Monday, December 30, 2013

The Bible And Rib Tips


An Atheist makes a case in favor of "The Word Of God"

Last summer - my neighbors, living two doors away - very nice people, but particularly enthusiastic Christians were in their backyard having a small get-together. I was walking home from Walgreens through the alley, they saw me passing, and invited me over. After I had dropped my items off at home - I came by, and was generally enjoying myself. They announced to their friends that I was the "Neighborhood Atheist" (maybe that's why they invited me) - but to my surprise, they were cool, reasonable and curious. I engaged in some interesting, and possibly productive dialogue with their guests. Most of them seemed to be well-educated, and they asked good, well thought-out questions (And, unlike what some Christians irritatingly do when you attempt to dialogue - this group politely allowed me to answer their questions without them shouting at me while I was speaking, or cutting me off before I could finish my statements. I must praise them sincerely for their very un-Christian like behavior).

Food was available, the offerings included chicken wings, hamburgers, and rib tips. My neighbor's wife graciously prepared a plate for me that included rib tips. I did not want to waste any food, so I informed her that "I cannot eat the rib tips." She was a bit surprised - she said: "I know you are an Atheist, you a Muslim too?" I intimated that I do not eat them for health reasons (which is the truth). She took the plate, removed the rib tips, and everything was cool (and tasty). The other guests were eating those rib tips with extreme relish, and informing me that: "You don't know what you are missing!" In actuality - I do know what I am "missing;" I used to eat pork, and believe me, I know it tastes great. I had to let it go in my early twenties because I was developing adult-onset diabetes. I did not want to be tethered to medication for the rest of my life, or lose a limb, or go blind (a progressive eye condition called "diabetic retinopathy"). My girlfriend at the time suggested that I stop eating pork, and severely cut-back or eliminate dairy products and sugar from my diet. I did this, and after seven clear months, my diabetes backed-off and disappeared. I now limit my consumption of dairy to the occasional pizza, I will have the occasional soda, and I do not touch pork at all.

When I was transitioning away from pork - I did some research about it. For food use, it is pretty hairy. I would include pork on any list of hazardous substances. It is quite toxic to the human body,  this is not from a religious standpoint, it just is. The red flag for most people should be the fact that you have to be even more extra-careful in the handling, preparation, and cooking of pork, than any other animal product. For example; on the rare occasions that I eat red meat (beef and lamb), I prefer my meat cooked medium, with just a little pink inside. Can't do that with pork - you better cook the shit out of that piece of meat, or you may be playing roulette with your life. There is too much potentially negative shit health-wise with pork for anybody to mess with that is truly interested in maintaining good health.

This is a partial list of the bullshit you can get from eating pork:

1. Yersenia Enterocolitica - this bacterium can send you to the hospital with bloody diarrhea.

2. Salmonella Enterica - this is straight-up food poisoning. Symptoms can include; fever, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, stomach cramps, and muscle aches. The presence of this bacteria in some people can be fatal.

3. Staphylococcus Aureus - infections from this bacterial agent can be severe and deadly. This virulence can infect your heart valves, and give you a tenaciously persistent form of pneumonia.

4. Enterococcus - (Includes: E. Casseliflavus, E. Gallinarum, and E. Raffinosus) this bacterium causes bad urinary tract infections.

5. The Nipah Virus - this causes a deadly kind of encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain.

6. Salmonella Typhimurium - this bacterial infection can inhibit the operation of one's immune system.

7. Tania Solium - or "Pork Tapeworm," an actual worm, this is a major cause of epilepsy in humans.

And the big one...

8. Trichinella Spiralis - trichinosis can be fatal from worms entering the central nervous system. Ultimately, death can be caused by a stroke, acute myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), encephalitis, or pneumonia.

This is a pretty nasty list. The fact that this [pork] can give you "bloody diarrhea" if somebody lapses in the way they handle this shit should cause any THINKING PERSON some pause before they decide to eat it. And again, this is not the entire list of things that eating pork can cause.

