Yeah, I know, I haven't been posting lately. I apologize. Bri and I went away for a long weekend, and since we've be back I have been working on getting ready for the new school year.

Until then, expect that there won't be too many posts. Once the school year starts, I will set aside some time a few days a week to keep posting.

Stay tuned for more Bad Religion Songs of the Week, Bible for Atheist chapters, and more. For now, keep yourself entertained by this webpage: Can Atheists Be Ethical. Also browse the rest of the site if you have the time and the inclination.

I'll comment on that page later. First I want to hear (read?) your opinions.

Genesis 13 & 14

In Chapter 13 Abram and Sarai and Lot leave Egypt, and Abram realizes that the flocks of Lot and himself are too large to be grazing on the same lands, so Abram tells Lot that they should separate. Abram gives Lot the choice of where he will live, and Abram takes up some other land. When Abram gets there God tells Abram “all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.” (Genesis 13:15-16, NRSV)

In Chapter 14 there is a big battle between a lot of the kings in the region that Abram and Lot are living. Lot ends up being captured and Abram takes his men (318 of them) to retrieve Lot.

When Abram returns he is met by King Melchizedek and Abram gives him one tenth of everything he had plundered. The King tells him to give him the persons, but to keep the goods for himself. Abram replies, “I have sworn to the Lord, God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me.”

This is a good lesson for anybody, religious or not. Abram knows that the King might later ask favors of him in return for his generosity. Abram takes nothing that is not due to him, and will therefore be left alone in the future.

Bad Religion Song of the Week: Skyscraper

Bad Religion
Recipe for Hate

Come let us make bricks and burn them hard,
We'll build a city with a tower for the world
And climb so we can reach anything we may propose,
Anything at all

Build me up, tear me down
Like a skyscraper
Build me up, then tear down
These joining walls
So they can't climb at all

I know why you tore it down that day
You thought, that if you got caught we'd all go away,
Like a spoiled little baby who can't come out to play,
You had your revenge

Build me up, tear me down
Like a skyscraper
Build me up, then tear down
These joining walls
So they can't climb at all

Well madness reigned and paradise drowned
When Babel's walls came crashing down
Now the echoes roar for a story writ
That was hardly understood
And never any good

Build me up, tear me down
Like a skyscraper
Build me up, then tear down
These joining walls
So they can't climb at all

This song goes along with last week's Bible for Atheists post. It would seem that I am not the only confused and disturbed by the story of the Tower of Babel. The second verse of this song makes the same argument as me, that God is immature and weak and scared that humans will get too powerful, so he "tears them down".

I really need someone to let me know how Christians explain God's actions in this story. What do they teach you in Sunday school?

Top 5 Concerts - The Good Rats @ B.B. King's Blues Club

If I was forced to make a list of hobbies, interests, or activities I would have to include going to concerts. I am sure there are people that go to more than I do, but come on, concerts are expensive.

I have been meaning to make a list, for myself, of all the concerts I've attended, so that I don't forget them. I figure this would be a good forum to share my favorite concerts. Right now I'm planning on recounting my 5 favorites (in reverse chronological order), and maybe more when I'm done.

While I certainly enjoy the music of all the bands I've seen, my Top 5 concerts are not of my Top 5 bands. The criteria for best concerts have a more to do with circumstances and environment than the music alone.

The most recent concert I've been to that I include in my Top 5 is the Good Rats reunion show at B.B. King's Blues Club in NYC. I was chilling at my computer around 10am one Saturday, and my dad came downstairs.

"What are you doing today," he asked.
"Nothing," I replied.
"Want to go to a concert?"
"Yes! What concert?"

As long as the price is reasonable, I will go to basically any concert that someone I know is going to. That's how I discovered Guster sophomore year.

My dad told me it was The Good Rats, who I had heard of, and that the ticket was free. He even offered to pay for my food and drinks as long as I paid for the train. I'm in!

My dad's friend Jeff picked us up and we shared a few beers and some stories from back in their day on the way into the city. B.B. King's Blues Club is a pretty cool place. It's not a theater, but it's not a club either. I've been calling it a supper club, like where Ricky played on I Love Lucy. It basically looked like a restaurant with a stage, and our table was right up front.

No opening band to put up with, I love it. During the show waiters come around to replenish beers, so you only have to get up to pee. The show was great. I didn't really know any Good Rats music, but I ended up buying a couple CDs because they are so good.

This one makes my Top 5 list for the following reasons: no opening band, uniqueness of the venue, quality/quantity of food & drink, discovery of a new favorite band.