Pesci's Blog (18)

My (almost) meeting with Jehovah's Witneses

For the third year in a row I was passed over and I am not happy about it.

 

A raise?  A promotion?  No, I'm not talking about something that frivolous.  I am talking about hearing The News.  The Good News.  No, that still doesn't do it justice.  I'm talking the GREAT news. 



For the third straight year there was a tan minivan down the street and three well-dressed people walking from home to home.  That's right - the Jehovah's Witnesses were in the neighborhood. …

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Added by Pesci on September 16, 2011 at 11:29am — 7 Comments

The Big Kahuna is a Steeler's Fan

You may have missed the excitement from yesterday's NFL games. My beloved Buffalo Bills nearly pulled off the upset of the year by beating the Steelers of Pittsburgh. The local club snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when a wide-open Stevie Johnson dropped a pass in the end zone in overtime. The ball hit him right between the numbers.



Johnson was inconsolable after the game. Apparently he was feeling a little more wordy after the game when he tweeted the following:…

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Added by Pesci on November 29, 2010 at 4:35pm — No Comments

Review of the Smithsonian Channel's special on the story behind The Exorcist



Last night I watched a fascinating show on the Smithsonian Channel about the (alleged) events that the movie The Excorcist is loosely based on. In case you are not familiar with the story, a thirteen year old boy appeared to slowly become possessed by a demon. The event happened not longer after the unexpected death of his aunt. Weird things are said to have happened in the house and marks started showing up on the boy's body. The family took him to… Continue

Added by Pesci on October 28, 2010 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Atheists - The New Panda Bears

(note: This is a re-print of a blog from my own site. It is a response to a conversation that I had on Facebook with a very well-meaning Christian. You can definitely respond here but if you'd like her to see any comments then please see the link to the original blog at the bottom. The original has working links to the original sources - I didn't have time to re-format them for this blog).



You may not have known this but Panda Bears were the Bigfoots (that just sounds weird. I wanted… Continue

Added by Pesci on September 17, 2010 at 2:12pm — 5 Comments

Sifting through carnage for the good news

As you probably know, my wife and I brought our first child into the world two weeks ago. We had quite a bit of trouble conceiving a child - if you need to laugh a little bit you can read about my trips to the clinic here.



What amazed me about this whole process was the reaction of several religious friends and family members along the way:



- Several family members said that a… Continue

Added by Pesci on September 15, 2010 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

Atheist for Jesus

There is a new book out by author S.E. Cupp called Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity. The title of the book pretty much says it all - Ms. Cupp (What if her first name was Debbie and she didn't have a middle name - would that make her D. Cupp? Sorry, I had to ask) believes that the liberals are attacking Christianity.



I think we all know that Conservatives are much more likely to flaunt their religious beliefs than a Liberal might be. While you might think… Continue

Added by Pesci on August 27, 2010 at 9:00am — 8 Comments

Memo to the self-help crowd (trying to save little old ladies from frauds)

Note: My mother-in-law asked me to copy some disks by the self-help guru/mystic/faith healer/supernatural freak Caroline Myss. I said that I would if I had a chance to present evidence for the other side (rational thought). This is the letter that was included in this little "care package". I also included a disk that contained three Penn and Teller episodes, some demonstrations on cold reading and various James Randi videos. The audience consists of several… Continue

Added by Pesci on August 11, 2010 at 8:46pm — 1 Comment

Book Review - Jesus for the Non-Religious

My father-in-law is a former member of the clergy. He became a priest so that he could travel the world (mostly Asia) to help poor people. He did this for many years until he saw the the main goal of the church's effort was to expand the flock and the (distant) second goal was to help people.



Anyway, he still considers himself to be a Christian but he is sickened by the direction of modern religion. He knows that I am a non-theist and recommended "Jesus for the Non Religious". The… Continue

Added by Pesci on August 6, 2010 at 5:00pm — 16 Comments

Anne Rice - the Wanderer

You may have missed this but Anne Rice has quit Christianity. That's right - the famous author is supposedly done with the Church. What I found interesting in this article is not the title but what she said beyond the headline.



