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May 1st, 2014
09:15 AM ET

Why Christians should support the death penalty

Opinion by R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

(CNN) - The death penalty has been part of human society for millennia, understood to be the ultimate punishment for the most serious crimes.

But, should Christians support the death penalty now, especially in light of the controversial execution Tuesday in Oklahoma?

This is not an easy yes or no question.

On the one hand, the Bible clearly calls for capital punishment in the case of intentional murder.

In Genesis 9:6, God told Noah that the penalty for intentional murder should be death: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”

The death penalty was explicitly grounded in the fact that God made every individual human being in his own image, and thus an act of intentional murder is an assault upon human dignity and the very image of God.

In the simplest form, the Bible condemns murder and calls for the death of the murderer. The one who intentionally takes life by murder forfeits the right to his own life.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul instructs Christians that the government “does not bear the sword in vain.” Indeed, in this case the magistrate “is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the evildoer.” [Romans 13:4]

On the other hand, the Bible raises a very high requirement for evidence in a case of capital murder.

The act of murder must be confirmed and corroborated by the eyewitness testimony of accusers, and the society is to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that no one is punished unjustly.

While the death penalty is allowed and even mandated in some cases, the Bible also reveals that not all who are guilty of murder and complicity in murder are executed.

Just remember the biblical accounts concerning Moses, David and Saul, later known as Paul.

Christian thinking about the death penalty must begin with the fact that the Bible envisions a society in which capital punishment for murder is sometimes necessary, but should be exceedingly rare.

The Bible also affirms that the death penalty, rightly and justly applied, will have a powerful deterrent effect.

In a world of violence, the death penalty is understood as a necessary firewall against the spread of further deadly violence.

Seen in this light, the problem we face today is not with the death penalty, but with society at large.

American society is quickly conforming to a secular worldview, and the clear sense of right and wrong that was Christianity’s gift to Western civilization is being replaced with a much more ambiguous morality.

We have lost the cultural ability to declare murder – even mass murder – to be deserving of the death penalty.

Oklahoma's botched lethal injection marks new front in battle over executions

We have also robbed the death penalty of its deterrent power by allowing death penalty cases to languish for years in the legal system, often based on irrational and irrelevant appeals.

While most Americans claim to believe that the death penalty should be supported, there is a wide disparity in how Americans of different states and regions think about the issue.

Furthermore, Christians should be outraged at the economic and racial injustice in how the death penalty is applied. While the law itself is not prejudiced, the application of the death penalty often is.

Opinion: End secrecy in lethal injections

There is very little chance that a wealthy white murderer will ever be executed. There is a far greater likelihood that a poor African-American murderer will face execution.

Why? Because the rich can afford massively expensive legal defense teams that can exhaust the ability of the prosecution to get a death penalty sentence.

This is an outrage, and no Christian can support such a disparity. As the Bible warns, the rich must not be able to buy justice on their own terms.

There is also the larger cultural context. We must recognize that our cultural loss of confidence in human dignity and the secularizing of human identity has made murder a less heinous crime in the minds of many Americans.

Most would not admit this lower moral evaluation of murder, but our legal system is evidence that this is certainly true.

We also face a frontal assault upon the death penalty that is driven by legal activists and others determined to bring legal execution to an end in America.

Controversy over an execution this week in Oklahoma will bring even more attention to this cause, but most Americans will be completely unaware that this tragedy was caused by the inability of prison authorities to gain access to drugs for lethal injection that would have prevented those complications.

Opponents of the death penalty have, by their legal and political action, accomplished what might seem at first to be impossible – they now demand action to correct a situation that they largely created.

Their intention is to make the death penalty so horrifying in the public mind that support for executions would disappear. They have attacked every form of execution as “cruel and unusual punishment,” even though the Constitution itself authorizes the death penalty.

It is a testament to moral insanity that they have successfully diverted attention from a murderer’s heinous crimes and instead put the death penalty on trial.

Should Christians support the death penalty today?

I believe that Christians should hope, pray and strive for a society in which the death penalty, rightly and rarely applied, would make moral sense.

This would be a society in which there is every protection for the rights of the accused, and every assurance that the social status of the murderer will not determine the sentence for the crime.

Christians should work to ensure that there can be no reasonable doubt that the accused is indeed guilty of the crime. We must pray for a society in which the motive behind capital punishment is justice, and not merely revenge.

We must work for a society that will honor every single human being at every point of development and of every race and ethnicity as made in God’s image.

We must hope for a society that will support and demand the execution of justice in order to protect the very existence of that society. We must pray for a society that rightly tempers justice with mercy.

Should Christians support the death penalty today? I believe that we must, but with the considerations detailed above.

At the same time, given the secularization of our culture and the moral confusion that this has brought, this issue is not so clear-cut as some might think.

I do believe that the death penalty, though supported by the majority of Americans, may not long survive in this cultural context.

Death penalty in the United States gradually declining

It is one thing to support the death penalty. It is another thing altogether to explain it, fix it, administer it and sustain it with justice.

We are about to find out if Americans have the determination to meet that challenge. Christians should take leadership to help our fellow citizens understand what is at stake.

God affirmed the death penalty for murder as he made his affirmation of human dignity clear to Noah. Our job is to make it clear to our neighbors.

