The saga of Philly the Kidd continues

September 28, 2003

It looks like the freewheeling guestbook of controversial “evangelist” “Dr.” Phil Kidd has been the victim of an alleged hacker, who deleted everything off it.

My heart is bleeding. Can you hear it?

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Another BIG WIN! for the Cult of ScientologyTM

September 13, 2003

This is old news by now (about a week old) but what the heck.

As of September 4, ScientologyWatch.org reports Scientology has decisively lost its drawn-out lawsuit against Dutch writer Karin Spaink over links on her Web site to their sooper sekrit skripturz.

Since Scientology-related lawsuits can sometimes get convoluted, and I have been out of the anti-Scientology loop for several years, I’ve missed out on some of the fun. However, on my own Web site I briefly mention the original 1996 summary proceeding, which Karin won. The case went to a full hearing in 1999, which Karin won. The cult appealed, and the courts ruled that Karin’s paraphrases of the sekrit skripturz are perfectly legal, thankyouverymuch.

For the uninitiated, the documents in question detail the origin of man’s problems: an interplanetary despot named Xenu who killed off his excess population by freezing them, shipping their corpsicles to Earth in interstellar DC-8s, dropping them into volcanoes on Hawaii, and nuking them. Xenu then captured their disembodied souls and forced them to watch bad movies that implanted neuroses into them. As a result these disembodied souls cluster together and stick to the bodies of Scientologists, slowing down their enlightenment. The only solution to this problem is paying huge bucks to the Church of Scientology to repeat utter twaddle while holding soup cans connected to an electrical meter, which gets rid of the “Body Thetans.”

And so now as a result of Scientology’s loss, it is perfectly legal for anyone (in the Netherlands at least) to tell you this and even link you to it on the Web. This represents a total victory for free speech in the public interest.


It’s been a long road, gettin’ from there to here

September 10, 2003

The third season premiere of Enterprise just started.

The opening theme has been remixed with a light rock drum beat. I’m pretty sure I hate it already.


And now . . . this

September 9, 2003

BERLIN, Germany (AP) — Germany has protested to Italy over a winery that labels its bottles with portraits of Adolf Hitler, the Justice Ministry said.

Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries recently wrote to her Italian counterpart to say the labels are “contemptible and tasteless” and asked him to see what could be done against them, spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said Friday.

The so-called “Fuehrerwein” bottles, part of Alessandro Lunardelli’s “historic line,” features 14 different labels portraying Hitler and other Nazis, with slogans such as “Seig Heil.”

Other labels in the same line include portraits of other infamous characters of history, such as Italy’s former fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, and former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

[Full Story]

Coming soon to a supermarket near you: Idi Amin brand pork chops.


More anti-interracial marriage proof-texting

September 8, 2003

Here are another few texts often cited to make the case that God forbids the races to intermarry.

Please note that many of these references are often “spoof-texts” rather than proof-texts – that is, they are presented as nothing but a bare reference with no further commentary, often without quoting the verse itself, and frequently as one of a long list of such references. The idea of spoof-texting is to bury your opponent in a mound of Bible verses in the hope that one of them will “stick,” your opponent looks like a fool because he can’t respond adequately to each one, and he looks like he is arguing against God. It’s a form of debating sleight-of-hand that has the appearance of being “Biblical.” Nonetheless, here is a sample of lesser proofs.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:24-25)

Assertion: God made all creation after its kind and intended for it to reproduce after its kind. Therefore, it is wrong to cross those boundaries; therefore, interracial marriages are wrong.

Response: Yes, this verse says that God created all things after their kind. Big dogs make little dogs. Big horses make little horses. Big oak trees make little oak trees. And big people make little people. The anti-interracial-marriage advocate assumes that black people and white people, for example, are different “kinds.” However, it is their ability to reproduce after their kind that proves they are the same kind.

When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. (Deut. 32:8)

Assertion: God has set the boundaries of the nations, and it is not man’s place to cross those boundaries; therefore, interracial marriages are wrong.

