home
RSS
Church without God - by design
Members of an atheist congregation at Harvard listen to music during a recent gathering.
June 22nd, 2013
11:25 AM ET

Church without God - by design

By Dan Merica, CNN

Boston (CNN)-– It’s Sunday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a rapt congregation listens to a chaplain preach about the importance of building a community.

A few dozen people sit quietly for the hourlong service. Music is played, announcements are made and scholars wax poetic about the importance of compassion and community.

Outsiders could be forgiven for believing this service, with its homilies, its passing of the plate, its uplifting songs, belongs in a church.

If so, it’s a church without one big player: God.

Sunday’s congregation in Cambridge is a meeting of the Humanist Community at Harvard University and the brainchild of Greg Epstein, the school’s Humanist chaplain.

A longtime advocate for community building, Epstein and his group of atheists have begun to build their Cambridge community and solemnize its Sunday meetings to resemble a traditional religious service.

To Epstein, religion is not all bad, and there is no reason to reject its helpful aspects.

“My point to my fellow atheists is, why do we need to paint things with such a broad brush? We can learn from the positive while learning how to get rid of the negative," he said.

Godless congregations

For Epstein, who started community-building at Harvard nearly 10 years ago, the idea of a godless congregation is not an oxymoron.

“We decided recently that we want to use the word congregation more and more often because that is a word that strongly evokes a certain kind of community - a really close knit, strong community that can make strong change happen in the world,” he said.

“It doesn’t require and it doesn't even imply a specific set of beliefs about anything.”

Epstein is not alone in his endeavor. Jerry DeWitt, who became an atheist and left his job as an evangelical minister, is using his pastoral experience to building an atheist church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

This Sunday, DeWitt's congregation will hold its first meeting as a "Community Mission Chapel."

"When you become a part of this congregation, this community, you are going to become part of a family," DeWitt told CNN. "There is an infrastructure there for you to land in. There is going to be someone there to do weddings and to do, unfortunately, the funerals."

READ MORE: Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists

Sunday school for atheists

As members of the Cambridge congregation file into a wood-paneled classroom at Harvard, singer Shelley Segal greets them with a few songs from her latest recording, called simply, “An Atheist Album.”

Taking a hint from the theme of the event, Segal strums on her guitar and belts her song, “Gratitude.”

“I don't believe in a great power to say thank you to,” Segal sings. “But that won’t take away from my gratitude.”

Harvard's humanist chaplain Greg Epstein leads an atheist gathering.

After the music, Epstein offers a few words of greeting before the meeting gets to its heart: a discussion about compassion.

A four academics and a journalist discuss the effects of religion on raising children and their ideas about compassion. Congregants listen intently, some even taking notes.

Each service has a message – compassion, evolution or acceptance - after which congregants engage in a lengthy discussion.

Before the main event, kids are invited to what some parents refer to as “Sunday school,” where Tony Debono, a biologist Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaches the youngsters about evolution, DNA and cells.

There's little talk about organized religion, positive or negative.

Likewise, down in Louisiana, said his atheist services will not be anti-religion.

"What we are looking at doing is different," DeWitt said. "If you are a religionist and you come and sit in our pew, the only way you can leave offended is because of what you don’t hear and what you don’t see. We won’t be there to make a stance against religion or against God."

Coming out of the closet

In the last few years, the number of “nones” – those who don’t associate with any organized religion – has grown at a rate faster than any other group. Nones now represent one in five Americans, according to a 2012 Pew Research Center poll.

Although the number of atheists has grown, too, there are still a large number of “nones” that choose not to associate with the label “atheist.”

Some at Harvard’s Humanist congregation fall into this category.

“I don’t particularly have a religion,” said Anil Nyer, a neurologist who brought his daughter to Humanist Sunday school. But Nyer also said he didn’t want to label himself as an atheist.

One reason to shy away from the atheist label: Many Americans hold a negative impression of nonbelievers.

According to a recent Public Religion Research Institute poll, nearly 40 percent of Americans believe that atheists are changing American culture for the worse.

“Whenever we put atheists on a list like this and we compare them to other groups, atheists tend to come in towards the bottom of that list,” said Robert P. Jones is the CEO of Public Religion Research Institute.

“Americans tend to hold a lot of reservations about atheists.”

Epstein hopes his congregation can change that.

By formalizing meetings and building a strong community, the Harvard group hopes it can be a model for other atheist congregations forming around the country.

A group meets during an atheist gathering in Boston.

More atheists may come of the closet if they know a congregation will be there to support them, Epstein said,

“Being an atheist is something we want people to come out and be,” said the Humanist chaplain. “There are so many people, probably millions, who are humanists or atheists or nonreligious in private and nobody knows."

Epstein said he gets e-mails daily from people founding atheist meet-up groups.

“Tulsa, Oklahoma; North Carolina; London; Vancouver, Canada; Houston, Texas,” Epstein said, listing the sources of the most recent e-mails.

“One part of what we are saying is come on out and let your neighbors know” about your disbelief, he said. “It is not going to make you worse of a person, it is going to make you a better person to be more open about who you are.”

Rituals for the irreligious

For the last few years, the Humanist Community at Harvard has operated out of a small three-floor walk-up off the bustling streets of Harvard Square. The walls are littered with posters about atheism – tributes to famed atheists Eddie Izzard, Seth MacFarlane and Stephen Fry.

Because of the scattered furniture and the Harvard dorm feel, Epstein jokingly describes the space as “college broke chic.” That’s being generous – but it's also about to change.

Starting in the fall, the Humanist Community at Harvard will begin meeting in a nearly 3,000-square-foot community center with an event space for nearly 100 people.

Although the plan is to use the space at the group’s headquarters, it will also serve as a broader community center for the group that Epstein and others are trying to build in the Boston area.

“What we really would like to see is a community center where people can come by at anytime and to use it as a space to study or have a meeting for various committee,” said Chris Stedman, the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard.

Stedman said he sees the new building as a place for people to gather, not only to become part of a humanist community, but to also become more engaged with the world.

When he talks about his plans for the future, Epstein appears to long for a time when the new community center could mimic aspects of church - a place for baby-naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals.

The success of an atheist church will depend on walking the thin line between too much and too little ritual, Epstein said.

Humanists boast a proud freethinking streak, and some at the Harvard event said they don’t want to be associated with any sort of dogma or belief system - or even a system based on disbelief.

Anyway, Esptein said his congregation will be less a group of people united by beliefs - or disbelief - and more like an opera, or a painting.

“Our community is like a work of art," he said. "Hopefully people will respond to that work of art and it will garner controversy and discussion like a work of art."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Church • Houses of worship • United States

soundoff (6,897 Responses)
  1. Believer's voice

    To each of you who denies the existence of God, feeling superior to us believers, saying we are just blind sheep following teachings of men, and claiming you've arrived to the knowledge of truth tthrough man's science,..... here is a challenge for you:

    Go to to a Public library and check out these books :

    -His Mysterious Ways ( A guideposts Book)

    -Guideposts best loved stories

    These come in a number of volumes.

    Here you'll have to make up your mind: are those encounters only lies made up by people, or is it really there more to life and us human beings than meets the eye?

    I promise you, it's not for faint hearted atheists, certainly not for those who don't want the challenge of their boat being rocked, showing them possibility that they are living in a lie.

