Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Surprise! No, not really. Theists lie to Supreme Court.

History-of-religionHello folks, sorry I’ve been quiet for a while. But it’s for the best reasons: I have a new job! In 8 days I shall be back in my alter ego as administrative assistant for a non-profit.   My sojourn in retail has been interesting and occasionally fun, but I am so happy to be out of it.

Not much on the atheist front at the moment, except for news from the FFRF (original story in Slate) that the folks in Greece NY who were part of the Supreme Court decision about public meeting prayers are intentional liars when they falsely claimed that anyone would be allowed to give an invocation. It shows that the SCOTUS conservative judges were wrong when they claimed that these prayers were “only” ceremonial, since now we have only theists being able to give such invocations.

Nope, now only people from “assemblies with an established presence in the town of Greece that regularly meet for the primary purpose of sharing a religious perspective” can give these invocations (and it does a lovely job of showing that my commenter self-proclaimed Bishop Robin was utterly wrong with his claims that no one is being forced to participate in religion at public meetings). No surprise there at all and we can see again that religion doesn’t make anyone a decent person but it sure does seem to guarantee that their supposed moral god-given laws will be broken when convenient. Thanks, you, certain theists in Greece, NY for showing again that there is no reason to trust people just because they claim to be religious and therefore supposedly moral.

And yes, their actions are quite stupid when one thinks that they could have simply said people from Greece, NY could be the only ones to give invocations, no matter what the type. Then, their lie of “With this policy in place, we can return to the business of the town.” Wouldn’t be a baseless excuse, and they wouldn’t be in contempt of the court. Of course, it would also mean that they wouldn’t be ignoring their bible again and again (Prov 6, 12, 19, 24; Exodus 20; Matthew 15; Leviticus 19; Romans 13; 1 Peter 2; etc).

I haven’t been able to find much about what happens if someone ignores the SCOTUS and what happens now that they’ve reneged on what they promised. Seems like this could be a basis for yet one more SCOTUS court case, and this one could be quite fun to watch. Let’s see how many theists want to put their religions to the vote: are they “real” religions or not?  Are Jews better than Christians? Are Muslims better than Sikhs?  Are Catholics better than Presbyterians?  Again, I am quite happy to offer to do the altar test with anyone who insists that their god is real.  Or perhaps another test, where a god will allow you to walk out of a burning furnace (some of my ancestors were named after one of the fellows in the story).  Plenty of ways to determine what, if any, gods are real.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – well, at least it shows that many theists are wrong again

this also applies to those who think "boys will just be boys"

this also applies to those who think “boys will just be boys”

I’ve been observing the current tussling in the atheosphere, about who has said what, and means what, who’s a feminist, who’s a sexist asshole, what women are, what men are. who’s a liberal, who’s a conservative, who simply can’t express themselves without screwing up,  etc etc.  It’s rather sad and annoying.   Yes, there are people I agree with and those who I don’t.  I can address that in another post, if anyone cares.

But, it has done something important.  It has shown that yet again many theists are wrong.  I get to hear on how atheism a religion, how that all atheists follow famous atheists as if they were saviors, that we all think the same, etc.

The above nonsense has shown that this is most certainly isn’t the case.  Why, we’re just as happy to follow the gourd or the shoe as any other human beings. We’re also just as likely to watch and shake our heads as antics commence.

Believing or not believing in a god certainly doesn’t make you a good or bad person.  It does give you a lot of excuses to act either way.

So, my theist subscribers, remember: don’t accuse atheists of being religious or believing in the same things.  We’ll just roll our eyes at your ignorance, and with some regret, point out just how much that isn’t the case.

From the Kitchen – The Hungry Cat Tavern Cookbook

cat bird woodcut 2I thought I might put all of my husband’s and mines recipes together in one document.  We’ve fantasized for years about having a restaurant of our own so that’s where the title comes from.  Please no stealing it and trying to pass it off as your own.  There may be mistakes in it, though I’ve tried to eliminate them.  Let me know about them if you find something that looks squiffy.  It’s not perfect and just a vanity project for my own amusement.

It has food, drinks, and my tips/opinions at the back.

