Thursday, May 20, 2010

PASTOR DISASTER

"The fatal trait of the times is the divorce between religion and morality."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

***

Yesterday I got my Google News Alerts in my email inbox. One of the terms that I have an alert set for is the word “Pastor,” mostly for my own amusement. Each day I invariably get about ten articles in that email, and invariably at least a few are about some pastor somewhere that committed an ‘immoral’ act that has gotten him into trouble.

Yesterday it was four out of ten articles. Five actually, but two were about the same (Newark) pastor molesting girls. Three is about average.

Here are the articles that were notable:

PASTOR OF AURORA CHURCH BILKED THREE OUT OF 475K

LONGVIEW PASTOR GUILTY OF SEX CHARGES

A NEWARK PASTOR ACCUSED OF KIDNAPPING AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

PASTOR SENTENCED TO FIFTEENYEARS PROBATION FOR MOLESTING YOUNG RELATIVE YEARS AGO

I see this sort of thing every day, in my news alerts and on television. It would seem that there is more to it than just random chance. After all, being a pastor brings with it moral responsibility, or so it is advertised. A pastor is a leader of the people, with a congregation that looks up to him. It is a position of moral leadership requiring people of high moral fiber, so one would assume that morally they would be superior as a group. Not so. If pastors as a group were actually more moral than average, this would be reflected in reality by them not being in the news so often for moral turpitude. So for some reason, a group of people that is supposed to be more moral than average, is clearly less moral than average. For some reason the position is attractive to the morally flawed.

My question is this: Since everyone knows what being a pastor is and what it entails, is there anything in this description that would attract a morally defective person to become one?

What type of person would be attracted to a position of moral leadership, a position where one is looked up to by many people and thought of as possessing a sterling character just because he is in that position?

Yes, of course, such a position would attract the type of person that was morally flawed, simply because in such a position they can masquerade as someone of impeccable character with little effort. They know instinctively that most congregations are on the whole rather gullible and are essentially only looking for the good and not the evil in their leaders, so by becoming a pastor or priest or church leader, or even just loudly proclaiming themself a good and faithful Christian with all the trappings, they can pretend to being that which they already believe (or perhaps hope) that they are: a moral person destined to go to heaven. Someone that is loved by all, holy and revered and respected, and thereby superior to others simply on the merits of that. Also, being a leader of any sort puts them above the congregents as well, even though they share the same faith, so the most self-centered of the believers will rise to the top like cream.

It's like Purina Ego Chow. Irresistable.

In Christianity in general, homosexuality is deplored, so if you happen to be gay and in a Christian family or church, you are intensely ashamed of it. Basically the Christian position is ‘if you are gay, pray it away.’ Of course at the end of all that, you’ll still be gay, jut deeper in denial about it. You’ll even pretend to yourself that you’re not. You’ll do anything to escape the truth about yourself. You might say to yourself for instance “I am not a gay person; I am a straight person because I can successfully resist my lust for another man…’ I’ve heard that one several times coming from Christians so it can’t be an anomaly. Of course the same holds true for being heterosexually lustful and unfaithful to your wife. These people who believe themselves to be truly righteous, who must be seen as righteous, simply cannot accept the fact that they are not, that they are just normal human beings with lusts and desires. Or in many cases, such as the pederasts, an abnormal human being with abnormal lusts and desires.

Becoming a priest or pastor or church leader or even just being very public about your Christianity is an excellent way to hide your darkness from the world. Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer, was caught when he used his church’s computer to create a floppy disk message to the police. He was hiding for years, by being a leader of his congregation. For the truly evil man always looks for ways to masquerade as good, and what better place than a church?

We also see this phenomenon on a lesser arc with politicians who claim to be devout Christians just to throw off the dogs of morality, as it were. How often do those who speak out the loudest against some form of moral flaw later proven guilty of that precise failing? On and on, over and over again, we see them fall one by one. Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, George Rekers… The list goes on and on.

It makes so much sense, common sense, that a person with a huge moral failing (or just the belief that they have one, such as being gay) would be attracted to a position whereby they can pretend that they do not have it and be believed. Religion provides such an escape since it encourages blind belief, even tries to make it into a good thing by re-naming it 'faith,' so the people will believe in the pastor without looking too closely at him. It's their nature.

Of course, not to harp on it too much, but this is all traceable back to the flawed Christian moral system itself, based in coercion and not in empathy. We’re all victims of it, even those of us that are not religious. It permeates the very fabric of our society. It’s inescapable. Most of us were at the minimum raised by parents steeped in it, so most of us have memories of the incredible unfairness present in the Christian home. “Because I said so” and “Do as I say, not as I do” and “do it or else” are not ways of successfully bringing up a child in this world, unless one is aiming at bringing up a hypocrite.
They are however, almost exactly direct quotes of the Christian God in the Bible. This is God’s parenting style. How blind are we as a people that we cannot see that what we’ve been taught to believe is the ne plus ultra of moral systems, is in reality a totally defective sham that actually leads us down the path of iniquity, all the while believing that it’s the path of righteousness?

The blindness is due to the selfsame Christian religion, in that it actively discourages people from educating themselves in the ways of the world and only sees fit to teach them about an ancient text riddled with huge flaws. If the people weren’t blinded, they’d be able to see what they are falling for, and the religion simply can’t be having any of that.

***

Here’s an excerpt from a different book. Oddly this one is a metaphysical text on Kaballah:

“The evil within one’s self usually poses as the good as well. It has truly been said that ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions.’ –The paving stones are more often the good intentions we carry out than those we do not.
The human mind is capable of incredible subtlety in the dodging of the facing of its own iniquity, though if one is very self-observant one can sometimes detect the qlippoth (demons) within through the manifestation within one’s self of any strong irrational dislike. The hidden maggots of one’s own soul are usually projected in righteous indignation upon others. The beam in another’s eye is usually the reflection of the mote in one’s own. (…)”
-Gareth Knight, ‘A Precise Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism’

I see a lot of truth in that quote.

807 comments:

  1. There is some truth to that idea. That which we most despise in ourselves, others are at the mercy of...

    ---

    Sin is a false concept. We need to tell the whole world. Our morality would become richer and more profound if we jettisoned that false dichotomy.

    ---

    Good post BTW, you should take requests more often :-)

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  2. A number of the mental health workers I have known were a bit off, mentally. As a law enforcement professional, I had a number of inmates observe that I would make a pretty good crook. Why do we choose our ways of living, thinking and doing?

    I wonder how your system would work if the word "plumber" were used rather than "pastor?" Perhaps it would not work the same, since reporting the misdeeds of a pastor will likely include the professional title. If a miscreant happened to be a plumber, who would care? Why report it?

    It is quite apparent that humans suck, individually and in groups. Christianity is also flawed, in like manner to other institutions comprised of humans. Would humans suck less if Christianity were absent?

    I do not know. It would be an interesting experiment, or at least subject for a story or two.

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  3. There is some truth to that idea. That which we most despise in ourselves, others are at the mercy of...
    -----
    More like, 'that which we despise in others is often our own failing and not theirs,' no?

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  4. "More like, 'that which we despise in others is often our own failing and not theirs,' no?"

    Same difference you nitpicky wicky poopy poo :-P

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  5. Christianity is also flawed, in like manner to other institutions comprised of humans.
    -----------------
    Perhaps, and yet even if so, note that they are always convinced of their own rectitude and never admit that they are flawed as an institution any more so than they do as individuals. Quite the contrary. The Christian moral hypocrite believes himself to be moral even after his misdeeds become public knowledge. They cannot accept it, even when it is proven fact out there for all to see. They believe themselves to actually be moral, and no pesky fact can trump a belief.

    You being of course an exception along with Botts and many others. I'm painting with a roller again, I know, but my points are valid nonetheless for a large percentage of the faithful and for their pastors.
    Sometimes the moral failing is as simple as taking money from the flock. Lots of it. And you know how common that one is.

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  6. Michael does make a good point, yet it seems to fail in light of how specific the complaint really is.

    If the post were about plumbers Brian would have to be criticizing their inadequacy concerning pipes, joints, toilets, sinks and the like. Pastors are supposed moral experts.

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  7. Is it the same?

    "That which we most despise in ourselves, others are at the mercy of..."

    "More like, 'that which we despise in others is often our own failing and not theirs,' no?"

    In the first case we are conscious of something we despise in ourselves, something which others have to deal with; in the second we are seeing something in someone else that we despise in them that *unbeknownst to us,* is actually our own flaw that we are blinded to and not their flaw at all.

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  8. Pastors are supposed moral experts.
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    Preeeeeeecisely.

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  9. "That which we most despise in ourselves, others are at the mercy of..."

    What I was saying, or meaning to say, in the light of this post, was that what we hate most about ourselves is on the periphery of our consciousness, acknowledged but loathed and kept at a distance.

    To see it in others, or to project it onto others, and decry them for it, is not only hypocritical but an unrelenting judgement that only serves to make the "righteous" person feel better. The victim is hence at the mercy of "that which we most despise in ourselves."

    That's why I think you and I were saying relatively the same thing.

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  10. I was thinking about what you said, and it seems to me that the kind of person who feels inadequate for a certain position, would be the person who would try more to convince everyone that he is NOT inadequate for that position.

    Now, the more everyone tells him in various ways how it is that he is NOT inadequate, the more he'll come to believe it himself.

    Tragically, the truth of his inadequecy often surfaces, popping up in your emails, Brian.

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  11. What I was saying, or meaning to say, in the light of this post, was that what we hate most about ourselves is on the periphery of our consciousness, acknowledged but loathed and kept at a distance.
    ---------
    Makes sense.

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  12. Tragically, the truth of his inadequecy often surfaces, popping up in your emails, Brian.
    ------------
    And even then they often deny it to all, and to themselves.

    For instance, last I heard, Ted Haggard is cured of the disease of his homosexuality, through the power of prayer. Prayze Jeebus, and let's start another congregation...

    If I sound cynical, it's not because I have an agenda; it's because the truth is just so damned wretched.

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  13. I think y'all are to harsh in your judgements of us human beings.

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  14. What if it's just that the truth is harsh, Jerry?

    I'm not talking about all Christians, but the ones that rise to the top of their faith either locally or nationally tend to be opportunistic and egotistical, at the bare minimum. A lot of money changes hands in the religion game. Just ask Harry.

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  15. From my perspective and career, I think Pboy's point in your last post is true here. People in all walks of life are flawed. It just somehow seems worse when flawed people come to light in positions where others are particularly vulnerable. And whether or not certain institutions draw in such people, the sad fact is that the institutions often contribute to the problem because of concerns about the impact of things coming to light rather than thinking first of the victim. Once again, empathy is a better moral guide than any text.

