home
RSS
Satanists want statue next to 10 Commandments
A Ten Commandments monument erected outside the Oklahoma state Capitol.
December 9th, 2013
01:46 PM ET

Satanists want statue next to 10 Commandments

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Lots of lawmakers have been accused of devilish behavior, but Oklahoma's state capitol may become the first to actually have a monument to Satan.

If a New York-based group called the Temple of Satan gets its way, a statue of the Evil One would sit next to the recently erected 10 Commandments monument on state capitol grounds.

"They said they wanted to be open to different monuments," said Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the Temple of Satan, "and this seems like a perfect place to put that to the test."

Greaves and some legal experts say the Constitution is clear: the government can't endorse one particular religion. So, if a state capitol has a monument to one faith, it must allow monuments to others as well.

The Temple of Satan is less a religious body organized around rituals and regular meetings than a roving band of political provocateurs, said Greaves. They believe Satan is a "literary construct," the spokesman said, not an actual being with horns and hooves.

Last year, the Temple organized a gay and lesbian kiss-in at the gravesite of the mother of anti-gay preacher and activist the Rev. Fred Phelps. It also held a rally at Florida's state capitol in support of a law that allows "inspirational messages" at public school assemblies.

"It allows us to spread the message of Satanism," which centers around respect for diversity and religious minorities, said Greaves.

Oklahoma legislators voted to erect the Ten Commandments monument in 2009, using private funds donated by Rep. Mike Rietz, a surgeon and Southern Baptist deacon.

Rietz declined to comment on the Satanists' proposal on Monday, citing an separate and ongoing dispute with the American Civil Liberties Union over the Ten Commandments monument.

Oklahoma state Rep. Bob Cleveland told CNN that he's not in favor of the Satanist's proposed statue.

"I believe that only monuments that reflect Oklahoma values should be allowed on capitol the capitol grounds," Cleveland said in an e-mail on Monday.

But if Christians and Jews can have their monument to the 10 Commandments, then Satanists must be allowed to erect their own statue, said Brady Henderson, legal director of the American Civil Liberty Union's Oklahoma chapter.

"We feel like the Satanic Temple has a very strong argument to say that, if the state allows one religious monument, you have to allow others," Henderson said.

Oklahoma's statehouse grounds already has monuments honoring its heritage and Native American history, said Trait Thompson, chair of the Capitol Preservation Commission.

"Individuals and groups are free to apply to place a monument or statue or artwork," Thompson said.

The commission then determines whether the proposal abides by its standards and votes on whether to approve it.

Greaves said he's received the required forms from Oklahoma's Capitol Preservation Commission and is working on a design that will meet its standards.

"We want something big and bold that will be able to stand up to the weather or whatever other kinds of assaults," that may target the monument, he said.

"My favorite idea right now is an object of play for children. We want kids to see that Satanism is where the fun is."

The Temple of Satan created a Indiegogo fundraising page on Monday, but have thus far only publicly raised $150 towards its goal of $20,000.

Not all Satanist groups see the fun in political provocations.

Magus Peter Gilmore, head of the Church of Satan, which was founded by Anton LaVey in 1966, said he believes in strict separation of church and state.

"Rather than placing multiple 'advertisements' for various religions, we think it best for the (10 Commandments) monument to be removed to private property and that there be no objects supporting religion of any sort placed on the statehouse grounds," Gilmore said.

Earlier this year, Gilmore's Church of Satan squared off against a British group of Satanists over abortion rights, after activists shouted "Hail Satan" to drown out anti-abortion activists at the Texas state capitol.

READ MORE: Satanists square off on abortion (Yes, really)

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Culture wars • Devil • Satanism

soundoff (3,610 Responses)
  1. MMM

    2 Corinthians 4:4

    Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

    December 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Akira

      What did Jesus look like?
      I've been curious for years.

      December 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • OK

        google it

        December 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Akira

          I have seen a doc on what Jesus may have looked like, but what I was asking was a Biblical description. I can't find one in my Bible.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • OK

          It must not be important than.

          December 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
      • Justice

        There are plenty of renditions of him... everywhere.

        And for those who don't think he existed, please explain why eras in history are based upon his birth, his life and his death; and as far as that goes, his ministery that followed.

        December 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • igaftr

          yes, there are many false depictions of him everywhere...people imaginings of what he may have lokked like.

          As far as if he existed...likely but no concrete evidence...whether he was anything more than just an ordinary man, not supernatural, is the real question, and most likely not, since the whole character in the bible is based on previous cultures, with a whole bunch of Buddhist philosophy thrown in for good measure.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • Joey

          because someone who believed in Jesus changed the calendar a long time ago. I use C.E. and B.C.E not BC and AD, however.

          December 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Akira

          I have seen paintings by Picasso that depict women.
          Is that what they really look like?
          I was looking fir a Scipture-based description, and I can't find one...help me out, Justice?

          December 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • mk

        Well, since he's from the middle east, he's blond and blue-eyed with pale skin.

        December 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      why post a quote from your book?

      Using the words of someone in the same cult as you, who is just as deluded as you, to prove your point is hilarious!

      December 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
      • scientist

        Logically, that does not prove what you merely insinuate.

        (but if you post it twice, it makes you super smart looking)

        December 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          well waaaay smarter than you anyway. That's all I'm going for. I know it's a low bar to set but it'll do.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • scientist

          Says the guy that called me a derogatory name for disagreeing with him. I haven't met than many intelligent people that call other people "retards". I know a lot of 4th graders that do.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • OK

        You are the one that posted a fake Thomas Jefferson quote from a looney atheist website...what does that say about you?????

        December 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          by your way of thinking, anything written in an old book has to be true. So take this as truth.

          by the way, Jefferson did say that, it's just your Christian propaganda machine that is trying to muddy the water.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • OK

          Atheist group apologizes for misquoting Thomas Jefferson

          “I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. It is founded on fables and mythology.” — Thomas Jefferson

          That’s a pretty powerful statement. A Founding Father arguing that Christianity is based on lies? Damn. That’s gonna make people think! That’s gonna stir up a lot of controversy! That’s gonna get a ton of media attention!

          Just one problem with the quotation… Jefferson never said it.

          At least Bruce Gleason (backyard skeptics), the leader of the (ironically-named) skeptics group, admitted he screwed this one up:

          He agreed that Monticello was an authoritative source.

          “You’re absolutely right,” he said. “I should have done the research before I put my billboard up.”

