Bible Man Speak With Forked Tongue

Bible

Once again, I have found Christian Apologetics, the new Defenders of the Faith, doing exactly what they accuse Atheists, Agnostics, and other doubters of doing.  In the past year, I’ve seen at least three Christian blogs critical of a list of Atheist statements.  While each is composed slightly differently, the list of Atheist sins in each, is cut and paste identical.

It is undeniable that they often put forth nearly identical catch-phrases and responses. I mean, just ask yourself how often you heard these Atheist talking points:

  • There is no evidence for God;
  • God is not great;
  • Religion poisons everything;
  • Faith means believing something without evidence;
  • Atheism is just a lack of belief;
  • If you don’t believe in evolution, you’re a fool;
  • If everything has a cause, then what caused God;
  • That’s just a God of the Gaps argument;
  • Well, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence;
  • Religion is just wish-fulfillment;
  • Jesus is a zombie;
  • Metaphysics is bunk, I believe in what works;
  • I want evidence, not arguments;
  • God is just a delusion;
  • Religion is a mind virus;
  • Why doesn’t God heal amputees; and, finally
  • God is evil or a dictator or a maniac.

And these are just some of the catch-phrases that are routinely put forward by Atheists.

It wasn’t until I happened upon this soap opera evil twin triplet, that I realized I had a theme to rant about.  All three of them, and lots of others I’ve read, just complain about not wanting to encounter the routine list of Atheist denials of their unproven claims.

Amusingly, what they all seem to hope for, and invite, are newer, different, more creative and inventive, but easier to dismiss, arguments.  Like what??!  I don’t want to believe in God because he might be Scottish, wearing a kilt, and I don’t want to look up his skirt.  There’s enough big pricks down here on Earth.

I also noticed that, aside from whining about not wanting to be constantly faced with this list of reasons not to believe their claims, none of them actually did anything to refute any of it.  ‘Go ahead, prove the list wrong.  Offer proof of rebuttal for a couple of these claims – not Faith, or Belief – actual, provable facts.’  While a couple of the Atheist points are a bit aggressive, or colloquial, they all appear valid.  Religion poisons everything??  “I’ll gladly book you a trip to ISIS territory.  Take it up with them.”  If they want better rebuttals, they’re going to have to provide better claims, which are based more on evidence, rather than just their faith-based opinions.

Those who are firm in their faith seem willing to nod sagely and ignore all Atheist arguments.  It seems though, that the more unsure and insecure these Apologetics are, the louder and more frantic their wails are.

On that great Cosmic Scorecard in the sky, which they’re sure that Someone is keeping, having even the slightest doubt will get them sent to Hell.  Atheists’ arguments cause doubt, so they just want them to shut up.  What they’re doing is, trying to make it my job to ensure that they go to Heaven.  I’m too busy sinning and having no morals (according to them) to get around to that.  To Hell with them!  😉

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Time Flies

Happy Blogiversary!

Has it really been a year since I started this silliness?  And you guys keep coming around to read it, even without a Community Service order!  You all deserve a big pat on the back.  Please take one each out of petty cash.  Just watch where you put your hands.

A whole year??!  Time flies when you’re making fun.  With BrainRants makin’ it look easy, and a daughter who pushed her creaky old father down the slippery slope, I thought I’d have a go at it.  The first thing I learned was that it wasn’t anywhere near as easy as Rants, and some of you others make it look.

Like so many other avocations, I find myself safely in the middle.  The authors, socio-political commentators and humorists among you show me levels to aspire to, though likely never achieve.  I keep up with the other raconteurs, constantly trying to throw in a small ration of humor, even among my rants, as well as interesting and educational, social and geographical trivia.

Never saddled with a need to publish, I started slowly, gradually increasing the pace until I was putting out a post every two days.  I cut that back to every three days when panic ensued about where new topics would come from.  Since I’m writing this before my actual blogiversary, I won’t know the exact count, but it should run about 125 posts in the last year.

Perhaps I’ve been fortunate, but I’ve only encountered a couple of blog sites that I would describe as terrible, one that was an admitted psychotherapy project for a young, female, drug-using runaway.  Another was about the adventures of a young woman trying to find Mr. Right, and too often getting Mr. Right Now.  It began to read like the script from year 18 of a TV soap opera, desperate for followers.  I finally had to give it up when the contradictions and fantastic co-incidences became too much to believe.

I’ve found sites with posts about Popsicle stick carving and salt shaker filling.  Though I see no followers, likes, or comments, there must be at least a few people who stop by to read.  I like to hold my head and my hubris high, and assure myself that, at least I’m not that boring.

Some bloggers post every day, a few, more than once a day, even if it’s just pictures of clouds and a few words.  I still haven’t learned how to insert pictures or videos.  My forte is the (electronically) printed word.  I try to make my posts about something, even when it’s not something important.  It just takes me a couple of days to find each new subject and put together a cohesive story about it.

I try to hold my posts to a maximum of a thousand words.  Even with an interesting post, attention spans and patience start to wear off quickly, much farther than that.  I’ve revisited some of my early posts, and found rookie mistakes, huge paragraphs, half a page long.  It’s a wonder that I managed to garner any followers at all.  I’ve learned tighter, more concise presentation

I liken myself to one of my favorite pop bands, Jethro Tull, the British band with the American name.  Like almost every other English group of the time, they thought they were a “Blues” band.  Their first couple of albums were lame, experienced out of context, and yet they’ve hung in for over thirty years.  They’ve travelled, had fun, made some decent money, and still have long-time fans.  If only I do a quarter as well.

My posts are all free, and I try to ensure that you get full value for what you pay.  What you have paid is, attention….and friendship, and comments and following, and guidance, and encouragement, and compliments, and inclusion.  As I’ve been told, and responded to, the measure of the worth of me and my site, is not in the great numbers of people who only comment, “Nice post.”, but the numbers of great people who have made me one of them, and made the last year a real hoot.  I thank you all – again!

