Saturday, June 10, 2017

If I Was God...#6



If I was God, I would never let an evil man like Joshua be a spokesman for me.  This man dared command in God's name that a child be murdered and laid at the foundation of Jericho after Israel had laid it to waste.

Joshua laid an oath on them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the LORD be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho. “At the cost of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates" (Joshua 6:26).

Yeah, well if you're not understanding how I'm getting a murder and body-laying at the foundation of Jericho from that, I understand.  I'd read the book of Joshua at least a couple times through before, and I'd never realized what this meant.  Let's skip to the future during which time Jericho is rebuilt.  Ahab, king of Judah, was reigning. 

In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun (I Kings 16:34).

If you're still lost, all you need to do is look into history to learn about something called foundation sacrifice.   It was common in ancient times for peoples to sacrifice individuals and lay them at a city's foundations and/or gates.  They believed it would bring good fortune.  Archaeologists have unearthed remains of bodies that were laid in the walls of cities. 

The god Joshua served who called Joshua a good and faithful servant was a god who apparently spoke through Joshua his demands that human sacrifices were to be carried out if Jericho was to be built again.

Are you appalled yet?

This has been "If I Was God...#6."



Sunday, April 23, 2017

If I Was God...#5



If I was God I would never have allowed Sodom to become wicked and would never have considered Lot to be righteous when he was willing to allow his virgin daughters to be gang-raped.  No decent person would want to deliver their guests out to be sexually assaulted, but they sure would not send out their innocent daughters to instead be raped. 

Seriously, you mean to tell me that Lot was the last righteous man to live in Sodom?  What would any of you wives reading this think of your husband if he answered the door to face the rowdy neighbors, and he sent out your teen daughters for the neighbors to do with them sexually as they please?  What would you think if your father did that to you or your sister?  What if your husband worshiped the god of Abraham and did these things?  What if other worshipers of this god agreed that your husband was a very upright, righteous man?  Would you love such a god?  Would you love your husband or your father, if he was such a man? 

Lot’s wife is the one who was turned into a pillar of salt during the family’s evacuation of the city.  They were all instructed by one of God’s agents not to look back, but Lot’s wife did.  She was punished for looking back at the city, because temptation got the best of her.  Yet Lot was delivered from the city after having offered his daughters to his horny neighbors.  Nearly all of us have seen movies that depict natural disasters or horrible invasions that force people to flee from their city of residence.  We’ve all seen people stop and look back in shock and horror.  We’ve all thought or shouted aloud, “Go!!!  Just go!!!”  It’s not because we think their looking back is immoral, but we want them to make it out alive.  Maybe Lot’s wife missed her home and her possessions that she’d put so much labor and time into producing—blankets, clothing, eating and drinking vessels and utensils, etc.  Maybe she was experiencing grief over lady-friends she had in the city.  Maybe her lady friends were decent characters and would never want their daughters gang-raped.  Maybe they just happened to not worship a god who approves of men who do their daughters that way. 

Then what does Lot do after he and his daughters hole up in a cave for the rest of their days?  He lets his daughters get him drunk, then he has sex with one daughter one night, which results in an incestous son.  If anyone of any decency ended up doing something that horrible, they sure as hell wouldn’t let it happen again.  Yet the very next night, that sorry motherfucker—no, wait, make that daughterfucker—lets his other daughter screw his drunken ass.  Lot was a sick daughterfucker.  It really does seem that his daughters would have been better off partying with the rowdy neighbors.

Now, it’s a common misconception that Sodom’s sin was that they loved to engage in anal sex.  That is where our modern word sodomy originated. However, both the biblical book of ENTER and the extrabiblical book of Jasher states the reason Sodom was viewed as wicked was their lack of generosity and hospitality.  Jasher goes into great detail, though it’s been over a decade since I’ve read it, so I won’t detail anything here now. 

Lot showed hospitality to his guests.  I guess it didn’t matter to God that he let his daughters get fucked all night long by whomever wanted a round with them, just so long as he didn’t let that befall his guests. That wouldn’t be showing good hospitality, would it now?  I suppose, too, it was very generous of Lot to let his daughters screw him so that they could bear sons. 

