home
RSS
The White House vs. Westboro Baptist Church
Shirley Phelps-Roper of Westboro Baptist Church protests. Despite disagreeing with the church, the White House says it can't label Westboro a hate group.
July 3rd, 2013
05:56 PM ET

The White House vs. Westboro Baptist Church

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) –The Obama administration will not label Westboro Baptist Church a hate group, saying it's not the government's practice to apply the designation.

More than 367,000 petitioners had called on the White House to "Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group." For months the Westboro petition was the top petition on the White House's "We The People" website.

Four related petitions, including one calling for the Internal Revenue Service to revoke Westboro's tax exemption, also garnered more than 300,000 signatures.

A White House official, speaking on background, told CNN that petitions that cross the threshold of 100,000 signatures are reviewed by policy staff and receive a response.

On Tuesday, the White House posted its response to the Westboro petitions.

Officially, the response to the requested hate group designation was "no comment."

"As a matter of practice, the federal government doesn't maintain a list of hate groups," the White House said.

Instead, labeling hate groups is the job of private groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, the White House said.

But the administration did comment on other aspects of the petitions, agreeing that protesting at military funerals - one of Westboro's favorite practices - is "reprehensible." An animated map posted online shows what the White House says is opposition to the church spreading across the country.

"We agree that practices such as protesting at the funerals of men and women who died in service to this country and preventing their families from mourning peacefully are reprehensible - a point that President Obama has made for years," the White House said.

In response to Westboro, Congress and Obama enacted a law in 2012 restricting protesters' time at, and proximity to, military funerals. The law followed a 2011 Supreme Court decision upholding Westboro's free speech rights to protest at funerals.

Led by its pastor, Fred Phelps, Westboro says soldiers' deaths are part of God's punishment on the United States for "the sin of homosexuality."

Members have traveled the country shouting at grieving families at funerals and displaying such signs as "Thank God for dead soldiers," "God blew up the troops" and "AIDS cures fags."

Westboro Baptist Church is not affiliated with a broader Baptist denomination. The autonomous church has 50 members, many of whom are members of the Phelps family.  The church says they have picketed more than 50,000 events.

A GIF map created by the White House highlights the ZIP codes of the people who signed the anti-Westboro petitions.  

The map shows heavy concentration of signers in Kansas and Connecticut, "two places that have unique insight into the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church," the White House said. The church is based in Topeka, Kansas. As for Connecticut, the Obama administration suggests the anti-Westboro animus stems from the church's threats to protest the funerals of students killed in December's Sandy Hook School shooting.

Gif Created on Make A Gif

Westboro responded to the petition on social media.

"About to swoon with glee! @whitehouse @barackobama telling the world about @WBCSays preachments!" they wrote, adding a picture of the president with horns and the title "AntiChrist Obama."

https://twitter.com/WBCSays/status/352502059846733824

CNN's Bill Mears and Daniel Burke contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (973 Responses)
  1. vas 5054a

    Hello everybody, I be familiar with YouTube video includes less bytes of memory due to that its quality is awful, except this YouTube video has enormous picture features.
    vas 5054a http://autocompk4.unblog.fr

    July 8, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  2. Ken Margo

    WBC will protest at a funeral and a mourner will lose it and shoot the protesters. That will put an end to the protesters.

    July 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  3. Test

    testing

    July 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Romans 8:1

      You passed

      A+

      July 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Athy

      Nah. C+ at best. Didn't capitalize testing and no period at the end (however it wasn't a complete sentence, so we can let that one slide).

      July 9, 2013 at 1:39 am |
  4. Shootmyownfood

    Alrighty, then. All you Christians, believers and others. If you want to talk monotheism, and you want to go back to the source, why aren't you all worshiping Ahura Mazda based on the teachings of Zarathustra? The first monotheistic religion, and yet now, in our current age, that god is no longer a big deal. Just goes to show you the nature of all man-made societal norms; in another few hundred years, all the positions taken on this board will seem antiquated.

    July 8, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  5. Dawg

    I can't stand the westboro Baptist church, which has no affiliation to the real Baptist church.

    Also, what do they have against that phantom mask in that pic?

    July 7, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • A Human being

      What do they have against any of it? Crazy is crazy, and the WBC would be it.

      July 7, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Peter

      Phelps was ordained Baptist, and his church hates all the same people that they do, plus a few more, ... maybe? It's hard to tell. Some other Baptist churches look pretty much just like these guys.

      July 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Saraswati

      What is the 'real' baptist church and where are their headquarters?

      July 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The sign with the mask is representing the group "Anonymous" which has several times taken over their websites. The all-powerful creator of the universe hates g@ys, America, and computer hackers who infiltrate WBC websites.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  6. tony

    There must be a better place to post talentless music videos

    July 6, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Peter

      Churches?

      July 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  7. katy

    Author: Eugen Calmic
    Name: President Obama, benefactor of the nation!!!

    July 6, 2013 at 10:07 am |
  8. atomD21

    Fred Phelps just needs to come out of the closet already and admit to everyone he is g@y... Methinks he doth protest too much...

    July 5, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • Dr. Dot

      I couldn't agree more. As a matter of fact, I can't think of any single person or organization that has done more to advance acceptance for gays than Fred and his gang.

      Sometimes it seems as if they're TRYING to force people to accept gays, and if so, I'll be the first in line at the ceremony awarding Westboro Baptist Church the Troll of the Century award.

      July 6, 2013 at 6:40 am |
  9. DWN

    The insignificant tiny. tiny, tiny, tiny, miniscule Westborough Baptist Church is not even newsworthy yet the media continual vomits up their name. Can't you guys find anything useful to do?

    July 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      IT helps people to feel better about themselves to see other ignorant loud mouths spout nonsense with such passion and conviction. Most people forget that for just a small accident of birth or some other "butterfly effect moment" they too might be standing right beside the Phelps chanting their slogans with them.

