The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible

If you find yourself annoyed by your atheist relative or friend who recites talking points from the New Atheists about the Bible; the Bible is Bronze Age mythology, unhistorical, supports slavery and genocide, Christianity retarded the advance of science, etc, then you need The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible by Robert Hutchinson.

Hutchinson begins by showing that the Bible is indeed historically accurate. Many supposed contradictions and inaccuracies are, in fact, the result of not understanding the literary techniques of the ancient world. He goes on to point out that, in a way, the Bible has been too successful. That is, to say, that the Western world has become so used to Biblical morality that we are often unable to understand fully the cruelty of the ancient world. Many advances in morals that we consider enlightened and modern had their beginnings in the Bible and the Hebrew culture that created it.

In ancient times, infanticide was a universal practice, except among the Jews and later the Christians. No one questioned slavery but the law of Moses softened and ameliorate the practice among the Jews by insisting masters treat their slaves justly and freeing them, with supplies to live on, after seven years. This is a marked contrast with the Roman conception of slaves as moving, talking tools, and living at their master’s whim. Later the Christians questioned slavery and ultimately Christians were responsible for abolishing slavery in the West.

It is a common belief that the Middle Ages were a time ruled by faith in which everyone was completely ignorant and science was at a standstill. Only when the Enlightenment philosophers shook off the restraints of religion was humanity able to progress. Hutchinson shows that this belief is entirely false. Science had its beginnings in the very religious and Christian Middle Ages. All of the founders of modern science, Galileo, Newton, Boyle, Pascal, and many others were devout Christians. In fact, there is a strong possibility that the Judeo-Christian worldview was especially conducive to the development of modern science. After all, it only arose in Christian Europe.

Our concepts of human rights come from the Bible. If you believe that God created man in His own image and that His son died for all of us, then it follows that each human life is precious and has the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If you believe that humanity was an incidental creation of the gods or evolved from primordial muck, then you might have a different, less exalted view of the rights of man.

I can do no more than suggest the arguments that Robert Hutchinson uses in his defense of Christianity and the Bible. I recommend it highly so that as Peter commanded,

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1Peter 3:15)

 

 

I Got a Tingle Up my Leg

Are you feeling just a bit discouraged because the Republicans have been preventing Barack Obama from bringing the hope and change we need? Do you find yourself no longer admiring the crease in his pants as much as you used to? Does listening to the One’s speeches no longer give you quite the same tingle up your leg? Then you need to read Frank J. Fleming’s Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything.

You will be reminded once again of the dark times in the BO (Before Obama) era. You will be able to relive the wonder and glory of The One’s election, of his masterful administration, his ingenious policies. You will recall His daring foreign policy in which He travelled around the world apologized for America’s many transgressions.  Best of all, Fleming provides the facts you need to refute the suggestions from your racist friends and neighbors that Obama may not be the Greatest President Ever.

 

And, if you don’t happen to be an Obama fan, you’ll at least have a few good laughs as the country and the economy goes down the toilet. Fleming really is a brilliant and hilarious satirist. Let’s hope this is just the first of many, many books

 

Happy Meal Ban Fail

Somehow I am glad to see this story. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, having nothing better to do, decided to ban Happy Meals in McDonald’s earlier this year. Well, not ban exactly, but they made it illegal for a restaurant to give away free toys with meals unless they complied with strict nutritional requirements, which even the school lunches didn’t measure up to. That ban went into effect on December 1. Now we will see a new generation of San Francisco children growing up happier and healthier thanks to the progressive San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Well, maybe not. You see the law bans giving away the toys. It says nothing about selling the toys. And that is just what McDonald’s is doing.

And yet it seems McDonald’s has turned lemons into lemonade — and is selling the sugary drink to San Francisco’s children. Local McDonald’s employees tell SF Weekly the company has devised a solution that appears to comply with San Francisco’s “Healthy Meal Incentive Ordinance” that could actually make the company more money — and necessitate toy-happy youngsters to buy more Happy Meals.

It turns out San Francisco has not entirely vanquished the Happy Meal as we know it. Come Dec. 1, you can still buy the Happy Meal. But it doesn’t come with a toy. For that, you’ll have to pay an extra 10 cents.

Huh. That hardly seems to have solved the problem (though adults and children purchasing unhealthy food can at least take solace that the 10 cents is going to Ronald McDonald House charities). But it actually gets worse from here. Thanks to Supervisor Eric Mar’s much-ballyhooed new law, parents browbeaten into supplementing their preteens’ Happy Meal toy collections are now mandated to buy the Happy Meals.

Today and tomorrow mark the last days that put-upon parents can satiate their youngsters by simply throwing down $2.18 for a Happy Meal toy. But, thanks to the new law taking effect on Dec. 1, this is no longer permitted. Now, in order to have the privilege of making a 10-cent charitable donation in exchange for the toy, you must buy the Happy Meal. Hilariously, it appears Mar et al., in their desire to keep McDonald’s from selling grease and fat to kids with the lure of a toy have now actually incentivized the purchase of that grease and fat — when, beforehand, a put-upon parent could get out cheaper and healthier with just the damn toy.

If I want a Happy Meal and McDonald’s is willing to sell it to me, why is that any business of the Board of Supervisors or the legislature or Congress, or anyone else? This whole business began when San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar discovered that his daughter had a pile of Happy Meal toys in her room.

As Mar later told reporters, he was shocked to discover a trove of toys from McDonald’s Happy Meals stashed in her room. Mar was the one taking his daughter to McDonald’s and buying the food — but he said that the “pester power” of a preteen was simply too much for him to withstand on his own. So he proposed that the city ban restaurants from including toys with meals of more than 600 calories that lack agreed-upon amounts of fruits and vegetables.

So, because he couldn’t control his daughter and be an actual parent, everybody in San Francisco has to suffer. Maybe they deserve it for living in San Francisco.If I lived in a city run by that kind of meddling nanny-staters, I would move out.

The other thing that occurs to me is that I really wish that politicians at every level of government would consider carefully the consequences of the legislation they propose. If they cannot anticipate the likely consequences, which would be almost every time, maybe they should leave the matter alone.