May 11, 2011

Flying Zombie Feast

Posted in fiction, film, scripture at 3:59 pm by Jerry

Have your cameras ready because the May 21st Flying Zombie Feast is getting closer!

Yes, I said, “Flying Zombie Feast“. Because, as exciting as it will be to “meet the Lord in the air”, little is being said about who else will be there with the Lord…

1 Thess.4:16-17: For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and THE DEAD IN CHRIST WILL RISE FIRST. Then we who are alive and remain will be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Yes, always. An eternal kingdom of the undead. Have fun with that.

December 12, 2010

This Secular Humanist Welcomes Christmas

Posted in art, culture, family, fiction, film, friends, holidays, poetry, secular humansim at 8:02 am by Jerry

Christmas can mean so many different things to so many different people.
But I think what might be the greatest meaning we can all share,
If we care to think that sharing Christmas is fair,
Was said best by Dr.Seuss in his popular book,
Listen, or take a look:

Christmas day is in our grasp,
So long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas day will always be,
Just as long as we have we.
Welcome Christmas, while we stand,
Heart to heart, and hand in hand.

April 9, 2010

Jesus Christ Super-Zombie

Posted in culture, fiction, film, songs at 10:00 am by Jerry

April 6, 2010

Who Knows A Kid’s Imaginary Friends Better Than They Do?

Posted in art, atheism, fiction, psychology of religion at 3:52 am by Jerry

When we find out kids have imaginary friends, are there good reasons to re-consider those experiences as “supernatural” or “mystical” instead?  What do you think? Should we interpret those experiences as so deep and profound that they are beyond any material experience happening in a child’s brain? After all, if we all truly have guardian angels and demons tempting us, who is to say that a kid’s imaginary friends are NOT angels and demons, or God(s)?

On the other hand, maybe we should just let kids have fun creating imaginary friends for themselves without us re-defining them for ourselves. And if a child recognizes similarities between his or her inner world and the inner world of some adults… I know I’ll want to hear more.

December 31, 2009

Personal Infallibility

Posted in art, atheism, church, culture, family, fiction, friends, history, psychology of religion at 8:35 am by Jerry

It’s quite possible that faith first starts with having no impulse (naivete?) to intellectually challenge an experience of some kind, be it received through parental indoctrination, a social confirmation of parental indoctrination, a rejection of an ultimately unjust reality, some sort of mystical/ altered state of reality, or other sociological/psychological mediums.

Then, when that naivete is overcome by the everyday human experience of disillusionment (to whatever degree), inquiry or the all too popular “faith seeking understanding” stage can be entered. And so, whatever that experience was, it now involves reason.

But how far will that reasoning travel? Will we take it beyond our ignorance into some level of agnosticism, acknowledging that we could be wrong about not only the truth of the experience, but also the reliability of the medium through which we received that experience?

Faith has been said to be more than just an act of belief. Faith can also involve or imply a commitment to a pre-agnostic version of that experience, adapting one’s everyday decision making according to this version, thereby developing one’s personal investment in that version.

December 30, 2009

A First Century War On Mythmas

Posted in church, culture, fiction, history, mythology, politics, scripture, theology at 6:05 am by Jerry

Under the Caesars, Augustus and Octavian, the mantle of divinity was claimed for the Roman emperor. They claimed the titles Lord, Son of God, Bringer of Peace, and Savior of the World.

First century Christians remembered very well that according to Jesus “You shall love the Lord your God with heart, mind, soul, and strength.” Jesus was their Lord. They did not have divided loyalties.

The ancient world was full of miraculous birth stories. It was a favorite way for rulers to claim divine rights. It was a literary tool that was waiting for early Christians to use to declare the divine specialness of the one they called Lord.

The birth narratives that were eventually attached to Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels, were stories that were created and circulated to counter the claim of the Caesars to be divine and worthy to be called Lord. Every claim of specialness for Caesar was countered by the claim that all his titles belonged to Jesus.

The birth narratives are as much political treatise as theological statement. They cannot be found as a part of the earliest memories of followers of Jesus and make sense only in the context of their Roman oppressors claim for divinity…

Broadly speaking the authors were storytellers. They were not historians. Their work cannot be understood as history.

The birth narratives are properly called myths. A myth by definition is any story or report in which God or a God is the primary actor. Angels, free-moving stars, dreams, and unexplained bright lights are a part of the tools of mythology. Christians and the world at large have not been served well by attempts to read the birth narratives as history.

Just as many children feel deceived when they find out Santa is not real, many Christians feel deceived when they conclude that Jesus was not born of a virgin and that a star did not travel through the sky and come to rest over a particular place in Bethlehem. (bold mine)

Rev. Howard Bess is a retired American Baptist minister, who lives in Palmer, Alaska.

