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When Christians become a 'hated minority'
Evangelical Christians say they are the new victims of intolerance - they're persecuted for condemning homosexuality.
May 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When Christians become a 'hated minority'

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.

During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.

“But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, ‘I agree with everything you said,’" says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.

We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot.

As proof, Sprigg points to the backlash that ESPN commentator Chris Broussard sparked recently. Broussard was called a bigot and a purveyor of hate speech when he said an NBA player who had come out as gay was living in “open rebellion to God.” Broussard said the player, Jason Collins, was “living in unrepentant sin” because the Bible condemns homosexuality.

“In the current culture, it takes more courage for someone like Chris Broussard to speak out than for someone like Jason Collins to come out,” says Sprigg, a former pastor. “The media will hail someone who comes out of the closet as gay, but someone who simply expresses their personal religious views about homosexual conduct is attacked.”

When is disagreement hate?

Bryan Litfin, a theology professor at Moody Bible Institute in Illinois, says Christians should be able to publicly say that God designed sex to take place within a marriage between a man and a woman.

“That isn’t so outrageous,” Litfin says. “Nobody is expressing hate toward homosexuals by saying that. Since when is disagreement the same as hate?”

But quoting the Bible doesn't inoculate anyone from becoming a bigot or hater, some scholars say. There's a point at which a Christian's opposition to homosexuality can become bigotry, and even hate speech, they say.

Crossing such a line has happened many times in history.

A literal reading of the Bible was used to justify all sorts of hatred: slavery, the subjugation of women and anti-Semitism, scholars and pastors say.

“Truly damaging speech cannot be excused just because it expresses genuine religious belief,” says Mark D. Jordan, author of “Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality.”

“Some religious beliefs, sincerely held, are detestable. They cannot be spoken without disrupting social peace,” says Jordan, a professor at the John Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

The point where religious speech becomes hate speech is difficult to define, though, scholars and activists say.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama is a nonprofit civil rights group that combats and monitors hate groups. Three years ago, it designated the Family Research Council, the group that Sprigg represents, as a hate group - a characterization the group stridently rejects.

Mark Potok,  a center spokesman, says there’s no shared definition of what constitutes hate speech.

“There is no legal meaning. It’s just a phrase,” Potok says. “Hate speech is in the ear of the beholder.”

'One of the most hated minorities?'

Intolerance may be difficult to define, but some evangelicals say they have become victims of intolerance because of their reverence for the Bible.

The conservative media culture is filled with stories about evangelicals being labeled as “extremists” for their belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Their sense of persecution goes beyond their stance on homosexuality. There are stories circulating of evangelical students being suspended for opposing homosexuality, a teacher fired for giving a Bible to a curious student, and the rise of anti-Christian bigotry.

A blogger at The American Dream asked in one essay:

“Are evangelical Christians rapidly becoming one of the most hated minorities in America?”

The reluctance of evangelicals to speak out against homosexuality is often cited as proof they are being forced into the closet.

Joe Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition, an online evangelical magazine, wrote a blog post entitled “Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?" He warned that young people will abandon “orthodox” Christian churches that teach that homosexuality is a sin for fear of being called haters.

“Faux civility, embarrassment, prudishness and a fear of expressing an unpopular opinion has caused many Christians to refrain from explaining how homosexual conduct destroys lives,” Carter wrote.

Some Christians fear that opposing homosexuality could cause them to lose their jobs and “haunt them forever,” Carter says.

“It’s easier to just go along,” says Carter, who is also author of “How to Argue Like Jesus.” “You don’t want to be lumped in with the bigots. That’s a powerful word."

Edward Johnson, a communication professor at Campbell University in North Carolina, says we are now living in a "postmodern" era where everything is relative and there is no universally accepted truth. It's an environment in which anyone who says "this is right" and "that is wrong" is labeled intolerant, he says.

There was a time when a person could publicly say homosexuality was wrong and people could consider the statement without anger, he says. Today, people have reverted to an intellectual tribalism where they are only willing to consider the perspective of their own tribe.

“They are incapable of comprehending that someone may have a view different than theirs,” Johnson says. “For them anyone who dares to question the dogma of the tribe can only be doing so out of hatred.”

Sprigg, from the Family Research Council, says his condemnation of homosexual conduct does not spring from intolerance but a desire to protect gays from harmful conduct, he says.

Sprigg, a senior fellow for policy studies at the council, wrote in a council pamphlet that homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are straight men. He also wrote that gay men are also afflicted with a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness as well.

Sprigg says he does not believe homosexuality is a choice and that “personal testimonies" and "clinical experience” show that some people “can and do change from gay to straight.”

“Maybe we need to do a better job of showing that we are motivated by Christian love,” Sprigg says. “Love is wanting the best for someone, and acting to bring that about.”

'That's a lie'

Potok, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, has little use for the love Sprigg talks about.

He calls it hatred, and his voice rose in anger when he talked about the claims by Sprigg and other Christian groups that gay men are more predisposed to molest children and that homosexual behavior is inherently harmful.

He says the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t designate the Family Research Group a hate group because they view homosexuality as a sin or oppose same-sex marriage, Potok says. There are plenty of Christian groups who hold those beliefs but are not hate groups, he says.

A group becomes a hate group when it attacks and maligns an entire class of people for their “immutable characteristics,” Potok says. The Family Research Council spreads known falsehoods about gays and lesbians, he says, such as the contention that gay men are predisposed to abuse children.

“That’s a lie,” Potok says. “These guys are engaging in straight-up defamation of a very large group of people. There are not many things much worse than you can say in America about somebody than they are a child molester.”

Potok scoffed at Spriggs’ claim that the council and other evangelical anti-gay groups are victims of intolerance.

“That’s whining on the part of people who spend their days and nights attacking gay people and then some people criticize them and they don’t like it,” he says. “That’s pathetic. It reminds me of slave owners complaining that people are saying ugly things about them.”

What the Bible says

What about the popular evangelical claim, “We don’t hate the sinner, just the sin” – is that seen as intolerance or hate speech when it comes to homosexuality?

There are those who say you can’t hate the sin and love the sinner because being gay or lesbian is defined by one’s sexual behavior; it’s who someone is.

“Most people who identify as gay and lesbian would say that this is not an action I’m choosing to do; this is who I am,” says Timothy Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book.”

Beal, a religion professor at Case Western University in Ohio, says it should be difficult for any Christian to unequivocally declare that the Bible opposes homosexuality because the Bible doesn’t take a single position on the topic. It's an assertion that many scholars and mainline Protestant pastors would agree with.

Some people cite Old Testament scriptures as condemning homosexuality, such as  Leviticus 18:22 - “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” But other Christians counter by saying they are not bound by the Old Testament.

There are those who also cite New Testament scriptures like Romans 1:26-27 - “… Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men. …”

Beal, however, says Jesus said little about sex. And the Apostle Paul, who wrote Romans, was probably referring to male prostitution and men having sexual relations with boys, a practice in the Greco-Roman world.

“Paul does not understand genetics and sexual orientation the way we understand it now as something much more than a choice,” says Beal.

Some evangelicals say Christians can’t change their view of biblical truth just because times change. But some scholars reply:

Sure you can. Christians do it all the time.

Denying a woman’s ability to preach in church was justified by scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:11-12 - “… I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” But many churches have abandoned that teaching - and some scholars say a woman preached the first Christian sermon, when Mary Magdalene proclaimed that Jesus had risen.

Slaveholders in 19th century America justified slavery through a literal reading of the Bible, quoting Titus 2:9-10 – “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything. …” And anti-Semitism was justified by the claims that Jews killed Jesus, such as Matthew 27: 25-26 - “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”

Litfin, from Moody Bible Institute, acknowledged that the Bible once sanctioned slavery, but he said that practice was a “cultural expression” that changed over time. Evangelicals who oppose same-sex marriage by citing the Bible are on more solid ground, he says.

“Marriage is a universal and timeless institution that God set up for maximum human flourishing. He set it up in the first book of the Bible with the story of Adam and Eve. It is consistent throughout the whole Bible. … Marriage is in a different category than those cultural things.”

