God as Donald Trump: Trying to Make Sense of Praise and Worship (part 3)

God as Donald Trump: Trying to Make Sense of Praise and Worship (part 3) August 27, 2018

Why would a perfect god accept praise or worship? Donald Trump, sure, but a perfect god?

Let’s continue with Christian apologists’ justifications for praise and worship of God (part 1 here).

3. Worship isn’t for God’s benefit but Man’s

We don’t worship God because He needs it (He needs nothing and is entirely self-sufficient), but because we need it. . . . God “needs” no worship whatever because in Christian theology, He needs nothing. He’s completely all-sufficient and self-sufficient. It’s for our sake that we “render unto God’s what is rightfully God’s.” (Source)

Don’t tell me that God gets no benefit from human actions. Burnt offerings are a “pleasing aroma” in the Bible, but this wasn’t like incense, where God could take it or leave it. This is explicitly labeled a food offering 27 times in the Old Testament. And in the Garden of Eden story, God created Adam to be the gardener (Genesis 2:15).

Getting onto more cerebral or emotional needs, God refers to “everyone . . . whom I created for my glory” (Isaiah 43:7). No, God isn’t “entirely self-sufficient” when humans support his Maslow’s pyramid, providing food and labor at the bottom and glory and esteem at the top.

Christianity confuses itself because God evolved dramatically through the Bible. Perhaps an apologist could cherry pick Bible verses later in the Bible to show that God is aloof from human actions. Maybe this god sings along with Simon and Garfunkel, “I am a rock / I am an island.” But early in his development, God needed humans, and that included their worship.

4. Or maybe worship is for God’s benefit

It must be maddening being a Christian apologist. You’ve just taught some manners to an insolent atheist cur with the back of your hand and a powerful argument when a fellow Christian comes along and undercuts it.

Argument 3 declared that worship is for our benefit, not God’s. And 4 says the opposite:

God created us for His pleasure (just as we create delightful things for our pleasure). Praising God—acknowledging His goodness, love, perfection, and all the incredible things He has done for us—brings Him pleasure. If you have children, you know what a beautiful thing it is to have them praise you. (Source)

Yes, I have children. No, I don’t want them praising me. Love, appreciation, thanks, and so on (as appropriate) is great, but not praise.

We praise children. God is like a child in this sense—or like a happy performing artist. Creation is like a great performance in which the artist loves to create and also loves to be praised for creating. Praise of God is a gift to be prayed for, not a duty to be performed. (Source)

We praise God like a child? I suppose “Aren’t you the smart boy for tying your shoes?” becomes, “Didn’t you create a nice earth?”

And “Nice job destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. You’re so thorough!”

And “What a pretty rainbow—and the bunnies are so fluffy!”

Maybe you ought to talk it over with the source for argument #3 to get your story straight. Like the poor analogies in argument 2, the Christian might retreat by saying that analogies only go so far. Fair enough—if the analogies are poor (like God as a child) then don’t use them.

5. Why worship? Because the Bible tells me so.

You might think that praise is the same as saying “thank you,” but there is a difference. . . . All believers are commanded to praise God! (Source)

The Bible commands it. As the Psalmist says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). (Source)

Why is praising God important? The reasons are countless. First, God deserves to be praised and He is worthy to receive our praise: “For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods” (Psalm 96:4). (Source)

There are a mountain of Bible verses with this demand.

“If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings” (Malachi 2:2–3).

Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water (Revelation 14:7).

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth (Philippians 2:10).

This isn’t God wanting praise simply because it’s the best thing for us. This is a demand.

We laypeople get a piece of that with the song with the phrase, “Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and mighty! / God in three persons, blessed Trinity!” And then Revelation talks about the four living creatures who say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8), forever.

And Christians wonder what is weird about worship when their god tolerates that.

Continued in part 4.

I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father,
expects or requires no worship or praise from us,
but that He is even infinitely above it.
— Benjamin Franklin

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Bob Jase

    I had to become an atheist – Jesus, Yahweh and the Nameless Holy Spook were too needy, especially for non-existant beings.

  • “Perhaps an apologist could cherry pick Bible verses later in the Bible to show that God is aloof from human actions.”

