Monday, August 1, 2011

Hey Paul!

Just because you block my comments on your blog, doesn't mean I won't still get my message out.

Leviticus 20:13 is a mistranslation. I hear you're teaching Hebrew classes now, kind of funny, you teaching a language you don't know. Here's a free pointer:

To'Ebah does not mean abomination. It's closer to suggestion, as in, a suggestion for Jews. Besides, Jesus pretty much told you to disregard our Torah, so why don't you just go ahead and do that? ALL of it, not pick and choose?

It's been a while since I've read the bible through, many years, really, but I'm constantly rereading it for my blog, you may have heard of it, it's called "New Mexico's Voice of Reason" and it's inspired by you. I vaguely remember a bit of a warning at the end of revelations that you are not to edit the bible, not to pick and choose what you believe out of it, but to look at it in its entirety. I believe it's the very last verse of the bible, but I suppose you haven't got that far yet.

You are a disgrace to your faith. I only hope Magdalena realizes that before it is too late.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Is homosexuality really against the bible?

Since Pastor Holt seems to be justifying his homophobia with the bible lately, I thought it would be fun to ask the question, does the bible really forbid homosexuality?

The biblical scriptures most often used to argue AGAINST homosexuality have been horribly and repeatedly misinterpreted, according to more than a few theologians and biblical scholars. How about we dissect the scriptural excuses for homophobia one by one?

Let us begin with the Creation story. Being Jewish, I was taught from an early age that the creation story isn't a literal story of where we came from, but meant to teach that we are all the same -- we are all made in God's image, be we black, white, purple, green, gay, straight, unsure, at the end of the day, we are ALL made in God's image.

Though the part of the creation story most used to justify homophobia seems to be the part about it being "natural" for man and woman to come together and make babies. That apparently passes for justification -- God says make babies, and gay couples can't do it, therefore, they are unnatural right? Well. What about couples that are infertile? Are they unnatural? What about people like my Aunt Ginny and Uncle Jack? They married in their sixties, far too old to have children. Are they unnatural? What about people who simply choose not to have kids? Are they unnatural? God didn't mean to exclude gay couples.

One really has no choice given the other possibilities but to take that line to mean "hey, sex is okay! It serves a purpose!" Which is great, because I sure love practicing making babies with my husband!

With Sodom and Gomorrah God wasn't mad about them being gay, God was mad because of their arrogance, and because they didn't share their wealth with the poor, but chose to hoard it all away. Ezekial 16:48-49 states that incredibly clearly.

As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. (48)
"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.(49)

Nowhere in the bible is the word "sodomite" used to describe anyone other than people from Sodom. Which would make sense. I mean, you wouldn't use the word "Canadian" to mean anyone that says "eh?" would you?

And the passages in Leviticus that shun homosexuality? Calling it an abomination? The actual hebrew word used is TO'EBAH. It doesn't mean the same thing as abomination does in English -- it isn't a law, it's used to describe something that non-Jews did that Jews thought was displeasing to God. It isn't a quote from God, it isn't his law or his rules, it is what a bunch of people way back decided might probably not be cool in God's eyes. TO'EBAH doesn't refer to things like rape, or murder being evil, or the ten commandments -- not cold hard law, but closer to "you should probably wash your dishes before they get moldy."

Then Jesus showed up and said "all those rules? pfft. They don't apply to Christians" Though I'm sure he said it in a much nicer and more Jesus-y way. When Jesus says all those rules, he doesn't mean "just the ones about selling your daughter into slavery and wearing mixed fibers" he means, ALL of those rules. As in, don't pick and choose.

Keep in mind also, that back then things like STIs still existed, but we didn't have things like latex condoms to protect us from it. So the TO'EBAH made sense -- thousands of years ago. Not anymore. Just like we don't need rules telling us how to sell our daughters into slavery.

