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How evangelicals won a war and lost a generation
Are church teachings on homosexuality driving millennials away from faith?
March 31st, 2014
02:18 PM ET

How evangelicals won a war and lost a generation

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - On March 24, World Vision announced that the U.S. branch of the popular humanitarian organization would no longer discriminate against employees in same-sex marriages.

It was a decision that surprised many but one that made sense, given the organization’s ecumenical nature.

But on March 26, World Vision President Richard Stearns reversed the decision, stating, “our board acknowledged that the policy change we made was a mistake.”

Supporters helped the aid group “see that with more clarity,” Stearns added, “and we’re asking you to forgive us for that mistake.”

So what happened within those 48 hours to cause such a sudden reversal?

The Evangelical Machine kicked into gear.

Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the decision pointed to “disaster,” and the Assemblies of God denomination encouraged its members to pull their financial support from the organization.

Evangelicals took to Twitter and Facebook to threaten to stop sending money to their sponsored children unless World Vision reversed course.

Within a day of the initial announcement, more than 2,000 children sponsored by World Vision lost their financial support. And with more and more individuals, churches and organizations threatening to do the same, the charity stood to lose millions of dollars in aid that would otherwise reach the poor, sick, hungry and displaced people World Vision serves.

So World Vision reversed course.

Stearns told The New York Times that some people, satisfied with the reversal, have called World Vision headquarters to ask, “Can I have my child back?” as though needy children are expendable bargaining chips in the culture war against gay and lesbian people.

Many of us who grew up evangelical watched with horror as these events unfolded.

As a longtime supporter of World Vision, I encouraged readers of my blog to pick up some of the dropped sponsorships after the initial decision. I then felt betrayed when World Vision backtracked, though I urged my readers not to play the same game but to keep supporting their sponsored children, who are of course at no fault in any of this.

But most of all, the situation put into stark, unsettling relief just how misaligned evangelical priorities have become.

When Christians declare that they would rather withhold aid from people who need it than serve alongside gays and lesbians helping to provide that aid, something is wrong.

There is a disproportionate focus on homosexuality that consistently dehumanizes, stigmatizes and marginalizes gay and lesbian people and, at least in this case, prioritizes the culture war against them over and against the important work of caring for the poor.

Evangelicals insist that they are simply fighting to preserve “biblical marriage,” but if this were actually about “biblical marriage,” then we would also be discussing the charity’s policy around divorce.

But we’re not.

Furthermore, Scripture itself teaches that when we clothe and feed those in need, we clothe and feed Christ himself, and when we withhold care from those in need, we withhold it from Christ himself (Matthew 25:31-46).

Why are the few passages about homosexuality accepted uncritically, without regard to context or culture, but the many about poverty so easily discarded?

As I grieved with my (mostly 20- and 30-something) readers over this ugly and embarrassing situation, I heard a similar refrain over and over again: “I don’t think I’m an evangelical anymore. I want to follow Jesus, but I can’t be a part of this.”

I feel the same way.

Whether it’s over the denial of evolutionary science, continued opposition to gender equality in the church, an unhealthy alliance between religion and politics or the obsession with opposing gay marriage, evangelicalism is losing a generation to the culture wars.

A recent survey from Public Religion Research Institute revealed that nearly one-third of millennials who left their childhood faith did so because of “negative teachings” or “negative treatment” of gay and lesbian people.

Christians can disagree about what the Bible says (or doesn’t say) about same-sex marriage. This is not an issue of orthodoxy. But when we begin using child sponsorships as bargaining tools in our debates, we’ve lost the way of Jesus.

So my question for those evangelicals is this: Is it worth it?

Is a “victory” against gay marriage really worth leaving thousands of needy children without financial support?

Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth losing more young people to cynicism regarding the church?

Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth perpetuating the idea that evangelical Christians are at war with LGBT people?

And is a “victory” against gay marriage worth drowning out that quiet but persistent internal voice that asks, "what if we get this wrong?"

I, for one, am tired of arguing. I’m tired of trying to defend evangelicalism when its leaders behave indefensibly.

I’m going AWOL on evangelicalism's culture wars so I can get back to following Jesus among its many refugees: LGBT people, women called to ministry, artists, science-lovers, misfits, sinners, doubters, thinkers and “the least of these.”

I’m ready to stop waging war and start washing feet.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Culture wars • Discrimination • Ethics • evangelicals • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Opinion • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (2,141 Responses)
  1. Vic

    I have been noticing this for a while:

    It seems like besides the differences in perspectives, people don't know how to disagree. It seems like issues are handled on a black or white basis, right off the bat. That could be the reason there is no solution.

    We can all disagree without resorting to animosity, especially in a civilized society. We all have our own perspectives that can be different from others, that's part of life.

    April 2, 2014 at 11:43 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      but what if I say (with no other evidence) that god spoke to me and said that if every parent didn't kill their kids by year end the world would explode and I started changing the laws of the land to make this mandatory. Would you disagree with me politely, or would you angrily tell me I was nuts and try and stop me for the good of mankind?

      April 2, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • Vic

        The answer is simple.

        In a civil society, as I indicated earlier, this would be addressed appropriately within the statutes of the established system.

        April 2, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • ausphor

          Vic
          That is just great, you are making progress. So you agree with abortion and gay marriage as defined within the statutes of the established system. Or are you saying you only obey the laws of the country when it suits you.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • hotairace

          Good Vic. Now all you have to do is show us a statute or two that bans emotion when discussing anything.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
    • ausphor

      Vic
      Thomas Jefferson has told me to ridicule you, sorry about that, no I take that back, I am not sorry at all, I rather enjoy it.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
    • Alias

      These are mostly black and white issues. (*insert silly racial joke here*)
      Either there is a god, or there isn't. Where is the room for comprimise?
      Either your bible was inspired by a devine being, or it was written by men with an agenda.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • Vic

        It is a simple.

        Everybody is free to believe or not in whatever they want, we can discuss our beliefs in a civil manner, there is no reason grapple with it. What I see around here is that people police believers for believing!

        April 2, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • Vic

          "It is a simple matter."

          April 2, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • Alias

          This is a hot topic by its nature. Christians keep telling us to repont or burn forever, and we keep pointing out why we think is is rediculas to believe the bible is the word of god.
          Now if you want to idscuss something more subjective, like when abortion is appropriate – then we can have a calm, rational, friendly discussion.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • SeaVik

          If you want to be civil, step one would be to stop discriminating against people you disagree with. Discriminating against GLBT people is infinitely worse than being impolite on a message board.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • ausphor

        Vic
        Hypocrite, you police people for who they are, the LGBT people for example.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    if I was powerful enough to create the universe, I wouldn't throw a hissy fit at my creations (in my image) misbehaving (as I designed them) and flood the world and kill them all.

    I am glad to say that's the difference between me and your god.

    April 2, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • Ginny Bain Allen

      Many atheists complain that when God does intervene He is too cruel. It is confusing to me that atheists complain that God does not intervene enough and then complain He is too harsh when He does! All that aside, atheists overlook the fact that those God judges are typically child killers who also pimped out their own daughters. For example, the various tribes that populated modern-day Israel made the Nazis on a day-to-day basis look like girl scouts. How many atheists do you hear complain about the cruelty of the Allies in defeating Hitler and his National Socialist Party? I have never heard a skeptic state, “I can’t believe in an America that would be so cruel to Nazis!”

      Moreover, atheists miss the Biblical claim that justice will be executed one day for all. At the end of time, either you will take the punishment for the wrongs you have done or Jesus will have taken it for you on the cross. Either way, justice is done. Thus, Christians don’t have a problem of evil but atheists have a problem of justice.

      ~Alvin Plantinga in GOD, FREEDOM and EVIL

      April 2, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "All that aside, atheists overlook the fact that those God judges are typically child killers who also pimped out their own daughters."

        Tell that to the parents of a child with cancer. Your God did that too right?

        April 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          It's all part of "God's Plan"... the biggest lie that Christian's continually fall for

          April 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
      • G to the T

        You'll excuse if we don't take in on faith when the bible says these people were all irredeemably wicked (something I thought wasn't supposed to be possible). We still have evidence, records, etc. of the Nazi's, but almost nothing to show the "other view" in regards to most biblical stories.

        I think what confuses atheists is why an omniphilic god would so often be seen having a lower moral standard than he expects of his followers. And the idea of justice in the next world is a nice idea, but without some kind of evidence, so us at least, it's just an idea so we are more concerned about justice being done in the here and now.

        Hope that helps.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I think Mr. Plantinga has his analogy backwards. He is comparing the Isrealites to the Allies. The Isrealites were the ones commiting genocide...they would have to be compared to the Nazis.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • Akira

          It also sounds as if Mr. Plantinga, and by extension GBS, are projecting what they think atheists are like instead of actually bothering to get to know any.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And I love this line...