I just happen to not subscribe to the same definition of righteousness as Abraham and Lot’s god. 
 

This has been #5 in the "If I Was God..." series.

Friday, December 9, 2016

If I Was God...#4



If I was God, I would be present on the earth and lovingly guide and spend time with my creation.  This would especially be the case with humanity.

We all probably have heard of instances in which a parent or parents kicked out a child from their home after the child committed some offense that was abhorrent to the parent(s).  Most of us are appalled when we hear such stories.  We ask ourselves, as we wonder in astonishment, "What loving parent would do such a thing?  That is way too excessive!  That is poor parenting."  

Yes, indeed it is, but isn't it the very thing that the bible God(s) did to Adam and Eve?  He lost control and angrily threw them out of the pleasant garden that was their home that provided all their needs.  All the blame goes on Adam and Eve, and they were thrown out into the cold and harsh wilderness.  Not at any point have we ever asked ourselves what blame God should bear for this unruly behavior.  

Not only was God unforgiving of Adam and Eve's supposed transgression, but where the hell was he to begin with?  Why the hell did he fail to do a better job of preventing Adam and Eve finding trouble in the first place?  Why, he's the one who set up the trap!  And then he kicked them out.  

Thereafter he continued to stay away.  He continued in his hard-heartedness, never softening and deciding to forgive, never tracking Adam and Eve down and inviting them back, never apologizing for such excessive punitive behavior and neglectfulness.  He has continued to be the absent parent and to allow chaos to run rampant.  He's left it up to the very species with which he found fault in the first place to pass on supposed guidance as how to live and has left it up to them to convince fellow species members to believe it all.  He won't bother to come down here himself and lovingly straighten it all out, forgive, and go about things a better way.  Maybe he's in his abode, drinking himself into a stupor.

Bravo!

This has been #4 in the "If I Was God..." series.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

America the Great and the Widow's Mites

I posted back in February an article in which I shared research I'd compiled regarding how "great" or not-so-great the United States of America ranks in various categories.   The positive thing that America ranks #1 in is generosity, but how generous is it, really?

I started thinking about this.  Are we not the richest nation, or at least live the most richly?  One of the only other two things I successfully found that ranked us at #1 was gross domestic product (GDP).

So it follows that the richest nation damn well ought to be the most generous.  It's got far more ability to do so.  It's much easier to give and to want (or not mind, at the very least) to give to help others when one is able.  Many nations' people cannot afford to do so.

This reminds me of the Jewish prophet Jesus' parable of the widow and the two copper mites (See Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:3-4 in the Christian New Testament).

She would have been cast in the lot with the "least generous" if ranked by how much she gave. But she had given all that she had.  The rich men gave what appeared to be much, but really it was little if seen in accordance with the status of wealth.

How would our great nation of the United States of America rank if generosity was calculated Jesus-style?

How would the rich nation with the #1 world ranking of GDP who boasts about its "most generous" ranking face under Jesus' judgement, if he was elected a judge?  Hmm... What was that saying that Jesus is well-known for saying?  Something about how hard it is for a rich man to do something...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Why Do Atheists Insist That the God of the Bible Be Bound to the Same Moral Code?

I just answered the following question on Quora:

Why do many atheists insist that the God of the Bible must be bound to the same moral obligations which He places on His creations?

