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'Choose Life' license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina
December 11th, 2012
01:13 AM ET

'Choose Life' license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina

By Joe Sutton, CNN

(CNN) - A federal judge ruled that North Carolina's new "Choose Life" license plates are unconstitutional because the state does not offer a pro-choice alternative.

"The State's offering a Choose Life license plate in the absence of a pro-choice alternative constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment," U.S. District Court Judge James Fox wrote in the ruling Friday.

The ruling was praised by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed a lawsuit in 2011 to stop the specialty plates.

"This is a great victory for the free speech rights of all North Carolinians, regardless of their point of view on reproductive freedom," said Chris Brook of the ACLU. "The government cannot create an avenue of expression for one side of a contentious political issue while denying an equal opportunity to citizens with the opposite view."

Republican state Rep. Mitch Gillespie, who sponsored the bill for the "Choose Life" plates, said he would push for an appeal of the judge's decision, CNN affiliate WRAL reported.

The bill for the license plates passed in 2011, and the legislation also mandated that money raised from the sale of the specialty plates would go to a nonprofit that supports crisis pregnancy centers, WRAL reported.

During the fight to get the bill passed, North Carolina lawmakers voted down amendments that would have created pro-choice alternatives such as "Trust Women. Respect Choice," the affiliate reported.

The "Choose Life" plates are available in 29 states, according to Choose Life Inc., a nonprofit that helps states that want to sell these specialty plates.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Abortion • Courts • North Carolina

soundoff (3,213 Responses)
  1. Guy

    Chad ... See my post @ 2:02 pm, those statements have been made by you on this blog, do you now deny making them? Why?

    December 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Guy

      Posted again after I hit the reply button, cool how that works.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  2. Big Bushy Mustache

    I don't do what Jebus would do. I do what Grover Norquist tells me to do.

    December 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  3. Big Bushy Mustache

    Comic Book Jesus is a fantasy creation by people that can't and will not think for themselves. The bible is a re-hash of older stories that were amalgamted into one book. You're better off reading the latest Superman or Avengers comic book.

    December 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Just sayin'

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bart-d-ehrman/did-jesus-exist_b_1349544.html

      ...like it or not and regardless of who you think he is, Jesus did exist...

      December 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  4. lol??

    Maybe even, "For a BAD Time, Call an Atheist"?

    December 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • The Truth

      "For a Mountain of Guilt for things you didn't even do, call a Christian..."

      December 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  5. lol??

    How about, "Atheists, WE Bad"?

    December 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Lou

      Everyone knows that the average atheist is too intelligent to mane that statement, so nobody would believe it. Well, maybe the actual people who would say "WE bad" might.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  6. lol??

    I think "Jesus Lives" is kinda catchy.

    December 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • midwest rail

      As soon as you typed the first two words, you were wrong.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Huebert

      Buy a bumper sticker.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Guy

      Jesus Lives
      He sure does, cuts my lawn, pulls the weeds and cleans the pool for less than minimum wage, YEE HAW.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  7. lol??

    Would the atheists accept, "Atheism Lives"?

    December 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  8. Believe the Bible or don't, but...

    In terms of accuracy and reliability, historians mainly base off of two points: 1) the number of remaining manuscripts in existence. 2) the length of time between the death of the author and the first surviving manuscript

    "Homer's Iliad is the best represented of all ancient writings, apart from the New Testament, with something like 700 manuscripts. However, there are many more significant variations in the Iliad manuscripts than there are in those of the New Testament."

    "Altogether we possess about 5,300 partial or complete Greek manuscripts. Early on, the New Testament books were translated into other languages, which seldom happened with other Greek and Latin writers. This means that in addition to Greek, we have something like 8,000 manuscripts in Latin, and an additional 8,000 or so manuscripts in other languages such as Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopic, Coptic, Gothic, Slavic, Sahidic and Georgian."

    "The first complete copy of the Odyssey we have is from 2,200 years after it was written...The earliest piece of the New Testament that has been discovered is a fragment of a papyrus codex containing a part of John's Gospel, chapter 18, now in the John Rylands Library, Manchester. This was acquired in Egypt in 1917, where it was probably written, and is dated on palaeographical grounds around AD 130. This means that John's Gospel was circulating in Egypt within a generation of having been written."

    "It is probably true to say that the New Testament Greek text, as we have it today, is about 98% pure, and this is a conservative estimate! One thing is certain – no variant readings are significant enough to call in question any of its doctrines. "

    December 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Bet

      You forgot to include the author's name and credentials. Here, I'll do it for you.

      About the Author

      "Dick Tripp is an Anglican Clergyman with experience in parish ministry in the Diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, and is also a business partner in a family farm. He has an MA in Theology from Cambridge University. He has had several years experience in training people to share their faith, using the programme developed by Evangelism Explosion Ministries. He likes chopping wood and enjoys his family."

      Sources:

      http://www.christianity.co.nz/author.htm

      http://evangelismexplosion.org

      December 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • The Truth

      Soooo Chad is saying that the bible is as accurate as the Odyssey and the Iliad?

      "One thing is certain – no variant readings are significant enough to call in question any of its doctrines. " Every variant reading as well as any basic knowledge of science and the real world calls into question all of the bibles doctrines.

      It's almost like Chad can't understand that the debate isn't "Is the bible really old?" the question that has been asked is "Are there ANY contemporary accounts written during Christs life? And the answer so far has been a resounding "NO!"

      Not one single shred of written accounts from the time that Jesus lived that mentions him in any way. Period.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Believe the Bible or don't, but...

      Doesn't really matter who the author is, does it? It also doesn't really matter if anyone believes the Bible or thinks it is fantasy from beginning to end...the point is that...by secular standards...the Bible is as pure today as it was when it was first written.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      LOL Are you kidding me? Boy you are exceedingly deluded.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Believe the Bible or don't, but...

      hawaiiguest,

      How so? I am not making any claim about whether or not the Bible is true or not. This simply says the Bible today is about as close to the original version as possible. Believe what you'd like to believe about its contents...

      December 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Bet

      Yes, it does matter who wrote it. This guy's job is to convince people that the babble is true. He gets paid to teach a program of indoctrination into your cult. His viewpoint is biased and invalid from the start.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Believe the Bible or don't, but...

      Bet,

      Where did he misspeak then? Please illustrate where he is inaccurate for me. Again, I am making no claims about what is in the Bible here at all. What you think of its content is 100% up to you...

      December 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I may accept that about the old testament due to the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, the New Testament things we have are small scraps up until the fourth century. We know that there was at least writings from 60-70 AD, so we don't know what the earliest writings really said. We can say that from the fourth century on, it is fairly close.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Bet

      You don't get the concept of "conflict of interest", do you?

      December 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Believe the Bible or don't, but...

      hawaiiguest,

      Fair enough...

      Bet,

      What's the point? Show me where he's wrong and I'll give you some credit. Otherwise move along...

      December 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Bet

      *headdesk*

      December 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  9. Guy

    Chad
    A lot of those people you reference are making a good buck off of the god/jesus scam. The trouble with all of you religious freaks is you never eguate the ugly history of religion with the teachings of your messiah jesus. I do not really give a rats asz if you can prove if the delusion existed or not, either way I would never accept the judgement of such a sick god as the god of abraham.

    December 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • lol??

      ".....never accept the judgement of such a sick god ....." No problem for me either, dude. It's not up to you.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Guy

      lol??
      Check out the movie "The Rapture", a fantasy much like the bible, but the main character gets to tell god to shove it, so cool.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  10. r stamps

    people need to do more simple things in life, such as play with big D cubes or something less complex then conflict

    December 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Bet

      I agree, except when one group wants to legislate their religious beliefs into civil law that everyone has to follow.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  11. Atheist Hunter

    http://vigilantcitizen.com/sinistersites/sinister-sites-the-eu-parliament/

    December 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Huebert

      Vigilant citizen has to be one of the craziest conspiracy websites I've ever read. It can be good for a laugh though.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Guy

      AH
      Where the nutters meet and greet. For more rational fundie topics try Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, you can cut, paste and posts all sorts of christian nonsense, see Chad for guidance, if you can't figure it out on your own.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Bet

      I don't think AH and Choad have far to go to meet and greet. I think they both live in the same fundie skull. There's plenty of room, since there's no brain to take up space.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  12. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Rebel,

    Josephus was not a contemporary to Jesus.

