Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Those Silly KJV-Onlyists

From an article titled "All Modern Bible Versions Are Corrupt!", arguing that the King James Version is the only Bible we should all be using because of its manuscript history:
Certainly the King James translators were the best scholars ever assembled to produce a translation that we can hold up today as our authoritative, trustworthy translation; but were those esteemed translators "inspired" in the biblical sense?Absolutely not!
I love the "Certainly" that starts it. "Well here's something we can all agree on!" Right.

This is kind of like when Mormon missionaries try to laugh with Christians about those crazy cultists, the Jehovah's Witnesses. "Can you believe those people and their weird Bible translation and knocking on doors two-by-two and all their strange eschatological views..." There's a definite human desire to not be perceived as a fringe group.

Same thing here though: "We don't believe the KJV is
inspired. Just that the translators were the best scholars ever assembled. Oh, and that all other Bible versions are because Satan is inspiring non-fundamentalists to corrupt the text by taking out all the references to the Trinity and the deity of Jesus."

Yeah, but you're not crazy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Best Blog Yet - "Awkward Family Photos"

Jay and Greg today did me the great service of telling me about a blog called "Awkward Family Photos".

It is exactly what it sounds like. Do yourself a favor and go check it out- especially you, Mrs. Allen.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Hey Dude, Check Out the Helicopter I Made"

So, uh, this is a pretty impressive little craft...

The caption from The Big Picture (a super cool photo blog from the Boston Globe where I got this photo) says, "Farmer Wu Zhongyuan, 22, sits in his self-made helicopter in Jiuxian county, Henan province, China on August 1, 2009. The local government later halted Wu's plan to fly the helicopter out of safety concerns. The aircraft, powered by a 150cc engine, took Wu two months to build and cost more than 10,000 yuan ($1,460), China Daily reported. (REUTERS/China Daily)."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Luke Skywalker Had a Right to Be Angry

(Disclaimer: What follows is totally nerdy. I recognize that and am ok with it. I also recognize that using Star Wars as a jumping-off point for theological and cultural commentary could feel silly and/or like I'm pontificating. All of this is why I decided this was better for Farismaticism than CiC.)

Plenty has been said about the screwy pseudo-profundity of Star Wars theology, but I had to mention something I noticed when I caught part of the end of Return of the Jedi on t.v. last week.

So remember when Luke, Darth, and Palpatine* are all in the super Death Star at the end of that movie? Palpatine keeps provoking Luke to get angry since, as you know, anger and hate are two steps on the path to the Dark Side. And Luke really has to fight the anger when it becomes clear that the Rebel fleet has come right into a trap (we all remember Admiral Ackbar's reaction to that...).

Eventually the lightsabers start flying and Palpatine laughs in delight as he can feel the anger and the hate flowing through Luke. But Luke doesn't want to go to the Dark Side, so he keeps fighting it though obviously frustrated.

And here was the thought that came to this Star Wars semi-nerd's head: what a ridiculously stupid, shallow ethical ideal. You're not supposed to be angry about massive oppression and the looming murder of all of your friends and allies? Your once-good father has been corrupted into merciless (well, almost...) evil, and anger is not a proper response?

Wrong. Anger and hate are legitimate when their object is legitimate. It doesn't mean you should let those thoughts and feelings control everything you do, but if people didn't get angry about genuine evil then we'd probably still have slaves and no one would have challenged Hitler. If there was an indignant abolitionist movement on, say, Tatooine**, would its leaders be moving toward the Dark Side?

God feels hatred (Isa. 61:8) and anger (Deut. 1:37), and He has every right to. Jesus flipped over tables and snapped a whip in the temple (Jn. 2). John Piper hates the prosperity gospel. My wife hates it when people demean her inner-city students. All of this is justified.

The "Anger leads to hatred, hatred leads to the Dark Side" mentality is bigger than Star Wars. It's the ethos of moral thinking in America, normally rearing its ugly head as "tolerance." And when "family-friendly programming" is a synonym for "Christian programming," I'm afraid Christians have bit on the same massive bait-and-switch.

*"Palpatine" comes up as a misspelled word in the Firefox auto spell-checker. Idiots.
**But no spell check problems with "Tatooine?" This is just inconsistent.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Maybe the Yankees Aren't So Bad After All

Everything evil in the world is embodied by the San Francisco Giants. If Satan cloned himself 24 times and the 25 of them formed a baseball team, they'd be the Giants.

Which means the Yankees aren't the worst thing to happen to sports, but they're pretty close. I suppose the Yankees would be like the team of demons just below Satan. Yeah, that's it.

Or maybe it isn't, at least occasionally. If you have any kind of a heart, you'll be forced to agree with me for just a few minutes when you read Rick Reilly's latest piece about what the Yankees did to bring a little fun to a bunch of kids who will develop deadly cancer if their skin comes into even the slightest contact with any UV rays (whether from the sun or fluorescent lights).

Pretty cool stuff.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Organic" is a Crock

My suspicions are confirmed: organic is a crock, both nutritionally and environmentally.

Well, I'm not convinced on climate change- not at all. But if it's true, then maybe organics help some. But here's the thing I've always thought was funny: you have to keep pests off of mass produced agricultural products somehow, right?

So my understanding is that farmers who grow "organic" crops indeed do not spray pesticides so that they can retain the "organic" label. What they do instead is introduce pesticides into the plant in the breeding process. I'm no farmer, and I'm not sure how it all works, but it tells you at least this much:

The plant still has pesticide. It's just a different kind, an easy way to charge more at the supermarket.

But maybe I'm a tad cynical...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

When a Pitcher Beats the Crap Out of You... get embarassed. Today is the 16th anniversary of Nolan Ryan taking Robin Ventura to school. Enjoy: