Seeing What We Want To See

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , , ,

I have made fun of various Jesus and Virgin Mary sightings in the past... Anything from Jesus appearing on a slice of toast or the Virgin Mary showing up in a Dorito. It's pretty damned funny if you ask me...

Well, check out this clip about a woman who claims a rock was painted by God...

She lost her son, and the rock really meant something to her. I get that. I even kind of see why they thought it looks like Jesus... but couldn't the face on that rock be a fluke? Doesn't the human brain automatically put order in things that seem random?

Here is a personal example:

The ceiling in my bedroom is textured to look like stucco. Sometimes when I have trouble sleeping, I stare at the ceiling in frustration and start to "see" things like penguins, bears, water bottles and tennis shoes in the patterns. Are these things real? No. Did God perform a miracle by making a penguin appear on my ceiling? Did I think this was a sign that I should go to the zoo today? Absolutely not. Even religious people would laugh at that idea... but they don't laugh when it happens to be an image of a face, do they?

On one of my many youtube video sprees I came across this clip from Bill Maher's Real Time. Most of you know I am one of his biggest fans :) Anyway, he pretty much explains my thoughts on the matter...

People see what they want to see.

I have shared this story before, but it kind of ties the whole thought process together...

My Dad died in January of 1998. My Mom and Dad's anniversary is in February. My Mom was cleaning up the bedroom on that particular day and she found the receipt of the gift my Dad bought her the year before lying in a dish on the bedside table.

At the time, I thought my Dad was trying to reach out to my Mom on that difficult day. I was convinced that he somehow made sure to connect with my Mom on their anniversary.

But that is what I WANTED to see.

Is there a logical explanation to how the receipt ended up where it did?


Heck, it could have been there the whole time and no one noticed. My brother could have been looking for something in the drawer and put the receipt in the dish, then forgetting to put it back.

Same goes with God in general.

People want to see God. They want to believe more than anything that there is something that continues after we die. They want to believe that they will see their loved ones again. They want to believe prayer works and that God works in mysterious ways. They want to believe that miracles happen.

I just want to see the truth now. No more fairy tales, no more lies and rules to follow (like no coffee/tea just because God said so). No more paying 10% of my money to an organization that refuses to share it's financial records with anyone.

It's weird how much I have changed. For the better, I think.


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High School Student Forced To Read The Bible

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,

Let me begin by posting the news article:

A student at Newton South High School is upset when he is forced to read from the Bible.

Sophomore Jack Summers is an atheist and was unfomfortable reading text from the Bible in an english class. The boy's parents were concerned that his grades could be effected, so the school came up with a compromise. Jack would be exempt from taking two quizzes and writing a paper, but he still had to read from the Bible.
Jack's mother, Majorie Summers is now concerned about repurcussions, especially after an editorial in the Newton Tab that criticised her son saying that students "should not decide what they will and will not read for an english class."

She is worried about the list of issues that are brought up including; the separation of church and state, the right of individual belief, and the realities of a classroom. It sounds like, in many ways, young jack summers is getting quite an education.
What the hell is wrong with these people?

If you go to the news article, you will see some of the comments left by other parents in the school. Most of them don't see what the big deal is, and they think it's silly the boy was making such a big deal out of reading the bible as required reading in his English class. One of the comments even said that students shouldn't get to pick out what is required reading in school.

The argument that the teacher was just trying to teach literature makes me laugh. How many more books are there out there that would give the students a better example than the bible??

Why in the world should the bible be required reading in any public state-funded school?

Would these bible supporters feel the same way if the kids were told to read the Satanic bible? The Koran? The Torah? The *gasp* Book of Mormon? Of course not. They would be pitching a fit and we all know it.

The United States of America was founded with a separation of church and state. This line wasn't just crossed... it was jumped over, danced on and pointed at.

This kid was brave. He wasn't trying to get out of doing his homework, he wasn't trying to bring attention to himself. He was simply standing up for his rights as an American citizen to not have religion crammed down his throat in public school.

There is a theory that this school was trying to have kids read the bible in English class because they were told they couldn't teach intelligent design in science class. If this is true, the school policy makers should be held accountable for the poor decisions they made.

As Bill Maher once said, "Why is this country becoming UTAH????"


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Praise The Lord!

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The Bible Is True!

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Glenn Beck Showing His True Colors

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Yeah, Glenn...

Just because the guy is a Muslim you have to make him prove that he isn't working with terrorists?

"Prove to me you are not working with the enemy?"

This guy is the biggest douche bag in the history of man.

WHY do people like him? -Because dumb people like other dumb people.

WHY do they watch his show? -Because they are as stupid as he is.

WHY are my relatives like zombies as they sit in front of their television screens absorbing everything he says? -Because they get into some idiot trance every time a Mormon becomes successful. He is successful because the Church is true, you know! We have to support fellow Mormons, and look how the Lord has blessed him!

WHY do they have every book he has ever written? -Because He's a Mormon and successful, therefore full of the spirit.

How does he not get fired for this bullshit? -Because Faux News doesn't care about what he says/does as long as he has the ratings.

The name Glenn Beck sends shivers down my spine, and not in a good way. In the way that makes me cringe turn my head away in horror. Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly are also in that category. Hypocritical assholes.


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Just a Theory

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Gold... Pray On It, Like They Are Preying On You

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The Known Universe

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If you can, click the video and watch it on YouTube high definition... it's amazing.

Cool, eh?

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Some Grey Bloke

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I love these... check out his YouTube Channel...

Edited to add this one... it's good.

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Random Image Fun

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Sorry I can't make that any larger... for the original, go here...

