The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 26, 2016: God Doesn’t Want To See You Pray In Public

No matter what the Evangelicals tell you, God does not want you to pray in public. God doesn’t need to hear them out loud, because God knows what you do in secret. God knows when you secretly give to the poor with your right hand without letting your left hand know what’s happening. And God doesn’t want you to gather out in the streets and in the public square and pray to him so everyone can hear you. Instead, God wants you to go into a private place in your own home, a closet even, and pray silently to God. Bryan J. Fischer told me that the admonition against praying in public was about the reason for doing it, to be seen doing it. [I’ll update it if he answers me. I’m surprised he did at all, considering how rude I’ve been to him before. And it wasn’t just because I’m from New York, he had it coming.]

Conservative Christians are so afraid of (among many, many other things) religious persecution against them, as opposed to from them, which they have no problem doing. This is despite the fact that we’ve had 43 different men occupy the highest political office in the country, and every single one of them practiced some version of Christianity. How it could be considered the “one true religion,” as all deity-based religions do, baffles me. It would seem unnecessary to have more than one. If there’s only one God, then why are there different ways to do what He wants? FTR, I believe there is no such things as gods at all, at least not in the sense that most humans think of them. I suppose it’s possible there are more highly-evolved creatures than us capable of doing things we’d think only a god could do, but then you’re straying so far from the image of God as portrayed in the monotheistic religions that it becomes clear we’re taking about two different things. OTOH, even the religions that do believe in gods claim there is more than one. If you’re Judeo-Christian, the First Commandment says not to put any of those other gods (you know, the ones that created all the people God didn’t, such as Cain and Abel’s wives) ahead of Jehovah because he is a jealous god. I can say his name, you can’t, because I don’t have anything to fear from him. Which brings up something else. For those who believe in God being perfect and humans being sinners, if envy is a sin, why is a “perfect being” like God allowed to have it? If God is perfect, and if he’s capable of being envious, then why should being envious be a mortal sin? What’s wrong with envy if it’s a trait of the most perfect being in the universe?

Still ducking the question:

The reason Religion is so rife with con men is because it’s easy to go around telling everyone, “Listen to me, Folks. I just had a chat with God and he has some things he wants me to say,” and have people believe you. Why? Because the truth is there’s a lot of stupid people out there who either don’t like to think, on account of it hurts too much, or they can’t, on account of they’re stupid. They don’t ask for proof that the person talking really did talk to God, they actually think it’s neat and wish it was they to whom God spoke. And they believe every thing this con man says, even when it makes no sense at all to those who are capable of critical thought. At some point you have to acknowledge that the instructions we’re being given by these men, who supposedly know what God wants us to do, are self-contradictory. Why do we persist in believing them when what they say can’t possibly be the truth? And why do we believe what they’re saying to be the Word of God, who is supposed to be perfect, when what they’re saying is so clearly and obviously imperfect? Faith alone isn’t going to change the fact that sometimes the Bible says one thing and sometimes it says something in complete contradiction to it. In Logic, which I know you’re not supposed to use where the Bible is concerned, if you start with a premise and show that the premise leads to a contradiction, then you’ve proven the premise false, and any argument derived from it must find another premise. If your premise is that the Bible (the word means a collection if little books, which were assembled, translated, and chosen for inclusion by flawed human men working for King James) is the inerrant Word of God (even if you believe Him to be the only God, which contradicts his First Commandment), and you find it contains a contradiction, then it cannot be “inerrant,” since a contradiction is an error. It is not a test of one’s faith, it’s a mistake. Which means the premise that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God must be False. That’s how Logic works.

I tried a different tack with Fischer, since he doesn’t want to answer the question I’m asking him. Fischer thinks we should vote for Ted Cruz. But Teddy Panderbear likes to make a big show of praying in public. We’ve all seen the pictures.

