The Rapture on May 21st.

Have you kind people been preparing for the Rapture?  Have you told all your relatives and friends to not fly or take a road trip on this coming Saturday, May 21st.?  Have you made arrangements for some pagan to come and care for your pet dog or cat or whatever?

I’ve been trying to get some rapture believers to sign over the deeds on their houses and any prime real estate they own, but have been so far unable to persuade them that they should.  I suspect/think they really don’t believe the rapture will happen. Imagine that…doubting their own prophecies.

So far I have put up new sandbags around the old bomb shelter, restocked 50cal. Ammo for the machine guns, laid in a year’s worth of food and water and first aid supplies, finally picked up that short wave radio and put in the burglar alarm system I have been procrastinating about.  The neighbors are looking at me kind of funny lately…I don’t know why.  NOT  🙂

I hear that there are thousands of “Rapture Parties” planned all across America…personally I think this is the appropriate response to this really stupid display of how ignorant much of the American Christian community is.  Men and women of the Christian persuasion have been predicting the “end times” for 2000 years now and all of us pagans get to laugh at them when the date just flies by with not a burp or bump to signify anything.  Hell, even Jesus himself predicted the end of the world in his own time…just shows you how much that supposed Man/God knows.

Well if you look at the Christian record of things they have been pretty bad prognosticators about much of what they believe in.  They can’t seem to come up with any real evidence to back up most their claims about God and Jesus and end times. They revere a 1700 year old book like it is the be all and end all of human existence…totally ignoring what we have learned in those 1700 years as humans.

One of the Christians champion debaters (W.L. Craig) has recently said it is alright to kill children if “God tells you too.”  They believe that it’s O.K. to kill people for things the Bible rails against such as: disrespect to parents, mixing crops in a field, mixing two different fabrics together,  adultery, homosexuality, masturbation…hell,  just about anything to do with sex, except married couples in a missionary position.

The believers are hoping that come May 21st. they will be looking down from heaven at us poor souls and laughing their heads off…I suspect I will be looking at those poor silly confused people…laughing MY head off come that day
.
.funny pictures - Even Basement Kitty iz Appalled  By Ur Brower History
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

End of the Monsoon Season

Storm clouds Gathering Monsoon clouds over the mountains.
Our Monsoon season ended here this past week and we are finally getting some cooler, dryer atmosphere again. Pretty good one this past year;  it lasted a few weeks longer than usual.  Monsoon is pretty important to Southern Arizona as we depend on it filling up our ground water reservoirs for another year, and cooling off those 100 degree plus days of our summer.

We returned from a conference at the Mayo clinic in Scottsdale, AZ not long ago and  thoroughly enjoyed it.  The weather was great and there was finally a (very small) hint of fall in the air .  Phoenix and the surrounding cities of Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Peoria, and whatever other burgs there are snuggling up against it makes a humongous metropolitan area now.  It has grown like  Los Angeles did in its early years…city after city incorporating and blending in with the surrounding cities. Writer Edward Abbey has called it “the blob that is eating Arizona,”  Population of the whole area is said to be close to 5 million now; and it is the fifth largest city in the US, and the second fastest-growing Metro area in the US…..Glad I don’t live there.

Weather I'm waiting forWeather I’m waiting for.
.
funny pictures-Basement Cat
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Wasted Life

“I listen to all these complaints about rudeness and intemperateness (regarding atheists), and the opinion that I come to is that there is no polite way of asking somebody: have you considered the possibility that your entire life has been devoted to a delusion? But that’s a good question to ask. Of course we should ask that question and of course it’s going to offend people. Tough.”  Daniel Dennett

The last time religion and politics were mixed, people were burned at the stake.

.
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Separation of Church and State

Quote of the day

The decision for complete religious freedom and for separation of church and state in the eyes of the rest of the world was perhaps the most important decision reached in the New World. Everywhere in the western world of the 18th century, church and state were one; and everywhere the state maintained an established church and tried to force conformity to its dogma.

