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My Take: Are evangelicals dangerous?
Many evangelicals want to ban abortion, but does that mean they want theocracy?
October 15th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Are evangelicals dangerous?

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler, Jr., is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Special to CNN

Here we go again.

Every four years, with every new presidential election cycle, public voices sound the alarm that the evangelicals are back. What is so scary about America’s evangelical Christians?

Just a few years ago, author Kevin Phillips told intellectual elites to run for cover, claiming that well-organized evangelicals were attempting to turn America into a theocratic state. In “American Theocracy,” Phillips warned of the growing influence of Bible-believing, born-again, theologically conservative voters who were determined to create a theocracy.

Writer Michelle Goldberg, meanwhile, has warned of a new Christian nationalism, based in “dominion theology.” Chris Hedges topped that by calling conservative Christians “American fascists.”

And so-called New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris claim that conservative Christians are nothing less than a threat to democracy. They prescribe atheism and secularism as the antidotes.

This presidential cycle, the alarms have started earlier than usual. Ryan Lizza, profiling Rep. Michele Bachmann for The New Yorker, informed his readers that “Bachmann belongs to a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians.”

Change just a few strategic words and the same would be true of Barack Obama or any other presidential candidate. Every candidate is shaped by influences not known to all and by institutions that other Americans might find strange.

What stories like this really show is that the secular elites assume that their own institutions and leaders are normative.

The New Yorker accused Bachmann of being concerned with developing a Christian worldview, ignoring the fact that every thinking person operates out of some kind of worldview. The article treated statements about wifely submission to husbands and Christian influence in art as bizarre and bellicose.

When Rick Perry questioned the theory of evolution, Dawkins launched into full-on apoplexy, wondering aloud how anyone who questions evolution could be considered intelligent, even as polls indicate that a majority of Americans question evolution.

Bill Keller, then executive editor of The New York Times, topped all the rest by seeming to suggest that conservative Christians should be compared to those who believe in space aliens. He complained that “when it comes to the religious beliefs of our would-be presidents, we are a little squeamish about probing too aggressively.”

Really? Earlier this month, comedian Penn Jillette - a well–known atheist - wrote a very serious op-ed complaining of the political influence of “bugnut Christians,” in the pages of The Los Angeles Times, no less. Detect a pattern here?

By now, this is probably being read as a complaint against the secular elites and prominent voices in the mainstream media. It’s not.

If evangelicals intend to engage public issues and cultural concerns, we have to be ready for the scrutiny and discomfort that comes with disagreement over matters of importance. We have to risk being misunderstood - and even misrepresented - if we intend to say anything worth hearing.

Are evangelicals dangerous? Well, certainly not in the sense that more secular voices warn. The vast majority of evangelicals are not attempting to create a theocracy, or to oppose democracy.

To the contrary, evangelicals are dangerous to the secularist vision of this nation and its future precisely because we are committed to participatory democracy.

As Christians committed to the Bible, evangelicals have learned to advocate on behalf of the unborn, believing that every single human being, at every stage of development, is made in God’s image.

Evangelicals worry about the fate of marriage and the family, believing that the pattern for human relatedness set out in Scripture will lead to the greatest human flourishing.

We are deeply concerned about a host of moral and cultural issues, from how to address poverty to how to be good stewards of the earth, and on some of these there is a fairly high degree of disagreement even among us.

Above all, evangelicals are those who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and are most concerned about telling others about Jesus. Most of America’s evangelical Christians are busy raising their children, working to support their families and investing energy in their local churches.

But over recent decades, evangelical Christians have learned that the gospel has implications for every dimension of life, including our political responsibility.

We’re dangerous only to those who want more secular voices to have a virtual monopoly in public life.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (5,318 Responses)
  1. Your Take

    This article 'Are Evangelicals Dangerous' elicited a lot of responses as we sifted through these responses we found that

    The Evangelicals very clearly articulated their viewpoint and endorsed Mr Mohler's statement
    'We’re dangerous only to those who want more secular voices to have a virtual monopoly in public life'

    The non-believer did not miss the opportunity to take 'cheap shots' at the evangelicals.The mischievous intent of the secularist was not lost among the Evangelicals.

    The Darwinist followers were the most vociferous of the lot, they repeatedly insisted to the evangelicals that the forefathers were indeed Apes.

    The

    October 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • BRC

      ..."witty" poster forgot to finish their attempt at claiming that all those who do not believe in religion are howler monkeys, ignoring the many calm logical arguments presented (many of which have gone unanswered I might add).

      Its okay, pre-mature posting happens to a lot of people nowadays, I here they make a pill to stop you finger from clicking too quickly.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • True

      In 'your take' you missed calling out the following statement by Albert Mohler, Jr.,

      "To the contrary, evangelicals are dangerous to the secularist vision of this nation and its future precisely because we are committed to participatory democracy."

      October 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • battletor

      Nuts!

      "Darwinists"? This is a false dichotomy. If there were still a small pocket of people who unwaveringly believed the earth were flat they'd be compelled to call the rest of us "round-earthists" or something else ending in an -ist.

      The "mischievous intent" you speak of is really just the calling out of completely ungrounded assumptions – like the idea of a book being the word of God and that's that.

      And yes, we are becoming more vociferous because it's getting very tiresome to have to continually adjust our votes according to which candidates align their philosophy with a group of people who claim that the earth is only a few thousand years old – among countless others – because it says so in a book.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  2. LIfeWarrior

    It is ignorant to believe every egangelist wants this. Being an evangelist only means they are a christian sharing their belief with non-christians.Even though this country was built on christianity,we dont want everyone to be "religious" and make them follow freakish rules. I hate religion..God does too. Religion is simply a set of rules that people will follow in hopes of getting into heaven without having to put effort into a real relationship with God. "dont cut your hair. dont watch tv. dont drink." is all religious crap. Nowhere in the bible does it say you cant cut your hair or watch tv or drink. It says do not get drunk but never says not to drink (the first recorded miracle was Jesus making more wine to keep the party going at a wedding.)
    Also, about the picture...Ending abortion has absolutely nothing to do with being an evangelist. It's not to get media attention or make people think we're better or to make people ask questions so we can "evangelize". The fight to end abortion is about saving a human life. Not a wad of tissue or a fetus- its a baby. The only difference between a baby in the womb and out is the few inches of change in geographical location. from the mother's belly to the doctors hands..but people want to believe that if you cant see it then it's just not real.
    This article is extremely stupid.

    October 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "The only difference between a baby in the womb and out is the few inches of change in geographical location.'
      I thought the whole point of the viability factor for abortion was that before a certain time the fetus cannot survive on it's own. That seems like a pretty big difference to me.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • LIfeWarrior

      According to the government.
      The brain is forming and the heart is formed and beating after 17 days. That's life.

      October 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @LifeWarrior,
      What do you mean, "according to the Government"?
      If fetuses don't have enough development time in the womb they cannot survive on their own. That is not in dispute.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  3. Uncouth Swain

    "And so-called New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris claim that conservative Christians are nothing less than a threat to democracy."

    Wow..how intellectual can a person really be when they are fear-mongering?

    October 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  4. Gary

    Q: Who demands that everyone adhere to their narrow, groundless ideology in matters of culture, law, speech and private living? A: Atheists.

    October 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Care to back up that clearly facetious statement or would you like to just illicit mean responses from other atheists so then you can whine about being persecuted later on?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • BRC

      By narrow you mean no specified standard? That seems a bit oxy-moronish, can you explain it?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Duh

      "Q: Who demands that everyone adhere to their narrow, groundless ideology in matters of culture, law, speech and private living? A: Atheists"

      LMAO – LOL! – LOL! Hey moron you've got it all wrong – it's the christians since you make up 80% of most of America. LOL! LOL! Oh...wait...that's why this country is so screwed up now, full of greed and selfishness. 😉

      October 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • chrisg

      No gary, you are wrong. these evangelist churchs have their own doctrine that demands their follows adhere to. If they subvert the governments separation of church and state, their law/doctrine would be the law of America. Do you understand?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Oy..neither Christians or atheists are making anyone do anything in this nation.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  5. scrumpwell

    If evangelicals actually cared about living breathing human beings half as much as they care about the unborn, maybe functional thinking human beings would give a crap about what Evangelicals think. Until then, secularism is without question the best defense.

    October 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      In what way do they NOT care for the ppl that are living today?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • PB

      I'm an evangelical, but I do deeply care about living, breathing human beings. I'm also a functional, thinking human being. A few evangelical friends of mine do seem to be very uncaring, but not all.

