the universe when he created it. Here are some scriptures pointing out the earth being set on things. Joshua 10:12, 1 Chronicles 16:30, Job 38:4-6, Jeremiah 31:37, Micah 6:2, Hebrews 1:10. We call these Biblical contradictions.

Also Isaiah 40:22 reads, "There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth." The picture conveyed of a round earth 'hanging upon nothing' in 'the empty place' reminds us of the photographs taken by astronauts of the sphere of the earth floating in empty space.

The notion of the bible calling for a round earth is debatable through interpretation. Sure if they were able to see it in a vision from space it would appear to be a circle. They may have written that from their limited perspective and it would have been perfectly acceptable. But there are other contradictions that are not. For example the Bible talks about the earth having corners. Isaiah 11:12, Ezekiel 7:2, Revelation 7:1 How could a round or even a circular earth have corners?

Then there is the water cycle. Compton's Encyclopedia describes what happens: "Water...evaporates from the surface of the oceans into the atmosphere...Steadily moving air currents in the earth's atmosphere carry the moist air inland. When the air cools, the vapor condenses to form water droplets. These are seen most commonly as clouds. Often the droplets come together to form raindrops. If the atmosphere is cold enough, snowflakes form instead of raindrops. In either case, water that has traveled from an ocean hundreds or even thousands of miles away falls to the earth's surface. There it gathers into streams or soaks into the ground and begins its journey back to the sea." This process, which makes life on dry land possible, was well described about 3,000 years ago in simple, straightforward terms in the Bible: "All streams run into the sea, yet the sea never overflows; back to the place from which the streams ran they return to run again."

The Rivers run into the ocean and the ocean doesn’t overflow!!! It’s amazing! How did they know!

Ecclesiastes 1:7. Also, Isaiah 55: 10 says in part, "For just as the pouring rain descends, and the snow, from the heavens and does not return to that place, unless it actually saturates the earth and makes it produce and sprout........"

Rain makes stuff grow? This Bible is truly pure genius! Are you making a point here?

There is also the Bible's insight into the history of mountains. This is what a textbook on geology says: "From Pre-Cambrian times down to the present, the perpetual process of building and destroying mountains has continued. ......Not only have mountains originated from the bottom of vanished seas, but they have often been submerged long after their formation, and then re-elevated." That statement was made by The Book of Popular Science (Grolier, Inc.) This can be compared with the poetic language of the Psalmist, David. It reads, "With a watery deep just like a garment you covered it (the earth). The waters were standing above the very mountains. Mountains proceeded to ascend, Valley plains proceeded to descend, to the place that you have founded for them." Psalm 104:6,8.

The geological record actually does nothing but contradict the Bible. Noah’s flood would have left some interesting geological evidence on the peaks of our mountains that is just not there. According to Genesis 7:4 it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. This was sufficient rain to cover the highest mountains. Mount Everest is 8,848 meters tall. How much rain would have to fall per hour to cover it 40 days and 40 nights? There are 40 × 24 = 960 hours of rain. You would need 8,848 ÷ 960 = 9.21 meters of rain per hour. Rain is usually measured in cm or inches. This would be the same as 921 cm per hour or 8,712 inches per day. 10 inches per day is the most ever recorded in a hurricane? It would be like a fire hose squirting down on every inch of earth. It would flatten the ark. We must presume God somehow redirected the rain away from the ark. I know it does not bother fundamentalist Christians, but where did all that water come from and where did it go? Why did it not leave a trace in the geological record? That huge weight should have buckled rocks. It should have left a fine silt layer all over the earth. Yet there is no trace of it.

The very first verse of the Bible states and I'm sure you remember it, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Gen.1:1) Observations have led scientists to theorize that the material universe did indeed have a beginning. It has not existed for all time. Jastrow, an agnostic in religious matters, wrote: " The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy."

Even if scientist are beginning to suggest that there must have been a creator the Bible is inconsistent on its own creation story. Genesis 1:25-27 has humans being created after the animals while Genesis 2 18:19 has Humans being created before the animals. Genesis 1:27 has man and woman being created simultaneously while Genesis 2:18-22 has man being created before woman. I believe that we should nail down the basics before you start diving into the complex.

It is true that many scientists, while believing that the universe had a beginning, do not accept the statement that "God created". However, some now admit that it is difficult to ignore the evidence of some kind of intelligence behind everything.

Evidence? Surely you can’t mean the Bible!

