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Do you eat figs?

Ok, here’s one thing I just don’t get from Mark 11

12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

Jesus is hungry – OK, we all get peckish at times, so I get that.

He sees a fig tree in leaf – well, it might have fruit, I don’t know as I’m no fig farmer.

Ah, He went to see if it had any fruit – clever boy that Jesus!

He finds nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Not the season! They didn’t grow that time of the year!

So, he curses the tree!

Jesus is like, Fuck you tree, don’t you see I’m bloody hungry? Gimme some fucking figs right now, or you’ll regret this day for fucking eternity!!!

And… the diciples heard it all!

Jesus, grumpy when peckish! Does this story tell us that “Jesus was human” (because all human curses trees who doesn’t bear fruit outside the season!), and that he’s “just like” us? I’ve never cursed a tree for not growing fruit when I’m hungry, have you?

Does the story tell us why figs are so awful? “Jesus didn’t like the tree, so now the figs taste like ash. Before Jesus cursed the tree they tasted like rum and coke!”

[joke] Do you know why only heathens eat figs? Because we don’t care if they’re cursed by Christ! [/joke]

Could anyone please tell me what this story is all about? Why is it in the Bible in the first place?

He who is without sin can cast the first stone.

“Gay people should burn in Hell!” How many of you have heard something along these lines lately? I know I have. Several times a week, and even more often. “Homosexuality is an abomination!”, – you know, all the “slogans” WBC use when they picket funerals. (But, it’s not only WBC who uses language like this. People you’d think are quite normal also tend to lean this way, even here in Norway. “God hates fags!”

Well, if you (and by “you” I mean you that think this way) have read your Bible, you’d know that while Jesus never spoke against homosexuality, he spoke quite negatively about divorce. Funny then, how a lot of the people I know who are “against homosexualy because it’s in the Bible” also are divorced. Another funny thing – most of these people stuffed their face really good this Christmas. Here’s a list:

  • Philippians 3:19 (“their god is their belly”)
  • Psalm 78: 18 (“they tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved”)
  • Proverbs 23:20 (“be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat”)
  • Proverbs 23:2 (“put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite”)
  • Ezekiel 16:49 (“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”)

Why do we never see anyone picket fast food restaurants with “God hates Gluttony!”

Jesus, the guy these people believe is the son of God, told his followers that “He who is without sin can cast the first stone” when the religious leaders ganged up on the woman caught in adultery.

Funny really, isn’t it how the pious tend to gang up on those that are different, but considerest not the beam that is in their own eye…

[Cherry] Christmas trees are “worth nothing”!

There’s supposedly a “War on Christmas”, where certain Christians tell us that the seculars, and the atheists are watering down, or even eradicating, the true meaning of Christmas. Well, stop wiith the trees you religious types! It’s in the Bible!

The customs of other people are worth nothing. Their idols are just wood cut from the forest, shaped by a worker with his chisel. (Jeremiah 10:3 NCV)

An idol of wood, cut from the forest – a Christmas tree! Worth nothing!!

Blasphemy!

“Blasphemy” is a flawed concept. It’s illogical that an omnipotent deity would want to protect itself from criticism from its own creations. We are taught “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Is that concept too difficult for god to grasp?

Blasphemy is a victimless crime.

Who is responsible for Evil?

Any Christian I’ve ever discussed “evil” with has told me that Satan is responsible for anything evil in the world. Murder? Satan. Eartquakes? Satan. Child abuse? Satan. War, famine, pestilence, hurricanes? Satan, every time!

Then I ask: “Who created Satan?” and I get an answer along the lines of: “He was an angel, but he didn’t want to follow the word of god, so he was cast from heaven. He now rule hell, and is a bad fellow indeed!”

Sounds legit, right? Not according to Isaiah 45:7.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Holy cow! God tell everybody he’s responsible for both darkness and evil!!

I guess Christians don’t know their book well enough?

Visual Contradictions in the Bible

This is too good not to share.

Contradictions in the Bible

An interactive website where the biblical contradictions is shown. I guess I can spend hours there! When you select a line, click it to see the verses that contradict each other, like so:

How should nonbelievers be treated? (Relevant to me, as I’m an atheist!)