      I'm very tired of being misrepresented and maligned. If you think Christians are the only judgmental ones, think again. Everyone does it. It's so sad.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Scott - 1

      Considering that about 80% of the population identifies itself as christian. If Christians were even half as charitable, half as companionate and half as noble as they like to pretend they are, there wouldn’t be any homeless
      or hungry or orphans left in America.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I think scrumpwell is pointing out the overwhelming support for the death penalty that the evangelicals have, which is understanably seen as a devalualization of human life.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • fred

      Scott-1
      You have stumbled onto the canned answer of why a loving God starves little children in the world. Since you came up with it perhaps you will give it more weight. The Biblical answer is that man and not God is behind starvation. It is the broken world / orignal sin fallout we all suffer from. So, give those Christians a tump on the head for causing hunger because they more than all should know better.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  6. rker321

    As a Catholic the Evangelicals, scare the bejesus out of me. In my opinion the do represent a very clear and present danger.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      In what way?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  7. myweightinwords

    An evangelical Christian by himself living his daily life is not a threat. What he believes in his heart of hearts does not threaten me, nor America as a whole. It does not affect my life or the country in which I live.

    That same evangelical Christian and his church of fellows likewise does not harm in their worship, in what they believe, in how they choose to live.

    However, that group, when they go beyond belief, beyond what affects themselves, and attempt to turn their religious dogma into law that effects the entire country, things begin to change.

    I respect what you believe. I do not believe as you do. That is part of what is great about our country. We both get to believe as our hearts lead. What we don't get to do is enact laws that force others to live by those beliefs.

    Keep abortion available. Keep birth control available. Teach our children the TRUTH about s.e.x and its consequences. Support ALL families. Allow same gender marriages. Allow adoption more broadly to single people and same gender homes.

    No one is saying that you have to have an abortion or use birth control. No one is saying you have to marry someone of the same gender or even allow it in your church. We're just saying that while you may believe one way about these things, all of America doesn't agree with you, which means, it should not be law.

    October 17, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Patti

      Wow, I could not have said it better myself. Peace to all.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • chrisg

      Great post, myw

      October 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • J.W

      The bad thing about the groups that want to outlaw abortion is that it isn't even effective. I would say it is more counterproductive. It would be more effective to educate women about what options they have, instead of trying to eliminate options.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Thanks for your complete and polite honesty, something quite difficult to find in these comments. But I do have to say (write rather) that as true (Evangelical) Christians, we also believe that we have to live and uphold God's commandments in this great nation, like they once were in decades past. Of course I admit not every past law was morally correct. As a true Believer, I am glad we don't have slavery any longer, I am so glad that women can vote and I am so glad up to this point in time I can still practice my religion and voice my opinions without being incarcerated and tortured till my views are altered (although I feel this might be changing sometime soon).

      What I am not happy with is the fact that it is legal to end a baby's life at any point in his/her life, whether in mommy's womb or outside of it. I am not happy that the word 'Christmas' is being diminished in society drastically to the point that even a Christmas tree is now being called the "Holiday Tree" so to not offend anyone (but it's OK to offend only Christians), or worse yet, Jesus Christ being mocked, ridiculed and degraded in every way every time I open the papers, turn on the TV or even listen to the radio. I understand people can have their own views and opinions and beliefs and publicly express them. What I don't get and accept is the fact that it is all done against Christianity and Jesus Christ, but I don't see hardly anyone dare to publicly insult Mohammad, Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, etc. (and not that I would condone any insult to them either).

      October 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • tallulah13

      George, if all those people you mentioned at the end of your post were trying to legislate their belief system into our secular nation, you would hear all sorts of protests and insults. Perhaps evangelicals should look at their own behavior before they play the victim card.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @BoldGeorge,

      If I may, humbly and without drawing sides, point out that much of what you see as an attack of sorts on Christianity (not your words, just the way I understand what you are saying) is a matter of perspective.

      Perhaps you do not see the disparaging comments about Muhammad or Islam. I do.
      Perhaps you do not see the disparaging comments about the Pope and Catholicism. I do.
      Perhaps you do not see the disparaging comments about Atheists and Atheism. I do.

      All of us tend to notice that which supports what we already believe. It is difficult to shed our inborn prejudices and see things without our beliefs coloring them.

      Also, if I may submit for your consideration that Christmas in particular is both a Christian holiday and a secular one. Many families who are not Christian celebrate with a tree and gifts and a big family dinner. I personally am Pagan, and I celebrate Yule. However, I also attend Christmas celebrations with my family, which includes Christians, Pagans, Agnostics and Buddhists.

      If the holiday is celebrated by those who do not believe in Christ, what harm is there in making changes to what we call the holiday? No one is telling you that you, in your Christian family, can no longer use the term Christmas. In fact, in some ways, allowing those who are celebrating the secular holiday to call it by a different name allows you to rededicate your celebrations, make them more sacred.

      October 17, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  8. Colin

    To Zen, Chad, Bo and all the other creationists out there. You are missing a GREAT argument in your favor!!

    It is OBVOIUS to me that storks bring babies! I have never seen a woman giving birth, but I have seen a lot of storks, especially on margarine containers. If you ever go to the beach, you will lots of storks carrying babies. They look just like pelicans because they carry the babies in their mouths. If women gave birth to babies, there would be no need for a navel, but that is how the stork picks the babies up from HEAVEN.

    There is no REAL evidence that women give birth to babies. It is just a THEORY. If they did, why is it that men never give birth to babies? Why just women? Where do boys come from? It makes no sense. Also, why are there only “midwives” and never “mid-husbands”?

    If women gave birth to babies, why are there still women and babies? And why is it you never see a half-woman, half-baby!! Explain that evolutionists and va.ginal birth believers! Bet you CAN’T.

    If you look at a stork, it is INTELLIGENTLY designed to carry babies. Why would that be if it didn’t deliver babies? And what about twins and triplets? What, do some women have 2, or even 3 uteruses? That is stupid. A stork can EASILLY carry two or three babies, but a woman couldn’t.

    Why is it that for every 50 boys born, there are 50 girls. What, can a va.gina count? Ha, how stupid. But a stork could. And, what about all the GAPS in the birth record. One time I took a peek at my mother’s va.gina, and it was so small and babies are SO BIG.

    Paleontologists, biologists, archologists, doctors, and evolutionists are so dumb. They think babies JUST HAPPENED in their mother’s womb. What, do they think they just appeared out of yucky, slimy blood and stuff ? Fred Hoyle once calculated that the chance of a baby spontaneously appearing in a woman’s uterus was the same as a storm blowing through a junkyard and creating a Boing-747. That’s harder to believe than that the stork brought them!

    You might like to think you came from a mere zygote, but I KNOW I came from a glorious stork.

    My father insist that I was born because he banged my mother. I derisively call this the Big Bang theory, because he cannot tell me what happened BEFORE the Big bang. And what caused the Big Bang. It must have been a stork.

    October 17, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • John

      Nice try, trying to be deep but it comes across as nonsensical. Though you gave me a good laugh with your rambling attempt.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • withoutgod

      :Standing Ovation:

      October 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • newsreel

      All logical, accurate points despite a handful (not even that !) of deniers of reality...Keep on telling the truth to the mass and revealing what they are trying to hide.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • J.W

      I am glad you are trying to see things from other points of view Colin.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  9. LD

    Finally a voice of common sense.

    But oh, the anger of the haters in the meta. Yeah, they really sell me on secularism....

    October 17, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • AndyB

      They usually choose which atheists to put on television in the same way they choose contestants for reality TV: Find the loudest, most argumentative and most annoying individual to create the most controversy (which is what we find entertaining).

      October 17, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • chrisg

      When the evangelist try to subvert the U.S. government to make sure all americans follow their doctrine, then Yes you will see very strong objection to them. Why do you think the founding fathers insisted on separation of church and state?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  10. Colin

    The most pleasing thing I have seen in a long time is how many people are truly alarmed and put off by the religious right. About 90% of the 4,500 plus comments here have been negative!!

    I suspect, and hope, it is a sign of the continuing decline of these small-minded people and their influence. I would not be at all surprised if the advent of the internet and the access it gives teens to information, will be a body blow to a movement that depensds upon brain washing its children with Bronze Age mythology to sustain its generation to generation survival.

    October 17, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Zippygirl

      Colin-
      About 90% of the comments are negative because these boards are trolled by atheists who take it upon themselves to use their posts to mock believers of all faiths but with special emphasis on evangelical Christians. It is no surprise that most comments are negative.

      October 17, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Zippygirl

      Also, I assume you make yourself feel smart and powerful by taking time to mock those who don't believe the way you do. Otherwise, you wouldn't waste your time reading articles about "myths".