Now, I always will have a ton of negative things to say about the Bible. Because it is negative. But - in order to be a good Atheist, one must also be fair... The Biblical prohibition against pork was extremely good advice. Why was this prohibition put in place? Is it possible that folks in ancient Palestine understood a cause and effect relationship between eating pork and certain illnesses? Was there too much of a societal cost to allow its continued consumption (a public health issue)? And they decided to use authoritative means to stop it? OK... Makes sense to me.

So, why is it that so many Christians eat pork? Why do they blow past the prohibitions? Because - when you look in your Bible, God makes a couple of pretty strong no-no's when it comes to eating pork - like:

"And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you" (Leviticus 11:7-8 KJV).

And...

"And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase" (Deuteronomy 14:8 KJV).

Now, we must point out that these verses were allegedly spoken directly out of the mouth of God. No "inspiration" through a "messenger." No third parties. And the information that was expended is totally unambiguous. These verses cannot be read other than literally. And in the case of the verses extracted from Leviticus, those verses are from the same part of the Bible that prohibits homosexuality. Good Christians seem to have no problems enforcing God's suggested penalties that are attached to the prohibitions regarding homosexual behavior. But when it comes to eating pork chops? "Oh - um (cough), didn't Jesus change all that?" Could this be a bald-faced case of scriptural "picking and choosing?"

A biblical salad bar? Just asking...

When I was growing up in Chicago, during the 1960's and 70's - anytime a Black person stated that he did not eat pork, folks would immediately ask if he was a "Mooslim," and if he was not, he was looked upon as some kind of weird outlier - "What's up with him?" If you were a Black Christian - you were fucking EXPECTED to eat pork, because if you didn't, there was "something wrong" with you. That's how it was. But then, in my latter-day studies of the Holy Bible, I developed a curiosity as to how Christians got around this quite, quite obvious restriction, because Jesus himself (quite obviously) certainly did not make the change, as you can see:

"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, not one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:18-19 KJV).

You will find me using Matthew 5:18-19 KJV a lot in future posts, this is because I consider it to be Jesus' main, irrefutable liturgical and doctrinal "bridge" between the Old and New Testaments. Now - as you read the remainder of this post, I want you to especially keep in mind the part of Matthew 5:18-19 where Jesus says: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven..." Now, focus on the word "Whosoever" - from a dictionary correct standpoint, the pronoun "Whosoever" would also include Jesus himself... Right? And of the "commandments" that Jesus is indicative of, I think we could safely assume that he is talking about only those rules issued by GOD himself - Right? OK... As you read on folks, keep that "Whosoever" word in mind please... "Whosoever" - OK?

We also have JESUS stating:

"Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?" (John 7:19 KJV)

Would the "Law" in a singular or "plural" sense include the entirety of all of "The Five Books" in the Pentateuch, those books that were allegedly authored by the religiously great, spiritually-connected Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy)? And would the "Law" in the aggregate sense, describe EACH of the permissions and prohibitions asserted in those writings? Now, let us use SOME literal sense folks...

Would ALL of those clear and direct permissions and prohibitions literally INCLUDE the dietary ones as well? OK...

Now - back to JESUS...

"And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail [than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid]" (Luke 16:17 KJV).

And...

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17 KJV).

Parenthesis Please!!!

(I know the wording of Matthew 5:17 seems a bit nonsensical - but I have checked and re-checked several print King James Bible translations and online Bibles to confirm, and yes, that is the accurate rendering.)

So it wasn't Jesus that allows you [churchgoer] to serve ham sandwiches and Jell-O (gelatinized, fruit-flavored pork) to the little kids in the church fellowship hall. Again folks, it wasn't Jesus. The guy that had allegedly opened-up the reason to invent mild-sauce was (the faith-conflicted and emotionally disturbed) Saint Peter, with two, weird, off-track passages:

"And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance. And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common" (The Acts 10:10-15 KJV).

