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Bush's plans to address Messianic Jewish group irks former aides
Former President George W. Bush plans to address a group committed to converting Jews to Christianity.
November 13th, 2013
05:34 PM ET

Bush's plans to address Messianic Jewish group irks former aides

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Of course Tevi Troy has heard the hubbub.

He knows full well that his onetime boss, former President George W. Bush, plans to speak Thursday at a Dallas fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute – a group dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity.

“I have yet to meet a Jewish person who hasn’t heard about this,” says Troy, who served as a Bush administration liaison to the Jewish community and was a former deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The topic of conversion can prompt a visceral reaction for Jews whose darker times have been marred by persecution, expulsion and forced conversions. Millions have died for and because of their faith.

“There’s good historical reason for the Jewish discomfort,” Troy says.

But before Troy, an Orthodox Jew, will tread into this controversy, he wants to discuss the Jewish value of hakarat hatov, or “recognizing the good.”

He says people should remember and appreciate that Bush was “a very good president to the Jewish people.”

He was a friend to Israel during the Second Intifada, Troy says. He was an outspoken opponent of anti-Semitism. And in the wake of the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl by al Qaeda in Pakistan in 2002, when Jews felt like targets, Troy says Bush took on terrorism.

That said, when it comes to Bush’s decision to speak at the annual banquet for this messianic group, one that believes Jews like this former aide need to be saved, Troy admits, “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed.”

CNN tried to speak with five other former Bush administration liaisons to the Jewish community, but only two of those responded. Both suggested Troy could speak for them, too.

His words, though, are tempered. Others, such as Rabbi David Wolpe, who was dubbed America’s most influential rabbi by Newsweek in 2012, called Bush’s decision “infuriating.”

The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute is representative of a longstanding effort to convert Jews, one that dates back to Paul in the New Testament who said, in Romans 1:16, that the Gospel should be taken “to the Jew first.”

The institute's website features a menorah in its logo. Its chairman is listed as Rabbi Jonathan Bernis, a man who heads up another organization called Jewish Voice Ministries International, where an “Ask the Rabbi” feature includes an image of him wearing a yarmulke and Jewish prayer shawl.

CNN reached out to Bernis at Jewish Voice Ministries but was told by a spokeswoman that he was not allowed to comment on the upcoming fundraiser.

Then CNN asked where he had been ordained as a rabbi, and the spokeswoman hung up the phone.

We also called the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, which pulled down from its website any references to Bush’s upcoming appearance soon after Mother Jones broke the story. An institute spokeswoman said there would be no comment.

A source close to Bush, who didn't want to be named, confirmed to CNN on Wednesday afternoon that the former president still plans to speak at Thursday’s banquet, where tickets reportedly range in price from $100 to $100,000.

The source also said that Bush addresses all sorts of groups, secular and religious of varying stripes. Bush tells stories from the White House and speaks about his love for America, which includes a commitment to religious freedom and tolerance, according to the source.

Had Bush’s onetime liaison to the Jewish community still been working with the former president or been asked, Troy said he certainly would have advised against such an appearance.

Troy says the problem is most people don’t understand why talk of converting Jews stirs up such strong feelings in the Jewish community.

“It dates back to a time when forced conversion was a serious issue, when the church was imbued with the power of state,” he says.

Troy points to the Spanish Inquisition as an example, explaining how under duress and torture, Jews had to convert to Christianity or face expulsion from Spain in 1492. Those who stayed and exhibited any shred of Jewish observance were persecuted.

The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, founded in the mid-1990s, includes in its mission the goal to "educate Christians in their role to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and thus save some of them."

The institute's statement of faith also says that those who are born Jewish and "place their faith in Messiah Yeshua," Jesus, "have not disowned or separated themselves from their race and Judaic heritage, but remain sons and daughters of Israel."

Missionary outreach to Jews in America isn't new. It dates back to the 19th century. A Hungarian man who called himself a "rabbi" established a ministry in 1894 to target Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn, offering them assistance, education and New Testaments translated into Yiddish.

On the opposite coast in San Francisco in 1973, a Baptist minister - who was born Jewish - founded a proselytizing organization called Jews for Jesus. His small army has been knocking on doors and pounding the pavement ever since.

A less aggressive approach, preferred by others who might call themselves Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, has been the establishment of Messianic “synagogues” and organizations. They’re sponsored by Christians, and they incorporate Jewish symbols and modified Jewish rituals. They’re often led by leaders who call themselves rabbis, use Hebrew phrases and wear traditional Jewish accessories.

Critics cry false advertising, subterfuge and bemoan how such outfits, including the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, which built its base in the former Soviet Union, often target Jews who don’t know better – what Rob Eshman of the Jewish Journal in Los Angeles called, “the low-hanging fruit of Jewish identity.”

While Messianic Jews believe it’s possible to be Jewish while believing Jesus is the Messiah, others say this makes as much sense as a vegetarian who believes in scarfing down steak.

The historical concern may have been rooted in forced conversions, but Troy knows that's not an issue today.

In fact, the group Bush will address - and others like it - don’t really worry him. He’s more concerned about a recent Pew study that showed how a growing number of American Jews don’t identify with any faith, let alone their own.

About a third of American Jews born after 2000 answered “none” when asked about their religious affiliation, the survey showed.  Of everyone surveyed who was raised Jewish, according to the researchers, 6% now describe themselves as Christian - mostly as Catholics, Protestants or "just Christian."

Messianic Jews, Pew said, constitute a very small group. Meantime, though, the Pew survey also showed that 34% of those asked believe a person can be Jewish and believe Jesus was the messiah.

But the fundraiser in Dallas, even if it features the likes of a former U.S. president, isn’t what’s hurting American Jews, Troy says.

"Judaism," he says, "has other and bigger problems."

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: evangelicals • Judaism • Politics

soundoff (1,377 Responses)
  1. lol??

    Winning at all costs is a characteristic of psychopathy. The mobs shouldn't take it so seriously. For a change try lookin' for truth in every detail of yer existence.
    Psychos are fearless but chase pleasure.The normals should be wary.

    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    November 14, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      "For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?"
      Romans 3:7

      November 14, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
      • lol??

        Rom 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

        November 14, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Jeff

      The mob mentality is the Christian mantra. You need a new analogy.

      November 14, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
  2. Douglas

    There is power and salvation for fornicators trapped in the abyss of sin.

    Through celibacy, many will be saved.

    Now is the hour to repent from the practice of unspeakable acts.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Hi sweetie.
      Loved your work as AE today.
      Thanks for backing me up with all of the people who see through my rubbish.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
      • Crom

        said the sockpuppet

        November 15, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • sam stone

      Wow, Doogie not getting laid, convinced it is a "sin"

      if would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic

      poor, poor closet queen

      November 15, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  3. Live4Him

    @Cpt. Obvious : In what ways do atheists "act like" atheism is a religion?

