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My Take: What's next for President Obama's 'pastor-in-chief'
February 14th, 2013
10:35 AM ET

My Take: What's next for President Obama's 'pastor-in-chief'

Editor’s note: Joshua DuBois served as director of President Obama’s Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2008 until he stepped down last week.

By Joshua DuBois, Special to CNN

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the summer of 2004 over a half-pound burger and fries on Capitol Hill. I was putting in long hours as a legislative intern for a wily member of Congress between two years of graduate school at Princeton, where I was studying public policy. The pay was meager - enough for gas for my beat-up Chevy Blazer and a tiny Craigslist apartment with two guys and a cat. But it was good to be in Washington and have a few months to wrestle with what in the world I was going to do with the rest of my life.

But by the time my internship was ending in late July, I wasn’t any closer to figuring things out. I knew I loved Christ - I was an associate pastor at a small Pentecostal church back home - and wanted my career to be tied to my faith. I also knew I wanted to help people who were struggling; my grandmother was active in the civil rights movement, and my parents made sure that working for justice and mercy was in my bones. And finally, I knew that I had some serious student loans to pay back. The hard part was figuring out how to balance all three.

Late one day, July 27 to be exact, I walked a couple of blocks to my favorite neighborhood dive, a local spot named the Hawk 'n' Dove. There was always a happy hour special going on at the Hawk, and they showed more Red Sox games than Yankees - which, since I'm a Sox fan, was a good thing in my book.

I settled in to enjoy my burger when the place got quiet on me - and the Hawk 'n' Dove was never quiet. A man was on television, an Illinois state senator named Barack Obama. And this guy was giving quite a speech.

I put my food down and listened. The state senator touched on many themes I loved - themes of justice, of fighting for the vulnerable and sick, of deep love for my country. And then he said, almost out of nowhere: “The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states: red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states. … We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

"We worship an awesome God."

That line hit me in the gut. This young state senator had reminded me of the songs I had sung at Bible camps growing up, arms upraised: “Our God Is An Awesome God.” He reminded me of long nights, struggles with homelessness and poverty and desperation that I had experienced over the years, and the power of pure worship to shout down life’s loudest dins. He reminded me that the grace I had felt since I became a Christian - felt so fully and so purely - was not relegated to one party or another, to a red state or a blue state, but instead was available to all who sought it. “We worship an awesome God in the blue states.”

I had to work for this guy.

And so, with no inside connections, I set about doing just that. Fortunately for me, Obama and the people around him - folks like Pete Rouse, Valerie Jarrett, Denis McDonough, Melody Barnes, Michael Strautmanis, and Chris Lu - valued results more than reputation, and saw the need to engage people of faith in the public square. So they took a shot on me. I am grateful they did, because it has been an amazing ride ever since.

As U.S. Sen. Obama’s adviser on faith issues on Capitol Hill, as candidate Obama’s religious affairs director on his 2008 campaign, and as President Obama’s director of the White House faith-based initiative, I have had the honor of seeing firsthand the life and heart of a president who cares deeply about his country, his family and his God, in times of prayer, conversation and diligent work. I’ve also been able to manage the White House faith-based office, leading a phenomenal team that expanded partnerships with faith-based and nonprofit groups around the country.

Over the last four years, we’ve dealt with our fair share of challenging issues, and played a role in some of the country’s most contentious debates. But more than anything, we’ve been able to marshal and amplify the extraordinary kindness of millions of Americans: religious and secular groups who are putting it on the line every day, expanding opportunity and dignity to those who need help most.

After this amazing journey, I am leaving the White House to serve in a few new ways.

First, with my friends at HarperOne, I am writing a book of daily devotionals based on the meditations I send Obama each morning. I’m honored that the president has said these reflections have been helpful to him, and excited to share a selection of these thoughts with all kinds of leaders around the country.

Second, with Michael Wear, the 2012 Obama campaign religious affairs director, and a few other dear friends, we will soon launch a new social enterprise, Values Partnerships. Values Partnerships will help public, private and nonprofit organizations bring to scale powerful, measurable partnerships with the faith community that solve big challenges, from improving public health to expanding financial literacy to reducing recidivism. We’ll also help leaders in the church and faith-based nonprofits navigate the public square around them, based on our experiences over the years.

Finally, I’m looking forward to teaching, speaking and writing about life at the intersection of religion and politics, particularly focusing on how believers can live their faith powerfully in the world. Through trial and error, I have a few lessons to share on that point, and many still to learn.

Words can’t express the gratitude I feel for a president and first lady who love so deeply and express that love through service, and for a team of current and former officials who have embraced the importance of people of faith in American life.

And as a committed African-American Pentecostal, I never thought I could become such dear friends with so many in the faith community - Christians and Muslims, Hindus and Jews, conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats - who care first about God, and second about their neighbors, and seek to live this care out into the world. I would hope to honor those friendships, continue to serve this good president, and let my life and work be a song of worship in the exciting days ahead.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief

soundoff (401 Responses)
  1. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    I tried many times to get into WH to teach, speak about life of Mohammad, but honestly, I got nowhere, not even within ten miles of WH, they said I was not welcomed.

    February 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • Islam and all that

      Closing window to awful sounds of crying babies Barking dogs ism, ambulance noise pollution ism, Nobody cares neighbor ism, open windows, crying babies emergency noise ism Damn fire trucks sirens louder ism in to neighbor one else on front of his main street, at last holidays fire trucks looked at HOME OFFICE and wailed and same was answered by HOME OFFICE, Damn fire trucks spewing water on ash, Damn fire trucks turned in to HOME OFFICE, and HOME OFFICE turned in to Damn fire trucks, ONE ON corner WAS NOT DAMN FIRE TRUCKS BUT HOME OFFICE, EVERY crying babies, puppy follower of crying babies Barking dogs ism, ambulance noise pollution ism making noises to as his Barking dogs, ambulance noise pollution man dog. Visit TurnOffTheNoise.com to learn crying babiesism, denial of noixe absolute chaos, by crying babies noise ism.

      February 14, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Paul Starks

      Uh...what's your point? I'm sure a lot of people have a lot of things to say about a lot of issues, but the government can't hear them all.

      March 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  2. Ungodly Discipline

    How might we prove that God is imaginary? One way would be to find a contradiction between the definition of God and the God we experience in the real world.

    What would happen if we get down on our knees and pray to God in this way:

    Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you describe in Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

    We pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.

    Will anything happen? No. Of course not.

    This is very odd. Jesus makes specific promises in the Bible about how prayer is supposed to work. Jesus says in many different places that he and God will answer your prayers. And Christians believe Jesus - according to this recent article, "54% of American adults believe the Bible is literally true." In some areas of the country the number goes as high as 75%.

    February 14, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      If the Bible is literally true, then something is seriously amiss. Simply look at the facts. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:

      Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

      If "every one who asks receives", then if we ask for cancer to be cured, it should be cured. Right? If "our Father who is in heaven gives good things to those who ask him", then if we ask him to cure cancer, he should cure it. Right? And yet nothing happens

      February 14, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says:

      For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

      If "nothing will be impossible to you", then if we ask to cure cancer tonight, cancer should disappear. Right? Yet nothing happens. Note that if we take the Bible less-than-literally here, the statement "nothing will be impossible to you" becomes "lots of things will be impossible to you," and that would mean that Jesus is lying.

      In Matthew 21:21:

      I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

      If "you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer", then if we ask to cure cancer tonight, cancer should dissappear. Right? Yet nothing happens. Note again that there is not a non-literal way to interpret "you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer", unless you replace "whatever" with "nothing" or "little."

