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The latest in advertising

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The "have it your way" ad campaign for Burger King was long-running and quite successful. And I still hold them to it, asking them to "hold the pickle" on my Whopper whenever I'm lucky enough to be in a town with a Burger King

"Have it your way" seems to be the new mantra of this post-modern age. We do it with our designer jeans, designer purses and our designer ring tones. In the newsroom alone, we have a variety of ring tones, from the sounds of crickets chirping to the old-fashioned ring reminiscent of Ma Bell's oversized black desktop model.

We do it with our television programming, some content with what the antennae will pick up, others needing at least the basics from either the cable company or satellite services. Still others routinely ignore the household budget by indulging in pay per view programming available at the touch of the remote control.

Designer Bibles may be the next big thing.

Apparently, "have it your way" is the only acceptable way to deal with Scripture intelligently -- at least according to Roy Speckhardt, the head of the American Humanist Association.

Speckhardt, explaining the "godless" ad campaign launched by the AHA Tuesday, said, "We're targeting for criticism those who read the Bible literally, not those who pick and choose what they like," he said. "We're telling (people who pick and choose), 'You're more like us.'"

The AHA is putting up billboards and purchasing ad space in newspapers across the country with messages such as, "Some people believe ... Humanists think..." in an effort to free those who are unaffiliated with any faith group to admit that they just don't believe in God.

Also found in the "have it your way" category is the story of a young homosexual man who purged any mention of homosexuality from the pages of the bedside Bible he found in every hotel or motel room he occupied.

Then there's the "red letter" group, who only heed the actual spoken words of Jesus as provided in red letter editions of the Holy Bible.

Sorry folks, this is an all or nothing proposition. The New Testament doesn't make much sense without the Old Testament and, let's face it, the Old is bereft of any measure of hope without the story continued and completed in the New.

Designer faith is also gaining traction. Actually, it seems a new ensemble is released every year, right alongside the new Parisian gowns. The latest trends include a little Yoga, a little new age meditation, and very little in the way of traditional teachings.

Seeking to be relevant to today's culture, the picture of organized religion is as changeable as any weather map. Gone are the fire and brimstone preachers of old, who grabbed sin by the throat and squeezed revival out of their parishioners. Today, not only is sin the invisible elephant in every sanctuary that no one mentions, there also are no "bad" religions. Islam is equal to Buddism, is equal to Hinduism, is equal to Judaism, is equal to new-paganism, is equal to Christianity.

I'll grant you this. All religions may be wrong, but without a doubt, all religions cannot be right. But in our new designer age, it's as if all of humanity has entered the land of "God as we understood him," rather than God as he has revealed himself to be.

Our new designer world is a fascinating place. We can connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime and always know who's on the phone just by assigning unique ring tones. We can have our Whoppers with or without pickles and we can pick and choose what part of Scripture we like, today. Tomorrow, we may choose differently, who knows. Who cares? It really doesn't matter. And as for God, well, we're still working on that, it's hard to create a deity in our own image, but I'm sure we'll get there, someday.

Uh oh. This is starting to sound familiar. Where have I heard these things before? Oh, I remember. It's one of those pesky passages from the New Testament. "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power." (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

When I was a young girl, reading my Mom's family Bible, I glossed over the warnings and the admonitions about the last days, believing in my naivete that men would recognize the slippery slope that leads to God's final judgement long before we started to slide. They would see the peril and turn away from their wickedness, and teach others to do the same, fearing God and his judgement. I was wrong. "But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:13)

The hand of restraint has been lifted. The darkness that men do grows darker by the day. For those who would follow the Lord, the path just got a lot steeper. But as my favorite character in Swan's Song said, "First one step, then another, gets you where you're going." So, we walk, and as we walk, we live in hope. And believers would do well to remember Robert Fulghum's essay, "All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten," especially the admonition, "When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together."

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)

I don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does. Let's walk together for awhile and discover Him; together.


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Good article Dawn. The buffet style religions that pop up daily are truly a concern to me.

I see new modified beliefs of the Churches steadfast teachings to accommodate personal comforts. The Bible's writings are not just a guideline; they are the word of God. Those that don't feel that what the Bible teaches is viable in these present days just cast it out with little regard to the reasoning and lesson that it stated.

Adapting sacred Scripture from the Bible is much like doing a math problem..... If one answers the calculation of 333 + 111 + 556 = 999, and so desires to have the answer of "999" be right, one might just modify the problem to fit the answer they seek. Folks, that doesn't make the answer correct, it just changes the equation.

I heard a statement once which has always stuck in my head..... I'd rather believe in God and be wrong than not believe in God and be wrong. I have 100% faith that he is there for me, and so I feel that following his word has no options. If I wish to do something against His wishes then the blame falls on me. Just as man's law exists, if I wish to run a red light, then there are consequences to be had...... the thing is though, God's not off eating doughnuts, He sees. (sorry about the doughnut comment, stereotypical usage strictly to make a point, no offence to the officers of the law, at least not ALL of then. ;-)

Thanks for the article Dawn.

