Desperate Christians Part 3

My Christian email correspondent from last week; the one I thought had cut and run, is back. I think somehow he believes that I need “saving” so he sent me the the following bit of Christian “wisdom” in a really large font size:

HE IS GOD!!! GOD changed the status of David from a shepherd boy to king of Israel , Esther from a slave girl to a Queen and Joseph from a prisoner to the first (and only foreigner to become) Prime Minister of Egypt . That same God will give you a new designation very soon in Jesus name. In chemistry he turned water to wine, in biology he was born without the normal conception, in physics he disapproved the law of gravity when he ascended into heaven, in economics he disapproved the law of diminishing return by feeding 5000 men with two fishes & 5 loaves of bread, in history he is the beginning & the end, in Government he said that he shall be called wonderful counselor, prince of peace, in religion he said no one comes to the father except through him so who is he.(JESUS). Join me and lets
celebrate him, he is worthy BEWARE: LUV disappoints, SARS is dangerous,
AIDS is real, BOOZE intoxicates, DRUGS kill ….but JESUS saves…don’t delete
spread info 2 every living soul in your list. Heavenly Father, Most Gracious and Loving God, I pray to you that you abundantly bless my family and me. I know that you recognize, that a family is more than just a mother and father, sister and brother, husband and wife, but all who believe and trust in you Father, I send up a prayer request for financial blessing for not only the person who sent this to me, but for me and all that I have forwarded this message on to. And that the power of joined prayer by those who believe and trust in you, is more powerful than anything. I thank you in advance for your blessings. Father GOD, deliver the person reading this right now
from debt and debt burdens. Release your Godly Wisdom that I may be a good steward over all that YOU have called me to be in my financial Blessings. Father, for Stars don’t struggle to shine, Rivers don’t struggle to flow,also you will never struggle to excel in life, because you deserve the best, hold on to your dream and it shall be well with you…Amen. The eyes beholding this message shall not behold evil, the hand that will send this message to others shall not labor in vain, the mouth saying amen to this prayer shall laugh forever, remain in God’s love. THE WILL OF GOD WILL NEVER TAKE YOU TO WHERE THE GRACE OF GOD WILL NOT PROTECT YOU”. I SEE SOMETHING GOOD HAPPENING TO YOU TODAY. SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING TO EXPERIENCE. THIS IS NOT A JOKE; YOU ARE GOING TO RECEIVE A DIVINE VISITATION THAT WILL MOVE YOUR LIFE FORWARD MIGHTILY BY THE OUTWORKING OF GOD’S UNSTOPPABLE POWER. DO NOT BREAK THIS CHAIN; SEND IT TO A MINIMUM OF SEVEN PEOPLE INCLUDING THIS SENDER. YOU ARE BLESSED BEYOND ALL CURSES IN JESUS’ NAME!

My response as usual, was scathing. And I did promise to post it on my blog:

Ah, my religious friend is back. Good afternoon to you, sir. I thought you had cut and run after your last discussion with me. BIG UP to you “brother”, you sure are a sucker for punishment.

Firstly, there is no need to use a large font size in your mails to me. Although I wear spectacles, I can read normal and smaller font sizes. In the world of electronic mailing, using large fonts is known as shouting at your recipients. It means that you are angry with them for some reason. Perhaps I’ve given you reason to shout at me, because I’m a smug bastard who likes taking the Mickey out of poor delusional theists (fools) like yourself. Anyway, now that we have e-mail etiquette out of the way, let’s turn to your latest absurd attempt at convincing me that God/Jesus/Holy
Ghost/Yahweh/pie-in-the-sky/whatever exists.

With reference to the first two paragraphs of this assault on intelligence: Except for these ludicrous claims appearing in that classic fairy-tale called the bible, where is your scientific proof that Jesus:
turned water to wine
was born without the
normal conception
ascended into heaven (do you have the stellar address for this place called heaven)
fed 5000 men with two fishes & five loaves of bread

Incidentally, the word “disapproved” as in “he disapproved
the law of gravity” means, according to the English dictionary “to give a
negative judgment of something based on personal standards”. Synonyms for
disapproved are condemn, censure, criticize, dislike, object to, frown on,
reject. What are you trying to say here: that Jesus condemned, objected to or
frowned on the laws of gravity. Very strange person, that Jesus chap.

