Sunday, January 31, 2010

Funny Bible Quote #64

Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said: Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, "This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt"?

Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment.

~ Job 38:12-13, NIV

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Personal Ethics: The Art of Letting Yourself Down

There is a pervading idea among Christians that atheists do whatever they want. I can assure you this is not the case. If it were, some Christians I have met would no longer have all their teeth. Restraint is universally practiced by all people in a society, regardless of religious affiliation.

We all want to do bad things. We all want to take things without earning them, to hurt those who hurt us. We have all lied at one time or another. It is only natural to look for the easy way out, to let frustration overpower our logical understanding that it is best to be peaceful. Sometimes we just do horrible, nasty things to others – or even ourselves.

When I read the opinions of Christians regarding the ethics of atheists, my first impulse is usually a strong urge to punch them in the face, and I have to settle for writing a snarky comment (even if it’s in person, not on the internet).

First of all, there is no such thing as “atheist ethics.” Christians have a handy Bible full of ethical scenarios and explicit rules, so there are oodles of things to criticize about Christian morality. Sure, Christians all have different interpretations of the Bible, but atheists are individuals who claim so single source for ethical knowledge.

There is no point in criticizing atheists in general when it comes to ethics, especially since reality has proven that atheists commit less crime. A wise man that Christians ignore (unless it suits their needs) said to remove the plank of wood from your eye before troubling your neighbor with the speck of sawdust in theirs. However, for the purposes of this discussion, let us ignore that fact that atheists make better law-abiding citizens, because I have no interest in convincing the believer of the reality they wish to ignore.

I think the primary claim of theists can be a valid problem. If atheists do whatever they want, and simply deem their actions as acceptable, then clearly they are unethical. However, this sounds to me more like Christians, who ignore parts of the Bible they disagree with while holding dear to their hearts the parts they do agree with. It’s almost as if… people choose for themselves what is right and wrong, regardless of their religion.

This is true: atheist or theist, we all must decide our own moral code. There is nothing special about the ethics of theists versus atheists. Theists kill people despite the Bible being very explicit about murder. Theists steal, cheat, lie, ignore the poor, use their religion for profit… I have seen theists do absolutely everything the Bible preaches to be wrong and hell-worthy. Maybe if there were more atheists, they would do these things often enough for me to observe them doing it, as well. [Cue the Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot comments…]

Which begs the question… why be a Christian? Christians are no more ethical than atheists, especially by their own standards. Christians talk constantly about what an awful sinner they are, about how they need the grace and forgiveness of an Almighty father figure. They don’t explain what that need is about, but I sense it’s the need to get to sleep at night.

Atheists aren’t perfect. Atheists have sinned in all the same ways as theists. We construct our own systems of ethics from many different sources and life experiences. Like Christians, we cannot walk the path of perfection we have laid out for ourselves.

I have a very strict ethical code, and I break it all the time. I shouldn’t get angry, I shouldn’t get in verbal arguments, I shouldn’t do petty things for the sole purpose of annoying someone who has annoyed me. This particular atheist break his own rules, but I don’t redefine them to fit my behavior. I would imagine many atheists are in the same situation.

I need forgiveness, but I seek it from those I have hurt. I can find no solace in imagining a being who simply condones my immorality, even if I’m really sorry and try my best not to do it again. The people who I hurt are still hurt, the things I break are still broken, the lies I tell still float on the lips of others. But if I can take action to correct or compensate, the guilt can at least partially be appeased.

Guilt cannot be washed away by religion. When you let yourself and others down, you are supposed to feel awful. You are supposed to be driven to do something to correct it, and kneeling down to pray for forgiveness won’t do a goddamn thing.

Funny Bible Quote #63

And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech. And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

~ Genesis 5:25-27, KJV

Friday, January 29, 2010

Religion is Language

I have a penchant for quoting scripture, and it has been called into question by Christians, especially when I use scripture in what appears to be an attempt to convince people to agree with me.

Before I continue, please know this: I am not trying to change anyone’s mind. I wish to entertain, I wish to annoy, I wish to make you snort when you laugh so the person in the next room asks you what’s so funny. I write for the reaction (the emotional response of the reader, not the comments… but those are nice sometimes). Only you can change your mind, and frankly most people change too slowly for me to appreciate it. I’ve usually gone on to bitch about new, more interesting things.

I quote scripture quite often, and for a very important reason: if one wishes to discuss a particular discipline, one must use the language of that discipline if one ever hopes to be taken seriously. I don’t focus on celebrity opinion. I don’t write about Richard Dawkins or what the Pope is up to… unless he’s being tackled on Christmas. I’m not sure if I would even deign post about such an incident were Dawkins to be the victim (why give him the press?).

By having never read anything by Dawkins, Hitchens or any other prominent atheist they decide to throw up on the stage of stupidity from which everyone is so studiously taking notes and glorifying as the epitome of intellectual discourse, I hope to have an untainted canvas on which to work with as I paint my picture of why Christianity is full of shit.

I pick Christianity because it is the faith of my upbringing. I also have a particular beef with the exclusionary theology of monotheism in general, and Christianity is the safest of the three targets. Judaism has had its turn (besides, it’s really my wife’s thing), and Islam is just a parody of religion (and I don’t want my apartment to be broken into). Christianity also has the most influence in the nation in which I live.

In order to criticize something, one must understand it. I have read the Bible several times, sometimes literally Genesis through Revelation. I can honestly say it is not even the best mythology I have read that existed at that time (not even the best parts of it). It had one thing going for it: intolerance. Those who do not tolerate diversity spread homogeny.

Christianity is not some scourge that swept over Europe like a dark wraith. It is imperfect, to be sure, but it is debatable whether it is better or worse than what it replaced. The greatest travesty in it all was the destruction of non-Christian tablets, scrolls, and books. We are left with an incomplete history and incomplete knowledge.

Imagine if tomorrow atheism suddenly became popular, and the works of theists like Newton, Einstein, Kepler, etc. were all torched. We would be plunged into an age of ignorance… one might almost call it a Dark Age. It should not be our fate to repeat history. If knowledge serves humankind any purpose, it is to prevent us from repeating the mistakes of the past.

Luckily, Christianity has made a lot of mistakes. That’s not great news for Christians, but it is splendid news for atheists who hope to learn from them. Christianity has much to teach, it’s just that many of those lessons are not consciously preached. Even the Bible has several unintentional lessons. It is a glorious repository of human psychology: obsession with death, the male desire for a virgin bride, the urge to imagine your mother never having had sex…

However, as Woody Allen pointed out, “Even a clock that’s broken is right twice a day.” Christianity is no clock that’s stopped dead, either. It usually runs just fine (except between gay o’clock and woman-thirty). Not killing, not stealing, treating your neighbor well… no one’s arguing with that stuff. Of course, there are people who think taking a pill and having a heavy period is murder, or that it’s okay to kill a man as long as 12 people agree it’s right, or that strapping a flag on your chest or arm and shooting at someone with a different flag on their chest or arm is acceptable. Murder/abortion/execution/war… semantics.

When I see that guy who shot the abortion doctor, I have to wonder what he’s really angry about. What horrible emotion was he channeling when he decided to end the life of another person in front of the man’s own church. I don’t look at him and see religious nut. He’s religious, and he’s a nut, but the two are unlinked. Most of the atheist blogs I read have posted almost gleefully about the fact that religion made him do it. I assert it did not, religion just failed to prevent him from doing it (it’s just not magical). Personally, I wish the conditions of Roeder’s imprisonment were better. Does that make me more like Jesus than conservatives who want Gitmo detainees tortured and held indefinitely? Yes.

I immerse myself in Christian mythology every day. Jesus is one of the literary characters I’m most familiar with. He is one of many ascetics in our past who advocate a simpler way of life, promising it elevate one to the peak of human potential, and I think there is something to that aspect of religion. Most of us can do better, and it usually requires takes self-control. Christianity just got some of the details wrong.

