Seriously, Alabamans?

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The Mystery of Electricity

This is for real. Bob Jones University is a private Christian university with its own publishing affiliate. The page above is from BJU’s Christian home schooling book, Science 4.

That science book, the one in which this page appeared, had been used to educate Christian children for years.

“No one has ever observed it, heard it, or felt it,” the text says about electricity. Hmm. Tell that to those convicts who were executed in the electric chair. No doubt they didn’t feel a thing on the first leg of their journey to eternal damnation.

I suppose no one has ever felt an electric shock or heard the crackling sound of electricity passing across conductors, either.

“We can see, hear, and feel only what electricity does,” the text says. “All anyone knows is that electricity seems to be everywhere….” Sort of like God, huh?

Well, as they say, “Electricity works in mysterious ways.”

The Solution for Hate In Perilous Times

CE4D50FB-D98A-404E-90E6-AC5F62052B0DI’ve been debating with myself about whether or not to post this. I read a post a few days ago by a blogger who will go unnamed for reasons that will become apparent. I try not to be reactionary when I read another blogger’s post if that post strikes a sour note with me. I say to myself, “Let it go, it’s just someone else’s opinion.”

Blogging offers us a forum to express our opinions and beliefs, and I’m sure that some of the opinions I’ve expressed in my posts do not sit well with everyone who reads them.

That said, this post is a reaction to something a blogger, one I follow, wrote. And if you’re that blogger and you read this post and recognize your words, I hope you won’t take what I’m about to write personally. I follow your blog and I do enjoy much of what you write.

Anyway, this blogger wrote that he or she “believes in predetermined fate.” Okay, I get that. Apparently a lot of people believe in predestination. I don’t. But that’s just what I believe. It doesn’t make me right or the blogger wrong. We are all entitled in this country to our own beliefs and to freely express them. At least so far.

Then this blogger wrote something that was hard for me to swallow. He/she wrote, “We are known in the womb by the creator, God. His plan for us is already in place. He knows the ending before we do. He knows that our existence is for the greater good.”

So why do I have a problem with that? Well first, there’s simple arithmetic. There are approximately 132 million babies born every year across the globe. That’s about 360,000 births a day, 15,000 per hour, 250 every minute, and four every second.

Now I know a lot of people believe that God created everything…the entire universe and all things in it, including all forms of life. But to me, to believe that God knows and has developed some sort of in-the-womb, individualized plan for each and every one of those 360,000 babies born each day seems, shall I say, a bit far-fetched.

Second, if “we are known in the womb by the creator, God,” as this blogger said, and “God knows that our existence is for the greater good,” why, then, is there hate; why do people do bad things that are against “the greater good”? Are hate and evil part of “the greater good,” part of “His plan for us”? A plan that is already in place while we are just fetuses in our mothers’ wombs?

But still, I wasn’t that bothered by what that blogger wrote because people are free to believe whatever weird shit they choose to believe. That’s their business, not mine.

Then the blogger wrote that “the solution is the example we set.” I think the blogger was referring to the solution for hate in these perilous times, but I’m not 100% sure.

Anyway, the blogger continued, “we cannot be that example without a relationship with the almighty.” That was the statement that really pissed me off.

The implication of what this blogger wrote is that one cannot live a moral, decent, good life and set a positive example for others without believing in the existence of some invisible but all knowing, all powerful, ever-present supernatural being.

Now in all fairness, I don’t know for sure if that’s what the blogger was actually implying, but that is how I took it.

And if, as the blogger suggests, it is true that moral values are instilled in us in the womb by God, does that mean that we, as intelligent human beings, couldn’t — or wouldn’t —have been able to figure out on our own, without God, that murder, rape, and theft are bad? Would we all be running around murdering, raping, and stealing were it not for this omnipotent being who set our courses while we were still in the womb and who watches everything that we do all of the time? Is that the only reason we “behave” ourselves? And does that mean that those who don’t believe in God’s existence are incapable of being moral and do not serve “the greater good”?


Okay, there you have it. Rant over. I’ll probably take a whole raft of shit over this post and may even lose a few followers. I guess that’s a risk worth taking.

So what are your thoughts, readers? Am I being overly sensitive?

Song Lyric Sunday — Imagine

I imagine that I won’t be the only one who chooses John Lennon’s song, “Imagine,” for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, which is “peace.”

“Imagine” is a song written and performed by John Lennon. Released in October 1971 on Apple Records, it was the best-selling single of his solo, post-Beatles career. Its lyrics are about a world at peace, without the barriers of borders, or the divisions of religion and nationality. The listener is asked to imagine the possibility that the whole of humanity, unattached to material possessions, would live as one.

Here is the song with the lyrics.

Perspective

DF676B07-76A8-43CC-BAA0-97A43BB36655“That’s strange,” Carl said to his wife as the two were walking past their town’s Baptist church.

“What’s strange, Hon,” Maggie asked.

“That sign in front of the church,” he responded. “What a strange sign to be put up in front of a church.”

Maggie looked at the sign and then looked back at Carl. “What’s so strange about that sign?”

Carl looked at Maggie in disbelief. “Seriously?” he said. “You don’t think a sign that reads ‘God is nowhere’ in front of a church isn’t strange?”

Maggie looked carefully at the sign. “You’re reading it wrong. It says ‘God is now here.’”

Now it was Carl who looked carefully at the sign. “No, that’s not what it says. Look at the spacing of the letters. It clearly says ‘God is nowhere.’ Can’t you see that?”

Maggie grabbed Carl’s hand and pulled him toward the church entrance. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m going to prove that I’m right and you’re wrong.”

The couple walked through the door and started walking down the center aisle. They saw the church pastor toward the alter and walked up to him. “Excuse me,” Maggie said. “We have a question about your sign.”

The pastor smiled and asked, “How can I help you?”

Carl said, “Does that sign out front say ‘God is now here’ or ‘God is nowhere’”?

“That is an excellent question,” the pastor said. “What do you think it says?”

Carl was getting a little irritated. “It’s your sign. Why would you ask us what it means.”

The pastor’s smile broadened. “You know, I knew putting up that sign would be risky, but it seems to be doing exactly what I hoped it would do.”

“And what is that?” Maggie asked.

“Initiate a discussion about God by people just like you who wonder what the sign means.” He said. “Welcome to my church. So, what do you believe? Is God now here or is God nowhere?”


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “risky.”