By Laura Koran, CNN
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
From the Blog:
CNN: Belief Blog talks to Joel Osteen
Pastor Joel Osteen sits down for a conversation with CNN's Belief Blog and answers your questions.
CNN Money: Catholic groups spar with Paul Ryan over budget
Rep. Paul Ryan is scheduled to deliver a speech at Georgetown University later this week, but he is unlikely to receive a standing ovation from some members of the faculty. Almost 90 faculty members at the prestigious Jesuit school have signed a letter to Ryan that claims the Republican budget guru is misinterpreting Church doctrine as it relates to the role of government in public life.
CNN: Osteen: Romney is a Christian
Famed pastor Joel Osteen reiterated his position that Mitt Romney is a Christian on Tuesday, saying as long as the likely GOP presidential nominee believes that Jesus is the Son of God then he subscribes to the Christian faith.
Tweet of the Day:
From @piersmorgan: Moment I got the @DalaiLama to bless #Arsenal : http://pic.twitter.com/b0GTnBXA
Belief on TV:
The New York Times: Muslim Women in India Seek Gender Equality in Marriage
For more than a decade, Muslim women’s organizations in India have been fighting for changes in the body of Islamic law that governs marriage, divorce and the property rights of women. But as the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board held its annual convention in Mumbai last week, the battle lines had never been so starkly drawn.
The Christian Post: Mitt Romney Adds Openly Gay Adviser to Team; Mormon Beliefs Questioned
Likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has named an openly gay man to his team of campaign advisers on national security and foreign policy issues in a move that is drawing criticism from some conservatives questioning his Mormon beliefs.
WRAL: FBI probes origin of anti-Muslim letter sent to NC mosques
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is trying to determine the origin of a threatening letter, filled with racial slurs and insults toward Muslims, that was recently sent to several mosques in North Carolina. The letter writer says that he or she would have no problem killing Muslims.
Reuters: Thailand's young nuns challenge convention
Beam Atchimapon is already three days late for the new school term in her native city, the Thai capital of Bangkok – but for a good cause. The nine-year-old is part of a small but growing group of Thai girls who choose to spend part of the school holiday as Buddhist nuns, down to having their heads shaven.
Excerpt of the day:
Celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah with my grandchildren, I have reasons for gratitude that my origins are richer and more complex than I had thought; but still, I wish my parents would have explained to me, when I was old enough to understand, what they had done. I would like to have had a chance to discuss every aspect of their deliberations.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright writes in her new book, “Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948." In the book, Albright reveals how she found out about her family’s Jewish roots at age 59. Her parents, who escaped Nazi persecution in their native Czechoslovakia, raised their children as Roman Catholics in what Albright believes was an attempt to protect them. Read more here.
Join the conversation…
CNN: Liberty University responds to Romney controversy, angers online students
Liberty University reacted over the weekend to a brewing controversy over the fact that the evangelical school has selected Mitt Romney, a Mormon, to speak at the school’s graduation. In a statement from Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., the school says that the complaints have significantly died down and that many of those complaining “had no affiliation with the university.”
Prayer changes things
Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
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.
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!*!
topic for a great back and forth...perpetual stone age belief vs modern science fact based non belief and the benefits of both for the modern person living in any first world country today?
think about it, i'll post it again tomorrow for the argument. :)
Since that is what we currently have, where is the question? Where is the debate? What is your point?
anyone can make up a story...every few years someone comes along and creates a new religion and that is just the ball rollings over again yet some folks refuse to see whats is cleary in front of them and i wish to discuss the benefits of this thru a comparision of both sides done at once... modern science fact based non belief philosophy vs the latter – stone age beliefs held as true without facts to back them up.
i think seeing the benefits of both listed out would be good therapy. A list of social, political, and ecomonical benefits...i guess once that is done one can see the other side of the list by simply viewing this – so its a double edged sword.
“In some awful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the pract.itioners.”
Actually, I only come here to relieve some boredom with the intellectual equivalent of midget tossing. A guilty pleasure admittedly, but it is just so funny to see people try to defend their beliefs when they have absolutely no evidence and their belief is fundamentally illogical.
When I have something better to do, which is most of the time, I don't give the subject a thought.
so cnn brought back the speed read huh....guess its a fall back now...whatever... just stopped in to toss a quote –
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
But i figure while i'm here i'll ask a lovely question in honor of the return of the speed read....
why is it that there are so many believers who deny the existence of such things as angles, demons, possession, spirits, and other of that ilk but yet claim belief in god? this i find rather hard to understand. if one is going to claim belief in the god of AB. then they take the notion of said god from one of either the Torah, the NT, or the Kuran which uses the existence of such ideas to explain how certain deeds are possible...which of course such things are found in the bibles of the god of AB. a.k.a. the word of god...how is it that these things are not adhered to as much as the notion of god's existence? shouldn't those who believe believe in all of it – this however does include such fun things as trolls, fairys, unicorns, dwarves, leprechauns, the loc ness monster, and mermaids... and again more of such ilk as these FAIRYTALE TYPE creatures would be of course includes as they are made up accordingly. :)
love feedback. :)
But bigfoot is real! Duh!
does anyone else find it odd that so many people wear their faith like a badge of honor? – lets not forget that faith is the belief in something that has no evidence to prove its existence.
so what these people are really doing is advertising a personal level of gullibility – another common name for it is stupidity.