The TO'EBAH's actually based on pre-science. Back then, scholars believed that the whole of life was in semen (preformationism? Really?) As in, the baby was IN the sperm, and the woman was just an incubator. So if a guy masturbated, or withdrew before coming in his wife, he was killing a baby, not just a bunch of non-sentient haploid cells. When you've got a teeny tiny tribe of Jews trying really hard to populate a large space, that was a REALLY big deal.

Romans 1:26-27 has also been used to justify homophobia. Just for clarification, it was written by Paul, and is not the direct word of Jesus or God. Now, the word "unnatural" is used here again in reference to sexuality. To really understand the context of this word, you have to take into account what Paul was doing at the time -- he was writing a letter to Rome after being a missionary to the Mediterranean where he saw a bunch of pagan temples with a bunch of really weird habits.

First we have to agree that sexuality is a gift given to us from God. I'm not talking about specific sexual orientations, but the fact that God made sex feel really, really good as a treat for us (to oversimplify). He gave us either penises or vaginas, and he made the first fit really nicely into the second in such a way that makes the owners of said genitalia really, REALLY happy for a few minutes. No? The point however is that we shouldn't let our sex lives take control of the rest of our lives. Meaning, don't shirk responsibilities so you can get it on with your baby's daddy. Feed your kid, clean your house, and go to work already!

So, when Paul was busy preaching the word of God to all these pagans back then, he saw that they had some really weird sexual habits. Like castration and humping young hookers in an attempt to please the Gods of love and sex.

And THAT is what he meant by unnatural. God gave men testicles so they could ejaculate. And because they're fun. He didn't give them to guys so they could cut them off. He didn't give you your vagina so you could see how many penises you could stuff into it at once, and he didn't give you young children so you could hump them in honour of him. He definitely didn't like the false gods bit either. As a matter of fact, it would make sense that God would consider that kind of behaviour unnatural. You wouldn't pee in your kitchen sink just because you can, would you?

As for the last places homosexuality is mentioned anywhere in the bible (1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10), it comes down to the mistranslation of a word no one really knows the meaning of. It's an old greek word "Arsenokoitai." Personally, I think it sounds like a cocktail. It wasn't until 1958 when some dude just randomly decided with no basis whatsoever that it meant gay people. Seriously. We are talking Greek scholars who study old Greek for a living throwing their hands up and going "I have no idea what it means, maybe it's a typo?" and some random dude decides it means gay people. Since the true meaning of the word is unknown, it becomes obvious that someone was inserting their own bias into the bible. Which makes it really, really depressing that so many people have been misled into believing that God hates people because of their sexual orientation. Especially sad is the fact that these come from letters Paul was writing trying to get Christians in Ephesus and Corinth to seriously quit bickering. And it really was bickering. He was telling everyone to grow up and love each other, and then some dude with a hate on for gay people decided to twist it around and corrupt it and turn it into a rant against two random guys that happen to be very much in love with each other. If Paul had meant homosexuals, he would have used the popular term of the time "paiderasste" which brings me to my next point.

Homosexuality did not exist then the way it does now. There weren't committed, loving relationships between two people. Instead, people engaged in pederasty. As in, grown men and little boys. I think we can all agree that THAT is morally corrupt.

Besides, God told us to love everyone and not judge. By saying homosexuality is immoral, you are passing judgement. God teaches us to be good people, and follow the moral outline he alone sets for us. Our relationship with him is personal, and so is our morality. Meaning, one should never impose their morality on others.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

But Jesus WAS a socialist!

I am so tired of Holt's argument that Jesus wouldn't support socialism. He does. The bible says so. I'll even prove it to you! You know, back up my arguments, like the damned dirty liberal that I am.

Mark 10:21 - 25

(21) Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." (22) But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (23) Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "how hard is it for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" (24) And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! (25) It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God!"

And the kicker:

Matthew 25:31-46

(31) “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. (32) All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. (33) And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. (34) Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (35) for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; (36) I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ (37) “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? (38) When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? (39) Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ (40) And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (41) “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: (42) for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; (43) I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ (44) “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ (45) Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ (46) And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Notice how the guys that didn't help anyone out ended up burning in hell, while the socialists went to heaven?

