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February 18th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Facing death, a top pastor rethinks what it means to be Christian

Editor's Note: The short film accompanying this story, called "My Garden," comes from EdsStory.com. CNN.com is premiering the latest installment in the "Ed's Story" series.

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Ed Dobson is not afraid of dying. It’s the getting there that really scares him.

A former pastor, onetime Christian Right operative and an icon among religious leaders, Dobson has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. When he was diagnosed, doctors gave him 3 to 5 years to live.

That was 11 years ago.

“I am a tad happy to be talking to you right now,” joked Dobson, whose voice has deteriorated since his preaching days, in a phone interview. Speaking with him feels like being exposed to a brief moment of clarity. He speaks slowly, but with an understated confidence and authority.

As pastor at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a position he held for 18 years, Dobson would regularly preach to 5,000 people or more on Sundays. Back then, Dobson said he looked at himself as a man filled with lessons, proverbs and, most of all, answers.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

After retirement six years ago, the massive crowds went away.

“I went from 100 miles an hour to zero miles an hour overnight,” Dobson said. “That was a shock to my system.”

Dobson says the answers vanished with the crowds.

“I know that sounds a bit lame,” he said. “I know that that I should have all the answers, but the truth is, the more I live, the fewer answers I have.”

And yet the people Dobson comes in contact with – those who call him dad, husband and friend, or those who have read one of his 12 books and watched his short films, don’t agree with that assessment. To them, the last six years of Dobson’s life have led to a remarkable ability to put life into context. To them, Dobson is a man filled with lessons.

From 5,000 to 1

In the 1980s, Dobson rose to prominence as an executive at the Moral Majority, Jerry Falwell's evangelical political organization, which had influence with the Ronald Reagan White House. Dobson’s rise continued when he accepted the pastorate at Calvary Church in 1987. He cut a national profile, with Moody Bible Institute naming him “Pastor of the Year” in 1993.

After being diagnosed with ALS, Dobson suddenly felt unsure of himself. At times, he said, he didn't want to get out of bed. After years of intense Bible study, Dobson said this is not how he thought he would react to news of his own mortality.

“I thought that if I knew I was going to die, I would really read the Bible and if I really was going to die, I would really pray,” Dobson said. “I found the opposite to be true. I could barely read the Bible and I had great difficulty praying. You get so overwhelmed with your circumstances, you lose perspective.”

Eventually, Dobson regained perspective. But feelings of listlessness led him to take his preaching to a more personal level. He now meets with congregants one-on-one. Sitting with them in their homes or offices, Dobson provides whatever help he can. “Most of the people I meet with have ALS and basically I listen," he said.

“When I meet with someone and look into their eyes, it is like I am looking into their soul,” Dobson said. “We are both broken, we are both on the journey and we are both fellow pilgrims.”

Going from 5,000 congregants to one at a time was a big change for Dobson, forcing him to reevaluate his job as a pastor. “I am trying to learn that one-on-one is just as important as speaking to thousands,” he said. “I reemphasize – I am trying to learn that.”

During his one-on-one meetings, Dobson says he remembers Adam and Eve being charged by God to work the Garden of Eden. For years Dobson’s garden was Calvary Church – the baptisms, weddings, the Sunday preaching.

“Whether it is preaching to 5000 or meeting one on one, I am trying to take care of the garden,” he said.

The wind knocked out

One way Dobson strove to tend the garden is by writing a book about dealing with serious illness. In 2007, he wrote “Prayers and Promises When Facing a Life-Threatening Illness.”

Dobson’s son Daniel read the book while deployed in Iraq. After returning home, Daniel made it his mission to turn the book’s stories into videos.

He pitched the idea to Steve Carr, the executive director of a faith-focused production company called Flannel. “When I met Ed, when he came to our office, something really spoke to me,” Carr said. “Not too long before that, I had been diagnosed with Leukemia.”

“I thought that this guy, he has been where I am right now and he has somehow mastered it,” Carr said.

So far, Flannel has released five Dobson films, available through the company's website. There are plans for two more. Though the films range in topic, from loss and forgiveness to healing and growth, all are centered on lessons Dobson learned through his battle with ALS. The videos toe the line between a dark look at a dying man's life and an uplifting glimpse at someone who exudes clarity.

"My Garden," the most recent title in the series, centers on Ed’s struggle to deal with ending his preaching career.

Dobson talks about the films as if they are his swan song, his last words of encouragement to a group of supporters he has inspired for decades.

“My desire is that people who have had the air knocked out of them, whether divorce or losing a loved one or illness, that they will get a sense of hope by watching the films,” he said.

Surviving (with help)

The series’ first short film opens with Dobson explaining what it was like to be told he had ALS. After lying in bed, Dobson gets in the shower, brushes his teeth and starts the day. Even he would admit, however, it is not that easy.

Dobson has lost much of the function in his hands and is seen struggling to brush his teeth, his frail body using two hands on the small brush. Though he is able to do a lot, including drive, Dobson wouldn’t be able to make it on his own, a fact he is keenly aware of when about when describing his wife, Lorna.

“She is my right hand, my left hand, my left foot, my right foot, my heart and my brain,” Dobson said. “Without her, it would be impossible to go on.”

Standing in the kitchen in one video, Lorna helps puts Ed’s belt and gloves on. The two don’t speak on camera, but their love is obvious.

“Our love has grown each year of marriage,” Lorna said. “I didn’t want to just wither in the sorrow of how our life was changing. It took a while to get used to what our life was going to be like but I realized that I needed to be more available to him.”

Dobson says he is also more available to her.

“I am no longer a preacher,” said Dobson. “Today, I would say I am a Jesus follower. Period.”

Lorna said she continues to learn from her husband. Throughout their life together, she said she learned by being in church with him, by raising three kids together and by loving one another.

The last 11 years, however, their love has changed. Dobson's illness has taught her to focus on the important things, she said, primarily their kids and five grandkids.

After tending the garden for decades, Dobson is now being tended himself, largely by Lorna. “ALS forced me into a situation where I grew in understanding of what it means to obey Jesus,” Dobson said in the latest film.

“It took me quite a while to find an alternative purpose," he said. "But the good news is out there – there is a purpose for everyone.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Death • United States

soundoff (3,195 Responses)
  1. A Theist

    @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
    Why would he repeat the last line while looking in the mirror? He's talking about YOU. He already stated that no one can be absolutely certain about everything. You "accidental universe" people , though, have it all figured out. You've explored all corners of the universe and know for sure there is no God, right? No wonder God calls you stupid. "The FOOL has said in his heart there is no God." Psalms 14:1

    February 20, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • TERMOYL

      Yet, an even BIGGER fool is quick to disregard actual, tangible proof as a basis for belief in something or someone... One question: Do you believe that science is wizardry?

      February 20, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      You know, there's no possible way that computers can work, since they are "scientific." Send your next dumb message as a "prayer" and see how that works. No one except Beaters of Strawmen believe that the Big Bang was "something from nothing." It was a state change from a state we can't understand to one we can, that of standard physics. Now, god-believers think something came from nothing, right? RIGHT?

      February 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wrong. I have stated repeatedly that I do not know how the universe originated. But nice try.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  2. God is the Answer to Everything

    Christians can be thankful God has graciously bestowed on him a slow death so that he can spread the Word.
    God is truly the answer to everything. You can answer everything with God:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0EEKfTnfvA&w=640&h=390]

    February 20, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • TERMOYL

      Ahhahaha... Good one , man. That's hilarious!!

      February 20, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • AnotherView

      See? Just another prime example of excuses made by the people trying to promote this brand of religion over any other belief system.

      This man made "god" can never lose even when it doesn't begin to show up for work.

      Heck, if the rest of us didn't show up for work like this man made god, we would have been fired long ago.

      Any takers?

      February 20, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  3. Murray

    Mr Dobson....May you find what you are looking for. This is a path of personal individuation. Those who don't believe don't have to go about behaving like fundamentalist athiests.....thats as bad as their counterpart. The true path lies someplace in between, but we must always respect the opinions of others. I am glad that Mr Dobson has found his path. Amen. Shame on those who wish to accellerate his death.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • TERMOYL

      "...but we must always respect the opinions of others." SMH... Even when the opinions of others are destructive?

      February 20, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • God is the Answer to Everything

      Why do you shame the opinions of those who "wish to accellerate his death?" You just said everyone's opinion should be respected.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      "fundamentalist athiests." I see this all the time. What is an "athiest?" You can't be so dumb that you can't spell "atheist." Is it one of your "Godly" insults? "Derp, derp, yer an Ay Thigh Est, herp derp?"

      February 20, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      He's been calling me names for years and urging people to "get" me and hurt my family. Now he feels the flames of Hell licking at his heels, and he wants to say "Oh, by the way, I might have made up some god stuff that I didn't really believe, hope you don't mind." Just another religious hypocrite; I feel nothing but satisfaction at his impending death.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  4. TERMOYL

    Interesting... So, we're supposed to be deeply moved by this story? A man who was an integral part of a mechanism of hate and prejudice is close to death and he is...rethinking Christianity? Yet, the article really didn't impress me with anything in the realm of his "new" outlook... What really appears to have happened is that he has been humbled more by his inability to stand at a podium in front of thousands of eager and easily led followers... Good way to endorse his "films" also.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Dingo

      "mechanism of hate and prejudice" That's hilarious. What a warped of view of Christianity.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Dingo,
      TERMOYL may be referring to "Moral Majority" in particular.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • TERMOYL

      @Dingo
      "What a warped view of Christianity." Haha... Do you actually know anything about the history of the christian church and the almost infinite atrocities committed in the name of Jebus? Seriously, how old are you, twelve? I'm not in possession of a warped view of the christian faith, I just don't have front row seats in your vacuum... Have a GREAT day!!

      February 20, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Nonimus

      ... or not.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      Yeah, if Hitler got enlightened and wanted to reach out to the Jews, I wouldn't buy that either. When he dies, let's all go his funeral carrying signs saying "GOD HATES YOU" and BURN IN HELL. It would be a magnificent tribute to his beliefs.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  5. montyross

    He did not rethink Christianity he just adapted to his physical limitations...

    February 20, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  6. Santa

    The day he starts interfering in politics the very day he losses his moral as a religious leader.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • kobeight

      @Santa, YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD MY FRIEND. Sadly, a reknown pastor commited the gravest of errors, by mixing politics and faith. Caution! If your pastor starts to get into politics, rebuke him immediately and pray for him. Just as Levites were not allowed to enter politics, only one person is allowed that position as king and priest, in the order of Melchizedek. JC!

      February 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  7. EatYouAlive

    Wonder if he still hates gays.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • TERMOYL

      Oh, most certainly he does...

      February 20, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • montyross

      do you still hate child molesters? Christians dont hate the person just the sin or lifestyle a person lives

      February 20, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • LinCA

      @montyross

      You said, "do you still hate child molesters?"
      Are you equating love between adults with child abuse? Anyone who thinks that way is a truly sick and despicable individual.

      You said, "Christians dont hate the person just the sin or lifestyle a person lives"
      Even though I would never make the same lifestyle choice that you've obviously made, means that I try to deny you the right to choose it. If you want to believe the nonsense at the core of your christian beliefs, go right ahead.

      But unlike religious beliefs, homosexuality isn't a lifestyle choice. Hate and intolerance toward gays is exactly the same as racism.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Bill

      Hate the sin....Love the sinner.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Nonimus

      Hate the sin in oneself, for you cannot know the sin of another.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • LinCA

      @Bill

      You said, "Hate the sin....Love the sinner."
      I don't even hate the sin. Believers are free to believe whatever nonsense they want. I'm indifferent.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Christians dont hate the person just the sin or lifestyle a person lives" The whole time they were burning the witches in Salem, they were telling them "It's for your own good" and "it will save you from the Devil." It's a lie; you hate us and enjoy torturing us and killing us when we don't believe your fable. Have a nice day.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      You said "But unlike religious beliefs, ho-mo$exuality isn't a lifestyle choice."
      Just to keep it clear, ho-mo$exuality is a lifestyle choice no different than a Christian that chooses to be holy, pure and Christlike. Orientation straight or gay always leaves the individual with the choice of what shall I do with how I was made. What shall I do with the gifts and talents? Perhaps you do not believe in soul eternal or otherwise but, the eternal consequence of the choice is very real based on what has been revealed through faith. Assuming you do not believe in soul or any existence outside the present then do as you will inside your bedroom. Outside of that bedroom or those you bring in are impacted. You have a choice as to how your presence changes those you come in contact with.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "Just to keep it clear, ho-mo$exuality is a lifestyle choice no different than a Christian that chooses to be holy, pure and Christlike."
      Bullshit. Being gay, or acting on it isn't anymore a choice than being straight or acting on it is a choice. Acting on ones sexuality isn't any different whether one is gay or straight.

