Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Environment in crisis: Are we past the point of no return?

"Each nation must find the best use of its resources
to sustain civilisation for as long as they can."

One day we are going to all look up from our warring, arguing, debating and other distractions to find that we don't have a planet left. Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor for The Independent Online Edition writes:

Thirty years ago, the scientist James Lovelock worked out that the Earth possessed a
planetary-scale control system which kept the environment fit for life. He called it Gaia, and the theory has become widely accepted. Now, he believes mankind's abuse of the environment is making that mechanism work against us. His astonishing conclusion - that climate change is already insoluble, and life on Earth will never be the same again.

READ MORE: The Independent Online

Monday, January 30, 2006

It seems one of the biggest debates concerning abortion is the matter of deciding when is a fetus is a person. The rights listed and described in the U.S. Constitution address persons already born and are citizens either by birth or by oath later, and it is those who are already born who are protected under the laws of the land. I find nowhere in the Constitution where this includes unborn zygotes, embryos and fetuses.

If our government considered unborn zygotes, embryos and fetuses to be human beings with the same rights as "persons" already born, then why can't we claim tax deductions for these zygotes, embryos and fetuses from the minute of conception? Why can't people collect government welfare, and any other benefits for that child-to-be from the moment it is conceived? So, in other words, our government does not recognize unborn zygotes, embryos and fetuses to be human beings with the same rights as those already born.

Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment contains three references to "person." The first, in defining "citizens," speaks of "persons born or naturalized in the United States." The word also appears both in the Due Process Clause and in the Equal Protection Clause. "Person" is used in other places in the Constitution: in the listing of qualifications for Representatives and Senators, Art. I, § 2, cl. 2, and § 3, cl. 3; in the Apportionment Clause, Art. I, § 2, cl. 3; in the Migration and Importation provision, Art. I, § 9, cl. 1; in the Emolument Clause, Art. I, § 9, cl. 8; in the Electors provisions, Art. II, § 1, cl. 2, and the superseded cl. 3; in the provision outlining qualifications for the office of President, Art. II, § 1, cl. 5; in the Extradition provisions, Art. IV, § 2, cl. 2, and the superseded Fugitive Slave Clause 3; and in the Fifth, Twelfth, and Twenty-second Amendments, as well as in §§ 2 and 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. But in nearly all these instances, the use of the word is such that it has application only postnatally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application.

Decision for Roe vs. Wade was based on the 14th Amendment: Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

There is no provision that I can find in the U.S. Constitution for the protection of zygotes and embryos...or even fetuses for that matter. Once the child is born, he or she becomes a legal citizen of this country and bound and protected by its laws and may receive benefits and services as need be.

Any changes in the Constitution to rewrite into it protections of the unborn is something that the christian right would probably love to be able to do. We must keep on top of this issue before women's rights are totally undone and we are sent back into the dark ages. I would love to see this zealousness to help the abused, starving, neglected children who are already born and suffering in this world.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Scientists spot a new Earthlike planet

Updated: 1:19 p.m. ET Jan. 25, 2006
Astronomers on Wednesday announced the discovery of what is possibly the smallest planet known outside our solar system orbiting a normal star.

Its orbit is farther from its host star than Earth is from the sun. Most known extrasolar planets reside inside the equivalent of Mercury’s orbit.

The planet is estimated to be about 5.5 times as massive as Earth and thought to be rocky. It orbits a red dwarf star about 28,000 light-years away. Red dwarfs are about one-fifth as massive as the sun and up to 50 times fainter. But they are among the most common stars in the universe.

LINK: MSNBC article and photos

Black Hole Puts Dent In Space-time

A spinning black hole in the constellation Scorpius has created a stable dent in the fabric of spacetime, scientists say.

The dent is the sort of thing predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. It affects the movement of matter falling into the black hole.

The spacetime-dent is invisible, but scientists deduced its existence after detecting two X-ray frequencies from the black hole that were identical to emissions noted nine years ago. The finding will allow scientists to calculate the black hole's spin, a crucial measurement necessary for describing the object's behavior.

