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May 31st, 2013
04:19 PM ET

Baptists plan exodus from Boy Scouts

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - For Southern Baptist pastor Tim Reed, it was Scripture versus the Scouts.

“God’s word explicitly says homosexuality is a choice, a sin,” said Reed, pastor of First Baptist Church of Gravel Ridge in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

So when the Boy Scouts of America voted to lift its ban on openly gay youths on May 24, Reed said the church had no choice but to cut its charter with Troop 542.

“It’s not a hate thing here,” Reed told CNN affiliate Fox 16. “It’s a moral stance we must take as a Southern Baptist church.”

Southern Baptist leaders say Reed is not alone.

Baptist churches sponsor nearly 4,000 Scout units representing more than 100,000 youths, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

That number could drop precipitously.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, will soon urge its 45,000 congregations and 16 million members to cut ties with the Scouts, according to church leaders.

The denomination will vote on nonbinding but influential resolutions during a convention June 11-12 in Houston.

“There’s a 100% chance that there will be a resolution about disaffiliation at the convention,” said Richard Land, the outgoing head of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, “and a 100% chance that 99% of people will vote for it.”

“Southern Baptists are going to be leaving the Boy Scouts en masse,” Land continued.

Roger “Sing” Oldham, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, emphasized that local congregations make their own decision on the Scouts.

But he, too, said he expects Baptist delegates, which the church calls “messengers,” to voice their disagreement with the BSA's decision to allow gay youths.

“With this policy change, the Boy Scouts’ values are contradictory to the basic values of our local churches,” Oldham said.

Several religious groups with strong Scouting ties support the new policy.

“We have heard from both those who support the amended policy and those who would have preferred it would not have changed,” said BSA spokesman Deron Smith.

Faith-based organizations charter more than 70% of Scout chapters, providing meeting space and leadership, according to the BSA.

“There have been some organizations that have decided not to renew their charters with Scouting," said Smith, "but we can’t quantify the impact of the amended policy."

The National Jewish Committee on Scouting, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sponsors more Scout units than any other faith, all endorsed the change.

The National Catholic Committee on Scouting, which is run with oversight from a bishop, said Thursday that allowing gay youths in the Scouts does not conflict with church teaching. Each bishop will decide whether or not to allow churches in his diocese to charter Scout units, the committee added.

“We ask that Catholic Scouters and chartered organization heads not rush to judgment,” said Edward Martin, chairman of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.

But the Rev. Derek Lappe, pastor of the Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Bremerton, Washington, has already made up his mind.

“I do not feel that it is possible for us to live out, and to teach, the authentic truth about human sexuality within the confines of the Boy Scout’s new policy,” said Lappe.

The priest told CNN affiliate FOX16 that his parish will part ways with the Scouts and develop its own programs.

There may soon be an alternative to the Scouts for social conservatives like Lappe.

John Stemberger, founder of On My Honor, a group that opposed the Scouts’ change in policy, plans to convene conservatives in Louisville, Kentucky, in June to consider forming a new Scout-like group, which could be up and running by the end of 2013.

“Churches and Scoutmasters are looking for leadership and direction,” said Stemberg, an attorney in Orlando, Florida.

A number of conservative religious denominations already sponsor their own groups.

For instance, the Southern Baptists have the Royal Ambassadors, an explicitly Christian program founded in 1908 for boys in first through sixth grade. (A similar group called Challengers equips older boys in “mission education.”)

The name comes from the New Testament, in which the Apostle Paul tells Christians to be “ambassadors for Christ.”

The estimated 31,000 Royal Ambassadors pledge “ to become a well-informed, responsible follower of Christ; to have a Christlike concern for all people; to learn how to carry the message of Christ around the world; to work with others in sharing Christ; and to keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body."

While not as outdoorsy as the Boy Scouts, Ambassadors do camp and play sports, said Land, who was a member of the group during the 1950s. But instead of merit badges for archery and bird study, young Ambassadors earn patches for memorizing Bible verses and mission work.

Southern Baptists said they are preparing for a surge of interest in the Royal Ambassadors at their upcoming convention in Houston.

“We really have an opportunity here to strengthen our RA programs,” the Rev. Ernest Easley, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, said in a sermon last Sunday, “and to get the boys in a program where they’re going to be protected, where there’s a high moral standard and where they will have an opportunity to learn about camping, missions, evangelism in the local church.”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Christianity • Church • Gay rights • gender issues • Politics • United States

soundoff (10,821 Responses)
  1. OverlordXenu

    Dear Boy Scouts of America – We regret to inform you that, due to your regrettable decision to stop ostracising young boys based upon their biological state, we have decided to stop supporting your organization. Despite your caveat that, once said youths become 18, they are no longer fit for leadership roles and are once again to be ostracised (admirable as such a policy is); we feel it would be inappropriate for any organization that preaches such inclusiveness and tolerance to be associated with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Thank you, and enjoy burning in Hell.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • John Q Public

      So the kid's will burn in hell due to the religous beliefs that constantly teach their followers not to be judgmental of others.. Wow you have proven that ignorance is Bliss!! Next time, while sitting in the pews of your church, take a look around and if you can honestly say that every person in there is a perfect human being that follows the Bible or whatever other kind of teachings your so called church gives, then you are truly an inspirational and perfect human being. You obviously were never a scout and have no clue to what they do. Great job Hypocrite!

      June 3, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • duh

      John Q. Public doesn't get sarcasm.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • OverlordXenu

      John Q, look up satire. You're making the rest of us look bad.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • justme

      WOW! Could not have said (wrote) it any better!!!!

      June 3, 2013 at 11:25 am |
  2. Robert Brown

    Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of the others. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.

    You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You won’t go in yourselves, and you keep others from going in.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Pete

      Robert take your meds dude.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • ryan

      actually, take far too many of your meds

      June 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      robert brown: how incredibly pompous purporting to speak for god. who the fvck are you to declare who is in and who is not?

      fvcking godly wannabe

      June 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  3. Hooray

    Some Scouts don't believe the lies religion is telling.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2013/06/03/mxp-boy-scouts-in-gay-pride-parade.hln.html

    June 3, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  4. Robert Brown

    So obey everything they teach you, but don’t do as they do. After all, they say one thing and do something else.

    They pile heavy burdens on people’s shoulders and won’t lift a finger to help. Everything they do is just to show off in front of others.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Science

      Creationists you too RB make sure to look for that chondrite................compasses and GPS does not work around the stones.

      Hey chadie time to come in old of the cold..............or stay stuck in the green slime that created US

      NASA: Mars could have supported life

      Water-Rock Reaction May Provide Enough Hydrogen 'Food' to Sustain Life in Ocean's Crust or On Mars

      May 30, 2013 — A chemical reaction between iron-containing minerals and water may produce enough hydrogen "food" to sustain microbial communities living in pores and cracks within the enormous volume of rock below the ocean floor and parts of the continents, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530132541.htm

      Star Dust we are

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWdU_px9ApE&w=640&h=360]

      Pebbly Rocks Testify to Old Streambed On Mars

      May 30, 2013 — Detailed analysis and review have borne out researchers' initial interpretation of pebble-containing slabs that NASA's Mars rover Curiosity investigated last year: They are part of an ancient streambed.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530150547.htm

      Peace

      June 3, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  5. doug

    Any time Baptists are leaving anything, it is a good sign. The good book says they are all crazy and wrong. If you read the book "On the Origin of Species" you will know that Baptists don't know what planet they are even on. Why on Earth would we let them run anything or wield power over us? We would be better off answering to Mel Brooks character in Space Balls.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  6. TSB8C

    Scout Oath – "...keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."

    June 3, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • snowboarder

      @BC, thankfully there is nothing immoral about hom ose xuality.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • JRNY

      @ TSB8...and yet another bigoted interpretation of the boy scout oath. Like others on this board, I was an Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow in 1988 in Nebraska. Gay. I've only added to the world with the things I learned as a Scout, regardless of my se*ual orientation. Grow up and learn something about the world won't you?

      June 3, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • LinCA

      @TSB8C

      You said, "Scout Oath – "...keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.""
      Slowly, very slowly, they are starting to follow their own oath. Eliminating the discrimination against gay youth. Next they'll need to revisit the gay adults and remove the discrimination against them. After that, they'll still need to work on the requirement of having imaginary friends. Once they remove the discrimination against atheists and agnostics, they may have to update their oath.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  7. realist

    There are gay people in church, better quit that too, and NASCAR as well.....what you say?

    Life is full of gay people....get over it

    June 3, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Doobs

      ^this

      June 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  8. ME II

    @Chad,
    "your utter unfamiliarity with the bible..."

    We have been over this before and I even passed your silly little test. I'm not "utterly unfamiliar with the Bible", so stop exaggerating.

