National Christmas Tree, felled by divine 60mph winds Saturday (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
The War on Christmas took an unexpected turn Saturday in what is sure to be considered a nightmare scenario for Biblical Literalists. Strong winds passed through the Washington D.C. area Saturday that toppled the National Christmas Tree and cut power to nearly 2,000 people in the area. No reindeer were injured, though the whereabouts of Santa remain uncertain. Nor is it known whether this means that Santa will cancel his much-anticipated visit to the U.S. later this year.
While budget cuts have apparently hampered American efforts to take down its Christmas decorations, the wind was probably all God acting in shear, hilarious irony. His motives are highly uncertain regarding which specific commonly scapegoated group had done the sinning this time. Some have speculated that the tree’s destruction was due to one of those more broad-based attacks on moral society by the secular world. The timing is highly unexpected considering the Tea Party activity taking place in the U.S. House of Representatives just blocks away from the X-mas tree. There, the Tea Party is working to end abortion and to return the definition of “rape” to that of Biblical times.
Even though God works in strange ways, this may be the most confusingly ironic event for Fundamentalists since his sparing a nearby porn shop while destroying a beloved graven image of himself with lightning near Cincinnati in 2010.
For the record, neither Santa nor God could be reached for an interview during the preparation of this article.
Sorry Virginia, there will be no more touchdowns for Jesus - before and after. (via Geekosystem)
Buddha Statue, Chinese Garden, San Francisco, CA
For those of us who have read the Bible, the Koran and a good number of other religious texts, there is one unifying truth that rings out loud and clear: None of these texts seems to hold any information that could not have been held by the people who lived at the time the texts were written. The Bible, for example, has exactly no information inside it that hints at some fundamental discovery about the Universe that was not known to the bronze- and iron-age inhabitants of Middle East. This poses a serious problem for adherents. Why would divinely-inspired texts not have real predictive power?
It turns out, that there is a religious text that is capable of describing things that were not otherwise known to the ancients. That text is the Lalitavistara Sutra, a Buddhist text in which the Buddha rather accurately predicted the size of a typical atom, a yojana in Sanskrit. Here goes:
Four krosha, each of which was the length of
One thousand arcs, each of which was the length of
Four cubits, each of which was the length of
Two spans, each of which was the length of
Twelve phalanges of fingers, each of which was the length of
Seven grains of barley, each of which was the length of
Seven mustard seeds, each of which was the length of
Seven particles of dust stirred up by a cow, each of which was the length of
Seven specks of dust disturbed by a ram, each of which was the length of
Seven specks of dust stirred up by a hare, each of which was the length of
Seven specks of dust carried away by the wind, each of which was the length of
Seven tiny specks of dust, each of which was the length of
Seven minute specks of dust, each of which was the length of
Seven particles of the first atoms.
The net result is approximately that of a carbon atom.