EppsNet Archive: Religion

Feb. 5, 1631: Roger Williams Arrives in America

5 Feb 2016 /
Roger Williams

Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, meeting with the Narragansett Indians

It’s hard to imagine the sense of infinite potential accompanying the arrival on the North American continent in the 1600s . . .

Roger Williams came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Boston from England. Four years later, in 1635, he was banished from the colony for, among other things, speaking out against the right of civil authorities to punish religious dissension.

After leaving Massachusetts, Williams, with the assistance of the Narragansett tribe, established a settlement near Narragansett Bay, located in present-day Rhode Island. He declared the settlement open to all those seeking freedom of conscience and the removal of the church from civil matters.

Williams named the community “Providence.”


Cognitive Dissonance on Muslims

22 Dec 2015 /

How are these two ideas about Islam and Muslims, seemingly held simultaneously by a lot of people, not completely incompatible with each other:

  1. Islam is a religion of peace and Muslims are peaceful folks (e.g., Hillary Clinton: “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”)
  2. We must be careful not to offend Muslims because if we do, they will kill us (e.g., Hillary Clinton: “They are going out to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”)

What am I missing?


A New Use for Churches

13 Dec 2015 /
Church

Granting the existence of God, a house dedicated to Him naturally follows. He is all-important; it is fit that man should take some notice of Him. But why praise and flatter Him for His unspeakable cruelties? Why forget so supinely His failures to remedy the easily remediable? Why, indeed, devote the churches entirely to worship? Why not give them over, now and then, to justifiable indignation meetings?

— H.L. Mencken

Cashing In

12 Dec 2015 /
Joseph Heller

When I look up, I see people cashing in. I don’t see heaven or saints or angels. I see people cashing in on every decent impulse and every human tragedy.

— Joseph Heller, Catch-22

What Would Jesus Think of the Starbucks Boycott?

10 Nov 2015 /

Outraged Christians boycott Starbucks over ‘politically correct’ Christmas red cup designMirror Online

There’s a line in an old Woody Allen movie: If Jesus came back and saw what’s going on in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.


Who Do They Think They Are?

22 May 2015 /

If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

Barry Goldwater, 1981

Jesus and Mo

6 May 2015 /


Mysterious Ways

15 Apr 2015 /

Headline

Family killed

Whenever I see headlines like this I wonder why God couldn’t find an atheist family to drop a concrete slab on. The infant, whose shirt appears to say KING JESUS, was also killed.


One Who Lives Alone

4 Mar 2015 /

English: Painting of Gautama Buddha

I will tell you how to achieve complete solitude. In the solitude that I am talking about, Thera, all that which is past must be relinquished. All that which is in the future must be relinquished. Desire and lust in the present must be fully mastered. This is the way, Thera, that the true ideal of solitude can be completely realized. . . . The sage who overcomes everything, who knows everything, who is attached to nothing, who is completely free because he has renounced everything, who is without thirst — he is the true sage. This man I call “one who lives alone.”

— Buddha, Theranana Sutta

The Power of Prayer

24 Feb 2015 /

John Paul Jackson prayer needed

John Paul Jackson dies


‘I Am a Marxist’ Says Dalai Lama

2 Feb 2015 /
The 14th Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama identified himself as a Marxist on Tuesday while addressing capitalism, discrimination and violence at a lecture on world peace in Kolkata, India. This is not the first time that the 14th Dalai Lama has spoken about his political leaning – in 2011 he said: “I consider myself a Marxist…but not a Leninist” when speaking at a conference in Minneapolis . . .

The Tibetan spiritual leader partly blamed capitalism for inequality and said he regarded Marxism as the answer: “In capitalist countries, there is an increasing gap between the rich and the poor. In Marxism, there is emphasis on equal distribution,” he said.

— Newsweek

Hello, Dalai? An emphasis on equal distribution is not the same thing as equal distribution. In practice, there never seems to be equal distribution, because whoever gets to be in charge of actually distributing the goodies equally acquires a dictatorial level of power that would be wasted were it not used to make sure that most or all of the goodies get distributed to themselves and the people they like. This is followed by shortages, starvation and mass murder.


Jesus and Mo

24 Jan 2015 /

Jesus and Mo


Who Said It: Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula or Miss South Carolina Teen 2007?

6 Nov 2014 /

Regarding Brittany Maynard:

Suicide is not a good thing. It is a bad thing because it is saying no to life and to everything it means with respect to our mission in the world and toward those around us.

Huh? If you said the Monsignor, you are correct . . .


Would Jesus Tow My Car?

8 Sep 2014 /
Jesus

The lot that I usually park in at the high school was full this morning so I parked across the street at what looked like a large church. I checked in at the school office to make sure that was okay . . .

“I couldn’t find a space in the lot out front so I parked across the street,” I said to the woman at the desk. “Is that okay?”

“Did you park on the street or at the church?” she asked.

“I parked at the church . . . I asked myself, ‘What would Jesus do? Would he tow my car just because it doesn’t belong there?’ No, because he’s all about forgiveness and love.”

“Jesus doesn’t love you when you park in that lot. You need to move your car.”


People Who Don’t Want Me to Know Things

12 Jul 2014 /

What I want to know is why there are so many people who don’t want me to know things . . .

Trudeau's book Natural Cures Updated Edition

And that doesn’t even include all the things that people “won’t tell me.”


It’s All Part of God’s Plan

8 Jul 2014 /

Church members


Any time I see a person fleeing from reason and into religion, I think to myself, There goes a person who simply cannot stand being so goddamn lonely anymore. — Kurt Vonnegut


Killed by Prayer

30 Jun 2014 /

Thumbs down

A woman on Facebook a couple of days ago asked everyone to pray for her seriously ill father. Today, he died. Go figure.

Had he made a miraculous recovery, we would have said that prayer “worked” . . . but what does it mean when you pray for someone to live and he dies?

I had a college professor . . . his exams were graded by a graduate assistant, but students had the option of appealing grades to the professor. That’s not unusual, but most professors will either raise the grade or leave it as is. This guy, however, would either raise the grade, leave it as is or lower it. Risky!

Maybe God operates on the same principle. When you put someone’s fate in his hands, he retains the option of saying “toodle-oo.”


Giving Clergy the Benefit of the Doubt

26 Jun 2014 /

Seattle Archdiocese to pay $12 million to settle child sex abuse claimsMSN News

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they didn’t know that sex with children is wrong.


If There’s One Thing I Can’t Tolerate, It’s Intolerance

23 May 2014 /
Phil Robertson

NEW YORK (AP) — A&E has declined to comment on new video of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson reviving past anti-gay remarks.

His comments are included in a sermon delivered at his church in West Monroe, Louisiana, on Easter Sunday. Robertson includes homosexuals with other groups such as thieves and adulterers as hell-bound sinners.

Oooh, new anti-gay remarks. I’m trying to get appropriately offended about this but I can’t do it:

  1. As previously noted the last time he said the same thing, he’s not ad-libbing those remarks, he’s quoting a bible verse:

    Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived: Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the Kingdom of God.

    — I Corinthians 6:9-10

    He’s giving a sermon in a church and quoting scripture. If scriptural quotations offend you, stay out of churches. That’s pretty simple.

  2. There are a lot more adulterers than homosexuals. Why aren’t people offended by anti-adulterer remarks?
     
  3. “Going to hell” is not a real thing that happens to people. It’s a fairy tale. Calm down.
     
  4. There’s an old joke: “If there’s one thing I can’t tolerate, it’s intolerance.” If you see yourself as a fan of tolerance, diversity, “live and let live,” etc., apply it to everyone, not just people who think exactly like you.

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