seiberwing: (Learnings)
If you're not familiar with the Left Behind series, it's a book written by (and probably for) a specific Christian sect about the Rapture and what comes after it. If you're not familiar with this particular flavor of Christian weirdity, it's basically the Jesus-based equivalent of a doomsday cult, with the faithful waiting for their god to come swoop them up in a twinkling of an eye and leave all us poor bastards behind to suffer.

The Slacktivist, who is both a Christian of the slightly saner variety and if not an actual Biblical scholar a guy who knows what he's talking about, has done an excellent chapter-by-chapter dissection of this apocalyptically nonsensical series. A full index can be found here, although I just started at the back of the Left Behind tag and worked my way forward. He goes into the religious aspects of the books and how they seem to have mucked up everything ever relating to a certain middle eastern crucifixion cult, but also discusses the plot, characters, writing style, and strange obsession with telephone conversations that make the book into a bad piece of writing as well as a dangerous piece of theology. I'd highly recommend it.
seiberwing: (Wheelie)
What the fuck is this shit?

I would think that atheists of all people would be the ones to know that beliefs, in themselves, are not actually harmful. God will not come down and smite the country because people are praying towards Mecca several times a day. Groups sending telepathic messages towards the invisible bearded man in the sky in the hopes that he will grant your wishes (to use the old antitheist garbage) does not harm the nonbelievers in any way. And yet there's this huge rage against the idea that somewhere, somehow, people don't think the same way they do.

Look, I'm an agnostic. But I was also raised Jewish, I happen to think that the community, social events, and rituals involved in Judaism are enjoyable, and I recognize that while I have mostly separated myself from Jewish ideology it gives a lot of people comfort to have that together. Participating in a ritual cleaning and dressing of an old woman's corpse with the chevra kadisha society was one of the most meaningful things I've done in my life and I'm not even sure if her spirit's going anywhere afterwards. Not to mention the fact that [ profile] vivian_shaw over there is apparently terrified of both my dad and most every doctor and scientist I know IRL, which I find childish and silly.

Culture is an irrational belief. There is no reason you should stand at a certain distance from people when you talk to them or wear your clothes a certain way, and yet we have beliefs about that. If you wipe out religion, spirituality, and everything that makes you believe in the ephemeral, you're going to wipe out pretty much everything.
seiberwing: (HOTUS)
This is beautiful, in a very twisted sort of way. One assumes that it was intended to be the Devil in a slightly less redhorned-and-goofy way, but it matches up perfectly to some rather disturbed descriptions I've heard of God that supposedly justify the actions they say he takes.

Nightmare fuel if you're a little kid, obviously, but it makes a statement that I don't believe it meant to.
seiberwing: (Latin)
The whole creationist concept is sorta weird in general, especially when it's presented as a viable alternative to a distinct misunderstanding of what the term 'theory' means in modern science. Fine, all right, believe whatever you want as long as you don't pretend there's actual science backing it up.

But sometimes creationists get a little weird. And when they get weird, they get really weird. Like this guy, for instance.

An explanation for why dinosaurs didn't survive the flood, scanned from one of his books on how creationism makes more sense than that silly evolution business. Somehow. )

This is the real reason that Blackheart's plan to take over the world never worked. He should have listened to this guy and used dinosaurs.

Also, in a completely different area entirely, more stupid peopel!
seiberwing: (Lover)
I had a...strange occurrence on the way home from UNCA and I'm not completely sure what to make of it.

I got about a mile from the I-26 East entrance when I realized I was down to only a quarter of a tank of gas, hardly enough to get me over the mountains and down the 120 miles to Knoxville. Problem was that outside of a very small area I have no idea where anything is in Asheville and turning back around seemed like too much effort when most interstates have a gas station at every exist.

