The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Useful Concepts

January 1, 2005 | 10 Comments

The highest tsunami casualties were suffered in the Aceh territory in the northern tip of Sumatra, accounting for approximately 80,000 of the 150,000 now reported dead. But things could have been much worse without Allah’s protection. As Muslim teacher Ivano Yusuf points out, the people of the Aceh region were the earliest in Indonesia to accept Islamic teachings. That wisdom is saving lives to this day:

Yusuf told the story of an Aceh woman carrying a child through the streets three days after the tsunami. The woman found a dirty bottle filled with sewer water and she was preparing to drink it. She saw a man familiar with Islamic teachings and asked him “Is it halal?” — is it lawful?

“In this stressful moment, she and her baby have not had anything to eat for days, and yet she is still able to use the concept of halal in her life,” Yusuf said.

I guess the Ty-D-Bol Man isn’t an Iman, because when I ran into him while scavenging around New York City after 9/11 he told me it was just fine to drink out of toilets. Perhaps one day modern science, too, will warn us of the perils of consuming the products of our rectums.

Law & Orbach

December 31, 2004 | 5 Comments

The deaths this week of Jerry Orbach and 100,000-plus tsunami victims has naturally sparked the creative energies of America’s obituary cartoonists:

Orbtsunami.jpg

At first I was horrified, but there’s an internal logic to this that’s hard to deny. To give Orbach his own cartoon would insinuate that his death was somehow more important than all the rest. I think this panel properly acknowledges his celebrity without diminishing the ongoing tragedy in Asia.

Atheist Grinch Steals the Week After Christmas

December 30, 2004 | 10 Comments

Chicago, Illinois, December 30, 2004
Special to The Raving Atheist

Continuing the relentless secularist attack against Christians and Christianity, a Chicago atheist has robbed the week after Christmas of its true meaning by demanding the right to participate in a publicly-funded recycling program.

The city originally wanted to bolster its Blue Bag recycling program by offering a years worth of blue bags and some mulch to anyone who turned in a used Christmas tree.

But local atheist Rob Sherman insisted the trees-for-bags exchange unfairly benefits Christians. In response, the city is now allowing anyone to get the blue bags if they bring in a large bag of recyclable material.

“The miraculous pine tree which sprouted in the Israeli desert, fully decorated with electric lights and tinsel, is Christendom’s most sacred symbol,” noted Fox talk show host Bill O’Reilly. “And after Jesus opened the Wise Mens’ presents, the tree and the wrapping paper ascended to Heaven in a sturdy polyurethane bag.”

“But now the ACLU lawyers are going to force our children to call them “holiday bags,” he said. “And the city, quite literally, will be forced to put up with all sorts of atheist and Jew garbage.”

Jay Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice, noted that “the real discrimination here is against people of faith.”

“Christians are being singled out to have their special privileges revoked,” Sekulow said. “The politically correct, multiculturalistic worldview that taxpayer-funded waste disposal services should be rationed on an indiscriminate basis is being shoved down their throats in violation of the First Amendment.”

Coherent Rationales

December 29, 2004 | 63 Comments

A Vox Day reader asks (1) “are all who do not believe in the Way, the Truth and Life going to Hell?” and (2) “[i]s it not possible to be a good and decent human being and lead a good and decent life without belief in” the aforementioned W T& L? The response is slippery, even for VD:

Yes, it’s very possible. I know a few people who manage it, although I didn’t happen to be one of them. The problem is that those fundamentally good and decent people have no ability to oppose evil, lacking any coherent intellectual rationale for condemning and attacking it. So, even these good and decent unbelievers will find themselves in a Hell that is not of their making if the Christian influence is removed from a society.

If one is lucky, one might find oneself in a place like Japan. More realistically, something like the current Middle East approximates the historical norm. And if one is unlucky, one ends up in something like the People’s Democratic Republic of Kampuchea, the Aztec Empire or the Moloch-worshipping kingdoms of Canaan.

