Guess who

Here’s a mini mystery for you this fine Tuesday morning.

BLACKS: This is wrong. We’re being singled out by the police, harassed, beaten, even murdered. And the murderers are getting away with it. #BlackLivesMatter!

GUESS WHO: (*shrug*) Ah, quit whining, #AllLivesMatter.

PALESTINIANS: We need help! Israelis are bulldozing our homes, occupying our land, and murdering our children, and getting away with it. #PalestinianLivesMatter!

GUESS WHO: (*shrug*) Ah, quit whining. You probably deserve it. In fact, let’s take literally billions of US taxpayer dollars and give it to Israel, no strings attached.

STARBUCKS: This holiday season, we’ll be serving coffee in red cups.

GUESS WHO: Will they say “Merry Christmas”?

STARBUCKS: No, they won’t say anything.

GUESS WHO: Oh you evil people! How dare you subject us to such horrific persecution? Have you no decency? We won’t stand for it! It’s an absolute outrage! (Etc., etc., etc…)

 Need a hint? Hmm, maybe not.

(Note: any similarity between GUESS WHO and any person(s) now living or dead is entirely their own fault.)

A revealing headline

Somehow a NY Times headline popped up in my Facebook news feed, and it said something about GOP candidates “sticking to the script, if not to the facts.”

The story was about how party loyalty seems to have completely replaced factual accuracy as the gold standard by which candidates are judged these days, but I think perhaps it did not go as far as it might. I think that the NYT has summed up, in a nutshell, why so many conservatives like Donald Trump, despite his rather unreliable track record as a conservative.

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The other anti-Semitism

Just a quick reminder: the term “Semitic” refers to an ethnic group of Middle Eastern peoples that includes Jews, Arabs, and a number of others. It is just as anti-Semitic to be prejudiced against Palestinians as it is to be prejudiced against Jews. This puts Israel in the ironic position of being one of the most violently anti-Semitic nations on earth.

Armed response

Ben Carson is in the news again, in the wake of the mass murder in Oregon, for claiming that the Holocaust could have been prevented if German Jews had been armed.

“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said. “I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.”

In other words, the way to prevent genocide, or attempted genocide, is to take up arms and fight back against the police, according to Carson. You know who took that advice? The Palestinians. How did that work out for them?

Clarification

Some of you may have heard that the Pope made a special visit to Kim Davis during his recent trip to the US—which apparently you weren’t supposed to do, or at least the Vatican is somewhat chagrined that you did. By way of damage control, they’ve released a special statement announcing that the Pope’s visit to Davis should not be seen as indicating that he supports her. They also announced this morning that they’re kicking out a senior priest because he publicly admits being gay.

So just to clarify the Vatican’s press release, the Pope absolutely does support Davis. They just don’t want people to see it.

Proving Santa

There’s a quote you may have heard that goes something like this: “If you understand why you reject all the other gods, you’ll understand why I reject your God.” It sounds good, but there’s a problem. As soon as you say that to an actual believer, they are likely to inform you that they reject all the other gods because the Real God™ told them the others were false. What was not derived by reason and evidence cannot be refuted by reason and evidence.

With that in mind, I’d like to propose a new game that might have a better chance of achieving the same goal. It’s called “Proving Santa,” and I think it has a better shot at giving believers a chance to experience what it’s really like to be a skeptic in a religious debate.

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Four Spiritual Laws for Imaginary Gods

If you’ve got an idea in your head, and you want to know what’s wrong with it, write it down and publish it—you’ll immediately see all kinds of things wrong with it, and your audience will kindly help you too. (Seriously, they will, and you should listen.)

I’m not satisfied with my “Three Laws of Imaginary Gods.” For one thing, I’ve taken what is basically a single principle and stated it in two separate laws, and I’ve made repeated use of another principle that doesn’t even have its own law, even though it appears in the others. And if that’s not enough, I’ve thought of another law or two which really deserves their own entries. So with that in mind, and with a hat tip to Campus Crusade for Christ (or “Crude,” or “Grue,” or whatever they’re calling themselves these days), I’d like to introduce the Four Spiritual Laws of Imaginary Gods.

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The Three Laws of Imaginary Gods

This has been rattling around in my head for a while, so I thought I’d write it down. It’s the Three Laws of Imaginary Gods. I’ll put the laws below the fold, but what’s interesting about them is that all gods obey them. You can believe that one or more of these gods might be real, and you can imagine all sorts of perfectly logical reasons why they might want to obey the Three Laws voluntarily, but the fact remains that you will never see any of these gods disobey any of these laws. And that’s interesting, don’t you think?

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