So imagine my shock when I leave the solitude of my studies to peruse the opinions of believers… and I find them to be an untidy brothel of materialistic whores. My initial reaction is amusement, no doubt about that. However, there is a point when the humor turns into horror. Imagine you are watching a drunk stumble down the sidewalk in a most hilarious fashion, and you laugh yourself silly until he pukes into your convertible, right on the driver’s seat. At this point, it ceases to be funny, and the cheer turns to rage.

I try my best to write when I am in that jovial mood, when I can’t help but double over guffawing at the bizarre behavior of other people. Usually the frustration and anger creeps up, especially when I consider the impact these buffoons have on society. I can search for the words all night, into the wee morning hours, struggling to whet my argument to a razor’s edge, but I know it is futile. The fools… they will not even listen to good advice when it is coming directly from their God. If Christians ignore the Bible, they will most certainly ignore me.

I can’t hope to correct anyone, I can only hope to speak their own language more fluently they than they can. Then, I can enjoy making them look like the fools I have seen them to be for so long. Others can see it to, all I have to do is shine the light upon them for all to view, so we can all share in their obnoxious celebration of ignorance.

When all else fails, laugh.

Funny Bible Quote #62

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

~ Genesis 1:29, KJV

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The State of Confusion

I sat down last night to watch Obama speak. Here are the complete and unedited notes I took:

- Purple = Red + Blue + Gay Metaphor

- Obama is not a great orator. He only seems to be when compared to Bush.

- Obama is not black. He only seems to be when compared to Bush.

- Obama is so white, he’s not even brown (except his nose).

- Begin by quoting history… you’re losing them, Obama.

- Please stop naming specific towns, it’s almost as annoying as all the specific people’s names used on the campaign trail (“Bob Shitkicker from North Carolina said…” who cares…).

- You and everyone hated the bailout… yet you passed it because it was necessary… without explaining why. Maybe because the truth would be too sad: “We had to, or none of us would be able to fund our next campaign.”

- Geithner looks like he’s some sort of Middle Earth hybrid, the outcome of Gollum raping an elf.

- Republicans sit during “Remove tax breaks from companies that ship jobs overseas” standing ovation. Real Americans…

- Republicans lead the standing ovation for nuclear power and off-shore drilling.

- Alito makes comment during standing ovation over recent ruling.

- Openly threatened Iran. Stupid…

- Military brass sit during “repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’” standing ovation.

I tried to keep track of the number of standing ovations. I can’t find an official count online yet, so I’ll be the first to present how many I counted. I think there were more, but I am confident there were no less than 46. I did count partial ovations, but only when one side of the aisle stood as one. There were many times when only the Democrats stood (a “Demovation,” not to be confused with the Republican only “Dumbovation”).

Funny Bible Quote #61

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

~ Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Where’s Waldo Mary?

When I was a kid, I would sometimes lay in the grass, look up at the sky, and imagine things in the clouds. Turtles, snails, trains, people I knew… they were all up there. Yep, to a kid gazing into the clouds, the whole of existence slowly unfurls in puffy white and gray splendor against an agate blue backdrop.

The Greeks and Romans looked up and saw the abode of the Olympians, towering over us and providing the live-giving rains. The Norse looked up and saw the brains of the evil god Ymir, who was slaughtered by Odin and whose corpse was used to create the world. The Hebrews saw the clouds as a dwelling place for Yahweh, and the later Christians would add that Jesus ascended into the clouds, to one day return from them in order to bring about the end of the world.

When presented with a random splatter of ink, the mind has a tendency to arrange the meaningless drivel our eyes see into an image we can use and recognize. The human mind yearns to make connections, linking new experiences to memories. Religion would like nothing more than for these connections to have a mystical impact upon us.

Recognizing religious symbols and figures in the random stains of everyday life is a huge hobby for some Christians in America. Consider this video of a stain caused by minerals from water accumulating on the side of a baptismal font:

Now, I’m not suggesting the church stop people from believing this, or even to make any sort of statement on the occurrence. This sort of “miracle” is so common, I think it would be ridiculous (and mentally unhealthy) for atheists to get worked up over it. Sometimes people recognize the religious even in the irreverent:

Divine mandate of the sanctity of condoms? We can only hope…

So what else has Mary been seen in? What about the famed “Grilled Cheese Sandwich” Mary:

You like turtles? Apparently Mary is hanging out on the belly of one:

She even left some evidence for us rock-sifting science geeks. Check out the middle of this geode:

And tree-hugging hippies are not left out, either:

This next one should not count, since it is a tattoo, but I had to include it because in this one, the part of Mary is played by Michael Jackson:

Some would say it’s Janet, but I know better.

My question is this: since the images are so vague, why would one assume it’s Mary, the mother of Jesus? Why isn’t it Artemis, the hunter goddess of the moon? Why not Isis, the mother of Horus and the provider of salvation for all who seek it? Why make an idol out of Mary, when it’s equally blasphemous to claim it’s any number of people or gods?

Funny Bible Quote #60

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17, KJV

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

For No Particular Reason

I was quote mining the other day, perusing through statements of Jefferson, Franklin, Cicero, and other great statesmen. I realized it’s been a while since we had a quotable president, and it’s certainly never happened in my lifetime. I mean sure, there’s some quotes I remember…

Just say no.
Read my lips, no new taxes.
I did not inhale.
That depends on what your definition of the word “is” is.

And frankly, I don’t even want to get into Bush. I am burned out on Bush. I rest easier now that he’s not president and I know he’s doing what he does best: being a PR guy for organizations he has no control over. I’m glad he’s doing his part for Haiti, and I think the look on Clinton’s face while he’s sitting next to him is priceless. [“I can’t believe this smirking jack-ass wouldn’t even go to this much trouble during Katrina…”]

So I thought… Republicans since Reagan have all been either a complete idiot with verbal diarrhea or a quiet, nefarious type who pleads the fifth when asked what he had for breakfast and has work-related Alzheimer’s… but I couldn’t remember the last quotable Republican. Then it hit me: Dan Quayle.

So, for your amusement, I give you: the wisdom of Dan Quayle, Vice President under George H.W. Bush.

One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is “to be prepared.”
~ Dan Quayle
[VP: Not responsible for counting.]

I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.
~ Dan Quayle
[Dan Quayle is from… the future!]

We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe.
~ Dan Quayle
[Note to stoners: do not attempt to drive to Holland.]

The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history. I mean in this century’s history. But we all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century.
~ Dan Quayle
[Of course not, he’s from… the future!]

[It’s] time for the human race to enter the solar system.
~ Dan Quayle
[This isn’t even geography, it’s cosmography.]

The future will be better tomorrow.
~ Dan Quayle
[And he would know, because he’s from…]
Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.
~ Dan Quayle

[Especially when the baby has been very, very naughty.]

We don’t want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward.
~ Dan Quayle
[Trust him, he’s been there.]

We’re all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made.
~ Dan Quayle
[Dan, I don’t think you could enlighten a room unless someone showed you the switch.]

Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.
~ Dan Quayle
[In the future, everyone’s been in space!]

What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.
~ Dan Quayle
[In one of his more introspective moments…]

People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.
~ Dan Quayle
[Upon receiving his first mirror.]

Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.
~ Dan Quayle
[Things, you know… thing-a-ma-jigs, do-dads, doohickeys… it’s all very technical stuff, he doesn’t want to confuse us with jargon.]

I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.
~ Dan Quayle
[The Republican paradox: America is the greatest nation to ever exist on Earth and nothing can stop us… but we’re teetering on the brink.]

Murphy Brown is doing better than I am. At least she knows she still has a job next year.
~ Dan Quayle
[Also known as the “Dan Quayle Jinx.”]

Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.
~ Dan Quayle
[They missed one.]

We’re going to have the best-educated American people in the world.
~ Dan Quayle
[Yeah, fuck those ignorant American people living abroad!]

We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.
~ Dan Quayle
[They have professional unforeseers, who close their eyes and imagine the most ridiculous things, all to protect you.]

