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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Thanks to Travellinbaen for letting me publish the post below on his most interesting site called Missing The Ground.

Mac’s discussion on belief, science, and religion in general got me to thinking about the Bible. Here in the Belt Buckle of the Bible Belt, you can walk out your front door and, within half a block, find someone who believes that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

Most of these folks know that the Bible is not one book, but rather a collection of 66 books. Some of those folks will know that the 66 books were written over a period of about 1600 years. A much smaller subset of those folks will know the complex process by which the Bible came to be the Bible. But if more knew about that process and the disagreement that still exists, they might not take a stance that can only be described as Bible worship – acting as if the Bible itself were God, which breaks the very first commandment.

Imagine the scene. It’s 1547, one year after the Council of Trent (Catholic Church) has announced, “By God, these are the real books of the Bible and not what you Protestants say are the real books of the Bible. And we’re inspired by God in making these choices and you Protestants aren’t.” (See the problem already?)

It’s a small village outside the city of Mainz in what is now Germany. A Lutheran (Protestant) minister walks up to a peasant laboring in the field.

“Pardon me, sir, I’m Pastor Heinrich, a Lutheran minister. How are you this fine day?”

The peasant looks up from his plowing. “Fine. Well, other than the fact that I’m bound to this land for the duration of my natural life.” (Despite their German nationality, these characters talk like something from Monty Python.)

“I won’t keep you from your work. I just wanted to ask you if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. So, have you?”

“No, sir. My Lord and Savior is right over there. You see the tree branch that’s a little crooked but then points straight up to the heavens? That’s my Lord.”

“A tree branch? You mean to say you worship a stick?”

“Yes, sir. I read about it in an ancient writing that a traveler brought to me. The text says, ‘Behold the tree branch that pointeth toward me, which is to say, upward, toward the sky; definitely not down toward the ground. It’ll probably be on an elm, but maybe an oak – most assuredly on a deciduous tree. That much I know for sure. And everything written here is true. Oh, and I don’t mean to be such a bother, but if you don’t believe this writing, you’ll burn in a lake of fire suffering unimaginable pain for all of eternity. Now that we have that out of the way, I love you and you need to love others. And keep watch for the upward pointing stick…on an elm, or maybe an oak.’

When I read that passage, I knew this particular tree branch was the living incarnation of God.”

“Pointeth? Your ancient text uses the language of the King James Bible?”

“Well, sir, the King James Bible won’t be written for at least another 50 years from now, but I understand that for purposes of this ridiculous skit, the man pecking out our words on a keyboard is more interested in humor than being factually correct.”

“Quite right, but surely you don’t believe in a stick?”

“Why shouldn’t I? It was written down in an old scroll. Very authoritative looking.”

“What’s the name of this old scroll?

“The Book of Rick.”

“The Book of Rick? What a pathetic, unimaginative name.”

“Well, how do you know your Bible is real then?”

“Because it says so in the Book of John.”

“The Book of John? That’s a quite common name now, isn’t it? I don’t know why I should believe a John, but not a Rick.”

“Stop quibbling. This Bible is the inerrant word of God.”

“Dear Learned Minister, you see nothing circular about asserting the truth of a book because the book says it’s true? If I went on that assumption, I’d be worshipping that tree branch as well as your Jesus Christ and some guy named Allah. And who’s got time to do all that worshipping? A man would be up all night trying to work a full day and then get in some worshipping to all those folks.”

The peasant continues, “And when you say ‘this Bible,’ are you talking about the one with the books with those weird names like Esdras and Maccabee?”

“Oh, heavens, no. Those books are not holy and inspired like, say, Obadiah and Malachi.”

“But the Catholic Church says they are inspired. And the Catholic Church uses them.”

“Yeah, well, what do they know? The great giant Martin Luther judged those books to be inadequate.”

“But they were in the Bible for centuries. Why would your God allow people to read those books for centuries believing them to be part of the Holy Word only to have them chunked out by this Luther fellow?”

“You sure seem to know a lot for a 16th century feudal peasant.”

“Feudalism ended about 100 years ago.”

“But you’re still working your poor body to death and living in a hovel. Worshipping a tree branch to boot. What’s the difference?”

“Ah, now I’m no longer a glorified slave. Now I’m a small business. I’m told that if I work hard and don’t cause trouble, great wealth will trickle down to me.”

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Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

This weekend, we Christians celebrate the risen Christ. Next to Christmas, it don’t get no holier than this weekend. Folks who haven’t thought about God since Christmas will break out their best, shiniest clothes and head out to be seen their local church.

Though none of the Gospels make note of it, Jesus, while suffering excruciating pain on the cross, thought to himself, “I hope my followers will remember me and celebrate this day by wearing lots and lots of pastels.”

Later, after awakening from a pain-induced lapse of consciousness, Jesus prayed, “Father, I know not what rabbits and hidden chicken eggs have to do with all this, but I bid my children well.”

As if on cue, Mary was heard to say, “I’m getting the hankering for a bit of chocolate. This seems to be a rather odd time for that, don’t you think? Jesus, son, guess what I’m fancying?”

John placed a reproachful hand on Mary. “Let us not worry Jesus with that right now. I’ll tell you what. In about 3 days, we take a walk in the garden.” Almost as an afterthought, he added, “I’ll also hide some eggs from you and you can then try to find them. How about that,” he asked with a smile.

“Eggs? Why would you hide eggs from me?”

John looked genuinely puzzled. “Well, I don’t rightly know.”

“And what kind of eggs would you be hiding?”

John scratched his beard. “Chicken eggs. Yes, chicken eggs.”