      July 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • Len

      Maybe you'd understand if they protested outside the funeral of one of your loved ones?

      July 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Shootmyownfood

      They may have a small congregation, but they have managed to gain enormous media attention based on their, in my opinion, inappropriate protests.

      July 8, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  10. Liz

    Hands down WBC is one of the most enfuriating and embarassing things I've ever seen.

    July 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Embarrassing for whom? Why?

      July 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  11. Sam Yaza

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/westboro-baptist-church

    as close as your going to get to labeling them a hate group,... not that I'm OK with them labeling The sovereign citizen movement a hate group

    July 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  12. Sam Yaza

    all my peeps were surprised that i did not sign this part.ition being an (anti-christ)ian after all. it just not all right with me to bann free speech even when i'm agan' it.

    death to Yahweh, and his ba.stard son Jesus,..wait ba.stards don't get into heaven, Jesus sinned thus not a pure sacrifice and cannot die for your sins, your faith is futile. Jesus number one sin being born.

    god decreed no angel shall breed with human, go reed the book your Vatican removed. it stars me
    and god decreed no human born out of wedlock can get to heaven for 10 generations Deuteronomy 23:2

    Samyaza; destroying your obedience in the tyrant God for 5000 years.

    July 5, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Austin

      IM sorry but I know you are wrong becuase I have experienced supernatural revelation due to my intense struggle with the Word of God, the name Jesus, I was gifted with faith.

      I am still rebellious , but what happened happened.

      The Holy Spirit is there.

      Jehovah Shammah, Our Lord is There.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Liz

      Everybody has their own interpretation of who or what diety is there if any but I'm telling you after seeing WBC it's no wonder people get mad.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • not beheaded

      1. Jesus's father is God, and Mary was married to Joseph before Jesus was born.
      2. The hand of God can not sin because God is good... so there is no sin in Jesus being born.
      3. Jesus was formed by the Holy Spirit, the angel only described it.

      July 6, 2013 at 5:13 am |
    • Dr. Dot

      Sam, I'd like to introduce you to Dr. Gene Ray of timecube.com

      July 6, 2013 at 6:43 am |
    • Len

      Austin
      So you believe. You realize that there are millions of others out there who would describe their conviction in reincarnation, UFO abduction and their personal experience with some other god just as strongly, and probably using much the same language. Why should we take your claim any more seriously than theirs?

      July 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • To believe or not to believe

      Here is a question...

      A bunch of Harry Potter fans get together and protest in the hopes that seniors go without health care.

      Do you blame...

      A.) J.K. Rowling

      B.) All Harry Potter fans

      C.) Just the Harry Potter fans who are protesting

      D.) Dumbledore

      E.) All of the above.

      July 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Telly

      Are they doing it in the name of Harry Potter?

      July 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Irrational Exuberance

      It would depend. If their protest was fully supported by the scriptures of Harry Potter and the writings had been endrsed as true then I'd add J.K to that list.

      The WBC can cite the chapter and verse of everything they are advocating, they aren't some fringe group who just made up their own bible saying lack people are sinners with scaly skin (mormons).

      July 7, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  13. R.M. Goodswell

    punch up: "Can we still avoid dangerous human made climate change" in your browser should come up

    By James E. Hansen

    July 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      sorry blown reply

      July 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Austin

      not if the sneeky freaky is pumping alluminum particles in to the sky .

      July 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  14. bostontola

    WBC Site, al from the Christian life instruction manual:

    Bible Verses About The Hatred Of God (for more details, read God Loves Everyone: The Greatest Lie Ever Told)

    Leviticus 20:23 – "And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them."

    Leviticus 26:30 – "And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you."

    Deuteronomy 32:19 – "And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters."

    Psalm 5:5 – "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity."

    Psalm 5:6 – "Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man."

    Psalm 10:3 – "For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth."

    Psalm 11:5 – "The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth."

    Psalm 53:5 – "There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them."

    Psalm 73:20 – "As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image."

    Psalm 78:59 – "When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:"

    Psalm 106:40 – "Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance."

    Proverbs 6:16-19 – "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."

    Proverbs 22:14 – "The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein."

    Lamentations 2:6 – "And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest."

    Hosea 9:15 – "All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters."

    Zechariah 11:8 – "Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me."

    Malachi 1:3 – "And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness."

    Romans 9:13 – "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."

    July 5, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • bostontola

      God's hate is a page 1 tab for these people, they are a self proclaimed hate group. For the WH to shy away from calling them a hate group is cowardice.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Akira

      Bostontola, the WH does not, and never has, labeled hate groups. Starting now would be disingenuous, and using this as an attack on the Obama administration is disingenuous.
      The WH didn't label the KKK a hate group.
      The WH didn't label neo-nazis as a hate group.
      The WH didn't label white supremacy groups as a hate group.

      It is simply beyond the scope of the WH to do so.

      Do *I* consider them to be a hate group? Oh, you bet. But, again, that is not the function of the WH to label *any* group a hate group.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • bostontola

      Akira,
      We'll have to agree to disagree on this. The action came about through a peti.tion process that is a difficult bar to clear. WBC is a self proclaimed hate group, they don't try to hide it, they revel in it. It's plain cowardice by the WH. Not a big deal, but cowardice just the same in my opinion. Funny you can't write pet ition.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Akira

      Bostontola, I think the WBC has labeled themselves; no official ruling by the WH is really necessary. And the fact that while the WH certainly agrees, (that's how I see it anyway) *creating* an official list of hate groups is what we're really talking about here; that isn't something any administration has ever been willing to do.

      If you'd like to label all administrations up to and including the current one cowardly, that's fine. Perhaps they are.

      Have you read some of the other petitions? Some of them are downright hilarious. Starting one is no guarantee it will result in any action. And after reading some of these, I am grateful for that out.

