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Charles Darwin and Annie

Two spiritual events can be traced in the life of Charles Darwin, originator of the natural selection evolution theory. Had those events turned out differently, one wonders what effect it might have had on science interpretation.

The first…..the second will be dealt with in another post…..came with the death of Darwin’s favorite child, his daughter Annie. At age 10, the child contracted scarlet fever, and agonized for 6 weeks before dying. Also a casualty was Darwin’s faith in a beneficent Creator. The book Evolution: Triumph of an Idea, by Carl Zimmer, tells us that Darwin “lost faith in angels.” That’s an odd expression. Why would it be used?

They probably told him that God was picking flowers.

Is there any analogy more slanderous to God than the one in which God is picking flowers? Up there in heaven He has the most beautiful garden imaginable. But it is not enough! He is always on the watch for pretty flowers, the very best, and if He spots one in your garden, He helps himself, even though it may be your only one. Yes, He needs more angels, and if your child is the most pure, the most beautiful, happy, innocent child that can be, well….watch out! He or she may become next new angel. Sappy preachers give this illustration all the time, apparently thinking it gives comfort.

Not surprisingly, the picking flowers analogy is nowhere found in the Bible. However, a close parallel analogy is found in 2 Samuel, where it is used to make exactly the opposite point: that the flower picker should be executed. The setting is when King David took the pretty wife of one of his subjects, and had that subject killed.

The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.  The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle,  but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
"Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him."
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die!  He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."
Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man!
             2 Samuel 12:1-7, NIV

Now, this analogy appeals to us. This is just. The man is not expected to take comfort that the king stole his wife. No, he deserves execution! So how is it that when we're told God has done the same, we’re expected to feel all warm and fuzzy?

Wasn't it Abraham Lincoln who said that he was not smart enough to lie? His meaning was that if you lie, you have to adjust every subsequent statement to be consistent with that lie, otherwise you will get caught. Telling the truth presents no such challenge.

The picking flowers analogy is an attempt to cover a lie, and as we have seen, it doesn’t satisfy. The lie is that, when we die, we don’t really die because the soul lives on, going straight to heaven if we’ve been good. Thus, death is a friend. It is a chance for promotion, and we are all happy to see good people promoted.

In this context, the Bible’s hope of a resurrection is meaningless. (Acts 24:15) How can someone be resurrected if they never actually died?

Better to tell the truth from the start, and then you don’t have to invent ridiculous stories to cover your tracks. Death is not a friend, it’s an enemy. Nor is it God’s purpose for humans; it came upon us due to rebellion. Nor does it bring us into a new state of consciousness; instead we become nonexistent, and can be likened to unconscious or asleep. Nor does God purpose to leave us in this sad predicament, but he’s taken steps to eliminate death.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—  Rom 5:12

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.    1 Cor 15:25

For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten……Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave,  where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.     Eccles 9:5,10

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."
His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead…         John 11:11-14

(all verses from the New International Version)

How different history might have been had Darwin known the truth about death. Not just Darwin, of course, but everyone of his time, as well as before and after. Instead, fed a diet of phony pieties….junk food, if you will…..he and others of inquisitive minds searched elsewhere in an attempt to make sense of life.

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Tom Irregardless and Me             No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Telomeres and Old Folks

Every decade or so, Awake! magazine looks at the research of aging scientists, that is, scientists who investigate aging, gerontologists. The picture changes dramatically. Twenty years ago, they hadn’t a clue about aging. But with success in mapping the genome, some began to think aging itself could be halted, or at least slowed. They got downright cocky, some of them, and there is still much optimism.

We all accept death as a finality. But there are things about it that don’t quite square. For instance, who hasn’t heard that we use one tenth of one percent of our brain? The exact percentage doesn’t matter. The question that matters is…..how did that come to be? There’s no way evolution can account for it. Mutations survive to be passed on to succeeding generations only if they give one an edge to survival. But we’ve just stated that we never use the 99.9% extra capacity. So where’s the necessary edge to ensure such excess brainpower is passed on? It’s as if you own a house as big a New York State, yet you only use a few hundred square feet for living.

