Sunday School

Sunday School September 22nd 2019

This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Reg the Fronkey Farmer 3 years, 2 months ago.

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    The Christian god is using Trump to usher in ‘The Greatest Spiritual Awakening in History’.

    If there’s a cardinal sin to be made, count on the Catholic Church to excel at it. It has to be a tough job keeping track of the thousands of pedophile priests.

    California church leaders charged with forced labor of homeless, US attorney says.

    This week’s liar for Jesus has written a book of lies.

    Please keep your thoughts and prayers to yourself.

    A founder and former leader of a faith-based conversion therapy program has come out as gay.

    Take a stand with the witches, heretics and blasphemers.

    How nonbeliever and pagan parents cope with intrusions on parenting by proselytizing Christian family members in the U.S. Bible Belt.

    Richard Dawkins and Reverend Richard Coles debate ‘Outgrowing God‘.

    This weeks’ Woo: The Cult of the Keto diet.

    Climate Crisis: Group-think – is it a valid argument against climate science?

    We humans are a hybrid species. The Neanderthal DNA we carry is not “junk DNA” and we also appear to hold some Denisovan genes. This means we must also carry remnants of much earlier ancestors such as Homo heidelbergensis. We may have to rewrite our “Out of Africa” story too. But for me it is the missing link between simple cells and complex life forms that will teach us most about who we are before unto dust we return.

    Do humans have an instinct for waging war? It is always better to talk.

    Religion for the non-religious. (Previously posted here in 2014).

    A simplistic Left vs. Right worldview no longer captures the complexity of American politics which is now driven by more than just traditional cultural values.

    Long Read: Why can’t we agree on what’s true anymore?

    This week I am reading this book: The Golden Legend. (Read the comments).

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil…..

    Coffee Break Video:  The Higgs Boson was just the start from Fermilab. From Ted – A free world needs satire. Bill Maher knows how to do satire. A love letter from God would be nice. An interesting idea from Sean Carroll, the Universe as a ‘tiny sliver’ of all that there is.


    Have a great week everyone!!

    “We have barely emerged from centuries of barbarism. It’s not a surprise that there are shocking inequities in this world. It is hard work to climb down out of the trees and walk upright and build a viable global civilization when you start with technology that is made of rocks and sticks and fur. This is a project, and progress is difficult.”

    –          Sam Harris.



    Thanks, Reg!


    You are most welcome as always Strega.



    Imperial Valley Ministries leaders recruited people by promising food and shelter, and instead forced them to beg for money for nine hours a day, six days a week and to give up their welfare benefits “for the financial benefit of the church leaders,” prosecutors said in a news release Tuesday that announced the indictment had been unsealed.

    Jesus Frickin Christ. That reminds me of the way my Catholic school would make all the kids hustle candy bars.



     “for the financial benefit of the church leaders,”

    Doesn’t it say somewhere in the bible: thou shalt take the poor and turn them upside down and thou must shake them with all your fury until all their metal coins fall out from their pockets and thou shalt sweep up those pennies and deposit them into a trusted Swiss bank account (or Luxembourg if advisable at the time) until enough money accrues to buy thine second private jet. Wasn’t that the Old Testament?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  Davis.

    Yes, I have often found that the actions of atheists are of a higher standard than the core ideals of Christian teachings which many Christians constantly fall short of. But that OK by their standards because they have the reusable “free pass” of claiming that nobody is perfect but they will pray for forgiveness and do better in future.

    I have several more examples like this one.

    They’re selling Jesus again (and again).



    Jody Lee

    Some nice reads, Reg.

    I get annoyed at the “thoughts and prayers” people, but I’m not willing to pay them to stop doing something that affects me in now way.

    Those intrusive, Christian family members…they can say what they want. As a parent, I choose to educate my son with science and encourage him to learn all he can before making that decision. He is a bright kid and asks great questions…some of which my holy-rolling family aren’t able to answer.



