Random Asides


Not really. Just LOL. No cats involved. Don’t click if you are eating or drinking!

On Satanic Vegetarianism
On Scientology
On God Hates What?
On Christian Rock Music

And, tada!

On Jesus Kitsch

oh my!


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. Yes! And notice his arms guiding the weans toward it? And– Say! Where is that girl's right hand…?


  2. It's child porn, I say!

    Smite me…I'm going to Mrs. Phelps's Hell anyway (which might be warm and toasty and does not require shoveling snow). :-)

  3. you people are gullible….theres a very good reason shell fish are considerd a sin to eat. because God knew before hand what science has just learned in the last 10 years about shell fish, and that is, shell fish allergies are the NUMBER ONE FOOD ALLERGY KILLER THERE IS! and not if that isnt bad enough, but the allergy can affect you at any time of you life…even after 20 years of eating crab, you can develope an allergy and die! lots of jews were fishermen, and lots of thier daily diet was seafood for these families…how many died because of shell fish? so in order to end that. God simply said, dont eat it…and dont worry about why…the same thing you would do to your 3 year old kid about eating a habenero pepper, you would simply say dont do it, bacause I said so, you wouldnt understand why even if I explained it. there was no medical technology then, nor was there any cure for shell fish allergy….God was wise, and once again you make yourself look foolish….

  4. So, this wise and loving God that invented the various kinds of unpleasant shellfish poisoning and allergies…

  5. If the stupid bickering comes out from the "can a feminist be religious?" thread and starts annoying people in other parts of the blog, action will be taken. (Yes, that's passive voice and ambiguous on purpose.) Grow up and have intelligent discussions or shut up and take the childishness elsewhere. Yes, urblind, this is primarily addressed to you because you are the one calling people names and acting like a child. Don't start with the "you idiots can't take it when someone disagrees with you" whining either. We certainly can, and we mostly enjoy discussing different points of view, but I see no reason to talk to someone who acts like a 10 year old and calls people names and YELLS instead of taking time to write well thought-out arguments presented with more evidence than "The Bible says so, that's why".

  6. In the eyes of the lord, eating shell-fish is on par with making butt-love with a homosexual . That's the point of the god-hates-crustaceans message.

    Whether or not science knows anything anout shell-fish allergies is irrelevant.

    The religious quite simply ignore the rules that say you can't eat oysters, yet at the same time they're disproportionately anal about the rules that say you're not allowed to be attracted to someone of the same sex.

  7. oh by whatever do you mean? I simply offered explanation of a blasphemy you printed…..I havent said a word. I thought this was a skeptic website? one that offers debate from opposing canadites? not a parody of the colbert report. your poking fun at a serious subject rather than discussing it. you offer jokes not reason..it is not I who is out of order here it is you. your supposed to post topics related to skeptisim, and offer insight as to why you agree/disagree…not play comedian. I gave a well thought out explanation followed by medical reasoning. I have done nothing in this thread even remotley wrong. you didnt debate it? but Ph comes over here and starts out with sarcassim and its me your upset at?

  8. urblind, you said exactly what I thought you would say, "Whine whine whine, no-one will listen to me." OK, here's why:


    In case some of our commenters are 10 years old or have lived in small towns where they've never met anyone who disagrees with them, so they have no idea how to present an argument that might get a little respect, here's my reworking of urblind's rant as a potentially valid argument, at least one that would deserve an honest response:

    I don't think it's funny to joke about the dangers of eating seafood because a lot people have allergies to seafood, and some of those allergies can be life threatening. (link to a medical or scientific article about this topic)

    I don't see how the Israelites could have had access to this medical knowledge 3,000 years ago, so isn't it possible that Kosher dietary laws, particularly the prohibitions against eating shellfish (bible verse reference is OK), are an example of how God might have spoken to these people, by giving valid medical safety rules that were not available to them with their level of knowledge at the time?

