Texans Fearful of Free Thought and Ideas

Banning books makes kids

As mindless as their parents

Unblemished Bible

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

Oscar Wilde

Banning books is great for the book industry. When I found out that such-and-such book has been banned, the first thing I do is go online and buy a copy! But, seriously! Haven’t we gotten over this book-banning shit? My thoughts are that the people who say they study the most horrendous book of all time, the Bible, are the ones attempting to ban books from children. I’m not always right, but I just have a feeling. In today’s “information age” doesn’t it make more sense to ban cell phones in school?

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Recipes For Salvation

Once saved, always saved?

Or once saved and may lose it?

Google is baffled!

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Acts 2:21

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. John 10:9

The Bible

If you Google “how is one saved” or “steps to salvation” you’ll get a multitude of ways of what one must do to be saved. Jesus gives many examples throughout the Gospels of how a person can be saved. A good example is a rich man asking Jesus what must he do to be saved. Jesus answered, “Sell all your possessions and follow me!” That’s gotta be hard for a rich guy. Jesus gives many, many examples of people being blessed and saved by their actions. What I don’t understand is do we have to do everything that Jesus commands or just some of them? Will we know it when we’re saved? How can my church claim that they’ve saved some souls? How is that possible? Can they save mine? As you can see, my 40+ years as a Christian led me into a state of confusion. I have no idea if I’ve ever been saved, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve lost it by now.

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Painted Eggs and Chocolate Bunnies

Decorating eggs

Eating chocolate bunnies

Jesus has risen!

“Easter is so disappointing. You suffer all the way through lent, and what do you get for it? A ham.”

Garrison Keillor

I can picture Jesus out with a bunch of children hunting for decorated eggs while sucking on a chocolate bunny and having the best of times. Maybe that’s how the tradition of eggs and bunnies came about! It would be cool to have a clergyman dressed up as Jesus and going out on Easter Egg hunts with the kids. Or am I being too sarcastic? I don’t mean to be. Of course, Easter has to do with Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The stories from the four gospel writers are different but they weren’t there to witness any of it. And there are no descriptions of the resurrection as it happened, only after it was completed. There are many debates on the resurrection which continues to make this religion confusing.

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Beauty and the Beast

Born into beauty

Taught to believe in their God

We become ugly

“Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.”

Psalm 51:5 NRSV

All babies are born beautiful in the eyes of their parents. We then teach our children about a God who teaches us that all babies are born into sin passed on by the original parents. We then become ugly and unacceptable in God’s eyes. His only son must give his life to make us acceptable to him. But, even then, only a few will be accepted.

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Salvation’s Long and Narrow Way

Shades of wavy grass

Trampled by a chosen few

Forms a narrow path

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

This has always been one of those passages that made me think about how one is saved. A lot of Christians tell me that “all you have to do is believe.” But, what if Jesus is right when he told his followers that you must do all of these things (commands) and then he throws out a verse that says, “… only a few will find it.” He dies on the cross to pay for our sins! Then he’ll come back to judge the sinless, the living, and the dead. And only a “few” of the sinless will travel down the path to eternal life. Of course, not all Christians are on board with this teaching. Or they have an entirely different interpretation of this Bible verse. The Bible is one mysterious and confusing book.

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Pentacostal Cages

Caged since my childhood

Tied up in religious shame

I set myself free

“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill,

of things unknown, but longed for still,

and his tune is heard on the distant hill,

for the caged bird sings of freedom.”

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I just recently read about a young lady who was born into a religious and abusive family. She finally realized that she no longer had to be in this relationship and is now free from physical and psychological abuse. I’m sure there is a very long story that goes along with that. But, I know how hard it must have been to get away from something that you’ve been indoctrinated into since birth. This person did not have a choice in her religion. Most of us don’t. I am so sorry that you went through this and I know that there is a wonderful world out there without religion.

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Weird Bible Verse #5: 200 Tips On How To…

David killed and brought

Two hundred bloody foreskins

For King Saul’s daughter

…therefore David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred men of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full count to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him Michal his daughter as a wife.

1 Samuel 18:27 NKJV

Here’s a really weird story and the really weird thing is that some Bible versions, such as the NRSV, say 100 foreskins. But, that’s just part of sifting your way through a confusing Bible. This happened after David killed Goliath so killing 200 Philistines was a piece of cake. Quick joke for you! What did King Saul do with all those foreskins? He had them made into a wallet so that when he rubbed it vigorously, it turned into a suitcase! Get it? Kind of a dual-function thing. I know, not that funny! Ha!

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Christianity’s Confused and Curious Cats

Bible confusion

You might as well speak in tongues

My cat got my tongue

“It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

Mark Twain

Ever wonder why there are so many Christian Apologists? Or so many Christian Denominations? Or so many versions of the Christian Bible? Or so many debates on Christian Doctrine amongst the Christians? Me either!

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In Wine There Is Truth

Holy communion

Are the body and blood real?

Wash my feet with wine

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Luke 22:19-20 NRSV

Holy Communion is also called the Last Supper or the Eucharist in Christianity. The one thing that I can say for sure is that Christianity is not united in its doctrines. Take Holy Communion for one. The Lutherans and Catholics believe in transubstantiation, that the bread and wine mysteriously change into the real body and blood of Jesus. But, doesn’t Genesis 9:4 say that “you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood?” Anyway, other churches believe in consubstantiation, or that it’s “spiritual” and not literal. Others drink grape juice and eat wafer crackers, almost like a snack. And let’s not get into the proper disposal of the leftovers! Only in the Gospel of John is it mentioned that Jesus washed feet. My point again – no unity in the Christian way of doing things. Let’s try baptism next time!

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Weird Bible Verse #4

Bullied by children

Elisha summoned two bears

Forty-two boys mauled

He [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead!” When he turned around and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.

2 Kings 2:23-24 NRSV

Can anyone tell me what the moral of this story (2 Kings 2:23-24) might be? The Bible commentaries on this passage say stuff like “in the original language, this means blah, blah.” I’m not interested in the original language because I only know what’s in front of me in English. As I read this passage in English in the version of the Bible that I am reading, or that my church subscribes to, it doesn’t mean anything but what it says!

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