“BEWARE: LUV disappoints, SARS is dangerous, AIDS is real, BOOZE intoxicates, DRUGS kill ….but JESUS saves”

No my friend, Jesus does not save, neither does God, for they don’t exist….only in your imagination maybe. What you really need to beware off is irrational beliefs in Gods and fairies and goblins, and the trash written in books like the bible. And beware people who peddle this rubbish. There is only one source of power in the world, and that is an unencumbered mind. A free mind, thinking rational and logical thoughts is more powerful than all the gods you think exist. Try it, free yourself. I am “saved” already…

Evolution is alive and well, and happening. People who have abandoned religion and other superstitious nonsense and growing their minds, are evolving to become better people. Those who cling onto religion and fear are doomed to extinction. It is only a matter of time before this irrational belief in religion is eradicated. The signs are strong that the younger generations are slowly but surely moving away from religion.

Oh, and by the way, as requested, I am sending this to a minimum of 7 people. I will go further though and post it to my blog as well.

Regards

Lenny

Fender Vendors

They’re not your average pavement or roadside hawker. Fender vendors are the brave souls who dodge cars at busy traffic intersections every day, braving the elements, risking death or injury to make a meagre sale. It is impossible to miss them on your daily commute to work on weekdays or when going out anywhere on weekends. They have no holidays, every Sunday is a workday.

There are the regulars at every intersection. The faces become familiar over time. Amazingly, most even recognise regular passing motorists and wave cheerfully, hoping to make a sale. Most have a cheerful disposition and are really friendly. In fact, it is a pleasure to see a cheerful face as you crawl through traffic, and notice that your fellow motorists are decidedly glum-looking. What a disgrace to also watch how some motorists wave the vendors away rather impolitely. I have had occasion to witness motorists rebuke these vendors and utter vulgar insults as well.

I know that these vendors are considered a nuisance and a many motorists would dearly love to see them removed from the intersections. Considering the sea of crime engulfing the country, South African motorists probably consider these vendors as a threat. Given there may be a small criminal element among them who have been known to conduct smash-and-grab raids on vehicles, the majority are honest individuals just trying to make an honest buck. There is no need for paranoia. So what if some of them are peddling items, that you would normally purchase only from a licenced retailer. They don’t have economics degrees. They will soon enough realise that they need to switch to stock that sells.

Let’s give them a break and some support from time to time. And you don’t have to buy any of the illegal stuff…unless you want to.

South Africa burns…where is the fiddler?

There are cries of xenophobia everywhere; the newspapers are full of it, news on TV, the blogosphere, people discussing it in groups. Pictures of a poor man burning is travelling around the world. Most South Africans, and in all likelihood people all over the world are perplexed. The victims are just shocked, horror written all over their faces. Is this really a scene from the new South Africa, only just 14 years old? What is happening here?

I have spent a few days taking in the reports of violence, killings and destruction of property from around the Province, trying to make sense of it all. Most of the attacks seem to be targeted at foreigners, mostly illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, but there have also been attacks against locals. The perpetrators of the attacks are referred to constantly, as “they”. Who are “they” really? Are they Zulus or Xhosa’s or some other linguistic or tribal group, as has been claimed in some reports? Or are they just a mixture of poor South Africans, living in the squalor of the townships, shanty-towns and ghettos?

We have been living alongside illegal immigrants for a number of years now, but why the sudden torrent of anger directed toward them, originating in Alexandria township? Apart from the first half or so years, of the country’s transition to democratic rule of government, there has been a noticeable decline in the state of the economy and quality of government. The first signs were the escalation in the rate of crime being perpetrated on people of all races. The poor got steadily poorer and more desperate by the day. Criminals became more brazen when they realized that the police and indeed the government were quite helpless, nay clueless when it came to protecting its citizens. While the poor suffered intense hardship, prominent members of the government were helping themselves to the taxpayers money. The government (local and national) lost sight of its vision to rebuild the country, pave the way for creation of equality, wealth and justice for all; instead, with the exception of a few dedicated politicians and civil servants, most concentrated on lining their own pockets. Meanwhile, our President continues to support Zimbabwean dictator, Robert Mugabe, while his people stream into South Africa to escape that brutal regime.

And then came higher and even higher interest rate hikes, and to add insult to injury, monthly fuel price hikes with its concomitant rise in the price of food and basic necessities. The poor were now reeling from the double whammy. Is it then inconceivable to imagine that the recent outbreak of so-called xenophobic attacks could be linked to the desperate situation the poor have now been cornered into. Fourteen years after being freed politically, they now find themselves enslaved economically. It could have started as a small squabble in Alexandria, but quickly escalated out of control. We will never really know. The victims certainly don’t know why they have been attacked. The problem is that it has happened.

