Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Mark Your Calendar, On May 21 2011, we can all point and laugh

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

You may have heard that a few followers of doomsday christian sects have been talking a lot about May 21st of this year. They say that this day will be the end of the world, or rather, will be the beginning of the end times, which they expect will take a few months and be complete later this year. According to them, the 21st will be the date of the “rapture,” an event that some Christians believe will occur before the end of the world, despite the fact that it’s not actually in the Bible – at least not explicitly.

On this website, you can find the logic which is used to arrive at the date of May 21 2011:

JUDGMENT DAY: MAY 21st, 2011
We know that the year 2011 is the 7000th year from the flood. We also know that God will destroy this world in that year. But when in 2011 will this occur?

The answer is amazing. Let’s take another look at the flood account in the book of Genesis:

Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

Faithful to His Word, God did bring the flood 7 days later in the 600th year, on the 17th day of the 2nd month of the calendar aligned with Noah’s lifespan. It was on this 17th day of the 2nd month that God shut the door on the ark, securing the safety of its occupants and also sealing the fate of everyone else in the world outside of the ark. They would all now certainly perish in that worldwide catastrophe.

Genesis 7:16,17 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.

Earlier it was mentioned that the church age came to an end in the year 1988 AD. It so happens that the church age began on the day of Pentecost (May 22nd) in the year 33 AD. Then 1955 years later, the church age came to its conclusion on May 21st, which was the day before Pentecost in 1988.

The Bible teaches that the end of the church age would occur simultaneously with the beginning of the great tribulation:

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

On May 21st, 1988, God finished using the churches and congregations of the world. The Spirit of God left all churches and Satan, the man of sin, entered into the churches to rule at that point in time. The Bible teaches us that this awful period of judgment upon the churches would last for 23 years. A full 23 years (8400 days exactly) would be from May 21 st, 1988 until May 21st, 2011. This information was discovered in the Bible completely apart from the information regarding the 7000 years from the flood.

Therefore, we see that the full 23-year tribulation period concludes on May 21st, 2011. This date is the exact day that the great tribulation comes to its end, and this is also the most likely landing spot for the 7000 years from the flood of Noah’s day.

Keep in mind that God shut the door on the ark on the 17th day of the 2nd month of Noah’s calendar. We also find that May 21 st, 2011 is the end of the great tribulation period. There is a strong relationship between the 2nd month and 17th day of Noah’s calendar and May 21st, 2011 of our Gregorian calendar. This relationship cannot be readily seen until we discover that there is another calendar to consider, which is the Hebrew (or Biblical) calendar. May 21 st, 2011 happens to be the 17th day of the 2nd month of the Hebrew calendar. By this, God is confirming to us that we have a very correct understanding regarding the 7000-year timeline from the flood. May 21 st, 2011 is the equivalent date to the date when God shut the door on Noah’s ark. Through this and much other Biblical information, we find that May 21 st, 2011 will be the day when God takes up into heaven His elect people. May 21st, 2011 will be Judgment Day! This is the day God shuts the door of salvation on the world.

In other words, in having the great tribulation period conclude on a day that identifies with the 17th day of the 2nd month of Noah’s calendar, God is without question confirming to us that this is the day He intends to shut forever the door of entry into heaven:

John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The Bible is very clear that Christ is the only way into heaven. He is the only portal into the glorious kingdom of heaven.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Once the door (Jesus) is shut on Judgment Day, there is no more salvation possible on earth:

Revelation 3:7 â€These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

The Bible teaches that on May 21st, 2011, only true believers elected by God to receive salvation will be raptured (taken up) out of this world to meet the Lord in the air and forever be with the Lord:

1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

All the rest of mankind (billions of people) will be left behind to experience the awful judgment of God, a horrible period of 5 months of torment upon earth:

Revelation 9:3-5 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

Hmmm… I wonder, did they remember to account for the transition between the Julian and Gregorian calenders? For the fact that leap years do not occur on years divisible by 100 but not 400? And when does judgment come? Is it as soon as the 21st happens at the International dateline? Or is it staggered based on time zones? Perhaps God just makes it easy and uses Greenwich Mean Time.

But seriously, does anyone really believe this? Apparently so.


Atheist Billboard “Controversal” in New York City

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

In case you are not aware of this story, a billboard was recently erected by the American Atheists at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City. The billboard can be seen bellow:

As one might expect, the billboard has been very controversial, leading to a second billboard to be put up on the other side of the tunnel by the Catholic League. Some have complained that the billboard attempts to kill the spirit of Christmas or see it as insulting or offensive. The response billboard, which has a similar imagery but says “You know it’s true” has drawn less criticism.

Via the National Post:

Advent has just started, but the war over Christmas is already underway, and for the most part, it appears that Christmas is winning.

