Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Rapture Ready!

Fellow Christians, I'm pleased to report that we're beginning to have some idea of how many poor foreign people the Lord God Jehovah has righteously slain by burying them under countless tons of fermenting garbage and toxic sludge:

The death toll from a landslide at a mountainside rubbish dump in West Java province has increased to 136, while 47 people are still missing, an official said Tuesday (22/2/05). Triggered by heavy rains, the landslide occurred at about 2am Monday, sending tons of hazardous waste and mud onto the hamlets of Cilimus and Cireundeu in Leuwigajah village, outside Cimahi town.
Experts are divided on the meaning of this dreadful new warning to a sinful world. While the worship of false gods is endemic in the region, the similarity of this judgment to the deadly landslides that recently struck Southern California suggests that the specific cause for this awe-inspiring example of divine wrath is more likely to be sexual immorality, anti-Americanism, or some combination of the two.

"That would be the most charitable explanation," said Rev. Billy Hovis, Pastor of the Free Presbyterian Church of Crippleback, Missouri. "But as in the Los Angeles disaster, the possibility of divine vengeance against witchcraft or bestiality is very real."

In other news, the Lord God Jehovah has abundantly blessed Shirley Applebee of Green River, Wyoming, a Bible-believing mother of nine who learned on Tuesday that her car hadn't blown a head gasket after all. "God heard my prayers," she said. "And I couldn't be happier."


Rexroth's Daughter said...

Would it be morally wrong of me to wish the Reverend Hovis be struck by bolt of lightning, or a car, or even for him to just drop dead. How wrong would that be?
Am I really living in 2005? Or did I die and wake up in a strange dystopian novel by Sinclair Lewis?

Phila said...

Easy there! I just made Rev. Hovis up. Though I hasten to add that I paint what I see.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

What? You made him up? I just spent an entire dinner ranting about this to DPR. Oh well, Hovis was a good straw man. Although, I suspect there are a lot of flesh and blood idiots out there who preach this kind of righteousness.
I thought the last paragraph was the whole joke, but I see that I was mistaken. Good one.

Phila said...

An entire dinner? Wow! I'm making a difference!

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Well, we actually branched out to how ridiculous the whole xtian belief system is-- and then expanded that to include the entire belief in monotheism. And then we decided we should do a post on the saddhus who walk backwards, or roll, or hop on one leg for many, many miles in devotion to a deity--
That led to a discussion about the god gene and speculation about why Jeffers objects to it.
A few more glasses of wine and we might have had it all figured out.
Wish you could have been here, but as they say, in spirit... in spirit. Salud.

Speechless said...

(Phila, is that you in the baseball cap? Hey, you look so much like Degas!)

In Philadelphia we just can't make sense of why God didn't grant us good favor and let the Eagles win last month. We've been going round scratching our heads wondering how if so many people are praying, he could fail us again. Actually, he's hardly smiled upon our sports teams, despite all the praying that goes on during the game. Is it bad karmah? Or wait, no, GOd doesnt' do karma does he? Does he? We should send for the woman from Montanna --or did you make her up too? Either way is ok with me.

Phila said...

Gotta say, I object to the God gene right along with Jeffers...don't even get me started on that!

I'm not anti-religion; I'm just anti-evil.

And Speechless, a handsome man looks good in anything! And yeah, I made the gal from Wyoming too, infinitely cunning demiurge that I am.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

so we here at chez bum obviously don't understand the god gene. we'll check it out.

dread pirate roberts

Rmj said...

That led to a discussion about the god gene and speculation about why Jeffers objects to it. Shoot, that's easy: first question. Why isn't anyone talking about a "reason" gene?

Phila said...

I'm interested in the Imaginary Objectivity Gene, myself.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

"Shoot, that's easy: first question. Why isn't anyone talking about a "reason" gene?"

Well if every mention of God must have a corresponding mention of reason, I see the point. Otherwise, not so much.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

my small research into the obviously mis-named "god gene" indicates that "it" causes humans to produce a bit more of a specific chemical. that chemical is "associated" by subjective interviews with more imagination or even a propensity to visions or epiphanies. the scientist who made the assertion says specifically that the gene is NOT related to the existence or non of a deity. or deities. it may cause individuals to have more experiences that may be taken as evidence of god. or gods.

am i missing something?

dread pirate roberts

Phila said...


You're talking to RMJ, but I'll give you my objection anyhow. As you say, it's misnamed. But it's also misconceived...the idea of a single gene - or one of its alleles - that reliably gives rise to this or that trait is popular, but not really accurate...and it gets even dicier when you're talking about psychological states, IMO.

Beyond that, it doesn't actually explain anything about the variety of religious experience, which involves many other things than visions and epiphanies - including rationally applied logic - and which includes (for instance) atheists becoming religious and vice versa. Are we to think of the "God gene" as switching on and off? To me, that's absurd. The usual conception of a "God gene" belongs more to polemics than science.

I'm currently working on a post about these issues which I guarantee will endear me to no one at all.

Anonymous said...

I remember working with someone that used rules as weapons (psychologically). The more unbending he was, the more he smiled his mean-grin. Warped! But at least he didn't use God as a psychological weapon.

Hovis types (living ones LOL) might re-read (or read for the first time) Job.