      Putting it another way, there might be 4 million people that sign a petition calling for every gay person to be put to death. Is it cowardly for this administration to not grant action for that petition as well?
      Apples and oranges, I realize. But I hope you get the gist of what I mean.

      Totally agree about the word filter. Annoying as heck.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      It would have to be pretty awesome for your political career to have the WBC call you the "antichrist" though.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Akira

      Captain, agreed! Although Obama has been called the antichrist almost from the moment he took the Presidential oath in 2009.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • AE

      God hates injustice.

      But God forgives.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Your god is the most unjust of them all. Who forgives him?

      July 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • AE

      I used to think it was unfair when my parents punished me. Turns out they were disciplining me to be better.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Human parents are visible and detectable and can be verified to exist by multiple, repeatable methods.

      We can make none of those claims about invisible sky wizards who perform magic by chanting spells.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • AE

      "We"?

      I know people that can make conscious contact with God. I have a spiritual malady so it is difficult for me. But not impossible.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • AE

      "We"?

      I know people that can make conscious contact with God. I have a spiritual malady so it is difficult for me. But not impos.sible.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • AE

      Psalm 5:5 "The arrogant cannot stand in your presence."
      Psalm 5:6 "You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies."

      July 5, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Yes, nitwit, we. I have all the personal evidence I could ever need or require for the invisible dragon in my garage that grants me wishes every so often regardless of the fact that I can never prove it to another living human being. I might have what I consider to be repeatable, verifiable evidence, but "WE" have no such evidence. From your point of view, I imagine you might just think that I don't have an invisible and undetectable dragon in my garage that I have plenty of personal evidence and experience with but you do not. It's understandable that you would disbelieve my claim just as it is understandable that I would disbelieve your claim that cannot provide US with verifiable evidence regardless of whether YOU claim to have it for yourself or not.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You just described most Christians, AE.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • AE

      If you have a dragon in your garage that grants your every wish, make my posts disappear.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • AE

      So "we" is you, and who else?

      July 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Oh no, the dragon doesn't offer proof of his existence like that. You can't mock him. You have to believe first, then you'll get proof. For example, you might have a dream that gives you clear direction on how to act at work the next day for great success. That might not be proof for you of my magic dragon, but when something like that happens with me, it shows he's really there and he really cares.

      For the purpose of this thread, "we" is any two observers who can demonstrate consistent results under controlled condition and observation. If the 'evidence' cannot rule out other hypotheses, and cannot be independently verified, then it's just yours. No we, no how, no possible way. You are welcome to reason that that is "proof" for your "truth,' but to anyone else it's just a story. Which puts you in the position of being a con man to the degree that you have any doubt.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Akira

      AE, you agree with the premise that God hates people, as illustrated in the WBC's core beliefs?

      July 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • AE

      Ok, your dragon does not sound like my God.

      – You don't have to believe in God. He still exists despite your not realizing He exists.

      – God will give you all the proof you need, if you ask Him for it.

      – God does not grant my wishes. I try to align my will with the will of God.

      I'm glad life is bigger, better and more beautiful than "your" rules for this thread.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      What rules are you talking about?

      I have as much evidence for my dragon as you have for your go, and my dragon can do anything your god can do. It's a matter of faith for both of us; neither have enough to believe in the other's viewpoint without better evidence but to have better evidence you must have faith and believe, so it's a catch 22 for both of us. It's a shame. My invisible and undetectable dragon is pretty cool.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Damocles

      Right, so you don't have to believe in an invisible dragon for it to still be there, it will give you all the proof you need if you but ask it and if you align yourself with the dragon, it will be more favorably inclined towards you.

      Same frickin thing.

      I'll write a big book about Invisible Dragon if it makes it easier for you.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      AE says (among other things):

      -You don't have to believe in God. He still exists despite your not realizing He exists.
      – God will give you all the proof you need, if you ask Him for it.

      The first is most certainly true of things that exist. It's more generally true that the reality of the sort of God most believers believe in is unrelated to belief. But has God given AE, or anyone, proof that it exists? AE?

      July 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • AE

      @Akira

      I don't agree with the WBC. I think it is alarming that as a Christian group, they use only 1 NT quote to describe God. And it was a quote about Esau, who hated God.

      In Jesus, we have a God revealed of grace, peace and mercy.

      "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. "

      (1 John 4:8)

      July 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • AE

      "What rules are you talking about?

      For the purpose of this thread, "we" is any two observers who can demonstrate consistent results under controlled condition and observation. If the 'evidence' cannot rule out other hypotheses, and cannot be independently verified, then it's just yours. No we, no how, no possible way."

      I don't believe in your dragon. I don't think you are being honest.

      I am being honest.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • AE

      There is a lot of evidence.

      How about testimony? Look at what Martin Luther King, JR testifed:

      As he prayed alone in the silent kitchen, King heard a voice saying, "Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you. Even until the end of the world."

      Then King heard the voice of Jesus.

      "I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone."

      And as the voice washed over the stains of the wretched caller, King reached a spiritual shore beyond fear and apprehension. "I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before," he said. "Almost at once my fears began to go," King said of the midnight flash of illumination and resolve. "My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything."

      http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2005/01/Receiving-The-Call.aspx?p=2

      July 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Damocles

      @AE

      So what verifiable, testable evidence do you offer for a deity? Or rather, what evidence do you require from the Cpt about his supposed dragon?

      July 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      AE, you already believe, so it's about you convincing me that your evidence is worthy, and you've not done that, so you have to provide a method whereby I can test your claims so that WE would share your logical underpinning. Just because you can't get it, doesn't mean that I'm not making perfect sense.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • Damocles

      @AE

      So we have testimony from Capt Obvious that the dragon exists. Strong point in favor of the dragon. Next.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • AE

      @ Cpt. Obvious

      I haven't always believed and trusted in God. For a majority of my life I have not.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Austin

      If obama is the anti christ, dabbling in the middle east, then bush had to be part of it because he started it.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "I don't believe in your dragon. I don't think you are being honest. I am being honest."