Our immune system is also curious. Cut your flesh and your body repairs itself. Organs of the body continually replace cells with new ones so that, every few years, you are physically, an entirely different person. Imagine if your Buick did that. Would you ever need to replace it? With life, however, the repair process itself gradually slows down and stops. But why should that be?

Frankly, the picture corresponds with the Bible account that man was created to live forever, death coming about only through disobedience. Of course, this would require us to accept…..gasp…Adam and Eve, and painfully few, if any self-respecting scientists would ever make such a pathetic mistake. Still, many have come to view aging as a not inevitable human condition.

Our chromosomes have segments of repeating DNA at both ends that act much like tips on our shoelaces. Without them, the chromosomes would unravel and become unstable. Named telomeres, some scientists view them as key to aging.

Every time a chromosome divides to form a new cell, the telomere ends shorten. When they whittle down to nubs, after 50 or so divisions, the cell divides no more and soon dies. But a certain enzyme, called telomerase, prevents that shortening. With that enzyme present, cells in the lab divide indefinitely….they do not die. Unfortunately, they also tend to become cancerous. But it offers intriguing possibilities and consumes much energy from the gerontologists.

Will scientists figure it out, or will it remain always e beyond their grasp?

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Tom Irregardless and Me         No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

 

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Farewell to Mickey Spillane

Here’s a bit of writing to brighten your day!

Caution:  graphic (not sexual) stuff ahead. Feel free to skip the next paragraph. You can always come back to it if you want.

I snapped the side of the rod across his jaw and laid the flesh open to the bone. I pounded his teeth back into his mouth with the end of the barrel ... and I took my own damn time about kicking him in the face. He smashed into the door and lay there bubbling. So I kicked him again and he stopped bubbling.

Isn’t that a bit…..um….violent?

Yes, it is, and it was penned by Mickey Spillane, who died last week at 88 years of age.  He was the most selling author of the twentieth century. But I’ve never heard of him, whine the twenty-somethings. That’s because his monster-sellers were written late 40’s and early 50’s, starting with I, the Jury, in which tough private eye Mike Hammer set out to avenge his pal’s murder. He’s gonna plug the sadistic creep when he finds him, instead of arresting him for trial, because…..well….the title says it all!

Spillane wrote it quickly, in just nine days, because he needed a down payment for a home. Within two years, he had achieved superstar-author status.

And then he became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The guy who brought broads and blood to the reading masses is a Jehovah's Witness, a fundamentalist [group] that preaches the imminent end of the world. "There's nothing phony about them. Everything they say is true," says Spillane, a one-time "nominal" Protestant converted years ago by a Jehovah's Witness who knocked on his door.

[We would never characterize ourselves as a fundamentalist group…..indeed, we maintain a certain distance from those folks. But, alas, sometimes people confuse us with them……Sheepandgoats]

This posed a problem for Mike Hammer, because Jehovah’s Witnesses are not blood and guts people. Of course, Mike Hammer didn’t become a JW, Mickey Spillane did, but Mike, as an invented person, can’t do squat without Mickey’s okay. In 1952 he (Mickey) told Life magazine: There are more books on the way, but they won't contain the things that bolster the excuses for the moral breakdown of this present generation. I've changed my work and course of action to be in harmony with Jehovah's Kingdom. Spillane didn’t write again for 10 years.

When he did, Mike Hammer was somewhat tamer, though hardly domesticated. The bad guys, after all, are bad, and you can only be so nice in dealing with them. New characters appeared as well: Tiger Mann, (not Woods) a James Bond wannabe of the 1970’s. Spillane also wrote a couple of children’s books, The Day the Sea Rolled Back (1979) and The Ship That Never Was (1982).

I wrote those books as an exercise, they sold, they won the Junior Literary Guild Award, which made all the guys who write kids books very aggravated, 'how can you win that award?', but you know what that does, it gets you into all the school libraries, which is a lot of sales.