R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of  The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The views expressed in this column belong to Mohler.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Courts • Crime • Death • Discrimination • Ethics • Opinion • Violence

soundoff (2,706 Responses)
  1. Peaceadvocate2014

    I am against the death penalty. How could we be certain (100%) that the offender is guilty? If the offender confess to the offense, does that const;tute as a show of remorse or repentance? Either way to me seems no reason with absolute certainty that the offenders punishment of death penalty is justified.

    Teachings of God.

    May 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "I am against the death penalty. How could we be certain (100%) that the offender is guilty?"
      --------------------
      I agree with you 100% there.

      May 6, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
  2. His Panic

    OK people, willful ignorance of what the Scripture says on the subject prevails in the Blog.

    This can lead to anxiety, hysteria and even Panic. Panic in turn can lead to stampedes, rebellions and revolutions. That's because the world DOES NOT Trust God and Jesus Christ God's Only Son.

    Now, these are the Biblical Laws and the instances/occasions/reasons that caused the death penalty in Israel. Keep in mind that some of these applied ONLY in Israel. Some, like in the case of Murder were in place long before these Laws were given to Israel in Mt. Sinai. A few are/were also in place in other cultures & Civilizations past & present.

    Adultery: Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:24
    As.sault, intrusion invasion of a home at night not during day time: Exo. 22:2
    Best.iality: Exo. 22:19; Lev. 20:15-16
    Blasphemy: Lev. 24:11-14,16,23
    Cursing father or mother: Exo. 21:15,17; Lev. 20:9
    Desecration of the Sabbath: Exo. 32:2; Num. 15:32-36
    Disobedience to parents: Deut. 21:18-21
    Divination & Witchcraft: Exo. 22:18
    Fornication: Num. 25:8, Deut. 22:21-24
    Human sacrifice: Lev. 20:2-5
    Idolatry: Exo. 22:20; Deut. 8:19-20
    Incest: Lev. 20:11-12, 14
    Kidnapping: Exo. 21:21:16; Deut. 24:7
    Murder & Homicide: Gen. 9:5-6; Num. 35:16-21, 30-33; Deut. 17:6
    Negligence in case of someone death: Exo. 21:29
    Perjury: Exo. 23:7; Deut. 19:18
    Prophesying falsely: Deut. 13:1-10
    Propagate & teach of False doctrines: Deut. 13:1-10
    Pros.ti.tution by the daughter of a Priest: Lev. 21:9
    Ra.pe of a Virgin girl/woman: Deut. 22:25
    Refusal of a Court Order: Deut. 17:12
    Sacrifice to an Idol: Exo. 22:20
    Sod.omy: Lev. 18:22; 20:13
    Treason: 1st. Kings 2:25; Est. 2:23

    May 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
    • His Panic

      Panic can also lead as it has in the past to brawls and riots. There was another case of an stampede caused by Panic last Sunday in Las Vegas during the Mayweather vs. Madiana fight. About 24 people were injured when about 300-400 people went into the stampede.

      Those who really, for real Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son and do not fake it, WILL NOT Panic All others who DO NOT Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son WILL Panic We see examples of that all the time.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
      • archtopopotamus

        You posts are hysterical and panicky nonsense.

        May 6, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
  3. karnaval2

    The innocent man knows in his heart he is innocent. The guilty man knows in his heart he is guilty.

    May 6, 2014 at 2:14 am |
    • karnaval2

      The courts may declare a guilty man innocent, but his heart will always declare him guilty.

      May 6, 2014 at 3:30 am |
  4. auntiekale

    People always ask why a loving god would create a Hell for Humans to be tortured in for eternity......I think that's pretty obvious....it's for other people to go to.

    May 5, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
    • kenmargo

      Who are the other people?

      May 5, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
  5. bostontola

    I've had Christians comment on my slavery posts with honesty. They say (paraphrasing), 'I don't know why those passages are there, but I know God is good and loving, just because we can't explain it doesn't mean God isn't great'. I repsect the honesty and courage in those replies.

    The incessant twisting of words, obvious words, to cleanse the bible of things you don't understand is at least dishonest, and could be cowardly in some cases. I won't presume which.

    May 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
    • kermit4jc

      The incessant twisting of words, obvious words, to cleanse the bible of things you don’t understand is at least dishonest, and could be cowardly in some cases. I won’t presume which.-> in other words you hate and detest context when it is shown to you.......the reason I say what I say is because its what I found to be truth and in context of the text....not cause "I want it that way"

      May 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
      • bostontola

        Sad.

        May 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..sad that you detest context and when people show it to you

          May 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • bostontola

          Again with the 'I know you are but what am I'. tsk, tsk.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • harlow13

          It's just not that well written. I agree with he Boston fellow. If I was the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, I'd come right out and say it; "Thou shalt not enslave people." I wonder why the Supreme Ruler of the Universe didn't come right out and say the thing.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          well.....that's when you assume a Creator who has no perfect love....the question is to you as well...why would you rather leave love out of it? WHY do you think a loving God would merely only want you to stop it....wouldn't he support the idea to motivate you to stop by being LOVING? anything wrong with that?

          May 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Arguing context, in this case, seems to me to be arguing for moral relativism.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • harlow13

          Generation after generation of the enslaved must suffer, waiting for those in power to some day dig the love thang. I still think the "Thou shalt not enslave people" is superior to the graven image bit. I think this creator may be nuts.