    December 13, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      And most of the manuscripts attributed to Josephus are 4th century forgeries.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • The Truth

      Along with the fact that Josephus also talks about Hercules as if he was a real person...

      December 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  13. Lisa

    If they were forced to be born into poor families that didn't want them anyway why would the children on the plates be smiling?

    December 13, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Bet

      Now, Lisa, you know that they don't really care about what happens to the child after it's born. Before birth, it's a holy and precious "life", after birth, they support cuts to services and health care for all those deadbeat infants and children.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Lisa

      Ah yes, the other great sin for American conservatives: remaining poor. Everyone knows that if you're a woman with an unwanted pregnancy it's your duty to rise yourself up by your boot straps ... and marry a man who can take care of you both. So 19th century!

      December 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  14. Guy

    One more try, to all you fundie nutters that believe a womans right to choose an abortion is equivalent to muder of a child, please answer the question,,,,What would you do with/to the 1.2 million women per year that you accuse of the most serious crime of murder for having a legal abortion? What does your oh so forgiving god say?

    December 13, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Hmmmmm

      an eye for an embryo...guess we have to kill them all. I think they would have been sentenced to stoning, so they would all have to move to either California, Colorado or Washington to buy the weed they would need to get the job done right...

      December 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Bet

      I'll stock up on cheetos.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  15. E101

    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution (1 of 2)

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

    December 13, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The enlightened ones...!

      December 13, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  16. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog- see p. 8 for added details––>>>>>

    The license plates in all states should read:

    "STOP THE BRUTAL EFFECTS OF STUPIDITY"–

    from the Guttmacher Insti-tute:

    "• Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    December 13, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • lol??

      What does the scientific data show that mankind used for birth control for the previous 400,000 years? It must have worked better before the Socialists took over. Current science just leads to a lot of killin'. It's highly uncivilized. How can this possibly be considered progress?

      December 13, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Primewonk

      Why are fundiot nutters, like this lol?? cretin so intellectually limited? I wonder why he doesn't know that Google is a verb as well as a noun?

      Thee are literally hundreds and thousand of scholarly articles, papers, and books on tthe hihistory of contraception going back thousands of years.

      December 13, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Lol
      "Onanism" was the most common form of birth control.
      Physical barriers have also been used throughout history, such as condoms made from animal's intestinal tracts or stomach, halved and hollowed out citrus fruits as diaphragms (the citric acid also acts as spermicide), and melting suppositories designed to form an impenetrable coating over the cervix. Dou/ching with all manner of potions (mostly of which were mildly acidic) were also common.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Lol
      Furthermore, abortion has always been practiced – though in the past, infanticide was the more common method of eliminating unwanted kids since it was less risky than abortion.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • lol??

      But wonk, you're only talkin' about recorded history. Don't you have a bigger sample? Science would never accept your size even though Socialists would.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Huebert

      @lol

      What scientific discipline do you have a degree in?

      December 13, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Primewonk

      What are you talking about lol?? What socialists? Just how fucking stupid are you? And no, that isn't rhetorical.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • SImran

      @ lol – "What does the scientific data show that mankind used for birth control for the previous 400,000 years?"

      How old do you think mankind is?

      Now for the information on abortion methods used by MANKIND in ancient times, refer to wikepedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion

      December 13, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Lisa

      Doc Vestibule
      Right, back in the "good old days" sure they would have waited for the baby to be born, and then they would leave it exposed somewhere in the wilderness to die, especially if it's paternity was undesirable, or if it was deformed in some way.

      Makes you wonder what Psalm 137:9 is all about:
      "Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!"

      December 13, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • lol??

      slimran, ".......How old do you think mankind is?......" You're an ol' fuddy duddy. The latest from scientific thought: "....400,000-Year-Old Human Remains Found in Israel" Copyright © 2000-2012 The Epoch Times............... I expect by next week the new age will be a half/mil years.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • SImran

      @ lol,
      So, you do believe in evolution then. Just checking!

      December 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • lol??

      So I'll use 10,000 years of recorded history and a total of 500,000 years with rounding for the species age. That is 2%. What scientist would use that size to make social policy for the survival of the species? Sounds bloody and suicidal to me.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • lol??

      Nope.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ lol?? It is only recently that over population became a problem. Couple this with families needing to have herds of children in order to survive means that contraception really wasn't the issue you are trying to make it. Yet another example that you really are this fucking stupid.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Reality

      As noted above, from p. 8:

      December 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Reality

      The license plates in all states should read:

      "THE BRUTAL EFFECTS OF STUPIDITY"–

      Added details:

      The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
      Followed by:
      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      December 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Bet

      Current science just leads to a lot of killin'.

      I love it when religious hypocrites pull this one out. They use scientific advancements when they need them, but want to restrict others from doing the same.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Reality

      And with respect to "birth" control in the past:

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      And there in The Plague:

      "The Black Death originated in or near China and spread by way of the Silk Road or by ship.[7] It may have reduced world population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in 1400.["

      December 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • lol??

      I use some rounding. The educratists have been pushin' "modern evolution" for say, 100 years. That is 1% of the total data from recorded history and .02% of the age of the race. What social scientist would press social policy on that data size for the survival of the species? That is commonly called betting the farm or as Davy Crockett would say, "It's runnin' off in the woods half c o c k e d expectin' to get a bear!" Arrogance , nutsoism, and short sighted.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Bet

      Now LOL?? is trying to convince us that he knows something about the scientific method and statistical significance. Hilarious.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • lol??

      Only the killers are schmart. Sounds like good ol' americult all over again. The killers were taught to the test.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • lol??

      Oh, oh. The sheepdogs have a taste for sheep, too.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @lol??

      Wow, you really are just completely insane.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Lisa,
      Makes you wonder what Psalm 137:9 is all about:
      "Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!"
      Psalm 137 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
      This is a song for vengeance. The southern kingdom of Israel was captured by the Babylonians. Here you have them slaving by the canals of Babylon. Their guards want to hear them sing. They were famous for their singing when they were worshiping in Jerusalem. The destruction of Babylon was prophesized before they were taken captive and they can’t wait. The Babylonians killed their babies before they herded them to Babylon. They probably didn’t want to be slowed down. They are calling for the same terrible thing to happen to the Babylonians, an eye for an eye.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Bet

      @Robert Brown

      Thank you for putting some context around that. The bible sure is full of violence and murder in the name of god, isn't it?

      @Lisa

      And *deformities* could be as simple as having a widow's peak or being the smaller, or female member of twins.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Lisa / Robert Brown
      That Psalm was made into a Reggae song by the Melodians and a disco song by Boney M.
      My kid asks me to play that one and Bad Religion's "American Jesus" all the time.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Lisa

      Robert Brown
      That would basically be the same act of killing babies that God ordered the Hebrews to do to the Canaanites, right?

      December 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Reality

      The OT/Toray is filled with god-approved killings:

      To wit:

      •Exodus 32: 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf.

      •Numbers 31: After killing all men, boys and married women among the Midianites, 32,000 virgins remain as booty for the Israelites. (If unmarried girls are a quarter of the population, then 96,000 people were killed.)