Blinking X-rays

Black holes form when very massive stars runs out of fuel. Their cores implode into a point of infinite density and their outer layers are blown away in a powerful supernova explosion. Within a theoretical boundary called the event horizon, the black hole's gravity is so strong that nothing, including light, can escape.

The X-ray frequencies detected by the team of researchers came from outside the event horizon of GRO J1655-40, a black hole located roughly 10,000 light-years from Earth. It is about seven times more massive than the Sun and siphoning gas from a nearby companion star.

Link: SPACE.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Dorothy Parker

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks."

Thou shalt not kill...EXCEPT WHEN WE SAY IT IS OK TO DO SO


It's something how the abortion issue always overshadows all other issues and topics with many fundamentalist christians. They have no comment about Mitraism and Christianity, The Stardust Comet Mission, Mark Twain, Chinese imports, and none have answered my repeated question --

"If there were no rewards for believing and no promised forgiveness of sins, no promise of eternal life, and no threats of punishment in hell for not believing...would you still believe if there was nothing in it for the self?
No one answers that question. But talk about abortion and WOW...they get all crazy!

I don't see the same craziness to save the life of someone on the medieval Death Row, many of whom are victims of their own environment, upbringing and mental illness. It does not mean that I do not feel for the victim's family, but killing the killer is merely revenge. It does not make things right, but it makes vindictive people feel better. I was very impressed when Pope John Paul II went to the prison and forgave the man who shot him. (Most catholics are consistent in their pro- life stance.)

Fundamentalist christians here are almost as scary as the fundamentalist muslims overseas with their over-zealousness and the way they cheer on another person's death, and the way some take the law into their own hands to kill doctors who perform abortions, with other fundies cheering shouts of approval afterwards. The irony of their thinking baffles me. (Thou shalt not kill...EXCEPT WHEN WE SAY IT IS OK TO DO SO....) I don't see most fundamentalist pro-lifers trying to stop the killing of young men and women through warring. Onward Christian Soldiers! KILL THE ENEMY! Let our own sons and daughters be killed, and kill the sons and daughters in other nations. But let's save those zygotes and embryos so we can just sacrifice the people they become later.

Monday, January 23, 2006


1. Thou shalt shut thy gob when politely asked,
and not drone on endlessly.

2. Thou shalt not use circular arguments,
such as "God exists because the Bible sayeth so,

the Bible is True because it is God's Word."

3. Thou shalt notice when thy audience is bored rigid.
(See Commandment 1.)

4. Thou shalt not use a cop-out such as
"God worketh in mysterious ways" when backed into a

corner by thine own convoluted logic.

5. Thou shalt use thine own imagination,
and not just quote from the Bible all the time.

6. Thou shalt not tell atheists what they believe,
nor that thy God loveth them.

7. Thou shalt not get upset by jokes about thy God.
He is big enough and old enough to looketh

after himself.

8. Thou shalt not define how thy God worketh.
Thou canst not know.

9. Thou shalt not state that the Bible is consistent
and hath no contradictions.
Thou wouldst be a

fool to doeth so.

10. Thou shalt not say Grace without also thanking the farmers,
truck-drivers and shopkeepers

who actually did the work required to get your food to the table.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

MarkTwain -- "Closet" Atheist

Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings by Mark Twain is a series of highly inflammatory anti-religious essays written by Twain in his later years. These writings were withheld by the humorist's daughter, Claire Clemens Samossoud until 1939 when she surmised that public opinion had become more tolerant to viewpoints outside the "norm." If people had known Twain's opinion of god and religion while he was still alive, it would have harmed his reputation as a writer, and though as outspoken as he was, he had to "tone it down" so as not to offend the general reading public.

