Like I've said in the past, I am a member on a debate forum. I don't post on it very often because there are about twenty atheists for every one theist. If you say anything that sounds the slightest bit theistic, you will have about ten people picking apart everything you say within about five minutes. It's pretty hard to keep up with it all, and if you don't reply, they assume you've converted.
One thing I've noticed over and over is how they will pick on one thing someone says and immediately apply it to every person of that religious group. If someone uses incorrect punctuation, they'll start picking on that. If someone says anything that anyone can twist into being illogical, they'll pick on that (never mind the fact that atheists can be just as bad about it). One thing that really makes me upset, though, is how so many atheists will say that they're so tired of Christians telling them they're going to hell. So many Christians don't know anything more to say than, "Jesus died on the cross because you're a sinner. He loves you, so you should pray 'this pray' and believe Christ. After that, you need to obey this list of rules." Though there is nothing wrong with this, it misses so much. It talks nothing of our depravity from God and how Jesus is the one who fulfilled the Old Testament and ended estrangement from God. One of the biggest issues people have on the forum is why Christians think that they can force their moral standards from their 'holy book' on people who are "free?" Just recently, I saw this post:
"There are certain words that should be avoided by atheists, rationalists and free thinkers in their writings and conversations. They can, however, be frequently found in the writings of theists, the irrational and those who prefer not to think.
This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list. I’m simply suggesting the most common words I encounter in religious and philosophical discussions. They reflect a certainty about reality that thinking people don’t accept. I’ll present them without comment, but please feel free to provide your own.
1. Truth 2. Absolute 3. Proof 4. Right 5. Wrong 6. Immoral 7. Unconditional 8. Unquestionable 9. Undoubtedly 10. Never 11. Always 12. Sin 13. Evil 14. Damned 15. Certain"
Though this may show how theists "reflect a certainty about reality that thinking people don’t accept," I think it shows even more how someone who is still estranged from God has a natural mind, and without the Holy Spirit cannot see what the world really is.
Lately, however, One of my biggest "pet peeves" is how they will go around looking for extreme beliefs that some Christians hold, and they will apply it to every single Christian. For example:
"Salvation Army I never realized these folks had such an odd requirement. But I have no doubt they can produce a Biblical passage that supports their rule."
Of course, there is nothing that says that every single person (or that even one person) in the Salvation Army is a true Christian, but just because the Salvation Army is supposed to be run by Christians, they assume that all of its rules reflect Christianity. Unfortunately, this happens way too often. People will make rules that don't actually have anything to do with living into their identity as the children of Christ, and they will say (or show to others), "I do this because I am Christian." As soon as that happens, people will immediately assume that you represent all of Christianity, and they will assume that every single Christian believes that same thing. No wonder people think that Christianity is just a huge list of rules...
Do you live out the fragrance of Christ by living out of love, or do you live a life that people look at and see a rule book? If you live a life of love, people will see the person of Christ - they won't see a list of rules. They will see you living into who you are and being content in it. If you don't live into your identity, people won't see Christ. What will they see? You. You keeping a list of rules because that's what your "religion" requires of you. At that point, you might as well be apart of any religion - Hindu, Buddhism, Islam, you name it. There is something common with all of those religions - they all require you to keep lists of rules! Christianity is about living by faith and living by the law of love. No, don't mistake me for being antinomian. Living in faith and by the law of love will cause you to live in a way that truly shows your love for Christ and others.
Go ahead and groan. It's another post on genetics. Yes, it is the sad truth, but I'll try to make this one short and snappy.
A couple months ago I took in a family of gerbils who had been dumped at a pet shop. There were three pups plus the mom and dad. One pup was lilac, and the other two were black. Both of the parents were black, and it wasn't really any surprise that they happened to have the gene to make a red-eyed gerbil. I figured I might as well take them in, considering I've sold so many other gerbils in the past. Their colors weren't particularly neat or highly sought after, but I figured I might as well do it since they were free. Here are the genetic codes for the parents:
black - aaC-D-E-G-Pp <---I know the parents carry recessive 'p's because the lilac pup that came in the litter had red eyes.
Nothing particularly exciting. Nothing very out of the ordinary.
If you don't want to end up with lots and lots of gerbils, you have to separate the female and male right before the female has a litter. Obviously, the male and female hadn't been separated, so she was due to have another litter. She had it. Six squirmy pups - four with black eyes, two with red eyes. I figured there were four blacks and two lilacs. Here is one of the black-eyed new-born pups:
At about five days, I started noticing that there seem to be a few different colors.
And then they started getting their peach fuzz:
They then started to look like gerbils at about ten days:
They finished getting their fur, and I could finally tell what colors they were:
nutmeg - aaC-D-ee-G-P-
black - aaC-D-E-G-P-
lilac - aaC-D-E-G-pp
sapphire - aaCc[chm]D-E-G-pp - sapphire is actually lighter than lilac, though it's hard to tell in this picture.
burmese - aac[chm]c[chm]D-E-P-
What the burmese will turn out to look like:
Maybe no one else gets all that excited about genetics, but I found it extremely fascinating to see that two black gerbils could produce all these colors - in one litter. Just knowing what their genes are, I know that they could have even more colors. Because of the colors of pups they had, I now know that both black parents have a lot of recessives:
Yes, it is true. Only four months and two days until Beth's birthday. No, I'm not saying "meh" to her birthday, I'm talking about the word meh itself.
Yes, you heard it, folks! According to World magazine, meh is becoming an official word! Indeed, this is time for celebration.
"Need a word for an expression of indifference or boredom? The new Collins English Dictionary published by HarperCollins now has an official way to say it: "Meh." The expression will find its way into the dictionary's 30th anniversary edition after gaining popularity on an episode of the television show The Simpsons in 2001. In the episode, Homer suggests taking a day trip with his children. Bart and Lisa are nonplussed by the offer. "They both just reply 'meh' and keep watching TV," said Cormac McKeown, head of content at Collins Dictionaries."
There you have it, Beth. Your wish granted even before your birthday occurred.