August 28th, 2011
04:56 PM ET
My Take: God no longer in the whirlwind
Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
As I am riding out Hurricane Irene on Cape Cod, I cannot help thinking about how differently New Englanders in colonial times interpreted these natural disasters. While we speak of the eye of the hurricane, they were ever mindful of the eye of a God who was watching over them, and sending storms their way as punishment for their collective sins.
A fierce debate among academics about secularization theory–the view that societies will become less religious as they modernize–seems to have been won by the skeptics.
Yes, secularization of a sort is happening, but only in certain places (western Europe, most notably). And it seems to be reversible (see the United States today vs. the United States in the 1970s). So simple versions of secularization theory seem just plain wrong.
However, one place where American society, at least, plainly seems to be growing less religious is in the realm of natural disasters.
When the Great Colonial Hurricane raced up the east coast and lashed New England in August 1635, its 130 mph winds and 21-foot storm surge were almost universally viewed in supernatural rather than natural terms—as a judgment of God on the unfaithful.
We still have Puritans among us today, of course.
Pat Robertson is notorious for turning natural disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Katrina into supernatural communications—God’s curse on Haiti or New Orleans for bad religion or widespread abortions.
And on the radio a couple days ago I heard a talk show host suggest that the one-two punch of the recent earthquake and hurricane were two thumbs down from God on the leadership of Barack Obama.
Still, American society as a whole no longer interprets natural disasters as signs of some coming apocalypse or evidence of some past misdeeds. And those that do (Robertson, for example) we generally regard as cranks and outliers—relics of a bygone age.
Some say science and religion are engaged in a battle for the soul of America. I don’t buy that.
I know there are bitter divisions over evolution and creationism, for example. But there are all sorts of spiritual arenas where science is mum, and vice versa. Science and religion run on parallel tracks far more often than those tracks intersect.
Hurricanes and earthquakes are one arena, however, where the language of science has almost entirely routed the language of theology.
Psalms 107:25-33 reads: “For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. . . . He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground."
Today, the overwhelming majority of Americans—including the overwhelming majority of American Christians—believe that when God has something to say He speaks in less dramatic ways, including the still small voices in our hearts and the slightly louder voices of the preachers in our pulpits.
When it comes to earthquakes and hurricanes, however, our authorities are geologists and meteorologists. Most of us interpret these events not through the rumblings of the biblical prophet Jeremiah or the poetry of the Book of Revelation but through the scientific truths of air pressure and tectonic plates.
As a result of this sort of secularization, we are much better at predicting the course of hurricanes. The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 arrived as a surprise and took many lives with it, including, according to the report of the Massachusetts governor John Winthrop, those of eight Native Americans taken by the storm surge while “flying from their wigwams.”
So we are better prepared, thank science. Our stories are far less dramatic, however. The overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God. But their God no longer acts out his fury as in Bible days. Our storms have not yet been tamed. But our God has.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
Christian's pray to a dead master. They pray to a corpse nailed to two boards. The cross is a horrific torture device that our own government wouldn't use. Can you imagine if Jesus was killed by say, the guillotine and churches all over the world propped up a guillotine in place of a cross, or people wore guillotines around their necks as jewelry. How totally RIDICULOUS and MORBID. So next time you go to church or see someone with a cross necklace, just envision a guillotine or some other outdated, barbaric torture device. LMAO ... what if Jesus died be electric chair. That'd be an interesting sight to see propped up in churches and on church steeples.
Not to mention the weekly ritual of drinking his blood adn eating a chunk of him.....
Colin, very true. I was HORRIFIED the day I woke up and realized that eating the body (cannibalism) and drinking the blood (vampirism) was like some ironic satanic act. It's SICK. I'm still grossed out by this ritual that I once did. Even more upset that my parents would be so stupid to fall for this.
You're lining is right in line with the early Romans and why they persecuted Christians. They coudn't understand why Christians would eat of the body of Christ and drink of His blood. Instead of asking questions, the Romans, reacted in disbelief, discounting the importance of what such symbolism could mean to a broken person who discovers what it means to have a relationship with Christ.
