Friday, November 30, 2012

Facebook Faith #4

Continuing with my commentary on Facebook religious posts...

I thought this one was great because, as we approach Christmas, many American Christians find their "Christ-like" behavior flying right out their snow covered window.  Winter and Holiday parties at their kids' school, no Merry Christmas from the cashier, Fox News stoking their already sensitive persecution complex...  they would never utter the words, but their attitude SCREAMS out in a Clark Griswald-like rant :

"Can't we just keep the Mother *******  CHRIST in Mother ******* Christmas???!!! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Facebook Faith #3

Of course, witty sayings and pictures do not merely come from believers on my Facebook newsfeed.  I also have my agnostic and atheist friends whose material floats by.  I thought this one was striking.

It reminded me of the movie The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington.  In it, Gary Oldman's character, Carnegie, is a warlord type leader in a post-apocalyptic town.  In this future, religious books had all been destroyed long ago because of the dissension they created.  Carnegie believes that if he can get his hands on Eli's bible, he can control people on a level greater than he had been able to previously.  He says:

"IT'S NOT A @#$%^ ' BOOK! IT'S A WEAPON. A weapon aimed right at the hearts and minds of the weak and the desperate. It will give us control of them. If we want to rule more than one small, @#$%^' town, we have to have it. People will come from all over, they'll do exactly what I tell 'em if the words are from the book. It's happened before and it'll happen again. All we need is that book."

This meme is a play on the old NRA line "Guns don't kill people, people do."  With this phrase, the NRA attempts to move responsibility off the gun and on to the people using them.  Many people argue that the gun gives destructive power to the people and therefore can't be dismissed.

So what responsibility do you think gods have for the destruction wrought in their name?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Facebook Faith #2

Here is another post that goes around this time of year on Facebook. It is a re-write of The Night Before Christmas poem and it starts:

Twas the Month before Christmas 
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away
The reason for Christmas -- no one could say.

It goes on to bemoan all of the attacks on Christmas by evil liberals and godless secularists. It uses words like inclusiveness, sensitivity, and diversity as if they were curse words. Of particular note to me was its dig on public school teachers (of which I am one). It says:

The children were told by their schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.

I had to reply:

Yeah those teachers are the worst. I appreciate the teachers who will take a stand and make sure those Jewish, Islamic, Atheist, Agnostic, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, etc, children are all coerced, peer-pressured, or shamed into singing praise songs to Jesus (cause that would make Him happy). Makes me miss the days when it was acceptable in America to force convert Native American children in school... and by God we did so! What dark days we are in when children are no longer forced to give preference to the one truth faith.

You can read the entire poem, in all of its whiny glory, here.

See Facebook Faith #1

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Facebook Faith #1 Failing God

Probably half of the posts that drift through my newsfeed on Facebook are from friends and family proclaiming something about their god. Sometimes it is a saying or idea that would fit well into any healthy personal philosophy, but very often there is something damaged being proclaimed. I think I may make it a regular feature to take an example like the picture on the right and address how, I believe, it is problematic.

The writer fails his god daily? Really? He got up this morning, made his coffee, went to work, took the kids to soccer practice in the evening, read them a story before putting them to bed...

.... yet he failed his god?!


Well, in truth he did not; but he has been programmed in his faith to THINK he did. His default position is to think of himself as a failure before his god.

Nice, eh?

The above phrase was posted by a Christian. The common view of God in Christianity is that of a father. Can you imagine a father who would encourage his daughter to think of herself as a failure before him? What would become of such a child?

You don't have to imagine very hard. Most of Christianity holds such a view of their Father God. Look throughout Western culture. Is it any wonder that the Christian religion in the West struggles with control issues? People who carry a broken self-image are going to struggle with relationships.

Here is a lighter version of that same kind of post.

Christians like Lowry are trying to move more toward the love side of the equation... yet he still sees himself as drowning in "sin". Even though he has accepted Jesus, been washed, redeemed, sanctified, justified.... whatever... he still appears to see himself in a largely negative light.

This is bad, bad, bad for the psyche.