    Everything in the Old Testament is force-fit into New Testament theology. The Christian claim is that the entire OT points to Jesus; therefore, anything that is different is re-interpreted spun to fit current theology. Anything that can’t be reasonably twisted is said to be “a difficult passage,” and if that lack-of-an-argument isn’t perceived to be satisfactory, then the god’s ways are higher than man’s ways and it’s simply a problem with the reader, which is their way of saying (as their god did to Jonah) “you’re just a stupid human. Our god has no obligation to make things understandable.”

    And I’ve read that literally. The last resort is “it isn’t the Bible — the problem lies with the reader.”

    • epicurus

      To add an extra layer of confusion, it’s an Old Testament written in Hebrew that gets translated into greek, and then is cherry picked and spun – giving us things like virgin birth prophecies that were neither prophecies nor virgin in the Hebrew.

    • One of these days I’ll write a post with random OT verses that show that a very different messianic prophecy was there all along, and we just didn’t see it.

      Maybe they’ll call me a prophet.

      • I’ve been pointed to the list of requirements for a Jewish Messiah on Wikipedia HERE. It has a lot of overlap with Christian ideas of the second coming (any day now, right?) Not sure there’s any overlap with the Christian first coming. Even applies Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel rather than to Jesus (the horror!)

        • Greg G.

          I’ve been pointed to the list of requirements for a Jewish Messiah on Wikipedia HERE. It has a lot of overlap with Christian ideas of the second coming (any day now, right?) Not sure there’s any overlap with the Christian first coming.

          Here is a list I have collected from various sources.

          Promises That David’s Seed Would Remain on Throne Forever
            2 Samuel 7:1-17
            1 Chronicles 28:6
            Psalm 89:3-4
            Psalm 89:34-37
            Psalm 110:1
            Psalm 132:11
            Isaiah 11:1-10

          The Promises to David Become Conditional
            1 Kings 2:1-4
            1 Kings 6:11-12
            1 Kings 8:25
            1 Kings 9:2-7
            2 Chronicles 6:16

          The Kingdom is Split into Judah and Israel
            1 Kings 12:17-20

          Assyria Captures Israel, the Northern Kingdom
            2 Kings 15:19

          God’s Excuse for Allowing the Assyrian Invasion
            2 Chronicles 33:1-11

          The Promises are Broken
            2 Kings 24:10-12

          God’s Excuse for Allowing the Babylonians to Conquer
            2 Chronicles 36:15-17

          Promises to Restore David’s Seed to the Throne
            Isaiah 9:6-7
            Micah 5:2-5a
            Ezekiel 21:26-27
            Jeremiah 23:5-6
            Jeremiah 33:14-17
            Daniel 7:13-14

          Prophecy for the Lord to Take the Throne
            Zechariah 14

          First Century Jews Thought the Messiah Would Arrive Soon

          Josephus tells us that many of those defending Jerusalem under siege from the Romans were expecting deliverance from God. He tells us that there was a prophecy from the sacred writings about a Messiah that would come to rule the Earth. Most likely it was the Testament of Judah 24:1–6 which draws from the other verses.

          Jewish Wars 6.5.2 §286-287Now there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God; and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes. Now a man that is in adversity does easily comply with such promises; for when such a seducer makes him believe that he shall be delivered from those miseries which oppress him, then it is that the patient is full of hopes of such his deliverance.

          Jewish Wars 6.5.4 §312-313But now, what did the most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, “about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth.” The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination.

          Testament of Judah 24:1–6And after these things shall a Star arise to you from Jacob in peace, and a Man shall rise from my seed, like the Sun of righteousness, walking with the sons of men in meekness and righteousness, and no sin shall be found in Him. And the heavens shall be opened above Him, to shed forth the blessing of the Spirit from the Holy Father; and He shall shed forth a spirit of grace upon you, and ye shall be unto Him sons in truth, and ye shall walk in His commandments, the first and the last. This is the Branch of God Most High, and this the Well-spring unto life for all flesh. Then shall the sceptre of my kingdom shine forth, and from your root shall arise a stem; and in it shall arise a rod of righteousness to the Gentiles, to judge and to save all that call upon the Lord.

          Even applies Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel rather than to Jesus (the horror!)

          I think that is what Paul means in Romans 16:25-26

          Romans 16:25-27
          25 Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith

          They were kept secret by being disguised as a metaphor.

