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Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Two Most Confusing Concepts in Christianity

The theory of evolution is often treated as the most serious intellectual challenge to Christianity, at least the fundamentalist kind , but I think there are some major conundrums in its most basic tenets.

1) Satan

OK, so God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and wants people to believe in him, but chose to create a being he knew in advance would rebel against him and undermine his plans. I just can't get my head around that. It seems like people would still be able to disobey God (through free-will) even if Satan wasn't around trying to lead people astray.

2) Jesus dying for the sins of the world

God had to sacrifice himself to himself to change a rule that he made? Who came up with that plan? Rube Goldberg?

Perhaps someone can explain it to me?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

With Friends Like These...

One of the reasons given for the war in Iraq was to remove Saddam because he was an evil dictator. The details of the US's support of Saddam during the Cold War are old news, but what get less attention is the fact that the US has been and continues to be openly allied with several authoritarian governments.

1) Hosni Mubarak, Egypt

Interesting Facts:

-Has ruled by Emergency Law for 25 years

-Average US Foreign Aid per year: $2.2 billion

2) Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan

Interesting Facts:

- prefers to boil opponents alive

-torture is "institutionalized, systemtic, and rampant"

-Hosted US air base at Karshi-Khanabad until 2005

3) The government of Saudi Arabia

Interesting Facts:

-From Fredom House: "The Saudi Ministry of Education Islamic studies textbooks ... continue to promote an ideology of hatred that teaches bigotry and deplores tolerance. These texts continue to instruct students to hold a dualistic worldview in which there exist two incompatible realms – one consisting of true believers in Islam ... and the other the unbelievers – realms that can never coexist in peace. Students are being taught that Christians and Jews and other Muslims are "enemies" of the true believer... The textbooks condemn and denigrate Shiite and Sufi Muslims' beliefs and practices as heretical and call them "polytheists", command Muslims to hate Christians, Jews, polytheists and other "unbelievers", and teach that the Crusades never ended, and identify Western social service providers, media outlets, centers for academic studies, and campaigns for women's rights as part of the modern phase of the Crusades."

Full Report here

-Jews are forbidden to enter the country

-Supplies 15% of US oil

-Special roads for Non-Muslims

The only difference between the government of Saudi Arabia and the Taliban (apart from oil) is that the Taliban are open and honest about their hostility to the US.