Do knock it until you know what it means.
If you don't mind answering a personal quesiton, why do you have such a firm belief in the Bible. Not talking about "God", not asking why you believe he exists, why do you think the Bible has the story right?
No we don't. Do some research next time.
By what authority does CNN have to write anything on the topic of religion, much less Christianity? Like they have any credibility what-so-ever. It's like asking John Edwards to write a book on marital fidelity.
Why do you think christianity is so much more special? Is it because it is your religion? CNN is a news organization and can write what it believes to be news. If you find it offensive, there are other sites you can go own.
Because millions of delusional people are still doing psychological projecting and believing in illusions. It's the plague of our modern times. The ancient dead truly do still control the living. Very sad. Very dysfunctional.
1. It's a blog. 2. It's not written by a CNN employee. 3. They report the news that they feel is newsworthy, and I'm gonna guess this is in response to Glenn Beck claiming the hurricane to be the wrath of God or something. Read the editor's note next time.
Can you not read? It wasn't written by 'CNN'. It was written by a religion scholar. But I suppose a religion scholar has no right to write about it, either, if it doesn't agree with your views.
Bryan = your typical, condescending religious azs-wipe......
Hey greg? Where does it say that Tony is his own god? Are you putting words into other people's mouths? Isn't that a form of lying?
Whoops. Posted in the wrong place...
If A tornado jumps over a church sparing everyone, it's a Miracle and proof of God's existence. If the tornado does not jump over the church and kills everyone, it's God's will and we do not understand it. Kind of hard to argue against this circular logic, so why try. People are going to believe what they want. Just so long as the truth is available "the real truth" people will find it on their own.
Yes RKW, the mind of the believer is a forgiving, indulgent beast.
Claiming miracles in the debris of a summer storm is as vacuous as praying for a four to come up on each of six-hundred times you roll a die, and then claiming that god answered your prayers “about a hundred times.”
When I lived in IL as a kid... a tornado destroyed my school, jumped over my house, and wiped out the church next door. It was like hitting two birds with one stone. I guess 'god' didn't like that church and wanted to build a new one. Hey, want to test the faith of your local church? Ask them to cancel their property insurance policy and replace it with prayer.
It's interesting to note that, when Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod and thus took the superst.ition out of people's houses being struck, the various churches were quick to denounce his science as heretical.
I guess this proves the old saying that what those in power fear most is that those without power lose their fear.
"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." Benjamin Franklin
Who created God?
and god's god's god created him
and god's god's god's god created that guy
That is the theists dilema. They have to have it both ways. They all say their god(s) must have created the Universe becuase "everyting must have a cause" but the contradict themselves by saying their god(s) did NOT have a cause.
None of your business! You are unworthy to know.
God has always been, He was never born, but has always existed.
10 Points to the first person to guess which one of the posters here is actually serious about the origin of god!
God is nothing more than human projection using imagination (made up stories), quick rationalizations and some emotions. I don't use the word God anymore, but use 'Universe' in it's place to have a realistic relationship with reality and all the different experiences that I have through my human process. The new-found discovery to the meaning of life is 'Energy Management'
Yet some believers have trouble with the concept of a simpler thing than God, the universe, always existing, which it would have if time itself began with the Big Bang.
so why all of the suffering? r u referring to the fall of adam and eve as the reason for today's suffering? do u know that adam and eve is a myth and was most likely plagiarized from the Epic of Gilgamesh? If adam and eve is true, then u would have no problems addressing these questions logically:
1. FACT: If a brother and sister have a child together, there is a high probability of that child suffering from retardation.
Based on this fact, why isn't most of the world suffering from retardation if we all came from Adam and Eve?
2. FACT: The first early humans were walking this earth 200k-500k years ago, and came out of AFRICA.
Based on this fact, how does the Adam and Eve story hold up to such a vast error in timescale? God created the world in 7 days, and even if you say that 1 day = 1000 years, the number is still way off!
