Reading Billy Graham’s mail

July 23, 2014

Billy deals with this question this time around:

You preachers are always saying we need to change our behavior and become better people, but I don’t agree. I think we need to learn to accept ourselves just as we are and quit feeling guilty over our shortcomings. We’ll never be perfect anyway, so why worry about it? — L.S.

While I’m not a preacher, I agree changing behaviour can be a good thing. Accepting ourselves can also be a good thing. A lot of this really depends on what kind of behaviour we’re discussing, though.

I did a quick hunt of my own blog and discovered I didn’t do a write up for the banned book Lolita when we read it. That’s about a guy who falls pretty hard for a beautiful kid and runs away with her. She later runs away with someone else and doesn’t have a long life but the character of Humbert Humbert became disturbingly easy to feel sorry for. While psychologists and the like can argue about whether or not pedophilia is a mental disorder or an actual branch of human sexuality in terms of what turns people on (these days they say it’s not an orientation), it’s still a behaviour best dealt with medically instead of indulged.

If thieving or any other illegal activity is one’s mode de vie, it’s only a matter of time before the law catches up.

If, for example, procrastination/constantly being late is the societal crime, well, it’s annoying but fixable with effort. You just have to decide if it’s worth the effort. Your friends and loved ones would answer with an emphatic YES, but ultimately, it’s still up to you.

DEAR L.S.: You’re right on one point; we’ll never be perfect in this life. But does that mean we ought to sit back and do nothing about our bad habits or other things we do wrong? No, of course not.

One reason we need to be concerned about what you call our “shortcomings” is because they have an effect on others. If I’m selfish and unconcerned about the needs of others, they will be hurt. If I habitually lie and cheat, others will be hurt. If I ignore my social responsibilities or act immorally, others will be hurt. As the Bible says, “None of us lives for ourselves alone” (Romans 14:7).

It can be easy to forget that, but our actions affect all of those we come across, just as the actions of others affect us. No doubt you’re familiar with the experience of getting snapped at by a stranger or a friend for what seems like no good reason. Maybe you didn’t do anything to deserve it. Chances are, you’re just the unlucky recipient of a bad mood. But something happened to that person to make their mood go dark and they’ve chosen to spread it around. You just happened to be in the vicinity. Be honest and admit you’ve done the same to people in the past, too. I tried to look for a link demonstrating how apes take out their frustration on smaller apes but due to timing, I’m just getting hits for the film I currently have no interest in.

But we’ll also end up hurting ourselves. Bad habits always have bad consequences — always. It might not be obvious at first; in fact, we may deceive ourselves into thinking we’re on the right road. But we aren’t. The Bible is clear: “You may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Smoking often leads to lung cancer. There’s second hand damage, and there’s even such a thing as third hand damage. It’s disturbing to read about. Does knowledge about the lingering effects stop people from smoking, though? I suppose the bible was mum on smoking specifically, but nearly any bible verse can be bent to the non-smoker cause.

We should never be content to “accept ourselves just as we are” (as you put it). But God does accept us just as we are! He knows all about us, including our sins and our failures, and yet he still loves us and wants to come into our lives to forgive us and change us. And this can happen to you, as you turn to Jesus Christ and invite him into your life. I urge you to make your decision for Christ today.

I think his advice always ends with this paragraph. Jesus fixes everything. He fixes things better than Ultimate Fix or whatever!

how to fix everything with jesus


Morality Movie Monday: When Worlds Collide

July 21, 2014

As soon as this movie started, I knew I should blog about it.

The very first images after the credits feature bible verses (Genesis 6:12,13):

And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

A pilot named Randall arrives at an observatory in South Africa, hired to deliver a top secret package to a New York observatory. The New York observatory confirms the other place got their math right and the UN or something like it meets to discuss the findings. According to the scientists, two worlds are indeed going to collide in eight months. Bellus is a star that’s on a trajectory in line with Earth. Its planet, Zyra, will be close enough to the Earth by that point to try something pretty bold. They hope “with god’s help and guidance” that humans should be able to put together rockets (modern Noah’s Arks as it were) to escape the Earth’s destruction and land on the new planet even though they have no proof it’d be at all survivable.

(This film came out in 1951 when rockets to other planets were still part of a “dreamworld,” and one guy in the meeting considers them crackpot doomsayers. He’ll soon find out he’s wrong. They all will…)

The ones putting the rocket ideas into motion have to deal with the issue of who to take, who to leave behind and how to decide. They figure between 40-50 people will fit on each rocket. A rich guy named Stanton grumpily puts money into this endeavor in the hopes he’ll be more likely to get a seat on one.