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/10/27/the-atheists-should-have-been-better-skeptics/

          December 10, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • Observer

          “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.”
          - Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, 4/13/1820

          December 10, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • OK

          "Christian propaganda machine that is trying to muddy the water"
          bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Observer

          OK,

          As EVERYONE sees, you had no argument in opposition.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • OK

          It was an atheist writer that called out the atheist group for using a fake Thomas Jefferson quote. They did what doG did, googled "Thomas Jefferson Anti-Christian Quotes" and both copied information from a looney atheist web site.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Observer

          OK.

          FACT: Thomas Jefferson thought the Bible contained so much NONSENSE that he edited his own down to less than 60 pages.

          Now, try to use your PATHETIC "loony atheist site" argument on that.

          Ooooops!

          December 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • OK

          Everyone knows about that. It is on display at the Smithsonian I believe.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • OK

          He said this about it:

          "A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a doc&ment in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."

          December 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • OK

          He definitely was NOT an atheist.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Observer

          OK,

          He was definitely NOT a Christian. He did not believe in the same God talked about in the Bible. You know, the one who impregnated a young married woman.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • OK

          I never stated he was a Christian. I just know he probably didn't say things that doG attributed to him.

          And Thomas Jefferson himself stated he was a Christian though. Although some Christians and atheists agree he wasn't the right kind of Christian. Whatever that means.

          December 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Joey

          Jefferson took out all of the supernatural stuff in the bible when he made his own version. So it would appear that he didn't believe in a divine Jesus, but instead thought Jesus was just a normal human being with some good ideas.

          December 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Justice

      MMM, and we see it, our eyes shining, while the darkness consumes them. Is it any wonder that they lash out at people of faith as their spirituality is as dead as is their message.

      December 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
      • igaftr

        that's hilarious...this one is blinded by his obviously false book and thinks he sees...

        Or is it really possible to tell if your wife is unfaithful by having her drink holy water and dust....you know, like your bible teaches.

        December 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  2. MMM

    2 Corinthians 4:4

    Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

    December 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Akira

      Nice...but what dies this have to do with OK violating the Constitution?

      December 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Great Toast

      Don't forget to throw some garlic above the door frames.

      December 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      why post a quote from your book?

      Using the words of someone in the same cult as you, who is just as deluded as you, to prove your point is hilarious!

      mmm?

      December 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • scientist

        Logically, that does not prove what you merely insinuate.

        December 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Akira

          Neither does that quote, but that's ok.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • scientist

          Exactly! Atheists and Christians are both guilty of being idiotic.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Akira

          Lol. People tend to be. It's a human condition.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          As a scientist, what evidence do you have for a god and specifically the one you believe in, and why does the evidence point to your god and not the others?

          December 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • scientist

          I'm agnostic that leans toward not believing in God.

          I believe atheists and Christians have a huge amount of faith that I don't possess to say there is/isn't a God.

          December 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • G to the T

          Are you an agnostic theist or and agnostic atheist?

          Funny, I would think that anyone claiming a position would know what "agnosticism" actually means.

          December 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    one year since the Newtown massacre.

    If I had the power to create the universe I wouldn't have let all those poor innocent children die in pain and horror.

    I am glad to say that's the difference between me and your god.

    December 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Akira

      Those poor kids.
      Anazing that people ignore the Constitution in the above story, but never hesitate to invoke it when talking about gun control.

      December 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        well said A

        December 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Justice

      A monster murders 22 people including children and what? That's GOD'S fault?

      You are losing your mind...

      December 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • mk

        No, it's god's fault that they were not spared.

        December 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    how can christians keep speaking about "what jesus said"?!?!

    The King James version of the new testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the church of England. There were (and still are) NO original texts to translate. The oldest manuscripts we have were written down 100's of years after the last apostle died. There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts with no two alike. The king james translators used none of these anyway. Instead they edited previous translations to create a version their king and parliament would approve. So.... 21st century christians believe the "word of god" is a book edited in the 17th century from the 16th century translations of 8,000 contradictory copies of 4th century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st century.

    So we don't even know if the jesus character existed, much less what he may or may not have said.

    Seriously?! Claiming that jesus said certain phrases is utter mind numbing nonsense, and yet you seem to base your belief on this! Your belief has more holes in it than swiss cheese! It would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic.

    December 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      It's obvious that you have not studied Biblical Textual Criticism because of the inaccuracies in your post... And I know that you and I have been over and over this very topic, so why do you keep knowingly posting misinformation?

      December 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        oh Lawrence, you know it's true. Come join us in the real world. Please? It's much better for you here.

        December 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          At least have you even read the church fathers? It's a great pre-KJV way to start Biblical textual criticism, since the early church fathers were students of the Apostles...

          December 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • Doris

        On January 24, 2013, the traveling exhibition Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible opened at the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University.

        The keynote talk for the opening: "What Kind of a Text is the King James Bible? Manuscripts, Translation, and the Legacy of the KJV" was presented by Dr. Bart Ehrman.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehnEZtqj2Mo

        Dr. Ehrman, author of over 25 books including three college text books, received his PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary (magna cum laude). He is currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

        Dr. Erhman just concluded an all-day seminar entitled "The Other Gospels: Accounts of Jesus Outside the New Testament" which was held Dec. 7 at Smithsonian Institution's S. Dillon Ripley Center on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

        December 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      But! But! But! The Babble is allegedly the infallible word of some unproven god. A bunch of men got together merely to double check their god's work, I guess.

      December 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • MMM

      2 Timothy 3:16-17
      All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful[a] for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, 17 so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.

      December 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        LET's Religiosity Law #5 – Circular "holy" book reasoning + sweaty fervor = mental retardation. (See Law #4)

        December 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Madtown

        All Scripture is inspired by God
        ----
        What's your best guess as to why God didn't inspire other humans, who lived in different parts of the world, to write the same message? If this is the all-important word of God, wouldn't he want to share it will each human he created, instead of just a small subset in the middle east? God could've inspired a set of humans on each continent, to write the same message so all of humanity would have it. This did not happen.

        December 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  5. Karl

    Whether the Satanists are serious or not, this is a very clever and original way to get the point across of why you shouldn't allow religious monuments of any kind on publicly funded property.

    December 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      finally someone gets it!

      December 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Akira

      Exactly.
      OK opened the door; they shouldn't complain.
      If I were the Satanusts group, (and I'm not!) to get my monument up, I would use the exact same dimensions as the current monument. Then, the true reason OK doesn't want it would become clear.
      Thus is a clear violation of the Constitution on OK's part.

