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Ghost Hunters Meets Groundhog Day
   posted on 01/07/2011
The Big Kahuna is a Steeler's Fan
   posted on 11/29/2010
Review of The Exorcist Documentary
   posted on 10/28/2010
Atheists - the New Panda Bears
   posted on 09/17/2010
The Mystical Side of Conception
   posted on 09/15/2010

Comments


Ghost Hunters Meets Groundhog Day
   02/05/2011 by Hal
The CEO (Chief Exorcism Officer)
   01/24/2011 by melania
Ghost Hunters Meets Groundhog Day
   01/07/2011 by Pesci
Ghost Hunters Meets Groundhog Day
   01/07/2011 by Bob
Atheists - the New Panda Bears
   09/17/2010 by Jon Heim
Atheist for Jesus
   09/15/2010 by Pesci
Atheist for Jesus
   09/04/2010 by ChrisB

My (Almost) Meeting with the Jehovah's Witnesses


Created on Wednesday, September 14, 2011



For the third year in a row I was passed over and I am not happy about it.

A raise? A promotion? No, I'm not talking about something that frivolous. I am talking about hearing The News. The Good News. No, that still doesn't do it justice. I'm talking the GREAT news.

For the third straight year there was a tan minivan down the street and three well-dressed people walking from home to home. That's right - the Jehovah's Witnesses were in the neighborhood. Rebecca noticed them as she pulled in the driveway and went around to the back yard to give me... well, the good news. I was in the process of trying to cover the pool (again) and not in any condition to greet my treasured guests. Rebecca ran inside to get me a shirt and I went to my car to get a breathe mint.

And then I waited. And waited. And they never came. Unlike last year's blog (here) where I pointed out the lighter side of my near-miss, I was heartbroken this year.

Did you ever anticipate a conversation with someone? You end up in a weird place where you have both sides of the conversation in your head. You say something, they say something, and then you say something really f'ing cool. Maybe even triumphant. I hate to say this but I was almost in a fantasy state just thinking about it. I think some of this is due to the fact that I LOVE talking about religion but I usually do not bring up the topic unless someone else does. So if you put me into a place where someone not only brings it up but actually comes to me? As I said in the other blog, throw in a fat man and a tree and you'd have a Pagan holiday.... errrr... Christmas.

So that got me to thinking. Should I just save my conversation for next year? Nah, might as well write it down. Here is how I imagine it going.....

(queue the dream sequence)

So I open the door and there stands Salma Hayek

(oops, queue the other dream sequence)

A well-dressed man and woman walk up my driveway on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The man is older than the woman and he is carrying a book and some pamphlets.

"Greetings friend" the man says with a smile. "Do you have a few minutes to talk to us today?".

"A few minutes? For you, I have all afternoon" I reply with an even bigger smile.

"I'm Mr. White and this is Ms. Pink. We'd like to share some good news with you". The joy in his voice increases as he completes the sentence. Mr. White goes on to explain that they are Jehovah's Witnesses and they would like to tell me a little bit about their group and beliefs.

"I am well aware of your group so you can save the background info. If I am to follow your beliefs I think I'll need a few questions answered" Mr. White nods and says to proceed.

I take a breathe and begin. "I am a college graduate and I know that education is frowned upon in your organization. My degree is from Buff State so that doesn't mean much, but it is still a degree"

Mr. White doesn't even pause a moment. "We've changed our position on education in recent years. It is now ok to have an education as long as you don't over-do it. Our elders have realized that you're not a threat to figuring out this racket unless you go to one of those artsy-fartsy schools".

"Whew, that's a relief" I reply. "I thought for sure that one would count me out. Ok, now onto the next one. I hear that only 144,000 people are going to heaven yet your followers are several times that number. Aren't I too late?"

"No, you're still ok. A few years ago we realized that we probably had this number wrong all along so we adjusted it. We saw the mistake that the Shakers made - banning reproduction - and we realized that by having a hard ceiling we weren't going to attract new members. After all, this kind of stuff won't appeal to people if there isn't something in it for them".

