Saturday, January 24, 2009
Explanation: What's happening above those mountains? Several clouds are stacked up into one striking lenticular cloud. Normally, air moves much more horizontally than it does vertically. Sometimes, however, such as when wind comes off of a mountain or a hill, relatively strong vertical oscillations take place as the air stabilizes. The dry air at the top of an oscillation may be quite stratified in moisture content, and hence forms clouds at each layer where the air saturates with moisture. The result can be a lenticular cloud with a strongly layered appearance. The above picture was taken in 2002 looking southwest over the Tararua Range mountains from North Island, New Zealand.
VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI has blessed two lambs whose wool will be shorn to make shawls for newly appointed archbishops to wear.
The annual blessing takes place on the feast day of St. Agnes, a martyr of early Christianity often symbolized by a lamb.
In the ritual Wednesday, the pope blessed the animals as they lay in two baskets. Each lamb wore a crown of flowers on its head.
New archbishops receive the wool pallium on June 29. The pallium is a band of white wool decorated with black crosses that is a sign of pastoral authority and a symbol of the archbishops’ bond with the pope.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
And he is going to need it considering the immensity of his job, and all of the clean-up he has to do to fulfill the thousands of promises he has made.
I did watch the inauguration today, out of a desire to witness history being made by our first African-American president being sworn in. I was ready for the sky daddy invocations, but it grew annoying after awhile, and irritated me that those of other beliefs and non-believers got a slight acknowledgment and then moved right back into the god crap again. It seemed like an enormous church service rather than an inauguration of a leader of a nation of diverse people.
Prayers and magical invocations have always been a part of inaugurations, the emphasis varied from president to president. Also, in these modern times with the extensive and obsessive news coverage, we have the entire events brought right to our livingrooms in greater detail with each newly-elected president.
Not all presidents god beliefs are alike. Our founding fathers were mostly Deists. The more moderate god believers kept the prayers simple and low-key. A few have been more evangelical, but still low-keyed. But Obama is showing that despite his liberal stance on many issues, and his call to unite America, he is a die-hard god botherer and the whole event entirely was focused to his god beliefs, right down to allowing magical believers to annoint the doorways he would walk through with magical oil from the Middle East. He invoked god, quoted Bible verses, and has said that he talks to his imaginary friend every day. Let's hope that his god doesn't tell him to do something stupid, or at least hope he will question those voices in his head when he hears them.
I don't want to be a total downer here. I really do hope, despite his god bothering obsession, that things get better. I hope he turns out to be the best president we ever had. And I hope the ass-kissing of the religious right will die down now that his presidency is underway.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Over the years, Van Impe has set many specific years and dates for the second coming of Jesus, but has continued to move his prediction later and later when his imaginary friend fails to show up, and now he is saying that 2012 is the date of the “end of history” based on the fact that the heathen Inca calendar stops at that year. In the following video, it will nearly make your brain explode with the way that Impe tosses around numbers, adding and subtracting and manipulating to make it seem proof of the bullshit that he espouses. I found it hilarious that in 2001, Impe Ministries won the humorous/mock Ig Nobel Prize for astrophysics for its assertion that “black holes fulfill all the technical requirements to be the location of Hell.”
Here’s the video link.
And if you are feeling masochistic, here is the link to the first of four of Impe’s end of times videos. Lame, lame lame!
And what do the suckers who fork over their money to this con man have to say?
Jack and Rexella are the ones to keep in the know with….. the church certainly is confused about this topic,maybe a few talk of it… but most don’t.. that is why I watch them. If prophecy is not part of your church, ( prophecy is all through the Bible, old and new testaments,) I suggest you make Jack Van Impe YOUR CHURCH, and support him as I do. I have ordered his video 2012 3 videos, to share with others. It’s all about Salvation… and getting ready to be raptured.
ohhhh if this is true i cant wait to see Jesus im soo exited
Praise GOD. I don’t know what is to come in 2012 but I am at peace with whatever happens. For the battle is already won. Even as our corrupt government attempts to controls this world. God is still in control.
