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My take: A word to Christians - Be nice
February 9th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My take: A word to Christians - Be nice

Editor's note: John S. Dickerson is author of the book “The Great Evangelical Recession: 6 Factors that Will Crash the American Church ... and How to Prepare” and senior pastor of Cornerstone in Prescott, Arizona. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter @JohnSDickerson

By John S. Dickerson, Special to CNN

Last week a high-profile American writer and news personality asked me a painful question: “Hey pastor, can a Christian tweet hate?”

It was not a hypothetical question. He was asking because some of his 1.3 million Twitter followers claim to be “Christian,” and some of the meanest, most perverse hate-tweets he receives come from these self-proclaimed Christians.

We’ve all seen folks, Christian and otherwise, lose their cool in a Facebook face-off or in the comment section under a controversial news story. But as I scrolled through the “Christian” hate tweets to this news personality, I was baffled and ashamed by these so-called followers of Christ. One user describes himself not merely as Christian but as “sharing God’s message of Grace with everyone I encounter.” The messenger of Grace recently tweeted that he doesn’t merely hate this news personality, he despises and loathes him.

These are the moments when it’s embarrassing to be a Christian. I’m not embarrassed to believe the extravagant claims of Christianity: that Christ was born to a virgin, died for our sins, physically rose from the grave and is returning to rule the world. But I am embarrassed to be associated with some of the people who claim his name.

I have written in the past about the bad reputation that Christians have in America. Some argue that it comes from misrepresentation by the media. Others argue that “all who live godly will suffer persecution,” and that’s why we Christians have a poor reputation. Maybe there’s some truth to those claims, but we Christians have to acknowledge another reason why we are perceived as hateful: because many of our number are.

More and more, I see hateful Christians chalking up their disrepute to “persecution.” God tells us otherwise. In 1 Peter 4 we’re told, “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed. …” And that’s the truth; sometimes we are insulted for proclaiming the good news of salvation in Christ. But listen to what follows: “If you suffer, however, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.”

The Apostle Peter is more or less saying: If you suffer for sharing the good news of Christ, great, you’re blessed. But if you suffer just because you’re being a criminal or acting like an idiot, then don’t blame it on Christ.

Some 2,000 years ago, Peter knew so-called Christians would be criminals and “meddlers.” He knew some would claim, “Wow, I’m really suffering for Jesus,” when they are really just suffering for being jerks.

The word “meddler” means busybody: someone who inserts himself into matters that are not his own. Might this include some people involved in the Twitter, Facebook and “comments” showdowns of our day?

So yes, “all who live godly will suffer persecution.” But let’s not be jerks, get persecuted and then blame it on Christ. American Christianity, with its past position of cultural superiority, gave birth to some self-righteous and condescending so-called Christians. These folks may be culturally Christian, but they know little of Christ and his actual message of humility and repentance. I am convinced that, if Jesus Christ were here walking among us, he would have nothing to do with those who claim his name and consistently spew hate.

Theologians and academics will argue about that last sentence. Isn’t Jesus “a friend of sinners?” Yes. Doesn’t Jesus’ grace wash away the sins of those who trust in him? Yes. Wouldn’t that include the sin of "hate tweet"? Yes.

In seminaries and churches, we tend to engage in obscure questions about theology. For example, “Is it possible for someone to truly trust Christ and spend their entire life tweeting hate?”

Maybe so. But Jesus didn’t engage in such esoteric abstractions. He taught simple truth with clarity, authority and practicality. On controversial issues—“Are hate tweeters true Christians?”—I find myself drawn to the simple words of Scripture. Theologians will argue and debate, but God’s word is simple and clear.

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.” (1 John 2:9,11)

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (James 3:9,10)

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20)

Jesus put it this way in Matthew 12:34-36: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”

If we will give account for every careless word spoken, might we also give account for every careless comment typed or tweeted?

Christians aren’t the only ones hurling hateful blows on the Web. But we are the only ones who claim to follow the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. So let’s be nice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John S. Dickerson.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (10,298 Responses)
  1. Live4Him

    @Doc Vestibule : In the Arctic and the Antarctic, it is dark half the year and light the other half.

    You've presumed the same climate patterns that we see today – i.e. you've employed circular reasoning. In this case, you've pre-assumed that the worldwide flood did not occur so the weather patterns are the same as we see today. Then, you point to those weather patterns to prove your own timeline.

    But, lets presume that the WWF/canopy did occur and that the earth's temperature was more uniform. This would allow dinos to live in a tropical environment in Antarctica (which we've found). And then as the continents separated and the world cooled, we would see the weather fronts depicted in the ice samples.

    February 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      In 2011, a 10,928-foot column of ice was taken out of the Antarctic by US researchers.
      The site for this project was chosen because it is unusually thick and also comparatively stable, not having moved or flowed as much as other Antarctic ice.
      These are very clean and detailed ice samples that will allow scientists to literally count off the time, like with tree rings, more than 40,000 years into the past.
      These samples provide data that is be matched to ice taken from Greenland cores.
      There have all ready been numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies spawned from this sample.

      Detailed ana/lysis of acient ice cores can be found in the paper:
      "Microbial Ana.lyses of Ancient Ice Core Sections from Greenland and Antarctica"
      – Caitlin Knowlton, Ram Veerapaneni, Tom D'Elia, and Scott O. Roger

      http://www.mdpi.com/2079-7737/2/1/206/pdf

      February 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule

      Again, you've posted the same circular logic conclusions. Were these years or fronts that moved over this area? 40,000 fronts only indicates violatile weather patterns – which would be expected after a WWF.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      There is absolutely no geological evidence of a global flood.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      Ice Core layers do not work that way.
      Trapped in these ice cores are bubbles of atmospheric gas.
      Weather/climate is determined by spectrographic an/alysis of these gas bubbles.
      If there had been a WWF, there wouldn't be differences in these gas bubbles.
      There is other evidence that comes in the form of trapped dust. For example, volcanic activity causes specific particles to be deposited in the snowfall – these dust particles give further evidence of the age of these samples.

      I once again refer you to the peer-reviewed study I have cited for detailed (albeit highly technical) proof of the age of the core samples.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "40,000 fronts only indicates violatile weather patterns – which would be expected after a WWF."
      I'm sorry, but wouldn't a WWF actually float the ice caps off Antarctica and Greenland. Has the climate be conducive to replacing those ice caps to their current condition in 4000 year +/-?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Abandoning Ice Cores for a moment, let us consider dendrochronolgy.
      Perhaps the simplest, most direct means of determining the age of a tree is to count it's annual rings.
      The oldest living tree thus far found (measured by ring count) was a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine which was 4,862 years old. That means the tree was around 400 years older than Noah's oldest son Ja.pheth when the flood happened.
      In California there is a colony of Palmer's Oak trees called Jurupa Oak that has been alive 13,000 years through clonal reproduction.
      Professor Frank Vasek confirmed the age of a Creosote bush in the Mojave Desert known as "King Clone" using two different methods. His project counted rings and measured the distance of annual growth, and then used radiocarbon dating on chunks of wood found in the center of the ring. Both dating methods yielded an age of 11,700 years.
      That makes the plant more than 7000 years older than Noah's flood.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : I'm sorry, but wouldn't a WWF actually float the ice caps off Antarctica and Greenland. Has the climate be conducive to replacing those ice caps to their current condition in 4000 year +/-?

      There were no ice caps on the planet. Remember the subtropic conditions in Antarctica? Ice developed after the WWF. And 40000 / 4000 = 10 fronts per year. Do you think this is reasonable? Why not?

      February 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : The oldest living tree thus far found ... was 4,862 years old.

      Actually, it is the oldest living thing – plant or animal.

      @Doc Vestibule : In California there is a colony of Palmer's Oak trees called Jurupa Oak that has been alive 13,000 years through clonal reproduction.

      How do you know it's been alive this long if reproduction is occurring?

      @Doc Vestibule : Professor Frank Vasek confirmed the age of a Creosote bush in the Mojave Desert known as "King Clone"

      Counting creosote rings?

      @Doc Vestibule : then used radiocarbon dating on chunks of wood found in the center of the ring

      Yes, and freshly killed seals have been dated to be even older – like 30,000 years ago. If a WWF occurred and the seas act like a carbon-sink, then this would explain the excessive age.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And Live continues to make assertion after assertion without offering any kind of justification to the numbers used, or the thoughts proposed.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • frank

      Doc Vestibule : [..] found in the center of the ring

      [..] If a WWF occurred and the [..]

      The Killer Kowalski effect, no doubt.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There is clay-mineral evidence of sub-tropical conditions on teh Antarctic land mass at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary.
      One characteristic of the period was that CO2 levels were 2-3 times as high as in the modern day. The entire Eocene period covered the time from about 56 million years ago up to about 34 million years ago – not just a few thousand years ago.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      You guys are intense!

      very entertaining.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Plate techtonics anyone? Antarctica was not always centered over the south pole.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If you'll note, I am not asking anybody to take MY word for it.
      I am consistently providing references to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
      In some cases I tell you the name of the scientist and the subject of the study (which makes it easy to find the paper) and in others I have given a direct link to the study I cite.
      Carbon pools, atmospheric canopies, time dilation bubbles, ice ages somehow de-salinating ocean water etc. ad nauseum are at best unproven hypotheses.
      Not to sound rude – but until peer-reviewed, scientific sources are cited, these assertions are classed as rationalizations.

      What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts?
      Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!

      February 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @lunchbreaker : Plate techtonics anyone? Antarctica was not always centered over the south pole.

      When was it materially outside of the Antarctic Circle?

      February 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Lunchbreaker
      You are correct sir.
      At the end of the eocene period, the continents were arranged in a mass known as Gondwana.
      The ancient forests alluded to come from that geological configuration.
      – "Palaeobotany: Swimming sperm in an extinct Gondwanan plant." Nature 422, 396-397 (2003).

      The area of the planet now occupied by the land mass is cold due to the rotational axis of the earth and the concomitant dark/light cycles – regardless of whether there is a land mass there.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : I am consistently providing references to peer-reviewed scientific papers. ... What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts?

      That's exactly my point. You point to Methuselah, which has been analyzed in detail. Then, you point out "peer-reviewed" findings that haven't had any addtional research done to it. What are the facts?

      We have creosote rings. One expert claims that the number indicated 11,000+ years. How has this been validated? Carbon dating. How reliable is carbon dating? Dubious beyond 5,000 years (i.e. Methuselah).

      @Doc Vestibule : until peer-reviewed, scientific sources are cited, these assertions are classed as rationalizations.

      You mean the same peer-reviewed journals that warned of the dangers of polywater? Lets strip away the so-called expert opinions. What are the underlying facts to support your position? Care to itemize them?

      February 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Science

      Where Does All Earth's Gold Come From?
      Precious Metals the Result of Meteorite Bombardment, Rock Analysis Finds

      Sep. 9, 2011 — Ultra high precision analyses of some of the oldest rock samples on Earth by researchers at the University of Bristol provides clear evidence that the planet's accessible reserves of precious metals are the result of a bombardment of meteorites more than 200 million years after Earth was formed.

      Dr Willbold continued: "Our work shows that most of the precious metals on which our economies and many key industrial processes are based have been added to our planet by lucky coincidence when the Earth was hit by about 20 billion billion tonnes of asteroidal material."

      This research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907132044.htm

      I am on the ignore list of L4H

      February 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The studies Doc Vestibule is citing are more reliable than anything you have, Live.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @lunchbreaker :

      According to the timeline presented below, 235 MYA Antarctica was situated similarly to the Canada of today – with about 25% inside the Antarctic Circle. This was well outside of the Subtropics and the Tropics near the equator. So, how did tropical plants grow in a tundra environment?

      http://www.exploratorium.edu/origins/antarctica/ideas/gondwana2.html

      February 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "We have creosote rings. One expert claims that the number indicated 11,000+ years. How has this been validated? Carbon dating. How reliable is carbon dating? Dubious beyond 5,000 years (i.e. Methuselah)."

      "Lloyd: Hit me! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
      Mary: Not good.
      Lloyd: [Gulps] You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
      Mary: I'd say more like... one out of a million.
      Lloyd: So you're telling me there's a chance. Yeah!

      February 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "There were no ice caps on the planet. Remember the subtropic conditions in Antarctica? Ice developed after the WWF. And 40000 / 4000 = 10 fronts per year. Do you think this is reasonable? Why not?"

      Why do you think the Ice cores indicate fronts? What's your source/citation?

      February 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gosh, how long could it take a knowledgeable person to find cites for their claims? If they exist, they should be readily available and not require 2 hours to locate and post.

      February 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Live4Him – re: Antarctic vegetation.

      Good research is not that hard to come by...

