Forgive Me Father, For I Have Joked

confession-box

There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program.

The bad news is, it’s still out there in your pockets.”

—–

A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump. “Reverend,” said the young man, “I’m so sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.”

The minister chuckled, “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.”

—–

People want the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the center of attention.

—–

The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play.

“Here’s a copy of the service,” he said impatiently “But, you’ll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances.”

During the service, the minister paused and said, “Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up.”

At that moment, the substitute organist played “The Star Spangled Banner.”

And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!

___

 

A carful of Irish nuns are sitting at a traffic light in downtown Dublin, when a bunch of rowdy drunks pull up alongside of them. “Hey, show us yer teets, ya bloody penguins!” shouts one of the drunks.

Quite shocked, Mother Superior turns to Sister Mary Immaculata and says, “I don’t think they know who we are; show them your cross.”

Sister Mary Immaculata rolls down her window and shouts, “Piss off, ya fookin’ little wankers, before I come over there and rip yer balls off!”

Sister Mary Immaculata then rolls up her window, looks back at Mother Superior, quite innocently, and asks, “Did that sound cross enough?”

***

A German Shepherd, a Doberman and a Cat died. (Notice no type of cat was named!)

In heaven, all three faced God.
God wanted to know what each of them believed in.

The German Shepherd said, “I believe in discipline, training, and loyalty to my master.”

“Very good”, said God. “You may sit at my right hand!”
And so the German Shepherd did.

The Doberman approached and declared, “I believe in the love, care and protection of my master.”
Once again, God proclaimed, “Very good! You may sit at my left hand!”
And so the Doberman did.

Finally, the Cat approached and God looked down from high above on his throne and inquired of the Cat, “And what do you believe in?”

The Cat looked squarely at God and replied, “I believe you are sitting in my seat!”

___

 

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The Whichness Of The Why

Rene DesCartes

Philosophers have nothing to say, but will take all day (or all of their lives) to say it.

In my ongoing attempts to get psychological explanations for why people – often Christians, but also Atheists – believe what they do, I kept running into philosophers. I thought that Philosophers were deep-thinkers, who used the power of their intellect to uncover important social revelations.

The more I read though, the more I realized that this was not so. One of them, like René Descartes (above) might make a significant claim, like; “Cogito ergo sum – I think, therefore I am” then the rest of them would discuss and debate it. If only one Philosopher contended a theory, it was like mental masturbation. If a group of them worried it like a dog with a bone, it was more like a circle-jerk. It made them all feel good, without actually accomplishing anything.

Often, no-one really proved anything. They just kept arguing with one another until observed facts finally showed one of them to be the closest guesser. Then folks would congratulate him as if he’d discovered something.

Even the winner of a debate, or series of debates, did not reveal, or prove, any particular truth. The champion became the victor by looking the best, yelling the loudest, and waving his hands the most. One Philosopher had a mortal enemy, another debater. There was only one subject about which the two agreed. Mr. Ego challenged his opponent to a debate, and took the ‘anti’ side. He won the debate by disproving an opinion that he held.

Despite the fact that colleges and Universities teach Philosophy, we have no Philosophers any more. What we have today are authors, bloggers, podcasters, and Christian Apologetics. All of them are full of strongly-held opinions, but if you laid them all end-to-end, they wouldn’t reach a valid conclusion.

Gilileo Goes To Jail

Case in point, a book that I recently read, titled Galileo Goes To Jail, 25 myths about Science and Religion. Seldom have I seen hairs split so finely, with no purpose other than to make the contributors appear learned and impressive. All 25 writers tiptoed through the minefield of truth and logic, but I felt the worst among them was the jackass who set out to prove that

Giordano Bruno Was Not The First Martyr Of Modern Science

Now, the first of anything is going to look different from what has gone before. This genius wanted to play the “Own The Definition” game. He started by claiming that Bruno was not a scientist, or was not teaching science. Of course not! Back then, the words, the definitions, the very concepts of “science” and “scientist” did not exist. Everything was Natural Philosophy.

‘Science’ did not exist, and Bruno wasn’t ‘teaching’ it. He did however publicly express and debate his opinions and conclusions about reality. He openly held Galileo’s position, that the Earth moved, and the sun didn’t, contrary to the Church’s dogma of a fixed and unmoving Earth. His claims were heresy to The Holy Catholic Church, which owned the definition of heresy.

