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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. Brother Maynard

    theoldadam sez:
    "Christ is the only One that bring true peace"
    I'm sorry but I have to call B S here. Give me 1 year in the past 2000 or so years where there wasn't some sort of confilct or war. If Chist is the only ONE that bring[s] true peace ... he has done a horrible job.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  2. David Johnson

    The part that irritates me, is that there is not even a shred of evidence that the Christian god is real. NONE.

    Before we serve Mithra, or Ra or Isis, shouldn't we be sure they exist?

    Believers are sooooo lame. Evangelicals make me want to puke.

    Cheers!

    October 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Cheer? After you puke?

      But anyway...if you don't believe..no one has yet to make you. Enjoy your freedom and let others enjoy theirs. Don't be a hater.
      Shalom!

      October 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      David, offer proof that God or Gods do not exist. Mirtha, Ra, all of the Hindu and Native American Gods... I am open that they are there. As a person of Faith I know I am a follower of the God of Abraham which is the same God of Mohamud, Joseph Smith and the Father of Jesus. At the same time I am open enough that he ..or she 🙂 ...might be the same God of other Faiths.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Mark

      Isn't the fact that he can't provide a single shred of proof that any sort of god exist proof in of itself that its highly unlikely they exist at all?

      October 18, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Mark- one should never ask for another to prove the negative.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      With respect no. 🙂 In many ways it is simple debate. Since something can not be proved or dis-proved both sides carry equal weight in an argument.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Chuckles- I am always wary of that kind of thinking. The lack of evidence does not support the counter point of view.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Mark

      But they don't carry equal weight, that's a major issue here. Since most signs point to "god probably doesn't exist", it makes it the null hypothesis, the default until you can rustle up some evidence to prove that the god of abraham, or Ahura Mazda, or Zeus and so on exists and then that becomes the alternative hypothesis. Uncouth is correct, you should never ask someone to prove a negative because what sort of evidence would you look for.

      Related question: what sort of proof (either physical of lack therof) would be enought to convince you that god does not exist? For instance my proof involves either god literally coming down from the heavens, someone regrowing a limb, it raining frogs, or some other sort of miracle that can only be explained by a diety and not by science, what is the proof needed to convince you otherwise?

      October 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Uncouth,

      Fair enough, I highly doubt the existance of god because of the lack of evidence and logic that comes with believing but I will never say definitively that god does not exist. I pose the same question to you as I did to Mark though, hypothetically speaking, what would be evidence that would prove god does not exist or the god that exists is actually allah or whatever?

      October 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      To be quite honest..I am not sure. I have had personal experiences that have formed by faith and cannot quite think of what specifically would change it, not saying it cannot be changed...just don't know exactly what might change it. I always try to keep an open mind to new perspectives and pov.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Uncouth

      Isn't that being intellectually dishonest though? I mean religious and non-religious alike believe they are fallible, they make mistakes and even their most deeply held views can be proven wrong with the right lever, so don't you think it's only right to keep enough of an open mind to consider that you might be wrong? I mean, if it turns out that judaism is right, or mormonism, or (god forbid) scientology would you still cleave to your brand of christianity (I'm as.suming your a christian so correct me if I'm wrong) even in the face of overwhelming evidence (whatever that may be) that says otherwise?

      October 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Nonimus

      If God himself told me that He doesn't exist, that would certainly convince me...

      October 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Isn't that being intellectually dishonest though? I mean religious and non-religious alike believe they are fallible, they make mistakes and even their most deeply held views can be proven wrong with the right lever, so don't you think it's only right to keep enough of an open mind to consider that you might be wrong?"

      I would agree except I did say that I keep myself open to other perspectives and that my mind could be changed. I have my perspective and have yet encountered anything that would change it but I keep my eyes and ears open to the possibilities. I don't think that is dishonest at all.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Uncouth

      Saying that is one thing, but you don't exactly have a bar set that would actually change those beliefs right? So I can say I'm open to god existing, but if I were to see a limb regrown right in front of me and then a doctor says something about "spontaeous regeneration being possible" I think I would still have to concede that there is a higher power, so is there anything, anything at all that could happen that would make you change your mind. Until you can come up with a senario in which this is possible then are in fact being intellectually dishonest and lying to yourself when you say you are open to the possibility.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”But they don't carry equal weight, that's a major issue here. “

      Well, I can not say I am surprised that you have a “major issue” with me holding this view. Since Moses parted the Red Sea there have always been those that scream to the rooftops that such could not happen. Maybe that is the cool thing of Faith, is the comfort that many of us Faithful find in having the belief that it did happen. What you, like a good portions of Atheist have attempted to do is to say the burden of proof is on our side while not offering up any evidence to back up your own claim. It is a interesting debate tactic … maybe to a novice, but this is the Belief Blog and the same tricks do not work as well here.

      >>>”Related question: what sort of proof (either physical of lack therof) would be enough to convince you that god does not exist? “

      Interesting question. Like many of Faith my first thought would be, simply Death. You know, the simple last breath and machine in your hospital room going beeeeeeeeeeee.... The answer, I do not know beyond that. The question would be to you, if God did come down and healed someone or held back a flood.... the type of stuff that you mentioned...would that make you one of the Faithful?

      A few months ago I posted humorously that even Atheist will go to Heaven. When we Faithful get there and are walking around Heaven and see the hills and valleys, we will turn to the Father and ask:

      “What happened to all of our Atheist friends? Did you condemn them to burn eternity?”

      “No my child, they all believed that when their time of life was over that it would be nothing.”

      God will point towards the next hill and say... “So I just allowed them peace in their beliefs and just moved their spirits up here into that hill. The agnostics though I have down at the Holiday Inn at the Pearly Gates until they decide if they are coming in or not” 😀

      l'Chaim, my friend.

      October 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • fred

      David Johnson
      David Johnson
      You are making great strides. For a long time you insisted Jesus never existed when Reality finally sent you enough proof. Now at least we are talking about the Divinity of Christ. At least now you have the support of reliable skeptics and theologians. The Jews will give you a high five as they have real reason keep Jesus named as a rabble rouser that stirred up nothing but trouble. Problem is that your Jewish accomplices do not have a good track record. They spent most of their lives since becoming the chosen ones rejecting God and seeking their own way. They always rejected any prophet sent to them the first time around…………………….which is why they are still waiting for Jesus. Will you accept that as proof since they rejected Jesus?

      October 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Chuckles

      L'chaim indeed, I understand the idea behind faith, but faith doesn't exactly prove anything. I could have complete faith in my answer on a math test that 2+2=5 but that will never ever change the actual answer. I also understand the common tactic of shifting the burden of proof over to you, but this is why I asked my other question, what exactly are you looking for as proof from an atheist that affirms his/her position? Can I use the fact that everyone that has died and then been brought back to life has had incredibly different experiences? Does it only count that ultimate death is the only way to know what happens on the otherside? If it's true the only thing that will sway you is that when you die and either enter a state of nothingness, or you end up going to hel.l because you're not a muslim/whatever the right religion is then you'll be convinced you're wrong. Isn't that being disingenuous then asking for an atheist to provide something that you yourself believe to be impossible? I mean at least for me and many others, I think it's quite possible (or should be if you are right) for god to prove himself and prove he exists. It's stated in your doctrine that it's most defintily possible, I only ask that you put up.

      For instance I am extrememly skeptical about, say, the red sea being parted because I have never heard of it happening before or after, nor is it backed up by any other source outside of the bible. Sure it sounds cool and you have to have faith that it happened, but like I explained in the previous paragraph, faith doesn't make something true.

      October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Duh

      "the red sea being parted because I have never heard of it happening before or after, nor is it backed up by any other source outside of the bible"

      These types of claims in the bible can be explained away by science, so there is no god involved. In this case it was low tide like in a tsunami and then it takes awhile before the water rushes back it. We see the exact same thing in the footage from Thailand. Now if you were primitive man looking at what happened at Thailand you would of claimed it was a wrath from a god.

      October 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      A little help. I saw the stories of the Bible foolish until a sudden conversion experience (no stroke, drugs, thyroid or anything like that). Suddenly, the Bible came alive to me, it became real and my perspective on life changed. God became personal (yes steady two way conversation ) and answered prayer on a regular basis. I have personally seen this experience repeated and each time it happens as Jesus said it would. Now, I did not have any coaching but, I will admit to coaching the others who's experiences I witnessed.
      This may not qualify as poof of God but, would it not qualify as proof that the principles of Jesus work every time when applied?

      October 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>“If it's true the only thing that will sway you is that when you die and either enter a state of nothingness, or you end up going to hel.l because you're not a Muslim/whatever the right religion is then you'll be convinced you're wrong.”

      Well, the Muslim and right religion argument, you might need to take it to another Faithful. I will be learning to say hello in many Faiths, so I can skip that orientation class when I get to Heaven 🙂

      >>>”Isn't that being disingenuous then asking for an atheist to provide something that you yourself believe to be impossible?”

      Again, Chuckles, I am afraid you will need to ask another person of Faith on that one. I do not have the time or effort to go around requiring Atheist, Muslims, Hindus etc, to provide me any proof for their Beliefs. I do not require such for my relationship with God.

      >>>”I also understand the common tactic of shifting the burden of proof over to you........It's stated in your doctrine that it's most definitely possible, I only ask that you put up. “

      Yep, you understand the tactic, you understand that I understand the tactic … but in your bag of tricks you could not help but use it even though you can no more prove that God does not exisit than a Faithful can that he or she does. Neat the way you dressed it up though 🙂

      >>>”For instance I am extremely skeptical about, say, the red sea being parted because I have never heard of it happening before or after, nor is it backed up by any other source outside of the bible. “

      Pretty sure that the advancing forces of the Pharaohs army didn't see it coming either. 🙂 Heck, the reported skepticisms of the fleeing Jews was high as well. So now you have the reports of how many thousands of fleeing Jews in a book stating that it did happen. You choose to not believe their reports and I choose to believe their reports. Thats just having Faith.