      Believing the nonsense of any religion is a choice. While believers may be unable to suspend their beliefs to rationally evaluate it, they choose to act on what their religion tells them.

      Not every christian denomination hates gays. There are better choices out there.

      You said, "Orientation straight or gay always leaves the individual with the choice of what shall I do with how I was made. What shall I do with the gifts and talents?"
      Why would you treat a gay person different from a straight one? Unless you also condemn all straight sexual behavior, including sex for procreation, you are a hypocrite for condemning homosexual sex.

      You said, "Perhaps you do not believe in soul eternal or otherwise but, the eternal consequence of the choice is very real based on what has been revealed through faith."
      What you believe, based on your faith, has no bearing on reality.

      You said, "Assuming you do not believe in soul or any existence outside the present then do as you will inside your bedroom."
      Please grant that same courtesy to everyone. As long as all parties involved are consenting adults, and nobody suffers bodily harm, what goes on in any bedroom is nobody's business but that of those in the room.

      You said, "Outside of that bedroom or those you bring in are impacted. You have a choice as to how your presence changes those you come in contact with."
      Only as long as you apply the exact same standard to all, do you have a point. As long as you treat heterosexuals exactly same way as homosexuals, I can see you point, but I doubt that you do.

      You have the right not to engage in homosexual sex, but you have no right to deny it to anyone else.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      I think you agree with me yet you sound as if you don’t. Let me rephrase; straight and gay have a choice to make as to what they do with their orientation. A gay or a straight can make the choice to honor God and remain pure, holy set aside for His greater purpose. That is a choice that no man, government or religion can do anything about. To the atheist straight or gay they also have a choice to do as they will with their bodies so as not to cause harm to others. These are choices.
      There is no discrimination in this for the atheist or a Christian that follows Christ. Now you want to take what should be private and kept in the bedroom and plaster it all over for everyone to see. The effect of this is to $exualize the children and that is bringing harm to others. There is good reason the Bible addresses the $exualization of a society as the end result is never without harm.
      Within the church and I mean specifically the body of Christ acting according to scripture those engaged in active ho-mo$exual conduct are to be approached as to their sin. If they refuse to stop the fornication they should be kicked out. The same applies to everyone and it matters not if they are gay or straight.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Tallulah13

      So what you are saying, Fred, is that as long as a gay person deprives himself of the love and intimacy that a straight person is free to enjoy, they will be okay with god. Despite the fact that gay people are born with the orientation to seek out intimate relationships with people of the same gender. What you are saying is that your god creates some people because he wants them to be lonely and miserable. Your god is a jerk, fred, and your church discriminates.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "I think you agree with me yet you sound as if you don’t."
      I think we may agree to a point.

      You said, "straight and gay have a choice to make as to what they do with their orientation."
      No. Not a choice. Nobody is questioning straights about what they do with their sexual orientation. Nobody has the right to question what gays do with theirs.

      You said, "A gay or a straight can make the choice to honor God and remain pure, holy set aside for His greater purpose. That is a choice that no man, government or religion can do anything about."
      If the religious rules require a gay person to suppress his or her sexuality, it is the religion that is wrong. That religion, or at the very least that rule, should be discarded.

      You said, "To the atheist straight or gay they also have a choice to do as they will with their bodies so as not to cause harm to others. These are choices."
      I agree.

      You said, "There is no discrimination in this for the atheist or a Christian that follows Christ."
      That appears to depend on what particular flavor of christianity you are talking about. There are some denominations where that is true, but in some of the most vocal ones, not so much.

      You said, "Now you want to take what should be private and kept in the bedroom and plaster it all over for everyone to see."
      As long as the same rules apply to straight and gay alike and we agree on what those rules are.

      You said, "The effect of this is to $exualize the children and that is bringing harm to others. There is good reason the Bible addresses the $exualization of a society as the end result is never without harm."
      This is irrelevant to the current discussion as it is independent of sexual orientation.

      You said, "Within the church and I mean specifically the body of Christ acting according to scripture those engaged in active ho-mo$exual conduct are to be approached as to their sin."
      The definition of "sin" appears to be denomination dependent. Denominations that actively or passively work to deny gays and lesbians equal protection are causing the problems. When you advocate discrimination you have no right to get upset when those that get discriminated against ignore, or fight against you.

      You said, "If they refuse to stop the fornication they should be kicked out. The same applies to everyone and it matters not if they are gay or straight."
      Why anyone, gay or straight, would choose to be part of an organization that promotes hate and discrimination, is beyond me. But, if the religious would work to let gays get married, and be afforded equal rights, the extramarital sex would be reduced.

      The "problem", if you want to call it that, is one entirely caused by the religious. Therefor the only way to solve it, is for the religious to change. Anyone who chooses to interpret what a bunch of sheep herders wrote, thousands of years ago, to be a license to discriminate and hate is a despicable human being. Religions or denominations that actively or passively promote or condone that hate should be eradicated. They are no different than the KKK.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @fred
      Left handed people have the choice not to act on their wicked natural tendencies and live as God intends.
      "A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left."
      – Ecclesiastes 10:2
      "The right hand of the lord doeth valiantly, the right hand of the lord is exalted."
      – Psalm 118 vv15,16

      February 21, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • fred

      “You said, "straight and gay have a choice to make as to what they do with their orientation."
      No. Not a choice. Nobody is questioning straights about what they do with their $exual orientation. Nobody has the right to question what gays do with theirs.”
      =>It is a choice. Just so we are on the same track. A straight person can decide to remain pure and a gay person can decide to remain pure. This is without discrimination and the same rules apply to both straight and gay. A straight person can run to all the bath houses in San Francisco and a gay person can choose to run to the bath houses. That is a choice which has nothing to do with orientation.

      “Nobody is questioning straights about what they do with their $exual orientation. Nobody has the right to question what gays do with theirs.”
      =>Gays and straights that choose to be part of a church that follows the traditional laws of purity will be held accountable by the standards of the group. This is non discriminatory and both will be and should be booted out if they reject the traditions of the group. Since you are hung up on $ex let me use communion. On this site communion that symbolically represents the blood of Christ is mocked. Those that mock this symbolic tradition have no place in a church that honors the tradition. Orientation does not matter it is a choice to mock Jesus or not to mock Jesus.
      We do not go around at our church checking up on gays or straights to see what they are doing in their bedrooms. We have gays at our church that respect the words of God and when you claim they do not have a choice whereas straights do they find this hurtful. You are causing harm with your discrimination for those who choose to be pure before God.

      “If the religious rules require a gay person to suppress his or her $exuality, it is the religion that is wrong.”
      =>Suddenly you have become the tyrant and bigot. You embrace the belief system of the Greeks then wish to impose their dec-adent standards upon those that give their lives to Christ. Jesus was way ahead of you on this one and made it clear that neither the church nor man can force $exual orientation upon anyone. The ways of God do not work as you view them through your Greek eyes. A gay person or straight person that has not accepted Jesus as lord being made a new person in Christ has made a choice to reject God. The acceptance of other traditions or laws of the church have no meaning or value. It is impossible to please God under these conditions and believers have the obligation to confront the gay or straight about observed sin within the church.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • fred

      Doc
      Thanks I was wondering where the term right wing came from. If it wasn't for the left wing we would have to fly by the seat of our pants. We need each other so we can fly away with the taxpayers hard earned money.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "This is without discrimination and the same rules apply to both straight and gay. A straight person can run to all the bath houses in San Francisco and a gay person can choose to run to the bath houses. That is a choice which has nothing to do with orientation."
      I have two issues with your statement.

      First, if the rules favor one group over the other, they are not equal. That constitutes discrimination.

      Second, even if the rules didn't favor one group over the other (as you seem to claim), why is there so much emphasis on what homosexuals do and so very little on what heterosexuals do?

      You said, "Gays and straights that choose to be part of a church that follows the traditional laws of purity will be held accountable by the standards of the group. This is non discriminatory and both will be and should be booted out if they reject the traditions of the group."
      True. I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would voluntarily join such an oppressive group, but if they do, they should accept the consequences of their mistakes.

      You said, "Since you are hung up on $ex let me use communion."
      I'm not hung up on sex, but that appears to be the area where the dispute is centered at.

      You said, "On this site communion that symbolically represents the blood of Christ is mocked. Those that mock this symbolic tradition have no place in a church that honors the tradition. Orientation does not matter it is a choice to mock Jesus or not to mock Jesus."
      You are speaking of a particular interpretation. The simple fact that there are denominations that do not hold the same views as yours, means that you may be wrong in yours. And if you are wrong, which is almost a given, you may be mocking the dude (I emphasized "may" as this scenario is also not very likely).

      You said, "We do not go around at our church checking up on gays or straights to see what they are doing in their bedrooms. We have gays at our church that respect the words of God and when you claim they do not have a choice whereas straights do they find this hurtful."
      They have chosen to accept the interpretation as it is presented at your church. They made that choice, they will have to live with the consequences. They are free to find a church that is less restrictive. But, from your description, I gather that they could also do worse.

      You said, "You are causing harm with your discrimination for those who choose to be pure before God."
      I'm not asking them to do anything they don't want to. I therefor do them no harm.

      Anyone is free to believe whatever nonsense they feel like. Anyone is free to live their lives as they see fit. But they are not free to impose any of it on anyone else.

      You said, "Suddenly you have become the tyrant and bigot."
      You must have misunderstood. I'm not asking anyone to do anything they don't want to do. But any organization that promotes hate has no place in a civilized society. If you keep the religious nonsense to those that voluntarily subscribe to it, you won't hear from me. If anyone tries to impose their bronze age morals on anyone else, we've got issues.

      You said, "You embrace the belief system of the Greeks then wish to impose their dec-adent standards upon those that give their lives to Christ."
      I do nothing of the sort. I merely try to keep the religious from forcing theirs on society.

      You said, "Jesus was way ahead of you on this one and made it clear that neither the church nor man can force $exual orientation upon anyone."
      You may want to share that with all the christian churches that are actively working to oppose and undermine equal rights for gays and lesbians.

      You said, "The ways of God do not work as you view them through your Greek eyes."
      I don't have "Greek eyes" and your god is likely just a figment of your imagination.

      You said, "A gay person or straight person that has not accepted Jesus as lord being made a new person in Christ has made a choice to reject God."
      I reject the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Loch Ness Monster, your god and all other mythical beings. Believing the nonsense you so obviously do, doesn't give you the right to expect anyone else to believe it too.

      You said, "The acceptance of other traditions or laws of the church have no meaning or value."
      Bigot much?

      You said, "It is impossible to please God under these conditions and believers have the obligation to confront the gay or straight about observed sin within the church."
      Who made you the supreme interpreter of your gods will and desires? Your fable holds no sway for rational people. It should have no bearing on societal rules.

      If your god exists and cares so much about what we do or don't do, he should come visit us and explain a thing or two. Until he does, I have no reason to believe he actually exists.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “Second, even if the rules didn't favor one group over the other (as you seem to claim), why is there so much emphasis on what ho-mo$exuals do and so very little on what hetero$exuals do?”
      =>There are written and non written rules. Ugly people are discriminated against as are gays simply because we are wired that way. The reason so much emphasis on gay is because it generates political energy from a political standpoint. The gay community has significant more disposable income than does the straight community and they are targeted by every MBA that is involved in merchandising. $ex always sells and entices even the chosen ones of the old testament that chose $ex over God at every opportunity even if faced with death. Humans have a nasty side to them from road kill to $exual taboos. There are those that hate God and the Bible because of many reasons (1st God and second it points out sin) so they use the ho-mo$exual issue as a wedge to divide compassion from immorality.

