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First on CNN: Atheists ratchet up rhetoric, use billboards to attack Republican politicians
March 3rd, 2013
05:00 AM ET

First on CNN: Atheists ratchet up rhetoric, use billboards to attack Republican politicians

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – An atheist organization known for being provocative plans to take that reputation to the next level this week by putting up seven billboards that call out prominent politicians and religious leaders.

American Atheists plans to target three Republican politicians: former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former House Speak Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

The seven signs will go up around Dallas and Austin, Texas.

In one billboard, a picture of Palin is featured on the left, with a quote attributed to her. "We should create law based on the God of the Bible," the quote reads. Underneath the graphic is a tag line "GO GODLESS INSTEAD."

The billboard, however, misquotes Palin. In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O'Reilly, Palin addressed the growth in American secularism by saying America's founding fathers "would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments," not "should."

Each of the billboards has a similar format and includes a pitch for the group’s 50th anniversary convention in Austin.

Santorum is condemned for when he told an Iowa crowd last November that, "our civil laws have to comport with a higher law: God's law," while Gingrich is criticized for a remark he made at a CNN debate on October 18, 2011, in Las Vegas. "How can I trust you with power if you don't pray," Gingrich posited.

Virginia Davis, spokeswoman for Santorum, thanked American Atheists for the publicity.

"At a time when many are trying to remove God from the public square, the senator is appreciative of someone helping him very publicly express his strong belief that we are one nation under God," Davis wrote in an e-mail to CNN.

American Atheists President David Silverman, however, sees the billboards as a way to shame the targets.

"We at American Atheists are shaming these leaders for their bigoted and backwards remarks and attitudes, and conveying a message to today's atheists that we need not take it anymore," Silverman wrote in an e-mail to CNN.

Two religious leaders, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor at the First Baptist Dallas, and Benedict XVI, now the pope emeritus, also are featured on billboards.

Jeffress' billboard includes a quote the pastor said during a 2008 sermon titled, "Gay Is Not OK." "What they [homosexuals] do is filthy," reads the billboard. Under the quote is the phrase "Go Godless Instead" and a rainbow flag, a symbol of gay rights.

This will be the only ad placed in Dallas, featured in a busy stretch of Interstate 30 and only a few miles from Jeffress' large church.

The First Baptist Church of Dallas is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jeffress, who has been in its pulpit since 2007, is no stranger to controversy, including comments about Judiasm and Catholicism. After introducing Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington in October 2011, Jeffress told reporters he believed Mormonism was a cult, expressing a personal position and one held by his denomination. The move was seen as a particular slight to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a lifelong Mormon.

The billboard featuring Benedict XVI, who stepped down Thursday, cites a New York Times article entitled, "Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys." "The Church Protected Priests Who Abused Children," reads the billboard.

Silverman says the group plans to spend $25,000 on the billboards, which will go up on Monday and remain up for the rest of March.

"Everyone should be allowed to profess their faith, of course, but that does not shield them from criticism," Silverman wrote. "Everyone has the responsibility to lead moral lives, and 'It's my religion' is not an excuse for bigotry or immorality."

Silverman continued: "Some Americans seem to think that bigotry in the name of religion is somehow permissible. It is not. We hope that the believers of Austin place anti-atheist bigotry in the same category as anti-Semitism or racism - a relic of the past that needs to be jettisoned for all the right reasons."

Six of the billboards will be dispersed around the Austin area, with four placed on high traffic freeways.

This is not the first time American Atheists has used billboards to get its message out.

Last March, the group targeted Muslims and Jews with billboards that called God a "myth" in both Arabic and Hebrew.

In November 2010, the same group posted a billboard around the holiday season that read, "You KNOW it's a Myth. This Season, Celebrate REASON."

Silverman, who has been criticized for this in-your-face atheism, has long defended the tactic, saying that the confrontation is meant to "grow the cause and benefit the country."

"That's why companies buy billboards - to get attention," Silverman wrote.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Catholic Church • Newt Gingrich • Politics • Pope • Rick Santorum • Sarah Palin

soundoff (3,513 Responses)
  1. Austin

    Someone hacked my name !

    March 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm |

    • Shit happens.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Answer

      The stupid religious tools go on and on about being hacked.

      Get a clue about CNN's comment section... it has no associated login/password "nickname" scheme. Don't even say your "nickname" is hacked. Just don't.

      What you lack is education about this environment. All you need is to input a "username" you want to use and any straightforward email address. Even the email address can be a complete bogus url. So get a clue you retards.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Austin

      Ok cool. I guess you are right.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Answer

      Go fvck off then Austin.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Austin

      What I meant was that someone was using my name and going around ripping other Christian posts with it.

      Well I got caught using yours as a joke that went to the wrong thread, then I forgot to put my name back on.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Answer

      So you're a failure who wants to confess now that you've been caught.

      Want me to give you forgiveness? A piece of turd like yourself will continue on as that piece of turd. Enjoy it well.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Austin

      Some one was using my name earlier to rip the other conservatives, like Salerno, And I started cracking up I thought it was ornery. How seriously can we take any of this? A harmless joke, please.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Answer

      Please?

      Go and beg and continue to fvck off.

      Your kind are intrinsically tied to bowing and grovelling. It suits your kind well. I enjoy the imagery that your kind always project to us atheists. Always saying you're devoted to pay homage /on your knees to your delusions. You enforce it to yourself into your imagery. It's a joy to see you accept this kind of "on your knees" and "begging".

      Beg more.Slave.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Austin

      Oh please (type of exhausted exclamation)

      Not please?
      What is up with the giving arms to al Qaida. Al malaki in Iraq said we are destabilizing the middle east by helping the rebels.

      So why are we helping them if they are with al Qaida? Would george bush do this?

      March 5, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  2. Elliot

    These so called atheists like to try to shock society with their stupid billboards. They are like little brats or bullies at school. God says it best when He calls them just plain foolish. "The fool has said in his heart there is no God"....Psalm 53:1 God is awesome! The God of Israel, the God who sent His own Son to atone for our sins. Blessed Be His Name. He truly is an awesome God.

    March 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Austin

      Ya i like what they said anyway, the politicians should try to be Godly if they are Christians, and should be genuine enough to speak as such.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Theron

      Right. The religious are always quiet and respectful of others, and certainly never say anything rude about non-believers, or the people who believe in other religions. What a wonderful world!

      March 5, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • EvidenceBased4

      I don't understand the smug use of "so called" in web comments. It makes no sense. These so called people should find a way to articulate so called criticism without resorting to meaningless so called phrases that they apparently don't even understand.

      March 5, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • End Religion

      Elliot, apparently the billboards shocked you enough to comment here. Call it Mission Complete!

      March 6, 2013 at 5:48 am |
  3. Answer

    Because I sure do, and I like to give it back too.

    March 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh the classic christian c-o-c-k-s-u-c-k-e-r come on.

      Do try harder to accept s-e-x that you religious fvcktards are so afraid of.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Dippy

      Did you, by any chance, mean cocksucker, sex and fucktards?

      March 5, 2013 at 12:28 am |
  4. Austin

    Got love for y'all.

    Try reading the whole bible, and pray for the Lord to speak to you before you read each time.

    March 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Answer

      Yet no one loves you.

      The broken clueless piece of turd babbler.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • lol??

      ANSWER, will you just stop with your art in the rest rooms??

      March 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Answer

      It seems you want me to notice you?

      Shall I converse with you lolly? Do you need me that badly? Would you like some c-o-c-k loving?

      March 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Answer

      Let's see if your response is gonna be either the "big" or "small" reply.

      I gave you that option.. so let's dance.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  5. Austin

    Can you prove there is not any demonic persecution on the individual in this world?

    I have proof that there is, and some atheist psychologist would hate me. So what. I cant lie to myself .

    A french speaking preacher from Somalia talked about his conversion from Islam (he has a constant death threat on his life) to christianity, and his wife refused to convert, until she had a vision,ma dream of an American missionary, who arrived two days later, and when she saw him, she converted on the spot. That is what the spirit does to bless His ministry. This man spokeHe spoke at church two weeks age with a translated. He said that the harvest is ready for souls being saved.

    March 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And you have now demonstrated that you have no concept of logic.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, you don't have proof of any such thing.

      I suspect that you are on the autism spectrum, Austin. You may be taking medication that causes your vivid dreams. Regardless, they aren't proof of anything except that you have vivid dreams.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Austin

      Robert Brown had a vision too,so did the Somalian pastors wife, so did I , the list goes on and on.

      That's funny that you think I'm on meds, you know something is up.

      I run my own business, I am successful, and I care way more about the ministry than I do money. I love Gods word, I go to 3 churches, and 3 bible studies. Church Saturday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night. I t.ithe why, to praise the name and blood of Jesus, because He has testified of His presence.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Answer

      It's the piece of turd Austin once again.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, and I'm Queen Elizabeth. Come on over to Buckingham Palace next time you cross the pond.

      Based on the ridiculous outsize descriptions of your dreams, your utter ignorance about a multi tude of aspects of human nature and life in general, and your simple-minded ejaculations about praising god, I don't believe a word you say. I think you're nothing but a nut.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      There are Christian psychiatrists, Austin. At least think about seeing someone.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Salero21

      Surely you can dream up something better than that.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Austin

      Tom Tom, What medicine is there for preventing
      Spiritual dreams about scripture that I had no recollection of dream pictures of scripture the night before I read it, Or a satanic dream of a dead cat that was actually dead?

