Archive for August 4th, 2010
I’ll admit it – I am a registered Republican. And up to about 5 years ago, a pretty conservative one. But….I NEVER would have taken Sarah Palin seriously. She is a goof. I’m not sure if she has ever read a book. She is an embarrassing political anomaly that wont fade away as expected.
So the news here in Maryland is that she “snubbed” GOP gubernatorial primary front runner Bob Ehrlich (who I will probably vote for anyway, doggonit!) by endorsing an almost unknown business investor named Brian Murphy. Snubbed?
Murphy is shouting the endorsement to the roof tops, but really, this is a great opportunity for Ehrlich. I think her endorsement will seriously hurt any candidate in Democratic Maryland. If he didn’t court Palin Ehrlich would likely piss off the ultra-conservative voters in Maryland (thankfully, there aren’t that many). Now he can flippantly dismiss her with good cause and win extra points from those folks sitting on the fence. I’ll wager that right now in his campaign headquarters he and his staff are laughing with relief. While Martin O’Malley cries into his beer.
When will the Republicans get it? Don’t they realize that Palin’s candidacy was the straw that broke the back of John McCain’s campaign? That her endorsements have not actually helped anyone win an election? More importantly, associating with her tends to suck away any serious credibility a candidate may have.
I’m not real crazy about the so called “liberal elite” of the Democratic party. Not so crazy about Republican “fat cats” either. It would be great to have more down-home, sure shooting, no-nonsense men and women “of the people” inside the Beltway. But Palin ain’t really all that down-home (she has made millions since last year), intellectually she can’t even see the target, and she is constantly spouting nonsense. Sarah Palin, you are no Jimmy Stewart.
There has been an awful lot of fuss about Anne Rice leaving Christianity. After all, thousands of people do this every day (and another thousand might be going in the opposite direction). But why should we care so much? What’s so important about Rice’s decision?
Jessica Reed, over on the Guardian, has presented us with her very thoughtful take on the story, one that points out why Rice’s decision is so news worthy. An atheist herself, she never-the-less questions her rationale for automatically lamenting the religious conversions of people she admires. But, she contends, there are some good reasons behind her feelings:
It does, however, change my perception of them as people. Christians have to live with (and defend themselves from) stereotypes that contain grains of truth: a lot of Christian denominations are closely associated with anti-choice, anti-science and anti-gay mindsets, which is why it breaks my heart to see my heroes joining their ranks. By evangelizing while also not voicing their disapproval of some traits associated with Christianity, they add their tacit approval to groups perpetuating systems of oppression. The same goes for communists who are uncritical of their movement’s past, for gender activists who don’t acknowledge how feminism has historically failed working-class and minority women, or for libertarians unwilling to analyse the limitations of free speech.
In other words, I find myself put off when believers of any kind broadcast their faith without any critical appendix. But Rice’s pronouncement has also made me take a look at my own response to religion: when news of her statement came through, I assumed she’d come back to atheism and let out a small whoop of joy. In fact, she’s still into Christ, but has made it clear she hates some of the baggage. That’s a stance I can actually admire …. It’s a rare thing when famous people get to explain their thinking in detail (and when they do, it can be painful), but I’m glad Rice has chosen to do so.
This is the very issue that I’ve been concerned about for some time. Commenting on Reed’s article, I said that it seems that most of the charity of the Christian church is reserved for those “Christians” who consistently act in an un-Christlike manner. Often you will hear Christian apologists say that, after all, we are all sinners. But forgiving someone does not mean excusing them. As Burke said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s time more of us stood up like Rice and spoke out publicly against certain elements of our own religions, wherever and whenever necessary. It’s time we admitted our mistakes, questioned our orthodoxies and squashed any ideas of scriptural or papal infallibility. As Reed so eloquently put it, if we don’t do so we will lose any credibility will may still have with those we strive to convert.
Or is the faith not strong enough to stand up to this?
That’s right. Through meticulous historical research, rigorous scientific study and the application of advanced mathematical concepts, the academics over at Harold Camping’s think-tank have determined the precise date the world will end. And it’s right around the corner.
Since we know the year the Earth was created, and using surprisingly simple and obvious formulas, it can be clearly seen that earth’s last day will be Wednesday, October 21, 2011, just a little over one year away. Surprisingly this beats the conventional wisdom about the world’s end ( based on the otherwise accurate Mayan calendar) by over two months. But the predictions are very close. Coincidence? I think not.
4990 BC—The flood of Noah’s day. All perished in a worldwide flood. Only Noah, his wife, and his 3 sons and their wives survived in the ark (6023 years from creation).
7 BC—The year Jesus Christ was born (11,006 years from creation).
33 AD—The year Jesus Christ was crucified and the church age began (11,045 years from creation; 5023 calendar years from the flood).
1988 AD—This year ended the church age and began the great tribulation period of 23 years (13,000 years from creation).
1994 AD—On September 7th, the first 2300-day period of the great tribulation came to an end and the latter rain began, commencing God’s plan to save a great multitude of people outside of the churches (13,006 years from creation).
2011 AD—On May 21st, Judgment Day will begin and the rapture (the taking up into heaven of God’s elect people) will occur at the end of the 23-year great tribulation. On October 21st, the world will be destroyed by fire (7000 years from the flood; 13,023 years from creation).
This body of evidence is conclusive and undeniable. Of course there will be skeptics and others quite happy with their heads in the sand. Some have already spread nasty rumors that these same scholars claimed that Jesus would return on September 6, 1994. But we all know that the Enemy is well versed in the use of lies and distortion.