Joshua, a Biblical Book of Genocide and Scientific Absurdity

In two previous blog entries, I focused on how the Bible contains both an erroneous statement inconsistent with modern astronomy, as well as a story depicting outright genocide.

Those were bad. But the book of Joshua depicts both at the same time!

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/jos/10.html

Joshua 10

10:1 Now it came to pass, when Adonizedec king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them;

10:2 That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.

 

10:3 Wherefore Adonizedec king of Jerusalem, sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying,

10:4 Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel.

10:5 Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it. 

10:6 And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us.

10:7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. So Joshua and his mighty men of valor came to fight the Amorites.

10:8And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.

10:9 Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night.So Joshua attacked.

10:10And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. And God discomfited the Amorites at Gibeon, killing them with a great slaughter, and chasing them along the way.

10:11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.

 

10:12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
10:13And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

And the sun stood and moon stood still, until Joshua finished killing his enemies. [2]

10:14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.

This is literally impossible. First, because the apparent movement of the Sun is caused by the rotation of Earth, the sudden stopping of Earth would have caused everything on Earth not attached to the ground to be thrown sideways, including water in the oceans, rivers and lakes. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Likewise, the stopping of the moon in its orbit would have caused it to fall towards Earth, eventually crashing into Earth in only a few days.

Therefore the writer of that story above was not sharing the Word of God at all. And one wonders why so many people consider the Bible to be infallible even now.

Biblical Genocide and Pedophilia

Read this sickening passage from the Bible, considered by most Christians and Jews to be the Word of God and a reliable guide to faith and morals. The parts in red are the most disturbing ones of all.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+31%3A1-18&version=ESV

Numbers 31:1-18

31 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Avenge the people of Israel on the Midianites. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.” So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian to execute the Lord‘s vengeance on Midian. You shall send a thousand from each of the tribes of Israel to the war.” So there were provided, out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand from each tribe, together with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, with the vessels of the sanctuary and the trumpets for the alarm in his hand. They warred against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and killed every male. They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of their slain, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. And they also killed Balaam the son of Beor with the sword. And the people of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones, and they took as plunder all their cattle, their flocks, and all their goods. 10 All their cities in the places where they lived, and all their encampments, they burned with fire, 11 and took all the spoil and all the plunder, both of man and of beast. 12 Then they brought the captives and the plunder and the spoil to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the people of Israel, at the camp on the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.

13 Moses and Eleazar the priest and all the chiefs of the congregation went to meet them outside the camp. 14 And Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, who had come from service in the war. 15 Moses said to them, “Have you let all the women live? 16 Behold, these, on Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the Lord. 17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. 18 But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.

THIS IS WHAT A WAR CRIME LOOKS LIKE!

Also, how can anyone possibly know whether or not a woman has had sex with a man? There is only one sure way to tell: only let live the girls that have not yet reached puberty. But note that those girls were to not be set free, but that the army of Israel was to “keep [them] alive for [them]selves”. In essence, they were to be used as CHILD PROSTITUTES for the soldiers.

I feel SICK!

A Critical Analysis of the Epistle of 2 Peter

The Second Epistle of Peter is one of the most controversial parts of the New Testament, with many Bible scholars claiming it wasn’t even written by the apostle in question, and was instead composed many years after his death to promote the teaching of Peter’s rival, Paul. Let’s start looking at the text.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Peter%201%20;&version=KJV

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The Wayback Machine preserves the debunked nonsense of hypocrites!

