April 24th, 2014
10:21 AM ET

Vatican: Pope's phone calls don't change doctrine

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

(CNN) - It was just a phone call.

That's the message the Vatican sent to reporters on Thursday, a day after news broke about a private conversation between the pontiff and a woman in Argentina.

Pope Francis, who is from Argentina, reportedly called Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona and told her it was OK to receive Communion, despite her civil marriage to a divorced man. 

"She spoke with the Pope, and he said she was absolved of all sins and she could go and get the Holy Communion because she was not doing anything wrong," the woman's husband, Julio Sabetta, told Channel 3 Rosario, a CNN affiliate in Argentina.

Does that mean the Pope was overturning centuries of church doctrine?

Short answer: No.

"Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral relationships," Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

True, it's far from the first time Francis has cold-called Catholics, who are often shocked to hear "Father Bergoglio" on the line. (Before he was elected pope last year, Francis was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires.)

But these conversations are private, said Lombardi, and should not be construed as changing church doctrine, who added that "consequences relating to the teaching of the Church are not to be inferred from these occurrences."

As the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant to the Vatican press office, told CNN on Wednesday "The magisterium of the church is not defined by personal phone calls."

There has been wide speculation, though, that the Pope has essentially laid out his position on divorce and Communion, months before a synod of bishops from around the world is scheduled to debate the issue.

While it is difficult to change canon law (after all, the church draws its teachings on marriage from Jesus himself), Catholic leaders have said they could at least streamline the annulment process, which sometimes drags on for years.

Any change would potentially affect millions of divorced and remarried Catholics around the world, many of whom have been pining for the church to allow them to receive Communion again.

As Julio Sabetta said on Wednesday, "I'm very happy, because I’m not the only one divorced."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. thefirstdark

    Reblogged this on The Darkness in the Light.

    April 25, 2014 at 11:29 am |
  2. bostontola

    Category A
    Earth created before the Sun. Rabbits and camels chew cud. Mustard seeds are the smallest, and grow into trees. Moon is a light. Flowering plants were the first life forms and came before the moon. Birds and whales came before land animals. Land insects came after birds and whales. Bats are birds. Pi = 3. Slavery is allowed according to rules.

    Category B
    The observable universe started in the Big Bang over 13 billion years ago. Life started billions of years ago on earth as single called organisms and evolved into all the life we see today. Particles come into existence and out of existence from the vacuum.

    Some Christians believe category A with no evidence, and deny category B despite mountains of objective evidence. Many of these same people believe dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans despite no evidence.

    Teaching children to believe things with no objective evidence and reject other things with enormous amounts of objective evidence, trains them to think poorly. There are plenty of Christians that believe in God, but don't teach their kids poor thinking process. They accept evolution and other scientific facts like the universe and earth are billions of years old. Belief in God doesn't have to mean elective ignorance.

    April 25, 2014 at 9:47 am |
    • cyprian2

      So...What's your point,"bostontola"?

      April 27, 2014 at 11:44 pm |
  3. Doc Vestibule

    Bible verses are indeed often take out of context by non-believers.
    This form of debate (or debasement depending on your perspective) is an aping of the rhetoric employed by many believers. History is witness to all manner of atrocities being rationalized as virtuous with nothing more than a self-righteous declaration of "the Bible says....".
    Hence the knee jerk reaction of "yeah, the Bible says a lot of things" and a laundry list of ethically dubious and/or absurd scripture.
    When engaging Biblical literalists, this can be a useful and occasionally powerful means of argument. If one is of the belief that every word of the Bible is literally true and inerrant, it is simple to point out the impossibility of the Old Testament being such.
    Most of us understand the OT in it's proper context – as an apocryphal, mythologized history of the Jewish people.
    Their early cultural evolution is laid out in these myths and the images, metaphors and the way in which they view their God is far more revealing of sociological mindset than would be a dry, academic tome.
    God's rules changed as the Jewish tribes became larger and began expanding their territories. A tidy example is the change in how God said to eat meat.
    When the Jewish people were relatively few in number the rules for preparing and sharing meat were pretty straightforward.
    Meat was a rare dish and was a sacrifice to the one who offerred up their livestock to the tribe. You'll note that when it comes to wild "clean" animals, the rules are simple (don't eat the blood), but tended livestock (like lambs) were prepared with elaborate ceremony. Much of the ritual is good common sense – you'll notice how the bits God demands as a burned offering are the parts most likely to make humans sick (organs and fat). The sacrifices were done on the local, tribal altar.
    But eventually, after being under Assyrian rule for a generation or two, the itinerant tribes centralized religious ceremonies and festivals in Jerusalem. Obviously, theycouldn't head to the Temple in Jerusalem every time they wanted a leg of lamb, and so the Deuteronomic reforms came to pass and "profane" slaughter was made acceptable.
    "If the place where the LORD your God will choose to put his name is too far from you, and you slaughter as I have commanded you any of your herd or flock that the LORD has given you, then you may eat within your towns whenever you desire." (Deut. 12:20)
    So long as they maintained their holiness by observing Yahweh’s "mitzvoth" commandments, they were free to eat pretty much any clean meat they wanted wherever they wanted without having to run to a shaman for permission.
    Until, of course, the butthurt Levitical Priesthood came along and started getting super-officious about the way God wanted things done. To those priests, killing of animals without one of them there to sanctify it was more like a pagan slaying of goat-demons. After the more practical Deuteronomic reforms, the shamans saw their influence waning and needed to re-assert their importance – hence in Leviticus 17:3 they make it plain that tribesmen had to bring the animal to a priest, otherwise they're nothing but filthy pagans spilling blood on the ground.

    And so, even back those thousands of years, the elitist interpreters of God's will leveraged their priviliged position in such a way as to limit the freedoms of their flock while simultaneously aggrandizing themselves. The atti/tude continued for millenia until the authors of the New Testament seemed to have had enough and Jesus did away with that nonsense.
    Until, of course, Christianity became formalized and just as officious as the old Levirite priesthood a few hundred years after Christ.

    Faith should be a private affair and while we're frequently accused of being "anti-religious", most of us non-believers just want you to keep it that way. When Christians keep trying to bring their religion's practices and their sect's interprtations of scripture into secular law, they're kind of forgetting a major part of Christ's message, aren't they?
    Your faith may guide you, but don't try and force others to be guided by it too...

    April 25, 2014 at 9:18 am |
    • bostontola

      I agree with what you're saying but atheists picking particular bible verses for criticism is not just aping. In response to the subset of Christians who push the bible as perfect, pointing out any error is valid. When something is claimed perfect, it invites the most detailed scrutiny. Many religious people view sacred texts as allegorical. Those criticisms are not meant for them. They are meant for the Christians who claim biblical perfection.

      April 25, 2014 at 9:59 am |
    • believerfred

      Well put, I always appreciate your insight and perspective.

      As for me I am not attempting to impose my belief. I first came to this website thinking a collective of believers would approximate absolute truth or a similar sense of that truth. My conclusion is that the collective on this site reflects the tower of babble with the anti Christ being the spiritual Nimrod of our day. We all run behind the Nimrod of our belief erecting a tower reaching the height necessary to reach our god with the ontological formation of our own desire.

      If I accept your position regarding the revelation of God through the codex of the chosen ones then I must abandon God for the same reasons Einstein rejected a personal God or any anthropomorphic representations of the divine. The problem then remains in coming to grips with my actual experience with God whom I did not know prior to my conversion. The experience of understanding truth and purpose for existence. The experience of pure love, acceptance and eternal security. The experience of sincere gratitude. The experience of being humbled before a glory I cannot begin to describe. The emotive of what sin looks like before holiness in the passion of Christ on the cross. Then there remains that everlasting hope in a promise. Even Moses did not see that "promised land" which no one to date has conceptualized.

      Even the non believer seeks the promised land. It is however nothing more than the Tower of Babble and just as the Bible reveals the recurrent ways and thoughts of man over time it also reveals the flood which is the final cleansing of all that is not of God.

      April 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I've never like the story of the Tower of Babel.
        Once upon a time, human beings spoke one language and worked together towards a common goal.
        God didn't like it, stamped His divine feet like a petulant child and wrecked the work.
        To ensure that mankind could never again attempt a feat so grand, He split us into tribes unable to communicate with each other – thus ensuring strife, misunderstanding and conflict from that day forward.

        Thanks to the internet, modern man is overcoming the curse of Babel. People form all over the world can communicate and work together in real time, regardless of their native language. This is most evident and practical in scientific circles where research papers are shared and reviewed.
        I think it is a good thing – but God might get angry again and wreck the party, right?

