Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

'Tis the Season

Christmas Billboard Battle

The latest salvo in the Christmas wars has landed, blocks from the New York entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has responded to a Christmas-debunking billboard sponsored by American Atheists just outside the New Jersey entrance of the tunnel by erecting one of their own at the other end.

The new billboard reads “You Know It’s Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus.” It shows a warm nativity scene, with Joseph and Mary staring lovingly down at an infant Jesus lying in straw in a splash of light. “Merry Christmas from the Catholic League” appears in smaller type to the right of the image and above a Catholic League insignia.

The billboard promoting atheism went up last week along I-495. It reads “You know it’s a myth. This season, celebrate reason!”

Thursday, December 23, 2010

For the Rest of Us

Taking the Christ out of Festivus

It’s not well known that Festivus is a Christian holiday, and thus it has always been. Festivus, our Christian birthright, has been stolen from us by the forces of secularism, and we have been brainwashed into thinking that it is not a sacred Christian festival. Simply look at its symbols and rituals and the Christian roots are plain for all to see.

I call on all Christians everywhere to rescue Festivus from its terrible decay. Next year, on December 23, I want to see Festivus celebrations in every Christian home. I wish to see the Festivus pole restored to its rightful place in the sanctuaries of all our churches. I want to see us refusing to allow unaddressed conflict. I want wrestling matches galore! Our Lord demands nothing less from His servants! To arms! The battle is ours to win!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The List So Far

The Fundamentalist Rulebook
  1. I am right and you are wrong. Always.
  2. Unity Means Agreeing With Me That My Pastor Is Right.
  3. The less certain something is, the more certain you must appear to be about it.
  4. If you cannot win an argument with logic you must simply outlast your opponent. Once he gives up, declare victory.
  5. There is no fight that is not worth fighting.
  6. The less fun it is the godlier it must be.
  7. Women’s primary purpose is to serve as a temptation to men. They are also somewhat useful for housework.
  8. All God’s people shall say “amen.” This is never an inappropriate response.
  9. If it is new it is bad. If it is old it is good. (with the exception that if it is really, really old then it is likely to be Catholic)
  10. There is no situation that a good dose of ministerial yelling can’t fix.
  11. Old Testament rules about sex, tattoos, women in pants, and the death penalty still apply. Old Testament rules about lobster don’t. (That is why we call this the Age of Grace)
  12. Invitations shall continue until the Spirit is satisfied that enough people have come to the altar as revealed to the pastor. The Spirit shall be extra hard to satisfy on any Superbowl Sunday.
  14. Mormons are considered to be Christians for the following purposes:
    • National Elections
    • Political Talk Shows
    • Songs for God and Country Sunday
  15. Neither this nor any other list of rules can be considered exhaustive; a majority shall always be unspoken, arbitrary, and subject to change at the whim of the authority.
  16. It’s much better to have an innocent person die than to tell a lie to a Nazi.
  17. A man is to be as much of a leader of his own house as his pastor will let him be.
  18. Thou shalt not speak out against other fundamentalists on any subject that really matters. Keep disputes as trivial as possible lest you risk having your own dirty laundry exposed.
  19. Spare the rod and spoil the child. (A “rod” being defined as a paddle, stick, belt, spatula, wooden spoon, rubber hose, truncheon, flail, or anything else that happens to be handy)
  20. A man may not wear glasses connected by a chain for if they should slip off his nose and dangle about his neck, someone may be made to think that he is wearing a necklace and that is the appearance of evil.
  21. Pastors should preach as frequently as possible on sin — preferably the sins of other people
  22. Gays are responsible for pretty much every bad thing that happens in America. Africans are responsible for the rest.
  23. We reject the authority of the Pope to speak ex cathedra on matters of doctrine. That’s what local church pastors are for.
  24. We believe in individual soul liberty — although we’ve never seen a good reason for anybody to actually use it.
  25. Dancing is an abomination unless it takes place in a classic film or on the stage of a Gilbert & Sullivan musical at a fundamentalist college.
  26. The joy, joy, joy, joy must reside down in your heart. (Where? down in your heart!)
  27. In movies sex is bad but violence is fine. (The Bible contains both but we’d rather you didn’t mention it)
  28. Prayers must be said before all meals, ball games, and road trips. As long as you’re not using the Lord’s Prayer this is not considered vain repetition.
  29. When swimming, a woman shall wear enough layers of clothing to double her weight when immersed.
  30. A Christian taking government aid is a sure sign they are not trusting God. (Not that our church is going to start paying its employees enough to live on, mind you. )
  31. If you send your child to public school you may as well brand 666 on their forehead and get it over with. No child can emerge from that den of liberalism anything other than a Gay Satanist Democrat.
  32. There are not two sides to every story. There is only the truth and the lies made up by those liberal compromisers who Satan is using to attack our ministry.
  33. We deny the mysticism of the Catholics and the signs and wonders of the charismatics. We do, however, have a litany of strange coincidences to get us totally stoked.
  34. When a pastor gets caught doing wrong his job is to deny, deny, deny. Your job is to back him up to the bitter end.
  35. “Fellowship” = “Food”
  36. In a business meeting all in favor of the pastor’s motion shall signify by saying “aye.” All opposed shall shut up if they know what’s good for them.
  37. If there’s hair touching your ears, there’s sin in your heart.
  38. Anything that annoys the pastor annoys Jesus too.
  39. Any church members who is not “here and in their place” during special meetings will be punished by being used as a sermon illustration.
  40. Nobody is allowed to criticize our ministry unless they have gone out and built a ministry of equal size. (Then we’ll ignore them because they’re liberal)
  41. Microphone feedback during a sermon is a sure sign of satanic attack against the preacher.
  42. The truth shall not be allowed to get in the way of any good sermon illustration.
  43. Any growth in our church is a sure sign of God’s blessing on our ceaseless soul winning efforts. Any growth in your church is due to seeker sensitive gimmicks and soft preaching on sin.
  44. Alcohol is allowed in your home if 1. It is hidden in cough syrup 2. You pretend not to like it 3. You consume no more than 4 bottles a week.
  45. Context? Our proof texts don’t need no stinkin’ context!
  46. The moving picture house is a bastion of wickedness. Watching the same (G Rated) movies at home is just fine.
  47. If you can’t find a Scripture verse that proves your point, substitute a quote from another fundamentalist instead. It’s practically as good.
  48. The only proper color for a man’s Bible is black. Men who choose any other color are likely to be the sort who also part their hair in the middle and enjoy cooking a little too much.
  49. Every date is a potential mate. Not that we’re trying to put pressure on you or anything.
  50. As much as we dislike Muslims, we do admire the way they keep their women in line.
  51. Bad things that happen to me and mine are persecution and attacks of Satan. Bad things that happen to you and yours are God’s judgment for your sinful ways.
  52. The King James version was written to bring the Bible into the language of the common man of the 1600′s. If today’s common man can’t understand it that’s his own stupid fault.
  53. Adding even one word Bible is sacrilege of the worst kind. Unless, of course, your pastor told you to write it in the margin. Then it’s all good.
  54. When you really want to be taken seriously, use lots of Comic Sans. This goes double for your church website.
  55. The fact that toddlers will instinctively dance to music with a beat is evidence of their Adamic nature.
  56. Rock music is perfectly acceptable to play in church so long as the person doing it is an evangelist who is demonstrating exactly how wrong it is to play rock music in church.
  57. All families must have as many children as physically possible. This will only lead to economic hardship if you lack sufficient faith.
  58. Halloween is a demonic holiday wherein people dress up in costumes and beg for candy on the 31st of October. Harvest Festival is a God-honoring event wherein people dress up in costumes and beg for candy (by complete coincidence) also on the 31st of October.
  59. While we believe that no good Christian should ever go to a godless, atheist, state-run university, that does not stop us from proudly rooting for their godless, atheist football team.
  60. Gluttony is barely a sin and only worth mentioning from the pulpit in the context of a joke.
  61. Always assume your fellow fundamentalists have the best possible motives for their actions. Always assume everyone else has the worst possible motives for theirs.
  62. You talking about my church’s scandal is gossip and backbiting. Me talking about your church’s scandal is instruction and warning.
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