      Or my thoughts coming out I someone else's dream? I don't see things or hear things. These are visions tied to reality that has not occurred yet. Not once, not twice, but almost ten times now.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Austin

      Clarify outsized descriptions if you would

      March 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Antipsychotics, Austin. See a doctor.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Clarify them? Read your own posts.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • Answer

      The broken alcoholic jailbird wants to "save people". Can't even deal with his own pathetic nightmares.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • lol??

      Harvest has been goin' on for a couple thou years already. The last days are the same time frame. The nutso A&A's with one breath will say that's a loooong time and with the next breath wax exuberantly about bein' around for almost a half mil years. They need to see a shrink for their bigotry.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Austin

      The bible is a picture of heart,. You can not understand the old testament without Jesus Christ. Adam, Noah, Abraham , the 12 tribes, Moses, we're all foreshadowing Christ. It is a divine power , the word of God is a sovereign living word.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I don't agree with a lot of what this fellow says, Austin, but you might look at some of the stuff he's written. Matthew S. Stanford – he's the director of the doctoral program in psychology at Baylor in Texas. I heard a talk by him about a year ago.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Answer: Austin was an alcoholic? Or are you talking about someone else? Maybe lol??

      March 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Answer

      Picture of the heart.. well that's a new imagery.

      Divine.. another useless word that the religious tools can't verify. We can give you all the bible as your truth and still you can't even describe what is divine. So much bs.

      Keep making up those new imagery you tools.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Answer

      @Tom Tom

      Stated it himself.

      I probed him rectally and psychologically and he fessed up. Hated his parents also.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • Austin

      No not an alcoholic. I got a DUI. I went to jail and was reading through the old testament and started dreaming about scripture before I read it, was having proverbial dreams, and direct pictures if precise scripturemthennightnbefore I would read it the next day. I had no recollection of the scripture i am talking about.

      I used to hate my parents for trying to push their beliefs on me, I vandalized their church.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Answer

      Like. I want to hear more sob stories. 😀

      It confirms the old adage that religious tools when find it rough they always look for that sky daddy. They can't see the helping hands of people but infuse their ridiculous delusions that it came from their sky daddy. Classic.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Austin

      Answer , I had been writing my dreams down for a few years already by that time, which was why I was doing so then.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Answer

      So?

      Do tell. What do your pathetic 'dream' episodes have YOU think you are? Are you implying specifics that you are being acknowledged by god. Personally spoken to?

      Let's hear that 'yes'. State it. Become that jeebus and claim yourself the new prophet.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • lol??

      austin, churches that preach and "accept" t*i*t*h*e*s* are a big RED flag.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Austin, vandalism is not normal behavior. You should have been getting treatment. Why didn't you?

      March 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Answer

      LOL. Why the red flag?

      Answer, The Holy Spirit bears the truth of Gods word on a persons heart. Angels minister. god can also open eyes to evil realty. All things spiritual are of God, He is the author of it all

      TT, It was in 2001 and I was in trouble, probation. It was not fun. I continued to struggle and I am sure a lot of people were wondering how I could vandalize my own church, but remember how Paul killed Christians? Well, he was still called to faith, and I thought they were brainwashing children and I was freaked out scared to be me. And offended.

      Well God would not let Go, and after that my eyes were opened to the spiritual world. I can't lie. My experience has been radical. And I still struggle with sin. So I have a heart for stubborn people like me who have a lot of negative emotion toward the bible.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Austin. Busted

      LOL. Why the red flag?

      Answer, The Holy Spirit bears the truth of Gods word on a persons heart. Angels minister. god can also open eyes to evil realty. All things spiritual are of God, He is the author of it all

      TT, It was in 2001 and I was in trouble, probation. It was not fun. I continued to struggle and I am sure a lot of people were wondering how I could vandalize my own church, but remember how Paul killed Christians? Well, he was still called to faith, and I thought they were brainwashing children and I was freaked out scared to be me. And offended.

      Well God would not let Go, and after that my eyes were opened to the spiritual world. I can't lie. My experience has been radical. And I still struggle with sin. So I have a heart for stubborn people like me who have a lot of negative emotion toward the bible.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Answer

      So the christian c-o-c-k-s-u-c-k-e-r wants to defend the religious bs.

      Give it a good try. Fail as always.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you fail to answer the question: why did you not get psychiatric treatment?

      March 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What the hell?

      What the fvck are you pulling?

      March 4, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • Answer

      Christian c-o-c-k-s-u-c-k-e-r-s are always the first to confuse username/nickname to jumble any of CNN's comment section.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So stupid Austin was posting but used your name by mistake?

      March 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Or are you trying to fvck around, Answer?

      March 4, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Austin

      All in fun after AWNSWERS offer for some co.ck loving on the leading thread. It was a harmless joke and I forgot to change my name back, Which is even funnier. Hahaa

      March 4, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Answer

      No Tom Tom..

      I don't fvck around. Any time I see my nickname being used other than myself I make it clear that I think it's a christian c-o-c-k-s-u-c-k-e-r attempting it.

      I know their s-e-x-u-a-l deficiencies. They'll avoid myself when they know they won't go s-e-x for s-e-x with me.

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

      Well, you two can have the thread. I'm going to bed.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Answer

      Austin.. the joke is your god.

      Proof enough is you. Pulling your antics.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
  6. Robert Brown

    Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. (Mic.7-18)

    “… I want to make a very startling statement: There is something that God has not seen but which you see every day. Perhaps you didn’t know that you could see something that God cannot see-but that is a true statement. It may sound rather impertinent for me to say that; it may sound irrelevant, irreverent, or inappropriate; it may even sound flippant or facetious. It may sound to you like I am making a parody or a pun, a riddle or a rhyme, a trick or treat, but I want to assure you that this is a serious and sober subject with a sensible and Scriptural answer. “Who is God like unto thee?” And it demands a thoughtful answer to an enigmatic subject…..God has not seen His equal, but you and I see our equals every day…”
    (McGee, Vernon J. Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. 3, pages 807-808. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1982.)

    March 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It's interesting, Robert, that one thing people want from God is justice – that there should always be justice even if only in some life after death. At the same time we want mercy. Someone said "Justice for others, but mercy for me, please."

      March 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      That’s good. I’ll take the mercy too. When a believer willfully and unrepentantly sins, God will correct them, punish them, his justice demands it. A believer cannot get by with sin, they either confess it, ask forgiveness for it, and repent of it, or God will judge it. Having experienced whippings from God, I will take the mercy every time.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Oops, “Who is God like unto thee?” should be, “Who is a God like unto thee?”

      March 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Austin

      Glorify your name oh Lord

      March 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Vandalizing a building is not normal behavior by any stretch of the imagination. You should have been getting treatment after that. Why didn't you?

      March 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  7. Sara Howells

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcyW7rMYR7A&w=640&h=390]
    ..

    March 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Garbage Alert

      Don't bother viewing this garbage, this troll is only here to get hits for their youtube site.

      Click the report abuse link to get rid of this trash.

      March 5, 2013 at 8:43 am |
  8. Apatheist

    Cthulu... Sources or it didn't happen...

    March 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  9. Faithful59

    "Before you speak it is neccessary to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart." Mother Theresa of Calcutta

    March 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Doobs

      Who cares what that phony old batshit crazy woman did? She also consorted with "Baby Doc" Duvalier, took $1.25 million in stolen money from Charles Keating, and never opened a single state of the art hospital in India, despite raking in millions of unaccounted for dollars, which went into the Vatican's general fund despite being designated for charity work. She also thought that it was good for the poor to suffer.

      Yet when she became ill, she flew by private jet to the world's best and most expensive treatment centers.

      March 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  10. lol??

    A&A's, lead me to your leader.

    FreeBeing
    @lol??
    You do realize that group apologies have thier place in the church and in the world...i think your generalization holds no water

    March 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • .

      Can you lead me to yours, lollsaround? No? Then shut the fuck up, moron.

      March 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  11. SoldierOfConscience

    Me II said:
    @SoldierOfConscience,
    "either it works or doesnt."

    Science works every time a plane flies, a computer runs, a farmer gets better yields, a child survives some disease, etc., etc., etc.
    How exactly does "God" work?

    My answer –

    God works through science. that way science can be fallible, and can get away with not being able to explain how the universe began right now, at a 100% level, to me. But He is always infallible.

    March 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Salero21

      That's stupid.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Soldier

      That's fucking moronic.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • ME II

      "God works through science. that way science can be fallible, "

      Why would that allow science to be fallible? If God works through it, shouldn't it be infallible too?

      March 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Austin

      That is retarded. If you dreamt about it maybe.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • 12ax7

      Thats dumb. Are you a Babboon?

      March 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • calin

      The concept of God being the author of science makes no sense to us.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm |

  12. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iKqr230U9M&w=640&h=390]

    389 Ministers Proclamation

    As Christian clergy we proclaim: the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

    -to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

    –to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

    –to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

    –to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

    Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

    John

    Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

    Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

    There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

    Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

    Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

    Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

    That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

    Don

    The most beautiful word in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "whosoever." All of God's promises are intended for every human being. This includes gay men and lesbians. How tragic it is that the Christian Church has excluded and persecuted people who are homosexual! We are all created with powerful needs for personal relationships. Our quality of life depends upon the love we share with others; whether family or friends, partners or peers. Yet, lesbians and gay men facing hostile attitudes in society often are denied access to healthy relationships. Jesus Christ calls us to find ultimate meaning in life through a personal relationship with our Creator. This important spiritual union can bring healing and strength to all of our human relationships

    Biblical Interpretation and Theology also change from time to time. Approximately 150 years ago in the United States, some Christian teaching held that there was a two-fold moral order: black and white. Whites were thought to be superior to blacks, therefore blacks were to be subservient and slavery was an institution ordained by God. Clergy who supported such an abhorrent idea claimed the authority of the Bible. The conflict over slavery led to divisions which gave birth to some major Christian denominations. These same denominations, of course, do not support slavery today. Did the Bible change? No, their interpretation of the Bible did!

