This is a double repost, from april of 2009. It deals with the dominant religion of our culture, Jesus Worship. This is a religion of beliefs, not practices. There is a love of argument, and attempts at conversion. Jesus Worshipers believe that their ideas about life after death justify this abuse. Sometimes, the death part starts a bit sooner than necessary. Pictures today are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”
The other day Father Tony posted a video at Bilerico (ba LAIR i co) about how to argue. He acknowledged that he is a venomous person. FT used to be employed by the Catholic church. That is how he got his handle. PG thought on this for a while, and saw a connection. A little more thinking, and PG pondered that crowd pleaser, the religious argument.
Jesus Worship is a religion of beliefs, rather than practices. One of their key beliefs is the notion that you should convert those who disagree with you. If these people don’t agree with you about certain things, they go to hell. This lust to “evangelize” leads to a lot of arguments.
One of the rules for living/arguing that Father Tony expresses is that, yes, you are going to argue. This is especially true for romantic partnerships, but includes all sorts of human relating. How does this relate to religion? If you believe in a religion, does this mean you are compelled to argue with those who you disagree with?
Religious belief can be a source of strength and comfort to those lucky enough to be in the loop. For many of the rest of us, Religion (especially the Jesus Worship variety) is a source of venom. The endless arguments that believers loudly put forth spoil whatever benefits these beliefs can have. It is enough to make you wish you would never hear the word Jesus again.
PG got wound up today about a report involving super glue eight time zones away. Meanwhile, an 11 year old man, who stayed a few exits down the perimeter, hung himself.
The story was that the other kids at school gave him a tough time. “They called him gay and a snitch,” his stepfather said. Jaheem Herrera was from St. Croix in the American Virgin Islands. The picture shows that he had light skin. Dunaire Elementary School is on South Indian Creek Road in Stone Mountain. The area is predominantly African American.
PG does not know any of the kids who bullied Mr. Herrera. He suspects that many are Jesus Worshipers. The Jesus Worship Church has preachers that verbally abuse the congregation. The Jesus Worship Church has a book which teaches the hatred of homosexuals. They call it “The Word of G-d”.
The Jesus Worship Church has a phrase…”shame the devil”. PG wonders if “devil” was one of the things Mr. Herrera was called, along with gay and snitch. He looked different than his abusers, and was from a different place.
PG worked for seven years with an abusive professional Jesus Worshiper. He clearly remembers the time that “Pastor” streaked in front of him.
“Pastor” shouted down and humiliated PG one day, in the name of Jesus. After the mugging was over, “Pastor” got a phone call. He picked up the phone and screamed ” I never felt better in my life”.
Jesus Worship is an aggressive, angry business. Sometimes the results are fatal.
A giant art installation in Pakistan got some attention. An international committee displayed a large picture of a child, in an area that receives many drone strikes. The idea is to make drone controllers more aware of the human life on the ground.
A few days later, a commentary appeared, This Giant Art Piece in Pakistan Won’t Be Making Drone Pilots Feel Empathy. The author said the *target audience* of the piece was the empathetic public, not the drone controllers. There is a link to an article, where the psychological impact of drone warfare, on the controllers, is discussed. People in Yemen have a different perspective.
The drone war has been going on for some time now. It began under George W. Bush, and was intensified under Barack H. Obama. The “right to life” moving lips have been strangely silent. There are indications that fewer children are being killed now than before. Since the drone war is conducted by the secrecy oriented C.I.A., there is little way to *confirm or deny* these reports. Nor is it possible to determine the financial cost of this program. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
Dear Grand-daughter, The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a ‘Honk if you love Jesus’ bumper sticker . I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting.
So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper. Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed. I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn’t notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn’t honked, I’d never have noticed. I found that lots of people love Jesus!
While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, ‘For the love of God!’ ‘Go! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, GO!’ What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!
There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach. I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant. He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii , so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back. My grandson burst out laughing. Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!! Praise the Lord!!!
A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on through the intersection. I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared.
So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!! Will write again soon, Love, Grandma. This repost is written like J. D. Salinger. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.
