In which there is a god. And he plays for the wrong damn team.

I take it all back. Every, single, goddamn word. I accept what the 80 million Christians who’ve been trying to convert me have been saying since the first time I asked one of them what the hell he was smoking. God does exist. There is physical proof. But does it seriously have to wear Senators colours? Hey–it came direct from Siri. How wrong can it be?

Readers of the RSS or email variety will unfortunately need to click over to the website to have a listen–Youtube has yet to invent a technology that lets you play it from your client of choice. Blame Youtube. Or flash. Or both.

There is a god. And if there is a god, it plays for the Ottawa Senators. And if worshipping God means worshipping the Senators, Christianity has just lost me forever. As in, I can’t even hear you now. That kind of following just is not physically possible if you’re me. Or any proper fan of anything that isn’t the Ottawa Senators. Divine intervension or not, just no. But hey, I’ll watch him and his team get stomped out of the playoffs any day.

Semi-related: I have just answered why it is the Leafs haven’t seen playoff action since 2004. Damn you to hell, God. Just damn you to hell.

Edited to add: So apparently the email utility I use strips flash content. Nifty. things to note for next time. Take 2, this time with flashy goodness.

Suddenly, the big bang theory isn’t scientific anymore.

Not if you listen to a speech by the Pope, at least. There’s no such thing as an accident–particularly where the big bang theory’s concerned, so says Pope Benedict XVI. Instead, even that was escentially orchestrated by God.

God’s mind was behind complex scientific theories such as the Big Bang, and Christians should reject the idea that the universe came into being by accident, Pope Benedict said on Thursday.

“The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe,” Benedict said on the day Christians mark the Epiphany, the day the Bible says the three kings reached the site where Jesus was born by following a star.

“Contemplating it (the universe) we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” he said in a sermon to some 10,000 people in St Peter’s Basilica on the feast day.

While the pope has spoken before about evolution, he has rarely delved back in time to discuss specific concepts such as the Big Bang, which scientists believe led to the formation of the universe some 13.7 billion years ago.

Researchers at CERN, the nuclear research centre in Geneva, have been smashing protons together at near the speed of light to simulate conditions that they believe brought into existence the primordial universe from which stars, planets and life on earth — and perhaps elsewhere — eventually emerged.

Some atheists say science can prove that God does not exist, but Benedict said that some scientific theories were “mind limiting””because “they only arrive at a certain point … and do not manage to explain the ultimate sense of reality …”

He said scientific theories on the origin and development of the universe and humans, while not in conflict with faith, left many questions unanswered.

“In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, in its greatness and in its rationality … we can only let ourselves be guided towards God, creator of heaven and earth,” he said.

Folks, I’m not anti-religion. Yeah, even if said religion keeps insisting being blind, I must be saved–someday, I’ll write an entry on that that doesn’t cover half a dozen other topics so I have something to link to. But I have a hard time getting my head around the idea that if we don’t know the answer, or rather than accept the possibility the universe was actually created by accident and/or as a result of a random convergence of particles, we should instead just accept that God, who is equally if not more difficult to prove exists than the random chance Pope Benedict tells us to reject, had a direct hand in the creation of life, the universe and everything (*). And I also can’t get my head around the idea of someone who’s supposed to be trying to get rid of the image of the church being anti-scientific telling people to reject science.

A few hundred years ago, the very fact that it was written that God did this or that would have been enough to satisfy the majority. But then people started asking questions, and actually doing their own investigating. Hence, the Earth is not flat, nor was it created 6000 years ago, etc etc etc. Even though for the longest time the church maintained otherwise. And, like then, while people are continuing to ask questions of how in the hell we wound up in a screwed up place like this, the church continues to reject the idea that it was anything but divine intervension. And, surprise, it would very much prefer everyone else does, too.

Contrary to what the Pope would like to believe, the big bang theory is more than an extremely hillarious TV show. But it is, for all intents and purposes, still just a theory. No more or less a theory, at the end of the day, than this whole God thing–the only difference being the whole God theory’s been around longer. People have questioned and challenged both. People will probably continue to question and challenge both. But here’s the catch. You can do research to prove or disprove big bang. You can’t do that to prove or disprove God, or any variation of it. I’ve always been the research and either prove or disprove type. It’s one of those things that either pleases people or pisses them off. So when I see someone of this much influence–enough to attract the attention of several thousand spectators–escentially telling folks to reject something that can be proven with a lot more certainty than what he’s prieching, I tend to get a little confused. Especially when he goes on to say science isn’t in conflict with faith. He’s right, to a point–science isn’t in conflict with faith. Science is perfectly comfortable with letting faith do what it pleases. You want to do the whole divine intervension thing? Help yourself. Science really doesn’t care. The church? Not so much. And that’s what turns me off right there. I like to be able to think, to ask questions, to flat out tell someone, “I get that this is how you see things. Now show me why.” There’s no room for that in religion. And this proves it.

