Stories have always had the magical power to give our lives meaning and perspective. Stories about how the world was created, why there is evil in the world, why we should be good even when no one is watching, and what happens after death. Around 2,000 years ago, some guys cobbled together a book of recycled pagan stories and pinned it to a Jewish cosmology of Good and Evil, resulting in the Christian Bible.
Good people go to Heaven, Bad people go to Hell.
To keep the story fresh and relevant, it needed to be constantly updated. Hell needed to consist of whatever disgusted and frightened people the most. Heaven needed to promise the needs and wants that weren’t fulfilled in this lifetime.
For much of the history of Western Civilization, Hell has been a place of torment and punishment.
Heaven needs Hell; Christians need Hell because if the alternative to heaven was simple unexistence, many people might choose it rather than grovel and live unfulfilled lives of restrained desire
The Neo-Christian fable that Hell is “merely the anguish of eternal separation from God” is a lie; because even that is too much. Giving a reward to urge people towards better things is GOOD. As … Read More »
I wish Christian books came with warning labels.
I had a strange experience recently. I downloaded a book and hated it so much that I had to get out of bed and write a scathing review, starting with the title “How did this trash get on my Kindle.”
Since I rarely write reviews, and even then feel bad giving less than 3 stars, what did this book do to piss me off?
I’ve discovered that bad reviews are all about reader expectation.
The book was Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn.
—-start of review—-
I was fooled by the beautiful cover and looking forward to digging into the promise of an exciting story. Instead, I got Lee Strobel style religious zeal preached and internet meme Christian propaganda and conspiracy theory told through a thin layer of fiction.
It’s a little like the Celestine Prophecy – only the C.P. is more grounded in science and reality (which is really, really saying something).
The uncomfortable pit in my stomach grew through the first several sections, which pour out inexcusable mistake after mistake. I knew I was dealing with someone whose religious perceptions clouds their grasp on fact.
If you’re a Bible-Beater, then you’re going to love this book. It will confirms all of … Read More »
Something I’m excited to do for my next book is a make a 3D action figure/collectible.
My book basically ties contemporary superheroes to a tradition of revolutionaries that started with Prometheus and was given definitive shape in the heroic Satan of Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Nearly every modern value – from free speech, human rights, civil liberties, racial and gender equality – my book argues, stemmed almost directly from the influence of Milton’s Satan on political rebels and thought leaders.
Our society is Satanic, and that’s a good thing
Giving away a book is a little boring, so I want to make a collectible toy as a giveaway for book promotion. Definitely cooler and more newsworthy.
The trick is making it.
I’ve already commissioned a talented sculpture artist to make a prototype.
Now all I need is someone to make a few hundred of them.
What I’m looking for
The cover I’ll probably go with it this one:
Because it’s simple, shocking and funny. It’s more likely to make people stop and go WTF?! – which is always a good thing.
But I’m not sure if people would get as excited about just a cheap funny toy.
I love the sculpture below of Scott Eaton. It’s moving and powerful. There’s passion and emotion … Read More »
So it’s official. In a couple of months I will pack up, sell or throw away most of my possessions and hit the circuit of cheap international cities that offer good living for internet entrepreneurs. It’s scary. I’m not quite at a comfortable, waterfall of money level but I make enough online to support myself; but getting rid of our Taipei apartment really pushes me to get my game together.
And the absolute freedom of not having a place to live will allow me to do some of the things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: like join Skepticon 5, one of the largest free skeptic conventions in the USA, which will be held in Springfield, MO on November 9th–11th.
This fall I plan to finish writing my next book (and PhD Dissertation) “Satan is my Hero.” But I know now that even if it’s brilliant, I can’t market it the way I want to without real, personal relationships and friends who offer support.
And that’s why I’m so excited about Skepticon 5. I’m excited because, as someone who is critical of organized religion, I often feel like I’m the sourpuss, dark cloud skeptic asshole. The people who respond to … Read More »
It’s no surprise to see the theme of political revolution in the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Revolution is a no-brainer plot template that is successfully integrated in about half of all big Hollywood Hits: a corrupt totalitarian government (or the threat of one) taken down by a time of rebel freedom-fighters.
What I found a little surprising, however, was that the revolution featured in The Dark Knight Rises is the same one that has been going on around the world since September 17, 2011, in response to the crippled financial system.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is a populist movement against the “1%” – the poor against the rich. An economic revolution, Marx would say, is overdue.
Is New York City the Real Gotham?
According to the Occupy Wall Street Website,
The 1% mayor of NYC is so sure he can buy anything and anyone, as easily as he bought the office of mayor, including an unprecedented third term.
In his attempt to transform our city into his own 1% fantasy land, he has created a police state: where minority citizens are daily terrorized with stop and frisk; where only the most healthy, wealthy and white are welcome, and the “unwanted” are driven … Read More »
I swear not 3 months goes by before I see the movie trailer for a new cinematographic take on the “Demonic Possession” genre.
The newest in this long, long chain of movies (all of which are eaten up by the faithful as pop culture affirmations of religious experiences, based on TRUE STORIES of demonic possession and exorcism), is “The Possession: Darkness Lives Inside.” The tagline: “Fear the Demon that Doesn’t Fear God.”
Proof that Demonic Possession is Real?
“The Possession”, like all exorcism and demonic possession movies, claims to be based on a true story.
But try finding the real evidence to back it up – and you’ll usually come away empty handed (I’ve seen links that go to Catholic Websites that then link to Satanist Groups (who don’t actually believe in a real Satan – they only use Satan as a symbol for humanist values).
However in this case, I found a background story here which is pretty cool. Lots of bad luck.
But at the same time, I can go on Ebay and buy a magic ring full of all kinds of evil spirits or demons ready to gratify my desires.
Look, here’s a 3000 year old ring with magical fire coming out of it! … Read More »
A 24-year-old neuroscience doctoral candidate in a Batman costume walks into a theater… it sounds like the beginning of a joke, but we know this story has a tragic conclusion.
And now begins the fight for James Holmes’ Soul. Here is the expected Christian response, from thread on Huffington Post:
Expect to see more of this, as we continue to move toward a Godless secular culture with no respect or recognition of authority or value for human life. A society that glorifies violence, deviant sexual behavior, & civil disobedience. Right & wrong is relative and has given way to the more popular political correctness. We surely aren’t so naive as to think that the harvest we reap will not be from the seed that we sow?
Conclusion: a society of infidels that turn their backs on God and Religion will produce more violence. It doesn’t even matter if Holmes was an Atheist; his actions were caused by Atheism.
But we need to look deeper. Holmes was raised in a “church going family.” While that doesn’t make him a Christian, it does make the Biblical world-view a condition of his upbringing.
This article even claims Holmes walked into a church a few weeks before the shooting, then walked … Read More »