They swear that it's real. If that's true... then I have lost a lot of hope for mankind. Wow, people can be stupid.

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Sylvia Browne

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , , ,

I can't believe I ever believed this woman. I watched her on Montel, I bought her books, and I daydreamed about being able to pay the $700 for a 20 minute psychic reading so I could hear from my Dad on the other side.

I believed because I wanted to.

It's the same with religion. I believed because I wanted to.

The world is full of people who are jumping at the chance to convince you of things in order to gain control over your actions and to get your money. There are not enough skeptics.

Notice how Montel sticks up for her and offers explanations of how Sylvia might be correct? This is what I equate to apologetics.

Parent: "She wasn't shot."
Sylvia: "Something hit the chest."
Montel: "Here... let me offer a way that makes Sylvia right... maybe... it's a possibility..."

Skeptic: "Joseph Smith was marrying women in secret!"
Church: "Joseph Smith was a wonderful prophet and restored the gospel."
Apologist: "He only married those women because God wanted him to!"


Telling people that their missing loved one is alive when in fact they are not is pure fucking evil. To tell them that she was in a mental hospital somewhere in Orlando when in fact the woman was murdered? These are peoples lives she is messing with here! All for the almighty dollar.

Look at this woman. She is broken hearted about her son. Who wouldn't be? But to lie to her her face for publicity or money? Lower than low.

Many of her fans say that she doesn't charge for the readings on the Montel show, but that doesn't mean she doesn't get paid. By going on national television and convincing people that she knows how to communicate with the dead she is creating an audience of people who can't wait to buy her latest book, join her "church" or pay for a $700 reading. The argument that she volunteers to do readings like this doesn't hold much water when you look at it from all angles.

Sylvia's fans will believe that she is a psychic until they open their eyes and pay attention. Members of the Mormon church will remain members until they open their eyes and pay attention. To most of the faithful, there is never enough evidence to convince them they are wrong.

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Faith Healers

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This is fucked up.

It's one thing for an adult to go to Benny Hinn and take part in his fraudulent, money making crap, but to put a little boy on the stage like this pisses me off. This kid is too young to know what the hell is going on.

I love how the person who hosts the video on YouTube has the comments disabled. I think they are pretty aware that a good portion of the population would have something to say about this crap. This little boy was hypnotized at best, doing what he saw the grown-ups do is another possibility. You don't do this to kids. You just don't.

Snake. He's a snake.

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5 Questions Every Intelligent Atheist Must Answer

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , , ,

I thought I would take some time to answer some of this guy's questions...

1. Aren't you using chance in the exact same way in which you accuse Christians of using "God of the Gaps?"

No, I don't believe we are.

I think we are using our common sense and reason and looking at all of the evidence to see if something is logical before we believe it.

Is it likely that a being (don't know what created God, do we?) came out of nowhere and for some strange reason decided to create life, the earth, the universe? Or is it more likely that science and something natural made these things happen?

Most Christians think that Atheists believe that the earth was made out of nothing, or made out of "green goo." They are wrong. Believers are the ones who assume that God created the earth out of nothing but magic and pixie dust. Atheists are usually very clear when they say they don't have all the answers... they are just unwilling to place a God in the gaps that you speak of. We don't have the answers now, but if we continue to study and actively research we might come up with answers they don't involve magic and a God.

If an airplane were to crash into my apartment building right now, should I assume it happened because God does exist and God wanted me to die in a fiery blaze because I dare question his existence? Or, should we look at all available evidence and come to the conclusion that it was something like pilot error or mechanical problems?

This guy mentions that Darwinism makes chance in the form of random variation a creative force in biology, and then says that isn't very intelligent in his opinion. This made me giggle.

Mutations happen. All the time. In animals, in plants, in human beings. In some of these cases, the mutations actually assist the specific species and therefore make that species stronger and less likely to fall prey to something else. If animals with the mutation survive longer, they have more opportunity to breed and therefore pass the mutation on to their offspring. The mutation then becomes somewhat normal... It's survival of the fittest.

Would giraffes with short necks survive a long time? No, they would probably have a hard time finding and gathering food to keep them alive (this is a very simplistic example). Therefore they wouldn't have the same opportunity to pass their specific genetic makeup to potential offspring.

God isn't automatically the answer. Hope that makes sense.

2. Why should there be something instead of nothing?

Why should the answer automatically be God?

Again, this man is assuming that human beings are here because something put us here. It is quite possible that the Earth was created by a series of random events. It is quite possible that there is no deep meaning to life, no giant lessons we are supposed to learn, no tests to pass... nothing.

It's not a comfortable feeling, is it?

Thinking that we don't have a purpose and that when we die we just cease to exist completely?

But it's possible. It is. We don't know it for fact, because there is no way to study people who have died and ask them questions, is there?

I suppose most Christians would say that a God is just as possible, but I have to disagree. Especially the God of the Bible. The God that says slavery is okay, the God that asks for sacrifices, the God that drowned everything on the earth except for Noah and the ark in a giant flood, the God that doesn't step in when innocent children are dying from one thing or another. Is the God I just described a loving God? Far from it. Would I worship someone or something that could sit by and do nothing while there is so much suffering in the world?

Absolutely not.

Again, atheists don't automatically put God in the gaps... if we don't have the answers, we seek the answers. If we find evidence of a just and loving God, most Atheists will be more than willing to look at that evidence and decide for themselves what conclusions to draw. We just don't automatically draw the conclusions. That doesn't make us stupid or silly. It makes us careful.

The guy in the video says that everything must have come into existence at some point and time. Yes, this is true. But again, the answer isn't automatically God... is it? If it was God, who created God? Who created the thing that invented/created God? How did that happen? Instead of seeking answers to these questions before drawing the God conclusion most Christians assume this is all here due to some supernatural event.