        • Hidden in plain sight, eh? Damn, Jesus is cool!

        • WLC has looked at what the OT predicts and how Jesus actually turned out, saw a contradiction, and made lemons out of lemonade. He says that this is a use of the Criterion of Embarrassment: why would early Christians write such nutty crap–how Jesus was the Jewish messiah even though he was a poor fit with what the OT said–unless it were true??

          Checkmate, atheists.

        • Yeah, that sounds completely nutty – almost worth reading 🙂
          Do you happen to have a reference?

        • I don’t. This is from memory. You might go to his reasonable faith web site and search for “embarrassment messiah.”

        • OK, found this near the end of one of his answers:

          Embarrassment: Jewish Messianic expectations included no idea of a Davidic Messiah who, instead of throwing off Israel’s enemies and establishing David’s throne in Jerusalem, would be shamefully executed by them as a criminal. Jesus’ crucifixion was something the early church struggled to overcome, not something it invented. Jesus’ crucifixion is one datum upon which all historical scholars, even the most radical, agree. (SOURCE)

          That certainly raises other questions, like why Jews should trust Christian interpretations of their scriptures, but I’m sure he saves that for a different argument at a different time.

        • Yep, that’s pretty much it.

          For Christians to school Jews about the meaning in their own holy book is a little odd. If reason were a factor, you’d think that Christians would constraint their interpretation first by what it meant to Jews.

        • Ah, but the Jews have a veil over their eyes, and their hearts are hardened. They search the scriptures but fail to see they speak of Jesus. They’re still under the school-teacher and in slavery, while Christians are the heirs and are free. Do you know how much the NT insults Jews? I went looking recently, and coming from a relatively pro-Jewish denomination I was honestly shocked how frequent it was, because I just hadn’t noticed most of it.

        • Greg G.

          like why Jews should trust Christian interpretations of their scriptures

          Paul thought the Messiah was coming within his lifetime as he used the first person plural regarding the people who would be alive at the coming of the Lord and, per Josephus, many Jews expected that as well, since they started the war with the Romans with the expectation of a leader arising and taking over the world.

          Jews should let atheists interpret their scriptures as atheist prophecies are that the Messiah is not coming today and have been right for over 725,000 consecutive days.

        • D.M.S.

          The prophesy of Jesus Christ coming was over 1,000,000 days befor it occurred.
          So we could have plenty of time before Jesus makes His return back to earth.
          But then it could be less than 10,000 days befor His return.
          A day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day to our Lord God/Jesus.

        • Greg G.

          Paul thought that Jesus was coming within his lifetime. Why do you think he never spoke about having a family? He recommended against getting married unless you were so horny you couldn’t resist having sex. He thought the coming of the Lord was that imminent.

          A day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day to our Lord God/Jesus.

          2 Peter was written long after the gospels. That line is an excuse for the embarrassment that their generation existed. It is more embarrassing that people still believe it.

          If you really, really must believe it, why aren’t you trying to get Christians on the same page?

          John 17:20-23 (NRSV)20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

          Jesus prayed that Christians would believe as one, so much that the rest of the world would be impressed enough to believe as well. As it stands, Jesus is the greatest prayer failure of all time, isn’t he?

          Shouldn’t you be trying to get all the Christians to get together instead of talking to atheists? According to Jesus, if you get Christians to agree, then all the atheists would then believe.

          But then, if Jesus can’t get a prayer answered, why bother?

        • Oops–scooped again.

        • What was this prophecy? Show us how it translates to “Jesus Christ is coming.” Justify your claim that the date of this prophecy was roughly 3000 BCE. Explain to us why the original audience of that book didn’t get it. Tell us why Jesus’s appearance on earth, the whole point of God’s message, took so long to happen–why not just do it first thing?

        • D.M.S.

          Goodbye…

        • I don’t often leave my antagonists so speechless. Ah, God’s small miracles, eh?

        • D.M.S.

          I’m tired of all of Satans minions such as yourself asking stupid question that you really don’t want the answers to in the first place.
          Your just here for harassment only.

        • Greg G.

          This is his blog. He is the moderator of the comments section, too.

          If you are tired of Satan’s minions, why come here? Go find Dave Armstrong’s blog. He doesn’t allow minions.

        • asking stupid question that you really don’t want the answers to in the first place.