3. FACT: The stars we see in the night sky are just other suns (some larger than our sun, some smaller). They were also formed BEFORE our sun.
Genesis 1:3 says: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. <– This means that the sun was created.
Genesis 1:16 says: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Why did God make the stars AFTER our sun?? It contradicts FACT.
4. FACT: Land animals were present BEFORE animals who could aviate.
Genesis 1:20 says: And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Genesis 1:21 says: And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Why did god do the reverse??
5. FACT: Mendelian genetics says that a certain genetic threshold is needed for a species to survive. Example, the bengali tigers r going extinct. There are only about 250 of them left, and they will not survive for more than a couple of decades. But being an adam and eve believer, u would say, 'hey, 250 of them, thats enough! we only need 2 to reproduce and keep the species going'. wrong! the genetic threshold for these tigers is 500. they need at least 500 to produce enough genetic variance in order to survive. So how could adam and eve, just 2 people, able to provide so much genetic variance that we see in humans today?
I'm waiting for your answers! on a side note, from point 2, it would be nice to think about what rules god would throw down on the people who lived much, much before the christian god was invented 2000 yrs ago.
What he said :^)
God did not create on your time scale, nor according to your logic. In fact, humanities' creation of science only gives a language to understand our world and universe. God is not accountable to our understanding of science because, well, he knows all things already...since he created it.
Humans can only use a very small percentage of our brain, yet some truly believe that we can compete with a God who created it all.
Instead of seeking facts, you should probably ask more questions. Remember, you're only using .01 to .10 percent of your brain.
"why isn't most of the world suffering from retardation if we all came from Adam and Eve?"
I pretty much dismissed the Adam and Eve story as metaphor but now that you present this evidence I may have to rethink things. If you haven't noticed most of the world IS suffering from retardation. Just look at the idiots roaming around everywhere.
Careful ... you are using basic critical thinking with reason and facts. Did you know that insane people are difficult to reach mentally because they live in a constructed world of delusions? Christians are INSANE with unhealthy grips on reality or reason. Why? Because it soothes the mind to have quick made up answers instead of the work it takes to do critical thinking. Oh ignorance truly is bliss for them.
Lets look at those points you made one by one:
1) True, However, Since Adam and Eve were created perfect. Cain could marry his sister and have no health problems. Sister and Brother marriage could take place because there was no health problems- in the beginning; but as time passed (many centuries) brother/sister marriage offspring now results in a haemophile person. That does not make the Bible account a myth
McRunner....maybe you should google that whole "humans only use a small portion of their brain" thing. That's kinda been debunked.
God: "True. I could have killed Satan. but that would only leave questions In the minds of all the Angels here in heaven.
So to answer these, I allowed time for Satan to support his accusations- and that is why the world is as it is today.
6,000 years of man trying to govern himself successfully without God. With Satan as the Ruler of the world. Soon, the time limit for his challenge, ends. What does the evidence of World History show? That we are better off seeking God's help and direction.
Remember, that I, God- Jehovah, have the power to break up and reverse all that Satan has done up to this date. (1 John 3:8) So really, there is no lasting harm since I will cause your daughter to live again here on a perfect Earth with you- as I have promised in my Book that no one wants to believe. Do you believe? Happy you will be if you do. =)
thanks for the reply.
you said, "God is not accountable to our understanding of science because, well, he knows all things already...since he created it."
So you are basically saying that God is not accountable to logical questions, which means that you have not answered my questions logically.
you said, "yet some truly believe that we can compete with a God who created it all."
and u assert that god created our brain because??? again u r just using words, and not answering any of my questions logically.
you said, "Adam and Eve were created perfect. Cain could marry his sister and have no health problems."
So u r saying that before the fall, adam and eve were perfect. But after, they were made imperfect by god, hence my incest question (point number 1) doesn't apply, right? But it does apply, u know why? Cause Adam and eve conceived their kids AFTER the fall.