Well, I don't insist such as an atheist, as I don't believe there is a god. I did, however, insist that when I was a Christian. It's the same principle of parents living the proper example for their children or a law enforcement officer setting the precedent for fellow citizens. As a child of God—as I believed I was—I fully expected God to be better than I was, to set the right example, to certainly not ever sin. If he was to sin, to break his own law, and I supposedly deserve to die and stay dead for breaking any statute of any commandment of that law, then he surely deserved to die, too.
During my last two years as a commandment-keeping Christian, I started seriously questioning, if I knew I felt guilty after yelling at my kids when I'd lost my temper, because it was wrong of me to act that way, then why was it ok for God to feel remorseful and repent of his wrathful and destructive outbursts against his children (including murdering large numbers of them and worse) yet not deserve to die forever without forgiveness? And who must forgive him? I puzzled so much over all the passages of the Hebrew God feeling guilty and repenting each time of the evil he had done. I knew it was not ok that he could get away with it but that we all deserved to die for much, much less (most of us don't send enemies to rape and kill our own children and destroy all they have).
No one should be above the law, and that most certainly includes any God that has the audacity to create us and expect us to follow a law of his/her/its own making.
That is why I also seriously started questioning the supposed rebellion of angels. Rebellions are often waged by the righteous against tyrants.
If there really was a god, no one should want to bow to tyranny and condone tyranny. Of course, we only need to look back through human history and our present to recognize only tyrants demand worship—strict honor and obedience from their subjects. A righteous leader serves his or her people more than they serve him or her. Jesus even taught this wonderful truth. If you scrutinize the best parents and the worst parents, you'll notice the best parents serve their children far more than the children serve them (which does not mean always doing everything for them, as the best parents train their children to become capable adults). The worst authoritarian parents will sin left and right without consequence but expect perfect obedience from their children; the worst permissive parents will neglect proper care and training of their children. The same goes with the best and worst governments. Governments should be made up of model public servants to serve the citizenry.
Tyrants never bother to apply the law to themselves, but they carry out the most severe punishments to those they force into subjection who break the statutes.
I implore you never to find yourself excusing a tyrant from keeping his own law that he forces upon his subjects.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bill O'Reilly's Broken Home Hypocrisy







I've been pointing out Bill O'Reilly's hateful hypocrisy for over a decade now, along with some of the other very un-Jesus-like individuals on Fox (like Sean Hannity) with their sickening extreme right views of hatred, war-mongering, support of torture, lack of grace, lies and all manner of deception, and so on.  And now this...





Saturday, February 27, 2016

Is the United States of America the "Greatest Nation?"

It's conditioning.  From the time we are young children in elementary school, we are told repeatedly that we live in the greatest nation on earth.  "The United States of America is the greatest nation."  We are taught that we are so lucky to have been born in the best country there is.  And we believe it.  To say otherwise, or to even question it, is anathema.

Hand vector designed by Freepik
But we ought to question it.  I've questioned it for the last decade.  Off and on for at least ten years my husband and I have both discussed expatriating.  Maybe we eventually will; maybe we won't.  I do not know.  I do know that there are some very horrible nations on this earth in which people must reside, and I'm not in one of them.  I live in the United States, which is a pretty decent place to live.  We enjoy a lot of freedoms and safety, as well as a lot of educational and health advantages.  However, to say we live in the single greatest nation on earth is stretching the truth. Abundantly.

Health and Safety

Let's take, for example, the health of our nation when compared to other nations.  The United States ranked 37th in overall health when WHO assessed the nations in 2000.  A 2014 assessment by The Commonwealth Fund ranked the U.S. last of 11 total nations.  When looking at maternal health alone, we sit at 61st in the world, whereas our child well-being is 42nd in the world, according to the non-profit organization Save the Children.  According to their Mother's Index for the year 2015, the US ranks 33, only because we rank 9th in economic status and 19th in educational status.  The last of five categories that are used to come up with the Mother's Index rating for 179 countries is political status, at which we embarrassingly rank 89th place.

We come in 49th place for life expectancy, at just over 78 years of age, whereas the countries with the two longest life expectancy rates—Monaco and Macau—are just under 90 and nearly 84.5 years, respectively, and the world average is just over 67.

As far as peace and safety goes, the United States ranked 94th place!  That is devastating.  War-torn Syria ranked in toward the very bottom of the list at 162, being labeled the "most violent."  That was the Global Peace Index ranking for 2015.  In 2014, the U.S. came in even worst, at rank 97

In 2010, Transparency International published a Corruption Perceptions Index, in which the USA came in 22nd, where 1 is the "cleanest," and 178 is the "most corrupt."  Somalia is last on the list, which is often the case when comparing all the nations on anything.  While the United States ranks fairly well on this list, it's far from the "greatest."