Now, as many of you may not know, driving makes me rather uncomfortable and getting lost while driving, especially on the highways, scares the hell out of me. I spent somewhere around ten minutes going up one exit, turning around, going back down that exit and going back down the highway the other way, etc. etc., getting extremely panicky about whether I would even be able to find the right way again.

And then I got a hug. Or at least what felt like a hug, something soft and warm and a hand stroking my hair saying 'shh, it's all right, just keep looking--now see, there's one, now just go up this exit here, turn here, ah, here it is." Just like that. Made me feel safe, or at least as if any possible mistakes I made would be easily remedied and hardly life-threatening.

So I got my gas and I start going down the highway again, feeling a good bit more secure than I usually do when I'm going down the narrower bits of the interstate that go out of Asheville. Usually I'd be terrified of running into walls or missing the exit or getting pulled over by a police officer for some small rule I had inadvertently broken. Today...less so.

The presence hung about for a while as I went on, passively warm and reassuring now that I had my nerve back. A few miles down the road I'm given a rather firm nudge to go into the left lane. 'But I don't want to go into the left lane', I think rather firmly. 'It's faster and there's no real point in it and there's no chance of me going off into an exit by accident because it's all two lane roads from here.'

My comforting companion is not pleased with my refusal and I'm left feeling rather awkward for the next mile or two before I finally submit and pull into the left lane. For an agnostic I tend to be rather superstitious.

Almost immediately I'm cornered by a mack truck pulling up alongside me and an even larger pulling in behind me, practically riding my bumper. I'm getting scared now because there's half a chance I'm going to be slammed into the barrier should one or the other decide to try and get to know me better. I had to speed up beyond my normal mentally-imposed speed barriers (which tend to reside about three or four miles above the speed limit) just to get out of there and duck back into the right lane again.

Having attained some modicum of safety, I set the cruise control and wonder what in the name of Optimus Prime's pants that was all about.

And the reply comes, in a humorous tone. 'Now, wasn't that fun?'

Whoever it is that does like me, they seem to enjoy messing with my head as much as everyone else.
seiberwing: (Wheelie)
Today's xkcd strip is almost hitting too close to home to lessen the snifflings. And, apparently, the zambonis have decided to commit a bit of inter-altmode pranking on their nonsentient brethren.

Let me tell you, Internets, it is not easy writing a paper about post-Reformation Catholic/Protestant shitflinging. In the name of science and my final essay grade I have had not only to delve into the depths of Jack Chick's website but actually cite it on my paper in order to back up my points on modern anti-Catholic literature. Hopefully this will not cause my computer to damage itself in any way, as I'm already almost four pages in.

It's strange how a lot of my works seem to curve back around towards medieval/Renaissance/early modern European culture, especially the religious and supernatural aspects of it. I have no idea why, but I seem to find it an interesting period to play around in (hence the various wanderings and angstings of Brother Peter).

...although I try to sort of dance around the whole raping and pogroming aspects when possible. I mean, I know it's there, it's just really not what I want to focus on.
seiberwing: (Internet Arguement)
Computer's gone comatose again, so I'm the one downstairs to hide from the upstairs Thanksgiving chaos. In the meanstwhile, I've been doing a lot of rather fun research for my report and bonding with my family.

Behold, my brother's first macro. He doesn't subscribe to the 'scavenger' T-rex theory. In return he found me this lovely music video for Dinosaur.

I've also noted that I have been neglectful in posting pictures from my last harvest holiday, so here's some photos I took while we were decorating the Sukkah during Sukkot.

Here I am putting up the plastic grapes. And hoping the ceiling doesn't fall in on me.

In this one I look like some sort of lemur that feeds on sukkah fruit. Hard, because what isn't plastic is wax.

I have no idea what sort of face this is. I wasn't the one taking the pictures.

Here's the inside more or less completed. The table's for drinks for the party later that night. And from another angle. And one more.

One extra shot here so you can see the strings of cherries, completely out of season.

