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
I’ve been going through some items my aunties have given me, old craft supplies, a LOT of beads, and Christmas ornaments. Most of what I got was circa early 70s.
Now I just have to wonder what some poor Chinese man or woman had to be thinking when asked to make the manger scene. Look below. I do love the happy face Jesus. The ornament was probably about the same time the proto-emoticon made its first appearance.
There appears to be a happy cow, a hyena (I think it is supposed to be a sheep) and one random duck. Not sure what Joseph is doing, other than winking at the camera about the whole nonsense that some god got Mary preggers (spouse says he has partaken of the weed). Mary herself looks like she’s about to be sick.
It is unfortunately nothing new to find a Christian choosing to lie. This one, Stephen Bernard, decides to repeat the lies of deathbed conversion. And he can’t even get the spelling of Thomas Paine’s name right. This is how knowledge destroys religion.
The leading atheistic writer in American colonies: “Stay with me, for God’s sake; I cannot bear to be left alone , O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter? I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. 0 Lord, help me! Christ, help me! No, don’t leave; stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one.””
amazing how Paine said nothing of the sort.
“No sooner was Paine dead than the ghoul sat gloating upon him. I found in the Rush papers a letter from Cheetham (July 31st) to Benjamin Rush: “Since Mr. Paine’s arrival in this city from Washington, when on his way you very properly avoided him, his life, keeping the lowest company, has been an uninterrupted scene of filth, vulgarity, and drunkenness. As to the reports, that on his deathbed he had something like compunctious visitings of conscience with regard to his deistical writings and opinions, they are altogether groundless. He resisted very angrily, and with a sort of triumphant and obstinate pride, all attempts to draw him from those doctrines. Much as you must have seen in the course of your professional practice of everything that is offensive in the poorest and most depraved of the species, perhaps you have met with nothing excelling the miserable condition of Mr. Paine. He had scarcely any visitants. It may indeed be said that he was totally neglected and forgotten. Even Mrs. Bournville (sic) a woman, I cannot say a Lady, whom he brought with him from Paris, the wife of a Parisian of that name, seemed desirous of hastening his death. He died at Greenwich, in a small room he had hired in a very obscure house. He was hurried to his grave with hardly an attending person. An ill-natured epitaph, written on him in 1796, when it was supposed he was dead, incorrectly describes the latter end of his life. He
"Blasphemes the Almighty, lives in filth like a hog,
Is abandoned in death and interr'd like a dog."
The object of this letter was to obtain from Rush, for publication, some abuse of Paine; but the answer honored Paine, save for his heresy, and is quoted by freethinkers as a tribute.
Within a year the grave opened for Cheetham also, and he sank into it branded by the law as the slanderer of a woman’s honor, and scourged by the community as a traitor in public life.
The day of Paine’s death was a day of judgment. He had not been struck blind or dumb; Satan had not carried him off; he had lived beyond his threescore years and ten and died peacefully in his bed. The self-appointed messengers of Zeus had managed to vex this Prometheus who brought fire to men, but could not persuade him to whine for mercy, nor did the predicted thunderbolts come. This immunity of Thomas Paine brought the deity of dogma into a dilemma. It could be explained only on the the theory of an apology made and accepted by the said deity. Plainly there had to be a recantation somewhere. Either Paine had to recant or Dogma had to recant.
The excitement was particularly strong among the Quakers, who regarded Paine as an apostate Quaker, and perhaps felt compromised by his desire to be buried among them. Willett Hicks told Gilbert Vale that he had been beset by pleading questions. “Did thee never hear him call on Christ?” “As for money,” said Hicks, “I could have had any sum.” There was found, later on, a Quakeress, formerly a servant in the family of Willett Hicks, not proof against such temptations. She pretended that she was sent to carry some delicacy to Paine, and heard him cry “Lord Jesus have mercy upon me”; she also heard him declare “if the Devil has ever had any agency in any work he has had it in my writing that book [the ‘Age of Reason’].”* Few souls are now so belated as to credit such stories; but my readers may form some conception of the mental condition of the community in which Paine died from the fact that such absurdities were printed, believed, spread through the world. The Quaker servant became a heroine, as the one divinely appointed witness of Tom Paine’s recantation.” The Life of Tomas Paine, Moncure Daniel Conway
The same goes for the claim of Voltaire’s last words since there is no source for them at all. What we have is this “May 26, 1778.
