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Supreme Court skeptical of abortion clinic buffer zones
January 16th, 2014
11:29 AM ET

Supreme Court skeptical of abortion clinic buffer zones

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

(CNN) - The Supreme Court waded cautiously back into the larger debate over abortion on Wednesday.

A number of justices raised concerns about a Massachusetts state law preventing activists from crossing a 35-foot buffer zone around reproductive health clinics.

During an intense hour of oral arguments, Massachusetts officials said the issue was more about public safety and pedestrian access on local sidewalks. Anti-abortion supporters countered their free speech rights were being violated.

What the high court decides in coming months could affect a broader range of free speech arenas - over issues such as war, taxes, corporate bailouts and elections - where the location of the message is often key.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Courts • Culture wars • Ethics • gender issues • Health • Protest • Women

soundoff (1,188 Responses)
  1. Peacemaker

    I always find it interesting that Conservative-religious-so-called-pro-life, want to shove their values and beliefs down the throats of those who do not share them!

    Conservatives claim to stand for FREEDOM, but really they do not! They only want the freedoms they agree with, if they don't agree then they want to make sure no one else has that freedom, in this case, the freedom of choice!

    Hoping the SCOTUS will side with protecting women from the hypocrites!

    January 17, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
    • Again

      Who then will be left to protect the rights of the fetus? Why choose the woman over him or her?

      January 17, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
      • redzoa

        Why choose the mother? Because no person is obliged morally or legally to donate all or part of their body to directly sustain the life of another "person." I'll buy the pro-life position when y'all start lobbying for government mandated blood and organ/tissue donations to save the lives of all those innocents destined to die absent transfusions and transplants.

        Let me guess, you don't think that's the role of the government? Exactly . . .

        January 17, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        This has already been decided – until the fetus is viable outside of the womb, the mother has the rights. I believe that this has been set to 24 weeks by the SCOTUS (I may be off by a week or two). Both have rights, but the rights of the unborn do not take precedence until it is viable outside of the womb, and then the rights of the mother are secondary. This is the compromise that has stood for over 30 years.

        January 17, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • fyi

          You ended this with appeal to tradition.

          January 17, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          True – I did, but what I didn't say is that abortion rates have steadily declined since 1990 and are at an all time low.

          January 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
      • R.M. Goodswell

        Why indeed....you cant exploit misery and hardship where there is none....

        unprepared woman + child = profit!!!

        January 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
  2. Austin

    doubters seek proof.

    the reason you want something at all is because you sense the need for the Holy Spirit. You are in need. Seek the Holy Spirit through forgiveness.

    Hold on to your salvation.

    January 17, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
    • Navan R. Johnson

      I told Austin that his special purpose is his salvation, so he holds it all the time.

      January 17, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
      • Austin

        have yo ever walked through a field and gotten a seed with burs stuck in your clothes or shoe laces? I pray that the word of God will stick to your soul, as a seed with purpose.

        The mystery of the seed, you ever see how a seed snaps, or how it digs a whole for itself?

        January 17, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey Austin

          Just like Rick Perry – the Bishops of California just asked all faiths to pray for RAIN in California .

          And IT did NOT work for PERRY .

          January 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • Barry Christ

          They did? Really? Catholicism is doing rain dances now?

          January 17, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • Science Works

          Yeah I usually do not watch it but ABC evening news just mentioned it.

          January 17, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • Science Works

          I thought to myself not to bright for them (bishops) – one FAST way to help sink the ark.

          January 17, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • Farmer John

          Austin,

          Yeah, I **always** celebrate and jump for joy when I come in with my socks full of burrs!

          January 17, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
        • Science Works

          By the way Austin those damn stickers can make a nice HOLE in your skin too all provided by nature !

          January 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
        • Science Works

          Austin you might have nightmares over this – Happy Dreams !

          This has always been a stickler for religion and you know gods.

          A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons. (Credit: © James Steidl / Fotolia)

          January 18, 2014 at 10:38 am |
    • Anthony Crispino

      I don't know why you're so worried about that. Although I have seen some with that problem if you know what I mean. My nephew Toolie has a friend who can't control his salivation at all. I feel like I want to put saran wrap all over the furniture whenever they come for a visit.

      January 17, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      Free people do not need salvation, Austin

      Only slaves do. And you are a slave to the concept of sin, therefore in need of salvation

      In addition, you are delusional

      But, at least you know you are delusional, that is why you refuse to submit your proof to an independent third party for proof

      January 18, 2014 at 5:47 am |
  3. Austin....you guys how you know i was coming?

    11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

    January 17, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
    • Austin

      from Luke
      I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

      January 17, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
      • Austin

        John 3:6-8
        Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit

        January 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • sam stone

          Austin: Appeals to authority(like scripture) are only convincing to those who accept that authority as being genuine. For the rest of us, you might as well be quoting Star Wars, The Phantom Menace. But, by all means, keep posting. It constantly reminds us of the power of religion to delude people.

          Squashed any cats lately?

          January 18, 2014 at 5:52 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "The seed is the word of God."

      Been more than a few Priests that have used this line..

      January 17, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
      • sam stone

        Normally said as they spilled said seed down the throats of alterboys

        January 18, 2014 at 5:54 am |
    • Farmer John

      Austin,

      What a stupid, careless, incompetent Sower you have there!

      January 17, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
      • Farmer John

        Add those to your other silly analogies, like the "Good Shepherd" who keeps sheep to make money from their wool and their flesh; or the "Fishers of Men", who bait them, hook them, kill them and eat or sell them!

        January 17, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
  4. Austin

    Topher, is that me? Where are the truck keys?

    January 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Under the dead cat on the front step.

      January 17, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
    • Austin

      Everybody sing!

      ♫ Oh it's Friday night and I'm drinking my gin
      ♫ Gonna go install a church drive-in
      ♫ Had another squish-kitty demon dream vision
      ♫ Gonna go have another church collision!

      ♫ I am Austin, apostle of God
      ♫ Put holes in churches with my hot rod
      ♫ I am Austin, God's special one
      ♫ You better pray I don't own a gun

      ♫ They kicked me out of church, said I am nuts
      ♫ I'm not a lunatic, I'm just God's putz
      ♫ You ask yourself why God chose me
      ♫ Well God just prefers insanity

      ♫ I am Austin, prophet of this age
      ♫ Got a little problem with extreme road rage
      ♫ I am Austin, the instrument of God
      ♫ You better pray I don't pack a rod

      January 17, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
      • Austin

        thats really funny in my opinion. you know though, today I am really feeling a burden for people who will not listen to a simple testimony. That is really all that God has given me personally. The reason for the burden is His love for you brothers and sisters.

        Philippians 4:7 ►

        And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

        January 17, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • sam stone

          Austin: You are delusional. No one wants to hear your testimony any more than they want to listen to the guy on the street corner who yells "repent, the end is at hand!"

          January 18, 2014 at 5:58 am |
  5. "We Are Star Dust" - Symphony of Science

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g4d-rnhuSg

    January 17, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
    • "We Are Star Dust" - Symphony of Science

      Lyrics:

      [Neil deGrasse Tyson]
      We are part of this universe
      We are in this universe
      The universe is in us
      Yes, the universe is in us

      [Lawrence Krauss]
      Every atom in your body
      Came from a star that exploded
      You are all star dust
      From a star that exploded

      [Tyson]
      Look up at the night sky
      We are part of that
      The universe itself
      Exists within us

      We are star dust
      In the highest exalted way
      Called by the universe
      Reaching out to the universe

      We are star dust
      In the highest exalted way
      Reaching out to the universe
      With these methods and tools of science

      [Richard Feynman]
      Stand in the middle and enjoy everything both ways
      The tininess of us;
      The enormity of the universe

      [Tyson]
      The atoms that make up the human body
      Are traceable to the crucibles
      That cooked light elements
      Into heavy elements

      These stars went unstable in their later years
      And then exploded
      Scattering their enriched guts
      Across the galaxy

      [Refrain]

      [Tyson]
      We are part of this universe
      We are in this universe
      The universe is in us
      Yes, the universe is in us

      Science & Technology

      January 17, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
  6. Alias

    I wonder; if we could get some Scientologists on this blog to try to 'save us' and prove the validity of their religion if it would show the christians how stupid they sound to the rest of us?

    January 17, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
    • Alien Z.

      Will you settle for a UFO claimant? Or a conspiracy theorist?

      January 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
      • Alias

        that would be a good start.

        January 17, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
  7. meifumado

    @Atheism is a religion

    First off Stalin did these things in the name of his politics not atheism, and since when do atheists only believe religious people can be evil?

    Anyone can be evil no matter if they believe in imaginary beings or not.

