I just discovered a new-to-me atheist blog by a well-spoken man named Kevin. Please read his thoughts over at Memoirs of an ex-Christian and enjoy!

One comment on this entry about Moses and the Torah stands out as a classic, priceless example of “spirit-filled” Christian rhetoric that you just have to see to believe (but if you believe it, you’ve got other issues). I’ve left it in all its caps lock glory, so please forgive me if you leave this blog with a migraine; but at least I’ve hidden it below the fold:

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May 6, 2009  |  funny, quotes, randomness  |  14 Comments

A Literal Heaven and Spacetime

Photo by Anthony M.

Photo by Anthony M.

A conversation on a Christian message board reads as follows:

Woman A: so you think [the verses about rewards in Heaven are] literal? I find a majority of the bible references are to give people an idea of what heaven will be like…. not to actually describe it. Honestly, if that’s what it is about, I’m not interested in “storing up riches in heaven” because riches mean squat to me. Not interested at all.

Woman B: Yes, I think it is literal, but also very much spiritual. Those who have given much will receive greater honor. … I believe that there are degrees of reward in heaven. Not everyone who goes to heaven will receive the same reward.

Those who make a last minute decision for Christ will have basic salvation, a gown but not a robe of righteousness, no crowns, no authority, no houses and lands. Saddest of all, they will have missed the opportunity to bring others to Christ–their children and families, their friends and fellow co-workers. Nor will they ever hear Christ say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”

[Click here to read the verses she quotes to illustrate]

Isn’t it funny how some Christians believe the descriptions of Heaven in the Bible are literal, but still claim that (in order for God to be exempt from the natural laws and rules he places upon us, and in order to be supremely powerful and the cause of all creation) God and his realm are “outside of space and time”? If heaven existed and it were outside of the universe, there would be no physical senses, no gold, no houses, no crowns, no sequence of events, no perception of progression, and no concept of “the past” or “the future” at all.

Someone more knowledgeable than myself should explain this, but in my understanding, something outside of spacetime–or in a higher dimension–cannot possibly be understood in terms we use here inside the spacetime 3-and-4-dimensional universe. Yet the descriptions of God and his dwelling place are communicated in ways that can only be understood to us here, now, in our current dimensions. The verses and teachings about literal sensations, events, and objects are still believed. Why take these words from the Bible literally? Those streets of gold and beautiful mansions won’t exist as we imagine them because they can’t if they’re outside of the known universe. Even if an afterlife does exist, we could never hope to know about it or understand what happens there.

It’s clear to me that these buzzwords and Christian aphorisms that are thrown around casually are not at all understood by the common layperson. Heck, I can barely scratch the surface myself. Sine my words and thoughts can’t communicate this concept very well, I want to show you a video about dimensions that really bends my noggin. Hope you love it too! This guy is the shit, and I want to have his MENSA babies.

YouTube Preview Image

Joe the Plumber’s 15 minutes and 59 seconds

Joe (Samuel Wurzelbacher), please stop touring, writing, doing interviews, and basically ramming your bigoted, uneducated nonsense all over the media. I can’t believe anyone gives this guy the time of day anymore, but at least it’s fodder for serious *headdesk* and *facepalm* moments.

Check out what he says to Christianity Today in one of their little “timely” interviews to appear current. Too bad their version of  “current” is months too late.

On gay marriage:

I personally still think it’s wrong. People don’t understand the dictionary—it’s called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. It’s not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we’re supposed to do—what man and woman are for. Now, at the same time, we’re supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. I’ve had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn’t have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they’re people, and they’re going to do their thing. [emphasis added]

This whitewashed bigot really cracks me up. Read the two bold parts next to each other and explain to me how in the hell the actions in the latter fit the statement in the former. That’s right; they don’t. Typical.

Oh, and note how his interviewer Pulliam just skips from topic to topic without challenging him on any of his poisonous ignorance. Perhaps the interview had to be edited to avoid “controversy” or perhaps she didn’t find his drivel as offensive to the brain as most of the folks in the comments did. Or if we’re lucky, perhaps she secretly wanted him to hang himself with his terrible views dangling out in public like that. That actually worked.

On politics:

…I think that all needs to be taken out of the federal level and give it back to the states. We’ve lost our American history. Every state has “In God we trust” or “With God’s help” in their constitution. God is recognized as, if you will, America’s religion.

JTP seems to love the new US motto “In God We Trust” which was adopted in 1956. I suppose he wouldn’t support the historical motto, “E pluribus unum” (“from many, one”) since he’s all about the individual states and no central government to keep the unity for which we fought so hard in the Civil War. And I didn’t even mention the Deist Founding Fathers (not Christian).

I like Sarah Palin a lot, actually. I just don’t know if that’s where God’s leading her. I just know the Republican Party’s done its best to blackball her. I don’t know what her agenda is. If she ran, would I vote for her? Absolutely.

Meet the poster boy for voter ignorance. Follow JTP and you don’t even have to know what the candidate plans or stands for! No critical thinking–as easy as American Pie!

When politicians start talking about being a Christian, I just worry, because a lot of them don’t really follow through. I like to see real action in that area. … I would love to hear our leaders actually check with God before he does stuff.

Wait, wait. He wants them to check with God before God does stuff? Don’t move a finger, God! They need to check with you first!
But seriously, I’d rather they check with reliable resources and use their reasoning skills, experience, and education before making decisions, thanks. Talking to their imaginary friends aren’t what I call admirable qualities. I know, I know, it’s a freethought daydream.

Many of the comments are silly, hilarious, or simply bear repeating, so after the cut I’m going to quote some of my favorites.

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Do Liberal Christians Trust Jesus?

Photo by babsteve

Photo by babsteve

Not all Christians are literalistic fundamentalists or even orthodox in their theologies. There do exist “liberal” Christians who focus on a loving, generous message of Jesus rather than the more traditional views of God’s fitful nature. Many liberal Christians consider parts of the Bible mythology, metaphor, and primitive, bronze-age expression of the unknown. With those points, skeptics may agree and also appreciate the holistic approach to the scriptures.

This view is much more friendly and acceptable than the hellfire and brimstone extremist views held by a few overly-vocal groups. However, I still have problems understanding how someone can be a liberal Christian without cherry-picking, contradiction, and unsure/unsteady beliefs.

My first question is: Do liberal Christians trust Jesus?

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April 28, 2009  |  Jesus, questions, the bible  |  75 Comments