    Something like that might even get an intelligent response. Notice that there is no yelling, no name calling, and there is a link to a scientific or medical source. It's OK to reference the Bible, but if that's used as the only source of information, then that discredits your argument because — as anyone who reads this site should know — most of us don't care what the Bible says and we don't consider it to be a valid source of historical or scientific information. So you need to give other sources, not sermons, for your ideas if you want people around here to pay attention.

  9. most of us don’t care what the Bible says and we don’t consider it to be a valid source of historical or scientific information.

    just because you dont consider it to be valid, doent make it unvalid.

    I use it as a valid source of information…much like exarch seems to like using youtube as a valid source of information…one that I dont consider valid by no means…

  10. and refering to my comments as one of a ten year old isnt very mature, especially in a forum where you post a light switch cover of Jesus up and everyone joins in and points at it and laughs and make elementary school comments about the switch looking like a male appendage. with quotes like:

    Glory(hole) to God in the Highest!

    The switch up like that kinda seems like…oh, you know…

    Yes! And notice his arms guiding the weans toward it? And– Say! Where is that girl’s right hand…?

    What about “Jesus loves the little children…!”

    Gives a whole new meaning to (f)licking the switch

    so you really dont have the right to tell me how I should present my arguments, when its apperant everyone else in this forum are indeed 10 year olds….I'm just going with the flow of traffic- if they present mature arguments, I will respond likewise, but with that type of riff raff being said in here, you dont have legal grounds to seperate me from the group!

  11. No one can say I haven't tried. Sigh. I actually like to talk to Christians and spend a fair amount of time doing so on another blog I won't link to right now because I don't want to send this stuff over there. But I like to talk to Christians who act like adults and who understand that I have read the Bible and I know what it says and I still disagree, and that's OK. The thing is, in a discussion you talk about different things and find out what other people think, and maybe you even change your mind sometimes because they have something interesting to say and back it up with data. But some Christians just think they can preach at you and quote the Bible at you all the time and yell at you if you don't agree with them, and they just make you hold your nose, put cotton in your ears, and walk away.

  12. You know, it's like the person at the party who barges into the conversation, tries to make a joke, and suddenly there's the uncomfortable silence and everyone is looking at him.

    It's not that they WANT to pester him away, it's just that this person is clearly missing something about the conversation which is making their comment stick out.

    For example, when everyone is kidding around, you could respond by doing the same, or you could make a serious comment and have people respond to you seriously.

    You cannot, however, expect people to want to continue talking to you if you start off by insulting a few of them, then try to talk about the subject seriously, then say "hey, I was just kidding you know, can't you guys take a joke?"

    If you act like an immature troll, you will be treated like an immature troll.

  13. My friend has owned this light switch plate for years and has installed it in each new home in which she's lived. It always makes me laugh out loud.

  14. I think that one of the reasons I like Skepchick so much is how it really does feel like a discussion at a party or something. And trolls don't work at parties. Also that light switch is just funny as hell. Plus we weren't involved in a serious discussion, in fact it wasn't a discussion at all. And those jokes were obviously at least middle school level, which would make us anywhere from 11-14. Also Urblind, if your a Christian aren't you exempt from the whole shellfish thing, seeing as how Jesus negated that. I could be completely wrong on this but I thought that since Jesus died for our sins, the old testament is basically negated, except for the Ten Commandments.

  15. I've noticed an upsurge in comments (on other blogs) about how the bible is way ahead of its time and science is just now starting to see what the bible always knew. I'm interested to see what science will discover about poly-cotton blends since the same bible that forbids shellfish also frowns upon mixed fabrics.

    Luckily, my god and his noodily goodness, has no strong opinion on what fabric I wear.


  16. tom:if your a Christian aren’t you exempt from the whole shellfish thing, seeing as how Jesus negated that. I could be completely wrong on this but I thought that since Jesus died for our sins, the old testament is basically negated, except for the Ten Commandments.

    your somewhat right….the problem is everyone here tries to use the old testament to disprove or find contradictions….or justify thier misguided athiesm. thats why I come in and correct thier misconceptions…you very seldom see them referring to the new testament..because its a lot harder for them to nip pick it.

