Tag Archive: bible


Harold Camping, made famous by his highly publicized campaign to prepare everyone for a rapture that never happened on May 21, 2011, has a lesser known doomsday prediction for… today! Yes, it’s October 21st (although the clock is rapidly ticking down), and once again the end of the world… well of course, it won’t fucking happen.

Here’s The Rational Warrior, aka Tombstone Da Deadman (check out his music and videos here and here), with some good advice for the rapture, as well as some other observations on religion and the Republican primaries:

 

As always, Father Guido Sarducci brings his unique perspective to understanding Christianity:

…And he was so mad, he threw down the tablets and broke ’em. Then what he did was, he tried to remember ’em, make ’em up again. And Moses, you know, was old man, he was in his 90s. He was a-grumpy. He had a chip on his shoulder cause of this… the cow incident. And all he remembered was the negative ones. Don’t do this, don’t do that. Thou shalt not this, thou shalt not that.

But a lot of the commandments he forgot were more like advice. They were nice things, you know like, for instance, the 11th Commandment: Wait half hour after eating before you go swimming…

But it’s just not as funny when you read it. Go listen to the whole thing here. It’s a youtube with a blank screen.

 

Jim delivers some good laughs at the expense of Jesus, Noah, and pandas (yes, pandas). (NSFW)

 

Hitch connects the dots:

Thus, as I was going on to argue, there is no reason to suppose that the death penalty is a deterrent. And then it hit me. I had been hammering on an open door. Nobody had been bothering to argue that the rope or the firing squad, or the gas chamber, or “Old Sparky” the bristle-making chair, or the deadly catheter were a deterrent. The point of the penalty was that it was death. It expressed righteous revulsion and symbolized rectitude and retribution. Voila tout!The reason why the United States is alone among comparable countries in its commitment to doing this is that it is the most religious of those countries. (Take away only China, which is run by a very nervous oligarchy, and the remaining death-penalty states in the world will generally be noticeable as theocratic ones.)

Once we clear away the brush, then, we can see the crystalline purity of the lex talionis and the principle of an eye for an eye. (You might wish to look up the chapter of Exodus in which that stipulation occurs: it is as close to sheer insane ranting and wicked babble as might well be wished, and features the famous ox-goring and witch-burning code on which, one sometimes fears, too much of humanity has been staked.)

Read the entire piece at Lapham’s Quarterly.

The Orange County Regiser has this account of a recent anti-religious demonstration by the Southern California group Backyard Skeptics:

Atheist group criticizes Christianity, Bible verses

ORLY? What a shocker…

About 15 members of the group Backyard Skeptics participated in the demonstration, some displaying posters with phrases such as: “Smile. You’re not alone. Millions are good without God” and “Worship me or I’ll send you to eternal hell … Have a nice day … (signed) God.”

The group’s leader, Bruce Gleason, along with a fellow member, tore up sheets of paper printed with verses from the Bible to make their point.

One paper that was torn to pieces was printed with the verse, Matthew 5:29, which states: “So if your eye – even your good eye – causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away.” Another, which was torn, Corinthians 14:34, states “The women are to keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak.”

A this point it should be said that prior to this event, the story was badly misreported. The media had taken the “atheists are going to rip up bibles” meme and run with it, which clearly was incorrect. And in fact I went on a little twitter rant (starting with this tweet) about how I didn’t support the group’s tactics. So I’ll take this opportunity to retract my previous criticism. Symbolically and as a matter of fact, printing up individual pages with specific verses and ripping them up is substantively different from destroying books. I have a problem with the whole book burning m.o., but not with what the Backyard Skeptics actually did.

Moving on, the part of the story that really caught my eye was this:

Isabel Moore of Huntington Beach, a self-professed “born-again Christian,” said the group is taking specific verses out of context.

“Most would have a different meaning if taken in proper context,” Moore said. “We have to read the whole passage and not just one verse.”

Perhaps the most vocal of those disagreeing with the Backyard Skeptics was Greg Allen of Santa Ana.

Allen, a Christian, said he spends most Saturdays preaching at the pier.

“There is a level of frustration when you deal with the type of argument that they bring,” Allen said. “They misrepresent the Christian view and what the Bible is actually presenting.”

“…a different meaning if taken in proper context…”

“They misrepresent the Christian view…”

The “out of context” defense of the bible is one of the most common, and most fallacious arguments that Christians (and Muslims, and most devout religious believers of any faith) put forth. The idea is usually that a) we need to understand the historical context of that time, and b) the criticized passages from these holy texts make more sense if you read them in context.

So my first question would be this: Continue reading

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