          I've got more, all of which rise above the first four commandments. Piece of cake.

          Thou shalt not abuse children.
          Thou shalt not practice genocide. (I realize he may not endorse that one, what with his old testament ways.)
          Thou shalt not leave thy soiled diapers in the Walmart parking lot.

          I could go on and on...

          May 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
    • kenmargo

      "I've had Christians comment on my slavery posts with honesty. They say (paraphrasing), 'I don't know why those passages are there, but I know God is good and loving, just because we can't explain it doesn't mean God isn't great'."

      If they can't explain it. Why do they expect us to believe it?

      Can you imagine a prosecutor being unable to explain his case, yet expect the jurors to believe him? That would be nuts.

      May 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
      • bostontola

        They weren't asking me to believe it, just demonstrating their faith. The problem with kermit is, faith isn't enough, s/he needs to resolve it with reason. The only way he can is to twist the words.

        May 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          OH..so it is wrong to question and find answers now? and NOONE has yet to prove or show I twist! Don't you guys ever get tired of making those claims yet not backing them up? and BTW IM a "he"

          May 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • kenmargo

          The best way for religious individuals to demonstrate their faith is to keep it to themselves. They have a ton of imaginary friends. Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and so on. God is the only one they hang on to because it's easy to prove the others false. I'm 52. Never seen Santa Claus or the others. God they can keep up in the air out of our reach so to speak.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • bostontola

          Jesus recognized slavery was occurring, he regulated it, he didn't forbid it (like he did explicitly for many things). You then say that 'love thy neighbor' erases that. That's a twist that would make a pretzel blush.

          May 5, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          SHOW ME WHERE Jesus regulated slavery

          May 6, 2014 at 1:51 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Apparently Jesus said "love thy neighbor ... and execute them".

      I must not have been paying attention that day.

      May 5, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
      • kev2672

        Where did he say to execute your neighbors?

        May 6, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Kev, clearly he didn't, but that seems to be the position Dr. Mohler is taking here.

        May 6, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
    • guidedans

      Boston,

      I have been doing a lot of thinking about the concept of slavery and the morality of it as a whole. For example, would it be correct to say, slavery is always evil? I am not sure if that would stand up to a full test, especially in the way that the Bible describes slavery.

      You have to think about the society of antiquity and how society was organized. Back in those days, there was no common currency that could be traded for goods and services. This being the case, you would have to work for food or make the food yourself. If you were given shelter, you would be expected to contribute to those who were sheltering you. If you could not, there would probably be consequences. In a society such as this, you have to think that there would be multiple arrangements established to ensure that payment for goods and services was provided. In Israel, for example, the "slaves" were really just bond-servants who had a 6-year contract and were able to fulfill their contract on the 7th year. Often times, the bond-servant would not want to leave his situation and would become the perpetual servant to the master by taking a mark.

      All that this is saying is that, in our economy, we have money to exchange for things and services. If you imagined a world without money (or at least without an agreed-upon currency), you could imagine multiple scenarios where slavery would crop up out of necessity due to the fact that, when you gave something to someone who did not have any money to pay you, you would have to have some way of ensuring that you were paid in some way.

      Because of this necessity, you could imagine God providing rules governing the insti.tution of slavery. You should notice also that, as money and common currencies came about (in the New Testament), the practice of slavery diminished.

      All in all I agree with you that the concept of "owning" another person is not OK, however, I can understand that, in a time when all you had was your ability to work, your body and your abilities may have been the only way to pay to survive.

      Here is just something to think about. Is a slave radically different from someone living in poverty, taking on multiple jobs and doing whatever it takes to survive? Is the person who can only make enough money to barely make ends meet really free? You could imagine a situation where you would be better off being a "slave" to an extremely kind and generous master, than you would being a free man without a means to support yourself.

      Is slavery abhorrent in any context? I don't know. I feel like you could make an argument that there are certain situations where it would be the preferred option.

      May 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        @guidedans,

        so what you are saying then, is that morality is relative. In which case, I would agree with you.

        By our standards all slavery is wrong.
        By the standards of someone living in the Roman Empire, slavery was perfectly acceptable and in the Bible it is not only acceptable, it is encouraged by God himself.

        So, why the change? It is us and our sense of morality that changed – like it always does.

        May 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
      • bostontola

        guide dans,
        That is a thoughtful response. I have contemplated the same things. In the context you lay out, indentured servitude is not necessarily immoral. Defining slaves as property goes too far for me, but the translations could be misleading.

        May 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
  6. Salero21

    JAJAJA... oops... pardon me please... I meant to say HAHAHA. The Evidence of the Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE [stupidity] of atheism continues to pile up like a mountain of Toxic trash.

    May 5, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
    • tamooj

      Huh? What evidence? Also, how does that have anything to do with this conversation? Stop trying to derail constructive conversation with your hatred.

      May 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
    • archtopopotamus

      Rather like your religion, your opinions are plucked out of your a$$.

      May 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
  7. bostontola

    kermit,
    you are like the child putting his hands over his ears while yelling LALALALA so he doesn't have to hear some undesirable thing.

    1. Jesus and the NT recognized that slavery was happening by commenting on it.
    2. Jesus and the NT explicitly prohibited ideas and behaviors determined to be unacceptable (e.g. ho.mose.xuality).
    3. Neither Jesus nor the NT prohibited slavery.
    That is the definition of condoning.