    June 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LOL! Guideposts... Your crappy books are what caused most of us to become atheists dumbass...

      June 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      To each of you who denies the existence of other peoples gods, feeling superior to those believers and even unbelievers, go to a library and check out the following:

      The Quaran
      TheTorah
      The Book of Mormon
      Bhagavad Gita
      Tao-te-ching
      Upanishads
      Veda

      Then ask yourself why so many people beleive these books, but you dont.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Science

      If you have a public library card no need to go to library and read STORIES...........you can access with bar code on back.

      Then if you want to have some fun an find out about family or where they might reside go to reference usa !

      June 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "are those encounters only lies made up by people?" YES

      "or is it really there more to life and us human beings than meets the eye?" NO

      June 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Unbeliever's voice

      Nice try at promoting your pathetic books of tales, you stupid deluded moron. Now ask yourself this: if your god is real and omnipotent, why should we have to deal with means of communication as crude as some pretty poorly written and questionable books, to learn about it?

      And yes, those encounters are entirely made up. Stop trying to sell us on your god scam and stop astroturfing your books here. We aren't buying, stupid.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      you really, really need to venture outside your bubble and read something not written as Christian propaganda and not sold in a Christian book store.

      If you read the first harry potter book you will get an idea of the story. If you read the second harry potter book ... oh my ... how can it be? ... the story speaks about all the same characters doing different things ... it MUST be true!!!

      June 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Well I'll only do it if you promise I won't start speaking in tongues.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Believer's voice

      Here do Christ's words fittingly aplly: "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces"

      June 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • JMEF

      and in turn you will read the nature journal, the science digest, visit the CERN, Hubble and NASA websites and despite what you find there will believe in a 2000 year old book of myth and folklore, so sad willful and blissful ignorance.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      ReligionIsBS, they're just as lost as you. No superiority, just His truth.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I can answer you without reading them. If they're anectodal claims of miracles, personal experience, coincidentally answered prayers, people being saved from healable diseases, and so forth, then it's rubbish. Not worth my time. Been there, done that.

      Now then, tell me a story of your lord_god_jesus performing a repeatable, recordable, and observable miracle, like, oh, I don't know, growing back someone's amputated leg, or bringing someone back from the dead (I mean really dead, like they were buried last year, not that they're unresponsive and happen to "look dead"), then give me a holler.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      NJ, I can tell you of a miracle that is predictable, repeatable and recurring ever hour of every day.

      During the mass when the host is transubstantiated into the blessed sacrament of the real presence of Jesus, which then, in Holy Communion is distributed to the faithful who, in turn, become the body of Christ in the suffering world. It ain't magic my friend.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Believer's voice

      ESea, If all those things happened in front of you eyes, you would still deny them and turn away from the Truth, because of your hardened heart.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      @Bill, I understand that's miraculous for you, because you believe it's true. I believe it's just flour, and that's where we differ.

      @Believer's voice, I don't have a "hardened heart". That's a Christian concept. It's the way you see those of us who think critically, as though gullibility is what makes a good heart.

      And you are wrong that I wouldn't believe in miracles that had been shown to be true. Everything that I believe in now, are things which have been demonstrated to be true.

      Keep in mind that I was a Christian, who was convinced that Christianity is false. I challenge you to change my mind, using facts and evidence, not scriptures, slogans, and promises.

      June 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  2. Vic

    A quick remark:

    A few have noted on this blog that Atheists do not call this a church; as a matter of fact they do, explicitly and implicitly!

    Here is a couple of explicit remarks from the article:

    "Epstein is not alone in his endeavor. Jerry DeWitt, who became an atheist and left his job as an evangelical minister, is using his pastoral experience to building an atheist church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana."

    "The success of an atheist church will depend on walking the thin line between too much and too little ritual, Epstein said."

    June 25, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • sam stone

      good for you, vic....you sure nailed us atheists.

      why don't you quote some more iron age comic book now?

      does it make you feel all godly?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • realengineering

      So I can assume you are a member of the Westboro Baptists Church Vic? Because if all atheists must believe like a select handful of atheists do, then all Christians must believe like the handful of hateful bigots who call themselves Christians right?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Rachel

      Chad/Vic, you tell 'em dear. That's me boy 🙂

      June 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Vic
      If you really know the origins of the word church, you must now that all churches are actually to Mithra, the sun god.
      Fitting in the Christians since Mithra was one of the templates used by the people who made up and wrote the bible, for the character of Jesus

      June 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • AE

      Check your facts, Richard.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/06/better-atheist-fact-checking.html

      June 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  3. Humanist

    Hey Christians, why does the Bible condone slavery?

    June 25, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • realengineering

      Because it was written by humans and those humans who wrote Leviticus found slavery useful.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Shadrach

      The Bible does not condone slavery as understood by you.

      In biblical times people often sold themselves as laborers in exchange for food and shelter, The economic conditions that existed during biblical times as it relates to labor is very different from the way labor is organized in the 21st century, slavery was not based on race or color during biblical times, it was the labor market of the time.

      You should read and understand the context and the term slavery before spewing your ignorance on the topic of slavery and the Bible.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Shadrach,

      Slavery not racial or ethnic? - uh...

      "However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. " (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

      June 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Believer

      Humanist

      Modern day concept of 'slavery' is not to be confused with slavery as mentioned in exodus, very different concept. The bible does not endorse the concept of slavery as is your understanding of the term 'slavery'.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LET's Religiosity Law #4 – If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic. (See Law #5)

      June 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Shadrach makes a straw man argument.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Believer

      A frayed not-

      You have failed to understand the concept of slavery. Do some research on the economic conditions of Biblical times. In your eagerness to somehow associate the bible with slavery you have missed the truth.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      believer. Read Genesis 9

      June 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The bible allows a slave owner to beat his slave unto death so long as the slave lives for at least 3 days. The Southern Baptists used the bible to support their view of slavery. One of the prophets slaughtered his s3x slave and sent the pieces around to the tribes of Israel--all to make a point for biblegod.

      If anything, the bible's view of slavery is much WORSE than our view.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Non- believer

      As a non- believer my intentions here are clear, I am not interested in knowing the truth, sorry. I will continue to argue out of
      'argumentum ad ignorantiam' by not wanting to know the context.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Greg

      Shadrach
      Yet, people could be captured as slaves during war which isn't at all different from the African tribespeople who wound up being slaves in America.

      All the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hitt.ites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of the people of Israel— their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel were unable to devote to destruction—these Solomon drafted to be slaves, and so they are to this day. 1 Kings 9:20-21 ESV

      Then there are the passages in the Bible detailing how one can sell his own daughter as a se x slave. Are there any parallels in modern society to that?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @non believer

      You should really change your ways. The bible is much more disgusting and ridiculous when you read it in context. If you read the bible out of context, you might miss some of the most convincing arguments for god's nonexistence.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Believer

      Read Genesis 9?

      Read the bible in its entirety,(Genesis through Revelation) to understand what the bible is trying to convey to mankind, not just slavery to your sinfulness but beyond that.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I have read the bible over five times. The last time I read it, I became an atheist. I claim to know the bible better than 99.5% of believers, but it's probably closer to 99.8%.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Believer,
      " Do some research on the economic conditions of Biblical times."