This'll work..

This’ll work..

I don’t know enough math. Will their slide conserve enough fuel to launch this puppy? I don’t know…

A montage of front page headlines and footage of prayers in the streets of the world is added. Massive evacuations have been going on to get people out of the coastal areas although if a star really was going to smack into this planet, it wouldn’t matter if you were in New York City or Montana…

The planet makes it scheduled approach near the earth and rumbles happen, bridges fall, volcanoes erupt, glaciers shed icebergs, homes and forests burn, the seas boil with tidal forces unfamiliar to the planet before this time. I don’t know what their budget was, but they use an impressive series of images.

floodwaters

floodwaters

high tide

high tide

They opt to run a lottery. Joyce, the daughter of one of the scientists is a sure bet to go for the ride. Randall doesn’t think he should go and didn’t get a number, but “she wants you, Dave” — but he’s insistent that his space should still be given to someone else. And they’re all running out of time. Doc Tony (who had loved Joyce and wanted to marry her) convinces him he should come, though, because they may need another pilot to take over flying in case the first one doesn’t survive.

Once the lottery results come out, just before it’s time to leave, people are starting to go a bit nuts, those leaving and those staying behind, but everyone on board gets out okay and they step right into a painting pretending to be another world.

worldsnew

In terms of disaster movies, it’s not the best I’ve ever seen, but it was short. There are a few scenes in there where they show families having to be split up and romantic partings and kids being rescued and a dog, too. There’s also a part near the end where Joyce’s father sees the mob coming toward the rocket intent on raising hell before take off and rather than board with Mr. Stanton, he sets the rocket in motion and the two of them stay behind. Stanton’s pretty pissed off but the father reminds him that the future is for the young. And, really, he won’t have to be pissed off for long. Either he’ll get beaten to a pulp by an angry mob or they’ll all disintegrated by the solar disaster.

I don’t recommend this film unless you like bad science in your science fiction, though.

I didn’t remember watching it EVER but the Man has laughingly reminded me that he and I had watched his VHS copy a while back and poked all manner of holes into it. My memory really sucks…


Atheist Scruples: And Bingo was his name-o

July 10, 2014

Today’s question:

You need one number to win the jackbot at BINGO. A stranger next to you also needs one and it has been called. Do you tell her?

This edition of A Question of Scruples came out in 1986, which was something of a heyday for Bingo obsession, if I recall correctly, and in 1991/92 our school band ran some Bingo nights to raise money for our upcoming trip to Vancouver. We all had to volunteer to work an evening. I was kind of shy at the time (hard to believe now) and stressed out over these women shouting at me for more cards and throwing money at me and barely waiting for me to figure out what I owed them for change. There was little time between rounds for cards and money to change hands. It also stunk like hell with cigarette smoke. I remember that overall. So disgusting. But, I digress.

Ultimately, I think it depends on what kind of jackpot we’re talking about. If this is a fundraising “top prize is a turkey” little thing for a kid’s school, or senior’s centre, then maybe I’d holler Bingo for the woman myself and then point to the spot she nearly missed. I have no room to store a turkey anyway. If this was a night of cutthroat gambling at a real Bingo hall where hundreds of dollars are up for grabs and everybody wants it, screw her. If she can’t see the spot she missed, clearly she’s playing too many cards at once. Greedy cow. (That’s assuming I even notice. I’d probably be too busy watching my own cards like a hawk watches for mice.)

Now a question posed by someone via Yahoo Answers:

Christians: Do you consider Bingo and the Lottery gambling?

The question was posed five years ago. Kerika answered:

Yes. Christians rightly avoid any sweepstakes or drawings that involve buying chances (such as raffle tickets) or putting up money for a chance to win some prize. Simply put, we avoid gambling, which certainly is an expression of greediness.—1 Corinthians 5:11;; 6:10; Ephesians 4:19; 5:3, 5.

She also quoted from some Jehovah’s Witness writings so maybe she’s not typical.

A different response from P?tsie:

I am a Christian. Are they gambling, of course. Are they a sin?… not as easy to answer. Personally, I believe that if you can control your spending and do not over indulge, then it is generally not. There are many who would disagree, but there is no verse that says “don’t play bingo”. What you believe is between you and God, and nobody else.

