Trying to explain to myself why I’m upset with Donald Trump.
Trying to explain to myself why I’m upset with Donald Trump.
Okay, boys and girls, today I want to talk about sh*tholes!
When God made the world, there were no sh*tholes.
Then, God made people.
And people made sh*tholes.
We didn’t do it on purpose!
Sh*tholes are just what happens when we’re selfish.
We think we’re smarter than God.
When we elect dictators to rule over us…
…we get a sh*thole.
When we refuse to take responsibility for our behavior…
When we rage against Donald Trump for using the same language we’ve used to describe him…
When pastors preach about their own virtuousness…
When Haitians and Africans are esteemed on the basis of their nationality…
When congregations tolerate political rhetoric and virtue signaling in place of biblical truth…
…yeah. That’s right.
Boys and girls, we’re all sh*thole people.
Africans, Haitians, Russians, Americans, Scandinavians…
…all of us.
Does that make you angry?
I’m not surprised.
Sh*thole people get mad when they hear the truth.
Boys and girls, the Gospel is meant for sh*thole people.
“…perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sh*tholes Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (Branyan paraphrase)
You’re not better than Donald Trump.
Haitians aren’t better than Donald Trump either.
We’re all in the same place, kiddos.
But we don’t have to STAY there.
Quit listening to the blustering self-righteousness of “Pastor” Watson.
Go find a real preacher.
God didn’t invent sh*tholes.
And He doesn’t expect you to live in one.
One of my favorite American disasters is “tolerance”.
Specifically, our tolerance of religious quackery.
The “non-religious” folks are guilty of perpetrating their share of superstitious hocus.
Here’s some that came from an enlightened humanist.
As a rational thinker, I believe in the equality of all humans here on earth, that all faith-based systems hold equal weight (they are the imaginations of humankind, created to explain the explainable and form divisions among societies), and that we are all bound for the same destiny, which is back to nature.
I’m suspicious when you tell me you are a “rational thinker”.
Do you lack confidence in your dialogue to lead me to that conclusion?
Using just the evidence of your thoughts, I might think you’re irrational?
You didn’t have a strong start when you said, “I believe in the equality of all humans here on earth…”
Obviously, this is not true.
Humans are different sizes, genders, colors, ages, nationalities, and have differing capacities for rational thought.
There are no rational standards by which all humans are equal.
Unless you are referring to something spiritual like…
…that’s not it because “all faith-based systems hold equal weight (they are the imaginations of humankind…)”
You have constructed a flawless specimen of a “self-defeating statement”.
If ALL faith-based systems are equal that includes your faith in rational thought.
Rationality isn’t something that can be measured, tested or proven.
Trusting that your mind is reasoning correctly is an act of pure faith.
Your statement, “…we are all bound for the same destiny, which is back to nature…”
That isn’t rational thought either.
It’s faith-based guessing.
Which, as you said yourself…
…comes from your imagination…
…is equal to all other faith-based systems…
…and forms divisions in society.
I’m pointing out these errors so you’ll be able to spot them yourself in the future.
You can’t just tell me you’re a rational thinker.
You’ve gotta provide some evidence.
Imagine a world with no religion.
(BTW: John Lennon wasn’t the first person to suggest this…)
Now, just for fun…
What laws could exist in a culture with no religion?
Let’s discuss it in the comments.
Here’s the definition of marriage: “the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law”
That nails it!
If you like that definition, you don’t need to read any more books about marriage.
…and you don’t need to go to marriage conferences.
If you aren’t satisfied with that definition then, please…
The dictionary defines God as: “a powerful ruler”
The dictionary defines religion as: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”
Using these two definitions, I can say Christianity is: “principles held by faith in a powerful ruler”
That definition is horribly anemic.
“Why are you telling me this, John? Do you think I’m stupid?”
I don’t think you’re stupid.
I think you know some stupid people.
Sometimes, stupid people write books!
This is from a review of Jerry Coyne’s book:
Another example [of] laughable standards of scholarship is his method of repeatedly citing the Oxford English Dictionary whenever he needs to define some key term (“religion,” “supernatural,” etc.). …[imagine] someone writing a book on chemistry and relying on OED…in order to define the key terms. …he defines a bond as a “physical restraint used to hold someone or something prisoner, especially ropes or chains”; and so forth. Obviously this would be a ridiculous procedure, since such terms have a technical meaning in chemistry that corresponds only loosely at best to the ordinary usage captured in the usual dictionary definitions. Now, philosophy and theology too use many terms in technical senses that do not closely correspond to ordinary usage. Hence it is no less absurd to write on those subjects while relying on a dictionary of ordinary usage for one’s characterization of the key ideas of those fields.”
You can’t understand marriage by looking it up in the dictionary.
The dictionary won’t tell you much about God either.
Skeptics will try to make you defend dictionary definitions.
Because those definitions are frail and weak.
The thing is…
…nobody believes in God of the dictionary.
These words all appear in the dictionary:
But the “definitions” don’t really give them meaning.
Star Trek fans, feel free to comment.
Non-Trekkies, feel free to skip this one.
Saw this gem on a blog:
Humanists are equatable to Star Fleet and the Federation. Humans working together for the betterment of mankind, striving to attain personal greatness while at the same time working towards the goals of a peaceful and just society.
Religionists are equatable to the Borg. Working together around a small set of rules, conforming to the same theology and attempting to either destroy or assimilate anything that does not fit their dogmatic mold.
Since I’m not allowed to comment on the blog anymore…
…I’ll destroy the thesis here!
Fire photon torpedoes!
The Borg are probably the most formidable opponent faced by the Federation.
They are a “hive mind” which allows them to quickly adapt to changing circumstances.
The Borg adapt during combat so Federation weapons become ineffective.
The Borg collective “assimilates” the knowledge of every species they encounter.