And...

"I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean" (Epistle to the Romans 14:14 KJV).

So, according to most Christian scholars, apologists, spiritual hustlers, and well-educated clergy, these are the two scriptures that "abolished" the prohibition on eating pork - despite the fact that God himself said not to, and despite the fact that these two scriptures are not precisely messaged in any useful way. This is interesting... Now, scripturally, and within this post; we have two strong, literal, and unambiguous prohibitions expended directly out of the mouth of God; we have four quite clear assurances from Jesus, that in no respect that the Old Testament permissions and prohibitions laid down by "The Father" and "The Prophets" were to ever be revoked by him; and then we have a full 180 degree turn on all of those strict, God-given dietary prohibitions by one off-track disciple of Jesus. 

Just like that. 

Wow... A disciple of Jesus was able to fuck with something that Jesus himself wouldn't? Or, could there be some kind of interpretational slight of hand in play here? COULD there be? 

OK... Folks - keep your mind of potential possibilities open.

Now...

As we clearly see in reading The Acts 10:10-15 KJV, this guy [Peter] is apparently "tripping" on or because of "something" (Can I get a hit?). "And there came a voice to him???" We have no literal way of knowing if this "voice" was God himself, or possibly a wayward angel, or maybe even "The Devil." "A voice" that never gives its identity - and then we have Peter (whom is clearly not clear at this point) making an ASSUMPTION that he was hearing the voice of "The Lord." Really? Folks, please notice that when the "voice" spoke a second time, "Mr. Voice" speaks of God in the third person. Doesn't sound like a solid ID to me. But I can see these verses - in the hands of a skillful apologist, being utilized as a slick "workaround" to get around certain distasteful orders, clear commandments or divine prohibitions that some Christians might find "inconvenient." 

This shit has gone on for centuries.

If I were a Christian, it would seem to me that if you are talking about re-assigning, re-interpreting, amending or even possibly abolishing any commandment or prohibition that came directly out of the mouth of God, there would be a righteous demand for a much higher standard of proof than "a voice" (and a mere assumption of the source of that "voice"), before taking actions that could possibly take myself and fellow Christians straight to hell. God said directly: 

"Don't even touch the fucking carcass dude..."

But since the Apostle Peter heard "a voice" - everything's cool? Wait a minute... This seems improper on so many levels. This is like the United States Supreme Court issuing a ruling, but then some lower circuit or city court being able to reverse that same ruling for the whole country. It does not work that way, there is a certain "order," "procedure," and "jurisdiction" that is necessarily attached to these kinds of actions - so that there is workable universal agreement as to the rightness and/or constitutionality of a given ruling or law, and this practice is also in place to ensure top to bottom applicability of enforcement. That is why lower courts cannot "overturn" laws decided by a higher court unless a lower ruling has been "upheld" or kept in place by a higher court (this practice is called the "appeals" process). Those court rulings can then be appealed again, then as a result, amended, and/or "reversed" by the same court, or "upheld," or even possibly "overturned" by higher courts - not the other way around. 

The U.S. Supreme Court always has the DIRECT final say on all previous rulings decided by them and lower courts - and those rulings are based ultimately on their constitutionality (the highest authority). So folks, from that workable legal example, let us try this... A clear and unambiguous commandment from a particular authority source, demands a clear and unambiguous repeal from the same or higher authority. 

Does that make SOME sense Christians?

We also, in The Acts, have to deal with good ol' Peter having some kind of "vision(!?)." Now again, we don't know what brought on this "vision," if he were dreaming, or hallucinating, or possibly being high on something - we really don't know. But I suppose that if you are already hearing voices - you might as well have "a vision" too, just to complete the experience...

So, the scripture says...

