Monday, January 28, 2013

Yeah, I'd probably run too

Here's a story about a gathering of women who were rudely interrupted by a gun-wielding intruder. At first they thought he was pranking them, but once they realized he was serious, the house owner said, "In the name of Jesus, get out of my house now," and then the other women began chanting "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." The guy ran. The woman who owns the house reported, "I believe he saw angels. I think he saw who was on our side, and he just turned around. The look on his face was just, like, astonishment. He was totally captivated by whatever he saw. He just turned around and ran out the door."

Uh-huh. I don't know what caused the burglar to run. Most likely he realized that they were calling his bluff, and he didn't want to shoot fifteen people. He may have been spooked by the weirdness, too. But I don't believe he saw angels or anything supernatural. And this situation could so easily have taken a turn for the worse. Fortunately it didn't-- but that doesn't mean Jesus was on their side. It just means they were lucky.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Public money funding discrimination in Georgia

Here's an article about "an increasingly popular tax credit program that transforms state money into private school scholarships, some of them used at religious-based schools that prohibit gay, lesbian or bisexual students from attending" in Georgia. A report says that "public money is being spent by private educational institutions that “p'unish, denounce and even demonize students in the name of religion solely because they are gay, state that they are homosexual, happen to have same-sex parents or guardians, or express support or tolerance for gay students at school, away from school or at home.'"

There are similar tax credit programs in eleven states, and the program "is intended to avoid conflicts between church and state because the money is collected and distributed by nonprofit organizations." But there is little state oversight, and the money is clearly going to schools which practice blatant discrimination, at least in Georgia. What's more, a state representative in Georgia intends to push for the state funding for the scholarships to rise to $100 million this year.

A Democrat state representative puts the problem succinctly: "“We are circumventing our own public policy with public money."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Deluded, or just religious?

Here's an article about a Detroit man who stole his ninety-three-year-old father's corpse and stowed it in a freezer in the hopes of a "miracle." A police officer said, "He is very religious, and he was hoping his father would be resurrected. He was hoping for a miracle."

The average reader would no doubt agree that this poor man is deluded. But really, how different is his hopeful belief from the average Christian's? I used to recite the Apostle's Creed in church every week: "On the third day he (Jesus) rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting."

When you think about it, it doesn't seem like much of a logical stretch from believing in Jesus' resurrection, and the eventual physical resurrection of every Christian who ever lived on the planet, to believing God can resurrect your father. After all, if resurrection from the dead is possible-- and millions upon millions of people believe it is-- then why is it delusional to hope for one particular resurrection?