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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blood and murder of the innocent -- Good!!

It is readily apparent to any atheist that Christianity is an absurdist philosophy (as is Islam). No matter the flavor of Christianity (from liberal to conservative fundamentalist), it fails to pass the laugh test. Now I hate to keep picking on Rapture Ready, but, this is the perfect example of why it is so very easy to reject the theology of Christianity. Paul Vanderstar explains:

Adam and Eve were thrown out from the Garden of Eden before they could eat from the Tree Of Life. Had they eaten, not only would we be in the awful condition of sin, but had God allowed them to eat the fruit of that tree we would have been in an eternal condition of sin and un-redeemable by blood. God loved His children that much that He cast them out of Eden and paradise for a time until His plan of redemption was completed on the cross, but that is getting ahead of this story. Our focus is on the prophecy of Jesus and recognizing our need for a blood covering through the death of an innocent. [emphasis mine]

Blood. There we have it. Blood is the key. Spilling blood is pleasing to God, and only blood can satiate his bloodlust. Taking that theme to today's headlines, maybe all those innocent Iraqi pregnant women and children whose blood is spilled on the pavement (and they subsequently die) is a good thing, for all the guilty Iraqis are now cleansed in their blood. Or some such nonsense.

But my real point here is not cynicism, it is the utterly incomprehensible idea that an all-powerful god would, could, be incapable of redeeming in some other manner than blood. Like simply saying, "Ok, if you ask for forgiveness for the sins of your ancient ancestors, and bow down to me, then I fogive you." But no, the Christian God, seems to be strictly limited to only accepting the blood (death) of innocents as repentence for sins. This alone should give any Christian pause and make them think just how silly their religion is.

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Protestants and Papal Decrees

"God is not the author of confusion" claims Paul in 1 Cor 14:33 [KJV]. I guess either Paul was wrong, the Pope is wrong, or all those Protestants out there are wrong (Of Course, it also could be that God just doesn't know what he is doing, but still thinks He does...)

On Tuesday, the grand poohbah himself, Pope Benedict XVI, approved a document stating that protestants were not a part of the Church of Jesus Christ (not to be confused with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, i.e. the Mormons). See the news article regarding this decree here.

It must be tough being a Christian, yet not knowing if your church is the One True beacon into heaven.

I mean it would be a real shame to believe, yet still wind up in hell with all us atheists. Too bad all that "non-confusion" of the Bible isn't just a little less confusing, then there would be no need for so many conflicting views and doctrines of Christianity. I mean, fear of eternal damnation from a God who is so vengeful that he would condemn a woman to hell for eternity for the "sin" of wearing a gold wedding ring to church is not someone to be trifled with when it comes to choice of church to attend.

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Special Rights, Christian Style

One thing conservative Christian groups love to do is rant about "special rights" being given to gays. Just check out how obsessed about gays such groups as Coral Ridge Ministries and American Family Association are (the list of anti-gay Christians goes on and on). Their favorite key words are "thought crimes" and the venerable "special rights."

But what about Christian groups themselves? Do they feel they deserve special rights? You betcha! Read this brief note the AP released about a Christian fraternity in Tampa Florida. The "gotcha" lines are these:
According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Gainesville, UF officials have told Beta Upsilon Chi that it can't be registered as an on-campus student group because only men are allowed to join, which amounts to prohibited sex discrimination.
And the suit says Beta Upsilon Chi is not allowed to join the off-campus Greek system of fraternities and sororities because the fraternity requires its members to be Christians. The organization that governs UF's Greek system prohibits religious discrimination.
Now all other organizations have to follow the rules, but this distinctly Christian organization does not want to, so they filed a lawsuit to get a special right granted only for them. Hypocrisy seems to be a hallmark of Christianity.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Interesting Article about the El Cortez (where I work)

Las Vegas Weekly had an interesting article this past week about the El Cortez, the casino where I work. The article gives you an idea of the "atmosphere" of my employ. I could certainly write more interesting and in-depth stories about our clientele and personnel -- but I won't. But check out the story; the picture shows the dice table where I work and some of the other dice dealers on my crew (Click on the picture for a slightly larger one). I missed being in that picture by 20 minutes; I was on break when it was taken.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

A New Perspective on Traditional Marriage

This brief column on marriage makes a great point. The basic idea is if same-sex marriage goes against God's will, then why wouldn't atheists marrying also?

The point made is not only valid; but I cannot believe that I, or anyone else, never thought of it years ago. Actually, though, while the point is valid, I have to say that it has no impact on those conservative Christians who go about screaming "traditional marriage." The reason is simple enough, pure, unadulterated cynicism. They are not referring in any way to any form of "traditional" marriage. Why? Because they all already consider even the most secular of marriages (those that we of Las Vegas are famous for), ones performed by Justices of the Peace (while dressed up as Elvis or as a Space Alien) as completely valid forms of marriage. No religion, no God, just plain and simple man and woman saying "I Do."

Traditional has nothing to do with it at all. Conservative Christians get married all the time via secular Justices of the Peace in all sorts of places other than churches. So really the notion of God is not really a part of the equation at all. The equation has everything to do with bashing and ostricizing gays and nothing to do with the traditional. For if traditional = "God ordained", then anything outside of a religious (and Christian) marriage is not valid. Since Christians consider Jews, and Muslims for that matter, to be married -- as long as they are male-female -- then traditional has nothing to do with marriage itself. It is once again, only about being gay.
That is the problem revealed by this new perspective on marriage. That it is a sham statement by conservative Christians to call it a traditional issue, since it allows for marriages that they clearly do not consider ordained by God (i.e. marriages of atheists, jews, muslims, and Christians in secular settings). They aren't interested in the "ordained by God" aspect of their definition of marriage, only that they keep out TEH gays.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Heat in Vegas

I may have chosen to live here in Las Vegas because I prefer heat to cool, but that does not mean that it cannot be too hot for even someone like me.

It is a blast furnace outside right now.

The predicted high for today was 116 degrees. Currently (at 3:45pm) it is 113 in the shade, and even hotter standing out in the sun (my thermometer shows 121 degrees in the sun, but it is not calibrated that high).

Anyway, it is a bit uncomfortable....

Update: CNN has some more information here. (We tied the all-time high record today; Woo-Hoo!!!)

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