First of all here to you Christ haters, with out Christians the world wouldn’t be so bad you would even sitting on your buts saying trash. Also to my fellow dear Christians, don’t mind what these hate mongers say, it’s all junk and funny to them because they don’t have what you need inside to understand about the wonderfull Kingdom of God that’s coming and anything related to it.
whoever is commenting negativity about jack van impe, knows that god is real because why would they be looking at his videos,
Why would we be looking at his videos? To MOCK them and to get others to realize what suckers they are and to put scammers out of business. Idiots.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Explanation: A larger moon will not be seen this year. This past weekend, the largest full Moon of 2009 could be seen from almost any clear location on planet Earth at night. The large angular extent of the full Moon was caused by the Moon being unusually close to Earth during its full phase. Because the Moon circles the Earth in an elliptical orbit, its angular size depends on how close the Moon is to closest approach (perigee) or farthest distance (apogee). Even so, the Moon's was only about 15 percent larger in area and brightness than a more typical full Moon. In this image, a dramatically positioned Moon is seen rising above the Alps from Breil-sur-Roya in the southeast of France. Taken with an ordinary digital camera but extraordinary timing, the image also captured a crossing jet plane. The last full Moon, in 2008 December, was the largest full moon of 2008.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I have referenced Americans United’s Rob Boston on many occasions in my posts, and here we get to see who he is and what he has to say about Rick Warren, Obama and the promised “change” in discussion with Keith Olbermann:
Boston points out that Warren has not only voiced his opposition to gays, but also non-believers saying that they are not fit to hold public office.
It is indeed a real shame that Warren’s voice is one of the first ones the nation will hear at the inauguration. Maybe Obama has planned it so fundies will tune in and listen to his own message, but my experience with fundies tells me they will tune in, listen to Warren, say “Amen” and shut off the television when it’s the “evil baby-killer librul’s” turn to talk.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Most of you may remember the story from the Bible where after “God’s people” were let out of slavery in Egypt, he instructed them to slaughter all the Canaanites, which included every man, woman, and child who were living in the land (Deut. 7.1-2; 20.16-18).
This dimwit, William Lane Craig, writes in response to a couple of questions given to him by explaining that when the Christian’s imaginary friend tells them to kill people, it’s not murder. You can click on the link and read the whole thing yourself, but these following quotes give you the gist of Craig’s attempts to justify his murderous god.
So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.
Don’t pity the dead woman and her children, just think how incredibly difficult it is for that soldier who killed them!
And he goes on to say:
“In fact, insofar as the atheist thinks that God did something morally wrong in commanding the extermination of the Canaanites,”
That’s what this dude and other brainwashed sheeple do not get — their god DOES do something morally wrong. Genocide and wiping out a whole people is wrong. Period.
To the question, “how can He command soldiers to slaughter children?”, Craig justifies it that all of the Canaanites had to be wiped out to avoid anyone who was not a Canaanite accidentally mingling or gasp, intermarrying with “those people”.
The terrible totality of the destruction was undoubtedly related to the prohibition of assimilation to pagan nations on Israel’s part. In commanding complete destruction of the Canaanites, the Lord says, “You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons, or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods” (Deut 7.3-4).
God knew that if these Canaanite children were allowed to live, they would spell the undoing of Israel. The killing of the Canaanite children not only served to prevent assimilation to Canaanite identity but also served as a shattering, tangible illustration of Israel’s being set exclusively apart for God.
If this event really happened, it was simply based on cultural paranoia. Fear of others who hold different beliefs and the ones who did the killing not having a strong enough faith to endure being exposed to different worldviews.
And here is the real frightening part where he believes killing of the children in the story was good for them!
Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.
This kind of justification is so dangerous. Just look how many news reports we hear of god believing mothers and fathers killing their babies and children because they were evil and felt justified in murdering their little ones. And it also perpetuates the hatred for this world, while longing for a fantasy of escape to a celestial paradise.
Craig provides lots of material for us to tear apart. It’s disturbing to know that these people who hold these ideas can be living right next door to us.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Minister chosen for inaugural prayer service
WASHINGTON – The Rev. Sharon Watkins, pastor of a Protestant denomination with about 700,000 members in the United States and Canada, will deliver the sermon at the National Prayer Service that caps the inauguration activities of Barack Obama.
In a statement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Watkins called her selection an honor. “I hope that my message will call us to believe in something bigger than ourselves and remind us to reach out to all of our neighbors to build communities of possibility,” she said.
Watkins is the president and general minister of Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, the first woman to hold that job.
The church says its work is “influenced by its founding ideals of our unity in Christ with openness and diversity in practice and belief.”
[as long as it is some belief in a single imaginary friend]
The National Prayer Service will include prayers, readings and hymns delivered by religious leaders of a variety of faiths.
The Disciples of Christ’s mission statement is quite evangelical:
To be and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, witnessing, loving and serving from our doorsteps “to the ends of the earth.”