      The message is reiterated Mark 11:24:

      Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
      If God says, "believe that you have received it, and it will be yours," and if we believe in God and his power, then what should happen if we pray to cure cancer tonight? It should be cured. Either that, or God is lying.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      In John chapter 14, verses 12 through 14, Jesus tells all of us just how easy prayer can be:

      "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

      Look at how direct this statement is: "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." This is the "Son of God" speaking. Have we taken him "too literally?" No. This is a simple, unambiguous statement. Have we taken his statement "out of context?" No – Jesus uses the word anyone. Yet Jesus' statement is obviously false. Because when we ask God to cure cancer tonight, nothing happens.

      We see the same thing over and over again...

      In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says:

      Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
      In James 5:15-16 the Bible says:

      And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

      In Mark 9:23:

      All things are possible to him who believes.

      In Luke 1:37:

      For with God nothing will be impossible.

      Nothing could be simpler or clearer than Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible. Yet, when we pray to eliminate cancer, nothing happens.

      And keep in mind that this is Jesus talking here. These are not the words of human beings. These are not the words of "inspired" human beings. These are supposedly the words of God himself, incarnated in a human body. Jesus is supposed to be a perfect, sinless being. And yet, it is obvious that Jesus is lying. What Jesus says is clearly incorrect.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • MrHighMighty

      So you think a sovereign God should change His plan based on the whims of man? You think you know more than God about how to exalt His Glory? Scripture teaches that God does answer all prayers, but often the answer is no. Your references about prayer are taken out of context. Jesus spoke of prayer in this life in this world AND in our eternal life in Heaven. He and the apostles taught that the Holy Spirit instructs man on what to pray for, not the other way around.

      The fervency of your posts betrays your true motives. You appeal to logic but you build your arguments illogically. You apply standards of man who is limited in time and space, to judge an eternal and omnipresent God. You base your arguments on isolated Scripture that you say is not true. You appeal to a moral sense that you claim does not exist. And of course, none of what you say explains how something comes from nothing. By arguing for the non-existence of God, you are actually only proclaiming your desire to live your life outside His authority. Deep down you know that God exists, and that you alone can never earn the right to be in His Holy and eternal presence. This article is about a pastor advisor to the President, but your desperation leads you to use this space for seeking encouragement and reinforcement for your refusal to face your sin and submit to your Creator. You and your kind are only fooling yourself, following the path laid down when Satan fooled Eve. And yet despite your resistance and opposition to Him, He still stands and knocks at your door right now, and He will continue to do so until your last breath. Is that not a loving and merciful God?

      February 14, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Accusing others of illogic, while declaring the existence of an invisible extradimensional sky wizard.

      February 14, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Platypus Rex

      Okay, so Satan fooled Eve, right? And when God found out about it, he punished innocent, newly born Eve for being deceived by the most talented deceiver ever? God failed to make her capable of defending herself against deceit, and then punishes her for being deceived? He not only punished her, but every human that would ever live?

      God is so unjust and extreme that I can't tell the difference between him and Satan.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      MrHighMighty exhibits an astonishing lack of common sense.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Reason

      Every time you ask for something in life, is the answer always "yes"? Funny, because it sounds like you are limiting God's ability to answer a prayer with only that. If cancer exists, it's because it is and has been intended to be a part of God's plan, so than why would he rearrange his plan in order to show a single non-believer that he is real? Your logic is flawed.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Atheists: teaching Christians about their Bible

      Jesus said prayer works absolutely how you ask it, without fail, including having a mountain throw itself into the sea. That is his word, which since it comes from Jesus, means it has to be true or Jesus isn't god.

      So your "the answer is sometimes not" idea violates Jesus' actual words. Is the problem that you didn't read the Bible? Or perhaps that you know that Jesus was wrong.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • MrHighMighty

      @Platypus, thank you for your questions. But they are based on misperceptions. Eve was not "newly born", she and Adam lived for ages in The Garden. There was no death for man before the fall. She was fully capable of continuing to defend herself against temptation, and so was Adam. God created man in His image, meaning with a consciousness and ability to make choices (among many other characteristics). And God created man for His glory, and part of that plan for His glory is to solve the problem of evil forever. And part of solving the problem was allowing Satan to bring sin and death to man. God is Holy and Just, and must punish sin. But in His love and mercy He also provides a remedy for sin and death, which is Christ, and He is here for anyone who seeks salvation from our fallen state.

      @Atheists, your comments are typical. It's always amusing to me how atheists try to use the Bible in their arguments. They say they don't believe it, but they use it? Imagine being in court and hearing a prosecuter tell the jury "that man is guilty of bank robbery....here is a video of him bowling at the exact moment the bank robbery occurred."
      But anyway, much of Jesus' teachings were in parables and analogies. In that passage, He teaches of the gift and power of faith. True genuine faith always involves surrender to God's will, and confidence that the thing being requested is from God and for God. When Jesus walked this earth, His enemies wanted him to prove His power with cosmic signs, but that was not God's will or His plan. So even if you take literally His words about throwing a mountain into the sea, who really wants to do that and why? It's not necessary to glorify God in that way. That act would not be something inspired by the Holy Spirit. So in other words, the "prayer" to do that would never be made by anyone who's faith in God was actually strong enough to do it, unless God wanted the mountain thrown into the sea.

      February 15, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • midwest rail

      " Imagine being in court and hearing a prosecuter tell the jury "that man is guilty of bank robbery....here is a video of him bowling at the exact moment the bank robbery occurred." " Worst analogy ever. And false, to boot.

      February 15, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • Check

      MrHighMighty,
      " It's always amusing to me how atheists try to use the Bible in their arguments. They say they don't believe it, but they use it?"

      Oh, is there something else that you have that you have as your basis for your claims about just who your "God" is, "his" personality and attributes and what "he" purportedly did/does/will do and what "he" wants?

      February 15, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • Check

      *sorry for the double "that you have"

      February 15, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • THE REALIST

      ** TRUTHS: GODisIMAGINARY dot com and than goodness because he emanates from the EVILbible dot com (please visit)

      February 15, 2013 at 7:37 am |
  3. Ungodly Discipline

    Why, when you read the Bible, are you not left in awe?

    Why doesn't a book written by an omniscient being leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement? If you are reading a book written by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, wouldn't you expect to be stunned by the brilliance, the clarity and the wisdom of the author? Would you not expect each new page to intoxicate you with its incredible prose and its spectacular insight? Wouldn't you expect the author to tell us things that scientists have not been able to discover yet?

    Yet, when we open the Bible and actually read it, we find it is nothing like that at all. Instead of leaving us in awe, it leaves us dumbfounded by all of the nonsense and backwardness that it contains. If you read what the Bible actually says, you find that the Bible is ridiculous. The Bible is a book written thousands of years ago by primitive men. A book that advocates senseless murder, slavery and the oppression of women.

    Why would anyone want to adopt this horrible book as a basis for a religion and a lifestyle?

    February 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      cultural history and that's all.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • MrHighMighty

      The historical accounts of murder and conquest and slavery in Scripture are not advocations of those actions, but rather demonstrations with a purpose for anyone willing to find the truth. Contrary to your assertions, anyone willing to seek Christ's salvation is overcome with awe when reading Scripture. The chronology of creation in Genesis has been confirmed by science. Is it merely a coincidence that the writer of Genesis thousands of years ago knew the order of appearance and complexity of all life forms? Is it a coincidence that the "primitive" writer knew about dark matter in space, and that the universe is still expanding? Is it a coincidence that the prophets of the Old Testament told of a coming King who would transcend political and geographical boundaries? Is it a coincidence that Jesus' teachings provide as much joy and peace to believers all over the modern world as they did 2000 years ago when society was completely different? Do you think the descriptions of the nature of evil, and the remedy for sin and death offered by Christ and described in Scripture could ever expire in the future of man and the earth?