    I’m interested to see what science will discover about poly-cotton blends since the same bible that forbids shellfish also frowns upon mixed fabrics.

    see what I mean?

  17. I’ve noticed an upsurge in comments (on other blogs) about how the bible is way ahead of its time and science is just now starting to see what the bible always knew.

    Maybe it's some side-effect of creationists trying to misrepresent ID as scientific?

  18. I’m interested to see what science will discover about poly-cotton blends since the same bible that forbids shellfish also frowns upon mixed fabrics.

    see what I mean?

    Mmm, is that the fresh smell of cherry picking?

    If you would like some skeptical analysis of the new testament, you might try starting here.


  19. I looked at your site….more specifically under the "absurdity" and "contradictions" sections, and well…..its a good laugh,

    but nothing there of any worth…I wouldnt waste time reading it.

    its almost as funny as the contradictions on the american athiest website….but not quite.

  20. Ok….I will give you details…though I have already done this

    Countless times with Rav….

    First you need to consider the fact that most athiest websites(not all) use "one liner"

    Contradictions…that is they take one sentence from say Genesis(the 1st book) and compare it

    To say one sentence in revelations (the 66th book) and say: LOOK A CONTRADICTION!

    You cant use that to point out a contradiction…I could easily do that with your posts.


    If you would like some skeptical analysis of the new testament, you might try starting here.

    It always makes me laugh out loud.

    See I just used 2 posts you made earlier to appear as a contradiciton to what you said.

    From someone who doesn’t know what you meant..or the subject matter being discussed or the content

    In how you said it, they would believe that YES that’s a contradiction…when in fact it isnt even close.

    Most athiests(not all) don’t read the bible..nor do they understand it, nor can they interpret the slightest bit of it.

    But they can find a one liner here and compare it to a one liner there and call it a contradiction..when in reality they make

    Themselves look very silly. So I will go to the site and pick one and show you the folly.

  21. urblind, I genuinely don't understand how those two statements of mine contradict each other. How is something making me laugh have anything to do with linking to a skeptical site?

    Just based on your comment above, it appears that the skeptic's annotated bible represents the work of a person or people who have, indeed read the bible.

  22. Here is contradictions Rav tried to give me, and here are the explanations:

    “For I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever.” (Jeremiah 3:12)

    “Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever.” (Jeremiah 17:4)

    “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.” (John 5:31)

    “Jesus answered: Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid.” (John 8:14)

    Here are the answers:

    ok Rav,

    lets just put our differences to the side for a while and look at this rationaly…ok?

    I took the first 2 “contradictions” from your first post – Jeremiah, and John.

    I will explain in detail the true meaning, you will be able to see this your self “if” you choose to go back and read a little more than just one verse. allot of people make the mistake of taking things out of context due to the fact that they dont really know the subject content or where/when/who/or what they are referring to….thats with the Bible. thats with any book.

    if your satisfied with this explanation, I will go through all of them for you, but if you dismiss it quickly I’ll stop at just these two, I truely wish to help you understand, I only ask that you truely observe my words and make a genuine effort to agree or disagree, based on logic and not attitude..cool?

    lets start….by coincedence, Jer 3:12 actually answers Jer 17:4, so you technically contradicted yourself, but relax, I see why you think that, and heres the deal;

    in 3:12 the whole concept(in you read the above versus) is that the people of Isreal were sinning something awful, and they were backsliding. God was telling him to go to the people and tell them to repent and ask forgivness, that I (God) am merciful, and will forgive…if they will just recognize thier folly and repent, and if so, I will not keep my anger against the people any longer.

