Tags: christianity

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Internet scrapings, offbeat news and various oddities.

Norway knights a penguin.

You too can look like a terrifying anime character come to life with extra-large pupil contact lenses and give people like me nightmares.

15 images you won't believe aren't actually photoshopped.

Megachurch televangelist preacher Joel Osteen's wife is being sued for going nuts and physically attacking a flight attendant over a stain on her seat's armrest.

Gana, a gorilla in a German zoo, has been photographed grieving over the loss of her baby, showing a strength of emotion rarely witnessed in the animal world and bringing visitors to tears. In the wild, a gorilla mother may hold on to a dead baby for weeks.

Aston Martin unseats the Veyron as the world's most expensive car, with the handmade One-77 priced at $2.3 million. Only 77 will be made.

7 eccentric geniuses who were clearly just insane. Includes the awesome Nikola Tesla.

Delhi's cycle rickshaws get a mention in the blogs of Wired, complete with pic.

A teenaged finalist in the LG Text Messaging Championships and one of the fastest SMS texters in the world insists on typing in perfect English with full spellings, punctuation and no abbreviations.

Ten words you probably mispronounce and sound like an idiot doing so.

Singapore's floating football pitch. At a tiny 700 square kilometers, Singapore is the tiniest nation in Asia and one of the three smallest true city-states in the world.

Drunk man finds out why they have crocodiles in zoos behind fences, but not in petting zoos. Quote: The man was dragged into the water by one of the crocs after he leaned over a rail to stroke it. The others then tore him to pieces in the attack. He was not able to be identified.

Elderly woman neglected and left to die slowly by her son and daughter in law. How neglected? Quote: Barker and the commonwealth say the Donohues ignored Leiben's needs, allowing small bedsores to become open festering wounds and deep necrotic patches of dead tissue that were feasted on by maggots. Infection from those sores and the massive ulcerations that were the result of Leiben's being left to lie in her own waste finally killed the woman, Barker said.

18 year old woman arrested for stripped naked on a highway, running into a cow pasture and flinging mud and feces at police officers.
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Why you should read FSTST (Fundies Say The Darndest Things)

From Fundies Say the Darndest Things:

If u have sex before marriage then in Gods eyes u are married to that person if a man rapes a woman in Gods eyes they are married it sucks for the girl but what can we do lol
-Gods soldier

“Make sure your answer uses Scripture, not logic.”

Have you ever seen an airplane or a bird? They defy the theory of gravity. Dont’ say stupid stuff….. theorys can be broken, that’s why they’re not laws…..

its to bad you guys need science in order to think, you can’t seem to think without some sort of evidence, sounds like gullible minds to me.

I am a bit troubled. I believe my son has a girlfriend, because she left a dirty magazine with men in it under his bed. My son is only 16 and I really don’t think he’s ready to date yet. What’s worse is that he’s sneaking some girl to his room behind my back. I need help, God! I want my son to stop being so secretive!

To say the Bible was written by men and may contain inaccuracies completely contradicts the word of the Bible.
-Ia Orana

And perhaps the best quote of all time:

One of the most basic laws in the universe is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This states that as time goes by, entropy in an environment will increase. Evolution argues differently against a law that is accepted EVERYWHERE BY EVERYONE. Evolution says that we started out simple, and over time became more complex. That just isn’t possible: UNLESS there is a giant outside source of energy supplying the Earth with huge amounts of energy. If there were such a source, scientists would certainly know about it. [emphasis added]

I can't stop LOLing.
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Breaking News: Barack Obama is NOT in fact the Antichrist.

Breaking news! According to the authors of the Left Behind series of Christian novels, Barak Obama is NOT, in fact, the Antichrist.

“I’ve gotten a lot of questions the last few weeks asking if Obama is the antichrist,” says novelist Jenkins. “I tell everyone that I don’t think the antichrist will come out of politics, especially American politics.”

“I can see by the language he uses why people think he could be the antichrist,” adds LaHaye, “but from my reading of scripture, he doesn’t meet the criteria. There is no indication in the Bible that the antichrist will be an American.”

Yay! Good to know that's cleared up.

From Friendly Atheist.
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Fabulous news.

Old news, but posting for the benefit of those of you who may not have heard.

Brain scan study shows that biology and brain symmetry may determine gay/straight brains.

An edit of the rather verbose and technical article, cut down for clarity and brevity, is as follows:

According to a new Swedish study, some physical characteristics within the brains of homosexual people are also found in the brains of heterosexual people of the opposite sex.

The conclusions of the study showed that straight men and gay women both had "asymmetric" cerebral (front) parts of the brain, with the right hemisphere slightly larger than the left. Distinctly, the results of the study also showed that gay men and straight women both had "symmetrical" cerebral parts, with both brain hemispheres of the same size.