For about twenty years, he did Miller Lite TV commercials…. we made Miller Lite the second largest selling beer in the world and everybody said 'no one'll drink that stuff'.

High-brow authors thought his writing stunk to high heaven, but Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged) loved it. She examines a passage of his writing:

"The rain was misty enough to be almost foglike, a cold gray curtain that separated me from the pale ovals of white that were faces locked behind the steamed-up windows of the cars that hissed by. Even the brilliance that was Manhattan by night was reduced to a few sleepy yellow lights off in the distance" -- and then compares it to a passage by Thomas Wolfe -- "The city had never seemed as beautiful as it looked that night. For the first time he saw that New York was supremely, among the cities of the world, a city of night. There had been achieved here a loveliness that was astounding and incomparable, a kind of modern beauty, inherent to its place and time, that no other place nor time could match."

To Rand, "there is not a single emotional word or adjective in Spillane's description; he presents nothing save visual facts; but he selects only those facts, only those eloquent details, which convey the visual reality of the scene and create a mood of desolate loneliness." Wolfe, she argued, used only estimates, "and in the absence of any indication of what aroused these estimates, they are arbitrary assertions and meaningless generalities."

I’ve only read three of Mickey Spillane’s novels: his first, and his last two. So I have a few to catch up on. I wrote to him, but he never replied. However it was only a few months ago, and I guess he’d been in bad health. He was 88, after all. And I had to go through his publisher; my letter to his googled address came back undeliverable.

In his 80's, he knew he wouldn't write too much longer.

I'm going to write my last Mike Hammer novel...I used to write fast, but I can't now, my rear end gets tired...I can't put in 12 hours a day sitting in a chair.

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A Fraud that Has to Go

So we have answers to two of the most pressing questions ever raised. Why is there suffering? and Why do people die? The answers are complete, straightforward, concise... yet not difficult to understand. The only objection one might have is that they are somehow too simple, that we have become too sophisticated, that science has pegged such accounts as stories, not facts. This is why the evolution teaching has to go...it is the one obstacle blocking answers to life's most puzzling mysteries.

Now, if evolution was an absolute proven, consistent, can't-get-around-it fact, then we would all simply have to adjust and tell Adam and Eve to take a hike. But, in fact, it is simply nonsense masquerading as science. There! That ought to make some people mad. But stay with us a bit. Maybe we can partly persuade you. Not completely, of course, but maybe partly.

Some try to blend the two, religion and evolution. How can one state that there is an ALLpowerful being who could not create the system known as evolution? they ask. The answer is that one cannot state it. He could create such a system. But, it's the wrong question. The question is not could he, but did he, especially when such an action blows to smithereens the explanations of death and suffering already alluded to.

When I first came across this thinking 35 years ago, I was staggered that I had found people who actually believed in Adam and Eve! They did not look stupid....well, maybe a few of them, just like everywhere else..... yet all my life I had believed...I had been schooled that way...that only the dumbest of the rednecks didn’t believe in evolution. One fellow in the congregation loaned me a book, a predecessor to today's Life....How Did It Get Here, By Evolution or Creation. I didn't like it. I thought it was poorly written and took some cheap shots I did not resolve this subject for a long time. Instead, I decided to shelve it for the time being, since everything else made so much sense.

Many decisions we make that we think are purely rational are, in fact, tainted with more emotion than we at first recognize. I resisted this conclusion for a long time, because it is not the way I would like things to be...it makes people vulnerable to manipulation. The smarter we are, the worse the manipulation can be, since we convince ourselves that it is our mind, not our emotion, telling us to do this or that. Pride comes into the picture, since we tend to be proud of ideas we have reasoned out for ourselves. Pride 'hardens' us in our position. Max Planck, the physicist, said: People think new truths are accepted when the proponents are able to convince the opponents. Instead, the opponents of the truth gradually die, and a new generation comes along who is familiar with the idea.   Isn’t it emotion and pride that’s to blame? 