      =======
      USC Media and Public Relations
      "Ancient Global Warming Allowed Greening of Antarctica"
      June 18, 2012

      "New research shows that substantial vegetation – including stunted trees – sprouted on the frozen continent 15 million years ago"
      http://www.usc.edu/uscnews/newsroom/news_release.php?id=2753

      February 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Doc Vestibule, hawaiiguest, ME II, lunchbreaker, et al –

      You do understand Live4Him is a young-earth paranoid conspiracy theorist who tacitly believes that scientists are conspiring to keep the truth about the age of the earth from the masses, right? Evidence cannot overcome crazy.

      February 11, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Science

      The list is at it

      Science

      Education is key.. some issues on this thread about age of the earth

      Another timeline go figure interactive too

      For all creationists and bible thumpers !!!

      Earth’s timeline works better than the bible's timeline

      Trace our planet's geological and biological ages

      http://www.nbcnews.com/id/33184839/ns/technology_and_science/

      Peace

      Interactive timeline

      February 12, 2013 at 6:18 am | Report abuse | Reply

      NClaw441

      Whether the Bible is intended to be literally interpreted regarding creation I don't know, and frankly, it is not all that important to me. I would say though, that the day after the earth was created (I know that many who may read this don't believe in divine creation–that's a matter of faith) it would very likely look much older than it was. If God created the animals, I suspect they may have been fully mature, and would therefore look older than they actually were.

      For me, divine creation makes at least as much sense as the universe being created out of some big bang, gaining order out of chaos.

      February 12, 2013 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |

      Richard Cranium

      NClaw
      You said , and I paraphrase " I don't understand what science has proven, so I'll just stick with god did it."

      The big bang is fact, it did happen...just because you don't understand doesn't mean the proof isn't there.

      February 12, 2013 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      In physical cosmology, the Planck epoch (or Planck era) is the earliest period of time in the history of the universe, from zero to approximately 10−43 seconds

      None befor the 10 or after the 43
      Peace

      February 12, 2013 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      Oops before

      None = (gods)

      February 12, 2013 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      Best Map Ever Made of Universe's Oldest Light: Planck Mission Brings Universe Into Sharp Focus

      Mar. 21, 2013 — The Planck space mission has released the most accurate and detailed map ever made of the oldest light in the universe, revealing new information about its age, contents and origins.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130321084221.htm

      April 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |

      April 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  2. Old One-Eye

    This is just the "No True Scotsman" argument all over again.
    Only a "true christian" would be "nice", and if you aren't "nice" then you aren't being a "true christian" or following the "true way" of a "true christian".

    Since everyone can interpret / guess what any of that crazy talk means, it shows the worthlessness and fakery of the religion itself quite clearly. There is no "god" and no "rules" and everyone making up their own BS is just more proof that there is nothing to any of it. More proof. More and more proof that there are no such things as "gods" or "morals" or "spirits" of any sort that follow any rules whatsoever.

    There are no gods and never were. Just ignorant and clueless people making stuff up. That's all it ever was.

    February 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Shield

      "There are no gods and never were. Just ignorant and clueless people making stuff up. That's all it ever was."

      Care to prove that statement, at least in regards to Christianity or Judaism.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Simply asserting that something is not true does not make it untrue. The existence of God is not subject to normal methods of proof. That may make it impossible to prove in the scientific sense, but does not make it true that God (or any gods) does not exist.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Tom Sawyer

      NClaw – Yup–same problem with unicorns and leprechans.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Old–

      Some people may in fact be making up their religion, no doubt about it. Others, most I hope, actually believe what they say they believe. True belief (or disbelief) is not not something we can control, in my view. You do not believe, and you may not be susceptible of ever believing (although MY belief is that everyone wonders about whether God exists, and sufficient honest introspection and observation will lead true seekers to believe– I am sure you disagree).

      February 11, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Hey, Tom, is there anything that you love? Wife, kids, parents, brothers/sisters or even something inanimate like a good book? You'd agree that love exists, wouldn't you? How would you prove it?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Shield etc. The bible contains so many stories that are not true – starting with the creation myth and the flood myth borrowed from prior civilizations. Science proves that and more. Gods were invented to explain events such as rain, thunder, lightning, earthquakes, etc. etc. before we had a scientific explanation. It's time to lose these ancient superstitions.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      NClaw
      You post this time an time again. Love exists, it can be measured it can be studied. We can prove it exists scientifically. The figment of your imagination you call god on the other hand, cannot be tested for, cannot be studied, because it is fictional. Try changing the analogy, because comparing god to love is NOT an analogy. You are comparing emotional response to mythical creature. The two are not analogous.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Tom Sawyer

      NClaw – Love is usually demonstrated and can be identified externally by observing the types of actions we associate with it. Can it be faked? Sure. Is there a scientific way to prove it? Probably, I'm not a scientist. Do people need to be persuaded it exists? No.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Santa, when you say that some stories in the Bible are not true, you may be correct in the literal sense that they did not occur as described. I wasn't there and can't say for sure. Jesus told a lot of parables, which were not factually true, but which contain great truths. Again, I cannot say for sure, but some of the explanations provided in the Bible may have been intended as explanations for truths that those who heard them could not have otherwise understood. I have to say, for me at least, that is not a great sticking point.

      As I have tried to search and grow my faith over the years, I had two big hurdles: 1) whether God exists and 2) whether Christ was resurrected from the dead (because if He was, that gets me a LONG way down the road on believing God exists, and it differentiates Christianity from many other religions, in part because of the historic existence of Christ). As for number 1, I have no proof– if I did, I guess there'd be no need for faith. My internal logic tells me that it is much more likely that a God created the universe than that it appeared from nothing, as a result of a big bang, resulting in order out of chaos.

      As for number 2, Jesus certainly existed. There is at least enough proof that our very calendars acknowledge it. Was He resurrected from the dead? It seems that there were enough people interested in being able to prove that He did not arise that His body would have been found and displayed to refute that claim. Further, enough of His followers believed it to a sufficient degree to willingly suffer horrible deaths rather than recant a claim they did not believe/know to be true.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Tom, maybe someone with more scientific ability that I or you have could help on that. You seem to believe that love exists though, without being able to prove it. So there are at least some things you'll take on faith...

      February 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Richard, you posted, in part: You post this time an time again. Love exists, it can be measured it can be studied. We can prove it exists scientifically.
      ***
      Let me challenge you on that. What is the measure of love? Cups? Watts? What unit is used to measure love. How is strong love compared, scientifically, to weak love? Who has proven the existence of love? How was it done? In fact, what is the definition of love that was proven to exist?

      I use that example a lot because it shows that most of us believe in many things we cannot prove, and we don't have a problem with that most of the time. But if someone does not believe in God, he denies that anyone else can truly believe either.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Tom Sawyer

      NClaw – I'm missing the point of your argument. Love, anger, jealousy, sadness etc are all defined under the category of emotions. We know when people are experiencing these emotions by observing their actions–if their actions fit our definition, then we conclude they are feeling the emotion their actions match.

      In the way we have defined love (or any other emotion), it is not difficult to observe people with actions matching our definition. In fact, it seems it's the repeated observations of these sets of actions themselves that have led to the classifications and definitions we have. And yes, actions can be faked and emotions can remain hidden, but that doesn't mean the definition is invalid.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Tom, my point is that God may exist despite our inability to prove His existence. You want to say that He does not exist, and you may believe that. However, scientific proof is unavailable to prove the existence of many things that we (or at least most of us) all agree exists, e.g., love. We believe love exists because we can feel it and we can "see" it demonstrated by the actions of other people.

      I submit that that method of "proof" is sufficient to show the existence of God, for those who beleive in Him. I feel God's existence and I see Him in the actions of others who also believe in Him. Cheesy sounding? Maybe. But for very many of us, that is our heart-felt and true faith. It ought not be trivialize or denied by those who believe in other things with no greater proof available.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Tom Sawyer

      NClaw – I think the problem with your "proof" is that the actions you would attribute to followers of your faith are not exclusive to them. Surely you know people of other faiths or of no faith who act similarly to the people of your faith? And how do you account for other faiths that have other gods? I'm sure their followers are just as confident in their feelings and beliefs about their gods as you are about yours. But of course you can't all be right, and it seems most likely that none of you are.

      February 11, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  3. Tom Sawyer

    The problem, of course, is that Christians don't know how they are supposed to act because they get so many conflicting instructions for behavior from different parts of their Bible.

    If they could restrict themselves to what Jesus specifically taught then things would be much better for everyone, but unfortunately there are also directives from Paul, John, Moses, Isaiah, etc whose directives are all treated as having equal authority as what Jesus said because they're all in the same book and, like I said, they often conflict with one another.

    February 11, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  4. clarity

    Chad asked of another – "Specifically what doctrine do you feel is absurd?" regarding the notion that Christian doctrine was absurd.

    For example, just among Lutherans that started as one sect, there one of the divisions abhors gay marriage – considers it a sin, and won't let one of their ministers participate in services of a different sect, whereas another of the division actually performs gay marriage. There are examples of polar opposites on issues all throughout many denominations of Christianity.

    So even though it was less splintered 200 years ago than today, we still should be able to understand Jefferson when he said:

    "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

    and Madison, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights, when he said:

    "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."

    February 11, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      None of your examples are descriptions of dogmatic inaccuracies. They range from well intentioned debate on policy and teaching to outright abuse and insubordination. Among most mainstream Christian religions Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism, the dogmatic differences are miniscule.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • clarity

      That's BS, Bill. The differences within Protestantism, as exemplified are far from miniscule. Catholics may be more consistent about saying what they are supposed to believe, but differ widely on which tenets they find more important and are will to ignore for the moment, especially when arguing the lesser of two or more political "evils".

      February 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      "Man, Topher get's them going doesn't he?" On the one hand, he seems to actually be interested in debating and seeing what others have to say. On the other hand, he always just ends up saying "but I don't believe in x" where x equals science or geology or whatever. Newsflash: anyone who would change his or her opinion on any serious subject based on internet chatter is dangerously suggestible.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Clarity, I disagree. The essence of Christianity is pretty uniform across all of Protestantism, and even including Catholicism. This is especially so in comparison with non-belief or mystic religions. As I see it, the essence of Christian faith include (and I will miss some of them, which I hope a more knowledgeable person will correct and/or complete):

      - A loving, omnipotent and omniscient God created the earth and all that is in it;
      - Man was created in God's image, with free will, and he messed it up by sinning, i.e., disobeying God;
      - God sent His Son as an atonement for our sin, being a perfect man, yet divine, whose death was a sufficient sacrifice to cover our sins, providing justice to a loving yet just God;
      - We have all sinned, but if we repent of our sins, and believe in God's salvation through Christ's sacrifice, we can be returned to our proper relationship with God.

      As I said, others will add more. And yes, there are areas of disagreement, about "small" things (some see them as small things, to others they are quite important) such as the proper method of baptism, the proper way to take communion, and whether the bread and wine/juice symbolize Christ's body and blood sacrificed for us, or whether they actually BECOME Christ's body and blood; what sorts of behaviors are actually sinful, etc. etc. People of faith will often disagree, and these disagreements may make it difficult to worship with those who believe differently. But to disagree is not to hate, or at least hate is not a necessary product of disagreement.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • clarity

      Well let's see NClaw441, the poster "pervert alert" ("truth be told"), believes that gays are an abomination. Those views are probably similar to many in the WELS for instance. Now we have the ELCA which, as I understand, grew out of the same Lutherans, who are already marrying gays where legal. You don't find this a major difference in tenets?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  5. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Putting a nice and truthful kibosh/”google” on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    February 11, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Monkey King

      Hey, don't mess with my monkey god, man!!!

      He'll go face-eating-chimp on you!!!!

      February 11, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  6. Topher

    Good morning, everyone! What shall we talk about today?

    February 11, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      How about mathematics?

      February 11, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Topher

      What about it?

      February 11, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Mathematically, How do you fit 4,000,000 species of animals on a small boat? And the food for them?
      How do you repopulate every species of plant, distributed all around the world, after you have killed every plant on the surface of the planet?
      How does one survive the freezing temperatures when the world is flooded to a hight higher than Mount Everest.

      My math proves all these things are IMPOSSIBLE...Your math?

      February 11, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • sam stone

      How about why you would worship such a vindictive pr1ck?

      February 11, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Topher

      Richard Cranium

      "Mathematically, How do you fit 4,000,000 species of animals on a small boat? And the food for them?"

      It wouldn't have been nearly that many. Remember, the Bible says the animals were "kinds" ... thus you don't need two chihuahuas and two great danes. Just two dogs. One researcher said it was around 30,000 animals that needed to go on the Ark.

      "How do you repopulate every species of plant, distributed all around the world, after you have killed every plant on the surface of the planet?"

      Same way it happens when, say, the Nile floods and kills stuff. What happens is the soil becomes even more fertile and all the seeds of the plants spring up new ones everywhere.

      "How does one survive the freezing temperatures when the world is flooded to a hight higher than Mount Everest."