I am impressed by your efforts at punctuation!
BRAVO SIR, BRAVO!
I have a question I would like to put forth to all the theists out there...
Q: Why do you purposefully post the retort of "prove that god does not exist?" when you are challenged upon your belief?
How many christians out there factually realize that the retort is illogical? Is this a religious thing? Of being ignorant on the course of a logical argument? How many christians do realize that their posting of "prove that god does not exist" is a retarded retort?
Thanks for posting your comments if you're christian. We atheists always know you'll be dead in the water when you are using that silly phrase.
That is the common conservative tactic now. Since they were long accused of being racists, they now accuse the other side of racism. Since they were long called "fascists", they now accuse liberals of being fascists (as well as communists – completely incompatible, but that isn't the point). When asked to prove the existence of their God, they now counterdemand that the atheists prove he doesn't exist.
It's pure counterpunch, the tactic of 7 years olds bickering on a playground. It is proof positive that they cannot support their beliefs, and must instead change the subject.
The above web address is worthy of reading especially if one is seeking to be enlightened with a sense of awe and woners regarding Fractals of the Cosmologic kinds!
I just saw this http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/25/atheist-group-wants-cross-from-rhode-island-war-memorial-removed/ . I think atheists need to pick their battles better than this.
You got that from Fox Propaganda? Really? Well, if you like advertising your self-brainwashing, so be it.
It is a religious symbol on public property, and that has never stood the test of the Constitution. And it dishonors the soldiers of all other faiths (as well as atheists) that fought and died for America.
Shouldn't even be a controversy. Take it down, put up something more respectful of everyone, not just the ideology of a select few.
Let's face it – this just shows how insensitive and intolerant Christians are to everyone else, and how they shove their religion down everyone else's throats. They would be doing EXACTLY the same thing if the symbol was a Muslim Crescent or something atheist.
Do we atheists have a symbol? I don't think we do.
Atheism is like having a broad nose.. All people with broad noses don't get together to decide how to represent people with broad noses, they just act like a person with personal desires.. A few individuals who happen to be atheists are asking for a particular law to be upheld; they have a right to speak up for the law in that manner if they wish, but it doesn't affect atheists or atheism at all.
The truth is most Atheist are more anti christian than any other group. Check out their websites, and a majority of the focus is on their misunderstanding of the scriptures and how they perceive them to be wrong.
Do a little thinking, Leo. What religion is most common in America? Which religion is most active in getting its theology encoded into law? Which religion is most aggressive about replacing science with myth in schools?
Obviously, atheists in America are going to take on the biggest problem, and that is where they will be most apparent.
J.W. – I think you presumptuous Christians need to pull your heads out of your behinds and acknowledge the large variety of OTHER belief systems that are prevalent throughout this nation! This is just ANOTHER prime example of how Christians presume that they are the ONLY system of belief that matters! Righteo and Momoya – you are correct that atheists don't have a symbol nor a common body of beliefs and presumptions! Atheism is the LACK of belief in the supernatural, but other than this NON-BELIEF there is no common agenda nor UNIFYING dogma to "tie" atheists together! If there WERE to be as symbol, it could be some image to represent Science and the Scientific method, but I am not sure that ALL atheists necessarily believe in or support the Scientific method and philosophy? I suspect that other than NOT believing in fairy tales, there really ISN'T any other commonality among fellow atheists. Each atheist is as unique as a snowflake, with their own thoughts and points of view! That is why atheism IS NOT a religion, it is the LACK of religion!
Don't be stupid, Leo.. Atheists in Saudi Arabia aren't concerned much with the god of the bible; they're concerned with the god of the koran.. Atheists in america aren't concerned much with the god of the koran; we're concerned with the god of the bible..
Just wanted to toss in, the "accepted" symbol of atheism is actually the atomic symbol ... so there would be a way to put that on the statue than just a cross, BUT I think instead of putting on any religious symbol, just don't put anything, or put something for America.
Athiests are no more anti-Christian than Christians are anti-[every other religion].
Momoya, Funny you said "Atheists in Saudi Arabia aren't concerned much with the god of the bible;"
Really? I went to http://www.thinkatheist.com/group/atheistsofsaudiarabia
Check out the first Propaganda video!! Who is it against? Elohim!! Who is the God of the Bible!!
And you tell me not to be stupid?
Chuckles, The atomic symbol is the symbol for the "American Athiests".
Righteo, Thanks for proving my point!! with "atheists in America are going to take on the biggest problem,"
That is Anti-Christian = Against Christians!!
HAHA! The good old reliable Christian fallback to criticism of the bible. "You just can't interpret it correctly". Probably the stupidest and most intellectually lazy position.
I didn't say anything against atheism. I was just criticizing this particular action.
Hawaii, There are plenty of Christian sites that respectfully respond to the Atheist, Why Doesn't God... ,etc.
Like I said the questions I see raised simply show a lack of understanding of the scriptures as a whole, but would rather take things out of context in an attempt to deceive people.
Ah the magic word, context. Tell me what "context" can you take differently when the bible says to kill gays? When "god" supposedly told his people to kill the men and women who weren't virgins (pregnant or not) and the male children, but keep all the nice juicy virgins for themselves? When it says that slaves that were not jewish could be passed to their children the same as they could leave property? What context should those be taken in Leo? You justifications for attrocities are completely astounding. What's even worse is that you refuse to see how immoral and evil the bible really is.
