Jesus sighted in a moth wing

September 5, 2014

It’s always Jesus. It’s never going to be some random guy with a beard…

From, by no surprise, the Daily Mail reporting from Texas:

A Texas woman believes she’s seen the Lord in a bug’s back.
Yvonne Esquiline found a moth clinging to her Texas home last week and pictured in brown and yellow on its body and wings she could make out the head of Jesus.
‘At first it looked like Jesus,’ said Esquiline. ‘And I still think it looks like Jesus.’

Random woman has unwavering opinion. I’m convinced. I may as well just close this blog down right now…

The Georgetown woman’s conviction gets even more specific. She says the moth’s colors indicate she’s in for some good fortune.

Esquiline and her family believe the Imperial moth’s brown coloration means represents important news and that the yellow splotches indicate home.

When you think you need a sign, you’ll find them everywhere, even in the typical camouflage of a typical garden variety moth.

Why is this news, Daily Mail? Why? Beyond this family, who really needs to care about what this family thinks about this moth? Why does this get into the public consciousness? It’s just a moth. Quit reading anything into it.

‘I believe this was a sign,’ Esquiline told KXAN. ‘God is letting me know good news is coming and to keep the hope.’

Esquiline hopes it means she’ll be able to pay for her daughter’s education.

And she’s not letting naysayers rattle her faith. At least not too much.

‘People also saw an image of the Devil which is kind of creepy but after staring at it for so long it almost looks like it,’ she admitted.

And that’s because you’re primed to think it looks like Jesus while others are primed to think it looks demonic and others are primed to think it’s a hobo…


Pareidolia Hamster

September 4, 2014

It’s not Jesus, but I’ll take it.

A cafe-goer was given the shock of their life when they were served a blueberry muffin that looked uncannily like a live hamster.

The person was so surprised by their snack’s resemblance to one of the furry little critters that they uploaded a picture of it to Reddit under the username, upparoom.

With a snout-shaped top spilling over the muffin case, a blueberry for an eye and a dark lump for an ear, the treat does look slightly like a hamster’s profile.

Thankfully, the muffin did of course turn out to be full of doughy deliciousness rather than fluffy hamster fur – otherwise it could have got messy.

It’s unclear where the hamster-shaped muffin was served.

There’s a poll at the bottom of the screen asking readers to vote yes or no on if this muffin looks like a hamster. What it really needs is a “who gives a crap?” box to click…


If atheist and traveling in Britain, stay at the Travelodge: no bibles

August 19, 2014

There’s no real story here, but Fox and the Daily Mail and others like them want to make it one, apparently. Which article to pick on first.. the Mail, I guess, since Fox is just paraphrasing that anyway. The hotel’s stance is that they opted to pull the bibles once they renovated rather than promote one set of beliefs and ignore others.

A Church of England spokesman said: ‘It seems both tragic and bizarre that hotels would remove the word of God for the sake of ergonomic design, economic incentive or a spurious definition of the word “diversity”.’

It seems not all Travelodges even have Bibles available on request. At the branch in Battersea, south London, there was no Bible in the room or behind reception.

When requested, the receptionist could not find a copy and said no one had ever asked him for one in his four months of working there.Instead, he suggested using the hotel’s free wifi to ‘Google it and read it online’.

That seems a little on the “How dare he!?” side of things but isn’t it kind of silly to assume a hotel chain ought to store bibles on the premises? If you need a bible in your hotel room when you travel, why don’t you just bring your own? He has a point about just going online to find one, though. They’re everywhere. Pick whatever translation you want and you can find it to read somewhere. I prefer the Skeptics Annotated Bible for all my bible reading needs.

The Gideons have been foisting their bibles onto whoever will take them since 1899 but I don’t think saving souls is one of the mandates of a typical hotel chain. Hotels are on the hook to provide patrons with (hopefully clean) beds and bathrooms, and food that won’t kill them. Anything else is just perks. It’s a holdover from the notion that everyone you were possibly going to meet was going to be a Christian who’d be a bible reader automatically. Can’t say the same of everyone one meets these days, especially in a tourist-heavy place like London. It’s wrong to only provide one kind of reading material as if there were only one kind of person staying at the hotel.

Personally, I’d rather see other books or materials made available that don’t lean toward any religion. Throw some love poetry in the drawer. Supply books by local authors. Maybe something along the lines of “Here’s what’s Haunted” for people who like ghost hunt stuff when they travel. Trivia books maybe. Crossword puzzles or a handful of Pictionary cards and a notepad for drawing on.

Along these lines, I’ve been reading about the U.S. Navy and their hem/haw over keeping bibles available at their lodgings. They had pulled them out due to some complaints but put them back in again because of other complaints. The bibles will be staying in the rooms while “the policy is under review.”

Chaplain (Ret.) Col. Ron Crews, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said. “Our national has a history of religious accommodation for military personnel since before George Washington established the chaplain corps in July 1775. Allowing Bibles in guest quarters is a continuation of our desire to serve those who serve us.”

He then claims there’s nothing to review. The Freedom From Religion Foundation wanted to make the point that the Navy, a government agency, is promoting certain faiths over others. It should be all or nothing, no special treatment given to Christians. Alas, that seems to be a hard idea for some Christian people to wrap their holier-than-thou heads around…


How can anyone back Ken Ham?

July 22, 2014

Back away from him, yes. Back him? His brain baffles me with its illogical pronouncements.

Creationist Ken Ham, who recently debated Bill Nye the Science Guy over the origins of the universe, is calling for an end to the search for extraterrestrial life because aliens probably don’t exist — and if they do, they’re going to Hell anyway.

