If I didn’t hear that this talking point that democrats and Joe Biden, a devote Catholic, is for something called “Late-term Abortion,” being spread by thinking/breathing Republicans, I wouldn’t believe that anyone actually fell for the idea.
But they do. Gullible people fall for simple lies. It’s not that difficult to understand.
Close friends have repeated it. And it’s just sickening. It’s a super malignant method to demonize one’s enemies. And despite all evidence to the contrary, people are saying they’re going to vote for Trump solely on this point alone.
One friend even said that abortion due to rape was wrong, because that baby wasn’t necessarily conceived from evil. A 15 year old or younger girl should have to live with being raped by her uncle for the rest of her life?
I. was. dumbstruck.
I’m not for abortion, but there are clearly more issues at stake and there are CLEAR methods to avoid the abortion all together.
This is bullshit.
What really needs to happen is we should implement Low cost, safe, reversible vasectomies for all coming-of-age boys. Make it religious ritual like in most other cultures. Women unable to impregnate themselves. Only men make unwanted pregnancy.
“But “partial-birth” is not a medical term. It’s a political one, and a highly confusing one at that, with both sides disagreeing even on how many procedures take place, at what point in pregnancy, and exactly which procedures the law actually bans.“
In the minutes and hours that I’m awake but in bed, I often have delusional conversations with myself about religion. I make up who the conversations are with. But they are with old friends and sometimes with family.
The stories nuance, but often are the same thing over and over. It’s frustrating, because these same thoughts do not occupy mental real estate during the day.
Tina experiences similar conversations, not about religion, but about business or something with a friend. We both wonder if other people experience this same phenomenon, and assume they do.
In these religious conversations that I have, I indubitably offer the arguments that some believer has never heard before and I blow their minds. This is clearly delusion. My ideas are seriously not that great. But they are during these hours, because you know, I’m the smartest guy in the room. /sarcasm.
The conversation/speech I’ve been having the last couple of nights is the following:
Me to a believer: Let me ask you a question. Do you believe that when you’re eating communion that you are literally or figuratively eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ?
Me: When you’re at church and you tell the congregation to bath themselves in the blood of Christ. Is that literal or a metaphor?
When your church makes an alter call or a call to bow down before the Lord, do they literally go to an alter for killing animals and pray or do they figuratively stand there with their hands up to God.
Answer: figuratively stand there with hands raised.
Doyou believe that Adam and Eve, and their children, literally or figuratively, populated the earth, together, incestuously, until God smote the entire population of humanity via the great flood. Then a more-than 500 year old man named Noah, his three sons and their three wives then repopulated the earth with their incestuous children creating the different races, and languages, cultures and everything that followed.
All together: literally.
Do you believe that God literally decided that the best way to re-bridge the gap caused by original sin was to find a 14 year old girl living in a largely illiterate area of the middle east, and impregnate her with himself. She carried that baby to term with a man who believed her story in an era when they couldn’t understand science any more than they understood space … she gave birth to a son with unusual powers to heal and wow. He was murdered for claiming to be God, to satiate the need for sacrificing an animal to the most high. He died, went to hell, returned, spent 40 days (the magic number to many things biblical)
Let me ask you another question: when you refer to heaven or hell, is it a literal place or a figurative place?
Why is the concept of hell so flimsy in the Bible and based primarily in oral, written and illustrative extra-biblical tradition? We wouldn’t have the concept of hell preached in sermons if it weren’t for folks like Hieronymus Bosch, Dante, and stories of the Bubonic plague. The Greeks and Romans had an underworld. And surely that influenced early illiterate people. Do you not know that Jesus refereed to a place called hell, or Gehenna, which was a literal place outside of Jerusalem? It was a trash pile that perpetually burned or smoldered. People went there to die, to throw out their refuse, or to exile when sick.
It’s a literal place, Jeremy.
How is it that you hold these direct traditions of literal blood baths, alters, cannibalism as metaphorical symbols but erase all semblance of metaphor when referring to literally the most insane concepts of storytelling ever.