Yes, those are duck lights along the front beam. This shot's of one of the 'walls'. A sukkah isn't allowed to have more than two real walls, but the hanging cloth makes a nice yet legal boundary.

And now I go to have breakfast and probably drafted into helping to cook. Lovely.

EDIT: And one of my mom setting up the table, because she is shiny.
seiberwing: (Proud Sinner)
So I met a Christian today. Yeah, yeah, big surprise, it's the South. But she was nice and softspoken and had a bit of a mustache, and even when she randomly popped out with "Do you believe in God?" I didn't really have the sense to get the hell out of Dodge. For some reason, I have the inability to just walk out of this sort of situation before it starts.

Now insert an hour and a half of religious conversation, with the predictable end result. I'm over on my side of the table tossing out logical arguements on how her god despite her constant claims that he was all loving and merciful and just wanted us to see things his way was coming off as a colossal jerk and sniffling ever so slightly because I do that when I get emotionally passionate about something, and she's over there going on about fluffy love stuff and never actually getting around to answering the holes I'm poking in her arguements.

I can never get a good answer as to where the concept of Hell even existing at all fits into the idea of eternal love and grace and mercy and bah. Every time I have this discussion with someone it only pokes me farther in the direction of favoring the guy with the balls to spit in his face and damn the consequences (literally). And I'm guessing that was not really her objective.

Eventually I gave her my number in case she wanted to meet up again sometime and we parted ways with, oddly, this final bit of discussion. No clue where it popped out of.

"I just thought of something else Jesus said. 'Blessed are ye who mourn, for ye will be comforted.'"
"I don't mourn."

Well, I don't.
seiberwing: (Warm and Oily Cave)
Okay, so it's technically photos from an S&M festival instead of actual porn. But while I assume the reason is to show the horror that they're up against, the presence of three pages of people in various stages of leather and undress who look like they're having the time of their lives being hosted on a Catholic website amuses me far too greatly.

WARNING: VERY NSFW. Contains BDSM and furries, although no actual intercourse.

Context seems to be here, although still as amusing.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue explained the latest developments in the boycott against Miller Brewing:

“Miller Brewing will now be known as S&M Miller, and that is because it has apparently decided to drop anchor with the sadomasochistic festival that it is proudly sponsoring on Sunday at the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. It still refuses to pull sponsorship of this obscene event, knowing full well that it is making a financial contribution to an anti-Catholic group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; the Sisters is one of the beneficiaries of the street fair. And last night in San Francisco, the Sisters held a mock Last Supper, ridiculing all Christians.

“Yesterday, we sent all eleven members of the company’s Executive Committee a sample of the kinds of sick behaviors (click here) S&M Miller is sponsoring; the packet was sent by overnight mail to the all-male committee. The accompanying memo says:

It is hard to believe that if you knew exactly what kind of event the Folsom Street Fair is that you would want Miller to be sponsoring it. That is why I am sending the enclosed photos of this event (taken from previous years) to you.
In the outside chance you are not disturbed by these photos, please show them to your mother, wife and daughters.
I trust that you will do the right thing and withdraw sponsorship of this event immediately. Rest assured that we will not walk away from this issue. The public is rallying to our side, emboldening us to stay in this fight for as long as it takes.

“Over 200 religious organizations spanning six faith communities were sent a letter yesterday asking them to join us in the boycott. If S&M Miller doesn’t pull its sponsorship, we will announce a game plan on Monday that will make the company regret it ever decided to insult Christians.”

"It is ugly and if you aren't appalled enough, show it to the women of your family. Meanwhile, we'll be in our bunks."
seiberwing: (Kiss Me)
So I'm back home for Sukkot, after getting slightly lost twice on the way down from UNCA.

My brother's gained a few inches and his face has broken out in proper teenager zits; it's a bit strange to look at. However, he still sings along when he watches cartoons and is quite happy with me adding yet another transforming furries adult site to the filter's Block List to remove him from temptation (apparently an interest in Transformers porn runs in the family, just...different sorts of transformers).