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  16. Once again, empathy is a better moral guide than any text.
    ---------------
    Empathy is the key to real morality, no doubt. But it's not taught in the Christian system. They teach morals at gunpoint, the gun being hell. Be good or else. That's not even morality. It's be good for your own future wellbeing in heaven, and to avoid hell, which is a selfish motive. Teaching people to fear is teaching people to be self-centered, not other-centered.

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  17. People in all walks of life are flawed. It just somehow seems worse when flawed people come to light in positions where others are particularly vulnerable.
    --------------------
    It's worse when a morally flawed person is allowed to be in a position of moral authority. It's the fact that a church leader is considered to be someone to go to for moral advice, and they use that position of trust to accrue money and power, or far worse, to molest someone who trusts them and looks up to them because of their position.

    A morally flawed plumber is no worse than a morally flawed bricklayer, but when the career description is essentially to be the moral paragon of virtue in their community, a pastor, their concealed moral flaws become much more problematic. Also, they're easier to hide, since the parishoners just automatically trust them to be moral. The religious 'flock' are a lot like trusting children, incapable of seeing the problem due to their beliefs instead of their youth. It's like if a grade school teacher used the fact that some little girl in class worshipped him to get into her pants. It's breaking the trust, and it's just evil.

    Immoral people do not become plumbers or bricklayers to hide their immorality to the world and receive acceptance as a moral person. They are a plumber or a bricklayer to make money. However this is not true with the profession of pastor. It's a profession in which it is easy to hide your flaws, and a profession where you are considered moral just by showing up to work, AND a profession where you get to be a boss, a leader of people, which is an ego-rush. The pastor is looked up to by all; more ego-fodder. NObody would let their plumber be alone with their kid, for instance, but the friendly pastor? Not a problem.... Sure!
    It's not the same at all. It should be obvious that such a profession would most appeal to the morally bereft out of all other professions. It's like the reason pederasts are often schoolteachers. The profession calls out to their dark desires.

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  18. I don't know how many sociopaths or borderlines you have associated with, but I know them well. Empathy does not work will with them, unless accompanied by a big stick. Kindness is evidence of weakness in their world, and weakness is to be exploited. Few of them desire to change, to be "other centered."

    Additionally, what format would you use to teach the doctrine of empathy? Would it outwardly appear something like a religion? Might it simply be another religion, though with a god option? No, perhaps no god option.

    I think the observation of exploitative personalities rising to religious leadership is an important one. The very qualities that cause people to rise to leadership anywhere may not always set well with altruistic (or supposed altruistic) systems of belief.

    Perhaps those qualities include a strong drive to predation. When that drive exposes itself in a religious context, the contrast makes it all the more heinous.

    Empathy is a great human quality, but it must not be naive. Predatory humans will simply manipulate a system of empathy to their own ends unless it is a system that takes that predatory nature into account.

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  19. And it may not be always the case that a morally-flawed person goes into the profession of pastor intentionally to hide their flaws. It is likely often the case that the flawed person enters the religion out of a genuine desire to get better, to not be immoral any more, to have their sinful ways forgiven, to receive the blessings of God etc., and then when their zeal eventually causes them to rise to the level of pastor, they suddenly find themselves surrounded by worshipping followers who trust them, respect them, even love them, and at that point their moral flaws come to the surface and they just can't resist the easy pickings.

    They likely believe at that point that they are no longer sinners, no longer immoral, since after all, they are a Christian pastor or whatever, right? So they just can't be... Which of course makes it even easier for the flaw to resurface. Denial is never a remedy; at best it's a delaying action.

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  20. I don't know how many sociopaths or borderlines you have associated with, but I know them well. Empathy does not work will with them, unless accompanied by a big stick.
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    Of course Michael. I'm talking about how Christians educate their children when I refer to the flawed moral system. There'd be a lot less sociopaths, I'd wager, if the Christian system of moral education was not based in coercion, but instead consciously encouraged empathy in their children, taught them to feel the pain of others, all others. Even nonchristians are victims of it, since it permeates society and has done so since the beginning. If you aren't aware of it, you're already a victim of it.

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  21. Empathy is a great human quality, but it must not be naive.
    -----------
    Ahhh, yes, agreed in spades, but that's another subject. The subject of finding the proper balance between empathy and gullibility. It is acheivable, I assure you. One doesn't need to be a patsy in order to be a very nice person. One keeps one's eyes wide open.

    I mean, look at me. I feel the pain of a dying bug, and yet I have no problem seeing how Christianity is pulling the wool over humanity's eyes at all. I'm great at spotting liars, and I rarely get taken advantage of, and never twice.

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  22. Of course, to test your theory we would have to find a blank slate society, and apply a different mode of training.

    It is true that all that has come before colors what is now. To change to another color, we must work from the color of now. With the idea of changing culture the option to bleach out color and start anew just does not exist.

    There are some very interesting story ideas in all of this. Too bad I don't have time to write these days.

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  23. And while I couldn't kill a canary, much less an innocent person, if someone were trying to hurt me or mine I wouldn't hesitate to take their life. It wouldn't even phase me.

    You still have to start with empathy, with other-centered moral instruction as a child, or else the person will likely never develop it. After that you educate them in balancing it with discernment.

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  24. It is true that all that has come before colors what is now. To change to another color, we must work from the color of now. With the idea of changing culture the option to bleach out color and start anew just does not exist.
    ---------------
    Agreed, and a very perceptive comment in my opinion.

    Maybe the sun of secularism will slowly bleach out the old color, eh? One can only hope... After all, it ended the Dark Ages.

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  25. Brain,
    I do not disagree with your analysis of what we do. I think it is foolish to deny the deeds that some people do to others. I have done many things I consider anti human. It is not that we don't do these type things, but I do believe most, if not all acts (anti-human) we do to each other to be done out of ignorance. In the over all picture each of us was born totally ignorant, and we have been alive but such a short time. We came with inherent desires given to us by nature, and it takes time to become aware of how to deal with our ego nature. IF the judgements are to harsh I think it is because of unrealistic expectations, not because the judgements are not true.

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  26. That's exactly 'the thing'.

    We are told that the power of God can 'do anything'.

    Especially 'change our hearts'.

    If a person has some larceny in his heart, or an attraction to men, drugs or children 'in his heart', what better way to 'cure' this than become a minister of God? What better way to convince yourself and others, and let others convince him that he can 'relax' now?

    The 'demons' of 'addiction' to these bad thoughts about his 'failing du jour' must be vanquished by God surely since God has seen fit to 'make him' a pastor, right?

    Then it turns out that 'chance would be a fine thing'.

    I loved that that pastor humping that underager got probation, a laughable sentence compared to the predators sentences on Dateline, to catch a predator!

    Their crime, it seems was to be caught on camera, showing off their 'bad' thoughts, because, after all, no physical crime was committed in their case.

    Some of them are spending years behind bars for talking 'dirty' on the internet, perhaps sending 'smut' over the internet, and showing up for a rendezvous with a photograph and a name who purports to be 13(usually).

    Ah, but pastor-baby is a good Christian, and no doubt was sentenced by a good Christian judge(and jury?).

    Lesson learned?

    If yer gonna be humping kids, better be a Christian pastor or priest! That way you'll get a slap on the wrist!

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  27. We came with inherent desires given to us by nature, and it takes time to become aware of how to deal with our ego nature.
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    It takes forever if your parents chose to use coercion to instill your morality. In most cases when that happens the person goes through their whole life never even suspecting that they're ego-centered, not even knowing that that is a problem. They remain self-centered in all that they think and do. Even their charity will be self-centered, to make them feel like a good person, rather than to do good for others. When a child is raised using fear and coercion in place of love and tolerance and instruction on feeling the pain of strangers, they are raised with a huge blind spot that usually never goes away.
    Coercion, fear and guilt do not a moral person make.

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  28. I mean, after all, the reason that Christian parents often choose to raise their children using coercion, fear, and guilt is because that's how they were raised, and so they are ego-centered themselves. Also, when the child errs, they take it as a personal affront due to their ego problems, and self-righteous rage is the result.

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  29. So in a way to blame those that were raised in this way, brain washed, we would be blaming the victim. There is no end to this until someone breaks the chain. Religion is harmful in this respect.

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  30. So in a way to blame those that were raised in this way, brain washed, we would be blaming the victim.
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    We would be if that's who we were blaming. I'm not doing that. I'm blaming the Religion, not the victims of it.

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  31. After all, when God's children disobey, he tortures them forever and ever...

    That's a hard act to follow... but many christians try.

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  32. Maybe I misunderstood, were you not blaming the pastors? I have no idea about the numbers but I would guess many, if not most, are victims of repressed ego desires. Would you think it so rampant in the Catholic group if celibacy were not practiced?

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  33. I ultimately blame all of it on the religion and its conditioning, which produces the people with defective morals in the first place. I call out the hypocrites, but the real fault lies with the faith itself. I can't stand the hypocritical pastors who commit aberrant acts, but I do know that they've been brainwashed. It doesn't make me like them any more for knowing it, though.

    And you can't speak to a religion; you can only speak to its believers.

    Some people can break out of the conditioning. The smarter ones can. I've seen brother and sister where the brother never breaks the conditioning and the sister does, because she was smart enough that she could see that the conditioning was BS. So perhaps at some level I blame the 'victims' for not being among the ones that 'got away.' For being dumb enough to make such a good sheep. Yeah, I guess I do. I'm not proud of that, btw. But there you have it.

    Jerry, now see you made me think. What'd you go and do that for? Shit...

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  34. Would you think it so rampant in the Catholic group if celibacy were not practiced?
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    No. The celibacy adds in another factor. Now the career description of pastor includes sexually aberrant behavior, as in, abstinence.

    And no women means that if you're a closeted gay, you want that job a lot. Your mom will still love you. You'll be respected and treated well by all.

    And since you're in denial, all sorts of pathologies can develop, if they're not there already. I mean, you hate the living fuck out of yourself, in this scenario.

    You might for instance psychologically 'crack' as it were, under the pressure and molest a child because they're so available and easy prey. They're all around you, after all, and all of them trust you and respect you, and so do their parents, who'd never suspect a thing. You can even scare the child into not telling anyone with threats of hell or whatever, if you're really twisted.

    Or conversely if you're already a pederast and want a job with respect and where you get to be a leader of people, plus where you get to meet a lot of kids, plus where no-one will suspect that you're a sicko, the priesthood's for you.

    So again, it can happen 'internally' as in, someone already in the religion, already a priest, becomes sexually deviant, or you can have an already sexually deviant person that because of that, desires to become a priest.

