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Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout
March 24th, 2012
05:44 PM ET

Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN)– Billed as a watershed moment in the atheism movement, a gathering of atheists, agnostics and humanists drew large numbers of non-theists to the Washington Mall Saturday despite bad weather.

Put on by a coalition of atheist and humanist organizations, the rally was touted as the largest gathering of non-theists in the history of the world. Headlined by a number of high-profile speakers, including Richard Dawkins, the author of “The God Delusion,” organizers said the event shows that atheism is a powerful minority in American life.

“We will never be closeted again,” said David Silverman, the rally’s head organizer. “In years to come, the Reason Rally will be seen as the beginning of the end to the religious right’s grip” on American life.

With thunderstorms moving through the area, rain had threatened to dampen the event. However, Silverman and other organizers said they were elated by the turnout, especially in light of the rain.

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

The idea of thousands of atheists gathering drew the ire of religious groups. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a controversial group known for picketing and protesting at funerals of U.S. service members, were in attendance and chanted at the rally-goers.

In large part however, protests were rare and not aggressive.

Silverman had said prior to the event that the rally would not be an exercise in “religion bashing,” but in a number of instances, religion and the belief in God was, in fact, denounced.

Taslima Nasrin, the author of “Shame,” categorized the Muslim prophet Mohammed as a charlatan, a pedophile and a rapist. A wooden cross was constructed in the middle of the crowd and a sign that read “Banish the 10 Commandments to the dustbin of history,” was hung from it.

An iReporter takes on the Reason Rally

Under umbrellas and ponchos, college insignia and fresh faces dotted the rally crowd.

For many of the students in attendance, the event was more than just a large gathering; for them, it was a coming-out party.

“The reason why events like this help is because of the confidence people get in seeing other people that think like you,” said Mark D. Hatcher, founder of the Secular Student Alliance at Howard University in Washington. “It is important to realize you are not alone.”

Hatcher and other atheists have co-opted much of the same lingo used in the gay rights movement. “Coming out” and “in the closest” are both terms regularly used because, according to Hatcher, telling people you are an atheist is comparable to telling people you are gay.

“Being younger, you are especially exposed to being labeled a pariah when you come out of the closet,” Hatcher said.

Rebecca Cunningham, a graduate of the University of Michigan, said that her freshman year at college was that moment for her. Cunningham was raised in a Christian family, but a few months before leaving for school, she started to doubt her belief in God.

Shortly after arriving at Michigan, Cunningham went to a Secular Student Alliance meeting.

“It helped me come out,” Cunningham said. “It was the first group of people that I met who weren’t religious in some form. They taught me that it was OK; they taught me that I was OK.”

Jesse Galef, the alliance’s communications director, said stories such as Cunningham’s show why his group tries to mobilize on campuses.

“One of the biggest things we do at the Secular Student Alliance is connect them [local groups] with a larger movement that is supporting them and giving them a grass-roots presence,” said Galef.

Jessica Ahlquist, a 16-year-old high school student who won a lawsuit against her city for a prayer banner that was displayed in her high school, was also a speaker at the event.

She touched upon the need for more student groups in high schools and colleges during her remarks. After the speech, she told CNN that students are a critical place for the atheism movement to focus its efforts.

“This community is all about bringing people together and talking about a secular future,” Ahlquist said. “I think that future comes from the students.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism

soundoff (1,305 Responses)
  1. Matthew

    Is this an athiest gathering or Occupy Wallstreet protest? They look the same in the picture.

    March 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you have any first-hand experience with either, or are you another mutton-head like fred, basing your judgment on a single photo?

      March 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Can't be a occupy movement ..lack of a minorities ...i thought that the klan was marching on Washington DC

      lol

      March 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • fred

      Mark
      You are onto something. The minorities knew enough to get out of the rain or at least bring one umbrella. Then again they are probably inside under the “big tent”

      March 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • TING

      .i thought that the klan was marching on Washington DC

      We should compare the intelligence of this crowd with the crowd at a klan rally and the crowd at a Billy Graham Crusade to see how all three stack up.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • fred

      TING
      Statistically atheists win in all important worldly categories of being smarter, richer and having more $ex. The bad news is if today we all became atheists they would bring down their own numbers.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • LOL

      "Statistically atheists win in all important worldly categories of being smarter, richer and having more $ex"

      Now see I would think a Mormon polygamist would have more sex, Oh..and didn't a Christian just spew nonsense that the jews are the wealthy ones....LOL!

      March 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • fred

      LOL
      The Mormons wear magic underwear for a reason.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Ting – If you define intelligence as people gathering at a rally in complete unity because they believe in absolutely nothing, then I'm not sure the other groups you mention can compete with that. Always beware of the one who proclaims to be smarter than the next guy.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • You gotta love fred!

      Great line from fred: "Statistically atheists win in all important worldly categories of being smarter, richer and having more $ex. The bad news is if today we all became atheists they would bring down their own numbers"

      Yes fred, your stupidity would bring down the averages, and if you include everyone, then they must be the average.

      Mighty good thunkin' ya done, fred!

      March 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • J.W

      The Amish have the most s3x.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • fred

      J.W
      That's cause their horsin around all day

      March 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Spayed Knight, that wasn't the purpose of the gathering.

      You and ferdy can go sit on the stupid bench.

      March 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  2. fred

    Nice photo shoot CNN. I do not see one single minority in the group of 500 atheists. We could use this shot as a promo for a republican gathering on diversity. Lets see we all believe the same thing, we have the same skin, we belong to an organization where all people claim to be smarter than Jesus, we have the same purpose in life as does a frog, we are united in purpose, all our thoughts and actions are exactly as predicted in the Bible, we are the creators of our morality, like the rest of the animal kingdom our knowledge about the universe is roughly the same percentage wise as apes and dolphins (.00000000000000001%)......................a picture is worth a thousand words

    March 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ferd, were you there? Or are you basing this entire rant on the one picture you see here?

      People who WERE there have stated that there were men and women of color, and that they ranged in age from 2 to 70.

      What I really wonder is why you're SO threatened by such a gathering.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • momoya

      Are you saying that non-belief in gods is racist because you judge one picture as being representative of the entire group??. How fvcking stupid are you?

      March 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • tbreeden

      Your comment, on the other hand, isn't worth any words.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And really, bozo, where do you get the notion that without belief in a god, a person's life is meaningless? If you need to worship some invisible fairy to give meaning to your life, go right ahead. I find meaning in my work, my family, my friends, nature, music, art, literature.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom
      What I really wonder is if what you say is correct then CNN intentionally took a misleading photo
      Oh, complements on your hair

      March 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "compliments", dumb sh!t. Don't quit your day job, Shecky.

      Good god, you're stupid.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • TING

      organization where all people claim to be smarter than Jesus.

      That doesn't say a lot considering Jesus was illiterate. You would think that God would have made certain that Jesus could read and write considering what he had to say was so important for the world.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • fred

      momoya
      Do you think atheists represent a cross section of America? I think not they on average score higher on standardized tests, have more income, enjoy $ex more, enjoy different $ex more etc. etc.
      I am not trying be negative statistics show a different profile. There are lots of reasons why Republicians are often labeled as old white fat guys and I am sure there are lots of reasons atheists do not represent average America demographics

      March 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • derf

      Actually, the clip posted below does show two negroes. Otherwise the Westboro crowd is about as diverse as the larger group of zealots.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Naaah ... the Republican gatherings if there was any minorities they would be front and center on the photo. Well on FoxNews they would be ...CNN would not show minorities... they need to keep the democrat party line that there are no minorities in the Republican party.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom
      Sorry Tom Tom did not mean to ruin your good hair day, rain can do that. Take another look at the picture and it tells a different story than what you claim. Truth is the ratio of atheists is not the same across demographic lines. Even the % of ho-mo$exual atheists is significantly different than the general population.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @ Fred ~~ As you may be aware, demonstrations like this tend to draw students and more protest-oriented liberal crowd. But do not be confused... we DO have a much more "normal" demographic than you are probably aware. I hate to burst your bubble, but we probably look a lot like people you know. I really hope this doesn't create extreme paranoia and anxiety the next time you venture out of your trailer for a Wal-Mart run.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • fred

      ClosetAtheist
      Not even close as to Hispanic or African American populations in the U.S. with ho-mo$exual statistics just as bad. You cannot come out of the closet if you are not going to be honest about some basics

      March 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Once again, your lack of reading comprehension skills has done you in. I didn't say that there was a particular percentage of minorities there, freddy. I said that those who were there said there were people of color. Just because you don't see them in one photo is no sign of a duck's nest.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom
      You are right I heard there was a rainbow over the tent.
      If CNN was smart they would have shown the rainbow and we could be arguing about Noah and the ark. God sent the rainbow as a sign that God would never again wipe out the godless with a flood. That would have spiked CNN web click through profits more than placing a white guy in a red suit like the demons in Twilite wore.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You couldn't compose a more garbled post if you had your cat write it.

      March 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Dennis

      fred is hard to pin down, but you guys are doing a great job at it. He's an artful dodger and he'll keep changing the subject on you and telling fibs, but keep working at him. He can't even be honest with himself, which is part of his problem, and a common problem that religious folk have.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • fred

      Dennis
      Not sure how you get the impression I am not honest. I often fail to understand but that is a comprehension issue not honesty.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Otto

      Nothing fails like prayer.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • tbreeden

      If prayer changed things, your comment would have disappeared.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • WASP

      @tbreeden: lol

      March 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Jesus

      -.You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.!

      March 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Dennis

      fred is hard to pin down, but you guys are doing a great job of it. He's an artful dodger and he'll keep changing the subject on you and telling fibs, but keep working at him. He can't even be honest with himself, which is part of his problem, and a common problem that religious folk have.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  4. hippypoet

    can't we all just get along?

    oh wait, thats right, no we can't because some "god" creature commands us to kill in his name while upholding laws that state not to kill....just think about it!!

    March 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Brad

      But it's so hard to resist those commands ...

      March 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • timeforchange12

      first, "god" doesn't tell people to kill in his name, where did you get that? Second, as another atheist, you need to look up your facts before you start dissing religion, and try not to be in their face about being a atheist, then maybe we might get some peace from them...

      March 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Bob

      Negatory, tfc12. It is precisely high time now to be in the faces of the religious fraud sellers such as the Christian fundiots, and to be standing up very publicly against their idiocy..

      And sorry to burst your bubble, but here are a few of the many instances of Christian god demanding killing and other horrors:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      "Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."

      Then in Leviticus, bible god gets downright weird and horrid in asking for animals to be killed and burned for him because he likes the smell of burning flesh. (and yeah, Jesus said those old OT laws still apply).

      and then there's god purportedly ordering Abraham to kill his own son, and mentally torturing him in the process.

      And let's not even get started on that nasty Allah guy and what he wants his flock to do to the non-sheeple for him...

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of religion.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • hippypoet

      actually i know rather a lot of the pointlessness of religion and i have gotten past the whole lets kill'em with kindness crap...now i am as honest about things as i can be and am often told to reword as what i have to say is apparently offensive! it doesn't bother me to bother them or you, not that i SHOULD care about bothering anyone if its the truth...hey guess what – your mortal and will therefore die...get past the small stuff , you know, the stuff you have no power control but to accept! acknowledgement and acceptance is the first key to striking a true meaningful victory over falsehoods and delusions that breed war thru racisms and others hatreds.
      if you lack the ability to acknowledge then you will forever fail. these things i strive to spread, truth is not just accepting but living. Its much easiler said then done and any believer of "god" can say that as well, for how many of them sin against there beloved "god" while condemning others for the same deeds!
      truth is spoken without care of hurt feelings and so should it be!