      It's called the Ice Age.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      "the soil becomes even more fertile and all the seeds of the plants spring up new ones everywhere."

      That only works with fresh water.
      In a global flood scenario, all fresh water would become salinated when it mixed with the waters of the rising oceans.
      Salting the earth is no good for plants.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "One researcher said it was around 30,000 animals that needed to go on the Ark."
      I'm guessing that this is based on some sort of hyper-evolution post-flood, correct? Else how are there so many species now?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Topher

      Doc Vestibule

      " In a global flood scenario, all fresh water would become salinated when it mixed with the waters of the rising oceans."

      Good thing we likely had that pesky Ice Age afterward to give the rivers time to "de-salinate."

      February 11, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Madtown

      One researcher said it was around 30,000 animals that needed to go on the Ark.
      --------
      Making it impossible to recreate the natural habitats and ecosystems necessary for these species to live. And, where did they get species that weren't even native to their continent? How'd they come up with penguins?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      First question, when did you think this Ice Age occured? Only a couple thousand years ago? Secondly an Ice Age wouldn't desalinate everything, it would simply freeze the salt water where it was until it unfroze and still salted the earth......

      February 11, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Topher

      ME II

      " I'm guessing that this is based on some sort of hyper-evolution post-flood, correct? Else how are there so many species now?"

      I don't believe in evolution. What you had was reproduction, and that offspring reproducing and moving out to different regions where, for instance, in colder climates animals adapted by getting thicker coats. So from that original pair of dogs you would get something like a Malamute.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Topher

      Madtown

      "And, where did they get species that weren't even native to their continent? How'd they come up with penguins?"

      The Bible said each "kind" showed up at the Ark. He made them do it. So it's not like Noah went out collecting animals. And who says they had penguins on the Ark?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      You don't believe in evolution but you believe in adaptation, specifically animals developming thicker coats of fur to withstand colder temperatures? What the what?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • LinCA

      @Topher

      When is it OK to tell a child that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist? Is it ever OK? Can I tell my own child, knowing full well that (s)he will tell his/her friends? At what age? When is it OK to tell a child that is not my own and, if so, at what age? Is it ever OK to tell an adult?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Topher

      Chuckles

      "First question, when did you think this Ice Age occured?"

      Sometime after the Ark. So probably around 4-5000 years ago.

      "Secondly an Ice Age wouldn't desalinate everything, it would simply freeze the salt water where it was until it unfroze and still salted the earth......"

      OK. To be fair, I wasn't there and so have no idea how it all worked.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • sam stone

      "I don't believe in evolution"

      Really, Gopher? How is that tailbone doing?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      "I don't believe in evolution. What you had was reproduction, and that offspring reproducing and moving out to different regions where, for instance, in colder climates animals adapted by getting thicker coats. So from that original pair of dogs you would get something like a Malamute."

      You have just described one of Darwin's 5 laws of evolution.
      Multiplication of species – This is the understanding that species either split into or bud off other species, often through the geographical isolation of a founder species.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Topher

      "You don't believe in evolution but you believe in adaptation, specifically animals developming thicker coats of fur to withstand colder temperatures?"

      It's the difference in micro and macro evolution. Those dogs underwent "changes" ... but they are still dogs.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Madtown

      I don't believe in evolution
      ----
      You can't really "believe", or not believe, in evolution anymore than you could believe or not believe that dinosaurs once inhabited this planet. Both are factually proven. You can DENY evolution all you want, and bury your head in the sand, but you can't "not believe".

      February 11, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "I don't believe in evolution."
      I'm sorry. Unlike religion your belief is not required.

      "What you had was reproduction..."
      "So from that original pair of dogs you would get something like a Malamute."
      Dogs are still in the same species. How do you get from 30,000 species on a supposed Ark to "6.5 million species found on land "? (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110823180459.htm)

      February 11, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • sam stone

      "OK. To be fair, I wasn't there and so have no idea how it all worked."

      Pretty much applies to your whole outlook, doesn't it?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Topher

      LinCA

      I'm a tooth fairy agnostic. :)

      February 11, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      How can you claim things happened after "the flood" if a) you are going to now claim ignorance by saying you weren't there so you don't know how it worked, b) don't understand how long Ice Ages last and their lasting effects on the environment and c) try to shoehorn a story from the bible into the real world with half baked arguments that don't make sense even at first glance?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Chuckles

      You said you don't believe in evolution but now you believe in micro evolution not macro? Again, what the what? How does that make sense? You recognize that animals change and adapt to fit their surroundings yet you deny the fact that this happened over millions of years?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • ME II

      @Doc Vestibule,
      Sorry if I've asked this before, but what are these "laws" of evolution? I haven't heard them described as "laws".

      February 11, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Topher

      Chuckles

      "You said you don't believe in evolution but now you believe in micro evolution not macro?"

      One exists, the other doesn't.

      "You recognize that animals change and adapt to fit their surroundings yet you deny the fact that this happened over millions of years?"

      Right. I'm a young-earther.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      "I wasn't there and so have no idea how it all worked."
      All you need to do is perform an experiment that demonstrates the principle.
      Take three pots of soil sown with seeds of your choice.
      Inundate one pot with salt water, one with fresh water and one with a mix of the two.
      Freeze and then thaw each one to see in which pot, if any, the seeds grow.

      This is the stuff of elementary school science fairs.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Me II
      Since you asked:
      There are 5 laws in the Theory of Evolution.
      1) Evolution as such.
      This is the understanding that the world is not constant, nor recently created, nor cycling, but is changing; and that the types of enti.ties that live on it also change.
      2) Common descent
      This is the understanding that every group of living enti.ties that we know of on this planet descended from a common ancestor.
      3) Multiplication of species
      This is the understanding that species either split into or bud off other species, often through the geographical isolation of a founder species.
      4) Gradualism
      This is the understanding that changes take place through the gradual change of population rather than the sudden production of new individuals.
      5) Natural selection
      This is the understanding that individuals in every generation are different from one another, or, at least some of them are. In every generation some individuals survive and reproduce better than others. Their genes multiply.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      I get that you are a "young -earther" I'm wondering how this can make sense to you in your head. You clearly understand and agree that over the course of many years animals have changed to fit their surroundings and yet the only thing that is stopping you from fully embracing this theory is the fact that it invalidates what your bible says, so instead of completely ignoring the theory you just pick and choose what makes sense to you and discard the rest? Do you go through life doing this as well?

      Topher, think about this for one second. You accept that a dog of 5,000 years ago does not look like the same type of dog today because it's evolved into a different form and yet the idea that this took millions of years is hard for you to accept? That doesn't seem right.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Old One-Eye

      What to say to brain-damaged idiots who make up their own gods to suit their skewed thinking....hmmm....nope, I can't think of anything that would make any difference.....mere truth is nothing besides the fantastic delusional fakery that religious people use to interpret the world around them. Nope. Can't compete with fantasy-land. Never could. Pass the drug of your choice this way, would you? Thanks.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Mass Debater

      The total number of non-bacterial species in the world has been estimated at 8.7 million, with previous estimates ranging from two million to 100 million. Even if the low flawed estimate of 2 million was used that would be 4 million animals Noah would have had to house, feed and clean for at least 40 days and 40 nights. Also, a global flood event would have killed off nearly 90% of fish species due to salinity levels changing rapidly as well as temperature. Also, the imprint of a global flood event would have left many geological signs worldwide with the entire earth getting a layer of sediment spread over it's entire surface. These facts, along with many others, prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a global flood event DID NOT OCCUR. The only way around all these facts is to claim God gave Noah a magical bag of holding where he could store the millions of animals, used magic to keep pockets of fresh water apart from salt water and kept them at the right temps, and then used magic again to have the water recede without leaving even the tiniest trace of geological evidence. Conclusion? The bible's flood account at best describes a regional flood event that was sensationalized by the people and passed down in legends of many people in that region. This means that the bible was not inspired of God as a creator of the universe would know the difference between a global flood and a regional flood where a farmer saved his domesticated livestock on a wood barge.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      "It's the difference in micro and macro evolution. Those dogs underwent "changes" ... but they are still dogs."

      hmm so what is a wolf ? cyoete? fox?? are these 'dog' ?
      Did Noah have these 'types' on the ark ?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • ME II

      @Doc Vestibule,
      Thanks. I guess I was asking more about when/how were these aspects/elements of evolution considered "laws"?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Topher

      Chuckles

      @Topher

      It certainly does goes against the Bible, but that's not the only reason. Where's the evidence? Darwin wrote his book back in the mid 1800s, right? Still a theory. Still nothing found to prove it. It just doesn't make sense. I am not a monkey.

      Again, it's the difference in micro and macro. Those dogs that changed are still dogs. They're not an entirely new creature.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Science

      Topher believes in the talking snake and donkey.

      So topher what is time?

      About 10 seconds to blast of.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Richard Cranium : How do you fit 4,000,000 species of animals on a small boat?

      There are not 4 million identified species. There are less than 2 million. Of those, only animals were impacted. And of these animals, only those who lived on land were affected.

      @Richard Cranium : My math proves all these things are IMPOSSIBLE...Your math?

      But your math is not based upon reality.

      @Doc Vestibule : 1) Evolution as such. ... 2) Common descent ... 3) Multiplication of species ... 4) Gradualism ...5) Natural selection

      What is a species? How does PE fit into these rules?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      Do a bit of quick Biblical math and you'll find that the Flood is dated at around 2350 BCE.
      The last Glacial Age was around 12,500 years ago.
      We know this becuase remnants of the Laurentides Ice Sheet that covered Canada and the Northern US still exist as the Barnes Ice Cap in northern Canada and ice core samples have been extensively studied.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Billy

      I'm still not buying this ark thing. No sir. Topher said that the ark didn't have to go very far. So the turtles get dropped off at Gibraltar and then have to swim all the way back to the Galapagos? I don't think so. They would maybe only make it a mile or so into the Atlantic and then keel over from exhaustion and the water not being like their habitat. I'm not buying it. No sir.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      lie4him
      OK...Lets go with your number....2,000,000...how do you fit all of them on a small boat?...and the food?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      What you are saying is, you believe in the theory of gravity on earth because you seen a ball fall to the ground, but you don't believe in the theory of gravity when it comes to cosmological movements, like the suns effect on the solar system. First, a scientific theory is incredibly hard to make into a law, to put into a way for you to understand, you can't just make someone a saint immediately after their death right? It takes many many years, recorded miracles, etc..., just because the theory that Darwin created was written down a while ago in no way invalidates it, not to mention huge amounts of research has been down on the subject since it was introduced and it has yet to be not withstand all the scrutiny. We're all not monkeys, monkeys and humans have a common ancestor and if you actually understoof evolution you would understand the ridciulousnes so of your statement "I am not a monkey" secondly, like another poster pointed out, is the fox the same as a dog, both of them have a common ancestor has well. What about the feline, was the only one feline to stand in for a car, a tiger, a lion, a lynx, etc....?

      Topher, you can't just choose a part of a theory and deny it at the same time just to make your bible fit, that's just beyond silly.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Topher

      Yeah, that's about when I said it was. But BCE?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : The last Glacial Age was around 12,500 years ago. ... We know this ... ice core samples have been extensively studied.

      Are you claiming that these studies don't contain errors – that human error and human biases didn't play a role in the conclusions? So, what are the empirical facts that support such a conclusion?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Science

      To Topher
      Fact

      Another timeline go figure interactive .

      For all creationists and bible thumpers !!!

      Earth’s timeline works better than the bible's timeline

      Trace our planet's geological and biological ages

      http://www.nbcnews.com/id/33184839/ns/technology_and_science/

      Peace

      Interactive timeline

      February 11, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Topher

      Chuckles

      "What you are saying is, you believe in the theory of gravity on earth because you seen a ball fall to the ground, but you don't believe in the theory of gravity when it comes to cosmological movements, like the suns effect on the solar system."

      First of all, it's the LAW of gravity. Something will fall when dropped every time.

      "First, a scientific theory is incredibly hard to make into a law, to put into a way for you to understand, you can't just make someone a saint immediately after their death right?"

      I'm not a Catholic. So my view on saints is VASTLY different. You don't become a saint after you die and are voted on. If you're born again, you're a saint.

      "It takes many many years, recorded miracles, etc..., just because the theory that Darwin created was written down a while ago in no way invalidates it, not to mention huge amounts of research has been down on the subject since it was introduced and it has yet to be not withstand all the scrutiny"

      Unless you've got something new I haven't heard about yet, your evidence for evolution is some changes in flies and larvae in a dish. But those changes resulted in ... flies and larvae. This isn't Darwinian evolution.

      "We're all not monkeys, monkeys and humans have a common ancestor and if you actually understoof evolution you would understand the ridciulousnes so of your statement "I am not a monkey"

      C'mon. You're not a monkey. I know this and I've never seen you. The fact you can string together thoughs and type them out in this message board is proof. You're so much more than a monkey. You shouldn't talk down about yourself so.