Let’s re-read the original questions, slooooooowly. The first asks whether all non-Christians — people who reject (or haven’t heard of) the convoluted salvation-by-belief-in-the-crucifixion-and–resurrection scheme — are going to Hell after they die no matter what else they believe or how they behave. It’s a simple yes-or-no question. But Vox doesn’t quite have the balls to say that decent people will suffer eternal torment just for rejecting a crazy theory. So he gets all metaphorical and starts jabbering about “a Hell that is not of their making.” Not an afterlife Hell or a Hell created by God to punish, but a Hell on Earth made by others who reject the crazy theory. Putting aside Vox’ complete evasion of the question of whether God punishes good atheists after death, how will adopting the crazy theory spare good people from earthly Hells made by others who reject it? I suppose he means that good and decent people won’t having any basis to distinguish their own behavior from that of raping, pillaging cannibals, but it seem to me that part of being good decent is being able to make such distinctions (otherwise you’d be raping and pillaging yourself). In any event, I don’t see how adopting the crazy theory aids in making moral distinctions.

The second question asks whether a person can be good and decent in this life without believing in the crazy theory. Vox fudges this one too. He doesn’t such say that such people will do bad things, only that they’ll lack a “coherent intellectual rationale” (i.e., belief in the insane, counter-intuitive crucifixion/resurrection theory) to oppose other bad people. Unless everybody’s Japanese.

Tsunami Tragedy Brings Perspective to Bin Laden

December 28, 2004 | 95 Comments

Afganistan/Pakistan, December 28, 2004
Special to The Raving Atheist

In his first official video since the American elections, 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden said that the recent earthquake/tsunami that claimed the lives of over 50,000 in Asia “sorta puts everything in perspective.”

“I now realize how precious human life is, even in mere multiples of three or four thousand,” Bin Laden said. “Until one is confronted by a tragedy of this scale, it’s easy to become consumed by one’s own trivial, personal geo-political problems and fail to see the larger picture.”

Bin Laden vowed that he would heretofore live his life one day at a time and enjoy each fleeting moment to the fullest. “Let’s put aside our petty religious differences and unite for the common good,” he said. “Believers and infidels of the world, unite!”

Update: On a serious note, for those of you who are interested in helping the victims through channels other than the Red Cross, Scrappleface is coordinating contributions to “an agency that is committed to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through effective disaster relief.”

God Squad Review CXIII (Homophobia)

December 27, 2004 | 7 Comments

No, the Squad didn’t decide to post a belated column this week. But I came across this letter to the editor from December 15, which will serve as my review:

Intolerance is not appreciated

It is shocking that you are running “God Squad,” a column that promotes hateful attitudes against gays. Substitute “black” for gay or lesbian and you would realize how offensive this column can be. To many Americans — gay or straight, black or white or Latino — any kind of slur against a singled-out group is divisive and un-American. That a fine newspaper like Newsday succumbs to giving voice to bigotry is deplorable. It belittles your otherwise great journalistic tradition.

Ronnie Tuft

East Hampton

Go Ronnie! Every newspaper that syndicates the Squad’s ramblings should be put on notice that its readers aren’t going to tolerate their noxious crap just because it’s tucked away in the religion section.

Whatever

December 27, 2004 | 9 Comments

The God Squad is on vacation, but this op-ed from The Telegraph is a suitably vacuous substitute. The author bemoans the declining number of Britons who profess a belief in god, without explaining why such belief would be justified or beneficial. Nor does the writer trouble himself to identify which religion is the true one or how he knows all the others are false. He does note, with seeming approval, that there’s a “lingering affection” for the Church of England, and that most people “want their monarch to defend

More Holiday Cheer

December 26, 2004 | 3 Comments

Apparently the Craiglist staff found this offensive for some reason, but fortunately Tale of Two Cities has preserved it for posterity.

A Christmas Gift

December 24, 2004 | 3 Comments

A gift to all my faithful readers . . .

christmasshoes.jpg

. . . so your momma will look good, just in case she meets Jesus tonight.


But if you’re doing some last minute shopping, try not to fall for this.

Pray for a Cure

December 24, 2004 | 7 Comments

If these polls results from the Jewish Theological Seminary are accurate, maybe you ARE better off praying than going to a doctor. Seventy-four percent of American physicians believe in miracles, and 55% believe that medical practice should be guided by religious teaching. On the bright side, however, you’ll have an 80% chance that actual medicine will be employed in your treatment if you go to a nice Jewish doctor:

Physicians differ regarding their perceptions of their control of treatment outcomes versus the influence of the supernatural or of acts of God. 35% of Catholics believe that all or a lot of the outcome of treatment is due to these non-medical sources, 46% of Protestants concur while only 20% of Jews attribute outcomes to non-medical influences.

I wonder what the results were among the Christian Scientist physicians. After all, they’re scientists, aren’t they?

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