But, the government has been obscenely silent about the whole mess. Where is the fiddler? Mr. Mbeki, it is time for you to go, don’t wait for the 2009 election…

Life of Brian

A few weeks ago, I purchased a DVD of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, on sale at a local music shop. In between everything else I managed to squeeze in yesterday, I watched the movie on my home theatre system. I remember watching the film at one of the local cinemas in Durban, some time after it was released in 1979, and had forgotten all about it until I spotted the DVD on sale.

Now, I don’t exactly remember any of the controversy surrounding the film when it was released in South Africa, but given the subject matter of the film and the conservative Apartheid society of the time, I would have been very surprised had there been none. The film which portrays religion as hypocritical and fanatical, certainly did cause a consternation among the religious community in Britain and the USA when first released. If there were any protests in South Africa, on a scale equivalent to that of Britain and the USA (apparently it was banned outright for 8 years in the Republic of Ireland), I must have missed it.

But, after watching the film yesterday, I was struck by how timid the perceived blasphemy and criticism of Christianity and religion in general, really was. Oh, to be sure the portrayals were quite funny and relatively current, but compared to the scathing criticism found widely today in mediums such as the blogosphere, I thought it was quite timid. I’ll bet a film made today with the same subject matter, won’t be as accommodating to the religions of the world.

Well, I’m not overly disappointed though, since the film is regarded as a classic Monty Python feature and makes a welcome addition to my DVD collection. Anyway, the song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” by Eric Idle in the film’s closing scene is one of my favourites.

A passing shot…or desperate Christians Part 2

Remember my “friend” from the other day, the one who responded to my heated mail disputing the claim that NASA scientists had proved the bible to be true? Well, after the last response to him (the one that made me feel sheepish afterwards), he responded again saying that I should leave him be and get on with my life, this after he had initiated the debate.

It’s not surprising really, there’s nothing new about theists who either cut and run when the debating gets tough, or rehash tired old religious dogma and present it as new evidence. Theists have said nothing new for thousands of years, and yet they still persist in attacking, and worse, ignoring new scientific evidence which has become stronger year after year. The more science prooves that they are delusional, the deeper they dig their heads in the sand (aka, religious texts). I am sure my “friend who shall still remain nameless” has gone to his pastor to seek solace and reaffirm his faith.

It being Sunday, I am convinced that the sermon today, in a certain church in Durban is going something like this:

And I say to you brethren, as we approach the end days, there will be false prophets walking the earth who will entice you to give up your faith. These false prophets are the henchmen of the devil, and there will be one who is called Lenny. Be aware of the devil called Lenny as he will surely create turmoil in your mind and tempt you away from our Lord as he recently tried with brother “name withheld”.

Boy, I wish I could be a fly on the wall of that church…

Feeding frenzy at the sharktank, Durban

It is done. The Sharks are through to the semi-finals of the Super 14 rugby tournament. The excesses of yesterday’s cheering and after-match celebrations are very evident this morning as I nurse a slight hangover. It was great though to see a highly talented team finally hit their straps after a rather mediocre season. Considering that the Sharks topped the log last season and were “beaten” by the Bulls in the finals only through a refeering error, this has been a strange season for them. Well, all’s well that ends well; it may be a good thing that they are peaking right now for the final games. As always I’m truly impressed by Ryan Kankowski, “Beast” Mtawarira, Rory Kockott and Jacques Botes, although to be fair the whole team put in a splendid performance yesterday. Running in 7 tries to 3 against the Hurricanes was quite impressive. Can’t wait for next weekend when they take on the Waratahs. Go Sharks!!!

Sharks_image2

Save the Polar Bear – Message from the We Campaign

Earlier this week, the Secretary of the Interior placed the polar bear on the Endangered Species List as a threatened species. More than 136,000 We members like you helped make that happen by signing our petition asking the Secretary to take action on this issue. What’s even more amazing is that all this happened in just a week.

The listing is clearly a step in the right direction. Much more needs to be done — to save the polar bear and solve the climate crisis. Much more. But when these positive steps do occur, we should acknowledge the work that we’ve done together. And we should set our sights on more and bigger successes.

So…again, thank you!

Sincerely,

Cathy Zoi

CEO

Desperate Christians

Last night I received a hoax email from my first cousin who is obviously a newly-converted Christian. I regularly receive, or should I say, am bombarded with mails from him, selling Christianity. Up to this point I had politely ignored the mails, quietly deleting them without any complaint. He is a cousin after all, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him to stop pestering me with religious pornography. Anyway, I did hint on a few occasions that I was an Atheist, but new-found believers are known to be relentless in trying to convert everyone to their one-tracked, twisted, illogical, and irrational ideology, and so he persisted.