There is a quote attributed to Jesus that many have heard. The key words are rich man and camel. It is interpreted in many ways. One way to begin this discussion is to look at the King James Bible. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him,
Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good?
[there is] none good but one, [that is], G-d: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder,
Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honor thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast,
and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you,
That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
As with all quotes from the bible, a bit of thought is helpful. Was this said only one time, or was this a standard part of his teaching? Was the meaning changed in the transition from Aramaic to Greek to English? Had Jesus been taste testing the water and wine?
With the current vogue for “prosperity gospel”, many Jesusmongers have some splainin’ to do. Once, PG heard the redo blue preacher talking about this quote. His version was that there were caves in the desert where travelers would take a break on their journey. They would go in the cave, use the restroom, eat lunch, and then go on with their journey. The entrance to these caves was sometimes rather small, and it was tough to fit a camel inside.
Another version is about the local geography of Jerusalem. There was a gate in Jerusalem called the eye of the needle. It was a tight fit, and camels had a tough time getting through. Had Jesus been to Jerusalem at this point in his ministry?
According to Biblos.com, the Koran tells the same story. “The impious, who in his arrogance shall accuse our doctrine of falsity, shall find the gates of heaven shut: nor shall he enter there till a camel shall pass through the eye of a needle. It is thus that we shall recompense the wicked.” Al Koran. Surat vii. ver. 37.” (The home page of Biblos has an ad… “What investment is up 18% a year for the last 11 years? Click to see now”)
Whether this quote is fact or fiction, literal or symbolic, it can make for some funny stories. Once PG walked through a living room, while a religious tv show was on. The telepastor was in his church’s private studio, which was not cheap to build and equip. The man was wearing a beautiful preaching costume, which no doubt cost a pretty penny. By the standards of the world, the dude was filthy rich. During the few seconds that PG paid attention, the man on the tv said something about a camel.
Those who go For The Win should take heed of the last verse of Matthew 19.
“But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last [shall be] first.”
There is a discussion brewing in the Jesus Worship blogosphere on the question of ” Is Christianity really monotheistic ”. This is in response to a post, on the subject of the unquestioning Christian .
There is a “motivational” poster, with the headline “Ten signs you are an unquestioning Christian”. One of these (either number one or ten) deals with monotheism. To wit: “You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of G-ds claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your G-d.” Some writers are promising/threatening to write about all ten of these arguments, and the feature on monotheism is the first.
PG is a recovering Baptist, who is severely alienated from Jesus. He does suspect that there is a G-d, and is in no way an “atheist”. The tracts linked to above tend to break down the discussion to atheists vs. christians, which is highly misleading.
PG has been knocking around for some time the idea of a post about the six G-ds of Jesus Worshipers. The appearance of this series…at blogs that ban PG from commenting…has spurred him into action. Whether or not there will be more comments (from PG) remains to be seen.
Christianity claims to be a monotheistic religion. This means, there is only one G-d. In contrast, the Romans and Greeks had G-ds and G-ddesses galore, and the Hindus have literally millions of deities. In what was claimed by some as an advancement, the Jews worshiped one G-d. (Zoraroastrians are said to be monotheistic, and did it before the Jews. There may be others.)
One of the sacred tracts of Judaism and Christianity is the ten commandments . The first three relate to the concept of monotheism, and the proper way to talk about G-d.
1-Thou shalt have no other G-ds before me.
2-Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy G-d am a jealous G-d, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
3-Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy G-d in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
As a side note, PG has heard something about the use of Lord as a name for G-d. The riff is that “Lord” was an expression for an English nobleman. When the Bible was translated by James I, his workers used the L word as a synonym for G-d. The words for G-d in the Greek and Hebrew texts that comprised the Bible do not translate as Lord…that word was inserted by the anglocentric workers of James I. This is something that PG read in a book by Tom Robbins, and has no other source for. It may, or may not be true. If it is, then it just might be a violation of the third commandment.