      If you are fine with that then why can you not be fine when some of us say "I don't believe in your God. I think you are being dishonest". That seems to get many of you all riled up like you can't believe we don't believe you. When we simply point out that there is as much evidence for invisible dragons as there is for an invisible God you should say "Yes! It's true, but we believe anyway!" instead of saying "Nuh uh, we have evidence for our God that you don't have for your dragon, you just have to want to believe to be shown the proof..." That is the dishonest part.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Clearly it would be undeniable evidence if someone quoted someone who claimed to have heard the voice of the dragon.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • AE

      "you have to provide a method whereby I can test your claims so that WE would share your logical underpinning. Just because you can't get it, doesn't mean that I'm not making perfect sense."

      No I don't have to provide a method for you.

      You are free to believe me or not.

      Can you provide a method that demonstrates that God does not exist?

      I doubt it.

      God is not limited by your methods or demonstrations. God can operate outside your understanding of the universe.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "There is a lot of evidence. How about testimony?"

      There is no evidence, there is only testimony. And sadly, there have been lots of things people have sworn to, like that the bloody glove won't fit, or that it was a certain black guy that r aped you but then it turns out the DNA doesn't match, but she was oh so sure...

      Eye witness testimony is about as reliable as a wet dream, which is to say you feel very strongly that something is going on but always end up alone with wet shorts.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • AE

      @Damocles
      "So what verifiable, testable evidence do you offer for a deity? Or rather, what evidence do you require from the Cpt about his supposed dragon?"

      I know he is is just trying to make an analogy about his dragon. He doesn't honestly believe in the dragon.

      What testable evidence do I look for from God? Do his promises come true? If I honestly and humbly seek Him, does He reveal Himself as real to me?

      Yes, he does.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Akira

      AE: phew. You had me worried.
      Of course the WBC cherry-picks the Bible to quote mine verses that will back up a particular viewpoint. In this, they are not alone.

      Austin: lol. Of course Obama isn't the antichrist. Bush, either, but he would come closer to the definition than Obama, IMHO. These people just have too much time of their hands.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Damocles

      @AE

      So this deity is as real to you as... say... Santa Clause is real to a child, right? If the child asks SC humbly for something, it comes true.

      And how do we go about testing your claims?

      July 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • AE

      @ Damocles

      For me, Santa Clause was a story told to me by society, television, my parents and grandparents. By the time I was 10, my parents told me that all the gifts I received were from them.

      "And how do we go about testing your claims?"

      Ask God for help. Say something like this: "God, if you are real, reveal yourself to me in a way I can understand."

      July 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Damocles

      @AE

      And so now you are telling the story to yourself. Same difference.

      If I did that and nothing happened, would that be proof that there is no deity? What if I slipped up and inserted Odin's name? Would that be proof that Odin is the true deity?

      July 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Do I really have to go through all that same stuff with the Dragon nonsense to make my point or have you caught on by now? You offer no evidence except your own experience, exactly like I have with my dragon and the guy locked up in the mental ward has for his delusion. You have no VERIFIABLE proof that conclusively demonstrates anything, at all, nada, zip, zilch of the smallest point of your dogma. Nothing. Why do you pretend when you must realize how obvious it is you have no substance?

      July 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Answer

      Talking to a religious nut is absolutely pointless.

      They wall want their gods. They've all established that they need their god. They've all got personal experiences and nothing else.

      What they never see is just how silly their arguments are 'for' their god. They just want it.

      July 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • AE

      @ Damocles

      If you can honestly say Odin works for you, go for it.

      It wouldn't be proof to me. Odin has never revealed himself as being real to me. I haven't met anyone that can testify to Odin changing their life.

      @ Cpt. O

      I'm not required to offer VERIFIABLE proof to a few skeptics on the internet.

      God has given me so much evidence, that I can not deny Him.

      I can honestly deny your dragon. Or any other imaginary story you can come up with.

      July 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Answer

      "God has given me so much evidence, " <<<<- epitome of stupidity.

      Show it stupid.

      July 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • AE

      Answer

      I used to think like you. But I've met too many people that make your statements false to me today.

      Not all people who believe in God are nuts. And there are people who do not believe in God who are nuts.

      How can you consider Martin Luther King, JR nuts? How can you not appreciate that man's personal experience?

      July 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Answer

      How can you not appreciate that man's personal experience? <<<< - you've answered it.

      Personal experience does not equal evidence. Stupid.

      Try figuring that out – again. Learn what it means when you say evidence and then put in "personal experience."

      Fruit case.

      July 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Answer

      The classic religious nut bag replies are ALWAYS to resort to personal experiences recounting and quoting from a source that has a ring of "authority" to themselves; like the bible. Or resorting to name dropping of famous dead people.

      These tactics are useless.

      No man is great. No man is ever deemed a great person to everybody. I wouldn't care what famous person you want to inject in a conversation. Their stature, their life's position, their wealth, their creed, their bank account holdings are all useless.

      What I deem the most satisfaction in a man or woman is their honesty.

      July 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • AE

      “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

      “Hate destroys the hater...”

      ― Martin Luther King Jr.

      July 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Answer

      "Don't be stupid."

      July 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Len

      AE
      "You don't have to believe in God. He still exists despite your not realizing He exists.

      Or, he may not exist despite you're belief that he does. Both are not equally likely, however. There have been millions of gods claimed to have existed and none of them have been proven. So, we don't even know if gods are possible. Assuming that, if your god does exist, no other one does, this makes the odds against your claim even less (and perhaps much, much less) than one in millions, correct?

