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Exceptionalism through time
June 30th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Despite fights about its merits, idea of American exceptionalism a powerful force through history

This is the first in a series exploring the concept of American exceptionalism. On Monday, we examine areas in which other countries lead the way.

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – It’s safe to say the first European arrivals to New England wouldn’t recognize today’s debate over whether America is exceptional.

Though the United States wouldn’t be born for another century and a half, the Puritans arriving in the early 1600s on the shores of what would become Massachusetts firmly believed they were on a mission from God.

In other words, they had the exceptional part down pat.

Fleeing what they saw as the earthly and corrupt Church of England, the Puritans fancied themselves the world’s last, best hope for purifying Christianity - and for saving the world.

The Puritans never used the word “exceptionalism.” But they came to see Boston as the new Jerusalem, a divinely ordained “city upon a hill,” a phrase Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop used in a sermon at sea en route from England in 1630.

“They were reinterpreting themselves as God’s new Israel,” Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero said. “They were essentially playing out the biblical story.”

To modern ears, that literal exceptionalist thinking could sound at once both exotic and quaint, which makes the idea’s staying power and influence throughout American history all the more remarkable.

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Nearly four centuries after Winthrop uttered the words “city on a hill,” President Barack Obama finds himself responding to charges from Republican challenger Mitt Romney that he has insufficient faith in American exceptionalism.

“Our president doesn’t have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do,” Romney said at a campaign stop this year. “You have an opportunity to vote and take the next step in bringing back that special nature of being American.”

Obama has pushed back on that claim, saying in a recent speech that “the character of our country … has always made us exceptional.”

Though the particulars surrounding the idea have changed, the bedrock belief that America is exceptional when measured against the arc of history and against all other nations has helped forge the nation’s defining moments, from the American Revolution and the country’s dramatic expansion west to the Civil War and both World Wars.

More recently, arguments about American exceptionalism have helped elect and unseat presidents – and have fed a debate about whether the phrase still has any meaning.

'An asylum for mankind'

For New England’s Puritans, exceptionalism was a religious idea with big political repercussions.

They thought the Protestant Reformation, which had been set into motion a century before, hadn’t gone nearly far enough in rooting out the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church.

Puritans saw the pomp and hierarchy of the Protestant Church of England as too much like another papacy.

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In New England, Winthrop and his fellow travelers established a theocracy that they hoped would be a model for English Christianity.

“They had to succeed to bring about this promised apocalyptic history that would culminate in the second coming of Christ, hopefully to New England,” said Deborah Madsen, an American studies professor at the University of Geneva.

“To fail would be to fail the world on this grand, transcendent scale,” said Madsen, who has studied the idea of American exceptionalism throughout U.S. history.

With the stakes thought to be so high, there was intense social pressure among Puritans to adhere to a strict moral code.

Everyone looked for signs that they were among the elect destined for heaven and kept a watchful eye out for neighbors who might be backsliding. The starkest example: the Salem witch trials of 1692, in which 19 people were hanged in Massachusetts for allegedly practicing witchcraft.

“If the members of the community fulfilled their part in the work of sacred history, not only would the individuals find salvation, but the whole community would be saved,” Madsen said, summarizing Puritan thinking. “But if any individual failed to live up to this grand destiny, the entire community would be denied salvation.”

Being God’s chosen people, it turned out, wasn’t all roses.

America exceptional? Not by the numbers

As new arrivals and subsequent generations enlarged colonial America, the Puritans’ faith-based ideas were gradually secularized.

By 1660, it had become clear to the Massachusetts theocrats that they wouldn’t be exporting their ideas abroad anytime soon. That was the year the British monarchy was restored after a decade of rule by the Cromwells, putting an end to Puritan rule in England and re-establishing the Church of England as a political power.

And with new Enlightenment ideas making their way from Europe about a rational universe knowable through reason, the Puritans’ quest for perfect religious institutions gave way to a colonial quest for perfect political institutions.

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The democratic ideas that made up this new political exceptionalism owed plenty to Winthrop & Co.

“Puritans had mapped out the relationship between church and the community that included the seed of democratic participation,” said Madsen. “The idea was that everyone had rights but also responsibilities.

“By fulfilling their responsibilities and respecting the rights of others, they would achieve happiness through the social contract.”

That egalitarianism helped lay the groundwork for the American Revolution, though Madsen notes that “the terms of reference had changed from salvation to democracy.”

America’s revolutionaries were keenly aware that their calls for democratic government in the face of English rule were exceptional for their time.

“Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression,” Thomas Paine wrote in 1776 in “Common Sense,” which helped galvanize colonists toward the Revolutionary War.

“Freedom hath been hunted round the globe,” Paine wrote. “Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger. … O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.”

The Puritan vision of America as world’s godly beacon had been replaced by the image of the nation as the world’s workshop for political and social progress. America’s founders wanted to break with what they saw as the corruption of European politics and society, where a person’s status was mostly a matter of inheritance.

By contrast, the founders proposed in the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

While other republics had come and gone, many of the founders who signed the Declaration - and, later, the Constitution - wanted the American Republic to endure forever.

This was city on a hill 2.0.

Manifest destiny

Reading the founders’ paeans to American exceptionalism - about aspiring to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” as the Constitution puts it - can put a lump in your throat.

But their vision excluded huge swaths of the population, like women and slaves. And other applications of the idea had their own dark sides.

Take Manifest Destiny.

As the nascent United States strove to expand westward in the 1800s, its leaders faced major problems, including how to justify taking land that belonged to Europe or that was occupied by Native Americans.

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Manifest Destiny – the idea that it was God’s will for the U.S. government to occupy North America or all of the Americas – offered a big part of the answer.

“A civilization that has the sanction of God is always the ultimate justification,” said the University of Geneva’s Madsen. “The idea was that God had made it manifest that the U.S. should expand. … It’s not much different than the idea of American exceptionalism.”

Like many facets of exceptionalism, the notion of Manifest Destiny wasn’t entirely new.

In the 1500s, Queen Elizabeth of England had established herself as a divinely ordained monarch whose reign had been presaged by the Bible. That mythology, which inspired Puritan exceptionalism, had helped English plantation owners justify forays into what is now Northern Ireland.

In the same way, Manifest Destiny helped justify the United States as it laid claim to European land and forcibly removed tens of thousands of American Indians. Many asserted that the campaign was meant to civilize or Christianize the natives, making good on America’s “chosenness.”

And the American image of a continent brimming with virgin land – which denied the presence of American Indians there – synched nicely with long-held exceptionalist visions of an unspoiled and utopian New World.

“Our manifest destiny (is) to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions,” American newspaper editor John S. O’Sullivan wrote in 1845, arguing for the annexation of Texas, in what is believed to be history’s first mention of Manifest Destiny.

It’s hard to know how much America’s leaders truly believed in the idea versus how much they employed it for purely political ends. Manifest Destiny certainly had high-profile critics, including Mark Twain, who declared himself an “anti-imperialist.”

“If you’re a cynical person and you see something like the Mexican-American War as a land grab, you can say this idea of Manifest Destiny was construed to create a moral tissue for a war of aggression,” Boston University international relations professor Andrew Bacevich said.

The westward expansion was driven largely by Southerners who wanted to farm the land and expand American slavery.

But abolitionists like Frederick Douglass also appropriated American exceptionalism, arguing that the nation’s “peculiar institution” was evidence that America was falling short of its Christian mandate.

That abolitionist line foreshadowed a key argument of 20th-century liberals: If America is exceptional, it’s because of the decisions we make around justice, not because of innate “chosenness.”

By Douglass’ time, American exceptionalism was so deeply entrenched in the American psyche that it transcended religion. Abraham Lincoln, often described as a deist - believing in a distant, uninvolved God - was nonetheless a hearty exceptionalist.

“He believed that America was leading the way in history toward democracy and equality,” said Dorothy Ross, a history professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University. “At that time, Europe is still steeped in monarchs and failed revolutions, and America was still the only mass democracy in the Western world and believed that it was leading the historical way.”

Even the relatively unreligious Lincoln came to see the hand of God actively participating in American history through the Civil War.

“He gives to both North and South this terrible war,” Lincoln said in his second inaugural address, referring to God. “American slavery,” Lincoln said, was something that “He now wills to remove.”

The first president to say it

Despite its centuries-old influence, the term "American exceptionalism" didn’t emerge until sometime in the past 100 years.

Some historians say it’s unclear who coined the phrase, while others credit Joseph Stalin with doing so in 1929, when he admonished American communists for suggesting that the United States’ unique history could make it immune to Marxism.

In his reprimand, the Soviet leader decried “the heresy of American exceptionalism.”

Ironically, American intellectuals and eventually the broader public came to embrace the term, especially in the years following World War II, even after communists used the Great Depression as evidence of Stalin’s alleged "heresy.”

Just like President Woodrow Wilson had done in World War I, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman justified American involvement in World War II largely on the basis that the country had been chosen to lead and transform the world.

After the Second World War, “the United States had emerged as the strongest country,” said Johns Hopkins’ Ross. “Social scientists began studying things like national character and what makes America unique.”

American affection for the idea grew during the Cold War, as the U.S. attempted to distinguish itself from the “godless” Soviet Union.

“Our governments, in every branch ... must be as a city upon a hill,” John F. Kennedy said in a Boston speech just before his inauguration in 1961, citing John Winthrop by name.

In the ’60s and ’70s, however, American scholars and others began challenging the idea of American exceptionalism, mostly from the left and especially after the Vietnam War, which liberals criticized as a costly exercise in American hubris.

Historians began to see exceptionalism as a scholarly construct, a way of interpreting American history rather than as accepted fact.

Ronald Reagan illustrated the partisan gap around the idea, speaking of America as a “city on a hill” and attacking President Jimmy Carter for allegedly showing weakness on the world stage, including in the Iran hostage crisis.

“We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so,” Reagan told the first annual Conservative Political Action Conference in 1974. “We are today the last best hope of man on Earth.”

President George W. Bush employed similar rhetoric in his global “freedom agenda,” even after initially pledging a “humble” foreign policy.