Heresy they might have been, but as the equivalents of modern Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Mathematics, they were a Hell of a lot more like science than say, if the Pope might not be infallible, God did not exist in three parts, or we had to eat fish on Friday.

I try not to be hidebound in my opinions, and not get caught in confirmation bias. I invite, and delight in, discussion and debate about anything I publish. If you prove me wrong about any claim I make, I will accept defeat Philosophically. 😉

***

Oops, I left a link to a 1949 Sci-Fi story at the end of this draft.  Rather than delete it –  anybody want to access and read it??

Edmond Hamilton – Alien Earth

https://archive.org/details/Thrilling_Wonder_Stories_v34n01_1949-04/page/n51

 

The Same Sad Story

confession-box

The recent scandal of the Catholic hierarchy covering up sexual allegations against priests, and moving them from post to post, only shows that the problem is neither new, nor restricted to the Catholic Church.

The first time I heard about a serial child molester was about 1960.  The United Church of Canada had defrocked a minister named Russell D. Horsburg, after he had been convicted in Windsor, Ontario.  He was an equal opportunity pedo, willing to debauch both boys and girls.

One of the wife’s older sisters had left the Catholic Church, to wed a New Order Mennonite boy.  As a compromise, they attended and were married in a local United Church.  Always paranoid and defensive about leaving the Catholic Church, and anxious to justify her actions, she is the only person I personally know, who put her marriage certificate in a silver frame, and hung it on her living room wall for all to see.

After we got married in 1967, and had a child, we sometimes visited.  One evening, after a washroom trip, I stopped to examine the certificate.  Sure enough, it was signed by Reverend Russell D. Horsburg.  Hmmm, so he practiced his craft here, before the United Church slyly shipped him 300 miles down the highway, to an unsuspecting parish.

She suspiciously wanted to know what I was looking at.  I told her that her officiating minister was later jailed for pedophilia.

WELL, THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT WE’RE NOT REALLY MARRIED!

No, but you’re probably lucky that he wasn’t still here in Kitchener, as your kids grew up.

Okay, I’ve described the problem.  Now it’s up to somebody (or somebodies) else to come up with a solution to it.  😳

Abuse

U-Turn. No, You Turn!

 

Dictionary Bible

Recently, in a very unofficial interview, Pope Frank was quoted as saying that there was no Hell; i.e. there was no place, full of fire and brimstone, where souls were tortured for eternity.  He said that the torture for non-believers was merely to be removed from the presence and grace of God forever.

Immediately, the Official Church Organ (Not the one with the keys, which makes the music.  The one between priests’ and Bishops’ legs, that’s used to molest altar boys and choir girls) swung into action, denying, and “clarifying.”  The Good Catholics, who know more than the pontiff, who is infallible in doctrinal matters, began screaming, ‘Give us back our days Hell.’  (That “days” thing was the April Fools who thought that, somehow, part of their lives had been stolen when Pope Gregory rearranged the Julian calendar.)

The Vicar of Christ has now put his other strangely-shod foot in his mouth.  I don’t know if the situation was intentionally caused, and, if so, who caused it.  He attended the re-dedication of a renovated Catholic elementary school, attached to a cathedral. He and his goon-squad  bodyguards several Cardinals sat at the front, a microphone was set up about 10 feet in front of them, and each student was allowed to come up and ask him a question.

A 12-year-old boy could not speak his question into the mic, so a Cardinal grabbed him by the arm, and he was allowed to approach, and whisper his question into the Pope’s ear.  He and his mother were ‘good Catholics’, but his father, who had been a good man, but an Atheist, had recently died.  “Was his father in Heaven?”

Like, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”, this is a no-win question.  If he says ‘No,’ the pope disappoints a grieving son and all his schoolmates.  If he says ‘Yes,’ he contradicts Church doctrine.  The Pope considered for only a few seconds, and then said;

“God, our Father is like your father.  He is good and kind, forgiving and loving.  If your father was truly a good man, then God will forgive him, and welcome him into Heaven.”

I have written that the unchanging Catholic Church will take years – decades – centuries even, to ‘modify’ their dogma and catechisms.  This may be an attempt by Pope Francis to un-paint the Church from some of the corners it’s got itself into.  This could be the start of something good.