Genesis 3:13 -> And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
So when adam and eve conceived there were NOT perfect. Please retry with your answer to my point number 1, thanks.
No a more scientific note, there are many issues to deal with if u think god created humans perfectly. have u ever heard of vestigial organs? Vestigial organs (useless organs) are common in whales (legs),flightless birds (wings), snakes (pelvis and lung), and numerous structures in humans (the coccyx, plica semilunaris, and appendix). The human appendix, a useless organ, was put in place by a perfect god in adam and eve, for what?? why would a perfect god do this?
When we study the retina at the back of the eye, we can see that the cell layers are backwards. Light has to travel thru seven layers of cells before reaching the light sensing cells. Then the signals go back thru these layers to the nerves on the inside surface. In addition, the blood vessels are on the inside surface and further block the light. A truly intelligent designer could have done better than the human eye. Actually, evolution did a better job with the eyes of birds (which have no blood vessels in the retina) and the octopus and squid (which have the light sensing cells on the surface). How is this perfect creation?
And to top it all off, Adam and eve conceived and bore offspring AFTER the fall.
Also, please answer my other questions, thanks!
Satan does not exist.
Bereaved Parent: God, you killed my little girl. Hurricane Irene ripped her out of my arms and she drowned in the surge. Why, oh Lord? I have been a good person all my life. I have kept your commandments and attended church every Sunday.
God: It’s all part of my “grand plan” for you. Your small mind cannot comprehend such matters.
Bereaved Parent: Try me. You killed my little girl! You expect me to turn up at church next week and acknowledge and praise your endless love. I think you owe me an explanation. She was only five years old!
God: I was moving in mysterious ways.
Bereaved Parent: What the hell does that mean?
God: Well, I kill thousands of small children all over the planet every day, and if I say I am “moving in mysterious ways,” for some reason people stop asking questions and go back to worshipping me. My most common method is starvation. I also use wars, preventable disease and miscellaneous acts of violence.
Bereaved Parent: I can’t believe what I’m hearing.
God: Yeah, it’s pretty rare that I speak so frankly. Look, if it makes you feel any better, tell yourself it was Satan’s work. Satan sent the hurricane, I just sat back and did a quick miracle to save a church or two. I did the same thing with the cross I miraculously left standing at Ground Zero, having allowed Muslim terrorists to murder 3,000 people.
Bereaved Parent: But you’re God! You just said you’re omnipotent, you could have stopped Satan.
God: Ok, you’ve got me there. Look kid, the truth is, I don’t exist. I never have. Wasn’t it obvious to you that you made me when I seemed to love all the same things you love and hate all the same things you hate? Haven’t you noticed that every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices? Do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?
Bereaved Parent: That’s a shame, because I intended to give you a free pass. I was going to still believe in you, despite everything telling me you are nonsense, simply because I have nowhere else to go. The cold hard truth of my daughter’s death – and my own mortality – is pretty tough to face. And look at it from my perspective, I have been taught my whole life to believe in you and told I must never question you, so I accepted it when they told me it was wrong to doubt.
God: Well, look at it from my perspective. How long would I last if I positively promoted free thought, healthy skepticism, and independent inquiry? You people would see right through me in a minute. Ever noticed that there is not one passage in the Bible in praise of intelligence and open enquiry?
Bereaved Parent: Ok, I have to go now. My wife needs me. We have a little girl to bury.
God: Good luck. I’ll say a prayer for you. Hey, even I need a god sometimes.
Lots of words, but still absolutely pointless.
Are you done ?
I like this...a nice one-act of what most minds go through when faced with the inconsistencies and contradictions present in the strictures of most relgions. Unfortunately, most people do not escape the logic puzzle.
But, if the hypothetical conversation bolstered the view that the Bronze Age sky-god you believed in existed, you would accept it without question, right Misha?