"Good point Mr. White. The people have to know that they're getting a prize after they've gone through the motions over the course of their lives. It sounds too good to be true! Speaking of truth, how do we know it is true? I've read many pro-Christian books and they admit that the Bible was written decades after the events supposedly happened and the authors were not only not witnesses, they were really just writing down the folklore of the time. How can I know that these events are true" I ask. I noticed that a bead of sweat rolled down my cheek. I was most nervous about this question.

At this point I noticed a change in Ms. Pink. She had been smiling and nodding her approval as Mr. White knocked down my concerns one by one. Not only did her look change, she gave Mr. White a "WTF" look.

It was clear that Mr. White knew what I was talking about as his face looked as though the holy ghost had just eaten his lollipop. "Well...." he stammered a bit and then cleared his throat. "Yes, that is true but we have come to accept the fact that God sent his messages through the authors of the gospels. We do not know who wrote the gospels but by golly it is clear as day that they are divinely inspired".

"Excellent!" I exclaim. "The people that tried to recruit me to the other religions that you reject said the same thing! How dare they say that when you know the truth. I'm thinking about dropping them a line to tell them that their authors couldn't also have been divinely inspired. How rude of them to copy your claims!".

"Um, yeah, how very rude" mutters Mr. White as he tugs at his collar. I thought this odd as it wasn't particularly hot that day. Anyway, I take a glance over at Ms. Pink and she does not look like a happy camper. Who knows, maybe she is still a little bent at having been pulled out of school after the 8th grade.

"I have one last thing that worries me a little. I am completely on board with what you are saying but I'm not so sure that my wife will be on board. After all, it is pretty obvious that your group isn't so fond of women. Is that true?"

Mr. White seemed to rally a bit after hearing this question. "We've also changed our thinking on this one as well. Women are no longer forced to wear a hat while praying. Isn't that great? We thought about changing some of the other things as well. But the good book is pretty clear about women being subservient to their husbands and not being in positions of power. We think that allowing them to wear hats is a pretty good middle ground".

I took another look Ms. Pink and she looked like she was going to slug Mr. White. She kind of looked like Ralphie did when he found out that the message that he deciphered with his prized decoder ring was really just a commercial for Ovaltine. I don't know exactly what she was thinking but I'm guessing that it had something to do with missing out on all of the keg parties that her (former) friends had as teens. I felt bad for rocking the boat - after all, I really just wanted some information. I wasn't trying to pull back the curtain.

"Well thank you both for stopping by. This really cleared up some of the reservations that I had about becoming a believer. You've really cleared up some of this rough stuff so that we can focus on the nice stuff. I like that".

Mr. White, seeing that maybe the day was salvageable after all, perked up. "So you're with us, brother"?

"Sorry" I replied, "The Catholics were here yesterday and said that they were running a promotion where if I signed that day I could get a signing bonus AND a couple of indulgences. I didn't feel I would get a better offer from any other religion so I jumped on it. You may want to look in to the indulgence package. I know that this kind of came and went in the dark ages but you can see how it would appeal to people today."

Mr. White muttered something as he turned to walk away. Ms. Pink paused for a minute and then whispered to me "so what is beer like? Is it as good as I hear it is".

I couldn't help but smile as I thought about my answer. "It is better. As I often tell a young woman that is about to have her first adult beverage, if you drink it fast it won't hurt you. You're going to be alright, Ms. Pink'.


.... read the rest of this article here

Some thoughts on the misconceptions regarding disbelief


Created on Sunday, March 6, 2011



I recently posted a link to a CNN article on my facebook wall (link here). The author of the article talks about how - after much research and careful scrutiny - he believes that the Bible condemns homeosexual behavior. From my own readings I would probably agree with him, although as we all know you can slice and dice the bible to back up your own dislikes. Susan B. Anthony told us this a hundred years ago when women were the ones being suppressed. Women had it even worse because the Bible is littered with misogyny and you don't have to do a lot of research to find it (here is a good reference).