        "Well madness reigned and paradise fell
        When Babel's walls came crashing down
        Now the echoes roar for a story writ that was hardly understood
        And never any good"

        – Brett Gurewitz

        April 25, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • believerfred

          The cycle of wickedness in man repeats its self so there can be no doubt that man needs God. God disrupted the tower collaborative in order that those who choose to be children of God are predestined to inherit the kingdom. Some speculate that the internet is the modern day tower led the anti Christ.
          That said, the tower of Babble is certainly a poor explanation for where other languages and cultures came from.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You'd think the fact that it isn't actual, factual history would be obvious!
          The essential theme (or truth if you prefer) isn't lessened by treating it as a morality tale.
          But I guess that makes us both heathens to certain other sects.
          (I'm just used to the label)

          April 25, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • believerfred

          "You'd think the fact that it isn't actual, factual history would be obvious!"
          =>Tower of Babble is a trophy and easter egg in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And here I thought it was simply a type-o.
          I should play more video games....

          April 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
  4. Reality

    Putting said doctrine in the 21st century:

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


    April 25, 2014 at 6:51 am |
    • alonsoquixote

      The Christian practice of theophagy, i.e., "eating of the god", is discucssed in "A Short History of Christian Theophagy" by Preserved Smith, PhD., an American historian of the Protestant Reformation who taught at Cornell University as a member of the Department of History from 1923 to 1941. The book was published in 1922 and, since it is long out of copyright, can be read online or downloaded in a variety of electronic formats from the Internet Archive at

      * begin quote

      On December 27, 1915, I read, by request, before the American Society of Church History, at its annual meeting in New York, a paper on "The Evolution of Luther's Doctrine of the Eucharist." In that paper originated the present study; for, with the understanding of the sacramentarian controversies of the Reformation, came the clear perception that the dogma of the sacrifice of the mass, repudiated by nearly all the Reformers, and the dogma of the Real Presence, repudiated by some of them, were in reality far more ancient than medieval scholasticism; that they were, in fact, the teachings of the primitive church, and that, pushing our inquiry ever further back, they had been derived by her from a pre-Christian, and from a very remote, antiquity. The idea of the god sacrificed to himself, that his flesh might be eaten by worshippers thus assured of partaking of his divinity, arose at the dawn of religion, was revived by the mystic cults of the Greeks, and from them was borrowed by Paul and implanted, along with the myth of the dying and rising Savior God, deep in the soil of the early church. Though foreign to Jesus, whose beautiful, ethical, and almost purely Jewish thought shines on us in its genuine form only in the docu_ment known to scholars as Q — the source of the sayings reported by Matthew and Luke but not found in the other gospels — these doctrines appealed so strongly to the mentality of the early Gentile Christians, that they were rapidly adopted and became fixed in the ritual and creed of the church.


      Those who have attended the celebration of a mass have witnessed the most ancient survival from a hoary antiquity. There, in the often beautiful church, in gorgeous vestments, with incense and chanted liturgy, the priest sacrifices a God to himself and distributes his flesh to be eaten by his worshippers. The Divine Son is offered to the Father as "a pure victim, a spotless victim, a holy victim," ' and his holy body and blood become the food of the faithful. The teaching of the church is explicit on this point. The body eaten is the same as that once born of a virgin and now seated at the right hand of the Father; the sacrifice of the mass is one and the same as that of the cross, and is so grateful and acceptable to God that it is a suitable return for all his benefits, will expiate sin, and turn the wrath of the offended Deity "from the
      severity of a just vengeance to the exercise of benignant clemency."

      All this goes back to the time when man was just emerging from the animal; it is the most striking of the many instances of the conservatism of religion. ...

      * end quote

      Pagan antecedents, such as in the celebrations of the ancient Greeks, to the Christian practice of theophagy are discussed in the Wikipedia article on theophagy, if anyone is interested in its practice in other religions.

      April 25, 2014 at 7:55 am |
      • realbuckyball

        Mithras was born of a virgin who was given the ti'tle of "Mother of God"
        Mithras was born on December 25. Before Constantine (a follower of Mithras) changed the date, the birth date Yeshua's followers observed was January 6. However, Yeshua's birth, based on the descriptions, would actually have been in the spring.
        Mithras was born in a cave (stable), and his birth was attended by shepherds bearing gifts.
        Mithras was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
        Mithras had 12 companions or disciples.
        Mithras performed miracles.
        Mithras' followers were baptized.
        Mithras suffered to bring salvation to a sin-cursed humankind.
        Mithras was buried in a tomb and rose after three days. (Yeshua rose after a day and a half, but the gospel accounts used the three days to fit with Mithras' story, in spite of the obvious disparity in the timeline.)
        Mithras' resurrection was celebrated every year.
        Mithras ascended into heaven after finishing his deeds.
        Mithras' followers were promised immortality.
        Mithras was called “the good shepherd” and identified with both the lamb and the lion.
        Mithras was called the “way, the truth and the light,” " logos,” "word," “redeemer,” “savior” and “messiah.”
        On the Judgment Day, Mithras would use the keys of heaven to unlock the gates of Paradise to receive the faithful. All the unbaptized living and dead would perish.
        Mithra's sacred day was Sunday, called the “Lord’s day” because Mithraism was a sun religion. Yeshua's sacred day was changed from the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday, to match Mithras' day.
        Mithras had his principal festival on the day that was later to become Easter for Christians.
        Mithras' religion had a Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper,” at which Mithras said, “He who shall not eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved.”
        On a final day of judgment, the dead would resurrect and in a final conflict, the existing order would be destroyed and light would triumph over darkness.

        Sound familiar ?
        1400 years before the followers of the "Way" sect of Judaism, Mithraism already had all these elements.
        Guess what city was a hot-bed of Mithraism ? Tarsus.
        The religion those who call themselves "Christians" practice is really Paulianity/Mithraism.

        April 25, 2014 at 8:40 am |
        • Reality

          Something does not "jive" with your description of Mithras and the following:

          "The iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock, slaughtering a bull, and sharing a banquet with the god Sol (the Sun). About 420 sites have yielded materials related to the cult. Among the items found are about 1000 inscriptions, 700 examples of the bull-killing scene (tauroctony), and about 400 other monuments.[9] It has been estimated that there would have been at least 680-690 Mithraea in Rome.[10] No written narratives or theology from the religion survive, with limited information to be derived from the inscriptions, and only brief or passing references in Greek and Latin literature. Interpretation of the physical evidence remains problematic and contested.[11]

          April 25, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
  5. Doris

    The papal garments are very odd-looking to me. It's as if the pope has a large bib on that would accommodate his head spinning around like Linda Blair's if he were to throw up on himself 360 degrees. Is it possible that the design for the top part of his garments evolved to meet the obvious necessity – really old men often throwing up on themselves? (I contemplate this at an early hour where one of my pets just put me in a position to seriously consider this.)

    Anyway, I find this a ridiculous situation the Vatican has put themselves in. They aren't refuting the alleged conversation this women had with the Pope. I wonder if the Pope will follow up the Vatican reply with any further reply of his own. At times he seems to want to represent the commoner, so I don't know that he relishes this special function that places him in a position to allegedly fast-track some divine difference in doctrine in such a privileged manner for an individual. From what we've seen so far with this Pope, I wouldn't think it is his intent, but it seems like his action could be simply seen as an executive privilege disguised as something divinely special. I would imagine such a feature has allowed popes of the past to be excused for various kinds of "corruption" that go against doctrine.

    April 25, 2014 at 5:23 am |
    • Doris

      " that go against doctrine."

      Of course I don't believe in any of that mess. Of course we don't know who authored the Gospels, we don't know who authored Peter 2, where Peter allegedly gives his stamp of approval for motor-mouth Paul's ministry. So obviously, I find it silly and sometimes downright harmful for people to get their skirts in a pinch over such ridiculous doctrine.

      April 25, 2014 at 5:38 am |
  6. believerfred

    With over 30,000 verses in the Bible atheists pull 153 that would make anyone question the morality of God. Typically most of the verses are pulled out of context, out of their time, their culture and their place. That does not necessarily make the Bible wrong or God subject to our standards of relative morality. It does reveal the heart of that atheist and those who support such hateful nonsense.
    Jesus did say to love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. If you cannot do those two things what value is there to splitting hairs over 153 out of 31,173 verses written as far back as 1440 BC?

    April 25, 2014 at 12:19 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      there's much more than 153 verses in the bible that show how disgusting it is. christians cherry-pick the bible and ignore the parts that are silly, ignorant, violent - the parts that contradict god being 'good' or 'compassionate'. the bible clearly supports slavery. you can make your excuses, saying they're out of context, but why don't you tell me in what context is it okay to sell your daughter into slavery? christians cry when the bible is rightly criticized.

      love your neighbors? agreed. love a mythological figure that may have never lived? foolish. love your brothers and sister of this world, not invisible sky-fairies. try thinking for yourself instead of just obey obey obey as the bible tells you to do. you don't need god to be a good person.