    My local parish priest, Fr. Kiley, is actually as I recall a very nice man. However, *if he weren't a priest* the first thing you'd notice about him is that he's very effiminate. Now I can't know for sure, but I'd wager a decent amount that he is a gay man and has always been, and is either in denial or not, but who definitely joined the priesthood to fit into society better. I like to think he's among the ones that never 'crack' and do something bad, but who can say?
    If he is what I think that he is, I hope that someday he'll break free and learn to be who he really is, learn to love himself as he is, and maybe find real happiness, but really, what's the chance of that ever happening?

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  35. I would say that there's pressure to 'crack' on both straight and gay priests, but the pressure is a lot higher on the gay ones. The straight ones feel guilty for their lusts which causes pressure, but the gay ones feel not only much more guilt, but also about fifteen truckloads of self-loathing, and with all of that, anything can happen.

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  36. Still think "tolerance" and "diversity" are good things?

    link

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  37. I want to be clear that I'm not mixing up gays and pederasts here. I'm saying that any pastor, straight or gay, can under the pressure of his lusts and the additional pressure of being a pastor (so it better not get out what he is really feeling inside) commit an immoral act, either with a woman or a man, or in some cases when the psychological pressure is high enough and the pickings easy enough, even a child. And I'm saying that the gay pastors or priests are under a tremendous amount of psychological pressure, much more than straight ones, so perhaps hence the high incidence of men molesting boys in the church. Or maybe not. I'm getting out of my depth here.

    It should be clear that when I say 'gay pastor' or 'gay priest' I'm talking about someone that doesn't admit to themselves that they're gay, which is already an abberation, to not be able to admit to yourself who you really are. A normal gay man is no more tempted by children than a normal straight one. But we're not talking normal here. Much more pressure on them. They're caught between a rock and a hard place, as it were.

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  38. Still think "tolerance" and "diversity" are good things?
    ------------
    Huh? I read that link. All I saw was some bigots not being able to understand that all muslims are not terrorists. The muslims seem to be promoting goodwill toward others with their project... The (Christian, I assume) person calls their god 'their monkey god.' I call that being a total asshole.

    Did I get it wrong somehow?

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  39. Jerry, now see you made me think. What'd you go and do that for? Shit...

    Just getting even, ha ha.

    From what I see, all people are victims of conditioning, some more, some less. I was about 30 before I really broke free. I do think it makes me more tolerant to see people that way. I remember doing a gestalt, and seeing myself in a building with bars on the windows, and doors. The vacillator said, try the door. Much to my surprise it was unlocked. Shocking experience.

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  40. Ed; is there a formal radius around ground zero that Islamic things cannot be within? What about a the Halal Cart Guy? Does he get turned back at Canal Street?

    There are plenty of articles you could link to to make a valid point about the dangers of multiculturalism, diversity or excessive tolerance... like this one for example...

    http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?idCategory=34&idsub=158&id=33303&t=How+much+female+genital+mutilation+is+okay%3F

    I'm a proponent of multiculturalism, but a very good question is how do you keep the Sufi poetry and Baba Ganoush while jettisoning the clitorectomies and wahhabism?

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  41. Islam is the same poison only without an enlightenment period to soften it up any.

    There but for the grace of secularism go we. And some of our Christians do a damned good job of being as nasty as they are at their worst. Abortion clinic bombers, right-wing militias, Fred Phelps and his misbegotten clan... the list is a long one.

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  42. And let's not forget Jesus Camp...

    link

    Brainwashing at its finest.

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  43. Sorry, guys.

    I was really tired when I posted that, and hadn't read the whole thing...

    My bad.

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  44. That'll be five 'Don't hail Mary''s for you Ed.

    (presumably after which, you can proceed to Hail Mary all you want to?)

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  45. I'd have to look up the lyrics, Peeb...
    I'm not Catholic.

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  46. Isn't it something about holy underwear?

    'Blessed is the fruit of the loom, Jesus...'

    That's where the Mormons got that!

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  47. Brian,

    Tsk tsk, you know that full body underwear worn at all times is one of the few good things religion has given us.

    It has a little less value than self-flagulation born out of unrelenting guilt, but hey, it's not bad.

    Judge you!

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  48. It has a little less value than self-flagulation born out of unrelenting guilt, but hey, it's not bad.
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    As Devo said, when a problem comes along, you can whip it; before the feeling gets too strong, you must whip it... I say whip it; whip it good.

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  49. This interests me. I wasn't aware that such a study had ever been done...

    "In 1996, three researchers decided to test out the old theory that the more virulently homophobic a man was, the more homosexual he was. They took thirty-five men who identified as homophobic and twenty-nine straight men and showed them straight, lesbian and gay male pornography. What they discovered was that “only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli.” In other words, only the homophobic men got erections from watching gay porn. Who would have thought?"

    link

    The article goes on to talk about someone named Pastor Jeff Ownes, whom they think is the next George Rekers. Here's the next paragraph:

    "Now we come to Pastor Jeff Owens. He is not unlike George Rekers or Ted Haggard. He is virulently homophobic. He has called for his followers to kill a ‘fag a week’. Of course, he used, in his sermons, a lot of words like ‘real Christian men.’ Basically, if ‘real Christian men’ were there to kill the ‘fags’ they would not be coming out of the closet. Of course, if ‘real Christian men’ were killing gays, they would be in jail in most states. They would also be violating the Ten Commandments since it states rather emphatically “Thou shalt not kill.” There does not seem to be an exemption for murdering in the name of God despite what many of these people would believe."

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  50. WHOA!

    Check out the study:

    J Abnorm Psychol. 1996 Aug;105(3):440-5.

    "Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?
    Adams HE, Wright LW Jr, Lohr BA.

    Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-3013, USA.

    Abstract
    The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies."

    link

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  51. You guys have to hear this. Pastor Jeff Owens, audio. It's truly amazing.

    link

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  52. That explains my loathing of Richard Simmons.

    I thought I hated Dick.

    It turns out I just wanted dick.

    And why Testacles is my favorite philosopher.

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  53. "You guys have to hear this. Pastor Jeff Owens, audio. It's truly amazing."

    Wow. On a more serious note...

    I bet he gives good head.

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  54. Oh yeah.

    Brian, it's your fault I'm gay.

    Judge you!

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  55. Well, I'm very happy at the moment, so I guess this is as gay as I get.

    Now harry, being gay and being a pharisee is quite the conundrum. It's more like 'Judge me' then, isn't it?

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  56. Brian,

    In the spirit of the post, I think I'll just blame innocent people for corrupting what would normally have been a wholesome environment.

    Judge them!

    -I kid you not, my word verification is 'revered.' It's about time.-

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  57. Pliny said:
    "And whether or not certain institutions draw in such people, the sad fact is that the institutions often contribute to the problem because of concerns about the impact of things coming to light rather than thinking first of the victim. Once again, empathy is a better moral guide than any text.

    May 21, 2010 12:15 PM"

    Not only do I think certain religious institutions tend to attract those of us who have major character flaws, but it seems to me that it is often the case that those among us with the greatest awareness of our own inadequacies are the ones most likely to "get involved" at very high levels, even to deciding to becomne part of the clergy. Initially, this may be as a defense mechanism against having to truly face our own weaknesses. i.e.: "I am a priest/pastor/rabbi/imam. Of course I am behaving as Jehovah/Jesus/Allah tells me I should to get my heavenly reward! Look how much effort I am putting in to bring the message to everyone else who is not doing things as well as I am!" Thusly, these clergy insulate themselves from their "sinful/selfish" impulses. Even if there is some degree of empathy in these individuals at the outset, constant exposure to the foibles and weaknesses of parishioners who seek counselling and who do not often "get better" because of it, coupled with their own ongoing struggle with impulses to "sin" themselves has got to cause either despair at one's own lack of success as a pastor/human being or reinforce the fact that "everyone does it" (and, incidentally, seems to get away with it).
    OR.....maybe it's all just bullshit and these hypocrites are just ooportunists who, from the getgo, saw religion as a way to take advantage of everyone else.

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  58. "Islam is the same poison only without an enlightenment period to soften it up any." - StBG

    Maybe, sort of, maybe not.
    If we look at the arabic past, we see that it is fairly recent that the fundamentalists have taken over.
    When the Western world was in the dark ages, Muslim science was flourishing. Some even credit muslim science as tha basis for the modern scientific method.

    Oh yeah, those bastards gave us Algebra too! Modern Arithmatic, it seems, can be traced to medieval Arabia. They came up with our decimal system....


    I wonder how much western Imperialism has to do with their current state of attitude. And how closely WE would resemble their current society if we allowed the fundies to take control here.
    Sure, God has a different name, but the results might be eeerily similar.

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  59. I know the Islamic world is full of shit now, but this Link may shed some light on my last post.

    It Wiki, for what that's worth?

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  60. I wonder how much western Imperialism has to do with their current state of attitude.
    ------------
    I hear you. I'm sure it has a lot to do with it.

    They have very long memories in that part of the world, too...

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  61. Just picture this. Some scum of the Earth con man, who would steal the gold fillings out of his old, dying ma's teeth, finally hits bottom after drinking and drugging his conscience quiet for years and years.

    Who is 'there' to 'pick him up'? AA with their 'higher power' bullshit, that's who.

    And once you've got that into your head, the Christians are waiting, with their, 'Let go and let God!', 'God said it, I believe it, that settles it!' etc. etc.

    Some Christian will be there for him, in his hour of misery waiting for him to have an epiphany, a breakthrough.

    How can he be forgiven for being nothing but a dirty, rotten scoundrel all his life, how can he repay the people he's fleeced?

    Well, he doesn't have to 'cos HE has a 'get out of jail free card! HE has found JESUS!

    AND,AND he gets to KEEP his bank account, they don't begrudge him that, for some reason.

    And if he is a really quick learner HE can become a pastor now, glibly bragging about how HE was saved, fleecing the sheep now, the even MORE willing sheep!

    Didn't the Christians tell him they could get him out of trouble? They're practically begging him to take advantage of them. Hey, they're 'Letting go and letting God', he gets to feel better about being a total bastard taking advantage of unsuspecting rubes, 'cos now they're BEGGING him to do it.

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  62. Now, this is where it gets interesting.

    So, now you're a pastor, and your doting sheep are just throwing money at you to go to that summer camp where, along with the hiking and kayaking and stuff, you get to learn how to fleece them even MORE efficiently!

    But you notice that your church is half empty, what can be the cause of this?

    Your sheep just aren't doing enough for you, they aren't bringing in another half-church full of people for you to fleece!

    Spend every other Sunday blaming THEM and blaming the 'evil World' for the people who don't come.

