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Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions
Pope Francis speaks at St Peter's square on December 11, 2013.
March 5th, 2014
10:04 AM ET

Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage on Wednesday, but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions.

The Pope reiterated the church's longstanding teaching that "marriage is between a man and a woman." However, he said, "We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety."

States, for instance, justify civil unions as a way to provide economic security to cohabitating couples, the Pope said in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Corriere della Seraan Italian daily. State-sanctioned unions are thus driven by the need to ensure rights like access to health care, Francis added.

A number of Catholic bishops have supported civil unions for same-sex couples as an alternative to marriage, including Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010, according to reports in National Catholic Reporter and The New York Times.

Behind closed doors, pope supported civil unions in Argentina, activist says

But Wednesday's comments are "the first time a Pope has indicated even tentative acceptance of civil unions," according to Catholic News Service.

Later on Wednesday, a Vatican spokesman sought to clarify the Pope's remarks.

"The Pope did not choose to enter into debates about the delicate matter of gay civil unions," said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant to the Vatican press office.

"In his response to the interviewer, he emphasized the natural characteristic of marriage between one man and one woman, and on the other hand, he also spoke about the obligation of the state to fulfill its responsibilities towards its citizens."

"We should not try to read more into the Pope’s words than what has been stated in very general terms," Rosica added.

Pope Francis, who marks his first year in office on March 13, has sought to set a more tolerant tone for his 1 billion-member church and suggested that a broad range of topics are at least open for discussion.

In January, the Pope recalled a little girl in Buenos Aires who told her teacher that she was sad because "my mother's girlfriend doesn't like me."

"The situation in which we live now provides us with new challenges which sometimes are difficult for us to understand," the Pope told leaders of religious orders, adding that the church "must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them."

The Vatican later denied that those comments signaled an opening toward same-sex unions.

Last June, Francis famously refused to judge gay priests in comments that ricocheted around the world. He has also said that the church should not "interfere" in the spiritual lives of gays and lesbians.

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

Support of same-sex unions of any type is fiercely contested by many Catholic church leaders.

In Wednesday's interview, Francis also addressed several other controversial issues, including the Catholic Church's ban on contraception, the role of women and the devastating clergy sexual abuse scandal.

On contraception, the Pope praised Pope Paul VI for having the "courage" to "go against the majority" when restating the ban in 1968. But, Francis said, the church must also be "merciful" and "attentive to concrete situations."

Contraception and church's ban on divorced Catholics receiving holy communion, will likely be addressed at major meetings of Catholic bishops in Rome in 2014 and 2015.

“We must give a response. But to do so, we must reflect much in depth,” the Pope said Wednesday.

On the role of women in the church, an issue of particular concern to Catholics in the United States, the Pope hinted that changes could be in the works.

"Women must be present in all of the places where decisions are taken," Francis said in the newspaper interview, but the church must consider more than "functional" roles for women. To that end, Catholic leaders are engaged in "deep reflection" on women's role in the church, he said.

On the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, a scandal that has rocked the church in the United States, the Pope said the abuse has left "very deep wounds" on victims.

In response, the church has done more than other institutions to be open and transparent about sexual abuse by its employees, Francis said. “But the Church is the only one to be attacked."

A United Nations panel criticized Catholic leaders last month in a hard-hitting report on clergy sexual abuse.

The report said the Vatican "has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.”

The Vatican said it would study the U.N. report.

Kick out those who sexually abuse children, U.N. panel tells Vatican

On Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who has surprised church-watchers with public appearances after saying he would live a cloistered life in retirement, Francis said he considers his predecessor a "wise grandfather."

"The Pope Emeritus is not a statue in a museum," Pope Francis said. Rather, the two men have decided that Benedict should participate in the church's public life rather than live a shuttered life.

"I thought about grandparents who with their wisdom, their advice, strengthen families and don't deserve to end up in an old folks home," Francis said.

Finally, he may sometimes wear a cape, but don't call Pope Francis a Superman, the popular pontiff said.

"To paint the Pope as a sort of Superman, a kind of star, seems offensive to me," Francis told Corriere della Sera. "The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps soundly and has friends like everyone else. A normal person."

Earlier this year, graffiti depicting a muscle-bound and flying Francis appeared on walls near Vatican City, but the Pope said Wednesday that he doesn't like the "mythology" surrounding his papacy, which marks its first anniversary on March 13.

For instance, Francis debunked the idea that he sneaks out of the Vatican at night to feed the homeless.

"It never occurred to me," he said.

(CNN's Delia Gallagher assisted in translating Pope Francis' remarks from the Italian.) 

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Discrimination • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,591 Responses)
  1. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Concerning the pope and the Catholic clergy:

    2 John 7-11

    For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

    March 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Doris

      (from Gullible's Travels, Part 2)

      March 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      So it isn't Christ you follow after all, but other men who claimed to follow him and taught differently than him.

      So, the answer is that yes, you are the heretic in this scenario. Got it.

      March 8, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        I keep the biblical evidence – not more, not less!

        March 8, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          So you freely admit that you prefer the words of mere mortals over the words of your god?

          I mean, when they contradict, you chose the words of the mortal men, so clearly you worship them and not the god you claim to serve.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          There is no condradiction between the words of Jesus and St. Paul. You err. St. Paul said the same using other terms.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          Clearly not.

          If Jesus said the whole of the law could be summed up with: Love God, Love your neighbors and love your enemy, but Paul comes along and adds constraints or exceptions, then clearly they did not teach the same things.

          Your error. But, that's okay. We're all human. We all err.

          I hope one day you find true unconditional love for yourself and the world around you. Hatred will suck you dry and leave you a dried out husk of yourself.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • Vic

          The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law on our behalf, which no mortal can fulfill, before His Passion.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Better say:

          Through faith in Jesus we get a new life: We love God and our fellwo human beings through the power of the Holy Spirit or Christ in us. Such a life is not in conflict with the law of the Torah, and therefore we fulfill the law through the love of Jesus in us.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Doris

          You and Vic really ought to conduct your by-laws meeting in private. It just puts most others to sleep.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
    • bostontola

      Except Jesus was the Deceiver in Chief. He failed the messiah test miserably. His apostles marketed him to a people in deep need of hope, the rest is history. Jesus is not the son of God , he's not even the messiah.

      March 8, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        You'll see!

        March 8, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • bostontola

          You worship a false God, I see now.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Jesus cured people, and forgave their sins. I can imagine no better God. He is certainly the right God.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          But he failed the criteria defined by Yahweh, he can't be.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
  2. bostontola

    There really isn't a conflict regarding gays in Christianity as far as I can tell. If you're not gay, you should love gays as you love yourself. In Christianity, all people are sinners, even the ones judging gays.

    Which of course brings us to point number 2, judge not lest ye be judged.

    March 8, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • Vic

      I posted the following a while back out of conviction:

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/25/who-is-on-gods-side-of-the-marriage-debate/comment-page-6/#comment-2243330

      March 8, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
      • midwest rail

        Vic – "We are not bound by the Old Covenant."
        Me – Except when it's convenient to use Leviticus as a platform for hatred and discrimination, right Vic ?

        March 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Vic

          I beg you a pardon.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
      • Alias

        It was bable then and it still is.
        It was completely unnecessary to kill jesus, even if you believe the rest of the bible.

        March 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • Vic

          Where do you get that?!

          March 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
  3. Vic

    Well, a lot happens in a New York minute, I wouldn't know where to start, so, here we go:

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    That's a perfect start of the day for me.

    Good afternoon ladies and gents...

    March 8, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord of the Flies ♰ ♰ ♰

      March 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        I misread that. I though it said Lord of the Files. I was gonna ask if he could come sort out this mess in my filing cabinet.

        March 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • Doris

          lol

          March 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Your file cabinet is an abomination....he has judged that it should burn.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          That would solve the problem. No more paperwork, no more work?

          Sounds plausible to me.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • Reality

      ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ has Recycled. Decomp is now complete. Praise the worms et. al.♰ ♰ ♰

      March 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
    • new-man

      Vic,
      I'm always blessed when I see you post Jesus Christ is Lord.

      Jesus preached the Kingdom; to be more precise, He preached the gospel of the Kingdom... so good news all around... the good news of the government of God... so there you have it folks... one world government.

      A kingdom entails a: King/Ruler; Territory; Subjects/Citizens; Laws etc.

      Scripture describes this government in detail even before Christ's birth:
      And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
      32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

      While on trial, Jesus told Pilate – my kingdom is not of this world.
      37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

      Jesus was born to be a Lord & King.
      Over where and what – see Isaiah 9:6

      March 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • Woody

      Jesus WHO?????

      March 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
  4. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    We face two issues today: The toleration of gay people and gay couples in the churches, and the legalisation of gay life-style in general civilian life.

    What is the more severe issue?

    Certainly, the toleration of gay people and gay couples in the churches.

    Why?

    Gayness is a kind of fornication. According to the biblical evidence somebody who persistently commits fornication has to leave the Church. Persistant fornication indicates that someone has abandoned his faith in Jesus Christ. The Church is the place where believers dwell in unity. The Church is not the place where evildoers are allowed to dwell.

    1. Corinth. 5, 9-13

    I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

    This passage is clear eneough. There is no room for persistant evildoers in the church.

    Therefore it is a calamity that very many churches of today tolerate gayness in their midst. At any rate that is against God's declared will, and will cause his wrath. Never in history churches turned apostate like today. That could be a sign that Jesus will return soon in order to judge.

