Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Larry, Jennifer, Bob and Ted makes for a good time

Aside from being a really interesting interview from start to finish, this video perfectly illustrates one of the major problems with Christianity. About six minutes into the video, Jennifer Knapp, a very successful Christian recording artist and lesbian, says it all as it pertains to the Christian faith. There are nearly as many interpretations of the Bible as there are people on the planet. You can say that it means whatever you want it to mean, and there is no higher authority to discredit you. Sure, there are denominations that have written out their own declarations of faith, but there are 29,999+ other denominations that don’t necessarily agree with that declaration. And, these aren’t always issues of little consequence; issues pertaining to salvation and what constitutes sin are adamantly disagreed upon depending on the denomination. Homosexuality is a hotly debated topic among Christians. Sort of mirroring politics, the more liberal Christians tend to believe that homosexuality is not a sin while the more conservative Christians believe that homosexuality is definitely sin and will earn a person eternity in hell. There are people like Joe Dallas that go around preaching against homosexuality and counseling people on how to achieve a heterosexual lifestyle. There are other churches that would like to see the ban on same sex marriage lifted. As George Carlin would say, “It’s all bullshit and it’s bad for ya.” The confusion about homosexuality being good or bad goes away completely when you dismiss the Bible as just bullshit. It becomes increasingly difficult to tell who the real Christian is anymore and to avoid committing a No True Scotsman fallacy in the process.

Later in the interview, it becomes comical as two people argue about homosexuality being sin because each one’s interpretation contradicts the others. Many Christians will flock to the denomination that best supports what they want to hear. Jennifer Knapp gets spiritual counsel from likeminded Christians that support her homosexuality and interpret scriptures likewise.

Pastor Bob Botsford points out, god suddenly “changes his mind” and things like shell fish and wearing clothes containing different fabrics are no longer problematic (Why does an all-knowing god need to change his mind when he already understands what is right to do from the beginning? But that’s a different story) However, according to Pastor Bob Botsford in this interview, homosexuality continues to be considered wrong throughout the New Testament. The interview ends where it began. Jennifer basically speaks as many atheists do, despite her being a purported Christian, by contending that it’s all open to interpretation while Bob articulates that it is clearly sinful. Ted Haggard, in the background, keeps calling the whole thing a “process” but avoids directly stating that homosexuality is a sin. So, we have a very dogmatic stance and then we have a more wishy-washy stance in the case of Ted Haggard. Knapp seems to support a more relativistic theology where anything goes as long as it isn’t hurting others while Botsford thinks that homosexuality is so bad that you can’t be Christian while practicing it. Even though, he fully admits that he makes mistakes everyday but it’s apparently different if they aren’t consciously manifested.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A bit of Q and A

There were some questions raised by my last post regarding my brother-in-law’s dwindling faith. I thought it would be fun to make a new post regarding those questions included in its comment section and hope that Rebecca is cool with that. She begins with a question about the length of time it took my brother-in-law to realize how awful god was and then she asks about the difficulties people have in discarding their faith.

Question 1) I’m so very sorry to hear about your brother-in-laws struggles (they sound awful!), although I’m glad he’s edging closer to the “truth.” Still…I’m surprised… he never noticed, in his whole life as a Christian, that “God” is cruel/evil/indiscriminate? It took such personal tragedies to make him start questioning Christianity? Natural disasters, suffering children, other Christians’ difficulties, evil, torture, famine, rape, cruelty to animals – none of that ever made him question his faith or “God’s goodness” before? It just kind of baffles me, but I guess that’s the Christian brainwashing part.

My response: I can’t speak on my Brother-in-law’s behalf, but I do know how I addressed the repugnant cruelties so prevalent in the Bible and in the modern world. I read a lot of apologetic materials, especially Lee Strobel and Norm Geisler. They had a way of explaining things that seemed to momentarily satisfy my confusion. I also looked up to my mother. My mother, whom I love dearly, has always expressed how important a relationship with god is, and we usually attended church, more often than not.

