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The Eternal Son of God

Growing up and leaving home is, truly, a great part of human life; it's when one steps 'alone' into reality to survive on one's own merit. Oh parents are always there to catch you if you fall but the joy of making your own decisions comes from the triumphs achieved by your independent thoughts.

It occurred to me, if one were to buy into the Bible stories, Jesus would have experienced that human 'trial', the leaving his childhood home rite-of-passage and freedom to act without Virgin Mummy or Ole Joe looking over his shoulder.
However, when you transpose that paradigm onto the dynamics of Jesus' 'true' family, no similar rite-of-passage could ever occur; Jesus can never leave home and do his own thing because the ever-present super-daddy god is always watching! Ye Grand Olde beardy one knows every last thing in baby boy's head forever!
'God' is never going to die, retire, slip into dementia or a coma, or in any other way ‘step down’, so Jesus is never going to get the chance to be an independent adult; take the reigns etc. Always the bridesmaid, eh? A long term, if you’ll permit the pun, laddie in waiting; he's a permanent heir-only, for eternity!
And his relationship to super-daddy is that of an adopted child meeting with his long-lost ‘biological’ father who has been circumstantially, or irresponsibly, absent for the entirety of his formative years; only in Jesus’ case it’s way more complicated than that, he didn’t meet super-daddio until after he was already thirty-something and, oh yes, let’s not forget, was already dead! And, when that 'new' parent in your life announces ‘he’ has total control over all your future aspirations, that’s going to be a little more weird and stressful than the experience of ordinary human adopted child, isn’t it?

And then there’s his relationship with both his earth parents, Mary and Joseph; a bit strained?
They were both Jewish, so, if they were good Jewish citizens, abiding by rules of the religion with which they were enthralled, they would have been disallowed from recognising 'their' boy as the son of his 'true' father.
They would have died Jewish, wouldn't they? If so, and it’s likely considering they could not have been Christian (The unHoly Roman Empire didn't pen their “son’s” story until AD61), neither of them could have been ‘Christened’ (accepted Jesus as saviour).
Now, if we are to accept the hype, about ‘biological’ daddy’s rules, neither can stroll twixt those gates-oh-so-pearly and so, must be in hell?
Would Jesus get visiting rights?
And wouldn’t their eternal tormenting by God’s enforcer under bio-pop’s laws put even more tension into the relationship between him and his ‘real’ dad?

But it gets worse…
If, as Bible scholars seem to agree, Asherah was in fact the wife of God (Article) then doesn’t that irrevocably reduce Jesus’ Old mum’s status in the heavenly Who’s Who?
Doesn’t it relegate Mary’s position in the family tree to merely God's 'bit on the side'? And simultaneously demote Jesus; born out of wedlock to a mere concubine, or at best surrogate, to a doubly illegitimate heir? Prying his greedy digits further from the crown?
It doesn’t really matter either way, as far as the rules of accession are concerned, because, no matter what, as I stated earlier, he's never gonna get a sniff of the grand beardy's throne, but still, he can’t be best chuffed at the family dynamic, can he?

Further, if we are being honest, neither he nor any of us for that matter, actually knows ‘God’ is his father because his 'seed' was sent, if I remember correctly, by DHL which if I’m not mistaken and y’know, I’m not, carries the earthly social status of Jesus into the realm of actual Bastard.
I suppose it's only fair, given what we found out about ‘Bio-pops’ in “Let's think about God.”; like father, like son, eh?

As a side note, while we’re here, can I just say, about Sky Daddy…
Not even showing up to ‘do the deed’ with the prospective mother of your child...
How despotic, conceited or busy do you have to be to think that's acceptable behaviour?

Anyway, the former ‘ickle baby Jesus’, now big, powerful S.O.D (son of deity), has had a couple of thousand years of this crucifying situation so far. You reckon the poor sod’s self harming yet?
Might there be a deal with the Devil on the horizon?

So, by ‘our’ standards how dysfunctional is this divine dynasty? I reckon they'd get a slot on Jerry Springer in a flash; Jerry may even have devoted a whole show to the tangled web of immorality God wove to teach humans how ‘absolute morality’ works!
Although, I suppose it’s only to be expected, God is heralded as bigger and better, at everything, than any human who ever lived so it stands to ‘reason’ that he should also be the patriarch of the ultimate dysfunctional family.

