Just a list here of religious claims made by preachers in my lifetime. They had to be outright lies, but the faithful just kept quiet and kept on believing.
* One minister said he had witnessed the landing of a flying saucer and a man and a woman got out. He was able to talk to the woman who told him they were on a mission from another planet, and swore him to secrecy. Later he met this same woman working as a waitress in a diner and she knew nothing of their meeting before. She acted as if he was crazy. Where was this subject all going? Flying saucers are a trick of the Devil!
* The oldest trick in the book (your Buybull) is that the earth itself can only go back 6000 years and that means that dinosaur remains and fossil records are also a trick of the Devil. I've actually heard sermons on this.
* Jesus and his "nail scarred hands" just don't hold up. A nail through the hands will not hold a person's body weight. Despite wood blocks and wrist straps, along with 15 other ideas of how this crucifixion was done, fundamentalist preachers want to claim Jesus stayed on that cross because it was "god's plan" and he was supposed to. What would this idea say about other crucifixions, the gullibility of people then, and the gullibility of people now? No wonder that christians just don't hear you.
* I was 18 when the man in our services with heart problems fell to the floor gasping and chocking, and he turned blue. The congregation frantically prayed for him and after a long while he was alright. He quit coming to our church because nobody bought his idea that he had died and god brought him back to life again. Was this man trying to be like Jesus and become the firstfruits of the dead, or would he be in a longer line if you include other people from the Old Testament?
* A minister once said that he wanted a sign from god, and the winds changed and all the leaves on the trees truned around backwards. At least he didn't have the earth stop spinning.
* When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, one minister had them asking him his name and if he was the son of god. Jesus answered "I AM" and said this repeatedly to the many questions. Each time he said "I AM" his voice rumbled and knocked the soldiers backwards about 2 feet. Apparently no one ran in terror and everyone believed without question this scene that really sounds like a bad Hollywood movie.
I could go on and on with these crazy ideas, but wonder if any of you have heard things like this that are similar? Feel free to add them here.
Good old Popeye! I remember him well. The funny story here is that when I lived in Texas a man and myself were talking (I forgot about what) and he gets to a part where he's saying something about "Pie Pie." He could tell by the look on my face that I didn't know what he was saying, so finally he says "you know -- Popeye!"
From that moment on I knew where "baby talk" really came from.
I just read an interesting article through Dawkins site that may give you some understanding why people can believe such things. http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2014/1/15/texas-textboo... It's human nature to want to see and find order in the universe and existence. Otherwise, it can be really scary to think that we're just here by happenstance and there's no loving being watching over us. Religious belief is grasping at straws because we're finite beings and don't know what happens after our last breath. Your vignettes are amusing, but no less then all religious claims.
I don't know if you've heard of Chuck Missler (a semi-famous preacher), but he once claimed that the Tribulation would be ignited by an invasion from Mars.
That one's a hoot, Tony. Everyone is worried about that "great tribulation." The poor christian is going to go through so much more then that he has ever gone through in the past. What the hell could be worse than being fed to lions by Caesar (assuming that ever did happen.)? Now we are being attacked by Mars and we haven't found any life there yet. The poor christian is being attacked from every side, and gets hit right in the pocket book! Take that popular series of books and movies, "Left Behind." Everyone believes it and it is pure fiction!
Missler's name does seem familiar. I'll try to look him up. Around here there was Dean Heady, Oscar Barton, Alton Thompson -- but that was years ago. Maybe they aren't famous enough to be on the Internet.