Back to some fun stuff. I found a recipe for German buttercream frosting on Serious Eats, one of my favorite food sites. This stuff is very good, not too sweet, and full of tasty tasty fat! I recently made a spice buy at Penzey’s, my favorite socially concious spice merchant, and used my new vanilla beans. I did end up using salted butter which was noticeable but fine on a chocolate cake, rather like the salted caramel craze. I just used a boxed chocolate cake mix.
This weekend we are going to return to an old recipe, the blue cheese tart. This time we are going to grab a rotisserie chicken and add the shredded meat to the tart. Should be tasty!
I’ve been watching “The Terror” on AMC. It’s a horror tale about the failed expedition to find the Northwest Passage back in the 1840s based on this book. Generally I’m not big horror fan, still having nightmares from watching “Alien”. But this show grabbed me somehow. There’s lots of blood, cannibalized bodies, etc, but the characters are interesting. I very much enjoyed it. It’d make a great Cthulhu tale if one just added a few tentacles.
Short one today. Eat and drink well!
As if you didn’t think some American conservative Christians weren’t crazy enough, we have this:
“The question either infuriates or intrigues tens of millions of Americans: Did God play a role in the victory of Donald Trump? The debate will soon be presented in movie theaters across the country, as evangelical megaschool Liberty University is making and releasing a film called “The Trump Prophecy.”
The film, which will be released in 1,200 theaters this fall, is Liberty’s largest production to date, and it pairs the university with an independent Christian filmmaker who raised $1 million for the project — a sum its director says could double with postproduction and distribution costs.”
Nothing like some Christians wasting money on trying to convince themselves an adulterer, a cheat, a repeat liar, a man who supports pedophiles, white supremacists, and who admits to sexually abusing women, is the second coming.
In my last post, I wrote about abortion rights. I haven’t heard anything from any abortion opponents yet to answer my questions. However, I did note that the pastor I addressed has two questions for health choice advocates to answer on his blog. Unsuprisingly, Pastor Dave does not allow comments on his website. You can contact him through his contact page (complete with false claims about commenters being “aren’t so much interested in engaging thoughtfully” and bearing of false witness as commenters are not “genuine”, offered as excuses) , but it’s random if he bothers answering or not. I find it telling that I have no problem in allowing comments and that a pastor does.
The pastor has these two questions.
- When does human life begin?
- Who has the right to take life?
Dave believes that life begins at conception. Why? Because the bible tells him so. He also claims that “science and ethics point us”. Ethics has nothing to say about when life begins. And science doesn’t support his claim either. The concept of when life begins is still debated. Why he chooses to make unsupported claims is beyond me, other than to spread misinformation for his own benefit.
A fertilized egg cannot live on its own without support. Indeed, myriads of fertilized eggs never make it to the implantation stage and are simply expelled from the body. Myriads are aborted later by the failure to be viable. If it is killing when a fertilized egg is expelled, then this god is responsible for a very very large number of killing “children” as the anti-abortion folks want to claim per their own argument.
Dave, along with a lot of people against healthcare choice, quote the following: ““The scientific answer is that the embryo is a human being from the time of fertilization because of its human chromosomal constitution. The zygote is the beginning of a developing human.” Keith L. Moore, T.V.N. Persaud, Mark G. Torchia, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 8th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2013. p.327 (happily Amazon’s look before you buy has this excerpt)
What they don’t quote is the information around this, demonstrating the usual intent to spread misinformation: “There are differences of opinion on when an embryo becomes a human being because opinions are often affected by religious or political views. The scientific answer is that the embryo is a human being from the time of fertilization because of its human chromosomal constitution. The zygote is the beginning of a developing human. Some people think that the embryo becomes human only after birth”.
Now, this is not true. There is no consensus that the embryo is a human being; in the literature it is called a human embryo, not a human being. It is considered a potential human being even by anti-abortion activists in their propaganda, not a human being. (see here) Acorns aren’t any more oak trees than a human embryo is a human being.
This god doesn’t even consider them human beings, considering its commands here:
“When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.” – the punishment for killing a human being is not applied.
“6 If the age is from one month to five years, the equivalent for a male is five shekels of silver, and for a female the equivalent is three shekels of silver.” – there is no value assigned for a child less than one month old, and it is not considered
“15 Enroll the Levites by ancestral houses and by clans. You shall enroll every male from a month old and upward.” Males less than one month old are not considered human beings to be counted in a census and females aren’t to be counted at all.