I'm pretty sure Sukkot's one of my favorite Jewish holidays, mostly because decorating the sukkah is fun and there's just something very primordially entertaining about a harvest festival, which is basically exactly what it is with some Jewish trimming.

Shaking a three bound treebits and a piece of fruit around in all directions has a strangely good feel to it, and even the prayers or deeper meaning (almost everything in Judaism has at least two explanations behind it as to why we do it, with the real answer being 'it's traditional') aren't really as important as the ritual itself. You make your own reasons for it, or you just do it.

I like that.
seiberwing: (Internet Arguement)
I seem to have a chronic inability to keep my mouth shut in religious discussions, no matter what side I'm on.

I've got firm opinions on the subject in a few dozen different directions, but I don't see why a dislike of certain beliefs should lead to assumptions beyond the given information or overt rudeness against someone's choice of faith.

Seriously, I don't get it at all. When did logic and politeness fall out of favor in atheist groups?
seiberwing: (Lover)
And the sun has officially gone down. Happy post-Yom Kippur everyone.

*breaks into the cereal, because I am starving*
seiberwing: (Ow.)
Sometimes I wonder about myself. I went to the library to pick out some reading material for the two hour drive to Tennesee on Sunday, and came out with two books on horror film analysis and "The Essential Monster Movie Guide". This in itself presents a few intellectual puzzles:

1) The drive is to Poplar Cave. Why did I pick out horror-based books to read right before descending into a deep dark hole in the ground? At least I'm not watching "The Descent", because I'm pretty sure that would just push it over the edge into moronic.

2) I seem to have some sort of fascination with reading up on horror films, but an extreme aversion to watching them. Perhaps it's because the plot is wrapped in a tight little package and tied off from the actual horrorific content. Sanitized behind plexiglass, if you will. Of course, that still doesn't explain my interest in the first place.

3) There's a possibility this ties in to my recent resurgance of interest in the occult and demonic. The person at fault knows who they are, of course, but just the general concept of it is something that's always been rather intriguing. Of course, the whole immortal soul burning in hell forever thing does slightly concern me, but there isn't really a clear safety zone I can go into so I've rather given up on finding a way to fix the potential problem.

4) Why the FUCK did I not think to stretch before doing weight lifting yesterday? My upper arms feel like they're attempting to mimic balls of twine in terms of muscle tightness.
seiberwing: (Explanations)
So yesterday was my last day of work at the lab. That's not what I'm here to talk about.

THIS is what I'm here to talk about.

Now, I like my state. The bit I live in is gorgeous and we get fresh sweet corn in the summer. People actually let you in front of them in traffic.

But I could do without the fundies. This message popped up on the sign on the church near my parents' house yesterday.

(And yeah, we're Jews, although I don't think it was actually directed at us.)

I was torn between loling (seriously, exactly how many actual Jews would be there), being offended, actually going just out of curiosity, and considering nailing purple triangular matzah to their door. My dad sent the picture of it to our rabbi, who's asking if we should all write the pastor about how offensive it is. Don't know if they've actually done anything.

My mom called them up to explain that it was offensive what they did thar and to explain what Jews actually believed. The conversation apparently went down like this.

Mom: *explains what Jews really think and that putting up a sign like that is offensive and annoying*
Preacher: *oh, but we love the Jews! * *why don't y'all come down sometime?*
Mom: Look, you've been good neighbors all these years, but right now you're not being good neighbors. This is offensive.
Preacher: Do you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior?
Mom: That's--
Preacher: Just answer the question.
Mom: We're Jews, Preacher _____. No, I don't.
Preacher: Then you're offending ME! This is a free country and I have the right to freedom of religion!
Mom: *-_-* I don't suppose I could come down to explain our beliefs, could I?
Preacher: Oh, we don't let women get up to preach. It ain't right.
Mom: Wait, what? *wtf where did the feminism go*
Preacher: Well, y'all don't have female rabbis, right?
Mom: Actually, one of the local synagogues has a female rabbi. *pwn*
Preacher: ... *click!*

So yeah, the lolz have disappeared from my mind and the matzah option begins to look more promising. Still just as illegal to put nails in the door, though, which leaves me with ignoring them or actually going over there.

