Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hobby Lobby's Hurt Feelings

I know this is a bit outdated but here's another gem brought to you by On Knees for Jesus. Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit against the government over the health care mandate because they don't want to provide abortion inducing drugs in their health care plan. Hopefully you won't lose too many customers from this.

Hobby Lobby, I know you feel that providing coverage for something which goes against your beliefs is important to you. In the end you WILL be providing abortion drugs to your employees one way or another. If you don't provide it in your health care plan you'll provide it through the paycheck you give to your employees. Either way you, the company, are paying for abortions (and probably a mess of other things you'd rather not know about). That is unless you see fit to monitor what your employees do with their paycheck. I believe abortion should be a minor issue. As a civilization with contraceptive technology why aren't we promoting pregnancy prevention instead of terminating them? People are going to have sex, especially teenagers, so why not give them the means to have safe sex? Using contraceptives will not condemn your soul AND you can choose when you and your mate are ready to have a baby. If the religious right focused more on birth control the abortion issue will be disappear on its own. But of course every group needs something easy to rally behind, Christians against poverty and homelessness seems too much like hard. You can't handle a Bible with dirty hands.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Love Thy Neighbor... with a Chicken Sandwich

Oh Chick-fil-A! I don't know the real motivations why Chick-fil-A did a 180 and pulled their funding from anti-gay organizations but it's a move in the right direction. I want to say they did the right thing for the right reasons but in my gut I feel it was financially motivated.  I gave them my thumbs up via Facebook and perused through some of the comments being posted there.

I highly doubt that the masses that came out in support of Chick-fil-A this summer will come out and boycott them now because let's face it, last time they got to eat a sandwich and support their cause. It's no fun boycotting a delicious restaurant. I just hope The Daily Show and The Colbert Report cover this bit of news (won't see tonight's broadcast till tomorrow morning on Hulu). Cross your fingers that Huckabee will rally the troops against Chick-fil-A, sadly there's still no word from him yet on Facebook or Twitter.

(Warning: The kid in the following video talks so fast it'll make your head explode. You've been warned.)


 Update: Oh Chick-fil-A, you sly thing you. Although they've been quite silent about the recent events they have released a statement found here. But Chick-fil-A apparently has found a loop hole to have their cake and eat it too. Read more on the funding loop hole here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Homegrown Extremists

This photo has been floating about the internet for a couple years but this is the first I've seen it  "Liked" by a friend on Facebook which appeared on my radar.

We are worried about terrorists getting a hold of nuclear weapons but what would happen if some trigger happy Americans got a hold of them first? Now, I'm not saying all Americans want to nuke the Middle East and the same goes for Muslims. We are talking about extremists and extremist thinking (or lack thereof). There are extremists who would love nothing more than to wipe Mecca off the map. Shoot first and recover from an economic catastrophe, oil shortage, and environmental (dare I say planetary by the size of this impact we're looking at nuclear winter) annihilation later. All to settle a score. If you can look at this photo and not feel disgusted I don't think I could consider you human let alone a "friend". Here's the link to the Facebook page which posted this picture if you want to peruse through the comments. I posted this photo not because I feel I have better morals than these people but to demonstrate how poisonous a twisted ideology can be if left to fester. 11 years later and some Americans feel justice has not been served even though we have taken out Osama bin Laden.

This is not justice. To quote one of my favorite moments of the Bible Abraham challenged God
"Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Gen 18:25
We've come a long way from OT morality, or at least most of us have. Loving your enemy is hard, but a way towards that goal is to understand them. Once you understand them you will find they're no different than we are. There is no They, there is no Other.   We can be better than this. We are better than this. Or at least we should teach our children to be better than us.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jesus Tattoos!

I love the internets! I somehow stumbled upon containing odd tattoos merging the image of Jesus with historical figures, film, and even cartoon characters. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Jesus Spock Tattoo. The script below reads "Live long and prosper" in Spanish. I'll let you guys try to decipher this one ( I'm looking at you Dr. McGrath).

Jesus Rides a Dinosaur. This tattoo based on a fantastic image floating about the interwebs a few years ago. I wrote a post about this hilarious image and on the spirituality found in one of my favorite films "The Land Before Time". An oldie but a goodie. Life wouldn't be the same without Creationists. 
I have a couple tattoos myself but nothing this crazy. Check out the above link to find everything from Gumby and Hello Kitty dying for our sins to Zombie Jesus Fish (yeah, I said zombie Jesus fish). Enjoy and feel free to share other links or images similar to the ones above, I'd love to see them. (Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Wondering if Todd Bentley has any wild Jesus tattoos? Check out his tattoos here.) This random stroll through the internet made my day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Religious Hostility

Thanks to On Knees for Jesus for posting this recent video on Romney and the Religious Right I stumbled upon an interesting survey on religious hostility.

