Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back to Basics: My Adventist Roots

I recently stumbled upon a USA Today article heralding Seventh-Day Adventists as the fastest growing Christian denomination in America. Although the article did state that the vegetarian lifestyle and it's "clear" message on Christian life are a couple of the reasons people are flocking to SDA, I found the article too vague in answering WHY this particular denomination is growing so quickly. I remember going to seminars, camp meetings, and week long outreach events all the time growing up as a kid. It seemed like every other week we held an outreach event explaining, in vast detail I might add, what WILL happen during the second coming. I'm sure this frequent reminder reassured the aging population of our church but such details on a future event puzzled me as a child. How were they so sure these events would take place in this manner?

A lot of my friends and family members comment on how they feel it's the end of the world with everything that's been happening. I remind them, without trying to step on their religious convictions, that anytime the world has experienced a catastrophic event throughout history there have been those heralding the end of the world. The SDAs were born out of the Millerite movement which continue the strong emphasis of the second coming of Christ. I understand why people look towards the second coming, they want to leave this chaotic world behind along with all of the pain and misery. [On a sidenote, did you know Muslims are also awaiting the second coming of Jesus?] When chaos strikes they also run towards that which makes them feel safe and secure, and for many people security is found under the protection of an all knowing God. They (SDAs) believe that by going back to the basics and following some (not all, though) of the Old Testament observances that they will be following God's Will more closely thereby also receiving God's divine protection.

I understand the draw to a "back to basics" faith but all the faith in the world will not protect you from the chaos created by either nature or man. What faith should do during turbulent times is to give one the strength to pull through the chaos and even help to bring some order back into the world instead of a hope for escape. Faith should not be the person saying "thank you God for protecting me", faith should be "give me the strength and the compassion to help the suffering". Although, I personally don't believe religion is necessary to inspire compassion in our fellow man there are many who do. Much of Christianity tends to lean towards an escape from being our brother's keeper, whereas it should be an inspiration to watch and care for them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't Blame God, Blame People

I don't know if Uncle Pat has decided to crack open a science book or if he just can't think of a reason why Japan, like Haiti, deserved to be hit by a natural disaster, but when I Googled "Pat Robertson Japan" I got this. Of course ever since Haiti people have been waiting for another heartless response from Pat "direct-line-to-God" Robertson. During his Bring It On segment he answered the viewer question:
"Why would God let disasters, such as Japan, happen?" Kathy
Pat goes into an all out PR defense to protect God's image by stating God doesn't let disasters happen, people decide to live in earthquake zones. Pat also explained plate tectonics to his audience members (which I'm sure caused him to lose a few hardcore anti-science viewers) and stated that's just how God designed the earth and if people decide to live there, it's their fault. Unless, that is, they make a pact with the devil, then they're pretty much screwed any way you look at it. What happened, Pat? You let me down again. What happened to to the good ole' days, remember when you called out for the assassination of Chavez or the time when you called a Larry King viewer a homo? What happened to your spunk, don't fizzle out on me just yet Uncle Pat. The world still needs a firm reminder of God's Will. Or, I guess it's just time for the next generation of evangelicals to step up to the plate.

[Read Tamtampamela's story here]

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Everything I Ever Needed to Know about ISLAM, I Learned on 9/11

Man oh man. What I would have given to be at the scene of this failed rally. It all started with self-proclaimed Islamic radical Anjem Choudary who planned on holding a rally called "Sharia4America". These are the kinds of people that give peaceful Muslims a bad name. You can read the comical backstory story here, but to make this brief Choudary canceled leaving the counter protest standing around with no one to protest and all that pent up protest rage. In enters a lone Muslim, a White House regular, who just happened to show up on the day of the rally and the various protest groups swarmed in on him.

There are several ironic and comical moments I love throughout this clip but the most memorable was the scene at the very end where protesters were throwing metal crosses in the Muslim's prayer space. The Muslim pointed out the Christians' lack of respect for their own holy symbol. The Christians stated it's not God, it's merely a symbol. The gentleman next to the Muslim stated they tossed the crosses on the ground to show how much Jesus loved him. I'm sure the real reasoning was because they wanted to disrupt his prayers.