Getting back to monotheism, does Christianity live up to the first commandment? This may seem to be a silly question when you consider the concept of the trinity. At some point in the early days of Jesus Worship, a decision was made to split G-d into three parts. We now had the father, the son, and the holy ghost. (Which makes for a neat blessing…the father the son the holy ghost, whoever eats fastest gets the most) The first commandment is still in effect, but, well, you just have to understand. The Jews continued to worship one G-d, and when Mohammed started his franchise, he changed the name to Allah. In that version, there is no G-d but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger.
Meanwhile, the Jesus Worshipers were good at converting and reproducing, and soon had a very popular religion. But was it one G-d only? The faith had a book of ancient texts that they call “the word of G-d”. The fact that it was written, copied, edited and translated by man did not stop folks. The first commandment would seem to prohibit this custom, but, you just have to believe.
PG is willing to concede the point that he doesn’t understand the concept of the Trinity. He thinks it is a concoction of the Council of Nicea, and a violation of the first commandment. This is something that seems to happen a lot with Christianity…to proclaim one thing as a rule, to apparently violate that rule, but have a clever explanation that few seem to understand.
This does not explain the other G-ds of Christianity. For this discussion, we will focus on three…the Bible, Satan, and Salvation.
The Catholic Church had a conference to establish a consistent canon for their church. This conference became known as the Council of Nicea. (This conference is where the concept of the Triune G-d was formulated.) The texts in use by the church at the time were collected in one book. Some texts were not used, and there is a good possibility that the texts that were used were edited. This committee effort became known as the Bible.
During the protestant reformation, the new churches needed a source for their authority over the people. It was during this time that the concept of the Bible as the “Word of G-d” became known. This in effect made a G-d out of a book. This is in direct defiance of the First Commandment, which teaches to have no other G-d before you.
The book has been interpreted into many languages, and the interpretations have been interpreted. The star of the New Testament, Jesus, spoke Aramaic. His words were recorded, in Greek, many years after he *died*. Any quote from Jesus has been translated at least twice. This is from texts that were written many years after he lived. And yet, people talk about what Jesus taught, and have confidence, that they know what they are talking about. (The only things we know about Jesus is what the Council of Nicea chose to tell us.)
At some point, the idea began to float around that the Bible was not only the word of G-d, but that it was inerrant…that is, without errors. This would presume that no body in the chain of production made a mistake. This includes a scribe copying a text, and a Catholic editor assembling a canon. Nobody translating ancient languages, from ragged source materials, made a mistake. The people who make this claim seem to assume that they have a perfect understanding of this text. Is it a coincidence that the spell check suggestion for inerrant is ignorant?
This one is too blatant to let slide. When you declare a text to be the “word of G-d”, you are making a G-d out of a book. There is a semantic argument to be made… you can say that this isn’t worship. Lets say it out loud… calling the Bible the “word of G-d” makes a G-d out of a book, in violation of the First Commandment. This is not monotheism.
A quick look at the way Satan is treated by the church shows a curious similarity to worship. Yes, it is backhanded worship, and lots of negative things are said about Beelzebub. He with the horns and tail is given credit for all kinds of powers, and needs to be fought (with human collateral damage). Yes, Jesus Worshipers give the Devil his due, and then some.
The last “G-d” that we will look at today is Salvation, or the Christian scheme for life after death. Anyone living in the USA has heard this plan a thousand times, and many agree with it. Some do not agree with it. It is none of your business how PG feels. (Your guess is probably correct.)
What is undeniable is the importance placed on salvation in Christianity. It is discussed in every church meeting, often at top volume, and with dramatics that would shame a ham actor. Salvation is said to justify all the rudeness and verbal abuse that Jesus Worshiper inflict on their neighbors. If you do not agree with the concept of Salvation, you have no business belonging to a Christian Church.
Does this hysterical emphasis on Salvation make a G-d out of the concept? As with the Bible and Satan, it is a matter of perspective. A good argument could be made that Jesus Worshipers treat these three items with G-d like devotion, and make G-ds out of them.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.
As you may have heard, SCOTUS is hearing oral, and possibly anal, arguments about gay marriage today. In a stroke of irony, this is day after March 25, nine months before Christmas. In other words, a crucial day, in the most famous unconsummated marriage in history.