Despite greater Republican than Democratic support for the idea (91% vs. 70%) , a 2010 Gallup poll found that 80% of Americans subscribed to the notion that the U.S. has a “unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world.”

Boston University’s Prothero criticizes that definition of American exceptionalism, which he says is how most American politicians use the term today.

For John Winthrop, the shining city was an aspiration that depended on the righteous behavior of the Puritans, Prothero says, part of the social contract that laid the groundwork for democracy. Whether the city would in fact shine was an open question.

If the Puritans dealt falsely with their God, Winthrop had said in his 1630 sermon, there will be “curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.”

In contemporary American politics, by contrast, Prothero says the idea of exceptionalism has been stripped of its conditionalism, becoming “a kind of brag.”

“Today, it’s ‘of course God blesses America,’ ” he said. “It’s presumptuous.”

Others have attacked the idea as little more than the kind of nationalism felt by citizens of countries all over the world.

“I believe in American exceptionalism,” President Obama said in France in 2009, “just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

But the president has since sounded a different tune. In his Air Force Academy commencement speech in May, Obama repeatedly expressed support for American exceptionalism.

“The United States has been, and will always be, the one indispensable nation in world affairs,” Obama said. “It's one of the many examples of why America is exceptional.”

In fact, Obama appears to be the first sitting president to publicly use those words, political experts say. Given their place in the modern American political lexicon, nearly 400 years after Winthrop first gave voice to the idea, he is unlikely to be the last.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Christianity • Europe • Mitt Romney • Politics • Protestant • Religious liberty • United Kingdom • United States

soundoff (3,068 Responses)
  1. jasoncdanforth

    Any country is capable of being exceptional. The trick is never believing you have arrived at exceptional.

    July 2, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  2. lol

    oh wholely shi t! have you ever realized that most of the religious posters here are beyond moronic.There is a handful of them that have real intelligence but the rest are just flat out stupid! i thought god was supposed to be something good in your life not a crutch, an enabler of stupidity!

    July 2, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • hippypoet

      my name is the hippypoet and i approve this message.
      :)

      July 2, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • I to

      am a drug sucking idiot....far out man... what were we talking about?

      July 2, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • EF

      I can under stand why you are LOL, because all that matters to you is Lie O Lie.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Can't we all get along

      The issue is that I accept your beliefs but you are not accepting that as an American, everyone has a right to believe whatever they want if they are not enfringing on your rights. I am sickened by the incivility no matter what one calls him or herself.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • hippypoet

      with harding hitting to the point comments like that its no wonder why people think the majority of believers are stupid.

      thank you...and i don't DO drugs. just because my name is hippypoet doesn't mean i am an addict of some sort.
      i experience life without the self barring limitations you folks lay on youselves.
      to not experience even one thing is to miss one aspect of the human experience...and the more experiences one has to gain wisdom from the better equiped one is to walk thru life....my personal philosophy is to experience...experience forms you and once formed i find that most do much less experiencing as they believe they have all they require for life – a limited short and unfulfilling life sure...cubicle style of life, only open on one side.

      think about it.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  3. Can't we all get along

    There is nothing wrong with the idea of being exceptional. The problem is that we have turned from true religion (To love thy God with all our heart and all our souls and to LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES). We have no problems loving God, it is the loving of our neighbors part that causes a problem. True religion is about what I believe and how I attempt to positively impact the lives of others (caring for the sick, the poor, the widow, the orphan and the man/woman who has fallen on hard times without judging them). If we want to be exceptional, we should try be exceptional in serivce to others and not ourselves. Striving to help others without a hidden agenda hurts no one and it transcends religion and all other labels that one might want to attach to him/herself.

    July 2, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • jasoncdanforth

      Funny how many Atheists live a Christian life and how few Christians can get their head around why.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Can't we all get along

      The said truth is that for most people, life is about what is immediately around them or what is affecting them. It is about self gratification and not connecting to others. Are my accomplishments or beliefs so important that I will hurt others in the name of whatever or whomever (GOD, wealth, power, fill in the blank---) because I am exceptional in my own mind and you damn well better believe it?

      July 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  4. jone

    As soon as we stop believing we are special we no longer are...

    July 2, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • James PDX

      So if I stop believing that you are right, does that mean you no longer are?

      July 2, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Some of the folk on this blog are special in that extra-chromosome kind of way.

      July 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  5. wAKE UP

    After nearly 60 years living in America I have concluded we are wholly unexceptional. We are way down on most lists that measure the quality of life and the superiority of our accomplishments. Canada has a way way way better society than we do. Religious loonies have less control of the the lives of others. Idiots like Palin and her minions are non existent. Greedy lawyers, doctors, and corporate officers are substanially less. I would love to relocate Canada if only the winter climate were better. USA is effed up beyond repair.

    July 2, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • ArthurP

      Global warming will soon change that.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • America

      Love it or leave it. You won't be missed.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • James PDX

      If only the people who love America stayed here, nothing would ever change. In case you hadn't noticed, things need to change – badly.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  6. MNfree

    Doesn't matter what the opinions are of the country itself, but America is exceptional. Our standard of living is exponentially higher than the rest of the world, and that goes for all social classes. People crave bread and water in some countries while those below the poverty line here are still picking out a 43' flat screen at Walmart and frustrated with 'basic' cable. God forbid if they still have a flip phone. Those are so 5 years ago.

    The point is, people come here because it's a bastion of change from their previous life. People aren't saying, 'oh man, I wish I could go to Syria because I'm really looking for a new opportunity.' Regardless of how much this country can improve, it's still drastically better than other areas of the world. Feels good going to work not worrying about being hit by a crusie missle.

    July 2, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Rob

      America is great cause fat slobs can go down to the Walmart and get a 43' TV?... America or rather USA (America is a continent) Is wasting the world's resources and killing our planet both ecologically and politically. USA is greed, and the best proof that god does not exist.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      By picking Syria to emphasize your point you actually detract from it. Why not say Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland, J.apan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand or any of the other developed nations which actually have a similar standard of living as America?

      July 2, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • pensimmon

      Have you been to Europe recently? Higher standards of living than us, better education levels, and of course, universal healthcare, which in most cases is outstanding. Heard of Mercedes Benz? Ferrari? Lamborgini? All European. Heard of French food and wine? The list is long. By thinking the US is superior in every wyt prevents us improving in anything. Its sad.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • OhBrother

      You gotta love when Americans just parrot back this crapola that isn't even true. The factual reality is that the standard of living in many western European nations – and certainly ALL of Scandinavia – is far better for the average citizen than it is in the US. Sure, the US is the wealthiest country in the world – but so much of that wealth is funneled to a tiny minority, the AVERAGE standard of living (which is what really matters after all) is driven down.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • DLR

      There are a number of countries in the world with a standard of living as high as the US. A few might even be higher. The idea that we all have it better, economically speaking, in the US than everyone else is just bad information that leads many Americans to settle for the way things are and not expect more. I think this misconception is based on the fact that we have so much economic power as a nation. What is forgotten is we have a very large population, so our nation's great economic power doesn't necessarily mean all individual citizens are doing very well. You can see the effect of large populations in China, where millions are ridicoulously poor, but there are so many people, they still, as a country, have a huge amount of economic power.

      There are other countries with a per capita standard of living that is very nice, but if the total population of the country is only 10 million, the country doesn't have much influence on or power in the world economy. That doesn't mean their citizens aren't living as well as we are (or even better).

      July 2, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • JackPumpkin

      "Our standard of living is exponentially higher than the rest of the world" // No. It's not. Sure, we're better off than Syria. But you don't see the Germans or Canadians or Norwegians or French in a rush to emmigrate here. We should have higher standards than Syria.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  7. Stan Sitwell

    America is the greatest country in the world. Ushered in the age of political revolutions and freedom. Hey France, you're welcome. Also invented almost everything worth being invented since the 1800's. Only nation to walk on the moon. Without America (and Russia) all of Europe would be speaking German right now. Hey France, you're welcome. Sort of messed up south and southeast Asia but still. There's a reason Borat says "U.S and A! Greatest country in the world! I GO TO AMERICA!!!"

    July 2, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Trevor

      Without the French we would still belong to England. Open a history book.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Todd

      We really need to stop comparing the United States and Europe. We are very different and have different problems.
      In terms of Demographics the United States has a unique issue. High Population Low Population Density. Any services to cover all people needs a huge infrastructure to support, that will cost us a lot. In Europe, this is possible because they have high population and high density. That means you need a smaller infrastructure to support more people, and those fewer people who our outlying can be made up on the average. Other countries with Low population and low density, means you can still offer coverage as you do not need to go to as many people, and can be operated with less bureaucracy.
      For example 1 government worker can manage 1000 citizens for a service. He has a Manager that manages 8 people (Covering 8000 citizens) he has a Boss who manages 8 manages (64000) citizens.... The less people the less bureaucracy. and less money to perform a service.

      Now The United States is special in terms of High Population and Low Density. That means a large bureaucracy with projects going to a lot of outlying people. That makes large scale universal projects very expensive.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • phoodphite

      wow – yeah Trevor – I'm getting the impression that many posters like this one skipped basic history and government classes in school. Unless, of course, they are young and haven't even taken those basic classes yet. Either way, they reveal their idiocy when spewing out garbage on topics they know little about.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • God-less America

      Also whenever would have walked on the moon if it weren't for the Germans rocket technologies, and all of the other countries people who contribute.

      America is a great nation only because of our extreme diversity. We don't care where you are from as long as you have something to contribute.

      Somewhere in America is the blackest black man, and somewhere is the whitest white man. There are 350 million shades of grey in between.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Stan Sitwell

      I don't know why you think I haven't taken history classes in school. At no point did I say that we could have won that war without the French. I know all about Lafayette and them. Where is the historical inaccuracy in what I said?

      July 2, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  8. ArthurP

    Exceptional?? Forty-six percent (46%) of Americans do not accept the science backing up the Theory of Evolution. Which means that 46% of Americans do not accept the sciences of physics and chemistry being as they are the underlying mechanisms that enable evolution to be initiated.

