At Last, Truth in Advertising

30 June, 2009

Today, (((Wife))), (((Boy))), (((Girl))) and I went for a drive.  We meandered up the back roads of the Pocono Mountains, traveled West to Binghamton, and then down through the Endless Mountains and the Back Mountain back to Wilkes-Barre.  We managed to stay off the main roads.  It was nice.

I did, however, see a sign for a church up in Laceyville, PA.  And the name of the church brought an instant reaction from me.

The name of the church?  The Braintrim Baptist Church.  My instant reaction?  At last, an honest church.

Given that Christianity is based upon right belief (orthodoxy), and that there is, according to virtually every Christian church, only one correct set of beliefs that will get one to heaven, new ideas are dangerous.  After all, if a Christian learns something that is contrary to right belief (orthodoxy), they run the risk of heterodoxy (multiple or wrong belief) at the least, or heresy (obdurate retention of wrong belief).  And once you learn something, it is virtually impossible to unlearn it (which explains (at least partially) the abject failure of abstinence-only-sex-education).

Christian sects, especially the more Bible-based and fundamentalist versions, are viewed by much of America as anti-education.  They are not so much anti-education as they are anti-learning-new-things.  Learning new things, especially things which were not known at the time the various books of the Bible were written, runs the risk of learning that one (or two, or thousand) wrong thing.  And that wrong thing (be it evolution, democracy, medicine, you name it) could negate the whole heaven thing.  Better never to learn it than try to unlearn it.

We can, and do, forget things.  But to intentionally unlearn something?  That would take a brain trim to physically remove the area where the knowledge lies.  I don’t think that we have reached the level medically where we can remove a specific memory through surgery, but perhaps the knowledge can be removed through faith.  I wouldn’t know.



  1. Billy Mays would have been proud of you.

  2. I don’t know if knowledge can be removed by faith but I do know that faith can be removed by temporary oxygen deprivation to the brain. After my stroke my faith was gone like it never existed. The part of the brain that controls that sort of thing apparently can be shorted out permanently. Which is good for me but might be a bit drastic for the rest of you people.

  3. If only they’d hold people down a bit longer during those baptism then.

  4. Do you even know anyone at our church? How dare you. You don’t even know us but insult us. We have lawyers, doctors and businessmen in our church. These are smart well-educated men willing to help anyone and everyone. How dare you say that they must have a part of their brain removed to be a part of the church?

  5. I think he was saying being a part of that church effectively removes part of your brain. It’s an age old chicken or egg debate, do you have to be missing part of your brain in order to join a church or does joining a church effectively remove part of your brain? I prefer a Gumpian position and offer that maybe it’s both. 😉

  6. And what part of the brain does a personal relationship with Jesus and God remove? The part that judges others, the part that disobeys the Biblical strictures, the immoral part, the unGodly part, the evil part. That is why I attend church and that is why I believe. That is why I am a moral person.

  7. Right, Christians never judge anyone. LOL!

    I’m moral, too. I just don’t subscribe to most Christian morality.

  8. How can you be moral if you aren’t a Christian? Are you a Jew? Because Jews killed our Savior. Are you Muslim? Because Mohamed was a child rapist and invented his religion so he could keep doing it.

  9. Teleprompter: I don’t get it.

    Frank: That is a rather drastic way to a reality-based life.

    Philly: Glug, Glug, Glug.

    Ally: Welcome to my blog. I was not picking, specifically, on your church. I was, however, holding it up as an example of the anti-intellectual and anti-knowledge bias of the more fundamentalist churches.

    Philly: Gumpian?

    Ally: So you admit that being a Christian removes part of your brain. Thank you.

    Philly: Uh, oh. You just said ‘morality’ to a Christian. Here it comes.

    Ally: And right on cue. So if you didnt have that little book you would be an adulterer, murderer, abuser, etc? If that is, in fact, the case, please keep believing. Just don’t fall into the trap that only Christians can be moral (paging Governor Sanford?).

  10. And what part of the brain does a personal relationship with Jesus and God remove? The part that judges others…

    How can you be moral if you aren’t a Christian? Are you a Jew? Because Jews killed our Savior. Are you Muslim? Because Mohamed was a child rapist and invented his religion so he could keep doing it.


    (((Billy))): Gumpian, adj.,
    1) of or like Forrest Gump
    2) of or like something from the film Forrest Gump

    “I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floatin’ around accidental-like on a breeze. But I, I think maybe it’s both.” – Forrest Gump

  11. Philly: One wonders just how much cognitave dissonance can reside within one skull.

    And thanks for the definition. Never heard it before. You kids have like, you know, your own language, dude. Cool.

  12. Well after the brain trim, there’s more room for things to rattle around and echo in there, probably. 😉

  13. So what would happen if you put the Braintrim church in the town of Braintree? Would there be, like, a total cosmic meltdown?

  14. Could Ally be a poe? I mean it’s just a little coincidental that somebody from that church should show up right after you posted, (((Billy))). And I know believers can be a bit loopy but I’m getting a whiff of sarcasm from Ally.

  15. Hey, you can’t PROVE Ally isn’t from that church. If you’d just open your heart you’d see Ally was for real. You’ll be sorry one day if you don’t believe.

  16. Eaten: Could be, but I also know that for the govt web site I maintain at work, I regularly search terms associated with the park, so it’s not that unusual for me to blog about something unusual and then have someone, quite quickly, show up with a personal connection (happened damn quick with a sexual predator name of Neiswender).

    Philly: Are you protesting too much?

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