For NASA, space is still a high priority.
~ Dan Quayle
[Tang just never took off…]

I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican.
~ Dan Quayle
[Thanks for clearing that up.]

Public speaking is very easy.
~ Dan Quayle
[Especially if you don’t care what you say.]

Funny Bible Quote #59

And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

~ Mark 9:42-48, NIV

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Little Late, But…

It’s the end of January, and something struck me while walking through the mall the other day while my wife bought a new suit for job interviews: the mall is a lot more tolerable when it is not around “the holidays.” It’s not the crowds that make Christmas shopping so unbearable… it’s the music.

I remember shortly after New Years I was at CVS and the cashier ringing me up started singing along to the music being piped into the store. I smiled at the situation and she suddenly remembered herself and she commented, “I just really like the music today for some reason… oh yeah, they stopped playing the Christmas playlist.”

So here I am, bitching about the few hours I have to spend listening to the same stale Christmas tunes for a few hours a day, and I forget that people who work in retail have to listen to that tripe 20, 30, 40, even 50 or 60 hours a week , many at two jobs (over five percent, more than 15 million Americans).

So I make this plea: I’m no enemy of Christmas, but I beg for leniency from the torture of Christmas music playlists. Sure, after Thanksgiving you can slowly work a song or two in, culminating in maybe even a fifty-fifty mix in the last week or two, but why is it non-stop Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving until the day after New Years? Aren’t the horrible wages and zero benefits torture enough on the people stuck ringing up and bagging our purchases?

Funny Bible Quote #58

Be ye followers of me [Paul], even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

For this cause ought the woman to have power [covering] on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

~ 1 Corinthians 11:1-13, KJV

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Funny Bible Quote #57

Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

~ 1 Corinthians 11:14, KJV

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Atheist Prophecy #4

Somewhere in America, a man owns a Segway and a treadmill, but he does not see the irony.

Funny Bible Quote #56

Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

~ Luke 18:25, NIV

Friday, January 22, 2010

Atheist Prophecy #3

Despite the stereotype, Asian men will make their long-overdue appearance in the porn industry, sporting such names as Hung Wei Lo, Wel Hung Gai, Wei Lo Dong, and of course, Mr. Wang.

Polygamy: Hear me out…

People talk quite a bit about homosexuality, but this is not the only unconventional type of marriage. Polygamy is practiced to this day in many nations, including some of our closest allies such as Saudi Arabia. It is even mentioned in the Bible, but I can’t honestly say the Bible supports polygamy (certainly not the New Testament). Islam, on the other hand, is all for it, and most Muslim nations allow it.

I support polygamy, with a few conditions. The first and most important is that divorce must be an option that can be initiated by any of the spouses involved. Second, women should be allowed to have more than one husband just as men can have more than one wife. Other than that, I don’t understand what business it is of the government who marries whom.

Now before you angrily comment about how I am suggesting the very destruction of the social order, ask yourself this: is it illegal for a man to have sex with multiple women? Is there some limit on how many women a man can have children with? Is it illegal for a woman to bear the children of more than one man? Is there a limit to how many different men a woman may choose to father her children?

Outside of the confines of marriage, nothing illegal is occurring, nor is it uncommon. In fact, if all parties involved are aware of and condone the actions of the others, nothing immoral is even occurring. So why is it illegal (besides the fact that private health insurance companies hate sharing benefits to more people)?

The common strawman would be the fact that as it stands, polygamy is a system of oppressing women. This does happen, but only in the context of otherwise crippling social restraints (usually inspired by religious zeal). But the truth is, predatory marriages also occur in monogamous unions. This argument is akin to arguing that homosexual marriage would promote pedophilia; it is nothing more than an attempt to link a harmless practice with a truly abominable one, one which occurs even in the socially accepted model.

With that said… anyone else excited for the next episode of “Big Love” on Sunday?

Funny Bible Quote #55

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

~ Mark 10:25, NIV

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Most Important Court Decision Ever?

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, corporate money will continue to funnel into politics.

Expect more government hand-outs to big businesses, less taxes on the wealthy, and more freedom for companies to poison and maim you, the loyal customer. Basically more of this. For more details on the possible ramifications (all of which are not even certain), see here.

Here’s hoping Chief Justice John Roberts has another seizure, this time at the top of a much taller flight of stairs.

I Double Dare You...

Atheist Prophecy #2

Depression becomes so common in America that over half the population has it. As a result, happiness is diagnosed as a disorder, and is treated with one of three leading medications: Sadizine, Depressix, or Mizerol.

A Shot of Economic Reality

Conservatives live in a fantasy land. In Conservative Land, everyone is either a hard-working member of society who succeeds or a lazy bum who mooches off of others. In Conservative Land, those who work and pay taxes are supporting the “lifestyle” of those who buy Prada bags and drive BMWs bought with welfare checks.

This is bullshit. The economic reality is that most people on welfare work, in fact many work two jobs. Many are single mothers who never see their children because of how much they work. Many are disabled, mentally or physically unable to work. Many did everything right, and most would have had better lives if they had become drugs dealers or prostitutes, but they didn’t. They decided to work, and we don’t pay people wages they can live off of (even if they work multiple jobs).

Bankruptcy is a reality for many people today who never would have had to consider it a few decades ago. This decade, the number of people who file for bankruptcy because of medical bills has become the leading cause of individual filings for bankruptcy. Over half of bankruptcy filings in 2003 and 2004 were the result of medical debt incurred by individuals WITH INSURANCE. Let me repeat that: people with insurance are filing for bankruptcy at alarming rates due to their medical bills. Health care in this country is long overdue for an overhaul of epic proportions, and private insurance is downright criminal in its endeavour to deny health care for profit.

Americans are no less responsible than they were a decade ago. We aren’t having our homes foreclosed or our assets seized because we bought too many Snuggies or ShamWows off the TV. We’re in this situation because the system is broken for the benefit of those at the top who want more.

Meanwhile, Republicans, and then Democrats, backed the largest financial bailouts in history to already wealthy bankers. Where were the calls for “pulling yourself up by your own boot straps?” Apparently you can’t pull yourself up by your own wing tips, you need some help. What hope do the non-billionaires have?

Reaganism failed. Greed does not work, it merely sits back and collects checks. There is epidemic laziness in America, and you can identify the perpetrators by their white collars. Our economy funnels money to the alchemists on Wall Street while leaving the rest of us to fight like dogs over the scraps.

My only consolation is the fiery truth that every rebel relishes: that which takes centuries to build can be burned down in just hours.

Funny Bible Quote #54

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

~ Matthew 19:24, NIV

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Atheist Prophecy #1

People will stop reading “The New York Times” online in 2011.

Conservatives Make Horrible Christians

Why do so many conservatives pretend to be Christian? I really have so little to say on the subject of people who claim to follow Jesus while bitching and moaning about “handouts” to the poor. These people aren’t going to read this and actually provide me with any insight, nor can they even defend their position.

I guess my question is: how is it that the “atheist” system of Socialism more closely resembles the collectivist early beginnings of Christianity? Wait… you didn’t realize the early Christians were Communists? Well, as Pat Robertson would say, “true story.” Christians in the early church gave all they had in order to follow Jesus. Consider the following:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
~ Act 2:42-45 (NIV)

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
~ Acts 4:32-35 (NIV)
The Bible has a lot more to say about money:

No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
~ Luke 16:13 (NIV)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
~ Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

…any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
~ Luke 14:33 (NIV)

John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”
~ Luke 3:11 (NIV)

Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
~ Luke 6:30 (NIV)

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
~ Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner.
~ Ecclesiastes 5:10-13 (NIV)

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
~ Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
~ Proverbs 23:4-5 (NIV)

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
~ Proverbs 30:8-9 (NIV)

Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death...
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
~ Proverbs 11:4,28 (NIV)
So what gives? Why are conservatives claiming to be Christians when it is quite clear that Christianity is not about hording your own riches and avoiding taxes. Do they even know what Jesus said about taxes?

Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
~ Matthew 22:15-21 (NIV)
So my question stands: why do conservatives so often pretend to be Christian? Why don’t they just come out and admit they worship Mammon, a false god that even most atheists reject?

Funny Bible Quote #53

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.

~ Leviticus 18:22-23, KJV

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Funny Bible Quote #52

Think not that I [Jesus] am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

~ Matthew 10:34-39, KJV

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Reason for Atheism

I find a lot of theists discuss what they feel are the “reasons” for being an atheist. I’d like to go over a few of the common ones, and I’ll end by discussing the true reason [no peeking…].

Even I wield these arguments from time to time, but the fact is that they will never work on the believer. They will roll right off the back of any theist because every single one of these arguments is directly addressed by religion with an explanation which is satisfactory (i.e. “logical” and “reasonable”) to the believer. Frankly, none of this has anything to do with why I lack belief.

1. Logic/Reason – Many atheists use terms like “logic” and “reason” to discuss the lack of gods. The problem is that logic and reason are largely meaningless. They are mystical words which simply mean “This is what I think.” The idea of gods is perfectly “logical” and “reasonable,” as the human mind is perfectly capable of imagining it working.

2. Lack of Evidence – A lack of evidence is proof of nothing, and may be the result of our current ignorance. Tomorrow, someone could invent a machine that actually talked to gods, the way the first radio transmitters utilized formerly unknown capabilities that were merely unnoticed by human beings in nature.

3. Faulty Ethics – The morality of the Bible is called into question quite often, by both Christians and non-Christians. However, this provides no proof against the existence of gods. It is completely within the realm of possibility that the Biblical God was/is pissed off at the poor interpretation of His will, nor are human beings in a position to even question any command of a god (if it all turns out to be “accurate”).

4. One God in a Million – Exposing the fact that countless other gods have been imagined does not disprove the existence of YHWH anymore than imagining several theories for disease (demons, miasma, etc.) discounts germ theory. Each individual god must technically be assessed in order to determine its validity.

5. Prayer Fails – Not much to say here, besides the old cliché of believers: “All prayers are answered, but sometimes the answer is ‘No.’”

However... do the gods truly “answer?”

* The true reason:
I don’t feel it - God is described with such vivid closeness by believers who describe a “personal relationship.” Something so deep and meaningful is clearly tangible to the believer, but it is something I completely lack. I looked in all the right places, did all the right things, said all the right prayers… and at the end of the day it was only me rummaging around in my own head.

Atheists will never believe in something they are meant to feel, but do not. An atheist cannot be convinced through argument that s/he feels God anymore than a theist can be convinced through argument that s/he does not feel God. Arguing over feelings... utter futility.

Funny Bible Quote #51

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

~ Exodus 34:5-7, NIV

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The “Importance” of Being Atheist

When I sit down to write a blog post, I have to get into the mindset. I must to have an idea and consciously concentrate on the subject. In other words, the contents of this blog are not the things I usually focus on. Moreover, my blog is hardly about atheism so much as it is a reaction to religion. Atheism is just not that important to me.

Atheism is little more than a preference, not all that different from homosexuality, polyamory, or enjoying pork/beef. There are religions which preach against all of these, but the truth is they are harmless in and of themselves. More importantly, these kind of inclinations are largely outside of conscious choice (though their practice is not, I personally find it abominable to deny people a harmless joy).

In fact, these distinctions are hardly even important to most people who possess them. Instead, significance is projected from those who fervently oppose the activity. While homosexuality is openly criticized in a Christian culture, the consumption of pork is forbidden in Muslim or Jewish society (as well as homosexuality, and atheism for that matter).

The truth is, taboos are significant only to the those who avoid them. Vegans have created a whole new language of terms for people who wear animals products, eat or don’t eat eggs/milk, and even for honey consumption. Normal people don’t have any need for defining themselves based on what foods they eat, even if they don’t eat them. Most people don’t eat dogs, but we do not feel compelled to state it... though no one in America is ever going to let Koreans forget that they used to.

I think there are very few people who define themselves based on their religious standing, whether they are believers or not. They may self-identify, but how often does religion really come up? Unless you subscribe to fundamentalism, I would imagine not often. I hope this blog doesn’t turn me into a fundamentalist atheist.

Mythical Interviews: Dionysus

GINX: Since God was drunk during my last interview, I figured I’d contact the Greek god of drunkenness, Dionysus.

DIONYSUS: I am actually the god of wine and ecstatic ritual.

GINX: Is there a god of drunkenness?

DIONYSUS: Yeah, ever since Ted Kennedy showed up.

GINX: When gods drink, do they develop sense of humor?

DIONYSUS: When don’t we have a sense of humor? What did Yawā say when you talked to him?

GINX: Yawā?

DIONYSUS: You know, “God” with a capital G.

GINX: Oh… He actually turned the interview around and asked me questions.

DIONYSUS: How’d that go?

GINX: I’m a pretty boring person, so there wasn’t much to talk about.

DIONYSUS: Boring person? I doubt that… Let’s pull up your bio here… well this is interesting, it says you were born in misery.

GINX: It’s pronounced “Missouri.”

DIONYSUS: What’s the difference, really? Hmm… you moved to Rochester, Michigan. Hey, you went to the same grade school as Madonna.

GINX: Yeah, I know.

DIONYSUS: Boy, that school produced her and a stalwart atheist like you. Catholic schools ain’t what they used to be, let me tell you. Not too long ago, those places were full of ruler-wielding nuns. Now… well, I might send my incarnation to one. The skirts the girls wear…

GINX: Easy, tiger.

DIONYSUS: And it’s great how all the girls do anal.

GINX: Okay....

DIONYSUS: You know, so they keep their virginity.

GINX: Alright, if we could just—

DIONYSUS: You’re not boring at all! Wow, you used to do –

GINX: Whoa whoa whoa, just that one time… for five months.


GINX: I have got to learn to keep better control of my interviews.

DIONYSUS: Can’t you just edit this later?

GINX: And ruin the integrity?

DIONYSUS: True. Can’t tamper with divine inspiration. How are you doing this, by the way? Is your head in a hat like Joseph Smith?

GINX: I’m sitting at a computer.

DIONYSUS: That’s the problem with you modern people. There’s no… romanticism, no theatrics, no mystique. You lack a certain… joie de vivre.

GINX: I’m not a prophet, nor am I trying to start a religion.

DIONYSUS: So why do you talk to gods and write about it?

GINX: Boredom.

DIONYSUS: There’s nothing else you could be doing right now?

GINX: No, not really.

DIONYSUS: You could spend more time with your wife.

GINX: Yeah, I could…

DIONYSUS: Women are so needy.

GINX: I didn’t say that.

DIONYSUS: I know, but they are. They can’t help it. They don’t derive joy from being alone, the way men do. Most women like to be surrounded by people. Even worse, they want you to “take them out.” Nowhere in particular, just away from the home they make you fill at great expense with all their token knick-knacks and superfluous comforts like throw pillows and duvets.

GINX: I guess I’m just not that cynical about it. Besides, my wife doesn’t like going out that much. It’s just not fair because she gets to use her laptop while we watch TV, and my desktop computer is in the back room. So, when she puts on something to watch which is so incredibly mindless and boring that not even she has any interest in it, she just opens up her laptop and surfs the internet. And I rarely get to decide what we watch, otherwise I wouldn’t have missed the last three years of “Mythbusters.”

DIONYSUS: Oh no, the horrors of your life… if only you had been in Haiti and had a roof collapse on your head, ending it all.

GINX: You were the one who brought up women being irritating, I was just stating the one minor thing my wife does that I find annoying. I was trying to relate to you rather than think of you as petty.

DIONYSUS: Uh huh, try explaining that to her when she reads this.

GINX: She won’t.

DIONYSUS: Your own wife doesn’t read these?

GINX: These interviews are really Christo-centric anyway, and she was raised Jewish. I’m not even sure if she’d really enjoy these. She reads my other blog. She says she’s too busy to read this one.