    "The miracles were widely witnessed and of a type that were impossible to fake.."

    You presume that the Bible is accurate, I don't. Additionally, why would you assume that they can not be faked?

    John 9
    Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
    But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

    So, are we supposed to take his word for it?

    20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind.

    Again, are we supposed to take their word for it?
    It seems to me that only four people would need to be 'in' on this in order to fake it. Jesus, the blind man, and the two parents. Assuming of course that it is not just a story, which is by no means a given.

    John 11
    “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

    Are we to take Martha's word that Lazarus actually died four days ago when put in the tomb?

    Again assuming it was not just made up at a later date, it seems that all one would need is collusion between Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (although perhaps more). Give Lazarus some supplies and shut him up in the tomb for four days after which Jesus shows up, open the tomb, voila, Lazarus is alive and walks out of the tomb.
    The point being that the big event to witness was the 'reveal' at the tomb, the Bible passage does not provide much more than that.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • ME II

      In reply to posting on "June 3, 2013 at 8:58 am" on page ~118.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Ted

      "We have been over this before and I even passed your silly little test. I'm not "utterly unfamiliar with the Bible", so stop exaggerating."

      So if you don't know by now people Chad lies for his God and post deceptive comments not based on facts to try and win an argument. The sad fact is they are a loser, just like their debating techniques.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Russ

      @ ME II:
      so despite that fact that Jesus' enemies (the Pharisees, who had a vested interest in debunking any such miraculous claims) found his miracles legitimate & knew they must find other ways to get rid of him (Jn.11:45-50), you instead think that 2000 years later you are better equipped and more motivated than they were to assess the legitimacy of these miracles?

      they were there. eyewitnesses ON THEIR SIDE (i.e., against Jesus) came and reported this to them. it's why they decided to kill Jesus as the only remaining means of getting rid of him. in other words, they wanted to expose him as a charlatan and COULDN'T.

      Jesus' contemporary enemies acknowledged the reality of his miracles, and they had VASTLY greater opportunities to question them. you can call into question the historicity of the Bible (a separate debate entirely), but if you are actually going to take these well-attested accounts at face value (as your argument presumes), your line of logic does not follow.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • ME II

      @Russ,
      All I'm offering is a possible way that these miracles could have been faked. @Chad claimed they were "impossible to fake" and I disagree. I'm not claiming that they were, necessarily, just that they could have been faked.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Really-O?

      @ME II –

      It seems a theme is becoming clear here (nah, it was always clear) – believers want to believe so badly that they are willing to believe any biblical claim on little or no evidence. Unfortunately this mindset seems to infect their perception of things unrelated to their religion, as you demonstrated with Chad with your Roswell discussion.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      "well-attested accounts"

      LOL

      June 3, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Chad

      @ME II "So, are we supposed to take his word for it?"
      @Chad "you question a persons ability to identify himself? 🙂

      ===
      20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind.
      @ME II "Again, are we supposed to take their word for it?"
      @Chad "you question a parents ability to identify their son? 🙂

      ====
      “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
      @ME II "Are we to take Martha's word that Lazarus actually died four days ago when put in the tomb?"
      @Chad "the entire village witnessed the death, that's why they were there, for the funeral..

      I think you are again demonstrating your commitment to disbelief (in addition to your utter unfamiliarity with the bible).

      If you had been there 2000 years ago and witnessed the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate, would you have believed?


      I'm learning to ask that question first as I'm finding out that virtually all CNN blog atheists answer "no".. showing that whether or not the gospel is accurate isnt the issue at all.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • midwest rail

      " "you question a persons ability to identify himself? "
      As usual, Chad intentionally misrepresents what was said. I'm shocked, I tell you.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Really-O?

      Chad – "If you had been there 2000 years ago and witnessed the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate, would you have believed?"

      What were actually learning is that the people Chad labels as "atheists" understand the nature of evidence, whereas "believers" are credulous.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...What we're...

      June 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad and Really-O? – a dialogue (fictional, just barely)

      ====
      Chad: I have a 1980 Yugo that can hit 200 mph.

      Really-O?: I find that hard to believe.

      Chad: What would you consider necessary and sufficient evidence that my Yugo can go 200 mph?

      Really-O?: Let's go out to a track and, under controlled conditions, with anyone interested in attendance, get your 1980 Yugo up to a speed of 200 mph. That would do it.

      Chad: Well, look at this...I have a Yugoslavian magazine from 1984 in which this guy says his 1980 Yugo went 200 mph. You see, it says, "And as we passed the hour of noon, we traveled two hundred miles"...or something like that...I had to have it translated into French, and then Spanish, and then Old English and then modern English, but see, right there, plain as day.

      Really-O?: Sorry, but that doesn't suffice as necessary or sufficient evidence that your Yugo can go 200 mph. I want to observe your Yugo hit 200 mph.

      Chad: I've driven my Yugo 200 mph...I already told you that. You expect me to do it again on demand?

      Really-O?: Well, yes. You asked what would suffice as necessary and sufficient evidence and I told you.

      Chad: Well, the speed limit is 65.

      Really-O?: What does the speed limit have to do with whether or not your Yugo can hit 200 mph?

      Chad: You clearly have not investigated Yugos. You need to spend some time reading the Yugo manual and this 1984 Yugoslavian magazine. Then we can have a serious conversation about the issue.

      Really-O?: Chad, you asked what would suffice as necessary and sufficient evidence that your 1980 Yugo can hit 200 mph and I told you, clearly and concisely. I don't know what more I can do.

      Chad: Well, you see, the real question is, "What would you say if I told you my radio goes really loud?"
      ====

      Gee, Chad, I guess those silly imaginary dialogues are fun.

      For context, please refer to these threads:

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/29/poll-america-losing-its-religion/comment-page-71 @ June 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm
      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/29/poll-america-losing-its-religion/comment-page-69 @ May 31, 2013 at 6:33 pm
      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/29/poll-america-losing-its-religion/comment-page-67 @ May 31, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      June 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "you question a persons ability to identify himself? :)"

      I question a person's willingness to be honest, yes. You must be an easy mark, if trust everyone's claim of ident.ity. 🙂

      "you question a parents ability to identify their son? 🙂 "

      see above

      'Sir, I'm a police officer, honest. You must pay the fine right here and now. $50, for driving under the speed limit. ... No, you don't need to see my badge, you can trust my ability to identify myself can't you?' 🙂

      "the entire village witnessed the death"

      Really, where is that stated?

      "If you had been there 2000 years ago and witnessed the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate, would you have believed?"

      As I've stated before, witnesses can be mistaken and / or mislead. That's why humans invented science, or the scientific method, as a tool to verify perceived phenomena.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Things that are neither necessary nor sufficient evidence supporting the hypothesis that the god of Israel exists:

      1) Origin of the universe
      2) Origin of life
      3) Fine tuning
      4) Fossil record
      5) Empty tomb
      6) Existence of the laws (of science)

      These are simply evidence of the fact that Chad does not understand the nature of evidence.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II

      =>not being familiar with the bible, nor the society withing which those events took place is hampering your ability to understand it's claims..

      These are small, closed societies. Many of those people were born, lived and died w/out ever traveling more than 20 miles from their hometown.

      ===
      I'm finding that this question is extremely illuminating, both for the answers and the extraordinary reluctance to answer it (you are in this bucket).

      so I'll simply pose it again: "If you had been there 2000 years ago and witnessed the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate, would you have believed?"

      June 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Chard, isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome?

      No wonder your posts are so absurd.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "Things that are neither necessary nor sufficient evidence supporting..."

      =>you are well versed in stating that something isnt "necessary nor sufficient"

      what you seem to be having an extraordinarily difficult time with, is stating what WOULD be "necessary and sufficient"

      thus far, you have stated exactly one thing that meets that criteria: your father returning from the dead.

      You have also said a repeat performance of the miracles of the bible, IF they were done in such a way as to be "necessary and sufficient"

      However, you have never articulated what that manner would be, AS WELL, you have said that had you personally witnessed the events of 2000 years ago unfolding exactly as the gospels state, you would NOT believe.

      so..
      what to conclude?


      only one thing can rationally be concluded: it doesnt matter to you if the events of the bible were 100% proven to be have actually occurred, you still wouldnt believe.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Chad

      "isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome?"

      =>one does wonder if dialoguing with atheists is an insane activity.. true.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • .

      Gospel of Chad:

      Atheism:
      1. All atheists agree with everything Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins say, even if it is unrelated to atheism. Hawking and Dawkins disagree on free will, however, but you should ignore this conflict or any atheist who says they disagree.
      2. All atheists agree with one another on everything even if it has nothing to do with atheism. See #1 for models from which you can derive all their beliefs.
      3. The definition of atheist includes anything that any atheist I disagree with believes or anything I feel like tossing in there. Ignore any definitions in pesky places like dictionaries and philosophical encyclopedias.
      4. If one atheist somewhere on the internet said something, then, since all atheists agree with him/her, I can use that randomly selected example as an argument to address all other atheists.
      5. The definition of atheism includes not just materialism but strict deterministic materialism. Non-believers who might be Buddhists; believe in probabilistic physics, see consciousness as prior to the physical world, believe in, say, witchcraft aren’t really atheists.
      6. No atheist has ever read the bible. I mean, obviously, they’d be Christians if they had, right? OK, so a few have proven to me – OK, multiple times – that they have read the bible. See #11 (just lie).

      Free will:
      7. All people who use the term “free will” really mean the same exact thing by that term, which matches my personal use of the term “free will” (unless backed into a corner, then I just declare all other meanings irrelevant)
      8. Fatalism and determinism are the same thing. It has been pointed out to me that historically these terms have been used with different meanings, but I find it more convenient to make up my own definitions, as with atheism and free will.

      In fact, I brilliantly argued “If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future. (On April 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm)

      After reading a bit more about fatalism and determinism I decided to change my tune to a claim that determinism leads to fatalism (and to pretend this was what I was saying all along). I’m sticking to reading easy pop philosophers, though, and selective websites on the topic as anything more complex makes my head hurt. I have read snippets from a couple of websites now so that ought to put me on par with people who’ve read dozens of books on the topic, understand neurobiology and have written on both the philosophical and cultural aspects of free will and people’s belief in the topic. Oh, yeah, I know what I’m talking about!

      9. A determinist cannot believe that humans can change. This would, of course, mean that nothing can change. Which would mean…oh…crud…better put my head back up my ass.
      10. A determinist cannot believe in punishing people for crimes. This is because…well…it doesn’t matter. Just keep repeating it.

      Telling lies:
      11. It is ethical to lie so long as it promotes Christian beliefs.
      12. Speaking of telling lies, a really good way to do this is to rephrase what your opponent says and then keep repeating the misquote in hopes that he or she will get bored and leave your lie as the last statement. Then you win. You can do this either by rewording as a supposed paraphrase or pulling lines out of context and reordering them. God really loves this and gives you extra endurance to sit at the computer all day and keep repeating it.
      13. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over.
      14. In particular don’t forget that whatever someone says you can respond with “What investigation have you done into…”. Especially good is to ask what investigation was done into the truth of the God of Israel. When the non-Christian comes back to ask how much research you did to prove other gods aren’t real answer “I don’t need to do any because I proved the God of Israel is real and that negates all other gods”. When asked how you proved that repeat the words “empty tomb” over and over until divine light shines on the souls of the heathens.
      15. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun.
      16. Consider asking completely nonsensical questions that can’t even be understood, let alone answered. Best yet include something the person didn’t say as a premise. For example, you might ask an atheist opponent “You say you like murdering small children on Wednesdays, could you explain how this fits with your beliefs about string theory?” Then when your question is ignored accuse the person of avoidance and make up wild hypotheses as to why they are avoiding you.
      17. Above all else keep asking questions while avoiding answering any yourself.

      Science, math and psychology:
      18. If one scientist says something that backs me, then I can assume all scientists agree with that statement.
      19. If atheist scientists say something, even if it is the view of the majority of people in that science, it should be ignored. See #11.
      20. Atheists are ruled by confirmation bias. I am free of it – it’s just great luck that everything I read and all the “data” around me confirm my strong religious convictions. See #19 on ignoring anything else.
      21. Infinity = all finite numbers according to the Chad. Thirty or forty years of constraint is the same as eternal torment.
      22. Rehabilitation and deterrence are the same thing. Yep…convincing a drug addict not to use drugs in case they are shot dead and getting them off the addiction would be the same by my wondrous Chad logic.

      General truths about the CNN belief blog:
      23. All non-believers are, by definition, idiots so you can use illogical arguments and they’ll just fall for it.
      24. If I post a quote that has a few key words in it from our discussion I can claim it backs my point even if it actually says the exact opposite thing from what I’m claiming. Atheists, as mentioned above, are too dumb to notice. Best yet is to post a link or reference a book which actually says the opposite of what I’m saying and just assume no one will look at it.
      25. There is a huge mass of fence sitters out there who are eagerly reading CNN blog comments in order to decide whether or not to believe in God.
      26. I will personally save all those mentioned in # 25 because I, Chad, am super smart. I know this because I get away with all the above mentioned lies and manipulations. Sometimes people think they are pointing these things out but they really aren’t. Or the stupid atheist masses aren’t reading them anyway.
      27. Phrase everything as if it’s a lecture so you look like you know what you’re talking about. See #23 about atheists being idiots and #24 about people not reading anything you post you’ll see that the silly atheists will fall for it every time. In particular they won’t look back to the earlier part of the discussion to see how I’m contradicting myself. This is very well aided by another tactic:
      28. As soon as you make an ass of yourself break the conversation into a new thread. That way all the newcomers (see #25 on how they are waiting to have their souls saved) will not bother to read back and see how ignorant you are.
      29. If someone points out to you that citing Wikipedia is not an adequate source for the discussion at hand you can always find a good undergraduate philosophy paper to cite instead.
      30. Never question another Christian no matter how incorrect or offensive their position.
      31. Just remember that you can define a term any way you want and you are always right!

      June 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "These are small, closed societies. Many of those people were born, lived and died w/out ever traveling more than 20 miles from their hometown."

      And your point is?

      =====
      "If you had been there 2000 years ago and witnessed the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate, would you have believed?"

      As I've said, it seems possible for these events to have been faked.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad "These are small, closed societies. Many of those people were born, lived and died w/out ever traveling more than 20 miles from their hometown."

      @ME II "And your point is?"

      @Chad "would think that would be obvious.. people know each other. It isnt like these events are happening to people you never met.

      =====
      @ME II "As I've said, it seems possible for these events to have been faked."
      @Chad ":-)
      since if I say "I'll take that as a no", you'll merely respond with "I never said that" but, never actually say if you would or wouldnt (and they call me a dodger!!)

      I'll just pose the question again: "If you had been there 2000 years ago and witnessed the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate, would you have believed?"

      very illuminating responses and evasions on this question...

      June 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad: "thus far, you have stated exactly one thing that meets that criteria: your father returning from the dead."

      Another life from Chad. Who'da thought? I have repeated stated the any of the following would suffice as necessary and sufficient evidence. I even dropped "unsurreptitiously and unambiguously" because Chad seems incapable of understanding the terms (or it's just another one of his dishonest dodges – ya think?)

      Any of the "miracles" of the bible, performed again, by the entity that, supposedly, originally performed the "miracle" (this only makes sense if you're to claim the "miracle" supports a "being's" power and divinity), in 2013 so it/they could be observed and freely tested by any and all interested.

      Now, bring on Chad's equivocation and lies!

      June 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Really-O?

      =====
      Chad posting as "Rachel" –
      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/06/richard-dawkins-evolution-is-not-a-controversial-issue/comment-page-10/#comments
      Starting ~September 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm
      Busted – September 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm
      ====
      Nonsensical Chad-bites:

      "I dismiss all other gods other than the God of Abraham because the God of Abraham has told me that they aren't real."

      "Every book that purports to accurately record history needs to be examined critically for internal consistency and for its accuracy in detail. The bible succeeds on all accounts [sic]."

      "The Genesis account stands alone amongst all creation stories of the time, a fact universally acknowledged...We are only know [sic] beginning to scientifically discover how accurate it is indeed."

      'As for supernatural vs natural processes, I also believe that the origin of life, and the development of more and more complex life forms on earth in the stages reflected in the fossil record, is the direct result of supernatural intervention (it's called "punctuated equilibrium" )'

      June 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Damned careless typing...

      "Another lie from Chad. Who'da thought? I have repeatedly stated..."

      June 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O "Any of the "miracles" of the bible, performed again, by the ent ity that, supposedly, originally performed the "miracle" (this only makes sense if you're to claim the "miracle" supports a "being's" power and divinity), in 2013 so it/they could be observed and freely tested by any and all interested."

      =>So:
      A. You claim that you would NOT have believed the raising of Lazarus had you witnessed it yourself, same with all of the other miracles.
      B. YET you seemingly claim that a repeat performance is all that is necessary

      except 🙂

      you add this qualifier in "could be observed and freely tested by any and all interested."

      yet, refuse to state what that is, or how it would be done? (simultaneously accusing me of dodging and equivocating.. quite a feat actually..)

