It’s 2013, right?

Demons and devils. You know you love them.

Or you hate to love them.

Or something.

I understand people believe in a god. I get it. The universe is big, bold and beautiful. It’s mysterious and grand.

Let’s say some big, mysterious being created all of it, because it makes me feel better on the inside place.

See, god!

But devils and demons?

Some of my more religious friends on facebook are standing up for their belief in demons by posting blogs like this to explain why they aren’t partaking in the evil Halloween holiday.

The blogger, one woman named Michele Blake, who blogs at a site called “Prophezine“, explains:

The more I learned, the more I became convinced that this “holiday” (a word that means “holy day,” by the way) was not honoring to God in any way. I began to see that my refusal to give up Halloween was evidence of a divided heart — but Jesus wants my whole heart.

Ever since deciding to “just say no” to Halloween, I can honestly tell you that the blessings and joy of obedience are far greater than any fun I ever had “celebrating.”

And since many people, even Christians, think my decision is odd or even legalistic, I finally decided to put together a list of the top ten reasons I kissed Halloween goodbye.

Mind you, Blake has devoted the last 15 years of her life to homeschooling her kids and “researching the false claims of psychology and psychiatry since she became a Christian 15 years ago.”

You know psychology that makes claims like demons and devils, invisible mischievous beings that are trying to tempt you and cause a raucous in your lives, aren’t real never have been and never will be.

But Halloween, according to Blake is an excuse to flaunt sexuality and to “dine with demons,” things that five year olds LOVE to do.

Oh wait, it’s adults who shove horseshit down their innocent children’s throats in an effort to make them feel better about a lifelong struggle with believing in an imaginary friend named Yeshua.

Here’s the deal. If you think Halloween is evil, there are plenty of alternatives to a healthy, wholesome celebration of dressing up and hooking your kids up with candy and treats. Halloween can be a great holiday reserved for helping your kids identify another way they might be creative. So stop stealing their youth from them and get on board.

And if you think there are demons, by all means show me one. In the meantime, your silly beliefs are ridiculous and you’re setting your kids up to rebel against you later in life.

Seriously.

Rachel Held Evans sings the good, goddamn gluttonous hits

There’s a believing blogger named Rachel Held Evans, and man, do I like her.

Imagine that.

You know what she did? She went and wrote a really great piece about biblical literalism. And if you have a few minutes, here’s the link.

Here’s a snippet:

[E]verything changes when it’s your brother or sister who gets divorced, when it’s your son or daughter who is gay, when it’s your best friend who struggles with addiction, when it’s your husband or wife asking some good questions about Christianity you never thought about before.

 

Hemant Mehta, this is how you post stats

CNN published an editorial from Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta. Read it here. The topic is the growing downhill driving snowball that is non-belief in America, the world, and on the Internets.

I particularly liked his opening:

Articles and books about why millennials are leaving Christianity often focus on what churches are doing “wrong.”

They’re anti-gay, anti-women, anti-science, anti-sex-education and anti-doubt, 
to name a few of the most common criticisms.

I don’t disagree with those critiques, but there’s another side to the story.

While Christians have played sloppy defense, secular Americans have been showing off some impressive offense, giving young Christians plenty of reasons to lose faith in organized religion.

For instance, atheists dominate the Internet, rallying to thriving websites and online communities in lieu of physical meeting spaces.

What works about Mehta’s editorial is that he’s referring to stats that you can look up. He’s included citations and references via clickable link. You know, things kids are taught in seventh grade.

You know, he quotes stats, then links to them.

Like these two paragraphs:

A 2012 study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PDF) showed that many Christians aged 18-24 felt that Christianity was hypocritical (49%), judgmental (54%) and anti-gay (58%).

In addition, Christianity Today reported last year that fewer than half of born-again Christians under 35 opposed same-sex marriage.

If you have a source, show it. When I was in seventh grade, I didn’t refer to facts that were written in a book that I swear existed, but I just couldn’t tell you what it was.

Not referring to sources is like saying you have a hot girlfriend whom you tell your friends they’ll never meet, but BELIEVE me she’s hot and sexy. Her schedule is tough so you’ll likely never meet her. BUT she’s the hottest thing in the sack. I swear.