    You KNOW the guy's a con if he's bragging about how many people he is saving from HELL AND castigating his flock for not saving people, all in the same sentence!

    And you KNOW they don't CARE who it is that comes in. That husband who is hanging over and can be bribed by his wife, that friend who is feeling guilty about something he did, some woman fresh from another town(we'll get the husband later), anybody who will dig in his/her wallet/purse no matter how boring the pastor is.

    This is the REAL truth about these 'professionals', and any con man can see this right away.

    There was a course in Theology on video on the 'net for awhile and the teacher actually bragged about his fast talking when it came to Bible contradictions.

    Jehova Witnesses are taught how to deal with people who know a bit about the Bible, and if they haven't been, they will run away!(seriously, a JW woman actually ran away from me! LOL)

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  63. That was my exact problem with AA pboy. "Let Go and Let God" seemed so ridiculous to me. All 12 step programs are essentially the same.

    The reliance on a "higher power" is not breaking free at all. I see it as merely exchanging your addiction.

    Sure, I exchanged my booze for something - cigarettes. It's a more managable addiction...
    At least, nobody is telling me RJReynolds loves me and wants the best for me.

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  64. Thanks for the insightful read! Great thoughts...

    Its high time for the old religious ideas to get thrown out into the garbage where they belong.

    The light is seeping into the minds of men who have for too long been had by the spell of separation which quantum science has dis-proven.
    The old Christian beliefs, dogmas, that have for so long gone unquestioned are closing in on themselves and those that don't escape their downward pull are bound to fall with it. The walls are a crumbling and it ain't pretty...

    Thanks for doing your part to help wake em up...if its possible...Yeeks!

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  65. The light is seeping into the minds of men who have for too long been had by the spell of separation which quantum science has dis-proven.
    -Waking Up
    ------------------------
    Why thank you, and nice to hear from you!

    I see what you're seeing about quantum physics, and all I can state is that such seems to be possible to me, *however* I'm always skeptical so I'm still in 'investigation' mode about it all. If the nature of reality is *One* then it may take science a while to see it, due to its very nature. Reality, if it's structured as a Great Mind, seems to 'seek to deceive.' Scientists, being people too, will also see what they expect to see (after a fashion) and since many will likely expect to see the idea of *All is One* to be *disproven* somehow, and so it is likely that before they ever prove it, they'll *disprove* it for a while, as in, discover indications that such is not so, because that's what they're hoping to find.
    In this one single situation, it may take the majority of scientists investigating this to come around to the idea that it's even possible. It's too incredible for the average scientist to believe, since it requires them to believe that all their carefully accumulated knowledge is essentially a description of the 'terms' of a communal dream rather than a static description of reality. Of course it still retains all of its value nonetheless, but many scientists will be driven into denial by the idea's sheer unbelievability to one soaked in reason and logic and science.

    It requires both the Yin and Yang side to see that this is even possible, and most of us do not cultivate balance in this area. Most of us don't even see the need.

    I am open to it. I am also open to the possibility that we're wrong, and science is closer to the truth as it stands, and perhaps the quantum weirdness will find a more simple explanation, or rather, a more believable one.

    Of course, I'm hoping that we're right about it. It's a much more interesting universe if we're right.

    If you haven't done so, you might peruse some of the posts I've linked to pictures over there on the right hand side of my main page, the 'Big Brain' one, and the one about my son in particular.

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  66. My take on AA is some what different than most. While I acknowledge that God is a large part of the beliefs system that is talked about a lot at AA, I do not think it is centerfold in the ability of those involved in quitting the bottle. I have never belonged to AA, and have never attended a meeting. I studied what AA was about years ago , and came to a conclusion that service was the real strength that members gained by the 12 step program. The 2 main reasons I came to this conclusion was, 1 the lack of this type of inner strength by others that believed in God. We see all kinds of results in people that believe in God including the leaders, and followers that attend churches. The average person that goes through AA, and ends quitting the bottle seems to me quite advanced in spiritual growth over the average person that leads or attends church regularly. The second reason is what stands out in AA, and the life, and teachings of Jesus is service to others. Although I can see an advantage in believing in God because it CAN promote the ideas we are all family with the feeling of belonging. I feel the base of AA is either one serves his/her fellow man or stays in the bottle, regardless of the belief in God.

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  67. Jerry, I understand what you're getting at. However, my experiences with AA led me to a different conclusion.
    If we look at the steps, we see God all over them.
    Step 1 - We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable
    Step 2 - Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
    Step 3 - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
    Step 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
    Step 5 - Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
    Step 6 - Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
    Step 7 - Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
    Step 8 - Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
    Step 9 - Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
    Step 10 - Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
    Step 11 - Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out
    Step 12 - Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

    __________________________

    Admittedly, it is a god of our understanding. The problem for me is, god as I understand him does not exist...or possibly she's just a woman I'm sleeping with and not quite capable of actually helping me out in my drinking problem.

    Again, not to pick on you. But when I was there, I was told in no uncerain terms that it wasn't possible if I didn't have a "higher power" (God). Some suggested the group could be this "higher power"...but, to me "higher power" means supernatual, and a bunch of drunks ain't supernatural :-)

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  68. I only have one problem with drinking...

    when the bottle is empty.

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  69. I'm sure you've read about Anthony Hopkins , the preacher, not the actor?

    It seems the right reverend killed his wife and stuffed her in a freezer for years.
    Why, you ask?
    Because she found out he was molesting her kids.

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  70. Step 2 is a stopper for me.

    I don't believe that there are spiritual powers at all. Basically, for someone like myself, Step 2 is asking me to lie.

    Whether there ARE 'spiritual powers' or not is even beside the point here, I don't believe that there are no matter how well the T.V. shows, books and movies on these subjects portray them, I just can't suspend my disbelief through the entire story.

    Why would drinking blood keep a person alive? Why straight out of another persons throat? (for example of 'dark' spiritual powers)

    Why would a 'restless spirit' spend time trying to kill us or make us crap in our tighty-whities?

    Why are aliens always such con-men pretending to be benevolent while swindling us out of our freedom/planet?

    What's the point of our justice system if we actually believe that outside forces can control us for good or evil?

    On the other hand there, I believe that very real forces control us leaving us with no free will, each other.

    To try to make me imagine that I have a free choice in this life is to try to make 'real' to me a silly idea.

    Sure I can pick the best option that I can conjure out of those available to me, given to me by my past much like channel surfing on the T.V.

    But much like channel surfing on T.V. I will pick the one that I'd tend to pick, being me.

    If I'm a bully, I'll 'choose' to bully depending on the circumstances. (Are you tougher than me? Are you under a tougher persons protection? etc.)

    But if I'm a 'victim' you'd have me 'choosing' to BE a victim that bullies recognise as a target, and who would actually choose to play out such a drama again and again as victims do?

    And what role does circumstance play in such scenarios played over and over across the world?

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  71. I'd like to try to clarify that rambling a little bit.

    The 'baby' in this 'bathwater' for me is the truth that there is no free will at all, while out of the 'bathwater' the majority take free will as a given and come up with 'GOD' as the 'baby'.

    They can't help themselves.

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  72. I dunno, Peeb.

    I think the concept of God precludes free will, and that the only way we can truly have free will is if there's NO GOD.

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  73. Nice try at table-turning, that's why it is so hard to explain because it is so easy to turn it around like that.

    But people 'take it' that God GAVE them free will, a gift and BLAME that free will for our 'condition'(living with that original sin, that original bad choice to not obey GOD)

    Without free will there would be no point at all in there being a GOD, it's circular that way.

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  74. Hey Mac,
    I sure do not feel picked on. As a matter of fact I have developed a trust for your comments over the last few months. On this issue you have much more knowledge about what goes on at the AA meeting than I. My case is based on the reality that if there is a God he/she is not interfering in the affairs of man. Just the way children are treated shows me there is no interference of the type that would come from a loving God. If a God is not interfering with us, then the only explanation for the AA to push God is, while believing there is real interference, the psychological power of suggestion. In other words God has, in my opinion, nothing to do with it. What does there leave? #9 in that one should make amends, which is asking another for forgiveness which says, we are equal in a way that I believe results in a brotherly type of love. #12 which covers service to others, even if it is some what limited to fellow alcoholics. That is the very basis of what Jesus was telling us. Loose yourself in service to your fellow man, and the level of consciousness is elevated into the spiritual level. Once that spiritual level is experienced the bottle is easy to give up, as well as making a complete change in the attitude of person. The resulting attitude change makes the person come across as being much more likeable which causes the person to feel accepted, at least by the fellow members, and probably by others. The result is the alcoholic, that this idea works for, is demonstrating the power of faith. However I do think service delivers the better life with or without faith.

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  75. I agree, Peeb.

    But if God is omniscient, and the future is KNOWN to him, then we only have the illusion of free will. We only THINK we actually have a choice, if the outcome is already known.

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  76. This blog raises questions in regards to the secular society:

    What about all of those nonreligious scumbag pedophiles?

    Do you all have problems with them, too-- or is it okay for them?

    Is pedophilia ever "okay"?
    If so, when?

    What did you all think of those 8 yr old girls suggestively dancing to Beyonce's song(s) with the approval of their parents?

    Would anyone here allow their daughters to dance this way?
    Does anyone here think that this type of behavior "invites" anything less than pedophillic desire in the hearts of men --whether they be "men of the cloth" or men with no "religion"?

    Is it ever okay for little girls to act in that way?

    Would love to know how the atheist/nonreligious mind configures answers to these questions.

    No crude or ignorant replies, please.

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  77. I agree Jerry.

    If we can define "spiritual" as an advanced sense of brotherly love, or a strong sense of empathy for our fellow man, we just might become "spiritual" despite religion.

    And, yes. Some folks get that from AA. Actually, I'm happy if it works for them. It can be a tough journey to make. If it works for some, Good.

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  78. MI,
    No vote is necessary. Pedophilia is bad, whether it be a member of the clergy or not.

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  79. No crude or ignorant replies, please.
    ---------
    I may be crude but I could never top your ignorance, you self-righteous pain in the butt.

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  80. Does anyone here think that this type of behavior "invites" anything less than pedophillic desire in the hearts of men --whether they be "men of the cloth" or men with no "religion"?
    --------------
    I disagree with it, to be sure, however I saw it and I didn't get tempted nor did I feel any desire whatsoever; I got annoyed. It's stupid to sexualize small kids.

    What kind of men do you hang out with, that would be tempted by that? They're just kids! Sick...

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  81. I'm sure you've read about Anthony Hopkins , the preacher, not the actor?
    ---------------
    Uh, NO!

    I missed that one. It got lost in the shuffle amidst all the others.