(*): You need to read this. No. Seriously. Go now.

On blindness, faith, and blind faith.

Disclaimer: This entry may be offensive to the religiously sensative. I only wrote it; you chose to read it. You have been warned.

I used to see it only on rare occasions, but the more time I spend watching and interacting with the community, the more a patern sticks out that kind of has me at least somewhat scratching my head. There are an aweful lot of blind folks out there who’ve decided to fall into religion. Of the religions out there, the most common one for folks to fall into, at least in my experience, has been Christianity–and not just the absent belief in God, but often times some of the strictest definitions of Christianity.

Some were very likely raised on it, and would have very likely fallen into it whether they were blind or not as a result–there’s an entire sub-entry on that subject I’ll get into when I’ve got a little more brain power. But a surprising number seem to fall into it later in life, and usually fall hard as a result. I sometimes wonder what prompts people to suddenly flip that switch on in their brain that throws them into ultraconservative mode. I’m not sure it’s a particular type of personality or what have you that does it, per say. The more level-headed usually end up being for some reason or another nudged in that general direction by someone/something either known or not to them, whereas folks with less balanced personalities tend to make the decision to do so at the drop of a hat–there are several dozen examples of folks well-known for doing things that most Christians would be convinced they’d be on a fast track to hell for doing, who have suddenly had a change of heart, and overnight seemed to switch off that other lifestyle/persona, and switched on the lifestyle/persona who would have probably sat in a room with their previous one and been more than happy to spend 20 minutes on exactly how many levels of wrong and in exactly how many ways that lifestyle was. And there are still some who, quite probably out of not knowing exactly what they’re trying to accomplish, seem to float somewhere between the two–one minute they’re a Christian, and the next they’re into the whole bondage thing or what have you that, once again, their Christian side would probably want to slap out of them. Twice.

It probably doesn’t help a whole lot when you consider that Christianity in particular, though I suspect other religions as well, regularly refer to blindness as just a part of the evil that God will wash away if you’d just let him–the phrase “Was blind, but now I see” comes to mind. In my view, no one reinforces the viewpoint of blindness being somehow bad/wrong/evil/whatever better than a large portion of Christianity. I can see folks who are uncomfortable/unhappy/disenchanted/whatever about being blind gravitating to it for that, possibly–the thought that if they try hard enough to believe/pray/do all the things a good Christian’s supposed to do, they might possibly regain–or, in some cases, gain–their sight. According to the bible that’s how it’s supposed to work, right?

Is being blind, even having been born so, such a life-altering experience that your only option in most cases is to cling to the first thing that offers to “cure” you, or is there more to it than that? And what about the people who, while they say they’re perfectly comfortable being blind, still cling to a faith who escentially dictates that by virtue of not having a working pair of eyes, they are somehow less equal at best, sick at worst, and the ideal beneficiary of some other honest Christian’s cherrity in either case? What draws them to the church? What keeps them there?

A conversation was had among friends a few weeks ago that really started me thinking about that aspect of this entry. A girl who lives a ways out of the city for her own reasons has to rely on people in her church group to help her with doing her grocery shopping. These people don’t necessarily approve of the way she eats and/or in general keeps herself, and make no bones about trying to change her mind–forcefully, where possible. This includes things like offering to take her for groceries, on the condition that said groceries do not include dog food in the hopes that she’ll get rid of her dogs and move into the city, or the purchase of supposedly healthier products because they don’t approve of her usual choices, in spite of the fact the offending healthier products just so happen to be products she’s apparently alergic to. Yet she stays there, and still goes to that church, and still goes with that group for her groceries in spite of that.

On a more personal level, and one that seems to back up the perception that at worst you’re viewed as sick, on one of my very first few trips down here, Jessica and I were coming back to her apartment from somewhere and we were stopped on the street. A nice, apparently young lady asked us if we knew where a particular church was–the name escapes me at the moment. Not being Christian or having had any other reason to be in or near that church, we didn’t, and told her as much. Then, without missing a beat, she responds, “Well, our service is at 9. You should come–God will heal you.”. When she left, Jess and I stood there and just looked at each other for a minute or two with that “Bwuh?” expression on both our faces, before continuing home. I think the exact words that came out of my mouth when we’d cleared earshot were “Do we need healing?”. Someone clearly thought we did–and that’s probably far less surprising than it should be.

It’s things like that, among several others–but this entry’s already a mile long, that make me wonder just what it is blind people in particular see in it, and why so many, even if they were never really brought up around it, seem to be drawn–or, if you’d prefer, run screaming–towards it. Is there something mixed in with all this other crap that I’m just not seeing? Do people actually like a lot of this other crap? Is it something else entirely that I just plain won’t understand on account of not being one with the collective? I’ve spent years trying to wrap my head around it and only succeed in wrapping it around a headache. Is there some connection here between blindness and faith, or is it just blind faith? Inquiring minds want to know.