Good Reason

It's okay to be wrong. It's not okay to stay wrong.

Category: bad god (page 2 of 2)

Bit of consistency, please.

God is at it again.

Man tells cops God told him to stroll in the nude

THIBODAUX, La. — A man who told police that God told him to walk the streets naked to save his soul has been arrested. Thibodaux police responded to an obscenity complaint around 2 a.m. Thursday and found Shafiq Mohamed walking nude down the street. When approached, Mohamed reportedly told officers that “America raped him” and added God told him to walk the streets naked to save his soul.

Obscenity complaint? They should have written him into the Old Testament. Haven’t they heard of Isaiah? God told him to walk around naked for three years.

20:2 At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
20:3 And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;
20:4 So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

The cops don’t recognise a literary allusion when they see it. Only one thing to do: teach the bible in schools.

Religious vultures in Haiti: Not helping.

As if the people of Haiti didn’t have it bad enough. After the earthquake, the residents now find themselves beset by a plague of opportunistic religionists, eager to tell Haitians that they themselves are the reason for their suffering.

These days, preachers are wandering through public squares, carrying Bibles and delivering sermons to the homeless residents of makeshift tents pieced together after the earthquake.

Mio Janvier is among the estimated one million who became homeless on Jan. 12.

The middle-aged woman spends her days sitting in front of her new home made of bedsheets, in the shadow of the smashed remnants of Haiti’s presidential palace.

She says she hasn’t been going to church; the preachers are coming to her.

And the messages she’s been hearing haven’t been all that stern.

“No,” she says. “They just tell us, ‘Jesus is coming back’.”

One of her tent-city neighbours disagrees.

He says that, yes, there have been plenty of preachers promising the imminent return of Jesus, but they’ve also had harsh words for their fellow Haitians.

He says the tent-dwellers are being told that the end is nigh, and that they’d better change their ways in time for Judgment Day.

Nickerson Gay says they’re being told they might wind up suffering the same calamitous fate periodically visited upon the infamous sinners of the Old Testament.

“They’ve been talking a lot about that,” said Nickerson Gay, a high-school teacher.

“They’re talking about Sodom and Gomorrah. They’re even talking about the floods in Noah’s time.”

“They’re saying God hit Haiti because there’s a lot of evil and sin going on in the country, which is why God hit us this way.

Absolutely infuriating, and completely in line with Christian doctrine. Richard Dawkins‘ has already blasted the hypocrisy of Christian doctrine with far more erudition than I could muster, but let me just say this.

If you take the Christian view, you must accept that your god caused or allowed the disaster to happen. And why wouldn’t he? It’s the same god that drowned everything on earth except Noah and his family, leveled Sodom and Gomorrah, and killed millions more because they were insufficiently faithful to him, or because he didn’t like what people were doing with their private bits. In which case, any Christian should recognise the hand of justice when they see it, and any thinking person should recognise a fishy story when they hear it.

Everyone tries to understand why bad things happen (in Haiti or anywhere else), and it’s human nature to accept a superstitious answer when things are out of your control. But it’s horribly ironic that people who have the least consistent explanation are having so much influence on an understandably jittery population. And they’ll keep loading these worried people into their churches, and pass the plate.

These people are still reeling from the tragedy that’s befallen them. Either help them to feel better, or leave them the fuck alone.

UPDATE: Just one more quote from the article.

Gracia Ganer Lemercier, also rendered homeless by the quake, is wandering in front of the shattered cathedral.

He’s active in his church and has had a decent career in the federal public service. Even though he now wears a scraggly beard and frayed clothing, he’s feeling grateful.

“The great Lord, who is the architect of the universe, I thank him for having saved my life – and for having saved the life of many of my brothers and sisters,” Lemercier says.

“I ask him to continue blessing us.”

But what is he hearing from religious leaders? Why would such a terrible string of tragedies befall Haiti?

“These are our sins,” he replies. “They are the sins of each Haitian on this Earth, which God has given us as our heritage.”

Tell me this doesn’t fit the profile of battered-spouse syndrome.

