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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wright Answers The Mail, Accidentally Triggers Armageddon.

 

Update:  I’m getting mail on this piece.  Some folks feel like I’m mocking all Christians.  Not so. Allow me to clarify: I’m not lumping all Christians together. Nowhere in the text do I say “all Christians.” No where. In fact, if you actually read the post you’ll see that I’m making fun of two people in particular, three or maybe four if you stretch it.  There’s a reference to 22 million Americans with possibly similar views.  There are 265 million self identified Christians in America or about 83% of the total population.  22 million is 1/12 of the total Christian population. 2 people is ~.00000009% of 1/12th of the total Christian population of America – e.g. hardly “all” Christians.  I’m not Anti-Christian any more than I’m anti-Muslim or Anti-Semitic or Anti-any-other-religion. Where I have a problem is when advocates of a particular religion attempt force their beliefs on the rest of us though law, government policy, tradition, or custom. If you’ve read me long enough, if you’ve read my other stuff, it should be readily apparent that the only thing I’m vocally intolerant of is intolerance. Like all of my stuff, this post is an opinion piece, it was intended to provoke laughter and hopefully some introspection and to reiterate the wisdom of separating government from religious belief.

As I said in the comments section: if you see yourself in this piece, well then that’s on you, you deal with it.

  //Jim

 


 

hella funny you god(gut)less libbys keep trashing the bible when it is all coming true. whose laughing now?! Syria is the final peace as predicted by God and Jeuss. its all true even if you don’t belive it. You can not denye we are now living in the end Time!  keep laughing libbys your gai boy war mongral owebama was predicted more then 2k years ago! its right there in black &white . sad

I’ve been busy this last month.

Too busy to do much writing.

Which is a damned shame, because the lunatics are out in force.

The above warning was floating in comment moderation under my previous Syria Red Lines post. I read it, chuckled yet again at the childish silliness of Christian Apologetics (It’s all twue! Twue!) and deleted it from the queue without allowing it to post.  I think that’s what Jesus would have done, by most accounts he didn’t have much use for haters and idiots either and quite frankly I seriously doubt he intended heaven to be populated with dimwitted dickheads – honestly, can you imagine spending eternity surrounded by these self-righteous jackasses?

Try to imagine which cheek Jesus would be turning after a couple centuries of having to put up with this crap.

You can’t deny we’re living in the End Times?

The End Times. You can’t deny it.

The. End. Times.

Because Syria, that’s the Sign.

Syria, oh no! Not Syria! It’s the End Of The World! It’s the Apocalypse. Armageddon. The Last Trump. Ook! Ook!

Run for your lives, everybody!

Everything is a sign of the End Times with these people. Everything. Same sex marriage? Ahhhh! It’s the End Times as foretold in the Bible! Black guy in the White House? It’s the Antichrist! Hurricanes? Evolution? Floods? It’s a Satanic Plot to destroy our souls! Abortion? It’s the Rapture! Earthquake? It’s a sign! Thunder? Intestinal bloating? It’s another sign!

Right.

I mean, come on, who actually believes in this ridiculous claptrap? I mean really? What is it? The 14th Century?

 

Sigh. Yes, yes, I know. It was a rhetorical question.

 

Last week Fox News’ Neil Cavuto suggested with a straight face in public on national TV that the Syrian conflict will “bring about the Second Coming of Christ.”

That’s right, we bomb Syria. Jesus shows up. 

We bomb all of Europe into flinters for four damned years. No Jesus. We nuke Japan and vaporize a half million people in two days. No Jesus. We bomb Korea and Vietnam. No Jesus. We bomb Bosnia, Somalia, Libya, Lebanon, Cuba, Panama, Cambodia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, every country in Central America and half the islands in the Caribbean. No Jesus. But lob a couple Tomahawks into Syria, and Jesus shows up with the Antichrist in tow to destroy the world.

Because, Syria, that’s the sign.

What if Israel bombed Syria? Do they get some Jesus? They’re Jews, what are they going to do with him? Have him crucified again?

What if an Arab country bombs Syria, will Jesus still come to the party?

Why is it always that only American Viagra can bring about The Second Coming?

Suppose Cavuto had looked out of the camera at the Fox News audience and said in all seriousness, “Look, folks, I saw this James Cameron movie once and I’m really scared that if we bomb Syria those weird glassy aliens who look like snot and live in the giant spaceship at the bottom of the ocean will be pissed off and they’ll use their control of water to destroy the world with gigantic tidal waves in some huge flood. And then all the good people will go live on the mothership with the fishy transparent snot aliens in fishy alien paradise forever and ever, and all the bad people will have to listen to that bitchy chick sobbing about her shitty apartment and how she’s all alone in the dark until they want to gouge their own eyeballs out to make it stop. So we shouldn’t bomb Syria no way no how, because, Dude, aliens. It’s true, it’s all true! Cameron is a God!” 

It’s all True! Really it is!

Uh huh. But if you say essentially the same thing except you toss in Jesus, then instead of shooting Cavuto with a tranquilizing dart and dragging him off to a nice place with soft walls and an excess of institutional lime-flavored Jell-O, Fox News gives him an hour-long segment to fondle his psychosis in public.

"This Syria stuff is way old. I mean Old Testament old. That's how old I'm talking about. Don't laugh. Some biblical scholars say it's all there in black and white."

Don’t laugh.

A grown man, scared of campfire ghost stories told by goat herders two thousand years ago. Booga booga! Ook! Ook! It’s all true!

But don’t laugh.

How about if I just point and giggle mockingly? Would that be okay?

Don’t laugh. Right, I can’t help but laugh. It’s either that or cry at the utter stupidity of it all.

Cavuto was talking to born again evangelical Judeo-Christian pundit, former Rush Limbaugh staffer, and general End Times doomsayer Joel C. Rosenberg.

Rosenberg, a part-time Jew who dabbles in Christian Apologetics while writing about Muslims in order to scare the fundamentalism out of evangelicals with his Jihad novels, explained:

"These are prophecies more than 2,700 years old, some of them, but they have not actually been fulfilled.  But this prophecy, as you [Cavuto] just pointed out, talks about the complete and utter destruction of Damascus. That's an End Times or eschatological prophecy. It's a very sobering thought to think that a judgment of a city or a country could happen in which an entire city could be wiped out, but that is, in fact, what the Bible is predicting. I think it's wrong for people who teach Bible prophecies to guess, I mean, in a sense try to say for certain it's going to happen now. But you have seven million Syrians that are already on the run, two million have left the country, five million are internally displaced. That Jeremiah 49 prophecy says that people will flee, but there will still be people in Damascus when the prophecy happens. So, the bottom line is that we don't know if these two prophecies, Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49, will happen in our lifetime or soon, but they could because they haven't happened yet."

Hard to argue with that circular logic, eh? The prophecies, see, they could come true but they haven’t yet and because they haven’t yet come true we know that they are true and could happen but they haven’t yet which is how we know they might and remember to keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times, kids!

Some guy in the Bible predicts that Damascus will be destroyed, and then leaves the timeframe open-ended?

Okay, sure, sooner or later, his prophecy will come true but, c’mon, it ain’t exactly magic.

You know what? I too predict Damascus will be destroyed.

Damascus and every other city on the planet.

Sure, I predict that the sun will eventually use up its hydrogen fuel, clog up with heavy elements, and then swell up into a bloated red beach ball the size of Mars’ orbit swallowing the earth in burning plasma. I predict that when this happens, and it will, whatever is left of Damascus will be utterly obliterated. I predict this will happen sometime between, oh, say tomorrow and eight billion years from now.  Look at me, everybody, I’m a prophet!

You want to impress me, Nostradamus, give me a date and time – oh, and then actually be right.

Anyway, to recap, Rosenberg thinks it wrong to guess … and then goes right ahead and makes a couple of guesses.

I’m not entirely clear on the Jews For Jesus Who Hate Muslims rule, but I think Rosenberg is going to get sent to Scientology hell for that. 

Unless, wait, hang on a minute, unless he meant it was wrong for other people to say one thing and do another – or does that only work for TV preachers?

And isn’t the supposed End Times and the Second Coming predicted in Revelation? And isn’t that, and Jesus, in the New Testament?  Maybe it’s just me, but religion makes my head hurt. Frankly I think the Twilight series makes more sense, it certainly has a better plot, and that pasty stonefaced vampire chick is a marginally more interesting character than anything Rosenberg has managed to crank out.

Twenty-seven hundred years, folks, the “prophecy” still hasn’t been fulfilled – but it could happen, any second now.

Any second now.

Any second.

Any. Second.

Sort of like that two thousand year old Mayan calendar people were talking about last year. Or that whole “bible math” end of the world thing Harold Camping was prophesizing – what was it? Oh yes, “we know without any shadow of a doubt that it’s going to happen…” except it appears old Harold dropped a decimal point along with his marbles. And before that Michelle Bachmann was telling us how the hurricanes and earthquakes were biblical signs of the pending Blue Light Special at the end of the universe. And before that these same people were telling us how Mitt Romney was a sure thing. And before that it was … well, it just never ends with these terrified childish dolts.  Go on, give me some proof, actual no kidding proof, that the bible prophets quoted by Rosenberg are any more accurate than any of these galoots. Go on. I’ll wait.  You’ve already had two thousand years, what’s another week or so?

