Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: Biblical Family Values Parte the Firste: Sibling Rivalry

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Biblical Family Values Parte the Firste: Sibling Rivalry

(Genesis 25)

Abraham’s sister/wife Sarah has died. He’s only in his mid-hundreds, so he gets himself another wife, Keturah, who’s apparently considered a concubine. He certainly treats her like one. He has six more sons with her. Old Abe isn’t one for keeping the sons he sires with mere sex slaves around where they can compete with his darling Isaac, so he gives the boys gifts and tells them to GTFO, just like he did with Ishmael. Like many men who hate paying child support, he apparently doesn’t really consider them his sons (Gen. 25:1-6).

After all that effort making babies he doesn’t even want, Abraham dies at a ripe old age. Ishmael, despite being cut out of Abe’s will, helps his half-brother Isaac bury their Pop, but after all he’s been through, and the loyalty he shows at the end, who do you think God blesses? Isaac. Of course. Asshole (Gen. 25:7-11).

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Cast Your Vote! Which Awful Painting Should I Use to Illustrate?

I’m torn, my darlings. I’ve got one really terrible Bible story: Lot’s daughters seducing raping him. I’ve got two paintings illustrating said seduction rape. I’m not sure which one will say it best. So tell me which I should use in my forthcoming book, Really Terrible Bible Stories.

Should it be Joachim Antonisz Wtewael‘s Lot and His Daughters: [Read more…]

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VIII: Two Salty Tales of Ocean Origins

My conservative Christian former best friend used to say that too much prayer rots the brain. Earth Science 4th Edition provides clear evidence of this right from the blurb at the start of the “Oceans and Seas” chapter. They begin talking about desalination by saying wow, there’s more people on Earth than ever! Yay! “God didn’t place a limit on how many people should inhabit the earth.” [Read more…]

“For Good People to Do Evil”

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
-Steven Weinberg, Freethought Today, April, 2000

Sometimes, people tell me that religion doesn’t cause people to do bad things, that x and y caused their awful actions instead. Sometimes, I think that’s true. In same cases, religion is just the convenient excuse used for doing what they wanted to do anyway. A lot of religions do a great job giving cover to bad acts. A lot of religions allow adherents to justify horrible behavior. But if religion wasn’t there, they’d find another excuse. All the atheist libertarians, MRAs, and other assorted dipshits are proof of that.

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God’s Old Earth Curriculum Chapter 2: In Which We Get Our Earth Systems On

I’m seeing a pattern: the first paragraph of each of Greg’s chapters is all about establishing the Christian cred. Like so:

Our planet is perfectly designed by God to function using the physical laws that He set in place. Through these laws, the earth is constantly being modified. These laws can be seen operating in several key systems that He designed.

Image is a detail of God pointing from the Sistine Chapel. Caption says, "Look at that earth! I totally made that."

From there, God goes away, and science takes over. [Read more…]

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VII: Awash in Creationist Nonsense

Take your seasickness prevention pills and weigh anchor, my darlings. We are embarking on a long voyage, and I’m afraid it won’t be the lovely salt sea, but an ocean of creationist bilge we be sailin’. BJU has got a lot to say about oceanography. A good portion of it is utter bunkum. And there’s three bloody chapters of this shite.

Image shows a cat in a cardboard pirate ship. Caption says, "I comes to plunder yer living room."

The wrong starts out strong with Dr. Emil Silvestru, a creationist speleologist from Romania. He started his career as a secular scientist, then jumped into Christianity with both feet and became a young earth creationist. The quality of his “reasoning” can be assessed by the following explanation: [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: Burn Your Boy for God

Burn Your Boy for God

(Genesis 22)

Any day of the week, you’ll hear Good ChristianTM people condemn the very idea of child sacrifice. Only savages and heathens and very terrible people would do that. Their God, these fine Christians say, is an awesome god who would neverever require such a thing. And these awful people who murder their children, then claim God told them to – why! They are definitely wicked or insane or satanic, because God would never tell them to kill their kids.

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So Wrong… So Not Funny… But Entirely Hilarious!

I don’t often break into great gales of laughter. I’m usually not reduced to helplessness. There are few things that get me laughing so hard my stomach hurts, I can barely breathe, and I start sob-laughing. Usually, I can get through funny stuff with just a grin or a guffaw. I’m pretty restrained like that, especially when I’m alone and don’t have someone else’s mirth jamming its foot on my funny bone.

I can’t really remember the last time I lost it. It might come to me someday. I can tell you this is the hardest I’ve laughed this year, and I really feel like I shouldn’t. I mean… it’s not a funny subject. Not a bit. I’ve got to give you trigger warnings right now: if you’re at all squeamish about graphic medical stuff, if you’ve ever had a prolapse or been traumatized by someone else’s prolapse, this piece may not be for you. You may be permanently scarred. [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: “Naw, Man, She’s My Sister! No, Really.”

“Naw, Man, She’s My Sister! No, Really.”

(Genesis 12 & 20)

I was raised with the impression that the patriarchs were super-duper good, moral, upstanding human beings. Imagine my surprise when I read about their exploits and discovered what a lot of rat bastards they were.

Abraham, né Abram, for instance, is many things, few of them good. He’s one of God’s favoritest evah, but as we’ve seen before, God has awful taste in human beings.

When Abram first gets uber-blessed by God, he’s 75 years old. He doesn’t have kids, as his wife Sarai is barren (always the wife’s fault, cuz the Biblical men all had perfect little swimmers, you betcha). But God promises him he’ll have soooo many descendents. All he has to do is go to all these places God tells him about. So Abram packs up his wife, and his nephew Lot, and his slaves, and goes traveling all over the place. Pretty much everywhere he goes, God’s all, “Yep, I’ll give this to your descendants, too,” which is a little hard on the people already living there (Gen. 12:1-9). [Read more…]

Remember that Behind Beliefs are People

We don’t yet how Craig Stephen Hicks calmed his conscience as he entered his neighbors’ apartment and shot three young people death. I doubt he allowed himself to see them as actual people.

This isn’t what atheists should be. This is why so many of us went beyond a simple dictionary atheism, why we try to remember that behind beliefs are people, and their lives have value, no matter how awful we think their religion is. This is why we try to punch up, not down; why we fight against the various isms that attempt to reduce people to things. Once you start seeing some people as less-than, it’s too easy to take another step and decide that their lives are worth less than yours. [Read more…]