Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is Yahweh Pro-life?

During a recent conversation on abortion on Alan Nunnelee's page, I saw the following comment:

I'd like to debunk Mr. Cox's claim that his god (Yahweh) will not tolerate murder of the unborn and I intend to do it using the Bible, Yahweh's holy book that is supposed to be the inerrant, literal word of this deity.

Genesis 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

There were undoubtedly pregnant women on the earth at this time so Yahweh drowned an incredible number of innocent unborn with the Flood.

Genesis 19:24-25  Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

There were pregnant women in those cities too. Their innocent unborns were murdered.

Genesis 38:24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.

Judah, and ancestor of Jesus, orders the death of the woman he knocked up including her innocent unborn. He obviously doesn't think Yahweh will have a problem with it since burning whores is the law.

Exodus 12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

Granted, we aren't dealing with unborns here but we do have Yahweh indiscriminately slaughtering the oldest children of every family. How would you feel if God killed your oldest child because of something Obama did? Also, were the firstborn young children not innocent too?

Exodus 21:22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

Yahweh decrees that the innocent unborn are worth whatever price (in coin or barter) that the father decides and the judges determine. It is not equivalent to a living being.

Leviticus 25:45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.

Again, this isn't dealing with unborns per se but it does show that Yahweh puts only a monetary value on gentile children. They have no legal personhood.

Leviticus 27:6 And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver.

Any unborn or child under one month of age has no value.

Numbers 3:14 -15 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying, Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them.

One again, if you're under one month of age, you have no value. You aren't even counted. And this isn't some Old Testament crap that Moses dreamed up. The LORD told him to do it this way.

Numbers 31:17-18 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

If you kill every woman who has had sex, you are bound to kill some fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses too. Yahweh doesn't seem to care. Oh and while you're at it, capture and rape the little girls.

Hosea 13:16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

Women with child shall be ripped up. Infants dashed into pieces. God is intolerant of the murder of unborns? He glories in it.

These are just a few verses picked out to let Yahweh have his say about pro-life matters. I encourage you to read these verses in context and let the full horror of Yahweh wash over you.

And for those who want to excuse it with, "Oh, that's the Old Testament. It's been done away with since Jesus," and all that tripe, you need to understand: you cannot take this view and then quote obscure verses from the rest of the Old Testament about knowing you in the womb and such. If you dismiss the verses above, you must stop quoting the other ones too.

I leave to Mr. Cox and his friends to now try to contort and dodge their way out of this. I'll leave them with a final thought:

Don't be mad at me. I'm just telling you what God says!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Paramount - The Newest Fallacy of Personhood

Paramount - that is how Mississippi HC 14 describes the "right to life." The wording is precise and simple but the consequences are less so.

This statement is a contradiction of Roe v. Wade which states that the unborn's right to life and the mother's right to liberty must be balanced. It is also a contradiction of another fundamental human principle, one that helped birth our nation - that a life without freedom is not worth living.

Let's begin by examining the word "paramount" as defined by

If the right to life is paramount, then it takes precedence over every other human right - including the right to be a free citizen. If the right to life is the most important right, then everything else must necessarily fall by the wayside.

My right to life is more important than my right to smoke cigarettes.
My right to life is more important than my right to drink alcohol.
My right to life is more important than my right to own a gun.
My right to life is more important than my right to eat junk food.
My right to life is more important than my right to own a pit bull.
My right to life is more important than my right to die for my faith.
My right to life is more important than my right to die for my country.
My right to life is more important than my right to choose anything.

Who decides what's best for my life and enforces those choices? The government.

And don't think you are exempt. My right to life is greater than your liberties too. If I'm dying of kidney disease, I have a right to demand your kidney. My right to life is greater than your liberty to choose. I can demand your blood, your tissues, and your organs to stay alive - so long as your right to life isn't compromised - and you have no choice.

Better yet, I'll demand stem cells from your newborn. He won't remember the procedure and, by god, I HAVE A RIGHT TO LIFE!

Defining the right to life as "paramount" creates the ultimate nanny state but it isn't socialism that's pushing the pram - it's conservative religion that seeks to impose its will through government since they can no longer do it through culture.

Is it likely that this law would be used to such an extent as described above? Probably not. It's pretty much just a trigger law that would become effective if Roe were overturned. But when we write this concept into law, we should be prepared to enforce it fully; otherwise, we become a state of liars and hypocrites. 

