Patel's interfaith visions: 11-14/15-09
Messages in a rainbow: 11-17-09

Let us spray, said the gardner: 11-16-09

As my old eighth-grade English teacher, Ruth Wilson, used to say when she got exasperated, "People, people."


People, people, we've been serious too long.

We need a laugh break. Or at least a smirk break.

So here for your alleged amusement are some faith-based jokes -- a few from, a few from hither and yon. I notice, by the way, that it's harder and harder to find religious jokes that are both funny and new. Would some of you please get to work on this?

1. Joe one day explained religious life to Bob this way: "When I was young I used to pray for a bicyle. Then I realized that God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and prayed for forgiveness."

2. Maxine was driving down the street in a sweat because she had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place.

Looking up toward heaven, she said, "Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to church every Sunday for the rest of my life and give up sex and tequila."

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

She looked up again and said, "Never mind. I found one."


3. While driving in Pennsylvania, a family caught up to an Amish carriage.

The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign:

"Energy efficient vehicle. Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step on exhaust."

4. A Hindu devotee asked God, represented by the multi-armed Lord Narayana, this question: "My dear Lord, I understand that you have innumerable inconceivable potencies. But out of all of them the energy of light seems to be the most amazing. Light pervades the spiritual world, it illuminates the material universes, and life is impossible without it." He continued, "I would like to know how you make it work."

"Oh, that's easy," was the reply. "Many hands make light work."

* * *


Can we learn about the origin of religion by looking to Mexico? This story suggests so. Why do we find this kind of stuff so fascinating? I think because we're almost always attracted to mystery.



Thank you, Bill, for providing the link to Nicholas Wade's article, "The Evolution of the God Gene." I agree with Wade that the findings don't prove or disprove anything about the actual existence of God. To me, looking at these things as a believer in God, is like thinking about how we perceived our parents when we were children, compared with how we perceive them now that we're adults.

Or, in another sense, it's like God within Mary and Mary within God. Mary depending on Christ for her life and salvation, and Christ depending on Mary for His human existence and the means to fulfill his plan of salvation. (Incidentally, this also applies to one of kcfreethinker's comments from yesterday: how can God be misogynistic when a human woman's DNA is inextricably-interwoven into Who He Is?).

The truth is like a fractal: basic interacting patterns (of interactions) repeated over and over ad infinitum. There's something there for a child to grasp -- but the bigger we grow the bigger Truth gets. To someone who's lost the child's-eye view, but hasn't yet grown into their second childhood, it looks like there's nothing there, like they've grown out of the fractal, or the need for relationship with God --

But once we re-learn our need for connectedness, the pattern becomes increasingly real, though so complex that we never feel we've got it "down pat." But the more we live in relationship, the less need we feel for pat answers.

Just Thinking

Religion is grounded in understanding spirit, the seat of our free will.

The part of us which makes choices *necessarily* defies natural explanation. Indeed, if there is a natural explanation for a choice that we actually make, then there was no choice.

The part of us which can alter the future through choices, and which has no natural explanation is called spirit. Spirit is more fundamental to humans than any part of our natural existence. It is through spirit that we are elevated beyond machine. Without the ability to alter our future through choices, then we would be voiceless backseat riders in a car whose path could not be altered by us.

Is there *any* conscious human being who honestly does not believe that they can make choices which will alter the future? Every conscious human knows that there is a part of them which can alter the future through choices. That part of us *necessarily* defies natural explanation, or there are no choices. Everyone believes in spirit, even if they don't use the name. Spirit is the part of us which can alter the future through choices, but which defies natural explanation.

Those who declare that *everything* has a natural explanation do not understand the consequences of what they claim. They don't comprehend that such claims rule out the possibility of making choices. Those who declare that *everything* has a natural explanation have an unnatural motive: they are so desparate to deny that anything superantural can exist, that they artificially concoct assumptions which inadvertently deny the existence of free choice of any kind!

Those who declare that *everything* has a natural explanation are embarassed when called upon to answer the simple question:


Just Thinking

The Christians says that God created the Heavens and the Earth. The atheist asks, "So who created God?" The Christian answers, "God was not created. God is." The atheist replies, "How ridiculous."