The British had attempted — half-heartedly — to extend the Anglican Establishment to America, but they had, on the whole, permitted a good deal of religious freedom and independence. When the American states became independent they inevitably threw off the Anglican Establishment. A few of them tried to keep an establishment of their own, but given the pluralism of American religion, that attempt was clearly foredoomed.

Virginia led the way by announcing not only complete religious freedom, but the separation of church and state, and thereafter, one after another, all the original states followed this principle. When James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights to the first Congress, the very first of them embraced freedom of religion, and that was adopted by the Congress and by the states, and incorporated as a fundamental article of American constitutionalism.

Thus the new United States took the lead among the nations of the earth in the establishment of religious freedom. That is one reason America has never had any religious wars or any religious persecutions. — Henry Steele Commager

There are some people that really want the churches to be in power in America…watch who runs on the Republican ticket in 2012.  Check their credentials carefully

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

The Theology of This Thing

Quote of the day

I often get letters, quite frequently, from people who say how they like the programs a lot, but I never give credit to the almighty power that created nature, to which I reply and say, “Well, it’s funny that the people, when they say that this is of the almighty, always quote beautiful things, they always quote orchids and hummingbirds and butterflies and roses.” But I always have to think too of a little boy sitting on the banks of a river in west Africa who has a worm boring through his eyeball, turning him blind before he’s five years old, and I reply and say, “Well presumably the god you speak about created the worm as well,” and now, I find that baffling to credit a merciful god with that action, and therefore it seems to me safer to show things that I know to be truth, truthful and factual, and allow people to make up their own minds about the moralities of this thing, or indeed the theology of this thing.”  David Attenborough

The Koran advises its followers to stone to death adulterers...how peaceful and gentle Islam is.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Wake up America…Pat Condell  

Let’s All Die of Starvation

Quote of the Day

“And talking of male chauvinism — for centuries the church has kept women in bondage: women are unclean when they have babies, they have to go and be ‘churched’ afterwards so that they are fit for human consumption again. They don’t have rights; the church has kept women in total subjugation. So I, male chauvinist pig that I am, I want to grant them emancipation, because I think they can’t compete. The church wants to keep them down, because they think a source of ill-paid labour for the males of this world is useful to have.”

“I could go on and on about the church and its relations to sexual attitudes, but I won’t. I’ll merely say that those idiots, like the Archbishop of Canterbury and this fool who calls himself a Pope and sits in the Vatican, who say you can’t have birth-control — let’s all die of starvation — are doing far more harm than Genghis Khan, Attila, and Adolph Hitler all rolled into one. People like Attila and Hitler were benevolent despots compared to these idiots who utter and pontificate and say: this is the word of God, this you shall do, this you shall not do. When a war starts, the priests of England start praying for victory over the Germans, and the priests of Germany start praying for victory over the English.”  From an interview with Edmund Cooper (UK Sci-Fi writer) By James Goddard here: http://www.bondle.co.uk/edmund_cooper/misc_files/interview.pdf accessed 4-21-2010

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Apologist for Evil Pat Condell

Old Testament…A Work of Fiction

“Biblical history totally lacks an historical basis and its character as a largely fictional composition or wholly imaginative history is motivated by the theology of the time of its compilation in the Persian or Hellenistic periods, centuries after the alleged events took place.  At best, it contains only vague and quite unreliable information about early Israel.  Yet, the continuing power of the Biblical narrative is testimony to the literary skill of the authors as they produced a compelling propagandistic work to a highly receptive audience.”  Israel Finkelstein, “The quest for the Historical Israel”, Society of Biblical Literature, 2007

Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist and academic. He is currently the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University and is also the co-director of excavations at Megiddo in northern Israel. Previously, he served as Director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University from 1996-2002. In 2005 he received the Dan David Prize.