      March 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • fred

      @hippy
      Pilate asked Jesus what is truth yet he knew and tried to get out of the execution of Christ. How do you know the truth any more than Christ did?
      @Bob
      Consider Bob, if there is a God certainly God is much bigger than you give credit. Abraham would never have been able kill if God did not allow it already knowing a ram was provided for sacrifice. The Amalekites and Moabites had serious issues that may have been genetic or simply evil to the core. Regardless, we really do not have the complete story. All parts of the Bible fit together so we can rest assured that more than simply killing of babies was the purpose. For all we know it could be here just to trip up people that are looking to smear God and reveal their true character.

      March 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Bob

      fred, really funny how you keep twisting and squirming as you attempt to avoid the inevitable conclusion that your god is purely fictional. We've been over this before, and you've never once had a valid argument that you could make. You just keep squirming, little fredworm. Must be painful for you, to lie to yourself like that, and do it so often.

      Again, if the story has been incompletely told in your bible or is otherwise flawed, then your god has a weak marcomm department and isn't a valid omnipotent being.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free from the nasty supersti-tion known as Christianity.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • fred

      Bob
      If I squirm then we squirm. That is we are squirming on the same issues so far. You claim God is a killer I say that does not fit the profile of God. The pasages you refer to do not give specific reasons for killing the babies of Amalekites or Moabites. Where the reasons are important the Bible makes it clear. If the reason was important we would have been told. You make it important because you want to paint God in a bad light.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • hippypoet

      why not FRED, shouldn't all of the written message of so called "gods" be taken as important as the next? speaking of course that is if your so called "god" or any others does infact exist...which, if so, then ALL information given if taken in the same light then suddenly all "gods" take on an equal form of myth, story of old to explain the unexplainable of the age, and as time moves on so should we yet we do not...well some do not rather! Holding to traditions is a tradition in on itself but so tradition states also that traditions change...in the words of Rafiki "It is time!"

      March 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • hippypoet

      lol, now that one i like! 🙂

      too bad it wasn't a rebuttal. 😦

      March 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • fred

      Hippy
      God is different than all the gods you refer. God cannot and has not been defined because man cannot understand the nature of God. God is eternal and without form or shape that we can comprehend. All we know is the attributes of God as shown in the Bible. All these attributes are expressed as man can understand them.
      Atheists cannot express or know it either. We cannot prove God because God is beyond us. All we can do is point to observations. Your observation is that like animals we just die like a common rat. This goes against all observable evidence. You make assumptions that a bear protects its cubs as a result of evolution and humans nurture their babies as a result of evolution. You cannot speak to purpose of existence because you deny any observation outside that which cannot speak of purpose. When Neanderthal looked to heavens and worshiped you say it was because they did not understand. Well, you do not understand anything more than a bear does in this same regard and you are proud to say so.
      Do Christians understand anything more than a bear understands? Yes, we too worship God as did the earliest of intelligent man. We get it not by tradition but by faith. People get led down different paths and some go for Buda and others Yahweh etc,. That is because we are simple men and cannot grasp the fullness of God but, that does not stop us from being in awe of God. Neanderthal and the vast majority of people alive today understand purpose of life beyond that of a bear or a rat. It is not tradition it is a homing beacon. Even you made the decision to accept or reject God…………….bears and rats are not given that question. You did not make up atheism you are following the priest of nothingness and the traditions of the atheist. Your excuses for dying like a rat are like all the other atheists. So call it tradition if want but it applies to you as well.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • fred

      Poet
      Violets are blue
      Roses are red
      Wish you loved Jesus
      as does fred

      March 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Otto

      "We get it not by tradition but by faith."

      Your faith is a tradition.

      Faith is the acceptance of a belief without proper evidence, it is not a virtue. When you accept a proposition on faith you stop looking for the real answer. Saying god is beyond our comprehension is a fallacy, you have no way of knowing if it is true, it is an unquestioned answer. Faith has the same benefit of theft over hard work, the only effort you have to put into it is the work of self-delusion or worse allowing others to create your delusion. "God works in mysterious ways" is a simple answer for a simple mind.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Otto

      "The pasages you refer to do not give specific reasons for killing the babies of Amalekites or Moabites"

      So killing babies and other innocent people is ok for god because he 'probably had a good reason'. In other words 'might makes right'......'do as I say not as I do'..... I don't accept that as moral, your god is an asshat.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Bob

      No, fred, you sickening weasel. You are the only one squirming.

      Actually, that's a disservice to weasels.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • fred

      Otto

      Not sure that is true as the atheists on this board had me running around checking all kinds of information. When some say Jesus never existed I looked and there was sufficient information. When they said there was no other evidence of the Hebrews I looked and there was. Certainly there is no evidence that can prove God. I don’t think atheists look for evidence of God any harder than Christians do. Simple faith is a good beginning but it is tested constantly and one needs to stay in prayer and reading the Bible or they fall off quick.
      I could also say atheism is rejection of God without sufficient evidence. If I had not had a personal experience with God that lead to a conversion I would still not believe today simply due to lack of evidence. Often times that is all I have to fall back on when the faith gets weak………I look at what Jesus did for me and yes it is simple but it happened. We serve a living God not by tradition but because God is alive through me. Certainly, tradition is mixed in as I follow the tradition of Paul and the early believers.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Bob

      fred, present your experience. Present your evidence. We're waiting.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      What do we know about the Amalekites and Moabites other than what the Bible tells us? I am saying we have an account where the Bible says God instructed an entire tribe be wiped out. All we have is what is in the Bible to explain it. What surrounds the events gives us insight into why but we really do not know. The attributes of God tells it was for good. In the absence of specific writing to the contrary I assume it was for good.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • fred

      Bob
      There is no acceptable evidence to prove the existence of God.
      I thought the Bible nonsense and the stories a joke until one day after great loss I caught a Bible out of the corner of my eye that was bent open. I looked at that one verse and could not put the Bible down until I asked Jesus to be my Lord an Savior. Life has never been the same since. Everything I do follows what God would have me do.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • hippypoet

      fred, after a very long day at school, one day when i was young. i was missing something extremely important to me. Suddenly i saw the twelve days of christmas and i asked santa to bring me presents and sure enough on the morning of christmas i had a great many gifts under my tree. A month later we cancelled hbo due to lack of funds but yet i didn't care because santa brought me a brand new bike...i still think it was amazing that my father knew i was getting a bike because for my birthday eailer that year he got me a helmet!

      i find this story a parallel to yours...sadly.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Please keep in mind that like your story mine is also based on truth and like yours is thick with lies to feed the imaginations of children to keep them into it. Grow up and join the rest of us adults.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Otto

      "Simple faith is a good beginning but it is tested constantly and one needs to stay in prayer and reading the Bible or they fall off quick."

      Fred,

      I am not a young man, I have been around long enough to know that 'truth' does not need constant validation. Lies and deception do though. I went to christian school and was taught all the dogma. When preachers are asked tough questions their 'answers' consist of "it is god's way", "it's not right to question god" and "god works in mysterious ways". Those that stop asking questions find god, those that keep asking questions throw away faith as false. I did not 'lose faith', I gave it up willingly, tossed it aside like an unneeded crutch and like you I have never been happier or more content. If there was truth in Jesus I should be misrerable, but I have better morals and more love for those around me then ever before.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • fred

      Poet
      God did not promise you a new bike and actually said if you follow me real life will get hard but, I will give you the strength to make it through. The Apostles and Jesus not only dealt with natural events they also were persecuted for their faith and had horrific final moments on this earth. Making matters worse even if you do not believe the Bible the story shows Abraham, Jacob, Moses etc. never entered the Promised Land and died in hope not the reality. This would be Santa coming on the 25th and taking stuff from you and never delivering the bike or helmet.

      March 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      “ 'truth' does not need constant validation. Lies and deception do though.”
      =>non believers on this site are always asking for proof and evidence that meets certain standards which unfortunately apply only to the physical realm. God does not provide any proofs other than what was already given. In that regard it looks like God agrees with you.
      Atheists that claim a frog and a human have the same purpose in life also validate their belief constantly. My thought was more along the lines of a relationship with God which like any personal relationship requires attention and commitment to stay alive. A relationship that was not true in that case would require constant validation.

      “ When preachers are asked tough questions their 'answers' consist of "it is god's way", "it's not right to question god" and "god works in mysterious ways".
      =>There are many things the Bible does not give a direct answer to. God expects us to ask questions which is biblical. We are only given the answers we need to seek unity with God. We do not have all the answers without God in the same way. The Bible and the truths we are given are simply to guide those who seek to be redeemed by God. The truths always apply to that path even though the principles of God apply whether you believe in God or not.

      “ Those that stop asking questions find god, those that keep asking questions throw away faith as false.”
      =>I am still asking questions but, this site is very dangerous if your faith gets shaky.

      “If there was truth in Jesus I should be miserable, but I have better morals and more love for those around me then ever before.”
      =>No, Jesus said if you follow expect rough seas and persecution. The promise is that you will go through joy, pain and suffering. If you have given your life to Christ then such will work to the Glory of God as it is Christ who lives in you. If you reject God then the promise is an accounting of your life’s work in the absence of Christ’s covering.
      Atheists have faith that if you are a good moral loving person or a Follower of Christ both will die like a frog.

      March 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Fred, my post about santa is to show how the same thing creates belief in santa as does belief in god – someone first telling you its real, then having someone not tell you the truth later on! I find santa to be a better fiction however for if the money is right then gifts are mine to have and play with to my hearts content!

      Have you ever met an adult who believes in santa?
      Have you met an adult who doesn't?
      view the differences and you will see the differences in truth and fiction of your own belief system as well!
      they are parallels.

      please explain to me how belief in something that is extremely unlikely better for you then focusing your energy on the here and now – on life instead of the hope of life after death which is again HIGHLY UNLIKELY!

      March 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • fred

      Poet
      “please explain to me how belief in something that is extremely unlikely better for you then focusing your energy on the here and now – on life instead of the hope of life after death which is again HIGHLY UNLIKELY”
      =>Abraham had his choice of land yet gave Lot his first choice and Lot took the prime real estate. Lot as mayor (gate keeper) of Sodom was one of the wealthy in town yet his choice cost him the decency of his family (daughters in particular) and any respect he had. Abraham basically walked with God and did as he thought God wanted. Abraham and Lot both died. Lot fathered the Moabites with his daughters and they were a terrible clan eventually wiped out. Abraham had Isaac and Ishmael the children of which are modern day Jews and Arabs the result of Gods promise to Abraham that he would bless his seed and prosper the nation that would be very numerous. There is Gods promise and if you believe in God or not the story checks out.
      We can learn from God or if you think God nonsense then at least learn from the story. This answers your question about focus on the now or God (the hope the promise). Lot in the now nothing good can be said. Abraham in the hope and vision of a promised land resulted in the two greatest religions of God Christianity and Islam. Both are still marching to the Promised land and both kick each other in the teeth as the Bible stated thousands of years ago. Our next world war will most likely center on these people. Our elections in the U.S. center on the fate of Israel and fear of Islam with no president ever elected that was not a Christian. In short a life of hope even though the promise is never seen in the present has a significantly profound effect. Based on facts that can be seen and measured it really does not matter if the promise is likely or highly unlikely since it is never seen.
      As for me the result is a family and friends that have morals assigned by God (90% of which are the same as yours) and a hope in a promise. At worst I lose business because I do things completely above board and in truth with a reputation of being trustworthy, loving and kind. At worst I am out the money I give the church. Money that goes to charities are selected so the most goes to help the intended and there is no downside to that. If there is no God then my time at some church related functions would be lost time but, no more so than being a sports fan is lost at death. If there is no God I spend eternity with Abraham and Noah etc. If there is a God nothing changes as Abraham and I still find the same Promised Land. In short I would be out the money I give to the church and that’s about it. Who knows some of that may have been well spent.