Now, Dave goes on to excuse this god because of the classic “might equals right” argument. It’s okay for this god to murder children for the sins of their parents. It’s fine to kill women who are with child during this god’s genocides. So much for Dave’s claim of “The Christian Gospel points to a God who unconditionally loves us and through Jesus’ death on the Crosstakes away all our guilt and covers our shame.” Quite a few conditions given by this god, and it certainly doesn’t love those who don’t obey it.
And it’s mighty fine to harm a woman and her fetus if the husband is jealous. No evidence, just jealous.
“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 12 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: If any man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him, 13 if a man has had intercourse with her but it is hidden from her husband, so that she is undetected though she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her since she was not caught in the act; 14 if a spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself; or if a spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife, though she has not defiled herself; 15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest. And he shall bring the offering required for her, one-tenth of an ephah of barley flour. He shall pour no oil on it and put no frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of remembrance, bringing iniquity to remembrance.
16 Then the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord; 17 the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. 18 The priest shall set the woman before the Lord, dishevel the woman’s hair, and place in her hands the grain offering of remembrance, which is the grain offering of jealousy. In his own hand the priest shall have the water of bitterness that brings the curse. 19 Then the priest shall make her take an oath, saying, “If no man has lain with you, if you have not turned aside to uncleanness while under your husband’s authority, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings the curse. 20 But if you have gone astray while under your husband’s authority, if you have defiled yourself and some man other than your husband has had intercourse with you,” 21 —let the priest make the woman take the oath of the curse and say to the woman—“the Lord make you an execration and an oath among your people, when the Lord makes your uterus drop, your womb discharge; 22 now may this water that brings the curse enter your bowels and make your womb discharge, your uterus drop!” And the woman shall say, “Amen. Amen.”
23 Then the priest shall put these curses in writing, and wash them off into the water of bitterness. 24 He shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter her and cause bitter pain. 25 The priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy out of the woman’s hand, and shall elevate the grain offering before the Lord and bring it to the altar; 26 and the priest shall take a handful of the grain offering, as its memorial portion, and turn it into smoke on the altar, and afterward shall make the woman drink the water. 27 When he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall discharge, her uterus drop, and the woman shall become an execration among her people. 28 But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be immune and be able to conceive children.
29 This is the law in cases of jealousy, when a wife, while under her husband’s authority, goes astray and defiles herself, 30 or when a spirit of jealousy comes on a man and he is jealous of his wife; then he shall set the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall apply this entire law to her. 31 The man shall be free from iniquity, but the woman shall bear her iniquity.
This god has the right to kill anyone and anything because Dave believe it created them and creators have the unquestionable right of destruction. I suspect he might disagree with this when it comes to the church he preaches from, a hospital, the roads through his local town, etc. It becomes no more than special pleading on Dave’s part. It is only hypocrisy when these self-declared “pro-lifers” insist how bad abortion is. Might equals right is all they care about. Funny how even this god doesn’t believe that the fetus is made in its image, or it doesn’t care. Yep, Dave, you don’t get much more vulnerable than a fetus. Now, why does your god destroy so many if we are to believe your bible? So much for your plea for “struggling emotively”.
Considering the vileness of what you claim to believe, Dave, I know that I am far more committed to improving medical care for women and indeed everyone than you are, when you have made false claims about how allowing abortions somehow interferes with medical progress.
I am far more committed to protecting women from the bullying, abuse, sexual violence than you are since you have chosen to lie to women about abortion.
I am far more committed to standing up for asylum seekers who come to escape abuse, torture, rape and FGM from people who concur with the vile laws in your bible that you claim your god came up with. Your god repeatedly approves of the murder of women, the murder of women who are raped and who didn’t scream lough “enough”, and forcing women to marry their rapists. It approves of enslaving people if the father doesn’t want to abandon his enslaved wife and children. We also hear little to nothing about parents who after they have had children, and who have murdered them on the pyre of their religion when they don’t get them treated for curable diseases. We only hear demands for “religious freedom” in those cases.
Such are the crocodile tears of a TrueChristian(tm).
I generally don’t blog about abortion rights. I find abortion to be a stupid thing to be used for birth control, but sometimes it’s the only option and it’s everyone’s right to control their own body and choose the healthcare that they want.
Of course, some people don’t think that’s so. They think it is their right to control people.