    1) They are fervent in their beliefs.
    2) They cannot prove their beliefs beyond all doubt. As a result, they try to flip that responsibility to their opponents.
    3) They all have many of the same core beliefs (i.e. no god needed, big bang, evolution, etc.).

    November 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • Observer

      LIve4Him

      "They all have many of the same core beliefs (i.e. no god needed, big bang, evolution, etc.)."

      Absolute nonsense. For many, it's simply "I don't know". Why is that so difficult to understand for a Christian?

      November 14, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @LIve4Him : (i.e. no god needed, big bang, evolution, etc.)

        @Observer : Absolute nonsense.

        So, are you telling me that you don't accept all three of these premises? Which one(s) are you open to rejecting? And what is your alternative?

        Gotta go, will check back tomorrow if possible. Wanted to finish by 8 PM, but...

        November 14, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
        • Observer

          Live4Him,

          The ONLY belief they have in common is that there are no gods. Period. Done.

          There is no obligation that as an atheist you HAVE to support evolution or big bang or any other particular theory about the source of life. Atheists all have their own theories about that including many who say "We DON'T know". Why is it so hard for Christians to understand "I don't know"?

          November 14, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          The absence of belief is not belief in absence.

          November 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
        • Brainwashed christians

          Bucky and observer have it right while LVH kicks and screams with it's fingers in it's ears....

          November 15, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Observer : The ONLY belief they have in common is that there are no gods. Period. Done.

          Then they have a religion. If they only stuck to facts, then it wouldn't be a religion. However, once they have one or more core beliefs, then it becomes a religion.

          November 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • VM

          Live4Him:
          "However, once they have one or more core beliefs, then it becomes a religion."

          Republicans have one or more core beliefs - is that a "religion"?
          Democrats - ditto ?
          Libertarians - ditto ?
          Green Party - ditto ?
          Vegans - ditto ?
          PETA - ditto ?
          MADD - ditto ?
          Conspiracy Theorists - ?
          You want more...?

          November 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him, Atheists aren't flipping responsibility. Believers claim there is a god yet none can produce evidence of a god. Evolution and Big Bang in particular show that all creation myths are incorrect, so presuming there were a god, it's definitely not the personal god of religions. You make the claim (of a god) – you produce the evidence.

      November 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
  4. Live4Him

    @AE : She is honest. Just because you don't agree doesn't make them lies. And she seems to make an effort to address all questions.

    I appreciate your praise here. There are several reasons that I don't respond to all posts:

    1) there are too many to respond to. I couldn't respond to all of them if I tried. They multiply like rabbits.

    2) After doing this for 10+ years, I realize that they (any of my opponents) will NEVER admit if I raised a valid point, so why bother expecting one. And it is a waste of time to banter back and forth without purpose.

    3) My time appears to be much more limited than most of those on this forum. Some days, I cannot seem to find any time, while at the other end of the spectrum I can find 4-5 hours tops.

    Additionally, I don't reveal my identity online (including M/F). However, I'd be quite willing to meet in person if any of my opponents would be brave enough. Yet, I live in Charlotte NC, so there are some limitations to meeting in person. Lastly, you're right. I make an effort to address any SERIOUS question/issue (at least if I see them). The things that I've revealed about myself previously include:

    1) promiscous youth (so I don't judge others)
    2) Turned away from God in my teens, but slowly returned
    3) been doing apologetics for 14 years now
    4) background in engineering, computers and statistics
    5) been to seminary, but didn't graduate (ran out of funds)

    Lastly, I try my best to post as if I'm posting to Jesus – don't demean others, don't lie or stretch the truth, etc. However, my sinful self does make it difficult at times! 🙂

    November 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Observer

      LIve4Him,

      Kudos for your honesty. That seems sadly rare on here from either "side".

      So where do you stand when it comes to gays and pro-choice supporters?

      November 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Observer : Kudos for your honesty.

        If you only KNEW how many posts I've had to erase before posting 🙂 I'm not perfect, but I want to do as little harm as possible.

        @Observer : So where do you stand when it comes to gays and pro-choice supporters?

        I stand with the Biblical view. However, I didn't always. At one time, I didn't see a problem with gays and openly accepted abortion (if needed). However, as I aged, I grew wiser. I realized that the Bible condemns these actions because they are harmful to the individual doing them. You may ask "How", so I'll answer you in this post (because my day is done and time to settle down with the family).

        Gays: They tend to accept 'cheating' (calling it an open relationship), even though it will hurt them to be 'rejected for another'. Since the nexus of this lifestyle is pleasure, each individual will both seek to cheat and be hurt by said cheating. This friction will do long-term damage to their self-esteem. It's sad to watch them go through this pain, but what else can I do?

        Abortion: This cuts two ways: the woman and the child. The child is killed (regardless if you want to call it a fetus or any other name). Thus, the woman is either plagued by guilt or becomes hardened to caring about anything or anyone. Both are no-win situations. Additionally, the woman will come to realize that she was just used by the man for his enjoyment. This will hurt her further. This lifestyle discards the woman's self-esteem, replacing it with a seemingly endless cycle of being used and cast aside. What she wants is to be loved and treasured. What she gets is to serve the man's desires and then thrown away. (this applies to any form of promiscuous sex, not just abortion.)

        November 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
        • Observer

          Live4Him,

          "Gays: They tend to accept 'cheating' (calling it an open relationship), even though it will hurt them to be 'rejected for another'"

          Excellent argument in support of gay marriage since marriage does tend to reduce promiscuity.

          "Additionally, the woman will come to realize that she was just used by the man for his enjoyment. "

          Very short-sighted response. Abortions can be for a long list of reasons including r@pe, saving the life of the mother, failure of birth control, etc. Keying on that point is ignoring FAR too many other scenarios.

          November 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  5. Live4Him

    @lunchbreaker : In July 2008 dinosaur researcher Tom Kaye et. al. published a paper

    Published where? Self-published? In PLoS (open access peer-reviewed scientific journal)? And you're comparing THIS with scientific journals like Science, Nature and the Smithsonian? You sure appear to be desperate now. Couldn't his work make it into the more respectable publications? Why not? Lets analyze his findings.

    (A) Clusters of spheres that showed an iron-oxygen elemental signature appeared red under the light microscope. (B) Soft, branching, tube-like structures that contained spheres.

    Wrong. He is splitting a single observation into two separate categories. The so-called '[red] Clusters of spheres' were in the so-called tube. By this statement, he acknowledge that his red sphere WERE NOT in the tubes. However, the article in Smithsonian showed 'red spheres' in a 'tube'. Strike one.

