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Tag Archive | "holy week"

Blasphemy on the Cross

Me: Hey Jesus, did you hear about that photo of a certain Maike Domingo, of a girl in shorts who posed in a sexy-ish manner on the cross?

Jesus: Oh hello. Haven’t chatted with you in a while. But yeah, of course I know about it. I’m all-knowing remember? So even before she had the impulse to do that, I already knew she would do it.

Me: Then surely you also know about the 1,106 (and growing) comments on the photo — a lot of them calling the girl stupid, blasphemous, vulgar and so on?

Jesus: Yep.

Me: Well, since you’re obviously the object of blasphemy, and these commenters are defending the honor and sanctity of the cross, what can you say about it?

Jesus: Oh, I already said something two thousand years ago about those without sin casting the first stone, but the people casting the stones don’t really think it applies to them. Also, I don’t see anything blasphemous about the photo. The girl was just having fun, and she looked pretty decent. Although she may be a bit attention-starved as some of the comments implied, but that’s no excuse for calling on her to be stoned or to be nailed herself.

Me: The way these people are talking, they seem to think that you’re all fuming and foaming at the mouth up there in heaven.

Jesus: What? Me? Fuming and foaming? Whatever gave them that idea?

Me: They seem to be pretty convinced that you’re grossly offended by these types of displays.

Jesus: (laughs) That’s the most ridiculous notion in the world. In fact, this photo is pretty tame compared to some others.

Me: Really? There are others?

Jesus: Oh, lots and lots and lots. Take this photo of Raquel Welch taken by Terry O’Neil way back in 1970, for example:

Me: Oh my, we should hide this photo from all those rabid commenters.

Jesus: You can’t. It’s Google-able. Anyway, there’s even this painting from a (take note) Christian Art Blogger, Matt Stone:

Me: Oh but that’s different. That’s painting. That’s art.

Jesus: Tell that to the stone-casters of Mideo Cruz then. The point is, people have been making fun of me ever since I helped them get drunk on that wedding in Cana. But whatever gave them the idea that I would take offense? I didn’t take offense then, and neither will I take offense now. If these people really understood me, they would understand that. They should read and internalize this nifty little story about Offending God.

Me: Umm, that’s my blog.

Jesus: So?

Me: Some people might think it’s shameless self-promotion.

Jesus: It would be if you were promoting it. But it’s me promoting it, not you.

Me: But not everyone’s going to see it that way.

Jesus: Oh don’t mind them. They can go to hell. Anyway, have you seen these? These are hilarious.

Me: Okay, I think we better stop now.

Jesus: But there are lots more on Google Images. Dang, I should have created Larry Page and Sergey Brin two thousand years ago.

Me: This is getting weird now. Bye Jesus, gotta go.

Jesus: Okay, but don’t be a stranger. And remember, I’m watching you.

Posted in Humor, ReligionComments (5)

On Pleasure and Pain

Every conscious thing we do or choice we make is somehow motivated by the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain. The only variables are the kinds of things that bring varying degrees of pleasure and pain to each individual, the premises on which expectations of pleasure or pain are based, and the ability to delay gratification.

For example, many nature lovers go to work instead of spending the entire week at the beach because the former guarantees some future comfort that outweighs the immediate fun the latter brings. Some smokers quit because they’ve decided that the pleasure they get from cigarettes cannot compensate for the pain of a present or potential respiratory illness. Most people do not normally steal because the initial gain will be quickly neutralized if they get caught (or their conscience takes the fun out of taking things that don’t belong to them). And if they believe in an afterlife, getting away won’t even matter.

Which brings us to a common theistic argument against naturalism-based morality: If there is no eternal punishment, there is no ultimate justice and evil people like Hitler and Stalin can get away with atrocities. But there are many answers to this. One, the fact that there can be no ultimate justice without an afterlife does absolutely nothing to support the existence of either Heaven or Hell. Two, if most people believe in the afterlife, civilized societies will have less reason to be vigilant in preventing another Holocaust because they can just leave justice to God. Three, if Christianity is true, a serial killer who rapes and tortures his victims can still enter Paradise if he repents and accepts Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior just before he dies (while his atheistic albeit innocent victims’ suffering will resume in the Lake of Fire).

