Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to read the Bible?

Seriously? On an atheist and agnostic site? Yes, you are reading this here on this site. I know you seemed irked by this. If you are then I suggest you stop reading by now. Otherwise, I will present to you my way of making the Bible reading and fun and mind-blowing.

Even Dawkins is aware of the importance and the impact of the Bible in human though. It has shaped and has changed civilizations for many years (good and bad).

So why read the Bible? I don’t believe anything in it. It’s too outdated and primitive compared to our ideas now.

Really? I think you are putting the wrong perspective in this small library of books (Yes! the Bible is not a book but a library.). If you put aside your presupposition and hate for things that has been tainted and so misunderstood then you will see that you can also find a good reading in the Bible.

So how should I read the Bible? Here are some simple tips:

  1.       Read the Bible like the way you read any book.
  2.        Read it as if you are reading it for the first time. Like you never heard the story.
  3.       You need to set aside your presuppositions about the stories in the book. Do not bring in ideas and teachings you learned in Church or in Theology class.
  4.        Humanize the characters in the book and think of them as acting like you and I would (except God).
  5.       Put the stories in their proper context and sitz im leben.
  6.       Do not refer to any literature explaining things in the Bible. There is a high probability that it’s crap. There is lots of crap written about the Bible.
  7.        Let the text be difficult and contradictory. Do not homogenize them.
  8.        Do not assume the Bible will agree with you or that it will agree with itself.
  9.       Get a good and honest version of the Bible. If your Bible talks about the Bible referring to Saddam or Osami Bin Laden, stop using it and use real Bibles.  
  10. .  . . Do not read into the Bible what you have in mind. Let the Bible tell you its story.

I hope this simple guide helps you since as atheist and agnostics we just see the Bible as another literary piece and a piece of man’s contribution.
Enjoy reading the Book. If you have crazy questions you can ask me at

Thursday, September 22, 2011

PATAS’ first try of blood donation

It was a quite stormy day to donate. It rained as if there is no chance for me to go out. I saw this as a clear sign that I must not go. But then I must go since I promised someone that I will be there to guide them on how to get to the meeting place.

I went out of the house on the time when the rain seemed to quiet a bit. It’s really annoying when it rains in this country. Nevertheless, I made it to Robinsons Galleria just to find out that I am the only person there. I was thinking most probably people will be late.

And indeed they were late. People came in one by one, until we were able to gather about six people. The last of who must be named —Jay-R.  He was quite apologetic for coming late. We waited some more minutes at MiniStop and decided to head to Medical City.

We arrived at the Medical City despite the rains and small numbers we had gathered. We must push through no matter what.

We went straight to the Blood Bank but the reception was empty. We ended up waiting there while making comments on that noon time talent show and how stupid it is.

It took ages before I noticed that no one seemed to come out to receive is despite me giving a prior notice. So I went to the hospital main lobby to ask why there is no receptionist in the Blood Bank. I was told they are undermanned at that time.

We got all screened first. The five of us were rejected. One had an operation ban, one had menstruation a few days back, one is underweight, and one just donated blood almost three months ago, while the last one can’t donate because of high blood.

There was still one hope for the group to donate—Jay-R. It was his first time to donate blood, the person we had almost left out because he came in late. Then Jay-R passed the screening to his dismay. He said this was a frame-up.

His blood was tested first but before he had the needle in. He called for us for help. It was a funny thought for me. Jay-R a big man scared of needles. I was laughing hard as he held the arms of another of us, like a kid on a dentist trip. And he passed this blood screening as well.

Wow, one guy passed the test and will be letting some blood out. We told him that about 6 liters of blood will be taken out of him since we can’t donate at that time. He was quite scared and I think disappointed. But our hero braved it all. Kinda.

He went in for his blood letting with one of us. He was that scared of the needle. I never dared to go in to check him out. I don’t want to stress our only hope. He was said to be biting his shirt as the needles went in. And it was all finished.

A group activity with a lot of people clicking attend ended up with a chance donator. I am proud that somehow he was able to muster that little strength he had just to give some blood.

Now there will be a second attempt for this. If you are reading this, please try to muster the strength and the will to let out some blood as well.

Thank you and hope that when you click attend. Make sure you come or even just say I will not be able to make it. 

Beauty Pageant Wannabes

So Miss Universe 2011 happened once more. It is another milestone in the eyes and minds of many Filipinos. Many will stay glued even sleep early just not to miss to momentous event in History. Many beauty parlors will close, work leaves to be done, meetings canceled just for the opportunity to watch scantily dressed women on size-one clothing.

