An Interview and A Challenge

Check out my interview with Kristen Kemp. She asked some great questions, such as “What does it mean to grow up godless, and how can we teach morality to our kids?”

If you haven’t seen this article yet from FFRF, here’s an interesting “Easter Challenge for Christians” that I thought you guys might enjoy. Using the Bible, you’re asked to write down exactly what happened on the day that is now celebrated as Easter. You might want to share it with your older children so that they understand one of the many flaws of the Bible–and indeed, one of the flaws of human memory in retelling any story. If you share it with religious family this weekend, well….tread lightly and make sure you get the eating in first.

If any of you are interested and live in the area, I’ll be at this Barnes and Noble on Saturday for a book-signing.

For those of you with an extra day off this weekend, enjoy the time with family and friends!


43 responses to “An Interview and A Challenge

  1. Great challenge, Debbie. I passed it on to our blogging friend Matt (Jericho). This is right up his alley and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s seen it already.

    BTW, I know I can’t be the only one excited about you having a book signing on Easter weekend! It makes me feel as though you’re balancing the scales of reason. I’m proud of you and Barnes and Noble for having the event at this time of the year. Congratulations!

  2. Gah! There’s that question and common belief – how can we teach our kids morality if we don’t teach them religion?? Good answer, Debbie. This one frustrates me so. The last thing I want to do is teach the so-called morality of the Christian bible. Teaching compassion, right, wrong, etc. is so simple, and to a great deal is done through our own actions.

    As for the challenge, my first thought was to go through the sequence I learned in Sunday school of days past. I see that’s not what he means. But I’ll throw in here my frustration with many Christians today who are so bible-story illiterate. When discussing Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent at work (it came up because there was a huge supply of desserts on a Tuesday and I said it was indeed Fat Tuesday, tho the real day was the following week.) One woman said that Lent and the giving up of things was a Catholic thing. No, I countered, it is a Christian thing, in the bible, etc. I’ve also been frustrated having to explain concepts like Maundy Thursday to ultra-Christians (the type who don’t celebrate Halloween because, you know, the Devil and stuff.) Not to mention that indeed, if you are a Christian, Easter is the holiest of holidays, more so that Christmas, yet socially it doesn’t have the same cache and reverence as Christmas (which even gets it’s own war, thank you Fox News.)

    I suppose this is why I’m a good athiest. I know the stories.

    I’ll have to look for your book locally! Take care and have fun eating candy on Sunday!

    • @MelissaM Speaking of morality and bible illiteracy. I was talking with someone yesterday who said, “the bible teaches not to kill. There is no killing in the bible!” That was pretty funny!

      Adorable version of Jesus Christ Superstar. Thanks for the link! My dad had that album when I was a kid, and I remember him playing it.

  3. Have to share this which I just found thanks to a blog – I loved Jesus Christ Superstar as a kid, could sing along to every song, etc. This version is just fabulous!

  4. That was a great interview with Thanks for representing so many of us.

    As for exactly what happened on the original Easter — that was one of the problems with the Bible that led to my questioning it. One of the founding events Christianity, and the supposed eye witnesses could not keep their stories straight.

  5. The incongruity of pairing an atrocious crucifixion with cute fuzzy bunnies who lay eggs and deliver candy — I basically just write Easter off my calender. Great interview, Deb! You represent us well:) The only thing I’ve started taking exception with is the notion of ‘respecting’ others beliefs. I recently saw a TV news clip of a politician cross-examining someone and both parties kept using the word “respect” when it was so obvious that there was none between them. I think the word has become sorely trivialized. Respect is something earned. I don’t respect religious/mythical beliefs any more than I respect NeoNazi or KKK beliefs. I do accept that they have a right to their beliefs and I don’t want to force my beliefs on them. Tolerance and freedom, yes. Respect, no.

    • @Trishia Jacobs Haha. That is so true about Easter.
      I do get your point about respect. I think the whole concept of religion is silly. But I always think about my mother or grandmother. It’s more about respecting the person and her right to believe, as long as she’s not harming others.

