I sometimes wonder if in the past it was actually common for adult teachers and their underaged students to engage in sexual relations, since we in recent times so often hear of such things in the news. Now it appears that one way a younger boy or girl can get rich is to have sex with a teacher, claim to be a victim of abuse and file a lawsuit to get millions of dollars from the experience. How convenient!
Inspired by atheist YouTube personality Steve Shives, I have compiled the following list of five things Christians, and many other people, typically get wrong about the Bible.
- It is treated as a single work, when in fact it was sixty-six (and perhaps more, according to some Christian denominations) SEPARATE works that were never intended by their many original authors to be put together. That did not happen until centuries after the books were written. Imagine a massive English book that assembled some of the works of Dr. Suess, Stephen King, Louis L’Amour, Anne Rice, Barbara Cartland, R. L. Stine, Sidney Sheldon, and Richard Scarry into a single volume to allow people easy access to samples of American literature. Would it ever have been reasonable to claim that those specific works by those specific authors must from then on always be sold together in that specific form?
- It combines scriptures from TWO different religions, but misrepresents them in the process. The scriptures of the Jewish religion are called the “Old Testament” and the scriptures of the Christian religion are called the “New Testament”, even though they are actually over 1900 years old and thus are hardly “new” by any standard you can name. The implication that Christians should have any claim to the scriptures of some other religion, even an earlier and related one, would be considered nonsense by most people if we were talking about any other subject. Do Americans have any claim whatsoever to the Constitution of the British government?
- It is assumed that these scriptures were intended for all of mankind, when in fact most of the Jewish Scriptures were written by Jews and intended only for Jews. Maybe the Christian Scriptures were intended for all mankind, but…….Jesus only came to the Jewish people and was never known to go outside his people’s homeland. It was only later after his supposed resurrection that he dispatched his disciples to preach the Gospel around the world.
- Even more damning, there is NOTHING in the Christian scriptures that came directly from Jesus himself. In fact about half of the Christian Scriptures came from Paul, who was depicted in the book of Acts as originally an enemy of the Christians who later converted to Christianity and helped spread the Gospel among non-Jews. In what context would this be considered credible anywhere else? Imagine if Abraham Lincoln was credited with ending slavery in the USA, but wrote nothing about slavery that we have to verify his involvement, except biographies decades after his death that do not even agree on the circumstances of his birth, and most of the work of ending slavery after him was done by General Robert E. Lee, himself once a slaveowner who fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War and later became an abolitionist.
- Revelation is treated by most Christians as the last thing God ever revealed to mankind. Sure, let us ignore the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Urantia Book, and Conversations with God, among other things. But if those are not valid, why accept the Christian scriptures……or even the Jewish ones, for that matter?
I’m going to post a series of short stories featuring characters I have made up. Allow me to introduce them.
“Daniel the Intellectual” – Scientist, father and strong critic of religion.
“Maria the Caretaker” – Wife of Daniel, artist and new age musician.
“Matthew the Warrior” – Son of Daniel and Maria, rock guitarist and singer for the Band of Messengers and computer gamer.
“Suzanne the Feminist” – Daughter of Daniel and Maria, rock singer and guitarist in the Band of Messengers, lesbian and a sworn enemy of the NRA and the Republican Party.
“Tommy the Comic” – Younger son of Daniel and Maria, drummer in the Band of Messengers, loves to tell jokes to make others look stupid, but also very loving to those he cares about.
“Lisa the Latina” – Romantic partner of Suzanne, joins the Band of Messengers as a bassist.
“Carla the Afro” – Matthew’s African-American girlfriend, joins the Band of Messengers as a keyboardist. Continue reading
“So you believe in human sacrifice? The Aztecs did too! Are you descended from them? I heard that some cultures sacrificed virgins to gain favor with their gods. I know my daughter has a boyfriend, so would you like to ask him if they have had sex? As for the 100,000 dollars, did you know that the largest dollar bill ever printed by the U.S. Mint was in that amount? Sadly, no such bills are in circulation today, I would so love to have one! With all the billionaires in the world, we would find such bills extremely useful for special transactions. Anyway, I’m sure once you kill my daughter you will either find someone else to kidnap or the police will hunt you down before you can pull that off. In any case, you won’t get a cent from me! I’m a rich man for a reason and one of those reasons is my refusing to merely throw away money for trivial causes…..and giving money to someone who has not earned it is as trivial as it gets…..unless you consider kidnapping someone to be hard work, of course!”
I just noticed the following story on a right-wing internet news publication called the Federalist. I will post the parts from the original story in red and my responses to it will be in blue.
Read this story:
Congress’s approval rating has slipped to the lowest level this year, according to a poll released Wednesday by Gallup.
The poll found 11 percent of people in the United States approve of Congress, which is its lowest job approval rating this year.
