Sunday School

Sunday School 24th October 2021.

This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Reg the Fronkey Farmer 9 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    I thought Christians had to beware of false prophets? I suppose if she has seen their God and His army of special ops angels face to face, then it must be OK.

    Mike Pence wants the Supreme Court to allow schools to ignore the Constitution.

    Followers of different imaginary gods are driven to murder each other over imaginary offenses.

    World of Woo: Conspirituality, the financial racket where extreme right wing view meet the toxic wellness industry.

    Environment: Household banks have invested billions in firms involved in deforestation.

    A look at the ought-is fallacy (wishful thinking) and an easy one to critique this week. The practical work this week is to discuss your findings with God’s Rottweiler.

    The first animal to human donor organ transplant has taken place.

    A new law of nature: Social media makes everything worse.

    The Human Brain Project: six achievements of Europe’s largest neuroscience programme.

    Could search engines be fostering some Dunning-Kruger?

    Physics needs an aesthetic revolution.

    Long Reads: The Myth of Christian Morality. What would religious leaders do if aliens showed up? Richard Dawkins honors Tim Minchin. Do you think atheists are discriminated against by their neglect in the media? Why longtermism is quite possibly the most dangerous secular belief system in the world today. Cancel Culture has a lot to answer for. On the origin of minds.

    Sunday Book Club:  The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Podcast: Consciousness and Self.

    Coffee Break Video:  What should we think about death? 2021 Nobel Laureates Ardem Patapoutian and David Julius in conversation with Brian Greene. Best Evidence against Christianity & Bible Contradictions.


    Have a great week everyone!



    Reg, thanks..some of these stories are so good, I can already feel the Dunning-Kruger bubbling inside my head.


    Thanks Robert for the feedback. I felt very smart when I looked it up 🙂



    Thanks Reg!!!



    I should have posted this last week when you posted about Rev. Joel Osteen returning his $4.4M PPP loan.

    Celebrity preacher faces backlash after photos purporting to show luxury lifestyle appear online



    Regarding the Kat Kerr glimpse into the future post, you don’t need a crystal ball to realize that a failed coup (2020 election, January 6) can be a dry run for the successful one to come.




    Another reminder: The NY Times is a subscription rag. Try to find the same story (or sort of story) from other sources whenever possible or copy it into a text file or save it as a pdf.



    Actually, the kidney transplant isn’t the first animal to human organ transplant. Remember: skin is an organ and it’s the largest organ in your body. This article is from 2019:

    Surgeons Are Transplanting Genetically Engineered Pig Skin Onto Humans



    Some 40-odd years ago, writer and comedian Lewis Grizzard told audiences of his heart operation.  He had a transplant of an aortic valve, from a little pig named Jerome.  (His audience went: “Awwwwww!”) 🐷🐖

    Lewis said it didn’t hurt or anything and it worked all right…but every time he passed a plate of barbecue, his eyes filled with tears! 😪😁

    It is good to know that now we have a full-on complete organ transplants between species!

    Yet another nail in the coffin of Creationism and another notch for both Natural Selection Evolution and Human-Directed Evolution towards indefinite Methusaleh-like lives!

    All we have to do now is put a fire under the ass of the FDA to get them to work approving this as fast as they did the COVID-19 vaccine!

    Then take that same fire and ward off the Anti-Frankensteinian mobs sure to oppose this procedure!

    There will be:
    The Salami Swamis…
    The Lubavitcher Sons-O’-Bitchers…
    The “All-Human-Life-Is-Precious-But-Still-An-Originally-Sinful-Piece-Of-Shit-So-Don’t-Try-Improving-It” Padres and Penguins…
    The Ayatollah Ass-A-Hole-ahs…
    The Alex Jones-ers calling the clinic “The Inland Resort of Doctor Moreau”…
    The “rat-is-a-pig-is-a-dog-is-a-boy” Straight-Edgers…
    And Harvard Bioethicists who’ve never had a damn thing wrong with them their entire lives except that they don’t think right.

    In time and with tweaking,, we could make it a quick, outpatient office operation or at least with limited down-time!  And with vat-grown organs we can do it kill-free, cruelty-free, plentifully, and–barring third-party payers, of course–it could be financed with a patient’s credit card or passing the hat for the indigent!

    It’ll tide us over until SkyNet can put us together some Greased Lightning Chassis! 🤖


    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Visuals and spelling

    The new look Republican Party hosts a convention in Las Vegas.


