Loftus is a class act. That I can tell, he holds no airs that get misinterpretted as pompous like Hitchens or Dawkins. He wrote a book called “Why I Became an Atheist” that I haven’t read yet, but it’s used in Christian biblical studies courses that discuss atheism at the collegiate level. He studied under William Lane Craig, who I find to be a complete arrogant douchebag. I’ve watched Craig in at least 7 debates, and each one he is so elusive, vague and deliberately focused on how “provable” the metaphysical being of god “is”. He plays the “evolution is evil, therefore it isn’t true” card instead of debating it for its merits or lack thereof.
Even Dawkins doesn’t claim that god doesn’t exist. None of us do.
Loftus respects Craig and would like nothing more than to debate Craig, but Craig refuses to debate former students.
Anyway, go check out Loftus’ blog. He’s respected by Christians for a reason. If you ever wanted to pursue biblical studies, his blog is a must read.
On Thursday, Tina and I woke at my Uncle Rick’s and Aunt Sherry’s house. They had probably been up for a while. At least long enough to walk to a nearby 7-Eleven. They bought us a couple coffees, which was really sweet. They don’t drink coffee at home and figured we might like a cup.
After getting ready we drove over to my Gs’ place for family portraits and then hopped in few cars and headed out for our 11 a.m. brunchy Thanksgiving dinner with the Teermans (my maternal side of the family).
Thanks to grampa’s punctuality, we were 30 minutes early for our 11 a.m. reservation. Damn, we could have played another game of Wii back my grandparents’ game room.
We stood around waiting for five minutes before some of us window shopped at a nearby record store. My brother Jon would have had to bend over at the waist or tape his member down like a male ballet dancer looking through those windows. They had tons of turntable equipment and a huge vinyl collection.
My cousin Steve was the only other cousin at the table other than my sister, my wife and I. Steve and I really didn’t get a chance to talk. I figured that he’d go back to my Gs’ place after lunch. But he zoomed off right after lunch. It’ll be another six years before I see him again. His sister Charity was in town, but she works at a bar until 4 a.m., and she needed her beauty rest. Their brother lives in Charleston with his wife. My other two cousins — Uncle Tim and Aunt Sandy’s kids (mom’s sister) — live in Chicago near Tina and me. My brother Jon lives in North Carolina with his wife and two kids.
Aired August 10, 2009 on Al-Nas TV (Egypt) Transcript:
Mahmoud Al-Masri: My dear brothers, we want to repent, and we want to take by the hand those people who have not yet repented. We should feel pity for them. By Allah, we should not be tough with them. These people are sick. They are sinners. We should feel pity for them, we should care for them. We should act like doctors who care for the sick. You should care for them and feel great pity for them, and seek any ingenious way to make a person repent.
I’d like to tell you a very nice story. Once there was a Muslim who lived next to a Jew. The Muslim saw in the Jew a measure of goodheartedness – however small – and he wanted to find any way to make him convert to Islam. So he went to him and asked: “Don’t you feel the need for Islam? Why don’t you become a Muslim?” The Jew said: “The only thing preventing me from becoming a Muslim is that I love drinking alcohol. I would have become a Muslim ages ago, but the only thing stopping me is that I am an alcoholic.”
The Muslim devised a plan. He said: “No problem – become a Muslim, and continue to drink.” The Muslim didn’t meant this, of course, but he said to him: “Become a Muslim, and continue to drink.” The Jews said: “Fine.” He said: “I proclaim that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” The Muslim said to him: “Now you have become a Muslim. If you drink alcohol, we will carry out the punishment for drinking alcohol on you, and if you renounce Islam, we will kill you.” So the man remained a Muslim and never drank alcohol again. This was a nice trick by this good Muslim.
Reporting on the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll last night on Fox News’ local Chicago affiliate, anchor Byron Harlan employed some funny math in asserting that Sarah Palin is leading the pack for the GOP nomination in 2012:
HARLAN: It looks as if the rogue route is helping Sarah Palin. Her book tour has meant new support. A new Opinion Dynamics poll for 2012 shows her on top when it comes to landing the nomination. Palin is at 70 percent, about a third higher than this past July. Mike Huckabee stands at 63 percent. Mitt Romney’s 60.
Those figures add up to 193 percent. An accompanying graphic tried to squeeze the numbers into one pie chart: