home
RSS
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. Dyslexic doG

    so when did I realize I was God?

    Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized that I was talking to myself ...

    May 7, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
  2. Henri

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF2ycrCcKkE&w=640&h=360]

    May 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Where do Ravi Z and William C teach science?

      May 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Science

      Have to clean up these dirty soles

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

      May 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Constantin Chicioroaga

      Constantin Chicioroaga traianch2005@mail.ru
      I love every day and night on several occasions his partner Stephen, we get along very well, and even think to register our relationship and adopt a few children in Germany! We live in a free country, and we want to build their lives freely in a modern way, so we do not care about all of you and what you think of us – WE ARE GAY AND PROUD OF IT!

      November 13, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  3. H8ted by who?

    John, who is the h8ter?

    May 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  4. midwest rail

    Sad, boring troll.

    May 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  5. Tom Riedmiller

    Jesus... please save me from your followers!

    May 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • clathome2003

      One day he will certainly seperate you from his followers, and you will beg for his mercy, as will the rest of those who choose to mock him. Just fair warning.

      May 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • sam

      @clathome – come on, give us the rest of the thinly veiled threat: roasting in hell for eternity.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • sam

      On second thought, can I put in a request? I think I would prefer to simmer, rather than be roasted.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • In Agreement

      "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mahatma Ghandi

      May 7, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
  6. kent

    Hmm. No sign of lol?? or LL since earlier today. When did they actually pick up the Castro brothers? ....

    May 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • kent

      nah – false alarm on one account – Lionly posted recently under the Biden article.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  7. Big country by big country

    Pull up your head off the floor, come up screaming.
    Cry out for everything you ever might have wanted.
    I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
    But you can't stay here with every single hope you had shattered.

    May 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • .

      Insanity rears its head again.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Charles

      Isn't the chorus supposed to be

      And in a big country, dreams stay with you,
      Like a lover's voice, fires the mountainside..
      Stay alive..
      ?

      May 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Akira

      Never cared for that song much...

      May 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Anthrax lyrics

      In the end I'm pounding on the door but it's already over too little too late.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  8. HeavenSent

    "Don't worry, son. I'm sure he's up in heaven right now laughing it up with all the other celebrities: John Dilinger, Ty Cobb, Joseph Stalin."

    –Homer Simpson

    May 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  9. Bill Deacon

    All this proves is that I am not nearly man enough to admit when I am wrong.
    Even when confronted with clear proof.

    May 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  10. Bill Deacon

    Not even Muslims think Mohammed was a God fake BD. Go take your nap.

    May 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Okay literal bitch.
      Allah came after jesus
      Try google some time.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Maybe not literal but accurate and yes, it can be a biotch. Muslims also hold that Allah is the same God of Abraham that Christians and Jewish people worship. So, fail, utter fail on your part. Now go steal someone else's name that thinks your cute.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Thinks your cute what?

      May 7, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  11. Bill Deacon

    Scientology.
    That started after Jesus too.

    May 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      That's a pseudo religion. What do they call their God?

      May 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      That's a secret.
      First you have to be prepared to hear the truth.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The truth is Jesus. There, you're prepared

      May 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    Christians, please talk to me about 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.

    Your religion is not even original! What a joke!

    May 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • junior

      No other religion pre anounces the birth of the Savior

      May 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • trollintraining

      SATAN told you that.
      He probably told you to post it too!

      May 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Athy

      What do you mean "pre announces?" That's just part of the myth.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Neal Dakota

      Many of your claims are, at best, very slight similarites where one can barely connect any dots between the two. Most of the similarities between Christ and other gods came after the birth of Christianity and it's spread along trade routes into eastern cultures.

      I know you won't believe me, because that would require reading history books and not the witty, easy, convenient myths that are passed around on facebook in funny looking pictures.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • junior

      The Buddha, the Greek Philosophers, Virgil a roman pagan to name a few, and of course Holy scriptures preanounce his birth. Not only that but his entire life is preanounced, even his crucifixion. There are hundreds of revelations, and the probability of a person fulfilling all that is preannounced grows exponentially.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      How about all the God's mankind has created since Jesus?

      There's.... uh.... well.. uh... and then there's.... uh...... none

      May 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

      Revelation 12:9

      Amen.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • trollintraining

      @ junior
      Prophets were all over the place 2,000 years ago.
      They just rewrote jusus to fit the torrah as well as they could.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Don't knock the Mithrans. They stood up for the Christians every chance they had, and since most Mithrans were soldiers and tough guys, that counted for a lot. They wanted men to swear to fight against the devil when they died instead of going on to paradise and hoping the god of light would win. They didn't ask women to forswear paradise, because they were why the men fought, and so they didn't care if their wives became Christians. They felt that Jesus and Mithras were the sons of god, and that Mithras had come to get his army while Jesus saved the rest of humanity. And so why not just be Christians? We absorbed them and kept their holidays.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

      Colossians 2:8

      Amen.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Oh, wait, I forgot Mohammed.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      "Snapes patronus was a doe. The same as my mothers, because he loved her for nearly all his life, from the time when they were children. You should have realised. "De asked you to spare her life, didn't he?"

      May 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Unbelievers constantly proving they listen to the lies satan whispers in their ears, caring less to be the best that Jesus wants all of us to be.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Pete

      HS
      If Satan actually does whisper in people's ears and is so clever that he is able to deceive brilliant scientists then how much easier would it be for him to fool the likes of you? He could play off of that enormous ego you have. Simple as pie!

      May 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I give up. I'll just have to heed the wise old saying ... "Never argue with an idiot, they'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience"

      You Christians have worn me out in the logic free, fact free world you happily live in.

      May 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • WASP

      @HS: " caring less to be the best that Jesus wants all of us to be."

      ummm you mean kindof how christians alienate everyone not in their little club?
      gays, straights, blacks,white, hispanics, men, women, children, atheists, muslims, jews, buddists, pro-choice, anti-segregationists, etc etc etc.

      so after you're done telling everyone how "unchristian" they are who's left in your little club?
      (crickets)

      May 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  13. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “To give a person an opinion one must first judge well whether that person is of the disposition to receive it or not.” ― Yamamoto Tsunetomo

    May 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  14. Chad

    @LinCA "Your god is actually pretty simple to understand if you look at the conditions that gave rise to its inventions. Yours, like virtually every god ever invented, is simply a convenient answer to difficult questions. Gods are concocted to quell questions for which those in power have no rational answer."

    @Chad "A. The atheist who believes that all there is is the material universe, actually has a difficult time explaining why the ability to "hallucinate an imaginary deity" would ever have evolved in the first place.
    There are no scenarios under which a mutation which creates a delusion in the host brain is beneficial to the host.

    B. The fact that many gods are fake, does not mean they all are. In the same manner the existence of fake Rolexes wouldnt mean that a genuine Rolex doesnt exist.

    C. There is simply no way a person can rationally claim that the non-natural (super natural) does not exist, therefor it simply can never be rationally asserted that the God of Israel does not exist.

    May 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      "There is simply no way a person can rationally claim that the non-natural (super natural) does not exist, therefor it simply can never be rationally asserted that the God of Israel does not exist."

      Nor can it rationally be asserted that this being DOES exist

      Try again, chard

      May 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Alias

      As usual Chad, you fail.

      It is easy to see why religion exists. It provides comfort for children. It makes people feel better about the injustices in this world. It can give weak minded people a sense of purpose.
      People have used it throughout history to unite the masses and gain power – or stay in power.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • trollintraining

      Even if you assert that the super-natural exists, how do you know you are worshipping the right god?

      May 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "There is simply no way a person can rationally claim that the non-natural (super natural) does not exist"

      Please produce your proof of supernatural events. And don't say it's a breath of fresh air or the smile of a newborn child. I will track you down and barf on your shoes.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad,
      Fake Rolexes can be independently verified. You accept your god with no independent evidence but reject others which have the same amount of evidence (i.e. none)

      Prove that Ra does not exist. Prove that Thor does not exist. et cetera for all the gods that you do not believe in.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Dave

      "There is simply no way a person can rationally claim that the non-natural does not exist" lol

      There is a simple way a person can rationally claim that the non-natural does not exist. Watch.

      Nothing we ave ever experienced can be quantified or qualified as being non-natural, therefore the non-natural does not exist.

      See how easy that was chad?

      May 7, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      Santa: Good luck with that. He will run and hide like the equally cowardly gopher

      May 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Science

      Wow ..................Chad .............you love that devil's cult aye ?......add Rachael you have a big bang !

      Chad
      Love the Catholic Church they're so generous to the world

      February 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/12/why-next-pope-must-open-up-church-and-usher-in-vatican-iii/#comments

      Science

      But chad's fav is chapter 6 HS from page 88

      May 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |

      Chad
      Love the Catholic Church they're so generous to the world

      February 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/12/why-next-pope-must-open-up-church-and-usher-in-vatican-iii/#comments

      Science

      But chad's fav is chapter 6 HS from page 88

      May 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |

      May 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Science

      The sign above Chad in the picture is false/wrong.................BULLSH-IT !

      May 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I'd like to point out that Chad has used both probability and evolution to attempt and prove his god. With probability he focuses on the odds being so high that they are virtually impossible, believing that if something has a 10^450 chance of happening, that it must mean that said event happens on the 10^450 time. So chad does not understand probabilities.

      Chad also states, "There are no scenarios under which a mutation which creates a delusion in the host brain is beneficial to the host."
      - With this sentence he clearly does not realize that evolution does not have a mind of its own nor does it cause mutations for purely beneficial reasons. Mutations and genetic changes happen whether its beneficial to the host or not. Creating a delusion from bad genes is entirely possible, but Chad awaits an answer why that would happen.
      Chad does not understand evolution.

      I think it's safe to say that Chad has read a great many wikipedia sites discussing the material and has learned what ctrl+c and ctrl+v does (Incidentally doing a religious act for another religion) but he has yet to fully comprehend the actual science behind it. He's the worst sort of christian apologetic.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Austintatious

      I have seen the supernatural. Bill Deacon rimming the Chad/Rachel butthole.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Science

      Austintatious.............now that is ki-nky............lmfao

      May 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

      Colossians 3:8

      Amen.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Austintatious

      HeavenSent....You go girl, I remember the old days when I had to pay $2.99 a minute to get some carnal beetch to talk dirty to me. Credit the handle to mamak.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      funny how the ones who think Christians are hom0phobic are the ones tiitilated by humor that insults the behavior.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Science

      Bill 3 ways are a little ki-inky aye ?

      May 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

      Ezekiel 36:25

      Amen.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Scence

      Go play in the sand box HS

      May 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Redrum Redrum

      nocaeD lliB
      Killed a child, enough said about Bill.

      May 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      science, you really need to get past this obsession. I will pray for you.

      May 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Science

      HS Thanks .........but no thanks rather play in the sand box with numbers. E =mc2 splat !

      May 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles

      read it again, there are no scenarios under which a mutation which creates a delusion in the host brain [will survive the natural selection process because it is] beneficial to the host.

      IOW, delusion is not beneficial, so it will not survive natural selection.

      ===========
      @Bible Clown© "Please produce your proof of supernatural events"
      @Chad "origin of the universe"

      ====
      @Santa "You accept your god with no independent evidence"
      @Chad "what would you consider independent evidence?"

      ====
      @Dave "Nothing we ave ever experienced can be quantified or qualified as being non-natural, therefore the non-natural does not exist."
      @Chad "100% false, the origin of the universe is non-natural, see Hawking, Mlodinow, Penrose, etc, etc, etc..."