Public jousts over the Bible's stance on homosexuality rarely change people’s minds. What changes is when people get to know gay and lesbian people as friends and hear their story, says Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible.”

“If you open up to that other person genuinely, you basically come to a point where you have to sacrifice them to your ideology or crack open your ideology to make a hospitable place for them,” Beal says.

One Christian pastor who is gay says the uproar over the ESPN commentator’s comments can actually be good,  because debates help settle moral disputes.

“What appears to us as antiquated and prejudicial now was once a disputed issue that required debate,” says the Rev. Richard McCarty, a minister in the United Church of Christ and a religious studies professor at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania.

Until the debate over homosexuality is settled - if it ever is - there may be plenty of evangelical Christians who feel as if they are now being forced to stay in the closet.

Carter, the evangelical blogger, says he foresees a day when any church that preaches against homosexuality will be marginalized. Just as many churches now accept divorce, they will accept sexual practices once considered sinful.

“It’s getting to the point,” he says, “where churches are not going to say that any sexual activity is wrong.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Culture wars • Protest • Sex • Sexuality • Sports

soundoff (10,982 Responses)
  1. There is hope for the lost!

    Hey Blake, Does 200 million persecuted worldwide sound like a hated 'minority' to you?

    Pray for the persecuted!

    May 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • vitam et gloriam

      By far, a reasonable article by John Blake . Although, he happens to mostly skew articles in favor of his belief system.

      May 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Wonder?

      Could John Blake be the nom de plume for a certain Stephen who writes commentaries here 😉

      May 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    well let's begin ... there was Horus from 3000 BC (Jesus is a copy of Horus), or Attis from 1500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Attis), or Mithra from 1200BC (Jesus is a copy of Mithra), or Krishna from 900BC (Jesus is a copy of Krishna), or Dionysus from 500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Dionysus) .... or any of the DOZENS of other gods predating the bronze age book character Jesus who were born of a virgin on Dec 25, traveled as a teacher, had 12 disciples, performed miracles, was killed and lay dead for 3 days and was resurrected.

    You Christians are not even original! What a joke!

    May 11, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Terry

      Great post, Dd.

      May 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Athy

      Not only are they not original, they're not even rational. What sane person could possibly believe all that preposterous bullshit?

      May 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Ed

      So what you're basically saying is JC is not even the Milli Vanilli of "saviors". OK, I always kind of thought that.

      May 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  3. huhb

    Boo hoo, Evangelicals. You want to be liked? Start showing us you're likeable.

    I've long said the only "gay agenda" is visibility. For centuries, we were a "despised group" mostly because the only things most people knew about us were flat out lies. As more an more of us came out and people saw us as we REALLY are, guess what happened? Opinions changed.

    Evangelicals don't have an invisibility problem. If they would like us to believe they're not bigoted, they need to stop presenting themselves as bigoted. But I don't see it happening.

    Gays were despised because people didn't know anything about us. Evangelicals are despised because we DO know about them. But it's worth noting that no one is calling for Evangelicals to be relegated to second-class-citizen status. So cry me a big fat River Jordan, Evangelicals.

    May 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Akira

      Whaty's a "Qweirdo", lol??

      May 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Doobs

      Good post. I'd bet that most evangelicals don't know any openly gay people. Their only frame of reference is what they hear from the pulpit, which they don't bother to challenge or even confirm as truth. They are intellectually lazy and cowardly.

      They would change their tune pretty fast if divorced people were treated the same.

      May 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Doobs

      @lol??

      You're the punchline, you always have been, you just haven't caught on yet.

      May 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Science

      You straight..................lol?? .............about as straight as a crooked arrow ...............you know the red guy below ?

      May 11, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doobs,

      In case you didn’t know, some fundamental pastors will not marry divorced folks.

      May 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Science

      RB the ones you know ..................do they come from red states by chance ?

      May 11, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Yes

      May 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Science

      Thanks..............RB..................as you know..................the fairy in the sky did NOT create us and give US morals !!!

      May 11, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      I can agree with you on the fairy in the sky part. I don't beleive one of those had anything to do with creation or morals either.

      May 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Science

      The sign in the picture above is wrtong and not good for children. !!!................to hard for you Robert ?......E = mc2

      And (U-Pb)...............numbers do not lie........

      Monkey Math: Baboons Show Brain's Ability to Understand Numbers

      May 3, 2013 — Opposing thumbs, expressive faces, complex social systems: it's hard to miss the similarities between apes and humans. Now a new study with a troop of zoo baboons and lots of peanuts shows that a less obvious trait – the ability to understand numbers – also is shared by humans and their primate cousins.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130306133917.htm

      May 11, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • Science

      You know that damn thumb got in the way Robert.....................wrong/false information !!!

      Had to correct spelling/english..........before dippy nick's me !

      May 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Dippy

      it's nicks...not nick's.

      May 11, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Science

      Ok.........dippy thanks

      May 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Science

      Oops ...........D............no nick ok ?

      May 11, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Science,

      Humans can be just part of the animal kingdom, or….

      Baboons are just part of the animal kingdom.

      May 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Athy

      Wow, that was pretty profound, Robert Brown.

      May 11, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Athy,

      Thanks and that was pretty poetic.

      We humans are all in the human family, some yield more to the animal, some more to the spiritual.

      May 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Science

      Or facts are best for children................ Robert Brown !!!

      Peace

      May 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Science

      Simple math Robert ?

      No devil with horns needed !

      May 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Science,

      Don’t know much about the pope or soup to cells either.

      I’m leaving angels on the team.

      I have read some commentary about the birth of Jesus being more likely to have occurred at a different time of year. Does it matter what time of year it was?

      May 11, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Robert Brown

      Yes, I do know that a very few fundie ministers won't marry divorced people. That was not my point, as you well know.

      The fundie minister who married divorced old heretic me was just fine with it. The vast majority are, because if they weren't, they couldn't put asses in the seats. Much easier to pick on a minority that has been marginalized and discriminated against for eons.

      Of course, you know this, you are just being disingenuous.

      May 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Science,

      Would this qualify as human ethics and morals?

      Luke 10:27
      And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

      May 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Science

      You are stuck Robert................see previous page or I can puke it out again !.......Do you have a Y ?

      May 11, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • Akira

      lol??, what flavor of Qweirdo are you?

      May 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doobs,
      No need to pick on any minority, all are either sinners in need of a savior, or sinners saved by grace.

      May 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bob,

      Have you ever heard of context?

      May 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Bob, are you also not picking and choosing yourself.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      It is what you take from the Holy Books. The teachings and lessons are what is important. For every negative scripture there are many more of love and peace. Bob if the Scriptures that you choose to accept as the foundation of your opinion of the Faiths then really how much different are you then Westburo Baptist and the Tali-ban?

      May 11, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Science,

      A team led by Fernando Mendez, a researcher in Hammer's lab, analyzed more than 240,000 DNA base pairs on the African-American's Y chromosome. A comparison of the differences between the mystery genetic signature and previously known signatures led the team to conclude that the most recent common ancestor for the entire group lived about 338,000 years ago.

      That goes further back than the fossil record goes for anatomically modern humans, Hammer said. "The fossil record speaks to 195,000 years or 200,000 years," he said. It also goes further back than the previous date for the most recent common ancestor based on Y-chromosome analysis, which is in the range of 142,000 years.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Science

      Do not forget the devil....... Robert Brown....................and you know that damn talking snake in the grass ?

      May 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Observer

      "Have you ever heard of context?"

      Translation: "day" means "night"; "black" means "white", etc.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Science,

      We can see evidence that a lot of things have happened on this earth. Does any of it preclude God as the creator?

      May 11, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Bob

      Mark from Muddled River, re "how different are you from the Taliban", speak for yourself. At least you are somewhat close to getting my point. Tax your weak mind a bit more and read what I said re interpretation and context, and maybe it will finally sink in, but based on what you have exhibited so far, I'm not hopeful for you.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Observer,

      More like, to whom was the command given? What were the conditions of the command? Was the command for a specific situation, time, place, people, & etc?