          "At the end of time, either you will take the punishment for the wrongs you have done or Jesus will have taken it for you on the cross. Either way, justice is done."

          As if someone else taking responsibilty away from the perpetrator is "justice", and infinite punishment for finite crimes is "just".

          AND using "belief" as a basis for rewards and punishments is "just". CHristianity has a huge "justice" problem.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
      • doobzz

        "All that aside, atheists overlook the fact that those God judges are typically child killers who also pimped out their own daughters"

        Actually, your god provides detailed instructions on how to properly sell your daughters into slavery in the bible.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
      • Akira

        So...you're saying that every infant and fetus that God drowned were child killers that pimped out their own daughters?
        Because otherwise it sounds as if He murdered everyone to get to a few.
        And then one that He spared went on to enslave his own son because the old goat couldn't hold his booze and let his junk dangle for all to see. Which his poor son who ended up a slave did.
        And that slavery? Nope. God never condemned it.

        And Hitler? You know factually he is were he is supposed to be? Because if he repented and did what Christians say to do to be saved, his sins were absolved by the blood of the cross. And he's in Heaven.

        I suppose that's one version of Justice. There are many, after all.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
      • SeaVik

        Atheists don't complain about how god intervenes – we don't believe he exists, much less intervenes. We are not complaining – we are pointing out that he did exist and did intervene, he doesn't do a very good job of it. If he does exist, he's not a very good dude.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Yes, lets reference a Christian apologists opinion on what atheists believe or don't believe about the Christian god...

        April 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @Ginny
        The only person God deemed righteous enough to be spared the wrath He wrought upon Sodom was Lot – and he was perfectly willing to throw his virgin daughters over to a ravenous mob to be ra/ped.
        Using his daughter are ra/pe bait was just fine – but for looking over her shoulder, Lot's wife was turned into a salt lick.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        No Ginny, you mistake pointing out the obvious flaws in your belief system for complaining. We don't hate your god or anything like it, we simply don't see the justification or evidence for believing in it. You are very typical of most christians, you are picking an choosing the good parts while ignoring the bad. I'm very sorry the education system failed you, as did the people who brainwashed you to believe such fallacies. No god is necessary to live a good life and from the best anyone can tell given the complete lack of evidence, there is no reason to be concerned about an afterlife because as far anyone knows the life we live now is all we get.

        April 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • Ginny Bain Allen

          You better change your name for JESUS IS THE TRUTH, and you do not proclaim Him.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Oh my Ginny, as far as true evidence goes if your imaginary friend jesus existed he would be dust by now. Not changing my name to suit your demands, no need for that and no need for you to be so bitter. I admit not to proclaiming him because I see no justification for believing in things that can't be shown to exist...not all are so weak that we need imaginary friends!

          April 2, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Ginny Bain Allen

          The Old Testament is specific in its predictions of Jesus. It contains 332 specific predictions about the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Messiah – all made hundreds of years before His birth. In 1958, a scientist named Peter Stoner looked at the probability that just 8 of the 332 predictions of the Messiah could've been coincidentally or accidentally fulfilled in one man, much less a man who actually proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah. He looked at the probability of each of the eight individually, and then added up the probabilities for all eight. His mathematical conclusion, verified by the American Scientific Affiliation, was that the chance of all eight being accidentally fulfilled in one man was 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. Not much chance of it being coincidental, huh? Even the lotto gives you better odds than that! Take 100,000,000,000,000,000 silver dollars and lay them out across the state of Texas. They would cover the entire land surface of the Lone Star State two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars – paint it red – and toss it into the stack. Mix it up really well. Finally, blindfold someone and tell her she can walk across the state as far as she wants, but then she's got to bend down and pick up just one silver dollar. And it has to be the red one on the first try. That's how likely it is that eight messianic prophecies could've been randomly fulfilled in anyone, much less the one who claimed He really was the Messiah. Multiply this out to 332 Old Testament predictions that were precisely fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and what do you have? You have proof of the divinity of Old Testament prophecy.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • hotairace

          Ginny, quit screeching and start thinking. There is no rational reason to believe in a divine jesus. You are pretending to know things you do not.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          The whining that comes from christians so desperate to defend the imaginary friends reminds me of when my daughter was 5 and didn't get her own way. Ginny is just another brainwashed person with a very closed mind sadly.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          That the protagonist in the Torah sequel seems to fulfill the prophecies from the original isn't too surprising. But there are some flagrant holes in the story where the authors obviously cribbed the facts in order to fulfill prophecy.
          To wit, the Messiah had to be born in Bethlehem so the authors of the NT invented a circu/mstance in which Christ's parents had to go there to be "taxed and counted".
          But taxation and census taking in the Roman Empire didn't happen that way. They had roving assessors. They didn't force all the itinerant Jews to travel to their ancestral home (1,000 years ago for Joseph!) carrying all of their worldly goods.
          It is a plot device to move the story forward.

          But just about every religion has prophecies.....
          The Koran prophesied a number of things that came t o pass.
          It foresaw fingerprints ("Their skins will bear witness against them as to what they have been doing"), industrial pollution ("Corruption has spread on land and sea because of what men’s hands have wrought" ), genetic engineering ("They will alter Allah's creation."), AIDS ("It never happens that permissiveness overwhelms a people to the extent that they display their acts of s.ex shamelessly and they are not uniquely punished by God. Among them, invariably, pestilence is made to spread and such other diseases, the like of which have never been witnessed by their forefathers." ).

          Many Muslims will tell you that the Quaran prophecies the Moon Landing.
          “The moon has split and the hour has drawn closer” (The Quran, 54:1)
          The astronauts left the moon in the lunar module containing 21 kilograms of rocks that had belonged to the moon.
          The date this prophecy came to pass was on July 21 1969. The moment the prophecy was fulfilled is confirmed by the hour of departure of the lunar module, which left the lunar surface at 17:54:1 (Universal Time) or 1:54:1 (EDT) and as you have seen above, verse [54:1] is the verse that deals with the prophecy.

          Joseph Smith has had a lot of his prophecies come true.
          In late 1832, Smith received a very specific Divine Revelation about the American Civil War which came true.
          "Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.
          For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.
          And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war."

          In 1831, Joseph prophesied that "Zion shall flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be assembled together unto the place which I have appointed".
          The Mormon Saints migrated to the Rocky Mountains in 1847, several years after Joseph was killed. There they built settlements and cities along stretches of many hundreds of miles in the West, from Canada to Mexico.

          The night before Joseph Smith was killed, as a captive in Carthage Jail, he prophesied that Dan Jones, whose life was clearly at risk, would survive to serve a mission in Wales. This came to pass.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • doobzz

          @Ginny

          The American Scientific Affiliation's website states:

          "We in the American Scientific Affiliation believe that God is both the creator of our vast universe and is the source of our ability to pursue knowledge — also, that honest and open studies of both scripture and nature are mutually beneficial in developing a full understanding of human identity and our environment."

          Confirmation bias, anyone? Of course their findings confirm what they already believe.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • joey3467

          I would argue that the chances of someone who had read the Old Testament and and was claiming to be the Messiah fulfilling all of the prophecies to be 100%. Basically I am not the least bit impressed by this.

          April 2, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    if I was powerful enough to create the universe, I wouldn't let millions of people born in non Christian lands die and go to hell and eternal agony without a chance of knowing me as the one true god. I would show myself instead of playing this bloody silly child's game of hide and seek.

    I am glad to say that's the difference between me and your god.

    April 2, 2014 at 11:41 am |
  4. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Rollin' rollin' rollin'
    Oh my feet are swollen
    Don't let your dingle dangle dangle in the mud
    Pickup your dingle dangle, give it to your bud
    Rollin' rollin' rollin'
    Oh my ankles are swollen
    Don't let your dingle dangle dangle in the dirt
    Pickup your dingle dangle, put it in your shirt
    Rollin' rollin' rollin'
    Oh my legs are swollen
    Don't let your dingle dangle dangle on the ground
    Pickup your dingle dangle, toss it all around
    Rollin' rollin' rollin'
    Oh my knees are swollen
    Don't let your dingle dangle dangle in the track
    Pickup your dingle dangle, put it in your pack

    April 2, 2014 at 9:57 am |
    • Ginny Bain Allen

      Your knees will be swollen after you crash to the ground upon Jesus' return, as you swallow your pride and confess, "Jesus is Lord."