We have this bit from one of the pastors I follow regarding the wonderful overturning of religious law in Ireland (Dave is British): “As I’ve mentioned in previous posts and as Stephen Kneale points out here, one of the pro-abortion lobby’s tactics is to focus attention on the difficult cases. The message is that if you are against abortion then you are unloving because you don’t care about vulnerable people, those who are victims of assault or those who are medically at risk through pregnancy.”
Why yes, Dave, we pro-choice people care about every woman’s choice and *especially* those who are the vulnerable people you mention. If you want to force your choices on others, then yep, you are a theocrat who doesn’t care about these people. You only want external validation. You don’t want to help women or children or families. You want people to risk dying for *your* religion.
If someone wants to be against abortion, then they need to think about a few things:
Is it your right to tell someone what they can do with their body? Explain why.
Do you want to help support these children and families with everything from good nutrition, good education, safe housing, counseling, etc? If not, then why do you think you can force someone to have a child? You are not pro-life, you are pro-birth and pro-control.
Do you support other means of birth control? If not, you’re the problem.
How many children have you adopted/fostered? If you haven’t, why not?
Do you think you can force someone to risk their lives? Why? Any pregnancy can go wrong. One has to wonder why Christians with their supposed healing powers can do nothing for these women.
I welcome any anti-choice person’s reply. I suspect I won’t get any.
Dave makes this false claim “Abortion takes us up a medical and ethical cul-de-sac which distracts us from answering difficult questions and pushing forward to make serious medical progress.”
There is not one thing that shows that allowing abortion somehow ends medical progress. IF there is, it would be nice to be shown some evidence. Until that happens, it’s a shame that again a Christian has to lie to try to force his beliefs on others.
Way back in September 2014, I offered a challenge to a professional Christian and self-proclaimed prophet, Bill Keller. This was about the challenge he offered to a Muslim leader regarding that old testament contest in 1 Kings 18. Now during that interaction, I was promised that I would be prayed for. He of course ran away from the challenge.
Surprise, nothing happened despite claims of “Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed.” Now, why would such a prayer fail? It seems that this god doesn’t like this fellow, this fellow isn’t praying correctly, this god likes me as I am, or this god doesn’t exist.
A few months shy of four years….hmmm. No surprise that Keller supports Trump, a liar, an adulterer, a cheat, and who finds that nazis are “fine people”. He gives the same excuses that all of his fellow evangelicals give. And he has no problem ignoring his bible when it actually gives some not horrible advice
“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
but the Lord tests the heart.
4 An evildoer listens to wicked lips;
and a liar gives heed to a mischievous tongue.
5 Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;
those who are glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
6 Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their parents.
7 Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
still less is false speech to a ruler.”
In that Bill’s prophecies have failed, is he up for a stoning?
“Because I shared what God showed me (“Under President Kerry, God’s definition of marriage will no longer exist, legal steps will be taken to insure our nation will ALWAYS be in the business of murdering innocent babies, we will continue to see God taken out of every aspect of the daily life of this nation, and Christians will come under greater persecution than we ever thought possible. God is going to give the people exactly what they ask for and because of our gross wickedness, we will see more natural disasters, more attacks on U.S. soil by those who want to destroy us, and the nation will endure great economic hardships as God unleashes His judgment on our nation.”), I have been accused of working for John Kerry, of causing people not to vote, and for being the reason if President Bush is not re-elected. First, if you read ALL that I wrote Monday, I clearly outlined the spiritual abyss this nation will fall into under a Kerry administration. *As I do every year, I will mobilize a massive prayer effort that will be well over 2 million people this year to pray for men and women after God’s heart to be elected and encourage people to get out and vote for those people who will help to bring our nation back to Biblical principles. Lastly, it will be God who determines who the next President is, not Bill Keller.
I am also very well aware that Pat Robertson has predicted President Bush will win in a landslide. The fact is, on November 9th, either Pat Robertson or Bill Keller will be wrong. I have clearly stated in the past that the penalty for a false prophet is to be stoned to death. I support that standard and am willing, I wonder if Pat is. Like most who say they hear from God and have been wrong, Pat has always found an excuse why he was wrong and just keeps on going. The fact is, God is NEVER WRONG. One of us is a false prophet! I will make NO EXCUSES.”
Nah, he just hoped that no one would remember. He’s still lying and still begging for money, like all wannabee televangelists. Congrats, Bill, you are just like Joel Osteen with your failure.