In New York, it’s a battle of billboards; in Philadelphia, it’s battle over a word. Retailers, meanwhile are increasingly embracing Christmas in their advertising and promotions.

In New York, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has sponsored a Christmas billboard outside the Lincoln Tunnel in response to a Christmas-debunking billboard sponsored by American Atheists.

The battling billboards are posted on opposite sides of the Lincoln Tunnel. The Catholic League’s billboard is on the New York side. The American Atheists billboard is on the New Jersey side.

The Catholic League-sponsored billboard features a nativity scene and the words: You Know It’s Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus. The American Atheists-sponsored billboard reads: You know it’s a myth. This season, celebrate reason!


Nine years later, the need to secure US airspace continues

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

It’s been nine years since the attacks of 9/11/2001. The attacks proved beyond any doubt the extreme destruction potential of a commercial airliner when used as a suicide cruise missile. An obvious question is whether or not it might be attempted again and whether it could succeed. The fact that it has been done and thus a second attack of this type would be “unoriginal” is hardly reason to assume a similar attack would not be attempted. Effectiveness is far more important than creativity for groups like Al Queda.

Despite the years that have past, security is, in many ways, no better than it was in 2001.

Nearly all measures taken to prevent a September 11-like event have focused exclusively on the security of standard passenger aircraft. Cockpits are somewhat more secure than they were, air marshals occasionally ride on flights and security at airports has been increased (though whether it has been improved is another issue.) Of course, anyone who has been to a US airport and walked through the security checkpoint knows that the TSA is hardly a competent agency. Most of the Federal employees who work at such locations don’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence.

The biggest argument against another event like that of September 11th 2001 happening is that passengers would not allow a plane to be taken. Before the attacks, it was believed that the best way to survive an aircraft hijacking was to cooperate. Today passengers would fight to the bitter end, even if faced with weapons.

That may be true, but it’s hardly a 100% effective line of defense and, like all other security that focuses on passenger airliners, it misses some very very very dangerous possible alternate scenarios:

Possible Alternate Circumstances:

  • The aircraft is not hijacked from service, but is chartered or even purchased for the purpose of using it as a weapon. It could even be a state-sponsored operation. Iran has at least one Boeing-747 which was modified to be used as a fuel tanker.
  • A crew member or even the pilot is part of the plot (as with Egyptair Flight 990 andFed Ex Flight 705). No security measures placed on aircraft can assure this does not happen.
  • Rather than hijacking a flying aircraft, a group may attempt to storm an aircraft before it takes off (such as Delta Air Lines Flight 523.)
  • Hijackers may target a large aircraft which is not used for passenger services, attempting to steal a cargo or even military aircraft. Such aircraft would not have the same security as passenger planes and may be found at less secure facilities. The workers with access to these aircraft may not be as well screened.
  • An aircraft from a foreign country could be used. It is impossible to assure that foreign aircraft conform to any domestic standards for safety or security.

YES, Such things have happened before!


Teen Tortured Over Fortune Teller’s Claims

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

A truly horrific story of what happens when belief trumps reason. In this case, it’s a fortune teller.
Via NT News Australia:

Fortune teller blamed for teen ‘torture’
Nhung Tri Tran and Trien Tran pleaded guilty to assaulting Leilani dos Santos on February 17, but not guilty yesterday to threatening to kill her and depriving her of her liberty.

Ms dos Santos, 18, told Darwin Magistrates Court the couple was like family to her until they believed she had stolen money from the barber shop she worked at with Ms Tran.

She was living with the couple as well, and said she returned home in the early hours of February 17 to have Mr Tran begin to strangle her before beating her unconscious.

Ms dos Santos, speaking from a “vulnerable witness” room, told the court she was tied up as the couple beat her and threatened to kill her, her boyfriend’s family and her sister.

She said Ms Tran told her a Vietnamese fortune teller told the couple the person who had stolen the handbag was close to them, and was someone they loved.

Ms Tran also allegedly told Ms dos Santos they would cut off her fingers, but they loved her and would inject her with heroin, so she would not feel it.

Ms dos Santos said Mr Tran beat her in the back with a meat cleaver, threatened her with a samurai sword and burnt her arm with a cigarette.

Ms dos Santos said the couple had a Lady Gaga CD playing loudly. “I was screaming,” she said. “I was hoping maybe somebody would break down the door and help me.”

Ms Tran’s lawyer Peter Elliott suggested to Ms dos Santos that she had embellished the story to get victim’s compensation.

Ms dos Santos told the court she escaped the ties before dawn, but could not leave the Coconut Grove house because it was deadlocked and she had no keys.

She said she was allowed to leave about 8am, and after Ms Tran said they could pretend it never happened.

The hearing continues.