How do you mentally reconcile holding this level of metaphor mixed with the idea that so many other things are literal?
Answer: you’re possessed by satan.
Trump card. Conversation over.
I know my views are easily debunked by the bible told me so. It’s a seemingly endless, delusional conversation that I’ll never have with real people. But it seems to love the hours of lying in darkness thinking about the world, my brain and its occupation in it.
I hope that writing it out will help push my brain past the insistence on repetition.
Every Christmas, our family attended Christmas church services. It was the highlight of my pyromaniac year.
Upon entry, the ushers handed out little white candles with round cardboard wax catchers to almost everyone taller than 4′. The entire service passed by: the carols, the scripture readings, the sketches, the children’s choir, the message usually from Matthew or Luke and then … the best part … the candle lighting ceremony.
The same message was repeated every time.
“When you spread the word of Jesus Christ, it starts with a single light in the darkness … but it spreads and consumes the darkness with light.”
By the end of the ceremony, the whole church was illuminated in the prettiest flickering light. As everyone sung “Silent Night,” candles were carefully lifted over head.
It was a one of the most beautiful symbols I remember of the church because felt slightly more literal than metaphor. You could see the action it represented. One could watch the spread of light. And as a future photographer, I fell in love with that quality of flickering beauty.
This contradicted the times when the pastor said, “Bow before God,” but in our church it was figurative. We never knelt on our knees like Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists or Wesleyans.
My mind keeps returning to this metaphor of spreading one bit of phenomenon to many and how it pertains to the spread of viruses.
Covid-19 seemingly starts in the darkness, and by George, you can watch it spread via scientific discovery, testing and by following symptoms.
Gosh, you could use the metaphor for systematic racism or any other memetic virus.
Back in late March and April, Tina and I escaped to our investment property in North Carolina. While there, we ended up painting the exterior of the home. We planned on hiring pros to do it, but after the pandemic hit, we wanted to save some money.
It was a welcome distraction.
The color we mainly used was white. Over time, I noticed I left clues of the places I’d been or frequented. There are stairs leading out of our back yard into the front. There were white smears at the place I ascended, grabbed the gate and pulled my way up.
There were white smears on the doorknobs and on the floors where I tracked it through.
It was like there was a permanently illuminated blacklight forensics team showing me my crimes against our property.
Thing was, I thought I was cleaning up after myself. I thought I was washing my hands. But the evidence proved me wrong.
I finally realized that I needed to clean my hands and shoes more often. Not only more often, but more effectively. I needed to remove shoes before entering the house. I needed to grab handles with a clean cloth.
To what end?
To quell the spread of white paint on our clean floors, knobs, faucets, gates and misc property.
It’s quite an interesting observation to literally see what I was touching.
My observation led to an eye-opening moment: if I can’t keep track of everything I’ve touched after I’ve got paint on me, how much does the average bear know exactly what they’ve touched and how much its affecting those around us.
That, in part, is why I decided that wearing a mask was an important part of my public persona. I couldn’t see my path of destruction, just like I couldn’t see anyone one else’s. Someone with Coronavirus cannot see how far their breath goes and I can’t see where it is either.
It’s not a candle held to another candle held to another. It’s not white paint on fixtures around a home.
It’s “invisible” to the naked eye and it could easily be everywhere.
This isn’t to say I’m a neurotic shit.
It’s to spread a light in the darkness.
Too many loved ones still do not wear a mask. They are too big for the monster that is spreading like a Christmas Candle-lighting Ceremony.
Year after year, we get the benefit of a “free” social media site. I use Facebook to advertise my photography and filmmaking, but otherwise would be as far away from it as possible.
Facebook doesn’t have a constitution, nor promise first amendment rights. They have a TOS. A Terms of Service. They own the country and they set the rules.
They also burgle you of as much personal information and sell it to advertisers behind your back. So, yeah, you pay dearly for the site … with your LIFE!