***

Speaking of Christians changing definitions….  I got some ironic laughs from Blogger Barry, in his replies on my Childlike Grace post.  If you don’t believe in a supernatural God the Father then, by definition, you are an Atheist!  If you don’t believe in God the Father then, by definition, there is no Christ the Son for you to be a non-theist (?), or post-modern, or Liberal Christian follower of.  😳

Please come back again soon.  See you at the dictionary, kids.   😉  😯

 

WOW #20

Stunned*

I just knew that, sooner or later, my love of language and my general disdain for organized religion would crash into each other, and cause me grief. In scanning some Atheist/anti-Atheist blog-posts recently, I came upon the Word Of the Week, which is

CATHOLIC

adjective

broad or wide-ranging in tastes, interests, or the like; having sympathies with all;
broad-minded; liberal.
universal in extent; involving all; of interest to all.
pertaining to the whole Christian body or church.

Origin of catholic

1300-1350; Middle English < Latin catholicus < Greek katholikós general, equivalent to kathól(ou) universally (contraction of phrase katà hólou according to the whole; see cata-, holo- ) + -ikos -ic

The word ‘catholic’ is a Janus-word, one of a few in English which have 2 different, contradictory meanings, like ‘cleave’, which can mean to split into pieces – or to make pieces into one solid whole, or the verb ‘table’, which can mean to set aside and not deal with – or to deal with immediately.

Even when the word catholic was first used to describe the Christian church/religion, the existence of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., clearly show that it violated definition #2. It was not universal!  It did not involve or was of interest to all!

The longer it has existed, the more it has diverged from definition #1. Instead of being broad-minded, liberal, and sympathetic to all, it has become increasingly more hidebound, narrow-minded and dogmatic.

The Roman Catholic Church even violates the third definition. It does not represent the entire body of the Christian faith, as proved by the existence of 33,000 Protestant denominations.  It split, or was split from, the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Russian Orthodox Church.  Even just linguistically, it cannot claim to be an only child, when it obviously has two brothers.

I hear/read Christian Apologetics try to deny evolution by asking questions like, “If we came from monkeys/apes, why are there still monkeys/apes?” I just want to scream, “Are you really as stupid and narrow-minded as that question makes you appear? Read a book – not just The Good Book.”  If all dogs came from wolves, why are there still wolves?  Or better, if all Christian denominations came from Catholic, why are there still Catholics?  We didn’t ‘come from apes/monkeys.’  Apes, monkeys and humans all came from a common ancestor.  It’s just that some of us are a little more evolved than others.

In arguments/discussions about Christianity/Faith/Bible, Christian Apologetics have answers to explain away every single thing, but not for everything.  If doubt were a building, they have individual arguments to refute bricks, doors, windows, floors and roofs – but not the entire house.  Their arguments against bricks contradict their claims denying the existence of windows, etc., etc., etc.!   😦  😯

Book Review #10

Refuting Evolution  Refuting Evolution 2

I bought the above two books for a variety of reasons. First, I got them for $1.50/each.  That’s almost free reading.  Second, added to some books the wife was ordering, the invoice totalled over $25, so the shipping was free.  A third reason was to ‘know thy enemy.’ Last but not least, was the fact that the author is a scientist, and a PhD, and might actually have some valid information that I was not aware of.

The first book is titled Refuting Evolution.  The second, in case you didn’t ‘get it’ the first time, is Refuting Evolution 2, which isn’t really what he does in either book.  I’ve had operators’ manuals for a toaster oven that were longer than the 132-page first book.  Oh well, it only cost a buck and a half.

What he does, or tries to do and fails, is refute well-known evolutionists. He puts words in their mouths, then tries to argue against.  ‘Christopher Hitchens said this about that – but he’s wrong, and I’m right.’  No he didn’t!  And No you’re not!  ‘Richard Dawkins said that, but he means this – to agree with me.’  No he doesn’t.

For an author with a PhD, the cognitive dissonance is thick. He believes in mutations, and natural selection – but not evolution.  A God who created the universe in six days, 7000 years ago is okay – but a God who created the same universe 14 Billion years ago and is guiding its development, isn’t.

While not very good at actually refuting anything, he is quite adept at slinging dismissive language. Friends and scientists who agree with his views, are ‘renowned’, and ‘esteemed’, while Richard Dawkins is merely ‘well-known’.  Am I being finicky if I read that as equivalent to ‘known to police’?  Evolutionary scientists are referred to as ‘the Communist Atheist, Mr. X’ and ‘the Marxist Atheist, Mr. Y.’