    Genesis 19:1-25

    Some "televangelists" carelessly proclaim that God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of "homosexuality." Although some theologians have equated the sin of Sodom with homosexuality, a careful look at Scripture corrects such ignorance. Announcing judgment on these cities in Genesis 18, God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abraham's nephew, Lot, persuades them to stay in his home. Genesis 19 records that "all the people from every quarter" surround Lot's house demanding the release of his visitors so "we might know them." The Hebrew word for "know" in this case, yadha, usually means "have thorough knowledge of." It could also express intent to examine the visitors' credentials, or on rare occasions the term implies sexual intercourse. If the latter was the author's intended meaning, it would have been a clear case of attempted gang rape. Several observations are important.

    First, the judgment on these cities for their wickedness had been announced prior to the alleged homosexual incident. Second, all of Sodom's people participated in the assault on Lot's house; in no culture has more than a small minority of the population been homosexual. Third, Lot's offer to release his daughters suggests he knew his neighbors to have heterosexual interests. Fourth, if the issue was sexual, why did God spare Lot, who immediately commits incest with his daughters? Most importantly, why do all the other passages of Scripture referring to this account fail to raise the issue of homosexuality?

    Romans 1:24-27

    Most New Testament books, including the four Gospels, are silent on same-sex acts, and Paul is the only author who makes any reference to the subject. The most negative statement by Paul regarding same-sex acts occurs in Romans 1:24-27 where, in the context of a larger argument on the need of all people for the gospel of Jesus Christ, certain homosexual behavior is given as an example of the "uncleanness" of idolatrous Gentiles.

    This raises the question: Does this passage refer to all homosexual acts, or to certain homosexual behavior known to Paul's readers? The book of Romans was written to Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome, who would have been familiar with the infamous sexual excesses of their contemporaries, especially Roman emperors. They would also have been aware of tensions in the early Church regarding Gentiles and observance of the Jewish laws, as noted in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians. Jewish laws in Leviticus mentioned male same-sex acts in the context of idolatry.

    The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different from loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today.

    What is "Natural"?

    Significant to Paul's discussion is the fact that these "unclean" Gentiles exchanged that which was "natural" for them, physin, in the Greek text, for something "unnatural," para physin. In Romans 11:24, God acts in an "unnatural" way, para physin, to accept the Gentiles. "Unnatural" in these passages does not refer to violation of so-called laws of nature, but rather implies action contradicting one's own nature. In view of this, we should observe that it is "unnatural," para physin, for a person today with a lesbian or gay sexual orientation to attempt living a heterosexual lifestyle.

    I Corinthians 6:9

    Any consideration of New Testament statements on same-sex acts must carefully view the social context of the Greco-Roman culture in which Paul ministered. Prostitution and pederasty (sexual relationships of adult men with boys) were the most commonly known male same-sex acts. In I Corinthians 6:9, Paul condemns those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind," as translated in the King James version. Unfortunately, some new translations are worse, rendering these words "homosexuals." Recent scholarship unmasks the homophobia behind such mistranslations.

    The first word – malakos, in the Greek text-which has been translated "effeminate" or "soft," most likely refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control. The word is used elsewhere in the New Testament but never with reference to sexuality.

    The second word, Arsenokoitai, occurs once each in I Corinthians and I Timothy (1:10), but nowhere else in other literature of the period. It is derived from two Greek words, one meaning, "males" and the other "beds", a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Other Greek words were commonly used to describe homosexual behavior but do not appear here. The larger context of I Corinthians 6 shows Paul extremely concerned with prostitution, so it is very possible he was referring to male prostitutes. But many experts now attempting to translate these words have reached a simple conclusion: their precise meaning is uncertain. Scripture Study Conclusion…No Law Against Love

    The rarity with which Paul discusses any form of same-sex behavior and the ambiguity in references attributed to him make it extremely unsound to conclude any sure position in the New Testament on homosexuality, especially in the context of loving, responsible relationships. Since any arguments must be made from silence, it is much more reliable to turn to great principles of the Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do not judge others, lest you be judged. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love . . . . . against such there is no law. One thing is abundantly clear, as Paul stated in Galatians 5:14: "...the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

    Sarah

    Let me make one thing clear: being gay is not wrong. It is not unnatural. It isn’t immoral or gross or something that should provoke disgust. What is wrong, what is unnatural, what is immoral and what is gross is intolerance and discrimination against fellow human beings for their sexual orientation and active pursuit of preventing loving and committed homosexual couples from legally being married.

    I believe in God, and I identify as a Christian, and this identity as a Christian has provided me with the insight to know that people who oppose gay marriage based on “religious reasons” are just making excuses for their homophobia. The idea that homosexuality is sinful is a farce. The Bible never actually condemns homosexuality. You know what the Bible does condemn?

    Winking. “He who winks is plotting perversity.” Proverbs 16:30

    Rounded haircuts. “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.” Leviticus 19:17

    Tattoos. “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you.” Leviticus 19:28

    It is unacceptable that some modern Americans think it’s alright to toss rules like these aside and yet still vehemently oppose marriage rights for homosexual couples.

    As a Christian, I’ve been taught to love my neighbor. Somehow, active public discrimination against homosexuals and barring fellow human beings from marriage rights does not seem very loving or neighborly to me.

    Homosexuality isn’t a disease: it’s an innate way of being.

    Nobody is going to “catch” gay.

    Nobody is going to be “cured” of their homosexuality.

    Sexual orientation is personal and affects nobody but the individual and is absolutely not the business of anybody but the individual.

    The fact that people continue to suggest otherwise and perpetuate this idea that homosexuality is wrong and attempting to make outcasts of people who identify as gay is unbelievably disgusting and frightening and old-fashioned.

    It’s 2012, and we should have come much further than this by now.

    This matters. This is an issue that, if left unfixed, tacitly permits discrimination and harassment.

    The prevalence of anti-gay messages encourages bullying and hate crimes, and there are literally confused, hurt, frightened young people who actually kill themselves over issues like this — and yet people still insist upon calling homosexuality a sin.

    The cruelty and hypocrisy is infuriating and unacceptable.

    It needs to stop.

    Until marriage equality is legal in all fifty states, I hope Americans will have the courage to end hatred and homophobia.

    Eric

    Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.
    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    .

    James

    As usual, Bob is wrong again. The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

    Brent

    "There is no Christian case for "gay marriage"

    Religion-based bigotry use religious teachings to justify discrimination against Native Americans, African Americans, minority religious groups, woman and interracial couples.

    Connecting the dots between historical bigotry against other groups and the atudes of some people today toward hosexuality is one of the most effective ways to educate people about the denial of equal rights to the LGBT community.

    Most people know that, historically, religion has been used to justify discrimination against women, religious minorities and people of color. Putting anti-gay religious beliefs in this historical context can be a powerful tool in connecting discrimination that most Americans today accept as morally wrong and the discrimination faced by LGBT people. By citing historical instances of religion-based bigotry and prejudice, you allow people to be more comfortable with atudinal change – they realize they are not stepping out alone against a commonly accepted viewpoint but rather following historical progress toward justice and equality.

    When talking about the misuse of religion to justify discrimination in the past, it is important not to say that the LGBT community’s struggle with discrimination is exactly the same as the Civil Rights Movement. Rather, the point is that religion-based bigotry has been a common denominator of injustice toward many groups in American society’s past. When given a chance, many people will see the underlying historical pattern of using religious teachings and beliefs to justify harmful discrimination.

    There is another benefit to citing other times in the past when religious teachings have been used to justify discrimination. Many times, when people of faith are challenged about their anti-gay views, they cite biblical verses or other religious texts as a safe haven when they are unable to articulate why they hold prejudiced atudes toward LGBT people. Instead of telling people that their interpretation is wrong, you can remind them that other religious texts have been used in the past to justify atudes and laws that are recognized today as morally wrong and unjust – such as discrimination against women, people of color and religious minorities.

    History provides the moral judgment, and we do not have to be theologians engaged in scriptural debates to point people to the judgment rendered by history.

    Elaine

    "Sodom and Gomorrah is still a good example. "

    In Genesis 18, the story about the angels coming to Lot's house, we learn that the reason they were coming to destroy Sodom was because of the wickedness that ALREADY existed in the city. The exact form of wickedness is not mentioned in that story!

    Let's just reinforce this CRITICAL piece of information. In the story of Sodom, in Genesis 18, God had ALREADY decided to destroy the city BEFORE the attempted ra pe of the angels – which incidentally was perpetrated mainly by heterose xuals since ALL the men of the city were involved, and we know that throughout history, gays have only represented about 10% of the population. Also, if they were ho mose xuals, why would Lot suggest that they take his daughters instead? That just doesn't make sense if the men were gay.