      L'Chaim. My friend.

      October 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Mark

      I don't think you understand what I'm asking here. First of all, you DID just ask atheist to provide proof there is no god and then stand by the "you can't disprove, I can't prove it so my belief is equally valid" which of course I objected to. My whole point is, you are clearly showing an unwillingness to accept that you might be wrong, which I find disingenuous and seemingly childish to assume that you MUST be right without any foundation to base that on other than the nebulous "faith". So this leads to another question of, who is more fair minded and interested in the pursuit of truth, someone open-minded enough to admit wrongness if presented with valid facts, or the person (you in this case) who will never accept anything other than what you believe to be true because of a few instances that stoked the faith part of your brain to shove you toward christianity. Honestly, I just want you (and Uncouth) to really think on what it means to hold to a faith so much that you are unable to admit being wrong and just how crazy that actually is.

      @fred
      You experience miracles on a daily basis huh? Wow! AND you have a steady conversation with god all the time huh. Please let me know where you live because I'm sure I can find you a nice insti.tution that would more than happy to give you a padded cell. What you might want to ponder on is, if I told you I too have conversations on a regular basis with my diety, why am I wrong and you are right? Why would I be seen as crazy in your eyes but for some reason you're completely sane doing the same thing.

      October 18, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Chuckles-"Saying that is one thing, but you don't exactly have a bar set that would actually change those beliefs right? "

      No...we disagree on this. I think by feeling forced to set up a scenerio you are limiting yourself to other possibilities that might come up. You are limiting yourself by coming up with a "my way or the highway" mentality.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Chuckles-"Until you can come up with a senario in which this is possible then are in fact being intellectually dishonest and lying to yourself when you say you are open to the possibility."

      You are close to falling into a ad hominum here. But you will forgive me if I don't recognize your self appointed position on being or not being intellectually dishonest. You might need to limit yourself to all the possiblities by coming up with a handful of situations but I do not. I am sorry you disagree with me but your opinion hardly matters in my perspective on faith, in that..you haven't provided me with anything to change it at this time.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Chuckles-"Honestly, I just want you (and Uncouth) to really think on what it means to hold to a faith so much that you are unable to admit being wrong and just how crazy that actually is."

      I think this might be what is called leading the witness. You are committing a bad fallacy of absolutes here Chuckles. You have it that if anyone holds a faith they must be unable to be open to other possibilities. That's just plain illogical.
      Under your way of thinking...you are unable to admit that you are wrong and how crazy that is. I can say this because you do not agree with me on my faith...that's what you are implying in all of this.

      Having a faith does NOT limit one's ability to reason and see other possiblities. It can give a foundation to stand on. This is not unique...many ppl have foundations they stand on such as love, science, reason, logic, hope, religion, patriotism...etc. But this does not mean these ppl are stuck in that mindset and cannot see beyond it. There are some ppl that cannot see beyond their faith or science....but most can. To imply that unless they set up a rigid set of rules to get someone to believe or not to believe in something is silly and closes off the mind from many ideas that one cannot think of.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”First of all, you DID just ask atheist to provide proof there is no god and then stand by the "you can't disprove, I can't prove it so my belief is equally valid" which of course I objected to. “

      Chuckles, my comments were simple and to the point. On things such as this, to converse with some people it is a requirement.

      “Since something can not be proved or dis-proved both sides carry equal weight in an argument.”

      This, I take it is the comment you are having a bit of confusion with. The statement clearly does not challenge someone to “prove” or “disprove”. If you are like the Westburo Baptist church and take everything as a challenge, than that clearly is on you. Some folks, such as yourself and Pat Robertsons and even the late Bin Laden, I guess feel that their Faith and views can not exist while others are holding opposing views. As if it diminishes their view if there is the existence of opposing views. If this is the statement that you are seeing it as a challenge...do you see how you only took up one side? If that quote was making that a challenge to Atheist then then it would have been doing the same to the Faithful? Since I am a Faithful, why would I make such a quote?

      >>>”My whole point is, you are clearly showing an unwillingness to accept that you might be wrong, which I find disingenuous and seemingly childish to assume that you MUST be right without any foundation to base that on other than the nebulous "faith". “

      Well seeing how I am cool that Atheist, Muslim, Jews, Hindus and others might hold different views how do you hold that as childish? Heck, I am a G.W. Bush Republican that voted for Clinton. If anything the mark of maturity is to know that I can be 100% that I am right in my view but, I can respect that you feel that you are 100% in what you believe. For me that is cool. I do not need you to convert to my way of Faith for me to be happy. This is where folks like you start to scare some of us, both Faithful and those not of Faith. Now, I would like to convert you to finding a path to a peaceful coexistence with those who are not like you, but that is for another time. 🙂

      >>>”Honestly, I just want you (and Uncouth) to really think on what it means to hold to a faith so much that you are unable to admit being wrong and just how crazy that actually is.”

      Notice Chuckles.... “you want”...funny, you sure have that down pack. The statement alone is a precursor to a tantrum. You declare that you are seeking the “Truth”. That is pretty abstract, are you seeking God, or some higher state of consciousness within your own self? Are seeking doubt? The Truth, when dealing with Faith can mean different things to different people. The Truth to me might not mean the same to you. What is valid to you might appear nonsense to another. Are we to spar over such? Right now you appear to be a person with a blindfold over his or her eyes stumbling through a smoke filled building. With a scared forehead and scra'pes and bruises you feel that the only way that we can get out is to place on a blindfolds and stumble around such as yourself. You see many of us have found fulfillment in this life. We have climbed out the window, or out a attic access. While we sit outside we hear you declare that “you want” us to tell you how we got out and if we do not do it to your satisfaction we are to put our blindfolds back on and re-enter the building. I would even dare to say that some Atheist you would question how they did it and were sitting outside.

      Like I said in another response, I am one that does not have the time or real desire to challenge a Atheist on his beliefs or another denomination or Faiths beliefs. I did not want to go all scripture on you because if the Word does not factor into your life than it is no use explaining why my Faith is mostly unshakable. If not unshakable, the same as some of my Atheist friends here on this Blog. Since you have not questioned any Atheist on their being unshakable in their views then is it because I and us of Faith strive to be unshakable in our views that you feel negates the Atheist View? Can both exist in a open minded society?

      October 18, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Mark

      I was incredulous while reading your post, the things you assumed I said (the fact that you compared me to Bin Laden....) and the main issue that you completely ignored were all reasons why I brought up my questions in the first place and your unwillingness to answer was what made me say you were being slightly childish, NOT that you had unshakable faith.

      "The prove/disprove" question that always pops up is not, I repeat NOT, about you asking me (or any atheist for that matter) for proof. I took issue with you giving both both lack of proof and disproof equal weight, that's all. I personally believe that obviously our two opposing views can peacefully coexist (we obviously do) but you can see how one view completely invalidates the other, yes? You're doctrine that you hold to be true does not allow for you to live in peaceful coexistance with atheists, you might, but your doctrine does not (Not just atheists either, but unbelievers in general. That's just how religion works). As a side note, I know I am not a 100% atheist, I think it's prudent (and the mark of a critical mind) to never deal in absolutes and be 100% married to anything, because that's when you make the biggest mistakes.

      You're last paragraph insinuating that I was about to throw a tantrum was just absurd, it was a request for you to open your mind is all, if you think that whenever anyone starts a sentence with "I want" is about to throw a tantrum ..... well you must deal with a lot of tantrums on a daily basis. I seek truth, which I understand is different than your "Truth" because everyone has a different definition, but your analogy you then use is so disgustingly inaccurate it actually took my breath away when I read it. Not only after you have told me that you think we can coexist did you compare me to Pat Robertson and Bin Laden (I mean, really?!) but then you imply that I would throw a "tantrum" if I was running through a burning building asking for help and then not getting the answer I wanted. I'm sure that's how you see unbelievers, blind men groping for truth and when given it they turn away, which shows the height of your arrogance. I've tried to lay it all on the table and see your side, if you actually appeal to reason but what you've told me is that you think it's totally a good idea to have an shakeable, unbending faith in something you can't prove exists and base your life around it and that you want to peacefully coexists with the idiots who don't agree with you. Most of the atheists I know here (and in general) will freely admit that their views could be turned on their head today, or tomorrow, or in 5 years by any sort of event and easily accept a different world view and change with the coming tide. That's the mark of a critical, yet open mind. It is not, or at least should not, be a virtue to have unshakable faith.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Irene

      “You see many of us have found fulfillment in this life. We have climbed out the window, or out a attic access. While we sit outside we hear you declare that “you want” us to tell you how we got out and if we do not do it to your satisfaction we are to put our blindfolds back on and re-enter the building.”

      Your analogy doesn’t apply to those that don’t believe as you do. I would actually say you are the one still stuck in the smoky room lost within yourself. It’s funny how we feel that way about those that are different from us. I think the issue that gets me baffled about evangelicals is their arrogance in feeling as if they are better than others because of their belief in a non-existent deity, you got out of the smoky room, or you found the light, when in reality you really haven't. What it truly boils down to is self-love. I see people who have a need to believe in a god so they can feel good about themselves and their lives. Without a god, you wouldn’t feel special; you would be lost for lack of purpose. It’s ok that you need that crutch in your life but just because you do, doesn’t mean the rest of us need it.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • J.W

      Why do you assume that Christians do everything they do because of God? When I live my everyday life I am not thinking about whether the things I do will cause me to go to hell or heaven. I do good things because they are right, and do not do bad things because they are wrong. Just because I have faith does not mean it affects my everyday decisions.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Uncouth

      To your Part 1: You're not grasping my point. I'm not saying give me the only senario, I'm just asking for one, as far fetched as it may be. There are certainly other ways that could make me become a believer easily if I were to witness them, I just named a few to give you a ballpark, I only ask that you give me the same courtesy. I mean, would you convert if, lets say tomorrow a voice from the heavens, a pillar of fire, or some other godly miracle occured with the express message that god is Allah and a muslim? Would that be enough to sway you or would you still stick to your faith even when god announced otherwise?