I felt like most of the problems with suffering in the world could be explained away by thinking of it as a “fallen world”; the Armenian theology which suggests we are all under the curse of Adam and Eve’s original sin. Therefore, the suffering that occurs on earth is a result of original sin and not god’s doing. I bought into the whole notion that if there is no evil than there would be no room for god’s goodness to shine threw. It also helped to think that there would be ultimate justice when evildoers went to hell. I just started to look at it on a timescale. For example, I figured what Hitler did in his short time on earth pales in comparison to the eternity of torture he would endure. So, god really was the good guy in the end; it was just delayed a bit. The Old Testament is what really got me going in the opposite direction however. Like many people say: “If you want to make an atheist out of someone, just have them read the Bible.” I’ve read bits of the O.T. before but usually relied on the apologetic responses. Israel was a holy people and had to be sustained or Jesus would have never come. So, the infanticide and genocide were all ultimately necessary for the redemption of mankind. Nevertheless, reading the Bible made the wheels in my head start to turn a bit. Those little concerns in the O.T. turned out to be huge concerns later on.

In my brother-in-law’s case, I think it was a slow progression. One thing led to another and he started to realize that god just doesn’t seem to give a fuck. You have to understand that his dad is a Southern Baptist preacher, so he has been well indoctrinated. But, my brother-in-law isn’t the type to just go along with the flow, so to speak. He began to put some things together for himself and came to the conclusion that god isn’t a good god. So, to answer your question, I think that we all make rationalizations for god to keep him in the winner’s circle. When tragedy strikes, it was the result of someone’s lack of faith or sin. When something wonderful happens, it was the result of god’s goodness. I know it’s hard to probably understand any of that from an outsider’s perspective, but children tend to believe whatever their parents tell them. We were both indoctrinated from an early age.

2) As a lifelong atheist, someone who’s never had to deconvert or “give up Christianity,” I’m curious – what is so scary about giving up Christianity? Why is it so hard? (Maybe this should be a whole future post in itself!) Is it just the death part? (I don’t fully understand that, either – the millennia before I was born didn’t bother me; the “not thereness” when I’m asleep isn’t bad; I expect the “nothingness” after I’m dead to be fine, too. It doesn’t seem that scary to me.) So: Christians have to give up the idea of immortality… what else? You talked about the “emptiness.” Is this something that I, as an atheist, just can’t understand? Why do Christians hold onto the fantasy so desperately? I’d love as many things Christians are scared of (or whatever they are, whatever reasons they have for not seeing/believing “the truth”) as you can give. (There might be a poem brewing; call this my Market Research.) ;-)

My response: I think there are a multitude of issues with Christianity that keep people coming back. There is the group solidarity and cohesion aspect. Every time you go to church, you are acting as a supporter to each other’s beliefs which further ingrain them into your world view. This is crucial to keeping a religion viable. If you believe in an afterlife, you are going to be more prone to making sure you go to the right destination and are doing all the right things. I also think that people continue with whatever they were raised to do and think. Church is just a habit for many because it’s what you do on Sundays.

The whole notion of “emptiness” probably arises from the thought that we’re all alone in this universe. There isn’t a god(s) watching over us that care about us. It’s probably a negligible issue for those who have never believed someone was watching over them to begin with. It’s not always easy to realize that I’m not going to live forever when that’s all I’ve ever imagined. I used to put my trust and hope in that idea all the time. It was like having a crutch to help me walk with that has now been discarded. The difference between living 70 years, at best, and forever is immense. It just takes some time to get used to and put everything in proper perspective. Again, it’s probably not a problem for someone who never thought of the possibility to begin with.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject matter, and there are undoubtedly more sophisticated responses to these questions; Boyer Pascal’s book, Religion Explained would be a good place to look from an evolutionary perspective.

Friday, May 27, 2011

When god commits an epic fail

My brother-in-law was kind enough to share some of the issues he is dealing with as far as faith goes. As he got into his teenage years, he began to have a desire to go into the ministry. He’s a gifted musician and wanted to take over as the praise leader for a popular local Christian camp. He started taking theology classes to learn and broaden his perspective on religion. At first, this helped strengthen his faith, but his newfound open mindedness ultimately made him question what he was learning. Then, tragedy struck. A friend who he considered very “strong in her faith” seriously injured her spine while at work. They had worked together before as praise and worship leaders. Cognitive dissonance started brewing in his mind, and he began to ponder how god could do that to his most devoted followers.

Other ongoing issues seemed to serve as a constant reminder that all was not well with god’s children. My brother-in-law’s father suffered with chronic back pain that had been a significant issue since he was only a child. The medication his father was on made their relationship less than ideal as he states. His youth pastor, who was a mentor, was also suffering with chronic back issues. His father-in-law is the pastor of a Methodist church, and my brother -in-law sees the way his congregation treats him as further evidence of a god who doesn’t care.