Wow. One might ask whether the person(s) who committed the act or the fortune teller is really to blame here. I’d say both are, although I’d consider the two who tied up their employee the more guilty. Fortune tellers are always committing fraud whenever they do business, and in this case, providing false information resulted in very direct harm.


A skeptical look at Incorruptibility

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The Catholic church has a number of… interesting… traditions. One of them is the veneration of the mortal remains of those considered to be saints by the Church. In many cases, the bodies of saints have been dug up years or centuries after their death to be reburied in places of honor or to be chopped up into holy relics. Sometimes, they’re never even buried in the first place, if they’re believed to be holy enough to begin with.

When this happens, the bodies are sometimes found to be in a state of relative preservation. Having not been reduced to bones or dust in a matter of decades, as bodies often are, this is traditionally seen as a miraculous action and proof of their holiness and the special treatment that god has given their bodies even after death. It is believed that their spiritual purity transcends the physical, and apparently makes them unpalatable to bacteria (although the role of microbes in decay was not known in centuries past.)

The term incorruptibility is used to describe these alleged supernaturally preserved bodies. Many are also claimed to produce the Odour of Sanctity – a pleasant floral smell, rather than the smell of decay. However, this remains unverified and, even if true, could just be an example of unusual smelling mold.

Despite the increasing understanding of how material decays, today many in the catholic church continue to venerate the bodies of saints, which can be viewed in gilded glass coffins around the world. Many see this is proof of the work of god and the holiness of the saints themselves.

Yet a closer look at some o the best known examples shows that things are not really so miraculous and most of the bodies are far from perfectly preserved.

To this day, the allegedly preserved bodies of saints

Things that can prevent decay:

  • Drying – By far the most common form of natural preservation, if a body is placed in a dry area or has air circulation, such as might be the case if it is not buried, the tissues may dry out. This stunts microbial activity and keeps the body from decaying.
  • Adipocere – Also known as “grave wax” or “mortuary wax”, the process occurs when bacterial hydrolysis converts body fats into a stable organic substance composed of fatty acids. The material is described as being similar to wax or soap. The process occurs in cold damp environments and may be exacerbated by mineral activity.
  • Intentional Embalming - Embalming of one type or another has been around for centuries. Modern embalming is done primarily to prevent decay of a body while it is transported to burial or during a time that it lays in state. It includes the infusion of the body with chemicals such as formaldehyde, which can fix tissue and inhibit decay. This type of embalming has been around for more than a century.
  • Other environmental conditions – Numerous compounds and conditions are known to occur which may result in decay being inhibited. Toxic heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury may have been used in years past in caskets or burial preparations and can inhibit microbial activity. Acidic conditions, such as those found in peat bogs are well known for their ability to preserve organic material. Other local minerals or conditions may play a role.

Some famous examples and the reality of what likely caused the bodies from decaying:


Some idiocy from Sarah Palin

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

I can’t believe that this woman is being supported by a large number of Americans as the next big thing politically, even a potential presidential candidate. It’s just breathtaking how stupid she is.

Here’s a gem from Twitter:

Gulf disaster needs divine intervention as man’s efforts have been futile. Gulf lawmakers designate today Day of Prayer for solution/miracle

So what? Pray and god is going to make all the oil just suddenly vanish and the well close up?

The fact that something has not been done or that previous attempts to do so have not succeeded does not mean that it can’t be done. If a problem is not solved on the first attempt or the second or even the tenth, that does not, in and of itself, mean that it should be considered unsolvable.

If we used lack of prior success to decide something was not possible, nothing, absolutely nothing new would ever be accomplished. No records would ever be broken. No innovations would ever be developed. Nothing would be ever improved.

Oh, and also, man’s efforts have not been entirely futile. While the leak has not been stopped 100%, the cap and collection method has proven to be at least effective in reducing the release. It’s not a complete solution, but it’s not a complete failure either.


Jesus Is Burning: Now that is ironic

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

A few years ago, a church in Ohio built a six story tall Jesus Statue. It was known as “Touchdown Jesus” due to the pose, like a referee making the touchdown sign in football. Others called it “Butter Jesus” because it looked like it was made of butter.

Actually, what it was made of was polyurethane foam over a steel structure. Although the church is known as the “Church of the Solid Rock,” the Jesus sculpture was made of about the cheapest material around. In addition to being very cheap, it’s very very flammable.

Perhaps they were just expecting god to protect the sculpture. If that’s the case, he didn’t. It was hit by lightning.

The cheap, buttery-looking, highly flammable foam burned away in a few minutes leaving only the chard steel frame. It almost looks better afterward. I think I’ve seen classier sculptures being sold in the garden section of K-mart.