    January 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • Atheism is a religion

      I don't know how many times I have to say this. I never said they did it in the "name of atheism". Get over it or get your eyes checked. I said they, being atheists, killed people which completely disproves what many atheists think is true(coming back to it takes a religious person to do evil). They don't like it when atheists murder in high numbers because it destroys their reality which they think is true.

      January 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • Brad

        then stop citing it as a problem with atheism, you stupid moron.

        January 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          Never said it did. I said atheism got mixed with power. Seriously learn to read stupid troll.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • Not Collecting Stamps Is Not A Hobby, Stupid.

          Your own post below says the opposite, stupid troll yourself. And ASS HOLE. Grow some balls and fess up, coward.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Alias

          You implied it.
          effectively the same thing.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
      • Not Collecting Stamps Is Not A Hobby, Stupid.

        Doh.

        January 17, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
      • the truth about Stalin

        @Atheism is a religion

        Joseph Stalin was raised to be a Catholic Priest. Yes, in his early career, he made a vast effort to rid Russia of religion, but that had nothing to do with atheism. It was the only way he knew to seize power of the country.

        For generations the entire populace of Russia had been taught that the head of state was supposed to be close to god. At the time in question, the head of the church in Russia was a tyrant. The Russians were already disposed to servility and all Stalin did was exploit these two facts, and place himself in the position of god. Once Stalin was firmly seated in office, he revived the Russian Orthodox Church in order to intensify patriotic support for the war effort. Stalin was part of a council convened to elected a new church Patriarch. Then the Russian theological schools were opened, and thousands of churches began to function. Even the Moscow Theological Academy Seminary was re-opened, after being closed since 1918.

        So, while Stalin was no peach, he was not exactly what you would call a died-in-the-wool atheist. He was more a secular minded religious opportunist, which is a personal character trait. He did not use atheism to gain control, but religious principles that were modified to fit his own, sick and twisted method of revolution.

        January 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          His past doesn't count. He himself admitted he was an atheist. Do you always deny facts that disprove atheists or is it just that you hate to be wrong? "He grew up in this". Doesn't count for um his ADULT LIFE.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • the truth about Stalin

          reading comprehension issue, troll?

          that was not just about his past, dufus.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • Righteo

          Actually, his past was important in his adult life. Stalin's real issue was not that he was an atheist or even a communist. He was a guy who wanted all the power and removed anyone who would even remotely challenge his absolute control. He resented anyone with even the smallest level of power and fame, and usually killed, imprisoned, or severely oppressed them.

          He was incredibly resentful of the priests and leaders in the Orthodox (not Catholic) seminary where he studied, and much of that resentment focused him on religion as a new enemy. And that the church had once had power, they would be a natural target for him. But the vast majority of his victims were political, and really, they were people he resented for the reasons I already gave.

          Heck, the first thing he did to General Zhukov, his most effective general in WWII, was strip him of his command and send him to a command a minor backwater region.

          That's actually the truth about Stalin: had he been religious, he would have killed every bit as many people and installed himself as the head of the church. Atheism was not his motive.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
      • Properly...

        It should say that Stalin murdered millions of his countrymen in his mad rush for complete subjugation; he was also an atheist who believed that any attention given to God would divert attention away from HIM.
        But of course, it sounds a lot more bombastic to say that "atheists killed millions", but then asserting that would be disingenuous and untrue. Oh, well.

        January 17, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
  8. Sue

    When an individual comes up with an outlandish, unprovable, claim he's simply disregarded as cook, but if his beliefs somehow become popular, all of a sudden you have a religion and we are somehow expected to "respect" those same beliefs.

    Incredible!

    January 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
    • Dimsdale

      Did you know that if a mental illness, such as the delusional belief in something that does not exist, is shared by a large portion of the population, it is not considered a mental illness worthy of treatment? Strange but true: sanity is somewhat relative.

      By the way, I too am widely disregarded as a cook.

      January 17, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • sam stone

        me too. i can't even boil water without burning it

        January 18, 2014 at 6:00 am |
  9. Cal

    @RUSS and whoever wants to chime in, the main point of my question of when the soul enters the body was aimed at what a soul actually is, what does it do? The soul is supposed to be the thing that is consciously observing our afterlife. If the soul enters the body at conception, what is it doing before we are conscience of ourselves? Why would I expect that the same soul that recquires a physical brain to be aware of itself be aware of itself after my brain is dead?

    January 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
    • Alias

      This question is exactly as useful as asking what would happen if a jedi hit superman with his light saber.

      January 17, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
      • Dimsdale

        If the light saber was using Kryptonite light, it would sting Superman something fierce. But Tonto would save him.

        January 17, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Alias

          But what if the jedi was a sith lord?

          January 17, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • Dimsdale

          Oh. Okay, in that case, we would have to see if Superman floats in water, and since ducks float in water, if Superman weighs the same as a duck, he's made of wood and therefore a witch.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Alias

          Now I understand.
          Since Tonto loves roast duck, he wouldn't be saving superman, just making dinner for himself.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • Dimsdale

          Well duh! You have to do something with the duck after you test to see if Superman is a witch. Everyone knows that.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • Alias

          Sorry, but I think we've gotten off topic.
          Where is the duck's soul, and what is the best way to cook it?

          January 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • Dimsdale

          Take it to a soul food restaurant.

          You also might try the Duck Dynasty theologians for other ideas. Though they only shoot the gay ducks, which obviously don't have souls.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
      • faith

        You all are silly. The soul is kind of like fairy dust – only with a soul and with feelings not just dust.

        January 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • Righteo

          You are right: the soul is like fairy dust. It doesn't exist either.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
    • meifumado

      Seek help for your delusions

      January 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
  10. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Body count in the bible:

    God – an estimated 2.5 MILLION
    Devil – 13

    Now who's the bad guy?

    I think that the devil is the good guy and all of the religious nuts that follow "god" are the ones that were duped by the evil one just like they claim that the devil can do. Hmmm.....

    January 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • Interesting

      God wants you to be an obedient lackey. Satan lets you be yourself.

      God intends to kill and torture everyone at the end. Satan has no such plan.

      God invented a lot of really sick and disgusting rules in the Old Testament. Satan has no rules.

      I often think that is there were deities, God and the Bible are actually the evil ones deceiving Christians, which the Bible itself predicts.

      January 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
      • Rynomite

        Not to mention, God wanted humans to be ignorant puppets. The devil gave them knowledge.

        January 17, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
    • Atheism is a religion

      Deaths caused by atheists:

      Over 100 million and that was decades ago. Looks like atheism is the most evilest system to ever come in contact with politics. In fact, the most cruelest atheist leader to ever exist was Stalin and he ordered his men to purge churches killing hundreds of thousands of children, women, and men. Atheists beat God by a long shot.

      January 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
      • ???

        Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol.

        Stalin was one brutal man who didn't freaking kill IN THE NAME OF ATHEISM. You fail as a troll.

        January 17, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          Cite where I said "in the name of atheism". Troll? LOL you put words I never said into my mouth and I'm trolling?! Thanks for the comedy, dude!

          January 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • ???

          Atheism caused those deaths?

          Fail.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          Fail.

          I said atheists.

          You seriously fail at trolling and you honestly might want to get your eyes checked.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • ??

          Again, atheists caused those deaths? There is no correlation between atheism and those people dying.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • the truth about Stalin

          Joseph Stalin was raised to be a Catholic Priest. Yes, in his early career, he made a vast effort to rid Russia of religion, but that had nothing to do with atheism. It was the only way he knew to seize power of the country.

          For generations the entire populace of Russia had been taught that the head of state was supposed to be close to god. At the time in question, the head of the church in Russia was a tyrant. The Russians were already disposed to servility and all Stalin did was exploit these two facts, and place himself in the position of god. Once Stalin was firmly seated in office, he revived the Russian Orthodox Church in order to intensify patriotic support for the war effort. Stalin was part of a council convened to elected a new church Patriarch. Then the Russian theological schools were opened, and thousands of churches began to function. Even the Moscow Theological Academy Seminary was re-opened, after being closed since 1918.

          So, while Stalin was no peach, he was not exactly what you would call a died-in-the-wool atheist. He was more a secular minded religious opportunist, which is a personal character trait. He did not use atheism to gain control, but religious principles that were modified to fit his own, sick and twisted method of revolution.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
      • Rynomite

        Neither Stalin nor any other regime killed people in the name of atheism. The same cannot be said of the millions of deaths can be laid directly at religions door.

