Archives For religion

It seems maybe Jesus didn’t die on a cross.

Yep.  Apparently, we kind of flubbed that fact.  At least that’s what Gunnar Samuelsson is saying.  He thinks there’s no evidence of crosses or nails being used for executions in Roman times, and we just assume that when the Bible says “crucifixion” it means “on a cross.”

That’s one I didn’t expect.  I would’ve thought that a notorious method of executing criminals and enemies of the state would be well known and rather indisputable.  People have debated since the Monday after whether Jesus actually came out of the grave.  But I’ve never heard of anyone arguing that he didn’t died on a cross.  Thing is, this guy is a Christian.  He says that Jesus was in fact executed by the Romans…just not on a cross.  He just thinks we should stop “reading between the lines” in the Bible and read what it really says. 

While my first reaction to the guy was, “Cram it, Captain know-it-all,” I thought of three slightly better reactions to this news.

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Today, I’m wrapping up my countdown of the best posts from my blog.  Today’s post continues to garner the my blog the most Google searches.  Something about the copious use of the word “porn.”  Anyway, it’s one of my favorites, but I’m truly sorry for all the people who have mistakenly come to my blog when they wanted something else.  This post originally appeared September of 2009.

First, if you’re looking for porn, I apologize, because there will be a lot of you who will be disappointed. You can’t use this stuff. It’s too hard, too weird, too unnatural for anyone’s deviant taste. This porn is only for Christians. If you’re not into the freaky religious stuff, you’ll be disappointed and probably grossed out, making it impossible to enjoy any other porn for the rest of the day.

But if you’re a Christian, have I got something for you. Christians don’t like porn, (except for the millions who secretly do like porn.) But I’ve got the best porn for Christians. This thought came to me when a reader was soliciting suggestions for blogging topics. They stipulated “no Joel Osteen and no porn.” And naturally, I put the two in the same box…

Four Reasons the Prosperity Gospel is Christian Porn

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How much of the Bible is “literally” true?

In my Baptist seminary, I think the third verse of our alma mater was something about the Bible being completely, literally true and accurate.  I could be mistaken, but I don’t think so.  It was pretty fun to get all riled up about some wiseguy with a big beard and a sweater vest who just published a book about how the Bible isn’t completely “literally” true.  The word “literally” is about as overused as “awesome,” I think.  And yes, I’m going to italicize “literally” every time I write it today.  Literally, every time.

Since then, I’ve talked with a lot of people who wouldn’t quite fit in at my Baptist seminary, both in person and through blogging.  Some of you out there believe there’s parts of the Bible that aren’t “literally” true.  There’s others of you who believe in “scientific” things that seem to contradict the Bible.  Things like evolution, and the Big Bang Theory, and the idea that the Earth is a bajillion years old.

It just got me wondering about just how “literal” we need the Bible to be…

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Your grandkids will laugh at you.

That’s because grandparents are funny.  Your grandfather tries to hide his bald spot, which now covers his entire head.  Or your grandmother keeps the sun out of her eyes by wearing ginormous wrap-around sunglasses.  Besides that, they’re often times stuck in their old-fashioned ways, and there’s nothing you can do about it, even if their wasy are absurd.

Going to church with my grandparents was always a little different from the usual church experience.  They had organ music with hymnals and everyone looked like they had fifty years of practice at singing all the songs.  The pastor gave a nice, predictable message about Jeee-SUS!  It was nice to visit, but my church was much better.  We had better songs, and a screen up front, and better messages, and the building smelled better.

Then I realized something.  One day, I’ll be old.  And my bald spot will need to be covered by some wisps of hair.  And my grandkids will probably laugh at my church.

Four Things My Grandkids will Laugh At

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Well, after Monday’s lively and passionate exchange, it obviously time to relax, take a breather, and discuss a topic on the lighter side of life…

…let’s talk the end of the world!

I’ll admit, I immediately start dry heaving whenever Christians start cracking open the one-liners from Revelation to prove how the world will end. End times discussion are like kryptonite to me. And by that, I mean that whenever anyone starts one with me, I’m tempted to use my laser heat vision and ice breath on them, just so they’ll shut up.

Part of my revulsion with end-times discussions is the audacity of it all. What are the four horsemen supposed to bring? War, famine, pestilence and death? Right, so exactly what we have right now. What else is on the checklist?

Point being, we know how it will end. Jesus wins. Other than that, we don’t really have a clue.

I was watching The History Channel, and they had a special on the ten most awesome apocalyptic scenarios. The countdown goes on, each one getting more and more exciting: nuclear war, asteroids, the sun exploding. Then number one is…wait for it…

…global warming.

Could there be a bigger letdown than a slow rise in temperature over the next several hundred years to top off a list of apocalyptic scenarios? Better stock up on canned goods and water for that one!

Anyway, despite my revulsion with end of the world stuff, I knew I could do better than The History Channel. I’m counting down the best scenarios that could end the world. Who knows…with a thousand years of Satan’s reign, he could use any of these to wreak havoc!

Five Possible Apocalyptic Scenarios

The Maya-ocalypse
This one is pretty awesome. The Mayan calendar runs out in 2012, signaling the end of the age. Of course, if we still had some Mayans around, they could just make a new calendar and we could avoid this, but the Spaniards made sure that wasn’t going to happen. I think the story goes that on Dec 21, 2012, all the dead Mayans will rise up, resurrected as robot ninjas and judo chop everyone’s kidneys. Nice going, Spain.
Awesomeness: 9/10: especially if the Mayans come back as robot ninjas.
Survivability: 6/10: Mayans were pretty awesome, but there weren’t that many of them. I’d wait them out in a dark basement until they run out of hearts to eat.
Likelihood: 4/10: The Mayans were good at math, but I’m not too sure about this one.

