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    Will the Real God Please Stand Up

    I don't know God personally, of course, but it's a good bet He isn't looking kindly upon His follower, Tristan Emmanuel, who was out there defending His Good Name by calling for the flogging or hanging of a comedian (a comedian) because this "pugnacious degenerate" made some jokes about God and the proven nature of His wrath. (Proven, I should mention, because the Old Testament is full of stories about a God who is just scary angry. It's all in there.)

    Pugnacious Degenerate

    I'm not here to defend Bill Maher, who did say some pretty awful things about God in his closing monologue recently, but, as is par for Bill, he's said some pretty awful things about everyone and everything.  That's what he does.  He's a comedian.

    He's famous not in spite of, but because he drops F-bombs like they were raindrops, because he conjures up yucky sexual images, and because he's as free-wheeling about the use of drugs as any pharmaceutical company out there.

    He's a comedian.

    From all I've seen and heard, God (not that scary angry OT God of long ago) has a delightful and sometimes wicked sense of humor.  It takes a Big Man to laugh off that kind of silliness and get on with His life. As near as I can tell, when it comes to Big, in certain circles God is unequivocally it.

    Since I don't know God personally, I'm constantly confused about who He is and how He is able to draw such a crowd.  He is a singular God, yet His actions and motives are open to as many interpretations as there are stars in the sky.

    Gandhi said, "Belief in one God is the cornerstone of all religions.  But I do not foresee a time when there would be only one religion on earth in practice.  In theory, since there is one God, there can be only one religion."  

    He said, "Religion should pervade every one of our actions.  Here religion does not mean sectarianism.  It means a belief in ordered moral government of the universe.  It is not less real because it is unseen.  This religion transcends Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc.  It does not supersede them.  It harmonises them and gives them reality."

    That would be absolute sacrilege to most religious people.  A Christian is not a Jew.  A Buddhist is not a Muslim.  A Catholic is not a protestant.  A protestant is not a Mormon.  A Baptist is not a Methodist. An Apostolic Lutheran is not an Evangelical Lutheran.  And so on.  "Affiliation" is the byword.  Community.

    But then there are His most vocal, often vicious defenders--God's Warriors--the ones who claim God as their own, yet don't seem to like many of God's Chillun.

    (Note to God's Warriors: He's God. He's got this. Relax.)

    Take that guy, Tristan Emmanuel, a Canadian Christian activist who took personal offense at Maher's performance.  He put his own argument up on YouTube and published the text on a website called Barbwire.

    Here's Tristan:

    "Here is an example of how America once dealt with the likes of Bill Maher: 'Be it declared and enacted by the Lieutenant Governor, Council and Representatives, convened in General Assembly, and it is enacted by the Authority of the same, that if any person shall presume willfully to blaspheme the holy Name of God, Father, Son, or Holy Ghost; either by denying, cursing or reproaching the true God; his Creation or Government of the World: or by denying, cursing, or reproaching the holy Word of God… everyone so offending shall be punished by imprisonment, not exceeding six months, and until they find sureties for good behaviours; by sitting in pillory; by whipping; boaring thorow the tongue, with a red hot iron; or sitting upon the gallows with a rope about their neck; at the discretion of the court…' — Massachusetts General Laws.
    Lamentably, in 1952 the US Supreme Court decided, 'It is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches or motion pictures.' And ever since then atheists have freely and very publicly ridiculed God, challenged every public demonstration of Christian religion, belittled Christians and attacked every institution bequeathed to us by our Christian forebears. But I gotta say, Maher’s comments are the most shocking and heinous public utterances of blasphemy on U.S. airwaves.
    And worse still, Christians — and especially Christian leaders — have said very little. America is hanging on by a thin thread of longsuffering divine justice. The pugnacious degenerate Bill Maher may think blasphemy is a laughing matter. The nation of America may think it can hide behind the First Amendment. And Christians may falsely think they are demonstrating Christlike love by remaining quiet in the face of profligate profanity. But mark my word, a day of reckoning is coming. God is very clear. Exodus 20:7 'You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.'"