While politicians, as all American citizens, have the right to worship an imaginary sky boss if they so choose, this just brings to light how much religion has played a part in our government from the very beginning and gives ammo to the Religious Right that this country is a Xian nation. Every U.S president has professed to be some sort of god believer, even though some of the early presidents’ who were Deist’s give clues in their private journals and letters that they may have been closet atheists/agnostics.
It’s very difficult to keep government and religion separate when even our leaders are so deluded. While liberal Christians have always supported the separation of church and state, it appears that modern liberals are sliding over to the side of the religious conservatives as far as being open about their faith and sharing it openly with all the people of the nation, even from the Oval Office itself when presidents tell their imaginary friend to bless us.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Explanation: In the shadow of Saturn, unexpected wonders appear. The robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn recently drifted in giant planet's shadow for about 12 hours and looked back toward the eclipsed Sun. Cassini saw a view unlike any other. First, the night side of Saturn is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own majestic ring system. Next, the rings themselves appear dark when silhouetted against Saturn, but quite bright when viewed away from Saturn and slightly scattering sunlight, in the above exaggerated color image. Saturn's rings light up so much that new rings were discovered, although they are hard to see in the above image. Visible in spectacular detail, however, is Saturn's E ring, the ring created by the newly discovered ice-fountains of the moon Enceladus, and the outermost ring visible above. Far in the distance, visible on the image left just above the bright main rings, is the almost ignorable pale blue dot of Earth.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Australian Atheist Adverts Banned
Then, while the signs are being allowed throughout Great Britain, the 141 Christians are boo-hooing about it. They want free speech for themselves, but no one else. They say the signs are offensive, but do not realize just how offensive their threats of Hell to non-believers and believers of other religions are. There is nothing pornographic about the atheist signs, there is no threat to harm anyone, they are only words of people exercising their freedom of speech to present their own viewpoint.
ATHEIST FOUNDATION OF AUSTRALIA INC
BUS SLOGAN REJECTED!
‘APN Outdoor’, the company responsible for Public Metropolitan Transport Advertising, says no to atheism.
The bus slogan campaign proposed by the AFA with the thought provoking sentiment, “Atheism – Celebrate reason!” has been refused for display by ‘APN Outdoors’. Various other phrases have also been deemed unacceptable.
Following the lead of Humanists in London and Washington in the USA, with their intended bus signs, an international programme by humanists and atheists was to commence on the 20th January 2009 using buses to express the secular viewpoint.
Richard Dawkins is supporting the London bus signs, and has stated that such a campaign “will make people think”.
President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc, David Nicholls said: “I am flabbergasted. This is extremely disappointing and a severe blow to freedom of expression in Australia. We are witnessing the result of seemingly paranoid executives interfering with pertinent social comment. This action has thwarted the right to state peacefully and openly a legitimate and timely message without violence.
Australia is going to look provincial and narrow in outlook to the rest of the world because of this decision. The planet is moving to a more enlightened era but apparently, public transport advertising agents in Australia have missed the bus.”
Atheist Bus Campaign is ‘offensive’, say complaints to ASA
The advertising regulator has received almost 150 complaints that an atheist ad campaign, proclaiming “There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”, is offensive to Christians and other religions that believe in a single God.
Stephen Green, the national director of Christian Voice, is among those who have complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, arguing that the atheist campaign broke the advertising code on the grounds of substantiation and truthfulness.
[I nearly choked on my coffee when I read this! Christians talking about substantiation and truthfulness. Ha!]
The ASA has received 141 complaints about the Atheist Bus Campaign which launched earlier this week on buses throughout England, Scotland and Wales, as well as the London underground. However, 39 of the complaints are regarding newspaper and online articles about the campaign, which the ASA has no power to deal with.
The complainants claim the ad campaign is offensive to Christians and those of other monotheistic religions.
Green said: “It is given as a statement of fact and that means it must be capable of substantiation if it is not to break the rules.
“There is plenty of evidence for God, from people’s personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world.
[Someone needs to tell them that these things are not evidence for the existence of their imaginary friend, but assumptions based on their feelings and delusions.]
“But there is scant evidence on the other side, so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it.”
As an added note, here is the link to the Atheist Campaign website atheistcampaign.org
Friday, January 09, 2009
Here is something posted at another site by my internet friend, Bob. It's a clip from the HBO series Generation Kill and I have to agree with Bob that it is pretty refreshing and indeed a bit more accurate about the feelings of non-believers in the military.