Even though the collection of essays may be humorous in style, they are extremely and intentionally venemous in viewpoint even in today's society. The subject of his atheism is still avoided and his "controversial" and satirical books such as Letters from the Earth are pushed aside in favor of the usual Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. In the writings found in Letters from the Earth, Twain forces the reader to confront the contradictions, cruelty, bigotry, and all out hatred perpetuated in the name of God. He has a real problem with God and christianity, and "quarrels" with God with humor, but the humor which invited itself into his sermons was darker in color. Although religious hypocrisies and inconsistencies of biblical doctrine are addressed and satirized throughout these essays, more importantly, the question that ties the essays together is "what is man's place in the universe?"

When one stops to actually think about the issues Twain brings to light, most of us have to wonder about the truths that can be found in his brave messages. His writings contained in Letters from the Earth were not mere musings of a disgruntled old man who took issue with God for all the bad things that happened in his life. Twain saw the reality of human nature and how religion has been created and recreated to the point of absurdity in order to justify the injustice committed by humans in this world throughout time. Twain was not merely pessimistic concerning human nature, he was a realist. History has proven his theories about the nature of humans time and time again. We still are not as "evolved" as we would like to think ourselves to be.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


(Just want to clarify that I would not choose abortion for myself. Nature did that for me...I lost two babies. One at full term. I have had too many heartbreaks losing babies before I finally had my three healthy kids. However, It is not my place to try to tell another woman what to do with what is inside her uterus. It seems that some people who come on here, whom I have deleted have not an ounce of compassion for the already living. They are pro-gun, pro-war, pro-execution...and anti-abortion...they only believe in killing people who are already born.)

When I was at the gas station this morning, there was an SUV in front of me with a bumper sticker with a photo of an unborn baby in the womb -- the kind that is taken when pregnant women go for their routine ultrasound. The words beneath the image said "Mothers, here is your son." My first thought about it was "HOW INSENSITIVE!" Many women suffer from miscarriage (which is natural abortion, and many christians attribute it to "god's will" when it happens naturally). For these women, it is extremely disturbing to see an image of what they lost on the back of some insensitive person's automobile! I personally would not choose abortion, however, I do know for those who find no other options for their predicament, this choice can be psychologically damaging to a woman who has had to have an abortion for whatever reason. Most women who choose to have an abortion do so with much grief in their hearts. This is just another example of the insensivity and carelessness of many christians.

I usually just ignore pro-life bumper stickers. However, today, something sparked in me. I asked the man who was the owner of the vehicle as he was pumping gas, "So, How many unwanted babies have you adopted?"
He looked at me and said "Huh?"
I pointed to his bumper sticker again and asked, "So, how many unwanted babies have YOU adopted."
He replied, "It's none of your business."
Ironic, isn't it that he can make a woman's uterus his business?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The God Quiz - Name That God!

Do You Know the Name of the God Who:

* Was born in a cave or grotto of a divinely impregnated virgin who was
thenceforth known as the Mother of God;

* Has a birthday celebrated toward the end of December;

* Is a member of a Holy Trinity;

* Shared a last supper with 12 followers;

* Redeemed mankind from sin by shedding blood;

* Rose from the dead and ascended into heaven;

* Leads a cosmic war against the powers of darkness;

* Mediates between his father and his followers;

* Encourages followers in life’s struggle against evil, lies, and the other works of the Prince of Darkness;

* Has worshipers who partake of consecrated bread and wine and who hold sacred the seventh day of the week;

* Is served by celibates and virgins, priests and a pontiff;

* Has a cross as a symbol;

* Purifies the faithful through ritualistic baptism;

* Demands that, after death, all must appear before the judgment seat, and then unclean souls are handed over to the Prince of Darkness for eternal torment, while the pure rise into the full radiance of heaven;

* Will come to judge all and to establish an everlasting reign of righteousness and peace at the end of the world ...

? ? ? ? ? ? ?


