Visibile and Invisible

Cat's PawThis comparison of infrared and visible views of the Cat’s Paw Nebula uses images taken by two of the telescopes belonging to the European Southern Observatory. The visible light image (right) was taken with the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla in Chile. The new infrared image (left) was taken with the VISTA telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. In the infrared, the dust that hides many stars is almost transparent, allowing many more stars to be seen.

Image Credit: ESO / J. Emerson / VISTA
Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν Πατέρα παντοκράτορα, πάντων ὁρατῶν τε καὶ ἀοράτων ποιητήν

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Most of the members of Team Kimberlin have at one time or another claimed to be atheists. This post about Dread Pirate #BrettKimberlin on Religion ran ten years ago today.

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Mark Singer quotes The Dread Pirate Kimberlin describing his religious beliefs on pages 35 and 36 of Citizen K.

Until the children hit adolescence, Carolyn often took them to Sunday services at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Brett was confirmed there, along with his brothers and sister, but he had no faith.

Brett: “I was the only one who wouldn’t pray. Mom used to tell me to wear a suit and tie to church. I said, ‘Mom, if there’s a God, he doesn’t care what I’m wearing.’ I went to Sunday School and learned the Lord’s Prayer and stuff, but I felt totally alienated from this fraud. From the age of six, I didn’t buy into it at all. No brainwashing this boy. I have a very open mind. For instance, I wouldn’t say that I believe in psychic phenomena. But I believe in the possibility of psychic phenomena. Just as I don’t close my mind to the possibility of some universal force. There are obviously things that we still don’t know about, but all this organized religion I just don’t buy at all. I don’t like any kind of groups. A lot of people got into meditation for religious reasons. The reason I liked transcendental meditation was because there was no religion involved. There were no other rules.”

Yeah, no rules to be subject to.

The Gentle Reader who is familiar with Genesis 3 will remember the lie that Satan told Eve, “… and you will be like God …”

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We have very different worldviews which lead to radically different understandings of Truth.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

This post about Dread Pirate #BrettKimberlin and Wickedness ran ten years ago today.

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There’s good, there’s evil, and then there’s wickedness. Much of the time that we wind up doing evil, it’s because we are acting thoughtlessly. But there are times when someone exercises a freewill choice to do what he knows is wrong. That is wickedness.

One of the differences between Brett Kimberlin and me is our religious beliefs. He has said that he is an atheist. I’m a Christian. From my point of view, he has fallen for the lie that Genesis 3 records Satan telling: You can be like God. And if you’re like God, you can make your own rules. Self gratification is OK.

I, on the other hand, believe that it is better to exercise my freewill under God’s constraints and guidance. That leads to a freewill choice to love, love in the sense of the Greek word agape, a love that puts another’s welfare ahead of my own. Do I do a good job of that? No, not on my own. God’s help is necessary.

We all come equipped with a conscience, but with enough wicked choices it is possible to sear one’s conscience. Perhaps that is what has happened to Brett Kimberlin. Perhaps he can no longer tell good from evil.

The eminent theologian Bob Dylan put it this way: You Gotta Serve Somebody. I believe that Mr. Kimberlin and I are ultimately on opposite teams. He has the right to his choices in so far as they don’t injure others, but when they do, the good guys have the obligation to protect themselves and others. Whether using Tovex or lawfare, Brett Kimberlin has caused suffering for those who did not deserve it.

It’s time for that wickedness to be brought to justice.

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Brett Kimberlin has had motions and appeals going for the last four years to try to have some of his Speedway Bombing convictions set aside. As the Supreme Court considers his appeal, we should pray for justice.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

IIRC, all of the members of Team Kimberlin claim to be atheists. This post from eight years ago today, No, It’s Not Just an Eastern Concept, was about one of their attempts to base an argument on a religious concept.

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Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don’t give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let’s do what is good toward all men, and especially toward those who are of the household of the faith.

—Galatians 6:7 … 10

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Team Kimberlin also seems to have a continuing problem with Exodus 20:16—

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Most, if not all, of the members of Team Kimberlin are atheists, but from time to time they try to hold me accountable for their imagined understanding of my religious beliefs. This Point of Information was raised nine years ago today.

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It has been noised about on the Interwebs that I celebrate adultery or that this blog does. That is not true.