      February 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • THE REALIST

      ** TRUTHS: GODisIMAGINARY dot com and than goodness because he emanates from the EVILbible dot com (please visit)

      February 15, 2013 at 7:38 am |
  4. truth be told

    The world is still waiting for a so called atheist to draw an honest breath. From creation until now the lies of the so called atheist have never changed or evolved.

    February 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • ..

      Still waiting for you to expel your last breath, you lying bitch.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • truth be told

      If the Lord tarries we will all draw a last breath. On average the servants of God tend to outlive the so called atheist types by 20 to 40 years and go on to an eternal reward aged and full of years. Reverend Billy Graham well into his 90's versus old foul mouth drunk hitchens gone with his blasphemous throat rotted out in its early 60's.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Dark Matter

      truth be told is held in the clutches of the unholy one, the great deceiver Jesus Christ. Your fate will not be favorable.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • truth be told

      Since all so called atheists are baffled by Truth I do not give any credibility to dark matter. I know who I have believed and am persuaded that God is able to keep that which i have committed unto Him against that day. DM you have nothing to say about it.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      cap'n, is it honest and truthful to pretend you are not cap'n?

      February 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Dark Matter

      truth be told, indeed I have nothing to say. Your horrors are only now just beginning. You are blind to the oozing suffering blindess even now replacing your soul. God will most certainly have you.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • truth be told

      Too little too late on this post to tom tom sorry you are not relevant, nice midwuss impersonation though.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Obviously, I'm not too late at all, or you wouldn't be responding. That you are indicates I hit a nerve.

      Thanks for confirming.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Dark Matter

      Sadly truth be told has most likely already slipped into that hellish coma christians call being "saved". Like so much dispelled gum on the bottom of a godly sandal, truth be told will now be crushed by truth; I nightmarish reality that only those fooled by the great deceiver will have to suffer.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      cap'n azzhole is a sad case.

      He is now trying to claim that believers live longer than atheists, citing nothing but anecdotes.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Dark Matter

      One cannot blame the doomed for lying and turning from truth to fabricate their last days of freedom. Once death is upon them and the icy grip of god's death becomes their startling reality, they will cry frozen tears in pain but their cries will not be heard by men. Only the great deceiver will enjoy the screams and so he will have them for every meal.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • So....

      "He is now trying to claim that believers live longer than atheists, citing nothing but anecdotes."

      How can that be when atheists have better marriages?

      The Barna Research Group, an evangelical Christian organization that does surveys and research to better understand what Christians believe and how they behave, studied divorce rates in America and found surprising evidence that divorce is far lower among atheists than among conservative Christians – exactly the opposite of what they were probably expecting

      February 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, isn't THAT interesting? I wonder how the great cap'n explains the fact that life expectancy is quite high in the Scandinavian countries, where there's very little religious belief.

      I guess he'll lie about that, too.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • Dishonest Atheists!

      Yea! Damn that Bill Gates, dishonestly spending millions of dollars working to end malaria

      February 14, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
  5. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    I WISH OBAMA HAD MADE ME HIS PASTOR-IN-CHIEF !!!! I COOK AND WASH FLOORS ALSO, FREE.

    February 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Bob

      Those floors look like they are carpeted how will you wash them?

      February 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Islam and all that

      Here it goes flatulence ism, absurdity of lactose intolerance, odiferous ism, Nation founded on spicy foods of truth Digestive disorders human food inequality being given toots from hind lysol scent variety to celebrate flatulence ism, digestive disorders, a violation of a healthy constitution, not of regularity, odiferous of the constipated, but of hindered by Irritable bowel syndrome of flatulence ism, runny ism called Montezuma revenge ism to celebrate hind, filth of flatulence ism, smelly ism.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      HEIGHT OF A HINDU, IGNORANT, HINDUISM, IGNORANCE.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  6. Ungodly Discipline

    It is easy to see that God is a delusion. For example, look for places in the Bible where God is an absurd, unmitigated jerk instead of the "all-knowing", "all-loving", "fully-enlightened" being that he is supposed to be.

    There are many parts of the Bible that display these tendencies. However, if you are a woman, the place where God's absurdity becomes completely clear is when you look at God's sexism.

    The dictionary defines a misogynist as "One who hates women. It defines the word "sexist" as:

    1. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.

    2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender
    Is God a sexist? Let's look at the evidence. We find this in 1 Corinthians chapter 14:

    As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

    This seems like a straightforward passage. And God is the one who inspired the Bible. In Isaiah 40:8 God says that the word of the Lord will last forever, and he says the same thing again in 1 Peter 1:24-25. So here we have God, in his eternal and everlasting Word, saying that it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

    This quote from 1 Corinthians 11 is important:

    But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head–it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.) That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels.

    You may find it hard to believe that something that confusing is in the Bible, yet if you look it up you will find it is there.

    Then there is this section from 1 Timothy chapter 2:

    Also that women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire but by good deeds, as befits women who profess religion. Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.

    It is hard to miss God's meaning when he says something as direct as, "I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent."

    If you think about it, you will realize that God started this type of sexism at the very beginning of the Bible. In Genesis chapter 17 God says:

    This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.

    God makes no mention of forming any sort of covenant with women.

    There are many other examples that we can find in the Bible:

    • In Matthew 25:1 Jesus says: "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom."

    • In John 20:17 Jesus says to Mary: "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father," as though the touch of a woman is somehow improper, but a few verses later, is happy to have Thomas touch him.

    • In Genesis chapter 3, God punishes Eve, and all women for thousands of years, with greatly increased pain during childbirth. No such pain is inflicted on Adam.

    • In Ephesians 5:22-24 we find this: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

    • In 1 Peter 3:7 we find: "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."

    • In 1 John 2:13, John says, "I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father." No mention is made of women.

    • And so on. There are many, many examples like these throughout the old and new testaments.

    There are other, broader examples of misogyny that are readily apparent in the Bible as well:

    • Are any of Jesus' disciples women? No.

    • Are any of the elders in the book of Revelation women? No.

    • Are any of the books of the Bible written by women? No.

    • Etc...

    God, it would seem, wants nothing to do with women.

    February 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ungodly:
      who are the first to see the resurrected Jesus? women (though their testimony was invalid in ancient courts)
      who are the only 'faithful' followers at the cross? women
      who are given the full rights of "sons" in an ancient patriarchal society (Gal.3:26)? women
      why are women also "made in God's image" (and Eve made from Adam's rib rather than his foot)?
      why are women included in Jesus' genealogies (when that was abnormal)?
      why does Gal.3:28 say there is "neither male nor female in Christ"?
      why are men called to die for their wives like Christ did for his bride (Eph.5:25)?
      ancient Israel had a female political leader (Deborah) and yet this country has yet to have a female president...

      by your argument, the Bible supports polygamy in Genesis. but then when you read more carefully & realize every single instance of polygamy in Genesis turns out very poorly for those individuals & later the Bible explicitly condemns it...

      1) certainly there are values communicated here with which you would disagree, but you are creating straw men.
      2) if the qualification for any real God is to agree with your pre-existing opinions (which are subject to daily change), who is the real God? and what would you do with the God you approved of a few years ago before you "matured" into new opinions?

