July 19, 2016
On the website of christsforgiveness.com it says
CFM has evangelists all around the world that have been trained in the CFM style of Evangelism and are impacting souls and planting churches.
The cameraman who made the video above must be showing us some of "CFM style of evangelism." And they wonder why so many gays don't like Christian churches.
The law on public nudity in Canada is a bit unclear, but similar to the laws in much of the United States. If the naked person is not engaging in lewd behavior, then there's no problem.
Here's another video that shows Christ's Forgiveness Ministry preaching at Toronto gay pride. Observe the reaction of the people passing by. There is no reaction. He draws not a single listener. He might as well have been invisible and silent.
July 12, 2016
Problem Solved! Republicans Declare Coal To Be "Clean"
The word "clean" was not initially included in the Republican platform committee's coal statement. It was added by David Barton, an RNC delegate from Texas. Barton is the former vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas and an evangelical leader, popular for his claims that the U.S. Constitution is a biblical document.
"You look at Article 3, Section 1, the treason clause," he told James Robison on Trinity Broadcast Network. "Direct quote out of the Bible. You look at Article 2, the quote on the president has to be a native born? That is Deuteronomy 17:15, verbatim.
The treason clause is is actually Article 3, Section 3:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.
I'm not even going to search for it, but if any Bible expert thinks they know where Article 3, Section 3 is in the Bible, I would be delighted to learn that amazing fact.
Article 2, Section 1, the requirement for the President to be a natural born citizen says this: "No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States."
Deuteronomy 17:15 in the Complete Jewish Bible: "In that event, you must appoint as king the one whom Adonai your God will choose. He must be one of your kinsmen, this king you appoint over you — you are forbidden to appoint a foreigner over you who is not your kinsman." King James: "Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother."
Clearly related, but I don't think Mr. Barton knows the meaning of the word "verbatim" nor the obvious fact that a verbatim quote from the Bible would never be in English.
December 9, 2015
He was in the courtyard eating lunch with several of people near the corridor where he had been working as the shooting began. Daniel, always more concerned about everyone around him than himself, began screaming “Get out! Go! Get out now! Hurry!” He began pushing people out of harms way, urging them to the safety of the door before he was shot and killed.
September 24, 2015
The Hunt Is On!
Kim Davis is playing the favorite game of bigots, this particular variation being "I have gay friends." She claims she has already denied a marriage license for a gay friend.
So the hunt has begun to find her gay friend(s). If you are her gay friend, major media want to interview you. If you are scummy enough, you can probably sell your story.
Maybe she met her gay friend(s) in jail, so I hope the media don't overlook that place.
August 20, 2015
If God Actually Smote
Four successive lightning strikes on a Google data center in Belgium resulted in the permanent loss of some data. If God ever decided to get back into the smiting business, this is the sort of precision accuracy I would expect of someone who claims to be almighty. It's much more impressive than, say, sending a hurricane to flood all of Florida just to wipe out some investment property held by a couple of Google employees.
July 30, 2015
Temple to "Mazu: Goddess of the Empty Sea"
I'm sure there have been many temples for specific religions at Burning Man, but they may have been small or even located in the residential zone (you know how religious organizations like to ignore zoning restrictions), because I don't remember anything on this scale dedicated to just one religion. Thank goodness this first one is Buddhist so nobody freaks out.
July 9, 2015
Gettin' Their Hate On
In a well-written, amusing piece, Zack Hunt, a Tennesseean who has been living in Connecticut for three years, explains how same-sex marriage will not bring about any of the apocalypses that anyone has predicted.