    Concerning the civil life:

    There must be a place where people which don't belong to the Church can orderly live (rather exist) together. The best state would be that all people belong to the Church through faith, the well organized City of God. But, as many people hesitate to join the Church, there must be an emergency-system where they can live (rather exist) as long as God's patience is waiting (for their conversion to Jesus). Yet, seemingly, according to the biblical evidence, even if this emergency-system, the place of patience with the sinners, becomes too evil, it can cause God's wrath. When the sinners become to bold, God can put an end to their system because he is the ruler of the whole universe, not only the Lord of the Church.

    Nevertheless, the more severe issue is the toleration of gayness within the churches.

    The pope tolerates mandatory celibacy. That promotes child abuse by Catholic priests.. Therefore the pope is as guilty as the clergy of the churches tolerating gayness in their midst.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    P.S.: The most satanic verse of the pope in the above article is the following:

    "The church should not "interfere" in the spiritual lives of gays and lesbians."

    By that sentence the pope implies that gays and lesbians could have a spiritual life, as if gayness and any legitimate faith in God could be compatible.

    The pope is really the forerunner of the Antichrist because he legalizes the sin. The pope presumes to give sinners the soul's health without demanding repentance. That is against God's will.

    God says: "Only sinners repenting and believing in Jesus will ever get into heaven."

    No gay human being will ever get into heaven without repentance and faith in Jesus.

    The pope is a liar. He is like a lamb that talks like a dragon.

    March 8, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      We have other issues, too, Rainy

      One is arrogant religious fvcks thinking they know the thoughts of god.

      The pope is a liar?

      You are a bigot.

      March 8, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        The pope is even a soul killer.

        March 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Reality

          And RB's USA Lutheranism continues to ooze from his brainwashed pores !!!!

          March 8, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Some people have a porous brain.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Doris

          "Some people have a porous brain."

          True. Which is why they tend to gravitate toward ancient supersti-tion which has plenty of holes...

          March 8, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
    • bostontola

      I find it interesting when one group of Christians attack another group.

      March 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        You imply the RCC would be a Christian church?

        Ridiculous!

        March 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • bostontola

          Not me, 1,200,000,000 Catholics regard themselves and the Pope as Christian. Probably over 7,000,000,000 people regard the Pope as Christian.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Even many people can err. It is all the same to me.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Akira

          They are. Because Luther decided they weren't doesn't make them any less Christian.

          Grow up. Follow your faith and shut up about how others follow theirs. It makes you look silly and hypocritical, given your proclivities for stealing.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          The pope is the forerunner of the Antichrist – case closed!

          March 8, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • bostontola

          RHB,
          I wish only people like you were Christian, then there'd be fewer Christians than Jews.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Better a few good people than a lot of bad people. Ain't that simple?

          March 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • bostontola

          Quite simple, and I wish it were so. Thank you for proving my initial response to your post.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Akira

          Luther was the forerunner of the antichrist! Case closed!

          Just as absurd.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          2 John 7-11

          For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

          As the pope justifies the sin, he denies the incarnated Son of God, Jesus, who wants us to repent, and to change.
          When we claim to be Christians, we have to imitate the life of Jesus, and he was sinless. That must be our aim, maybe will never be our state.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • Doris

          Of course we don't know for sure who authored John. But it certainly seems to belong with Gullible's Travels, Part 2.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • otoh2

          Rainer,
          " we have to imitate the life of Jesus,"

          How about if you imitate the first 30 +/- years of his life, then, and just be nice and silent (other than sassing his mama)?

          March 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
    • Akira

      Rain,

      Stop being a bigot and start following the tenets of Jesus. For you are not doing so in any way, shape, or form. Your hatred of the Catholics and the Pope is palpable, no matter how you try and deny it.

      And stop stealing advertising space. Your Confessing Church must be tired of hearing you confess breaking the 8th Commandment on a daily basis.

      March 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        I don't hate Catholics but only the Catholic clergy, the pope, and the Catholic doctrine.

        The pope and the Catholic clergy is responsible for the soul's death of millions of ordinary Catholics.

        I feel for the ordinary Catholics. I myself have been such one once until I found Jesus.

        March 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          Doesn't Jesus teach you to love even your enemies?

          Are the pope and catholic clergy your enemies?

          March 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Yes, the pope and the Catholic clergy are my personal enemies. You put it well.

          There is an exception concerning the commandment you cited: The handling of heretics.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          I don't see any exceptions. I see: Love God, love your neighbors as yourself and love your enemy.

          Do you love your enemy, Rainer, or are you the heretic?

          March 8, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          I love everybody save heretics or antichristian clergy. That is according to the biblical evidence.

          Gal. 1: 8-9

          But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          No where does that say you have to do the cursing. In fact, to be the one doing the cursing, you violate what Jesus taught, what he said was the greatest commandments.

          Isn't that heretical?

          March 8, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          St. Paul cursed.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          So, like I said, you worship the man not your god. Got it.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          I worship Jesus, the Son of God.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          Prove it. Follow his commandments. Love your enemies. Unconditionally.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Jesus' love towards the Scribes and Pharisees was that he called them: "Offspring of vipers!"

          Anything else?

          March 8, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          Yes, he said they were poisonous. Did he anywhere say that he hated them? Did he demand that they bow down to him and do things his way?

          Hate will never change the person you hate, Rainer. It only changes you.

          March 8, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
        • Akira

          You hate Catholics. Pretending otherwise is absurd.

          The Pope is guilty of exactly the sane thing Luther and you are: their version is the the "true" one. Hogwash.

          You know nothing about the state of other people's souls; worry about the state of your own and quit bashing millions of people.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
    • Doris

      I found an old picture of Rainy.... You just have to imagine that he's a bit older now and donning a very specific type of Lutheran vestments from the neck down...

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVG1q49yPaY&w=640&h=360]

      March 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Only sinners repenting and believing in Jesus will ever get into heaven."

      If people like you will be there....I am fine with that....in fact I wouldn't go if given the choice. You worship a bigot.

      March 8, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • igaftr

      "Certainly, the toleration of gay people and gay couples in the churches."

      What is worse is tolerating those who are intolerant of people who happen to be gay.

      March 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
    • Doris

      RainBra: "Gayness is a kind of fornication."

      Willful ignorance is Rainy's strong suit. He tries hard not to be outdone.

      March 8, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
  5. colin31714

    I have always found it ironic that the Christian god is further removed from Yahweh than Allah is. It was only after Christianity had budded off from Judaism that the Christians tacked Jesus and the Holy Spirit onto Yahweh to create God. The Muslims, like the Jews, totally reject this notion of Jesus being some kind of spastic half god-half man and stick strictly to the notion of a nebulous, detached god.

    The timing of the creation of the Christian God, about 200 CE, is also such that the Christian god, the Holy Trinity, does not get mentioned once in the entire Bible. One would think that, if the Christian god were real, and gave us his holy book, the Bible, he might have mentioned himself.

    March 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
    • bostontola

      I agree. To me, it is absurd to regard the Yahweh character in the OT and the Jesus character as the same. Their temperament, morality, personality are all different. If they are supposed to be the same timeless omniscient God, ridiculous.

      March 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  6. Heaven Sent

    Austin, you are a good egg. Keep telling the atheists on these articles the Truth about Jesus, who is the son of God. My 12-year-old daughter leaves her kids with me until breakfast. You atheists will find out the pain of satan’s world when you leave this Earth.

    Amen.

    March 8, 2014 at 11:56 am |
    • midwest rail

      "...you are a good egg. "
      Well, AB, in a poe-ish, pathological liar sort of way, yes.

      March 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
    • Truth Be Told

      Amen, Heaven Sent. Athiest say that everyone is born an athiest, but a GOOD farmer can smell a bad egg as soon as its laid. Amen.

      March 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
      • Heaven Sent

        These prideful atheists think they can live their carnal lifestyles and get into heaven by saying "I'm sorry" for fornicating and masturbating and murdering. God will punish them by sending them to their father's kitchen, hell. The kittens just had more kittens in the bathtub. The atheists on these blogs had better start their walk with Jesus.

        Amen.

        March 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
  7. Austin

    The old testament t was rough. Cain killer led a new nation.

    The kingdom is growing. The only ones.not being.added are refusing life.

    March 8, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      What kingdom are you speaking of? Every time you post you sound more delusional.

      March 8, 2014 at 11:04 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        You mean Superman's home planet??

        March 8, 2014 at 11:16 am |
    • Doris

      "The old testament t was rough. "

      There simply was no air-conditioning. There is no need to return to that way of life.

      March 8, 2014 at 11:09 am |
      • Doris

        The Bible should be really called "The Things a Lack of Decent Air-Conditioning Will Drive People to Do".

        March 8, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • Doris

          (and Imagine during bouts of fever)

          March 8, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • Doris

          "having sand in your diapers will make you do"

          oh goodness, I hate it when it does that...

          I don't sit on the lay on the beach anymore; walking's ok, but I have no need for sand where it shouldn't be

          March 8, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • Doris

          not "sit on the lay on the beach", but lay or sit on the beach

          March 8, 2014 at 11:17 am |
    • Austin

      How much less blood did Israel cause than u.s. and their cause was just. To repeat..

      ..they came up from slavery requesting passage compass through Canaan and they were met with hostility.

      What they did can't be looked back on fairly if you hate on them and justify yourself as an America.

      That's anti semitism.

      Good morning.
      Donald.

      The US has blood in hands.

      March 8, 2014 at 11:22 am |
    • sam stone

      The kingdom is coming, Austin?