Recently, I found a post on another blog about what Christians could learn from atheists. This was on a blog for self-described millennial Christians. It was an article written by John Garay, who has his own blog.
It was an interesting post, with some honest compliments but most the usual claims of how “rebellious” atheists were and how sinful that is. It also underlined just how much Christians are completely sure that those “other” Christians are entirely wrong (whether to follow those pesky commandments is a sticking point for Christians). Each generation is sure that they are the ones who have it right, entirely unaware that their attitude is nothing new. We went through this in the 80’s where evangelicals thought they had the right answer, and now they are seen as the staid and ignorant old guard by these new Christians. Of course, the new Christians have the same issues as the old, especially when it comes to their shiny new magic decoder rings that they are sure tell them what their god “really” meant.
We have this as what the author has as lessons learned from atheists;
- It’s good to “do good,” simply because it’s the right thing to do.
- Love is best experienced when you love someone simply because of who they are, not for what they believe in.
- The opinions of others are never a “good enough” reason to cause you to doubt what you believe. (which is nice but misses the point that atheist often don’t have opinions, but facts which Christians do not).
Which are all pretty good things.
Then we have this, as the author’s response to someone who thinks atheists are “evil”.
“She stopped sobbing for a quick second to ask a question: “Weren’t you taught that atheists are evil?” I chuckled to myself and responded, “What I’ve been taught is that evil and rebellion are part of our human nature. Thanks to Adam and Eve we inherited this mess. In fact, it was for this very reason that Jesus came to earth… He came to redeem a fallen humanity… We just all express evil differently depending where we are at in life.”
Hmmm, nothing new there at all, the author agreeing that us atheists are “evil” and “rebellious”. One would think that the author never actually chatting with an atheist, despite his claims of having atheists as friends and family members.
Now, since the bible says that all humanity knows what good and evil are, from that fruit episode, I know I’m not evil. It’s interesting that Christians would continue to claim this if they know the same good and evil too. So, for that apple, we have had a multitude claims of what evil and it changes every generation or so. The most bizarre thing is, that this god never wanted us to know good and evil at all. We were to be obedient, nothing more. If we know good and evil, well, then we might use that knowledge to question. And happily, some of us do.
I had commented on this blog and pointed out that despite what some Christians thought, it was no compliment to be compared to their god and to be told that their god was “in” us too. That, unsurprisingly, was not accepted well. I was also told that I didn’t understand Christianity or the correctly.
I was asked that if I wanted to discuss this blog entry, some of the comment participants would be willing but via email. I’m going to guess that my non-believer readers might already know where this is going. Despite the acceptance by myself and my one discussion partner (I had two, and they may identify themselves if they want) that we would answer any questions that the other may have, that ended when I asked:
““what makes you think your god is real and all others aren’t? Anything you find the strongest answer? “
And this was the response:
“It’s okay for us to continue to disagree with each other, but attacking the belief is not an act of friendship and hard to build a relationship from.”
Now, this was after I answered this person’s question to me: ““Question: What is the biggest factor in your belief that God isn’t real?”
What the different is between them asking me what amounts to the same question seems to be no more than they have to actually make a statement and have it open for criticism.
This is not a new answer from someone who was sure that they could discuss something with an atheist. It could be very nearly verbatim from one of a hundred Christians I’ve debated over the years. And it entirely misses the point of what the blog post’s author said in his third point.
This ended with claims that I somehow hate this god, hate Christians, that I only want to “win”, false claims that I wasn’t willing “even attempt to understand one another”, that I don’t correctly interpret the bible that they claim other Christians don’t interpret correct and can’t tell me why I should accept their version, etc. I’ve toyed with the idea of writing down the usual steps of how a discussion goes with a believer since they almost always hit the same marks when they realize that they may have to think about and defend their claims.
So, as history has shown, we get new versions of the supposed objective truth multiple times a generation, and each sect is sure that those others are wrong, in most, if not all religions.
Now, Christians, tell us: what makes you think your god is real and all others aren’t? Anything you find the strongest answer? And why should we accept your version when you won’t accept each others? Why do you find these questions and the existence of atheists so terribly threatening?
You wonder why people are leaving Christianity. Behavior like this certainly can’t help.
Addedum- Mr. Eli has replied in comments. Consider if you will, reader, if you didn’t know about religion. Would you accept such responses if you were considering joining Christianity?