      April 25, 2014 at 12:25 am |
      • believerfred

        The Bible no more supports slavery than a history book written today supports scalping Indians simply because it gives an account of Custer 7th Cavalry officers.

        April 25, 2014 at 12:41 am |
        • observer


          Please read a Bible SOMEDAY.

          It gives instructions on who you can OWN, where to BUY them, and even how much you can HURT THEM without punishment.

          Those aren't just the nonsensical "account" that you claim, but the words of God. Is that an UNRELIABLE SOURCE for you?

          PLEASE take a look at a Bible to keep from embarrassing yourself even more.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:45 am |
        • Bootyfunk

          doesn't support slavery? you're deluded. you're comparison is bad.
          the bible over and over again supports slavery. it tells you how to sell your own daughter into slavery, what nations you can take slaves from, how to beat your slaves and how much to buy them for. parts of the bible are a guide for slavery. did you miss those parts? no, you skipped them on purpose because they contradict what you WANT to believe about the bible. brainwashed by your religion, you refuse to open your eyes.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:52 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          How wrong you are fred:
          If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.' If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

          When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

          When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

          Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

          Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

          The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

          April 25, 2014 at 5:30 am |
        • alonsoquixote

          believerfred, when you write "The Bible no more supports slavery than a history book written today supports scalping Indians simply because it gives an account of Custer 7th Cavalry officers", you seem to have forgotten or choose to ignore many of its verses. Most Christians today, thankfully, ignore the morally abhorrent dictates of the petty, vengeful Old Testament deity, claiming he rescinded those dictates once he sacrificed himself to himself in the form of Jesus to ameliorate the ancient curse he placed on all of humanity for eating the fruit of the "one forbidden thing" he placed in the Garden of Eden with them, but the Old Testament clearly supports slavery and the New Testament offers support for it as well as seen in the passages that TruthPrevails1 posted. As for the "it is taken out of context" claim I frequently hear Christians assert who usually provide no context that makes passages less abhorrent by today's moral standards, in the historical context of the time, slavery was widely prevalent; is that the "context" that justifies it in your mind?

          When American slaveholders needed to justify the practice of slavery, it was the Bible they quoted to justify it. In the 1860s, Southern preachers defending slavery asked who could question the Word of God when the Bible says, "€œslaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling (Ephesians 6:5) and €œ"slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect"€ (Ti_tus 2:9). Granted, most biblical scholars today don't believe Ephesisans and Ti_tus, though traditionally attributed to the Apostle Paul, were actually written by him, but those books are still in the Bible.

          As one example of how the Bible was used to justify slavery in the United States, I've excerpted a small portion of "The Bible View of Slavery" by Rabbi Dr. M.J. Raphall from 1861:

          * begin quote

          But the question whether slave-holding is a sin before G-d, is one that belongs to the theologian. I have been requested by prominent citizens of other denominations, that I should on this day examine the Bible view of slavery, as the religious mind of the country requires to be enlightened on the subject.


          ...The New Testament nowhere, directly or indirectly, condemns slaveholding, which, indeed, is proved by the universal practice of all Christian nations during many centuries. Receiving slavery as one of the conditions of society, the New Testament nowhere interferes with or contradicts the slave code of Moses; it even preserves a letter written by one of the most eminent Christian teachers to a slaveowner on sending back to him his runaway slave.


          ...Tell us the precise time when slaveholding ceased to be permitted, and became sinful?"...

          * end quote

          April 25, 2014 at 8:37 am |
        • believerfred

          "It gives instructions on who you can OWN, where to BUY them, and even how much you can HURT THEM without punishment."
          =>Gads, you have greater insight than I do. How do you know where this verse fits in the thousands of case law verse transcriptions regarding slavery since the day of Abraham? If I pull the transcript of your DUI out of the millions of DUI cases and note driving with an alcohol blood content of .1 and 3.2 is permissible if over the age 18 could I proclaim DRINKING and DRIVING is what we are instructed to do?

          April 25, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • believerfred

          "the bible over and over again supports slavery"
          No, as I stated the revelation of what goes on in culture is not a statement of right or wrong, simply an account of what is. In a few hundred years we will see how we became slaves of our own desires manipulated by the media and control of those driving our current capitalistic system or socialist ideology. Slavery is the economy of organic matter and as an atheist you should embrace your master.
          Talk about being deceived and used then sold at a price....you go girl !

          April 25, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • believerfred

          So, tell me who is your master? Please don't say no one or nothing because you would not be on this site justifying your godlessness if you were free of the chains that have you bound so tight you have forgotten what it means to be loved for exactly who you are.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • believerfred

          Atheists the likes of Stalin and professed Christians the likes of Hitler justified their ways as necessary using the Bible or Carl Marx as source. Justifying slavery using God or the Bible is just as wrong.
          Slavery is well understood concept in the days of Jesus and certainly prior to that. Historical accounts of civil law and economic realities of the day reflect on the nature of man not the nature of God.

          April 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • observer


          "Historical accounts of civil law and economic realities of the day reflect on the nature of man not the nature of God."

          The FACT that the Bible NEVER ONCE said it was wrong or a sin or even an abomination to OWN another person ABSOLUTELY reflects on the nature of God. Disgusting.

          April 25, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          believerfred, you wrote "Slavery is well understood concept in the days of Jesus and certainly prior to that. Historical accounts of civil law and economic realities of the day reflect on the nature of man not the nature of God." Yes, slavery was quite common at that time and the Bible, reflecting the values and moral code of those who wrote it, reflects that fact. Slavery was acceptable in the cultures of the Greeks, Jews, Romans, etc., which is why there are many passages supporting it in both the Old and New Testaments and no New Testament writer has Jesus condemn it. If there was an almighty god who viewed slavery as immoral, one could expect that he would at least issue a statement condemning it for his own followers. Yahweh certainly seems to have no qualms about issuing edicts regarding how he should be worshiped, which was of primary importance to him, but, if one regards the Bible as "The Word of God", supports rather than condemns slavery.

          April 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
      • believerfred

        "you don't need god to be a good person"
        =>fortunately I did and I do need God. I was saved from attempting to satisfy desires that in hindsight (no pun intended Booty) were simply destructive. I was saved from a self serving life of excess and indulgence without purpose beyond the present. I understand love and have that way as Jesus called it within me. The way the truth and the life was a gift I certainly never deserved.
        I need God more than I could ever have imagined and simply try to help anyone who asks.

        April 25, 2014 at 12:53 am |
        • observer


          If your religion makes your life better, then DON'T use it to make other people's lives WORSE by denying them EQUAL RIGHTS.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:59 am |
        • Bootyfunk

          you could have done all that without god. as i said, you don't need god to be a good person. in fact, you actually DID do all that without god, as he doesn't exist.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:29 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Just because you were stupid enough to lead a non-productive life and needed a crutch system to do what is rational, doesn't mean everyone is as stupid and has as poor judgement as you do.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • sam stone

          if you need god to be a good person, fred, i feel sorry for you

          April 25, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • believerfred

          "you actually DID do all that without god, as he doesn't exist."
          =>that you cannot know as none of us can really know anything, we just think we know.

          April 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • believerfred

          "doesn't mean everyone is as stupid and has as poor judgement as you do."
          =>for that even you should give God praise

          April 25, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • believerfred

          sam stone
          "if you need god to be a good person, fred, i feel sorry for you"
          =>don't ! It was a blessing because I would never have had the experience of God if was not helplessly descending in a bottomless dark void.

          April 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • ssq41

          Always makes me wonder about the psychology of someone who gets involved in a relationship when they are at their most desperate, at rock bottom.

          With the exception of those humans who are so desperate to rescue another, I don't see many E-Harmony or Match.com commercials showing some helpless heroin addict finding his perfect match.

          Speaks to blessed are the cheesemakers comments about Christians being in an abusive relationship with their God.

          But one only needs to see the lucrative Christian "Self-help" market to understand.

          April 25, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
    • observer


      "It does reveal the heart of that atheist and those who support such hateful nonsense."

      God torturously drowned EVERY child, baby, fetus and embryo on the FACE OF THE EARTH and you claim that people that point that out "support hateful nonsense".

      Fred, you are one of the funniest people on the blogs.

      April 25, 2014 at 12:25 am |
      • believerfred

        You really must stop straddling the fence as you are giving splitting hairs over bible verses a whole new meaning.

        Make up your mind. If the flood story never happened then you are falsely accusing God. What happened you saw the movie Noah and now your worried because rain is forecast?

