Twenty-five-year-old John Pritzlaff is among hundreds of Americans who responded to The Blasphemy Challenge — daring atheists to upload into YouTube “a short message damning yourself to Hell” in exchange for a DVD.
The challenge, launched by a United States-based atheist group known as the Rational Response Squad last year, targets teenagers to renounce religion.
In the US, some atheists are becoming increasingly visible and outspoken about their beliefs: That faith in God is irrational, that it should be replaced by pure scientific reasoning and that religion is a destructive force. They are making their views heard not only via blogs, TV interviews or public debates, but also with the help of books that have penetrated bestseller lists.
Two of the hottest books in the category are The God Delusion by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by journalist Christopher Hitchens.
ANY measure of freedom may be open to criticism, and combining three separate measures—religious, political and civil—may seem more arbitrary yet. But the efforts of the Religious Centre for Freedom, using rankings from other sources, provide some intriguing comparisons.
It is no shock that the likes of North Korea and Iran are intolerant of all sorts of freedoms, while America is just as easy-going over religion as it is concerning political freedoms. But look at India, Indonesia and some European countries: tolerance of civil and political rights is not matched by quite the same freedom to worship.
An interesting incident happened last evening while I was travelling on the MRT.
The cabin that I was in was relatively empty and about 3-4 metres away I spotted this young fella (probably in his early 20s) who’s behaviour was a little unusual.
As he was standing with his ears plugged into his music, I noticed that he was attempting to snap a shot with his camera phone.
At a closer look, I realised that he was zooming his shot on a female passenger who was seated and asleep. This passenger was about 4-5 seats distance away from him. And amazingly the image on his screen was that sharp and clear that I could see what he was aiming at from where I was standing.
I was not exactly sure of his intentions for taking her picture, but all I knew then was that a wrong act in which might have undesirable intent on the girl (voyuerism) was being committed before me.
Without hesitation I calmly walked over to that fella and tapped his shoulder…
“What are you doing?”
“Nothing… just see see pictures only” He replied
“Don’t try to be funny k… You better be careful”
With that I walked back to where I was standing. That fella kept his phone and alighted a couple of stations later.
Wow… can’t believe I actually did that sia?!
But reflecting on this, it had to be the Spirit of God who compelled me to approach him cos in reality, who am I to be some sort of “moral police” and reproached a fellow sinner?
Only by His grace and released by His truth do we have such authority.
Here’s something to tickle your funny bone amidst the environmental buzz that has been going around since last weekend’s 24-hour Live Earth event organised by former United States Vice-President Al Gore.
Presenting an inconvenient truth…
Anyone wanna guess what they will put when we reach year 2010?? =P
“Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists.
A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex.
If I find myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud.
Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only arouse it, to suggest the real thing.”
When I first heard about the launch of the Discipleship Roadmap (DR) in church, I was amazed of its timeliness. It came just as God showed me His ‘system’ of discipleship- “The 21st Century ACTS man” which was in my previous entry.
Personally I find this DR extremely detailed and macham a job appraisal especially with the Personal Assessment Form which is good cos we need a pragmatic approach in being motivated to grow spiritually.
Indeed the DR is a very effective tool for a good spiritual check-up as it even recommends a range of “remedies” after diagnosing. And in a way the ‘system’ is now completed with the aid of the DR. Praise God! =p
Kudos to Hope’s Education staff team for their long hours of research and hard work putting this DR together!