It’s available in a pdf (top) and docx (bottom).  If printed, it is a 44 page booklet, on folded 8.5″ x 11″ paper.

hungry cat tavern cookbook

hungry cat tavern cookbook

The image is a purchased clipart from

http://ClipartOf.com/1095629

 

 

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 3 of the Bill Keller saga, brave brave Sir Bill

in case anyone might think that any of these haven't already been addressed...

in case anyone might think that any of these haven’t already been addressed…

Here are the last bits of the exchange that Mr. Keller and I have has. (part 1 and part 2 are here) Unsurprisingly, Mr. Keller has still refused to participate in the challenge *he* proposed, the altar contest in 1 Kings 18, where the prophet Elijah competed against the priests of another faith, and had his god light a soaked altar by magical fire. Despite Mr. Keller’s claim to be a prophet of his god, to believe that such miracles can occur now, and to have time to do such a challenge in Syria, he has refused my offer of a challenge here in the US at a place of his choosing. I even have access to the meat of “unblemished” animals aka kosher, or if he would think he god would prefer it, tasty prime grade beef (I hadn’t thought of that initially, so thanks to reader Ron for mentioning it).  Those playing along may be able to get their “BINGO” here.

Without further adieu, the end game.

At the end of the last episode, we have my response. Here is Mr. Keller’s (or his minion) responses:

LOL..btw..are you 12?  since you can’t be grown up and still playing such games..LOL!! (redacted blog address)

and what a shock..a United Methodist church hosting your “event”..let me guess..female “pastor”..probably all down with the whole radical homosexual agenda..gay marraige..gay adoption..the whole deal..and is fine with women having the “right to choose”..code language for killing their baby..since that is the only “choice”.. 

..tell me I am wrong????..LOL..enjoy

 ..oh..and sicne you have such a “captive” audience on your “blog”..please include Dr. Keller’s invitation to accept Jesus..I am pretty sure they all could use it.. http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,

I’ve redacted it out, but Mr. Keller is pleased that he found a 12 year old (!) mention of me by real name and address on a blog. (as always, if you’re curious, do the work yourself). I had been a member of the SCA, a medieval recreation group. Those are the “games” he’s talking about. Now imagine what the man would say if he knew I still play Dungeons & Dragons? :) Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – part 2 of the Bill Keller saga, where excuses roam free

Why-indeed shelley quoteIn my last blog post, I reported on my interaction with Mr. Bill Keller, and/or one of his minions.  In that episode, I had requested that Mr. Keller join me to take the altar challenge he proposed to the leader of ISIL, to show whose god was real.  Unsurprisingly, he has yet to agree to do that.  He has been a very voluble correspondent and has agreed that I may share his emails with you.  So, we have either Mr. Keller or someone who claims to represent him, one of supposedly 700 retired pastors who answer prayer requests and make sure that their god really does hear them evidently.  This exchange is very typical of someone who has been caught in a false claim and has many common claims and attacks made by theists.

My responses are in my usual longwinded, detail-driven, format.  You have been warned :)  Thus, this conversation will be in one or two more blog posts.

Notice:  These exchanges are not meant to indicate that all theists or all Christians are exactly the same.  These are the opinions and claims made by one Christian and are similar to those of a certain subset of Christians.   Most Christians are average nice folks, just like most other theists, agnostics and atheists.  The type of Christians depicted here in their own words are the ones that are best countered. 

You can see my response to his initial reply to me here after the break.  Here’s the response to that:

LOL…hate to correct a mensa..but Liveprayer gets 40,000 emails for prayer..EVERY 24 HOURS…we have over 700 retired pastors who work with the minsitry to insure each one is prayed over..and responded to… 

….and hate to break this to you..but Dr. Keller doesn’t waste his time with people like yourself….and really could CARE LESS what you have to say or think..sorry…..his time is far to valuable to waste it in email back and forths…because of his high profile..the fact he is on TV nightly with over 300k viewers..more than MSNBC..CNN..and a host of other “cable networks”..he attracts all kinds of people..most looking for help..many who need help.like yourself….and I’m very sorry but after your first few sentences you have even bored me to tears to the point it isn’t worth reading,….you really should get some help..but know we will pray for you.. 

..oh..and Dr. Keller has debated publicly and in the media numerous times the top atheists of the day..all who ended up looking like the confused foolish people they are to deny the very existence of God..like yourself..spend their lives trying to fight aginst the very God who created them..and sadly..will most likely die and their last moment will be having the God whose existence they deny casting them into hell for all eternity..but don’t worry..a genius like who has it all figured out has nothing to worry about..which is why those like you amuse me as you waste so much time trying to justify to yourself you are right..LOL!!..enjoy..we will pray you wake up before it is too late..Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed

So, I’m waiting for these prayers to take effect.  Nothing yet.  Our correspondent has asked that I put a link his prayer service site so you all can realize how right he is and give him money.  I have made a nice link in his post.

