More Pointless Parables

Jesus ParablesI’ve posted before about some modern-day Christian parables. Here are two more.

Ah, for the good old days when biblical parables made a compelling point! These are pretty weak. If you come across more, let me know.

“Money Troubles”

I heard this one on the radio.

A man goes into his pastor’s office. “I’ve got money problems,” he says. “I try to give what God commands of me, but I’m having a hard time making ends meet. At the end of the month, there are still bills to pay.”

The pastor says, “What if you did what God commands of you and then, at the end of the month, you bring any bills that aren’t covered to me and I’ll pay them. Would you do that?”

“You’d do that? You’d pay the extra bills?”

“That’s not the question,” said the pastor. “If I agreed to pay the extra bills, would you do that?”

“Sure!”

The pastor said, “Isn’t it odd that you’d trust a frail human like me when you wouldn’t trust God, the all-powerful creator of the universe to help you with your problems …” and blah, blah, blah about how fabulous God is and all the stuff that he’s done for us.

If you’re already drinking the Kool-Aid, this one might hit home, but it does nothing as an argument for Christianity. And the pastor is making a very testable claim—almost a science experiment. He’s all but quoting Jesus:

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! (Luke 12:27–8)

My advice: test this pastor’s claim. I wouldn’t hold my breath for verifiable results.

“Celestial Mechanics in the Bible”

I first heard the next story decades ago.

In the early days of the space program, NASA scientists were checking the position of the sun, moon, and planets to make sure that they could safely put up satellites. They checked thousands of years in the future and the past, but the computers ground to a halt. The problem was a missing day in elapsed time. They rechecked their data and the software, but the problem wouldn’t go away.

Puzzling over the problem, one scientist said, “You know, I remember a story from Sunday school. Something about God making the sun stand still so that Joshua could win a battle. Could that be it?”

The scientists were skeptical, but they found a Bible. With a little searching they found Joshua 10:12–13. “The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.” With a little calculation, they found that this accounted for 23 hours and 20 minutes. They were much closer but were still stuck. They had to resolve that last 40 minutes.

The other scientists looked expectantly at the one with the Sunday school story. “Well, I remember another story,” he said. All eyes were on him. “Something about the sun going backwards.”

There were a few chuckles, but they got out the Bible again and found 2 Kings 20:8–11, where King Hezekiah asked God for a sign, that the sun move backwards ten degrees. Ten degrees out of 360 degrees in a circle—that is, 1/36 of a day. In other words, exactly 40 minutes!

The scientists plugged in this information, and, sure enough, the calculations ran smoothly.

Ooh—let me guess the moral! Modern science needs to get its guidance from the Bible. (Did I get that right?)

Well, Mr. Smarty Pants Scientist—looks like the Goliath of Science has been defeated by the David of Christian Truth!

Despite its longevity and popularity—this story originated in a 1936 book by Harry Rimmer and was popularized by a 1974 book by Harold Hill—it’s bogus. NASA even had to issue a press release denying the popular story.

There are lots of red flags. Even if God had stopped the sun 3000 years ago, there is no way to deduce that from information available to astronomers today, so the entire premise is flawed. And let’s not even speculate at what “stopping the sun” (that is, stopping the rotation of the earth) would’ve done. Concluding 23 hours and 20 minutes from “about a full day” is wishful thinking, and the ten degrees is more properly translated as “ten steps”—an angle based on local instrumentation that we can’t reproduce.

I know what you’re thinking: why waste time on this ridiculous tale? It’s because there are people who believe it.

As usual, imagining that the Bible’s miracle stories really happened takes us to nowhere that can be scientifically justified.

Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you,
to correct for subjective error.
― Linus Pauling

Photo credit: Wikipedia

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 4/30/12.)

About Bob Seidensticker
  • RichardSRussell

    That one about the “missing day” just drives me nuts. Missing compared to what? What’s the reliable record that this one is supposedly deviating from?

    • MNb

      It assumes our calendar is absolute. That doesn’t only piss off astronomers, but also historians of Antiquity. Matching our calendar with this one for instance is nearly impossible – we are not talking about a gap of a few days, but of seven frigging years.

      http://www.livius.org/cg-cm/chronology/varro.html

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        I’ve wondered how far back in time accurate day labelings go.