The rest of the thread went like they often do. Invariably I was asked why I'm so fascinated with God and some other things. I thought I'd take a minute to post a few of the questions/statements here as I think they are interesting.
I never liked the God of the old testament, he was a nasty, controlling tyrant, too many rules, violence and death of innocents. The new testament is more about love and forgiveness of ALL people no matter who they are, it's easier to stomach. The Bible should be used as a reference I think, not as a guide to totally live by
This is a great example of how religion really is believing what makes you comfortable. What the author of this statement misses is that the OT and the NT are linked together. They aren't two different books, they are a continuation of the story. The OT prophesied a messiah and numerous men of that era claimed to be that person. The authors of the NT had to make the Jesus story fit what the OT said would happen (hence the need to put the birth in Bethlehem, something we can actually prove could not have happened).

Anyway, I'm off point. Are there good things in the NT? Sure, there are. But that's the thing - we don't need it as a guide. We know all of the things to do because we were taught them in kindergarten. Be nice to people. Say thank you. Allow people to be who they are. Both you or I could sit down right now and write something infinitely better (and far more readable) than what was written and none of it would include "follow me and you'll be ok". Besides, if you say that you shouldn't use the bible as a guide then you are going against what Jesus is supposed to have said. That's trying to have it both ways.

And remember - Jesus was put on the Earth to spread the word of God. That word was the Old Testament.
The Bible can justify almost every bigoted evil if you look hard enough, find the right translation & forget the entire POINT of God's teachings.
In a word, no. I could go in a lot of directions here. For example, it isn't so much the translations that are problematic. The contradictions between the accounts of the very basic part of the stories are reason enough to discount all of it (not to mention the fact that we don't know who wrote them but we do know they were written decades after Jesus - if he lived - would have died).
People can translate that (the belief that homosexuality is a sin) in many ways! I know what it means to mean and that is what matters to me. But i would never say that any religion has tainted this world!!
But when those personal religious beliefs are applied to the rights of someone else, what matters to you suddenly becomes an issue. That was the point that the original post was conveying.

The one thing you are being is judgemental. Do u have your degree in Theology? I dont know if you even realize it but you are trying to get people to believe what you believe and you say that Christians are the only one's that do that!
I merely layed out what the Bible says and how that has played out in our history. We see glimpses of that in the way women are treated in in muslim countries. After all, both religions come from the same Old Testament teachings. We were talking about Christianity in particular so I commented on that.
There are many different type of Dinominations (sic) of Christianity and if the bad didn't happen in the old testament then no good would have ever came out of it!!
So you're saying that the New Testament was kind of like a superhero that righted the wrongs of the Old Testament? My friend, that's the first time I've ever heard that take. Jesus was supposedly put on the Earth to teach the word of God. That word IS the Old Testament (reference here).
For a person who doesn' believe in God sure does talk about him alot!
We secularists/atheists hear this a lot. Please note that I say "secularist" first because that's what I consider myself first and foremost. The word "atheist" is really meaningless because it describes the disbelief in something. I reject the idea of the theological god. It has been said that you're also an atheist. There have been roughly 10,000 Gods in the history of humanity and you reject all but one. I just go one god further than you do.

Anyway, back to the point. My point with these kinds of posts is not to diss religion. If you take nothing else from all of this I hope that you see that. My point is to push humanity further along. In the case of homosexuality, the secularists (atheists and believers) have to fight what these ancient books tell us. I have to reference religion because that is what is shackling us in this discussion.

