Does God Reward Bizarre Behavior?

The Des Moines Register had two stories today about nut-case behavior by Christians.

One was political.  Some religious deep pockets hired a guy to put on a political conference of born agains.  Pastors were offered travel expenses from around Iowa, free meals and lodging for themselves and their wives (no women pastors invited).  At the conference Senators Rand Paul and  Ted Cruz spoke.

After Cruz’ talk, the newspaper described what took place.  The preachers surrounded Cruz murmuring prayers.  Some touched Cruz while praying.  Others raised hands in the air.

Another story was about one of those people who carries a cross across the country.  I don’t get these people at all, but for some reason everyone of them deserves a news paper story.

This guy started in North Dakota and has criss crossed the Midwest carrying a 60 pound cross.  He is doing this because Jesus told him to do so. Jesus must have said, “Carry a heavy cross around.  Notify the news media whereever you go.”

It seems strange to me Jesus would tell someone to waste his life doing such a thing.  Of course, he had no money so is pan handling food and places to sleep.

Many behaviors in Christianity, including the practice of sybolically drinking the blood of the hero, fall into the bizarre.  Perhaps Christian can come up with similar criticisms of nonbelievers.

I can only say nonbelievers don’t drink blood, walk across the country carrying crosses or lay their hands on anyone.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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26 Responses to Does God Reward Bizarre Behavior?

  1. entech says:

    Come on Jon, America is pretty civilised, look at the places where they go around scourging themselves, self flagellation and so on. At least in America the cases you mention have a bit of sense and reason behind them, money or influence.
    And some atheists have been accused of an inappropriate laying on of hands nothing exclusive about that sin.

    But at least we can be grateful that they are keeping the WBC of the front page.

  2. Michael Ross says:

    Carrying a cross, laying on and raising hands, and taking communion may seem bizarre behavior to some but is it harming anyone? Millions of Christians are supportive of offensive “wars of choice” that result in the death of hundreds of thousands and the destruction of their economies and environments but I hear no complaint from you and other atheists in the defense these innocent victims of misguided “faith”. When it comes to our murderous foreign policy I sometimes think you are a closet fundamentalist Christian.

    • Avatar of realist realist says:

      Your lines of logic are getting tangled on this one. Plenty of atheists are anti-war. Your leap of logic is unfounded.

      • Michael Ross says:

        Atheists seem obsessed with the right to sodomize and abort. Christians with invading, occupying, bombing, and torturing. I would have higher regard for atheists if they more opposed Christians on these latter counts but seem to be very secondary at best. I also recall that the late Christopher Hitchens was supportive of the Iraqi war.

        “Plenty of atheists are anti-war.”

        I just wish they would be more outspoken about it.

        • entech says:

          Atheists seem obsessed with the right to sodomize and abort.
          I was wondering where my broad bush had disappeared.
          Even though I see evidence-to the opposite on this site I can’t say, “Christians seem obsessed with sexual sin”.

          Hitchens was all for removing Saddam, the war against Iraq was the way he supported doing it. As an admirer I am able to say that this was one of many things I disagreed with. Tell me how many things you disagree with that the likes of Ken Ham says?

          • Michael Ross says:

            I occasionally disagree with other Christians as you sometimes do with other atheists. Maybe we are no so at odds after all. Frightening, isn’t it?

          • entech says:

            I am not frightened at all, presuming a reason for me to change doesn’t come too late, that would hardly be a just act would it.
            “You had your chance, bad luck, into the fire”

            Oh, Thou, who didst with Pitfall and with Gin
            Beset the Road I was to wander in,
            Thou wilt not with Predestination round
            Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?

            Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
            And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
            For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
            Is blacken’d, Man’s Forgiveness give—and take!

  3. Wanna B Sure says:

    Currently this summer there is a mini series called “Taboo”. This week’s installment was about some mystical group that put giant fishhooks in their skin, swung and twirled in the air like a wind chime. They claimed the pain would put them into some sort of mystical extacy. No mention of god of any sort. Or the Oriental man that tied 200 lb to the end of his schwance and swing it back and forth. Didn’t catch the benefit from that, but I bet it was helpful for “dry eyes”. Point is; you don’t need God for bizarre behavior.