On several occasions, I have recorded on this blog and directly answered the lies and unfounded nonsense of Christian apologists. Here are two examples:

Lying About History for the Bible

Insulting and Libeling Unbelievers

In the first, I showed how history was distorted regarding the city of Tyre and the obviously false meaning of Bible “prophecy” was papered over in an incredible display of projection and damage control, while in the other one I attacked Creationist Hugh Ross when he tried to explain why people often do not become Christians. In both cases, at least one of the false web pages were removed completely by the writers, while in the second case the other false web page’s address was changed to make it harder to find (but I caught that and updated my blog entry anyway). You’d think with that, both liars would have sense enough to shut up, but their phony websites remain to this day:

https://www.reasons.org/home

http://exchangedlife.com/

Here’s a basic rule of thumb to prevent you for falling for a con artist of any kind: If a person is caught telling ONE lie, then anything else he says should not be taken at face value. Huge Ross lied about whale ankles, while the unknown writer(s) of the Exchanged Life Discipleship website lied about the issue of the prophet Ezekiel. I am pleased that their web pages in question were deleted after I busted them on this very blog, but don’t you think they should have had the courage to make a public apology for their lying? Instead, they chose to hide what they did like it never mattered!

But a special website known as the Wayback Machine preserved what they said anyway.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120131174133/http://www.reasons.org/philosophyreligion/atheism/barriers-salvation

https://web.archive.org/web/20101124175220/http://exchangedlife.com/skeptic/ezekiel.htm

And with these falsehoods exposed, seekers of truth can know to avoid those websites and their creators to prevent being deceived by anything else they might claim.

Ironic that the Christian rock band Petra made a song about hidden things being revealed in an act of judgement against people.

As a Christian, I LOVED Petra, so this pleases me to no end!

 

 

If your Spiritual Orientation is CHRISTIAN….

Image result for Cross

Christianity is the most popular religion in the world today, with an estimated two billion followers around the world, and is the predominant religion in the two American continents, Europe, Australia and sub-Saharan Africa. Thus if a person’s spiritual orientation is actually NEUTRAL, then he is most likely to be Christian because there are simply more Christian families in the world than those of any other religion. However, there are people who, even if they are raised in a non-Christian religion, may be unhappy with their family’s faith and may decide that Christianity is a better one for them. This blog entry is for them as well as for others that may be looking for a “true” version of the Christian faith, whatever their original background.

  1. Remember that Jesus, said to be the founder of Christianity, was a JEW, as were his early disciples. Therefore anyone who is a genuine Christian would also love and respect the Jewish religion and people. Anti-Semitism should have absolutely NO place among Christians.
  2. Jesus himself wrote nothing that survives to this day; what you read about him in the Christian Scriptures (commonly called the New Testament) are second-hand accounts of what some people thought he said. Do not take those quotations at face value. Do not believe that the Bible or any part of it is the infallible Word of God. That is actually an insult to any real God that may exist. Remember that one form of idolatry is attributing God’s glory to anything man-made, including books that have references to God himself in them.
  3. The many references in the Christian Scriptures to the coming of the kingdom of God were interpreted by many Christian leaders as referring to the literal coming of Jesus to conquer the world and directly rule it afterwards. This is absurd; if that was the case, it should have happened while the generation that lived in the time of Jesus still was around. They have all been dead for over 1900 years. Those prophecies must already have been fulfilled with the rise of Christianity to take over the formerly Pagan dominated Roman Empire. Writers like Hal Lindsey who claimed otherwise were lying to us.
  4. Remember that the Apostle Paul, who wrote about half of the Christian Scriptures that were later accepted by the early Christian community as valid, was not even an original disciple of Jesus. He led some of the early Christians, including many from non-Jewish backgrounds, in a very different direction from the groups that consisted mostly of Jews. The Jewish groups eventually faded away, leaving the non-Jewish ones. The result was a badly distorted faith. After all these centuries, we simply have no way of knowing if Paul was a legitimate Christian leader or not.
  5. In most cases, you must be a CHRISTIAN and nothing else. Do NOT claim as your primary religious identity any subdivision within Christianity, such as Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, or anything else. You would be a Christian who might go to a Baptist or Catholic church, but that’s it. Reject as necessary or justified any division within the Christian community that claims to be the one true religion. It is only CHRISTIANITY itself that ever should have made that claim. Not Mormonism, not the Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor any other such radical “reformist” or “restorationist” group within Christianity. These are simply additional divisions that do more damage to the credibility of Christianity itself.
  6. There is one exception to this: if you are also a member of a religious group that is actually multifaith, like the Unitarian Universalist Association. Then you should distinguish yourself from non-Christian UUs, but also celebrate the UUism you have in common with them. Check out this website:  http://uuchristian.org/   Also read this:

    Christian Voices in Unitarian Universalism

God was a hypocrite?!