My point in bringing up the history of Christianity in our country was to reference the fact that 100 years ago people like me fought the same fight for women. The Bible is clear on few things but its dislike of women would be one of those things. If you were born a hundred years ago would you gladly have gone along with what it said? Of course not and that is why I referenced it.
Furthermore, we all choose our own path and what we believe, doesn't mean i have to agree with you or you agree with me, but don't try to make it sound like your way is the only way!!!
Once again, that is one of the points that you and many other believers seem to miss when this conversation comes up. Atheists are not out trying to convert people. We're not trying to push our agenda into public life. This is all about the struggle against people trying to push their religious belief into law and schools. I am a huge supporter of the right to worship but I am also a huge supporter of the separation of church and state. I think the proof is in the pudding - every day we see more believers joining the fight to keep religion out of public life because of how dangerous it can be. What you do in the privacy of your own home does not interest me in the least.
What i dont understan is how something that happened over 2000yrs ago is still destroying our world, yet not once did i hear ou say anything about all the people that rape kids and kill them, people,children going on shooting sprees killing many.
I do find it interesting that you said that you can't understand how something that happened 2,000 years ago is affecting our world when you're a believer in that very story :-).

Please keep in mind that I did not say that religion is the root of all evil (although many do believe this). I said that religion has been a HUGE stain on humanity and has been the source of much evil. Clearly many evils were committed for reasons other than religious belief.
You may want to read more into the bible to see the truth of what is said about who is going to hell and not!!
Actually, I've done this. There is no greater source for disbelief than the Bible itself. There is very little written about the idea of hell and what is said is very vague. That is why the various denominations have such different ideas about what it is. Like everything else in the Bible, if it was clear there wouldn't need to be so much guesswork.

More importantly, I've done reading outside of the Bible. The themes about the afterlife that are talked about in the Bible were directly lifted from the beliefs of the Egyptians and some of the pagan religions of that time. Each new religion is just a new take on what the previous religions have done. All of the themes in the bible - son of God, virgin birth, resurrection, etc - were done many times by other religions. If you believe your religion to be true then you must acknowledge that it coincidentally looks like all of the other ones.

What I can prove is that there further we get away from the bigotry, misogyny and hatred that is condoned (and demanded) in these holy books the better off we all are.
I could get technical and start resighting (sic) things that have happened in the old and new testament but for me that is not needed.
I purposely left this one for last. The one thing I haven't really done is approached this topic from the standpoint of the truthfulness of a religion. Once again, my goal is to keep religion out of public life so I generally shy away from those kinds of arguments because I really don't care what people do in their own homes.

I'll indulge myself a little bit here because you talked about the idea of getting technical. Like you, I was raised with the religious belief and carried that in one form another for much of my life. I had no reason to believe it other than it was introduced to me as a child. We all prayed and had feelings in our gut that came from God, but doesn't every religious person (remember, 10,000 other Gods) have that? Of course they do.

At one point I could no longer avoid something that had been nagging me. What if none of it was true. In religious belief we all just assume that someone else has done the work. Worse, holy men (regardless of which God they pray to) long ago figured out that telling people that "faith is a virtue" would fill in the gaps because there was no proof that any of it happened. If there was proof we wouldn't need faith. So instead they make the whole thing out to be a supernatural game of picaboo. Once again, all religions do this and that says everything you need to know.

So I did the work. I started out by reading and reviewing the books that were pro--Christian. As a thinking person, I was floored. There is absolutely, positively no reason to believe any of it happened. There are tons of documentation about everything that happened at that time (including accounts of other men that claimed to be the messiah) and not a single mention of Jesus or any of the miracles. The pro-Christian books all acknowledge this (please read this again as it is important) so the books have to try to account for why this is. It really is stunning. Here is my review of one such book - I went through their claims one by one.

The point of all of this is that people believe it because they want it to be true. I do not have the ability or the desire to try to comfort myself in these ways. In fact, I'm glad that it isn't true because (as you said earlier) I can't imagine someone convicting not only on my actions but on my thoughts. Christopher Hitchens spelled this out brilliantly - check out the two videos below (they are short).