      So, lets make it simple: What would have to be done, to transform the event of Lazarus being raised from the dead, from something that you didnt believe, to something that you would believe

      pretty basic question, but no doubt you will post a bunch of obfuscation to avoid answering it..

      wow, and they call me a dodger!! 🙂

      June 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Chad, why don't we have an understanding of the origin of the universe and the origin of life that directly points to your god? Why is your god not as determinable as math or chemistry? Why does your invisible and undetectable god expect to be treated as if he were visible and detectable?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "would think that would be obvious.. people know each other. It isnt like these events are happening to people you never met."

      Generally, yes, they knew each other. That does not eliminate the possibility of deception nor does it eliminate the occasional stranger moving into town.

      You said, "the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate, " and yet you expect assumptions about the community to factor into the discussion. Which is it?

      For example, earlier you claimed that "the entire village witnessed the death", but have yet to provide a Biblical reference for such a statement.

      =====
      "If you had been there 2000 years ago and witnessed the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate, would you have believed?"

      I hesitate for three simple reasons 1) I freely admit that I am not a Biblical scholar and don't know every detail by heart, 2) I know your ability to twist people's words, and 3) you've already claimed those events "impossible to fake".

      Therefore, I'm guessing, and have seen you do something similar already, you will declare someone irrational who says no to your "question". But let's see..

      That being said, however, no, had I "witnessed the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate" I don't think it would be sufficient to convince me because those descriptions do not preclude deception nor misunderstanding. I am specifically not saying that nothing would convince me, just that the descriptions in the Bible are insufficient. They are, after all, not complete descriptions.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II

      =>so, if you personally witnessing the events of the bible unfold as they are detailed there would not convince you, what would?

      That has been the major eye opener for me from yesterday. I had never really entertained the notion that even if the bible accounts were proved to be 100% correct, the reality of Jesus as Messiah and the God of Israel STILL would not be believed..

      As you can see, it makes demonstrating the accuracy of the biblical account to the CNN blog atheist an irrelevant task.. they simply dont care, even if it was all proved, they still wouldnt believe.

      1. What else is that attitude other than a complete commitment to disbelief?
      2. Why in the world to atheists harp on "the bible can't be proved", when they claim it doesnt matter if it WAS proved?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Science

      The 666 beast for the RCC too chadie !

      You know creationists...........ID believers.....chad..........The Bone !..............E =mc2 = splat.

      Messed-Up Bible Stories – 2 – Adam and Eve

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

      June 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, The foundational parts of the bible have been proven to be incorrect – creation of the universe, creation of life, and Noah are all incorrect. Never happened. The reason people believe in any god is because they supposedly created the universe and all in it. Well god never created the universe as described in the bible.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II

      On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
      ...
      Jesus wept.

      36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
      37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
      38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

      Funeral for a well known person, many people were aware of the death and had come to comfort the family.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @santa

      as I recall, you have already indicated that if all of the events in the bible were found to be 100% accurate, you still wouldnt believe..
      right?

      June 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, If the bible could be proven then there would only be one religion and universal belief. But it can never happen. Very little in the bible can be verified and as stated elsewhere the foundational parts are proven to be incorrect.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, I don't recall saying that I would disregard evidence. But I have said many times that the evidence we have contradicts all creation myths including yours.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Chad

      Quite illuminating that CNN blog atheists
      A. hold the opinion that even if the events of the bible were proved accurate, they wouldnt believe
      B. are so reluctant to come right out and state it..

      June 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      First,

      "personally witnessing the events of the bible unfold as they are detailed there"

      is NOT the same thing as,

      "if the bible accounts were proved to be 100% correct,"

      I have explained this before. If the "bible accounts were proved to be 100% correct," including the statements like 'this was a miracle' and 'God exists', then of course I'd be convinced. However, I fail to see how anyone could manage to "prove" the Bible was 100% correct, especially, with some many apparent problems already. Additionally, that is not what you've been asking. You've been asking if I witnessed the same events as describe, not if the Bible were "proved" 100% accurate.
      ======

      "what would?"

      For starters,
      1) Confirmation of actual death, brain-body-metabolic death, by multiple independent, qualified sources.
      2) Strict isolation in sealed environment with continuous surveillance for 4 days (in Lazarus' case), by multiple independent, qualified sources.
      3) At the end of 4 days, confirmation of actual life, of the same person, by multiple independent, qualified sources.

      Alternatively, I might accept verification from the JREF Challange protocols (http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge/challenge-faq.html) or a CSICOP investigation (http://www.csicop.org/about/csicop/), as they have more experience in such things.
      ======

      "1. What else is that atti[]tude other than a complete commitment to disbelief?"

      A commitment to avoiding deception by others or delusion by self. Why is that so hard to understand?

      "2. Why in the world to atheists harp on "the bible can't be proved", when they claim it doesnt matter if it WAS proved?"

      First, I don't think I would phrase it that way; you don't "prove" a book.
      Barring that however, it's because not only can't you "prove" what the Bible says happened actually happened, but even if you did that would not necessarily "prove" that your God existed.
      ======

      "the entire village witnessed the death"
      "Funeral for a well known person, many people were aware of the death and had come to comfort the family."

      Being told that someone has died is not the same as witnessing someone's death.
      Your quotes don't even establish witnesses to the funeral let alone the actual death, only that many showed up at some point to "comfort them in the loss of their brother."

      Should I now accuse you of being "utterly unfamiliar" with the Bible?

      You were asking about the events exactly as described, but now you are making assumptions about ancient communities and culture.

      Would you believe without those assumptions?

      June 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Joey

      Forget faked, it is most likely that the stories of the miracles were made up entirely 30 or 40 years after Jesus died.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      Why Lazarus? Testing that "miracle" would be quite involved and complex. How about something simple? I'd suggest Jesus walking on water (VERY easy to test), but you've already offered your lame "Jesus won't return until the second coming" nonsense, so, how about the "crossing the red sea" chestnut? That should be easy enough to test. I'm sure James Randi would be willing to officiate.

      You're a dishonest little punk, Chad.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @ME II –

      Why beat around the bush? 100% of the evidence offered by the bible is anecdotal or testimonial – the worst forms of evidence (not to mention the specious and suspect origins of his holy books). Yet Chad insists that the bible provides necessary and sufficient evidence supporting his delusion. Just plain silly (and tragic).

      June 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II

      – 1. Let me clarify: If you had witnessed the events in the bible unfold exactly as the biblical narrative describes, would you believe that the God of Israel is real?
      – 2. man you are evasive 🙂 talking with you is like eating peas with chopsticks.

      cue further obfuscation..

      June 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      You know what, why complicate things? You offered up the "water into wine" nonsense in a previous thread – simple, straightforward, extraordinarily easy to test. Again, James Randi could officiate.

      You're a dishonest punk, Chad.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O

      =>if you had been in the boat that night and witnessed Jesus walking on water, would you believe?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      If you had been there for Gilgamesh's conversation with Enkidu in the Underworld, would you believe that He was a demi-god king who ruled for 125 years?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – "=>if you had been in the boat that night and witnessed Jesus walking on water, would you believe?

      Would I be permitted to have James Randi test the spectacle?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Science

      Chad and a blood thirsty beast ?

      A Step Closer to Artificial Livers: Researchers Identify Compounds That Help Liver Cells Grow Outside Body

      June 2, 2013 — Prometheus, the mythological figure who stole fire from the gods, was punished for this theft by being bound to a rock. Each day, an eagle swept down and fed on his liver, which then grew back to be eaten again the next day.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130602144612.htm

      June 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Really-O?

      It's a miracle! Do you believe it, Chad?

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBQLq2VmZcA&w=640&h=360]

      June 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      – 1. How is that a clarification? It doesn't seem significantly different than "If you had been there 2000 years ago and witnessed the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate, would you have believed?"

      Either way you are asking me if I'd been a witness to the events as described would I be convinced. My point is that being a witness does not "prove" anything 100%. 1) Witnesses can be wrong for many reasons 2) the Bible obviously does not provide a complete or even a reasonably thorough description of said events.

      "- 2. man you are evasive talking with you is like eating peas with chopsticks."

      Oh wow, you're calling me evasive. That's rich. 🙂

      Where's that Bible quote for "the entire village witnessed the death"?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @ME II –

      You're far too intelligent and rational to engage Chad so evenhandedly. Don't get me wrong – I admire your restraint – I just think you should understand that Chad most likely views it as validation. I'm just sayin'.

      Cheers

      June 3, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II

      🙂

      to settle the question once and for all who precisely is evasive:
      1. You have not answered the question of
      If you had witnessed the events in the bible unfold exactly as the biblical narrative describes, would you believe that the God of Israel is real?

