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A penny for your thoughts indeed. Around here that would be a raise.

What makes a good blog? I think thematic consistency, a little exhibitionism, and honest writing. I can promise you the last one.

Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

Oh-- and please welcome God to the APW team. We're thrilled and humbled to serve as His earthly vessel.

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I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.

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Bill Maher on King Against Religion
Thursday, August 19, 2004
I'm nowhere as anti-religion as Bill Maher. Actually quite the contrary; I have seen it work miracles first hand for many people-- as I've seen AA and psychotherapy do as well. My thing is, just keep it between you and God, not you, ME and God. (I also prefer not to hear about your therapy.)

Anyway, whatever you believe, I think Bill Maher has always been funny and worth a listen; I remember seeing him in LA at the Comedy Store in 1988. And he had a great joke about growing up half Jewish and half-Catholic; he'd go into the confessional and say, "Forgive me father for I have sinned, and I believe you know my attorney Mr. Kaplan." Johnny Carson loved that one.

Anyway, here he is from a recent visit to Larry King, railing on religion and the religious right.


MAHER: It's a perfect example about how the world is really dividing I think
between the religious and the non-religious. And we are in danger of being on
the wrong side of that because we are such a religious country.

KING: Religion is bad?

MAHER: Religion, you know, I think is very bad. And it's extremely dangerous
at this point in time. I read a statistic, I think 61 percent of the people in
this country say religion solves some or all -- most or all of our problems.
OK, religion solves nothing. OK, religion doesn't solve it. You know, it's
like a hot bath does not solve a cold apartment. It may salve for awhile, but it
doesn't solve it. It actually makes more problems because faith is a way to
make a virtue of things that make absolutely no sense. Like stem cell research.
I mean, the idea that President Bush -- remember when he went away to make
that big decision right before 9/11, he went to his ranch for a month to think
about it. Oh the red states were very impressed, Larry, that he took a whole
month to think about stem cell.

When by the way, he should have been thinking about terrorism. That was the
month when he met with the CIA director once. OK, so he's down there thinking
about stem cell. He comes up with this Solomon-like decision to split the
difference right down the middle, which the media hails as some sort of wisdom. As
if it is wisdom to split the difference between people who really could use
help from this stem cell research, and a bunch of right-wing nuts who would
rather see research go undone, all because some microscopic goo on a subatomic
level might, what one day grow up to be a Republican? That is not wisdom. And I'm
glad Ron Reagan is pointing that out. Again, you want me to be more

....CALLER: Yes, do you think President Bush is sincere in supporting Ariel
Sharon's position, the government with denying the Palestinians right of return
or do you think this is just a ploy to get the Jewish vote? MAHER: I think
this is all -- this has everything to do with the fact that George Bush is a
born-again Christian. OK, and this is why religion is so dangerous in our
society. Because George Bush is not just a Christian. He's a born-again, they believe
Jesus is coming back any day now. And they want everything to be perfect for
him. They call it the rapture, right?

KING: Why is that bad?

MAHER: Well, Thomas Jefferson said the book of revelations was the ravings of
a lunatic. George Bush organizes his foreign policy around it. That's why
it's bad. Because his decisions about Israel are affected by his religious

KING: You mean that Christ is coming back Israel.

MAHER: Jesus is coming back, and he's not coming back to Toledo, Larry, he's
coming back to his home, which is Jerusalem, which has to be in Jewish hands
because the Jews have a very important role to play when Jesus comes back,
which is, of course, to be dead. Because there can't be any Jews around.

KING: That's right, yes.

MAHER: I mean, this is scary stuff. Because it's completely irrational. It's
like half this country wants to guide our ship of state by a compass. A
compass, something that works by science and rationality, and imperial wisdom. And
half this country wants to kill a chicken and read the entrails like they used
to do in the old Roman Empire. And I'm with the compass people.


Posted by: --josh-- @ 4:15 PM  

At 8/20/2004 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...   

What's interesting here is that most Born Again Christians aren't too crazy about religion either. In fact, Christ himself taught against it. Religion is about man made rules and rarely have anything to do with God. Jesus said the most important things (or Prime Directives for our Trekkies) is to love God with everything you've got, and be good to people. That's it.
We Jesus Freaks read the bible, and try to be as much like Jesus as possible. And giving Israel to the Jews won't make Jesus come back. THere's a whole other set of criteria.

So there.

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