People will gather themselves and the whole family just to watch their bet, this or that Country. They will observe and critique every moment that happens. They will point out mistakes, great moments, dresses, the way contestants walk, everything. Suddenly the country is transformed into fashion experts, beauty consultants and logic experts of every field even grammarians.

This would be great if people only apply the same thing with how they deal with life and how the politicians are running this fucked up country.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

PATAS KYR at the Victory Church (Robinsons Galleria)

It’s been two months since I lost my need to go to Church for a Mass. That was quite absurd since I have been going to Church since I was 7. Then now I must wake up and go to a Church.

Sunday was a lazy time for me to wake-up just to go to a worship service to a group of people I have always idealized as heathens and heretics. The weather was fine and so I decided to get myself ready to go by bus with a friend. It was a long travel by bus. I hate traveling by bus.

We went straight at the stall, I mean the “Church” because it was already past 11 AM. There were seats outside the Church with some people. I assumed that the Church is already full. So we decided to ask if the Church was indeed full. Luckily and a polite woman told us that there are still more seat inside. Then I wondered why people are opting to stay outside and watch the pastor talking on the screen.

So we went into the “Church.” It’s very spacious and yet it is almost full of people. There are people posted to guide you to empty spaces.

The pastor kept on talking as we found our spot. He was standing in a stage with instruments for a band. Seems legit I say for a bar, I mean a Church. At least it was more lighting than a bar has. He had two projectors at his back showing us his topic and sermon. He was dressed quite casually, I mean smart casual. Like a yuppie would. And he gave his sermon in English.

I turned my gaze to the Churchgoers. It seems they are indeed ready for their shopping. They are dressed in many ways, some decent and some just seems to belong to bar atmosphere. They just sit there listening (I hope so), or just staring at the Pastor. And for the first time I realized that no one brings their Bibles to Church. What an abomination to an evangelical setting.

The Pastor was talking about Grace. He talked about grace in the post-modern way conceivable. You can take his words with different meanings. How convenient is that? He talked and talked while I sighed and made side comments to the dismay of people near me. I didn’t care; I was busy evaluating their service and worship. I was able to open my Bible to Ephesians. That was the only page I will open for the rest of the service.

In the end the whole sermon was boring and uninteresting. Though I pricked up my ears when I heard the Pastor saying; that if you get a Nokia 5110, one must surely throw it away. That was the most annoying thing I heard. I mean if you give that to a poor person you will get a big thank you.

Anyways, the sermon ended with a prayer and a song. They sang a different version of Amazing Grace in keeping with the topic. The band started to sing the song again and again while people sang with them with some hands raised. And that was it. The typical thing you see at TV here with less emotions and crying.

Then it all ended as if the movie ended. All got up and all was clean. That left with me with lots of questions and wonders.

This is not a good place to look for God. This is not also a place for the poor. This place is made to make you feel better and to console you that you have done your obligation to go to Church. It was a real disappointment compared to even a Catholic Mass. 

Monday, August 29, 2011


Who has no excuses? We live in a world where excuses have governed our very lives. We always have to excuse our selves most of the time just to be polite and sociable.

We need an excuse when we can’t make it somewhere or even to get somewhere. We need an excuse called love so that we can say that we are happy. We need an excuse called work so can say that we are not bored. We need an excuse called diet just to said that we want to be healthy again. We need an excuse called media just to make the impression that know things. We need an excuse called friends just to say we are not alone, let alone a thing called relationship.

Frankly I am getting sick and tired of making excuses for people I don’t even care about.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Atheist Songs (?)

It is often said that the arts is the best way to learn philosophy (I heard this from a Christian preacher). People will not bother to read books or listen to philosophers when it comes to their belief system. I agree that people would get their philosophies through the arts, like music, painting, etc.

The problem I have is that most of the so called atheists’ songs are not of my genre. I have nothing against rock music and stuff but the thing is that I find them too noisy.

Then there was Nerina Pallot. My first encounter with her was with the song, “Sophia.” I really liked the way she sang, and then I forgot all about her. Then I decided one time to listen to her songs. I then learned of “Everyone’s Gone to War.”

She says in some lines:

“If God's on our side, then God is a joker,
Asleep on the job, his children fall over”

That for me presents some sense of doubt for the goodness of God.

The good thing about this singer is the way she says her words. For me it’s how words are said that makes them more meaningful.

The last song I’ll be presenting is “Damascus.” It’s the reverse of the story of the conversion of St. Paul done in a very poetic and heartbreaking way. The lines go:

“I saw the light-I saw the light!
But hey, it never saw me,
Oh, conversation has just left me heathen”

And “It's hell, hell is where I'm gonna be,
The devil my intimate friend,
And hell is other people's hearts,
And knowing that everything must end.”

So go ahead and pick up her albums. You won’t regret it, even if you are not an atheist.