You have to wonder, you really do. You have to wonder if the reason Jesus was so eager to have himself nailed to a cross was to get the hell away from these unhinged assholes. 

Hey, Jesus, when you coming back? We’ve got some gay hatin’ to do! And then we’re gonna light poor people on fire! Woohoo!

Listen, tell you what, I’ll make a beer run, you guys wait here. If I’m not back between, oh say sometime tomorrow and eight billion years from now, you guys go ahead and Armageddon without me, K?

Okay, Jesus, but don’t be long!

End of the world! End of the world! Ook! Ook! The sky is falling, it’s twue! 

Any second now.

Any second.

Surprisingly, neither Cavuto nor Rosenberg openly named the world leader they suspect of being the Antichrist (who obviously must be afoot in the land even now for the prophecy of the End Times to be fulfilled anywhere in the immediate future), but I’m pretty sure we all know who it must be.  Right? You know. Wink wink. You know, yes you do.

It would be easy to dismiss this ridiculous End Times biblical bilge as the fevered fears of few hysterical dimwits (or the sly opportunism of a hack writer and a news organization who makes a tidy living off those self-same mental patients), but it’s really much worse than that.

Rosenberg gets around.

On his website, Rosenberg explains how he recently spent a couple hours with an unnamed congressman talking biblical prophecy, specifically the “Burden of Damascus” as outlined in the Old Testament’s Isaiah 17. 

The basic idea here is that in the final run up to the end of the world, God will level Damascus in favor of Israel and bring the world within spitting distance of the Rapture.

Now, how Damascus will be destroyed isn’t exactly made clear, the Bible doesn’t explain what method God will use.  Most of Damascus was blown up and burned to the ground by the French in 1926, but I think we can safely say that the French are not God’s favorite people, so I guess that’s why the world didn’t end.  In fact, various parts of the city have been burned, reduced to rubble, and blown up for going on a couple dozen centuries now. What makes today different is beyond me. I did an online search but Bible Gateway Search returned exactly zero hits for “Tomahawk Cruise Missile.” Go figure.

As I said, Rosenberg gets around. Fox News cites him a “nuclear expert,” which is lot like calling Stephen King a “ghost expert” … or for that matter calling Ayn Rand an “economist.”

Last March, Rosenberg met privately with Texas Governor Rick Perry and Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Both of which are big fans of this apocalyptic nonsense. Because, sure, who better to be in charge of our country’s future than a bunch of people who think that the world will shortly be destroyed by mystical forces and that most of us are doomed to eternal damnation anyway.

Ever wonder why these people don’t seem to give a shit about the environment or sustainable energy policies? It’s because they don’t figure to be around long enough for it to matter.

And now they’re basing their foreign policy positions on this dreck? Oh, yeah, nothing to go wrong there.

Rosenberg says,

"The innocent blood shed by the Assad regime is reprehensible and heart-breaking and is setting the stage for a terrible judgment."

A terrible judgment.

You know, you’ve really got to love a religion that is essentially indistinguishable from a mafia protection racket, but I digress.

Look, I’m no expert, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say this silly nonsense has some merit. 

The End Times come, the final Trump is blown, everybody dutifully lines up in front of Jesus for the Big Judgment, Jesus looks sternly down at the first guy in line – just for fun let’s just say it’s Louie Gohmert – raises one eyebrow and asks, “So, you could have done something about all those people suffering and dying, but you didn’t.  And you didn’t because you figured the quicker the everything went to hell, the quicker you got to go to heaven. Is that right? Uh huh. Get in the sack, Louie… .”

Right around seventy-five percent of American Evangelicals believe that they are living in the supposed End Times.

Seventy-five percent, that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-two million Americans.

Twenty-two million Americans actually believe that two thousand years ago some Bronze Age goat herder who’d spent all day sitting on his ass in the broiling Mediterranean sun while slugging down one skinfull of wine after another really actually talked to a real actual no kidding winged mystical being who really actually told him that “sometime” in the future there was really actually going to be some kind of big battle where a giant demon man would wrestle a smiling bearded non-violent hippy for control of the earth that he, the hippy man, really actually already controls anyway since he’s really actually the supreme being who’s actually his own father who created not only the aforementioned world but the giant demon man too according to his big mysterious plan but never mind that and then all the right thinking people will really actually literally fly naked up into space and live happy lives free of want in some kind of socialist paradise with Hippy Man in the cloudy blue sky forever and ever while everybody else gets cornholed by Satan for all of eternity in lakes of boiling pitch and brimstone. Really. Actually. No foolin’. It’s all twue!

Oh, sure, it does sound frighteningly plausible when you read it out loud, but then again so does the Twilight saga.

Here’s what I don’t get, isn’t the End Times what these people are praying for?

Don’t they all want to be Raptured?

Don’t they want all the rest of us to get cornholed by Satan?

Isn’t that basically their entire religion?

Aren’t they just dying to fly up to hippy heaven and leave all the rest of us behind to eternal torment? Isn’t that exactly what they pray for each and every Sunday, all smug and pious in their pews?

So why don’t they support military action in Syria? If they actually believe in their version of Christianity, I mean really actually believe in their own ridiculous dogmatic mumbo jumbo, if they really believe that military action in Syria will bring about the End Times, shouldn’t they be demanding the total annihilation of Damascus? 

And yet, when polled, more then seventy-five percent of evangelical leaders oppose military action in Syria, action which they claim could lead to a series of preordained events that will bring about their ultimate salvation in accordance with their God’s design.

How come it’s okay for them to thumb their nose at The Big Plan, but not people like us?

And we’re right back to where we started, aren’t we?  Do as I say not as I do.

 

Folks, I hate to say it, but we might need to give up a couple of aircraft carriers and put our money into some kind of massive mental health care program that involves forcible restraints combined with high amperage electrical shocks.

You need me? I’ll be over here hosing out the mailbox.

158 comments:

  1. Not sure whether or not to thank you or send you my condolences for watching Fox (cough) News. I personally can't stomach it. There's too much stupidity flying around there

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    1. Indeed, it seems Jim will spare no sacrifice, no matter how grim, for his art.

      I am glad, however, that *someone* is keeping an eye on the slimeballs.

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  2. Building on your suggestion to decommission a couple aircraft carriers in favor of a more rigorous mental health program, why let them go to waste?

    I mean, we're talking about two perfectly good aircraft carriers, here. Why not repurpose them into hospital ships for the aforementioned mental health program? If you convert the aircraft hold into inpatient wards, and outfit the deck so that it's for helicopter landings only so there's more space for patients, maybe there would be enough room?

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    1. ... and we could use the launch catapults to get rid of those that refuse treatment. I like it. I like it.

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    2. Happy Funtime Rocket Sled Rides!

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    3. Mangaka2170's comment needs a "like" button. I'll bet it would have a couple hundreds hits by now.

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    4. Catapult To The Kingdom of Foreverness!! Just hop in and find out how much faith you really have. Oh wait... That would be suicide and you can't get to heaven that way. I forgot. The only way out is the Yahweh out.

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    5. Two refitted aircraft carriers vs 22 million evangelicals..... Hmmmm..... Let's prioritize and make the first couple of incoming loads include The Dick Perry, Louie Gomer, Michele Crazy Eyes Bachmann and Twinkle-toes, her toady husband, and other really asinine haters of the Faux Snooze varieties. I nominate several Texas politicians of both state and national levels, including Ted "O Canada" Cruz, Greg A-Butt (TX Attorney General), Dan Patrick, Ted Poe, John Cornyn, Barry Smitherman (TX Railroad Commissioner), ... Pardon me.... I need to go bleach my brain....

      Oh...wait a minute.... I just remembered a bit of interesting, GOOD, news: http://juanitajean.com/2013/09/18/heads-up-13/
      "Wendy Davis will have a BIG announcement on October 3rd." A Texas state senator, she's the Democrat who stood for 11 hours on the Texas Senate floor last June, not leaning on anything, not drinking or eating anything, no bathroom breaks, to filibuster the Senate's anti-abortion bill. In doing so, she mobilized people from across the state to the possibility that maybe slimy Republicans are not going to continue to own Texas politics much longer. Two weeks from TODAY, we will know if she's running against the heir apparent to The Dick Perry, who most likely will be Greg Abbott--an even meaner SOB than Perry.

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    6. Go Elsie! Wonderful to meet another member of the Worlds Most Dangerous Beauty Salon here in Jim Land. Let's hope the announcement is what you and I think it is.

      I am an Ex-Tex that lived in Susan's district for 20 years. To those that think Christians do not persecute - go to Richmond, Texas and declare yourself a Democrat - I dare you!

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    7. Backatcha, JimBob.

      I know maybe a half dozen actual Christians who do NOT persecute people they happen to disagree with. The gentle Christians I've known tend to respect differences with other folks if discussed in a calm, rational manner while everyone acts like intelligent adults with a right to their own opinions. And they will sincerely and kindly pray for your welfare, even if they don't agree with your Democratic politics. I have absolutely no problem with these good-hearted people and am sure in their world they would all make Jesus proud.