    Preacher man fucks stepdaughter and then when her mommy/his wife finds out he kills her... nicely done, preacher man. Way to exemplify the Christian moral system at work.

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  82. Question for Peeb and Ed,

    The logical conclusion from choice is control. It gives us an impetus for action.

    Determinism can't.

    It is essentially pointless in debate except to put ridiculous metaphysical beliefs to rest, meaning the belief systems that free-will is normally associated with.

    I am a "determinist," according to the dichotomy of free-will vs. determinism, but that's like saying I"m a "chair-ist," or an "apple-ist."

    An apple and chair are, and... so what?

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  83. I was asleep this morning and my wife woke me up by telling me a news headline:

    "Christian Groups: Biblical Armageddon Must Be Taught Alongside Global Warming"

    Yes, it's the Onion, however my point is that I couldn't TELL THAT IT WAS SATIRICAL.

    It sounded just like the reality of the situation. Yes, they're that stupid; of course they are, nothing surprises me anymore about how stupid they can be.

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  84. MI, what'd you think of this little gem:

    "Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies."

    So homophobic men are aroused by homosexual porn in a controlled study, where non-homophobic men are not. It's connected. The gay-haters are secretly aroused by it all, which is why they hate it so much.

    So if your hubby reeeaaally hates the gay, well... You might have a problem there.

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  85. MI

    I think you're trying to turn tables on the issue.

    NO-ONE is saying that religion causes these problems.

    Then I think you wash out the problem. You're saying,, "Hey, you guys are looking at a bucket of water and if you looked up you'd see the ocean."

    This is very disingenuous.

    These are religious LEADERS! People who, presumably feel commissioned by GOD himself to admonish OTHERS for even THINKING about such behaviour.

    The point being, you can't turn around and say religion helps us through these kinds of feelings/actions, if being a officer of a religion seems to actually HELP people be abusive.

    Also, this idea that if a person is Godly and commits a heinous act, he needs to be praying and meditating more while an non-Godly person doing the exact same heinous act should rot in prison is abhorrent to me and exemplifies religious notions that justice is authoritative and not based on fairness at all.

    We can't call ourselves free if the law is based on someone's arbitrary rules, that is called tyranny!

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  86. "...Anthony Hopkins , the preacher, not the actor?"

    WTF!? That's messed up.

    MI,

    You're missing the point because you have a particular belief system which is exclusionary.

    Most morality is made up. Yours included.

    Brian has a made up morality, so do I, so does Harvey et cetera.

    The most basic morality comes from our DNA (using that slightly metaphorically), it tells me, you and most others, that sexualizing children is aberrant behavior.

    I would then conclude that it's wrong, bad, evil, whatever.

    Now your example is the easiest to say, "That's wrong!" Because children don't have secondary sex characteristics.

    What's not so easy is the sexualization of teenagers.

    For that I appeal to social evolution, which seems to delineate a relatively static boundary in between ages.

    That being said, if an 18 year old "woman" or "man" is having sex with a 17 year old or 16 year old, to prosecute them I think is silly if not heartless. But we do need something with which to set laws.

    I would also be remiss if I didn't point out to you MI, that in the times of the Tanakh and the New Testament, old men having sex with teenagers was a norm.

    While I don't judge them, or the multitude of other societies which had that practice, due to culture or a shortened life span, I find it revolting.

    I'm hoping the men in your life do too.

    But once again, this would be on account of social evolution not your bible.

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  87. "Most morality is made up. Yours included."

    That should read. 'Most of morality..."

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  88. I've said it before and I'll say it again, even though technically I'm not saying it at all, there is a devil.

    The devil is he/she who tells you that your grammar, and the articulation of your point before you post, is anywhere from adequate to brilliant.

    I banish you devil,

    In the name of the pepper, the salsa and the holy guacamole!

    In the name of Glenn Blech and everything not spoken in hyperbole!

    In the name of Saint Brian the Godless but not Dogless, get thee gone!

    I think that should do it.

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  89. "These are religious LEADERS! People who, presumably feel commissioned by GOD himself to admonish OTHERS for even THINKING about such behaviour."

    This is the point that you have always needed to address and which you, eric and other Christians totally avoid in your comments.

    Saying something like, "Hey, there's lots of atheist child molesters too!", doesn't actually clarify anything at all, now does it?

    Especially since the religious emphasize the "fact" that atheism/non-belief LEADS TO/ALLOWS such behaviour!

    Seems to me that the outcome of 'being religious' is to decrease the punishment of committing the crime.

    You can't deny this, it is written in your Scripture.

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  90. Harry, you say, "The logical conclusion from choice is control. It gives us an impetus for action.

    Determinism can't."

    Seems to me that intelligent life 'is' choice, making conscious choices.

    It would be pointless to ask animals, "Hey, why'd you do that?", it's just 'what they do.', yet we feel that we can hold each other up to a much higher standard for some reason.

    But I 'believe' that, much like we can blame the owner for a dog being vicious, we can trace the actions of ourselves back to 'what we learned from our life'.

    I think that every single person sitting on death row could trace his being there to a series of unfortunate circumstances/incidents.

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  91. Is pedophilia ever "okay"?
    If so, when?
    ------------------
    The fact that you even felt the need to ask this question shows just how abysmally ignorant you are of atheists and their ways. You automatically believe that we're sickos just because we're godless.

    Morally you rely on 'club membership' in your religion to tell you whether a person is decent or not. That is a recipe for disaster, since many in your faith are utterly morally bereft and go around pretending to holiness just for the PR value.

    To answer the question as it deserves to be answered, pedophilia is only acceptable in good christian homes, apparently.

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  92. Waiting.....waiting.....waiting, for any type of response from MI/Hydra/who knows?
    If it ever does come, it will be some other cut and paste, most likely blithely ignoring any of the responses her most recent attempt to be noticed on this particular thread have generated. If there is any direct response at all, it will most likely take the form of criticizing the answers here as being unfair or an attack upon her person (whoever he/she is at the moment).

    How's that for bloviating, MI/Hydra/whoever?

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  93. For further evidence of both MI/Hydra's modus operandi vs my tendency to "bloviate", see the last series of her posts on Brian's most recent blog thread.

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  94. Pboy,

    That doesn't quite answer my question, but it suffices.

    Tanx ya tartan clad canuck.

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  95. I see what you mean Harvey, but I have a bit of a different take.

    I concur with you on MI's likely mental illness. But I empathize with her because I suffer from bipolar. I genuinely think this might do her some good.

    The old guard in the church I came from, frowned upon any such thing as mental illness. If you took medication or went to therapy, you would never say a thing.

    I'm just grateful I wasn't particularly close to those types. I already felt worthless because I didn't have enough 'will power.'

    I see why she gets your goat, but hopefully any type of sane interaction will be helpful.

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  96. Harry:

    "Nuff said" Judge Me!

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  97. Not at all Harv, not at all :-)

    Which makes me a hypocrite, but hey, I'm just being consistent.

    Judge Brian!

    Unless I get a bigger cut from Godless t-shirt sales.

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  98. So, if my husband "hates" you, does that mean that he hates you?!?




    PS. We don't hate the sinner, just the sin.
    Also, our church doesn't teach anything about Apocalypse nor about Global Warming.

    PSS--
    Should the seminaries do the penile circumference test on its potential applicants?

    Should the Church allow gays into the priesthood considering that the errant priests of the days of the sexual revolution were basically male priest-on-altar-boy?

    PSSS- Harvey and Harry - protect your "goats" lol !
    You get riled up way too easily...

    ReplyDelete
  99. Should read:

    "If my husband hates you, does that mean you're a closet homo?"

    ReplyDelete
  100. I see why she gets your goat, but hopefully any type of sane interaction will be helpful.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yes, Harvey, I agree with Harry, any type of sane interaction on your part will be helpful!

    (as for the name-calling; whomever smelt it dealt it, ya know?! =D

    ReplyDelete
  101. "Waiting.....waiting.....waiting, for any type of response from MI/Hydra/who knows?
    If it ever does come, it will be some other cut and paste, most likely blithely ignoring any of the responses her most recent attempt to be noticed on this particular thread have generated. If there is any direct response at all, it will most likely take the form of criticizing the answers here as being unfair or an attack upon her person (whoever he/she is at the moment).

    How's that for bloviating, MI/Hydra/whoever?
    May 25, 2010 4:06 PM"

    See MI/Hydra post above.
    I rest my6 case.

    ReplyDelete
  102. I have to concur. I didn't expect such a childish answer.

    When she decides to be more mature, I'll respond to a question or engage in dialogue.

    Harry has been schooled.

    Judge me!

    ReplyDelete
  103. http://www.spiritdaily.com/louisianaredux.htm

    MI wanted me to post this link for her. Apparently she can't post from her computer for some reason. So there ya go.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Should the Church allow gays into the priesthood considering that the errant priests of the days of the sexual revolution were basically male priest-on-altar-boy?
    ---------------
    There are already many gays in the priesthood. Not openly of course, but there are a lot of them. And because they cannot be OPEN about it, the situation invites sexual disfunctional behavior.
    If they actually let gays (and straights) into the priesthood for real, as in, let them have sex, then yes, it would be a lot better. Normal people have sex. Priests are being forced into an abnormal lifestyle. So they crack. It's to be expected.
    You'd still have problems of course, due to the flawed morality system. Too egocentric.

    ReplyDelete
  105. "If my husband hates you, does that mean you're a closet homo?"
    -----------
    No, it just means that your husband is a typical christian.

    ReplyDelete
  106. (as for the name-calling; whomever smelt it dealt it, ya know?! =D
    ---------------
    Instead of rapier wit, we have here an example of rape-ewe wit. As in, the type of joke someone would think of whilst screwing a sheep.

    ReplyDelete
  107. When she decides to be more mature, I'll respond to a question or engage in dialogue.
    ---------------
    More productive waiting for the second coming, no? At least there's a chance of that happening.

    ReplyDelete
  108. And BTW MI, that page I posted the link for, for you, is incredibly stupid. It amazes me that anyone is stupid enough to believe in that sort of self-righteous drivel, but there you go. Nothing is too stupid for the devout believer to swallow, I guess.
    A question: Does breathing with your mouth open all the time allow flies to lay eggs in your brainstem or something? Because I thought about being nice about this response, then I looked at that page again, and reconsidered. You do not deserve politeness when you post hate-filled moronic mouthings like that. You deserve to be called a moron. And so you are.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Brian,

    I don't know how, but you can make me laugh despite myself. I'm eating a tv dinner, feeling non-plussed about life, scrolling through your latest and...

    "Instead of rapier wit, we have here an example of rape-ewe wit. As in, the type of joke someone would think of whilst screwing a sheep."