        Today is Saturday, and yesterday was Friday, and so on, back in time, but how far back? It only takes one short period of anarchy to halt record keeping and lose track of which day is which. “Whew! I’m glad that plague/invasion/general disaster is over. Now–does anyone know what day it is today?”

        Does the Western 7-day week go back to the Jews? Did everyone in Mesopotamia agree on the days of the weeks, just like we call today “Saturday” while the French simply have a synonymous name for it, but it’s the same day? And isn’t it likely that during that period that record keeping made an error and we got off by a day occasionally?

        • Greg G.

          Christians and Jews have different ideas about which day is the sabbath. One of them “forgot the sabbath.”

        • wtfwjtd

          …and keeps forgetting it, on an ongoing basis. I wonder how many are going to burn in hell for somebody else’s goof of moving the Sabbath? God damned industrial revolution…them uppity heathens and their modern ways!

        • Greg G.

          Christians treat Sunday as the Sabbath because Jesus rose that day but that was the day sfter the Jewish Sabbath.

          It’s fine with me. My job pays extra for the Sunday shift because of it and I’m money-grubbing scum.

    • Greg G.

      How did the ancient Hebrews account for that day for keeping the sabbath?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        I never thought of that. Presumably they just had a really, really long Thursday (or whatever day it was) long ago, but I guess that week still had 7 days.

        That’s vaguely reminiscent of the puzzle that the remnants of Magellan’s crew had on their return to Spain. Their logs were off by one day. Yes, it was a 3-year voyage, but how could one day have been lost?

        Of course, this is simply a time zone thing–their days were usually a few minutes longer than 24 hours, and they never noticed. No one had ever experienced this before.

        • evodevo

          Ah, yes, the International Date Line hadn’t been invented !!!

      • Machintelligence

        One poor fellow let his calendar get off by a day and was stoned to death for his error.

        • Kodie

          Who among us has not forgotten on purpose to tear the next page of a Far Side page-a-day calendar?

  • MNb

    One of the most stupid modern parables is this one:

    http://www.getyourowndirt.com/

  • 90Lew90

    Once there was a nasty bloke who turned out nice. Or at least we thought he was nasty because we were brought up that way, but he turned out nice anyway because we met him and spent some time with him. Discuss.

    Edit. Eh? I guess I was passed wit by that time of night…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Intriguing starting point, but a good parable needs a moral.

  • Pofarmer

    Can somebody help me out here? Went to graduation mass for my 8th grader, what an interesting experience after not being since christmas, anyway, the priest. Or as my 13 yr old says, Mark, used the Damascus road story. He said that Paul probably studied with a rabbi Gimael(sp) and was sent out by the high priests to arrest and persecute Early Christians. So, is there any indication that this ever happened? Jewish writings, roman writings? Would the Romans have even allowed something like this in one of their providences? My understanding is that they really didn’t care who someone worshipped as long as they worshipped the Emporer too. I would just like to know if this story is reasonable or even possible.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I’m no expert, but Paul’s story is told in his own epistles and in Acts. In Acts 22, Gamaliel is said to have been Paul’s teacher. No, I don’t think there’s any evidence outside the New Testament.

      As for the legality of this, good question–how could the High Priest have had jurisdiction in Damascus?

      • MNb

        I don’t know how relevant this is, but Judaea was subordinate to Syria in the first half of the 1st Century.

      • https://www.facebook.com/michael.carteron Michael

        So far as I know, the High Priest at the time was Rome’s puppet (and loathed as such by many Jews). They had no jurisdiction in Syria, and there’s no way Paul could be sent out on a crusade like that-the Romans didn’t care about Christians at this point (who were then only a tiny faction) and probably frowned on the Jews killing each other for, in their mind, no good reason. That’s not to say no one could have gone out vigilante stile, but definitely not with the High Priest’s official blessing.

      • Greg G.

        That’s how I understand the profile of Paul. I think the best one could do is the writing from the person’s hand while allowing for a subjective personal bias.

        Acts seems to be based on the letters and inferences from the letters supplemented with fiction from other literature to make the story more dramatic while toning down apparent personality conflicts within the early Christian community. The additional information from Acts creates a caricature of the man.