      December 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
      • Akira

        And the curve of the top of the monument would lend itself nicely to the curve of the ram's horns.

        I'll get flack for this, I'm sure.
        Point is, Karl nailed it.

        December 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Science Works

          And geology can add some really nice red granite for the horns Akira

          December 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Doris

          lol – you're right, Akira, and good afternoon. Maybe they could call a truce and just combine both into one monument...

          December 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Doris

          But all silliness aside, you're also right that Karl nailed it.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    please explain who or what created your god?

    December 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • scientist

      please explain who or what created evolution?

      December 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        you can't be that retarded can you?

        evolution is a natural process and needs no creator.

        your god is a sentient being though, so by your theory that everything needs a creator, someone or something must have created your god.

        December 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • scientist

          please explain who or what creates a natural process?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          you're really not a scientist are you?

          December 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • scientist

          I bet I am more of one than you. I have never met a fellow scientist that is hostile toward religion like you. Of course, most of us scientists are not atheists.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • igaftr

          scientist?
          If you were a scientist, you should already know that we don't know. No reason to believe any "ent!ty" was involved.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • scientist

          I didn't say any ent!ty was involved. I asked a question. We don't know why, how or what started life.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Sunflower

      my God was created no one but by me.

      December 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • Seeds planted !

        Freedom of Thought 2013

        by IHEU posted on December 10, 2013 05:21PM GMT

        A Global Report on the Rights, Legal Status, and Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists, and the Non-religious

        Our results show that the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers. There are laws that deny atheists’ right to exist, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry, obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents. In the worst cases, the state denies the rights of atheists to exist, or seeks total control over their beliefs and actions.

        http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/12/10/freedom-of-thought-2013?category=Atheism#

        December 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @doG – LOL... I see you have butt-hurt another christard on here... prepare for creepy stalker

      December 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        LOLOLOL

        I almost feel sorry for the feeble, confused christians, but then I remind myself that if I can save one of them from wasting their lives and retarding the progress of the human race, then it's worth my effort.

        December 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • scientist

          Except you are dead wrong.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • igaftr

          scientist?
          In what way is he wrong...considering his was an opinion...?

          December 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • scientist

          I'm not a Christian. I've already had 3 people blindly accuse me of being that and then spitting out some very hostile and ugly words toward me. I just posed questions. I'm not an atheist, but I know most don't act like that. I hope they get some help.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • igaftr

          scientist?
          "I just posed questions"

          How is YOUR post "Except you are dead wrong" a question?

          I simply asked YOU a question. I never accused you of being a christian, though I do question if you are actually a scientist or not, since you don't seem to be actually posting any useful information , and are only asking open ended questions.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • scientist

          Lucifer is dead wrong in this quote: "butt-hurt another christard on here"

          I'm not Christian.

          dog is dead wrong on this description of me: " feeble, confused christians"

          I'm not Christian.

          Get it? They are dead wrong about me! I'm pointing that fact out to them.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • scientist

          And Dyslexic doG is doing the exact same thing you accuse me of. You are definitely biased toward the hostile atheist agenda.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Who created God?

      There are a couple of hints in the bible, take the very first verse, “In the beginning God….” Notice it didn’t say in the beginning something created God then God did stuff.

      He tells us where he is, in eternity. He is eternal.
      Isaiah 57:15
      For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

      Revelation 22:13
      I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

      Here is the analogy I like, write start, draw a straight line, and write finish. We can understand a start and a finish.

      Now draw a circle, that is eternal, that is God. He is the beginning and the end at the same time, eternal, never ending.

      Peace.

      December 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • igaftr

        Who created god?

        Men...thousands of times over.

        December 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • oo oo

          Carrie underwood

          December 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
      • Joey

        Robert when you can prove any of that without using the bible I might consider it.

        December 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Logical fallacy – appeal to an alleged, unproven authority.

        December 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    how was your god created?

    December 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • scientist

      how was evolution created?

      December 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        you can't be that retarded can you?

        evolution is a natural process and needs no creator.

        your god is a sentient being though, so by your theory that everything needs a creator, someone or something must have created your god.

        December 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • scientist

          How was the natural process created?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    what created your god?

    December 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • scientist

      what created evolution?

      December 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
      • TJ

        Can't answer? Typical Christian.

        December 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • scientist

          I'm not a Christian. Sorry.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        you can't be that retarded can you?

        evolution is a natural process and needs no creator.

        your god is a sentient being though, so by your theory that everything needs a creator, someone or something must have created your god.

        December 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
        • scientist

          What created the natural process?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Someone brought up the obligatory belief clause for salvation within the Christian religion: "but he that believeth not is condemned already." Normally people can be saved without belief – though I had to allow a young woman to nearly drown before she ceased struggling during a rescue on water. She clearly didn't believe in anyone's ability to save her, but I got her to safety. Rescues at sea can be pretty risky. Sometimes when conditions are bad no one is willing to allow someone into the water to help soemone into a harness or flotation device. Perhaps the Christian God always feels it's too much of a risk to go after someone who doesn't believe. It's a good thing there are more courageous people on search and rescue.

    December 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Jesus had just finished explaining to Nicodemus that he must be born again, born of the spirit and then we read;

      John 3:
      9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

      10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

      11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

      12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

      13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

      14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

      15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

      16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

      17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

      18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

      19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

      20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

      21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

      I think what he is saying in the 18th verse that you quoted a portion of, is that everyone is already guilty. Forgiveness is available, it is obtainable. Just as in your example, if you will cry out for help, he will save you, even if you resist.

      December 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        how can you possibly speak about "what jesus said"?!?!

        The King James version of the new testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the church of England. There were (and still are) NO original texts to translate. The oldest manuscripts we have were written down 100's of years after the last apostle died. There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts with no two alike. The king james translators used none of these anyway. Instead they edited previous translations to create a version their king and parliament would approve. So.... 21st century christians believe the "word of god" is a book edited in the 17th century from the 16th century translations of 8,000 contradictory copies of 4th century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st century.

        So we don't even know if the jesus character existed, much less what he may or may not have said.

        Seriously?! Claiming that jesus said certain phrases is utter mind numbing nonsense, and yet you seem to base your belief on this! Your belief has more holes in it than swiss cheese! It would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic.

