defaithed's blog

Get a Jesus Body!

So the other day I'm walking through a Tokyo-area shopping center, and in a drug store I see stacked boxes of Jesus Body! (exclamation mark theirs).

What's this? Communion crackers? No, those would make for grisly boxes of actual Jesus flesh (or so the priests insist). The tomato-red Jesus Body! boxes I saw are a diet product – 180 tablets of slimming ingredients.  Readeth thou more

In the beginning was the word of the day

Hey, it's religion week on the popular A.Word.A.Day mailing list!

A.Word.A.Day broadcasts a new word every day for the vocabulary nuts out there, and it's always a welcome ping in the mailbox. It's not a place where you'd expect to see a religion-related message of any kind, but as the list kicks off a week of sacerdotal offerings, I was surprised to see this short paean to free thought leading off today's installment: Readeth thou more

Which one of you is wrong? How do you know?

Over at Common Sense Atheism, Luke Muehlhauser shares how he "came out" and told his religious family about his atheism. It's a valuable experience; many, many people who lose religious faith (or realize they never had it) wrestle with the question of how to break the news to family. ("How do I tell them?" seems one of the most common questions asked by callers to atheist TV show The Atheist Experience.)

The comments below the post show lots of appreciation for Luke's tale, as well as the expected (but mostly short and civil) back-and-forth involving believers who find fault with the post. Until a comment by "Siamese", a loooong screed making God-filled claim after claim with, as you might guess, zero evidence or even argument. Out-of-thin-air assertions like these:

Heaven does last for eternity and those who chose a personal relationship with Jesus while on earth will be united with God. This unity does not imply the experience of pleasurable earthly activities; rather, it is an experience of selfless love and adoration for the God of all creation...

God desires a personal relationship with each human, in order for this relationship to occur he provided each human freedom of choice. If he had not given human beings the freedom to reject Him, all humans would go to heaven and be united with him, but their choice to be with him would have been a programmed fact...

Since God is loving and just he respects the decisions one makes and will eternally separate himself from this individual on judgment day...

And so on. Run of the mill stuff. What kills me about such blather, though – and what we too often led slide by without challenge to the claimant – is that the above claims are not only refuted by atheism, they're refuted by religion. It can't be said often or strongly enough: Every religious claim a believer can make is refuted first and foremost by the majority of religious believers not adhering to the claimant's particular minority faith/sect/denomination. When atheists want to refute a religious claim, they always have to get in line behind the throng of believers shouting "You've got that wrong" (often followed by further brilliant commentary such as "Infidel!", "Heretic", "Blasphemer!", "Hell-bound!", and the like).

Why should the atheist – or anyone – accept one minority claim over countless additional minority claims? The argument will typically bounce off the listener, but it has to be said again and again anyway. So here's my humble response left in the Common Sense Atheism comments: Readeth thou more

"How dare you tell my child that rocks are old!"

The situation: A school wants to take 6th and 7th graders to a Fossil Discovery Center to attend a Rocks and Mineral Festival.

The problem: Those awful people are going to tell little Johnny – oh heavens! – that rocks are old!

From I bet that kid is popular in class at the Fail Blog: It's a simple field trip permission slip defaced by a barely-literate parent who thinks a Mineral Festival needs to begin and end with Jesus. The scrawl reads: Readeth thou more