-- Posted by PensiveObserver on Wed, Nov 10, 2010, at 1:11 PM

Your point somewhat eludes me. I can tell you pick and choose what you want to believe. This is easily inferred from not seeing your name in the recent paper for murdering someone for one of the many sins the bible mentions the punishment for being death. This is a pretty fun example deuteronomy 13 6-10.

I also find it extremely interesting that you consider this point in humanities existence worse than say, The Dark ages? The period of time where the church was active in torturing people to death. The large scale loss of human life to tortuous means seems a bit worse to me than what would for all intents and purposes be construed as issues with your own personal morality.

Also, have you ever heard of the Jefferson Bible? If not do some googling. One of the founders of our nation was doing this hundreds of years ago. He was making it a bit more realistic though, by taking the magic out.

-- Posted by Damu on Thu, Nov 11, 2010, at 1:15 AM

So, Damu, your saying this forefather took this religion, tossed out what he didn't like and perhaps added a few things he thought it might have been missing and then called it his own? Judging by the name of HIS bible, one might say that he became the leader of this new sect. Sounds like a buffet style religion to me! "Hey, I don't like olives OR no pre-marital sex, I just won't pick that off the buffet today."

Wasn't there another buffet style religious leader not so long ago, what was his name?...... Ah yes, David Koresh. Good dancer, poor judge of religious continuity.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Fri, Nov 12, 2010, at 10:45 AM

@Nick He didn't create a sect though. The whole thing was more about making a point than anything else. Many people get it wrong that the majority of the founding fathers were christian. Many of them were actually deists. They all argued for the separation of church and state however.

-- Posted by Damu on Fri, Nov 12, 2010, at 12:43 PM

Oh... well that makes me feel better then. Glad to see our constant demoralization of our Country was an organized effort and NOT just happenstance. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Sun, Nov 14, 2010, at 3:51 PM

Yes Nick your right abolishing slavery ect was very demoralizing. Always remember, your favorite book is completely cool with it. Also, we should go back to a simpler time, you know when we were burning heretics at the stake, instead of trying to live peacefully with homosexuals and people who are different from ourselves.

We have already seen how good the church is with tolerance when they are in power (*Hint* I'm pretty sure a blind puppy could do a better job).

-- Posted by Damu on Mon, Nov 15, 2010, at 9:38 AM


I wrote: "our constant demoralization of our Country". That would say, our country was in an ongoing demoralization process. Freeing slaves, hey good deal, "Do unto others...." I should hardly think that we are a "Family Friendly" country at this point. How many words CAN'T be said on the radio? 5? Oops, no, we're down to 3. A wholesome Country we're not.... Sad to say but true. I'm pretty sure that public advertisement for adult toys weren't allowed back when old Thomas was firing up his "take what you like, leave what you don't" religion. By the way, I'm not on board with that Jefferson fact that you handed out just because you put it in writing. It's been my experience that facts gathered from the internet are about 25% ALMOST right. Heck, I can publish to Wikipedia.

So far as the inquisition goes..... you seem to say that a specific leader, regardless the organization they are members of, is the end all be all face of that particular organization. I find it interesting how you chose THAT time period to attach the face to the organization. Oh, I know!.......... You pick and choose. Good thinking, what works for you today is on the menu, and if it doesn't work for you tomorrow, take it back off. There are bad individuals in everything, but the Catholic Bible has held fast to its teachings.... perhaps the Inquisition was lead by a buffet style religious leader wanting to do his own thing.... ya think?

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Tue, Nov 16, 2010, at 6:03 PM

@Nick Hmm last time I checked it was the job of the parents to raise children the way they thought they should. If you don't like something on the tv, change the channel the same goes for radio. I'm curious what your definition of a family friendly country is? My limited exposure here sounds like Iran might be right up your alley.

I'm glad you don't take what I say as truth right off the bat. That's the sign of an inquisitive individual. I am somewhat depressed you didn't take the time to look into it as you would have found that the Jefferson bible is a well known historic fact. Based on your dismissal of it, I'm going to guess you didn't look into it whatsoever. Wikipedia is definitely shady sometimes. There are many much more reliable sources available. (Pick one up on Amazon if you like, great conversation piece! http://www.amazon.com/Jefferson-Bible-Th... ) I'm going to provide a few other sources as well....



Well, Nick when you have other supposed Christians turning people in for these alleged offenses, knowing the punishment they will receive and you have it happening for such a long period of time. It's fairly easy to construe that was the general consensus of said believers, not just the perpetrators. The inquisition lasted some 300 years Nick, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the same leader the whole time......