        December 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  10. MMM

    Almighty Father in heaven, please give me wisdom to know the best way to share the message of Jesus with all those that I know who are not yet Christians. Father, I recognize that only you can break down the barriers Satan erects in the hearts of those who reject your message. Help me know when it is best to move on and leave that work to you. In the lives of those near and dear to me, please use my daily faithfulness as one of the influences used to win their hearts for Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

    December 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      things that make you go mmm

      December 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • MMM

        I heard you saying , "bow bow bow"..
        Need food?

        December 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          mmm?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Which God?

        Lol. Good reply, Dyslexic doG

        December 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Great Toast

      It's important for readers to note that the Satanists of the article "believe Satan is a 'literary construct,'" and is not the Satan that fundies believe in, which would be the dude that plays these games with people:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JuSfRgh0Vo

      December 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "but it makes great toast" hahaha...

        December 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Yes Jesus help us... we need our lawns cut and our leaves raked...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=tvcpQSetMgI

      December 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  11. Dyslexic doG

    Christians one and all please hear me. Don't listen to facts or reason! You just keep on believing! It's so important! The biggest scam ever played on the human race is depending on people as stup1d as you to keep itself going. If you start thinking, you'll realize its mind numbing foolishness, so whatever you do, don't think!

    December 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • OK

      Is that another fake Thomas Jefferson quote?

      December 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        it's a krab, krab ...

        December 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • OK

          Could be a Hitler quote.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • Observer

        “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”
        - Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, 8/10/1787

        December 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    who or what created your god?

    December 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • igaftr

      Nogomain created everything, including himself, who he created out of nothing....impressive.

      December 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  13. Keith

    Let's just put them both up there and you guys can pray to your god to strike lightning on the one he doesn't like. If nothing happens then obviously god approves of them both, because we all know prayer works and that god does as he pleases even though it bears a striking resemblance to random chance.

    December 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      beautiful!

      December 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • mk

      Kinda like in 2010 in Ohio when the big butter Jesus was struck but the nudie bar across the way was spared. God obviously chose the nudie bar.

      December 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  14. Dan Foster

    If the gov't is going to promote "a" religion, it has to promote "all" of them. All religions are cults. There are close to 40,000 sects of the christian cult. How does gov't give just the christians equal time, let alone all the other cults including judaism, islam, satanism, etc? Keep cults and gov't separate and there won't be a problem!

    December 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • TJ

      Exactly. I wonder why people have such a hard time understanding this?

      December 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • Alias

        Because so many people do not want to understand it.
        Clearly jesus never said anything aabout keeping an open mind or respecting other opinions.

        December 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  15. Colin

    Not a lot of Christians know this, but the Ten Commandments pictured ARE NOT the final Ten Commandments from the Bible. These are the original set given to Moses, but, as the Exodus story continues, after receiving this set of commandments from God, Moses descends from Mount Sinai only to find his people worshipping a golden calf. Moses’ anger “waxes hot” and he smashes the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments in a fit of rage.

    He later returns to the mountain and God orders him to “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.” Unfortunately, it seems God’s memory was off that day, because the replacement tablets he gave Moses contained the following Ten Commandments:

    Thou shalt worship no other god.
    Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
    Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread .
    All that openeth the matrix are mine.
    Thou shalt rest on the Sabbath.
    Thou shalt rest in earing time and in harvest.
    Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
    Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left unto the morning.
    The first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
    Thou shalt not seethe (cook) a baby goat in its mother's milk.

    Both a beast that “opens the matrix” and a “firstling” are the firstborn offspring of a Jewish farm animal. If one believes Exodus, the Jews perambulated the Sinai Peninsula and the Negev for the rest of their forty years of wandering, lugging the Ark of the Covenant weighed down with these timeless pearls of wisdom!

    They don’t exactly sound like the universal laws applicable to the entire human race that a god would give, do they?

    Indeed, while the Ten Commandments (at least the first two sets) are well known, there are, in fact about 613 commandments sprinkled throughout the Old Testament. If you are a Jew or Christian, they contain rules from the creator of the Universe on how we human beings should live our lives. I don’t know that they are particularly helpful, though. They include rules for tending crops indigenous to the Greco-Roman Middle East; raising domesticated animals common in the Greco-Roman Middle East; sacrificing these animals; preparing and eating food that was consumed in the Greco-Roman Middle East; (not) having s.ex with virgins, slaves, non-Jews, animals and relatives; cross-dressing and prohibitions against eating maggots, non Kosher insects and worms that have fully left the fruit.

    Interestingly, while these 613 laws laid down by the creator of the Universe go into painstaking detail on how late Bronze Age Jewish farm life should be lived, none of them address how the Apache or Sioux of North America should hunt bison, how the ancient Russians or Chinese should treat any Mongol slaves they take or how the Australian Aboriginals should hunt and prepare kangaroo. The ancient Scandinavians, Celts and Sub-Saharan Africans were also left totally in the dark about whether it is acceptable to God for them to seethe a deer in its mother’s milk and the ancient Inuit had to take a stab in the dark as to whether any first born reindeer should be sacrificed to God. The rules from God also say nothing of how any aspect of life that developed AFTER the Old Testament was written should be conducted, such as modern communications, computing, medicine and transportation.

    Let’s be honest. It is clear beyond any rational doubt that the Jews made God in their image and not vice-versa.

    December 10, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Stecher

      Those aren't the words written on the second stone tablets.

      The original tablets were written by the Lord:

      Exodus 24:12 (ESV)
      The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction."

      Compare to the passage referred to in the question. The Lord says he will write the tablets, but the commandments cited in the question are left for Moses to write:

      Exodus 34:1 (ESV)
      The LORD said to Moses, "Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.

      Exodus 34:27 (ESV)
      And the LORD said to Moses, "Write these words,for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel."

      After the Lord gave the original ten commandments (Exodus 20), he also gave other commandments (Exodus 20:23-23:33). A similar thing happened here: there were other things that the Lord said to Moses, besides just writing the new tablets.

      The quite logical explanation is, then, that the Lord wrote the new tablets and gave them to Moses. Then the Lord spoke other words and told Moses to write them down. The content of the tablets is not recorded in Exodus for a second time, since the content was the same as originally.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • Colin

        Your answer is apologist nonsense and a twisted reading of the story. Also, we are still left with 613 laws applicable to late Bronze Age Jewish goat herders. Not very universal, are they?