      •Joshua: ◦Joshua 8: 12,000 men and women, all the people of Ai, killed.
      ◦Joshua 10: Joshua completely destroys Gibeon ("larger than Ai"), Makeddah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, Debir. "He left no survivors."
      ◦Joshua 11: Hazor destroyed. [Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (1987), estimates the population of Hazor at ?> 50,000]
      ◦TOTAL: if Ai is average, 12,000 x 9 = 108,000 killed.

      •Judges 1: 10,000 Canaanites k. at Battle of Bezek. Jerusalem and Zephath destroyed.
      •Judges 3: ca. 10,000 Moabites k. at Jordan River.
      •Judges 8: 120,000 Midianite soldiers k. by Gideon
      •Judges 20: Benjamin attacked by other tribes. 25,000 killed.

      •1 Samuel 4: 4,000 Isrealites killed at 1st Battle of Ebenezer/Aphek. 30,000 Isr. k. at 2nd battle.
      •David: ◦2 Samuel 8: 22,000 Arameans of Damascus and 18,000 Edomites killed in 2 battles.

      ◦2 Samuel 10: 40,000 Aramean footsoldiers and 7,000 charioteers killed at Helam.
      ◦2 Samuel 18: 20,000 Israelites under Absalom killed at Ephraim.

      •1 Kings 20: 100,000 Arameans killed by Israelites at Battle of Aphek. Another 27,000 killed by collapsing wall.
      •2 Chron 13: Judah beat Israel and inflicted 500,000 casualties.
      •2 Chron 25: Amaziah, king of Judah, k. 10,000 from Seir in battle and executed 10,000 POWs. Discharged Judean soldiers pillaged and killed 3,000.
      •2 Chron 28: Pekah, king of Israel, slew 120,000 Judeans

      •TOTAL: That comes to about 1,283,000 mass killings specifically enumerated in the Old Testament/Torah.

      The New Testament has only one major atrocity, that of god committing filicide assuming you believe in this Christian mumbo jumbo. Said atrocity should be enough to vitiate all of Christianity.

      On the other hand how much of the OT/Torah is historic? Not much according to the following:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      December 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Reality

      Ooops, make that "OT/Torah" :)

      December 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  17. Leif

    A better slogan would be:

    "Choose Education"

    December 13, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • lol??

      That would only lead to diabolical dialectical debate and everyone knows Islam has only two parties.

      December 13, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Lisa

      "diabolical dialectical debate"
      What are you, some camp Batman villain of the 1960s? :-)

      December 13, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Which God?

      Eveybody with a brain is LOL at lol??'s strawman questions and his stupidity. His concerns about 'socialism" are unfounded, but hid thick head just won't let it go. I'm sure he's friends with the " grassy knoll" folks.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      lol. Only two. What do you mean? Islam has more than two sects.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Bet

      Religious fundies are opposed to education. It might cause someone to use reason and evidence to make decisions instead of fear and supersti.tion.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Reality

      Better yet "Read and Follow the Instructions on the Package"

      December 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  18. Oh wow, really Chad!

    "contemporary", do you mean "still alive today"?"

    A dictionary would really help you, Chad.

    December 13, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  19. lol??

    "Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.".................. Kill fathers' rights, Kill the knowledge of the Father, and take over, with a little killin' of course. The Socialist plan doesn't change. Then they play God.

    December 13, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • sam stone

      ....and the right wing fvcks purport to speak for god

      December 13, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • lol??

      S stone, did the educratists turn you into a girly man? You should have stood up to the bullies.

      December 13, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Primewonk

      No such word as "educratists".

      Perhaps you need to gather all your fucking sockpuppet IDs together and take a freshman level remedial English class?

      December 13, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • lol??

      wonk, " Noun
      educrat (plural educrats)
      (derogatory) An official or administrator in a school district." ........"Definition of -ISM

      1
      a : act : practice : process "........."-ist
      a suffix of nouns, often corresponding to verbs ending in -ize or nouns ending in -ism, that denote a person who practices or is concerned with something, or holds certain principles, doctrines, etc."

      December 13, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Bet

      Fundies claim that labor and birth are painful the result of *original sin*, but have no explanation for why other mammals also experience labor pains. They claim it's the result of man's *free will*. Do all mammals have free will?

      What sin did the rest of the mammalian world commit to displease your god?

      December 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • SImran

      @ Bet,
      Oh, there were other other trees too in the garden of Eden! The Bible forgot to mention that – the Tree of Lust, the Tree of Passion, the Tree of Rivalry! Of course, the animals got their hold on other fruits, or maybe, just the leaves.
      And who knows, there may be a secret gospel for animals as well!

      December 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Simran

      That gave me a good laugh, thanks! I imagine there was a Tree of Climbing the Curtains and a Tree of Rolling In My Own Poop too.

      If there is a secret animal gospel, it probably makes a lot more sense than the one *written* for humans!

      December 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  20. Chad

    @Colin “The whole doctrine invented by Paul to account for the fact that JC was a complete political and military failure.”
    @Chad “if Paul invented this.. how did Peter, James, John and the rest of the disciples come to believe that they had witnessed a resurrected Jesus BEFORE paul did?
    Colin “Simple, Chad, all 4 authors wrote years after Paul did. They all likely had access to his writings when they wrote. The author of John, who I quoted, wrote about 60 years after Christ was executed. Paul wrote about 45 years earlier.”

    @Chad “well, lets see if we can figure out why no atheist debater that I am aware of ever attempts to make that argument in a public forum of any kind.

    Ok, so, your theory is that:
    - The original disciples never reported meeting a resurrected Jesus.
    - Paul never persecuted anyone (if Paul persecuted anyone, it would have been for a belief that he didn’t hold, and you are saying that Paul invented the whole resurrection story and convinced the “disciples” to pretend later)
    - So, after Jesus death, the disciples went back to their occupations and stayed that way for 10 years or so (the date of Pauls earliest letters)
    - Then, Paul, a successful member of the Jewish authority decided to invent a new religion. A religion based on a declaration that a person dead for 10 years had actually been resurrected and seen by many. A religion that was sacrilegious to a Jew, as it made a man equivalent to God. A religion guaranteed to get the members kicked out of the synagogue.
    - Paul embarks on this made up religion, knowing it will mean non stop persecution, surrender of his position in Jewish society, and surrender of his relationship with the REAL God of Israel (remember, Paul knows it’s a lie, so he is separating himself from God by doing this), condemn himself to an eternity in hell.
    - Paul goes to Jerusalem, convinces all of the disciples to abandon their occupations, abandon their positions in Jewish society, abandon their relationship with the God of Israel, condemn themselves to an eternity in hell, lie and claim that they had seen a resurrected Jesus 10 years ago, claim that Paul had earlier persecuted them, and embark on a life of non-stop persecution, hardship and ultimately torture and death. All for what they know is a lie.

    - I don’t know how the lying paul and the lying disciples are somehow able to convince people that the Jesus that they saw get buried, isn’t Jesus.. Because it doesn’t make sense that a movement based on a resurrected person could survive in the presence of the body…

    - And, I cant make sense of how the movement could exist based on so many fallacies that were easily debunked by persons still alive who had witnessed the events of the day (“this is the first time we’ve ever heard of anyone claiming that Jesus was resurrected! What’s this about you seeing Him 10 years ago!!”, “What are you talking about Paul, you never persecuted anyone!!”, and on and on…)

    So.. what do you think? Sound reasonable? Starting to understand yet why no serious atheist scholar ever attempts to make that argument?

    Cue: “it doesn’t matter, it’s all nonsense, you cant prove anything”

    See, that’s the thing. The anti-theist has a faith that Jesus isn’t real in spite of all the evidence. It simply doesn’t matter that for over 1900 years people have been trying to find some problem with the historicity of Jesus, and just have never been able to.

    December 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "for over 1900 years people have been trying to find some problem with the historicity of Jesus, and just have never been able to."

      There are zero contemporary historical accounts of Jesus, nothing of what you claim as evidence are anything more than hearsay, and bad hearsay at that.