  6. Love Trishia’s comment about pairing Christ’s crucifixion (or maybe crucifiction, which is what first came off my fingers) with bunnies, etc.

    Almost wish I lived there so I could come meet you at your book signing. I say “almost” because I don’t think I could survive in that sea of red called Texas.

  7. Debbie, I just ordered your book. I can’t wait to get it!!!

  8. Very interesting challenge! I think I’ll share it on Facebook 🙂

    Yeah, the whole morality and godlessness thing. So tiresome. I mean, isn’t the fact that there are so many GOOD, moral atheists enough of an answer to that question?

    • @Lisa Apparently not. The whole idea of morality without god ruins their concept that god is the law giver. They can’t grasp the idea that morality is not this one fixed law handed down when Adam and Eve were created.

  9. The FFRF analysis of resurrection events is very interesting, but unlikely to be convincing for the true believers. I’d like to see those “eye witness” accounts of a miracle subjected to the tests the Catholic church uses to declare saints. The test includes having to prove that the candidate was involved with (performed?) a miracle, if indeed anyone can use the words “prove” and “miracle” in the same phrase with a straight face.

    • @Diana haha. That’s true. You can’t “prove” a “miracle.” The process of declaring one a saint has always been puzzling to me–it’s so long and complicated, sometimes taking decades. And then people complain about the gov’t!

  10. I made a quiz based on the Easter challenge – feel free to disseminate:

  11. OT – Fun little graphic about our place in the solar system —

    Talk about the god of the gaps…

  12. Little side note: The hubby and I went to see “Transcendence” yesterday. We thought it was going to be a take-off on Ray Kerzweil’s Singularity concept. Not exactly, but … it opens the door to much discussion and I had a couple of interesting ‘revelations’ while watching it.haha I don’t want to give away any spoilers but the first thing I said to the hubby upon exiting the theater was “You noticed this was released EASTER weekend.”

  13. A holiday offering for all my friends here —

    Some wonderfully thoughtful essays. Enjoy.

    • Bruce is an amazing guy. I’ve ran into him in blog world a few months ago and I enjoy his articles.

      Thanks for sharing, LT. Have a great weekend!

      • I enjoy the observations by those who grew up steeped in religion, and then, for whatever reason, fell away. They provide some incredibly powerful insight.

        Thanks for the warm wishes, Charity. You too!

  14. (Late to the party again!)

    Look, I think getting a rabbit to shit a nearly limitless amount of chocolate and other candy is a hell of a lot more impressive than some dead guy crawling out of a cave.

    I kind of feel sorry for the rabbit.

  15. I stumbled my way in here after reading your latest iReport on I enjoyed it. I was curious to find out whether you’ve ever read some of the answers to the Easter Challenge that have cropped up since the original article was published in 1990.

    An example would be:

    I’m not here to convert, proselytize, preach, berate, argue, insult, or slander, but I do work for a ministry as a web admin. I’ve come across a few of your iReports and have been challenged by them. I appreciate the alternative viewpoint.

    • Hi Dave, I read over your link. I’ve read/listened to Christian Apologetics. Have you read the book, That Noble Dream? Some of the points in your link remind me of the issues addressed by that book.

      No doubt all of history is riddled with inaccuracies and limited perceptions based on just one or two people.

      I have read a bit about the bible (and read the bible), and I have concluded that the bible and religion are man-made. The bible came from an oral tradition. It was changed through politics, translations, copying errors. It was recorded during very superstitious eras in the history of mankind, and it shares similar stories with other faiths, including Islam and Hinduism.

      If your faith and religion give you peace and hope, though, that’s good. I would not try to sway you.

      • Thanks for the book suggestion, I shall look into it. I find the process of recording history as fascinating as history itself.

        Yes, the authors of the bible definitely addressed history in a much different manner from today. Claims to inerrancy can be so convoluted that it becomes very difficult to take seriously, akin to presenting Pascal’s wager as if it was a new and profound challenge.

        Look forward to reading more thoughts.

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