      A real (just and benevolent) god would have figured out a way to advise them better. It is SO obvious that this stuff was written by ethnocentric, self-serving Jews of that era.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      believer. Yes read Genesis 9. You said "The bible does not endorse the concept of slavery ... " well Genesis 9 is the first of many references to slavery and it is an endorsement – in fact it claims to be the birth of slavery.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Believer,

      Read The Bible all you like, glean a few practical tips for beneficial human behavior (available elsewhere also) if you wish. It is evident that it is not the "words" of any god.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Madtown

      Read the bible in its entirety,(Genesis through Revelation) to understand what the bible is trying to convey
      -----–
      The bible doesn't "try to convey" anything. The humans that wrote the bible try to convey their thoughts and opinions about how it all goes in this life. Christianity, like all religions, is essentially a set of opinions that mankind has developed regarding thoughts about God and spirituality.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Believer

      Without understanding the context you will never be able to understand the Bible.
      Now, if your intention is to find an excuse to not read the Bible you are free to do so and reject the God of the Bible. Your life, your choice.
      However you wish that the bible condoned slavery, it does not, as you clearly have no understanding of the context of the term as it related to the economic conditions of those times. Any rational person would be able to understand the natural evolution of labor over time and put it in perspective.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • fred

      Madtown
      So whose opinion carries more weight all the godless put together or Saul of Tarsus who set off a mission to proclaim Christ? Hands down to Saul as it ushered in Western World View which remains dominate to this day.
      Now, factor in 10,000 to 195,000 years of mankind that worshiped something greater than self and we have a pattern that speaks against godlessness. Factor in 98% of the world today that believes we are more than organic blobs responding to chemical stimuli and it speaks volumes against godlessness.
      Even if against all reason and self evidence of God there is no God we remain impacted and directed by the illusion of God and hope in an unknown that all will face. The Bible says we all face that day of judgment and you can show up with your godlessness or if you come to reason explain to the next generation why you pushed for a way of life that mankind has never experienced in all known history.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      believer.
      The definition has not changed in the regard that it is the treating of others as property.

      However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

      Not only does the bible condone slavery, it gives rules on how they are to be treated. It is you who are trying to alter the perception to soften the fact that the bible clearly condones it, many times over.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Shadrach and Believer

      Sure, it's out of context and we just don't understand the word "slavery" or the conditions of the times. Except that if you go just over 150 years ago, slaves were kept in the United States and the Emancipation Proclamation was opposed by good Christians who quoted the bible to prove the African American's inferiority to white people.

      Nice try, liars.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • AE

      Deuteronomy 23:15-16

      "If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand them over to their master. Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them."

      June 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      believer, the bible says nothing about economic conditions mandating slavery (something else an omnipotent omniscient god could have known about and stopped). Genesis 9 says that Noah invented slavery as a punishment for Ham who did not cover a naked drunken Noah while he slept. I doubt that you've actually read the bible.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • AE

      I assume we are all privileged Americans posting on here (posting on a computer in the middle of the day?)...

      ...our lifestyles support slavery today. It is has just gone underground in the present. There are just as many slaves as there were 2,000 years ago. And our American way of life supports it.

      http://slaveryfootprint.org/survey/#where_do_you_live

      June 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Colonel Angus

      "You have failed to understand the concept of slavery. Do some research on the economic conditions of Biblical times. In your eagerness to somehow associate the bible with slavery you have missed the truth."

      Well I do declare! Such was also the case in the deep south in the early part of American history. You just don't know the economic conditions of plantation life. Times were hard and those caring and empatheitc plantation owners saw fit to take in those in need, those who needed food and shelter and clothes and took care of those dark skinned foreigners in a foreign land. So kind of them to give so much in return for an easy afternoon tending the cotton fields. Oh yes, we read them Leviticus as well so they would know that we were not evil master's, but kind and gentle men who would not beat their slaves very much and never to the point of death. We are so kind that if some of them get pregnant we don't send the child away but allow them to stay and work alongside their parents! You just don't understand what the times were like, because that can have all the difference in deciding whether it's okay to own someone or not... right?

      June 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • AE

      Why do slaves, former slaves and descendants of slaves seem to love Jesus Christ so much?

      June 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • fred

      Slavery is simply an atheist sound bite used to mock God and the Bible. The godless reveal their evil intent to end hope in salvation for those who need it an long for it . There is no good that comes from taking away hope that mankind has followed since recorded history. There is no good that comes from mocking God, the Bible and the faithful only evil intentions of evil that is clearly revealed.

      As to the issue of slavery that was the tradition and history of the cultures through antiquity and a core necessity for the economic realities of the cultures in question. God always deals with people exactly where they are not where they should be. Dealing with things as they should be is a failed ideology as proven time and time again. The overriding thread of the Bible is that we are to treat others fairly and with love so that we are salt and light to a desperate world. We know Abraham had slaves and they were part of his family. When Abraham was without child at an old age all his property was to be inherited by his slave. Abraham trusted his slave and they were "family" and he would have been the spiritual head and leader of the family. That is how a "slave" was treated. That slave was the one who hand picked the wife for Isaac, that is how valuable that "property" called a slave was. The atheist has taken an twisted what was good into what sounds evil. We have a very different view of salve and the slave property because of culture and translation problems of Hebrew to Greek. What is meant in reference to "slave as property" is value to the owner. Abraham valued his servant (all his servants for that matter). Great loss was suffered if the slave ran away or was beaten. Reference to beating your slave to remind and punish those who would be abusive.
      There was no more need for God to say all slave ownership ends today as their would be for God to say to Obama no more corporate export of labor to abusive foreign countries. The proper treatment of others is covered already. Those whose hearts are inclined toward evil and abuse would not listen.
      Those chapters where verses are pulled to suit the atheist sound bite were prefaced with I am the Lord your God who freed you from slavery in Egypt. These Hebrew themselves were subject to abusive slavery for 430 years in Egypt.

      Don't let the godless such you into their evil sound bites

      June 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • AE

      "The same Bible that the advocates of slavery used to protect their wicked self-interests is the Bible that inspired slaves to revolt and their liberators to action. "

      – Peter Gomes (lover of Jesus Christ and descendant of slaves)

      June 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • David

      "Slavery is simply an atheist sound bite used to mock God and the Bible."

      Slavery in all it's forms is an abuse of human rights. You can paint it, cover it in silk, line it with roses and it will still stink like the inhumane horrid shlt it is. You can not explain away owning people and their children. You cannot say "Well that slave loved his master so it's okay!" There are many account's of similar treatment to slaves in American history where they were "part of the family". Did that make it right? HeII no and anyone who is a disgusting apologist for slavery should be ashamed of themselves and of the book they hold so dear as there is NO DOUBT the bible supports the ownership of humans as property. Just because someone wouldn't take a baseball bat to their new Porsche doesn't mean the Porsche has any rights. It is property, albeit valuable property, just like the slaves of the bible.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Read for yourself 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • fred

      David
      First do not confuse the African Slave trade with what was a way of life 2,000-10,000 years ago. Do not confuse your notion of property with Hebrew word for property. That same word is misused by Taliban to treat women like property rather than property as proper with the Lord.

      Don't be a hypocrite and claim you and another adult can have whatever relationship you want while claiming Abraham was wrong in his relationship with his loved servant.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      fred
      Evil sound bites? Straight out of the evil bible then. Thanks for finally agreeing how evil the bible is.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Vic

      Spin, spin, spin.