      April 2, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
      • hotairace

        Jesus is Lord is Bullshit! Go ahead, prove you are right and I am wrong.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The way CNN reports that a giant, amphibious, 7 headed, 10 horned, bear pawed beast has emerged from the ocean, or when the thunderous din of swarms of armour clad, crown wearing locusts with the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the mouth of a lion and the tail of a scorpion deafens the world, we'll all drop to our knees and repent.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • Alias

          This is why the pentagon has a secret "Iron Charriot' room.
          Their god can't defeat an army if it uses Iron Charriots.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • joey3467

          This is true he can't defeat Iron Chariots, which makes me wonder what he thinks he can do with an F-16.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Just because you got on your knees and swallowed that doesn't mean I will.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        My knees are swollen from running in the Army for 24 years and I didn't see your stupid Jesus running PT with me... or when one of my buddies (a Christian) was schwacked by an RPG in 2003...

        April 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        You do comprehend that dead people don't return, right? I understand that that must hurt your feelings but it's time to grow up Ginny and leave your imaginary friends behind with your childhood.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    if I was powerful enough to create the universe, I wouldn't let thousands of children die in agony from malnutrition and sickness every da. I am glad to say that's the difference between me and your god.

    April 2, 2014 at 9:27 am |
    • Ginny Bain Allen

      God doesn't allow those children to die. People do.

      April 2, 2014 at 10:18 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        A poor attempt at deflection...

        April 2, 2014 at 10:23 am |
      • fintronics

        Oh, that's right..... god does all the good stuff, PEOPLE and SATAN do the all bad stuff.....

        ........... except didn't god create satan in the first place?......... apologetics in action!

        April 2, 2014 at 10:25 am |
      • SeaVik

        Tha'ts pretty sad. Even in your fantasy, your god isn't all-powerful.

        April 2, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          perfect! LOL

          April 2, 2014 at 11:43 am |
      • doobzz

        Ginny, that's a nice pat answer that you got from the pulpit. Your god could end starvation, but doesn't. Your god could end disease, but doesn't. You god could end all the religious division that causes war and death to millions, but doesn't. Your god plays vicious games with humans.

        You worship a vindictive, violent a**hole.

        April 2, 2014 at 10:46 am |
        • kev2672

          So God should intervene in every immoral or unjust act then?

          April 2, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @kev. yes he should, or otherwise why did he bother writing down his long book of rules?

          April 2, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • doobzz

          Yes, kev, he should. If he's the loving god that Christianity pushes, he should intervene. He has the power to do so, but doesn't.

          If you saw a five year old being sold as a sex slave, would you intervene? A loving deity who has the power to do so should intervene as well.

          But your god doesn't intervene. Perhaps it's not so loving, or perhaps it doesn't exist.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kev:
          "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
          Then he is not omnipotent.

          Is he able, but not willing?
          Then he is malevolent.

          Is he both able and willing?
          Then whence cometh evil?

          Is he neither able nor willing?
          Then why call him God?"
          — Epicurus, philosopher (c. 341-270 BCE)

          April 2, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
      • new-man

        GBA,
        you have spoken correctly. those who speak otherwise have not yet understand this world and their position in it.

        And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly].

        Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.

        For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
        Mk 11:22-24

        April 2, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]."
          Mk 11:22-24

          So he lied, that just isn't the case.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • new-man

          BatC,
          you are the liar and the truth is not in you.
          you, a godless non-believer who has no concept of giving voice to the Word of God, now think you can declare His Words a lie.

          Friend you are deceived and you are a deceiver, but worst of all one has to be very ignorant to deceive themselves.

          I pray Father bless you with wisdom, knowledge and revelation.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "cult logic".... where an ideology or belief claims "certainty" but only through accepting that belief can one know "true" knowledge. It can't be demonstrated to non-believers until they accept the belief. And non-believers cannot be taken seriously by believers in their criticism of the belief BECAUSE they are non-believers and do not have access to the "true" knowledge. It is religious babble.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • new-man

          BatC: "It can't be demonstrated to non-believers until they accept the belief. And non-believers cannot be taken seriously by believers in their criticism of the belief BECAUSE they are non-believers and do not have access to the "true" knowledge."

          What you mentioned above is also a lie.

          The gospel of the kingdom of God CAN and WILL and IS being demonstrated to non-believers. We're not called to make converts, you choose to believe of your own free will.

          Non-believers can be taken seriously, and there are things that can be learnt from them. However, when a non-believer who doesn't know anything of the spiritual, who are spiritually blind, deaf, and dumb chooses to dictate to one who has the Holy Spirit, then expect to be challenged; because no one asks a "blind" man for direction.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          aaaaah the workings of a cult addled mind ...

          April 2, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • new-man

          dog,
          says the working of a self-deceived mind, devoid of God.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "However, when a believer who can't objectively demonstrate anything of the spiritual, who are only spiritually asserting truth, chooses to dictate to people that do not share their delusion, then expect to be challenged; because no one asks the delusional for understanding."

          ***fixed***

          April 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • doobzz

          Mk 11:22-24 is pretty explicit in it's meaning. It doesn't matter who is reading it, believer or non believer, it still states that anything you ask for will be given if you believe it will be given. And we know that that is NOT the case.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Right Ginny, it's impossible for an imaginary creature (ie god) to allow anything to happen, however if your imaginary friend did exist and was so powerful it most certainly did allow for those children to die...isn't so powerful, now is it??

        April 2, 2014 at 11:57 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Matthew 6.

        25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
        26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
        27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ?"

        I guess God took the day off with the kids that World Vision feeds.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
    • Ginny Bain Allen

      It's dishonest when those who claim not to believe in God blame Him for all the pain and suffering that takes place on our privileged planet. Why is such outrage directed at someone who doesn't exist? Why so much time and effort spent on spreading the aggressively militant position that God is dead? Misery loves company is all I can figure.

      April 2, 2014 at 10:53 am |
      • doobzz

        Did your pastor tell you that anyone who isn't a Christian is miserable? Psst, he's lying.

        April 2, 2014 at 11:05 am |
      • Sungrazer

        Because your beliefs have consequences which negatively impact society. If you did not take your beliefs to the public square, then there would be less of a problem.

        Consider it a public service.

        April 2, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • guidedans

          It's a good thing that Atheism has never had an idea that negatively impacts society. Like, it would really suck if some guy took the theory of evolution and then tried to create some master race through the process of eliminating negative genes from the gene pool.

          It would REALLY suck if that guy then tried to take over a large part of the world. I mean, Atheists only have good ideas that positively impact the world. No person could ever take an idea from atheism, distort it, and use it for evil.

          You have really good points.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • doobzz

          LOL, guidans. You are funny.

          "Gott mit uns". Ever hear of it?

          April 2, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Like, it would really suck if some guy took the theory of evolution and then tried to create some master race through the process of eliminating negative genes from the gene pool."

          That is a straw man argument and not even a good one. Creating a master race is the opposite of natural selection.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          "My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian, I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice."

          -Adolph Hitler Munich April 12, 1922

          April 2, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • Sungrazer

          As others have pointed out, it is problematic at best to paint Hitler as an atheist. He probably was not one. Even if he was, he did not do what he did in the name of atheism.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • guidedans

          Thanks guys. I forgot that it is impossible to use God and religion to do evil things by distorting it.

          I also forgot that Hitler's views in 1922 were identical to his views in 1941 when he said:

          "Science cannot lie, for it's always striving, according to the momentary state of knowledge, to deduce what is true. When it makes a mistake, it does so in good faith. It's Christianity that's the liar. It's in perpetual conflict with itself....The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death... The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble."

          Thanks for the heads up guys.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Thanks guys. I forgot that it is impossible to use God and religion to do evil things by distorting it."

          Pick up a bible. Your god does evil things all day long. Your god committed genocide by drowning every human and animal on earth. It was the first religious "cleansing".

          Hitler was just following your god's example.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          guide: Hitler was as christian as you...not one of ours, all yours! Do some research and know a little about the monster before sounding uneducated next time!

          April 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Guide
          Can you cite a source for that quote?

          "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so."
          – Adolf Hitler, to General Gerhard Engel, 1941

          By its decision to carry out the political and moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is creating and securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages for the individual which may be derived from compromises with atheistic organizations do not compare in any way with the consequences which are visible in the destruction of our common religious and ethical values. The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society. ...
          – Adolf Hitler, speech before the Reichstag, March 23, 1933, just before the Enabling Act is passed.

          We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
          The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942

          The fact that the Curia is now making its peace with Fascism shows that the Vatican trusts the new political realities far more than did the former liberal democracy with which it could not come to terms. ...The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy ...proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism...
          – Adolf Hitler in an article in the Völkischer Beobachter, February 29, 1929

          April 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • joey3467

          What does evolution have to do with being an atheist. There are millions of Christians who have realized that evolution is a fact as well. It is only the real morons who want to take a literal view of the bible who can't admit it to themselves.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • guidedans

          Hitler used Christianity as a ploy to entice the populace. He was far from Christian.