    now in Jer 17:4 its talking about sin, and how sin is a permanent thing (unless you repent and ask forgivness) a few versus above it talks about an iron pen, and that the sin of Judah is engraved in thier hearts, in Job the analogy used is egraved in stone, in another book it’s permentaly written down in a book….none the less God is speaking on sin and how it is permenant. as long as you sin, God’s anger will remain…even forever, but thanks to 3:12 we learn that he is merciful and will not remain anger if you will just repent and ask forgivness!! and thats the whole statement…

    sin is permanent! so is Gods anger “unless” you repent and recieve forgivness…thats why God says later on in the bible if you recieve forgivness I will forget your iniquity forever…it will be erased from my mind and recalled never more…this is where we get the ol’ saying “forgive and forget”..I think you will agree with this interpretation…if not please give me a detailed reason, but if you read more than just the one verse I think you will agree here- so no contradiction here…

    lets move to John-

    John 5:31- here the Lord is saying everything done is by the will of the father.in verse 30, he says he doesnt seek his own will, but the will of the father…he [Jesus] cannot bear witness to the miracles himself, because it would be his own word against everyone else’s, which is why in verse 33 he says that God has sent John to bear witness to these accounts, so you will have the word of another individual, other than just him [common sense]

    therefor his own testimony is confirmed by another source

    (and you will understand why, here in the next part)

    John 8:14

    in verse 13 a pharisee is being a smart ass, you bear witness to yourself, therefor you must be a lair! but jesus says to him: yeah I bear witness to myself because I know where I come from, and I know where I’m going…you dont know me, where I”ve been or where I’m headed…so then he refers to

    “the law”….[verse 18] the testimony of two is held as true!! I bear witness to myself[one] while my Father bears witness to me also [two]

    and the pharisees replied back “where is your Father then?” and Jesus says:

    you dont know me or my father cause if you have known me then you should of known my Father also….

    see you understand? the testimony of two is reliable in Jewish law, just as today if you did something spectacular it would hold more weight if you had another witness for credibility….in John 5, John is the credible witness to the miracles he performed…in the latter God is the witness, but he is using that to make the point, that the pharisee didnt know him or anything about him, how can he make an assumption??? just like you say to a stranger that calls you a liar, you get upset and say, man you dont know me, you dont know nothing about me, you just met me…you dont know where I’ve been, or my life experiances- you cant tell me squat!…Jesus was doing that here, but affirming God as his witness…which if you believe in God…thats a pretty bold statement…blasphemy even…if you were lying…

    so do you understand now Rav? go back and read a few paragraphs before and after the one verse and it should be clear…even for a non believer..if you disagree (which I cant see how) explain in detail…but if you will look into it, you will see that it’s correct and not at all a contradiction…and if you wish, I will do the rest also…your call.


    His response?

    OKay– Your point in the gospels is sort of taken

  23. urblind, I genuinely don’t understand how those two statements of mine contradict each other. How is something making me laugh have anything to do with linking to a skeptical site?

    because your giving me a site you hold authintic, and then say it always makes me laugh out loud…as if the site were a crock of S***.

  24. because your giving me a site you hold authintic, and then say it always makes me laugh out loud…as if the site were a crock of S***.

    Wait, authentic and educational sites can't make me laugh? Or is it that every time I laugh it's out of disdain? I don't think your argument holds any water, my friend. I'm not being dense, though, I understand what point you are trying to make I just don't think you've illustrated it well.

  25. thats the whole point….using a one liner as a contradiction doesnt hold much weight….and thats exactly what these websites try to do.

  26. Marnie– If you can stomach it, go to the thread "Can a Feminist be Religious" to read the entire exchange. It isn't quite as faclie as Ur makes it out to be. –Whom I notice, by the bye, has not actually addressed any of the specific points on the website you mentioned.

  27. urblind,

    Perhaps you missed writerdd's point about not bringing stuff here from other threads, or you've already decided to forget it?

  28. Rav, thanks for the redirect. I think I might have to cry uncle on this thread. I don't have it in me to spend all day running around in circles, though it does make me think of National Lampoon's European Vacation

    "Look kids, Big Ben!"