      • evodevo

        Exactly. The Sanhedrin only had authority in Jerusalem, certainly not as far north as Damascus. Besides, at the time Damascus was ruled by the family of Aretas, who was not Jewish (and was, after ~34 AD a sworn enemy of the Herodian family). I always wondered why Paul had to “escape” the city by being let down the city wall in a basket, when the other “Xtians” of the time seemed to be living unmolested right in the town. (There is speculation that he was a collateral member of the Herodian family). The Romans were very careful not to tread TOO heavily on local religious practices, but they were not accustomed to having their civil authority questioned. The Sanhedrin was made up of men selected especially for their obeisance, not their zealotry. They were allowed latitude in the area of prosecuting religious offenses, but executing anyone by civil methods required the Roman authorities. Hence, Jesus was NOT executed for religious transgressions, but for claiming to stand against the authority of the emperor – at least as the Romans interpreted the rather convoluted messianic theology of the times, and stirring up the rabble. He was not the only one executed for such ideas, either.

    • MNb

      “as long as they worshipped the Emporer too”
      That doesn’t make sense, as Roman Emperors mostly were deified after they died. Emperor Augustus was never officially deified.
      The Romans were interested in three things:
      1. collecting taxes;
      2. acquiring mercenaries;
      3. keeping things quiet.

      • Pofarmer

        my understanding is that one of the Church Fathers, Polycarp?, was martyred for refusing to burn incense to the Emporer. One of the reasons Herod Gets a bad rap is because he built a temple to the Emperor on the coast. Maybe not?

    • wtfwjtd

      Robert Price says in “Shrinking Son of Man” that the Sanhedrin did not have the authority Paul claims, to go to surrounding jurisdictions and arrest people for alleged religious “crimes.” Paul himself says he was not taught the gospel of Jesus by any man–of course, he likely wouldn’t have learned about the gospel from him anyway. Someone posted a link here several months ago that a rabbi gave his take on Paul, and apparently didn’t think much of him as a Pharisee. Maybe Greg or someone can remember where to find that info.

      • Pofarmer

        I think that I actually posted that link. But the author is basically unknown.

    • Greg G.

      In Philippians 3:6, Paul says he was a persecutor of the church. In Galatians 1, He says he violently persecuted the church but in the next sentence, he says he was advanced in Judaism beyond others of his age, which comes across to me that he may have been very young and his persecution my have been teenage pranks. After “Jesus was revealed” to him, he says “I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.” So his own words allow that he might have been on his way to Damacus, but it doesn’t actually say that.

      In Galatians 5:14, Paul says ,”For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” He repeats the idea in Romans 13:8-10. This is essentially what Rabbi Hillel taught – “Don’t do what your neighbor hates, all the rest is commentary.” (BTW, James 2:8-10 refutes that idea.) Gamaliel was a grandson or great-grandson of Hillel so it is plausible Paul may have learned that from Gamaliel or maybe Luke recognized that as a being from the Gamaliel school of thought and inferred that Paul got it directly from Gamaliel.

      The Acts accounts of the Damascus Road incident are contradictory, they exaggerate what Paul actually said, and they reach absurdity in Acts 26:14 with Jesus quoting Dionysus.

      Luke uses Josephus for facts but also steals stories to apply to his own characters. There is little one should take seriously in Acts,

      • Pofarmer

        It feels wrong to just tell my kids “acts is bullshit” which I think it is. I like to have a basis for that stuff. It just drives me crazy when the religious treat the NT as history when it’s pretty clear it isn’t even close.

        • wtfwjtd

          Well, if it feels wrong, for reasons of family harmony or something, maybe it would be best to hedge a little for the time being. I’m guessing when the time comes for that kind of brute honesty you’ll know it.

        • smrnda

          What you could say is that a lot of the details of Acts are very, very hard to confirm, and then point out what few things are rather unlikely (Paul’s authority to persecute Christians, for example.)

          You might want to contrast media and archival technologies of the present with the past. If there was some guy going around locking people up for being part of some new religion today, we’d have many, many more records and evidence than would have existed back then. If I told you that there was a homicide in the town where I live, today, this is a fact you could figure out pretty quickly if I gave you the name of the town. 2000 years ago?

        • MNb

          That shouldn’t be too difficult, should it? Tell them that the Bible is a reflection of myths constructed 2000 years ago; that some parts may be historical, that others certainly are not, that it takes serious study to find out which and that even then a lot of controversy remains. Also tell them that this is rather typical for the time and refer to the myths told about Alexander the Great (the Gordian knot being the most famous one).

        • Greg G.

          You shouldn’t have to tell them that Acts is bullshit. Point them to The Reliance of Luke-Acts on the Writings of Flavius Josephus by Paul Tobin.