        December 10, 2013 at 11:51 am |
        • Stecher

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

          December 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • OK

          _ Also, we are still left with 613 laws applicable to late Bronze Age Jewish goat herders. _"
          And now we have Jesus.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • Check

          @OK,
          "And now we have Jesus."

          Jesus, as a Jew, believed every dot of that old nonsense (yea, he even said he *wrote* it!).

          December 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • Stecher

          Highly religious people who claimed to live by those rules tried to murder Jesus because he broke those rules.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • Check

        Stecher,

        Have you ever checked out some of the other things that ol' Moses **said** that this "LORD" said to him... such as:

        – You cure leprosy by having a dove killed, dipping a live one in its blood and having it fly around. Also, you have to anoint the toes of the suffer with the blood.–Leviticus 14

        – You discover unfaithful wives when their bellies swell and their thighs rot after they are made to drink some magical water. – Numbers 5

        – Prized striped goats are bred by having the mating parents stare at striped objects. –Genesis 30

        – You may buy, own, sell, and will slaves to your descendants (only foreigners for slaves, though, no Israelis) –Leviticus 25

        - “If two men are fighting, and the wife of one man tries to rescue her husband by grabbing the other man’s private parts, you must cut off her hand. Don’t have any mercy." Deuteronomy 25

        There are several other similar instances of absolute rubbish that this "God" purportedly "SPOKE", along with a bunch of other rules and laws and rituals that are obviously only from the minds of primitive men. How anyone can believe that this stuff came from a real smart divine being is ludicrous.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Stecher

          That is what it says. Those were not universal laws. Some of those laws only applied to Levite priests who in an attempt to become "pure" volunteered and agreed to live by them. They were free to say "No" and go there own way.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          if that is the case then you can't call the bible the word of god.

          thank you.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • Stecher

          I can learn about those laws and understand they were given to a group of people that are different from me. But The Bible doesn't say that God is asking me to follow them today.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Check

          Stecher
          ."Those were not universal laws. Some of those laws only applied to Levite priests who in an attempt to become "pure" volunteered and agreed to live by them."

          Most of those Leviticus rules were for "all the children of Israel" and "all the Israelites", according to what that Moses character said that the "LORD" told him...

          December 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
        • Stecher

          Right. Most, not all. And for the people of Israel. Not for other people at that time.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
        • Observer

          Stecher,

          Yep. God wanted those laws only for those who were the most religious and closest to him.

          Those that don't want to be the most religious and closest to him don't have to bother to follow them.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • Alias

          Sorry, but I messed the part of the bible where god said only part of the book was to be followed.
          Could someone plese give us that quote?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • Stecher

          The Bible is a collection of books from different cultures and times in history. There is a big difference between me and a Levite. Do you know what the stories in the Bible say that is???

          December 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • Joey

          So are you suggesting that if a Levite priest had goats stare at stripped objects then it would work for them, but not for anyone else? If so I would suggest that god was still wrong about that verse.

          December 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Why didn't the creator of the universe write them down himself? Or email them to everyone? Why did he need Moses? just another example of your god's piss poor program management skills...

        December 10, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Hi LOL??, still dumb as a box of rocks I see...

          December 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Although, some of your recent comments are almost funny

          December 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • Dan Foster

        Wrong. In fact, (although there are no facts in the bible) the list given are the only ones referred to as the (these) "ten commandments" in the bible (KJV). Most religions are devoid of facts, just as they are replete with low moral development.

        Biblical truth, christian ethics, etc; all oxymorons.

        December 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Dan Foster

          List refered to in the bible as ten commandments:

          Thou shalt worship no other god.
          Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
          Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread .
          All that openeth the matrix are mine.
          Thou shalt rest on the Sabbath.
          Thou shalt rest in earing time and in harvest.
          Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
          Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left unto the morning.
          The first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
          Thou shalt not seethe (cook) a baby goat in its mother's milk.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • Stecher

          Right. Moses wrote those. But God wrote the original 10 Commandments (twice, after they broke them the first time).

          December 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • Check

          " But God wrote the original 10 Commandments.."

          What makes you think that?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • Stecher

          "Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction."

          December 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • TJ

          Look, either all of the Bible was written by men using God's inspired word , or none of it was. Which is it?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • Stecher

          It was. Look at what it says. I'm not living under Levite law. I'm not a Levi priest.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • Dan Foster

          Sorry, just going by what the bible actually says ARE "the ten commandments". Go to biblegateway.com and look up the term. If you choose to misinterpret that, your choice, as is the choice of everyone who reads the bible: there are no facts, just junk to be "interpreted".

          December 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • Stecher

          10 Commandments

          http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20

          People break them. Moses literally breaks the tablets.

          http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2034&version=NIV

          Moses goes back, apologizes.

          The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.

          And he did. And then he gave him some other commandments since they did such a horrible job the first time around.

          http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2034&version=NIV

          December 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • Check

          Stecher,
          "The Lord said to Moses,"

          You really believe that happened? Just because Moses **said** so? He sounds more like some kind of control freak to me. I'll bet you wouldn't buy a used car from him if you ran into him today!

          December 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • Stecher

          I'm just telling you how the story goes.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Observer

          Stecher,

          Exodus 34:27-28 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.”

          Oooops!

          December 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Stecher

          I addressed that in my OP.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Woody

      Tablets of stone??? You'd think the god that created a trillion or so galaxies in six earth days, would use something a little more high tech. If I were god, I would've used polished, laser inscribed ti.tanium tablets. They'd be so much lighter for Moses to be toting around the mountain, they'd be pretty much indestructible (that would take care of the "thou brakest" problem) and they would've really dazzled the rubes down below.

      December 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • Dan Foster

        While he was at it, why didn't the "creator" send his son to show mortals how to make penicillin, or something like that instead of turning water into wine and other parlor tricks? Oh, but why didn't the perfect creator just create us so there was no need to know how to make penicillin! All a great cosmic joke!

        December 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=tvcpQSetMgI

          December 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Dan Foster

      One of the 613 edicts is to "kill all witches". Sarah Palin sought a Kenyan "witch doctor" to bless her against all evil and witchcraft in her run for VP. Amazing anyone can believe in this crap!

      December 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Most of these commandments were given to the children of Israel as a condition of them remaining in the land that God gave them. I won’t post it here, but if you are a really interested read Leviticus 26, it explains what would happen if they obeyed and if they didn’t.

      December 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  16. Doris

    James Madison, "Father of the Constitution" and Bill of Rights:

    "Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."

    "The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State."