      “You said, "Jesus was way ahead of you on this one and made it clear that neither the church nor man can force $exual orientation upon anyone."
      You may want to share that with all the christian churches that are actively working to oppose and undermine equal rights for gays and lesbians.”
      =>What lines should we draw and by who’s standards? Let the churches bless the marriages they wish to bless and let the state allow whatever secular unions the state elects. A marriage that glorifys God honors God and is joined together by God with ; God the Father as head over all, Jesus head over man and man head over women. How many marriages today follow Gods specific ordering and how many have even turned their lives over to Christ and live onto the Lord? Most marriages simply go through the motions of tradition and have forgotten the foundation of marriage and family is to love God with all your heart to produce fruitful lives and fruitful children that multiply the love of God. This does not happen today so the churches oppose what they themselves do not have which makes no sense at all. Both sides are fighting over an illusion. This is why I say civil unions for everyone the marriage bed was defiled a long time ago.

      “I don't have "Greek eyes" and your god is likely just a figment of your imagination.”
      =>What you understand of the reality that is beyond scientific measurement is a function of perspective. Yours is that of looking with the mind and heart construct that is closed off by self established boundaries which limit or confine reality to that which can be seen. My mind and heart construct is well aware that 99.9% of what is cannot be seen and is not subject to space and time constraints as verified by the best scientific measurement available to man. The figment of my imagination is every bit as real as yours based on the same scientific measurement. We are both made in the same process and there is no reason to believe we will not find ourselves together in the same end state.

      “Believing the nonsense you so obviously do, doesn't give you the right to expect anyone else to believe it too.”
      =>Totally agree, you will accept or reject God based on who you truly are and has nothing to do with who I am.

      “You said, "The acceptance of other traditions or laws of the church have no meaning or value."
      Bigot much?”
      =>I was referring to the fact that if one does not accept Christ as Lord which means dying to self the values given by Christ (includes all the laws of the prophets) would have no meaning or value. In other words sin is of no meaning or value if Christ did not take upon himself the fullness of that sin.

      “You said, "It is impossible to please God under these conditions and believers have the obligation to confront the gay or straight about observed sin within the church."
      Who made you the supreme interpreter of your gods will and desires? Your fable holds no sway for rational people. It should have no bearing on societal rules.”
      =>as I said “within the church”. This has no bearing on those outside. The father of the prodigal son did not go after his son or change the world that son chose over that which the father provided and offered. So it is with the children of God.
      I only know what has shown me and desires for me which is more than enough.

      “If your god exists and cares so much about what we do or don't do, he should come visit us and explain a thing or two. Until he does, I have no reason to believe he actually exists.”
      =>Already done that, what is it Jesus has left unanswered?

      February 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "Ugly people are discriminated against as are gays simply because we are wired that way."
      Short people, fat people, women and people with physical deformities have unequal opportunities in our society because we are biased against them. But just because people are biased, doesn't make it right. On the contrary, that should be a reason to try to eliminate the bias.

      Gays on the other hand have unequal opportunities because of the bias against them and have an active opposition based on outdated and downright idiotic religious beliefs. The religious right is actively attempting to write this bias into law instead of eliminating it.

      You said, "The reason so much emphasis on gay is because it generates political energy from a political standpoint. The gay community has significant more disposable income than does the straight community and they are targeted by every MBA that is involved in merchandising."
      That's outright bullshit. Even if it were anywhere close to true that gays are wealthier or more politically powerful, would you consider that a valid reason to deny them equal rights in employment or marriage? Really?

      That doesn't really jive with the other philosophy popular in conservative circles. The one that affords special status to the very wealthy. Exempting them from paying their fair share of taxes, awarding them honorary titles such as "job creator", allowing them to steer the political dialog through super-PACs and lobbying, etc.

      You said, "$ex always sells and entices even the chosen ones of the old testament that chose $ex over God at every opportunity even if faced with death. Humans have a nasty side to them from road kill to $exual taboos. There are those that hate God and the Bible because of many reasons (1st God and second it points out sin) so they use the ho-mo$exual issue as a wedge to divide compassion from immorality."
      That's just more of your inane religious drivel. If you feel it applies to you, fine. You are free to live by it. It doesn't apply to anyone else.

      If you feel that "those that hate god" are doing you harm, you want to address those people. They must be members of your, or a similar religion because before you can hate something, you must first believe it exists. I don't hate any gods.

      If you don't want homosexuality to be a wedge issue, quit making it one. Nobody is asking you to act on your homosexual urges and desires. Nobody is asking your church to preside over same sex marriages. Nobody is even asking you to accept them. All you need to do is just let them be.

      You said, "What lines should we draw and by who’s standards? Let the churches bless the marriages they wish to bless and let the state allow whatever secular unions the state elects."
      Yes, and we'll call those secular unions, "marriage".

      You said, "A marriage that glorifys God honors God and is joined together by God with ; God the Father as head over all, Jesus head over man and man head over women. How many marriages today follow Gods specific ordering and how many have even turned their lives over to Christ and live onto the Lord? Most marriages simply go through the motions of tradition and have forgotten the foundation of marriage and family is to love God with all your heart to produce fruitful lives and fruitful children that multiply the love of God. This does not happen today so the churches oppose what they themselves do not have which makes no sense at all."
      See above re: religious drivel. It doesn't apply to anyone but you.

      You said, "Both sides are fighting over an illusion. This is why I say civil unions for everyone the marriage bed was defiled a long time ago."
      If the religious want to claim a term just for them, they can have "religious union". They don't own the term "marriage".

      You said, "What you understand of the reality that is beyond scientific measurement is a function of perspective. Yours is that of looking with the mind and heart construct that is closed off by self established boundaries which limit or confine reality to that which can be seen."
      No. I simply don't accept just any fantasy as real. There has to be, at the very least, a coherent and believable story behind it. All religions fail that very basic test.

      You said, "My mind and heart construct is well aware that 99.9% of what is cannot be seen and is not subject to space and time constraints as verified by the best scientific measurement available to man. The figment of my imagination is every bit as real as yours based on the same scientific measurement. We are both made in the same process and there is no reason to believe we will not find ourselves together in the same end state."
      It appears that you are willing to suspend the disbelief in favor of an unrealistic, irrational story. Not merely without any supporting evidence, but even in spite of all evidence against it. But you are, of course, free to make that choice.

      You said, "I was referring to the fact that if one does not accept Christ as Lord which means dying to self the values given by Christ (includes all the laws of the prophets) would have no meaning or value. In other words sin is of no meaning or value if Christ did not take upon himself the fullness of that sin."
      It's even better than that. In our society, "sin", and sinning, is exclusively reserved for those that adhere to the religion that defined those sins. I don't sin, neither does anyone who doesn't follow your religion. Your argument is null and void.

      You said, "as I said “within the church”. This has no bearing on those outside."
      Please tell that to your fellow believers. If we can just agree on this basic principle, all these issues go away.

      You said, "Already done that, what is it Jesus has left unanswered?"
      I wasn't talking about your Jesus, I was talking about his alleged father.

      Without some evidence that your god exists, you have nothing.

      Without evidence for your god, your Jesus is just a guy.
      Without evidence for your god, your entire holy book is nothing but a fairy tale.
      Without evidence for your god, your morals are just some collection of morals of the time when they were written down.
      Without evidence for your god, your entire religion is nothing but a delusion.

      Since there isn't a single shred of evidence for your god, you've got nothing. So, unless you can produce some evidence for your god (and not his alleged bastard son) you stand empty handed.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “Gays on the other hand have unequal opportunities …… based on outdated and downright idiotic religious beliefs. The religious right is actively attempting to write this bias into law instead of eliminating it.”
      =>It is the other way around as gays want that which cannot be, a traditional marriage or traditional family. There is nothing traditional about it so forget the notion. This is akin to Civil war reenactment. Throughout this country there are thousands of groups that reenact the Civil War with full costume. It is not the Civil War and participants cannot turn the clock back actually becoming confederates and Yankees. The gay community needs to come to grips with “modern family” or whatever but, there is no “Leave it Beaver or Lassie” traditional family option.
      Acceptance of who gays are as individuals or families should be the goal as to themselves and the world around them. Stop the crazy of attempting to push an old stereotype of traditional wedding or traditional family it is dysfunctional. People get married jumping out of planes, the tradition of marriage is gone and replaced by what feels right. Traditional marriage rates continue to fall.

      Religion is the least of our problems yet it is the party of the right wing branded evil and hateful. You have fallen for the sound bite that buys elections every year. Hitler, Stalin and the like found religion a useful tool when it suited them yet knew that those who were truly faithful could never be bought even if tossed into a lions den. Truth was a threat to the lies of man and will always be.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "It is the other way around as gays want that which cannot be, a traditional marriage or traditional family."
      Just because it is relatively new, doesn't mean that it is in any way less valid. Religious persecution of gays isn't new. It is only relatively recent that people dare to stand up for who they are.

      Hiding your sexual orientation is a lot easier than hiding your skin color, yet mixed race marriages were illegal in large parts of the country until just a few decades ago. Tradition doesn't cut it as an argument for discrimination.

      You said, "There is nothing traditional about it so forget the notion. This is akin to Civil war reenactment. Throughout this country there are thousands of groups that reenact the Civil War with full costume. It is not the Civil War and participants cannot turn the clock back actually becoming confederates and Yankees."
      Those that reenact the civil war know full well that they are not actually fighting it. Some may long for those times and the racial segregation and slavery associated with it, but they are most likely aware that it's the 21st century.

      You said, "The gay community needs to come to grips with “modern family” or whatever but, there is no “Leave it Beaver or Lassie” traditional family option."
      No. The religious need to come to grips, however hard this may be, that their delusions have no place in a civilized society. They are free to believe the nonsense. They are free to keep deluding themselves. They are not free to impose it on the rest of us.

      Why is this so fucking hard to understand? If I didn't know any better, I'd think they're all complete and utter morons.

      You said, "Acceptance of who gays are as individuals or families should be the goal as to themselves and the world around them."
      Shouldn't be that hard. It would be a start if the religious would get on that.

      You said, "Stop the crazy of attempting to push an old stereotype of traditional wedding or traditional family it is dysfunctional. People get married jumping out of planes, the tradition of marriage is gone and replaced by what feels right."
      You really got to make up your mind. Above you use tradition as a reason to discriminate against gays, yet I don't see anyone advocating bans on other non-traditional forms. But again, tradition doesn't cut it as an argument for discrimination, not for same sex marriage, or the "jumping out of a plane" kind.

      You said, "Traditional marriage rates continue to fall."
      Well, since gays are only allowed to marry in a few states, you can't blame them. They are actually helping prop up that number. If you want to increase the marriage rates, you should encourage legalization of same sex marriage.

      You said, "Religion is the least of our problems yet it is the party of the right wing branded evil and hateful."
      It is the hate and discrimination promoted by the right wing religious that are the problem. Once we accept that religion, and everything that flows from it, is personal and individual, the problems will go away. Quit forcing your delusions on society and you won't hear from me.

      You said, "You have fallen for the sound bite that buys elections every year. Hitler, Stalin and the like found religion a useful tool when it suited them yet knew that those who were truly faithful could never be bought even if tossed into a lions den."
      Since it is being used to foster hate, it is much more than just a sound bite. Again, quit forcing your delusions on society and you won't hear from me.