He says the world was "fixed" to make life possible. I don't really agree with that. I think that it is much more likely that natural events took place that created the perfect conditions for life to evolve. He says that the biological life itself bears the marks of intelligent design. How is this? What are these marks that prove we came from Adam and Eve instead of evolution? His argument on this is very weak and he gives no examples as to what he is trying to say.

Hell, we might never know what started all this... life... but that doesn't mean I should assume it was a God and stop looking for actual evidence! That would be pretty silly in my opinion.

3. The world has something called "moral order." Where do you get your morals from?

Are you kidding me dude?


I have morals, I know right from wrong, therefore God exists?


I get my morals from the wonderful parents who raised me. The ones who taught me that I should treat those as I want to be treated. Not out of fear of being punished by them, or by God... but because it's just the right thing to do.

I don't understand why so many religious people out there assume people who don't believe in God are automatically baby-eating, drug-taking, car-stealing, maniacs who look for any opportunity to hurt their fellow man! Come on now!

This argument also brings up another point. How many so-called Christians with a deep belief in a God commit heinous crimes on a daily basis? How is it that the God they believe in doesn't keep them from hurting their fellow man? This leads me to believe that morals have nothing to do with a deity at all... instead, you either have empathy for your fellow man or you don't. You are selfish or you are good. You care or you don't.

The "moral order" of the world is another shocking statement to me.

Where in the world is this moral order?

I read about wars, killing, starving children, rapes, murders... you name it. Are all of the people committing these acts atheists? Nope. In fact, most of the wars are started because of one groups' belief in God or some holy turf war. They don't care who they have to kill to get what God wants them to have. They are right. They are justified because God is on their side.

This is some insanely twisted logic.

He brings up the fact that believers in God look to the future about how we "ought" to behave. He says that evolution has something to do with morals. I disagree. Evolution biology, morals and ethics are something different. A form of philosophy (I guess).

Most of the atheists I know are active in their communities. Doing things to clean up the planet, helping animals, fighting like HELL for equal rights (because God doesn't hate anyone... he doesn't exist), trying to make sure that the entire Earth doesn't go to shit so our children and grandchildren will have a place to exist.

The Bible says that God gave humans dominion over the earth, and to quote my favorite comedian Bill Maher, "It is if God said, 'Take this [the earth] and beatith the shit out of it. For it does not matter. It is a rental.'" If we don't do something about the environment our entire future is at risk. Most Christians believe God is going to come to earth and save the good people during the rapture. Do they not care because they won't have to worry about living on the earth? They will be saved so who gives a shit, right? Do they not realize that they could be very wrong? Where is there sense of morality when it comes to this kind of thing?

Morality needs to be explained, he says.

Let me give it a shot... Morality is caring about your fellow man. Not because of a fear of punishment from God, or even a punishment from law enforcement/prison... but because we, as humans (most of us, anyway), empathize with others. God has nothing to do with this. Sorry.

So, if God=Morals, then why are there so many lying, cheating, abusing believers out there? Why didn't I go out last night and rob a bank for more Christmas money? No God to punish me, so why not??? This is soooo stupid. It's a bad argument. Really bad. Frankly, I think he is pretty damned ignorant for assuming these things about atheists. What is he making his generalizations on? Why does he assume atheists are people with dark hearts and no morals? It's somewhat insulting to tell you the truth. He doesn't have a clue.

4. How did morals evolve?

Hmmm... lets see here.

Killing is bad because you are forcing your will upon another living creature. You are taking something that doesn't belong to you (their life) and therefore you have no right to do it.

Do I need a God to tell me that murder is bad? That I shouldn't eat babies for breakfast? That I shouldn't rob the bank at the end of my street because I need more money for Christmas presents? No. I know the difference between right and wrong. I wouldn't want someone to murder me or one of my family members, so I treat them as I want to be treated.

This isn't a question about God/religion at all. This is a question about empathy. It's a question about those who care about their fellow man and those who don't. If you were to do a study on this, I would be willing to bet that there are just as many Christians out there committing horrible acts as atheists. As a matter of fact, there are so many more Christians than atheists that there are probably more Christians committing these crimes than atheists. Does that mean God doesn't exist?

His caveman story made me chuckle.

Atheists are not moral because we want our species to survive. I mean, of course we want our species (and planet) to survive, but that isn't what we base our morals on. If I killed someone in cold blood, I would feel guilty. Not because I had done something to make it harder for the species to survive, but because I took the life of someone else. I took them away from their family, friends and loved ones, and I had no right to do so.

Again, this guy is pretty convinced that our conscience (something that everyone has unless they are suffering from one mental illness or another... sociopaths come to mind) is in fact the voice of God telling us right from wrong. Mormons believe this is the Holy Ghost. I believe this is something that ALL people have, and some people choose not to listen to it. Some people don't give a shit about anyone but them... and all of those people are not atheists, are they?

This argument is flawed. Just because he doesn't understand it, doesn't make him right... haha..

5. Can nature generate complex organisms, in the sense of originating it, when previously there was none?

Again, we don't know what created the Earth... but the answer isn't automatically supernatural. Why draw that conclusion immediately? Study it, look at it from all angles, come up with theories of how this could have happened. Which of the theories is most likely? Do some experiments, study more. Keep looking. Keep learning.

Scientists believe in evolution because it is the most logical explanation. There are fossils that prove species evolve.

But the question is, basically, what starts life? Moreover, what is the meaning of life?