September 29, 2009

Stephen Fry on the “Divine Fire” and Human Imagination

Posted in art, atheism, church, culture, fiction, film, history, literature, mythology, religion, science fiction, scripture, theology at 1:34 pm by Jerry

I feel like I’ve been posting far too many youtubes on my blog, but I also feel that it would be wrong not to post them. Here, again, is another youtube, and it has made my copy of Shelley’s Frankenstein call out to me for another read. I can’t remember how many times I’ve read this favorite among favorites of mine because it’s been so long since I’ve touched it last. And I’m afraid it will be some time longer before I get to it again.

April 6, 2009

Touching, But Can’t Be Touched

Posted in atheism, church, fiction, history, psychology, religion, science, scripture at 9:57 am by Jerry

I couldn’t tell you how many times, when I’ve talked about the lack of EVIDENCE for the supernatural, I’ve been given personal testimonies from people who think anecdotes should be more than enough for me to commit myself to THEIR belief in the supernatural (even though, the more personal testimonies gathered from people NOT sharing the same spiritual family, the more the contradictions among the testimonies).

Check out this video –>

January 10, 2009

The Mystic Route

Posted in atheism, church, fiction, film, martial arts, philosophy of religion, psychology of religion, science, theology at 8:35 am by Jerry

What is this video telling you?

First of all, it’s obviously an allegory. Flies don’t grow back half of their bodies when they’re cut off, or disappear into a painting. For that reason (and the title of the video), the fly is our clue to understanding what the video is about. And remember, it’s an allegory, so the video is not saying, ‘Don’t kill flies.’

The beginning of the video introduces a contemplative, sword wielding warrior who sees the life of a fly in his practice area to be his enemy (a destroyer of the peace the warrior possesses), and assumes the life of the fly should, therefore, not exist.

I’ve interpreted the fly to represent all enemies (destroyers of the good we possess) that live within our environment, or our selves. And, to destroy what we believe to be our enemy multiplies evil rather than saves the good because any living thing we think to be evil is never without possessing good (life itself, for example). Therefore, destroying our enemy makes us an enemy of good too, and subsequently, multiplies the evil rather than saving the good.

A fine lesson, in some respects. Although, anyone’s welcome to present a different interpretation.

Where I take issue with what is being taught in the video is when a fly lands on a beautiful painting and transforms into something beautiful within the painting. And the warrior learns from the fly that to overcome the presence of a living destroyer of peace one must create an ideal (heavenly) reality apart from the one actually experienced. Then, by using some mental gymnastics, the warrior re-interprets the not-so-ideal (earthly) reality as an ideal one. In other words, he deluded himself of what is really going on – a la mysticism!

Why? Why take the mystic route? Why must we think we can know or even imagine the one and only, highly improbable, ideal reality, and think it should, and WILL, replace our lowly earthen reality soon, making EVERYTHING completely good?

Why couldn’t the warrior direct his efforts to a realistic pursuit of peace? Like trying to gain a better understanding of his present reality, achieving a greater awareness of the good that is within his enemies, finding what already exists to be “heavenly” within our earthen reality? No, instead, the mystic hides by overshadowing the real with an illusory veil, whitewashing what he or she doesn’t want to work through.

And we can find this happening throughout many of the religious communities, people who believe in a supernatural reality that sets themselves apart from the rest of the doomed world. Just recently, a Pastor explained to me that people who continually reject God’s goodness are creating their own irreversible destiny for complete evil. And God will “honour” their choices, while “redeeming” the lives of those who didn’t reject God’s goodness.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s admirable for anyone to want to change the life we have for the better, moving it closer to an ideal world (however unlikely an ideal world is). But until humanity is able to actually calculate a highly plausible future, we have no reason to assume that the universe will bow to our wishes.

The universe does not revolve around us. And yet there are many who believe that “God” (Creator/Creation or just Creator) made the universe suited for humanity, like a womb suited for a baby. Even in the empirical sense, some believe the whole universe (especially the planet earth) was ‘fine-tuned’ for humanity instead of humanity being ‘fine-tuned’ for the universe.

Look, I’m not saying there wasn’t a time in the journey of our species that we shouldn’t have thought and felt as if a loving, superior consciousness created a universe (or “womb”) for the benefit of our maturity. What I’m trying to draw attention to is that first, we all know there is a time when a child recognizes that he or she is not the center of the universe, and second, we also know that there is a time when a child outgrows the physical, mental and emotional needs to remain cuddled in the center of a loving, superior consciousness.

June 29, 2008

History Questions

Posted in art, culture, fiction, history, mythology, non-fiction, philosophy at 7:05 am by Jerry

  • Is history an actual story (or “narrative”), or is it just seen as one?
  • And if history doesn’t, in fact, consist of any type of narrative, what can we lose and gain by revising it as one?
  • If.. history is written as a man-made narrative, a fiction, should we only have one version?

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