Then there is the homicide rate for the United States.  We come in 98th place for lowest homicide rate, with 3.8 murders taking place per 100,000 people.  The country with the highest homicide rate is Honduras, coming in 218th place with 84.3 murders per 100k people.  There are 58 nations listed whose rate is below 2 people per 100k and 28 nations whose rate is below one person per 100k.

When we look at homicides by firearms, the United States endures 29.7 firearm homicides per one million people, which is outrageously high when compared to other developed nations.

Javier Zarracina/Vox

It becomes an especially stunning shock if one views the various figures Katie Leach-Kemon collected and published in her article on Humanosphere.  It's despairing when various U.S. cities have firearms homicide rates that match the high numbers of firearms homicide rates of such countries as Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico.  

Education

The Pearson Index ranked the United States at 14 overall in the year 2014, which breaks down as 11th for cognitive skills and 20th for educational attainment.  Nations like Japan, Canada, Denmark, and Germany, as well as nine others, all beat us.  In the year of 2012 we ranked 17th. While our great USA's students are improving in math and science, we still rank 35th and 27th, respectively, out of 64 countries, according to Pew Research Center.

Employment and Vacation/Holidays

Employment rates are ever-changing, probably more than any other factor I've so far discussed, but in 2011 we suffered an unemployment rate of 9.2%.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was higher—at 9.8%—in 2010.  Thankfully it's continued to go down, but as of 2015, according to the CIA Factbook, we still possessed a rate of 5.2%, which is 56th place out of 207 nations.  So much for being the greatest nation when 55 nations have higher employment rates for their citizens than we do.

As far as vacation and holidays go, we live in the only developed nation that does not mandate, by law, that citizens receive paid time off.  Nations in the European Union all require at least four weeks of paid vacation.  According to a U.S.A. Today article, "Austria, which guarantees workers the most time off, has a legal minimum of 22 paid vacation days and 13 paid holidays each year. The average private sector U.S. worker receives 16 paid vacation days and holidays. One in four Americans does not have a single paid day off" (Hess, "On Holiday").

Family Life and Happiness 

As if the subpar deal for vacation and holidays isn't bad enough, the U.S. also does not ensure its citizens receive paid leave when a child is born.  It doesn't even give mothers more than twelve weeks of "protected leave," which is to say unpaid leave with a guarantee of being able to return to work at the end of that time.  A nursing mother who works, if she manages to save enough back for her time at home, must return to work in roughly three months, which is far too early to have to leave a child with someone else, especially considering pumping in the workplace is not accommodated well in our nation.  I should think protected leave should last at least six months, and pumping accommodations should be made after the mother returns to work.


The United States did not earn a spot in the top ten happiest countries in the world in the World Happiness Report for 2015.  I do not think it ever has.  Of the happiest cities in the world, ranked just this year of 2016 by Mercer's Quality of Living Ranking, the highest-ranked U.S. city came in at 28th place (San Francisco). 

Environmental Cleanliness 

We sadly cannot expect to place very well in this category due to all the neglectful climate-change-deniers and lazy citizens who don't give a shit about where their trash goes or what chemicals are unleashed into the environment.  As a naturalist who highly appreciates this beautiful planet we call home, this subject provokes a lot of anger in me.

This top ten list of the cleanest nations in the world, derived by researchers at Yale- and Columbia Universities, does not include the United States.  As always, it includes some of the Scandinavian nations, as well as other nations, like Singapore and Switzerland, that often feature in the best lists concerning other categories.

Democratic Ranking

Americans here like to brag about our government and hold it as superior above all other nations of the earth.  While we do practice some good democratic socialistic practices in our nation, we fall short of being the best.  We are well on our way to becoming an oligarchy ruled by the wealthy who would strip liberties and wealth from the nation's main populace, and the pseudo-Christians are assisting toward this direction.

