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Tuesday March 28, 2017

 

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by P. David Gardner

Can anyone explain to me, using logic and common sense that is, why the Christian religion seems to attract so many gun nuts and other sorts of looneys?

And just how do those ever-faithful, gun-toting acolytes balance their fascination with tools of death with their supposed utter love of, and compliance with, Jesus' teachings?

The last time I perused the Bible, that tattered manual for all things Christian, Jesus urged his faithful to be tolerant of those with opposing viewpoints. To not take vengeance themselves, but to leave it up to God instead. To do good, to seek peace, and to depart from evil.

Yet one needs only to scan the daily news to see for themselves that there are countless examples of supposed good Christians who are the diametric opposites of everything that their own God commands of them.

Just today I read that retired General Wesley Clark is urging the government to toss so-called "disloyal Americans" into internment camps, a return to the shameful days of WWII when the U.S. Government created Nazi-like prisons, which they playfully called "camps," and threw Asians into them whether they were confirmed spies or not. Merely looking Asian was good enough to imprison them because who wants to take chances anyway?

What is a "disloyal American" in Clark's eyes? Why, citizens of the U.S. who are of the Islamic faith, and whom he deems to be "extremist." And how does he define "extremism?" Well, that term seems to be a bit fuzzy. Does this cover those who attend a mosque to practice their faith? Or perhaps those who communicate with their Muslim brothers and sisters in the Middle East? Or only those who have been convicted of acts of treason against the United States?

I suppose that time will tell, if Clark's dreamy eyed future comes to pass.

Then there is the curious case of the gun-toting ex-preacher who urges Christians to arm themselves to fight against "gay rights."

On July 9, Joshua Fuerstein told his Facebook followers that they should use the business end of a gun to protect their First Amendment constitutional rights. "My First Amendment right is guaranteed by my Second Amendment right," he said as he menacingly hefted an assault rifle in a video posted to his account.

And so here is just a little reminder to you supposed devout Christians, of what your faith requires of you. Plucked straight from the Bible, here are some verses that you seem to have forgotten in your mad rush to judgement and calls for violent and abhorrent action:

"The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence." -- Psalms 11:5

"Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it." -- Psalms 34:14

"Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" -- Psalms 133:1

"Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'" -- Romans 12:19

"Judge not, that you be not judged." -- Matthew 7:1

"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." -- Matthew 7:12

"And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, 'Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.'" -- John 8:7

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments." -- John 14:15

You know, I suppose I could be called guilty of cherry-picking verses from the Bible to support my contention that these two men, among countless others throughout history and especially today, are not as holy as they believe themselves to be. I have no doubt that they too could cherry-pick some verses from their "Good Book" to support their actions.

That's what makes the Bible such a horrible book upon which to base a belief system. While anything is open to interpretation, the Bible is especially vulnerable to this. If you read through it, you will find many examples of outright contradictions, tolerance of acts of violence, and more.

So, we've jumped off the deep end now. I guess, in the minds of the misguided devout, it all comes down to this:

"Praise God and pass the ammunition."

P. David Gardner is a long time writer and reporter, as well as a graphic designer and photographer. And he creates terrific web sites too. For more details, see pauldavidgarder.com.

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by P. David Gardner

The ultra-religious never fail to astound me. Sometimes it's their bald-face ignorance of the scientific facts that lay before them for all to see. Sometimes it's their use of shouting (the louder voice always wins) to make you listen to them.

And sometimes, it's their not-so-clever and convoluted logic (or rather, lack of it) that they use to hammer their preconceived points home to the gullible and anyone else who will listen to their pathetic bleats.

Today was the latter case for me. In one fell swoop of twisted reasoning, a creationist has declared Richard Dawkins, noted atheist, ethologist and evolutionary biologist, to NOT be an atheist as Dawkins believes himself to be.

In a recent article at The Gospel Herald web site, Creation Museum CEO Ken Ham claims that not only is Dawkins not an atheist, neither are me, or you, or any one of the countless atheists on this planet we call home.

"Some Americans call themselves atheists," Ham said in a Facebook post, "and many in other countries openly profess atheism, but as I explain in my article below, there are no atheists now, and there will be no atheists in eternity."

That's quite a bold claim. Just how did Ham come to figure out that wildly ignorant claim?

Well, Ham cited a 2013 appearance by Dawkins on The Daily Show, where when asked by host Jon Stewart what happens when people die, Dawkins replied, "I don't know what happens to us, but I know that our consciousness is wrapped up in our brains. I know that our brains rot."

From that simple statement, Ham extrapolates that Dawkins is indeed not sure about his atheism. That's quite a reach, in this writer's opinion.

