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February 26th, 2014
03:12 PM ET

soundoff (1,555 Responses)
  1. Doris

    Why do some sects officially categorizes the Pope as the Antichrist?

    Why do some sects help spread disease (because of the unrealistic stance on contraception)?

    Why do some sects let sick child die rather than seek medical care?

    Why do some sects treat women still as inferiors in their organization?

    Why do some sects still sacrifice people?

    Why do some sects believe that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri?

    Why do some sects believe that Americans are being killed at war because America is tolerant of homosexuals?

    Why do some sects believe the OT is superseded by the NT and some not?

    Why do some sects travel to other countries and incite violence against people?

    =====

    "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." –Thomas Jefferson

    February 28, 2014 at 11:29 am |
    • workingcopy12

      Why do some people throw the baby out with the bathwater?

      February 28, 2014 at 11:44 am |
      • SeaVik

        I agree. Babies are all atheists and there's no reason you'd want to throw out atheism just because religions are terrible.

        February 28, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • workingcopy12

          You win–I couldn't possibly come up with a reply that out-wits that one.

          February 28, 2014 at 11:52 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Unless one equates religion to the bathwater....which I think is much more appropriate.

        February 28, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
      • kudlak

        workingcopy12
        A better question is why hasn't the bathwater been thrown away already? Seems like you can soak that little fella forever and he'll never get clean. 🙂

        February 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
      • workingcopy12

        The replies to my post are quite interesting–they require the fantasy that all religion has done nothing but evil. You may wish to believe that most religion has done mostly evil–but even then my point still holds true–you're throwing out the good with the bad. Lets leave the hyperbole to others.

        February 28, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • kudlak

          workingcopy12
          Not all evil, but even without religion good people would continue to do good things. The evil that does come from religion is extra that can then be avoided, couldn't it?

          February 28, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          No it doesn't. Religion can and does good things, but it can be equally justified to do bad things...it is an inherently flawed concept despite the good things it does.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
  2. Ungodly Discipline

    There is new evidence available that would suggest Jesus did not exist and that the Bible was written by Mrs. Chokesondick’s 4th grade class. Proof available upon request.

    February 28, 2014 at 11:21 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Ms. Chokesondick died... so you just have to trust that the book is accurate...

      February 28, 2014 at 11:29 am |
      • kudlak

        Should we assume that she died happy and / or that she was making someone happy when she died?

        February 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I have faith.

      February 28, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • kudlak

        You also have to have faith in something in order to get cheated out of your life savings.

        February 28, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Well, there was an episode where the Star Trek fans turned Timmy's wheelchair into a time macine.

      February 28, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I think we have plenty to go on for a religion.

      February 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
  3. Doris

    Filmed at the Royal Geographical Society on 22nd May 2013.

    Daniel Dennett is one of the world's most original and provocative thinkers. A philosopher and cognitive scientist, he is the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and a University Professor at Tufts University.

    On May 22nd he came to Intelligence Squared to share the insights he has acquired over his 40-year career into the nature of how we think, decide and act. Dennett revealed his favourite thinking tools, or 'intuition pumps', that he and others have developed for addressing life's most fundamental questions. As well as taking a fresh look at familiar moves - Occam's Razor, reductio ad absurdum - he discussed new cognitive solutions designed for the most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, consciousness and free will.

    By acquiring these tools and learning to use them wisely, we can all aspire to better understand the world around us and our place in it.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJsD-3jtXz0&w=640&h=360]

    February 28, 2014 at 10:56 am |
  4. Hover

    Cultures in the middle east have rules where woman goes through virginity tests before she is married. If she isn't she is disgraced and discarded. The passage in Deuteronomy 22 actually protected the woman.

    February 28, 2014 at 10:34 am |
    • Hover

      The scripture passage cited is clear example of how woman were protected in a culture where "virginity" was a pre-qualifying event for eligible marriage material.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:35 am |
      • Doris

        Oh – how lovely – what did the scripture say about Lou Gehrig's disease? 🙄

        February 28, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          The Egyptian Army says they found the cure to HIV... I wonder if it's better than the bible's bird-blood cure for leprosy?

          February 28, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • new-man

          LET,
          as you know the Bible quiet well, I'm also sure you know this was a type and shadow of Jesus' blood used to "cure" your leprous, pus-filled, stinking thoughts and deeds. 🙂 .... and the rest of us as well....

          Amen

          February 28, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Bullcrap...

          LET's Religiosity Law #4 – If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

          February 28, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • ausphor

          new
          I think you and Austin, perhaps, are the only posters that have leprous, pus-filled, stinking thoughts and deeds. PS: anther trait of your ilk is running away from tough questions, cowardly bevaviour, have you got a bible vesrse for that?

          February 28, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • new-man

          LET:
          of course the blood of the innocent bird was used to cleanse the leper because Jesus wasn't yet on the scene.

          When Jesus came on the scene he could touch the leper and make the leper clean. That's the point of type and shadow. It's not saying discount what's in the OT... it's saying the sacrifices of the innocent animals in the OT would be replaced by one perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ.

          Under the law, the unclean made the clean, unclean.
          Under grace, the clean makes the unclean, clean.

          For the law was GIVEN by MOSES; but GRACE and TRUTH came by Jesus Christ.
          Wake up and smell the new covenant that you are under.

          February 28, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • ausphor

          Sorry distracted behaviour and verse, damn voices in my head.

          February 28, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Is that also why menstruating women no longer have to sleep out in the barn?

          February 28, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          @new – you are either bat-shit crazy or you are a delusional idiot... but why argue semantics?

          February 28, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • doobzz

          "as you know the Bible quiet well, I'm also sure you know this was a type and shadow of Jesus' blood used to "cure" your leprous, pus-filled, stinking thoughts and deeds. 🙂 .... and the rest of us as well...."

          Ah, yes, human sacrifice. The hallmark of Christianity. Along with the constant debasement.

          February 28, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • new-man

          I see your vocabulary is quite limited...

          Blessings

          February 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          You would have no way of knowing this, but words are one of my 'things'... I have a higher than average vocabulary of English, with a minor in Latin and German... (Scrabble players be forewarned). I was reading the dictionary for fun at 8 years old.

          February 28, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        You've an odd definition of "protected".
        The Bible commands that unchaste women be stoned to death.
        However, a rap/e victim isn't really "unchaste", is she? So God provides this "protection" loophole wherein she can avoid being killed by her family and neighbours if she marries her attacker?
        This is like getting sent to prison for being an assault victim and having to share a cell with the person who beat you up.

        What of the women of conquered enemies? Again, the woman has no choice. Deuteronomy 21 says to give her a month to mourn the slaughter of her family before forcing her to marry you.
        In the book of Numbers, Moses get upset at his soldiers for not slaughtering everybody. Women, children and livestock left alive? Perish the thought. Kill 'em all except for the virgins that you can take home as slaves.

        February 28, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "Kill 'em all except for the virgins that you can take home as slaves"

          ahhh... the good old days of warfare

          February 28, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Even god himself got 32 virgins as tribute!

          February 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
    • Hover

      Doc Vesti

      Taking that passage in Deuteronomy out of context is useless, futile and a colossal waste of your time. In the big picture it only hurts you. You have twisted and distorted a passage that was meant to protect women of the time.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:46 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        It did almost nothing to protect women..."context" is just a rationalization. By your logic "honor killings" protect families... pathetic

        February 28, 2014 at 11:28 am |
      • observernow

        Hover,

        So FORCING a r@pe victim to marry the rapist is protection for the poor victim?

