Friday, July 24, 2009

Science and Religion

Sex, money, politics, business, and religion. Combine any of these ingredients for an outrageous scandal, but is anyone going to be suprised? Are scientists above that sort of thing? The July 4th edition of the Economist had an article about fraud in science. The details weren't the stuff of a National Enquirer expose. Big scandals involved false reports of cloning stem cells and fabricating data about superconducters. Lower level fraud is apparently much more common.
About 10% of the scientists confessed to “dropping data points based on a gut feeling” or “failing to present data that contradict one’s previous research.” As the article notes, "fabricating data is a heinous scientific sin."

It reminds me of a Thomas Merton line from Cargo Cults of the South Pacific: "We Westerners delude ourselves that we are utterly scientific and reasonable." For evidence of such delusions, just turn on Fox News or watch clips from the Town Hall meetings about healthcare on Youtube.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Biblical Humor

I've got a twisted sense of humor. Normally the bible isn't the best place to look for jokes, but there are a few.

In Exodus 33:23, God tells Moses, "And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen." Some scholars argue that God wasn't mooning Moses, but that's the way I see it.

Most public speakers like to have at least one laugh line. Jesus must have received a few chuckles with this bit: "And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19: 24)
Then there's the old paradox (it was even old in the year 90 A.D.) in Titus 1:12-13 “One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true."

One of the more twisted and shockingly funny stories in the Bible can be found in Genesis 34. Dinah the daughter of Jacob and his concubine, was defiled by Prince Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite. After raping the unfortunate girl, Shechem had a change of heart. His "soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel."
So King Hamor and Shechem went to Dinah's family and asked that a marriage be arranged, and offered Jacob and his family wealth and citizenship.
Dinah's brothers said We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us: But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised; Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
So Hamor and Shechem returned to their city and somehow convinced every male there to be circumcised.
And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. 26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house. And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

If you think abortion is bad...

I just finished trying to post a comment on an Islamic article accusing Christians of being cannibals. Narrow minded, gluttonous, self righteous, hypocritical, and self-centered? Maybe. Cannibals? NEVER!

There are several passages in the Old Testament describing baby eating. If you take them out of context, it does look like God is instructing people to eat their children. I saw the following passage from Deuteronomy 28:53 (New International Version) listed by a couple of people to taunt cannablistic Christians: will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you.
You can also find cannibalism mentioned in Jeremiah 19:9, Leviticus 26:29, and Lamentations 2:20 and 4:10. Here's an exceptionally horrifying section from 2 Kings, Chapter 6: 25-33:

Because of the siege the famine in Samaria was so severe that an ass's head sold for eighty pieces of silver, and a fourth of a kab of wild onion for five pieces of silver.

One day, as the king of Israel was walking on the city wall, a woman cried out to him, "Help, my lord king!"
"No," he replied, "the LORD help you! Where could I find help for you: from the threshing floor or the winepress?"

Then the king asked her, "What is your trouble?" She replied: "This woman said to me, 'Give up your son that we may eat him today; then tomorrow we will eat my son.'

So we boiled my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, 'Now give up your son that we may eat him.' But she hid her son."

When the king heard the woman's words, he tore his garments. And as he was walking on the wall, the people saw that he was wearing sackcloth underneath, next to his skin.

"May God do thus and so to me," the king exclaimed, "if the head of Elisha, son of Shaphat, stays on him today!"

Meanwhile, Elisha was sitting in his house in conference with the elders. The king had sent a man ahead before he himself should come to him. Elisha had said to the elders: "Do you know that this son of a murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? When the messenger comes, see that you close the door and hold it fast against him. His master's footsteps are echoing behind him."

While Elisha was still speaking, the king came down to him and said, "This evil is from the LORD. Why should I trust in the LORD any longer?"

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What Would Jesus Carry?

Pastor Urges His Flock to Bring Guns to Church
Published: June 25, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Ken Pagano, the pastor of the New Bethel Church here, is passionate about gun rights. He shoots regularly at the local firing range, and his sermon two weeks ago was on “God, Guns, Gospel and Geometry.” And on Saturday night, he is inviting his congregation of 150 and others to wear or carry their firearms into the sanctuary to “celebrate our rights as Americans!” as a promotional flier for the “open carry celebration” puts it.

Full story can be found here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More Obamamania

I watched the first 40 minutes of The Obama Deception, a conspiracy themed anti-Obama documentary by Alex Jones. Watch the film and you will hear Jones say that "private central bankers actually wrote the ideas that Marx and Engels put out," that Barack Hussein Obama is a puppet of the international bankers, and that he is creating a domestic spyfore and militia to help create a totalitarian one world government. It was this same group of bankers that was behind Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao. It was this conspiracy of bankers that caused the Kennedy assasination, 9/11 and the current econmic collapse. Here is Alex Jones "predicting" 9/11 in July 2001...

Now here is the Fox TV show "The Lone Gunmen" acting out the same scenario several months earlier...

David Byrne had it figured out back in the eighties...

And if you go waaaaay back to 1922, Henry Ford believed the same sort of conspiracy theory in his book The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem . See the chapter on the Economic Plans of International Jews. This conspiracy stuff never gets old.