Then, his wife’s grandfather became very ill. A man who had helped millions was suffering immense pain before his very eyes. This same man built hundreds of thousands of homes for the needy, built churches and dedicated every waking moment to the Christian cause, eventually becoming a bishop. He had a series of strokes that took him from being a mighty force for god to a bedridden man in constant pain. His body was so contorted that he couldn’t lie in his bed comfortably. As my brother-in-law puts it, “He recognized no one and was constantly crying from the time he woke till the time he went to sleep. The only recognizable words he said, through the tears, were about the memories of the places and people he had seen and tried to help but were so horrible that he tried to forget. But, now, they were his only memories, and he was reliving them every day.” This brutal, punishing attack against his body went on for ten full months. In my brother-in-law’s words, “God wasn’t just torturing him but everybody in his family.” After finally being released from his cell of torture, it was already too late for my brother-in-law. He had seen the devastation that god allowed to happen and bitter resentment soon emerged. The mere thought of god no longer evokes a desire to serve, more like a strong distain. He’s also fed up with hypocrisy in the church.

People have been “brainwashed”, as my brother-in-law puts it, into believing in a good god and the “God works in mysterious ways” mantra only makes him more infuriated. The problem with that line is that it really doesn’t alleviate the problem. Humans want reasonable explanations, but god provides no such thing. As I explained to my brother-in-law, and have shared with my faithful readers, I too suffered with a persistent state of cognitive dissonance. How could a god allow children to starve to death but take care of a Christian’s every need? I now know that he doesn’t because he doesn’t exist.

My brother-in-law isn’t ready to give up on the idea of some higher power. The “emptiness” he feels when thinking about there not being a god up there keeps him hoping for the possibility. I told him that I had the same problem for quite some time. It has taken a lot of reading, writing and time to get where I am today. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t still wake up in the still of night and become distraught. It’s scary to think that you simply die and are no longer. That’s not the happy ending any of us necessarily want to picture. After all, I used to feel like I could always afford to fuck up this life when I had another chance in the next one. I’ll just have to pick up the pieces and keep trucking forward with what’s left.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Some Bizarre/Stupid Scriptures for the Day

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."- Matthew 17:20

And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron - Judges 1:19

If nothing is impossible through faith in god, why isn’t god capable of driving out people in iron chariots? And, as the website whywontgodhealamputees suggests, why aren’t people moving large objects and placing them wherever they so choose? I really used to wonder why my prayers had such ill effect in my personal life. Apologists may try to suggest that it’s just a figure of speech. Jesus didn’t really mean that minimal faith would give one the ability to move something as massive as a mountain; he was just saying that faith is important, and it can remove barriers in our lives. Some others suggest that the closing of scripture makes such feats unnecessary and are generally impossible. We have the friggin’ Bible so what more could we possibly need? It’s all right there! But how do we know when the Bible is speaking to us or just speaking to the people of the ANE? We must look at the context, right? After the disciples failed to cast out a demon, the man was brought before Jesus to tackle the problem. Jesus performed the task which prompted the disciples’ question: “Lord, why weren’t we able to cast the demon out?” As it turns out, they just didn’t have enough faith. Coincidentally, lack of faith is often the excuse people use today when something goes wrong. For example, if someone doesn’t get the job they really wanted, it’s because they didn’t have enough faith to believe that they could get it. If they do get the job, it’s because god intervened miraculously! God just can’t lose.

Jesus was never short on miracles and would scold his disciples when they failed to have the necessary faith to perform their own. In fact, Jesus said that those following him would perform far greater works than him-John 14:12. Clearly, miracles were a trademark of spreading the gospel message in Jesus’ time and in the lives of his disciples/followers:

1. The very shadow of Peter healed the diseased, Acts 5:15.
2. Diseases were cured, and demons cast out, by applying to the persons handkerchiefs and aprons that had before touched the body of Paul, Acts 19:12.
3. By the word of Peter, Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead, Acts 5:5, Acts 5:9, Acts 5:10.
4. Elymas the sorcerer was struck blind by the word of Paul, Acts 13:11.
5. Christ only preached in Judea, and in the language only of that country;
but the apostles preached through the most of the then known world, and in all
the languages of all countries. But let it be remarked that all this was done by
the power of Christ; and I think it still more natural to attribute the greater
works to the greater number of conversions made under the apostles' ministry.
The reason which our Lord gives for this is worthy of deep attention.