We don't know. Not yet. We might never know... but that doesn't mean that I should live my life according to an ancient book with more holes in it than swiss cheese. That doesn't mean I should believe in and worship a deity that has the ability to watch, observe and stop suffering but chooses not to. That doesn't mean the answer is God.

Instead of drawing that conclusion, I plan on keeping an open mind and looking for real evidence. Not warm fuzzies that have been known to lie, not people who try to scare me into conforming to their beliefs even though they are sexist and homophobic.

This guy's video is full of eye-roll inducing moments, and it gave me a good laugh. I love the way he looked into the camera as if he were trying to show you God's love through the pleading in his eyes. His arguments are not logical, though. As a matter of fact, they are kind of funny (to me, anyway).


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Jesus and Me

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This says it all.

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Alice In Wonderland

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I can't wait for this.

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New Rules

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

I love Bill Maher.


I want to have his babies.

I might have posted a couple of these before, but they rock. I can't remember which ones and I don't feel like checking right now. I'm being lazy.

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FreeThunk Cartoons

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If you want more cartoons... go here! FreeThunk rocks.

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Noah's Ark

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I have Maelstrom to thank for this clip of Joe Rogan and his thoughts on the story of Noah's Ark.

I thought it was awesome. Thank you!

While looking for more info on Noah's ark I found this series of videos called "Messed-up Bible Stories." These are great. Check them out!

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8-year-old Draws Jesus on the Cross, Gets Sent Home For Mental Evaluation

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , , , , ,

By Laura Crimaldi and Laurel J. Sweet

aunton Mayor Charles Crowley called School Superintendent Julie Hackett from his vacation today and asked her to apologize both privately and publicly to the family of an 8-year-old special needs student sent home from school and ordered to undergo psychological testing after drawing a stick-figure picture of Jesus Christ nailed to the cross.

“Mayor Crowley’s sentiments were that he would hope Dr. Hackett would meet with the family today, apologize, make a public apology on behalf of the school department, pay for the psychiatrist and come up with a policy to make sure this never happens in our school system again,” said Crowley’s assistant Todd Castro.


The Lowell M. Maxham Elementary School second-grader was booted from the school on Dec. 2 when school officials feared his artwork - drawn to depict what he did on his Thanksgiving break - might be exposing violent tendencies. The child was allowed to return on Dec. 7 after a two-day risk assessment by psychiatrist Helene Titelbaum determined there was nothing wrong with him.

“(The boy) does not appear to be a threat to himself or others at this time. Therefore, I recommend that he return to school as soon as possible,” Titelbaum concluded in her report, a copy of which was obtained by the Herald.

The boy’s father, Chester Johnson, 40, a part-time maintenance worker for the Taunton School Department, told the Herald his son drew Jesus after visiting the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attelboro to see its Christmas display. He then put his own name on the cross instead of Jesus.


“My intention is to shed light on what is happening to children in schools because of zero tolerance,” she said. “I’m sure they expected Santa Claus or a reindeer, but that’s not where this child’s mind was.”

Johnson, she said, ”just wants to get his son out of the school. His son is really traumatized from this event.

“This is one of those ‘How is this possible?’ scenarios,” she said. “We live in a society where we’re supposed to honor children and their imagination.”

In June 2008, a Taunton fifth-grade student was suspended for a day for a stick figure drawing that appeared to depict him shooting his teacher and a classmate.

Okay, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that I have something to say about this...

This little boy was drawing a photo about what he did over the Thanksgiving holiday? I am guessing (and hoping) that his family didn't go out and crucify one of their atheist neighbors as a human sacrifice to Jesus. This is clearly someone freaking out over something silly. The kid went to church, saw Jesus on the cross at some point, and then drew the damn picture. I don't see how it got to the point that he was removed from the school and asked to have a mental evaluation.

The school handled this poorly, to say the least.

Now, onto the bigger issue.

Religion and kids.

Is it fair to raise your child telling them that they already belong to the right religion and that everyone else is wrong?

Do kids really need to walk into a church and see a statue of a man being crucified? It's kind of sadistic if you ask me. Something I wouldn't really want young kids to see...

If a Catholic took their son to a movie where there was a bloody violent scene of a man being killed and left to die while people were cheering and chanting, they would be upset that their child was subjected to that. Wouldn't they? Yet they don't see the same thing in their churches. I am not trying to pick on Catholics, I think all religions are crap.

This is a big issue to me, because if there was one thing I hated about being a Mormon, it was when the mothers would escort their three, four or five year olds to the microphone on fast Sunday and whisper into their ears what to say.

Ever really listen to the words people say? It's the same thing. Verbatim.

I would like to bear my testimony and I know this church is true. I love my mother and father and my sisters and brothers. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that Thomas Monson is our living prophet today. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

These are little kids. They don't know what a testimony is. They don't understand the concept of God, heaven, hell and all the severe punishments for not doing what the church tells them. They can't read the Book of Mormon to know that it's true. They are only doing what they are told to do, instructed to do.

It's really unfair to do this to kids. It limits them and closes them off to other possibilities. If their religion is all they know, do they really have the chance to make their own religious choices?

When I was a kid, everyone in my life told me Joseph Smith was a prophet. The Book of Mormon was true, and that I must have been a wonderful spirit in the pre-existance because I was lucky enough to be born into the one true church. When I made friends with people in other religions as a child, I was sad that they wouldn't be going to heaven like I was. Isn't that sad? Should little kids have to worry and think about stuff like that?

I just wish religion was something you could pick up when you become a certain age (if you want to). Kind of like cigarettes. If you are old enough to smoke and make an unhealthy decision for your body, you are old enough to go into a religion and make an unhealthy decision for your mental and emotional well being.