I reject dogmatic religion because it often causes people to tell lies and be hypocritical to justify their irrational and unfounded beliefs. In a blog entry written more than a decade ago, I found a clear example of a conflict between the laws of Judaism and one of the fundamental teachings of the Christian faith, which is descended from Judaism:

The ultimate conflict between Judaism and Christianity

That was bad. Now I find, however, that there is a fundamental conflict even within the Jewish Scriptures.
Here’s a reminder of that Jewish law from Moses:
The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. – Deuteronomy 24:16

But then God told a completely different thing to King David:
2 Samuel 12:13-16, 18
{{{And David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against Yahweh!’

Nathan replied, ‘Yahweh has forgiven your sin. You shall not die. But because you have treated Yahweh with contempt, the child born to you shall die.’ And Nathan went home.

Yahweh struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David….. A week later the child died.}}}

(Source: The Brick Testament.  http://www.bricktestament.com/king_david/ )

Wow! Do Jews and Christians ever read stories like this and not think about how horrible they are?! Or why God does not follow his own laws?!

Ken Ammi, Enemy of Truth, Round Two

In a previous blog entry, I focused on the phony rhetoric of a Christian apologist named Ken Ammi. My attacks must have really bothered him, because he engaged in some desperate damage control in not one or two, but THREE blog entries about me in a row! I guess I should be flattered.

Here they are:
http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/wherein-i-am-charged-%E2%80%9Cintellectual-and-ethical-crimes%E2%80%9D

http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/wherein-i-am-called-%E2%80%9Cenemy-truth%E2%80%9D

http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/%E2%80%9Cmore-lies-ken-ammi%E2%80%9D

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What is really “dangerous” within Christianity?

First, consider this Bible reference:

Luke 9:49-50
“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”

That seems like an absolute proclamation. Jesus certainly did not say, “Whoever preaches my doctrines exactly according to some standard made long ago is for you.”

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Five Things Most Christians Get Wrong About the Bible

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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?

The Bible and a flat Earth

About a decade ago, I was having a debate on evolution with a couple of Christian bigots. And the issue of the Bible teaching the Earth being flat came up. When I suggested this, they vehemently denied it.

The Bible says the Earth is round, Dale. He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. -Isaiah 40:22- So much for that argument…. Dale. Christians aren’t idiots.

And to prevent you from claiming that “Circle” does not mean “Sphere”, and playing a little word game, the English translation of the Bible was written in the English vernacular of that time. They used the word “circle” to describe the shape of anything round, like a melon, or a grapefruit, or a round rock. So don’t go there. This isn’t Geometry class.

But then again, how would they have explained THIS passage?

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%204&version=NIV

Matthew 4: 8-10

Again, the devil took him [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]

Why would the devil have to take Jesus to a mountain to show him anything? If the Earth is a sphere, such a move is pointless. Only if the Earth is indeed flat does it make sense. Which is why I did not believe my opponents then and I certainly don’t now!

Of course, the story could be only a metaphor. But that would apply to almost anything else in the Bible, including the creation stories in the book of Genesis.

More Idiocy from Answers in Genesis

Opposing Views is a website that generally presents different opinions on various topics and allows its users to debate them freely. So it was a surprise to see the Creationist propaganda mill known as Answers in Genesis publish this rank nonsense for all to see on that site:

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/dear-atheists-bodie-hodge Continue reading

The Absurdity of the Book of Job

The Book of Job is one of those Bible works that clearly served a theological purpose: solving the problem of evil. Ancient Hebrews assumed that the universe was created by an all-powerful and intelligent deity who also gave laws to govern the lives of his Chosen People. But this created a dilemma: how could an all-powerful God allow for evil in his own creation? The Book of Job attempts to address this issue, but does so in a sloppy manner that really does not give any genuine answers.