      May 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Pete

      Chad
      "The fact that many gods are fake, does not mean they all are."
      No, but we never did "prove" that these gods were actually "fake". All that happened was that we realized that they weren't all that special once we stopped worshipping them. For atheists, the same thing hold's true for God. Once you stop worshipping him the similarities he shares with all the gods you consider "fake" stand out plainly.

      If there are thousands of fake gods then it sets the general rule that claims of an actual god are not to be taken just on face value. It is then up to the person making the claim of knowing about an actual god to provide the proof that sets their candidate apart from the many false ones. So far as I can tell, no one has been able to provide that proof for Bible God.

      I know that you want to ask me what investigation I've done on the subject, but that would be attempting to shift the burden of proof onto me where it's you who are trying to make a case for God's being real. So, pull one of your usual copy-and-paste retorts, one that has been refuted here at least a half-dozen times, and let's see in anyone can come up with an original argument against it even if you don't have any original ideas to offer, eh?

      May 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      God works in mysterious ways, getting scientist to seek after Him.

      May 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Science

      Chad non casual agent religious bullsh-it !

      May 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Neither is hemophelia. Not all mutations that survive are necessarily beneficial. For instance, if a specific person survives because they have better eyes and can see better, that trait is selected and passed down. But that person could also have shorter fingers, or a bad kidney etc.. that will also get passed down. Mutations that are passed down don't need to be beneficial.

      Chad, there is a profound problem with your comprehension of evolution and probabilities that should be cleared up before you wontonly keep using them without full comprehension.

      Also, I want to point out something I thought was funny. You mentioned that Atheists seem universally liberal and that christians were spread between both parties. Lets pretend for a second that the religious (or lack thereof) affiliation of a person was the sole reason for their political affiliation and there was some correlation between atheism and liberalism, then according to your logic, religion makes a person a republican. Do you think that makes sense at all?

      "@Bible Clown© "Please produce your proof of supernatural events"
      @Chad "origin of the universe""
      –Since there was no "natural" before the big bang, it technically can't be "supernatural" can it? Try again.

      May 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, Your sophistry does not prove a god. You seem to have missed answering this – Prove that Ra does not exist. Prove that Thor does not exist. et cetera for all the gods that you do not believe in.

      May 7, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @Pete "No, but we never did "prove" that these gods were actually "fake"."
      @Chad "agreed, you're just hoping all gods are fake.."

      --
      @Pete "Once you stop worshipping [God] the similarities he shares with all the gods you consider "fake" stand out plainly.
      @Chad "no, all that happened was you decided to ignore the possibility that He does exist.

      Unless you demonstrate He does not exist, there exists a possibility that He does.
      You can choose to ignore that possibility or not. That is inescapable logic.."

      May 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • NT

      @Chad-Fantastic post!

      May 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • midwest rail

      I love a good sock puppet show. Where's my popcorn ?

      May 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad. Independent of the bible. Even if one accepts a god there is nothing to indicate it is the god of your bible as opposed to the god(s) of the other religion's texts, the followers of those religions accept them because their texts say so. You've never answered why your religious text is more convincing than any other religious text.

      May 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @Santa "You seem to have missed answering this – Prove that Ra does not exist. Prove that Thor does not exist. et cetera for all the gods that you do not believe in.

      =>The God of Israel as revealed in the bible makes the claim that there is no other god than Him.
      =>The God of Israel exists
      =>therefor, all other Gods are not real.

      You see, the believer in the God of Israel has a logically sound basis for rejecting all other gods.
      Atheists have no such basis.. Why do you reject all gods? What is your evidence?

      May 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckkes

      A. http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/can_evolution_explain_religion
      B. naturalExisting in or caused by nature.
      super-natural Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Thanks chad for practicing your run and hide approach whenever you are wrong.

      Greatest compliment you can give a poster on this board at this point.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Santa Also

      Chad
      What evidence, that you are mad, crazy, delusional and the ad hominem fallacy will not work Chad, because you are all of those things. Supernatural BS is just that, prove any supernatural claims in the bible, go ahead, waiting.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      "B. naturalExisting in or caused by nature.
      super-natural Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. "
      –Like I pointed out, since the big bang occured before "nature" existed, calling an event supernatural doesn't really make sense, moreso when you claim that this one event is evidence that god exists. Since you, like the rest of humanity, has no idea what conditions were like pre big bang, saying that the big bang is supernatural is wrong.

      Try again

      "A: http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/can_evolution_explain_religion" – What the sh.it is this? Seriously, you think this makes any sense whatsoever? First, this garbage website is so completely bias that it's amazing you would even attempt to use this as anything but virtual toilet paper, you should stick with wikipedia. Second, it literally answered nothing, reaffirming the "run and hide" theory that you can't actually answer what I posted because you realized you are way wrong.

      Go ahead chad, admit you're wrong for once, I promise it helps.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Science

      Chad fav...............chapter 6 from the ICR amd page 88...........who has popcorn !

      May 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "Unless you demonstrate He does not exist, there exists a possibility that He does.
      You can choose to ignore that possibility or not. That is inescapable logic..
      "
      True. I don't think very many here that argue that there is absolutely no chance there are gods. Without having absolute knowledge a reasonable person will accept that there is a non-zero chance that there are gods. There is even a non-zero chance that yours exists (or one that you could claim as being close enough to yours).

      But is also inescapably stupid to accept that your particular god exist while at the same time denying the existence of any others. If you accept the odds that your god exists as sufficiently high to spend even a nanosecond of your time worshiping it, you should do the same for all others.

      Worse, if you accept that your god exists, you have no reason to dismiss the Tooth Fairy, nor do you have reason to dismiss the Easter bunny.

      While there is a non-zero chance that gods are real, there are far more reasonable explanations for them.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • The real Tom

      LinCA, excellent post. Why can't Chard grasp this? Can he really be that stupid?

      May 7, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles

      1. natural vs super-natural is a very basic concept. Suggest any good dictionary to assist you.. Supernatural exists BEYOND nature.. They are mutually exclusive terms. 🙂

      2. the discussion of "can evolution explain religion" is ongoing, if that site offends you for some bizarre reason(beyond this being threatening because it is the first time you ever wondered how it is that religion could have evolved), there are many others with essentially the same content.