More About Mithraism-Christian Blending

"The Mithraic Holy father wore a red cap and garment and a ring, and carried a shepherd's staff. The Head Christian adopted the same title and outfitted himself in the same manner. Christian priests, like Mithraic priests, became 'Father', despite Jesus' specific proscription of the acceptance of such a title (Matthew 23:9). That Jesus had been repudiating, not the Mithraists with whom he was unfamiliar, but the Sanhedrin, whose President was styled Father, is hardly relevant. "Mithra's bishops wore a mithra, or miter, as their badge of office. Christian bishops also adopted miters. Mithraists commemorated the sun-god's ascension by eating a mizd, a sun-shaped bun embossed with the sword (cross) of Mithra. The hot cross bun and the mass were likewise adapted to Christianity. The Roman Catholic mizd/mass wafer continues to retain its sun-shape, although its Episcopal counterpart does not. "All Roman Emperors from Julius Caesar to Gratian had been pontifex maximus, high priest of the Roman gods. When Theodosius refused the title as incompatible with his status as a Christian, the Christian bishop of Rome picked it up. Magi, priests of Zarathustra, wore robes that featured the sword of Mithra. Identical robes are worn by Christian priests to this day." (William Harwood,
Mythologies Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus)

Learn more at
God checker.com

More Ancient History: After Constantine


The beginning of the Roman Empire as a Christian empire lies in 313, with the Edict of Milan.
The edict was signed under the reigns of Constantine and Licinius. The edict established tolerance for Christianity throughout the Empire, but did not yet make it the official state religion. After the Edict was proclaimed, however, the Christian Church rapidly became extremely influential amongst the ruling classes of the Empire, and the Bishops were established in positions of power and influence.

Christianity became the single official religion of Rome under Theodosius I (r. 379–395). The emperor had a considerable degree of control over the church. While Christianity flourished, the Empire by no means became uniformly Christian; paganism [Mithraism] remained significant. Theodosius massacred Thessalonica for rebelling against his new Christian policies condemning homosexuality, which was a common practice in both ancient Greece and Greece under Roman rule. Upon his return to Rome the Bishop Ambrose refused to let Theodosius enter the church until he made a public repentance. Theodosius did so, and from then on the church's powers grew. Eventually the church would gain enough power that it would outlast the empire in the west.

It's good to know your history. LINK: Roman Empire

Mithraism and Christianity - A Connection?

Illustration: Mithras with stars beneath his cape.
Detail of fresco from Mithraic temple in Marino,Italy.
Second century A.D. Photography by Luther Martin

"Roman Mithras was perhaps the greatest rival to early Christianity for many reasons. As well as being a popular pagan religion practised by the Roman Army, Mithraism had many similarities to Christianity. Mithras was born of a virgin, remained celibate, his worship involving baptism, the partaking of bread marked with a cross and wine as sacrificial blood, held Sundays sacred and Mithras was born on 25th of December. Mithraist called themselves 'brother' and were led by a priest called 'father' (Pater). The symbol of the father were a staff, a hooked sword, a ring and hat.

These similarities frightened the early Christian leaders - that almost 500 years before arrival of Christ all of the Christian mysteries were already known. To combat this, Christian writers said that the Devil knew of the coming of Christ in advance and had imitated them before they existed in order to denigrate them. As Christianity gained strength and became the formal religion of the Roman Empire, the 'Cult of Mithras' was one of the first pagan cults to come under attack in the fifth century; Temples of Mithras, like most other pagan Temples, were destroyed and Churches built on them."
An excerpt from Mithras and Mithraism By: Payam Nabaraz Originally published at Lughnasa 1999
Read More: Mithras and Mithraism

Constantine and Mithraism

"For three centuries both religions ran parallel, Mithraism first becoming known to the Romans in 70 BC, Christianity following a century later, and it wasn’t until AD 377 that Christianity became sufficiently strong to suppress its former rival, although Mithraism was to remain a formidable opponent for some time after that, only slowly being forsaken by the people. It was only the absorption of many Mithraist ideas into Christianity which finally saw its downfall."