    Tristan, bless his heart, published a follow-up to his piece after some people were mean to him about it.  He says he wasn't actually calling for a Maher-flogging--obviously--but then he says,

    "At any rate you so-called Christians helped to prove my point perfectly.
    You do not care about God’s honour and yet you have the audacity to call
     yourselves Christians. Therefore I say again, America, and especially
    American Evangelicalism, is hanging on by a thin thread.
    Don't be surprised if God sends an unlikely candidate to judge your lawless society.  Just like he used the Babylonians in the past to judge apostate Israel, I don't doubt for a [sic] monument that he will use a twisted distortion of Old Testament law--sharia law--to teach mealy-mouthed Americans what happens when you reject His righteous rule and law."
    At any rate you so-called Christians helped to prove my point perfectly. You do not care about God’s honour and yet you have the audacity to call yourselves Christians. Therefore I say again, America, and especially American Evangelicalism, is hanging on by a thin thread. Don’t be surprised if God sends an unlikely candidate to judge your lawless society. Just like he used the Babylonians in the past to judge apostate Israel, I don’t doubt for a monument that he will use a twisted distortion of Old Testament law — sharia law — to teach mealy-mouthed Americans what happens when you reject His righteous rule and law.
    Read more at http://barbwire.com/2014/04/02/oscar-lite-bill-asphemy-predictable-christian-compromise/#4LTTW80lIT4BYqaI.99vvvv

     So there. And okay.

    These kinds of arguments among people who call themselves religious leave wide-open questions about the real nature of God and how it is that there are so many interpretations of a Creator's wishes for His own invention, the human race.

    Who is God?   The obvious answer is, He's whoever someone wants Him to be.  He is the deity each church, synagogue, temple or mosque wants Him to be.  He's so many different things to so many different people, the call to find God seems all but impossible.  Yet every person who believes in Him claims to know who He is.

    I don't know and can't know.  For me, the jury is still out on whether or not He exists, so, as an outsider looking in, I ask. . .

    Is the God who loves and cherishes the Earth's inhabitants the same wrathful, intolerant God revered so passionately in the "God Hates Everyone but Us" churches?

    Which God looks kindly on the poor and afflicted and which One shines His light upon those who are actively fighting against using any governmental advantage to help those sad souls?

    Which God looks the other way when TV preachers use His name to con gullible people into sending them money and which One is thinking of ways to smite Bill Maher, the comedian?

    Which God thinks He should be a prominent fixture in government-funded public schools and in public places and which God is satisfied with His ability to give humans the capacity to learn and think for themselves?  

    Which God expects His people to define the books of the bible wisely and lovingly and which One says fugettabout the Golden Rule and stick with the juicier passages highlighting sin, suffering, discrimination, and hate?

    Which God shakes His head at the willful destruction of His handiwork and which God chuckles at tee shirts in his name?

    Which God works overtime trying to teach the world about humanity and tolerance and which One spends His days helping His chosen people find everything from spouses to pets to car dealers?

    Which God is it?

    Will the real God please stand up.



    Don't be surprised if God sends an unlikely candidate to judge your lawless society. 

    He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!


    Okay, now you're scaring me.

    Who ya' gonna call?


    You say: He's a comedian. But here is the definition:

    An entertainer whose act is designed to make an audience laugh.

    While Maher may make some people laugh, my impression is that his act is designed to ridicule people and things he dislikes 

    That makes him a ridiculist, It's possible that I just invented that word but that is what he is.

    Not really sure what Tristan is but he and Maher will feed off one another as long as they are drawing attention.

    Best to just ignore both.

    What circle of hell did Dante say sowers of discord were in?


    I'm afraid Anderson Cooper has beaten you to the word ridiculist, but has decided that it is a list of ridiculous items. And, as I'm sure you know, the English language does not allow words to have more than one meaning.


    The Ridiculentsia


    That's it!

    All the same, I fear Tristan much more than I do Bill.  Bill has fun making fun.  Tristan, on the other hand, gets off on anger.  Righteous anger.  The worst kind, as history will attest.

    I have not watched either of their videos you mention so I can not say in this case which I think is more dangerous.

    I have watched Maher in the past but not all that much. My impression is that he has some very deep anger and uses sarcastic and sardonic humor to cope with it. That method of coping may be all that separates the two.