          You mean the questions I asked two comments ago? I doubt you have answers, but if you have some interesting answers, I’d like to read them. And if you don’t have answers, why not have a little humility and learn while you’re here? Didn’t you just say that you’re new to this? That’s fine. What’s not fine is being a know-it-all when you in fact don’t.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/08/god-as-donald-trump-trying-to-make-sense-of-praise-and-worship-part-3/#comment-4072606262

        • D.M.S.

          You wouldn’t know any the answers if they slapped you in the face. You’re to intelligent to understand God and or His word.

        • Greg G.

          You wouldn’t know any the answers if they slapped you in the face. You’re to intelligent to understand God and or His word.

          If Bob is too intelligent to understand God and God is more intelligent than Bob is, then God is way too intelligent to understand himself or anything he says.

          But the guy who isn’t intelligent enough to spell “too” and “Matthew” is just right for understanding God. Is that the point you are making?

        • D.M.S.

          Still you wouldn’t know or even accept any of the answers if they slapped you in the face of our Lord God.
          They’re a myth to you, remember.
          Do you actually believe that your so-called intelligence is going to have me change my belief in our Lord Jesus Christ.

          You’re in Lalaland if you do.

        • Greg G.

          I am certain that your intelligence is reason-proof.

        • So what’s your point? Why are you here? Just to prove that Christians can be assholes? Or do you have a more constructive purpose?

        • epeeist

          You’re to intelligent to understand God and or His word.

          So only the stupid are convinced by “God and or his word”?

        • D.M.S.

          That’s what you would like to think.

        • epeeist

          Hey, I’m only reading what you put in your post.

          You seem to be right though, religion and intelligence are negatively correlated.

        • D.M.S.

          You are right, only really intelligent human beings figure out that God/Jesus is their only salvation.
          And they can only get true happiness from serving and loving God/Jesus.

        • epeeist

          You are right, only really intelligent human beings figure out that God/Jesus is their only salvation.

          So the two thirds of the world that are not Christian are not as intelligent as your “really intelligent human beings”?

        • D.M.S.

          It’s lot more than 2/3’s.
          It’s more like 9/10’s of not Christians.
          And I’m being kind with that number.

        • epeeist

          It’s more like 9/10’s of not Christians.

          Ah, so some of those who claim they are Christians are not really Christians at all. Let’s have a guess, you reckon that those not in your particular denominations are not True Christians™.

          But all this is irrelevant to your claim that “only eally intelligent human beings figure out that God/Jesus is their only salvation”.

          I note that you haven’t said anything about the link I gave, which shows that higher religiosity is associated with lower intelligence.

          A few other things, Pew has research that shows scientists are less religious than the general population. As you get to the more elite levels it becomes even more pronounced, only 7% of members of the American National Academy of Sciences believe in a god of any kind, here in the UK only 3% of the Royal Society are religious believers.

          On top of that the large majority of philosophers are non believers.

          It rather looks as though your claim doesn’t hold water.

        • D.M.S.

          The narrow gate says it all.

        • epeeist
        • epeeist

          Oh and don’t think it hasn’t been noticed that you are unwilling or unable to counter the statistics that show that the more religious you are the less intelligent you are like to be and conversely the more intelligent you are the less likely you are to be religious.

        • D.M.S.

          Secular Mankind’s attempt to humility all true Christians is all you and your friends are trying to do. Cut and humiliate all dissidents if they don’t fall in line with the manure that all of you are spreading.
          Have you ever been on a horse drawn manure spreader, I have with my grandfather it goes almost everywhere. Just like you’re spreading here on these pages.

        • Greg G.

          Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

          So most Christians who expect to go to heaven will not go to heaven according to the Bible. You are as likely to be wrong as any other Christian.

        • Doesn’t it, though? God is such a sucky teacher that he fails most of his students.

          Wow. And can you believe people still worship this guy? Perhaps it’s just out of fear.

        • D.M.S.

          I’m not in a denomination and I never have been.
          Bible only..

        • Rudy R

          This is Bob’s blog. You’re not obliged to comment, so who is harassing who again?

        • A day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day

          And justify the authority of 2 Peter, where this (late) claim comes from.

        • Otto

          I make a prophecy every time I go out to eat, I place my order and then predict the outcome, I have a stellar success rate.