I bold the last line because that’s exactly the kind of thinking used to rationalize and justify a lot of behaviour including everything that shouldn’t be socially or legally acceptable anymore. And since I’m of the opinion that gods are created by the culture that wants or thinks they’re needed, I don’t think the question is ever really “What would Jesus do?” The question usually seems to be “What do I want to do and how can I interpret the Word to support my way of thinking?” The first way may be contrary to what I want to do, whereas the second way is ultimately win win…


Russell Crowe to star in remake of Evan Almighty

June 18, 2012

Well, near enough, in my opinion. He’s part of the cast for a completely unnecessary retelling of Noah’s Ark:

As well as Crowe in the lead role, Aronofksy’s film boasts Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth and Emma Watson. Furthermore, Deadline suggests Jennifer Connelly may be in line to play Noah’s wife in what would be a repeat of the casting for the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind. John Logan, who co-wrote Gladiator, was reported in February to have rescripted a draft screenplay originally penned by Aronofsky and Ari Handel. Deadline does not offer a name for the Winstone character, described as Noah’s nemesis. Liam Neeson, Liev Schreiber and Val Kilmer had previously been linked to the role, but Aronofsky reportedly wanted an actor “with the grit and size to be convincing as he goes head-to-head against Crowe’s Noah character”.

Part of me sees it getting filmed like an even bigger CG version of A Perfect Storm. I wonder what version of the story they’ll tell, too.

In Genesis 6, God tells Noah to bring two of all living creatures including (as is logical) several of all birds. The King James translation makes it slightly more flowery, but the meaning “two of each” is still clear.

“You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.”

—Genesis 6:19-20[1]

In the next chapter, Genesis 7, God directly contradicts himself. Instead of two of every animal, male and female, God tells Noah to bring seven of every clean animal – although this is also read by many as seven pairs. How can one bring seven of some animals if he is already only bringing two of all animals? Genesis 7 also contradicts God’s statement in the previous book by stating that instead of two of all birds, seven of all birds were to be brought.

“Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.”

I suspect it’s another example of the contradictions that befell Genesis. Different cultures were telling different versions of origin stories and rather than pick one version as right and drop the rest, the bible builders opted to hang onto all of them. Story telling was important as there was no way to pass on one’s history otherwise. These days (nearly) everyone learns to read and write and books are plentiful. In bible days? So not the case.

Well anyway, I’ll add it to the list of films I will probably never watch.


Old bones equal proof the bible is true!

June 16, 2012

At least, as far as Fox News is concerned. Here’s their headline: Mysterious bones may belong to John the Baptist

There’s no way to be sure, of course, as there are no confirmed pieces of John the Baptist to compare to the fragments of bone. But the sarcophagus holding the bones was found near a second box bearing the name of St. John and his feast date (also called a holy day) of June 24. Now, new radiocarbon dating of the collagen in one of the bones pegs its age to the early first century, consistent with the New Testament and Jewish histories of John the Baptist’s life.

What if the box was just owned or built by the dead guy and some family member thought it’d be nice to put it in with him? Isn’t that a more likely scenario than claiming we “just happened” to find John the Baptist? What a miracle! I’m thinking not.

“We got some dates that are very interesting indeed,” study researcher Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford told LiveScience. “They suggest that the human bone is all from the same person, it’s from a male, and it has a very high likelihood of an origin in the Near East,” or Middle East where John the Baptist would have lived.

Him, and how many thousands of other people?

Historical research by Oxford professor Georges Kazan suggests that relics supposedly from John the Baptist were on the move out of Jerusalem by the fourth century. Many of these artifacts were shuttled through the ancient city of Constantinople and may well have been gifted to the Sveti Ivan monastery from there.

None of this proves that the bones belonged to a historical figure named John the Baptist, but researchers haven’t been able to rule out the possibility, Higham said. Their study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but a program detailing the research will be aired on the United Kingdom National Geographic Channel on Sunday (June 17). National Geographic funded the research.

So this is not Fox’s fault? I thought National Geographic put more emphasis on facts over sensationalism but maybe I’ve been living under a rock or something. I’m already aware that The History Channel offers up Pawn Stars and American Pickers. And it looks like the Learning Channel long since gave up on teaching people anything useful. Toddlers and Tiaras? Say Yes to the Dress? 19 Kids and Counting? Give me a break. And I see NatGeo offers up its own share of WTF TV, too. It’s all a ratings game, I guess.