    Which of course means that they believe GOD must be supervising and directing each physical and chemical interaction in the Universe and therefore removes the predictability of those reactions. Which of course leads to the generic correct answer to every question on a science test as being "The result will be what ever God wants.' Which in some southern states actually seems to be becoming an accepted answer.

    And you wonder why you are loosing your place as a leader in creating the great minds on the next century.

    July 2, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      It's losing. I don't usually do this but this mistake is becoming far more prevalent.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • MrWigglezz

      I do believe what you said, "Which of course means that they believe GOD must be supervising and directing each physical and chemical interaction in the Universe and therefore removes the predictability of those reactions. Which of course leads to the generic correct answer to every question on a science test as being "The result will be what ever God wants.'"

      However, no one can "predict" what God wants. Therefore, everything, isn't predicatable. Just because I am a Christian doesn't mean I stopped studying science because "the result will be whatever God wants". I actually have a degree in engineering. The only part of science where you and me disagree is where we came from.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • ThatsIt121

      It is the FREEDOM to believe what we wish to believe that makes us exceptional. Imposing one belief over another is tyrannical.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • ArthurP

      You do not 'believe' in science you either accept or reject a premise based on demonstrable facts. You only believe in God(s) based on faith which by definition is devoid of demonstrable proofs and facts.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • MNfree

      I just think it's funny that our founding fathers wrote and spoke and wrote around the 15th grade level and our congress nowadays is down to around 8th-9th grade. Shows there really needs to be a revival of the younger generation, or our policies will soon be written with finger paint. As the education gap continues, other countries are going to take control. We know the problem, but no one wants to solve it because it's a big investment.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Topher

      ArthurP

      You're right about one thing ... it's still a theory. Which means there isn't a shred of evidence to back it up. The best you've got it "we THINK this is how it happens."

      "Which of course means that they believe GOD must be supervising and directing each physical and chemical interaction in the Universe and therefore removes the predictability of those reactions."

      Wait a minute. The reason we can predict an outcome is because God designed things a certain way. If we're just a random happenstance, we couldn't predict things because, well, you wouldn't have order.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • ArthurP

      Topher, you are confusing the word hypothesis (best guess) with the formal definition of scientific Theory (provable idea).

      And if God made chemical reactions predictable then they can just as easily form very complex molecules such as DNA as simple ones like water (H2O) since the rules are all the same for atoms joining together to form simple molecules which in turn form more complex ones. There is no upper limit to molecular size or complexity that can be created in nature.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Topher

      You said there's science backing up the Theory of Evolution? What science? Where's the evidence?

      July 2, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • God-less America

      Topher Topher Topher....tsk tsk tsk. Didn't we just have a discussion where you admit that evolution does happen and your story of Noah's Ark is proof.

      Also the proof is in every bio-medical lab in the world, in every genetics research facility, and in every university (except for the religious ones...oh, the proof is there too, it is just conveniently overlooked)

      July 2, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • ArthurP

      The subject is too broad to discuss here. For starters you would have to get educated in basic scientific principles which means you would have to actual attend a real school and buy text books being as the information you require is not bound in the bible as it has never been updated to keep it current.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Topher

      God-less America

      "Didn't we just have a discussion where you admit that evolution does happen and your story of Noah's Ark is proof."

      No. I said micro-evolution happens. Not macro. There is zero evidence one species turns into a different one.

      "Also the proof is in every bio-medical lab in the world, in every genetics research facility, and in every university (except for the religious ones...oh, the proof is there too, it is just conveniently overlooked)"

      Then let's see it.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • ArthurP

      Dinos evolved into birds and the proof is in the bird DNA. Growth switches in bird DNA can be prevented from activating so that birds retain dino teeth and tails.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Topher

      ArthurP

      "Dinos evolved into birds and the proof is in the bird DNA. Growth switches in bird DNA can be prevented from activating so that birds retain dino teeth and tails."

      Firstly, birds were created on Day 5, Dinos on Day 6, so birds were here before dinosaurs ... thus dinos didn't turn into birds.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • God-less America

      Topher
      Micro evolution and macro evolution are the same thing, The only real difference is time. If you want to see new species forming from another look at bacteria and viruses. The CDC is constantly scrambling to keep up as there are new species evolving every day. If you choose to ignore the proof, that is one thing, but don't try to tell me that it doesn't exist

      July 2, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • WASP

      @topher: "not a shred of evidence to ack up evolution"
      -let's start with the field of micro-biology where we can witness viral changes in real time. you know scienctists removed a portion of RNA from a bacterium that it needed to digest calcium and within a day after millions of bacterium dying it mutated to be able to digest milk again. pretty cool huh.
      -next we will go to DNA comparision of the wooley mammoth compared to modern elephants, with a few adaptation due to climate change they are almost exact match proving they are genetic cousins.
      -ofcourse if you research sicile cell anemia you will find it is an adaptation to fight infant death from malaria.
      -then there is the fossil records that show progrssive change in animals throughout history, plus you can look at whale and snake skeletons they have the remains of feet and leg bones. so by that evidence they at one time in history were walked on land. so unless god has a sick since of humour, they stand as living proof of evolution.
      -so needless to say there is more proof of bigfoot than there is for your or any god ever. bigfoot would be classified as giant apithocis in the fossil record

      July 2, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • God-less America

      Topher

      You can see the effects of evolution just by studying the development of a human embryo. At one stage, we have gills. Why do we develop gills? They are later taken over by other parts of the genome and epi-genome, and you do not see them by the time the baby is born.

      Why do we have gills Topher?

      July 2, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Topher

      God-less America

      "The CDC is constantly scrambling to keep up as there are new species evolving every day."

      Yes. But it's still a virus, making this micro. It isn't becoming a horse.

      "The only real difference is time."

      Things don't become more ordered with time. They become less ordered. If I take a bucket of red, white and blue confetti (happy 4th everyone) on a plane and dump it out ... will it form the image of an American flag on the ground? No. Will you tell me it just needs more time? So I just take the plane higher so the confetti has more time to fall. It won't look more like a flag, it will look even less as time spreads things farther apart.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • ArthurP

      A proof requires at least three sources, please provide the other two. Of course faith at a minimum requires only none.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Topher

      God-less America

      "Why do we have gills Topher?"

      We don't. We apparently have little slits, but we don't use them to breath, so they aren't gills. And anyway, evolutionists say we come from apes, not catfish.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • God-less America

      Topher

      Your example of confetti is amusing, but it is apples and oranges. Chemistry is not as random as that. Oxygen, carbon and hydrogen are not only the most prevalent chemicals in the universe, but they have unique properties that make them extremely chemically active. Add in nitrogen and you have all you need for life to form. Just the unique properties of carbon alone is mind boggling.It can make one of the softest solids in the world,and it can make one of the hardest. It forms unique chemical bonds with nearly all other elements and even with itself.

      Put down that book of myths written by ignorant people trying to answer questions they could not know the answers to and pick up a book that can actually teach you something

      July 2, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Topher

      "Put down that book of myths written by ignorant people trying to answer questions they could not know the answers to and pick up a book that can actually teach you something"

      If your book teaches everything is a cosmic accident but there's still order and that you get more order over time, then you can't trust the book. No thanks.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • God-less America

      Topher
      Those little slits are gills, turned on by the same genes as are turned on in fish. Ours just get turned off later in our development. We can interfere with this process (though it would be clearly unethical) and allow those gills to fully produce.

      And we developed from apes, who developed from earlier mammal forms , who developed from aquatic mammals who developed from aquatic non-mammals and ultimately, yes we did develop from fish, and those fish developed from lesser forms.

      ultimately life began in water, and ultimately developed into every creature on the planet ( and several that are not on this planet. When we visited the moon, and dropped landers on mars, we brought micro-organisms with us, some of those species has survived)

      July 2, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Topher

      How are they gills if we don't use them to breathe?

      July 2, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • God-less America

      Topher...you said
      "Things don't become more ordered with time. They become less ordered"

      That is not always the case. When acted on by forces, things can become more ordered. The attraction of one atom to another creates planets when taken on a grand scale. We call it gravity. When forces such as gravity are added to the mix, order comes from chaos.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "How are they gills if we don't use them to breathe?"

      *facepalm*

      July 2, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Topher

      I think it's a valid question.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • God-less America

      Topher
      How are they gills if we don't use them to breathe?

      If I have an arm but never use it, it is still an arm. We developed way back in the genetic record from a creature who did use them to breathe. We have since developed lungs and do not need them any longer, something similar to our appendix

      Within each of us is the DNA to fully develop working gills, that DNA is mostly inactive as that is very far back in the genetic record. It is genetically possible to turn that DNA back on, though it would be unethical. We can do it with other animals as well, depending on the DNA that animal possesses, but we share DNA with nearly all other life.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Topher

      God-less America

      "If I have an arm but never use it, it is still an arm."

      Of course it's an arm. But the arm doesn't fall off just because we don't use it.

      "We have since developed lungs and do not need them any longer, something similar to our appendix."

      So why doesn't the appendix stop developing and go away like the gills?

      "We can do it with other animals as well, depending on the DNA that animal possesses, but we share DNA with nearly all other life."

      That's fine. We have a common designer.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Topher

      "And we developed from apes, who developed from earlier mammal forms , who developed from aquatic mammals who developed from aquatic non-mammals and ultimately, yes we did develop from fish, and those fish developed from lesser forms."

      Where did those lesser forms come from?

      July 2, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • God-less America

      Topher

      The appendix, over the course of time may disappear entirely from humans, I cannot say for some changes take many generations, and I won't be around that long. A previous version of human, did have a working appendix, likely to help in digestion in some way, or to fight toxins. We have since changed what we eat and how we prepare it. Basically fire has made the appendix obsolete in humans,

      The argument for evolution is not an argument against god. The two are separate. For all I know, god exists and evolution is part of his design. But evolution does happen, has happened and will continue to happen. The Bible on the other hand is at least inaccurate, at most wrong. But what else would you expect considering it is nothing but a work of man. The accuracy of the bible while we could debate that as well, also is not an argument against god, only the book.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Topher

      God-less America

      "The argument for evolution is not an argument against god. The two are separate."

      I disagree, obviously. Evolution is contrary to what God says happened at the beginning.