      February 14, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • .

      Unmarried women were not allowed to leave the home of their father without permission.

      Married women were not allowed to leave the home of their husband, without permission.

      They were normally restricted to roles of little or no authority.

      They could not testify in court.

      They could not appear in public venues.

      They were not allowed to talk to strangers.

      They had to be doubly veiled when they left their homes.

      But in the second creation story, (Genesis 2:7) God formed only a man: "...the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Realizing that he needed a helper (Genesis 2:18), God marched all of the animals past Adam (Genesis 2:19-20) looking for a suitable animal. Finding none suitable, God created Eve out of one of Adam's ribs. The term "helper" has historically been interpreted as implying an inferior role for Eve, although some modern interpreters believe that the word can mean a companion of equal status. "...the Hebrew word translated "helper" is used twenty-one times in the Old Testament: twenty of these cases refer to help from a superior." (3) In Genesis 2:27, Adam later asserts his authority over Eve by naming her: "...she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." In ancient times, one was believed to have authority over a person or thing by naming it.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Russ, buy my argument god hates women.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      *by

      February 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Joseph

      Russ is stupid. He can't help it.

      February 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ungodly & Joseph:
      “In reading Chesterton, as in reading MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere — "Bibles laid open, millions of surprises," as Herbert says, "fine nets and stratagems." God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”
      ― C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

      February 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
  7. bobk52

    Still arguing about nothing I see!

    February 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  8. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    ANOTHER HINDU LOUD MOUTH, SHORT ON BRAIN, ONLY IF HE KNEW HE WAS TALKING ABOUT, TO START WITH, WHAT DOES WORD GOD MEANS? IF HE CAN ANSWER. BUNCH OF HINDUS IGNORANT S SPEWING THEIR HINDUISM ABSURDITIES FROM THEIR HINDU SOUL, FILTHY DESIRE, AND LAYING THEM ON GOD.

    February 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • STFU

      SUCK IT, MOHAMMAD

      February 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      HINDU IGNORANT SHAFTED WITH ROD OF TRUTH.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • YOUR HINDU DAD

      DADDY IS COMING HOME TONITE

      February 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Islam and all that

      Only way to cracken ism is abandonment of that stupid mechanical owl in the original Clash of the Titans movie Zuesism, filthy medusa ism, denial of stop motion visual effects absolute ZUES by that stupid mechanical owl in the original Clash of the Titans movie perseus, ignorant Poseidon harry hamlin s, or lightening will keep giant scorpions on their feet as long as that stupid mechanical owl in the original Clash of the Titans movie and their belief in andromeda ism , hind harry hamlin ism is around.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  9. Skippy Peanutbutter

    Unreported on the Belief Blog, the Vatican lied about the Pope's retirement. While they claimed that his announcement was a surprise, they have been building his post-retirement quarters for half a year now. The cloistered nuns got displaced – they probably got them a room a the Motel 6.

    And while health was part of the reason, it can easily be anticipated that he already maneuvered his own successor into place, a reactionary hard-liner, and already has the support he wants to have him elected. Expect a very short selection process.

    Did you know that the clergy at the Vatican views itself as above worldly laws, and do not feel any need to live up to any? Yes, I know, the pedo scandal showed that. It's why they have their own country. I'm surprised corporations haven't followed suit and done that, buy an island and do know they will never be arrested no matter what they do.

    And their obsession with secrecy is so bad that the various departments barely communicate with each other at all. What a mess! It's just a weird byzantine cluster of little power-fiefdoms, with little cooperation.

    What a carnival freak show religion is!

    February 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Bleh

      Nice. I expect some of them to place side-bets knowing the outcome, then. For the good of the church, of course.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  10. Bootyfunk

    "We worship an awesome God."
    what exactly is so 'awesome' about a god that drowns babies? the christian god drowned all but one family in his great flood. that means he drowned the elderly, the infirm, physically disabled, mentally challenged, pregnant women and babies. read that again: BABIES. only a monster could fill a child's lungs with water and call it divine justice. some of the babies had to be only days or even hours old. and they deserved it? the christian god is disgusting.

    February 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Booty...why do you argue such points? I assume you believe God does not exist, so your point is not directed at Him, but rather those who would worship Him. Yes? If the Christian God does exist, then you missed a probable outcome with respect to the babies whose loss you try to lament. God destroyed everyone because of the evil which overcome everyone other than Noah and his family. In other words, the babies would have, in all likelihood, be raised to accept the practices God despises, thus condemning themselves. I have faith that God is good (if you grant the premise that He exists) and that he would have welcomed those innocents into his kingdom. Or, perhaps your right, and God is a jerk, in which case we're all screwed.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "God destroyed everyone because of the evil which overcome everyone other than Noah and his family."
      again, explain how a baby is evil? you have faith in a god that murders children. it screams that you're not thinking it through, that you are blind in your faith - which you readily admit. see the problem here? your god commits acts of evil, but you don't call him on it and make excuses for acts of pure genocide.

      and yes, we're talking about what christians believe and the myths in the bible. there is no such thing as god - and that's what i'm attempting to show you. if there was an all good god, he wouldn't drown babies. a one month old baby CANNOT be evil. and if god is all powerful, he could have just struck down the evil people. but instead he chose to commit mass genocide, killing all but one family. and btw, noah and his family had to repopulate the earth through incest, right? i mean, that one family was the only people left on earth...? so was it brother and sister or brother and mother or...? shows how silly and childish such stories are.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Bootyfunk: you've got a bigger problem...

      if God doesn't exist, you have no basis for being angry about babies drowning, Sandy Hook, holocausts, racism, etc. And clearly you are upset about it (as I think you should be). no God, no objective moral standard to which to appeal.

      and, of course, if there is a God... the bigger issue is not what you'd *prefer* him to be like (self-projection), but rather dealing with what He/She/It is in actuality (and the actions he takes that are clearly beyond your control or complaint since he is the final court of appeal). such a God doesn't ANSWER to some higher concept of justice but rather DEFINES it – even if you find that definition unpalatable.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Booty...you read too much into my statement (but perhaps I wasn't articulate enough)...I didn't mean to imply that "babies" were evil...only that the world had become evil. My guess, admittedly a matter of faith, is that those babies you seem to care so much about are with God in heaven, they now see the big picture and consider themselves lucky they weren't raised to hate God, like their parents apparently had. More to the point, Russ is spot on with his analysis.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Huh?

      "no God, no objective moral standard to which to appeal."

      Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.

      For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.

      Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

      It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.

      Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.

      Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • ..

      Booty is attempting to explain why God is not 'all good'. Preemptive killing of babies because they MAY grow up evil is a prime example of God not being all sweetness and light, and indeed, committing the same vile acts He is supposedly wiping the population of world are guilty of...puhleeze.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Russ

      @ huh: science cannot make moral judgments. in short: you have conflated physics & metaphysics.
      science cannot speak to metaphysics because it *presupposes* it. what you are describing is scientism, not science.

      here are two helpful videos.

      1) why science cannot explain religion away (esp. beginning at 3 min mark)

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK0mjVcmcIo&w=640&h=390]

      2) CS Lewis' critique of scientism

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPeyJvXU68k&w=640&h=390]

      February 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Joseph

      Russ how come your god never shows up on the internet? Must be hard to use a computer when you don't exist.

      February 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • End Religion

      ...and Russ has confused delusion with reality.