      Part 2:
      See Part 1 response, I'm not appointing myself as the "intellectually honest" policeman, I'm just calling it like I see it. All I'm asking is a seemingly simple question that apparently you are having trouble grasping, again refer to answer one to help better clarify what my main question is.

      Part 3: "You have it that if anyone holds a faith they must be unable to be open to other possibilities. That's just plain illogical." I am indeed saying that, but it is not illogical. That's what religion is. Religion is a self-affirming creed that will not accept, under any circu;/mstance, that any other religion is right. Please, if you disagree tell me how this is not the case, show me a christian sect, or a jewish one, or a muslim one, or a hindu one, that says "we're right, but we also understand where sect B is coming from and concede they might be right" and if you do believe that another sect or religion might be right and you might be wrong, then you are the exception and aren't following church doctrine.
      "But this does not mean these ppl are stuck in that mindset and cannot see beyond it. There are some ppl that cannot see beyond their faith or science....but most can. To imply that unless they set up a rigid set of rules to get someone to believe or not to believe in something is silly and closes off the mind from many ideas that one cannot think of." – Like you've done above, it's not just seeing a muslim and saying "I understand they believe in Allah and Muhammed, that Mecca is the holy of holies, etc...", it's truely understanding that they might be right and you might be dead wrong ..... which is something strictly in the arena of science and not in religion. I don't make the rules here, that's something that's self-imposed on all religions as a self-preservation technique, just the same as the bible saying that it's true and that atheists are fools.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      It's more of a mix between what church doctrine is (though we've discussed it enough that I know you aren't exactly the most church goingest, ardent believer out there) and your world view. You don't have to add god into the equation to still see how religion (or lack thereof) affects daily decisions even if you don't concisously take it into account.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • J.W

      Oh I go to church. I still consider myself strong in my faith. I just try to look at the world from the other points of view as well. I will look at things almost from an atheist point of view at times to make sure I understand both sides. I like to try to analyze the Bible more critically like by saying well most people think that this passage means this, but what if it means this. A lot of Christians think they know what the author was saying in each passage of the Bible, but what if they are wrong, and the author meant something completely different? Unless you see things from multiple sides you may not know the truth.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      I 100% agree and if only more religious people in general were like you it would cause more dialogue and allow christianity (and other religions) to have more flexibility instead of the current rigidity that presently pervades it. But you are the exception to the rule because you do this, and you know as well as I that people will defend to the death a specific interpretation of the bible, or Quran, or Torah because they are 100% sure it means a certain way and it couldn't possibly mean something else. I would argue though (and what's the point on coming on this forum even we just agreed with one another all the time) that how you read the bible, or at least how you just said you read certain passages, is more of a way to critically read a piece of literature and not a holy text. Generally, with fundamental policies and ideas set in the bible doesn't it HAVE to be intrepreted in only one way and by looking at it critically and wondering the true intention of the author instead of just the statement laid out, doesn't that imply that either a) the bible is wrong b) the religion intrepreting the bible is wrong and so there shouldn't be a specific authority because of mans fallibility or c) Both A and B?

      October 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • J.W

      I do think that some of various church doctrine does rely on interpretation of passages. Birth control for example, they say is because God said be fruitful and multiply, but I say that we do not really need to multiply anymore, population has grown too much as it is, we have been fruitful enough. As far as the Bible being wrong on matters of faith, I do not think it is necessarily the Bible that is wrong, it is more the interpretation that is wrong, or not looking at things within context. As for having a central authority, I do not think there should be. I do not think that there is infallibility as far as interpreting scripture.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      But that's just it. If church doctrine could be more flexible and adapt to the society its in rather than forcing society adapt to it, then the well reasoned arguement of why we need population control before food shortages and disease become a global epidemic would make sense and churches could start telling people to slow down in the kids thing, to practice safe se.x instead of just abstinence, but instead the bible says "be fruitful and multiply" so even though at this point that's literally a death wish, the church (whatever church you choose, unless again, there are some churches that are exceptions, not the norm) stares the coming danger straight in the face and then holds up the bible as an argument why population control should be ignored.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • J.W

      As far as birth control and contraception, I think it is mainly the Catholic church and maybe a couple of more conservative Protestant churches that are holding to that, although most churches do say abortion is wrong.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Fred

      @Fred:” answered prayer on a regular basis…. would it not qualify as proof that the principles of Jesus work every time when applied?”
      No I can guarantee you this is not proof that it works every time. For example,
      My own personal experience is that praying to god is no more effective then wishing on a star. Some prayers, like for an amputee to regrow a limb, are never answered for anyone, ever. No valid test has ever shown prayer to do anything supernatural.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Chuckles- "You're not grasping my point. I'm not saying give me the only senario, I'm just asking for one, as far fetched as it may be. There are certainly other ways that could make me become a believer easily if I were to witness them, I just named a few to give you a ballpark, I only ask that you give me the same courtesy."

      ~If you felt the need to give scenerios that no one asked for, that's on you. I don't see the need to give any specific scenerio just because you felt the need to give some.

      "I mean, would you convert if, lets say tomorrow a voice from the heavens, a pillar of fire, or some other godly miracle occured with the express message that god is Allah and a muslim? Would that be enough to sway you or would you still stick to your faith even when god announced otherwise?"

      ~You are ignoring a little thing called experience. If the above scenerio happens, I'll let you know what I feel about it. Until then, it's just guesswork.

      "I'm not appointing myself as the "intellectually honest" policeman, I'm just calling it like I see it."

      ~Good.

      "All I'm asking is a seemingly simple question that apparently you are having trouble grasping, again refer to answer one to help better clarify what my main question is."

      ~Careful on the ad hominum there. I fully "grasp" what you have been asking. There is however, no logical reason to guess about possible scenerios and how one might react to them. Their are too many variables.

      "I am indeed saying that, but it is not illogical. That's what religion is. Religion is a self-affirming creed that will not accept, under any circu;/mstance, that any other religion is right."

      ~No, that is your opinion and you are taking the term religion and trying to put those of that religion into it as if the terms are interchangable. They are not. A religion may have a creed that says one thing but those of that faith very much have the ability to change or adapt.

      "Please, if you disagree tell me how this is not the case, show me a christian sect, or a jewish one, or a muslim one, or a hindu one, that says "we're right, but we also understand where sect B is coming from and concede they might be right" and if you do believe that another sect or religion might be right and you might be wrong, then you are the exception and aren't following church doctrine."

      ~I've known many Christians that accept Jewish ppl's views as just as good as theirs. Actually...in Hindu practice revolving around Bhrama, all religions are treated as equal.

      "Like you've done above, it's not just seeing a muslim and saying "I understand they believe in Allah and Muhammed, that Mecca is the holy of holies, etc...", it's truely understanding that they might be right and you might be dead wrong ..... which is something strictly in the arena of science and not in religion."

      ~Again..careful of the fallacies. You and I disagree on the very nature of mankind I think. You seem, sorry if I am wrong, to think that mankind needs to be open to all possibilities equally at the same time. That doesn't fly..even in science. Scientists put together a theory and test it out to see if it works. That happens with ppl and their faith too, though obviously more on a personal level. Ppl that go with a certain faith do so because it seems correct to them and test that faith out in their lives. They are most certainly open to possibilities. If not, we wouldn't have as many atheists as we do today.

      "I don't make the rules here, that's something that's self-imposed on all religions as a self-preservation technique, just the same as the bible saying that it's true and that atheists are fools."

      ~Not a literalist, so that doesn't go with me. And if you think one has to give a scenerio or they are being dishonest, then you might need to re-examine your own views on rule making.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Uncouth

      Ok, I know I fall into some fallacies every so often (who doesn't, especially on a forum like this?) But I try to stay away as much as possible. I stated some specific senarios because from what I keep coming back to is many people state generalities "like I'll believe god when I see proof he exists" but that "proof" always seems out of reach and such a nebulous term because then, like one poster fred and other believers alike, will come back and say, well I got proof for you right here! God's answered my prayers before and the bible! that's proof too! I was simply being more specific about the sort of proof I expect to see before I give my life over to god, or allah and so on, I assumed (incorrectly) that the other side would hold to the rhubrick and when they always cite "you can't disprove gods existance" I honestly don't understand what that means, so I guess my question really comes down to, what does disproof of gods existance look like? Now this is directed more at Mark and others and less at you because I've seen you post a couple of times that asking for disproof doesn't fly (and rightly so). Perhaps, you understand better than I though that when a believer askes for disproof in god, what that would even look like? (which is basically my original question of what senario, if any would make you believe you are wrong). I also understand that dealing in hypotheticals is all but pointless because you don't know your reaction to something until it actually happens, but you know yourself well enough to at least hazard a guess right?

      I do however have to roundly disagree with you that religions will recognize other religions as being on equal footing. Why I generalize when I talk about christian doctrine and say christians do XYZ is because I can't continually cite specific examples because I never know if they are the rule of the exception to that rule. I have to as.sume until I'm overwhelmingly proved differently that if someone identifies as a christian (and doesn't give even a sect) that they agree with basic christian doctrine and churches official stances on the social issues at hand. If you can tell me why this is wrong and why i should as.sume that although church doctrine says one thing, a majority of christians feel differently, I'll change my view.
      "I've known many Christians that accept Jewish ppl's views as just as good as theirs." Whether you can cite a specific example of this is irrelevant, the major schism between christianity and judaism is that judaism does not accept jesus christ as lord and savior, christians do and believe they are right. It's because of this schism that both religions, regardless of how understanding they can be towards one another, believe themselves to be right and the other religion downright wrong. That immediatly disqualifies them being on equal footing, and if you, or if you think a majority of christians feel differently, then I haven't seen it (growing up jewish and still tapped into the community myself, I know at least on this end no one exactly sees christians as possibly being right and judaism being wrong).