        Get serious. You haven't thought this through AT ALL. Wake up!

        February 28, 2014 at 11:56 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Good thing a women's rights are protected under secular law or there would be many an invasive procedure done against their will.
      The reality is, it doesn't much matter what the bible states...it is not what laws are based off and only pertains to those foolish enough to believe it.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:54 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      It protected woman. and created a loophole for men. Maybe god should have just told them that just because a woman isn;t a virgin she shouldn't be discarded and made to feel disgraced? Did the same stigma apply to men? Of course not....your religion is foundationally misogynistic.

      February 28, 2014 at 11:04 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You say "cultures" plural – but the OT is dealing with the Hebrew culture – you know, God's chosen people.
      Their culture was based on His Word – ergo the value placed on virginity comes from God Himself.

      February 28, 2014 at 11:10 am |
    • kudlak

      Hover
      How would the woman's father provide proof that she was a virgin after the marriage?

      February 28, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
    • kudlak

      Hover
      Also, verse 19 states "She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives."

      So, you're saying that making this woman continue to be married to a guy who slandered her, and doesn't want her, is actually "protecting" her?

      February 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  5. Doris

    Why do many Christians ignore science?

    Why do they disagree with each other so much about science?

    Why do some of them spread not only misinformation, but two different stories at the same time?

    Take Dr Andrew Snelling who was referenced a few times by Ham in the recent Ham-Nye debate. What story is this Dr Snelling telling? Another geologist, Dr Alex Ritchie has some interesting insight.
    ===================

    Will the Real Dr Snelling Please Stand Up?

    Dr Alex Ritchie, The Skeptic, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp 12-15

    Dr Alex Ritchie received his BSc. (Hons) in Geology and a Ph.D at the University of Edinburgh. He worked as a palaeontologist at the Australian Museum from 1968 to 1995 where he is currently a Research Fellow.

    For several years, Australian creationists, representing the Creation Science Foundation Ltd, [now Answers in Genesis] have been publishing articles and addressing school and public groups on the topic of the age of the Earth. The theme of these articles and talks is that there is scientific evidence that the geological features of Australia are explicable within the context of an Earth which is only some 6-10,000 years old and that most such features can be attributed to a world-wide flood which occurred more recently still. The author of these claims made them with the authority of a BSc (Hons) in Geology and a PhD. However, in a recently published paper, this same author makes some very different claims about the age of geological features of the Australian landscape.

    These remarkably contradictory, and unexplained, claims by one of the very few Australian creation 'scientists' who has genuine scientific qualifications, calls into question whether anything said by this group on the subject can be taken seriously.

    Dr Alex Ritchie, palaeontologist at the Australian Museum, takes up the story.

    There appear to be two geologists living, working and publishing in Australia under the name of Dr Andrew A Snelling. Both have impressive (and identical) scientific qualifications – a BSc (Hons), in Geology (University of NSW) and a PhD, for research in uranium mineralisation (University of Sydney).

    Curiously, both Drs Snelling use the same address (PO Box 302, Sunnybank, Qld, 4109), which they share with an organisation called the Creation Science Foundation (CSF), the coordinating centre for fundamentalist creationism in Australia.

    But the really strange thing about this is that the views of these two Drs Snelling, on matters such as the age of the earth and its geological strata, are diametrically opposed. This article, the result of my extensive searches through the literature, highlights this remarkable coincidence and poses some serious questions of credibility for the Creation Science Foundation and for either or both of the Drs Andrew A Snelling.

    For convenience I refer to them below as follows:

    (a) Dr A A Snelling 1 – creationist geologist, a director of CSF and regular contributor to, and sometime editor of, the CSF's quarterly magazine, Ex Nihilo (now CREATION ex nihilo).

    (b) Dr A A Snelling 2 – consulting geologist who works on uranium mineralisation and publishes in refereed scientific journals.

    Snelling 1 seldom, if ever, cites articles written by Snelling 2 and Snelling 2 never cites articles written by Snelling 1.
    Snelling 1

    For the past ten years Dr Andrew Snelling BSc, PhD, the CSF's geological spokesman, has been the only prominent Australian creationist with geological qualifications. His credentials are not in question here, only his influence on science education in Australia.

    Snelling 1 writes articles for creationist journals and lectures throughout the country in schools, public meetings and churches. Although his geological credentials are usually highlighted in creationist publications it would be more accurate to describe Snelling 1 as a Protestant evangelist, not as a geologist. Some CSF literature openly refers to him as a 'missionary'.

    Why should Snelling 1's activities concern the scientific and educational communities? To appreciate this, one needs to analyse his published articles to see how geological data and discoveries are misused and reinterpreted from a Biblical perspective.

    CSF members subscribe to a lengthy, very specific Statement of Faith. Apart from purely religious clauses, not relevant here, several clauses carry serious implications for those in scientific and educational circles, especially for those in the Earth (and other historical) sciences. As the extracts below reveal, to a dedicated creationist, scientific evidence is always subservient to Biblical authority.

    "(A) PRIORITIES

    1. The scientific aspects of creation are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator and Redeemer.

    (B) BASICS

    3. The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life.

    5. The great flood of Genesis was an actual historical event, worldwide in its extent and effect.

    (D) GENERAL

    The following attitudes are held by members of the Board to be either consistent with Scripture or implied by Scripture

    (i) The scripture teaches a recent origin for man and for the whole creation.

    (ii) The days in Genesis do not correspond to Geological ages, but are six
    (6) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour days of creation.

    (iii) The Noachian flood was a significant geological event and much (but not all) fossiliferous sediment originated at that time.

    (iv) The chronology of secular world history must conform to that of Biblical world history."

    These statements reveal 'creation science' to be an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, based on religious dogma (and a simple minded dogma at that). Despite its name, 'creation science' has little to do with real science and, in fact, represents the antithesis of science.

    Everything in his creationist writings and activities indicates that Snelling 1 subscribes fully to CSF's Statement of Faith. Where this clashes with scientific evidence, the latter is always secondary to the former and his message, although often cloaked in scientific jargon, is simple and unequivocal; indeed one of his favourite lecture topics is "Why, as a Geologist, I Believe in Noah's Flood".

    From the Gospel according to Snelling 1, the Earth is geologically young, created ex nihilo ("from nothing") by a supernatural being, during a short, well defined construction period of only six days. This miraculous creation event, usually dated some 6000 years ago (around 4004 BC), is not the end of the story. The Earth we live on today is not the same as the original created model, which was almost totally destroyed and remodelled some 1,600 years later (around 2345 BC) by an irate Creator who conjured up an unique, world-wide Flood to do the job.

    This Flood, lasting just over one year, tore down all previous land surfaces, rearranged the continents and thrust up all existing mountain chains. It also destroyed all pre-existing life forms, plant and animal – except for a chosen few saved on Noah's Ark. Thus all of the remarkably complex geology of the present day Earth's crust formed during the one year of Noah's Flood and all the innumerable fossil remains of former animals and plants were all buried and preserved by the same Flood.