    Madison as president vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state.
    He also came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom. (See Library of Congress – James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.)

    Thomas Jefferson:

    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."

    John Adams & the U.S. Senate:

    "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;"

    (from the Treaty of Tripoli signed by President John Adams and with unanimous ratification of the U.S. Senate, 1797)

    December 10, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • George Washnigton

      “I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.”

      December 10, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • Doris

        It would be interesting to know when GW said that. Many historians agree that he was influenced by Deism later in life. For the Deist, God is a watchmaker – a god who set things in motion and didn't play an active role in people's lives.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

          Do you know that, completely unaware of deism, it was my first direction away from Christianity in order to explain what was unexplainable. I even remember saying the very same thing, "I believe God just created it all and let it go to see what we would do with it. That's our test." Then I just moved beyond all of it.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:44 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        So you think that this omnipotent god put in place a plan where the chosen people of Israel are replaced by christians whose religion is adopted and spread by the Roman Empire. Then the Europeans spread that religion via their own empires to the New World, and one of those colonies starts a tax revolt and breaks away. Many people see good fortune as the grace of a god – in the case of the US revolution both sides were primarily protestant – same god, same religion.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • MMM

          And what is your opinion on Islam who spreads with sword and demand?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • TJ

          That sux too.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • George Washnigton

          "No, I didn't think that. You did."

          December 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          MMM
          Christianity was also spread by force – the natives of the Americas, Hawaii, Australia, etc were not christians until the Europeans introduced christianity by force (well US christians took it to Hawaii). My point though was that both sides were the same god and religion, and that god chose a very circuitous route to achieve something that it could have done in Genesis. So not very likely really that it was divine grace.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          George Washnigton
          So what was your point?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • MMM

          God says
          Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die...

          December 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          MMM,
          So if other religions have that directive and by your definition – non-believers are wicked – then it's OK for them to kill you?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • George Washington

        "While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."

        December 10, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • John Adams

      "Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God ... What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be."

      December 10, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Big deal – "God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world.
        - John Adams, "this awful blashpemy" that he refers to is the myth of the Incarnation of Christ, from Ira D Cardiff, What Great Men Think of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief "

        December 10, 2013 at 11:43 am |
      • Doris

        "I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history. "

        (John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816)

        December 10, 2013 at 11:47 am |
      • Doris

        "The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

        Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind."

        –John Adams (from A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])

        December 10, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • John Adams

        "I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world."

        December 10, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • Doris

          Oh, I don't think you'll get an argument on that. How people used the Bible is more telling. Without understanding the influence of Deism on these key founders, such quotes are useless. Jefferson valued parts of the Bible quite a bit. But as I said earlier, Deists generally refuted the divinity of Christ, they refuted the magic in the Bible, and they viewed God as a watchmaker, not a god that plays an active role in people's lives.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      "I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ."

      December 10, 2013 at 11:37 am |
      • Doris

        That doesn't necessarily say that he believed in the divinity of Christ. Deists, as a rule, did not believe in the divinity of Christ.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • Thomas Jefferson

          "The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses."

          December 10, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Doris

          Yes – he was a big fan. No argument on that point. But regarding divinity – my response above regarding Adams and Deism addresses this.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • James Madison

      "Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ."

      December 10, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • Doris

        I wonder when he said that. Not long before drafting the Constitution, he had this to say:

        "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."

        December 10, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • James Madison

          "Because the establishment proposed by the Bill is not requisite for the support of the Christian Religion. To say that it is, is a contradiction to the Christian Religion itself, for every page of it disavows a dependence on the powers of this world:

          [I]it is a contradiction to fact; for it is known that this Religion (Christianity) both existed and flourished, not only without the support of human laws, but in spite of every opposition from them, and not only during the period of miraculous aid, but long after it had been left to its own evidence and the ordinary care of Providence."

          December 10, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • Doris

          Yes – it was tough for Madison to wrestle with this issue. Now please see the first section of my OP on Madison. Those initial quotes came later in life as he reflected on his work. Also notice his opinion after becoming President, on the taxpayer keeping chaplains for the House and Senate. Here we already see that he sees the need for the Establishment Clause to be better applied.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
      • MMM

        We as true follower of Christ not to be curse any body. Those who deserve evil, let them go to hell. They will realize it once they are dead in this earthly living. For example, few of the pop star celebrates of these days are practicing devil songs. They get fame as they have deal with the Satan, which is their soul for the satan once they are dead and gone.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRmLZ7unj_g

        December 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • Science Works

          It did not take long but....

          Hell is in Michigan USA.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          If you wanted to convince us that you are mentally retarded... well this video says it all doesn't it?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  17. MMM

    The rights of religious freedom should be in a positive and in good path, not of evil and bad path. Freedom of any individual in the US should have a law rewritten to consider only GOOD and not the EVIL.
    If the US govt know the difference between GOOD and EVIL, this kind of SATANIC worship should be in the highest criminal list. Freedom and democrazy do not mean and thing and everything are allowed. Consider the GOOD part only.

    December 10, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • TJ

      What's good for the goose us good for the gander. Y'all shouldn't be pushing your agenda in a public place and not expect someone to push theirs.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Doris

      Who's going to determine the good from the evil? How far can you get down that road before you are favoring one brand over another and violating the Establishment Clause?

      December 10, 2013 at 11:21 am |
      • MMM

        Read Holy Bible and have belief and faith.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Science Works

          The bible is FULL of holes but ...

          December 10, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • tallulah13

          Your belief is not universal. Our government was created to protect all citizens from the religious tyranny you advocate. The satanists rights are exactly equal to your own. If you don't like that, I suggest you move to a nice theocracy, like Iran.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Read ____________ and have faith.

          PICK A HOLY BOOK:
          Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, New Testament, Quran, Sunnah, Nahjul Balagha, Avesta, Vedas, Upanisahds, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Tantras, Sutras, Vachanas, Adi Granth, Purvas, Samayasara, Niyamasara, Pravacanasara, and Pancastikaya; Anupreksa; Samadhishataka of Pujyapada; Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati, Tattvarthasutra, Pali Tripitaka, Jataka,, Visuddimagga, Tripitaka, Lotus Sutra, Garland Sutra, Analects; the Great Learning; the Doctrine of the Mean; the Mencius, Tao Te Ching, Chuang-tzu, Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, K-oki, Ofudesaki, Mikagura-uta, Michi-no-Shiori, Johrei, Goseigen, Netarean Shower of Holy Doctrines, Chun Boo Kyung, Kitab-i-Iqan, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Book of Mormon, Dianetics, or Revelation X

          December 10, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • TJ

          Read the Constitution sometime. Or does that doc only get brought up when you think someone is going to take away your guns?