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Stop Overlooking Evil in Religion!

Rebecca Watson just reported on a supposedly “moderate Theist”, named Stan, who criticized her attacks on Helen Ukpabio, a self-professed “witch-hunter” and Christian fanatic in Nigeria.

Here is the message he sent her:

Subject: Moving beyond Skepticism toward agendas
Message: Thank you guys/gals for years of entertainment, lessons regarding logical fallicies, interesting interviews, laughs and the ‘how-to’ in approaching a supposed “science-based” essay.

I continue to download your podcast weekly, though lately I find myself only to listen briefly to your science news, check who may be interviewed and skip to ‘Science or Fiction.’

Over these years (in MY subjective estimation) you have continued to drift toward an ‘agenda-based’ position forwarding not only skeptical thinking but actively pushing atheism.

It’s no longer limited to Rebecca’s consistant slam on organized religion, but seems woven through most your dialogues whenever the subject arises.

OK, example please! Late examples would be the story of a supposed Christian lady leader in Africa killing witches (the one coming or who came to Houston, TX). These acts of this organization in Africa are terrible. And so, you blame it on the religious group(s) for allowing or supporting this. In the same vein, let’s poke at the religious for our history segment on burning witches at the stake (last week). Skeptically, I think the anthropologists would look more at the local government structures at the time to be the culprit; but, religion is an easy target for you.

I wondered today, that say a man entered a local bank, loudly declared himself to be an athiest and proceeded to rob the bank at gunpoint, how you would spin it on SGU.

By what I see as of late, I think you would not deem it noteworthy, since 1) It’s not a topic driven by my afore mentioned agenda; 2) You wouldn’t accept that he was an athiest just by his declaration; and 3) You would NEVER associate his atheism (if he was) to this disassociative act.

If the last two reasons above seem sensible to you, why not apply that with inflamed news that includes religions?

I don’t think you can defend the position that you do give religious news the ‘fair skeptical look,’… and thus my first point (not your agenda) has grounds.

Though I may slowly drift from your podcast, I do thank you greatly for your lessons, and for introducing me to various energized skeptics across the globe who can keep focused on the “Science” and fair “Skepticism,” not focusing on groups to slam in order to feel good or more right.

I absolutely hate when people write like this. It is so intellectually dishonest!

Fighting bigotry is not about promoting the atheist agenda. Unless and until the speaker in the podcast is explicitly stating he wants to promote atheism, any such assumption from Theists should be considered an outright lie!

Indeed, I consider the writer above to be a backstabber.  As the saying goes, it is not so much the evil doers that are the scourge of the world as much as the supposedly good people who do nothing….including Christians who ignore or make excuses for the extremists amongst themselves. Stan is an idiot.

Rebecca answered him as follows:

I don’t understand the complaint at all. Helen Ukpabio founded an evangelical Christian ministry based upon her interpretation of the Bible. She preaches to congregations around the world about witches, telling them that God hates these children and demands that they be cured or murdered.

Why on earth would we discuss that without mentioning religion? She is literally using religious belief to convince people to murder children. We never said that this is what all Christians do. We never even said that this is what all Christians believe or support. So what did we say that was incorrect?

When Stan did not give a straight reply to her, she sent another message:

Apparently I don’t merit a direct response, but I’ll try once more, anyway. Witches are paranormal creatures that do not exist. Our podcast is called “The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe.” Skeptics often rationally discuss the paranormal.

Now, I’m very curious: please explain why we should not have covered the Helen Ukpabio witch-hunter story.

The answer, quite simply, is that the Bible itself condones and even commands the sort of brutal stunts against women and children who are labled “witches” that Ukpabio calls for. And Stan must know that.