    Here is a copy of the NY Times article from above on “wishful thinking”. I can share 10 stories each month from my account so I am not sure why it stayed behind the paywall.


    My friend Thomas died in August. His death was sudden and tragic. He and his 22-year-old child were killed in a car accident.

    Thomas was the priest who introduced me to Anglicanism a decade ago. He explained to me why ministers wear purple during the season of Advent, why people make the sign of the cross in church, why we take communion. He opened me up to a whole world that I didn’t know existed, a world that feels enchanted, beautiful and poetic. He was also one of the first people I told that I was considering ordination, and he mentored and guided me through the yearlong process of becoming a priest myself.

    In the last couple of years, Thomas and I spoke less often, and mostly online or over email. But I find I think of him every day now. This month, for his sabbatical, he was supposed to be walking the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile path that has been a religious pilgrimage since around the 10th century. He trained for months. Each day, I wonder where he would have been on the trail had he lived.

    It feels to me like something went wrong. He can’t die, I think. He’d made plans. He had so much left to do. A journey interrupted.

    Death, for all of us, is a journey interrupted. I feel this acutely when someone young dies. But not only then. When my father passed away in his 70s, I felt like there was so much that still needed to happen, so many more conversations we needed to have. He’d always wanted to see the Panama Canal. There were grandchildren in his future that needed him to be alive.

    The week before Easter, Thomas would lead a Tenebrae service — a gathering focused on the waning light as Good Friday approaches. These services, in Thomas’s hands, were gorgeous works of art, incorporating film clips, live music and poetry. One year, he played a clip of the beloved children’s author Maurice Sendak in an interview with Terry Gross.

    Sendak’s frail, gravelly voice spoke of his brother who had passed away: “It makes me cry only when I see my friends go before me and life is emptied. I don’t believe in an afterlife, but I still fully expect to see my brother again.” Though he was an atheist, Sendak couldn’t shake the hope for another glimpse of his brother’s face. There is something deep within us that rejects the idea that the road just stops. We feel there must be more. We must be made for more: more conversations, more laughter, more breaths to take, more miles to walk along the trail.

    Reading the Bible, I notice how Jesus’ death, too, feels like a journey interrupted. There was so much more he could have explained, so many more people to heal, so much more to be done. After his death, most of his closest friends hid out, lost in grief and fear. And I wonder if this was in part because they thought that this wasn’t how things were supposed to end. They had plans. They were part of a revolutionary brotherhood. And then it suddenly was over.

    I saw my friend Pete at Thomas’s funeral. Pete and Thomas were close friends and he told me about how he would miss their weekly breakfasts together at the Waffle House. He also told me that since Thomas had died, he kept thinking about the story of Jesus’ resurrection and what it must have been like for the disciples to experience it. What struck him anew was how it would feel to be in deepest grief and then suddenly see your friend again. There is a deeply intimate and human reunion story amid the larger cosmic meaning of the resurrection account. A community of friends was broken and then, somehow, against all hope, remade.

    The truth is, no one — not priests, not scientists, not the most ardent atheist, not the most steadfast believer — can be 100 percent certain about what happens to us after we die. Each week at church, when we say the Nicene Creed, I affirm that I believe in “the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”

    I believe that after I die, somehow mysteriously but also materially, Jesus will raise me up to live on this good earth, made new. I believe this because I believe that Jesus is risen from the dead. Specifically, I believe the witness of the disciples and others who lived and died for their claim that they (and somewhere around 500 others) had seen Jesus alive again and spoken to and touched him. That’s ultimately why I believe there’s a God at all and why I believe God has defeated death.

    As a priest, when I talk about life after death with others, I tend to keep it objective, theological and creedal. I worry about making resurrected life sound sentimental, as though we are just making stuff up, dreaming of what we wish was true. So, I try to be even-handed and factual.

    But the fact is, I believe this is true, and I believe there are good reasons to believe it’s true, but I also want it to be true.

    I hate death. I have never made my peace with it and I never will. I don’t want to live in a world where everything good suddenly ends.

    Like Maurice Sendak, I want to see the people I love again.

    I hope that my longing for eternity — for joy and pleasure and friendship and beauty to last — is there because it whispers of something that is true. I hope that death feels wrong to me because it really is wrong, it really is not how things are meant to be. And I hope that this hope for more is not silly or delusional. I hope to see my friends again and that death is an interruption, but not an ending.

    By Tish Harrison Warren, a priest in the Anglican Church in North America.

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