So the Christian asks the atheist, "Who created the Universe?" The atheist answers, "The Universe was not created. It just is."

The Christian laughs, but the atheist doesn't get it.


From yesterday -- Goldstein Crew Member, I'm puzzled that you'd think Daniel Dennett would disapprove of children learning about all the different faiths, when most Atheists seem to strongly support the importance of children getting to do exactly that. By the way, I was rather shocked to go to that link you gave, and see Goldstein's really insulting comments about Bill and this blog. What has Bill ever done to you guys?

Bill, what Eboo Patel said about thinking in terms of whether people are for pluralism or extremism makes a lot of sense to me, because I think it's easier to relate to and work with non-Christian pluralists, than with Christian extremists -- especially since most Christian extremists probably wouldn't even receive me as one of their fellow-believers anyhow.

Ray Suarez, in his book "The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration, 1966-1999," said that the basis for cohesiveness in the old urban neighborhoods, was ethnic and religious homogenicity. People felt they could trust their neighbors because they looked, behaved, and thought like they did. With increased diversity came increased mistrust, because fewer and fewer people still feel that they really know and understand their neighbors.

If we want to weave strong and cohesive neighborhoods today, we need a new common denominator. And that common denominator is pluralism. If I know that my neighbor believes (as I do) that there is something wonderful about diverse people coming together for friendship, mutual support, and problem-solving -- then I can trust my neighbor regardless of differences between our appearances and our spirituality. (Continued)


(Continued) But of course pluralism is not a new ideal. While looking at a Wikipedia article to learn more about it, I saw a reference to Federalist Paper #10, in which James Madison talked about the problem of having a truly free society, without having that society ripped apart by faction.

Madison saw that the freedom for people to think differently and form diverse opinions, could without adequate safeguards result in the destruction of those selfsame freedoms, because a society splintered into various competing factions wouldn't have the strength or cohesiveness to stand up to an outside force that came to conquer and force its oppressive government on our people.

Thus to retain our freedom to disagree, we must safeguard ourselves against the destructiveness of faction. So our founding fathers devised some very wise methods for decentralizing power (and preventing mob rule), while at the same time maintaining a strong enough federation that we could withstand outside threats.

And our nation is now more diverse than ever before -- but I also think we have more pluralistic people than ever before. I now see why Dennett in "Breaking the Spell" talks about the need for people to pledge their primary allegiance to upholding freedom for ALL (I think "pluralism" is another way to say "freedom for all"). And the more aware I become of how God created, and loves, every single people group in this world, the more I realize that embracing pluralism is truly embracing God. We love Christ through loving people.

Dolores Lear

Bill's Referral:
"Religion is often blamed for its spectacular excesses, whether in promoting persecution or warfare, but gets less credit for its staple function of patching up the moral fabric of society."

Where is there a Moral Human Society on Earth? Not even In Monasteries and Nunneries. Heterosexual Body Birth cannot give Morality or Equality, or a Balanced Eco System.

In the Bible, the Lord God and Angels, were High Tech Humans 'in our image'. With High Tech today, we Know High Tech Humans can Colonize Planets, and Reproduce Clone Life like the Supernatural God/Us Humans in Genesis.

The Male Humans, (Adams) were 144,000 Virgin Males. God/Us Clone Humans in our Image, made the Female Clone Helpmeets from the Male Rib, by High Tech, Not a Supernatural Act today.

The Cycle of High Tech Knowledge, of Birth, Death and Rebirth, like the Noah/Atlantis Cycle is again on Earth.

High Tech Humans Misuse their High Tech for Killing, and making High Tech Nuclear Weapons for Pollution, and Massive Destruction to their Planet and All Life.

We are in the Last Phase of Misbreeding, and an 'Arm'ageddon Nuclear Planetary War, and the Last Days Planetary Judgment Day Fire are at hand.

All the Religious Prophesies of the Coming End of the Life on our Home Planet, and the Movie 2012 are here.

Fallen Body Birth Humans used the Original Sin of Male Sex Lust, to have a Population Explosion that has Overpopulated our Home Planet, from 1 Billion Humans in 1900 to 7 Billion in 2011.

