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cleanhippie

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Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of posts: 19,705

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Kansas mom stabs son to death while he sleeps: It’s ‘better for him to go to heaven tonight’

A Kansas mother has been charged with the chilling death of her 10-year-old son, who she allegedly stabbed to death while he was sleeping because she thought he would be better off in heaven.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/12/kansas-mom-stabs-son-to-death-while-he-sleeps-its-better-for-him-to-go-to-heaven-tonight/



Read the link for details. I'm not going to post any more of it because I'm sure it really had nothing to do with her religious beliefs. Nothing at all.

Did historical Jesus really exist? The evidence just doesn’t add up.

Did a man called Jesus of Nazareth walk the earth? Discussions over whether the figure known as the “Historical Jesus” actually existed primarily reflect disagreements among atheists. Believers, who uphold the implausible and more easily-dismissed “Christ of Faith” (the divine Jesus who walked on water), ought not to get involved.

Numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called “Historical Jesus” – and most of them are, as biblical scholar J.D. Crossan puts it, “an academic embarrassment.” From Crossan’s view of Jesus as the wise sage, to Robert Eisenman’s Jesus the revolutionary, and Bart Ehrman’s apocalyptic prophet, about the only thing New Testament scholars seem to agree on is Jesus’ historical existence. But can even that be questioned?

The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith. These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify. Filled with mythical and non-historical information, and heavily edited over time, the Gospels certainly should not convince critics to trust even the more mundane claims made therein.

--snip--

Also important are the sources we don’t have. There are no existing eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus. All we have are later descriptions of Jesus’ life events by non-eyewitnesses, most of whom are obviously biased. Little can be gleaned from the few non-Biblical and non-Christian sources, with only Roman scholar Josephus and historian Tacitus having any reasonable claim to be writing about Jesus within 100 years of his life. And even those sparse accounts are shrouded in controversy, with disagreements over what parts have obviously been changed by Christian scribes (the manuscripts were preserved by Christians), the fact that both these authors were born after Jesus died (they would thus have probably received this information from Christians), and the oddity that centuries go by before Christian apologists start referencing them.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/12/18/did-historical-jesus-exist-the-traditional-evidence-doesnt-hold-up/

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When my son survived a serious accident, I didn’t thank God. I thanked Honda.

Last Friday night, a semi-trailer pushed the car my son was driving into a Jersey barrier. The trailer’s back wheel landed on the hood of the car, less than six inches from my son’s head. Every window shattered, throwing glass inches from his face.

But my son has not a scratch on him.

I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that I wrote a letter to Honda praising the expertly engineered safety features that saved his life. I explained that I had been in an equally serious accident 18 years earlier and had suffered a serious brain injury and broken bones all over the right side of my body, requiring countless surgeries.

I posted the letter on Facebook, and closed it with this:

I want to extend my thanks to the engineers who used their intelligence and skill to create a car that safe, to the crash test dummies who have died a thousand horrible deaths and to your executives who did not scrimp on safety.

Thank you, Honda.

That last line rubbed some people the wrong way. While many who left comments on my post were just glad that my son was alive and well, others wanted to know why I had thanked Honda for that outcome. The entity that deserved my thanks, they said, was God. One commenter wrote: “I am thankful that God held your son in His embrace and I am curious why you thanked Honda rather than Him.”

--snip--

However, over many years of thinking about religion and faith, I have noticed that something sad and somewhat strange happens when we thank God: We tend to stop there. We simply overlook the decisions, the science, the policies and the people who contributed to the “miracle.” To put it another way: When we focus on supernatural deliverance from harm, we often ignore all of the human ways we can improve our own safety. I am concerned that we may associate survival of serious accidents with the unpredictable hand of Providence, not with airbags, safety testing and the regulations that have put them in place.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/12/12/when-my-son-survived-a-serious-accident-i-didnt-thank-god-i-thanked-honda/

“Choose Faith in Spite of the Facts”

I usually don’t think it’s worth beating up on the purveyors of popular evangelical feel-goodism, for the same reason I don’t get in boxing matches with life-size Jell-O sculptures. But I had to make an exception for this tweet from human tooth-whitening strip Joel Osteen:


The facts may tell you one thing. But, God is not limited by the facts. Choose faith in spite of the facts.



Osteen is most famous for his surgically implanted smile and his prosperity-gospel theology which teaches that Jesus is a jolly, rosy-cheeked Santa Claus who’s eager to shower you with wealth, happiness and worldly success, if you only ask. His relentlessly upbeat preaching style, which has all the forced cheerfulness of a singing animatronic display in a mall, has given rise to a brutal satire, Third World Osteen, which juxtaposes the preacher’s blandly positive pablum with stark images of destitution and violence. For the record, Osteen himself owns a multimillion-dollar mansion in a rich Houston suburb. (You’d think prosperity-gospel believers would realize, eventually, that the only ones getting rich off this theology are the preachers who write the books about it; but somehow they never do.)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2014/12/choose-faith-in-spite-of-the-facts/


more at link

New Book On Irish Priests Reveals Struggles With Celibacy, Trips To Gay Clubs

New Book On Irish Priests Reveals Struggles With Celibacy, Trips To Gay Clubs
The Huffington Post | By Antonia Blumberg


When sociologist and former seminarian Dr. John Weafer started looking for studies on the personal lives of Catholic priests there were only a few. Those that did exist only began to approach what the researcher imagined was a much richer and more complex story beneath the surface.

Weafer took matters into his own hands by embarking on an in-depth study on Irish priests, using contacts he had from his seminary days nearly 30 years ago. The resulting book, "Thirty-Three Good Men: Celibacy, Obedience and Identity," explores the personal lives of a range of priests, often going into what Weafer called "graphic detail" about romantic relationships, abuse allegations and daily struggles with clerical life.

--snip--

Fr L went on to discover a "clerical gay scene in Ireland," saying he believed there were "quite a lot of gay guys in the priesthood" and during one visit to a gay bar in Dublin recognized at least nine priests in the venue.

Weafer said he did not believe the church hierarchy would be surprised to read these revelations.

--snip--

The Catholic Church has maintained strict doctrine against gay relationships, in addition to the expected celibacy of priests. Weafer found, however, that many priests struggle with the requirements of celibacy, and few would judge a fellow priest who broke his vow.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/03/ireland-priests-gay-clubs_n_6261188.html?utm_hp_ref=religion
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