      2. Provide a single question I that has been posed to me that I have not answered (variations on "why are you such a !@#@D@#@$? dont count as unanswered questions)

      -–
      amazingly enough:
      you wont answer #1 OR #2, AND you'll continue to accuse me of being the evasive one

      June 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Chad, you are aware that something can appear like magic (miracle) and yet not be a miracle or magic? When you see a great magician, do you believe, because of their feats, that they do real magic?

      Chad, why would one instance of magic (miracle) prove an entire philosophy? Wouldn't you need to evaluate more than just one even to determine if an entire world view was correct? If you saw a muslim perform a miracle, would you convert to Islam?

      Chad, if you went back in time and saw no jesus doing miracles nor the other acts in the gospels, would you become an atheist?

      Chad, why don't we have an understanding of the origin of the universe and the origin of life that directly points to your god? Why is your god not as determinable as math or chemistry? Why does your invisible and undetectable god expect to be treated as if he were visible and detectable?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Hey, Chad, you've now witnessed Chris Angel walking on water. Do you believe it?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O

      the reason Chris Angel does that in a hotel pool, is so that they can get the overhead cranes in place with the guy wires..

      Different animal out in the middle of the sea of Galilee, no guy wires, no cranes..... 😉

      but, dont let those little details dissuade you!

      June 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad: "but, dont let those little details dissuade you!"

      Wow. Video! Audio! Dozens of witnesses! Recorded affirming interviews! A well known location! 21st century technology! Yet, Chad dismisses all of this evidence as chicanery, but accepts with complete faith the few cryptic lines, below, from a 2000+ year old book of cobbled together stories, with NO confirming evidence. And non-believers are deluded?

      25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

      27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

      June 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Really-O?

      You slay me, Chad, really you do. If you weren't such a dishonest, objectionable, little prick, I'd probably have sympathy for you. May I suggest you partake of some professional psychiatric help?

      June 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I think what some people here (those who still bother to talk with Chad) don't understand is that when someone like him asks a question like:

      "If you had witnessed the events in the bible unfold exactly as the biblical narrative describes, would you believe that the God of Israel is real?"

      He really doesn't understand (or, more likely, will actively pretend not to understand) that just spelling out the meaning of that question is an exercise that would take 5 or 10 pages. He either really does think it's that simple (which in itself would be scary) or thinks other people are stupid enough to answer without doing the multi-page analysis of the question itself...in which case he will interpret your abbreviated answer to suit himself and do so by launching attacks on positions you never held (while falsely and repeatedly claiming that you hold any position he feels like assigning you). The latter scenario, that he's just a manipulative little twerp who thinks, at a delusional level, that he's smarter than he is, has so far appeared to be the case in most instances.

      Most readers, on the other hand, all realize the complexity of the question and that not only do most people not have time to write a term paper setting up such a scenario but that if we did no one here would bother to read it. So everyone ignores this kind of overly general non-specifc question as a silly waste of time. What Chad does, however, is reposts the same thing over and over in hopes that one poor weak little fly will inocently try, out of politeness if nothing else, to sincerely answer such a question. Then he will take a short answer to a question that was ambiguous to start and claim you are saying any absurd thing he feels like. He won't sit back and like a rational person ask the 50 to 100 questions that would need to be answered before a discussion even begins. No, what chad will do is start making up silly and simple minded things that he wants to believe the respondent said in the hope that by repeating them over and over again will make people believe they are true.

      Like most people with delusions regarding their own influence, he really thinks that there's some audience out here who is impressed by this. Anyway, it's all a bit sad and I don't recommend feeding his pathologies, but everyone decides how to spend their own prescious time on earth.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Hear, hear, Saraswati! Well done!

      Chad – perhaps you should pay Saraswati professional fees as she clearly has insight into your (adolescent) psyche.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad ""If you had witnessed the events in the bible unfold exactly as the biblical narrative describes, would you believe that the God of Israel is real?"

      @saraswati "He really doesn't understand (or, more likely, will actively pretend not to understand) that just spelling out the meaning of that question is an exercise that would take 5 or 10 pages. "

      @Chad "no.. it's pretty simple..
      If you were in a boat, shortly before dawn and Jesus walked across water to meet you. Would you believe?
      If you lived in a town, a well known citizen that you knew personally died, you saw him buried, mourned that death for 3 days, then saw him come out of the tomb alive wrapped in grave clothes. Would you believe?

      extremely simple.. What isnt being specified? What could possibly get misconstrued?

      now, the amazing thing is, you'll respond with ad-hominem, "you always do that" or some variant, claim it isnt clear at all, but.. and here's the thing.. you wont explain WHY it isnt exactly that simple..

      and.. amazingly enough.. you'll accuse ME of being evasive and disingenuous!

      June 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @saraswati "..their own precious time on earth"

      as an aside.. you really should stop using terms like that.. as you dont believe in consciousness and free will...

      cue ad-hominem, accusations of "you dont get it", but absolutely no explanation of how what I am saying isnt 100% correct 🙂

      June 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...oh, and Chad, if someone assesses a situation and immediately plays the, "It’s a ghost" card...you probably shouldn't give their assessment much credence.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "1. You have not answered the question of
      If you had witnessed the events in the bible unfold exactly as the biblical narrative describes, would you believe that the God of Israel is real?"

      That being said, however, no, had I "witnessed the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate" I don't think it would be sufficient to convince me because those descriptions do not preclude deception nor misunderstanding. I am specifically not saying that nothing would convince me, just that the descriptions in the Bible are insufficient. They are, after all, not complete descriptions.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |

      🙂

      "2. Provide a single question I that has been posed to me that I have not answered (variations on "why are you such a !@#@D@#@$? dont count as unanswered questions)"

      "the entire village witnessed the death"

      Really, where is that stated?

      ...

      June 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      "amazingly enough:
      you wont answer #1 OR #2, AND you'll continue to accuse me of being the evasive one"

      Umm... see above.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Lordy, lordy, lordy! For the life of me I can't understand what part of "necessary and sufficient" confirming evidence Chad cannot grasp!

      ...hint...testimonials are the worst and most unreliable forms of evidence. Seriously, someone with "several master's degrees" should understand that.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Really-O?

      The third day of the sixth month of the two-thousandth thirteenth year of our lord and, once again, this forum is going medieval on Chad's backside. Yet, he keeps going back to the well, day after day. I just don't get it.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • ME II

      @Saraswati,
      Well said... perhaps I need to rethink my approach. Thank you!

      June 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "
      1. LOL

      2. let me try something a bit simpler, although you are INDEED proving to be quite adept at evasion.
      - If you were in a boat, shortly before dawn and Jesus walked across water to meet you. Would you believe?
      - If you lived in a town, a well known citizen that you knew personally died, you saw him buried, mourned that death for 3 days, then saw him come out of the tomb alive wrapped in grave clothes. Would you believe?

      3. The text "and the entire village" is not in the bible, that does not mean that the entire village didnt witness the event.

      A. this text directly states that a large number of people witnessed the activities.

      On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
      ...
      Jesus wept.

      36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
      37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
      38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

      B. Bethany was a very small town

      C. In small towns, news spreads very quickly.

      4. pretty simple..
      as always, you impress me with your ability to obfuscate and evade, whilst simultaneously accusing me of obfuscating and evading, when I do neither!.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Really-O?

      By the way, Chad...I put "several master's degrees" in quotes because there is no way in hell I believe you have a tertiary education – unless, of course, the university from which you graduated has a ".com" in it's name.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • midwest rail

      "...whilst simultaneously accusing me of obfuscating and evading, when I do neither!. "
      Ding ding ding ding ding – we have a new contender, most unintentionally funny post of the day ( week ? )

      June 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O "For the life of me I can't understand what part of "necessary and sufficient" confirming evidence Chad cannot grasp"

      =>I guess it would be the part where you havent explained what it IS.
      All you've done is say what events dont meet the definition 🙂

      evasive.. interesting..
      why?

      June 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad: "B. Bethany was a very small town...C. In small towns, news spreads very quickly."

      I lived in Boulder, Colorado, a "small town" by today's standards, at the time JonBenet Ramsey was murdered. The "news [that] spread very quickly" caused here parents incalculable suffering and could have seen them spend there lives in prison for a crime they didn't commit. So what doltish point are you trying to make, Chad? That the average Joe on the street has a keen assessment of reality? Because, that just ain't so. All you're proving here is your arrogance and ignorance of the nature of evidence.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Um... I'll answer your question: If you had witnessed the events in the bible unfold exactly as the biblical narrative describes, would you believe that the God of Israel is real?

      No, I wouldn't. My first reaction in each case would be the same as I have when I see a magician do a trick. I'd think "How did he do that?", but I'd know it was a trick.