The dying man returns to life on hearing this great news: he tenderly embraces M. de Lally: he sees that the King is the defender of justice: and he dies content.” written 4 days before Voltaire died.
And Robert Ingersoll’s last words were evidently, “Oh Better.” “ROBERT INGERSOLL CROSSES THE RIVER” The Record-Union of Sacramento, California on July 22, 1899 We also have this “Robert G. Ingersoll Dead The Famous Agnostic Passes Away Suddenly at His Summer Home Religious Views Unchanged No Evidence that He Abandoned Agnosticism, Though He Expressed Hope of Immortality” from the New York Times, printed on July 22, 1899, the day after Ingersoll died.
I suspect the rest of the supposed “quotes” are lies too, but no reason to keep on since we have three in a row already.
It’s always great to see Christians ignore their bible when convenient for them. One might think that this god has no problem with liars, and one would be very much mistaken. This god even hates those liars who think they are lying for it, Romans 3. I guess hell will be full up with TrueChristians(tm) and there will be no room for an atheist at all.
Amazing how this god doesn’t do a thing about these TrueChristians(tm) lying in its name, just like any imaginary character. No smiting at all. Shucks.
There’s a new thing making the Christian circuit, a book and website called “The Doubter’s Club” which is intended to convert non-christian, especially atheists it seems. I’ve listened to an interview with the author and leader, Preston Ulmer, here, and below is my response.
as an atheist, I have some suggestions for Christians who find they need to bother us about their religion.
Christians are indeed certain about a lot of things. They try to claim they are not, but they cannot function as Christians if they do doubt. Even the bible states this, with JC talking to Thomas. This god did give evidence in that case, so the claims from Christians that no one should ask for evidence, e.g. “test” this god is based on apologetics that know that no evidence would be forthcoming.
When a Christian does claim he doesn’t understand something, it is usually when something is an embarrassing point in the bible, like when this god is seen to do something ignorant and violent, where god’s “mysterious” ways are invoked. That is an obvious dodge to an atheist.
It seems that Preston assumes that atheists are dishonest. That is unfortunate. Theists often want to claim that they know why people are atheists, when they ignore what atheists actually say. Don’t do this. You’ll almost always be wrong.
To consider us as prey in a “long play” is also obvious. We aren’t stupid. You want more people in your “tribe” for validation. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just human.
Most of us do know that Christians disagree in the most basic things, so insisting your version is the one truth doesn’t work. We also know that you try to convert each other. A lot of us also know that a Christian, C.S. Lewis, said to hide the divisions from potential Christians (Mere Christianity, preface).
Many of us are former Christians and have read the bible. We are often more familiar with than most Christians. If you try to claim we don’t “correctly” understand it, often sheathed in the claim that we don’t know about sophisticated theologians or Christianity, we will ask you how you can show your version is the “right” one.
Most of us also know that Jesus isn’t all warm and fuzzy. This character kills every non Christian in the end times stories. Luke 19, the parable of the minas, isn’t a great thing either.
If you assume that we are on a “spiritual” journey, you are likely wrong. That is an assumption that we aren’t complete as we are.
Acting like you are doing us a favor is also obvious. We aren’t the “unclean” that you can feel virtuous by daring to associate with. We know you have ulterior motives. We have friends and we do deserve friends, no god or Christian needed.
The “invitation to imitate Christ” bit is probably the most ridiculous and verging on offensive. This assumes that your version of Christ is the true one, that Christ existed, and that we aren’t humane, empathetic people. We know that Christianity, at its base, says that anyone who disagrees with this god deserves death or worse. That isn’t love and that isn’t something a friend would wish for their friend. This ignorance assumes that only Christians are good people. They aren’t.
For me, the whole thing comes off as creepy. Really really creepy.