So here we are at the end with, as usual, no conclusive answers and we’re left with one further question.
They say that Jesus mission was to come to earth to discover the actuality of being human, which is confusing because God is also supposed to be both himself and Jesus and also omniscient, so he should have already known what it was like, but we’ll ignore that complication.
In Jesus’ case, the before, the during and the after of his life were all entirely different to every other human’s experience; no human who ever lived, ever had a life like his is supposed to have panned out! I mean quite apart from all the trials, ‘miracles’, persecution and y’know actually chatting with Satan, you never hear of him, and to be clear not all the following examples are taken from my own life, you never hear of him having Piles, a dodgy knee from an old sporting injury, toothache, a case of the clap or a slapped face from overly eager advances to one he admired. Given what is written about him, is it not a wild stretch of intellectual honesty for anyone to claim Jesus experienced a human life?
And so, by any measure, wasn’t his ‘mission to humankind’ the most spectacularly epic fail in the history of the universe?

Although after saying all that, have a look around, nearly every family on earth is somewhat dysfunctional; maybe I just accidentally stumbled on the proof of god that everyone’s been hunting for?

Nah, probably not, eh?

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Mary Mary Quite Contrary

About that girl Mary, y’know the one, Jewish Joe’s bird, the one with the miraculous hymen, who gestated that legendary Jesus chap. Yeah that’s her, the unHoly Roman Empire’s token chick, renowned, by their account at least, for her “sacred purity”, the Virgin Mary.
Sacred purity? I ask ya?
I mean, check this...
This is ‘exactly’ how it went down in their Big Irrelevant Book of Lies and Exaggerations.
A Messenger shows up...
*Woosh*/*Flash* or *Woosh-flash* (Historians are undecided.)
“Holy crap! Where the hell did you spring from? I nearly shit myself!”
“Yeah sorry about that, I’m an Angel.” He flaps his wings apologeticaly. “I keep telling him, we should be fitted with bells or something; just showing up like that, it’s disconcerting, eh?”
“And rude!”
“Yes, quite. Sorry.”
“So? What can I do for you?”
“Well, nothing for me, it’s for him upstairs!” He points sheepishly at the ceiling.
“Mr Cohen? Well why didn’t you pop up in front of him then? You lost?”
“No, think higher.”
“O-h-h-h, right, gotcha. So what does he want? I’m busy!”
“I realise it’s an imposition Ma’am but I have this test tube for you. It contains the mighty, if you'll excuse the pun; don't get much chance for ‘em, what with him knowing all the punchlines! It contains the Mighty Almighty’s Seed, which you are commanded to nurture.”
“Test tube? With seeds from God? Cool, the crops are crap in this dessert; Joseph’s going to be well chuffed!”
“No dear, not that type of seed! Nurture a baby; you are to be impregnated with God’s ickle baby.”
“Jesus-Christ, your joking? Shit, shit, right, gotcha!” She takes the test tube carefully and holds it up, inspecting it in the dim light. “So, I’ve just got to whack this thing up my...”
“No, no; that'd ruin the trick! You're still a virgin, right?"
Mary nods and mutters. “Technically!”
The messenger looks sternly at Mary but continues. “Err, well, oh I suppose he knows that! He knows everything y’know; he’s a real know-it-all! Anyway, just empty the magic fun juice into your, er, bloomers, and hey presto Big Beardy's the daddy! Okay?” Mary nods again. “And, if you wouldn't mind hurrying; only I must return with empty tube. He's a stickler for everything dove-tailing; proper little tinpot dictator, truth be told!”
“Oh, alright then. You turn your back.” He turns and Mary keeps chatting as she does the seed deed. “We've never had a son of a god in the family before! Aunt Lizzie, well, I call Aunt, she’ll be jealous as hel... er, heck! And Magdalene, that’s her next door, is going to be many shades of green! She thinks she's 'all that' for marrying that sheep farmer, the big hairy goat herder, that's the goats that are hairy, not the herder... although, now I come to think of it, he's fairly fluffy too! Anyway, this way tops his meagre flock... There you go all done; didn't taste too bad."
The messenger spins around, aghast.
Mary, grinning at her little jape, giggles out an "Only joking! Ha; your face!" as she continues to refit her dress.
The messenger takes the test tube with one hand whilst giving a ‘why-I-oughta’ fist shake with the other and disappears in poof of fairy dust.(again, this is subject to dispute)
So, where were the girl's standards? Even if we excuse her ‘willingness’ by offering that she was an uneducated, primitive Bronze Age dessert dweller and only fourteen, she still seems rather eager to do something that neither she, a novice shagger, or any other woman, ever, had done before. Even if you put it down to the first flush of teenage hormones racing though her sand-kissed loins, she must still, surely, be classed as ‘a bit of a goer’, or at least a ‘gold-digger’, to have accepted such an outlandishly random proposal! I mean, really, there was no stopping to question the authority of the messenger, no checking the passport, birth certificate, DNA, lineage (which I admit would be a great trick), or any other method of identifying the origin of the magic beans she was to imbibe!
And socially, no sense whatsoever? Not a thought of poor old Joe's, or her own, standing in the community. Is it not, at the very least, a bit thick or naive of her to omit to consider the consequences of a baby out of wedlock, especially with Joseph claiming no responsibility? Did it not even cross her mind that it may not go down well with the, shall we say, less liberal members of their tribal hierarchy? I mean, you know what people are like; they are going to talk and point etc.
And, come to that, how is it that she wasn’t, in the barbaric style of the time, instantaneously stoned to death for unholy, unsanctioned, out of wedlock nooky?
Also, I know she was supposed to be a teenage virgin, having little or no knowledge of what's supposed to ‘happen’, unaware of the ways of the world one might say, but even so...
“I know you were not expecting to be made pregnant tonight but, sorry miss,
the guy who's supposed to be impregnating you couldn't make it,
so I've brought his ejaculation.”