"He (just) fell into a trance..." Now, I suppose, to some folks - "a trance" is serious business. But, I've never personally considered "a trance" to be a good source for reliable information... But, I don't know everything - OK? So, cut me some... OK? But, I would like to ask you folks: "When was the last time YOU acted upon supposedly serious information someone had given that was acquired while they were in "a trance?" Would you take seriously any recommendations given by your dentist; for example - he hasn't examined you in two years, but he knows exactly what dental work needs to be performed now. And he got this information, again - not from any direct examination, but from a flash he caught while he was "in a trance." I don't know: You, in the dentist's chair - mouth open - power drill going - guy in a trance... Doesn't sound like a good mix to me...

OK...

Well, how about this: The President, deciding through his capacity as the "Commander In Chief" to order 250,000 troops and nine warships to a place in the world where no hostilities toward the United States or any other country is occurring. He then explains, through a televised press conference that he sent those troops and ships because HE KNOWS "something is about to happen," and he only wanted to get ahead of that "something" before it occurs. The press asks: "Were your actions based on some new intelligence?" The President replies: "No - I got my warning through a vision I received while I was in a trance, and from that vision, I knew I needed no other advisement or information to make that move, dear ladies and gentlemen. So, I am having this press conference today, because I wanted the American people to know - that this order was not some arbitrary or impulsive action decisioned by me alone -

A VOICE, told me to send out the troops - Now..."

Folks, how do you think the electorate, the press, the United Nations, our allies, those entities and individuals whom are politically in opposition to the President, the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department, and the U.S. Congress, would deal with that one?

OK...

And Christians wonder why Atheists call the Holy Bible and Christianity inconsistent... Come on now - Peter??? This is the same guy that initially confessed Jesus as the Messiah, then put down (denied) Jesus on three separate occasions after Jesus' abrupt arrest by the Temple guards of The Sanhedrin. Jesus was cuffed by these nice folks at The Garden Of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-47 KJV). Then, after the third put-down - Peter had another flash, and flipped again for the fifth time - then rushed to get his ass back on Jesus' team, just in time to passionately preach on the Day Of Pentecost, like nothing happened (The Acts 2:1-13 KJV)... 

WOW... This is the go-to guy for diet advice? OK...

Now, I know that Peter has those applied titles of  "Apostle" and "Saint." But, in the Christian hierarchy; wouldn't the word of Jesus, being "The Son Of God" take precedence over one of his apostles? Wouldn't "The Word Of God" take precedence over the word of Jesus? Jesus was pretty explicit about not fucking with that - you know, that "Word Of God" thing. You know? So, how did Peter get the authority to end-run Jesus, and then overturn "The Word Of God?" Romans 14:14 KJV reads like the kind of random ruminations that one might find in a diary, or on a legal pad one might use to capture certain thoughts that capriciously pop-up during the course of the day. So, he was "persuaded" by Jesus to go off God's script? A divine "mutiny," if you will? Sounds like either Peter is full of shit - or somebody else is... If I were a real Christian that actively studied the Bible, and therefore being a studiously serious follower of Jesus, that [Romans 14:14 statement] would be interpretively unacceptable to me, and it should be biblically suspect to anyone else.

Consider the alleged source dude!

Ol' crazy-assed, flippety-floppety Saint Peter.

OK..?

Sounds like a "play" to me. If I were a believer, I would say: "Any 'repeal' of 'The Word Of God' would have to come from God himself - or his directly appointed super-representative (Jesus), and not from some mentally unstable, 'apostolic underling' (like Peter), to righteously carry any real weight with me. I am now being especially reflective when it regards something as fragile and serious as my health." So what, if a divine repeal is said to be in the Bible by the lying professional multitudes (clergy) - any thing or agenda can be apostolically preached "between the verses." Any fucking meaning that you want can always be strategically well interpreted "between the lines." Don't be "dummified" folks... Understand that the naked literalness of the Bible is always the default position.