Most of the people born into a religion stay there for the rest of their lives. It's pretty rare for people to convert from one religion to another. It's even more rare for someone to do it and not have it be because they want to marry a person of another faith.

Yeah, the school failed here. The little boy didn't do anything wrong. I just think it's a sad display when kids are filled with religion so early... before they can really grasp what people are talking about.

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The God Simulator

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

Holy Fucking Shit what a gross photo I took down. Good lord. I mean, wow. I'm gonna have nightmares. To soothe those who had to look at that gross display, here is a picture of a cute little kitten.

he God Simulator

By Chad Docterman

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be God? Here’s your chance to find out.

This simulation puts you in the place of God. As God, you are both omnipotent and omniscient. You have the power to do or create anything. No problem is insurmountable for you.

Let’s begin…

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Quotes From Religious Leaders

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

"If you go all the way back to the days just following creation, men lived nine hundred years or more."
[Pat Robertson, Answers to 200 of Life's most Probing Questions, Bantom Books, 1984]

"Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
[Pat Robertson]

"Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals--the two things seem to go together."
[Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 1/21/93, ADL report on Religious Right, page 131]

"AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh's chariotters".

"The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country."
Jerry Falwell Sermon, July 4, 1976

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."
[George H.W. Bush, President of the United States in response to a reporters question]

"Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it. ... Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory."
[Rev. Jimmy Swaggart]

"To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin."
[Cardinal Bellarmine, 1615, during the trial of Galileo]

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The Littlest Atheist

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Check out some of these cartoons... awesome stuff...

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So Hungry!

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,

Know something that has always made me chuckle?


Does your God hear prayers better when people pray on an empty stomach?

Do tummy rumblings make your God smile?

Does your God sit back and say, "Well, I will grant you this prayer... you *are* hungry."

When I would ask my grandpa why he was fasting he would tell me that the money he would have used for food on that specific day would be given as an offering to the church for people in the ward. I asked him many times why he needed to starve himself and donate the money, and to be honest I don't recall what his reply was.

I mean, if you want to donate even more money to the church (besides tithing) then go for it. Whatever. They don't need it, but whatever floats your boat... My point is that there is no need to starve yourself on top of making that donation. What is the purpose? To suffer a little?

Personally, I don't think it's by chance that testimony meetings take place at times when you are fasting. When you are without food, your body isn't functioning normally. You become more emotional, and it's easy for people to get you to agree with the words coming out of their mouths.

Religious cults use fasting all the time. It's a common way for the leaders to gain more mental control over the people in the group.

I remember sitting in testimony meetings. I was starving. You know when you are so hungry that you feel a little sick to your stomach? Thats how I would feel. Icky. One minute I would be daydreaming about a cheese-lover's pizza hut pizza and the next the thought of eating something grossed me out completely. It can't be healthy.

Person after person would get up to share their testimony that Joe was a good guy and that they would be lost without the gospel and I wanted to scream, "Shut up! I need food! Let's end this nightmare!"

It makes no sense at all.

If you want to make your God happy, wouldn't He be happier if you spent more time volunteering than spending so many hours on a church pew? Couldn't you approach this in a way that actually makes a difference to someone?

What good does fasting do?


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Debate Continued...

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , , , ,

Trust me. What? Would I lie?

Seth and I have been debating the trustworthiness of Joseph Smith recently, and this is my reply to his latest thoughts on the matter. As always, Seth's quotes will be in quotes and italicized and quotes from other sources will be in quotes and bolded. Hope that helps everyone out figuring out who said what. I will jump in when I feel like it.

OK, I finally got a bit of free time, so time to get off my butt and get moving on this.

Before I start in on the substance of the court proceedings, I think the quote from Hugh Nibley needs to be addressed, since it kind of frames this whole issue and clarifies what exactly is at stake here. Here's the quote as you are using it in your post:

"if this court record is authentic it is the most damning evidence in existence against Joseph Smith."
Hugh Nibley, "The Myth Makers" pg. 246.

Andee, when I first heard this quote from Nibley, it left me scratching my head for a couple reasons.

First, because it seemed so incongruous with other stuff I had read from Hugh Nibley on Joseph Smith.

It just seemed obvious to me that Nibley's testimony of Joseph Smith was a bit deeper than the result of a single court case. His case for Joseph seemed to be built on so much more. For him to state that it would all be nullified by a single court case seemed extremely careless to me.

Secondly, it made no logical sense.

Why would a single court case have the ability to nullify all of Joseph Smith's prophetic claims? Why would the truth of Joseph's message be dependent on a backwoods New York judge? Even if Joseph Smith was guilty, it seemed obvious to me that this would not be remotely sufficient to discredit him as a prophet.

So why would Nibley, in essence, admit that a single conviction would be the "most damning" piece of evidence against Joseph Smith when it clearly couldn't be of such importance?

Seth, I don't really think it matters what Nibley said. His thoughts/opinions on the matter don't change the historical evidence or fact that Joseph Smith was indeed charged and found guilty of fraud using the exact same seer stone he used to "translate" the Book of Mormon. The quote was pretty much an afterthought to my original post. It's not going to change anything.

The reason this is important, as I have mentioned before, is because it shows he wasn't the honorable man the church likes to paint him to be.

Also, I find it funny that you don't think this is "logical" when you are so willing to place belief in things that are a HELL of a lot less logical than this! Look at the seer stone alone! Is that logical? Is anything about the Book of Mormon or the stories in it "logical?" Is it logical that God would choose a man who was convicted of fraud to restore a church on earth?


Far from it.

If God existed, he would be smarter than that. At least... I hope so.

Well, as it so happens, Nibley didn't claim that.