    Snelling 1 (1983a) presented his views on Flood chronology in an article, Creationist Geology: The Precambrian. After reviewing mainstream views on geology and evolution, he remarked:

    "On the other hand, creationists interpret the majority of the fossiliferous sedimentary rocks of the Earth's crust as testimony to Noah's flood....Creationists do this because they regard the Genesis record as implying that there was no rain before Noah's flood, therefore no major erosion, and hence no significant sedimentation or fossilisation."

    "However the flood was global, erosional and its purpose was destruction. Therefore the first major fossilisation commenced at this time, and the majority of the fossils are regarded as having been formed rapidly during this event. Creationists therefore regard sedimentary strata as needing to be classified into those formed during the time of creation week, pre-flood, flood (early, middle and late), post-flood and recent" (p. 42)

    Snelling 1 then quoted one J C Dillow, a creationist writing on the Earth's supposed pre-Flood "vapour canopy":

    "It should be obvious that if the Earth is only 6000 years old, then all the geological designations are meaningless within that framework, and it is deceptive to continue to use them. If, as many creationist geologists believe, the majority of the geological column represents flood sediments and post-flood geophysical activity, then the mammoth, dinosaur and all humans existed simultaneously .... Some limited attempts have been made by creationist geologists to reclassify the entire geological column within this framework, but the task is immense." (Dillow 1981, "The Waters Above". Moody Press, 405-6)

    Snelling 1 criticised Dillow and other creationists for restricting Flood strata to Phanerozoic rocks (Cambrian and younger) and claimed that most Precambrian rocks are also Flood deposits:

    "It is my contention that those who do this have failed to study carefully the evidence for the flood deposition of many Precambrian strata and have therefore unwittingly fallen into the trap of lumping together the Precambrian strata to the creation week. The usual reason for doing this is that the evolutionists regard Precambrian as so different, so devoid of life in comparison with other rocks, that creationists have simply borrowed their description." (1983, 42).

    Snelling 1 thus pushes the earliest limits of Flood strata far back into the Early Precambrian (early Archaean) times , before even the first appearance of fossils resembling blue-green algae:

    "What I am contending here is that fossils, whether they be microscopic or macroscopic, plant or animal and the fossil counterpart of organic matter, along with its metamorphosed equivalent graphite, are the primary evidence which should distinguish flood rocks from pre-flood rocks, regardless of the evolutionary 'age'." (1983, 45).

    Lest there remain any doubt, Snelling 1 (1983, 42) stated:

    "For creationists to be consistent the implications are clear; Precambrian sediments containing fossils and organic remains were laid down during Noah's flood. Creationist geologists need to completely abandon the evolutionist's geological column and associated terminology. It is necessary to start again, using the presence of fossils or organic matter as a classification criterion in the task of rebuilding our understanding of geological history within the Biblical framework."

    It is difficult to believe that the writer of the foregoing article has a BSc (Hons) and PhD in geology! However an examination of other articles by the same author in Ex Nihilo reveals that, to Snelling 1, everything geological (Ayers Rock, Mt Isa ore deposits, Bass Strait oil and gas, Queensland coal deposits, Great Barrier Reef, etc.,) can be explained as the result of Noah's year-long Flood.

    DOOLAN, ROBERT & ANDREW A SNELLING, 1987. Limestone caves ...a result of Noah's Flood? Limestone caves... a result of Noah's Flood? (4), 10-13.
    READ, PETER & ANDREW A SNELLING, 1985. How Old is Australia's Great Barrier Reef? Creation Ex Nihilo. 8(1), 6-9.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1982. The Recent Origin of Bass Strait Oil and Gas. Ex Nihilo 5 (2) 43-46.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1983. Creationist Geology: The Precambrian. Ex Nihilo 6 (1), 42-46.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1983. What about Continental Drift? Have the continents really moved apart? Ex Nihilo 6 (2), 14-16.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1984. The recent, rapid formation of the Mt Isa orebodies during Noah's Flood. Ex Nihilo 6 (3) 40-46 (cf. also abstract 17-18).
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1984. The Origin of Ayers Rock. Creation Ex Nihilo 7 (1).
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1986. Coal Beds and Noah's Flood. Creation Ex Nihilo 8 (3), 20-21.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1989. Is the Sun Shrinking? Creation Ex Nihilo (pt. 1) 11 (1), 14-19. (pt. 2) 11 (2), 30-34. – The Debate Continues. (pt. 3) 11 (3), 40-43 – The Unresolved Question.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A & John Mackay 1984. Coal, Volcanism and Noah's Flood. Ex Nihilo Tech. J. 1, 11-29.
    SNELLING 2

    If we now turn to the scientific articles published by the other Dr A A Snelling, consulting geologist (also from PO Box 302, Sunnybank QLD, 4109), we find a remarkable contrast, both in approach and content. None of them mention the Creation or Creation Week, Flood geology or the need to revamp the classic geological timescale.

    The latest paper by Snelling 2 (1990, 807 -812) is a detailed technical account of the "Koongarra Uranium Deposits" in the Northern Territory. It appears in an authoritative two volume work on "Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea" (ed. F E Hughes), published by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne. The references list eight earlier papers by Snelling 2 in refereed journals (or symposium volumes) on aspects of uranium mineralisation; three as sole author and five as junior co-author.

    In discussing the regional geology (p. 807) and age (p. 811) of the Koongarra uranium deposits, Snelling 2 describes their geological history in fairly technical terms, however, to avoid the charge we lay against the creationists, of taking quotations out of context, I will quote Snelling 2 verbatim from the paper (p. 807):

    "The Archaean basement consists of domes of granitoids and granitic gneisses (the Nanambu Complex), the nearest outcrop being 5 km to the north. Some of the lowermost overlying Proterozoic metasediments were accreted to these domes during amphibolite grade regional metamorphism (5 to 8 kb and 550° to 630° C) at 1870 to 1800 Myr. Multiple isoclinal recumbent folding accompanied metamorphism."

    For the benefit of lay readers, this statement is summarised and simplified here:

    "The oldest rocks in the Koongarra area, domes of granitoids and granitic gneiss, are of Archaean age (ie to geologists this means they are older than 2500 million years). The Archaean rocks are mantled by Lower Proterozoic (younger than 2500 million years) metasediments: all were later buried deeply, heavily folded and, between 1870 and 1800 million years ago, were subjected to regional metamorphism at considerable temperatures and pressures."

    There is no question here of "abandoning the geological column and its associated terminology", and the term Myr refers unequivocally to millions of years.

    One further quotation (p.807), "A 150 Myr period of weathering and erosion followed metamorphism.", is self explanatory.

    There are several further references to ages of millions and thousands of millions of years, and to commonly accepted geological terminology, throughout the paper but, to spare the lay reader, I will only summarise them here:

    1. During Early Proterozoic times (from 1688-1600 million years ago) the area was covered by thick, flat-lying sandstones.

    2. At some later date (but after the reverse faulting) the Koongarra uranium mineral deposit forms, perhaps in several stages, first between 1650-1550 million years ago, and later around 870 and 420 million years.

    3. The last stage, the weathering of the primary ore to produce the secondary dispersion fan above the No 1 orebody seems to have begun only in the last 1-3 million years.