"The big turning point was brought about by the Congress of Nicaea in AD 325. Constantine, a great supporter of the Christian religion, although not converting to it until the time of his decease, gathered together 2,000 leading figures in the world of theology, the idea being to bring about the advent of Christianity as the official state religion of Rome. It was out of this assembly that Jesus was formally declared to be the Son of God, and Saviour of Mankind, another slain saviour god, bringing up the tally of slain god-men to seventeen, of which Mithra, together with such men as Bel and Osiris, was included."

"Had Constantine decided to retain Mithraism as the official state religion, instead of putting Christianity in its place, it would have been the latter that would have been obliterated. To Constantine however, Christianity had one great advantage, it preached that repentant sinners would be forgiven their sins, provided that they were converted Christians at the time of their Passing, and Constantine had much to be forgiven for, He personally did not convert to the new religion until he was on his death bed, the reason being that only sins committed following conversion were accountable, so all sins committed by a convert, prior to conversion, didn’t matter, and he could hardly have sinned too much whilst he was lying on his death bed. Mithraism could not offer the same comfort to a man like Constantine, who was regarded as being one of the worst mass-murderers of his time."

Excerpts from Christianity or Mithraism:
READ MORE about Constantine and Mithraism


McNeil described the symbolism of his work thusly:
Law as an element of civilization was normally and naturally derived or inherited in this country from former civilizations. The "Eastern Pediment" of the Supreme Court Building suggests therefore the treatment of such fundamental laws and precepts as are derived from the East. Moses, Confucius and Solon are chosen as representing three great civilizations and form the central group of this Pediment.

For those of you who think that the embellishments and sculptures of the US Supreme Court Building are only about christianity, THINK AGAIN! Click here to read more about the U.S. Supreme Court Building.

Old news, yet still relevant:

Supreme Court Mohammed Sculpture Sparks India Riots

Mar. 13, 1997

SRINAGAR, India (CWN) - Indian Muslims rioted on Thursday to protest a US Supreme Court decision to keep a sculptured frieze of the Prophet Mohammed.

Indian police used tear gas and batons to disperse protesters who attacked a police patrol in Srinagar in Kashmir state. More than a dozen rioters were injured. "More than a dozen stone-pelting incidents were reported from (neighborhoods in) Srinagar," a police spokesman said.

The US Supreme Court issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the court would not remove a 66-year-old depiction of Mohammed from a sculpture that included "lawgivers" from history including Moses, Justinian, and Confucius. A coalition of Muslim groups had requested that the image be removed because orthodox Islamic tradition discourages artistic renderings of living people, and portraying the Prophet's face is considered particularly offensive.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Interesting stuff! Jews Evangelizing to Jews

October 05, 2003 Jews Evangelizing Among Jews

Jews don't evangelize among members of other religions, but some Jewish groups do evangelize among other Jews. The biggest such group are the Lubavitchers who seek to convert all others Jews to their brand of ultra-orthodox Judaism. They even send out families to various places around the world in order to set up shop near other Jews.

Infobrix explains:

Two years after arriving in Peoria, Langsam and his wife, Sarah, two members of what has become known as "the Rebbe's Army," have firmly established a Lubavitch Chabad beach head in downstate Illinois. They have started a preschool, a summer camp, and monthly classes for both mixed audiences and women only. They hold special seasonal events, such as the recent "Shofar Factory," at which participants learned how to fashion their own shofars from a goat's horn for use during the Jewish High Holidays, which start at sundown Friday with Rosh Hashanah. They invite Jews to their house for Sabbath meals on Fridays and go to their homes for private lessons. They meet with students at area colleges. They help Jews clean and prepare their homes so they fit with orthodox understanding of being kosher.
Emissaries, or schlichim, of Chabad head out to areas with isolated Jewish populations, like Peoria, and start programs and relationships aimed at increasing traditional Jewish practice. There are currently more than 4,000 families serving 2,700 Chabad centers around the world. Rather than waning after the 1994 death of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the fundamental inspiration behind Chabad, the movement has actually picked up speed.
The Lubavitchers are one of the fastest growing sects in Judaism and they make converts all over the world. They lead a very strict Jewish life, one which can cause conflict with surrounding communities - but that doesn't bother them at all. They know that they are right, that everyone else is wrong, and that God has a special plan for them. [sound familiar???]

