Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pick, choose, ignore...

One thing that every non-believer will notice is that believers sure seem to love picking out parts of their religion to follow, and simply ignore others. While one bunch simply pretends that the bad parts of the Bible simply don't exist, another group will opine that yeah, there are parts they don't like, but that the good parts outweigh them.  But does that really make sense?

Suppose you are looking for a TV for your young daughter's room. You find an amazingly perfect TV that seems too good to be true, and at an amazing price. This TV wirelessly downloads every cartoon that a child could want to watch on it's massive hard-drive for free. It has an ultra sensitive solar panel on it and super long life battery, so it never even needs to be plugged in. It sounds amazingly perfect, and is even priced cheaper than your everyday average TV. It seems like a no-brainer, right?

Most would look at all these positive points, but there is a catch. While the TV does all those things wonderfully, it also has a mind of it's own. At some random point every single day, the TV will turn its self on, turn the volume all the way up and play hard-core porn for a full hour. It will also refuse to turn off until that hour has been exhausted. Now would you give that TV to your daughter?

Right now, anyone with any sense is saying "Of course not!" Yet, in a way, that's exactly what many believers do. They hand their young son or daughter a holy book and tell them this is the best story ever told. Sure, they may find enjoyment in parts, and may even find passages to be uplifting or inspiring. But at any moment they could flip to a page condoning slavery, marginalize rape, describing genitalia and ejaculation, or depictions of gruesome and barbaric acts of murder.

The treat is even there in a children's Bible. The majority of the disturbing stories are left out. Yet
they will always include thinly veiled stories of mass genocide and ritual human sacrifice.

So I ask, if a parent would decline giving a child that young the porno TV, why force the Bible of a child too young to really understand it? Why not let them grow up to an age where they can make sense of what they are reading, and not be better able to handle the ugly parts within? Just as pornography is something more appropriate and understandable to an older demographic, should we not treat the introduction to religion in a similar manner?


-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ten Commandments... not religious?

Tim Guffey (R) is an Alabama county commissioner, and he recently made a very strange statement. He is proposing a 'historical documents monument' at a Scottsboro courthouse. That doesn't sound like a big deal until he shares his plans...
How can these NOT be religious when the first four are
about God and honoring him?
What I’m trying to do is erect a monument of historical documents. It’s the Constitution, the Ten Commandments and the Declaration of Independence. I feel like that’s what this country was founded on. These documents helped America become the greatest country in history.
Huh? How can the Ten Commandments even be considered a historical document? There is no proof that they ever existed as an actual document. They only come to us as a religious story. It's inclusion would quite simply be a violation of the Constitution. Also, what about other historical Documents? The Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address,  Emancipation Proclamation, the Magna Carta, etc...
The Ten Commandments is a historical document (in this context) and it has nothing to do with religion.
There is no evidence they existed as claims. Religion is the only context in which they exist!
It shows that these founders had great beliefs in God and the Ten Commandments and His Word and it helped them get to the point where they were. And I feel like taking that document out, if that document wasn’t there to guide them, then our Constitution wouldn’t be what it is today…But I don’t see how I could do the other two and not do that one and be truthful about it.
What!? Many of the founders were deists, not Christians. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence was often critical of Christianity. He even wrote his own version of the Bible where he removed all the magic and miracles. All that remained were the teachings of Jesus as no more as a mortal man. Also, if the Ten Commandments guided and inspired the founders, they had a funny way of showing it. The Ten Commandments state that you must not have any other gods. Yet the founders gave the people of the United States the freedom of religion. This is actually a direct contradiction. To say that a 'document' that says that you may only have one particular religion inspired another one that grants the freedom to hold any or no religion is quite laughable if you ask me!


-Brain Hulk

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Monday, August 18, 2014

What's the (biggest) problem?

One of Billy Graham's readers asks Billy what the greatest problem facing the nation is. Try not to be surprised, but he hasn't a clue...
Q: What would you say is the biggest problem our nation needs to solve today? I think it's drugs (especially now that pot is being legalized in so many places), but my husband thinks it's the economy. What would you say?
There is conflict in the world, wars, unrest and health emergencies... yet they think drugs are the  biggest problem? So what if pot has been legalized in some places? I've never used it, nor have I interest to. But I don't see it being a problem. Pot is no more dangerous than tobacco, and is actually safer than alcohol. So I don't see marijuana as a problem. Harder drugs? Yes, they are things to be worried about. But certainly not the worlds biggest problem. 