A couple of years ago we were visiting friends and they were stunned to find out that I was an atheist. They were incredulous that someone could ignore all of the evidence that was out there. I said there was no such evidence. They then asked if I would participate in an exercise where we could lay out the evidence and talk about it. We did this here.

At the end of the day we all fall into one group or another. Either the truth matters to you or it doesn't. I can't imagine basing my entire life on something without investigating whether or not it is true. And that's why what happened (or didn't happen) 2,000 years ago haunts us today. To many people, the want to believe is still too great.

Short Video (Part 1)


Short Video (Part 2)






.... read the rest of this article here

Ghost Hunters Meets Groundhog Day


Created on Friday, January 7, 2011



This is a followup to my previous blog that debunked the Ghost Hunters. For some reason that blog is near the top of the search results on Google. If you're new to the site, I hope you check me out every now and then - I am a skeptic from Buffalo, New York.

I used to watch the show as a goof. That may sound strange but I really did get a good laugh at the absurdity of the things that happened on the show. If you look at the show as a skeptic the show really does look at something that The Onion might have made. I had not seen the show in quite a while so I thought I would check in the other day. If you have infants you know how often you find yourself channel surfing while looking for some entertainment while you feed your kid.

I don't know if it was the time away or something else but for some reason the show seemed... different. I noticed something that I had not noticed during the awfulness that happened every week: the show really is the same show over and over again. I thought it would be fun to capture the essence of the show (insert snickering) while tossing in my own analysis. PLEASE feel free to add your own using the Comment button below.

Getting the case

Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant are interrupted while out on the job. Who is on the phone? The case manager du jour. It turns out that someone, somewhere hears creepy things at night in an old house.

My Observations:
As luck would have it, a camera crew happens to be in both places. That's dedication, I tell you. I'd be a little leery of a camera crew showing up when the plumber was emptying my drain but apprenatly I'm in the minority. Also, Jay and Grant are so good at their profession that their uniforms never ever get dirty. I can't read my email and drink coffee without spilling some on my shirt. And can you blame them for getting so excited when they get the call? You can't find creaky old houses just anywhere.


The drive

Ghost Hunters Activity:
The crew hops in their vans and heads to all different parts of the country.

My Observations:
Can't the guy with the sleeves suck it up and hop on a plane? If they are going to be driving these black vans around they could at least paint a red stripe on the van and pretend they are on the lam. Then again, I don't remember a girl ever allowed in the A-Team van (Face had his own car for that kind of tomfoolery). And what's with the walkie talkies? I'd be sick to death of the people in my own van on that drive - I can't imagine being woken up to hear inane drivel from the auto behind me.



Preparing to investigate

Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay, Grant and #3 walk up and pretend that they've never met their host.

My Observations:
At that point they get the low-down on all of the supernatural events that necessitated that these pros make the roadie so that they can... well, I'm not sure exactly what the goal is. I love when there are children onsite. Jay and Grant will get all serious and then make it clear that their mission has taken on even more importance because the children are possibly in danger. That's right - no need to involve CPS. We'll bring in guys with cameras and dousing rods to solve the problem.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
The crew prepares for the investigation that is to come.

My Observations:
Translation: they run a lot of wires. They drive cross country to go to these dumps and they can't make a radio shack run to buy some wireless equipment? I can see the temperature of my beer keg from my phone and you can't see a little video without running wire? I'm half expecting them to run string between dixie cups to capture sound (not that it would be any less scientific).




The investigation

Ghost Hunters Activity:
The lights go out.

My Observations:
This is always a dramatic event on the show. I think that is by design as it is one of the few things on the show that is ever caught on camera. And why turn off the lights? Are you saying that the supernatural things only happen in low light? What the hell does that tell you?



Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant head to a room so that they can try to reproduce what they were told in their meeting with the host.

My Observations:
This is where the producers of this show got it right. If the show can show an ounce of skepticism they somehow get more cred with the people that want to believe. It is is an age-old practice that was probably first mastered by the religous community. Once the credibility is established their claims are more easily believed by those that want to believe.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
The fat guy and the guy with bad hats interviews the ghosts.