I  somewhat agree with these anti-shariah protest groups, I don't want to live under a theocracy either. Although we have a greater chance of living under an Amish lifestyle before we ever come to live under Shariah Law in the U.S. It's just not going to happen, period. Yes, there are Muslim radicals who do want to see America destroyed or converted to Islam and these are the REAL enemies we should be worried about not some lone Muslim peaceful praying near the White House. But these groups make the threat large than life claiming ALL Muslims want Shariah Law enforced in the States.

If you missed it in the video the title of this post is based on a t-shirt worn by one of the protesters. It's actually inspired me to create a similar t-shirt (although I doubt I have the gall to even wear it in the south): Everything I Ever Needed to Know about CHRISTIANITY, I Learned on 1099. Sadly, most Christians would completely miss the historical reference to the siege of Jerusalem where the Crusaders massacred the civilians of the city. I'm not sure that too many of my Christian neighbors would appreciate a history lesson on their own faith, especially on such a dark point in Christianity's history. They would also argue that all Christians can't be held guilty for the actions of the few, an argument commonly ignored when stated by a Muslim.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

One Nation Under God, Not Allah

I know I post a lot of videos and I don't want to become dependent on them to make my point but this one today, oh boy. This one would make me want to drown mankind in a torrential flood if I were god. I know I'm all sunshine, rainbows, and "let's hold hands in brotherhood" kind of guy but this video screams of so much hatred I just want to chuck my laptop into the river and boycott all media (except cartoons) for the rest of my life. But ignoring the problem won't make it go away, if anything it'll get worse.

(h/t Unreasonable Faith)
This video makes me want to vomit. How can there be this much hatred in a "God-fearing" America? And what really broke my heart were the worried expressions by the children entering the building at the 2:00 minute mark. If THIS is America, I don't want to stay. One of the protesters shouted "One Nation Under God, Not Allah" to demonstrate, I suppose, the righteous anger of God (the Christian god) for worshiping a false god (the Muslim god). I guess the protesters thought that if they shouted at non-believers and their children long enough they (the Muslims) will understand the protesters belief in a God who hates non-Christians for being born to parents of a different faith. Everyone knows that even though you may be born and raised within a different culture YOU HAVE TO leave the culture, faith, and traditions of your parents behind when you come to America. Oh, you can bring your delicious food, wise sayings, and herbal remedies with you when you step on American soil, but everything else is banned. It's simply un-American to be different, you gave up that freedom when you entered the land of the free.

And what really gets under my skin is that the event being protested was a charity fundraiser held by the Islamic Circle of North America to raise funds for disaster relief, women's housing, and other causes. If this is truly one nation under God I hope it's not the god of these protesters who shout at families going to charity events to raise funds for those in need. I would say God Bless America but if immigrants are more loving and empathetic to their neighbors than "real Americans" then I'd rather say God bless everyone BUT Americans.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fundies Say the Darndest Things!

It's videos like these that I thank Allah every day for Youtube.

 Fundies Say the Darndest Things is a website dedicated to archiving the most outrageous, irrational, and mind-numbing comments made by fundies from online forums. A quick perusal of the archives at first brought me to a light chuckle but after a few minutes these quotes quickly became depressing when reality began to sink in: these are quotes made by real people. You forget that sometimes while perusing through the internet.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
"The only thing a kid will learn in an American public school is that homosexuality is good, and America is bad. There is no way, under any considerations, circumstances, or conditions, that my kid will attend one of our leftist public brain laundries." Wolseley
["The Hebrews crossed the 'sea of reeds'. Most Jews agree on this. After all, the first 5 books are theirs."] 
"The first five books are theirs? Um, no. Moses was a Christian. Sorry."
"That's the beauty of Heaven... we can leave our brains behind." Lainy68
"Are... are you now disputing the existance [sic] of DNA???"

Yes. DNA can never be proven. Evolutionists are obsessed with it because they always say ''chimps share 97% DNA with modern man'' etc. That's great, however you would then need to prove DNA is real. Asycthian