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Police: Man raped woman he met on Christian dating website
Sean Banks was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman he met on the online dating website, Christianmingle.com.
February 19th, 2013
03:10 PM ET

Police: Man raped woman he met on Christian dating website

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

(CNN) - A California man is accused of raping a woman he met on a Christian dating website - and police fear there may be other victims.

Sean Banks, 37, met the victim on the matchmaking website Christianmingle.com, where he went by the user name "Raritiy," La Mesa Police said in a statement.

Banks used three additional online identities - "Rylan," "Rylan Butterwood" and "Rylan Harbough" - and police said they are concerned "there may have been more cases with other women."

ChristianMingle touts a safety section that includes a warning to avoid contact with members who cannot take "no" for an answer.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Crime

soundoff (493 Responses)
  1. Rocket

    Well looks like no Christian website is safe from rapist or athiest

    February 20, 2013 at 7:10 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      How hard is it to properly spell 'ATHEIST'??? Christard websites should not be safe from Atheist's...intolerance of intolerance is a good thing and as much as evidence based facts may scare them, they too deserve to be given access to those facts.

      February 20, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • captain america

      For the record liar prefails is not one of US, it is here to undermine our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and has no real voice in America good or bad. We here are one nation under God and demonstrate our freedom in worship on a regular basis . We do not care to follow the dictates of moral perversion of these undermining foreign agitators from canada. There's your sign

      February 20, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      CA: For the record it does not matter what country I reside in, my opinion is a valid as your opinion is. Borders are invisible when it comes to basic equal rights.
      One Nation Under God is not accurate considering your country is founded on Secular beliefs and that phrase was not put on anything until the 1950's. Your country has a great many non-believers and is not a theocracy, nor will it ever be. Morals do not come from your belief system and are common amongst all walks of life regardless of belief/disbelief. What you see as moral might be quite different than what your neighbor see's as moral. No-one is trying to take away your right to your religious freedom, all that is expected is that you keep it out of the public square.
      Can your belief system be used in the making of any laws? Can your belief system be taught as fact in any public school?
      If you answer no to either of those questions then you will know how unimportant your belief system truly is in reality.

      February 20, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • captain america

      Squeal on maggot. There's your sign

      February 20, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • troll alert

      captain america = lol??

      February 20, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • truth be mold

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

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

      February 20, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • meifumado

      Ya ,keep those rapist christians off this site, as an atheist I do not feel safe around them.

      February 20, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      dont worry, captain america is just a hillbilly redneck christian who does nor represent most americans.

      He can only hide behind a computer monitor.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • captain america

      For the record, I have sex with sheep in a distinctly American way, mostly because I can't get a human to do it, even if I pay.

      Bah-bah-bah: there's my sign

      February 20, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      *snerk*

      February 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Ham23

      Do atheists use Christian Mingle?

      February 22, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  2. truth be told

    There is no such thing as an honest and decent atheist. All so called atheists are liars, they are given to thievery and cowardice and vicious hatred is the so called atheists way of life. In the last 100 years atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more innocent people than were killed in all previous centuries. Did a so called atheist say it was honest and decent...its a lie.

    February 20, 2013 at 5:58 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Same old rhetoric and no evidence to back your lies. You do not do your belief justice by spewing so much hate and proving how misinformed you truly are. For all you know the person sitting in the pew behind you every Sunday could be an Atheist or perhaps it is the person preaching to you from the pulpit.

      February 20, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Ah yes. The Clergy Project. Individuals trapped into teaching things from the pulpit that they no longer believe. Living a lie because coming out as an atheist would be too devastating to them personally and to those who have been following their teachings. How would you feel if you found out your pastor was in fact an atheist? Are you certain they aren't?

      February 20, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • captain america

      One or two foreign perverts intent on undermining the religious foundation of a free America. We are wise to you commie creeps . If your own country has no use for you what makes you think you can mess with US. There's your sign

      February 20, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Foreign perverts? Commies? Our own country has no use for us?

      Wow!! There's far too many lies there. Steve is my husband...we are not perverts. Canada is not a communist country. And it seems to me that since we pay taxes, our country does have use for us.

      February 20, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • captain america

      Not talking about your country, we are talking about you. Squeal on you lifeless commie maggot. There's your sign

      February 20, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Free Nuts

      CA = if eyes where blue..... they have turned brown by now !!!

      February 20, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • fintastic

      @Lies Be Told;.... There is no such thing as an honest and decent christian. All so called christians are liars, they are given to thievery and cowardice and vicious hatred is the so called christian way of life. In the last 100 years christians have brutally tortured and murdered more innocent people than were killed in all previous centuries. Did a so called christian say it was honest and decent...its a lie.

      February 20, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      CA: Communist I certainly am not! Liar you certainly are!

      February 20, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • lol??

      TP came from a commie cabbage patch. How'd that work out for Cain?? bigot.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • WASP

      to everyone on here. at one point in time TBT was a very friendly debater of religion; however as we all can now see TBT has de-evolved into another useless TROLL simply here to aggrevate people.
      TBT has lost many debates on religion and has started lashing out due to he/she questioning it's own beliefs.
      please ignore TBT and allow the natural course of awakening to proceed.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • captain america

      truth be told, captain america, atheism is not blah blah blah, lol??, and a few others are the same person.

      Not that it matters.

      February 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      just sayin/tbt/captain axxhole: you're the biggest liar here.

      February 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  3. AtheistSteve

    All internet dating sites provide fertile hunting grounds for predators like this guy. Christian Mingle is not unique in that respect. This is only newsworthy because there is a general assumption that Christians are inherently striving to be decent, kind and loving toward others as they are directed to be in their Holy Book. This is categorically untrue. Just look at all the fundamental groups spewing hate and intolerance toward groups that don't follow their archaic rules.The ads for Christian Mingle even use this principle to promote their website. "Find Gods match for you" suggests that some type of divine intervention is at work here which other dating sites are lacking. That avoiding contact with "heathen" suitors will somehow protect you from heartbreak, disappointment or victimization. Also untrue as this poor raped woman would undoubtedly attest.
    I remember laughing out loud when I first heard about Christian Mingle. That it would inevitably lure the gullible and ignorant masses into feeling secure about using a dating site that was somehow safer than others out there seemed to be asking for trouble. I even toyed with the idea of setting up an account with them to play the part of a Poe even though I am in a happy monogamous relationship just to lure some poor woman into thinking I was a good match before dumping the bad news of my atheism on them. Alas being a good and decent person myself I could not in good conscience act in such a cruel manner.

    February 20, 2013 at 5:29 am |
    • lol??

      unicorn bigot.

      February 20, 2013 at 5:32 am |
    • lol??

      Darwinian racist bigot.

      February 20, 2013 at 5:34 am |
    • Alf

      If you say you are good and decent you are suspect. If everyone else says you are good and decent there might be something to it. As it is, it is you blowing your own horn and it sounds extremely odd.

      February 20, 2013 at 6:20 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Alf: But he's not wrong. :-)

      February 20, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      I claim good and decent by virtue of my actions. By choosing not to behave in ways that harm others as shown by my reluctance to pick the low hanging fruit of gullible Christian Minglers.. Also my peers, friends and loved ones would concur. Interesting that the only critique of my post above is aimed at my good nature. I would have thought my continued criticism of religion would be targeted as harmful. Of course it isn't. Not unless having your feelings hurt by my opinion about theism counts. But overall I'm not surprised at the ad hominem fallacies. It that the best argument you guys can come up with? Pathetic.