      "secondly, like another poster pointed out, is the fox the same as a dog, both of them have a common ancestor has well. What about the feline, was the only one feline to stand in for a car, a tiger, a lion, a lynx, etc....?"

      I'm not well enough versed in this stuff to say if a fox is a dog, but they are canines, right? And yes, if those are all of the same "kind" then you'd only need a mating pair.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Really-O?

      @Live4Him –

      Do you believe in other paranoid conspiracy theories like flat earth, the moon landing conspiracy, the John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy, the Elvis conspiracy, etc. or is it just the nutty young earth conspiracy you favor?

      February 11, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      @L4H = "There are not 4 million identified species. There are less than 2 million. Of those, only animals were impacted. And of these animals, only those who lived on land were affected."

      The total number of non-bacterial species in the world has been estimated at 8.7 million – Mora, C. et al. (August 23, 2011). "How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean?". PLoS Biology./ Goldenberg, Suzanne (2011-08-23). "Planet Earth is home to 8.7 million species, scientists estimate". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2011-08-23

      Try lying to people who don't have access to the actual data.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Topher

      Interesting, isn't it, that we can't figure out who shot JFK (50 years ago) but we think we KNOW what happened millions of years ago.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      No reply needed.

      RELIGION BS

      Scholarly articles for non-natural causal agent
      Exploring the natural foundations of religion – Barrett – Cited by 321
      Spreading non-natural concepts: The role of intuitive … – Barrett – Cited by 162

      February 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Richard Cranium : 2,000,000...how do you fit all of them on a small boat?...and the food?

      Read more than the first sentence. You know, the ones about animals and land animals subsets? There are about 45000 species of mammals. Much smaller than the 2 million you're proposing.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "Are you claiming that these studies don't contain errors – that human error and human biases didn't play a role in the conclusions? So, what are the empirical facts that support such a conclusion?"

      There are margins of error, of course, but they are quantifiable. The empirical evidence is the ice core samples.
      Do you have reason to dispute these dates? And the empirical evidence to back it up?

      February 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @ME II and Topher
      Perhaps what is needed is clarification of what "law" and "theory" connote in a scientific sense.
      A law can be described as a generalization about how some aspect of the natural world behaves under stated circu.mstances.
      A thoery is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.
      Or put more simply, a law describes how whereas a theory gives specifics as to why.
      Theories do not graduate into laws.

      @Live4Him
      The above list was a run down of Darwin's original descriptions – they have been added to over the last 150 years or so, but not disproven.
      Punctuated Equilibrium is a fairly recent theory being explored as a corrolary to the law of gradualism. Some evolutionary biologists postulate that species can evolve either as gradualism describes, in more rapid mutational spurts as PE describes, or via a combination of both.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      Uh, no, the only people who don't know who shot JFK are paranoid conspiracy theorists.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "Interesting, isn't it, that we can't figure out who shot JFK (50 years ago) but we think we KNOW what happened millions of years ago."
      This is specious reasoning. We also don't know who ate John the T Rex, but we do know a bunch of his brethren existed millions of years ago.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Madtown

      but we think we KNOW what happened millions of years ago
      ------–
      LOL!!! Hysterical. Because, evangelicals are the ones that suggest they know everything, because it's all written in the human-crafted book they give absolute authority to.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Topher

      Fair enough. We know the shooter. But was it a larger conspiracy? It's quite possible.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Topher

      If we can go back to the Ark and its size ... do you know the average size of an animal is slightly smaller than a sheep? That's going to save on a bunch of space, too.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      An ice core provides a vertical timeline of past climates stored in ice sheets and mountain glaciers.
      The very simplest form of dating revolves around the consistency of the ice.
      Throughout each year, layers of snow fall over the ice sheets.
      Each layer of snow is different in chemistry and texture, summer snow differing from winter snow. Summer brings 24 hours of sunlight to the polar regions, and the top layer of the snow changes in texture—not melting exactly, but changing enough to be different from the snow it covers. The season turns cold and dark again, and more snow falls, forming the next layers of snow.
      Around 20 years ago, a nearly 2-mile-long core sample was taken from the Greenland ice sheet, providing a record of at least the past 110,000 years. Even older records going back about 750,000 years have come out of Antarctica.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      "First of all, it's the LAW of gravity."
      –Not when it comes to space and how planetary bodies interact.

      "If you're born again, you're a saint."
      - I was trying to put it into terms you would better understand, not argue the ins and outs of canonization, though this little nugget got me because as far as I know, no one has been confirmed to have been ressurected, or born again, other than jesus, but he's not a saint. So, are there any saints for you?

      "is some changes in flies and larvae in a dish. But those changes resulted in ... flies and larvae. This isn't Darwinian evolution."
      - That would be micro evolution, which is something you've stated you believed in..... Your confusing me.

      "You're so much more than a monkey. You shouldn't talk down about yourself so."
      –Right....because I stated I'm not a monkey, but monkey's share a common ancestor with us. We're all primates. Did you not read what I wrote?

      "if those are all of the same "kind" then you'd only need a mating pair."
      - You're saying that one mating pair of dogs on an ark can result in the thousands of different types of dogs, PLUS foxes, coyotes, hyenas, wolves and other canines in only the span of a couple of thousand years? Seriously, are you even reading what you write at this point?

      February 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      I'd say "possible" not "quite possible", but that might just be quibbling. Hey Topher, you've always impressed me as a sincere and affable fellow – honestly, how can you throw in with the likes of Live4Him? If you're a biblical literalist, fine; I don't agree with you, but that is your choice. However, there are many things in the bible that you accept on faith, right? That's a good part of your belief. So, accept that the bible is correct, if you wish, but don't go through the dishonest or delusional mental gymnastics of trying to discredit entire bodies of scientific knowledge in order to support something you could just accept on faith. It just makes you look silly.

      Cheers

      February 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Interesting, isn't it, that we can't figure out who shot JFK (50 years ago) but we think we KNOW what happened millions of years ago."

      Just like you KNOW what happened with your sainted scarecrow

      February 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Mass Debater : Earth is home to 8.7 million species, scientists estimate ... Try lying to people who don't have access to the actual data.

      An Esimate is not the number of identied species. Here's the facts:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/science/30species.html?_r=0

      Scientists have named and cataloged 1.3 million species.
      ...
      They estimate there are 8.7 million species on the planet, plus or minus 1.3 million.

      And in regards to estimates, evolution predicts more than 1 centillion species over the earth's history. Much more than the triffling 8.7 million now predicted.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • ME II

      @Doc Vestibule,
      Thanks for the definitions, I've posted similar myself.
      I'm not disputing the status of the Theory of Evolution. My question is basically, since when are Common Descent or Gradualism, for example, considered laws? I'm not sure they fit the definition.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Lie and lie and lie 4him
      There are over 25,000 species of spiders alone.
      Even with your incorrect numbers, How do you fit all of them on the small boat specified in your mythical bible? And the food.
      Add in the temperature that you would be in if the world flooded above Mt. Everest's peak. How did all of the animals, insects, etc get to all of the places in the world that are seperated by water if many cannot swim the distances required.
      How did your god repopulate all of the plant species that he destroyed in a flood?

      The entire story is ridiculous and impossible. Any story that depends on gods magic is clearly the fictional works of storytellers.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "And in regards to estimates, evolution predicts more than 1 centillion species over the earth's history."
      You've stated this before, and I've disputed it. What is your source again?

      February 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Mass Debater –

      I love how Live4Him, who claims advanced education, cites popular publications (The New York Times, National Geographic, etc.) as though they had scientific authority. Slays me.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Doc Vestibule : Each layer of snow is different in chemistry and texture, summer snow differing from winter snow.

      The assumption is that these different layers are due to season changes, but we see "season changes" every month when we see a cold spell followed by a warming trend. So, all that is being counted are the fronts coming through the given area.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Topher

      Really-O?

      "Hey Topher, you've always impressed me as a sincere and affable fellow"

      Thank you.

      "– honestly, how can you throw in with the likes of Live4Him?"

      Honestly, I don't know Live4Him's position on this stuff. For all I know, they might be involved in what I consider a heresy.

      " If you're a biblical literalist, fine; I don't agree with you, but that is your choice"

      Same for you.

      "However, there are many things in the bible that you accept on faith, right? That's a good part of your belief"

      Yes, faith is a part of it.

      "So, accept that the bible is correct, if you wish, but don't go through the dishonest or delusional mental gymnastics of trying to discredit entire bodies of scientific knowledge in order to support something you could just accept on faith. It just makes you look silly."

      The only science I have a problem with is historical science.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      LIES upon LIES 4him
      Evolution makes no pred!ctions.
      Your math is wrong on the "pred!ction" as well. While there are many possibilities, saying that something should happen, but it doesn't indicates flawed theories of what "should" happen.
      We also have no data on the numbers of species who have lived and become extinct

      February 11, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply; you've reinforced my opinion of you as sincere and affable. What do you mean by "historical science"?

      February 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      In the Arctic and the Antarctic, it is dark half the year and light the other half.
      Weather variations do not make enough of a difference in the texture of the layers of ice to obscure the definite seasonal changes. Generally speaking, weather is unpredictable but climate is not – especially in the polar regions.
      Ice exposed to the sun, even with cloudy periods due to weather changes, is distinctly different from ice that remained in darkness.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Richard Cranium : There are over 25,000 species of spiders alone.

      WOW! You think they take a lot of space?

      @Richard Cranium : How do you fit all of them on the small boat specified in your mythical bible?

      There are websited that walk through these details.

      @Richard Cranium : you would be in if the world flooded above Mt. Everest's peak.

      I've posted this issue previously. You've presumed that Everest formed before the flood, rather than after when the plates shifted according to Genesis 10:25.

      @Richard Cranium : The entire story is ridiculous and impossible.

      This apriori view hampers your ability to view the evidence objectively.

      @ME II : You've stated this before, and I've disputed it. What is your source again?

      The Blind Watchmaker: 1000 – 100,000 speciation events in development of the eye alone.

      Math: 2^1003 = 1 centillion species for the eye alone.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      To build on @Doc Vestibule's statement, hydrogen peroxide, produced when UV is present, is one such difference.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Topher

      Really-O?

      "What do you mean by "historical science"?"

      Anything that we weren't there to witness and cannot test ... formation of the Earth, for example. True, we have lots of thoughts and ideas on how it happened. But that science is continually changing, so we can never say it's fact. For examle, when I was a kid, historical science said the universe was a lot younger than we say it is now ... we'll talking billions of years difference. It's just not reliable.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "The Blind Watchmaker: 1000 – 100,000 speciation events in development of the eye alone."
      As I've said before, this was not referring to species, but "changes", or at best generations. Additionally, it was Dawkins' estimate, which I doubt has been validated by anyone.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      " It's just not reliable."

      Neither is the bible. The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      LIE again and again 4 him
      Mt Everest was formed when the plate that has india on it crashed into the plate with most of asia on it. This happened MILIIONS of years ago, and continues to this day.
      Trying to quote the bible when discussing scientific data is the bggest cop out.
      The story tellers did not understand the continental drift, so when compared with actual information, quoting a source with NO information is silly.
      And yes....25,000 species of spider would take up a large amount of space when you consider all of them need to be kept seperate, even the males and females of the same species need to be kept seperate because of the cannibalistic tendencies of many species.

      Where did all the food for all of the animals get stored. How were the animals kept from killing and eating each other.
      HOW DID GOD REPOPULATE ALL OF THE PLANT SPECIES ON THE PLANET AFTER HE DESTROYED THEM ALL?

      February 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Science

      18 Major Events in the Geological Theatre

      Yale University

      Peace

      February 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher – re: Historical science.

      I got ya. What you really mean is science's ability to make predictions retrospectively. It does, however, also sound like you have a problem with science making any predictions because it is "not reliable", right? I can understand that uncertainty is uncomfortable, but that's just the way the real world is. Try looking at things as probabilities, not absolutes. When you eat your breakfast, you may assume you will "absolutely" finish it and move on; however, in reality finishing your breakfast is just a probability – you could choke on a bite and die or an emergency could arise that precludes you finishing, etc. That is how science works – everything is a probability.

      Also, you need to realize that, while new information refines scientific theories, "scientific revolutions", in which entire bodies of knowledge are discarded, are extraordinarily rare. To the contrary, new information nearly always improves a theories accuracy in describing natural phenomena and making predictions. It's elegant and beautiful, not capricious and unreliable.

      Again, if you have faith, have faith; but, turning your back on knowledge gained through empirical evidence is a mistake. And denying entire scientific disciplines because they don't fit your interpretation of scripture, is foolish. Perhaps a more liberal interpretation of some parts of scripture are in order – many Christians are comfortable with that.