      May 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Bob

      Robert Brown, what we see absolutely precludes your "perfect" Christian ass hole of a god as being the creator, and further, demonstrates that the world did not arise and did not develop like your book of nasty tales claims it did.

      It is mainly only stupid, ignorant folk who still believe in your Christian fairy tales.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bob,

      It is a long shot, but I remain hopeful for you.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Observer

      Robert Brown,

      Context can matter, but I hear things like "dead means alive, just spiritually dead", "not talk means talking, just not telling gossip", etc.

      No one believes every word of the Bible, They just pick and choose what they agree with. That's why there are so many Christian hypocrites who ignore the MUCH GREATER problem of adultery by heteros and pick on gays. That's why so many Christians can PRETEND the Bible ever mentions abortion.

      Why not pick and choose the Golden Rule?

      May 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Observer,

      Agreed

      May 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Observer,

      One little clarification, I do believe every word of the Bible, not that I claim to understand every word.

      I agree with the rest of your post.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Science

      Oops Robert Brown................ forgot this one .

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice/?iref=allsearch

      May 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • Athy

      You honestly believe things you don't understand? Wow. Typical religie.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Bob. I guess, name calling is how we are to proceed. Sigh... What is it with your side.

      Just as you can cherry pick and say there is not a loving God, a person of Faith such as Bin Laden and Rev Terry Jones from Westburo also believe as you do. You are grapsing on the text and inpretations that they would of. That is why rabid evalgelist who are Atheist are no better than rabid persons of Faith. All of your side seek a different type of power in the word and it sets ones like you appart from even other Atheist.

      I am getting close to your point because just like all folks of hate yall' are easy to pick out of the crowd. I guess I need to be more like Robert Brown and say I have hope for you but there is a time when we have to dump all those who can only interpret hate into the past and move forward as a society.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Athy,

      Tough crowd, I do believe the bible, especially the words I understand.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Ken Parsons

      Bob, while you are correct in labeling Christianity a "blood cult", I doubt that your audience (and maybe you yourself) appreciates why that is the case.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Observer

      Robert Brown,

      The world would be a much better place if believers and nonbelievers BELIEVED in the concept of the Golden Rule.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Ken Parsons

      Athy, I think you make a very important point there. Suspension of reason to maintain the whole of the belief seems a requirement for the religion in question here.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Observer,

      I think most people agree with the concept and believe that it is good. The hard part is doing it.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Blood

      Leviticus 17:11
      For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

      Matthew 26:28
      For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Robert Brown

      "No need to pick on any minority, all are either sinners in need of a savior, or sinners saved by grace.
      "

      Nice try. The fact is that you do discriminate against this particular minority, because you want to deny them their rights under the law.

      Most churches have zero problem marrying divorced people, because to refuse to means you could lose 50% of your congregation and all their dollars. It's easier and cheaper to get people riled up about what a couple of guys in the next block do in their own bedroom. It's a financial decision, not a "moral" decision.

      It's got nothing to do with "sin" and "salvation". There's no such thing as "sin" and therefore no need to be "saved" from it. Try to stick to the topic.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Science

      The only sole Robert........... is on bottom of shoe................ can be replaced or repaired.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doobs,

      Be careful using the word “you”, because you have no idea what I think about the subject you want to stick to.

      The result is denying people their right to marry and have benefits, it is not the want. The want is to avoid the judgment of God as a nation. God judges sin and not just the one you want to talk about. He judges the sin of individuals and he judges the sin of nations as a whole. There is only one way to avoid judgment, forgiveness.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Bob, please take a deep breath dude and maybe instead begin you journey.

      The point that you have attempted to make is to cherry pick and then highlight these to attempt to validate your view. You are no different than any other radical inside or outside of the Faiths. Same can be seen in the field of politics. Do you believe that highlighting your passages would automatically negate those that are good? This is basic philosophy.

      My view is that God or Gods seeing that man is not monolithic gave us various Faiths. Think of Religion as a martial art. Just as there are multiple forms I hold out the possibilty that it is the same God.

      Basically you would have a better argument if you asked why did God not make us perfect.

      Question. If a person reads the Bible, Torah, Koran or any Holy teachings, and lives a peaceful life due to those teachings should his life be factored in just as heavy as those that read the same and lived a very violent existence?

      May 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Science,

      Allow me to introduce you to your heart and soul.

      Say hello to that little boy or girl in you Science. Tell it I said hi.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Doobs, that is a very slanted view but let us address it.

      I have worshiped at huge cathedral churches and I have worshiped at churches that were originally built by free slaves. I have also been blessed to visit two LGBT churches and quite a few churches that were taliban strict in their view of the text. I can't even say what you posted is true of the Catholic church but for the rest of us Divorce is not an issue. Are you trying to say that all Protestant churches are following Catholic doctrine?

      Those churches know that Faith and your own heart will lead you too where you can best hear his or her word. If your statement were true than the existence of churches such as Westburo Baptist could not happen. It is that people like to group with folks that believe the same as themselves and money has very little to do with it.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Robert Brown

      All that bullshit about sins of the nation and god's judgment is just your opinion. Why doesn't god judge us as a nation for our rampant divorcing and remarrying, then? There's plenty of it going on, but no one preaches that sort of fire and brimstone because it's not congregation friendly and will affect the coffers.

      You are entitled to believe whatever you wish. You have the right to state your opinion about it. You do not have the right to force others to believe the same, nor do you have the right to deny them civil rights under the law based on your unproven beliefs.

      Feel free to cower from your loving god in fear of judgement, the rest of us aren't going to.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doobs,

      Sin is not my opinion. What makes you think God hasn’t and does not continue to judge us as a nation. Will he have to remove us as a nation to get our attention?
      I can’t force you to believe or not believe anything, nor take away anyone’s rights.

      Psalm 111:10
      The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

      Proverbs 1:7
      The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

      Proverbs 9:10
      The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

      May 11, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      The judging as a nation part I am not that sure of. I do think if we pull back from stepping into world issues then maybe He or She will judge us as a nation. That is why the act of war part is suppose to go through as many representatives of the countries citizens as possible.

      For sin wise.... Gluttony and Pride alone could doom this nation.

      May 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Mark from MR

      Oh, please, I never said that protestant churches follow the doctrines of the RCC. Hell, they don't even follow their own doctrines.

      Religions have always had ways of weaseling out of the unpopular doctrines like stoning disobedient kids or not allowing divorce/remarriage. I taught at a RCC school and saw lots of couples get annulments, just fork over a big check and the priest helps you craft a story for the annulment board. We were calling it a "Catholic divorce" more than forty years ago.

      In the protestant church it's even easier. Just look contrite, squeeze out a couple of tears, and say that Jeebus changed your heart. Since a change of heart is ever so much easier than a change of sexual orientation, it works out well for the church.

      It's supremely hypocritical to deny the civil rights of one group based on your bible, and allow another, considerably larger group's to disregard the bible's rules because it's unpopular.

      May 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Robert Brown

      Until you have proof that your god exists, that it is the only god, that it is the true god, and have explicit communication of what it expects from us that doesn't come from an unproven book of fables and myths, the concept of sin is your belief, not a fact. Others don't share your beliefs and are not required to live by them.

      May 11, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Doobs. The majority of churches are not RCC so the majority of Christians do not have an issue with divorce.

      In your second paragraph, I wonder. Since you are not of Faith and even more so, anti Religious Faith, then anyone crossing over to the Faith side must and has be not from the heart. Your belief in Atheism won't allow for it. In many ways it is as I said before, the rabid of Faith and no different than the rabid not of Faith.

      The civil rights debate, such as Gay marriage, there are tons of LGBT and LGBT accepting churches that are in agreement with you and have been pushing for Gay marriage.