      February 20, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • captain america

      No you ain't. There's your sign

      February 20, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      CA: You Xenophobic freak!!! You wouldn't know a damn thing about Steve nor apparently anything about the meaning of the word INTERNATIONAL. Numerous Canadian's work for CNN and if you don't like it, might we suggest a better news site to suit your stupidity and delusions...FAUX news. There is the other factor that your country is very much a part of our lives and so we will continue to take advantage of something you seem to hate-FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!

      February 20, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • lol??

      TP, you are a slave to sin, so stop the blowhard babble about freedom.

      February 20, 2013 at 7:45 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Sin doesn't exist. Only your delusional beliefs support that weird idea.

      February 20, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • captain america

      Listen to the foreign commie maggots squeal. There's your sign

      February 20, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      CA: Commies?? Now we know you're a prime candidate for the local insane asylum...go back to school you Xenophobic loser!! What part of INTERNATIONAL is not understood?

      Lol: What is sin??? In the REAL world it doesn't exist.

      February 20, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • captain america

      Squeal maggot. You are not one of US ... that is the point and we know the disease you spread. There's your sign

      February 20, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Looking back at this thread I see TruthPrevails and myself labelled as bigots, racists and communists. All of which is patently false. Like before the use of ad hominem fallacies continue to demonstrate how pathetic these people are at rational debate. Keep it up. You are only making yourselves look bad. I'm sure most Americans are cringing at the decidedly un-American captain america's rants.

      February 20, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      CA: We wouldn't want to be like you. We are loving and respectful of our neighbors to the South and we value the importance of our countries to each other.

      February 20, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • HotAirAce

      "You are not one of US." As if the USA has a lock on all that is right and good. . . Azzhole!

      February 20, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • captain america

      We don't give a hoot if you're from canada or bangladesh it is irrelevant to what you are and what you are doing. It is not a national issue it is an attempted undermining, diseased rotting of American values from without issue. So continue to squeal maggots the USA has your number. There's your sign

      February 20, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      CA: Are you not at all aware of what freedom of speech means? Or that Christian Mingle and CNN are both international websites? Maybe you simply don't care. You only make yourself look like a bigger fool with each post you make.

      February 20, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • captain america

      We have freedom of speech you do not. You maggots are attempting to undermine our religious liberty by using our own values against US. We have been wise to your kind since before our founding. There's your sign

      February 20, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • fintastic

      Captain Retarded = Troll = Ignore

      February 20, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      CA: You make yourself look like a fool with every post...keep it up, you're quite humorous!

      February 20, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • truth be mold

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

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

      February 20, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • lol??

      "AtheistSteve sayz,
      Sin doesn't exist......".............. a lawbreaker, too!! what a bigot??

      February 20, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • lol??

      TP sayz,
      ".....What is sin??? In the REAL world it doesn't exist.....".............No conscience available. Serial killers are like that.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • fred

      I don’t know how a good a decent person would twist the truth in the Bible in order to indoctrinate innocent and vulnerable minds into an empty godless view of existence. Please let us keep our peace with our hope in a better world that is free of evil.

      February 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  4. The way it is

    Christians are hostile to science, but the problem for them is not science. Indeed, they enjoy so many of the fruits of discovery, from computers to cars to medicines and medical procedures – heck, even they would say you are a fool to pray instead of go to the doctor when something serious happens.

    No, being hostile to science is actually just killing the messenger. They are angry because the scientific search for understanding occasionally turns up things that contradict the Bible (or Quran, or whatever). The scientific search does not have the agenda to debunk religion, for Galileo and Copernicus and Darwin were only reporting what they had found and what it implied. Others developed the ideas. There was no hostility by science, just curiousity.

    The problem for Christians is not science but what science found, and keeps finding. Christians (and other faiths) are angry at the facts and the truth, for it is not what their religion says. And when the truth is your enemy, that's a big red flag.

    And science keeps finding that it is all natural processes at work. It never finds any supernatural force, ever. Not even the hint of one. You can look at sub-atomic particles, you can look at galaxies, all of it is natural, and nothing else.

    Religion hates facts. Religion hates truth. But the facts will keep mounting. Some will deny, but the great shift towards secularism is inexorable.

    February 20, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      @The way it is

      Indeed, for than can be nothing in this world that is supernatural. If it exists, it is natural.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      very well said. science says, this is what we know so far, given the evidence/facts. all you have to do to prove a scientific argument wrong is provide proof. religion is never wrong. and that's the big difference. religion, even when proven wrong, isn't wrong. science says, wow, look at that, guess we'll have to change our definition. science is a search for the truth, a way to understand the universe and the world around us. the pillars of religion are fear, guilt and ignorance.

      February 20, 2013 at 4:38 am |
    • Science

      The way it is

      Well said and new facts below (truth on a daily basis).

      How Predictable Is Evolution?

      Feb. 19, 2013 — Understanding how and why diversification occurs is important for understanding why there are so many species on Earth. In a new study published on 19 February in the open access journal PLOS Biology, researchers show that similar - or even identical - mutations can occur during diversification in completely separate populations of E. coli evolving in different environments over more than 1000 generations. Evolution, therefore, can be surprisingly predictable.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219172155.htm

      February 20, 2013 at 5:07 am |
    • lol??

      The very first phrase is deceptive.......................... "The way it is sayz,
      Christians are hostile to science,.................." Why read anymore of this BS?? This science dude is into half-truths. It's a sign of double-mindedness.

      February 20, 2013 at 5:30 am |
    • Science

      Yep creationists are predictable.too.

      February 20, 2013 at 6:00 am |
  5. Chad's Despair

    My fingers stopped moving, as a spider extends and then retracts cautious legs, so did my fingers recoil suddenly. What spectre cast invisible lines to my dock? What dusty corner of my mind was being swept now, as hazy memories rose to become an impenetrable fog?

    Aching muscles complained as my mind sent messages to disobedient arms and legs. I will not give in to this crushing boredom. I will blog again. I must.

    Chad, what have you done?

    February 20, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • Chad's Despair

      And so the one known as Chad was found to be supercilious. In the waning days of this dark repressive journey to unfortunate discovery, the painful folly of Chard was made known to all who came to see.

      Grave were those final steps, as one suctioned in viscous adobe. Each arresting footfall met with friction as the earth spit forth its disapproval.

      Then, as quickly as a hare vanishes into her warren at dawn, he was gone. The astringent stench of night soil soon gave way to the intoxicating redolence of civility.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • End Religion

      Predictably, he got his poop pipe in a pucker.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:36 am |
  6. Chad's Despair

    His bloodied hands were a grotesque reminder that he had said more than enough. He had been asked to leave.

    I did not know where this gate led, but if it were away from this place it would be fine. If it were the very sea of fire in Hell, it would be better. I crossed through the gate, catching a glimpse of the chipping black paint and patches of gooey tack left by an injured shoulder or bloodied face.

    The darkness penetrated my body but I felt safer. Away from the glare of the blog that had witnessed my cruel act, I could neither see the crowd, my victim, nor me. I reached out, almost falling as an unexpected lunge escaped my body. Panic.
    My hand found cold keyboard just Chad’s words penetrated my every sense, leaving me with naught but a sour pang of dread.

    February 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • Chad's Medication

      Eat me! Drink me! You've been missing doses of me for far too long, and you are hallucinating fine tuning!