God and Lucifer ... the ultimate SCAPE GOATS to explain away what we can't understand or either people use to not have accountability for their own desires or actions. Psychological Projection ... Sigmund Freud had it right.
GREAT POST COLIN !!!
Pointless to you.
Thank you! 😉
You're perspective is painful, but real. But also very unbiblical.
People forget about what happened at the fall of humanity. It is easy to forget.
God created all things to have a relationship with HIm, as long as humanity used their free will to be close to God. He only asked Adam and Eve to use their free will to be in a loving relationship with Him. God even warned Adam and Eve that they would "die" if they acted out differently.
When Adam and Eve did not heed God's warning, humanity died. Being close to God offered all the things that humans want now: significance and safety.
Humanity wanted control. Unjustifiable loss and suffering occurs because humans believe we can do better than God.
Then we get angry at God, blaming Him for our own decisions. Scripture describes that, even nature, is fallen because of humanities' choices.
God doesn't leave people to suffer. Scripture is full of evidence that God is close to the suffering and brokenhearted. For, as mistrusting of God as people have been, He never leaves. He's never left. It is humanity that has moved away from God and we suffer for it. Not because God always afflicts humanity, but the absence of God translates into unnecessary loss. Scripture describes God as constantly moving towards humanity to save and heal. That was the reason for the Cross, to redeem humanity, to reconstruct a way back into a relationship with Him.
Outstanding! Very well said!
My son is profoundly disabled at one point having 100 seizures or more a day. My sister who is VERY christian based told me that he was suffering because my husband and I had left the church. We would only get relief if we laid him on an alter, at the feet of god and confessed our sins! REALLY?!
The God I pray to does not do things like this to children. My Divine does not punish babies for the sins of the parents. I told my sister that she can have her hateful god that I want no part of it.
Science was not able to tell me why my son had to suffer so much, but it was also science that brought him relief from the seizures along with solid data collection by way of medication. He is still affected by Autism, but even there science is winning. We will be getting him an iPadin the next few weeks as he's figured out how to use my smart phone to communicate w/ pictures.
Hey Rydon – good luck, I hope you can mitigate the condition's effects and that, one day, science will deliver a cure.
hilarous, yet sadly true in many ways (showing the contradiction and illogic that needs to exist in the mind of a believer for belief to persist).
adam and eve is a myth (see my points in previous posts which u didnt answer logically). With adam and eve a myth, your whole argument crumbles.
Although I agree with the basic premise of this argument, I would be remiss if I did not point out that the inroads science has made into those realms previously occupied by religion is far greater than just storm prediction. At the time of the Great Colonial Hurricane, most still believed the stars above were heaven–there were a minority who knew better, but even they thought the Earth was the center of the universe.
The dangers of blaming disaster and loss on God are clear. We simply must grow as a species, or we are surely doomed to a fate far worse than anything envisioned by Revelation.
The reason we can't leave people alone as you put it, is that the indulgence of primitive and imaginary gods leads to irrational and sometimes dangerous behavior. I'm sure you are not this relaxed when it applies to Muslims who are absolutely sure that killing you and other Americans is commanded by "god" whomever that god is. The same goes for ridiculous health policies perpetuated by the church, which thinks that it's "sinful" to protect people from AIDS if it involves the use of a condom. What about religious objections to research on microscopic stem cells that can cure all sorts of ailments? Throughout history, nothing has been as effective as religion in blocking the progress of humanity.
Once again CNN uses the "Belief Blog" not to educate about world religions, but to poo-poo Christianity.
Since Christians have laid claim that America is a Christian nation, what else would you expect? All religions are cracked but Christianity is the only one that EVERY REPUBLICAN candidate trumps as superior to logic and common sense in governance. Deal with the criticism.
good for cnn.
Good point, Misha.
JewGoneSouth makes an excellent point, I would just like to add one thing. When it is Christianity pushing to have their views and morality pushed on my children and my government then you have to deal with the criticism. I would fight just as hard against Muslims, Jews, Bhuddists, etc. doing the same thing.