However last night, I totally lost it, when I received the hoax mail about how NASA had proved the bible to be true. The hoax had been around in one guise or another for about 30 years, and had been refuted by several sources over the years. Recently it seems it had gotten a new lease of life and was doing the rounds again, and eventually found its way into my inbox courtesy of my cousin. What annoyed me so much was that anyone with a modicum of intelligence, reading the mail would suspect that it was less than plausible, and would bother to take the time to verify the material before forwarding it any further. It seems that my cousin, and indeed those before him were only too eager to believe (a characteristic of religious people) and passed it on in glee, relishing the thought of proving us heathens, non-believers and sceptics wrong. Indeed, the glowing introduction in the mail to the so-called proof, proclaimed that “Angus Buchan said on his Mighty Men Conference: Faith is believing in what you can not see, The reward is to see what you believe. This is the proof!!!!!”

Essentially the hoax insinuated that NASA, during its research had come across a “missing day” in its calculations which proved certain passages in the bible to be true. Several websites refuted this claim, including a Christian site called answersingeneses.org, yes, that selfsame organization behind the abominable Creation Museum. It is unthinkable that true scientists would be wasting their energies on trying to prove the bible to be true. Imagine NASA spacecraft being built on a wing and a prayer (the scenario is hilarious: NASA announces that their latest shuttle will be powered by a new fuel called faith and all scientists are now required to pray hard that it takes off). Now, after my initial suspicions about the claims in the mail had been confirmed, in a fit of rage, I rushed off a reply to my cousin and all his recipients as follows:

Hi good people,
I don’t know Deborah Elkington, but this hoax mail seems to have originated from her in this thread. I don’ know this Angus Buchan either but he is obviously a monumental idiot as well. I don’t normally respond to hoax mails, and I just delete mails promoting religious rubbish. However, this one needs to be stopped dead, because, not only is this story (urban myth) extremely old, it annoys me that people actually believe such crap. The so-called “proof” below that NASA proves the bible true, was refuted ages ago, and has been around in one form or the other for about 30 years. For those who are religiously inclined and don’t believe me, the story was refuted by a Christian Website called answersingeneses.org. Follow the web link if you have access to the Internet, but I have copied it below for you.
For those of you who would like further “proof” that this story about NASA is bollocks, please refer to the following websites:
http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/j/joshuaday.htm
http://www.snopes.com/religion/lostday.asp
http://patriot.net/~jlazio/essays/missing.html
http://www.new-life.net/myths.htm
http://www.about-him.com/guest16.html
There are doubtless more sites with similar refutations. As an atheist, I personally don’t mind other people deluding themselves about the existence of God, but I get really annoyed when un-verified information purporting to be the truth is passed on to me, especially religious dogma. I’ve said all this before, so you are welcome to debate with me on my blog-site: http://lenny-says.blogspot.com/
Thanks for your time
Lenny

This morning, I was a little peeved at myself for being so rash, and unkind to my cousin and was about to send him an apology this evening, when I read a reply to my mail from one of his (my cousin’s) original recipients and changed my mind. The person who shall remain nameless was obviously very angry that I had blown their “proof” out of the water, wrote thus:

Thank You sir for your comments below..

I am a Christian , I don’t care about Nasa or anyone else. I am a blessed Christian. To me , Jesus is the way , the Truth and the Life… God Said it , I believe it and that settles it.

Have a good day.

Which, off course ticked me off again, as this is the sort of reply you would expect from a theist, whose faith is increasingly being crushed by damning scientific evidence. It is a cry of desperation, typical of a believer, as the last straws he is clutching onto are slowly but surely snatched way from him. Anyway, I could not resist replying thus:

Hey bro’, believe what you want, it’s no skin of my teeth. I’m not surprised you don’t care about anyone else. All theists are the same – all they care about after millennia of religious brainwashing, is their own personal salvation. Give up your chase of imaginary Gods and concentrate your time and effort in helping your less-fortunate fellow man out of this mess we are in, in the world today, which I may add is largely due to the excesses of religion and the purveyors of religious dogma. You’ll find as I have, that you will much more “blessed” and you soon wont have this irrational fear of non-existent Gods.

Verily I saith unto thee, brother, join me in clear and rational thinking. Blessed is he who forsakes all Gods to help his fellow man. Heaven is here on Earth, look no further, stop destroying her. Now please go forth, and stop with that religious mumbo-jumbo; you’re preaching to he whose mind is free of religious pollution.

I am truly sorry if I have offended thee; I am a real bastard when it comes to
religion, and could not resist.

Regards

Lenny

Now I am feeling sheepish for being a wise-ass and having acted rashly yet again….