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1018_041018_science_religion.html
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_psychology_of_religion
      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/jan/14/can-science-explain-religion/?pagination=false

      May 7, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @IinCA "But is also inescapably stupid to accept that your particular god exist while at the same time denying the existence of any others. If you accept the odds that your god exists as sufficiently high to spend even a nanosecond of your time worshiping it, you should do the same for all others."

      =>you missed the part about if the God of Israel is real, all others are false.
      Therefor, one only needs establish that God is real, to avoid having to show all others are false.

      inescapable logic..

      May 7, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "if the God of Israel is real, all others are false.
      Therefor, one only needs establish that God is real, to avoid having to show all others are false."

      No it is not "inescapable logic," Chard. There is that little word "if" that you never deal with. In addition, there is no proof that your god, IF he's real, is the only one. He says he is, according to you. That doesn't make it so. All gods say they're the real thing.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @CHad

      "1. natural vs super-natural is a very basic concept. Suggest any good dictionary to assist you.. Supernatural exists BEYOND nature.. They are mutually exclusive terms. "

      –Yes, and if nature existed for this event to exist beyond it, you would be right. But nature didn't exist, and you're wrong. How do you not understand this basic concept? Calling an event supernatural when nature didn't yet exist doesn't make sense.

      "2. the discussion of "can evolution explain religion" is ongoing, if that site offends you for some bizarre reason"
      –For a guy who gets huffy about atheists being "bias" how can you not see right through the biasness of this site?

      Furthermore, I'm not discussing, even remotely, if evolution can be explained by religion. Nor were you, or anyone else. That is coming from out of left field. We are discussing specificially that a mutation occuring that evolves a population from one set to another does not have to be beneficial or explained. It's that simple. Now, if you want to use religion as a tool to explain every little reason why humans have specific traits (good luck with the appendix), be my guest, but what you are citing has literally nothing to do with this. Stick on topic chad, you are employing the non-sequiter fallacy so sloppily it's a little pathetic.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Yes, Tom

      Chad
      Can be that stupid...
      It (Chad) can ignore any crime committed in the name of jesus is just fine with the likes of Chad.
      It can deem any supernatural act by his god of Israel as normal.
      It can find any number of apologetics quotes and untruths to post.
      It can lie and be disingenuous at all times.
      Sarasawi has a much more comprehensive list of what the Chad is.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Chad

      "calling an event beyond nature when nature didnt exist is stupid!!"

      uhmm.. what?

      ========
      =>bias of all sites that discuss the ability of evolution to explain religion? what?
      =>root post, we were discussing how the atheist "actually has a difficult time explaining why the ability to "hallucinate an imaginary deity" would ever have evolved in the first place.""

      May 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • TANK!!!!!

      "There are no scenarios under which a mutation which creates a delusion in the host brain is beneficial to the host."

      Funny. Alvin Plantinga argues the exact opposite.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tank "Alvin Plantinga argues the exact opposite."

      =>no he didnt.. 🙂

      supply the link, I'll be happy to walk you through it.

      May 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • .

      Ah, here comes the snarks and the emoticons. Chad's getting his ass handed to him again.

      May 7, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Anyone holding their breath waiting for Chad to prove that his god exists and that that means no other gods exist? Past history says we'll never see it. . .

      May 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "you missed the part about if the God of Israel is real, all others are false."
      Only in the mind of simpletons. Don't forget that part.

      Your bible doesn't establish that god is real anymore than that a Spider Man comic book establishes that Spider man is real.

      May 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Actually, given that we know exactly when and how Spiderman came into being, one could argue that we know much more about Spiderman than any god, and that he is more real than any god.

      May 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: "we were discussing how the atheist "actually has a difficult time explaining why the ability to "hallucinate an imaginary deity" would ever have evolved in the first place."

      this is really easy to explain.
      1) insanity isn't an evolutionary trait; it's a mental illness in a single or few members of a species.
      2) have you ever done any type of hallucinogen or been sleep deprived or had a really gnarly dream?
      2a) yeah many cultures "evolved" traditions of medicine men, sages, etc etc etc to smoke payote or other drug to "speak" with the gods or have a "spirit walk".
      3) humans have the greatest tool of any animal ever in the history of the world.......................we can imagine. we can see a house in our minds and then figure out how to build that house to make it real. that is what gave us the ability to understand how to turn wood in spears, bows and arrows, etc.
      4) seeing humans are "communal" creatures, we share ideas and have been sharing ideas for over 30,000 years. i.e. the first cave paintings in europe have been dated to that age. they depict animals and show stories of their hunts and way of life.

      -so long story short you again lack true knowledge on what exactly an atheist can explain...............seeing i'm extremely logical and capable of an.alyzing and storing massive amounts of information to have use of it's difficult to claim atheists have a hard time explaining anything other than the fact of why weak people require a "god" to treat them as children and set down rules of what is "good and bad" for them...................i still can't understand why anyone would choose to give up their ability to choose what is good for them.

      May 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      "calling an event beyond nature when nature didnt exist is stupid!!"
      uhmm.. what?"
      –A) not a direct quote from me and B) A supernatural event is an event that happens beyond nature, but nature has to exist in order for an event to happen outside of it. Nature didn't exist, so to talk about an event that happened outside of it doesn't make sense, and is stupid. Comprende?

      ========
      =>bias of all sites that discuss the ability of evolution to explain religion? what?
      –Like I pointed out before, for a guy that hates bias you sure have a lot of it yourself. There's a difference between the publication that lays out the facts and then hypothesizes that god could have been involved and then there's the sh.itrag you posted that didn't actually present anything and was pure propaganda.