The book that provides the limited quote that you used above Andee is, as we've seen in so many anti-Mormon works, yet another example of a critic deliberately taking a small portion of a quote out of context and in isolation to make someone say something they weren't actually claiming.
Here is the actual FULL quote from Hugh Nibley:

"You knew its immense value as a weapon against Joseph Smith if its authenticity could be established. And the only way to establish authenticity was to get hold of the record book from which the pages had been purportedly torn. After all, you had only Miss Pearsall's word for it that the book ever existed. Why didn't you immediately send he back to find the book or make every effort to get hold of I? Why didn't you "unearth" it, as they later said you did? . . . The authenticity of the record still rests entirely on the confidential testimony of Miss Pearsall to the Bishop. And who was Miss Pearsall? A zealous old maid, apparently: "a woman helper in our mission," who lived right in the Tuttle home and would do anything to assist her superior. The picture I get is that of a gossipy old housekeeper. If this court record is authentic, it is the most damning evidence in existence against Joseph Smith. Why, then, [speaking to Tuttle] was it not republished in your article in the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge after 1891? . . . in 1906 Bishop Tuttle published his Reminiscences of a Missionary Bishop in which he blasts the Mormons as hotly as ever. . . yet in the final summary of his life's experiences he never mentions the story of the court record - his one claim to immortal fame and the gratitude of the human race if it were true!"

(Nibley "The Myth Makers", 246)

When Nibley wrote his quotes he was under the impression that the court records would never be found. He was wrong. They were.

Joseph Smith was indeed found guilty of fraud by charging people money to find buried treasures on their farm land with his magical seer stone. Nibley's opinion on the matter doesn't change the fact that Joseph Smith was guilty of fraud. Nibley simply didn't see it coming, and neither did the other church apologists. You can't argue with the proof. It happened.

Not only did it happen, the church now knows it and chooses to keep this from the members and investigators of the church. This is dishonest and fraudulent in the opinions of others. In order for someone to make a "logical" decision about what to put their faith in, they need to have all the facts. The church consistently keeps those facts out of reach of the faithful and promises them than anything negative about the church is coming directly from the devil. This is a LIE. A Lie lie lie. We are not talking about theories, we are talking about facts that be proven! Is this something a true church would do? Nope.
In the court record Joseph Smith confessed that "for three years" prior to 1826 he had used a magic stone placed in his hat to find treasures or lost property, placing his money-digging activities from 1823 to 1826. Mormon histories indicate that a heavenly messenger revealed the presence of gold plates on September 21, 1823. Joseph Smith was conning overly optimistic treasure seekers out of their money at the very time he claimed that an angel revealed to him that gold plates lay buried near his home. He continued these deceptive practices for at least three of the four years after God was supposedly preparing him to receive the gold plates. These facts undermine the credibility of Mormonism's first prophet and founder. (Dan Vogel, Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet, Signature Books, 2004, pp. 80-86)
Do you understand that at the very time he was supposedly chosen by God to restore his church he was in the middle of conning people out of their money? Is that something a true prophet would even consider? Wouldn't that piss God off?

It would.

God wouldn't have chosen a con man and a liar to be a prophet because he wasn't trustworthy.

I also find it telling that the church isn't honest to it's members and investigators about this particular event. They don't talk about it and pretend it never happened so people don't start thinking. In Mormonism (as well as other religions), thinking is bad. Once you start being logical and using your common sense you see all the little signs and evidences that it's a bunch of hogwash.
I know that's a long quote, but you need to read it carefully.

What Nibley is doing here is basically taunting Episcopalian Bishop Daniel S. Tuttle for not actually using the trial record that he had. He was questioning why he would do that if it was so important.

Basically, his statement about it being "damning" was merely said in a mocking tone, and referred only to the specific argument Tuttle was trying to make.
Basically, this isn't even close to an admission by Nibley that a conviction would be sufficient to discredit Joseph Smith.

All it is, is an apologist having some fun at the expense of an anti-Mormon writer who had not yet produced the documents he was boasting of.

So let me be clear here Andee. The result of this limited debate topic does not prove anything about Joseph Smith one way or the other.


It proves that Joseph Smith was guilty of being a fraud. That shows the true character of the man who was caught in more lies and half-truths than most Mormons even dream about.

The charge that Joseph was known to hunt treasure with 'peep' or 'seer' stones, etc., was serious enough that Mormon scholar Francis W. Kirkham stated that if the court record could be found, it would show that the Mormon Church was false: "'Careful study of all facts regarding this alleged confession of Joseph Smith in a court of law that he had used a seer stone to find hidden treasure for purposes of fraud, must come to the conclusion that no such record was ever made, and therefore, is not in existence . . . "'If any evidence had been in existence that Joseph Smith had used a seer stone for fraud and deception, and especially had he made this confession in a court of law as early as 1826, or four years before the Book of Mormon was printed, and this confession was in a court record, it would have been impossible for him to have organized the restored Church.' "Later, in the same book, Mr. Kirkham states: "'. . . [I]f a court record could be identified, and if it contained a confession by Joseph Smith which revealed him to be a poor, ignorant, deluded, and superstitious person unable himself to write a book of any consequence, and whose Church could not endure because it attracted only similar persons of low mentality if such a court record confession could be identified and proved, then it follows that his believers must deny his claimed divine guidance which led them to follow him. . . . How could he be a prophet of God, the leader of the Restored Church to these tens of thousands, if he had been superstitious fraud which the pages from a book declared he confessed to be? . . . ' "Well, in spite of 140 years of silence, the records did surface. Rev. Wesley Walters discovered the documents in the basement of the Chenango County, New York, jailhouse at Norwich, N.Y. in 1971. The records, affidavits, and other data show conclusively that Joseph Smith was arrested, went to trial, was found guilty as an imposter in the Stowell matter of "glass-looking." It is not a matter of debate, opinion or religious preference. It is a proven historical fact.

