Olive Garden of Eden…?

I’m the first to admit that it’s hard to know who the odds-on favorite might be in a cage match between Moms and Satan:

http://www.grubstreet.com/2016/01/olive-gardens-deal-with-the-devil.html

olivevilo

…especially a million of them, who plan to hit the Devil where He lives.  And He apparently lives at the Olive Garden restaurant.

If being angry at the Olive Garden restaurant is the number one windmill you feel compelled to tilt at, you’re living a pretty good life…

Priest Punished for Popping a Pedo

Ask me again why atheists don’t just leave the church alone…

altarboys

Posted by StupidAtheist.com on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The priest showed the boy as many as 40 images of naked boys.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Irish-Catholic-priest-frozen-out-Florida-Church-informing-pedofile-clergy.html

If you say, worked at a daycare, and turned in one of your co-workers for molesting the kids, would you expect punishment or promotion…?

 

Christians PO’d About Christian Symbolism

Well I can’t love THIS enough.

Seems an atheist activist has posted an inverted cross in the public square down in Florida:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/florida-man-satanic-cross-hallandale-beach-florida-city-hall-manger-menorah-christmas-hanukkah-155471/

And everybody (perhaps even the protester himself) seems to think that it’s the cross of Satan.  Except no, it’s not.

…what we have are Christians demanding a public Christian symbol be taken DOWN…

The inverted cross has been Xtian symbolism since the Martyrdom of [Saint] Simon Peter, circa 200 C.E.  The actual Satanic cross looks like this:

sataniccross

So what we have are Christians demanding a Christian symbol (erected by an atheist, let’s remember) be taken DOWN from display in the public square.

If irony had calories, I’d feel compelled to go jogging right now…

Pastor / Atheist Agree : Read Your Bible

The first thing Pastor Paul Prather has going for him is that he’s apparently NOT a biblical literalist.

Were there a theological evolutionary scale, that fact alone would advance him quite a bit further toward the heretical-hominid end of its spectrum than, say, his brethren fundamentalist eukaryotes, who seem not only intent on never evolveleaving their primordial pond of piety, but on dragging us all back down into it with them.

The Pastor’s pragmatic apologetics seem to limit the import of the gospels’ authors to that of any other ancient scribes and, not only am I okay with that, it’s how I’ve taught my own kid to approach all literature, religious and otherwise. If you can find valid inspiration in the subtext of anybody’s lexicon, well then, bravo.

Aesopean Literalists Aren’t a Problem

One does not have to believe that the bugs of ancient Greece ACTUALLY spoke to one another in order to appreciate the message put forth in ‘the Ant and the Grasshopper’.  GrasshopperAndLikewise, we needn’t pledge ourselves to an imagined “personal relationship” with any everlasting, living, breathing, loving, and caring Aesop to attest to how important his fables might be to us.

For that matter, we don’t even need to argue about whether that author ever really walked the Earth. The messenger wasn’t the point; the message was.

I’m reminded of an incident more than half a lifetime ago, when I heard a Catholic priest offer an eye-opening secular take on the canonical “Loaves and Fishes” story that I’m confident will stay with me for as long as I can remember my own name.

In as briefly as I can synopsize it: the Reverend suggested that the crowds of families who’d fled to Bethsaida might not have been forthcoming when asked about how much food they had smuggled along, out of the very understandable instinct of self-preservation. But perhaps they were moved to share their own hidden reserves with one another once shamed by a hungry child who’d selflessly offered every morsel he had. Yeshua might well have made certain the boy’s sacrifice for his fellow humans was known to all and, “miraculously”, enough food was subsequently produced by what amounted to an emotional shakedown of the guilt-laden hoarders.

fishtrickI can’t presume that Pastor Prather takes THAT humanistic of an approach to his own biblical interpretations. But the fact that he’s willing to entertain the notion that Paul’s misogyny might have been attributable to the apostle “having a bad day” certainly gave me hope. And a good chuckle.

The “Feeding the Multitudes” homily above moved me to a critical re-examination the Bible in its entirety and was, as the good Pastor warns in his essay, the first step on my path toward solidifying my atheism. Not so much because I came away with no use for some of the Good Book’s positive messages, but instead because the tome itself is clumsy, inconsistent, and often ridiculous enough to serve as its own compelling rebuttal to any notion that it was divinely inspired.

But whatever. I still enjoy a good fish story.

In any event, the Pastor is, I think, correct.  There seems to be some Newtonian “equal and opposite reaction” to fundamentalist literalism that results in a sort of atheistic rebound effect when we’re demanded to accept the “truth” of talking snakes and the historicity of unicorns. Ironically, the devout and infidel alike might be able to agree that each found the book inspirational, albeit for entirely different reasons.

We’re thus left with an esteemed pastor who asks you not to read the Bible literally and this rabid atheist who implores that you DO consider the book in all manner of interpretation: from a god’s verbatim decree down to simple bronze-age poetry.

I don’t think I risk misrepresenting the Preacher in this sentiment at least, and if I have, I trust he’ll let me know:

On behalf of Pastor Prather and this Stupid Atheist, please, read your bible… 😉

Stop With the “-tard” Already

I touched on this briefly in my second “Debating Theists 101” article, but perhaps it can’t be re-said enough times.  The best way to discredit yourself [and worse, those of us who will, by association, be considered your peers] is to resort to name-calling, and the “-tard” suffix is perhaps among the worst.

angrycomputerYou do nobody else on the atheist roster any favors by blurting out “creatard”, “religiotard”, or anything of the sort.  Further, you alienate anybody with loved ones suffering from mental challenges and, for that matter, anybody with an ounce of human decency.

In short, knock that shit off.

And if you’re not guilty of the charge, great.  Fantastic.  But I beg you to take it a step further:  vote down the comments of anybody using these epithets.  Ostracize anybody on either side of the debate who does.

In short, knock that shit off.

We can’t very well make strides toward convincing people about the value[s] of secular morality while our collective gravitas is perceived by the public as having been “retarded” by insensitive buttholes…

Cowards : ReligionDispatches.org

How insecure in your position are you if you block people who actually AGREE with you?

http://religiondispatches.org/how-not-to-defend-atheism/

cowards1

You’ll probably need to click on the graphic to see what the editors were afraid of.  They (and all their supporters) are, of course, welcome to post all they’d like to this forum.

We don’t fear dialogue here.  For good reason.

But, in fairness, we understand why religiondispatches.org does…