      =>"root post, we were discussing how the atheist "actually has a difficult time explaining why the ability to "hallucinate an imaginary deity" would ever have evolved in the first place.""
      –Why do you need a "why" here? This is what i've been trying to tell you. Mutations are random, evolution is not guided nor is there a specific goal in mind. "hallucinating an imgainary diety" does not need to be beneficial or "good" in order to develop, why are you having a hard time understanding this. How on earth do you justify why we have 10 fingers instead of 12? why didn't we grow wings? Why didn't we evolve armor like an armadillo? Trying to justify a specific mutated trait that humans has is stupid and exposes your ignorance in evolution, as I've states multiple times before.

      May 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • mama k

      Regarding WASP's #3, it seems a lot of animals have imagination. I know my cat does. lol – and then there was this:
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41Z6Mvjd9w0&w=640&h=360]

      May 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • mama k

      Yeah, Chuckles and why didn't we get the immune system of a crocodile. We were cheated. lol.

      May 7, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • WASP

      @mama k: ok let's see your cat imagine something then make it real.................well other than licking itself and pucking up furrballs. 🙂

      then it has the samething as humans. until then only humans can "dream" of making a sandwich and then make it. 🙂

      May 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • mama k

      Of course there is no knowing for sure, especially the dreaming part; but I think it's easier to see in cats than dogs, where after being bored with a certain toy, a cat will often create its own plot involving the toy and act it out – sometimes as if the toy were some giant threat – all for its own amusement.

      May 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • mama k

      lol – we may one day find out that dolphins had religion, but shed it a long time ago.

      May 7, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Chard yips: "I'll be happy to walk you through it."

      Odd how you post more and more happy faces as you lose ground in the debate.

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

      "=>you missed the part about if the God of Israel is real, all others are false.
      Therefor, one only needs establish that God is real, to avoid having to show all others are false."

      wow, that one gave me a good laugh. Chad at his loopiest. He is so stupid he doesn't see the glaring hole smack dab in the center of his "inescapable logic..", that of "if Odin is real" and "if FSM is real" and his entire premise of only having to prove that any God is real falls apart. Sorry Chad, try again.

      May 7, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Pete

      Chad
      "agreed, you're just hoping all gods are fake.."
      You'd better be hoping that these other gods are fake as well, otherwise your God isn't exactly what people believe him to be.

      "no, all that happened was you decided to ignore the possibility that He does exist."
      No more than you probably ignored the possibility that any of the other gods exists. If you don't give them any serious thought then I don't see why I should give your God any either, see?

      "Unless you demonstrate He does not exist, there exists a possibility that He does.
      You can choose to ignore that possibility or not. That is inescapable logic.."
      And, again, I can apply this to you using any and all other gods. Logically, you can't ignore the possibility that any of them could be real while your's is not. If this turns out to be the case then you've actually probably angered that god, or goddess, more by worshipping a false God than my not worshipping any. All told, I feel more confident in my stand in not taking the risk of worshipping the wrong god when it's a cr.ap shoot which, if any, god is the real McCoy.

      May 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Chad

      @LinCA "Your bible doesn't establish that god is real anymore than that a Spider Man comic book establishes that Spider man is real"
      @Chad "you can of course claim the bible isnt true, but, you can NOT claim that the believer in the God of Israel has reason to discount the existence of other gods, while the atheist has none...

      what are you doing about that?

      .

      May 7, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles

      I still cant get over the fact that you believe something must be present to not exist within it, and you view national geographic is pure propaganda. 🙂

      May 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "you can of course claim the bible isnt true, but, you can NOT claim that the believer in the God of Israel has reason to discount the existence of other gods, while the atheist has none..."
      The bible clearly isn't true. You'd have to be insane to believe it is. So, all you establish is that believers are irrational and that atheists don't have imaginary friends. What else is new?

      You said, "what are you doing about that?"
      I'm good with that.

      May 8, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      1. The first website you posted was pure propaganda, the other sites are immaterial as I pointed out earlier has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

      2. Saying the big bang is supernatural is like saying the first football penalty occurred before football was invented. The rules hadn't been invented yet, so the action itself could not have broken the non existent rules, how are you seriously not getting this?

      May 8, 2013 at 1:37 am |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles

      1. 🙂 All of those sites discuss the difficulties of evolution explaining religion, which is one of the root post discussion points.

      2. The big bang is actually not the supernatural component (I'll pause while you scroll up and see that what I actually said was "the origin of the universe"). The big bang is just a period of rapid expansion following the origin of the universe.
      The origin of the universe has a supernatural causal agent.

      By definition, a supernatural agent can exist independent of our natural universe.

      May 8, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      1. What we were discussing is very patricular and there is 0 need to give me articles about evolution and religion. You asked about the beneficial properties of a mutation that made people hallucinate a diety. I told you there doesn't need to be beneficial properties of every mutation for the trait to be passed down, nor does there need to be a reason. That's it, that's all folks. Why you keep randomly trying to throw me off topic is anyones guess (I'm assuming you've realized you're wrong and are trying to bury the lead).

      2. Chad, the absolute most exploration we've ever had into the origin of the universe is the big bang, we don't know what happened nanoseconds before the rapid expansion but we can theorize that this expansion came from a singularity. We don't know where the singularity came from, what conditions it existed in, why it expanded and what rules it followed. All we can do is trace the big bang down to just before we think our current universe started. Because of this, you making claims that a) we know our current universe has a beginning is an educated theory supported by the facts, but we don't know if other universes existed prior to that, or outside of this universe now, etc...

      Like I've said before, anything that happens prior to the big bang can't be supernatural because the natural didn't exist in order for there to be a supernatural component. If you believe the supernatural aspect is that a supernatural being existed, lets go back to the football analogy. How can a football referee give a football penalty before the game of football exists? The answer is, it can't. You're resting your entire case that supernatural events can happen because the singular instance of our universes origin, you believe, is supernatural, but you're wrong which pretty much invalidates everything else you've said.

      I understand being wrong is tough chad, but everyone is wrong at one point or another. Go on, don't be afraid to admit your wrong.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "because the natural didn't exist in order for there to be a supernatural component."