        January 17, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          Did I say they did? Nope. Please cite where I said "in the name of atheism". They, being atheists, disprove the long-held fairy tale by atheists that it takes a religious person to do evil. Stop your childish excuse of "they never did it in the name of atheism" when I never said they did. Learn to read stupid troll.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • Jeff

          What you are asserting is bs and you know it. You make it sound as if there are roving bands of atheists who killed massive amounts of people, which is, of course, nonsense.
          Explain Islam, fool. Last I checked that's a religion, too.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Mephistopheles

          Good men do good things. Evil men do evil things. To get a good man to do evil, that takes religion.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
      • Righteo

        Do we get to count up all the deaths that occurred under Christian leadership, even when they had nothing to do with religion? Christians still win, by a lot.

        Taiping Rebellion: started by a Christian for religious reasons, 20,000,000 dead. Atheism has no conflict started for atheist reasons.

        January 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          Atheists caused the highest amount in the past century. Notice I said CENTURY. Atheists generally have a problem reading the last part when I state that.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • ???

          Atheism is the cause of those deaths?

          January 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • meifumado

          @Atheism is a religion

          Would you care to explain how this is?

          There has never been one war in the history of mankind that was fought in the name of atheism.

          Or in the last CENTURY!

          January 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          That's because atheism got mixed with power and the atheists went drunk with it. You know how many religious people died as a result of their rule? Millions. Stalin hated the religious so much he ordered them to be killed by purging churches. Atheism can't be blamed BUT the long held fairy tale that atheists believe(takes a religious person to cause or do evil) is wrong. Thus atheists have caused the highest amount of deaths in the past century.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • Righteo

          Many Christians just love to confuse atheism with communism and misattribute the atrocities of communism to atheism.

          The atrocities of atheism without communism? Anyone? Anyone?

          Hint: given a choice between living in a secular democracy and any religious regime throughout history, you would be an utter fool to choose a religious regime.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • Rynomite

          Yeah, the "fairy tale" you are referring to in which only religious people do evil was most likely created by a religious person bereft of logic. The atheists I know freely acknowledge that there are good and bad people that hold every type of belief or lack thereof.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          I've heard from countless internet atheists that only RELIGIOUS PEOPLE cause the most harm and evil. They don't like it when proof that their own kind(other atheists) caused the most damage in the past century. They usually just cuss me out.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • Dimsdale

          Perhaps if you looked across history instead of using just a convenient time frame, you would see that religion has indeed caused monumental bloodshed and oppression.

          Here is the fallacy you are stumbling over: atheism = communism. Wrong.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          Man has. Blaming religion ignores the people who caused it and they get off Scott-free for the blame. Atheists shift the blame onto religion to make every other non-violent person within that faith to feel guilty for belonging to what that person or group did long ago or nowadays.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • Dimsdale

          Ah, I see. When religious people kill and oppress and torture, it is not the religion but a human failing. But when the same is done by an atheist, the problem is atheism. Right. Gotcha. Sure.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Communist leaders like Pol Pot and Stalin would not have been charismatic enough to gain converts had they not learned the discourse of dogmatic persuasion from religious inst/itutions.
        Pol Pot spent 8 years at a Catholic school in Phnom Penh and Stalin 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary.
        their speaking and writing styles ape those of the Church in being declamatory and repet.itive, with liturgical overtones.
        Hitler’s Third Reich, on the other hand, was no friend to atheists and encouraged religion in Germany. Having been exposed to religious methods of persuasion in school at a Benedictine cloister, Hitler recognized religion’s power to keep the people compliant.
        Instead of purging faith like the Communist regimes, he purged atheism:
        "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
        The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942
        these leaders wielded their people’s predilection for faith like a weapon. Atheism is not the prime cause for these tragic regimes – the misdirection of faith is.
        Like religion, they demanded blind obedience and obsequious submission from their followers. They tolerated no free-thinkers and enforced dogmatism . Tools of statecraft they learned during their religious educations.

        January 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
      • Not Collecting Stamps Is Not A Hobby, Stupid.

        You contradicted your statement about atheism causing this, above. Grow some balls and retract your claim, or just cease and desist, Topher.

        January 17, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          Lolz! The first thing I said was "deaths caused by atheists". If I said "deaths caused by atheism" then I would have. You try and put words into my mouth but stupid troll is a stupid troll.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Austin

          Topher, is that me? Where are our truck keys?

          January 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
    • meifumado

      “Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years!”

      January 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
    • Silly argument

      If there is something big enough to make everything, then who cares how many are taken out. It wouldn't be relevant. If there is nothing there then the discussion is also irrelevant.

      January 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
  11. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    It's 1530 and I'm popping smoke for the day. I leave you all with these words of wisdom.

    "Jesse James said before he died... There's five things he wanted to ride... A bicycle, tricycle, automobile... A bow-legged woman on a Ferris wheel!"

    HOOAH... enjoy you weekend!

    January 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Rock on with your bad self LET!

      January 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
    • Carny Carl From Carlsbad

      There's really nothing like a bow-legged woman on a ferris wheel.

      January 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
    • Science Works

      You too LET BOOHA .

      January 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
  12. NOT & NO, scripture twisters!

    &&&&&&&&&#######$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 🙂

    January 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
    • NOT & NO, scripture twisters!

      MMMMMMMEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😈

      January 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
    • ???

      ???

      January 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
  13. I say....

    those zombies should be kept at a block away.

    January 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
    • Barry Christ

      They are wannabe zombies. They don't achieve zombie status until loving Jesus slaughters the universe.

      Religion: the less you think about it, the more sense it makes.

      January 17, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
      • Topher

        ... unless you have no idea what you are talking about and just make stuff up as you go along.

        January 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Johnny

          yeah, that is how religions got started.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • Topher

          Agree.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "If irony was strawberries... we would all be drinking your smoothies right now..."

          January 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I believe he is referring to "The Rapture" when all the "dead is Christ" are supposed to rise from the grave, thereby becoming zombies.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Topher

          One, we won't be zombies. Second, those dead don't walk the earth looking to eat people. The Rapture means we go to be with Christ.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • ???

          How do you reconcile that the Rapture is some cruel lottery?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Topher

          I don't understand your question.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          Zombies, undead, animated corpses – just a matter or semantics.

          And when the Rapture comes and every single honest, charitable, humble, pious, loving, non-judgemental Christian ascends bodily to Heaven, I'm sure we'll miss both of them.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc

          That's not the Rapture, dude.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • sam stone

          making stuff up?

          like you changing definitions of words to suit your agenda, gopher?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher

          I was under the impression that the general "Rapture" story is that if you are still alive when Jesus returns, you will ascend bodily just as you are and meet the Lord in the air (assuming you're "saved").

          January 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And all the atheists, pagans, heretics and other assorted heathens will be left to rot in disease and pain as the world falls into lawlessness, fire and ash, eventually having to contend with the appearance of the 7 headed, 10 horned, bear pawed, amphibious Beast of Revelation, along with his cronies like the armour clad locusts with the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the mouth of a lion and the stinging tail of a scorpion.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "I was under the impression that the general "Rapture" story is that if you are still alive when Jesus returns, you will ascend bodily just as you are and meet the Lord in the air (assuming you're "saved")."

          Right. Not walking the earth like rejects from The Walking Dead.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • Johnny

          Doc, I wonder if the seven heads on the dragon were meant to signify Rome? Personally I say no way obviously it means a real seven headed dragon.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Now that is just for those who are still alive.
          "And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air."
          So does that mean that billions and billions of rotted corpses, including those that have decayed to dust, will suddenly be re-formed and then get taken up into the sky? or that the living people will lose their bodies and get a new, more magical one capable ot ascension?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • Madtown

          you will ascend bodily just as you are...
          ---
          Another reason to follow the sage advice of our mothers, and always make certain we have on clean underwear.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • RB

          1 Corinthians 15:51-53

          King James Version (KJV)

          51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

          52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

          53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Johnny
          Of course, every word is meant to be taken precisely and literally.
          Why would John of Patmos have a grudge against the churches against whom he spoke out and by whom he was subsequently exiled?
          No. Literal 7 headed, amphibious bear beasts and 7 headed, dragons that spew torrents of water with and snack on pregnant women is much more plausible.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "So does that mean that billions and billions of rotted corpses, including those that have decayed to dust, will suddenly be re-formed and then get taken up into the sky?"

          Pretty much, yes. But they won't be walking about like zombies.

          "or that the living people will lose their bodies and get a new, more magical one capable ot ascension?"

          Everyone who is saved will eventually get a "glorified" body. Basically, after the Tribulation and Christ has bodily returned (not talking the Rapture) we will get an improved version of our bodies that will never have disease, will never die ... the Bible even promises that there will be no more tears. How wonderful that day will be!

          January 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • ???