This whole issue would not exist if Christian leaders would stop lying about the Bible itself and how it was made.

There is nothing moderate about asserting as fact what is actually a falsehood. Not in politics nor in religion!

You can be a theist without believing in the Bible as the Word of God. You can even be a Christian without believing in the Bible as the Word of God. In short, you can be a Christian without believing in any lies. Try it sometime!

Jesus said even the Torah is not the Word of God

I am neither a Jew nor a Christian, but I find it ironic that many Christians insist that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, considering that Jesus did not teach that and indeed seemed to indicate that fallible MEN made some parts of it.

Matthew 19:3-9

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

   4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

This passage strikes at the very heart of fundamentalist dogma, that the entire Bible from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse of Revelation, was revealed by God and has absolute authority over men. Of course, if you are an Orthodox Jew, you would naturally take offense at anyone overturning a law of the Torah. But often Christian sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses also fall prey to excessive legalism, which Jesus denied! If certain laws in the Torah were made by Moses, not God, why not allow for the possibility that other passages, even in the New Testament, were also made by men for a specific time and people, not by God for all peoples and all times? How can we tell?

We can’t, which is why Biblical authority is a concept we need to discard.

Dr. Georgia Purdom, hypocrite

This is a bio of Answers in Genesis “scientist”  Georgia Purdom.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/g_purdom.asp

Quotes from it will be in red and my responses will be in green.

Dr. Georgia Purdom is a compelling and dynamic lecturer and well qualified to speak on the relevance of Genesis to the issue of biblical authority.

So she has the gift of gab. You need that to be a successful preacher, but that has nothing to do with being an effective scientist.

She is the only female Ph.D. scientist engaged in full-time speaking and research for a biblical creationist organization in North America.

This actually violates Biblical teachings!  1 Timothy 2:12 – “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”

Dr. Purdom states, “A proper understanding of Genesis is very important because it is foundational to biblical authority and a Christian worldview. It’s about so much more than the creation/evolution controversy. It’s about the truthfulness and authority of God’s Word.”

Sure, as long as you ignore that verse from 1 Timothy. Or maybe she thinks it is not God’s Word? After all, it IS in the Bible. So can she, her boss Ken Ham, or other Creationist advocates specify what parts of the Bible are the Word of God and what are not?

The real issue I have with religion

The real issue is of honesty, not what one beleives. I don’t care if you bow down and worship a blue bull, as long as you don’t LIE to us about how that bull is not only your god, but is somehow a god to everyone else and that there is credible scientific and scholarly evidence to support your dogmas about the bull.

Anyone can read the Bible with his own eyes and mind and see that it is chock full of historical errors, contradictions, logical failings, and absurdities. So what do Christian apologists do to explain them away? Word gaming, nothing more! Once you start down that perverse path, with no test in reality, there need be no end to it. One lie is defended by another lie, and then you tell yet more lies to support the earlier ones. It just becomes a habit that is impossible to break, because doing so would make your whole case fall apart and you would lose your blind and ignorant following which gives you your power!

That’s how religious apologetics works, and Creationism is merely religious apologetics with scientific terminology. Nothing more.

Translations of Scriptures cannot be trusted

As critical as I am of the Baha’i Faith, I am equally critical of orthodox Islam, which the Baha’i Faith evolved from. The reason is simple: If you truly believe in an all-powerful and sovereign God, then the very idea that anything, like the Quran, can be the final revelation of God for all time is blasphemy. It is man telling God to be silent forever. So why not become atheist, then? I addressed this before:

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/muslims-get-a-life/

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Dinosaurs and Creationism

One of the biggest frauds committed by Creationists, especially of the “Young Earth” variety, is to assert that dinosaurs existed as part of God’s creation as depicted in the Book of Genesis, that they were on the Ark of Noah, and that they died out after the flood. They do all this without a single shred of evidence for their claims, nor do they give any clear statements from the Bible as support. So from both a scientific and a theological perspective, they fail miserably.