The evolution teaching, in both origin and endurance, has strong emotional appeal.

The clergy have fallen far from what they once were. There was a time when they called all the shots…not just in religious life, but in all life. People deferred to the local minister/priest. If you spoke against them, you did so behind their backs, never openly. They enjoyed the highest status and wide respect. And yet they did nothing but abuse the power they had. Especially in Europe, (where Darwin was from) the Church amassed phenomenal wealth, at the expense of the locals. While the clergy lived in luxury, the people lived in squalor. Many Popes were astoundingly immoral/perverted, not merely by pious religious standards, but by any standards. The clergy brought the inquisition, torturing those who challenged their authority. Any notion of science perceived to threaten their status was firmly crushed: for example Copernicus and later Galileo, stating that the earth revolved around the sun, and not vice versa.

The clergy were the chief opponents Bible translation, preferring the Bible to be calcified into long-dead languages that no commoners could understand. Early translators were harassed, sometimes tortured and killed. At times, even those possessing  such a Bible were punished. The clergy had good reason to oppose Bible understanding, since the Bible condemned their manner of living...indeed, even the notion of a separate class, who commandeer and make a living off Christian activity, runs counter to the Bible.

The printing press was their undoing. It gave those who opposed church tyranny a voice. Countless new brands of clergy came into existance. But what better way to cut these guys down to size then to remove the very basis of their authority. If it could be shown that life came about spontaneously, without any divine intervention, then the clergy would become, not the guardians of Ultimate Truth, but the guardians of Children's Stories and Nonsense.

This was the emotional appeal of the evolution theory: letting the air out of a pompous, abusive group of people. Of course, this does not prove that evolution is false, only that it is an idea with a strong emotional appeal, something quite apart from its intellectual merits.

It’s the emotional reasons that must keep the theory firmly in place, because the intellectual merits really aren’t that compelling. And, much evidence that is claimed to support evolution can just as easily support creation. For example:

Similarity between life forms….limbs, organs, cellular structure, and so forth. This is claimed as evidence of evolution. Why should it be? Lots of manufactured things share similar design. Automobiles, for instance. If you find a prototype that works, you duplicate it again and again, with variations, in other created things. How does that prove evolution?

Vestigial organs, for example: our appendix, wisdom teeth. These are things we once needed but no longer do, say the evolutionists. Yes, I suppose, but can’t they just as easily be explained in our gradual deteriorating? Having lost perfection, with lifespans plunging from 1000 years to 80, every generation is a little sicker and more fragile then the one before. We can read and accumulate knowledge at a quicker pace then ever before, so human accomplishments increase, but as individuals, every generation is farther from that original perfection.

Variation within a species, such as the differences in finches that Darwin observed on the islands….changes in colors, feet, beaks & so forth. So? Nobody denies that happens. That’s why people look different in different parts of the world. Take a population, isolate them so they can only breed among themselves, and in time, characteristics emerge that are unique to that population. But they always remain people. The evolutionists would claim that, since Darwin observed changes in generations of finches, it means entirely separate life forms evolve? That is a ridiculous leap of faith, on par with any of the religious ideas it would challenge.

The fossil record. This is claimed as the most convincing proof of evolution, as if created beings would not leave behind fossils when they died. The record is not at all convincing. We’ve all heard of the missing link between primates and humans. In fact, there are missing links between all species...it is only the vaguest guesswork and wishful thinking that allows any connection between them. For decades, there was a nice chain of pictures showing the so-called evolution of the horse. (it may still be used, as these notions are slow to be discarded, even after they have been demonstrated to be false) It's now acknowledged that the ancestors are not ancestors at all...they are different animals, a different species, still alive today. The fossil record does not show one species gradually evolving into another, but rather, species that always remains separate and distinct, although there will be variation within them, as in the finches. I wonder what would happen if evolutionists of the distant future found the fossils of a Dinka human (very tall) and a Pygmy human (very short) Would they recognize it as extreme variation within the human family? I am not convinced. I can envision statements that "all the books on human evolution will have to be rewritten...we must re-examine everything we thought was true," and that the evolution trail would go from very short to very tall creatures or vice versa.