          So where does the 144,000 come from? Or is that not the Rapture? This is a genuine question.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • Rynomite

          I look forward to shooting "7 headed, amphibious bear beasts and 7 headed, dragons that spew torrents of water" with my .50 cal. Sound like they will be a whole lotta fun for hunters! Bring em on, Yahweh, you great ninny!

          January 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • Righteo

          The the 7 headed, 10 horned, bear pawed, amphibious Beast of Revelation is an endangered species, and it will cost you $350,000 to kill it to help save the species.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • Topher

          If I remember correctly, the 144,000 are Jewish converts AFTER the Rapture during the Tribulation period.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Madtown

          Everyone who is saved will eventually get a "glorified" body.
          ---–
          Will your receding hairline be rectified? 😉

          January 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Rynomite

          "7 headed, 10 horned, bear pawed, amphibious Beast of Revelation is an endangered species"

          I was under the impression only the black version of it was endangered! The white ones are fair game! Yeehaw!

          January 17, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • Sue

          Topher
          What percentage of people, do you think, will happen to be raptured while taking a dump on the toilet?

          January 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • Topher

          What filthy thing will YOU be doing when He returns?

          January 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • We atheists

          The "filthy" thing we will be doing in your imaginary scenario is going about our lives being decent people, just as always. Which God hates and is going to punish us for. Makes sense if you don't think about it.

          January 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • sam stone

          "The Rapture means we go to be with Christ."

          Why wait, gopher?

          Show some initiative

          January 18, 2014 at 6:02 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Zombies? These "zombies" are only there because the real culprits in the abortion horrors are those who failed to practice safe se-x. Once again, the Brutal Effects of Stupidity !!!!

      January 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
      • Sue

        You can practice safe se x and still get pregnant. Contraceptives aren't 100% fail safe.

        What you want to do is make unwanted pregnancy and, consequently, unwanted births a dire consequence for se xual activity that you disapprove of, correct? It reminds me of all the appreciation for AIDS we hear in the evangelical community, and the dreading of the time when we might be able to say that we've finally beaten it.

        January 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

          – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
          – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

          Followed by: (Guttmacher statistics)

          One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
          Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
          The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
          Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
          IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
          Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
          Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
          Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

          January 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Disapprove of se-xual activity?? Give me a break. Again re-read the The Brutal Effects of Stupidity on page one.

          An excerpt: "from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-"

          January 17, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
  14. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Friday 1500... prior to a 3-day weekend... it has gotten 'werry werry qwui-eet' around here...

    January 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • Topher

      Only a one-day weekend for me

      January 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
    • Johnny

      Wish I got a 3 day weekend.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        I am a Gov't contractor... so my firm conforms with our clients' holiday schedule

        January 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
      • sam stone

        4 day weekend for me

        January 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
  15. Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

    Foxy: This is cause for celebration! Let's sacrifice Rabbity and eat his flesh!
    Rabbity: Yay! Sacrifice me to the Devil!

    Squirrely the Squirrel: Blood orgy! Blood orgy!

    Singing critters: What special time! What special day! It's Woodland Critter Christmas!
    Squirrely the Squirrel: Hail Satan!

    January 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      satan, another christian figure of myth...
      he does seem less cruel and vicious than god though...

      satan killed exactly 10 people, according to the bible (and even then only with god's permission so he could win a bet)
      god killed millions in his flood alone
      so who's the bad guy again...?

      January 17, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

        Stan: I am sorry that I killed your mom but the squirrel told me that she was evil.
        Mountain Lion Cub: You got tricked by a squirrel? Gee, you are not too smart, are you mister?

        January 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
  16. Cal

    How many of you have any memories from when you were 2 years old? 1 year old? 1 month? the excrutiating pain of having having a portion of your weenie cut off? Fond memories of floating in amneotic fluid?

    When does the alleged soul enter the body again?

    January 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I remember when I was a young sperm and Jesus gave us our pre-deployment briefing...

      January 17, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        The briefing went something like this: "Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door!... jump right out on the count of four! If my main don't open wide... I got a reserve by my side... If that one should fail me too... Look out ground, I'm a-coming through!.. If I die on the old drop zone... Box me up and ship me home!"

        January 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • Which God?

          LET, thanks for your service, Trooper. Welcome Home.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Thanks...

          January 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Cal: so having no memories of an event means you have no rights? i think there are many date ra.p.e victims who would certainly take issue with your line of thinking here – not to mention elderly, epileptic, ADD, or even just people who were asleep or under anesthesia...

      January 17, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        ...anencephalic?

        January 17, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
      • ???

        Way to ignore the point, Russ. His question was when the soul enters the body. No answer? Then stop throwing out red herrings.

        January 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Topher

          ???

          Conception.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Do stem cells have souls? Suppose I could use one to create a clone of a human being – and did. When would this person have gotten it's soul?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Russ

          @ TTTOO:
          embryonic stem cells? yes. that's why pro-life advocates are against that particular form of research.

          where do they get their souls? the same place any of us do: from God.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • Michael Palin

          ♫ Your a Catholic the moment dad came
          Because . . .
          Every sperm is sacred ♫

          January 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • ???

          You changed your name to Russ? And so you have any evidence outside of the Bible to verify the existence of the soul?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Topher

          I almost said "funny song" but really not only is it not scriptural, it's quite blasphemous.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I wasn't thinking about embryonic stem cells specifically, but since you brought them up: I could "borrow" a stem cell from a blastocyst without causing harm to it. The blastocyst could go on to become a person. (In theory) I could use the stem cell to create clone of that person. When would the clone get its soul? Would it be a different soul from that of the person it's a clone of?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • Good News

          Topher
          Conception. So god must commit murder of babies every time a women has a miscarriage, His will be done, right? My sister in law wanted a child very badly had an early term miscarriage the first time she was pregnant. The second time it was discovered that the internal organs were badly deformed and the fetus would be still born if carried to term. Eventually they adopted but she was religious before her troubles but has become a firm atheist since. Your god can be a petty vindictive pr!ck as Sam would say.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Michael Palin responds to the humor-impaired

          Oh dear, it's not scriptural. That's just a heck of a point.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • Topher

          Good News

          "So god must commit murder of babies every time a women has a miscarriage, His will be done, right?"

          No. God doesn't commit murder. He can't. As Creator, He gets to say when every person dies — including you and me.

          "My sister in law wanted a child very badly had an early term miscarriage the first time she was pregnant. The second time it was discovered that the internal organs were badly deformed and the fetus would be still born if carried to term."

          That's very sad. I'm sorry that happened to her.

          "Eventually they adopted but she was religious before her troubles but has become a firm atheist since."

          Being "religious" won't help you anyway. So she's in the same situation now that she was before.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Johnny

          Good News Topher, the song is funny and blasphemy doesn't actually exist.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Good News

          Topher
          Double standard much!! God is destroying the "baby" just as much as an abortion procedure does. Can you understand why people find your thinking illogical?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • Johnny

          Topher might makes right is not the basis of a good morality and it appears that is what you believe.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • RB

          God doesn’t murder. God is the source of life. He can give and he can take.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Topher

          Good News

          "Double standard much!! God is destroying the "baby" just as much as an abortion procedure does. Can you understand why people find your thinking illogical?"

          No. Man doesn't have the right to kill a baby. It's murder. God decides when we all die ... whether its days after conception or after a century on the earth. Your heart doesn't beat a single time, your lungs don't draw breath without His say-so.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • Science Works

          Sounds like a shake and bake deal- then send to you now where RB ?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • Russ

          @ ???
          no, this is the only handle i've ever used on this blog.

          and as i said below, you are making naturalistic assumptions about a theistic assertion. God's Word is the source for understanding what the soul is & who gives it. to ask for another source is to fail to understand what it is.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • Russ

          @ TTTOO: i'm operating outside my particular expertise on the exact science of cell development here, but as i understand it – so-called "adult" stem cell development is markedly different than "embryonic" b/c the latter actually has *new* human DNA (a distinctly different strand). the former does not.

          so, if that is accurate, it would be once *new* DNA is formed that a new life is underway. to speculate based on what Scripture does tell us, that would be the point at which a new soul is given. notably, that would be the moment of "test tube conception" of a new & distinct life.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Madtown

          God's Word is the source for understanding
          -----
          The bible is much more accurately described as something like this: "The Bible – Man's word, containing a subset of the notions man has generated about what God may possibly be like".

          January 17, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • Topher

          How is that more accurate?

          January 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • Madtown

          More accurate because that's how it came to be. Calling it "God's word" lazily glosses over the fact that human hands are all over every single word in the bible.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "More accurate because that's how it came to be. Calling it "God's word" lazily glosses over the fact that human hands are all over every single word in the bible."