        April 25, 2014 at 12:35 am |
        • observer


          You're a RIOT!!!

          I am reporting EXACTLY what the Bible says and you have NO REBUTTAL. Is the Bible LYING about the flood? It is YOUR Bible. Don't you believe it?

          April 25, 2014 at 12:38 am |
        • believerfred

          If Genesis is referring to a global flood and not simply the known world such an event would not be possible given current natural laws and observed geologic time scale (GTS). The flood story is about the cycle of wickedness and cleansing in preparation for an eternal existence in the presence of God. It gives the who, what, where and why of creation through a story divine in its truth and simplicity. Read it some time through the lens of the author and design of the creator.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:08 am |
        • alonsoquixote

          believerfred, when you write in regards to the Noachian flood myth in Genesis "Read it some time through the lens of the author and design of the creator", I'd suggest reading the "Epic of Gilgamesh", from which the biblical flood story borrows. The ancient Jews borrowed elements for myths in Genesis from older Sumerian and Babylonian mythology. In the older version Enlil, a chief deity in the religions of the Sumerians and Babylonians, who helped create humanity, was angry with mankind and decided to send a flood to wipe out humanity. The god Enki warns one human, Utnapi_shtim, of the coming flood and instructs him to build an ark, which Utnapi_shtim uses to shelter himself, his family and animals he has taken on-board the ark to ride out the flood. When the flood ends, Utnapi_shtim disembarks from the ark and offers an animal sacrifice to the gods, who find the aroma pleasing, just as Noah in the Jewish retelling of the story disembarks and offers an animal sacrifice to his god, who is also greatly pleased by the aroma of burning flesh. In the Jewish retelling of the story, Noah and his family are substi_tuted for Utnapi_shtim and his family and Enlil and Enki are merged into one god, Yahweh, to make the story consistent with the religous framework of Judaism.

          Other myths in the Old Testament also appear to borrow from older Sumerian and Baylonians ones. E.g., see "Treasures Old and New: Essays in the Theology of the Pentateuch" by Joseph Blenkinsopp, an academic theologian and Old Testament scholar, who is the John A. O'Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, whose research focuses on the Old Testament Prophets and on the Pentateuch, who notes on the parallels between the story of Adam and Eve and of Enkidu and Shamhat in the Epic of Gilgamesh:

          "We begin with Enkidu, since Enkidu rather than Gilgamesh is more immediately and obviously the counterpart of Adam ("the Man") in Genesis 2-3. ... During the first phase he is naked like Enkidu, and remains naked until after eating of the forbidden tree at the invitation of the Woman."

          April 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • believerfred

          Both stories are founded on oral tradition where the original source is a matter of belief not any extant evidence. The sources could well support each other as to event.

          April 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          believerfred, you wrote in regards to comparisons of Babylonian and Sumerian myths with Jewish myths "Both stories are founded on oral tradition where the original source is a matter of belief not any extant evidence. The sources could well support each other as to event." The Babylonian and Sumerian myths in written form predate the Jewish ones, but yes both may have been based on earlier oral traditions extending back into a more distant past and, perhaps, in a far more distant past they shared a common source unknown to us today. Some, such as the geophysicist Walter Pitman, have even suggested that a localized flood was the basis for those myths. E.g., see the Wikipedia article ti_tled "Black Sea deluge hypothesis". Because more distant lands were unknown to them, the people affected would view the local flood as a worldwide catastrophe and over time storytellers added elements such as an ark holding members from all the world's animal and bird populations. The storytellers would have to provide an explanation as to why such a calamity befell humanity and, knowing far less than we do today about the underlying causes of catastrophic flooding, would have attributed it to an angry god punishing humanity. Over time as the stories were retold over many generations in a different cultural framework they would diverge somewhat as they were fitted into the religious framework of various cultures.

          People also exchange ideas, including ones about religion and the gods, when they come into contact with one another through trade or conquest. The ancient Israelites had trade contacts with other peoples in the region. In the 720s BCE, the Assyrian king Sargon II completed the Assyrian conquest of the northern portion of the United Monarchy established by Saul and the southern portion, the Kingdom of Judah, was conquered by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar by 586 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar killed all of the sons of the Jewish king, Zedekiah, and took the king, priests, and many of the country's other elite citizens into captivity in Babylon. The Persian king Cyrus II, also known as Cyrus the Great, freed the Jewish captives allowing them to return to their homeland in 538 BCE. The Jews regarded Cyrus as a messiah, a divinely appointed savior. Cyrus own religious views are unclear, but he founded the Achaemenid Empire in which Zoroastrianism was a dominant religion. But the Cyrus Cylinder, which is an ancient clay cylinder containing a declaration in the name Cyrus, appeals to the help of the Babylonian gods Marduk, Bêl, and Nabû. The views of the Jews regarding their god, death, and the afterlife changed considerably during the period of the Exile when they were exposed to Babylonian and later Zoroastrian religious beliefs.

          The contact with the Zoroastrians during that period appears to have affected Jewish notions of a coming savior. In Zoroastrianism, the Saoshyant (savior) brings about the final renovation of the world, the Frashokereti, when evil will be destroyed, and everything will be then in perfect unity with God (Ahura Mazda). Ahura Mazda will be triumphant over evil and the Saoshyant will resurrect the dead, whose bodies will be restored to eternal perfection and whose souls will be cleansed and reunited with God. Time will then end, and truth/righteousness (asha) and immortality will thereafter be everlasting.

          As the Reverend George Aaron Barton Ph.D. (1859 – 1942), a Canadian author, Epi_scopal clergyman and professor of Semitic languages and the history of religion wrote in "Influence of the Babylonian Exile on the Religion of Israel" (archive.org/details/jstor-3141403):

          "Thus in a remote, yet direct, way the exile helped to transform the messianic expectations of the Jews from the simple character in which they had been held by the prophets to the supernatural character that they take on in the apocalyptic literature."

          It was after the Exile that Judaism gravitated towards a moralized afterlife where the good are rewarded and the wicked punished, just as the Zoroastrians have a hell, a horrific place of punishment for the wicked. In early Jewish belief, all went to the gloomy Sheol – see "In "Immortality And The Unseen World A Study In Old Testament Religion", published in 1921 by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, written by W.O.E. Oesterley (1866 – 1950), which is freely available at archive.org/details/immortalityandth014313mbp or downloadable in MP3 audio format from Librivox at librivox.org/immortality-and-the-unseen-world-by-w-o-e-oesterley/ for information on how Jewish beliefs regarding death and the afterlife evolved. Jewish angels gained names and personalities after the Exile and were spoken of as guardians of various natural phenomena like the Zoroastrian yazatas.

          The Jewish priests had the difficult task of explaining how the Jewish people could be conquered by the Babylonians despite the protection and favored status they believed were granted them by the Jewish national god, Yahweh. While in captivity in Babylon, they were far from Jerusalem where the animal sacrifices so important to their religious beliefs had been performed. The Babylonians had destroyed the temple at Jerusalem in 586 BCE. Since centralized sacrifice was no longer possible, prayer and study began to take its place. Though after the return from Exile, the sacrificial cult was reinstated, centralized at the new temple in Jerusalem. The religion also had to be reshaped from the earlier notion as found in Isaiah 31:5 that Yahweh would defend and preserve Jerusalem. The religion became even more one of inward atti_tude rather than the outward rituals.

          In another posting in reply to observer you acknowledged that the Noachian worldwide flood story could not have been an actual historical event, but portrayed it as a metaphor. Thankfully, many Christians familiar with modern science do recognize that many of the Bible's stories can not be actual events, though the meaning assigned for a metaphorical interpretation often varies considerably. Most people when they encounter similar stories in the religions of other peoples can readily acknowledge them as myths, but I find Christians averse to using the same word when the stories are retold to fit them into the Jewish and Christian religious framework, fearing that will put their religion on the same level as the religions of others. But myths often contain within them moral lessons for those hearing them and as the American mythologist Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987) noted in his book "Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation": "One might reasonably define mythology as other people's religion. The definition of religion is equally uncomplicated: it is misunderstood mythology. The misunderstanding consists typically in interpreting mythological symbols as though they were references to historical facts. And this problem is particularly crucial in our tradition in the West, where the whole emphasis has been on the historicity of the events on which our churches are supposed to have been founded.”

          I'm curious as to how you view the Yahwistic creation story in Genesis 2; do you regard it as metaphorical or do you believe mankind was created from dirt by Yahweh and that women originated from a rib from the first male?