      December 12, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cheesemakers "There are zero contemporary historical accounts of Jesus, nothing of what you claim as evidence are anything more than hearsay, and bad hearsay at that."

      =>by "contemporary", do you mean "still alive today"?
      cant imagine you would mean that...

      but, there are many accounts written by first hand witnesses, at a time (10 to 40 years after His death) when many others
      who had also witnessed the events of Jesus life were still alive to challenge any error in the written accounts..

      you do realize this, right?

      I'm not aware of any serious scholar (atheist or otherwise) that makes a claim that all of the written accounts are hearsay.. Do you know of any?

      Do you find it helpful to deny basic facts?

      December 13, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • mama k

      Chad: [ "but, there are many accounts written by first hand witnesses, at a time (10 to 40 years after His death) when many others
      who had also witnessed the events of Jesus life were still alive to challenge any error in the written accounts.." ]

      Tell us how we know about such witnesses and accounts, Chad. Where did this data come from that you claim as "fact".

      December 13, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • The Real World

      Chad, simply put, there is absolutely no direct evidence of Jesus. The first mentions of him come decades later from biased sources. The first non-Christian mention is 80 years later (and is very vague), and clearly is a recitation of word-of-mouth tales.

      Personally, I think there was a Jesus, but all the miracles and supernatural claims are nothing but the exaggerations that come from generations of word of mouth. There is a lot of that in ancient oral history: a minor Briton warlord with a faithless queen becomes King Arthur, with a round table and a Grail quest and a wizard and so forth. A rural robber becomes Robin Hood. The tales go round and round, people add and dramatize and reinvent, and soon you have a superhero.

      In the Arthur stories, we can see the additions so they are more obvious. The bible somewhat froze Jesus, but not quite. The "cast the first stone" story came a couple hundred years later – the earliest couple centuries of the Bible don't have it. Some scribe added it in.

      Jesus was just a guy. He claimed the faithful would be taken away and the Kingdom of God would come on the clouds for everyone in the world to see in the lifetimes of some of his listeners. Wrong. He claimed that if you believed and prayed, your prayer would absolutely be answered, even if it was for a mountain to go jump into the sea. Definitely not true.

      Sorry, but that is the most likely scenario.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Contemporary as in written at the time Jesus lived.

      Name one first hand witness who wrote anything....you do realize there were none right?

      I am not aware of any serious scholar that claim they are anything but hearsay. No one knows who authored the gospels. Do you find it helpful to make sh!t up?

      December 13, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Blessed are the cheese makers look up Josephus

      December 13, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • mama k

      DingDong4Christ: "look up Josephus"

      Yes, Josephus – another early chatty cathy "historian" writing his own take on many things to include purported events surrounding the Jesus character ~60+ years earlier. So what?

      December 13, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Lisa

      Rebel4Christ
      Would that be the same Josephus who wrote about Hercules as though he was a historical person too?

      December 13, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Chad

      anti-theists that must cling to this notion that Jesus never existed are a strange bunch...

      Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed,[5][6][7][8] and biblical scholars and cla ssical historians regard theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[9][10][11] Scholars generally agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born BC 7–2 and died AD 30–36.[12][13] Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea[14][15][16] and that he spoke Aramaic and may have also spoken Hebrew and Greek.[17][18][19][20][21] Although scholars differ on the reconstruction of the specific episodes of the life of Jesus, the two events whose historicity is subject to "almost universal as sent" are that he was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.

      [5] Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 0391041185 pages 2-5
      [6] Christopher M. Tuckett In The Cambridge Companion to Jesus edited by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 ISBN 0521796784 pages 122-126
      [7] Amy-Jill Levine in the The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. 2006 Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 pages 1-2
      [8] Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart D. Ehrman (Sep 23, 1999) ISBN 0195124731 Oxford Univ Press pages ix-xi
      [9] In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman (who is a secular agnostic) wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees" B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285
      ^ Robert M. Price (an atheist who denies existence) agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars: Robert M. Price "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy, 2009 InterVarsity, ISBN 028106329X page 61
      [10] Michael Grant (a cla ssicist) states that "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." in Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Micjhael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200
      [11] Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more." in Jesus Now and Then by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (Apr 1, 2004) ISBN 0802809774 page 34
      [12] Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16 states: "biblical scholars and cla ssical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted"
      [13] James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis"
      [14] The Gospels and Jesus by Graham Stanton, 1989 ISBN 0192132415 Oxford University Press, page 145 states : "Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed".
      [15] Paul L. Maier "The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus" in Chronos, kairos, Christos: nativity and chronological studies by Jerry Vardaman, Edwin M. Yamauchi 1989 ISBN 0-931464-50-1 pages 113-129
      [16] The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 114
      ^ Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity Press, 1992), page 442
      [17] The Historical Jesus in Recent Research edited by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 page 303
      [18] Who Is Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts 1999 ISBN 0664258425 pages 28-29
      [19] James Barr, Which language did Jesus speak, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 1970; 53(1) pages 9-29 [1]
      [20] Handbook to exegesis of the New Testament by Stanley E. Porter 1997 ISBN 90-04-09921-2 pages 110-112
      [21] Discovering the language of Jesus by Douglas Hamp 2005 ISBN 1-59751-017-3 page 3-4
      ^ Jesus in history and myth by R. Joseph Hoffmann 1986 ISBN 0-87975-332-3 page 98
      .

      December 13, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • sam stone

      "anti-theists that must cling to this notion that Jesus never existed are a strange bunch."

      not to mention the subservient folks who desire an eternity with the pr!ck from whom they feel then need to be "saved"

      December 13, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Lisa

      Chad
      There's nothing remarkable about the notion of a progressive rabbi named Yeshua wandering Israel as a preacher back then. There where dozens of similar characters doing the same thing, after all, but there is a huge difference between not denying a historical Jesus and not denying the historical Christ. There is simply no evidence that Jesus was ever divine, or super-powered.

      Jesus the man, probably, but Jesus the half-god? About as probable as Hercules, or any of the other demigods that were popular in the Gentile world back then.

      December 13, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chad,

      I didn't say he didn't exist. I an questioning the reliability of hearsay evidence to support the notion he did miracles or was a god.

      December 13, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Chad

      @Cheesemakers, @Lisa: regarding the evidence for Jesus divinity, that's where one would need to examine the historicity of the resurrection.
      1. Jesus was buried in a tomb
      2. Three days after His death by crucifixion, that tomb was found to be empty by a group of His women followers
      3. Following that event, man followers, skeptics and persecutors of Jesus came to believe that they had witnessed a physically resurrected Jesus. A belief they held so firmly that they were willing to die for the truth of it.

      Those facts are not supernatural, they do not require a belief in God to accept as fact.

      what is the best explanation for those facts?

      December 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      There is no reason to accept #2 as fact.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • midwest rail

      In addition, even if one accepts #3 as fact, the only fact you are accepting is that of their BELIEF. Which requires faith on their part, as well as yours.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • The Truth

      "Those facts are not supernatural, they do not require a belief in God to accept as fact."

      Thats because those facts are not facts.

      Your "facts" are as factual as Dante's 9th circle of heII. He writes about it as if it's real, he describes it in great detail, I mean it's right there in his book, so how is that not factual? BECAUSE THE BOOK IS FICTION!! JUST LIKE THE BIBLE HAS PROVEN TO BE FROM THE AGE OF THE EARTH TO THE SHAPE OF THE EARTH TO THE FLOOD TO THE ORDER OF CREATION!! IT'S ALL FVCKING FAKE YOU MORON!!

      December 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "There is no reason to accept #2 as fact."
      @Chad "lol
      actually, I"m not aware of any scholar (atheist, agnostic, whatever) that claims that the tomb was not found empty.
      Are you? Or, are you just speculating?