My Christian friends and family... you will probably stay Christian... but can you at least eject this very damaging self view? If you do something wrong - repent, make restitution, apologize, make it right as best you can. Then let it go.

Letting your default life position be that of a failure and a wretch is a choice. It is a choice that harms not only you, but all those around you.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Liars ....

I think it is amusing that, after years of listening to my conservative friends bemoan every news source other than Fox and AM talk radio as being hopelessly biased, their sources were not just biased... but deceptive.  Bias means you have a lean because of your starting point... Fox and company just lied... and the numbers show it.  Fair and Balanced is a lie.  We Report, You Decide is a lie.

O Reilly - Liar

Hannity - Liar

Limbaugh - Liar

Beck - Liar

Fox News - Liars

Drudge, Rove, Morris  - Liars

A Host of Conservative Web Sites - Liars!

I'll sift through some bias for the truth any day - over the conscious lies of the conservative newstainment behemoth.


Friday, November 09, 2012

The Sky Is Falling - Once Again

Leaving a birthday party for his father, evangelist Billy Graham, Franklin Graham said that Tuesday's election results sent America further down a "path of destruction," WCNC reports.

In particular, Graham was referring to the re-election of President Obama, a man he has accused of "waving his fist before God" by supporting abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

He added: "I want to warn America: God is coming around. He will judge sin, and it won't be pretty." - via

My goodness... I grew up in conservative evangelical circles and have heard this drivel for 30+ years.  When are these people going to put away their "THE END IS NIGH!" signs and realize they are the biggest "cry wolf" bunch the world has ever seen!?

In 2008, these same folks were predicting the end of the world, economies crashing, churches being forcibly closed, and dozens of other listed dooms that NEVER came to pass.

Yet here they are again, banging the same drum.

These people are the pharisees and goats of their own scriptures, and they can't see it.

Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud." ~ 2 Peter 2:22

Sunday, November 04, 2012

God is Good All The Time?

God is good all the time!!

This phrase just floated past my Newsfeed in Facebook... as it does on a semi-regular basis.

What occurs to me when I read this is:

This person either has no consistent marker for the word good, or they feel tremendous pressure to proclaim things as good which they know are not.

A 5 year old gets cancer and suffers a miserable death.

Is this good? Anytime?

Of course, what usually gets tossed back is that, in our finite perspective, we can not judge God using those words. We simply don't see how he sees.

Well, if you can't use that word to judge him, then you shouldn't use that word to describe him. The word "good" in this case has been rendered completely meaningless.

(I note that many of the Old Testament authors wrote in a lament format at times... they did not seem to have these alternate definitions of words to use when speaking of their God.)

It could also be that the person who says "God is good, all the time" has fitted themselves with a thick set of rose colored glasses, that can focus on good events while being blind to pain.

There is a great Ren and Stimpy episode where Stimpy becomes concerned that Ren is not happy enough. He invents a device that MAKES Ren happy. Whether Ren feels it or not... a smile is forced and his eyes shine with glee. Smiling endlessly becomes unbearable.

Sometimes life just sucks. There is nothing to be particularly happy about... and being forced to be happy when you are sad is just one more burden. Grief is something to be passed through, not painted over.

Life isn't good ALL the time... and that is just life.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

On Wednesday, Life Will Go On

Disney's Hall of Presidents
Well, I didn't get a lot of takers yesterday when I offered people the chance to say something nice about the opposition (thanks to the two of you on FB that did).  Perhaps it was a little too optimistic a notion 4 days before the election.

Watching on FB, there are people on both sides of the isle who believe America is doomed if "the other guy" gets elected.  However, history contradicts this postulation.  We have had 44 presidents who also had opponents who were convinced America would end upon their election... but it didn't; neither will it this time.

Come Wednesday, America will go on.  We will clean up the East Coast.  Everyone will go back to work.  Students will go to school.  McDonald's will be serving coffee in the morning for a dollar.  Even Glenn Beck will still be on my radio, predicting the end of civilization and hawking gold.

Like I said, everything will go on.