      Seems to me it's been comig a couple thousand years

      What is taking it so long?

      Better yet, why aren't you meeting it halfway?

      Come on, Austin, jeebus is waiting

      March 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
  8. Austin

    I like Joshua and Judas maccabeaus.

    They are awesome warriors.

    March 8, 2014 at 10:10 am |
    • Austin

      Hilarious!

      March 8, 2014 at 10:47 am |
    • Doris

      The Power Rangers were pretty popular for a while. I'm guessing they smelled better than Joshua and Judas maccabeaus.

      March 8, 2014 at 11:21 am |
  9. Austin

    When Israel got out of slavery they were wandering and when they finally came up out the desert they were asking for permission to travel through these territories and they came under attack.

    That would like then italians killing the Syrians in the boats.

    So there were wars for the right to survive and travel to get there.

    You can go ......

    March 8, 2014 at 10:08 am |
  10. Austin

    How many women and children were blown up in Iraq? You still an American.?

    No what if America moved into Iraq?

    March 8, 2014 at 10:04 am |
    • sam stone

      You go first. Go to Iraq and be a witness for jeebus. Better yet, do it in Iran. I am sure they will be impessed by your dreams

      March 8, 2014 at 10:22 am |
    • Doris

      I wonder how many cells were destroyed when I last picked my nose? What if I moved into my nose? 🙄

      March 8, 2014 at 11:27 am |
      • Doris

        (I'm not trying to be insensitive to the horrible effects on Iraqis (and everyone) by the unnecessary war, but just wondering what the heck Austin means. There always is some twisted, underlying "message".)

        March 8, 2014 at 11:56 am |
  11. colin31714

    Here's one verse where rap.e is specifically condoned (along with the mass murder of captured soldiers). "

    Here is Moses talking to the Israelites “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the LORD in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people. Now kill all the boys. And Kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."

    March 8, 2014 at 9:46 am |
    • colin31714

      Numbers 31: 16-18

      March 8, 2014 at 9:48 am |
      • Austin

        The bible makes it clear just for you that they were survivalists and went to great lengths to emerge as a priestly nation set apart .

        They as.similate. as needed. It's a do or die technique.

        Israel was surrounded by people who were worse and who were led by Satan prevent the line of David.

        Every American has benefited ffrom world wars hat killed way more people for thensake of.your modern nation.

        If all the warring countries desired to live in an area the size of galilee in world war 2 there would have been wife swapping a.ssimilation.

        March 8, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • igaftr

          Austin
          you are clearly losing your grip on reality.
          Seriously, get help.

          March 8, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • myweightinwords

          So...if you're surrounded by bad people, it's okay to rape your way to being better than them?

          What?

          March 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
  12. Austin

    Didantric.

    Keep hypothesizing . Abraham's people were captives for four hundred year. They were vulnerable surrounded by nations who worshipped molech ashtarte and chemosh.

    They were the brutal war empires of child sacrifice who brutally rejected the dignity of Israel.

    Now the question can be seen by considering circ.umcision . This was an advantage vigorous breeding. Israel had to gain a populous advantage to thrive as a sovereign nation the light and salvation vehicle.

    God was intervening with the world in a situation of surrounding evil satanic rivalry to God Almighty.

    Satan knew Jesus and the seed of Abraham.

    For god to choose to as.simulate anyone was an act mercy. Males were discarded while females could rear children and have their sins atoned for.

    What are you gonna do about it? Kill hem are take them in. Might as well give them children and love them as family.

    What are the options?

    Don't argue with God about servanthood.

    March 8, 2014 at 9:42 am |
    • Austin

      Trading Jesus Christ for a mal content opinion about a war society and time 2000 b.c is a totally blind.and deaf decision.

      You are only hurting yourself.

      Stop rejecting the pains that your spiritual patriarchs went through to give you the better covenant. Perpetual forgiveess, the word of God And the
      holy spirit.

      You have a.free ride .

      March 8, 2014 at 9:50 am |
      • Alias

        A free ride??
        It isn't free and it will take you nowhere.

        March 8, 2014 at 9:55 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Only crazy men like you argue with imaginary beings. Seek help and stop lying (you don't have validated, evidence of god or you'd provide it and not be a coward). What a delusional little waste you are!

      March 8, 2014 at 9:53 am |
      • Austin

        Thanks

        March 8, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Have you contacted JRF yet or are you going to remain a coward?

          March 8, 2014 at 11:08 am |
    • ausphor

      Austin
      Next time your are hearing the voice in your head ask it, why when the new covenant arrived was the old timey BS (the Jew's history) was not discarded and the new testament became the WORD? Would have solved a lot of crap that the apologists have to deal with.

      March 8, 2014 at 10:10 am |
  13. Zac

    The bible condones rape and stoning and murder and rape, did we mention rape already?

    March 8, 2014 at 8:00 am |
    • O'Bryan

      Where in the Bible does it specifically condone r a pe? Before you shoot your mouth off next time , make sure you cite the passage.

      March 8, 2014 at 8:10 am |
      • Zac

        Deut 22

        March 8, 2014 at 8:12 am |
        • O'Bryan

          What is Deut?? You're referring to Deuteronomy 22?

          Deuteronomy 22 is talking about justice for women who were r a p e d. And you call this condoning?? Do you deliberately come here to twist scriptures?

          When you read the Bible you have to understand that it was written for a group of people who were on the move, they had no security guards or police or guns to protect them, they had no doctors and hospitals. They were simply on the move.

          To protect these people from lawlessness, God gave them(a specific group of people) laws to abide by. Women should not be r a p e d, adul tery is wrong, if anyone violated these laws, they had to pay a price. It is justice. A women who was ra pe d would be considered "damaged" as her virginity was lost, no one in the community would dare marry her. The provisions of Deuteronomy 22 made sure these women were not discarded as "damaged" goods, instead they were to be married and future secured.In those days, men took care of women and provided security and stability.

          In the case of adultery, it was wrong back then. Sleeping around with other people's husbands and wives is not cool. To deter people from committing adultery they were given death penalty. With this provision, people must have been terrified enough to not want to commit this disgusting act. These laws were in place for a purpose and it's purpose was to deter people from committing acts violating the sacredness of family and marriage.

          March 8, 2014 at 8:34 am |
        • O'Bryan

          Before spouting your ignorance about the Bible, do some research. You hatred for Christianity is telling, in that you come here , day in and day out, copying and pasting verses out of context with no relevance and hoping to sneakily slide these verses without someone noticing the obvious error in your position against the Bible.

          March 8, 2014 at 8:44 am |
        • igaftr

          O Bryan
          SO a woman is ra.p,ed and then she is forced to marry her ra.p.ist to make it right? you think that is justice?
          This practice is still going on in Morocco, where there are many suicides by the women who are forced to marry the ra.p.ist.
          How exactly is that justice?
          Also , claiming that is from god is pure speculation, since not one word of the bible was written by any gods, and there is absolutely no sign of any gods anywhere.
          These are mens laws, in which they treat women as if they are property.
          Where exactly is the justice for the women?

          this BS from the bible, clearly shows that a woman not being a virgin, is far worse than being a ra.p.ist.

          Just another place where the bible is clearly the work of ignorant men for the purpose of controlling people.
          It is propoganda, pure and simple.

          March 8, 2014 at 8:47 am |
        • O'Bryan

          Your warped sense of justice does not play before God. If you so much cared about ra pe victims what are you doing to fight this today? Are you an activist that has ended ra pe in the world?

          You can fool yourself with all this pseudo concern for mankind you may have , it does not impress the rest of us one bit.

          God knows the heart of man and he provided the perfect justice for those people who were transitioning into a society during those times.

          March 8, 2014 at 9:28 am |
        • Akira

          O'Bryan,
          Where exactly is the justice for the women?

          March 8, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • O'Bryan

          Playing along...

          what is justice according to you for those women who were r a p e d?

          March 8, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          O Bryan: It seems you are the one warped here. It seems that you are agreeing that a woman should be forced to live her life with the man who is guilty of inflicting such horrific torture upon her. Before spewing to an atheist that they don't know the bible, learn a little...most Atheists know more about it then you possible do...the difference is that unlike the 41000 different interpretations christians have as it pertains to the sect of the cult they belong to, Atheists understand it at face value. The book condones rape; slavery; child abuse; oppression of women and LGBT. Your imaginary friend (aka god) is a vindictive prick that is not worthy of the respect its gullible followers give it.

          March 8, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • igaftr

          "God knows the heart of man and he provided the perfect justice for those people who were transitioning into a society during those times."

          What do you mean "those times"...The bible is CURRENTLY being used to justify this practice.
          Again...claiming god has authority would require you to show there is a god or gods... I do not recognize the authority of soemthing that appears to be entirely imaginative.

          You bible teaches to treat women as property, and clearly the "stain" on a woman for not being a virgin, when she is ra.p.ed is FAR worse than the offence of the R.a.pe itself.

          Your bible is clearly immoral, but then so is all of christianity. The basis tenet of christianity is to allow another to take your just punishment, so it isn't surprising to hear more from your warped "morality"

          March 8, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • Alias

          What about the girls who were taken as wives after all the men, women and boys were killed?

          March 8, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • ausphor

          O'Bryan
          I think that your twisted belief in an all loving God for all of his creations is a delusion. So god made these rules up for a nomadic poorly educated people and has allowed mankind to evolve better more compassionate laws that Christian nations have today. Begs the question, if your god allowed his chosen people to advance, what about all the rest of your god's creations (the other 5 billion people) that he doesn't seem to give a sh!t about? Many places on earth that woman are treated about the same now as your primitive tribal culture; you asked what igaftr was doing about it, what the hell is your all loving god doing about it? Nothing, it/he does not exist, get over it.