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sex abuse spans spectrum of churches

Despite headlines focusing on the priest pedophile problem in the Roman Catholic Church, most American churches being hit with child sexual-abuse allegations are Protestant, and most of the alleged abusers are not clergy or staff, but church volunteers.

These are findings from national surveys by Christian Ministry Resources (CMR), a tax and legal-advice publisher serving more than 75,000 congregations and 1,000 denominational agencies nationwide.

CMR's annual surveys of about 1,000 churches nationwide have asked about sexual abuse since 1993. They're a remarkable window on a problem that lurked largely in the shadows of public awareness until the Catholic scandals arose.

The surveys suggest that over the past decade, the pace of child-abuse allegations against American churches has averaged 70 a week. The surveys registered a slight downward trend in reported abuse starting in 1997, possibly a result of the introduction of preventive measures by churches.

No god is going to protect children. It is my opinion that, like in the education field, workers, whether hired or volunteer in churches and other organizations dealing with children must be required to have background checks, fingerprinting and monitoring.

LINK: The Christian Science Monitor, April 05, 2002, Mark Clayton

Sunday, January 15, 2006

It's Not Just a Catholic Problem

Suffer the Little Children

"With the Catholic Church still reeling from revelations that it kept child abuse quiet, Panorama investigates a world-wide religion that stands accused of shielding abusers: the Jehovah's Witnesses."
LINK: BBC Panorama
LINK: Metroactive News and Issues
LINK: Napa Valley Register

Prove it!

An atheist would bet their life against the existence of a (specifically defined) god, in the same way they bet their life every time they walk out the front door in sunny San Diego that they will not be attacked by a polar bear while being struck by lightening, shot in the head, and disemboweled by a misplaced Samurai who'd been frozen in a freak boating accident and recently thawed and released by a secret group of deranged cryogenesists. Prove to me that this absolutely can't happen when I walk out the door today. In fact, it's considerably more likely than most definitions of god.
LINKS: Brandyn Webb @ Atheist or Agnostic, an essay from Cybernetic Ruminations

cosmic samples

Researchers believe about a million samples of comet and interstellar dust — most tinier than the width of a human hair — are locked inside the capsule.

The dust grains are believed to be pristine leftovers from the birth of the solar system, with some of the particles thought to be older than the sun. Scientists hope to slice them into smaller bits and probe them under a microscope to directly learn about their chemical makeup and the processes that shaped the early universe.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Crazy Things Religion Makes People Do!

AP - January 12, 2006

MINA, Saudi Arabia - Thousands of Muslim pilgrims rushing to complete a symbolic stoning ritual during the hajj tripped over luggage Thursday, causing a crush in which at least 345 people were killed, the Interior Ministry said. The stampede occurred as tens of thousands of pilgrims headed toward al-Jamarat, a series of three pillars representing the devil that the faithful pelt with stones to purge themselves of sin.

LINK: Death Toll Rises to 345 in Hajj Stampede

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

(I had to rephrase this question so it is better understood.)

If humans are faulty and imperfect, (as Christians claim humans to be), using their logic, why would we assume that what they are saying about religion, any religion is true and correct?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Time to Say "Enough" (Artwork is SYMBOLIC of how fundamentalists try to cram their beliefs into the minds of others.)

painting by Tammy Anderson
(Some people apparently don't read and I had to clarify
the meaning for some of them who thought the picture
was depicting an atheist killing a Christian. LOL! )

I have a story for you ...one of the guys my husband worked with at his last company is fundamentalist Catholic and had been "evangelizing" to us via mail us for EIGHT YEARS. (I never knew Catholics could be so evangelical!) He would send us packages and envelopes containing rosary beads, holy cards, Catholic magazine subscriptions...we jokingly called him "Father Finegan" (his last name is Finegan).

