The Gypsy Curse

Over at Evangelical Realism, we’re continuing our look at Pastor Stephen Feinstein’s debate with Russell Glasser, and I I can’t help but think of a post I did a few years ago about Jesus and the Gypsy Curse.

It’s like a scene from an old B-grade black-and white horror flick: Jesus is walking down some dank alleyway in Jerusalem and carelessly bumps into an old gypsy woman, knocking her in the mud and muck, and then thoughtlessly laughing at her misfortune. Her deepset eyes blaze, and she scowls at him. “A curse upon you,” she mutters. “From now on, your followers and supporters will be unable to accuse their critics of any fault or fallacy without being guilty of the same thing themselves.” He, like all B-grade movie heroes, doesn’t take her seriously until her curse starts coming true. Only then does he realize, to his horror, that the curse is inexorable, inescapable, and infallible.

Yeah, cheap entertainment, but if you enjoy that sort of thing, come on over, we’ve got lots.

In the woo zone

Everybody get out your patented Gullibility Boots, you’ll want them buckled up to about mid-thigh for this one:

“Every cell in my body tingled with pure joy,” that is a common statement made by anyone who just entered “The Zone” state of consciousness. The euphoria reflects the fact that anti-aging and stress hormones are surging through our body, a signature of “The Zone” experience. Faith-based athletes are more likely to experience this elevated state of consciousness, simply because they have streamlined their thoughts and emotions to be focused on the highest vibration frequencies.

Mmm, faith-based higher vibration frequencies, oozing into your bloodstream and cleansing away all those icky, stinky toxins. But wait, I left off the last sentence of that paragraph.

We see this focus, each time they do the “Heart Pump” and point to the Heaven’s, a gesture birthed from my book.

OMG, this article is written by the guy who invented fist pumps? Wow! Like, I mean, wow, man.

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Question of the week: Will Jesus protect me?

It’s fascinating sometimes to dip into the real conversations that people are having, just to see what kind of world they live in. Ok, there’s an element of tabloidish voyeurism here, I admit it, but I can’t help taking a peek now and then. Here’s my pick for Question of the Week, from Yahoo! Answers.

Will Jesus protect me from the demons that desire me to sin?

The correct answer to that question should be pretty obvious, if boring. But how do Christians deal with Jesus’ consistent and universal failure to provide believers with protection from temptation?

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An informal competition

In honor of the new year, I’m going to try something different. We’ve seen a few billboards over the years whose goal is to promote atheism in some way. Some have been good, some have been meh, and a few have been counterproductive (in many people’s eyes, at least). We need more good ones.

So here’s my idea. Let’s have an informal contest to design a good billboard promoting atheism and/or skepticism. To enter, grab your favorite graphics program, put together a mockup whose proportions match a standard billboard size (but reduced to monitor-friendly pixel dimensions of course), and then put it up on Flickr or deviant art or some other online picture service and send me the link. Then at the end of January, 2013, I’ll nominate the 5 submissions I like best and put it up for a vote. It’s just for fun, and unfortunately I can’t promise any cash prize or anything, but maybe if we get some good designs, some individual or organization might pick one and make a real billboard out of it.

Official rules below the fold. [Addendum: in rule 3, clarified that entrants are responsible for securing their own licensing, permissions and releases for any materials and/or persons appearing in their entries.]

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Jesus and Santa

Christmas is all about traditions, which means doing the same thing year after year. And so, in the true spirit of Christmas, I am posting my annual list of the Top Ten Reasons why Santa is Better than Jesus.

10. Santa does not endorse any political candidates or parties.

9. If you’re bad, Santa gives you a lump of coal, he doesn’t try to turn you into one.

8. Santa comes to town riding a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer; Jesus comes to town riding someone else’s ass (which seems to have become a tradition among some of his followers, by the way).

7. Jesus says he loves little kids, but Santa actually lets them sit in his lap.

6. Santa doesn’t spend all his time obsessing over how other people have sex.

5. Santa can run his whole enterprise, year after year, without begging for donations.

4. Some of history’s worst atrocities and injustices have been committed by people who believe in Jesus, but NONE of them have been committed by people who believe in Santa.

3. Santa is satisfied if you’re just reasonably good most of the time—he doesn’t demand the death penalty for everyone who fails to be absolutely perfect.

2. Santa cares enough to come back every year.

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So, what are you doing for the end of the world?

I don’t have a whole lot on my mind today, so I thought I’d just open up a thread for you guys to talk. My suggested topic is the end of the world, as scheduled by the Mayans for the 21st of this month (or not). Any parties being planned? Seen anybody building any mountain-top bomb shelters in your area? Has Nostradamus come back from the dead yet?

What bemuses me the most is the number of people who apparently expect the world to end next week, on 12/12/12, instead of 12/21/12. Somehow the number 12, repeated 3 times, is sufficient proof for—well, whatever.

Anyway, open topic: share your favorite Mayan calendar story, or bring up something completely different. It’s up to you.

 

Eyewitnesses

Seems like creationism, and specifically young-earth creationism, is poking its head up once again in the wake of Rubio’s uninformed comments regarding what we know about the age of the earth. As Ed Brayton reports, both Bryan Fischer and Joseph Farah have recently argued that no one knows how old the earth really is because none of us were there when it was first created. God is the only eyewitness, they claim, and therefore we should just take His Word for it.

Well, Bryan and Joe, I hate to disagree with you, but if you take Genesis literally, then God is not the only eyewitness. I’ll grant you there’s no human alive today who was around at the origin of the earth. But if you read Genesis 1, you’ll find that God created the heavens on the same day He created the earth. And we’re all eyewitnesses to the (non-)creation of the universe.

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AiG’s outreach to atheists

I actually got this off a friend, but it’s kind of fun. You know how Answers In Genesis likes to target most of their material at weak and wavering Christians (especially if they have too much cash on their hands)? Well, now they’re extending that same hand of duplicity fellowship to atheists as well, in the form of a post entitled “Dear Atheists,” by Bodie Hodge. And believe me, it’s everything you’d expect from a ministry like AiG.

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