“Yes, naturally. Ok, I look forward to it. Everyone, everyone gather round. In 3 days, we’re all going to eat chocolate and find chicken eggs that John will hide.”

Eggs

Image via Wikipedia

“Oh, fun. Can we make the chocolate in the shape of little chickens?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Chicken-shaped chocolate. That beats all I’ve ever heard. They’ll be in the shape of rabbits, you silly.”

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1. Attention makers of hand soap dispensers.  You do not need to manufacture the pump to eject the soap with the same force used to launch the space shuttle. Hand soap does me no good when it’s on my shirt rather than my hands.

2. When your children are toddlers, you are basically the crash barrier at a go-cart track making sure they don’t fall down the stairs, stick a knife in their eyes, or cut off the dog’s tail with scissors. Around 6 years old, you become a pro sports coach where you’re no longer worried about the stairs. Now you’re a manager of personalities trying to herd them down the right path. “No, you don’t want to hit your sister in the head with the Wii remote. You wouldn’t like it if she did that to you, would you?” “I’m not sure where Jesus ‘really’ lives. Yes, I’m sure it’s a fine house, but I can’t explain to you that there’s no address. Ok, 316 Heaven Road, how about that?”

3. The number of idiots walking in crisscross directions at the mall is directly proportional to how big of a rush you’re in.

4. Being told at an early age by a sinister older sibling that there once was a Santa, but then he got shot entering someone’s house has probably affected me more than I originally thought.

5. There are far too many problems that need to be solved for Barack and Michelle Obama to continue sending me emails. Guys, I’m moving forward with my life. Y’all need to do the same. Go govern. I’ll get back to explaining to my kids where Jesus lives.

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According to a recent Reuter’s article, the world’s oldest recorded joke dates back to 1900 B.C. and it’s from the Sumerians. Boy is it a knee-slapper: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.”

When this joke was first written the older people in the village scoffed, “Kids these days. They’re so vulgar. This flat earth of ours is going to the underworld in a woven bucket, and fast.”

Of course, it’s a shame that the Neanderthals couldn’t write because they were saying, “Pull my finger” way before the Sumerians were writing fart jokes.

According to a recent supercynic article, the rubber chicken, although a relatively newer form of humor, is still funnier than any reference to flatulence.

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Never one to shy away from the controversial, I just thought I’d throw out a quick Molotov cocktail to the more conservative folks out there.  I’m not against gay marriage. I’m also not for it.  Just like I’m not for heterosexual marriage, or against it. In other words, neither ranks high on my list of things to get uptight about.  If you want to enter into a lifetime commitment with one person, have at it.  I did it and I

English: This protester was on his own and let...

English: This protester was on his own and letting Minnesota state Senators know his position on gay marriage. This is freedom of speech in action. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

am fucking miserable couldn’t be happier.

If California wants to allow gay people to marry, then that’s California’s business. States’ rights, remember? That was a cute little catchphrase when we wanted to treat black people like second class citizens. It kind of stings a little now that a state is doing something “immoral,” huh? But this post isn’t about racism.

It’s about the fact that I really don’t care if gay people want to get married.  C’mon in and enjoy the bountiful bliss of matrimony, monogamy, and all the sweet blessings that go along with it.  I’m really not a flaming (pardon the pun) liberal, and you might get some traction with an argument against gay marriage as being unnatural in the sense that homosexuals cannot procreate.

I’m not saying this argument would win me over (that’s really an argument against gay sex not gay marriage, which is actually moot b/c we all know once the wedding is over, so is the sex), but it beats the hell out of the “gay marriage destroys the sanctity of marriage” argument.  I’ve heard this argument from far too many “conservatives” who are working on their fourth wife and/or are so busy thumping the Bible that they’ve knocked Jesus right out it.  “Marriage is only for a man and a woman.  And I love and cherish it so, that I’ve done it four times myself.”

I have never once thought, “Damn, if those boys get married, I’m going to quit loving my wife.”  When California began performing ceremonies for gay people, I didn’t suddenly get an urge to invite the neighborhood men over for a little friendly “bonding time” over my children’s Slip-n-Slide. Two guys kissing may make a lot of straight men uncomfortable, but so what?  I bet two women kissing doesn’t.  I really can’t speak from a female perspective, but perhaps their reactions are consistent.  In fact, I’ve seen plenty of heterosexuals kissing that made me want to vomit.

I start out each day with a kid in my face telling me to wake up. I then groggily get out of bed knowing that bills have to be paid, chores have to be done, and job tasks have to be taken care of.  And during all that time, I’m supposed to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and spirit; and love my neighbor as myself. This usually takes up most of my day. Throw in the fact that a gallon of gas now costs $4 and I truly and  sincerely do not give a rat’s ass if Jimmy and Timmy want to get married.  Live and let live is a cliche worth keeping in mind when it comes to judging.

And I can hear it now, “But what kind of lesson are you teaching your kids by condoning this behavior?”  Well, my knee-jerk response would be that my children are 6 and 3. They don’t know anything about it.  My more substantive response is that the lesson I’m going to teach my children is one of tolerance, acceptance, and erring on the side of openness. As the old saying goes, when I stand before my God, I’d rather argue why I tried to get people in than why I tried to keep people out. Growing up in the South, my children will have plenty of opportunity to hear counterarguments.

And if you want to start throwing out Old, or New, Testament verses at me, get ready for a few coming back at you. As always, I welcome comments.  Until there are some, I guess I’ll sit here and fume that 2 women are kissing each other in Sacramento.  “Forget the mortgage, wifey, there are guys exchanging vows in Santa Barbara.”

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