Archive for the ‘Superstition in the Modern World’ category

Did Doomsday Predictions Give Rise to Christianity?

July 21, 2012

Richard Carrier’s speech from Rapture Day in Witchita .

Don’t Forget: End of the World This Sunday!

May 25, 2012

Don’t  let the Memorial Day weekend make you forget, the world is coming to and end (again) this Sunday (5/27/2012).

Here we go again, folks. On May 27, 2012 the world is fated to end in flames, but it’s not the Mayan calendar that’s predicting it, nor has last year’s failed prophet Harold Camping redone his calculations. No, this time the prediction comes from the divinely-inspired revelations of Ronald Weinland, prophet and leader of the Church of God-PKG(Preparing for the Kingdom of God).

Weinland, who is predicting that “the United States will collapse” and that there will be a nuclear war before May 27th, claims he “is the pastor of God’s Church on earth, has also been appointed by the God of Abraham to be His end-time prophet and one of the two end-time witnesses (and spokesman of both), preceding the return of Jesus Christ on May 27, 2012.”

So, add it to your calendar. There may be no need to make any more potato salad than you can eat before then.

Vatican Creates Rules for Virgin Mary Sightings

May 24, 2012

According to Religions News Service, the Vatican has all it can take with all the “bogus” Virgin Mary sightings, and is creating a set of rules and guild-lines to authenticate future visions.

The Vatican has published rules to evaluate the authenticity of the dozens of apparitions of the Virgin Mary reported each year.

The rules also require an evaluation of the “personal qualities” of the alleged seer, including his or her “psychological equilibrium,” “rectitude of moral life” and “docility towards Ecclesiastical Authority.” The contents of the “revelation” must be “immune” from theological error, and the apparition must bear “abundant… spiritual fruit,” such as conversions.

The authenticity of the vision should be rejected if, among other factors, the alleged seer shows “psychological disorder” or “evidence of a search for profit.”

Ah, come on. If you’re going to rule out people with psychological disorders and those seeking profit, who’s going to be left? That’ll wipe out  pretty much all of them.

The Miracle of the Leaky Pipe

April 14, 2012

In March, a Jesus statue in front of the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni in Mumbai started dripping water. The church, unable to imagine a source of water other than god, quickly hailed the wet statue as a miracle. Until, that is, famed Indian Skeptic Sanal Edamaruku showed up to investigate and quickly discovered the water source to be … a water pipe. He is now being threatened with Article 295 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code (blasphemy).

Story on Rational International 

Story on Boing Boing 

Another End of the World

January 8, 2012

Well, Poe’s Law is proving itself right. It is getting harder and harder to tell if these End of Days prophets are serious, or just bad parodies.

Ronald Weinland, who considers himself a prophet of God, continues to warn that Jesus Christ is returning on May 27, 2012.

For those who do not believe him and mock his message, Weinland claims that they will die from cancer.

Gee, you would think that eternal damnation would be enough. Why the cancer death? Laying it on a little think, perhaps? Why doesn’t he just say they’ll be run over by a stray 4th of July parade float? Or bitten by an angry pony?

“The truth is ridiculed, ignored, slandered and mocked,” he warns.

Yeah, you know what else is ridiculed and mocked? Stupidity.

His doomsday prophecy is based on all the old standards: Daniel, Revelations, the little apocalypse in Mark. Same old stuff that the 5th Monarchists thought was predicting a recent end of the world in the 17th century, and it’ll be the same stuff that Christians a hundred years from now use. If only the guys that wrote those works knew how seriously people two thousand years later would take their stuff.

Fungus of Christ Be With You

December 14, 2011

It’s a miracle! A consecrated host/cracker fell into some water, and it there was, like, some red. You know, like blood. Praise be his name!

A consecrated host that fell to the floor at a South St. Paul church and turned a blood red color is not a miracle, according to Twin Cities archdiocese officials, who said Wednesday the discoloration was instead caused by a fungus

Well, that was a let down. It was just damn nature.

A theology professor once told me that no Catholic has ever thought that the host actually turns into the meat bag body of Jesus Christ. Well, that’s the difference between theology and the beliefs of the masses, I suppose. Catholicism does indeed teach that the host literally turns to the body of Christ. However, they do not teach that it physically turns into the body of Christ. It’s purely a spiritual transformation (the essence vs the accident, blah blah blah. Go read your Aristotle). So, no blood, no red stains, no tough meaty texture is to be expected. I have heard many lay Catholics claim that it does, in fact, turn into flesh. But, it’s not like a life time of going church is going to teach anybody anything.

Cons through out the ages have been perpetrated (see the Eucharist Miracle of Lanciano entry). Some may have been pious frauds, some may have been done to have a a bit of a laugh. All amuse me.

Dan Barker Sums Up Christianity

December 13, 2011

It all makes so much sense now.