Here is a screenshot from the BlankCAF Democracy Index for 2008:


I wondered how often whether that was updated and looked to see whether I could find an index for the year 2015.  Here it is, with the United States falling from the 18th in the democratic index to 20th:


A dear friend of mine who lives in my area is originally from Denmark, and so I was delighted to read an article a few days ago about the democratic socialist government of Denmark, which I highly recommend.  It was written by an American expat who has lived in Denmark since 1991.

Economic Freedom

The 2016 Index of Economic Freedom by Heritage categorizes countries as free, mostly free, moderately free, mostly unfree, repressed, and unranked.  There are five countries—Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Austria—who are ranked free.  We are ranked in the "mostly free" category in 11th overall place.  On the Heritage website, it says, "Economic freedom is a crucial component of liberty. It empowers people to work, produce, consume, own, trade, and invest according to their personal choices."  We rank well, but we are not ranked #1 in economic freedom.

Children's Rights

I own this wonderful book that I've read to my children.  What is sad is that the United States is the only country, besides lawless, always-ranked-worst-on-everything Somalia, who has not signed on to the U.N.'s treaty on the rights of children.  It is not only embarrassing, it's a terrible disgrace!

I remember hearing about a decade or so ago about this treaty on a popular national pseudo-Christian radio station and how they were strongly opposed to the U.S. ratifying this treaty.  It's disgusting.  The pseudo-Christians want to be able to hurt their children and to not allow them to believe in which religion they choose and so on.  That is the real reason why the U.S. is alone with Somalia, of all countries, to not ratify this very important treaty that has improved the lives of children the world over.  One of the ways in which many children's lives have been improved as a result of this treaty is bringing children out of poverty.  How does the U.S. rank in child poverty?
Among the OECD countries, the U.S. ranked, as of 2010, 30th out of 34 nations!  The "great" nation of the United States ranks 30th in child poverty!  Over 21 percent of U.S. children in 2010 lived in poverty.  Chile, Turkey, Mexico, and Israel were the four that ranked worse than we did.

So, is there anything in which the United States ranks "the greatest" in?  It turns out that there are a few things we win at.

Almost Most Generosity

This is a good thing.  We came in second last year on the World Giving Index, after Myanmar, but  we have come in first before, and we've also tied for first place with Myanmar at least once previously. 

Greatest Wealth (GDP)

Aha!  Finally we rank "greatest" in something, and that, my friends, is that we top the charts in gross domestic product.  In other words, we produce the most and win the "wealthiest" title, even though we're in such deep debt that I'm not quite sure we can accurately be called the wealthiest once that's factored in.  Now, according to something called purchasing power parity (PPP), we rank number two in GDP, following China in first place.  Follow the link to learn more.

Greatest Number of Prisoners


Certainly not something about which to boast, I managed think of something else in which we rank number 1.  We lock up more of our fellow citizens than any other nation in the world.  Although the United States is home to only about 4.5 percent of the world's population, over one-fifth—nearly a quarter—of the entire world's prison population is locked away in prisons in our nation.  This is astounding.  We do not rank toward the top of safest nations, either, or lowest in crime.  Around a quarter of prisoners in the U.S. are imprisoned for drug offenses, around half of those in federal prison, according to DrugWarFacts.Org.  Not only should people not be locked up for drug abuse—they need help—but a large percentage of our population is made up of responsible users (not abusers) of illegal drugs.  Most stats report anywhere from a quarter to a third of adults as users of cannabis, and I'm confident this is accurate.  People from all walks of life are using cannabis.  As for those with serious drug problems, especially those using dangerous drugs like methamphetamine and heroin, our country needs to get these people help and also ban and restrict some of the pharmaceutical drugs that people are becoming addicted to and leads them to heroin use.

Being the biggest producer because we slave everyone to death in the name of celebrating mammon, setting aside vacation and holidays and family leave and using our wealth to look down on everyone else as if we are the best; and locking everyone up for using drugs and refusing to help those who are addicted does not make us the "greatest nation on earth."

If you are one of the many who have believed this lie and feel that everyone else is inferior, it's time to swallow your pride.  Our nation's people need to humble themselves and look to some of these other nations who have a lot of things figured out quite a bit better than we do.  They are setting some good examples for us that we'd be wise to follow.