      The problem with "the tomb wasnt empty", is that one must then try and explain how a religion based on a physically resurrected Jesus, and an empty tomb, could have survived in the face of an occupied one.

      that's why atheists dont try and make that argument in debates on the topic.

      ==========
      @midwest rail "In addition, even if one accepts #3 as fact, the only fact you are accepting is that of their BELIEF. Which requires faith on their part, as well as yours."
      @Chad "all one accepts by accepting #3 as fact, is that the disciples came to an unshakable conviction that they had witnessed a resurrected Christ.
      It does not make a claim that their conviction is true, it just makes a claim that they held it.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Anti Chad

      @ Chad- "the tomb was empty"

      Once in my lod town, there happened a funny incident. A man died, and they kept his body in the mortuary. Now, next morning, they couldn't find the man's body! That evening, he walked back home and told how he woke up and found himself surrounded by dead bodies, and ran out the window! Trust me, the doctors had it real time!

      December 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chad,

      There are people today that believe they have been abducted by aliens or that Elvis is still alive. People are able to delude themselves into believing all kinds of things.

      Explanations that are better than Jesus supernaturally came back to life.

      1. He never actually died, (coma, ect). Doctors today sometimes pronounce someone dead that isn't.
      2. Followers were so devastated by his death they deluded themselves into believing he came back.
      3. Writers made up the whole resurrection story.

      Bottom line is any explanation that is not supernatural is better than "he was god".

      December 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      LOL Chad's still going on about the "empty tomb" when the particular tomb can't be found, and the only account we have is 4 differing account in the bible. How useless.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Chad

      "Once in my lod town, there happened a funny incident. A man died, and they kept his body in the mortuary. Now, next morning, they couldn't find the man's body! That evening, he walked back home and told how he woke up and found himself surrounded by dead bodies, and ran out the window"
      @Cheese ""He never actually died,"

      =>that is known as the "swoon theory" (Jesus wasnt actually dead, He just passed out then recovered later).
      It was utterly refuted decades ago and today has zero scholarly support for it (athestic/agnostic).

      The reason being that "It is impossible that a being who had stolen half dead out of the sepulchre, who crept about weak and ill and wanting medical treatment... could have given the disciples the impression that he was a conqueror over death and the grave, the Prince of life: an impression that lay at the bottom of their future ministry

      December 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • LinCA

      Jesus lives 3 doors down the street. He is kinda preachy and wears his belief on his sleeve. I haven't seen him walk on water yet, though.

      The possibility that there may have been some person on which the NT stories have been modeled, doesn't mean this person was special in any meaningful way. Just because the stories about this person have survived for 2000 years, doesn't lend them any more credibility.

      There is no reason to assume the people that lived 2000 years ago were any less gullible than they are today. On the contrary, it is likely that they were more so. Even today there are plenty of people who claim to be "special" and collect a gathering of followers. David Koresh and Warren Jeffs come to mind. These people are far more likely to be charlatans or seriously deluded than divinely inspired, but I suspect that their followers swear they are what they say they are, and even willing to die for them.

      The question whether Jesus actually existed is entirely irrelevant, because, even if he did, there is no reason to assume he was the spawn of some supernatural being. Unless there is evidence of him actually being what he is claimed to be by his followers, there is no reason to accept that he was.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cheese "Followers were so devastated by his death they deluded themselves into believing he came back."
      @Chad "mass delusion theory refuted decades ago, cant explain the many different appearances, to different people, some of who were previously skeptics and persecutors of the followers of Christ.
      Remember, the belief was not merely that Jesus was divine, or Jesus was King, or whatever. The belief was that they had met a physically resurrected Jesus.

      @Cheese "Writers made up the whole resurrection story."
      @Chad "refuted decades ago, it requires that the disciples knowing lied, and went to their death proclaiming the truth of what they knew was a lie.
      Also cant explain the basis for the origin of that belief by those who were previously skeptics and persecutors of the followers of Christ.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Anti Chad

      Medical authorities W. D. Edwards, W. J. Gabel and F. E. Hosmer, much more in tune with medical accuracy than that of correct theology in reference to the Gospels, offer the following analysis in regard to the New Testament Greek and the medical data:
      "Jesus of Nazareth underwent Jewish and Roman trials, was flogged, and was sentenced to death by crucifixion. The scourging produced deep stripelike lacerations and appreciable blood loss, and it probably set the stage for hypovolemic shock, as evidenced by the fact that Jesus was too weakened to carry the crossbar (patibulum) to Golgotha. At the site of crucifixion, his wrists were nailed to the patibulum and, after the patibulum was lifted onto the upright post (stipes), his feet were nailed to the stipes. Only in the Gospel of John, do we get the idea that Jesus was "nailed" to the cross. The other three mention no nails. John was written easily 20 years after the other three, and the writing style and tone are far different.... in the first three, Jesus is an apocolyptic preacher, telling all that the end of the world is "within this generation." That never happened. So the message in John is far different. Since none of these gospels was written even by the men's names who are on them, they are the product of oral history. And thus, we really don't know what happened. No eye witnesses wrote anything. Did he die on the cross, or is the Swoon Hypothesis possible? If he was taken down so early, he likely was alive. If he died, the major pathophysiologic effect of crucifixion was an interference with normal respiration. Accordingly, death results primarily from hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia. Modern medical interpretation of the some medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead when taken down from the cross. But If Jesus was never stabbed, as only John reports, he likely was alive when taken down).

      December 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chad,

      Those options are still better than he came back to life, they are more plausable. You can say they have been refuted all you want it does not than follow that the resurrection is "therefore true".

      You want us to reject the explanations I listed for logical reasons and then want us to accept the bibles claims which are illogical at their foundation. Your argument is disingenuous.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Chuckles

      BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

      BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

      Boo this man, Chad is unwilling to accept anything other than his own position, because of this, he is unwilling to learn and would rather lie in order to prove his own accusations as true.

      The only way to learn is to admit you know nothing Chad, try it sometime.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Chad

      CHAD PLEDGE,

      I am Chad. I have a firm belief in my Bible, even though it has been proven wrong, even though it has contradictions, even though deep down I know it is BS – I, Chad, pledge to follow it to its word.
      I will keep a one-track mind, I refuse to flip the coin and see the other side – I see only Jesus! The other side is Satan. I shall never flip the coin.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • The Truth

      Okay Chad, how about some straight answers:

      Is there any written record we have today that was written during Christs life about a carpenter named Jesus?

      Is there any contemporary written account from when Jesus supposedly died and was resurec.ted?

      Are there any contemporary Jewish or Roman records naming Jesus or referencing his chat with Pontius Pilot?

      How many years after Christs death were the books of the bible picked through and chosen as the official bible canon?

      Would anyone have an acc.urate enough view of an event nearly 400 years after it took place to claim factual accuracy of those events?

      Why would a book be considered still factual after portions of it have been proven false? (See the age of the earth, the flood account or the age of humanity of which we have verified cave art dating back 40,000 years which makes the timeline from Adam that the bible gives impossible).

      December 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Guy

      Chad....watch
      The God of Isreal is real and nothing gets done without Him. So says Chad, but all the evil in the world is beyond that god's control, pretty useless god.
      I am not intrested in, nor do I think it is an effort that should be extended to defend anything other than the Judeo-Christian belief system. Says Chad, I am steeped in my belief system what the other 5 billion souls/people on Earth think or believe, the hell with them.
      As a christian apologist, Chad, has 2000 years of "facts and testimony" to draw on to defend the delusion, not to the degree of proof or evidence; only to the point that a whole lot of people bought into the scam, therefore the scam is true based on the bible, why, because a 2000 year old book, that very same bible says so, which completes the circle.
      What the Chad doesn't get is that the promise of the return of god /jesus is never going to happen, at least for the 5 billion people that know it is a load of BS. I, for one would do everything in my power to prevent that ignorant useless god from returning and I try to do so by not letting the religious fundies from influencing government. Leave the state alone, you are doing enough damage warping childrens minds.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      By the way Chad,

      You stated above that...... "there are many accounts written by first hand witnesses."