      When I see a magician walk on water (see above), or change clear liquid into red liquid, or heal the sick, or perform exorcisms, or pull a string of fish out of a basket, I know these things aren't possible on their own, but are very possible to be performed in such a way to make them seem like they really happened. So I would never conclude, "ah! there must be a god after all."

      It just doesn't follow.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      2) You question is too simplistic, as @Saraswati describe very aptly. However, so as not to be "evasive", I doubt it, no.
      What I think you are assuming is that the descriptions should be taken at face value, but why should that be the case?

      3) The text was not just "and the entire village". It was "the entire village witnessed the death"
      Why do you keep omitting that?

      3a) "the activities" does not equate to "the death" (and it does not say "the activities" either)

      3b&c) So? The question was related "the events unfolding exactly as the gospels indicate".

      4) Chad, don't play the martyr here, you accused me of being evasive first, remember?

      "man you are evasive :)..."

      June 3, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • ME II

      Who was it who said, "Trust only half of what you see and none of what you hear"?

      June 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – "=>I guess it would be the part where you havent explained what it [necessary and sufficient evidence] IS.

      Since you seem to be completely ignorant regarding science and evidence and too obtuse, or lazy, to perform any research, here's a little video Michael Shermer has put together on the subject for layman (perhaps even you'll understand it, Chad). Please note that I said this is for layman...if you really want to understand evidence and the scientific method, you're going to have to do the heavy-lifting of obtaining a tertiary education.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccHnE3QMUbE&w=640&h=360]

      June 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "What I think you are assuming is that the descriptions should be taken at face value, but why should that be the case?"
      @Chad "because that was the question I asked 🙂
      I did NOT ask you whether or not you believed the event actually happened or not, or if there was a way to interpret the description to somehow mean something else.

      I'm asking simply this (for example): A guy walks across the water to your boat. Do you believe? Yes or no.

      ===
      @ME II "The text was not just "and the entire village". It was "the entire village witnessed the death", Why do you keep omitting that?
      @Chad "A. LOL
      B. LOL
      C. haha
      D. nice try 🙂
      E. The part you keep studiously evading (and impressively so!), is the question at hand:
      Lets us consider this question:
      – A guy dies in a very small village (@Really-O, please look up population of Bethany vs Boulder CO lol).
      – "Everyone" is aware of this death (there may have been the odd person in the field that wasnt, but virtually everyone was)
      – "Everyone" buries him
      – "Everyone" mourns him, acquaintances in Jerusalem hear about this and come to console
      – Three days later, in front of a crowd, Jesus commands the person to come out.
      – Person exits the tomb wrapped in burial clothes.

      would you believe? Cue evasion..

      June 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – "Bethany vs Boulder CO lol

      I have no idea what the population of Bethany was, Chad (and I'd bet neither do you), but it's irrelevant – electronic media permits news to spread faster today in Beijing then it would in Bethany 2000 years ago. In addition, media allows for a much more accurate dissemination of information today than the "word of mouth" 2000 years ago. Seriously, Chad, have you been diagnosed with ASD, because you seem to have many of the symptoms.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad – why do you dismiss the evidence of Criss Angel walking on water, but, on much flimsier evidence, accept that Jesus performed the same feat? Huh, Chad. Why is that?

      June 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Oh, that's right, Chad...Criss Angel is just a performer, but Jesus is magic (based on no confirming evidence).

      "...I'm Jewish — but my boyfriend is Catholic..if you're having a baby and you've got to figure out how you want to raise it. Which still wouldn't be an issue for us, because we'd be … honest, and just say, you know, like, "Mommy is one of the chosen people … and daddy believes that Jesus is magic!"

      -Sarah Silverman

      You see, Chad? Even Jesus can be funny.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Science

      Chad will still want to get the last word in .....................remember that one chad .........like a 5 year old ?

      Chomp on that bone...................creationists/ID believers. chadie too..................evolution at its best the old croc.

      Time for the horn-y beast to get the hell out of the bedVroooom !!!

      Fourteen Closely Related Crocodiles Existed Around 5 Million Years Ago

      May 21, 2013 — Today, the most diverse species of crocodile are found in northern South America and Southeast Asia: As many as six species of alligator and four true crocodiles exist, although no more than two or three ever live alongside one another at the same time. It was a different story nine to about five million years ago, however, when a total of 14 different crocodile species existed and at least seven of them occupied the same area at the same time, as an international team headed by paleontologists Marcelo Sánchez and Torsten Scheyer from the University of Zurich is now able to reveal.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521121323.htm

      Hey faithy seems like you have not been weaned yet sort of like chadie .............reminds me of a 5 year old ?

      Monkey Teeth Help Reveal Neanderthal Weaning

      May 24, 2013 — Most modern human mothers wean their babies much earlier than our closest primate relatives. But what about our extinct relatives, the Neanderthals?

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524104828.htm

      Current search on Bing chadie ..........bookmark update chad........3rd one from top of page.

      RDFRS: When Christians become a 'hated minority'

      http://www.richarddawkins.net/.../5/5/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority

      11,000,000 results Any time

      Splat Chad

      June 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "A guy walks across the water to your boat. Do you believe? Yes or no."

      No. Without further investigation, I would assume that it was an illusion of some kind, e.g. rocks under water, etc.

      =======
      A-D) (sigh)

      E) I answered your question. Two or three time now. No, I doubt that it would convince me.

      You are the one avoiding the question, you specifically stated "exactly as the biblical narrative describes", where does it mention anyone witnessing the death? Where?

      "Lets us consider this question:"

      Why? Obviously, it is possible to construct a scenario where it would be illogical to not be convinced. So what? That does nothing to advance the discussion. I have already given you a start for what would convince me of a Lazarus type resurrection, what else do you need?

      (sigh) And just so there's not yet another round of 'you're evading the question'... No, I doubt that scenario would convince me either. I would guess, without further investigation, that either he wasn't actually dead but only appeared to be dead and/or people conspired to make it look like he was dead when entombed.

      By the way I also assume some sort of illusion when I watch a magician, even though I may not know how he does it.

      "Cue evasion.."

      June 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "No. Without further investigation, I would assume that it was an illusion of some kind, e.g. rocks under water, etc."
      @Chad "so:
      A. is there any purpose in attempting to convince the atheist with that view point, that the events recorded in the bible actually happened?
      B. This is the sea of Galilee you realize, not some stream.
      C. How is your viewpoint not demonstrative of a a-priori commitment to naturalism?
      Are you open to following the evidence where it leads?

      =======
      @ME II "You are the one avoiding the question, you specifically stated "exactly as the biblical narrative describes", where does it mention anyone witnessing the death? Where?"
      @Chad "the bible doesnt say "and they watched Lazarus die", but it DOES say, that that they observed him as dead, after all they prepared the body, put the body in the tomb, etc."

      =====
      @Chad ""Lets us consider this question:"
      @ME II "Why? Obviously, it is possible to construct a scenario where it would be illogical to not be convinced. So what?
      @Chad "because if you are presented with a scenario in which it would be illogical to not be convinced, yet you arent convinced, then you are acknowledging illogical behavior on your part.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Chard, why not put your shoe on the foot where it belongs? If YOU were the one who could be present during the same period you're referencing, and you found out that NONE of it happened, or that what did happen bore little resemblance to what was written later, would you stop believing?

      June 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @The real Tom –

      Good point. What about it, Chad? And while you're at it, why do you dismiss the evidence of Criss Angel walking on water, but, on much flimsier evidence, accept that Jesus performed the same feat? Huh, Chad? Why is that?

      June 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Yeah, Chard, what about it? Suppose you were there when Jesus supposedly walked on water and you SAW the rocks–would you continue to believe? Suppose you saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead and then noticed that Lazarus never stopped breathing in the first place. Would you still believe? Suppose you were at the wedding and the water never turned into wine. Would you still believe?

      June 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Chad

      no, of course not. If Jesus was a fraud and was never resurrected, all of Christianity is a lie.

      if Chris Angel walks across the Sea of Galilee, let me know 🙂

      June 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Really-O?

      This is all fun and games, but even if Chad wasn't a smug, dishonest, douche and was, instead a sincere individual, it still would come down to this – Chad is a "believer" and his belief, ultimately, has nothing to do with evidence – it is based on his desire to believe. That's it. Assuming otherwise simply leads you into pointless, tedious, frustrating interactions with him. If you enjoy that, knock yourself out. If you don't enjoy it, steer clear. One final point on the same theme, there are other "believers" on this blog who do seem to be sincere...yes, they don't post with Chad's frenzy, but they also aren't dishonest dicks. YMMV. Just sayin'.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Then, Chard, you're simply silly to criticize those who don't think your evidence is convincing. If you had convincing evidence that Jesus wasn't divine, you wouldn't believe. But you expect people to believe WITHOUT any convincing evidence.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      If Jesus walks across the pool at Mandalay Bay with lights shining and cameras rolling, let me know.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      Please also let us know if you have any extra-biblical evidence that Jesus walked on water.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      According to Chad: If Jesus was a fraud and was never resurrected, all of Christianity is a lie.

