Recent Entries in Religion

The elder son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has called on Pope Benedict XVI to convert to Islam immediately, dismissing last week's apology from the pontiff for offending Muslims.

"If this person were really someone reasonable, he would not agree to remain at his post one minute, but would convert to Islam immediately," Mohammed Gaddafi told an awards ceremony on Monday evening for an international competition to memorise the Qur'an.

Pope asked to convert to Islam

Yikes. Just, yikes.

Christian Guide to Small Arms Online v.1.0

jesus_with_gun.jpg

The Christian's Guide to Small Arms was developed in response to the fact that most American Christians have fallen into ignorance concerning the responsibilities and skills required of the Christian freeman.

CGSA is not intended to be THE definitive source on this subject, but rather a primer for the Christian who is beginning to reject the false theology that requires him to be a pacifistic patsy in the face of heathen hordes.

Because fictional characters are often posessed by the devil.

CBC Arts: Pope's top exorcist says Harry Potter is 'king of darkness'

Pope Benedict XVI's chief exorcist, Rev. Gabriele Amorth, has called fictional wizard-in-training Harry Potter the "king of darkness, the devil."

Amorth made the statement about the star of the best-selling children's series by British author J. K. Rowling during an interview with Vatican Radio during the week.

"Magic is always a turn to the devil," said the Roman Catholic priest, according to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.

Oh my god. Oh my armor of god.

Boing Boing: Armor of God kids pajamas

armorofgod.jpg

Your children will be eager for bedtime with their Armor of God pajamas to protect them from the beasts under the bed. Just $39.95.

  Comic sues Jews for Jesus

Saying he's "as Jewish as a matzo ball or kosher salami," Jackie Mason filed a lawsuit against Jews for Jesus for using his name and likeness in a pamphlet.

The $2 million lawsuit seeks the immediate destruction of the pamphlet, which members of the missionary group have been handing out at various points around New York City.

"While I have the utmost respect for people who practice the Christian faith, the fact is, as everyone knows, I am as Jewish as a matzo ball or kosher salami," the 75-year-old comedian said in documents filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

CNN.com - Comic sues Jews for Jesus - Aug 27, 2006

U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a religious journal that separation of church and state is"a lie"and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be"a nation of secular laws."The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will"legislate sin,"including abortion and gay marriage.

Harris made the comments _ which she clarified Saturday _ in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.

FOXNews.com - Harris Clarifies Comments on Religion - Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum

Well, that's it. I'm heading for the woods.

OpinionJournal - Extra

During the Cold War, both sides possessed weapons of mass destruction, but neither side used them, deterred by what was known as MAD, mutual assured destruction. Similar constraints have no doubt prevented their use in the confrontation between India and Pakistan. In our own day a new such confrontation seems to be looming between a nuclear-armed Iran and its favorite enemies, named by the late Ayatollah Khomeini as the Great Satan and the Little Satan, i.e., the United States and Israel. Against the U.S. the bombs might be delivered by terrorists, a method having the advantage of bearing no return address. Against Israel, the target is small enough to attempt obliteration by direct bombardment.

It seems increasingly likely that the Iranians either have or very soon will have nuclear weapons at their disposal, thanks to their own researches (which began some 15 years ago), to some of their obliging neighbors, and to the ever-helpful rulers of North Korea. The language used by Iranian President Ahmadinejad would seem to indicate the reality and indeed the imminence of this threat.

Would the same constraints, the same fear of mutual assured destruction, restrain a nuclear-armed Iran from using such weapons against the U.S. or against Israel?

A small minority of evangelical Christians have entered the Middle East political arena with some of the most un-Christian statements I have ever heard. The latest gems come from people like Pat Robertson, the founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and Rev. John Hagee of Christians United for Israel. Hagee, a popular televangelist who leads the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, ratcheted up his rhetoric this year with the publication of his book, "Jerusalem Countdown," in which he argues that a confrontation with Iran is a necessary precondition for Armageddon (which will mean the death of most Jews, in his eyes) and the Second Coming of Christ

In the best-selling book, Hagee insists that the United States must join Israel in a preemptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West. Shortly after the book's publication, he launched Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which, as the Christian version of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, he said would cause "a political earthquake." With the outbreak of the war on Lebanon, he and others have called to their followers to pray for Israel, and for the continuation of the war on Lebanon. They have demanded that Israel not relent in what they call the need to destroy Hezbollah and Hamas. They seem to have completely forgotten the very core of the Christian faith.