Towards the end Tony Perkins mentioned a survey on the rise of religious hostility stating there have been over 600 recent cases of religious hostility. Here's the link to the website where you can download the report but I wouldn't bother. First, you have to give them your name and email to gain access to the report (I gave them an email address I use for junk mail) and I'm sure I'm on a email database somewhere. Second,  a large portion of religious hostility cases are by far cases of disputes over religious displays during Christmas...err the holidays, zoning disputes, religion in school, or cases of hurt feelings. The cases range over the last decade which would put them on average of 60 a year, hardly an onslaught of religious hostility (To clarify the report was just a listing of cases and did not graph the "rise" of religious hostility cases. I like graphs.) . I downloaded it primarily for my own curiosity and I found a few interesting cases. I was a bit surprised that the Family Research Council and the Liberty Institute (both conservative Christian groups) would include non-Christian suits but lo and behold they did. There aren't many in the report and most are zoning or workplace related which to me suggests they were included to fill out the numbers. Here are a few of my favorites.
Jewish Police Officer Filed Employment Discrimination Claim After Run-in With
Mel Gibson
A Jewish police officer claims Mel Gibson verbally abused him because of his religion,
and then the officer’s superiors forced him to delete the anti-Semitic statements from his
report. The officer claims he was later ostracized and denied promotion because of the
Oh Mel, how can we forget your drunken tirade.
Despite City Approval, Court Orders Construction of Tennessee Mosque to Stop
The Murfreesboro Islamic Center was within three months of completion when a
chancellor court ruled that not enough public notice was given before the zoning
commission approved construction. The Plaintiffs have been fighting the mosque’s
construction, fearing that it is a “sharia compliant” organization. The county has the
option of reapproving the building as long as it gives proper notice of the public meeting.
As of now, the mosque has not been reapproved.

They omitted that "the plaintiffs" were local Christians fighting to keep Muslims out of their town. 1000 points for religious liberty when the mosque was finally able to open their doors.
Child Evangelism Fellowship of Maryland, Inc. v. Montgomery County Public Schools,
373 F.3d 589 (4th Cir. 2004)
The Montgomery County Public Schools refused to allow Child Evangelism Fellowship
(CEF) to participate in the district’s take-home flyer forum to distribute flyers about the
Good News Club, citing fears about the separation of church and state. A lawsuit had to
be filed to end the religious discrimination.
I mentioned this one in particular because my son recently started Kindergarten and was sent home with one of these flyers. I considered mentioning something to the school but..meh, we live in the Bible Belt. We have Christian radio, tv, billboards, a church on every corner, it's not worth ruffling a few Christian feathers for a tiny flyer I can simply ignore. And that is the point I'm trying to make. There are some legitimate cases of infringement on religious freedom but I wouldn't label the cases contained in this report as hostility. Someone burning down a house of worship or gunning down worshipers is hostility, not squabbles over zoning and building permits. And if you still feel your religious liberty is threatened you can  talk it over and compare your plight with that of a non-Christian neighbor. And in the event that a non-Christian neighbor can not be readily found you can take this neat online survey. With Halloween and Christmas around the corner I'm sure there will be a surge in religious hostility cases.  I wonder how much moneys I can get from city hall for not properly displaying baby Jesus waving the American flag?

Monday, September 10, 2012


Somewhere there are kids in church reading slang words into the Bible while snickering during the sermon. Satan just got served! (Or was it the cardinals getting served?)

(via FailBlog)

After a little digging on the interwebs I located the original artist, Cosmo Sarson, and work here. Apparently this was inspired by a  Polish youth group which breakdanced for Pope John Paul II.

El Papa approved! As long as it's not pole dancing for Jesus.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

You've Changed

A big thank you to Andrew Hackman of Hackman's Musings for sharing this recent cartoon by nakedpastor (seriously can't believe I haven't subscribed to his RSS feed. Subscribed!).

[You've Changed by David Hayward]

I've gotten the You think too much and you read too much the most when I speak to others about my deconversion. Although, I would rather describe it more of discovering my own journey than a deconversion. I was never converted to Christianity in the first place (I was one of the lucky souls born into the faith) and there was no single moment where I abandoned Christianity cold turkey. This cartoon vividly describes my departure from the church. I believe if we look beyond the snappy one liners we'll find the pain of separation beneath and in between the statements. Anyone who's left the church (or any faith) can attest it is a painful experience to wrench yourself from your community, friends, and family. Those left behind feel betrayed, and the one leaving feels alone, exiled, without a home. It's not an easy decision that many are willing to make, yet feel they must to feel true to themselves.

I remember one conversation I had with my wife about my change of faith when I had an epiphany and I freely admitted I could not pray without feeling I was somehow lying. I had convinced myself for months I could stay in the church and go through the motions only to realize in the end I would  be lying to everyone around me. This doesn't mean I refuse to go to church if invited. I would bow my head out of respect and reverence but I would not be praying to any god. I pray with my kids at night and during meals because we had decided to raise the children Southern Baptist. I keep my beliefs to myself unless asked directly.  So when I have these types of interactions with believers I don't take it personally anymore because even the beliefs and ideas I hold now are subject to change.

It is not an easy decision to step away from any community. And as someone who thinks too much I thought about this constantly before making any public declaration on straying from the fold. The fact that we ("the straying sheep") thought about the social ramifications means we do care. Our ties to family, friends, and to our community and roots are very important, but so is our personal quest of self discovery. When I left the church it wasn't because I was being led astray by the devil or that I love sin too much. I left the cackle of voices telling me how to be human and set out on a journey to experience my humanity. I had questions to ask and wrestle with and no environment in which to tackle these questions. Some would ask "why ask these questions in the first place?" and then go on to show me their bag of answers.

I'm not looking for easy answers, I'm looking for questions that will last a lifetime answering.

I'm looking to discover myself in others and others in myself.

I'm looking to simply be.