          The biblical Eve has a parallel in the Sumerian Ninti, who was the goddess who healed a pain in Enki's rib. Eve is regarded as the mother of all humanity in the Judaeo-Christian tradition; Ninti was the goddess of life in the Sumerian tradition. Additional parallels in Sumerian mythology, besides the flood myth, include eating of forbidden fruit and a tree of life. The description of the Garden of Eden parallels the Sumerian garden of the gods, a divine paradise, which is also described as a place bordered by four great rivers.

          April 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      The OT said your god approved of parents killing their disobedient children, Ferdy. That's not "relative" to anything. It's a stone cold fact. Yet you people claim that a "non-relative" moral system originates with that same deity.

      You can't have your Special Pleading and eat it too.

      The Bible was assembled in Exile, in Babylon, (the Torah of Moses was unknown until Ezra brought it back with the letter from Artaxerxes allowing the return from Exile, as he wanted a buffer state to keep the invading Greeks out, as every scholar knows. There was no Hebrew nation in 1440 BCE. No Babble verse was written in 1440, and you can't prove it was. The earliest known references to the Hebrews in the Levant was about 1100-1200 BCE, as any Archaeologist knows. Too bad you have no actual knowledge of Ancient Near Eastern History or cultures. Please get an education, before you fail again at preaching.

      April 25, 2014 at 12:40 am |
      • realbuckyball


        April 25, 2014 at 1:15 am |
        • realbuckyball


          April 25, 2014 at 1:19 am |
      • believerfred

        Relative morality had the Greeks lapping up their ideals of pederasty to the applause of the mothers of those young boys. Gods position never changed and remained absolute morality with absolute truth. It is man who moves the standards not God.
        You are correct in that I am not an expert of ancient culture and rely on the consensus of those who claim to be respected in their field. I have heard your version for the date of the first books of the Bible but even if true it does not change the truth as I understand it concerning God. When Pilate asked Jesus what is truth it was clear that the truth was not in the religion of the time, the Priests or the Romans but in the kingdom of God. That is why Pilate put upon Jesus the sign "King of the Jews".....he knew the truth.

        April 25, 2014 at 1:46 am |
        • ssq41

          "God's position never changed..."

          "Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."

          April 25, 2014 at 1:57 am |
        • sam stone

          "It is man who moves the standards not God."

          Well, since man created god, it is man's perogative to do so

          April 25, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • believerfred

          Nothing has changed. The plan of salvation was set along with the purpose of creation. In the day of Adam and Eve there were two trees in the Garden of Eden one was the tree of Good and evil and the other the tree of life. Man chose the path of good and evil while "the way" as Jesus called was the tree of life.
          Cleansing wickedness from man was part of the plan and existence is process.
          Noah was also part of the process of existence

          April 25, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          believerfred, you wrote "Gods position never changed and remained absolute morality with absolute truth." Yet Christians claim Yahweh rescinded his old rules when he incarnated himself in his avatar Jesus, who then served as a sacrifice to himself in his aspect of "God the Father". At that point the Jews ceased being his favorites and those who, instead, believed in the story of the god sacrificing himself to himself became his new favorites with all others doomed to eternal torment. So were the commands below once moral, but are no longer moral, or do you consider them to still represent a moral code for all humanity?

          Exodus 22:18 – kill witches
          Leviticus 20:13 – kill gays
          Deuteronomy 17 – kill people who worship gods other than Yahweh
          Deuteronomy 17:12 – kill people who don't obey Yahweh's priests
          Deuteronomy 21:18-21 – kill stubborn and rebellious sons
          1 Samuel 15:3 – kill infants
          Leviticus 20:10 – kill adulterers

          Of course, though the ethical decalogue, i.e., the first set of ten commandments, not the second set of ten different commandments, the ritual decalogue, given to Moses after he broke the first set says thou shall not murder, Yahweh wants those above and many others killed by his followers. Are such killings only murder if they are done without the killers claiming they are being done in the name of God?

          In Plato's dialogue "Euthyphro", written about 399 B.C., Socrates asks Euthyphro "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" The question is known as the Euthyphro dilemma. Put in Christian terms, the question is "Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?" Are all of the above morally good, because God commanded them?

          Is the slaughter of children immoral? Is such a slaughter absolutely immoral or does it depend on whether God commands it be done? I.e., is it all relative to what the god has arbitrarily decided?

          A woman drives a car with her young children in it into a lake to drown them. Is that immoral? In the Noachian flood myth God drowns all of humanity, including babies, except for one family, so that seems to imply that drowning babies is not absolutely immoral. Whether it is moral or immoral to drown children seems relative to the god's wishes. Apparently, Yahweh didn't realize until afterwards that drowning almost every single human would not change men's ways, but no one is perfect and all-knowing, apparently not even the god.

          If you did something that angered your boss or local governor and he decided to kill 70,000 people living nearby, but spare you, because you made him mad, is that moral? In the Bible, according to 2 Samuel 24:1, Yahweh kills 70,000 Israelites with a plague, because King David conducted a census, which angered Yahweh, though Yahweh told him to conduct the census. Of course, the story may have been written by someone unhappy with a tax increase due to the results of a census, but if you treat the Bible as The Word of God, then killing 70,000 men for David's decision, even if Yahweh commanded it to begin with, must be moral, if morals are relative to what the god can arbitrarily decide at any point, since there is no absolute morality, it all depends on the mood of the god at a particular time.

          And if God commands that soldiers kill everyone in an area, men, women, and children, does such slaughter then become morally acceptable?

          1 Samuel 15:2-3:

          "This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’"

          Is genocide thus morally defensible if the god commands it?

          April 25, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          believerfred, I'd also point out in regards to your statement about Pontius Pilate that though the unknown writers of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of John portray Pilate as reluctant to execute Jesus, but forced to do so by a Jewish mob, the Jewish scholar and historian Ti_tus Flavius Josephus tells of a quite different type of man. He reports Pilate slaughtered multi_tudes of Samaritan Jews on a spiritual pilgrimage to the holy Mt. Gerizim led by a religious fanatic who promised to reveal sacred vessels buried by Moses. After this incident Pilate was recalled to Rome by the emperor Tiberius and charged, according to the philosopher/historian Philo, with "corruptibility, violence, robberies, ill-treatment of the people, grievances, continuous executions without even the form of a trial, and endless and intolerable cruelties." Both Philo and Josephus report that Pilate repeatedly caused near-insurrections among the Jews because of his insensitivity to Jewish customs. Rather than being a Roman leader cowed into acceding to the wishes of Jewish priests and a Jewish mob, they depict a man who had no compunction killing thousands of Jews with little respect for Jewish concerns. So why did the gospel writers portray Pilate as someone who reluctantly acceded to the wishes of a Jewish mob? Because it would hardly do to have a Roman leader be the villain in the story of Jesus death when early Christians were living in a Rome-dominated world in which they were trying to win converts among the Romans.

          Though the writers' decision to portray the Jews as responsible for Jesus' death rather than a Roman leader likely was a politically astute move, it contributed to countless pogroms against the Jews by Christians who branded the Jews as deicides, i.e., "Christ-killers", over the subsequent centuries. E.g, during the First Crusade, many European Jews were killed by Crusaders in the eleventh century in the "Rhineland massacres" as they were setting off for the "Holy Land." Others were given the choice of converting from Judaism to Christianity or being killed if they refused to convert. Over subsequent centuries there were many other incidents in which Christian mobs murdered Jews, e.g., the 1506 Easter Slaughter of Jews in Lisbon, Portugal, the 1613-1614 Fettmilch Uprising in Frankfurt, Germany, the Hep-Hep riots in Germany in 1819, etc. Such massacres can all be traced back to a decision of the unknown author of the Gospel of Matthew to have a Jewish mob declare "His blood be on us, and on our children" to make it absolutely clear to readers that they should blame the Jews not the Romans, as represented by Pilate, for Christ's death.

          April 25, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
        • ssq41


          Christians are very fond of claiming their God "never changes." And you have scriptures that say so. As I showed, you have narrative that, in fact, shows God doing a helluva lot of changing.

          Thus, his "plan" is apt to change because the emotionally immature God the Christians call Creator and Lord is...well...emotionally immature.

          And, inflicting Christian soteriology on a Jewish narrative doesn't make it right. It is just right to you.

          April 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Jesus did say to love the Lord your God with all your heart"

      I can't love something that I have no reason to believe exists. And I have no reason to love the god of the bible even if he did exist. I wouldn't treat my worst enemy the way the bible says god treats his "children". Awful stuff.

      April 25, 2014 at 12:42 am |
      • believerfred

        Jesus made it clear that much of the religious nonsense of the Priests, their laws and ceremony did not please God. Jesus said every law of the prophets would be fulfilled in Him. He then summarized everything into two commandments. Then Jesus lived out his existence exactly in accord with those two commandments finally giving his life out of love for his enemies. Exactly where is this hateful ugly God you claim Jesus to be? I don't see it.