      You said, "Truth was a threat to the lies of man and will always be."
      True, and that is why education and science will eventually drive the religious nonsense out. Eventually people will see through the lies, perpetuated by the various religions of the world. It won't be soon (unfortunately) but I'm hopeful that some day the ignorance will end.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “ would you consider that a valid reason to deny them equal rights in employment or marriage?”
      =>gays have equal rights in employment and the religious are not attempting to take that away, what are you talking about? As to marriage we need to change our entire national system of benefits that are based on the traditional family model of 60 years ago. Don’t blame the religious right blame the greedy power hungry politicians that kick the can down the road instead of addressing the problem. Our current national debt is 70,000 per family and unfunded mandates (promises) $622,000 per family. The traditional family is bankrupt and you cannot blame religion. The traditional family is broken and for that you can blame religion.
      All marriage benefits need to be stri-pped away then rebuilt from scratch and wealth redistributed. I am sure your secular socialistic officials can come up with plan. Just do not ever expect it to be equal for all as that goes against human nature and equality has never been historically proven a successful motivator of personal effort. As you design your godless world without religion where will the opposition come from?

      “I don't hate any gods.”
      =>fact based on what we know “Jesus loves you”……………………so did you just clinch your teeth or not?

      “ Yes, and we'll call those secular unions, "marriage".
      =>“marriage” means something different in secular unions than does a marriage before God with God as your witness. It is not religious drivel it is context. It goes to perspective and lacks depth in terms of time and tradition. Jesus said it best “"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's". This is not drivel as it goes to the core of why you need to justify it as a marriage when as an atheist it should be no concern what we call it. A secular union is just that man before man making the vows of men for the benefit and glory of men. Without God that is all you have gay or straight matters not.

      “If the religious want to claim a term just for them, they can have "religious union". They don't own the term "marriage".”
      =>you are one redefining the inst-itution of marriage call it what you want

      “There has to be, at the very least, a coherent and believable story behind it. All religions fail that very basic test.”
      =>do you have a better story as to why you seek a perfect union among men?

      “You said, "Already done that, what is it Jesus has left unanswered?"
      I wasn't talking about your Jesus, I was talking about his alleged father.”
      =>Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father, the Father and I are one. So, I ask again what did Jesus leave unanswered?

      February 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “Religious persecution of gays isn't new. It is only relatively recent that people dare to stand up for who they are.”
      =>important to keep religion separate from the truth of God as most religion just reflects the imperfection of man. We pick on groups that are different from us, religion is just another group acting human.

      “They are free to believe the nonsense. They are free to keep deluding themselves. They are not free to impose it on the rest of us.”
      =>sorry but you maintain that morals are not from God thus you create your own morals that shift with the wind of society. My assumption is that you believe it is some kind of a majority rule that establishes morals. This being the case you can live by your rules and wait. The Bible confirms you will someday have your way and morals will be those of man without God.

      “You said, "Acceptance of who gays are as individuals or families should be the goal as to themselves and the world around them."
      Shouldn't be that hard. It would be a start if the religious would get on that.”
      =>as you read the Bible take note that beginning in the garden we have a pride issue. Pride when we think to highly of ourselves makes us look down and if we think to low of ourselves pride makes us find fault in others. One story line in the Bible is we are just as prideful and stubborn today as in Egypt.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "gays have equal rights in employment and the religious are not attempting to take that away, what are you talking about?"
      If that were true we wouldn't need the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Currently there are at least 19 states that offer no protection against any employment discrimination for gays. Another nine only offer protection for state jobs. In at least 28 states private employers are free to discriminate against them.

      You said, "As to marriage we need to change ... traditional family is broken and for that you can blame religion."
      You are rambling. Other issues, whether real or imagined, with marriage, traditional or not, are not the topic of this thread. Discrimination against gays is. That discrimination is almost exclusively religion driven.

      You said, "All marriage benefits .... of personal effort. As you design your godless world without religion where will the opposition come from?"
      Again, I'm not trying to fix all issues with marriage.

      You said, "fact based on what we know “Jesus loves you”"
      Not a fact.

      You said, "so did you just clinch your teeth or not?"
      No.

      You said, "“marriage” means something different in secular unions than does a marriage before God with God as your witness."
      I'm not trying to take a away your religious marriage. You just don't get the exclusive use of the term.

      You said, "It is not religious drivel ... is all you have gay or straight matters not."
      More rambling. Your religion doesn't matter in anyone else's life.

      You said, "you are one redefining the inst-itution of marriage call it what you want"
      I'm not redefining anything. It's a union between two people, and we'll call it "marriage".

      You said, "do you have a better story as to why you seek a perfect union among men?"
      Reality works.

      You said, "Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father, the Father and I are one. So, I ask again what did Jesus leave unanswered?"
      He didn't answer jack shit, if he even existed. There isn't a single shred of evidence there is any god, so while you may think anything was answered, it will only be in your mind.

      You said, "important to keep religion separate from the truth of God as most religion just reflects the imperfection of man. We pick on groups that are different from us, religion is just another group acting human."
      Let me indulge in your fantasy for a minute here. How can you know "the truth of god", if not through religion?

      Quit picking on people. It reflects bad on you.

      You said, "sorry but you maintain that morals are not from God thus you create your own morals that shift with the wind of society."
      No, the simple fact that I don't get my morals from any god, doesn't mean that they shift with the wind of society.

      You said, "My assumption is that you believe it is some kind of a majority rule that establishes morals."
      Incorrect assumption.

      You said, "as you read the Bible take ... and stubborn today as in Egypt."
      The bible holds no value, other than caloric. I couldn't care less what it says, or what you think it means. Whatever you get from it is for you only. No one else.

      February 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “the simple fact that I don't get my morals from any god, doesn't mean that they shift with the wind of society”

      =>There is a difference between manmade gods and God but, since you equate both to the Tooth Fairy I will not argue the vastness of Gods knowledge relative to mans. Assuming that the Bible is the antiquity of Harry Potter, it would be your claim that since the beginning of Adam and Eve the nation of Israel followed a fable that today still has its mark on the World. The vast majority of the world incorporates the truths of that God into all sorts of religions and beliefs, in particular the foundation of morality. Science claims as far back as Neanderthal we have record of mans belief in something greater than their own mortality.
      How can you say you did not get your morals from this fairy tale? Just by having lived in the last 2,000 years the foundation of your knowledge is Christian based. Do you hate your neighbor as yourself? “a man cannot have two masters as he will cling to one and reject the other” –is this not you rejecting Christ ? When you came to your position on gay marriage did you not reject a moral code as well as adopt another? Do you not measure your morals against some standard?

      February 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "There is a difference between manmade gods and God but, since you equate both to the Tooth Fairy I will not argue the vastness of Gods knowledge relative to mans. Assuming that the Bible is the antiquity of Harry Potter, it would be your claim that since the beginning of Adam and Eve the nation of Israel followed a fable that today still has its mark on the World."
      The fable of Santa Claus is rehashed every year and is responsible for billions in annual spending. It too, has left a mark on the world. That doesn't lend it any validity.

      You said, "The vast majority of the world incorporates the truths of that God into all sorts of religions and beliefs, in particular the foundation of morality."
      Incorrect. A large part of the world population believes that to be the case. But just because people don't know any better doesn't mean it's true.

      You said, "Science claims as far back as Neanderthal we have record of mans belief in something greater than their own mortality."
      Again, the pervasiveness or longevity of a myth is irrelevant to it's validity.

      You said, "How can you say you did not get your morals from this fairy tale? Just by having lived in the last 2,000 years the foundation of your knowledge is Christian based."
      I dispute the morals as being christian. Those morals, and the various components of your fable, were around long before there were christians. You don't own them, never have, never will.

      You said, "Do you hate your neighbor as yourself?"
      I don't hate myself, nor do I hate my neighbor.

      You said, "“a man cannot have two masters as he will cling to one and reject the other” –is this not you rejecting Christ ?"
      No, I reject the notion of gods. I therefore reject the myth of divine offspring.

      You said, "When you came to your position on gay marriage did you not reject a moral code as well as adopt another?"
      I reject bigotry and hate. So, yes, I reject the despicable components of what you appear to accept as "christian morals".

      You said, "When you came to your position on gay marriage did you not reject a moral code as well as adopt another?"
      My morals are based on not doing unnecessary harm.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      "The fable of Santa Claus is rehashed every year and is responsible for billions in annual spending. It too, has left a mark on the world. That doesn't lend it any validity.
      =>the mark on the world from God whether you believe or not is significantly greater than Santa. To compare an individual ant to Albert Einstein and say it too left a mark on the world is what you consider a relative comparison? Good gosh. Lack or abundance of validity is your opinion the relative proportionality of impact is real, measurable and significant.
      Please consider the extreme lengths you go in order to retain disbelief.

      “You said, "The vast majority of the world incorporates the truths of that God into all sorts of religions and beliefs, in particular the foundation of morality."
      Incorrect. A large part of the world population believes that to be the case. But just because people don't know any better doesn't mean it's true.”
      =>It does not matter if it is true or from God the fact remains it is incorporated into our morality. Once again your opinion; does not change truth, does not change if it is or is not of God and certainly does not alter an accepted fact that they are incorporated into our morality. It may be your opinion that the universe is shaped like a saddle but that does not change the shape of the universe.

      “You said, "Science claims as far back as Neanderthal we have record of mans belief in something greater than their own mortality."
      Again, the per-vasiveness or longevity of a myth is irrelevant to it's validity.”
      =>we are not arguing validity of the existence of God rather the foundation of morality. Early man had a common understanding of mortality in that provision was made for an afterlife and worship of God/gods followed. The foundation of our morality is based on accountability to a power greater than man. This follows the pattern of the Hebrew God establishing moral and civil laws from the time of Adam and Eve. The pattern is the same if you believe or not the Hebrews incorporated it and even our system of law is based upon the same pattern. The pattern is same yet you deny the foundational aspect.

      “I dispute the morals as being christian. Those morals, and the various components of your fable, were around long before there were christians.”
      =>We picked up the patterns from the Christians, they based it on the earliest recorded history of the Hebrews and the Hebrews received it from God. So fable or true we all have Gods morality at the foundation based on all available evidence. Now, you wish to speculate on what came before the Hebrew without any record whatsoever. Your opinion is based on no evidence while we have records going back to the Egyptians with well established patterns of morality. Your argument is the same as saying we did not evolve from apes just because the DNA is similar to other species.

      February 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA cont.

      “You said, "Do you hate your neighbor as yourself?"
      I don't hate myself, nor do I hate my neighbor.”
      =>not the point. Jesus said love your neighbor as your self is a central moral standard. We try and follow the moral standard from God not the opposite. Abels offering was pleasing to God because he gave from his best. Today if your love gave you the leftovers and kept the best for self you would not be happy. It is a basic moral standard which I call Divine and you follow whether it is Divine or not.

      “You said, "“a man cannot have two masters as he will cling to one and reject the other” –is this not you rejecting Christ ?"
      No, I reject the notion of gods.”
      =>missed the point, it is a core truth you cannot have two masters. There are only two possibilities believe in God or man. You have chosen the things of man and by your own actions prove the truth you cannot have both. You reject God and cling to the things of man.

      “I reject bigotry and hate.
      =>as did Jesus.

      “ So, yes, I reject the despi-cable components of what you appear to accept as "christian morals".
      =>no, you have some personal issue other than Christian morals that is directed at God and or Jesus. Many people come in the name of Jesus but their actions are more like the Sanhedrin Jesus blasted. What Christian morals do you find desp-icable (please use Biblical morals not those of some strange denominations)?

      “You said, "When you came to your position on gay marriage did you not reject a moral code as well as adopt another?"
      My morals are based on not doing unnecessary harm.”
      =>”for it is written do not murder…..but, I say anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” …..love your enemies…etc. I think you basically have most of the Divine moral law in your heart. How can your issue be with Biblical morals?

      February 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "the mark on the world from God whether you believe or not is significantly greater than Santa."
      The mark of the delusion of gods (any) is significantly greater than that of most other myths. But, again, it does nothing to support the validity of the myth.

      You said, "To compare an individual ant to Albert Einstein and say it too left a mark on the world is what you consider a relative comparison? Good gosh. Lack or abundance of validity is your opinion the relative proportionality of impact is real, measurable and significant."
      That's not what I said. While the impact may be real, the cause isn't. Just because people believe the nonsense about gods (any, not just yours) doesn't lend them any credence. For delusions there is no strength in numbers.