Wikipedia (it's the god's truth, ya know?) tells us there are about 4,200 religions in the world. Just the list Abrahamic religions goes on for a few pages. Then there are the Indian religions (pages), Iranian religions (only a few), East Asian religions (a little more than a page), African diasporic religions, Mesoamerican religions, Indigenous traditional religions (pages), "Historical" polytheism (maybe the word "Historical" is to distinguish it from what goes on at Burning Man), Mysticism and occult, Modern Paganism (they use iPhones), New religious movements (there's room for more?!?!), Left-hand path religions (I never heard that term before, but it includes Satanism and Luciferianism - which I think is Satanism for the better educated), Post-theistic and naturalistic religions, Parody or Mock religions (even Pastafarianism, which is recognized by the IRS and Veterans Administration, I believe), and then "Others" (Deism, Eckankar, Humanism, Universal Life, etc.).
And who does Zack Hunt address his article to? Only one single religion. And in the comments on his article, where does the hate speech come from? Only from those who profess belief in this one single religion. "Is it Zoroastrianism," I hear you asking. No, no, it's not the Zs. It is, of course, Christianity - despite the fact that there certainly are lots of hardcore homophobic Jews and Muslims, but those religions seem to keep their objections within their own religions rather than taking them out in public and trying to literally beat them into others. Those who have been paying attention have seen how even the Latter Day Saints quickly adopted the way of the Jews and Muslims after the debacle of 2008. And don't we all love seeing the unofficial Mormon contingent coming in the Pride parades?
From a commenter:
I believe America will be judged the same way Sodom and Gomorrah was. In 2 Peter 2:6 it says and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; It doesn't get much clearer than that. When God flooded the earth He gave the rainbow as a promise that He would never destroy the earth with water again, but it says here He gave Sodom and Gomorrah as an example! I pray God would spare us judgement, but I believe we have gone too far.
So let's go to the King James version (the most error-laden popular translation, which might explain someone's misunderstanding).
9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
Mightn't one think that gay people who want to marry are godly and have suffered the temptations of a permanent unmarried life? Hasn't god, using the Supreme Court, delivered them from that? And those people who despise government, those people seem to be excluded from those who are godly. And the filth that they attempt to heap onto marriage? Isn't that speaking evil of dignities? Personally, it's all about as real as "Atlas Shrugged." A long, interesting story. But some people really believe in it, and then the trouble begins.
July 3, 2015
Hayes Valley Temple Video
July 2, 2015
Feel The Love
This is pretty close to the Sunday School picture of Jesus that I was accustomed to seeing in Methodist churches in the 1960s. Now, just visualize him saying these words and notice if there is any incongruity.
I'm sure her love will make me feel all warm and fuzzy - someday - but right now I need to go spit.
If you have Facebook access here's a mean video satire.
July 1, 2015
This Is How You Do It
Suppose you've got a government job which requires you to serve the public. You, however, have some sort of objection to dealing with what you perceive as certain classes of people. Suppose, for example, you are a diehard pacifist and you are too morally disgusted to provide your government service to military veterans. What to do? You could lobby your legislature to rewrite the laws to carve out a special little exemption for your special little belief, and to hell with those military veterans who might wonder why they get the second class treatment in order to spare the sensitivities of a government worker who is still getting full pay and benefits, courtesy of the taxpayers, including military veterans.
When I worked for the government I didn't get to refuse to take applications for Social Security Disability from those whose disabilities were, in some way, self-inflicted: failed suicide attempts, traffic accidents while DUI, organ failure due to substance abuse, morbid obesity, or (my personal favorite) emphysema due to tobacco smoke. During the interview I would ask the emphysemic applicant if their doctor told them to stop smoking - I never had to ask if they had been a smoker - they were all tobacco smokers. The answer was always that, yes, their doctor had told them to quit. So my follow up question was "Did you quit," and the answer was always (ALWAYS!) No. Okay, here's your check!
And did I write my Congressman (Tip O'Neill and then Joe Kennedy, I add just to be name-dropping) to ask them to carve out an exception to the law so that when someone with emphysema came into the waiting area I would be permitted to take an extra coffee break? Not hardly. Did I quit my job? Well, yeah, sorta, after becoming entitled to my pension. Not a moral decision. Just got tired of New England weather.