DIONYSUS: Too busy not watching mindless sitcoms?

GINX: I’m not interested in pressuring her to read this.

DIONYSUS: Well sure, not now!

GINX: She wouldn’t even be angry about this

DIONYSUS: All women hate when you talk about a dispute you’re having in public. It’s just human nature.

GINX: You mean woman nature?

DIONYSUS: Men hate it too.

GINX: Choose your words more carefully, then.

DIONYSUS: What are you, the male feminist?

GINX: Well, I let this interview get completely out of hand again.

DIONYSUS: Was there something you planned to ask me?

GINX: I don’t even remember.

DIONYSUS: I tend to have that effect on people.

GINX: Hmm… okay, I know. God mentioned that He eats souls.

DIONYSUS: We all do, sort of. I don’t think of them as “souls,” I call them “psyches.” We consume them, so that nothing is left of most people after they die.

GINX: That seems kind of barbaric.

DIONYSUS: Well, what do you expect us to eat?


DIONYSUS: I’ve never heard of “Um,” does it taste good?

GINX: I don’t know, it just seems cruel.

DIONYSUS: Cruel would be letting you people live forever. As rotten as you people are, as awful as the things you do to each other… you ought to be eternally grateful that we devour the last vestiges of your imperfection after your bodily death.

GINX: But Ted Kennedy is still around?

DIONYSUS: That’s the hitch: you guys make gods all the time. We can’t eat those.

GINX: What about Hitler?

DIONYSUS: Yep, he’s up here.

GINX: You’re kidding me!

DIONYSUS: It’s not based on how good someone is, only their fame. Honestly, you have a better chance if you’re a true wretch on an epic scale. I think the last decent divine ascendency was Mother Teresa. And even then, Princess Diana showed up within like a week to sully that arrival.

GINX: So heaven is a collection of dead celebrities and tyrants?

DIONYSUS: More or less, but the tyrants keep mostly to themselves.

GINX: What about hell?

DIONYSUS: You’re in it.

GINX: You know… I always suspected we were reincarnated on Earth.

DIONYSUS: Sort of. It’s a little more complex. You think of yourself as a single being, which is only natural in your given state, but the truth is your body is like a glass and the eternal you is the water. Once the glass breaks, the water that filled the vessel of you disperses, never to be together as a whole again. Your “water” will come back, but in many different bodies… most of them not even human. You’ll probably never be yourself again.

GINX: Weird. So how do famous people avoid that?

DIONYSUS: Well… I guess to keep up the analogy… their water freezes, which allows it to keep shape. But that’s not exactly how it works. I’m not that good with analogies, honestly. This is all stuff I gleaned from listening to Plato and Socrates argue for millennia.

GINX: I appreciate the… revelation, as it were.

DIONYSUS: No problem. You should have me back sometime. No one ever talks to me sober anymore. This is the first conversation with a mortal I’ve had in centuries where they didn’t end up shouting or crying by the end of it. That or calling their ex-lover on the phone and making romantic promises they won’t even remember in the morning.

GINX: Yeah, I’m not a big fan of alcohol.

DIONYSUS: I can’t say I blame you.

GINX: Would you come back to do a panel discussion? I was thinking of getting all the gods who Satan is modeled after together to discuss evil.

DIONYSUS: And you think Satan is partially modeled after me? If anything, Christianity borrowed elements of my cult to use as their own. The only thing about me that is even remotely devilish are the satyrs that follow me and my merry band of revelers. And trust me, you don’t want to interview one of them. They truly are devils.

GINX: Hmm…

DIONYSUS: But that doesn’t mean I can’t be on the panel!

GINX: Well, I’ll figure something out.

DIONYSUS: Okay. It was nice talking to you, and even nicer to be recognized.

GINX: Actually I have one more question: Why do the gods have such low self-esteem?

DIONYSUS: What do you mean, like how we crave human attention?

GINX: Yeah.

DIONYSUS: Our very existence as gods depends upon human memory of us. If we are forgotten… we cease to exist.

GINX: So then why aren’t the gods actively trying to get our attention?

DIONYSUS: We really have no power in the world, only in the minds of mankind. We can only indirectly act in the world, and it must be through human beings… and occasionally animals. In this sense, we do expose our existence through the intangible human psyche. I think we’ve been quite successful at getting your attention, even if so many of you attribute all of it to Yawā.

GINX: Well, thank you for talking to me, I appreciate you taking the time.

DIONYSUS: Call on me whenever you wish. Don’t be a stranger.

Funny Bible Quote #50

Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.

Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

~ 1 Samuel 15:2-3, KJV

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Funny Bible Quote #49

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

~ James 2:14-17, NIV

Friday, January 15, 2010

Right, Wrong, Reason, and Law

Of all the clichés I neglected to add to my Frequently Asked Questions, the two I see most often and should think about adding are:

“Do atheists have any morals?”

“What reason does an atheist have for living?”

I feel I have satisfactorily responded to the second question here. In short, each of us must construct our own “meaning of life,” setting our own goals and aspiring towards our own dreams (even though they are not truly our own, but borrowed from our society).

The question of atheist moral development is one of identical understanding: each of us must construct our own morality. Many things contribute to determining our morality, and so multitudinous are they that it would be almost impossible to consider them all. Yet despite the outside influences, I believe very firmly that we are responsible and accountable for the choices we make.

I have heard and read comments implying that atheists have no concept of right or wrong. It’s true that many shy away from the terms “right” and “wrong,” but there are both religious and secular philosophies which operate on principles, not circumstantial “right” and “wrong” scenarios. In some cases, people who cease to see “right” and “wrong” have a more developed ethical code than the Christian who believes the Bible is a literal guidebook.

Personally, I have no problem pointing out whether I find a particular action to be right or wrong. I simultaneously acknowledge that it is merely my opinion, and that in most circumstances it is not right to impose my will on someone else. I think it is common for people to disagree on a few matters of morality, and in most circumstances people should be left to live unimpeded. I only feel compelled to act against others in the incredibly rare instances when physical harm is imminent. However, societies usually share common ethics, with only a few points of contention dominating the discussion (as there is no sense in talking about what we all agree on).

Law is the major field in which morality plays an important role in society. The terms “legal” and “illegal” are important distinctions, as they define what actions a society deems worthy of reacting to with force. To me, there are five domains of morality (with lots of overlap): right, wrong, neutral, legal, and illegal.

Despite arguments to the contrary, very few “right” things are illegal. It’s never been illegal to feed the homeless or pick up trash from the ground. The “right” thing to do is almost universally acceptable, and I cannot think of a single example to the contrary (though there are likely some). The travesty tends to come when neutral actions are deemed illegal.

There is no true relationship between right and legal in actual practice, nor between wrong and illegal. There are legal actions which I am confident are wrong, and there are illegal actions which I am confident are not wrong. I think there are bound to be plenty of legal things which are wrong, but it is a mockery of justice for anything right or neutral to be illegal. In fact, plenty of things which are wrong ought to be legal.

Drugs, premarital sex, homosexuality, adultery, and blasphemy have all been (or currently are) illegal. There are taboos and prejudices regarding these, and there may be some drawbacks, but they are standard cost/benefit decisions that individuals are capable of making on their own. While I find some of these activities to be neutral and some to be wrong, one cannot ignore that there is no consensus on the matter.

This is why there needs to be some things which are “wrong” but legal. Cheating on your spouse is almost universally considered to be wrong, yet it is not illegal. Why? Because the police departments (and by extension, the government) has no business arbitrating the private relationships of citizens. Sure, the police are (and should be) called to domestic abuse incidents, but this is because violence is occurring.

Even though adultery is legal, there are repercussions. This would is no different from drug use if it were made legal. Drugs are against the law, and it has come to a point where the response from law enforcement far exceeds the toll taken on the addict or user by the drug itself. Imagine if you were thrown in jail for cheating on your spouse… this is the case for US military servicemen (and it certainly hasn’t stopped them). Adding a punitive consequence to an already self-destructive decision is often not the best solution.