      May 11, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Mark from MR

      You make my point for me. Churches have no problem with divorce/remarriage, which is specifically condemned in the bible, yet still want to force biblical doctrine into civil law when it comes to same sex marriage. There may be churches that don't, but the ones that do are very vocal and organized. It's hypocritical.

      The rest of your post about hearts, my supposed "anti religion faith" (whatever the hell that is) and my "belief in atheism" is utter nonsense. The fact is that churches rationalize the divorce/remarriage issue because they have to or risk alienating the congregation. It ignores scripture in favor of presenting congregation friendly topics.

      May 11, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Churches have no problem with divorce/remarriage, which is specifically condemned in the bible"

      Is it condemed in the Bible? Jesus spoke of conditions to divorce and remarriage a few times so that is why you are a bit inncorect there. Also since there are churches, including Gay and Lesbian churches which are lead by ordained Gay and Lesbian clergy then are they also forcing anything on you or society?

      Doobs, I think your problem is that you attempting to say that because a group of churches actively do not support Gay and Lesbian rights then the same is held to all of the other churches. This is why, your rants are failing because just as there is variety in society there is also diversity in Christianity.

      Your vocal and organized argument does have merit but we can agree that negative sells big time in our society. Check the stories here on the Belief Blog... There was a article a bit ago about the Faith of Coretta Scott King and it got about 30 hits but the same day a negative story pops out about Christianity and the hits go over a thousand. Also notice how few post the New Pope got, mostly because of his stances and actions.

      This is the same for news stories of race and gender.

      >>>"The fact is that churches rationalize the divorce/remarriage issue because they have to or risk alienating the congregation. It ignores scripture in favor of presenting congregation friendly topics."

      Is it a rationalization when Jesus himself speaks of divorce and how it is allowed in Christianity?

      Also, the "belief in Atheism" is just another Faith with a few as evangelical as some on our side.

      May 12, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Doobs

      @ Mark from MR

      Please show me where I "ranted". You seem overly sensitive to any criticism of christianity.

      "Also, the "belief in Atheism" is just another Faith with a few as evangelical as some on our side." Try again.

      The fact is that religions pick and choose the parts of the bible they want to enforce. Adultery isn't a problem if you look sufficiently ashamed when you get caught. Divorce and remarriage isn't a problem because it's so common now that churches have to accept it or lose half their congregation.

      You keep insisting that most churches accept the LGBT community and just a few of the more radical outliers, like Westboro Baptist, are the ones who support a ban on same sex marriage. That is simply not true. Some of the more progressive ones do, but you are overstating the number.

      When same sex marriage is finally a civil right, churches will find a way to take credit for supporting it all along, just like they did with interracial marriage.

      May 12, 2013 at 2:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      You explain it to them, and explain it to them, and still some christians can't figure out what atheism is. I guess they're are so caught up in their need to believe is something - anything - that they just can't handle that some people don't share that need.

      May 12, 2013 at 3:15 am |
    • Bob

      Mark from Muddled River and Robert Brown, you are demonstrating again precisely what you don't understand. Please read this carefully. Read it a few times. It is at the core of what is wrong with your beliefs and what you are stating:

      If you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and to "cherry picking", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      And, then, maybe one day you too will take the big step away from your horrid, bigoted Christian blood cult like I did.It will take you some courage to look fairly and critically at your idiotic, unsupportable beliefs, but some people have been able to summon such courage, and there is hope therein.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Saraswati

      The evangelical fundamentalist position "We're not bigoted. We just want to deny you rights we ourselves have because you're gay."

      And then they wonder why people treat them like a bunch of dangerous idiots..

      May 12, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  4. Ben Franklin

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772)

    May 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • - crickets - ...

      ...

      May 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  5. SATAN™

    I see someone is stealing my name. Very goooood! *rubs hands*

    May 11, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Science

      You mean that fake dude with the fork and horns and it is red all over ?

      May 11, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Science

      That goes for your partner too !!!

      The End.

      May 11, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Gargamel

      @SATAN,

      I'm comin' to git ya'. Look out...

      May 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  6. Ginny

    Haters gonna hate.

    May 11, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Reason Over Religion

      Christianity demands hate and bigotry throughout its owners ' manual. So does Islam. Part and parcel of both superstitions/cults.

      May 11, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Virtual granade

      Daallalallallallalaaaawkins is the greatest!!! ((((BOOM!)))

      May 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Reason. The same Holy text states to love thine neighbor. It also talks of forgiveness over and over and finally it speaks even against capital punishment.

      I have never understood how folks like you and Westburo read the same text but only take to heart only part of the scriptures.

      May 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Reason, Love,

      Both books demand both hatred and love. What surprises me is how people mistakenly see only what they want to see when both are there in full view.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  7. Vic

    The Cross @ The Center Of The Whirlpool Galaxy

    Source: Hubblesite.org

    See it at:

    http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/entire/pr1992017a/large_web/

    May 11, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Vic

      The Mars Rover Curiosity is back in business already! I love that!

      In the meantime, we are bound to Earth by DESIGN Science!!!

      http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/18/on-mars-more-water-evidence-in-drilling-area/#comment-136832

      May 11, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Sean

      Lovely! Thanks!

      May 11, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Reason Over Religion

      Vic, you can find pretty much any shape you want in space. Pick e.g. your favorite nasty political org's symbol, your favorite sports logo, or the Michelin tire guy. Ever here of confirmation bias? Google it and read. Repeatedly until you get what it means, fool.

      Science, thanks for posting reason and science in response to silly nonsense from the Vic's of the world. Good job, Science. Please keep it up.

      May 11, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Vic

      Science, oh pal, hilarious as always!

      🙂

      May 11, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Perry

      Vic, stuff your sick smiley face up your anus.

      May 11, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Smileys for the root post

      🙂 🙂 🙂

      May 11, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Science

      Vic.................try some it is good for you !

      Cheech & Chong's History of 420

      http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/3b1508d1f0/cheech-chong-s-history-of-420?rel=player&playlist=341944

      Funnyordie.com

      May 11, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Vic,

      Ever hear o the horsehead nebula? Is that proof of a horse god?

      May 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Science

      Reason Over Religion..............your welcome .

      May 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Dippy

      You're...not your.

      May 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Science

      Oops thasnks dippy.

      peace

      May 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
  8. Master Chef

    “If one does not make human knowledge wholly dependent upon the original self-knowledge and consequent revelation of God to man, then man will have to seek knowledge within himself as the final reference point. Then he will have to seek an exhaustive understanding of reality. He will have to hold that if he cannot attain to such an exhaustive understanding of reality he has no true knowledge of anything at all. Either man must then know everything or he knows nothing. This is the dilemma that confronts every form of non-Christian epistemology”
    Van Til

    May 11, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • scientific evidence for God, historical evidence in Christ

      Exactly!
      'will have to seek knowledge within himself as the final reference point. Then he will have to seek an exhaustive understanding of reality', which is impossible for any human being without the context of God.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Dumb Quote

      Van Til must be president of the flat earth society, sk1t even the RCC are accepting the knowledge that man has gained ie. evolution.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Translation

      I am Van Til and am a Christian apologetics genius and I tell you non-Christians if you do not follow the Christian dogma and teachings you do not know sh.it from shinola. Thus speaketh the Lord. Oh ya, I am a bit of bigot but I know the 5 billion non believers won't mind.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • That quote

      That is way beyond my comprehension skills, can you dumb it down for me? please!

      May 11, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • Out of nowhere, nothing, and of course the only possible cause is a magic unicorn

      Since omnipotence is out of the question, the only other option is total ignorance. Got it.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Satan Himself

      Ah, a child who calls himself Master Chef. The overweening and baseless pride of Christians always brings them to me.
      😈

      May 11, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Jody

      "the original self-knowledge and consequent revelation of God to man"

      LOL – yeah right..

      May 11, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Yes, It's true, You know nothing.

      " Either man must then know everything or he knows nothing."

      There is no either or. It is man's attempt to claim he knows everything that led to the invention of God. In the scope of things there is only one answer, to accept that we know next to nothing, which is why it's beyond insulting to claim you know everything by saying "This invisible being I close my eyes and think to did it all, everything and anything so I don't have to think anymore. Oh, and I have a soul that get's to live for eternity in the universe even though nothing else in our entire experience is eternal."