      Those so-called "Christians" who persecute others, especially people with political views they disagree with, really are NOT followers of Christ. Assholes, liars, hypocrites, jerks, SOBs, GOP temple money-changers, holier-than-thou arrogant dipshits, any and all of the above, for sure, but they are NOT Christians. And by all their vast, vengeful, angry, hateful ways, they truly make the devil proud, don't they?

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  3. I"d say better living though chemicals would be a good start for those folks - they seem so excitable, so maybe give 'em some lithium, or possibly just some Colorado or Washington style recreational weed to help mellow out.

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    1. Dude, they're already paranoid.

      I'm thinking horse tranquilizers, in a dart gun, fired from a distance.

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    2. Still catching up on posts I've missed. That last comment made me spurt tea out of my nose!

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  4. Sounds about right *male* Accidently Triggers Armageddon.

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  5. There's a concept I love:"Fractally Wrong": "Being wrong at every conceivable scale of resolution. Zooming on every part of one's world view finds beliefs exactly as wrong as one's entire world view."

    I went through this nonsense with an otherwise nice co-worker around the Y2K thing because sure as are kittens are cute 'lil devils, Jeebus was a'comin' back, all because computer memory was danged expensive back in the day and cutting '19' out of '1975' actually made sense.

    (True story: more than one corporate/academic database (including ours) was fixed by declaring, by fiat, that any year number < 50 was hereby deemed to happen in the 21st century, and any year > 50 was in the 20th. It worked, and thankfully we've managed to migrate to actual four-digit years, but you would be appalled and frightened at just how much old code out there still looks at a year as two digits)

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  6. RE Israel getting in on the Second Coming "They’re Jews, what are they going to do with him? Have him crucified again?" Yeaahhhh. That'll go over about as well my reminder to Virginia neighbors that R.E. Lee was a traitor.

    I wouldn't worry too much about Syria. There's a whole lot of fracking, strip mining, and slash and burn needs doing before the trumpets sound. One alarming fact that we all need to come to grips with is the slow but steady infiltration of the US and state govt's by Evangelicals and Dominionist zealots trained directly from home schooling and Christian "universities" to act normal and move up the ladder to leadership positions in Justice, EPA, DHS, etc where they can then Rapture us all up the butt by slow rolling and delaying action against land developers, drilling, mining, foresting and all the rest who are destroying the Earth to bring about Jesus' return so the Son of God can thank them for trashing the place.

    Perhaps not my best sentence ever, but there it is. Tommy D

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  7. Jim, do you ever read a pending comment and then have to jump in the shower? I mean, stupid might rub off, and you really don't wanna take that kind of chance...
    Also, remember the little boy who cried wolf? And how, when the villagers get tired of his crap, they ignore him? When can we start that?

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  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dates_predicted_for_apocalyptic_events

    Yeah.

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  9. Btw, in the reference universe, the Assyrians sacked Damascus in 727 BC.

    This was almost certainly as close to total destruction as anything likely to happen to Bashir al-Assad.

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  10. I believe I have needs of seeing my alchemist for treatment of the devils in my lower region. Surely this must be the work of an evil spirit.

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  11. Hey, if they all get raptured up, can the rest of us have their houses and cars? What about bank accounts? Will those be up for grabs too, or is Jesus going to take all their money like Rev. Moon did? I've always had this theory that one of the best ways for any alien race to conquer the earth is to show up in some kind of spaceship that looks like one of the "chariots" from the Book of Ezekiel, bring someone down the ramp who LOOKS exactly like the portraits of Jesus we've all seen and tell the fundamentals to get on the ship if they want to go to Heaven. We all KNOW they'd get onboard. They'd trample each other to get there first! I mean, let's face it. It would REALLY solve a lot of problems for the rest of us if they DID all leave simultaneously! I think I might be in FAVOR of the concept!

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    1. I have been waiting impatiently for the rapture to clear those people out, so the rest of us can start fixing the planet.
      Chandra in MO

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    2. Me too!!!
      M from MD

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    3. There have been global Facebook events going around for a few years now titled, "Post-Rapture Looting Spree." I try to find the time to sign up when I can.

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  12. "Libbys"? We've got a catfish place, down south of town, name'a Libby's. Good stuff, Maynard. Pretty good steaks, too. And coconut pie, man, oh, man. They used to have music in the bar two or three times a week, but discovered they could bring in more drunks with pool tables and karaoke. It is to cry.

    I guess that guy probably isn't talking about the same Libbys huh? Heh.

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    1. Probably not but if you're eating catfish you're done going to hell anywho.

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  13. Funny how they conveniently always forget Matt 24:36 "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." Heck I'm not even a member of their cult and I know that one

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    1. We need a like button for Voce M's comment too...

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  14. As I read I started to laugh but the gravity of the realization that there are so many people out there like Neil Cavuto makes me want to cry.

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  15. I have a hunch that getting your mailbox clean requires an industrial-strength power washer.

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  16. Ran across this earlier on The Daily KOS "It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana are being legalized at the same time.
    Leviticus 20:13 says if a man lays with another man, he should be stoned.
    We were just misinterpreting it."

    I really am good with that.

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    1. Okay, that was well worth reading. I need a mood brightener daily - not the marijuana kind, the written kind. Thanks.

      Delete
    2. I laughed out loud at work. I want to use that.
      :-D
      NaluGirl

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    3. I am just rollin on the ground with tears in my eyes--I really needed this! First Jim's American viagra, and 'fondle his psychosis' diagnosis, then this very astute comment about Leviticus! I can only imagine what the "Its Twue" crowd would say about it! I'm sure the spit would be flyin! Oh--and can I add 2 jerkoffs from my homestate of Florida--Rick (got away with bilking Medicare) Scott and Marco Rubio (first generation American/Cuban who would like to not talk about immigration at all please) to the list for the catapult?

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  17. As a liberal Christian I'm beginning to feel persecuted when I read your blog. You're getting stuck in one groove and it's beginning to sound a little whiney.
    I know. You'll just say you have the right to be whiney about Christians and you also have the right to unfriend me and not post my comment. It is, after all, your football.
    If so, the liberal part of me will miss the columns where you've actually thought something out and wrote about it instead of going for the easy laugh at the ridiculous and uneducated.

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    1. Well if there weren't so many ridiculous an uneducated people out there, and so many of them didn't vote, and so many other people weren't so busy manipulating them in order to cause the rest of us a whole lot of misery and expense and bloodshed and pain, then I'd agree with you.

      But there are, so I don't.

      BB

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    2. "instead of going for the easy laugh at the ridiculous and uneducated" We're not laughing. We're quite frankly terrified that the willfully stupid and violent are ruining the country.

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    3. "As a liberal Christian I'm beginning to feel persecuted..."

      If you see yourself in this post, then that's on you. You deal with it.

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    4. As a moderate non-theist I'm beginning to feel persecuted by your non-persecution of liberal Christians. I would also appreciate it if you would email me before every post to see if there are things you are going to say that I can choose to read offense into. You know.. just in case I want to feel persecuted by your non-persecution of people who tend to persecute everyone else by asking them to stop making fun of the silly shit they have been using to persecute virtually everyone else on the planet for the last few thousand years.

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    5. Why do you feel it is fine to bully me because I believe in God? "childish silliness of Christian Apologetics" "A grown man, scared of campfire ghost stories told by goat herders two thousand years ago. Booga booga! Ook! Ook! It’s all true!" "You know, you’ve really got to love a religion that is essentially indistinguishable from a mafia protection racket, but I digress." "Don’t they want all the rest of us to get cornholed by Satan?
      Isn’t that basically their entire religion?" You don't know enough Christians is you believe that about us. My best friend is a gay woman. My cousin is a gay man. I love them all dearly and never saw anything Jesus said to deny who they are. New Testament is new covenant, Leviticus is not Christian law, it's pre-Christian law. I voted for President Obama, not "Obama" as you call him. He's president and deserves his title. I'd vote for him again if I could. I am pro social services, medicare, medicaide, social security. I'm a human being, not a label, and my core belief is that all people should be treated as humans first. I happen to belong to the last group that it's okay to hate in public.

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    6. Bev, if you can't see the diseased trees taking over your forest and instead feel personally attacked, well perhaps you should find another blog (and/or religion) besides this one. Or work to clean up your Christian house. Have you ever corrected a fellow Christian when they say or do things un-Christian-like? Have you ever sat quietly in the pew when the preacher preaches division, hatred and fear and lies? And then quietly dropped your tithe in the plate? And returned again the next week? If you have, then you should feel guilty because you have tacitly agreed with those very actions we so despise. I don't hate Christian's individually. As someone raised in the Church I have seen first hand how this works; and because of what I have personally witnessed and experienced I have a deep hatred for hypocritical, stupid people who hide their fears and inadequacies behind the Christian label of self-righteousness. If you can't separate yourself from that demographic, well that's on you.

      Delete
    7. I don't see Jim's blog as the problem for Christians. I see so many of the ignorant, hating, so-called Christians as the problem for Christians. If you can find this writing, Understanding Religious Anger by Bishop John Spong
      you might understand better where those of us who are aghast at what the Christian faith is degenerating to.

      Delete
    8. Why do you feel it is fine to bully me because I believe in God?

      Sigh.

