“Wait, What?” (What is Your Authority?, Part 4)

duggar

For fuck’s sake.

Duggars.

TLC, your brand is ruined. This is what it looks like when you take a trusted educational brand and flush it straight down the toilet. This is what you get when your business model becomes “gawk at dysfunctional people and weird families.” This is what you get.

Fundamentalists, you’re rotting away from the inside.

People who are posting the #IStandWithTheDuggars hashtag un-ironically? You’re enablers. You are ones coddling deviants and defending maniacs. You’re the ones who believe Ted Nugent is an “American Hero.” You’re the ones who believe that millionaires will be America’s White Knights and that Labor Unions are the Spawn of the Devil Himself. You’ll spit on a homeless person, but group-hug a molester. Congratulations.

“Here We Go Again” (What is Your Authority?, Part 3)

bible crop

“What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. – (Luke 12:3, NIV)

So, this happened. What to say? Another anti-gay pastor is caught cruising for sex with men. It happens, tragically, so often that it ceases to shock anyone anymore – except for the parishioners of said church. The tragedy is not Matt Makela’s attraction to other men – the tragedy is that we have yet one more in an ever-growing list of Christian leaders who have denounced the LGBT community from the pulpit and from the Internet, all the while hooking up with other men incognito. Matt Makela, as an out gay or bisexual man, would not be allowed (by “Matt the Pastor”) to become a member of his own church – unless he was ‘truly repentant for his sin of homosexual choice’ and ‘sought to restore sexual wholeness through Biblical counseling” first. Continue reading

“The Devil Made Me Do It!” (What Is Your Authority?, Part 2)

steve martin

A reason that people often give when asked why they don’t trust atheists is that we don’t believe in the threat of Divine Punishment. The argument goes: “If atheists don’t believe that there is an invisible but all-seeing, all-powerful entity who knows our every thought, word and deed and holds every human being accountable for their actions, what’s to stop them from doing all manner of terrible things? You can’t trust them because they don’t believe that God will judge them for their actions after they die.”

Please give me a moment to explain, as best as I can, why this is nonsense. Continue reading

Catching Up

ketchupSunday Assembly has, so far, cancelled their first two scheduled meetings in Oklahoma City. I’ve not signed up for their third scheduled attempt, and I probably won’t.

Lots of things have happened between my last blog-post and this one. That’s a nice way of saying that I’ve blown a lot of opportunities to address some major issues while they were being discussed online. These things always seem to be cyclical, though, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to address them again in the future. (Also, let’s face it, I’m not exactly the Internet’s go-to person on any topic whatsoever.) Continue reading

The Joy of Atheism

thank you god

I would normally never use such a clichéd title, but this is actually a response of sorts to Pastor Alin and his blog post, “The Misery of Atheism.”

It’s also a motivation to write something new here, which I need to do more often.

The Cliff Notes version of his post is “Atheist lives are miserable because they do not have God to thank for everything.” (Do please read the post, I don’t want to be accused of misrepresentation.) Having been a fundamentalist Christian for over a decade, I am familiar with his thought process in this regard. “Giving thanks to God” is a consistent theme in the Bible, wherein the writers make it abundantly clear that Yahweh loves to be praised and thanked on a continual basis. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About This Whole IRS Thing, Shall We?

pulpit freedom

Dear Concerned Christians:

I’ve been watching your tweets over the past few days. As a former Christian who knows his Bible extremely well, I am having a problem squaring your sentiments with the Bible you claim to be the divinely-inspired, inerrant, word of Almighty God Himself.

In particular, I’ve been watching your responses to the IRS decision to review the preaching of certain churches that participate in something called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.” I can’t say that I’m surprised by your responses, but I am dismayed by the fact that some of you have taken to using words like “fascism,” “Nazi”, “totalitarianism”, and others. So, let’s please put those epithets aside for a moment and discuss the topic at hand. Continue reading

“What is Your Authority?”

abraham-and-isaac-on-mount-moriah

Question the morality of much of the Bible with a believer, and you’re almost guaranteed to be asked this question. “By what authority do you claim your morality to be valid?” Of course, the person asking the question considers the Bible (or Qur’an) to be the ultimate authority because they believe it is their god’s direct communication to humanity. Since atheists do not rely upon a “holy book” to tell them what’s right and what’s wrong, the question asked is an attempt to “trip up” non-believers by insinuating that their morality is not morality because it does not come from a Supreme Source, but rather from personal opinion. Continue reading

Concern

mountainscape

I look at the anti-government/conspiracy-theory crowd.

I look at Jerad and Amanda Miller.

Then I look at a favorite nephew of mine, who espouses similar sentiments, who is just as angry and can be just as argumentative.

And who loves his guns.

And I worry.