This seems normal, acceptable behaviour to her?

You'd need to have really low standards, or the IQ of a turnip, to fail to notice the inherent disrespect in that, wouldn't you say?
And finally, given these events, as they are supposed to have occurred, isn’t the fact that the church and its followers hail this harlot, or halfwit, as chaste, sacred and pure, really quite contrary?

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Scripture Scramble Religious Gameshow

Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the finest faith based entertainment show on TV...

Scr-r-r-iptur-r-r-re Scrambl-l-l-l-le.

Before the break, Ahmed Henry O'Toole won through to the final; gaining full marks in the three rounds, which this week were ‘Toadying to the tenet’, ‘The persecution piƱata’ and, ever popular with you my lovely, lovely viewers, ‘Prostration or Castration.’
Ahmed, now has the right to make his ‘dogma decision’ and choose a new faith or switch faiths with complete impunity and, proverbially speaking, nail his descendants to a death cult or religious faith for generations to come.
Any ideas Ahmed; know what you want? What will it be?”

“I quite fancy some general light prayer, Rick, you know. Or some meditation maybe; just as and when I feel like it. Or maybe some special powers like, er, ooh, bringing things back to life maybe or healing, that would be nice but really, Rick, like everyone else who comes on here, I have to be honest, I'm looking for a way to cheat death and live forever. I’m after the star prize, Rick.”

“Our famous after-life boat, eh? The Scripture Scramble No-Strings Death Escape Pod? Well, it might be your lucky day, Ahmed because, I know for a fact, we do have something like that in our prize line up. So, Ahmed Henry O'Toole?”

“Yes, Rick.”

“Are you ready for me to reveal what we've got in store for you tonight?”

“I am Rick.”

“Not too nervous? No? Good, ok, here we go then, let's give you some details so you can determine a doctrine!”
Rik looks at the audience, his cheeky smile revealing a twinkling tooth and adds “I wonder what he'll pick?...

Good luck Ahmed…

IN Box 1...

Genital mutilation for all your male children and a lifetime supply of little boxes with chin straps included & bald spot hiding caps, or for all adult males and...” he looks off set questioningly; shake's his head in response then continues, “...and a lifetime of wig wearing, apparently, for the ladies.”

IN Box 2...

Genital mutilation for all male children, peer pressure to wear rain pants and long beards for adult males, and a lifetime of social pressure to wear black sacks with the option of genital mutilation for all females.

IN Box 3...

A lifetime of guilt & self loathing, the soul destroying & demeaning act of rocking up to a fifty year old male virgin and telling him all about your filthiest thoughts, that’s with the super deluxe family enforced guilt edition, for the whole family, for all of their lives, with the optional extra of unexpected paedophilia thrown in; that's perpetrated against you and yours, not by you and yours, if that makes a difference? I'm personally not sure which would have been better there!

IN Box 4...

A general disdain for all things sexy, a love for cardigans and coffee mornings, and banal Smalltalk followed by judgmental observations of other members of family friends and neighbours which again is the deluxe family edition.

IN Box 5...

An urge to shake, rattle & roll your biblical booty to the most pious proponents of Faith Rock and pretend to be filled with the spirit of the Lord Jesus; commonly referred to, as you are probably aware, as speaking in tongues but you might also know it as looklikeaprickitus.