Here’s my response to the above:

Mr. Keller, 

I am not in Mensa but it is again wonderful to watch you try to insult me personally.  You tried to insult me by calling me a genius.   I have no reason to believe that anyone gets 40,000 requests for prayers a day.  Even if this were true, and I would love to see the email logs to show that it is, the team of pastors can evidently handle the load since you spend time writing to me and making videos.  Again, your claims are demonstrated to be false by reality.   I also see that you cannot provide where you got your doctorate.  That is unfortunate.   

I do love how now you don’t “waste time with people like” me.  I guess that you have decided that the lost sheep and the doubting Thomas aren’t worth your time, as opposed to what your bible claims.   I am so glad to see that you could care less about another human being, in caps no less.  It does make it seem that you did indeed read my whole letter as opposed to your claims that you haven’t.   You have made a claim and you now refuse to honor it, Mr. Keller.    You have done a “stunt” as you claim because you will not accept an honest challenge, the same challenge that you made.  No one forced you to make such a claim, Mr. Keller.  You made it and now you are asked to fulfill it.  You of course refuse because you know you have no chance of your god answering you at all.  

Mr. Keller, there is no evidence you are on “tv nightly” with 300K viewers. Can you provide evidence to support this claim by providing the network and the statistics?   As for the nightly viewership of MSNBC and CNN, that is a little less than a million during primetime nightly for CNN and about 1.2 million for MSNBC (a random day’s stats for you to see through this source: http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/08/28/cable-news-ratings-for-wednesday-august-27-2014/297369/)  So, again, your claims are false due to your willful ignorance and attempt to spread that ignorance around to people who you think won’t check.   Your viewership is not impressive when compared to reality.   You may want to do some research before making a claim.   

I know you would claim to not have read my entire missive, Mr. Keller.   It’s the usual tactic of a TrueChristian, trying to keep their ignorance intact so they do not have to admit when they are wrong.   You claim not to have read it so you don’t have to actually answer questions or address what was said.  What does it say about a faith that is so weak that it can stand up to someone you do you best to call stupid by your insults? You baselessly claim I somehow “need help”.   How do I need help, Mr. Keller?  I certainly do need help in finding evidence for your god and you have claimed to be able to provide it.  You have refused.   

I don’t care who you have supposedly debated.  I can find no record of him debating any of these “top atheists of the day” whomever they may be.  Perhaps you can give me a link to one or two?   It’s awfully easy to claim that you won debates but odd that on one can find them.  Please tell me who these supposedly “confused foolish people” are.  I am guessing you will not be able to because these supposed debates with “top atheists” don’t exists.  

I know you very much hope that people do try to convert in the deathbeds.  I know that many TrueChristians like you have made up completely false stories about atheists who have supposedly done so and have been shown to be intentionally lying about that. The supposed deathbed conversion of Darwin is a good one, as is the usual claim that Einstein was a Christian just like the Christian making the claim.   I also know that according to the bible, no one can do this because it claims that what one has done in one’s life is what matters, it is the book of life that will condemn a person to this nonsense of “hell”.  Per the bible, deathbed conversions are worthless.  I wonder, are you the type of Christian who claims that hell is merely the separation from this god or do you think that this hell is a place of fire and pain?  Again, if you hold either idea or another, I can see that Christians can’t even agree amongst themselves on what the afterlife will be.  This again shows that there is no reason to think your version is any more true than another Christians or another theists, especially when you refuse to provide the evidence you claim you have that yours is the “right” one.  I know that your god, as described by Christians and the bible, does not exist.  Even if it did, it is no more than other bronze age gods that impregnate women, have temper tantrums, be unable to deal with humans if they resist and make high buildings, make wagers with their archenemies, and as a rousing finish, having to let the evil being it imprisoned go because it has to do so, and has no choice but to intentionally allow more humans to be corrupted.   