      May 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • My goodness but you and Van are stupid

      Ultimately each person depends on "knowledge within himself as the final reference point". A Christians choice to be Christian is based on that reference point too

      May 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • My goodness but you and Van are stupid

      You are claiming that a 2000 year old book of bloody fairy tales is an infinitely better source of personal guidance than common sense

      May 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Athy

      That's basically the definition of an evangelical.

      May 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      This Van Til guy makes a lot of silly assumptions. The first being that I would actually care what he thinks.

      May 12, 2013 at 3:36 am |
  9. Reality

    In an effort to get to 10,000 comments:

    o Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

    What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

    3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode cataclysmically at any time ending life on Earth.

    8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan. You can find out by sending a check for $199 and a mouth swab to the National Geographic Genographic Project. https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

    May 11, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • Babby need a new pair of shoes

      Here's one more post. What do we win when it gets to 10,000?
      Rollin for the win.

      May 11, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Baby

      Babby?

      May 11, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  10. JMEF

    mama k
    Good morning, if you are interested Google deism .com, lots of info on modern day deism. Their/our definition of.....
    Deism is the recognition of a universal creative force greater than that demonstrated by mankind, supported by personal observation of laws and designs of nature and the universe, perpetuated and validated by the innate ability of human reason coupled with the rejection of claims made by individuals and organized religions of having received special divine revelation.
    This definition allows me to accept that creation could be discovered by a yet unknown scientific/physics explanation. I follow the science being done at CERN and am fascinated at how many theories are being proven valid, not to mention the amazing discoveries by the NASA Space Program. Could there have been a deity/god that started the whole process of the universe, possible but the current answer is we do not know.

    PS: If any religion could offer conclusive proof that their idea of God is real, they would of course shout it from the roof tops and cash in on the fact that they had the TRUTH, nothing to date. Sorry Chad 2000 years of Christian apologetics has still only produced you have to believe, take religion on faith not fact.

    May 11, 2013 at 6:21 am |
    • Science

      Morning JMEF.............. cern and Prof. Higgs below.

      Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children. VIC.

      Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

      Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
      bears his name as the “God particle.”

      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

      Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
      Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

      Science

      Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
      By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

      May 11, 2013 at 6:29 am |
    • JMEF

      Should include that mama k on p 103 @ 6:01 PM was wondering who the self proclaimed modern deist was, me. I do not know why deism faded away as a belief category, for me atheist, agnostic, deist, theist, then theist fanatic would work.

      May 11, 2013 at 6:34 am |
    • Science

      JMEF....................to funny ...........just watch a new Bugs Bunny cartoon on CN.......old Bugs is playing a game on phone

      where he is taking out the fairy with wings . lmao.

      Peace

      May 11, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • JMEF

      Science
      Good Morning. I suppose the deist position could be called fence sitting because it does not reject or accept the concept of god, but it does reject a god of punishment and reward that interferes in the lives of men. Will have to wait awhile for the LHC at CERN to get up and running again for more breakthroughs. Higgs cannot have mass without him, remember.

      May 11, 2013 at 6:41 am |
    • Science

      theist fanatic would work...........cheery picked one for chad...............JMEF................lmao

      May 11, 2013 at 6:42 am |
    • Science

      New Method of Measuring the Mass of Supermassive Black Holes

      January 30, 2013 — Astronomers report the exciting discovery of a new way to measure the mass of supermassive black holes in galaxies. By measuring the speed with which carbon monoxide molecules orbit around such

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130132324.htm

      May 11, 2013 at 6:46 am |
    • JMEF

      Science
      Have to go, early tee off time, check back later.

      Peace.

      May 11, 2013 at 6:50 am |
    • Science

      Origin of Life: Power Behind Primordial Soup Discovered..............chad has seen this i believe

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404122234.htm

      May 11, 2013 at 6:59 am |
    • Science

      JMEF...................but the one that is suppose know

      NO ANGELS with PITCH FORKS as the old pope KICKED them in OFF the TEAM last year !

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      Pope's book on Jesus challenges Christmas traditions

      By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

      updated 10:56 AM EST, Fri November 23, 2012

      http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/22/world/europe/vatican-pope-jesus-book/index.html?iref=allsearch

      All these years and there are suppose to be angels.......................then poof go the angels according to the old pope;.......

      where are the morals there ?

      May 11, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • Science

      But the easy way is the new DNA device below JMEF.............only takes minutes to figure it out.

      For all creationists and ID believers...............IT only takes minutes to figure IT out. No fairy in the sky needed !

      New Device Can Extract Human DNA With Full Genetic Data in Minutes

      May 6, 2013 — Take a swab of saliva from your mouth and within minutes your DNA could be ready for analysis and genome sequencing with the help of a new device.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130506132100.htm

      Peace

      May 11, 2013 at 7:23 am |
  11. hippypoet

    you're looking for a great site to chat religion on... check out Poetic Atheism on facebook

    May 11, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  12. Science

    Update and backfill

    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/category/culture-science/

    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/3b1508d1f0/cheech-chong-s-history-of-420?rel=player&playlist=341944

    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

    Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

    http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

    Education works for children

    Earth From Space

    Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

    Program Description

    "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html

    February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |

    Peace

    May 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  13. Nice veiw from the fence

    Spirituality is not about answering questions it's about questioning answers.
    It is deliberately open, symbolic and in parables so that each person can examine themself based on their own responses.

    May 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Nice veiw from the fence

      One more time for easier access..

      .

      Science math = left hemisphere
      religion/art = right hemisphere

      We have both for a reason..the reason religion is not logical is it is not supposed to be. It is an INNER journey. Logical concrete reasoning is the opposite of intuitive reasoning. Neither brain function is superior but both are necessary for human survival.

      http://timeforchange.org/definition-of-intuition-intuitive

      May 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Atheists are questioning the answers given by the religious regarding the origin of the universe, the origin of life, etc. As has been said – if one could reason with religious people there would be no religious people.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • mama k

      Nice post, but where's Tom? The spelling on this blog has gone to cr</bap. LOL.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • mama k

      (and so has the html embed)

      May 10, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

      Isaiah 29:16

      Amen.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Science

      HS...................here is your buddy the devil and his pitch fork ?

      Or HS + BS = BS

      May 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Science

      Talk about spelling...................where

      May 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • sam

      HS, what's that quote got to do with the post? I want a breakdown of the mental gymnastics on this one.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • The real Tom

      mama k, I had a very long day at work, and just got home. Policing the grammar and spelling on this blog could occupy someone full-time!

      May 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • .

      V I E W! Sheesh.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • science

      By the Numbers !!!

      Minority rules: Scientists discover tipping point for the spread of ideas.\

      http://esciencenews.com/articles/2011/07/25/minority.rules.scientists.discover.tipping.point.spread.ideas

      May 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • .

      Do you mean left and right sides of the brain?? Because...

      hemisphere[ hem-i-sfeer ]
      noun
      1. half of the terrestrial globe or celestial sphere, especially one of the halves into which the earth is divided. 2. a map or projection representing one of these halves. 3. a half of a sphere.

      Dork.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Observer

      Hemisphere:

      Anatomy . either of the lateral halves of the cerebrum or cerebellum.

      OOOPS!

      May 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • mama k

      Oh I was just kidding Tom – I should be the one griping at people for that since I'm probably viewing this thing more during the day. 🙂

      May 10, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Science

      Brain games . (takes both sides)...............helps the memory..............no one has a bad memory .............just an untrained

      one !

      Peace

      Reading is one of the best !