Jesus and Chicken Pot Pie

My friend Brook and I grew up as committed Christians.  We had many great theological conversations over the years.  However, as we got older our apostasy grew... and this is about as theological as our conversations get now....

  • this picture got me thinking...they should serve chicken pot pies at the Lord's table every once in a while, because I'm pretty sure Jesus and his disciples didn't just eat bread and wine all the time, I'll bet they had chicken sometimes too...
    One of these things is more important than the other...
    One of these things is more important than the other...

    • Andrew Hackman "at the Lord's table we unite"
      Unless it is a closed communion... then we divide again... no chicken pie for you!
    • Brook Downs yeah, but the people serving communion don't know who's in or out, so it's kind of a voluntary division and self-exclusion. they don't ask for id or anything, so you could go up and get some communion if you really wanted to, and then you could be all "in your face!" about it afterwards to them, and then maybe they'd start checking membership cards.
    • Brook Downs plus...doesn't that look like a pot pie in the picture?

    • Andrew Hackman or a donut... or a biscuit... I might be more inclined to take communion if it had good wine and something edible...
    • Brook Downs that does not look like a donut. seriously, wtf is wrong with you?

    • Andrew Hackman You can picture a little jelly, just our of sight, in the middle there.... it is a very fresh jelly donut that is hiding its jelly
    • Brook Downs no. no you can not.

    • Brook Downs that is either a picture of the body of Christ, or it is a pot pie.

    • Andrew Hackman Well, if its a pie, it has a two inch thick crust on top....

    • Brook Downs also, has anyone ever actually been turned away from communion? I mean, if you don't believe what that church believes, then what the hell are you doing in their church anyway? why would you even want their communion? is this some sort of religious affirmative-action scenario? non-believers being bussed in to churches?
    • Andrew Hackman Well no... other than they tell you up front that their communion is for X people.... which is fine... but that dispels the unity line... and your chicken pie with it.
    • Brook Downs I think maybe churches would be more inclusive on chicken pot pie day. in fact, maybe that's the solution - bread and wine for believers, chicken pot pie for everyone else.
    • Andrew Hackman That would be the end of the church... believers would walk up front, have the option of wine from a common communion cup that contains remnants of the previous person's spittle (or a thimble's worth from a brittle plastic shot glass) and a really bad wafer... or pot pie with a two inch golden flaky crust. You are going to have scores of believers announcing "fuck that", and then going off with pagans to eat pie.
    • Brook Downs and that's why there's the doctrine of hell, so people won't choose a chicken pot pie over their eternal salvation.

Friday, November 02, 2012

The Loyal Opposition

You have probably heard the term "Loyal Opposition".  Simply put, it means that parties may be in opposition, but they still have a loyalty and dedication to a common, good cause.  They differ as how to accomplish good... but they want to see good done, and are happy if their opposition is successful in accomplishing that good.

I am basically a liberal democrat and I have many friends who are conservative republicans.  However, they are not all the same.  They not only differ on issues within their own sphere but they also differ on how they view liberal democrats.  Some know we are simply a political group with different solutions and different priorities.  Others believe we are god-haters intent on destroying America and must be opposed at all costs.

My brother put on his blog, a few years ago, a call to say something kind, unequivocally, about the candidate you oppose.  He believed it would be a good exercise to help keep political discussions civil.  It can become too easy for negative thoughts, unchecked, to snowball into unreasonable disdain and contempt.

So, in that spirit, let me take a moment to compliment Candidate Romney.

I give him points for his marriage longevity.  Anyone in a marriage has, at some point, considered bailing (and I acknowledge that can occasionally be the best option).  Every marriage has its low points. He has the resources to make divorce much easier than most, and yet, he hung in there.  He obviously takes his role as father and husband seriously and I respect him for that.

I appreciate his fiscal conservatism. I think, at the end of the day, he wants to make sure we are not spending more than we take in; a good place to govern from.

I believe, should he become president, he would genuinely work to do a good job and make America the best it can be.  We will differ on perspective and priorities, but I do not doubt that he is a man of good intent.

So how about you?  Who is your opposition?  What are three nice things you might say about him or her?

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