10 “Unanswerable” questions #3

We’re up to Question #3 of TodayChristian’s “Ten Questions for Every Atheist,” and it turns out to be three questions for the price of one.

3.       What if you’re wrong? And there is a Heaven? And there is a HELL!

Since this is really three questions, I’ll give it three answers, and the first will be very short.

Answer #1: There are two differences between this question and the jihadi who threatens to cut off your head unless you convert to Islam. The jihadi is taking personal responsibility for threatening you, instead of trying to blame the threat on God. And the jihadi is only threatening to hurt you one time, instead of threatening you with eternal torment. Other than that, this question and the jihadi are making the same basic argument: believe, or suffer. Bravo, TodayChristian, you’re nearly as good at evangelism as a jihadi.

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Bonehead NC legislators make women’s restrooms more accessible to men

Once upon a time in North Carolina, if you saw a man going into a women’s restroom, you had good reasons to be suspicious, and likely call the police. But now, in a bold move whose brilliance can only be compared to Wile E. Coyote’s decision to use nitroglycerin in the fuel tank of his Rocket-Powered Road Runner Catcher, a gang of conservative legislators, with the avid assistance of the governor, has railroaded through a law requiring trans men to use the women’s facilities. (Nor is that the only serious flaw in this badly-botched attempt at persecuting a harmless minority!) You read that right: this new law requires certain men to use the ladies room.

Now, people capable of engaging in rational thought for more that one or two seconds at a time will immediately realize that trans men look no different than any other men, in most cases. By requiring trans men to use the ladies room, the idiots in the NC state government have given all men a plausible excuse for being in the ladies room. They don’t even need to pretend to be trans. And if a real cis-het rapist were to decide to take advantage of the state government’s stupidity, all he would need to do is make sure to select his targets carefully, and only invade the rest room when the woman there would be unlikely to challenge his presence until it was too late. And thanks to the NC governor and his knuckle-dragging henchmen, there is now a legitimate opportunity for him to do so.

You know what? I take back what I said. Wile E. Coyote is WAY smarter than these Stone Age “geniuses.”

10 “Unanswerable” questions #1

I’ve seen a few posts on this, here at FtB and elsewhere, and I thought it looked kinda fun. From a website called TodayChristian.net comes a list of 10 Questions for Every Atheist. According to the intro, this list consists of “Some Questions Atheist Cannot Truly and Honestly REALLY Answer! Which leads to some interesting conclusions…”

And the first of these mind-boggling, unanswerable, gotcha-at-last questions, that no atheist can truly and honestly REALLY answer is this:

1.       How Did You Become an Atheist?

Way to set the pace there, TC.

In my case, the answer to this question is, “Through decades of prayer, Bible study, and even fasting. Plus a promise I made as a youth to believe only what God said, and not what men said about God.”

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A dark, bizarre ritual

If you were raised in a traditional Christian home, as I was, you’ve probably been conditioned to see the Easter story as a noble, uplifting, feel-good kind of story. I don’t even mean a conservative Christian home necessarily. Throughout most of my childhood, my family belonged to a pretty liberal United Methodist church, and even among liberal believers, the annual three-day saga of crucifixion, burial, and resurrection has always been seen as the heart of the gospel, the generous principle of goodness that sincere believers should cling to instead of obsessing over all those picky, literal minutiae like the fundamentalists do.

It took me quite a long time to realize that Easter’s family-friendly facade was masking something very dark, twisted, and bizarre. And I’m not even talking about the exaltation of gore and death, or the so-called “shame of the cross” that the Bible talks about. I’m talking about the perverse and corrupt message this blood ritual sends regarding good and evil and the relationship between them.

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Not just Muslims

A lot of Americans hear about harsh Israeli measures inside the occupied territories, and assume that the Israelis are just defending themselves against terrorist organizations. (Assuming they hear anything at all about it, that is.) But Muslims aren’t the only non-Jews who are being subjected to oppressive travel restrictions, economic sanctions, and the illegal destruction and seizure of private property. Palestinian Christians are also being driven out.

The way Amal sees it, the Israeli military and the settlers, having failed to evict the family by legal means, are now trying to force them out. She remembers the settlers who uprooted 250 young olive trees in 2002, and who permanently closed the road to the farm with rubble. The demolition orders posted on the gate, threatening to destroy the Nassars’ home and water wells. The soldiers who, in 2009, forced her 72-year-old mother out of bed at gunpoint in the middle of the night and made her wait in the cold while they searched the farm.

On this day in history…

I’m sure lots of things happened on Dec. 25th over the years, but as far as history can tell us, none of them involved any virgin giving birth to a baby named Jesus. Although later Gospel accounts have stories about Jesus being born, none of them tell us what day that was, or even give us any clear indication of what time of year. It wasn’t until centuries later that Christians are reported as associating any particular holy day with the story of “The Nativity.”

That’s rather interesting, because it’s consistent with the theory that Jesus was not, in fact, ever born.

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News Flash

I happened to get a quick bite of lunch at our local McDonald’s this afternoon, and the lady at the drive thru window handed me my bag and wished me a Merry Christmas. And do you know what I, a secular, liberal, godless heathen said? I wished her a Merry Christmas right back, just like I always do.

I’m still waiting for the crack investigative reporting team from Fox News to show up and investigate this mysterious cultural anomaly.

Homeopathic government

I usually struggle to understand conservative politics, but this morning I had a thought that might explain a lot. What if conservatives are trying to apply homeopathy as a societal/political remedy as well as a “medical” one? Homeopathy tries to treat diseases by applying doses of the original pathogen causing the problem, so why not try to solve other problems the same way? Too much gun violence in America? Just add more guns! Budget deficit? Make it harder to collect revenue! Refugee problem? Make more refugees!

It’s all part of the same mind-set that thinks the answer to abortion is to deny women access to birth control and reproductive health services. If you want to solve a problem, just take steps to make the problem worse. Homeopath all the things!

Hey, it probably works just as well in government as it does in medicine, right?