BTW, notice how he tries to paint a Nazi-esque picture of Liberals with the “Uberleftwing”? Of course, if one thinks about it for a moment, why wouldn’t Right Wing Watch be as far left as possible when the entire reason they exist is right at the top of their webpage: “A project of People For the American Way dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities of the right-wing movement”? If they aren’t very far left, then they’re too far right to be counted on to do what they tell us they do. But conservatives don’t really like to think about things for a moment. And why would they feel they need to? Conservatives often do not see hypocrisy as negating their argument. They’ve also been known to project a lot, and Fischer probably thinks that since he would use such a website to advance his own secret agenda, Norman Lear must be doing that, too. Frog-Human Hybrid The Least Reverend Jimmy Faye Bakker must think like that, too. He thinks that American Christians are being persecuted in America (as opposed to the real phenomenon of American Christians being captured and killed by murderous scumbag assholes who wrongly use religion as a cover for their evil elsewhere in the world), and that if we continue down whatever path it is he imagines we’re traveling, in the end people who pray in public will be gunned down by machine guns. If you watch the following clip carefully, you can see Bakker catch and eat a fly with his 24″-long tongue.

Okay, that must have been a different clip. But he’s totally wrong, of course. Not only about the eventual outcome being people like him who pray in public will be machine gunned down, but about whether or not people should be praying in public in the first place. Jesus thought that people who made a show of praying in public so that others would see them, including inside houses of worship, were hypocrites, and that if all they wanted was for others to see them praying, they got their reward. He said that God would prefer that you not pray where everybody can see you but in the privacy of your own own. Specifically, your closet, where I’m sure many, many Conservative Christians can be found. He said praying in public was unnecessary because God knows what you’re going to ask him before you ask it (which makes me wonder why praying is necessary at all), and so you should do it where no other people can see you doing it. God hears your secret prayers which, again, makes me wonder why it’s necessary to vocalize them at all. In fact, if He can hear you when you’re “praying” quietly to yourself, there shouldn’t be any formal procedure necessary. You should just be able to keep walking along and say to yourself, in your own mind, “God, could you please make that asshole Wayne burst into flames and be gone for good?” and it will happen. But since it didn’t happen, and because I know at least a few of you asked for it to happen, we must logically conclude that prayer doesn’t work. Which makes the premise of God answering prayers a false one. Yeah, sometimes the answer is, “No.” I know. But that would mean He can’t really be an all-loving God, since that would take away from the premise of him being a perfect being. Why would a perfect being hate anyone? Why would he make someone he would hate? Why would He make me, and let me sit here denouncing his very existence after so many of you asked Him a few moments ago to make me burst into flames? I know, I was there. I heard you. And yet I’m still here. Which makes the premise of him being some kind of “perfect being” a false one. Which I’ve been trying to tell you for years.

Open thread. Go for it.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 3, 2015: The End Is Not Near

Conservatives who claim to be Christians spent last year proclaiming the end times were nigh upon us though the evidence clearly suggests otherwise. (We’re still here.) It’s both funny and sad. Funny because these folks seriously believe this nonsense, and sad because these folks seriously believe this nonsense. And it IS nonsense because it makes no sense whatsoever. There are at least three different things that prove to these folks that we are approaching the end times, and none of them have anything to do with each other, nor can they be linked in any coherent way. And what are the five things that give true believers an indication the world is coming to an end?