      So you're determined to be a martyr, are you? You're determined to feel persecuted.

      Let's review the situation, shall we? Please attend carefully:

      1) I write what I write. I'm not shy about my opinion, here or elsewhere. This is well known, it shouldn't be a surprise to you.

      2) There is a disclaimer on the top of the main page that clearly explains that material on this blog is an expression of my opinion. Not yours. Mine. If you don't like that, you're welcome to go elsewhere, this is clearly explained in the commenting rules.

      3) Nobody, repeat no goddamned body, nobody held a gun to your head and made you come here. Nobody. You came here and read this piece entirely of your own volition. I did not make you. I did not threaten you. I did not intimidate you. You were not, repeat not, bullied in any way whatsoever.

      In point of fact, from the context of your comment I seriously doubt that you actually understand the meaning of the word "bully" in the manner in which you used it.

      4) Reread the essay. Read every word. Every single one.

      How many times did I say "all people who believe in a higher power are idiots?" How many times?

      How many times did I say "all Christians are idiots and haters and extremist lunatics?" How many times?

      How many times did I use the label "Beverly?" How many?

      That's right. The answer to all three questions is zero.

      Again, IF YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THIS ESSAY, THEN THAT IS ENTIRELY ON YOU AND NOBODY ELSE. You deal with it.

      5) I respect your right to believe as you please providing it doesn't hurt others and providing you don't try to push your religion on me, which is exactly what you're doing right now. And which is precisely what I object to when Christians or any other religion, especially those described in the text, attempt to force their beliefs onto my goddamned government in the form of law, policy, custom, and tradition.

      While I respect your right to believe as you please, I do not however have to respect your beliefs or your religion. I don't. And I won't pretend that I do. And you can't make me no matter how much you'd like to. If you want me to believe what you believe, then you need to make a better argument.

      Now, before you get your back up, refer to your own prophet. In other words, look to the beam in your own eye first. You quite obviously have no respect whatsoever for my beliefs or my lack of religion. You've clearly expressed by attempting to portray my opinion as bullying. It cuts both ways, lady, when religion starts respecting me, I'll start respecting it.

      6) If you were actually secure in your own faith, my opinion wouldn't matter to you, would it? One heck of a lot of folks disagreed with Jesus, didn't bother him, did it? Again, you might look to your own belief before you get all pissy about mine.

      What actually offends you is that when this End Times bullshit is actually held up to the light of day even you think it sounds ridiculous.


      Here's the bottom line. If what I write offends you, then you are entirely free to fuck right off back to wherever it is that you came from and you can either adjust your attitude accordingly or do so right now.

      Delete
    9. (con't)

      Beverly,

      You said: "You don't know enough Christians is you believe that about us. My best friend is a gay woman. My cousin is a gay man. I love them all dearly and never saw anything Jesus said to deny who they are. New Testament is new covenant, Leviticus is not Christian law, it's pre-Christian law. I voted for President Obama, not "Obama" as you call him. He's president and deserves his title. I'd vote for him again if I could. I am pro social services, medicare, medicaide, social security. I'm a human being, not a label, and my core belief is that all people should be treated as humans first."

      Oh, I know plenty of Christians.

      Funny thing, this post was inspired by a Christian, wasn't it? Ironic, don't you think?

      Ask yourself something, why did you feel the need to explain all of that? Be honest with yourself, why did you need to explain that you believe in acceptance of gay people, in the New Testament instead quoting the Old, the fact that you voted for a liberal, that you believe in social services and taking care of the poor, in treating human beings like human beings instead of labels? Why is that, Beverly? Unless you also think that far too many "Christians" don't actually believe in any of those things and in fact act just the opposite. Because if the majority of outspoken Christians actually acted in a Christ-like manner, well, you wouldn't have to caveat it, would you?

      I didn't say all Christians, Beverly, but you sure did, by implication.

      Delete
    10. As a liberal Christian, I agree with you, Jim, but then, I don't consider those people you are talking about to be Christians. They simply wear the name like a speedo on a fat man.

      Delete
    11. As a fat man who wears speedos, I intend to take offense at that sometime real soon now....

      Delete
    12. "I happen to belong to the last group that it's okay to hate in public."

      Uh, Emily, no you don't.

      I'm both a practicing Witch and a biker and make no effort to disguise what I am. D'ya think we don't get shit everywhere we go, frequently from "good Christians"?

      Delete
  18. Thank you, Jim, for the proper usage of the word "cornhole".
    Whoever attached that name to the game we used to call " bean bag toss" when I was a child is probably the same sicko genius who gave Beaver Cleaver his name. I shudder every time I see a used-car dealer advertise a sales "festival" -Hot Dogs and Cornhole! Bring the kids!
    Talk about signs of the End Times, sheesh!

    Okay, you can go back to the grown-up conversation now.
    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a Cincinnatian I'm fairly sure that's our bad. Sorry about that ;)

      Delete
  19. all I see is bigotry towards Christians and hey one more for ya, in the end times people will say "where's your God to save you" I guess this guy don't get it he is already been predict(ed)(able)Idiot. Even his systematically ignorant Blog. I guess half this stuff don't fall into necromancy. That you claim isn't real either or add into it, if your stupid ass don't know what that is then I guess you should have read the bible closer to understand the don'ts that you mock in life, just helps muslim raise up their messiah but need more blood for it. why don't you just join them and kill your friends & so called loved ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh and Syria we don't want death no matter what. we fight for life, even if it don't look like it at times.

      Delete
    2. I can't help but think that there is the actual real-life real-time sound of soul being cornholed by Satan. Horrible, sure, but- strangely fascinating.

      BB

      Delete
    3. Angery Saints, I taught English at a middle school for over 30 years. You get a zero on content and structure. Your mommy needs to hire a tutor.

      Delete
    4. And there you go.

      Isn't he wonderful folks? Let's give him a big round of applause for helping to prove my point so very well indeed. Thanks for coming, Angry Saints, say high to Jesus for me.


      Delete
    5. Angry Saints: Thou art absolved from further assistance on my part in the future. I bid thee save thy fingers from thine keyboard and repent of thy commenteth. Father and I have this. We have been somewhat busy for the last 2 days (two thousand years to you) but the "Damascus on the verge of being wiped out" alarm hath been triggered and we will returneth shortly. Please pack lightly. Also, should you perchance see an aircraft carrier/hospital ship, please book one way passage immediately.

      Warmest Regards, (but not too warm mind you)
      Jesus H. Christ

      p.s. I suggest trying the Happy Funtime Rocket Sled Ride. It's simply... heh.. Divine!!

      Delete
    6. Angry Saints, please get thee to a closet to pray....and stay there. Thank you.

      Delete
    7. Close, but no cigar for meeting the Palin word salad standard of throwing enough words against a wall, hoping they will stick and make sense.

      Delete
    8. I guess Angry Saints isn't wise to the fact the God and Allah are the same dude? If he thinks he's pissed off now, wait until he hears this!

      Delete
    9. Some of my brain cells just died!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJB2Q9gh2uE

      Delete
  20. @Angery Saints...
    yousaidwhatnow?..... i am confuse(sic) by your punctuation, grammar and spelling or lack thereof. also, necromancy? really? sheesh.
    Jim, incisive and sarcastical genius as usual

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for asking that question. It's 6:12 AM EST and Angery Saints made me search for glasses to make sure I read that correctly. Too much before the 1st cup of coffee. And oh I love a laugh - your 'yousaidwhatnow? hahahaha was perfect

      Delete
    2. I had to go back and re-read Jim's post to see where he invoked or summoned the spirits of the dead for purposes of divination. Lo and behold, there it was, about 2/3 of the way down the page:

      "Hey, Jesus, when you coming back?"

      There it is, right there. Asking for hidden information from a guy who died = necromancy. Fits the definition.

      I feel a sudden groundswell of admiration for Buggery Saints above, who, I must admit, I at first thought was just a guy who couldn't spell, punctuate, compose a complete sentence or put together a single coherent thought while calling others "ignorant". Turns out he was the first among us to spot Sorcerer Jim's use of the Black Arts in his blog.

      Bruce

      Delete
    3. Bruce! You get 10 gold stars for that observation!

      Delete
    4. Does that mean I can be Sorcerer's Apprentice for the day? I promise to stay away from the brooms.

      And Wytch's Familiar, too?

      I am nothing if not needy.
      Bruce

      Delete
    5. I used to want to meet Jim. Now I want to meet Bruce, too.

      Delete
    6. Meeting me usually cures people of that urge.

      Delete
    7. Sigh... this sort of thing happens every time I use the word "buggery". Someday I'll learn.

      Anti Kate, I am much more charming on paper than in person.

      Bruce

      Delete
    8. Truly makes me wonder if these folks go to a special school to learn to write like that or are they genuinely just that ignorant and unschooled? Have read the results of a few studies that said in general liberal thinkers are more intelligent and educated than conservatives. The comments on your blog, Jim, sure do back up those studies.

      I thought the necromancy reference was in comparing the Twilight series to certain beliefs. But I think Bruce nailed it.

      Delete
  21. Also, did you by any chance mean Angry Saints? Because angery, isn't, you know, an actual word or anything.......