You may pray for me as much as you’d like, Mr. Keller.   What happens if nothing happens because of those prayers? Is it that your god likes me as I am?  That you are ignored by your god?  That there is no god?  What is your excuse to yourself when your prayers don’t work?   I will be sure to email you again in a month or two to tell you that  nothing has happened.   Now, for a god who promises to answer prayers quickly and positively, the mountain will move immediately not in a million years from erosion,  not to give the son a snake if he asks for a fish, I do hope you’ll wonder why your prayers did nothing.   

And shucks, more personal insults. it’s such a Christian thing to do, it seems.  Again, I offer you a chance to show that you weren’t lying when you made the offer to the head of ISIL.    There is no reason to refuse the same challenge made by a atheists here on the east coast of the US.  I am not justifying myself at all. I am giving you a chance to justify yourself and to show that a self proclaimed prophet of God can call the fires of this god down onto an altar as promised.   

As you have not said I may not publish your emails, something I asked you in my letter which you chose to supposedly not read, I will post them verbatim to my blog.  Thank you for that.  Good night,  Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – the altar challenge, will Bill Keller take the challenge he offered to a Muslim?

He-believes SuetoniusAh, back into writing about religion. It’s about time, isn’t it?  And can *you* guess what the answer to the question in the title is? Of course you can!

Recently, I noted a post on Ed Brayton’s Dispatches From The Culture Wars, about Bill Keller and his silly challenge to the leader of ISIL, the vermin in the Middle East. Mr. Keller challenged Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to the Old Testament contest found in 1 Kings 18, where the prophet Elijah has two altars built and calls down his god’s power to consume the offering on one. He then has all of the priests of the other god murdered.

In my decades of questioning theists’s claims, I’ve often asked Christians to do this contest with me. I’d bring a Zippo, a industrial sized torch or even just a magnifying glass on a sunny day, and they could pray as long as they said was necessary. Unsurprisingly, everyone refused this challenge giving many excuses: that they weren’t a prophet so their god wouldn’t answer, that this god only did such things thousands of years ago, that their god shouldn’t be tested (belied by the stories of Gideon and the words in Malachi and 1 Thessalonians), that they didn’t have time, etc.

Now, here we can get this done! I thought. He has claimed he is a prophet, so there goes that excuse, and since al-Baghdadi likely won’t answer, he’ll have time in his schedule. Mr. Keller obviously believes this will happen in this modern time, so that excuse is gone too! I promptly sent off a request for Mr. Keller to do the challenge with me at a place and time of his convenience.

Here’s the email I sent (and yes I did use my real name, if you are curious about that, do the work):

Mr. Keller,

I have seen your challenge to the leader of ISIL: ““I will come to Iraq, Syria, any location you desire,” says Keller. “We will each take an unblemished animal, cut that animal into pieces, put those pieces on wood, but not set fire to the wood. Once prepared, you have one hour’s time to call on Allah to rain down fire on your offering. If at the end of that hour Allah has still not answered your pleas, I will call upon the one true God of the Bible … not just to bring down fire on my offering, but yours as well.” “If your god Allah does not answer you … you will resign as the leader of ISIS. You will retire from your life of terror. You will encourage your followers to live in peace and I will be free to return to the United States.”

“If your god Allah answers your pleas by fire [and] my God does not, I will renounce the Christian faith, and you’re free to kill me or do whatever you like.”

I would like to ask you if you are willing to take the same challenge from an atheist, to pray for fire from your god.  I will meet you at a place of your choice in the US (perhaps midway between Florida and Pennsylvania?) with two altars, as you describe above.  You may pray to your god for fire to consume it.  If there is no response, I will use a means of ignition discovered by the scientific method, a Zippo would be a fine choice, to light both altars. These proceedings would be videotaped. If you god answers you, I will be happy to publically announce that I believe in this god, though I would not worship such a being.  If there are no flames, you will publically announce that your god does not exist.   You also may choose to announce that your god does not respond to you if you prefer.  

I look forward to your response.