      "But evolution does happen, has happened and will continue to happen."

      I agree ... on the micro level.

      "The Bible on the other hand is at least inaccurate, at most wrong. But what else would you expect considering it is nothing but a work of man."

      Man certainly made copying errors and misspelled things, but nothing at all major and we know about them. It was given by God and He has thus upheld it.

      "The accuracy of the bible while we could debate that as well, also is not an argument against god, only the book."

      Can I ask what your official position is? You call yourself God-less but you acknowledge there might be a God.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • God-less America

      Topher
      Man said god gave us the bible. Everywhere in there I see men saying god said, but there are no entries in the bible from god, only men. You may argue that god guided their hand, but you cannot dispute the fact that men put every word of it together

      My position is simple as I have no problem separating belief from truth.

      While I BELIEVE that all gods are created by men and all religions and all of the tools of those religions, I do not have proof either way, so I do not KNOW,therefore I must accept it as The theory of god ( just like the theory of evolution, the big bang theory, etc). We could be a science project created by a race of aliens for all I know. It is just as valid as the theory of god. I think that there are energies in the universe that we do not yet have an understanding of, but that does not indicate that there is any sentience to that energy. There is clearly some kind of energy(you would call it a soul, I would say we need to study it further as we do not know) that separates me from the group of chemicals and electricity that make me up and the person involved in a debate, but we do not have enough information to define it properly.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Topher

      God-less America

      That's very reasonable.

      Of course I understand man put the Bible together. But since I have been given no reason not to trust that God inspired man just like the Bible says, I'm going to believe every word of it. Yeah, that does require a good deal of faith, but it isn't just blind faith. I have every reason to believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, sufficient Word of God.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • God-less America

      Topher

      Isn't faith the big difference in it all anyway?

      The way my mind works (iconoclast) does not allow me to simply have faith. I know, I tried. i simply cannot accept something on faith alone. Iconoclasts minds DO work differently than a non-iconoclast (proven in brainwave studies of people who are known to think differently such as entrepreneurs, artists, adventurers, and those who "think out of the box". Socrates was an iconoclast, and questioned everything, tried to get everyone else to and ultimately was forced to drink poison because of his interference with societies order.

      Perhaps, god put me here to do exactly what I am doing. I want to know why people believe what they believe, and maybe I am supposed to "shake the faith" of those around me. I don't believe it is so, but it is possible that it is gods little joke on me.

      I can appreciate someone who knows why the believe what they do, so all I can say is...Keep the faith.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      Your distinction between "micro" and "macro" evolution is just a definitional one. The same mechanisms that drive "micro" evolution also drive "macro" evolution and scientists don't really distinguish, other than descriptively.

      I would ask you what exactly limits the accu.mulation of "micro" changes in a species that add up to a "macro" change?

      July 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Topher

      God-less America

      "The way my mind works (iconoclast) does not allow me to simply have faith. I know, I tried. i simply cannot accept something on faith alone."

      Nor do I think you should. There's plenty of evidence for God, Jesus, the Bible, all of it if you are willing to consider it. You seem like you would.

      "Perhaps, god put me here to do exactly what I am doing. I want to know why people believe what they believe, and maybe I am supposed to "shake the faith" of those around me. I don't believe it is so, but it is possible that it is gods little joke on me."

      You and I might have a lot in common. I was an atheist throughout my teens and sought out Christians to "shake their faith" too. I argued and argued and argued. It was until I looked into things deeply in my late 20s that I discovered the truth and was born again.

      I can appreciate someone who knows why the believe what they do, so all I can say is...Keep the faith.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "There's plenty of evidence for God, Jesus, the Bible, all of it if you are willing to consider it."
      Such as?

      July 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      "I would ask you what exactly limits the accu.mulation of "micro" changes in a species that add up to a "macro" change?"

      Well, for instance, let's take dogs as our example. You can only mate a dog with a dog. So you could even mate a Chihuahua with a Great Dane. They're both dogs. And you can take a dog and mate it with a diff. kind of dog and take that dog and mate it with another dog and do this thousands of times over and still get a dog. Now, this final dog will probably look way different and you might even classify it as a new kind of dog (as we already do in all kinds of breedings today). But it is still a dog. This is micro-evolution. You will never end up with a cat or any other thing besides a dog. I'm always getting quoted about viruses and flies "evolving" in petri dishes in labs. The problem is the end result is still a fly or a virus. When you end up with the same species this is micro. If you got a different species this is macro. We've never been able to create macro-evolution in a lab and there's no proof of it in nature.

      I hope that answered your question.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • God-less America

      Topher
      I won't be converting any time soon. I have read more religious texts than anyone I know, including many religious scholars.

      I don't think any of them has it right.

      You would like debating with my sister. She thinks that we are the universe trying to figure itself out. No single one of us has all of the answers, but maybe as a collective, the universe can find its own answers.

      She also has an interesting idea re: religions as well.. Consider this. God may be too big for any one religion to fathom, perhaps it is like looking through a gem, that we can only see through a few facets at a time. Each religion is a different facet, exploring only what can be seen from that angle, and oblivious to the other perspectives. Perhaps god is all religions, maybe they all have it right, and none have it right depending entirely on the point of view.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Really-o

      @Topher – Regarding "Well, for instance, let's take dogs as our example."
      While your point appears reasonable, I think you are missing the fine-points of macro-evolution and speciation. With full appreciation that "speciation" relies on the abstraction of taxonomy, it has been observed in recent history, both in the laboratory and nature. You may want to edify yourself by reading the following –

      http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/2009/02/macroevolution-examples-and-evidence.html

      July 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Topher

      God-less America

      "I won't be converting any time soon. I have read more religious texts than anyone I know, including many religious scholars."

      Well, my advice would be to keep reading until you are SURE you are right about whatever conclusion you come to because we're talking about your eternal soul here. And none of us are promised another day. I could very well be crunched in an accident when I get lunch with my wife in a few minutes. Don't put this sort of thing off. It's way too important.

      "Perhaps god is all religions, maybe they all have it right, and none have it right depending entirely on the point of view."

      They can't all be right because each claims to be the truth. Even Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me." That means that if Christianity is true, the others can't be because this statement is exclusivist. No man gets to Heaven without Christ.

      July 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      I think you are, perhaps, confusing some aspects of evolution.

      "kind of dog and take that dog and mate it with another dog and do this thousands of times over and still get a dog."
      "But it is still a dog. This is micro-evolution. You will never end up with a cat or any other thing besides a dog."
      First, no species will evolve into another existing species, i.e. a population of dogs (individual organisms don't evolve) will never evolve into a population of cats, but may very well evolve in to a new species. This happens in nature and is known as "ring species." Simlarly, dogs evolved from wolves, although this is a case that involved early man and thus is not necessarily "natural selection," more like domestication, I think.

      "The problem is the end result is still a fly or a virus. When you end up with the same species this is micro."
      "If you got a different species this is macro."
      Second, while there is some ambiguity about the definition of species, I would suggest that different flies are different species, likewise different viruses and bacteria. For example, would you consider a bacteria that eats a new food source. There's the nylon-eating bacteria, when nylon didn't exist until man created it. And, there's citrate eating e.coli that was evovled in a lab, see Lenski's long term study of e.coli (http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/)

      "We've never been able to create macro-evolution in a lab and there's no proof of it in nature."
      Third, while science doesn't deal in "proof" there is quite a bit of evidence from experiments and nature that support evolution. Some evidence/research highlights that I find very compelling include, Endogenous Retrovirus (ERV), Human Chromsome-2, Ambulocetus, Tiktaalik, Biogeography, etc.

      July 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Topher, how do you know "Christianity is true"? Because Jesus said so? Because it's in the Bible?

      Every other religion says the same thing.

      July 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • ME II

      This happens in nature and is known as "ring species."
      Should read:
      This happens in nature and one example is known as "ring species."

      July 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • God-less America

      Topher
      one can never be sure, that is why they call it faith. You must have some small doubt otherwise it would not be faith.

      Discounting someone else beliefs is pretty arrogant. Perhaps your god chose to reveal himself in a different way to a different culture, for reasons that are his own. What is said in your bible may be absolutely true for you, but perhaps he had to reveal himself in a different way for someone else, as several gods like the hindu believe for example.. Your bible is a conglomeration of several other religions that pre -date yours by some thousands of years. Were the religions that yours was created from wrong or did it just need some adjustment?

      My "soul" will be just fine. Whatever that energy is will be absorbed by the universe when I am gone, and a big fiery pit has no threat to me, as I will cease to exist as a sentient creature,My body, the focal point for that energy will cease to function. I will not have any kind of sensory functionality like eyes that I would need to see, nor the nerves to tell me that I am burning. For that matter the brain that holds "me" will also cease to function, so "I" will not exist at all

      " I swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell.
      But I'll never know from livin", only my dyin' will tell"
      Laura Nyro

      July 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Topher

      God-less America

      "one can never be sure, that is why they call it faith. You must have some small doubt otherwise it would not be faith."

      I have no doubt that Christianity is true. Though I admit that there are some things in the Bible that are fantastical and I admit that they are hard to believe. But I trust them to be true.

      "Discounting someone else beliefs is pretty arrogant."

      Not if it is true. If God exists, He'd certainly get to say how things are going to happen and when Jesus said I'm the only way, that has to be always true, not just for some and not others.

      "What is said in your bible may be absolutely true for you, but perhaps he had to reveal himself in a different way for someone else, as several gods like the hindu believe for example.."

      So it comes down to whether truth actually exists? Of course it does. Blue is always blue. 2+2=4. Always.

      "Your bible is a conglomeration of several other religions that pre -date yours by some thousands of years. Were the religions that yours was created from wrong or did it just need some adjustment?"

      I'd disagree with this, too. Nothing can predate my God because He created everything and made Himself aware to the first man.

      "My "soul" will be just fine. Whatever that energy is will be absorbed by the universe when I am gone, and a big fiery pit has no threat to me, as I will cease to exist as a sentient creature,My body, the focal point for that energy will cease to function. I will not have any kind of sensory functionality like eyes that I would need to see, nor the nerves to tell me that I am burning. For that matter the brain that holds "me" will also cease to function, so "I" will not exist at all"

      I hope for your sake you are right, because if Christianity is true none of that is going to happen. You'll be judged either innocent or guilty based on God's standard and sent to one of two places. I'm hoping you'll go to Heaven and not Hell.