    Condoning slavery is atrocious.

    Your argument is Jesus told us to love, therefore he prohibited slavery. That argument is fallacious on at least 2 accounts:
    1. It presumes love and ownership is mutually exclusive.
    2. It presumes the bible is free of contradictions, it's not. This is one of many contradictions (google contradictions in the new testament and you'll get 662,000 results).

    May 5, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
    • kermit4jc

      1. It presumes love and ownership is mutually exclusive.-> seems you cannot connect the dots..would LOVE include OWnING someone? NO..sorry..but you are not connecting the dots..IM not th eone going lalalala....not at all....you are the one who is ignorant of the bible..not me..youare the one who is ignorant of what REAL love (love that Jesus gives..not as the world gives) and it is nOT presuming the bIble doe snot have contradictions..it has to be PROVEN a contradiction first by showing there is NO explanation or plausible alternatives! You are also being very shallow and limited in communication by looking for only one thing.....rather than looking for other ways to say something.

      May 5, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
      • bostontola

        Still doing the LALALALA thing.

        May 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..I noticed you are doing the lalala thing....love and owenership mutually excslusive.....you just don't get it..and my quesiotn jwas NEVER answered...IS OWNING someone a loving thing to do.l.yes or no> is ENLSVAING them a loving then go do? youhave yet to answer that...so Im not the one going alalala

          May 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • bostontola

          Now you descend to the "I know you are but what am I" retort. Shame on you kermit. Your opinion is not fact.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          not at all boston..I just noticed you merely dance around it..rather than answer a direct question......and apparently you have no clue what real love is then...you only know a shallow love shown only by humans

          May 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • bostontola

          I know people who love their dogs more than people, is not not real love? Who made you the arbiter of real love. Do you regard yourself as a love judge above others?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          question still not answered.....and a dog is not a person...plus you don't "own" that dog like a person owns another.....sad that you had to resort to a dog rather than deal with issues pertaining humans

          May 5, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • bostontola

          Now who is being narrow. A dog is a living thing that is owned and loved. Do you know for a fact that no slave owner ever loved a slave? No you don't. It is very likely.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          YOu seem to be the narrow one....let me ask you this..do YOU love your dog in the same way you love your wife? (if that's case Id like to maybe call the authorities and alert them to possible case of beast I a lity) Love is not same for everything...I can love money....that doesn't mean its ok....and it is NOT the same as loving my children.......there are different kinds of love..and in FACT the Bible clearly shows this in the Koine Greek (eros=erotic love, phileo= brotherly love, agape=love in action)

          May 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          There's a long Southern tradition of plantation owners 'loving' their slaves.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          kermit,
          You just supported my point. There are many kinds of love. That's why ownership and love are not mutually exclusive. Thanks.

          May 5, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I supported nothing from you.....you still show that you cant seem to use love as a motivating factor to do certain thigns...you don't know love and it is apparentl....youre pretty shallow person sorry to say.....if youd actually experience actual love..youd see that enslaving someone is NOT a loving thing to do......owenership of a person vs a dog.....pitiful example

          May 6, 2014 at 1:49 am |
        • kermit4jc

          the AGAPE love that Jesus taught would let slaves go out of love for the fellow humans.....but as I said.you know nothing of what agape love is or even experienced it

          May 6, 2014 at 1:50 am |
      • MidwestKen

        @kermit4jc,
        "plausible" is subject and very malleable in the hands of a believer. There many contradictions in the Bible that have no plausible explanation, except to the believer.

        May 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          <- subjective

          May 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so we are back to ignoring the context again?? I gave context....and none of you all even attempted to disprove the context...hmm..I wonder why...??

          May 6, 2014 at 1:45 am |
    • guidedans

      Boston,

      Your three premises do not equate to condoning. Accounts of Jesus do not have him mentioning many things that are considered bad. It is not like Jesus came down and gave an exhaustive list of unacceptable behaviors and then peaced out. You are missing the main point of Jesus in the New Testament.

      John 3:17 says, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

      The whole purpose of the Law set out in the Old Testament was to show the world how drastically they fell short of meeting their obligations to follow the law. Do you really think anyone can inerrantly commit to following every law in the Old Testament? Especially since Jesus clarified that even your thoughts of lust and hate are considered as bad as actions based on them.

      One of the core things that separates Christianity from other religions is that other religions put your salvation in your hands. You have to DO something to receive a reward from God. In Buddhism, you have to meditate, in Islam, you have to keep the five pillars, in Judaism, you have to follow the laws of the Torah, etc.

      In Christianity, your salvation is not due to your actions, because you could never do anything that warrants being eternally blessed by God in Heaven. Your salvation comes from admitting that you are incapable of deserving eternal life on your own merit, and only through Jesus are you able to receive God's grace. You are basically understanding that you are not powerful enough, smart enough, or good enough to be a truly "Good Person." You must have someone to cleanse you and make you right in the eyes of God.

      All of you who discuss the Laws of the Old Testament as being immoral or unrighteous are missing the point of the Law. The Law was not meant to show you how to be good, it was meant to show you how bad you really are.