          Tell me why the ‘prophecy’ of Jesus was any different.

        • I like your argument, but I think it would be more effective as a rebuttal against prayer. That is, you ask the server for X and you pretty much reliably get X.

          Try that with Jeebus.

        • Otto

          But the OT is the same as ‘placing an order’, the people in Jesus’ time, including Jesus, were well aware of that order…so why is it so amazing that the order was fulfilled?

        • D.M.S.

          Satans minions such yourselves here on this site of 100’s if not 1000’s of all of you, completely and utterly bore me.

        • Otto

          Oh Jesus Christ on a cracker…you believe in the boogeyman too…

        • Greg G.

          Ha ha ha. If a blog bores someone, they move on. They don’t bother saying they are bored. Posting a reply shows intrigue.

        • And yet you’re still here. Having a problem finding the exit?

        • Rudy R

          Your god doesn’t know a day is 24 hours?

        • Greg G.

          For an omnipresent being, it is always day and always night, always dusk and always dawn. God used to be able to track weeks by when everybody took a day off.

        • D.M.S.

          A ‘ day ‘ has never been 24 hours!

        • Otto

          Unless Jesus was originally conceived as a way to overcome the fact that the Temple was destroyed and therefore sacrifices were no longer needed. Jesus was the ‘ultimate’ sacrifice so the Temple issue becomes moot. Then the story is not embarrassing, it is necessary.

        • Fair point, and I think this is one of the deeper problems with apologetics around the resurrection: They have to make too many assumptions about what the world looked like back then and what might motivate people, and they need us to accept that the gospels are broadly historically accurate (if not divinely inspired). They want to do a Sherlock Holmes: Eliminate every other option and then say “Bingo! Resurrection it is” – but once you drop the gospels being history there are far too many options they didn’t even consider.

        • Bob Jase

          “They want to do a Sherlock Holmes: Eliminate every other option ”

          Except that they don’t do that – they just repeat their fairy tale and pretend the other explainations ( there was no Jesus, the body was stolen, the resurrection appearances were dreams/hallucinations) don’t exist because they don’t believe them.

        • Their work is so transparent. They build up the swoon theory or wrong tomb or hallucination and then either dismiss legend with a paragraph or ignore it completely.

        • Greg G.

          Unless Jesus was originally conceived as a way to overcome the fact that the Temple was destroyed

          Paul’s Jesus was already developed in the earlier letters but, in Romans 15, he is planning to go to Jerusalem so the Temple would still have been standing.

        • Otto

          Yep….wasn’t thinking…but didn’t you say something about the idea that Paul and Co. wanted to get rid of the whole Temple Sacrifice thing?

        • Greg G.

          I don’t think I did that. I think Paul was a short term thinker who expected the Lord to come at any minute. He never even discussed raising a family. He recommended not getting married unless it was just for sex. Paul didn’t think the Jewish law needed to follow anymore, though, but I don’t think that temple sacrifices were his focus.

        • Otto

          OK…but do you think it was possibly the writers of the Gospel, and specifically gMark. that were the ones trying to make Jesus a one and done sacrifice, since the focus of the Gospels seems to be different than Paul?

        • Greg G.

          OK…but do you think it was possibly the writers of the Gospel, and specifically gMark. that were the ones trying to make Jesus a one and done sacrifice, since the focus of the Gospels seems to be different than Paul?

          I was reading up on ancient synagogues recently. Here are a couple of the articles.

          The Ancient Synagogue in Israel & the Diaspora
          by Dana Murray
          https://www.ancient.eu/article/828/the-ancient-synagogue-in-israel–the-diaspora/

          First Century Synagogues
          by Chad Spigel
          https://www.bibleodyssey.org/places/related-articles/first-century-synagogues

          My Google search that these links came up with: sacrifices at diaspora synagogues
          (That was not what I searched for the first time I got them.)

          There doesn’t seem to have been much sacrificing going on outside of Jerusalem. The ups and downs of the Jewish people in the history books of the OT tie their fortunes to whether the king allowed sacrifices outside of Jerusalem or required all sacrifices at the temple. I wonder which priests wrote that history?

          If that is the case, then the last part of the culture that was doing the sacrificing at the temple, died with the temple.

          One of those articles says the first century synagogues are disputed and I don’t think I have ever read anything about BC synagogues.