I got to wondering about atheist symbols, so I found this:
I personally like #5 the best. Check it out.
Righteo I know where there is a church that actually looks like that.
Momoya, No it is you that sees things incorrectly in that you say that people should be able to do whatever they want, when God says things like Men with Men is Evil, UnNatural, not something to allow to spread.
God is a Holy God and you want him to accept evil, sorry he won't.
silly deductions can be fun...example – Leo said that "God is a Holy God" this implies that there exists unholy gods and that states that Leo is acknowledging the existence of other gods and that is going against a main rule of the god that Leo claims is holy...sinning is a one way ticket to hell my delusional friend! at ;east according to the god you believe in....lets hope your wrong...for your sake! :)
Leo, you're not even making sense anymore.. must be naptime.
1) Hom.ose.xuality is not unnatural, constantly asserting that based on a 2000 year old book that has been disproven many times doesn't make it true.
2) Even if it were unnatural, how does that make it inherently wrong?
3) Do you assert that your god lives outside of time and space? If so then by definition your god is unnatural (outside of nature) and according to your "criteria" therefore bad.
Meant Hawaii... not momoya... So you don't think a man with a man is unatural? Come on, it is clearly not what the parts are made for.
Man and woman are designed perfect for each other, period.
God would be Super Natural not un Natural.
@ Righteo, #5 looks more like a Christian symbol. That is how many Christans present thier faith to me.
Hom.ose.xuality is not unnatural. It occurs in other places in nature, and since human beings in and of themselves are beings of nature (existing within the natural world) then all actions taken, whether good or bad, are natural actions.
contrary to the laws or course of nature.
Anything reported to be supernatural would also fall into this category.
Awww don't run away Leo, I'm just getting started. You still haven't addressed my reply to your whole "context" post.
Hawaii, This is the worst argument ever for Man with Man, because the Animals do it? Wow, so much for the clear differentiation of Man vs Animal. So now we will base our morals on how the animals live?
Lions eat other Lions babies, should we make that ok? Isn't it "Natural"?
I don't want to argue on this anymore. I have "Happy" friends and I have always loved them, and I know that my savior died for ALL of our shortcomings, and he is willing to forgive everyone. I am not called to judge those outside or non Christians, and I don't like it when people do.
I came against this because you brought it up as an attack on God.
Nice dodging, I bring up merely one of multiple points that point to hom.ose.xuality being a natural occurence, and the best you can come up with is "should we eat babies to?". Are you really so unable to defend your position that you need to resort to running away?
Christian says, "being gay is wrong because it is not natural." -Nature is the standard.
Christian later finds out that animals actually engage in gay behavior. -Nature is no longer the standard.
One of the hardest questions confronting Christians defending the biblical record is, "How could a good God commission Israel to destroy women and children when they're fighting their battles?"
This has happened more than once in the Bible. It's difficult to explain the answer to this, though I think there are a couple of reflections on the issue that offer food for thought. You can approach this from a couple of different directions.
First one caveat. I fully acknowledge that not all good answers are going to be emotionally satisfying to a lot of people. That's why this is a hard issue, because people let their emotional sensibilities rule instead of trying to see the bigger picture.
One way to approach the problem is to show that it's a much bigger problem than first imagined. Curiously, I think this helps make the solution simpler. God's command that Israel destroy women and children in battle is really just the tip of the iceberg.
What about when God slew the firstborn of Egypt? Many of these were women and children, some infants. Every plague on Egypt–the hail, the gnats, the frogs, the locust, the boils–fell on all Egyptians equally, not just upon the soldiers.
What about Sodom and Gomorra in which, with the exception of Lot and his family, every man woman and child was turned to cinder? Everyone was indiscriminately destroyed. The same thing happened in the Genesis flood. Only eight in the entire world survived. It's interesting that I have never heard anyone raise the complaint "What about the women and children?" in these instances.
When you read the book of Revelation you'll find this practice of God's is not limited to the Old Testament. In the future, God will once again visit judgment upon the world and destroy not just the soldiers, but the women and children as well. I've never heard anyone raise an objection about that, but isn't it the same problem, essentially?
The underlying question, "Is it right for Jews to kill women and children at God's command?" can only be answered by answering another question: Can God legitimately judge and destroy the world or any portion of it or its inhabitants that He sees fit to destroy? Is this inside of God's prerogatives or outside of it?
My answer is unequivocal: It is not evil for God to take life, because God is the Author of life. He can give it and He can take it away. That's part of the prerogative of being God. All that He creates belongs to Him. This is His world. He needs no further justification, because He is not compelled by any law higher than Himself.
Second, our notion of the sovereignty of God entails that every detail of the world is under direct control of God. Nothing happens that He doesn't either actively cause or passively allow. God did not create the universe, wind it up, then let it spin out its course without His involvement. Instead, regarding every nation of mankind on the face of the earth He has "determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation." (Acts 17:26)
This means that since humans are mortal, there comes a time when every life God created "shuffles off its mortal coil" and returns to Him, either for ultimate judgment or for ultimate reward. God, the Giver and Taker of life, calls every life back to Him at some point and in some manner. The timing and the method of each person's demise is somewhat incidental, from a moral perspective. It's up to Him.