Although a polite "sermon crashing", so to speak, would be interesting, especially if I could talk at least one male friend into coming... *pokes [ profile] viragostonewall, if you're interested*
seiberwing: (Default)
I've been thinking a lot lately, about religion and death and what comes after that (and no I am not considering speeding the process along). I don't have faith in anything, and it's been that way for most of my life. I didn't even believe in the Tooth Fairy, it was just a fun little ritual that got me money.

I don't think I realized until recently, maybe a year or two ago, how much it hurts not to believe. I want to believe. *cue the X-Files music*

No porn here, sorry, just some tl;dr. )

I broke out of all of that a long time ago. The Judeo-Christian god is apparently not my thing. But I still want something to have faith in, an ideal or a deity or a personal philosophy, maybe some sort of eye-opening experience that leads me to believe in something greater than myself.

I just don't know where to find it.
seiberwing: (WTF?)
My roommate's boyfriend was here on Saturday, which is cool. He was also naked, which I suppose was all right as long as he stayed in bed with the blankets on. Made things a touch awkward, though.

This weekend was several types of awesome. I went out to help with the Special Olympics, making sure the atheletes were organized for the races and stuff, and it was actually pretty fun. There was also a lawn party on campus in the afternoon, with bouncy castles and lunar crawls and free food and inflatable slides. Got a lovely dragon airbrush tattoo on my arm (and a not-so-lovely sunburn). It was fun.

Our Early Christianity lecture today got me thinking back to this. The word 'heresy', in Greek, apparently means 'to choose'. And that seemed to be what the Campus Crusade dude was saying. To exercise the free will that God gave us in the first place and to choose to follow another path besides his version of Christianity is a heresy--a thought-crime that would condemn the criminal to eternal suffering.

I don't like his religion.
seiberwing: (Latin)
Seiber is ranting about real life again. )

I feel the need to be sullied and unusual now. Someone pass the porn.
seiberwing: (Spidey.)

Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American. On Wikipedia, many of the dates are provided in the anti-Christian "C.E." instead of "A.D.", which Conservapedia uses. Christianity receives no credit for the great advances and discoveries it inspired, such as those of the Renaissance. Read a list of many Examples of Bias in Wikipedia.

Conservapedia is an online resource and meeting place where we favor Christianity and America. Conservapedia has easy-to-use indexes to facilitate review of topics. You will much prefer using Conservapedia compared to Wikipedia if you want concise answers free of "political correctness".

This is a thing of beauty and a joy for all things that lack logic. Apparently reality has grown far too liberal. For example, examine this entry on plesiosaurs for great laughs.

The sad part? These people are dead serious.


Nov. 8th, 2006 11:07 am
seiberwing: (WTF?)
The gay marriage ban in Tennessee passed by 81%. Meaning 81% of the state's voting population are against gay couples having the same rights given to straight couples, a rationale that basically boils down to "the Bible said so, now let's force it on everyone else". Now I remember why I left that damn state and came to Hippytown, NC.

Seriously, I love Tennessee. I just hate the sorts of people there. Lovely folks until you ask them to be tolerant.

EDIT: Dude, Rumsfield resigned. WTF. I guess the day isn't so bad after all.

BRIDE OF EDIT: But we got the House! And the Senate! Booyaka!
seiberwing: (What? I would.)
Crunch time, US people. Go do your voting thing at some point today so you don't feel all guilty and stuff.

As relates to you not having voted yet (and I'm sure some of you haven't, because a lot of people haven't), [ profile] ursulav has advice for you.


seiberwing: (Default)

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