      I said you were wrong, that there were no first hand written accounts and asked you to produce one. You haven't, so you should either admit you were wrong or were lying.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "...the two events whose historicity is subject to 'almost universal as sent' are that he was baptized by John the Baptist and [he] was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate."

      "1. Jesus was buried in a tomb
      2. Three days after His death by crucifixion, that tomb was found to be empty by a group of His women followers
      3. Following that event, man followers, skeptics and persecutors of Jesus came to believe that they had witnessed a physically resurrected Jesus. A belief they held so firmly that they were willing to die for the truth of it.

      Those facts are not supernatural, they do not require a belief in God to accept as fact.

      what is the best explanation for those facts?"

      Your wiki quote supports the assent, or agreement, that Jesus was baptized and crucified, but your arguments are based on three other alleged facts, not those assented to.
      Just because Jesus likely existed does not mean that he was buried in a tomb, that tomb was found empty later, or that anyone actually believed they had witnessed a physically resurrected Jesus.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      Scholarly consensus about the life of Jesus ends with his crucifixion by Pontius Pilot. There is no consensus about anything relating to Jesus the person after he died.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Lisa

      Chad
      These are details contained within a story, not "facts", unless you want to accept everything that the ancients wrote as factual no matter how outlandish? Josephus' accounts of Hercules being a historic figure?
      Try reading J. C. McKeown's "A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World’s Greatest Empire." The folks living in the Roman Empire were not above telling tall tales.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @The Truth "Is there any written record we have today that was written during Christs life about a carpenter named Jesus?
      Is there any contemporary written account from when Jesus supposedly died and was resurec.ted?"
      @Chad "as with ALL ancient historical persons of that time, written records of the events of their lives were done after those events transpired. In Jesus' case, this occurred 10-50 years after His death. That elapsed time was actually extremely short compared to other figures.
      You may be surprised to find out that the New York Times wasnt actually started until 1851. Daily news reporting originated fairly recently..

      =======
      @The Truth "Are there any contemporary Jewish or Roman records naming Jesus or referencing his chat with Pontius Pilot?"
      @Chad "there are no contemporary Jewish or Roman records of ANY KIND that survive from that period.
      Josephus/Justus/Thallus and a few others are the ONLY non-contemporary source of any history from that time period. Most mention Jesus to varying degree's.

      =======
      @The Truth "How many years after Christs death were the books of the bible picked through and chosen as the official bible canon?"
      @Chad "council of nicea AD 325.
      New Testament docs are dated from ~10 years after Jesus death, to ~90AD. None of that is in question..

      =======
      @The Truth "Would anyone have an acc.urate enough view of an event nearly 400 years after it took place to claim factual accuracy of those events?"
      @Chad "all NT docs written during first century.. Council of Nicea didnt actually author anything :-)
      weird how you could possibly have thought that..

      =======
      @The Truth "Why would a book be considered still factual after portions of it have been proven false? (See the age of the earth, the flood account or the age of humanity of which we have verified cave art dating back 40,000 years which makes the timeline from Adam that the bible gives impossible)."
      @Chad "the bible says how old the earth is?? where, somehow I missed that. where does it say that?

      December 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "Scholarly consensus about the life of Jesus ends with his crucifixion by Pontius Pilot."
      @Chad "not at all
      these facts nearly universally accepted by atheist/agnostic/believing historians.
      1. Jesus was buried in a tomb
      2. Three days after His death by crucifixion, that tomb was found to be empty by a group of His women followers
      3. Following that event, man followers, skeptics and persecutors of Jesus came to believe that they had witnessed a physically resurrected Jesus. A belief they held so firmly that they were willing to die for the truth of it.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Lou

      @Chad
      Would you consider the book Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter less fictional if it had been written just a few decades after Lincoln died?

      December 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cheesemakers "I said you were wrong, that there were no first hand written accounts and asked you to produce one. You haven't, so you should either admit you were wrong or were lying."

      =>Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of John, 1 Peter, 2 peter, James, 1 john, 2 john, 3 john, jude
      all authored by first hand witnesses to the death/resurrection of Jesus

      December 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @Lou "Would you consider the book Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter less fictional if it had been written just a few decades after Lincoln died?"

      =>proximity to the event is just one item to be taken into account when evaluating a source for historical accuracy. Independent confirmation of the events is another (which the other docs collected as the NT provide)

      December 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Guy

      Chad...watch. Nothing on your apologist sites to refute your ignoring my earlier post? An all powerful godie like guy/gal should be able to give you a bone that you could use as proof/evidence beyond double heresay?

      December 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      That is not true Chad. There are eight facts about Jesus and his disciples that enjoy large scholarly consensus, they are:
      1) Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
      2) He called disciples.
      3) He had a controversy at the Temple.
      4) Jesus was crucified by the Romans near Jerusalem.
      5) Jesus was a Galilean.
      6) His activities were confined to Galilee and Judea.
      7) After his death his disciples continued.
      8) Some of his disciples were persecuted.

      Sources
      Authenticating the Activities of Jesus by Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans 2002
      Prophet and Teacher: An Introduction to the Historical Jesus by William R. Herzog

      December 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @guy, you'll have to be a bit more clear in articulating specific points you want addressed :-)

      December 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: The Heaven's Gate cult believe their nonsense strongly enough that they were willing to die as well, however I suspect you'll look at their belief with more of a critical eye...

      December 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Chad

      1) Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
      2) He called disciples.
      3) He had a controversy at the Temple.
      4) Jesus was crucified by the Romans near Jerusalem for claiming to be the King of the Jews, the promised Messiah of the old testament.
      5) Jesus was a Galilean.
      6) His activities were confined to Galilee and Judea.
      7) After his death his disciples, skeptics and persecutors of disciples:
      A. Reported finding an empty tomb
      B. reported having met a resurrected Jesus Christ
      8) Some of his disciples were persecuted for refusing to recant the statement that they had met a physically resurrected Christ.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Guy

      Chad...watch.
      See my post at 2:02 PM they are statements made by you on this blog, do you now deny making those staements? Why?

      December 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @SeanNJ "The Heaven's Gate cult believe their nonsense strongly enough that they were willing to die as well, however I suspect you'll look at their belief with more of a critical eye..."

      =>people die for all kinds of crazy beliefs every day.
      people die for all kinds of true beliefs, every day

      you need to figure out if the belief is true or not, just dying for it only indicates that they believe it strongly.

      what you need to do, is figure out what "it" is that they feel strongly about.

      Is it a falsifiable belief? I can believe Koresh talks to god, but that isnt falsifiable... How can I prove that you didnt have a real vision? I cant.

      However, the resurrection of Jesus is certainly a falsifiable event. It isnt an opinion. It is easily countered if it isnt true. That is what makes the Christian belief so unique, it is grounded in a falsifiable historical event.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      There is no extrabiblical account of the resurrection. If there is, present it or shut the fuck up because you've never given the evidence to support it. Your dishonest bullshit is so transparent it's pathetic.
      You have nothing Chad, and you know it. That's why you never give the evidence, because there is none.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      There is a lot of historical evidence that Gilgamesh was a real King and that Uruk was a real kingdom.
      That does not mean that he ruled his kingdom for 125 years, was a demi-god or that he literally traversed the underworld.
      History easily becomes mythologized.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: You said, "However, the resurrection of Jesus is certainly a falsifiable event. It isnt an opinion. It is easily countered if it isnt true. That is what makes the Christian belief so unique, it is grounded in a falsifiable historical event."

      How exactly are we supposed to falsify that event now? It may have been falsifiable at the time it possibly occurred, but we certainly don't have anything to work with now aside from the observable resurrection rate of 0% we've seen over the last 2000 years.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      Your additions still aren't true. Why do you keep lying?