There are no secrets that are safe from The Borg.
They eventually absorb their enemies and make them part of the hive.
Hence the phrase, “Resistance is futile.”
It is odd for Humanists to label religious people as “Borg”.
The Borg are much more powerful than the Federation.
In the Star Trek universe, the only alien lifeform capable of vanquishing the Borg is “Q”.
“Q” is omnipotent.
The Federation needs help from Q to escape the Borg.
An all-powerful being helps the “Humanists” deal with the vastly superior “religious folks”.
Don’t you love irony?
It’s okay to laugh at the way a person is dressed.
Because clothes are not people.
And people are not defined by their wardrobe.
High-water pants are hilarious.
If religion is a pair of pants then Humanism is the high-water style.
Sorry, Atheists/Humanists, but I can’t take it anymore.
People are laughing at you behind your back.
It’s time somebody told you the truth.
You look silly when you wear that theology.
The poor guy is very confused:
Why, oh why isn’t anyone signing up for the Atheist Conference?
Because…atheism doesn’t need a conference.
The one trait you atheists share is “unpleasantness”.
You’re miserable, angry, disagreeable people.
You don’t want to attend a conference full of people like yourself.
One early problem was that they didn’t seem to have a good purpose, claiming that they’re about uniting “the atheist community on our common goals by repairing recent divisions”, which is not a great premise since many of us are not interested in surrendering a commitment to social justice to make nicey-nice with regressive assholes…
This is the silliness of your high-water religion on full display.
How do you miss this?
Atheism is just hate.
Hate doesn’t need a conference.
You don’t need a keynote to perfect your wretchedness.
I’m telling you for your own good.
Your religion makes you look stupid.
(Don’t start screaming about how you ‘don’t have a religion’…that’s the stupid talking.)
When you wear high-water pants you’re inviting ridicule.
If you don’t want to be mocked, change pants.
Change your pants.
There will be hundreds of well-attended Christian conferences in 2018.
Take that however you want.
I held a grudge the other day.
You know how they are when they’re little.
They look so innocent.
Kinda sweet actually.
After I picked it up, I didn’t want to put it down!
It felt right to hold it.
I got the fever.
I wanted to keep it.
That’s crazy, right?
I’m too old for this stuff.
I don’t have the energy anymore.
It takes up all your time.
It keeps you awake.
Costs you friends, for sure.
“Hey! You guys want to come over to play cards?”
…um…is your grudge gonna be there?
You know it is!
Nurturing a grudge requires new priorities.
It can’t thrive by itself.
I’ll need to commit.
I’ll need to sacrifice.
I’ll need to give up some activities…
…like joy and happiness.
Turn all my attention to the grudge.
So it can grow into full-blown bitterness.
It’s an awesome responsibility.
I’m just not willing to do it.
This is not a good time to bring another grudge into my life.
Maybe I’ll look into fostering somebody else’s.
That will be much easier for me.
I can enjoy the bitter outrage without sacrificing my soul.
I’ll find somebody willing to share their grudge.
Facebook is full of those people.
Lots of people have been praying for me.
These are decent, sincere, kind-hearted people.
I mean no disrespect…
…but that won’t prevent disrespect from taking place.
To be completely transparent…
…and at the risk of destroying any “Christian Cred” I have built-up…
…I don’t expect prayer to work.
“*GASP* That is a disgraceful lack of faith!”
I have a lot of trust in my faithlessness.
I don’t doubt God can handle the request.
I doubt I’ll pray for the right things.
Prayer is like sending a letter to your Congressman.
Do you think your Congressman is going to read your letter?
You know your letter is going to be opened by a staff member.
And your request will be ignored because it’s probably stupid.
You requested public funds so you could install a swimming pool or…
…requested a key to the Congressional washroom or…
…requested you be allowed to annex a city or…
…requested free snow cones for life or…
The point is, you want your Congressman to act according to your specific wishes.
Now, imagine getting a phone call from your Congressman.
That would freak you out, wouldn’t it?
You didn’t really expect your letter would get a response.
The Congressman tells you he’s gotta deny your request because it’s technically illegal to use tax money to buy snow cones.
Same thing with prayer.
Except God actually does call you.
He just doesn’t use the phone.
God speaks directly to your conscience and reminds you that He is in charge.
And that’s why I don’t expect prayer to work.
I’ve already told God that He will need to shoulder the responsibility of my life’s most important decisions.
When I pray for something specific…
…I’m almost certain it’ll be the wrong thing.
I expect my conscience will ring and God will tell me why my request is denied.
Is that pessimistic?
I’ll have to pray about that.
I think I’m smarter than I am.
I’m usually too busy being conceited to notice.
But every now and then I get a flash of introspection.
I get a moment of honest, self-assessment.
And the truth hits me…
…like a javelin between the eyeballs.
Today, I realized that I say arrogant things all the time.
In particular, I say this:
I don’t know what’s going to happen later.
Don’t know that you and I will meet again.
Don’t know that my heart will keep beating.
You shouldn’t trust me when I say, “See you later.”
Because I have no idea if that’s true.
Currently, my Dad is hospitalized in Intensive Care.
He might die today.
Currently, I’m not in the hospital.
I might die today too.
So I shouldn’t tell you, “See you later.”
Later might not include me.
This is the last thing I heard my father say before he slipped into a coma:
He probably thought he’d be able to say something else…
He and I are in the same boat.
Both of us arrogant.
Both of us think we’ve got the future figured out.
Both of us wrong.
I’m going to try to be more humble.
It doesn’t come naturally.
It takes a concentrated effort.
I’ll probably fail many times.
God help me.
Don’t banish me to my own reason!
Don’t leave me alone with my arrogance!
Remind me of my ignorance.
Please do it now.
I may not be here later.