In a perfect world, all actions which are illegal must not only be “wrong” in the eyes of most people, but they must cause outcomes which warrant the use of force. Just because I deem something “wrong” does not mean I ought to petition the government to make it illegal. This is my stance on many things, from cigarettes and alcohol to pop music and religion. I don’t have to like something in order to tolerate it, nor does my tolerance imply passive acceptance.

I really doubt anyone cares what I think is right or wrong, but the list of things that I think ought to be illegal is so short, I might as well share it:

1. Murder/Attempted Murder
2. Torture/Rape
3. Identity Theft/Electronic Fraud
4. Assault/Negligence
5. Theft/Destruction of Property
6. Breaking Contract/Lying in Court

[Malicious and repeated offenders of crimes 1-3 should be subject to death.]
If I missed something, let me know.

As far as what I think is “wrong,” the list is too long to list. I tend to have an egocentric view of “right” and “wrong,” because I only make decisions based on what I would do. I have little interest in making other people’s choices, nor would I put myself in their shoes (because footwear has nothing to do with it).

If someone asks me what I think of tattoos, my answer is “I don’t like them.” For me, they’re wrong. They shouldn’t be illegal, and I don’t look down on people for having tattoos… in all circumstances. To me, tattoos symbolize youth: impulsive and callow. People who get tattoos tend to be young, or old people trying to feel young. It would be truly unfair to say all or even most people regret their tattoos at some point in the future, but I will say this: given the popularity of tattoos in the last decade, I recommend investing in companies that provide laser removal services.

I’ve dated people who had tattoos and I have worked with many more. People aren’t bad or wrong just for doing something that I would never do. I think for nearly everyone, this is an unstated fact. Humans have no problem tolerating difference, but human institutions like religion are another matter.

Religion tells you what is right and wrong, and there is no neutral gray area. Religion often implies that we ought to implement these morals into law. Religion even gives us our reason for being. It is no small wonder that the religious would seem at a loss as to how a non-believer can determine right, wrong, reason and the law, but rest assured: we do, and I think we do it better.

Funny Bible Quote #48

Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

~ Matthew 6:1, NIV

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Funny Bible Quote #47

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

~ Psalm 53:1, KJV

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Funny Bible Quote #46

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NIV

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Funny Bible Quote #45

If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;

Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.

But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:

For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.

~ Deuteronomy 22:23-27, KJV

Monday, January 11, 2010

Funny Bible Quote #44

And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.

Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

~ Numbers 31:15-18, KJV

Old Stuff

Working on some other Mythological Interviews (including a possible round-table discussion). In the mean time, I thought I'd post links to the other fiction I wrote on my other blog. I thought about reposting it here, but I think I would rather just link back to the original posting on ABT.

Old Man Ramblings

Parable of the Yankees Fan

An Atheist's Footprints In The Sand (poem)

Open Letter to God

From the Outside (poem)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Funny Bible Quote #43

If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity," then the girl's father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate.

The girl's father will say to the elders, "I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, 'I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.' But here is the proof of my daughter's virginity."

Then her parents shall display the cloth [sheets from the wedding night with blood stains] before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the girl's father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.

If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you.

~ Deuteronomy 22:13-21, NIV

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Atheism, One God At A Time

I have spent a long time back-pedaling from the statement “there are no gods.” It doesn’t seem scientific to make such a broad claim without evidence. Then again, I’m not a scientist. I took a lot of science classes in college, but I was never any good at them. So fuck it, I don’t represent the scientific community.

There are no gods.

I make this statement after having read about many gods and the cultures who dreamed them up. Sure, I have not read about every deity ever worshipped (especially those from long forgotten, non-literate societies), but it turns out there’s one particular god a lot of people really care about.

Why is that? There have been millions of gods to roam the imagination of men, but monotheists deny the existence of all but one. No one challenges the Christian to disprove the existence of Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the Moon. It would be a tough challenge, too, since you can actually see the moon. How did Christians manage to sidestep this dilemma?

The gods exist, but only in an abstract sense within our minds. They have power, but only that which we attribute to them. Religion is a system of autosuggestion, and it turns out that when people stop believing in the pantheon of gods, they lose their influence over society. This is pretty definitive evidence against the gods, because the faithful are warned that horrible things will happen if you don’t pay tribute with sacrifice and prayer… yet nothing happens when they stop. If you no longer believe in something and it goes away, the only place it ever existed was in your head.

It is important to understand that there is very little difference between the monotheistic rejection of foreign gods and atheism. Both deny the existence of countless gods, and both are content to do so with little specific evidence for each individual deity. It is understood that each unique god does not require its own in-depth study in order to be philosophically ignored. However, monotheism rejects all but one, while atheism rejects them all.

The only theological difference between monotheism and atheism is the cognitive dissonance embodied in partial skepticism and selective superstition. Truth is mightier than the gods, because it exists even when we cease to believe in it. Knowledge is like a god, only better.

I am glad to finally know there are no gods.

Funny Bible Quote #42

If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

~ Deuteronomy 22:22, KJV

Friday, January 8, 2010

Look Out!

When I first turned away from religion, it was not under neutral circumstances. I felt religious people were hostile towards me (and all of humanity), and I was in turn hostile towards the religious. That changed over time.

For one thing, there is no massive conspiracy to turn everyone Christian or Muslim. A conspiracy is, after all, planned in secret. These religions are quite open about their intention to convert others. Religious believers are not trying to be intrusive or annoying, it’s just the way their ideology is constructed. One has to remember (or if one was never religious, imagine) the mindset of the believer:

Imagine you see a group of children playing in the street, and a car is coming. You probably wouldn’t approach them politely and ask them in a reasonable manner to kindly move themselves out of the way. No, you would probably shout frantically, maybe even run up to them and push them out of the way. Christians really believe they are saving people’s souls… literally. Since the stakes are so high (eternal salvation versus eternal damnation), things can get very intense.

It is quite easy for Christians to maintain this sense of urgency regarding faith. Those who are this dire hold dear the command to “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42), for they “know not when the master of the house cometh” (Mark 13:35). In the minds of evangelical Christians, there is an impending doom hanging over all of humanity, and only Jesus (with an assist from the believer) can save us. The problem is, it all comes off as rather rude and alarmist.

This is partly due to the Bible’s shoddy morality. The primary tenant of Christian ethics regarding the treatment of others is the “Golden Rule:” do unto others as you would have done unto you (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31, Luke 10:27). This is a pretty good rule, but it has lots of major holes. This does not account for the fact that your neighbors almost certainly have completely different ideas of how they want to be treated.

This is the root problem. Many Christians think, “If I were not Christian, I would want someone to introduce me to Christ.” Except… they wouldn’t. Christians don’t like other religions trying to recruit them, so why would a Christian think their neighbor wants to have Christianity shoved in their face? Would Christians tolerate Buddhists knocking on their door at 10am and sharing their love of meditation? How about Hindus outside McDonald’s carrying signs depicting a slaughterhouse floor? Just look at the holy hell they rose over a few atheist billboards.

It is futile to try to discourage proselytizing. The Bible is clearly and unequivocally in favor of it, as it is full of calls to “spread the word.” In the end, you can’t really justify getting angry at Christians. Blame the faith, not the faithful. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Christianity is just inherently invasive. Most Christians choose to show a fair amount of restraint, but they are doing so against the calling of their faith. In a way, Christians who keep their faith to themselves are not good Christians, just good people. Lucky for us, most people make rotten Christians.

Funny Bible Quote #41

If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

~ Deuteronomy 22:28-29, NIV

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christian Forgiveness*

*some restrictions may apply...

The Bible says a lot about how to treat your “neighbor,” but there’s not a very clear definition of what a “neighbor” is. The Old Testament seems to imply only those of your local religious community are “neighbors,” and even at times calls for different action when dealing with fellow Jewish “neighbors” versus non-Jewish outsiders.