      "to think that mankind needs to be open to all possibilities equally at the same time." – This is wrong, sorry if I led you to think differently that I thought this way. What I think is that people, regardless of faith should be open to all possibilities, as unlikely as they might be but NOT equally weighted (which is my major issue with Mark in the above post). For the most part believers and nonbelievers alike do hold this, but it's science that can be presented with proof of a very unlikely possibility actually being true and change, update itself. It's religion (not every single individual mind you) and religious doctrine that is rigid in this and is the reason why the church persecuted scientists so vehemetly in the past and to this day still villify science. Now, thats not saying you personally do, or even that your friends do, but religious doctrine does and I have to assume that people who agree with a religion and its doctrine either reject scientific advance and theories in favor of their religion, or do mental acrobatics to reconcile the two even though there's nothing in the bible that states otherwise that current science can actually be reconciled religion.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Oh..most def I never like the proving the negative arguments. One cannot prove the negative but I do believe one can prove the implied alternative viewpoint. Meaning, if one tells someone to prove that God does not exist..what they should be saying is for that person to prove that God was a created human concept and can be proven by showing who created the concept, where, how and why with evidence.

      I am def a individualist when it comes to faith. I never like to take group generalities and apply that to the individual.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Ok, now THAT's the answer I was looking for. Just to clarify,, you're telling me you would begin to at least question your faith ( I know you woulnd't know unless it happens, but humor me) if someone were to uncover empircal proof showing that the bible is supposed to be a work of fiction and not, at any point, supposed to be taken as a true historical account?

      "I am def a individualist when it comes to faith. I never like to take group generalities and apply that to the individual." which is understandable and I applaud you for it, however isn't that what religion is sort of supposed to do? Same thing with nationalism. The international community has a specific idea of what Americans are like, even though only 10% of the american pop. has passports, and only a percentage of that actually travels further than mexico or canada, and yet the label is slapped on to every american because of the landmass I happen to live on and decide to support. What I mean to say is, although its a good thing to judge everything on a case by case basis instead of sticking a group generality on a person, doesn't accepting the label "christian" instead of calling yourself a "follower of christ" mean you accept everything that goes along with that ti.tle?

      October 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • J.W

      I like that answer Uncouth. I think I have probably tried to say that before, but could not think of how to say it. I guess there are people on here who are just better with words than me.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • fred

      Fred
      You are correct in that during my lifetime I have not seen a limb grow back. In my experience every answer to prayer involved something that a non beliver would say was just luck or a very improbable event. Please do not give up if Jesus has not answered a prayer. Prayer is more a conversation with God where miracles seem to of significant purpose to Glorify God. In that conversation (prayer) when it is of a broken and contrite heart the Bible says God will hear. Have another time of prayer with Jesus and ask how that prayer was answered. Be still long enough to get a response.

      October 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Chuckles- since I am humoring you...then yes...that could be a possiblity if it ever happened. of course though, I am not a Biblical Literalist to begin with so that might not be the best possible theoretical example.
      As for Christian labels and whatnot...those that decide to rely on group generalities to judge individuals are the ones with a problem. If someone says they are Christian (and the topic is being discussed) I might ask them what they believe in specifically. I wouldn't just make an as_sumption they believe a certain way. Same for all manner of beliefs or even non-beliefs.
      "Christian" is a pretty va_gue term if one knows about all the differing beliefs and such. I wouldn't recommend anyone to make judgements on a person on such a va_gue term. Even more specific faiths like Mormons can have a lot of varying beliefs. Maybe it's just me but while one might use a term like Christian as a stepping stone in knowing about a person...it would be unadvisable to use that as a main critieria.

      @J.W- Thanks.

      October 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      So are we here going back to worshipping Multi Gods? A Christan God,a Jewish God, a Muslim God and I suppose other faiths Gods ??! Wonder why never heard those Gods fight and try to take the kingdoms of each other?
      Waw we left back Abrahams GOD the only GOD for more varieties....guess this is the fashion now a days?

      Well I would rather stick to One GOD the GOD of Abraham, Moses,Jesus,Muhammed and all...

      October 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • tallulah13

      If lack of proof doesn't convince you Swain, then you must also believe in every god that ever existed, alien abduction and the Loch Ness monster. You must also believe in unicorns, vampires and in Hogwarts. You must believe in everything your told, Swain!

      October 21, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @tallulah13- If lack of proof doesn't convince you Swain,"

      My faith is not based in lack of proof.
      Are your beliefs in this life based on lack of proof?

      But plz...keep going with your field of straw men if you wish.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  3. singe

    "What is so scary about America’s evangelical Christians?"

    Well, they're delusional. They believe in magical beings. It's irrational. They reject science and rational thought, despite using what science and rational thought has provided them.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @singe- No more irrational than you believing that someone loves you.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Uncouth Swain,
      I don't think that follows. You have other people's behavior and words on which to base thinking that they love you or not. Whether they actually do is another matter, if that is what you are getting at. Currently, one cannot know what another person is actually thinking or feeling. That will likely change though with advances in neurology and other sciences.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Nonimus- "You have other people's behavior and words on which to base thinking that they love you or not."

      Every possibility that can be given can have a counter other than love.

      "Currently, one cannot know what another person is actually thinking or feeling. That will likely change though with advances in neurology and other sciences."

      Perhaps, but that kind of hope in science is irrational. Meaning, even if some machine says that someone loves you...you would still have to have faith that is accurate. That's a funny thing about belief...even when it is true...you still have to believe in it to make it real to you.
      Normally I bring up this concept when atheists ask for ppl to prove God exists. Everything that a person of faith brings up the atheist will shoot down and pat themselves on the back for doing it. I bring up this because everyone I ever met has felt they were loved by someone at sometime. However...no one has yet to be able to prove it. I will admit I find it satisfying when atheists (not meaning all) think it will be something easy to do and get really frustrated when they fail.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Fred

      @ Uncouth Swain: “everyone I ever met has felt they were loved by someone at sometime. However...no one has yet to be able to prove it.” No I can’t definitively prove I’ve been loved just like you can’t definitively prove your god exists. But I have lots of testable, verifiable, falsifiable evidence that I’ve been loved Unlike you who has no testable, verifiable, falsifiable evidence that your god exists

      October 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @fred-"But I have lots of testable, verifiable, falsifiable evidence that I’ve been loved Unlike you who has no testable, verifiable, falsifiable evidence that your god exists"

      Being testable does not make something anymore real or false. You have nothing that is verifiable in regards to whether you are loved. Now you might have evidence that is false, I'll give you that.
      I have yet to really say what I believe, so forgive me if I think you have no idea what you are talking about. As for the topic of faith...it's not science so you should quit trying to test it with science. It's no more logical than for me to ask you how much love there is in a piece of DNA or how much hope is in your eyeball.
      One should not ask scientific proof for spiritual questions anymore than a person should ask for spiritual proof in the realm of science.

      October 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  4. Meeehhh

    I'm pro-life. However, I don't agree with people becoming violent or taking away choice. If you want to take a stand against these things, participate in Silent Solidarity day or go to a walk rather than being violent and hateful.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      See...a rational and good point of view. It would be nice of the pro-choice ppl to acknowledge that.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • John Richardson

      So acknowledged!

      October 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  5. BoldGeorge

    True Evangelical Christians are just as dangerous as the aborted fetuses/babies. Here are a couple of similarities:

    – Aborted babies will never have a chance to choose, speak for or against anything and most times are considered a future burden.
    – Christians are never listened to, society has us as a heavy bothersome burden and there will come a time (soon) that we won't be able to speak for or against anything.

    October 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Quit your yammering. Why do Christians think it appropriate to carry on like crybabies, even as they call themselves "bold" or "defenders"?

      In any event. no one has taken away the free speech or voting rights of christians. No non-lunatic is advocating that the free speech and voting rights of christians be taken away. But when christians state their often hideous agenda items, other people who have those same free speech and voting rights will speak out and vote the other way. And yes, when there are legitimate questions of whether a given a law const-itutes tyranny of the majority, we will take that law to court to have it overturned in accordance with const-itional practice and traditions, which is another right that christians also have and which no non-lunatic is seeking to take away from them.

      October 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • DefenderofLife

      John Richardson..........."Quit your yammering. Why do Christians think it appropriate to carry on like crybabies, even as they call themselves "bold" or "defenders"?"
      We carry on for the babies snuffed out in or partially out of the womb who can't speak for themselves and who's mother's obviously are not speaking out for the babies rights to life. The babies that you are voting to kill before they can have a voice. You have taken their free speech away and their right to vote away so come again with your lunatic logic! It seems to me that is exactly what you are doing is crying for the free speech of unborn children and christians to be silenced. Hideous?, you want to see hideous, have you ever witnesses an abortion in the womb or a partial birth abortion? YOU NEED TO then you will know what hideous is. But you don't want to see that do you. You want to close you eyes and yell about your rights while children are dismembered. Go witness what you support then get back with me.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • John Richardson

      You obviously missed my earlier posts in which I stated my own significant moral discomforts with abortion. But I also consider it one of the more obvious facts of life that "police and prison" solutions to social ills seldom work as advertised and often make things horribly worse. I also note that few anti-abortion activists can say with a straight face that they've done anything significant to help stem the flood of unwanted pregnancies or furthered the cause of adoption. My heart would love to be unabashedly pro-life. My head knows that my heart should be careful what it wishes for. In these sorts of cases, I tend to go with my head and try to find my heart some constructive activity to work on.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DefenderofLife

      Abortion is an important part of the family planning toolbox.