      Cheers

      February 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      "I don't believe in evolution. What you had was reproduction, and that offspring reproducing and moving out to different regions where, for instance, in colder climates animals adapted by getting thicker coats." So you believe in evolution, only you have a face-saving name for it. Do you imagine that Lamarckism is true? The dogs yearned for thicker coats, and so they grew? No, the ones with less fur froze to death or went where it was warm. Soon only dogs with thick coats were left . . . so obvious, isn't it?

      February 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Topher

      Really-O?

      Maybe. But again it's the claim these things are fact and so is presented as evidence the Bible is wrong. It proves nothing of the sort and I'd say is very dangerous in looking into the claims of the Bible. Logically, the Bible at the very least COULD be true. And if so, saying you didn't believe in God because a scientist said "evolution is fact" just isn't going to fly on Judgment Day.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • ME II

      ...some responses on next page.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Man, Topher get's them going doesn't he?

      February 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      Belief in god is not incompatible with evolution or scientific cosmology. The Catholic church has no problem we either of these – neither do some outspoken Christians on this very blog (Chad, for example). And the simple fact is that the probability evolution occurs and is responsible for the diversity of life on the planet is nearly 100% (please note I said "nearly 100%" as it is still a possibility – and will always be – that new evidence will falsify the current theory. In fact, your interpretation of scripture is one alternate, although improbable, explanation). Is it simply that your interpretation of scripture is incompatible with scientific fact? If so, why not think long and hard about why that is (or blog with Chad)? You might have an epiphany and find you're simply tilting at windmills.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Topher

      I know most of you won't watch this, but it explains some of Noah's Ark stuff ...

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVpONM7l0Jw&w=640&h=390]

      February 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Topher

      Really-O?

      Well, if it truely is a fact, how can I argue with it? Again, my issue arises when it's claimed to be a fact (evolution) when it's not. Or with the age of the Earth or cosmology. Isn't it interesting that you and I have the same evidences for these different subjects but come to completely different conclusions. We have presuppositions (mine that the God of the Bible is the truth, yours the opposite). And we can make many of these things fit into our worldviews. But not all of it.

      Now, can you be an evolutionist and still be a Christian and saved? You could. I don't believe your salvation is dependent on your Darwinian doctrine. But you do have to be careful when you are saying God got it wrong.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Billy

      Is there enough clearance there for a giraffe? Those stairs don't look sturdy enough for a hippo or rhinoceros. My turtles would've slid down those stairs and busted their necks.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Topher

      Billy

      "Is there enough clearance there for a giraffe?"

      You obviously didn't watch the video.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      To be fair to you, I watched the video (was that John Goodman of "Rosanne" fame narrating?). Interesting presentation. Unfortunately, even if the maths are correct, the empirical evidence we have doesn't fit. For example, if Noah only took two of each family aboard and this happened, what, 10,000 years ago, every genus and species, extant and extinct, of which we know and those we do not yet know of, would have had to have been created within less that 10k years – no current empirical evidence support this. There's also that whole tricky issue of there being no good empirical evidence supporting a global (or regional) total flood. I know Live4Him claims otherwise and you can find oodles of websites that claim the opposite, but people who really spend there lives studying these things (scientists – not bloggers, not website owners, not Live4Him, not you, not me) assert and accept that there is no empirical evidence supporting the claim.

      Why can't it just be a story?

      February 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      I was fair with you and watched your video. How about showing me the same respect and reading the following explanation from the National Academy of Sciences explaining what science means when the say "fact" and "theory"? It also explains why evolution is both a fact and a theory.

      Let me know your thoughts.

      http://www.nationalacademies.org/evolution/TheoryOrFact.html

      February 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      "Isn't it interesting that you and I have the same evidences for these different subjects but come to completely different conclusions."
      - This statement makes me so sad Topher. You recognize that we all have the same evidence but come to different conclusions, and you imply that both conclusions have equal merit, which is not the case. If we're both given a sheet with 1+1 =? and I say 2 and you say 3, why should I accept that you have the right to your opinion on how to read the data when it's clearly wrong? You written a couple of times already about how you are ignorant in some of these areas and so you are only typing what you understand, but how can you not look at what's been provided for you on this thread alone and dismiss it out of hand?

      February 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Topher

      Really-O?

      " ... would have had to have been created within less that 10k years – no current empirical evidence support this"

      I disagree. There are TONS of evidence that seems to show the young-Earth position is accurate.

      "There's also that whole tricky issue of there being no good empirical evidence supporting a global (or regional) total flood"

      Again, it comes down to presuppositions and how we interpret the evidence. I'd hold that the reason we have the greatest number of fossils in one layer demonstrates a major catastrophe happened (flood.) We can also look at a lot of these fossils and notice that the deaths had to happen suddenly (animals in mid-swallow of other animals) or fossils found WAY above sea level all seems to fit with the global flood of the Bible. There's a LOT on this out there if you're willing to look into it.

      "Why can't it just be a story?"

      Well, because God said it really happened. Even Jesus taught it that way. It wasn't just a story.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Apparently, according to Topher, evidence is subjective. What an asinine statement. It's also strange that Topher will constantly say "Oh there's TONS of evidence", and never gives it.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • OTOH

      Topher,
      " Even Jesus taught it that way. It wasn't just a story."

      If Jesus ever even said such a thing, it would have been using that story as a metaphor to make whatever point he had in mind at the time. There's an old song "Just like Romeo and Juliet" - it's a reference to make a point. Ever heard of a "Cinderella" story of someone's triumph over difficulties?... or references to the "Pied Piper" when some guy amasses a great following. Do those references make those blatantly fictional stories true?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Topher wrote, "First of all, it's the LAW of gravity. Something will fall when dropped every time."

      Again, Topher, you are so fu cking stupid you don't even understand what a law or theory is. A law is simply a mathematical construct. Newton's law of gravitational attraction f=g (m1*m2)/(r*r) lets you calculate a force of attraction between 2 bodies with mass at a distance. Put it does nothing to explain how mass attracts mass. For that you need the theory of gravity.

      This is stuff you should have learned in Junior High.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Topher

      Really-O?

      I read it and I get what it is saying.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      "There are TONS of evidence that seems to show the young-Earth position is accurate."
      -You're correct. The problem is there is no good evidence supporting a young earth. That's the rub – you need to learn how to distinguish good evidence from bad. I'd challenge you to pick any university in the country go to any department of science and ask any professor if there is good empirical evidence supporting with high probability a young earth. The answer will be no...100% of the time. Even a professor at a bible college, if honest, will admit the probability of the good empirical evidence does not support a young earth. It's just the way things are, Topher.

      "Well, because God said it really happened."
      -So, everything in the bible really happened? The stories Jesus used to teach moral lessons really happened with 100% fidelity? None of it was parable? Even the Psalms? Come on, Topher, you know that's not the case.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher – "I read it and I get what it is saying."

      Thanks, Topher – I had confidence you would. I may disagree with you, but so far nothing has changed...I still assert you're a sincere and affable fellow. Keep learning – there's nothing to fear.

      Cheers

      February 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Really?

      The fact that archaeological evidence confirms that Jehu was an actual historical character confirms only that he was an actual historical character. It does not confirm the historical accuracy of everything that the Bible attributed to him. Did a "son of the prophets" go to Ramoth-gilead and anoint Jehu king of Israel while the reigning king was home in Jezreel recovering from battle wounds (2 Kings 9:1-10)? Did Jehu then ride to Jezreel in a chariot and massacre the Israelite royal family and usurp the throne (2 Kings 9:16 ff)? We simply cannot determine this from an Assyrian inscription that claimed Jehu paid tribute to Shalmaneser, so in the absence of disinterested, nonbiblical records that attest to these events, it is hardly accurate to say that archaeology has proven the historicity of what the Bible recorded about Jehu. Likewise, extrabiblical references to Nebuchadnezzar may confirm his historical existence, but they do not corroborate the accuracy of such biblical claims as his dream that Daniel interpreted (Dan. 2) or his seven-year period of insanity (Dan. 4:4-37). To so argue is to read entirely too much into the archaeological records.

      The Moabite Stone, for example, corroborates the biblical claim that there was a king of Moab named Mesha, but the inscription on the stone gives a different account of the war between Moab and the Israelites recorded in 2 Kings 3. Mesha's inscription on the stone claimed overwhelming victory, but the biblical account claims that the Israelites routed the Moabite forces and withdrew only after they saw Mesha sacrifice his eldest son as a burnt offering on the wall of the city the Moabites had retreated to (2 Kings 3:26-27). So the Moabite Stone, rather than corroborating the accuracy of the biblical record, gives reason to suspect that both accounts are biased. Mesha's inscription gave an account favorable to the Moabites, and the biblical account was slanted to favor the Israelites. The actual truth about the battle will probably never be known.

      A notable example would be the account of Joshua's conquest and destruction of the Canaanite city of Ai. According to Joshua 8, Israelite forces attacked Ai, burned it, "utterly destroyed all the inhabitants," and made it a "heap forever" (vs:26-28). Extensive archaeological work at the site of Ai, however, has revealed that the city was destroyed and burned around 2400 B. C., which would have been over a thousand years before the time of Joshua. Joseph Callaway, a conservative Southern Baptist and professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, spent nine years excavating the ruins of ancient Ai and afterwards reported that what he found there contradicted the biblical record.

      The evidence from Ai was mainly negative. There was a great walled city there beginning about 3000 B. C., more than 1,800 years before Israel's emergence in Canaan. But this city was destroyed about 2400 B. C., after which the site was abandoned.

      Despite extensive excavation, no evidence of a Late Bronze Age (1500-1200 B. C.) Canaanite city was found. In short, there was no Canaanite city here for Joshua to conquer (Biblical Archaeology Review, "Joseph A. Callaway: 1920-1988," November/December 1988, p. 24, emphasis added).

      This same article quoted what Callaway had earlier said when announcing the results of his nine-year excavation of Ai.

      Archaeology has wiped out the historical credibility of the conquest of Ai as reported in Joshua 7-8. The Joint Expedition to Ai worked nine seasons between 1964 and 1976... only to eliminate the historical underpinning of the Ai account in the Bible (Ibid., p. 24).

      Archaeological silence is another problem that biblical inerrantists don't like to talk about. According to the Bible, the Israelite tribes were united into one nation that had a glorious history during the reigns of king David and his son Solomon, yet the archaeological record is completely silent about these two kings except for two disputed inscriptions that some think are references to "the house of David." This is strange indeed considering that references to Hebrew kings of much less biblical importance (Omri, Ahab, Jehu, Zedekiah, etc.) have been found in extrabiblical records. This archaeological silence doesn't prove that David and Solomon did not exist, but it certainly gives all but biblical inerrantists pause to wonder.

      Another case in point is the biblical record of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and their subsequent 40-year wandering in the Sinai wilderness. According to census figures in the book of Numbers, the Israelite population would have been between 2.5 to 3 million people, all of whom died in the wilderness for their disobedience, yet extensive archaeological work by Israeli archaeologist Eliezer Oren over a period of 10 years "failed to provide a single shred of evidence that the biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt ever happened"

      February 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Iwonder.....

      http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/evidence-suggests-biblical-great-flood-noahs-time-happened/story?id=17884533&page=2#.UMdxPJOLK2Q

      February 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Topher

      Really-O?

      To be fair, could you explain what you mean by "empirical evidence"?

      So what makes the evidence for a young-earth bad? For instance, the moon, amount of salt in the oceans, the existance of extremely hot stars ... all point to a very young universe and go against what we think should be billions of years. We would not have these things if the universe were that old.

      " -So, everything in the bible really happened? The stories Jesus used to teach moral lessons really happened with 100% fidelity? None of it was parable? Even the Psalms? Come on, Topher, you know that's not the case."

      Why should I not believe the Psalms? And as far as the Parables, some do seem to be true. Either way, Jesus teaching them is true, whether they were just a story to represent something or were in themselves true. So yes, I can say all of the Bible is true.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Robert

      The worldwide flood described in Genesis 6-9 is not historical, but rather a combination of at least two flood stories, both of which descended from earlier Mesopotamian flood narratives. Note that this does not mean all of the claims made in the Bible are false (or true for that matter); I am dealing here only with the biblical stories of the flood. (Also understand that the “slippery slope” claim of “all of the Bible is true or none of it is true” is simply an unnecessary rhetorical device designed to keep readers from doing precisely what scholars do every day: analyze each claim in the Bible on a case-by-case basis. It is not necessary to accept an “all or none” stance towards the Bible.)