Thus, the brain scans produced in the study found important structures in the brain that control emotion, mood, anxiety, and aggressiveness are similar between gay people and straight people of the opposite sex. That is, the general structure of the amygdale in gay men was found to be similar to the structure found in straight women and, likewise, the structure of the amygdale in lesbians (gay women) was found to be similar to straight men.

This study and other similar studies have been very convincing at showing that sexual preference in humans is possibly determined at conception or developed while the fetus is developing in the mother’s womb.

In either case, it suggests that sexual preference is present at birth.

Other researchers, in previous studies of a similar nature, used responses from their subjects with respect to sexually explicit questions and actions to show a link with sexual preference and the structure of the brain.

For instance, a sample question could have included a picture of a man and a women with the question being asked: "Do you prefer one face over the other?" Such responses in these studies could have likely been learned after birth--thus, not determined before birth.

This study, however, places a direct biological link between sexual preference and brain development before birth.

Their June 16, 2008 paper entitled “PET and MRI show differences in cerebral asymmetry and functional connectivity between homo- and heterosexual subjects” was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS).

The original article partly quoted above:

The scientific paper itself:

Also, for the benefit of those that still don't know, the truth is that homosexuality runs rampant in the animal kingdom. Therefore, strictly speaking, homosexuality is in fact natural:


I'm not even getting into group sex, sex changes, lesbianism, exhibitionism, etc. that you generally may not have heard about in biology class or on National Geographic but that any biologist or scientist will tell you like it's as obvious and well known as the sky being blue.

If you want to get theological about it, animals can't / don't sin because they never bit the fruit of good and evil and don't have souls to go to heaven or hell when they die. Of course the supposed answer to this is that the Earth is fallen and that includes the animals, etc. But then just remember, kids: interracial marriage and women's rights were, up until fairly recently, also considered unnatural too. Just sayin'.

White supremacists and segregationalists thumped the Bible and preached against the abolition of slavery in exactly the same way that Christians are bemoaning the acceptance of gays and the legalization of gay marriage and gay parenting today.

Hey, don't take this heathen's word for it, ask respected Christian author Philip Yancey, he's the one that pointed that out to me in one of his books. True story.

For the record, I am one hundred percent straight.

But I have enough gay friends to know that it's not just a "choice" like, "oh, which pants should I wear today?" or "hey, where should we get dinner?" Even before Swedish scientists armed with MRIs proved it.

But that's a nice bonus too.
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Does the American flag belong in church? (thanks blacbutterfly for posting this)

Does the American flag belong in church?

By Becky Akers, Mon Jul 28, 4:00 AM ET

New York - I've attended church weekly all my life, and virtually every congregation with whom I've worshipped displays an American flag. It often stands close to the communion table, probably a church's most sacred spot. Some denominations even recite the Pledge of Allegiance – multiple times. One church I visited in the Midwest began Sunday School with the Pledge but apparently lacked faith it would stick. We interrupted morning worship with another recitation.

All in all, American Christians seem as devoted to their government as Ruth was to Naomi. But should they be? Do either the flag or the Pledge have any place in the Lord's house? Is congregational commitment to the republic for which these emblems stand consistent with Biblical Christianity? Is political power?

Throughout history, Christians have usually been on the wrong side of government. The Roman Empire tortured Jesus Christ to death, then criminalized his friends. Later regimes continued that tradition. They routinely hunted down, imprisoned, tortured, and slaughtered people who clung to their Lord instead of the law. Something like 70 million Christians have died for their faith since AD 33.

The church thought to resolve this by grabbing government's reins. But the same brutality soon surfaced. Believers weren't safe unless they practiced precisely as their brothers in power dictated.

Incredibly, Christians suffered the same tortures and death at the hands of "Christian" rulers as they had from others. At various times in various nations, "Christians" have persecuted their fellows for acknowledging the pope, refusing to acknowledge the pope, baptizing adults instead of babies, baptizing babies instead of adults, etc. Tragically, Christians high on power forsake the Ten Commandments and the golden rule as quickly as anyone else.

The trouble doesn't lie with Christianity but with power. The two have always been at odds. Political power is a synonym for "physical force," for bending people to government's will regardless of their inclinations, interests, or welfare. But Christianity is love – power's antidote. Anyone who sincerely follows Jesus Christ will never try to compel others – because he didn't. Jesus sought to persuade by word and example, loving men so much that he let them judge for themselves the truth of his teachings.

No wonder the state wars against so potent an adversary. Its antagonism compelled America's Founding Fathers to decree, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The Founders weren't only insulating government from Christianity, as today's secularists insist; they also hoped to protect Christianity from the poison of political power. A free society flourishes because of its families, schools, marketplace and churches. If these become mere outposts of government, if the state subsumes them so that they advance its agenda rather than curtail its power, the country sinks into totalitarianism.

