Thursday, February 23, 2012

What are you giving up for Lent?

Lent starts today as a run up to Easter, when we'll celebrate God's plan to kill his son so the humans he cursed with eternal sin will be free of that sin and be able to get into heaven, but only if they believe that Jesus was God's son and that his death freed them of the sin they didn't know they had until someone told them that they were sinners and would go to hell for ever so they better repent.  Got it?

Anyway, it's traditional for Catholics to give up something they enjoy as a symbolic nod to the above sacrifice.
For the rest of us, and those Catholics that want to do more then give up coffee or McDonalds for a few weeks, how about giving up a part of yourself?  Give up something of actual value, give blood.

I propose a skeptics lent, that we should all donate blood to the Red Cross for lent as a way of showing that skeptics/atheists use actions and not faith to make a difference.  Believers are strongly encouraged to participate!

Go to the Red Cross website and sign up today!  It's quick and it's relatively painless (compared to what Jesus went thru it's a holiday in the south of France!) and it will make a difference in someones life.

Ash Wednesday

For some reason Catholics like to get ashes rubbed on their foreheads once a year.
To honor this sacred tradition, I bring you...  Ash

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gospel of Matthew 26-28 Thy will be done

Matthew 26-28

I'm busy with work but want to get done with this chapter before Jesus shows up again.

The big climax (first version anyway)!

It almost passover and Jesus knows the end is near.  He blames society.  Society made him.

He tells his disciples to eat his body and drink his blood metaphorically (although the metaphor is totally lost on me.  What does this symbolize?).
Catholics seem to take this almost literally for some reason.  I personally find that pretty absurd.
Here's the lawyer speak explanation.

He asks his dad if he can get out of this dying for the sins of others plan.  It doesn't make sense. But God/Father doesn't answer so he's screwed.

While the other followers sleep off the celebration, Judas gives Jesus up for 30 pieces of silver and seals  the LORDS fate with a kiss.  A Judas Kiss.

When the law comes knocking, Jesus' pals go running but that's OK, it's all part of the master plan.  The Jews smack Jesus around before taking him to see the governor.

The priests want Jesus dead for personal/political reasons and Pilate knows this.  He tries to scare the population straight by letting the crowd decide between releasing either Barabbas, a generic bad guy,  or Jesus, destroyer of the status quo.  The crowd picks Barrabas and condemns Jesus to death by crucifixion.

So it is true that the Jews killed Jesus.  But, if they didn't the world wouldn't have all those great churches, and the cast of the Jersey Shore and rappers wouldn't have shiny crucifix bling to wear around their necks.

Do you think Snooki reads the bible?

If the Romans chose to kill Jesus, would we be hating Italians now?

Jesus gets beat up and mocked some more .  Then nailed to a cross.  He dies and is put into a followers tomb, where he supposedly raises from the dead a day and a half later.  Everyone that believes this goes to heaven and lives happily ever after.  The end.

While I can believe that someone named Jesus may have existed and that he may have pissed off the high priests of the temple and gotten himself killed, the whole reasoning falls flat.
Once again I question god's thinking.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gospel of Matthew 24-25 The Best Thing Jesus Ever Said

Matthew 24-25

We start off with some information that must have creeped out the disciples.

24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
I'm guessing some of the guys were thinking of leaving the Jesus camp and joining the Roman army.

More proto-revelations in chapter 24.  I'm finding myself glossing over these parts because I know all the gory details will come out at the end of the Bible.

Chapter 25 gives us a couple more weak parables.  I think Jesus started getting pre-occupied with his impending death/resurrection and started phoning in his teachings.  Would like to see an improv group spoof the 10 virgins.

The parable of the lord, his servants and the talents really bothered me.
The servant that took care of his masters property and didn't risk it is punished.  Those that risked the money that they were entrusted with were rewarded (only because they were successful in making more money).  I know it's a parable for getting into heaven, but this really hits home these days as a horrible message.  I've never heard this used as an excuse to invest money but I can see a Christian right wing candidate like Romney using it.

But, right afterwards we get to what I believe is the best part of the bible.  It's a Humanist message of taking care of each other.  Watching out for our fellow man.  It doesn't need to be about being good to get a reward at the end.


25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

'nuff said
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jesus Hates Figs

From my cousin Mike;
How timely!

Matthew 20-23 ...a den of thieves.

Matthew 20-23

Chapter 20 starts off with a rather lame parable.
Then, once again Jesus prepares the gang that his time is short.
20:19 is a little suspiciously too detailed for my taste.  I think there may have been just a little embellishment by the scribe. ;-)

20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Is Jesus talking about himself in the third person?  Always a sign of an ego-maniac.

We get an admission of a self fulfilling prophesy.  Jesus knew how to play to Old Testament to his advantage.

21:2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.
21:3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.

21:4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
21:5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

Quote of the day from Jesus;
21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

This sounds (to this Atheist at least) like what every TV preacher and mega-church does today, selling prayers, trinkets, books, and healing for a 'small donation'.
I would love to see Jesus show up on the 700 Club, recite this passage and then kick Pat Robertson in the balls!

Jesus returns to the temple the next day and again heals and teaches, pissing off the priests.  They want to take Jesus down but fear the massive posse of the LORD.

Jesus himself advocates the separation of church and state!!!

22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
22:19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
22:20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
22:22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

This is an awesome line!  Jesus/Matthew could turn a phrase couldn't he?
23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.