Monday, May 21, 2007

The Devil made me do it

Hey, if God can tell the president to go to war, is it that far-fetched that Satan ordered this guy to microwave his baby?
Devil to blame for burns, mom says

A woman blames the devil and not her husband for the severe burning of their infant daughter, who police say was put in a microwave, a Houston television station reported.

Eva Marie Mauldin said Satan compelled her 19-year-old husband, Joshua Royce Mauldin of Warren, Ark., to microwave their 2-month-old daughter May 10 in a Galveston motel because the devil disapproved of Joshua's efforts to become a preacher.

"My husband is a wonderful father," Eva Mauldin, 20, told KHOU-TV. "Satan was working through his weaknesses."

She has set up a MySpace page, "Joshua Mauldin is not a Monster," to defend her husband.

A Galveston County grand jury indicted Joshua Mauldin last week on child injury charges.

The infant, Ana Marie, remains hospitalized with burns.

Texas Child Protective Services is trying to sever Eva and Joshua Mauldin's parental rights. A custody hearing is scheduled this week in state district court in Galveston.
Horrifying story, idiotic excuse.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Let's just get the dang Apocalypse over with, already!

Will Bunch at Attytood has posted about the #2-selling book at
It's called: "The Final Move Beyond Iraq: The Final Solution While the World Sleeps," by Michael D. Evans. The "O" in "MOVE" has a very un-Christian set of crosshairs in the middle.
I blinked several times, then went and got some more coffee, then came back to my computer and the words "Final Solution" were still there. I have not read this book, nor do I know much about its author, but words are important, and those words especially carry some weight. These ideas, to the extent that they are widely shared, certainly merit discussion and a big ol' rhetorical smackdown.

Reviews of the book seem to be mostly negative:
I'm currently serving in the United States Army deployed in Iraq with the 25ID. Think for yourself. The fact that this book is on the best-seller list makes me want to vomit. The author is intent on seeing democracy controlled by religion, knowing that through these beliefs he can control the people. Think for yourself. Trust God and not the author who mangles and manipulates His words for the sake of power.
Then again, there was also this one:
Everyone should read this book but especially Americans. All indications are that the public has let 9-11 fade into the past. This book will wake you up. It's well documented, a very real fast read (unless, like me, you tend to highlight pertinent passages to pass on to those who have fallen asleep). I recommend this book to anyone who values the United States of America and our "remaining" freedoms.
I actually agree with everything this guy says, except that (a) he is actually making a case for the war in Afghanistan by invoking 9/11 and (b) he seems immune to the irony of mentioning our "'remaining' freedoms," ignoring who is principally responsible for the freddoms not "remaining."

What troubles me is the eagerness for further war in the Middle East as fulfillment of Biblical prophecy possibly bringing about a tribulation period or something. This did not start with Newt Gingrich's oddly eager invocation of "World War III" to describe the brief Israel-Hezbollah war of 2006 (whose outcome was hardly certain, anyway). This has been going on for some time, but the Iraq War seems to have resulted in increased rhetoric. What I don't understand is the idea (and this may seem somewhat straw-man, but the people making these arguments are notoriously slippery) that humans, by forcing the events described in the Bible to happen in the right sequence, can hasten the Second Coming, apocalypse, etc. Does God (and yes, I know I don't technically believe in Him, but go with me for a second) have a checklist of events that he is waiting on before sending Jesus back? Isn't it just a tad arrogant for people like Newt or John Hagee to think they can hasten the end times by encouraging war in the Middle East? My biggest beef with organized religion is the idea that any one man (or woman) can speak definitively for God, let alone be the catalyst for Armageddon. If the Bible is any guide (and most if not all Christians say it is), God is gonna do what God is gonna do, so everybody chill. Instead of the constant obsessing over the afterlife, take some time to appreciate all the great stuff He's created in this one.

In the name of Jesus - UPDATED

I know this person most likely does not represent the mainstream of Christian thought in America today, but it is important to show what is being said in Jesus' name:

This is posted here (NSFW, really), and I don't know what newspaper it is from or if it is even real. On the off chance that someone actually wrote this (I hope it's fake), it is chilling. Aside from some factually-questionable assertions, the idea that the First Amendment somehow mandates religious belief of some sort is, well, baffling. That's really all I think needs to be said here.

Like I said, I hope this thing is fake.

UPDATE - Thanks to Google and a little more free time, I confirmed that the clipping is for real, originally published in the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska Clarion (it has made its way around as a scanned clipping because the newspaper's website requires registration. I took one for the team and did so.) Comments can be found here, here, and here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thoughts on a man I didn't like from a man I don't like

From Eat the Press:
We will say this: No matter how frustrating, sexist and occasionally incoherent [Christopher Hitchens] can be, when he is on he's on. This appearance was a tour de force. A sample:

COOPER: Christopher, I'm not sure if you believe in heaven, but, if you do, do you think Jerry Falwell is in it?

HITCHENS: No. And I think it's a pity there isn't a hell for him to go to.

COOPER: What is it about him that brings up such vitriol?

HITCHENS: The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing, that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you will just get yourself called reverend. Who would, even at your network, have invited on such a little toad to tell us that the attacks of September the 11th were the result of our sinfulness and were God's punishment if they hadn't got some kind of clerical qualification?

People like that should be out in the street, shouting and hollering with a cardboard sign and selling pencils from a cup. The whole consideration of this -- of this horrible little person is offensive to very, very many of us who have some regard for truth and for morality, and who think that ethics do not require that lies be told to children by evil old men, that we're -- we're not told that people who believe like Falwell will be snatched up into heaven, where I'm glad to see he skipped the rapture, just found on the floor of his office, while the rest of us go to hell.

How dare they talk to children like this? How dare they raise money from credulous people on their huckster-like Elmer Gantry radio stations, and fly around in private jets, as he did, giggling and sniggering all the time at what he was getting away with?

Do you get an idea now of what I mean to say?

COOPER: Yes, no, I think — I think you're making yourself very clear.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Why We Fight

This makes me want to fucking puke. Click the link and watch the video. Don't try to say this is an isolated incident. Don't tell me about cultural norms. A 17 year-old girl was stoned to death for having the wrong boyfriend. Since I'm sure all the perpetrators believe in hell, I hope it's extra hot for them.