Christians always talk about "interpreting" and "misinterpreting" - this positive decision [not eating pork anymore], is a reasonable conclusion (not an "interpretation"), a literally valid correlation, that is based upon actual experience [demonstrable illness on my part], and the indirect, but correlated testing(!) of the alleged literal "Word Of God" - and not someone's unprincipled "interpretation." Thereby, making my illness go away - and it has to this day, stayed away.

In this particular case - "The Word Of God" has absolute validity.

I know that there are a lot of the "clean pig" apologists out there, and the things they say may be scientifically accurate about modern pork-handling practices. But I wonder if Peter ever spent any time in a spot where pigs were being raised (probably not). Was he angling for a way to legitimately sink his teeth into a thick, juicy pork chop - without offending "The Lord?" That, we cannot know (but Peter, being an observant Jew, that does not seem likely). Or - did somefuckingbody just straight-up LIE about Apostle Peter, claiming that he scripturally hallucinated into grace, an overturn of "God's Word" - thus, transforming a passing dream into "THE Word."

And if somebody DID lie - who the fuck was it?

Was it the Pope?

Was it the pork industry?

Maybe it was the fucking Tooth Fairy?

Who knows...

Understand folks, I would bet my own money, that if it were somehow possible to resurrect Peter, and subsequently question him on this quite scary matter (him allegedly making a revision or abolishment of "God's Word"). Hey man! I am telling you - I guarantee you... Our supposed revisor, the Apostle Peter, would not avow this - he would not know what the fuck you were talking about...

OK?

People - even if pigs are raised in "clean" conditions, and are fed "clean" foods, there is something about the basic "chemistry" of pork that makes it offensive to the human body, no matter what you do. It can be a major factor in the development of tumors, cancers, rheumatism, high-blood pressure, diabetes, gout, obesity, and stroke. Renal failure seems to be common with long-time pork eaters (possibly from the additional toxic load that the kidneys must then process as a result of sustained pork consumption). The divine prohibition against pork consumption was clear, no-nonsense, and actually pro-health. There are some people within the "healthy eating" community that think pork actually accelerates weight-gain, makes excess weight harder to lose, and produces an especially nasty and offensive body odor from some of its consumers (The best I can describe that odor is a mix of urine and stale mucus - and churchgoers put cologne on top of it - YUK!).

The same people also believe that the natural toxicity that pork possesses, actually enables and amplifies certain allergies that on the surface seem to be unrelated to pork consumption directly, such as an allergy to strawberries, for example. The "healthy" folks also believe that the daily consumption of pork will indelicately degrade one's physical appearance - pimply or blemished skin for example, and giving some eaters a "piggy" or "hoggish" presentation.

I call it: "The Gut Look."

And some ladies will put lipstick and a weave on top of that...

There are many Christians that are aware of the things that I am saying here. But most Christians say "fuck that" - even with the threat of hell-fire smoldering beneath that barbecue pit - bacon, ham, ribs, and pork chops are simply "too good" to give up, even if God says to do so: "Don't we live under 'grace' pastor? Can't we just pray over this, and let that be that?"

"Pass the ham please..."

As a child, I used to spend some spring breaks on my grand-auntie's farm in Alabama. She and my cousins had a generous spread, and they owned about 50 pigs. They are quite strange creatures; they are assertive, not shy in the least. Sometimes, they are almost humanly intelligent - they occasionally seem to know what you are thinking; they also seem to learn from mistakes faster than dogs. On the other hand - they [pigs] are the most indiscriminate and unrestrained when it came to what they will eat.

I have personally seen pigs do these things:

- They will eat the feces from other animals, and their own feces.

- They will drink urine - their own and others.

- They will eat their own stillborn piglets.

- I have seen them eat maggots off the carcasses of deceased animals.

- They are not afraid of snakes - they will attack and consume them.

- When bitten - snake bites do not seem to affect them.

- They will eat obviously infected flesh - dead or alive.

