The Best of the Blasphemy

September 14, 2007 at 12:07 pm 25 comments

It is a slow and sleepy Friday afternoon, so why not watch some videos instead of doing something productive at work? I have never been a fan of the Rational Response Squad’s Blasphemy Challenge. What can I say, even as an apostate Christian who believes there are no consequences to blaspheming a non-existant being, I just find the whole thing tacky and disrespectful. But hoping to redeem the idea somewhat, I just spent several days, yes days!, searching for the best blasphemy that YouTube has to offer.

So put your Bible down, go grab some popcorn, make your browser window nice and tiny so boss does not see you, and let’s blaspheme together, shall we?

The prize for creativity has to go to this guy. Just the right mix of humor, sarcasm, wit and offensiveness. So help me, I love him:

“If blasphemy was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for me.” Ha! I love it!

Here is one from an ex-Pentacostal/Baptist preacher. Not the most entertaining, but this is one I can personally relate to quite a bit. I was never a preacher, but I have a hunch that he and I share very similar stories of faith, and if I made a video it would probably most resemble this one. “I am not afraid”.

How about a jump from one implausible belief to another? Here is something completely different from the UFO worshipping, freeloving, Raelian clonemasters. They almost make me wish there was a Raelian temple here in my town, so I could belong to a UFO religion too:

You just know there was a massive ‘Love-In’ at this Raelean commune after the camera stopped rolling. You just *know* it.

Do you have any entertaining videos that you would like to share? Or do you think I just need to shut up and get back to work? Nah, I want some entertaining viewing for the weekend. If you have a good video, place your link in the comment section below.

-HeIsSailing

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25 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pj11  |  September 14, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    HIS – I think you were correct with “tacky and disrespectful.” You guys at de-conversion don’t need to wallow in this mud.

    By the way … was that theological language I noted in your post (“hoping to REDEEM the idea”) … :-)

  • 2. HeIsSailing  |  September 14, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    pj11:

    By the way … was that theological language I noted in your post (”hoping to REDEEM the idea”) …

    Yeah, I guess I better *justify* my occassional use of theological language. It must be a vestigial by-product encrusted onto my vocabulary like barnicles on a hull.
    ;) <– note giant winky face.

  • 3. pj11  |  September 14, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Nice use of “vestigial.”

    I don’t believe you’ll ever lose your penchant for theological language … it’s a part of you (plus, it’s beautiful language).

  • 4. karen  |  September 14, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Not a video, but if you haven’t heard it already, you’d enjoy last week’s This American Life radio program. Hemant posted it, but if you didn’t catch it, the program was called The Devil
    In Me. You can download it free here:

    http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=340

    The whole show was great, but the particularly relevant part was the final segment:

    The Devil Wears Birkenstocks.
    Some people battle inner demons, but contributor Dave Dickerson went one step further. Dave tells the story of the time he took on an actual demon in his college classroom.

    It’s basically a de-conversion story told by a young, naive, extremely earnest conservative Christian. Very funny, touching and thought-provoking. To listen just to this segment, start at the 46:20 mark.

    Overall, it’s a wonderful show. I never miss it.

  • 5. superhappyjen  |  September 14, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I first heard about the Raeleans from a newspaper article I read in university. The tone of the piece clearly showed that the author thought this religion was silly. At the time this made me angry. All my life it had been more or less implied that it was not okay to make fun of someone’s religious beliefs, or even, for that matter, to question those beliefs at all. Sure, I knew their beliefs were ridiculous (Mary was impregnated by extra-terrestrials) but they certainly weren’t any more ridiculous as Christian beliefs (Mary was a virgin but gave birth anyway).

  • 6. evanescent  |  September 14, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    Pat Condell is so funny.

  • 7. HeIsSailing  |  September 14, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    pj11:

    I don’t believe you’ll ever lose your penchant for theological language … it’s a part of you (plus, it’s beautiful language).

    You know, you are right about that, and that is one reason why I continue to read the Bible. I really dig the language, the imagery, the history, and the thoughts that went into the writings. I sometimes feel that I am being transported to that time and place when this stuff was first laid down pen to paper (or the equivalent). My wife caught me reading about the Jubilee Year in Leviticus last night. I really find it great reading now.

    In the same way, I have recently gotten a taste for other Scriptures. My favorite that I have read in the New Testament apocrypha is easily the Acts of John, where John gives a first hand account of Jesus crucifixion, and Jesus transforms into some kind of Buddha like character. It also includes a fascinating ritual chant and dance in the garden of Gathsemane between Jesus and his disciples. Really poetic stuff in there.

    I found a used copy Charlsworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha volume 1 (for 8 bucks!!!) that is just full of jewish and christian apocalypses. I have read about half of it so far, and my favorites are some of the Sibylline Oracles. Truly mindblowing stuff.