      Let me ask you this: Do you know what the Gospel says? I'm not asking to be snarky, I've just found that most unbelievers don't actually know what it is, though they claim to. In fact, I called myself a Christian for 10 years before I knew what it was and was saved.

      July 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      To certify, one must go to the source to ensure integrity. Does not the bible lack integrity?

      July 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      "I think you are, perhaps, confusing some aspects of evolution."

      It's possible. I won't pretend to know everything about this subject.

      First, no species will evolve into another existing species, i.e. a population of dogs (individual organisms don't evolve) will never evolve into a population of cats, but may very well evolve in to a new species."

      OK. I'll go with that. But we've never seen a dog "evolve" into anything other than a dog.

      "Simlarly, dogs evolved from wolves, although this is a case that involved early man and thus is not necessarily "natural selection," more like domestication, I think."

      Wolves are still dogs. Canines or whatever.

      "Second, while there is some ambiguity about the definition of species, I would suggest that different flies are different species, likewise different viruses and bacteria. For example, would you consider a bacteria that eats a new food source. There's the nylon-eating bacteria, when nylon didn't exist until man created it. And, there's citrate eating e.coli that was evovled in a lab, see Lenski's long term study of e.coli (http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/)"

      OK. But the point is they are still flies and one becoming another is still micro. So after many generations a bacteria decides it wants to eat a diff. food source? Sounds more like adaptation than evolution.

      July 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Topher

      Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      What do you mean?

      July 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • God-less America

      Topher..."So it comes down to whether truth actually exists? Of course it does. Blue is always blue. 2+2=4. Always"

      Poor example. blue is not always blue. If I move something blue away from you fast enough it will appear to be red.

      And man-made truth is not always truth either. Of course truth exists but again you are not seperating belief from truth.

      I do know the God Spell. I have studied this at great length, with many bible "scholars". That leap of faith that changes it from man's work to Your Gods work is impossible for me to make.

      There is a very long history that can be reasearched,and before you make the claim that God created your religion, you should examine the archives of those who actually created it. The records are there to see where many of the stories were written and told long before the bible came into existance.( rough drafts in essence)

      I have studied the origins of many of the worlds religions, see the lines where one branched from one to another, and yours is no exception, actually closer to the rule than the exception. It did not suddenly come into being, but was crafted over centuries.

      July 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      Topher

      Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      What do you mean?

      Does not the OT bible lack integrity? What standard did you measure it by? Do you believe anything anyone tells you or that you read?

      July 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Topher

      Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      Of course it has integrity. The standard is God. No other.

      I believe the Bible.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "But we've never seen a dog 'evolve' into anything other than a dog."
      Again, individuals don't evolve, but I understand your meaning. Dogs have only been around, as far as we know, for 100,000 years, give or take (Wiki is saying the current lineage only goes back 15,000 years), and we don't have a detailed record. That was the point of Lenski's experiment with e.coli, to have a detailed record of the possible evolution of a species of bacteria. That took ~30,000 generations... for a "simple" bacteria. I'm not saying that 30K is a set number, or even that there is a given number of generations necessary for speciation to occur, but we probably haven't been watching dogs closely enough for long enough to have seen such an event. Not to mention that they are not really under natural pressure, so aren't a great example of natural selection.

      "Wolves are still dogs. Canines or whatever."
      Are they? How do you tell when something is no longer the same species? They are all subspecies of Canis Lupus, but what about coyotes and jackels, are they of the same species? What about foxes?
      My point is that speciation is a relatively gradual process and at any given point in time is unlikely to be obvious. Contrary-wise some distinct species are still "compatible", at least for one generation, like, Ligers, Mules, Zonkeys, etc.

      My point is that evolution is an incremental process and requires study at a larger scope than we as short-lived humans are used to. However, that is where other researcha and evidence comes in. Genetics especially is very supportive of evolution and actual shows the traces of ancient ancestry and common descent. Human Chromosome-2, in a reletively dramtic way if you read the background, shows our ancestral connection with Chimpanzees and other Great Apes. Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) also demonstrate common ancestetry in a way that not everyone thinks of, i.e. disease attacking a host at the right place and the right time leaves evidence that is passed on to the off-spring of the host.

      I've already written too much, however, my point is that, in addition to the usual flies, moths, bacteria, etc., which are still valid examples, there exists very strong evidence that evolution.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      Topher

      Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      Of course it has integrity. The standard is God. No other.

      I believe the Bible.

      >>

      I understand why you responded with that but you understand the question. But lets go with your response...you believe the bible... So you believe without a doubt .."everything".. every story and tale. Adam named all the animals and creatures, Jonahs swallowed by a whale...the Earth completely flooded....Moses nd his staff turning into a snake and swallowing up the other snakes. etc. You believe the bible to be the true word of god?

      July 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Topher

      Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      "So you believe without a doubt .."everything".. every story and tale. Adam named all the animals and creatures, Jonahs swallowed by a whale...the Earth completely flooded....Moses nd his staff turning into a snake and swallowing up the other snakes. etc. You believe the bible to be the true word of god?"

      Yes.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      And what if you discovered that these same tales are also told in a different religion prior to the creation of the word of your God? I am not asking you to "believe" this, rather if you were faced with question, how would you respond?

      July 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Topher

      Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      I know there are similar stories in other religions. Even Native Americans have a flood story, for instance. But I would say that since the Lord is the Creator of all things and was there walking with Adam and spoke with Moses (who wrote the first 5 books of the Bible) that my "tales" have more validity. And even if you could prove that some ancient Sumarian text would predate Moses, that doesn't make the Bible's account less valid. In fact, mine still claims to be from God Himself and if that is true I wouldn't care what ANY other text said.

      Fair enough?

      July 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "'So you believe without a doubt ..'everything'.. every story and tale [in the Bible].' ... Yes"
      Seriously?
      So you believe there was light, day, and night before the sun, stars, or moon (Genesis)? ... that fruit/flowering plants came before animals and before the sun (Genesis)? ... that the Earth is flat(Job), supported by pillars/foundations, and doesn't move (Psalms)? ... that the Sun, or Earth, stopped for Joshua? ... that Jesus had two fathers and was born both before and after the end of Herod's reign? .... etc. .... etc.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      "I wouldn't care what ANY other text said."
      .
      This is what I was trying to verify. Regardless of the evidence and fact.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      ME II

      @Topher,
      "'So you believe without a doubt ..'everything'.. every story and tale [in the Bible].' ... Yes"
      Seriously?
      So you believe there was light, day, and night before the sun, stars, or moon (Genesis)? ... that fruit/flowering plants came before animals and before the sun (Genesis)? ... that the Earth is flat(Job), supported by pillars/foundations, and doesn't move (Psalms)? ... that the Sun, or Earth, stopped for Joshua? ... that Jesus had two fathers and was born both before and after the end of Herod's reign? .... etc. .... etc.

      ----–

      He said yes,,,,, what is even more shocking is his mental process. There are people who do not allow evidence and fact get in the way of wishful thinking and brain washing.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      "So you believe there was light, day, and night before the sun, stars, or moon (Genesis)? ... that fruit/flowering plants came before animals and before the sun (Genesis)?"

      Well, yeah. If the Bible is true, God can create these things in whatever order He wanted. Remember, all this took place over only 6 days.

      " ... that the Earth is flat(Job), supported by pillars/foundations, and doesn't move (Psalms)?"

      The Psalms are poetic and thus take poetic license.

      " that Jesus had two fathers and was born both before and after the end of Herod's reign?"

      What chapter and verse say He had two fathers? And there were several Herods. What is the problem?

      July 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • ME II

      Sorry, the flat Earth, or circle of Earth, was Isaiah, not Job.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Topher

      Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      "This is what I was trying to verify. Regardless of the evidence and fact."

      Just because you have an "earlier text" doesn't mean it disproves the Bible. They could have just as easily have taken the Bible story and changed it. See the Native American flood story. The question is which is true.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      Ignorance – Lack of knowledge or information
      .
      Some people witht he facts and evidence before them showing something is a fraud, they still choose to remain ignornant.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      Topher

      Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      "This is what I was trying to verify. Regardless of the evidence and fact."

      Just because you have an "earlier text" doesn't mean it disproves the Bible. They could have just as easily have taken the Bible story and changed it. See the Native American flood story. The question is which is true.

      ------
      "They could have just as easily have taken the Bible story and changed it."
      .
      To clarify if you have one text and religion that predates another by thousands and thousands of years, they copied a text and religion that had not come into existence?

      July 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      Fine, I'll give you Psalms, but you did agree to all tales.

      "If the Bible is true..." There's the crux of the issue. The events described are evidenced in the geologic record as much longer than 6 days and not in the same order. Not to mention, how do you have a day and night without a sun?

      The "circle of Earth" is in Isaiah.

      "that the Sun, or Earth, stopped for Joshua?"

      Jesus' genealogies Matthew 1 and Luke 3 don't match. There are many rationalization for this discrepency, i.e. leverite marriages and Mary's genealogy, but as stated in the Bible it is inconsistent.

      Jesus' birth was described as "... during the time of King Herod..." (Matthew 2) who died in 4 BCE, but also in the time of "the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria" (Luke 2) which wasn't until 6 CE. I believe that this is why Jesus' birth is still given as a va.gue timeframe around 1BCE.

      In addition, these were just the first contradictions I could remember, there are more.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Topher

      Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      Do you have this? Because if not then this argument is moot.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      Topher

      Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      Do you have this? Because if not then this argument is moot.

      ..

      You are the one that said regardless of ANY text...at that point doesn't facts and evidence become a moot to a biased mind...does it not? What you believe is not relevent to me.... your perspective and mind process is what matters.

      A closed mind will remain drunk in its ignorance.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      "Not to mention, how do you have a day and night without a sun?"

      How does that work? No idea. But this is also described in Revelation after the New Heavens and New Earth ... that there is no sun to light the world. ... "And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb."