      If abortion is illegal, women will seek back alley remedies.

      We, as a society, must take away as many of the reasons women seek abortions as possible.
      We need to make adoption easier and make it financially possible for a woman to keep and care for her baby.

      Obama has a program to do this. More needs to be done, but with the Republicans controlling the House, funds won't be forthcoming. But, there may be money appropriated, to force women to carry a child conceived by ra_pe or incest to term. If the product of incest is born with webbed feet...well, it is all part of god's great plan. Like babies born without brains...

      Most of all, we need to make birth control available free of charge, to all women. The health care bill passed in 2010 (Obamacare) does this. We need to educate the women on these birth control methods. Remember, the best way to prevent an abortion, is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

      Psalm 127:3 – Children are a gift of the LORD

      Hmm... Well, the bible says it, so I believe it. Children are god's gift!

      Notice how god doesn't check to see if a woman is capable of raising a child, before he gives a baby to them?

      Women in p_oor countries bear children, only to have them die, because Mom has no food.

      Women addicted to drugs are given babies, when they are totally incapable of taking care of themselves, much less a child.

      Girls who are babies themselves, are blessed with a baby they don't want. Why are babies given to women who don't want them?

      If god would be more careful with giving out gifts/babies, abortion wouldn't be needed.

      The Christian god is said to be all knowing (Omniscient). If this is true, then god would know the gift (a child), that He is giving, will die.

      And remember, there are a lot of women, who god refuses His gift. They would be overjoyed with god's gift. No abortions in their homes!

      God works in mysterious ways. It's almost as if He doesn't exist... I guess He is just really, really hidden.

      We should start real $ex education in school. Not abstinence only. Real education about the use of birth control. The Religious Right wants only abstinence taught. But then again, the Religious Right wants the kids to learn about talking snakes and trees that impart knowledge and eternal life. *sigh*

      We will never totally eradicate abortions. Only a god could do that, and he either does not care, or does not exist.

      Cheers!

      October 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Christians are never listened to"

      There is no demographic more historically downtrodden than the white, Christian, land-owning male in America.
      Never has there been a president who fit that description.
      Indeed, they weren't even allowed to vote until 1797.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"No non-lunatic is advocating that the free speech and voting rights of christians be taken away. But when christians state their often hideous agenda items, other people who have those same free speech and voting rights will speak out and vote the other way. "

      Did you ever think that is where we are today. Both sides putting such issues to a vote, one side winning and one side losing the vote, with the losing side going to the courts to get their way.

      What makes me laugh when I come here are some of the people who post with the charge that their side are the white knights and the other side are the under the bridge trolls but, when they open their mouths or put text to blog, their words and tone are the same as those they oppose. John, while you resort to labeling them as "lunatics" that must be stopped... at the war camp on the other side of the battlefield they are labeling folks like you as condoning murder and the worst forms of life on the planet.

      Abortion, the argument and debate are not settled. Each side has dug in and I will even garner that both sides have moral and intelligent motivations for their view. So while I am very much Pro-Life I can understand a person being Pro-Choice. I am also Anti-Death penalty so I am not a big fan of some of my Republican friends.

      John, here is a question. As technology advances, the ability to have a child removed from his mothers womb and be kept alive by medical tech, moves earlier and earlier in the pregnancy, do you think that will be a factor in many pro-Choice members views? Basically, when the term "late-term abortion" moves closer and closer to conception, would that change your view?

      >>>"We should start real $ex education in school. Not abstinence only. Real education about the use of birth control. The Religious Right wants only abstinence taught."

      David, "abstinence only" s'ex education I do not believe should be the only type taught in the public schools but I think there should absolutely be a opt-out option for parents who desire such. I do believe that there are parents who are concerned about other issues that come along with s'ex education classes that parents have voiced that the would prefer to teach their children themselves. Issues such as LGBT issues that many on the fundamental side of Faith would see as the school system pushing a lifestyle that they have deemed as wrong. Another issue is in at what grade level should s'ex education be taught. While there are some parents that are cool with s'ex education in the school they may not agree that it is appropriate at the Middle School, Elementary or Kindergarten level.

      These are I feel, a major issue for some of Faith might have with the subject of s'ex education and it is a bit more than just a desire for a abstinence only class.

      l'Chaim

      October 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Mark writes:

      >Did you ever think that is where we are today. Both sides putting such issues to a vote, one side winning and
      >one side losing the vote, with the losing side going to the courts to get their way.

      Um, it's where we've been since the first elections and the first cases in which the Supreme Court invalidated some laws passed by Congress, back in the very early 1800s, if I recall correctly. It's not a bad place to be compared to where many, many societies are, let alone where they have been in the course of history.

      >John, while you resort to labeling them as "lunatics" that must be stopped... at the war camp on the other side of the
      >battlefield they are labeling folks like you as condoning murder and the worst forms of life on the planet.

      You do realize that the people I was referring to as lunatics here are people like kimsland (who in another thread advocated bombing Mecca during the Hajj), The Brown Note (who has advocated a legislative ban religion) and a handful of other "aggressive atheist miscreants. You see, after saying that Christians still have free speech and voting rights, I was going to say "and no one is advocating that Christians lose these rights", but then I remembered the aforementioned lunatics. So I changed that to "no non-lunatic advocates that these rights be taken away from Christians" and I stand by my characterization. Some things really are just plain out of bounds.

      Abortion, the argument and debate are not settled. Each side has dug in and I will even garner that both sides have moral and intelligent motivations for their view. So while I am very much Pro-Life I can understand a person being Pro-Choice. I am also Anti-Death penalty so I am not a big fan of some of my Republican friends.

      John, here is a question. As technology advances, the ability to have a child removed from his mothers womb and be kept alive by medical tech, moves earlier and earlier in the pregnancy, do you think that will be a factor in many pro-Choice members views? Basically, when the term "late-term abortion" moves closer and closer to conception, would that change your view?

      October 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Whoops! Forgot to trim the rest of what I was quoting from you, Mark! Anyway, I can't say that I'm terribly comfortable with the idea of fetuses on life support being brought to term in lieu of abortion. Who pays for this? Who has charge the the babies once they really are babies? Abortion is a gray enough business w/o ultra modern science stretching viability. The question is: Is this the sort of problem that we want police, prosecutors and prison guards working on, or are there better ways to make abortion become rarer, hopefully substantially so? I vote for "other ways".

      October 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  6. rational human being

    I am a formerly Jewish atheist. I am (at this time) anti-abortion. It is simply a human rights issue. Until consciousness and/or sentience can be defined and recognized, then we are risking the actual "murder" of sentient beings. Tests must be developed such that an individual fetus may be evaluated for consciousness in order to determine if abortion is an ethical option.

    October 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • DefenderofLife

      So everyone who lies unconscious in the hospital should be aborted?

      October 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @rational human being

      You said: "I am a formerly Jewish atheist. I am (at this time) anti-abortion. It is simply a human rights issue. Until consciousness and/or sentience can be defined and recognized, then we are risking the actual "murder" of sentient beings."

      Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, consists of a review of studies conducted since 1997 on the neuroanatomical and physiological development of the fetus. It concludes that fetuses at the 24-week stage of development do not possess the wiring to transmit pain signals from the body to the brain's cortex. Even after 24 weeks, the fetus likely exists in a state of "continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation," due to the presence of chemicals such as adenosine in the surrounding amniotic fluid.

      A fetus is not a baby. It is a potential baby. It is not a human. It is a potential human.

      The bible says that life begins at first breath:

      And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7 (KJV)

      My bible says it. I believe it. End of discussion!

      Cheers!

      October 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DefenderofLife

      You said: "So everyone who lies unconscious in the hospital should be aborted?"

      No. Once a fetus is viable – can live on its own outside the mother- it has all the rights of a human. It is a human at that point (about 21 to 24 weeks.

      Anyone in a vegetative state like Terri Schiavo, should be allowed to die. Everyone should have a living will, to avoid problems in the event this condition should occur.

      You Evangelicals would execute people all day long, innocent or not, but worry about people in vegetative states and little clumps of cells? Absurd!

      Cheers!

      October 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  7. DefenderofLife

    Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son......yes, all these well educated people who's lives mean nothing, they are just here to eat, sleep and die and it means nothing. People who possess brains enough to get knocked up and say u'oh I don't want that hindering my life. Your petty insults mean nothing, when you talk you just make atheist look dumb. I pay no attention to people who have no purpose in life, just to watch their heads inflate. I just feel sorry for you, must be horrible thinking your life is no more than a blob of flesh.
    October 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm | |

    October 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • John Richardson

      If you are going to presume to call yourself the Defender of Life, maybe you should learn to respect it more. If this life means nothing more to you than it's some sort of contest to see who gets what in some afterlife, it's YOU who need to learn to cherish it more. And what is your take on the fate of all those aborted fetuses? If they get their ticket automatically punched to heaven in a way that people actually born don't, then abortion is the best thing that could have happened to them. You talk about life having a meaning and then give it a meaning that comes off like some sort of bad joke.

      October 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • DefenderofLife

      John Richardson........God is the giver an taker of life, not us. Who do you think you are to decide who's life is relevant and who's life is not. Sad that you could look at innocent children with such disgust and look at yourself as so deserving. Just goes to show how twisted and sinful the heart of man is.