"So Richard Dawkins, a man who is so certain there is no God, is not totally certain about what's going to happen to him when he dies," Ham chortled with apparent glee. "And yet he speaks with certainty as he tries to indoctrinate people to believe in his religion of atheism!"

What's that? "Religion of atheism?" I never knew that atheism was a religion. I always assumed it was a distinct lack of religion myself, but maybe I'm wrong.

But further, Ham claims that Dawkins is not an atheist because in his hallowed opinion, no true atheists exist at all because the Bible apparently teaches that every person is born with an innate knowledge of God.

It's all quite preposterous, as Ham's assertions all lie within a book written specifically to further an agenda that was used to control the unwashed masses of the time, and unfortunately that control continues to this very day.

One might take heart in the fact that as such wonky pronouncements continue to unfold in an increasingly secular world full of people waking up to the fact that religion is a sham, it's apparent that the "faithful" are becoming quite desperate to hold onto their flimsy fabric of belief.

P. David Gardner is a long time writer and reporter, as well as a graphic designer and photographer. And he creates terrific web sites too. For more details, see pauldavidgarder.com.

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by P. David Gardner

In a stunning admission of a lack of any coherent sense at all, a Fox News radio host has proclaimed that Chick-fil-A is now and forever "the Official Chicken of Jesus."

Todd Starnes, a more than slightly unhinged man, made his unprecedented proclamation to an enraptured audience at the Abeline Baptist Church in Agusta, GA this weekend. In what began as a fervid battle cry against same sex marriage and transgender equality, Starnes opened with this gem, saying that it was great to be back in the mighty South, where it was apparently pretty darn easy to find a high-cholesterol-peddling Waffle House and Chick-fil-A restaurants, the latter of which he proclaimed was Jesus' official choice of chicken.

Apparently, Chick-fil-A predates those good old days when even the lascivious Emperor Caligula began his blood-rushing reign over the Roman Empire in 37-41 A.D. At least according to Starnes, that is.

Besides lambasting gays and transgenders, Starnes also proclaimed that the U.S. government will begin persecuting Christians and criminalizing their beliefs in just a few short years.

And he took particular issue with the fact that Oregonian students are being schooled in gender equality.

“The time has come for all of us to stand together with one voice!” Starnes bellowed. “They may demand to know the content of our prayers, they may try to shut down our bakeries, they may try to silence our voices, but we will not be silenced! We will not be intimidated!”

Hallelujah, and pass the chicken please.

P. David Gardner is a long time writer and reporter, as well as a graphic designer and photographer. And he creates terrific web sites too. For more details, see pauldavidgarder.com.

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by P. David Gardner

Just hold on a fast minute there, pardner. Why, I looked in the mirror this morning and saw myself, an atheist. I see, therefore I must be!

In an impressive display of a crumbling tower of brain power, Si Robertson, head of the infamous "Duck Dynasty" clan and reality TV star, has proclaimed that there is no such thing as an atheist.

"I'm serious," he said, "because there's too much documentation. Our calendars are based on Jesus Christ. Whether you believe in him or not, every time you sign your calendar, you add down the day's date, you're saying he's here, OK? That's documented."

The problem with his logic? Calendars existed before the supposed birth of Jesus. Both the names of the days and the months are wholly based in Paganism, which kind of started out at least a few days before the supposed birth of Jesus Christ.

OK, to be fair, the calendar that most modern-day folk use is indeed based on the Gregorian calendar, named for Pope Gregory XII, who unleashed it on an unsuspecting world back in 1582. The Gregorian is a refinement of the Julian calendar, which corrects for the length of the year so that Easter coincides with the time of year that the early church celebrated it.

So, our modern calendar was "fixed" so that Easter would be celebrated when them Christian folk wanted to celebrate it. No more a reason, no less. If you ask me, that was no solid reason to mess with the calendar, but the Pope had his way.

But oh, I dunno. I sincerely doubt that I acknowledge the existence of Si's supreme being every time I "sign" my calendar (whatever that means; do I really do that?), or whenever I "add" down the day's date.

I guess I could turn the tables around and claim that every time Si and his ilk mutter the word "Thursday," they are accepting of and adhering to Paganism, since Thursday was named after "Thor's Day".

Ya know, the Thor of the ancient Norse gods, spectacularly spangled out in the latest Marvel movies.

Or should I say, when he "signs" his Thursdays?

P. David Gardner is a long time writer and reporter, as well as a graphic designer and photographer. And he creates terrific web sites too. For more details, see pauldavidgarder.com.

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Hmmm, maybe 2 plus 2 does equal 5!

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A perfect match!

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Now, where did I leave my Magic Underpants?

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I'm sure you'll be better off for it.

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