        I also do not expect you to love God as that is not possible unless you reach a point where you actually need God and remain forever thankful for what God has done for you personally.

        April 25, 2014 at 1:23 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          The hate is rejecting anyone who does not believe....simply for not believing. Like I said...I would not treat my worst enemy that way.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:29 am |
        • ssq41

          fred...based on your posts since you all have begun posting here, you and your Christians brothers and sisters would be today's Pharisees and Sadducees and scribes.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:40 am |
        • realbuckyball

          "Jesus made it clear that much of the religious nonsense of the Priests, their laws and ceremony did not please God"
          --Oh really ? Where exactly did he do that. I think you just made that up. So now you're blaming the "inspired" OT on the priests. I see you are not a "Bible believing" person. Instead you think you get to pick and choose what you think is moral.
          Matthew 5:18 "For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." Jesus did not agree with you.

          The fact is, in Rabbinic Judaism, the popular theme at that time was for the rabbis to try to cut down the number of laws to as few as possible. Jesus did not originate the "Love god, and your neighbor as yourself". That was what the rabbis all agreed the law could be reduced to. Any scholar knows that. You are not one of them.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:43 am |
        • believerfred

          Blessed Cheesemaker
          God does not reject those who do not believe. It is the other way around man rejects God, man crucifies an innocent Jesus, Priests killing to retain power. In the beginning it was man who rejected God and went with their own desire.
          Jesus never hated and said to hate is to murder. How do you twist the greatest love story of all time into a hate piece?

          April 25, 2014 at 1:50 am |
        • realbuckyball

          He was not "innocent" He caused a ruckus in the temple in Roman occupied Jerusalem. Any person with 1/2 a brain would know that the consequence of that in the Pax Romana was death. He caused his own death, got no trial, and was executed like all the other common crooks.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:02 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>God does not reject those who do not believe. It is the other way around man rejects God,

          That is like saying I reject pixies are responsible for holding my feet to the ground, instead of gravity. I only reject it because it is nonsensical.

          =>man crucifies an innocent Jesus, Priests killing to retain power. In the beginning it was man who rejected God and went with their own desire.

          It was god's plan (according to the bible) for this outome. In that respect the Priests were doing god's will. What is they didn't kill Jesus? What would have happened then? Would humanity be saved? No...according to your logic we shuld be thankful they killed Jesus. Not that I believe any of this, I am anly speaking in the hypothetical.

          =>Jesus never hated and said to hate is to murder. How do you twist the greatest love story of all time into a hate piece?

          Well if that is the case then no one will be punished for non belief...real love would not require it.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:03 am |
        • believerfred


          "will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
          =>What Law would that be...........

          April 25, 2014 at 2:06 am |
        • ssq41

          Jesus never hates....?

          Oh the variations of Jesus' love...that other 3:16 (Revelation)

          "So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

          (Even you Christians can't be 100% certain...eh?)

          April 25, 2014 at 2:19 am |
        • realbuckyball

          The law that Freddy will try to weasel out from any corner he paints himself into with his ignorance of scripture.

          April 25, 2014 at 8:46 am |
        • sam stone

          How many gods have you rejected, fred?

          April 25, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • believerfred

          Jesus spoke of the law of the prophets and of scripture and his version of what was written was different than what the Priests claimed. The Bible was put together a few hundred years latter not to mention Jesus said the Holy Spirit will put the truth in your heart. When the Apostles spoke of the Word of God they had in mind the truths Jesus expressed as revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. When Stephen filled with the Sprit gave the summary of Bible to the Religious leaders before getting stoned he had that Word of God in mind.
          I suspect the Jews would go with the 600 some odd laws they held as from God to be the Law but they are the ones who violated their own rules of legal proceedings when the put Jesus on trial. Did you want to rely on what they claim as "the law"?

          April 25, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
    • ssq41

      With that convenient answer, fred, one can then assume that you would have justified and/or looked the other way were you a Christian in 1940s Poland, Austria, Germany, etc.

      There is a certain measure of bliss for the Christian to not have to think in context or to think critically. To excuse the sins of the church Fathers (both OT/NT) and to excuse the God of the OT/NT for his sins must make one feel so...so...righteous.

      Ahhh....to find a humble Christian in the US in the 20th or 21st century....

      April 25, 2014 at 1:35 am |
      • believerfred

        Hard to say what I would do as I do get swept up into a lot of stupid nonsense at times. Stalin was caught up in ridding the world of believers so my guess it is a problem inherent with man not limited to Christians.

        April 25, 2014 at 1:56 am |
        • ssq41


          Did Stalin purge his flag and senior officers because they were Christian?

          April 25, 2014 at 2:02 am |
        • ssq41

          As to the rest of your response...clearly, when it comes to morality, you are a relativist.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:08 am |
        • alonsoquixote

          You wrote "Stalin was caught up in ridding the world of believers". Stalin was intent on ridding the Soviet Union of any who might represent a challenge to his authority. He executed priests and other clergy that he perceived as a threat to his power, but later when he, like many political leaders, saw benefit to be gained by using religious beliefs to enhance his own power, he made an alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church – see "1943: Orthodox Patriarch Appointed" at soviethistory.macalester.edu/index.php?page=subject&SubjectID=1943patriarch&Year=1943.

          Today, Putin has allied himself with the Russian Orthodox Church and, in return for support from Church officials, the Russian security forces persecute other Christian denominations in Russia – see "At Expense of All Others, Putin Picks a Church " at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/24/world/europe/24church.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

          April 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
  7. Bootyfunk

    women will always be 2nd class citizens in the catholic church. the bible says women are to be silent and never to teach men. any wonder that they won't let women be leaders or make decisions in the church hierarchy? the bible teaches that women are to be subservient to men. how can women be a part of a club that very openly tells them they aren't equal to men?

    April 24, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      what do women think when they read passages like this?

      Exodus 21:7-11
      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.

      April 24, 2014 at 11:36 pm |
  8. thefinisher1

    Shouting "no there is no God" does not make it true. One of the major flaws of atheism.

    April 24, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
    • SeaVik

      Never finishing a logical thought doesn't make you the finisher. It makes you a troll.

      April 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Not being able to make a coherent definition of the three letter meme pronounced "gawd" without invoking Special Pleading is one of the major flaws of theism.

      April 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      You're the ones making the claim of of a god, so it's your responsibility to provide the evidence to substantiate your claim. Most atheists say believers have not made a convincing argument for a god, although our current knowledge does exclude the personal gods claimed by organized religions.

      April 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      "no there is no God"

      I don't believe I have ever said that. Not sure what it means...I think it is a double negative.

      April 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Shouting "God is real" does not make it true. One of the major flaws of christianity.

      April 24, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      tf1: Not much you say is accurate, so this rant is no different. Dictionaries can be found at the local library and you can register for school for the education you so desperately need.

      April 25, 2014 at 7:25 am |
  9. Science Works

    Heads -up 10 hrs of raw deposition – might want to keep children away from the church !

    Attorneys: Countless Children Put at Risk Under McDonough's Leadership


    April 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Amazing. The priest calls his bishop a liar. Oh my.

      April 25, 2014 at 12:58 am |
  10. Reality

    The simple solution of the woman on the other end of the telephone? She should stop wasting her time going to church. Her religion has no doctrine as all of it fails to meet 21st century rigorous historic testing. Added details are available.

    April 24, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
  11. Alias

    "Theo Phileo

    "If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.""
    And in a culture that tended to wrongly view women as little better than a means to birth other men, allowing them to be bought back was a means of keeping a woman off the streets either homeless, or making a living by WHAT she is... This was actually a means of preserving the welfare of women."

    AKA god has changed the way he wants us to treat women.

    April 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
    • SeaVik

      Theo is highly immoral. He bases his morals on the bible, which is one of the most immoral pieces of fiction ever written.

      April 24, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        "which is one of the most immoral"

        Says who? How do you determine this?

        April 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          slavery; condoning rape; murder; child abuse; oppression of women; oppression of LGBT

          You are simply evidence of the fact that Christians don't actually read their bibles...maybe if you did, you'd join the smart side of history and not be a Christian.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:34 am |
  12. Concert in an Egg

    If god wants me to believe in and worship him, why did he not make me an idiot?

    April 24, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
    • believerfred

      What came first the concert or the egg?

      April 24, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
    • thefinisher1

      You are the most hateful person I've ever met, clown egg. Seek help. The truth will set you free. I'm here for you. It's ok to get the help you need.

      April 24, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        "You are the most hateful person I’ve ever met, clown egg."