      July 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Len

      AE
      "How can you consider Martin Luther King, JR nuts? How can you not appreciate that man's personal experience?"

      And the people who were opposing the Civil Rights Movement were mostly other Christians, many also claiming this same kind of experience. What does that prove?

      July 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      AE
      "I'm not required to offer VERIFIABLE proof to a few skeptics on the internet.
      God has given me so much evidence, that I can not deny Him.
      I can honestly deny your dragon. Or any other imaginary story you can come up with."

      If you want to make extraordinary claims you do need to provide extraordinary evidence; there is no evidence for your god neither is there any evidence for the gods you do not believe in.
      If god has given you evidence, why can't you point to it or share it; you don't believe in the dragon or presumably fairies, unicorns, etc. yet there is no more evidence for a god than for those.
      You can't explain why you chose your god over all the others; again there is no more evidence for your god than for the other gods.
      The only difference between you and atheists is that we believe in one fewer god than you.

      July 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Irrational Exuberance

      AE you are mistaken.

      You have been given proof of the dragon, you've just confused it as evidence of some other god.

      The dragon loves you so much, that even when you mistakenly pray to some non-existent god it still sometimes grants your wishes or provides you insight into your life. The dragon wants that personal relationship with you, even though others in the past who had rejected the dragon's love have tried to demonize it by casting aspersions on serpents. They were petty creatures who didn't understand love, but rather preached hate, divisiveness, and even wrote books elevating themselves as chosen.

      You've felt his presence, but since you hadn't been taught the truth of the dragon you've been mislabeling it as something else.

      July 7, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Romans 8:1

      More Bible quotes from non Jewish or Christian believers.

      Wonderful, the non experts quote a book they don't believe is God inspired.

      Next, they will quote Hillary Clinton's book which we all know only contains truth, NOT!

      We are laughing at the fools who don't believe in JESUS, and can only pray they soften their hearts to hear the truth.

      This goes for this so called church too.

      Try reading Psalm 35 sometime. Eye opening experience will happen.

      July 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Pete

      "Try reading Psalm 35 sometime. Eye opening experience will happen."

      Dude most of the atheists posting here are former ministers and xtians, so reading that Psalm is not an eye opening experience, especially since the bible has been proven not to be an historical document.

      July 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  15. bostontola

    From their site:
    This message is for the elect Jews still alive on this earth. All the nations are going to fight against Israel and persecute the Jews like never before in their history, until the indignation of the Lord is fulfilled. The elect Jews will be called, sealed and sanctified. These things must shortly come to pass and will happen fast. Listen up elect obedient Jews! You will have the seal of the living God soon!

    July 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • lol??

      Not surprising they are confused who a Jew is. They ain't the only gubmint church in deep doo doo.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • bostontola

      lol??,
      Are you cherry picking?

      July 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Akira

      Lol?? thinks that the government is behind the WBC? I am shocked, I tell you, shocked.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • lol??

      Akira, tryin' to find something the gubmint DOESN'T have its fingers in is like tryin' to find a righteous man in Sodom!! I keep asking people to name me 10 things and crickets is all I hear.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Your auditory hallucinations are your problem.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Akira

      I find it vastly amusing that you want less government, unless, of course, they are legislating against the things you agree with them legislating against, lol??.

      How's that bunker construction going?

      July 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • bostontola

      lol??,
      Things the gubmint is not involved in:
      1. My schedule of activities next week.
      2. My last report.
      3. My last painting.
      4. My favorites lists.
      5. My investment choices.
      6. My last comment on this blog.
      7. My choice of the last vacation destination.
      8. My political ideas.
      9. My religious ideas.
      10. My choice of wine last night.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  16. bostontola

    Right from page 1 of the WBC website.

    Compendium of Bible Truth on F a.g s (first published in 1991)

    July 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • bostontola

      Sodomites are wicked & sinners before the Lord exceedingly (Gen.13:13), are violent & doom nations (Gen. 19:1-25; Jgs. 19), are abominable to God (Lev. 18:22), are worthy of death for their vile practices (Lev. 20:13; Rom. 1:32), are called dogs as filthy, impudent & libidinous (Deut. 23:17,18; Mat. 7:6;

      July 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  17. Cpt. Obvious

    Question for anyone:

    Does anyone know the rationale behind the Phelps's picketing and campaigning? It's certainly not to see any souls saved or to get any of us into their heaven because they are Calvinists who believe that everyone "elected" by god cannot do anything that would cost them their salvation and that anyone not "elected" by god cannot do anything that would earn them their salvation. So what's the reason?

    July 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • tony

      "Look at me. Listen to me. I'm IMPORTANT!" Perhaps?

      July 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  18. tony

    The WBC believe the bible should be interpreted literally.

    So their god had a great reason for creating the a mass of different languages at the tower of babel, then magicked the ten commands only slightly later in on handy local rock, but only in Hebrew. What genius!

    July 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • lol??

      Who knows what the attorneys think?? Generally pharisees aren't helpful. They are democrats.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • tony

      Was there a point in there? I didn't think the US party of democrats, you presumably are thinking of, existed before the 1820's.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  19. palintwit

    We arrive in rusty 1964 motorhomes.
    We bring our bibles and loaded assault weapons.
    We wear ridiculous clothing and have teabags dangling from our earlobes.
    We carry misspelled racist signs as we stomp all over the White House lawn.
    We eat Chick-fil-A and wash it down with Everclear.
    We are Sarah Palin's real Americans.
    We love the baby jesus but we love to boink our cousins even more.
    We believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that early man walked with the dinosaurs.
    We believe that nascar is a real sport and that Dale Earnhardt was a great American athlete.
    We are the birthers. We are tea party patriots.
    We are bigots and inbreds. We are morons and we are proud.

    July 5, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • lol??