    Nowhere in this, or in any other article by Snelling 2 is there any reference to the creation week, to Noah's Flood or to a young age for the Earth. Nor is there any disclaimer, or the slightest hint, that this Dr Snelling has any reservations about using the standard geological column or time scale, accepted world-wide. The references above to hundreds and thousands of million of years are not interpolated by me. They appear in Dr Snelling 2's paper.

    The problem is obvious – the two Drs A A Snelling BSc (Hons), PhD (with the same address as the Creation Science Foundation) publish articles in separate journals and never cite each other's papers. Their views on earth history are diametrically opposed and quite incompatible.

    One Dr Snelling is a young-earth creationist missionary who follows the CSF's Statement of Faith to the letter. The other Dr Snelling writes scientific articles on rocks at least hundreds or thousand of millions of years old and openly contradicting the Statement of Faith. The CSF clearly has a credibility problem. Are they aware they have an apostate in their midst and have they informed their members?

    Of course there may well be a simple explanation, eg that the two Drs Snelling are one and the same. Perhaps the Board of the CSF has given Andrew Snelling a special dispensation to break his Statement of Faith. Why would they do this? Well, every creation 'scientist' needs to gain scientific credibility by publishing papers in refereed scientific journals and books and the sort of nonsense Dr Snelling publishes in Creation Ex Nihilo is unlikely to be accepted in any credible scientific journal.

    I think that both Dr Snelling and the CSF owe us all an explanation. WILL THE REAL DR ANDREW SNELLING PLEASE STAND UP?

    POSTSCRIPT

    Several years ago, in the Sydney Morning Herald, as one geologist to another, I publicly challenged Dr Snelling (the young-earth creationist version) to a public debate, before our geological peers, on a subject close to his heart – Noah's Flood – The Geological Case For and Against.

    I've repeated the challenge several times since then and it still stands.

    For reasons best known only to himself, Dr Snelling has declined to defend the creationist cause.

    In the light of the above I suggest the reason is obvious. In his heart, and as a trained geologist, he knows that the young-earth model is a load of old codswallop and is totally indefensible.
    ================

    [If] the nature of... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope." –Thomas Jefferson

    February 28, 2014 at 10:06 am |
    • Doris

      "......To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

      Thomas Jefferson

      February 28, 2014 at 10:11 am |
  6. new-man

    JUST WORDS

    Matthew 12:37, "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (MATT 12:34-37)

    God created the heavens and the earth and everything that is in the earth by His words (Heb. 11:3). The whole creation was made by, and responds to, words. Our words, when spoken in faith, release either life or death (Prov. 18:21) and will affect people, things, and circu.mstances. We can release the power that is in faith by our words.

    Every word counts. There is no such things as an "idle" word which will not work for us or against us. Our words can be our most powerful weapon against the devil, or they can become a snare of the devil (Prov. 6:2). Faith-filled words can move mountains.

    The faith that made Jesus marvel was a faith in the authority of the spoken word (Mt. 8:8, 10). We are to believe in the power of our words. If we begin to speak words in faith that line up with God's Word, then we will have the positive results that follow. But if we continue to speak words of doubt, we will eventually believe them and have the negative things that these words produce. Death or life are in the power of every word we speak.

    Faith is released by speaking words. Jesus encouraged us to speak to mountains or to whatever our problem might be. Most people speak to God about their problem, but few follow Jesus' instructions and speak directly to the "mountain." God has put certain things under our authority and we must exercise it. When a problem stands in our way, we must speak to the problem and command it to get out of our way in the name of Jesus. Speak God's Word today. His Words will produce life.

    AWMI

    February 28, 2014 at 10:02 am |
    • tallulah131

      You are free to say whatever you want. You can even quote a book of myths and pretend that it has supernatural powers. But when you use that book of myths as an excuse to harm others, rational human beings are understandably upset and will take acton.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:06 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      L. Ron Hubbard says that we should speak to our Thetans in order to become "clear".

      February 28, 2014 at 10:09 am |
    • ausphor

      New
      Of course the "words" of the bible have been twisted and revised dozens of times, all you have to do is compare the numerous versions of the bible. Let me guess your favorite version is The Children's Bible because all the scary bits have been deleted.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:28 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The best one is Schlafly's "Conservative Bible".
        He got rid of all that lefty, pinko talk. As if Jesus would ever use the word "comrade" like some kind of commie.

        February 28, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • ausphor

          Doc
          Poor new-man cannot seem to justify why there are probably ten different versions of Jesus' words in say Mark 16:16, pathetic. Word of god any which way you want it, just pick and choose, hilarious.

          February 28, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • the0g0to0the0t

      "Our words, when spoken in faith, release either life or death (Prov. 18:21) and will affect people, things, and circu.mstances. We can release the power that is in faith by our words"

      Congratulations, you've discovered a fool proof way to prove your faith and the truth of your belief. Now all you have to do is set up an experiement to prove what you are saying isn't a huge pile of crap.

      February 28, 2014 at 11:45 am |
  7. Hover

    Talking about Godly love:

    1 John 4 :8
    God is love

    February 28, 2014 at 9:59 am |
    • Hover

      1. "Agapao" This word is a verb used to describe God's divine love. The noun is "apape." Example is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) This is the action of totally being committed to the well being of others without regard for their worthiness even unto death. That love was demonstrated by Jesus when He suffered and died for our sins. We, as Christians, are show that unselfish love to others.

      2. "Phileo" This word translated "love" refers to fervent love for another person. Jesus when challenging Peter in John 21:15-17 asked do you agape me more than the other disciples. Peter replied, "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee" This was his response four times to Jesus' questions. Peter never used the word "agapeo" in response to Jesus' questions.

      3. "Eros" This is a noun and refers to se.xual love.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:00 am |
      • new-man

        Thanks for sharing this!

        Blessings

        February 28, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Maybe you two can be padded room buddies??? You both believe in the most hateful god ever imagined by man.

          February 28, 2014 at 10:12 am |
      • the0g0to0the0t

        Pretty sure Jesus didn't speak greek so why would you rely on greek vocabulary?

        February 28, 2014 at 11:47 am |
    • tallulah131

      If god is love, why has he been used as an excuse to hate throughout so much of history?

      February 28, 2014 at 10:09 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Oh dear, one more using the book to prove their imaginary friend exists...look up circular reasoning. Scripture proves nothing.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:11 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      God is definately not love. Love would not ask a parent to kill their child to prove the parent is loyal. That is an abuser...

      February 28, 2014 at 10:20 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        "Hey Abraham! GOTCHA! ha ha. Just messin' with you."
        That wacky God. He's a barrel of laughs.

        February 28, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Job...Hey Job...anyone seen Job?

          Next...

          February 28, 2014 at 11:07 am |
    • Sungrazer

      That someone could think god is love shows that they don't clearly understand what omnibenevolence means. A god who is PERFECTLY LOVING does not act in the ways the Christian god acts.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:37 am |
  8. Doris

    "[..] not to say that all religious people are lunatics or idiots. It's anything but that.
    My concern with religion is that it allows us by the millions to believe what only lunatics or idiots could believe on their own."

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

    February 28, 2014 at 9:56 am |
  9. Hover

    ! Corinthians:

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres

    February 28, 2014 at 9:54 am |
    • Hover

      That talks about "love" as it relates to marriage.

      How did you leap from a topic on "marriage" and "love" to Lot's wife?