My Observations:
Usually this is done with tape recorders in case nothing happens on camera (and trust me, nothing happens on camera). Once in a while there will be a noise off in the distance while they were asking questions and the director will cue the dramatic music. I know that I've asked this before but if the dead could make interfere with the natural world, why are they always doing it just off camera? Here is a hugely popular show that has a bevy of AV equipment. So what is the best that any one of the billions of dead can do? A floor creak.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
Someone breaks out the K2 meter.

My Observations:
Party time! They've got a tool that they can use to communicate directly with the dead - why did they bother with anything else? I would have left the lights on and the other AV equipment in the truck. Hell, why not just walk around outside their HQ with the damn thing. There are BILLIONS of dead people - wouldn't they be everywhere? The answer is simple, of course. It is just a little box with lights on it.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
The thermal cam/thermometers/dousing rods are brought out in the name of science.

My Observations:
If they are looking for water or want to get a tan these instruments would be very useful. Why stop there? I could see a little game of "Spin the bottle" to point out the direction of the ghosts.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
The female investigators get some camera time

My Observations:
I don't know why they pair these two together as the show didn't need any more inane conversation than there already is. And why do they get scared? Isn't the point to find something scary? Worse, the one girl looks really hot when the lights go out and then I'm disappointed when the lights come back on. Then again, she might say the same about me if she had the chance. The black light seems to be slimming - go figure.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
The cast taunts the undead

My Observations:
It seems that in the spirit world the ghosts are just lounging about, probably playing cards or eating gallons of potato chips now that cholesterol is no longer a concern. They really don't want any part of being on national tv. To flush out those pesky spirits you need to challenge them, no unlike a child throwing a tantrum to get the attention of his parent. I'm telling you, these investigators know all the tricks. The real skill is not going too far with your taunts. You wouldn't want the ghost to do something really violent (off camera).



Closing up the investigation

Ghost Hunters Activity:
Not unlke the setup, for some reason we need to see shots of them putting all of the wire back on spools. Their host then shows up looking fresh as a daisy. They inform their host that they can't say anything until they've looked at all of the tape.

My Observations:
Call me crazy but I'm guessing that something was filmed out of order.



Media analsis

Ghost Hunters Activity:
The underlings watch and listen to all of the tapes.

My Observations:
Why can't the stars help out with this? I don't know about you but I'd be pretty pissed if I had to listen to hours of nothingness while the hosts made time at the hotel bar. And you'll see the obligatory teaser before they go to commercial. One of the guys will jump up out of his chair and then you get to hear from the sponsors. When they come back from commercial you'll see that the cast member was reacting to a faint noise on the audio tape. Someone call 60 Minutes.



The reveal

Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant sit down to tell the host that they didn't really capture anything but that they had experiences.

My Observations:
Comedian Bill Burr did a bit on this part of the show. He made the point that you never walk into work the day after the show saying that proof of the afterlife was finally found. Of course, the host is always impressed because they are on national tv. How else would they act? "I'm sorry, I could have brought out my betamax and captured just as much as you did".



Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant say that they'd love to investigate there again.

My Observations:
Then why the hell don't they stay there another night? My favorite example of this is when they supposedly had extended communication with an entity using the K2 meter. If that is the case, why aren't you setting up camp and calling every scienctist within 500 miles?



Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant say that the host shouldn't fear the entity because it did not appear threatening.

My Observations:
Fortunately there is a defense against threatening spirts. Just point one of their cameras at yourself and you are guaranteed to be immune from any kind of supernatural activities. Maybe that's what their angle should be - selling cameras to ward off evil spirits.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant tell the host that they are just a phone call away if something bad happens.

My Observations:
That's right - if they see the bat signal they'll load up the vans with all of their cameras and electrical wire and dousing rods so that they can.... um... do whatever it is they do.