Start with the Obama Presidency. According to US Representative Emeritus Michele Bachmann, both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are calling for both actual war and economic war with Israel. Of course, no such thing is actually happening, but when have facts ever gotten in the way of a Conservative Christian? (Speaking of which, can anyone out there list for me all of the teachings of Jesus that can even remotely be called Conservative? I strongly believe you can’t be both a Conservative and a Christian at the same time. That’s why Conservative Christians always come off as crazy. They’re walking around trying to believe two diametrically opposed philosophies.) Why she’s complaining baffles me because a war in Israel would bring about exactly what she desires – the end times, which means the Rapture, which means (she thinks) that she’s going to Heaven, despite all the many, many times she’s been known to bear false witness, such as in her claims that Obama dn Kerry want to bring about war in Israel. Or maybe, as televangelist Marion Gordon Robertson (better known as “Pot“, I mean, “Pat”) believes, the end times are upon us because Obama’s a “crypto-Muslim.” (Don’t worry, Pot’s praying for us. Did I say Pot again? I meant Pit, of course.) Or maybe it’s because Matthew Hagee is right and the end times are here as evidenced by Obamacare. Or maybe Franklin Graham is right and the end times are near because Obama isn’t cracking down on gay people enough like Vladimir Putin. (I meant not cracking down enough like Putin, not gay people like Putin. As far as I know, there is no evidence that proves that Putin is not gay.) Although Mark Creech thinks the end times are near because Obama is the Antichrist. Oh, and something about America being akin to the story of the Tower of Babel, which he believes “is a historical narrative of the first recorded form of government gone awry.” Right, because the Bible is such a reliable source of actual human history. (You can’t see them right now, but my eyes are rolling up in my head. Either because I can’t believe people believe the Bible contains reliable historical facts, or I’m having a stroke.) Or maybe Jonathan Wright is correct and Obama is the Antichrist because of the Bible Code. But whatever the reason, you can rest assured that the end of the world is coming because Barack Obama is president. (Isn’t it funny how the last three Republican presidents all gave huge tax breaks to the wealthy, which goes against everything Jesus taught his followers, but Obama is the Antichrist? Lies are a huge problem for real Christians, but not for Conservatives, which is why no Conservative can truly claim to be a Christian.)

Perhaps the end of the world is coming because of Ebola. Hagee thinks it might, and so does his father, John Hagee. But don’t worry, because Jim Bakker wants to sell you ice cream sandwiches to enjoy while everyone else is dead. Glenn Beck thinks Nigerian prison guards working in Texas will bring an airborne version of the deadly virus to the US and that we’ll be humbled (while we eat those sandwiches) and that Ebola was spiraling out of control. Not that facts have ever been known to influence your “thinking”, Glenn, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe the exact opposite.

But don’t think for a moment Teh Gays are getting away without blame for all of this because, you know, they have too many rights. Whether it’s Matt Barber and Deryl Edwards’ theory that acceptance of gay Christians is to blame, or Linda Harvey’s theory that marriage equality is bringing it about, or Michael Bresciani’s theory that gay rights are responsible for increased terrorism in the world, or Flip Benham’s theory that homosexuality destroys nations, or Rick Wiles’ theory that our lack of support for Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay policies will result in nuclear war, or Dwight McKissic’s theory that Michael Sam’s coming out will do it, or Scott Lively’s theory that a Satanic conspiracy is “homosexualizing the world,” or Mike Huckabee’s theory that gay marriage victories will lead to God’s judgment, or even Sam Rohrer’s theory that same-sex marriage will lead to “tyranny” and the “destruction of our nation”, somehow, some way, Teh Gays will bring about the end of the world.

Seriously, do these guys have anything else to think about? I know it comforts them to believe they will be Raptured, but I think they ought to learn a little bit more about the message of Jesus before they start thinking themselves saved. To be perfectly honest and 100% accurate, I have just as much chance of getting into Heaven as any of them do.

A longer version of this post will appear on Pick Wayne’s Brain later today. I’ll put a link on the blog name when it’s ready. Got some grocery shopping to do for Mom before the snow hits, and the playoffs begin.

UPDATE: The longer version is posted. And I neglected to add something to this post, which I did to the one on my Brain: My most humble thanks to the wonderful folks at Right Wing Watch for their painstaking research and cataloging of what the Right Wing is up to in public. Without them, my ability to report it back to you, Kind Readers, would be much, much harder.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss the end of the world, or anything else that pleases you.