Also, you'll note the catholic church has changed its views on a number of issues. After the period of inquisition where the church was able to torture and kill people to silence them. They had to come up with a different strategy to deal with all these new ideas and *thought*. While science and philosophy come up with new truths the church has to play catchup to try and explain there old philosophies with the new truths. You may rem

-- Posted by Damu on Wed, Nov 17, 2010, at 4:24 PM

By removing the testimonies of the 4 witnesses of who observed the miracles performed by Christ Jesus, the Bible, sadly becomes a useless book. If you cannot believe those miracles, how can you possibly believe the summary of the entire Bible, Faith, Hope, and Love. Those of us who have committed our lives to the Christ Jesus, have testimonies of His miracles working within us. More and more, Jefferson's personal life shows this.

I see you are still stuck of the Christians murdering homosexuals for their sins. You being an atheist, this is understandable. You have no concept of the purpose of the Old Testament, or the salvation of the New Testament. It would be a waste of time, space, and energy to try to explain it to you, for you will not listen. But I will give you this, Jesus, fully human and fully God came to Earth to complete the rules of Moses, the 10 Commandments. Humans could not live within these simple rules, could the possibly live within the rules of Leviticus and Deuteronomy? By the way, the punishments listed were listed to keep us away from those sins. The way of Jesus is to love you fellow human more than you could even love yourself, yes even homosexuals. Fulfill the needs of others before fulfilling your wants and desires. Be there for those who are hurting, especially the homosexuals. And leave the rest to God.

If this is still a problem for you, then we will all know we are not dealing with a person wanting to learn, but rather a person wanting to create discontent.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Nov 17, 2010, at 8:24 PM

@CPB Actually, more so a person exposing the truth. You take these things unquestionably chunky for that I applaud you. It must be amazing feeling that you have such great knowledge and that the millions of people that believe in other deities, or nothing at all are wrong. I understand believing for a variety of reasons. Feeling that your horribly wronged in this life and taking solace in the fact that the next will be better, or that whomever has wronged you will be punished for it in another life, or loosing someone close you to and believing that you will be reunited in the next life, if only you believe enough!

How can you believe those miracles so unquestionably? Why is it you are able to disregard different religions from thousands of years before christ walked the Earth, that contain the exact same nonsense? How can you ignore mountains of scientific evidence of evolution through genetics? How can you demonize entire groups of people based on what your book (written by man no less) said thousands of years ago?

Testimonials of his miracles working within you eh. I find that fairly interesting, do you think Islamic people who's faith is equal to yours experience the same thing? Does that make their god anymore correct?

The way of Jesus is to love the alleged godhead more than anyone else. The rules in the old testament were followed for many years chunky. As I stated at the end of my last response, as society changes the church has to find ways to continue with the same indoctrination while dealing with the new knowledge of society.

I leave you with a video that illustrates the point well.



-- Posted by Damu on Wed, Nov 17, 2010, at 10:29 PM

Also chunky, since your looking through this one.

Heres a list of monogamous animals. Please explain how this in nature is different from humans.



-- Posted by Damu on Wed, Nov 17, 2010, at 10:31 PM


I've said it before and as always, it's better to believe in God and be wrong than not to believe in Him and be wrong.

In a worst case, if God doesn't exist and I follow the word of Jesus, love thy neighbor, don't steal, don't lie, don't kill... basicly do right, and God doesn't exist then I've done nothing wrong. If I don't live by a set of rules which dictates goodness and by extension do whatever I feel like doing, then causing harm to others is no big deal.... To you, those that you've hurt might disagree.

Which is the better path for humanity? Selflessness of self-servatude?

If God doesn't exist then I have been a respectable person, just because I've lived by His rules and no adverse effects. If He does exist and your selfish acts adversly effects others then your hell bound, THAT sir, sucks.

Believe what you wish, God gave man free will, I just wonder what you'll be thinking when the fires of hell aren't all that you thought it was cracked up to be. Hopefully you will never have to endure that fate.

-- Posted by PensiveObserver on Thu, Nov 18, 2010, at 3:13 PM

@Pensive Thank you, that's actually one of the more thoughtful responses I've got.

The first thing is very similar to Pascals Wager. There are however a few flaws with it. What if the god you believe in isn't the correct one? You lose.

This is just one facet that doesn't make a lot of sense with that claim. I'll link you to a few more.. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager#Criticisms)

Personally, I believe in being a good person because that's how I want others to treat me. I don't need a magical being allegedly watching me all the time to know the difference between doing something good and bad. I don't need to fear reprisal to do the right thing, is basically what I'm saying here.

I take some issue with the thought of an all knowing and loving god, because of that very issue. Even if I live a moral life by not believing in god I am still banished to hell. Whats up with that?