Heading home

Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant will say 1) how much they enjoyed the investigation and 2) how much they'd like to come back and 3) that it was very successful. The fist bump closes the show.

My Observations:
Successful? How? Because nobody died? And is it just me or is that fist bump really... awkward? More often than not they will act like they have performed a real public service. Congratus guys, I'm glad that someone caught that inaudible sound at hour 5 on the tape recorder that was sitting around in the library.




Oh well, in the end people still watch because they want to believe. You either have a working brain and find this stuff funny or you think that these clowns are really doing something more than making money.

.... read the rest of this article here

The Big Kahuna is a Steeler's Fan


Created on Monday, November 29, 2010



You may have missed the excitement from yesterday's NFL games. My beloved Buffalo Bills nearly pulled off the upset of the year by beating the Steelers of Pittsburgh. The local club snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when a wide-open Stevie Johnson dropped a pass in the end zone in overtime. The ball hit him right between the numbers.

Johnson was inconsolable after the game. Apparently he was feeling a little more wordy after the game when he tweeted the following:

I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO...



Wow. This is completely fascinating on several levels. Where to start?

How about the end of the tweet? I just called you an a-hole, but thanks for everything. Is that any way to treat the giver of all things good? Call me crazy but that sounds like a back-handed thank you.

I would be remiss if I did not point out the hypocrisy behind athletes giving thanks to the sky for victories achieved on the playing field. As a kid I remember Orel Hershiser appearing on the Tonight Show after his team had won the championship. Carson asked Hershiser how he stayed so calm in the face of adversity and Hershiser responded that he said little prayers on the mound. Hershiser must have been a better Christian because he beat the Christians on the other team and some of them were surely praying. Never mind the famine, sickness and the like going on around the world. God picked the Dodgers to win in seven.

Johnson's tweet also demonstrated the appeal of religion. Rather than thinking that he is just another mammal on this planet, the believer is told that he is a special mammal. Better yet, all of this was created for him. Appealing, isn't it? As with the kid that is told throughout childhood that he is amazing and deserving despite never accomplishing anything, the believer is then shocked when things don't go his way. After all, the true appeal of religion is "what is in it for me?". Be it the afterlife or happiness or a sure pair of hands, there has to be a golden carrot to appeal to the masses. Want more proof of these egocentric view that is implanted in the believer? Johnson questions what lesson he is supposed to learn from this event. Never mind all of the wives that are going to be beaten by degenerate gamblers that didn't have the Steelers on their ticket. Never mind the people that may have reached performance bonuses based on wins. Never mind that 75,000 people that showed up that day and had their sunday ruined. Hell, never mind that MY sunday was ruined. It was about you. We're puppets in your world.

I actually think in a weird kind of way that Johnson's tweet was refreshingly honest. When praising a deity there is always some kind of expectation that you're getting something in return. Very few believers want to acknowledge that if the sky daddy is behing all of the good things that he must also be responsible for looking the other way when bad things happen (or worse, causing them. Cue Epicurus - if he can stop bad things from happening but doesn't..... you fill in the blanks). But you never here someone actually come out and say "hey big guy, we had a deal. I'm a member of this flock and I want my end of the bargain". Don't worry - I'm sure some holy men have already gotten a hold of him by now with some cute passages that will make him feel better.

And last, it is funny that this guy is blaming anyone but himself for his mistake. That's pure and unadulterated scapegoating. In case you didn't know, the term "scapegoat" came from the practice of a village sending out a goat into the wastelands to die as a payment for the village's sins. Sounds immoral, doesn't it? Well that's the same thing that Christianity and many other religions borrowed. So when a deity does it we praise him but when Johnson does it....

Anyway, it would have been worse. He could have blamed it on the fact that the laces were in on the football. (kudos to you if you got that reference). Then again, maybe God never saw it as he doesn't follow Johnson on twitter.

Oh well, that's life is a Bills fan.







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