Games of Chance – Ch. 3 – Historical Straw

A couple weeks ago I was getting an itch to get back into addressing apologetics, just because that’s how I roll. I was going to go back to the Limbaugh book, and eventually I will, but I thought the R.C. Sproul book would be meatier. I think I’m wrong, but the sciency part of it still compels.

Originally Pastor Chuck and I were going to spar over this book, but after showing himself unwilling to address arguments directly and his continual deflections to his aspersions on my character, he finally backed out, read the book on his own, declared it perfect, and wandered off into the sunset. I figure I’ll just have to go it alone and hope someone else comes along to wrangle.

Or not. Continue reading

Vortex

Twice yesterday I found myself briefly surrounded by little children. They were running about and playing and to them I was but another tree in the yard, another chair to dodge and dash around.

Life swirled around my knees, tiny vortices of vitality, alive with wonder and with presence.

One little vortex ran straight for me, then stopped just short of a collision and looked up at me, eyes wide with wonder, sparkling with amazement that some obstruction had filled his path. We made eye contact and I said, “Hi!” His mouth split wide into a smile, shiny little teeth gleaming on the verge of a laugh that was almost expected but somehow out of place.

He changed course and tottered on at full speed. I was not even a memory I’m sure, because no one is more present than a little child.

I felt a faint rush of life, as if just by being close I was gifted with a bit more than I could contain. For that moment the scars and cares of adulthood, of life, faded to the immediacy and joy of being wholly human and only innocent.

May I never grow so old that the young become a nuisance. May I never close my nose to the fragrance of youth, the perfume of hope and promise. May I never be jaded by the knowledge that someday they too will know hardship. May I instead drink in the gift of life and the memory that the present moment can be simply a joy in itself.

IllogiGod

A year or two back, a friend of mine (also an atheist, but without the indoctrination history I had, nor the particular urge to explore this sort of stuff over and over again) made an interesting remark as we were bantering over a hair-splitting topic. I’ll paraphrase, because I don’t remember his exact wording, but he basically said:

The church’s big mistake was making god out to be All-Powerful. Once they made him Omnipotent and Omniscient, they made him completely impossible.

I’ve been thinking that through lately. The more I think about it, the more right I think he is. Continue reading

Lesser of Two Limbaughs?

Well, here I am again, with a bit of a bug up me arse, so to speak. With ol’ Pastor Chuck’s refusal to actually engage with the longer conversation about the book he talked me into reading in large part, I sort of set aside the book in the interest of not boring myself. I’ll come back to it, but there’s no hurry now, it seems.

But my attention was drawn to another book, Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel, penned by David Limbaugh, brother of the galactically reprehensible purveyor of hate and social fuckwittery, Rush Limbaugh. Continue reading

Celebrate This

By now it’s well established that I no longer believe in the god I professed for ages, to whom I dedicated 26 years of my life. Yet I celebrate Christmas with much joy and happiness. I bestow and receive gifts. I revel in food and drink, and the fellowship of loved ones and friends. I let the music, lights, and colors of the season wash over me through the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

But what am I celebrating? Is not the holiday the most stark reminder of what I no longer believe, of what I have concluded is a delusion that is detrimental to the peace and growth of our society?

Well… yes and no. Continue reading

That Guy

I love this picture. I love it because it shows one man in a sea of thousands being true to what is right when everyone else is following the crowd.

bethisguy

The man is thought to be August Landmesser, a known detractor who, along with his Jewish wife, paid the ultimate price for his dissent. He was arrested twice and convicted once for trying to marry a Jew. He was pressed into military service with other convicts while his fiancee was sent to a camp and then a Euthanasia center, where she was murdered along with 14,000 others.

This meme has trod a well worn path through Facebook and Twitter, garnering thousands upon thousands of “likes” and shared and reshared, the posters insisting that they are that guy, and would stand up for what was right regardless. Continue reading

Boots on the Ground

One of the knock-on effects of leaving behind the Christian faith is that I have become very anti-war and anti-violence. So when I hear Republicans expounding on the virtues of carpet-bombing civilian populations, it sickens me to no end.

The worst comment came from the execrable Ben Carson, an evangelical neurosurgeon who is far more scientifically ignorant than you would expect a doctor to be. He was asked whether he would have the wherewithal to carpet bomb civilian populations when it meant killing hundreds or thousands of innocent children.

His answer is horrifying: Continue reading

When Pastors Attack

Many of you are at least a little bit familiar with my former pastor, Chuck. Since he’s pretty openly commented here in the past, I don’t see any need to cover up his identity.

I have this blog set to post new articles to my Facebook wall. I’m very open in my atheism and am fortunate to be in a position and a region where it’s mostly irrelevant to my work and social life (California, FTW!)

So in response to my last article, Judge, Jury, and Executioner, Pastor Chuck popped in for a visit. Here’s where it started: Continue reading

Judge, Jury, and Executioner

Several times over the past few years, as I’ve openly examined my past faith and criticized the elements that made it, to me, untenable, I’ve had believers make a particular accusation that always rankled me. It’s actually one that I leveled toward my wife when we were on opposite sides of the wall of faith.

An honest inquiry of the Christian faith requires examination and criticism of all foundational aspects, including the bible, it’s ideas, and particularly, the god it asserts exists and demands our obedient and correct response.

So at times when I have presented my thoughts and my conclusions, I have been accused of judging YHWH. Continue reading