Henry Ruddle's Blog (11)

Church Bulletin Bloopers

These are probably bogus, but they are funny nonetheless. Supposedly, all of these statements appeared in real church bulletins or were announced during a service.

The Fasting & Prayer Conference …


Added by Henry Ruddle on February 2, 2011 at 10:59pm — 2 Comments

A parenting quandry I'd like feedback about

My 9-year-old daughter would like to spend a month this summer visiting her cousins in Texas. Her cousins are the children of my ex-wife's sister. She and her husband run an evangelical Christian youth ministry from their very large home. In addition to their 4 children, they have adopted at least 2 more (I've lost count), and usually have 10-15 other preteens and teens on site most days as part of their mentoring program. Their project is to prepare misfit teens to become better…


Added by Henry Ruddle on January 26, 2011 at 2:31pm — 10 Comments

The Upside Down Nature of Church Budgets

Imagine receiving this pitch from the American Cancer Society:

"Donate $100 today, and $15 of it will go directly to cancer research and to alleviate the suffering of cancer patients! Better still, $50 of it will be used to pay a lecturer who holds weekly meetings to explain why cancer is bad, why donating to the Society is good, and what cancer patients did to give themselves the disease! The other $35 will pay for our building, our other staff, general overhead, fundraising costs and… Continue

Added by Henry Ruddle on December 6, 2010 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

God Belief and Religion Nearly Dead in the United Kingdom

The London Independent's Johann Hari sings the praises of the 63 percent of the UK public who are non-believers, and demolishes the recent accusations from Christians that they are being treated as second class citizens.…


Added by Henry Ruddle on August 12, 2010 at 2:10pm — No Comments

There is No Problem of Evil

There is an obvious error in the The Problem of Evil (aka Theodicy), and I'm surprised more philosophers and theologians don't point it out. I'm sure most people on this forum are familiar with it, but just in case, here's a thumbnail sketch:

God can't be all good, all powerful and all knowing at the same time because the world is full of suffering, and if he was all of those things he would stop it.

Actually, there is no contradiction. The error comes with the definition of… Continue

Added by Henry Ruddle on August 8, 2010 at 4:20pm — 3 Comments

Giving Creationism Appropriate Time in the Classroom

We hear a lot about how since there are working scientists who are critics of the theory of evolution through natural selection, it is a contradiction of our values of tolerance and skepticism to confine science teaching in high schools to ... um ... science. OK, if we want to put science curriculum up for a vote, let's calculate out how much time we should spend in high school science class in order to give these critics their due.

Let's look at the data. According to the Census… Continue

Added by Henry Ruddle on August 8, 2010 at 12:52pm — 14 Comments

Arrogance, Belief, Agnosticism

Ever since Richard Dawkins gave us his 7-point scale of God belief in The God Delusion, and positioned himself just shy of the strong atheist position, I have sensed a sort of orthodoxy develop around the defense to the accusations that atheists are arrogant and rely on faith just as much as believers. The common reply has been to cry foul ("atheism is merely a lack of belief in gods") and retreat into agnosticism ("I can't know with certainty there are no gods, I just find it highly… Continue

Added by Henry Ruddle on July 18, 2010 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

French court convicts Scientology

A court in Paris fined the Church of Scientology $900,000 for fraud on Tuesday. Steven Erlanger wrote in today's New York Times that in France the church "says it has some 45,000 adherents, out of some 12 million worldwide. It was the first time here that the church had been tried and convicted, as opposed to individual members.

He further explained, "The case was brought by two former members who said they were pushed into paying large sums of money in the 1990s, pressed to sign up… Continue

Added by Henry Ruddle on October 28, 2009 at 9:24pm — No Comments

Insight from Canada about "There Are No Accidents"

The Good Atheist podcast from Canada had a great insight the other day. One of the hosts was ranting about the oft-heard phrase "there are no accidents" and he pointed out that accidents and coincidences only make sense in a materialistic world governed by trial and error. There would be no reason for coincidences in a perfectly planned universe, so the very fact that spooky coincidences exist that make people say, "I believe everything happens for a reason" or "there are no accidents" is proof… Continue

Added by Henry Ruddle on October 26, 2009 at 8:12pm — 2 Comments

My First Skeptical Moment

Yesterday I ran across a video of someone holding a small pendulum and answering questions by "psychically" willing it to move back and forth for yes or left and right for no, and it brought back a flood of memories. I had one of those pendulums (sold by Uri Geller, of course) when I was a teenager and swore by it as a sure thing. I was not so credulous as to believe in Ouija boards (obviously people were subconsciously pushing the thing around), but my pendulum had to be true because I could… Continue

Added by Henry Ruddle on October 20, 2009 at 6:03pm — 6 Comments

Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens may be rude, but they have been effective

The vehemence, perhaps even violence, with which Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens attack religious belief makes many people uncomfortable. Yes, they are rude, and a lot of atheists give them crap about it, but not me.

Sure, they all claim to have heard from people who have heard their rants and converted on the spot to atheism, but for the most part I think they preach to the choir, anger the faithful and amuse everyone else. However ineffective I think they are… Continue

Added by Henry Ruddle on September 27, 2009 at 10:44pm — 3 Comments

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