      October 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • DefenderofLife

      John Richardson..........For your educational purposes.
      Fetus definition:
      unborn offspring: an unborn vertebrate at a stage when all the structural features of the adult are recognizable, especially an unborn human offspring after eight weeks of development

      October 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yo, Defender! If you want to come across as something other than just another illiterate yahoo, you might want to take the time to read what someone actually wrote and respond to THAT. I never caused any fetuses or children to be killed. I confess that I've looked at some noisy, obnoxious kids in public places with some disgust, but nowhere near as much disgust as I reserve for sanctimonious pinheads who can't be bothered to understand where someone is actually coming from before lobbing the high and mighty denunciations. And what exactly did I say I deserve? How about going back and reading what I actually wrote and trying it all over again?

      October 18, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • John Richardson

      And when you say that god is the giver or taker of life, not us, what does THAT mean? Did god kill Osama bin Ladin or was it a contingent of navy seals? Did god kill 3000 people in 9/11 or was it al qaeda?

      October 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • DefenderofLife

      John Richardson...........I'll go one better.
      "And what is your take on the fate of all those aborted fetuses? If they get their ticket automatically punched to heaven in a way that people actually born don't, then abortion is the best thing that could have happened to them." Here you state abortion as best for the child. NOT YOUR CALL! Your support of abortion causes them to be killed. You're a bit noisy and obnoxious yourself and your opinion of me means nothing! it's obvious where you were coming from "PRO-CHOICE" An opinion of the lives of children who don't deserve an opinion in their own life that's what you say you deserve and you don't!
      Don't care to read it again it's disgustingly selfish!

      October 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • DefenderofLife

      John Richardson......................."And when you say that god is the giver or taker of life, not us, what does THAT mean? Did god kill Osama bin Ladin or was it a contingent of navy seals? Did god kill 3000 people in 9/11 or was it al qaeda?"
      He's the only one with the right to give and take life. This world is full of murderers and their supporters.
      God will have the final say and right and wrong, not you!

      October 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • John Richardson

      OK, so you are saying that the navy seals are murderers who arrogated for themselves a right that only god has.

      Be that as it may, I myself haven't killed anyone and don't claim any right at all, let alone any special right given only to me, to decide who lives and dies. I do, however, recognize some acts of war as justified and, to the chagrin of some of my more pacifist friends, came out openly in support of the assassination of Bin Laden. It's not a tactic to be used too frequently or too casually, but this was an extraordinary case in which lethal force was justified, in my opinion.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Wow, are you ever dense, Defender. I don't think fetuses or anyone else go to heaven. I was pointing out the absurdity of those who do acting like they are the saviors of the unborn when they insist all fetuses be brought to term, even though that means that many will lose their automatic ticket to heaven. Christians are always incoherent on this issue, eg believing that tribespeople who never heard of christ cannot be damned, but tribespeople who have heard of christ and rejected the message will be damned, and yet, even though the people preached to have nothing to gain and everything to lose by hearing "the word", the missionaries spread out over the whole earth like vermin to spread the word anyway. It's creepy and incoherent at the same time.

      In any case, correct, the decision to abort a fetus or not is not mine. It's not yours, either.

      And you appear to be one of bazoodles of christians who didn't answer my question about what you are doing to stem the plague of unwanted pregnancies and to encourage adoption.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • DefenderofLife

      ohn Richardson........."OK, so you are sayin........" I'm saying that God is the Judge and God will Judge and that there are murders in every aspect of life including military and God knows whether the deaths are justified as justifiable military casualties or murder. Justified and wrongful death occurs in war and only they and God know. You are killing children when you vote to allow it. Sorry, but it's time you wake up to the responsibility and blood on your hands when you put politicians in office that allow abortion. You're right about one thing, it is your opinion, you have no inside information and as much as it appears that the killing was justified only God and Obama knows the truth and whether it was done legally or illegally. My concern is the innocent children who have done NOTHING to deserve the horrific end they receive. Bin Laden was not dismembered. How can he deserve better than a beautiful precious innocent child who has harmed no one?

      October 18, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • John Richardson

      DoL writes: "Justified and wrongful death occurs in war and only they and God know."

      Only who and god know? And if someone is brought in on war crimes, who sits as judge? The person who did the deed and god? I don't think that system would work.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • DefenderofLife

      ohn Richardson........"Wow, are you ever dense, Defender. I don't think fetuses or anyone else go to heaven." Again, YOU DON'T THINK. The savior is Jesus Christ is he is the one who insists "Thou Shall Not Kill." If God wanted to keep them in Heaven he would not have sent them to their earthly mother. If I'm wrong according to you I've got nothing to lose, but if you're wrong, which you are, you have everything to lose. I encourage you to adopt instead of advocating children's deaths.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • No Life Offender

      Talking to John Richardson and atheists alike is like talking to a parrot. While saving them from falling down that bottomless pit of misery and despair is like saving a spilled milk on the floor. Either way doesn't make sense and a such a waste of energy as well as space on this board.

      October 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DefenderofLife

      There is no Jesus. God is very unlikely.

      Cheers!

      October 18, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • J.W

      Why do you think the atheists come on here? Their life is so full of misery and despair that when they see Christians on here they see some glimmer of hope.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @David-"There is no Jesus. God is very unlikely."

      Actually you are in error. Jesus is a historical figure. The majority of historians support this. Unless you want to ignore all of the experts to support your opinion. Of course you knocked ppl down all the time when they do such a thing.

      Shalom!

      October 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Defender You need to read up on the history of abortion both in this country and elsewhere. Connecticut was the first state with an anti-abortion law, and that wasn't until 1821 and only outlawed abortions after "quickening".

      As for your faith in Pascal wager, it remains a fallacy. If you are wrong and the Muslims are right, you are going to hell. Forever. It's not just your god vs no god. It's every possible god vs no god.

      If you are right that there is a god and it's a personal god, but she judges people according to things other than devotion to the stories in a book poorly cobbled together by various ancient political interests, then I'll be happy to take my chances.

      If you are right that the real god is the god of the bible but the jehovah's witnesses are right on the details, you lose again.

      If I am right, you have been squandering the one life you will ever have on a fable. You might be no worse off in death, but, as I said in the start of this discussion, you should have more respect for life itself.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Defender And don't squawk at me because of the absurdities of your religion. According to perfectly standard fare Christian doctrine, those who die unborn never go to hell, many who are born do and all sins, including murder, are washed away in the blood of the lamb if you accept Jesus. So bump off the fetus, repent and accept Jesus and you'll be posing for family portraits in heaven forever! No biggee at all!

      Do I think that's a completely insane, genuinely horrifying theology/philosophy? Of course. But you guys are beholden to believe it. It's no one's fault but your own that you stake your faith in a theology that is so easily reduced to absurdity on inspection.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @JW There are very few Christians anywhere, let alone on this blog, whose life and life outlook I find anything less than utterly repellent. People like Defender are downright depressing in their severely limited ability to appreciate real life.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @No Life Offender Anyone ever tell you that you're kinda cute when your raging about impotently? Didn't think so.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Fred

      @J.W.: “Why do you think the atheists come on here? Their life is so full of misery and despair that when they see Christians on here they see some glimmer of hope.” No, just trying to inject a little truth and light into the blackness of what passes for Christian though

      October 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wrong again, fred. We come on here because A) Free speech is a right guaranteed by the Const.itution, B) We don't want your lies to go unchallenged. Silence equals approval, and we truly don't approve of baseless nonsense and C) It's just so darned funny to wind you up and read what lies you make up to defend your faith.

      October 21, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  8. Brother Maynard

    Mr Mohler sez:
    "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."
    Hmm - So IF the 'vast majority' are NOT attempting to create a theocracy ...that means that there ARE some evangelicals that ARE attempting to create a theocracy, AND that these evangelicals are dangerous. This is what I will fight against. My questions is why aren't the VAST MAJORITY also fighting against these Theocratic evangelicals. By doing nothing ... you are agreeing to what they say / do

    October 18, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • BoldGeorge

      Are you a muslim extremist? Because that last line "By doing nothing ... you are agreeing to what they say / do" sure does sound like it.

      By doing nothing can imply a lot of things. It can imply laziness, carelessness, fearfulness, or just plain so what.

      October 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      BoldGeorge-
      I hold Muslims to the same standard as Xtians. When NON-extremist Muslims say nothing/ do nothing when one of their brothers ( for lack of a better word ) blow up a coffee shop in the name of allah ... they are condoning ( sp? ) it.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  9. Pointe

    Dr Mohler,

    Excellant!!
    What is it worth if it can't ruffle a few feathers to get the message across?

    October 18, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  10. voter

    these radical fundamentalist [insert religion here] are destroying the world, not just america. We just happen to have mostly christians doing it here in our country. The majority (christians) are well known for suppressing the minority historically. Does christians silencing large sections of our country mean they are stiffling freedom? i think so. Does this make them dangerous? i think so.

    October 18, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • C. Smith

      Any majority in any part of the world is well known for repressing any minority that disagrees with them. Atheists included. The problem you detail isn't a problem with religions, but a problem with people. The only way to solve it is to get rid of all the people. I hope you aren't suggesting we try that.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • singe

      @C. Smith

      Um, atheists aren't in the majority.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @singe

      Leave him alone! I like the way he thinks.

      Cheers!

      October 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  11. hero blue

    The problem here is that secular voices seem drowned out by the evangelicals. The dangers come when people who believe some of the more radical evangelical voices we find trouble. When for instance someones takes their religious belief in to congress and limits abortion rights because of a spiritual belief we have a problem. I agree the world is not being flipped upside down by the evangelicals but it is more of a slow rising flood. Secularist want to do something about it before the water is at our necks. When people question well established science based on faith and then go out of their way to build theme parks dedicated to creationism it's no wonder under these conditions people who are secular are starting to raise alarm. Another thing we should be concerned about is the rhetoric about God in this GOP primary it's one thing to believe but as L.Z. gunderson said in a recent article we are one step closer to saying vote for me or burn in hell. Secularist are not screaming to high heaven to drown out the others but only to be heard.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • David Johnson

      @hero blue

      Well said!