So I'm arguing first that it's God's prerogative to take life when He so chooses, and second that the means He uses to take that life is a matter of His prerogative as well. Whether it's by disease, or mishap, or hailstones, or the angel of life, or the sword of a Jewish soldier, the means is up to Him. It's His prerogative.
My third thought has to do with the question, "What did those women and children do? They were innocent." I certainly understand the response and there is a sense in which on an emotional level I am troubled when I consider this. But there's another aspect to keep in mind.
God deals with people not just as individuals, but as groups. When the nation of Israel is doing well as a nation, doesn't He prosper the whole nation, even though there are individuals in the nation that are scoundrels? When the nation is doing well, generally speaking, God blesses the nation and everybody prospers.
However, the flip side is that when the nation is corrupt, then God judges the nation as a whole and everyone gets judged, even those remaining few that might be innocent. God is dealing with the nation as a group, for good and for ill. It works both ways.
This should not be a foreign concept to us, though we probably haven't considered the connection between this biblical reality and modern day practices. When the President and Congress agree to go to war against another country, they act as federal heads of state and commit each and every American citizen to war against a foreign power. The nation is at war, not just our lawmakers.
And we all suffer alike in the process. We surrender our effort and our taxes and even our life blood, if necessary. We all participate, even though war wasn't our idea. We acting as a unit, as a family, as a nation. And those we war against retaliate against us as a unit.
In the same way, when I nation rebels against God, it is not uncommon for God to go to war against that nation itself and not just against a few rebellious individuals. God takes up arms against the land and against every man, woman, and child.
Let's keep this in perspective, though. In the case of the nations in question that were utterly destroyed by God, it isn't a few citizens that imperiled the many. We know from Abraham's appeal on behalf of Sodom and Gomorra that God will spare a whole city of sinners for the sake of a handful of righteous people. Instead, there was a pattern of ongoing, thorough-going, and persistent moral rebellion against God that went on for years–in many cases, for generations–in spite of repeated warnings by God.
There's a third thing. It pertains to the challenge, "If God were really good, how could He do such a thing? How could He destroy these innocent people? This is barbaric." They take this record of God's judgment as evidence that the God of the Bible isn't really good at all, and therefore should not be believed in.
I approach it from a different direction. I think the preponderance of evidence from the same historical record–the Old Testament– is that God is good. He continually demonstrates not just his holiness, but also His patience and forbearance for those that consistently rebel against Him, though He has graciously cared for them.
This gives us good reason to trust Him. And if we have good reason to trust Him, then when we see things that seem to go against our sense of goodness and justice, it seems only fair to give the benefit of the doubt to God, who just might know something more than we know.
When we were children, our own parents acted in ways we didn't understand. We didn't think their decisions were fair. Later we learned that, for the most part, they had insight and information unavailable to us that influenced their decisions. Many times we learned that they were acting in our best interests after all, though we didn't see it at the time.
These are the kind of things we discover as we grow up. We learn that our parents were right most of the times we thought they were off base. The same kind of hindsight is true with God. God may know a few things we don't know.
By the way, the question has also been raised, "Why destroy the cattle, too?" My understanding is that in many of those cultures the people were so decadent they were having intercourse with animals. This caused rampant venereal disease in animals and humans that even infected children as well. So this may be– I'm not sure, but it may be– another reason God wanted these entire cultures wiped out. Because of their moral corruption, they were physically corrupt, and this represented a health threat to the new inhabitants of the land, the children of Israel.
Even if that wasn't the case, as the Author of life God still has the right to take life according to His own judgment. I've given you three good reasons to help make sense of that. Whether it's emotionally satisfying for you or not is another issue altogether.
Hawaii, I looked into the natural occurrence of Male\Male in animals, but could not find any evidence of Sod-omy in the animal kingdom. If this can’t be found in the animal world would it be unnatural?
"Hawaii, I looked into the natural occurrence of Male\Male in animals, but could not find any evidence of Sod-omy in the animal kingdom. If this can’t be found in the animal world would it be unnatural?"
"My answer is unequivocal: It is not evil for God to take life, because God is the Author of life. He can give it and He can take it away. That's part of the prerogative of being God. "
What a great argument in support of abortion! Women give life therefore they should use your gods example and be able to take it. Funny how your god gave the commandment not to kill, yet it's ok if it does, what a hypocrite. LOL!
Nice copy and paste. I remember seeing something like that on a thread maybe a month ago. So then god is allowed to destroy who or what he wants to, and is not bound by any mor.al guidelines he gives us. So then is your "god" the original justification for "do as I say not as I do"?
Also, the entire bible is in no way a historical docu.ment, and has been shown to be wrong multiple times. You also have yet to address the fact that according to the very definition of unnatural, your god falls into that category, and according to your logic of unnatural equaling immor.al/ evil, your god would be immor.al/ evil.
@HawaiiGuest- "Also, the entire bible is in no way a historical docu.ment,..."
The "Bible" is a collection of various books put together throughout time. Looking at it from that perspective..is none of it worthy of being looked at from a historical angle?
If the events cannot be verified from sources outside of the bible, keep in mind I said events not places (many works of fiction have references to real places), then there is no reason to think that the events happened.
Thank you for the write up on why God may take innocent life.
Actually, Leo, that was one sorry excuse for an explanation and wayyy too long.
You basically admitted your "god" is an evil one.
Evil one....hey, I've heard that name before...your "god" is actually "Satan".