    I have an old Christian buddy of mine who insists that I stop reading the Bible now that I have left the faith. “Why would you want to read the Bible? It is utterly stupid to read it if you are not a Christian!” On the contrary. The Bible does not belong to just Christians. Since I left the faith, I find the Bible more interesting, more edifying, more fascinating, and yes more challenging then I ever did as a Christian.

    So yeah, I guess you are right, since I have lived it for so long already. It will always be a part of me.

  • 8. HeIsSailing  |  September 14, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Karen sez:

    Overall, it’s a wonderful show. I never miss it.

    Thanks Karen. I will listen to it later this weekend when I have some officework to catch up on. My wife just discovered This American Life on the radio last year, and she really digs it. I like what I have heard, but am not quite “hooked”.

  • 9. pj11  |  September 15, 2007 at 3:30 am

    HIS – Unlike your friend, I would encourage you to continue reading the Bible … honestly, I can’t imagine why your buddy would insist that you stop! Whether you believe in its divine origin or not, the Bible is a remarkable collection of literature which should be read by anyone and everyone (IMHO).

    I think there’s great value in reading a wide variety of ancient literature. Unlike many pastors, I have no fear in encouraging the folks in my church to pick up and read the Nag Hammadi collection and other Gnostic works as well. When laid side by side with the biblical Gospels, I think they’re interesting works, but they pale in so many ways by comparison. By the way, I haven’t read the Acts of John … but now you’ve sparked my interest!

    I teach a class on Intertestamental History at a local college where I live and we cover the OT apocryphal works and much of the Pseudepigrapha … it is fascinating stuff. Did you know that many of the early church apologists quoted from the Sibylline Oracles? They were widely memorized and transmitted in the early years of the church. All of which makes the process of canon formation a very interesting and critical study … why some works and not others? Is it simply an issue of faith in God’s sovereignty?

    On a personal note … the more I read of your journey on this site, the more impressed I am with your perspective. I know you’ve lamented the number of friends who’ve said to you after your de-conversion: “You were never saved.” On the contrary (being a good Calvinist), I think I would say, “HIS, you’re still saved!” :-)

    Blessings to you!

  • 10. karen  |  September 16, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Here’s a great video I just discovered. Apparently it’s been around a while but I’d never seen it before.

    Plain talk on the Abrahamic faiths, with a good dose of humour (note British spelling) sprinkled in:

    http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2007/09/freethinker_sunday_sermonette_64.php

  • 11. HeIsSailing  |  September 16, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    Thanks for making my weekend pass a little faster, Karen. I don’t know who made that video, but as sarcastic and potentially offensive as it was, it seems sad that such simple common sense needs to be presented that way.

    Keep em coming folks!

  • 12. off topic  |  September 17, 2007 at 5:22 am

    I see that you’re interested in learning about Islam through the Qur’an, I must say however Robert Spencer is a polemic who deliberately distorts everything about Islam in order to make it seem hateful and violent. its no wonder he interprets things wrongly in order to make it seem that way. keep in mind he has made a career out of bashing Muslims in any way he can and his a strong base of right ring christian evangelicals and ‘born agains’ who subscribe to his ideology. If you’re interested in learning about another religion, its important to learn it from a non-bias and neutral perspective. for start i would recommend

    No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by reza aslan and an accurate commentary of the Quran by Muhammad Asad.

    Pe@ce

  • 13. off topic  |  September 17, 2007 at 5:30 am

    http://www.rezaaslan.com/

  • 14. HeIsSailing  |  September 17, 2007 at 6:53 am

    off topic,
    I am learning about Islam by reading the Quran. I personally cannot think of a better way to learn about the religion. Spencer provides 3 separate translations, and most of the commentary is from Islamic theologian Ibn Kathir, from http://www.tasfir.com, an Islamic website. I agree that Spencer’s intent is not for academic purposes, but to show how hostile Islam is toward Christianity. Sometimes he needs to be checked in his pro-Christian subjectivity, but so far in my reading, he is calling a spade a spade.

    Personally, if one is to learn about Islam, I can think of no better way then by reading the Quran, can you? That is what I am doing. Every stinking word of it.

    I agree that most of the commentors on that site are evangelicals, and I ignore their comments about Christianity being the ‘true religion’. I am in no way a Christian, and you don’t need to be to realize how violent the Quran is towards Christianity.