          The quote I posted was from "Hitlers Table Talk 1941-1944 His Private Conversations"

          Hitler was trying to erase the religions of the time and replace God with himself. If you all cannot see that, that is your problem.

          Hitler was an outstanding strategist and of course he was not going to come right out and say he was atheist, especially because he was waging a war with the Soviet Union, who lauded atheism.

          Here's some more from our friend Wikipedia:

          Hitler biographer Alan Bullock wrote that Hitler did not believe in God, and that one of his central objections to Christianity, was that its teaching was "a rebellion against the natural law of selection by struggle and the survival of the fittest".Steigmann Gall concludes that, to the extent he believed in a divinity, Hitler did not believe in a "remote, rationalist divinity" but in an "active deity," which he frequently referred to as "Creator" or "Providence". In Hitler's belief God created a world in which different races fought each other for survival as depicted by Arthur de Gobineau. The "Aryan race," supposedly the bearer of civilization, is allocated a special place:
          "What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and the reproduction of our race ... so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe. ... Peoples that bas.tardize themselves, or let themselves be bas.tardized, sin against the will of eternal Providence."

          Hitler created his own religion where he was the central figure. You have to recognize that. Christianity in fact warns against people who do that.

          Anyhow, If you look at my original post, I was talking about ideas of atheism causing social problems.

          Evolution is one of the major ideas that atheists tend to espouse. I am saying that, just like Christianity can be distorted to cause social issues, atheism and materialism can be distorted to cause social problems.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Anyhow, If you look at my original post, I was talking about ideas of atheism causing social problems."

          And you used a very bad example to try to prove it. And now you're backpedaling. Weak, really weak. "

          "Hitler used Christianity as a ploy to entice the populace. He was far from Christian."

          Are you really going to use No True Scotsman? Even weaker.

          Gott mit uns, guide – you can't argue that one away.

          April 2, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "Why is such outrage directed at someone who doesn't exist?"

        His cult followers do exist and they often make life miserable for others. They love to tell everyone how wonderful and loving their god is and anyone who does not agree should just shut up. Consider this the response.

        April 2, 2014 at 11:18 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        The persecution complex is pathetic. Most of us were christian at one point and then we read the bible at face value amongst weighing the updated evidence against the book and realized that the god you worship is a vindictive murderous ass...maybe if you read it at face value instead of with a closed mind you too would be an Atheist-it is the quickest path to disbelief ever.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
    • kev2672

      So God should intervene in every injustice or immoral act?

      April 2, 2014 at 11:12 am |
      • doobzz

        If your god is the loving god you claim, why wouldn't it intervene?

        April 2, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • kev2672

          Well then there would be no freewill would there?

          April 2, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • doobzz

          There is no free will under your religion. That's just something you're told to make you feel bad about yourself and to push the idea of a loving god, when your god is actually a violent, vindictive jerk.

          Where is the starving child's free will? Where is the five year old sex slave's free will?

          April 2, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • kev2672

          They exist in this "world" and are subject to the very same evil as the rest of us. You have freewill to chose good or evil. How would you ever know either if no freewill existed? Where would you get such an idea as "evil" or "vindictive?" They suffer because of the freewill all humanity is given.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • doobzz

          Free will doesn't exist in your religion. Your god is excused from intervening in human suffering because he "has a plan".

          If your god has "a plan" that is being executed, then free will doesn't exist.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • kev2672

          What? So you think God should intervene in every situation then..is that right?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • doobzz

          Yes. Your god "created" the situation, and has the capability to solve it, but doesn't.

          Either your god isn't the loving being that you purport it to be, or perhaps it doesn't exist.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • kev2672

          How is God not loving?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • doobzz

          Aren't you the one who accused me of not knowing the bible?

          Your god causes suffering and allows its "creation" to cause suffering to its fellow "creations". Your god has the ability to NOT cause suffering and to intervene and stop the suffering. It does neither. Those are not the actions of a "loving" anything.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • kev2672

          Well you are stating we are in the same state as we were in creation. Maybe read your Bible? The only possible way to stop suffering is for freewill to be removed. What actions would be "loving?" Stopping all suffering? Taking away freewill to chose to or not to?

          April 2, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • doobzz

          There is no free will.

          Where is the free will of the starving child? Where is the free will of the five year old sex slave? Where is the free will of kindergarteners staring at an AK-47?

          April 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Well you are stating we are in the same state as we were in creation."

          That is not what I said. I simply called humans your god's "creation".

          April 2, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          the "free will" argument is nothing but a cop out and doesn't even make sense.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • joey3467

          Or if there is free will I guess god considers the free will of a murder to be more important than the free will of a child.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • doobzz

          Exactly.

          April 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Would you just stand around and watch innocent people suffer?

        April 2, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • kev2672

          No i would not.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • new-man

          isn't that what you're doing?

          April 2, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          No that is not what I am doing, but nice try at deflection, stick to the issue.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:35 am |
      • kudlak

        God supposedly does intervene in some disasters and situations of injustice, doesn't he? Those are called "miracles", but they only seem to serve as egotistical displays of this God showing off his power. What the original post seems to indicate is that people who are actually good would help everyone that have the power to help simply because they don't want them to suffer, which is clearly not what this God is doing by handpicking who he helps in order to glorify himself, correct?

        April 2, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Thanking god for sparing your life and the lives of your family after a natural disaster where people die, is like thanking a serial killer for killing the neighbors instead.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          It's all the hits, none of the misses...they are too blinded by the indoctrination and false promises to be able to see their god for what it truly is.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • kudlak

          I like to cite the TV show 1000 Ways To Die to illustrate that, for every non-typical outcome that someone might call "miraculous" there's, probably one that we'd call a "freak accident".

          April 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
  6. Beth Armstrong

    Yes, yes, yes! Thanks, Rachel.
    Our focus as Christians must be on Jesus. The truth is that Jesus would have hung out with and would have done life w/ your list of "many refugees." And throughout the gospels it was the kindness of Christ, not the cruelty of the crowd, that won folks over to Him. I join w/ you in your endeavor to stop waging war and start washing feet!

    April 2, 2014 at 9:27 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      yes, your book character jesus was a good guy. If we could be more like jesus and dumbledore, the world would be a better place.

      April 2, 2014 at 9:35 am |
      • guidedans

        Proverbs 10:12 ESV

        "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses."

        Stop stirring up strife.

        April 2, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          "Hearing voices no one else can hear isn’t a good sign, even in the wizarding world."
          -Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

          April 2, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      You are in the wrong place. Foot fetishism is a couple of blogs over...

      April 2, 2014 at 9:41 am |
      • guidedans

        Proverbs 15:1 ESV

        "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger"

        What do you think your response counts as? Soft or Harsh?

        April 2, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • igaftr

          Comedic. It is obviously a joke. You can take it as harsh or soft if you have no sense of humor.

          April 2, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          LET's Religiosity Law #3 – When a Christian reaches for their book to reference a quote... you know they are about to lie their ass off...

          April 2, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    if I was powerful enough to create the universe, I wouldn't let all these poor children be hungry and homeless in the first place. I am glad to say that's the difference between me and your god.

    April 2, 2014 at 9:25 am |
  8. ultrabrian

    Reblogged this on ultrabrian.

    April 2, 2014 at 8:39 am |
  9. itsahairflip

    Reblogged this on A Continued Journey of Self-Discovery. and commented:
    Mmmm

    April 2, 2014 at 7:32 am |
  10. steve1290

    Rachel, your article hit home, as it did for many people. And the many, many responses to this (*way* too many acrimonious responses, btw) just hammer home the truth of what you wrote. Yes, people have the right to give as they choose. Yes, it's true that "show me the money" drives lots of decisions in this world. But it's also true that an awful lot of what folks like me see as "evangelical" has nothing to do with what Christ himself calls us to do. Brennan Manning was right: “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” (I also realize that this comment may get lost in all the bickering here. But I hope not.)

    April 2, 2014 at 6:31 am |
    • Reality

      The Truth overwhelms any bickering. Once again:

      The Apostles' Creed 2014 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      April 2, 2014 at 6:50 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      DC Talk quote...

      April 2, 2014 at 7:28 am |
      • Reality

        What does the Truth have to do with DC Talk quotes?