Sounds tasty, doesn't it? "Do-Do-licious," I call it. Again folks - pork is a hazardous substance. Seriously, if you have any real interest in staying healthy, looking your best, and slowing down the aging process, letting go of that nasty-assed pork is a good start. Funny though, it seems that Christians hate the truth, even if that truth comes from their own "holy and inerrant" book - "The Bible." Joel Osteen - yes HIM, the fucking mega-church TV pastor, told the truth about pork, and of his personal porkless eating habits in one of his sermons (click on the link below to watch - and notice that the comments have been disabled). The aftermath was funny as hell!!! Christians from all quarters unleashed a firestorm of negative criticism towards this man - FOR TELLING THE BIBLICAL TRUTH... Joel quickly realized that telling the biblical truth(!) fucks with the Christian Marketing Plan, so he strategically stopped giving to his congregation any real and useful information from that time forward.

"What the fuck you trying to do Joel - make your congregation think?"

This time - Joel Osteen was correct, and biblically on-point. This (eating pork) is just another excellent example of the kind of irritating arrogance that good Christians hypocritically piss onto the rest of the world... You know, exhorting you to believe some shit they can't even bring themselves to follow, with themselves being so highly selective about what they will follow, and this according to individual and/or denominational tastes. I will always remember that lady at a company picnic, telling me how much she loved God, all while she was chomping down on a steaming, stinking barbecued pork rib. I mean really - how do Christians expect others to take on "the faith," OK - if it is so literally clear (especially to those that are knowledgeable about, but outside the faith) that they themselves are not willing to be actual practitioners of some of the most here-and-now beneficial, and clearly articulated instructions, said directly from the mouth of God, that are found within their own "holy and inerrant" book?

But - you know what man... When it comes to exercising interpretational latitude over "The Word Of God," Christians are the ballsiest of all religious people on the face of the earth. Christianity, in real practice, is not about following "The Word." It is about deciding exactly what it is that YOU want to do, and then cherry-picking, modifying, and resetting "The Word" in such a way as to make it exactly fit one's personal or group agenda. Then - if anyone decides to call you on any bullshit you might be doing, you can confidently tell people where the mind of God is in reference to you. Case closed. No wonder there are so many Christians - it's so convenient!

That is why you could have a prominent member of the church choir, being able to piously demonstrate how she is blessed to be gifted with the mad skills she puts on display at the local strip club. Or, how it could be explained as part of "God's Plan" when the pastor's wife got caught giving the Youth Minister a blowjob.

You know - "Only GOD can judge ME!" - That bullshit... 

Got it?

The basis of the doctrines that define a particular denomination will never include all verses within the Bible being given equal weight. "No pork? Ahh, well... We can skip-over that (Leviticus 11:7-8 KJV)." In contrast to this selective holy turnabout: "Johnny's GAY? You know what the Bible says about HOMOSEXUALITY!!! (Leviticus 18:22 KJV)." You see what I mean? Well, remember folks, Deuteronomy 14:8 KJV and Leviticus 11:7-8 KJV (again) are no-pork rules with no scriptural repeal said directly out of the mouth of God. Well, it is obvious how those are treated. A Christian denominational and/or individual Christian doctrinal basis consists entirely of what pointed and specified biblical passages to turn-up, turn-down, ignore, equivocate, overwrite, modify, spotlight, cover-up, re-modify, turn-around, interpret, re-interpret, re-purpose, and in what places to stick in stuff that is not even written in the Bible.

Like December 25th being Jesus' birthday... You know.

"Joel Osteen - who the fuck is he?" Let me tell you, if God himself decided to pick-up his divine megaphone and repeat to the entire world - at the same time - right now: "Motherfuckers - STOP EATING PORK!!!" Some Christian would look up, and tell God that he is misinterpreting himself:

"God... You did away with that through Peter... Don't you remember?""

WOW...

I wonder: Do Christians REALLY believe "The Word Of God?"

Check out the link: http://youtu.be/LJrJkFBEt_c

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