      3rd party influence would upset the dialectic, but only a little til they were marginalized by the facilitators and manipulators, err mediators.

      July 5, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Tea Party? Not sure what the Tea Party has to do with this story, but the rant is interesting. The funny thing that caught my eye was the Nascar angle. Nascar fines and punishes their drivers for looking angry or swearing at a reporter, where the NFL has how many of their athletes reported arrested in the last few weeks? How many NBA players are in paternity trouble. MLB, is starting to worry about every athlete that hits too many home runs?

      Dale Earnhardt, died blocking for his son and best friend who were running in first and second place. The many charities that he has helped are still being discovered. Is he the greatest athlete ever, no. Is he a great role model for children and adults in this day of air brushed sports stars such as Kobi Bryant or Lance Armstrong.... severely Dale Earnhardt is.

      Your politics are stupid but even a African American, Ford fan can take offence over such an attack.

      July 5, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      sport /spôrt/Noun: An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others.

      ath·lete /ˈaTHlēt/Noun: A person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.

      I think palintwits contention is that NASCAR is being called a sport and Dale called an athlete when it should be called a race and Dale was a race car driver. Which muscles are really being used to win a NASCAR race? One could argue the brain I guess, but isn't it the car itself that has to be in tip top shape, so of anyone on the track to be called the athlete, wouldn't it be the car?

      July 5, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      The cars in nascar do not have power steering. the car is intentionally out of balance – the weight is arranged to counter the banks in the track to minimize the speed loss, all 4 tires are a different compound....basically the car to you average driver would be the worst drive they've ever had. you fight the car every step of the way...keep that up for 50 laps and see how you feel. add in the 20 or so other drivers doing the same thing..and you got yourself a race.

      That said F-1 is were its at for me:)

      July 5, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • runningtowin

      I hope it is just the WBC you are mocking. I'm not sure what else you are getting at. You are a hatemonger and a bigot.

      July 5, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "keep that up for 50 laps and see how you feel." I am sorry, I had no idea it took such strength, no wonder so many NASCAR drivers are being accused of doping... I mean to compete at those levels of strength it requires to turn a steering wheel left over and over.., can you blame them?

      July 5, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      JTFM

      When the last time you saw a fat nascar driver? it takes more strength than you would think. Add in the reflexes and coordination, keeping tabs on the brakes, fuel and tires...planning when and how to deal with the other drivers, the track itself..looks nice and smooth right? lol its not.....you make it sound like a country drive....it isn't...not by a long shot.

      July 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Fat or thin, any "sport" that causes that type of environmental damage without even realistically promoting exercise among it's followers is hardly a major contributor to society.

      July 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • lol??

      NASCAR and commie unmommies must not mix. Most likely it doesn't appeal to their prohibition instincts that were a gud training ground. However, they do delight in the cash it brought in. Even the Clinton clan made some dough at it.

      July 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      @ Saraswati

      We are 10 years past the point of no return on the environmental issues, even if we cut the human impact to nothing..right now, today we ll still be dying out in 50 years or so. The huge pools of methane and other greenhouse gases that were held in a liquid form at the bottom of the colder oceans and seas have begun to warm and are rising to the surface.
      Motorsports have been a livelihood for many in my family so im perhaps a little defensive of it..even if the reality is I agree with you.

      July 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • lol??

      Riiiigggght, motorsports caused what percentage of damage??

      July 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Len

      R.M. Goodswell
      NASCAR drivers aren't fat for the same reason that jockeys aren't: the lighter the driver, the faster the vehicle can go. I'm surprised there aren't more 100 lb women drivers like Danica Patrick.

      July 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • lol??

      Women cancelling out their hubbies votes at the polls and the usual 2 trips needed has to be way more useless energy activity.

      July 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Well let me put it this way, im not in the greatest shape, but im no slouch, and I couldn't hang with Danica Patrick on the track....

      July 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Driving those particular race cars is a very physically demanding SPORT. I bet there's at least 500 sports that nobody on this thread would even balk at that require far less physically and mentally than nascar racing. It's not my thing, but I recognize that it is a sport.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Obvious, I don't argue that it doesn't take skill and strength, but that it causes more harm than good. In addition to the environmental impact that far exceeds anything caused by running, for example, this activity does nothing to promote activity among it's followers. Very few people can afford to participate in a way that is in any way athletic, in stark contrast to sports like soccer or baseball which encourage community and company leagues, or track and long distance running, which are a role model for millions of runners. And among children the impact is zero, with child followers of gymnastics or basketball active in their interest, few child fans of NASCAR are getting any opportunity to practice except in front of a video game.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You are correct, sara. I think Nascar is a horrible, damaging sport, but then I think that about a lot of sports. Football is terrible for several reasons, just like cheerleading. Many sports we admire should be mocked and derided for many reasons.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @R.M. Goodswell – "today we ll still be dying out in 50 years or so."

      –No one who follows the data denies that we are currently experience a period of global warming.
      –Most data supports the fact that human activity is influencing this warming trend; however, there is not currently enough data to determine how strongly human activity is influencing this trend.
      -No serious climatologist claims we have reach a tipping-point, much less that we will be "dying out in 50 years or so" – that is just hysteria.

      All said, throwing up your hands and saying, "No point in steering now!" is not a rational position.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Obvious, American football, I agree, is one of the more disturbing sports. Caring for family with alzheimer's is the most heart wrencing things a person can ever do, and for a parent to encourage a child in a sport that may cost them their mind and leave their loved ones with years of that kind of suffering in unconscionable. I have to believe these people are ignorant of the very hard data and that they are not truly that evil to their own families. If I hear one more ignorant 40 year old talk about how his 3 concussions have't hurt him I'll be lecturing a total stranger. Then again you probably have to have notable brain damage not to realize that 20 year early onset means you are helpless at age 60 rather than 80 or that young adults can still work and talk when they've lost 15 IQ points, just with much lower earning power. And when these athletes are insti.tutionalized at 65 we'll all be paying for it.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Really-O

      I don't know what to think on the matter but:

      1. Have you seen the graphs on global warming versus levels of CO2 in the environment?
      2. Have you seen the graphs on the amount of CO2 in the environment versus any other time period in the last half a million years or so?
      3. Have you seen the graphs on the amount of CO2 humans produce and release into the environment?