      February 28, 2014 at 9:56 am |
      • Doris

        lol. Lot and his daughters. Now there's a juicy story.......

        February 28, 2014 at 10:01 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Given that the Bible says that a woman is obliged to marry her rapist, I don't think love is a requirement.

        February 28, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • Hover

          It doesn't look like you know or have read the Bible.

          February 28, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rap.es her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."
          – Deuteronomy 22:28 (NIV)

          February 28, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • Hover

          Are you familiar with the culture back then?

          A woman had to be a virgin to be married, if she wasn't then no one will marry her.

          Just going to some websites and copying and pasting passages without a context or relevance just betrays your ignorance about the Bible.

          February 28, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • observernow

          Hover,

          You are the one who misunderstands. You are saying that God didn't do what was right, but what was "politically correct" at the time.

          February 28, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • Hover

          If you are investing so much of your time on the Bible, I would suggest you read the Bible in its entirety, not pick and chooses passages out of context without relevance, that are suggested reading from sleazy websites.

          February 28, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I am indeed familiar with ancient Hebrew misogyny.
          It is one of the reasons why I've always doubted the virgin birth.
          If I were an unwed, pregnant woman in a culture where I would be stoned to death by my family and neighbours if they found out, I'd use any excuse I could to stay alive.

          But regardless of how you want to spin it, that passage in Deut. is clearly saying that the woman has no choice but to marry her rapist. Oh – and her virginity (and thus her value as an unwed woman) is worth a whopping $50.

          And why do you think I'm copying and pasting from some kind of atheist website?
          I've got the Torah, the Christian Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Quaran on my phone.
          At home I've a large library of books about mythology.

          February 28, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "If you are investing so much of your time on the Bible, I would suggest you read the Bible in its entirety, not pick and chooses passage"

          lol...I'm guessing you don't follow the bible in its entirety either. Unless of course you beat your children; stop your wife from speaking in church; don't eat pork; don't work on Sunday; etc etc etc.
          Christians are the ones picking and choosing and it is mind blowing how each of your cult branches has a different take on what the bible means.
          The fastest way to Atheism is to read the bible, otherwise most of us wouldn't be Recovering christians.

          February 28, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Are you familiar with the culture back then?

          A woman had to be a virgin to be married, if she wasn't then no one will marry her."

          Yeah, c'mon guys, it was the culture...god didn't have the power or the authority to change culture...I mean really.... who do you think he is...? God?.....

          February 28, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • observernow

          Hover,

          "I would suggest you read the Bible in its entirety, not pick and chooses passages out of context without relevance, that are suggested reading from sleazy websites."

          If websites are sleazy for QUOTING the Bible, then it obviously is the FAULT of the Bible.

          February 28, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • doobzz

          "Are you familiar with the culture back then?"

          Yes. The culture was such that a young woman was valuable only so long as she was a virgin and could command a large dowry. Her virginity was a commodity and the value of it belonged to her father. The laws provided a means for the father to recoup his monetary "loss" in the event of his daughter's rape. It had nothing to do with the woman's value as a human being or her right to decide for herself who she would or would not have sex with. If it was, a simple "Do not rape another person" would have been sufficient.

          February 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
    • Doris

      More chatty cathy garbage from the one who was the Joseph Smith of his day.

      February 28, 2014 at 9:59 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

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

      February 28, 2014 at 10:06 am |
  10. Doris

    Why is it that many Christians ignore science?

    Why do they travel to other places and incite violence against other people?

    Why do they promote the jailing of people or remain complacent about their fellow Christians who do the same?

    Why does the Anglican Communion demote the one person who tried to quell the violence against people in Uganda?

    Why are they not listening to people from the National Institutes of Health?
    ============================

    Biology

    --–

    The following is from the article:

    Ho-mose-xuality ultimately a result of gene regulation, researchers find (12/11/2012 – LiveScience)

    *** The search for a "gay gene" may be off-target, new research finds. Another process called epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why ho-mose-xuality runs in families.

    Epigenetics are heritable changes caused by factors other than DNA. Instead of traits getting passed down through the genes, epigenetic change happens because of the way genes are regulated, or turned on and off.

    These genetic regulators may be the reason ho-mose-xuality persists in nature despite the fact that gay people are less likely to reproduce, suggests the new study published in the (Dec, 2012) journal **The Quarterly Review of Biology**.

    "These things have evolved because they're good for the parents, but they sometimes, not [with] high frequency, but sometimes carry over" into offspring, study researcher William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told LiveScience. In a male fetus, Rice and his colleagues write, an epigenetic change that benefited the mother may lead to "feminization" of se-xual preference — ho-mo- or bise-xuality. The same may be true for epigenetic changes passed down by dad to a female fetus. (The terms feminization and masculinization of se-xual preference refer to se-xual orientation only — not to physical or personality traits of the offspring.)

    The findings add to past research suggesting gay men haven't died out, because female relatives of gay men tend to have more children on average than other females. The study researchers specifically found that two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

    Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

    Rice and his colleagues focused on epi-marks, which are molecular changes that act like temporary "switches" to turn genes on and off. If a gene is a blueprint, the epi-mark is the construction foreman who makes sure the product gets built. An epi-mark also determines when, where and how much a gene is expressed, according to the National Insti-tute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

    These molecular switches are usually erased very early in the developmental process, but they can be passed down from generation to generation, too, Rice said.

    Some epi-marks are particularly important during fetal development, when they promote normal physical development in the se-xes despite natural variations in testosterone during pregnancy. Researchers know that fetal exposure to too much testosterone can masculinize the genitals, brain or behavior of a genetically female fetus. Likewise, too little testosterone can make a genetically male fetus more feminized.

    But here's the catch: There's lots of overlap between the levels of testosterone male and female fetuses get exposed to. That means there must be another side to the story, Rice and his colleagues wrote.

    That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

    "Early in development, we think these epi-marks are laid down so that girl fetuses will be relatively insensitive to testosterone and male fetuses will be relatively sensitive to testosterone," Rice said.

    Biological behavior

    Thus, if an epi-mark that kept a mother from getting exposed to high testosterone in development gets passed on to her son — the opposite se-x — it could desensitize him to testosterone, contributing to his se-xual preference for men. Similarly, if a male-specific epi-mark from dad gets passed to a daughter, it could "masculinize" her se-xual preference, making her more interested in women.

    These findings could explain why twin studies show that ho-mose-xuality runs in families, but no "gay gene" can be found, Rice said. In identical twins, there's about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for ho-mose-xuality, you'd expect a much higher match, Rice said. Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.

    The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in parents of kids with gay versus straight offspring, Rice said. There are, of course, concerns that this knowledge could be used by parents who want to avoid gay offspring, Rice said, but that concern already exists around certain hormonal conditions in utero, which are known to contribute to an increased chance of offspring being lesbians.

    "That cat's already out of the bag," Rice said. He added that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of ho-mose-xuality could help emphasize that same-se-x behavior is not "unnatural."

    "In fact, it's a major part of the natural world," Rice said. Fourteen percent of Western gulls raise chicks in female-female pairs, he pointed out. And 8 percent of male sheep show zero interest in fertile ewes, but get se-xually excited by other rams. ***

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Psychology

    ----
    The American Psychological Association states "there are probably many reasons for a person's se-xual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people", and says most people's se-xual orientation is determined at an early age. Research into how se-xual orientation in males may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about ho-mose-xuality, and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing."