          Paul doesn’t say anything about Jewish sacrifices. He is only against sacrifices to idols in 1 Corinthians 8 & 10, or at least, to eating the offering. There are only a few verses that he compares Jesus to a sacrifice.

          Philippians 4:18 (NRSV)18 I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.

          Paul accepted gifts to himself as sacrifice to God.

          Temple sacrifice seems not to be a big deal outside of Jerusalem from what I have read without actually researching it.

  • Kevin K

    Re: Argument 3:

    Why would “we” need to worship a god who doesn’t demand it? That makes no sense. If my teacher says I don’t need to take a test, I’m not taking the test. If the traffic cop says he’s not giving me the ticket — I’m not demanding he give me a ticket. At worst, you’re annoying the creature who can throw you into eternal torment; at best it’s laughing at you. This argument doesn’t seem to have thought through the implications.

    • Presumably it’s like your mother saying you need your vegetables. Eating them at this meal isn’t mandatory. Nothing all that bad will happen to you. But it’s a good habit to get into and so on.

      • Kevin K

        God as broccoli? Well…I haven’t eaten broccoli in – like forever – either.

        • Greg G.

          Mom used an old Betty Crocker cookbook that said to cook the shit out of vegetables. So I didn’t like vegetables very much.

          Once in college, I accidentally bought a frozen entree with broccoli in it and it sat in the freezer for months, until one day I was hungry and broke. I discovered that broccoli could be delicious. I like it raw and crispy or steamed for no more than five minutes, A squeeze of lemon is good with it. If it is cooked until it starts to turn brown, it is ruined.

          Or so I have heard. I have three recipes. Microwave until hot, eat it cold, and eat it at room temperature. Those “Brown and Serve” rolls are a ripoff. It’s like they aren’t even cooked.

        • Kevin K

          I like to cook when the weather is cooler. Otherwise, I’m pretty much with you, with option number 4 being “grill it outdoors”. Real charcoal, mind you, like Dog intended. None of this fussy-assed gas stuff.

        • Broccoli cut up and tossed in oil, then baked is pretty good. Cauliflower done this way also works.

        • Greg G.

          Kevin K prefers broccoli cut up and tossed far.

        • Greg G.

          That is worse than Dante’s imagination.

        • Kevin K

          Exactly.

        • epeeist

          Well…I haven’t eaten broccoli in – like forever

          If you do it like my mother used to, i.e. boil for 3 hours until it resembles pond slime, then I can understand this.

          Try stir frying it with mushrooms and pancetta, add some chilli or smoked paprika if you like either of these.

        • Kevin K

          I will forever insist that broccoli is not actually what can be categorized as “food”. I’ve had quite enough experience with it in many disguises to have a fully formed opinion in this regard.

          I’d be happy to eat the mushrooms and pancetta … if not for the disgusting broccoli taste getting into it.

        • Otto

          I feel that way about beets.

        • Pofarmer

          The only good beet is one far away from me.

          Ditto turnips.

  • Grimlock

    The third argument is actually something that we can check empirically. At least a version of it, namely: Is there some tangible benefit to worship?

    Perhaps it increases happiness, or increases one’s resolve. Maybe it makes you more emphatic.

    What I expect would happen if this was actually studied is something like this: in some circumstances it’d be beneficial, but not in ways that can be achieved through other means (e.g. meditation). In other circumstances it’d be a bad thing. But the claim is very general – it’d need to be valid in all cases.

    At which point some Christian would claim that they’re talking about spiritual well-being in a sense that can’t be measured. Which would make it abundantly clear that they’re just making shit up.

  • Taneli Huuskonen

    A bad analogy is like the tide going in and out, except for the miscommunications.

  • RichardSRussell

    The thug who drags you into the dark alley, beats you half senseless, and takes your wallet nonetheless thanks you for your freely offered generosity. Yeah. Totally sincere.

  • Kev Green

    ‘If you have children, you know what a beautiful thing it is to have them praise you.’

    Absolutely. That’s why, when I get home from work, I expect my children to be waiting at the door with their songbooks in order to start singing my praises. They can do what they want during the day, but in the evening they need to devote themselves to showing how grateful they are to me for fathering them.

    • eric

      Songbooks? How minor league. I make my kid memorize his hymns of praise to Me. I deserve it!