In the beginning of this friendship with my husband, he seemed harmless. Annoying, however, but most of our family and friends are believers, so when he invited us to meet him for lunch one day, I went along at my husband's request, sort of reluctantly. Well, as we were eating our Chicago-style beef sandwich and fries, Finegan started telling us about the virgin Mary, then Jesus and that whole "he died for you" story...we told him we KNEW about all that and then I just wanted to leave. We made it through the lunch, him promising to "pray" for us and we politely smiled and ignored the statement and said farewell. We never saw him in person again, but he decided to pursue our "salvation" via the postal service. We had sent little polite notes and cards back to him thanking him for thinking of us, but to please not keep sending us religious material. But he was relentless. Saving our souls had become his mission in life.

On a regular basis we were sent mailings of religious literature and paraphernalia. The rosaries kept coming, the sad and morbid looking holy cards, cards that said a mass was being held in our name, booklets on how to be saved, and it went on and on and on until finally, last year when I had to put a stop to it. Our last delivery was a hard cover copy of a book about the making of Mel "Psycho" Gibson's Passion of the Christ...along with a rosary, holy card...magazine...and a letter saying how we were going to burn in hell and lost forever if we didn't accept Jesus as our savior and repent of our sins. I was furious! I threw the book in the dumpster. My husband, who hates to see books go to waste, said maybe we should have given it to our Baptist niece and I said NO...I didn't want in any way to perpetuate that garbage. I sat down and wrote Mr. Finegan a long letter saying how I threw everything away that he sent, and I told him not to send ANYTHING RELIGIOUS to us ever again. I told him we have respected his religious views and tolerated the total disrespect for our beliefs long enough. That happened last year and we haven't heard from him again.

Sometimes tolerance just doesn't work. Also just goes to show that it wasn't a true friendship. He was just on a mission to get more in favor with his god.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason" - 1794

"It is upon this plain narrative of facts, together with another case I am going to mention, that the Christian Mythologists, calling themselves the Christian Church, have erected their fable, which, for absurdity and extravagance, is not exceeded by anything that is to be found in the mythology of the ancients."

Thomas Paine ~ The Age of Reason 1794
LINK: http://www.ushistory.org/paine/reason/reason1.htm

Excerpt from The Age of Reason
Thus far the ancient and the Christian Mythologists differ very little from each other. But the latter have contrived to carry the matter much farther. They have contrived to connect the fabulous part of the story of Jesus Christ with the fable originating from Mount Etna; and in order to make all the parts of the story tie together, they have taken to their aid the traditions of the Jews; for the Christian mythology is made up partly from the ancient mythology and partly from the Jewish traditions.

The Christian Mythologists, after having confined Satan in a pit, were obliged to let him out again to bring on the sequel of the fable. He is then introduced into the Garden of Eden, in the shape of a snake or a serpent, and in that shape he enters into familiar conversation with Eve, who is no way surprised to hear a snake talk; and the issue of this tete-a-tete is that he persuades her to eat an apple, and the eating of that apple damns all mankind.

After giving Satan this triumph over the whole creation, one would have supposed that the Church Mythologists would have been kind enough to send him back again to the pit; or, if they had not done this, that they would have put a mountain upon him (for they say that their faith can remove a mountain), or have put him under a mountain, as the former mythologists had done, to prevent his getting again among the women and doing more mischief. But instead of this they leave him at large, without even obliging him to give his parole- the secret of which is, that they could not do without him; and after being at the trouble of making him, they bribed him to stay. They promised him ALL the Jews, ALL the Turks by anticipation, nine-tenths of the world beside, and Mahomet into the bargain. After this, who can doubt the bountifulness of the Christian Mythology?

Having thus made an insurrection and a battle in Heaven, in which none of the combatants could be either killed or wounded — put Satan into the pit — let him out again — giving him a triumph over the whole creation — damned all mankind by the eating of an apple, these Christian Mythologists bring the two ends of their fable together. They represent this virtuous and amiable man, Jesus Christ, to be at once both God and Man, and also the Son of God, celestially begotten, on purpose to be sacrificed, because they say that Eve in her longing had eaten an apple.