    ReplyDelete
  22. But, but, but.... it IS the End Times. For a particular group, that is.

    If you are an old white racist American who can't cope with the very idea that your ethnic & cultural group no longer holds the reins of power in this country- I mean if you so can't cope with that notion that you are frightened into such an imbecilic fear-trance that you basically can't think straight any longer, what will seem more attractive to you:

    a.) "...a real actual no kidding winged mystical being who really actually told [somebody] that “sometime” in the future there was really actually going to be some kind of big battle where a giant demon man would wrestle a smiling bearded non-violent hippy for control of the earth that he, the hippy man, really actually already controls anyway since he’s really actually the supreme being who’s actually his own father who created not only the aforementioned world but the giant demon man too according to his big mysterious plan but never mind that and then all the right thinking people will really actually literally fly naked up into space and live happy lives free of want in some kind of socialist paradise with Hippy Man in the cloudy blue sky forever and ever while everybody else gets cornholed by Satan for all of eternity in lakes of boiling pitch and brimstone."

    or

    Your country that you love so much the way it used to be (in your nostalgia clouded dreams) is going to be run by people who don't look like you, talk like you, who don't really enjoy your food or you music or your heros or your version of Heaven or anything else).

    For the deluded rump of footsoldiers of the WASP ascendancy, this really IS the End of their times.

    Plus, you know, they probably haven't been getting any lately, so... getting cornholed by Satan might actually sound... kinda exciting.

    BB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BB, I think you have a very good point there. I think a lot of the racist, intolerant crap we hear today just may be the death throes of the WASP majority as it descends to a plurality, and maybe eventually one of a number of minorities. Let's just hope they don't set off a real Armageddon while thrashing about!

      I am guardedly hopeful that the rampant vitriol we have seen & heard in the past several years is the (somewhat predictable) backlash of a dying way of thinking, and that that backlash itself is a sign that a more tolerant way of viewing the world is on the rise.

      But maybe I'm just a dewy-eyed optimist.

      Bruce

      Delete
  23. As far as armageddon goes, I suspect that climate change will do nicely. As far as Fox goes, there are reasons I refuse to have a tv. Well, OK, there are reasons I refuse to have a tv plugged in. I own one; it's still in it's box in the back of the closet.

    ReplyDelete
  24. If you really want to irritate the Evangelicals, tell them that The Rapture happened already and they didn't make the cut!

    I feel sorry for you, Jim, having to flush the Aegean Stables, but I'm glad to see you writing again. Must be the Termination Dust that is giving you the time.

    PS: Saw Shop Cat's photo on your fb page--man does that Cat have some fangs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think any of us are laughing at the TRUE followers of Christ's teachings. I agree with Anonymous here. It's terrifying to think (guess) (know) that the willfully stupid and violent have our Congress in their pockets and will take us down just to make a point. Rapture? I don't think so. More like a Whimper.

      Delete
  25. "You know, you’ve really got to love a religion that is essentially indistinguishable from a mafia protection racket, but I digress."

    Does this mean there is one that isn't a protection racket?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Unitarian Universalists are a free trade coffee club

      Delete
    2. OK, now you owe me a new keyboard. :-)

      Delete
    3. ...SPLASH......and me a new screen!

      Delete
  26. "...can you imagine spending eternity surrounded by these self-righteous jackasses?"

    Yes. Yes, I can. I've lived more than half my life in Oklahoma.

    ReplyDelete
  27. At least Harold Camping had the guts(?) to put a date on his predictions - all three(?) times. Which was great 'cause then we knew exactly when to start laughing. But here's the rub - it doesn't matter how bizarre, kooky, weird, crazy, scary, etc. your prediction is - if you leave it openended, you gets lots of believers. As soon as you put a date on it, you are the kook.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I need you to talk to some folks I just met in internet land, who are convinced that the galaxy is a hoax by science. Why? Well because mirror based telescopes cannot possibly work. After all, if light were something we could "collect" on a mirror; then we could just leave one out overnight and come look at the stars in the morning.

    That is one of the things they actually said...... I was in hell. How do you convince someone that the sky is blue?

    I have a secret hope, that it is all just a huge joke for them to say all the crap that they do. Because I don't really want to share air with someone like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You cannot reason with unreasonable people, Fred, attempting to do so gives you stomach cancer. Point and laugh instead, you feel better and the stupidity then serves a useful purpose.

      Delete
    2. @Fred, my crazy relatives have all been forwarding me that same forwarded-a-million-times petition to outlaw halal killing of animals in the USA because halal is Muslim and therefore EEEEEVULLLL. I pointed out that halal slaughter is the exact same thing as kosher slaughter except for the prayers said, and asked if they wanted kosher slaughter banned as well. Now I hate Jebus for saying that, because Jebus.

      Delete
    3. Ugly can be made beautiful. Age can be reversed. But, stupid is forever! Tommy D

      Delete
    4. @Anonymous 9/19/13 1:16PM
      A little something occurring in LA along those lines
      http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-jewish-chicken-ritual-20130912,0,7269968.story

      Delete
    5. Ok, now I wish I was a singer - song writer so I could write a song about collecting stars in a mirror and looking at them all day long.

      Karla

      Delete
  29. According to my former childhood best friend, only 144,000 will be lucky enough to grace the pearly gates of heaven when the tribulation starts, & by golly, she's going to be one of the lucky ones! (Snark)

    Wow, that's like winning the powerball lotto, lol. But she really, truly believes this stuff. Ergo, former childhood best friend...

    I'm gonna grab a big bowl of popcorn, sit back and watch the crazies self destruct. They are creating their own self-fulfilling prophecy...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did we have the same childhood best friend? I don't understand why anyone would sign up for a religion that gives such horrible odds of salvation. It was explained to me that those of us that don't make the cut would sit on clouds below the 144,000 and watch them have the good life. Wow, sign me up (sarcasm font here)

      Delete
    2. Considering that it's probably safe to say that since the rise of Christianity there have probably been ~14 billion people born (I'm gonna go with that figure, since it makes my math easier), only 1 in 100,000 would make the cut if the Rapture happened today (this is, of course, discounting the population of the previous 8,000 years of recorded history, making the odds closer to 250,000:1). I always thought that Christianity considered gambling to be a sin.

      A darkly amusing corollary to this is that the more people die, the more likely that those 144,000 seats on the Jesus Hot Stuff Christ Rapture Express will be filled up before the people who think they have a sure-fire ticket die. So, in order to bring about the Rapture, these folks essentially have to risk giving up their seats.

      This is, of course, assuming that they're right for the sake of argument.

      Delete
    3. I've asked "believing" friends and relatives how they could be happy in heaven if most of their friends and loved ones aren't there, but are suffering in hell. My brother said that he thought that my father (a lifelong atheist) started to believe before he died. I didn't argue with him, because the thought comforted him, but I find it hard to believe that my dad, the most rational of men, was changing his mind. I never did get a straight answer about the rest of us.

      NaluGirl

      Delete
    4. I've asked this question myself, the most coherent answer I've gotten is this: There are no unhappy people in Heaven. God fixes your brain so that you are not sad about your friends and family broiling in eternal torment forever and ever.

      Delete
  30. I was just waiting for you to 'correct' the "eschatological prophecy" to "scatological prophecy" -- as in bovine scatology...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it's seemed like a cheap shot and you know me, I go for sophisticated humor.

      Delete
  31. The end of the world?! First, give me a break. :)

    Then, cue R.E.M.:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0GFRcFm-aY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cue U2 (has some appropriate drawings, too!)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vHoj-PBGzs

      Delete
  32. We all flee, all the time. and Jesus wept, and wiped his nose on his (made in China) American Flag We're Number ONE tee shirt.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I live near one of the Harmonist's settlements. Harmony Society members were end-time believers who advocated celibacy in order to purify themselves for the second coming (which they thought would happen in their lifetime) and a period of a thousand years of peace. They pooled their resources and were very successful in textile production, wine-making, and distilling among other things. Demand for their well-made goods, especially cloth, was very high. They were dedicated to decorative arts and music, for the glory of God, of course. While members were expected to live as brother and sister, there were a few boo-boos, but as I understand it the children were welcomed into the Society and no one was shunned for fucking up. (Sorry couldn't resist that one.)

    They evidently were very successful at abstinence because their lucrative and self-sufficient industrial/agricultural operation eventually suffered a worker shortage. Initially they hired outside labor but costs went up and quality went down. Members got too old to keep up the farm work and repair the machinery.

    In the end, the celibacy thing doomed them and the sect died out. Surprise!

    Sorry if this seems off-topic. Enjoyed the hell out of your post, Jim. The Harmonists intrigued me because they seemed a lot more gentle than the majority of Millenialists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like the Shaker colony in the New England area.

      Delete
  34. Don’t laugh. Right, I can’t help but laugh. It’s either that or cry at the utter stupidity of it all.

    Heh. GMTA, they say... Most of my adult life my philosophy (and retort to people who look askance at my somewhat offbeat sense of humor) has been "hey, life will make you laugh or cry, and really, which would you rather do?".

    As far as predictions go, I think Robert Heinlein has a much better track record, and we are most definitely living in the Crazy Years...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, looky there, Blogger got my Typepad nym right! Still no avatar, but it's an improvement...