Born in Petah Tikva, he completed his studies at Tel Aviv University, writing his Ph.D. thesis on The Izbet Sartah excavations, for which he was also the Field Director.
Bio data from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein’s CV: http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/archaeology/directory/dir_israel_finkelstein.html

For a hundred plus years or so we have known that the Old Testament had some major problems; such as…who wrote it, when was it written, are the stories true, etc?  Professor Finkelstein went out…did the science…and found out.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Original Sin

“Man is a marvelous curiosity … he thinks he is the Creator’s pet … he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to Him and thinks He listens. Isn’t it a quaint idea?” Mark Twain

Do young Christians look at their newborn child and think the babe is full of sin or do they think their child is perfect in every way, from the moment it is born? Well, perhaps until they become a teenager.

The Catholic Church has for two thousand years thought the newborn child would go to hell if it died before being baptized into the church. According to Wikipedia… “Most Christians practice infant baptism. They include the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, Armenian Apostolic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, the Anglican Communion, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, some Church of the Nazarene, the Reformed Church in America, the United Church of Canada, the United Church of Christ (UCC)

“The Roman Catholic Church considers baptism, even for an infant, so important that “parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized within the first few weeks” and, “if the infant is in danger of death, it is to be baptized without any delay.” It declares: “The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church.”

St. Cyprian stated that ‘God’s mercy and grace should not be refused to anyone born’, …’Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called… The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.” Catechism of the Catholic Church

The whole idea of original sin is nonsense and has no Biblical support outside of Paul, a man that never even met Jesus.

2 Kings 14:6 “But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

Ezek. 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

Deut. 24:16 “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

Judaism is strong in its belief that a person is born innocent – not evil, not good, but innocent. Jews believe that man enters the world free of sin, with a soul that is pure and innocent and untainted. We are given a clean slate.

Saint Augustine (354-430) was the first theologian to teach that man is born into this world in a state of sin. He maintains that the sin of Adam was transferred to all future generations, tainting even the unborn. This view is to be found in the New Testament (Romans 5:12) where Paul says, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.”

Once again we find that the Bible and the theology that comes from its followers is contradictory and confusing…another sign that the whole thing is not true.

“The Bible has been used for centuries by Christians as a weapon of control. To read it literally is to believe in a three-tiered universe, to condone slavery, to treat women as inferior creatures, to believe that sickness is caused by God’s punishment and that mental disease and epilepsy are caused by demonic possession. When someone tells me that they believe the Bible is the ‘literal and inerrant word of God,’ I always ask, ‘Have you ever read it’?” Bishop John Shelby Spong.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

God and Christianity and Us Poor Humans

I’ve recently been in a discussion with a person about Satan and why he would even bother anymore since his fate is already sealed. We and Satan already know he loses the battle with God, and…all the people who follow Christianity know it.  The story has been outlined for us by the Church; we know Armageddon will be coming, the Four Horsemen, the Anti-Christ, and whatever else John writes in Revelation.

This God of Christianity is going to allow this melodrama to proceed to the point of human annihilation on this planet, and somehow God calls this victory.  ALL the various Christian denominations believe they alone will survive and live forever…either in Heaven or in a  Earthly Paradise, looked over by God–in person.  All this Armageddon and stuff is caused by a Devil (or is it the original plan of God when He started all this crappy melodrama?), who knows he will lose the fight; does this make even the slightest bit of sense?

I like the following part of an essay that I have already posted earlier on my blog…it speaks to the problem with Devils and any other spirits called up by religion.

“For many centuries the church filled the world with devils — with malicious spirits that caused storm and tempest, disease, accident and death — that filled the night with visions of despair; with prophecies that drove the dreamers mad. These devils assumed a thousand forms — countless disguises in their efforts to capture souls and destroy the church. They deceived sometimes the wisest and the best, made priests forget their vows. They melted virtue’s snow in passion’s fire, and in cunning ways entrapped and smirched the innocent and good. These devils gave witches and wizards their supernatural powers, and told them the secrets of the future.

Millions of men and women were destroyed because they had sold themselves to the Devil.