Yeah. I thought so. Jesus was a socialist. Sorry Paul.

Monday, March 14, 2011

God is so good!!

The goal of this blog is to end the use of religion to justify bigotry and stupidity.

This girl defines it.

I'm sorry, but does anyone else think it a little blasphemous to think that God would answer your specific prayers to kill a bunch of people?

Do you really think God's going to open atheist eyes through a 9.1 earthquake, multiple serious aftershocks, a bunch of tsunamis, and a failing nuclear plant?

Pamela Foreman:

God is not vindictive, nor is he your personal slave. The idea of him answering your prayers and killing at last count more than 10,000 people just because you asked him to teach atheists about himself is kind of ridiculous, no?

The fact that you can take a tragedy as horrifying as this one, and talk about how amazing it is, and how you can't wait for it to happen again everywhere else is not only disturbing, but downright unchristian of you. Thank you for making it harder for Christians everywhere to express their faith without ridicule. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Earthquake Myths

Okay, okay, two posts in one day, how dare I,  but a facebook friend posted this picture here:

I was astonished to see how many people claimed the earthquake was because God was mad at the Japanese for Pearl Harbor. I would like to point out a couple things here real quick:

1. God is not the United States' personal smiting machine. He did not smite the Japanese for Pearl Harbor. He doesn't care about American politics, and no loving God would kill a whole bunch of innocent people just because Americans said so. Furthermore, arguing that this is karma, and telling people to not bother praying for the Japanese is a little far removed from the whole love thy neighbour thing, isn't it?

2. Boobs, lust, homosexuality, the Haitian slave revolt,  Obama and/or abortion have nothing to do with earthquakes. Earthquakes are caused by this little thing called plate tectonics. It's not a theory anymore, it's proven. If I don't wear a bra, the world won't end. 

3. Earthquakes don't distinguish between religions, sexual orientation, gender, or skin colour. Therefore, they are not sent by one particular God to get back at one particular group of people. That would mean that the earthquake would selectively shake the ground under certain homes and people, but not others. As we know, this doesn't happen. Earthquakes hit everyone. Therefore, God did not send them to smite anyone.

4. The idea of us knowing what God thinks and does and his motivations behind things is blasphemous regardless of your faith. God is supposed to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Meaning, he's smarter than us. We can't understand why God does the things he does. To do that, we'd have to have the same level of intelligence that he does. And we don't. That would be like your dog trying to explain nuclear physics. Not gonna happen.

So if we could maybe stop with the whole "GOD IS SMITING YOU!" and act like rational adults, that would be great. Thanks!

The Stupid Reigns Supreme.

I know, I'm sorry, I promised myself I'd post to this every day, but you know, life gets in the way what with moving, and being pregnant "for like a year" as my 11 year old cousin put it, and a new puppy. Doesn't mean I haven't been watching.

I'm going to quote from a post made by Pastor Paul Holt of Magdalena's First Baptist Church. That's right, a local boy. He posts it on his new blog, dated March 8th and titled False Scripture. You'll have to forgive me for not wanting to link to his page from here.

I know I am asking for trouble with this one. That alone should be a warning. The islamic (sic) "scripture" known as the koran (sic) was not inspired by the One (sic) true God, but rather (by Mohamed's own testimony) was dictated by a demon I firmly believe that the Lord God of Abraham and of Issac and of Jacob (Israel) would have us speak the truth. Jesus is the Living Word (sic) of God and will not tolerate any other gods. Even if those that worship these false gods would threaten our very lives.

Sooo. Did anyone else face palm after reading this? I mean, I laughed so hard I thought my water broke.

Okay, I'm going to start with the first bit here: according to the Qu'ran, the angel Gabriel dictated the book to Mohammad. Last I checked, Gabriel was God's messenger in all three of the Abrahamic religions -- meaning Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The Qu'ran clearly denounces the Trinity, stating that the Holy Spirit is God's messenger, Gabriel, and that Gabriel gave the Qu'ran to man.