      =>supernatural Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
      natural Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.

      let me know when you identify your error 🙂
      hint: supernatural is not a "component of natural."

      ==
      see those articles for a complete discussion of the difficulty of evolution explaining the ability of people to "hallucinate a deity"

      🙂

      May 8, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      1. If you start under the assumption that evolution and religion are tied and that your god guides evolution, then sure, there would be a reason and an end goal for every single mutation and adaptation that humanity has ever had. But that starts on the wrong assumption which is why what you gave me is garbage and doesn't pertain to the question at hand, namely that you are looking for a reason, a beneficial reason at that, why humanity would develop a mutation that would cause people to hallucinate a diety. The answer is, there is no answer.

      2. Chad, in order for the supernatural to exist, the natural has to exist. They are dependent on one another in that respect.
      "supernatural Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature" - From your own defintion the force has to exist beyond the laws of nature or scientific understanding. The origin of the universe is neither of those things. We have theories and educated guesses about what happened pre big bang so science will one day be able to understand it AND for something to exist beyond the laws of nature, nature (and by extension laws of nature) have to exist first in order for something to exist beyond them. Why is this so hard for you to understand? Where's the mental block chad? Help me help you here because I'm honestly bbefuddled how you having such an issue with this.

      May 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles

      1. root post question "The atheist who believes that all there is is the material universe, actually has a difficult time explaining why the ability to "hallucinate an imaginary deity" would ever have evolved in the first place.
      is discussed at length in those posts.
      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1018_041018_science_religion.html
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_psychology_of_religion
      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/jan/14/can-science-explain-religion/?pagination=false

      2. You seem also to be spinning out of control on the other root post item, namely There is simply no way a person can rationally claim that the non-natural (super natural) does not exist

      – you tried for quite a while to claim that supernatural cant exist without the natural.(@chuckles "Since there was no "natural" before the big bang, it technically can't be "supernatural" can it? Try again)
      you seem to have figured out your error there, but it isnt clear, as you veered back to it again..

      – the natural need not exist for supernatural to exist
      – supernatural is not a component, or extension of the natural
      – supernatural means "that which isnt natural"
      – the multiverse is a supernatural (non natural) ent.ity.

      if your claim that the natural must exist for the supernatural to exist were true, how could the multiverse stand in causal relation to the origin of our universe 🙂

      May 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Chad is such a moron. He thinks that "Xplus" can exist without an "X." If there was no natural, then there'd be no "super" to apply to any other state. There is ZERO reason to believe that there is something other than what is deemed "natural." The multiverse, if it exists, is most certainly "natural" though it may be beyond our ability to see or understand. (Just because something is hidden from view or cognition does not mean it is not "natural").

      Someone needs to get some understanding of how words and prefixes work and what definitions are for.

      Again, there is precisely ZERO evidence for any "supernatural" at all.

      ZERO.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cpt. Obvious "The multiverse, if it exists, is most certainly "natural" though it may be beyond our ability to see or understand. (Just because something is hidden from view or cognition does not mean it is not "natural")."

      =>you are getting confused as you are equating "supernatural" and non-natural with God.
      God is supernatural
      but, not all supernatural(non-natural) things are God.

      Natural means "that which is in our universe"
      It is impossible for the multiverse to be natural, as it is not part of our universe. The multiverse is non-scientific as it is impossible to test it, since it is not part of our universe.

      hope that helps

      May 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      There is ZERO evidence for anything nonnatural or supernatural, Chad, so it hardly matters. You're just telling stories, an activity humans have been doing since they were able. Hope that helps.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      *sigh* I guess it was too much to hope that you would understand. Oh well. You made a very specific statement, I answered said statement, and now you are trying to discuss the larger issue (if evolution is a part of religion and is guided by a god or gods). I realize your entire argument hinges on this. If there is no guiding agent in evolution, then mutations are purely random and can't and won't be explained by science, nor do they need to be. You demand an answer that science can't answer nor does it need to. You are asking why a specific color on the spectrum shows up they way it shows up to human eyes and the answer is simply, because it does. So to swing all the way back around, can science come up with a reason why humans evolved with a genetic mutation to hallucinate a diety? On a purely hypothetical basis, sure on scientific grounds, no nor does it need to.

      2. "You seem also to be spinning out of control on the other root post item, namely There is simply no way a person can rationally claim that the non-natural (super natural) does not exist"
      –Actually it should be that no rational person can claim that the supernatural DOES exist. Considering you have never witnessed a supernatural event nor has any event occured within this universe that can not be explained by science or exists beyond natural laws.

      -" the natural need not exist for supernatural to exist" - Yes, it does. The same way football needs to exist in order for a football penalty to exist.
      -" supernatural is not a component, or extension of the natural" – Correct ish, they exist a part from one another but for the supernatural to have any meaning, the natural must exist. We know nature exists because we have eyes. We're gaining understanding about our world, our universe, etc...., however for the supernatural to exist we must also confirm that there is something that exists that can not be explained by science or beyond natural laws, neither of which has ever been confirmed.
      – supernatural means "that which isnt natural" – Ok, so in this definition you've given you are already agreeing with me that nature must exist in order for sometihng to be not natural. Which is what I've been saying.....
      – "the multiverse is a supernatural (non natural) ent.ity". – Considering we have no idea if the multiverse is actually real, has any effect on our current universe AND can be explained by science, by definition it's not supernatural but rather unnatural. Furthermore, referring the multiverse as a singular ent.ity doesn't make sense.

      "if your claim that the natural must exist for the supernatural to exist were true, how could the multiverse stand in causal relation to the origin of our universe "
      - My my, it looks like you've finally asked an intelligent question that pertains to the topic at hand, has clear logical course from the debate at hand and seems to be relatively thoughtful. Didn't know you had it in you.