Response: The exact meaning of this poetic passage is not entirely clear, but it appears to be referring to the specific allotments of land which God gave to the twelve tribes of Israel when they occupied the Promised Land.

Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. (Ezra 9:1-2)

Assertion: The Israelites had intermarried with the neighbouring nations, and according to Ezra, this was one of the gravest sins that they could have fallen into; therefore, interracial marriages are wrong.

Response: This passage is actually about mixed marriage. But unfortunately for the segregationists, it doesn’t make their case. The real issue is that the women these Israelites were marrying were not only foreigners, but pagans. The text itself says that they were “doing according to their abominations”: in other words, the women were drawing the children of Israel into pagan practices. This, not skin colour, was the real issue behind God’s commands not to intermarry with the surrounding nations. In fact, it was possible for Gentiles to enter into the covenant and receive all the benefits thereof, if they subjected themselves to the Law (see Exod. 12:48-49, for example).

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? (Jeremiah 13:23)

Assertion: The answer to this question is no. When an “Ethiopian” (a black person) marries a white person, his children have lighter skin than him. This makes God a liar; therefore, interracial marriages are wrong.

Response: The point of Jer. 13:23 is not the colour of skin, but the very nature of man. The verse goes on to say, “then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Man is by nature fundamentally wicked. Just as a man’s skin colour is part of his fundamental makeup and cannot be changed at a whim, so is his sinfulness. Furthermore, the progeny of a mixed-race marriage does not have a changed skin colour; he has his own skin colour which is part of his fundamental makeup.

The case against interracial marriage is looking weaker all the time. It looks like there is no specific Biblical prohibition against such unions. My next step will be to make a positive case that there is, in fact, Scriptural reason not to forbid them.


And now . . . this

September 8, 2003

Breaking news from the British scientific community:

DUCK THEORY IS QUACKERS

Scientists say they have sunk an enduring theory that a duck’s quack does not produce an echo.

They claim to have proved, with the help of a farmyard duck called Daisy, that the theory is quackers.

[full article]

Coming soon: the latest scientific evidence proving that men do not have one less rib than women because God took one of Adam’s to make Eve, and the beaver did not get its flat tail because a rock or a log fell on it.


Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites!

September 8, 2003

Yesterday morning someone posted a message to the Fightin’ Fundamentalist Forum concerning a begging letter she had received from an independent fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) missionary organization.

This organization had received an offer from the American Bible society of 40,000 Bibles to distribute in Iraq. Did they receive this gift with gladness? No, they turned it down because – get this – they were 40,000 copies of the New International Version, and the IFB group apparently is one that believes only the King James Version is the “true” Bible, at least in the English language.

So, having refused this handout, the organization was now seeking financial support to buy its own Bibles to distribute.

Had I received such a letter myself, my own response would have been along these lines:

Dear [IFB missionary organization]:

I am in receipt of your letter dated [date], concerning your need for funds to purchase Bibles to send to Iraq.

It seems to me that there could have been a wonderful symbiotic relationship between yourselves and the Bible Society. You have missionaries with an opportunity to distribute the Word of God in a country that was formerly closed to the Gospel; the Bible Society has 40,000 Bibles available to distribute. You receive the Bibles free of charge; the Bible Society gets them distributed free of charge. This is a win-win situation for you, the American Bible Society, and, not least, 40,000 Iraqis who are willing to receive the Scriptures, perhaps being exposed to the Gospel of life for the first time.

But instead of taking advantage of this free gift, probably worth at least $100,000, you reject it. Why? Because you are in bondage to a foolish ideology – based on false history, false theology, and false logic – that says that if it’s not the King James, it’s not “really” the Bible.

And now, having made this poor decision, you come begging to me and to others, expecting us to pay for what you were offered for nothing. I regret to inform you that I will not be doing that. Organizations such as yours are accountable before God and your supporters for the way you make use of the resources God has provided you. I regard your squandering of this opportunity as poor stewardship.

I urge you to reconsider your choice.

Yours very truly, blah blah blah.

That being said, another thought also occurred to me yesterday: why are so many English Bibles being sent to Iraq? Would the Bible in Arabic not be a better choice?