If a person believes in God, yet is unaware of the Bible's specific answers on suffering and old age, and if they also are under the impression that evolution is true science (why would anyone not be?), a done deal, then the only reasonable position is to believe God is guiding the evolution process to produce life. But by taking this position, you get the worst of both worlds. It becomes impossible to understand the Bible’s answers to serious questions. And you do not even please true evolutionists, who will sniff that you are a weakling and must use belief in God as a crutch.

 

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Tom Irregardless and Me              No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

The First and the Last Adam

Adam was the biggest letdown, and his rebellion doomed all of us to imperfection and death. Jesus was as good as Adam was bad, and then some. How is it, then,  that he can be called the last Adam?

And so it is written; the first Adam was made a living soul; The last Adam was made a quickening spirit.  1 Cor 15:45   

If you have been conditioned to believe in the Trinity, you will never understand that scripture. Jesus, say the Trinitarians, is equal to God. He is God, only in a different form. So how can he be termed the last Adam?

Set aside the Trinity belief, and the picture clears instantly.

The key is to recognize that Jesus was a perfect man. That’s why he was born of a virgin, with Joseph merely the foster father. Had he been born in the usual manner, he would have been imperfect, same as all the rest of Adam’s descendants. He would not have corresponded in any way to Adam. It would have been apples and oranges.

And if Jesus is God, again we have apples and oranges. Adam and Jesus only correspond if we recognize that they were both perfect men, the only two perfect men that have ever been.

This is a huge point to recognize, because it enables understanding of a central Christian teaching: how does Jesus’ death benefit mankind. Without this one-to-one correspondence, all you can get is a touchy-feely answer to that question, one that pulls at the heart but does nothing for the head.

God sent his son to die, Trinitarians say, to show his love for humans. Yeah, okay, but why that and not something else?

Because God wanted to give the most precious thing he had, is the answer. Yeah, but….why not throw in all the angels as well, and the stars? Wouldn’t that show even more love?

No, that explanation may tug at the heart, but it does nothing for the head. It contributes to the John Coffey (J.C.)…like the drink, but spelled differently….image of Christianity: Christians are big on heart, with lots of hope, and boundless good will….but they’re really not too smart. 

The Trinity teaching seriously interferes, even prevents, understanding this key Bible point. But if you make Jesus a perfect man, you get a result that satisfies the heart and the mind.

Adam was not created to die. Endless life was before him. When he rebelled, he pulled the plug on himself. But not just himself, also all his offspring….all of us. No longer would anyone look forward to endless life, now their certain destiny was old age and death. He sold them, Adam did. He sold them into the slavery of sin and death. And there they must stay, unless someone can buy them back.

A perfect man sold them into slavery, another perfect man will be needed as the repurchase price. Not another disobedient one like Adam, but a faithful perfect man, as Jesus proved to be.

You can’t find any perfect men among Adam’s offspring, they’re all imperfect. Only if God sends a heavenly son, his first born, to be born as a human, of a virgin, and so free from Adam’s imperfect heritage, can that perfect man be found. And that’s what God did.

When you free a kidnapped victim, the price you pay is called the ransom. The ransom price paid to release all of us from bondage to sin and death is a perfect human life, exactly corresponding to the perfect human life Adam threw away. Offering his own perfect life, Jesus bought back what Adam lost, he died for our sins. Now the expression died for our sins makes some sense. Jesus’ life is the ransom price needed to redeem enslaved mankind, and it is the exact price required, thus ransom carries the sense of completely covering….not too much and not too little.

When it comes to righting the greatest wrong ever, God plays by the same rules he made for us: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a soul for a soul…..in this case, a perfect soul for a perfect soul. (Deut 19:21) Thus, the “legal” framework is in place to restore everlasting life on earth to those who desire it.