      March 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • hippypoet

      ummm, why did you regale me with the story of ab and lot? i know that story very well. You brought up the moabites – see, thats funny to me because of one thing, the great king, king david is a moabite...also just for kicks you said this -" Abraham in the hope and vision of a promised land resulted in the two greatest religions of God Christianity and Islam." why do you not count the jews amongst them? they came first and from them all the teachings of YOUR god so why do you count them out like that?

      oh and just so you know, there may be no truth at all to the stories of lot and his oh so holy bro ab. these things have been subjected to the culture that bore them life – which consists of oral traditions based on each tribes morals and ethics of the time and they as people do over time change! There is no physical evidence for anything you believe in nor the stories to back them up...all save but one, the story of jesus...however that now is more story then truth, as does all stories over time – its like the game telephone, every new caller addes a piece of themselves to the story and forever changes it from its original. Just like jewish lore turned christian turned islamic! same story difference story tellers and difference listeners to repeat the changed story. the only constant thing is the fact that the story has changed over time.

      why don't you attempt to view the entire story as it may have actually happened... using real life pains and joys to create the p@ssions of those whom you base you life on...find out why in real human terms why they made such choices by taking up a difference perspective on the same story!

      can you see a world were mary, so called mother of jesus, was r.a.p.ed and joe being he loved her sooooo much, still married her anyway even thou traditional law states she must die! the towns folk come asking questions and joe needs to give them some kind of answer – he lies to save those he loves,a very human trait and funny enough, in this story, the baby isn't joe's either! with this as a beginning, you can keep a human, earthly, feel to the story by keeping the IDEA of god out and what you get is a real life boring story of woe that over time was made to fit other stories of other people and there deeds...have you ever asked yourself why the first christians didn't worship jesus – because they didn't you know, not like modern christians who have no clue what they are really doing!

      give this some thought – serious thought! meditate on this for as long as you can bare and think about how without god could this story be possible...

      March 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • fred

      Hippy
      “ david is a moabite.”
      =>what? Oh oh you guys and your facts are going to cause a great stir amongst believers! No one ever told me that. Don’t have time to look it up but you bet I will. This would mean Jesus was of the blood line of Lot, the Jews Isaac and Arabs Ishmael. God is really having some fun with our pointing sharp sticks in the eyes of each others religion

      " why do you not count the jews amongst them?”
      =>I was thinking greatest in numbers today not impact.
      As to worship of Jesus the first Christians would have been Greek or Jewish. When the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentacost 3,000 were converted and worshiped God the Father which I would think was very close to the God of Abraham for the Jew and Jesus Christ as to the Greeks and Gentiles.
      Yes I have thought about alternatives to the Mary and Jesus story which could get me burned at the stake. I can see the talking serpent, the ark, Jonah and perhaps Jesus from a different light which certainly would cast the smaller players like Abraham and Moses into question but remain in the same overall story line. The common line in the serpent, Noah, Jonah and Jesus is evil separating man from God and Gods active redemption of a people who are inclined towards God. God is much bigger than we give credit and the best we can even come to defining God is based on stories from people who have had an encounter or experience of some sort with something that cannot be defined.
      Is Jesus like the serpent a symbolic abstract or can there only be a literal strict interpretation of a talking serpent and one that walks on water born of a virgin. It was Moses who nailed a serpent on a pole for his people to see symbolic of Christ. Why should the symbolism stop in 32 AD ? Certainly if there is a God then God is very capable of doing anything and everything our reason being of little value. Even more interesting a Christian is not thrown in hell or falls any shorter of Heaven by virtue of a symbolic understanding or literal understanding. Adam did not fall because of a literal or symbolic misunderstanding. There were two trees in the Garden not one and Adam chose one tree over another (good and evil vs. the tree of life). Two criminals on the cross next to Christ each made a choice.
      You have the same choice Adam did. Instead of an excuse “the women you gave me did it” you say: so many trees to choose from they can’t all be right, how could I know what the apple tastes like if I don’t take a bite, this garden I live in just happened by chance – an extreme longshot mathematically impossible unless I add lots of assumptions, no other garden has ever been discovered, a voice tells me just because I have not found another garden does not mean it does not exist somewhere, I read your Bible but that same voice said “did God really say that”

      March 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i was thinking more along the lines of a true story which means without gods...a lie is simply a lie...no god to punish you...start not at the garden for that is clearly a cultural beginning story to which every culture has its very own... i like an Inut one where a great fish fell out of the sky and created the lake that was the birth of the civilization...but i am not picky and i do not take pride by choosing one as truth over the rest as mere stories of explaination while some do. This, if you view all as one, gets confusing, so start where one can dissern some factual events and move from there. You could say that because we found a city where Sodom was said to be that we have a starting point but i would argue that no evidence exists to confirm that the city is indeed Sodom or the city of the story but by another name. Proof is required for a starting point. I would start somewhere in jewish history around the construction of the second temple and its completion. See, the temple and the city, we know they existed but its the people and dates we need to synch with such events spoken about in the bible. I could write a story based on real people and events too but without evidence either by other stories to verify from historians or the like and or archeological proof ...what is it really? just a story, sure might be great to some, but still just a story. And so is yours, the jews and the muslims...just a story based on real people and events but not because of that does it become true, fact and proof makes it so – to which it is lacking!

      March 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • hippypoet

      and i should be clear about david – he is not technically moabite – he is descended from moabites. However, in some jewish circles of his day would have that bloodline highlighted as to create enemies of david – funny enough its david whom destorys the moabite people according to the bible – i think, if true, that it was done as a show of loyality to the TRUE jewish people – the 12 tribes – not 13... but again technically there is 14 – african jews, and it was verified in the 70's that they share blood ties to other jews...interesting huh?

      March 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Lillies are yellow
      Their leaves are all green
      I wear a dress
      Because I'm a queen.

      March 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i like that one! keep it up!

      March 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • fred

      Keep it up said the poet to the queen
      Knowing virtue was treasured by her King.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Otto

      "If you reject God then the promise is an accounting of your life’s work in the absence of Christ’s covering.
      Atheists have faith that if you are a good moral loving person or a Follower of Christ both will die like a frog."

      I don't reject your god (Jesus) anymore than I reject Thor or Zues. There is no more reason to follow your god and believe it to be true than any other god men have claimed and you admit as much. You had a personal revelation and many claim the same, I am not saying you are not being truthful but your revelation does nothing for the rest of us.

      The only thing that atheists agree on is to the question of "do you believe in god(s)." I don't have faith that followers of Christ will die like a frog, I just have no reason to think there is an afterlife and I am not going to worry about it ou tof fear. If you have to believe in Christ to go to an afterlife that god is an immoral jerk.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      No, we either have the same purpose of our very existence as a frog or we don’t. That applies to afterlife, beforelife or current life. Look at a dead frog and acknowledge that the frog’s entire purpose of existence, meaning etc. to that animal, the existence of the universe and our world is the same as Otto’s.
      Consider further that without an eternal record or record keeper of some sort existence itself is meaningless as a point will arrive when you did not exist.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      It is not about gods or God for atheists it is about that inability to recognize the difference between a dead frog and the life of a human being. When a group goes to this extend to deny an unexplainable plausibility there is a problem no different than anyone else that takes a position beyond reason.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Fred you never replied to my last post to you 😦 I might kiss a frog but I would definatly lick a toad.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Dennis

      fred is hard to pin down, but you guys are doing a great job of it. He's a very artful dodger and he'll keep changing the subject on you and telling fibs, but keep working at him. He can't even be honest with himself, which is part of his problem, and a common problem that religious folk have.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Bob

      Dennis, I think you're actually right about that. Fred did actually eventually admit that he had no evidence, after first claiming that he did. The liar was exposed.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      To believe that if there is no record or record keeper, then our lives are meaningless, is a selfish belief. Why do you do good things fred? Is it because it is the best way to coexist with others, or because you expect a reward after you die? Do you even try to live your life because it is the only one you may concievabely (no idea if that spelled correctly) have, or out of fear of what may happen after your gone from this world? Being a good and moral person merely because you are told to, and not because you feel it is the right thing to do, is an empty thing. You may want to seriously look at your motivations for being as you are, as I have multiple times in my life.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • hippypoet

      oh and fred, since there is no gods nor god and since the earth is home to the plague – mankind – your frogs may see victory over humanity due to our total depletion of species from over killing of food sources and the like and the frog may just rule the planet like before as the dino once did...which btw was a lot longer span of time ruling the planet then us at our current moment...i wonder who were there gods and what were they like? did you know that we found raptors to be extremely smart – smart enough even to perhaps have had there own form of speech....thats true, and they are all dead...wheres there gods?

      March 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • fred

      Poet
      At a minimum why not start the story with the Dead Sea scrolls as the story does not change. You were asked to make the same choice as Adam was given so this story comes into the present and into your life. You make the same lame excuses so our very responses today validate the timelessness of the story line. Only a Divine source could put down a story line that transcends all cultures and advancement in technology. God says you can only find me one way yet we complain because we cannot find him using our way. That is the point it is Gods way or no way. If God did create then that God would be outside of our reach and our ways which has been clearly demonstrated.
      I will confound the ways of the wise with the foolish. Lots of fools in the Bible story complete with talking serpents and talking donkey. The filter God uses to select chosen ones is very good. Jesus said you cannot get in the back door like a thief you must come through the narrow gate.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • fred

      Poet
      "did you know that we found raptors to be extremely smart "
      Perhaps that is why the Bible warns of the coming rapture ?

      March 27, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii
      Actually, I have not found any wrong with what Jesus says and it seems to bring goodness. I simply try and follow that model. I also gauge what I do relative to what Jesus said. No fear in a negative sense just trust.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • hippypoet

      fred -" At a minimum why not start the story with the Dead Sea scrolls"

      because they also like your bible are enbedded with god at every corner... i was speaking to something we today can verify as fact and then move forward from there...hence why i went to the story of jesus, its lost to time and what we have it mere conjecture all but the death – perhaps thats why its so revered...idk for sure, but thats the best starting point. I would take one step backwards and look at mary and joe and thats why i said what i said above....

      March 28, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Otto

      "Consider further that without an eternal record or record keeper of some sort existence itself is meaningless as a point will arrive when you did not exist."

      Just because you think life is meaningless without a god does not mean I agree or that you are right. Regardless whither or not life is or is not meaningless does not mean there is a god AND more impotantly that YOUR god is real, it does not speak to the truth of the matter.

