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January 2013

Calling BS on Mother Theresa

Penn and Teller, with a little help from Christopher Hitchens, show us how you can take a culture of pain, misery, poverty, and suffering, and make it sound so good, you reward it with sainthood.

It's amazing to think that a person like Mother Theresa can be seen as a force for good. Sort of like making pedophile priest sound like a force for good. Of Islamists beheading people in god's name sound like a good thing. The latter is relatively fast and brutal, the former takes time and stretches the suffering out over many years.

Which do you like best?

Today's Bible quote examined . . . Matthew 5:27-28

Jan 19, 2013 - Tags:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." 

So homosexual males are off the hook here since they're just looking at other guys lustfully. Lesbians aren't so lucky because they're fantasizing about other women. If you are bisexual, I suppose it depends on how you roll that day as to whether you're sinning or not.

Other considerations of the above must include whether sins are cumulative. Is committing adultery just once as bad as having committed adultery a thousand times? 

Jesus and the Parable of "The Good Samaritan"

The parable of the "the Good Samaritan" was always one of those stories that stuck out as being 'wrong', precisely because it sounded like a racist slur or stereotyping a country and its people. You know what I'm talking about. The cheap Jew. The drunk Irishman. Here in Canada, we used to have stupid Newfie jokes.

In that way, the parable of the Good Samaritan is much like telling the story of the Sober Irishman, which is worth mentioning only because, well . . . can you really imagine a sober Irishman? How about the story of the rich Jew who gives a lot to charity? Or the Newfie with a Ph. D.

Seriously? We could come up with something totally unbelievable, like a Newfie with a Ph. D. who invents something important, like a gas mask! Let's include that one in the next edition of the Bible, shall we?

Today's Bible Quote Examined : Kings 2:23-25

If you've every wondered whether God and his prophets have a sense of humour, wonder no further. Harken to the word . . . 

23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
25 And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.

Apparently, having your bald head insulted was too much for Elisha who was on his way from Jericho to Bethel. He calls on God to do his worse and God puts on quite a show indeed.

The quote is from the King James version of the Bible. In the New American Version, the word "children" is substituted with "young lads" but the story is the same. This is, I suppose, to make the punishment of having a bear tear forthy-two kids apart seem a little less harsh. The religiously squeamish (e.g. many Catholics) can point to the verse and say, "See? they weren't children. More like teenagers." and somehow that makes the punishment fit the crime.

Yes, God so loved the little children that he had them torn apart by a wild beast. Sorry, I meant teenagers.

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Edward Gibbon