      October 17, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • BRC

      @Zippygirl,
      This article isn't about the myths, it's actually about the potential real world effects of people who believe in those myths carrying out what they believe is "God's" will. The comments from atheists go to counter the author's suggestion that all of the effects would be good, because those of us with different beliefs (and even some people who share the beliefs but who respect other's lifestyles) do not feel that forcing that "will" on people who do not agree with it would be a good thing.

      October 17, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • chrisg

      Great post

      October 17, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Snap

      @BRC, nicely said.

      October 17, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • newsreel

      Great points Colin, BRC. you both see the issues, and nailed it.

      October 17, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Colin

      "Also, I assume you make yourself feel smart and powerful by taking time to mock those who don't believe the way you do. Otherwise, you wouldn't waste your time reading articles about "myths".

      The motivation is to give people an alternative view and hopefully push religion into decline as people increasingly realize how untenable it is.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • John

      @BRC "because those of us with different beliefs ... do not feel that forcing that "will" on people who do not agree with it would be a good thing". Good night, welcome to America! Do you think that 100% of people in America agree with every law? Maybe you can now sympahize with those of us in the majority who think abortion is murder, but I doubt it.

      Sound's like you've got a problem with the Republican Democracy of America more than anything, because it surely does, every day, force "that 'will' on people who do not agre with it". I want to drive 90 MPH why do you squelch my freedom! I'll contact my reps, have them run all the laws by you from now on cause we want you happy, and God forbid- oops I mean Darwin forbid – you could be in error!

      October 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • BRC

      @John,
      Right off the bat there is a mjor differnce between a democracy and a theocracy. A democracy takes the will of the PEOPLE, by vote (or in a republic by representative vote) and codofies it into law. A theocracy takes words from an unprovable text written in a different language, in a different time, in a different place, and subjegates the people of the here and now to a supposed being's will. A democracy can change, a theocracy does not.

      No, I don't have any sympathy for the majority (prove it) of you who think abortion is murder, because 1) it isn't by definition, and 2) no matter what other people think those thoughts don't extend INTO other people's bodies. Her body, her choice.

      Your speeding example is also weak. For one, I speed, always (except in neighborhoods). I think speed limits are stupidly low, and do not account for the more capable vehicles of today. I drive at a speed that I know I can safely operate my vehicle, so as to not endanger others, and when/if I get pulled over I accept the consequences. If you can safely maneuver in traffic at 90 miles an hour, more power to you, though I believe the punishment should be severe if you do cause an accident.

      I have nothing against democracy, I in fact love it, and would give my life to defendent, as for the republic part, I just wish we would pick better representatives.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • J.W

      Colin will be an evangelical one of these days. He will come in here and proclaim the name of Jesus every day.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Zippygirl

      Colin-
      Do you honestly think that by telling people that their belief system is stupid that they will change it? It makes people feel like they are being attacked and only become defensive. You are doing to Christians exactly what you think Christians are doing to the rest of the world. Trying to push your beliefs on somebody else because you think you are right. Can't you just let people think they way they want? If they agree with you great, if not live and let live. That goes for both believers and non-believers.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • JohnR

      Evangelicals are only 25-30% of the population and not all Evangelicals are right wing nut jobs. There are a lot more people than atheists, agnostics and the occasional agnostically tinged neo-animist who have reasons for concern about Evangelicals and their agendas. And this is the perfect moment to point out that those "aggressive atheists" who lambast absolutely everyone who adheres to any religion are doing a great job of alienating potentially important allies in the fights that really matter. I hope the overwhelmingly negative response to Mohler's article from a wide variety of people ranging from atheists to non-right-wing Evangelicals encourages some people to adopt a more mature atti-tude towards the politics of religion in this country and elsewhere.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Vulpes

      @!Zippygirl: Yet another thing you believe without proof, evidence or valid reasoning. Evangelicals can't just have their faith and be happy with it. They annoyingly push there agenda on the rest of us, even other Christians. This is nothing when one compares that to the laughable lies that come from evangelicals about evolution. Thinking people balk at the suggestion that they adhere to the ignorance evangelicals are spewing.

      October 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  11. Reality

    From p. 70:

    From p. 55:

    As with most Christians, Mohler suffers from the Three B Syndrome, i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in the flaws and fallacies of Christianity. The cure? Reading and rational thinking!!!!

    Synopsis of 21st Christianity based on the studies of Professors Crossan, Ludemann, Borg, Fredricksen et al:

    Jesus was an illiterate, Jewish, peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:

    Adu-lterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,–

    (added details available)

    October 17, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • LD

      Oh, yeah, you're really selling me on the other side there, "Reality." Sign me up for some of your bleak nihilism...

      October 17, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • AndyB

      @LD: C'mon! Nihilism is fun! Your life is meaningless and when you die you will disappear as if you never existed. Even if by some lucky chance you are remembered by the history books, it doesn't really matter because all of human civilization is just as impotently pointless as your life was!

      Now you get to decide for yourself what matters.

      October 17, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • tallulah13

      Andy B, do you need the baseless promise of eternal life to find meaning in the one you have now? Are you so important (or insecure) that you need to be remembered by everyone forever? Live your life as best as you can now and you won't need eternity, and the people who do remember you will do so with respect and affection.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Reality

      We will live forever in the service/servers of Google (or Bing or Yahoo et al) 🙂

      October 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  12. chrisg

    Dangerous, Yes. They are trying to insert their RELIGIOUS BELIEF INTO GOVERNMENT. aND, If given the chance to govern in the U.S. Their views would be the ONLY views and to hell with everyone else. This is thier doctrine in their church NOW. This is why we must insist : NO RELIGION IN GOVERNMENT OR POLITICS PERIOD!!!

    October 17, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Desert lady

      Totally agree with you!

      October 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  13. Megan

    When you walk down a street and a dog growls at you, most likely it was the dog who was threatened by you first. The problem is, once the dog begins growling, the dog becomes the threat. Before I left the evangelical church six years ago, I began noticing a pattern in sermons: it wasn't sin, or selfishness or even the devil that posed a threat to Christians. It was secular culture. The problem is, like that dog, Christians can't continually growl and bare their teeth about secularism and expect non-Christians not to see them as an even greater threat.

    Wise as serpents and gentle as doves; not the other way around.

    October 17, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Megan

      You said: "The problem is, once the dog begins growling, the dog becomes the threat."

      Time for the dog to be put to sleep.

      Cheers!

      October 17, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • tallulah13

      Megan, usually when a dog growls at me, it has done so because I simply walked by it.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • JohnR

      Dogs growl for a variety of reasons, but most growls and bites are indeed fear or at least stress based. But dogs can be irrational in their fears just like humans can.

      It's not a bad metaphor. Evangelicals do come across as "fear biters" and, yes, fear biters can be dangerous.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  14. Mike

    All I need to use to counteract your statement that evangelicals are not dangerous to America is your own viewpoint on marriage. You said:

    "Evangelicals worry about the fate of marriage and the family, believing that the pattern for human relatedness set out in Scripture will lead to the greatest human flourishing."

    Now here is where we have the problem. I assume you mean, in essence, "No gay marriage" (and do correct me if I'm wrong)? First, not everyone agrees with your scripture (remember, there's the Bible, Tanak, Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching, Analects, Quran, and many Buddhist writings, among MANY others, not to mention the different interpretations of each) . Using that as a basis and rationale for legislation would in effect be the placing of your particular interpretation of your particular scripture on a pedastal, which the government (federal AND state) is forbidden to do by the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
    Second, and this is MORE upsetting to me (as to me it seems a betrayal of Jesus), is the inherent unequal treatment that the victims of this legislation would (and it could be argued do) face. Civil Unions are not even equal to marriages in terms of the legal rights that are given, and EVEN IF THEY WERE, there is a social stigma that is resultant from not being married, which, as that stigma was essentialy given by the state, would violate the Equal Protection Clauses.

    Both of these actions are highly UNAmerican, and this is just one example of just why you are wrong.

    October 17, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Mike

      Two examples. I meant two examples...

      October 17, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      In the California Appeals Court Decision on Prop 8, one of the judges asked the Plaintiff's attorney, after months of testimony, in open court, "How exactly does same s'ex marriage threaten traditional marriage ?" The attorney replied : "I don't know." End of subject. There is simply no evidence that it does ANY harm to anyone about anything, including the children involved. The fact is the evolution of human society is what threatens the evangelicals, because they have to rethink things, and THAT is a threat, as marriage itself is being chosen less and less, and more and more children live in poverty in single parent homes. THAT is a threat.

      October 17, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Mike
      @Bucky

      The Evangelicals are saving humanity. Gay marriage threatens the human species. Gays can't reproduce. There are only about 7 billion people on earth. We must produce all the children we can. Thank god for this opposition to gay marriage and the Catholic opposition to birth control.