      Your reasoning goes somthing like this, "for humans to have a purpose there has to be a god".

      1. We can have a purpose without a god, just because you asset we can't does not mean you are right.

      2. You are 'solving' the mystery of our existence with ANOTHER mystery (god), and after saying we can never understand the nature of god you have a whole book of writings and religion that attempt to do just that.

      March 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Otto

      "When a group goes to this extend to deny an unexplainable plausibility there is a problem no different than anyone else that takes a position beyond reason."

      Fred,

      Why should anyone act like something is "true" because it is plausible? That type of reasoning allows people to believe anything as long as someone else cannot 'prove' they are wrong. It is "plausible" we live in a computer simulation, the plausibility is not justification to believe it.

      March 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • fred

      Poet
      The use of Mary or Joe as starting point has a problem out the shoots since they were chosen to meet the blood line requirements demanded by the Jews. The virgin birth was necessary not only for purity of Mary but that Jesus was born without sin while prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled in Christ. We could have done that with other Jesus types that wandered about the city as prophets in that day. Even if we toss all the gospels out with the exception of works that are confirmed by all reputable scholars from Paul’s letters we still have a good solid story about Christ and the beginnings of the Church. We do ourselves a disservice by making up our own stories. Why rewrite Harry Potter to show a child raised by Billy and Ruth Graham let’s look at the story as written.
      If you want to know why God does not give you the proof you demand Jesus already told us. Ignore the fact you don’t believe he was Christ or that momma was a virgin. What does the story actually say about providing proof? Even if it is a fable let’s talk about the race not was the hare a jackrabbit or a baby bunny which allowed the turtle to win (turtle always wins the shell game).

      March 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      So do you believe that without someone or something keeping a record of your life, that makes the life meaningless? That is the main point I was getting at yesterday.

      March 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      I am not solving the mystery of existence with another mystery. I am not that smart so I see Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Saul of Tarsus as on the top of the God fearing human pile in their day. What answers they have were transmitted to us. We are here because God is bringing out in those that wish it a disposition of heart and mind that results in perfect unity in the likeness of Christ. The players and the symbolism changes with the times and cultures evolving as humans from the tribes of Abraham to modern communities. One thread is clear from Abraham to present is that our relationship with God in our present life is key.
      That story makes more sense than a frog, Otto and fred haven’t a clue as to why they exist but are confident that all three are here for the same purpose with the same meaningfulness. Further, fred, Otto and frog do not have a soul only organic matter and chemical reactions than can be recreated in a petri dish. The contents of the Petri dish, when discarded, completed its life journey in the same manner as fred, Otto and frog when that journey ends.
      Are you saying Otto has meaning and purpose that is greater than evolved organic chemical enviornmental responses? If so what exactly is it that exists outside the body?

      March 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • fred

      HawiianGuest
      If you and the world were in a Pteri dish as evolved bacteria and the lab tech tosses us into the hazardous human waste pile the only record of that existence would be what the lab tech knew. It does not matter what you think or if you can think your existence can no longer be proven without the lab tech. Your existence has no meaning or purpose without the lab tech.
      There is no proof and there are no meaningful results unless the lab tech intends otherwise. You are not in a position to claim existence on the basis I think therefore I am because you do not have any further relative position in time or space. Existence is a function of relative time and space.
      If you claim a time and space reference outside the physical body then you cannot be an atheist (an intellectually honest one anyway)

      March 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      How about you answer the question? Either yes or no. Your attempting to sound smart with existentialist garbage while avoiding answering the question for yourself. This is most likely because you know where the line of questioning will go after that, and want to avoid it. You should start being "intillectually honest" and actually answer the damn question.

      March 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • hippypoet

      this was my question FRED....why don't you attempt to view the entire story as it may have actually happened... using real life pains and joys to create the p@ssions of those whom you base you life on...find out why in real human terms why they made such choices by taking up a difference perspective on the same story!

      Why if god so gave you a brain do you refuse to use it in every which way possible? Imagine a world where god does infact exist and plays an active role in life – now imagine the world as it is...ask yourself, if god does exists, why then is the world like it is? And don't make excuses for god as to why it doesn't directly help out when it could very easily do so – i don't think if god exists that you need to make excuses for an all powerful yet hateful being – could come back to haunt you – afterall it is a vengeful god!

      Is it so hard for you to imagine a world outside your god... joe was an average dude with an average wife whom was already prego when married and the towns folks wanted blood as the law commands – joe lied about how the baby was conceived and she was allowed to live – no god needed so far... but since joe's lie was about the messiah which brings a jewish god into the mix the lies spoken in the name of a prophecy get bigger and bigger until the speak of miracles performed by the said messiah! Then the lies take on a life of there own....as the story spreads it grows in length and impressiviness! Each time the story is reread the miracles get better, bigger, even more of them get added to the story which is now old to sp.ice it up!!! this is how oral traditions spread stories....men tell others and if the others don't listen then the one telling it might to get the ears back create new parts – a.k.a. LIE! Lies upon lies is no way to live a life... Everything you believe to be the word of god was written down by men – if god was so powerful why then would he NEED man to write his words? Great stories have been told of great men throughtout the ages and its the way it will always be – jesus is no execption only the story's lies began with his joe – daddy-o!

      JUST THINK ABOUT IT – and don't come back here saying but the story is blah blah blah ... i am saying to you to create a story using whats already there but minus the god aspect – can your brain wrap its noddle around the task?

      March 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • fred

      HawaiiGuest
      Yes, living only for today without God and thus for my own purpose is a life without meaning. Before I knew God I was existing as everyone else was and if I died my life would have had the same purpose as a frog. So, nothing changed in my past as the past is the past yet after conversion I see the purpose in past events on the line with current purpose in the way of the Lord.

      March 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Finally. So do you believe that others who do not believe in god are leading meaningless lives? Also, do you think that those who do not believe in god view their or others lives as meaningless?

      March 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • fred

      Poet
      “Is it so hard for you to imagine a world outside your god”
      =>yes
      Saul of Tarsus was standing in a room where Stephen was telling Saul’s Priests all about some miracle worker named Jesus that was the Christ. They stormed Stephen and beat him to death then lay Stephen’s cloths at the feet of Saul (acts 7&8)who approved. A little while latter Saul said that looked like fun so he began to preach Jesus to the same Jews. He changed his name to the Christian Paul so as not to be confused with the Jewish Roman citizen he was. What a great life now Paul could be beaten constantly, chased and thrown in prison over and over by these Priests. To Paul’s surprise he inadvertently began the Church of Christ sending out letters encouraging others to tell lies that would cause them great beatings and even death. Finally Paul was beheaded on the 29th of June 64 AD in Rome by Nero. Some people claim he was the first head of the Church but, we have no proof because this head was never found. Priests today still wear a collar under the Nero look jacket or vest as a reminder of the importance to control the heads of state.

      March 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • fred

      HawaiiGuest
      “ So do you believe that others who do not believe in god are leading meaningless lives?”
      =>no, as long as there is life in them there is the possibility that they could as I did accept God. Remember the Bible says everything works to the good of those who believe in Jesus Christ. This means if they suddenly believe then everything comes into the will of God for them.

      “ do you think that those who do not believe in god view their or others lives as meaningless?”
      =>no, they believe they find purpose and meaning in non spiritual related endeavors. Problem is they do not see the disconnect between purpose and meaning being any different between them and a frog where life is nothing greater than organic matter with chemical reactions.

      March 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      So you believe that non-believers have the possiblitiy of gaining a meaningful life, but only if they believe in god as you do?

      March 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • fred

      HawaiiGuest
      No, not what I said. Spiritual meaning in any sense of the word requires some element of the spiritual. An atheist claims no spiritual elements to the creation or purpose for creation. This leaves only an unknown or materialistic possibility of purpose. Upon death any and all physical life actions stop and meaning/ purpose can no longer be changed by that person. When you die without God you cannot go back for a do over whether you are a Christian or an atheist. The atheist dies without spiritual meaningfulness and significance as the frog dies without same. Belief in God changes that entire life’s meaning regardless of when the belief occurs before the last breath.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • hippypoet

      so fred, you can't imagine anything but what you BELIEVE to be true – thats interesting, my kids friends say the same thing about santa – they can't imagine a world without him and his presents! grow up!

      i tried and you are still an idiot...no worries, when you die you will not be suprised at where you end up becuase i shall share that sercet with you now – you will be in the ground, and since the soul is just a figment of your extremely lacking imagination, thats where you will stay until dust and dirt fill the gaps of your sad rotten corpse! That is truth~provable truth! You may live with hopes of after death a sceond life but i shall live this one while its here.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Bob

      Squirm, fred, squirm. We gotcha.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • fred

      Bob
      Better to squirm now than latter:

      Isaiah 66:24 "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."

      March 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      How can something that cannot be proven by its supposed nature have any true significance on the meaning of life here and now? Wouldn't it make more sense to do well in this life and world, and let whatever happens (if there is anything) afterward be? Why in all the universe should we believe that we are special? Biologically, our "design" is incredibly flawed, we are amazingly susceptable to more ways to die than many animals on this planet, and our bodies can end up breaking down at such an early age. We are elevated from a frog because a frog does not have as acute a sense of self-awareness. This is the biggest difference between us and the rest of the animals on this planet. Our enhanced self-awareness (introspection) gives birth to all our innovations and inventions. Why do you feel that it is necessary to find some kind of spirituality? Why would an all powerful being that is supposed to be loving stack the chips completely against his own creations? Why would things be the way that they are? You found solace, good for you (and I mean that in all seriousness), but to believe that spiritual belief will change the entire outlook of a persons life, no matter who it is, based on your experience devalues the individuality of people in general.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • fred

      HawaiiGuest
      Sorry gotta run but, when I experienced God and accepted Christ nothing changed from a physical point of view regarding my past. I also do not live different to get something after death rather it is a different life now that changes what happens after death, who I am now and how I see things. A big example would be I never believed in prayer and thought it foolish. Suddenly, I now saw God answering past prayers of others and guiding lives in many ways. None of that past changed I just saw a very different view.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • hippypoet

      fred, in regards to your new outlook on life – why since you now believe in god do YOU place YOURSELF above frogs, bears, rams, and rats?

      also you should really take note that what you believe is "Everything I do follows what God would have me do" is crap – its what those who wrote the bible would have you do in there stead! sheep! that is one animal you are kin to.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Otto

      "I am not solving the mystery of existence with another mystery."

      Yes you are, you are saying the mystery of existence is 'god' given. God is a mystery as you have admitted yourself, so existence (which is a mystery) needs a purpose which is answered by your belief not only in a god but specifically the Christian god (a mystery).

      "We are here because God is bringing out in those that wish it a disposition of heart and mind that results in perfect unity in the likeness of Christ."

      You have no proof other than your belief in your interpretation of the Bible that this is true. You said earlier that god cannot be understood by us mere mortals and yet in this sentence you claim to know why your god put us here. You are contradicting yourself and you can't seem to understand why I and others can't accept your "truth".