In lay terms, this is a reference to any person who, because of constant and severe domestic violence usually involving physical abuse by a partner, becomes depressed and unable to take any independent action that would allow him or her to escape the abuse. The condition explains why abused people often do not seek assistance from others, fight their abuser, or leave the abusive situation. Sufferers have low self-esteem, and often believe that the abuse is their fault. Such persons usually refuse to press criminal charges against their abuser, and refuse all offers of help, often becoming aggressive or abusive to others who attempt to offer assistance. Often sufferers will even seek out their very abuser for comfort shortly after an incident of abuse.

God uses omnipotence to kill child

I think this story is horrible, but then I’m just a normal compassionate human being, and not the god of the Bible.

A four-year-old boy has been killed by a falling bullet that was fired into the air during New Year’s Eve celebrations in the US.

Marquel Peters was playing a video game inside a church in the state of Georgia when the bullet pierced the roof and hit him in the head, local media reported.

He collapsed on the floor alongside his parents, bleeding, and was taken to hospital where he died.

Marquel’s family planned to return to the church – where they were regulars – for his funeral, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I’m a faith believer, but it’s just hard,” his uncle Garry Peters said. “Why at church?”

Why indeed? Anybody help him out?

Silly man. He’s trying to fathom the will of a supernatural being, which you just can’t do. “My ways are not your ways,” saith the Lord, which is true: I wouldn’t let a child be killed in church. Preventing this wouldn’t have counter-acted anyone’s agency — the shooter likely didn’t intend to kill anyone. But it happened, and a loving god did jack to stop it. Poor little one.

Anyway, since one of the functions of religion is to try to explain things without actually learning anything, I thought I’d try coming up with some reasons that the faithful will inevitably settle on.

1) The boy was playing video games in church, when he clearly should have been listening to the sermon or reading Leviticus. An unchanging god has dealt with him just as he did with the children who mocked Elisha.

Plus he was probably playing Pokémon, which is evil.

2) God did it to show us that it really is possible to be killed by a falling bullet, ending years of speculation from Mythbusters and Cecil Adams. Hallelujah! The Lord is advancing our knowledge! Who says faith and science aren’t compatible? Of course, this god doesn’t seem to have cleared the ethics committee, but a fact’s a fact.

3) Firing bullets into the air is a stupid thing to do, and given enough bullets, one’s going to come down on someone.

There’s one more… what is it… oh, yes.

4) God is imaginary.

I don’t suppose they’ll hit on those last two reasons. They’re a sign of an insufficiently strong testimony, which apparently is considered a bad thing in some parts of the galaxy.

Oh, and points off for timing.

God has been credited with another crime.

A Bolivian priest who said he was acting on a divine revelation hijacked a Mexican plane mid-air Wednesday with 104 people on board triggering a brief airport drama, officials said.

Bible-carrying Jose Flores Mar Pereira was said by Mexican officials to have hijacked the Aeromexico plane after it left the popular tourist resort of Cancun on a flight to Mexico City.

A lot of people would say you should watch out for those Qur’an things. But me, I say those Bible things are just as hazardous, if not more so.

How can people who believe in a god claim to be moral?

Mom and Dad pray while sick daughter dies

Here’s another guy who really believes in his religion. In this case, that means someone ended up dead.

A US jury has found a man guilty of killing his sick 11-year-old daughter by praying for her recovery rather than seeking medical care.

The man, Dale Neumann, told a court in the state of Wisconsin he believed God could heal his daughter.

She died of a treatable disease – undiagnosed diabetes – at home in rural Wisconsin in March last year, as people surrounded her and prayed.

Neumann’s wife, Leilani Neumann, was convicted earlier this year.

The couple, who were both convicted of second-degree reckless homicide, face up to 25 years in prison when they are sentenced in October.

Reckless homicide is a good way of putting it. Having a child means you have to take care of them. They can’t do it themselves; they count on you. When you instead subject that child to a horrible and unnecessary death, there ought to be legal consequences.

And that goes for people who use alternative medicine instead of giving their child real medicine. If that child is harmed through a parent’s inaction, there should be consequences.

No attempt to find the god that ordered the hit

It’s hard to find good minions anymore.

The Chestermere man charged with attempted murder in Minnesota says it was God that made him stab another truck driver.

According to documents filed in the Clay County Court, Harmit Singh Bhangu, 32 of Chestermere, told an officer who was interviewing him that God orders him to do things.

How the mighty have fallen. God used to have henchmen like Moses and Joshua, and now he’s reduced to working with crazy people.