I know devote Christians who have prayed fervently for things as minor as healing for their back. Do they not have faith as small as a mustard seed? We can quibble about what was implied by using a mustard seed as an example. Some commentators suggest that mustard seeds may start small but they produce the largest of all herbs—implying that faith grows with time. I’m going to take the verse for what it says in a multitude of translations. It clearly implies that a small faith produces huge results. A lack of small faith gets poor results, like the demon that refused to come out for the disciples. If Jesus set the tone for how his ministry is to be carried out, where are all these miracles that should be occurring today? I challenge anyone to perform a genuine miracle under controlled conditions so that it can be truly verified as genuine. To date, I haven’t seen this happen. I’m sure James Randi would be happy to oblige any volunteers. Oh, wait, I forgot that it’s too easy just to con people out of their money by performing one hoax after another on TBN.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A wonderful poem entitled, The Bible Makes You Better?

Rebecca Rose, over at the aptly named Rebecca Rose Poetry website, happens to have a beautiful poem on that nasty booger that we all love to hate in the Old Testament named God. She's even got direct scripture verses to support the poems main theme. So, without further ado.

The Bible Makes You Better?

So atheists have no morals ‘cause we don’t believe in god,
But the Bible gives you morals? I find that rather odd.

God declared to Abraham, “Go kill your only son.” (Genesis 22:2)
In the end, he didn’t have to; but what would you have done?
All kids who “curse their parents” should now be put to death, (Leviticus 20:9)
Plus kill all Sunday workers! (Will anyone be left?) (Exodus 35:2)
If you rape a virgin, marry her! Then everything is great. (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
Says God: “Kill men and women; the virgins you can rape.” (Numbers 31:17-18)
A brother rapes his sister; a father tells the crowd, (2 Samuel 13:11-14)
“Gang-rape my virgin daughter!” This Bible makes you proud? (Judges 19:22-24)

God slaughters every firstborn in a fearsome show of might, (Exodus 12:29-30)
Atheists are horrified – hey God! That wasn’t right!
The Bible’s full of murder – did God forget it’s wrong? (1 Chronicles 21:14, Deuteronomy 3:3-7)
Dead women, children, animals – the bloody list goes on. (2 Kings 10:25, Joshua 6:20-21, Numbers 15:35-36, Deuteronomy 20:16-17, Psalms 137:9, Deuteronomy 13:15-16, Joshua 11:21-22, Ezekiel 9:5-7, Hosea 13:16)

The Bible talks ‘bout buying slaves, just like we buy our bread. (Leviticus 25:44-46)
I wonder why it didn’t say that slavery’s wrong, instead?
Oh here’s a moral teaching! To kill your slave’s a crime. (Exodus 21:20)
But beat him so he’s down for days? Well, that’s completely fine. (Exodus 21:21)

You believe the Ten Commandments, the “one man one woman” rot,
Gonna kill those Sunday workers? Do you believe, or do you not?
If you stand up for one part of it, you stand up for the rest.
Those virgin rapes, those massacres – I dare you! Call it blessed.

Atheists know that murder’s wrong; rape and slavery too.
Didn’t learn that from the Bible. Hey Christians – nor did you!
The slaughters, all that raping – you think those things are good?
All those acts should be condemned – a moral person would.
You think you’ve higher morals ‘cause you’ve read that violent book?
The Bible makes you better? Better take another look.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

End Time Predictions

I’m so glad and unsurprised to still be sitting here well after the supposed annihilation of mother earth. How many times are people willing to fall for this b.s.? It’s like there must be small pockets of in breeders who have no access to the internet. Most of us can do a quick google search and see that a pretty obvious pattern emerges. People make apocalypse predictions all the time, and every single one of them have failed. I understand that there are a lot of wacky Christians that want the world to end so they can stop living out their miserable existences here on earth, but the outcomes of these predictions are strikingly predictable. This sort of thing happens on a yearly basis, rather it be Jim Jones, David Koresh or any random idiot's misreading of Nostradamus.

What’s more amazing is that people’s faith and convictions often become even more sincere when a prophecy fails. They immediately make excuses for the unsuccessful prophecy, blame it on a misinterpretation and/or explain the unfavorable outcome through rationalizing and dissonance reduction. A powerful leader, full of rhetorical zeal, can make any failed prophecy a success. The group leader simply stretches the date out further and the group cohesion remains intact.

