|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Sorry for the lack of updates... between getting a new boss at work and being in final rehearsals for "Midsummer Night's Dream" (I'm playing Quince), I don't really have many spare moments. I'll be back very soon.
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Michigan church members burn 'Harry Potter' books, Book of Mormon: "GREENVILLE -- Librarians and clergy at other churches expressed mixed emotions after learning that members of the Jesus Non-denominational Church burned 'Harry Potter' books and copies of the Book of Mormon and non-King James Version Bibles.
Other books, magazines, posters, compact discs and movies that members believe do not promote God also went up in smoke Sunday, as more than 50 people gathered outside the church for the fiery display. Among the incinerated items were a Shania Twain album, 'The Woman in Me,' and a Dan Aykroyd movie, 'Coneheads.'"
Speaking of mixed emotions... I wouldn't say I'm anti-Mormon, but I definitely would say that I'm largely irritated by the treatment I got as a Catholic and then atheist youth in Utah. So, it's with a slight chuckle that I read that they're burning the Mormon bible along with non-King James versions, and the Harry Potter book.
Side note - "The Chronicles of Narnia," of which I know very little, featured fantasy and talking animals, if I'm not mistaken. They were also written by C.S. Lewis, who, if memory serves, was a well respected Christian scholar. So, I guess if it's written by a christian or is a parable of christianity (I don't know that those books were or were not parables, to be honest), it's OK that a Lion waxes rhapsodic. A modern day wizard school though? Absolutely absurd!
Back to the regularly scheduled program:
There seems to be a lively debate as to whether or not mormons are indeed christians. I'm not sure where exactly that line is blurred, because both believe in Jesus as the son of God. Isn't that enough? I mean, there's much less debate (although still there is some) as to whether or not catholics are christians, right? The fundamental difference, of course, lies in the catholics putting more importance in the virgin birth miracle, and also the adoption of the holy trinity.
But I'm reading this book currently that just makes me shake my head in shame for humanity. "Trials of the Monkey," by Matthew Chapman, was written a couple of years ago by a guy who is a great-great-great grandson of Charles Darwin, also an atheist, and also a Hollywood screenwriter. He goes to Tennessee to watch the re-enactment of the Scopes trial. His visit to Dayton, TN is marked by his first true immersion in the born again christian culture. In one portion, he chronicles a conversation with a group of university students (college kids!) who are born again christians and believe that anyone who hasn't (you know the mantra) "accepted Jesus Christ as his personal lord and savior" is doomed to eternity in a literal lake of fire in a literal hell. So, using that logic, if you look at those who consider themselves to be christians who believe in this ideal, they possibly make up no more than 5% of the world's population. And frankly, that's probably too high. So, basically, that means that 95% of the population will not only not ascend into some sort of heaven, they will be tortured souls for all of eternity.
Chapman brought up the case of a child in China who has never had a chance due to geography and lack of TV/Internet to hear "the good word," and how if that child lives a peaceful life, how do they justify a God who is so vengeful that the child has no chance from birth to escape the lake of fire? And these kids always point back to literal interpretations of bible verses to make their case.
It's really too bad. I guess I understand why people need faith, I just don't understand how faith can take one past the point of all logic. Plus, I don't understand how any more stock can be placed in the bible as a word of god than, say, Greek mythology or the Koran. I don't begrudge anyone their beliefs, but that doesn't mean I really understand how they get to this point of blinded belief. Beyond recognition.
There are only three religions that I hope are really wrong about some sort of afterlife. The born again christian contingent, because they deserve to see a "heaven" full of good people who didn't think precisely the way they did here on earth. The mormons, because I just think they've generally made stuff up to add to the bible (see: book of mormon chronicling christ's teachings in the New World to the white people (?!?) who lived here in early AD years), and the muslims, but only the wicked ones that blow themselves up for martyrdom and forty virgins.
Back to the article, I do think the only good thing that has come of this is that there are that many fewer copies of Dan Aykroyd's "Coneheads" available for rent or purchase at West Michigan DVD outlets.
CNN.com - Recall: Baby toy may leak battery acid - Aug. 5, 2003
Never, ever a good sign.
Hey kids! Try Hasbro's new "Sack of Broken Glass" Fun Set! Or for the girls, Fisher Price presents "Frayed Cord Curling Iron for Tots!"
Monday, August 04, 2003
Daily Racing Form - Horse Racing - Track Reports News
Pretty good race in the Haskell yesterday. I had flippantly placed a $2 WPS bet on Peace Rules, figuring he was due for a big race, and Funny Cide was due to disappoint.
Well, that certainly worked just the way I thought it would.
Peace Rules, breaking from the rail, got off the gate clean and immediately took the pack three wide of the rail. Funny Cide, from the five hole, didn't get out quick enough, and was soon in the middle back of the pack. It looked like Santos was really trying to rally him down the back stretch, but Funny Cide seemed to resist. Peace Rules, staying off the rail the whole race, was never really challenged and cruised comfortably to a two length win over a late coming Sky Mesa.
I doubled my money on that bet ($6 to $12.20).
So the "Adventures in Frozen Pizza" saga comes to a close. As I had mentioned, I visited the website and called the Kraft company to complain about the mismanufacture of my frozen pizza. Within two weeks they have sent me two letters (one for each channel on which I had complained, I suppose) apologizing for the inconvenience. Inside of one letter was a coupon for a free "Naturally Rising Crust" pizza, and inside the other was two coupons for the Jack's "Original" pizzas.
Three free pizzas. Nice...
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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