    Second, his 'tube-like structures that contained spheres' were solid nodules, not the semi-transparent spheres found by Schweitzer. Strike two.

    Third, his 'tube-like structures' had sharp edges, unlike the 'tubes' found by Schweitzer. Strike three. No wonder no self-respecting science journal would accept this so-called research and he was forced to self-publish.

    Exceptionally well preserved small phalange from the Lance formation used for initial survey

    No WONDER he didn't find any blood cells. He started with a SMALL bone/fossils, when Mary theorized that only LARGE bones/fossils would preserve the soft tissue.

    All around, this appears to be a desperate attempt to undermine the impact of finding dino soft tissue, rather than objective scientific research. So, let me ask you – Did you honestly read the article or did you just google for the first article that appeared to be scientific?

    November 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Colin

      I am writing a reply which I will not have finished before I board my flight, but by this time tomorrow, you'll be my bit.ch.

      November 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Colin

      One of about 1,000 reasons why the idea of humans cohabitating with dinosaurs is fvcking ludicrous is the absence of their appearance in any human written records or art until after about 1800, when early paleontologists first describe them.

      Dinosaurs lived all throughout the World. Throughout what is now Eurasia, Africa, Australia, North and South America. Over 700 different species have been discovered and new species continue to be discovered at a rate of about 5 per year. They were most notable for their size.

      In Australia, for example, Qantassaurus (ya gotta love the name!) was probably about 1.8 meters (6 feet) long, and about one meter (3 feet) high. It was one of the smaller examples. Australovenator was 20 feet long and weighed a ton. Rhoetosaurus was about 50 feet long and weighed more than a tank. The largest Australian saurapods and carnivores thus far discovered were about 80 feet long and weighed over ten tons. There have been approximately 25 different species of Australian terrestrial dinosaurs described.

      And yet not one mention of them in any Australian Aboriginal myths, legends or rock paintings!! The Aboriginals were spread throughout Australia, from Tasmania in the South East to the Kimberleys in the North West. There were hundreds of thousands of them. They have lived in Australia for 50,000 years. They were (and are) a people who incorporate Australian wildlife into all aspects of their culture and art. Kangaroos, emus, koalas and Australian birds are depicted all over their art, dance, music, culture and legends. AND NOT ONE DINOSAUR ANYWHERE!

      The above dinosaurs made the kangaroos, emus and koalas look like midgets!! There is no way the Aboriginals would not have incorporated them into their art, dance, music, culture and legends.

      Likewise, the Dinosaurs of the Americas numbered in the hundreds of species. They included the mega gaints like T-rex. T-Rex was not even the largest carnivorous dinosaur we know of. Spinosaurus, Argentinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus were all larger and ate more even meat. Even they were not large enough to bring down the largest American sauropods we know of, many species of which weighed in at close to 100 tons and were about 100 feet long.

      Like the Australian Aboriginals, the American Indians inhabited the entire continents of North and South America, from the Inuit in the far North through the many, many tribes of plains and East Coast Indians in what is now the USA; the ancient Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, Toltecs and other MesoAmerican Indians and the many, many tribes of the Brazilian rain forest and Southern Cone down to and including Tierra Del Fuego (described by Darwin on his famous Beagle voyage). Dinosaur fossils have been found all over this vast, vast area of land. Thousand and thousands of fossils.

      The AmreoIndians are very, very well known for incorporating eagle, deer, bison, bear and other wildlife into their art, dance, nomenclature and culture. AND NOT ONE DINOSAUR MENTIONED ANYWHERE! If they were impressed by the power of the bear and bison, they might have mentioned T-Rex and the large sauropods!! They mention the bald eagle but omit pterodactyls, which wer about 100 times the size!! Spare me.

      The same is true of the peoples of Europe, Asia and Africa. Dinosaurs would have been such a large part of their art, records, religions, culture, art and myths that the animals they do mention – elephants, lions, etc. would not have rated a mention.

      In fact, in the entire World in the entire history of the human race, there is NOT ONE mention of a dinosaur until early paleontologists dug them up and described them, in circu.mstances where, if we cohabitated with them, our ancient art, writings, records and cultures would be full of them.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Bullspit!
        We have solid, incontrovertible evidence of humans and dinosaurs living side by side.
        The Creation Museum has exhibits of it! And they're a really real museum with no agenda whatsoever!
        And for as long as I can remember, I've seen video footage of human beings that have integrated dinosaurs into their homes as everything from showers to vacuum cleaners.
        Professors Hanna and Barberra wouldn't falsify their data.

        November 15, 2013 at 9:22 am |
        • Brainwashed christians

          "The Creation Museum has exhibits of it!"............. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!

          November 15, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Colin : the absence of their appearance in any human written records or art until after about 1800, when early paleontologists first describe them.

        Did you change the subject because you couldn't address the points I raised?

        November 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Why is it necessary to attack me personally instead of debating the source? My reasoning for choosing the source doesn't change the information in the source.

      November 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @lunchbreaker : Why is it necessary to attack me personally instead of debating the source? My reasoning for choosing the source doesn't change the information in the source.

        I didn't attack you personally. I addressed the points in the article. THEN I questioned if you'd bothered to read and analyze the article yourself. As I pointed out, the research report was not scientifically based (i.e. compared small bones to large bones) and is thus disqualified.

        November 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  6. prophet

    Its Torah not bible, New and Old Testaments are all Torah, Its an Israeli History and its not christinaity, all gates in The New Jerusalemm are Jewish, but all are welcome who accept this.

    November 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Pete

      Ah, no. Jesus was basically just repeating common rabbinical teaching of his time, but Christian scripture veers off into pagan notions of God having an actual son where orthodox Jewish thought of that time keep strict monotheism.

      November 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
      • A Rational Jew

        Christian beliefs became even more insane in the first few centuries after their "messiah" (a common criminal) was executed. Soon they were beleving that God would demand himself as a sacrifice to himself to fogive the original sin of a couple who everybody knows never existed. They were fooled into thinking Jewish mythology was real !!

        We tried to tell them in the first few decades, but they wouldn't listen. So now they have a three headed god and not even they can talk away the silly contradictions that means. lol

        November 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          As if one G_d weren't silly enough.

          November 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
        • A Rational Jew

          Agree. That is why most Jews identiy with the culture but don't buy into the supernatural BS anymore. It's all Bronze Age voodoo

          November 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      "No one shall come to me unless the Father draw him".
      "For many are called, but few are chosen".

      Woops

      November 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
      • this is my name

        Adequately being able to understand God and/or then acting upon it seems to be one of the main central themes of the Bible.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:05 am |
  7. prophet

    jewish people are upset because chriatianity is paganism but Messianic Judaism is not christianity, its Judaism.

    November 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Pete

      Jews are still waiting for their Messiah because Jesus wasn't it. He failed to fulfill all of the messianic expectations, pure and simple.