          Paul mentions that he had been shipwrecked three times in 2 Corinthians 11:25. Have them compare Josephus’ Vita, chapter 3 with the shipwreck of Acts 24-28, while noting a dozen similarities listed below.

          Life of Josephus 3
          3. But when I was in the twenty-sixth year of my age, it happened that I took a voyage to Rome, and this on the occasion which I shall now describe. At the time when Felix was procurator of Judea there were certain priests of my acquaintance, and very excellent persons they were, whom on a small and trifling occasion he had put into bonds, and sent to Rome to plead their cause before Caesar. These I was desirous to procure deliverance for, and that especially because I was informed that they were not unmindful of piety towards God, even under their afflictions, but supported themselves with figs and nuts. Accordingly I came to Rome, though it were through a great number of hazards by sea; for as our ship was drowned in the Adriatic Sea, we that were in it, being about six hundred in number, swam for our lives all the night; when, upon the first appearance of the day, and upon our sight of a ship of Cyrene, I and some others, eighty in all, by God’s providence, prevented the rest, and were taken up into the other ship. And when I had thus escaped, and was come to Dieearchia, which the Italians call Puteoli, I became acquainted with Aliturius, an actor of plays, and much beloved by Nero, but a Jew by birth; and through his interest became known to Poppea, Caesar’s wife, and took care, as soon as possible, to entreat her to procure that the priests might be set at liberty. And when, besides this favor, I had obtained many presents from Poppea, I returned home again.

          Procurator of Judea was Felix (Acts 24:2)
          Jewish religious leaders (Paul in Acts vs. priests in the Josephus account)
          Felix imprisons Jewish religious leaders (Acts 24:27)
          Prisoners are sent to Rome (Acts 25:10-12)
          The Jewish religious leaders are unjustly accused (Acts 24-26)
          Both sail to Rome (Acts 27:1)
          The trip is to undo the injustice done (Acts 25:11)
          The ship sinks (Acts 27:41-44)
          In the Adriatic Sea (Acts 27:27)
          Josephus and Paul become leaders (Acts 27:31-38)
          Everybody lives (Acts 27:44)
          They go through Puteoli (Acts 28:13-14)

          They can also compare Acts 21.38 with three nearby paragraphs in Josephus’ Antiquites of the Jews, Book 20, chapter 8.

          Antiquities of the Jews 20.8.5
          5. Now as for the affairs of the Jews, they grew worse and worse continually, for the country was again filled with robbers and impostors, who deluded the multitude. Yet did Felix catch and put to death many of those impostors every day, together with the robbers. He also caught Eleazar, the son of Dineas, who had gotten together a company of robbers; and this he did by treachery; for he gave him assurance that he should suffer no harm, and thereby persuaded him to come to him; but when he came, he bound him, and sent him to Rome. Felix also bore an ill-will to Jonathan, the high priest, because he frequently gave him admonitions about governing the Jewish affairs better than he did, lest he should himself have complaints made of him by the multitude, since he it was who had desired Caesar to send him as procurator of Judea. So Felix contrived a method whereby he might get rid of him, now he was become so continually troublesome to him; for such continual admonitions are grievous to those who are disposed to act unjustly. Wherefore Felix persuaded one of Jonathan’s most faithful friends, a citizen of Jerusalem, whose name was Doras, to bring the robbers upon Jonathan, in order to kill him; and this he did by promising to give him a great deal of money for so doing. Doras complied with the proposal, and contrived matters so, that the robbers might murder him after the following manner: Certain of those robbers went up to the city, as if they were going to worship God, while they had daggers under their garments, and by thus mingling themselves among the multitude they slew Jonathan and as this murder was never avenged, the robbers went up with the greatest security at the festivals after this time; and having weapons concealed in like manner as before, and mingling themselves among the multitude, they slew certain of their own enemies, and were subservient to other men for money; and slew others, not only in remote parts of the city, but in the temple itself also; for they had the boldness to murder men there, without thinking of the impiety of which they were guilty. And this seems to me to have been the reason why God, out of his hatred of these men’s wickedness, rejected our city; and as for the temple, he no longer esteemed it sufficiently pure for him to inhabit therein, but brought the Romans upon us, and threw a fire upon the city to purge it; and brought upon us, our wives, and children, slavery, as desirous to make us wiser by our calamities.