June 27, 2015
Texas Governor Orders Religious Discrimination Across The Board
You just can't make this shit up. This is part of his direction to state agency heads:
I expect all agencies under my direction to prioritize compliance with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Article I of the Texas Constitution, and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act. All state agency heads should ensure that no one acting on behalf of their agency takes any adverse action against any person, as defined in Chapter 311 of the Texas Government Code, on account of the person's act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by sincere religious belief. This order applies to any agency decision, including but not limited to granting or denying benefits, managing agency employees, entering or enforcing agency contracts, licensing and permitting decisions, or enforcing state laws and regulations.
I hope those employees of Texas whose religion requires them to sit on their ass and do nothing but drink coffee from 8 AM to 5 PM appreciate this newfound respect for their traditions from their Governor.
June 26, 2015
David Best's Hayes Valley Temple
Tonight, in Patricia's Green at Linden and Hayes Streets in San Francisco, David Best will open his Hayes Valley Temple to the public. It's the same temple that he constructed there in 2005. David Best built the first temple at Burning Man and has built the majority of temples there since then. I'm pretty sure they're not going to burn this one.
May 15, 2015
Fundraiser For The Temple Of Promise
April 21, 2015
Two Interesting Things In This Story
This story: man invites salesman into apartment; man gets naked without so much as a "by your leave;" offended salesman departs. But those aren't the interesting parts.
- The undressed man, Colin Maher, "said his religion requires him to be naked." Unfortunately for Mr. Maher, this story took place in Oklahoma where the state is not as enlightened as Indiana where this sort of statement would, assuredly, cause the police to immediately back off and release the perp who expressed his sincere belief that his rights were being substantially burdened. I think that would cover the window he kicked out of police car, too, if he can work it into his religion fast enough.
- But the real eye-grabber in the story is that the salesman was a door-to-door magazine salesman! Yes! Those are from back when we used to get eggs and bread delivered to our front door twice a week. Unless "magazine salesman" is a new euphemism for something like "marijuana dispensary operator," then this unnamed salesman actually walks from residence to residence to sell, face to face, subscriptions to stacks of paper that would be brought to the subscriber's home on a regular basis by the postal service. The subscriber would entertain himself for a time by perusing the magazine, even though it contained no audio or video files, just text and still photos. Once the subscriber finished perusing the magazine he just set it aside and either kept it or threw it into the regular household trash as there are almost never any environmental hazards in a magazine. So, rather than being able to return the used magazine to get a discount on the upgrade price of next month's magazine, you just get a whole 'nother magazine delivered and the process repeats. The cycle continues without end until either the landfill or the subscriber's home is completely filled. If it's the subscriber's home, then some distant relatives will come along and commit the subscriber to a facility where no magazines are delivered, thus bringing about healing or death, whichever comes first.
March 17, 2015
Presbyterian Church (USA) Votes For Same-Sex Marriage
The vote reported in the N.Y. Times stands at "87 presbyteries in favor, 41 against and one tied." The church has 171 presbyteries and 87 puts the vote just above 50%; but it's 67% of the presbyteries who have reported their vote. "'Finally, the church in its constitutional documents fully recognizes that the love of gays and lesbian couples is worth celebrating in the faith community,' said the Rev. Brian D. Ellison, executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, which advocates gay inclusion in the church."
But the opposition has been heard from too. "Paul Detterman, national director of The Fellowship Community, a group of conservatives who have stayed in the church, said: 'Our objection to the passage of the marriage amendment is in no way, shape or form anti-gay. It is in no way intended as anything but concern that the church is capitulating to the culture and is misrepresenting the message of Scripture.'"
And we all know that if it's in scripture, its interpretation can never change. We've seen this in the Presbyterian church (and other churches) before.
In the Civil War the church split over the issue of slavery. From the "Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America":
In the first place, we would have it distinctly understood that, in our ecclesiastical Capacity, we are neither friends nor the foes of slavery, that is to say, we have no commission either to propagate or abolish it. The policy of its existence or nonexistence is a question which exclusively belongs to the state. We have no right, as a church, to enjoin it as a duty or to condemn it as a sin. Our business is with the duties which spring from the relation; the duties of the masters, on the one hand, and of the slaves, on the other.