      God told us to multiply and subdue the earth. Jesus is coming very soon and will cool and renew the world. Amen.

      Cheers!

      October 17, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Mike from CT

      In a California School, I teach asked a student what is 8*5 and the student replied "I do not know" End of subject Math no longer exist?

      October 17, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • BRC

      @Mike from CT,
      Poor comparison. That one kid doesn't know a factual piece of information, fine, millions of other people do. With the "why how does it threaten marriage question" noone else has provided a better answer either. And what's more, 8×5=40 no arguments, no discussion, it's objective, not subjective. Anything even resembling an argument of a threat against marriage is subjective, so it doesn't carry the same weight.

      October 17, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Mike from CT

      You said: "In a California School, I teach asked a student what is 8*5 and the student replied "I do not know" End of subject Math no longer exist?"

      If the Christian Right (Tea Party) is able to establish their Christian Nation, science will be scrutinized by them. Funding will not be given to any projects deemed not scriptural. As a teacher, your burden will be easier. To most questions, your answer will be "God did it".

      Cheers!

      October 17, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  15. Brian

    There is no questions that Christians care for the unborn, but Mohler is being untruthful when he writes those same Christians care about the living, are concerned about poverty and worry about the planet. When are those ever brought up by the Christian Right? Perhaps Mohler should pursue those issues. When I see an attack on poverty given the same devotion as the anti-abortion movement, then I will believe Mohler. When I see Christian Right concerned about health issues, then I will believe Mohler who, indeed, is attacking secularism.

    October 17, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • David Johnson

      The Christian Right would like to take over help to the poor. They feel government should not be involved in this. When government is responsible for social programs, people don't depend on Jesus the way they should. Instead, they depend on society. The Christian Right would have the poor beholden to Jesus and them. God help the poor person who is an atheist. Or a Muslim.

      Cheers!

      October 17, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • W247

      Brian – there are a lot of community churches out there that do focus on poverty and health issues. There are churches that have food programs (food closets) to feed the hungry, that bring in doctors and nurses to help with health issues. Don't paint all Christians in a negative light. There is a lot of good work going on out there that, unfortunately, doesn't get the press that the squeaky wheels get.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • BilCat

      Or maybe you can stop by different religious organizations and ask them "What are you as [church, synagogue, mosque , whatever] doing to help alleviate the poor and suffering conditions so many are in?" Good chances are that those organizations continually have food drives, serve dinners, distribute clothing, help train for jobs, help with medication, etc, etc. I know from my view I see A LOT of that happening not just in my own church but many others that have the means to help whomever needs it where ever they live. Our Lord, Jesus Christ teaches us to care for the poor, the needy, the homeless, the widows. My church has blood drives, works in the communities where it resides, collects food and clothing to distribute, trains people on skills that can help them to get a job (interviewing, typing, resumes, etc). We'll have another activity next weekend were we'll collect items and put together hygiene kits for those that want or need them.

      So before you go off listening to the anti-religion crowd spout about how we don't care for the poor do some research. We do it, a lot, we just don't beat our chests to draw attention to it.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • JohnR

      The Christian Right are totally obsessed about all things se-xual. All se-x must lead to procreation or it is THE most horrible thing imaginable. That's why gay and lesbian se-x and the real main reason for opposing abortion, otherwise the r-ape and incest exceptions don't make sense. Are you allowed to kill born children who were produced by r-ape or incest? The obsession is totally weird and disturbing.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  16. Karin

    There are many issues in our country which need attention. If a individual is a christian is not one of them.
    If believing in a creator of all things is your thing, so be it. But, to utilize such a belief to manage the citizens of America without an ounce of evidence is ludicrous. Keep your personal beliefs amongst your friends, family and yourself. Keep it out of politics.

    October 17, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Karin

      You said: "There are many issues in our country which need attention. If a individual is a christian is not one of them.
      If believing in a creator of all things is your thing, so be it. But, to utilize such a belief to manage the citizens of America without an ounce of evidence is ludicrous."

      Ludicrous, yes. Possible? Very. You get enough Republicans (Puppets of the Rich and the Religious Right) in office and the citizens will be managed. We will be a Christian Nation. All other gods and faiths will be subservient to the Christian god. The Muslims will need to explain this to their children. Jesus / the Religious Right will decide if the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses are Christian enough.

      Vote for the Dems and avoid the fascist Christian Right.

      Cheers!

      October 17, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  17. The Founding Fathers

    Hey idiots! We wrote secularism right into the Constitution! It's the basis of the country and the law of the land.

    When the author says "evangelicals are dangerous to the secularist vision of this nation," he cannot then make denials like "The vast majority of evangelicals are not attempting to create a theocracy, or to oppose democracy." That's just not what this country was founded upon.

    October 17, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • Founding Fathers

      What did George Washington mean when he said

      "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars."

      October 17, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • withoutgod

      He meant that it is virtually impossible to be involved in politics and not at least cater to the ignorant masses in presenting the illusion of being a religious person. Which would explain why Washington presented himself in public as a Christian, in private he did not really care about religion. Note that Franklin, Adams, Paine, and Jefferson were all either deists or atheists. None of them thought that religion had any place in politics. Treaty of Tripoli, look it up.

      October 17, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • zumbody

      Washington did not care about religion and yet he claimed religion and morality are indispensable supports. Really? you are one delusional fool.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      zumbody, I suggest you study the lives of the founding fathers. You will find that Washington seldom attended church and never took communion.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  18. Facts Reveal

    I find it both clever and funny. Thanks for the good laughs!

    October 17, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • kimsland

      Islam is still the funniest one, but christianity still makes my belly ache.
      With christians you have to go back to the start though, No the world is now proven (very long time ago) not to be the center of the universe.
      Christians are still very much behind, they really need a 3rd testament, unless you know of some unicorns walking around? And we don't see many witches these days, maybe none of this was actually real..

      October 17, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • David Johnson

      @kimsland

      You said: "Christians are still very much behind, they really need a 3rd testament, unless you know of some unicorns walking around? And we don't see many witches these days, maybe none of this was actually real.."

      How dare you! I hope Jesus wasn't listening when posted that!

      I believe with all my heart and I am home schooling my children on the following:

      God created Adam from a handful of dirt and his wife from a rib; Talking snakes; trees that bear fruit, that imparts knowledge and eternal life; a global flood, that required a pair of each organism on earth, be stuffed onto a boat; people who lived hundreds of years; a man who was swallowed by a fish, only to be spit up 3 days later, unhurt; a tower god was afraid might reach heaven; a woman who is turned into a pillar of salt; talking donkeys; unicorns; satyrs; a leviathan god creates and then does battle with; a zombie messiah, who was actually god incarnate; zombie Saints who left their graves and wandered about the town; belief in a circular, flat earth you could fall off the edge of.

      It don't matter to me if little Billy and Betty know math or that god hating science! But, they will know about these wonders of the one true god!

      Atheists are idiots for not believing these miracles! Can't they hear the voice(s) of Jesus screaming in their heads, like I can? It must be a gift, only believers receive.

      Cheers!

      October 17, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • myweightinwords

      @kimsland,

      If you're not seeing witches around these days, maybe you're not looking. Many Pagans use the term "witch" to describe themselves. Not all, obviously. But a fair enough number that you should be able to find one without looking too hard.

      In fact, I've used the term for myself. Though I'm not one of those white-light sort, nor am I Wiccan.

      October 17, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • J.W

      Myweightinwords are you one of those gothic chicks? I always liked them.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @kimsland
      The 3rd Testament is called "The Book of Mormon", though I prefer to call it "Torah III – American Jesus"

      October 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  19. William Demuth

    Evangelicals are unamerican indoctrinated idiots, and they represent a threat to modernity, rationality and justice.

    They are the enemy of all who refuse to bow to their imaginary savior, and left to their own devices and inchecked, they will hasten the Armageddeon they so often espose.

    It is a cult, and needs to be treated as such.

    October 17, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Yeah

      It's sad so many are brainwashed by that cult but it will take a lot of work and time to break that brainwashing.

      October 17, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • RFBJR

      Name calling doesn't seem like the best way to encourage your point of view.

      Simple argument, design or no design. Some say we come from chance, others from intelligence. I don't see how you can prove either, however from my point of view, logic prevails.

      I beleive as we look into the scientific complexites of how the solar system, the seasons and human DNA are structured (just a few examples), it is not far-fetched to believe that these systems have been designed and there is therfore a Creator. Do you think that is illogical?