As the Holy Week approaches and Christians prepare to meditate on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, many of them claim to worship Christ not out of fear of damnation or the expectation of eternal reward, but because of an overflowing gratefulness for His great love and “ultimate sacrifice.” If this is really the case then why won’t they worship the sun as well, or at least give it some devotion with the same level that Catholics give to the Saints considering the sun is the ultimate sustainer of all life on Earth and that we all get to survive because it burns itself up? Could it be because the sun can be expected to rise every morning and set every evening regardless of what people do or don’t do? If they argue that the sun is just mindlessly burning itself without intending to sustain life while Jesus purposely died so we could be saved, would such salvation be available to those who reject Christ?

No matter how people rationalize worship and obedience to God’s supposed commands, it still all boils down to pleasure and pain. It’s just a matter of adopting the premises set by one’s chosen religion and delaying gratification by giving up on earthly pleasures for the sake of some greater eternal pleasure in the next life. As a response to this, my fellow freethinker Andy wrote a short but profound piece on materialism:

The master passed by a minister preaching against materialism. He was exhorting the congregation on the virtues of sacrificing their earthly desires for the rewards of heaven.

“Our treasure does not lie here on earth,” he said, “But it lies in the bosom of our heavenly Father.”

“Interesting,” remarked the master. “You preach against materialism but yours is even worse because you desire to bring it to the next life. You tell people not to cling to their possessions here by guaranteeing that they will have all those and more in the next life. You are after intangible rewards, but a reward nonetheless. What is so virtuous about that?”

Indeed. And as Bertrand Russell said, “The people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forego ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others.” In this country, people who officially gave up sexual pleasure preach that couples should not have too much fun while avoiding pregnancy and the consequential responsibilities and sacrifices that come with bearing and raising children. But in fairness to them, they are probably just acting on good faith based on the premise that God does not want us to enjoy life in this world too much because His plan is to give us the ultimate pleasure in Heaven. I just wish that our supposedly secular government would treat this premise with a little skepticism especially when crafting our reproductive health laws.


Image by Jong Atmosfera

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Heathen Holy Week

If there’s one good thing about living in a predominantly Christian country, it’s the four straight holidays from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday. And the good thing about being a heathen is that one gets to really enjoy these holidays without feeling guilty about indulging on food and drink and not spending precious hours listening to the Seven Last Words and having to get up at Easter dawn with a hangover from Saturday night’s binge.

Holy Week is one of the longest holidays in the Philippines, yet most people do not get to fully enjoy it because they have to be silent and serious until Easter sunrise. I bet the heathens are more excited than the Christians about Holy Week because who would look forward to commemorating the death of their deity?

I have a relative working out of town who has no plans of flying home to take advantage of the long holidays because for him Holy Week is not really a vacation time considering the artificially gloomy mood (not to mention the bars are closed), so he might as well stay in the city where he works and save the air fare.

But if not for this Christian tradition, people would be working this Lenten season, so we should be thankful for this break even though it is not as merry as that other Christian holiday.

By the way, did you know that the word holy shares the same Indo-European root with wholeheal, and health? In that case heathens can actually spend a ‘holy’ week by having a holistic schedule – a balance of indulgence, exercise, and rest – while feeding on healthful food.

Ah, food. When Catholics say that we should abstain from eating meat during the Holy Week as a form of sacrifice, I often tell them that instead of having the regular pork adobo, we should be feasting on lapu-lapu, lobsters, oysters, scallops, salmon, and sashimi.

Happy Heathen Holy Week everyone!!! 🙂

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Here are some very good articles for the Holy Week about the ‘sacrifice’ of Jesus (feel free to share with Christians):

Sacrifice – by Igme

The Greatest Love Of All – by Lucius Ferrer

Posted in ReligionComments (2)