The Son Of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matt 20:28

For there is one god, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all.  1 Tim 2:5,6

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Tom Irregardless and Me    No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Acts of the Pioneers: an Important New Find

When the National Geographic Society announced the discovery of the Book of Judas, folks at the Whitepebble Research Institute were not happy. Religious studies, along with government studies, constitute their bread and butter, and they get nervous when someone else makes a big splash in the pool they would like to own. Thus, the Whitepebble outfit put its own manuscript sniffing operation in high gear, and shortly came up with an important find, (if you’re not fussy) the Book of Howard.

The institute is now pleased to announce a 2nd  manuscript, one-upping the National Geographic Society, entitled Acts of the Pioneers. Eminent archeologist Tom Wheatandweeds presented his find at the last Institute meeting, where it was quite a hit, let me tell you. While perhaps not as important as the book of Judas, it certainly has the stature of the book of Howard.

                                                Acts of the Pioneers               

Now in Rochester there were dwelling pioneers, reverent men and women, about thirty in number, having been gathered for the purpose of attending the pioneer service school. At the ninth hour of the day the disciples Richard and Andrew stood up before them all and said: Brothers, above all things, let us go and publish the word of Jehovah throughout all the district of Greece." And they gave them further instructions, saying: "As you go, preach, saying "I have a message from outer space." And if anyone demands of you a reason for your call, say to them "C. O. D." which means when translated "Come On Down." Moreover, if anyone does not take you in or listen to your words, on going out of that house, say "How do you feel about the Bible?"

However, some of those gathered began to say "Who will give us coffee to drink?" and "How we remember the donuts that we had yesterday and, in fact, every other day." So after having refreshments downstairs, they departed into the field.

And the thirty returned with joy and began to related to each other the many wonderful experiences that had been worked by means of them. And the place in which they were gathered was shaken, so that letters fell from the year text, and the screens fell out of the windows, and the fluorescent lights would flicker on and off all afternoon. Moreover the disciples named Peter and Kathern and Herb and Erna began to rejoice more than the others because they knew who would wind up with all those return visits.

However, while they were yet rejoicing, it became the twelfth hour. And immediately, the disciple named Herb stood up and began proclaiming loudly and repeatedly before them all, "What's for lunch?" So they all paid attention to his voice and went down to see.

And by day, they would relate to each other how they came to be disciples. And by night, they would carefully examine the scriptures to make sure of all things they were learning. But the disciple named Richard would go over to Remley's and watch television till dawn.

Now all that remains is to get those finicky authorities to stuff this new manuscript into the Bible cannon....um, I mean canon.

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One of Us is Wrong, Buddy

Driving into a cul-de-sac. A well-heeled neighborhood, and we work the homes as we go. Retracing our route, a fellow from the first house charges across his lawn, clad in shorts only. The day is warm.

HEY!…HEY! he bellows. You left me your tract! Here’s one for you! He shoves a tract at the car. A description of our errors: Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t view Jesus as God, we don’t believe in  burning hell, we don’t send the good people to heavenly bliss.

It’s hard to know what to do with a hopped up fellow like this. JUST REMEMBER, BUDDY, he blusters, ONE OF US IS WRONG!

Ah, well, honest mistake, I counter, trying to placate him, but he’s having none of it. He hollers once more: ONE OF US IS WRONG!

I think he wants me to say. Yeah, it’s YOU, you pighead! And then we’ll blow the whole afternoon in ecclesiastical war. But there has to be better ways to spend your time.

Look, God can sort this out, I begin. We don’t have to….

READ YOUR BIBLE, PAL! And then he rams us with some favorite scriptures from memory, just as you might thrust a cross at a vampire. Apparently he thinks we’ll choke on them, and he hollers yet again: ONE OF US IS WRONG!

Sometimes you just can’t get out gracefully. So you settle for getting out. We did.

This guy doesn’t like Jehovah’s Witnesses. He has some doctrines he cherishes, all-important doctrines, and he knows we deny them all, so perhaps it’s not surprising.