      Delete
    2. This is my kind of Stupidity.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTH8aCbTDIk

      A little dose of The Late Great Solomon Burke
      And the word/number combination I had to type to prove I'm Human, "sksucts 42" Ah syncronicity and The Law of Large Numbers.

      Delete
  35. Here's my proposal - Have the FCC cancel and reissue all existing broadcast licenses. Every station broadcasting any of these news/talk shows has to add a new employee, a sanity checker, in order to get their license back.

    The sanity checker's job is simple. Whenever the host or a guest says something this batshit insane, the checker will push a button on a special microphone that overrides all the others and say "That was fucking stupid". For shows like Limbaugh's, you could probably put it on a tape loop set to go off every 15 seconds or so.

    For TV shows, the checker would have the option to dress up in a full suit of plate armor and hit the offender on the head with a rubber chicken. Cavuto would probably last about 15 minutes before the first concussion.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hey, it is the end times. Or a time of endings, at least. Our world will be transformed and we will be transformed, or else the rising seas will drown our cities and we will destroy ourselves in fire. It's amazing how Old Testament climate change could be. Storms! Floods! Plagues of locusts! (Well, all right, actually other bugs. But plagues of them.) Crops burning in the ground! And the violence/vileness of our conflicts has been rising for centuries, and the capability of our weapons has been increasing.

    And this is literally true as far as we know.

    See, I'm not sure these people are, well, quite as crazy as you think. Or if they are, they are part of our wider madness. They are are wrong in their understanding, but not wrong in seeing a world in peril.

    One of the excellent observations of Jay Forrester, the person who set the "Limits to Growth" studies on track, is that, when a trend is exponential, it's only at the very end that its problems become apparently. If, say, population doubles every 20 years, everything is fine...until 20 years before the limit of agricultural production is reached. And people say, "Why can't we keep on as all the generations before us did?" To which there is no satisfying answer. A lot of trends are coming to their limits, we know we are going to have to change, and we don't like it at all.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I had this topic in stereo last night. Was reading this post while Colbert Report was on and what do you know? Stephen was also going on about Cavuto and his friend Rosenberg. You must be on to something...

    ReplyDelete
  38. Jim,

    You are once again painting with too broad a brush and hyperbolizing.

    Are there crazies out there doing whatever they can to bring about the rapture so that they can go to Heaven? Yes. Are the in the overwelming minority? Yes again.

    The Christian viewpoint is that we should never bring about another's suffering. Even if it is for our own gain. I understand that many humans, Christians among them, have difficulty putting this into practice on a personal scale. This doesn't change the fact that advocating taking actions to trigger Armaggedon is not a common position. Most Christians feel that it is their DUTY to bring as many people to Christ and Salvation as they can (some even feel they have a "quota" to meet). Following this thread, praying for the end-times to come sooner gives them less time to save people.

    Imagine the world is the Titanic. When the ship was launched, it as invincible - nothing could end it, save old age (sun's explosion). However a few naysayers said it would sink (the prophets). The Christians believe the prophets and warn everyone that the ship will sink - but they don't know when. They tell everyone they can about the lifeboats (Jesus). Most ignore them, because everyone knows the ship can't sink. The ship launches, the true believers stay ashore (rapture). However there are still those who know the prophecies and maybe didn't fully believe - until the iceberg is hit. Knowing the prophecies, they at least knew where the lifeboats are, and help as many as they can to the lifeboats. Nonetheless, many perish. A couple of believers bought insurance or made bets on the sinking, and are praying for it to sink so they can cash in (your crazies). But very few are praying for the sinking of the ship and the grand loss of life.

    The allegory is not perfect, admittedly, but it can give a more relatable

    My current computer protocols won't access LiveJournal, and I don't have any of the other IDs. I have no choice but to post as anonymous, but it is not out of an attempt to "hide. So I will type here that I AM a LiveJournal user - CaseyOmally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. Try again, Casey.

      Point to the part where I used the words "all Christians..."

      As I said up above, if you see yourself in this post, then that is entirely on you, you deal with it.

      Of course I'm engaging in hyperbole, no shit, Captain Obvious, thanks for pointing it out. Hyperbole, it's a well established technique in humor.

      And that is without doubt the single most tortured analogy I've ever come across. Pascal's Wager, the hard way. Perhaps you should have used more hyperbole. Just saying.

      Delete
    2. Those Christian allegories really annoy me. "Imagine the world is a burning building and only the Christians can see the exits." Huh? Now the world is the Titanic and only the Christians know where the lifeboats are. It's a story. You made it up. It has no relevance to me or to reality.

      Leslie K

      Delete
    3. Jim,

      "You know, you’ve really got to love a religion that is essentially indistinguishable from a mafia protection racket, but I digress."

      You don't say ALL Christians, but you do include the entire religion. To be fair, you don't specifically mention Christianity RIGHT THERE, but the inference is very clear.

      If I were to say "Retired Navy Warrant Officers living in Alaska are jumping to conclusions and making arguments based on fallacious logic," would you accept the dodge of "I didn't say ALL Retired Navy Warrants, it's your own fault if you thought I meant you?

      You are attacking Christianity and Christian beliefs as a whole, and denying such based on "I never said ALL Christians" is pure chicanery, and you know it.

      I am in no way saying you CAN'T attack Christianity - it's YOUR blog after all - but I AM attempting to refine your broad brush strokes to reveal what the mainstream of Christianity sees.

      Sure, hyperbole is well established for humour. But when hyperbole is joined with sarcasm and distortion, and directed specifically at a person or persons, to me it is no longer funny, it is just mean. I find it akin to putting a "kick me" sign on a one-legged man. Again - YOUR blog, your choice. Just voicing my opinion about your opinion - which you are under no obligation to read or post, and I am under no assumption that you are required do so.

      Final note for Jim: For clarification, I have taken no offense, personally or spiritually, to what you have written. I actually stop in to read a couple times a month, because I feel that our values are almost in line with each other, but our viewpoints and beliefs are almost diametrically opposed. And I feel that you can learn far more from someone with whom you disagree than someone with whom you agree. On most blogs, I wouldn't comment, but you actually accept dissent, if politely spoken (which I tried to do, if I failed, I apologize). The only reason I spoke up at all on this post is that I feel you are grossly mis-representing a large segment of people. My opinion, with you you are entitled to disagree.

      Leslie - I do not claim that only Christians can find the exits - or the lifeboats - or whatever other analogy you wish. I believe, have believed for a while, that Heaven is open to all, Christians and non-Christians alike. Even the Pope has recently said as much (although his advisors made him back down some). Someone would have a very hard time convincing me that Ghandi is not in heaven merely because he wasn't Christian.

      The story wasn't designed nor intended to illustrate HOW to get to heaven, or of Christian superiority, or anything of the like. It was intended to flesh out and show the fallacy of Jim's argument that Christians are praying for the end-times. (I know - he never said ALL...)

      -CaseyOmally

      Delete
    4. Look, stop moving the goal posts around.

      You keeping transposing what you think is my opinion of Christians with what you think is my opinion of Christianity.

      You've got a beef with this statement: "You know, you've really got to love a religion that is essentially indistinguishable from a mafia protection racket, but I digress."

      First, that statement is clearly marked as a digression, not part of the overall narrative.

      Second, it's a statement about the religion, or more specifically a particular subset of a religion, not the adherents of the religion. HOWEVER, since you brought it up and referred to my initial response as "chicanery," I'm going to use my Official Hypocritical Christian Get Out Of Jail Free Card and tell you to go "hate the sin and not the sinner," okay? If Christians can get away with that dodge, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't apply to all of us.

      Third: You want to talk analogy? Okay. Try this one: I come to your house, I tell you that you now owe allegiance to me and me only, if you don't follow my rules and you don't pay up promptly, I'll burn your house down and then I'll have my associates horribly torture you and your loved ones for all of eternity. After that, about once a week I require you to come by my place so you can tell me how awesome I am and so you can hand over an envelope full of cash, in return you get only what you already had plus maybe a little protection from other hoods.

      What do you call that?

      I'd call it "extortion" but protection racket is an acceptable substitute.

      Please explain to me how the basic concept of commonly accepted Christianity is any different. You either pay up or you get an eternity of gruesome torture. You don't get to opt out. It's pay, or torture. If salvation is so great, why does your God have to threaten people?

      And lastly, I love that you compare Christianity to a one legged man ... wait, were you saying that you think Christians themselves are crippled? Because that's just mean.

      See? Sarcasm goes well with hyperbole.

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    5. On the first point, my beef was with the overall characterization of Christianity. That statement was shown in response to where you requested me to tell you where you said "all." When you call the beliefs of a religion ludicrous, you are attacking adherents of said religion. Not a frontal attack, but an attack, nonetheless. And since you made that statement without any form of exclusion, you are attacking "all" adherents of that religion.

      On the second point, as stated above, when you attack the credibility of foundational beliefs of a religion, you are attacking anyone ascribes to the religion. Put another way, if you say "anyone who believes George W. Bush was a good president is a nutjob," and I believe Bush was a good president, you have just call me a nutjob. You don't have to directly call me a nutjob, you just have to say that what I believe in is crazy.