          December 10, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Reading Dr. Seuss would be more useful than your stupid bible

          December 10, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Joey

          God kills a lot more people in the bible than Satan does.

          December 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  18. Lawrence of Arabia

    Relative to the character of the physical world, it is logically necessary that there be something the existence of which does not derive from other things.

    Position:
    Only the supernatural can explain the existence of the natural
    Proof:
    1. The physical universe exists
    2. Nothing can be self-created – that is a paradox
    3. Every physical ent.ity (natural ent.ity) is contingent
    4. Contingent ent.ities are not eternal
    5. Since contingency exists, then a causal chain exists
    6. Infinite causal chains do not and cannot exist – they are a paradox
    7. Since a finite causal chain exists, then a Prime Mover / First Cause exists
    8. The Prime Mover / First Cause cannot be contingent (see #6)
    9. Since the Prime Mover / First Cause is not contingent, it is self-existing
    10. A self-existing (not self-created) ent.ity is supernatural

    “However concrete physical reality is sectioned up, the result will be a state of affairs which owes its being to something other than itself. Every physical state, no matter how inclusive, has a necessary condition in some specific type of state which precedes it in time and is fully existent prior to the emergence of the state in which it conditions. There is not one example in the physical universe of a physical quant.ity that explains its own existence.

    The dependent character of all physical states, together with the completeness of the series of dependencies underlying the existence of any given physical state, logically implies at least one self-existent, and therefore non-physical, state of being: a state of being, or an ent.ity, radically different from those that make up the physical or "natural" world.

    It is demonstrably absurd that there should be a self-sufficient physical universe, if by that we mean an all-inclusive totality of ent.ities and events of the familiar or scientific physical variety, unless we are prepared to treat the universe itself as having an essentially different type of being from the physical:—which then just concedes the point of the existence of the supernatural.”
     Dallas Willard (http://www.dwillard.org/articles/artview.asp?artID=42)

    December 10, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • K-switch

      Your argument only recquires that some "thing" not within the present universe caused the universe to exist. That does not equal a living creator.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:22 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        The argument demands the existence of that which is non-physical, that is, the supernatural.

        Although the argument in no way maintains that "God" exists, specifically, the God of the Bible, it does get one to logically and philosophically understand that the existence of a first cause that is self-existent is necessary.

        Follow the link for the extended paper.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Some Antics

      If an event happens in our universe it is natural. There is no evidence of anything but the natural world we see. Every flawed theory you posit is natural and just because you don't know of it's origin does not mean that origin must have been supernatural, it's just unknown or misunderstood nature.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        "If an event happens in our universe it is natural."
        -------
        That says nothing about origins.

        "There is no evidence of anything but the natural world we see."
        -----------
        Wrong. The natural world is evidence of the supernatural. Didn't you read the whole post?

        "Every flawed theory you posit is natural and just because you don't know of it's origin does not mean that origin must have been supernatural, it's just unknown or misunderstood nature."
        ----------
        The natural world can never explain it's own existence – if it could, then it wouldn't be "natural" any more. The atheist leans on the "we don't know" response, and this leads to a thought that it is arrogant to say that you DO know something about origins. It's not arrogant, it's logic and reason.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          The natural world is not evidence of supernatural. Your "logic" is self-serving.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          In Santa,
          Then show me a physical ent.ity that is not contingent.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • Some Antics

          Your argument is as valid as saying that because I see the color pink then pink unicorns must exist. Your "contingent" hypothesis is flawed and cannot be used until you have the players defined. To say "It must be supernatural" just because you have not found an answer in nature is beyond moronic. You do a disservice to your brain as you feed it such nonsense and claim it as substantial when it's really nothing but hot air.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Your argument is as valid as saying that because I see the color pink then pink unicorns must exist."
          -------–
          Since the color pink, and unicorns (rhinoceros unicornis) both exist as contingent physical ent.ities, you have done nothing to prove your point, since it would be nothing to hit one with a paintbrush.

          "Your "contingent" hypothesis is flawed and cannot be used until you have the players defined."
          -------------
          OK, sure – here are the players: ALL physical ent.ities are contingent. To prove that statement otherwise, you will have to show me an example of a physical enti.ty that is non-contingent. Otherwise, the argument is valid.

          The rest of your comment is null and void since it was ad hominem.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Observer

          Lawrence of Arabia,

          What type of rhinos lived near Israel?

          December 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "What type of rhinos lived near Israel?"
          -------–
          Now? I don't know. Then? I don't know that either. Are you saying then that people didn't travel, or speak to those who did? Or are you saying that their knowledge was limited strictly to their region? Those are big assumptions.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Observer

          Lawrence of Arabia,

          "The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), also called the greater one-horned rhinoceros and Indian one-horned rhinoceros, belongs to the Rhinocerotidae family. Listed as a vulnerable species, the large mammal is primarily found in north-eastern India's Assam and in protected areas in the Terai of Nepal, where populations are confined to the riverine grasslands in the foothills of the Himalayas." – wikipedia

          December 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Observer

          Lawrence of Arabia

          "Are you saying then that people didn't travel, or speak to those who did? Or are you saying that their knowledge was limited strictly to their region?"

          You could be right. From a mountain top, the Bible says you can see "all the kingdoms of the world" so apparently they could see all the rhinos in India..

          December 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "From a mountain top, the Bible says you can see "all the kingdoms of the world" so apparently they could see all the rhinos in India.."
          --------
          So your assumption is that they didn't have access to information then? OK, have fun proving that one. I guess your other assumption was that those passages in scripture that mentioned the unicorn were written by folks in India?

          December 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • Observer

          Lawrence of Arabia,
          "So your assumption is that they didn't have access to information then? OK, have fun proving that one"

          Pure NONSENSE. Don't make such ridiculous claims about what I said.

          So please tell where the Bible talks about people in what is now India. I'd also like to hear about kangaroos like were on the ark.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "So please tell where the Bible talks about people in what is now India. I'd also like to hear about kangaroos like were on the ark."
          ---------
          And how about the majestic moose? Or what about caucasians from the land of Caucasia? Surely if they exist, the Bible would have mentioned them!

          December 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • Observer

          Lawrence of Arabia,

          Yep. There is no sense in thinking that there were kangaroos, rhinos and unicorns on the ark.