Linkskrieg! (First pass)

June 7, 2012

It’s occurred to me that I’ve collected far more links than I have time to write about, so here’s a batch of things I did want to bring up at some point but never did. I may flesh out some of these at some point, though. Time will tell.

1. The Codex Gigas:

Lore behind the codex suggests the book was the effort of one monk’s labor in a single night. After breaking the rules of the monastery, he’d been sentenced to a slow death – he’d be walled up in a room of bricks. The night before his sentence would be executed, the monk decided to write his last work, an evil book written on animal skins. He realized that finishing the book before imprisonment would be impossible, so he made a Faustian deal at midnight with Lucifer to finish the book, with the devil signing the document by painting a portrait of himself on the 290th leaf.

2. A pastor’s controversial book on sex:

The book was written by Driscoll and his wife, Grace, to, in Mark’s words, “compel married couples to have important conversations about important things.”

In the first half of the book, the Driscolls discuss their own sexual issues using the lessons they learned to discuss how to reignite a marriage whose flame may have gone out. The book’s second half, which is getting most of the negative attention, discusses sex in detail.

In response, religious scholars and writers have blasted the Driscolls’ work on a number of grounds ranging from the logistical to the biblical.

3. Apocalypse tourism:

The Mexican government is expecting 52 million tourists to visit the five regions — Chiapas, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Campeche, over the next 12 months, says the Latin American Herald Tribune.

According to goverment reports, the boom is part of Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s tourism campaign: “Mundo Maya 2012,” to promote Mexico as a unique destination.

4. Ancient document claims dozens visited Jesus, not just three:

The translation of the mysterious ‘Revelation of the Magi’ describes how the three wise men actually numbered over a dozen and came from a faraway land, possibly China.

(Since the bible never specifies how many wise men visited, I don’t see this as news, personally. Straight Dope dealt with this years ago.)

5. “Miracle” survival of a kid with flesh eating disease:

The pope on Monday signed a decree authenticating the miracle, clearing the way for Tekakwitha to be canonized as America’s first Roman Catholic indigenous saint.

“There is no doubt in me or my husband’s mind that a miracle definitely took place,” Jake’s mother, Elsa Finkbonner, told msnbc.com on Tuesday. “There were far too many things that could have and should have gone wrong with his illness. The doctors went through every avenue they could to save his life and he survived. It’s a miracle that all of the other things that could have gone wrong, didn’t.”

6. Utah’s festive season vs atheist billboards:

“We’re glad to share the Christmas season with Christians, but they have stolen Christmas, and it is not the birthday of Jesus,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Wisconsin-based organization. “It’s a natural event, the winter solstice. … The shortest day of the year has been celebrated for millennia in the Northern Hemisphere with decorations and lights and celebrations. We just think it’s important to celebrate reason and celebrate reality.”

She added that the foundation has heard there’s a feeling of claustrophobia among non-Mormons and nonbelievers in Salt Lake City. “There’s a great dominance there, so we want to be there, too.”

7. Evidence from Dead Sea dirt may verify some bible tales:

Ben-Avraham, head of the Minerva Dead Sea Research Center at Tel Aviv University in Israel, noted that this is important because, when it comes to earthquakes, the last century in the Middle East was unusually quiet.

“People don’t take this into consideration,” Ben-Avraham said, “but we have mighty earthquakes.”

Looking farther back, one of the seismically active eras revealed by the core samples appears to have been about 4,000 years ago, he said.

“If you believe the biblical chronology, this is roughly [the time of] Sodom and Gomorrah,” he said. During this period, according to the Book of Genesis, God “rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed all.”

8. British PM and Dawkins disagree on need for faith schools:

David Cameron has said atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins “just doesn’t really get it” on the issue of faith schools.

The Prime Minister made the comments as he answered questions from well-known figures for a Guardian newspaper article. Mr Cameron said he thinks faith schools are “very often good schools” and he noted that the church had provided “good schools long before the state got involved”.

Dawkins would rather see more schools promoting secularism and critical thinking instead of traditions and indoctrination.


Pride week is not far away

May 7, 2012

But I found this now and don’t want to forget to post it. I found out about it via recordnet.com and their article about North Carolina’s gay marriage issue.

One hopes that plea is heeded. Vines’ speech is long – a little over an hour – but well worth the time, particularly for those seeking to reconcile first-century faith with 21st-century social concerns.