    So just to get this straight, the event that took place at Sodom was an act of violence and ra pe, mainly by heterose xuals. It had nothing to do with a loving relationship between two people of the same se x, and ho mose xuality was NOT the sin of Sodom in whatever form. The story of Sodom in Genesis 18 was about violence and domination, the same type of event that takes place in prisons and occupied countries, but it was NOT the reason for God's decision to destroy the city, and to use this story as a basis for prejudice against ho mose xuality in general is like comparing ra pe to marriage. There is NO similarity!

    The aftermath of Sodom aside, let's take a look at other passages of Scripture that mention the sin of Sodom. Here are 14 references to Sodom and not one of them mentions ho mose xuality!!!!! The overwhelming themes are idolatry, immorality and inhospitality! To me, this indicates people like Bob and HeavenSent have taken things out of context!

    Deuteronomy 29:17-26 – the sin – idolatry and images to false gods – "Why has the Lord done this to the land? . . . It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord . . ."

    Deuteronomy 32:32-38 – the sin – idolatry – "He will say 'Now where are their gods?'"

    Isaiah 1:2-23 – the sin – idolatry, rebellion, injustice, murder, greed, theft, covetousness, mistreating the poor – "They have rebelled against Me."

    Isaiah 3:8-19 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance – "Their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious Presence"

    Jeremiah 23:10-14 – the sin – idolatry, adultery, lying by priests and prophets – "Both prophet and priest are godless. . . . They prophesied by Baal and led My people astray."

    Jeremiah 49:16-18 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance, oppression, pride of the heart – "The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived
    you. . ."

    Jeremiah 50:2-40 – the sin – idolatry, pride, false prophets – "Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror. . . . . For she has defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. . . . . Their shepherds have led them astray."

    Lamentations 4:3-6 – the sin – cruelty and failure to care for the young and poor – "My people have become heartless."

    Ezekiel 16:49-50 – the sin – "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned: they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me."

    Amos 4:1-11 – the sin – idolatry, oppression, mistreating the poor – "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom . . . . yet you have not returned to Me."

    Zephaniah 2:8-11 – the sin – idolatry, pride, mocking – "This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when He destroys all the gods of the land."

    Luke 17:26-29 – Jesus speaking – No specific sins mentioned

    II Peter 2:1-22 – the sin – idolatry, living after ungodliness, lawlessness, arrogance, blaspheming, adultery, greed, corruption, depravity, boasting, lust – "But there were also false prophets among the people . . . . ."

    Jude 1:7-8 – the sin – se xual immorality and perversion, i.e fornication after strange flesh (angels, see Genesis 6:1) KJV

    The dictionary defines "perversion" as "a se xual practice regarded as abnormal". That means that a heterose xual practicing ho mose xual acts is perverted as in the case of ALL the men of Sodom wanting to engage with the angels (strange flesh). However, since se x with the same gender is normal for a gay person, there is no perversion associated merely by the se xual act.

    Note also that, while the word "abomination" has been used with reference to hom ose xuality, the biblical interpretation of the word "abomination" relates to any act of uncleanness as set out in the Holiness Code, such as eating shellfish, trimming your hair, touching the skin of a dead pig (should we stone the entire NFL?), wearing clothes of two kinds of material (polyester/cotton) – the list is long. How can we discuss one sin to the exclusion of all others?

    This is an enormous subject, which has been reduced to simplistic values. It is plain and simple prejudice to portray ho mose xuals as immoral just because of the gender to whom we are attracted. Of course there are immoral hom ose xuals, just as there are immoral heterose xuals, but simple orientation carries no implication of morality or immorality.

    Our se xuality is God-given. God made us the way we are. It follows naturally that He loves us exactly the way He made us. So long as we embrace marriage with the same standards as any monogamous, loving heterose xual relationship there should be no barrier against us.

    When gays are only asking to have their loving relationships acknowledged and respected, why is there so much fear and anger? To strengthen marriage, why not take a stand against divorce and separation, instead of opposing love and commitment? Jesus spoke of divorce, but he never mentioned hom ose xuality. I believe that was because ho mose xuality was not even an issue in His day. Love was love. Love IS Love!

    "Protect marriage? Puhlease. With a 50 percent divorce rate, rampant domestic violence, Las Vegas drive-through chapels, and I wanna-marry-a-really-rich-guy reality TV shows, there's no way gays could trash marriage the way straight people have."

    This letter only refers to the sin of Sodom. There are actually six "clobber verses" which are used against gays. Space does not permit an explanation of each one, but just as the sin of Sodom has been misrepresented, so have the other verses. There is an explanation for each one that clearly indicates that, just as slavery was condoned by Scripture for many years, ("Slaves obey your masters . . . . ." Eph. 6:5-8) and civil wars were fought to protect the ownership of people, we now know that Scripture was interpreted incorrectly, for God would not have people to be possessions.

    We now have a fuller understanding of Scripture with regard to slavery. It's time to accept a fuller understanding of ho mose xuality based on new research into language, concepts and customs when these words were written.

    So please choose acceptance and inclusiveness whether or not you understand fully. One of us is wrong. Many of you think it's me. I think it's you, based on solid research into Scripture from another perspective. Yes, God encourages us to question Scripture.

    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, REPROOF and instruction in righteousness." II Tim. 3:16

    If there is even a chance that I could be right, do you want to take the eternal risk of rejecting some of God's children, and slamming the doors of your churches to those of us who wish to enter? That's what you're doing when you treat us as less than yourselves simply based on our orientation.

    If we have done the research, and it is our understanding that God loves us, including our orientation, then why not just let God be the judge? He will be in the end anyway. If one of us is to err, why not err on the side of love and acceptance? Now that was truly Jesus' example!

    Shawn

    Let me start this off with a quote from a famous lesbian, Lynn Lavner:

    "There are 6 admonishments in the Bible concerning ho mose xual activity, and our enemies are always throwing them up to us – usually in a vicious way and very much out of context.

    What they don't want us to remember is that there are 362 admonishments in the Bible concerning heterose xual activity. I don't mean to imply by this that God doesn't love straight people, only that they seem to require a great deal more supervision."

    I am going to attempt to keep this short and simple, so here we go.

    Some claim that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 clearly say that ho mose xual se x is an abomination. In fact, it merits death. Isn't it obvious that God hates hom ose xuality?

    Yes, depending on which translation you are using, Leviticus does say, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it's an abomination." However, a few points must be made about this statement:

    a) It appears in Leviticus, which was given to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the religion and culture of Israel. However, as stated in Galatians 3:22-55, Christians are no longer bound by these Jewish laws. Even if you, for some reason, argue that these "laws" are still important, then you surely follow all of them, right?

    It is interesting that people who use Leviticus against the gay community forget the part that talks about religious sacrifices, making women sleep in tents outside during their period, the dietary restrictions placed on them and how to cleanse a leper, all of which appear in Leviticus.

    The laws of Leviticus are completely obsolete for today's Christian; however, even if you do claim to live by the laws of Leviticus, it is not fair to pick and choose which laws you are going to live by, or condemn a people by, if you are not going to follow the others. You should not need any more convincing evidence than this; but if you do, be my guest.

    b) The word that was in the original work, "to'ebah," which was translated into Greek as "bdglygma" actually means "ritual impurity" rather than abomination (or enormous sin). These passages in Leviticus can be translated to not mean hom ose xual se x generally, but only limiting hom ose xual se x in Pagan temples.

    c) This passage does not denounce hom ose xual behavior as a whole, but just the specific act of anal se x. This was meant for the prevention of disease. It was ruled unclean because it was physically unclean; however, hygiene has made wonderful advances since that time.

    d) These passages in Leviticus can be interpreted in many ways. I have seen it interpreted by scholars and priests to mean: "don't have se x with another man in your wife's bed;" "don't have se x with another man in the temple;" and "don't have se x with another man and pretend he is a woman," just to name a few.

    I have never seen an interpretation in any Bible, or from any scholar, that specifically says to never have se x with a man.

    Some claim the Bible simply does not support gay marriage. Chapter two of Genesis defines marriage as a holy union between a man and a woman. And later, in Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus himself reiterates the traits of a traditional marriage. How can you argue that anything other than celibacy is honorable for gay and lesbian people?

    Yes, marriage is a holy union. However, in these passages, while Jesus reiterates (but does not require) the traditional marriage, he also provides an exception for eunuchs (castrated men – or otherwise impotent men, in today's terms), and allowed them to be married, saying that this law is given to those to whom it applies.

    Because these eunuchs were born se xless, God made an exception for them because it was natural. The same applies to the Gay community today. Science has proven hom ose xuality is completely natural, so it seems God would allow for hom ose xual marriages.

    In Matthew 19: 4-5, Jesus encourages a traditional path, but does not discourage alternatives, except in the case of divorce.

    Jesus did stress purity of marriage, but not in regard to the se xes of the people within it. It can be seen that the reason that churches are against hom ose xual marriage is not because it is explicitly said by God, but because of a lack of instruction to specifically allow it.

    In the time that the Bible was written it would have been impossible to foresee the future to be able to specifically allow or forbid hom ose xual marriage.

    Some claim, in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he lists hom ose xuals amongst the many sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Doesn't that make God's position on this vice very clear?

    If we look at the other types of people listed in this passage, we can understand what it is actually talking about. Law breakers, thieves, adulterers and drunks are specifically mentioned. The word "hom ose xual" was not found until the 1890s, so it would have been impossible for it to be in the original version.

    What actually appears in the original is Paul condemning those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind." In this context, the original Greek word, "malakos," is translated into effeminate, or soft, which, more than likely, refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control.

