Jan. 25th, 2009

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Galactus by Mark EngblomI'm generally ... neutral-to-supportive of skeptics. Not because I agree with them. This should be a surprise to no one by now but in case you forgot, I do worship Jesus (who they call The Christ), if quietly. Anyway it's because I believe in their right to exist, their right to hold their opinions and their right to be free of harassment. I may have a little bit of a skeptical attitude of my own as to what actually counts as harassment and discrimination*, but I do support skeptics more often than not.

I've noticed some writers and commentators from the skeptical world using a turn of phrase that greatly amuses me. It boils down to "how can you expect me to believe that when you send messages in your brain to a mythological space giant he can tell you what to do?" That is a good question. Now, you may have gotten some of the exact details of prayer a tad bit off but we can debate that at a later time. I just think the words "space giant" or "mythological space giant" are hilarious. Now, I do get it, they're being somewhat hyperbolic to make a point: from the skeptic's pov, you might as easily refer to God as an old man on a huge throne, or a flying spaghetti monster, or any one of a number of impossible things. But you gotta admit, "space giant" is just damn funny. Well done, skeptics, well done.

It matters only a smidge for this conversation that I (I hesitate to say "we" but I can speak for several others) WE do not actually believe in a hypothetical "space giant" nor any one of a number of fantastical abstractions. Rather I believe in a somewhat more specific revelation of God, in the person of Jesus, a Nazarene born in Bethlehem around the time of Augustus (and yes, there's actually an in-bible dispute about whether it was when Quirinius was governor of Syria or when Herod was still alive) and cetera and cetera and cetera. There are some further trinitarian considerations, which I can go into at length.

The point is, we do not worship a space giant who tells us what to do. But for clarification's sake, I've included a picture and a link to an actual space giant, shown above, at right.

* for those of you scoring at home: subjecting them to proselytizing at the Air Force Academy? harassment. construing yourself as the first Christian mayor of... let's say Wasilla, in order to paint your political opponent falsely and as negatively as possible? discriminatory. asking what church you go to at a job interview? tasteless and illegal. Praying over the inauguration? not so much. Sorry. Sack up, unbelievers.

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May 2009

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