How disastrous, then, that many American Christians are too busy courting government to curb it. Preachers vie to endorse political candidates, cozying up to them rather than calling them to account. Churches no longer disdain money taken from people via taxation; instead, they complain that their handouts under the Faith-Based Initiative weren't big enough.

And many support a war in Iraq that has killed tens of thousands and put civilians – including Iraq's brave but tiny Christian community – in great tribulation. Sadly, I have yet to hear any American church pray for Iraqis as they endure the persecution, poverty, and pain this war has inflicted. But congregants who are Americans first and Christians second often ask God to bless our troops on Sundays.

If they think about it at all, most believers probably see the flag and Pledge as tokens of affection for their country. In reality, both symbolize an infatuation with government. Churches hope to change circumstances through political force when Jesus called us to change hearts and minds with his message. We cheat ourselves, trusting the state's inferior and transitory power instead of the Almighty.

We also enhance rather than counter the state's supremacy. Our "patriotism" is really nationalism: unquestioning and enthusiastic support of political power. Christians eager to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's have the rest of the week to do so. But the things rendered should not include our allegiance. That belongs to God. Why taint our worship by pledging it to the state's flag instead?

On trial for his life, Jesus Christ asserted his divinity while denying that his kingdom was of this world. It's ironic that Americans who accept the first truth devoutly reject the latter.

• Becky Akers is a freelance writer and historian. She worships in Protestant churches.
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(no subject)

Some neat stuff I read off my friendslist:

City council office blocks access to atheist, Pagan, occult, Wiccan websites, but allows access to Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist websites on work internet.
A city council has blocked its staff from looking at websites about atheism. (...) The rules also ban sites that promote witchcraft, the paranormal, sexual deviancy and criminal activity. (...) The authority's computer system allows staff to look at websites relating to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other religions but blocks sites to do with "witchcraft or Satanism" and "occult practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or any other form of mysticism". (...) Under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, it is unlawful to discriminate against workers because of their religion or belief, which includes atheism.

Groups meeting to pray at gas stations for lower prices.
ST. LOUIS - Two prayer services will be held at St. Louis gas stations to thank God for lower fuel prices and to ask that they continue to drop. (...) Participants say they plan to buy gas, pray and then sing "We Shall Overcome" with a new verse, "We'll have lower gas prices." (...) The group thinks the prayer is helping, saying prices are starting to fall below $4 a gallon.

Christians demand removal of 'satanic' 10 Commandments off American stonehenge thing
A Christian organization is pressuring the community of Elberton, Ga., to tear down a massive, granite monument that lists an alternative set of Ten Commandments that the organization labels satanic.
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(no subject)

California uses more gasoline than all of China, among some other interesting statistics.

Pet goldfish gets a lip piercing. For the record, goldfish do NOT have 30 second memory.

Orchids are literally having sex bees and wasps, apparently.

CNN reporter investigates / criticizes TSA, finds self on terror watchlist. Meanwhile Bin Laden still at large, etc. This watchlist has crossed one million names.

Teenage stoners arrested after digging up the corpse of an 11 year old boy and using its skull as a bong. Complete with bad pun headline.

Porn queen and terrifying sex maniac Belladonna says priests need sreet-level knowledge of sex and a supply porn so they won't go around f*cking little boys. FTA: She also has offered to donate some of her own time to help set up a "meaningful set of exercises for priests to help them deal with sexual tension and stress".
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Today's post of scraped offbeat wonderfulness.

The DHS has expressed great interest in a bracelet that could be worn by all airline passengers that would serve as a boarding pass, ID, tracking device, and wearable Taser all in one. The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to as, would be worn by every traveler until they disembark the flight at their destination.

A US company has devleoped MEDUSA, a microwave ray gun that can beam loud sound directly into your head for crowd control, 'loud' enough to cause discomfort and/or incapacitation. Normal audio safety limits do not apply since the sound does not enter through the eardrums.

Ten things to do with SUVs (that don't involve driving).

American Airlines cancels flight because their customers are too pissed off to fly. Imagine that.

The Indian Tata Nano, the world's cheapest production car, may end up not being sold at it's famous 1-lac (100,000 rupee) price thanks to rising prices of pretty much everything.

deputydog: Breathtaking pics of six communities living on the edge - literally, on beautiful cliff-edges with sheer drops.

Health officials in Colorado blame a country music festival for a spike in pregnancies.

Florida mom chucks newborn baby into the trash, denies giving birth despite having a crying trash bag in her hand.

Texas megachurch pastor wants to erect gigantic crosses at freeways to 'mark Texas for God.' How gigantic? They need FAA approval.

Man in wheelchair rescued from train tracks. Twice. In the same day. I'm not sure if this says more about the man or about the train tracks.

Sam Harris comments on the recent poll claiming that "21 percent of American Atheists believe in God."