The masses of misinformation on Facebook are clearly a cesspool of frightening ignorance.
During the pandemic, the crazies have filled the virtual streets with signs loaded with apocryphal taunts. Memes abound. Biases are confirmed en masse. People who never had a voice before, seemingly have one. Unlikely cults find and recruit members quickly and easily.
Today I saw a post from a friend on this meme :
The first response was from the guy who posted the meme’s father. It read:
Is he saying that the USA doesn’t help the poor or Christians don’t help the poor? I wonder what he bases that statement on?
My response – which seems to be getting legs – as my friends are screen capping it and sending it to others:
I think many of the faithful think they are benevolent based on their involvement in their churches. Or by proxy because their churches have outreach programs.
Having spent many hours with my very conservative friends over the last year, I have seen first hand how much some believers LOATH the poor. They complain about them incessantly given the topic in conversation. Helping them means telling them they shouldn’t be in full view at their stop lights holding signs. They shouldn’t be visible, because it plagues their green pastures and blue skies.
I agree with you and Mr. Colbert here. It appears that Jesus’ mission of helping and curing the poor and the sick is a willfully forgotten pastime. The only thing selfish people of faith care about is the “next life” where everything will be solved in harmonious cloud life. Here? That’s Satan’s land. There, that’s where all are healed. All are safe. All our happy. All are well fed in a magical economy of what would appear to be socialism to the max. 🙂
I don’t necessarily enjoy being critical of believers. I don’t think all believers are bad or evil, per se. Nor do I think that they — in their minds — are doing something wrong. I believe many people have enough self awareness to see their own hypocrisies. Including myself.
I have two best friends in the south who LOVE their faith and love Donald Trump. One is a guy I grew up with and the other is my dad. Given this info, and I still love them dearly, might indicate my level of consideration, I would hope.
I think the world is a huge landscape to navigate. In theory, we’re all doing and living exactly the way we are in our minds, not remembering that others perceptions of us are usually negative as well as positive. Each one of us is a hypocrite. Each one of us fails and succeeds.
Each one of us mistakenly views our perspective as truth. Some more than others.
Sometimes it’s our inability to identify personal weaknesses and be thoughtful about them.
Yesterday, a friend of mine, a very lovely person I met here on this blog and also in REAL LIFE tagged me on Facebook hoping hear my thoughts on Facebook censoring certain ideas. This person, Julie Ferwerda, author and nurse, entered my purview after I read a post ±10 years ago that she wrote about “dating Jesus.” She wrote that she must make time to spend with her personal savior because it helps cultivate their intimacy. Make him cards! Record His answers. Make time for one another! Read my post here.
I’m sure I was critical of it, because a relationship with Jesus is one-directional. I found it laughable that anyone would “date” the so-called creator of the universe.
While some believe we have His Word to communicate to us. There’s no way to have a “real” conversation with someone who has no tangible voice. So we talk all we want through prayer, to a voice in our heads that many attribute to that of God himself.
At the time, she laughed it off. And I thought that she showed showed enough personal awareness of her foibles and idiosyncratic approach to relationships with invisible friends.
Since then, she wrote a book called Raising Hell, Christianity’s Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire. The book is a verbose meandering of her decision to leave the fold of hell believers. At the time, we had become friends, and I had written a few times here on this blog that hell is the easiest Christian doctrine to research and dispel as fiction. I’d like to think it was the foundation for her book, but I love to think highly of myself. 🤣
She’s recently displaced her views of fervent evangelicalism to replace it with proselytizing the religion of vaccination awareness.
She didn’t write the following. But I did. Her view, in my opinion, is this:
Mark Zuckerberg totally admitted — out loud! — that Facebook tries to prevent anti-vaccine information. This is CENSORSHIP! How can they censor helpful information about the EVILS of vaccination. It’s all a sham scam, perpetuated by Bill Gates and Big Pharma!!!
