Conference time

Just a quick note: I’m going to be out of town Wednesday through Sunday and may or may not have access to the blog, so please bear with me if you need something and I’m not around. First-time commenters are most likely to be impacted, since I may not get your first comment approved right away, but I’ll get to it in a few days at least.

Take care all.


Christian Nation: A Hindu perspective

Here’s a point of view that doesn’t get much press.

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) sought clarification and an apology from Kentucky Senator David Williams (R-KY) in a telephone conversation yesterday, after his latest remarks about Governor Beshear’s “participation” in a Hindu ground-breaking ceremony. Williams, the GOP Nominee for Governor, initially made waves on Tuesday for criticizing Beshear and expressing his hope that Hindus accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. His comments were met with disappointment and shock from the Hindu American community and were strongly condemned by HAF.

It’s not just atheists who see major problems with fundamentalists in government. And the problem isn’t just people being religious. It’s people in power using their religion to marginalize and exclude minorities.

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Gospel Disproof #10: Rigged score-keeping

Suppose you start flipping a coin and keeping track of the results. What are the odds against getting heads 100 times in a row? Normally pretty high, right? But with a simple technique, the odds go way down. In fact, if you apply this trick consistently, you can virtually guarantee success every time. Know how? It’s easy: every time it comes up tails, you just say, “That one doesn’t count.” By only counting the ones that come up heads, you can get as many in a row as you like.

Rigged score-keeping is a big part of Christian apologetics. You want proof that God answers prayer? Here, let me show you my scars: I was in a terrible accident and the doctors said I had only a 4% chance of survival, but my family prayed for me and here I am today. Well, that’s all well and good for you and the other three people who survive similar injuries, but what about the 96 that didn’t survive, despite their families’ prayers? Those don’t count. You only count the ones that come up heads.

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The devil did NOT make them do it

Remember Daniel Avila, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops staffer who published a column blaming homosexuality on demonic activity in the womb? He screwed up.

Daniel Avila, an attorney who serves as policy advisor for the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has retracted a Boston archdiocesan newspaper column linking Satan with the origins of same-sex attractions.

Sadly, though, this withdrawal does not indicate any actual change in opinion. He merely failed to follow the proper technical procedure.

Statements made in my column, ‘Some fundamental questions on same-sex attraction’ of October 28, do not represent the position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the column was not authorized for publication as is required policy for staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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Florida committee takes aim at First Amendment

Looks like some “concerned Christians” in Florida are setting themselves up for a fairly blatant violation of the First Amendment. This time, however, it’s not going to be a local school board. It’s the state itself.

School prayer is one step closer to being legalized in Florida after a proposal was passed in a state Senate committee Wednesday despite strong opposition to the measure.

The bill, if signed into law, would allow school boards to adopt rules that allow “inspirational messages” at school events, according to reports.

The vague language leaves room for schools to allow prayers at events hosted at the school, including sporting games and graduations.

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World to end—by 1881

I feel bad picking on poor Harold Camping. So just to keep him company, here’s an excerpt from an early Mormon regarding Joseph Smith’s prophecy a century or so earlier.

On the 14th of Feb. 1835, Joseph Smith said that God had revealed to him that the coming of Christ would be within 56 years, which being added to 1835 shows that before 1891 and the 14th of Feb. the Savior of the world would make his appearance again upon the earth and the winding up scene take place. In connection with this event, was related by my brother Dimick Huntington, the fact that when Joseph and Hyrum Smith submitted in their feelings to consent to give themselves up to the state mob at Nauvoo Illinois, after they had passed the Mississippi River. Joseph said “if they shed my blood it shall shorten this work 10 years”. That taken from 1891 would reduce the time to 1881 which if the true time within which the Savior should come much must be crowded into 6 years.

This is from a transcript of the Journal of Oliver Broadman Huntington, vol 2, p129. A little farther down the page, he adds:

I testify that every word that Joseph Smith spoke, will be fulfilled that has not been fulfilled.

Um, well, he’d better hurry if he wants to make it by 1881.