          I don't think it's glossed over at all. We say the original works were perfect because God wrote them through man. For instance, when you write a letter, who gets credit, you or the pen? Of course you do. That's how God used men, allowing them to keep their own personalities and writing styles, but recording exactly what He wanted them to. But it's not man's notions on God. It's God's letters to us so that we can know Him. But we certainly see man's fallability on them now. We have spelling errors, copy errors, translation errors. The problem for the unbeliever is that we know these things exist, we know what they should be and not one of them corrupts the gospel.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • Madtown

          God wrote them through man.
          ---
          This is one of the singular things that the entire religion hinges upon. You know this how? Don't bother answering, we all know what you'll say. And, stop doubting the power of God. God didn't need man to create this world we live in, no reason to think he'd need man to help write down a few words.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Madtown: directly to the contrary, the Bible readily acknowledges its human authors while simultaneously claiming that they were divine agents:

          "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe." (1 Thess.2:13)

          "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (1 Pet.1:20-21)

          January 17, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Madtown:
          nowhere does the Bible claim God *needed* humans to write. He *chose* this form of self-revelation – which speaks volumes about how God chooses to operate (including us rather than excluding us, coming to us in recognizable forms, entering our existence, etc.), all of his own prerogative.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "This is one of the singular things that the entire religion hinges upon."

          If you want to call it a religion. Yes, it is.

          "You know this how? Don't bother answering, we all know what you'll say."

          Then why ask? 😉

          "And, stop doubting the power of God."

          Ha! I'm not the one with doubts.

          "God didn't need man to create this world we live in, no reason to think he'd need man to help write down a few words."

          He surely didn't NEED us to, but that's how He decided to do it. Just guessing on my part, but I bet it had — at least partiallly — to do with the fact we had books written by eyewitnesses during the life of other eyewitnesses. And then the testimony of the early church who would confirm these things. It's also pretty cool to have a docu.ment of history the way we have in the Bible ... no book in history has been vetted more than it has. And then you've got the prophecies — not just one or two, but hundreds — that we fulfilled in Christ and others yet to come. We know just what happened, how, why and what will come in the future. It's really quite amazing.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • Madtown

          while simultaneously claiming that they were divine agents
          ---–
          You bet Russ, I understand. It's just that citing scripture doesn't make for compelling proof that the authors of the scripture were divinely inspired.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Madtown

          He surely didn't NEED us to, but that's how He decided to do it.
          -----
          You and Russ both mention this. But there's the catch, how do you "know" this for certain? You don't, not without citing scripture, which becomes circular.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Madtown: understandable skepticism. what about the resurrection itself?
          if it didn't happen, Christians are idiots.
          if it did, wouldn't divine agency be a small miracle in comparison?

          January 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • Madtown

          Then why ask?
          ---
          Entertainment value? 🙂

          January 17, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • Bob

          Russ, the whole resurrection story is a load of nonsense out of the gate, and as a pillar of the Christian tales, it brings the whole crazy religion into question. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          January 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "You and Russ both mention this. But there's the catch, how do you "know" this for certain? You don't, not without citing scripture, which becomes circular."

          Call it circular if you want, but I think they'd be aware of it. If you tell me that you .... have a law degree and you clearly know the law, why shouldn't I believe you? Perhaps I wouldn't if I had a reason to not trust you, knew you to be a liar or something, then maybe ... but we don't have that with these authors. I find it pretty interesting that around 40 authors wrote the Bible, taking about 1500 years to do it ... one book builds to another and not ONE of them messed up theology, not one wrote something conflicting that should give us pause. The inspiration is pretty obvious.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Madtown: you seem to lack self-awareness. every metaphysical set of convictions is ultimately circular... including naturalism. you can't object to something you yourself are doing with integrity. it's the pot calling the kettle black.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Bob: every time you spout the same set of rhetorical questions. i've answered them repeatedly, but you continue to ask it as if unaware that i've answered it before. even if you disagree with my answers, i'd expect the conversation to actually advance. that's happened with several other atheists on this blog. while i continue to disagree with them, the conversation actually progresses and there is mutual respect. why can't that be the case here?

          similarly, you continue to mindlessly post Marshall Brain's link. i've challenged you on this before. i find it highly ironic that you mock Christians as thoughtless while parroting your own prophet.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Madtown

          @ Madtown: you seem to lack self-awareness.
          ---
          LOL. By appealing to the logical, instead of embracing the illogical? As usual, you don't lack arrogance. You gentlemen have a good weekend, I need to get back into life here.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Russ, you should have figured it out by now; there's no sense trying to have an intelligent dialogue with any of Marshal Brain's/WWGHA zombie trolls. Now THAT'S religion.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Madtown: for when you come back...
          precisely the opposite: it is illogical to criticize others for doing the same thing you are doing.

          for example, naturalism begins with a metaphysical presupposition – by definition, something it assumes BEFORE considering the evidence. however, that presupposition (basically: that there is nothing other than the physical) often takes form as a litmus test along these lines: "only what is empirically verifiable is true." the problem is: that presupposition ITSELF is not empirically verifiable. it's self-refuting... incredibly illogical.

          again, your critique exposes a lack of self-awareness. arrogance on my part? certainly. something i need to repent of. but illogical? no. at least not on the basis of the critique you are advancing, one that notably undermines your own position.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • Topher

          Good points, Russ.

          January 17, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Madtown

          basically: that there is nothing other than the physical
          ----
          I'm back! Only for a bit. I think you're intentionally trying to overcomplicate this little interaction, maybe as a distraction? I never said anything close to "there's nothing other than the physical". My mention of the logical vs. illogical, refers to your saying that the bible acknowledges human authorship, but also CLAIMS the humans were "diving agents". That's right, CLAIMS. You said it. To back up this human claim, you offer the same scripture written by the humans, textbook circular logic. Again, it's not at all compelling to offer scripture as "proof" that the same human-crafted scripture is divinely inspired. It's an illogical as.sertion.

          January 17, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
        • Madtown

          "Diving agents" should be "divine agents". Yes, I am a scuba diver.

          January 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • Bob

          No, Russ, you have never actually "answered" my questions, other than with your typical cowardly dodging. So, coward, again, until you stop wimping out and find some guts to truly answer directly:

          How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          January 17, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Madtown:
          EVERYONE begins with a circular point of departure. EVERYONE. Descartes, Kant, Kierkegaard, Hegel, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, etc. It's been the project of all of modern philosophy to dodge this – but to no avail.

          no, you did not come right out & say you were a naturalist. I gave that as an *example.* but to be fair, there aren't many other positions you could hold & have your views while being consistent. so, if you are not a naturalist, on what basis do you claim God could not reveal himself through human agents? obviously, to claim that's illogical, you must have some basis by which you are precluding that possibility.

          and back to my main point (that everyone begins with circular logic as a point of departure): to make such a metaphysical claim *requires* either direct metaphysical knowledge (again, something you are denying) or omniscience ("God can't be that way").

          so, yes, you (at least) equally have a circular point of logic – which is why i have said your critique is the pot calling the kettle black.

          January 17, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          It is surprising that the God has not chosen a reliable means to reveal itself – via human beings or otherwise – if it is important to it that we know it.

          January 17, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Bob: quite on the contrary, i have answered you directly on several occasions – as well as contesting Marshall Brain's shallow critiques. the dialogue is worthwhile when it's not so repet.itive. if i knew how to search all the old blog pages to find my old responses, I'd just copy & paste to show you.

          as a refresher:
          1) you begin by assuming God *had* to do it this way – as though there's something above him. that's a self-contradictory view of a Supreme Being.

          2) since he didn't *have* to do it this way, the better question is *why* this way? what does it uniquely show? Christians have repeatedly pointed out that only through the cross could God demonstrate two things clearly & simultaneously:
          a) we're worse off than we wanted to admit (we deserve that kind of death – that's justice)
          b) we're more loved than we ever dared hope (he took what we deserved – that's mercy)
          SUM: God upholds BOTH justice & mercy. virtually any other picture requires compromising one or both. considering God defines both, that is incredibly essential for our own understanding of existence, ourselves & (most importantly) Him.

          3) it was within the last two weeks that i rather lengthily addressed your "replacement son" issue. i'd point you back to that. the short version: you aren't even addressing anything close to the biblical God's self-articulation. The Trinity does not allow for "replacement sons." Jesus is not a creation; he's the eternal second person of the Trinity (3 persons, 1 God). the sacrifice is qualitatively & categorically bigger than we can fathom because something of infinitely more worth (God's own fellowship within) is being fractured so we can be brought into fellowship with him.

          again, as i've often said to you on this, you don't have to agree with Christian doctrine to accurately depict it, and it certainly would make your argument stronger if Christians found your depiction of our faith recognizable.