          Antiquities of the Jews 20.8.6
          6. These works, that were done by the robbers, filled the city with all sorts of impiety. And now these impostors and deceivers persuaded the multitude to follow them into the wilderness, and pretended that they would exhibit manifest wonders and signs, that should be performed by the providence of God. And many that were prevailed on by them suffered the punishments of their folly; for Felix brought them back, and then punished them. Moreover, there came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem one that said he was a prophet, and advised the multitude of the common people to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, which lay over against the city, and at the distance of five furlongs. He said further, that he would show them from hence how, at his command, the walls of Jerusalem would fall down; and he promised them that he would procure them an entrance into the city through those walls, when they were fallen down. Now when Felix was informed of these things, he ordered his soldiers to take their weapons, and came against them with a great number of horsemen and footmen from Jerusalem, and attacked the Egyptian and the people that were with him. He also slew four hundred of them, and took two hundred alive. But the Egyptian himself escaped out of the fight, but did not appear any more. And again the robbers stirred up the people to make war with the Romans, and said they ought not to obey them at all; and when any persons would not comply with them, they set fire to their villages, and plundered them.

          Antiquities of the Jews 20.8.10
          10. Upon Festus’s coming into Judea, it happened that Judea was afflicted by the robbers, while all the villages were set on fire, and plundered by them. And then it was that the sicarii, as they were called, who were robbers, grew numerous. They made use of small swords, not much different in length from the Persian acinacae, but somewhat crooked, and like the Roman sicae, [or sickles,] as they were called; and from these weapons these robbers got their denomination; and with these weapons they slew a great many; for they mingled themselves among the multitude at their festivals, when they were come up in crowds from all parts to the city to worship God, as we said before, and easily slew those that they had a mind to slay. They also came frequently upon the villages belonging to their enemies, with their weapons, and plundered them, and set them on fire. So Festus sent forces, both horsemen and footmen, to fall upon those that had been seduced by a certain impostor, who promised them deliverance and freedom from the miseries they were under, if they would but follow him as far as the wilderness. Accordingly, those forces that were sent destroyed both him that had deluded them, and those that were his followers also.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Did you mean to use this link for Tobin’s stuff?

          http://webspace.webring.com/people/np/paul_tobin/lukejosephus.html

        • Greg G.

          Thanks for pointing that out. I corrected it with this:
          http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/lukejosephus.html

        • Pofarmer

          That is one heck of a resource.

        • Pofarmer

          This might he a quibble, but a ship to haul 600 people is a big ship. I didn’t think they really had ships of that scale at that time.

        • Greg G.

          Shoot, they had boats that could carry thousands of animals and food for a year in bibllical times. There was a recent movie about it.

          Actually, you made me skeptical about that. I found this link:

          http://www2.rgzm.de/navis/Themes/Commercio/CommerceEnglish.htm

          Apparently the had ships capable of displacing 500 tonnes. They probably didn’t have private berths.

      • wtfwjtd

        I’m at a place in Price’s “SSoM” where he is talking about the miracle narratives. He says that Josephus has some passages in his writings about some local sorcerers, and Josephus is explaining how they do their magic. So it’s obvious that Josephus had considerable interest in this subject. One would think that if the Miracle Boy From Galilee was really causing the big stir that the gospels claim, one would expect Josephus to have at least a little something to say about it. Just sayin’…

        • Greg G.

          You keep mentioning that book so much that I have decided to read it again. But I couldn’t find it on my bookshelves so now I’m not so certain that I did. There were more Price books that I expected though. I shall remedy this situation.

        • wtfwjtd

          Sorry about that Greg, as you can tell I am enjoying it, and it does contain much relevant info for our discussions here. I am only about half way through, I like to take my time with it as it seems to sink in better that way. I believe it has a date of around 2003 or so, you may have read it and not remembered it, as it may have been awhile. I’ve got mine on my Kindle, although it’s such a good book I may get a hard copy. These electronic books are great, but every now and again having an actual book for a reference is nice.

  • Kodie

    If I were the guy in the first story, rather than being snapped by the pastor, I would ask where to send the money god demanded directly. That way, no funny business giving it to the frail humans in charge of the church.

    • Scott_In_OH

      The thought experiment the pastor sets up could actually lead one right out of religion, and I’ve been noticing it much more often in my own life. It only works if one presumes God is out there and is very good and very powerful (even if not omni-everything).

