Ponder Words Of A Good Christian


This question appeared in my Quora feed – “Why do many atheists attack and offend Christians?” Gone are the days when I might have taken issue, trolls will fish, but I won’t bite. Can’t say why I hesitated, all I know is Connor Cuevo’s answer filled the screen – https://www.quora.com/profile/Connor-Cuevo

Connor Cuevo describes himself as a good Christian, this atheist defines him as a decent human being. Ponder the words of a good Christian –

I’m a Christian here. I also know many atheists.

Have atheists ever scoffed at us when we helped the poor and downtrodden in their affliction?

Did they mock us when we cried, asked the Lord for forgiveness, and resolved to be better people?

Were they spiteful when we were generous with friends and strangers?

Do they attack us when we forgive someone who has wronged us?

Are they offensive when we act with humility, giving glory to God?

When we sought to bring peace, or tend to the sick, or feed the hungry, or visit the imprisoned, or bury the dead, were they hostile?

I have never known an atheist to do any of these things.

I have known atheists to be critical of us, typically when we:

Hoard wealth in our churches.

Justify our sinful behavior.

Shut out and oppress other groups of people.

Lust for blood with impunity.

Boast and act ostentatiously.

Do little or nothing to combat structural violence , systemic poverty or rampant illness.

Be guilty of all these things and still try to impose our “wisdom” on others.

If you are a good Christian, you will probably never get any trouble from atheists. You may even get praise.

In all honesty, I have found that atheists are the most effective force to guide, counsel and affirm Christian values ever devised!

Image result for good person

Advertisements

667 Sins


According to howtorepent.org good Christians have some work to do. It seems the Bible lists 667 sins. From birth God records every transgression in his Book of Sins. Failure to repent even one of those 667 sins guarantees a one way ticket to Hell. God’s sin list is staggering, as is the preamble and content contained in the link below.

http://howtorepent.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/667-Sins-List.pdf

Image result for sin

Ponder 667 sins, then name a single Christian who rises above the sin test. Why is it that theists claim moral superiority yet spend a lifetime repenting sin?

Church News


Image result for church news

Like it or not church news is a global barometer. In no particular order, pondering church news starts with Father Jacques Lacroix, the French priest who face slapped a crying baby during baptism on June 21, 2018. When this video went viral the following day, a statement issued by the Meaux Dioceses said in part – 89 year old Father Lacroix “was suspended from all baptism and marriage celebrations.”, adding “This short video is an excerpt from the celebration which the baby cries a lot. The elderly priest loses his temper and slaps the child. Aware of this inappropriate gesture, the priest apologized to the family at the end of the baptism.” Official statement ended with – the priest was likely tired, but that “does not excuse him.”.

California State Bill AB 2943 (passed first reading in April, expected to pass state senate by the end of summer ) targets “conversion therapy”. Specifically the advertising or sale of “sexual orientation change efforts” by religious organizations. The bill states “sexual orientation change efforts” are defined as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation.” “This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex,” the bill reads.

Calif. Bill Would Limit What Pastors Can Say about Homosexuality

This image from ChristianHeadlines.com fills my mouth with bile. The image chosen by fundamentalist Christians to illustrate outrage over state bill AR 2943 is nothing short of insane. Anyone with a glimmer of common sense knows sexual orientation isn’t a choice . Never the less, fundamentalist tongues wag –

“A pastor paid to speak at an event addressing current social topics could not encourage attendees that they can prevail over same-sex desires or feelings that they were born the wrong sex.”

“A religious ministry could not hold a conference on maintaining sexual purity if the conference encourages attendees to avoid homosexual behavior.”

“A licensed counselor could not help a married mother of three who is experiencing unwanted attraction to a close female friend or confusion over her gender identity overcome those feelings.”

“A bookstore (including online bookstores like Amazon) could not sell many recently published books challenging gender identity ideology and advocating that these beliefs should be rejected by society.”

Knock, knock, anyone home at the pulpit? Conversion therapy is a multi-million dollar business marketed as everything from talk and addiction counseling models to electroshock treatments and isolation therapy. It’s misguided, unethical, abusive and predominantly geared toward adolescents.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/conversion-therapy-lgbtq-youth-study_us_5a6f549ee4b0ddb658c929e4

It’s getting late, whatever point flickered an hour ago is lost. Church news is still a barometer, but I’m done for tonight. Forgive me for my last gasp on the subject –

Rod Of Iron


Spiritual leader Rev. Sean Moon presides over World Peace and Unification, a breakaway of his late father Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification church. Followers are encouraged to bring assault rifles to church, AR-15s represent “rods of iron” in the book of Revelation. Parishioners pray for “a kingdom of peace police and peace militia where the citizens, through the right given to them by almighty God to keep and bear arms, will be able to protect one another and protect human flourishing.” Outside, state police draw a line between protesters and pious rod of iron Unification faithful. Alarmed Wallenpaupack Area School District officials evacuate an elementary school several blocks away. Bewildered devotees can’t imagine what the fuss is about. They stand with iron rod indifference toward a nation traumatized by 17 students gunned down by an AR-15 in Parkland, Florida. As far as they’re concerned, “an attendant checked each weapon at the door to make sure it was unloaded and secured with a zip tie, and the elaborate commitment ceremony went off without a hitch.”