      March 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • fred

      Poet
      “"Everything I do follows what God would have me do" is crap – its what those who wrote the bible would have you do in there stead! sheep! that is one animal you are kin to.”
      Thank you for validating Jesus use of sheep was indeed a universal language that believers and non believers could easily grasp.
      On a pure survival point for the species information somehow is transferred to the next generation on key points. This information related to worship of God has been passed from generation to generation since Neanderthal. Suddenly (last 200 years) atheists and communists want to trash 195,000 years of evolution in favor of world view that has proven not to work. Communism fails at its basic level because people do not have a common unifying source that allows full expression of freedom. Atheism fails because it does not provide answers or solutions it only confuses the status quo.
      The World View with God or gods at the center has been the standard which has allowed civilization to grow/survive. In N. Korea we have an example of how a people still need a god and even elevate men to that position. In the U.S we struggle to find god replacements and worship things much more silly than the rats of India. From Obama to Madonna the people grasp for hope and purpose in images like themselves. You will say not me because I am an atheist then you are a rare bird. To Stalin and Mao it was contol. In recovery groups the first requirement is realization that you are not in control of everything and focus should be on what you can control.
      There will always be sheep, wolves and a shepherd yet you think if you eliminate the good shepherd the sheep and wolves will somehow just learn to get along.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • fred

      Otto
      I said we cannot understand God only those things which God has revealed to us. I prefer those things that have been revealed over nothing. Your claim is that what was revealed is not necessarily the truth and cannot be proven. That is fine you have nothing that cannot be proven and I have something that cannot be proven. I have something that has been passed down from generation to generation for an extremely long period of time by a prosperous people and men of great admiration. Even Elephants know enough to follow the one who has lead generations. Until atheists come up with something I would think 195,000 years of worship trumps 200 years of skepticism by 8% of the population based on track record alone.
      The Neanderthals rational for worship may not have been any more logical than ours but at least it looked up and outside of self. Dangerous things happen when men think they are gods. I am not substi-tuting a mystery for a mystery. I am substi-tuting 195,000 years of knowledge of a power greater than myself over a baseless unproven position that man and frog have the same meaningful or meaningless existence.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • fred

      HawiianGuest
      “How can something that cannot be proven by its supposed nature have any true significance on the meaning of life here and now?”
      =>Lives continue to be changed in the present due to belief regardless if the object of belief is valid or not.
      “ Wouldn't it make more sense to do well in this life and world, and let whatever happens (if there is anything) afterward be?”
      =>that is what the Gospels say, work as if working onto the Lord and you will receive your reward. Excellence in all things is required when working for the Lord. What will be afterwards is going to be a surprise.
      “ Why in all the universe should we believe that we are special?”
      =>we are on the top of the food chain
      “ Biologically, our "design" is incredibly flawed,”
      =>All organisms have a life cycle, you are proposing a complete redesign that goes back to the beginning of life. Even the Bible adds to man on a generational basis building upon the past.
      “Our enhanced self-awareness (introspection) gives birth to all our innovations and inventions. Why do you feel that it is necessary to find some kind of spirituality?”
      =>self-awareness is not confined to a space or time in the present why would it suddenly be confined upon death or before life?
      “ Why would an all powerful being that is supposed to be loving stack the chips completely against his own creations?”
      =>If there is a God who purposes to share his love and Glory then it would seem logical that a process be in place to develop a soul or souls that would provide for that. Setting up filters that allow free will and love to create an authentic soul that longs for an eternity with God is part of the plan.
      “ Why would things be the way that they are?”
      =>few people are willing to give their life to Christ. At best they want self and God which never works if the goal is eternal unity.
      “to believe that spiritual belief will change the entire outlook of a persons life, no matter who it is, based on your experience devalues the individuality of people in general.”
      =>no, individual character remains intact. Each person for example expresses love in various ways. That same variety would be directed at God. In the same way the unity in the Kingdom is more like an organism comprised of cells. We are the cells each very unique but part of the larger organism. Take humanity and pluck out those who do not want unity with God and you still have a bunch of individuals left, they are just of like mind in general.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • hippypoet

      lol FRED – "Communism fails at its basic level because people do not have a common unifying source that allows full expression of freedom. Atheism fails because it does not provide answers or solutions it only confuses the status quo."

      sorry buddy, but communism is not what we are discussing but nice attempt at a sidetrack... and again you really need to learn what atheism is all about – we all know what your religion is about but yet you fail on the other end... its cool, you still have time. 🙂

      as far as atheism being a fail due to lack of questions answered – sry, soooo sry.. i understand you are use to someone claiming answers even thou they are beyond retarded ones and could never happen in reality – such as the earth being created in 6 days,and a god who NEEDS a res at the end..... why does a god NEED to rest at the end – do you think it got tried – did it lose its breath – but didn't it create air in the first place so it must have not been breathing air but something else ? or is that story just another 3000 year old story of explaination of the unexplainable of the time!
      Religion claims answers and to one up the answers already given, they make their answers so far fetched that one would require a god type to even imagine such feats!
      Then they add the "if you don't believe then my god will smite you" line.... Religion is all about control. If you don't see it then you are blind and that is that.
      613 commandments, specials days of fasting, sabbath days, rituals to be observed,a hierarchy within the religion itself to make sure you know your place as a follower, and the very best part – its cements the control over low beings – the creation of a substance untouchable yet called real, so much so that one must keep it clean -the soul – and thru the manipulation of people thru this "soul" murderious hordes have marched from one corner of the globe to the other killing in the name of god! Atheism is about being free, its about waking up on sunday and not feeling wrong or like your doomed to hell if you don't go to church.....its about life not death which seems to be the focus of nearly every major religion out there today!

      i wanna be there when the first person to trys to sell the whole "if your good now in the is life then in the after life you get rewards" crap! I wanna hear how they weave sh!t into silk and sell mist to clouds!

      of all things we disagree on there is one you can not deny that we both agree!.....you don't TRUELY know what happens after you die, nor do i .....but i accept it and move past it while you create fantasies about a second life yet lived! Why does a childrens fantasy hit home more then reality?

      March 29, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Otto

      "I said we cannot understand God only those things which God has revealed to us. I prefer those things that have been revealed over nothing."

      Fred,

      But you are claiming to "know" what god has revealed, you and those that agree with you can somehow differentiate your gods message and what that god means over what other people gods have revealed that you don't agree with. Without somekind of evidence other than personal revelation how can you claim truth in your beliefs over someone who also calims a personal revelation but their beliefs contradict yours? The answer is you can't. What you and others don't understand is that there are 3 answers to the question 'is there a god', yes, no and I don't know. I am in the I don't know catagory. You claim YOU DO KNOW, as have millions upon millions of other people in history, many who do not agree with you that it is a Christian god and there is no way you can prove your god is real and theirs is not or that even there is a god. Therefore I reserve my belief until there is better information.

      I would be interested to know where you get the idea your religion goes back 195,000 years or even any religion goes back that far, it is another claim for which you have to evidence. It is not just religious claims I want evidence for, any unsubstantiated claim will get equal treatment.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • where is fred

      😦

      March 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • fred

      Poet
      “you really need to learn what atheism is all about – we all know what your religion is about but yet you fail on the other end... its cool, you still have time. ”
      =>Does Pascal’s Wager work the other direction? Let’s see if I accept atheism before death I could spend eternity in nonexistence with my frog friends.

      “such as the earth being created in 6 days,and a god who NEEDS a res at the end..... why does a god NEED to rest at the end – do you think it got tried – did it lose its breath “
      =>you are actually getting very close to the truth so kiss your frog friend goodbye while you still can. You see, God spoke the world into existence with one run on sentence. Whenever someone that is sane says God spoke to them they are normally speaking of a non physical non audible understanding that our mind converts (much like our eye sees things upside down but our mind converts it). You keep skipping over the truth because you are totally focused on lies. God created the heavens and the earth by today’s measurement standard of over 13.78 billion years. Instead of rewriting the story every time a new theory from man comes about it was written so the Bibles audience could understand Gods creation includes 6 days of work which is very good followed by a day of resting in the Lord.

      “Religion claims answers and to one up the answers already given”
      =>Yep that is what Jesus said are you sure you’re not a prophet? Even the Jews themselves built Christ up such they could not even recognize their own Messiah.

      “Religion is all about control. If you don't see it then you are blind and that is that.”
      =>Right, religions are not the truth of God and many self serving things when they should be the servants.

      “613 commandments, specials days of fasting….”
      =>Jesus said woe to you who add law upon laws putting unreasonable burden on the people
      “killing in the name of god!”
      =>leaders us any tool to unite and fire up the masses. Less than 1% of the population was atheist through human history so atheists proportionally are 72 times more likely to kill believers than are those claiming some form of faith. Yep atheists historically are more likely to persecute and kill Christians than are Jews or Muslims.
      “Atheism is about being free”
      =>that’s why you are now coming out of the closet?
      “waking up on Sunday and not feeling wrong or like your doomed to hell”
      =>you need to find a church that resembles Christ not man
      “death which seems to be the focus of nearly every major religion out there today!”
      =>Yep those major religions got it wrong. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life, the bread of life, I came so death has no sting, Jesus the tree of life, we have life because the blood of the lamb, I came that you may have life eternal…………….etc

      "if your good now in the is life then in the after life you get rewards" crap!”
      =>no, it is not based on how good or bad we are or were.

      “ we both agree!.....you don't TRUELY know what happens after you die,”
      =>agreed which sounds much better than to die like a frog or a blob of organic matter with a similar purpose and meaning of existence

      March 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      I say 195,000 years to avoid the 6 day creation question. I was referring to humans possibly early hominids that put artifacts with their dead leaving the impression they worshiped. A better number would be 6,000 years plus X.
      God revealed himself to me through the Bible and the World around me so that is Gods revelation to me. If there is a God that created this garden God is more than capable of placing me where I would grow best. Jesus said there are many who are not of this flock that is chosen. That is very clear that the vision of your God is not the limiting factor rather if you truly wish to see is the limiting factor.
      I don’t know is not an answer when you have read the New Testament with an open mind. I need more data but refuse to ask Christ for that data is a flat out rejection. It is like the prideful stubborn child that will not ask for help.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Otto

      "I don’t know is not an answer when you have read the New Testament with an open mind. I need more data but refuse to ask Christ for that data is a flat out rejection. It is like the prideful stubborn child that will not ask for help."

      Fred,

      You are absolutely correct, I do reject Jesus is god but it is not pride, it is reason. He claimed he would return before the generation he was speaking to died, (Mat 24:34, Mat 16:26, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27) this fact alone is enough for me to determine he was not devine. He had some good things to say about how we should treat each other but I don't know of one idea he had that is original to him, there were others who came before him who shared similar philosophies. Some of what he taught was just plain bad advice, nothing awful but someone who claimed divinity he should have been able to do better. Than it comes down to the miracle claims and there is no contemporary historian to Jesus independant of the bible to verify any of them. Once again it comes down to there is nothing that proves any form of Christianity is more viable than any other religion.

      All religions can't be right but they can all be wrong.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Otto

      ""I don’t know is not an answer when you have read the New Testament with an open mind."

      Fred,

      So basically if i read the New Testament with an open mind I will accept it as true, but if I don't accept it as true then I did not read it with an open mind. Claiming "the New Testament is true because the New Testament says it is true" is called circular reasoning and is extremely intellectually dishonest.