IN Box 6...

Seemingly bizarre respect for cattle and a multiple lifetimes fearing of reincarnation as a dung beetle or child killing parasitic worm.

IN Box 7...

No enforced weird sexual hang ups, the same ability as anyone else to live a good or bad life and no mutilation of any kind for you or any of your family, unless you so choose.

Now, Ahmed, before you make your final decision there's a final twist...”
Audience lets out an “Oo-o-oh.”
“With all but one of the boxes you'll also be expected to pay a weekly membership fee.”
Audience lets out an “B-oo-o-oh.”
“However, in one of the boxes, and only one, as you hoped, there is an eternity of special prizes for you...”
Audience cheers.

“but for you ALONE, Ahmed.
None of your family will benefit.
Their fate is in their hands.

“Oh, it's so hard Rick!”

“Must hurry you.”

“I am intrigued by box 4, I do like coffee mornings and my granny is always saying how lovely I'd look in a cardigan but the banal smalltalk’s a serious downer.”

The studio audience start shouting out box numbers.

“Come on Ahmed, come on, the clock's ticking!”

“And only one has the big super-duper prize!”

“Ok, time's up, I must have an answer...”

Instant hush in the studio.

“Err, er, no; it IS tempting Rick but I’m going play safe and go with box 7. At least that way all my family will be as whichever god made them.”

“Really, I can't tempt you with eternity?”

“At such a cost Rick, I don't think so.”

“Fair enough, Ahmed, if that’s your choice; then it’s no winners or losers this week, ladies and gents.
This week we saw Ahmed win through to leave here the same way as he arrived. And a very happy man he seems. Tune in midweek for our monthly special “Circumciser, circumcision” when we'll settle another brother and sister dispute settled, where you get to judge, and the winner gets to chop the sexy bits off one unlucky boy or girl, all in the name of their Holy maker-r-r-r-r...
And don't forget to join us next week for another ...

Scrrripturrrre Scrambllllle!”

Until then people,
Rick loves Ya and Rick leaves Ya
with just a few words...
Box 7...
You know it makes Zense, right?

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International Day Against Stoning

11 July 2011 is the International Day against Stoning.
Please join One Law for All in demanding an end to the barbaric practice of death by stoning and demanding the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and others facing stoning sentences.
As you know Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is still languishing in prison. The authorities recently mentioned her case saying that no final decision had yet been reached on her stoning sentence and that Sakineh must remain in prison. Falsely accused of murdering her husband, her only crime is that she is a woman in Iran. Her lawyer, Sajjad Houtan Kian, also remains in prison for having had the courage to defend her and other women with stoning sentences in Tabriz prison; he has been sentenced to four years imprisonment, been put under a lot of pressure and lost 20 kilos (44 pounds) as a result.
The campaign to Save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been an important one. It has spoken out in defence of humanity, and against the barbaric punishment of stoning everywhere. It has mobilised immense pressure against and condemnation of the Islamic regime of Iran from millions across the globe. These are accomplishments we must all be proud of.
On 11 July 2011, the International Day against Stoning, let’s once again step up the pressure to demand Sakineh’s immediate release and an end to stoning.
Join us by either standing in a city square with a photo or poster of Sakineh, tweeting, or by organising an act of solidarity or a flash mob to raise awareness and attention.
On 11 July, in 100 cities worldwide, let us once again raise the banner of humanity against one of the barbarisms of our time. We look forward to your action and support

You can find more information here.

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Now I wasn't there, so I don't know; only Rebecca Watson and the unnamed man in the elevator know for sure.
And I know that I'm male but I'm also a fully fledged human sceptic. My scepticism means I'm not going to wade in on one side or the other in the contretemps which has arisen.

And it's my scepticism which urges me to consider, did this conversation actually happen, Rebecca? Or was it perhaps a canny, media savvy way to raise awareness of the feminist-atheist point? It if was, fair does, it’s a brilliant, if unscrupulous, manipulation. Like I say, I don't know because I was not there. Is there a recording of the conversation from the elevator video camera? Where's the evidence? So we can see for ourselves what the mood was. Even if someone saw you both enter the elevator, so far, and I have no reason to doubt you, your demeanour in your video seemed honest, but so far we only have your perception of what happened.

If you'd said you'd had a conversation with god in the elevator 'everyone' would have thought you mad, you said you had a conversation with a man but there is as little evidence of his words as there would be for a god. Currently the validity of your perception of the conversation stands alongside a religious person’s assertion that a god exists or an alien abductee's story.
I'm not saying your perception is wrong but merely, how am I to know it is right?