Putting aside everything that might excite laughter by its absurdity, or detestation by its profaneness, and confining ourselves merely to an examination of the parts, it is impossible to conceive a story more derogatory to the Almighty, more inconsistent with his wisdom, more contradictory to his power, than this story is.

In order to make for it a foundation to rise upon, the inventors were under the necessity of giving to the being whom they call Satan, a power equally as great, if not greater than they attribute to the Almighty. They have not only given him the power of liberating himself from the pit, after what they call his fall, but they have made that power increase afterward to infinity. Before this fall they represent him only as an angel of limited existence, as they represent the rest. After his fall, he becomes, by their account, omnipresent. He exists everywhere, and at the same time. He occupies the whole immensity of space.

Not content with this deification of Satan, they represent him as defeating, by stratagem, in the shape of an animal of the creation, all the power and wisdom of the Almighty. They represent him as having compelled the Almighty to the direct necessity either of surrendering the whole of the creation to the government and sovereignty of this Satan, or of capitulating for its redemption by coming down upon earth, and exhibiting himself upon a cross in the shape of a man.

Had the inventors of this story told it the contrary way, that is, had they represented the Almighty as compelling Satan to exhibit himself on a cross, in the shape of a snake, as a punishment for his new transgression, the story would have been less absurd — less contradictory. But instead of this, they make the transgressor triumph, and the Almighty fall.

That many good men have believed this strange fable, and lived very good lives under that belief (for credulity is not a crime), is what I have no doubt of. In the first place, they were educated to believe it, and they would have believed anything else in the same manner. There are also many who have been so enthusiastically enraptured by what they conceived to be the infinite love of God to man, in making a sacrifice of himself, that the vehemence of the idea has forbidden and deterred them from examining into the absurdity and profaneness of the story. The more unnatural anything is, the more it is capable of becoming the object of dismal admiration.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Marketing to the Christians: the Latest Trend

A common marketing tool to reel in more movie goers is to aim advertising and marketing media to a potential audience who are harder to attract. Christians used to be encouraged by their church leaders to shun "sinful" Hollywood, however, in recent years, they are being baited to trust Hollywood film makers and to spend money to see films that are being promoted as having moral or spiritual content. In reality, it all comes down to profit and money-making. Hollywood, and even Mel Gibson are looking for a blockbuster to provide fame, wealth and more wealth for the money makers. Ol' Mel can say he did it for his faith, however he kept quite a bit of the profit for himself, and he gets attention that actors crave so much. Aging actors have been known to try anything to keep in the spotlight.

The attitude of the film industry is "it worked for The Passion of the Christ it can work for "Narnia." (Marketing to the Christian audience, that is.)

"We [Narnia] edged out `Kong.' It's been neck-and-neck," Buena Vista's Dennis Rice said Monday. "These are two great movies in the marketplace that are doing great business."

"Narnia" took in an estimated $32.8 million during the Friday-through-Monday period, nudging Universal's "King Kong" out of the No. 1 spot and into second with a New Year's weekend take of $31.6 million.

I really don't care WHO goes to the movies and I don't care how much the movie industry is making, but what I get irritated about is when people say that Hollywood has suddenly become "spiritual" and is promoting a religious message out of the goodness of their hearts while Christians fall all over it as if Hollywood is doing something for the religious community. It's all about MARKETING and all about MAKING MONEY. It doesn't end with the films; there are products related to the films like toys, books, posters, clothing, Happy Meal toys, bedding, videos and soundtracks to market and sell to the people, because Hollywood knows what suckers people are no matter what their beliefs.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

More Baffling Contradictions

Stole this from Ranting Tommy who Stole this from OZ on Huffington Post:

I would add the word "fundamentalist" or "evangelical" before the word "christian" in this title since many "liberal" christians are unconcerned with what others believe. )

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the biblical claim that we were created from DIRT.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a triune god.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the holy spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of god.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the bible, christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a christian