      July 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      "How does that work? No idea. But this is also described in Revelation ......."
      .
      But this is described by a man who wrote Revelation which is found in a book that was created and voted by a council of men. Interesting source to answer all your questions about life and the universe. lol

      July 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      That's it? The glory of God?
      So basically, you have no idea how inconsistency in the Bible can be reconciled and don't care. It's "true" and no amount of evidence will change your mind. Is that correct?

      Good to know.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Judaism comes from the Sumerian Religion

      ME II

      @Topher,
      That's it? The glory of God?
      So basically, you have no idea how inconsistency in the Bible can be reconciled and don't care. It's "true" and no amount of evidence will change your mind. Is that correct?

      Good to know.

      --–

      There is no discussion, just "witnessing". Remember he said regardless of ANY text, his bible is the truth. He even feels text written thousands and thousands of years prior to the creation of Judaism, could have "copied" them???? *I am cross eyed* There are some who do not let facts and evidence get inthe way of their faith.

      July 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  9. granger

    It will be a lot better when the incompetent in the White House loses in November.

    July 2, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      He'll just be replaced with another incompetant.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  10. EF

    When God empowered Amercia, the atheists came to destroy just like the witch trials and Nero falsely blaming Christians. Atheists killed more people than all wars combined. They demonize good people , the christian people, because the atheists are so evil and so unresponsible. They subscribe to all kinds of evil such as abortion to make it look like a good thing. Look at all the 100 milllons of people that communist atheism has killed. Athiesm is a form of "only the elitests will survive".

    Diesm is different than Atheism. At least Diesm has respect to God, Athiesm wants to demonize God as part of Satan worship.

    July 2, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • jemzinthekop

      Sorry.... was it the talking fiery bush or the talking snake that told you all this? I always get the two mixed up.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      TROLL

      I won't even correct you on atheism, but it's clear you also need to read up on Deism also.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • wAKE UP

      You, EF, are a lunatic.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Someone

      You mean like GW Bush when he invaded Iraq? How that work out?

      This kind of talk scares me – it invokes exactly why our Forefathers left England – to get away from a situiation where God and the State were linked (see Great Chain of Being).

      July 2, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • EF

      Don't believe me God haters?.. how about this.

      It has been estimated that in less than the past 100 years, governments under the banner of communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 to 259,432,000 human lives.[2][3][4][5][6][7] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[8] Richard Dawkins has attempted to engage in historical revisionism concerning atheist atrocities and Dawkins was shown to be in gross error.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • EF

      " Someone"

      I guess you supported the millions of people killed by Saddam. How many babies are murdered every year in the name of Obama. Yeah thats right about 4 million so far.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      What does communism have to do with atheism?

      July 2, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Topher

      Have you ever read anything about Karl Marx?

      July 2, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      If you're talking to me, yes. I've read a biography of him, Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • WASP

      @EF: i haven't ever said this to anyone and it's the truth...........you're an idiot.
      1) saddam,mao,hitler, stalin killed for power not any belief or lack there of.
      2) abortion happens every second of the day, it's not murder because the thing can't survive outside the human body any how.
      3) obama isn't responcible for eveything you don't like, if that is true then either the majority don't find it wrong or you failed to vote, either way you lose.
      4) we don't hate god because we don't believe in any god/goddess that have been created throughout human history. zues is as much alive as your choice in imaginary friend, so we believe what we believe based on no proof of any god, not just yours.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Someone

      @EF – So now we are suppose to spill our children's blood going around invading each nation that has a brutal dictator? Is that what you're saying? That we are on a mission for G-d to do that?

      Obama did that – remember Libya? Except now you folks are taking him to the mat for that. When do we invade Israel for the issue of Palestians? When do we invade N. Korea? How about Sudan/Dafur (oh wait – they have nothing we want)?

      STUPID............

      July 2, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • James PDX

      EF, God allegedly once killed ever person on the planet during one of his many temper tantrums, except for Noah and his incestuous family. God is Christian, right? So name any other group who killed more than 99% of mankind at any time in history.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Topher

      WASP

      " 2) abortion happens every second of the day, it's not murder because the thing can't survive outside the human body any how."

      Umm ... then let's not take it outside of the body until it's time.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's with the "let's", Tophie? It's not your decision. You don't have a say as to what someone else does with her body OR her pregnancy. There's no "us" involved; it's a personal decision and you're not invited to have input.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's fine. Stand up for the woman's right all you want. But someone has to stand up for the baby's right to live and not be killed by his/her mother.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can stand on your head, dumbbell. A fetus before it's viable outside the body isn't a baby and it doesn't have equal or special rights.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's a human. Unless you abort it, it will be a person 100 percent of the time. Why should it have any less chance to live its life than you did?

      July 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Because my rights, and those of women, are guaranteed to me by law. It doesn't matter what you think "should" be unless you are the one who is pregnant. You can attempt to use your beliefs to argue, but it will avail you nothing. Your religious convictions are not relevant in a secular nation.

      Don't even bother with any attempts to 'convince' me, Topher. I'm immune to the whining of men who think they have a say in the matter of someone else's lives just because they like babies.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • truth be told

      All atheists demand a right to murder.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's true, I do have Christian values, but I don't need to have read the Bible to know it is a human baby in the womb and thus the woman doesn't even have the right to murder it.

      "Because my rights, and those of women, are guaranteed to me by law."

      So what? The law is wrong. Just because we have a law doesn't make it morally right.

      "It doesn't matter what you think "should" be unless you are the one who is pregnant. You can attempt to use your beliefs to argue, but it will avail you nothing. Your religious convictions are not relevant in a secular nation."

      This isn't a secular nation.

      Don't even bother with any attempts to 'convince' me, Topher. I'm immune to the whining of men who think they have a say in the matter of someone else's lives just because they like babies.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sez you. I'm not of the opinion that abortion is immoral. Why should your opinion hold sway? Oh, wait. It doesn't.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you are OK with killing babies?

      July 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you okay with removing the rights of people to make medical decisions for themselves? Do you think you should be the one who chooses whether a pregnancy continues or not?

      Oh, wait. It doesn't matter what you believe, as your beliefs are not mine and do not dictate what is legal or illegal.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you see a baby being killed, call 911 immediately.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Are you okay with removing the rights of people to make medical decisions for themselves?"

      I am if that "right" is that murder is OK.

      "Do you think you should be the one who chooses whether a pregnancy continues or not?"

      I think that is up to God, not us. I think EVERY human has a right to live.

      "Oh, wait. It doesn't matter what you believe, as your beliefs are not mine and do not dictate what is legal or illegal."

      Fair enough. But I also have the right to vote.

      July 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Abortion isn't "murder". "Murder" is a legal term for unlawful killing. Abortion has never been considered 'murder'. Try again some other day when you actually have some facts.

      Fetuses don't have rights under the law until they are viable outside the woman's body. Until then, she is the one who gets to have the choice. Not you. And not your god.

      July 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son –

      While I understand and support your position and Roe v Wade, I would like you to consider a new tack. Drawing a battle line between "abortion is a legal right" and "abortion is murder" really distracts us from what is the core issue – suffering. Clearly a zygote or blastocyst is incapable of suffering and, therefore, abortion at this stage is no more unethical or immoral than an appendectomy (the whole "immortal soul" nonsense withstanding). However, for the sake of argument, late term abortion of a fetus with spina bifida, certainly not "viable outside the woman's body" without extraordinary medical intervention does present and ethical problem...no? I think the current polarization between the pro-life and pro-choice factions precludes ever reaching common ground – although religious dogma, in and of itself, already makes finding common ground unlikely. Thoughts?

      July 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Man's laws are mearly the whims of a larger group of people at the time. After the Nov. election it is possible for abortion to be made illegal. And back and forth with each election. The question is is it moral? What is the standard? All you have is man. I have something higher than that. God. And His standard is that it is murder.

      July 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then don't ever, ever, have an abortion, Topher.

      July 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No worries. I won't. My wife won't either. We value life.

      July 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Really-O, I just now read your post. I agree that there is little likelihood that any middle ground is possible. As far as your scenario is concerned, I contend that the decision rests with the woman who is pregnant. No one else is qualified to decide whether or not a pregnancy should continue.

      I won't even debate this issue any further, in regard to faith or law.

      July 2, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "My wife won't either."

      I love how you speak for her. I guess she's not permitted to use the internet.

      July 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      She's right here. Do you want to ask her? She's been saved a lot longer than I have.

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

      I don't care how long either of you think you've been "saved" and I really don't care about her opinion on this matter anymore than I care about yours. It's not up for debate.

      July 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      One thing that you need to think about. Why does the rights of the fetus trump the right of the woman? If the woman does not want to have her body used as an incubater, why (in your mind) does the fetus trump the right of the woman?

      July 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of course you care. That's why you are arguing your case.

      It seems that most who argue in favor of choice are really arguing for promescuity. If it is just a lump of tissue you can get rid of it and continue to sleep with anyone you want. No big deal. That why I think the pro-choice agenda has so much anger. You don't want to be told you are wrong. Once again, though, it comes down to morality.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Topher

      HawaiiGuest

      "Why does the rights of the fetus trump the right of the woman? If the woman does not want to have her body used as an incubater, why (in your mind) does the fetus trump the right of the woman?"

      Because when it is the woman's choice someone dies. That woman acknowledges when she sleeps with someone she might get pregnant no matter what kind of birth control she uses.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Topher, I don't. My case has already been made. The SCOTUS ruled. Through more than 3 decades, the ruling has stood. In spite of several conservative administrations, abortion has remained legal. The majority of people in the US do not wish to see R v W overturned. As for "promiscuity", you don't get it at all. Women who are married have abortions when their birth control fails.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Consent to have s3x does not equal consent to give birth. No one has to live by your rules, Topher. They simply don't.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      It seems like you're really saying "too bad for her this is what she gets". So are you willing to marginalize the rights of everyone who makes choices that you find morally wrong?
      I don't think that you are thinking of the consequences of outlawing abortion in both the short and long term.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Topher

      HawaiiGuest

      "So are you willing to marginalize the rights of everyone who makes choices that you find morally wrong?"