Many in North Carolina – many around the country – are swimming against the tide of human freedom and blaming God for it. Again, this is not a new thing. We saw it back when God was for segregation and against women’s suffrage.

How convenient it must be to lay your own narrowness and smallness off on God, to accept no responsibility for the niggardly nature of your own soul. Vines’ video is a welcome, overdue and eloquent rebuke of the moral and intellectual laziness of throwing rocks, then hiding inside Scripture. It is a reminder, too.


Creationist propaganda matters more than education in Kentucky

January 25, 2012

Based on were they want their money spent, at any rate. From Forbes:

In one of the most spectacularly mis-prioritized state budgets in recent memory, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D), is suggesting over $50 million in cuts to education – while preserving $43 million in tax breaks for the Ark Encounter, a creationist amusement park centered around a life-sized Noah’s Ark. The park is sponsored by Answers In Genesis, a non-profit organization that promotes a “literalist” interpretation of the Book of Genesis while promoting an anti-evolution (and other sciences) agenda.

There are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea.

Oh my non-existent god, are there ever. The author, Alex Knapp, hit on a few. Cuts to education only work if previous work has been done to reform the system first so standards can still be met even with less funding. Apparently that’s not the case here. Plus, the park is a luxury more than it is a necessity.

in a time of austerity, surely it makes most sense to eliminate wasteful subsidies first, rather than essential public services. Especially subsidies that are of dubious value to begin with, whether its this “Ark Park” or a football stadium.

I add a link because I didn’t know what he meant. Austerity is an economics term, a policy intended for cutting spending and increasing taxes in order to decrease debt. Public services often face cuts when governments go this route and education falls under that, unfortunately.

I agree on the “dubious value” of a creationist theme park (anywhere, not just Kentucky), but I suppose Kentucky is assuming the tourism dollars will make it worthwhile? Knapp notes that the move to give them a tax break is close to crossing a line – maintaining separation of church and state. P.Z. Meyers notes that a further $11 million is going toward infrastructure: “highway improvements for the Ark Park” itself. Hopefully properties other than the Ark Park benefit from that little windfall. That cash isn’t going towards their personal driveway and parking lot, right? Right?

Quoting Friendly Atheist now because he’s so succinct:

In summary, Governor Beshear has basically used $54,000,000 of taxpayer money to help the Biblical Ark Park. And he took $50,000,000 away from the education budget.

In other words, the Governor just took away $100,000,000 that could have gone toward educating people.

There’s no real education to be found at Ark Encounter. Mythology treated as fact is
what they offer. Mythology as entertainment is one thing, and probably a fun thing, but this gets sold as if it’s more true than anything science has taught humanity about our origins and existence. Add to that a government essentially encouraging this business to continue unabated and it equals a very serious problem for the future. It’s a pity education has to take a hit just so this junk heap can stay afloat.


Pagan mom casts spell on bible takers

January 20, 2012

Not quite, but I found at article at Fox News yesterday about a school in South Carolina that received some bibles from a well-meaning group most will know by name: Gideons International. The “sacred books” were dropped at the school office for any kid who wanted one. Ginger Strivelli’s 12 year old son wanted one, apparently, but being pagan and a practicing witch, she found this troublesome. After talking it over with school officials, they stated that anyone could donate their religious texts to the school. Strivelli chose to test that by bringing some spells books to the school. She was turned away.

“Buncombe County School officials are currently reviewing relevant policies and practices with school board attorneys,” the district announced in a written statement. “During this review period, no school in the system will be accepting donations of materials that could be viewed as advocating a particular religion or belief.”

The school board is expected to address the issue at its next meeting Feb. 2. According to legal experts, the First Amendment gives public schools two clear choices when it comes to the distribution of religious texts.

“You can either open your public school up to all religious material, or you can say no religious material,” Michael Broyde, a professor and senior fellow at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion said. “You can’t say, ‘You can distribute religious material, but only from the good mainstream faiths.’”

Of course, Fox quotes the ones beaking about the country “being founded on Judeo-Christian principles” like that’s going to put the foot down and stop the argument in its tracks. But at least they don’t stop there.

While many Weaverville Christians see recent events as a threat to tradition, others see a purpose in enforcing church-state separation in public schools, because even the nation’s traditional faiths have divisions.

“Many Christians have stood up and said they agree with me too,” Strivelli said. “Because, as much as they may like the Bible, they don’t want Jehovah’s Witnesses coming in with Watch Tower (magazines) or Catholics coming in and having them pray the Rosary.”