      May 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, I know, mama–no worries. I just get such a kick out of the bozos that post about their immense knowledge of the bible and religion but can hardly manage to compose a sentence. I'd LOVE to be able to do a "Dippy" on them all day long. Alas, I can't do so yet.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Nice view,
      That may be your definition of spirituality and its a good one, but not very common. Most would call the questioning of answers as skepticism, something I strongly applaud.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Akira

      I don't think spirituality is solely a religious thing. I never did.
      Just my opinion, though.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • mama k

      I've already found a few more typos that I made just recently, Tom. I need to get off of here – I'm trying a Tempranillo that turned out to be really nice and it's turned me into chatty cathy Paul; lol.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  14. Nice veiw from the fence

    Maybe this will help.

    Science math = left hemisphere
    religion/art = right hemisphere

    We have both for a reason..the reason religion is not logical is it is not supposed to be. It is an INNER journey. Logical concrete reasoning is the opposite of intuitive reasoning. Neither brain function is superior but both are necessary for human survival.

    http://timeforchange.org/definition-of-intuition-intuitive

    May 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • which hemisphere is spelling?

      May 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • The real Tom

      The arts are not confined to one hemisphere. Music has been shown to utilize both sides of the brain. Those who have musical training have brains that show responses to music that differ from the brain activity of those who do not have such training.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Nice view,
      Art and imagination are valuable. There is even value when it conflicts with facts to stimulate out of the box thinking. It runs afoul when it is represented as fact and it conflicts with observable facts.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • The real Tom

      And Nice, art is not "illogical" at all, except to people who don't have any understanding of it.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  15. John 13:34

    Be excellent to each other.

    May 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Johann 3.14 Pi is irrational.

      May 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Observer

      Bostontola,

      Not according to the Bible, which says pi is equal to exactly 3.0.

      May 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • mama k

      that was my post. it's really like John 13:34, but only if you reduce Christ to being an equal in his "group".

      May 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Observer, thanks for reminding me of that. Leave it to the religious to take an irrational and transcendental number and try to make it rational.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Clewzo

      "That is not my dog." – non-owner of that dog.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Those are the words of the Prophets Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted "Theodore" Logan.

      "Be excellent to each other. And.... party on dudes!"

      May 15, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  16. Science

    Update :......REPEAT...............the fairy in the sky did NOT CREATE US OK !!!.....The sign in picture above is WRONG!!!

    See for yourself below.................The fairy in the sky did NOT create us !

    Monkey Math: Baboons Show Brain's Ability to Understand Numbers ..........E = mc2..............(U-Pb) numbers do not lie !

    May 3, 2013 — Opposing thumbs, expressive faces, complex social systems: it's hard to miss the similarities between apes and humans. Now a new study with a troop of zoo baboons and lots of peanuts shows that a less obvious trait – the ability to understand numbers – also is shared by humans and their primate cousins.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130503132719.htm

    OR.........take a ride on a DINO.

    Fossil records are better to read than the nasty bible..................no god(s) required !

    Oldest? New 'Bone-Head' Dinosaur Hints at Higher Diversity of Small Dinosaurs

    May 7, 2013 — Scientists have named a new species of bone-headed dinosaur (pachycephalosaur) from Alberta, Canada. Acrotholus audeti (Ack-RHO-tho-LUS) was identified from both recently discovered and historically collected fossils. Approximately six feet long and weighing about 40 kilograms in life, the newly identified plant-eating dinosaur represents the oldest bone-headed dinosaur in North America, and possibly the world.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507124800.htm

    The Science Guy takes on creationism

    CNN|Added on November 24, 2012

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2012/11/24/intv-nye-creationism.cnn

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/comment-page-95/#comments

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/07/biden-urges-faith-leaders-to-pressure-lawmakers-on-background-checks/#comments

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/06/richard-dawkins-evolution-is-not-a-controversial-issue/comment-page-14/#comment-2333546

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/#comments

    And

    ..NO ANGELS with PITCH FORKS the old pope KICKED them in OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    Pope's book on Jesus challenges Christmas traditions

    By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

    updated 10:56 AM EST, Fri November 23, 2012

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/22/world/europe/vatican-pope-jesus-book/index.html?iref=allsearch

    All these years there are suppose to be angels.......................then poof go the angels according to the old pope;.......

    where are the morals there ?

    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

    OR

    and it only takes minutes now..............to simple for them maybe ?

    For all creationists and ID believers...............IT only takes minutes to figure IT out. No fairy in the sky needed !

    New Device Can Extract Human DNA With Full Genetic Data in Minutes

    May 6, 2013 — Take a swab of saliva from your mouth and within minutes your DNA could be ready for analysis and genome sequencing with the help of a new device.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130506132100.htm

    May 10, 2013 at 11:25 am | Report abuse | \

    Evolution wins hands down time for god(s) to get the hell out of the way !!!

    News Release

    3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

    University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

    Media Note: To request high resolution images of Dr. Seelig and/or of a 3D structure of the evolved enzyme, please contact Matt Hodson at mjhodson@umn.edu.

    Contacts:Matt Hodson, University News Service, mjhodson@umn.edu, (612) 625-0552
    Peggy Rinard, College of Biological Sciences, rinar001@umn.edu, (612) 624-0774

    Oops

    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

    AND .... really lost in the distant space and time ..................next to the hot place in space ?

    NASA's Spitzer Puts Planets in a Petri Dish

    May 6, 2013 — Our galaxy is teeming with a wild variety of planets. In addition to our solar system's eight near-and-dear planets, there are more than 800 so-called exoplanets known to circle stars beyond our sun. One of the first "species" of exoplanets to be discovered is the hot Jupiters, also known as roasters. These are gas giants like Jupiters, but they orbit closely to their stars, blistering under the heat.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130506161049.htm

    May 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • lol??

      Not all there, fer sure.

      May 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Science

      Oops ........more if you like lol??

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice/?iref=allsearch

      Pick your tomb !!!

      May 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Science

      Here is a good one for you lol??...........Time is your friend or enemy............... will prmote you or expose you ................

      Your choice of which path take !

      May 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Science

      Oops forgot...........you

      Looks like time has exposed the fairy in the sky !

      May 10, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Science

      lol??..........reasoning skills work ............you should engage that part of your brain...........Chadie too !

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/23/the-money-man-behind-atheisms-activism/

      May 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Science

      Hey spacecadet (lol??)...........new handle for you if you like or chadie ok .

      May 10, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Science

      Or ..............the talking snake ?............lol??...............with pitch fork !

      May 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • mama k

      Part One.

      IS there any KNOWLEDGE of a god currently? Actually, I can only answer for myself. I have no KNOWLEDGE that any god exists. Beyond that, as an AGNOSTIC atheist, I can't say. All other possibilities could be true beyond the perceptions that I rely on to arrive at my KNOWLEDGE judgment for a specific consideration. OK that's just my take.

      Part two.

      The high atheist Hepcat claims there is no possibility of a god. and I say – prove it.

      I don't need to prove anything to comfortable maintain my disbelief if God whilst not having any KNOWLEDGE of any god (the latter which is not any PROOF that there is none).

      So Hepcat – can you prove there is no possibility for a God? I'm ready to jump into the realm of high atheism if you can lead the way.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • mama k

      (my last post here was in wrong spot – it has been relocated)

      May 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  17. Bostontola

    Does anyone know if Hepcat is for real or is a troll? That poster thinks if I claim I don't believe in god but don't think I can prove it, I'm not a true atheist.

    May 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Oh, he's a Christian all right. He thinks he's catching you out on points of atheist doctrine. You know, Dawkins is the prophet of atheism and his words are truths, didn't you get the memo? See you down at the atheist church later.

      May 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Hepcat

      How did you get that out of what I wrote? Wow. You're quite the victim.
      I never said or implied that. You are an agnostic atheist. I just enjoy picking on people who foolishly argue from ignorance, as every agnostic will do.
      Quite the knee-jerk reaction there. If you'd like to continue, you could always go back and answer my questions.
      You make the positive claim that the existence of a god is possible. Prove it is possible. You make the claim, do you not?
      Agnostics are so silly.

      May 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Hepcat, Silly is concluding that a person who has never seen a proof that there is no god is not an atheist. You have shown that you either don't understand what a proof is, or you are a troll.