    In this passage, when Paul condemns "abusers of themselves with mankind," he is speaking of male prost itutes.

    Then there are the people who claim that, even though science has proven that people don't choose their se xual orientation, the fact remains that hom ose xuality is unnatural. Romans 1:26-27 tells us that humans have a sinful nature, and therefore commit sins against God. Certain people are predisposed to be alcoholics and pedophiles, but that doesn't make their actions any less immoral. God tells us to "tear out your eye" if it makes you stumble. Why can't you just accept hom ose xuality as the part of your nature you must deny?

    Because the Bible has gone through so many translations, and through the hands of many people (some being non-believers), it is not surprising that the meaning has become a little fuzzy in parts.

    Hom ose xuality is normal. The phrase "para physin" appears in the original text for this verse. This term is often translated to mean "unnatural;" however, more accurate translation would be unconventional.

    Proof for this can be found in 1 Corinthians 11:14 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to men with long hair (unconventional, not unnatural) and in Romans 11:24 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to the positive action God made to bring together the Jews and Gentiles.

    All in all, hom ose xuality is obviously not a sin, unless you take passages from the Bible and add your own words or you just try really hard to interpret it that way. Let's just remember Galatians 5:14, where Paul stated, "the whole Law is fulfilled in one Statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

    YeahRight

    Bob – the biggest liar anywhere. We've pointed out over and over again you are using reports from well known hate groups that the experts in this country have proven are false. The experts in this country are stating that heterose xual behavior and hom ose xual behavior are normal aspects of human se xuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bise xual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that hom ose xuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Like their heterose xual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

    Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-se x partners closely resemble those of heterose xual partnerships. Like heterose xual couples, same-se x couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterose xual and same-se x couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterose xual couples.

    A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-se x parents as it is for children of opposite-se x parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-se x parents as for children of opposite-se x parents.

    Assertions that heterose xual couples are inherently better parents than same se x couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterose xual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterose xual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterose xual parents.

    March 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Elaine

      @ "Sodom and Gomorrah is still a good example." I never said that!!!! That was Chad.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Apatheist

      They really need to limit the number of characters per post... Somwhere south of 10,000 should suffice...

      March 4, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • lol??

      Lookin' fer angels to r*ape in all the wrong places.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • == o ==

      Nah, lol?? da ra*pin' angels are from the OT, not the OC.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Good news to you too: LGBT people and the rest of humanity will get along just fine without clergy. So, run along now and commune with your imaginary friends and tend to your diminishing flocks. Try to do some real and lasting good with the earthly resources you've raked in.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Hmmm

      Yea – you can do something useful, like put up billboards with typos.

      March 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Rich

      You forgot "man shall not lie with man".

      March 4, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Austin

      People are not born with a se.xual l disposition. That's a lie. Children explore and act out scenarios they don't understand, they are un programmed .

      People try way to hard to be hip. If you think a Gay man can't enjoy s.ex with a woman you are kidding yourself.this t is a personality issue, a psycho issue.

      I have had dreams where drag queen demons , are mentally tormenting me. I know that the author of this flambouyant declaration of rebellion is a demonic foothold on a persons mind. The lead tempter of this error is the devil, and he has a grip on people.

      The mother of the transgender toddler is a guilty piece of garbage. I have way more respect for someone who struggles with perversion or confusion, than I did that mother. That lady is is responsible . She is organizing this thing after a kid was confused and she took advantage and exploited her child. What an evil mother.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm |

    • Tell Chad not to lie with anyone.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Rachel

      That's easier than telling him not to lie TO anyone.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      You are completely fucking insane.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Austin

      Love sinners!

      Hate sin. Hate lies and deception. Hate evil.

      Repent...to turn away from.

      While we were yet sinners , Christ died for us. He is risen.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • 12ax7

      Austin why are you here all day? Don't you have a job or a life?

      March 4, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      I doubt you love anyone. Your posts here are hateful, bigoted, evil piles of shit. You continuously talk about dreams I doubt you've ever had, and think posting some inane bullshit is any kind of response. You are the worst kind of worthless, you think you have some kind of point.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Austin

      Spiritual perception is a blessing. I don't hate anyone, I'm not a bigot. I know how powerful sin is. I don't hate anyone, I don think being gay is worse than having a pride problem.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You mention vivid and extravagantly fantastic dreaming fairly often, austin. Also, you don't separate those dreams from reality all that well. It could be a symptom of something that might mean trouble for you in the future. In all seriousness i'd advise you to see what a medical professional makes of it.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Austin, if you don't know that being gay isn't a choice, then you're either stupid or ignorant, or perhaps both. Grow the hell up. You post clueless sh!t on here all the time. I doubt you have any relationships of your own and you surely have no understanding of anyone else's life.

      Educate yourself.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Austin

      Hawaii guest, on my life, these dreams are not fabricated.

      They reach beyond the subconscious, some are messages. And I have to be careful in discerning the author. But there was a spurt last winter where something radical happened.

      Most of my dreams are the typical subconscious mind working through things from my life.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • Austin

      Tom Tom,

      Can you prove there is not any demonic persecution on the individual in this world?

      I have proof that there is, and some atheist psychologist would hate me. So what. I cant lie to myself .

      A preacher from Somalia talked about his conversion from Islam (he has a constant death threat on his life) and his wife refused to convert, until she had a vision of an American missionary, who arrived two days later, and when she saw him, she converted on the spot. That is what the spirit does to bless His ministry.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Austin

      Tom Tom,

      Can you prove there is not any demonic persecution on the individual in this world?

      I have proof that there is, and some atheist psychologist would hate me. So what. I cant lie to myself .

      A preacher from Somalia talked about his conversion from Islam (he has a constant death threat on his life) and his wife refused to convert, until she had a vision of an American missionary, who arrived two days later, and when she saw him, she converted on the spot. That is what the spirit does to bless His ministry. He spoke at church two weeks age.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are a fvcking moron. You need psychiatric treatment, too.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      You are demonstrating the immorality of your religion. I could say "The sky is clear" when it is in fact overcast, and that would make me worthy to be TORTURED FOREVER. Your entire religion is based on believing the "them" crowd will be burned forever, giving you a sense of superiority because you deign, in your slef-righteous bigotry, to tell them so. Save your platitudes and non-answer bullshit for your church where someone might care.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      389 Ministers Proclamation,
      I was with you through the love your neighbor part, but then you started talking about the writings of Paul as if they were just his opinions. This is a common practice of liberal theologians and is a very slippery slope because you can’t draw the line at where to stop. In other words, everything that sounds good to me in the bible I am going to believe and the things I disagree with are the opinions of the authors. It is either the written word of the true and living God, recorded by people inspired by his holy spirit or….

      March 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      There are Christian psychiatrists, Austin. At least think about seeing someone.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TTTOO, do you think Austin is perhaps suffering from bipolar disorder?

      March 4, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      TTTPS-
      I'd guess something more serious. But that's out of my league.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Mine too, but the grandiosity makes me think it might be something like that. I don't know, though–could even be schizophrenia.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  13. RF

    It is ironic that those who would reject God receive as punishment God's rejection,"

    March 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • ME II

      Is rejection by something that does not exist really rejection at all?

      March 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • MeMeMeMe

      Yes.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Apatheist

      You forgot to delete the closing qutation mark when you pasted your comment from wherever it is you found it...

      March 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • on the other hand, facts

      Oh Noes! Please do not condemn me to rejection, ironic or otherwise! What can I do to be accepted? Please, tell me what to do before it's too late!

      March 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  14. Salero21

    Now, now, a very stupid atheist argument is that there are few atheists in prisons. Well this argument doesn’t hold water and I'll explain as follows.

    First of all atheist are still are a minority of the population.

    Secondly a lot of people who say or claims to believe in God they don't really mean it. Their acts, actions, behavior, comportment, conduct, deeds, their lives and lifestyle do NOT reflect what they say. Their actions, conduct, deeds and lifestyles disprove their claims.

    So like I said somewhere else these types of people are atheists in Practice. Although thru their mouths they speak of God as believing that He exists. But they rob and steal, like the monkeys like the monkeys and like the communists who are loved by the atheists.

    March 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • midwest rail

      While you, on the other hand, exhibit the three prime characteristics of contemporary Christianity quite nicely. You are arrogant, condescending, and hateful. Well done.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • clarity

      "Secondly a lot of people who say or claims to believe in God they don't really mean it."

      Every other Xtian says every other Xtian is not an Xtian (only when for argument's sake, it's convenient to do so–lol).

      Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

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

      March 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Salero21

      Midwest Trailer,

      You're the arrogant, condescending and hatefull.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Great reply, Salero – a playground retort from a playground intellect.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • ME II

      If all who sin are not Christian, then there are no Christians.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • 12ax7

      I guess these dumb Atheists baboon will need to get some help from their Idol Bill Mayer.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Salero21

      Clarity fuss,

      Of those millions, most were killed, tortured, etc. etc. under the hands of both useless and practical atheists. So your argument actually proves me right.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Psst's understudy

      It's Bill Maher.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • ME II

      @12ax7,
      Are you going give us some 'Yo Mama' jokes now? Baboons, lol.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • 12ax7

      @ Me II

      Go ahead and call your Atheists Baboons Cult Leader Bill Maher, you will need him because you guy's are not too good with arguments.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • justmyopinion

      Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago, historians have catalog over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be consider deities. So next time someone tells me they believe in god, I'll say oh which one Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Vishna? Krishna? Ra?.... if they say just God. I only believe in the one God, I'll point out that they're nearly as atheistic as me. I don't believe in 2,870 gods, and they don't believe in 2,869

      March 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • justmyopinion

      "Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing - fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand

      March 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @12ax7,
      "Go ahead and call your Atheists Baboons Cult Leader Bill Maher, you will need him because you guy's are not too good with arguments."