      October 17, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Chuckles

      @RFBJR

      Yes, I do find that entirely illogical, because you are operating under the as.sumption that there are only two schools of thought. People like myself that accept evolution do not think that we just randomly appeared on this earth one day, either by a god or a random series of mutations. Evolution and adaptation are the idea that we are the way we are from a small adaptive traits that have helped us survive in our envirnoments. It isn't randomness that, say, westerners are now able to drink milk in their adult lives while nearly all people in china are lactose intolerant, or the fact that we're taller than our ancestors. We didn't randomly mutate to become the way we are.

      I do find it illogical that you look at the human body and truely believe it to be perfect, while ignoring things like the appendix (which has no value to man other than to one day burst and kill us) or the fact that there is such a diversity of race just in man alone, it seems entirely impossible that over the course of only 6,000 (a generous estimate at that) that so many different races of man alone could spring from a single common ancestor.

      October 17, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • RFBJR

      @Chuckles

      Ya, two schools. Design or no design. Chance or intelligence. In the beginning, was the first bit of life by design? Or did it just happen by chance? Did the process afterward happen randomly (which I think means things occuring without a definite pattern or reason) or was there intelligence driving it?

      What are the other ways to come about?

      October 17, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Chuckles

      In the beginning, are you talking about a single-celled organism? Because that seems pretty simple to me, there's not a lot going on there that necessitates the need for a design.

      The second part of your question, "Did the process afterward happen randomly (which I think means things occuring without a definite pattern or reason) or was there intelligence driving it?" shows you don't really understand evolution. The process afterward did have reason, maybe not a preset pattern, but there is a reason why man developed the specific abilities that we have today. Was there an intelligence driving it? No, the people who were able to pass along their triats as much as possible were the ones to create real change. As humans, we have been able to develope a large brain that takes us to the top of the food chain of the current crop of species that is around, but that in no way means we'll stay at the top forever, or that we were put there by something else other than ourselves.

      October 17, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Colin

      RFBJR – if you assume a creator, what created the creator? And please, not the nauseating "god was always there and is magic" answer. Once you propose a creator to escape the conundrum of how it all started, you then have to explain the creator, or you have gotten nowhere. All you have done is put a halo on a question mark and walked away from the challange.

      In fact, why is god considered an "answer" for anything. It is not. When someone attributes something to god, it usually means they have no idea, so they invoke a magic act by a vaporous sky-fairy.

      October 17, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Zen

      Colin-Enlighten us on the exhaustive research you have done to conclude that God did not create the universe. While at it remember the argument that a hurricane can blow through a junk yard and assemble a jumbo jet is a little too juvenile for learned folks in here.

      October 17, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Colin

      Very simple Zen – there is no evidence for it. Now, before you respond, "but we have no alternative explanation, therefore it must be MY god who did it", we do. And even if we didn't, so what? Just because you don't know who shot the cook, it doesn't meen you get to decide the butler did it, becuase some Bronze Age Middle Eastern mythology you learned as a kid told you he did.

      October 17, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Zen

      I always love when people use the huricane putting a jumbo jet together as a way to argue that god DOES exist, when in reality it's a better argument for why god does NOT exist. I mean, if you truely believe there has to be a creator behind everything, then there has to be a creator for god, because as you put it, a hurricane couldn't go through and assemble a jumbo jet, seems silly to think that something so seemingly complex as god would need a creator more than anything else.

      Colin also makes a good point that just because we don't have an explanation for a specific problem does not mean that god, especially the christian god, should be inserted as the answer. That just sets you up for disappointment when we do actually figure out the reason and replace god with the actual explanation.

      October 17, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Madtown

      Colin
      RFBJR – if you assume a creator, what created the creator?
      -------
      Yes, the argument of infinite regress. I get it, and for the most part believe it. But, doesn't something have to come first? Even if we currently have no understanding what that is? Seems to me there has to be a first action of some sort.

      October 17, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • David Johnson

      @William Demuth

      Amen! Sing it preacher!

      Cheers!

      October 17, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • newsreel

      @ RFBJR: yes, solar system, DNA were all designed, by NATURAL LAW that we have deciphered to a large degree, but obviously not all. They were certainly not designed by an individual, because this individual is "supposed"to be intelligent (and powerful) in your belief, but the design has so many follish flaws, such as apes has 99% of human DNA, humans has a shrunken TAIL bone that points to a their past having a tail, just 2 of so many obvious evidence pointing to evolution of humans from apes, and not being created at all. You seem to know a little bit of science, read more to open your mind...in the mean time, keep on benefiting from science with your car, electricity, internet...even though your clergies persecuted scientists and denied their work for a long time, including evolution.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • chrisg

      Colin, would you like to run for President?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • fred

      newsreel
      It was Christians that fostered science to begin with. It was God who gave man the gift to imagine outside the box. Science has changed its mind far more often than religion has. The big bang theory has been around a very short period of time and if science has proven anything the big bang will be replaced by the shock and awe of the next theory. One thing that remains is in the beginning God created.
      Tell me why are so many consumed with finding the origin. Spend some time in the Bible you will see you are seeking God, just looking in the wrong place that’s all. The pattern of the Bible begins with man looking to knowledge thinking it held something greater than God who was with them. Since then we have struggled with that tree of knowledge of good and evil. Still deluded with the thought that something greater than God can be found. It cannot.
      A simple review of the advance in science shows that we discover greater and greater scope to our known universe as well as smaller and smaller particles leading to even non existence. Whatever it is that Colin attributes to creator grows beyond our imagination leaving the likes of Einstein in awe. While refusing to admit it they themselves have proven the Bible correct in that man cannot know the mind of his creator. God always was, that is why He referred to Himself as "IAM". Some now argue the universe envelopes itself returning to its own beginning which seems a fancy way of saying eternal or always was. It is not about science it is about people who go to all lengths in a vain attempt to prove no one is their creator / master.
      Here also, the Bible is way ahead of the Colinites. The Bible says the source of evil began when the angel known as bright morning star rejected the creator / master refusing to bow to any. The desire to be greater than God. Sounds like a familiar story. This serves to point out the delusion that there is knowledge that can make man greater than God. God put it in simple terms so the simple like myself could understand. Don't eat or touch the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Everything in garden is yours, I made it for you. Thousands of years later the message never changed "seek first the Kingdom of God and all else will be given to you".
      Yet, there are those today that still seek that knowledge to reject God who is with us.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • J.W

      Colinites? I consider myself more of a Chucklite, although I oppose their war with the Damianknites.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • fred

      J.W
      Chucklite is less filling but tastes great to the Damianknites. Remember allways choose the one with real gusto

      October 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Fred, many scientific discoveries came from people who had no idea of your god. In fact, many of the cultures of the early Americas were highly advanced, even independently coming up with the concept of zero, which allows higher math functions. These are the same people you claimed weren't ready when I asked why it took god 1500 years to reach the new world.

      Frankly, you simply make stuff up as you go along. It's great that you love your god and think that all things stem from him, but you have only your opinion and should perhaps acknowledge it as such, instead of claiming it as fact.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • fred

      tallulah13
      Your memory is greater than mine ! That conversation was some time ago. I think I was speaking in general that the nomadic culture of the chosen ones that the Bible follows reached a point where that civilization was ready for Christ. That would be when the Romans had brought order to the area of Jerusalem and a central launch pad for the word of God could spread (commerce center, language etc.). This location of the cradle of civilization (one of 3 possible locations) thousands of years prior was referred to by Moses long before the people headed for the promised land. That peoples in different lands such as Americas also sought God is actually more of a testimony that we are all wired to seek God. Either way the Bible tracks the chosen ones and when Christ came all other peoples from all nations of the world were given the free gift of eternal life in Christ. The Jews still are on their track of rejecting God as they did from the beginning and Christians are still on their track of not following God as they have done from their beginning. I don't have a crystal ball but, if God decided to select a culture from early Americas as the beginnings Europe and Asia would have been well entrenched by the time the Good News hit the shore of Europe. 1500 years may have been to late if we came from this direction. Gods plans are always the best. If not we should choose another God or no god.

      October 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • wow

      ‘That peoples in different lands such as Americas also sought God is actually more of a testimony that we are all wired to seek God.”

      That’s totally crap you are making this up as you go along, it was the Christians that stole from the native Americans, killed many of them and when that didn’t work gave them the worse lands in the country.

      October 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • fred

      wow
      Different topic wow. The Indians sought their gods and the Christian sought their God. This is how both were wired the same.
      If you read my post you would see I made it clear Christians did not follow God any better than the Jews did. The killing of the American Indian and taking of land is not what Christ followers are to do. These are all acts of godless men. There is no good outside of God.

      October 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      As you mentioned, Fred, I do have a good memory. The post just made on this thread had absolutely nothing to do with the post you made about the people of the Americas. Your words were that they just weren't ready. That's all. Nothing about nomadic cultures or Romans.