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Teaching religion dishonestly

One of the things I so despise about Christian apologists like Josh McDowell is how blind they seem to be to their own stupidity or dishonesty. Case in point, the two completely different birth narratives about Jesus in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. I will present them one after the other, but with completely different names to show how utterly different and mutually exclusive they really are. People overlook the otherwise obvious only because they see the names of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary in the stories and because they associate those names with holiness, they assume the writings must be holy and therefore true. But in fact, at least one of the Gospel writers made falsehoods and thus defiled those names. A lie told in the name of Jesus is still a lie and thus dishonors Jesus.

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If we can burn Qurans…

….why can’t we also burn Bibles?

Look at this:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100907/ap_on_re_us/quran_burning

Pressure rises on pastor who wants to burn Quran

By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer Mitch Stacy, Associated Press Writer 11 mins ago

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The government turned up the pressure Tuesday on the head of a small Florida church who plans to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11, warning him that doing so could endanger U.S. troops and Americans everywhere.

But the Rev. Terry Jones insisted he would go ahead with his plans, despite criticism from the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, the White House and the State Department, as well as a host of religious leaders.

Jones, who is known for posting signs proclaiming that Islam is the devil’s religion, says the Constitution gives him the right to publicly set fire to the book that Muslims consider the word of God.

Gen. David Petraeus warned Tuesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press that “images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence.” It was a rare example of a military commander taking a position on a domestic political matter.

Jones responded that he is also concerned but is “wondering, ‘When do we stop?'” He refused to cancel the protest set for Saturday at his Dove World Outreach Center, a church that espouses an anti-Islam philosophy.

“How much do we back down? How many times do we back down?” Jones told the AP. “Instead of us backing down, maybe it’s to time to stand up. Maybe it’s time to send a message to radical Islam that we will not tolerate their behavior.”

But atheists say that Christianity is just as corrupt, abusive, and bogus as Islam. Therefore, if this Christian pastor wants to burn the Islamic holy book, then atheists should feel just as free to burn the Bible, the holy book of the pastor’s religion. What goes around, comes around.

Of course, it would be better to burn no books at all. Not even Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Studying the books’ contents and refuting their claims is always better.

Why the Rapture is a bogus concept

Have you ever seen a bumper sticker like this?

Where does that idea come from? It is found here in 1 Thessalonians:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/1th/4.html

4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Note the exact wording, however. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Clearly, Paul was claiming that the return of Christ and the Rapture would occur while the generation he was writing to was still alive. But that generation has been dead for about 1900 years. So the people who have such bumper stickers really don’t read their own scriptures properly. The prophecy is false.

From the book of Deuteronomy:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/dt/18.html

18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Why is Paul STILL considered a genuine apostle of Christ? If I had my way, all of Paul’s writings, along with the book of Acts (which features Paul), and even the epistle of 2 Peter (which makes excuses for the failure of Jesus to return as he supposedly promised and mentions Paul as a “beloved brother”), would be thrown out of the canon of the New Testament. It is suggested by many Bible scholars that the real Apostle Peter didn’t write “2 Peter” and it wasn’t written until decades after his death. If so, then the epistle is a case of fraud and shouldn’t even be part of Christian scriptures at all.

The prophet Isaiah did NOT predict the coming of Jesus!

One of the biggest absurdities ever claimed by Christians is that many of the prophecies made in the Old Testament refer not to events that were expected to occur within a few years, but to events that might occur hundreds or even thousands of years from the time of the prophecy, including references to Jesus that were only realized as such after the fact. One example of this is the claim that the prophet Isaiah predicted that Jesus would be born of a virgin and would be God incarnate. But in fact, he did no such thing.

