Sunday, April 12, 2009

Beware of super-powered cats


Jewish date: 18 Nisan 5769.

Today’s holidays: Ḥol hamMo‘edh Pesaḥ, day 3 of the ‘Omer, Easter Sunday.

Today’s quasi-holidays: Look Up At The Sky Day, Yuri’s Night.

Worthy causes of the day: “Help Prevent Medical Errors”, “Tell the Interior Secretary, "Put Wolves Back on the Endangered Species List!"”, and “Support the White House Conference on Children and Youth”.

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. “Bishop: Religion hampers gay civil rights"”: That homosexuals would not be happy with Abrahamic religious laws which forbid the practice of homosexuality is no surprise. However, Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican Church in America, uses some rather bad reasoning to complain about it, as it is written:

    "Let's be honest, most of the discrimination ... has come at the hands of religious people, and the greatest single hindrance to the achievement of full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people can be laid at the doorstep of the three Abrahamic faiths: Christianity, Judaism and Islam," Robinson said in Atlanta at Emory University's Center for the Study of Law and Religion.

    Justifying anti-homosexuality laws with presumed moral authority from the Bible's Book of Leviticus -- which says a man "shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination" punishable by death -- ignores that life has changed since 400 B.C., Robinson said.

    People today routinely do many other things, from eating shellfish to wearing two kinds of cloth, that Leviticus also labeled abominations, said Robinson.

    Humanity's beliefs about God and life have evolved in many ways, but Leviticus's few verses about homosexuality "are quoted as if nothing has changed in our understanding since biblical times," Robinson said.
    1) Are there any reliable statistics about who discriminate against homosexuals or hinder their fully achieving civil rights? Seriously. 2) Jewish and Christian tradition is that Leviticus is from YHWH. So... is Robinson claiming that YHWH did not mean what He said? 3) Robinson seems to be unaware that Judaism holds all of Leviticus to be still binding and encourages its practice. Though he seems unaware that one of the prohibitions he refers to is wearing a mixture of wool and linen, not a general prohibition on “wearing two kinds of cloth”. He is correct that Christians do seem to be inconsistent by picking and choosing which laws they consider to be binding. But why does he not take his antinomianism (opposition to the Law, including seeing its violation as somehow good) to the logical extreme of claiming that everything is acceptable, including murder, incest, and rape? 4) What is this business about our understanding changing? What makes him think that homosexual behavior is acceptable to God? He seems aware that what he wants has no basis in Christianity, but if so, what makes him think that he is right?
  2. “Police Demolish Anglican Church in Ugbuwangue Community”: Yet another case of government interfering with freedom of religion.
  3. “Say amen: Ark. church holds Easter service in bar”: Interesting marketing technique.
Today’s news and commentary:
Today’s weird thing is “Caturday Trekness”. Enjoy, share the weirdness, and happy Pesaḥ, Easter, or whatever holiday you celebrate today.

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