The Science-Run-Amok-ocalypse
Everyone loves science. It’s given us everything from Twinkies to airbrushing our celebrities. But remember, everyone making science today, those were the guys who got picked on in school all the time. Out of all those nerds, the likelihood seems high that at least one of them became an evil scientist. Suddenly, we’re running from zombies, or a virus, or a virus that turns people into zombies, or zombies with viruses…or the Matrix. The possibilities are endless!
Awesomeness: 8/10: Science is pretty sweet when it’s evil.
Survivability: 7.5/10: You’ll need four people to survive: a stone-faced ex-Marine, a wise-cracking black guy, a Jewish scientist, and a hot chick. And a bunch of guns. One of you will not make it.
Likelihood: 9/10: Science has already given us Joan Rivers. I’d get ready.

The Pandemic-ocalypse
SARS is going to kill everyone! Or Swine Flu…
Awesomeness: 1/10: Unless you like false alarms.
Survivability: virtually 10/10: unless you’re really unlucky.
Likelihood: 10/10: if you watch the news.

The Y2K-ocalypse
Please see above.

The Chimp-ocalypse
Just look at those chimps. Waiting. Planning. Plus, they’re in league with the aliens.
Awesomeness: 4/10: There’s going to be a bunch of poo being thrown.
Survivability: 9/10: I don’t think this will end the world, it’ll just be a really big hassle.
Likelihood: 8/10: First we teach a gorilla sign language, then it’s all downhill.

And after all that, God says, “Enough! Time for another flood!”

How do you think it will end? An asteroid crashing into Earth? The sun exploding? The government? Rosie O’Donnell crashing into Earth?

Friendly Atheist Arguments

September 16, 2009

Monday, I talked about the useless arguments Christians are prone to use when trying to convince non-believers about God.

Let’s turn the tables. Because there’s a few asinine arguments up a lot of atheists’ sleeve too.

I still stand by what I said that most atheists are lovely people. But I cannot deny that there is a new breed of neo-Atheists who can hardly be called ‘friendly.’ They act as if the very presence of religion makes them completely miserable and bitter.

Fortunately for us, many of the arguments they preach and the ‘regular’ atheists regurgitate are childish and lame.

Six Atheist Arguments Christians Can Easily Answer

Christians are a Bunch of Hypocrites.
I’m sorry you think that.

I’m sorry you think occasionally failing to live up to high ethical standards is the root of all evil. I happen to think having no standards at all would naturally be much more evil.

I’m happy for you that you have no convictions that you might not live up to once in a while.

I’m sorry that Christians are the only people who’ve ever let you down.

And I’m sorry that the only Christians you’ve known in your life were on TV.

Do You Know How Many Wars Have Been Fought in the Name of Christianity?
Three? Four? Ten? I know there’s been a few.

How many wars have been fought in the name of everything else?
Oil? Territory? Dominance? Technology? Culture? Economics? Racism?
War predates Christianity by quite a few years. War wasn’t invented for religion’s sake. Religion is abused for war’s sake.

Lots of other stuff besides war was done in the name of Christianity. Like ending slavery, for one. I guess if you’re a wealthy southern plantation owner, I can see how that would piss you off.

Hitler Was a Christian.
Monday I pointed out that Christians sometimes like to look for a cheap shot when debating atheists by saying Hitler was an atheist. Turns out atheists like to do the same. So if Hitler was a Christian, it must mean that all Christians are harboring an extreme hatred for the world.

So if Hitler was a Christian, and therefore all Christians are like Hitler, then…

…all Muslims must be violent terrorists like Bin Laden,
and all Irish must be rampant loudmouths like Bono.

But of course, saying that would make me politically incorrect and a racist…well, maybe that first one.

The Only Thing Christians Do is Indoctrinate Kids.
I love free thinkers. I used to run into them a lot, but then I became employed. Many of them like to paint Christians as brain-washers.

Tell me, if we’re so good at hypnotizing the masses, how did you escape?

I love how hippie New Age parents want their children to decide for themselves what they’ll be without any parental pressure or guidance. So they dress their kids up like punks to show how much they’re fighting the man, as the parents pretend to not be capitalists. Of course that desire fades as soon as their kids show any interest in becoming Republicans, Christians, CEOs of ‘evil’ corporations, or anything else that’s not a hippie New Ager.

Besides, if you’re so against indoctrination, maybe you should tell Christopher Hitchens to stop writing books.

I am a Scientist. I Take Nothing on Faith.
Good. Then quit using ridiculous arguments, Mr. Scientist.

How many things do you believe that you have actually tested using the scientific method? Have you formed a hypothesis that France exists, despite every logical thread in your being telling you such a place could not possibly exist, formulate an experiment to test the existence of France, record your findings, repeat said experiment, and correctly conclude that despite all odds and wishes to the contrary, France does indeed exist.

No you didn’t. You took it on authority that your third grade teacher was not a liar. And you’ve been drinking science-flavored kool-aid your entire life.

I Don’t Need a God to Tell Me to Be Good. I’m Good for It’s Own Sake.
Good. Because if you ever failed at that, you’d be a hypocrite. That would make you the root of all evil.

I haven’t touched all their arguments, and haven’t even done the best job at answering them. Then again, they write books about God not existing, and this blog is a few hundred words I wrote in my spare time.

What are some of the lame arguments you’ve heard? I’m even more interested in hearing what was something that made you doubt Christianity when your faith and knowledge was not so strong?