CBC caught the story via Fox as well and set up a poll – Should schools allow the distribution of religious texts to students? 63% of people who’ve responded so far picked “No, religion has no place in schools.” They also include a link to an incident with the Gideons in Charlottetown, PEI.

Last week Arsenault received a notice from the school asking him to fill out a form if he wanted his daughter to opt out of getting a bible from The Gideons.

Arsenault called the school board.

“I’ll be held responsible for my child’s belief system, not the schools,” Arsenault told CBC News Tuesday.

“I’m not against religion, any form or fashion. We’ve got a wide variety of Bibles here. We even went as far as to spend money to buy an English version of the Qur’an, I just don’t like how the schools are getting involved in handing out these religious books.”

Especially if the school is supposed to be a public secular one instead of a separate Catholic or Protestant one. School teachers can teach kids about morality and ethics and good behaviour without trying to push the bible on them at the same time. Schools should push for a secular equality for their students, not promote one religion over others, either by design or accident. Leave that tactic to the parents.


Store bans sale of Bible. Finally.

November 27, 2011

What makes it particularly laughable, though, is the fact that it’s the Lego bible (The Brick Testament) and Sam’s Club deemed it too racy to be sold there as it was originally published. It’s since been modified to be “acceptable” for their store.

On his Web site, Smith’s Brick Testament contains a series of interpretations of sexually suggestive passages of the Bible, but in the latest book version, those sections were removed.

“I have just been informed that Sam’s Club is pulling ‘The Brick Bible’ from the shelves of all of their retail locations nationwide due to the complaints of a handful of people that it is vulgar and violent,” Smith wrote on his Facebook page on Monday. “This despite the book containing only straightforward illustrations of Bible stories using direct quotes from scripture.”

With Lego, no less. I laugh over the “vulgar and violent” line, too. It’s not like Smith’s making shit up. He’s illustrating key stories out of their most holy of holy books. Is the violence and incest somehow coming as a shock to readers? How is that possible?

In response to a request for comment from CNET, a Sam’s Club spokesperson said, “We offered the print version only of ‘The Brick Bible’ in our clubs….Sam’s Club received numerous concerns from our members and parents about the mature content in what is perceived as a children’s book. Accordingly, Sam’s Club made a business decision to discontinue sales.”

Why did customers assume it was meant for children in the first place? The bible is no way in hell a children’s book. Sure, there are a few stories in there that can be modified to tell kids and sell to parents (I had a set of Noah’s Ark bedsheets as a kid that were pretty cute) but the bulk of it is completely adult oriented and the last thing kids ought to be exposed to.

Smith said that the only complaint he’d managed to uncover himself is one post on the Sam’s Club Facebook wall contending that “The Brick Bible” [was] created by someone who doesn’t believe in God.”

Heaven forbid.

The article goes on to report that Smith’s publisher was asked by Sam’s Club to take the sexualized images out of the book before they’d go through with the purchase of 12,000 of them. Personally, I kind of wish Skyhorse Publishing had told them to go to hell but Wal-mart has too much power over companies. No one feels comfortable alienating them lest it affect future sales.

What seems possible is that those who complained to Sam’s Club about the book didn’t realize that the sexually suggestive material had been removed. Indeed, Tabitha Grace, the woman who posted about her feelings that Smith is an atheist wrote that “I came home and did some research…And would NOT recommend this as a gift for children…Please research this book if you have intentions of getting this for someone. I wanted to share this concern because it is being portrayed as something it is NOT.”

Again, why the fuck did she think it was for children? Because it was Lego? The Lego is just a gimmicky way to tell bible stories. Adult-oriented bible stories. The bible is for adults, not kids. Adults, lady. Adults. You want child-level bible stories, look for them in the Children’s section where the fluffy lambs and lions live.

Grace may not have understood that the material she was objecting to did not appear in the book version. “When I got home went straight to the Web site in hopes to see if there were more stories,” Grace wrote. “This is where it all went downhill for me. While the Web site does have a content warning on it, I feel the [paraphrasing] of the bible stories are not age appropriate and should be identified both on the Web site and the book itself.”

Maybe next time she won’t ignore the content warning. She didn’t have to check the site and put herself at risk of being offended by what was in there. She’s certainly right about needing to be careful about age-appropriateness though. Clearly she’s not mature enough to be in there…


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