      Most biblical and ancient Near Eastern scholars argue that the flood is a mythical story adopted from earlier Mesopotamian flood accounts. These earlier accounts include the 17th century BCE Sumerian flood myth Eridu Genesis, the 18th century BCE Akkadian Atra-Hasis Epic, and the Epic of Gilgamesh, which are some of the earliest known examples of a literary style of writing. The most complete version of the Epic of Gilgamesh known today is preserved on 12 clay tablets from the library of Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (685-627 BCE). This extant Akkadian version is derived from earlier Sumerian versions. In the story, Gilgamesh and his companion, a wild man-beast named Enkidu, travel the world on a number of quests that ultimately displease the gods. After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh embarks on a journey to learn the secret of eternal life by visiting the immortal flood hero, Utnapishtim. Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh how the god Ea (equivalent to the Sumerian god Enki) revealed the gods’ plan to destroy all life with a great flood, and how they instructed him to build a vessel in which he could save his family, friends, and livestock. After the flood, the gods repented for destroying the world and made Utnapishtim immortal.

      These flood stories appear to have been transmitted to the Israelites early in Israel’s history. Contact between the Assyrians and the Israelites is known from the conquest of Israel and its capitol, Samaria, in 721 BCE by Assyrian King Shalmaneser V (727-722 BCE), and from the attempted conquest of Jerusalem by the Assyrian King Sennacherib (704-681 BCE). These stories were apparently modified to conform to a monotheistic faith, but retained characteristics such as the destruction of nearly all living things via a flood, the salvation of a select few people and animals by the construction of a boat, and the regret of the deity for the flood, prompting a promise not to do so again. Thus, like many of the early stories in Israel’s primordial history, the flood story appears to be an adaptation and integration of a previously known myth into the theology of Israel.

      Most scholars will point out that the biblical flood story is actually two flood epics intertwined into one. However, unlike the two biblical creation stories (Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Genesis 2:4b-25), which were set one after the other in the Hebrew Bible, the two original flood stories appear to have been edited into a single narrative. The combined story preserves vestigial indicators that the account was originally two separate narratives. For example, Genesis 6:19-20 states that there were to be one pair of each species of animal on the ark, one male and one female:

      And of every living thing, of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every kind shall come in to you, to keep them alive.

      However, in Genesis 7:2-3, which was originally a separate flood account, it states:

      Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth.

      Thus, there are two different numbers given for the number of animals on the ark: one pair (male and female) in Genesis 6, and seven pairs of clean and one pair of unclean (male and female) in Genesis 7. The integration of two different numbers is evidence of two originally separate flood accounts.

      Likewise, Genesis 7:17 states that the flood lasted 40 days:

      The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.

      But Genesis 7:24, a portion of the second flood story, states that the flood remained for 150 days:

      And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred fifty days.

      Shortly thereafter in Genesis 8:6, the story switches back to the first flood story, and the number 40 returns:

      At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made.

      Thus, not only are different numbers used for the number of animals on the ark in the two Hebrew flood stories, but different time periods were given for the flooding after the rains: 40 and 150 days.

      Further evidence for the presence of two flood stories comes from the fact that in the narratives that speak about 40 days of flooding, god is referred to as the divine name YHWH, which supposedly was not revealed to readers until the episode of the burning bush in Exodus 3. However, in the portions of the flood texts that refer to 150 days of flooding, god is referred to as elohim, the Hebrew word for “god.” The two different Hebrew flood narratives refer to god by different names rather consistently. Thus, the textual evidence demonstrates that two flood narratives, most likely derived from earlier Assyrian and Sumerian flood narratives, were combined and adapted to fit the Israelite’s monotheistic faith and communicate lessons of a wrathful, destructive god, a regretful (Genesis 6:6) yet repentant god, and the origin of rainbows.

      But for some, the literary evidence is not compelling. So, allow me present some scientific evidence: there could not have been a worldwide flood as described in the Bible because there is simply not enough water in the earth’s atmospheric system to produce such a flood.

      According to data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the amount of water in the earth’s atmosphere could not possibly cover the earth. In fact:

      One estimate of the volume of water in the atmosphere at any one time is about 3,100 cubic miles (mi3) or 12,900 cubic kilometers (km3). That may sound like a lot, but it is only about 0.001 percent of the total Earth’s water volume of about 332,500,000 mi3 (1,385,000,000 km3)

      If all of the water in the atmosphere rained down at once, it would only cover the ground to a depth of 2.5 centimeters, about 1 inch.

      Additionally, because only 1.7% of the earth’s water is stored underground, there is not nearly enough water in groundwater storage beneath the earth’s surface to account for the amount of water necessary to flood the entire earth to the extent described in the Bible.

      Simply put: there is not enough water in Earth’s atmosphere to raise the ocean’s levels over an inch, much less to cover Mt. Ararat with water from 40 days of rain. There is simply not that much water in the system.

      Thus, in order to even entertain the possibility of a worldwide flood, one has to bypass all laws of physics, exit the realm of science, and enter into the realm of the miraculous, which many biblical literalists are willing to do. It is hypothetically possible that, say, the polar ice caps melted. This could raise the ocean levels beyond the 2.5 centimeters that all the earth’s atmospheric water could were it to all rain down, but even then the thaw would only slightly affect the world’s coastlines. Additionally, all scientific evidence points to larger polar ice caps in recent history, not smaller.

      Other fantastic scenarios could be offered to explain the flood. For instance, some might suggest that a colossal ice-asteroid could have burst into our orbit and melted, bringing with it an unconscionable amount of water into our atmosphere. But, even this desperate scenario poses a major problem for many biblical literalists who attempt to explain or prove the flood scientifically. The Bible says it “rained” and the “springs of the deep” opened, but mentions nothing about an asteroid. Likewise, were water to enter Earth’s system, where did it all go? To where did the water recede? Earth’s water cycle results in all water residing somewhere on Earth’s surface in the form of oceans, ice, and freshwater lakes, beneath Earth’s surface in subterranean reservoirs that produce springs and geysers, or in Earth’s atmosphere as moisture. So even if water could enter Earth’s closed system, where did it go?

      Simply put: there is no evidence whatsoever for a worldwide flood. In other words, it’s impossible. There is not enough water in the earth’s atmospheric system to even come close to covering all of the earth’s landmasses.

      It is time for Christians to admit that some of the stories in Israel’s primordial history are not historical. It is ok to concede that these stories were crafted in a pre-scientific period and were designed to offer ethical answers to questions of why and not questions of how. Christians and Jews must concede that the Bible can still be “inspired” without being historically or scientifically “inerrant.” As the early church father Origen explained regarding the preservation of empirical truth within problematic documents edited by human hands, “the spiritual truth was often preserved, as one might say, in material falsehood.” Simply because a factual error exists in the text of the Bible does not mean that an ethical truth or principal cannot still be conveyed. It is time for Christians to concede that “inspiration” does not equal “inerrancy,” and that “biblical” does not equal “historical” or even “factual.” Some claims like the flood and the six-day creation are neither historical nor factual; they were written to communicate in an pre-scientific literary form that god is responsible for the earth. It is time Christians conceded that there was no flood. It is time for Reformed Theological Seminary to concede that Bruce Waltke has a point. It is time for groups of evangelical amateurs to stop making sensational claims about discoveries they did not really make. And it is time for people to stop looking for Noah’s ark.

      It’s not there.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Iwonder

      LOL funny article thanks.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Iwonder.....

      Did you even bother to read the article? No claim is made that evidence of the biblical flood has yet been found.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Science

      FACT TOPHER

      Creation lost in court can not teach in public schools in US NO CREATOR/GODS

      February 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Topher

      Really?

      You've got some Biblical error here. I'm sure it's your source's fault and not yours ...

      "According to the Bible, the Israelite tribes were united into one nation that had a glorious history during the reigns of king David and his son Solomon"

      Actually, the tribes were divided by this time into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah.

      And as far as the guy who studied the Exodus ... I don't know anything about him or what he found. But there was been evidence found of the Exodus. We've got a mountain with it's top scorched black (and it's not a rock issue because it's only black on this one peak.) In the same area is evidence of the of markers put around the mountain so that the people would not try to climb it. They also have an altar with oxen (golden calf) painted on it and other artifacts. To say there is no evidence of the Exodus is just false.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Topher

      Science

      "Creation lost in court can not teach in public schools in US NO CREATOR/GODS"

      So what? This is what I'd expect to find in a society ruled by sinners. Doesn't disprove God whatsoever.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      "Empirical evidence is a source of knowledge acquired by means of observation or experimentation" – that will suffice.

      "So what makes the evidence for a young-earth bad?" I encourage you to take whatever evidence you have to an expert (again, a tenured professor in an applicable department of a university will fill the task and, if you catch the right professor at the right time, many are willing to speak with you at length). You need to get out of the young earth
      echo-chamber that simply reinforces your erroneous beliefs (Live4Him is a glaring example of this).

      "So yes, I can say all of the Bible is true." No, if you read you last paragraph, what you're really saying is that you believe it is true that the bible is an accurate transmission. In your own words you admit that parts of the bible may be "stor[ies] to represent something". I'd agree...clearly the Psalms are poetry used to convey information and emotion. When the 23rd psalms says, "he leads me beside still waters", it doesn't mean the lord is literally leading you beside water that isn't moving, it's a metaphor. If parts of the bible, like Psalms, are clearly metaphor, isn't it possible poetry and metaphor are used more extensively than you currently recognize? The bible could still be "true" and an inerrant transmission, but still use metaphor.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Topher

      Really-O?

      "I encourage you to take whatever evidence you have to an expert (again, a tenured professor in an applicable department of a university will fill the task and, if you catch the right professor at the right time, many are willing to speak with you at length)."

      I'm sure they will speak with me at length. Who doesn't like to talk about their favorite subject? But the problem is that university professors are in the extreme majority atheists who would not only hold a view of secular science, but also a hatred of Christianity. So talking to someone with such a bias would get me nowhere.

      "You need to get out of the young earth echo-chamber that simply reinforces your erroneous beliefs (Live4Him is a glaring example of this)."

      Again, we have problems to deal with if the universe is old. The moon would no longer be so close to us. The salt in the ocean would have long since displaced all the water. There would be no "hot" stars as they would have burned out their fuel long ago. No more comets. There's plenty of other examples, too. It's not a matter of us not having empirical evidence of these things occuring or being true. It's a matter of presupposition.

      "No, if you read you last paragraph, what you're really saying is that you believe it is true that the bible is an accurate transmission"

      True.

      "In your own words you admit that parts of the bible may be "stor[ies] to represent something". I'd agree...clearly the Psalms are poetry used to convey information and emotion. When the 23rd psalms says, "he leads me beside still waters", it doesn't mean the lord is literally leading you beside water that isn't moving, it's a metaphor. If parts of the bible, like Psalms, are clearly metaphor, isn't it possible poetry and metaphor are used more extensively than you currently recognize? The bible could still be "true" and an inerrant transmission, but still use metaphor."

      OK, but it's obvious when it's a metaphor ... especially in the psalms. They are poetry using poetic license to describe something. But that's not the case, in say, the Gospels. They are clearly written to be taken as truth. In fact, they were written by eyewitnesses during the lifetimes of other eyewitnesses so it's an automatic baloney detector. If an author told a stretcher, the others would have called them on it.

      Let's stop stepping around the issue of the Jesus' narratives. Which do you have a problem with believing was true? The Prodigal Son? The man in Hell?

      February 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Here is the long and short of this discussion:

      Science has mountains of evidence that shows how the earth has geologically changed over the last several million years as well as DNA and species data collected that shows a far more diverse population of flora and fauna at the proposed time of the flood event described in the bible than the bible can account for.

      L4H & Topher and many other religious persons think it faked much like some believe of the moon landing or the evidence of a spherical earth. There is no data we can provide that will open their eyes as they have cast their lot in with the nut's who believe in magic and miracles that explain away any and every problem we find with their bogus God theory. Universe to old? Not a problem, God made the light in transit or maybe sped up the speed of light temporarily. Flood account not matching the evidence we find today? No problem, God must have done everything with magic and then hidden the evidence to test our faith. Dinosaur bones far to old? Satan must have planted all those fossils to mislead the logical and reasonable for there is no room in the faith for those who want proof...

      February 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      Wow, Topher, you seem to have quite a bit of prejudice regarding professors. How much time have you spent with them? I've spent quite a lot of time with professors and can tell you from my experience, your prejudices are unfounded. Most professors are very open minded and in all my years at university, not once has a professor commented on god or religion (outside of courses covering those subjects). You should give the benefit of the doubt.

      You keep stating "facts" supporting a young earth without providing any references. I can tell you without question that the moon is exactly where it should be (formulas can demonstrate that to you), but definitely don't trust my assertion, I'm not an expert. Ask someone who has done the heavy lifting and can really explain it to you (an astronomer, for example).
      (If you haven't attended university, I highly recommend it. You could even start by taking a course on the bible – they're offered and are very interesting. You might find that the "us vs them" you have in your mind is merely a phantom).

      I get your point regarding Psalms vs Gospels; I, personally, am not as sure as you that we can clearly identify all cases of metaphor (I don't claim absolute knowledge in anything). I have no problem imagining Jesus using parable and metaphor to instruct the masses...remember, these really were an Iron Age people who didn't know where the sun went at night, had no knowledge of China at a time when the Chinese possessed gun powder and rockets, etc....parable and metaphor would have been nearly a necessity.