It goes on at length to point out all of the parts of the Bible that support slavery. But that wasn't good enough for the Confederate Presbyterians. They claimed that slavery improved the lot of Africans who were captured and brought here as slaves: "a gracious providence that they have been brought in such numbers to our shores and redeemed from the bondage of barbarism and sin."
They don't express an opinion on those African-Americans who were born into slavery, possibly of Presbyterian parents, who did not need to be redeemed from the bondage of barbarism and sin.
There's a lot more pretzel logic there, if you want to try to follow it. But really there's no need to go back in history. Just listen to those good church people who are not in anyway whatsoever anti-gay (not a bit, why some their best friends...etc.) but just have to adhere to what the Scripture says. Because you know that never, ever changes.
Polygamy, slavery, stonings, racism, genocide. It's all in the good book.
February 22, 2015
Kirk Cameron's Big Night
The film has achieved the remarkable distinction of a 0% critics' rating on RottenTomatoes. Even the user reviews put it at only 31% approval.
On Metacritic, the numbers are different: 18% critics' rating (which is better), but only 1.6 (out of 10, IOW 16%) from ordinary viewers. All of the 5-star reviews from viewers sound like they were written by the same person, as they call claim radical transformations of the viewer. Like this one:
ATHEISTS: when you go to see this movie, do NOT go with your preconceived notions about Christianity. I went with mine and, well....I can in all honesty...they were utterly shattered. Kirk Cameron's speech to Christian in the car is so moving, so compelling, so convicting...I was brought to my knees in a moment of cognitive dissonance in which I ultiamately renounced my atheism because of an overwhelming desire to surrender my life to Jesus. I'm serious, guys. This film changed my life. And I really can;t say that about any other films.
Amazing. All these centuries of searching for the magic cure for atheism only to discover it in a really bad American movie. Makes you wonder why there aren't any good movies that shatter atheism.
February 13, 2015
Greater Depths Of Stupidity Than Previously Known To Humans Have Been Found In Alabama
This amazingly stupid graphic has been brought to you by a group what calls itself Sanctity Of Marriage Alabama.
The group claims that the Alabama Attorney General has appealed the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Granade. Actually, he has said he will appeal to the 11th Circuit Appeals Court. He did ask the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of the decision; a request they denied. The group also says Governor Bentley "has promised to oppose the ruling and stand on the Constitution he vowed to uphold," but in this news article it sounds like the Governor's main concerns are image and jobs: "I don't want Alabama portrayed in a negative light because when it's portrayed in a negative light, it hurts me recruiting jobs into Alabama. And so I'm hurting families when I can't help people get a job in this state."
November 4, 2014
Shots Fired At Islamic Center In Coachella
Press Release: Shooting at Occupied Building-Mosque / Possible Hate Crime
Agency: Coachella Police
Station Area: Thermal
Incident Date: 11/04/2014 Time: 5:01 am
Incident Location: 84000 block of Avenue 49, Coachella
On Tuesday November 4, 2014 at 5:01 AM, Coachella Police officers were dispatched to a report of shots fired at an occupied building in the 84000 block of Avenue 49. Officers arrived at the location, Islamic Society of Coachella Valley, and determined that several shots had been fired striking a vehicle and the building. No injuries were incurred. The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
The Coachella Police Department has Zero Tolerance toward criminal activity and will be vigilant in investigating all crimes. The Police Department encourages citizens to report any criminal activity. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Investigator Kenneth Willow with the Coachella Police Department at (760) 863-8990.
October 30, 2014
A Craigslist ad seeking a Rabbi for a $60,000/year job in the medical marijuana industry? Someone intending to grow kosher marijuana perhaps? Kosher edibles would be more likely, I suppose. Or maybe they just need a chaplain at their business. I'm curious.
October 11, 2014
I am gonna be so ultra-spiritual at the Burning Man temple next year.