    • entech says:

      Wanna, your last sentence reminds me of am old ship saying (probably as many variations as there are denominations)
      “you don’t have to be mad to go to sea, but it sure helps”

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Or; “The whole world is crazy except you and me, and I’m not so sure about you. (non-denominational).

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Wanna 1:06 “The whole world is crazy except you and me, and I’m not so sure about you.”

        Thanks. I’ve always liked that one. There is a slightly different (probably many different) version, “Everyone in the world is strange except you and me, and you are a bit odd.” :)

    • Doug says:

      Rugs, sushi, chopsticks, kimonos are ORIENTAL; a person is ASIAN.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Whatever. Sure looked oriental (eastern ) to me.

        Online dictionary; Oriental; Often of or relating to the countries of the orient or their (Peoples) or culture; Eastern.

      • entech says:

        When I worked for an English company in “the far east” (hows that for neutral?) we just referred to them as locals, all non local employees were said to expatriates.

        I just had a quick internet on the subject and there does seem to be a lot of talk about English and American usage, in England Asia is almost always specifically India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka and ‘the orient’ further east, bit like in England we always say ‘Argentina’ or ‘the Argentine’ , ‘Holland’ or ‘the Netherlands’ and to the Dutch people that I know or meet it seems to be interchangeable, as there are lot of countries east of Indian it is either the orient or the name of the country.

        So for your usage Wanna, the words are interchangeable.

        It seems that the difference is particular to people whose ethnic heritage is from somewhere to the east are sometimes sensitive, but really after a few generations who cares. I think I told you once before that Chinese Chinese that I worked with were rather derogatory about overseas Chinese, bananas they said, yellow outside but really white inside.

        An English engineer married and resident in America once told me that the common usage by expatriates would be really offensive in America, if you weren’t local you were referred to as European.
        Not always, and this could be the offensive bit, during the R&R epidemic that hit Hon Kong I was with my Australian wife in a night club when she said do you know we are the only Europeans here tonight. Not sure what all those R&R boys were certainly not locals.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Some native Americans call those who have left, and went out of their born environment “apples”. Red on the outside, white on the inside. Also a derogatory term. The Amish call anyone not of their community “English”. Not derogatory, but indicating a separation. I see now, that to call someone “oriental” is considered a slur in some circles. Can’t keep up with the PC crowd. When we were kids, we didn’t play cowboys and Indians, we fought the Japs. (It was the war you know). OK then, not so much now I understand. We’re pretty insulated here. And on it goes.

  4. dan says:

    At least no one is chopping off people’s heads in the name of Mohamed.

  5. Avatar of realist realist says:

    Cruz, the current great white hope, needs all the prayers he can get because he has zero chance of being elected to higher office. His views are so extreme that even Republicans who haven’t drunk the tea party kool aid are squirmy about supporting him. I’m sure the “laying on of hands” was photographed for all the inevitable negative campaign ads sure to come.

  6. Jinx says:

    I wouldn’t vote for any of them!

    This link is off topic but I thought Jon and others may find it interesting.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/us/some-mormons-search-the-web-and-find-doubt.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130721&_r=0

    • entech says:

      “A small step for a man … ” hopefully the beginning of a large step for mankind.
      If people stopped believing everything their church tells them and started thinking, the truth may be found. All should have the right to be wrong, and whoever says I am one the all, I agree, to any that say I am wrong then that requires proof.

  7. Brad says:

    “At least no one is chopping off people’s heads in the name of Mohamed.”

    No, of course not. Getting killed by a bombs being dropped from planes and drones is so much more humane.

    “Blow them all away in the name of the Lord”….. The late Rev. Jerry Falwell

    • Michael Ross says:

      “No, of course not. Getting killed by a bombs being dropped from planes and drones is so much more humane.”

      “surgical strikes” less “collateral damage” only 1.5 million

      God is pro-war: Fallwell

      http://www.wnd.com/2004/01/23022/

      How blessed to be murdered in the name of Jesus.

  8. Matt says:

    As Christians we should not be criticizing anyone…the greatest virtue is love….

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