So here’s this LONG ass thread discussing vaccinations with all her likeminded darlings. It’s not being taken down. There are links in the thread to Bill Gates. To the evils of vaccines. And it hasn’t been censored.
But they’re complaining about censorship.
Does anyone with a pulse not see the irony?
So she tags me and says, “Thoughts?”
I looked at the thread and rolled my eyes. After pointing out the irony that her controversial post was yet to be censored, I responded a few times. Given the opportunity and “welcome” into their house to give my “opinion”:
I believe that it’s inappropriate to discuss controversial issues on Facebook. For instance, I don’t discuss my lack of belief, my political stance, my thoughts against people like you with views like yours … I am now, because it’s on topic.
Why? Because it’s dumb as dirt. I don’t think we would have these arguments if we were in person. We’d be much more delicate — at least in theory. There are better things to talk about than vaccines. And there are better uses of my brain space than to try and convince against something you’re already convinced of.
Just like you changing your mind about hell … these changes happen organically. I could care less about your stance otherwise. I do come from the camp that you’re very misinformed. As do you toward me. Surprise!!!
I believe you have moved your beliefs of hell to that of vaccines. You believe that you’re loving your fellow humans with the gospel of “don’t vaccinate.” So you go on proselytizing rants and raves for a giant conspiracy of censorship. That you’re being marginalized like Christians. Oh the martyrdom of promoting your beliefs!!!
It’s like your brains need so badly to get the world to see the unseen that you latch on to crappy arguments like these and scream, “LISTEN TO ME!!!! I — and I alone — am speaking the truth.”
Only this time it’s not hell and heaven and Jesus … it’s a damn scientific doubt founded on a bunch of hooey capluey.
The Anti-vaccination crew blab about their absent rights and their censored truths. They throw around how they all eschew mainstream media. While claiming that their peripheral media sources are solid, and grounded — no steeped — in research and amazing information! Read them and you, too, will open your eyes to the pit of evils instituted by Bill Gates.
When did Bill Gates get demonized? I can’t really figure it out, but it seems like it’s gained popularity in the last couple years. Check these articles here, here and here.
Bill Gates. He’s the formidable enemy of the anti-vax cult. With his pointy ears, horns, red skin and trident held high with hundreds of dead babies on each spear.
Who publishes a summer reading list so thoughtfully curated and reviewed.
While his blog is a diverse gathering of educational material, the anti-vaxxers are posting endless memes about how evil he is. They’ve taken his words out of context to render him a monster of vaccinations at the peril of you, your loved ones and your fellow neighbors.
Mainstream Media — and all you un-woke people — have fallen into Gate’s hypnotic gaze.
I asked myself recently, “Who do I not like in the world?”
And I answered, “Well, I don’t like Donald Trump.”
Then I asked, “Do I not like him so much that I have demonized him, reveled in his awfulness both on and off the social media court.”
And I responded, “I spend a fair share of time, energy and mental real estate thinking about this guy. Yes.”
And then I asked, “Do you do it ALL the time?”
My response, “Not really. There are good thoughts I have of him. I remember a roast between him and Hillary Clinton before the election in which I saw this one glimmer of kindness toward Hillary in which he tried to pull her seat out for her as she was sitting down. She, in that moment, was a cunt. She was the one who acted the asshole.”
I’ve asked myself a hundred times if I adored Barack Obama as much as Trump supporters adore him. I don’t believe I do. But Trump’s cult of personality is different. Obama was a boring president in comparison. We all got earfuls of how awful he was. How he wasn’t a Christian. Sympathetic toward Muslims. But besides wearing a tan suit and “um-ing” more than the average bear, he was largely flying under a radar. Fox News tended to air their grievances daily. But I never owned a poster. I never thought he was worth adoring. He was just another president doing his best to do the job he was voted in to do.
I look back at my disdain toward George W Bush. I changed my mind about him even though I thought he was a war-mongering prick. But once I heard him talk to his daughters getting interviewed on Ellen. He was on the phone and the girls were in the studio. Hearing his humanity and kindness toward his daughters softened my heart and I totally saw him as a man.