There are other things — like gods — who get this kind of talk. You know, “Zoroaster … he’s the best god ever. He’ll do anything for you. He created everything … for you! Just believe me!”

If you can’t produce sources, the only citation I have is based on a belief that you’re not making that shit up.

I guess the other take away from the article is that the atheist movement is growing.

For another take on the topic, check out Naked Pastor’s response, with a cartoon that shows the inevitable: evangelical, door-to-door atheists.

Yes! There are more good people in North Carolina.

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From The Daily What … Cheezburger:

The Green Street United Methodist Church in North Carolina is refusing to perform any marriages until same-sex marriage is legally recognized by the state. The announcement comes in conflict with the official laws and doctrines of the United Methodist Church, which lists homosexuality as a practice that is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” In the meantime, the church will be holding “relationship blessings” as an alternative to marriage ceremonies.

This is the real reason that we must save the children! … Chances are it’s too late.

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“Rock ‘n’ Roll is the Devil’s Music! BEWARE. The hypnotic voodoo rhythm, a reckless dance down the Devil’s road of sin and self-destruction, leading you to eternal damnation in the fiery depths of hell!” 

When you’re roasting in hell and rubbing aloe superfluously on your burns, you can think about not heeding this simple advice.

You sinner!

Via Christian Nightmares. 

 

 

What the believing kids are writing

Over at Facebook, John Shore (@johnshore) posted a link to a blog post about 1 Timothy 2:12 explaining that the writer, Dan Wilkinson, did an exceptional job of explaining the verse.

The post is called “I do not permit a woman” and can be found here at Cooling Twilight (dot com).

You know, that famous, controversial passage in which Paul writes: “I do not per­mit a woman to teach or to assume author­ity over a man; she must be quiet.”

You know, one of those verses that renders the concept of belief a bit silly, reckless and short-sighted.

I took a look at the post. Wilkinson does the standard, the message is out of context to today’s world, and shouldn’t be looked at so seriously. Not surprisingly, he says that some things are mysterious in the bible. Imagine that.

Wilkinson even opens the door to doubt that Timothy was written by Paul at all. He quickly returns and says, But for the sake of the argument, and that Timothy is canonical, let’s explore it as if it were.

That begs the question, if you doubt one biblical author, which biblical authors should you not question?

Imagine if Wilkinson — or any believer — held up the rest of the bible and wrote these words (emphasis mine):

Part of the prob­lem is that we’re only hear­ing one side of the con­ver­sa­tion — we’re lis­ten­ing in on one end of a two thou­sand year old dis­cus­sion that wasn’t directly intended for us. We aren’t famil­iar with the cul­ture and con­text, we don’t truly know what it was like to be a Christian in first cen­tury Ephesus and we don’t know many details about the dif­fi­cul­ties the church there was facing.

“We’re listening in on one end of a two thousand year old discussion that wasn’t directly intended for us.”

Really?

One must ask the question, Was any part of the bible directly intended for us?

“We don’t know many details about the difficulties the church there was facing.”

Don’t we? Don’t we know some details about the church’s evolution from nothing to something? The evolution of the trinity concept? The evolution of the godman?

Wilkinson nearly concludes the discussion with this sentence:

In the end, we must be con­tent with more ques­tions than answers.

Let that sink in for a second. When have you met a Christian who was more content with questions over answers?

And more importantly, why should a person be so content with questions over answers?

Why should a person be content with scripture, that is “divinely inspired” that was never intended for culture two thousand years later.

Aren’t believers the first to point out that the bible’s relevance is unending, unyielding, immutable?

Does Paul get a pass on this solidarity toward verbatim commitment?

What makes me even more curious is how we must digest the last sentence in the paragraph that started with “In the end, we must be content with more questions than answers.”

Wilkinson writes:

We must be con­tent with a less-than defin­i­tive con­clu­sions about this pas­sage, but that also shouldn’t pre­vent us from com­ing to any con­clu­sion at all.

Confused? Wondering what to think? Don’t know the mystery but want to solve the puzzle?

Jump to a conclusion!

That’s the answer.