      Pastor: Would you trust me to pay your bills if I told you I would?
      Believer: Yes.
      Pastor: Why don’t you trust God to do it?
      Believer: Good point. I should submit myself further to His will.

      vs.

      Pastor: Would you trust me to pay your bills if I told you I would?
      Believer: Yes.
      Pastor: Why don’t you trust God to do it?
      Former Believer: Good point. It’s because I never see any evidence of Him doing anything. I gotta get out of this place.

  • Kodie

    Also, I would consider the lilies in the field, given what we are learning about how plants propagate and maybe communicate – that it’s a false assumptions that flowers neither toil nor spin.

    Its proponents believe that we must stop regarding plants as passive
    objects—the mute, immobile furniture of our world—and begin to treat
    them as protagonists in their own dramas, highly skilled in the ways of
    contending in nature.

  • avalon

    “That’s not the question,” said the pastor. “If I agreed to pay the extra bills, would you do that?”

    “Sure!”

    The pastor said, “Isn’t it odd that
    you’d trust a frail human like me when you wouldn’t trust God, the
    all-powerful creator of the universe to help you with your problems …”
    and blah, blah, blah about how fabulous God is and all the stuff that
    he’s done for us.

    (the rest of the story)

    “Pastor, do you trust God?”

    “Of course I do!”

    “Then, you’ll have no problem agreeing to pay my extra bills if God doesn’t make it happen?”

    “Well, if I did that for you, I’d have to do it for every one in the church.”

    “That shouldn’t be a problem if you really trust in the ‘all-powerful creator of the universe’. So what do you say? You ready to take responsibility for any unpaid bills the congregation has?”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Nice!

  • rmk948

    If you want a graphic picture of what happens when you stop the rotation of the Earth, read “The Man Who Could Work Miracles” by H.G. Wells.

  • http://uzzas.blogspot.com/2010/06/introduction.html uzza

    Consider the lilies … not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of
    these.

    Dam right, Solomon wore CLOTHES, moron. I’ll take my parables from Calvin and Hobbes, thank you.

  • Ron
    • smrnda

      Even the POPE doesn’t trust in god for his self-defense.

  • Pofarmer

    This is interesting.
    . http://guardianlv.com/2014/05/1500-year-old-bible-claims-jesus-was-never-crucified/

    Bible in Turkey has a Gospel of Barnabas which says Jesus wasn’t crucified and just ascended.

    • wtfwjtd

      Written in Aramaic, valued at $28 million? Yes, that’s an interesting find all right, and if it’s the real deal could actually rival the Codex Sinaiticus in age. Very interesting indeed.

      • Pofarmer

        Just imagine if we were to find out that the Greek gospels are a bastardization of Aramaic originals.

        • wtfwjtd

          Yes, that would create quite a stir in some circles. That article claims there are copies of pages of that thing selling for $2 million; if true, someone thinks there is some very important material in there. If true…

  • MNb

    Totally off-topic.
    One thing I like about the RCC is that they never fail to remember me not to trust them with their authoritarian character:

    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/05/cleveland_diocese_has_more_exp.html

    In Dutch we call this “thought police”.

    • Compuholic

      What amazes me is that such contracts are even legal. You can tell employees what to do and how to behave while they are at work. But what they do in their free time should be none of their business.

      • evodevo

        Tell that to Hobby Lobby !

    • Pofarmer

      The money quote.

      “However, the current secular culture presents a view of life and
      humanity that is increasingly at odds with our Catholic faith ”

      Ya don’t say.

  • Sophia Sadek

    You got it wrong when you considered the Earth being stopped rather than the Sun. Back in those days, the Sun actually moved around the Earth. That all changed when the Pythagoreans came along and got the Earth to move. What is even more amusing is the story of Gilgamesh where the Sun passes through a tunnel from one side of the Earth to the other. Those where the days!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Lack of imagination on our scientists’ part, I guess.

      • Sophia Sadek

        Scientists have little sympathy for the small minded.

  • Asmondius

    Yup, a handful of people completely discredit an entire religion.

    And since neither tale was a ‘parable’, I’m making a complaint about false advertising.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/ Bob Seidensticker

      I’m sure you’ve got some actual substantive comments to make. “You’re a poopy-head” is about as pointed as this.

      I’m sure you know plenty that I don’t. Sharpen my arguments by pointing out actual errors, omissions, and ways to make them better. This kind of comment is a waste of time for both of us.


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