There are plenty of things I wish Donald Trump did differently. But I don’t believe deep down that he’s trying to ruin the world. His views of the world are living out in his day to day life. And while they aren’t my ideals, apparently there are many who adore him.
Because I get more chances lately to spend time with those Donald Trump fans — including my best friends — when I’m in the south at my second home, I get to see first hand that they comprehend his foibles and they overlook them. They think highly of him.
And while it’s like they want me to like their favorite band or love their favorite TV shows … you can’t convince me that I should completely love them or him, too.
It’s like demonizing the devil. Everyone paints him as evil, but he was responsible for opening Adam and Eve’s minds to the so-called truth. He didn’t condemn people to eternal torment, God did. He’s kinda just a bystander with a huge pool of incessantly burning embers. He’s apparently easily defeat-able, but God lets him stick around causing havoc, casting doubt, tempting you with sex, lies and drugs. But God sent the flood as punishment. God kills. Satan seems to just sport cool tattoos and wait for his kingdom to be filled with people who commit the thought crime of not accepting Jesus as the savior of the World.
Bill Gates. That Satan-loving, child murderer and vaccine profiteer. I don’t love him. I could care less. But I do see a tendency for groups to scapegoat someone without merit. And the more I read about him, the more I’m not convinced that he’s going out of his way to benefit off of the world by having it vaccinated.
Like you perhaps, I’m trying to make sense of this vaccination crowd. I ask myself, “Why don’t I make the same connections as they do? I’ve read the same material. I’ve watched the same videos. What am I missing?” Am I sold-out? Am I stuck in a loop of ignorance?
I recently read that in the DSM-5, there’s a term apophenia – the tendency to perceive connections where none exist.
And maybe this is where the issue lies. Humans are pattern seekers. One cannot look into a cloudy sky without identifying forms as representations to a living being or inanimate object. Patterns are everywhere. We tend to connect two points of interest automatically, and if this pattern repeats, we latch and do not let go. I got a cold after I walked outside in a cold rain. Every time I wear this shirt, my team wins. When I put my car in the shop, ten more issues crop up … the mechanic must be sabotaging me. When I test for the coronavirus, more people test positive … so let’s not test.
Almost every group claims their sources of media are the right ones and everyone else’s is the wrong ones. I call bullshit.
When people finally cast a critical eye on all media as being part lie, part truth, part bias, then, and only then, will I listen to anyone preaching a message of “truth.”
At some point, I don’t know exactly when, I decided that I would stop being upset by the news. Especially political news.
I decided to stop being upset about a lot of things.
It’s part giving up. It’s part exhaustion. It’s part for my health. It’s partly so I don’t get upset by other people’s so-called passions. It’s partly to let good enough alone.
The above clip is something that bothers me. And it should. The whole idea that there are some more patriotic than others. That there are some that are more in love with America. That some are more Christian. And some are more American. And others aren’t American, Christian, Patriotic enough … what the fuck is that?
I thought that we all were Americans with different perspectives who live together in unity.
E Pluribus Unum and shit.
But if you go to any news aggregate with a comment section, the comments are so spectacularly anti-the-other-side that any different perspective is considered a troll.
Division is this country’s middle name. It’s sad. It’s very, fucking sad.
And to have a president who promotes differences over similarities. Who refuses to share the umbrella of his views with those that do not think the same … that’s refusal to common decency.
I remember this complaint about Obama. And I guess if you squinted your eyes and tilt your head, you could assume that promoting different progressive ideas means someone feels slighted. Gosh, I would hate to have someone promote their personal agendas around me incessantly without any care for my feelings, beliefs or lack thereof.