If how you have relayed the events are the facts of the matter then I don't condone Richard Dawkins' mockery of you discomfort. Nobody in the 21st century should be promoting the Victorian viewpoint of "Don't complain about the bread & jam you are having for dinner because there are people starving" or, more succinctly, "Stop complaining, it could be worse" however truthful, is not helpful. I do however understand his desire to place your 'non-event' (nothing happened) in context against a global backdrop of endemic female persecution. I wonder, however, if Richard's comment may have been more fuelled by the usurping of the overall news of the conference by this debate prompted by your video log.

I wonder also, what would your answer have been to a woman, had she offered continuation of conversation over coffee in her room? If you can't honestly say 'it would have been exactly the same', can it be honestly stated that you reacted to the situation in a non sexist manner? If the man believed he was your equal, and you his, then where does that place your subsequent video response?
Hey, if it was 4am and you were tired, then that's one acceptable answer to male or female but if you were just refusing what, going only by the words you've furnished us with, without their all important inflections and accompanying body language, seems a reasonable, if inconveniently timed, imprudent request from an equal human because of your own sexist position, then that's another.
His 'reasonable'(ish) request was followed by your reasonable refusal; that should have been the end of the matter. What would have been his response had you suggested meeting to discuss further at breakfast?

I am concerned that there's some poor man who had a genuine desire for further communication cringing in a corner somewhere, feeling like one who is accused of rape, and mortified that his approach 'creeped you out'. Men can be clumsy in conversation, I know, I've been so, and I'd be mortified if that was thought of me.

The origin of your discomfort is key here, if it was the man's demeanour which prompted your creepedness then that is valid but if it was your previous experience, then that is an invalid a reason to besmirch a genuine attempt at contact.

I'd like to mention blasphemy here.
Blasphemy is a crime felt only by the offended, if the man was genuinely only asking to further discuss then you were perceiving a crime which only could occur in your perception of events, not in actuality, and damning him for it.

Now, like I said, I don't know coz I wasn't there, but if I'd said "don't take this the wrong way" and then "you took it the wrong way", however sexist this may sound ( and I'm not btw, ask anyone) doesn't that re-enforce, even engender the viewpoint, "typical woman always over thinking everything"?

Did you feel uncomfortable because of your past experiences/expectations of men or because there was actually the suggestion of more than just coffee and chat? Was the origin of your discomfort, the specific man (would you have had the same reaction to a different man), in his demeanour or in your assessment of the situation, it was 4am as you said, there had been drinking as you said; are you sure what you inferred was implied? Does "do you want a coffee" now automatically mean “I’d like sex with you”? because if it does, I missed a memo (and quite a lot of nooky). As I said before, I'm not saying you are wrong but merely, how am I to know you are right?

Was the man perhaps leaving early and wanted to take his last opportunity pick your brains out of respect for your opinion?

It strikes me that this is some poor timing, poor judgment (of the situation and of your likely discomfort) on the man’s behalf and a little overtired, oversensitivity followed by your own bad judgement at mentioning being hit on. Is it sexism to hit on someone now?

There are way too many questions here for me to make a conclusion as to the rights and wrongs of the situation. So instead something in general.
You (females) claim you are equal and I do not disagree; you and I, male or female, have the same capacity for learning, understanding or whathaveyou, but can you truly feel free of the chains you once bore as the subjugated portion of humanity while you carry them with you?
I have a wife and daughter, both of whom are more equal than many men I've met, but also both would no doubt feel apprehension in the situation you outlined. My fear is that while you (women) carry the concerns of a hundred thousand years of experience you will not be able to fully consider yourselves equal. You (females) are a brave bunch; you stood up against the big-bad-male society for equality and votes, and are still fighting your corner, I know, I stand with you in the hunt for equality for all, but while you are flinching at shadows are you truly seeing yourselves as equal?
While you assume 'all' men rapist you do the vast majority of good men a great disservice for the steps we have taken personally to adjust to the rationality of equality but you also do the future of equality a disservice.

Of course if the conversation didn't happen in the way you perceived or you just made it up for ratings then forget everything I just said; after all I'm only a sceptical man.

Finally, if the man in the elevator reads this, or you know that man, please get him to contact me with his side of the story. I'll keep his identity protected, I just want to know his view, was there a conversation and did it go as Rebecca Watson suggests because when it comes down to it, in any conversation there's always more than one perception.

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