Lo and behold, I got a response, which I do appreciate. I won’t reproduce it here verbatim until I get permission from Mr. Keller since he has the copyright but I’ll talk about what it said and my thoughts on it.  UPDATE – 9/1/14 @ 8:28 pm.  I got another response, and no refusal of publication.  Mr. Keller has said he was too “bored” to read my email.  So, here is his first response:

LOL..sorry…first..Dr. Keller gets 40,000 emails a DAY…mostly for prayer…there are 700 of us..all retried pastors who work with him to make sure each one is prayed over and answered..Dr. Keller isn’t into “stunts”..but is led by God’s Holy Spirit in all that he does….the things he does are God-led..not simply a game..my suggestion..you will die one day..even a genius like yourself who claims there is no God..meaning you were nothing but a genetic accident and your life is absolutely meaningless..will accept that..at that moment..you will either be correct..and go into the ground like a dead plant..or as the Bible teaches you will stand before God and cast into hell..for your CHOICE to reject Christ..you are clearly worried about the wrong things..and should be focused whether you are willing to stake your eternal soul on the lies of this world..we will pray for you though. 

btw..your offer is foolish since proving God’s existence only requires you do something every day..look into a mirror..there is ZERO explanation for you other than God..glad to have helped and saved you the drama..blessings 

Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed, Bill Keller Founder,  www.liveprayer.com  To get Bill Keller’s FREE Daily Devotional…sign up at the link below by putting in your email address and look for the confirming email you must reply to…http://www.liveprayer.com/signup.cfm

It is fascinating that prayers aren’t known at all by their god, but must be handled by pastors.   Seems like the same “intervention” as Catholics require.  And I was wrong about 40,000 a year.  Of course, there is not one independent verification of such a strangely high number.  I did get another response which I shall post in a day or two.  It’s even more amusing.

This response was purportedly from one of his “700” retired pastors who handle the prayer requests for his ministry. It began with “LOL”, which didn’t exactly give me any great hopes on the content of the missive. It was also full of ellipses, which always baffles me why anyone does that, other than to make their response rather incoherent. My guess is that this is from Mr. Keller himself considering how the post is written, with claim of “I” do this, etc, and not from a random pastor. We also do not have the name of the pastor which is unusual from my point of view. Why not take ownership of one’s actions? So, from this point, I will treat the letter as written by Mr. Keller. The writer also says “Dr. Keller” but I cannot find any information he has received a doctorate from anywhere, not even in his own biography. This appears to be an attempt to appeal to authority.  I have asked for information where the doctorate came from.

The letter opens with the claim that the ministry gets “40,000” prayer requests a year. (UPDATE: this is supposed 40K per “day”.  I have asked for the email stats for this since there is no independent confirmation of such a ridiculous number. google stats may be able to take care of this. The Exchange server certainly could do this.)  This appears to be an excuse of “I don’t have the time”. This would average out to around over a 100 a day. Certainly the 700 pastors can handle this for a day or two while Mr. Keller tends to altar business?

Mr. Keller then goes onto say that Mr. Keller isn’t into doing “stunts”. This seems to indicate that this challenge by Mr. Keller is now a “stunt”. Or that he wasn’t serious about doing this at all? However, the letter writer states that Mr. Keller is “God-led” by his god into doing everything, which would indicate that Mr. Keller is serious about this “stunt”.

Then we have what is expected from a Christian asked to do complete the challenge he has offered to another religious figure. I am told that I will die one day, a great shock to everyone, I’m sure….. :)  I am threatened with hell as usual and the pastor claims that he will pray for me. I am told that I simply must have no meaning in my life and that I am a “genetic accident”.   I am then told that I just have to look in the mirror to see evidence for Mr. Keller’s god because “there is ZERO explanation for you other than God” for it. Except for the claims of nearly every other religion that their god/gods made me exist, all with the usual lack of evidence that Mr. Keller has. This lovely excuse is what is offered instead of doing the altar challenge that Mr. Keller proposed to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. I guess we can see what Mr. Keller’s excuse would have been should the self-described “caliph” accept his challenge.

Thank you, Mr. Keller. You have shown that no one should believe your claims.

The above is the short and sweet version of the story. Now, if you want to read my much longer response to Mr. Keller, with juicy details, here you go:  Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – why I really hate this idiotic “ice bucket” nonsense

*I* object to this stupid challenge because it’s as effective as prayer since so very few are donating money which actually helps! Ooooh, big freakin’ whoop that people are getting wet. They whine “but it gets attention to the issue.” What idiot under what rock doesn’t know about cancer or whatever? it’s the same as prayer, playing pretend that you are actually helping when you are doing NOTHING.

Send real money to real people doing real things to help the problem, to cure cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, brain tumors, just do something REAL.  A dear friend of mine will probably die from or suffer losing his limbs from Type 1 diabetes.  He needs help, not stunts.