Physics professor Freeman Dyson makes this comment, "The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known that we were coming."Dyson goes on to admit: "Being a scientist, trained in the habits of thought and language of the twentieth century rather than the eighteenth, I do not claim that the architecture of the universe proves the existence of God. I claim only that the architecture of the universe is consistent with the hypothesis that mind plays an essential role in its functioning." His comment certainly betrays the skeptical attitude of our time. But putting that skepticism aside, one notes there is a remarkable harmony between modern science and the Bible's statement that "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

But which did he create first? The creation account in Genesis conflicts with the order of events that are known to science. In Genesis, the earth is created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects, and flowering plants before any animals. The true order of events was just the opposite. As Henry Morris wrote "...the Biblical chronology is about a million times shorter than the evolutionary chronology. A million-fold mistake is no small matter, and Biblical scholars surely need to give primary attention to resolving this tremendous discrepancy right at the very foundation of our entire Biblical cosmology. This is not a peripheral issue that can be dismissed with some exegetical twist, but is central to the very integrity of scriptural theology."

On to Health and Sanitation. Consider the Bible's coverage of this topic. If an Israelite had a skin blemish suspected of being leprosy, he was put in isolation. The Bible says, "All the days that the plague is in him he will be unclean. He is unclean. He should dwell isolated. Outside the camp is his dwelling place." ( Leviticus 13:46) Even infected garments were burned. The account says, "And he must burn the garment or the warp or the woof in the wool or in the linen, or any article of skin in which the plague may develop, because it is malignant leprosy. It should be burned in the fire. (Lev. 13:52) In those days, this was an effective way of preventing the spread of the infection.
Another important law had to do with the disposal of human excrement, which had to be buried outside the camp. Deuteronomy 23:12&13 says, "And a private place should be at your service outside the camp, and you must go out there. And a peg should be at your service along with your implements and it must occur that when you squat outside, you must also dig a hole with it and turn and cover your excrement." This law no doubt saved Israel from many sicknesses. Even today, severe health problems are caused in some lands by the improper disposal of human wastes. If people in those lands would only follow the law written down thousands of years ago in the Bible, they would be much healthier.

The Bible is not the only holy book to give sanitation and health guidelines. In order to protect the earth and man's environment, the Islamic law has established two fundamental principles. The first one holds that any environment-unfriendly action constitutes an offence, and it sentences the guilty ones to undergo severe punishment. As to the second one, it makes room for measures aiming at making up for the harm done to the environment, at promoting and improving the base structures of man's environment. The Islamic texts and principles that govern man's relationships with the environment severely condemn environmental pollution, and they are taught in nearly all schools of law. These texts and principles are based on Almighty Allah's command: "You shall not damage the earth like vandals." We find this divine injunction in many surat(s) of the holy Quran: "Al Baqara" ("The Cow,") verse 60; "Al Aaraf" ("The Heights,") verse 74; "Houd,"verse 85; "Ash-shouaraa" ("The Poets,") verse 183; and "Al Ankabut" ("The Spider,") verse 36. Is the Quran Holy and inspired by God? If so you have more contradictions to deal with!!!

The Bible's high standard of hygiene even involved mental health. A bible proverb said: "A calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones." (Proverbs 14:30)

And a wise man once said “a woman who flies upside down will have crack up.”

In recent years, medical research has demonstrated that our physical health is indeed affected by our mental attitude. For example, Dr. C. B. Thomas of Johns Hopkins University studied more than a thousand graduates over a period of 16 years, matching their psychological characteristics with their vulnerability to diseases. One thing she noted: The graduates most vulnerable to disease were those who were angrier and more anxious under stress.

Duh!!! Well Laura, I am not trying to be mean, but your so called “evidence” for the existence of “God” is nothing short than ramblings of your personal beliefs and half witted uneducated interpretations of what Biblical passages have said to you. If the values preached by the Bible speak to you then so be it. Please don’t go around spouting that you have empirical evidence when you clearly don’t. If I said that there was a purple three eyed monster living off of rat carcasses on Mars the burden of proof to support that claim would be on the person making it. Me! You are saying that there is this fantastic apparition in the sky and that he can be known through a holy and unique book called the Bible. The burden of proof is on you, and you have none. You cannot use the Bible to prove the Bible. My best to you. (Thanks to skeptics annotated bible and Roedy Green)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Christians are scary

From Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Christian music singer Gary Chapman will have to serve only two days of a 12-month sentence from a driving under the influence charge.He pleaded guilty to the charge on Thursday.Police arrested him for DUI and drugs during a traffic stop last year.Under his plea deal, he will serve 48 hours and pay a $350 fine. He will also lose his driver's license for a year and must take a course on alcohol.