The Religious teachings say the Dead will be raised Alive, for the Judgment Day. The Prophecies of the End of Life on Earth, is for 2012.

Even if Humans start accepting these Prophecies, Nothing they can do will Change all the Pollution and Nuclear Waste all over the Planet, that will Burn in the Planetary Judgment Day Fire.

Revelation also records, the Saved will be 144,000 Virgin Males to be taken to a New Planet, like the Adam Virgin Males were brought to Earth 'in the beginning'.

Will Graham

Hilarious! Jokes are an excellent form of back handed attack.

While you tell jokes, Let the United States R.I.P.

Will Graham

Hilarious poster for all the collaborators and those who think KTA of the atheists does any good!

Will Graham

Shovel Ready Health Care!

Dolores Lear

All Religious Writings about our Past History, have the Truth in them about certain parts of Life on Earth.

The Bhagavad Gita has writings of Humans flying up in the air fighting, and is about the Atlantis High Tech Society and the Planetary Flood.

Other Religious writings are also about the High Tech Society Myths of Gods Killing Humans, before the Planetary Flood.

The Jewish/Israeli Old Testament Writings are about the High Tech Regenerated Male Adams, and the History of The Human Fall to Body Birth Misbred Children. About Noah and High Tech Lord God Killer Human Gods and Angels, from Misbred Generation Birth, Death, and Rebirth Humans in their End Times History.

Then a Planetary Flood, and the Writings about the Repopulation of Earth.

Then All the different Religions that resulted, with groups of Humans that were saved all around the Planet, not just Noah in Asia.

So once all these Misunderstanding are accept, there is a pattern to the Body Birth Lifestyle of Generation Birth, Death, and Rebirth up to a Planetary Flood and Fire.

And it makes it seem as if, since the High Tech Planetary Flood, that Evolution began on Earth, when the Original Land Mass was Divided, the Axis was Changed, and All the Life Species, including the Green before the Flood, was deposited in the new Top Strata, used for Evolution Theory.

There is no Room for Evolution of Life on Earth theories, with a High Tech Science Colonization Beginning, on a null and void Planet.

The Christian Bible has the Record of all the Other Religions combined in One. It also has the End Times of Life on Earth and the Saved Males, again to be Taken to a New Planet.

The Earth was Colonized and the Virgin Males from a Dying Body Birth Planet, were brought to a New Colonized Planet, like Earth was 'in the beginning'.

And so Eternal High Tech Human Life Continues and Continues in Space.

Dolores Lear

I just saw Spaceship Atlantis on the Launching Pad, to take off this afternoon, if bad weather does not interfere.

As I have said before the rounded noses and rockets of the Power for the Shuttles, look like the towers on Man-Made Temples. I have been calling them the Chariots/Spaceships of the Gods.

Now I will call them, the Memory handed down of the High Tech Spaceships and Rockets of the Noah/Atlantis Society.

Since Humans today also Know, about Flying Saucers and Spaceships that travel in Space with the speed of light, with Electro-Magnetic Power, that does not make a roar. I now accept that EM is the Power for Spacetravel, of our High Tech God/Us Ancestors.

This High Tech EM Power, does not make the thunder, fire, noise and lights bright as the Sun, in Scripture and Myth. That is the High Tech we also have today, that is similar to the Noah/Atlantis High Tech Society, and the God in the Wilderness, that road in pillars of cloud and fire, and descended down on the mountain with a Loud Noise.

Our Science Fiction has the 'God/Us' Power of ElectroMagnetic Force, to Travel in Space, in their movies and writings.

All of these Supernatural thoughts are so much more satisfying mentally, than all the discussion about 'supernatural' Gods 'in our human image' that Kill. Also High Tech Humans in the Space Movies Kill.

Most of those God writings were not about our High Tech Peace Ancestors, that traveled in Space, and Colonize Planets, but about the High Tech Killer Noah/Atlantis Society, handed down since the Noah/Atlantis Flood by Generation Birth, Death, and Rebirth.

So here is to a New High Tech Translation about High Tech Peace Humans 'in the beginning in our Image', and the High Tech Killer Noah/Atlantis Humans before the Noah/Atlantis Planetary Flood, and our High Tech Killer Human Species today.