no matter how many tentacles it has

Pope's Astronomer Would be Pleased to Baptize an Alien

Guy Consolmagno, astronomer to the pope, is profiled in the Economist. He says intelligent design is "bad theology" that has been "hijacked" by American creationist fundamentalists. He also would be "delighted" to discover intelligent extraterrestrial life.
Consolmagno curates the pope's meteorite collection and is a trained astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican's observatory. He dismissed the ideas of intelligent design – a pseudoscientific version of creationism. "The word has been hijacked by a narrow group of creationist fundamentalists in America to mean something it didn't originally mean at all. It's another form of the God of the gaps. It's bad theology in that it turns God once again into the pagan god of thunder and lightning."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just What We Were Waiting For

New Bible

The world's best-selling Bible has been revised after a 2002 gender-inclusive version condemned as too liberal failed to sell, its publisher says.

Since 1978, the New International Version has been the most popular Bible among evangelicals, selling more copies than any other version, but the 2002 gender-inclusive edition was a publishing failure, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported.

The new edition published online this month, with printed copies to follow in March, retains some of the language of the 2002 edition but includes changes like returning to using words such as "mankind" and "man" instead of "human beings" and "people" to appease critics.

Jay Phelan, a professor of theological studies in Chicago, says he worries the translators have bowed to pressure from conservatives in preparing the new edition.

"The whole idea that we want to make this constituency or that constituency unhappy is wrong," he said. "You don't do a translation that way. You don't say 'this will make the liberals unhappy' or 'this will make conservatives unhappy.' Your job is to produce the most accurate translation possible."

In 2009, the NIV accounted for 28 percent of Bibles sold in Christian bookstores, followed by the King James version at 16 percent.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Darned Stupid Glittery Vampires

Blame Anne Rice

This is what happens when vampires are trendy for too long... 33 A.D.
"We have to stop this kind of thing now, or else we’ll be dealing with books about zombie-slaying steampunk werewolf Jesus."

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Bluetooth is OK

Satan's Data Connection

The evangelical cult "Paz do Senhor Amado" ("Peace of the beloved Lord") in the interior of Brazil forbids its followers to use any USB technology by contending that it uses a symbol that shows sympathy for the devil.

According to its founder, the "Apostle" Welder Saldanha says that this is just another symbol of Satan, which is always present in all Christian homes.

"The symbol of that name (a name which he doesn't even like to pronounce) is a trident, which is used to torture souls that go to hell. Use only a symbol of those shows that all users of that vile technology are actually worshipers of Satan" - explains the" Apostle".

Measures were taken so that all the USB connections of his followers were exchanged for common connections and even the Bluetooth (sic), which according to Saldanha Welder is permitted, for "Blue was the color of the eyes of our savior Jesus Christ".

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

selective observation

Prayer Effectiveness Grid

Believers all around the world claim that their particular god answers petitionary prayers. An answered prayer is a request that is granted while an unanswered one is not, okay? From experience, all that's going on is something called selective observation, where a believer counts the hits and discounts the misses. Scientific studies have shown that these prayers don't get answered any better than luck. So if believers really want to know if God answers prayer then here's what to do. Keep track.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010