No man has genius enough to describe the agonies that have been inflicted on innocent men and women because of this absurd belief. How it darkened the mind, hardened the heart, and poisoned life! It made the Universe a madhouse presided over by an insane God.

Think! Why would a merciful God allow his children to be the victims of devils? Why would a decent God allow his worshipers to believe in devils, and by reason of that belief to persecute torture and burn their fellow-men?”  Robert Ingersall

Does this man above speak the truth?  Did the churches do these terrible crimes?  Yes they did…its known written history.  And then later on in the American colonies the Puritans repeated the deadly serious criminal act of burning and hanging “witches” and railing against demons.  I think this is a serious mistake that a real “God driven” religion would not make.

Or would you think that there was real demons and evil spirits and Satan himself doing these things?  If not, how would you reconcile the churches doing these things in the name of God?  Do many Christians you know believe in Satan and think he sends his minions to do bad stuff in the world…like he was supposed to have done in the Dark Ages and in the Puritan states of America’s past?

Think about this; The Catholic Church (who was the victor in the God Wars way back then) was the keeper of the scriptures and writings of all of early Christianity. They molded the church (and Scripture), in the way they wanted. They alone keep the religious fires burning in the beginning years.  They promulgated the evil words that started the above scenarios. They started the whole mess.

The Protestant Reformation or Revolution started by Luther started out with the best intentions, but they made at least one mistake…they used the same book, and that book is terribly, terribly wrong about so many things

“This fact is forgotten by Protestants. They read blood-curdling stories of the Inquisition and of atrocities committed by Catholics, but what does the average Protestant know of Protestant atrocities in the centuries succeeding the Reformation? Nothing, unless he makes a special study of the subject . . . Yet they are perfectly well known to every scholar . . . If I do not enumerate here the persecutions carried on by Catholics in the past, it is because it is not necessary in this book to do so. This volume is addressed especially to Protestants, and Catholic persecutions are to them sufficiently well known . . .

…What makes, however, Protestant persecutions especially revolting is the fact that they were absolutely inconsistent with the primary doctrine of Protestantism — the right of private judgment in matters of religious belief! Nothing can be more illogical than at one moment to assert that one may interpret the Bible to suit himself, and at the next to torture and kill him for having done so!”  The Double Standard of Protestant “Inquisition Polemics” by John Stoddard

So why do you think religion is any different today?  We no longer believe in witches and demons…at least most of humanity does not, but there are still many inconsistencies in how Christians practice their faith and most of them pick and choose their theology to suit their life and how they want to live it.

I think that a religion based on a real God who is able to interact with us would be unquestionably believed by all people, there would be unanimity in all matters of belief and understanding in His message. There would have been no need or reason for all the unbelievable terror and evil carried out in His name, no evil men sentencing people to death in His name, no churches growing fat off the dissemination of the “Holy Word”.  No people using His church and His religion to sodomize helpless children or prey on the weak and vulnerable, to steal others wealth and in general keep people under the yoke and in their control.  And there would be NO need for devils, demons and such.

The common apologetic for these problems mentioned is that it is evil men who have done this; God and The Church are blameless in this matter. Really!!–not much of a God to allow so much crime in His house.

BASEMENT CAT
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Truth Saves

Darwin Was Right…of Course

Charles Darwin was one of the first to propose that all of mankind had a common ancestor who originated in Africa.  In his book the Descent of Man he writes:

“In each great region of the world the living mammals are closely related to the extinct species of the same region. It is, therefore, probable that Africa was formerly inhabited by extinct apes closely allied to the gorilla and chimpanzee; and as these two species are now man’s nearest allies, it is somewhat more probable that our early progenitors lived on the African continent than elsewhere.”

The prediction was prophetic, because at the time, in 1871, there were very few human fossils of ancient hominids available. About fifty years later Darwin was vindicated, as anthropologists began finding numerous fossils of ancient hominids all over Africa.