          4) along those same lines, most of Marshall Brain's critiques are founded on exceedingly shallow readings of the Scriptures – if not purposeful misreadings. for example, "it says 'anything i pray in his name' should come true. i prayed for a $1M. i said the magic words. it didn't happen. the Bible is a lie..." etc.

          not only does that fail to account for what Jesus said clearly elsewhere (Mt.6 for example), but it also fails to read Jesus' words in light of the whole of his ministry. such a view basically views God as Santa Claus or a magic vending machine – a view which inherently misses *the whole* of the rest of his teaching. this is reading comprehension 101, and Marshall Brain fails it. considering his elsewhere demonstrated intellectual capacities, i cannot merely chalk that up to inability to comprehend. it's purposefully shallow reading – creating a straw man on purpose – but never actually engaging the reality of what Christianity is, claims about existence, God, etc.

          it would be laughable if you weren't so adamantly parroting it without realizing how poorly executed his project is. if you really want to criticize Christianity, instead of garnering your critiques from a youtube video someone *without any expertise in the field* has made, read some scholars. there are plenty of agnostic & atheist scholars in the field of biblical studies you could read. now, i certainly disagree with them, but at least we'd be having an intelligent, informed conversation on the matters at hand.

          here's an example of actual biblical scholars on opposite ends of the debate...
          Bart Ehrman, "Did Jesus Exist?" (a self-proclaimed "agnostic with atheistic tendencies")
          Richard Bauckham, "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses" (the opposite end of the spectrum from Ehrman)

          January 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
        • Russ

          @ TTTOO: consider the Bible is the most read book in the world, i'd say it was rather effective means of self-revelation. when thinking about the purposeful nature of the Incarnation, it's not surprising that God wanted to include humanity in his project of self-revelation, especially considering the nature of grace (taking broken creatures like us & redeeming us).

          as 1 Cor.1 says: "God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise." Why would God use an idiot like me? precisely so everyone would know (me included) that i could not take credit for it.

          it's what makes Christianity radically distinctive. in virtually every other religion or system of ethics, only the 'good' people get in (however that might be defined). virtually solely in Christianity, only the 'bad' people get in. as Jesus said: "he came for the sick, not the righteous." ... "the tax collectors & prost.itutes are getting in ahead of you [religious/good people]." that's why he said "you can't pour me in your old wineskins." i don't fit your religious grid. i'm doing something radically different: grace.

          January 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          The Bible can't be verified in its most important claims – the Resurrection, for example. I'd like to know that the more compelling parts are actually true, but I can't know that they are. I would call it unreliable.

          January 17, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
        • Russ

          @ TTTOO: on the contrary, the life, death & resurrection of Jesus is an historical event (in space & time) – with eyewitness accounts. Christianity arose immediately following this event – from a group of people who were probably the *least* likely to believe such a thing. the earliest writers all point to eyewitnesses (if not outright claiming to be such themselves). Christianity explodes within the most sophisticated, largest civilization the world had known at that time – the same civilization that *invented* cynicism. within 250 years, Christianity has overtaken that civilization WITHOUT military coercion or political maneuvering.

          SUM: there is a lot of evidence to consider here.

          from what little i know of you on this blog, you tend to be better read & more balanced than most. if you are serious about entertaining the scholarship surrounding the resurrection, check out these 2 books:

          NT Wright, "The Resurrection of the Son of God" (lengthy, rather exhaustive on the resurrection in particular)
          Richard Bauckham, "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" (good summary of the biblical scholarship regarding eyewitnesses, including some *new* scholarship only recently possible due to technological advances)

          January 17, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Eyewitnesses to the Resurrection, if there were any, are two thousand years dead. So are the people who might have heard what they had to say. So are all the writers of the material the Gospels are based on. So are the writers of the Gospels. I don't see that the Resurrection can be verified.

          January 17, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
        • Russ

          @ TTTOO: are you saying you don't believe MOST of ancient history (for which *all* of your above stipulations are true)?

          note: it's not simply that the Bible is the most read book in history, but also that it is the most scrutinized. compared to virtually any other ancient doc.ument (especially from this time frame), we have *orders of magnitude* more resources available, including extant manuscripts (fragments & even whole) from very close to the actual originals.
          http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/21/an-interview-with-daniel-b-wallace-on-the-new-testament-manuscripts/ [a great quick sum of the scholarship, including the comparative texts, especially in the tables]

          then consider some of the facts:
          1) Christianity got off the ground. It's unique set of claims (God in history) presses the question of how.

          unlike ANY other major religion, it's founder claimed to be God – not someone pointing to an ethical system to get to God or better oneself, but to BE God. no other founder making such megalomaniacal claims found such success – especially not *after* dying. how did that happen?

          2) the authors of Scripture wrote within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses.

          for example, no one contests that Paul is writing 1 Cor.15 within 20 years (if not 15) of Jesus' death. here he names the name of eyewitnesses, as well as claiming 500 people saw the resurrected Christ at once. don't gloss over that. he's writing a new church plant HE founded & appealing to these factual claims. why? he's giving a bibliography for fact-checking. in the pax Romana, especially in such a tight knit community as Hellenized Jews, certainly it was expected that pilgrimages to Jerusalem would be made – as well as asking around. if you were going to give your life to this movement (something that would soon get you ousted from your traditional Jewish family), you'd want to make sure the sources were actually there...

          3) there's not enough time for the theology or accounts to change.

          b/c it's in the lifetime of the eyewitnesses, there's no time for the 'telephone' game critique to play out. the actual teachings of Jesus (as well as life events) are being shown from multiple sources. clearly Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah – even to be God in the flesh. what other figure found his disciples promoting that truth after the figure was vanquished and seemingly *disproven*? what explanation could there be for that?

          4) all the eyewitnesses die for claiming what they saw.

          if you're making something up, why die for the hoax? we're not talking about later fanatics who drank the koolaid & bought the lie. we're talking about the people who allegedly made up the lie. why would they die for a lie they concocted? doesn't it make more sense that they were willing to die given that they'd actually seen their Master overcome death itself?

          January 17, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
        • sam stone

          topher/gopher

          your god is vindictive, petty pr1ck

          deny it all you want, slaveboy

          January 18, 2014 at 9:34 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I wouldn't claim that other sources of similar age to the Bible are any more or less likely to be true than the Bible in the ordinary things that they claim that can't be verified. There are unique and extraordinary claims made in the Bible. You pointed one out: there was a man who was God. The Resurrection is another. The problem with claims of unique and unparalleled events is that we can't know how likely they are to be true. Finding them embedded in claims of more ordinary kinds doesn't suggest that they are any more or less likely to be true.

          Regarding this sort of thing: "if you were going to give your life to this movement (something that would soon get you ousted from your traditional Jewish family), you'd want to make sure the sources were actually there..." You are only speculating, Russ.

          January 18, 2014 at 9:53 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Russ, why did your god make math and chemistry so hard to fvck up, but his presence, will, and rules so easy to fvck up? With math and chemistry-–they don't work if unless you get it right; with proper opinions on god's existence and his will.......well, who knows? You can't get any confirmation until you die. What an unfair test with such unfair results for getting the ONE question wrong. Again, god is proved to be an azzhole, just like when we consider his behavior to those that don't pass his unfair test.

          The thing you have to deal with, Russ, if you are correct, is that your god is a terrorist azzhole;

          January 18, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • Russ

          @ TTTOO:
          1) you said: "I wouldn't claim that other sources of similar age to the Bible are any more or less likely to be true than the Bible in the ordinary things that they claim that can't be verified."

          in the *ordinary* things? did you mean to say "extraordinary"? if not, you are discounting the entire field of historical studies. it presses the question: on what basis WOULD you allow ANY historical claim to be incontrovertibly true?