Yes. But Christianity is sooo poo pooable.
Religion is a relic of a bygone age, not just ascribing storms to the wrath of god.
but can you imagine a world , if the dumb people did not have magic to control themselves ? it would be a mad max kinda world
they need religion to be moral.
Bob, the answer is education, not religion.
What kind of God is made tame by scientists? Isn't the erosion of this kind of thinking a part of the secularization process?
Good point, Bron. I hold that scientists discover the facts and rules by which God's creation operates. The finding of more facts, details, and scientific laws does not diminish God in my mind one bit – in fact, the magnificence of the details of His creation, as discovered by science, provides more reason for me to believe in Him.
The kind that doesn't exist.
Science shines light upon that which we fear simply because it is unknown. The need for gods arose because of our fear. More knowledge, less fear, means less need for gods.
He that beleiveth in the nonsense of religion is turneth his smalleth mind into jello.
Seems like it to me. I get the impression that his argument is that secularization isn't secularization if it's happening slowly and subtly. Which doesn't really make sense.
and when science shows you through evidence that whatever god said about creation in genesis is flat out wrong, that too brings u closer to god?
Religion is a haven for the ignorant.
True. However, atheism is for the arrogant and uneducated.
We need to ban all forms of "Invisible Being" cults.
They have been the source of more death and suffering than anything else faced by the human race.
Sure – And pointed wit is the haven of the damned.
The reverse is true actually.
How many orphanages, wells, hospitals, schools, shelters, water purifiers, warm blankets, clothes for the needy, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, rehab programs, homes, charitable organizations, etc were built and/or started by missionaries or religious organizations?
True. Check out the proven correlation between intelligence and religion.
Feel free to say "most of them" anytime us1776
What about Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Pot Pol, and so on, us1776? They killed many, many millions of people in the name of an atheistic system.
Lots of generalization going on here people. Also a lot of falsehood. Lets stick to verifiable facts and to qualified statements.
For example: Some religious individuals are ignorant. Outspoken atheists tend to be arrogant. etc.
Well, If God created the world, then God is responsible for the weather as well , right ?
Why can't the academically privileged atheists just leave everyone else alone ?
If someone finds peace and solice in believing in a god, so be it. Just because you do not does not make you right, nor does it give you the right to force your beliefs on anyone else. Sit back relax and be polite, next time someone wants to take a few minutes for prayer or to thank their God, close your ears and take a few minutes to reflect on your own life and what you have done to better man kind.
Good point, Bob.
Well then tell all the religious folks not to get in peoples faces about "being saved" or spreading ignorance that is the cancer of the earth. Or thinking world problems can be solved by praying, lighting candles, wearing robes and being fruitful and multiplying .
when that day comes ill be nice the the dumb people, unless then get in my face ill get in yours
I have no problem with that, Bob. But the sad thing is, religious people won't stay out of my life. I am yelled at by street corner evangelists, teenage "elders" knock on my door to tell me about their faith, I find flyers at my door telling me "the good news", there are politicians on a national level basing their entire campaign on their faith, there are people trying to enforce their beliefs through legislation, there are people holding up signs with bible verses at sporting events - the list goes on. You might want to give that some thought before you judge atheists.
Good idea. So does it work both ways? Christians won't try to force their religion on people in public places, schools, events, etc. and won't try to keep others from having equal right?
Your comment is valid, however, a big concern for atheists (and should be for everyone) is when religion invades politics as it is doing now (see Bachman and Perry). These people want a theocratic nation based on their own beliefs (Christian) which is fundamentally no different from what they rail against in the Middle East. Personal religious beliefs are fine, but State-backed religion and/or people in charge who ascribe their actions to "God's will" is frightening. Bachman has even ascribed the earthquake and hurricane as a signal from God to Congress. That is terrifyingly ignorant in so many ways.
I think this is a "I will if you will" sort of situation.