Two other of his oft-repeated denial phrases are, ‘particles to people’, and ‘molecules to man.’ His own published fact that 95% of biologists believe in evolution is not a case of the people closest to the situation knowing the most about it; it must be an Atheist Conspiracy.

He claims The Church wasn’t wrong when they declared that the Earth was flat, and the center of creation, and that all orbits were perfect circles.  They had all the facts, but they merely interpreted them incorrectly.  Galileo wasn’t threatened with torture by the Catholic Church…well, he was, but that was because of a bunch of secular politicians who hated him.  (Wait!  Did he just admit that the Pope and the entire Church were led around by the nose by a bunch of bureaucrats?  I find that harder to believe than Creationism.)

He says that the Ptolemaic, flat-Earth, geocentric stuff in the Bible comes from Psalms – but that’s not really ‘the Bible’, that’s just Hebrew poetry, and – it’s been misinterpreted.  Really?  Who could have seen that coming?

He’s pretty good at ‘interpreting’ things too. If an Evolutionist says, ‘be careful how this information is released’, knowing that there are nuts like him out there who will react badly, he’s all over it, claiming that it must be a lie. If a Paleontologist admits that a fossil of an expected transitional form has not yet been found, he claims that it’s because one does not exist.

If scientists don’t have the answer to every question yet, you shouldn’t believe anything they say.  Trust in him, because he has the same answer to every question, drawn from faith in only one book of the Bible, Genesis, which he is constantly interpreting.

Putting words in people’s mouths again, he says that Evolutionists claim that we came from simple aquatic beings like jellyfish – yet no-one has ever found a jellyfish fossil. No, and no-one has ever found the grape Jell-O my kid spilled on the sidewalk last week, just before it rained.  He says we killed millions of buffalo (bison) on the plains last century, but no-one has ever found a buffalo fossil.  I guess if you categorically deny that something happened, you don’t bother to find out how.

The same day that I read his claim that turtles were created in their present form by GOD, because there were no fossils of any transitional form, I read that they had found a transitional-form turtle fossil in the mountains of Germany.  He denies that any fossils were created by sand turning into sandstone through sedimentation, because a few have been found giving birth, or eating.  “They’d have just moved out of the way.” as if they could just sidestep an opening sinkhole, or a flash flood, or a collapsing riverbank, and were later buried in silt.

Like the bumblebee which can’t fly, he mathematically ‘proves’ that the number of mutational occurrences necessary to arrive at Man, would have taken 85 Billion years, not the 4.5 Billion Evolutionists claim.

My Statistics professor stated that, “Figures lie, and liars figure.” The above might be true, if they happened one at a time. On any given day, it is estimated that there are 86,000 lightning strikes, about half of them over the ocean.  It was probably more than twice that, when the atmosphere and seas were still thick with chemicals.  Possibilities for that energy to fuse some of them into a primitive type of protein occurred simultaneously, dozens of times every second.

The other thing Mr. Scientist got wrong, is that statistics say that there may be 85 billion chances, but it doesn’t have to go all the way to the last one to happen. Life may have arisen on the hundredth, or the tenth, or even the first time.

It wasn’t long before I was reading just for entertainment and amusement. He got a rant about atomic deterioration wrong on a scale of 10/7th power, a minor mistake which would have blasted the Earth to dust.  The second book is a bit longer than the first, but he offers no new arguments, just the same old ones, only SHOUTED LOUDER, and repeated more often.

These books are printed and distributed from six places in the world, Australia, New Zealand, England, Kansas/USA, Japan (?), and five miles away, in our sister city, Waterloo, Ontario. I’m a bit worried.  Are Mennonites involved?   😕

Flash Fiction #44

Deathtrap

© Lauren Moscato

Watch That First Step

“Dey say dissa new, Pope Frank”…..

“Pope Francis!  Avva sum respeck, eh!?”

“Dey say heeza nice guy, a manna da peepul. Dey say he goze owt onna street at night, anna help da homeless.”

“Uh huh!”

“He doan like da fancy cloze, an he doan stay at da Vatican.  He live in some ratty hotel.  Heeze ‘sposed ta wave at alla da peepul from da balcony at St. Peter Basilica.  What he gonna do when dey all show up outside hiz hotel window?”

“Doan wurry about dat.  I got sum material an toolz, an datz all bin tooken care of.

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.