    Hmmm.  Somehow I can't picture Bill Maher saying something like this:

    Don't be surprised if God sends an unlikely candidate to judge your lawless society.  Just like he used the Babylonians in the past to judge apostate Israel, I don't doubt for a [sic] monument that he will use a twisted distortion of Old Testament law--sharia law--to teach mealy-mouthed Americans what happens when you reject His righteous rule and law."

    I find Maher tiresome most of the time but brilliant some of the time. (Almost always when he says something I agree with, of course.)  I've never seen him threaten anybody by imagining God's wrath against those who don't do what he, Bill, would want them to do.  I don't see an inch of comparison.

    In that I see fear. If I recall correctly, the wrath of God in the Old Testament was usually visited on the righteous as well as the unrighteous. And recalling my Sunday Schooling, for anyone confident that they are heaven bound that is only a short-term problem. Of course, worry that loved ones might not have the same destination might cause concern enough to provoke anger at someone perceived to be a threat to them.


    My impression is that he has some very deep anger and uses sarcastic and sardonic humor to cope with it.


    Who's his dad?


    Who's his dad?  Never mind, I looked him up. So Bill's a media legacy. That explains a lot.


    I believe Michael Maiello was suggesting that patre Maiello (as opposed to patre Maher) also uses sarcasm and sardonic humor to cope with anger.

    Possibly but if so, Maiello fils is much, much less angry than than Maher fils, iow much, much less mean-spirited.


    Yes, was just making a lil joke. :)

    Comedy is subjective. Like the posts on jazz no one can convince someone that some musician or comedian is great if they don't like him. I haven't seen much of Maher's work since I haven't had a tv for a couple of decades. But enough people find him funny that he's had a great career that has made him a multimillionaire. He's got enough surplus cash to give Obama a million in the last election.

    He worked as a stand up comedian for years and was liked by enough people to get a show on comedy central. After several years his audience was large enough that Politically Incorrect moved to ABC. According to articles I read at the time he preferred working at CC but the money was so much better at ABC he couldn't pass it up. When ABC fired him for his 9/11 comment he quickly got his show on HBO.

    You may not like his style but there're very few comedians that have a following as large as Bill Maher.


    Maher has the ability to lift me out of political depressions.

    Some of his New Rules monologues have had me rolling.

    I like his take on religion in general, though he can go overboard.

    His critique of Islam, in particular, is too harsh, though the religion, IMO, is going through a bad patch right now.

    It wouldn't be fair for me to judge since I've only seen some clips on the internet. And even there I have to limit the amount of video I watch since I'm using satellite internet which has a monthly download limit. But much of what I've seen him say are things I think  need to be said, and sometimes he makes me laugh.


    You're right, comedy is subjective and since my comment above I have been puzzling over the difference in the styles of Stephen Colbert and David Letterman and why I am looking forward to the change.

    I am not a regular viewer of either one. I rarely watch tv since discovering the internet but I do occasionally watch online clips and full shows when there is an interesting guest or an episode gets a lot of online buzz. 

    Both use ridicule for comedic effect but I find Colbert funnier and more pleasant to watch than Letterman. Still puzzling over why.


    I've been puzzling over humor since I read Heinlein's take on it in Stranger in a Strange Land. Lots of revelations there on many subjects for a teen aged mind. I reread it as an adult and it doesn't have as much depth as I thought but it blew me away when I was about 15.

    I make up and tell a lot of jokes to my friends and one  thing I've learned. If you want to get a laugh you have to be willing to not get a laugh a few times for every hit. I wonder if the pros have a much better ratio. They just do it so much more often and their audience is often changing so they can tell the same jokes over and over and refine their material. At any rate its made me more open to comics that don't make me laugh with every joke.

    You might like this anecdote about Seinfeld & the "how do I get to Broadway?" "practice practice practice" method.  

    (James Clear has a motivational mailing list that I've found a bit interesting - as compared to the useless empty or pathetic "how to be successful" platitudes on LinkedIn & elsewhere)

    You can know the real god by his signature.