I take what God says about it seriously. I don’t encourage it. I don’t support it. I don’t celebrate it.

I also rarely talk or write about it. This blog isn’t about tabloid journalism. Adultery happens and is sometimes a driving factor in a story, but adultery per se is not a focus of this blog.

UPDATE—An anonymous coward from Team Kimberlin wishes to preach to me:TK20130710aYes, my son is overweight. The problem stems from a side effect of a drug he was taking for serious medical condition. He is now on a different regimen and has lost a significant amount of weight.

The anonymous coward preaches on …
TK20130710bHaughty eyes. Would that be like assuming you’re enough smarter than the average bear so that getting caught is simply bad luck?

A lying tongue. Is that kinda like perjury?

Hands that shed innocent blood. Could that blood come from a man’s leg after it had been blown off by a hidden time bomb?

A heart that devises wicked plans. Like smuggling contraband drugs, or plotting murder of a prosecutor, or lying about selling drugs to a political candidate, or … ?

Feet that make haste to run to evil. Like a recurring habit of stalking one’s critics and enemies?

A witness who breathes out lies. Like a guy who testifies that he did not engage in behavior for which there is clear documentation that he did?

One who sows discord among brothers. Like someone who falsely accuses his wife of mental illness in front of her children?

No, I haven’t forgotten that passage from Proverbs, and I think that it tells us a great deal about God’s sense of justice.

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Here endeth the lesson.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

While I was reviewing posts for possible recycling today, the TKPOTD for 2 June, 2013, had a link to any earlier post titled Slappy McWingnut’s Surprise. That post begins by quoting a still older post.

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In December, 2011, I posted this brief article.

Christopher Hitchen’s Surprise

Allahpundit posts:

I ask this earnestly, not to troll: If Hitchens is getting a surprise, isn’t it necessarily a nasty surprise according to Christian doctrine?

Christopher Hitchens’ beliefs concerning God were nearly 180 degrees opposed to mine. Either he is in for a big surprise, or I’m not. Either he is meeting a Maker whose existence he denied, or I will pass on into nothingness when my life ends.

I greatly admired Mr. Hitchens’ talents as a writer and debater, but I believe that God is just and that, being just, God will honor the choice Mr. Hitchens took to be separated from Him.

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After listening to some of the recent preaching by Slappy McWingnut (aka Elder William, The Lord of Satire) (No, I won’t link to it.), it seems that his view of God is nearly as far out of line from mine as was Mr. Hitchen’s, but in a different direction.

McWingnut preaches that his god is a “pissed-off” god who hates being interrupted by prayers. Another part of McWingnut’s schtick seems to be that one can keep this god from being angry by giving money to support his ministry. (OK, that’s a fair parody of a lot of “religious” scam artists.) McWingnut preaches his god’s hate.

The God I serve is loving, and because He is, He grants us the freewill to choose to love or not love Him in return. If we choose to enter into a loving relationship with Him, He is delighted. If we do not, He respects our choice.

If you check out the answers in the back of the book, you’ll see that God says that at some point He will gather those of us who choose to be His to live in His presence. You’ll also see that He says that He will honor the wishes of those who have chosen not to love Him.

My God loves everyone, including Slappy McWingnut.

UPDATE—I’ve had a question about describing God’s reaction to our love for Him as “delight.” In the opening section of Ephesians, Paul writes that God’s intention for us is

… εἰς υἱοθεσίαν διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς αὐτόν κατὰ τὴν εὐδοκίαν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ …

which can be translated as

… for adoption as children through Jesus Christ according to the delight of His will …

That word in boldface, εὐδοκίαν, literally means well-seeming or, idiomatically, delight. Most English translations render it as pleasure or good pleasure, but I believe that “delight” better reflects the joy that God says He finds in loving relationships with us.

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Here endeth the lesson.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Brett Kimberlin is a professed atheist, and other members of Team Kimberlin have expressed hostility to religion, especially Christianity. When they’ve tried to hold people to standards of a religion they don’t understand, they’ve provided grist to be milled in posts like WWJW? from seven years ago today.

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PBT201403231858ZI doubt that He would write something like this—RadioWMS201307261636ZAnd I seriously doubt that He would have posted the picture associated with that tweet.

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What would Jesus write? Perhaps something like this:

You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.