Now it all makes sense and your religion is one of hate and evil. I knew that before but hadn't quite guessed you were pretending to worship a good god but I can see now your evil god is none other than Evil itself.
Good job. You've convinced me Christians are fooled into worshiping Evil. The signs are everywhere. Beware the judgment.
You said, "One of the hardest questions confronting Christians defending the biblical record is, "How could a good God commission Israel to destroy women and children when they're fighting their battles?""
This is actually one of the easiest questions for those that have the capacity for rational thought. It is easy for the same reason it is so hard for those deluded into their beliefs.
The exceedingly simple answer is: If there is a creature like the christian god, he is a monster of unimaginable proportions. That unmitigated fact is also why believers have such a hard time with the answer. They have to defend a murderer much worse than any psychopathic dictator ever to roam the earth. Believers have to justify their worship of a creature that is far more despicable than Hitler, Mao, Stalin and all other murderers combined.
It's a good thing that this creature is merely the figment of some very sick minds.
You said, "God's command that Israel destroy women and children in battle is really just the tip of the iceberg."
True, yet billions of believers still worship this monster.
You said, "It's interesting that I have never heard anyone raise the complaint "What about the women and children?" in these instances."
Pay close attention. I hereby lodge a formal complaint with all believers. Your god is a monster beyond compare. There is no justification for indiscriminately destroying innocent bystanders, women, children or otherwise.
You said, "It is not evil for God to take life, because God is the Author of life. He can give it and He can take it away. That's part of the prerogative of being God. All that He creates belongs to Him. This is His world. He needs no further justification, because He is not compelled by any law higher than Himself."
Your god feels it's OK to murder because he isn't bound by any morals. Got it.
You said, "Second, our notion of the sovereignty of God entails that every detail of the world is under direct control of God. Nothing happens that He doesn't either actively cause or passively allow."
That makes your god solely responsible for any and all evil and suffering. Without exception.
Your god is responsible for the holocaust. Your god is responsible for all ethnic cleansing. Your god is responsible for the attacks on the twin towers. Your god is responsible for all "natural" disasters and the suffering they cause.
That makes your god the number one enemy of civilization.
You said, "However, the flip side is that when the nation is corrupt, then God judges the nation as a whole and everyone gets judged, even those remaining few that might be innocent. God is dealing with the nation as a group, for good and for ill. It works both ways."
Unfortunately, you just claimed that your god is either directly or indirectly responsible for everything. So if a nation is corrupt, there is only one entity to blame.
You said, "When we were children, our own parents acted in ways we didn't understand. We didn't think their decisions were fair. Later we learned that, for the most part, they had insight and information unavailable to us that influenced their decisions. Many times we learned that they were acting in our best interests after all, though we didn't see it at the time.
These are the kind of things we discover as we grow up. We learn that our parents were right most of the times we thought they were off base. The same kind of hindsight is true with God. God may know a few things we don't know."
If your god is so omnipotent, it'd be child's play for him to make us understand. The fact that he hasn't makes him evil.
So, my Lord and Savior is an evil, satanic murderer of innocent women and children? Let me rephrase, my make believe friend is a an evil, satanic murderer of innocent women and children based on a bunch of made up stories written by con men for the purpose of controlling idiots. My make believe friend is public enemy number 1 responsible for the Holocaust and all natural disasters , pain, suffering etc since the beginning of time .
So, you conclude I must be a brainwashed idiot to have a personal relationship with this imaginary friend. As a matter of fact the 2 billion or so people that testify to knowing this imaginary friend suffer from the same physical, mental or emotional disorder that prevents them from growing up and moving past their childhood ways unable to let go of Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the like. All presidents of the United States since inception knew or pretended to know of this imaginary friend that is on our money, in our pledge and protected by our const-itution. Our cherished astronauts from space quoted out of this Fairy Tale the wonders of our imaginary friend. Atheists and nations have tried to rid the world of this imaginary friend many a time with all their might only to fail.
So, you conclude this imaginary friend is incompetent because he cannot communicate a clear message. Yet, 98%+ of the inhabitants of this world have heard about my imaginary friend and 6 billion people have read the Fairy Tale. Yet, your imaginary friend and my imaginary friend speaks into our soul that we have meaning and purpose. That message is communicated loud and clear in the same manner to both of us yet you want me to believe you did not get the message?
You aren't reasoning correctly.. If everybody who claimed to hear from god all heard the same thing or heard non-contradicting principles, nobody would even question god's existence.. His existence would be as obvious as gravity..
The problem is, nobody can PROVE that they hear from god, and everybody who claims to hear from him describes him differently.. That leaves three possibilities: 1. multiple gods account for multiple contradicting messages–perhaps one per person? who knows?. 2. An uncaring god, a stupid god or a trickster god who WANTS or does not care that the message to be so garbled as to be beyond belief.. 3. The "god" is merely the imagination of the believer.
Which one gets your vote?
The exact statement was "Yet, your imaginary friend and my imaginary friend speaks into our soul that we have meaning and purpose". I have meaning and purpose which I know in the core of my being. Do you momoya have meaning and purpose? Please no long trips down the Dawkins rabbit trail it is a simple question. Yes or no. My point is most everyone claims to have a clear message that their existence is meaningful and thus life has purpose. The question is why is it important to your soul (in your case assume I mean the computer chip between your ears so we do not take the Dawkins soul train on a ride to nowhere) to know that answer. Why is that so important that it is clearly communicated without any ambiguity.