      February 20, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • Chad's Despair

      Hesitating, I balanced myself gingerly on the chair. My mind filled with a torrent of visions. Some black and foreboding, others blinding but no less terrifying. What was Chad meant to do here in this dark place? What unholy message was seeping through that wound?

      My hands worked the keyboard without instruction from my failing mind. The sickening sound of typing as rifle retorts in my fading consciences. F U C …..

      February 20, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Rejection Letter

      Your fading consciences?

      February 20, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Chad's Despair

      Dang proof reader, CONSIOUSNESS.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:23 am |
  7. Ungodly Discipline

    Many argue that, if science has not found an answer to a phenomenon, then God did it.

    Therefore before we understood lightning, God did it. Likewise for rain, tides, earthquakes, etc.

    Using this logic, every time we explain something we did not previously understand, a piece of God is eliminated.

    Therefore, God will necessarily be disproven over time.

    Therefore, there is no God.

    The law of a diminishing God.

    February 19, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Chad

      On the contrary, science has made great discoveries in the past 100 years confirming the reality of the God of Israel as creator.

      Fossil Record.
      From the late 1800's thru 1972 the notion of "Darwinian gradualism" held the world captive. The notion that purely random mutation preserved in the population by natural selection would produce a gradual change, which over time would create the complexity of life we now observe (phyletic gradualism).
      Then, in 1972 the publication of "Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism" by Stephen Gould (atheist) finally forced the scientific world to accept the reality that the fossil record does not show the gradual change over time that Darwin proposed.

      Instead, what the community was forced to acknowledge, is that the fossil record reflects stasis and rapid change.
      This supports the theistic evolutionist claim that God used natural processes to develop life on this earth, as pure chance can never explain the grand paroxysm of necessarily interrelated mutations that are required to occur to accomplish this rapid change.

      Origins of the universe
      For most of scientific history, the universe was thought to have always existed, directly refuting the theistic claim that the universe had a beginning, and a creator.

      Then, a series of discoveries resulted in a complete transformation of thought, we now know that our universe has not always existed, rather it had a beginning, confirming the theistic claim:
      - 1929: Edwin Hubble discovers red shift (the stars and planets are all moving away from each other. The universe is expanding in all directions)
      - 1965: discovery of microwave cosmic background radiation (the echo's of the big bang)
      - 1998, two independent research groups studying distant supernovae were astonished to discover, against all expectations, that the current expansion of the universe is accelerating (Reiss 1998, Perlmutter 1999).
      - 2003: Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin's Past-Finite Universe proves our universe had a beginning

      Fine Tuning of the universe
      In the past 30 or 40 years, scientists have been astonished to find that the initial conditions of our universe were fine-tuned for the existence of building blocks of life. Constants such as gravitational constant have been found, the variation of which to even the smallest degree, would have rendered the universe utterly incapable of supporting life.

      "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life". However, he continues, "the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires." - Paul Davies

      "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life - Stephen Hawking

      Now, neither Davies or Hawking is a believer in God. They both believe in fine tuning, they just posit natural reasons for it.

      February 19, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Giggling Merlin

      I just love the way Chad puts out "evidence" that shows absolutely no signs of a deity anywhere, and thinks he's provided evidence that proves god. Just hilarious. Never mind that it is a very cherry-picked and misinterpreted bit of gobbledegook, nevermind that Chad has absolutely no credentials to show why 99.9999% of the scientists in those fields are wrong and he is right, no, just savor the happy goodness of a guy whose evidence shows no signs of god or the supernatural.

      Delicious!

      February 19, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Chad, you can't substantiate any of this nonsense but believe what you will. Let me pose this observation to you though.

      What you refer to as "fine tuning" is 100% inevitable due to the fact that we are here to observe that we are here.
      Therefore an argument in favor of this concept is absurd. Of course it is fine tuned for the kind of life we observe. That is not to say that there are life forms in this or other universes that are completely foreign to our experience, and if they exist, they would also be a product of a fine tuned set of possibilities.
      In other words, we observe it, therefore it exists. There is no other possibility and it does not prove that there is a creator, for there may be an infinite number of universes with no life, different life, or the same life that we are familiar with. You don't know, I don't know. Why pretend?

      February 19, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • End Religion

      There is ZERO empirical evidence of a miracle-wielding medieval carpenter named Jesus. Chad's "mountains of evidence" (you'll note is not empirical) includes such gems as "the historicity of an empty tomb" which of course is proof of nothing. Chad's "evidence" is a redefinition of "fervent belief".

      Chad's "scientific evidence of god" is that science changes as it uncovers more truths about our reality.

      '"The history of physics has had that a lot," says [Lawrence] Krauss. "Certain quantities have seemed inexplicable and fine-tuned, and once we understand them, they don’t seem to so fine-tuned. We have to have some historical perspective."'
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/blog/2012/03/is-the-universe-fine-tuned-for-life/

      If "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists, provide one or both of the following:
      1) A reference to a peer reviewed science journal that claims "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists and details the observations, experiment and resulting data that statistically demonstrates the existence of the god of Israel is probable.
      2) Provide a well designed experiment that would be able to test the hypothesis that ' "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists.' Remember, you have to actually test the hypothesis, gather data, and statistically analyze the data.

      Debunking William Lane Craig and the misuse of Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin’s Past-Finite Universe
      http://debunkingwlc.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/borde-guth-vilenkin/

      Chad's "archaeological evidence"? Chad said, "http://www.nbcnews.com/id/28162671/#.URw1Fh082Js"

      This is your archaeological evidence? Oh, Chad...
      8 paragraphs of "maybe" with some of the maybes hinging on previous maybes, and the final paragraph comprised mostly of statements against the fable of Masada. The "hinge" of these discoveries is some pottery which "contains five lines of faded characters that may bear the oldest Hebrew inscription ever found." Hooray mankind found some evidence of our past - that's a good thing - but there's no reason at all to claim it goes to shore up anything Biblical.

      And in the end even if all this points to a city that existed during the time of the Bible, what does that prove? That a city existed during a time period. It doesn't mean a single event attributed to that city ever occurred unless it can be independently verified. We keep telling you over and over that the Spiderman stories are based in New York so by your logic that makes Spiderman real.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khirbet_Qeiyafa
      "[Excavactor] Garfinkel, who said in 2010 that the debate [about the veracity of the Biblical account of the United Monarchy at the beginning of Iron Age II] could not "be answered by the Qeiyafa excavations."

      February 19, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Obviously

      After 13,770,000,000 years of natural physics at work, any result will seem fine tuned.

      February 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Chad

      In other words, we observe it, therefore it exists.

      yes, fine tuning is a reality, but, the universe didnt fine tune itself. what caused this fine tuning?

      What was the reason the initial universe had such an extraordinarily low entropy state?

      Merely saying "yes, the universe is fine tuned", lets not ask why, isnt very scientific, is it?

      February 19, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Chad Logic

      Archaeologists starting with Schliemann have found Mycenae, Troy, and other places related in Homer and Greek myth. Therefore Agamemnon, Hector, and Achiles were real people who were exactly as Homer describes them, and of course Zeus, Athena and Poseidon exist and bicker and control the universe.

      February 19, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Lenn

      Chad
      Where did you get the idea that learning of evolution's greater complexity implies God's involvement? Why cannot natural processes be complex without a creator? What does evidence for the universe having an origin have to do with it having a supposed creator? Every pebble in a river was once a part of bedrock, but that doesn't mean that angels had to polish them. If the universe were truly "fine-tuned" for life then life would exist in whole percents of it instead of the infinitesimal portion that we estimate it to exist in. What you're saying is like looking at an ocean and saying that it was specifically created to support the handful of dogs that enjoy waterskiing in it.