Monday, March 5, 2007

I hate John Elway

Yea…. Football!!! There is nothing like having to wade through 50 drunken meatheads in order to get a nice tequila and an order of hot wings. They are all hi-fiving and rooting for their favorite team as they make the heroic march to the in-zone to seal the victory. They love to say things like “we won” even though I can clearly see that they have been in the bar through the whole game and never set foot onto the field. Football is so huge that they can’t even take a season off. They have created arena football so that there is something that resembles real football that you can follow in the off season. Then there are the sports interviews. These are always really entertaining. They go something like this. Q. “What were you thinking when you caught that winning touchdown pass?” A. “Well I was running down the field and the ball was coming at me, so I put my hands up, caught the ball, and then kept running!” Brilliant!

I live in Denver and John Elway is a Denver hero. Elway doesn’t play football anymore but he led the Denver Broncos to a couple of Superbowl victories. (I think, maybe someone can fill me in.) So as you drive around in Denver and the surrounding suburbs you see the Elway name all over the place. There is the Elway auto dealership, the Elway scrap yard, the Elway restaurant, the Elway dry cleaners and even the Elway high rise. (OK, I made that one up!) The funny thing is that if people see a John Elway business they feel safer purchasing a product from it because they think “Hey, John Elway is a good guy, he wouldn’t put his name on a dishonest business.” I don’t think that they understand that the real way this works is that the business calls John’s manager and ask if they can use his name. The manager says “Sure, for $1000 a month it’s all yours.” Walah… an Elway dealership.

This is the same type of mentality that occurs when dealing with a Christian business. People love to put that little fish symbol next to their ad in the phone book because they think that people will have positive associations. I am sure that there are people that look through the phone book for a service and will only call the businesses with the little fish. Of course it becomes profitable to have that little fish. In my experience the businesses that are openly Christian are actually the ones that are the best to avoid.

As I am in the process of moving I have been selling a lot of stuff. I had 4 showings in one day. Three from apparently normal people and one from an apparent Christian. She felt is necessary to tell me that they couldn’t come until the evening because they were leaders in a ministry. They also told me that they had been praying and felt that God had told them that the washer and dryer that we had for sale was meant for them. The next day all of the evil heathens that had made appointments to come see our stuff showed up to buy our stuff, the Christian couple did not show. They called about 30 minutes after they were scheduled to arrive. They explained to me that God had told them that they required further prayer before purchasing our washer and dryer and assured me that God was watching over me. I suppose it is best not to deal with Christians because you never know what God will tell them to do next.

It seems that almost everyday you can find God telling people to do crazy things. I was thinking today that maybe I shouldn’t read the news anymore. It only depresses me. Is it worth it to know what is going on in the world at the expense of always being depressed? For example…….

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia (AP) -- A longtime donor to the College of William and Mary is withholding a $12 million pledge because of the decision to remove of a cross from a campus chapel, the school said.

The donor, who was not identified, changed his mind after school President Gene Nichol decided in October that the cross should be stored in a sacristy to make the chapel welcoming to students of all faiths, Nichol spokesman Mike Connolly said.

The loss of the funds "represents a serious setback to the college," Nichol wrote in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. "While I know it is intended to make a policy statement, ultimately it only hurts our students."

Advocates of keeping the cross in Wren Chapel pointed to the school's founding 300 years ago as an institution of the Anglican Church. The cross, they argued, should be displayed not only as a symbol of faith but as an acknowledgment of history and tradition.

Nichol's supporters say the school, which has been public since 1906, is obligated to make people of different faiths feel comfortable.

Here is an institution that is open to the public, trying to be sensitive to the fact that there are many different faiths and beliefs. As silly as most of them are, people have a right to them. The ultimate purpose of this institution is education though. Why are people so insistent in making their religious statements on public institutions? Why can’t the chapel cater to everyone equally? Is their belief system so inferior that it can’t exist in the presence of another belief system? Nichol responded to the loss of funds by saying that it was time for the school to move forward and that all religions and belief systems must be represented equally. Here is his entire statement. (http://www.wm.edu/news/index.php?id=7434&readMore=true#readMore) I have to say that I have the utmost respect for this man. For 12 million dollars I would probably get crosses tattooed all over my body. To me it makes no difference. It is just a symbol.

I am fascinated by the concept of wanting to display crosses in the first place. It seems a bit morbid. I mean the cross is the means by which people were put to death. The modern day equivalent would be like walking around with an electric chair or a lethal injection needle hanging around your neck on a necklace. Fine for Goth kids, but is it really appropriate for your marquee or your jewelry? People are always going to have varying beliefs and opinions, and that is fine. It just really gets under my skin when those beliefs and opinions slow or halt what could be a progressive society. We have so much opportunity in this country and we are wasting it on myths and fables. While I know that none of this is John Elway’s fault, it doesn’t make me like him anymore.