      You said, "Please consider the extreme lengths you go in order to retain disbelief."
      Disbelief is easy. All it requires is a lack of evidence. That is easily accomplished in the case of every single god ever dreamed up by man. Now, on the other hand, believing in the face of a complete and utter lack of even the slightest shred of supporting evidence would be impossible for me. The lack of even a believable story makes that completely impossible.

      Please consider the extreme lengths you go to in order to retain belief.

      You said, "It does not matter if it is true or from God the fact remains it is incorporated into our morality. Once again your opinion; does not change truth, does not change if it is or is not of God and certainly does not alter an accepted fact that they are incorporated into our morality."
      Again, you claim your belief to be the truth. It isn't. You claimed that the western morality comes from your god. Your god doesn't exist, so it can't.

      You said, "It may be your opinion that the universe is shaped like a saddle but that does not change the shape of the universe."
      I will not claim that the universe is shaped like a saddle, but if the evidence suggest it may, the odds go up that it is.

      You said, "we are not arguing validity of the existence of God rather the foundation of morality. Early man had a common understanding of mortality in that provision was made for an afterlife and worship of God/gods followed. The foundation of our morality is based on accountability to a power greater than man. [...] The pattern is same yet you deny the foundational aspect."
      While that may be true for simple minded people that need a carrot and a stick to be moral, it doesn't apply to me. I shape my behavior on the expected outcome of my actions. I minimize harm and try to optimize gain, for myself, my loved ones and society at large. No afterlife punishment or reward required.

      You said, "We picked up the patterns from the Christians, they based it on the earliest recorded history of the Hebrews and the Hebrews received it from God. So fable or true we all have Gods morality at the foundation based on all available evidence. Now, you wish to speculate on what came before the Hebrew without any record whatsoever. Your opinion is based on no evidence while we have records going back to the Egyptians with well established patterns of morality."
      Let's distinguish between your religious morals and my personal ones. Your morals are the ones that are codified in the various (religious) texts. Mine are based on the predicted outcome of my actions.

      Codified morals are useful for those that lack the ability to predict the effect of their actions. For those that have that ability, codified morals are either redundant or incorrect.

      The moral codes that you appear to cling to are, in part, incorrect. The parts that promote hate and discrimination are outdated and should be discarded. People that are capable of gauging the effect of their actions have realized that and rejected those part of the christian moral code. Other parts of the christian moral code may still apply. My morals, while not christian in origin, are virtually indistinguishable from those of some liberal christians.

      You said, "Your argument is the same as saying we did not evolve from apes just because the DNA is similar to other species."
      My argument is that my morals don't come from religious ones, and none of the codified morals are christian in origin. And, by the way, we are apes.

      You said, "Jesus said love your neighbor as your self is a central moral standard."
      I don't need anyone to tell me that. I realized that at a very young age. It appears that the more conservative christians have tossed this by the wayside (it would be funny if it wasn't so incredibly sad).

      You said, "We try and follow the moral standard from God not the opposite."
      Try harder.

      You said, "missed the point, it is a core truth you cannot have two masters."
      I didn't miss that point. But for me there is no question or dilemma, as gods don't exist.

      You said, "There are only two possibilities believe in God or man."
      You can believe in both. Only believing in gods is sort of silly for grown ups. I'm pretty sure that "man" exists.

      You said, "You have chosen the things of man and by your own actions prove the truth you cannot have both."
      I don't want both. I prefer sanity over belief in mythical beings.

      You said, "You reject God and cling to the things of man."
      I wouldn't call it "clinging". I'd call it "having a grasp on reality".

      You said, "no, you have some personal issue other than Christian morals that is directed at God and or Jesus."
      The hate, bigotry and discrimination directed at gays by some christians is immoral. The actions of these christians causes real and unnecessary harm. There are no two ways about it.

      You said, "Many people come in the name of Jesus but their actions are more like the Sanhedrin Jesus blasted. What Christian morals do you find desp-icable (please use Biblical morals not those of some strange denominations)?"
      If you have to ask that question you haven't been paying attention.

      You said, "love your enemies…etc. I think you basically have most of the Divine moral law in your heart. How can your issue be with Biblical morals?"
      While I dispute that they are biblical, I have no issue with most of what you call "biblical morals". As I mentioned above, my morals are virtually indistinguishable from those of some liberal christians (who supposedly have biblical morals).

      February 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “Good gosh. Lack or abundance of validity is your opinion the relative proportionality of impact is real, measurable and significant."
      That's not what I said. While the impact may be real, the cause isn't. Just because people believe the nonsense about gods (any, not just yours) doesn't lend them any credence. For delusions there is no strength in numbers.”
      =>Why only accept real evidence when it suits your opinion? The impact of God (or delusion of God) is the most significant, real and observable event of our time. The impact is the same regardless if God is real or a delusion that is shared by 80% of Americans. Given the impact is real there is an undeniable force and power in the name of God or delusion of God. Those who claim to see God call the delusion faith in God. This being the case it does not matter logically if it is God or faith in God since the effect is the same. Can I hear an Amen to that?

      “I shape my behavior on the expected outcome of my actions. I minimize harm and try to optimize gain, for myself, my loved ones and society at large. No afterlife punishment or reward required.”
      =>Christians are told to do the same. Those that follow Christ because of afterlife reward or punishment will not receive a reward as this is not how it works. It is in being Christ like that Christ like actions flow which has reward in the afterlife.

      “Your morals are the ones that are codified in the various (religious) texts. Mine are based on the predicted outcome of my actions.”
      =>no, we both operate in the same manner. The fact some of the tribes may have codified some morals in a historical accounting of the Bible is immaterial. Since you refer to religious texts then we must include the statement from Jesus that refers to scripture and states the law is written on the hearts of believers. If you wish to call what is written in our hearts as codified that is fine.

      “ moral codes that you appear to cling to are, in part, incorrect. The parts that promote hate and discrimination are outdated and should be discarded.”
      =>We are to die to self and follow Christ. If you agree the real or delusion of Christ has a moral code that is acceptable to you then our morals are in sync. All parts of what Christ said still applies if you have a problem with one let me know.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "Why only accept real evidence when it suits your opinion?"
      But I do accept all real evidence.

      You said, "The impact of God (or delusion of God) is the most significant, real and observable event of our time.The impact is the same regardless if God is real or a delusion that is shared by 80% of Americans. Given the impact is real there is an undeniable force and power in the name of God or delusion of God. Those who claim to see God call the delusion faith in God."
      Yeah, but the question is whether the impact is good, or bad.

      You said, "This being the case it does not matter logically if it is God or faith in God since the effect is the same."
      No, it matters because it matters whether the impact is good, or bad.

      You said, "Can I hear an Amen to that?"
      Sorry, dude. No can do.

      You said, "Christians are told to do the same. Those that follow Christ because of afterlife reward or punishment will not receive a reward as this is not how it works. It is in being Christ like that Christ like actions flow which has reward in the afterlife."
      That's probably why my morals, while not christian in origin, are virtually indistinguishable from those of some liberal christians.

      You said, "no, we both operate in the same manner."
      Not really.

      You said, "The fact some of the tribes may have codified some morals in a historical accounting of the Bible is immaterial."
      If you consider it immaterial, then why did you bring it up? By the way, there is very little "historical accounting" in the bible.

      You said, "Since you refer to religious texts then we must include the statement from Jesus that refers to scripture and states the law is written on the hearts of believers. If you wish to call what is written in our hearts as codified that is fine."
      Fine, include it, it's really a distinction without a difference. These "laws written in the hearts" come from the religious indoctrination. That doesn't really change or challenge that "Codified morals are useful for those that lack the ability to predict the effect of their actions. For those that have that ability, codified morals are either redundant or incorrect".

      You said, "If you agree the real or delusion of Christ has a moral code that is acceptable to you then our morals are in sync."
      There are various delusions. I can accept certain interpretations of those morals, but by no means all.

      You said, "All parts of what Christ said still applies if you have a problem with one let me know."
      I have issues with the interpretation that leads some christians to discriminate against gays, or inflict other unnecessary harm (as if that wasn't blatantly obvious).

      February 24, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • fred

      LinCA

      “I have issues with the interpretation that leads some christians to discriminate against gays”
      Is the Bible clear about how Christians should treat gays? Yes, we are all in the same boat and none of us are right before a Holy God. Jesus only brings up the gay issue in a limited way on two events, aside from those all instruction applies equally to gay and straight. Inside the church between believers we are to correct open known fornication but not peer into private lives. This is simply to keep others from being led astray by immorality through tolerance or enticement. If the offender refuses to repent then by two witnesses the offender can be asked to leave until he or she does repent. So within the church we should not discriminate. Now, I don’t know if the rate of incidence is greater or less than the general population but gays bring about a gasp within the church. We are to correct those that judge, look down upon or cause harm to gays which includes a gasp. None of this is the result of error or antiquity of the Bible rather sin in the life of those that discriminate. Discrimination against gays is a sin, not associating with fornicators (gay or straight) is commanded.
      Now the rub. What to do about marriage inside the church. The Bible only provides for marriage between a man and women. Jesus made a comment that churches are not to become lax or tolerant towards $exual practices of the community I cannot find any way around this. Jesus commended the churches hate (righteous not vindictive) towards sinful practices. The meaning here relative to our point is that we should run from fornication and fornicators (gay and or straight).
      Outside the church we are to preach the love of Jesus, death and resurrection. Christian churches and their leaders that condone fornication and gay marriage should be treated first as brothers in Christ, then if they reject the truth Christians should not associate with that church. We are not to picket, name call or burn those churches down simply stay away. When gays come to our church I let them know we interpret Jesus literally with regard to gay marriage (discussion seems to quickly go there) and I ask them if they are familiar with the other churches in the area that do not.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “or inflict other unnecessary harm”
      =>$exual immorality inflicts and causes great unnecessary harm. Your position promoting consenting adults do whatever they want is immoral by your own definition.
      The impact resulting from rejecting the Divine morality given by God (real or delusional) is huge observable and scientifically measurable. The cause here is very clear and is sin/ rejecting God (delusional or real matters not). I will ignore this reality so as not to distract from your position.
      Pain and suffering brought about by your morality in aids alone screams out against your immoral morality. The financial cost ($648,500 average medical cost per aids patient) of $exually transmitted aids (not other causes of transmission) will be almost 600 billion dollars to the United States alone just in medical cost. That is enough to feed 300 million starving children for one year or 30 million starving children for 10 years.
      Your morality has exchanged the lives of 30 million children in favor of consenting adults personal $exual pleasures.
      That by your own definition is more than unnessary harm to others and by my definition is demonic

      February 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "Is the Bible clear about how Christians should treat gays?"
      If the bible is clear on how to treat gays, and if that is how conservative christians treat them, then the bible is wrong. Any text that "is clear on", and is used as a justification for discrimination, is obviously wrong. If a text is so horrendously wrong on such a basic concept, it has lost all credibility.

      You said, "Yes, we are all in the same boat and none of us are right before a Holy God."
      No, we're not in the same boat. I live in reality, while you aim to please an imaginary friend.

      You said, "Jesus only brings up [...] not associating with fornicators (gay or straight) is commanded."
      Religious babble that has no bearing on reality.

      You said, "Now the rub. What to do about marriage inside the church."
      Not really a "rub". What people do in their church is entirely irrelevant.

      You said, "The Bible only provides [...] fornicators (gay and or straight)."
      More religious babble with no bearing on reality.

      You said, "Outside the church we are to preach the love of Jesus, death and resurrection."
      Please keep your preaching contained within your church.

      You said, "Christian churches and their leaders [...] other churches in the area that do not."
      Again, what people do in their church is entirely irrelevant.

      You said, "$exual immorality inflicts and causes great unnecessary harm. Your position promoting consenting adults do whatever they want is immoral by your own definition."
      No, it is only immoral according to your definition. A definition that I, of course, soundly reject. What other consenting adults do to each other is none of your business, nor is it any of mine.