PG began to ponder the traditional marriage of Joseph and Mary. Apparently, Joseph’s last name is lost to history. The question of the day is “when did Joseph and Mary get married?”. Facilities such as Liberty Gospel Tracts and Fish Eaters Traditional Catholic Forum have answers.
LGT (the B got kicked out for some reason) contributes a bible passage, Matthew 1:18-19. 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
Put her away in the privy? That is some kinky business there. Maybe the Christians and Jews have it all wrong. The thirds Abrahamic religion, Islam, might have the answer. A site, TurnToIslam, has another point of view about the traditional definition of marriage.
What about Mary, Jesus’ Mother peace be upon both of them? How old was she when she got pregnant? Not only was it a custom in the Arab society to Engage/Marry a young girl it was also common in the Jewish society. The case of Mary the mother of Jesus comes to mind, in non biblical sources she was between 11-14 years old when she conceived Jesus. Mary had already been “BETROTHED” to Joseph before conceiving Jesus. Joseph was a much older man. therefore Mary was younger than 11-14 years of age when she was “BETHROED” to Joseph. We Muslims would never call Joseph a Child Molester, nor would we refer to the “Holy Ghost” of the Bible, that “Impregnated” Mary as a “Rapist” or “Adulterer”.
“….it is possible that Mary gave birth to her Son when she was about thirteen or fourteen years of age….”Mary was approximately 14 years old when she got pregnant with Jesus. Joseph, Mary’s Husband is believed to be around 36. Mary was only 13 when she married Joseph. When she first was arranged with Joseph she was between 7 to 9 years old.”
According to the “Oxford Dictionary Bible” commentary, Mary (peace be upon her) was was 12 years old when she became impregnated. So if I want to be as silly and ridiculous as many of the Christians, I would respond to them by saying that Mary was psychologically and emotionally devastated for getting pregnant at a very young age. And speaking of “child molesting”, since most Christians believe that Jesus is the Creator of this universe, then why did G-D allow himself to enter life through a 12-year old young girl’s vagina? Please note that we Muslims love and respect Allah Almighty, Mary, Jesus and Allah’s Message to the People of the Book (The Jews and Christians). In other words, we Muslims would never make fun of Christianity through such childish topic like this one as many ridiculous Christians do make fun of Islam through our Prophet’s (peace be upon him) marriage.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.
PG is a recovering Baptist. However, he was never baptized.
The Baptists like to pressure pre adolescent children into making a “Profession of Faith”. Every Sunday, the mob would sing “Just as I am” and the kids would walk down the aisle, shake the preachers hand, and be recruited into the Baptist way of life.
Every few weeks, the Church would fire up the Baptismal pool, and go to work. The house lights would dim, and the young Baptists were dunked in the pool.
A while back, the wiring was carelessly installed in a Baptist building. The Preacher was electrocuted when he used the microphone in the Baptismal Facility.
Now, the British have an answer. The Church of England goes for infant baptism, using the sprinkle on the noggin. This is too much for some, who object to the indoctrination into the cult of Jesus Worship, made before a person is eating solid food. One answer is the “Certificate of Debaptism”
The certificate is the work of the National Secular Society , which suggests hanging it in the loo. The various churches involved thus far decline to remove the baptized from any church records. The certificate is purely symbolic.
The text above is a repost. HT (for the original post) to JoeMyG-d. Pictures (with one obvious exception) are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
The importance of baptism is questionable. To some , it is a big deal. In a society without an official state religion, there are few measurable benefits or penalties for being registered in a religious organization. The concept of baptism is essentially symbolic. It is usually practiced on children, often on infants. Many adults realize that this children’s ritual no longer fits the person they are.
The National Secular Society has a web page about the efforts of people to make their de baptism official. Some of the stories are worth reading.
