I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. – M. Cole
FFRF has done a good blog on the nonsense of Easter. I’m looking forward to the live broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar on NBC tomorrow night. I love the music and it is a good story. It also is a great demonstration that the easter stories in the bible contradict each other quite a bit. Gesthemane, one of the more touching parts of the bible, is no where to be found in the Gospel of John, and well, those thieves are missing from the rock opera and do various contradictory things in the stories.
I’m waiting for people to also freak out that JC is being played by a black man, John Legend. Judas is also being portrayed as a black man, Brandon Victor Dixon (Judas has the best songs). Herod is Alice Cooper, the rock star who some Christians were quite sure was going to end the world, or something, back in the 70’s. Mr. Cooper also golfs and wears wonderfully tacky plaid pants while doing that.
There will also be a lot of people in church tomorrow, who have no problem with following a man who lies, cheats, brags about sexual assault, is a repeat adulterer, etc. And these are the people who say that atheists treat this god as a “vending machine” whenwe point out that this god should answer prayers. They repeatedly ask for forgiveness for this idiot and themselves for giving him a “mulligan”.
Postscript – (4/2/18) – the live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar was a bit of a mess.
Pros – great singers. Alice Cooper makes a very good Herod.
Cons – too many freakin’ commercials. Often it was like listening to a 45 record on 33 1/3, and Pontius Pilate looked like he’d more at home on the Hunger Games. The Glen Carter version from 2000 is much better.
Per a story covered in various media outlets, the March for Our Lives was prevented from being on the National Mall by a “small student grout filming a talent show“. As far as I know, this group was never identified. The march was held anyway, and indeed, considering how sloppy the Mall would be after snow melt, it probably for the best. They weren’t up to their knees in mud.
However, despite calls for this student group to identify themselves and to relinquish the National Mall for a far far more important issue, there seems to be nothing. I hope someone can fill in the blanks for this, rather than having to go through a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request.
“Of course, if one had played more RPGs, one would have realized that shacking up with people whose goal is “fulfill the ancient prophecies so that my dead god might rule once more over the earth, and cull those not among our cult” is rarely a good idea.” – from some well spoken person on a RPG forum. If you know who this is, please let me know.
Hello, I’ve changed my wordpress theme for my blog since it was getting a little hard to read, even for me, with the grey on black. If it’s a little too big for you, you can change your zoom on your web browser.
I’ve done various posts about Easter over the years I’ve been blogging. The story of the crucifixion and resurrection is even more contradictory than the Christmas story, with events claimed to have happened in one gospel which would preclude events happening in other gospels. What we generally get is a version that combines whatever the Christian wants to claim, though its a synthesis of all four gospels plus Acts. I was watching Rick Steves’ travel special on how Easter is celebrated in Europe and he gave a version that mixed everything together and ignored the problematic bits. It was still a very good special, and worth sitting through the pledge breaks to see it.
People like me, who question Christianity and its claims, often get told that the details don’t matter when we point out the repeated contradictions in the Easter story. That is a common answer for a lot of questions about Christianity, we shouldn’t question why things are so screwy. In a recent God Squad column, Rabbi Gellman answers a question from a high school student: “Hi, I am a junior at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn. I wanted to say how happy I am to know that there is someone out there willing to answer questions from teenagers. Not a lot of adults do. My theology class enjoys reading your articles and reflecting on them every day. My question is does God punish wrongdoings like people say?”
And what is Gellman’s answer? “This is my answer: IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER. It doesn’t matter whether or not God punishes evil or rewards goodness because on the highest level of human virtue is the understanding that goodness is its own reward and evil is its own punishment.”
However, it does matter. If this god doesn’t do as the bible claims, both in the OT and NT, then there is no reason to believe in the books or the god. This god is claimed to be the judge and jury on what is good and evil and this god repeatedly hands out punishment in the bible. Now, what the rabbi seems to be doing here is finding an excuse to ignore the question by the student because if he says that this god does punish evil, the next question is “How?” “Where?” and most importantly “When?” And since the rabbi cannot show that this god does anything at all, much less punishing the wicked and helping the good, he finds himself with a problem. In reality, there is no divine intervention to show that this god exists or gives a damn about morality. Indeed, we can see that this god’s morals change with how humans change, not the other way around.
Gellman tries to avoid the problem by insisting that people should be good because being good is the “right thing to do”, it’s beneficial, etc. Well then no one needs this god at all. There is no need for a blood sacrifice to appease a god for humans being just as this god would know they would be. The whole thing is nonsense.
I would challenge the Christians who read my blog to actually read the gospels and Acts and consider the discrepancies in the stories, e.g. number of angels, what JC did, etc. If the most important story for your religion is so screwed up, then why should anyone believe it?
This weekend we made a chicken vindaloo. This was from the Saveur magazine recipe and it just wasn’t quite what I had grown used to in most indian restaurants. What the recipe produced was a chicken and potato curry stew but not much of the vinegar tang that I like in vindaloo. So I ended up taking a can of tomato sauce (I didn’t have tomato paste) and cooking it down with a bit of balsamic vinegar to get the flavor profile I wanted. Then it came pretty close to what I was wanting. We had this with jasmine rice.
We’ve also been trying some new alcohols lately. With our Indian meal, we tried a new cream liqueur called Somrus. This stuff is delicious! It has a wonderful mix of cardamom, rose, and other exotics. It’s built on a rum base. We made a lassi and poured some in. My spouse just poured some over a brownie, which he has found very good.
We also tried a new wine, Macaw Tannat from Brazil. This is a nice simple red wine. The grape is supposedly notoriously tannic but this wasn’t bad at all. It’s nothing complex or expensive but a decent table wine.
We also tried a mixed six pack of beers from a local microbrewery, Howling Henry’s. Pretty good beers, and one really odd but good one, Basil Onion Pale Ale. This is one of the few beers I’ve had that I’d consider savory, the others being Shock Top’s Twisted Pretzel beer (alas, discontinued) and Dogfish Brewing’s Ta Henket, the Egyptian beer. This would be great in a beer bread.
Lastly, I’ve been stressed out about work and have been hiding by watching a lot of TV. We watched the first of the Mythica movies which was a lot of fun. This is what D&D movies should be. All the way around a perfectly decent sword and sorcery movie with amazingly decent CGI. This was partly funded by a Kickstarter request. Unfortunately, it has Kevin Sorbo in it, who has become a Christian twit in his “God is not dead” type movies, but he’s not bad looking. In the first, he’s only on screen for about 10 minutes.