The Problem with Christianity, by Emo Philips

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“Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!”

He said, “Nobody loves me.”

I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes.”

I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?”

He said, “A Christian.”

I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?”

He said, “Protestant.”

I said, “Me, too! What franchise?”

He said, “Baptist.”

I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Baptist.”

I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”

I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.”

I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”

I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

After No Rapture, ‘That was awkward’ Billboard Pops Up

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – As promised, a user at responded to Harold Camping’s billboard campaign proclaiming the Rapture with a billboard campaign of his own in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The digital billboard, which could be seen near Interstate 40 and Gallimore Dairy Road in Guilford County on Sunday, said “That was awkward” and included a verse from Matthew 24:36 stating “No one knows the day or the hour…”

The billboard was the result of a lengthy discussion on where Redditor xtcg123 posted a picture titled ‘Thinking of renting a billboard on May 22. Thoughts?’ The picture/thread received over 1,508 comments with suggestions and comments about the billboard.

On Sunday, the billboard went live in Greensboro.

In a thread on, the user explained his decision to put up the billboard message.

“The point here…is that if you’re going to use any source (in this case, the Bible) to promote an agenda, you can’t just leave out the part that completely goes against what you have just ‘guaranteed.”

The billboard was funded through an online campaign that encouraged online users to donate money to help pay for the billboard campaign.

According to a post within the original thread, the user said the billboard cost $250 for a one-day campaign in Greensboro.

“Best part is the billboard rep ended the e-mail with “… that is, if we’re still here,” user xtcg123 said in the thread.

Redditor xtcg123, who lives in North Carolina, was not identified.

Vatican says iPhone apps won’t forgive your sins

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VATICAN CITY – Just in case Catholics are wondering if a new iPhone app might be able to forgive their sins, the Vatican has issued a clarification: No.

“One may not speak in any sense of confessing via iPhone,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy’ See Press Office, said in a statement this week.

According to its U.S. producers, “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” is designed to help users prepare for confession through a “personalized examination of conscience for each user, password protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament.”

The Indiana-based company, Little iApps LLC, says its app is the first to receive an imprimatur, or official permission for publication, from a Catholic bishop – in this case, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Lombardi said the “Sacrament of Penance necessarily requires the relationship of personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor and absolution by the confessor present.”

“This cannot be substituted for by any information technology application,” he said.

Man 1, God 0 in school chaplains case

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By Jenny Dillon from The Daily Telegraph

A FATHER won the first round in his historic battle yesterday to have government-funded chaplains thrown out of [Australia’s] public schools.

Ron Williams journeyed from Toowoomba to Sydney yesterday for a directions hearing in his challenge and was thrilled to hear that his case could be heard in the High Court over three days in May.

“This is a very important moment,” a jubilant Mr Williams said yesterday.

The father of six, who has four children attending Queensland public schools, said his main argument was that the funding for chaplains in schools breached Section 116 of the Australian Constitution, which states that the “Commonwealth not legislate in respect of religion”.

“This is not about getting chaplains out of schools, it’s about the government funding them, which I believe is against the Constitution,” he said.

If Mr Williams wins his challenge, government funding for chaplains would be removed.

The National School Chaplaincy Program was introduced in 2006 by former prime minister John Howard.

The national program won support from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an atheist who, just before the election last year, pledged $222 million to extend the program for four years.

More than 430 schools in NSW get up to $20,000 each a year for their chaplain services, totalling almost $12 million, and more than 2500 school across Australia now have chaplains at a cost of more than $151 million.

The chaplain program is run in Queensland by that state’s branch of the Scripture Union.

In NSW the program is run by the National School Chaplaincy Association which is based in Western Australia.

A spokesman for the association said yesterday it was not appropriate to comment.

NSW Greens MP John Kaye said yesterday’s decision was good news for those who believed in separation of church and state. “The anger felt by many of us at the use of public money will now at least be tested in the court,” he said.

“There will now be an opportunity to hear in court why this program so deeply contradicts the integrity of the Australian Constitution.”

Why The Salvation Army Doesn’t Deserve Your Money

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Is your donation to the Salvation Army supporting an evangelical church that hates homosexuals and Harry Potter..?

Everyone knows the Salvation Army. Whether it’s the secondhand goods at their thrift stores or their collection kettles outside department stores, the Salvation Army is ubiquitous to the holiday season.

However, the Salvation Army’s virulent opposition to gay rights both in public and through persistent legislative lobbying raises the question how donations intended for the needy are being spent. Many people forget that the Salvation Army is in fact an Evangelical church, and as such, it tends to have a hard-right social agenda.

In fact, the Salvation Army goes so far as to say gay people shouldn’t be having sex. You can find this nugget on their website: “Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life.”

Read the entire article at Prose Before Hos.

Playschool Revelations Reading

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From an episode of Sleek Geeks on Australia’s ABC, Rhys Muldoon and Benita Collings leave you with a reading from Revelations that will make you re-assess children’s television:

This reading comes at the end of Episode 4 of Season 2, a show entitled “Apocalypse”. The episode dealt with popular apocalyptic predictions, such as the 2012 Mayan prophecy, death stars and super volcanoes.

Now, Sleek Geeks is a science program, but being ABC funded, they are obviously a little cautious upon who’s toes they tread. Biblical apocalyptic visions were not overtly addressed, but thankfully, they got the team from the children’s show Playschool in to read some of Revelations, hopefully opening some eyes to how truly ridiculous this book of the bible is.

I mean, the bible is a ridiculous book from cover to cover, but I think John must have written Revelations whilst going through that hallucinogenic experimentation phase we all go through growing up.

Sad to say, Christianity and Science don’t really mix, so few Christian minds were likely exposed to this piece. However, we can only hope this is another step toward pushing back the boundaries believers put up around their beliefs.

We’ve all heard religious types spout “You must be respectful of my beliefs” in one breath, and then dismiss the beliefs – nay, human rights – of those not a member of their particular club: gays and lesbians, women, atheists, entire populations of third world countries who receive aid on the condition of conversion.

It’s time we pushed back. Religions have been on a power-grab for the hearts and minds of the unenlightened. We need to educate the masses. Religion is no longer the answer, if indeed it ever was. It only causes an endless cycle of pain: guilt, shame, repression, even financial pain.

Let 2011 be the year when enlightenment gathers momentum and ignorance is no longer the norm.

Happy new year everybody.

Narratives of the Birth of Jesus

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From The Secret History of the World by Jonathan Black (aka Mark Booth) (pg 285):

The two Gospels with infancy narratives, Luke and Matthew, give very different, indeed inconsistent, accounts, starting with the different genealogies ascribed to Jesus, the time and place of the births, and the visit by the shepherds in Luke and the Magi in Matthew. This is a distinction rigidly maintained in the art of the Middle Ages that has since been lost. While it may be glossed over in church, academic theologians accept that, where these accounts conflict, at least one must be false – perhaps an uncomfortable conclusion for anyone believing that scripture is divinely inspired.