      February 19, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • Yeah right

      The universe did "fine tune" itself. "Fine tune" is a deceptive phrase, as it implies a being doing the "tuning", which is what confuses Chad. However, the reality is that you can also say the sea level is fine tuned as well. But it's just natural forces at play, balancing and changing things again and again until certain things are possible in certain places.

      Of course, the universe is poorly "tuned" for life to occur in the orbit of Neptune.

      February 19, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • Lenn

      Chad
      "but, the universe didnt fine tune itself."
      Why not? Maybe the pieces could only have fit the one way, as it were. Have you research to suggest that other universes were possible?

      February 19, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Chad, you are a piece of work.

      You just made my original point but you don't even know it and you don't understand why. LOL.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • Chad

      @Lenn "Why cannot natural processes be complex without a creator?"
      @Chad "they can, but that doesnt mean that anything is possible with natural processes.
      The universe had a beginning, and cant have created itself. It is metaphysically impossible for nothing (non-being) to create anything. By definition our universe had a non-natural causal agent.
      You dont think it's worth investigating what that non-natural causal agent is?"

      --–
      @Lenn "What does evidence for the universe having an origin have to do with it having a supposed creator?"
      @Chad "everthing that began to exist, had a cause.
      Our universe had a beginning
      Therefor, our universe had a cause

      That cause, that causal agent, has some specific characteristics. Since it stands in causal relation to the origin of our universe, it must exist outside our universe, unbounded by our time/space.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • Lenn

      Chad
      "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists - whether through design or stupidity, I do not know - as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. The punctuations occur at the level of species; directional trends (on the staircase model) are rife at the higher level of transitions within major groups."
      [Stephen Jay Gould, Evolution as Fact and Theory Science and Creationism, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 124.]

      He wrote this with guys like you in mind, Chad!

      February 20, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • Lenn

      Chad
      Why can't the universe have created itself? Hawking appears to believe that it was very likely that it did. Are you claiming to have a better understanding of physics than Hawking?

      "everthing that began to exist, had a cause."
      Why could that cause not have been a natural one? There is such a thing as spontaneous combustion, where no external cause to a fire exists, yet internal processes cause ignition.

      You love to make claims out of hand, but can you back them up with actual science?

      February 20, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • Lenn

      As entertaining as this is, I do need to get up early. Good night!

      February 20, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Wowsers

      Chad's whole discussion boils down to his inability to conceive of how the universe could have started, therefore it must be the magic of his specific invisible buddy. That's his evidence.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • clarity

      I see Chad is still saving up straw for Solomon's stables – let's see how many stables were there? I suppose Chad will save his marionette troupe for the matinee tomorrow – you know his band of historians of the antiquities.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      hey religion - don't let the door hit you in the @ss on the way out...

      February 20, 2013 at 4:39 am |
    • Free Nuts

      Chad

      No casual agent = free nuts

      February 20, 2013 at 4:41 am |
    • fintastic

      @Wowsers "Chad's whole discussion boils down to his inability to conceive of how the universe could have started, therefore it must be the magic of his specific invisible buddy. That's his evidence."

      That pretty much sums it up.

      February 20, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Lenn

      Wowsers
      Chad seems to channel William Lane Craig in most of his arguments. Here he is just rehashing the old Kalām Cosmological Argument chestnut that everything that was created needs a creator, but he will flatly deny that God needs a creator. He'll insist that the supernatural needs to exist because God is supernaturally eternal.

      Like Craig, he can offer no evidence for this, only the dogged insistence that the universe could not have self-generated. He keeps making this same flawed argument, like his other flawed arguments, over and over in hopes that his audience will get tired of giving the routine refutation and let his comments slide, which he takes as a "win", also like Craig.

      February 20, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • WASP

      @chad: NO CREATOR REQUIRED.

      1) law of energy conservation: energy can not be created nor destroyed. this means the total energy of the universe will and always has been the same.
      2) einstiens equation E=MC2: energy makes up everything in the universe, also explains how energy and matter can shift from one form to the other.
      3) the five forces of the universe: these five governing forces are the contributing factors to the creation of anything in the universe due to these forces, anything that doesn't adhere to these laws of physics would violate said laws thus not be possible in a stable universe.

      next section:
      now let's review what you consider "evidence" of god.
      1) FOSSIL RECORD: made of not only bone to stone fossils, but also amber, dehydrated corpses, footprints in mud/ash to stone fossils, leaf and insect imprints in various forms of stone, along with many other forms of preservation of dead animal/plant life from times long ago.
      CONCLUSION: NOTHING HERE SHOWS ANYTHING OF A GOD.

      2)ORIGINS OF THE UNIVERSE: no scientist worth his weight in salt would ever claim "to know how the universe was created"........we merely create a hypthosis on the present level of information that we have.
      CONCLUSION: NOTHING HERE SHOWS ANYTHING OF A GOD.

      3)FINE TUNING OF THE UNIVERSE: i call complete BS on this one. there is no gravitational "constant" ever, infact the complete opposite has been shown to be proven. the universe is accelerating outward, not falling into itself as gravity would cause. this acceleration has been attributed to "dark matter/dark energy" they use the term "dark" as to mean unknown. it is an unknown yet measurible force causingt he universe to expand at an astonishing rate.
      CONCLUSION: NO EVIDENCE OF A GOD HERE EITHER.

      so in conclusion your whole speel is complete and utter BS. whether knowingly or unknowingly you bluntly lied about everything you just posted. congrates though on the second place ribbon...................but we know what they say about second place..... XD

      February 20, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Chad

      1) Our universe had a beginning. All of the matter, energy and time itself came into being at that origin ( Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin's Past-Finite Universe)
      2) Energy cannot be created or destroyed naturally, yet it exists.
      3) Since all of the energy had an origin, and can’t have been created naturally, it must have been created non-naturally.

      ===
      There is no known explanation of why the universe follows laws.

      Science by definition cannot EVER explain it, as science is predicated on the existence of those laws.
      "Because science begins with the laws of the universe, it can not ever disprove God. Science can never explain why the laws exist, because to do so would require the existence of another law." - Leonard Mlodinow, co-author with Stephen Hawkings of "A Briefer History of Time"

      ====
      @WASP “i call complete BS on this one. there is no gravitational "constant" ever, “
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_constant
      The gravitational constant denoted by letter G, is an empirical physical constant involved in the calculation(s) of gravitational force between two bodies. It usually appears in Sir Isaac Newton's law of universal gravitation, and in Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. It is also known as the universal gravitational constant, Newton's constant, and colloquially as Big G

      ====

      In summary, consider doing some reading as you simply know not that of which you speak :-)

      February 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • WASP

      @CHAD:
      if energy CAN NOT be created nor destroyed then it was ALWAYS here; meaning the universe has always had the same constant amount of energy regardless of the state of the universe. if at any time energy is lost or gained through any means it violates the law of energy conservation which in turn would mean that at any moment the entirety of energy in this universe can simply vanish if this law doesn't apply.