      Cheers to you!

      October 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @hero blue- I like how you presented your point of view and agree with much of it. I will say that while the Christian voting bloc does get more attention...they are the majority. I am not saying that other ppl's pov should ever be ignored but if the nation is persistent on being ruled by the majority...it's something we have to deal with.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Right wing evangelicals are NOT the majority. Evangelicals altogether are about 25-30% of the population and not all of them are anywhere near as far right as Mohler, though many are and some of course are even farther to the right.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"When for instance someones takes their religious belief in to congress and limits abortion rights because of a spiritual belief we have a problem. "

      The problem is where do you draw the line. If a person is Gay or Lesbian and go to Congress or a person from the Military goes to the White House...we would expect that a bit of that peice of their lives would factor into their voting record.

      Do you remember Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor comments:

      "...our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases…I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement..... Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life."

      While you state that you would not want some one of Faith in elected office, you are making the same argument that a person who is anti-LGBT has for not wanting someone such as Barney Frank into office.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Right wing evangelicals are NOT the majority."

      True..but I was speaking about Christianity as a whole.

      October 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Well said, HB.

      October 21, 2011 at 12:21 am |
  12. VinoBianco

    I would honestly be more comfortable with an Atheist president – isn't it better to do good because it's the right thing to do rather than doing good to get into heaven or to please a mythical man in the sky? Things get dangerous when people think they know what "god" wants – how about good fo the sake of good for a change?

    October 18, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Lance

      Christians are not called to do good in order to get to heaven, nor even to please our Heavenly Father (in the sense of "please" meaning to earn His acceptance). Christ has been good on our behalf. We trust in His righteousness, not our own. We do good to bring glory to our good God, who has saved us, not on the basis of what we have done, but on the basis of the One who lived a perfect life and died the death we deserve. We seek to "let our light shine before humanity, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven."
      We deserve none of His goodness to us, yet He has been pleased to offer it to us. We are not "good" people, we are forgiven people, adopted into God's family, by grace (not works), through faith (in Him, not ourselves).
      Soli Deo Gloria.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • TCH

      evangelicals don't do good to get into heaven or to please God. according the Bible, we know that good works CAN NOT get us into heaven or earn God's acceptance. we do good because we already have God's acceptance through Jesus Christ and we want to share the love that He has shown us with others.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Free

      Lance
      Ah, but what if you died and found that EVERYONE ended up in heaven, regardless of what they did or believed in life? Regardless of how much you downplay heaven's role as the carrot within Christianity (with hell as the stick) most Christians still view it as 'going to their reward', where they expect to be among other 'good' Christians, right?

      October 18, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  13. Doc Vestibule

    What fate awaits a child given up for adoption?

    In the United States, there are approximately 150,000 children in foster homes. They are the "lucky" ones who find families to adopt them.
    Kids in foster care have been proven to have vastly increased rates of depression, ADD, PTSD, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, incarceration, homelessness, drug abuse, poverty, and suicide.
    Three quaters of foster children will never complete high school.
    Johns Hopkins University found that the rate of se.xual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population; in group homes, the rate of se.xual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population.

    KNowing the fate that likely awaits an unwanted child, would you still force a woman to carry it to term?

    October 18, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Free

      Come on Doc, you know as well as I that pro-life is more about forcing a definition of morality upon society than it is about 'saving babies', right? You don't suspect for a moment, do you, that even if every one of them could be found a loving home immediately these very same faithful wouldn't be speaking out against people adopting out their unwanted children with arguments in favor of them being raised by their 'natural' parents? No, what I suspect they are hoping for is a return of the good old days when the shame and fear of having to raise a child out of wedlock, or go to a back ally doctor, will keep women in their place.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Robert

      Why don't you ask one of the grown children or adults who was not aborted if their mother made the right decision to keep them. What if YOU were in that position of being the child in the womb?

      October 18, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "What if YOU were in that position of being the child in the womb"

      As a blastocyst, I would have no cognition and therefore no opinion.
      But how about you ask that question to the 4,000 or so foster kids who committed suicide last year?

      October 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Free

      Robert
      Why not ask your mom why she didn't go out with that geeky boy in high school who ended up making a fortune with his tech company so that he could have been your dad, or why not ask your grandparents why they didn't move to California that time so that you could have eventually grown up near Hollywood? Who knows, if they had you could have been a movie star now, right? I'm sure that you'll find lots of "What If's" if you question your ancestors closely enough. What makes a decision like this by your mother any different?

      October 19, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  14. Mirosal

    John ... you can change the law about abortion. It's easy. You can become President, and appoint a new Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade (good luck with Senate confirmation though), or convince 38 state legislatures to approve an amendment to the Consti.tution. See... easy as the pie fetish Mr. Galt seems to have. By the way, I read that book, kept falling asleep reading it.

    October 18, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      You and I both know that people like John Galt are the ones likely beating their wives and children in to submission. He has no respect for women or he'd never say the crap he does. He is an uneducated as the slime at the bottom of the ocean.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • Mirosal

      You're assuming that somewhere there's a woman who would actually claim to be associated with him, let alone her letting him attempt to pro-crate. Sounds like a pretty healthy stretch of the imagination to me. My guess is that he sits at home, in front of a computer all day, collects his SSI disability checks and wishes he's find a woman, or a man, either would do, to give him his first-ever kiss

      October 18, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      oh yes, the classic 40 year old virgin 🙂

      October 18, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • John Richardson

      @Mirosal Even easier would be if you learned how to read. I stated explicitly several times that I don't want to make abortion illegal.

      October 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  15. Mirosal

    John .. but in today's society, can you do it without flaunting the myths?

    October 18, 2011 at 8:10 am |
    • John Richardson

      What does "flaunting the myths" even mean?

      October 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  16. Reality

    From p. 76:

    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,–

    October 18, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  17. Bob

    From pro-choice to pro-life in minutes: 180movie.com

    October 18, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm pro-choice and pro-life. And your movie doesn't change anything about that.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  18. theoldadam

    There are dangers on both sides.

    Christ is the only One that bring true peace...and it isn't because of anything that we do, say, feel, or think.

    It's because of what He has done for this pride-soaked world out of the goodness of His heart.

    It's because of what He has done for me...and for you.

    http://lcmarchives.wordpress.com/

    .

    .

    October 18, 2011 at 7:22 am |
    • Free

      theoldadam
      "Christ is the only One that bring true peace..."
      And how do you know this? Do you have any empirical evidence to back that up? Can you prove that other religions, or no religion at all, don't bring people 'true peace' as well?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  19. Mirosal

    This is suppsed to be a forum to duscuss the danger of the religious (read: brainwashed) fools who want to impose their views of a fictinal book onto the lives of 300+ million americans. When did this turn into a pro-life forum? Just for the record, abortion is LEGAL in this country, so deal with it. If you want to keep YOUR fetus, fine, have at. But you have NO right to tell ANY woman what she can or cannot do in her personal life or to her person. Now, can we get back to the original issue at hand here?

    October 18, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • ashrakay

      I suspect the photo CNN chose for this article may have something to do with the rabbit chase, but it's hard to talk about the dangers of religion and not mention the pro-lifers.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:03 am |
    • Mirosal

      You might have a point, but I'm wondering where the bible thumpers are tonight? Did they run home with their bibles between their legs? I only ask ONE question, and not one of those deluded sooth-saying myth followers have dared to answer it yet.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:20 am |
    • Steve

      So you're saying that anything which is legal is morally acceptable right? You sure you want to stick with that line of reasoning? Ever heard of a law that got changed?

      October 18, 2011 at 5:58 am |
    • Mirosal

      Laws can and do get changed. That's not the point. Just becausee it IS legal, doesn't mean that you are obligated to do it. Alcohol is legal, so is tobacco. But that doesn't mean you HAVE to drink or smoke. A woman does not have to get an abortion, but if she decides to do so, she can. It's called freedom. And these zealots who want to pull politcians' strings want to take away those choices to conform to what THEY think my world should be in their eyes. I won't stand for that. MY life, MY choices.

      October 18, 2011 at 6:11 am |
    • John Richardson

      When did it turn into a pro-life forum? Um, never? The issue has come up in several threads, as it HAS to, since prohibition of abortion is one of the issues that people like Mohler advocate that will impact people far beyond his flock.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:15 am |
    • John Richardson

      @Mirosal Look, slavery was once legal. And no, no one was OBLIGED to own slaves. Would the fact that you were never obliged to own slaves have convinced you that it should have remained legal and been left as a matter of conscience?

      If you are going to convince pro-lifers or anyone on the fence that abortion should remain legal, you are going to have to work a lot harder than noting that it currently is legal, but that doesn't mean you are obliged to do it (as you are, for instance, in China under certain circu-mstances). And sometimes it is helpful when trying to convince people to establish some common ground and mutual respect. Try it. You just might like it.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • Danty

      The fetus growing inside you is NOT your body. It is another human being with a completely unique DNA. No you don't have any moral rights to kill children whether born or unborn. Just because it's legal doesn't make it right.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • Reality

      Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile.

      The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

      The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

      2008 Presidential popular vote results:

      69,456,897 for pro-abortion BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

      And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe it should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

      (The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.)

      Data provided by the CDC and the Guttmacher Inst-itute.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:35 am |
    • Mirosal

      Slavery was around since prehistoric times. Romans, Greeks, Egyptians all had slaves. What made it acceptable in the past 2000 years was that the big book of myths (oops... bible) said it was ok to have them, and even told how to care for as well as punish them. only in recent (150 years give or take worldwide) did people start to realize that slaves were humans also and deserved the basic right that ALL people should have. It wasn't changed due to religious reasoning, it was changed because they realized that people are people, not property. It's called growing up. But, ther is still a LOT of it to do still. As far as the pro-lifers go, I have yet to hear even one of them tell his/her side of why abortion should be outlawed without using that book.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • John Richardson

      Mirosal, best acquaint yourself with some facts. There were indeed quite a few Christians in the abolitionist movement. And slavery was practiced all over the world, not just just in lands dominated by Christian theology. Indeed, slavery long pre-dated Christianity.