Personally, I’ve never been a part of any church that made end time predictions. Generally speaking, my pastors would warn the members that the time was “ever so near” but certainly not pick out a specific date. They might even point to all the world events that were occurring which pointed to Armageddon, such as wars, natural disasters and famine. Of course, those kinds of events have been around for thousands of years but it sure helps carry credulous believers onward. I’ve been hearing the same nonsense since I was little. I think it’s one of the churches many ploys to keep people coming back each Sunday with eagerness and get new recruits that are fearful of the fire and brimstone.

More “sensible” Christians will tell you that nobody knows the day or hour but the father (Matthew 24:36). But, if you call yourself a prophet of god, we see that the ballgame changes a bit. Prophets throughout the Old Testament made all kinds of predictions that seemed to come true. I think we can safely assume that a failed end time date equates to a false prophet. Today, you can find a so-called prophet in every Charismatic Evangelical circle you come across. People follow them because of their rhetorical skills and charm, not unlike a crafty politician.

Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait until the next prediction. I think it’s coming soon! The Mayan prediction of 2012 is just around the corner. NASA has explained that there is nothing to be alarmed about, and they don’t endorse this prediction at all but plenty of nutcases will be preparing.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The third talk?

It has been quite some time since I updated my prestigious readership on my personal struggles with “coming out”, so I thought that I would do so now. First, some background, I’m not what you would call an extrovert. I rarely say things which I’m not completely sure of either. In short, I really suck at verbal bullshit. So, I don’t go around as any type of militant atheist willfully spouting out verbal diarrhea when I’m not 100% clear on what I’m saying. I also don’t necessarily retain a lot of information through book reading unless I reread the book many times. More often than not, I might gain one piece of information that stays with me after reading a 300 page book. It’s kind of like when I was in grad school and the professor told us that we would only remember 10% of what we learned throughout the program (I sometimes wonder why I bother reading at all!). I tend to process much better in writing and am less distracted by environmental factors. To be perfectly lucid, most of my family still doesn’t know much more about my stance than they did a year ago. Some of them still don’t know that I’m an atheist at all unless I’m just unaware. This is why I write this blog, to get my thoughts out in a clear and precise manner.

I did have a brief conversation with my mother about my lack of faith while waiting at the hairdresser’s. She accused me of being involved in witchcraft, emphasizing this whole good versus evil thing. She said something to the effect of, “You must be working for the devil then.” I said, “Well, I don’t actually believe in hell so I must be doing it unknowingly.” Surprisingly, she had nothing further to say and, after a rather awkward silence, I just changed the subject. On another occasion, after an occurrence of several health problems, my mom suggested that I was no longer under god’s protection, so I was succumbing to these demonic health related intrusions. There’s this whole notion in certain Christian circles, particularly of the charismatic evangelical variety, that people are impervious to illnesses when they are walking closely with god, and his trusty sidekick, Jesus. When someone does get sick, the person is blamed for a lack of faith so, conveniently, god can never lose. It was actually the “miracles” of modern science which nursed me back to health from some annoying skin conditions, and I was back to my ole’ hedonistic ways in no time. Or, perhaps, it was those prayers that my father-in-laws church was sending out to me *wink**wink*.

I really don’t mind if people pray for me or even pray in my presence. I just sort of stare into space and wait for the wasted time to be over. I’m also not the type of atheist or person, for that matter, to correct people when they say, “bless you” if I sneeze. It really doesn’t bother me, and I recognize it for what it’s worth, an ingrained cultural phenomenon.

You know how I used to talk about worrying about death and hell? Well, most of those feelings have subsided but they creep up in the dead of night from time to time. It is a less frequent intrusion though. I still have a problem saying the “A” word in public when someone queries about my religious convictions or lack thereof. I found myself telling someone that I essentially “lost my trust in religion” instead of saying that I simply became an atheist.

Along with becoming an atheist, I became much more liberal in most of my beliefs, aside from abortion—but, even that has changed a bit as well. I think that there are good times for early term abortion such as cases of incest and rape. I think that late term abortion should almost never be accepted though. Bottom line, it needs to be done EARLY or not at all.