      You said, "The impact resulting from rejecting the Divine morality given by God (real or delusional) is huge observable and scientifically measurable."
      At the risk of repeating myself, whether or not it is real and measurable, says nothing about the desirability of it. Rejecting "divine morality" in itself is neither good, nor bad. Whether the net effect is positive or negative depends on the morals that replace it.

      Since the morals that I have are clearly superior to the "divine morality" clung to by some christians, I've created a positive effect.

      You said, "The cause here is very clear and is sin/ rejecting God (delusional or real matters not)."
      Rejecting imaginary beings can only be detrimental if the belief in them keeps the believer in line with secular law.

      You said, "Pain and suffering brought about by your morality in aids alone [...] feed 300 million starving children for one year or 30 million starving children for 10 years."
      Aids is transmitted via unprotected sex. Believing that preaching your christian morals is going to reduce the number of people having sex, is hopelessly ignorant. If anything, the aids epidemic is made worse by outdated christian teaching about contraception. Sticking your head in the sand, and hoping for the best, isn't going to solve any problems.

      My morals include personal responsibility. I also highly value education. If people were better educated on the use of condoms, and exercised personal responsibility, there would be far fewer STDs.

      You said, "Your morality has exchanged the lives of 30 million children in favor of consenting adults personal $exual pleasures.
      That by your own definition is more than unnecessary harm to others and by my definition is demonic
      "
      Bullshit. My morality does not include, nor promote, unprotected sex. If anything, those that share my morals help stem the tide and reduce the cost of STDs.

      World wide, the AIDS epidemic is worst in countries still fully deluded by religion. One only has to look at Africa to see the devastating effects religion and the lack of education have on the health of the population.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “Any text that "is clear on", and is used as a justification for discrimination, is obviously wrong. If a text is so horrendously wrong on such a basic concept, it has lost all credibility.”
      =>Ok, where is the discrimination? Fornication applies to gays and straights equally and marriage is between a man and women. All men and women are treated equally gay and straight.

      “Please keep your preaching contained within your church.”
      =>Ok, there would be a problem here because we are commanded to spread the Gospel

      “Aids is transmitted via unprotected $ex. Believing that preaching your christian morals is going to reduce the number of people having $ex, is hopelessly ignorant. If anything, the aids epidemic is made worse by outdated christian teaching about contraception.”
      =>replacing the long standing moral code that was prevalent through 1969 with free love and the morality of anything between consenting adults gpromoted as good is the indirect cause of the rise in STDs.

      “My morals include personal responsibility. I also highly value education. If people were better educated on the use of condoms, and exercised personal responsibility, there would be far fewer STDs.”
      =>Yes, there is always a small percentage of the population that does the right thing regardless of religious belief or non belief. Your way does not transfer nor is it necessarily transferable to the general population.

      “My morality does not include, nor promote, unprotected $ex. If anything, those that share my morals help stem the tide and reduce the cost of STDs.
      =>your words on this web site attacking God, the Bible and those who have respect and admiration for leaders in the church promotes total lack of respect for all history and moral traditions that have guarded this countries soul. When morality is whatever you decide it is in the privacy of your bedroom there are no standards leaving only carnal lust. It does not matter what you do in your bedroom because you claim to be above it all and could well be. The vast majority of the population needs specific guidance and ground rules. To coin the sound bite “safe $ex” sends the wrong signal to those incapable of making decisions on your level. Broadcasting; there is no God, no accountability, no consequence outside of the pleasures of this life opens the live and let live mindset.

      “World wide, the AIDS epidemic is worst in countries still fully deluded by religion. One only has to look at Africa to see the devastating effects religion and the lack of education have on the health of the population”
      =>you know better than that. The breakdown of local hard nose tribal moral restrictions that controlled the populations over centuries is the cause. The breakdown of interdependent communities that respected right from wrong by introduction of western culture is the cause.
      Saudi Arabia and Yemen due to hard line religion aids is non-existent. In your “Africa’ example Botswana and Zimbabwe where rates were the highest the cause was introduction of $ex workers at the diamond mines and intergenerational prost-itiution.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "Ok, where is the discrimination? Fornication applies to gays and straights equally and marriage is between a man and women. All men and women are treated equally gay and straight."
      Trying to prevent gays from marrying, for one.

      You said, "Ok, there would be a problem here because we are commanded to spread the Gospel"
      The US constitution supersedes your delusion. I have the right to be free from your nonsense.

      You said, "replacing the long standing moral code that was prevalent through 1969 with free love and the morality of anything between consenting adults gpromoted as good is the indirect cause of the rise in STDs."
      Even if true, so? Like I said above, personal responsibility is part of my morals. I never claimed that the morals that you rail against are mine. You do that.

      Replacing one set of outdated morals with a different, imperfect, set will have a different effect. Perhaps not all positive. So, to improve on it, we should work on education and encourage personal responsibility.

      You said, "Yes, there is always a small percentage of the population that does the right thing regardless of religious belief or non belief. Your way does not transfer nor is it necessarily transferable to the general population."
      I do what I can. There is a lot more to be done. In particular in education. The future of this country rest, almost exclusively, on how we educate our population.

      You said, "your words on this web site attacking God, the Bible and those who have respect and admiration for leaders in the church promotes total lack of respect for all history and moral traditions that have guarded this countries soul."
      Highlighting how incredibly ignorant it is to cling to fairy tales, isn't attacking. As much as you feel compelled to spread the gospel, I'm compelled to show the parallels between religion and belief in the Tooth Fairy.

      You said, "When morality is whatever you decide it [...] of this life opens the live and let live mindset."
      Proper education about the consequences of their actions and the availability of protection are far superior over threatening them with hell and damnation for not following your rules.

      You said, "The breakdown of local hard nose tribal moral restrictions that controlled the populations over centuries is the cause. The breakdown of interdependent communities that respected right from wrong by introduction of western culture is the cause."
      Bullshit. Once an STD was introduced, the spread of it was inevitable. The lack of knowledge about STDs and protection contributes to unhindered spread. The only saving race was the relative isolation of these tribes.

      You said, "Saudi Arabia and Yemen due to hard line religion aids is non-existent."
      That's a lie (does that mean you will spend eternity in hell?). But even if it were true, I favor a regime that educates their people over one that represses them, any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

      You said, "In your “Africa’ example Botswana and Zimbabwe where rates were the highest the cause was introduction of $ex workers at the diamond mines and intergenerational prost-itiution."
      No, it was caused by ignorance about it and unprotected sex.

      February 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      Lin it is discrimination when we prevent 15 year olds from marring 50 year olds, brothers / sisters etc.. The states also discriminate in various ways as to marriage. You also discriminate as to who should marry as I am sure you do not believe all should marry. You just like picking on religion. Sorry Jesus is not around to include your latest wish list.
      “The US consti-tution supersedes your delusion. I have the right to be free from your nonsense.”
      =>no I have just as much right to the public square as you do, you are the one that wants to take away basic freedoms.

      “I'm compelled to show the parallels between religion and belief in the Tooth Fairy.”
      =>then you assume full responsibility for the effect of your destroying the fabric of morals in Western Societies.

      “Proper education about the consequences of their actions and the availability of protection are far superior over threatening them with hell and damnation for not following your rules.”
      =>results prove otherwise
      “Once an STD was introduced, the spread of it was inevitable. The lack of knowledge about STDs and protection contributes to unhindered spread. The only saving race was the relative isolation of these tribes.”
      Interesting it does not spread in Saudi Arabia or Yemen so we know what works. STD is spread by you know what and that is a function of morals. Your moral values spread like a cancer because you give a green light to free pleasure without consequence and that candy is hard to turn down. Your ideas are like offering free beer to alcoholics then saying lack of education about drinking is the problem.

      “ I favor a regime that educates their people over one that represses them, any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
      =>a strict moral code that limits $exual activity is not repressive. Being confined to drugs and isolation with aids is repressive.
      "In your “Africa’ example Botswana and Zimbabwe where rates were the highest the cause was introduction of $ex workers at the diamond mines and intergenerational prost-itiution."
      No, it was caused by ignorance about it and unprotected $ex.”
      =>protected $ex just covers the real problem. If you began with education then set the people off in your pretend world that is fine. What you propose is gay marriage and the end to the morals that have served its people well for thousands of years without any idea of the consequences. Then educate them on why they are dying and 30% of America suffers from STD’s. Nice cart before the horse.

      February 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "Lin it is discrimination when we prevent 15 year olds from marring 50 year olds, brothers / sisters etc.. The states also discriminate in various ways as to marriage. You also discriminate as to who should marry as I am sure you do not believe all should marry."
      Bullshit straw man argument. Fifteen year-olds are not consenting adults, and close relatives procreating substantially increases the risk of genetic defects. There are valid reasons to limit those marriages.

      But even so, having a valid reason still leaves the question of where to draw the line. The questions become: "At what age do we consider people to be consenting?", and "How far do relatives need to be removed before the risk becomes acceptable?". The answers to those questions will vary, depending on who is debating them, but the arguments should be based on science.

      You said, "You just like picking on religion. Sorry Jesus is not around to include your latest wish list."
      I'm not trying to limit anyone from living their life according to what they think their religion tells them. They just don't get to tell other what to do based on it.

      You said, "no I have just as much right to the public square as you do, you are the one that wants to take away basic freedoms."
      See above. You are free to your religion and live your life according to it. You are not free to expect anyone else to live theirs according to your religion.

      You said, "then you assume full responsibility for the effect of your destroying the fabric of morals in Western Societies."
      Showing the nonsense for what it is helps western society move forward. Adults believing in fairy tales are a severe detriment to progress. Once we shed the delusions, we can focus on education without having to pretend the religious interpretations are valid.

      You said, "results prove otherwise"
      If threatening hell and damnation is so effective, how come that the highest rates of STDs are in the most religious states?

      You said, "Interesting it does not spread in Saudi Arabia or Yemen so we know what works."
      Still lying, huh?

      You said, "STD is spread by you know what and that is a function of morals."
      If that were true, the bible belt states would have lower rates of STD. They don't. It's the exact opposite.

      You said, "Your moral values spread like a cancer because you give a green light to free pleasure without consequence and that candy is hard to turn down. Your ideas are like offering free beer to alcoholics then saying lack of education about drinking is the problem."
      Bullshit. Those are not the morals that I spread. As I've said before, I advocate for personal responsibility and education (the exact opposite of what you claim).

      You said, "a strict moral code that limits $exual activity is not repressive."
      A regime that prohibits activities that pose no harm to anyone is repressive. One that prohibits activities for one specific group, while not for another is discriminatory (and repulsive).

      You said, "protected $ex just covers the real problem."
      Sex isn't the problem. Sex is a natural part of life.

      You said, "What you propose is gay marriage and the end to the morals that have served its people well for thousands of years without any idea of the consequences."
      Back to the "tradition" argument, huh? Tradition alone is not a valid reason for discrimination (otherwise we'd still ban interracial marriages). And again, nobody is asking you to marry someone of your own gender. Nobody is even asking your church to preside over those marriages.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “Fifteen year-olds are not consenting adults”
      =>yet you promote $exual promiscuity with the liberal “safe $ex” sound bite of the past 10 years, you promote activity by showing 9 year old how to put condoms on. Nice job of $exualizing the youth. It would be safer to speak the truth about the spread of STD’s and the truth that Bill Clinton lied about what is is and that the democrats of the Senate that applauded what he did by abusing his power over a much younger employee. You cannot applaud a president and claim a BJ is not $ex without impacting youth and morals. Why were you not speaking up about that brainwashing of the youth? Your education of youth should be truthful.
      “There are valid reasons to limit those marriages.”
      =>yes, and we have no experience on what a society of children raised in same $ex households will bring. We now have experience of what children raised in fatherless homes brings. The great Murphy Brown experiment was complete failure. Single parent kids are at significant risk.
      New experiment now in progress is that of same $ex egg and sperm combos. Love your live real time experiments with children. You thought Hitler was bad?