      I think the revealing account that Jesus staged his entry into Jerusalem, making sure he rode on a donkey and entered the correct gate so that the story would fit the prophecy, tells volumes about whether or not Jesus was a fraud. I think that not only was he a fraud, so were the followers who wrote about him, and about what he supposedly did.

      Consequently, I think that all of Christianity is a lie.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Hey, folks! Breakthrough. Chad has finally stated (link below), and I quote "all of Christianity is a lie"

      Welcome to reality, Chad!

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/31/southern-baptists-to-urge-churches-and-members-to-cut-boy-scout-ties/comment-page-137/?replytocom=2394642#respond @ June 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      ...in honor of Chad, I'll be sure to replicate this post liberally.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @EnjaySea "I think the revealing account that Jesus staged his entry into Jerusalem, making sure he rode on a donkey and entered the correct gate so that the story would fit the prophecy, tells volumes about whether or not Jesus was a fraud"

      @Chad "I agree, Jesus, knowing He was the Messiah, deliberately fulfilled prophecy.

      ===
      @Really-O,

      1. You cant find a single place, ever, where I have been ever dishonest.. (FYI. saying I believe in God is not a lie..). Now you'll bluster, and huff and puff.. and claim it's been shown before, etc, etc.. but what you WONT do, is show where I have been dishonest.
      2. On the other hand, posts like your recent one (June 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm), certainly are deliberate misrepresentations on your part..

      June 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      A) I'm not sure what you mean by "with that view point". It seems reasonable to me. Whether there is a purpose in convincing atheists of your view point is up to you.

      B) 1. You did not specify a location. I must work with what I have. 2. Are you saying rocks are impossible in the Sea of Galilee?

      C) It is not a-priori because my experience has, so far, been that 100% of the time people don't walk on top of water of any significant depth, unless it is some type of illusion or some other factor is involved, like water depth or flotation devices.
      As I said, "without further investigation". I am more than willing to follow the evidence but the scenario you gave was extremely uninformative (see @Saraswati's post further up this thread) and you demanded an answer.

      =======
      "... but it DOES say, that that they observed him as dead, after all they prepared the body, put the body in the tomb, etc."

      Really? Where?

      "When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her,..."

      'They' were at the house.

      “'Where have you laid him?' he asked. 'Come and see, Lord,' they replied."

      'They' knew where the tomb was.

      "Then the Jews said, 'See how he loved him!'"

      'They' made some comments.

      "So they took away the stone. "

      'They' moved the stone.

      "many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary,... believed in him."

      Many believed.

      "But some of them went to the Pharisees..."

      But some spilled the beans.

      etc., etc.

      It does not state that "they observed him as dead", you inferred it. Not the same thing.

      =======
      "because if you are presented with a scenario in which it would be illogical to not be convinced, yet you arent convinced, "

      As I've stated previously, if the Bible is shown to be 100% correct then I would believe, obviously. Although I'm not sure I can see how anyone could, given the text.

      However, that is not the minimum standard. I wouldn't require absolute "proof", before reconsidering my position. There are many things that would cause me to rethink my position, e.g. observed and verified resurrection, someone verifiably walking on water in a controlled environment, or say a rearrangement of the stars to say 'I AM', all would be a start.

      'God will not be tested' you say? Oh, well...

      While I think Intelligent Design is a joke, there is one aspect that is a valid area of research, "Is there an objective way to tell if something is designed?" Sadly, ID hasn't even tried, apparently, to research this. (and no I don't count Dembski's explanatory filter)

      Not only would I follow the evidence, but I do follow the evidence (not personally but vicariously at least). I just don't consider the Bible as evidence, other than as evidence of Christianity itself, of course, but nobody is debating whether Christianity exists, I don't think.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      @Chad "I agree, Jesus, knowing He was the Messiah, deliberately fulfilled prophecy.

      Or he wasn't the Messiah, and wanted to pretend he was.

      You can have your version, but I'm going to stick with mine.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II

      A, B & C: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bathymetric_map_of_Sea_of_Galilee.jpg
      But, I'm sure someone moved those >100 foot high rocks.. right? 😉
      sure.. seems reasonable !!

      ====
      @ME II " I am more than willing to follow the evidence but the scenario you gave was extremely uninformative ..."
      @CHad "ah. yes, no doubt.. making the claim avoids the whole "I wont believe it no matter what", yet gets the same exact result! brilliant!
      😉

      =======
      @Chad "... but it DOES say, that that they observed him as dead, after all they prepared the body, put the body in the tomb, etc."
      @ME II "Really? Where?"
      @Chad "question.. serious question by the way. are you being purposefully obtuse?

      Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
      Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days
      The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

      ===
      you havent even read the entire bible, claims to "research" are a joke.. right?

      ===
      you might consider (just kidding 🙂 ) doing some reading on the fine tuning of the universe..

      ===
      willful ignorance doesnt do you much good in the final analysis..

      June 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • The real Tom

      'willful ignorance doesnt do you much good in the final analysis..'

      Seems to be quite useful to you, Chard.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –
      "You cant find a single place, ever, where I have been ever dishonest. (hmm..Chad posting as Rachel)
      --Sweet merciful crap, that is rich! You engage in dishonesty, including misrepresenting other poster's words and positions in nearly every thread, Chad. No one on this blog is accused of dishonesty more than you, you lying, delusional pri
      ck!
      "On the other hand, posts like your recent one (June 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm)..."
      --Hey, Chad...that was a direct quote...word for word. Tit for tat, Chad...tit for tat. You dishonest douche.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      I don't want my post to be diluted by wonky formatting, so...

      @Chad –
      "You cant find a single place, ever, where I have been ever dishonest." (hmm..Chad posting as Rachel)
      –Sweet merciful crap, that is rich! You engage in dishonesty, including misrepresenting other poster's words and positions in nearly every thread, Chad. No one on this blog is accused of dishonesty more than you, you lying, delusional prick!

      "On the other hand, posts like your recent one (June 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm)..."
      –Hey, Chad...that was a direct quote...word for word. Tit for tat, Chad...tit for tat. You dishonest douche.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad "Now you'll bluster, and huff and puff.. and claim it's been shown before, etc, etc.. but what you WONT do, is show where I have been dishonest."

      it's almost like... I knew exactly what you were, and weren't, going to do!

      June 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      That's a tired, sad ploy, Chad. Your dishonesty has been demonstrated to you by this forum over and again. I can post items from my "Dishonest Things Chad Posts" file at any time. However, this should suffice for any rational person –

      Chad posting as "Rachel" –
      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/06/richard-dawkins-evolution-is-not-a-controversial-issue/comment-page-10/#comments
      Starting ~September 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm
      Busted – September 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Lying, pathetic dick.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,

      You've obviously given up on rational discourse. Perhaps, we'll take this up later when you've calmed down.

      In the meantime, try to come up with that support for "the entire village witnessed the death" claim you made.

      Peace

      June 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Realy-O,

      Chad's had his lies pointed out to him a couple of hundred times, from the numerous claims he makes about what "atheists believe" to all the false things he's said were stated by myself (regarding especially free will and responsibility) and others. But there's hardly much point in having a conversation with either a pathological liar or a true delusional and trying to convince him to admit he lies. You have been here long enough to know he can't or won't recognize this. What on earth would you hope to gain from such a discussion?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Saraswati –

      Hey! That's my position! Thanks for bringing me back to earth. I'm sure Chad takes a beating for his jackassery day in and day out in his "real" life...and, as far as I'm concerned, he deserves it.

      Cheers

      June 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
  9. Susan

    Our sons were both Boy Scouts and certainly enjoyed camping and hiking and working on merit badges. We just avoided thinking about the bigoted policies of the parent organization because their troop was actually pretty cool about everything. I thought scouting allowed our boys to experience the outside world and develop independence. However, it was rather embarrassing when talking to friends who chose not to let their sons join because of many of the unenlightened Boy Scout policies.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  10. Pastor Dan

    1 Corinthians chapter 14:
    As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • doug

      There you have it. The Bible is so farsighted and omniscient that half the population is deemed to be unworthy of asking a question or thinking or speaking. I mean, do we need any more proof that the books of the Bible are just some bad literature thrown together by men seeking to gain control over others?

      June 3, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  11. JRNY

    WHERE does "it" say that god's word "explicitly" says that ho*mos*xuality is a sin? Where? How about that Noah sleeping with his two daughters after they got him drunk? That's kinda gross...but it's in the bible. So that is alright then?