You're mixing your terms up, again.. You don't "know" your purpose, you "assume/have faith/believe" you have a particular purpose.. Lot's of people think like you do, but none of you can prove any of it.. And I'm not willing to forgo my reason and sense just to feel ent.itled according to some group or other..
About purpose: I am free to think all sorts of things about what might be my "purpose" or how to determine it, or if I should determine it, or if I should or shouldn't attempt to determine it– and almost anything else.. My mind isn't locked into just one way to view reality.. I wouldn't say that it's any more or less fulfilling than a particular god belief, but it's enjoyable and allows me to ponder all sorts of ideas that I would not be able to consider if I had to maintain my "faith" according to just one religious perspective.
Certainly “God” is in the mind of the Believer at a minimum but, the word imagination is misleading. The transformation (conversion) is very real and is evidenced by marked change in the believer. The phrase born again is a better description than imagination. In short I vote for # 3 with an asterisk by the word imagination.
Based on your response you agree that we all received a clear message that we have purpose. Without purpose for existence life is meaningless. This message that virtually all receive loud and clear says we exist for a purpose which makes our life meaningful.
Can I hear an AMEN from the minister?
Has anyone else noticed Plain Ol' Dreamer is like Rainer with a speech impediment?
I've read of the humanists in passing gestations! I've heard about today's monumentalisms in the disastrous laments! I look ever onwards and forwards with an eyeing contempt toward frivolities and their makers underpinning tonalities ever leveraging bitternesses to God and His godly! The rocks that bleed the waters of holiness shall endure evermore! Even until this End of Timed Fortuitousness, the godly will ever more endure and be the ammassings' lighted sculptors of a New Dawning of embittered social fragrenced attritions allegories! Test! This is but a test! Only but a Test! Come what may!
It is a calamity that in our times the doctrine of sacramental baptism is about to disappear.
In fact, we don't need to get "born again", but born from above by Wate and Spirit (see John 3).
By nature we cannot even believe, but merely regard something as true. The real faith starts, when we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit we receive near-term to or at baptism. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit we can overcome our sinful flesh (body). As true worshippers of God we bring our body as a living sacrifice (see Romans). For this adoration we get empowered by the Spirit. This is the true faith, which saves.
This is the doctrine of the Early Church and the Bible.
Rebaptism is strictly prohibited. Infant batism is valid, but should take place in a sphere of faith, that means among pious believers. The mainline churches abuse infant baptism, because they don't connect it with discipleship.
1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.
As one's body being but a building husbandried by God does not make it a sinful flesh ideology! Even the goodly Samaritans are holy in their endearments sakedness issues! The Lord of all of God's Sons, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords, our redeemer of lost souls is Christ Jesus! To God does go all of the people's godliness spirits while the remaindered does suffer the plagues that will be like bitterness and vileness to the ever onward marchings of generationed humanists into the very depths of the Celestial Cosmos!
To my fellow believers,
If gay marriage became legal throughout the United States, do you think that this country will become worse off and in what way (other than just the fact that the 'gay lifestyle' would be more visible)?
Because the marriages would fail and tie up our courts.
Just like the hetro's do.
Marriage should be ceremnonial in nature and be irrelevant to the state.
Well, we would have to weigh personal liberties vs. the additional shnanigans Westboro Baptist Church would engage in. And then we have to consider the fall out of hot dogs marrying bridges. In all seriousness though, I don't think it would have much of an imapct at all on anyones daily life. Now if someone can prove to me that gay marriage will some how make my morning cup of coffee more expensive we may have a problem.
"Marriage should be ceremnonial in nature and be irrelevant to the state."
Now, you're talkin.
I would think that the conservatives would want gay marriage as well. They know that the gays aren't going away, and if they are allowed to marry then there would be less s3x outside of marriage.
It depends on the conservative in question, JW.. This planet is SEVERELY overpopulated, so the christians and everybody else should be in favor of the gay lifestyle, contraception medicine, prochoice, etc.. , but instead many of the christians are against these measures and want to see MORE children born to more and more people..
That's one of the problem I have with christians is that they don't look down the road far enough because they think that god's gonna swoop in and save everybody when things get too bad.. Atheists don't think some magic answer is going to come along and fix everything we've screwed up.. We look at the future squarely and try to come up with ways to make it better as we go forward.. It's annoying as all fvck.. "We don't care how our policies will affect the future and our children and grandchildren because of GAW-OD!! He gonna make everything allllll right! Yay-es!". Well, gee, ok, but how about we start fixing stuff now and looking ahead a little bit better since we don't know when he's goign to show up?
Sorry about the rant, but my gosh, we don't have to be this short-sighted and stupid..
Yeah I still wonder about the children thing momoya. I mean I do hope I have kids one day, but I think I just want one or two. Really I think we are seeing consequences of it already. If God told his followers in Genesis to be fruitful in multiply, I think that may have been good advice at that time because there weren't that many people on earth and the species may have died out if we didn't, but we don't have the danger of that happening now unless we become so overpopulated that we do not have any resources left.
Ho.mophobes will purposely cause as much damage as possible themselves because they know gay marriage isn't going to change anything on its own and will be so angry their heads might even explode. We can dream, can't we?
It isn't going to make a damn bit of difference. All the controversy has no reality to it. The world will be about the same, and people will look back on the controversy, and just like equal rights for blacks and the vote for women, wonder why anyone was worried about it in the first place.