These last few months I’ve spent more time with my family in North Carolina since maybe college. I do not refuse their prayers before meals even at my own dinner table. I do not oppose them when they bring up Christian literature or movies or say they’re tired of the leftist conspiracies of evolution and other leftist ideologies. I don’t claim to be more American than they are, even though I do not remotely share their views of God, Jesus, religion, faith, or any of the 100s of billboards that I read driving between Illinois and North Carolina brazenly claiming hell is real and Jesus is real and “when you die, you WILL meet your maker.”
That Yeshua Fog is thick. It’s bold. It’s insecure. It’s constantly reminding, self assuring. It’s superfluous, but I get why it’s almost impossible to walk away from.
It’d be certainly refreshing if the conversation wasn’t so hoity toity, self righteous and dominant. The division muscle is a weird one. I wish it would atrophy and die.
I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.
Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.
It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories.
The other day I posted about the rise in people claiming “no religion” in America. Reader perdebytjie commented about gullibility in South Africa and how pastors left and right are doing outrageous things to claim a magical superiority in order to gain followers. He cited a few stories about pastors claiming to raise the dead, encouraging their congregations to eat grass to cure disease or to get closer to god, and even feeding them crazy things like dog meat and blood …
I think any religious person in America would agree that these pastors are grifters. They are false prophets. They are preying on the gullible, the weak, and the ignorant.
This is where talking about “those pastors” gets tricky. I remember these kinds of stories from as far back as I can remember. I remember being told that people who speak in tongues aren’t “real” believers. Or that TV pastors claiming to faith heal their congregants … those are false.
But that area is quickly grayed when believers of all ilk claim to have a direct line to the creator of the universe, who can somehow defy science and reality by issuing prayers in exchange for earlier healing, or respite from cancers or disease. I’ve been in many situations where someone asks to pray, calls out to God for early healing, and it’s viewed as completely fine. It’s not like those faith healers on TV. It’s different somehow. It’s “realer”. It’s more legit.
It can’t be questioned. It can’t be scrutinized. And if you doubt it, one would be asked to be quiet. Or expected to remain quiet.
I remember being told clearly that healing from God is not magic. Magic is reserved for trickery. Magic is reserved for something that’s not real. But what happens when a person is mysteriously cured of something, that’s providential. It’s supernatural. If it cannot be directly explained, it must be a power invisible to the natural world.
It’s like being told what’s written in a report without reading the actual report. It’s like thinking something is completely true, because, say, a book makes a claim that it was written by an eye witness, but you never met the eye witness or cannot verity the veracity of that claim … yet one would believe the eye witness claim without question.
These topics are difficult to approach. Because most people are skeptical enough of almost everything, except when it comes to their own deeply held beliefs. Then it’s full-on belief train and there’s no inkling of skeptical prowess.
Here are a few links to more of what perdebytjie is talking about: here. here. here.
Thanks for reading. I know there aren’t too many readers right now, but drop a link in the comments for your favorite hoax-y, miracle, bullshit-y articles … would love to read them.
The 2018 GSS was just released and there's some big news. Those of "no religion" (23.1%) are statistically the same size as evangelicals (22.8%). There was also a small resurgence of mainline Protestants, while Catholics are down 3% in the last four years. pic.twitter.com/uiyDSe7M6f
The 2018 GSS was just released and there’s some big news. Those of “no religion” (23.1%) are statistically the same size as evangelicals (22.8%). There was also a small resurgence of mainline Protestants, while Catholics are down 3% in the last four years.
I’ve been quiet-er lately because of a few things going on in my world. But I have been meaning to post this video as well. It’s from the Atheist Experience, a TV call-in show that I occasionally watch.
In this episode, a man’s sons get their dad to call in. The kids are fans of the show, and their dad has been growing away from his dogmatic past thanks to reading different books with different perspectives.
There’s a part where the dad sits down with one of his sons and admits he was wrong on so many aspects of faith. And like many people who grow up and out of faith, he’s now teetering on the idea that all faiths have merit. I remember being taught how evil that was, but it’s merely a stepping stone to the giant, not so giant leap to acknowledging that not believing in the Judeo-Christian God is as simple as not believing in any other god.