    Professor Michael King states: "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of se-xual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Scientific evidence on the origins of ho-mose-xuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that se-xual orientation is a choice."

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

    "Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterose-xual or ho-mose-xual orientation. It would appear that se-xual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice."

    February 28, 2014 at 9:30 am |
    • Doris

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

      February 28, 2014 at 9:32 am |
  11. Doris

    Do you need to throw people in jail that don't follow your misinformed code of ethic about marriage?

    It seems many Christians support doing just such.

    February 28, 2014 at 9:14 am |
    • Austin

      The new testament does not have legal punity in it. Liberty and forgiveness.

      Paul was a roman and he did not as.sume a political career.

      February 28, 2014 at 9:25 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Is it possible for you to answer a question without resorting to the bible?

        February 28, 2014 at 9:39 am |
        • sam stone

          not for austin. he long ago drank away any reasoning ability

          February 28, 2014 at 9:47 am |
      • Doris

        The chatty cathy Joseph Smith of his day, I think of Paul as the epicenter of the conflict that grew of early Christianity.

        What are we up to now, over 41,000 sects?

        "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. " –Thomas Jefferson

        February 28, 2014 at 9:39 am |
  12. Hover

    Do you need "love" to be married?

    February 28, 2014 at 9:05 am |
    • Hover

      Do you need to be in love to stay married?

      February 28, 2014 at 9:05 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Lots of people stay in loveless marriages.

        February 28, 2014 at 9:30 am |
    • Hover

      Yes to both, and "love" is often mistaken for lust!

      Bill Donahue was right, when he said you don't just need "love" for a marriage to work, you need a commitment to honor marriage.

      Marriages are crumbling and gay/lesbians marriages will be no different!

      February 28, 2014 at 9:08 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        That is right...and I think gay people should have to suffer just like the rest of us.

        Oh and Bill Donahue is a dovche of the highest order....he can go choke on a priest.

        February 28, 2014 at 9:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      First you must define "love".

      February 28, 2014 at 9:17 am |
      • Hover

        "love" is much more deeper than a mere chemical reaction that runs through your body.

        February 28, 2014 at 9:22 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Sure. It is a many splendored thing.
          You still have yet to define it.

          February 28, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • Hover

          1 Corinthians

          4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres

          February 28, 2014 at 9:31 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So I guess by the Bible's definition, God is NOT love.

          Is God kind? Well, he isn't shy about genocide or torturing souls for eternity in a lake of fire.
          Is God envious? His primary characteristic is jealousy.
          Is God self seeking? He commands that His followers have no other gods before Him and that they speak only praise about him.
          is God easily angered? Ask Lot's wife.
          Does God keep a record of wrongs? How else can He pass judgement and send everybody to Hell?

          But again, you listed a bible verse that describes some of love's characteristics, but it isn't a definition.
          It's a tricky thing to define, eh?

          For me, love is the subjective condition in which another person's happiness is essential for your own.

          February 28, 2014 at 9:40 am |
        • Sungrazer

          There you go. Proof that god is not love.

          February 28, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Ninja'd.

          February 28, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • observernow

          Hover,

          The Bible doesn't care about love in marriage. In some cases God believes that marriage can be FORCED on two people who may even hate each other. Some people are even prohibited from divorce no matter how bad things are.

          February 28, 2014 at 10:00 am |
  13. Doris

    Rush Limbaugh:

    "What we have here is a portion of the play-by-play of the Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins, the first openly gay player to actually play in a professional sports game. It happened last night. The Brooklyn Nets against the Los Angeles Lakers.

    ==== Huffington Post ===========
    This is the Nets play-by-play announcer Ryan Ruocco, as Jason [Collins] - who by the way took number 98 in solidarity with Matthew Shepard, who was, it's now been proven didn't happen, but reputed to have beaten up by a bunch of anti-gay bigots."

    Defending Shepard as having been the victim of "a brutal, anti-gay hate crime," a spokesperson for the Matthew Shepard Foundation denounced Jimenez's claims in a statement to The Huffington Post at the time of the release of The Book Of Matt.

    "Attempts now to rewrite the story of this hate crime appear to be based on untrustworthy sources, factual errors, rumors and innuendo rather than the actual evidence gathered by law enforcement and presented in a court of law," the spokesperson said. "We do not respond to innuendo, rumor or conspiracy theories. Instead we recommit ourselves to honoring Matthew’s memory, and refuse to be intimidated by those who seek to tarnish it."

    =======================

    My my my. Thank goodness Rush Limbaugh doesn't travel to places and spread his lies and filth like Scott Lively that I wrote about earlier. Lies swallowed up whole by the likes of our frequent poster Austin who looks at reality like most people look at cartoons.

    February 28, 2014 at 8:58 am |
    • Doris

      Tthe highlighted part is still part of Rush' quote.)

      February 28, 2014 at 8:59 am |
      • Doris

        (The highlighted part is still part of Rush' quote.) Goodness – fingers are still cranky this AM.

        February 28, 2014 at 9:01 am |
        • Austin

          We should all stretch for five minutes before typing at full speed!

          February 28, 2014 at 9:06 am |
  14. Hover

    Is religion under attack?- NO! But marriage is under attack.

    The number of hetrose.x.uals wanting to get married is on the decline and on the other hand the number of gays and lesbians wanting to get married is on the rise.

    With the falling hetrose.xual marriage rate, the only hope for divorce lawyers to stay in business would be a gay/lesbian wedding.

    February 28, 2014 at 8:47 am |
    • Hover

      Are lesbians more likely to divorce than gay men? Probably, yes. Case in point Rosie O and Jane Lynch, although it's too early to arrive at any conclusions.

      February 28, 2014 at 8:51 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        In countries where gay marriage has been legal long enough to collect divorce stats (Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, and Canada) it turns out that lesbians are more prone to divorce.

        This actually surprised me. The lesbians I know tend to be in stable relationships – thoughsome are what you might call "serial monogamists".
        On old joke:
        What do lesbians do on the third date?
        Move in together. (rim shot)

        February 28, 2014 at 9:01 am |
    • sam stone

      How can it be under attack when people are fighting for the right to get married?

      February 28, 2014 at 8:52 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        First the military, now marriage...
        Why are ho/mose/xuals fighting so hard to get into the worst insti/tutions?

        February 28, 2014 at 9:02 am |
    • Hover

      Denmark

      As of 1997, the same-s.ex partnership divorce rate was significantly lower than that of heteros.exual couples in Denmark. The vast majority of gay marriages in Denmark are male-male, and only 14 percent of these end in divorce, compared to 23 percent of female marriages. The higher rate for lesbians is consistent with data showing that women initiate most of the heteros.exual divorces in Denmark.[13]

      Netherlands

      In the Netherlands, slightly more marriages between women are recorded than between men: between 2006-2011 on average 690 and 610 per year respectively. The number of same s.ex divorces is between women much higher than between men: in the same period on average 100 women and 45 men divorced per year.[14]

      Norway and Sweden

      A study on short-term same-s.ex registered partnerships in Norway and Sweden found that divorce rates were 50-167% higher for same-s.ex couples than opposite-s.ex marriages, and that unions of lesbians are considerably less stable, or more subject to serious change, than unions of gay men.[15] The authors cited that this may be due to same-s.ex couples "non-involvement in joint parenthood", "lower exposure to normative pressure about the necessity of life-long unions" as well as differing motivations for getting married.[15]

      United Kingdom

      The divorce rate of same-s.ex couples within 30 months of the introduction of legally binding civil partnerships was slightly less than one percent in the United Kingdom.[16]

      United States

      As of 2011, for states with available data, the dissolution rate of same-s.ex couples is lower that of opposite-s.ex couples. The percentage of those same-s.ex couples who end their legal relationship ranges from 0% to 1.8%, or 1.1% on average across all listed jurisdictions per year, while 2% of married opposite-s.ex couples divorce annually. [17]
      –Wiki

      Divorce lawyers have everything to cheer about, more marriages means more business!