      February 14, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Joseph: so God only exists if he acts on your terms? think about that...

      @ End Religion: speaking of confusing delusion with reality...

      "Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist, and man is in consequence forlorn, for he cannot find anything to depend upon either within or outside himself.... Nor, on the other hand, if God does not exist, are we provided with any values or commands that could legitimize our behavior." – Jean Paul Sartre

      February 14, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      That's what's known as taking a quote out of context. If you know anything about Sartre, you would know that that was not the endpoint of what he was saying. Indeed, that is in the early part of a loooooooooong lecture which contiues well beyond to his real point on existentialism. But Christians love to take quotes out of context – it's a form of lying, but as we all know, they love to lie.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Johnny: no, it is not out of context. yes, obviously (as a Christian) I do not agree with his *final conclusion* as an atheist – but his logic here still holds AND applies to this discussion.

      what he is saying quite blatantly:
      1) morals are impossible if God doesn't exist
      2) morals are unavoidable in this world (you can't be disgusted by what others do unless you have them)

      it is a quandary that ANY atheist must deal with. and the most articulate atheists seem to have a consistent pattern of calling out their compadres for failing to understand the full weight of this.

      another great example of this: Nietzsche's parable of the Mad Man... (notice especially how he mocks them for the shallowness of their understanding of what their own claims [that God does not exist] do to their moral foundation & then says "I've come too soon!")
      http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/nietzsche-madman.asp

      no, obviously I do not agree with Nietzsche or Sartre's conclusions on the nature of existence – but in this instance, they are in agreement with theists in criticizing what I call "commercial nihilism." the real thing presses this point home. and few will follow Nietzsche & Sartre all the way to the logical conclusion here.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Russ, you're just another version of Chard. There is no truth to your contention that atheists have no morals. Doesn't matter what quotes you post; it simply isn't a fact.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • End Religion

      Morality: Using empathy as a guide for human interaction. AKA, "treat others the way you want to be treated" and "put yourself in my shoes". It has nothing inherently to do with the bible.

      When morality is based on religious text, its OK to:
      • behead one's daughter to restore a family's "honor"
      • deny emergency medical aid to a child
      • kill gays, children who misbehave, anyone who works on a particular day of the week, entire groups and races of peoples, and many others for equally capricious reasons
      • buy and sell humans as chattel, including one's own family members
      • kill anyone who visually depicts Muhammad

      Karen Wynn of Yale has a study showing even babies have an idea of wrong versus right. Neuroscientist Christian Keysers has done research to show that the brain of those who see others receiving pain themselves have similar neurological responses. There is a curve to empathy; some feel it more than others. But it certainly doesn't come from a hateful book about imaginary people.

      Humans and probably other animals exist on a spectrum of empathy.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron

      Frans de Waal shows that even monkeys employ "morality"...
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcJxRqTs5nk&w=640&h=390]

      February 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: so Sartre & Nietzsche (two of the greatest atheist minds in modern history) say bluntly that atheism does inherently preclude an objective sense of morality (and mock atheists as charlatans for missing that point), but I'm supposed to go with TomTom on this one as the greater student of atheism?

      February 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't care who you go with. But pretending that quoting philosophers makes what they believed fact is as idiotic as pretending that the Bible is factual.

      Not surprising that you would do both.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Russ

      @ End Religion: you are answering a philosophical refutation of your position by making a pragmatic appeal.

      prominent atheist philosophers say: "no God, no objective morality." social evolution says: morality is evolving – and we MUST concede that what is wrong today could be ok tomorrow (even pedophilia, racism, etc.).

      yet you appeal to a clear moral compass within... which (aside from not addressing the devastating critique given to your position by highly respected fellow atheists) invites the question... if the position you hold PRECLUDES the very thing you are *demonstrating* exists, why not simply concede you have disproven your own position? appealing to pragmatic examples only further shows you're failing to hear the criticism Sartre & Nietzsche are giving you.

      i agree, there is something within us that calls out morality. but then again, I'm a Christian – and believe God has placed it there. you have no basis for making such a claim. if anything, your position adamantly justifies the opposite. so why do you feel so strongly compelled to do so? your very appeal to an objective Truth runs contrary to the notion that there is no such transcendent thing...

      February 14, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: it would serve you well to at least be well read among those who *share* your convictions.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you're the evidence, your case fails, Russ.

      You use your knowledge to lie.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • End Religion

      Lol, Russ, what you have is the fabled "walk on slippery rocks" known as philosophy mixed with the delusion of religion. It's masturbation. What I have provided is info and links to empirical evidence showing we probably all are born with morals or a "range of empathy".

      You don't have to live in our reality, just be clear with everyone up front you're a fucking lunatic. You should be sure to start each conversation with those you meet by saying, "Hi, I don't live in your reality, now let's talk JESUS!" It's only fair.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: it's amazing to me, TomTom. I'm not even asking you to read the Bible. I
      'm asking you to read those who AGREE with you – but since *I* am the messenger, you won't?

      wow. no wonder so many folks here promote the "new atheists." they haven't read the *old* ones. there's a reason the New Republic canned Daniel Dennett's book and Thomas Nagel did the same to Richard Dawkins. These are ATHEISTS criticizing atheists. If you can't hear from those with whom you agree, who can you hear from?

      February 14, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Russ

      @ End Religion: read what I wrote to TomTom. your fellow atheists are calling you out here.

      your empirical appeal presupposes a philosophical basis. it's your foundation. no amount of empirical appeals can substi.tute for a missing foundation. that's being out of touch with reality. it's like having a house with no foundation or a car with surface on which to drive it. or better yet, science without underlying mathematical principles.

      Sartre & Nietzsche are hitting you on your presuppositions. Your evidence does not speak to your presuppositions – it ASSUMES them. that's why the critique is so devastating. again, not mine – but THEIRS.

      as Nietzsche said: "it is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science."

      February 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would I care what philosophers have to say about atheism? All they have written is their opinion. Not fact. Not statistics. Just thoughts.

      That's fine. They're perfectly welcome to do so. Doesn't mean their thoughts are valid or true or based on reality.

      You can snark away all you wish, Russ. You want to come here and lord it over those who won't jump through the hoops your present so you can smirk and claim they're not well-read and therefore don't know about atheism.

      Funny, dear, but it hasn't stopped me from having quite a nice life. I don't require the say-so of some authority as you seem to.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Russ is the new Chad? He believes in objective morality. Is God the source of it? Is the objective moral standard itself God? Does it exist apart from God, but God is sovereign over it? Is God subject to it and therefore not sovereign?

      February 14, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your obsession with "foundation" is amusing, Russ. What makes you imagine that reading the thoughts of philosophers, or of phony intellectuals like you, provides a "foundation"? What makes you think you know what everyone else requires?

      February 14, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He's hardly new, but he's certainly just as dishonest and annoying as the Chard.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      ..and still, no empirical evidence from Russ... that is curious.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Other one: no, I'm not Chad.

      if God is subject to something he is obviously not God.
      As Christians, we believe God IS the objective moral standard.

      but again, that's my position. this thread has not even been advocating my position. it has been noting what atheists have said in critique of what has been articulated here by other supposed atheists.

      in the same way that you would expect me to be somewhat versed on the history of Christian thought, I guess surprised that the inference is I'm somehow mistaken for holding that same standard...