      On the third point, I agree. Protection racket, extortion, call it what you will. Sure. However that ain't the way Christianity works. First, God doesn't invade, he invites. Second, you have your entire lifetime to make that choice, there is no requirement to pay up promptly (of course, no one can be POSITIVE when their life will end, so prudence states it might be better to have accounts settled early). Next, Your choices about salvation reflect on you, not on your family. Granted, if you are a believer, you probably WANT to get your family good, too. Next, the whole "Sunday church" thing is not a requirement. It is an opportunity for renewal. (I understand it is NOT practiced this way in MANY churches, but that is what it is supposed to be.) I'll grant you the envelope of cash part, as tithing is a pretty normal thing. Finally, people get more from God than what you already had: guidance, peace, love, healing, strength, serenity, wisdom, the list goes on. Sure all those things can also be acquired from a real live person, and not a nebulous being in the sky. But the concept behind Christianity (and Judaism) is that God is always right - so his guidance will never steer you wrong. Can we say the same of ANY of our friends?

      As far as how Christianity is different, if you choose to view it that way, it is your viewpoint. It is the old "Carrot and Stick" which goes way back. If you want to focus solely on the stick and say God is horrible because he uses the stick if we refuse to do what he wants, fine. I prefer to use the viewpoint that God WANTS us to be good, WANTS us to DO good, WANTS to give everyone in the world the carrot, we just have to follow the simple rules (and they are pretty simple - it is not difficult to NOT murder someone) to get the carrot. And we don't have to "pay," we have to do the right thing, totally different. Plenary indulgence is a purely man-made thing, and also completely a thing of the past. But I'm sure you already knew that.

      -Casey

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    6. .... Also, it is the same in most religions. Essentially they all say that if you are a good person in this life, the next life will be good; if you are a bad person in this life, the next life will be bad.

      -Casey

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    7. Casey, thanks for being the Last Word on What Real Christianity and Christians Are. Can I listen in the next time god talks to you to tell you exactly what she wants?

      Please go look up No True Scotsman.

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    8. I love how you tell me not to paint all Christians with the same broad brush, then proceed to elect yourself spokesman and define all Christians all the same as you. I've got news for you, you're making excuses for an increasingly militant branch of your religion, people who very much enjoin your God to "invade" instead of invite.

      Don't believe me? Refer to my hatemail, and the commenter up above who refers to himself/herself as "angery saints."

      I think we're done here. You're just looking for a place to proselytize, and with me you are wasting both my time and yours. I won't be held hostage by your religion or anybody else's.

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    9. It is my opinion that religion mostly exists to control people. I also believe, perhaps more kindly, that it is a way to be spiritual, a way to understand what is essentially unknowable. I believe humans created god and not the other way around. I do not believe in heaven or the Kingdom of God. I live in ways that seem right to me and not because I want to get into heaven or I fear eternal damnation. Whether you mean them to or not your allegories about burning buildings and the Titanic are condescending and lacking in anything meaningful to me. Live your life the way you see fit and I will do the same.

      You said some Christians feel it is their duty to bring people to Christ and Salvation and some even feel they have a quota. I have a problem with this. See above comments about my beliefs. Your beliefs have no relevance to me and my beliefs and I don't appreciate being told I need to accept Christ to get into a heaven I don't believe exists.

      I came to my beliefs after many years of thought, observation and reading many things - including just recently an historical treatment of the Gospels. When some Christians start spouting these stories into an attempt to get me to change my beliefs it's all I can do not to be rude. To me it's a lot of superstition, but if it makes you happy then great. Just don't try to impose your beliefs on me or on the laws of this country.

      Leslie K

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    10. I wonder what Casey would do if he had to make a decision about something that happens every day in this country. Something that I see where I work (hospital with babies and mamas). There are times when a fetus is not viable--as in cannot live outside the mother. And sometimes the mother's life is at stake--as in she will die if the pregnancy continues. Right now in this country women will die because they cannot access safe abortions. They often are mothers already, and their children will suffer the loss of their mother. Casey said "it is not difficult to not murder someone". In many Christians minds abortion is murder. But somehow allowing the mothers to die is not? Some will say "it is God's will". Well, by that reasoning medical technology is also god's will. Lets say the mother is Casey's wife or daughter. All I am saying is the answers are not always easy. Isn't war killing? Why are so many right wing 'christians' in favor of war? What would Casey say if he was "the decider" ( to use a phrase from a recent 'christian' president) and had to decide wether to send troops to Europe in the 1940's? Yet so many claim to have all the answers on how people should live.
      What I am trying to say-so ineloquently is-I am not a believer of any religion or god. I know some people who are very fine human beings who also happen to be Christian. We remain friends because they never try to 'convert' me, and don't feel they have all the answers compared to my beliefs. The problem is the ones who are confused even when they have a god telling them to be good. Especially those Damn "good" christians in congress who are taking away women's rights to their own bodies, who just voted to not feed the hungry in our own country! Or the Catholics who have not stood up to the powerful who allowed and covered up the rape of children by adults for years, catholics who use birth control but don't have a problem with the last Pope telling his people not to use condoms--and to hell with the Aids epidemic.! How can they continue to be a part of these religions? They obviously believe god has them by the short and curlies and are too wimpy to speak up.

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    11. Christy,

      Since you asked about me, specifically, I will answer your points. The points you bring up are some of the many reasons I am no longer Catholic. I broke with the Church as soon as I was old enough to do so.

      Since you asked, I am against abortion - except in cases where the mother's life is at risk, or in the case of rape. If the sex was consensual, then BOTH parties bear the responsibility of the result of that sex. If the sex was not consensual, then the mother should not be required to carry and raise the baby - BUT she should be required to take immediate steps (i.e. morning after pill). Once she decides to let the fetus grow, the decision is made. Again, unless her life is in danger. When it becomes a choice between one living and one dying, but it is guaranteed at least one will die no matter what, then it is not murder, it is making an unbearable choice. I am thankful I have never had to make that choice. I cannot honestly tell you what choice I would make if I had to. But if it was a choice between 100% chance of one death, and 95% chance of TWO, then I would probably take the 100.

      Last I knew, abortion was legal in this country. (I assume you are American by the fact that Jim is an American blogger and you did not delineate you were from a different country. Plus your "speech" pattern is American.) And there are multiple low-cost/free clinics that are fully staffed and certified. So I do not know how women are dying because they do not have access to safe abortions.

      Note I said murder, not kill. There is a difference. The original commandment was "Thou shalt not murder," NOT "Thou shalt not kill." War is not murder, it is killing. So is self-defense. (There are often atrocities in war that ARE murder, I will not deny that, but the actual combat is not murder.) Ending the life of one to save the life of another is also not murder.

      -Casey

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    12. But I thought the Captain (and the Shipbuilder) was all knwoing, all seeing, and all powerful. Seems like the Titanic was a might big fuck-up then. So who is at fault, ultimately? My answer would have to be "Yahweh"

      One may argue that it was flawed
      since the beginning
      that the dice were loaded
      that God had it all within
      that He is the Source.
      O heavenly Father!
      pathogenic agent of contamination.
      harbringer of catastrophe,
      icon of the impending Fall:
      but what difference does it make?
      Altitudines Satana
      the vertigo of Liberty
      tipped the scales.
      A shadow of horror is risen.

      This will not be redeemed
      no matter how sincere the genuflection
      and ardent the confession.
      -Deathspell Omega "Drought"

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  39. *relatable ILLUSTRATION. Sorry it got chopped somehow.

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  40. Anyone else remember a movie back in late '70's or so that showed Jimmy Carter was the Anti-Christ? Really, Jimmy Carter. I guess to some people the Anti-Christ must be a Democratic President of the US. Wonder why Clinton didn't make the cut?

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    1. You have to be a Democratic Nobel-laureate President to be the Anti-Christ.

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  41. From now on Jim should harmonize his blog content on the inclusive, non-confrontational platform of the "People's Front of Judea." - Tommy D

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    1. As long as he doesn't offend the Judean People's Front, you mean. And just who is this "Jeuss" that God is hanging out with?

      Pam in PA

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  42. "Twenty-two million Americans actually believe..."

    What is especially odd about this is that outside the USA, this is an unusual Christian belief. Most of the world's Christians regard Revelations as an allegorical account of the Roman persecution of early Christianity. Though it has historical precedents, "premillienial dispensationalism" (which is what theologians call it) was invented in the 1830s by the Anglo-Irish theologian John Nelson Darby, and popularized in the USA by Cyrus I. Scofield.

    There's a WtF aspect to the whole thing. The central tenets of Christianity are the Incarnation and the teachings of Jesus, which makes the most important books of the bible the Gospels ("god-stories") and Epistles ("letters.") That so many American Christians have latched on to the peripheral story of Revelations is a very odd thing.

    "...campfire ghost stories told by goat herders two thousand years ago..."

    Well, what are you doing with your life, after all? You aren't in DC, moving and shaking. You're in Alaska, carving wood. Jesus was from the minor Roman province of Judea, and probably learned building from his father.