        The troll says while insulting me. lol

        April 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        oh my, this coming from the one who has nothing to add other than extreme hate for Atheists...such the hypocrite.

        April 25, 2014 at 5:36 am |
    • ddeevviinn

      As tempting as it would be to respond to that statement, I'll be the adult and let it go.

      April 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        That is ok, I am not offended. You must feel a little silly.

        April 24, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
  13. Concert in an Egg

    bartender of drunken thieves and killers

    drinking blood cocktails and eating the onion eye balls with a stick

    the screaming banshee is you; shut up please

    cranking sausage like pasta like play doe in my kindergarten class where one little boy got to drink grape juice because he was allergic to milk

    spinning with crackling promise; a solid meal and one less believer to waste paper and talk all about nothing not something which would be something, not nothing

    the laughing bartender is without remorse or empathy; he sees you and you are older

    April 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
  14. Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

    Mickey Mouse: Where would you be without me, Jonas Brothers? Ha-ha. Your music sucks and you know it, ha-ha. It's because you make little girl's gineys tickle, and when little girl's gineys tickle, I make money, ha-ha. And that's because little girls are f**king stupid, ha-ha. And the purity rings make it okay to do whatever I want, ha-ha. Even the Christians are too f**king stupid to figure out I'm selling sex to their daughters. I've made billions off of Christian ignorance for decades now, ha-ha, and do you know why? Because Christians are retarded, ha-ha. They believe in a talking dead guy! Ha-ha! [realizes the curtain is up] Oh. Ha-ha. Hello, folks.

    April 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
  15. Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

    Mysterion: There are some superpowers that make yours look like nothing. Trust me, I know.
    Hindsight: Wha... what is your power?
    Mysterion: I can't die. [pause] I've experienced death, countless times. Sometimes I see a bright light, sometimes I see heaven or hell. But eventually, no matter what, I wake up in my bed, wearing my same old clothes. And the worst part, no one even remembers me dying. I go to school the next day and everyone's just like "oh, hey Kenny," even if they had seen me get decapitated with their own eyes. You wanna whine about curses, Hindsight, you're talking to the wrong f**king cowboy.

    April 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
  16. Concert in an Egg

    I saw a sunset and it was perfect.
    Why do you ask me to see another?
    For in waiting for the next sunset, I will endure much suffering!

    Perfection exists in the suffering too.
    Be thankful for the pain.

    Did I not thank you by loving you?

    April 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
  17. Concert in an Egg

    A gentle peaceful soul that chooses to live in the woods, commune with nature and befriend the flora and fauna in a gentle dance with life. This man has no believe in the bible or god, but cares about life and universal harmony. Guess he will go straight to hell.

    April 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • samsstones

      Egg your fondness for your fellow man becomes you, but Topher, I despair.

      April 24, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
  18. Concert in an Egg

    The Christian's responses on this blog are absolutely insane. How do you tie your shoes? You can't see through the simplest of manipulative biblical text that was never even intended for our generation. Weird, crazy, wow.

    April 24, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Egg....the answers from them are insane because what they practice can not possibly be defended, and absolutely not to an intelligent, free thinking person. They are regurgitating answers that have been drilled into them since their indoctrination.

      April 24, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        I hear you, but I want to believe occasionally a few of them wake from their spell. I hope.

        April 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "I want to believe occasionally a few of them wake from their spell."

          Nope, too many are out there fingering their prlcks instead of prlcking their fingers...

          April 24, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        None of the religious nuts on this blog will. I've seen their posts...they are too far gone.

        April 24, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
    • Madtown

      How do you tie your shoes?
      LOL! "like".

      April 24, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
    • workingcopy12

      "Love your neighbor as yourself." Concert: Explain to how his is manipulative and not intended for our generation.

      April 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
      • workingcopy12

        Sorry...that was some serious typing! Explain to us how this is...

        April 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
      • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

        Explain how this pertains to any of Egg's posts. Did you read any of them? I did.

        Being beaten by your husband?
        “Love your neighbor as yourself."

        Father molesting you?
        “Love your neighbor as yourself."

        Wife cheating on you?
        “Love your neighbor as yourself."

        Dad beating the snot outta you?
        “Love your neighbor as yourself."

        That's reeeeal helpful as a solution.

        April 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          Ministry...those things existed in the generation when this command was issued–so it doesn't explain how the command is no longer relevant to our generation.

          April 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          On atheism, why is anything morally bad or wrong?

          April 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          On Christianity, how is the following statement moral?
          “If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.”

          April 24, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Copy, I asked how that command can possibly help the scenarios I gave.

          April 24, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          Ill take that as a dodge though I am interested in what your answer would be.

          I'm glad you brought up Exodus 21:8 (if this is what you are referring to) as I have addressed this in the past.

          Exodus 21:7-11

          7 “If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do. 8 If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her. 9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10 If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. 11 If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

          According to Paul Copan, "As we've seen earlier, this is another example of case law (casuistic law). Such regulations don't assume that the described states of affairs are ideal. Case law begins with specific examples that don't necessarily present best-case scenarios: "if two men quarrel" or "if someone strikes a man" are examples of case law. So the law here instructs Israelites about what should be done under certain inferior conditions ("If a man sells his daughter...")"

          Some additional points:

          1. "even if conditions are less than ideal, the goal is to protect women in unfortunate" circu-mstances.

          2. "When a father sells his daughter, he's doing so out of economic desperation,"
          "the father is going this out if concern for his family, and Israel's laws provided a safety net for it's very poorest."
          "Voluntary selling was a matter of survival in harsh financial" circu-mstances.

          3. "As far as the marriageable daughter goes, a father would do his best to care for her as well. Here, he is trying to help his daughter find security in marriage;"

          – "If the man rejects the servant woman as his wife, she is to be given her freedom (redeemed/bought back).

          – "If his son wants to marry her, she is to be taken in as a family member and treated as a daughter."

          – "If the man marries another woman, the servant woman is to receive food, clothing and lodging"

          All quotes are from Paul Copan's book "Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God"

          April 24, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          I ask again.

          On atheism, why is anything morally bad or wrong?

          April 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Follower, how would I know? Ask an atheist.

          Slavery is immoral. On Christianity, how is does slavery square with a moral person?

          April 24, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Follower, on Christianity, is slavery a sin?

          April 24, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Are you an agnostic? Do you have any spiritual beliefs?

          April 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Follower, on Christianity, is berating another human that you own a sin?

          April 24, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Should be beating, not berating.

          April 24, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          It seems that you either don't like answering questions or are unable to defend your position (which I still don't know what that is.

          "Slavery is immoral."

          On what basis are you making this determination?

          April 24, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Follower, is impregnating another human against her will moral, even if you own her?
          Even if that's against your wife's wishes?

          April 24, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Answer a few questions for me if you would.
          1. How many lies would you say you’ve told in your life?
          2. Have you ever stolen anything regardless of its value?
          3. Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word? (called blasphemy)
          4.have you ever looked at a woman/man lustfully?(if so, Jesus said you have committed adultery with that person in your heart.)
          If you’re like me, you are a self professed lying, stealing, blaspheming adulterer at heart or some form thereof. A holy God must punish wickedness, otherwise He wouldn’t be just. Given your confession, will you be guilty or innocent? If you’re like me and everyone else on this board, you are guilty. However, God provided a way for salvation through the blood of His innocent Son who took the punishment on the cross, that we might be declared innocent. Think of it like this. You’re in a court room. you’re guilty as you’ve professed. Someone walks in and pays your fine for you. Now the judge can legally dismiss your case and let you go. This is the gospel message. What you must do is repent (turn from your sins) and follow Jesus as Lord. This following is enabled by God when He gives you new desires and a heart that wants to please God instead of the flesh.

          April 24, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
        • observer

          Troll alert.

          There's no reason to answer questions when the person asking them refuses to answer questions.

          April 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          And, Follower, although you copy/pasted a whole lot, YOU didn't answer; "“If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.”

          Is that moral? He had her every way from Sunday sexually, (that's what the euphemistic "please" means of course) and then throes her aside? He's fornicating with his slave, is that moral?
          On Christianity, is fornicating with your slave good or bad?

          April 24, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          I can't seem to get Ministry to answer. You're not Ministry in disguise are you?

          April 24, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          I am well aware of your little quiz. I am uninterested in taking it.

          On what basis are you making this determination?

          My morality. Which is obviously different from yours.

          April 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          What is the foundation of your morality?

          April 24, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Observer I was posting other questions for Follower and did not see the questions to me. I'm not a troll. Are you?

          April 24, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Remember, "this is another example of case law (casuistic law). Such regulations don't assume that the described states of affairs are ideal."

          April 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Follower, not who you call your Christian God. I derive my morality from an internal compass, along with some other beliefs.