"Initially Mormons denied that Joseph ever participated in 'money-digging' activities, saying that would invalidate his claim as a prophet. Now that indisputable evidence confirms that Joseph was a convicted 'money- digger' Mormons have taken a 'so what' attitude. At least one says, now that the evidence proves that Joseph was a 'money-digger' that it really doesn’t matter. (What could a BYU professor say?) Mormon scholar Marvin Hill says:

"'There may be little doubt now, as I have indicated elsewhere, that Joseph Smith was brought to trial in 1826 on a charge, not exactly clear, associated with money digging.'
[Fawn] Brodie’s thesis that the prophet grew from necromancer to prophet assumes that the two were mutually exclusive, that if Smith were a money-digger he could not have been religiously sincere.

'This does not necessarily follow. Many believers active in their churches, were money-diggers in New England and western New York in this period. Few contemporaries regard these money-diggers as irreligious, only implying so if their religious views seemed too radical . . . For the historian interested in Joseph Smith the man, it does not seem incongruous for him to have hunted for treasure with a seer stone and then to use with full faith to receive revelations from the Lord.'

So, if we are being "logical" we would note that God chose someone who is a convicted fraud to dig up golden plates and translate them with the same seer stone he used to break the law? Quite a leap if you ask me. Not very logical at all.
In fact, Joseph could have been totally making up his spiritual gifts with Josiah Stowell, and still have had a turnaround in his life such that his work on the Book of Mormon was 100% bona fide.

Not that I'm claiming that you are putting all your eggs in this one basket.

You have a lot of reasons for rejecting the LDS Church, this being only one of them.

I'm certain that even if you have to admit that I'm right at the end of this debate topic, it will not have too huge of an impact on your overall conviction of Mormonism being false.

Just realize that the same is true for me. Losing this particular debate won't change much in my mind either about the overall claims of Mormonism.
One final housekeeping issue.

I would ask that we keep the Nauvoo Expositor and any other specific incidents you think invalidate Joseph's overall character out of this limited debate. We are here to discuss his seerstone activities and that alone. I can go back to your earlier post and leave something on the Expositor later. With that out of the way, on to the rest of the article.
So, are you admitting that you were wrong and that Joseph Smith was indeed found guilty of fraud? It seemed in our last conversation you didn't believe he was proven to be found guilty and that there was no evidence whatsoever of this.

We agree then, that he was found guilty of fraud?

Why do you want to keep the Nauvoo Expositor and any other specific incidents out of it? I don't understand the reason you would like to do that? Those are more examples of Joseph Smith lying, conning and manipulating people into doing things they normally wouldn't do.

He *could* have had a turn-around, but due to the historical evidence that Joseph was caught in one lie after another I would have to say that isn't likely. At all. As a matter of fact, it is my belief that the church started as an afterthought. I believe Joseph wanted to create the Book of Mormon and the magical story behind it because he wanted to sell the copyright and make money. It was only after he realized that his status as a "prophet" could gain him money, power and any woman he could get his hands on that he went further with the con.

We are allowed to lie. God lets us.

I don't think this is about the seer stone abilities alone. It is my opinion that this debate is about Joseph's trustworthiness. Why he shouldn't be trusted as he is. Why people should know the entire story about the church instead of what the leaders of the church choose to tell them.

Even more evidence that the whole thing is a con is how the Book of Mormon itself is plagiarized and full of historical inaccuracies. Steel? Chariots? Barley? They didn't exist in America at the time the Book of Mormon supposedly took place. This means nothing to you? Why not?

I have a question for you...

When you learned of the way the Book of Mormon was translated (by seer stone) were you surprised? Were you taught that when you were first learning about the church from your local leaders and church texts? Were you shown paintings and drawings of how things REALLY happened? I am willing to say no. You were not. Why is that? Why is it that they are so afraid to be honest about the truth? Because they know people will come to their senses. That's why.

I don't understand how you can put your trust in a man who was found to be lying so many times?

If you bought a used car from someone and it turned out to be a piece of crap, would you go back to him and buy another car? Would you take their word for it that the engine was rebuilt, the car was being maintained and only driven by an old lady on Sundays to church? Would you trust the company that owned the car lot and employed the salesman when they told you to ignore the things other people say about them because they are all lies?

This isn't much different than that.

You are putting your trust into Joseph Smith and the corporation that wants you to keep trusting him. "Don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Read what we tell you to read, believe what we tell you to believe, and give us 10% of your money."

"I love you, Emma. So much so, that I am marrying other women without your knowledge or permission. Don't worry, love. Saints in the future will have no idea how many lies I told. How cool is that?"

Again, if we are being "logical" about this we would look at the evidence and see it for what it is. Another fraud by Joseph Smith.

The Bible (which I believe to be another work of fiction, but for the sake of argument) says this is how you can determine a true prophet:
If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. -Deuteronomy 18:22

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. -Deuteronomy 13:1-3
Lets take a look at some of the prophecies Joseph gave to determine if he was a true prophet:

1. The Lamanites would be converted and their skin would become "white and delightsome." This was of course changed later to a more politically correct statement of "pure and delightsome." Was the original translation wrong or was the church pressured to change things to make themselves look more accepting to blacks? Doesn't change the fact that the prophecy is 100% wrong. The color of one's skin doesn't change in relation to the church they belong to or the beliefs they hold. This is bullshit. Racist bullshit. Plain and simple.