From Chris Taylor: After reading about other NSS members successfully managing to ‘de-baptise’ themselves I thought that I would give it a crack with the CofE mob. I emailed the diocese where I was dunked many years ago asking if I could be struck from the record as I have always thought it to be a load of old rubbish and said that if my parents had given me the choice of going through some sort of black magic voodoo ceremony performed by a probable child abuser in a dress I would, even at the age of 6 months, have said thanks but no thanks. I received a reply telling me that there was nothing that I could do about it. I replied asking again, suggesting that it would be easy, and a good christian deed (as these christers like to call it) to simply remove me from their register but it was to no avail. They replied again saying that it was just not possible and that I would just have to live with it. I would be interested to know if anyone has been successful with CofE as the RC lot seem to give different answers to different people. Maybe it depends on how god is feeling at the time!
Here is the reply sent by the Catholic Church, to someone who wanted to officially cut his ties :
If you have decided formally to renounce your Catholic faith, there is a simple procedure. You need to write to an official known as the diocesan chancellor for the area within which you were baptised. Give him as much detail as possible about where and when you were baptised, and briefly state the reasons why you wish no longer to be considered a member of the Catholic Church. Keep it factual and avoid anything that he might construe as aggressive or insulting to the Catholic religion.
A note will then be made in the baptismal register of the Church where you were baptised stating that you have formally renounced your membership of the Catholic Church. For all legal purposes, both in the law of the Church, and, where applicable, in civil law, you will no longer be considered a Catholic. It is not possible to cancel your baptism as such, since baptism is regarded by the Church as leaving an indelible mark on the soul, but of course, this will not concern you since you no longer believe in that.
2013 edition: If you click on the National Secular Society spot, you get this: “Sorry, the page ‘/official-debaptism.html’ is no longer available.” In it’s place is Debaptized dot com. The symbol of the new movement is the hair dryer. (Perhaps if Jesus had died at the hair salon, people would worship the hair dryer.) The Debaptist Church is pastored by Reverend Thomas Wubby.
TDC offers many services, including debaptism by proxy. Recently debaptized people include Andreas Jambak Nilsen, Ivan Popovski, Craig Nicholson, Christopher Price, and Peter Von Burg. The FAQ does not indicate if donations are tax deductible.
The culture monk starts his caffeinated tour in midtown Atlanta today. Good luck finding a parking spot in that area. The wandering continues on La Vista road this afternoon, which is just a few miles away from Brookhaven. Will PG make it there? Only time will tell.
CM likes to put up material every morning, which is good. Today’s offering is Atlanta, Big Bibles, and Cussing…REALLY??? He got acquainted with the Atlanta custom of sitting in traffic for hours on end, and sought refuge at a mermaid enabled caffeine dispensary. A young lady, equipped with an artillery bible, said she had dropped out of the theater after being christianized. It seems as though the parts she played had too much bad language.
Many Jesus worshipers seem to have a thing about cusswords. Certain words are taboo. Many Jesus worshipers are rather smug about this prohibition.
The person who taught PG the most about Jesus was a former coworker, known here as the bully for Jesus. The man has anger management issues. Often, when he lost his temper, words like G-d, Jesus, and holy ghost would fire out of his mouth.
The third commandment is a very underrated suggestion. It is much more than G-d’s last name. PG decided long ago that using sacred names out of anger was a violation of the third commandment. Maybe, when the need for strong language presents itself, a person would do less harm by talking about reproduction and excretion, rather than father and son.
PG learned about CM in the comments at the thirty million hit dude, Matt Walsh. His latest offering relates to this issue. The title is Dear America, you’re too smart to listen to Beyonce’.
The subject of this discussion is Mr. Walsh’s dislike of popular music. The words could have been borrowed from any rant about music kids listen to today. This product has cusswords, promotes icky behavior, and is dumb, dumb, dumb.
To a certain point, PG agrees. The autotuned product of today is not that great. Unfortunately, Mr. Walsh does not have many suggestions for an alternative. The religion he touts is little more than a scheme for life after death.
The political POV Mr. Walsh offers is little more than endless Obama bashing. The post about Beyonce’ has the Obama reference in paragraph seven. (This counts five standalone words as a full paragraph.) What is the alternative here? Maybe Sarah Palin will put out an album of contemporary christian music. It would probably be an improvement.