Friday, September 26, 2008

Thank God They Banned Short Sellers

Otherwise they could take down fine upstanding American banks like Wachovia.

Oh, wait... it's getting slammed?


Complacent Panda said...

Thank god Sarah Palin is protected from witches!

What the fuck is this world coming to?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Panda, I highly doubt Palin believes in witches or witchcraft.

However, many people in sub Saharan Africa do believe in such and apparently this pastor is responsible for converting many such people to Christianity.

Pastors from Africa and other parts of the third world frequently visit churches in the U.S. to share their testimony, and such visits often result in an interesting and entertaining contrast in beliefs and culture.

If you want to experience this type of thing firsthand, I would recommend joining a church with an active mission program, or taking a trip to Haiti, where you will find an interesting mix of Christianity, Voodoo, and other African religions.

Personally, I was fascinated by my two-week trip to Haiti in March 1991, and hope to go back some day.

Such beliefs also are found in other parts of the Caribbean, including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and other countries where a significant portion of the population is comprised of African descendants.

In short, the pastor's prayer isn't that unusual for those of us who have been exposed to the religious beliefs of other countries and cultures.

So, get a passport and go explore the world. It is an interesting place.

Complacent Panda said...

Whether or not witch hunts occur in third world countries, I still think "mere" Christianity is an atavism in the United States--that's people who believe in an actual resurrection, an actual virgin birth, and even an actual afterlife. But I know that a large portion of the population believes these things. It's just unfortunate that such sentiments prevent saner sex education, a quelling of the abortion and evolution issues, more stringent stem cell research and acceptance of homosexuality as a part of nature/life.

Those are several of the reasons I dislike having an evangelical president. They support regulations on people's lives that have little reasoning behind them besides Christian tradition.

On the other hand, I would be terribly interested in exploring the world and see all sorts of interesting traditions.

PS: I have seen too much insanity in church to ever join one again--even if it meant a free ride around the world. I stopped going when I was 16 and had enough guts to say, "This is bullshit."

Anonymous said...

They support regulations on people's lives that have little reasoning behind them besides Christian tradition.

Well, I for one enjoy the "Thou Shall Not Kill" tradition and the resulting laws that outlaw murder, but that's probably just me.

All laws are based upon a belief system, and all laws restrict personal freedoms to one extent or another. The only question is what belief system is going to be used as the basis for a country's legal code.

For Western civilization the basic building block has been the Judeo-Christian belief system combined with the Roman-inspired codification of the legal code.

As with anything else in life, a belief system, religion-based or otherwise, can be a force for good or a force for evil, just depends on the motivations of the people using it.

Complacent Panda said...

I'm not advocating murder. You like the though shalt not kill tradition? Well, unfortunately it's not as simple as that. There are plenty of times when killing is completely justified (think war, self-defense, capital crime, etc), and I think the world would be quite confused if it weren't.

As for when a human becomes a human, that's an opinion. When the sperm and egg fuse, it is not a human. There's potential for it to become a human, but then, there was potential for a human when the egg and sperm were apart. All you have now is a blastocyst. I don't see why people can't decide for themselves (as long as they aren't having irresponsible abortions where the child is much more developed: that's more like infanticide). Oh, and what's not an opinion is abstinence only education does not work.

And, not to mention, you completely ignored the evolution issue. Many, many scientists do not believe in a personal god. And evolution is an overwhelming part of biology. Yes, many people misunderstand evolution, or oversimplify it (think Mr. Garrison's explaination of evolution); but, it's as much a part of biology as relativity is a part of physics. I wish they would keep the metaphysics in philosophy (although, I'm sure many would be unhappy about teaching philosophy in high school).

And then there's stem cell research which goes back to the: when does life become life argument? Don't give me all that human rights bullshit unless you are out fighting violations that happen to alive human beings as well. A man can sue because he slept on a moldy bed in prison (it was also mentioned in The Week). And the judge awards him $295,000 because his constitutional rights were violated! Shit. Like this stuff doesn't happen in the United States and elsewhere due to POVERTY! And what about child labor laws that are circumvented because other countries don't institute them? Companies can just go over seas. There are plenty of human rights violations happening all around the world. And we're worried about unborn cells that you can keep if you want to? We're not forcing you to get rid of them or to even believe that it's right. Just let people make the decision for themselves.

And as for homosexuality: it occurs naturally in the wild among various animals (wiki link). Whether or not they should be allowed marriage in your religion should be up to you (I suppose), but whether or not partners should have equal legal rights as a straight couple seems a no brainer...what's the big deal?

PS: There are plenty of laws that have changed over time. The old testament and new are riddled with ideas, customs, and laws that many would consider outlandish. Yes, we have adopted the Roman and Judeo-Christian system, but we don't use it anywhere near how they did. We don't have to regress now just because some people believe hurricanes are from God to punish homosexuals. We're supposed to be a first world country, for Christ's sake!