      November 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        "All".
        You mean "none".

        November 14, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
        • this is my name

          I tend to believe people take the Jewish faithful invulnerability. It's also what Jesus was talking about.

          November 15, 2013 at 12:08 am |
  8. Joey Levin

    President Bush was...is a great friend to Israel. He is also a devout Christian who may not realize just how insulting Messianic Jews are to the rest of us Jews.
    We have been murdered, reviled, out-cast for the last 2,00 + years all in the name of Jesus!!!

    November 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Hmpf

      Playing the victim. Boy that's a new one.

      November 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Pete

      You say that knowing that his "friendship" was motivated by keeping Israel around primarily to offer rapture-ready Christians a hope of Jesus returning in their lifetime? You realize that, in the back of his mind, Bush is awaiting the day when Jews either convert to Christianity or be thrown into hell by Jesus, right? That's like having a "friend" who is only hanging around you in the off chance that you suffer some horrible fate that he can relish witnessing.

      November 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  9. Etienne

    The great irony of religious debate is that it can never be settled as a matter of fact. By its very nature all religions, including atheism, can never be proved or disproved by objective experiment, fact or observation. It will forever be a matter of faith, and no amount of passion and zeal can change that. Hence the absurdity of religious conflict or war, it is the ultimate expression of insecurity in one's own faith. Nobody has ever gotten into an argument about whether the sun will rise the next day or not. As for George W Bush, he is no longer president, and as a private citizen he should be granted the same opportunity to express his beliefs as anybody else. Nobody that is secure in his/her own faith will ever be offended by the religious expression of somebody of another denomination, even if that expression is to question your own. Rather celebrate that you stay in a country where such freedoms are protected.

    November 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Atheism is not a religion. Exactly like not collecting stamps is not a hobby. Exactly like "bald" is not a hair color. Exactly like "off" is a t.v. channel. When I am presented with an idea of a god that is reasonable and believable, I shall believe.

      November 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
      • AE

        Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with Jesus Christ.

        November 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Joey

          It is still a religion.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Did I say otherwise? Yes, Christians are of the opinion that they have a 'relationship' with a being who cannot be detected by any verifiable measurement. You may as easily have the opinion that your car engine is powered by tiny unicorns farting in the cylinders. The evidence for either hypothesis is exactly the same: None.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Are you saying that Christians do not enjoy the protections of the 1st Amendment ?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • Madtown

          Can you describe this relationship? The back and forth interactions? How is it similar/different compared to a relationship that humans have?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • AE

          In its essence it is not a religion. That is my belief. But in my opinion it really is a religion.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
        • AE

          –Can you describe this relationship? The back and forth interactions? How is it similar/different compared to a relationship that humans have?–

          He is God. I am not.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Well done, AE, Gregory Hines would have been proud.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • AE

          Why do so many atheists act like atheism is a religion?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " Christianity is not a religion,..."
          " it really is a religion...."
          Care to pick one and stick with it ?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • Madtown

          He is God. I am not.
          ---–
          Ok. Interesting definition of the word "relationship". Your statement doesn't sound the least bit indicative of a relationship, as the word has been defined for human use. Any other words you change the definition of? Also, isn't Jesus God's son? Seems this would mean he isn't God.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • AE

          Really, it isn't a religion. It is more about relationship with God.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          No one can prove that he has had any "interaction" with god; although, plenty of people IMAGINE that they have interactions with god and spirits and ghosts and unicorns.

          In what ways do atheists "act like" atheism is a religion?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • AE

          Father + Son + Holy Spirit = God
          Notice the relationship? We have a God of relationship.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
        • Fan2C

          AE,

          Heh, then theism is a 'relationship' with facts and reality.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " Really, it isn't a religion...."
          Then I restate my question – given that as$ertion, do Christians enjoy the protection of the 1st Amendment, and if so, why ?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • AE

          Martin Luther King, JR convinced me he was in relationship with God.

          Some atheists say "we" and make statements that infer they are superior to people that believe in God.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
        • AE

          –Then I restate my question – given that as$ertion, do Christians enjoy the protection of the 1st Amendment, and if so, why ?–

          Yes. Why not?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Being convinced of something does not amount to proof. I am convinced that I will have an uneventful evening, but I have no proof of that. Even if I am convinced that some person was abducted by aliens, I would never claim that my being "convinced" should be considered as "proof."

          November 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • Madtown

          Father + Son + Holy Spirit = God
          Notice the relationship?
          ---–
          No I don't. That "relationship" is a definition of your chosen religion, a.k.a a definition of human beings. If we stick to reality and logic, and Jesus is God's son, then Jesus isn't God. My daughter isn't me. The trinity is a creation of the human mind.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • midwest rail

          You tell me, AE, you're the one insisting it isnt a religion. If it is not a religion, then why should it be protected by the 1st Amendment ?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
        • AE

          midwest rail

          - If it is not a religion, then why should it be protected by the 1st Amendment ?–

          A piece of paper doesn't protect my relationship with God. I don't get your point. Why should atheism be protected by the 1st Amendment if it is not a religion?

          Does the 1st Amendment only protect religion?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • AE

          Cpt Obvious

          You haven't convinced me that God is not real. Others have convinced me God is real.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion..."
          It also protects freedom of speech – is that the protection you allude to ? Because if, as you insist, that Christianity is not a religion, there is certainly no protection in the quoted clause.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
        • AE

          So are you going to call a cop if I talk about Jesus?

          November 14, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Why would I ? I didnt make the ridiculous as$ertion.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • AE

          If Christianity is not a religion, I believe I still have the right to freedom of speech.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " Christianity is not a religion,..."
          " it really is a religion...."
          " If Christianity is not a religion,..."
          Once again, care to pick one and stick with it, or continue the tap dancing ?

          November 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
        • AE

          I was being facetious in regards to an earlier discussion.

          To me, Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          A relationship involves two or more people.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • AE

          This is a relationship between the creature and the creator.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • AE

          re·la·tion·ship (r-lshn-shp)
          n.
          1. The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          What have you created?

          November 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • AE

          I'm the creature with a Creator.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Did the Creator create the number 1 in the same sense that the Creator created you?

          November 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
        • AE

          Although God is a mathematician of a very high order and used advanced mathematics in constructing the universe, the number 1 was not created in God's image like we are.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
        • More cowbell

          Fairytales are not religion. It's a personal relationship with the three little pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Humpty Dumpty, etc...

          November 14, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
        • sam stone

          So, AE, if it is not a religion, are the churches willing to give up their tax free status?

          November 14, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Are you necessary, AE? Or does the number 1 have precedence over you as a creation?

          November 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
        • AE

          @sam stone

          –So, AE, if it is not a religion, are the churches willing to give up their tax free status?–

          Probably not. Would all non-profit organizations have to do that also?