          March 8, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • O'Bryan

          Looks like a bunch of trolls are posting irrelevant comments in this thread.

          Answer the question-What is justice according to you for those women who were r a p e d? If you are not able to answer this question, you are proving the point that you have no valid argument against the Bible.

          March 8, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • igaftr

          "Looks like a bunch of trolls are posting irrelevant comments in this thread.

          Answer the question-What is justice according to you for those women who were r a p e d?

          AHH...I see...ad hominem and miderection, claiming trolls are changing the subject where it is you who is attemting to re-direct and deflect.

          As far as justice for the women? Prison or death for the man who ra.p.ed them, not being forced to marry the ra.p.ist.

          Why do you think that is just?

          March 8, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          O Bryan: How are the comments irrelevant to what Zac initially said and to your absurd response that defended your imaginary friend? You made the abusrd claim that the bible doesn't condone anything of what Zac stated, we merely pointed out where you are wrong...so stop the whining!
          Justice to those women would be throwing the rapists in a pit so deep that they could never harm another woman again but then again that would be justice for your god if your god were real.

          March 8, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • Austin

          Yet we support American killing millions in thewww1 www2 another million in.the gulf.

          Are you an American?

          Do you reject ameri.ca secular killer or just God.?

          You live and hate.

          March 8, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Austin: What does that have to do with the original OP's comment?
          Catch up crazy man or just like your cult you'll be left behind!!

          March 8, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • sam stone

          O'Bryan: Who are you to speak for god?

          March 8, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • ausphor

          Austin
          Millions were killed for using the world wide web, now you do have me frightened.

          March 8, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • O'Bryan

          "As far as justice for the women? Prison or death for the man who ra.p.ed them, not being forced to marry the ra.p.ist"

          — First off, this is exactly why you are not qualified to comment about the Bible. That statement right there betrays your IGNORANCE!

          —Secondly, how is death for the man, justice for a women who was robbed of her virginity?

          As to the rest of the useless comments— the poe and other trolls can step aside.

          March 8, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • igaftr

          obryan
          " First off, this is exactly why you are not qualified to comment about the Bible. That statement right there betrays your IGNORANCE!"

          Exactly how?
          EVERYONE is qualified to comment about the bible.
          In what way am I showing ignorance?

          How is NOT punishing the man justice? How is making the victim marry her attacker justice?
          Please elaborate.

          March 8, 2014 at 11:00 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "As to the rest of the useless comments— the poe and other trolls can step aside"

          Ah did someone get their wee feelings hurt??
          How are the comments useless? Who is a poe and who are the trolls??
          What to you is justice for a woman who has been raped? See in the REAL world what your immoral guide book says on the matter doesn't matter. What makes you any more qualified to speak of the bible then people who are recovering christians? They do say that the greatest path to disbelief is to read the bible...maybe you should try it instead of just picking and choosing what parts work best for you.

          March 8, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I have read the bible cover to cover several times in my life and I know for a fact that it does not really support r a p e so much as it values men more than women and thus treats women more as property, like a Hebrew male might be told to treat his prized sheep well. But when it comes time for the party that sheep is getting cooked and eaten because its there for the male to do with as he sees fit, just like he can do with his women. Treat them well, but at the end of the day they are just considered another material asset.

          As for what justice is there for women who have been r a p e d? Eye for an eye would seem to require the men be brutally penetrated by some rough splintery boards and publicly humiliated. Since that is never going to happen then at least strong prison sentences where they will have the most opportunity to have the same done to them in prison.

          I wonder what the laws against r a p e would be if it was 1 in 3 males being s e x ually assaulted in their life times.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • Akira

          O'Bryan:
          So your idea of Justice for the rapped women is what? Because I must have missed the answer while you were insulting people.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • believerfred

          neverbeenhappieratheist
          No wonder you went running for the lie of the world over the truth in the Bible. You have it all wrong at its very core. How anyone can come away from reading the Bible with your conclusion demands a heart and an eye that is looking for dirt rather than the light.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
    • dandintac

      And it's more than the Bible–it's God himself–and more than condones, he specifically commands these things. Yet Christians insist he is all-good. Christians try to blame people instead of God, but it doesn't work, because God specifically COMMANDS these things, and even punishes people if they don't.

      March 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
  14. dandintac

    Peace, I don't buy the "it's we imperfect humans, not perfect God" excuse for the immorality in the Bible.

    Human sacrifice, murder and mayhem, slavery and how much you can beat your slave, stoning adulterers, gays, non-believers, inequality of women, ra-pe, forcing women to marry their ra-pist, even genocide–all of this is explicitly commanded by God. EXPLICITLY. There is simply no way one can honestly square this with any sort of notion of rational morality. If we were to truly live up to the morality of the Bible, it would be worse than living in Afghanistan under the Taliban. If God were the source of morality, then this is his morality.

    Most Christians aren't even aware of all this. They cherry pick their Bible, or more likely their priests and ministers tell them what to read and what to think. Most people instead, apply a basic, decent, humanistic morality to their every day lives that has roots in our human nature and western secular values traceable to the Enlightenment. Then when asked, they'll claim they get their morality from God, or from the Bible.

    Meanwhile Christian apologists offer up feeble excuses for the rampant and appalling immorality that the Bible is stiff with.

    "Out of context!" some moan, without ever explaining how.

    "Who are we to judge?" is another, which evades the whole issue, and ignores the fact that Christians DO judge–they just judge it good.

    "It's humans, not God" which ignores the fact that God COMMANDS these things! And besides, why can't all-powerful God put a stop to it and do a better job with his moral instructions? Aren't we all duty-bound to stop something monstrously evil if we can?

    "That was just OT–we have a new covenant now!" which ignores the fact that it's the same God, the OT is still in your Holy Book and you use the 10C all the time, which apparently is still good enough to erect monuments in front of every courthouse in the south, and if God's morality is supposed to be objective, why has it changed? Is God a waffler?

    These guys make the case for god's immorality in a more compelling manner than I could. Their conclusion? God is not good. That's one way to square the facts. I think it more likely that this perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good God, the font of morality–just doesn't exist.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx7irFN2gdI&w=640&h=360]

    March 8, 2014 at 12:03 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Great movie!

      March 8, 2014 at 12:15 am |
    • observernow

      dandintac,

      Your comments were excellent and accurate.

      With all the copy-and-paste by Christians on here, please consider copying and pasting your comments wherever applicable.

      March 8, 2014 at 12:29 am |
      • dandintac

        observer, you flatter me. I don't always have time to do this. But some of my posts I put quite a bit of work and thought into, so maybe I'll start saving some of them. I hate to post exactly the same thing (I think "Reality" for one overdoes this), but I can always rework it a little bit to make it more specifically applicable.
        Thanks

        March 8, 2014 at 12:41 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Please don't just copy and paste the same thing over and over. In addition to Christians, there are many atheists that do such things. If observernow has failed to see non-Christians posters like reality, dyslexic doG and others do that, but is quick to point out Christians doing that...

          ...he must be blind or just a giant hypocrite.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:51 am |
        • observernow

          Dalahäst,

          Please READ a comment completely before replying. I complimented dandintac for ONE POSTING that I thought was an EXCELLENT summary of the situation. It is certainly worth repeating WHEREVER APPLICABLE.

          There certainly is copy-and-paste on all sides. My reference to Christians was triggered by the totally UNRELATED postings of several of them. Austin often finds random passages so he has something to occupy space while refusing to actually answer any questions.

          Spamming large volumes of the same comments by either side is often a waste. The comments by dandintac WERE NOT.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:34 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Please don't just copy and paste the same thing over and over."

          You mean like Einstein quotes...? As if his opinion was somehow correct based on some false authority on the subject?

          March 8, 2014 at 1:37 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, I'm guilty of it. But I also don't try and say, don't copy and paste like those atheists. While knowing very well that non-atheists copy and paste.

          'The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.' – AE

          There.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:43 am |
      • Dalahäst

        It is just an opinion.

        Most Christians are aware of the difficult passages in the OT. And most don't just cherry pick around them. We discuss them. And try to understand what is being said and what that means today. Some things we are really not sure about. And sometimes new understandings develop that better explain how a passage was understood by primitive people that didn't have the same luxuries and understandings we have today.

        The Bible describes the people honestly. God often choose people who were far from perfect and not good role models.

        We still live with slavery, murder and genocide today. I feel like a slave at times, especially when I struggle to pay my bills and taxes. I lose my freedom quick.

        March 8, 2014 at 12:56 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "We still live with slavery, murder and genocide today."

          Well maybe it would have been helpful for your god to outlaw these actions...instead of ordering, condoning and sanctioning.... slavery, murder and genocide.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:32 am |
        • Dalahäst

          The United States of America killed innocent people and enslaved people in defeating the Nazis. I don't think the nation was being evil, it was fighting evil.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:51 am |
        • dandintac

          Dalahäst

          The Bible does not merely "describe" these atrocities. God commands them, Dalahäst, he COMMANDS them.

          March 8, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It honestly describes that, yes. No sugar coating. No cherry picking around it. There it is.

          March 9, 2014 at 12:25 am |
        • dandintac

          "The United States of America killed innocent people and enslaved people in defeating the Nazis. I don't think the nation was being evil, it was fighting evil."