          2) yes, there are extraordinary claims made in the Bible, and yet – unlike mythological texts (where that is normative) – the Gospel accounts are of a genre that is decidedly historical. it does not fit any genre of fiction prior to or for another 1700 years. just from the historical study of literature, that raises some very difficult *historical* questions for those who want to label this fiction. clearly, this cannot be labeled myth. so what are we to make of it? either:

          a) it's simply lies (which presses some of my so-called "speculative" questions to the forefront)
          if it's simply lies, why did it catch on? why did the supposed fabricators of the lie press it *at their own expense* (which goes against everything we know about con jobs)? and why would they name so many other eyewitnesses, all writing & speaking & sharing this extraordinary news WITHIN the lifetime of eyewitnesses? and how could the supposed *lie* of Christianity spread WITHIN the lifetime of eyewitnesses to Jesus (unlike other major religions) without the aid of military force or political persuasion? the list of conditions required here begin to press Ockham's razor.

          b) it's the actual account of an extraordinary event.
          this is a major problem for Hume's (basically) "miracles are impossible b/c they are highly improbable."

          i) first of all, Hume's assertion itself is entirely speculative (falling prey to your earlier critique of my position).

          ii)secondly, science has pushed hard against this notion in the last 30 years with chaos theory & quantum physics. to dismiss the miraculous on Hume's basis would require equally dismissing those scientific advances.

          iii) third, Christianity's inception is extraordinary from an historical standpoint:

          "Why among all the cults and philosophies competing in the Greco-Roman World did Christianity succeed and outstrip all others? Why did it succeed despite getting more severe opposition than any other, why did it succeed though it had no influential backers in high places but consisted mainly of the poor and slaves? How did it succeed so completely that it forced the most powerful state in history to come to terms with it and then outlive the very empire that sought to uproot it? It is clear that at the very beginning of Christianity, there must have occurred a vast release of energy perhaps unequaled in our history. Without it, the future course of the Christian religion is inexplicable."
          – Yale scholar Kenneth Scott Latourette

          SUM: under what conditions *would* you allow an extraordinary claim in history?

          you said: "The problem with claims of unique and unparalleled events is that we can't know how likely they are to be true."

          a) that requires discounting all of the normal methods of establishing the likelihood of *ordinary* historical events (i.e., ignoring the entire field of historical studies).

          b) it sounds like you presuppose (a la Hume) the non-possibility of the miraculous (at least functionally) – thereby filtering out any data to the contrary as it comes to you. that is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          January 18, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Cpt Obvious:
          1) have you taken chemistry & math? because they are both pretty easy to mess up. not only in the classroom, but historical examples abound.

          2) more problematic for you: in a supposedly "purposeless & random" universe, *why* would any such semblance of order exist?

          3) it appears you think Christianity is (like many other religions) a test of behavior. it is the central claim of Christianity to be explicitly the opposite.

          every other religion/system of ethics: be 'good', get in.
          (however one might define "good" or "getting in" – ethics/tolerance/etc. or heaven/nirvana/social acceptance/etc.)
          Christianity: the 'bad' get in first.

          Jesus came to do what we could not for ourselves. that's why we use the term "Savior." I'm not better than you. it's precisely because i needed someone to die for me that i KNOW i can't be better than anyone else on the planet. which leads to the primary issue: do you know that you need a Savior? or are you attempting to be your own (through whatever definition you might apply to 'salvation/deliverance/rescue/success/etc.')?

          bottom line: Christianity is about realizing "I am the azzhole" (to use your term). and God could have justly left me in my filth. instead, he did this. that's why I'm a Christian.

          January 18, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I did mean ordinary – the Bible makes both ordinary and extraordinary claims. Some ordinary claims can be verified. These can be accepted regardless of whether the Bible is the source. Some cannot be verified. They aren't particularly suspect simply because they are made in the Bible.

          Extraordinary claims that can't be verified are embedded among the ordinary claims. The problem is with these claims- they can't be verified and, if there aren't even parallels between the claimed events and any verifiable events, we can't assign a likelihood that they have occurred. Moreover, there is nothing to indicate that they are even possible (and there's nothing to indicate that impossible things have ever happened).

          That a lot of people believed the events occurred, and believed within a few years of the time of the events, doesn't verify the events.

          Regarding the supposed eyewitnesses and their raconteurs, you might consider Saul/Paul in the context of Lima syndrome.

          January 18, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • Cal

        Didn't mention rights, inquiring about the soul.

        January 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
      • Russ

        @ ???
        no, that's not what he did. that's an oversimplification.

        1) he first appealed to this sort of logic: "i don't have memories, so there must not have been a soul" – implying (in the current debate) 'no soul, no rights, ok to destroy.' the argument BEGAN with a flawed premise (no memories, no soul yet). i pointed out the flawed premise – therefore the follow up question is moot (as based on this line of thinking).

        2) to directly address the question nonetheless: the biblical answer is at conception (Ps.51:5; 139:13-16; Lk.1:39-44; etc.), though a life has inherent worth because of God's design *prior* to one's existence (Jer.1:4-5; Eph.1:4-11; etc.).

        January 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • Cal

          What I did was ask 7 questions.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Cal: are you actually claiming you had *no logic* in your questions?

          you can't have it both ways. either you were rhetorically making a point or you were incredibly naive. i was giving you the benefit of the doubt. which is it?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • ???

          How much soul does each spermatozoa and each egg contain?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • ???

          I mean, does each egg contain half a soul? Does each spermatozoa contain half a soul? What's the percentage?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • Johnny

          I would imagine that the people who wrote the bible would have said the soul is in the sperm and not the egg, from reading the bible they don't seem to like women all that much. What with selling their daughters into slavery and making r.ape victims marry their r.apist.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • Science Works

          Or is the soul in the dish with a fertilized egg ?

          January 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Russ

          @ ???
          as you did above, you are making naturalistic assumptions about theistic assertion. this breaks your categories. the soul is something given by God, not partially contained in the pre-existing material. it's metaphysical, not physical.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Johnny:
          note well: the OT is often subversive in its commentary. consider Genesis & the issue of polygamy: a) polygamy happens, but it is nowhere affirmed. b) everyone who practices polygamy clearly experiences adverse affects as a result. c) polygamy is later clearly prohibited.
          SUM: the Bible is making a commentary on polygamy even in Genesis, but it requires reading the whole.

          by the same token, notice what happens to the patriarchal expectations of society as compared to God's redemptive plan for his people: God tends to use those marginalized & stigmatized by society (gender, racial, socioeconomic, moral outsiders). throughout the OT, it's the barren woman, the less loved, the racial outsider, the dishonored person who winds up being used for God's redemptive plan. point being: he values differently than the culture.

          in regard to women, a few NT examples:
          a) there are women in Jesus' genealogy (something relatively unusual)
          b) Jesus allowed the women to be taught
          c) Jesus repeatedly treated women with a respect that shocked those around him
          d) women are the first eyewitnesses to the resurrection (testimony Jewish law did not consider admissible in court)
          e) women are given the full rights of sons (only male heirs were given such rights)

          January 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • Johnny

          If god couldn't command his early followers to not sell their daughters into slavery then god is really not worth my time. All he had to do was mention it in his divinely inspired book, sure maybe the people wouldn't have listened but at least it wouldn't look like god condones such things.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Johnny: that's an argument from silence. it fails:
          a) as a fallacy itself
          b) because God speaks explicitly to it elsewhere

          this is the same as people saying "Jesus never spoke about abortion... or ho.mo.se.xuality... etc." but Jesus never spoke explicitly about pedophilia either. does anyone doubt his position on the matter? he spoke clearly about life, marriage, and protecting children. he valued women in virtually unprecedented ways in the midst of a culture that did anything but. you are missing the forest for the trees here.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • redzoa

          "it's metaphysical, not physical." With all due respect, this whole line of discussion reads like pure bullsh!t. When you're done here, you can move on to whether Adam had a belly button and precisely how many angels can dance on the head of pin . . .

          January 17, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • Russ

          @ redzoa:
          1) saying "with all due respect" doesn't make unfounded, pejorative statements suddenly respectable.

          2) the discussion is about the value of life and/or the right to free choice. either way (if they're children being murdered or women's rights being oppressed), this is not a discussion about "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

          January 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • Russ

        @ Cal: if you didn't mean rights, why bring it up in the middle of a debate about rights? certainly you recognized it is germane to the immediate discussion...

        January 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • Cal

          I appreciate that you did answer the question, but why hassle me over my choice of question. It's a public forum I'll ask what I'm curious about.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Cal: i hassled you once you began to feign ignorance at the clear implication & incisiveness of your argument. if you are going to make such a strong assertion, you shouldn't be stunned that there is a response in exposing flawed logic.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • imgrthr

          Oh the irony, Russ spouting of someone else's "flawed logic".

          January 17, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
    • Wondering

      A soul just cannot be. I mean, what point in your life is your soul you? People behave very differently at different parts of their life. Humans are in a constant state of change, so how can there be a single soul?

      And from a scientific standpoint, a lot of what you do is not conscious thought. You don't think about walking or breathing or panicking or emotional response; that all comes from non-conscious parts of the brain.

      And even more, a lot of what you think is a conscious decision is actually the result of subconscious preferences and imprinting. This has been tested, and with the right brain scans, researchers found they consistently knew what a person would choose a second or two before the person himself did.

      Furthermore, addicts can actively and consciously want to not use and use while they are actually think they don't want to. Because the appetite comes from the hypothalamus, not the cerebral cortex.

      Not only is a soul incredibly unlikely, but there does not seem to be a single integrated you. There are numerous parts of the brain, many subconscious, that help determine the choices and actions. There are in effect many yous, though it only feels like one, the conscious one.