      As a side note my answer of 'I don't know' applies to the larger question of is there a god, if I am asked 'is the New Testament and specifically the Gospels the word of God'? My answer is no it is not.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      Not circular reasoning. If you read the New Testament as with any other subject without bias you will accept or reject Jesus as Lord based on what is written not based on what you bring to the table. You have rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ from your heart not your head. I don’t know was never an option.

      March 30, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Otto

      "You have rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ from your heart not your head. I don't know was never an option"

      Fred,

      You are again making claims you have no basis for. I don't even know what you mean by my "heart not my head", but you have no way of knowing if that is true or not, blind assertions without proper evidence is why I don't find truth in religion and especially Christianity, making assertions becomes too easy. Believing on faith has the same advantage as theft over hard work. "I don't know" is ALWAYS an option, it is just not used much by people of faith because there is little need to use it when you can just say 'I have faith it is true'.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • fred

      Otto
      “You are absolutely correct, I do reject Jesus is god but it is not pride, it is reason.”
      =>reason? Where would anyone find reason in 28-32AD given; love your enemy, I am God, virgin birth, a King without physical resources, God nailed to a cross-mocked-spit upon-beaten-whi-pped-stri-pped na-ked-helpless, God the servant washing feet, chased around town by Jews like a dog, denied by his closest disciples at the cross, on trial in violation of all Jewish laws. Who could come up with such a ridiculous God then turn Him into a martyr?

      “ He claimed he would return before the generation he was speaking to died, (Mat 24:34, Mat 16:26, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27)”
      =>certainly you could go on line and see the top theologians justify what was actually said. Mat 24:34 cannot be taken out of context as the following line Jesus says not even he knows the time of the final day or hour only the Father in heaven. The verse prior was speaking of the fullness of time which relates to the great flood and the end times when wickedness reaches its full and the Glory of God is about to burst like buds in the spring which is the end time. I think you meant to say Mat16:28 (not 16:26) and some of them did see Jesus during the 40 day period when he walked among them before Pentecost which that verse referred. Ditto with Mark 9:1 the Kingdom enters with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the same event as Mat 16:28. Some believe Luke 9:27 refers to that same event or the transfiguration when Jesus was seen with Moses Elijah and radiant in God. Either way it does not matter as it was clearly not the end of days under either view.
      “I don't know of one idea he had that is original to him”
      =>Since he came to fulfill the law of the prophets that would be understandable. Jesus did state the points differently.
      “Than it comes down to the miracle claims”
      =>The Sanhedrin also demanded miracles and Jesus said none would be shown except the sign of Jonah and the Big Fish!
      “Once again it comes down to there is nothing that proves any form of Christianity is more viable than any other religion.”
      =>Yes there is. You need to spend some time with someone who actually has given his or her life to Christ and picks up their cross daily. It is not the Christianity most of us have experienced or even hear about.

      “All religions can't be right but they can all be wrong.”
      => Correct the road is broad and many travel that road but the road in Christ is narrow and few find the gate.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • Otto

      Fred,

      Saying I just need to spend time with a true believer is a fallacy, I was raised Christian, went to Christian school, religion classes, ect, ect. If god (Jesus) is unable to get a believable message across even though me like so many others were taught this from childhood, he failed. You can claim it is my responsibility but he is god and I expect better from the creator of the universe.

      You make claims that Christ is god, the miracles did happen but nothing adds up when reason is applied and your answer, like so many others I have talked to, is "you can't use reason". Why does religion get the special consideration of "no reason needed". If in any other part of human experience the advice was "don't apply reason to this problem" almost all people would consider that bad advice. But in religion reason is regarded as sacrilege, it is to be avoided, this is a sure sign of hiding truth not seeking it. I like asking unanswered questions, religion likes unquestioned answers.

      March 30, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Otto

      "It is not the Christianity most of us have experienced or even hear about."

      Fred,

      So among the 25,000 + versions of Christianity, you and your group have it figured out? How about some proof what you say is true? You don't like it when we ask for proof and evidence but how are we supposed to know you are right and the other versions are wrong?

      March 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      “he is god and I expect better from the creator of the universe”
      =>If the Bible is going to unravel it would be from the ending or the beginning. Looking at the beginning you are suggesting the problem was putting two trees instead of one in the garden. This is to suggest that God knowing man did not have the capacity to make the correct choice should have never put that tree of knowledge of good and evil in the middle. Evolutionists suggest that keeping fish in darkness long enough results in blindness and fish with no eyes. Adam had already grown tired of the perfect peaceful garden so Eve a companion was provided. You are suggesting God blind them or remove enough of the image of God that was placed in them such that they could not see beyond this perfect peace. This not only puts man in the darkness of a confined cave for eternity but suggests God made a mistake (in our opinion) when he first created man.
      Allowing the fullness of mans free will required a plan that provided for the harvesting of all the good that can result from the journey of man. This is called the end of days. At the end of days God separates the good which has been harvested and casts out everything else. The separation is eternal because all conceivable Goodness has as its source of unity God who always was and always will be. This cannot be improved upon there is nothing more desirable ever as far as the eye can see.

      March 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • hippypoet ...fred, don't go...

      i have a response for you but i have to find it, i saved it to my work station earlier today in hopes we could keep this back and forth alive... give me a second i will find it – i was just waiting for a sign of life from you.

      oh and your answer of blinding adam – to make a pun here, thats just senseless! lol 🙂

      March 30, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Oh fred –
      Yours words “=>Does Pascal’s Wager work the other direction? Let’s see if I accept atheism before death I could spend eternity in nonexistence with my frog friends.”
      Now my words –
      wrong – yes if you accept atheism into your “heart” you will still die as will any creature alive but you won’t spend any time after death doing anything as you will be dead…well aside from decomposing. I know, it’s a hard concept to grasp, death being the end…lol See, the word eternity deals with time and is only relevant to the living!
      – oh by the way – we are equal to ALL living creatures on this planet. To think we are not is to place value…well, all animals that is, not plants, they will out live us all. Infact, did you know that some tree species live for thousands of years?
      – Also forget Pascal’s wager – yes, it does work backwards, but its not really backwards unless you have no understanding of the wager in the first place…that would be you fred. Do some more research on the wager and you will see it. I would prefer we leave that most moronic wager out!

      “You see, God spoke the world into existence with one run on sentence.”
      So you think god can speak things into existence? Then why not fix everything with a word? Here comes the free will speech…and here is my cut off – if god exists then free will does not!

      “Whenever someone that is sane says god spoke to them they are normally speaking of a non physical, non audible understanding that our mind converts.”
      And you call these people sane? This, what you speak of, is the simplest explanation of hearing voices I can think of….and since they self proclaimed “sane” that only adds to the proof that they are anything but! Insane people believe they are sane and therefore don’t seek help, while sane people might believe they are insane and seek help for it.

      “You keep skipping over the truth because you are totally focused on lies.”
      If these are the words of god then no lies should be among them! I am right to focus on the lies as they are the proof that this is the work of man. No divine presence was ever needed for these words to exist. Just some really crazy people living on the edge of existence with VERY little food and high hopes of a better existence then this one! Basically they were malnourished and perhaps because of that reality found a new one to occupy their extremely poor living conditions. Also to add to this, did you know that malnourishment can cause hallucinations? Just what kind of hallucinations do you think people like these would have? I know from experience that your thoughts control your trip and so its no mystery as to why they thought they were speaking with god or his angles. They were only it was due to the malnourishment which caused hallucinations that they wrote about but in full belief of what they saw as real…and once more were willing to die for those beliefs.

      “ God created the heavens and the earth by today’s measurement standard of over 13.78 billion years. Instead of rewriting the story every time a new theory from man comes about it was written so the Bibles audience could understand Gods creation includes 6 days of work which is very good followed by a day of resting in the Lord.”
      Wow fred, where do you get your information from? For one thing, it is rather presumptuous of you to think that the creation of the earth was a good thing….perhaps it was one of gods greatest failures?

      “Even the Jews themselves built Christ up such they could not even recognize their own Messiah.”
      That’s because jesus is not the messiah! The reason we know this to be true is because jesus didn’t fulfill ALL the messianic prophecies! Look them up, then go thru the bible. After you have gone it research all who and when wrote them down in the bible as “christ did this”…you can see for yourself that all the so called messianic prophecies that jesus supposedly did were added along the way – AFTER THE DEATH of jesus himself! He may have performed some of what the bible tells of him but there is no way he did it all! Unless you believe that somehow that the first hand account got lost somehow….who in the right mind loses such an important piece of information pertaining to the so called savior of mankind!?!?!?! In a culture that has had roughly the same pieces of religious works floating around for nearly 1000 years somehow loses the one that PROVES the messiah is here…really fred, this makes sense to you? Are you that naïve?

      “. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life, the bread of life, I came so death has no sting, Jesus the tree of life, we have life because the blood of the lamb, I came that you may have life eternal”
      So we are going on that since it was jesus that said it , it must then be true? I guess then the question of “how do we know jesus did infact say these things?” arises…and the funny part is, we can’t ever truly know for sure which leads an intelligent person to take all that he SUPPOSEDLY said as hearsay.

      "if your good now in the is life then in the after life you get rewards" crap!”
      =>no, it is not based on how good or bad we are or were.
      Well fred, yes , it is! you may wish to reread the bible…god punishes those who disobey him. His laws are the commandments (613 of them) and they are to be obeyed…rather as it is worded today, observed! Lol such a funny gutless term.

      “613 commandments”
      =>Jesus said woe to you who add law upon laws putting unreasonable burden on the people
      This is funny as well because since jesus supposedly say this. I wonder is the son knows that father issued these laws? So what we have here is the son contradi.cts the father….tell me fred, do you believe in the holy trinity?

      March 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      “So among the 25,000 + versions of Christianity, you and your group have it figured out?”
      =>didn’t say that, as a matter of fact Jesus said “I have many sheep and some are not of this fold”. That makes me or anyone else wrong if they claim it’s my way only. Jesus also said “ I AM the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.” Jesus did not select a specific religion and give his two thumbs up he actually warned us about religion and what men who control religion do.
      Look careful at what Jesus said in particular “I AM”. When Moses asked whom shall I say sent me God said tell them “I AM” sent you.

      “ How about some proof what you say is true?”
      =>I think we addressed this : 11:29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 11:30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.”
      Read the book of Jonah it is not about the fish don’t get side tracked by the dillusion. If you have not prayed for a while I suggest you simply ask God to reveal his truth to you through this reading BEFORE you crack the book open.

      March 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Otto

      "didn’t say that, as a matter of fact Jesus said “I have many sheep and some are not of this fold”. That makes me or anyone else wrong if they claim it’s my way only."

      Fred,

      Your last 2 posts to me made liittle to no sense, are you OK?

      As far as whither god should have put 1 or 2 trees in the garden of eden.....how about zero trees. Man did not have "knowledge" until Adam and Eve ate from the tree....god put the tree there, HE is responsible for everything that comes from the tree, HE made it, HE did not have to make it, that was a choice God made. Now God is punishing me and everyone else for what Adam and Eve did, that is immoral. Don't give me the garbage of him sending his son to save the day either, god set the whole thing up, he is responsible. The idea of god sacrificing himself (Jesus) to himself to create a loophole for rules God himself made is absolutely ABSURD.

      As far as your interpretation of Matthew 24:34-36 it says.