J.W, you are so in the past and behind the times. Santorum and Bachmann, the prior tea bag party darlings, lost out to a Mormon and the tea party is in major decline. The Christian right (actually wrong) is on its way out too, and with all its bigotry and hatred including its hom.o.phobia, that's a great thing.
You can see the trends happening. Marriage is changing, and morals always do evolve and change. Eventually, we will have not just gay marriage, but gay marriage among siblings, and gay marriage among offspring and parent, and marriage between more than 2 parties. So much for the absolutist Christian views. What a joke. The early Mormons actually weren't too far out with their multiple wives but they were sexist and unfair to women.
It's just a matter of time before your religion either shifts to fit the times, or fades away. Maybe it will be replaced by some new supersti.tion, or hopefully, none at all, but Christianity is obsolete, vacant, and hopefully soon to be dead as a dodo.
So 2 guys next door are doing gay stuff. We pass a law and now the same 2 guys are doing gay stuff with a piece of paper. We might be worse off because people will be donating money to organizations protesting gay marraige, when that money could've been donated to the cure for a desease. Then I suppose bad stuff will happen. What kind of bad stuff? You know, natural disasters, plane crashes, military fatalities, basically stuff that just happens but we say it is happening because people are sinning. Because God punishes whole countries for the sins of the few, that's just how God rolls.
Need to have 2 year marriage contracts with an option to renew like in Mexico.
So I am behind the times just because I am a Christian? Well there are billions of people in the world that are behind the times as well I guess.
I guess you have never been married?
Booty out of wedlock INCREASES with marriage.
Counter intuitive, but true.
lol no William I never have. I am still searching for my one true love.
Sarcasm aside, why would we "...have not just gay marriage, but gay marriage among siblings, and gay marriage among offspring and parent, and marriage between more than 2 parties? "
Can siblings and parent/child marriages happen today? Why would you expect they be legal after gay marriage? Can sterile hetero siblings get married? Can post-menopausal women marry their own sons? etc.
Although, personally I don't see why polygamy (polygyny and/or polyandry) shouldn't be illegal. If all parties are fully informed and can and do consent, why should the state care? Close family, however, in addition to the genetic issues with any offspring, are often too emotionally involved to eliminate the chances of undue influence by one party or the other.
Are you in a commited relationship?
You sound like one hell of a dinner date!
We could go to church and get arrested!
^ shouldn't be legal.
Visiblities of gayness marriages will make little difference to non-existent what the amassed "duplitarded" shall seek'-think in their thoughtlessness scruples let alone moralities' concerns! The world will ever gain more amassings of deviltries' consortiumns! As social constructivisms become the wrecking balls' tactilitarian frivolities, the people will ever become more diluted and apart from their own faiths' renditioning core values! Alive is fastly becoming the tenacities' fulcrum! My neighbors have no clothes, therefore, I shall rid also my clothes and become as naked as the neighbors now are!
Considering that gay marriage is already legal in parts of America and in a number of other countries, the question is not hypothetical. You can simply look at these places to find out the answer.
And the answer is . . . nothing. Gay marriage has no real impact at all on society beyond the impact on the couple in question.
Geez dreamer it seems as though you were trying to see how many crazy words you could fit together in one paragraph.
When religion boils down to become a oneness of individualists' undertones, then will Time be as a readiness! The tradjectories of all will be an amplitudinal acronym of relative conveniences! People will parlor to their ownliness advents! The fullfillments of random's deniabilities will ensnare the lots who anass themselves with seditions of the contritsed! The people will lay waste their own scrupulousness ideals for that of the amassed lot! Change henceforth and be a baptismal presence instead of the seditionists' lay-wastings away toward hell's kitchens!
@ J.W, if you get REALLY bored, try googling random words from dreamer's posts. Sometimes you'll find 1 result, being the belief blog page you were just looking at. It takes talent to make up a word you can't find anywhere else on the internet.
Your atoning rendition to send mediocrities as a sounding-boarded' firmament to lay waste the visionaries of God and godliness principalities shows nothing but carelessness of declining revelries! Your chalice is all but emptied and your plate has been piled full!
Lol lunchbreaker i tried duplitarded and you were right it pulled up that post that he just did when I googled it.
In the old testament days when Israel or other nations did things that God did not like the consequences were severe. 2 Timothy 3:16, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
So, the fear is that as a country, if we make a law allowing something that God has identified as an abomination, then as a nation we would be subject to his wrath.
I find it interesting that Jesus was silent on the specific subject. Jesus focused on the heart of each individual and had little to say about government laws, other than render to them what belongs to them and obey those in authority. His kingdom is spiritual and while nations may fall, his kingdom will stand forever.
To answer the original question, I suspect that it will continue the moral decline of our nation as a whole, but I hope not.
2 Chronicles 7:14, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
It's like playing MadLibs on acid or something.
Where I live, gay marraige isn't an issue.
It happens all the time – they get married at city hall, an Anglican or a Unitarian church if they like the whole clergy approval thing. Churches that don't want to officiate the ceremonies aren't forced to.
It hasn't opened to door to legalizing zoophilia, pedophilia or incest and has absolutely 0 impact on straight marriages.
There's more hemming and hawing about marijuana decriminalization here than there is about gay marriage.