      The sad thing is that you are indeed making things up as you go along. Your god must be a feeble creature if he needs a believer to constantly make excuses for that gods contradictory or nonexistent actions.

      October 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • fred

      tallulah13
      You make a good point, I probably should not try and fill in the blanks. God may have left some blanks on purpose. In Acts we see the Holy Spirit directing the spread of the Good News from the Jews to the Gentiles. The Good News is spread by personal witness of what God has done. It continues to spread today as China last year invited BSFInternational to come in and set up teaching centers in China.
      Look out tallulah I may just show up on your doorstep with a sign that says today is the day !

      October 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • tallulah13

      fred, you show up at my door with a sign, I'll ask you politely to leave. If you don't I'll call the police.

      October 20, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  20. RdclCntrst

    Here's the problem: Christianity (evangelical or otherwise) is a FAITH. There's nothing wrong with faith in and of itself, but in the political arena, faith–religious or otherwise–is equivalent to OPINION. Government based on opinion is bad government; legislation and governance should be based on FACT. The only sociopolitical philosophy that relies solely on facts to make decisions is secularism (NOT atheism, because atheism is an opinion as well). That's why the Founding Fathers specifically designed a secular government; because they didn't want our political process to be dictated by religous fanatics. A secular governing philosophy means that the government takes no official position that is based on that of any one religion, which has the added benefit of not disenfrachising those who don't share that religion. Secularism may not be perfect, but it is the most fair way to govern the United States.

    October 17, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • chad

      "There's nothing wrong with faith in and of itself, but in the political arena, faith–religious or otherwise–is equivalent to OPINION."
      =>The God of Abraham is FACT.. basically everything else, including secular viewpoints, is opinion..

      "A secular governing philosophy means that the government takes no official position that is based on that of any one religion"
      =>True, keeping govt out of religion is a good thing. Keep in mind however, that the founding fathers asked Gods blessing on everything they did. Acknowledging Gods sovereignty is something they did on essentially every docu ment they produced

      October 17, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • AtrociAtheist

      I firmly believe that Evangelicals should maintain the separation of the State and Church and have the delicadeza to restrict themselves inside the church, BUT.....for me

      "Secularism may not be perfect, but it is the most fair way to govern the United States."

      is a death wish for America.

      October 17, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • BioArtChick

      ""Secularism may not be perfect, but it is the most fair way to govern the United States."

      is a death wish for America."

      WHY?
      You're welcome to say what you like, but be warned that most people are not going to respect your statement if there is nothing supporting it. It just ends up being a statement of opinion, and brings nothing relevant to the discussion.

      So by default, by saying what you did above, you're saying that allowing the government to be open to moves toward theocratic inclusion is acceptable? I disagree, and I will tell you why. Religion considers faith. Faith is by definition belief without consideration of evidence. Look it up in the dictionary. If anyone tells you they have evidence for why one should have faith in the Abrahamic God or any god, they are manipulating you. That said, think about the massive contradictions that would occur in law and personal liberty, with one part of the system acting on faith, and the other acting on evidence and reason. Our system in this country defers to liberty. If you wish to limit yourself further, you are more than welcome, but you are not permitted to create legislation demanding that we do the same. Besides, what kind of religious influence should be use? Evangelical? Catholic? Muslim?

      No one does anything in the name of being secular or "anti-god", atheist or secular. I don't go around calling myself a non-stamp collector, nor is there any club that I could join for non-stamp collecting. Bald is not a hair color. So many people in your position tend to think atheism is "just another religion". Once again, if you take a trip back to the dictionary, you will see that atheism and secularism do not consider god at all, and so cannot be religious because it is NOT faith based.

      October 17, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • withoutgod

      chad:
      Here we go again. Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams (Founding Father) November 4, 1796:"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,"

      The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus…will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. Thomas Jefferson

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites. Thomas Jefferson

      …the Bible is such a book of lies and contradictions there is no knowing which part to believe or whether any. Thomas Paine

      I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.
      - Benjamin Franklin

      The founding fathers, even Washington, were far from being Christian, and made it very clear that religion had no place in government. Please take the time to educate yourself.

      October 17, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • BRC

      @AtrociAtheist,
      Can you explain why that's a death wish? I'm confused as to how moving our government towards a logic based all accepting system is a bad thing, but perhaps you could enlighten me.

      October 17, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Madtown

      =>The God of Abraham is FACT.. basically everything else, including secular viewpoints, is opinion..
      --------
      Chad, what evidence would this FACT be based upon?

      October 17, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Atrocities

      Wanna know WHY?

      Because, there could be no more dangerous people than those who think accountability to no one other than themselves, especially the intelligent ones.

      Let us say Hitler, Mao and Stalin for example.

      Intelligence definitely will bring good when use for good. Otherwise would mean utter destruction.

      October 17, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • BRC

      @Atrocities,
      There, that is a defendable thesis; it gives a conclusion based on some "evidence" and explains why secularism is a death wish. Unfortunately it's founded on a false understanding. Secularism doesn't mena a person is accountable only to themselse, that would be a sociopath. Secularism (or perhaps more appropriately humanism, both work) means people are accountable to PEOPLE. That is why I find it better than religion. In religion a person is accountable to something who's will they can never truly know, and who isn't down here on Earth suffering the same wins and losses as the rest of humanity. In secularism, people are accountable to the other people around them, to the society in which they live and interact and a well made logical decision is one which best serves the lives of the people in that society (and as the world becomes ever smaller with globalization, that increasingly means all people, but that's a seperate conversation), not their own personal interests. With that more accurate definition, would it still be a death wish?

      October 17, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • chad

      The vast majority (Paine and a few others being the exception to the rule) of the founding fathers recognized the God of Abraham as sovereign, while at the same time rejecting dogma, religious inst itutions of the day and dedicating themselves to creation of a country where ANY religious worship would be allowed, to say otherwise is a blatant attempt to re-write history.

      Thomas Jefferson rejected the divinity of Christ while at the same time acknowledging the God of Abraham.

      Benjamin Franklin introduced the practice of daily common prayer at the Convention

      “Sunday being my studying day, I never was without some religious principles. I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that He made the world, and governed it by His providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter” – Benjamin Franklin

      “You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention” – George Washington

      October 17, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • chad

      @Madtown, regarding evidence:

      Evidence:
      1. Origin of the universe: Einstein, Hawkings both say that some force external to the observed universe was necessary for the big bang. This doesn’t mean that external force must be the God of Abraham, but it does mean an external “uncaused cause” is necessary and by definition unexplainable by science.
      2. Why does the universe obey laws?
      Leonard Mlodinow (co-author along with Stephen Hawkings of "An even briefer history of time") himself stated “Science can not disprove God, it can not EVER explain why the universe obeys laws”
      3. Who exactly was Jesus Christ? Was he insane to believe Himself to be the Son of God? Were all of the people that claimed they saw Him resurrected insane? Some kind of mass hallucination? Remember, it isnt possible that those people made up the story of the resurrection, they were tortured and killed for that belief. Now, people are tortured and killed believing all kinds of crazy things, but they BELIEVE them to be true. If the people made up a story about a resurrection, they knew the story was a lie, they certainly wouldn't endure torture for it.
      4. What is the Jewish nation, how did it come about? Is the entire story of the exodus from Egypt made up? Does that viewpoint stand up upon critical examination of the historicity of the Bible? Answer: the bible is the most heavily researched book in the history of the world, there has never been an archeological find contradicting a historical claim made.
      5. Fossil record: Darwins theory of gradual mutation is dead, put to death by the lack of fossil record evidence “"The sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation"
      “punctuated equilibrium” is now the favored scientific explanation for the fossil record. Now, this notion that it's possible to have NOTHING mutate for millions of years, then poof-poof-poof EVERYTHING comes together in one grand paroxysm of precisely necessary mutations (but all random of course) refutes itself, and demonstrates the necessity of external intervention (again, this doesn’t prove the God of Abraham, but it does prove external force.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • chad

      @BRC: "That is why I find it[secularism] better than religion. In religion a person is accountable to something who's will they can never truly know, and who isn't down here on Earth suffering the same wins and losses as the rest of humanity."
      =>Boy, is that not true on both counts:.. Jesus Christ judges, and he suffered through the same human experience as you and I. His will is clearly articulated in the Bible.