Nowadays we know about many dead end semi-human models that didn’t make the cut.  They have names such as Homo ergaster, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo Neanderthal, etc., and they are precursors to fully modern Homo sapiens…or us.  Unlike the apes and chimps and Bonobos we see today these early precursors walked upright and made and used tools. Their time on earth ranged from a little over 2 million (some say 3 million) years ago to about 25,000 years ago for Neanderthals.

Modern humans like us have been roaming around the earth for about 200,000 years, so we overlapped some of the old species and possibly interacted somewhat with the Neanderthals. With the advent of modern DNA science we now have the ability to trace bloodlines back in time many tens of thousands of years and we can determine times-lines and histories of migrations of our human ancestors.

Wikipedia says:
“Because DNA collects mutations over time, which are then inherited, it contains historical information and by comparing DNA sequences, geneticists can infer the evolutionary history of organisms, their phylogeny. This field of phylogenetics is a powerful tool in evolutionary biology. If DNA sequences within a species are compared, population geneticists can learn the history of particular populations. This can be used in studies ranging from ecological genetics to anthropology; for example, DNA evidence is being used to try to identify the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.”  Go Here

Using DNA studies scientists have been able to trace our male and female blood lines back to the last common ancestors in our remote past.

From Wikipedia:
Mitochondrial Eve (mt-mrca) is the name given by researchers to the woman who is defined as the matrilineal most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for all currently living humans. Passed down from mother to offspring, her mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is now found in all living humans: every mtDNA in every living person is derived from hers. Mitochondrial Eve is the female counterpart of Y-chromosomal Adam, the patrilineal most recent common ancestor, although they lived at different times.  Mitochondrial Eve is believed to have lived about 170,000 years ago, or roughly 8,000 generations ago…” Go Here

Y-chromosomal Adam In human genetics, Y-chromosomal Adam (Y-MRCA) is the patrilineal human most recent common ancestor (MRCA) from whom all Y chromosomes in living men are descended. Y-chromosomal Adam is thus the male counterpart of Mitochondrial Eve, although they lived at different times, approximately 100,000 years apart.

By analyzing the Y-chromosome DNA from males in all regions of the world, geneticist Spencer Wells has concluded that all humans alive today are patrilinealy descended from a single man who lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago.  Go Here

Both the genetic (DNA) and fossil evidence merge and tell us that ancient Homo sapiens evolved into modern humans in Africa only, about 200,000 years ago.  It is thought that one branch left Africa about 60,000 years ago and replaced earlier humanoid populations such as the Neanderthals and Homo erectus, etc. ( this is disputed by a small faction of scientists who feel that there was an earlier Diaspora).

From Wikipedia:
“In paleoanthropology, the recent African origin of modern humans is the mainstream model describing the origin and early dispersal of anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens. The theory is known popularly as the (Recent) Out-of-Africa model, and academically also as the recent single-origin hypothesis (RSOH), Replacement Hypothesis or Recent African Origin (RAO) model. The hypothesis originated in the 19th century, with Darwin’s Descent of Man, but remained speculative until the 1980s when it was corroborated based on a study of present-day mitochondrial DNA, combined with evidence based on physical anthropology of archaic specimens.”  Go Here

So here we are with very strong circumstantial evidence from DNA, archaeology, paleoanthropology and other earth sciences telling us that the earth wasn’t formed 6,000 or 10,000 years ago and there was no Adam and Eve as described in the Bible.  Our habitation of this earth and history of our growing to adulthood is nowhere near to what the Bible says happened.  This science quoted above is mainstream and excepted by most all scientists working today.  It holds up to scrutiny and is testable and repeatable.

If Adam and Eve are not true…Think about it…Christianity just falls apart.

“…Darwin is confirmed, triumphantly, by genetic research. That’s a fact. Species, even the praying variety, evolve. Secondly, by implication and inference, there is no God. The non-fact is exhausted whenever someone takes a peek at the human genome…”  On the Origin of Ignorance, by Ian Bell, The Sunday Herald, July 14, (Scotland) Here

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Truth Saves