          We "enslaved" people to fight the Nazis? Really? Please provide a source for this claim.

          So you are comparing the US to the ancient Hebrews who according to the Bible, slaughtered the Midianites, the people of Og and Sihon, and so on.

          Did God command us to do what we did? If the Nazis claimed God sanctioned their actions, would you believe them? After all, they had "Gott Mit Uns" on the belt buckle of every Nazi stormtrooper. Would it make the Holocaust okay? In the Bible, God specifically COMMANDS the Hebrews to murder the Midianites. They were specifically told to kill every man, woman and boy, include male babies. The only ones spared were the virgin girls, who they could keep as se-x slaves. Do you think this is in any way comparable to the US army in the second world war? I challenge you to tell that a World War II veteran, or to their families. I think such a comparison is revolting.

          March 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know WWII veterans that believe in God. And they don't have the same understanding as you. Nor do I. Sorry. Thanks for sharing your understanding. I'm quite familiar with it. I really don't believe in the EvilBible.com version, which you seem to be sharing.

          I never said the US was a perfect analogy of the wars that were described in the OT, but it is similar. I've actually heard WWII veterans describe it as such.

          March 9, 2014 at 12:23 am |
        • Dalahäst

          http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/05/no-atheists-foxholes-wwii-vets-remain-religious

          March 9, 2014 at 12:46 am |
        • doobzz

          "I feel like a slave at times, especially when I struggle to pay my bills and taxes."

          What a ridiculous statement. As if that is any comparison to actual slavery.

          March 9, 2014 at 1:28 am |
        • Dalahäst

          If you have been imprisoned for failing to pay your taxes you may feel like you are enslaved. Especially when people that have imprisoned you don't pay the same taxes you are required to.

          One of the largest prisons in the world is in the US and it used to be a plantation.

          March 9, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • doobzz

          Nice dodge, Dala. As usual, you didn't respond to what I said.

          You are intellectually dishonest to the core.

          March 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't respond to what you say in the way you wish. Sorry about that buddy. Thank God my life isn't based on what some guy named "doobzz" on the internet says about me.

          Nobody bases their life on those kinds of standards but... you.

          March 9, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • doobzz

          More intellectual dishonesty, Dala. You dodge and weave, and then pretend that everyone else just doesn't like what you said. Perhaps one day you'll respond to someone's post with a relevant and direct answer.

          March 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Haha. You just made a statement, and you are criticizing me how I responded to the statement. And then acting like you are some kind of authority or that I have to meet your demands. It is like you imagine you are a bully or something. But, you are just kind of silly.

          Look, parts of what the Bible describes as slavery is similar to servitude. Like, you can't pay your bills, so instead of going to prison you agree to work off your debt. Or you can't feed or provide for your family so you agree to serve a wealthy person in exchange for food and shelter.

          If I can't pay my bills and taxes, I will not be free. I will become something more like a slave and less like a free man.

          March 9, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • observernow

          Dalahäst,

          "Feeling like a slave" is FAR FROM being a slave under God's brutal rules in the Bible.

          Perhaps you are not familiar with what the Bible says. Please read more of the Bible.

          March 9, 2014 at 4:15 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I am familiar with what the Bible says. Often it describes indentured servitude. People sell themselves into slavery because they can't afford to live. Aren't there laws described that free servants after 7 years?

          March 9, 2014 at 9:42 am |
      • Reality

        You and other orthodox Catholics/Christians have been th-umping/repeating the mostly fictional story of Jesus for about 2000 years. The th-umping has been getting quieter for the last 200 years when we "pew sitters" started our own reviews of said life and found significant flaws in the scriptural accounts. Hopefully, the truth through repeti-tion of said flaws will take no more than another 50 years to finally "deflaw" the current orthodoxy.

        March 8, 2014 at 8:22 am |
  15. Reality

    And the hammer continues to fall on Francis as he and his minions slowly disappear in a wave of disgraceful history and theology. Details previously presented and defended.

    March 7, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
    • observernow

      Reality,

      Yep. A lot of Christians are unhappy with him because he seems to try to follow the Golden Rule.

      March 8, 2014 at 12:30 am |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    From GQ:
    Actor Chris O'Dowd thinks following a religion will eventually become as offensive and unacceptable as racism. Now he says religious doctrine is halting human progress and brands it "a weird cult".

    March 7, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
    • Athy

      Eventually? It already is to me!

      March 7, 2014 at 11:59 pm |
    • dandintac

      I would love to see the day, but I doubt I will see it in my lifetime. I would be happy if people simply didn't take religion so seriously, and understood it as mythical and cultural–like how we view gods like Apollo and Athena today, and if no politician would dare to use it as part of their policy making, and no person would find a need to invoke religion to hate or persecute minorities.

      I'm not sure it's accurate that religion "halts" human progress, but it's definitely a ball and chain.

      March 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
  17. meatheist

    Don't push yourself. Let god do the type--I am sure he will if only you pray hard and long.

    March 7, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      MEAT HEIST!

      March 7, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        ME A THEIST?

        March 7, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Meat heist has a better ring to it....

          March 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • Akira

          I always see meat heist myself...not sure what that says about me...

          March 7, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
      • derado8

        Ha ha ha ha ha

        March 8, 2014 at 2:02 am |
      • AtheistSteve

        Does that make me At heist Steve? Constantly on the verge of grabbing the loot? I must be pretty wealthy by now.

        March 8, 2014 at 10:56 am |
  18. observernow

    As Austin and Vic have pointed out, we are no longer bound to the Old Testament.

    Here is a command that they consider INVALID now: There is no reason for Christians to ever mention it again.

    (Lev. 18:22) “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

    March 7, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Leviticus 18 is part of what biblical scholars call the Holiness Code. The code explicitly bans ho.mose.xual acts. But it also prohibits eating raw meat, planting two different kinds of seed in the same field and wearing garments with two different kinds of yarn. Tattoos, adultery and se.xual intercourse during a woman’s menstrual period are similarly outlawed.

      March 7, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Every law in Leviticus existed ALREADY in ancient Canaan. The editors/authors of Leviticus appropriated already extant cultural norms. NOTHING originated in the Bible. Religion sanctioned culture. One of the main concerns in Leviticus was the treatment of guests, and outsiders. The equal class of everyone was also a major theme. A male penetrated by another was seen a LOWER class than other males, (just as women were of lower class than men, in that culture. The equality concern was the reason scholars think that particular injunction was imported from the extant culture, into Leviticus. There were 3 levels of abominations. Male w male se'x was the same type of abomination as eating with a foreigner, (the lowest kind). They were forbidden to eat/dine with Egyptians, for example.

        March 7, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, that is why I don't try to live my life by the laws of Leviticus. They weren't written for me to follow.

          March 7, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Yea, that is why I don't try to live my life by the laws of The Bible. They weren't written for me to follow.

          March 7, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Then why do you claim to be a Christian Dala if you don't agree with the bible?

          March 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I am responsible for my actions – that law the Bible makes clear. I reap the consequences of that whether I choose to or not follow that principle.

          SeaVik

          I worship God, not the Bible. The Bible is a collection of books, which contains poetry, genealogies, history, fiction, parables, testimonies, personal letters, ancient wisdom, and so much more. But I can't say I agree with it all. That is not a requirement to follow Jesus.

          March 7, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And what would you you know about Jesus without the Bible?

          March 7, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Not a whole lot. That is not my argument with SeaVik, though. He seems to be suggesting that since I don't follow the laws that were written for Levite Priests, I have completely rejected the entire Bible.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Right but you worship the christian god as per christian texts. You were informed by the christian bible even though you do not appear to be too dogmatic about much in the bible.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          No he is suggesting that you pick and choose according to personal preferance....not revelation of a deity.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          God has been revealed to me as real and exists outside of the texts. The texts do offer guidance and education. People carry the message, too. Some things are validated by the texts – like understanding what the fruits of the spirit look like versus living by the flesh.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, he has some misunderstandings about me. That is ok.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "God has been revealed to me as real and exists outside of the texts."

          But when asked what god has revealed to you outside the texts your answer is....

          "Not a whole lot"

          Got it.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "God has been revealed to me" is no different than a schizophrenic seeing things. These sorts of things are entirely the result of brain chemistry.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Good one. But, the history of Jesus and the church I know from the text.

          The saving power of Jesus I have experienced in my life. It wasn't something I just read about and decided sounded reasonable. It had to be proven to me. I'm to skeptical to just accept something like that on blind faith.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          realbuckyball

          No, I'm not schizophrenic. And I have been evaluated as mentally sound... so... yea for modern psychological evaluations!

          I'm more than just a bunch of chemicals reacting to stimuli.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          There is nothing "historical" about gospels and Bible texts. They had no notion of "history" (and no word even for it) in archaic Hebrew. It's STILL all just in your head.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          realbuckyball

          Uh hu. Your chemicals in your brain are just having a bad reaction. Stop trying to dictate what your chemicals are imagining I must believe.

          It is just in YOUR head, lil buddy.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Actually you aren't. Just proof you know no science. Next you're gonna be telling us you believe in souls and immortality, (both of which the Hebrews did not believe in).

          March 7, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          I realize it's hard to give up your delusions. MRI scans and PET scans have docu'mented what happens in the brains of believers. You can "believe" whatever you like. You can believe the moon is made of green cheese.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm not a Hebrew. I do know science, but I'm not a scientist. But I do know science doesn't disprove God. Except maybe in your imagination.

          And who is us?

          March 7, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          " It wasn't something I just read about and decided sounded reasonable."