      "In secularism, people are accountable to the other people around them, to the society in which they live and interact and a well made logical decision is one which best serves the lives of the people in that society (and as the world becomes ever smaller with globalization, that increasingly means all people, but that's a seperate conversation), not their own personal interests. With that more accurate definition, would it still be a death wish?"
      =>boy is that flawed.. peoples interests by definition are their opinions, their own personal interests.
      Why dont you make a list of all the powerful people in history, divide it into two columns "they did good and served the public interest well" , and "they did bad and only sought to further their own interests".
      if you find more than 1% of the total survey in the first category, let me know.
      God is right 100% of the time, mankind is right <1% of the time. you do the math.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • BRC

      @chad

      1. Unexplainable by science, so far. Einstein was BRILLIANT, and did what he could with the information and techniques available at the time. It was groundbreaking, and formed the foundation for much of what we know as physics today. He was also occasionally wrong; in ways that he could never have even hoped to know, but still wrong. Our species gets smarter and better at delving the depths of science the longer we go, who knows what we will learn next? (and yes, if we accidentally scientifically prove that there is a god, I will acknowledge its existence)

      2. “Science can not disprove God, it can not EVER explain why the universe obeys laws”-yet.

      3. It does not matter how ardently someone believes something, that alone doesn't make it true. If it did, the combined hopes of a large percentage of the western world's children would have caused a fat man in a sleigh to materialize by now, along with thousands of tiny home invaders with a dental fetish.

      4. Not the entire story, but much or all of the unbelievable physically impossible stuff. And maybe not disproved (though I feel like there has been, I'd have to do more research), but it's never been proved either; as in no record of all of egypts first born suddenly dying (or any of the other plagues), and there aren't remains of 1.2 million Hebrew nomads scattered throughout the region (that many bodies someone would have found something by now)

      5. I have never heard it fully disproved, though like all science it has matured since its infancy. Also, the fossil record is not going to catch all the intermediate forms. Many adaptations occur in soft tissues, or in physical abilities, or in birthing/gestation methods. None of those things readily appear in a fossil record, all have a substantial effect on a specie's evolution. Additionally, in the much earlier stages, poorly evolved creatures very likely got eaten, which could also easily disrupt the fossil record. ANd it doesn't prove any more external force than the changing of the planet, which we already knew about, and which doesn't fit in well with scripture.

      On the bright side, I'd like to thank you for using the word paroxysm well.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • BRC

      @Chad,
      Look, I will always respond, I am incapable of stopping. If someone put a tape recorder behind a wall I would probably talk to it. But I have trouble acknowledging your comments as anything more than one person's unsubstantiated opinion, because your arguments about "God" and Jesus ONLY come from a Bible. A book that there is no reason to trust.

      You can't prove "God" judges anything, and if you choose to reference the bible, it is dismissed as biased, but what's more it has stories of a god who condones and in some cases even orders what by any standard today would be considered an atrocity. If the bible was right, and Jesus really did suffer crucifixion because "God" wanted to forgive sins but demanded a sacrifice, then he got hosed, by his own father; who would actually consider that "right". And by the way, the Bible is supposed to articulate "God's" will, not Jesus's (depending on your belief system you may think those are the same being, but it is a difference in definition).

      My statement that your side is unproved is true, until you provide proof (a deceptively simple but important sentence).

      I agree, people's personal opinions and their interests do always have an effect. Fortunately, one of those interests is pretty much always- "I want to survive"; which means they don't want all of the people around them hating them and wanting them dead. That inspires cooperation. Even better, many people have an instinct to see the people they care about and rely on do well. Those two secular/humanist ideals alone will lead to a cooperative fully functional society in time.

      And I can trump your little false statistic (a generous term in this case). There have been 44 US presidents in the last 222 years. I would give the incredibly pessimistic estimate, that at least 50% of them, whether or not they were successful, were well meaning, and wanted to help the people of the United States, their fellow citizens. Lots and lots and lots of people suck. No question or argument. But many of them want to do well, and want to see their friends and families flourish. Enough that secularism is perfectly valid (not to mention the fact that it has worked thus far).

      You say "God" is right 100% of the time because you agree with what the Bible says about him. That's your personal opinion, not fact. I believe that the "God" of the bible is a sadistic drama queen, and a remarkable insult to any deity that could actually be a universal creator, so my percentage is much much lower. Your 1% is a farce, hyperbole made for effect alone. I'm sorry but I don't think it worked.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • chad

      @ BRC

      1. Unexplainable by science
      2. Unexplainable by science
      3. You're addressing something entirely off topic. The evidence I raised was this "3. Who exactly was Jesus Christ? Was he insane to believe Himself to be the Son of God? " evaluate what He said. Was that the ramblings of an insane person?
      4. Jewish people history is well docu mented. This isnt the lost city of Atlantis we're talking about. We have them here now.

      5. PE completely fails the likely hood test.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • chad

      "You can't prove "God" judges anything"
      I never said (and in fact I pointed out) that the evidence I presented proved the God of Abraham. What indeed it does prove is the necessity of an "uncaused cause", of an external ent ity.
      You can choose to believe that the external ent ity is the flying spaghetti monster, but choosing to believe there is NO external enti ty is irrational and flies in the face of scientific thought.

      "and if you choose to reference the bible, it is dismissed as biased, "
      =>again, you dont get to dismiss the bible out of hand, every book ever written seeks to establish something and is therefor "biased" if that is how you are defining the term. The Bible has to be examined itself.
      And before you respond with "it's full of internal consistency errors", example please? (that always seems to kill the argument..)

      "If the bible was right, and Jesus really did suffer crucifixion because "God" wanted to forgive sins but demanded a sacrifice, then he got hosed, by his own father; who would actually consider that "right""
      =>I wouldnt use the term "hosed", but indeed, he did got offered up as the blameless scapegoat, Jesus did nothing wrong yet all the sins of the world were piled on Him. Part of Jesus DID NOT WANT to do it, in fact he prayed to God that some other way might be found. It was a terrible price to pay. But He paid it.

      "I agree, people's personal opinions and their interests do always have an effect. Fortunately, one of those interests is pretty much always- "I want to survive"; which means they don't want all of the people around them hating them and wanting them dead. That inspires cooperation. "
      => Oh sure, we see that all the time, that's why people subordinate there desires for the better of everyone else... oh wait....

      "And I can trump your little false statistic (a generous term in this case). There have been 44 US presidents in the last 222 years. I would give the incredibly pessimistic estimate, that at least 50% of them, whether or not they were successful, were well meaning, and wanted to help the people of the United States, their fellow citizens."
      =>LOL
      Start counting up all the dictators, millions of them, throughout history.. You enumerated part of the 1%. Try this, start counting the number of Chinese/Russian rulers that were actually good for the people. Let me know if you find 1% of the total 🙂

      "You say "God" is right 100% of the time because you agree with what the Bible says about him. That's your personal opinion, not fact. I believe that the "God" of the bible is a sadistic drama queen, and a remarkable insult to any deity that could actually be a universal creator"
      =>example please.. 🙂

      October 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • bigdakine

      AtrociAtheist– Hitler was not an atheist and thought he was doing God's will. Everything you posted is wrong. There is no underestimating the ignorance of fundagelicals.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • BRC

      @Chad
      Tried to post a response to your 5 points above, the summary, you didn't actually make any arguments there, I'll try again later.

      "Jesus Christ judges"- your exact words. I apologize for saying "God", and shall amend my statement. Prove that Jesus judges us.

      The bible is biased because it was compiled by men who had an agenda, they wanted power and control. That statement has nothing to do with its poor writing. And you're right, all books are put forth with an agenda, the trick is having proof in order to compare the author's intended message with reality. Since there is nothing outside of the bible that confirms the veracity of the bible, its claims don't line up with reality, and it has a clear agenda, I have no reason to trust it. So, whether or not I could provide you with inconsistencies, my point stands, but here's a quick reference just for fun (plenty more, Wikipedia just has easy to read pages, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inconsistencies )

      =>I wouldnt use the term "hosed", but indeed, he did got offered up as the blameless scapegoat, Jesus did nothing wrong yet all the sins of the world were piled on Him.
      Nowhere in this sentence did you say that I was wrong, use whatever word you want, the essence is the same.

      => Oh sure, we see that all the time, that's why people subordinate there desires for the better of everyone else... oh wait....
      Fun fact, ellipsis aren't actually an argument, since I have multiple personal examples of people who gladly self sacrificed, and there is currently an article about large numbers of charity workers doing the same, you're going to need more than 7 periods to make that one wrong.