Kill them.

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you … Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. — Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Shun them.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? … Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord. — 2 Corinthians 6:14-17

Love and be kind to them.

Love thy neighbor as thyself. — Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9-10, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8

Love your enemies. — Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27

Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. — Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31

Some of us will feel more pain in this world…

I wrote a tiny blog here a few days ago, and I got a couple of replies. One of the replies has had me pondering since I read it, and I feel it’s time to tell you what I’ve been thinking. Here’s the part of the comment that I can’t get out of my head:

Some of us will feel more pain in this world…that pain is only given to those who can bear it, and it has meaning and value for our souls.

(The full the comment is found here, third comment from the top.)

My first thought was “Bollocks!”. At least the second part is utter bollocks, because the first sentence is true. Some of us will feel more pain. Think of all those who live in a war torn country, those of us who lose our parents at an early age, those of us who are bullied all our life, those of us who… You get my drift, right? We can all agree that some people experience more pain than others.

The second sentence though: “That pain is only given to those who can bear it, and it has meaning and value for our souls.” It’s one of the comforting sentences that only make sense if you A) believe in one of the western religions (mostly Christianity, maybe Judaism, and I’m unsure about Islam (I’ll have to ask my muslim friends about that one. If I get an answer, I’ll report back!)) and/or B) believe we actually have a “soul”.
Pain is dished out left, right, and centre, and there’s no logic to who’s getting it. The nicest person on the planet might lose both parents in a car accident, while the worst creep ever lives happily all his days. There’s no Lady Justice with a blindfold, a sword, and scales giving pain where pain is due. There’s no God (or angel) with a huge tome, writing down everything like an accountant, so the pain (and the rewards) are evenly distributed. Pain happens to people! What is true though, is that some people can take more pain than others, but that doesn’t mean they’re the ones who get hit by most of it.

In the same category you’ll find sentences like “She’s in a better place”. No, she’s dead. She’s in the ground, or burned and put in an urn. To believe she’s actually in a better place, you’ll have to believe in the afterlife. That somehow a part of you don’t actually die, but move on to somewhere else. It’s beyond logic really. If you die, you’re dead. Period! Oh, and before you start, let me tell you what I believe: I believe that I was ‘dead’ (or at least in the same state of non-existing) for billions of years before I was born, and I’ll go back to the same ‘dead’ (as in non-existing) after I die, and that’s it. Not existing is actually the normality here. You don’t exist, you exist for a brief moment, and then you don’t exist again. It is natural! (And again, before you start: I’m very happy to be alive, thank you very much, and I’d like to be alive for many more years, but I don’t fear being dead – I might be a bit queasy about the actualy dying part, but being dead, no not afraid of it.) In other words, there is no “soul”. To use an acronym from the early days of the Internet: WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get!

Yet another sentence, “It’s all a part of God’s plan”, but if you don’t believe in God, you don’t believe in God’s plan either. In the comment, the sentences was said to an 8 year old girl who had been a victim of human trafficking. I mean, what do you say to comfort an 8 year old who’s been forced to work in brothels for many hours a day? “It’s all a part of God’s plan!” Hell no! What an utter bastard of a God that must be to make a plan where 8 year old girls are explioted like that? Here’s my advice if you ever find yourself in a situation like this (and I hope you don’t!): If you’re a man, get as far away as possible! Let the women take care of the girl. And if you have to say anything, say something along the lines of “It’s over now. Let’s get you safe!”

“God never gives us more than we can handle.” is also one where you’ve got to believe in God to get comforted. And people have experienced so much pain they’ve commited suicide. What happened to “never more than we can handle” there? It is absolutely clear they got more than they could handle. If not, they might not have killed themselves!

I think people really should think before trying to comfort others! Here’s something you can say if you want to comfort someone who’s experiencing pain: “I’m here for you if you need me!” (And you’d better be there if they need you, or you’ve just made an empty promise!)

I know a lot of the comforting phrases are traditional. In the US people often say stuff like “I’m praying for you and your family!”. Pray all you want, it will not ease the pain. A friend of mine put it rather blunt when he said: “Prayer is like masturbation. It feels good for the one doing it, while the one they think of feel absolutely nothing!”