        April 2, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
  11. Ben Moushon

    Reblogged this on Thinking & Driving and commented:
    A fantastic article re-affirming my own thoughts made last week regarding World Vision and Christianity. As a youth pastor who has had students repeatedly tell me they love and believe in God but can no longer follow such a close minded church, I hope that we can find a middle ground where love and acceptance comes first, and leaves the judgment to God.

    April 2, 2014 at 6:03 am |
    • Reality

      And what god might that be?????

      April 2, 2014 at 6:52 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      "close minded church"
      ---------
      Be careful that acceptance doesn't go too far and permits sin to be practiced unchallenged. People must be compelled to repent – for with no repentance, there is no salvation. And if we are closed minded, we are closed minded to the world and how a godless society defines morality. The Bible is the standard for us in ministry, and let us always call men (and youth) to repent of what the Bible defines as sin, and forget the fickle whims of society and its definitions of acceptance and morality.

      If we do not call men to repentance, then we have not shared the full gospel. And if men do not repent, though they acknowledge God with their lips, they will still spend an eternity in hell. For even the demons believe in God, but they are not saved.

      April 2, 2014 at 8:56 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        you are what the "generation" is running away from.

        April 2, 2014 at 9:14 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          No, they are running away from the idea of the Biblical God – a God who will one day hold all sinners accountable for everything they did, said, and thought, and judge them according to His law with a perfect justice.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Who does the posthumous judging?
          You'll have to answer to Odin if you want to get to Valhalla.
          Or perhaps the 42 judges of the Egyptian afterlife.
          Maybe you'll meet Joseph Smith and need to offer him the secret handshakes and passwords in order to get to highest level of the Celestial Kingdom.
          Maybe St. Peter will review your sins in his book.
          Heaven, Hell, Limbo, Purgatory, Valhalla, The Celestial Kingdom, The Elysian Fields, Sheol, Tartarus, Tlaloc's Garden etc. ad nauseum.
          So many afterlives, each with their respective judges, and each one with different criteria for getting in.

          They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          You really think that your fire and brimstone message will get anywhere with todays youth then you are crazier than I thought.
          Start your rant, go for it.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:31 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "You really think that your fire and brimstone message will get anywhere with todays youth then you are crazier than I thought.
          Start your rant, go for it."
          -----------------
          I'm not required to convince anyone of anything. I'm required to preach the word in season and out of season, it is the Holy Spirit that does the convicting and convincing according to the doctrine of election.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • Anthony Crispino

          "according to the doctrine of election"

          I thought the new Pope fired the canon that made it law that women should breast feed in church. I'm still not seeing any of that. He doesn't have to wait for a vote for it – he's the Pope, for crying out loud.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • joey3467

          No Theo most of us are running away from people like you you treat others like dirt and call it love. When people such as yourself die off then the church might stand a chance again.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • sam stone

          "it is the Holy Spirit that does the convicting and convincing according to the doctrine of election"

          in that case, he is doing a pretty p-i-s-s poor job of it. For an omnipotent being, that is

          April 3, 2014 at 6:23 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The fickle whims of society have always dictated morality. Religious societies do not fare better than explicitly secular ones when it comes to harmful behaviour.
        The Journal of Religion & Society published a study on religious belief and social well-being, comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand.
        #1 on the list in both atheism and good behaviour is Ja.pan. It is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation. Over eighty percent of the population accept evolution.
        Last on the list is the U.S. It has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Ja.pan.
        Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest, most stable, best-educated, and healthiest nations on earth. When nations are ranked according to a human-development index, which measures such factors as life expectancy, literacy rates, and educational attainment, the five highest-ranked countries - Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands - all have high degrees of nonbelief. Of the fifty countires at the bottom of the index, all are intensly religious. The nations with the highest homicide rates tend to be more religious; those with the greatest levels of gender equality are the least religious.

        Whether you admit it to yourself or not, moral relativism is a truism.
        Morality is a covenant by and for people that enables us to live together.
        We are selfish creatures by nature, yet our survival depends on cooperation. In order to balance these two conflicting instincts, mankind has had to develop rules that allow room for both.
        These rules are not the same for all communities – hence we've had so many different types of religion and government throughout history.
        Religion binds communities by giving a common frame of reference.
        Shared fears (like divine retribution), hopes (like going to heaven) and rituals allow the instinct for self preservation to extend beyond one's self and immediate family.
        Effective cooperation is a learned skill and the successful religions recognize this. Christianity reveals this truth about ourselves most poignantly in the character of Jesus Christ. His message is one of peace, charity, modesty and forgiveness – the traits most important to develop when living in a society.

        April 2, 2014 at 9:19 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Whether you admit it to yourself or not, moral relativism is a truism."
          ------------–
          This is an asinine statement. Have you thought this through? "The only absolute is that there are no absolutes." Well, is that an absolute statement? Saying that moral relativism is a truism is a self-falsefying statement. Because if it's true, and I don't believe that it is (because morality is relative) then it doesn't exist just on the basis that I don't believe it is.

          Furthermore, it may be an intereting idea, but it doesn't work in the real world, and you know it.
          1) If you go into a restaurant and want to order a stack of pancakes, and it costs $8.00, but you tell the waitress, that you feel that you should only pay $5.00, are you going to get your breakfast? No.
          2) You and I are both sitting on a park bench, and I tell you that I sincerely believe that we are both sitting on a green chicken, am I wrong?
          3) You and I are both on a train going to Chicago, but I tell you that I sincerely believe that we are on a train to Berlin. Am I wrong?

          Moral relativism doesn't work. If it WERE true, then noone could be condemned for anything they did, for they are merely "dancing to their DNA," and although what they did may not agree with YOUR idea of right and wrong, it is just your opinion that what they did was wrong, but they didn't actually do anything wrong.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          A prime example of the reality of moral relativism is cannibalism.
          Our culture has a very strong cannibalism taboo, but it cannot be "human nature" or something "written on our hearts by God" to feel repulsed by it as virtually every branch of the human species has praticed it at some point in their development.
          The Aztecs believed in transubstantiation. They consumed their human sacrifices in the belief that the dead literally became a part of the God to whom they were given.
          Binerwurs in India ate the sick amongst them to please Kali.
          The Karankawa, an indigenous Texan tribe, ritualistically consumed their enemies to gain their strength.
          The Wari, The Kuru, Fore, Caribs, Fijians, Popayans, Serengipeans, are all fairly modern examples (within the last 500 years).
          Indeed, Christians from the 1st Crusade consumed the fallen Arabs at Maarat.

          "You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. "
          – Deuteronomy 7:3
          The Bible is against interracial marriage and yet it is no longer illegal.
          Isn't it a good thing we don't use the Bible to make laws?

          The current condemnation of ho/mo/se/xuality will be viewed by the next generation with the same sense of shame that the memory of segregation elicits.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:32 am |
        • ausphor

          Go Theo go, you have convinced yourself but nobody else. Rant away if it makes you feel superior and warm and fuzzy.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "The Bible is against interracial marriage and yet it is no longer illegal."
          ---------–
          Is THAT what you think? Wow... No, the law is a prohibition against marrying with people of a pagan culture. Because of the intimacy of marriage, the idolatrous spouse could lead her mate astray. See 1 Kings 11:1-8 for the example of Solomon in this regard.

          The Bible in fact NOWHERE mentions race according to skin color... There are only 2 races of men – the saved and the unsaved.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Moral relativism doesn't mean anarchy – it doesn't mean that nihilistic individuals can run amok with impunity.
          It means that cultures and societies define their own standards of ethical behaviour.
          From the Code of Hammurabi to the Consti/tution of the United States – there are formalized codices by and for individual cultures. The ethical definitions are always specific to the time and place in which they are created.
          Concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals.
          It is impossible to shift, share, or distribute blame . . . as blame, guilt, responsibility etc. are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. Therefore, we should be rational and realize that not everyone will share the same evaluations of good and evil. We must try to live perfectly in an imperfect world, aware that our efforts will be less than perfect while trying to remain undismayed by self knowledge of failure.
          To me, that concept is central to Christianity. Jesus taught that we are all imperfect and must struggle to better ourselves.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Theo
          Once again – the ethics of interracial marriage are another example of moral relativism – and a prime example of how different people extract different moral standards from the same source – in this case, The Bible.
          As I mentioned yesterday –
          In 1958, upon sentencing an inter-racial couple to a year in jail for deigning to be in love, a Judge in Virginia declared:
          "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

          April 2, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Doc,
          Sounds like Romans 12:18 – If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "As I mentioned yesterday "
          -----------–
          Yeah, but you continue in the fallacy of thinking that the errors of men somehow apply fault to the Bible.

          I can take passages out of their intended context and use them to my own devices too! Watch...
          "Judas went out an hanged himself." "Go and do likewise."