      Start counting up all the dictators, millions of them, throughout history.. You enumerated part of the 1%. Try this, start counting the number of Chinese/Russian rulers that were actually good for the people. Let me know if you find 1% of the total-
      It's difficult to tell if your problem is with math or history. Russia- Putin and Gorbachev (depending on your point of view) can both be seen as leaders who wanted the best for those around them, and acted to achieve it. unless you can prove the previous 198 out of 200 Russian rulers were downright evil, your argument falls apart. Yes, dictators do tend to be bad, but as of right now, there are approximately 30 dictatorships listed and over 190 countries on Earth, so again, history or math, one of them is way way off. I don't play the "this kind of person did this thing" game, because it's not a good argument, notice how we don't live in the past, time to adjust for the future. If I did, we could play such games as, ignoring dictators, how many religious leaders used their influence for ill (the answer is quite a few, including several Popes)? See, not a good argument.

      =>example please..
      Sadist- "God" burned a few thousand people because they stood at the entrance to a tent Drama Queen-he informed all that he was in fact a Jealous god, and that he would punish them unto the third generation if they worshipped anyone else. Need more?

      October 17, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • BRC

      1. So far
      2. so far (Explain how you know what we won't know in the future or realize that you can't disprove this point)
      3. Since I don't trust the bible, it's difficult for me to know what he said, but if he actually claimed to be the son of "God", yes he was insane. I still think he had some good messages, so maybe a better word is eccentric, but yes, I find his grip on reality strained. Although, it was not an off topi argument- here's what you wrote "Remember, it isnt possible that those people made up the story of the resurrection, they were tortured and killed for that belief. Now, people are tortured and killed believing all kinds of crazy things, but they BELIEVE them to be true. If the people made up a story about a resurrection, they knew the story was a lie, they certainly wouldn't endure torture for it." The fact that they were tortured doesn't make it true, it just means they believe it. That's the point I was making.
      4. No credible historical source regarding the Hebrews references anything claimed by the Torah. What's more, none of that needs to be true for the Jewish people to be what and where they are today. So not really sure what you're trying to say here.
      5. I didn't say PE was the answer, I believe (and I think it's the leading theory at the moment) that the current layout of life on this planet is the product of gradual evolution, with punctuated periods of massive change due to global calamities (ice age, meteors, etc.)

      October 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • chad

      I probably shouldnt do this, but in the spirit of creating a level playing field (I oppose current republican efforts to tighten voting eligibility requirements for the same reason, despite being a life long conservative)

      "Tried to post a response to your 5 points above, the summary, you didn't actually make any arguments there, I'll try again later."

      if you post and it gets bounced, hit your browsers back button. If you have cookies enabled the previous form data will be preserved in the reply box at the bottom. At that point search and remove for the offending word and hit "post" again (see list of no-no words from "Helpful Hints" reponse here https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/15/asked-about-belief-in-god-richard-branson-says-he-believes-in-evolution/comment-page-6/#comments)
      that has saved me many times from having to retype a brilliant response !!! HA! 🙂 just kidding

      more later.. got to do some work today

      October 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      chad - Here is the list again. A good idea is to copy/paste it to a Word doc on your desktop for handy reference. And yes, I post it for folks with whom I don't agree too...

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      October 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • JohnR

      There goes Chad again, leaping from the postulation by some sciences for the need for "SOME force" outside the universe to the certainty that the god of the bible is that force. Hilarious posturing is always on display when the Christian apologists do their logical contortion acts.

      October 17, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • chad

      @JohnR "There goes Chad again, leaping from the postulation by some sciences for the need for "SOME force" outside the universe to the certainty that the god of the bible is that force. Hilarious posturing is always on display when the Christian apologists do their logical contortion acts."

      I could have sworn I said: "You can choose to believe that the external ent ity is the flying spaghetti monster, but choosing to believe there is NO external enti ty is irrational and flies in the face of scientific thought."
      perhaps if you can provide a link? 🙂

      October 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • JohnR

      Chad, grow up. No one thinks the external cause of the universe was the flying spaghetti monster, but there is no more evidence that it was jehovah than that it WAS the flying spaghetti monster. You are grasping at straws, as always.

      No one theory, scientific or otherwise, of the origin of the universe is particularly widely believed in. There are some who would define the universe in a way that would preclude there being an "outside" for any outside force to occupy. Some thing every black hole has a new universe on the other side. ALL theories postulate some sort of initial condition that makes all later conditions possible. In that sense, ALL theories of origins will forever be open to the query "well, where did those initial conditions come from?"

      In any event, postulating some sort of outside force does not mean that that force has to be in any sense divine, let alone the sort of personal god that Zeus, Ahura Mazda, Brahma and Yahweh are. To conclude that the force (a) really existed, (b) really was in some legit sense "outside" the universe, (c) was divine, (d) was a personal god and (e) was specifically the god of the bible is a LONG chain of increasingly unsubstantiated assumptions.

      October 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Chad

      “"Jesus Christ judges"- your exact words. I apologize for saying "God", and shall amend my statement. Prove that Jesus judges us.”
      =>I said Jesus Christ judges, but that wasn’t in my post of 5 definitive pieces of proof that God exists. The only way you could know that Jesus Christ judges is from the Bible (which of course I view as proof, but you don’t)

      “That statement has nothing to do with its poor writing.”
      =>What?? Example please.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inconsistencies
      “In the earlier manuscripts of Mark 1:2, the composite quotation from Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 is introduced by the formula "As it is written in Isaiah the Prophet". Later scribes, sensing this involves a difficulty replaced "As it is written in Isaiah the Prophet" with the general statement "As it is written in the prophets".”
      =>I don’t consider that (or spelling mistakes, or grammar differences) a major problem 🙂

      " I have multiple personal examples of people who gladly self sacrificed, and there is currently an article about large numbers of charity workers doing the same, you're going to need more than 7 periods to make that one wrong.”
      => I’m not impressed when you can find a couple dozen humanitarians. Personally, (belonging to a Christian Church which is BY FAR the worlds leading organizer of charitable efforts), I can find THOUSANDS of personal examples. The problem is, there are MILLIONS of counter examples.

      And by the way.. as a fun piece of homework compare the results of two google searches "Atheist charitable organizations" (as near as I can see.. about 20 world wide?) vs "Christian charitable organizations" THOUSANDS

      “ “It's difficult to tell if your problem is with math or history. Russia- Putin and Gorbachev (depending on your point of view) can both be seen as leaders who wanted the best for those around them, and acted to achieve it”
      =>Gorbachev, yes. Putin? You don’t watch much news… so that gives you 1 our of 200. AND I don’t have to prove they are evil, I just have to prove that they don’t engage in “well made logical decisions which best serves the lives of the people in that society” as you asserted. To make YOUR point, you need to prove that those Russian rulers DID make decisions that were the best for the people (I argued they do NOT). Good luck with that. Remember, your argument is that secularism can succeed because people will act in a way that is best for each other.

      “Sadist- "God" burned a few thousand people because they stood at the entrance to a tent“
      =>A sadist is a person that take pleasure in inflicting pain. CLEARLY God is no sadist.
      ‘"For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live."”
      But I don’t really know what instance you are referring to, provide a chapter/verse and I’m happy to discuss it.

      Drama Queen-he informed all that he was in fact a Jealous god, and that he would punish them unto the third generation if they worshipped anyone else.”
      =>absolutely true about the punishment part, it was critical that the Jewish people stay intact and honor God. Serious consequences were in store for rule breakers. You need to understand the seriousness of the situation we are in here. There is ONLY one way out fella, that’s it. It’s as serious as it gets. You only are allowed to thumb your nose at God for a while, then you have to live with that for all eternity. Emphasizing the importance does not make him a “Drama Queen”. He is a “jealous God”, He does not want us worshiping anyone else. Would you want your children suddenly deciding to call your neighbor “Dad”?

      Need more?
      =>sure, I’m always happy to do what little I can do to help explain the Bible.

      October 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @John: "ALL theories of origins will forever be open to the query "well, where did those initial conditions come from?""

      no... The God of Abraham has no beginning, no end. There is no initial condition for Him.
      A quite astonishing concept for goat herders 3500 years ago dont you think? All other creation accounts have some sort of beginning, like Amon-Ra that Tom tried to put forth as the myth upon which Moses "constructed" his version..
      It makes sense that all man made versions of creation accounts would have something starting, after all, everything that we see has a beginning. This concept of having always existed was quite unique.Read any secular examination of creation accounts and you'll see they specifically call out Genesis as unique..
      And it is, for good reason!

      October 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Chad

      One thing I dont do a lot of is quote bible verses, but I'll make an exception in this case because you asked:

      Exodus 20:5 "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;"

      From Strongs: "Jealous; used of God as not bearing any rival; the severe avenger of departure from himself"

      God is very serious.. I wish you would do some investigation.. Care to take me up on my offer of "I pick a book for you to read, you pick a book for me to read, then we come back and do a book report"? I make it to every atheist I meet.

      October 17, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • BBJ

      @Chad-As always,Brilliant!

      October 18, 2011 at 9:53 am |
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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.