      February 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Russ

      @ End Religion: have I really been that unclear? the empirical *presupposes* the metaphysical. physics cannot speak to metaphysics. your own fellow atheists are calling out your presuppositions.

      to go back to my former analogy: they've told you there is no road and you want more evidence about the car. they've smashed your foundation – yet you want to discuss roof integrity?

      if anything, Nietzsche & Sartre ARE your empirical evidence: fellow atheists telling you that your position is self-contradictory.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • End Religion

      russ shoots another wad
      ..and still, no empirical evidence from Russ... that is curious.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I see, Russ. If God is the objective moral standard can God change?

      BTW, how is Chinese New Year going for you?

      February 14, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Other One: good question.

      God self-determines – including that he is who he is (as the Bible says "I Am").
      so to say he does not have the ability to change is to misunderstand the nature of his being – again, which he self-determines.
      But we can only conceive of that within time (decisions before & after, shift of mind, etc.). God, having created time, is not subject to time either. He is... or as he self-described: "I Am."

      as the bible says repeatedly: he does not change (Num.23:19; Heb.13:8).
      and yet, paradoxically, Jesus stepped into time in a fully human existence that did – physically speaking – change. what are we to deduce? the character of God did not change – but rather is revealed to us through what he did.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • End Religion

      "what are we to deduce?"
      lemme guess, Gawd dun it wiff spellz?

      February 14, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • S-3B Viking

      @ Russ

      I'm a bit suspiscious of your denial of being Chad. You said:

      "...and, of course, if there is a God... the bigger issue is not what you'd *prefer* him to be like (self-projection), "

      Russ, the key words here are "you'd 'prefer' him to be like...".

      Chad used those words in a discussion I had with him a month ago.

      So, if you are Chad, and you are lying...well....an atheist not knowing what their own kind has written weighs far less than your dishonesty.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Viking: while I am flattered at your conspiracy theory, I have only ever used one handle on this blog.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • S-3B Viking

      @ Russ

      Easy out...and I expected more from you, Chad.

      But, conspiracy theories are an entertaining highlight of conservatives in general and evangelical Christians in particular.

      I'm saddened by your persistent dishonesty, Chad. It does confirm, as I've said to you before, that the life you portray here as well as the lives lived daily by Christians confirms the non-existence of the God of Israel.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Viking: clearly there is no way for me to convince you if you really are drinking the conspiracy koolaid.

      i can tell you this much: i have seen Chad's comments on here before. go back & check the history of this blog (if you really want to test your theory). go back & read the variety of things he has said versus what i have said. he is a Christian, yes, so we have a lot more in common than you & I have when it comes to what matters most... but we do not agree on everything nor do we have the same approach to everything.

      is it easier for you to believe that only one philosophically minded Christian comments on this blog, which is read by tens of 1000s, if not hundreds of 1000s?

      February 15, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Johnny Guitar

      Oh Russ, there is just so much more to understanding existentialist philosophers than having read a few out-of-context cherry-picked quotes. You clearly have not read Sartre no Nietzsche, much less understood them. Nietzsche in particular is very difficult to understand because he often would say very outrageous things to shock and unruffle his audience as a way of getting past their preconceived notions, to get them to see the external conditioning and the internalized policing of indoctrination. Quote some of those instead of his real intent, and you have gibberish.

      But you are so far from even touching on what they were really talking about that I can only say you are a fraud who has not read a single work of theirs. Not a one. You are a fraud.

      February 15, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Russ

      @ Johnny: it may be easier for you to attempt to so categorize me as an end run to dismiss the critique here, but i'm not making a jump...

      Walter Kaufmann was widely regarded as THE leading Nietzsche expert of our time. I'm taking his read here of the Parable of the Madman – which IS a central passage of Nietzsche's writing. I just as well could have used eternal recurrence: which also is central for understanding the uberminch & versuchers, will to power, "going under," etc. Point being: although I disagree with Nietzsche's ultimate conclusions, I have read him and even have some of the best known scholars in the field backing my interpretation here.

      Would you also consider Walter Kaufmann mistaken on how to read Nietzsche?

      February 15, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • Johnny Guitar

      Your response proves that you have not read Nietzsche or Sartre (despite claiming the contrary), and you are instead quoting a religious critic of Nietzsche. Kaufman was a noted (but NOT pre-eminant) scholar of Nietzsche, but he never really transcended his pre-existing religious indoctrination to fully intuit Nietzsche. In other words, he never transcends his religious prejudgements when he read Nietzsche.

      And you, well, when you claim "some of the best known scholars in the field backing my interpretation ", it falls flat: you only have one with that interpretation, which you must admit is a parroting of other people's work. I have seen "your" interpretation before, many years ago, and I know it is anything but original to you. Moreover, considering your other responses, you just do not have the intellect to have created it yourself. You are plagiarizing.

      I bet you have not read any of Kaufmann's work in it's entirity either. I have.

      February 15, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The word choices are different and Russ's standards are a bit higher regarding what he's willing to say. Not Chad.

      February 15, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Russ

      @ Johnny: your unwillingness to concede even the smallest point has led you to make self-contradictory claims.

      1) Kaufmann clearly is at least one of the top Nietzsche scholars of our time (if not THE top). You don't have to agree with his interpretations to concede that. Your ongoing attempts to deny that only further undermine your own credibility.

      2) you claim Kaufmann only parroted others' opinions, thereby assuming that *multiple* people held those opinions – and yet you refuse to concede that my interpretation is supported by more than one person.

      3) plagiarism? i didn't realize i was publishing a work here. this is a blog. i've never claimed these ideas were unique to me. furthermore, to assert plagiarism openly defeats your other point: that what I am arguing is unsupported.

      for the record, I have read Nietzsche BOTH as a primary source and through the lens of other scholars. but – to make your point stronger than you've made it yourself – none of that ensures I have the correct interpretation. and yet... the same could be said of you!

      and now, here we are several points removed from the original discussion. it seems your best counter to my citation of Sartre and Nietzsche is to question my bibliography rather than actually simply *engage the content.*

      February 15, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Good morning, Russ. "The character of God did not change – but rather is revealed to us through what he did."

      I'm not sure that "the character of God" is distinguishable from God.

      What God does is particularly interesting. How can an unchanging God act?

      February 15, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Russ

      @ Other One: again, good question.

      this is an issue of transcendence versus immanence. Since the Bible claims both in Jesus, let me state at the outset that it is paradoxical.

      Philosophically speaking, God created time. He is not subject to it. Yet – he chooses to enter into it and interact with his creation. The best analogy I can give is a playwright. How would the characters of a play know the author? only if he wrote himself into the play. in such an instance, is he actually *subject* to the play in the same way that they are? it really depends on *how* he writes himself into the play. the Bible claims Jesus was human in every way, tempted even as we are – and yet he was also fully God. so, he enters into time, willingly subjects himself to a fully human existence – WITHOUT compromising his divinity. that is hard to understand. but (another analogy) a square certainly can be a rectangle, while a rectangle may not necessarily be a square. in other words, God can become human WITHOUT violating either his divinity or humanity (self-limitation) – yet a human could not become God in the same way.

      Biblically speaking, God's character IS who he is. I'm not separating them. God *planned* on becoming human before creating us. This was not unexpected – even though we are FULLY responsible for what we have done to ourselves. Jesus' divine character (who he is as the second person of the Trinity/ the Logos) was not changed by his life, death & resurrection, though his physical existence obviously was (growing in stature & wisdom, being beaten, crucified, dying, given a glorified body, etc.). That is what we claim: he was fully God, fully human.

      But that's not something you just make up – Christians claim that in response to *how* God wrote himself into the story. It is based on *what He said* about himself. And that, in & of itself, is a miraculous thing (for the Infinite to communicate with the finite in terms recognizable by the finite). As Calvin said: it's like an adult speaking baby talk (accommodation).