          But then I would think that when I ask...."And what would you you know about Jesus without the Bible?"

          Your answer would be something other than

          "Not a whole lot"

          It sounds exactly like... 'something I just read about and decided sounded reasonable.'

          March 7, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "But I do know science doesn't disprove God. "

          Science doesn't disprove a lot of things...that doesn't mean it is reasonable to accept them as true.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          True. I wouldn't know a whole lot about Jesus without The Bible. That is why it is important. For me, I experienced Jesus and was drawn to the Bible.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:36 pm |
        • observernow

          Dalahäst,

          "I do know science doesn't disprove God."

          True, but it disproves much of the nonsense in the Bible like the science fiction story about the flood.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          -Science doesn't disprove a lot of things...that doesn't mean it is reasonable to accept them as true.-

          Right. Other means can prove something as true.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          observernow

          Then don't believe that science fiction story. Nobody is requiring me to literally believe it. I'm encouraged to question and test it actually. And to ask lots of questions.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
        • observernow

          Dalahäst

          "I'm encouraged to question and test it actually. And to ask lots of questions."

          Is there ANYTHING in the Bible that tells you to do that?

          March 7, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          1 Thessalonians 5:21

          "Test all things; hold fast what is good."

          I'm encouraged to question and test things by my pastor and other people that teach me about scripture.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Actually science DOES disprove god.
          For a deity to "exist" it REQUIRES a few things, (spacetime) A deity which REQUIRES anything is no deity.
          Existence REQUITES time.
          A deity which requires anything is not the creator of Reality, and of necessity is subsumed within it.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "For me, I experienced Jesus and was drawn to the Bible."

          So what is your reason for rejecting large parts of the Bible? It seems like you just pick and choose according to your personal preference.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You are trying to use logic to disprove God. Not science. Let me guess, you are not a scientist?

          March 7, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Spacetime is science.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:52 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Nice try. Fail. There is no evidence for a deity. Your faith is based on your brain chemistry. Just like billions before you, of COURSE, you think your deity is the real one. You are no different. Every believer says the same thing you do.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + So what is your reason for rejecting large parts of the Bible? It seems like you just pick and choose according to your personal preference.

          Nope. I don't "reject large parts of the Bible". I try to understand the difference between “what it meant then?” to "what it means now?”

          For Christians, I don't think there is some time in the past we are trying to live up to. It is about the now and a better future. We are changing, and laws written for Levite Priests thousands of years ago are not meant for me to follow. We can read about them and learn about what the people were like. Warts and all. The Bible is very honest.

          I don't reject anything in the Bible. I just don't think what some people are suggesting is true; like I'm not asked to follow some small tribes outdated laws.

          March 7, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          realbuckyball

          Actually, not every believer says the same thing I do.

          There are a bunch of people that say the same things you do, though. I mean, most atheists do not make the outlandish claims you make. But some do. And you pretty much are not offering anything original or new. You seem very certain of yourself. But that is just in your head. Or you all (who is us?)'s heads.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Nope. I don't "reject large parts of the Bible". I try to understand the difference between “what it meant then?” to "what it means now?”

          So the meaning changed over time? But the Bible says god isn;t the author of confusion...and God doesn't change. Now you are contradicting what is written in the Bible.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:10 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Actually, not every believer says the same thing I do."

          You are right....and you can't all be right...but you can all be wrong.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:11 am |
        • Dalahäst

          -So the meaning changed over time? But the Bible says god isn;t the author of confusion...and God doesn't change. Now you are contradicting what is written in the Bible.-

          People have changed. What ancient Hebrews needed is different from what modern Americans need. There are a lot of factors to look at. Like, some of the laws people took upon themselves as a way to make themselves holy and pure. They choose to follow them and took vows to uphold a certain way of life, in attempt to separate themselves from others. Some of the laws were clearly given to a specific people (like it says: to the Hebrews). I'm not a Hebrew, but I can still read about them. The biggest factor is I'm living under an new covenant – God didn't change, but the relationship with people has.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:27 am |
        • dandintac

          Dalahast, that excuse doesn't work! The ancient Hebrews needed slavery, ra-pe, human sacrifice, murder and mayhem, and genocide? Sorry–I don't buy it.

          Imagine if people today tried to make that excuse today. "But we NEED to molest children! Really!" Or "But we needed to kill all the Jews!!"

          What's wrong is wrong–correct? Then or now. Otherwise how can one characterize it as "objective morality"? Was God really so helpless that he couldn't command the ancient Hebrews to behave better? He ACCEPTED these human sacrifices! He COMMANDED the genocide, stonings, murder, etc. And if people are behaving badly–why should they call the shots because of their "needs"? This is GOD–if they don't obey, he need only smite them down.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:35 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Nice try. At deflection. Fail. So ... you are unable to address the actual points. That's what I thought. ANother believer with nothing but personal interpretation of personal anecdotal mental events .. projected as a "deity" explanation, as you have no other explanation, and above ALL, YOU NEED an explanation. It's about ambiguity tolerance, and the psychology of cognitive closure. Thanks for demonstrating that once again.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:31 am |
        • SeaVik

          As I said before Dala, if it's ok to reject parts of the bible and pick and choose what you believe in and still consider yourself a Christian, then "Christian" ceases to have any meaning since it can be different for everyone. If you can pick and choose, then literally every Christian is an atheist from the perspective of every other Christian since they all have their own unique version of god. I hope you'll address the core question rather than continue to ignore it.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:34 am |
        • Dalahäst

          @dandintac

          I oppose human sacrifice, murder, mayhem and genocide. I'm not making an excuse for such a thing. But such things have existed, and still do today. And I oppose them. What I see in the Bible is it honestly being described.

          But in now way is there some permission for me to become wicked like them.

          And I have a God that opposes such wicked things. And I belong to a community that opposes such things. And takes action against them.

          Are there some difficult things in the Bible to understand? Yes. I don't have all the answers. But I start with what has been revealed about God through Jesus.

          @realbuckyball
          Yea, I've heard you say that before. I'm sure in your head you are right. Good for you. You and whoever your "us" is just won. Good job.

          @Seavick
          Yes. That is exactly what I do. Spot on. It is that simple. That stereotype is sound logic. Run with it.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:48 am |
        • dandintac

          Dalahäst,

          I would just clarify something here. These things are not just "described" in the Bible. They are explicitly commanded by God!

          I'm glad you don't support these things–extremely few modern Christians do. We practice a modern western secular form of morality for the most part. To find some support for these sorts of things you have to find fundies, like the Dominionists. But, it is right in there in the Good Book, commanded by God.

          So if one were admit, as you have, that these things are immoral–then or now, I would recommend that they abandon the Moral Argument for God. It's not a good argument to make.

          By the way, thank you for that basic acknowledgement that you "don't have all the answers." This is basic intellectual honesty. All too many Christians pretend to have all these answers, and make things up to try to explain away the many questions and problems with religion.

          Also, I want to say that I appreciate the civility and patience with which you typically respond.
          Thanks

          March 8, 2014 at 1:07 am |
        • SeaVik

          Dala, I think you've made it pretty clear that you're in no position to determine what is "sound logic". I've asked you the same question now many times and you haven't come close to answering it. Again, if you get to pick and choose what you believe, then your religion is not the same as anyone else's and therefore, you're an atheist regarding all other Christians' version of god and they're atheists regarding your version.

          I think you need to take a break from these boards and get your story together. The fact that you don't even bother to directly address most of the holes poked in your position makes it pretty clear that you have no logical explanation for your position.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:55 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The biggest factor is I'm living under an new covenant – God didn't change, but the relationship with people has."

          Or people keep pretending to know things they don't know....much more likely.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:00 am |
        • Dalahäst

          @SeaVik

          Dude, again, back up and stop putting words in my mouth.

          I totally disagree with your assumptions about me. You seem to misunderstand. I really don't have this problem with most people. Not even the atheists I know.

          I belong to a community that has a shared understanding of Christ and how we belive we are called to live in reaction to His grace He has shown us.

          The last thing I need to be doing is taking advice from some guy who really doesn't know me, but insists he knows better than I. That would be completely unreasonable of me.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:13 am |
        • Dalahäst

          @danditac

          I'm not really big on preaching morals. So I guess I don't have a moral argument for God. Or really any argument for God, other than I believe in God. I have a loving God. I don't have an angry, vengeful God. I have trust and confidence in Jesus. I'm committed to helping those in need and my heart for the poor is rooted in my Christian faith. My life has changed since accepting Jesus. I have a deeper meaning and purpose in my life. That is basically what I try to share.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:24 am |
        • dandintac

          Dalahäst

          "So I guess I don’t have a moral argument for God. Or really any argument for God..."

          With all due respect, if you don't have an argument for God, then what are you doing in the midst of an argument over God?

          March 8, 2014 at 1:31 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Nobody is really offering a compelling argument against God. I mean, we just have the same few atheists and theists arguing the same thing over and over for years and years.

          I'm at peace and know God is real. I share that knowledge. Some try to convince me that I'm schizophrenic, non-scientific, insane, mentally retarded, delusional, brainwashed, mentally ill – just plain silly notions not based in logic, reason, science or anything else that a few of these anti-religious internet atheists claim they pledge allegiance to. But, they do provide me with evidence that they fail to live up to their own ideals. Just like I used to do as an atheist. And as I still do as a Christian. But I'm getting better.