    June 3, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • nilla

      That was Lot, I believe. He returned the favor by offering them up to the rapists in Sodom.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • mama k

      That was Lot.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • WASP

      @nilla: let's not forget that LOT chose to move his daughters into a cave instead of the nearest town, then the daughters got him drunk and had incest.

      great role model. XD

      June 3, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • James PDX

      nila, Lot's daughters were still virginal when he offered them to the Sodomonites for some gang raping. So they paid him back with the drunken incest. Noah's family was just into incestual wife swapping and such.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Chris

      *Puts on his religious hat* It clearly states that men should not lay with other men and that it is an abomination. It also says you shouldn't celebrate Christmas. By that I mean the tree thing. *Takes religious hat off* A bunch of hypocrites eh? These people pick and choose their "morals" from the bible. If they fully believed it all(as they should if they want to call themselves christian) they would be far worse people than we see....still hypocrites though.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      At least now I have a little better understanding of JRNY when we are having a discussion. I'd default to name calling too if that was the extent of my familiarity with the source material.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  12. Pastor Dan

    God has been making gay people for as long as he's been making people.

    If you have a problem with that, take it up with God.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Jr

      AIDS is God's gift to the gays

      June 3, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Wow

      "AIDS is God's gift to the gays"

      Wow are you an idiot, that's why AIDS started with straight people.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Russ

      @ Dan:
      relevant: Rom.1:18-32
      by your line of logic, God makes mass murderers, too – do you argue that's ok?

      June 3, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Rick L

      Pastor Dan, you call yourself a pastor? Obviously not a Christian one, as that would make you a heretic. God has not made people gay, it is a choice and a lifestyle, it is sin, and nothing more.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • The real Tom

      God makes mass murderers? Wow. Who knew. I thought god only made people with free will.

      Do you have trouble figuring out that murder, theft, and rape are harmful to people and being gay is not?

      June 3, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • mama k

      Rick L is quite uninformed about biology.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Science

      Hey Pastor Dan

      Evolution made US

      June 3, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • sam stone

      rick: saying it is a sin does not prove it to be a sin. it is your opinion, nothing more

      June 3, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Chris

      So then why does the bible(gods book right?) say it's not ok? If it was truly gods book than wouldn't it be 100% correct? How about we just throw the book away....while we're at it lets ditch religion and dogma in general.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • ,

      "God has not made people gay, it is a choice"

      Erik

      Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

      In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

      But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

      This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Rick L: You poor deluded person. Being gay is no more a lifestyle than being left handed is. Do some research outside of your giant book of multiple choice.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • ,

      " it is sin, and nothing more."

      James

      The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  13. James PDX

    If god thinks we've got too much gayness, let him send a flood to wipe us out. Oh, that's right, he conveniently stopped interfering or showing himself before mankind even managed to learn how to write, much less created cameras in every cellphone.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • WASP

      @PDX: XD

      maybe he is camera shy..........

      June 3, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      No flood, remember he said he would never flood us again and to prove it he invented rainbows. So light refracting through the prism of a raindrop did not exist pre-flood according to the bible.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • hippygypy67

      So much for all that unconditional love they say in the bible and taught in my catholic school. And they are wondering why as a nation we are becoming less religious. Unitarian Universalism is the only fit for me now.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  14. WASP

    Robert

    Atheists seem to be such irrational people. God choosing to allow you free will to do what is right or to do what is wrong in no ways implies he is no omnipotent. I means he chose to allow you to do stuff that he does not approve of.

    But one day when a person stands before God he will be held accountable for the wrong he has done.

    June 3, 2013 at 8:11 am

    WASP

    @robert: free will under a dictoator doesn't exsist. it's an illusion.

    your god is suppose to know all, see all, and be everywhere at the same time, correct?
    so that means that your god knew even before the "beginning" when some perve in the church would molest little boys, yet did nothing to prevent it.
    that also means seeing he didn't stop it from happening and that he also watched it happen along with being there in person to do so.

    that just makes your god a heartless pr1ck for standing there and not stopping all the things wrong in the world, seeing he is suppose to be all loving and all powerful.

    next item up for bid: at what point did god create evil?
    seeing "in the beginning there was the word and the word was god" where exactly did lucifer and 2/3rd of god's angels learn evil?
    did it always exsist? then your god isn't all powerful because he could have defeated evil before anything was even created.
    if your god chose to allow evil, then he himself is evil.

    June 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

    faith

    WASP
    @robert: free will under a dictoator doesn't exsist. it's an illusion.

    god is so powerful he cannot set aside his power to allow others to do what they choose to do?

    June 3, 2013 at 8:39 am

    WASP
    can an all powerful god; turn off his all powerfulness?
    if he did that would he even be all powerful?

    can god stop knowing what everyone at any given second is doing?
    would he be all knowing if he did?

    can god stop being everywhere at once?
    would he even be a god if he did that?

    answer to all is no, he wouldn't be a god without all his powers.
    so the answer is no he can't stop from having a stray thought and exterminating everything.

    let's not even get started on the fact that "the god idea" can't exsist in our reality, his very being would violate every known law of physics. so no your god as all gods are fake.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

    June 3, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Science

      Hello WASP..............agree .............the 666 beast is fake .

      June 3, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  15. The real Tom

    What I think is telling is that the SB supported Scouting as long as gay Scouts kept their orientation a secret. The SB would rather have kept things secret. That would make it all okay, apparently. So they value lies, secrecy, and shame above honesty. Good to know.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:20 am |
  16. Jim

    Haven't we all had enough of hate-based religion?

    June 3, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Chris

      Hate based religion? How about all religion?

      June 3, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  17. GenXCynic

    Thumpity thump thump, thumpity thump thump, watch the Baptists go.
    Thumpity thump thump, thumpity thump thump, see the hip-o-cris-y show!

    June 3, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  18. MIchael in Chicago

    News flash to ignorant anti-gay folk: There always have been and always will be gays in Scouting. I was an Eagle Scout in the 1980s, and now decades later have learned that myself and many of my friends in Scouting - are gay. Get over it and get a life! Stop the hatred and discrimination!

    June 3, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • james robins

      just like you have a right to be gay, others have a right to oppose it. I like how society tries to sway beliefs in one direction and outlaw the other half.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • WASP

      being gay is how you are born;
      choosing to act out in violence or in hateful manner toward gay people should be outlawed seeing it leads to violence against gay people.
      just open a news paper to read about it

      June 3, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Tom

      @ james robins

      Do you also oppose blacks, Jews, Muslims? is that your idea of freedom... you are nothing but a two bit bigot.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      "just like you have a right to be gay, others have a right to oppose it."

      This is what I would expect from total morons. We have the right and freedom to be gay or to not be gay, we do not have the right to try and take someone elses rights away by denying them the same rights you already enjoy. Did people have the "right" to vote against interracial marriage? Yes. But they should not have. There should never have been a law banning it so there should never have been a need to vote on allowing blacks and whites to marry. Likewise, there should not be any law banning gay's from any of the same rights straights enjoy, there should not be any "vote" for those rights they are already owed and deserve.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  19. mama k

    I believe the church has every right to do as they wish with their relationships and affiliations. That being said, many of us also have the right to point out the incredible ignorance revealed as many posters here echo their opinion that they claim as a belief that being gay is a "Christian" judgment of perverse "sin". What has occurred to me is that it is a level of ignorance, but also hypocrisy that is very deep and wide because we know three things to be true:

    1. The type of Christian that has the belief described above is out of step with current scientific knowledge from biology and psychology about homosexuality. This is similar to when the RCC didn't believe Galileo's claims at first, but had to reckon with science evenutally.

    2. The type of Christian that has the belief described above is in disagreement with other Christians. Each think they are the spokesperson for their God and yet they disagree.

    3. The type of Christian that has the belief described above does not treat all moral "sins" in the same way. Look at issues from the Bible on divorce for instance.

    It's pretty obvious that it looks foolish to claim that one knows a Christian objective (from God) moral truth on this issue in light of the ignorance of current scientific knowledge, inter-Christian conflict, and hypocrisy. Quite simply, Christians no longer have a leg to stand on in their judgment of gays.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:17 am |
  20. Doc Vestibule

    Since the BSA allows female Scout leaders, they're all ready ignoring the Bible.

    "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet."
    – 1 Timothy 2:11

    June 3, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Sue

      Thanks for posting that, Doc.

      Women everywhere should turn away from the badly flawed and bigoted doctrine of Christianity, and not just because of the meaning of that quote, but for many other reasons.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Chad

      The complete story...

      There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus - Galatians 3

      Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. - 1 Peter

      So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them - Genesis 1

      Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach - 1 Timothy

      Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

      22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

      25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. - Ephesians 5

      June 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.