Anti-Witness websites, of which there’s quite a few, fall into two categories. First is the kind this bellicose fellow might maintain. Strictly religious. Doctrinal. Absolutely intolerant, not just of us, but of anything that strays from their belief.

Then they are the secular anti-Witness sites, no friendlier, but with a different set of gripes: our neutrality, view of blood, denial of evolution in favor of creation.

One might suppose the last gripe would give us common cause with the fundamentalists, but not so. For the latter punch holes in the otherwise sound argument one can make for creation by insisting on silliness. For instance, the Hebrew term rendered “day.” in Genesis need not refer to a 24 hour day. It can, but it can also refer to an indefinite period, just as an old-timer might speak of life “back in my day.” Why, then, insist on the earth and all life on it coming about in literal days, when such a view is patent nonsense?

I’m afraid I know their answer: Because it’s in the Bible, and the Bible SAYS WHAT IT MEANS and MEANS WHAT IT SAYS! 

The thing that really irks me is that secular people mistake us for them.

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Income by Religion

Internet

Knocking....the Film Documentary

Michael Jackson

Mormons

Neutrality

New World Translation: Biased?

New World Translation: Qualifications of Translators

Oddballs

Old Testament Savagery

Predictions of the End

Quick-Build Kingdom Halls

Quote Mining Allegations

Reason as a Guide for Life


Science....Humankind's Last Hope?

Slavery in Bible Times

Supreme Court Record

Unity......or Brainwashing


         Bible Teachings as Explained by Jehovah's Witnesses


Condition of the Dead

What is Hell

Living Forever on Earth


Salvation by Grace or Earning Life

Saving the Planet

What is the Soul

Why Evil and Suffering.....Bible readers' version

Why Evil and Suffering....skeptic's version

Trinity

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Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

 

 

 

 

 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Half Honors for All

It once was unusual to see the flag at half-mast, and replaying the news in your head, you always knew the reason: someone noteworthy had died. That's changing. Now, 16 states lower the flag for any state resident who dies in military service. It's a popular trend and it's on the increase. So reports the WSJ, 7/1/06.

Flying the flag half-mast for each fallen troop seems a fine gesture. But is it not simply me-ism, the same self-celebratory force that impels us to erect roadside monuments at every phone pole our loved ones smack into?

Don’t think this trend can do anything but spread. Grizzled veterans, long content with an annual remembrance of their services, Memorial Day, will soon feel left out. In time, they too will expect half-mast treatment when they die.

And you just know someone will see the irony in that 1942 Flag Code, which allows half-mast honors for high state officials. We all have a short list of officials whose deaths, if anything, should be greeted with hoisting the flag yet higher, were that possible. If they merit half-mast, surely firemen, policemen, ambulance drivers and the like, must qualify. And what of the common taxpayer, who makes it all possible?

In time, full-mast flying will be unheard of, and the upper pole halves will rust from disuse. Inevitably, greedy business will begin to realize how much money can be saved by not building the upper half. The new pint-sized poles will first appear at WalMart, and will quickly spread. Cost cutting is not something to be sneezed at today.

Of course, this new tactic will not negate the need for half-staff honors. As the flag seeks its new half-position, it will fly lower yet to the ground. Repeat the cycle a few times and it will begin to touch the ground, especially those half-acre flags they fly at pancake houses.

We all know that the flag must not touch the ground. It’s difficult to predict what might happen next, but one possibility is that citizens, not wanting to risk flag desecration, will stop buying them, and the flag industry will go belly-up. Nor should we imagine this threat confined to America only. True, the USA may lead in me-ism and lean-n-mean business, but we should not be so smug as to imagine other countries will not catch up. Thus, nation after nation may see their flag industry wither and die, the only possible exception being tyrant-run countries, where people can drop like flies and nobody gives a hoot.

A world without flags….truly a scenario too terrible to imagine. But it could happen if we don’t nip this half-mast trend in the bud.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)