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September 23, 2007

I tried not to laugh, honest

But someone found this site looking for "a pitcher of jesus."

You're laughing aren't you??

I assume they were looking for a picture and not a pitcher of ice cold deity but all the same I thank whoever it was for a very welcome Sunday night chuckle.

Pitcher of jesus. hahahha.

Posted by michelle at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

Not a leper

Although, I guess lepers are ok. You can cure them.

It's always weird when someone asks about playdates on Sunday. As long as we aren't busy we are good to go. Is after church good for us? Yes. Then again during church is good for us as well. Are we skipping this week? No. Don't attend a church here? (Implying we haven't found a local parish that works for us).

When the answer is "we don't go." It is still assumed that we are merely too busy or we belong to a church too far away. I usually let it slide but it's always strange to me how people's attitudes change immediately if you say something along the lines of "we don't believe in church"--never mind skipping right to the dreaded "we don't believe in god."

I don't ask people what church they attend. I guess though, that is an accepted conversational point. People ask each other that all the time. It's the equivalent of "what religion are you" but more PC and conversational. So, if the question is acceptable, why are only some of the answers acceptable?

People shake their heads and look at me with that "what are they doing to the children" look when they find out. I feel as if we need to keep it to ourselves so that the boys don't find themselves defending beliefs they haven't had time to form on their own. And yes, I am going to let them make informed decisions on their own. Imagine that?!

I got the look again today when they asked if C went to CCD. Well, no, no he doesn't. "Oh, what church do you belong to?" Now I know this is a well-intentioned question--small talk right up there with discussions of weather. But if it is really small talk then that implies that the answers are not going to be controversial, doesn't it? Isn't that what small talk is? Chatter that won't get anyone into trouble?

Just rambling I guess. But it makes me a little crazy. It's not info that I volunteer (the atheism, not the crazy, people can see the crazy coming from miles away!) but it doesn't seem like it should be something that makes other people uncomfortable. I'm not uncomfortable because they went to church this morning. Doesn't really change my view of them.

If you find out someone's views differ completely from your own does it change the way you interact with them? I would love to say no for all cases but then you might scroll down and read my entry about museum guy and get to yell "liar, liar, pants on fire." Extremes make me nervous. But if I'm not running around recruiting, do I still count as an extreme?

Lots of questions, too little sleep. Interesting mix. Also, I told the truth so the aforementioned pants are not, at this time, on fire. So there.

Posted by michelle at 07:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2007

Am I just stirring up trouble?

I giddily donned my WWFSMD? t-shirt as soon as I tore open the eco-friendly packaging this afternoon. "It's here!," I giggled and commenced with the dancing.

And now, as I get ready to fight the good fight at a baseball meeting, where people pretending to be adults are elbowing in for the ever important control of 10 yr old baseball, I wonder if I am just stirring up trouble with my new apparel.

Is it possible? Me? Do I know in advance that I am one of the few that will find the humor in this? Do I know that I will have to do much explaining? Is the explaining the point?

Ah, screw it. FSM and I are going in ready to do battle both on the baseball and craziness fronts. And yes, sometimes, those are one in the same.

What I need now is a "I believe in the Church of Baseball" t-shirt. Hmmmmm.....

Posted by michelle at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2007

I admit it

I'm a hypocrite. I just finished my "why can't we all just get along post" and I am a giant hypocrite.

Wanna know why? C'mon, it's funny.

You know this museum? The one that always has me just shaking my head in disbelief?

Well, guess what I saw last night? A t-shirt! From there! And the guy wearing it wasn't kidding or sarcastic or anything. And now when I look at him it will always be with a jaw-dropped, head-shaking, gawking kind of stare.

Have you been over to the web-site where they criticize the Smithsonian for ongoing research that creates changes in accepted knowledge while stating things like:

"I particularly enjoyed the Special Effects Theater and its movie Men in White. The film was a light-hearted look at how evolution is taught in science class. It also demonstrated how evolution teaching leads to confusion on the part of students who are trying to understand the meaning and purpose of life."

Sure. That's not propaganda. At least the Smithsonian admits that there is much to learn that is not already known, that new findings will continue to enlighten us. We're not going with the "because god said so and that's that" answer. Change is good. The more educated you are the more you understand that there is so much you just don't know yet that can still be discovered. Mythology isn't the answer. Research is and it's just as exciting.

Another fun quote from the site:
"Another sign declares: “Evolution is the biological process responsible for the magnificent diversity of life on Earth. Over time evolution creates new species.” (Yes, it really says that evolution creates!)"

Are there new species? Were they created? Are we going to hell for thinking that god didn't do it? Can we create anything? Music? Art? Are all creations off limits? Just wondering.