      That's an awful lot of words trying to defend what your book clearly states. But why focus only on Bronze Age sheep herders? Just over 150 years ago good Christian Americans were using the bible to condone slavery, claiming it proved the inferiority of African Americans to white people. Slavery in the United States was also "a core necessity for the economic realities of the cultures in question". Way to point out the obvious. Any culture will be able to enrich itself more quickly by forcing others to work without pay. Duh. But any means to an end if it absolves your horrid book, right?

      The fact that you're okay with it because it was "necessary" at the time is pretty much like saying the attempted extermination of the Jews was okay because Hitler thought it was necessary at the time. He used the bible to justify the Final Solution, too. "Gott Mit Uns" ring a bell?

      And none of that "he wasn't really a Christian crap". Who gives a shiit what was in his "heart of hearts"? He declared that god was with him. He got millions to support him using god and the bible. Mein Kampf was heavily influenced by German Reformer and anti Semite extraordinaire, Martin Luther and his writings, to wit:

      "In 1543 Luther published On the Jews and Their Lies in which he says that the Jews are a "base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth."[13] They are full of the "devil's feces ... which they wallow in like swine."[14] The synagogue was a "defiled bride, yes, an incorrigible whore and an evil slut ..."[15] He argues that their synagogues and schools be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness,[16] afforded no legal protection,[17] and these "poisonous envenomed worms" should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time.[18] He also seems to advocate their murder, writing "[w]e are at fault in not slaying them".[19]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_and_antisemitism

      If your loving god didn't support slavery, why didn't he just add a commandment "Thou shalt not own other human beings"? For an all knowing deity, he sure has shitty communication skills.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • David

      "Don't be a hypocrite and claim you and another adult can have whatever relationship you want while claiming Abraham was wrong in his relationship with his loved servant."

      Really? You want to go there? You want to bring up the difference between gay people and Abraham sleeping with a slave? Really?

      let's take a look at how similar these things are:

      "So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived." Gen 16:3

      versus:

      One consenting adult fall's in love with another consenting adult and they decide to share their lives together.

      I'm not sure if you are so blinded by your bible to not see the difference but i'll point it out for you fred: "took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband". See that? I do not see anywhere there about Hagar's consent, she was a slave, property, and a s exual slave at that. That guy in Ohio was feeding his s e x slaves for 10 years, I guess they owed him for all the food and housing right fred? There is no excuse to own anyone ever fred, ever.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • AE

      @ Doobs

      "? Just over 150 years ago good Christian Americans were using the bible to condone slavery, claiming it proved the inferiority of African Americans to white people."

      150 years ago good Christian Americans were also enslaved.

      150 years ago good Christian Americans were also taking a stand against slavery.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • AE

      There were good American atheists who owned slaves, too.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Which only shows that using the bible as a guide to moral behavior doesn't work.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • AE

      Proverbs 22:7
      The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

      Unless you are part of the 1%, you may be a slave.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • AE

      The Bible speaks truths about human beings.

      2,000 years ago our economy was based on slavery.

      2,000 years later our economy is still based on slavery.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      If slavery was so bad, god should have made a commandment about it. Something like, "Thou shalt not own another human being." But apparently, it's more important to not wish for something as nice as your neighbor's donkey.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ fred

      Don't be a hypocrite and claim you and another adult can have whatever relationship you want while claiming Abraham was wrong in his relationship with his loved servant.

      In same sex marriage, one of the partners doesn't own the other.

      While there's no evidence that Abraham ever existed, according to your book, Abraham and Lot traveled, with their families, slave and possessions, to Egypt. Abraham told his wife, Sarah, to lie, telling the Pharaoh that she was his sister, to avoid him being killed. He then whored her out to Pharaoh in exchange for "oxen, and he-asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she-asses, and camels". When Pharaoh found out the truth, he threw them out.

      Although Abraham had been told by god that he would be a father of many nations, he and his wife had so little faith in god that they made their slave, Hagar, sleep with him so that she would become pregnant. Sarah was a total bitch to Hagar after that, even though it was her idea. When Hagar had Ishmael, she got even worse.

      After Sarah finally got preggo and had Isaac, she forced Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert. He was a nice guy about it though, he gave them some bread and a bottle of water.

      Then there's Abimelech. Abraham lied to him too, and said Sarah was his sister. Abimelech had a dream that god squished a kitty. Wait, no, that's Austin. He dreamed that god told him Sarah was married. When he confronted Abraham about it, Abraham claimed it wasn't a lie, "And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife." (Genesis 20:12) So the old perv was actually married to his stepsister.

      Then there's the whole narrative where god cruelly tells Abraham to kill Isaac to test his faith and he almost does it.

      Yeah, that Abraham, he was a real loving guy. He was also a liar, an adulterer, an abuser of his slave and their son, and the initiator of the painful and cruel ritual of cutting off an infant boy's foreskin to please god.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • AE

      The Roman Empire was comprised of 85-90% slaves.

      It was not limited to one specific ehtnic group (like it was in America).

      Some were prisoners of war (Guantanomo Bay anyone?)

      Some volunteered themselves into slavery to avoid starvation.

      Some worked as teachers, owned businesses and were even doctors.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      AE
      The economy then and now was not based on slavery, but both still include it. The economies anywhere are still based on the same thing they always have been. Supply and demand. That often does include slavery in one form or another, but slavery is not the base.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • AE

      Over 2,200,000 people are imprisoned in America today.

      Are they slaves? They certainly aren't free.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      90% might be a bit high, depending on the time period, but who cares? Romans didn't have a perfect and loving god telling them not to own other people--not that Jew-god did that either, but you know.......

      June 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Readers of this thread will notice that AE is merely showing atheist what we already know. People following biblegod were no better morally than people without biblegod. Instead of explain how the bible and its god were better than others and did not act like the nations around them, AE merely shows that they were just as evil and other cultures had slaves too.

      Interesting tactic, AE.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Prisoners are not slaves. Duh.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • fred

      Doobs
      I wonder do atheists twist the miraculous roots of tribes of Israel to suit their evil desire or do they actually read such evil into a book of salvation and redemption of Gods children?

      June 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • AE

      @ People following biblegod were no better morally than people without biblegod. Instead of explain how the bible and its god were better than others and did not act like the nations around them, AE merely shows that they were just as evil and other cultures had slaves too.

      Yes!

      Without the Bible, people would have found some other reason to justify slavery.

      That is why slavery still exists today. And we (yes, you too!) blindly support it.

      The Bible paints an accurate and truthful depiction of human beings.

      It is very honest.

      All have sinned. Even the ones who profess to know and love God the best.

      Moses was not even allowed to see Promised Land. God's chosen person, banned!

      It is not about being morally better than others. Jesus spoke in parables because he wasn't teaching about morals. He was teaching about Truth.

      And Jesus came to save us all. Atheist and Christian. Slave and free.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ AE

      What's your point? The overwhelming majority of people in early America were Christians and supported slavery. That a minority of Christians didn't, or that there were atheists who owned slaves doesn't change that. Nice attempt at deflection, though.

      The OP asked why the bible condones slavery and Vic tried to spin it by saying it was an economic necessity, as if that makes it all right.

      I simply pointed out that Christians in the USA used the bible to justify slavery as well. That is a fact. It was also used to justify lynchings during the Reconstruction, to justify the existence of the KKK, and to deny interracial couples the right to marry.