      To answer the question though, Like I said above, we have no idea if the multiverse exists or if it has any causal relationship with our universe. We don't know the laws the govern anything beyond the boundaries of our universe nor do we know where the singularity that bore our universe existed relative to other universes. Could it have existed within another universe and expanded within it, creating a bubble within a bubble? Maybe. Could the singularity exist between two universes and expanded by being influenced or not by the other universes and made room for itself? maybe. Could the multiverse even exist at all? maybe.

      All these maybes though don't answer the question. If we were to prove the multiverse exists with hard, undisputed data then it would be safe to say that the supernatural exists, and that maybe not in our universe but in some other universe god of the bible exists..... and thor exists in another one, and ra, and in one universe I'm batman, and in another I'm a woman born in the 1500's and in another I was born on a different planet named Zug and my name is Penzor.

      If you want to prove your god exists chad, prove the multiverse exists. Until the slight chance that your god exists is not enough for me, nor should it be for you, to completely devote your life, time and energy towards something that most likely does not exist.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cpt. Obvious "There is ZERO evidence for anything nonnatural or supernatural, "

      =>so you would disagree with the multiverse theory of the origin of our universe?

      you feel the universe has always existed? (that has been disproved)..

      May 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "Natural means 'that which is in our universe'"

      I'm not sure I agree with that definition. Although, it may have been derived from the concept that we cannot detect things outside our universe, that may no longer be the case, e.g CMB "bruses" http://www.technologyreview.com/view/421999/astronomers-find-first-evidence-of-other-universes/ and 'universal drift' (my term) caused, hypothetically, by other universes.

      If we used the definition: "having a physical or real existence as contrasted with one that is spiritual, intellectual, or ficti[]tious" (12a at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natural), then other universes are natural.

      Or perhaps, "occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature : not marvelous or supernatural " (8A), then other universes would seem to comply.

      Although, "being in accordance with or determined by nature" (2a) seems nearest to what I would describe as "that which follows the laws of nature". At first glance that last one seems to fail for other universe, unless the mulitverse itself follows a basic Unified Theory, or Theory Of Everything, and our natural laws are merely a subset of the more fundamental one. For example, if quantum gravity, which is the last holdout, I think, represents a fundamental force that can account of all of our laws as well as other universes, then the multiverse would actually be natural.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Chad

      How do you reconcile these two statements? 🙂
      Your first statement claims that if the non-natural multiverse were demonstrated to exist, it would do so independently of our natural universe, the second says that is incorrect.

      @Chuckles " If we were to prove the multiverse exists with hard, undisputed data then it would be safe to say that the supernatural exists,"

      @Chuckles "-" the natural need not exist for supernatural to exist" – Yes, it does. "

      May 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Science

      Screw the multi verse Chad..................... glad you love the devil ?

      May 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Chad

      I believe in a variation on the Multiverse theme. No, there is no hard evidence for what I believe and it is based purely on conjecture that is based in observation of conditions on the extreme scales (large and small) of the universe.

      I do not ask that anyone find my beliefs reasonable or logical.
      I do not insist that any one else beleive as I do.
      I do not hold my beliefs inviolate, and I change parts of them quite frequently. (Two days ago I modified a portion of my beliefs about the universe, and I probably will again in the next week or so).
      I do not claim that there is some consequence to believing as I do or not believing as I do.

      Why do you ask?

      May 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Disagree with the multiverse theory does not mean you are in favor of an eternal universe theory. I think the oscillation theory works best for me and is a singular universe that keeps expanding than contracting and so on.

      "How do you reconcile these two statements?
      "Your first statement claims that if the non-natural multiverse were demonstrated to exist, it would do so independently of our natural universe, the second says that is incorrect.– No it does not, please re read the statements you posted. "

      @Chuckles " If we were to prove the multiverse exists with hard, undisputed data then it would be safe to say that the supernatural exists," - First, notice that this is a conditional statement. Second, since the supernatural is defined as existing beyond the natural and being unexplainable science, then the multiverse being supernatural needs to the universe (the natural) in order to exist in order for man living within the universe to comment on enti.ties existing externally from the universe.

      @Chuckles "-" the natural need not exist for supernatural to exist" – Yes, it does. "
      - Like in the statement above, in order for the supernatural (the multiverse) to exist, the universe needs to exist for the multiverse to exist outside of it, aka the the natural must exist in order for the supernatural to exist.

      The only way to spin this so that your statement "the natural need not exist for the supernatural to exist" works is if you are taking the point of view of a being outside of the natural (the universe) and then commenting on yourself using human terms or as a resident of the natural universe. Since you are not god nor have you ever claimed to be, this statement and this way of thinking makes no sense and thus both statements are correct that the natural (the universe) must exist in order for something to exist outside of it (supernatural).

      May 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      And no, Chad, an eternal universe has NOT been disproved. Just because it appears that the universe had a beginning, and most people beleive it began, does not mean that the evidence is conclusive. We just don't know because of the conditions of the Planck epoch and other unknowns.

      Just because you A$$UME that the Big Bang had a definite beginning does not mean that a$$umption is somehow fact just because you believe it.

      (Intersting that Chad and other christians are so willing to buy into scientists on one issue and disagree with them on most other issues as if that's not incredibly hypocritical. "NO, no, you MUST believe theory X because Hawking says so!!! You must!!! But no, none of that other stuff he says is true!! You CAN'T believe any of the other stuff he says!! How stupid.)

      May 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • ME II

      Well, "dark flow" or what I was calling 'universal drift' seems less likely, at least according to this article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23340-blow-for-dark-flow-in-plancks-new-view-of-the-cosmos.html.

      May 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  15. Lindy4

    Christianity is a "hated minority"? Ho ho–that's a good one! What's the Jonathan Stewart line? "Dare I dream it? Maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively."

    The moment folks aren't victimizing, they're the victim.