And their conclusion:

There could hardly be more contrast between two museums. The first one has “exchanged the truth of God for a lie” and teaches that man has evolved from tiny rat-like creatures over millions of years; the second upholds the truth of God’s Word and teaches that the Bible can be trusted.

I encourage everyone to visit the Creation Museum and, if you can, bring a skeptical friend.

Please. Bring me. No really, it would be fun.

Where was I? Oh, that's right, gawking at the person who genuinely believes that. Now I'm not talking about those who try to meld their spirituality with reason, who believe that Bible stories are a useful allegory, a way of dealing with things that helps them. That's different. But to honestly believe that all of evolution is a complete and utter farce? That's like accepting that the stork is an alternate theory to childbirth. (Hat tip to Bill Maher for that one!) It makes the kind of sense that's not.

Also, when his kid was the only kid being deliberately mean to the others in the dugout it struck me that the "I don't care what you think" attitude may carry over into other things.

One of these days I am going to that museum. But for now I need to go and rest from all this vigorous head shaking.

And am I still a hypocrite if I am willing to sit and talk with the man? I wish he could explain how people could believe it so blindly while ignoring evidence all around them. I'm not going to convert but maybe he could help me understand.

Sorry, couldn't resist more goodies from the site:

It has often been pointed out that, if a person really believes Genesis 1:1, he will not find it difficult to believe anything else recorded in the Bible. That is, if God really created all things, then He controls all things and can do all things.

Furthermore, this one verse refutes all of man's false philosophies concerning the origin and meaning of the world.

1. It refutes atheism, because the universe was created by God.
2. It refutes pantheism (the belief that God is everything and everything is God), for God is transcendent (apart from and independent of the material universe) to that which He created.
3. It refutes polytheism, for one God created all things.
4. It refutes materialism, for matter had a beginning.
5. It refutes dualism, because God was alone when He created.
6. It refutes humanism, because God, not man, is the ultimate reality.
7. It refutes evolutionism, because God created all things.

Actually, all such false philosophies are merely different ways of expressing the same belief. Each one proposes that there is no personal transcendent God, that ultimate reality is to be found in the eternal cosmos itself, and that the development of the universe into its present form is contingent solely upon the innate properties of its own components. In essence, each of the above philosophies embraces all the others. Dualism, for example, is a summary form of polytheism, which is the popular expression of pantheism, which presupposes materialism, which functions in terms of evolutionism, which finds its consummation in humanism, which culminates in atheism.

Oh well, in that case I must just be crazy. If one line in one book that has been translated so many times that it's exact origins and etymology have been lost tells us everything, that was chosen by men for a reason (not god), then everything I believe in, and that everyone else believes in, is wrong. It says so right there, right?

Isn't the point that we don't see the bible as history but as literature--edited, translated, revised like any other text--not the word of god but the word of man?

Oooh, ooh, how about this one?
In spite of the universal prevalence of such pantheistic evolutionary cosmogonies among the nations of antiquity, the inspired account in Genesis does not attempt to refute them, or to prove the existence of the true God. The reason for this strange silence is, most likely, the fact that the Genesis account was written before any of these other systems developed. The others were developed later for the very purpose of combating and replacing the true account in Genesis. The latter had been written originally, possibly by God Himself (‘the generations of the heavens and of the earth,’ Genesis 2:4) soon after the Creation, setting forth in simple narrative form the actual events of Creation Week. At that point in time, there was no need to argue about the reality of God and the Creation, since no one doubted it!

Have you read history? Do you understand that you didn't come first? Are you kidding me with the "no one doubted it?" How about all those people you conquered for their own good? How about the reasons that you tacked christian holidays onto existing polytheistic celebrations?

Parts of the site teach that those who are religious but that ignore creation are being selective about the teachings of the bible and that is unacceptable. Really? We're going to adhere to every word?

OK, time to trot out this oldie but goodie:

Problems with Teaching the Bible in Public Schools
By Dave McNeely
P a g e 3 J u l y 2 0 0 7

It may not happen, but state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, has proposed requiring that the Bible be taught in public
Again, it may not happen - probably won't - but if it does, like some others before me, I've got some questions about
parts of the Bible that hopefully are a bit confusing.

I don't have any problem with the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31). It seems sort of like common sense to treat others the way
you'd like to be treated, and I usually try to do that.

We've also talked about requiring the teaching of the Ten Commandments. But even though some believe in the inerrancy
of scripture, I worry that, for example, ordering people not to covet their neighbor's house (Exodus 20:17) could
seriously undermine the real estate business.

And I presume the prohibition against working on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10) is well-intentioned. But it gets a bit
harsh when Moses says anyone who does should be put to death (Exodus 35:2). If that indeed is correct, my question
is whether we can just stone them or have to use some harsher method. Or can we just get the sheriff to do it?