I would say that the economy is certainly much more of an issue for worry than drugs are. While the economy has been improving, there is still a long way to go. In smaller towns and cities, jobs can still be difficult to obtain. I've been trying to upgrade my current job for over two years now with no success. Drugs have never been an issue in my life, so I would say that at the very least, the economy is a much bigger problem than drugs.
A: One of the things I've learned over the years is that we're never free of problems, no matter how hard we try. Some are more serious than others, and some may be solved eventually (at least temporarily), but even then, new ones keep cropping up. The Bible says, "Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7).
Don't misunderstand me, however. Both problems you mention are serious, and we ought to do everything we can to overcome them. Problems like this not only hurt society but can destroy individuals - and that's why they aren't just social or political problems, but moral and spiritual ones as well. That's one reason why the Bible tells us to pray for our leaders, including those who make our laws and those who enforce them. We also should seek ways to help hurting people in our local communities (often through our churches). The Bible says, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people" (Galatians 6:10).
Pray for our leaders? A few months ago, Billy said that praying for leaders or peace doesn't bring peace because the Devil stops it and will continue to do so until Jesus returns. So his answer now is to tell people do do exactly what he's told them in the past, wouldn't work?

Also, how about instead of just praying for these things, people actually act to fight these problems instead of just trying to wish them away?
But why do we have so many problems - not just as a nation, but as individuals? On the surface every problem has its own cause - but on a deeper level, the real problem is within our own hearts and minds. Think how much better the world would be if everyone was content and at peace in their hearts!
This is why we need Christ. Only He can calm the restlessness in our hearts, and only He can take away our selfishness and replace it with His love and compassion. Has this happened to you?
So the biggest problem in this world is that people don't have enough Jesus? If that is the case, why is it that Vatican City actually has the highest crime rate in the world? Also, what about when we look at Japan? This is a country where about 1%  of the population are Christian, compared to the 78% that are Christian in the USA. The USA actually experiences four times as much crime as Japan. The USA sees 137 times more drug use than Japan. The USA experiences five times more murders, and 199 times more of those are shooting deaths than Japan sees. Rape? The USA has 27 times more.

Obviously there are going to be other factors to consider, but considering these facts, and that the majority of inmates are Christians in the USA as well, and it should be obvious that more Jesus is not the answer to the nation's or world's problems.


-Brain Hulk

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Care about prayer

I came across this image on a blog (actually it was the blog, if that still counts as a blog) that made me stop and think, "Talk about clueless"...


Here's the thing... We don't care if you pray to your God. Sure, we may think it to be a futile endeavor. We may feel that it causes people to ignore the real problem and not take action. We may even prefer that instead of praying others receive help, that you actually get up and actually help them yourself. But if you want to pray, knock yourself out!

Prayer becomes more of an issue for me when a family decides to simply pray for a sick child and it dies due to not receiving the proper medical care that it needed. I feel that these parents should be charged with neglect, manslaughter or even murder, depending on if they realized how serious the sickness was and if medical professionals had warned them of the severity and consequences. This isn't an attack on prayer. They can still pray for all I care, I just don't want kids to die because some think that prayer is proper medical care.

I care about prayer when children is schools are forced or required to pray. This brand of coerced prayer is illegal and should be banished from our institutions of learning. That's not to say that prayer shall be evicted all together though. If a kid wants to pray before a test, they can. If a teacher wants to pray in the staff lounge before the school day, that's fine too.

Lastly, prayer is a problem when governments in the USA try to favor one type of prayer, or allow only one type. If a city council wants to have prayers before meetings, they have two choices. They can either not pray, or they can rotate the 'prayer' between Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, atheists, etc. What they can't do, without violating the establishment clause, is allow exclusively Christian prayers.

So to the creator of the above image and those that think like them... Why is the truth of the matter so hard for you to understand?


-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

To marry, or not to marry

Ever wonder if it's okay to remarry? Do you actually care what Billy Graham would suggest for some odd reason? KC does.
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My husband and I were in our teens when we got married, and it lasted less than a year. Now several years have gone by and we’re seeing each other again. Would it be wrong for us to remarry? Does the Bible say this is wrong? — K.C.
I suppose it would be fine, but I'd be careful. I would suggest that KC remember why they got divorced in the first place. Is that old truth still present? Have one or both of them changed/grown in some way that will make the marriage more likely to work this time around? This is a question where one has much to consider. But what an old book that is quite often wrong has to say about the matter really shouldn't be one of them.
DEAR K.C.: I find nothing in the Bible that would prevent you from remarrying under these circumstances, if you truly are committed to each other and are willing to overcome whatever problems you had before. The Bible says, “Marriage should be honored by all” (Hebrews 13:4).
Really Billy? Nothing... nothing at all? What about Deuteronomy 24:1-4
If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the LORD. Do not bring sin upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
So if KC got married and divorced after divorcing her teenage love, the Bible actually says that they can't get married. But lets look at it closer... This passage isn't just talking about the marriage/divorce being the problem. It gives the reason that she can't remarry him as 'she has been defiled'. So it is assuming that marriage = sex, and that no marriage = no sex. So this verse actually holds the potential to say that if KC had sex with anyone else after she got divorced, that the Bible would forbid them being married again even if they have changed and are now perfect for each other.