          Why is slavery moral?

          April 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Follower, I see you are uninterested in answering any of my questions.

          Have a great evening.

          April 24, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
        • observer

          The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...,

          "truthfollower" has a very LONG history of ignoring questions. There's no reason to answer questions of someone like that who doesn't answer questions. It's a matter of INTEGRITY.

          April 24, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "Why is slavery moral?"

          Is there a specific Bible passage you are referring to? Are you referring to slavery in the Antebellum South?

          So is your morality derived from your personal opinion? If Hitler thought what he did was morally good in the Holocaust, would you say he was wrong? If so, why?

          Do you believe in God?

          April 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Name anything you think Jebus says is "immoral" and I will show you it's promoted by the god of the OT.
          Your little one-trick pony is dead.

          April 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          I didn't understand your post.

          April 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          "Not an atheist. I'm just not a workingcopy brand of Christian."

          What does this mean? Are you an agnostic or pagan?

          April 24, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          Do you claim to be a Christian?

          April 24, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          follower says

          "If you’re like me, you are a self professed lying, stealing, blaspheming adulterer at heart or some form thereof."

          your religion fills you with self hatred

          April 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          It's important to see one's true standing before a holy and righteous God.

          April 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          It is only important if you enjoy self hatred....I don't.

          April 24, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          What do you mean by self hatred?

          April 24, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          When you define yourself as "liar, thief, adulterer, ect ect." as if those terms consti.tute who you are as a person.....that is self hate. It is what Christianity teaches. Have I done some of those things.... certainly. But I have also sacrificed for others. I have put my life on the line for others. I have given of myself in so many ways....why would I want to define myself by only the negative terms you use for yourself. Have you ever seen a picture of a person self flagellating? That is essentually what you are doing.

          April 24, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          "Is that moral? He had her every way from Sunday se-xually, (that's what the euphemistic "please" means of course) and then throes her aside? He's fornicating with his slave, is that moral?"

          This is your interpretation.

          How about:

          If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself [i.e., he refuses to go through with a possible engagement], he must let her be redeemed.

          (He doesn't want to marry her.)

          April 24, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "When you define yourself as "liar, thief, adulterer, ect ect."

          This is the truth. It's reality. It shows our need for a Savior. It doesn't make a lot of sense for a doctor to present the remedy to a patient without showing the patient he/she has the disease.

          April 24, 2014 at 11:55 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "This is the truth. It's reality."

          It is at best one aspect. It is also reality that I am a selfless, giving, loving person who cares deeply for other people. I would be surprised if you were not as well. So why do you only focus on the negative and seemingly ignore the positive?

          April 25, 2014 at 12:02 am |
        • truthfollower01


          What is ultimately and most important is not how we see ourselves or how we compare to each other but how God sees us. If a rapist or murderer stood before the judge and said something to the effect of, "Judge, I know I rap-ed and murdered that woman but I give back to the community. I volunteer at the local homeless shelter, etc." don't you believe he should still pay for his crime? Fortunately, God provided a way that the lawlessness is paid for through Jesus.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:23 am |
        • truthfollower01


          Have a good night.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:26 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I have r@ped and killed all the people I have ever wanted to....none, zero, nada.

          And if you think someone, including yourself, is deserving of infinite punishment for telling a lie or stealing something you are involved in some serious self hatred and I feel sorry for you.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:36 am |
        • realbuckyball

          If THAT's what you are, there is no reason to believe a word you say, now is there ?
          You really need a psychiatrist. Get help before it's too late.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:04 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          tf: Again you fail to show much intelligence, maybe this will help show why you are always so wrong...pay attention-Matt is an ex-Christian with far more knowledge of the bible than you could ever hope to have:

          April 25, 2014 at 7:28 am |
        • truthfollower01


          Those who do not follow God live in open rebellion to Him. Also, remember, though some sins may be trivial in your mind (lying, stealing) to a perfect and holy God their are a serious affront. It took the death of His Son to pay for sins such as these.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          Are you've never lied or stolen anything?

          April 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          By ex-Christian you mean he KNEW God but then turned away from Him?

          April 25, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • Akira

          "Is that moral? He had her every way from Sunday se-xually, (that’s what the euphemistic “please” means of course) and then throes her aside? He’s fornicating with his slave, is that moral?”

          This is your interpretation.

          How about:

          If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself [i.e., he refuses to go through with a possible engagement], he must let her be redeemed.

          (He doesn’t want to marry her.)

          How many masters married their slaves? How is she going to be "redeemed" after he has used her sexually and discarded her? Do you really believe that's how it was??

          What rubbish. Absolute revisionist rubbish. The absolute lengths people go through to justify the unjustifiable.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          truthfollower01, you wrote "So the law here instructs Israelites about what should be done under certain inferior conditions ("If a man sells his daughter...")". You also wrote "the father is going this out if concern for his family, and Israel's laws provided a safety net for it's very poorest." Couldn't Yahweh have commanded his followers to not allow the poorest among them to starve rather than providing a couple of restrictions regarding selling women into slavery? You also wrote "Here, he is trying to help his daughter find security in marriage." By selling his daughter as a slave, he gives her the opportunity to "please" her master to such an extent that he decides to keep her as one of his wives? Perhaps those biblical passages reflect an enlightened atti_tude for the time and place in which they were written, but they hardly seem the work of an all-powerful god.

          The Gortyn code from the 5th century B.C. of the ancient Greek city-state of Gortyn in southern Crete was a legal code that addressed matters related to slavery as well as other matters. E.g., a man who ra_ped a woman, even a slave woman, was punishable by a fine just as the Bible in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 states "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and ra_pes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver." For adultery, according to the Gortyn code, the man would be fined, but not the woman. One could point to the Gortyn code and say as you do for the Bible "Such regulations don't assume that the described states of affairs are ideal."

          The Pagan Romans also had laws and edicts regarding the treatment of slaves. E.g., the emperor Claudius declared that if a slave was abandoned by his master, he became free. Nero granted slaves the right to complain against their masters in a court and under Antoninus Pius a master who killed a slave without just cause could be tried for homicide. The Bible may also impose some restraints on slave owners, such as the severity of beatings they can mete out to their slaves. E.g., if a slave dies within a day or two of a particularly brutal beating then the slave owner is culpable for the slave's death, but if the slave lingers on for more than a couple of days after a brutal beating, that's acceptable. It certainly doesn't condemn the practice of slavery, though, and its many passages supportive of slavery were the justification that American slave owners used to defend the insti_tution of slavery.

          April 25, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Explain how that statement is consistent with your god's enjoyment of death and dismemberment? Cherry pick all you want.

        April 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
      • workingcopy12

        Concert and Ministry-ah the standard atheist reply on this blog–change the issue when faced with a question. Concert–why not simply answer the question? How is love your neighbor as yourself manipulative and not intended for our generation? Itcan't possibly be that hard–you are, after all, an atheist, so we know you are the smartest person here.

        April 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I am happy to answer it, but not without pointing out the inconsistency. Answer, it is a good thing to love your neighbor.

          April 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • ausphor

          It is a lovely concept, loving thy neighbour and all. Until they pi-ss you off then every Christian nation will rise up in righteous indignation and go to war. War is good for the military industrial complex, don't you know. People have to be shooting at each other in order to sell ammo, a gun in every hand, get the picture.

          April 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • samsstones

          workingcopy12 When has your love thy neighbour as thyself ever worked in the history of our rather sad pathetic world. The basic instinct of mammals/humans is dominance. If I can deceive you into believing something and giving me your assets to live the high life, who is the fool/sheep? Grovel at the feet of the clergy/lord.

          April 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          "Concert and Ministry—ah the standard atheist reply on this blog–change the issue when faced with a question. "

          Not an atheist. I'm just not a workingcopy brand of Christian. And you made a statement, so I asked YOU a question, and I was pretty polite about it.

          I'll ask it again:

          Explain how this pertains to any of Egg’s posts. Did you read any of them? I did.

          Being beaten by your husband?
          “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

          Father molesting you?
          “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

          Wife cheating on you?
          “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

          Dad beating the snot outta you?
          “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

          Explain, once again, how this helps the situations I described. Give it a shot.

          April 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
  19. Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

    Billy: Do you want to do it?
    Cartman: Do i want to do it? Does the pope help pedophiles get away with their crimes?
    Billy: Excellent.

    Cartman: Is that something I'd want to do? Is the Pope Catholic, and making the world safe for pedophiles?

    Cartman: I told your mom you got an F on that social studies test.
    Billy: You wouldnt do that.
    Cartman: Does a bear crap in the woods? And does the pope crap on the broken lives and dreams of 200 deaf boys?

    April 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.