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Is this really a science journal, or a Creationist front?

http://www.virologyj.com/

One has to wonder that after seeing this nonsense published within it:

http://www.virologyj.com/content/7/1/169

Influenza or not influenza: Analysis of a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time

Kam LE Hon email, Pak C Ng email and Ting F Leung email

Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China

Virology Journal 2010, 7:169doi:10.1186/1743-422X-7-169

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.virologyj.com/content/7/1/169

Received: 16 June 2010
Accepted: 21 July 2010
Published: 21 July 2010

© 2010 Hon et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Bible describes the case of a woman with high fever cured by our Lord Jesus Christ. Based on the information provided by the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke, the diagnosis and the possible etiology of the febrile illness is discussed. Infectious diseases continue to be a threat to humanity, and influenza has been with us since the dawn of human history. If the postulation is indeed correct, the woman with fever in the Bible is among one of the very early description of human influenza disease.

Infectious diseases continue to be a threat to humanity, and influenza has been with us since the dawn of human history. We analysed a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time and discussed possible etiologies.

Case

The Bible descrbies the case of a woman with high fever cured by our Lord Jesus Christ. According to Mark 1:29 to 33 and Matthew 8:14-15, the mother-in-law of Simon Peter “lay sick” with a febrile illness [1]. When Jesus took her by the hand and lifted her up, the fever immediately left. The lady began to serve the household and probably prepared a meal. The case is also described in the gospel by Luke (Luke 4:38-39), who was a physician in his days and he specifically mentioned that the fever was high [1].

The title alone is stupid, and reminds me of that classic line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “To be or not to be…”

How the hell can you investigate scientifically something that happened 2000 years ago, when the ONLY evidence that it ever really happened was a written account that could have been made up?

It’s like those astronomers who waste their time arguing over what the star was that led the Magi to Bethlehem to see Jesus as an infant. Aside from the account in the Gospel of Matthew, there is no independent affirmation of such a star in secular literature.

And the authors give away their blatant lack of objectivity when they refer to “our Lord Jesus Christ”. They repeat one sentence in the Abstract and Case sections for no reason, and even misspell the word describes. Such sloppy editing is bad enough, but then they do not give ANY experimental or direct observational data whatsoever.

Others have already taken note of this absurd event:

http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2010/08/biblical_fever_influenza_youre.php

http://scientopia.org/blogs/thisscientificlife/2010/08/10/the-virology-of-christ/

I made this comment at the first one:

People need to stop looking at accounts of miracles in the Bible and trying to find rational, naturalistic explanations for them. That in itself reveals a lack of faith. That goes not only for the writers of that totally rediculous paper, but for all those “scientific” Creationists out there. I too would blacklist that journal for accepting that nonsense.

UPDATE: The paper was retracted as promised by the editor of the journal, Robert Garry.

http://www.virologyj.com/content/1743-422X-7-190

Misusing the Bible to deny global warming

That cesspool of Young-Earth Creationism, Answers in Genesis, has weighed in on the issue of global warming, coming down firmly on the side of denialism. I’m not surprized, since I always knew Creationism to be a form of evolution denialism. Denialists tend to flock together and be denialists about more than one subject, and this proves it:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/bible-science-perspective-on-global-warming

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It’s not just evolution that discredits Genesis!

It’s modern astronomy as well, as this one verse makes painfully clear:

Genesis 1:16 – “God made two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.”

Of course, one looking at the night sky with no knowledge of modern astronomy would assume that  the stars are nothing more than a decoration  to add to the light provided by the Sun and the Moon. But in fact, many stars are far bigger and brighter than the Sun and ALL stars are also suns, greater lights in their own star systems.

Had that Bible verse been inspired by the true Creator of the universe, it might have been written: “God made billions of great lights, one of which we call the Sun that rules our days, and also made a lesser light to rule the night.”

Ironically,  in another part of the Bible, we read:

Psalms 19:1-2: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.”

If that is true, then clearly we need to toss out the references to the Sun, the Moon, and the stars in Genesis, since they fail to “declare the glory of God” and also fail to “display knowledge” like the heavens are supposed to do according to the 19th Psalm.