    "Look kids, Big Ben!"

    UrBlind, you surely do seem to be on a mission of some sort. I think the next set of comments you hijack, I'll just ignore you :)

  29. OK OK I'll bite.

    I always wondered as a kid where the seemingly arbitrary rules of Kashrut came from. when I first smelled and ate bacon I thought that many people were actually denying themselves a religious experience! Ok anyway…

    so, not only are shellfish something that people can be allergic to (like corn, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, etc…what does the bible say about nuts? I have a friend who is so allergic that he can't even get near hazlenut flavored coffee grounds, or he'll get teh anaphylaxis (sp?)), shellfish are also subject to things like red tide, which can poison otherwise non-allergic people.

    also, you don't really eat your porkchop rare, right? well, last I heard, the pork harbors trich or whatever…


    you can either think that god told some people to write down what not to eat


    perhaps, people started to notice (after thousands and thousands of years)a correlation between the fact that shellfish and pork might be a little more iffy in a hot (middle eastern) climate with poor resources to keep it cool.

    Also, how come there are cultures that never had a problem with shellfish? Them Injuns in Maine? People in Galway?

    I don't know if God commanded Thee Most Worthy Rule Of Shellfish, but it's the one that I generally follow: only eat it in months that have "R"s in them.(unless you're in a really cold climate or really trust that whomever is serving you knows what's up). During the summertime here (In Southern California) there are red tide warnings. I guess red tide is some kind of algae which causes the shellfish to be dangerous to eat.

    But see, the no "R"'s rule is not random. you will notice that all the "r"-less months are in summer. Oh, here we are:

    "For instance, mussels should be avoided along the west coast of the United States during the warmer months. This poisoning is usually due to a bloom of dinoflagellates (red tides), which contain toxins. The dinoflagellates and their toxin are harmless to mussels, even when concentrated by the mussel's filter feeding, but if the mussels are consumed by humans, the concentrated toxins cause serious illness, such as paralytic shellfish poisoning. Usually the US government monitors the levels of toxins throughout the year at fishing sites. See Red Tide." – from the Wiki.

    So…Goddidit OR people noticed it. You know, the old cause-and-effect, using powers of observation, um, sounds kind of familiar…like perhaps the impulse initially for religion is the same as science: except that the religion asserts infallibility in perpetuity, while the discoveries of science are endlessly revised as new information replaces old…

    pass the moules frites! Its JanuaRy!

  30. I'd like to point out that all of Rav's contradictions are from the same author, not a one-liner from the first book by one author, then a second one-liner from the last book by nobody-knows-who-wrote-it.

    I'm willing to bet Rav actually took care only to seek out quotes that matched up like that.

    But there's other contradictions. Contradictions where two different authors are describing the exact same event, and for example one will say a person has two sisters, the other will say he had four.

    Now contradictions like that are expected if these stories were first handed down orally before being put to paper. But that would mean the bible was not actually the infallible word of god, so some other excuses must be made to account for the fact that a person suddenly has a significantly larger family. AHA, two step-sisters! (Ehm, yeah, whatever).

    Sadly, this type of after the fact correcting does little to the bible's trustworthyness. Over the course of the centuries, many smart people have already spent a lot of time coming up with loads of allegorical and hypothetical interpretations to excuse the bible's many contradictions, misspellings and mistranslations. But in my opinion, it just serves to make the whole construction more rickety and fragile.

    Of course, opinions may differ.

  31. Well, it's not entirely on topic, but we're talking about crustaceans and liberal interpretations of Leviticus.

  32. I'D like to see the fundies explain "Don't cook a kid in its mother's milk." The rabbis have all kinds of explanations for it– Though the best explanations I have heard had to do with the "ritual magic" of the era.

  33. Well, the short answer is that the sages decided to "make a fence around the Law." Meaning that they would enjoin overly-stringent regulations in order to keep people from inadvertently transgressing the mitzvot. Most of the honest sages said, "Well, we don't really know what this refers to, especially since it isn't catalogued amongst the dietary laws. But just to be safe…."