#2 is great, Bill. Life is that way. Sometimes we find out we are on are own. FUNNY!

Mystery is fun. Mystery can be good. Mystery movies are intriguing. Makes the mind work. Mystery of the cosmos is fantastic to read about.

I think the point of this story is that people have learned now that we are on our own and we no longer need religion. Perhaps it served some kind of purpose thousands of years ago, but haven’t we learned since then? We know the right thing to do because we do…We have evolved to this point. That is the point. We keep on evolving. We become more educated and learn that modern science is now our god, metaphorically, if you choose to think that way. I choose to leave god out of it and say we are on our own, we promote science. Perhaps then we will be more fair to those who are not just like the biblical god’s teachings. Please stop brainwashing your children. Promote science, education, fairness, not bronze age teachings…Get with the rational program….It’s not too late to live your own life without big daddy watching every move and condemning you for sinning when you are simply following your nature, which I feel is truly a SIN. Don’t waste your life. Have fun. Be fair.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole


Laughing at organized religion' is not a bad thing at all.

Religion has nothing to do with god of course if she exists.

But you cannot have god without religion in human understanding. Since she chooses not to expose herself (pun intended :o), then it's up to us to figure out for ourselves.

Funnies like anectodal evidence of prayer working are just beyond any rationality.

For all we care, it was the Pink Unicorn who created the Cosmos and the God of the Bible is nothing but an "interpretation" of the Pink Unicorn.

With all this "interfaith dialog" that Bill was talking about I wonder if these young people understand that all these religions make "incompatible" claims about their own version of the god, other religions and most importantly the physical world.

The only "presupposition" we all share is that we "exist" or "perceive" we exist. We can agree on virtually 100% of the "real/physical" world.

For everything else there is "MasterCard" of funnies.


The correct answer to "Who do you BELIEVE created the Universe?" is any answer anyone, whether atheist or religious, chooses to give. Belief is not knowledge, and can not be proven. Of all the possible answers to this question, the most correct is "It is not known if there is anything that constitutes a Who."

The correct answer to "Who created the Universe?" is ... "There is no evidence to prove or disprove the existence of a Who. The answer, therefore, is 'I don't know'."

The correct answer to "How was the Universe created?" is ... "I don't know. There is faith belief in divine creation. There is scientific theory, with evidential support, of expansion of matter. There is no evidence supporting the origin of matter. It is not known where matter originates, how, or from what source."

"I believe" is not equivalent to "I know".

Just Thinking

It is interesting that people are finally discovering that notions of God and spirit are obvious to all people, in all cultures, all across the globe. Is that shocking? Not to Christians

Romans 1
"... what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

What *is* shocking is that people would think these ideas are new. It's not just written in our minds. No, it's written into Creation itself. Our minds consider what has been created, and guide our thinking. We can choose to believe or not to believe, but the nudging is obvious.

Linguists talk about concepts such as the 'Great Chain Metaphor', which is not something written into us so much as it is something written into Creation. Our minds are drawn to consider God through understanding concepts such as the great chain
...... Inanimate Objects -> Plants -> Animals -> Primate -> Man -> ....
This is one of the reasons that common spiritual thoughts appear *everywhere* throughout the planet. There are MANY metaphors of this type written into Creation.

Is it NOT surprising that thinking about this world would point us toward higher thoughts of "God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature." And it is not surprising that these thoughts would be "understood from what has been made". Why would God do this? ANS: "so that men are without excuse."

Hmmm, and I'll bet that people are collecting money for all this 'original research.'

Red Biddy

Neat post, isnrchrd !
Although I think atheists would be more inclined to ask "WHAT created the Universe ?... rather than a WHO ! This, of course, doesn't alter the proper answer of "I don't know".

Meanwhile......Jesus Saves while Moses Invests.

Dolores Lear

"There is no evidence supporting the origin of matter. It is not known where matter originates, how, or from what source."
"I believe" is not equivalent to "I know".

I also say, the Only Answer to Who Created the Atom and ElectroMagnetic Force Elements, is "I Don't Know". This Source cannot be Known by High Tech Humans, made from the Elements. The only Simple Answer Humans can use is the familiar GOD, not a Human.