      May 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
      • bostontola

        guidedans,
        Look up condone, it simply means allow. Yahweh/Jesus allow slavery. I'm sorry, but that is obvious by the bibles own words. Denying this just shows me the extent some Christians will go to changing the meaning of words, interpreting words, etc., to avoid aspects of the bibles they don't like. That's why point 2 is key. The bibles are not shy about prohibiting behaviors they don't want. Slavery is not prohibited. That is atrocious.

        May 5, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          And of course Jesus was *abundantly* clear about adultery but "la-la-la-la-la" pick and choose, is the organized religious way.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          sorry boston..but your argumnt is still weak....you seem to be very limited on communicating ideas..that it can only be done one way and one way only..let me test you ... yesterday my brother got so mad at me his face got red vs 24 hours ago my sibling got so angry with me his face flushed ..now tell me..do you only accept one way of saying what I just said..and if so..which is correct? Point is..there are several ways to say or get a point across....

          May 5, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • bostontola

          kermit,
          There are many ways to say the same thing. What you are doing is trying to negate many passages of the bible by interpreting them in some wild way. They clearly explain how slaves are to behave and how owners are to behave. That recognizes the practice. It no where prohibits that practice. You want "love thy neighbor" to wipe the slate clean. It doesn't, the affirmative passages recognizing the slave practice can't be wiped clean that easily. Atrocious.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          It recognizes the practice OCCURS>.but that does not mean it says it is ok...Love thy neighbor DOES wipe it clean and allows for the owner to let the slave go free...you, again , seem to not recognize what real love is..and I feel sorry for you..by the way I did not say it would be wiped away that easily...it isn't...its dependent on the person ...if they truly love..they will let them go free...but as we see historically and even today..that isn't happening...your argument assumes that automatically people will start being all loving.....again....Jesus takes it a step further and says to LOVE them (other people will merely let them go and not care about it

          May 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • bostontola

          If the bible recognizes slavery occurs and finds it abhorrent, why didn't it prohibit right there in those passages? That lack of prohibition (as found in scores of other behaviors) is condoning. That is atrocious.

          In addition, the bible goes beyond that. It not only recognizes slavery and fails to prohibit, it regulates slavery behavior. That exceeds tacit condoning and becomes active condoning.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          WHy does ithave to be ONE way? why not again..say it thru love/ seems like you want love left out of things...tell me why?

          May 5, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @kemit,

          does "love thy neighbor" and "turn the other cheek" also negate the death penalty?

          Surely executing someone is hardly a demonstration of love?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I hear the crickets early this summer.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          I've said it before, love does matter, it just doesn't negate the condoning of slavery. That was directly done by Yahweh/Jesus.

          May 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I did nOT say it negated the condoning of slavery...it was against slavery period...and love would release the person from slavery...

          May 6, 2014 at 1:51 am |
      • kermit4jc

        @ guide WELL said amen

        May 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        Do christians reject Genesis?
        It says this is Genesis 9
        24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
        25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
        26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
        27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

        This is Noah – the man that god chose because he was righteous, so that is condoning slavery from the very top.

        May 5, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          THAT is not condoning it at all..it is merely saying what will happen.....if I told you that since you use drugs right now..you will turn into a drug dealer and get sick from drugs and all...does that condone your drug use? no way......its a prophecy....of what will happen..not that God condones it

          May 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Surely an omnipotent, omniscient god doesn't need prophesy – it knows what will happen; the fact that it let Noah do that is condoning it.
          btw I'm sure you were only using an example from your life or experience but I don't use drugs.

          May 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          YOU really that dense?? the prophecy isn't for GOD..its for US....shesh...connect the dots will ya????

          May 6, 2014 at 1:53 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          There you go again – judging others by your own standards. Typically you'd underestimate others doing that.
          How can it be prophesy is god is omniscient? Did he not know what Noah said and did? If god is opposed to slavery and is omniscient and omnipotent, then it could have prevented it.

          May 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
      • tamooj

        Perhaps I'm missing something – this article cites God's conversations with Noah as the rational for the death penalty, but much later, in exasperation, God decided a little more structure and clarity was in order and He issued The Commandments. Even Jesus said to keep to them, while also subsuming the rest of God's laws (ie The Book of Leviticus in the Torah) to himself, through his sacrifice. So, first of all, The Commandments were clearly meant to replace many of the old dictates. In case anyone forgot, one of those was pretty direct and clear – Thou Shalt Not Kill. No predicates or subjective verbs there, no room for weaseling out of it. Don't kill. Ever. Not Ever ever. No "Except infidels and heretics", or "people who don't look white", nor is there any "Except in defense of a colored piece of cloth" or "People who might have committed murder". God alone reserves the right to judge, and Jesus reaffirms that several times. All of Paul's post-facto comments about governments and swords don't change the words of the Jesus, the Messenger of Peace; if you commit, think or condone violence in any form (except perhaps for a little light scourging of money-changers when found in Temples) then you are not anywhere near grace – no exceptions.

        May 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
  8. Doris

    Cool beans!

    New State Of Light Revealed With Photon-Trapping Method

    via LiveScience by Katia Moskvitch

    A theoretical physicist has explained a way to capture particles of light called photons, even at room temperature, a feat thought only possible at bone-chillingly cold temperatures.

    Alex Kruchkov, a doctoral student at the Swiss Federal Insti.tute of Technology (EPFL), has built the first quanti.tative mathematical model for trapping and condensing light under realistic conditions.