I read that it's OK for me to have slaves, either male or female (Leviticus 25:44), providing they come from neighboring
nations. It's obvious that I could then possess people from Mexico. But would Canada qualify as a neighboring nation,
or is Texas limited to Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico?

I realize it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord when I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice (Leviticus 1:9), and I've gotten
pretty accustomed to the smell. But I've got some new neighbors that say the odor doesn't please them. Shall I
smite them?

I wear trifocals, but the Bible says I can't approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight (Leviticus 21:20).
Would Lasik surgery qualify me for an altar approach?

Most of my buddies get haircuts, including the hair around their temples. But Leviticus 19:27 flatly says this is wrong.
Am I required to kill them, or can someone else take care of it?

I realize touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean (Leviticus 11:6-8). Is that why football players get so dirty?
And if they wear gloves, will that take care of it? Also, I worry that this may discourage pass interceptions.

My brother has a farm. He plants two different crops in the same field, which I've told him is a clear violation of Leviticus
19:19. Furthermore, his wife wears garments made of two different kinds of thread (a cotton/polyester blend.)
When I mention these things to him, he curses and blasphemes. Am I required to get the town together to stone them
(Leviticus 24:10-16)? Or could we just burn them to death in a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep
with their in-laws (Leviticus 20:14)?

I like raw oysters, but a friend tells me eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 11:10.) He says it's less of an
abomination, however, than homosexuality. Is he correct? Are there degrees of abomination?

I realize it's OK to sell my daughter into slavery, according to Exodus 21:7. I'm giving it serious thought, because I
need the money. But every time I mention it to either of my daughters, they get really, really upset. Got any advice
about what to do?

It's entirely possible that Bible study won't be required, since other legislators want to water down Chisum's bill, including
by requiring use of a textbook rather than the Bible and letting local officials decide whether their school districts
will offer the courses at all.
But if they do, I hope a good teacher can help clear up some of these nagging questions, sure to come up in classrooms.
(Ed. Note: The referenced legislation, HB 1287 was signed into law by Gov. Perry on 15 Jun 2007. During debates
(?), Rep. Chisum estimated a fiscal impact of $750,000.)
Source: Abilene Reporter-News

OK, done for now. I'll be back though. And I am shopping for a t-shirt response. You know, 'cause I'm passive aggressive like that.

on edit: Feeling much better now after having purchased a WWFSMD? shirt and a pirates/global warming shirt. All is well and Tuesdays practice will be great fun!

Posted by michelle at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2007

Other people's beliefs

Know what I love? I love having a discussion with someone about their beliefs when they are completely opposite your own and yet, without condescension or attitude, without defensiveness, with genuine interest, you can learn from each other.

Why is that so rare to find?

Friends of ours run a business that centers around their beliefs. And yet, because we like each other, respect each other, we can have interesting conversations. Wouldn't it be nice if that were the case more often? Wouldn't it be nice if conversation didn't screech to a halt at that awkward silence when you realize that perhaps the talk has veered into sensitive territory? You know you have friends that you love that you can't talk politics or religion with, friends that you stay on "safe ground" with.

Learning more about what other people believe and why and how they do that helps create tolerance. I've found that more secure people tend to know that.

Just a rambling post after a pleasant conversation the other night.

Posted by michelle at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2007

What I've Learned From Yoga

I've learned a few things as I have dabbled in yoga over the years. Mainly that with yoga, as with many of my other self improvement ventures, I'm a dabbler. Sticking to an exercise regiment has never been my strong suit.

But I am giving it another go after finding that the yoga today courses are both free and easy to follow.

That said, I've learned a few more things:

1)I am not strong. Nope. Not a bit. I am fairly weak.
2)I am not flexible. Thought I was but was wrong there too.

(These things will come with time and practice)

3) Yoga and meditation give me patience to deal with my kids without as much stress. This is a major plus.

4)I am apparently headed straight to hell...again.
This article clearly states that I am heading there because I am opening and clearing my mind. That's right folks. Yoga is a cult. By their definitions though, wouldn't Christianity be a cult as well? Is it wrong for a group to see Jesus as a man, a good and spiritual man, but a man? They are still respectful of the teachings they just interpret them differently. And I don't see people at yoga classes spending all their time and energy trying to disprove other people's beliefs but merely trying to connect with their own. Can you be Christian and do yoga? I can see no reason whatsoever that you can't. Many religions have their basis in the histories of another religion. If that article's problem is that yoga is intrinsically tied to eastern philosophies then perhaps they should take a more thorough look at the history of Christianity and what religions it is based on. Just a thought but they might find there were others there first and Christianity was built upon and incorporated beliefs and customs from other religions. Gasp.

Ok, and last thing I have learned from my newest try at creating a yoga routine that works for me?

5)Boobs and yoga aren't a good mix.

Don't say you weren't warned.

Posted by michelle at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)