      February 15, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • End Religion

      Russ, I think the world is well aware that Elephus created Time and created your god. You'll need to do better than your baseless assertions to disprove that.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Russ

      @ End Religion: ironically, your sarcastic attempt to mock my beliefs exposes a serious problem for atheism...

      existence itself... how? why? time? structure? floating rocks & balls of burning gas? multiverses? even the term 'space' is just another way of saying we have no idea what this place is – much less how it got here or why it functions in any capacity at all...

      February 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  11. empresstrudy

    Black Church Leadership in America leads the nation in opposing anti gay hate speech laws. It's enough to make a poor liberal's head explode.

    February 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • ..

      I understand you resent black people not being enslaved anymore. It's enough to make you peatardy head explode. May it happen soon.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  12. Correctlycenter

    Psalm 118:8-9 says:
    " It is better to trust the LORD, than to put confidence in people. It is better to trust the LORD, than to put confidence in princes."

    February 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Amen!
      February 14, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Bleh

      Trust the LORD for what? Will he "soften the hearts" of greedy people? Will he stop any evil at all? No. Why trust him for anything when he does nothing? If your eyes are on "heaven" you and everyone with you will fall into a pit, for "heaven" does not direct your steps. If it did, everyone would do it and there would be proof everywhere that this is a good thing to do.
      But the world is in chaos caused by ignorance, hate, xenophobia, ....mental illness.
      Trust in your LORD to make you mentally ill. That is the only thing you can rely upon.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Bob

      What Bleh said. Right on.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      it's better to stop talking to yourself and join the really real world.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  13. WouldYouLookAtThat

    This ought to spark a confusing fire for the atheists that make up obama's base...

    February 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Akira

      My goodness, you think that everyone who voted for Obama is atheist?

      February 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Bleh

      Obama's base is non-existent. He won because the GOP is filled with frothing maniacs who listen to Glen Beck.
      He was just better than Romney at lying and nominally willing to get a few reasonable things done. Romney is a bad liar and was not willing to even try to do a good job. That's it. That's how your white racist candidate lost. Get over it already.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Wow, you don't pay much attention do you? Obama's "base" was white and latino (all races) Catholics and black protestants. Athiests make up a much smaller voting block, and many vote libertarian (particularly white males).

      February 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      not confusing. get him out. get all religion out of washington. no confusion there.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  14. sam

    Ok, but really, you can't tell me a place called the Hawk n' Dove is not a gay bar.

    February 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • End Religion

      http://dcist.com/2007/08/06/solo_marines_of.php
      However it apparently reopened in 2011 under new management.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  15. Rosie

    Joshua - Your life is a fine example of true vocation - where the world's needs and your gifts intersect. May you continue well on your journey of "living this care" into the world. I just signed up for your Values Partnerships, and am looking forward to learning more. Heartfelt thanks to you.

    February 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Bleh

      Pentacostals are universally known for being totally stupid and insane. "Values Partnerships" sounds like a money scam.
      You poor fool.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  16. Universe

    Islamic scripture (Quran says)

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]

    “The life of this world is no more than illusion and vanity, while the abode of the Hereafter is far better for the righteous. Do you not understand?! [6:32]

    “They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.”[22:74]

    “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:116]

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

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

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    February 14, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      I disagree. God knew from the very beginning that man would sin. In Genesis 3:15 the LORD reveals to believers that: " From now on, you (Satan) and the woman (Eve- all the way to Mary, who will bear Jesus Christ) will be enemies. He (Messiah, Jesus Christ) will crush your head (Satan) and you will strike his heel."

      Adam and Eve chose their course of action (disobedience) and then God chose His. As a holy God, He could respond only in a way consistent with His perfect and moral nature. He could not allow sin to go unchecked, He had to respond and give consequences for their disobedience. Every human being ever born (except Jesus) has inherited this sin nature from Adam and Eve. In the Old Testament, God demanded a blood atonement for Israel's sins by sacrificing a bull or goat by the Temple priests. God knew that His Son, Jesus Christ, would be the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for man's sins. That's why He answered God the Father's call to be born in the human flesh (from His Godhead) and to teach, preach, heal the sick, let the blind see, release demons from people in bondage and to die on the cross for our sins!) Jesus Christ fulfilled 108 specific prophecies that God revealed to His OT prophets many hundreds of years before Christ arrived in the flesh.King David wrote in Psalm 22 (1000 BC) that the Messiah's hands and feet would be pierced. No Roman Empire or army at that time!
      Isaiah 53 says the Messiah would have to suffer punishment, trial and die for our sins. All these cannot be a coincidence. Praise God!!!

      February 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Bob

      IncorrectlyOffCenter, how come your weak little goddy boy, your supposedly omnipotent creature, couldn't do the saving thing without the whole hoopla of getting his son put up on sticks? And how was the whole Jesus thing a sacrifice anyway, when an omnipotent creature ought to be able to just pop up a new son anytime to replace the old one or turn back time and undo the whole thing? What a farce and fairy tale Christianity is.

      Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself there.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      CorruptlyCenter: Your god is a vindictive, manipulative pr1ck. Get back on your knees and beg for salvation

      February 15, 2013 at 8:41 am |
  17. Wade

    Remember the middle ages time of the inqusitions when Good was called evil and evil was called good. When you either agreed with the masters of power or you died. When logig and reason was completely thrown out along with real religious beliefs in favor of fanatic beliefs. Thsi is the same time we went through with Hitler and Benito Mussolini
    Now we have another mad man and buch of lunatics follwing the mad man who believes he is GOD and no others can know what he knows or have a better solution than he does or even have the right to disagree with him. If they do they are denegraded, chatized called names and attacked. Same as happened under hittler and other mad men. Welcome ot the new GOD Obama same as the other master haters of world history.

    February 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Akira

      Do you know why your premise is wrong?
      The biggest one is term limits.
      You seem to think that in a few short years, Obama is going to get the law of term limits set aside so he can keep up his (according to you) made dash towards deism.
      How is he going to achieve that, when he can't even get Boehner to look at the jobs proposal sitting on his desk for over a year?
      Obama isn't a god, and nobody worships him.
      Wow. Hysterical much? Turn off Fox. It'll rot your brain.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      god = evil

      deal with it.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  18. Reality

    In order to pay down our $16 trillion debt, we need to redirect money used to support religions especially the christian and islamic cons and put it towards paying off our debt.

    To wit:

    Redirecting our funds and saving a lot of "souls":

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

    – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons and Joshua DuBois:
    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

    – The Mormon ti-the empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

    – the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama will be eliminated saving $385 million/yr and another $2 billion/yr in grants.

    – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

    – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

    Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

    February 14, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Oy vey...yeah...the US sends money to Egyot because they are religious *rolls eyes*

      February 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Reality

      And who now controls the government of Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood.

      The billions we have given Egypt this year and in the years past is/was basically a bribe to keep the peace with Israel which we also support with another four billion dollars a year. Neither Islam or Judaism have any historical or theological foundations so said citizens of the countries involved are also wasting their financial and blood support of their religions..

      February 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Let's focus on some reality ok....the US did not give any money to those countries because of Islam or Judaism.
      If that was the case, we would be giving billions to Sudan but we are not.