Go on believing what you want to believe, it's not my place to dicatate that. However, will you convince your cronies to then also let gay people live in peace, let women choose whether they want to have an abortion, let scientists go on discovering different parts of our world without trying to insert god there (you can do that privately, but don't try to then make it policy).
Like I said, I will, if you will.
You make some good points, but the VAST majority of people forcing their agenda are from a religious perspective.
Thar a potential candidate for president claims that the recent hurricane and earthquake on the East Coast are evidence of god's wrath is too scary for words. The extremists of christianity are just as harmful to society as the extremists of islam. I don't care what you believe as long as it doesn't affect me.
Where do you atheists live that you have street corner evangelists and people knocking at your door? I have always lived in religious parts of the country and I have never seen that. I have been visited by Jehovah's Witness once, and once when I was in college there was an evangelist yelling that we were all going to hell, but that is all that I have ever seen.
You want to know why we can't and shouldn't leave believers alone? Because someone's beliefs inevitably end up in their decision making, getting into public policy, teaching our children, politics, etc.... Witch burning would still be around if peoples beliefs were not challenged.
If you still want to believe, expect to be challenged.
You see, my friend. Athiests do not want the spread of ignorance and stupidity in the world any longer, it has gone on long enough. This gibberish and nonsense, should stop, the world by the way is older than 6,000 years. regardless what Palin and her ilk say, these ignorants have to go back to the cave where they belong.
Dear Bob – works both way. Why do the rules of common courtesy require that we academically priviledged atheists be polite and respectful of you, but you consider harrassing us to be an important part of your religion.
I think about the gay marriage being illegal it is because most of the people who have power now are old and gay marriage was unheard of when they were young. Support for the gay community has increased even among religious.
That a potential candidate for president claims that the recent hurricane and earthquake on the East Coast are evidence of god's wrath is too scary for words. The extremists of christianity are just as harmful to society as the extremists of islam. I don't care what you believe as long as it doesn't affect me.
At least here in DC I get it a lot, not the Jehovah's witnesses thing, but the street corner evangelicals are about a dime a dozen. Could just be a DC thing though.
JW, I am not a liar. The city that I live in has several regular street corner evangelists. I have been "visited" on at least 4 occasions in the last few years by mormons and jws (I am always very polite to them), and I find flyers on my door on a pretty regular basis. Some religious people think it's their duty to invade the lives of others.
Yeah Laughing I have lived in the midwest most of my life. Maybe they do not do it here because they assume everyone is already religious. I would say that most were either conservative or liberal Christians where i have lived.
Oh i wasnt saying you were a liar talullah. It just seems crazy to me. I bet the street corner evangelists are really atheists trying to scare people away from Christianity. Or else they think that there are alot of non-religious people in your town maybe. Or somehow they know you are atheist.
My dad had a good response to the proselytizers that appeared at his door. He would tell them "I will give you 30 minutes to tell me why your religion is best for me if you give me 30 minutes to tell you why my religion is best for you." Needless to say, no one ever took him up on the offer.
Major events that are now happening such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and flooding are not caused by God, as a judgment from him.(James 1:13) However, his "judicial decisions" involving major events that will eradicate wickedness from the earth will be accomplished at the "war of the great day of God the Almighty" called Harmagedon.(Rev 16:14, 16; Matt 24:29, 30)
It is then that God will call to account every single individual on the earth for their regard or disregard of him. Jesus warned of the need to "pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you as a snare. For it will come in upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth."(Luke 21:34, 35)
Good, thoughtful post, TG. Keep on posting!
These things are not caused by god, but rather, an active earth. Plate tectonics cause earthquakes. Weather patterns cause storms. One might argue that the effects of human-generated pollution have altered the normal weather patterns, but that's another argument for another forum. The fact of the matter is, there have always been earthquakes and storms, volcanoes and droughts and floods. This planet is alive. We just live on her surface.
And please tell us how you know all these amazing things? You must talk to god directly , right?
Your post just makes me even more relieved that I never had to go to a "sunday school", to be force-fed this horseraddish.....