          December 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Yep. There is no sense in thinking that there were kangaroos, rhinos and unicorns on the ark."
          ---------
          Well, you must know, after all, you were there, right?

          December 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Presuming there were a first cause, what evidence do you have that it is a god, or even your god? Big Bang and evolution show that all creation myths are incorrect, so there is no evidence for the gods of religions.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Actually, evolution, whether cosmic or biological, cannot—logically cannot!—be a theory of ultimate origins of existence or order, precisely because its operation presupposes the existence of certain ent.ities with specific potential behaviors and an environment of some specific kind that operates upon those enti.ties in some specifically ordered fashion.

        Furthermore, Big Bang mysticism, although seems to fill the place of God for the atheist, for it posits that out of nothing, something comes – it is a fallacy, since it cannot be shown that something actually CAN come from nothing. And if the atheist then posits that it rather came from "next to nothing," then they do nothing to further their cause, because they still have to explain where that "next to nothing" came from. In essence, they are back at square one.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          We've managed to describe, well, almost everything, in physical terms. We've even managed to explain a great deal, too. The spirit world, we've discovered, can't exist, without something else collapsing into nothingness around us, an eventuality which has yet to manifest itself; souls, once thought to be a physical ent.ity, prove to be nothing more than hopeful thinking by people who are afraid of dying. Ephemeral "energy" is only a childlike fantasy of the Superman ilk, by people who are beginning to realize that the world isn't exactly working to their precise advantage. God, well, he and his kin have been relegated by science to the very beginning of time, the exact moment of the big bang, when all the matter in the Universe was concentrated into one minute area. Everything after that time is accounted for by physics, if only in a general way. And even then, God seems highly improbable. Science says that God is irrelevant to everything we do and everything we are; that means we have to work to make everything we do and everythig we are relevant; and that's hard.
          But physics, unlike religion, ultimately proves to be, well, provable ... And it's fairly likely that nobody has a soul floating a few feet above their heads waiting impatiently for the day it is allowed to fly away and join its bretheren in the soul soup that is our contemporary picture of heaven (in Heaven, you understand, we'll suddenly be able to stand an eternity of melding with the consciousnesses we couldn't stand here on earth. THAT's the miracle of God).

          December 10, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doc,
          Something cannot be untrue simply because you want it to be. You have made numerous claims as to science "proving" the nonexistence of the spiritual, but you have failed to give references. I'd love to know how physical science can even be applied to that which is non-physical.

          I have laid out a logical argument for the existence of the supernatural. In order to refute it, you must give examples of physical ent.ities that are non-contingent.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • Observer

          Lawrence of Arabia

          "Big Bang mysticism posits that out of nothing, something comes – it is a fallacy, since it cannot be shown that something actually CAN come from nothing."

          Good. Now you know why atheists and many agnostics think God is a fallacy.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • MMM

          Some folks are determined to reject the message of Jesus. There are many reasons why this is true, but they all boil down to one truth—Satan has poisoned their hearts to the good news of God's Kingdom in Jesus Christ. Rather than keep beating our heads against a wall that the evil one has erected in the heart of someone, God calls us to move on in our efforts to reach others. If we are in the same family or office or neighborhood and have regular proximity to them and can't move on, then we are called to live our faith before them and pray that our actions will demonstrate the faith we profess and win them before the day of Christ.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Good. Now you know why atheists and many agnostics think God is a fallacy"
          --------–
          No, because the First Cause is not in the category of things that come into being. Did you not read the original post? The First Cause, by it's very definition is non-contingent.

          If the Big Bang mysticist wishes to say that it is the physical explanation for the origin of our universe, then they have shot themselves in the foot because physical enti.ties derive their existence from some condition that was fully in existence before it. If the Big Bang idea posits that "out of nothing, everything came," then they are ALSO positing a supernatural reason for the universe's existence.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Observer

          Christian HYPOCRISY:

          (!) Atheists are wrong because for ANYTHING to exist, something must have created it
          (2) God exists
          (3) Nothing created God

          December 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Observer,
          "Atheists are wrong because for ANYTHING to exist, something must have created it"
          --------
          Do not put words into my mouth, that is not what was said. What was said was that all PHYSICAL ENT.ITIES are contingent. Once again, READ the argument, and then follow the link to the paper BEFORE you go misquoting me, or anyone else.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Observer

          Lawrence of Arabia,

          We are in agreement that you believe that God exists and NOTHING created God, right?.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "We are in agreement that you believe that God exists and NOTHING created God, right?."
          -------------
          Yes, although that was not the point of the argument. The argument shows the necessity of the existence of the supernatural – that in the form of a First Cause, that is also necessarily self-existing (not self-created).

          December 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Sue

      Whatever the origins of the universe, we can be completely certain that the cause was not the god of the Christian tales, and we can also be completely certain that the god described in those Christian tales does not exist. There are multiple reasons for this; they include the contradictory characteristics ascribed to that "god", and the many inconsistencies of those Christian fables with established physical realities, and other reasons.

      December 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
      • Thinker...

        Well we can't be completely certain. It could all be a trick by that god to make us believe he/she/it isn't real after all.

        December 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  19. Charles

    Give them an inch, they'll take a mile.
    They claim that they will stop at public property, but they probably don't like to see religious symbols on private property, either.

    December 10, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • TJ

      Would you be saying this if the satanist monument went up FIRST? Nah, right?

      December 10, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Doris

      Me thinks you're laying claim to an inch the Establishment Clause never granted you in the first place.

      Every right comes with a responsibility. Your jurisdiction may allow you to shoot off fireworks, but I'll bet they don't allow you to shoot them off at your neighbors' homes.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • igaftr

      yes charles....the christians gave themselves an inch and took a mile...you are correct...now you are starting to see the door that the christians opened, and you seem surprised others want to use the same door.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    originally putting a monument to the christian cult's plagiarized, unoriginal commandments at a government location in clear violation of the principles that founded this country is an insult to Americans. any following religious displays are part of the same foolishness.

    December 10, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Justice

      No, Dyslexic. We don't worship doGs. We worship God.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Which one?

        December 10, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Charles

      Give them an inch, they'll take a mile.
      They claim that they will stop at public property, but they probably don't like to see religious symbols on private property, either.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • TJ

        Do y'all know the difference between government and private property?

        December 10, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • TJ

          Are you Charles? I asked him.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:32 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
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.