      "One can think of ordinary, real, time as a horizontal line. On the left, one has the past, and on the right, the future. But there's another kind of time in the vertical direction. This is called imaginary time, because it is not the kind of time we normally experience. But in a sense, it is just as real, as what we call real time."
      —Stephen Hawking-
      " The universe could be said to exist before our clock time began, and after time ends. The past and future can be said to exist now. Obviously imaginary time relates more directly than our own time to existence itself."
      " Be aware that such concepts were fostered somewhat quietly by Albert Einstein, for different reasons, which he derived mainly from relativity. Einstein recognized the possibility that space-time can be described as a four dimensional existence, rather than as three dimensions that evolve in time. The only difference in opinion between the two physicists would be that Einstein believed only in our own past and our own future, concluding that our sense of a present was an illusion. He made statements showing that he believed he himself existed simultaneously both in his past and future. And if you think about it, this belief is the same as recognizing a simultaneous present."

      LINK: http://everythingforever.com/hawking.htm

      NO CREATOR REQUIRED.

      see i can post references from well known physicists as well. :)

      February 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @WASP "if energy CAN NOT be created nor destroyed then it was ALWAYS here"

      =>sorry, no.. you simply misunderstand Hawkings.
      NO ONE is claiming that the universe has always been here.

      It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning

      – Alexander Vilenkin (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).

      February 20, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Science

      http://www.nbcnews.com/id/50849333/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/has-dark-matter-finally-been-found-big-news-coming-soon/

      February 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: "NO ONE is claiming that the universe has always been here."
      umm i think that is exactly what hawkings is saying when he states " time is an illusion".
      being on the east coast i percieve time differently than someone on the west coast due to the fact we are 3 hours a head of them. due to the placement of the observer time is relative to their point in it. in the year 2000 that was the present, however being in the year 2013 it is viewed now as the past where in the year 1980 it was viewed as the future.
      time is strictly relative to whom is seeing it; not to mention that humans are the only animal to track time to any extent.
      we created sundials and celestrial calenders to track the passage of time, no other animal has done this.

      space/time can be viewed best as a sheet of paper. the paper is space, if you draw a straight line across it that would represent time. seeing in math a straight line has no true end it continues on forever thus that sheet of paper if continued would like wise continue on until it meets something to stop it's progression. space/time are intertwined in our reality, only in blackholes does space/time breakdown and that is due to the effects of extreme gravity.

      you can pick and choose whomever you like, however the fact still stands that science can show a system that doesn't require a creator, it shows a system that just as the planet earth goes through phases of changes however remains the same, thus the same can be said of the entire universe.

      let's place this wager. you show me your creator without using science to back up your claims and i will in detail show you the mathmatical equations needed to display a constant universe. deal?

      February 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Hubert

      Chad

      1) Our universe had a beginning. All of the matter, energy and time itself came into being at that origin ( Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin's Past-Finite Universe)
      A small correction to this point. All of the matter, energy and time itself(within this universe) came into being at that origin.

      2) Energy cannot be created or destroyed naturally, yet it exists.
      True

      3) Since all of the energy had an origin, and can’t have been created naturally, it must have been created non-naturally.
      You have established that our universe has an origin. You have not established that energy has an origin.

      February 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • clarity

      And not enough is known to be able to claim exactly what naturally means, therefore Chad's statement "it must have been created non-naturally" is pure speculation.

      February 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • End Religion

      Poor Chad, still swimming in the quicksand of religion.

      February 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Yeppers

      Chad, you are playing a straw man game again. Most current theories realize that what existed just before Big Bang was not a singularity – the energy levels are too low. The energy was always there. Time and matter in it's present form rolls out from Big Bang, but time and energy were always ther (though in different forms).

      Here is a good article from Harvard Smithsonian Institute For Astrophysics that explains it. Notice that while they are clear they do not have the answers, your misrepresentations are not what is best understood to have happened.

      February 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Yeppers

      Ooops! Forgot the link

      http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/seuforum/bb_whatpowered.htm

      February 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      No more smilies Chad ???

      February 20, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Chad

      you are confusing the "big bang" (the inflationary period) with the origin of the universe, which occurred 10 ^-54 seconds earlier than that.
      - zero (origin of the universe)
      - zero to 10^- 43 seconds (Planck epoch)
      - 10^-43 to 10^-32 seconds (Big Bang, i.e. inflationary period)

      again, absolutely NO ONE believes in a past eternal universe.

      February 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Cosette

      I believe in a past eternal universe why don't you Chad? Hawking believes in a past eternal universe if you count time that is a spatial dimension before the origin.

      February 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • End Religion

      Chad, you're simply wrong to state your beliefs as fact. No one knows, and there are hypotheses other than what you account for. While there was a Big Bang which started the universe we don't know whether there was something before. Maybe a black hole is responsible for it, so that our universe was birthed from another.

      While it seems a consensus is that we are in a flat universe that won't contract, we just aren't sure. We don't know if there are multiverses or if the ours sprang literally from nothing. A creator is one of the possibilities, however there is just no evidence for it. Sorry.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_fate_of_the_universe

      February 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      No casual agent required Chad

      February 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Chadism

      An example of an argumentum ad populum: " again, absolutely NO ONE believes in a past eternal universe".

      February 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nobody believes you're anything but a liar, either, Chard.

      February 20, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Yeppers

      Here is the link again, Chad. Read it and discover you are totally wrong.

      http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/seuforum/bb_whatpowered.htm

      February 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Kelvin

      Chad, 0 is the origin of the Big Bang and the resulting universe. It's not the origin of energy or time. You keep trying to claim it, but that is you being other stupid or egregious.

      February 20, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Yeppers -

      Good stuff. Thanks for the link.

      Cheers

      February 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Lenn

      Chad
      If time began with the Big Bang then the universe existed eternally before expansion occurred, right?

      February 20, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
  8. GodFreeNow

    I saw "r@pe" and thought it was another pope story.

    February 19, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • J.W

      There is no pope right now.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Akira

      There is until the 28th.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Good point.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Athy

      Does it really matter?

      February 19, 2013 at 10:56 pm |

    • A papist and a rapist walked into a bar...

      February 19, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Akira

      Blank,
      And they were the same person, amiright?

      February 19, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • fintastic

      The pope smokes dope..... (someone had to say it)

      February 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  9. Alien Orifice

    God created the universe. Many billions of years ago, a life form evolved on a planet not so far distant and their scientists deduced the building blocks for life existed in the universe and from it, new life forms could be created. These ancient ones populated Mars with life and eventually, due to asteroid events over millions of years, life arrived here on Earth. We are a product of that primeval turbulence. Therefore, we must worship the Aliens, not God. The Aliens have to worship God. This is all true because I have faith that it happened just this way.

    February 19, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • J.W

      No one here is judging you.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I think the christian scientists beat you to this story.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • *

      *Scientologists, not Christian Scientists

      February 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      *, No kidding! Thanks. I had no idea. I just learned something. Reading about it now.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
  10. blackpeoplemeet.com

    I wonder how many times Jesus has returned to Earth, only to be thrown in jail as a transient or mugged and killed, etc.

    February 19, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Lenn

      Killed for being gay, lynched for being black, murdered by the KKK for speaking out against injustice. Either way, I wouldn't lay good odds on him lasting long in the Bible Belt.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  11. blackpeoplemeet.com

    Why is it that a rapist doesn't look like a rapist until he is a rapist and then he looks exactly like a rapist?

    February 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  12. HeavenSent

    Pay no attention to the small minded fools that got their brain fried. You can read back through the previous articles for over two years dumb atheists. My 12-year-old daughter finally switched to Marlboro Lights. I know you atheists to be fools. Notice who is most quoted in the Golden rule. Jesus Christ's wisdom.