      24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
      24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
      24:36 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

      So he said THIS generation shall not pass, yes the DAY and the HOUR may only be known to the Father (wait, Jesus and God are one) but he said THIS generation shall not pass. There is no way you can argue what he said was true. 2000 years and still waiting....

      ,

      March 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      "So he said THIS generation shall not pass,"
      Hopefully you can see what the problem is. Out of all the possible translations of the word you chose the only one that makes Jesus possibly wrong. That is more than a simple bias it is a deliberate intent to deceive.

      Mathew 24:34 the key word that is causing you to stumble can be read as:“this generation", "this age", "this Nation", "this race", "the whole multi-tude of people living at the same time (in a definite, given period)"

      March 31, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Otto

      Fred,

      When you change definitions, words can mean absolutely anything you want them to mean. It is why the Bible can be used to justify almost any action.

      It is interesting how believers will take the most literal interpretation of a passage if it suits their viewpoint, and will at the same time expand the meaning of words to the point of being ridiculous and meaningless, if they would contradict their viewpoint.

      Since Jesus is God he should have been able to see that using the word 'generation' would cause consideral confusion after he was gone. But that was not all he said, he also said take no thought for tomorrow and other such nonsense. Jesus also told people that "the time is short and they should not get married, not mourn, not be happy, not buy things, and not live "in the world". This again indicates that Jesus himself believed his return to be extremely imminent.

      "What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.""

      — 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

      March 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • fred

      Otto
      “When you change definitions, words can mean absolutely anything you want them to mean. It is why the Bible can be used to justify almost any action.
      =>Once again man not God behaves this way. I did not change the definition I just allowed for 6 other translations of the original word which really does not change anything. My preference is “this generation” to mean Gods children. Given all these things will pass before such event and all things have not come to pass that time did not mean “this current generation” or Jesus would have said that.

      “It is interesting how believers will take the most literal interpretation of a passage if it suits their viewpoint, and will at the same time expand the meaning of words to the point of being ridiculous and meaningless, if they would contradict their viewpoint.”
      =>and the skeptic will only take “this generation” to mean “these present peoples

      “Since Jesus is God he should have been able to see that using the word 'generation' would cause consideral confusion after he was gone.”
      =>yes, there was confusion as to End of Days (not necessarily because of this verse) so Jesus had straighten out the apostles. Paul also had to remind people that the day was unknown.
      “What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short……this world in its present form is passing away."" — 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
      =>Paul is simply saying time is short don’t get hung up on worldly stuff. This has no bearing on what Jesus said and time is short so make the best use of it.

      March 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  5. Atheist Pride!

    There is no evidence God exists. The internet told me so.

    March 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • tbreeden

      Yes, but the Internet is written by many people with contradicting stories and opinions, each with their own axe to grind. The Bible was written by magic.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  6. Robert Brown

    1 Corinthians 2:3-5
    King James Version (KJV)
    3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
    4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    March 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Know What

      Robert Brown,

      Paul of Tarsus... again!? He was a ranting, raving, misogynistic, misanthropic zealot, and PR genius, who hijacked the newly-forming 1st century cult to promote his telescoped version of Judaism. There is no verified evidence that he was visited by a supernatural being(s). He never eye-witnessed the alleged Jesus nor any supernatural events. Why do you hang on Paul's every word?

      March 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Otto

      I don't find a book that promotes slavery to be inspred by a moral god.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Know What,

      If your not a Paul fan, how about Job.

      Job 28:28
      28And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Will

      Fun game to play: whenever anyone says a "proof" of God's existence, be it from their so-called logic, or holy book, or whatever, mentally replace "God" with "magical turtle riding a pineapple." Or the flying spaghetti monster. And see how it reads.

      3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
      4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
      5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of the magical turtle riding a pineapple.

      If you can't establish God's existence in the first place, then what are all these claims about how we should bow down and worship and live our lives a certain way? And what is the Bible but a set of stories?

      March 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Otto

      Using the Bible to prove the Bible is true...

      Circular reasoning is circular.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      If Paul was alive today, he would be a successful televangelist at some big-box church.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Jesus said in Matthew 12: 39 “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it…” They wanted him to show them a miracle, sign, evidence, or proof that he was the son of God. He refused. We can’t prove to you the existence of God by use of physical evidence. The witnesses of the events recorded them in the Bible and those who have been saved can give witness or testimony of their personal spiritual experience.

      The witnesses include the writers of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, & Paul. They also include the other disciples, all those who were healed and saved in the narrative, those who were present at Pentecost, every person who has been saved since, and me. If you have been saved, you have experienced Jesus, and you can testify to that experience.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Will

      "We can’t prove to you the existence of God by use of physical evidence."

      We're done here.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Yes Robert. Liars, con men, and others who want your loyalty, and ultimately your cash, will always convince you that they suffer no requirement to prove anything to you. They will always say to you, "You just have to believe me."

      Well, I'm sorry, but I don't have to believe them, and I don't. End of story.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Jim

      Wouldnt worry bout Otto much, Robert. Its pointless to argue with someone who lacks a reading ability, or makes comments like "how can you believe in a god that supports slavery". If someone with such a comment has actually read the bible, and i mean read, not just "oh yeah i know that word, ok next word", they would actually know the difference in the terms slavery used between the jews and the ancient egyptians.

      @Otto, there should be a book at your local library called "Reading for Dummies" It has pictures and little coloring areas. I think you and your kind would get a kick outa that.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      You will find that Jesus was pretty rough on the religious crowd of that day, calling the religious leaders hypocrites and thieves. I don’t think he would approve of all this health, wealth, and send your money preaching, either. I don’t want your money or to win a debate. You all have my best wishes. Thanks.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      You're absolutely correct Robert. Jesus was the only one in the movement with a pure heart (that is if we can rely on any of the texts as sufficiently describing the real Jesus). It was when Paul and the Romans got their hands on Christianity that it became a religion of cash. And it was when Constantine got his hands on it that it became a religion of war.

      If Jesus were alive today looking for a religion for himself, he would look over Christianity, shake his head, and keep on shopping.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Otto

      Owning people is wrong, period. The Bible never condemns owning people. Here is what it DOES say, we will test your reading comprehension.

      What the Bible says about Slavery

      Exodus 21:2
      If thou buy an Hebrew servant....
      Exodus 21:7
      If a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant....
      Exodus 21:20-21
      And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Will

      @ Jim

      We'll ignore for the moment that the Bible doesn't only endorse the Jewish form of slavery, but commands slaves in the Roman system to be obedient to their masters–even the cruelest ones–because the notion of hierarchy is more important than our human notions of "justice." If you want to concentrate on the Jewish Old Testament form, then we're still talking about allowing slaves to be beaten severely enough that if they get up after "a day or two," you're a kind enough master not to have to set them free. Then there's that whole thing about selling one's daughters as property, forcing conquered people to be slaves (when they weren't massacred), including the act of letting only the virgin girls of a conquered tribe live so that they can be... "wives." And if you still view that as totally okay, there's still the rest of the Old Testament laws to account for.

      But still: it's only stories until a God is actually shown to exist, here. Maybe he'll swoop down (no he won't) and say hi sometime. Then he can state how cruel and immoral a world we live in, without good old Jewish slavery and such, and how we can all learn a thing or two about the monetary value of the human race.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • tbreeden

      And the mama bear said "Somebody's been sleeping in MY bed!"

      March 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Otto

      Exodus 22:3
      If he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
      Leviticus 22:11
      If the priest buy any soul with his money....
      Leviticus 25:39
      And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee....
      Leviticus 25:44-46
      Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever.
      Ephesians 6:5
      Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Otto

      Jim,

      Typical, you make claims and then when you are shown actual evidence that you are wrong you dissappear.....

      March 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Jeff A

      There was a roar and a great confusion of noise.
      Fires lept up and licked the roof.
      The throbbing grew to a great tumult, and the Mountain shook.
      Sam ran to Frodo and picked him up and carried him out to the door.
      And there upon the dark threshold of the Sammath Naur,
      high above the plains of Mordor,
      such wonder and terror came on him that he stood still forgetting all else,
      and gazed as one turned to stone.

      Fire belched from its riven summit.
      The skies burst into thunder seared with lightning.
      Down like lashing whips fell a torrent of black rain.
      And into the heart of the storm, with a cry that pierced all other sounds,
      tearing the clouds asunder, the Nazgûl came,
      shooting like flaming bolts, as caught in the fiery ruin of hill and sky
      they crackled, withered, and went out.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  7. smk

    Right path is to believe and obey only one God. Every time humanity deviated from this path, God sent down His of prophets (Noah, Ibrahim, Mosses Jesus and Mohammed were among thousands) who carried this single message to the whole humanity (And they all had the highest moral standards). That is the message of Islam.

    God speaks to the whole humanity through His book Quran..

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. The only people to heed your warnings are those who reverence their Lord, even when alone in their privacy, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat). Whoever purifies his soul, does so for his own good. To God is the final destiny. [35:18]

    “…anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people....." Qur'an [5:32]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    March 26, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • AGuest9

      Qur'an 9:5 But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem.

      Qur'an 8:15-16 O you who believe! When you meet the disbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his back to them on such a day, unless it is in a stratagem of war or to retreat to his own troops, he draws on himself the anger of Allah, and his abode is Hell, an evil refuge!

      Qur'an 33:60 Truly, if the Hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who stir up sedition in the City, desist not,We shall certainly stir thee up against them: Then will they not be able to stay in it as thy neighbours for any length of time:

      March 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Otto

      So your morals come from those who support slavery and child r@pe, and I don't care if those activities were accepted practice at the time, if they were really morally superior they would have denounced those actions not participated in them.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Bob

      Wow, smk, sounds like your god is even more of a jerk than the Christian god. So tell me, why again does your particular loving, caring deity demand "obedience"? What a joke, the stuff that you religiots fall for, or maybe you just like bondage or something.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of religion.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Jeff

      Nope, not convincing.An angel revealed himself to one mortal about your god?!?

      March 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  8. J.W

    So who are the other religious groups there. I only see the article mention WBC.

    March 26, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  9. J.W

    Any of you atheists on here in that picture?

    March 26, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  10. Chewbacca

    Here's my video of the Reason Rally, there was a decent turnout considering the rain and all.

    There was even a Jesus riding a dinosaur.

    In the video, there are people arguing at the end.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2QEjZwg1BQ&w=640&h=390]

    March 26, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  11. hippypoet

    🙂

    makes me happy to know not all people are slow to the truth.

    March 26, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  12. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/Disease:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    p.4

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    March 26, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Me

      I'm sorry did you miss the part where Jesus came to the disciples when he resurrected from the dead? He told Thomas to touch him and then others saw him and oh yeah the disciples saw him accent to heaven. I'm sorry sir, but the tripe you spout is not correct.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • catholic engineer

      "After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
      The rest of the story: the Sanhedran was of afraid of that very thing – the disciples stealing the body. That's why they demanded a guard be placed at the tomb. And "Assuring themselves some standing"? Amazing. All the apostles except John were martyred for standing by their resurrection story. Not the kind of standing your authors suggest.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Thomas

      1. His first appearance was to Mary Magdalene, on that early Sunday morning. (Mark 16:9; John 20:10-18).
      2. Jesus appeared to the women returning from the tomb. (Matthew 28:9-10).
      3. Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:13-32; Mark 16:12-13).
      4. He appeared to Peter in Jerusalem. (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).
      5. He appeared to his disciples and other followers, and also a second time to the two men from Emmaus, in a locked room in Jerusalem. The apostle Thomas wasn't there at that time. (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23).
      6. A week later, Jesus again appeared to his disciples behind locked doors, and this time Thomas was present. (John 20:24-29).
      7. Jesus appeared to seven of his disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. (John 21:1-24).
      8. Jesus was seen by 500 believers at one time. (1 Corinthians 15:6).
      9. He appeared to James. (1 Corinthians 15:7).
      10. He appeared to eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee. (Matt. 28:18-20).
      11. He walked with his disciples along the road to Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, and then ascended into Heaven. (Luke 24:50-53).
      12. He was seen by Paul on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:3-6; 1 Corinthians 15:8).