The Mississippi Constitution already (incorrectly) describes the unborn as being a "human being" for legal purposes. HC 14 is an unnecessary distraction from legitimate government business and likely a bone tossed at wealthy conservative and religious donors. Nevertheless, it's a bad bill that has no business being on the roster. Rep. Gibson should, once again, be ashamed of himself.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hitting the Jesus Jackpot

One of the curses of being up late at night is that, occasionally, I wander to the TV and try to find something to listen to while I learn to knit. The other night, I found this particularly nasty bit of "prosperity gospel" from Todd Coontz. Just sow a "seed of faith" of $1000 and you'll get a real estate miracle.

There is no evidence I'm aware of, either in scripture or in fact, that this "sowing a seed" business works.
I read Coontz's mission statement and saw nothing in it declaring that planting faith seeds (sending him money) would make you wealthier. In fact, the only thing I saw that might be relevant to his main claim is he believes in the "priesthood of the believer." If the believer has his or her own priestly authority, why would s/he need to send money to Coontz? Because he has a special anointing on him to triple your fortune? Prove it!

Late night television is a great place to find lonely, desperate people - the unemployed, the elderly, the disabled - the kind who might give all they have for a miracle they urgently need. And it's not through reason that they are asked to give their last dollar. It's through faith.

That night, Coontz told his audience that 1,189 people had been chosen by God to sow a $1000 "Triple Favor" seed of faith to his ministry. If they did, Coontz promised a real estate miracle, implying that their fortune would turn around and they'd get back more money than they had given. I suspect you'd get better odds from the slot machines trying to hit a triple jackpot. But the odds are definitely in Coontz's favor. Do the math. 1,189 x 1000 = $1,189,000 in tax-free donations.

I'm in the wrong business. Damn the conscience believers keep telling me I don't have.

As the names and cities of the donors began scrolling across the website, I wondered if they were real. It would be a shame if they were fake names but a tragedy if those donor names were real. If people were truly getting wealthy by giving money to this guy, wouldn't we have tens of thousands of believers testifying to that on live TV by now? Wouldn't this be news that would stir all of us?

I think the only miracle going on here is that people in 2013 are still gullible enough to fall for what I see as a con. That's why it's important that we constantly speak out against evil done under the banner of religion and we strive to show faith for the scam it really is. People ask why we fight religion when it hurts no one. Send this preacher your last $1000 and see how much it hurts.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Not At All Racist Email

I get email and it's not at all racist.

They are referred to as homo slackspine erectus created by natural genetic downward evolution through constant spineless posturing,and spasmatic upper limb gestures, which new research has shown to cause shorter legs and an inability to ambulate other than in an awkward shuffling gait. The "drag-crotch" shape also seems to effect brain function. Expect no eye contact or intelligent verbal communication.

History shows that this species mostly voted for Obama and receives food stamps and full government care. Unfortunately most are highly fertile.

How do I know this is about racism and not just a slam against gang culture? Because the Southern stereotype of a black person is one who wear baggy britches, won't pick up his feet, won't look you in the eye (like a man should), and won't talk white. These same people labor under the delusion that most, if not all, Obama supporters are black people who live off the government and have babies for checks.

First off, this is a gross misrepresentation of evolution and tarnishes good science by linking it to racist caricatures and stereotypes. Evolutionary biology shows that blacks, whites, and all other kinds of people came from the same original stock. We may have different colors and cultures but, at our core, we are far more alike than we are different.

Second, this is a terrible misrepresentation of those who rely on government assistance. Let's  examine the census data for the state of Mississippi in 2009.

There were 2,967,000 people in Mississippi in 2009. Of those ~3 million, 15.6% were disabled. The prevalence of disabled were 13.8% of whites and 17.5% of blacks. That's not the huge difference you'd expect if all blacks were lazy and looking to live off the government (and let's be honest, disability is the best way to go if you are looking for a handout because once you get on it, you're pretty much set).

Nationwide, there were 15,219,000 whites and 3,851,000 blacks disabled in 2009. Again, you can see that our disability program is not being overrun by lazy black people looking for a gravy train to ride.

Let's turn our attention to TANF and SNAP.  In 2009, 24,000 Mississippians received TANF - that's less than 1% of the MS population. It is true that 83% of those recipients were black and 16% were white; however, there are better explanations for that disparity than simply, "They're lazy." Less than 1% of the population is not a significant number of lazy people looking for a free lunch.

As for SNAP (food assistance), there were 790,000 Mississippians eligible for food stamps in 2010. The participation rate was 67% in 2009 and 72% in 2010. Even if all of Mississippi's 37% blacks participated in the program, that leaves over 30% of whites who did too.

Nowhere in these data do we find evidence that black people are lazy, stupid bums living off hard-working white people. We should not allow these claims to go unchecked when the data show that most black people, like everyone else, work and pay their taxes.

I'm not a fan of saggy britches and gang culture - something that people of any color may find appealing. I'm also not a racist. I wonder why someone would think I'd find any of this amusing or insightful.