      That other Christians didn't support slavery or that atheists owned slaves isn't the issue, of course that's true. But it does illustrate the bible's, shall we say, flexible morality.

      June 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • fred

      David
      Owning someone using todays image of "owning" is wrong and not approved by God or the Bible. The African Slave trade and the rampant sex slave trade of the last 1,200 years is flat out wrong it is sin and it is clearly against the Bible and the Word of God.
      As to Hagar you and I have no idea of the consensual nature of the relationship but it created conflict in the home because of Abrahams affection for Ishmael and Hagar. It also created a problem for Abraham because he decided to have a son his way instead of Gods way. That is the real issue here not the Bible as you want something your way not the way of God.

      Perhaps this will help. I ran an audit of a company and found minimum wage workers working for free at the owners properties including a ranch. They loved the owner who treated them better than any other employer and it was an honor to work for free on the weekends. God approves the kindness but does not approve taking advantage of the workers. The workers were illegal using fake ID's for years but life was much better than where they fled.
      In the days when the Hebrew bought slaves from surrounding nations they we freed from the oppression of those nations which is the reverse of the African Slave trade. These slaves were glad to be with the Holy Ones.
      Now you judge their lifestyle decision and object when someone judges yours.

      June 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • fred

      The bible plainly and openly condones slavery. Anyone who has read the bible and claims that the support for slavery is not there is simply lying.

      June 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • AE

      @ Doobs

      "What's your point? "

      Christians in the USA used the Bible to liberate themselves from the bondage of slavery, too.

      And former Christian slaves taught their former slave owners the truth about Jesus Christ.

      That same Bible that was used to oppress people – was used to set them free.

      June 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Victor

      People need to work to support themselves, call yourself a laborer , a worker, an employee, a slave or whatever, all human beings need to be gainfully employed for sustenance.

      People who lived during biblical times were no different and had to work.

      "For all the days of your life you will work and out of the sweat of your labor" It was not any different for Adam and it will not be any different for any other man walking on planet earth.

      Not very difficult to understand the term 'labor' by whatever other name it's called.

      "...there is neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

      June 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • fred

      fred
      Ah, so you are following me again. One of us is giving fred a bad name. The Bible does not condone slavery any more than a history book on how Indians were scalped condones scalping.

      June 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ fred

      I wonder do atheists twist the miraculous roots of tribes of Israel to suit their evil desire or do they actually read such evil into a book of salvation and redemption of Gods children?

      Nice ad hominem there, Fredo.

      You're the one who said that slavery in the bible was just fine because it was an economic necessity and we just didn't understand the special love between Abraham and his slave.

      I simply recounted the narrative of some of Abraham's life. Was I inaccurate that he told Sarah to lie, that he married his stepsister, or that he committed adultery with his slave because he and his wife/sister had no faith in what god told him?

      Is it not in the bible that he gave Sarah to both Pharaoh and Abimelech (although Abimelech didn't have sex with her), because he was afraid he'd be killed so they could have her, and in exchange he received property, including human property, or that he didn't send Hagar and Ishmael (the slave you claim he loved in such a special way) into the desert with some bread and a bottle of water because Sarah was bitching so much about her?

      Am I mistaken that it was Sarah's idea for her husband to commit adultery with their slave, that Abraham almost killed his son because he thought god was telling him to, or that he started the ritual mutilation of male infant penises to please god?

      Please show me exactly what I said that is incorrect about Abraham, his sister/wife, and their special, loving relationship with their slave, Hagar, who was forced to have sex with and bear a child for them, because they didn't believe god.

      June 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ AE

      Christians in the USA used the Bible to liberate themselves from the bondage of slavery, too.

      And former Christian slaves taught their former slave owners the truth about Jesus Christ.

      That same Bible that was used to oppress people – was used to set them free.

      It wasn't the bible that set them free. It was a four year long war and the deaths of 620,000 humans from combat, disease and starvation. The South was dragged kicking and screaming into giving up their human property, all the while banging their bibles to justify owning them.

      June 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      fred
      You do of course realize that scalping was done by the christians attacking the natives in this country first, and the practice was then taken up by the natives, right.

      June 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • fred

      Dobbs
      "You're the one who said that slavery in the bible was just fine because it was an economic necessity and we just didn't understand the special love between Abraham and his slave."
      =>I did not say it was fine with God or me, I simply noted it was the way of the time yet the Chosen Ones were to never forget the pain of slavery God saved them from and they were to treat slaves right. I really do not know how Hagar was treated by Abraham in their relationship.

      =>Abraham did not get a bunch of goodies for Sarah's trade he received the goodies because the king realized Abraham had a connection with God and was fearful of violating the God of Abraham.

      =>Your summary was ok except lacking the light of Gods Word. The story shows how even men of great faith and strength fail terribly yet God sees them through. Abraham lost trust in God and made a son his way which resulted in problems we still face to this day. When you reject God there are problems in your home, your wife and children. Abraham sent Hagar away at Gods instructions and God promised to take care of them which he did. Abraham did not just set them out in the cold with bread and water he sent them with God. Out of Isaac we have Jews and Christians and out of Ishmael we have their Muslim brothers. Gods way and mans way still doing the dance of eternity.

      =>it was not adultery according to tradition when a woman could not bear a child. God did not approve of many traditions

      June 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • fred

      Richard Cranium
      Not sure we have proof of that but it is possible.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  4. Sad Day For America

    SCOTUS rules section 4 determining which States must still abide by the voting rights act is unconstltutional. If you think we have reached racial equality and ethnic parity in America, then you are either blind or a closet racist. Thank the conservative morons in this country for rolling back our progress 50 years. Give them any more rope and they may just start hanging people again...

    June 25, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  5. Science

    Hey CE is Bill Deacon having a bad day ?

    June 25, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  6. Canista

    Aisha.... Is Marijuana legal where you live?

    June 25, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Doobs

      Even firing up a fatty wouldn't cause that much brain damage.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  7. Aisha

    Evidence of Jesus (life, Death and resurrection:

    http://www.dartmouthapologia.org/articles/show/110

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/the_historicity_of_the_resurrection_of_christ.html

    http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/J_Study_Historical_Jesus_3-2_2005/J_Study_Historical_Jesus_3-2_2005.htm

    Here are a few scholarly articles pertaining to the historical research done on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There has never been much debt as to the existance of Jesus or the fact that He rose again due to the significant number of wittnesses. Many critics have attempted to call Jesus' appearance an illusion, however large groups of people at a time saw Him that claim was quickly dismissed. To show my unbias attempt to convey facts, I also included an article that includes both sides of the argument. Let me know what you think.

    Here is more great research info. Published 93 A.D. Rome.

    From the back cover of "The New Complete Works of Josephus":
    "Flavius Josephus (c. A.D. 37-100) was born to an aristocratic Jewish family, served as a priest, and later became the commander of Jewish forces in Galilee following the revolt against Rome that began A.D. 66. Captured by the Romans, Josephus spent his later life in Rome under the patronage of the Roman emperors where he composed his history of the Jewish people and his account of the Jewish war that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70."