2:97 Say, "Anyone who opposes Gabriel should know that he has brought down this (Qu'ran) into your heart in accordance with GOD's will, confirming previous scriptures and providing guidance and good news for the believers"

So unless Gabriel is a demon, Pastor Holt is talking out of his ass again. Which shouldn't really come as a surprise to those that know him. I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't be too pleased with his hateful rhetoric. I mean, he did teach the concept of loving one another, even if they're mean to you, didn't he?

There's also the offensive line there that implies that all Muslims are out to get Christians. He's totally right about that. Muslims are pure ebil, and their religious goals involve killing Christians, Jews, and kittens. I mean, the Qu'ran says so:

2:62 Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve

Oops, no it doesn't, I must have misread. It says that you shouldn't hurt Christians and Jews. I believe it refers to them as "People of the Book."

I suppose the only logical conclusion here is that Pastor Holt is about as familiar with the Qu'ran as he is with the bible: not at all. I do have to wonder how he managed to survive into his 40s in the United States with such a poor grasp of basic reading comprehension.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Right to Freedom of Religion

I often find myself arguing with fundamentalists yelling that this is a Christian country! It was founded on Christian ideals, so Muslims need to get out! Among other assorted idiocy. The United States, according to the founding fathers is NOT a Christian country, but a secular country that allows us freedom of religion. The laws and politics of the country are meant to be secular and welcoming to all. 

Thomas Jefferson (one of the founding fathers, in case you've forgotten) wrote in his Wall of Separation Letter  of January 1st 1802 that:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. (, 2010)

This letter was used in the Supreme Court case Reynolds vs United States in 1878 where Reynolds attempted to have his conviction under the bigamy laws overturned for religious reasons (Reynolds was a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints). The Supreme Court used the letter and the text of the First Amendment to argue that religion is not an adequate defense under the eyes of the law, further highlighting the secular nature of the United States. (, 2011)

Furthermore, the Constitution (you know, that piece of paper that outlines all the rights anyone under the jurisdiction of the US is entitled too) has this little thing, called a 1st Amendment. It's pretty clear on the whole separation of Church and State thing. You know. Hard to misinterpret. Although I'm sure someone out there will anyway:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (, 2010)

Last time I checked, "no law" means "no law" not "some laws." No means no! Our parents taught us this early on, didn't they? Mine did!

Then of course, there's the Treaty of Tripoli. It's no longer an active treaty, seeing as the group the treaty was made with no longer exists, but article 11 still very clearly states that the country was not founded on Christianity, and that America would never have issue with Islam because of this. The treaty was authored in 1796, and ratified by the Senate in 1797 when the country was still in its infancy.

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. (, 2011)

I don't know how much clearer you can get than "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." Seriously. If you can interpret this any differently, please do. And post it in a comment.

I've also heard the argument that the Pledge of Allegiance says very clearly that we are "one nation under God". The Pledge of Allegiance was originally written in 1892 by a man named Francis Bellamy. It read, originally

I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all (, 1992)

I'd like to point out that there is no mention of "under God" in the original pledge. I'd also like to point out the part that says "liberty and justice for all." That really does mean, all. Regardless of faith, skin colour, legal status, gender, sexual orientation...all means all, right?

Now, the addition of "under God" was petitioned for by the Knights of Columbus and passed by Congress in 1954 at the height of McCarthyism. Meaning, it was not representative of what this country was founded on. It was instead, another corruption of the founding fathers' ideals.

So the next time you argue that us liberals are anti-American for our support of Islam's right to freedom of religion, please take note of what your own history says.

citations*:, 2010, retrieved on 13/02/11, 2011, retrieved on 13/02/11, 2010, retrieved on 13/02/11, 2011, retrieved on 13/02/11, 1992, retrieved on 13/02/11

*bear in mind it's been far too long since I've written a paper here.