Mysteries, Magic, and Miracles 1.23.10

January 24, 2010

MYSTERIES

Why would anyone think that in this time of crisis, the Haitians need solar-powered, digital Bibles? – The only ones who may hold the key to his mystery is Faith Comes By Hearing, the group who instead of offering financial aid, food, or medical supplies decided that the most important priority was to send useless, solar-powered audio Bibles.

According to their website, the Proclaimer is “self-powered and can play the Bible in the jungle, desert or … even on the moon!”

Well as long as it can work on the moon. I was worried there for a minute but that completely alleviated my concerns for the health and safety of the Haitian people. Come to think of it though, another great mystery is how the sound waves from this audio Bible work in a vacuum. That just blew  my mind. I’m gonna have to ask Mr. Owl for the answer to that one.

MAGIC

U.S. military weapons inscribed with secret ‘Jesus’ Bible Codes

Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.

The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers.

Yup, nothing says Jesus loves you like seeing an enemy combatant in the sight of a high-powered rifle. And don’t we all feel so much safer knowing that our troops are now protected by magic?  You can’t put a price on that kind of protection. Well actually you can. And in case you were wondering, it’s $660 million. Maybe next we should replace their armor with magic Mormon underwear.

MIRACLES



The crazy in Haiti

January 17, 2010

In aftermath of this devastating act of god in Haiti, who are the Haitians praising? The hard-working people offering aid and relief to them in this time of need? No. The devil, as Pat Robertson says they turned to once before [true story]? No. If you said the very same god that they believe caused the earthquake in the first place, then congratulations cause you’re absolutely correct.

Prayers of thanksgiving and cries for help rose from Haiti’s huddled homeless Sunday, the sixth day of an epic humanitarian crisis that was straining the world’s ability to respond and igniting flare-ups of violence amid the rubble of Port-au-Prince.

Yeah, thanks god for giving us this earthquake. We would have preferred you’d given us a stable government and economy, but this is good too. Does the phrase Battered Wife Syndrome mean anything to anybody?

Beside the ruins of the Port-Au-Prince cathedral, where the sun streamed through the shattered stained glass, the priest told his flock at their first Sunday Mass since Tuesday’s earthquake, “We are in the hands of God now.”

That’s funny, cause I thought you were in “God’s” hands six days ago.

Sadly though, that’s not the only crazy going on in Haiti. There’s also voodoo. But as silly as voodoo is, even sillier is the fact that in the wake of this disaster, mainstream religious leaders in Haiti fear “the fatalism inspired by the voodoo religion would militate against recovery.” Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like Brit Hume’s fear that Buddhism doesn’t offer the kind of forgiveness necessary for Tiger Woods.

The death of the Catholic archbishop along with the destruction of the cathedrals will be seen as potent symbols of the failure of those religions to withstand an act of God, he warned.

Ever think that maybe “God” is trying to tell you something?

Fortunately, not everyone in Haiti is crazy as Richard Dawkins announced Unbelievers Giving Aid, a site devoted to raising money for charitable causes like Doctors without Borders and the Red Cross.


News From Around The Blogosphere 1.15.10

January 16, 2010

1. Secular S.H.A.R.E. raised $47,000 for Haiti relief in under 24 hours

Amherst, New York—In response to Haitian residents’ emergency needs following the Jan. 12 earthquake, the Center for Inquiry’s Skeptics and Humanist Aid and Relief Effort (S.H.A.R.E.) has raised $47,000 in less than 24 hours. Those who live without God or religion, along with faith groups, recognize the need to assist the stricken nation’s survivors and have answered the call.

2. Yay, a Chupacabra sighting! – My less skeptical cousin Chupacabra has shown himself again in Horizon City, Texas. That’s right. He’s crossed the border and is now stealing jobs from U.S. fictional creatures. And if you thought Big Foot was scary before, just see what he’s like when he’s out of work. Not pretty.

3. D.C. judge rules that District can ban any referendum concerning gay marriage under Human Rights Act

The ruling upholds a decision by the city’s board of elections, which has twice rejected plans by an anti-gay marriage group to hold a referendum on the subject. City council passed an ordinance in December that allowed gay marriage in the District.

Opponents of gay marriage say they will appeal the decision to the D.C. Court of Appeals. The decision fits a pattern of judicial activism, which has interfered with the people’s will to ban gay marriage, they say.

Um, good luck with that. You know, that’s not how the Appeals process works. You can’t just appeal a decision because you didn’t like it. You actually have to show a legal error was made.


Support Haiti

January 14, 2010

By now I’m sure everyone knows about the disasterous earthquake that is still causing many casualties. And I’m sure some of you would like to know how you can help.

Well the folks at The Intersection have been good enough to provide a great list of links to organizations who are helping in the aftermath that need your support:

American Red Cross International Response Fund
AmeriCares Help For Haiti
Direct Relief International
Doctors without Borders
HaitiArise
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund
Mercy Corps
Oxfam
UNICEF
Yele Haiti

I know times are tough and we’re all suffering from our own economic disaster, but anything you can donate to these organizations in this time of crisis in Haiti will help make a real difference. . .

. . .unlike Pat Robertson’s response to this disaster. According to Robertson, this is a “blessing in disguise” and blames the quake on a Haiti’s deal with the devil:


What The Exorcist films don’t show you

June 19, 2009

I am a big fan of the website, What’s The Harm, because it shows the deadly consequences of pseudoscience by putting a name and a face to the victims. I too have begun collecting names and faces by creating a category on this site entitled “What’s The Harm.” Now unfortunately, I have to add another blog entry to that category about 6-year-old  Frantzcia Lauradin. Frantzcia’s mother, Marie Lauradin, is accused of burning her in a ritual meant to purify her of demons. Funny how they never seem to show that part of the story in all those Exorcist movies. Fortunately though, Frantzcia survived:

Only after a day of begging by relatives was she eventually taken to the ER, where she was found to have 2nd and 3rd degree burns on 25% of her body, including part of her face.

Ugh!

The mother, Marie Lauradin, is denying the charges, saying she accidentally spilled some boiling rice on her daughter and did not notice the burns until she was in the ER. As reported, that defense is not credible – a mother not noticing severe burns on her daughter’s face?

This is I guess the Haitian equivalent to saying, “she fell down some stairs.” These stories exemplify why I promote skeptical and critical thought as well as why I condemn superstition and pseudoscience.