    "Jewish Antiquities", by Flavius Josephus. Book 18, Chapter 3, paragraphs 1-5. Paragraph 3 is the Testimonium Flavianum itself, which contains the reference to Jesus Christ.
    Chapter 3.
    3. (63) Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. (64) And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross [2], those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day [3], as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.

    June 25, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Aisha,
      There is no evidence for the resurrection outside the Bible. Non-Christian historical references to Jesus don’t occur until about six decades after the time when Biblical scholars think he probably died.

      There is little evidence that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, or based directly on eyewitness accounts.

      Many professors of theology do not believe that the resurrection is true.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • JMEF

      Aisha
      Hercules, enough said. You wouldn't be cherry picking would you?

      June 25, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Bob

      Aisha, no reasonable being could expect us to not have doubts about its existence if all we had on hand was statements supposedly made 2000+ years ago by people without the understanding of the world that we have today. Why can't your god show clear, incontrovertible modern evidence of its existence to those who are sincerely interested in finding answers? Many of us can fairly claim to be such people, yet what evidence that there is points to your whole religion being a total ponzi scheme, at most.

      Your whole religion is just one more superstition. Smarter people than you cast that nonsense aside long ago. You should do likewise.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • David

      ""Jewish Antiquities", by Flavius Josephus. Book 18, Chapter 3, paragraphs 1-5. Paragraph 3 is the Testimonium Flavianum itself, which contains the reference to Jesus Christ."

      I guess that means Hercules existed as well then? He writes of Hercules visiting the soldiers as if he were real. Proof?

      June 25, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Canista

      Aisha, your sense of humour is fabulous. The way you make a joke as if Jesus is real.... that is a true masterpiece.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Vic

      ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

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

      June 25, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Historical evidence has no bearing on the miracle problem. The Bible claims that a god exists who performs miracles. Miracles are physically impossible.

      Provide a repeatable, observable, recordable instance of a miracle, and we can talk. The fact that some things in the Bible can be corroborated by history fails to convince me of the miraculous claims, that can't.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • ME II

      @Aisha,
      While many scholars consider it likely that a man named Jesus lived, taught, and was killed by the Romans, other details are not universally agreed upon.
      Flavious, for example:
      The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus with a reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate which was then subject to Christian interpolation

      June 25, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • JMEF

      Vic
      No Vic, you are wrong again. he may be lord in your house and be the source of the religious scam in your church, but there are 5 billion people on this earth that do not give a sh!t about him. Funny how that could work for a man made god figure.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Science

      When crocodiles roamed the poles..............CHOMP Vic............can you read Vic?...........from CNN.

      By Mark Pagani, Special to CNN

      updated 7:48 AM EDT, Tue June 25, 2013

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/25/opinion/pagani-climate-change/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

      June 25, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • sam stone

      "♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰"

      To some people, he is.

      For example, you, chard, gopher, cat-squashing-austin....and many others

      all snivelling toadies

      June 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Greg

      Aisha
      It's highly doubtful that Josephus wrote the Testimonium Flavianum as it appears there because he takes great effort to express his view that his Emperor, Vespasian, was the actual Messiah. Suetonius and Tacitus shared his view. Does that mean that there are more independent ancient authorities asserting that Vespasian was Messiah rather than Jesus?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      All the lost writing excuses why they're lost. We know why you're lost it's due to the sin of pride blinding you to His truth.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      HS, If rebutting unsubstantiated wishes passed off as historical fact is what you mean by "writing excuses why they're lost" then provide some evidence of the historical fact. If not do explain.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  8. Observer

    catholic engineer

    "believers do not cherry pick"

    Absolute nonsense. How many honest Christians admit that the Bible supports slavery?

    June 25, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • sam stone

      "believers do not cherry pick"

      that's why there is only one christian church. no denominations.....everyone agrees

      June 25, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Bob

      Great points, Observer and sam. Must be tough for catholic pseudoengineer to face the facts.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • jboom

      observer,

      how is it that you see the bible as supporting slavery?

      June 25, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Observer

      jboom,

      Read one. The morality of the Bible gives instructions on how badly you can beat your slave with a rod and NOT be punished at all.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • jboom

      observer,
      I have read one – cover to cover.

      I am just curious which part of the bible you are referring to and how you come to the conclusion that the Bible supports slavery?

      And what do you mean by saying the Bible supports slavery. Its a book. Do you mean to say a particular author supports slavery? That the Jews supported slavery? Early Christians supported slavery? God supported slavery?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Wes

      jboom, a tiny bit of googling will find that for you. Do your homework. Lazy!

      June 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      jboom: Maybe you should read you own book. Slavery is very much condoned.
      However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

      If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.' If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

      When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

      Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

      Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

      The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

      June 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ jbust

      And what do you mean by saying the Bible supports slavery. Its a book. Do you mean to say a particular author supports slavery?

      Yes.

      That the Jews supported slavery?"

      Yes.

      Early Christians supported slavery?

      Yes.

      God supported slavery?

      I don't believe in deities, but according to your god's supposedly infallible and unchanging book, yes.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  9. Doobs

    @ Erasmus

    Where did you learn about Harry Potter? Just curious, since he's only mentioned in the Harry Potter books. Glad to see you're reading it at least. Actually, you must have studied it as well, I mean, to know all about Harry vs Voldemort and all. How long have you been a Harry Potter believer? I mean, the Harry Potter books are quite that clear Harry Potter exists and the Harry Potter books have convicted you of that. Again, how long have you been studying?

    June 25, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  10. ReligionIsBS

    "Priests dont fondle little kids, you're reading the news wrong" – Catholic Engineer

    June 25, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @ReligionIsBS – I can no longer debate with you. You have proven yourself to be dishonest by claiming that I stated something in order to project your negative opinion. If you're willing to lie in order to force your opinion on others, you have completely destroyed any validity to ANY statements you make after that. Great thinking, you superior atheist intellect you.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Why dont you just accept the Flying Spaghetti Monster so you can translate my posts correctly?

      Sounds silly, doesnt it?

      LOL

      June 25, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      CE claims to have magic reading powers that non-christians dont. Then he accusses me of being dishonest. You cant make this kind of stupidity up.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • JMEF

      CE
      Yes you whinny coward take your choice of the questions you wish to answer, cherry picking right. So common among the apologists.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      CE pretends the catholic church doesnt beleive in hell for non-believers, then accusses me of being dishonest. LOL

      June 25, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • realengineering

      "I can no longer debate with you." What's funniest is that he think's he's actually debating 🙂

      June 25, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • sam stone

      realengineer: funny thing is, so does gopher. he comes on and says something like "what shall we discuss today?" and then begins preaching.

      he does not want discussion

      when shown the absurdness of his argument, he runs and hides

      yet another snivelling christian coward

      June 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  11. Doobs

    @ Erasmus

    Ever heard of sarcasm?

    What a tool.