      This person has created a human life. Just because it is an inconvenience, she gets to kill it? How is that moral? My question is why is that a right? There's adoption if a person doesn't want to keep it. We're talking about a person here. Why aren't you concerned with his/her right to live?

      "I don't think that you are thinking of the consequences of outlawing abortion in both the short and long term."

      What are the consequences?

      July 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      1) I think the person who has already been born shouldn't have her entire life marginalized and changed (kind of like how a criminal has their entire life changed and marginalized) because of a perfectly legal act. There are many more reasons why I value the choice and rights of the woman more, but that would take a ridiculous amount of time for me to relate and I'm somewhat lazy.

      2) Consequences are much easier. For one, you will increase the amount of children in poverty, unloving homes, abuse, and the rate of infant mortality within a generation. The amount of maternal deaths will increase from an increase in "back-alley" abortions, and it would also flood the adoption agencies more than they already are (unless some major changes are done to the adoption process in each state, which would open the door to unfit parents adopting children).
      Considering the problem we already have in terms of children in all kinds of bad family situations, as well as adoption agencies, it seems almost insane to throw a huge amount of gasoline onto that fire.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Topher

      HawaiiGuest

      "Consequences are much easier. For one, you will increase the amount of children in poverty, unloving homes, abuse, and the rate of infant mortality within a generation."

      Take any kid in poverty or in a bad home situation and ask them if they'd have rather been aborted and see how many are glad they are alive.

      "The amount of maternal deaths will increase from an increase in "back-alley" abortions,"

      That number would be incredibly low. Not that any deaths are OK, but we can't not enact laws because a few will still break the law and die because of it. See drugs and alcohol.

      "and it would also flood the adoption agencies more than they already are"

      This is what is known as a good problem to have. Yeah, we'd have to do something with laws, be better at adoptions practices, and so on, but at least these kids have a chance at life.

      "Considering the problem we already have in terms of children in all kinds of bad family situations, as well as adoption agencies, it seems almost insane to throw a huge amount of gasoline onto that fire."

      I can't believe you use these minor problems to justify killing people.

      Please check out 180movie.com. It's a free movie that talks about when it is OK to have an abortion.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder, Tophie, do you think all abortions should be illegal? In cases of ra pe or incest? In cases in which the woman's life will be at risk?

      July 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's pretty funny to see some guy who's all of 30 call child abuse and neglect, crime, poverty, etc. "minor problems".

      It's also a hoot to see the usual "Why don't you ask the children if they'd rather have been aborted" schtick.

      So predictable.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      Minor problems? You think that those things I pointed out are minor problems? Have you looked around at the poorest parts of the country lately? Have you even bothered to look outside your little bubble world at see what is actually happening around the country in terms of poverty, child abuse, and the myriad of other problems? You think only a "few" women will get back alley abortions if they become illegal? You really need to look at reality man.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      I was wondering if an abortion is ok in the 50th tri-mester? My kid is really getting on my nerves

      July 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      ALL abortions are wrong. I'm very sorry if someone is ra.ped, but that crime doesn't justify the killing of an innocent baby. Why should he/she pay for the crimes of its father? I'm not sure there is any medical case in which the mother would only live if she had an abortion. If her life is in trouble, we do everything we can to save her. If in that process the baby dies, then we mourn. But we don't kill.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Topher

      HawaiiGuest

      I in no way mean to demean the plight of the poor, but it is a minor problem compared to LIFE. This is a PERSON you say it's OK to kill. An INNOCENT person. Why is that OK?

      July 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Topher

      Who invited me?

      I know that was tongue-in-cheek ... and I even laughed at first. But did you know that the pro-choice agenda is taking it to that length? Post-birth abortion is already happening in parts of Europe and is being argued in Australia. That's right. You can kill your kid after it is born. Why not? We don't have a high moral standard. We are just accidents and some useless tissue after all.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      There isn't even a consensus on when humanity begins, let alone when a fetus attains the rights of a human being. You want to stick the label of humanity where you think it should be, and base your thoughts on what the law should be on that. I have no problem with you thinking that for youself, and only applying that to yourself and your family, but that will only apply to you.
      You make no thought on the effect nationwide, and completely disregard the fact that your position is merely based on your opinion,.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      I'm going to have to side with Topher on this one.

      Abortion fits the legal definition of murder. It is life from conception. As soon as sperm penetrates egg.
      There are no humans alive today or have ever been alive that did not go through this stage of life. It is a necessary step, is not only biologically necessary but without it, life would not continue. It is only legal wrangling to argue otherwise.

      That being said, I would not ever consider it an option, nor would I ever date a woman that has had an abortion ( I consider it murder without question) BUT I also do not feel that my opinion can be legislated onto someone elses body. Once the child is born, its status does change in legal terms, so there are laws to protect the new citizen. until birth,it is not a citizen, but it is a human life.
      Education, prevention are more important.

      Bottom line is, if you want an abortion, I will look at you as a murderer, but I cannot stop you. I will fight very strongly if you try to make me pay for it.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Topher

      HawaiiGuest

      At fertilization you are a human, granted a very early version. You have all the genetic information you will ever have at that point.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Hmmmm

      "Abortion fits the legal definition of murder. It is life from conception. As soon as sperm penetrates egg.
      There are no humans alive today or have ever been alive that did not go through this stage of life. "

      Not necessarily you forgot cloning.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      Again, merely your opinion. Not everyone makes that distinction, and certainly not the scientific community at large. You're talking about personhood, and that is a whole other matter entirely.
      Something relevant to your definition, do you think invitro should be legal or illegal?

      July 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Hmmmm

      Cloning of humans has not been done yet even though some claims that it has, no evidence of success.

      Secondly, who in the hell would go to all of the trouble to create a cloned embryo only then to abort it.

      Seems like a long way to go to commit murder

      July 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Topher

      "Something relevant to your definition, do you think invitro should be legal or illegal?"

      Is invitro just where they make fertilization happen in a dish and then implant?

      July 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      In a very simple sense, yes.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Topher

      Going on that basic information I don't see a problem. Unless somewhere in that process there's a bunch of fertilized eggs that get aborted or are killed somehow.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      It has varying success rates. Sometimes the egg and sperm do not fertilize, and many times the process does not result in a pregnancy. A lot of factors can contribute, but no not all the eggs are used, and not all are successful.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Topher

      Yeah, unfortunately some people just can't get pregnant. Yet another reason for adoption.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      And adoption laws are different from state to state, and some people are unable to be cleared to adopt in certain states. But you haven't answered my question about in vitro. And if you think it's ok, then why?

      July 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Topher

      HawaiiGuest

      Oh, I know adoption can be difficult. A couple at church has been trying to adopt from a country in Africa for like 2 years and they are still waiting on paperwork.

      "But you haven't answered my question about in vitro. And if you think it's ok, then why?"

      Sorry. I thought I did. Again, I don't know all the details, so it's kinda hard for me to comment, but I'll try. If it's just one egg and it's fertilized and implanted, I don't see a problem. If what is going on is they are fertilizing a bunch of eggs and then implanting them and that causes some to die, then that's bad. Life begins at fertilization. I also would have a problem with the whole freezing of fertilized eggs. Most of those will never be given a chance at life either.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Abortion does not fit any "legal definition of murder". If it did, it would be a crime. It isn't. A "murder" is an unlawful killing. Abortion is not unlawful, and has never been legally considered 'murder'.

      It figures that some thumper like Topher, who will never be pregnant, thinks it's 'wrong' because the Bible says so.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Topher

      What if the baby is female?

      July 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What if the fetus is female? What if it is? So?

      Fetuses don't have a 'right to live' under our laws until they are viable outside the uterus.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Fetuses don't have a 'right to live' under our laws until they are viable outside the uterus."

      Wow. So according to you it is OK to kill a baby at 8 months, 3 weeks?

      July 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I suggest you take a biology course. Fetuses are not born. Babies, or more accurately, infants, are. You're starting to resemble Chad in your inability to argue a point with any integrity whatsoever. I said that fetuses that are not yet viable outside the uterus do not have legal rights. If you can prove that's incorrect, go ahead. Otherwise, you have nothing but your beliefs, which are not relevant to law.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And apparently you need help with reading comprehension, too. Did you just not understand what the words "viable outside the uterus" meant? A baby IS living outside the uterus.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher: This alone indicates how stupid you are: "This isn't a secular nation."

      Abortion is a settled issue in the USA and many other countries. No politician stands a chance of getting elected on a "no abortion platform."

      And this is as good a time as any to remind everyone that the vast majority of abortions in the USA are had by believers – over 70%. When you religious nutjobs get your cult members under control, you might have earned the right to foist your crap on the rest of us.

      Finally, to I can't remember who, abortion does not fit the legal definition of murder. Even Topher is (barely) smart enough to understand that abortion in the USA is legal, therefore it can't possibly fit the legal definition of murder.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's also amazing you don't know anything about IVF. You might want to look that up, too.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Topher

      From the Missouri General Assembly in 2003 ... "The General Assembly of this state finds that (1) The life of each human being begins at conception; (2) Unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and wellbeing ... The term 'unborn children' or 'unborn child' shall include all unborn child or children or the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development."

      July 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Too bad you such a proclamation has no bearing on the legality of abortion, only on the legality of someone ELSE killing the fetus, against the mother's will.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Religious nutjobs don't have to be knowledgeable about something to be experts about it and to opposed to it! If fact, it helps them to know less, otherwise their faith would evaporate. Remember, faith = pretending to know something you don't.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Topher certainly lives up to that description. Attempting to pretend that this is not a secular nation as opposed to a theocracy is beyond stupid.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Topher also never bothered to address the fact that his assumption that abortion is an endorsement of promiscuity is ridiculous. Married women have abortions for a wide variety of reasons; they're not all pregnant as a result of "sleeping around."

      Topher and his sort would force 12-year-old girls who are pregnant as a result of incest, to undergo childbirth. I'm sure he thinks that would be just a "minor problem."

      July 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • fred

      HotAirAce
      Our faith is not that different than yours with the exception the ancients are our witness and we personally know the object of our faith.
      "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for."