“You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe,” Ham wrote on his blog on Sunday. “This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation.”.

And

Jesus did not become the “GodKlingon” or the “GodMartian”! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the “Godman” as our Savior. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we see the Father through the Son (and we see the Son through His Word). To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong.

And

The search for extraterrestrial life is really driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution!

The rest of his screed is here but it’s not worth the clicks.

I don’t think there’s any desperate attempt to prove evolution, either. It happens. Ken Ham and his ilk are wasting their time, energy and money promoting their very silly alternative.

It’d be interesting to find out if life happened on other worlds, or is happening on other bodies in this solar system.

And it’s good that humans have the drive to discover. Speaking biblically, it turned out to be the wrong move for Adam and Eve because apparently God really wanted them to stay obedient and stupid. In the real world, that ambition to know is what moves us forward and keeps us fed, watered and housed. That drive to know is why we also have so many gods and religions — for some of the bigger questions, our ancestors had no way to find the answers so put gods in as placeholders. And people like Ken Ham want to keep them there rather than find any real solid answers. It’s a shame, really. The world, the universe, and our place in both is far more fascinating when taking the science into account than it is just blowing it off with “God did it!”

My mind is blown by the very idea that we’re all star stuff. I trust those who say it’s so. I’m just blown by what that means.. it’s so big and fantastic and wild. No god invented by man can beat that, in my mind.


“The Turtle Moves…”

July 9, 2014

I can’t resist a Terry Pratchett quote when the opportunity arises.

This is really about the senseless killing of a tortoise by a Uganda police officer, however.

After Onegiu had killed the tortoise, a group of people belonging to the Charismatic faith prayed for him, before burning the dead reptile to ashes.

When contacted for a comment on the incident, Nebbi DPC Onesmus Mwesigwa burst into laughter and went about how Onegiu had called him, telling him what had happened.

“Yes, I got that report because Onegiu called me and narrated how the tortoise came to his house and tried to grab his legs. “As, you know in the villages, there is a lot of superstitions where people think ‘somebody is after me’. But, we consulted with some elders and his colleagues.”

The police boss called for calm from the residents and police officers, maintaining that their lives are not in danger as they may have assumed.

It wandered into his house and rather than figure out a way to lure it out gently, he harassed it with a plastic chair and shot it dead once it finally did wander out again. Was that really necessary?

And the prayer stuff.. take a superstition, add some hard-core religion and you’ve got a recipe for a special kind of insanity — at least when viewed from the outside by a skeptical atheist like myself.

Perhaps it made for some good (but strange) PR for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal currently underway in the country. Who knows. Downright stupid and an abuse of the man’s power in the community, if I do say so. So very stupid.


I didn’t give out bibles or candy

November 1, 2011

I live in an apartment building and the only knock on my door last night was due to my caretaker. As to candy, I’m hoping leftovers make it to work today. I didn’t bother buying any.

I was hoping this was a joke but it turns out a Canadian pastor really did encourage kids to be Jesus Weeners this year and requested that parents dress their kids in white instead of evil costumes, and pass out bibles instead of sinfully delicious treats.

The idea has caught on in communities across North America, according to Jesus Ween creator Paul Ade. He’s hoping it will bring a new perspective to an otherwise pagan festival, he said.

“I do not associate myself with ghosts, demons, Satan and witches. These are things I want to get rid of,” he said.

“If it’s OK for a child to know about demons, it should also be OK for a child to know about Jesus.”

Jesus Ween has attracted international attention, with media reports circulating as far away as Britain.

That’s because international media latches onto anything remotely ridiculous and this completely qualifies. Alas, it’s hitting the right notes in some circles:

As of Thursday, Jesus Ween had more than 4,000 supporters on Facebook. Fans of the movement have erected billboards in Toronto and some people have put bumper stickers on vehicles.

The pastor has 200 “kid-friendly” bibles ready to distribute to Calgary children on Monday. “I don’t think we’re ruining anybody’s fun. Getting a bible is not getting a bomb. It’s nothing really bad,” Ade said.

A “kid-friendly” bible won’t be bad, I suppose, just watered down and essentially harmless bits of Jesus-love and kumbaya, etc. Let them get wind of the messier, juicier stories from the adult-oriented version when they’re older, eh? Ezekiel’s zombie army, the old bald man who set bears on kids who teased him, anything out of Revelation…


Thou shalt not steal — unless the church needs money?

March 9, 2011

The pastor of Bethel Christian Community church in Montreal reportedly devised a scheme to steal money from a zoo in Quebec.

Quebec police have charged Mwinda Lezoka, 47, with siphoning nearly $1 million from a zoo near the U.S. border.

Police said Lezoka defrauded Parc Safari with the help of church member Ruth Eugene, 38, who worked as the zoo’s accountant for several years. Also charged is Eugene’s husband Jasmin St-Louis, 43.

That just floors me. Not the thievery itself – that almost seems par for the course, actually. I’m appalled by their decision to target a zoo, though. It sounds like the zoo won’t suffer much for the loss of all that cash but it still seems like a lot of money to me. I wonder what they would have used it for.

Quebec business records list Mwinda Lezoka as president of the company, Actions Bethel du Canada Inc. Parc Safari had earlier filed a civil lawsuit against the pastor and his church, saying the money that vanished from their accounts was used to fund church activities. The allegations have yet to be proven in court.

Apparently he’s already been in hot water over missing donations, too. Parishioners have yet to see any proof that their contributions went toward repairs.

I wonder how those involved wind up justifying this behaviour.


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