    If there were a god I'd ask it to bless you.

    I'll forgo judgment this time.

    ReplyDelete
  110. "If there were a god I'd ask it to bless you."

    I mean, of course there's a god, just not in Cincinnati at 4:22 pm on the corner of Maple and Queen, and it's only that god that could've blessed you if it indeed existed, which it doesn't.

    Toodles.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Does greed enter into religion? I am not referring to the hierarchy of the church, but to the average person that has bought into organized religion.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Finally, the comcast-gods have allowed me to enter Brian's blog-o-sphere.

    Thanks for posting for me, Bri.

    PS. I wish you would have posted my entire email to you. It said that this article was religious/spiritual in nature and wasn't meant to preach to anyone.

    I merely wanted to speak to whomever it was that spoke on how Christians "MUST" learn Biblical Apocalypse and Global Warming --
    and *that's* the reason to post. And, as always, for Ryan, I only post the entire article/source.

    Now, you can think it's stupid or whatever, that's okay.(Have you ever read in the Catechism about how sin in the world, or "disharmony" among peoples is closely linked to the disharmony in Nature? Just askin' is all...)
    No harm done there.

    And, I agree with you about the closet gays in the seminary. Honestly, they shouldn't be hiding out in any religious institution that goes against their lifestyle/beliefs. To me that's not only hypocritical but dangerous.

    I would have agreed with you if you had said that yes, that penile study should be apart of the screening into seminaries.
    (although, I don't know which source did that study and can't actually look critically at the "testing" and the results. But, I'll trust your word on this one).

    And, honestly, Brian, my questions to you are authentic; not sarcastic. WITH THE EXCEPTION of my husband hating you: he asked me to post that and we were laughing and that's why I misposted it initially. It's a guy's humor to another guy and was meant in good fun. If you met my husband, I think you'd get along well with him; he's a nice guy and I believe you are, too!

    This issue (pedophilia)brings many q's to the surface which should be fixed in our society. I just have to scratch my head when I see adult coaches and parents condoning the 8 yr old Beyonce shake-yo-bootay dancing---- especially today---- with so much rampant dysfunctional sexuality running loose in our communities: ie: pedophilia.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Harry C Pharisee: aka Marty Calon??
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    PS. All 3 boys made it onto the (Summer) Swim Team....which means toting them an hour each morning to and fro and each eve to and fro so, if I don't post a whole lot (you can rejoice ;0) I'll be thinking of you all and will try to keep up with the blog.

    G'nite all. Peace.

    MI

    ReplyDelete
  113. I think, Jerry, it may.

    Not greed as in they want to take our cash. But greed as in their heavenly reward.

    They expect the "streets of gold", the eternal bliss and all that.
    God promised it to them, and dammit, they mean to collect !

    Seriusly, the whole concept of heaven seems like a greed trip.

    ReplyDelete
  114. I would have agreed with you if you had said that yes, that penile study should be apart of the screening into seminaries.
    ----------
    I didn't say it because that's frankly ridiculous.

    What is needed is huge reform of the religion itself, and that'll never happen.

    Its a haven for those who want to hide their sexual abnormalities, and if the person isn't abnormal it'll make them abnormal. So it's bad on more than one level.

    ReplyDelete
  115. I just have to scratch my head when I see adult coaches and parents condoning the 8 yr old Beyonce shake-yo-bootay dancing---- especially today---- with so much rampant dysfunctional sexuality running loose in our communities: ie: pedophilia.
    -----------------
    I agree. They're just kids. No need to sexualize them.

    ReplyDelete
  116. To be fair, the balance of MI's email to me as regarding the link she wanted me to post:
    ----

    Anyway, hope you wouldn't mind posting this link for me, if you please. It's about a Catholic website doing an article on nature and Louisana with Katrina and the oil spill,etc that I would like for mac (Jerry? I forget which one...) to see. It's a reply of sorts to his statement that Christian Churches "MUST" speak of Biblical Apocalypse and of Global Warming.

    I know it's a religious/spiritual point of view, however, I just wanted to help clarify how many Christians look upon such issues.
    (It's NOT to push these ideas on anyone ;0)

    ReplyDelete
  117. Trying to get some sleep....


    Watching Red Eye on Fox...

    Hey, Brian, thank you for posting the rest of my email.

    Your email to me gave me a good laugh!

    So, I'm glad we can have some fun with this.

    Please allow me to keep you in my evening prayerful and good thoughts, knowing that it's all good..... all good... =D

    Sweet dreams, O St. B o the G ;0)
    Well, my Ambien "haze" is beginning to set it. Ahhhh...some good sleep ahead for me!

    ReplyDelete
  118. Just like the Ambien helps shut down your body, making you drwosy, Religion has subdue your mind, making you drwsy to reality.

    They don't call it the opiate of the masses for nuthin.

    ReplyDelete
  119. "Harry C Pharisee: aka Marty Calon??"

    Who is Marty Calon?

    Your neighbor?

    ReplyDelete
  120. I think self is the true opiate of the masses and most people are quite high.

    Admittedly, including myself.

    ReplyDelete
  121. "..knowing that it's all good..... all good... =D"

    But it's NOT 'all good' tho', is it?

    One word, MI, ABORTION.

    No matter which side of this issue you come down on, it's not 'good' at all.

    I understand this is an easy call for you, all you need to do is follow the Pope's instructions on it and vote for anyone who is willing to use it as a cheap political tool to get your vote.

    What I don't understand is the 'outrage' by you guys over this.

    Surely you can't answer the question of evil by saying God allows evil to further his good agenda with some things(therefore we must accept that evil happens) but we ought to be totally outraged and be pushing a political agenda on other hand, picking fights to attempt to align the common law of the country with the Catholic agenda?

    I mean, where does it end, if you guys get anti-abortion laws pushed through? No work on the 'Lord's Day'? No meat on Friday? Forced prayer to YOUR GOD in all schools? Teaching religion in science class at school?

    How about a society where religious leaders are looked up to and non-religious people are shunned and castigated, or has the boat sailed on that one already?

    ReplyDelete
  122. Not to get off topic, but one of Eric's mantra's started bugging me more and more and for the life of me, I can't figure out why none of us called him on it (maybe someone did and I missed it).

    He repeated over and over that "the resurrection was the most well attested event in the ancient world".

    WTF? All we have are later copies of 4 anonymous, non-contemporary, mildly contradictory accounts of the event and then also Paul's non-contemporary account.

    But let's take Julius Caesar as one example, we have his later copies of his own writings, we have piles of contemporary accounts (Cicero, Cattallus, Sallust etc...)

    Just curious if I missed him trying to justified that statement.

    ReplyDelete
  123. No, Ryan, we have eric on record slipping in all kinds of drivel.

    I loved the one about thermodynamics, where his equation says that in a closed system, if you add work(energy) the energy of the system goes up!

    Now if you don't know that all work is energy(but not all energy is work) you might miss the complete non-relevance of that equation.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Ian; I remember that and it was very funny, actually, your reaction to it was fantastic.

    But hey, I guess when you get to make up your own definition for words like "thermodynamics" (and for "attested" apparently) you get to never be wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  125. I'm guessing that MI's take on the theodicy issue I brought up would be something like, "I personally, have never said that God allows evil for some greater good as part of his agenda!"('proving' me wrong)

    Of course she's gonna leave 'up in the air' 'exactly' what she believes the point of evil is, if any.

    Called, "Disowning the cake while eating it!"?

    ReplyDelete
  126. Ryan,

    I don't remember him doing that, but it fits with his MO.

    He doesn't require of himself what he requires of those who debate him.

    Following that rule leaves him open to saying something absurd or hyperbolic, like that fatuous statement about the resurrection, while demanding others jump through hoops of ever decreasing circumference if someone deigns to respond.

    I'm with you Ryan.

    I had an Eric moment a couple days ago. I was rereading an intro to logic book. It completely refuted his assertion that argumentation only takes place formally.

    ReplyDelete
  127. I hate that philosophical thingy where they imagine that they can deduce things a priori, after have been raised up by their caregivers and studing all that drivel in college, suddenly they think they can deduce the 'truth' through a lot of thinking.

    Sort of like, ".. and if you can go along with our premise, we've 'got ya'!"

    And you end up with eric calling assholes like Alvin Plantinga genius for calling GOD 'normative'.

    What a joke!

    ReplyDelete
  128. "I had an Eric moment a couple days ago. I was rereading an intro to logic book. It completely refuted his assertion that argumentation only takes place formally."

    Sorry, I should've added that it had been bugging me, because I didn't think he was right, but I just deferred to his 'expertise.'

    ReplyDelete
  129. Is it just me, or does Eric seem to abandon the site whenever I start pressing him too hard?

    ReplyDelete
  130. BTW, today is my daughter's 18th birthday, and she graduates from highschool on Saturday.

    Hooray for daughters!

    ReplyDelete
  131. Hey, Gear: Congratulations!!!
    You must be proud of her ;0)



    ++++ Floyd, I glossed over some of your comments: I stand firm in my gift of Faith and in what the Catholic Church teaches. If you like, you can look up God's Ordaining Will and God's Permissive Will in the Catechism.


    No agendas.


    Also, I'm not so sure what your "issue" is with abortion....ie: have you ever financed one or pressed a woman into one? (rhetorical q only).

    Floyd, you're okay with me. You come on a bit strong and I can see that you aren't up to speed on Church Teachings or else you wouldn't be asking the questions.

    Let me say this one time and it's easy, simple and factual: murdering human species at any stage of Life is *always* wrong. That's not my *opinion* it's God's Command. So, yes, I agree that murdering unborn babies is wrong. I think you should be able to clearly understand my statement.

    I don't mind posting with you, but, could we get off this issue because I've made myself very clear to you....?

    ReplyDelete
  132. I'm sorry MI but that's not God's command. As in, it's not the sole command about the matter.

    The commands to slaughter non-Israeli tribes are in plain view.

    ReplyDelete
  133. I'm sorry Harry. I was going off of the Thou Shalt Not Kill Commandment....just to be clear.

    Besides, the O.T. is trickier to truly understand, and I don't, but, in my outlook, God can do whatever He wants.

    MY deal is that I love Him so very much and I wish to obey Him, please Him and find myself enfolded within His Love, His Mercy and His Wisdom for the rest of my existence.

    And, out of my love for Him I try -- try, mind you - to be the best I can be at all times and to everyone. I like to joke around and I also like to get down and dirty into serious conversations and I like to ponder things. I also try to keep the judging thing to a minimum (who am I to judge? In my eyes, the only Just Judge is God. Think what you like; no worries here. Just helping to explain myself to you ;0)

    I would like to ask you to pray for me but don't know how you'd respond to that.....