      Goldbach's conjecture is a well known unsolved problem in mathematics. It states:
      Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes.
      The conjecture has been shown to be true for even numbers through 4 × (10 to the 18th) and is believed by many to be true. Never the less, it remains unproven. That is the difference between a strong and generally held belief, and a proof. Do you get it now?

      May 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Bostontola

      BC, his weak grasp of logic is consistent with being a Christian.

      May 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Hepcat

      HEY STUPID FUCK
      I CALLED YOU AN AGNOSTIC ATHEIST
      LOOK IT UP DUMB FUCK
      .
      .
      And WHERE is YOUR PROOF that a god is possible? I have yet to see that from you. You dance around but never answer my questions. You are looking more and more like Chad every minute.

      May 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • sam

      Hepcat, it's a known fact that calling someone a dumb fuck will get you all kinds of polite discourse. Is there any chance you'd like to put your tantrum pants in the laundry?

      May 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • mama k

      yeah what is going on there Hepcat? Did your kitty tinkle on your Wheaties this morning?

      May 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • mama k

      and where is a proof that God is impossible?

      May 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Hepcat,
      Your lack of understanding of logic is never ending. I can't prove that god is possible, and dont need to to assert that there is no proof that god doesnt exist. Absence of a proof that god doesn't exist is not a proof of the possibility that god does exist. It is still an open question as to whether a proof of god's existence is possible in a finite system of axioms.

      May 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • mama k

      I am assuming 'Tola means the Abrahamic God, which many capitalize, but please correct me if I'm wrong, 'Tola.

      May 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • mama k

      There is a poster, I forget the name, who is a Deist. So, in that case, it's probably also God, but perhaps not necessarily the Abrahamic God – I'll have to ask him next time I see his posts.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Bostontola

      mama k, no, it's just Boston to LA. Moved out to LA many years ago.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • mama k

      Oh. -OK, BtoLA – I meant your use of caps for a god, but thanks for clearing up the name – I was just doing a short-hand on that. 🙂

      May 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bostontola

      mama k, my lack of capitalization on god is not meant to disrespect. I don't believe in god so I have a hard time capitalizing the word.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Hepcat,
      I recommend a Sam Adams, you need to relax, you don't want an aneurism.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Hepcat

      Bostontola
      You say you can't prove that a god is possible. Allllrighty then.
      I guess that takes care of your bullshlt.
      Thanks for finally answering my question. I see why you didn't want to answer it, as it shows you to be full of crap.
      You think this is a universe of axioms? And I notice you speak of "god" not "a god", so I guess you really are a fake atheist.
      You do alot of things like that. I'm more convinced you are not an atheist the more you post.
      I've seen trolls like you before. You want to appear as an agnostic, full of uncertainties so you can try to convert some clueless kid that it's all a mystery and maybe there is a god and so on, to be continued by you as a sockpuppet with a different name. Chad or Bill, I would guess.
      You have ZERO reason to even consider the possibility of a god's existence if you have no proof that one might be possible.
      DUMBFUCK
      Take your sockpuppet clown with you. The more you keep trying to call me a fake atheist, the more I notice how you talk like a religious apologist. You may as well be Uncouth Swain for all I care. I knew there was a smell of something with you.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • mama k

      "Hepcat": "You make the positive claim that the existence of a god is possible. "

      That is not a claim that an agnostic (mainstream) atheist goes around making. It is not the driving force behind their disbelief in God. They disbelieve in God because of lack of evidence. The agnostic part only allows for the remote possibility, because, quite sensibly, they realize the importance of reasonable evidence, and are much more careful about what they put in the knowledge category than both hard-line atheists and theists.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • mama k

      So Hepcat – prove that no dogs exist. Should be quite simple.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • mama k

      (gods; lol)

      May 10, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • mama k

      Oh – yeah I'm the same way on the caps of god(s), Boston – I've just had to be careful when debating someone like Chad.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • sam

      Ha, mama k, watch out for those invisible dogs.

      Hepcat, you've gotten all the attention you were apparently craving, good job. Can't figure out why you're so wound up about it to the point of being a childish dick, but hey, it's a comment section on CNN.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Bostontola

      ....

      May 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Hepcat, this isn't that advanced. Lack of a proof that god is possible, is not a proof that god is impossible. This is basic stuff. I recommend a book on logic and critical thinking.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Hey, Heparin, "alot" isn't a word. Just a little hint.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Hepcat,
      Your incessant insults show that you subscribe to ad hominem argument, more evidence of weak critical thinking skills.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Hepcat, "You have ZERO reason to even consider the possibility of a god's existence if you have no proof that one might be possible."

      That is a dogmatic approach worthy of a Christian.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Hepcat

      mamma k, you'll need to explain, using clear reasoning, why such a possibility is considered to exist by you.
      I'm going to ignore your badly conceived dog question.
      It is not the default position to ASSUME that "anything is possible" when such is clearly not the case.
      You want the sky the limit on possibilities? But reality is not like that.
      If you want me to agree that a god is possible, you'll have to prove it to me.
      Get it now?
      There is no magic you can point to, no supernatural events or data that supports the position of there being a god that is possible in such a way that you could even hold it up as being indicative of the possibility existing itself.
      But you are welcome to try and convince me.
      I have no data indicating there being the slightest possibility of any deity existing that can be called a deity.
      There is no indication that there has ever been a god of any sort in the past, no indication of one now, and I expect it to continue this way.
      There is also no indication that anything like magic or supernatural stuff has ever existed at any time throughout history and throughout the universe at both the macro and quantum scale. Sound familiar? We've had this conversation before sort of.
      .
      This is why I keep demanding proof that will support your contention that there IS a possibility of a god existing.
      I say there isn't. You say there is. I want proof. I want to know why you continue to think there is an actual possibility of a god existing.
      I want information. If you have some, I want it. If there is a possibility, I want to know how much of one, how it works, and where it is.
      But without any evidence, any indication, no matter how slight, that a possibility exists, the default position is that there is no reason to believe any possibility exists.
      You keep treating the possibility like it's Jesus, and I'll keep yelling at you people. I'm not putting up with any shlt today.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Hepcat,
      Your demands for proof are illogical. Please stop digging.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • sam

      Hep, I'm perfectly happy to agree there is no, and has not been, proof of a god or gods. However, there's no point discussing anything with you while you're acting like a goddamn bratty poe. No one else is taking any shit today, either.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Heparin, what the fvck crawled up your ass this morning?

      May 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • mama k

      Part One.

      IS there any KNOWLEDGE of a god currently? Actually, I can only answer for myself. I have no KNOWLEDGE that any god exists. Beyond that, as an AGNOSTIC atheist, I can't say. All other possibilities could be true beyond the perceptions that I rely on to arrive at my KNOWLEDGE judgment for a specific consideration. OK that's just my take.

      Part two.

      The high atheist Hepcat claims there is no possibility of a god. and I say – prove it.

      I don't need to prove anything to comfortable maintain my disbelief if God whilst not having any KNOWLEDGE of any god (the latter which is not any PROOF that there is none).

      So Hepcat – can you prove there is no possibility for a God? I'm ready to jump into the realm of high atheism if you can lead the way.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • mama k

      ( disbelief in God )

      May 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • mama k

      I'm starting to wonder if Hep is some Xtian poe who thinks of differing atheists as uncertain and therefore unsure and easy prey.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • mama k

      Here's how fast you got into trouble, Hepcat with your last post saying:

      "when such is clearly not the case."

      You have no KNOWLEDGE of that. Same thing I would say to a theist regarding the claim that God exists.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Bostontola

      mama k,
      Hepcat is either the most illogical atheist I have encountered, or a troll of one kind or another.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • mama k

      Yeah, Boston, but to be fair, I should also still keep it personal from my perspective as an agnostic atheist:

      I don't believe Hepcat has any knowledge that "such is clearly not the case" or
      You have not shown me anything to indicate that "such is clearly not the case"

      but he can certainly plead his case to me – I always ready for an upgrade.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • mama k

      I think somewhere Hepcat said "anything possible". Actually that does help explain the agnostic atheist position I think. Some things are known, and beyond that, really anything pretty much is possible – it's just a matter of how probable or improbable.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • mama k

      (with the probability judged on factors that are considered known)

      May 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Hepcat

      Yeah, I kinda thought it might turn out this way. Well, I'm sick of this shlt.