      February 28, 2014 at 8:55 am |
  15. Austin

    The birth of Christ. Is Gods declaration of war on sin. The holy spirit convicts the world of all sin.

    The holy spirit and the word of God are judge.

    You are not a judge and we do not accept only part of the mind of Christ.

    We can not worship any one sin without rejecting and greiving the holy spirit.

    Bear fruit worthy of repentance.

    February 28, 2014 at 8:35 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So God hadn't decalred war on sin when He razed cities with fiery vengeance, decimated whole tribes of heathens and heretics or snuffed the life from 99.9% of all creatures on Earth?

      February 28, 2014 at 8:47 am |
      • sam stone

        Yeah, Doc, he wasn't even pi$$ed off at the time

        February 28, 2014 at 8:50 am |
    • sam stone

      No heaven, no hell, no god, no sin, no repentance

      But a compelling story for the needy to grab onto

      February 28, 2014 at 8:48 am |
    • ausphor

      Austin
      I am interested how you spend so much time on this blog. Are you employed or have some other source of income, soothsaying, perhaps?
      I also spend time on this blog, but I am semi retired and the work I do from home requires me to be on the computer watching stock markets and financial news. and advising clients. I usually have 5 or six sites running at the same time, multi tasking.

      February 28, 2014 at 8:53 am |
  16. Austin

    If Chirst is risen then we can resist any temptation and sinful lifestyle. That is the whole point.

    It is written.

    February 28, 2014 at 8:30 am |
    • sam stone

      it is written by iron age man, stealing from bronze age stories, translated and edited by peoople with agendas

      February 28, 2014 at 8:45 am |
    • Woody

      "If Chirst is risen "

      Hmm, I seem to detect a little doubt in Austin's statement.

      February 28, 2014 at 9:32 am |
  17. Austin

    I have more of an issue with the the new testament message of freedom fron sin. The command to repent.

    I think blasphemy is an attack. If a preacher is openly gay then he should just say "i dont take Gods word literally and i choose t o live in sin and create my own self sufficient religion"

    That is apostacy.

    February 28, 2014 at 8:05 am |
    • sam stone

      Everyone should create their own religion. Those who purport to speak for god, such as preachers, or evangelists, should be soundly ridiculed

      February 28, 2014 at 8:12 am |
      • Austin

        It is written.

        February 28, 2014 at 8:16 am |
        • sam stone

          So is Harry Potter

          February 28, 2014 at 8:39 am |
      • Austin

        Hows it going sam? Ready for spring? I cant believe what they did wiith the price of propane.

        Supply and demand psych op.

        February 28, 2014 at 8:18 am |
        • sam stone

          Yes, I am looking to get behind the rototiller, or on the bike, or in the kayak, or into and out of the aircraft

          February 28, 2014 at 8:40 am |
    • Austin

      Be a slave as a natural man but no saved person is a slave to sin.

      The video showed the guy speaking of tolerance. There was no mention of salvation and repentence.

      That guy is not a minister of the baptism of water and fire.

      He is a deceiver.

      February 28, 2014 at 8:14 am |
      • sam stone

        Sin is a man made concept that has relevance to those outside the religion that defines it

        February 28, 2014 at 8:42 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Great use of the No True Scotsman Fallacy. You're not much of a christian yourself.

        February 28, 2014 at 10:02 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          At least not a true Christian in regards to not passing judgement and treating others as you wish to be treated.

          February 28, 2014 at 10:06 am |
  18. Reality

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow mindedness, violence and hatred continue unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    February 28, 2014 at 6:57 am |
  19. Doris

    Let's try this again – my html for tricky words had a bad tag.

    From the Washington Post, feb. 3, 2014
    By Jonathan Rauch
    "There are cases that try men’s souls. One such for me is Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Scott Lively.

    [..]

    Scott Lively is an obsessively anti-gay American evangelical minister. He is, according to National Journal, “perhaps the most extreme” of a network of U.S. evangelicals who, having failed in their crusade against all things gay at home, travel abroad to connect with anti-gay activists and arm them with arguments that, for example, homosexuals will seduce their children, corrupt all of society, and eventually take over the country. You don’t need to take my word for it; read Lively’s manifesto. It’s a 2007 missive to Russians suggesting they “criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality,” i.e., use state power to force gay people into the closet. This is something Russia actually did last year (rather indirectly, but quite effectively).

    Lively has traveled to Russia to explain the gay menace. He also been involved in similar efforts in Latvia. (You can read about that and much more in National Journal’s commendable article.) And he has been active for years in Uganda, a place where persecution of gays has taken a turn for the worse — partly, it seems fair to suppose, thanks to his efforts.

    In 2012, an American group called the Center for Consti>tutional Rights, representing a Ugandan group called Sexual Minorities Uganda, sued Lively in federal court in Massachusetts, where he lives, for crimes against humanity. It cited jurisdiction under the Alien Tort Statute, a vague and controversial law. The suit alleges that the law gives the Ugandans standing to sue Lively for his activities, which had a crucial nexus in the U.S. and therefore come under federal courts’ jurisdiction; it also charges that Lively not only advocated bad ideas in an abstract context but helped various Ugandans conceive and manage a campaign of persecution, thus involving himself in a joint criminal enterprise.

    Lively, with representation by Liberty Counsel (an evangelical legal organization), responded that in both the U.S. and Uganda he exercised constitutionally protected speech rights; that he opposes violence and neither committed nor plotted any; that Uganda did not in fact pass a proposed draconian anti-gay law, and that in any case Uganda’s political institutions, instead of himself, are responsible for its political decisions; and that the court lacks jurisdiction and the plaintiffs lack standing. If this case succeeds in reaching the expensive and intrusive discovery phase, he argues, it will chill advocacy of all kinds of ideas. In August, federal judge Michael Ponsor denied his motion for dismissal, while reserving judgment on the merits. Lively is now appealing that denial.

    Having read Ponsor’s ruling and Lively’s appeal, I am pained to say that Lively seems to have the better of the argument. Not necessarily that the suit should be dismissed; the judge makes a reasonable case for allowing it to proceed to the summary-judgment phase. But it probably shouldn’t get much further than that. On the facts as I read them, the plaintiff’s theory would leave no clear line between speaking one’s mind and engaging in a criminal conspiracy, at least if speaking one’s mind could be plausibly connected to some bad outcome. That theory seems very easy to abuse.