    (So, you're *not* Maarten C ??)

    Be honest!

    Mary Irene

    ReplyDelete
  134. MI,

    I'm not trying to be pushy, but you should realize that you have directly contradicted not only your previously stated feelings on the matter, but according to that interpretation God has contradicted himself.

    I don't remember who's mentioned it before, but cognitive dissonance is a key feature in a believer's thought process.

    I'd like to stress that I'm not condemning you for it, I think all of us have it to a degree.

    We have a drive toward consistency though, regardless of what certain atheists might claim. Meaning they go against science by claiming the drive toward clear thinking doesn't exist in believers.

    I would encourage you to examine your two incommensurate opinions.

    ReplyDelete
  135. MI, you are just dodging the issue that I brought up.

    You said, "..knowing that it's all good..... all good... =D"

    To which I replied, "But it's NOT 'all good' tho', is it?

    One word, MI, ABORTION.

    No matter which side of this issue you come down on, it's not 'good' at all."

    Now you standing firm in your faith is neither here nor there, and I think you might have noticed that if you hadn't just 'glossed over' my comments!

    I wasn't talking about whether our respective positions on abortion are right or wrong, I'm saying it's a terrible position for any young woman to find herself in and that it's being abused by politicians who add their quasi-libertarian agenda like some kind of rider on to their supposed stance against abortion.

    Seems to me that this is the 'elephant in the room' here, because you go off on a tangent without addressing that issue at all.

    You, standing firm in your faith says NOTHING about how people like you are willing to be swayed by lying politicians on one GRAND issue which, when all is said and done, they do little about!

    The one democrat who wanted to make abortion a central issue when it came to the health bill, turned out that he was accepting religious funds to further his political career!

    The most disingenuous thing about you crowd is that on the one hand you talk about absolute morals and values and on the other hand talk about voting for the lesser of two evils.

    You are EITHER dealing from an ABSOLUTE standpoint or from a RELATIVE standpoint, you cannot deal from one sometimes and the other sometimes.

    But you admit that you are just blathering off the top of your head, glossing over any point put to you, so apparently it doesn't make any difference to you if someone points out the fact that you're all completely disingenuous, you're likely PROUD of that!

    Why should we care what you have to say on ANY topic, you might as well say, "That's what I think of that TODAY! Tomorrow I might think the opposite, depends on my latest e-mails and such!"

    ReplyDelete
  136. Besides, the O.T. is trickier to truly understand, and I don't, but, in my outlook, God can do whatever He wants.
    -------------------
    You don't understand it because it is horrible and makes no sense, MI. You don't understand how God would require so much blood and be so incredibly unfair and uncaring and unempathetic and hateful. So, you just have a brainfart and ignore it. Pfffffft. It's easier than facing the fact that it makes no sense at all. You love God so much you're willing to ignore his serial-killer side. What an ideal sheep you make.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Yeah MI, hope you're proud to be a member of a predictable group of people that politicians know can be made to vote for whoever they want you to, just by bringing up the boogeyman "abortion" and "gay" issues and then after they get in, they ignore you because they were only using you in the first place, and do nothing about either issue? I mean, you guys are like lemmings.

    ReplyDelete
  138. "Is it just me, or does Eric seem to abandon the site whenever I start pressing him too hard?"

    Yup. I could only imagine how fun it would be to watch you and Pliny go at him once he starts making positive statements about what he believes.

    ReplyDelete
  139. You gave me an idea Bri. In the next election, I think I'll finally be able to consolidate a voting base.

    I'm going to run on a platform that consists of being against, 'gay abortions,' and 'gay communist abortions.'

    ReplyDelete
  140. Hey, why not just do it the old-fashioned way and call out the democrats for blood libel? Everyone knows that they use the blood of little christian babies in their godless rituals, after all...

    ReplyDelete
  141. Mi said "God can do whatever He wants."

    No he can't, not if it's contridictory (just ask Eric).

    For example, he can't specifically order the death of every Amalekite man, woman, child, infant, cow, sheep, camel and donkey and be omnibenevolent.

    Well, not without totally redefining omnibenevolent.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Oh come on Ryan, God is the bestest Judge EVA! Much like every other judge, your punishment is tied to exactly how much you toady to HIM!

    I think we can find a few C.S.Lewis quotes to back me up there!

    Guess the Amalekites just wouldn't toady!

    Of course the Persians didn't toady either so THAT must have been God telling the Sons of Israel that they weren't toadying 'just right'.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Jerry said:
    "Does greed enter into religion? I am not referring to the hierarchy of the church, but to the average person that has bought into organized religion.

    May 26, 2010 10:46 PM"

    That and fear. A ton of the Christians I know realize that a lot of what is said in the bible is sketchy, but they still want to believe because "There HAS to be something, right?"

    When I talked to them concerning the prospect of "afterlife" as like going to sleep and not dreaming, except forever, they were visibly unnerved.

    ReplyDelete
  144. God disobeys his own commandments about murdering, Nothing/Nobody is spared...

    “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth...And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” - Genesis 6:5-7
    ________________________

    But he was such a good judge, the best EVAH....

    “And the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done” - Genesis 8:21
    ________________________

    It doesn't seem like God has either a problem with killing humans, nor is he a great judge...he admits a HUGE mistake in his worldwide genocide.

    If, MI, you do not understand the OT, perhaps you made a mistake with the "thou shalt not kill" quote as well?

    I wonder if you could explain a war using that same commandment.


    BTW, by legal definition, a fetus is not a life.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Ian; "When I talked to them concerning the prospect of "afterlife" as like going to sleep and not dreaming, except forever, they were visibly unnerved."

    I think the most unnerved I've ever been was when I first realized that non-existance after death was a very real alternative.

    When I actually thought about it for five minutes though, that unnerved feeling passed.

    ReplyDelete
  146. I guess "alternative" should probably be "possibiliy".

    ReplyDelete
  147. "He repeated over and over that "the resurrection was the most well attested event in the ancient world"."

    I never said that. If I said it "repeatedly," it should be easy to link to a post where I've said it. Go ahead.

    "I had an Eric moment a couple days ago. I was rereading an intro to logic book. It completely refuted his assertion that argumentation only takes place formally."

    I never said that. I've studied a ton of informal logic, so the very idea is absurd.

    "Is it just me, or does Eric seem to abandon the site whenever I start pressing him too hard?"

    Now that's funny. First, I post in spurts. I'll comment on a number of threads for a few days, or sometimes, depending on my workload, a few weeks. But second, I tend to get bored with them quickly, and I abandon threads when comments like the ones above predominate. I don't have time to correct misunderstanding after misunderstanding, and misrepresentation after misrepresentation.

    On an unrelated note, this is awesome -- a must for Lord of the Rings fans (I'm listening to it as I type this).

    ReplyDelete
  148. Eric said "But the Qu'ran denies the crucifixion, one of the best attested events of the ancient world.

    April 19, 2010 10:07 PM

    My bad, crucifixion, not resurrection.

    But same thing to you really. And what I said yesterday at 2:12pm stands for the crucifixion or the resurrection (or the sermon on the mount, etc... etc...). Brian and I called you out on it at 10:19 and 10:20pm on April 19th and of course you ignored me and focused on only the low hanging fruit from Brian's post.

    ReplyDelete
  149. "I never said that. I've studied a ton of informal logic, so the very idea is absurd."

    You missed the point completely. How is it that we are even communicating in the same language?

    I'm not talking about the subject of informal logic and neither was the author of the book.

    ReplyDelete
  150. "I don't have time to correct misunderstanding after misunderstanding, and misrepresentation after misrepresentation."

    But apparently you have the time to cause them.

    ReplyDelete
  151. "My bad, crucifixion, not resurrection.
    But same thing to you really."

    Not even close.

    The crucifixion is a piece of historical data, and I was correct when I said it is as well attested as any event in the ancient world. Crossan, a highly respected *skeptical* scholar, has said, "That [Jesus] was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be."

    The resurrection, as I said repeatedly, is not a bit of historical data, but an *inference* from historical data like the crucifixion (though admittedly not as well established as that).

    Face it, you just got it dead wrong and you can't even admit it.

    ReplyDelete
  152. "You missed the point completely. How is it that we are even communicating in the same language?"

    Harry, if when you referred to basic logic, arguments and formality you weren't talking about the distinction between formal logic, which is concerned with argument structures, and informal logic, which is concerned with argument content, then I have no idea what you're talking about. Perhaps I should've asked for clarification, but any logic geek would've read your criticism as I did.

    That aside, I've never said anything remotely close to "argumentation only takes place formally." Can you provide a direct quote?

    ReplyDelete
  153. Eric; I admitted that I got your quote wrong.

    What you won't admit you got wrong is that Jesus' crucifixion is most certainly not one of the most well attested events in ancient history, for the exact reasons I stated about the resurrection. Sorry dingbat...

    ReplyDelete
  154. Lots of folks were crucified. They all stayed dead, too.

    ReplyDelete
  155. "Perhaps I should've asked for clarification, but any logic geek would've read your criticism as I did."

    Please dispense with the self-deprecation, it doesn't suit someone as humble as you.

    ReplyDelete
  156. They say that there's a thin line between genius and insanity.

    Seems to me that it's a skipping rope and high ranking Catholics like to exercise on that rope all the time.

    Anyone who can write something along the lines of, "While we all realise that there was no Adam and Eve, we can point to Eve's deceit in the Fall of man.", is both a genius for putting it in such flowery terms that not many people notice that he is saying that, yet insane for actually believing that.

    ReplyDelete
  157. "BTW, today is my daughter's 18th birthday, and she graduates from highschool on Saturday.

    Hooray for daughters!"

    Hey Ed, congratulations. I know a child's love can be explained dryly, through the soulless minutiae of biologically influenced psychological factors, but being a dad is quite simply flippin great!

    So is she going to take that Gear wit to higher education I hope?

    ReplyDelete
  158. Harry: "So is she going to take that Gear wit to higher education I hope?"

    Heh. Now, I don't know whether you'd call art "higher education," but I like to learn pretty much anything I can. :)

    @Ryan: ..."Ian"? I am not him, I'm Gear's kid.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Cogs; I must have been reading too quickly. Ian is Pboy. Congratulations on your graduation.

    ReplyDelete
  160. (Me, quoted): "Is it just me, or does Eric seem to abandon the site whenever I start pressing him too hard?"

    Eric: Now that's funny.

    I know, I got a good chuckle out of that, too.

    ReplyDelete
  161. Eric,

    If you thought that Tolkein thing was cool, you should see this.

    ReplyDelete
  162. Harry, she is.