      Look Topher, as I said before, you have faith and believe the bible is the inerrant word of god. I don't agree, but I understand. The problem is, again, the need literalists seem to have to debunk anything that doesn't agree with the bible. And when it comes to hard science (especially cosmology, physics, geophysics, etc.) insisting on denying the probability of the evidence just looks foolish and deluded. Why not just say, "The bible, as I interpret it, conflicts with science on these points. I understand that, but I believe the bible. That is an honest, defensible position. You seem like a good enough man to make that work.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      Sorry, Topher, I forgot a quotation mark in my closing –

      "The bible, as I interpret it, conflicts with science on these points. I understand that, but I believe the bible." That is an honest, defensible position. You seem like a good enough man to make that work.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      BTW...there's no such thing as "secular science"...there is only "science".

      February 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      ...and I overreached on the "gunpowder and rockets" bit...sorry for the transgression.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Topher

      Really-O?

      As far as professors being atheistic ... I'm getting this from several polls taken in the last couple of years. They even have spawned a couple of books on the subject. I did go to college and have a couple of degrees, but this was before I was a Christian and I don't remember one way or the other personally on the subject.

      "I can tell you without question that the moon is exactly where it should be (formulas can demonstrate that to you), but definitely don't trust my assertion, I'm not an expert."

      I agree the moon is where it should be because it matches the math that agrees with a young earth position. I've got the equation here in one of my books. If you are around tomorrow, remind me and I'll give it to you. If you regress the equation, the earth and moon would have touched each other at something like 1 million years ago. So the billions are just ridiculous.

      I get your point regarding Psalms vs Gospels; I, personally, am not as sure as you that we can clearly identify all cases of "metaphor (I don't claim absolute knowledge in anything). I have no problem imagining Jesus using parable and metaphor to instruct the masses...remember, these really were an Iron Age people who didn't know where the sun went at night, had no knowledge of China at a time when the Chinese possessed gun powder and rockets, etc....parable and metaphor would have been nearly a necessity."

      Actually, the Bible had the whole earth and sun thing right thousands of years before science did. Whether they believed it or not, that's up to them.

      "The problem is, again, the need literalists seem to have to debunk anything that doesn't agree with the bible"

      Well, you have to understand that we believe God and His Word. He'd sure know how He created the universe more than we would. He was there. And historical science changes its mind so much I just can't trust it. Even if I weren't a Christian that would be the case.

      "Why not just say, "The bible, as I interpret it, conflicts with science on these points. I understand that, but I believe the bible. That is an honest, defensible position. You seem like a good enough man to make that work."

      I don't mind that statement, but I'd take the "as I interpret it" out. It doesn't matter what I think it says. It matters what God said. So sure, "The Bible conflicts with science on these points. I understand that, but I believe God and the Bible."

      Alright, dude. I have to get to work. Feel free to have the last word on this. I usually come back later to see what else was discussed, so I'll read it there. I appreciate the conversation. Have a good one and God bless.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher

      My only "last word" is to reiterate you're prejudices regarding university professors may be unfounded –

      "Although nearly 37 percent of professors at elite research schools like Harvard are atheist or agnostic, about 20 percent of their colleagues have “no doubt that God exists.” At community colleges, in contrast, 15 percent of professors are atheist or agnostic, and 40 percent believe in God. "

      Harvard Magazine, July – August, 2007 "Not So Secular / Faculty Faith"

      Pleasure exchanging ideas with you.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  7. Thoth

    Well, since the author likes to cherry pick scripture....

    Matthew 15:22-28. Yep, Christ was so all about loving for his people as long as they were the "lost sheep of Israel" Everyone else are but dogs begging for scraps at the table.

    February 11, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Reality

      Matthew 15: 22-28:

      22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

      23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

      24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

      25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

      26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

      27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

      28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
      "

      But did the historic Jesus utter these words????

      After a thorough analysis by contemporary NT scholars, no he did not according to many of these experts. See for example, http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb237.html
      and

      Professor John P. Meier of Notre Dame:

      'Meier deals with this miracle in Marginal Jew II,659-61. On this particular story he concludes:

      Weighing all the pros and cons, it seems to me that the story of the Syrophoenician woman is so shot through with Christian missionary theology and concerns that creation by first-generation Christians is the more likely conclusion. (p. 660f)"

      See also Professor Gerd Ludemann's conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 49-51, pp. 193-194

      "The historical yield (of this passage) is nil."

      February 11, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Reality : Weighing all the pros and cons, it seems to me that the story

      It SEEMS - You take this as FACT? You accept the logic fallacy called "Appeal to Authority" just because it agrees with your aprior conclusions.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:57 am |
  8. Jenni

    wow. i'm really surprised by these comments. The whole time I was reading that I was thinking how refreshingly straightforward the point it. I expected lots of encouraging comments that agreed with him. How can it be wrong to want people to be nice to each other?

    February 11, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      "How can it be wrong to want people to be nice to each other?" I bet there's a Bible verse about thou shalt not let a sensible word fall from thy lips, or one about thou shalt not say one nice thing?

      February 11, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • captivehope

      I was disappointed as well. It seems that the author meant this as a rebuke from one Christian to other Christians and then it turned into an outlet for everyone (Christian and not) to express their own hate. Kind of ironic.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  9. wisdomVSknowledge

    I wrestled a bear once wrote...
    "Choosing to believe in God on the off shot chance it's all real, doesn't make you an actual believer. It makes you a coward who is covering all his bases."

    Oh how true and the churches are full of them...

    "Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn." Matthew 13:30

    Christians are under attack today because they don't know how to conduct themselves in a civil manner, or their look-a-likes are tearing the foundation out from under them. Either way organized religion is on the down slide and I say... 'Don't let the screen door slap you in the butt on your way out!"

    February 11, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      " their look-a-likes are tearing the foundation out from under them." There's your problem right there. As it stands right now, Fred Phelps is the Protestant Pope.

      February 11, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  10. Over 40,000 denominations of . . .

    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?
    ==============================================

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3:

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    John Adams, POTUS #2:

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights:

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    Thomas Paine:

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    February 11, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Chad

      appear to me no other than human inventions

      =>what investigation have you done in to Christianity that has led you to reject it?

      The response to that question is invariably one of two: "Christians havent proved God exists" or "why do you Mr. Christian reject unicorns"?

      now, both of those are fallacious answers..

      Which one were you going to pick?

      February 11, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      Because the way you identify fallacious answers is to point to them and say "They're fallacious answers!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      February 11, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • kenhbradshaw

      The Christians I know are kind, caring people. This history I know of is an age of growth and enlightenment, despite missteps. Comparisons to other faiths or non-faiths, I find to be favorable. Laws based on Christian concepts, I find to be superior.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • -.-

      Dig up Thomas Paine and ask him, you disingenuous ass.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • snowboarder

      chad, the christian doctrine is absurd and only perpetuated by a system of coercion, indoctrination and groupthink.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • snowboarder

      ken, what laws are based on uniquely christian concepts?

      February 11, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Chad

      @snowboarder "the christian doctrine is absurd "

      A. Just because you dont like something/someone doesnt mean it/them isnt real. (that is why your "reason" is fallacious)
      B. Specifically what doctrine do you feel is absurd?

      February 11, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • snowboarder

      chad, it has nothing to do with whether i like it or not. i would sincerely wish a god of eternal bliss to be real, but that hardly makes it so. just like the similar wishes of billions of religious adherents around the world do not validate their gods.

      one fact is undeniable, that man has invented innumerable gods throughout history and that all gods are assumed to be the invention of man unless otherwise proven.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      "now, both of those are fallacious answers.. " What? So you have proved God AND unicorns both exist? This is big news. Do you even know what "fallacious" means, sonny?

      February 11, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Chad

      @snowboarder "the christian doctrine is absurd "
      @Chad "Specifically what doctrine do you feel is absurd?"

      -so, you didnt say what doctrine is absurd.. are you abandoning that assertion?

      ========
      @snowboarder "one fact is undeniable, that man has invented innumerable gods throughout history"
      @Chad "the fact that there are plenty of fake gods doesnt mean that there cant be a real one (that's why that statement is fallacious)

      ========
      @snowboarder "all gods are assumed to be the invention of man unless otherwise proven"
      @Chad "the statement that "'X' doesnt exist until you can prove it does" is inherently fallacious, existence of an object is not contingent on your acceptance of that fact.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Free Nuts

      No reply needed. Chad

      RELIGION BS

      Scholarly articles for non-natural causal agent
      Exploring the natural foundations of religion – Barrett – Cited by 321
      Spreading non-natural concepts: The role of intuitive … – Barrett – Cited by 162

      February 11, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • -.-

      Hugh, prolly not, since the idiot is asking this of Thomas Paine. This is his style of debate. Someone will soundly whip him, and he'll skulk off again like the dishonest, smarmy shit he is.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • snowboarder

      chad, the absurdity of a supposedly perfect god and his obviously imperfect creation. the concept of original and inherited sin. the necessity of a god who requires a sacrifice of himself to himself to not actually correct his mistakes, but to allow his mistakes to perpetuate. the absurdity of a god who supposedly grants free will, yet punishes those who actually exercise said free will.

      considering that there is absolutely no basis for the belief in any god other than the writings of ancient, supersti tious men, i feel perfectly comfortable discarding them upon the trash heap they warrant.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • snowboarder

      @snowboarder "one fact is undeniable, that man has invented innumerable gods throughout history"
      @Chad "the fact that there are plenty of fake gods doesnt mean that there cant be a real one (that's why that statement is fallacious)

      yet it lends significant credence to the supposition that gods are simply the fabrication of men. especially considering that all gods are conveniently beyond the cognition of men.

      so fallacious? absolutely not. simply a reasoned response.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • The Lying Chad

      Same stupid question evey day. What investigation have you done..... The answer. is what investigation have you Chad done to prove all the ohter religions-gods is not the true god? Why should anyone answer you when you never provide answers about all the other gods because they are beneath you .

      February 11, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • sam stone

      Chad: What investigation have you done into Buddhism to reject it? What investigation have you done into Jainism to reject it? What investigation have you done into Rastafari to reject it?

      February 11, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "The response to that question is invariably one of two: 'Christians havent proved God exists' or 'why do you Mr. Christian reject unicorns'?

      now, both of those are fallacious answers..

      Which one were you going to pick?"

      Is this not two fallacies together?
      You setup your opponent's responses as a strawman and then provide those two as the only options, or a false dichotomy.

      February 11, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • snowboarder

      @snowboarder "one fact is undeniable, that man has invented innumerable gods throughout history"
      @Chad "the fact that there are plenty of fake gods doesnt mean that there cant be a real one (that's why that statement is fallacious)

      not "plenty of fake gods", but according to the adherents of any religion all are fake gods except their own. not only that, but all gods had their origins in a sphere of purely locally significance, never exhibiting a global influence or presence. speaking only to their supposed chosen representative and chosen people. all these factors point quite succinctly to the human invention of gods. especially the jewish and christian gods.

      February 11, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • The Lying Chad

      Untill you can present a christian leader that can walk on water, cure the sick, turn water into a palatable wine. raise people from the dead, die and resurect himself three days later, etc. I will pass on your nonsense. That is the reason why people reject your myth, it is beyond reason and logic, not that you would understand.

      February 11, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Chad, having thoroughly investigated the claims of Christianity and fully explored the dogma, doctrine and theology of many sects of Christianity as well as having studied the history of the scriptures on which Christianity was founded I came to the conclusion that they were less than adequate to fulfill my spiritual need, less than adequate to satisfy my intellectual needs and wholly failing as a religion. For me.

      Just because you would likely dismiss my reasons for finding this to be true, does not dismiss the work I did in getting there.

      February 11, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • clarity

      Perhaps it's absurd because, as Jefferson noted over 200 years ago – "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity." Of course Christianity is much more splintered today than it was in his time. For example, just among Lutherans that started as one sect, there one of the divisions abhors gay marriage – considers it a sin, and won't let one of their ministers participate in services of a different sect, whereas another of the division actually performs gay marriage.

      Pretty absurd.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • K-switch

      @chad, when you post a reply, why do you place "@chad" before a reply to someone else?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Chad

      @snowboarder "1. the absurdity of a supposedly perfect god and his obviously imperfect creation. 2. the concept of original and inherited sin. 3. the necessity of a god who requires a sacrifice of himself to himself to not actually correct his mistakes, but to allow his mistakes to perpetuate. 4. the absurdity of a god who supposedly grants free will, yet punishes those who actually exercise said free will" 6. considering that there is absolutely no basis for the belief in any god other than the writings of ancient, supersti tious men, i feel perfectly comfortable discarding them upon the trash heap they warrant.