Exploiting children to push religion

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Many in the skeptic and atheist communities claim that raising a child with religion is child abuse and should be illegal. I’m not generally of that opinion, because, for one thing, the jails are not large enough and secondly, even imperfect parents are not necessarily ground for child protective services to get involved, as state-based child rearing tends to be even worse.

Yet in some cases, the abuse and exploitation of children reaches a point where it makes me wonder how people get away with this. Of course, this is allowed primarily because it’s wrapped in religion. Still, this video is just sad.

Sorry I was late. Blame Naked Jesus

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

On Sunday I was driving on I-95 around Fairfield, CT. There was a big of a traffic jam that seemed to go on for miles. I never got to the end of it, because I got off the highway first. It’s not terribly uncommon for their to be traffic jams on I-95.

But now I know what caused this one.

Via the New York Daily news:

Naked man claiming he’s Jesus causes five-car pileup on Interstate 95 in Connecticut

A naked man “yelling that he was Jesus” triggered a multi-car accident Saturday morning on Interstate 95 in Norwalk, Conn.

Officers responded early Saturday morning to a call regarding a disturbance on I-95 northbound near exit 14 in Darien, according to NBC Connecticut.

When the officers got to the scene, the naked man — whose name was not released — drove away in a silver car. Local authorities and State Police began to give chase, and they pulled the man over near exit 16.

After the police pulled the man over, another driver stopped short to watch the scene unfold, causing a tractor-trailer to hit the brakes and jackknife. The truck hit several other cars and flipped before stopping by a tree, NBC Connecticut reports.

A rescue team was able to extricate the truck driver, who was trapped in the cab of the truck.

The truck driver suffered injuries as a result of the crash, the extent of which were unknown. However, he was conscious and speaking with paramedics, according to NBC Connecticut. Two others were injured in the accident, but the extent of their injuries was also unknown.

The accident completely closed I-95 between exits 14 and 16 for approximately six hours. All lanes of traffic had reopened by noon.

Six hours of closed lanes caused the traffic to back up (in both directions apparently) for a very long distance, most of the shoreline of Connecticut and into New York being effected. When the lanes finally opened six hours later, it took some time for the traffic to resume its normal flow. I-95 is a major artery of the Northeastern US. It is the primary link between the New York City area and Providence, Boston and much of New England.

It should be pretty obvious what happened here: this is the second coming of Christ, and just like in the terminator movies, he arrives naked.

Austria Turns to Troll/Hobbit/Wacky Dude to Reduce Accidents

Friday, May 28th, 2010

The Austrian motorway authority ASFINAG has been concerned for some time about a stretch of highway that has experienced a disproportionately high number of accidents in recent years. This is hardly a unique situation, as many highways have areas where the topography or road conditions make for a hazardous area. There are numerous ways that roadway authorities have addressed these problems: installing better guardrails, reducing speed limits, altering the path of the road, improving lighting, installing traffic signals and increasing police patrols have all proven effective in many cases, but apparently Austria felt these were just not magical enough.

That’s why they hired a modern day Druid. Yes, a guy who wears a hood and practices a religion based on old European Neo-Pagan traditions. Although the modern interpretation of what being a “Druid” is may be a little fuzzy, considering that the actual Druids didn’t use metal dowsing rods or concern themselves with phone masts, as the new ones apparently do.

Via the Metro (NOT the Onion):

Druids use rock and magnets to stop road accidents

Austrian authorities say druids have been so successful in dealing with motorway accident blackspots in one area that they plan to extend the project nationwide.

As well as using quartz standing stones to restore the area’s ‘natural energy’, the druids have come up with a cheaper modern-day option – burying plastic slates with magnets in the ground.

Arch druid Ilmar Tessmann was called in as a last resort after a high number of fatal accidents were reported on a straight stretch of motorway near Salzburg.

He said the crashes were caused by radiation from a nearby mobile phone mast disrupting the area’s normal ‘terrestrial’ radiation.

Installing the monoliths has successfully counteracted that, he claimed.

Austrian motorway authority ASFINAG said it was sceptical at first and kept the project a secret. But it went public after the druids’ efforts cut the number of deaths at the notorious crash site from six a year to zero in two years.

Mr Tessmann said: ‘Plastic was not available in ancient times but it seems to work well.’

But he warned: ‘It is a big job. These masts are now spreading negative radiation over 120 to 200 miles.’

Scientists, however, are not convinced.

‘Natural sciences need evidence. ‘Whatever can’t be measured, does not exist,’ Dr Georg Walach from the geophysics department at Leoben University in southern Austria said.

‘These energy lines and their flow cannot be grasped or measured therefore their existence is rejected by scientists.’

But Mr Tessmann claims the proof is in the results. ‘If you ask me to give you a scientific explanation, I can’t, I just know it works, and even critics can’t argue with our success rate,’ he said.