(The link for this clip can be found here.)
Thursday, January 08, 2009
While browsing through some emails today, I found this sent by Anne Singer of the Secular Coalition for America and thought some of you may be interested. (I have included the video of current political figures and their public statements concerning their religious beliefs):
Happy New Year to You!
As this historic election year comes to a close, the Secular Coalition for America is asking its supporters to pledge to fight the excessive role of religion in our politics.
The need for action is illustrated by a 3.5 minute video we’ve just released featuring candidates like Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Kay Hagan testifying to their belief in God, often in response to questions from journalists.
Watch the video here: http://www.secular.org/newyearsvideo.html.
The Coalition is asking people to sign on to its ‘Nine for 09: Resolutions for Secular Citizens,’ which offer secular-minded Americans – nontheistic and otherwise – everyday opportunities to make their voices heard in the public square and the political process: wearing buttons, calling talk radio, lobbying their Congressional reps and standing up for their values in local political organizations, etc.
See the Nine for ’09 Resolutions in full here: http://action.secular.org/t/5367/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=1786.
Please feel free to post and pass along – especially the video.
In the meantime, I wish you a very happy 2009!
Anne Singer, Communications Director
Secular Coalition for America
Monday, January 05, 2009
Notice what Jesus said He was not going to bring, peace! How do we make sense of this? The world has always been divided between those who are followers of the true God of Israel and those who are scoffers or haters of God and His truth. There is no middle ground, for Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me” (Matthew 12:30). Jesus came to challenge each of us to make a choice as it relates to His claims as being the Savior of the World. I am a personal witness of seeing houses divided over the truth claims of Jesus. Sometimes, it’s a teenager standing with Jesus against the atheism of a parent, other times it’s a wife standing firm in the Truth while her husband is a mocker. Jesus said He came to bring division as it relates to who He is.
Mondo conveniently leaves out the part that he is responsible for that divisiveness and warring within families. He teaches them not to accept the other and get along in harmony, but to fight against that other person with differing beliefs. I have experience with this in my own family. Fundie family members who think they are better than the others and that the rest are somehow bad and worthy of going to their imaginary Hell, whatever they imagine it to be. And it isn’t the atheists or the ones who believe differently doing the banning of communication, it is the fundamentalist Christians who are brainwashed to think those who believe different are bad people.
Mondo shows just how right that Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and others about religion being evil. The holy text they follow is evil, and a threat to all when in the hands of these crazy fundamentalists who use interpret the Bible to war against fellow humans. It may not be a physical war, but it is a war they are promoting by brainwashing their sheeple that everyone who does not believe as they do is somehow bad.
Then after telling us that those of us who do not believe as he does will be ground to powder (Matthew 21:42-44), he ends by wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”. Well, it is said that truly crazy people don’t know they are crazy!
I pity these folks for the lives they lead, thinking they are somehow special and the rest of us are deserving of an eternity in torture. It’s all so unnecessary, all so pointless and counter-productive to all things civilized. Certain sects of Christianity, like Mondo’s are downright dangerous to humanity and goodness.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Pat once again with a very articulate critique on religion:
Then here is what Pat is talking about Muslims who believe Christmas is “evil” because Allah has no offspring and Christians are going to hell for such blasphemy. Once again, one god believer rejecting the beliefs of other god believers— and they both worship the same imaginary God of Abraham!
Thursday, January 01, 2009
From Jefferson on, thoughtful Americans have understood that true religious liberty means that government stays out of religious matters. That’s not a plot; it’s common sense – and it’s the mandate of our Constitution. The American people have, indeed, built a wall of separation between church and state, and it will take more than the ravings of Religious Right zealots such as [Christopher] Merola to tear it down.
To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Jan. 1. 1802.
Happy New Year, everyone! Hope it’s a good one for all of my friends and loyal readers.
Explanation: Astronomers all over planet Earth invite you to experience the night sky as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. This year was picked by the International Astronomical Union and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization because it occurs 400 years after Galileo turned one of the first telescopes toward the heavens. Peering through that small window, Galileo discovered that the Moon has craters, Venus has phases, Jupiter has moons, and Saturn has rings. This year you can discover these and many modern wonders of the amazing overhead tapestry that is shared by all of humanity. If, like many others, you find the night sky wondrous and educational, be sure to attend an IYA2009 event in your area, and tell any schools and children that might be interested. Also, please feel free to explore the extensive IYA2009 web pages to find international media events that include blogs, webcasts and much much more.