I have been watching many American evangelicals trying to distance themselves from the calls in the name of the Almighty for the war to continue. As Christian leaders of all persuasions, including leaders of evangelical churches, are calling for Mideast peace and an immediate cease-fire, these Christian Zionists want their followers to pray only for Israel.

daoudkuttab : Message: Christian Zionists and false prophets

  How many has God killed?

It's impossible to say for sure, but plently. How many did God drown in the flood or burn to death in Sodom and Gomorrah? How many first-born Egyptians did he kill? There's just no way to count them all.

But sometimes the Bible tells us exactly how many were killed by God. Here's a list of those that I can find. (If you find any that I've missed, let me know and I'll add them to the list.)

So far I come up with a total of 2,038,334 (not inlcuding, at least in some cases, women and children).

Dwindling In Unbelief: How many has God killed?

Powerful evangelical churches are pressing Kenya's national museum to sideline its world-famous collection of hominid bones pointing to man's evolution from ape to human.

Leaders of the country's six-million-strong Pentecostal congregation want Dr Richard Leakey's ground-breaking finds relegated to a back room instead of being given their usual prime billing.

The museum also holds bones from several specimens of Australopithecus anamensis, believed to be the first hominid to walk upright, four million years ago. Together the artefacts amount to the clearest record yet discovered of the origins of Homo sapiens.

They have cemented the global reputation of Kenya's Great Rift Valley as the cradle of mankind, and draw in tourists and locals to the museum's sprawling compound on a hill above Nairobi.

Telegraph | News | Evangelicals urge museum to hide man's ancestors

Every august, James Kennedy - a thoroughly repulsive ultra-fundy preacher from Coral Ridge Ministries - runs a conference called "Reclaiming America for Christ". At this years conference, he featured a speech by Paul Jehle about "Evaluating your Philosophy of Education".

Jehle is... umm... how do we say this politely?....

Ah, screw it. Jehle is a fucking frothing at the mouth nutjob lunatic asshole.

His basic argument - the argument that he expects people to take seriously - is that everything is either christian or non-christian. And if it's non-christian, then christians shouldn't look at it, listen to it, or study it. And you can't ever make anything that started out non-christian christian.

Good Math, Bad Math : Math is Bad, Because it isn't Christian!

  Is Science a Religion?

It is fashionable to wax apocalyptic about the threat to humanity posed by the AIDS virus, "mad cow" disease, and many others, but I think a case can be made that faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.

Faith, being belief that isn't based on evidence, is the principal vice of any religion. And who, looking at Northern Ireland or the Middle East, can be confident that the brain virus of faith is not exceedingly dangerous? One of the stories told to the young Muslim suicide bombers is that martyrdom is the quickest way to heaven â.. and not just heaven but a special part of heaven where they will receive their special reward of 72 virgin brides. It occurs to me that our best hope may be to provide a kind of "spiritual arms control": send in specially trained theologians to deescalate the going rate in virgins.

Given the dangers of faith â.. and considering the accomplishments of reason and observation in the activity called science â.. I find it ironic that, whenever I lecture publicly, there always seems to be someone who comes forward and says, "Of course, your science is just a religion like ours. Fundamentally, science just comes down to faith, doesn't it?"

Well, science is not religion and it doesn't just come down to faith. Although it has many of religion's virtues, it has none of its vices. Science is based upon verifiable evidence. Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops. Why else would Christians wax critical of doubting Thomas? The other apostles are held up to us as exemplars of virtue because faith was enough for them. Doubting Thomas, on the other hand, required evidence. Perhaps he should be the patron saint of scientists.

Richard Dawkins: Is Science A Religion?

  • Theologically, no, because his allegiance is to Yahweh, the ancient Hebrew god.
  • Scripturally, no, because his allegiance is to Christianity and the bible.
  • Geographically, no, because his allegiance is to Israel, the home of "god's chosen people".
  • Socially, no, because his allegiance to Christianity forbids him to make friends with Muslims or Jews.
  • Politically, no, because he must submit to his spiritual leaders, who teach annihilation of all who do not share their faith.
  • Domestically, no, because he is encouraged to take slaves and beat them if they are disobedient.
  • Religiously, no, because no other religion is accepted by his Yahweh except Christianity - intolerance.
  • Intellectually, no, because he cannot accept the separation of church and state - a founding principle of the USA.
  • Philosophically, no, because Christianity, Yahweh, and the bible do not allow freedom of religion and expression.
  • Democratically, no, because Christianity and democracy cannot coexist.
  • Spiritually, no, because the Christian god is neither loving nor kind.
Can a Christian be a good American? - www.noreligion.ca

Nope.