      @Chad "1. What He created was perfect, then Adam sinned. 2. that concept is not in the bible. 3. God took it upon Himself to correct the situation we created 4. you misunderstand "punish". He allows us to decide to remain permanently estranged from Him, that's the "punishment". 6. Evidence: origin of the universe, origin of life on earth, fine tuning of the universe, Jesus Christ.

      ======
      @snowboarder "one fact is undeniable, that man has invented innumerable gods throughout history"
      @Chad "the fact that there are plenty of fake gods doesnt mean that there cant be a real one (that's why that statement is fallacious)
      @snowboarder "yet it lends significant credence to the supposition that gods are simply the fabrication of men. especially considering that all gods are conveniently beyond the cognition of men."
      @Chad "what does "beyond the cognition of men" mean? God is comprehendible by man..
      The existence of fake gods doesnt mean that the God of Israel is fake. That is fallacious reasoning.

      =====
      @ME II "Is this not two fallacies together? You setup your opponent's responses as a strawman and then provide those two as the only options, or a false dichotomy."
      @Chad "how do you figure that? first I said "invariably " which it is, just scroll up and see :-)
      I'll add a third common response,(which we have seen on this thread) "the concept of God is stupid" to the list..

      =====
      @myweightinwords "Having thoroughly investigated the claims of Christianity and fully explored the dogma, doctrine and theology of many sects of Christianity as well as having studied the history of the scriptures on which Christianity was founded I came to the conclusion that they were less than adequate to fulfill my spiritual need, less than adequate to satisfy my intellectual needs and wholly failing as a religion. For me.
      @Chad "A. "less than adequate to fulfill my spiritual need" your spiritual need is pretty irrelevant to the actual reality of the God of Israel. He doesnt evaporate simply because He doesnt fill a need of yours.
      B. Exactly what lead you to conclude the God of Israel isnt real?

      February 11, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @chad,

      @Chad "A. "less than adequate to fulfill my spiritual need" your spiritual need is pretty irrelevant to the actual reality of the God of Israel. He doesnt evaporate simply because He doesnt fill a need of yours.

      In the course of my life, my own needs are just about all I can base the choices I make on, are they not? The truth is, just as it is my responsibility to feed my body food that is good for me and exercise my body daily and educate myself, it is my responsibility to attend to my spiritual needs as well. Any god who is worthy to be followed would recognize this and honor it.

      Christian theology was toxic to my heart and soul. Leaving was the only choice.

      B. Exactly what lead you to conclude the God of Israel isnt real?

      Where did I say that he wasn't?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @myweightinwords "In the course of my life, my own needs are just about all I can base the choices I make on, are they not? Christian theology was toxic to my heart and soul. Leaving was the only choice.
      Where did I say that he[God] wasn't[real]?

      @Chad "you can't possibly be saying that even though God may be real, you have decided to reject Him because you dont like His reality?
      That would be a pretty bizarre statement, right? If the God of Israel is real, you dont get to opt out of that reality. Right?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @Chad,

      @Chad "you can't possibly be saying that even though God may be real, you have decided to reject Him because you dont like His reality?

      No, I didn't say that either. IF the god of Israel, as depicted in the bible is real, he is an evil, megalomaniac, monster whom I chose to have nothing to do with.

      However, my belief about Divinity and Deity transcend even that statement.

      That would be a pretty bizarre statement, right? If the God of Israel is real, you dont get to opt out of that reality. Right?

      Nope. It means I'm not Israeli. Not Jewish. Not Christian. I believe that he is real to those who believe in him, just as other gods are real to those who believe in them. He can exist without being all that exists.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Chad

      If He is real, you obviously can not "chose to have nothing to do with Him".

      right?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're real, and it would be quite easy to have nothing to do with you.

      February 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "@chad, when you post a reply, why do you place "@chad" before a reply to someone else?"

      Because he's a fvcking moron.

      February 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  11. truth be told

    This guy is not advocating nice he is advocating wuss. Nice is having the love of your fellow man with the courage to speak the Truth in love pointing out the deadly consequences of detestable sins like abortion, atheism and ho mose xuality.

    February 11, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • snowboarder

      there is nothing "nice" about the religious spreading their delusions around and attempting to deny the rights of their fellow citizens.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • == o ==

      The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:

      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. "writer".

      February 11, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • truth be told

      There is no right to perversion and sin.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • snowboarder

      told, your religious delusion does not give you the right to define anothers rights. just as you would never with the amish to define your "sins", we will never stand for you to attempt to do the same. your stand is based on ignorance and hipocrisy.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      "the deadly consequences of detestable sins like abortion, atheism and ho mose xuality" Are you announcing your intention to kill someone or become a suicide bomber? FBI, take note.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Damocles

      @tbt

      Hey, friend! Did you manage to see the post where I put the number of natural, deity approved abortions (miscarriages) at roughly 26,500,000,000 over the last 100 years?

      February 11, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • Madtown

      There is no right to perversion and sin
      ------
      Says you. You don't define what qualifies as either of those, so you can't judge others based on your opinion alone.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • K-switch

      Don't forget the sin of suicide, which you have encouraged others to do, tbt.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • truth be told

      I do not class the loss of a so called atheist by their own hand as anything but a benefit to mankind, a so called atheist is lost and useless anyway and would be better gone, they have already maxed out on sin. Think how many millions would have lived full lives if atheist Joe Stalin had killed himself first.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      The usual lies from the poster with the lie in the handle.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • truth be told

      @dumbocles
      It would be rare to consider anything you write . You are a poster child for my stated Truth that all so called atheists are liars.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      "I do not class the loss of a so called atheist by their own hand as anything but a benefit to mankind"

      Really? That's totally unchristian of you, but not surprising. I consider anyone's death a loss to mankind. You obviously consider every living human being as your enemy. You might want to get that looked at by a professional.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Madtown

      a so called atheist is lost and useless anyway and would be better gone
      -----–
      This person is not a christian.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Captain azzmuzzle says: "I do not class the loss of a so called atheist by their own hand as anything but a benefit to mankind, a so called atheist is lost and useless anyway and would be better gone,"

      Is that what you call "speaking in love?"

      February 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  12. Hugh Jass

    Summary of Comments: No, we won't stop being mean all the time because we know we are right and God's gonna burn burn burn you all up and we're gonna laugh ha ha ha. Have a Blessed Day!!

    February 11, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  13. the AnViL

    the delusional people who believe in an imaginary man in the sky are literally too brainwashed and stupid to understand that all monotheistic religions are based on ignorance, bigotry, hate, division, and racism.

    and that's a flat fact.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    cha cha chaaaaaaaaaaa

    February 11, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Annrafnk

      Even if you aren't a believer, you can't say some the lessons taught by Jesus aren't good. Not a bad way to base your life.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Keith

      Or you could just be a good person without referencing a specific reason why. Jesus is unnecessary for moral fiber.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • snowboarder

      ann, jesus was at the very most a decent philosopher whose life was grossly embellished by his followers after his death.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      I can get the good part of jebus' teachings from Socrates and Confucius without the "love-me-or-burn-in-hell" nonsense.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • lol??

      bigot. bigot. bigot. bigot. bigot. sorry, i'm stuck. bigot. bigot. bigot.

      February 11, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • John Brown

      Annrafnk – Jesus's teachings are fine, and if Christians would restrict themselves to what Jesus said there'd be less of an issue. Unfortunately, the bible also contains lots of other conflicting and less "Christian" instruction (especially all that ascetic intolerance from Paul).

      February 11, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  14. Joshua

    I was hoping he would somehow define what he means by hate. One persons constructive criticism is another's hate.

    February 11, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • -.-

      Feeling ucomfortable, lol?? I see your "constructive criticism" here every single day. This article was written about YOU.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • lol??

      I'm calling my dog, bigot. Here, bigot. bigot. bigot. bigot. bigot. bigot. bigot.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • -.-

      Look no further than your mirror, hypocrite.

      February 11, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  15. gladiatorgrl

    Religion is like a p e n !$ it's oK to have one just don't wave it around in public and try to shove it down others throats.

    February 11, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  16. Richard

    using your post to pick on one guy/girl? buthurt maybe?

    February 11, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  17. madonfan

    We have yet another situation where people take pieces of scripture out of the bible but do not know the sinner. We are sinners saved by grace. All at different levels of our Christian faith. Some people "believe" in God, but don't "practice" the faith. You have to be born again to get victory over using abusive language or acting out in anger. We are human. We make mistakes. Actually when you become truly saved, your enemy satan wants to keep you from moving along in your faith. Where once you were walking in his direction, now you have turned from that. Don't judge God by the Christians serving Him. Seek God for yourselves and then you can rightly divide the word of truth. No one Christian is the same. We are all through the Holy Spirit changing for the better every day. You don't just one day wake up and you're changed. It's a day to day process. It's very true that as Christians we should be seeking peace and not trying to quarrel. But we are human. We aren't God who is perfect. If a Christian offends call them out on it in a productive way. If they are truly "born again" they will receive that rebuke without conflict. Many people are walking around grateful that Jesus died for them but aren't really trying to live the Christian life. That is where the confusion resides.

    February 11, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • snowboarder

      the christian gods of jesus and satan are absurd.

      February 11, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • jungleboo

      "...If they are truly "born again" ( as sheep) they will receive that rebuke without conflict ( and gladly let you order them around)."

      Parentheses my words.

      Dear madonfan, do you like being the one with a whip in your hand, ordering people about? Brings to mind a certain "S" guy...

      February 11, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • madonfan

      jungleboo. what i am saying is, if someone comes up to you and calls you out on something and they are "right", then why wouldn't you change the behavior? sometimes the delivery may not be nice but if it's true, then change it. i am only talking "between christians". we have no right to say anything to anyone who isn't in the faith because they aren't "professing" faith.

      February 11, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • -.-

      Lol?? Is feeling very uncomfortable with tghe self-evident truth that she is, in fact, one of the very people that the author was talking about; hateful, spiteful, bigoted Christian. Pre-emptive 'bigot' calling to cover up the fact that she is worse than any atheist when it comes to hate. Poor lol?? It's like the author knows her personally.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:29 am |
  18. Doc Vestibule

    I have always maintained that belief in the supernatural is not required to live in Christ's image.
    The character of Christ embodies charity, compassion, pacifism and humility.
    If more of those who call themselves Christians tried to cultivate those traits instead of prosthelytizing, condeming, and arguing mythological minutiae, there would be little animosity from non-christians.

    February 11, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @lol
      You keep using that word, but I do not think you know what it means.

      February 11, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • midwest rail

      Doc, the Cowardly Liar lol?? had this same bout of intellectually stunted Tourettes last night, he's just annoyed that no one gives a sh!t what he says.

      February 11, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • fintastic

      ??LOL = troll = ignore

      February 11, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Jenny

      Well said, Doc.

      If only....

      February 11, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Old One-Eye

      Very well said, Doc!

      February 11, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Science

      Morning Doc the word PRO
      Agree

      But if they toss the creation story (Adam, Eve, Snake and Donkey) would a black hole appear ?

      February 11, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • truth be told

      Bull sh it

      February 11, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Science

      Oops lose

      February 11, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • -.-

      Lol?? Prolly has that word of the day calandar. I now know what I shall use for every one of her spiteful posts.

      Tbt: bullshit in what way? Oh, I forgot. You're a troll.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • lol??

      bigot. I lost my dog, bigot. At least I think he was a dog. Maybe he was a cat.

      February 11, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Which God?

      tbt said "Bull sh it." Exactly. tbt spouts it all the time. Everything that comes out of her mouth is bullschitt.

      February 11, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • truth be told

      To call doc v comments bull sh it is a little misleading and insulting. After all bull sh it can have a use as fertilizer. That said I apologize to bulls for associating their waste with doc v.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • == o ==

      The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:

      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. "writer".

      February 11, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  19. splaher6

    CNN's continued war on religion

    February 11, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense.

      February 11, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      A Christian clergyman writes an article advising his fellow Christians to be more vigilant in following Christ's example, and that's an example of a war on religion?

      February 11, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • fintastic

      ??LOL = troll = ignore

      February 11, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • matt

      Really? Did you even read the article? Your response is very funny (though I know you didn't intend it to be, the irony is staggering) and exactly what the author was talking about. Do you realize that he is an evangelical pastor that holds to the orthodox statements of faith? I suspect your sense of persecution is directly related to the level in which you embody the basic thesis of this article.

      February 11, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      "CNN's continued war on religion" Asking Christians to be more Christian is a war on religion? OK, thanks for your valuable input.

      February 11, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  20. Hugh Jass

    They can come up with thousands of reasons why they should give you the cold shoulder and the back of their hand, but none for why we are all brothers. Oh, you call God The Lord instead of Lord God? Heretic.

    February 11, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Jerry Fallswell

      If the reprobate thinks it is a brother the lessons of the Sodomites ans Canaanites are lost. There are those enemies of God who will NEVER be reconciled.

      February 11, 2013 at 8:48 am |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.