      March 26, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Daniel

      How could the disciples have stolen the body of Jesus, the punishment for breaking a Roman grave seal, or attempting to steal a body or overpowering a Roman soldier was death, That’s a big risk for absolutely no payoff. Some will say “maybe the guard was asleep”. First, dereliction of duty brought death to a Roman soldier,and secondly, the stone covering the tomb weighed 2 tons and was rolled into a stone groove which would have been flush against the stone opening of the grave. Think about how loud a 2 ton stone scraping against stone would be as several disciples tried to move it. Not even Rip Van Winkle could sleep through that, so, how could the disciples have stolen the body?
      Answer, they didn’t. Jesus actually rose from the dead.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Round John

      Part of what you need to consider as well is that 2000 years is indeed a long time; generations have passed, no eyewitnesses are alive now, and the stories have changed many times with re-telling, new edits, and a series of translations. One might think that a 'god' could do better for evidence, and such a being really can't reasonably expect us to go on such aged stories that are now nth hand at best. So, I think it's pretty clear that the Christian god does not exist, and the whole Christ back from the dead thing is just a mix up and blend of a whole lot of stories from people who were really very primitive in their understanding of the world around them.

      Perhaps more significantly, there is no more recent evidence for activity that can be attributed with any certainty to a god. Therefore, a just god cannot reasonably blame modern humans for doubting his existence. All that you are left with, if you accept the consequences that the bible presents, is that your god is either unjust, or just ain't there. The latter case is a lot stronger.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Thomas,
      "8. Jesus was seen by 500 believers at one time. (1 Corinthians 15:6)."

      I've always wondered about this one. No where else, as far as I'm aware, in the New Testament or any other source is this mass revelation/appearance even mentioned, let alone corroborated.
      Is there any reason to think that this is anything more than just hyperbole used to garner credibility?

      March 26, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Mike

      I didn't read your comment.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Stupidity is not healthy for Christians and other living nitwits

      So Daniel, of all the potential scenarios for that, you decided that the most wildly impossible one is logically the one it must be?

      March 26, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Reality

      There was no guarded grave.

      One more time:

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      And all the references to said tomb and resurrection do not meet rigorous historical review i.e. lack proper attestations, witnesses, and/or said references were late additions to the NT.

      e.g. Mark 16:9 – 20 http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=522_Later_Markan_Endings and from Professor Gerd Ludemann's conclusions, (Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 116), "The historic value is nil".

      March 26, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • TING

      I'm sorry did you miss the part where Jesus came to the disciples when he resurrected from the dead? He told Thomas to touch him and then others saw him and oh yeah the disciples saw him accent to heaven. I'm sorry sir, but the tripe you spout is not correct

      Reality missed the part where the Bible became a historical doc.ument. I missed it as well.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      His "accent"? How did they see that?

      March 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Immediately, Thomas' points 1 and 3 can be eliminated, since Mark historically ends at 16:8. Verses 9 through 20 were found "that it was composed by the second century, although vocabulary and style indicate that it was written by someone other than Mark." footnote, p. 94, Mark, New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Otto

      Matthew 27

      27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
      27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
      27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

      So Zombies walked around Jerusalem, this would have been big news but for some reason all the mainstream historians missed the Jersulam Zombie Apocolypse.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Arimathea

      Reality-You cannot rely on Crossan for your destiny. Take charge of your life, be free of the bondage that Crossan has you in
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5Kbr7Sg89s&w=640&h=390]

      March 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Reality

      Mark 16:9 – 20 http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=522_Later_Markan_Endings and from Professor Gerd Ludemann's conclusions, (Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 116), "The historic value is nil".

      . JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with John's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

      March 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Daniel

      At some point you need a reality check. Jesus Christ has transformed more lives for the greater good of humanity ,he has has been the most powerful agent in transforming society for the better across 2000 years. No other religion, philosophy, teaching, nation or movement has changed the world for the better as Christianity has done.Jesus Christ is the greatest Man who has ever lived, and the Bible is the greatest Book ever written.

      "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

      March 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Bob

      Daniel, your claim is unfounded. We don't actually know what we would have become without Christianity, but the world likely would be a better place today if Christianity had never come into being, and into power in Europe. Assuming no other similarly dogmatic religion took its place and caused similar suppression of truth and persecution of science and of dissenting opinion that has been so typical of Christians when in power, we would be further ahead in science and the arts than we are now.

      Claiming Christianity has been good overall for us looks to be a pretty specious claim.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Rick

      Daniel-Right with those observations. Humanity has benefited the greatest from Christianity and what a powerful impact Jesus Christ has/is and will continue to be.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Rick, "Humanity has benefited the greatest from Christianity"??? I guess once you discount the Crusades and the Inquisition, for starters.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  13. Nii

    My culture is very materialistic. We fear a wasted life more than death because posterity will judge you worse than God will based on how useful u were to your generation and how wealthy u were. Materialism is not a Western thing only or so modern. Jesus freed me from bondage to money.

    March 26, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • Duh

      "Jesus freed me from bondage to money."

      Yet you can get online and post your drivel – so you still have money which is more than most. DUH! Why don't you use the money that your wasting online and send it to the starving people in the world, then you would be more like your Christ.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Nonimus

      "We fear a wasted life more than death because posterity will judge you worse than God will based on how useful u were to your generation..."
      Dropping the last bit of your sentence, I see no issue with the above statement.

      What is wrong with living your life attempting to be useful to your generation and in hopes of being viewed favorably by posterity?

      March 26, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  14. Nii

    Oh I can't stop laughing! I just finished of a piece on the WBC and I don't see what merits comment by atheists since they have damned all mainline Christianity to hell! And they r only about 40 people! I don't know about you but I think we shud get serious here. A fringe church like the WBC! lol

    March 26, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Damned christians to hell? Not likely!! We don't believe in hell to damn anyone there. Hell is something christians use in their fear mongering tactics to try to force people to believe. It is not something that can be proven to exist.
      The WBC deserves every bit of criticism they get...they protest much more than Atheist rallies, they protest soldier funerals, gay/lesbians, anything that doesn't fit in the buybull stories. Supporting them only proves how stupid and uneducated you really are!

      March 26, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @TruthPrevails "Hell is something christians use in their fear mongering tactics to try to force people to believe." Have you ever heard the axiom "Law is against human nature?" What it means is that people can and will do any vile thing unless they're afraid of punishment. If you dispose of the idea of hell, you still have human nature, and the need for civil law and it's punishments. From the Catholic point of view, the church teaches that hell exists, but not that any particular person is in there.
      I like being Catholic. It relieves me of the tremendous responsibility of having to judge anyone.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Dan

      "I like being Catholic. It relieves me of the tremendous responsibility for my own actions that adults have." -there, fixed that for you, catholic.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  15. ASN. Sean S. Palmqvist

    If you want to live in a non-religious country, come live in Scandinavia where 98% of the population are non-religious, atheist and agnostic.
    Knowledge will set you free from the bonds of religion. Religion is used by those who can not deal with life for what it is. The bottom line is that people choose to believe (not including children) in religion because they are afraid of inevitable- death, and where they go after that. The question is why atheism is finally being allowed to spread and take root in society? Is it because the new "religion" is capitalism?

    March 26, 2012 at 5:50 am |
    • sHade

      Also in Timbukto, lots of atheist there.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Nii

      Atheism's dominance in Scandinavia is over-rated! Besides what is living with non-believers or believers got to do with being happy or afterlife. I am Christian. I enjoy my life because of my religion and hope it leads to an afterlife of more joy. If it doesn't well I did enjoy here. Nothing amiss!

      March 26, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • Nii

      I am not afraid of dying! Do you know why Mr PALMQVIST? I have learnt to love my neighbor as myself and as St. John says perfect love casts out all fear. Was it fear that made me learn no! I just wanted to be happy with my station in life. I hated the rat race of life. De struggle to be successful

      March 26, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • AGuest9

      Nii, considering you have difficulty writing a coherent, grammatically correct sentence, I find it hard to believe you took part in the "rat race".

      March 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  16. Nii

    You can believe in anything. However the spiritual dimension that jews and Christians talk of is not about NOTHINGNESS. We factor nothingness into the equation of the Universe just as scientists do. Don't project your beliefs onto ours. Every religion has its tenets n 4 us finite time is physical.

    March 26, 2012 at 5:35 am |
  17. Joxer the Mighty

    I wonder when the people at Westboro Baptist church will realize they are doing Christianity a disservice by not trying to be like Jesus? I bet that while that church is protesting, Jesus would be off ministering to the poor and brokenhearted.

    March 26, 2012 at 5:34 am |
    • Primewonk

      Why limit it to the Phelps clan? None of the fundiots are very "Christ-like".

      March 26, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  18. Pipe-Dreamer

    Creation is no more a figment of one's imagination then Creation creating creations of bio-diversified kinds of Life upon the Celestially oriented plains of matured spatialness. Nothingness is a spiritual enigma that will never be given its' just reward and still I will ever continue to so believe in the Powers of Nothingness far outweighing the dynamics of the human condition.

    March 26, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  19. fred

    Thanks for the picture CNN I see Tom Tom bottom of the picture second from the left. There in the middle of the picture is Middle of the River.................what are you doing there Mark? Ouch, why the Satanic robe?

    March 26, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • TING

      An Atheist doesn't worship Satan because an Atheist doesn't believe in such nonsense.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • tallulah13

      You do realize, fred, that your comment makes no sense on any level.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Good grief...I had to look at the picture again. Yah know, when my African American friends find out that I am a registered Republican they often say that I think I am a wannbe white guy. But goodness, that guy is a good amount older than me.

      ...and the lady looks a bit too young to be Mrs TomTom, but it is interesting how the first lady from the left, is looking at her.

      March 26, 2012 at 7:17 am |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    YESS! I hit a nerve! Oh no, it's my own! OUCH!

    March 26, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • lol!

      LOL!

      March 26, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's so gratifying to see the Piddler, freddy, and assorted trolls talk about me all the time.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Bob

      You're not very ... consistent Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son. Are you always sober when you come on here?

      March 26, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you? If so, you should be able to tell when a troll is using my screen name. Not that I give a crap whether you can or not. This is a silly pastime, and if you want to attribute inconsistency to me, go right ahead.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Bob

      Hey, Tom, Tom, just to be sure that you know, that last negative remark about you from a 'Bob' wasn't from me. This Bob here really appreciates your posts. Keep up the good work!

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of religion.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks, Bob. Trolls abound.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Bob

      Thank You more Tom Tom, you're a peach.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
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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.