Religulous

religulous1Bill Maher’s Religulous recently came out on DVD, I rushed to get it as soon as it came out just in case one of our freedom loving local fundies decided to buy them all out so no one would be exposed to it’s deceptions (please read into this a ton of sarcasm). I wanted to see it in theaters but I couldn’t find a theater with the balls to show it within 100 miles and for some reason the Torrent sites were empty until just recently.

The film was good, I think my favorite part was when Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) stated (in response to a question about the talking snake in Eden) “You don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in the US Senate”.  The look on Maher’s face, and the corresponding look on Pryor’s face was priceless…silence was the only necessary response. Probably the most honest thing any politician outside of Ron Paul has said in a very long time.

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Talk of the town

mban605lI think I have dealt with this before on this blog, but things seem to have escalated around here at my small Georgia town. My wife and I seem to increasingly be the subject of random conversation with people that we don’t even really know.

To be completely honest, one of the things that prompted me to start RagingRev and move my blog from Livejournal was that the rumor mill was running wild around these parts. My former Pastor approached me at the gas station one day telling me that he heard I was in to “Satanism” and things like that, at the time I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the title of Atheist but once I settled into those shoes I felt the need to dispell some of the ludicrous things that were being falsely derived from my Livejournal at the time. Quite simply put, someone (I don’t know whom) read a few of my entries wherein I express an interest in the Occult, and decided that I must be a Satanist…how silly!

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If American’s Knew-The Israeli/Palestine conflict

It should be said that I’m not one of those folks that thinks that Hamas – the military of Palestine,  is some angelic group trying to save the poor citizens of Gaza, but I don’t for one second think that they would, without provocation, fire rockets during a truce.  That just seems inane to me, and it is. So don’t take this post as any sort of Hamas apologetic, rather it should be seen as a defense  for the people, the Palestinian citizens as well as those Israeli’s that recognize that the current approach is a bad deal. What you believe about the Palestine and Israel conflict is, most likely, a series of lies perpetuated by a Zionist leaning US Government.

The history behind this conflict is a long one and if you don’t know you should really take the time to educate yourself on it, not that I am some expert because there are so many details on this thing I don’t think I ever could be but having at least a working knowledge of the Arab/Israeli conflict is an important part of being an earth citizen due to the impact it has had on humanity for such a long time.

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Morality and God

Are morality and god interdependent?

In other words, can morals exist outside of the spectrum of theism?

Or, in other other words, is god the originator and defining substance behind morality?

Recently myself and the Rev. Russ Troester had another long chat, this time we touched on the subject of belief in god essentially being the basis for morality (forgive me if I am putting words in your mouth Russ, this is the understanding I have). Since we often talk during the end of my work day I had to cut the conversation off kind of abruptly (always when it starts getting good eh?) in order to drive home.

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Demons, Angels, and other phenomena-Are they real?

Cetta responded to my recent Bloggers Block post with this request:

I’d really like to see you try to rationalize the supposed power of the occult, without anything to balance it out (like say, Christianity, or even just God in general).

I think this is a really good request–its something I have been mulling around with for quite some time-you see, I experienced a lot of things that most Christians had barely even heard of-very real things that are difficult to reconcile without having some semblance of faith. So here I will attempt to do that.

What Cetta knows, that a lot of my readership will not know, is that I was an exorcist just a few years ago. Without giving away far too much detail, I performed the ritual of exorcism with many clients under a lot of different situations and ailments. Sometimes the event itself was rather dramatic. IE: convulsions, vomiting, hearing the voices of the “evil spirits” speaking etc—almost anything you would see in The Exorcist or The Exorcism of Emily Rose movies. All this, along with my own very radical experiences with the “holy spirit (or ghost as you pantycostals say)” like speaking in tongues, being “slain in the spirit”, visions, dreams, prophesying, and etc. Cetta wants to know; How does one, once he loses his faith, reconcile those events?

Warning: May be triggering past this point-if you have experienced emotional trauma or are undergoing any sort of exorcism or therapy for ritual abuse or other reasons.

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Bond servant with Christ–Why?

Consistently throughout the New Testament of the Bible the writers of various epistles greet the churches with an announcement of being “Bond Servants with Christ.”(See James 1:1 II Peter 1:1, etc) Rather recently a facebook friend asked me; in reply to my status message stating, Matt Oxley is glad to live for himself…rather than trying to please g-d.” if I saw pleasing god as a set of do’s and dont’s…to which i replied with a reference to pleasing the god of the Bible as simply being a Bondservant with Christ.