    Light consists of tiny quantum particles called photons. One of the most spectacular properties of quantum particles is that they can condense or lose their individual identi.ty and behave like clones of each other, becoming a single gigantic wave called a Bose-Einsteincondensate (BEC).

    Usually, it happens at extremely low temperatures — less than a micro-kelvin, or a millionth of a degree above absolute zero. But "one of the most exciting things about the BEC of light is that it happens at room temperature," said Henrik Ronnow of EPFL, who didn't take part in the study.

    If scientists could create this wave using photons, it could have significant applications in laser and solar panel technology.

    Although Albert Einstein predicted BEC for massive particles in 1924, for a long time scientists considered it impossible to create a BEC made of light, because photons have no mass, which is a key requirement for a Bose-Einstein condensate.

    'Light at the end of the tunnel'

    In 2010, four physicists from Bonn University in Germany turned this assumption on its head. The scientists —Jan Klaers, Julian Schmitt, Frank Vewinger and Martin Weitz — successfully condensed photons in a micro-cavity made of two mirror surfaces positioned close to one another. A photon trapped in such a cavity behaves as if it had mass; in other words, the cavity creates a "trapping potential," keeping the photons from escaping.

    However, to verify a scientific finding, it must be possible for others to reproduce the experiment. Four years after the 2010 success, though, no one has yet been able to do so for the micro-cavity results, said Kruchkov.

    "Understanding of the condensation of photons was like the light at the end of the tunnel. Experimentalists were waiting for some simple but effective model, containing 'a recipe' to 'cook' light condensates," he said.

    So Kruchkov created a recipe. Using mathematics and building on previous models, the physicist developed a theoretical model for condensing light in three-dimensional space and under realistic conditions.

    "Additionally, I showed that the energy of light can be accu.mulated in the condensed state of photons," he said.

    The researcher says his model of photon condensation explains experimental measurements very nicely — showing that photons can indeed be captured in a Bose-Einstein condensate state, and at room temperature and pressure.

    "Now, it is actually possible to predict the behavior of the system for other experimental conditions. It also explains the temperature reaction of the experimental setup," he said. "I show all the stages of the process that one needs to know to reproduce these experiments.

    "So in principle, if you know how to deal with a laser without hurting yourself, you can conduct the experiments even in your backyard," he added.

    Physicist SergiyKatrych, also at the EPFL but not involved in the study,said the research was important primarily because a Bose-Einstein condensate of photons would represent a totally new state of light. "In some sense, the BEC of light is a bridge between light and matter — the bridge unknown before."

    A paper detailing Kruchkov's research appears in the journal Physical Review A.

    May 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
    • bostontola

      Cool (pun intended).

      May 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
  9. kenmargo

    The problem I have is the same "christians" (republicans) will whine against abortion because the baby "is a gift from god" , "life is precious" crap. Yet will scream for execution despite the fact over 18 people have exonerated that were on death row. Our "great" legal system is probably the biggest mass murder when you consider how unfair the death penalty is applied. You can't have it both ways.

    May 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
    • transframer

      You are right. Bu I can't help to note that just because they got it wrong, doesn't mean "life is precious" is crap.

      May 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
      • kenmargo

        "Life is precious" Trust me is total crap. Over 10,000 people die from gun violence. Not one law passed from congress. Congress cut SNAP (supplemental nutritual as.sistance program) In other words, HOW WE FEED PEOPLE so less is available for the poor. We cut school funding, but increase prison building budgets. trust me we don't care.

        May 5, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes, the evangelical Protestant Republican's guide to being "pro-life":

      Save all the unborn fetuses so we can refuse them heath-care, refuse them food stamps, teach them abstinence and creationism and then execute them if they commit a serious crime because they're no-good enti.tlement addicts anyway.

      May 5, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
      • kenmargo

        I wish democrats had the ballz to point this out.

        May 5, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        I should have inserted "make sure they have plenty of guns with which to shoot each other".

        May 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
  10. joey3467

    you did not answer me...does LOVE allow for people owning slaves..yes or no

    According to Jesus it must. As he laid out the rules for how to treat your slaves, but didn't say you couldn't own any.

    May 5, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • kermit4jc

      I am referring to the NT right now when Jesus told us to love one another.....and thus slavery would be eliminated by that..unfortunately many are choosing to ignore that and then use and abuse slaves....

      May 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
      • joey3467

        I was talking about the New Testament as well were Jesus lays out some rules for slaves and masters, but didn't mention not owing other people. I can only surmise by this that he had no qualms with slavery. If Jesus did have a problem with slavery he could have said so.

        May 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Joey

          Do you understand what the slavery described in the Bible was?

          May 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Give me an example of what you are talking of..lets gety on the same page here please...show the Book, chapter and verse

          May 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          From Wiki:

          The New Testament makes no condemnation of slave ownership but does have advice for Christian slaves and also regulates how Christian slave owners should treat the slaves they own.

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

          Christian slaves whose masters were also Christian are told:

          (1 Timothy 6:1-2 ) 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.

          There are instructions for Christian slave owners to treat their slaves well.