          @Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I don't know.

          November 14, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
      • Thinker23

        Every religion is a FAITH, a set of beliefs that can not be proven. So is atheism. To those claiming that atheism is nothing but rejection of God as the Creator of the Universe I can say that this is not the case. The vast majority of us humans agrees that the Universe EXIST and almost all of us agree that it had a beginning known as the Big Bang. This leaves us with two options – either the Universe was CREATED by someone knowing how to do it or, alternatively, the Universe came into existence all by itself from nothing.

        It is up to each and every one of us to select the more plausible option. Rejecting both is not an option... unless, of course one is able to offer a more plausible third one.

        November 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Fail.

          Atheism simply rejects any proposed gods as being too unbelievable.

          As to the nature of existence, I can easily be as honest as I know how and say, "I don't know." It's not hard at all. I would find it much, much more difficult, to say with a straight face, "The universe exists because some big invisible sky wizard chanted magic spellzzz!!!"

          I don't know whether or not some god exists, but I do know that he is invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant. When any god believer can prove the detectability or relevance of his chosen deity, I will consider the method of detection and, if it is sound, believe as does he.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Two more tidbits:

          1. Just because a bunch of people believe in something does not mean that it is more or less likely to be true. When most people believed the earth was flat, it was still approximately spherical.

          2. Don't put forth silly false dichotomies. The universe may have been "birthed" from another state of existence, or it may have been a singularity for eternity since the big bang only demonstrates that at one time the universe was unimaginably hot and dense. There is no need to choose an origin in either god or nothingness. As far as I can tell, there has never been "nothing."

          November 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I choose not to choose between Thinker23's two choices. Perhaps the Universe coming into existence was the cause of its existence. Like the North Pole is the cause of North.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • Thinker23

          Well, guys, you're suggesting that the Universe came into existence from some unknown "previous state" that contradicts our scientific theories (time is one of the dimensions of OUR Universe meaning that it came into existence together with everything else and that, therefore, there could not be any "previous state") and for which there is NOTHING supporting its existence? How is this (pretty bizarre to say the least) belief BETTER than the suggestion that the Universe was CREATED by someone knowing how to do it?

          Another popular answer to my dichotomy is "we DON'T KNOW how the Universe came into existence but we BELIEVE that it was NOT created". A pretty childish approach, I would say... If WE can not do it then no one can... Right?

          November 15, 2013 at 8:32 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Is there a basis for positing the existence of a first cause (science)? Is there a need for a first cause at all (philosophy)? Is there a reason to promote first cause to Creator – something intelligent and non-deterministic is what you mean, I assume ?

          November 15, 2013 at 8:51 am |
        • sam stone

          why do you feel that a creator has to be synonymous with a god?

          November 15, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    CNN Report
    Scientists find signs of life in Australia dating back 3.48 billion years
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/13/world/asia/australia-ancient-life/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    November 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  11. Live4Him

    @Live4Him : you've committed the following logic fallacies: Argumentum ad hominem, Argumentum ad nauseam, and Argumentum ad verecundiam.
    @yoozyerbrain : Throwing Latin around doesn't establish your bona fides.

    Perhaps I should have used English for you. So, let me break it down for you. Personal attacks, repeating things endlessly, and appealing to authority. Which you did in your previous post and even in this post some.

    @yoozyerbrain : I'm still waiting for supersti tionistas to prove their extraordinary claims with their extra ordinary proof.

    Children always ask questions without supplying any answers. Adults both ask questions and supply answers. The wise primarily supply answers. Which are you?

    @yoozyerbrain : I'm a history buff

    why would a history buff mess up on the Mithra issue?

    @yoozyerbrain : Why are you so afraid of objective scientific enquiry

    I'm not. Unlike some, I welcome challenges.

    1) Matter, energy and time exist. Scientists agree they had a beginning (Big Bang), but cannot explain their creations. The Bible states God created them.
    2) The Bible has been transmitted accurately over 2000 years (99.9%).
    3) The Bible predicts the rebirth of Israel (fulfilled in 1948).
    4) The Bible depicts a ~6100 year history for earth. Finding dino soft tissue (blood cells in blood vessels) in 2005 confirms a history of less than 10,000 years.

    Need I go on?

    November 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      you really are delusional on sooo many levels aren't you?

      November 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Joey

      Please do go on as it only makes you look like a fool, and that it is good for people to see what religion can do to you if you take it to far. As you clearly have, it is probably not healthy to deny reality in favor of a 2000 year old book.

      November 14, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Joey

      What about the failed prophecies, such as the destruction of Tyre?

      November 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      In July 2008 dinosaur researcher Tom Kaye et. al. published a paper providing strong evidence that the supposed soft tissues and vascular structures were actually "biofilms" produced by bacteria, or in the case of supposed blood cells, noncellular structures cammed framboids. When framboids are coated with biofilm, they can even resemble nucleated reb blood cells under a light microscope. Kaye's work appears to undermine creationists claims that "soft tissue" preservation is definite, and that it supports a young earth.

      http://paleo.cc/ce/dinoblood.htm

      November 14, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • midwest rail

        This fact has been pointed out to Lie4Him repeatedly – hasn't sunk in yet.

        November 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • Joey

          It is not going to sink in. If you haven't noticed yet he ignores anything that doesn't fit with a literal reading of the bible.

          November 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          I believe Liv4Him is a she.

          November 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Joey

          I guess Live doesn't want to discuss the challenges after all.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • AE

          Or she went to lunch.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • Terry

          Or she ran away after posting her disingenuous lies, as usual.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • AE

          She is honest. Just because you don't agree doesn't make them lies. And she seems to make an effort to address all questions. And she gets a lot of questions.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
        • Terry

          Your gf has been caught lying multiple times. Sorry you haven't been around to see her busted. She lies. Get a clue.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • Philip

          Oh yes. She lies a lot.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • AE

          She is not my girlfriend. That is a lie. Thanks for demonstrating the same thing you accuse her of.

          November 14, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • Joey

          When it is pointed out why what Live4Him says is not true and then Live4Him returns the next day and repeats the same thing over and over, then I consider them to be lies.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • TC

      Probably, since the very scientis who made the dinosaur discovery disagrees with you.

      "Geologists have established that the Hell Creek Formation, where B. rex was found, is 68 million years old, and so are the bones buried in it. She’s horrified that some Christians accuse her of hiding the true meaning of her data. “They treat you really bad,” she says. “They twist your words and they manipulate your data.”

      November 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Lie4Him
      Different day same lies, you have no morals or honor and yet you maintain you are Christian, pathetic example you set.

      November 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      As per National Geographic's Genographic project:
      https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

      " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.