It’s also only 2 percentage points higher than the all-time low of 9 percent approval from November 2013 after the last government shutdown.
Meanwhile, 86 percent of the public said they disapprove of Congress.
Gallup began tracking congressional approval ratings 41 years ago and the ratings since 2011 have been among the worst recorded. Congress experienced a record-high 84 percent approval rating in October 2001, a month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The new survey also found 8 percent of Republicans said they approve of Congress while 13 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats said the same about lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
The poll comes just weeks after Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, was elected as speaker of the House and after Congress passed a major budget deal to raise spending limits and lift the debt ceiling into March 2017. Lawmakers still must pass a spending package before the Dec. 11 deadline to fund the government and avert another shutdown.
The poll surveyed 1,021 adults between November 4 and 8 with a 4 percentage point margin of error.
How is it possible for the general public to so despise Congress when they have two year and six year intervals to replace its members? Because, quite simply, they almost never do! Most Americans only pay attention to the Presidential races and usually the Governors’ races in their respective states and do not take much notice of the Congressional and state representative races. And yet it is Congress that makes the laws and decides the federal budgets for the United States, while state legislatures do the same at the state level. The President and the Governors have very little power, so merely electing them means almost nothing.
This is why the American people elected Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, then watched in amazement when Republicans took control of Congress in 2010 and 2014, causing incredible amounts of gridlock later. If you do not vote in ALL elections and for ALL positions in government, you end up with a government that you do not approve of! It is the extremists that take advantage of the mid-term elections to get their stooges into Congress….and there are FAR more right-wing extremists in America than left-wing ones. You can blame dogmatic Christian denominations for that as well as the media being controlled largely by corporations with their own economic and political agendas!
Also, most Americans tend to support their own Representatives or Senators and assume that the “other ones” are the problem. That is not true! You can only replace the members of Congress that are supposed to represent you, so if you do not vote them out, you are to blame for the failures of Congress. Not other people in different states and districts.
And of course, there is gerrymandering too.
Read this article:
Dan Savage said:
Yeah, let’s talk about the Green Party for just a moment, or third parties, getting a third party movement off the ground here in this country. Because we are sick of the two party system!
Here’s how you fucking do that: you run people not just for fucking president every four fucking years.
I have a problem with the Greens, I have a problem with the Libertarians. I have a problem with these fake, attention seeking, grandstanding Green/Libertarian party candidates who pop up every four years, like mushrooms in shit, saying that they’re building a third party. And those of us who don’t have a home in the Republican Party, don’t have a home in the Democratic Party, can’t get behind every Democratic position or Republican position, should gravitate toward these third parties. And help build a third party movement by every four fucking years voting for one of these assholes like Jill fucking Stein, who I’m sure is a lovely person, she’s only an asshole in this aspect.
If you’re interested in building a third party, a viable third party, you don’t start with president. You don’t start by running someone for fucking president.
Where are the Green Party candidates for city councils? For county councils? For state legislatures? For state assessor? For state insurance commissioner? For governor? For fucking dogcatcher? I would be SO willing to vote for Green Party candidates who are starting at the bottom, grassroots, bottom up, building a third party, a viable third party.
You don’t do that by trotting out the reanimated corpse of Ralph fucking Nader every four fucking years. Or his doppelgänger, whoever it is now, Jill Stein and some asshole-to-be-named four years from now. You start by running grassroots, local campaigns. And there’ve been — and I’m sure we’re going hear from lots of people out there listening — there have been a couple of Green Party candidates who’ve run in other races here and there across the country. But no sustained effort to build a Green Party nationally. Just this griping, bullshitty, grandstanding, fault-finding, purity-testing, holier than thou-ing, that we are all subjected to every four fucking years by the Green Party candidate.
Bernie Sanders tried to challenge the Democratic Party directly by running for President as a Democrat despite serving in the U S Senate as an “Independent”. But he ultimately went nowhere. So the same advice applies to him as to the Greens or other so-called third parties in the USA.
We need progressives among Democrats running for city council and for mayors, and after capturing many of those offices, some of those progressives can run for state legislative positions and then for governor of various states. After that, progressives can run for Congress. Only when many of them are in Congress can one run for the Presidency. Over time, the progressives could be so successful that they can afford to split themselves off from the other Democrats, while the progressives and the (conservative) Democrats together erode the popularity of the Republican Party to the point that Republicans can no longer function as a national political party.
Those who say they are for “Bernie or Bust” have no idea the damage that attitude can lead to. If they really believe in what Bernie Sanders favored,. they should stand up and run for public offices themselves. Otherwise, they will fail and they are useless.
I will back Hillary Clinton this year, not because I agree with everything she has done, but because the consequences of Donald Trump winning are simply unthinkable to me. He is not fit to be President, and Ms. Clinton is!