    Thanks Jody.  No, I don’t think I would give them even a red cent. Sometimes when they tell me that they will pray for me I ask them not to ask the Creator of the Universe to change his plan for me. It must really piss him off with the constant prayers from Christians to change the plans he has already laid out for them.

    Other times I just reply “OK thanks, and I will think for you”.

    Anyway they no longer need to bother us with them. All they have to do is download the TP app!!


    Jody Lee

    It must really piss him off with the constant prayers from Christians to change the plans he has already laid out for them.




    I must take issue with the article on the keto diet, because of personal experience. On the other hand, the author emphasizes the beliefs of “keto extremists”, and yes, extremists do often give a movement a bad reputation, so I appreciate that bit of the author’s motivation for writing this hit piece.

    My personal experience started one day last year when, just out of curiosity–and I’ve recently taken some college level medical courses–I measured my blood glucose level and was shocked by how high it was. That day, in fact that very minute, I QUIT carbs. For the next few weeks, I researched the nutritional necessity of carb intake, and found very little evidence that carbs are a necessary component of healthy nutrition, other than a few vitamins (which I can supplement separately), and some research on how the brain needs carbs.

    My blood test numbers at the time pegged me as diabetic, with high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high A1C (a long term blood glucose metric), and a few other signs of unhealthy blood chemistry, e.g. some loss in kidney functionality.

    I didn’t even know that a low carb diet is widely known as keto–I didn’t even know what it is, or paleo, and in fact I was skeptical (and still am) of the paleo fad. These fads, especially the ones related to diet, are especially prone to hype, hyper-marketing, and downright false advertising.

    Almost a year later, still off carbs, I’ve lost 12 pounds, I feel so much better than I did even four years ago, ALL my blood numbers are within normal range! Two doctors I’ve been seeing, a family doctor and an endocrinologist have told me I’m doing everything right. Keto has been a miracle for me. No, bad word, “miracle”. This has been a scientific endeavor of mine from the start, measuring blood glucose every day at my own expense (maybe a dollar a day), and watching which foods affect those measurements, from within 15 minutes of ingestion to hours through-out the day. Understanding more about how my diabetic mother needed to watch her own blood glucose a few years ago was also a good introduction to the nutritional/physiological aspects.

    The biggest, dangerous mistake I see in diet recommendations is the inference or explicit declaration that “this works for everyone”, or its opposite “this is just a big pharma scam, don’t believe them”. No, everyone is different, and I would not recommend keto without a doctor’s opinion, and with dedicated self-education and monitoring. And that’s why I call the article linked to a “hit piece”. Most of the evidence presented in it is one-sided.

    A couple more things. Yes, this is anecdotal, and I’ve read of some people who’s health seems to have been damaged from keto. But so far, almost everyone I’ve spoken to about keto swears by it, and can recite the most important numbers that improved for them. Finally, and again this is just my experience (but some others confirm), I don’t have that nagging feeling of hunger, and the guilt of giving into it. I sometimes go until afternoon before remembering “OMG, I really should eat something”. But for me, still, the problem of forgetting to eat is not nearly as unhealthy or uncomfortable as the hunger I had when on carbs.

    Sorry, I keep thinking of more, in case anyone is interested. Olive oil, lots and lots of it to reduce the bad cholesterol. Coconut oil; I’m still studying/experimenting with it, but there’s good research behind it. Perhaps most pleasurable of all, I love almond flour tortillas, because they crisp up very nicely to make awesome, thin-crust pizzas. (Albeit I gave up red pizza sauce because of the sugar in it, and use pesto sauce instead.) Unfortunately, so far, I can find those tortillas only at Whole Foods, but I got some almond flour, coconut flour, and a few other ingredients to see if I can make my own.

    YMMV! Do your own research.