    This week, we read Sura 5, vs 1-60. Hear are a few key passages:

    Standard threats of hellfire:
    Allah has promised to those who believe and do good deeds (that) they shall have forgiveness and a mighty reward. Allah has promised to those who believe and do good deeds (that) they shall have forgiveness and a mighty reward. (vs 9-10)

    one of many threats against Christians:
    And with those who say: “Lo! we are Christians,” We made a covenant, but they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefor We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork. (vcs 14)

    Probably the most forgiving verse I have read thus far in the Quran:
    For this reason did We prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our messengers came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land. (vs 32)

    Followed immediately by:
    The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement (vs 33)

    and on and on and on and on it goes. The Quran seems to be stuck in the justice, morality and worldview of the Book of Judges, which is itself a vile and hateful book. And I am getting that opinion from reading the Islamic Scriptures, not Spencer’s commentary.

    Good enough for ya?

  • 15. off topic  |  September 17, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    “To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath God promised forgiveness and a great reward.Those who reject faith and deny our signs will be companions of Hell-fire.”

    Is that really different from other world religions specifically the Abrahamic faiths, that those who do good deeds will be rewarded while to who don’t or disbelieve in God will be punished.

    “From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will God show them what it is they have done”

    Did you know historically that verse was referring to the Byzantine empire, where wars were constantly going on between many different Christian sects on who had the correct version of Christianity.

  • 16. off topic  |  September 17, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    “The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter”

    “Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”

    would this verse seem have seemed violent when it was revealed,of course it would seem so today,but keep in mind during this period of immense conflict many pagan tribes were trying to kill the Muslims in Arabia, and thus this verse refers to war fought in self defense. Since it was the 7th century all warfare were usually fought with swords so execution, amputation, etc. would make sense. “strive to make mischief in the land” referred to those who have commit excess murder, thievery, rape, etc. Do you think that if this verse wasn’t there, do you think execution for example would not have occurred during warfare, probably not This verse does not stress violence but rather justice.

    all religions are a matter of interpretation and hence interpretations by theologians (there are thousands of them) are opinions, who in turn are influenced by many factors. You can read many things hostile to Islam by written christian theologians during the middle ages. Islam is the only religion that accepts Judaism and Christianity as valid and divine religions, and that the torah and the gospels are Qur’an are all revealed by God. Yes there are diffencenes in tenets such as the role of Jesus etc.

    Since you’re an athiest I don’t know if any of this makes sense to you, but I just wanted to give you a different perspective, and I don’t want to start a debate. All world religions are re-interpreted over the times and hence they constantly evolve, that why religions have survived over thousands of years and still do so today. I’t not really necessary to repost my comment on hotair.

    Thank you
    peace

  • 17. bipolar2  |  September 17, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    ** Get out of the big-3 monotheistic rut **

    Xian doctrine is irrational, otherworldly, and impractical. It promises much, and delivers nothing. Four hundred years of opposition have not yet rid the West of its dead god.

    Chinese culture was far luckier. From that very rational, this worldly, and practical book, The Analects, attributed to Confucius (500 BCE):

    6:20 Fan Ch’ih asked what constituted wisdom. The Master said, “To give one’s self earnestly to the duties due to men, and, while respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them, may be called wisdom.”

    15:23 Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?” The Master said, “Is not RECIPROCITY such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” [trans. S.R. McIntyre 2003]

    No god is needed to place restrictions on human behavior. All ethics is irreducibly social. Harming others can not be generalized; otherwise, no social fabric could be sustained.

    bipolar2
    copyright asserted 2007

  • 18. girlwithnoname  |  September 18, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Ok…my friend had this on his blog and I don’t know if it goes with the other stuff being shared here, but it is funny (esp. at the end)
    Check it out:

    Enjoy,

  • 19. HeIsSailing  |  September 18, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    girlwithnoname | September 18, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Excellent! I gotta tell you though, that I DO love that movie, hammy and old fasioned as much of it is. I mean, you just cannot beat the parting of the Red Sea scene. It is absolutely iconic!

    Thanks for the video!

  • 20. HeIsSailing  |  September 18, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    bipolar, eye of horus, whatever else you go by:

    I love your comments! They surely make my day, even though I have no idea what you are talking about half the time. But you really have a great way with words, and I enjoy reading your contributions. Thanks for stoping by!

  • 21. HeIsSailing  |  September 18, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    off topic,
    Thanks for writing. No, I am in absolutely no position to debate the Quran or Islamic teaching, nor do I really want to. I just want an overall understanding of the Quran from a western layman’s perspective. I figure the best way to do that is to just sit down and read the thing. The commentaries that are offered to me are secondary, and just like in Christianity, I am sure they come in all sorts of theological perspectives. I figure the more commentaries the better, and I am not partial to any one ideology. I do the same with Christian belief, and I read stuff from all sorts of perspectives and angles. If you have an online commentary you can recommend, I would be happy to check it out along with my Quran reading.

    By the way, I am not an atheist.

  • 22. LaShawn  |  September 22, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    I found this one really amusing.

  • [...] HeIsSailing : The Best of the Blasphemy [...]

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

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Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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