      “arguments should be based on science.”
      =>I agree and we have 60 years of research now that shows the anything goes life style is not working. We have no science that can show the long term effects of gay marriage.

      “Showing the nonsense for what it is helps western society move forward. Adults believing in fairy tales are a severe detriment to progress”
      =>family structure rooted in sound traditions proves the best way to healthy life. Your experiment of the 60’s continues and you are blind to the negative real results of free love.

      “If threatening hell and damnation is so effective, how come that the highest rates of STDs are in the most religious states?”
      =>since 1965 God was taken out of the schools and put in the joke bin. You see the results clearly. Just because a states older population pretends to be religious does not mean the kids are. The kids are more vulnerable to media and do not go to church as they once did.
      “If that were true, the bible belt states would have lower rates of STD. They don't. It's the exact opposite.”
      =>God is off the radar with the young in the bible belt and race, poverty play a big role.
      “ Those are not the morals that I spread. As I've said before, I advocate for personal responsibility and education (the exact opposite of what you claim).”
      =>indirectly with your God is a joke and anything goes in the bedroom you spread it.

      “$ex isn't the problem. $ex is a natural part of life.”
      =>Just ask the Greeks

      “And again, nobody is asking you to marry someone of your own gender. Nobody is even asking your church to preside over those marriages”
      =>when you applaud and champion anything goes you encourage the most vulnerable of our society.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "yet you promote $exual promiscuity with the liberal “safe $ex” [...] Your education of youth should be truthful."
      You just keep repeating the same old lies, don't you? All in an attempt to force your life style choices upon the rest of society.

      You said, "yes, and we have no experience on what a society of children raised in same $ex households will bring."
      Oh, but we do. Extensive studies have shown that children raised in same sex households perform just as well or better than their peers in school and grow up to be equally successful as adults. You may want to read up on science.

      You said, "We now have experience of what children raised in fatherless homes brings. The great Murphy Brown experiment was complete failure. Single parent kids are at significant risk."
      So, now you are blaming gays as the reason for single parent families? If you are so worried about kids growing up in single parent families, why do you keep insisting that perfectly suited parents shouldn't form a two parent family? Hypocritical much?

      You said, "I agree and we have 60 years of research now that shows the anything goes life style is not working. We have no science that can show the long term effects of gay marriage."
      Just because you run what you consider science through your biased filter doesn't mean it's correct.

      You said, "family structure rooted in sound traditions proves the best way to healthy life."
      Science says differently.

      You said, "Your experiment of the 60’s continues and you are blind to the negative real results of free love."
      Again, not my experiment.

      You said, "since 1965 God was taken out of the schools and put in the joke bin."
      Right where he/she/it belongs, I might add. Fairy tales have a very limited place in schools. Now, if you want your god to get back in schools, the only thing you have to do is provide some evidence he/she/it is real.

      You said, "You see the results clearly."
      Even if there is a correlation, and I'm not saying there is, that doesn't mean there is a causal relation.

      You said, "Just because a states older population pretends to be religious does not mean the kids are. The kids are more vulnerable to media and do not go to church as they once did."
      So now it's the media's fault?

      If your religious story is so compelling and so obviously beneficial as you claim, why is it losing ground then? If your god so omnipotent, how can it not be his/her/its will.

      You said, "Just ask the Greeks"
      Still going on about the pederasty, huh? Do you have a little boy fetish? Maybe you should have been a catholic priest a few decades ago. It's a little harder to get away with that kind of abuse these days.

      You said, "when you applaud and champion anything goes you encourage the most vulnerable of our society."
      Again, I don't.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      What we promote in our society or the example we give by our thoughts and actions has an effect on others. You cannot assume that just because you are not affected by the liberal sound bites there is not an effect. Even if you do not believe in God you should hold yourself responsible for your example.
      “You just keep repeating the same old lies, don't you? All in an attempt to force your life style choices upon the rest of society.”
      =>and you push your ways on society yet for some reason the way you go about it is more appealing.

      “Oh, but we do. Extensive studies have shown that children raised in same $ex households perform just as well or better than their peers in school and grow up to be equally successful as adults. You may want to read up on science.”
      =>no, there is no unbiased evidence of any kind out there. Please apply the rigorous standards you demand of God for evidence to this nonsense. I cannot believe you fail to see and understand how impressionable our children are. Raised by Tom and Tom produces a very different world view than being raised and experiencing proper relationships between a mom and dad. Perhaps you think one party can play mom and one plays dad but, that is not the way it goes down in real life.
      “You said, "We now have experience of what children raised in fatherless homes brings. The great Murphy Brown experiment was complete failure. Single parent kids are at significant risk."
      So, now you are blaming gays as the reason for single parent families?”
      =>you know that was the statement made.

      “ why do you keep insisting that perfectly suited parents shouldn't form a two parent family?”
      =>there cannot be a hetro role model in such a match with the exception of a small minority that are more male / female that of the same $ex.

      “Just because you run what you consider science through your biased filter doesn't mean it's correct.”
      =>science should be unbiased so you too recognize that the studies were biased.

      ‘You said, "family structure rooted in sound traditions proves the best way to healthy life."
      Science says differently.”
      =>let’s see you have 8 years of biased “study” compared with 10,000 years of actual history.
      “You said, "You see the results clearly."
      Even if there is a correlation, and I'm not saying there is, that doesn't mean there is a causal relation.”
      =>there is no other valid cause for the result that has more merit.

      “You said, "Just because a states older population pretends to be religious does not mean the kids are. The kids are more vulnerable to media and do not go to church as they once did."
      So now it's the media's fault?”
      =>you hold the parents responsible I hold the media responsible as it has been proven they do this with intent to lure. Parents are just flakes and never could keep up with youth and do the best they can. You went to school and how much influence did your parents have verses the pier pressure?

      “If your religious story is so compelling and so obviously beneficial as you claim, why is it losing ground then? If your god so omnipotent, how can it not be his/her/its will.”
      The baby boomers were from the free love generation that rejected tradition. Throughout history as with the Hebrews prosparity brings with it increased desires. God does not produce instent rewards. This combined with a generation that watched hypocracy in church, family and government will lead youth astray. The Chinese say the 3rd generation loses the fortunes built up by the first two that came from hard work. Time is on our hands we have too much of it and when things come easy we get soft.
      As to God He has warned us about this but also gives example time after time that man goes astray and prefers to follow his own way rather than the one God laid out. God has always said look here is the way. Man says thanks but no thanks. This being the case God made a way to reconcile those that want reconciliation as that is his will. Some choose the narrow path most do not. Throughout the Bible you noticed only a remnant elects to do things Gods way.
      “You said, "Just ask the Greeks"
      Still going on about the pederasty, huh?”
      =>no, I have great fear and concern for children. Adults and those who should be protecting children are to busy or abusive. The things that happen to a child form character that lasts a lifetime.

      “You said, "when you applaud and champion anything goes you encourage the most vulnerable of our society."
      Again, I don't.”
      =>there are children on this website searching. Give a good example.

      February 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "What we promote in our society or the example we give by our thoughts and actions has an effect on others."
      My thought have an effect on others? They read my mind now? Should I get paranoid?

      You said, "You cannot assume that just because you are not affected by the liberal sound bites there is not an effect."
      Without agreeing on what these "liberal sound bites" are, or what their effect is, if any, we mostly differ on whether they have a positive or negative effect.

      You said, "Even if you do not believe in God you should hold yourself responsible for your example."
      Same to you. Quit the hate and discrimination. You are setting a bad example.

      You said, "and you push your ways on society yet for some reason the way you go about it is more appealing."
      No, not letting delusions govern society, isn't the same as pushing what I want on it. I'm not trying to force anything on anyone who doesn't want to participate.

      You, just like everyone else, remain free to believe as you see fit.
      You, just like everyone else, remain free to love whomever you want.
      You, just like everyone else, remain free to marry who you want to marry.
      You, just like everyone else, remain free to raise your children as you feel is right.
      But you, just like everyone else, remain responsible for your own actions.

      You said, "no, there is no unbiased evidence of any kind out there."
      Just because you don't find the outcome palatable, doesn't mean it's biased.

      You said, "Please apply the rigorous standards you demand of God for evidence to this nonsense."
      The standard for evidence for your god are much, much lower. All I ask for is any evidence. It doesn't need to be much.

      You said, "I cannot believe you fail to see and understand how impressionable our children are. Raised by Tom and Tom produces a very different world view than being raised and experiencing proper relationships between a mom and dad. Perhaps you think one party can play mom and one plays dad but, that is not the way it goes down in real life."
      Just because it may be different, doesn't mean it's any less valid. I have a real problem with the religious indoctrination, that I consider child abuse, yet I don't deny you the right to subject your children to it.

      You said, "there cannot be a hetro role model in such a match with the exception of a small minority that are more male / female that of the same $ex."
      You, incorrectly, assume there is a necessity for one.

      You said, "science should be unbiased so you too recognize that the studies were biased."
      Just because you don't find the outcome palatable, doesn't mean it's biased.

      You said, "let’s see you have 8 years of biased “study” compared with 10,000 years of actual history."
      Just because you don't find the outcome palatable, doesn't mean it's biased.

      You said, "there is no other valid cause for the result that has more merit."
      Again, you assume there to be a negative effect for which you are looking for a cause. You may long for the way things were 50 or 100 years ago, but unless you "go Amish", they aren't coming back. The change in society is probably more caused by the advent of television and other technologies than anything else (no matter how much you like to blame the liberals).

      You said, "you hold the parents responsible I hold the media responsible as it has been proven they do this with intent to lure."
      While the media could do things differently, they are businesses. They are in their business to earn money. They earn money by appealing to target rich groups. It is the sole responsibility of the parents to regulate the consumption of their children.

      You said, "Parents are just flakes and never could keep up with youth and do the best they can. You went to school and how much influence did your parents have verses the pier pressure?"
      I grew up away from any large bodies of water, so I'm unfamiliar with pier pressure (just kidding). I am familiar with peer pressure. And while peer pressure affects children, their parents are their biggest influence. Open communication helps.

      You said, "there are children on this website searching. Give a good example."
      I am. I am showing anybody who cares to read this (and I doubt it is anyone but you and me on this particular thread) that there is absolutely no need for a belief in mythical beings, or religion to live a good and moral life. You should try it sometimes.

      See you on a different thread. I'm done on this one. I think we've strayed far enough and around a couple of times.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  8. Greg V

    Interesting to me that atheists flock to a story like this to post their intellectual insight. Most of them sound as narrow-minded as the very people they want to insult. At the end of the day, we all have more questions than answers. Where were you when the universe expanded? What caused it? No one knows anything FOR SURE. You don't have to believe in God, but don't pretend to have all the answers yourself.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Look in the mirror and repeat the last line. That's exactly what some of the halo-polishers on here do all the time.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • EatYouAlive

      When the religious stop being100% sure of their completely unproven "god", then we atheists will stop flouting the merits of PROOF at them. OK?

      February 20, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • AmericanSam

      I'm with Greg V. Atheists are not going to convince anyone of anything if they don't learn to show a little respect for others' beliefs. That's not to say Christians aren't just as guilty (or perhaps more guilty). I think we could all do with a little more positive interaction and discussion. Telling people how stupid they are for believing something does two things: they hate you and they cling to their beliefs even more than before. Practice kindness!

      February 20, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • kme

      "At the end of the day, we all have more questions than answers."