When I published my 100th post, my insecurity had me worrying about where to find grist to mill out a few more.  More and more I feel I’m mostly past that.  I now have about fifteen unpublished drafts ahead, and new thoughts pop up from time to time.  Some of them may seem chronologically misplaced, like when I post about a late September trip in late November, but you guys seem patient with the old fogy.

I count myself extremely fortunate to have found such a circle of great thoughts, in great blogs, by great writers.  I am not what I was a year ago.  I am much improved, and I hope to use your support and guidance to further improve me in the next year.  I hope that my meager offerings have improved my readers’ lives in some small way, and plan to try to increase the dividends.

Excelsior!!

Yay! Olympics!

When I was about eight years old, my father bought a camper-trailer.  Unlike today’s lightweight units, this one was built like a small shed, heavy as sin.  Being trailering tyros, we took along four full-sized concrete blocks to support the corners.  Thank something, that the days of heavy, powerful cars were not past.  I don’t know how we pulled that monster, but from then till I was 14, we went somewhere every summer.

I need to clean out the paint locker at the back of my mind and offer up another story of how a small-town boy had his horizons widened a bit.  In the meantime, this story isn’t about a trip.  It’s about who we saw when our trip was interrupted.

This was the summer of 1953, or ’54.  We had been camping here and there for almost two weeks.  We were moving from north to south, somewhere just east of Toronto.  We almost reached a main east/west highway and were stopped by a Provincial Police officer.  He told us we’d have to go back and around another way, or find a place to park at the side of the road until “She” went through.  She, who??  Queen Elizabeth, of course!  He took pity on a family of campers, and told us how to get down to the little city ahead, and where to park, but insisted that we could not cross the main road until after the parade.

We followed his directions, and decided that, if we were stranded, we might as well get a vantage-point on the sidewalk.  Mom and Dad piled up at the back of the crowd.  Mom was 4’ 11”, I don’t know if she saw anything.  Dad was 6’, he might have.  I was about eight or nine.  I just insinuated myself through the crush until I was right down front.  The crowd ran right to the curb, and wasn’t allowing any room, even for a little kid, so I just stepped off the curb and stood in front.  As the Queen and Prince Philip rolled regally through town, I was only eight feet away from her.  Big F…..ng Deal!  Can we get back to camping now?

It happened again last Friday night.  The wife and I went down to the Rec room, to watch Jay Leno, and there was that damned woman interrupting my planned enjoyment again.  The Tonight show was delayed by an hour for a broadcast of the opening of the Olympic Games.  Well, it wasn’t just her.  I got to see David Beckham, a man who makes his living on dry land, row his boat up the Thames and pass off a fancy cigarette lighter to some other guy, who gave it to a passel of pre-teen arsonists, who managed to start a big fire on the ground.

Get the feeling I’m none too impressed, yet??  How observant!  Actually, as shows go, it was a decent show.  The pacing fireworks as Bend-it’s boat raced up the river, how the individual copper leaves on the ground rose on gas-pipes, to amalgamate and form the Cauldron, the fireworks that went off after the flame was lit, all of these were grand theater.  At least they went off in a timed display, not like San Diego’s 10-second, Fourth of July, boom and fizzle.  But theater was all it was.  Bread and circuses for the masses.  Proof of this is the fact that responsibility for the show was given to a Hollywood director.

Owned, sponsored and controlled by multi-national corporations, it reminded me of the movie Demolition Man.  Do you know that attendees’ clothing style was restricted and controlled?  If you were wearing a tee-shirt mentioning Pepsi-Cola, you would be prevented from entering, because Coca-Cola bought all soft-drink promotional rights?

Perhaps it’s because I learned early that I can’t compete, but I’ve always been more of a fan of co-operation.  For every competition, there’s only one winner, and all the rest of 203 countries, are just a bunch of losers.  It’s all just a feel-good societal ego sop.  Millions of dollars poured into each country’s athletes’ training and transportation.  Tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of hours spent training for this soap opera, and when it’s all over, even if “we” garner a few fake medals, not a job has been created, our GNP has not increased, nor the national debt reduced, and banks still need bailing.

Us vs. Them prevails.  Tribalist chest thumping.  I wouldn’t be so cynical if people watched simply to see top-level athletic performance.  They’ll tell you that’s why they watch, but, the same folks who haven’t even driven past a swimming pool in the last four years, are suddenly experts on synchronized three-meter diving.

These games are supposed to promote international fellowship but their very competitive format prevents it.  It all boils down to, “Our team doctor is better at masking performance-enhancing drugs than your team doctor.”

Some of the “sports” that are getting in are just ridiculous.  One person synchronized swimming?  I could send over a dictionary so they can look up the meaning of synchronized.  And the little girls running around on gym mats, waving sticks with ribbons on them??!  Are they just so chi-chi that they got kicked out of drum-majorette school?  Trampoline?!  I thought the kids down the street were just playing.  Good Lord, what’s next, Tiddly-Winks and pie baking?

Ah well, it is the middle of the summer, and there’s almost nothing else on television.  Everyone can watch what they want but, I don’t watch chick-flicks.  If I watch something by a big movie director, it better have some adult language, rock-‘em-sock-‘em Kung Fu action, car chases, explosions, and maybe a little gratuitous nudity in it.  Why is Victoria fully clothed??!

I’ve kept my eyes tightly closed for a week now.  It’s half-way over.  Soon I won’t have to worry about this meaningless display for another four years.  What’s that??  What Winter Olympics in two years??  Will it include competitive Sno-Cone Serving?  Where’s a good movie when I need one?