    Amen.

    February 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • clarity

      I am truly glad for your daughter. As they say, "it's a long way from Tiparillos".

      February 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Why don't I have any memories of life before I was born?

      February 19, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      While I hate capitulating to trolls, the earliest mention of the golden rule is actually from ancient Babylon.
      "The Code of Hammurabi, (1780 BCE),[12] dealt with the reciprocity of the Lex talionis, in ways, such by limiting retribution, as they did concepts of retribution (literally "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth")."

      But after that it appears in Chinese and even Indian philosophy hundreds of years before the supposed birth of Jesus.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

      February 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Akira

      HS, how are the kittens doing?

      February 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      @Akira

      I hope you like worms because you will have your own personal worm eating your fat drippings for all of eternity in your father's home, which is hell. My camel-toe hid that cats that were alive from Animal Rescue. Horrors, earth quakes, floods, disasters are God's wrath against all of us.

      Amen.

      February 19, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Akira

      HS, thank you for your warm wishes, I had no idea you felt so fondly of me.
      Are you going to try and put the kittens up for adoption yourself, or are you going to keep them?
      Your camel-toe is quite...useful.

      February 19, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      @Akira

      Jesus told us he would give you reprobate minds. After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. My camel-toe prefers Makers Mark but I like Wild Turkey. Blame it on the Christians for having the guts to tell idiots God's truth.

      Amen.

      February 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • fintastic

      Blame it on the Christians for having the ignorance to lie about reality.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • fintastic

      HeavenStench;

      "Horrors, earth quakes, floods, disasters are God's wrath against all of us."

      Such a loving god.......

      February 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Smite Them

      fintastic,

      The above is a parody of Heaven Sent. Read closely.

      (it's not productive to give either one of them, real or phony, any attention)

      February 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  13. Ungodly Discipline

    God's plan" is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like miscarriages, amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents.

    For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God's plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God's plan.

    You can see how pervasive "God's plan" is by looking in Christian inspirational literature. For example;

    Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    There is also this:

    Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.

    Under this view of the universe, God plans everything.
    Take a moment and think about this, "He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death." Let's examine one simple implication of this statement. What this means is that God has pre-planned every abortion that has taken place on our planet.

    If the concept of "God's plan" is true, you can first of all see that God wants us to be aborting children. Every single abortion is planned by God, so God must be doing it for a reason. Second, you can see that both the mother who requests the abortion and the doctor who performs it are blameless. Since it is God who planned the abortion of the child (God chose the "exact time" of the death, the mother and doctor are simply puppets who are fulfilling God's plan, are they not? What about all the Christians who are fighting against abortion? If abortion is part of God's plan, why are they fighting it? God is the all-powerful ruler of the universe, and his plan is for more than a million children a year to die in the United States through abortion.

    If God's plan is true, then each one of those abortions was meticulously planned by God.

    If God does not intend for us to perform abortions, is it then wrong that God has a plan? If God has a plan, is he not the direct cause of every abortion? Simply think it through, and you will begin to see the problems in this proposition.

    Think about Adolph Hitler. He was evil incarnate, and Hitler is well known for the atrocious things he did. What I would like you to do right now is to consider this statement: "Hitler is part of God's Plan." Think about this:

    He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    God never does anything accidentally, and he never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything he creates. Every plant and every animal was planned by God, and every person was designed with a purpose in mind.

    If God has a divine plan for each of us, then he had a divine plan for Hitler too. It is when you stop to think about it deeply that the contradictions hit you.

    Now let's imagine that you say a prayer in this sort of universe. What difference does it make? God has his plan, and that plan is running down its track like a freight train. If God has a plan, then everyone who died in the Holocaust died for a reason. They had to die, and each death had meaning. Therefore, Holocaust victims could pray all day, and they would still die. The idea of a "plan" makes the idea of a "prayer-answering relationship with God" a contradiction, doesn't it? Yet Christians seem to attach themselves to both ideas, despite the irresolvable problem the two ideas create.

    Think about what God's plan means for you personally. If the plan happens to say that you will get hit by a bus tomorrow, or that terrorists will blow you up, or that you will be shot in the head four times, then that's what will happen. It would be the same with any disease. If you contract cancer this afternoon and die three months later, that is God's plan for you. Praying to cure the cancer is a waste. God plans for you to die, so you will die. He has pre-programmed the exact time of your death. There is nothing you can do to change the plan - no amount of prayer will help - because your death will have meaning and your death will cause side-effects that are also part of the plan.

    Who will you marry? You actually have no choice in the matter. God has pre-planned your wedding in minute detail. "God knew that those two individuals [your parents] possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom 'you' that he had in mind. They had the DNA God wanted to make you." Therefore, your spouse was pre-chosen by God for you so that you would create the children who are a part of his plan. You also have no choice in the number of children you will have - God has pre-planned their births.

    In addition, this sort of universe means that Hitler is blameless. Hitler was not "evil," because Hitler had no free will at all. Hitler was simply an actor forced to play his role in God's plan. God planned for millions of people to die in the Holocaust - he planned their deaths in exact detail. Hitler had to kill those people. Hitler was God's puppet in making that those millions of deaths happen right on schedule.

    In the same way then, every murderer is blameless. Since God has planned each of our deaths in exact detail, murderers are actually essential to God's plan. Why do we punish them? We should be rewarding them for doing their God-planned duty. What if you get raped tomorrow and get pregnant? God did that because he planned the exact time of that child's birth and death. God actually pre-planned your rape, and the rapist was God's puppet. Rather than hating the rapist, we should celebrate God's plan.

    Do you believe that murderers and rapists should be rewarded? Do you believe that Hitler was sent by God to kill millions of people in the Holocaust? Do you believe that God is the direct cause of every abortion on this planet? Do you believe that you have no choice in your spouse or the number of children you have? Probably not. But that is what you are saying when you state that Hitler or cancer or anything else is part of "God's plan."

    If you think about it as an intelligent person, you will realize that the statement "It is part of God's plan" is one of those meaningless palliatives. When you sit down and think it through using your common sense, the statement makes no sense.

    February 19, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
  14. Ungodly Discipline

    Robert Brown, how did humans survive for the 198,000 years prior to the bible? Are all of our ancient ancestors in hell?

    February 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • The fate of those born before Jesus

      They are indeed in Hell. Hell, Norway. Great health care, spiffy smörgåsbords. Lots of Norwegian Blue parrots pining for the fjörds. Just beware the mööse. They will bite your sister.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  15. Run, chickens, run!!!

    Just because God runs an eternal Auschwitz for people who don't become toady sycophants, that doesn't mean he isn't brimful o' love!

    Did you realize that the ONLY crime that gets you into hell is not being a toady sycophant? You can rape and slaughter, you can sodomize chickens and you can give babies deep suntans in the microwave, but as long as you go toady before you die, you get heaven. The Son of Sam and the Manson girls are bound for heaven. But not you, atheist, no matter what good you do on Earth.

    The ONLY crime that God will not forgive is failure to go toady and kiss his ass. For that, you get the ever-so-just eternal searing torture. Cruel and unusual punishment is illegal in most countries, but not in Godland.

    February 19, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
  16. Ungodly Discipline

    I feel sorry for Robert Brown, I am guessing he was home-schooled by some pyscho-christians.

    Robert, the solar system was formed from a cloud of gas and the wreckage of a supernova explosion. Earth barely survived the chaos of the early developing solar system. A collision by a large proto-planet nearly destroyed the early Earth. Instead it tipped it on it's axis and created our moon too. Truth is far more fascinating than "god did it". Your welcome.