      December 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Guy

      Chad...watch.
      Sh8it, Chad, if it makes you happy that all the BS, related to life of your jesus and all those miracles and bible babbles are true, good I get it (if you come accross a guy that change water into a dcecnt Pinot Noir. I will believe). I am with you bud, it is all true, however, the sins I committed are mine; at the time, I probably enjoyed them, if I get my butt born again, can I keep my sins, at least the memories of same?

      December 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      That came to an abrupt end.

      I think Chad's meds suddenly kicked in, and they wheeled him back to his room.

      December 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Guy

      SeanNj
      An abrupt end to be sure. I think once the Chad reaches his climax he needs time to recover, who knows how long it will take for him to respond again.

      December 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I feel so...used. Ugh.

      December 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Lisa

      Doc Vestibule
      Not just ancient history either. Look at how many ridiculous stories were written about Davy Crockett and Elvis while they were still alive! One literally cannot imagine a limit to the human imagination.

      December 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule “History easily becomes mythologized”
      @Lisa “Not just ancient history either. Look at how many ridiculous stories were written about Davy Crockett and Elvis while they were still alive! One literally cannot imagine a limit to the human imagination”
      @Chad “very true, of course that doesn’t mean that Abraham Lincoln wasn’t real… Blanket statements are pretty worthless when evaluating the historicity of a particular claim (which is why anti-theists tend to stick to that)”

      ===========
      @guy: get organized, present some points..

      ============
      @Huebert “Your additions still aren't true. Why do you keep lying?”
      @Chad “actually they are, and accepted as such by the majority of scholars. Remember that they do not require the supernatural at all to accept as true.

      ==========
      @SeanNJ “How exactly are we supposed to falsify that event now..”
      @Chad “by examining the evidence. Was a body actually missing? How do we know that? Did people make a claim that they had seen a resurrected Jesus? Did they really believe they had seen a resurrected Jesus or was it just a “vision”? What was the reaction of the other people at the time? Was it consistent with the reports?
      What you’ll see is that every single piece of historical evidence that we have is consistent with
      1. the tomb that Jesus was buried in being found empty
      2. the disciples suddenly (not gradually over time) coming by a belief that they had witnessed a resurrected Jesus. A belief they held so strongly that they were willing to die for it.

      So, the question is, how does one explain those facts?

      December 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      Who are these "majority of scholars". I was able to cite my sources now you do the same. Until you do I will continue to call you a liar. And don't use some apologetics website, that's not acceptable.

      December 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • mama k

      I have this sneaky feeling that some Romans came and moved the body to another burial spot. They probably just didn't want anyone trying to make a "South of the Border" site where people could pay homage and then be visited by the Christians that were still alive. But you know what ever we guess including what has already been written is just part of a story. We honestly don't know anything about any eyewitnesses other than what "unknown authors" have written, and we don't know how many of those stories from those unknown authors are simply copy-cat stories – just someone from a different town that heard the tale, but happened to know how to write.

      December 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Still refusing to present the extrabiblical accounts of your assertions I see. Ah the dishonesty you constantly show is pathetic Chad.

      December 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Lisa

      Chad
      Point is, people tend to tell tall tales about famous people. I happen to think that you have to work harder to make a case that Jesus wasn't based on a real life person, but that isn't any endorsement whatsoever of the idea that he was a god, or could do anything supernatural. If anything, it makes me sad for Jesus. I can't imagine how the real-life Jewish rabbi would feel about being made a blasphemy to his faith.

      No single person has ever been proven to be a supernatural god, or able to perform supernatural deeds. If that's the kind of "blanket statement" that you're having trouble with then please feel free to provide proven examples.

      December 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Lisa

      mama k
      Chad seems to think that a story that mentions "eyewitnesses" is as solid a piece of evidence as an affidavit by an eyewitness who remains available for further questioning. I'd sooner use passages from a John Grisham novel in court than anything written in an ancient book.

      December 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • The Truth

      @The Truth "Is there any written record we have today that was written during Christs life about a carpenter named Jesus?
      Is there any contemporary written account from when Jesus supposedly died and was resurec.ted?"
      @Chad "as with ALL ancient historical persons of that time, written records of the events of their lives were done after those events transpired. In Jesus' case, this occurred 10-50 years after His death. That elapsed time was actually extremely short compared to other figures.

      - Was Josephus an "ancient historical person"? I was under the impression his writings were done while he was alive... and there are many more but you are too daft to accept any authors own works which you might expect from the guy who others claimed was the son of the creator of he universe in a time when they had in fact already invented writing...

      =======
      @The Truth "Are there any contemporary Jewish or Roman records naming Jesus or referencing his chat with Pontius Pilot?"
      @Chad "there are no contemporary Jewish or Roman records of ANY KIND that survive from that period.
      Josephus/Justus/Thallus and a few others are the ONLY non-contemporary source of any history from that time period. Most mention Jesus to varying degree's – as well as Hercules as if he was a real person who would visit the troups.

      =======
      @The Truth "How many years after Christs death were the books of the bible picked through and chosen as the official bible canon?"
      @Chad "council of nicea AD 325.
      New Testament docs are dated from ~10 years after Jesus death, to ~90AD. None of that is in question... however one has to wonder why we consider the current bible canon "the bible" when it was really a collection of letters sifted through and hand picked out of hundreds of accounts from the decades after Christs supposed death. Apparently the council of Nicea knew which to add and which to leave out and were influenced by nothing but their knowledge of Christ...except for as Eusebius described, Constantine "himself proceeded through the midst of the assembly, like some heavenly messenger of God, clothed in raiment which glittered as it were with rays of light, reflecting the glowing radiance of a purple robe, and adorned with the brilliant splendor of gold and precious stones." He was present as an observer, and did not vote, however the emperor's threat of banishment is claimed to have influenced many to sign, but this is highly debated by both sides."

      =======
      @The Truth "Would anyone have an acc.urate enough view of an event nearly 400 years after it took place to claim factual accuracy of those events?"
      @Chad "all NT docs written during first century.. Council of Nicea didnt actually author anything
      weird how you could possibly have thought that.. correct, they did not "author" anything except to take a handful of letters and say "These are what God wants us to read, nothing else, this collection, nay OUR collection is inspired by God and any who claim anything different shall be put to death..."

      =======
      @The Truth "Why would a book be considered still factual after portions of it have been proven false? (See the age of the earth, the flood account or the age of humanity of which we have verified cave art dating back 40,000 years which makes the timeline from Adam that the bible gives impossible)."
      @Chad "the bible says how old the earth is?? where, somehow I missed that. where does it say that? Okay, so if you want to play dumb thats fine. You know as well as I do the bible specifies how long God took to make the universe and all for man's benefit of course, and claims a lineage from Adam down to the time period of the Moses writing the first 5 books putting the age of the earth between 6000 to 9000 years. I notice you conveneiently did not refute the inaccurate flood account "covering the whole earth" which has been proven false as well as not commenting on 40,000 year old cave paintings in Spain.

      And once again Chad proves that we should have gotten rid of Chad's after the 2000 presidential election...