          Eph 6:9 ) And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favouritism with him. (See also Ephesians 6:7-8)

          (Coll 4:1 ) Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          AND in the context of love.....they should REALLY think what is really being said...treat them fairly......and decently...even release them and forgive the debts owed!!! as for the first two you posted..that was how slaves were to TREAT their owners! that is NOT condoning slavery...ALL people are to be respected....the slaves were to show respect soas to WITNESS to their owners (again use the context of what Paul was talking of....he told wives to stay and obey with their unbelieving husbands to help them win over..etc etc, Paul did not write this as an only statement in his letter....

          May 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • joey3467

          Slaves were treated as property if they were foreign, but Hebrew slaves were to be released after seven years. Please don't start trying to tell me how great the slaves had it 2000 years ago, I'm not buying.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Owing money and being poor wasn't all that great..granted..and today we have somewhat better welfare system to hep those in need (unfortunately that system is widely abused)...they did not have computers and such back then.....and they were also a newly formed society.....got to start from scratch

          May 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • transframer

          joey3467:
          Just a short note: slaves were not doing great 2000 years ago but slavery was then still very different than slavery from our modern times and, on average, slaves were doing better (materially, economically, and socially) than the poor class

          May 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
      • bostontola

        kermit,
        Jesus condoned slavery even though the NT reports him saying love your neighbor. Jesus prohibits ho.mose.xuality and says love your neighbor. If Jesus can prohibit ho.mose.xuality while promoting love, lack of slavery prohibition is condoning. This doesn't even consider that slave owners could think they love their slaves, just like a horse owner or dog owner loves their animals.

        Sadly, your God condoned slavery. That is atrocious.

        May 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      We are all slaves. Either to sin or to Christ.

      May 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
      • kenmargo

        I'm a slave to sin. Sin is real, Christ isn't.

        May 5, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
      • sam stone

        another unprovable statement from topher......

        how charming

        May 6, 2014 at 5:16 am |
  11. samsstones

    Topher
    Progress "the god I claimed to believe in didn't exist" now that is the most truthful thing you have said in all of your posts. Now if you can take that next step, the god that you know believe in doesn't exist, that would be your epiphany, get out of delusion free card.

    May 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
  12. Salero21

    So atheist your arguments and accusations against us on the issue of "Slavery", are nothing more than the Stuff of what Charlatans are made of! Now, lets stay on the issue brought by the article, that's the Death Penalty. Should Christians support it? It could be Funny if it wasn't such a phony, that atheist pretend with all pretensions and presumptions and assumptions to tell christians what we should or shouldn't do, approve or support.

    May 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Sad and strange that atheists have to tell you what you believe because you are too stupid to know yourself.

      May 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • snuffleupagus

        Concert, Aloser21 has his head so far up his own rear that he could perform his own tonsilectomy.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          ....he could perform his own lobotomy.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • bostontola

          A lobotomy for Aloser21 is like a tonsillectomy on a starfish.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          A lobotomy for ALoser21 is like removing a wisdom tooth from a grasshopper.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
    • bostontola

      Whether the Yahweh/Jesus characters in the bibles supported or liked slavery is subject to interpretation.

      The Yahweh/Jesus characters condoned slavery, that is an incontrovertible fact docu.mented in the bibles. That is atrocious. No interpretation required.

      May 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        so when Jsus says to LOVE your brother..he is condoning slavery...you think slavery is a loving thing to do?

        May 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          No. Condoning is allowing. The NT mentions slavery, comments on how slaves should act and be treated, but it does not disallow it. That is condoning.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you did not answer me...does LOVE allow for people owning slaves..yes or no?

          May 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          Well kermi, since you capitalized LOVE, he could have meant that literally, after all he never had relations with a woman did he?

          May 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • bostontola

          kermit,
          I did answer your question, Jesus condoned slavery even though the NT reports him saying love your neighbor. Jesus also prohibits ho.mose.xuality even tough he says love your neighbor. If you can prohibit that, lack of slavery prohibition is condoning.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • harlow13

          The Supreme Ruler of the Universe, as described in the bible, has some crazy ideas about love, so who can ever tell? Had he been a better writer, he might have included "Thou shalt not enslave people" as one of the commandments. I dare say it beats the graven image bit.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          However...Jesus said to love God...and to le others as yiuroself..for all the law and the prophets hang on these two....in other words..we are not to just follow the law..but do it with love....if I love my neighbor..I will not want to steal from them..or be envious...or to enslave them.....funny how people seem to avoid this....and only want to merely follow laws...yet have no compassion for other humans as a motivating factor.......

          May 5, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • harlow13

          And by the way, when Jesus tells you to ditch your family, that seems rather un-loving.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Jesus never told us to ditch our families....

          May 5, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          What do Matthew 10:34 and 10:37 mean?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Matt 10:34 Is a disclaimer..that people think there will be peace here on earth....that wont happen....the fact of Jesus coming to earth caused division......a clear example is the Muslims, who will reject, and even murder their own children who accepts Jesus as their god. Jesus himself doesn't cause that....second.....Jesus is not saying to detest your parents..or not care for them..he is using a hyperbole...he isn't saying NOT to love your parents...he is merely saying God comes first...your parents don't save you..your parents are not Holy andJust and Judge.....

          May 5, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
  13. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    It must have been a slow weekend for the religiously obstinate... I'm surprised this topic is still headlining

    May 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  14. Brian

    Mr. Mohler has not written articles on sharing the faith with non-believers.The great commission laid out by Jesus is an integral part of the Christian path.