      I am not alarmist, by any stretch of the imagination, but I think we are very close to be being beyond hope and that we may already be beyond hope. I will be shocked if there is not a drastic decrease in population in the next fifty years due to the environmental harm caused by humans either in soil/nutrition production or global warming effects.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Hysteria? – No...it is game over for the human race. There is no recovery..not for us.....simple as that. Our only chance would be space...and the wrong people are in control for that. Sometimes, like in this case, there is no way to spin the bad news,
      No dodging the bullet...we had a tipping point and because of human nature, its long past.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Malthus predicted doom in the same way over 200 hundred years ago, yet his population based predictions were way off because he couldn't foresee the advances in agriculture and sanitation that were to come. Things are bad, but likely not hopeless. However, the more power we have at our fingertips, the more we can screw up.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @R.M. Goodswell – "Hysteria? – No...it is game over for the human race."

      That is hysteria unsupported by evidence.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      his were based on population and its effects if I remember right. I m talking about the planet itself is now changing to an environment that we cannot survive in. Plants and trees that exist today can only tolerate 2 maybe 3 degree more Celsius on avg and as it takes ten of thousands of years of new species of plants to take hold.

      And being what we are, instead of unifying and pulling together – we will continue to fight for ever smaller scraps.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Cpt. Obvious –

      I'm not much of a climate buff, but I drop in on the data from time to time. CO2 levels are rising and human activity certainly plays a significant role. One pertinent, yet unanswered, question is how important a part CO2 really plays in thee warming equation (water vapor may be more important). I'm not an alarmist either, but I do think this is an important issue and several models indicate we could, at some time in the future (near?), reach a "tipping-point". Taking all of that into consideration, there are other things that are, almost certainly, a more imminent risk to human populations: Poverty; political instability; the ever-present nuclear threat (yes, it's still out there); over-reliance on an ever shrinking and fragile variety of food crops; ... ad nauseam. The simple fact is, life is a risky proposition and hysteria is not to our advantage. Right?

      Cheers

      July 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Saraswati –

      The Club of Rome made similar doomsday prediction in there 1972 report, "The Limits to Growth". The map is not the territory. Models are not reality.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "...predictions in their 1972 report.."

      Careless.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Really-O

      Do you know about ice cores? They contain a record of the gasses present in the atmosphere through time. When we graph CO2 levels versus earth temperature, there is ALWAYS a direct match. Of course, we don't have the data for earth temperatures when CO2 levels are at the high level they are now, because the earth's CO2 levels haven't ever been even a tenth as high as they are now (in the ice core record, I mean). Even if the correlation between the two is only 1/6 or 1/8 we're in for much, much higher temperatures over the coming decades.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Cpt. Obvious – "Ice cores"

      Ice cores provide interesting data and support CO2 levels and temperature rising together, although it is not yet certain which is the cause and which is the effect – either way, one thing core samples show is that environmental CO2 has always varied, long before humans had any impact. Interesting.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      1. I'm not positive, but I think the data consistently shows CO2 levels rising BEFORE the temp increase.
      2. CO2 levels are DRASTICALLY higher than at any point in the ice core record. Again, I'm not positive, but it's higher by many factors-–perhaps even ten to twenty times higher, currently.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Really-O

      This is out of our hands now is my point– there is no stopping this. The Methane pools in the oceans that are (were) held in check by temperature are real...this is happening right now, and we cannot stop it.

      I m not hysterical over this, I am a realist...it is happening ..its not unsubstantiated – google it and read through the listings and pick the most moderate one you like.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Cpt. Obvious –

      I'm sure you know more about this than do I. One thing I find interesting is the hypothesis that "global dimming" and "global warming" are, to some degree, mitigating each other. One thing is certain...we're all going to die.

      Cheers

      July 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @R.M. Goodswell –

      There is not a consensus among the top scientists around the globe regarding ANY positions on global warming (other than the fact that we are currently experience a period of warming). Respectfully, what makes you think you can find a definitive, absolute answer using a google search? Don't smoke. Wear your seat belt. Maintain a normal BMI. Relax. See what happens.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      What makes you think that you cant? I wanted you to search so that YOU could read for yourself and choose for yourself whether im blowing smoke or not... I tend to follow the UW and Columbia University's research on climate change. but there are others...

      July 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @R.M. Goodswell –

      Science is not a democratic process and it is not about choosing what makes sense to you, for whatever reasons you have. The simple fact of the matter is there is not currently enough data to predict with a high degree of probability where climate change is going and what impact it will have on global biomes. There...just...is...not...enough...data.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Really-O

      Your comments on this thread convince me that you do not know enough about the dynamic to claim there are not enough facts within it for a prediction. If you're not an expert, then how can you know whether there are or aren't enough facts for the required prediction?

      July 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Universities can be wrong – but when one after another echo and/or verify what each have found it lends weight to the credibility. If universities posted info that is incorrect or exaggerated they d develop a reputation that would kill their admission rates.
      it is to their advantage to be as accurate as possible...for the science and I guess the prestige as well.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Cpt. Obvious –

      I'm not an expert, and I assume neither are you or @R.M. Goodswell. My position is skepticism, which is the default scientific position. I can list name after name of climate scientist from top-tier universities and think tanks who, while they support the fact of warming and (many) support anthropogenic impact on climate (mainly via environmental CO2), neither claim we are all doomed or that they can currently predict the extent or outcome of the current warming trend. Why is that so hard to accept. Believe what you will. I follow the data.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @R.M. Goodswell –

      You cited Columbia University as one of the sources you trust. Can you provide a single citation from a Columbia University climatologist which asserts that we have passed the tipping-point and the planet is doomed? Bet you can't.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You are correct to be skeptical where you are skeptical. Where you make a positive claim and are the exact opposite of skeptical, you are wrong.