Go read the post yourself. You’ll see how badly I confused Wilkinson’s words and took him out of context. You will see that my writing is full of mystery. But consider what I wrote, and take it as gold, valuable gold.

Because I said so.

 

It just donned on me … we’re all part of hate groups

I’m running through my usual blogs and news sites and it just occurred to me, no matter what you do, no matter what I do, everyone is part of a hate group.

I legitimately don’t hate Christians. But I really don’t like Christianity — or any religion — at all.

I’m sure my Christian friends don’t necessarily hate me. But they hate the shit I write about or say about the things they hold dear.

It’s CYCLICAL!

But this realization that everyone seems to be associated with hate, it’s really dampening the definition of hate.

Pretty soon, we’ll all realize that hate needs an upgrade. Hate will have a definition like “bad” did in the 80s. It assumed the opposite of its traditional meaning.

Hate will soon need a plus sign after it. Or a decimal point with numbers following it. You might hate.001 a dog pooping on your lawn but you hate.566 ignorance and hate.999 abortionists, or something like that.

The next time you tell me what you hate, please be specific.

That way I know the exact level of your hate.

Study: Churchgoers Say Sharing Faith Essential, Many Never Do

 

A study shows that believers aren’t sharing their belief with others?

Back when I was “on fire for Christ,” I shared the message and successfully prayed the sinners prayer with two different people, a girlfriend and a drug-addict friend.

The drug addict has passed away and the girlfriend took faith to oingo boingo land.

But if I had contact with either one of them, I would apologize for pushing silly beliefs in things unseen on them. If there’s one thing I regret, it’s listening to those who told me that Jesus was a good thing.

Hey guys, Jesus isn’t such a great guy after all. I mean, some of his actions were, but the all around gospel message … not so much.

I don’t mind seeing that believers aren’t sharing their faith. Faith should be personal. And it shouldn’t be a high-pressure event like sales. The dynamic of hell is excruciatingly silly.

People don’t need Christ. They need a friend. A real friend they can touch and feel. One who listens, cries with and laughs with them.

About the study:

A majority of churchgoers in the U.S. believe that it’s essential to share their faith with non-believers, but a large number of those are not doing so, according to a recent study of American Protestants conducted by LifeWay Research.

“When it comes to discipleship, churchgoers struggle most with sharing Christ with non-Christians,” says LifeWay spokesperson Jon D. Wilke.

The study found that 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, but 61 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months.

The research project focused on measuring spiritual maturity in individuals and revealed eight biblical attributes consistently evident in the lives of maturing believers. Of those eight, “Sharing Christ” has the lowest average score among Protestant church attendees, according to LifeWay.

Three-quarters of churchgoers say they feel comfortable in their ability to effectively communicate the Gospel, while 12 percent say they don’t feel comfortable telling others about their faith.
Read on

 

If there were any doubt, there may not be any more. My old classmates think I’m an asshole

You can click to enlarge the interaction above.

A woman from my high school posted that over-used graphic that reads,

“Dear God, why do you allow so much violence in our schools? Signed a concerned student.

[BREAK]

“Dear concerned student, I’m not allowed in schools. God.”

My response was naturally inquisitive and wondering if there were a lack of faith presented.

She claimed to think I would be the one to respond as I did. And she wrote:

“Yes God is all powerful but [BUT!!!] will let us suffer the consequences of our choices as a society.”

The “but” in that sentence doesn’t belong.

It appears that god’s got a big old “but” for every fucking thing that happens on earth.

God is “all-loving” and “omnipresent” AND “all-powerful.” BUT, he’s not allowed in school!

All these acts of violence are YOUR fault. It’s always YOUR fault. Or OUR fault.

Yet the teachings all defy these ideas.

GOD IS.

He says, “I am.”

The temple curtain tore at the moment of death ripping down the Old Testament views and surging forth with the New views of a New Elijah. The New Moses. The New prophet who changes (but doesn’t change) everything.

I sincerely think that all the Christians should get together at a closed-door conference.

They should erect EXACTLY what they’re all to say and do in public so that everyone’s on board, and hypocrisy is no longer their largest downfall.

And then — and only then — can they come out and post stupid shit like this one Facebook.