Beyond women in white, men in black, AR-15 assault rifles in the hands of many, ponder bullets fashioned into gold crowns. Witness dozens of followers attending a “commitment ceremony” to exchange and renew  wedding vows. The ceremony, Cosmic True Parents of Heaven, Hearth and Humanity Cheon Il Guk Book of Life Registration Blessing, was part of a week long “Festival of Grace” .

Religious “gun-damentalism”, equal parts NRA propaganda, calculated manipulation of truth and wack-a-doodle bible study. Followers unable to legally obtain a assault rifle in time for the ceremony were urged to purchase $700 gun store gift certificates as evidence they would secure rods of iron in the near future. The church insists they do not worship or bless guns, rather “God centered families are sovereign and prepared to defend themselves with the rod of iron, which is represented in the AR-15.”

Image result for world peace and unification sanctuary

A churchgoer at the ceremony Wednesday.

A woman holds an AR-15 rifle during a ceremony at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Pa., on Wednesday. The controversial church, which is led by the son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, has encouraged couples to bring the weapons to a "commitment ceremony" or "Perfection Stage Book of Life Registration Blessing".

World Peace and Unification hold fast to their God given right to protect themselves from “sickos and evil psychopaths.” Oblivious to all but rod of iron ceremony. “People have the right to bear arms, and in God’s kingdom, you have to protect that”

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/02/28/pennsylvania-worshippers-bring-their-ar-15s-to-church-prompting-school-to-cancel-classes.html

 

Pope Francis – How To Suck At Damage Control


Pope Francis entered the Vatican with assurances of zero tolerance for sexual abuse within the Catholic church. Last month Francis realized a unsettling truth – talk is cheap, without tangible action blind faith has limits. When all the starch in a Pope’s hat isn’t enough to deflect sexual abuse scandal, the church is forced to react. In this case – 80 Chilean priests credibly accused or convicted of sex crimes, found Francis on a damage control flight to Santiago.

Pope Francis sucks at damage control. Oblivious to disgust simmering in bellies of Chilean faithful, Francis punctuated sympathy for abuse victims with praise for stoic clergy. In a display of hubris akin to Trump Tweets, Francis expressed –

“Pain too for the suffering of ecclesial communities, and pain for you brothers and sisters, who after working so hard, have seen the harm that has led to suspicion and questioning; in some or many of you this has been a source of doubt, fear or lack of confidence.” He said at times, some had even been insulted in the metro and that by wearing clerical attire they had “paid a heavy price.”

“Even been insulted in the metro” Francis? Did you just preface insult with even? Even, as in oh the unfathomable horror? Even, as in how dare anyone bruise egos of pious clergy? Even as outrageous reason to dispatch empathy for the “heavy price” Vatican soldiers “paid”? Even is not effective damage control. By the end of his first day in Chile, public disgust for all things Holy culminated in three Catholic churches torched and burned to the ground.

Pope Francis arrives to celebrate mass at O'Higgins Park in Santiago on Tuesday. Three churches were set on fire during the first full day of the pontiff's historic visit.

Gag worthy disgust over “even been insulted in the metro” becomes clear once I explain what drives good Catholics to burn churches. Ponder Rev. Fernando Karadima, notorious Santiago sexual predator “forced” to retire in 2011 then sanctioned by the Vatican to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for sexual molestation of children. Wealthy, connected, elderly Karadima slithered away, his victims did not.

Enter Juan Barros, appointed Bishop of Osorno, Chile by Pope Francis in January 2015 despite considerable objection from local priests and leading Chilean Bishops. April 2015, members of the Pope’s Commission for the Protection of Minors dispatched a delegation to Rome – purpose, to hand deliver a letter to Francis, an eight page victim impact statement written by Juan Carlos Cruz detailing abuse by Karadima. Abuse Cruz said Karadima protege Barros witnessed and condoned.

The delegation met Francis’ top advisor Cardinal Sean O’Malley, placed the letter in O’Malley’s hand on the promise O’Malley would personally deliver it to Pope Frances. “And at a later date, he assured us that that had been done.” – then commission member Marie Collins.Later in 2015 Frances visited Philadelphia, coincidentally home of abuse victim Cruz. Cardinal O’Malley contacted Cruz shortly after the Popemobile left Philly, O’Malley assured Cruz his letter was delivered to Francis.