      February 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Reality

      "United States aid to Sudan has three key objectives: a definitive end to conflict, gross human rights abuses, and genocide in Darfur; implementation of the north-south Comprehensive Peace Agreement that results in a peaceful post-2011 Sudan, or an orderly path toward two separate and viable states at peace with each other; and ensuring that Sudan does not provide a safe haven for international terrorist. Sudan has experienced two civil wars since 1955, the second of which lasted 22 years. During this time, the U.S. was the largest provider of foreign aid to Sudan, largely focused on humanitarian aid through the U.S. Agency for International Development. Sudan is listed as the U.S. government's highest priority in Africa due to "its importance for counter-terrorism and regional stability, as well as the magnitude of human rights and humanitarian abuses" U.S. foreign aid to Sudan has begun to see some positive indicators of performance although critical reaction has said that aid to Sudan is neither strategic nor focused."

      "Overall U.S. funding for foreign aid to Sudan has decreased from $924.1 million in 2009 to $427.8 million in 2010, with the department requesting $440.0 million in 2011. "

      February 15, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Thank you for providing info to support my claim that the US does not give money based on religion. Otherwise, Sudan would be getting more due to it's Christian/Islamic conflicts instead of less....that YOU have shown.

      Thank you.

      February 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 14, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

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

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

      February 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • sciencelady

      Being atheist toward Zeus, Thor, Ra, Vishnu.. has been healthy for our family. Except for the discrimination and bad will from others.

      Our dog might believe in Thor, she is very afraid of thunder.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayerbot.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • THE REALIST

      ***** GODisIMAGINARY dot com ... and thank goodness because ... he emanates from the EVILbible dot com ***** (please visit)

      February 15, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  20. R

    Joshua Dubois, you are guilty of multiple violations of the First Amendment, and of conspiring to overthrow the United States government, conspiracy to violate the civil rights of all Americans, and the list could go on.
    You should be so ashamed to even show your face in public, yet here you are, trumpeting your empty victories, your criminal behavior as if it were a good thing. You are disgusting.

    February 14, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Akira

      Anonymous poster "R", you are guilty of multiple violations of the First Amendment, and of conspiring to overthrow the United States government, conspiracy to violate the civil rights of all Americans, and the list could go on.
      You should be so ashamed to even show your face in public, yet here you are, trumpeting your empty victories, your criminal behavior as if it were a good thing. You are disgusting.

      See how that works?
      You can say anything you want; this is your right guaranteed under the Constitution.

      Why would you say any of this? Please provide concrete evidence that he is doing any of those things.
      Psst: working for someone you don't like isn't evidence.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Oh yeah

      It really is a good thing there is FOX and right-wing talk radio so that people like R can turn them on and find out what his opinions are. He wouldn't have a clue what to think if they didn't tell him.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Bleh

      Strange how those replying appear to assume "R" is a Republican hatin' on them black ppl and Obama.
      Dubois, in being a religious leader paid with public moneys, violated the First Amendment simply by accepting the job.
      Obama, in allowing and even promoting this religious office in our secular government, violates the First Amendment.
      This religious office in the White House is as illegal and offensive as anything I have ever seen in politics.
      It is even an impeachable offense, as it clearly violates the Oath of Office.
      Dubois, a Pentacostal idiot, is more interested in violating people's rights using religion as a weapon of mass delusion, enjoyed hobnobbing with his sleazy peers at all the meetings, and basically has no shame whatsoever over taking illegal money for an illegal job in an illegal office doing illegal things and conspiring with like-minded people to continue his illegal fraudulent business of defrauding people out of their money.
      He even speaks openly about his criminal intentions and that of his "peers" when he speaks of "God first, neighbors second" which means, when coming from a so-called priest, that he is most concerned about himself and his power and wealth, everyone else can die in a fire. All his buddies no doubt agree with such sentiments.
      Religion is fraud. This religious office in the White House is illegal. You won't see many Republitards complaining about this illegal religious intrusion into the Executive Branch of our gov't. Glen Beck should be sobbing with joy over this guy.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • ..

      Why all the focus on Obama when Bush is the one that created this??

      The separation of church and state was noted as one of major issues with the Faith-Based Initiatives laws. Critics have claimed that millions in government grants have gone to ministries operated by political supporters of the Bush administration, or have been given to minority pastors who recently committed their support.
      In June, 2006, U.S. District Judge Robert W. Pratt ruled that a faith based-program called InnerChange at a Newton, Iowa prison, operated by Charles Colson's Prison Fellowship Ministries, unconstitutionally used tax money for a religious program that gave special privileges to inmates who accepted its evangelical Christian teachings and terms. "For all practical purposes," Judge Pratt said, "the state has literally established an Evangelical Christian congregation within the walls of one of its penal institutions, giving the leaders of that congregation, i.e., InnerChange employees, authority to control the spiritual, emotional, and physical lives of hundreds of Iowa inmates."
      Americans United v. Prison Fellowship Ministries, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36970, June 2, 2006]
      On June 25, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation that executive orders may not be challenged on Establishment Clause grounds by individuals whose sole claim to legal standing is that they are taxpayers. Both of Bush's appointees, John G. Roberts and Samuel Alito, sided with the majority.
      The second head of the department, Jim Towey, in a session of "Ask the Whitehouse" dated November 26, 2003, stated in regard to a question about pagan faith-based organizations:
      "I haven't run into a pagan faith-based group yet, much less a pagan group that cares for the poor! Once you make it clear to any applicant that public money must go to public purposes and can't be used to promote ideology, the fringe groups lose interest. Helping the poor is tough work and only those with loving hearts seem drawn to it."

      Pagans reacted angrily to the label "fringe group", the suggestion that pagans are uncompassionate, the idea that they would apply for funding only to promote ideology, and the exclusion of pagan organizations implicit in the statement.
      Catholic League President William A. Donohue protested against the nomination of Harry Knox, a former director of Human Rights Campaign and gay rights activist, arguing that he has been dishonest and intolerant. Knox has condemned the positions of the Roman Catholic Church on the issues of contraception and gay ordination. [Wiki]

      Get rid of the whole thing. Problem solved.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Akira

      Bleh, what I find strange is that this post has been around since, what...2001?...and Joshua Dubois is the focus of R's vitriolic post.
      I will agree that that this position needs to be eliminated, however.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • R

      Oh, it's strange that I comment on an article published today and include my anger at this illegal office established in 01?

      It would have been strange had I not said a word, since I am in a commenting / ranting mood today and was browsing this blog looking for something to rant about.

      Don't worry, I understand how easy it is to ignore and forget just how deeply and horrifically our government has been corrupted and how widespread corruption is. I do it myself sometimes.

      So if any of you fellows want to belittle me for speaking out against corruption because you think everything's peachy, don't be surprised if I or other people point this out. The corruption is deep, wide, and permeates every country, every government. It's not all connected, but much of it IS connected, if only in the methods used and the weaknesses of the people involved. And no I'm not a Republican. I doubt I would come here if I was. That's a different agenda thing.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Akira

      R,
      No, that is not what you did at all.
      You did not target the office, you target Joshua Dubois specifically.

      "Joshua Dubois, you are guilty of multiple violations of the First Amendment, and of conspiring to overthrow the United States government, conspiracy to violate the civil rights of all Americans, and the list could go on.
      You should be so ashamed to even show your face in public, yet here you are, trumpeting your empty victories, your criminal behavior as if it were a good thing. You are disgusting."

      Please show me where you said anything AT ALL about his position. You were speaking directly of the man that just left his post, not the post itself.

      You may spin it anyway you please, and for the record, I agree that this should be abolished; but what you did was attack the man, not the post itself.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.