      What argument? All I see is name-calling from you.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • 12ax7

      Now you atheists are getting a taste of your own medicine.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Good Patient

      No, that would require you to post something intelligent, 12ax7.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Salero21

      Yeah, 12ax7, you don't have the brains.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • 12ax7

      Post something intelligent? Are you out of your mind?
      That's the problem with you Atheists morons, you've been attacking and insulting people on these for board for too long, you are like the parasites of the society. You start something and then you turn the blame on your victim. I call that psychopaths, that is the most closest diagnostic to describe you people.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • 12ax7

      You mean i don't have a brain Salerno? lol

      March 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Salero21

      Shut up 12ax7. your a parasite.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • 12ax7

      I run a business. I have brains.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • 12ax7

      From the comments i read from you, you seemed to be on the same wavelength i was, i doubt you are the same Salerno21, maybe it's one of those Atheists morons using your name.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • 12ax7

      I guess i was right, only an Atheist Baboon would be acting like a child and using other people name. What a bunch of morons and cowards.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Salero21

      No its me. You aren't doing any good.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • 12ax7

      Naw it's not you, it's one of those atheists morons.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Austin

      So are you two friends?

      March 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Saraswati

      On the other hand we know from numerous surveys that a) atheists are on average better educated than the general population and b) people in prison are on average less educated than the general population. Even without a direct causal link we would expect to see a negative correlation between atheism and probability of ending up in prison.

      March 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Aydin

      12ax7, You wrote: "I call that psychopaths, that is the most closest diagnostic to describe you people."

      This is as silly as atheists who call Christians mentally ill and delusional for believing in god. Grow up and stop trying to diagnose away your opponent – it's lazy and about the same as a 7 year old calling the enemy “booger brain”.

      March 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Chad

      actually, its not a big delta, but there is a higher percentage of atheists in prison that in in the general population.

      March 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Chad

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/03/29/what-percentage-of-prisoners-are-atheists-pew-forum-offers-an-answer/

      March 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      You really are pathetic. It states quite clearly in the article that the survey was asking CHAPLAIN'S what they thought the religious preference of the inmates were, and even then, it says nothing about "atheists", or "non-religious". The closest thing that would encompass atheists would be "no religious preference" with the mean being 10.6%, and the general population, at best guess, is at around 20%. You're getting so desperate it would be sad if you weren't such an asshole.

      March 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • Austin

      Christians are in jail because they are Christians?

      March 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad,

      Did you actually read that article?

      According to that data 10.6 percent in the prisons are unaffiliated (though it's a bit fishy the way it was collected).

      19.6% are unaffiliated in the general population according to the latest Pew survey, and since that also had atheist data we'll use that. Only 6% are atheist or agnostic. That's about 30% of the 19.6%, which would mean it is likely that the atheist/agnostic part of the 10.6% on your link is really likely more like 3.2% for atheist/agnostic in prison – the exact opposite of what you're trying to argue. If we use the Gallup numbers linked the difference is even greater.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      "there is a higher percentage of atheists in prison that in in the general population.

      BS Chad.

      Saraswati's assessment is cogent and a good estimate.

      Personally I think the Pew/PRRI numbers undercount atheists/agnostics because they are all self-identified numbers. There are people out there who are afraid to admit they no longer believe in the dogma of the churches to which they are affilliated. How many? Who can say. But Pew and PRRI both count similar numbers for atheist + agnostic in the general population:

      PRRI-12 = 6.7%
      Pew-12 = 5.7%

      With close to 20% unaffilliated.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • .

      Salero and Chad are getting more desperate by the second.
      That Pew survey stated nothing of what Chad asserts, which is why his arguments always, ALWAYS fail in the long run.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      actually I loved this description of people who are uncomfortable admitting they no longer believe:
      http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-fighting-creeping-creationism/

      BILL MOYERS: What's hard about being an atheist in an obviously pluralistic society soaked in religiosity?

      SUSAN JACOBY: There's nothing hard about it in New York City, obviously. What is hard about it, I can really answer that question, because the "Dallas Morning News" reprinted the piece I wrote about atheism, which mentioned Ingersoll's views that atheism and agnosticism were the same. But this piece I wrote was reprinted in full in the "Dallas Morning News" the week after it ran at the Times.

      My author website nearly crashed with e-mails from people of all ages, from all over Texas, saying how thrilled they were to read this piece talking about what their lives were like in small towns in Texas. The oldest person who wrote me a letter was an 85-year-old African American man from Amarillo, who talked to me not only about his experiences as an atheist in Texas, but as an atheist in the African American community in Texas.

      In other words, groups in which African Americans are among the most religious people in the country. And while it doesn't translate into economic conservatism, many of them are very religiously conservative. And he said how wonderful it was to have something to show his friends. And I thought, "My God, there really is a hell, an African American atheist for 85 years in Amarillo." He was somebody who revered WEB Du Bois, who, of course, was an atheist, but never got much traction in the African American community on that issue.

      This comment put me in mind of the (atheist) mother from Texas whose blog was reposted here on the Belief Blog some months back.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Chad

      sigh, I read it. You didnt..

      Prison population:
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/03/29/what-percentage-of-prisoners-are-atheists-pew-forum-offers-an-answer/

      10.6% "no religious preference"

      General population:
      http://religions.pewforum.org/reports
      atheist – 1.6%
      agnostic – 2.4%
      secular unaffiliated – 6.3
      Total "non-religious" = 10.3

      There is a slightly larger atheist prison population than in the general population.

      please do some reading before responding hysterically..

      ====
      @saraswati, what pew research poll gave you a number of 19.6%?
      if you read it, which I suspect you didnt, you'll see that 19.6 includes "religious unaffiliated", which certainly cant be counted in your bucket.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What is salient, Chad/Rachel, is this: Obviously, nonreligious means atheists, agnostics, and people who just don’t subscribe to organized religion — we don’t know the breakdown. But 11% overall is much more than anyone has ever said before. Even if it’s accurate, those (likely inflated) results are significantly smaller than the 32% of nonreligious people who make up the general population.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Cue Chad/Rachel to chuckle snarkily, sigh, urge me to read, and the other usual crap. You can quibble about it all you want, but non-religious can most certainly go "in the bucket." Just because it doesn't suit your purposes doesn't make a good reason for excluding all but professed atheists.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Chad

      32% of nonreligious people who make up the general population.

      Just an EXCELLENT example of atheist irrationality, just really outstanding.

      Here's why:

      if you read the link provided to back up that figure (I know you didnt read it.. just kidding), you'll see that it points to a Gallup poll asking the question " “Is religion an important part of your daily life?”

      Respondents in three categories:
      1. Very religious
      2. Moderately religious
      3. Non-religious (this is the 32%, their statement was that "religion is not an important part of their daily life and that they seldom or never attend religious services.

      so, that "32%" was anyone and everyone that said that. from a poll that was not intended to collect information on religius breakdown.

      LOL
      about all I can say is that..
      LOL

      as cited above, Pew shows 10.3% of the general population vs 10.6% of the prison population. That attempt to mangle the statistics to show something different is breathtakingly dishonest..

      March 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of course, some chaplains may have quite a bit of knowledge and others rather little knowledge about the religious preferences of inmates. And, even if chaplains had perfect information about the relative distribution of religious groups among inmates, these findings are not weighted in proportion to the size of each prison’s population and thus cannot provide an accurate estimate of religious affiliation among the U.S. prison population. Nonetheless, these findings offer an impressionistic picture of the religious context in which chaplains work.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I can't figure out why anyone would ever believe anything Chad says. I can't believe the wonderful fortune of the atheists to have Chad on the side opposite us. Thanks for all you do, Chad!! 🙂

      March 4, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The actual number of believers in prison is unimportant, just that it's a significant number. Perhaps through proper rehabilitation...

      March 4, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The dishonesty here is yours, Chad, or is it Rachel tonight? I can never tell, as you LIE about it so often.

      The article states that there is no way to know EXACTLY what percentage of inmates are atheists.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Chad

      atheists/agnostics in prison population(10.6%): http://www.pewforum.org/Social-Welfare/prison-chaplains-preface.aspx
      atheists/agnostics in general poplulation(10.3%): http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

      March 4, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Last week, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life released the results of a survey of professional prison chaplains across the United States. The results (PDF) offer some insight into the religious lives of prisoners. But keep in mind it’s not necessarily accurate — they’re asking chaplains across the country what they think the religious makeup of the prisoners is.

      Keep in mind that the word "think" in the last sentence is italicized in the article.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      By comparison, in the U.S. public as a whole, half (50%) of adults identify as Protestants and about a quarter (23%) are Catholics. About one-in-five adults (19%) are religiously unaffiliated (describing their religion as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular”)

      March 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What Chad/Rachel fails to acknowledge is that the percentages quoted are based not on what prisoners say about themselves, but on the chaplains' impressions.

      Of course, that wouldn't do much for Chad/Rachel's case, so he just ignores it.