    “When people say, ‘Why don’t you just kind of get on the right side of history?’ I said, ‘You’ve got to understand, this for me is not about the right side or the wrong side of history, this is the right side of the Bible, and unless God rewrites it, edits it, sends it down with his signature on it, it’s not my book to change,’” Huckabee said.

    The problem as I see it is how to know if the signature on the revised edition is real or forged. I suppose Huckabee will have to hire a couple of handwriting experts to compare it to god's signature on the original bible.

    The Huckabee excuse was used to justify slavery, Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws. A 15th century Pope spoke out against slavery in the a Canary Islands. By the mid- nineteenth century, most European denominations viewed slavery as anti-Biblical. In the US Bible believing abolitionists viewed slavery as going against the Bible. Blacks who staged slave revolts used the Bible as the source of their view that slavery was evil. Denominations like the Baptists and Methodists split over the issue of slavery in the United States. The US stood out as defiant on using the. Bile to support Slavery.

    Regarding homosexuality, the prophet Ezekiel said the following 

    Ezekiel 16:49

    King James Version 

    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    New American Standard Bible

    "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.

    Huckabee hears what he wants to hear and it not surprisingly coincides with his homophobia

    If you want to see God's signature, look inside yourself.  Deep inside.  With an electron microscope.  Have a look at striated muscle, at mitochondria, at cilia.  Evolution may explain (after the fact) why these organelles might be useful.  But it cannot explain why they're beautiful.  That's His signature.

    Oh, please!

    An erection microscope?

    No need!  Ever since I enrolled in the Ron Jeremy method, my dick is visible to the naked eye...

    I hunt all the time and I know exactly what is inside. Blood and snot and pus and shit and guts and a bag full of piss. Stinks too. You've got to get as much of that stuff out as quickly as possible so it doesn't rot the meat. All the while being careful that the bags of stomach fluids, piss, and shit don't break and spoil the meat.

    Why does god hide his beautiful signature that you can only see with an electron microscope behind that not very beautiful piss, shit, snot, pus and guts that is right there visible to the naked eye?

    Why do artists hide their signatures in small letters in the bottom corner, or on the back, or don't sign at all?

    God is an excuse for bossing people around

    You don't need God for that.  "The good of the children" will do just fine.

    Well I squinted real hard, for years, just like Pat Robertson and guess what?

    I never received 90 mill ever.

    Even when I told my callers to send me as much money as they could afford for the purpose of helping that woman in Ohio with cancer.

    I don't know how he does it.

    I mean he does not have a face that is any good but for squinting.

    Try as I might, Louis Gohmert is still in the House of Representatives and DeMint still tells us that the Freedom of Slavery had nothing to do with the Federal Government.

    I ask you

    What is a mother to do?

    I do marvel at Pat Robertson's ability to go on conning people year after year after year.  He has no charisma and he looks like a loon.  Not much of what comes out of his mouth makes sense.  But he built a thriving business by using God as his shill sidekick. 

    I thought God knew everything.  Is He okay with this?

    Are you comparing me to God?

    Inscrutable, invincible, all-knowing, full of Himself. . .

    You decide.

    Hehe. I was thinking more of the shill thing.

    Oh, sorry.  I thought it was because you were anonymous!

    The right kind of squint means you're a straight shooting, take no nonsense, been there done that, you can't put one over on me kind of guy.

    Clint did, does it well, but with a smoldering violence behind it.

    Fred Thompson achieves the same effect more genially in his commercials for financial products by firmly closing his mouth so that his lower lip pushes up, or slightly overlaps, his upper lip after dropping a nugget of wisdom.

    The gesture says, "You can trust a sober-thinking guy like me. I'm giving you the straight pony."

    I believe there's some subtext here as well: "You'll be doing the smart thing, unlike your dopey neighbors and friends who are always falling for some huckster. They'll quietly envy you as they count their few remaining pennies. And from now on, you'll chuckle knowingly as you thank god you're not them and offer them a sympathetic ear and sage advice they won't be in a position to follow now that they're broke."

    (Hey, did someone call me shnorrer?)


    You were called a Schmore.

    You know....Like you are a cracker filled with marshmallows and chocolate.


    God, I have to squint just to read my own silly comment!

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