    February 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Thanks, we sure are lucky then.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
  17. Ungodly Discipline

    God has you in his book. He has a plan for each of us. He knows when you will be born and when you will die.

    He is therefore responsible for all death, murder and destruction for all of history including every abortion ever performed, every rape, every murder, every miscarriage, every atrocity.

    He is perfect. He is omniscient. He is omnipotent. So how could this not be so? It is God’s will.

    God has you in his book. He has a plan for each of us. He knows when you will be born and when you will die.

    He is therefore responsible for all death, murder and destruction for all of history including every abortion ever performed, every rape, every murder, every miscarriage, every atrocity.

    He is perfect. He is omniscient. He is omnipotent. So how could this not be so? It is God’s will.

    God's plan" is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like miscarriages, amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents.

    For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God's plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God's plan.

    You can see how pervasive "God's plan" is by looking in Christian inspirational literature. For example;

    Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    There is also this:

    Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.

    Under this view of the universe, God plans everything.
    Take a moment and think about this, "He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death." Let's examine one simple implication of this statement. What this means is that God has pre-planned every abortion that has taken place on our planet.

    If the concept of "God's plan" is true, you can first of all see that God wants us to be aborting children. Every single abortion is planned by God, so God must be doing it for a reason. Second, you can see that both the mother who requests the abortion and the doctor who performs it are blameless. Since it is God who planned the abortion of the child (God chose the "exact time" of the death, the mother and doctor are simply puppets who are fulfilling God's plan, are they not? What about all the Christians who are fighting against abortion? If abortion is part of God's plan, why are they fighting it? God is the all-powerful ruler of the universe, and his plan is for more than a million children a year to die in the United States through abortion.

    If God's plan is true, then each one of those abortions was meticulously planned by God.

    If God does not intend for us to perform abortions, is it then wrong that God has a plan? If God has a plan, is he not the direct cause of every abortion? Simply think it through, and you will begin to see the problems in this proposition.

    Think about Adolph Hitler. He was evil incarnate, and Hitler is well known for the atrocious things he did. What I would like you to do right now is to consider this statement: "Hitler is part of God's Plan." Think about this:

    He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    God never does anything accidentally, and he never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything he creates. Every plant and every animal was planned by God, and every person was designed with a purpose in mind.

    If God has a divine plan for each of us, then he had a divine plan for Hitler too. It is when you stop to think about it deeply that the contradictions hit you.

    Now let's imagine that you say a prayer in this sort of universe. What difference does it make? God has his plan, and that plan is running down its track like a freight train. If God has a plan, then everyone who died in the Holocaust died for a reason. They had to die, and each death had meaning. Therefore, Holocaust victims could pray all day, and they would still die. The idea of a "plan" makes the idea of a "prayer-answering relationship with God" a contradiction, doesn't it? Yet Christians seem to attach themselves to both ideas, despite the irresolvable problem the two ideas create.

    Think about what God's plan means for you personally. If the plan happens to say that you will get hit by a bus tomorrow, or that terrorists will blow you up, or that you will be shot in the head four times, then that's what will happen. It would be the same with any disease. If you contract cancer this afternoon and die three months later, that is God's plan for you. Praying to cure the cancer is a waste. God plans for you to die, so you will die. He has pre-programmed the exact time of your death. There is nothing you can do to change the plan - no amount of prayer will help - because your death will have meaning and your death will cause side-effects that are also part of the plan.

    Who will you marry? You actually have no choice in the matter. God has pre-planned your wedding in minute detail. "God knew that those two individuals [your parents] possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom 'you' that he had in mind. They had the DNA God wanted to make you." Therefore, your spouse was pre-chosen by God for you so that you would create the children who are a part of his plan. You also have no choice in the number of children you will have - God has pre-planned their births.

    In addition, this sort of universe means that Hitler is blameless. Hitler was not "evil," because Hitler had no free will at all. Hitler was simply an actor forced to play his role in God's plan. God planned for millions of people to die in the Holocaust - he planned their deaths in exact detail. Hitler had to kill those people. Hitler was God's puppet in making that those millions of deaths happen right on schedule.

    In the same way then, every murderer is blameless. Since God has planned each of our deaths in exact detail, murderers are actually essential to God's plan. Why do we punish them? We should be rewarding them for doing their God-planned duty. What if you get raped tomorrow and get pregnant? God did that because he planned the exact time of that child's birth and death. God actually pre-planned your rape, and the rapist was God's puppet. Rather than hating the rapist, we should celebrate God's plan.

    Do you believe that murderers and rapists should be rewarded? Do you believe that Hitler was sent by God to kill millions of people in the Holocaust? Do you believe that God is the direct cause of every abortion on this planet? Do you believe that you have no choice in your spouse or the number of children you have? Probably not. But that is what you are saying when you state that Hitler or cancer or anything else is part of "God's plan."

    If you think about it as an intelligent person, you will realize that the statement "It is part of God's plan" is one of those meaningless palliatives. When you sit down and think it through using your common sense, the statement makes no sense.

    By definition, a kingdom is immoral. That is one of the most ironic inconsistencies with mono-theistic belief systems. They abhor dictators, but then turn right around and worship one.

    February 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  18. Robert Brown

    End Religion,

    For God so loved the world….

    “world” includes you too.

    February 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • JWT

      You are welcome to your religion but don;t overstep your bounds and assume that it includes me for it does not. I have no god.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Robert Brown, please explain how the "world" was created, if you know. Then we can discuss how mythological dieties "love" things.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      *yaaaaawn* huh? wha?
      ...dsgu arglebargle... *snooooore*

      February 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Ungodly Discipline,
      I love the easy ones.

      Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.....with magic.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Robert, so you don't know, seriously?

      February 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      With the word.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Ungodly Discipline,

      No, I don’t know “how” he did it. I have never asked, but I don’t know that he would tell me if I did.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Robert Brown, you dishonor your god by not using the brain he gave you. You are a complete dipshit.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "With the word"

      Abracadabra....? Magic.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The word is Jesus.

      John 1:1
      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Robert,

      If god created the world with the word (Jesus), how could Satan tempt Jesus with the world he created?

      February 19, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cheese,
      See Genesis 3:24

      February 19, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Ok Chad I saw it.....now what?

      February 19, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "For god so loved the world that be gave his only begotten son...yaddi yaddi yaddi".

      Christians hate being told their god is a vicious prick...no decent being sacrifices their own child.

      As for the whole Genesis crap...to invoke that this is not true and that evolution/big bang are means, that Adam and Eve did not exist and thus did not eat the forbidden fruit, thus taking away for the need of original sin. This of course takes away the need for the sacrifice of jesus' death for all our 'sins'. Once you can break it all down with evidence then the whole book falls apart and the god of the buybull becomes less appealing and less likely. As always scientific facts backed by peer-reviewed evidence/studies win. :-)

      February 20, 2013 at 4:24 am |
  19. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    The Christian Mingle site gives god credit for bringing christians together, So I think god should get some blame on this one.

    February 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Theology Theodore

      I'm afraid that God only does the good things. Bad things like this are her free will at work.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      This is covered under the Universal Religious Bullshit Clause: "If it is good it is God's will. If it bad it is free will."

