Sam Seder on the “War on Christmas”December 10, 2008
Fear Based MotivationJune 17, 2008
Fear is one of the fastest-acting tactics to motivate someone into doing something (It’s also one of the ones that wears off the quickest). Some religions use fear to motivate people to adherence, scaring them with the possibility of what would happen to them if they don’t adhere.
I was surfing YouTube and came across this video, put out by thisSt. Brigitta web site from Sweden.
Holy crap! Imagine a kid watching that! I once was taken by a friend to what was purported to be “like a haunted house, but it’s even scarier because its at an old church.” What it ended up being was a place called “Hellstop,” where church members put on a realistic outdoor walk-through of the fate of a car accident victim who hadn’t accepted Christ. The guests were escorted through the woods and into a mock “hell” complete with lakes of fire, Satan screaming at you from a throne, people in cages, etc. It literally scared the hell out of me as a kid. I thought I had to make sure I prayed extra hard so that didn’t happen to me.
When a non-Christian dies, exactly what is Hell supposed to be like? I would encourage readers to leave a comment as to what you think Hell would be like. Does the human spirit feel pain in Hell? If so, how, given the lack of a functioning central nervous system. Are inhabitants of Hell made to work for Satan? If so, what is Satan’s job? And what does the work entail? Is it like a prison chain gang, where rocks are broken and piled only to be knocked over and piled again? It doesn’t seem like this is a productive use of Satan’s workforce. Where is hell? Is it near the core of the Earth? If so, how does one retain any moisture in the body at 7,000 degrees Kelvin?
What’s Hell like in your mind?
McCain on ReligionMarch 5, 2008
Honesty in YouthMarch 4, 2008
Man Who Claims He Went to Hell Scams ChristiansFebruary 20, 2008
Bill Wiese is a scam artist. He claims that he went to hell for exactly 23 minutes and now has written a book and spends his life lecturing about his experience in hell.
Here’s a link to the guy’s web site.
My first thought was – “Okay, so this guy had a nightmare and now is getting rich by convincing people it was true?” If that’s the case, I could make a great deal of money lecturing people on the dangers of going to school naked.
But Wiese assures us that it wasn’t a nightmare:
But first I want to address a couple things, questions that might be in your mind. The first question that would be in mine, if I was listening to me, would be, “How do you know it wasn’t just a dream that you had? A Bad dream?” A couple points to make, first of all, I had left my body. I saw my body when I returned, lying on the floor. So I know for sure it was an out of body experience. Some Christians have said, “Oh a Christian can’t leave his body.” But that’s not true, In 2 Corinthians 12:2, when Paul was caught up into the third heaven, He said, “whether in the body, or out of the body I do not know.” So if he didn’t know that must mean it’s possible. And also he said in verse 1 that it was a vision, so I believe this comes under the classification of a vision.
What a fucking lunatic. Here’s some video from FoxNews about the story:
Christianity’s motivation for morality is fear. There is no better example than Bill Wiese. Christians want to be good because of fear that if they don’t they will be put into a burning place to work for eternity. They will define what “hell” would be like in Earthly terms – fire, etc. Yet to describe what “heaven” would be like is supposedly beyond what we can comprehend. What a load of garbage. Your religion is based on fear. That’s weak.
The Price of AtheismFebruary 17, 2008
Sorry I’ve just been posting videos lately. I’m in the middle of the spring tour and haven’t had much time to dedicate to TGR lately.
Atheists Don’t Exist?February 10, 2008
Real Time: Religion in PoliticsJanuary 20, 2008
British Television Will Re-Air Cameron’s Jesus Tomb DocumentaryJanuary 17, 2008
From Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1704299,00.html
When the Discovery Channel aired a TV documentary last year raising the possibility that archeologists had found the family tomb of Jesus Christ in the hills behind Jerusalem, it caused a huge backlash among Christians. The claim, after all, challenged one of the cornerstones of Christian faith — that Jesus, after his crucifixion, rose bodily to heaven in his physical form.