Bigotry is confusing. We used to say blacks could not marry whites, they had to marry each other. Now we say gays can't marry each other, so they have to marry... us?
I don't often agree with conservatives, but found the opinion piece by Theodore B. Olson "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage" to be a very good read. I think it makes a good case for why same sex marriage is the right thing, even for conservatives.
You can find a copy here:
But, since I'm not a believer, I feel you've disqualified me from answering your question, so I won't. ;)
Romney is a bad idea, but not as bad as O–b–o–n–g–o
Taht sounds racist to me.
I see the extreme right is represented this morning!
Why are you afraid to answer *facepalm*'s post where he described the doctrine of h.ell to you?? Why did you lie and claim that it was full of "hate speech?"
"Obongo"? Really? how pathetic.
Didn't I just read some comments by you about "hatetheists" or some such.
@GodsPeople, I'd be embarrassed to be your God.
It's funny that when an atheists points out to a christian what he really believes about hell or other uncomfortable topics, the believer accuses the atheist of "hate speech.". Dude, it's YOUR beliefs we're telling you about; how can it be "hate speech?"
"as long as the likely GOP presidential nominee believes that Jesus is the Son of God then he subscribes to the Christian faith.", Mr. Osteen said.
What actually means the word "believe" in the biblical context?
It can mean two things:
Firstly, that one regards something as historical true.
Secondly, that one is pious through faith in Christ.
In the Epistle to the Romans by St. Paul, Chapter 3, 20-26 we can read:
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
This passage gives us a pointer that faith in Christ has something to do with righeousness or justification. The real faith or belief must lead to the righteousness of the sinner (you are no sinner, if you keep the ten commandments more than perfectly; love is the fullfillment of the law; you have got that supernatural love?).
Yet, does someone get merely a label "righteous" or shall someone become righteous by word and deed???
The whole context of the Epistle to the Romas makes it clear that by the true faith we shall become righteous by word and deed. It is not God's will to stick only a label on our forehead: "righteous".
For example, read Romans 4, where Abraham's faith is depicted. Abraham was that righteous (by faith) in daily life that he is still venerated by the mankind: Jews, Muslims and Christians. Of course his is not venerated for his faith, but because he lived a life of true righteousness in daily life. Abraham was righteous by word and deed, otherwise he would not be still venerated.
Hence, we only believe that Jesus is the Son of God in a narrower sense, if we have become really pious by faith. This is the real faith.
Faith is much more, than regarding something as historical true. Real faith changes a human being or improves his life.
It is only that the salutary faith begins with the belief, that something is historical true.
You hear the gospel that God delivered his Son for your sins and raised him from the dead for your justification. First, you simply should regard that as true, but secondly you should get sacramentally baptized. At baptism you receive a person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, which helps you to overcome the lust of your body and to love God and your neighbour. If you live a Christian life by the power of the Holy Spirit, you have got the real faith, in which you are righteous.
The sacramental baptism is a divine call for disciplship. After baptism you follow Jesus, not in order to get saved or in order to add on something to the baptism, but you follow Jesus, because at baptism you received a new life in Jesus and you died for the sin. You just live the life, which God has given you for free. A Christian practices righteousness not in order to get saved, but because he is yet saved.
As far as I know the Mormons dont't practice sacramental baptism, but a baptism, which is merely a meaningless bath.
Hence, in a narrower sense Romney cannot believe that Jesus is the Son of God. It is not possible that Romney has the real faith.
All true Churches keep the one holy sacramental baptism, which is not allowed to be repeated, and they teach that baptism is a divine call for discipleship. Someone, who becomes a believer first in his riper years and has yet received infant baptism, shall simply remember his infant baptism in faith and receive the Spirit.
It's not just believing and living a good life that brings salvation. It is having a loving ” born again” relationship with Jesus. It's because you love that you obey. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” The love must come first. Salvation is so simple a child can understand it, so complicated a scholar can not explain it.
If you haven't had this experience, you can't understand it.
Have you ever been very much in love with someone and tried to explain your feelings so that another person truly understands just how you feel? Could you do it?
Did you ever love someone so much that you would do all you could to please that person?
“All true Churches keep the one holy sacramental baptism, which is not allowed to be repeated, and they teach that baptism is a divine call for discipleship. Someone, who becomes a believer first in his riper years and has yet received infant baptism, shall simply remember his infant baptism in faith and receive the Spirit.”
Where did you get this doctrine? Not all true Christian churches will agree with this.
"Firstly, that one regards something as historical true."
LMAO – the bible has already been proven not to be an historical document. LOL!
"All true Churches keep the one holy sacramental baptism, which is not allowed to be repeated, and they teach that baptism is a divine call for discipleship."
Funny but the religion of Mithra had the baptism too, which is where the Christian religion stole it from. LMAO!
No prayer troll?
What's up with that?
Knock on wood.
He finally got to the top of the waiting list somewhere and is now getting proper medication? Just a guess.
Due to the worsening of Heaven Sent's dissociative schizoid issues, marked by rapid expansion of the number of alternate personalities, we had to terminate her computer priviledges, as well as up her medications radically and constrain her for her own good in what she calls her "huggy jacket." She is in Padded Roon 4, which she is sharing with another dissociative schizoid with fractured identities who goes by names such as Justina. They are busy drooling at the moment.
You mean Cap'n Sayin Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervert Neumann is doing the thorazine shuffle?
Wow. Prayer really DOES work!
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