The Founding God/Us, 'in our image' that Colonized Earth, can be Known, like Jesus, Buddha, etc., that were Humans on Earth, and were Known by Humans.

Even though we do not Know the Founding Fathers, of the USA we Know they were Humans also.

All the Rest of Knowledge of Elements can be Known, by High Tech Science. IF our Scientists were not so Busy using the Elements to make Nuclear Waste and Bombs, those Resources could have us making Space Cities.

But not like the New Jerusalem, with God/Us, that will descend down from Heaven and park in our atmosphere.

It will be too large to Park on Earth, and spaceshuttles will be used to transport the 144,000 Virgin Males, to take them to the New Planet, to begin Life like Genesis recorded.

God/Us, our High Tech Ancestors, did Colonized Life on Earth, and Reproduced Female Clones from the Male Rib. With their High Tech, they do Have Eternal Physical Life After Birth on Planets and in Spaceships.

Eternal Life After Birth is for High Tech Male and Female Human Clones, not for Body Birth Humans After Death in the Earth's Eco System Elements. Until their Invisible Elements are again used for Visible Life.

If Humans tie up too Many Elements for Unnecessary items, like Temples made by Human hands and Nuclear Bombs and Waste that does not return to the Element Heaven, they their Planet Dies.

And many more mysteries that High Tech Science is revealing in the Last Days of Life As We Know it on Earth.

Atlantis launch was perfect.


Has anyone seen the animated children's movie "Happy Feet"? It's about a bunch of penguins who worship and pray to "the mighty Guinn" -- the great Penguin in the sky who they believe provides them with all the fish they need.

Then one penguin is born who messes with the natural order. Penguins are "supposed" to all have a song -- but Mumble doesn't have a song, and in fact CAN'T sing: he has a dance instead. The preacher penguin feels that Mumble's dancing feet will bring all kinds of devastation and must be suppressed, and ultimately even attributes the decline in fish to Mumble's dancing and how he is drawing the other young penguins to join him in the fun.

Mumble tries to alert everyone to what he's discovered through an unintentional excursion he made away from the group: the fish are being taken by "aliens" (humans). Preacher refuses to open his mind because these "aliens" don't fit with his world view. He insists that he is right, and the Mighty Guinn is punishing them for Mumble's unorthodox behavior. He sends Mumble away, and Mumble decides to confront the "aliens" and appeal to their better side so they'll stop taking the fish.

He ends up being placed in a zoo, and tries really hard to talk to all the "aliens" about the fish-problem. But they don't understand and he finally loses his voice and gives up. But one day a girl's tapping on the glass motivates him to start dancing. Which attracts a lot of attention, and the humans end up releasing him with a tracking device. They thus discover this whole group of penguins whose survival is being threatened by their fishing practices. (Continued)


(Continued) I've been thinking about how "Happy Feet" ties in with Nicholas Wade's article, "The Evolution of the God Gene" (which Bill links to in today's post). The proponents of the "old-time religion" in the movie, feel a strong compulsion to stifle the very uniqueness that ultimately saves the Penguins from starvation.

Preacher Penguin was clearly wrong in his theory that Mumble's uniqueness was making the Penguin God angry. But does Preacher's error prove that there is no Mighty Quinn? Or could Mighty Quinn have actually sent Mumble as the answer to their prayers for provision?

Mumble is kind of like the chief corner stone that the builders stumble over and/or don't have any use for. When he was an egg his father dropped him. He was late to hatch, and then when he did hatch he had the weird thing going on with his feet. And then he couldn't sing. He was the complete antithesis to a Messiah bursting with potential.

And yet he was exactly what the other Penguins needed.

Jesus shook up the old world views, and keeps shaking things up. Scientific discoveries keep our minds in continual overhaul. But getting a bigger world view doesn't mean we have to lose our connection to God and love! Let's keep learning, keep expanding, and keep loving and we will be all right.

Will Graham

Bill, how is it that when Cole Morgan says believers are brainwashing their children (his 9:48 am post), which would be a form of child abuse, and thus commits the worst form of libel, you have no problem with it?

But if aomeone tries to reply to them, I am told you don't post the replies.

Seriously, what is your goal here Mr. Tammeus?

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