    One of the aspects of the Christian story which I wish more people would attend to is that the center of power in the world of Jesus was thoroughly and irredeemably corrupt. It would have done no good for Jesus to preach to the Romans; likely he would quickly have been killed, and Romans were mostly too busy enjoying the fruits of empire and he just would have been one of hundreds of radical philosophers. His message, if it was to be widely heard, had to come in from the margins. So it had to be Jewish goat-herders, or some other marginal group. And if Rome was to support the exotic Asian cult of Judaism it would only be because there was some advantage to the empire or its powerful in doing so. If Christians now want to do as the early Christians did, they must not yet seek worldly power. Jesus and Paul even said as much; obey the laws and serve god.

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    1. Well, the whole *point* of Jesus' story was that he *did* go to the center of the corrupt world, cleaned the temple and got quickly killed (by the Romans, for stirring revolution on Pesach, of all days).

      Why do you think Pilatus was in Jerusalem ? After all, he had a nice sea-front property in Ceasarea. He was in Jerusalem because the chances of armed uprising were largest around Pesach. Crucifixion was an apt punishment for non-Roman citizens inciting revolts.

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    2. Well, yes, by preaching in Jerusalem Jesus was challenging the authority of Rome and the power of Roman wealth. But he was doing it from a minor city in a minor province, not even the seat of the local Roman government.

      By the way, the provincial government of Judea was in Antioch in, yes, Syria. (The ruins are near the modern Turkish city of Antakya.) You can see why recent events perturb the fundies.

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    3. A place I've just returned from, very beautiful and full of history, from prehistory to The Ottomans. Lovely people too.

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  43. I've always liked a response the great cartoonist Bill Mauldin made to his critics: "I build a shoe, and if someone wants to put it on and loudly announce that it fits, that's their business."

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  44. I'm one of those 265 million, and I find your writing on point and hysterical, especially the over-the-top portrayal of some events in the Bible. But then, I'm a fan of The Wittenburg Door, a former Bible editor (seriously), and have had a sense of humor about my faith since I realized there were zombies in Scripture. I appreciate the update, although for me it was unnecessary. I don't exactly class myself or my faith with the folks you mentioned. Neither do most of my friends.

    What amazes me is the number of people who are insulted by you, yet come back again and again to read here. I don't hang out at sites that irritate me. Life is too short and time too precious. I'm here because you make me think. And laugh.

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  45. Predicted by Jeuss? Ah, yes - the vengeful, yet equally wacky, fortune-telling cousin of Seuss.

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  46. Casey--and anyone else who hates being stuck with "Anonymous":
    From the dropdown menu, select "Name/URL". Enter whatever name you want us to see, and in the "URL" box, just make something up. I use "www.fakeassurl.com". No avatar, but Blogger seems to have a hard time with those in general...

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  47. Wait, if the end is near why does Reverend Billy Bob keep telling me to send him cash for Christ?
    Does the membership committee require that you pay dues in advance before you get your halo harp and wings?
    The more I hear about it the more Heaven sounds like one of those exclusive country clubs where all the assholes I avoid being around hang out.
    Nice pose again Jim.

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  48. Every time they start up with the End Times, I completely lose the ability to focus. Because my memory seizes control of my sensory apparatus and forces me to watch an instant replay of the Monty Python scene with the witch....the one they dressed AS a witch.

    And besides heaven makes you eat Philidelphia cream cheese bagels, that stuff gives me gas and stomach upset....so never mind me wanting reservations.

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  49. Hey, HEy, HEY, it isn't the cream cheese's fault that they dressed it up with a bagel! The gas comes from the bagel, OK?

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  50. So, Jim, is this whole "Necromancer" title a stepping stone to Emperor of the Universe or just a lesser title that goes along with the big guy's job?

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  51. I am so sharing this. Another fantastic opinion piece.
    M from MD

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  52. Nick formerly from the O.C.September 19, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I, for one, cannot wait to see the final Trump blown. Who will do that blowing, I wonder?

    On a related note, we were driving through Kona last year and saw a sign that said, "Don't think. Pray." Which, you know, is the root cause of the problems with many Christians today.

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    1. I don't want to see ANY of the Trumps blown. Don't be disgusting.

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    2. I don't want to see ANY of the Trumps blown. Don't be disgusting.

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    3. Gotta hand it to you, Michael. That phrase hung me up too.

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    4. Nick formerly from the O.C.September 20, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Hey! I was just quoting from Jim's prophecy....

      I guess a prophet is never appreciated in his own land ...

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  53. Thank You Jim Wright for another well written blog entry. You have the ability to make me to think about deeper causes and effects of current events.

    First of all, I would like to comment on the event that precipitated this blog entry. The war in Syria is only the latest example of intertribal violence that has a 3000+ year history. The addition of religious emphasis does not change the battle as it predated the Muslim faith. Our western interference only delays the inevitable. The path to real peace is to let the antagonists kill each other until they are sick of it. We in the USA think this course of action is a horrible thing, forgetting that we did the same in the Civil War. The North and the South hated each other before the conflict and do so now, but the fighting is over.

    I have attended services many times in the evangelical community (Disclaimer: I believe in a supreme being and that Moses, Mohammed, Jesus and Buddha were prophets). Mr. Right’s assessment of the Christian Right is on the mark. They truly believe that they are superior to non-evangelical individuals and that they will witness and ENJOY the persecution of the non-evangelicals at the end time. They conveniently ignore the words of their acclaimed prophet (Jesus) that told them to not to judge. They also go to the Old Testament when they want to defend something that is obviously prejudiced (not the words of their acclaimed prophet).

    The USA has potential war brewing here at home. It is being defined in religious terms, but it is not religious. It is class warfare. The middle class is declining. The middle class was a buffer zone between the rich and the poor. The rich believed the middle class was a safe landing in case all went bad. The poor believed the middle class was obtainable if they worked hard. With no middle class, the rich and the poor have no buffer zone and the battle is starting in earnest. The battle will be violent and bloody. Our elected representatives in Congress and the White House are doing nothing to defuse this conflict. Talk of succession is now common in states other than Texas. The rich are building bunkers and hiring private security. This will not end well.

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  54. I fervently hope that, if all this God stuff does turn out to be true, Heaven will be exactly like it is in "Defending Your Life". Now THAT is something to be devoutly wished.

    Pam in PA

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  55. I was once trapped in the kitchen at a dinner party by a Mormon who tried to convert me. Since I was literally pinned to the counter and couldn't escape without physical violence (which I thought would be inconsiderate to my host) I was forced to pretend stupidity until he got tired of lecturing me. I also mentioned my deep belief in the Wiccan religion until he was so appalled he made space for me to get away. My apologies to the Wiccans, it seemed like the only way at the time. Had I had an escape route and were I willing to cause a fuss at that time and place, I would have asked that #&*()$ why the hell he thought I would willingly join a religion that thinks I'm property because of my gender. Not to mention that if I wanted to join your crazier-than-an-outhouse-rat religion, I would have done it already. The whole converting people thing is just so judgemental and condescending. Argh.

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    1. I usually take the passive aggressive route in such situations. You know, ask the leading question with the raised eyebrows to get them talk themselves into a corner, a smirk, or an outright burst of laughter at a particularly stupid statement. I mean if someone thinks that they can corner me (especially at a social event) and proselytize to me, well then they better be on their A game 'cause I'm gonna make them defend everything they say.

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  56. When anybody threatens any type of prophetic display (end times, Nostraadamus, etc. what have you, whatever) I just turn it into an opportunity to ask “What does prophecy-mongering do for you?” Usually that ends the conversation.

    Emily Post

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  57. I got this in my email and instantly thought of this post. http://www.hometalk.com/2247470/diy-corn-hole-boards?se=fol_new&tk=pta59w

    DIY Corn Hole Boards

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    1. I'm British,please, what the hell do they do with the damn things.

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  58. "fondle his psychosis in public". That Master Chief was funny...I didn't know my psychosis felt so good...anyway I thought this song was appropriate, and they are my friends... It's called Armageddon Nervous...produced in (get this) COLORADO...enjoy...http://youtu.be/nk_Xg1og_m8

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    1. Chief Warrant Officer. I was never a Master Chief. I made Chief and then went Warrant.

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  59. JimBob's mention of "intertribal violence that has a 3000+ year history" is a welcome breath of historical fresh air (so to speak). Too many 'Murricans think that the way the world is is the way the world has been since like forever. I'd suggest they do some reading, but, well, there are few readers these days, not enough, anyway. Just for laughs, read "Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years" by Diarmaid MacCulloch. You think things are bad now? They've always been bad.

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  60. When you are dead, you don't know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others. It is the same when you are stupid.

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  61. I accidentally caught Cavuto on screen the day he did that damn end times thing and it frankly scorched my socks. Only someone without a plan or the IQ of kelp (same thing) would be totally unable to tell the difference between end times and hard times. I held my husband's hand last November 1st as he died. The last words he heard from me was "This is my hand in your hand." That was a hard time. It was not an end time. This little old silver haired woman is following the plan I promised him I would -- still marching on. Honestly, Cavuto should know better. He is reputed to have a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis controlled by medication. But then maybe its the meds that have jelled his brain.

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  62. Hey Chief, Remember the time when President Reagan was accused of being a doomsdayer? It was during his second term when it was suggested that since he believed in doomsday, he might go ahead and push the Button. Back then it was considered a bad thing for a world leader to believe in doomsday.

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