      "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

      Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

      It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

      For your $199 and a DNA swab:

      "Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominid cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denis vans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome."

      November 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • ME II

      "Finding dino soft tissue (blood cells in blood vessels) in 2005 confirms a history of less than 10,000 years."

      Incorrect.

      November 14, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  12. highplainsparson

    I have serious misgivings about Messianic Judaism, but not for the same reasons as the media. I think they are not truly Christian. Regardless, President Bush is obviously speaking at this event because he believes in its message. Of course reform and orthodox Jewish rabbis don't like the idea of Jews converting to the Messiah. They do not agree with it. But how is it controversial? There is nothing particularly outrageous about a Christian like President Bush wanting to support efforts to win converts from unbelieving Jews to their Messiah. In a pluralistic society, people are allowed to change their religion, and others can try to persuade them. Not getting why it's a big deal.

    November 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      We have social bubbles hanging onto a big global bubbly whatchamacallit...

      November 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  13. rexedie

    religion has and always will be the source from which most ignorance, hatred and poor communication has been born... everyone killing each other over their own definitions of the same thing.... you say potatoe...i say french fry....

    November 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • AE

      People do horrible things to each other in the name of politics, science, atheism, agnosticism, money, property, too.

      I'd look at the people. Not scapegoat religion.

      November 14, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • Madtown

        People do horrible things to each other in the name of agnosticism
        ----
        Interesting. Examples?

        November 14, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • AE

          There is a an agnostic drug dealer in my neighborhood that deals to children.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • Joey

          Now you will need to prove that this drug dealer deals drugs to kids because he is not sure whether god exists or not. If he deals drugs for any other reason than that he is not dealing drugs because he is agnostic.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • AE

          He says "since I'm not sure if God exists, it must be ok for me to do this" before he makes each sale of his drugs.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Madtown

          What Joey said. This person does something horrible BECAUSE he's a skeptic? LOL! Brilliant.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, I see your "logic". The drug dealer says "I'm not sure if a god exists. Therefore I have no morals. Therefore I will sell drugs children"
          Have you verified this reasoning with the drug dealer? Maybe he sells drugs to children because he doesn't know better or maybe he's a scumbag. I doubt very much it has to do with his religious beliefs or lack of.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • AE

          –This person does something horrible BECAUSE he's a skeptic? -

          No, I didn't say he was a skeptic. I'm more skeptical than he is. I said he was agnostic.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • AE

          Santa

          Good point. What if he wraps his drugs in paper with agnostic quotes from Lewis Black?

          November 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Madtown

          I didn't say he was a skeptic. I'm more skeptical than he is. I said he was agnostic.
          ------–
          Don't play pointless word games. You have no way of knowing he does what he does solely because of his religious stance, and that he wouldn't do these things if he was any other way.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • AE

          I guess the same thing could be said to those that say religion causes people do to horrible things.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
        • Madtown

          Sure you could, unless the perpetrator discloses this reasoning as part of the act, which there are many examples of. You were asked to provide an example of someone using agnosticism as the rationale for their horrible action. I've never seen this in the news or anywhere else.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • AE

          Fine, agnostics are exempt in doing horrible things in agnosticism. Agnostics just do it in other ways, like in the name of Christianity, atheism, politics, nationalism, racism, etc.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Brainwashed christians

          "@AE He says "since I'm not sure if God exists, it must be ok for me to do this" before he makes each sale of his drugs."

          I have a drug dealer in my neibhorhood who is a christian. He deals drugs during the week, goes to church on sunday asks for forgiveness, and continues dealing the drugs the next week because he knows all his "sins" will be forgiven again on Sunday.

          November 15, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • Joey

        Please provide a quote where someone said they did something evil because of their lack of belief in a god or gods.

        November 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • AE

          I'm saying we shouldn't blindly blame religion for all of society's woes.

          How many wars are fought over property disputes? Should we blame all real estate agents for evil?

          November 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • AE

          “But Christianity is an invention of sick brains : one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery. A ne.gro with his tabus is crushingly superior to the human being who seriously believes in Transubstantiation.”

          Adolf Hitler

          November 14, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, Noone is blindly blaming religion for all of society's woes. But you cannot deny that religion has been and is the catalyst for many wars and disputes; it has been responsible for forcibly and violently imposing a religion on other societies – Hawaii is a prime example and there are many others including the natives of the other 49 states.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • AE

          Sure. But the source is from human beings. Without religion, people still do horrible things.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @AE
          People still do horrible things, but without religion they don't have a source of holy rationalizations that allows them to convince themselves that what they're doing is righteous.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • AE

          Yea, they just rationalize their horrible behavior in other ways.

          Luckily the evidence points to the fact that not all religious people do horrible things and imagine they are being righteous.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        AE is just bvllsh!tting y'all.

        November 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  14. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Vic,

    " I wish the entire world believes that Jesus Christ is the "Truth,""

    And I wish that people would live their lives based on logic and reason but that's not going to happen anytime soon.

    Oh, and capitalizing and putting quotes around a word does not give any more power to your OPINION.

    November 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • highplainsparson

      Christians are living a life based on logic and reason.

      November 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • sam stone

        how does logic and reason tell you that heaven and hell exist?

        November 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          In several ways. I'll have to strictly summarize, since there is not the time or space to flesh it out fully here, but I can also point you to some more thorough explanations if you like. But in short.

          1. Nature shows that there is a God who rewards good and punishes evil. That's why most cultures in history have affirmed this in some form. And,

          2. Logic and reason support the authenticity of the Bible as divine revelation. And the Bible teaches that there is a heaven and a hell.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Madtown

          Logic and reason support the authenticity of the Bible as divine revelation
          ----–
          Point #2 is invalidated based on point #1, per logic and reason. You said "most cultures in history" have notions of God, which is true. However, this shows that religion is a creation of the human mind, and that independent cultures have developed their own. No one religion is equally shared among everyone, and that means that no one religion could be divinely revealed, unless you think God would only give a divine message to part of his creation, and not the whole.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Science Works

          Like Ja-pan

          Here comes godzilla to save the day.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • sam stone

          woah, parson....not so fast. regarding #1, all you did was make a claim. how about some examples of nature rewarding good and punishing evil?

          November 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • G to the T

          "1. Nature shows that there is a God who rewards good and punishes evil. That's why most cultures in history have affirmed this in some form. And,
          2. Logic and reason support the authenticity of the Bible as divine revelation. And the Bible teaches that there is a heaven and a hell."
          Wow – not even close. Even in classic christian theology the rewards and punishments occur in the next world, not this one so I'm not sure what your point is. As for 2, I'll have to summarize because it's a fairly involved subject but in brief – No. It's not. You can certainly have faith that it is divinely revealed but that would be a matter of faith, not logic and reason.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • sam stone

          nature shows nothing about a God, and "divine revelation" is just a code word for delusion

          November 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • AE

          Some people find evidence of God in nature.

