Archive for category Failures of Faith

A Short Story Revisited

Once there was an old man in the twilight of his life. One night he had a dream. In his dream he saw a beautiful sand beach stretching along the shore of a great ocean. And on that beach was a set of footprints heading off into the distance. In a moment of insight the old man realized that the footprints represented his own journey through life. And so he followed the path they made, re-examining his experiences across the years.

At times the footprints were steady and true. At other times they appeared erratic and deeply embedded in the sand as if a heavy load had been carried. These in particular were the times of great duress during the old man’s life. But light or heavy, always the footprints were alone. And the old man wondered how this could be. After all, he always thought that he had “walked with the lord”. Why weren’t the lord’s footprints alongside his own? So the old man cried out “Lord! Did we not walk together? And why were you not with me when the times were most difficult?”

And the old man listened for an answer but heard nothing. He cried out again but still nothing. No matter how intently he strained to hear, nothing came. And it was then that the old man realized that there was no lord. Rather, it was the old man who had been carrying the burden of an ancient, now useless concept which had made the journey so difficult. It was a concept which had been placed on his shoulders as a child and reinforced by well meaning family and friends as the years went by.

And so the old man straightened himself, cast off his burden, and looking out across the vast ocean, felt at long last a true sense of freedom and relief. He smiled to himself knowing that, truly, tomorrow would be a new day.

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Same story, different headlines: a great example

Since sectarian religion by definition plays fast and loose with the truth (I’ve always wondered where the “fast” part of that saying comes from, but for now I’ll just roll with the cliche’), it should be no surprise that Christian news outlets are even more deep into the spin game than most media outlets, virtually none of which are free of at least some degree of obvious bias.

In 2009, a lawsuit was filed that aimed to block President Obama’s expansion of the availability of embryos for embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR) via federal funding. (Ironically, the suit was brought not by pro-life opponents but by a pair of scientists concerned that the change in policy from the Bush Administration, which allowed ESCR but not its taxpayer funding, would ultimate backfire and hurt progress in ESCR.) The suit was tossed by a lower court, which determined that there was no basis for the suit since it was predicated on the erroneous idea that embryos in the federally funded projects were “harmed” in the process, which, if true, would violate a 1996 piece of legislation. (The quote marks are mine; feel free to argue with their inclusion if you want.) This decision was appealed, and on Friday, and appellate court upheld the lower court’s decision. Read the rest of this entry »

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Armstrong’s defenders: parallels with religious fervor

Unless you’ve been chained in a basement somewhere or in the throes of a drunken blackout, by now you’re aware that Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France winner and the most decorated cyclist in history, has been banned for life from the sport by the U.S. Anti-Doping Association (USADA) as a consequence of the case the agency has been building against him for months, if not years. Armstrong is charged not only with cheating via chemical enhancement, but also with trafficking, possessing, and administering banned substances. USADA also stripped him of all of his TdF titles, though the body lacks the ultimate authority to do so — that will fall to the International Cycling Federation (UCI). For any one of a thousand similar breakings of the story on Thursday afternoon, try this one in the NY Times. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rick Perry doesn’t believe in anthropogenic climate change…

…and in a similarly shocking vein, certain Jamaicans are suspected of cultivating marijuana.

One nice thing about leaving my otherwise treasured home state of New Hampshire is that I don’t have to see first-hand the parade of Republican hopefuls who — thanks to New Hampshire having the nation’s first presidential primary election — begin flooding the place in pre-election years when there’s a Democrat or two-term GOP-er in the White House. This year, more than in any other, virtually all of them hold fifth-degree idiotbelts, from the no-hopers to Obama’s potential adversaries. It’s a sad day when someone like Mitt Romney has to be given credit for admitting that human-caused climate change is at least worth a look.

Rick Perry, the Texas governor known as much for his coif as his stances, told a crowd in Bedford that he’s a global warming skeptic. This in itself is no surprise. Perry represents a state with colossal fossil-fuel interests and has previously hit all of the podunk low points, from advocating “Intelligent Design” to opposing same-sex marriage to condemning abortions. As someone pandering to a citizenry like Texas’s, he has no choice but to support such causes. Read the rest of this entry »

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The public cocoon

The world’s full of ignorant and constitutively unintelligent people. As the emergence of the Internet has shown, this shambling and insufferable army of halfwits is just as eager to offer opinions as those who can actually read, think, and process information above what I’d refer to as a simian level if I were fucking drunk and feeling less than charitable. Among these hominid-pundits who technically qualify as human beings are Gribbit and Ikester7579 (Andrew Richardson and Isaac Bourne respectively). If I were indeed plastered and inclined to engage in facile ways to upset these assholes, I’d write this post in a manner that would force Google to index additional evidence of the haplessness of Andrew Richardson of Dayton, Ohio (Gribbit) and Isaac Bourne of Jacksonville (Ikester 7579) and link it to their real names.

That dumbasses want to be heard just as much as others do is not at all surprising; in fact, it’s to be expected, and at some level it’s even acceptable. Before the Web, fuckheads who in a sensible world keep their delusions and misapprehensions to themselves had few options for sharing them beyond the walls of their trailers and group homes. They could disseminate their useless ideas was by writing incoherent letters to newspapers, creating illegible newsletters, and meeting in the basement of Cletus’ Snack Shack in Twat Rot, Alabama to trade insights about how to best deal with Negroes, liberals, the godless and other enemies of the trout-faced and toothless. Beyond that? Not much; functional illiterates have a hard time infiltrating higher-visibility venues such as the mainstream media, colleges, and book publishers (all of which are controlled by vindictive, godless Jew-communists anyway). Read the rest of this entry »

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“It’s not your average creation video”

This is true only to the extent that the video in question is narrated by a young-earth whackjob who looks and sounds disturbingly like Richard Dawkins. Watching the video is thus much like watching George Carlin deliver a speech in an impassive monotone about how bright and charming most people are, or seeing Sarah Palin offer her latest insights about superstring theory. Other than that, though, it’s standard creationist bullshit — allege that something that real scientists have elucidated is actually a quandary for them, then solve a nonexistent problem (or more to the point, something that is a problem only for YECs) by throwing up a Biblical model in its place. Boilerplate drivel.

You may have noticed that the guy who operates this blog, Ikester, himself doesn’t possess an especially deep understanding of that which he purports to debunk: Read the rest of this entry »

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Analogy is going to demand an assault charge after this one

“Tell them Osama’s dead without proof of a body & they celebrate. Tell them Jesus died & rose without proof of a body & they speculate.”

This was the recent Facebook status of someone a friend of mine has been close to since childhood. That this is a logical Hindenburg is self-evident, but I’ll address it anyway.

My friend is conflicted about her relationships with most the people she’s known the longest, and understandably so. One hand, she grew up flitting at all times on the edges of being a ward of the state thanks to one of those chaotic rural Southern upbringings that seems too stereotypical to be real, a life extracted from a Harry Crews novel. She has few surviving close family members, and her chief allies in life besides her husband are cousins and childhood pals who together from an unofficial united front against progressive politics, exercise, sobriety, and godlessness. It’s more a little hard to take for my friend, who graduated second in her class in a prominent law school, is a dedicated runner, despises most Republicans, and has a Facebook feed that looks like the ass end of an all-you-can-eat tent revival sponsored jointly by NASCAR and Pabst Blue Ribbon. These people have been mainstays in a tumultuous life and she would never turn her back on them, but at times she either has to mentally mute their serial cognitive recklessness or check into the Crazy Inn herself. Read the rest of this entry »

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