Ben Stein on Christmas trees

According to the UK’s Catholic Herald, it seems the War on By Christmas has enlisted a new recruit: Ben Stein.

There’s a story somewhere about Barack Obama referring to a Christmas tree as a “holiday tree,” which is apparently a worse form of persecution than denying Christians the right to marry one another, or something. In a vigorous and principled rebuttal on CBS Sunday Morning (which all good Christians will have missed because they’re in church where they belong), Stein says:

I am a Jew and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it doesn’t bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful, lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against… It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say ‘Merry Christmas’ to me… In fact I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.

Oh my God, Ben, which side are you on? How dare you refer to it as “this happy time of year” instead of calling it Christmas? Are you trying to take Christ out of Christmas? You do remember, don’t you, that this whole “war on Christmas” meme was originally concocted as an anti-Semitic propaganda campaign? That Jews were originally accused of writing secular holiday songs (like Jingle Bells) as an attack on Christmas as a holy day reminding us of the miracle of the incarnation of the Son of God?

Well, maybe he does, and he’s just kissing up. Or maybe he’s just being paid to shill for the conservative Christian majority. Wouldn’t be the first time, eh?

[Read more...]

Archbishop: “Pray for marriage”

Headline: “Catholic archbishop calls for prayer in defense of marriage.”

In a recent letter to his flock, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St Paul and Minneapolis wrote of the duty incumbent upon Christians to defend the proper definition of marriage. The Archbishop also included a prayer in his letter, asking for God’s help in promoting the passage of a “marriage amendment” to Minnesota’s constitution, which would safeguard the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

In the interests of truth in advertising, let me suggest a suitable text for such a prayer.

[Read more...]

Jesus vs Santa

The other day I mentioned the fact that, if you’re just looking for something to believe in, one belief works just as well as any other. And if you are looking for something to believe in, why not believe in something nice, like Santa? With that in mind, here is my list of the Top Ten Reasons 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).

[Read more...]

A riddle

Here’s a riddle for you. What do you call a father who never shows up any more to spend any time with his children, who stays away so much that they wouldn’t even recognize his face or his voice, and never shows up to help when they really need him?

A) A deadbeat dad.
B) God.

Tough one, ain’t it?

 

Morality

“I’ll never understand atheism. I mean, there’s tons of evidence for God.”

“Like what?”

“Like morality, for instance.”

“Morality.”

“Exactly. Everybody knows that there’s a real right and a real wrong. You can’t just make it up and call it morality. It has to come from God.”

“So in other words, you’re telling me that all moral values come from an unmarried Father, and illegitimate Son, and a guy that got someone else’s fiancée pregnant.”

“Yes, that’s—wait, what?”

 

New Christian weight loss program

Have you guys heard the story about closet Muslims secretly sacrificing turkeys to Allah? Yeah, apparently if you’re a good, faithful Christian and you want to avoid “creeping Sharia,” you need to boycott most major brands of turkey this Thanksgiving.

Well, seems to me that this could be the basis for a great weight-loss program. I hereby bless all the food in all the stores, markets, restaurant, and refrigerators in America, in the name of Allah, Bismallah-ulRahman wal Rahim.

There, now all true believers can boycott eating entirely. Take that, demon Gluttony.

(Say, “creeping Shariah”—didn’t I used to go to school with her?)

 

The complete schedule of Dawkins’ non-appearances

William Lane Craig is really hyping Richard Dawkins’ refusal to debate him on-stage in Oxford. But, as Dr. Dawkins himself points out, this is not just Craig’s, um, “victory.”

In the interests of transparency, I should point out that it isn’t only Oxford that won’t see me on the night Craig proposes to debate me in absentia: you can also see me not appear in Cambridge, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and, if time allows, Bristol.

I’m sure that believers ought to be able to find any number of opportunistic evangelists, in each of those cities, to stand up and boldly declare that they’ve out-argued the famous biologist on that night. Could be the most “successful” night apologetics has had in nearly 2,000 years.

And just by the way, is William Lane Craig as afraid to debate John Loftus as he pretends Dawkins is?

God’s “simple” mind

The “brick through a window” guy from last Monday has got me thinking some more about William Lane Craig’s rendition of Leibniz’ cosmological argument. Here’s what Craig has to say about God.

 As a pure mind without a body, God is a remarkably simple entity. A mind (or soul) is not a physical object composed of parts… Certainly such a mind may have complex ideas…but the mind itself is remarkably simple.

The more I think about it, the more I think he’s right about God’s simple mind.

[Read more...]

Evidence for God’s incompetence

Writing for ID propaganda haus Evolution News, Casey Luskin criticizes scientists for claiming to have evidence supporting evolution.

In the case of Richard Lenski’s Long Term Evolution Experiments (LTEE) with E. Coli bacteria, we saw that Dennis Venema of BioLogos cited purported examples of natural selection increasing specified and complex information — but intelligent design (ID) proponents had long before critiqued these examples.

As ID proponents keep reminding us, the God of the Bible is simply incapable of creating any natural systems complex and sophisticated enough to generate genuine “complex, specified information.” It’s not surprising, since God never went to college and has no advanced degrees in biology. I rather doubt He even understands the mechanisms proposed by real biologists. But then, that’s not really His fault. You don’t get to choose your own parents, and mythical deities don’t get to choose the educational level of the primitive tribesmen who imagine Them.

Thanks to Mr. Luskin for reminding us of what the “Intelligent Designer” is absolutely and definitively incapable of. It’s reassuring to us unbelievers to know that real people are smarter than He is.

Catholics call for govt. suppression of religious freedom

Here’s an interesting development. Archbishop Timothy Broglio says that the federal government is not only allowed, but is required to dictate to certain clergy members precisely which religious ceremonies they are and are not allowed to perform.

The head of the U.S. Military Archdiocese says that a new set of rules, allowing chaplains to perform same-sex “marriages” on military property, seems to disregard federal law.

“The Pentagon’s new policy, as outlined in these two memos, appears to ignore the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law 15 years ago and remains in effect,” said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio in a Sept. 30 statement provided to CNA.

Did you catch that? There may be a conflict between religious conscience and government policy, and in such cases the Archbishop is clearly telling us that government dictates take precedence over the clergy member’s religious freedom.

We should mark that one down for future reference. [Read more...]