      July 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Topher

      "Topher and his sort would force 12-year-old girls who are pregnant as a result of incest, to undergo childbirth."

      That's right, I would. One person's life overrules another's nine months of discomfort.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You'd sacrifice the life of a child to save a fetus. I rest my case. You're beyond disgusting.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Margaret

      So fred, you've met our lord Gozer personally? You must feel very honored. Shall we all kiss your feet? Did you enjoy sucking his grand protuberance?

      July 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son –

      Thanks for your reply – I always look forward to your thoughtful responses (when you're not bashing knuckleheads, a recreation of which I'm also guilty. ...you there Chad?). If you're inclined, I'd like to here more of your thoughts regarding the abortion/suffering conundrum I posited. First, let me say I'm firmly in the pro-choice camp; however, I can easily envision situations in which it would clearly be unethical to abort a pregnancy (again, suffering is at the root). Can you not?

      July 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...of course "I'd like to here more" = "I'd like to hear more"

      July 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "You'd sacrifice the life of a child to save a fetus. I rest my case. You're beyond disgusting."

      The girl's life isn't in danger. Don't try to twist my words.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are incredibly stupid, Topher. If there were a god, he'd have given you a brain and the ability to use it.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      You are equating life and personhood again. Sorry, but the two are different subjects. If you want personhood to begin at fertilization, then you are going to need to find a justification for that change. Also, you would force a 12 year old ra..ped by her father to carry and care for that reminder of an ordeal that is hard enough to deal with as it is? And how do you suppose she's going to care for that child? Do you really not think beyond the immediate thought of "no abortion" to the psychological and physical harm that would be caused from a child that young giving birth?

      July 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      fred, are "we" now calling god(s) "ancients"? Either way, you, and every other believer, has not a shred of evidence for your imaginary friends, so the appropriate response is "Blah, blah, blah,..."

      July 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Topher

      HawaiiGuest

      I'm sorry that happened to her, but I still don't see a justification for killing an innocent life. None of you have answered that question yet. It is OK to kill a baby when ...

      July 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Asked and answered, dumbfvck.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      And you have once again avoided the issue of personhood. You are equating life and personhood, which are two different things, and you also have yet to address the very real issue of the mothers right to not have her body used in that way.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • fred

      HotAirAce
      Quote is out of Hebrews and the ancients were Able, Abraham, and Moses etc.
      We certainly have proof that there is causation in the creation of our universe which we did not have until current time. We have proof that our existence is no accident unless you think 10 to the power of 97 to be acceptable odds. I am not saying we have proof for God only proof that we are not here by chance. Faith in God is evident by transformed lives not in acknowledgement of supernatural causation in fine tuning be it related to Dark Energy or existence of life on earth.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      You have also done nothing but brush off the very real impact banning abortion would have on the society at large.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher – "I still don't see a justification for killing an innocent life."

      I thought since the fall of man there were not innocents. No?

      July 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      When are you going to learn that the odds don't fuc.king matter. Improbability is not proof of your fu.cking god, and your continued idiocy merely shows your incapable of actually thinking,

      July 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...were not innocents = were no innocents. Damn you Mr. Walker's magic elixir!

      July 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Worse, Topher brushes off the very real and devastating physical and psychological effects of such trauma on a young girl as if they were no more than an 'inconvenience'.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @HawaiiGuest –

      Not only are Fred's "probabilities" irrelevant with regard to actuality, but I've often wondered from where these magical number come. "10 to the power of 97" can you help me out here Fred?

      July 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      fred, you have no proof for any of your blah, blah, blah, blah... You really should stay on your knees praying to your god(s) and stay out of serious conversations, although I hate to use that adjective to describe conversations with believers.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  11. Dman5005

    You know, I'm reading through these posts and it's really sad. I've lived overseas a huge chunk of my life, including Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. While the American economy might not be so impressive and there's a lot of problems, America really is exceptional. There are so many things the US does that everybody takes for granted, but really do set the US apart from everybody else. People need to realize how good they have things before they bash on it. Trust me, they don't want to end up like a lot of the countries I've lived in.

    July 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • BOBBY

      exactly!

      July 2, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • jemzinthekop

      What I've read is a bunch of Conservatives posting about how other Americans are trying to destroy their vision of how life should be. At the same time, those same Conservatives are posting about how America has destroyed the rest of the world's vision of how life should be over the past 100 years somehow makes them exceptional. The irony is fascinating.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • EF

      I too have lived in Europe, and would rather live in the US. Obama needs to move overseas if he likes Europe so much. Europe in the course of history has spilled so much blood over their ideals. That is why the American Patriots wanted to be no more of Europe.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Someone

      How about a for instance?

      Yes, I am proud to be an American – but it doesn't mean I like off-shoring, pollution, and a large segment of our population that somehow believes that "freedom" means "do whatever I dang well want and the heck of the consequences to other generations" – this includes deficit, use of natural resources, and everything else.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  12. daveinla

    I was on this post two days ago and was shocked at the number of people who live in the greatest nation on earth who hate America. Revisionist historians like Howard Zinn have brainwashed a generation of school children. American's are the first people in world history to stand-up and say we can govern ourselves. We don't need a monarch or a council of generals. It is a grand experiement that is doomed to failure becuase liberals want to destroy America. People who have never worn the uniform to defend her tear her down.

    July 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Athens, circa 800 BCE.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • jemzinthekop

      Maybe they just hate that people like you have no clue about history and then post stupid stuff like this which further the notion that America is a nation of idiots.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • cedar rapids

      im with jem on this one.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • James PDX

      I'm a liberal and I served 8 years in the US Navy. And I think this country is gowing down the drain in large part because our system of government/greed has allowed the most corrupt to profit from "leading" us. We're not a true democracy. Until we become one, things will only get worse.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Topher

      We're not a democracy at all. We're a republic.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  13. jemzinthekop

    99.99999999% of the people that will read and/or post in this topic will never have or never will do a single thing to contribute to any of their nation's accomplishments other than simply be born there and exist (and most likely be fatter than the people in the other 240 + nations). Taking pride in something that comes down to random geography is as idiotic and American exceptionalism.

    July 2, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • daveinla

      Those who have put their life in harms way to defend her have done something for their nation. Random geography? Yes. But is America exceptional? You bet. Luck of the draw...sure, so pass this on to your children.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Jim

      Our geography does bless us with remarkable amounts of natural resources. But no amount of geography defines our freedom and democracy. This we have earned. The fact we can freely exchange views and ideas here is just one example. But for some this is something they refuse to comprehend. And they are free to do so because of the exceptional nature of our country.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • James

      Jim
      Earned at a price. Just ask the American Indians and all the other people around the world whose resources we've taken.

      July 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  14. marisombra

    Liberals want the U.S. to be only mediocre

    July 2, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • BOBBY

      Wrong...being exceptional means working together to take care of ALL the citizens of this country and to be the flagship for that for the rest of the world....seems like all many of the gop want is to keep everything they earn....use the infrastructure of this country for free and let those with less fend for themselves..."get a job" has never been the answer in any economy...it is simplistic and unrealistic....I think tea party types are bigger free loaders than any welfare milking lazy bum.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      We GOP live by the golden rule. He who has the gold rules. I got mine, get yours and I ain't helpin ya.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 2, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • stupid people are lead into battle first

      knowledge changes things!

      July 2, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • stupid followed to its logical conclusion

      ends at atheism !

      July 2, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Prayer changes things

      No prayer? No knowledge.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • BOBBY

      it does....it turns productive time into wasted time

      July 2, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Religion is the #1 problem in this world by far

      Talking to yourself and pretending you are talking to an invisible friend is not healthy for anyone.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Egotism is the worst and best aspect of humanity.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Jesus

      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!!!.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  16. hippypoet

    if you require a non-existent being to tell you how to live and die then you may have any one of many mental ailments....might want to get that checked.

    July 2, 2012 at 8:50 am |
  17. JW

    America had the 20th century. Britain had the century before that. This century belongs to China. Get over yourselves, America. You are in decline.

    July 2, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • terry

      Sadly very true. Just our time of decline and there is nothing we can do to avoid it.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Chacha

      In decline?? Tried DECLINED. We are there already. Nothing exceptional about the US anymore. Nothing

      July 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • ME II

      Entirely possible... but projecting China as the dominant country is premature, I think.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  18. wcbhwk

    Biggest baddest economy in the world....check. Biggest baddest military in the world....check. Enough nukes to turn the rest of the world into a parking lot ten times over....check. Everybody wants to live here...check. Not responsible for Justin Bieber....check. Next question!

    July 2, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • terry

      Dream on if you must.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm not too sure about the last two. I know many people back in my native Ireland who can't understand why I live here.

      Also, the USA (maybe the UK also) put out so much prolefeed in the form of musicians like Bieber. If anything, it's American culture that creates the Biebers and the Beyonces and the Gagas.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @wcbhwk – saying this: "Enough nukes to turn the rest of the world into a parking lot ten times over....check." -- the reality of your comment shouldn't come across as boastful. There's no fun in being king of a parking lot, or littering the world with the bodies of men, women, and children.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  19. opin_x

    The Native Americans who were thrown out/exterminated wouldn't think us exceptional.

    July 2, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Chacha

      We are a violent country. Will kill for what we want. The poor Indians can tell us. We have holidays based on violent history. Corruption out the kazoo, Every citizen is paranoid of the other. Yeah, we the greatest, exceptional, wondyba!!

      July 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Would that be the same Native Americans that are here today on their own lands scalping tourists with native artifacts and raiding the white eyes in their casinos every day?

      July 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Ronald

      That really is the att.itude of a cretin.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  20. S-Hug

    This country hasn't done anything exceptional since 1945. Anyone born in the 1960s or later has been brainwashed and living in a world of lies and greed. Ever wonder why Americans aren't required to learn a second language? Because the owners of the country want to keep us dumb and at home. They don't want us to see how the rest of the world lives.

    July 2, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      People shouldn't be "required" to do anything.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • What is normal

      @Rational Libertarian – You're right. People should require themselves to do things. Funny thing is, they don't.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Agreed.

      July 2, 2012 at 9:47 am |
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About this blog

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