          Peace, and good luck in your argument against God.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:37 am |
        • SeaVik

          Dala, what are you talking about? Your response to me was completely unrelated to anything I posted. I haven't put any words in your mouth. You said you don't endorse parts of the bible. The question I've asked you repeatedly remains. I understand why you won't answer it – it's one of many questions that points out how idiotic it is to claim to be Christian.

          March 8, 2014 at 9:25 am |
        • SeaVik

          "I'm at peace and know God is real. I share that knowledge. Some try to convince me that I'm schizophrenic, non-scientific, insane, mentally retarded, delusional, brainwashed, mentally ill..."

          It is poor thinking to conclude there is a god, but it is absolutely delusional to claim you know god is real. I don't think you're insane or mentally retarded because as we've established, you were brainwashed which resulted in your condition.

          March 8, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • Dalahäst

          @seavick

          I have addressed your claims why I don't "endorse" parts of the Bible.

          It really isn't that complicated. Not everything was written for me to follow. Hence: the Old Testament and the New Testament. There is a new covenant between God and his people. It is very basic theology. There is nothing that Jesus Christ says that indicates I have to endorse everything as it is written in the Bible.

          Aren't you the one that didn't understand The Onion article that was satirizing atheists???? Come on! I really have no reason to take your seriously, especially when you can't get the basics of Christian theology down. Most atheists can figure it out. I think you can to. Good luck.

          March 8, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • Dalahäst

          @Seavick


          I am not asked by the Bible to follow laws that were written for Levite priests thousands of years ago.

          I'm not: A Levite.

          I'm not: A priest who has taken vows to follow laws to keep myself pure.

          I'm not: Living in a different time and place thousands of years ago.

          I don't endorse the idea that I have to live my life like a Levite priest from thousands of years ago.

          Written last night in response to your accusation.

          March 8, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • SeaVik

          "I have addressed your claims why I don't "endorse" parts of the Bible."

          That was not my question. I certainly understand why you don't endorse parts of the bible – parts (lots actually) is immoral / crazy / disgusting / etc. My question, which remains unanswered, is this: If each Christian gets to pick and choose for themselves what part of the bible is serious and to be believed and what part is not, then each "Christian" essentially practices their own unique religion that is not the same as any other "Christian". Since the term "Christian" does not indicate what a person believes since they all believe something at least slightly different, "Christian" ceases to have any meaning. Your version of the Christian god is different than all other Christians' version and therefore, you are atheistic towards all Christians' gods other than your own version and they are atheistic towards your unique version.

          March 8, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Dalahäst

          That is not a question! You just keep making a statement. You are expressing an opinion. Yes, all Christians must interpret the Bible and experience God in their own way.

          Guess what? Each atheist that opposes me on here has their own different reasons and explanations for why they imagine I believe. No 2 are exactly alike. They seem to be picking and choosing from popular atheist theories and trying to apply them to me.

          I'm not quite as hung up on the term "Christian" as you. I'm not following Christians. I'm following Jesus. And I'm not just making up my own religion – I have teachers that have a shared experience and understanding as me.

          March 8, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          dala, So let's be clear then. What is your definition of a christian? Do you follow the OT? How does a christian decide which parts of the bible pertain to their practice? You can understand the confusion – some believers say that the bible is literally true, others say only the NT applies, there are thousands of different christians sects with each varying beliefs so it is not clear at all.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + dala, So let's be clear then. What is your definition of a christian?

          For me, I choose to follow Jesus Christ. I pray for God's will, not my will to be done. I surrender. I'm not following Christianity. I'm following Jesus Christ.

          + Do you follow the OT?

          Not really. I'm not sure how one would do that.

          + How does a christian decide which parts of the bible pertain to their practice?

          The Bible is a collection of books containing poetry, stories, testimonies, etc. I learn about it like I do other things. I use understanding, logic and reason to draw conclusions that make sense to me.

          + You can understand the confusion – some believers say that the bible is literally true, others say only the NT applies, there are thousands of different christians sects with each varying beliefs so it is not clear at all.

          Yes, I never said everything was completely clear. I don't have all the answers and I'm still searching. A lot of right-wing fundamentalists and a few atheists have a similar interpration of the Bible. I can recognize that exists. But I don't really find their views adequate.

          "Part of the problem is a question of interpretation. Fundamentalists and literalists, the storm troopers of the religious right, are terrified that Scripture, wrongly interpreted, may separate them from their values. That fear stems from their own recognition that their “values” are not derived from Scripture, as they publicly claim.

          Indeed, it is through the lens of their own prejudices and personal values that they “read” Scripture and cloak their own views in its authority. We all interpret Scripture: Make no mistake. And no one truly is a literalist, despite the pious temptation. The questions are, By what principle of interpretation do we proceed, and by what means do we reconcile “what it meant then” to what it means now?”

          These matters are far too important to be left to scholars and seminarians alone. Our ability to judge ourselves and others rests on our ability to interpret scripture intelligently. The right use of the Bible, an exercise as old as the church itself, means that we confront our prejudices rather than merely confirm them.

          For Christians, the principle by which Scripture is read is nothing less than an appreciation of the work and will of God as revealed in that of Jesus. To recover a liberating and inclusive Christ is to be freed from the semantic bondage that makes us curators of a dead culture rather than creatures of a new creation.

          Religious fundamentalism is dangerous because it cannot accept ambiguity and diversity and is therefore inherently intolerant. Such intolerance, in the name of virtue, is ruthless and uses political power to destroy what it cannot convert.

          It is dangerous, especially in America, because it is anti-democratic and is suspi.cious of “the other,” in whatever form that “other” might appear. To maintain itself, fundamentalism must always define “the other” as deviant.

          But the chief reason that fundamentalism is dangerous is that, at the hands of the Rev. Pat Robertson. the Rev. Jerry Falwell and hundreds of lesser-known but equally worrisome clerics, preachers and pundits, it uses Scripture and the Christian practice to encourage ordinarily good people to act upon their fears rather than their virtues.

          – Peter Gomes

          Again:

          For Christians, the principle by which Scripture is read is nothing less than an appreciation of the work and will of God as revealed in that of Jesus. To recover a liberating and inclusive Christ is to be freed from the semantic bondage that makes us curators of a dead culture rather than creatures of a new creation.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
      • dandintac

        Dala,

        If we are not supposed to follow the laws set forth in Leviticus, then why is this book even included in the Holy Bible? Also, what does this say about the notion of an unchanging objective morality? Do we get to jettison the Ten Commandments also? After all, they're in the Old Testament as well. Didn't Jesus say he was there to fulfill the law, not to overturn it? Isn't God's law eternal? If God's morality changes–then he could change it tomorrow–right? He could say it's okay to blow up a building full of nonbelievers, and it would be moral–right?

        March 8, 2014 at 12:48 am |
        • Dalahäst

          + If we are not supposed to follow the laws set forth in Leviticus, then why is this book even included in the Holy Bible?

          I have a history book that explains the laws of Europe, but that doesn't mean I have to follow the laws. I just learn about and understand them.

          Do you understand the difference between God's commandments, religious ceremonial laws, health laws and civic laws?

          Or the differences between laws, ordinances, and covenants?

          March 8, 2014 at 1:07 am |
        • dandintac

          The laws of medieval Europe? Man-made? Right? Not the laws of God, are they? So I hardly think they're comparable.

          "Ordinances". Very clever Dalahäst. But come now. I'll accept the "ordinance" excuse for things like eating shellfish, planting two types of seeds and mixing fibers and so on. But human sacrifice? Accepting Jephthah's burnt offering of his daughter? The various slaughters? Slavery? Shall I repost the horrors recounted by the concentration camp victims in "God on Trial"?

          Should God's laws reflect his perfect morality? He could have outlawed genocide, war, slavery, ra-pe, child molestation etc. when he wrote up the Ten Commandments. Instead the god character focused on things like taking his name in vain, not worshiping idols, or other gods, etc. He didn't even get around to killing until over half way through, and clearly since he commands so much of this killing throughout the OT, he doesn't expect this commandment to be followed too closely.

          Nice try though.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:27 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Some of the laws described in the Bible were made for man at a specific time and place. That is why we don't follow them anymore. They were not like the 10 Commandments. They were not universal.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:40 am |
        • dandintac

          Dalahäst

          As I've said elsewhere, I can accept this for things like mixing fibers, eating shellfish, and so on. But things like slavery–how much you can beat your slave, commanding ra-pe and slaughter and accepting human sacrifices. God's laws should reflect his eternal morality. Can we agree on this? I can accept that commanding people to not eat shellfish is not a gross violation of morality. So I can accept that the prohibition of shellfish is just the equivalent of a "local ordinance". I cannot accept this excuse for something like slavery or genocide. Even if they were local for just that time and place–why should they be even then? Should any of God's laws, ordinances, etc., not reflect a basic objective, unchanging morality? Shouldn't slavery always be bad? If not bad for the ancient Hebrews, how can we say it was bad in the Antebellum South? And if genocide was okay against the Midianites, what can we say against the Nazis?

          Anyway–it's getting late so I'm signing off. Thanks for the discussion.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:46 am |
        • colin31714

          Dalahast said, "Some of the laws described in the Bible were made for man at a specific time and place. That is why we don't follow them anymore. They were not like the 10 Commandments. They were not universal."