      Exactly, but one group embraces and explores this truth while the other denies it.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Chase

      EAY... you hit the nail right on the head.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • A Theist

      @Tom Tom
      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
      Why would he repeat the last line while looking in the mirror? He's talking about YOU. He already stated that no one can be absolutely certain about everything. You "accidental universe" people , though, have it all figured out. You've explored all corners of the universe and know for sure there is no God, right? No wonder God calls you stupid. "The FOOL has said in his heart there is no God." Psalms 14:1

      February 20, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Greg V

      EatYouAlive - No one, theist nor atheist, has really proved anything regarding the subject. Acknowledging you don't the answer is one thing. But if you're an atheist and your existence (and everyone else's) is about to end, why are you spending so much time and energy trying to disprove something? What do you stand to gain from that? I think that's a sincere question.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are full of shit. I have stated repeatedly that neither I nor anyone else knows how the universe came to be. I have no time for muttonheads like you who make claims that you can't back up and then act as if you're superior to those who don't buy your mumbo-jumbo wholesale. You cannot prove that a supernatural being created the universe, nor can I prove one did not. I have never said otherwise, idiot.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Atheists are not going to convince anyone of anything if they don't learn to show a little respect for others' beliefs. " So, you want to kill me and burn my house, and you think I should be more respectful of that? Bite me.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why should I show any "respect" toward those who accuse me of being immoral? Why should I show any 'respect' for the beliefs of others when they try to force me to live by those beliefs I do not share? Why should I show any 'respect' to those who would abrogate my legal rights because they don't like the laws we have in this country? Why should I show any "respect" to those who continually blabber that anyone who doesn't believe EXACTLY what they do is going to suffer in the lake of fire?

      Get bent.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Greg V

      You said, "No one, theist nor atheist, has really proved anything regarding the subject."
      True, but the merit of ones position depends on the evidence. The theist's position is that there is a god. This position has no merit until evidence is provided in support of that claim. Until such evidence is provided, all merit is with the other positions.

      There are two other positions. The most radical one is a belief that there are no gods. The other one is disbelieve there are any. Please note the subtle but critical difference. The former one is a statement of belief, the latter is one of disbelief.

      Absence of any evidence for or against the existence of gods, gives the disbelieve position virtually all of the merit.

      You said, "Acknowledging you don't the answer is one thing. But if you're an atheist and your existence (and everyone else's) is about to end, why are you spending so much time and energy trying to disprove something?"
      The tongue-in-cheek answer would be: To try to save a soul.

      I doubt that I've "converted" anyone who was a firm believer. But, who knows, maybe I'll convince someone who's still on the fence.

      You said, "What do you stand to gain from that? I think that's a sincere question."
      I would like to see the beneficial effects of religion without the nasty parts. Society would be much better off if we could dispense with the religion based hate and bigotry. It'd be better if we could reduce the intrusion and interference of religion on those that believe differently (or not at all).

      February 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Where were you when the universe expanded? " Right here. it's constantly expanding. Anything else?

      February 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Atheists are not going to convince anyone of anything" In my whole life, I have met less than ten people who I believe actually believed in God up in the sky looking after them, and they weren't very bright. Most Christians don't believe it either, they just use it to get their way and put others down. My proof is that they lie all the time, and they wouldn't do that if they thought God was listening to them. Why would I try to convince you when I know you don't believe?

      February 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  9. Matthew Cottrell

    TOW THE LINE?????? What kind of CNN idiot is this author?? It's TOE the line (unless you are pulling a canal barge).

    And oh by the way, I'm a cancer survivor, so don't give me any of that insensitivity BS.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  10. FEAR

    We're all just food for decay

    February 20, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Bible Clown

      Not me. Germs are afraid of me.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  11. Duane DenBoer

    Sad and so typical that the news would find one of the pastors who has served himself for so many years, only to fall away in the end, rather than following a faithful man of God who served those who God placed in his care (though it be much smaller than 5,000) and persevered to the end. Jesus said that MANY will come to him in the day of judgment and say "Lord, didn't we do great things in your name?" and Jesus will reply, "Depart from me, I never knew you." All of you who are jumping at this chance to slander and insult Christians have no effect on those who know the truth and you will one day stand before this Lord, whom you mock, and have to answer for your folly.

    I can say this. I now know where Rob Bell got it from.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Nonimus

      If Atheists do meet God in an afterlife, I'm sure they, and God, will take comfort in the fact that, unlike many Christians, they, at least, didn't do anything evil in Jesus' name.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • TERMOYL

      ...hahaha...you're funny.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Bible Clown

      Yep, once I'm dead I'm going to feel so . . . dead. Get real. Dead people don't come back. They don't have adventures and meet new people in new places, because they are dead. You can't understand that part?

      February 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  12. TR in ATL

    We all have a purpose in life.

    Some choose to use it wisely like this gentleman. Some choose to ignore GOD and mock His existence.

    Just remember, we will all know GOD one day. It's so much more enjoyable knowing Him now and knowing where I'll spend eternity than meeting Him after my last breath and learning then that He is real and He judges those harshly who have chosen to ignore Him.

    Please don't ignore Him another day. Try reading the Bible for a few weeks. Start in the book of John. GOD will transform your life and you can live.

    TR

    February 20, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • tony

      Purpose is what you decide you want to see happen in this world. A god-given purpose is the opposite of free will.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • TR in ATL

      tony, the most exciting part of giving your life to Jesus is every GOD-given purpose is exactly what you'll want in your life. You see how much better His plan is for you and your (free) will is transformed. Give it a try. Don't be so sure of your choices. Are they working for you today???

      February 20, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Steve

      It amazes me how the mind protects its ego and wants so badly to live in a world of delusion, where one cherry picks scripture and refuses to accept what is right in front of one's face. I read the gospels and found both good and bad in it (like most things). Many christians, as soon as they get questioned frequently react as if they are suffering perspecution and of course rely on the immediate threat of hellfire upon those who question. Sad indeed. When you read the scriptures do you not notice the contradictions? In mark it states "those who are not against us are with us". Then in Matthew it states "those who not with us are against us". Strange eh? How bout Jesus insisting that he came to fulfill the law and that it is in effect until ALL is fulfilled. Paul says otherwise and we go with that. How bout the fact that "John" is almost completely different in his accounts that the other 3 synoptic gospels, did they not see the events that John saw? Did he not see what they saw? Strange. The whole idea if hellfire for those with an opposing view should be rejected as the height of evil. I can imagine Gandhi being BBQ'd right now..oh the love. Humanity needs to move beyond the ideological box that is christianity, the justification for patriarchy, slavery, genocide, God based execution for the most frivolous of offenses. The irony of the blind leading the blind indeed.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • KENNY

      all religion is/was created by men to control other men..... if there is a supreme being, god, he couldn't care less about us in a universe so vaste we can't even count the number of stars let alone planets. Our existence depends on our brain, when it dies, we die and cease to exist for all time. That's it, no nothing, you won't even know you are dead. Stop obsessing over it and you'll live a better life which is the purpose.. .always be,do better... its that simple... when you stop moving forward being/doing better you die inside and eventually outside, ie drugs/alc/depression... etc.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • NNx592QA

      @TR in ATL
      I have no idea what you are talking about. I don't know what God is. Jesus, if I am informed correctly, was a man who died 2,000 years ago. I don't know what you mean by "giving my life to Jesus".

      February 20, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Bible Clown

      "Try reading the Bible for a few weeks." Why do you assume I haven't? I've had that thing shoved at me all my life, and I still think it's bogus. Tell ya what, how about you read the Quran about six times and let Allah come into your heart? That be ok? Give it a try – more people believe in Allah than in Jehovah, you know.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  13. Religion is Not Healthy for the Individual or Society

    Prayer changes nothing.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • DonApologia

      You know this how?

      February 20, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • EatYouAlive

      Because, as usual, there is NO EVIDENCE.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Mrs. S

      Dear Pastor Ed, I hope you read this...I am a Jew and have a deep love for G-d, but I tell you everyday is a struggle. For me its not ALS, but multiple autoimmune disorders that required early retirement. I ask you to consider reading the more complex abstracts of how G-d manifests, His eminations, the levels of Light etc. Both Islam and Judaism go into these subjects in depth. I don't believe your faith has slackened, its the rope we cling to as humans we often take for granted while busy with life. May G-d bless you with ongoing courage and your dear wife with enduring love.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Steve

      Actually there is evidence that prayer does have a positive effect, just like meditation. There has been some scientific investigation of its effects and what it amounts to is that if people know they are being prayed for their isa physiological benefit. If they does not. What does this mean? if means it has a placebo effect, that is all. Now some may claim "how do you know?". For those I would say are you telling me god picks and chooses who to help, nice to the small minority, and does not help the majority. How callous of him. If the most important part of life, according to christians, is the morality test that ultimately decides if you go to heaven or hell (for eternal torture). So why give a 4 year old boy Glioblastoma or the potential thereof? Makes no sense in that context does it? Or when infants die in childbirth, oh god wanted him/her back did he..changed his mind? Or was it to teach the parents some kind of lesson? How bout when a snake bites a child and provides a wonderful neurotoxin. More of god's games eh? Does prayer help here or science? The original poster is largely right, not that prayer does nothing, but that it does little..just like a sugar pill, religion is the biggest placebo ever invented...by man.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  14. Kepley

    Thank you for sharing your experience pastor Ed. Your story gives the believer a perspective that is often missed in service.
    I believe you have found what the Christ Jesus refereed to when he said that to find him you must loose your own life.
    Thank you for being brave and sharing your experience.
    I have been blessed because of it.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  15. tony

    This is an educational example to "believers" that prayer, or having a religious(pious) life doesn't seem to have had any more effect than non-prayer or living as an atheist. But on the bright side, he fooled a lot of you into giving him a work-free good living.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • DonApologia

      What a nasty, mean spirited thing to say. You obviously did not read the entire article. Was that too much work for a troll?

      February 20, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Nicholas Robinson

      So sorry, but I completely agree with tony. Spending a life teaching "God's word" or indeed, anything to do with religion, is a life completely and utterly wasted. Spending our tax dollars on it would be madness. It's a pity that those who believe in God or gods will, as they slip into Oblivion, be screaming "Oh no, I wasted my entire life believing in something that was only in my imagination . . ."

      February 20, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Bible Clown

      He lived well off the hate in Christian hearts, and no doubt encouraged a few murders and house-burnings along the way. Now he's wondering how to make a few extra bucks in retirement, and you fellows are willing to buy his new line of nasty stuff. Man, if there really WAS a devil, he'd be high-fiving Hitler right now.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things*

    February 20, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • tony

      This message brought to you by our "Prayer-Bot". Do not reply to-this message as there is no-one there to receive it.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • TERMOYL

      But not really... :)

      February 20, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Nicholas Robinson

      Talking about sending messages out to no one who will receive them . . . that's called "prayer."

      February 20, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful
      Productive
      Prayer changes things

      February 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Prayer changes things" Dear God, please give the person who posted this message painful anal warts.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  17. contraryjim

    Self deception becomes more difficult the closer to death. One realizes that god & religion are human constructs and there is no reason to believe in an after life.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • DonApologia

      We are all on our way to death's door, some closer than they think. Your post reveals nothing of reality beyond the limits of your narrow beliefs. As a sciwentifically minded person I should ask for the evidence for your perspective, but I don't expect a rational reply.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  18. Mary Jane

    We are all dying. Stop living in the past. Stop looking to future. Live in the now. It's the only way to live. Get high, stay high.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Nicholas Robinson

      Well, to each his own, but I certainly wouldn't be quick to embrace YOUR dogma . . . it needs a good scrubbing in the kitchen sink.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Bible Clown

      I live in the present by using my past experiences to plan the future.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  19. Kansan

    Today's assignment: define the most tedious form of discourse on Earth. Answer: a debate about God's existence in the CNN comments section.

    You're brainwashed idiots! You're souless morons! blah blah blah blah.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Nonimus

      "Answer: a debate about God's existence in the CNN comments section."

      Wouldn't a comment about the most tedious debate be slightly more tedious?

      February 20, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  20. I wonder if his new versoin of God still hates gays?

    This man preached against me and my family for decades. He raised a massive fortune in donations based on hate... and helped put more than on President in office.

    I wonder if his new version of Christianity includes hatred of anything different than what he understands? I hope not.

    Gary in Tampa

    February 20, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • TERMOYL

      Good one... All of the sudden we're supposed to applaud this dispenser of hate-filled dogma and religious prejudice, because he is dying? HAHAHA... Nice way to plug his movies too.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • tom

      Much like Falwell, give this man an enema and you could bury him in a matchbox.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:23 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.