....said Wednesday that she refuses to be "anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-science and anti-Democrat."



Politics aside, good for her. Welcome to humanism.



"For those who… Continue

Added by Pesci on August 4, 2010 at 2:23pm — 4 Comments

The CEO - Chief Exorcism Officer

This just in - Gabriele Amorth is the head of the Vatican's exorcism office (link).



In other news.... the Vatican has an exorcism office.



Holy S, who knew? I used to watch a fair amount of the ghost hunting shows and they would always toss in the disclaimer that the church doesn't officially acknowledge exorcisms. I had always assumed that even they knew… Continue

Added by Pesci on July 26, 2010 at 1:31pm — 2 Comments

My first meeting with fellow skeptics

Last night I attended both my first

lecture at the world-renowned Center For Inquiry (if you're reading this, I'm available for

volunteer work!) and my first group meeting with a new Buffalo-area

skeptics group, Drinking Skeptically. The lecture was given by author Ibn Warraq on secularism in the Muslim world (it was quite interesting).

While I looked forward to the lecture, I was really looking forward to

the group meeting afterwards.





Once again, I'll… Continue

Added by Pesci on July 24, 2010 at 3:25pm — No Comments

Religion Challenge: Dawkins vs. McGrath debate

(note: this is part of a debate between myself and two Christian friends. You can find a link to the entire series below)







Posted by Adam on 9/15



Ah, a great place to start a discussion. I've heard McGrath speak many times. For some reason he gets a little more cred because he was on the other side (it goes both ways - this is true of Christians that convert as well). He seems like a nice enough guy. I do… Continue

Added by Pesci on July 23, 2010 at 12:58pm — No Comments

The Holy Dinner - My evening with a priest

(note: this event actually took

place last year but I thought it would be interesting to copy it from my

other blog)



So the big evening finally arrived. I was going to be dining with a local priest.



Father Pat was all that he was said to

be and then some. He was well-read, well-spoken, affable and at times

blasphemous. I know that many of you read my post yesterday and

probably thought that there was going to be some kind of showdown at my… Continue

Added by Pesci on July 22, 2010 at 12:15pm — 3 Comments

Religion Challenge Part 2: Hitchens Youtube video

(This is part two of "The Religion Challenge", an exercise that I shared in with some Christian friends of mine. We agreed to analyze various resources and have an online dialog. I am posting a new entry each day but you can see the whole series at the bottom of this post).



- Religion arose because primitive man needed to explain things like storms and where we came from.

- It is our human nature to want to…
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Added by Pesci on July 20, 2010 at 3:42pm — 2 Comments

Book Review - The Case for Christ

(note: This is the first part of an exercise that I did with some Christian friends. In a nutshell, we agreed to examine and comment on the media presented as evidence by the other side. I'll post a different one each day, or you can find a link to the whole series below if you do not wish to wait. Once again, I'll post them all here - I do not wish to skirt the blog guidelines).



(one more note - I didn't have the time…
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Added by Pesci on July 19, 2010 at 2:03pm — 1 Comment

Flock Joins the Gulf Oil Relief Efforts

You've heard me rant about how clearly useless prayer is. This week CNN had an article about an Alabama church that used to hold summer services on the beach but was displaced by cleanup efforts.



This is interesting on several levels.





Clean-up efforts forced the congregation from the sandy beach up to a concrete pavilion, "partly due to the relief workers basically taking away our beach. We’re glad they are, but that is the situation," said the Rev. Lance Moore,…
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Added by Pesci on July 17, 2010 at 11:16am — 1 Comment

Praying for Hitchens











Christopher Hitchens is one of the few people in this world that I truly look up to. What makes me look up to him? Because he says that we should not have any idols or put anyone else in too high of regard. So in that sense I admire him for a quality that he possesses.



As you may know, last month my man Hitch announced that he had cancer. The cancer is in his esophagus and from everything I've read it has a relatively low survival rate because it is… Continue

Added by Pesci on July 17, 2010 at 10:00am — 6 Comments

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