Jesus seems to redefine “neighbor” with the parable of the Good Samaritan. He implies that even those of different tribes and beliefs are worthy of respect.

Some modern believers don’t feel this way. Take Tiger Woods as an example. Christians preach forgiveness, but apparently only for fellow Christians. I couldn’t possibly care less if Tiger Woods slept with a million women out of wedlock. It’s not illegal, just immoral, but only because his wife clearly didn’t condone it. I am more fascinated as to why people even care who celebrities sleep with than by the story itself.

Then religion came up, and suddenly I had to pay attention. Tiger Woods is a Buddhist, and apparently Brit Hume at Faux News is very concerned about his soul. Apparently Tiger will find forgiveness if he finds Jesus (they’re next to each other on the shelf at Christian Concepts Unlimited).

I think what Brit meant to say was that Tiger will be viewed by his white-bread fan base with more sympathy if he leaves his heathen faith and joins the winning side with Team Jesus (mascot: The Fightin' WASPs). Sure, maybe Tiger Woods will be forgiven if he is a Christian. It seems to have worked for Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Eliot Spitzer, Mark Sanford, John Edwards, Larry Craig, John Ensign, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, Joe DiMaggio, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter…

On another note: Is Tiger Woods the first Buddhist celebrity to cheat on his wife? [Does the Richard Gere hamster incident count?]

I find it strange (and kind of sad) that a Christian would suggest being Christian will make one forgivable. Will Christians one day all change their last name to “Neighbor,” so they only have to treat fellow Christians fairly? “It says in the Bible I only have to treat Neighbors with respect, you heathen bastards!” It sure would make the in-breeding less obvious among Republicans (I'm talking to you, Giuliani).

Even if there is a God, and Jesus is standing next to Him in heaven judging us when we die (although not really, cause they’re the same person… otherwise it’s not monotheism…), I’m pretty sure there’s a special place in hell where they send you if you convert to Christianity in order to maintain your popularity and sponsorships.

Besides, Tiger already has a religion. People don’t just change their faith in moments of crisis. If anything, they hold onto their faith even more tightly. So straighten up, Tiger, or you’re coming back in your next life as a caddy.

And to America: it’s embarrassingly pathetic to care so much about the personal life of a guy who hits balls into holes with a stick for a living.

Funny Bible Quote #40

And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:

So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

~ Acts 19:11-19, KJV

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Parallel Mythologies

I don’t believe in parallel universes. I acknowledge that multiverses are “possible,” because we cannot prove they are impossible, just like the existence of gods is possible. Its even possible that when when I can’t find the remote, invisible unicorns took it.

The point is, if we imagine a scenario which cannot be disproven, it is “possible,” but by no means plausible. In fact, it has been my experience that human beings are inherently wrong. We are told in school to “go with your gut instict” and “your first impulse is usually correct.” This may be true with multiple choice tests, but not in reality (which is fill in the blank).

While I think “parallel universes” are merely an interesting topic of science fiction, “parallel mythologies” are real. Parallel mythologies are stories which depict the same events, but differently. The Bible is full of parallel mythologies. The three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, & Luke) tell pretty much the same stories, with slight variation in details. However, the best parallel mythologies have entirely different messages between the two myths.

For good parallel Christian mythology, one has to look outside the Bible. Plenty of works circulated around the time of the Bible’s compilation, but few that were not enshrined in the canon survive.

There were gospels which told of a human Jesus, son of Joseph and Mary, who was a prophet empowered with the gift of healing. There were gospels which painted a portrait of Mary Magdalene as the close confidante of Jesus (notably The Gospel of Mary Magdelene). The Gospel of Judas Iscariot says that Judas was instructed by Jesus to turn him in to the Romans in order to initiate the events of the crucifixion, and that Judas was entrusted with secret knowledge of the resurrection. The Jews even have their version of things.

So many Christians know very little about what’s in their Bible, but they know even less about the stuff that didn’t quite make it. I think they forget, in the hurry to follow in their master’s footsteps, that the prints they follow are merely those of followers who came before them, and that the trail of the master is long gone. Christians do not have faith in Jesus, they have faith in those who came centuries later, who defined key aspects of their path of faith.

And if you’re thinking of reconstructing “true” Christianity… good luck piecing it together from what little survived the book burnings.

Funny Bible Quote #39

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

~ Ephesians 6:5-8, NIV

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

From The Mouth of Believers

In the interest of showing that people of every ideology have something to offer to intellectual discussion, here are some of my favorite quotes from prominent believers.

Beware of the person of one book.
~ Saint Thomas Aquinas

Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.
~ Saint Augustine of Hippo

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
~ Mother Teresa

For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel.
~ Martin Luther

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist.
~ Archbishop Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara

Funny Bible Quote #38

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

~ Ephesians 5:22-24, NIV

Monday, January 4, 2010

Why Bother?

It’s a question I would not expect Christians to ask an atheist, but somehow it happens. There’s really a simple logic as to why Christians ask atheists what purpose their lives have.

Christian theology states that this life is fleeting, like a grain of sand on a beach of the infinite. I agree. Christian theology states that the pleasures of this life have consequences. I agree. Christian theology states our soul survives death and undergoes judgment, at which point our actions will determine our eternal fate. This is where our views diverge.

I fail to see how lacking a belief in the afterlife makes my life meaningless. On the contrary, it makes my short, finite life the most meaningful thing in the world to me. Nor does this view make me wreckless. Our lives are short, and because I believe this is all we get, anything that shortens our lives will have “eternal” consequences, as far as I’m concerned.

Christians also don’t like the scientific view of the universe. We’re one of billions of species on a wet rock, hurtling through space around a hydrogen fuelled fireball, which is one of billions of star systems in our galaxy, which is one of billions of galaxies. It isn’t “special” enough for them. It wasn’t all created for our benefit. To Christians, science [and by extension, that wretched atheism] is shattering their anthropocentric view of the universe… but what is the harm in the humility of this realization?

Christians also find something offensive about being descended from apes. Of course, they are even more shocked when you point out we are also descended from pond scum. Is that so much worse than being dirt that some god blew life into? I don’t see what the fuss is about. Besides, we aren’t pond scum, we’re the descendents of millions of success stories. Our DNA carries most of the same coding as our ancestors who hunted mammoths. We are the spawn of heroes. Religion has no monopoly on romanticism, nor does it even have the best product for sale.

It’s not hard to see why Christians cannot imagine what life without religion would be like. I guess since they define hell as “the absence of God,” a life without God must not be worth living. I’m glad religion is there to act as a crutch for these people, but it would be nice if they would stop hitting people over the head with it.

There are more reasons to live than there are people alive today, which is why most of us aren’t in a hurry to leave. Even Christians, who claim to believe in eternal bliss after they die, fight and struggle to stay alive, even going so far as to protest euthanasia and abortion on the grounds of being pro-life (capital punishment is ok… that's in the Bible… like what they did to Jesus…). The Pope drives around in a bullet-proof car, what more is there to say?

Funny Bible Quote #37

And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

~ Leviticus 21:9, KJV

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Unsavory Theology

I’m a pretty sophomoric guy, and Christianity is full of strange things most people don’t think about that a prurient mind like mine can’t help but notice. Here are two of my favorites:

Exhibit A: The Holy Prepuce

Jesus, like all Jews before and after him, was circumcised. This means the foreskin on his penis was cut off. Now, it seems unlikely, but many have claimed that someone had the “fore”sight to hold onto Jesus’ willy-hood. Nobles, kings, bishops and popes in the middle ages went “nuts” for Jesus memorabilia of all kinds: parts of wood claiming to be from the cross to which Jesus was nailed, the infamously fake Shroud of Turin, etc. Churches even held onto what they swore was part of Christ’s crotch.