          “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Science brings men nearer to God.”

          –Louis Pasteur, the founder of microbiology and immunology.

          November 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          The natural world does not give evidence for any gods; if it did all scientists would be the same religion worshiping the exact same god and there would be little to no debate. The universe is cool, but that is not evidence of god.

          November 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • AE

          I see evidence for God in nature. I agree with Louis.

          November 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          That you do or don't agree with Louis is irrelevant. My statement of fact stands.

          If there was reliable and verifiable evidence in nature for any god, physics would agree and there would be as little debate over god as there is over the Standard Model. You may as easily say that you see evidence for unicorns in nature.

          November 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • AE

          –You may as easily say that you see evidence for unicorns in nature.–

          No, I can't and don't.

          And I don't think your opinion is fact.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • AE

          “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.”

          –Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., who received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first known binary pulsar, and for his work which supported the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe.

          For some reason I trust Taylor over Cpt Obvious....

          November 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          AE, it is completely unsurprising that you do not provide reasoning for your statements. I never expected you to do so. My statement of fact stands, even if it also happens to be my sincere belief and also my opinion.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          AE, I don't want you to agree with me. Your lack of reasoning causes me to feel that way.

          No scientist has ever proved that any god exists. If there was actual evidence for god in nature, scientists would discover it exactly as they discovered the atom or the strong force or electromagnetism. Svcks for you that all you have is opinion and no evidence-–exactly like any believing scientist.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • AE

          Why aren't all scientists agnostics? Because for some science points to God. And to some science points to atheism.

          I'm of the camp where it points to God. Why act arrogant like your opinion is fact?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          No science points to god or atheism. The question you should be asking yourself is why scientists don't debate god's existence or nature with hypotheses, experimentation, and the evidence collected. Why do you think that is, AE?

          November 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • AE

          Because evidence for God is not materialistic. God is someone we know, not just something we know about. To some scientists the orderly, unfolding universe points to God. That is why there is no conflict between science and belief in God.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          LOL!!!

          AE, please explain what "nonmaterialistic" evidence there is for your god. Bear in mind that a cohesive philosophy that accounts for the physical world is not "evidence."

          November 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • AE

          If you humbly and honestly ask God he will give it to you. But if you are looking for evidence like one would find in a science experiment, that is not God you are looking for. Sounds like you want an idol.

          St Francis of As.sisi gave up enormous wealth and said he gained more in his poverty than he had in his wealth. God is like that.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_of_Assisi

          November 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • Madtown

          Because evidence for God is not materialistic.
          -----
          Contradiction. Above, you said you "see evidence of God in nature". Nature is certainly material.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
        • AE

          I see evidence of a creator behind nature. Like, if I see a hand made clay pot there is evidence that a sculptor did work.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • Madtown

          So evidence for God is indeed materialistic. Usually Topher is the only one who gets himself this confused.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
        • AE

          I have spiritual evidence of God.

          November 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Madtown

          You don't see evidence of God in nature then? Which is it?

          November 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • AE

          I never said I don't see evidence for God in nature.

          November 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Vic

      In the case of God, belief is not the same as opinion. Belief in God is basically "Faith" in Him, a conviction of the heart that God is, as per revealed scripture. On the other hand, opinion is a person's own thought process and conclusion, a judgement call, a discretion.

      The way it works:

      I can detect by sentience that there is a God who created everything, yet, I wouldn't know who that God is on my own. I can formulate an opinion about it but that would be my own conclusion.

      On the other hand, as I detect God by sentience, when I read scriptures who say Who God is, I come to believe by faith and conviction of the heart which one is the true revelation and Who God is.

      When you examine scriptures for the truth, the heart and mind are involved in discerning it, that's how you come to believe. I examined many scriptures myself over two decades, and I came to believe by conviction of the heart that the Christian God is the true one.

      Now, I have noticed similarities between scriptures of the Abrahamic Religions, which makes me believe (notice that I did not come with scripture myself, it is believed to be revealed) that there were copy overs, but the conviction of my heart is with the "Salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ," even though I also believe that the Bible itself might very well have scribal, translational and/or interpretational errors.

      In simpler words, you can have true revealed scripture that got copied over, mixed up, mishandled, mis-scribed, misinterpreted, mistranslated, rearranged, tampered with, etc., but the "Truth" stands out from amongst the rubble and resonates in the heart.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  15. Magister

    So the Grievance Industry is alive and well.

    November 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  16. lol??

    Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circu*mcision availeth any thing, nor uncircu*mcision, but a new creature.

    Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

    November 14, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • highplainsparson

      This is why I disagree with Messianic Judaism.

      November 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • G to the T

      And you prove your point by quoting a man that abondoned the faith of his father and created a new one around his own beliefs about a man that he never met?

      November 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  17. Vic

    There is always a natural balance to what a person has in goodwill for inviting others to what he/shes believes is the truth. With that natural balance comes effectiveness. Once you exceed that natural drive, hence own efforts, effectiveness suffers, and it becomes overreaching.

    I am a born again Christian Protestant, I wish the entire world believes that Jesus Christ is the "Truth," and I have a natural drive for inviting people to the Lord Jesus Christ; however, I don't worry a bit about who accepts or who doesn't; it simply isn't my job to proselytize people.

    As a Christian, I believe that natural drive is a calling from God, and it is NOT a job.

    November 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

      It's a job to many people.

      November 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • ergo

        the Establishment Clause

        November 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          What about it?

          November 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Vic

          Even in the private sector, and not just government/public sector, and on an individual level, "Free Will" is key in believing.

          November 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • ergo

          It seems to pertain to those who take their job a little too seriously.

          "Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science." –Thomas Jefferson

          November 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          There is little (if any) choice with regards to belief.

          November 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          I still fail to see how any of this relates to the Establishment Clause.

          November 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • ergo

          Really? And is there choice in learning? Does knowledge never play a role in belief? Can a change in knowledge change belief from some?

          November 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          'And is there choice in learning? Does knowledge never play a role in belief? Can a change in knowledge change belief from some?'

          Yes, no and yes. But knowledge is a deterministic factor. I can't choose to believe in any Biblical hokum because of the knowledge I possess.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • ergo

          What do you think brought about the urgency to devise such a clause? What was going on around that time? Maybe you're not a citizen of the U.S. –in that case, you can read about the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Consti-tution and learn more..

          For those that have the basics of U.S. history, it should be quite easy to see the correlation between differing Christian sects, each disagreeing, sometimes feuding with each other, where there is built-in Christian characteristic for proselytizing, and the EC in the U.S.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • ergo

          I think you've left out possibilities. Could you choose NOT to believe in something that you once did, should you gain more knowledge on the basis for your belief?