2. The copyright of the Book of Mormon was to be sold in Toronto, Canada. Joseph Smith sent Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery to Toronto, Canada, to sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon in response to the following revelation that he claimed to have received from God through his “seer stone.” Looks like the seer stone was once again not working as it should have been. Maybe Joseph just wanted to marry their wives while they were away, huh? He's a prince like that.

3. New York, Albany and Boston would be destroyed if they didn't accept the Mormon gospel. Section 84:114 –115, Doctrine & Covenants, “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, September 22 and 23, 1832”:

114. Nevertheless, let the bishop go unto the city of New York, also to the city of Albany, and also to

the city of Boston, and warn the people of those cities with the sound of the gospel, with a Loud voice, of the desolation and utter abolishment which await them if they do reject these things.

115. For if they do reject these things the hour of their judgment is nigh, and their house shall be left unto them desolate.

History records that Joseph Smith and Bishop Newell K. Whitney went to these cities in response to these two verses. There is no record of these cities ever receiving the Mormon gospel during the life of Newell K. Whitney or Joseph Smith. In fact, the Mormon church is still very small in those cities. If these verses were truly from God, these cities should have been destroyed by now.

4. Saints who kept the word of wisdom were promised health, strength, wisdom and knowledge. The fact is, many Mormons who obey the Word of Wisdom to the letter have ill health and the destroying angel does not pass them by. Mormons die like any other people-group. We think of the many Mormons in and around Saint George, Utah, who died of the effects of the radioactive fallout from the nuclear tests in Nevada. Why didn’t the destroying angel pass them by?

5. Christ was to return by Feb. 14, 1891.

History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 182, February 14, 1835:

President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by visions and by the Holy Spirit. He then gave a relation of some of the circumstances attending us while journeying to Zion--our trials, sufferings: and said God had not designed all this for nothing, but He had it in remembrance yet; and it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh--even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.
Jesus Christ should have returned by February 14, 1891.

6. The failure of Joseph Smith's anti-bank:

On the 2nd of November the brethren at Kirtland drew up certain articles of agreement, preparatory to the organization of a banking institution, to be called the ‘Kirtland Safety Society.’ ” History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 467, November 2, 1836

When the articles of agreement were adopted, this institution was officially named the “Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company.” Ibid. p. 471, January 2, 1837

Joseph Smith stated, “It is wisdom and according to the mind of the Holy Spirit, that you should call at Kirtland [Ohio], and receive counsel and instruction upon those principles that are necessary to further the great work of the Lord, and to establish the children of the kingdom, according to the oracles of God; as they are had among us: and further, we invite the brethren from abroad, to call on us, and take stock in our Safety Society; and we would remind them also of the sayings of Isaiah, contained in the 60th chapter and more particularly the 9th and 17th verses,…Also 62nd chapter, 1st verse…” Ibid. p.473.

Warren Parrish, cashier at the bank and a confidant of Joseph Smith stated, “I have listened to [Joseph Smith] with feelings of no ordinary kind, when he declared that the audible voice of God, instructed him to establish a banking-anti banking institution, who like Aaron’s rod shall swallow up all other banks (the Bank of Monroe excepted,) and grow and flourish, and spread from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and survive when all others should be laid in ruins.” Plainsville Republican, February 22, 1838, as quoted in Conflict at Kirtland, p. 297, by LDS writer Max Parkin.

The anti-bank officially failed in the summer of 1837. Joseph Smith recorded, “…I resigned my office in the ‘Kirtland Safety Society,’ disposed of my interest therein, and withdrew from the institution; being fully aware, after so long an experiment, that no institution of the kind, established upon just and righteous principles for a blessing not only to the Church but the whole nation, would be suffered to continue its operations in such an age of darkness, speculation and wickedness.” History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 497, July 7, 1837.

Where are all the people, Joe?

7. The inhabitants of the moon and the sun: Oliver B. Huntington Journal, 1837, Book 14. Original at Huntington Library, San Marino, California. Also found in The Young Woman’s Journal, published by the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Associations of Zion, 1892, Vol. 3, pp. 263-264.

Inhabitants of the Moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the Earth, being about 6 feet in height. They dress very much like the Quaker Style & are quite general in Style, or the one fashion of dress. They live to be very old; comeing (sic) generally, near a thousand years. This is the description of them as given by Joseph the Seer, and he could “See” whatever he asked the Father in the name of Jesus to see.

As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do, that they live generally to near the age of a 1000 years. He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style....

The evidence is conclusive that Joseph Smith said it. Brigham Young confirmed it on July 24, 1870:

Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?...when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 271).

On July 20, 1969 man set foot on the moon, and there was no trace of any beings ever having been there before.

These are just 7 of the 50 prophicies Joseph Smith gave that were 100% false. How can you believe a prophet of God could be wrong so many times?

Joseph Smith wasn't trustworthy, and neither is the church that continues to cover up all of the wrong things he did during his life. This goes for many other prophets and church leaders as well.

You are more than correct by stating that this is just one of hundreds of reasons the Mormon Church isn't true in my eyes. I would love to debate them all with you if you are up to it.

How about the next topic being about discrimination? Blacks and the priesthood, women and the priesthood, homosexuality and proposition 8. Are you up for it? Why would God (again, not that there is one) want the people in his one true church to be so ugly and disrespectful to certain groups of people? Why would he do something so wrong? Is it because God is an asshole? Is it because God is a racist, sexist and homophobic?

Till next time...


P.S. I will fix the word limit in my comments for ya. Didn't even think about that!

P.P.S. I can't figure out how to do that. I have been looking at the settings on the blog for a while now and I can't seem to find the option. I might not be able to change the word limit :( Bummer.

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