His answer kind of…bothers me…..he said, “Bondservant of God..exactly what it is. What’s your point?

Well…I’m gonna answer that here…rather than expound on my status conversation…to explain just what my point is…

Let us start off by defining Bond-servant:

1. a person who serves in bondage; slave.
2. a person bound to service without wages.

Now neither of those definitions are incredibly desirous for anyone…I just don’t see anyone in reality going up to some stranger and saying “make me your slave.” Since I once was a christian, and I once did very strongly desire to be a Bond-servant..I have to look at things a little differently than a normal christian can or even differently than a typical atheist can…

To avoid the redundant “there is no proof of god or christ” argument… im just gonna simply say, no i don’t want to be a slave so something that doesn’t exist…but my real answer to this predicament is much deeper…and much more disturbing. Although the fact that we don’t know that a god exists and therefore should assume he does not…or in the very least assume he doesn’t give a crap if we believe in him is extremely valid…

My answer is this:

What alternatives does God give us? What happens to me if i choose NOT to believe or be his servant eternally?

You see, being Gods servant is not an option here…it’s something you MUST do…and therefore no emotionalized rebadging or redefining of the term bond-servant will do…If you reject the chains that God and Christ offer you…to be his servant…you go to hell…eternally…that is the problem…thats why i refuse to be his slave…i wont worship a god like that…i wouldn’t dare…i wasted too much time on that unjust, jealous, maniacle god than he deserved…that god is DEAD to me…yet this is the SAME god that called himself Love…even the very definition of Love…it is essentially gods love that renders him no more than a liar and a theif…and he wants to scare you into being his slave…

Don’t fall for it—if you have…reject it!

To Macon Telegraph, a letter to the editor regarding Christmas

Wrote this in Dec last year, forgot to post it here… it WAS published

Re: Whats the Holiday by Vernon Smith of Bonair 12/24/07

I feel that Mr. Smith may be somewhat deluded as to what our countries tradition is regarding the winter holiday we now call “Christmas”. So here I will attempt to set the record straight-and touch a few other important points.

In regards to this country, December,25 was not recognized as a federal holiday until 1870. The fact of the matter is that the pilgrims did not celebrate Christmas either, as it was seen to them as decadent—the founding fathers even held congress on Christmas day of 1789. So I think it is quite clear that Christmas is more of an exception to the rule than a clear cut tradition.

In regards to the terminology of Xmas. Short Greek lesson: X=Chi, P=Ro. XP=ChiRo or Christ in greek(simplified of course). If you don’t know, Constantine’s army had an XP on their shields that represented Christ just as well as saying “Emmanuel lord of lords etc blah blah”. The true fact of the matter is, people aren’t offended by Christ (mass) but are offended at jumbling words together in magazines or catalogs…and by having to type that long name. That’s right, no one is trying to steal the Jesus out of Christmas, no GRANDE CONSPIRACY to subvert our culture to the wicked ways of athiesm or satanism. The church can rest now, go back to sleep.

Now, was Xmas ever really a Christian thing anyway? Heck no….Yule was a Scandinavian holiday that began on the Solstice of Dec. 21st, that was celebrated by much drinking and carrying on to thank their Gods for providing meat through the winter, and enough beer to last till spring. Saturnalia was celebrated over 1000 years in Rome before anyone ever heard of Christ, in the week before the solstice and lasted up to a month long. It was a celebration of Saturn, the God of agriculture–and it was often celebrated with much more drunkenness and revelry than even Yule. Saturnalia was a pagan celebration that turned the social structure on its head, poor people were buying the equivalent to HDTV’s that they couldn’t afford way before now. In fact, Christmas, is becoming more like its ROOTS than Christians will ever admit.

So get off your anti-holiday tossmass high-horse. Realize that holiday is appropriate because there are a lot of holidays celebrated in this 6 week spread we call the “Holiday season” and not everyone celebrates or believes in the birth of your Christ.

If you doubt any of the facts I have presented today, please feel free to Google any of the terms I have used. There are plenty of strong resources available to those willing to learn-however few you may be.

Happy Saturnalia,

Matt Oxley