      I can see you guys aren't serious about this. Kiss my fucking ass already and fuck off.
      I'm outa here.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh noes! Hepdoofus is mad! Woe is us! How WILL we go on??

      Don't let the door hit you in the ass, Ass.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Hepcat

      When I want your slobbering attempts at humor, I'll shove a rock down your throat, Tom.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Did I ask what you wanted, you drooling idiot? Didn't think so. Bite me.

      May 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • mama k

      Hepcat says: "the default position is that there is no reason to believe any possibility exists."
      I would agree that I've been shown no reason. BUT,

      I don't think Hepcat sees the difference between that statement and:

      "there is no possibility for a god to exist"

      and for the agnostic atheist, as much as they disbelieve God, those two statements are different.

      Not only that, one could argue different time parameters. One could say there could have been a creator god that existed and left for another universe and cleaned up his tracks on the way, never to return. I know such a notion probably seems silly – highly improbable, but it's a possibility, and respecting that possibility makes certain usage of "is" and "exists" limiting when one should consider something other than the present tense. Claiming to know something at 100% certainty when there is so much we don't know is also silly – at least to the agnostic.

      May 10, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • IHV

      I would agree neither side can prove their view with a 100% certainty, so the agnostic seems to be the most realistic

      May 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • lol??

      Dogs don't like kitties eating at the food bowl first.

      May 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I think he's just another high school kid who doesn't know what the word "proof" means and thinks there's a logical enti.ty called "default position". Assuming he's young a few years of college ought to knock some sense into him

      May 10, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • aldewacs

      IHV said : "I would agree neither side can prove their view with a 100% certainty, so the agnostic seems to be the most realistic."
      ____

      Cheap. That's the guys that made the positive statement ("god(s) exist(s)") trying to raise their own unprovable statement to the same level as the one who asks for reasonable proof of the assertion. Similar to "my daddy can't life a 1,000 pound rock and your daddy can't lift one either, so they are equally strong".

      Synopsis: he who makes the positive statement must prove his statement. And that's the one who claims there are gods. And while agnostics or atheists cannot prove the nonexistence of gods or teapots orbiting Uranus, or many other silly things others can blurt out, there is no reason to do so. After all, atheists are merely saying: "I have seen no proof that there is a god, hence the default position is to not believe it." After 2,100 years of Christianity, and not a smidgen of tangible proof, that seems like a reasonable position. At least until anybody offers any of that illusive proof.

      May 11, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "I CALLED YOU AN AGNOSTIC ATHEIST" Oh, I didn't realize you thought you were insulting me. I'm an agnostic atheist, and you are, let's see, a Catholic? They are always impressed by arguments from authority. I am sure there's no god, but lacking physical proof, I'll settle for easily-defensible agnosticism. You miss the point with this trolling because, like many religious simpletons, you see atheism as a competing religion instead of people who don't believe in gods. If I disbelieve one way, and another atheist disbelieves a different way, the bishop of my atheist sect isn't going to force me to fight him on doctrinal grounds.

      May 13, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Hepcat seems to have a problem with Boston saying he is agnostic because it is a strong and generally held belief for which there is no proof. Don't you just hate it when someone argues with your religion?

      May 15, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  18. Free nut

    Open drawer in a hotel room to find it .

    May 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Dan

      You left your nut in a hotel room drawer? Yikes!

      May 10, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Hepcat

      It's a trap!

      May 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Fee nut

      Drove it nuts, the thing in the drawer .

      May 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Hotels should put condoms in the drawers....they would be more useful.

      May 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Dan

      A "Fee nut" sounds like something you have to pay for...

      May 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Dan

      If they started putting condoms in the drawers instead of bibles they might actually cut down on the number of abortions each year in America. I bet they would save thousands of more lives then shooting another doctor in the head like they are want to do.

      May 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Conrad Hilton's autobiography?

      May 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • snoops

      probably save them a bundle on sheets too...

      May 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • snoops

      or a photo of Kathy Bates getting out of the hot tub in "About Schmidt", that in a hotel drawer would severly cut down on the number of abortions in America...

      May 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Free nut

      Condoms work !

      May 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Science

      All over the bedVrooooooooooooooooooooooooom.....................no sh-it !!!

      The old red devil and the bedroom ................not fvcking funny !!!

      May 15, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  19. lol??

    Famous last words of a a rich and famous successful visionary, Jobs:

    "According to the article, ti*tled “A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs,” Jobs’s last words were “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.” (The words were rendered in all capital letters in the essay.)"
    http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/10/31/oh-wow-what-do-steve-jobss-last-words-really-mean/

    bow wow, bow wow, bow wow, yipity doo dahh yipity daaaaah

    May 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Science

      Murdoch bought the wsj did he not ?

      May 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • lol??

      What's his last words, prophet??

      May 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Science

      You tell me lol?? ...............I was not there !

      May 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Oscar Wilde's last words were "Either these curtains go, or I do."

      May 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  20. Article

    The worst countries for religious freedom are either Muslim or atheist. (Burma is Buddhist.) We understand about Islam, but atheists like to present themselves as tolerant. What does it tell us that no countries of Christian heritage are on the list? (After the jump: the 15 countries currently on the official list of the worst religious rights violators.)

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/05/the-worlds-worst-violators-of-religious-freedom/

    May 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Lets take a peek at the rideological demographics of said countries.

      Burma – Buddhist
      China – Communist – Cult of personality centered on Chairman Mao
      Eritrea – 63% Christian, 37% Muslim
      Iran – Muslim
      North Korea – Communist (cult of personality centered around Kim Jong Il and family)
      Saudi Arabia – Muslim
      Sudan – Muslim
      Uzbekistan – Muslim

      It would appear that you are conflating atheism with communism.
      While that is a common tactic for anti-atheists, it has little merit.
      “Atheism as a denial of this unreality; has no longer any meaning, for atheism is a denial of God and tries to assert through this negation the existence of man; but socialism as such no longer needs this mediation...”
      – Karl Marx

      May 10, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Article

      Soooo... your attempt to separate Communism from Atheism is to quote Marxism (another form of Communism)

      bravo...

      Eritrea - All denominations of Christianity enjoyed freedom of worship until 2002 when the government outlawed worship and assembly outside the 'registered' denominations"

      A registered denomination is not found in the teachings of Christ.

      May 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Article
      Perhaps you didn't read the content of the quote.
      Marx, the father of Communism and author of the Communist Manifesto, is saying that communism does not require atheism.
      You dig?

      Plus – there is no such thing as an "Atheist" state.
      Leaders do not wave a flag of atheism to rally their people.
      In fact, quite a number of the worst communist dictators in history learned the discourse of dogmatic persuasion during their religious educations. For example, Pol Pot spent 8 years at a Catholic school in Phnom Penh and Stalin 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary.
      Historians have noted their speaking and writing styles ape those of the Church in being declamatory and repet.itive, with liturgical overtones.
      Like religion, they demanded blind obedience and obsequious submission from their followers. They tolerated no free-thinkers and enforced dogmatism. Those are the tools of statecraft they learned at the feet of religion.
      Do you understand what a cult of personality is? The leaders you brand "atheist" are more aptly labelled "authotheists" as they put themselves into the Godhead position.

      What about secular countries who are happier, more tolerant, and better educated than their religious couterparts?
      Countries like Ja/pan, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Australia, etc.

      May 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Ken

      Article
      You should have tried being a Jew in Christian Europe through the middle ages, or even 1950's Mississippi. Not much freedom was ever allotted to them living in Christian society.

      May 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "What does it tell us that no countries of Christian heritage are on the list? " That the list was compiled by Christians?

      May 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Science

      Article................A little history...........what about WWII camps in US......... on what group(s) of citizens?

      May 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.