No ghosts: One more symbol for atheism

Often when atheists proselytize, one particular question comes up: do we have our own symbol? Well, we donâ..t, really. Thereâ..s a reason for that, tooâ..since atheists do not usually have a religion, there is no real reason to carry around religious symbols. Before we adopt a symbol, we should actually think long and hard whether we really want one, because having it suggests that atheism is a movement on par with actual religions. Since it isnâ..tâ..atheism is the lack of theistic beliefâ..we might not want to confuse people by creating positive content for it. This is a grave consideration, since the difference between religion and atheism is fundamental, and having positive content may actually work against our cause, e.g. in debate.

  Bush's Baghdad Palace

Among the many secrets the American government cannot keep, one of its biggest (104 acres) and most expensive ($592 million) is the American Embassy being built in Baghdad. Surrounded by fifteen-foot-thick walls, almost as large as the Vatican on a scale comparable to the Mall of America, to which it seems to have a certain spiritual affinity, this is no simple object to hide.

... we know much of what is going on in the place, where there will soon be twenty-one buildings, 619 apartments with very fancy digs for the big shots, restaurants, shops, gym facilities, a swimming pool, a food court, a beauty salon, a movie theater (we can't say if it's a multiplex) and, as the Times of London reports, "a swish club for evening functions." This should be ideal for announcing the various new milestones marking the trudge of the Iraqi people toward democracy and freedom.

USA Today has learned that the "massive new embassy, being built on the banks of the Tigris River, is designed to be entirely self-sufficient and won't be dependent on Iraq's unreliable public utilities." Thus, there will be no reason or excuse for any of the thousands of Americans working in this space, which is about the size of eighty football fields, to share the daily life experience of an Iraqi or even come in accidental contact with one.

Bush's Baghdad Palace

  We hold these truths...

Science Musings by Chet Raymo

Religious fundamentalists, New Agers and academic critics of science assure us that the Enlightenment has run its course, that the 18th century's supreme confidence in the rational powers of the human mind was mere hubris. We are entering a post-Enlightenment age, they say, when science will be demoted to the drudge stepsister of technology.

In place of science will come knowledge that is subjective, not objective, qualitative, not quantitative, available to everyone, not just to a scientific elite, faith-based and non-empirical. In this new order, the primacy of science will give way to a multiplicity of person-centered knowledge systems, all of which must be considered equally authoritative.

Thomas Jefferson must be turning in his grave.

x-tian_liberty_statue.jpg

Memphis Commercial Appeal - Memphis' Source for News and Information: Local

As drivers wait for a green light on Winchester Road, they automatically lean their heads forward to view the 72-foot sea-foam-green Statue of Liberation overlooking Hickory Hill.

The towering replica of the Statue of Liberty -- with a few Christian touches -- is being erected in front of the 12,000-member World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church at Winchester and Kirby Parkway.

Replacing the recognizable torch, Lady Liberty holds a cross.

A beige sheet veils much of the $260,000 statue and will be removed during a Fourth of July ceremony.

Lady Liberty's uncovered eyes already peer down on the community. A tear falls from her right eye representing her concern for America.

Church members said the mixture of the statue and Christian symbols represent "America belonging to God through Jesus Christ."

Once we reject the absolute truth of one thing, whatever it might be -- God, a holy book, a law of nature -- then everything, even the smallest element of reality -- an insect, a leaf, a grain of sand -- becomes infinitely interesting. The physicist Heinz Pagels put it this way: "The capacity to tolerate complexity and welcome contradiction, not the need for simplicity and certainty, is the attribute of an explorer. Centuries ago, when some people suspended their search for absolute truth and began instead to ask how things worked, modern science was born. Curiously, it was by abandoning the search for absolute truth that science began to make progress, opening the material universe to human exploration."

If one wanted to describe this in religious terms, it would go something like this: The absence of God makes everything holy.

...

All gods are idolatrous, especially any god we personify with a capital G. The great service to humanity of science has been to sweep the anthropomorphic gods away, or, at the very least, to show them for what they are, phantoms of the human brain. What we are given in their place is not Truth, but reliable empirical knowledge of the world, tentative and evolving.

Science Musings by Chet Raymo


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