    Why so painful? Perhaps it’s easier to understand why this is not an easy free-speech case if I change “homosexual” to “Jew.” Suppose I travel to a country where a vulnerable Jewish community faces a hostile and volatile majority; I connect with anti-semitic demagogues, some of whom are politically influential; I equip them with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other anti-semitic propaganda; I warn them that an international Jewish cabal will prey on their children and take over their country; I and advise them to forcibly repress Judaism. If I do all of that, what am I doing? Something more morally and legally complicated than merely exercising my First Amendment rights in the marketplace of ideas, that’s for sure.

    If I could think of a way to hold Lively and his ilk legally accountable that could be reliably distinguished from protected expression, I would. Alas, I can’t. But this is a hard case for me, because in the context of Uganda (as in other countries where Lively et al. are active) there is a nexus between political advocacy and systematic violence that does not exist in, say, Baltimore. Maybe Judge Ponsor will find a defensible line. I’ll try to keep an open mind.

    Here is a much easier call. Lawsuits are a lousy instrument for dealing with this problem. If Lively wins, he’s a right-wing hero; if he loses, he’s a martyr. Either way, this case has potential to spread his fame far and wide and inspire imitators. He might succeed in commandeering the Supreme Court as his stage. All pretty enticing for a nut case from the fever swamps.

    Now, here’s what should be happening. Christians — especially evangelicals, and above all evangelicals who oppose gay marriage but insist they are not anti-gay (you know who you are!) — should be publicly repudiating what Lively is doing. They should make a very uncomplicated moral statement: “It is wrong and it is un-Christian to go abroad and help demagogues persecute homosexuals, whether intentionally or not.” They should treat Lively the way white blood cells treat a bacillus, walling him off before he discredits evangelicals more broadly — as surely he will.

    But to my knowledge, not a single prominent U.S. Christian leader has spoken up. Not one. Think about that.

    I wonder: if it were Jews instead of gays that Lively were going after, would the silence from mainstream Christians be more obvious?"

    February 28, 2014 at 1:48 am |
    • Austin

      That is insane to compare hose.x to jew.

      Jeudiasim or being hebrew is not a mental illness or disease.

      February 28, 2014 at 8:26 am |
      • Doris

        Idiot. get some education Austin

        February 28, 2014 at 8:45 am |
      • sam stone

        Neither is being gay, Austin

        February 28, 2014 at 9:40 am |
      • sam stone

        J-u-d-a-i-s-m, Austin

        You really are a dolt, aren't you?

        February 28, 2014 at 9:44 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Austin: So what you're saying is that gay is a mental illness/disease?

        February 28, 2014 at 9:58 am |
  20. Doris

    From the Washington Post, feb. 3, 2014
    By Jonathan Rauch
    "There are cases that try men’s souls. One such for me is Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Scott Lively.

    [..]

    Scott Lively is an obsessively anti-gay American evangelical minister. He is, according to National Journal, “perhaps the most extreme” of a network of U.S. evangelicals who, having failed in their crusade against all things gay at home, travel abroad to connect with anti-gay activists and arm them with arguments that, for example, homosexuals will seduce their children, corrupt all of society, and eventually take over the country. You don’t need to take my word for it; read Lively’s manifesto. It’s a 2007 missive to Russians suggesting they “criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality,” i.e., use state power to force gay people into the closet. This is something Russia actually did last year (rather indirectly, but quite effectively).

    Lively has traveled to Russia to explain the gay menace. He also been involved in similar efforts in Latvia. (You can read about that and much more in National Journal’s commendable article.) And he has been active for years in Uganda, a place where persecution of gays has taken a turn for the worse — partly, it seems fair to suppose, thanks to his efforts.

    In 2012, an American group called the Center for Constitutional Rights, representing a Ugandan group called Sexual Minorities Uganda, sued Lively in federal court in Massachusetts, where he lives, for crimes against humanity. It cited jurisdiction under the Alien Tort Statute, a vague and controversial law. The suit alleges that the law gives the Ugandans standing to sue Lively for his activities, which had a crucial nexus in the U.S. and therefore come under federal courts’ jurisdiction; it also charges that Lively not only advocated bad ideas in an abstract context but helped various Ugandans conceive and manage a campaign of persecution, thus involving himself in a joint criminal enterprise.

    Lively, with representation by Liberty Counsel (an evangelical legal organization), responded that in both the U.S. and Uganda he exercised constitutionally protected speech rights; that he opposes violence and neither committed nor plotted any; that Uganda did not in fact pass a proposed draconian anti-gay law, and that in any case Uganda’s political institutions, instead of himself, are responsible for its political decisions; and that the court lacks jurisdiction and the plaintiffs lack standing. If this case succeeds in reaching the expensive and intrusive discovery phase, he argues, it will chill advocacy of all kinds of ideas. In August, federal judge Michael Ponsor denied his motion for dismissal, while reserving judgment on the merits. Lively is now appealing that denial.

    Having read Ponsor’s ruling and Lively’s appeal, I am pained to say that Lively seems to have the better of the argument. Not necessarily that the suit should be dismissed; the judge makes a reasonable case for allowing it to proceed to the summary-judgment phase. But it probably shouldn’t get much further than that. On the facts as I read them, the plaintiff’s theory would leave no clear line between speaking one’s mind and engaging in a criminal conspiracy, at least if speaking one’s mind could be plausibly connected to some bad outcome. That theory seems very easy to abuse.

    Why so painful? Perhaps it’s easier to understand why this is not an easy free-speech case if I change “homosexual” to “Jew.” Suppose I travel to a country where a vulnerable Jewish community faces a hostile and volatile majority; I connect with anti-semitic demagogues, some of whom are politically influential; I equip them with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other anti-semitic propaganda; I warn them that an international Jewish cabal will prey on their children and take over their country; I and advise them to forcibly repress Judaism. If I do all of that, what am I doing? Something more morally and legally complicated than merely exercising my First Amendment rights in the marketplace of ideas, that’s for sure.

    If I could think of a way to hold Lively and his ilk legally accountable that could be reliably distinguished from protected expression, I would. Alas, I can’t. But this is a hard case for me, because in the context of Uganda (as in other countries where Lively et al. are active) there is a nexus between political advocacy and systematic violence that does not exist in, say, Baltimore. Maybe Judge Ponsor will find a defensible line. I’ll try to keep an open mind.

    Here is a much easier call. Lawsuits are a lousy instrument for dealing with this problem. If Lively wins, he’s a right-wing hero; if he loses, he’s a martyr. Either way, this case has potential to spread his fame far and wide and inspire imitators. He might succeed in commandeering the Supreme Court as his stage. All pretty enticing for a nut case from the fever swamps.

    Now, here’s what should be happening. Christians — especially evangelicals, and above all evangelicals who oppose gay marriage but insist they are not anti-gay (you know who you are!) — should be publicly repudiating what Lively is doing. They should make a very uncomplicated moral statement: “It is wrong and it is un-Christian to go abroad and help demagogues persecute homosexuals, whether intentionally or not.” They should treat Lively the way white blood cells treat a bacillus, walling him off before he discredits evangelicals more broadly — as surely he will.

    But to my knowledge, not a single prominent U.S. Christian leader has spoken up. Not one. Think about that.

    I wonder: if it were Jews instead of gays that Lively were going after, would the silence from mainstream Christians be more obvious?"

    February 28, 2014 at 1:45 am |
    • observernow

      Methinks he doth protest too much. I wonder . . .

      February 28, 2014 at 1:46 am |
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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.