      What part of your life is your soul? What parts of your subconscious would be included in a soul, considering how much they affect your behaviors and thoughts? What is the soul of a person born insane?

      The concept of a soul is nothing but imagination and wishful thinking.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Tell that to your Body Thetans.

        January 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
      • RB

        You are familiar with your soul, you just don’t realize it. Please allow me to introduce you to your soul and say hello to him or her for me while you’re at it. Your soul is that little girl or boy that is deep within you. Learn to love your soul, for he or she is who you really are.

        January 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Wondering

          So your soul stopped in childhood somewhere. This is a childish notion.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • RB

          Not childish, just honest. You have one.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • Alias

          I always found it unfair that god put some souls where they might be saved, and some where they will die without ever seeing a bible.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Science Works

          Rb I have two – the truth.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        You are wondering some good questions ,i'm wondering why at the end of your statement you came to a conclusion about your questioning without having any answers to those questions. Or do you feel they can't be answered?

        January 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Cal, dontknow the exact moment but I'd say just before birth the soul enters the baby. Did alot of research on when it left the body, it seems mostly at the point of brain death, but sometimes during extreem trauma like a car crash and sometimes during cardiac arrest.

      January 17, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        I'm speaking mainly about near death occurences where there is an account given by the survivor about his or her experience of leaving their body and somtimes watching the nurses and Dr.s work on their body. They also talk about meeting a person of light and feeling pure love from him.

        January 17, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
  17. palintwit

    " Analyzing anything Sarah Palin says is like reading into the secret messages you think your cat is leaving you when it rips up the toilet paper or pees in your shoe. It's pointless and you will only drive yourself slowly insane, babbling to yourself while your friends beg you to go outside and get some sunlight or something. "

    January 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The name sounds familiar. Didn't she do something a few years ago?

      January 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • Todd Palin

      My advice is to not listen to anything Sarah Palin says. Unless you're looking for a quick laugh, then listen up.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • Better and Better

      I really miss Christine O'Donnell. There is something truly extraordinary about a candidate who actually felt the need to pay a lot of money to put out campaign ads denying she was a witch.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        LET's Religiosity Law #11 – “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

        January 17, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
  18. Bootyfunk

    wonder what decision would be made by the courts if they actually represented women equally instead of 6 men and 3 women. women make up more that 50% of the population, so it should be 5 women and 4 men. wonder if that would make a difference when deciding on women's reproductive rights...

    January 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
    • Science Works

      And 6 are catholic and 3 Jewish .

      January 17, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
    • Poetry

      I'd like to see an atheist on there; gender unnecessary.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
      • Science Works

        And again one publicly believes in the red hor-ny thingy – Scalia .

        January 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Poetry

          Scalia is insane.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
      • bostontola

        Educated Jews are close enough to atheists.

        January 17, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I have heard it argued that one doesn't have to believe in God to be Jewish.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          Quite a few Jews in Israel are in similar categories, but the Orthodox Jews there wouldn't recognize them as Jewish (although they don't recognize most Jews).

          January 17, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
  19. Atheism is a religion

    If atheism(non-belief) was put on trial, it would have a very hard time defending itself with undeniable proof that it's correct LOL!!!😝

    January 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The burden of proof can't be shifted from belief to non-belief.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
      • Atheism is a religion

        so atheists are the only one's on the planet that can't prove they're correct? I see how childish atheism makes people and very super lazy. You can't criticize people for not having proof when you lack the most proof on the planet. It's lazy that you cross yourself out on the list for presenting evidence. Very illogical😉

        January 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Johnny

          My non belief is based entirely on the evidence presented by people like you. If you can present evidence that god is real then I will believe it. Until such time as that happens I will continue to not believe. So in the end my soul is in your hands.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          it's more that the religious can't prove they are correct, have no evidence whatsoever that their brand of magic exists.
          atheism is the default position.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          Until you present undeniable proof you are correct without having any chance of being wrong, I will do the same. You can't admit you are in the same boat as everyone else. Lolz!

          January 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          that's exactly wrong.
          you are saying magic must exist because we can't prove differently.
          you can't prove i'm not god - so does that mean i'm god?
          you 'logic' is silly.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Your belief is entirely yours and it's up to you, not anyone else, to prove that it's true. You seem to think it's true by default and true until someone proves that it's not.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      LOL!
      yes, let's take all the proof and evidence from atheism and religion and compare the two court-of-law style.
      religion would present ZERO evidence.
      hahaha.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
      • Atheism is a religion

        So would atheism LOL

        ROFL

        January 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          how do you prove a negative?

          January 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Johnny

          That is cool you guys can be the prosecution in the case and atheists will win because you didn't prove your case.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          How am I suppose to prove God exists when I A) don't have the money or education to properly do so. B) I have no advanced technology at my disposal. So I don't see why atheists ask non-scientists to prove God exists. I find that highly laughable because it's going to get you nowhere. Deny it all you want but if you want to fund billions if not trillions of dollars for normal people who aren't scientists to find evidence of God, go ahead. Until then, grow a backbone and do it yourself or shut up.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          don't be an idiot.
          there are plenty of religious scientists (true, scientists are less religious in general than average, but there are plenty).
          get one of them to help you.
          your excuse for ignorance is that you can't work the big machines?
          LOL

          January 17, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          You want to fund it? Didn't think so. You want to pay for me to go back to college? Didn't think so. So why don't you stop acting all big and bad and ask one of those religious scientists to do it for you?

          January 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          no, i don't want to fund it - because it would be a waste of time, akin to spending billions to find out if my cat is god.

          here's an idea that you seem to have purposely passed by in your ignorance:
          have the CHURCHES fund research to prove there is a god.
          have religious millionaires fund it.
          have the Vatican fund it.
          have the evangelists fund it.

          basically, you want to prove the invisible sky fairy is real - get some religious kooks to waste their money on it.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • Atheism is a religion

          Lol! Classical example of atheist stupidity, ignorance, and laziness. Thanks for the comedy, man!

          January 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • Poetry

          You must be 5. You argue like one.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
    • Madtown

      Trolling comes effortlessly to some.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Atheism has been recognized as a religion by the Supreme Court.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
      • bostontola

        With respect to the 1st amendment.

        January 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
      • Poetry

        Abortion has been recognized as legal by the same court. So?

        January 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        They didn't declare that atheism was a religion.
        They declared that atheism was afforded equal protection with religions under the Establishment Clause.
        The First Amendment, in order to be effective in protecting all beliefs must guarantee the freedom to hold no religious belief.

        ""At one time it was thought that this right [referring to the right to choose one’s own creed] merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the conscience of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith such as Islam or Judaism. But when the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all."

        – Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985)),

        January 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • TDM

          L4H frequently misrepresents things to fit her agenda. "I'm shocked!"...said by absolutely nobody ever.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • ME II

          @Doc Vestiblue,
          Thanks for clarifying that.

          January 17, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
    • bostontola

      Courts look at evidence. If religion and atheism went to court, religion wouldn't have a chance. Luckily for religion, they don't have to go to court, they wouldn't be able to submit any admissible evidence. Atheism would have truckloads.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
      • Atheism is a religion

        By evidence you mean things in science that you think proves you more correct or actual 100% unbiased evidence? Oh yeah! It's your personal opinion of what something proves! Even more funny because you deny it!

        January 17, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • bostontola

          You don't have to prove anything in court, you prevail if you have the preponderance of evidence (civil court), or evidence beyond a reasonable doubt (criminal court). Atheism would win hands down either way. You never should have taken this tack.

          January 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
  20. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Lawrence of Arabia
    “God murdering fetuses? Where?”

    Hosea 9:11-16
    Numbers 5:11-21
    And especially 2 Kings 15:16
    “16 At that time Menahem, starting out from Tirzah, attacked Tiphsah and everyone in the city and its vicinity, because they refused to open their gates. He sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women.”
    Menahem was one of the kings of the Israelites, you know, gods chosen people.

    January 17, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      god kills children too, not just fetuses.
      god sent bears to maul and kill 42 children because they made fun of one of god's prophets for being bald.
      seems a bit harsh.
      wonder what their parents thought about the compassion of god when they saw their dead children.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Honey Badger Don't Care : Menahem was one of the kings of the Israelites, you know, gods chosen people.

      2 Kings 15:17-18 In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem son of Gadi became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria ten years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. During his entire reign he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.

      <><

      January 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        so that guy doing 'evil' gives god the right to rip open the bellies of pregnant women...?

        January 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
      • Johnny

        And why should we believe that? Sounds like the winners writing history to me and justifying their terrible behavior.

        January 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
    • Poetry

      Oh, but that's Justice.

      January 17, 2014 at 2:12 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.