    June 25, 2013 at 10:17 am |
  12. ReligionIsBS

    "The bible doesnt have anything bad written in it, you're just reading it wrong. Slavery? You're reading it wrong. Misogony? Reading it wrong. Hate? Reading it wrong. Jelous god? Reading it wrong. Bigotry? Reading it wrong." – Catholic Engineer

    LOL

    June 25, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • catholic engineer

      ReligionIsBS insults and attacks Christians because it makes him feel powerful. Then he follows it up with "LOL" in hopes of gaining approval.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      CE

      You're reading it wrong.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Stop cherry picking my statements. You are obviously reading it wrong. That post was about love and tolerance. You have to donate to an atheist foundation to be able to translate it correctly.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Catholic Engineer tells people that they are going to hell and are going to burn in torture for eternity. I mock him for saying that and he feels attacked. LOL. You cant make up this kind of stupidity.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • catholic engineer

      It was a mocking tone rife with sarcasm. No, I was not reading it wrong. The fact that you enjoy coming here to attack Christians is evidence of an underlying issue. You aren't receiving the satisfaction in life that you need to be happy and stable. This is just an outlet for you to make you feel better about yourself. Attacking others won't fix the emptiness. And it surely won't prove to anyone that you're the "good humanist" you and yours enjoy claiming to be.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Seriously, if you want the special decoding powers, you have to donate to the Flyhing Spaghetti MOnster foundation. Atheists read these statements with guidance from his invisible spirit. Stop mocking my beleifs. You're reading it wrong.

      Sounds silly, doesnt it?

      June 25, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      I guess CE is the only one who knows how to read.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Is that so? Where did I tell you that you are going to hell? Please, by all means locate the quote.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Oh, Catholics dont beleive in hell for non-beleivers? Guess Im not reading the bible correctly. Better get out my checkbook.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • catholic engineer

      No sir, it is you that must have the special decoding powers. Please, by any and all means, locate the quote of me claiming to know the status of your salvation. I'd like to see this. Take your time if you need to. I'll wait.

      Or you can just admit to fabricating the claim that I made such a statement in order to validate your unjustified hate.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Nothing is more untrustworthy than a person that lies in order to spread his opinion. You have just lost the debate.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • JMEF

      CE
      It is more fun when I see Christians attacking each other. Turn the other cheek my ass, different denominations of Christians just love sticking it to each other. Your hypocrisy is astounding.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Why are you taking my posts out of context? I never said that. Thats not what it means.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "Christians read the scripture with God in their hearts. When you open yourself to Him, the spirit guides us and prevents misinterpretation" – CE

      "Nothing is more untrustworthy than a person that lies in order to spread his opinion. You have just lost the debate." CE

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 25, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • mary

      Catholicism is definitely one of the worst of the many Christian cults. So much violence and torture it did, then the anti-birth control stuff, and the Pope and his high priests hiding crimes by priests. Good to see it sinking.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • mary

      Catholicism is one of the worst of the Christian cults. So much torture and murder in its history, then the anti birth control and the pop hiding crimes. Good to see it sinking.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • mary

      Catholicism is one of the worst of the Christian cults. So much torture and murder in its history, then the anti birth control and the pope hiding crimes. Good to see it sinking.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @ReligionIsBS – I can no longer debate with you. You have proven yourself to be dishonest by claiming that I stated something in order to project your negative opinion. If you're willing to lie in order to force your opinion on others, you have completely destroyed any validity to ANY statements you make after that. Great thinking, you superior atheist intellect you.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Mary,

      You're reading the history books wrong. That stuff never happended. LOL

      June 25, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Why dont you just accept the Flying Spaghetti Monster so you can translate my posts correctly?

      Sounds silly, doesnt it?

      LOL

      June 25, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      CE claims to have magic reading powers that non-christians dont. Then he accusses me of being dishonest. You cant make this kind of stupidity up.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      CE you cannot debate period. "They were never true Christians" is an obvious fallacy (no true Scotsman).

      June 25, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • sam stone

      "ReligionIsBS insults and attacks Christians because it makes him feel powerful"

      Sort of the same reason that the pious bloviate endless scripture, right?

      June 25, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Reality

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)- RCC approved
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate) – RCC approved if in the form of a wet-dream

      Followed by: (from the Guttmacher Inst-itute)

      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)- RCC approved
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal)- RCC approved

      and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)- RCC approved

      June 25, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Greg

      mary
      If you're some kind of protestant trying to distance yourself from Catholic wrongdoing then you need go no further that Martin Luthor himself, whose books outlining Jewish evil were Hitler's inspiration. Then there are the various witch trials. Those were Puritans and not Catholics lighting the fires under woman.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • mary

      Gary, news for ya little fella. I'm an atheist. And you can find many instances of Catholic doctrine causing murder too. Time for some morning caffeine?

      June 25, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • mary

      Greg, news for ya little fella. I'm an atheist. And you can find many instances of Catholic doctrine causing murder too. Time for some morning caffeine?

      June 25, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Doobs

      @ CE

      Catholic doctrine espouses a hell. You have the handle "catholic engineer". It may be an assumption that you would tell nonbelievers that they are going to hell, but it's not a lie.

      Unless you're one of those Catholics who cherry pick their doctrine, like using premarital sex, birth control and divorce.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Doobs

      Make that "premarital sex, using birth control, and divorce".

      June 25, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Greg

      mary
      Point is, neither protestants, or Catholics are innocent, so why only point at the Catholics?

      June 25, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the eyes of Doobs:

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)- RCC approved
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate) – RCC approved if in the form of a wet-dream

      Followed by: (from the Guttmacher Inst-itute)

      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)- RCC approved
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal)- RCC approved

      and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)- RCC approved

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

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

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

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

      Added information before making your next move:

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

      See also: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/26/opinion/bolan-s-exual-health/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

      And from:

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

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

      June 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Pete

      I would just like to thank catholic engineer for proving that all religion is untrustworthy when he posted:

      Nothing is more untrustworthy than a person that lies in order to spread his opinion.

      June 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  13. Doobs

    Maybe he means George Zimmerman, the gun toting, over-zealous neighborhood watch guy who's always on the lookout for those who are different from him.

    June 25, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  14. Science

    Hey creationists and Vic below the se-x tningy in the leap ?

    June 25, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  15. She tasted like cigarettes Lieutenant Dan

    Exodus 12:12-13

    NIV: 12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord."

    KJV: 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

    Original Hebrew: יב וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ-מִצְרַיִם, בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה, וְהִכֵּיתִי כָל-בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, מֵאָדָם וְעַד-בְּהֵמָה; וּבְכָל-אֱלֹהֵי מִצְרַיִם אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים, אֲנִי יְהוָה.

    Translation from original Hebrew: 12 For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.

    June 25, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • catholic engineer

      This is a typical misinterpretation of cherry-picked scripture. Care to post the whole chapter in CONTEXT?

      June 25, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • midwest rail

      c.e. – gee, you mean the same way contemporary Christians cherry pick scripture all the time ?

      June 25, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Christians read the scripture with God in their hearts. When you open yourself to Him, the spirit guides us and prevents misinterpretation. People who read the Bible with hate and a vindictive spite they will always misinterpret everything. These types of people (atheists) pick little bits and pieces out of the Bible, twist it to make it fit their empty arguments and create false pretenses for others.

      June 25, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • midwest rail

      In the EXACT same way contemporary Christians do, c.e. You can tap dance all you wish about how Christians read scripture, the fact remains that believers are just as guilty of cherry picking as anyone.