      December 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chad,

      There are no reputable scholars that agree that any of those are first hand accounts, you know this and are being disingenuous.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • End Religion

      King of Stupid, the bible is a fraud. You may not base anything on it. Now, try your arguments again.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cheesemakers “There are no reputable scholars that agree that any of those are first hand accounts, you know this and are being disingenuous.”
      @Chad “wow, utter nonsense of course. See for example the Gospel of Mark, even though the author isn’t explicitly identified in the narrative, it’s content and dating (virtually all scholars view this as the first of the Gospels, ~60-70AD, 25-30 years after Jesus death/resurrection) is certainly entirely consistent with a first hand account.
      You would have a hard time finding a scholar that DIDN’T consider Mark a first hand account.
      =======
      @The Truth:
      1. So you are acknowledging that there are essentially NO contemporary accounts of ancient historical figures.
      2. So you are acknowledging there are no contemporary Jewish or Roman records of ANY KIND that survive from that period
      3. So you are acknowledging that the Council of Nicea didn’t author any docs, rather they selected the docs that were closest to the original events, authored in most cases by eye witnesses. They left out of canon later accounts that contain many legendary embellishments.
      4. Regarding the age of the earth which you are claiming the bible says is 6000-9000 years old:
      Question: how much time elapsed from verse 1 to verse 2?
      Verse 1 says that God created everything.
      Verse 2 starts out with ok, now the earth has been created, but it is formless and dark, and so on.
      So.. how many years between 1 and 2?
      Doesn’t say, right?
      Note also that the work translated as “day” can also be translated as “age”, and does not always refer to a 24 hour period (one rotation of the earth on it’s axis).
      1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
      2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

      3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

      =====
      @Lisa “Chad seems to think that a story that mentions "eyewitnesses" is as solid a piece of evidence as an affidavit by an eyewitness who remains available for further questioning”
      @Chad “you want to be able to question eye witnesses???
      Lol
      So, you don’t believe in any historical figures obviously..

      =========
      @ mama k “I have this sneaky feeling that some Romans came and moved the body to another burial spot. …”
      @Chad “really?
      Based on what?
      How would that explain the origin of the belief by disciples, skeptics and persecutors that they had witnessed a physically resurrected Jesus?
      Rome persecuted early Christians, if they had stolen the body, all they would have had to do was produce it to utterly refute the premise of the entire religion.

      simply astonishing that anti-theists will embrace ANY illogical theory as long as it says Jesus wasnt real...

      December 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Still being completely useless I see. Have you found any of those contemporary extrabiblical accounts that would verify Jesus's life, deeds, and resurrection yet? Oh wait, there aren't any. I guess that's why you need to always ignore that point.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Chad

      Josephus (A.D. 37 – c. A.D. 100)
      Josephus' Antiquities (early 2nd century A.D.) refers to Jesus in two separate pas sages. The common translation of the first pa.ssage, Book 18, Ch. 3, part 3, is disputed and is most likely from an altered source. F. F. Bruce has provided a more likely translation:
      Now there arose at this time a source of further trouble in one Jesus, a wise man who performed surprising works, a teacher of men who gladly welcome strange things. He led away many Jews, and also many of the Gentiles. He was the so-called Christ. When Pilate, acting on information supplied by the chief men around us, condemned him to the cross, those who had attached themselves to him at first did not cease to cause trouble, and the tribe of Christians, which has taken this name from him is not extinct even today.
      The translations of this pa.ssage are discussed in Josephus: Testimonium Flavianum from Jesus.com.au.
      The second pa.ssage is from Book 20, Ch. 9, part 1:
      ...so he a.ssembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned...
      (Note: The Antiquities can be found at several different sites, including the Christian Cla.ssics Ethereal Library, Perseus Digital Library and Crosswalk.com)

      ============
      Tacitus (c. A.D. 55 – c. A.D. 117)
      Annals, book XV:
      Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a cla.ss hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superst.ition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.

      ============
      Suetonius (c. A.D. 69 – c. A.D. 140)
      Lives of the Caesars – Claudius, sec. 25:
      He banished from Rome all the Jews, who were continually making disturbances at the instigation of one Chrestus.
      Lives of the Caesars – Nero, sec. 16
      Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a cla.ss of men given to a new and mischievous superst.ition.

      ============
      Julius Africanus (c. 160 – c. 240)
      Chronography, XVIII refers to writings by Thallus and Phlegon concerning the darkness during the Crucifixion:
      On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun...Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth – manifestly that one of which we speak.

      ============
      Origen (c. 185 – c. 254)
      In Against Celsus, Origen quotes Celsus, a second-century skeptic, on Jesus. Celsus' view of Christians and Christianity, an article from Bluffton College, contains relevant excerpts.

      ============
      Pliny the Younger (c. 62 – c. 113)
      Letters, 10.96-97 records Pliny's dealings with Christians

      December 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      The Josephus passage in Book 18 is generally thought to be a forgery, and even then says nothing about the resurrection. The other says absolutely nothing about his life, deeds, or so called divinity, but is generally thought to be authentic. Then again, his existence wasn't what I said now is it?

      The rest, apparently you don't know the meaning of contemporary

      Try again Chad, you tried this months ago.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Hawaii "The rest, apparently you don't know the meaning of contemporary"

      =>actually, Josephus was born after Jesus was crucified, so using that definition none of them are contemporary.

      Which is weird, I guess you are correct. How is it possible to not have a contemporary account?
      especially when we have contemporary accounts of Pilate, the High Priest at the time Annas.. oh wait.. we dont.. That's weird.. I thought Romans were such awesome record keepers.

      well, we certainly have contemporary accounts of Alexander the Great, so that would mean we should have contemporary accounts of Jesus, after all Jesus was a central figure in a small branch of Judaism numbering perhaps 1,000 people at His death. I mean, that was HUGE news at the time.

      Oh wait.. "The primary sources written by people who actually knew Alexander or who gathered information from men who served with Alexander, are all lost, apart from a few inscriptions and fragments

      hmm
      i forget, what was your point again?

      December 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      I see you still refuse to support your as.sertion that a "majority of scholars" agree that Jesus was berried in a tomb, and that said tomb was later found empty. Come on Chad, if a majority of scholars agree, as you claim, it should be easy for you to give me three sources that support your claim. Or are you just pulling those "facts" out of where the sun doesn't shine?

      December 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      My point is that you still are not addressing the points made. You're deflecting, and trying to back away from your original assertions. Dishonest Chad, very dishonest.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Chad

      Scholars supporting the authenticity of the burial account:
      Renowned New Testament scholar Raymond Brown
      Daniel Kendall and Gerald O'Collins, "Did Joseph of Arimathea Exist?" Biblica 75 [1994]: 240
      Jacob Kremer, "By far most exegetes hold firmly to the reliability of the biblical statements concerning the empty tomb"
      Rudolf Karl Bultmann, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Stanley E. Porter, Gnilka, Hoo.ker
      Raymund Schwager
      Paula Frederickson
      Pinchas Lapide
      Geza Vermes
      And on, and on, and on.

      It is actually a vastly easier task to compile a list of scholars that dispute it.. Dominick Crossan, Hector Avalos, and a few others are the only that I could find.

      I hate to do this to you but note that both Craig Evans and Bruce Chilton (whom you quote as one of your scholars LOL) actually supports the historicity of the burial and criticize Crossan for his dismissal of it.

      Indeed, the evidence from Roman, Jewish, and Christian sources all coheres around a single conclusion: Jesus was buried in shame. Someone from the Council approached Pilate about the body and put it in an underground tomb reserved for Jewish criminals.

      Bruce Chilton pp 451 Authenticating the Words and the Activities of Jesus , Volume 2 ..

      December 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaiiguest "My point is that you still are not addressing the points made"
      @Chad "what point?
      that there is no contemporary accounts of Jesus?
      there are essentially NO contemporary accounts of virtually any historical figure of that time. Why would Jesus be different?

      what is your point exactly?

      December 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      I concede your first point, Jesus was most likely buried in a tomb. Though you are still yet to provide any evidence for your second as.sertion, that said tomb was later found empty.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "I concede your first point, Jesus was most likely buried in a tomb. Though you are still yet to provide any evidence for your second as.sertion, that said tomb was later found empty."

      =>as far as I can see it is the same list.
      Once you concede the burial, it's impossible to argue that it wasnt found empty. The reason being that it is inconceivable that a persecuted movement based on a physically resurrected person (which means an empty tomb) could have survived in the face of an occupied tomb.

      The earliest Jewish polemic indicates they were accusing the disciples of grave robbery.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.