My brother-in-law now knows that I’m an atheist, and he really wasn’t too disappointed. He actually congratulated me on my blog and thanked me for “educating” him on things that the church fails to say. I’m starting to wonder if he isn’t “turning to the dark side” himself. But, he can surely examine the evidence himself and come to his own conclusions. I’m not here to convince anybody of anything. I want them to really read the Bible, especially some of that O.T. ass kicking god does. And, then, I want them to give science a try even though it can be a boring pain in the neck at times. I have certainly struggled mightily with books on astrophysics and cosmology but I try to endure! I’d much rather be playing a game of Bad Company 2 at times but I think that it’s a healthy and worthwhile endeavor.

My wife still hasn’t listened to the Sam Harris clip I wanted her to listen to. So, I feel no obligation to indulge her or explain myself until she does so. He highlights all the repugnant aspects better than I can and I agree with him 100%. Other than the above, my life really isn’t that much different. I still play video games, work in the same field and enjoy a good workout. There are days where I think very little about science and religion, and there are days where it is at the forefront of my mind. One of the best things about this whole atheist venture is that it got me back to writing, and it gave me something to write about. My family and teachers always said that I had a knack for writing, but I just didn’t have anything substantive to say. So, I finally have that, and it’s been a grateful journey thus far. I love expressing myself artistically and on an intellectual level, as tiny as it may be. I've also learned to stop acting like I know it all. When I first became an atheist, I was like a child with an AK-47. I was out to destroy everybody and to invoke as many arguments as possible. But, I was pretty much as uneducated when it comes to science as many of the evangelicals I was arguing against. I've since backed off from debating with people until I feel like I have enough respectable knowledge to really argue with them. I still try to persuade people to look at their religion differently, just not so voraciously.

Lately, I’ve been reading Hector Avalos’, Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence. I may write a brief review on it at another time. Basically, it argues that religious violence is the result of scarce resources, resources based on sacred space, salvation, inscripturation and group privilege. These resources can be real or imagined, but they still create a situation of scarcity. Other groups don’t have access but the in-group is claiming that they have the genuine article. Avalos’ sometimes uses examples from the Bible to show cases where violence was evoked as a result of scarce religious resources. This was kind of confusing because I wasn’t sure if Avalos was suggesting that these were real historical examples illustrating his central argument, or if he was suggesting that violent events in history have occurred because of these stories. Anyway, I may continue to flush out my thoughts on this at a later time.

Well, please be sure to check out Skeptics if you haven’t yet. There’s three excellent bloggers combine forces over there and give us all a great education on a routine basis!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Here I am, burning in hell

I like to do a little poetry from time to time and thought I would entertain my rather massive readership with a little something about my experience in hell:

I should have known better
when he talked to me in all those love letters
I should have tried more voraciously to understand
that ordering the execution of women and children was a moral and justified plan
Like a good father sometimes does, God did some things to his children that they just couldn’t comprehend
This seems to be an ongoing but necessary Old Testament trend
But, now his infinite justice has been served
A never ending punishment is what I deserve
I should have listened more keenly to Pascal’s Wager
even though it seemed implausible according to Occam’s razor
I should have realized that Christianity was the only way
and all these other religions were just there to lead me astray
People in India should have come to their senses
instead of believing in Hinduism and committing such deleterious offenses
They should have came to the Christian nation where corruption is a thing of the past
and learn about Jesus’ love that will always last
Instead, Gandhi is burning in hell with me for getting it all wrong
We could be together in heaven singing praiseful songs
There is no end to my torment here in sight
I should have just believed even when my mind was telling me something didn’t seem right
But, god loves me so much that he sent me to the place I asked to go to all along
I didn’t believe in hell either but that was clearly wrong
God really did make us out of dirt from the ground
Evolution and its many discoveries were god’s trickery and markedly unsound
He was just testing our faith and seeing if we would still hold strong
just like he did to Peter when the rooster sang its song

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hector Avalos on the Bible's poor archeological evidence

Hector Avalos, author of The End of Biblical Studies and PhD from Harvard University, discusses the poor archeological evidence surrounding many major events, and people in the Bible: the Exodus of 1 to 2 million Hebrews who left not a shred of evidence behind in their forty year shenanigans through the desert, Solomon’s Temple, King David’s massive empire and JC himself. There is neither archaeological nor Extra-Biblical written evidence for these events that compels one to believe any of it. Does nobody else find it bizarre that no mention of King David or Solomon is found anywhere outside of the Biblical text? Solomon had monarchs from far and wide come and see him because of his vast wisdom but no speaking of the man outside of the Bible. David’s empire was vast but nothing remains to confirm that he even existed. God covered his tracks or this is just mythology. I’ll let you decide what seems more plausible.