      June 25, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Saraswati

      Catholic engineer, your theory ignores the millions of people who lived decadesloving the Christian god with full openness and acceptance and then began to see flaws in the concept, history and/or ideology. It is necessary for your peace of mind that y ou believe every one of these people is lying.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • JMEF

      Catholic Engineer
      Which of the fifty or so versions of the bible is the REAL truth? You as a catholic may not see the bible scripture the same as some crackpot from the confessing church or the same as a Mormon. Why can your lot not get there crap together, BTW the actions of the RCC have nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ, wealth and power were not his things.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • JMEF

      their not there, poor proofreading.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "Christians have magic reading powers that that the rest of you dont" – Catholic Engineer

      Get over yourself, you have no powers that anyone else doesnt. You make up BS to justify your irrational beleifs.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • catholic engineer

      No, believers do not cherry pick. We use scripture in life lessons. This is the purpose of Bible studies. We spend countless hours reading the Bible and learning from it. We don't read it to attack it. If we did, then we'd be just as stupid as the atheists. Atheists continuously attack the Bible and Christians. Most of them claim to have read/studied the entire Bible, but I know foer a fact that they have not. They get all of their information from the Internet. They don't own a Bible themselves. Liberals tend to act as thought they are on a higher plain of intelligence but all of them hang on the coat tails of everyone else. Atheists use the table scraps found on the internet in hopes of locating sustinence but fail miserably short at every turn. Despite all of your hard internet work trying to convince yourself for sometimes years on end that your atheism is the correct religion, you have never been able to stop Jesus and Christianity. Atheism can never stop the truth from emerging. Cover it in as much as your "progressive" dirt as you'd like, and God will pull it through and it will shine brighter than anything you could throw at it.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @JMEF, easy, the Catholic church was the first Christian church. All other so-called "christian" denominations are branches of it.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @Saraswati, they were never true Christians.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Roger that

      CE,

      This is from James chapter 5

      13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
      14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
      15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
      16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

      Would I be misinterpreting this scripture if I were to assume that this is written to be factual and that things happen as this scripture suggests,? Of course we all know it's total bs.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • midwest rail

      " No, believers do not cherry pick. "
      Most unintentionally funny post of the day. But it's early.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Saraswati

      @catholic engineer

      "@they were never true Christians."

      lol...I suspect you're putting me on at this point.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Typical Christian

      Actually Catholics aren't true Christians. Sorry, but it is the truth.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Yes, Catholics are the true Christians. Were you aware that the other denominations are missing a number of books? Their Bibles are incomplete. We use the complete Bible.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • JMEF

      Vic
      I knew that, thanks anyway. You did not answer why Christianity has 50 or more versions of what is supposed to be the word of god? Seems like a whole lot of humans messing with the gospels. The catholic church does not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ though Francis is doing his best to eliminate the cover ups and the maintaining cash flow as the most important doctrine of the church. No answer for that truth either.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      " We use the complete Bible."

      You mean you use your version of the bible. One of dozens of versions. LOL

      June 25, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @ReligionIsBS – I can no longer debate with you. You have proven yourself to be dishonest by claiming that I stated something in order to project your negative opinion. If you're willing to lie in order to force your opinion on others, you have completely destroyed any validity to ANY statements you make after that. Great thinking, you superior atheist intellect you.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • mary

      "catholic engineer" should be renamed "cherry-picking pretend engineer". He's even lying to himself.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Greg

      Typical Christian
      "Actually Catholics aren't true Christians. Sorry, but it is the truth."

      Considering where protestants came from, isn't that like one of the Latin-American countries claiming that Spain really isn't "Spanish"?

      June 25, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Greg

      catholic engineer
      The bible was written by many authors, so it isn't a surprise that they often don't agree. Very often, when a believer picks up their bible in order to get insight into some problem, they are faced with opposing opinions. Usually what happens is that the believer chooses which opinion to follow based on what advice they personally want to do. In this way, the bible ends up being just the big book of Justification.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Reality

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

      New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

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

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

      June 25, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Catholic Engineer
      Your postings betray a few prejudiced assumptions on your part.
      Not all atheists are liberals. Not all liberals are atheists.
      While I am an atheist, I prefer to identify myself as a Naturalist. The term Atheist describes only what I do NOT believe.
      I find great value in the Bible as a literary work. Good stories that echo through the ages do so becuase they speak to our core emotions. The Bible has much truth in it when it comes to what motivates most people and how to cope with the conflicting virtues and vices we all experience.
      I think that studying the Bible is essential for understanding Western civilization just as Beowulf is uniquely insightful when it comes to understanding the Anglo-Saxon culture and their heroic ideals.

      What the atheist cannot concede to the religionist is that belief in the supernatural is required to believe in and emulate Christ's characteristics of compassion and humility, or Beowulf's fearless heroism.
      Neither gods nor grendels exist, but they make for excellent literary devices for teaching us about ourselves and our potential.

      You can harp on all you like about how the Catholic Church is the First and Only One True Church of God, but don't forget that to the Hebrews, you're just paying too much attention to a derivative sequel to their Holy Book – much as you likely feel about Mormons.

      The Bible is true in the same way that all mythology and other good fiction is – it poignantly reflects the best and worst in us, most effectively in the archetypal martyred demi-god Jesus Christ.
      But Christ is no more likely to have been a demi-god than Gilgamesh (the stories of both of whom are likely based on real people).

      June 25, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  16. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    Religion is a very personal thing .. there would be no problem if followers kept it that way.

    June 25, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Science

      But they do not !

      Tuesday, June 25, 2013 Updated 08:30 AM ET

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creationist-View-Human-Origins.aspx

      June 25, 2013 at 9:13 am |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    These are quotes from the Bible. The book every Christian must Obey. The book that is the word of God:

    Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. – Isaiah 13

    Or this:

    Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open. – Hosea 13

    Or this:

    Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. – Numbers 31

    So Christians, you just keep telling yourselves this isn't just a book written by bronze age barbarians... your loving God wrote this book.

    What a joke.

    June 25, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Science

      Morning doG

      The pope is a joke too ! Making comments like he does !

      June 25, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Science

      Dog

      How about........... poking the Joke with Adams bone .............would that create a human ?

      June 25, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, then his father and his mother shall ... say to the elders of his town, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death.
    – Deut 21

    Get to work on your teenagers Christians. Every word of the Bible must be obeyed right?

    What a joke!

    June 25, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  19. krhodes

    shouldn't the atheist song be luck or chance?

    June 25, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      No .. it would be truth and reality.

      June 25, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
    – Matthew 18:7-9

    Get to work on yourselves Christians. Every word of the Bible must be obeyed right? Every word Matthew wrote was a true quote from Jesus' lips right?

    What a joke!

    June 25, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • krhodes

      It is really a shame foks like yourself have no clue what you're talking about. Keep on embarrassing yourself.

      June 25, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      you shouldn't talk to Matthew like that!!!

      June 25, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      krhodes .. It's a "quote" from the bible, if it's not accurate why read it? If it needs interpretation .. what's the point, everyone will interpret in their own way .. then again, no point since there is no consensus as to what it actually means.

      June 25, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • The real Tom

      krhodes, why should DD be embarrassed?

      June 25, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      One of my favorites Dd. Christians say to follow the teachings of Jesus, except when they say not to.

      June 25, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Thank you for posting cherry-picked and out-of-context scripture. This is just another classic example of atheism's hate agenda. Twist the Bible as much as you can to fit your hateful opinion.

      June 25, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Greg

      catholic engineer
      How is it cherry-picked? Don't you think that jesus was serious when he said that?

      June 25, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Matthew should have written e=mc2. Less confusion that way.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:05 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
Advertisement
About this blog

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.