    She's been accepted into a graphic arts program at a nearby stste university, and has several scholarships to boot.

    She was also voted "most creative" in a class of ~200.

    ReplyDelete
  163. As for wit?

    It was her idea to call herself "Cogs", because a cog is a little gear...

    ReplyDelete
  164. "It was her idea to call herself "Cogs", because a cog is a little gear..."

    That is pretty damn cute.

    ReplyDelete
  165. Not yet, Brian, but she's thinking about getting hired into the advertising department at Spacely Sprockets...

    ReplyDelete
  166. That Leonard Nimoy singing about Bilbo Baggins or whoever, was truly gay. Not as in homosexual gay either. Just gay. Like, the gayest thing I ever saw.

    It was not logical, either.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Ruh-roh...

    Where's my frikkin flying car? I was promised a flying car...

    Hey, isn't a cog more like a tooth on a gear or something like that?

    On a side note, my wife just used the word "cog" in a sentence to me completely unrelated to this blog, and she didn't know we were talking about the word.

    ReplyDelete
  168. Are you sure she wasn't cognizant of our conversation?!

    A ha hahahahahaha!

    Cognizant.

    Bad puns rock.

    ReplyDelete
  169. Does she know what 'cog' means? Was her usage of the word cogent?!

    A ha hahahahaha!

    Cogent.

    That didn't even rhyme!

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  170. Yes Harry, I assure you that as pertains to the proper usage of the word 'cog' or just about any other word for that matter, my wife is among the cognoscenti.

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  171. "...my wife is among the cognoscenti."

    I have brought you down to my level!

    You know, I don't think any of the words we've used have been cognates.

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  172. I don't know. Let me cogitate on that for a bit...

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  173. Brian: "Like, the gayest thing I ever saw."

    ...Yeah.


    Heh. Name puns.

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  174. That's easy for you to say, considering that it was your cognomen that started the whole mess...

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  175. Hello everyone.
    Interesting article Brian, I see your point and understand where you are coming from.
    But at the same time you have to understand that these men are not producing the Christian fruit that is evident in all “true” Christians.
    Jesus himself condemned the religious leaders of his day saying they were wolves in sheep clothing .Christ said the chief priest sat in Moses seat, yet Christ told His followers not to follow them.
    There have been false religious leaders in all forms of religion, regardless of the sect.
    The Pharisees that lived in the days of Jesus were false religious leaders as well, Jesus told them their father was the devil, Yet most people considered them to be religious.

    A person use to feel ashamed of himself when his immorality was made public. But most people today exhibit pride for bad behavior.
    The gay world MUST discredit the Bible and it’s teaching so they can parade their immorality without being condemned .
    You have heard the old saying you’ll know a tree by it’s fruit. Well apply this language to your pulpit preachers and priest who live ungodly and then you will see the “false Christians” just as Jesus seen them in His day…

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  176. Aren't you supposed to be preaching to your flock on Sunday morning, Mike?

    Just asking...

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  177. Observant,

    It's unscientific for you to say that these religious leaders aren't Christian. You just keep redefining terms to exclude a particular pastor once they've 'born fruit unto death.'

    The problem is the difference between what a Christian is, and a what a human being is, is nominal. No Christian is, nor ever has been, more moral than other Christians, people of other religions, and the non-religious.

    So when it comes to discussing situations like this where a moral authority is claimed and then betrayed, it makes complete sense to us secular people.

    Saying one is a Christian, morally speaking, is a complete non-issue. One might as well say that his morality is purple.

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  178. The Pharisees that lived in the days of Jesus were false religious leaders as well, Jesus told them their father was the devil, Yet most people considered them to be religious.
    ---------------
    Yeah Mike, do you think that in Jesus' day those pharisees knew that they had false beliefs? Or do you think thay were absofuckinglutely sure that their beliefs were true and right?

    Because that thing you said about how 'those people aren't true christians' sounds a lot like something one of those pharisees might have said.

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  179. You have heard the old saying you’ll know a tree by it’s fruit. Well apply this language to your pulpit preachers and priest who live ungodly and then you will see the “false Christians” just as Jesus seen them in His day…
    ----------------
    The problem is that when I do that, I see all christians as false, and the entire religion as a pernicious lie.

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  180. The gay world MUST discredit the Bible and it’s teaching so they can parade their immorality without being condemned .
    ---------------------
    Well, for that reason and the fact that it's a really evil book, of course.

    I'm sorry, I don't see gays as immoral. I see people who condemn them as being immoral, as immoral for doing that. So you, in other words, are immoral, from where I sit.

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  181. Brian, Ed,

    That is the (insert superlative here) video I've seen in a while.

    I've gotta send that particular piece of American pop-culture to the friends.

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  182. Religious people seem to need to control everybody else. It's not enough that they follow their own religious rules; everybody has to OR ELSE, and that's the evil part. Religious people love nothing more than being in a position to 'lay down the law' to everyone else. 'Do this, don't do that.' 'No gay sex, but I'll rent a boy to 'carry my bags' on vacation...' I'm just so fucking sick of it. It's so evil, so rude, so stupid. So stop that crap, allright? It's creepy how much time you people spend thinking about how other people have sex.

    Worry about your own selves and stop trying to run the world and other people's lives, and then maybe you'll have half a chance at being a decent person. Or continue trying to be the world's moral police while you have your affairs and gay sex that you won't even admit to yourself is gay sex, and being complete and utter hypochrists, and then you can be the evil assholes that you all seem to want to be deep down.

    You people have a huge problem, and it's called your EGOS. You all believe that you shit Breyers chocolate ice cream just because you believe in a Sky Daddy. You've never been taught to control your egos, and that makes you all really, really immature, and for that matter, dangerous.

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  183. Maybe gays are tired of being condemned by brainless hypocritical self-righteous religious haters. I know I would be.

    You guys do have fucked-up attitudes toward sex, you know. I mean, you wanna see the perverts, go look in a mirror sometime. I remember not too long ago one 'good christian' man who was in a congressional race or something admitted to fucking mules and other barnyard critters as a boy. He even made light of it, saying that boys always do such things, and 'as long as it's warm and it vibrates' they'll 'put it in there.' I was floored by that one. And of course the barnyard fucker was anti-gay too. Pretty funny.

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  184. Here's the link... what a CLASSIC!

    barnyard friends

    The guy's name is Neal Horsely. Too good to be true, but there it is.

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  185. Although to me it's hard to tell who's dumber, the religious hatemongers who do all the hating of the gays, or the "Log Cabin Republicans...' I mean, if you're gay, what on earth are you doing being a republican? Into self-loathing much? Maybe they do that so there's always someone near at hand that they can persecute or something. It's like blacks wanting to be in the KKK. It's just so dumb it's funny.

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  186. "But at the same time you have to understand that these men are not producing the Christian fruit that is evident in all “true” Christians."

    The worst case of 'Me-ism' I've encountered in awhile.

    Mike, you use the Bible to justify your position.

    Apparently a very few of 'you' are 'real' Christians, 'real' Americans or 'real' men, or anything else you can think of.

    Either the Scribes and the Pharisees were worshipping GOD or they weren't.

    I say they WERE! Any Bible quotes saying they weren't?


    Seems to me your argument is based on everyone equally believing in GOD and Jesus but just getting the details wrong.

    Surely you can see that from my perspective, that there are no gods at all, there is no 'right way' to worship a non-existent 'thing', your comment is completely non-sensical.

    You might as well be arguing that Winston Smith deserved to die for not loving Big Brother.

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  187. Mike; good to hear from you, too bad it's something we've heard over and over. Everyone here sees through your "no true scotsman fallacy". We have for years now.

    You got anything new or is "no true scotsman" your Alamo?

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  188. Harry,

    referring to the Nimoy thingie?

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  189. I'm going to venture that if George Rekers WASN'T gay, he would have taken his FAMILY on a ten day european vacation instead of a male prostitute?

    Or even a "RentGirl"?

    word ver. = "swayan", as in what Rekers' "luggage" was doing during the rentboy massages...

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  190. From Rekers' website:

    "Welcome to Professor George.com

    Dr. George Rekers is Distinguished Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science Emeritus at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, South Carolina.

    Professor George was previously a Research Fellow in Psychology and Social Relations and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University.

    He earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, his M.B.A. in executive management from Southern Wesleyan University, and his Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) degree from the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of South Africa.

    Professor George was awarded the Diplomate in Clinical Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology and is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology.

    In addition to his clinical psychology practice and expert courtroom testimony, Professor George has published well over one hundred academic journal articles and book chapters and ten books, including the Handbook of Child and Adolescent Sexual Problems (Simon & Schuster) for which he served as the editor.

    His work has been supported by fellowships, contracts, and grants exceeding one million dollars from private foundations and governmental entities, including the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.

    Dr. Rekers has delivered many invited research presentations on child and family variables before committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and has served as an invited expert for White House staff and several presidential cabinet agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services.

    He has delivered over two hundred invited lectures in universities and academic societies in dozens of countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and in Western and Eastern Europe.

    Professor George served as one of the multidisciplinary experts for the legal team that successfully defended the state of Florida’s law prohibiting adoption of children by homosexually-behaving individuals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case Lofton v. Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services.

    Dr. Rekers is a past recipient of the NARTH Sigmund Freud Award for his research contributions on child gender identity disorder."

    But not a word about personal life, such as who his wife and children are, or even if he HAS any.

    Curious...

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  191. Does anyone know if Rekers is married (if even only for a little longer!)?

    I couldn't find anything on that one way or the other...

    But if he's NOT married, where does this guy get off putting himself out there as any kind of "expert" in family matters?

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  192. I think that Mike is going for the 'baby-in-the-bathwater' defense here.

    Yes, we see pastors/priests molesting children and stealing from their flock, but THEY are not 'doing it right'.

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  193. Observant: "You have heard the old saying you’ll know a tree by it’s fruit. Well apply this language to your pulpit preachers and priest who live ungodly and then you will see the “false Christians” just as Jesus seen them in His day…"

    Then I have never, not once met a true Christian. All of them that I knew were either:

    1)complete idiots who only believed because someone they looked up to told them to,

    2)bullied into the religion with threats of eternal hellfire and no love from anyone ('cept Jesus, because apparently he loves you and pities you when you burn, but won't do anything to help you), or

    3)claimed to be a Christian and after going to church a few times thought that they could do whatever the hell they wanted and as long as they apologised to God afterwards it was OK.

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  194. Ed,

    Absolutely. It was "brilliant" and awful all at once. Great comedy, whether intentional or not, should make you feel ambivalent.

    As far as Rekkers, I have no idea. It might be safe to say that he is not married though.

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