          April 2, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • igaftr

          " the saved and the unsaved"

          Or the critical thinkers and the exceptionally gullible.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:53 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Or the critical thinkers and the exceptionally gullible."
          ----------
          Some theoretical physicists think that life on earth was seeded by aliens... And you call Christians gullible?

          April 2, 2014 at 9:57 am |
        • ausphor

          Doc
          What you just posted will just go over Theo's head. If information does not come from an apologist site whether statistical or scientific, Theo will ignore it.

          April 2, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • bchev

          Theo,
          Christianity REQUIRES moral relativism to function. "God" prior to Noah is not "God" post flood, he decides that it actually isn't cool to kill everyone because he's frutrated, that changes a dynamic of what is right and wrong on a universal scale. When Christians make the claim that Jesus's sacrifice changes things from the rule of Law to the rule of Grace, that changes what is and isn't acceptable, what is right and wrong is different relative to pre and post Jesus. And every time someone points out that the bible condones slvery, bigmy, and makes light of rpe, Christians leap to "it was a different time". Yes, yes it was, and THAT is moral relativism. As a Christian, you either agree with moral relativism, or you support killing adulterers. The two sides are mutually exclusive.

          April 2, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Christianity REQUIRES moral relativism to function"
          ----------
          Wrong. Study Covenant theology. It would be too long of an answer for me to post in this format. God works all things according to His nature that does not change. His relationship with man is governed through covenants:
          Covenant of Works
          Covenant of Redemption
          Covenant of Grace
          Adamic Covenant
          Noahic Covenant
          Abrahamic Covenant
          Israel Covenant
          Mosaic Covenant
          Davidic Covenant
          New Covenant

          April 2, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • bchev

          Theo,
          Changing the name doesn't change the concept. if you're saying that "god" has laid out different covenants to dictate acceptable behavior in humans at different times in our history (pas, present and future), that IS MORAL RELATIVISM. Your issue is in a poor frame of reference. We are not gods, so even if "God's" morals are always consistent with himself in his plan (which is a really bad way to try to get around admitting that they change), we are humans, and different covenants for different time periods mean that those humans are different RELATIVE to the other groups. So I guess, thank you for giving a more succinct religious example of my point than I could have given. But if different times, act different ways, and both are acceptable at their time, then moral relativism is a thing.

          April 2, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: "Wrong. Study Covenant theology. "

          Translation: "Our excuse that exempts us from moral relativism is embedded in the games rules... and since we can't prove who really changed the rules, I've got to go poopy...see ya later..."

          April 2, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • igaftr

          "Some theoretical physicists think that life on earth was seeded by aliens"

          And some think that some ent!ty just created everything out of nothing....

          What do you have showing that the seeds of life didn't come from somewhere outside of our solar system?
          you scoff, but you have NO evidence of YOUR god hypothesis...try scoffing at your own baseless hypothesis. It is quite possible that the seeds of life did not originate on earth. It still doesn't offer anything as to the ORIGINAL origins of life.

          April 2, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "you scoff, but you have NO evidence of YOUR god hypothesis..."
          ----------–
          COOL! Does that mean that you have evidence for aliens!!! Let me see!!!

          April 2, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The question of abiogenesis is a profound one to which we haven't yet discovered any solid answers.
          The seeds of terrestrial life may have come from space.
          Ja.panese scientists sealed up Bacillus subtilis spores and other various organisms in a vacuum chamber and simulated the conditions of space exposure over a period of 250 years. In the end. half the sample survived.
          So maybe the Star Trek "founder" theory is correct!
          J. Craig Venter, the geneticist who decoded the human genome, has been absorbed in the study of virii for a number of years. He has discovered millions of new viruses – but perhaps the most interesting is the Mimi virus which mimics certain bacterial life. Mimivirus is so much more genetically complex than all previously known viruses, not to mention a number of bacteria, that it throwing our whole conception of the branching "tree of life" into disarray.
          It has proven that some viruses have an ancestor that was much more complex than they are now. The Mimi virus is at least as old as the other branches of life, which strongly suggests that viruses were involved very early on in the evolutionary emergence of life.
          It is a kind of "missing link" in the study of life's emergence, demonstrating how nucleated cells first appeared.

          So the long and short of it is that we don't yet know anything for sure, but we're accu/mulating data at a fantastic pace in our investigations. As we discover more and more about the natural processes involved in the development of biological life, the less feasible the Creator god hypothesis becomes – not the least of which is the anthropocentric Abrahamic God.

          April 2, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • igaftr

          theo
          There is just as much evidence for "god" as there is for aliens. There is a higher PROBABILITY that life exists on other planets considering the four basic elements needs for life are the four most common elements in the universe, and there are billions of planets located in the goldilocks zone where water exists in liquid form. If some prevelant theories are correct, life will grow, and the seeds of life could have come from a solar system that had long been destroyed, with tiniy portions of life clinging to the remaining matter, and these bits of matter could travel to distant solar systems, land on a goldilocks zone planet, and seed life on that planet. Considering the age of our planet, that theory has an actual scientific basis.

          You may claim that life cannot survie in space, but our own probes to Mars have proven that some life DID survive, and is now thriving on Mars...in that case, we are the aliens, and we did seed Mars.. so this theory not only is feasible, but we have shown is has happened (we did it). That proves it is possible.

          There is no scientific basis for any "god".

          April 2, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • joey3467

          "aliens" are about a billion times more likely to exist than the Christian god, and are therefore much more likely to be responsible for life on Earth than god is. However, I see no reason to believe that either started life on Earth at this point in time.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Being a youth pastor is not something to be proud of when it directly means lying to the innocent and making them feel less than good in this world (believe or else). These children should be free to discover on their own without people like you brainwashing them.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
  12. rogerwolsey

    One small step forward, one too darned big step back. This is a truly tragic development. World Vision took two years to come to assert one loving step forward, and they took two days to take one tragic step backward. They made a decision to reverse their prior decision based upon a worldly utilitarian metric – learning about the number of people who were contacting them to threaten to withdraw the continuation of their funding. This decision also based upon a worldly fear-based perspective. Like the ancient Hebrews wandering in the desert who longed to return to slavery in Egypt, they feared changing the unjust status quo. They doubted that God might have greater things in store for them in the promised land of civil rights and unconditional love and acceptance. Pity. Let's all pray for less fear and for more faith.

    – Roger Wolsey, author, Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity

    April 2, 2014 at 2:45 am |
  13. maxvincent561

    You are both idiots.

    April 2, 2014 at 1:14 am |
    • Doris

      Start from the beginning, dear. How many of you are in your head?

      April 2, 2014 at 8:35 am |
  14. observer

    truthfollower01,

    So do YOUR MORALS say that it was okay for 6-year-old girls to be SOLD as SLAVES to complete strangers?

    YES or NO?

    April 2, 2014 at 12:33 am |
    • truthfollower01

      This is inferior to me as I've indicated. Certainly NOT the ideal situation.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:36 am |
      • observer

        YES or NO?

        What moral values can you have if you can't even answer such a SIMPLE yes or no question.

        It's PATHETIC that you are COMPLETELY STUMPED about your own morals as a "Christian".

        April 2, 2014 at 12:42 am |
        • truthfollower01

          I continue to answer your questions but I cannot get an answer from regarding the question I keep asking you. On agnosticism, why is it morally wrong?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:53 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01

          "I continue to answer your questions"

          I rarely use this word, but you are a LIAR. I've asked 20 times for a YES or NO answer and received none.

          Your God must be SOOO IMPRESSED with your honesty and immediate answers about your morals.
          "

          April 2, 2014 at 1:20 am |
        • sam stone

          observer: is it just me, or does "truthfollower" remind you of that disengenuous, question avoiding person who used to post here as topher?

          April 2, 2014 at 5:31 am |
        • ausphor

          sam stone
          I think you are spot on, although many of the Christian posters often ask questions but seldom answer them, our Topher was the weaselly best at the practice. It is rather ironic that he would chose the handle truthfollower01 being one of the most consistent liars that ever posted on this blog.

          April 2, 2014 at 8:22 am |
        • fintronics

          Next comes long meaningless babble quotes....

          April 2, 2014 at 10:31 am |
      • realbuckyball

        Your Babble says parents should kill their disobedient children. How moral your deity is.

        April 2, 2014 at 1:17 am |
    • Alias

      If i'm the stranger and the price is right, then obviously, yes.
      Otherwise, no, probably not.

      Or were you expecting an answer based on a mathematical proof?

      April 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
  15. observer

    truthfollower01,

    Paul Copan's book is laughably IGNORANT. Nowhere does the excuse-maker EVER mention whether the daughter wants to be some stranger's slave or has ANY say if she doesn't want to get married.