      Many pro-lifers see themselves as being within the tradition of the abolitionists. Just as black slaves were humans who were treated as less than human back then, they consider the unborn to be humans being treated as less than human now.

      You aren't going to convince anyone with you petulant prattle. If you actually want to win a few battles for hearts and minds, you might want to rethink your approach.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • Mirosal

      John Galt, relax a little, shrug it off and stop acting like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Apparently you have some kind of pie fetish. Seek therapy. In your utter ignorance you have failed to read anything about what this thread is about. This thread is SUPPOSED to be about the religious "leaders" using influence in government and politics. How it got flip-ped to pro life or pro choice, I don't know. As far as unintelligence, your tirade is that of a third grader who got pushed face-down in the sandbox. Or would that be a dirty litter box? When you figure out what Mensa is, I'm sure I won't be seeing you at the next meeting, but I'll be there. Just out of curiosity, what church do you attend?

      October 18, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • Free

      Steve
      Along that same line of reasoning, abortion was also illegal for most of our history, but was democratically struck down as a law. Laws get changed when society as a whole feels that they are no longer valid.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Free

      John Richardson
      And many supporters of same-$ex marriage also see themselves as being within the tradition of the abolitionists. You have to remember that the abolitionists were fighting against the stronger biblical argument in support of slavery with what would be now classified as a 'liberal' theology of human equality. So, in that light, wouldn't you say that the same-$ex marriage supporters have the better claim to being within the abolitionist tradition?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Scott - 1

      @Danty: “The fetus growing inside you is NOT your body. It is another human being”
      No, the fetus that starts to grow in your body is no more a human than the yolk inside an egg is a chicken, even though the yolk has a unique DNA too

      October 18, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Scott - 1

      @John Galt: “Mirosal dear, you are a stupid fat child killer” Typical Christian response of lashing out emotionally when cornered by reason.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • John Richardson

      @Free Well,as a supporter of same se-x marriage, I certainly view such supporters as part of a long tradition of people who support extending legitimate rights and liberties to those long denied them. So yes, they are in the abolitionist tradition.

      October 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Mr Mark

      Danty writes: "The fetus growing inside you is NOT your body. It is another human being with a completely unique DNA."

      That's not what the "facts" of the Bible say.

      According to the Bible, a woman is like a field. She is the dirt that the male deposits his "seed" into. From that grows a baby. If a woman can't conceive, it's because she is – according to the Bible – barren, just like a field that can't support crops is barren. It's not the fault of the man who is providing the "seed" (according to the Bible), but the woman.

      The Bible doesn't agree with the idea that the woman produces an egg that is fertilized by the man. The Bible holds that the woman's uterus is the fertilized soil into which a man deposits his seed.

      According to the Bible, there is no DNA involved, let alone the DNA of two people combining to form a child. Why you would resort to using scientific "theories" about DNA that are nowhere to be found in the Bible to support your Biblical claims is beyond me.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark

      Yes. I was home schooled. There is no such thing as DNA. God puts the baby in each woman's body. My mom gave me a gold star on this part of my lessons.

      I also wondered about god "knowing" Mary when they weren't married... My mom made me spend the day on my knees for thinking. I promised to never do it again.

      Cheers!

      October 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Danty

      You said: "Just because it's legal doesn't make it right."

      Society decides what is moral / legal. So if it is legal...

      Cheers!

      October 18, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @John Richardson- specifically on your 8:03 comment...this is why I like reading your stuff. We might always agree on things but you don't let ppl (religious or non-religious) get away with blatant lies.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • J.W

      Uncouth I always like that about John too. He is like the Bill O'reilly of the Belief Blog.

      October 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Uncouth and JW Thanks. Intellectual integrity is something I do strive for. Don't always hit the mark, but I hope I have a pretty good "batting average". Not sure I'm totally thrilled with the Bill O'Reilly comparison, but hey, I take it as well meant and appreciate it! And for the record, yes, we'll disagree a lot, but I there are cores of people on both of the two main "sides" here that strike me as responsible, respectable people and both of you are on the list, as I see it!

      October 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • J.W

      Well Oreilly is more conservative than me. But I do like that he considers himself independent and that when he has crazy conservatives like Bachmann on he will get on them as much as he does with liberals.

      October 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • ashrakay

      I'll say it again for the pro-lifers: an estimated 49 out of 50 pregnancies self-terminate within the first week of conception. Only 30 to 50% of conceptions progress past the first trimester. This makes god the biggest abortionist of all time.

      October 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And "his" followers are a close 2nd given that 70+% of all abortions in the USA are had by believers.

      October 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @JW Figured that that was where you were coming from!

      October 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @HotAirAce Those stats are particularly intriguing. Do you have a citation?

      @ashrakay In light of infant mortality stats, "god" is the biggest practi-tioner of infanticide as well. And that means exactly what about the morality of infanticide?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @ashrakay I'll say it again for the pro-lifers: an estimated 49 out of 50 pregnancies self-terminate within the first week of conception."

      98%?? You are making stuff up, From American Pregnancy: "Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies may account for 50-75% of all miscarriages"

      October 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @John Richardson

      The following anti-abortion site has a summary of, and a pointer to, abortion statisitcs from the The Alan Guttmacher Institute: http:/ /www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html. I've provided this indirect reference to show those who would like to dispute the data that it is used by the antis (so must be reasonably valid).

      October 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Statistics

      Here is another report:

      The NIH reports, "It is estimated that up to half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant. Among those women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is about 15-20%." Clinical miscarriages (those occurring after the sixth week) occur in 8% of pregnancies. - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001488.htm

      October 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And what about all the human eggs and sperm cells that go to waste? Doesn't the rcc consider this a loss of (potential) life too? Once we figure out how to stop all men from masturbating, we can get to work on preventing all women from ovulating!

      October 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Statistics

      HotAirAce: Heh, you should hear about what Catholic men have to do when they need to give a sample of sperm 🙂

      "Seminal fluid samples can be obtained from a non-lubricated, perforated condom after normal intercourse."

      I actually did this many years ago - what a hoot!... not.

      October 19, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  20. Cory (Humanzrstupd)

    tallulah13 wrote:
    "All I said is that you can belief what you want but you can't legislate it. You can participate all you want. I don't know why you think anyone is stopping you. However, if you try to create laws based on your religion that subvert the freedoms of this secular nation, you will find that people will oppose you."

    THANK YOU! You took the words out of my mouth. It's this kind of nonsense from evangelicals that made me reject religion years ago. Christian or Muslim, or even pagan, religious people aren't content with just practicing their faith. They are hell-bent on forcing everyone else to bend to their will.

    October 17, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Brad

      Cory, isn't that the point of this article? All he is saying is that every view is trying to make all the others bend to its will. That is in fact what your secularism, a belief that you are no doubt religiosly committed to, is trying to accomplish. You would like all people with a Christian worldview to bend to the secular view The value of democracy is that all views are permitted to enter the public sphere and we all live in a society that becomes shaped by them all.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • tallulah13

      Brad, this IS a secular nation. That's what the men who wrote the Consti.tution intended. They had the benefit of looking at the example of Europe, where religion in government led to inequity, corruption and strife. The removal of religion from government allows everyone to practice their own beliefs as they will, as long as they don't interfere with the rights of others.

      Many of the restrictions proposed by evangelicals have less to do with actual problems and more to do with private religious beliefs. No one is forcing anyone to have an abortion, but evangelicals would remove the option from everyone, even victims of assault or women who would die if carrying to full term. (Perversely enough, they are also opposed to birth control.) Gay marriage hurts no one, and in fact gives stability to loving, deserving couples. Evangelicals oppose this equality, despite the fact that there is more evidence that hom.os.ex.uality is innate than there is proof of any god. Evangelicals are trying to diminish the quality of education for American children by confusing them with "creationism", which is purely invented nonsense that opposes the proven and observable scientific theory of evolution.

      Evangelicals are trying to force into law destructive things that discriminate against tax-paying, law-abiding American citizens, laws that demote those whose needs don't match the evangelical ideal to what is tantamount to second-class citizen status. Are you surprised that those of us who relish freedom, equality and the accomplishments of our nation see evangelicals as dangerous?

      October 18, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • Steve

      You were sounding reasonable at first but you left that behind awhile ago. If a proclaiming Christian was writing comments like yours, you would be wondering what caused them to have so much hate. What's behind your passion here? Christians have every right to articulate and advocate their views just as you do. One difference between us is that you would prefer to have a monopoly!

      October 18, 2011 at 6:12 am |
    • tallulah13

      I don't know who you you were addressing, but if you were addressing me, I stand by what I said. This is a secular nation. I speak with a secular voice. This isn't about hatred, this is about human rights, and American rights.

      Evangelicals are trying to change the laws of this land to suit their personal agenda, one that is based on a supernatural belief rather than reality-based logic. Prove that gay marriage damages society. Prove that a soul exists and that a zygote possesses one. Prove that Creationism is viable, with actual evidence and not the deliberate misinterpretation of existing evidence. If you can make a fact-based case for any of your claims that stands up to secular scrutiny, then you will certainly be heard and taken seriously. However, when all your claims are groundless rhetoric that lead back to the dubious of source of the bible, then all you are trying to do is to force your religion into a government where it has no place.

      We've all seen what happens when religion takes over government. All we have to do is look at the middle east. Most Americans don't want a nation based on freedom and equality to be lost to the personal agenda of a vocal religious group. Can you understand that?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:54 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.