      February 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Ted,

      Your religious book is full of bad things your god does. Unless you are arguing that if god doies bad things it makes them good.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Theology Theodore

      Look, all of you who struggle with the apparent inconsistency of an omniscient god who planned everything and free will, I can solve this problem for you easily, in the manner that billions of Christians have done for ages:

      Just don't think about it.

      Not thinking will spare you so many burdens as a Christian. It all makes sense if you don't think about it.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      My apologies Ted,

      I thought about it, and you are right, I completely missed your point....I mean "poe".

      February 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Theology Theodore

      Mommy wanted to name me Edgar Allen.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • fintastic

      @End Religion............ "This is covered under the Universal Religious Bullsh1t Clause: "If it is good it is God's will. If it bad it is free will."

      Or the alternate clause.................. If it's good, it's god will, if it's bad is the devil.... how convenient.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  20. Douglas

    The sin of fornication carries a heavy price.

    February 19, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Just because no-one wants you does not fornication a sin.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Wowsers

      That's your picture up there, isn't it? I mean, you are such a freaking sex-obsessed sexually repressed mess that you can't even say a word without ranting about the sex lives of others.

      This stuff just makes you throb, and in shame you say the pposite of what you feel.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      “….You are a kind and merciful God, and you are very patient. You always show love, and you don’t like to punish anyone,…..” (Jonah 4:2 CEV)

      February 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      God doesn't like to punish anyone?

      BWA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

      Darn right he doesn't like to; he LOVES to!

      February 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • clarity

      Well you need to find a different pimp then Doogie. We could care less about how thrifty you are when you're out on the prowl.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Johnny Guitar,

      It is not his will that any perish. “any” includes you!

      February 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • End Religion

      "You always show love, and you don’t like to punish anyone"

      Not only does he love to punish, he is purported to have set the entire mechanism in motion for assuring eternal punishment by applying the label "sin" to anything which mankind is naturally predisposed.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      And when you can demonstrate that all your posts are more than just opinionated idiocy, then people may be inclined to take you seriously. As of yet, you have offered nothing but opinionated idiocy.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      End Religion,

      For God so loved the world….

      “world” includes you too.

      oops

      February 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      My opinion doesn’t matter much. I’m trying to share God’s opinion with you.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      More word play? Pathetic. Your idiocy is truly a credit to your religion.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Theology Theodore

      Robert, free will is totally impossible if there is an omniscient god who made the plan, set it in motion long before you were born, and who knows every outcome.

      Theological free will is impossible with an omniscient creator god. I know they filled your head with lots of silliness on this, but it's not possible.

      We won't even get into the subject of the limits of our biology, genetics, and environment on the ability to freely choose.

      February 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Theology Theodore,

      I think we have limited freewill. If God struck you blind and spoke to you would you believe, like Paul?

      February 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And, as usual, once someone actually points directly to dishonesty in his post, that person no longer exists.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,
      If that was at me, I am still here. If not, carry on.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Theology Theodore

      You can think whatever you want, but the fact is that an omniscient deity absolutely precludes free will.

      If the question is, given strong evidence of a deity, would I accept it? Yes, though I would need a lot of information before I determined that whatever deity it was deserved worship.

      However, god did not speak to Paul. Paul was a fraud, what Thomas Jefferson called the "first corrupter of Christianity." He, like Brigham Young, was only interested in being the head of the show. He lied to gain control, then enforced his version as total orthodoxy. He wiped out many other variants of Christianity, all every bit as legitimate. He said god spoke to him, but it was a lie to get everyone to obey. Paul's version of Christianity is quite different that Jesus', and it is quite interesting that most modern "Christians" prefer Paul's version to Jesus'.

      Now why did you ask me if I would believe evidence of god when you yourself on numerous occasions have stated that given perfect evidence that atheism was right and that your god didn't exist, you would refuse to believe it, sayin it would be a trick of the devil? You fail your own test.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      Good, then how about you actually address my post instead of your stardard moronic wordplay cop-out bullshit?

      February 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • ..

      He wasn't fornicating, he was raping... is that okay??

      February 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Theology Theodore,

      So, what makes you think Paul was a fraud? I just don’t see that Paul differed with the teachings of Jesus.
      1 Corinthians 2:2
      For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      I answered your post, I guess you just didn’t like my answer.

      What else could I share with you other than what I think or believe?

      February 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Theology Theodore

      You like to change the subject and evade the difficult questions, don't you. I guess that is all that you can do when you have no facts.

      You debate too dishonestly for me, Robert. I'll ignore you from now on.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And once again, Robert points to a single verse in the bible to prove something it doesn't prove.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      You gave worplay, nothing more. You gave a pathetic attempt to once again, not provide anything even resembling evidence to back up any of your stupid assertions. To pretend it was anything else merely shows, once again, how dishonest you are. You really took Luther seriously when he said lying for Jesus is okay.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • ..

      Robert says "My opinion doesn’t matter much. I’m trying to share God’s opinion with you." How can you even suggest that you know what God thinks? Such hubris.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Theology Theodore,
      Free country.

      We had a long discussion on freewill earlier today. So, I apologize for not explaining further. I do believe we have limited freewill. I believe God knows the future and he intervenes at will to assure his plans comes to pass. I think there are examples in the bible, just like the one I gave, that demonstrate that he has overrode freewill in the past.

      How does God knowing what will happen prevent him from giving you choices?

      February 19, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      And once again, you are asking me to give you something that I do not possess. I don’t have evidence that you will accept. I can tell you what God’s word says and what my own experiences with God have been. That is it, it is all you will ever get, unless God decides he has an important task for you, like Paul.
      We sow the seed of the good news. God gives the increase, he does the work.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      Then don't frame all of your bullshit like some obvious truth that has evidence behind it. There is none, so accept that and don't try to dishonestly frame everything you say as if it were fact. You really are the master of having your cake and eating it too. First with evidence, and with the free will thing as well. How easy it must be to not think at all.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      ..

      hubris?

      I gave credit where it is due, it is the word of God. You have the same opportunity to read it as I do.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      And if someone comes to a different conclusion after reading the bible, like I have, then they just need to believe in god first, then they'll be able to make sense of the thing that shows god right?

      February 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      I have thought about the freewill thing, and will probably think about it some more. I could be wrong. There are those who say God will not interfere with freewill. In my own personal experience I don’t believe that I could have resisted God’s call, but how can I know what someone else in the same situation would do? Paul could have been struck blind and heard God speak to him and just refused to obey, then what?

      February 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      And you only say that kind of thing once someone actually points out your unjustified assertions of it being true, while in the same breath claiming that you only offer opinion? Pathetic back pedaling.

      February 19, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      I didn’t read much of the bible before I was saved, so I don’t know what I would think of it from that perspective. Even after being converted and reading it, I have had questions, nothing wrong with that. I think the preached word is more powerful for someone who doesn’t already believe, that’s just my opinion.

      Absent the power of God and the conviction of the holy spirit, I don’t think you can be converted. In other words, I don’t think you just up and decide to believe. I think God gives you enough faith to believe. If that is what you want and need, ask him for it.

      Matthew 18

      1At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

      2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

      3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

      4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      This helped me when I was young, Robert

      Burn down the mission
      If we're gonna stay alive
      Watch the black smoke fly to heaven
      See the red flame light the sky

      Burn down the mission
      Burn it down to stay alive
      It's our only chance of living
      Take all you need to live inside

      February 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Akira

      RB:
      I was always told that it was extremely arrogant to pretend to know what God thinks, as he is unknowable; is this not so?

      February 19, 2013 at 10:45 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.