From a Time article written by Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara / AP – a good read at http://time.com/5133127/pope-francis-chile-sexual-abuse-coverup/

“Holy Father, I write you this letter because I’m tired of fighting, of crying and suffering,” Cruz wrote in Francis’ native Spanish. “Our story is well known and there’s no need to repeat it, except to tell you of the horror of having lived this abuse and how I wanted to kill myself.”

Cruz and other survivors had for years denounced the cover-up of Karadima’s crimes, but were dismissed as liars by the Chilean church hierarchy and the Vatican’s own ambassador in Santiago, who refused their repeated requests to meet before and after Barros was appointed.

After Francis’ comments backing the Chilean hierarchy caused such an outcry in Chile, he was forced last week to do an about-face: The Vatican announced it was sending in its most respected sex-crimes investigator to take testimony from Cruz and others about Barros.

In the letter to the pope, Cruz begs for Francis to listen to him and make good on his pledge of “zero tolerance.”

“Holy Father, it’s bad enough that we suffered such tremendous pain and anguish from the sexual and psychological abuse, but the terrible mistreatment we received from our pastors is almost worse,” he wrote.

Cruz goes on to detail in explicit terms the homo-eroticized nature of the circle of priests and young boys around Karadima, the charismatic preacher whose El Bosque community in the well-to-do Santiago neighborhood of Providencia produced dozens of priestly vocations and five bishops, including Barros.

He described how Karadima would kiss Barros and fondle his genitals, and do the same with younger priests and teens, and how young priests and seminarians would fight to sit next to Karadima at the table to receive his affections.

“More difficult and tough was when we were in Karadima’s room and Juan Barros — if he wasn’t kissing Karadima — would watch when Karadima would touch us — the minors — and make us kiss him, saying: ‘Put your mouth near mine and stick out your tongue.’ He would stick his out and kiss us with his tongue,” Cruz told the pope. “Juan Barros was a witness to all this innumerable times, not just with me but with others as well.”

“Juan Barros covered up everything that I have told you,” he added.

Chile Pope

From a balcony, protesters dressed as clerics gesture and display a banner saying: ‘I love pedophilia.’ (Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press)

Escalating protest in Chile didn’t stop Francis from feigning zero sex abuse tolerance, it didn’t occur to Francis steadfast defense of Barros presented a problem. Surely the pope knew abuse victim Cruz wasn’t content to suffer in silence, that 2 years past hand delivered Vatican mail Cruz shared his letter with many eyes. All Francis had to do was defrock Barros. Toss the faithful a bone, make a gesture, how hard is that?

Unwavering Francis left Chile without apology for calling accusations against Barros slander. On the plane home, confronted by reporters, the pope said: “You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven’t seen any, because they haven’t come forward.” Excuse me Francis, are you playing the plausible deniability card? What fresh hell is this. Pardon me, I need time to recover from a laughing fit.

 

Evangelical Hurricane


Common sense knows lesbians aren’t responsible for Hurricane Harvey. Radio preacher Rick Wiles begs to differ,suggesting Houston is underwater because it “boasted of its LGBT devotion”. Enter my favorite nincompoop Ann Coulter, who tweeted – I don’t believe Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor,” “But that is more credible than ‘climate change.’ ”

Right Wing Watch reported Pastor Kevin Swanson’s caution on hurricane Irma –  the storm path would be altered by God if the Supreme Court quickly made abortion and gay marriage illegal.

Rush Limbaugh doesn’t blame hurricane season on God, however he fingers “liberal media hype” – “There is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it,” he argued, claiming that “hurricanes are always forecast to hit major population centers.”

Twenty years ago religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Orlando should beware of hurricanes for allowing the Gay Days celebration. Robertson said the widespread practice of homosexuality “will bring about terrorist bombs, it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.”

Jim Bakker deserves mention, his tenacious resolve to profit from God is staggering. Not for a post Harvey assertion “this flood is from God”, but for saying so while pitching “Tasty Pantry”, a line of dehydrated survival food sold to sustain the faithful during the coming apocalypse.

I shudder to think how many people take natural disaster as Gods wrath. How many buy nonsense of climate change conspiracy or fail to understand the significance of 79 degrees Fahrenheit – when surface water in the Atlantic reaches 79 degrees it evaporates at the rate of 180 tons an hour, water vapor rises forming massive clouds of low pressure. Caught in rotational force, clouds rotate pushing away high atmospheric pressure, feeding on energy of continuous evaporation a hurricane is born of warm ocean water, not God.

Stop this Biblical nonsense.