Hyper-Patriotism

I downloaded an app for my iPhone called “Thumb.”  This app allows you to ask questions and get answers from random strangers, with thumbs-up and thumbs-down ratings.  It’s mindless entertainment, as are most social apps.  Anyway, while thumbing through questions I stumbled across one depicting a Marine Corps drill team with the caption, “Respect and honor????”  I’m not sure why so many question marks were necessary.

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Spiritual vs. Imaginary

Believers have long argued for the existence of beings in the “spiritual realm” which affect the physical universe but cannot be physically detected (except in very certain circumstances and with very few exceptions).  This is convenient, of course, because the believer is free to posit whatever entity he or she wishes without having the arduous task of defending that assertion with actual evidence.  What does “spiritual” mean though?  The dictionary defines it as follows:

1. of, pertaining to, or consisting of spirit; incorporeal.
2.  of or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature.

That doesn’t really tell me much.  If we’re talking about incorporeal things apart from the physical nature, how is this any different from being imaginary or fictional?  Why do we make such a concessionary definition for a word like “spiritual” when the end result is really the same?

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Mind Your Manners

JT Eberhard’s contributor, Christina, wrote today of an article regarding atheist billboards in Colorado and the reaction of a “research fellow” from Focus on the Family named Glenn Stanton.  He calls the billboards “bad manners” because they mock the beliefs of no less than 70% of Americans.  The billboards read as follows:

God is an imaginary friend; Choose reality, it will be better for all of us.

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Facebook Affirmations, Vol. V: Pro-Life

In my news feed on Facebook I will be served a daily dose of Christian affirmations from friends.  In this series of posts, which I call “Facebook Affirmations™,” I will post and discuss some of these gems. Here’s the affirmation for today:

Pro-Life Facebook Post
Think of the children!

I don’t often weigh in on abortion because my views on it are complicated and it’s an even more controversial topic than religion.  Since I will never personally know the joy — or terror — of being pregnant I feel that any view I adopt regarding a woman’s reproductive rights ought to be every bit as compassionate as it is logical.  Ultimately I feel it comes down to an individual woman’s right to decide whether or not her body will be used as an incubator for a potential human being.  Let’s discuss the post above.

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Dispelling Egnorance

There’s a guy named Michael Egnor who has a blog he calls “Egnorance.”  I’m not making this up.  Anyway, he recently wrote a post directed at JT Eberhard asking a crapload of questions in the hopes that he’d be able to highlight how stupid he thinks the recent court decision on the Cranston High School prayer banner is.  Nevermind the guy isn’t an expert on the Constitution and nevermind he’s not a judge — he just has a really strong opinion on how wrong the experts on the matter are.  Well, because I’m bored and because it irritates me that these types of challenges sometimes go unanswered I’ll pick his post apart and address all of his questions to the best of my ability (JT already did).

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Atheism Sucks!

I saw a video recently from some kid who seems to have it all figured out.  His thought process is a lot like mine was when I was a kid: my parents told me what to think, I adopted it as my own, and I knew I was right.  His video is titled, “Atheism Sucks.”  Dislikes on this video currently outnumber likes 3,113 to 89.  You can watch it here:

[Video Removed: s7QXhGLZW00]

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Special Rights?

I speak out quite a bit on the subject of same-sex marriage and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights.  I speak out because I feel very strongly that individuals and/or groups of people shouldn’t be discriminated against.  You don’t have to be gay to fight for gay rights any more than you would have had to be a woman to fight for women’s suffrage or an African-American to stand for racial equality.  You merely have to recognize that there’s a very outspoken and powerful movement among Conservative Christians and homophobes in this country who wish to ensure that LGBT people are kept in closets.  These are the same detestable people who got all up-in-arms about the repeal of Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell (never mind that regardless of whether people were asking/telling, there were still homosexuals serving in the military all along).

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Whatsoever Ye Ask

As a Christian I believed that my prayers were not only heard by god but that my prayers were important enough to initiate action.  As with any Christian, my basis for believing this was not grounded in reality but in scripture:

John 14:12,13
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Clearly, the quotes attributed to Jesus define prayer as a sort of tangible, telepathic request which (in Jesus’ name) will be heard and granted if the person praying has even the slightest bit of real faith.  Jesus describes the amount of faith necessary in Matthew 17:20 as a mustard seed (long considered the smallest seed).  That’s not a whole lot of faith, by anyone’s standards.  However, if this amount of faith is attainable why aren’t more prayers answers and more miracles performed/observed?  The answers to these questions don’t come easy (to a rational mind) but I’ll detail the Christian thought process — or, at least, the thought process as I understood it while I was a Christian — and give my best answer.

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Good Enough For Me, Part II

Inn a previous post I discussed the “good enough” mentality that most Christians have regarding their faith and the infallibility of the scriptures.  That post aimed broadly at the Christian faith overall but there’s a sinister implementation of this mentality I’d like to address now.  This post pertains to the “good enough” mentality regarding the Theory of Evolution.

Christian Descent of Man
"If any monkey pick up his cross and follow me..."

Above is a Christian parody of the Descent of Man illustration from a fairly well-written Revelife article on the Christian misunderstandings of evolution.  You may want to take a minute and read it.  This post will still be here when you get back.

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An Unabashed Merry Christmas

I have no reservations about saying “Merry Christmas” to people or having it said to me. The truth is, a majority of the population in this country celebrates Christmas. Even if someone doesn’t celebrate it they’re aware that this time of year marks the celebration of the major holiday known as Christmas. Saying “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” is really interchangeable…unless you’re a hardcore, right-wing conservative Christian (also known as “Fox News host”). To me, “Merry Christmas” has become as generic as “Kleenex.”

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