    OOOOOOOOOPS.

    April 2, 2014 at 12:31 am |
    • truthfollower01

      Observer,

      On atheism, why is this morally wrong?

      April 2, 2014 at 12:34 am |
      • observer

        truthfollower01,

        I'm not an atheist.

        Quit STALLING. You aren't fooling ANYONE.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:35 am |
        • truthfollower01

          On agnosticism, why is this morally wrong?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:37 am |
        • observer

          It is morally wrong for ANYONE to turn a 6-year-old girl over to a complete stranger to do with as they please.

          It's really pathetic that your moral values apparently were UNABLE to figure this out.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:40 am |
        • truthfollower01

          "It is morally wrong for ANYONE to turn a 6-year-old girl over to a complete stranger to do with as they please."

          You didn't answer the question. Why on agnosticism is this morally wrong?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:43 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          YES or NO?

          Do you think most Christians are as totally clueless about their own morals as you are?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:47 am |
        • truthfollower01

          As a Christian, my morals are founded in God. On agnosticism, why is it morally wrong? Why do you dodge the question?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:50 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          lol. You are SCARED STIFF to answer a YES or NO question about your MORALS.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:53 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          It is morally wrong to sell a 6-year-old girl to be used by a stranger as a slave (unlike your "Christian" morals) because helpless children need to be protected.

          It is also wrong because people should treat others as they want to be treated.

          I've answered your question, so answer mine and try not to be such a COWARD.

          YES or NO? Still TOO SCARED to answer?

          April 2, 2014 at 1:01 am |
        • truthfollower01

          "It is also wrong because people should treat others as they want to be treated."

          Why? Who says they should? Why does this determine what is morally good and evil?

          April 2, 2014 at 1:04 am |
        • truthfollower01

          By the way, I obviously think it is not a good thing to sell a 6 year old girl as a slave.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:06 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01

          "By the way, I obviously think it is not a good thing to sell a 6 year old girl as a slave."

          After more than a week, it's good that your MORALS finally kicked in and you were ABLE to answer the question.

          So we are back where we started. Where did those slow-developing morals come from that convinced you the Bible was wrong to support selling 6-year-old girls to strangers as slaves?

          April 2, 2014 at 1:09 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01

          "It is also wrong because people should treat others as they want to be treated."

          "Why? Who says they should? Why does this determine what is morally good and evil?"

          It's good to see you finally opening your mind and questioning everything, even the morals in the Bible.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:26 am |
        • sam stone

          "As a Christian, my morals are founded in God"

          Most religions claim that they follow god.

          Much more likely, your morals are founded on translated, edited iron (or older) age hearsay

          April 2, 2014 at 5:36 am |
        • sam stone

          observer: "truthfollower" is just a reincarnation of the cowardly poster formerly known as topher/gopher.....he has a long history of avoiding questions he doesn't want to answer.

          April 3, 2014 at 6:27 am |
  16. scottreed83

    Romans 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. The Bible appears to teach us to avoid ministries that do not stick to Biblical doctrine.

    April 1, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
    • observer

      scottreed83,

      What about all those that don't support beating helpless children with rods for discipline?

      April 1, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
      • scottreed83

        can you please provide reference or troll somewhere else

        April 1, 2014 at 11:52 pm |
        • colin31714

          A reference for a question? How do you provide a reference for a question, you idiot?

          April 1, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
        • observer

          scottreed83,

          (Prov. 23:13-14) “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.”

          If you are going to quote the Bible, please READ it.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:00 am |
      • scottreed83

        colin31714 pay a little more attention before you open your mouth and prove what you appear to be... look at what he is stalking about all over this article. he clearly wants to get into an argument about the Bible. I'm betting his question comes from something in the bible or at least a reference to it. So if he would provide the reference to what he is talking about we could move on from trying to play games and actually discuss something meaningful. If your just looking to troll as well please move on.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:00 am |
      • ddeevviinn

        Obs

        Subst i tute " helpless children" with " disobedient, soon to be spoiled brats if you don't intervene", and then get back to us.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:32 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Well, what exactly what did you THINK it was going to say ?
      That's about as circular as anything I have ever heard.

      April 2, 2014 at 1:21 am |
    • sam stone

      that's right, scott close your mind off to anything other than your indoctrination.

      good idea, sparky

      April 2, 2014 at 5:45 am |
  17. miller davidge iii

    Reblogged this on Stones in the Middle of the Jordan.

    April 1, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
  18. doobzz

    Just now, a couple of young Mormon women knocked on my apartment door and told me their church is having a food drive. I invited them in, gave them a cold drink and packed up a couple of bags of food and toiletries.

    They thanked me profusely, and as they were leaving, they asked if I needed them to pray for anything. I said, "No thanks, I'm an atheist. Good luck with your food drive."

    The looks on their faces was priceless. One stuttered out, "You're so wonderful to do this and give us all this when you don't even, I mean, um, you know..." I smiled and said. "No belief is required to be generous to less fortunate people." They were speechless. Very sweet and lovely young women, but they just couldn't fathom this godless woman who gave them bags of food.

    April 1, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
    • G to the T

      LOL... I've been in the same boat myself. The number one reaction I get once someone finds out I'm an atheist is "but you're too good to be an atheist!".

      April 2, 2014 at 9:53 am |
      • doobzz

        Yeah, that was pretty much their reaction.

        April 2, 2014 at 10:26 am |
  19. jbiscuithead

    While I agree with the spirit of what you are trying to say here, your logic is flawed. To make a statement like "Is a “victory” against gay marriage really worth leaving thousands of needy children without financial support?" implies that there is NO reason anyone should ever withdrawal their support form a relief organization that serves children. After all, they are helping CHILDREN. The problem of course is that I'm sure we could all think of "valid" reasons to stop supporting a charity of this nature (ie they were ebmbezzing the donors money, the money was not actually going to the children, they were giving a portion of their money to the child slave trade, etc). I think what you are REALLY saying is that you don't think approving of gay marriage is a GOOD ENOUGH reason to stop supporting World Relief. That is certainly a valid question worth asking, but to imply that the choice here is allowing children to starve or accept a principle that Christians believe is wrong and damaging is just not right. If someone stopped supporting World Relief because they believed they no longer supported their personal beliefs and then moved their money to another relief agency that more aligned with their beliefs like Compassion, isn't that an honorable and acceptable way to be true to one's convictions?

    April 1, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
    • doobzz

      Bigotry is never honorable.

      By your logic, Fred Phelps was honorable because he stuck to his religious convictions.

      April 1, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
      • jbiscuithead

        So now you are defining anyone who believes in traditional marriage and chooses to support organizations that believe the same, a bigot and morally equal with Fred Phelps? Really? The Thought Police have officially arrived...

        April 2, 2014 at 12:31 am |
        • G to the T

          "in traditional marriage"

          Always curious what people actually mean when they say this. "Marriage" has meant so many things in so many societies that I dont' see how any particular version can be considered "traditional". So I can only assume that "traditional" is usually meant to mean "how my religion defines marriage".

          April 2, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • doobzz

          The "thought police" are people who want to encode their religious beliefs into civil law.

          April 2, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • joey3467

          Christians are the ones who think humans should be punished for thought crimes so it is only fair that we hold them to their biblical standards.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • joey3467

          and if believe in traditional marriage means you would vote to deny gay people the right to get married, then yeah, you are not much different than Fred Phelps.

          April 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
  20. observer

    truthfollower01,

    Where do the morals come from that tell Christians that God is WRONG to support child slavery LIKE YOU DO and discriminations, and beating children?

    You've been COMPLETELY STUMPED for a week or two. Pretty PATHETIC.

    April 1, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      I take it you don't want to answer my question?

      April 1, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
    • observer

      truthfollower01,

      Continue to make a complete FOOL OF YOURSELF by supporting the sale of 6-year-old girls to strangers as slaves.

      Christians must be SO PROUD of you.

      April 1, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Observer,

        I try to overlook your personal attacks because I'm concerned for your eternity. Who said I supported what you claim?

        Also, will you please answer my question and not dodge?

        April 1, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • sam stone

          "I try to overlook your personal attacks because I'm concerned for your eternity"

          Yep, this is definitely topher/gopher

          April 2, 2014 at 5:48 am |
      • observer

        truthfollower01,

        STILL COMPLETELY STUMPED after a week or so. Well done. Keep supporting God and the sale of 6-year-old girls.

        You are a great example of a Christian for all non-believers.

        April 1, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          The Bible indicates that the Exodus scenario you are referring to (if that is what you are referring to) is an inferior position.

          April 1, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          So I can say it is certainly inferior.