    May 7, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • trollintraining

      Maybe some day.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  16. Reality

    Some 21st century perspective about religions:

    (only for the newbies)

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    “New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

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

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

    earlychristianwritings.com/

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

    Current RCC problems:

    Too many pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly, old, white hierarchy, the resurrection con, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

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

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, the resurrection con, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

    The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

    Current problems:

    The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

    5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

    "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

    Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

    Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

    Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

    May 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.

      James 1:27

      Amen.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • jim

      and this because you say so? you have no idea who Jesus was or is and as far as the rest go you may want to check some other references since yours seem to have a few flaws.

      May 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • WASP

      @HS: "Pure religion"
      please explain to me what exactly is "pure religion" is it anything like "pure water" or "pure acid"?

      PURE: 1.Not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material.
      2.Without any extraneous and unnecessary elements: "pure art devoid of social responsibility".

      RELIGION:1.The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
      2.Details of belief as taught or discussed.

      May 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • Reality

      Some starting references for those who want to know more about the historical Jesus:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      May 7, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • jim

      have you ever read or studied any of them or do you like so many others here just list what they see to impress because I have read and studied most of them and they have led me to a respect for who he was, is and will be so please take time to be kind to yourself and take up a serious and even critical study of why and where he came from and what hope he offers to those who build up a real love for his father in the heavens. they have given us a real hope for the future and if you seek that hope with all your heart and soul and mind and love the father that same way and your neighbors as yourself you will have that hope yourself

      May 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Reality

      jim,

      As previously noted:

      (using the references so noted above)–

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

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

      earlychristianwritings.com/

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

      Current RCC problems:

      Too many pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly, old, white hierarchy, the resurrection con, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

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

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, the resurrection con, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      May 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • jim

      we agree on the so called christian religions that will receive what they are due and that quite serious but as far as Jesus being illiterate I must disagree. I believe he was the most educated of his day in the law and so when questioned always referred to it as God's word and as far as any negative writings about him you have to wonder from where do they come? I believe just as the most powerful force in the universe created it, there is another very powerful force that is doing the most it can to turn all that it can away from the truth about this Jesus and his creator. it leads the religions of this world and together they are to blame for misleading poor mankind from that which will give them the best chance at real truth that leads to eternal life. But which is also still attainable,

      May 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  17. aricrona

    From my personal experience, I believe that Christians are most often looked at as a 'hate group' because of harsh judgment of those whose perspective differs from theirs. What we don't understand, we often fear and are too likely to maintain a narrow view rather than risk being ousted by the group we are part of. I also think there is a great deal of bias in translating Scripture from the original language as well as people taking what they're taught from a pulpit as truth without really examining it themselves.

    I've come to a point in my life where I see those who are gay and lesbian far differently than when I was part of a narrow, religious group. I also know that there is much I don't understand about my G-d and am not one who is willing to pass judgment in this area.

    May 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "maintain a narrow view rather than risk being ousted by the group we are part of. " I've seen churches split over issues and it's heart-breaking. Friends stop talking to each other. In the end, you might breathe a little easier, though.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Alias

      I agree 100%.
      and it is nice to see a sane and rational opinion -without insults- on this page sometimes.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • LinCA

      @aricrona

      You said, "I also know that there is much I don't understand about my G-d and am not one who is willing to pass judgment in this area."
      Your god is actually pretty simple to understand if you look at the conditions that gave rise to its inventions.

      Yours, like virtually every god ever invented, is simply a convenient answer to difficult questions. Gods are concocted to quell questions for which those in power have no rational answer.

      The purpose is actually dual but the method is the same. In addition to providing easy to understand answers, it provides the person "interpreting" for this god, power over his tribe mates (it's almost always a man doing the interpreting).

      It helps if the god myth includes punishment for those that disobey the interpreters. It is especially convenient if this punishment isn't doled out until after there is no possibility of corrective action. Punishment (and reward) after death keeps the sheeple from coming back once they they were lied to.

      Hope this helps.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

      Proverbs 14:12

      Amen.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      As things are, all our lives will end in death, HeavenSent. You have no special knowledge that things are different for any of us.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, when you stop listening to satan's lies you'll be able to learn Jesus' truth.

      May 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • WASP

      @HighSchool: "satan's lies"

      satan, the devil, lucifer, etc etc etc only exsits because your weak god couldn't stop itself from creating evil. how purily idiotic is that?
      if i knew my "creation" or child was going to cause a whole world to suffer...................i wouldn't have created it. i would have left that thought alone so nothing happens to my other creations to make me angry for creating evil to begin with.

      (just being imaginitive here mind you)
      god was first, then he created the angels, then he created the universe, then he created humans, then lucifer became jealous and tried to take over the universe because god created evil for his first creations to even understand evil;
      or is evil just as old as your idea of god? if it's not then god created evil and let it spread because he is evil.
      if evil is old as god then god is powerless to defeat evil because he and it are one in the same.

      May 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  18. Bible Clown©

    NEWSFLASH: Rising waters have driven dozens of trolls from their usual hiding places under mossy bridges and onto the internet, where they are quickly falling prey to more experienced gruff billygoats. Film at 11

    May 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      No way. I couldn't take the fame and fortune. I'm too modest.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • trollintraining

      I'm just learning, but even I know you have to feed the goats and wait until they go to sleep.

      Or is that guard dogs .....

      May 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  19. Neal Dakota

    Hmmm.

    http://goingtodamasc.us/why-the-marriage-debate-has-already-destroyed-us/

    May 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Alias

      This fear mongering is kind of funny.
      This will only work on christians who have a distorted view of reality.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • hein3247

      If you read the article, you'd know it was the obvious of fear mongering.

      This abrasive-ness and illogical thinking will only work on someone with entirely irrational thought.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  20. Paul

    "because there is nothing in the world like encountering the true love and joy of Jesus Christ."

    I don't know, a good BJ is probably better.

    May 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      HA!

      May 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • derp

      Do you like the taste?

      May 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Baldie

      But is a bad BJ worse than Satan?

      May 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • derp

      "But is a bad BJ"

      No such thing as a bad BJ.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120
Advertisement
About this blog

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