      Fvcking lying piece of sh!t.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad,

      You are misinterpreting both the prison survey and the Pew numbers. Reread what I wrote; I broke the atheists out from the 19.6 number out with "atheist and agnostics" which is also provided in the Pew data at 6%. The prison bucket also includes people who may be theists unaffiliated with a particular religion, so the atheists and agnostics bucket will be much lower, just as in the general population.

      Atheist/Agnostic:

      General population: 6%
      Prison: approximately 3.2%

      Note that I doubt very much this is causal and think the whole discussion is silly, but if there's one thing you can't use prison numbers for it is to indicate atheism causes crime. If anything, it would be evidence to the contrary.

      March 5, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • The Devil

      Sara and Chad ..... anybody else notice .

      Paece

      March 5, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • Saraswati

      Oh, good, are we going to do the "Sara and Chad are the same person" hypothesizing again? I think it's funny but Chad doesn't seem as amused (by that or, really, anything). If we are the same person I guess that would be indicative of our split personality.

      Usually I find it a compliment that I could pull off two sides of the argument, but Chad is particularly weak in this argument so I'm actually a little offended this time. If I were doing Chad on this one I would at least have made it look like I read the studies correctly.

      March 5, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I wouldn't worry too much, Saraswati. If Chad is a persona of yours it's clear you don't put any more effort into it than it deserves. Your posts as Saraswati are a very worthwhile read. I don't think you're the sort to use sock puppets.

      March 5, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Saraswati

      @TTTOO,

      I actually didn't even know what the term "sock puppet" meant in this context until a few days ago – it's my vocab word of the week. 🙂

      March 5, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Chad

      @Saraswati "Oh, good, are we going to do the "Sara and Chad are the same person" hypothesizing again? I think it's funny but Chad..."
      @Chad "I'm immune to it at this point, if you believe the atheists I serially post on different names (something I have never once done).
      The problem is, there are times when your responses are insufficiently rabid when it comes to criticizing me. Atheists look for that, because it indicates you are a potentially the "one Christian" that posts on the internet. The notion that any thinking person could possibly agree with something a Christian says, is simply anathema.

      ==========
      @sara "You are misinterpreting both the prison survey and the Pew numbers"
      @Chad "oh really 🙂

      and, how is that possible?
      atheists/agnostics in prison population(10.6%): http://www.pewforum.org/Social-Welfare/prison-chaplains-preface.aspx
      atheists/agnostics in general poplulation(10.3%): http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

      I'll ask the same question again, where did you get this "19.6" number from?

      March 5, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad, or is it Rachel? How fvcking stupid are you? You're not even smart enough to know when you've been trounced.

      March 5, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I think Chad/Rachel must be OCD. It has a profound inability to see any big picture whatsoever. It will cling to tenths of a percentage to attempt to prove it's "right" even when the point doesn't involve some minute number.

      Get it, moron? The number of atheists and agnostics in prison is LOW. There are more Christians in prisons than there are atheists.

      Why is that? If there's no morality among atheists, then why aren't ALL atheists in prison? Why aren't ALL Christians good?

      March 5, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Austin

      Where did 19.6 come from? I could not find that either.

      March 5, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad,

      Pew data:

      http://www.pewforum.org/unaffiliated/nones-on-the-rise.aspx

      CNN Belief Blog story reporting on it:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/09/survey-one-in-five-americans-is-religiously-unaffiliated/

      One of the pages in which you, yourself, commented on this story when it came out so presumably are familiar with it:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/09/survey-one-in-five-americans-is-religiously-unaffiliated/comment-page-79/

      And before you go around on the "it contains unaffiliated" bit again, read the report. The data also contains specific data for atheist/agnostic. In contrast to what you claimed, the prison data would also include unaffiliated theists.

      Have fun with this one if you want to keep going – I'm moving on.

      March 5, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Austin, you couldn't find your own ass if you were holding a flashlight AND your ass.

      March 5, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      nice try here. But you have not considered several factors.

      1. Your data is out of date.
      2. You are misinterpreting data.

      1. The following data you present is from 2007

      General population:
      http://religions.pewforum.org/reports
      atheist – 1.6%
      agnostic – 2.4%
      secular unaffiliated – 6.3
      Total "non-religious" = 10.3

      I don't know why Pew continues to publish this data when they heave newer data available.

      Newer data is presented here:
      http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Religious_Affiliation/Unaffiliated/NonesOnTheRise-full.pdf

      2. Unfortunately you can't interpret the Pew "secular unaffilliated" to mean atheist.

      The "Nones" survey says atheists + agnostic = 5.7% of Americans
      The "Nones" survey says 68% of the unaffilliated believe in God

      Taking 32% of 19.6%, we're at 6.3% who don't believe in God. 6.3% versus 5.7% is within the margin of error. Either way we still end up around 6% non-believers out of the ~20% "nones", not 10 to 11%.

      This cooroborates the analysis that @Saraswati did.

      Honestly I think the number of non-believers is higher, but people don't want to self identify with the unbeliever labels. Contrarily to my viewpoint, in addition to people who believe in an Abrahamic God but do not belong to a specific tradition/affilliation, the 19.6% of American "nones" does include a large number of 'spiritual but not religious' who mostly believe in a higher power of some kind.

      One final point is that your attempt to shade 10.6% as being greater than 10.3% as a conclusion is absurd. If anything this would establish equality as a conclusion, not a difference. A difference of 0.3% is way below the margin of errors here – even more so with the tangled computation required to get there.

      March 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer,
      if you are attempting to use the 5.7% number from
      http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Religious_Affiliation/Unaffiliated/NonesOnTheRise-full.pdf

      you have no equivalent measurement of the prison population, which uses only "No religious preference".
      so, no..

      ======
      another way of looking at it, is comparing
      1. Christian prison population: 68% - from Pew: (Protestants, on average, estimated to comprise 51% of the inmate population, Catholics 15% and other Christian groups less than 2%.)
      2. Christian general population: 73% - from that same Pew poll on prisons: in the U.S. public as a whole, half (50%) of adults identify as Protestants and about a quarter (23%) are Catholics., also confirmed by http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Religious_Affiliation/Unaffiliated/NonesOnTheRise-full.pdf

      so, the Christian prison population is smaller (68%) than the Christian general population(73%)

      ===

      in conclusion, no matter how you slice it, the numbers of atheists in prison are higher proportionally than the general population, and the number of Christians is lower proportionally.

      March 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      And in typical fashion, once people point out that your own link in the beginning listed "no religious preference", not atheist/agnostic, and the fact that the survey was what chaplains thought the inmates were, you disappear for the day, then come back to reassert your position. You are a pathetic liar Chad.

      March 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      I didn't offer a number of atheists in prison.

      The general population ratio – as @Saraswati argued is 19.6% unaffilliated to ~6% atheist. You offered no argument as to why this does not apply with prison populations.

      So if we start with the chaplain survey of 10.6% unaffilliated (half the national average) we can extrapolate ~3% atheist in prison. It is very unconclusive but without more specific data, the reasoning is sound.

      March 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "I didn't offer a number of atheists in prison."
      @Chad "exactly.."

      ======
      @GOPer "IThe general population ratio – as @Saraswati argued is 19.6% unaffilliated to ~6% atheist. You offered no argument as to why this does not apply with prison populations"
      @Chad "the whole point is to determine what the atheist prison population is, not merely assume its the same as the general population until proven differently."

      ======
      @GOPer "So if we start with the chaplain survey of 10.6% unaffilliated (half the national average) we can extrapolate ~3% atheist in prison. It is very unconclusive but without more specific data, the reasoning is sound."
      @Chad "lol
      no..
      "No religious preference" – the prison survey question
      “Nothing in particular” – the general population question
      clearly two different questions, the latter will get a wider range of positive responses.

      Safest bet is to look at the data that we do have in detail, namely: Christian prison population is smaller (68%) than the Christian general population(73%)

      March 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      there is nothing conclusive at all in the Pew prison survey related to relative affilliations. The focus of the survey is not on affilliation, but extremism.

      http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Issues/Social_Welfare/Religion%20in%20Prisons.pdf

      There are only two references in this whole survey to affilliation that I could find: p23 and p49

      From p23 and 49:

      ........................Prison ... Pew-11 aggregate for the whole population
      Protestant ..... 51% ...... 50%
      Catholic ......... 15% ....... 23%
      Other Xtian .... 02% ....... 03% (2% Mormon + 1% Orthodox)
      Muslim ........... 09% ....... 01%
      Other faith ..................... 04% (inluding 2% Jewish)
      None* ............ 11% ...... 100% (atheist, agnostic or has no particular religious affiliation)
      ===================================
      Total .............. 88% ....... 101%

      The total prison and the total aggregated affilliations from Pew-11 are not even close. Where's the remaining 12%? You can't possibly make comparisons with 12% of the population missing without a margin of error of ±12%.

      Compared to the general population, Catholics and the unaffilliated is very low compared with the general population. Based on this data I would conclude that catholics and the unaffilliated are the least incarcerated, but frankly the missing 12% makes me skeptical of this data. The last conclusion you can make is that their is a higher rater of incarceration for atheists.

      Did these Chaplains run out of fingers and toes when doing their arithmetic?

      The only datapoint that stands out statistically is the vastly higher number of incarcerated Muslims.

      March 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – I edited the wrong line.