-- Posted by Damu on Thu, Nov 18, 2010, at 3:57 PM

It's been said "Without hope, man has nothing to look forward to." It's a sad day when all that you have to look forward to as a "non-believer" is the great nothingness that is death. That's too bad.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Fri, Nov 19, 2010, at 9:57 PM

Actually, its pretty amazing waking up everyday looking around myself and seeing the wonder that is everyday life. Living on a day to day basis, not for the judgement of some magical being, but for myself, to make my life better for myself and others.

I find it interesting, that you believe this would be a negative somehow. I suppose thats some of the Christian mind messing with you. That's okay, I understand indoctrination runs deep. Let me ask you this though, do you think I try to live less in this life because I don't believe there is an afterlife, or do you think I would try to live everyday to the fullest?

-- Posted by Damu on Sat, Nov 20, 2010, at 11:34 AM

GOOD GRIEF NO! If I were you I would be sky-diving daily.... after all this is it for you. Once your time cards all used up, it gets tossed in the trash and forgotten. I can't even believe you have time to blog.... your time of consciousness is limited.... you better get on it. For me, I'll relax knowing that I have an eternity to experience.

Go do what you do, I'm not scowling at you, and specifically because you do good for yourself and other. (Your claim, which I will believe) I'm not trying to pour religion down your throat... enjoy life.... end of sentence

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Sat, Nov 20, 2010, at 12:02 PM

@Nick See amigo I can get behind what your saying there. If you want to enjoy whatever your religious beliefs are with yourself thats awesome. I have issues when people try to push their own morality through legislation. It's people like this that scare me.


-- Posted by Damu on Sat, Nov 20, 2010, at 1:21 PM

I had one more thing to add. I can't edit my posts (among many other things) because of the gazettes archaic format.

I also have big issues with religious people trying to get their creationism nonsense taught in schools. I can understand bibles in schools in a private school setting, or even in a public philosophical class. That is where they belong. There is no teachable science in the bible. Creationism is not science. Want simple proof of this? The US is the only nation that is trying to get this nonsense in schools.

-- Posted by Damu on Sat, Nov 20, 2010, at 1:36 PM

This debate has gone on for thousands of years.... I doubt that we're going to hash out the intricacies of it on this board. This article was ABOUT religion, and how people turn the words of the Bible around to fit their needs. Nowhere in the article did it say "Hey! Anyone that doesn't believe in God, get it together and start believing." So truly, damu, I am going to have to say that you possibly look for your own strife. You could have read the article and said "Hogwash! This doesn't pertain to me." I do it all the time. I read an opinion and if its topic is something I have no interest in I move on. Occasionally I will throw in my two cents BUT I NEVER accuse anyone of ramming their beliefs down my throat. If you go looking for a knife fight, be prepared to hear some things you may not like or believe. If you don't want to discuss your promiscuous high school years, (example only) then don't go head strong into a pack of your former girlfriends. It's quite simple.... you complain about having to listen to this NONSENSE but luckily you live here in the United States of America where you ARN'T forced to participate in any religious activities. Right Now, in the USA in fact, government workers on almost every level are prohibited to make any religious inclined remarks. No Merry Christmas. or Christmas cards. They can't have Christmas parties.... are you REALLY in danger of being murdered or beaten because you don't believe? If anything, the People's Freedom of Religion is being violated by taking the possibility of "offending" anyone that can't just look past a comment. If someone wished me Shalom , I would hardly take issue with it as I realize that it is a friendly gesture not an attempt to force Judaism on me.

And buy the way "damu", I assume that that is not truly the name given to you and what is on your Social Security card.... Although it's not actually spelled as such, damu might be construed as meaning "damn you" which is the act of being sent to hell. Hell is impossible without Heaven, therefore, once again..... it seems as though you are just looking for a head to take off with a shovel. You either believe or you don't..... or you just wish to pick out your conveniences and leave the inconveniences which brings us full circle. Either way, we won't be solving the mysteries of the world on this board so like I said before, do what you wish and hope for the best.... That's a motto YOU can live by.

Happy Thanksgiving...... if that isn't offensive to you.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Sat, Nov 20, 2010, at 4:39 PM

@Nick http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damu (lol I don't believe in this nonsense either, I just find the name interesting.)

I initially commented on the article do to the authors, hypocritical stances on these things. The end of the article referencing Armageddon seems like a fairly direct calling to get in with Jesus to me. Perhaps, I'm misconstruing the authors words, but I don't believe I am.

I realize that it has been going on for thousands of years. I also don't believe I will change the majority of peoples opinions on this board. What I want is for people to THINK. Think about what you hear on the news, think about what you hear in church, use your brain. That is my main goal.

Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. You seem to be one of the more level headed people on the boards, for that I applaud you.

-- Posted by Damu on Sat, Nov 20, 2010, at 5:11 PM

Here is an excellent example of what I'm talking about.


-- Posted by Damu on Mon, Nov 22, 2010, at 10:45 AM

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