    @popebeanie, I find it difficult to disagree with your points. I would agree completely with your approach to the Keto Diet. There is no other way it should be adopted. Science beats Woo every time. Most publications do refer to it as a miracle diet or wonder diet and many of those have no advice to offer other than their standard “We advise your consult your doctor before undertaking any changes…..” This is just as an aside to the main article showing some actor or actress with a ripped body and giving the impression that it is all so easy.

    Everything we eat and drink is part of our diet. We are always on a “diet”. People should alter their diet to become healthier. The main result is a healthier “you” and one side effect is weight loss. I think once people understand this they no longer see their diet as something restrictive but rather a positive lifestyle change. It then becomes normal and we no longer view it as being on a diet where we are making sacrifices. Cutting out heavily processed food and cheap candy is not a sacrifice any more than quitting smoking is a sacrifice. Both are positive steps to take with long-term rewards that quickly outweigh any immediate sense of a sacrifice being made. It just depends on how we look at it.

    In general people are advised to start losing weight and then they will feel better about themselves and then will be able to start to get fitter. This should lead into a loop of eating better and getting fitter. Maybe there is an alternative way to look at it. If people start making the effort to become fitter first they will soon change their diet to include healthier foods and exclude less healthy options.

    It is much easier to imagine (visualize) walking 1 mile in (say) 12 minutes on a predetermined course than to imagine losing 1lb in weight. Then built it up to 2 or 3 miles a day or set a target for 3 months ahead to start training to run 5K in 30 minutes. What you will find is that you will be getting competitive with yourself (or with a group of like minded friends or neighbors) and want to hit those targets that you have control over. The side effect of getting fitter is that you start losing weight. Concentrate on your fitness targets and not on the scales or on calorie counting.  You won’t become preoccupied with weighting food and you can (in fact you must) allow yourself “treat days” Mine is Saturday morning after a run where I will eat “whatever the fuck I want” (voice in my head says that).

    I walk a minimum of 70K “fitbit steps” a week. Yes, this is more than necessary to be aerobically fit but I also run a least one 5K but usually 2 of them and a few evenings of interval training or hill sprints. I found that I started to eat healthier foods without being too fussy about it. I was making choices, almost subconscious ones (aren’t they all), about what not to eat. One week I tracked everything I consumed and realized I had not eaten any processed or unhealthy foods. Then I figured that I was unintentionally eating like that for quite a while. I was on a very low carb diet without realizing it. Basically I was almost on the Keto Diet before it was a thing.

    I spoke with a doctor about it (she is a sports nutritionist too) and was told that I was perfectly fit and health for my age. I will soon get a full set of tests done just to be remind myself I am not bulletproof but I feel healthier and fitter now than I did 30 years ago when being a party animal was a full time job.

    The Keto Diet is basically just a low carb diet similar to the Atkins diet. Any article on dieting that only talks of getting “beach ready” or “How I lost 10 pounds in just 3 weeks” is Woo, no matter what diet they are peddling. But if it monitored scientifically and the diet becomes normal rather than something to do for “3 weeks” then it is safer especially if the end result is to become healthier for life rather than to look good for vanity reasons alone.

    I commend you on your meticulous approach to your diet. It is probably “just normal” for you now and not a “fad diet” and that it the way it should be. I agree a diet that works for one person does not necessarily work for the next person. We are genetically similar but all different.  And of course before undertaking any diet please consult your medical doctor and not a woo master. All content is just my (considered) opinion.

    Quick tips: I use a crock pot and get a minimum of 3 meals from it, all non-meat. No white foods. No processed “ready meals”. As little sugar as possible and read the labels for how it is disguised. BCAA whey protein powder but only post training and it helps compensate for lack of red meat. I am 95% vegetarian but do eat organic meat occasionally (When the fronkeys are not looking). Drink more water. Then drink some more water. Get a fitness tracker (better than a phone app) and set realistic targets that you can gradually increase if you want to.

    Remember the target is to get healthier and one of the many positive side effects is weight loss.

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