      Corrected data here:

      ........................Prison ... Pew-11 aggregate for the whole population
      Protestant ..... 51% ...... 50%
      Catholic ......... 15% ....... 23%
      Other Xtian .... 02% ....... 03% (2% Mormon + 1% Orthodox)
      Muslim ........... 09% ....... 01%
      Other faith ..................... 04% (inluding 2% Jewish)
      None* ............ 11% ....... 19% (atheist, agnostic or has no particular religious affiliation)
      ===================================
      Total .............. 88% ....... 100%

      March 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      On p49, the Pew Prison survey explicitly states:

      On average, chaplains say that about 11% of the inmate population is atheist, agnostic or has no particular religious affiliation. ...

      By comparison, in the U.S. public as a whole, ... About one-in-five adults (19%) are religiously unaffiliated (describing their religion as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular”).

      In what system of mathematics is 11% > 19%?

      March 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ NotaGOPER: THANK YOU! Maybe he'll get it through his friggin' skull.

      March 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Chad

      On average, chaplains say that about 11% of the inmate population is atheist, agnostic or has no particular religious affiliation. ...

      By comparison, in the U.S. public as a whole, ... About one-in-five adults (19%) are religiously unaffiliated (describing their religion as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular”).

      No religious preference" – the prison survey question
      “Nothing in particular” – the general population question
      clearly two different questions, the latter will get a wider range of positive responses.

      Safest bet is to look at the data that we do have in detail, namely: Christian prison population is smaller (68%)

      March 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Naturally, that's YOUR interpretation, Chad, or is it Rachel today?

      Dishonest little prig.

      March 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Doobs

      Chad/Rachel is on Step Three of "A Christian's Guide to Recovering Your Believability After Getting Caught in a Lie for Jeebus".

      1. Deny
      2. Deflect
      3. Ignore

      March 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Do you have a point? It seems like you're just stating things just to state them. You're also completely ignoring the fact that the prison survey was of what chaplains think the inmates are. It's not a survey of the prisoners themselves. The numbers you're giving there are completely useless.

      March 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Chad

      Corrected data here, see "inmate religious affiliation"
      http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Issues/Social_Welfare/Religion%20in%20Prisons.pdf

      ........................Prison ... Pew-11 aggregate for the whole population
      Protestant ..... 51% ...... 50%
      Catholic ......... 15% ....... 23%
      Other Xtian .... 02% ....... 03% (2% Mormon + 1% Orthodox)
      Muslim ........... 09% ....... 01%
      Other faith ......09%........04% (inluding 2% Jewish)
      None* ............ 11% ....... 19% (atheist, agnostic or has no particular religious affiliation)
      not known.......05%..........00%
      ===================================
      Total .............. 100% ....... 100%

      Christian prison population is smaller (68%) than the Christian general population(73%)

      March 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Chad

      Is that Rachel's hand in your pocket or are you just typing one handed again? When will you turn into Rachel and compliment yourself on your own brilliance?

      March 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And there goes Chad with his ignore strategy, hoping no one will notice he's completely misrepresenting meaningless numbers to make them seem relevant. Then again, when has Chad ever been an honest person?
      Tell me Chad, are you just incapable of honesty, or do you take the Martin Luther approach and think lying for Jesus is a good thing?

      March 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Prince Harrey

      Therefore, one can deduce that there seems to be a positive correlation between the number of atheists as a % of total population and the number of atheists as a % of prison population. Fantastic!

      March 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      where did you come up with the 9% 'other'? I didn't see that anywhere. Page number please.

      March 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Found it on p48.

      March 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      thanks for finding the table on p48. I retract my concerns about the accuracy of the data. This is much better. (Sorry I missed it.)

      I am much more comfortable making the following conclusions:

      – Muslims are overrepresented in US prisons by almost a factor of 10.
      – Incarceration rate for Catholics and the unaffiliated (including atheists and agnostics) is about half that for other religions.
      – Jews and Protestants are proportionally represented in US prisons.

      March 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  15. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Do not donate any money to American Atheists. Tis just another "non-profit" using a cause as a front for a tax-free investment company.

    Said group's founder, Dave Silverman pays himself $100,000+ /yr out of about $500,000 in donations. Said group has an investment portfolio of over a million dollars. And Silverman pays no taxes on the interest, dividends or capital gains on these investments. (guidestar.org)

    Instead of sending a donation, simply forward this to your family and friends:

    THERE IS NO GOD AND THERE NEVER WILL BE !!!!!!

    March 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Salero21

      So then atheist will rob and steal one way or another. Whether they do it as communists or as capitalists. They disobey God's Commandment: Thou Shall Not Steal. See, that's what I call an Atheist in Practice.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Pete

      "So then atheist will rob and steal one way or another."

      more lies from the xtians – 220!

      March 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Salero, spot on. after all atheist dont have faith to guide them. They have evolution which is "survival of the fittest" which is "kill or be killed". So.. steal, rob, ra-pe, do anything. its fine.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Yep

      That's not what survival of the fittest means.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Yep – SoC knows that, he only posts to see what kind of reaction he can get.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Yep

      "The phrase "survival of the fittest" is not generally used by modern biologists as the term does not accurately convey the meaning of natural selection, the term biologists use and prefer"

      March 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Stealing and rape aren't really in the picture SoC, but the strong do eat the weak.

      March 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • .

      Salero, oh, I see....any Christian who does something wrong is actually an "atheist in practice", huh? Nice whitewashing job there, buddy. You've broken the 9th Commandment about a jillion times today, guess what? You're an atheist in practice! Yay!
      Moron.

      March 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Reality

      Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are either agnostics or atheists depending on what bio you read. The Gates Foundation is the world's largest charity. Said Foundation is basically funded by the wealth of these two gentlemen.

      March 5, 2013 at 7:45 am |
  16. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Bob/Douglas/Salero21 are the perfect match for the kind of people Madison was talking about over 200 years ago (see quote in 2nd half of this post). Uneducated dimwits that do nothing for this country but misinform and attempt to spread fear and panic.

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill were not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well and don't want to violate their beliefs.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of LCMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

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

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

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

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

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

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

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

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

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

    March 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  17. Science

    That dirty word EVOLUTION flip a few peoples switch today

    Creationism is not good for children .

    March 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      heard of "intelligent design"?

      its simple. evolution works at the micro level but this kind of complexity could not have come about without a designer (unspecified).

      Bacterial flagella
      whale evolution
      missing so-called intermediary fossils
      I could go on

      March 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Soldier

      That was tried in Dover. They brought their front-runner for ID, and it failed like it always will, because there is no testability, only assertions. ID is useless and completely stupid.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @SoC

      if they were "intelligently designed" why do some snakes have a pelvis?

      March 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Religion is

      Superstition!

      Why do some whales have rear leg bones?
      Why do human fetuses have gills?

      March 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  18. 12ax7

    Hey Tom Tom The Dumber's Son? Where are your followers like Truth Prevails and BlessTheCheeseMaker and BootyFunk and the rest of the baboon team?

    March 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • == o ==

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

      "12ax7" degenerates to:
      "Bob" degenerates to:
      "Salero21" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. troll.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • 12ax7

      It this the best you can do?

      March 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Apatheist

      @12ax7 So, you're supposed to be a christian "rocker" or something?

      March 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • 12ax7

      Yeah I play the skin flute.

      March 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Apatheist

      skin flute = fart = christian rock..... that's what i said......

      March 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  19. 12ax7

    Did you ever wonder why Atheists are so like monkeys?

    March 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      12ax7: So, still on your knees, begging for Jeebus to fill your mouth with his savior like goodness?

      March 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • 12ax7

      @ Sam Stone

      On how many comment board are you on? So far within 2 minutes i found Tom Tom all over the place on every darn board that is about a religious subject. Maybe i should check to see if you are much a loser all the other Atheists are.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • ME II

      @12ax7,
      ... because monkeys and humans evolved from a common ancestor?

      March 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Atheists are nicer than christians

      How often do you hear of an atheist bombing an abortion clinic? How often do you hear of suicide bombers who are atheist? How often do you hear about atheist killing each other just because they are in a different section of the same belief (I'm referring to Ireland and the catholics and protestants)? How often do you hear of atheist taking land from people and claiming a divine right? Still thinking...? As you should be do you know what all of these events have in common? THEY ALL HAPPEN IN THE NAME OF A NON EXISTENT GOD. Until people see that there is no flying spaghetti monster in the sky humanity will doom itself to extinction.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Is this the best you can do?

      March 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  20. Cthulu on Rails



    Did you ever wonder why so many Christians are pedophiles?

    What is it about their religion that causes them to be predisposed to pedophilia?

    March 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Did you ever wonder why so many Christians are pedophiles?"

      How many are there? Or are you talking out your @ss again?

      March 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Akira

      I think that Cthulu is just throwing out generalities, same as 12ax7 is, Lycidas.
      At least I hope so, anyway.
      Generalities generally suck, which is why I make a conscious effort to try not to do that.

      March 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Cthulu on Rails


      Pedophilia among Protestant clergy (10%) outnumbers pedophilia among Catholic clergy (1.7%).

      Why do Protestants see a higher frequency of pedophilia?

      March 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Apatheist

      @Cthulu Sources or it didn't happen...

      March 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Rich

      Just because you say you are a Christian. Don't mean you are. They will say Lord Lord open for us. We did this, we did that, in your name. But He will say, Depart for I never knew you.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • lol??

      The heat is on the catholic church so the perves naturally gravitate to the protestants. Faking christianity is the in thing according to the A&A's. They cheer.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:49 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.