Yet Billy claims that there is absolutely nothing in the Bible that prevent KC from remarrying her old love. How sad is it that an atheist has to point this out, while a supposedly expert minister is presumably oblivious?
God gave marriage to us, and he’ll give you wisdom and patience for the years ahead.
How did he do that when marriage has been around long before his supposed religion?
Above all, discover what true love is by learning about Christ’s self-giving love for us.
Is Billy actually suggesting that non-Christians are incapable of true love? If Christians are the only ones who know true love, why is it that Christians have a slightly higher likelihood of getting divorced than atheists do? What about my wife and I? Billy's words leave me insulted. We have known each other for over seven years now. This winter, we will celebrate five years of marriage. People are sometimes surprised to hear we continue to display mannerisms that some reserve exclusively for newlyweds. We've been through highs and lows. Happiness, sadness, fears and doubts. Taking it all in, I regret none of it. I love her and will continue doing so as long as I live. If that's not true love, I don't know what is.


-Brain Hulk

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Yet more 'Christian love'...

Another recent story highlighted that all Christians aren't as all-loving as some may try to pretend. You may remember a blog where I talked about the Awkward Moments Children's Bible. Since it's release, the author has received plenty of threats and criticism from Christians online. But the threats got a bit more serious when a believer somehow found out the author's actual name and address (the book was written under the pen name of Horus Gilgamesh), and mailed a physical letter to him.

And it wasn't just a complaint, but a letter featuring a Bible verse advocating the killing of those that don't believe, as well as the direct statement "I'll see you up in Seattle next week. You wont [sic] see me". It was signed "God's Little Helper".

Horus was due to appear at an event in Seattle, and after receiving this letter was trying to decide what to do. The event offered security, and the police couldn't do anything since there was no return
address on the letter.

Since that first letter, Horus has received another. After this, the Seattle appearance was called off.  The police have it and it's contents are unknown. I just hope that there is something in it that will lead to God's Little Helper's arrest.

But I must stop and wonder why GLH feels so angry toward Horus that they would send out a death threat... All Horus' book does is illustrate stories that are in the Bible. Just like your average children's Bible. The only difference is that it illustrates stories that most Christens either aren't aware are in the Bible or simply try to ignore their inclusion. GLH is angry with the book and feels it is an attack on Christianity. This tells me that they need to step back and lean a bit more about their own religion. If any Christian has a problem with Horus' book they have a surprise coming their way, because that means they also have a problem with the Bible. Now that is awkward...


-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Praying for self

Is praying for yourself okay? Even if it's for personal gain? Lets see what Billy Graham thinks...
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Our family has some very serious financial needs, but I grew up thinking we aren’t supposed to pray about problems like this because they’re selfish, and God doesn’t answer self-centered prayers. Am I wrong? — S.M.
Technically, SM isn't wrong. There doesn't seem to be a god that answers self centered prayers. But then again, there's no data that a deity answers any kind of prayers, much less exist. So take from that what you will...
DEAR S.M.: Yes, you are wrong. Because God loves us, he is concerned about everything that concerns us. If you grew up going to church, perhaps you said the Lord’s Prayer every week, and in it Jesus told us to pray for the things we need: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11, KJV).

Think of it this way: I see from your letter that you have two children. If one of them came to you with a scraped knee, would you refuse to wash and bandage it? If they were hungry and wanted something to eat, would you tell them you couldn’t be bothered because they were just being selfish? Of course not. You love your children and would do everything you could to meet their legitimate needs.
True, a good parent will help their children when they are in need. But what does this have to do with the question at hand?
The same is true with God. God loves us so much that he was willing to come down from heaven in the person of his son, Jesus Christ, and give his life for our salvation.

If God loves you that much, don’t you think you can bring your needs to him in prayer? Jesus said, “If you … know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11).
Wait... Is Billy so unaware that he doesn't realize that this actually goes against his 'good parent' analogy? Every day there are Christians that pray for relief from pain only to find no relief. Children praying for food who later starve to death. This does not sound to me like a good parent who will do whatever they can to care for their children.

Maybe Billy will counter that they go to a better place, since they were 'saved'. Making Hell the ultimate thing to be avoided. The problem is that this doesn't help his case either. I, like many atheists, was once a believer. There was a time near the end of my belief that I prayed for God to show me a sign he was real. I wanted to receive a sign, I really did. But no sign came. Over time my belief completely fell away. As a non-believer, I am now apparently destined for Hell (from the
Christian perspective). But if God was the caring father that will do whatever he can for us (as Billy claims), he would have given me the sign I wanted/needed. He would know that not receiving a sign would eventually lead me to non-belief. So that leaves us with two possibilities. Either there is no God, or he simply doesn't care.

So go ahead and pray for your personal needs. Just remember that there is either no one on the other said of you mental outreach, or they simply don't give a toss.


-Brain Hulk

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