          November 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          I'm perfectly aware of the context of the First Amendment. I don't get how it relates to proselytizing.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          'I think you've left out possibilities. Could you choose NOT to believe in something that you once did, should you gain more knowledge on the basis for your belief?'

          But it wouldn't be a choice. It would be a logical conclusion derived from the gain in knowledge.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • ergo

          You don't think there are people who may have knowledge, but, for some reason, choose to maintain a faith in something that goes against things they feel they know? One person here regularly on the BB references a geologist who supports young-earth creation and yet continues to write papers on dating of various things that would go against such belief.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          I think that's where delusion enters the equation. Any geologist with a functioning brain knows that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. If he doesn't acknowledge this, it's down to some mental delusion. I don't believe that a geologist could consciously choose to believe in something that completely contradicts his work. I believe it's the result of mental delusion.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • ergo

          I would agree. He has been chastised by other professionals in his field.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          Who is it? I'd be interested to read some of his stuff.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • ergo

          I just found his name – Andrew Snelling.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • ergo

          Evidently, He is employed as a "Creationist Assistant Professor of Geology" by the Institute for Creation Research in the USA.

          Here is more that I posted on him a while back:

          According to his biography he " ... completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Geology with First Class Honours at The University of New South Wales in Sydney ... ".

          Andrew Snelling is also a leading creationist who, despite his scientific qualifications in geology, purports to believe the Earth is only several thousand years old. He is employed as a "Creationist Assistant Professor of Geology" by the Institute for Creation Research in the USA.

          Andrew Snelling, as his biography states, worked in the exploration and mining industries in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory and has been involved in research projects with the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation).

          His biography also states that he has been involved in research with Australian, US, British, Japanese and Swedish scientists as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency.

          None of this would be at all surprising if Andrew Snelling was a working geologist operating within the ethics of his discipline, nor would it be surprising that, again according to his biography, " ... Andrew is involved in writing scientific papers that are being published in international scientific journals.".

          But it IS surprising! It's surprising that a geologist who obtained his qualifications writing about billion year old rocks and later accepting " ... work in the exploration and mining industries in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory variously as a field, mine and research geologist.", continues to tout his qualifications and prostitute his learning in order to convince the gullible that mainstream geology is wrong and only geology as practised by Andrew Snelling, Ph.D is valid.

          It's not that Andrew Snelling has abandoned mainstream geology altogether for, to quote from his biography once more, " ... he is still called upon as a geological consultant to Cogema Australia Pty Ltd for their Koongarra uranium project."

          As Dr Alex Ritchie wrote in his article Flood geology: a house built on sand (below):

          "If any geologist were to be caught salting a deposit, falsifying results or engaging in other forms of behaviour likely to bring his/her discipline into disrepute, they would be promptly dealt with by their peers.

          In my opinion it is equally abhorrent for anyone claiming to be a professional geoscientist to indulge in deliberately misleading and deceptive conduct aimed directly at lay audiences and especially at young people."

          November 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • ergo

          Although, just because he might be employed by the Creationist organization, doesn't mean we know what he actually believes ...

          November 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          A quick overview seems to confirm my 'delusion hypothesis'. I'd like to read some of his academic articles. I get the feeling that none of them have appeared in any reputable academic journals.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Science Works

          ergo

          A note about the ICR they also purchased a Chondrite (stony iron meteorite) years ago to study carbon – 14 the building blocks of life.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Science Works

          ergo

          And if I am not mistaken John D Morris rewrote a chapter of some book years ago, I believe it was chapter 6.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Science Works

          I mentioned the ICR and a chondrite and carbon – 14 and a paper to back it up.

          And believe it or not this comes out of Texas.

          “This is bigger than finding any dinosaur,” Chatterjee said. “This is what we’ve all searched for – the Holy Grail of science.”

          Thanks to regular and heavy comet and meteorite bombardment of Earth’s surface during its formative years 4 billion years ago

          Paper No. 300-5: Impact, RNA-Protein World and the Endoprebiotic Origin of Life https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2013AM/webprogram/Paper222699.html

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029133124.htm

          November 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Chaem Quark

      Vic
      There is a staggering amount of money needed for the upkeep of the mega churches and the lifestyles and mansions of the evangelists. Get out there and recruit, don't be lazy now, you hear.

      November 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • Vic

        I hear you. I wish clergy had a separate source of and a modest income.

        November 14, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired Vic.

          Those who serve their monetary enrichments while on the backsides of the monetarily impoverished serve not the true God but serve rather their own heart's mammon...

          November 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          The vast majority of clergy are living off far less income than they could have made in some other kind of work. But you only read about the extremes in the media.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired highplainsparson writes,"The vast majority of clergy are living off far less income.."

          Sired one... There is a vast parsonage majority of poor humanoids then there is many religious clergy whose income far outstrips that of many poor humanists...

          November 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • ME II

      @Vic,
      I find it interesting that you make a distinction between "inviting people to..." and proselytizing.

      November 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
      • Vic

        There is! In some religions, proselytizing is by force! On the contrary, inviting is based on "Free Will."

        November 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          I think you'll find example of force in all religions.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Vic

          I agree. I should've said in some religions and/or practices, proselytizing is by force.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • sam stone

          free will and an omniscient god are incompatible, vic

          religious belief and opinion are the same

          you are a clown

          November 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • highplainsparson

        I do not distinguish. To proselytize is simply to make converts. I am in favor of proselytizing both reform and Messianic Jews to the true Christian Faith.

        November 14, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • G to the T

          And which version of the true faith would that be? There's so many...

          November 14, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          That which looks to the Bible as its only final source of authority. Among such churches, there is a common faith because of considerable agreement on the core doctrines of Scripture.

          November 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Madtown

      I wish the entire world believes that Jesus Christ is the "Truth,"
      -----
      This can't be the case until the entire world is aware of who he is, and his significance.

      November 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • G to the T

        And is willing not to question the validity of the source materials...

        November 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  18. Apple Bush

    Religion has been gnawing away at our collective sanity for thousands of years. It is only a matter of time before there is either a pacifistic war, or a war of attrition where religion is de-emphasized while atheism becomes lethargic in its concern over the damage of cults. Pacifistic war, that’s my bet.

    November 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      AB
      You conjure up visions of two mobs of protagonists meeting on the field of battle throwing pacifiers at each other. Much more civilized than the arms race.

      November 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  19. Day of the George

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6ZcA4uGgRI

    November 14, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    •  

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6ZcA4uGgRI&w=640&h=360]

      November 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • Fact

        He said Joe Pesci, a devout Catholic, was worthy of his worship.

        November 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • so

          comedy a bit challenging for you?

          November 14, 2013 at 1:41 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.