      You are not correct when you are NOT skeptical but put forth a very definite, positive claim that you cannot verify by any method. When you claim that there is not enough data, you are being the furthest thing away from "skeptical" because you are making a positive claim. I am skeptical of your positive and nonskeptical claim that there is not enough data. I am skeptical of your claim because it is obvious that you do not know enough about the data to make the positive claim that there is not enough of it.

      Be skeptical, Really-O and don't make a claim that would require you to know more than you do about the data.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Oh you are right about that – I am no expert but I do have a brain just like everyone else – all I can do is take info from those that are experts, take human nature, my own education – and draw a picture of reality from there.

      the "Not enough data" line was used by certain corporate interests to kill environmental regulations, alternative energy plans and more efficient transportation.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Cpt. Obvious –

      Restraint is a defining characteristic of skepticism. I'm sure that you assert that there is insufficient evidence in support of the claim that the god of Israel exists, right? Does that make it a positive claim. No. My skepticism is based on the fact that there is no consensus in the scientific community regarding global warming and it's impact on global biomes. If I'm wrong, please provide a citation to the consensus paper from a peer reviewed journal. If you, as @R.M. Goodswell, are a doomsday profit, please provide a SINGLE citation from a peer reviewed journal that concludes we have passed the tipping point and are sliding down the inevitable slope to global destruction. Bet you can't.

      It' been fun, but I've said all there is to say.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Really-O

      – published in 2006.....www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2006/NewSchool_20060210.pdf‎

      Thank You for asking a question and then answering for me.....keep in mind thing are a bit more severe than when this was written....

      July 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @R.M. Goodswell –

      Bad link. Keep in mind, saying, essentially, "Well, I know my citation doesn't say we're doomed, but things have gotten worse (no citation) so my 2006 paper supports my position we're doomed", is really pretty weak. Right?

      July 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Really-O:

      the data is the diving force here....and everything you know about the science and about humanity- what conclusion would you draw?

      don't heat up – the three of us are discussing this...you called me out, as you should because I don't provide hard data in my posts because I like to point people to multiple sources – to let them decide.... explain why the data is wrong?

      July 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      punch up: "Can we still avoid dangerous human made climate change" in your browser should come up

      By James E. Hansen

      July 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @R.M. Goodswell –
      The data are not "wrong", but there is currently insufficient data to make high probability endgame predictions about the future of global climate and it's effect on biomes (I feel like I've said this before). And, without question, your assertion that "it is game over for the human race" is unsupported by scientific consensus based on the current probability of the evidence. If you can't see that, I can't make you see it. So...I'm out.

      July 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      The pdf includes sources and charts to support his paper and you asked for a single source initially from Columbia University- Now you are asking for a peer review-im sure there is one...

      July 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The Washington Post

      The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate, at Bergen , Norway .

      Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

      Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

      Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

      * * * * * * * * *
      I apologize, I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post – 90 years ago.
      *****************

      July 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Bill

      our means of collecting data has improved just a bit...since the 20s....when you have satellites looking at the planet in multiple spectrums, Scientists in several fields collecting data that arrives to a specific point at some point its safe to arrive at a conclusion.

      July 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      For data on tropical storms from 1851 to present:

      http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/E11.html

      July 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Good point R.M. The scientist at the National Oceanographic admit that their current methodology allows them to identify storms that would have not been reported a century or two ago. Even discounting for the upward skew of the data in recent years, the trend in tropical storms is statistically flat for the last 200 years. Some meteorologists state it is in actual decline

      July 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Really-O

      It is disingenuous of you to suggest that I might be a "doomsday prophet" with a desire to show that the evidence clearly points in a particular direction. You have exchanged enough ideas with me in this thread and read my posts carefully enough to know better.

      It is stupid of you to claim that there is not enough data while admitting that you are not an expert on the data that is there. And it is wrong of you to throw out the red herring that your positive claim is a form of skepticism.

      I have lost a good deal of respect for you in your last post to me.

      July 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      That NOAA chart (the big one) shows the amount of named storms have risen significantly.

      July 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Really-O

      I'm not going to lay out the argument for you, because I KNOW (from your posting history) that you can tell me and everyone else how wrong and stupid it is to compare the "data" for the global warming hypothesis and the "data" for the god hypothesis. You should have known better than to do that, and I'm surprised that you allowed yourself such sloppy "debating" on this issue. It's almost like you have a preconception or bias on this issue that increases your willingness to apply lazy argumentation.

      Until this afternoon, I really looked forward to your posts and I valued them highly. I'm disappointed in this turn of events, and I am sorry to have lost the eagerness with which I read your comments until today.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      He is right about me- I am a doomsday prophet of sorts...granted I differ from the normal crack pot in that I hope im wrong,
      But I really and truly think we haven't a prayer. We have a nasty habit of throwing money in the wrong places, letting supersti tion do our critical thinking for us, allowing the most aggressive and greedy dominate.

      I don't back up what I say with facts till pressed – Which I should have done.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  20. Age of Reason

    ..."what wealth this fable of the Christ has not brought us?!" Pope Leo X
    "JESUS" was mythical, political construct who NEVER existed and do NOT beleive in him!

    July 5, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Please cite your reference

      July 5, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • runningtowin

      Your "Age of reason" is always changing. So I feel bad for you.

      July 5, 2013 at 11:56 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Advertisement
About this blog

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