Say that again, Stan. OK, Ollie.
i'm curious to know, what books have u read besides the bible?
why do All of you religious Nut jobs have to Put capitol letters In weird places?
And there are no scientific nut jobs, Science?
Why do all you atheists feel inclined to belittle other people for no reason what so ever ?
Probably for the same reason that you don't know the difference between "capitol" and "capital".
When using a word that is referring to God or Jesus, religious people use capital letters.
There are more religious nut jobs, since there are more dumber people then smart in the world. as intelligence goes down belief in magic goes up
Sorry bob that you think us religious folk are "more dumber" than you. We cant all be a genius like you obviously are.
bob – By intelligent, do you mean people like yourself who don't know how to use basic punctuation, and use phrases like "more dumber" and use the word "then" instead of "than"?
They suffer from spelling errors, as sayeth in Ralph 26-45. "He that speeleth wrongly will have the demons visit on the second night of the beasts and he will be torn asunder" Herb 16 – 24.
Politeness: Why do theists feel the need to evangelize? I can only speak as one person, but I find the arrogance of those purporting to speak for "god" to be astounding. Perhaps atheists do not like to be preached to
It's not arrogance, Rick, but rather doing what we are told to do. Christ commands His followers to evangelize. Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.".
Rick we were not trying to preach, we were just pointing out that bob said we were all dumb, even though his grammar did not demonstrate that he may not be that intelligent.
that's exactly what we DONT want u to do. Otherwise, ur religious views will be challenged and shown to be nothing but fairy tales (i.e., the myth of adam and eve).
Well, it is not really a modern society. There is a segment of the society is modern and has made great contributions to humanity (scientists, engineers, artists, writers) but on the whole it is a primitive society.
God can send a whirlwind, But every single storm that comes is not sent by God like some heavenly destroyer, Hurricanes hit the coast of the United states, if you live on the Coast your gonna eventually get hit by a Hurricane. So why would God Punish you more then a fellow in Kansas, Answer He wouldn't, But he didn't make the decision to live on the Coast you did so you might get a chance to reap the whirlwind. That fellow in Kansas chose to live in Tornado country, Guess what, yea when his house gets hit by a tornado hes gonna blame God too!
Yup! The star over Bethlehem was almost certainly a "Supernova" that destroyed thousands, if not millions of local star systems, and any and all innocent life forms that had evolved on them, including any civilizations that worshiped God.
Ahh Tony since you are your own God, Im guessing this gives you special knowledge of the Working's of The God Iam.
Trying again in the correct location:
Hey greg? Where does it say that Tony is his own god? Are you putting words into other people's mouths? Isn't that a form of lying?
You said "Ahh Tony since you are your own God, Im guessing this gives you special knowledge of the Working's of The God Iam."
There are no gods. So Tony is just as much one as you are.
What is it exactly that you mean by one being "his own god"? I've heard believers claim that on occasion, and find it baffling. How do you figure that someone who doesn't believe there are any gods, would think he is one himself? Do you think (or, maybe more accurately, did someone else think for you) that atheists worship themselves? Or is it something else?
By the way, "special knowledge" comes from first opening you mind, and then your eyes and ears.
no no tallulah,
I don't think greg meant to lie, it's just that his mind can't comprehend (yet) that a world can exist without god, so when tony shows that something that was supposed to be divine was just an act of nature, greg immediatly attempts to create a reality for tony where a god exists.
Don't give him too hard of a time, his mind is just a little......slower.
I admit I have thought at times I was a God. I think it was just the real God filling me with the Holy Spirit.
Yo're being posessed by a spirit?!
Call a priest STAT, I've seen the exorcist, it's possible to get that spirit right out of you in a jiffy, just hold still.....
Oh I dont think so Laughing. This Spirit makes me feel great. I do not want to get rid of it. How do you think I stay happy in this evil world. Actually I suppose only an atheist exorcist can get rid of it. You can go ahead and try if you think you are qualified.