    Then you have scholars like Rambam and Rashi and some of the Tannaim saying that the commandment was enjoined in order to make sure no one got poisoned by spoilt milk.

    I still think it's better explained as a prohibition against a specific type of cultic ritual, based on the surrounding context.

  34. –Oh. I should have mentioned that that particular commandment is where we get the prohibition against mixing meat with dairy.

  35. Yep. That's what the Talmud is mostly about. How to apply the Law in everyday life, erring on the side of caution.

  36. UrBlind, you surely do seem to be on a mission of some sort. I think the next set of comments you hijack, I’ll just ignore you

    Smart move…your not ready to face the facts yet….

  37. MissMarnie wrote:

    Hello kettle? Pot here, you’re black

    This is the second time someone has used that analogy, and I don't think it applies. The pot-kettle saying implies both the speaker AND the listener are guilty of whatever the speaker is arguing against.

    I think in this case, the listeners are being accused of something only the speaker does …

  38. Exarch, good point!, I think I'd like to rescind my comment and go with Rav's instead.

    Holy Armchair Analyst, Batman! It’s the Projectionist!

  39. I'm still puzzled whether shellfish-eating is supposed to be Christian-sinful (sensible rule from old YHWH, etc), or if, not being one of the Ten Commandments, it became OK.

    Ultimately, of course, when it comes to scriptural contradictions, the most significant thing is not so much what one or other non-believer points out, which can always be explained away by being willing to believe that non-believers are evil and can't possibly understand.

    What seems most significant is the undeniable fact that different believers who all appear sincere can read the same book they all believe in and end up thinking quite different things about what the same deity wants.

    I guess that could get rationalised away as believers, or, at least, other believers being wrong, ignorant, misled, etc, (whilst just knowing that can't be happening to oneself), though that obviously would have some impact on the numbers of people one would honestly consider true believers.

  40. I promised myself I wouldn't get involved in one of those 'it's true 'cause I believe it's true' arguments, but I gotta jump in on one bit –

    "Jesus died for our sins" is an admixture of a Greek interpretation of a non-Greek story. The Greeks had a tradition of everyone's sins and general bad juju being somehow transferred to a goat and that goat being slaughtered. Jews didn't do this. Also, Greeks used GOATS not lambs. As far as I know no culture used lambs as a 'sin catcher' sacrifice. The only similar Jewish tradition is on Yom Kippur when a goat is allowed to go free, symbolically carrying with it the sins of the community.

    I'm reasonably sure Jesus was never referred to as the "Goat of God," if he was, he would've been let go rather than crucified.

    The transmutation and confusion of a lamb to the "song of the goat" (a true tragedy for Western culture if there ever was one) happened when Christianity moved west into Greek areas. None of the demonstrably primary sources refer to dying for sins. Those in the Bible who do so are Greek, not Jewish.

    The original metaphor of the Eucharist is quite different.

    A shepherd will tell you that if a ewe dies, its lamb will not be suckled by another ewe. It isn't recognized as 'my kid'. On the other hand, if a lamb dies, the mother ewe will suffer since she is still producing milk, but won't adopt a stray lamb.

    If you have a flock wherein one lamb is orphaned and one lamb has died, you can still save the orphan lamb by washing it in the blood of the already dead lamb. The ewe will then recognize the new lamb as her kind and suckle it.

    So, in a nutshell, Jesus dies, we are metaphorically washed in the blood of the lamb (Jesus) so that the ewe (God) will recognize us as his by consuming his body (the bread) and his blood (the wine).

    Forget the 'he died for our sins' thing. Its bullshit added on later by people whose heads were so filled with their own ideas they didn't get the original metaphor.

    It drives me crazy that so many "Christians" can't tell the difference between a goat and a lamb, even though Jesus obviously could (Matthew 25:31–46).

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