The Lost Tomb of Jesus, made by Hollywood director James Cameron and Canadian investigative journalist Simcha Jacobovici, was shown only once on Discovery. Britain’s Channel 4 canceled its own plans to air the documentary, which re-examines an archeological find from 1980 in which a crypt was found containing what were said to be the ossuaries of Joseph, Mary, Jesus, the son of Joseph, Mariamne (possibly Mary Magdalene, say the film-makers) and Judah, son of Jesus. Given the highly explosive nature of its conclusion and its slapdash sleuthing, it was no surprise that the film was panned by some academics and many Christian clerics.
Still, even after the furor over the film faded, the questions it raised about the tomb unearthed in 1980 continued to make waves among archeologists and Biblical scholars. A leading New Testament expert from Princeton Theological Seminary, Prof. James Charlesworth, was intrigued enough to organize a conference in Jerusalem this week, bringing together over 50 archeologists, statisticians and experts in DNA, ceramics and ancient languages, to give evidence as to whether or not the crypt of Christ had been found. Their task was complicated by the fact that since the tomb was opened in 1980, the bones of the various ossuaries had gone missing through a mishap of Israeli bureaucracy. Also gone were diagrams made by excavators that showed where each stone sarcophagus lay inside the tomb, and what the family relationships might have been, say, between Jesus and Mary Magdelene, who some speculate may have been his wife.
After three days of fierce debate, the experts remained deeply divided. Opinion among a panel of five experts ranged from “no way” to “very possible”. Charlesworth told TIME: “I have reservations, but I can’t dismiss the possibility that this tomb was related to the Jesus clan.” Weighing the evidence, says Charlesworth, “we can tell that this was the tomb of a Jewish family from the time of Jesus. And we know that the names on the ossuaries are expressed the correct way as ‘Jesus, son of Joseph’.” But the professor has a few doubts. “The name on Jesus’s ossuary was scrawled on, like graffiti. There was no ornamentation. And there should have been. After all, his followers believed he was the Son of God.”
There was a revelation of sorts. The widow of Joseph Gat, the chief archeologist of the 1980 excavation electrified the conference by saying: “My husband believed that this was Jesus’s tomb, but because of his experiences as a Holocaust survivor, he was worried about a backlash of anti-Semitism and he didn’t think he could say this.”
The tomb was found by construction workers digging the foundations for an apartment building in the Talpiot hills, a modern suburb of Jerusalem. Gat and two other archeologists excavated the tomb, which had been vandalized centuries earlier. The ossuaries, including one with the scrawl “Jesus, son of Joseph” were moved into an antiquities warehouse where they languished, forgotten, until a BBC film crew in 1996 dusted them off. Jacobovici took the story further, using statistics — later disputed by experts — which seemed to indicate that, although Jesus and the others were all common Jewish names during the days of the Second Temple, the chances of them all being found in the same crypt, belonging to the same family, were rare indeed.
The debate over Jesus’ s supposed tomb will probably rage for years to come. But the conference attendees voted unanimously that the tomb, now sealed over with concrete in the garden of a suburban apartment building, should be reopened and examined more carefully. “I feel vindicated,” Jacobovici told TIME. “It’s moved from ‘it can’t be the Jesus’ family tomb’ to ‘it could be.’ ”
Charlesworth, who is also a Methodist minister, says that the possible discovery of Christ’s tomb will illicit mixed reactions among Christians. Most, he believes, will view it positively. The faith of some believers, he says, will be buoyed by historical proof that Christ, the son of Joseph and Mary, did exist. “I don’t think it will undermine belief in the resurrection, only that Jesus rose as a spiritual body, not in the flesh.” He adds: “Christianity is a strong religion, based on faith and experience, and I don’t think that any discovery by archeologists will change that.”
View the location on Google Maps. Why? Why the hell not? What else are you doing right now?