          Contrary to popular belief and contrary to Dalahast's apparent ignorance, the Ten Commandemnts are far from universal. There are actually two full sets of Ten Commandments contained in the Bible. Their origin has been traced to earlier Hitti.te and Mesopotamian civil codes and one school of thought is that the Jews were pressed by the Persians to come up with a code of law in order to maintain a degree of autonomy while (what is now) Israel was part of the Persian Empire. The first set is mentioned in Deuteronomy and in Exodus Chapter 20. It is familiar to most people:

          I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me
          Thou shalt have no graven images or likenesses
          Do not take the Lord's name in vain
          Remember the Sabbath day
          Honor thy father and thy mother
          Thou shalt not kill
          Thou shalt not commit adultery
          Thou shalt not steal
          Thou shalt not bear false witness
          Thou shalt not covet

          As the Exodus story continues, however, after receiving this set of commandments from God, Moses descends from Mount Sinai only to find his people worshipping a golden calf. Moses’ anger “waxes hot” and he smashes the Ten Commandments in a fit of rage. He then returns to the mountain and God orders him to “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.” Unfortunately, it seems God’s memory was off that day, because the replacement tablets he gave Moses contained the following Ten Commandments:

          Thou shalt worship no other god.
          Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
          Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread .
          All that openeth the matrix are mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. But the firstling of an ass, thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then thou shalt break his neck.
          Thou shalt rest on the Sabbath.
          Thou shalt rest in earing time and in harvest.
          Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
          Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left unto the morning.
          The first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
          Thou shalt not seethe (cook) a baby goat in its mother's milk.

          If one believes the Bible, the Jews perambulated the Sinai Peninsula and the Negev for the rest of their forty years of wandering, lugging the Ark of the Covenant weighed down with these timeless pearls of wisdom! The yare not universal, they are not original and they are not "deep" or sophisticated.

          They are what they are. The parochial and self-interested ramblings of an ignorant, primitive nomadic people.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm familiar with the 2 sets, Colin. Ignorant? Really? The 10 Commandments I'm referring to are the first set.

          March 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, that was a totally packaged response. Duh, no wonder it seemed completely off topic and not relevant to what I was discussing. Copy paste man strikes again.

          March 8, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " There is no reason for Christians to ever mention it again. "
      I disagree. It is useful to rational humans in identifying morally inconsistent cowards.

      March 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
  19. Austin

    Typing on touch pad phones with auto correct is like being tortured
    .

    This royally sucks.

    March 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
    • Akira

      Lol. You'll get the hang of it, Austin.
      I feel your pain, though.

      March 7, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
    • meatheist

      Don't push yourself. Let god do the typing--I am sure he will if only you pray hard and long.

      See we atheists have to do it ourselves and sometimes it doesn't come out right. But this looks okay this time. God?

      March 7, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
  20. observernow

    Austin,

    "Yes. Pick any verse its true."

    God's Feeling About Marriage:

    (Deut. 21:10-13) “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.”

    Pathetic! Disgusting! And YOU endorse it.

    March 7, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
    • Austin

      Im not a jew 1400 b.c.

      This is the period.of the church.

      Do jews go to church? No. Do i go to synagogue? No.

      Christ was first for the the jew then for the gentile.

      March 7, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
      • observernow

        Austin,

        Was that the SAME God in both testaments or a different God?

        March 7, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
        • meatheist

          Back off. You are going to kill him. His brain will explode and come out his eye sockets.

          March 7, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
      • Akira

        Yet people use the OT all the time against gay people.
        Why?

        March 7, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
    • Vic

      We are not bound by the Old Covenant.

      We are saved by the Grace of God through Faith ALONE in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; our redemption is by the "Precious Blood" of the Lord Jesus Christ; that is the New Covenant.

      March 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
      • the0g0to0the0t

        So says Paul and his followers...

        March 7, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
      • observernow

        Vic,

        So there's no reason for Christians to push for the Ten Commandments in schools and public buildings, right?

        March 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • Austin

          It's tough to understand. Ten commandments are good but many of the laws that pertained to the levites as a priestly nation like dietary and animal sacrifice etc are good explained by Paul to be nullified.

          The main difference in the new testament is the promise of the holy spirit and final atonement resurrection power of Christ. And the word. We have the tools and in-dwelling spirit. And this is far superior to the old testament setup where you weren't supernatural guided by forgiveness from God who also lives within you as helper guide you in the word about the truth of Christ.

          We have it all.

          March 7, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • observernow

          Austin,

          You haven't answered AS USUAL.

          Is it the same PERFECT and "UNCHANGING" God in both testaments?

          March 7, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        So then if we're not bound by the old covenant the 10 Commandments are irrelevant, gays can marry gays, any number of gods can be worshiped etc etc. Thanks. Oh wait. You cherry pick what you keep, and what you toss. Real consistent.

        March 7, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • otoh2

          realbuckyball,

          Well, I guess it's the New New Covenant for a lot of them, aka, the "Personal Relationship" Covenant...

          March 7, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
      • midwest rail

        " We are not bound by the Old Covenant. "
        Except when it's convenient to use Leviticus as a platform for hatred and discrimination, right Vic ?

        March 7, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          If one uses the common verses used from Leviticus to rally against gays, they should probably also rally against gardeners who use 2 seeds, 95+% of people who wear 2 types of clothing, and people who eat sushi.

          March 7, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
        • observernow

          Dalahäst,

          Amen.

          March 7, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Sushi IS an abomination. 🙂

          March 7, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      I'm Christian, but I don't endorse that. And no Christian has ever suggested I should. A few atheists have, but that doesn't mean anything.

      March 7, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
      • observernow

        Yes. When it comes to the Bible and marriage in it, it's ALL PICK and CHOOSE. That's why opposition to gay marriage is just HYPOCRISY. Throw out the Golden Rule if you want.

        March 7, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Are you talking about Austin, or everyone?

          March 7, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
      • SeaVik

        Honestly, Dala...can you explain how you can claim to be a Christian and at the same time, say you don't endorse the bible? How can anyone have a serious conversation about Christianity if every Christian gets to pick and choose for themselves which part of the bible they "endorse"? If that's allowed, Christianity ceases to have any meaning.

        March 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Dude, I don't endorse that Deut. 21:10-13 is a universal law that I'm supposed to try and follow. That is what I meant.

          I am a Christian. I read and study the Bible. It describes a lot of things, but that doesn't mean that God approves of everything described. The Bible is not my God.

          March 7, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • SeaVik

          You didn't answer the question.

          If Christians don't believe in the bible, as you said you don't, then how can anyone claim to be a Christian since it could mean anything? If the bible doesn't define Christianity, who or what does? If it's every individual Christian, then there is no such thing as Christianity since every "Christian" can make up whatever they want.

          March 7, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Back up, buddy. You are quick to put words in my mouth I didn't say.

          + Dala...can you explain how you can claim to be a Christian and at the same time, say you don't endorse the bible?

          I am a Christian because I follow Jesus Christ. I don't have to "endorse" everything that appears in the Bible. Some of it was not meant for Christians to follow... or even completely understand.

          + If Christians don't believe in the bible, as you said you don't, then how can anyone claim to be a Christian since it could mean anything?

          I believe in the Bible. I have to learn how to discern and understand the text. Some of it is literal. Some of it is figurative. It guides me. Along with other things.

          + If the bible doesn't define Christianity, who or what does?

          Jesus Christ. Loving others. Sacrificing self. Serving the poor and those in need. Those are the kinds of things my pastor has been stressing for our community to pick up.

          For me, following Jesus has turned my life upside down. It is not what I thought it would be. It is a challenge.

          I don't just make up whatever I want.

          March 7, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "I am a Christian because I follow Jesus Christ."

          What Jesus Christ? The one described in the bible, which you said you don't "endorse" parts of? If you don't believe some parts of the bible, how do you determine which parts are true and which aren't? Perhaps the Jesus Christ of the bible was fictional and other parts were true.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:49 am |
        • dandintac

          "Perhaps the Jesus Christ of the bible was fictional and other parts were true."

          This is actually the view I hold. The Jesus described in the Bible is largely fictional, in that he was not divine, the son of any god, rose from the dead, performed miracles, etc. There may have been a radical Jewish carpenter/rabbi named "Yeshua" or some similar name who was crucified by the Romans. But there is no extra Biblical evidence whatsoever for any of his supposed deeds or his resurrection or divinity.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:12 am |
        • Dalahäst

          @ SeaVik

          I am not asked by the Bible to follow laws that were written for Levite priests thousands of years ago.

          I'm not: A Levite.

          I'm not: A priest who has taken vows to follow laws to keep myself pure.

          I'm not: Living in a different time and place thousands of years ago.

          I don't endorse the idea that I have to live my life like a Levite priest from thousands of years ago.

          -

          Jesus' teachings do apply to me. I have decided to apply them to my life. Each day I decide to do that. Hence, I'm a follow of Jesus Christ.

          I have experienced Him to be real and relevant in my life. The evidence compels me to follow Him.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:32 am |
        • dandintac

          Dalahäst

          I'm glad you (and most Christians) don't follow Leviticus, because there are some really heinous things there. However, wasn't Jesus thousands of years ago also? So what does the time have to do with it? Didn't Jesus say he came to fulfill the law, and it all had to be followed? I can understand things like the eating of shellfish–how one could see that as merely a local ordinance, but there is much else that is clearly more than that–and it's not good stuff either. Jesus himself admonished slaves to obey their masters. And if we can dismiss Leviticus, why not dismiss the gospels as well? Why cherry-pick the Bible?

          It seems much simpler if we understand the Bible is just mythical.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:37 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't live under the old covenant. I don't understand it. People were different. Times were different.

          Jesus I do understand. And I can see people getting better through him. And I know Him and trust Him. He lives. He is not just someone I read about.

          March 8, 2014 at 1:55 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.