          Are you ready to answer my question?

          April 1, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          The Bible never uses that term.

          Try again. Keep stalling. You aren't fooling anyone including yourself.

          April 1, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Please reread my initial response to the Exodus accusation and you will see how this is arrived it. I can repost if needed.

          April 1, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Observer,

          Is Richard Dawkins wrong when he says, ” “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” If so, why?

          April 1, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01

          Yes. Please repost why you support the selling of 6-year-old girls to strangers to be USED as slaves.

          I am an agnostic. Dawkins could be right. He could be wrong.

          April 1, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          truthfollower01,

          I pointed out to you last month that the context of the Dawkins quote is "a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication". redzoa followed up with the same point. It is dishonest to continue to use this quote to make it appear as if Dawkins doesn't believe there is any good or evil in the world.

          April 1, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Sungrazer,

          I have seen William Lane Craig use this quote (his debate with Sam Harris concerning morality) in the context I have quoted. Even your quote "a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication” lends credence to the context I'm representing.

          April 1, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          He means that there are no laws of physics or biology that take note of good and evil or that are goal directed with respect to good and evil. This is all that it means.

          April 1, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Sungrazer,

          Can you provide some additional quotes to back up your position? I'm not trying to be rude, but after reading the quote in full, it seems to me that Mr. Dawkins runs through a laundry list of things that, when you get to the bottom, don't exist such as good, evil, purpose, etc. He concludes by indicating that all we are are machines for propagating DNA.

          Are you saying that he believes that objective morality exists?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:01 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Observer,

          Exodus 21:7-11

          7 “If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do. 8 If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her. 9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10 If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. 11 If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

          According to Paul Copan, "As we've seen earlier, this is another example of case law (casuistic law). Such regulations don't assume that the described states of affairs are ideal. Case law begins with specific examples that don't necessarily present best-case scenarios: "if two men quarrel" or "if someone strikes a man" are examples of case law. So the law here instructs Israelites about what should be done under certain inferior conditions ("If a man sells his daughter...")"

          Some additional points.

          1. "even if conditions are less than ideal, the goal is to protect women in unfortunate" circu-mstances.

          2. "When a father sells his daughter, he's doing so out of economic desperation,"
          "the father is going this out if concern for his family, and Israel's laws provided a safety net for it's very poorest."
          "Voluntary selling was a matter of survival in harsh financial" circu-mstances.

          3. "As far as the marriageable daughter goes, a father would do his best to care for her as well. Here, he is trying to help his daughter find security in marriage;"

          – "If the man rejects the servant woman as his wife, she is to be given her freedom (redeemed/bought back).

          – "If his son wants to marry her, she is to be taken in as a family member and treated as a daughter."

          – "If the man marries another woman, the servant woman is to receive food, clothing and lodging"

          All quotes are from Paul Copan's book "God is not a Moral Monster.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:15 am |
        • Sungrazer

          I don't know his position on objective morality. What I am saying is that the aforementioned quote is not a comment on objective vs. subjective morality. It is a comment that the laws of physics and biology aren't teleological.

          Last month I provided you with quotes that prove that Dawkins doesn't think that good and evil don't exist. It is absurd to think otherwise. Here is what I wrote:

          In "The God Delusion", he wrote a chapter on morality that he introduced with the words: "This chapter is about evil, and its opposite, good; about morality: where it comes from, why we should embrace it, and whether we need religion to do so." He talks about the "goodness as we possess" (such as altruistic acts) and says that even if religion did no other harm, its carefully nurtured divisiveness is enough to make it "a significant force for evil in the world." He embraces the view that "we do not need God in order to be good— or evil."

          April 2, 2014 at 12:17 am |
        • Sungrazer

          It is not a credit to your religion if someone has to write a book to convince others that the religion's god is not a moral monster. I find it comical.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:21 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Sungrazer,

          I will look into this further and if I am misusing the quote, I will cease doing so. I'm assuming you would also accuse Dr. Craig of this as well?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:24 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Sungrazer,

          Where does he say evil and good come from?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:26 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          "When a father sells his daughter, he's doing so out of economic desperation,"

          Great answer. So besides agreeing that a 6-year-old girl can be SOLD to a complete stranger for USE as a slave, do you also support his selling of her as a PROST-ITUTE because of "economic desperation"?

          You "MORALS" keep getting to look WORSE and WORSE. Keep it up.

          I don't see any atheists or agnostics advocating such HORRIBLE MORALS. Well done.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:27 am |
        • truthfollower01

          On atheism, there really is no moral goodness nor evil so I can't see how atheists accuse God of doing anything morally good or evil. On what basis is the accusation made?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:29 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Observer, where do you get 6 years from? It used to be 8 and I noticed you dropped it a few?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:33 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "So the law here instructs Israelites about what should be done under certain inferior conditions ("If a man sells his daughter...")"

          So how about your source of "objective morality" creates a law that says "thou shall not sell your daughters, they are not property, they are persons just like your sons"...

          April 2, 2014 at 12:35 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01

          "Observer, where do you get 6 years from? It used to be 8 and I noticed you dropped it a few?"

          You didn't like 8 so I changed it. Would you prefer I talk about 5-year-old girls SOLD?

          That's part of how HORRIBLE God's morals can be. NO RESTRICTIONS on the age of the girl and NO CONCERN if she wants to do this.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:45 am |
        • Sungrazer

          If Craig is using the quote to say that Dawkins is saying there is no good or evil in the world, then I would say that he is misusing it.

          Dawkins believes morality was shaped by natural selection but as a by-product of something else (similar to the by-product theories concerning religion itself). I attempted to paste in a long quote but there must be something in it that is running afoul of the word filter. I can perhaps try another time; I am calling it a night now.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:45 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Observer,

          Did you read points 1 and 3?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:47 am |
        • Sungrazer

          "On atheism, there really is no moral goodness nor evil so I can't see how atheists accuse God of doing anything morally good or evil. On what basis is the accusation made?"

          Simple decency. Why do you think a rejection of objective morality (at least from god) means an inability to come up with moral judgments? If you inflict unnecessary suffering, I am being a reasonable human being in finding the act immoral.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:49 am |
        • observer

          "even if conditions are less than ideal, the goal is to protect women in unfortunate" circu-mstances.

          So SELLING a 6-year-old girl to be USED by a total stranger as a slave is to "protect" her.

          lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:51 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Sungrazer,

          Why do you think a rejection of objective morality (at least from god) means an inability to come up with moral judgments?"

          Because it becomes a game of "Says who?"

          "If you inflict unnecessary suffering, I am being a reasonable human being in finding the act immoral."

          Reasonable according to who? On atheism, why is prohibiting unnecessary suffering anymore reasonable than inflicting suffering?

          April 2, 2014 at 1:02 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          Does "objective morality" believe it's okay to sell 6-year-old girls for strangers to USE for slaves?

          lol.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:06 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          On Christianity, why is prohibiting unnecessary suffering anymore reasonable than inflicting suffering? You can justify either one if you are convinced god told you to.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:25 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QduJ121DBXU&w=640&h=360]

          April 2, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • Sungrazer

          truthfollower01,

          "Reasonable according to who? On atheism, why is prohibiting unnecessary suffering anymore reasonable than inflicting suffering?"

          Reasonable according to civilized people! This is not hard to understand. It is no great difficulty for society to determine that unnecessarily killing a child is immoral and that the child killer should be locked up. You seem to have this great fear that humans can make it okay on their own.

          "Because it becomes a game of "Says who?""

          You are just offering up god as your answer to "says who?" If a being created the universe, it does not follow that it makes him the highest moral authority. If god is setting himself up as such, then so much the worse for god.

          April 2, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Sungrazer,

          "Reasonable according to civilized people! This is not hard to understand. It is no great difficulty for society to determine that unnecessarily killing a child is immoral and that the child killer should be locked up. You seem to have this great fear that humans can make it okay on their own."

          Of course we both agree that the unnecessary killing of a child is immoral. You say society determines this. However, on atheism, I can't see how the society who says this is morally wrong carries any more authority over a society that may say it's morally good. What would you say about an ancient society who thought it good to sacrifice their children to their false god? Would you say this was a morally good act? If not, why?

          April 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • hotairace

          How many ancient societies who sacrificed humans, children or otherwise, to their god, false or otherwise, have survived to the present? Zero. Evolution, no gods required, works!

          April 2, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "How many ancient societies who sacrificed humans, children or otherwise, to their god, false or otherwise, have survived to the present? Zero. Evolution, no gods required, works!"

          Actually. This could still go on in certain parts of the world. That aside, the question for you is: was it morally good what they did in the past if their society thought so?

          April 2, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.