Exhibit B: Mary’s “Virginity”

I’m not going to make the case here that Mary was not a virgin. The fact is, she was not, but most Christians will not accept that. So, according to Christianity, Mary’s hymen was intact when she gave birth to Jesus. For those not in the know, the hymen is the medical name of the membrane of skin that is broken when a woman loses her virginity (or falls on a fence post as a kid, or rides a horse often). According to Christians, this means Jesus took his mother's virginity during the birth process, technically popping his own mother’s cherry, making him the youngest man to ever do so. Add that to his list of accomplishments, if you dare. But stop calling Mary the “Eternal Virgin;” Jesus had siblings (notably James).

Jim Gaffigan: On Religion

Jim Gaffigan On Religion

REDLEG 13 | MySpace Video

Jim's also from Indiana and has a Catholic background. Maybe that's why I relate to him... that and the startlingly white complexion.

Funny Bible Quote #36

So I turned my mind to understand,
to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things
and to understand the stupidity of wickedness
and the madness of folly.

I find more bitter than death
the woman who is a snare,
whose heart is a trap
and whose hands are chains.
The man who pleases God will escape her,
but the sinner she will ensnare.

"Look," says the Teacher, "this is what I have discovered:
"Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things-

while I was still searching
but not finding—
I found one upright man among a thousand,
but not one upright woman among them all.

This only have I found:
God made mankind upright,
but men have gone in search of many schemes."

~ Ecclesiastes 7:25-29, NIV

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year, New Look, Same Arrogance

I altered my blog’s appearance a bit, and I might change a few more things, but let me know if you think it’s particularly better or worse. I just get sick of looking at the same thing.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year. Although…

Where is all the controversy over the New Year celebration? There are many different New Year holidays, Jewish Rosh Hashanah and Chinese New Year come to mind. In fact… that means Jesus would have celebrated the New Year in September. January 1st has no Christian… oh wait.

January first is, in fact, a Christian holiday. For many years, many European people would go to sleep Christmas Eve, December 24th, in one year, and wake up Christmas day, December 25th, in the next. This was called the “Christmas system.” Other parts of Europe used March 25th, the annunciation (day the angel told Mary God was gonna knock her up).

Most of Europe adopted January 1st, the Feast of the Circumcision (when it is believed Jesus had his genitals mutilated in traditional Hebrew fashion) as the new year by the 16th century.

Happy New Year!

Funny Bible Quote #35

Then said he [Jesus] unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

~ Luke 22:36, KJV

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mythical Interviews: God #2

GINX: Please welcome back…[glances at card] God.

GOD: *cough*

GINX: Fine… [staring at card] All hail the supreme creator of all things, the prime mover, from whence all of existence flows, and who certainly has no parents.

GOD: Hello, Ginx.

GINX: It was hard to get a hold of you the past couple weeks.

GOD: Well, you know… holidays.

GINX: What were your plans?

GOD: I went bear hunting with Sarah Palin.

GINX: Really?

GOD: Yeah. The Pope was pissed I wasn’t there to stop that crazy lady from tackling him.

GINX: Well, he seems fine. He’s a pretty robust pontiff.

GOD: All that exercise sure did wonders for the Hitler Youth.

GINX: Wow…

GOD: Come on, admit it. He’s in much better shape than Pope John Palsy.

GINX: Just… wow… I don’t remember you being this… jolly the last time I saw you.

GOD: Christmas tends to have that effect on me. I get drunk on the Christmas spirits. Loosen up a bit!

GINX: Interesting.

GOD: Hey, you know what?

GINX: No, what?

GOD: I got a question for you, Mister I-make-fun-of-God.

GINX: Shoot.

GOD: Why is it that atheists are more interested in religion than most religious people?

GINX: Maybe you have it backwards, and the more you know about religion, the more full of shit it appears to be.

GOD: Naw, I think it’s something else. I think you guys are looking for something.


GOD: Like, if you keep digging through every single piece of esoteric theology that ever existed, maybe one day, at long last, you’ll find the proof you need to believe. That’s why you keep learning about religions even after you claim to disbelieve, yet keep immersing yourself in things you say anger you.

GINX: I don’t think so.

GOD: So why are you interviewing a being you claim doesn’t exist?

GINX: To get attention?

GOD: Yeah, you’re probably right.

GINX: Are you done? Because I have a few questions I wanted to get to.

GOD: Alright. Whatever.

GINX: Why do you need so much praise?

GOD: I don’t need it. You openly admitted attention is nice to have.

GINX: So, that’s one thing you have in common with us, a need to be recognized?

GOD: Recognition is a part of it, but I prefer it if you don’t struggle.

GINX: Struggle?

GOD: Never mind. Next question.

GINX: Okay… what are the limits of your powers?

GOD: Why would I tell you that?

GINX: Because I can smell the booze on your breathe from here?

GOD: Hmm… well, now that you mention it, there is one thing I wish I had power over: human action.

GINX: Interesting. So there is such a thing as free will?

GOD: Very much so. It’s quite a hassle getting people to do what I want them to do if they lack obedience.

GINX: Well, that’s good to know.

GOD: Don’t get me wrong. People will do what I tell them to do. The Bible is full of the stories of what happens when you ignore my will. I can be very… influential.

GINX: Any favorite examples?

GOD: I’d have to go with Jonah.

GINX: So, do what You say, or a giant fish will eat you?

GOD: Oh please, that isn’t how the story goes at all. The fish saved Jonah. Ginx, you know better than that.

GINX: Okay, so listen to what You say, or You’ll send a storm to destroy the boat you’re on, killing innocent people in the process?

GOD: There you go.

GINX: My mistake. What are your thoughts on Israel?

GOD: Considering the fact that I have not blessed their return with peace, what do you think?

GINX: So you oppose the nation of Israel?

GOD: No, I just wasn’t ready to give it back to them yet. Muslims are so much more… pious.

GINX: You like Muslims more than Jews?

GOD: I love all my people, you can’t ask the Father to choose which of His children He loves more. You’re trying to put words in my mouth, and I won’t say what you want me to say.

GINX: I’m not sure what you mean, but I’ll just move on.

GOD: Please do.

GINX: What about abortion?

GOD: What about it?

GINX: Well, many people on Earth claim you oppose it.

GOD: I do.

GINX: Really? Why?

GOD: I have no use for such immature souls.

GINX: So, it’s completely based on your utilitarian needs?

GOD: I suppose you could put it that way.

GINX: And what are those needs?

GOD: Let’s just say… pre-natal souls taste awful.

GINX: Wait, you eat our souls?!

GOD: Perhaps I’ve said too much…

GINX: Come on, admit it, you devour the souls of dead people.

GOD: Why wait until their dead? Have you heard of “Alzheimer’s,” or “vegetative comas?”

GINX: You know, I always suspected…

GOD: What tipped you off? All the “fishers of men” or “God’s Shepherd” stuff in the Bible?

GINX: Actually, it was the “become one with me in eternity” concept.

GOD: *laugh* Yeah, that was a good one.

GINX: Do you eat everyone’s soul, or just the souls of the religious?

GOD: I pick and choose. The rules I give the religious to live by are designed to make them taste better, but they so rarely follow them. I can count on the Mormons to give me a decent crop, Muslims too, but most Christians taste awful, especially around the holidays. Many of them are drunk and it gets me all tipsy.

GINX: Are you going to sober up and regret this interview?

GOD: Oh please, like anyone would take anything you have to say seriously.

GINX: You got me there.

GOD: Look, I have to go soon.

GINX: Okay, one more question.

GOD: I’m listening.

GINX: What’s the meaning of life?

GOD: The meaning of your life, or all life?

GINX: How about both?

GOD: I’ll give you one.

GINX: I suppose it’d be pretty selfish to ask about just mine, so tell me the meaning of all life.

GOD: To entertain me.

GINX: *sigh* Now I wish I had asked about my life.

GOD: Whose to say the answer is any different?

GINX: Well, thank you for taking the time during this busy holiday season. I hope you don’t get a hangover.

GOD: All of mankind ought to hope I don’t get one. Peace be unto you, my child.

GINX: Take it easy.
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