I don’t want to pick on the poor guy, even though he’s a very very scary poor guy who’s just about killed another poor guy. Mr Bhangu has got some serious problems, and maybe some medication might have helped him.

But the Brain Teaser of the Day is: On what basis would a religious believer claim that God didn’t really order him to kill a man?

Is it because God would never tell someone to kill someone else? That’s a hard view to defend from the Bible. Try reading Joshua 13, where Yahweh appears as some kind of evil familiar, impelling the aged Joshua to yet more slaughter.

Is it because Mr Bhangu is doing obviously crazy things? Ezekiel lay on his side for over a year. He also ate bread cooked over a cow pat. All perfectly biblical, and extremely loopy.

As a Mormon, the question of how to evaluate other people’s revelations used to be a tough one. Now as an atheist, it’s easy. Anyone who says that a god is speaking to them is wrong. But I don’t care so much as long as they’re keeping their delusion to themselves, keeping it away from children, not harming anyone with it, and not trying to legislate on the basis of it. When they overstep these bounds, they move from deluded to dangerous, like Mr Bhangu.

Now here’s a part from the article that caught my attention:

“(The) defendant stated that he knew it was wrong to kill people in this country but that God had ordered him to do it,” say the documents filed by police.

And if God orders you to do something, you don’t worry about a trifling thing like law. All my life, I heard people in church telling me that God came first. God’s law was higher than man’s law. Little did I realise that they were implanting a meme that would justify my breaking any law that the church considered wrong.

And I see that it’s not just Mormons that are getting the treatment. Here’s a Christian columnist asking kids the musical question:

What Would You Do If Arrested For Talking About God?

“If they threatened to hurt me if I didn’t stop talking about God, I wouldn’t listen to them because I know that I am pleasing God,” says Megan, 9.

Megan would be following the example of the Apostles Peter and John upon their release from jail.

Ask this question: If police were told to arrest all Christians in your area, would they come to your house?

Hurt them? Arrest them? Who’s advocating this? Or is this a bit of galvanisation through paranoia?

This article delivers two memes at once: ‘Religious Dogma Over Secular Law’, and ‘They’re Coming to Get Us’. But fancy putting either one before a child. At best, you make them fearful for the safety of their family, and at worst you raise a generation of Law-Breakers for Jesus.

Only one set of footprints in the snow

Another foolish mortal mistakes the Divine Will.

The husband of an Ontario woman who went missing for three days after a blizzard and was found alive outside in frigid temperatures is calling her survival a divine miracle.

Donna Molnar, 55, disappeared Friday after going out to buy groceries. She was found Monday in a clearing near Ancaster, Ont., buried under 60 centimetres of snow.

She was in hospital Tuesday in critical condition and could lose some extremities, but is expected to survive.

“You know what I think, in all honesty?” David Molnar [her husband] said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “My sort of take on it is that God reached down and cradled her in His arms until they found her.”

In his freezing cold arms.

No, this is another act of malevolence from a perfectly Evil God. He tried to kill her, but her snow-burrowing and the rescue efforts of humans thwarted his evil intentions. He extracted his revenge though — it looks like she’ll lose some fingers and toes and have pain and discomfort the rest of her life. If a good god had been looking after her, he’d have found a way to keep her limbs intact. Thank goodness people were able to find her, no thanks to Evil God.

God shoots, rescues man

In the news:

COVINGTON, La. (AP) — R.J. Richard says he doesn’t normally put his cell phone in his chest pocket. But he says it saved his life the one time he did.

The 68-year-old man from Covington, La., was mowing the lawn on his 5-acre property when a stray bullet from nearby woods struck that cell phone. He figured a rock kicked up by his tractor hit him. That is, until he took out the phone and a .45-caliber bullet fell from its case.

Richard told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans he doesn’t think it was a coincidence, either.

“I look at this as God telling me to put my cell phone in that pocket, and I’m grateful and humbled,” he said.

He may not think it’s a coincidence, but with so many people getting shot, it’d be unusual if someone didn’t escape once in a while.

But why give the credit to a god? That’s who allowed someone to shoot him in the first place. You could use this story as evidence of a perfectly evil god. “God tried to make someone kill me, but I managed to thwart his malevolent intentions with my phone.”

Meanwhile, God’s been killing people left and right. We can’t hear their stories about how God didn’t save them because they’re no longer around to tell us. We only hear from the survivors.

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