    May 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
    • Brian

      That would be Matthew 28:19-20

      May 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        "The Bible is Fiction." is the great commission shared by people who think.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
      • Brian

        For people who live in darkness, the message in the bible is fiction.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • Brian

          This Bible verse pretty much sums it up as follows,
          For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Replace "God" with the world "Fantasyland" and you've got it.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • G to the T

          Yup – if you believe Paul, that would certainly seem to be the case – I don't, so you can see where my concerns may be.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Brian

          Salvation is about accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in order to inherit eternal life. This is not Paul or Peter's message , it is a direct message from God to mankind.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          “The Bible: proof that gullible people will believe any dumbass thing that you tell them” ~LET

          May 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
    • Brian

      Ultimately, every single person on planet earth deserves salvation and needs to hear about Jesus. It's the duty of a Christian to share the gospel message with every single soul on this planet.

      May 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        AND this is when the Christians start getting way too obnoxious and out of control.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Caring about you is obnoxious?

          May 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Why do you think it is ok or even responsible to shove your particular brand of religion down other cultures throats? It is wrong and immoral in my opinion.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Because I believe it's true. And if it's true, people should know what's going to happen to them when they die.

          Why do you think I want YOU to be saved?

          May 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, I think you want me to be saved because you are busy body Christian that can't mind his own business. Other people have their own lives and they don't want you telling them what to think. I know you like being told what to think.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          busy body is theonly option? how about maybe someone has compassion on another person? they would like to see the best for them? or did you ever experience anyone being compassionate towards you in any way??

          May 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Of course I have received and delivered compassion. I am telling Christians to mind their own business when it comes to religion. Just mind your own business. Stop. Just stop it.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so youre asking us to not be compassionate towards others...ok

          May 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          If your idea of compassion is ruining their lives with your religion then yes, PLEASE don't be compassionate.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          OK..I can agree with you there..in ruining someones life..sure....and that wojld be a case for the one who doesn't know how to witness to others and such.....

          May 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          I'm a little hurt if you honestly feel that way about me after all our conversations.

          I'm not telling people what to think. I'm telling people what I believe is the truth and that they should judge those things for themselves and come to a conclusion.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          C'mon Topher, what craven image were you making when you broke commandment 2?

          May 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher grow a pair. I have never minced words with you. Don't preach to people unless they ask. Otherwise you are being an obnoxious nuisance. I care about YOU enough to give you this advise. People don't need YOU to tell them what to believe. That is all I am saying. By all means care and help people. Religion is not helpful so omit that part.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          samsstones

          For more than 10 years I called myself a Christian when that wasn't true. I didn't care a thing about God. For me, it was a "get out of jail free card" to say I believed. But the problem was, the god I claimed to believe in didn't exist. I made up in my mind (graven image) what attributes I thought god should have. And it wasn't anything like the God of the Bible.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          I agree religion is not helpful. It's nothing more than man's attempts to earn their way to Heaven. The Bible tells us we can't possibly do that. And that the only way to Him is through Jesus Christ.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, everything you just said is religious. You are not making sense to me.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          OK, fine. Seems like your parents did the right thing by you, so why would you break commandment 5 and diss them?

          May 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "Topher, everything you just said is religious. You are not making sense to me."

          You can take every single religion in the world and divide them into two camps — DO and DONE. Every one of them except Christianity goes in the DO camp. Do good things, give money, go to church, be baptized ... essentially earn your way into Heaven. Christianity goes alone into DONE because it says you CAN'T do anything to earn your way. But the way has already been DONE for you.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          samsstones

          Because I'm a wretched sinner. Every time I mouthed back, every time I didn't clean my room or do what I was told ... every time I've told a lie or essentially broken any of the other commandments, I've disrespected them. I'm most definitely a lawbreaker and deserve to be punished. And if you've done those things, so do you.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          T...you really can't see how dumb that sounds???

          May 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Dumb? Not at all. But because I know where you're coming from, I understand. As the Bible says, it's "foolishness" to the unbeliever.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          But you are a thief, big number 8. Were you arrested and convicted and paid your penalty to the state? For those of us that think you have to pay the price here on earth not in some mythical religion, find you to be a desp!cable coward. If you committed any crime and allowed someone else to take the punishment for you, you are the sc-um of the earth.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, there is a reason it is foolishness to the unbeliever. It is because it is "dumb".

          May 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          samsstones

          Yes, I am a thief. I've stolen things. Nothing ever from a store, but I've taken money from my parents' pants pockets or off the dresser. I've stolen time from my bosses, etc. Like I've said, I've broken all 10 Commandments.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "Topher, there is a reason it is foolishness to the unbeliever. It is because it is "dumb"."

          But to us who know Him personally, it is the power of God. I know you don't want to hear this, but when you are saved, you are completely changed. Like it says in II Corinthians 5:17 ... "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." Not only will you have a change of heart when it comes to God, but your mind will be open to these things, too. You'll have a new heart and new desires to care about the things of God.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          Well now we are getting somewhere. Number 9. Who did you rat out? Did it rise to the level of perjury> Did your false witness do deep harm either physically or emotionally to the person you ratted on? Of course this is all in aid of showing to everyone what a dipsh!t like you needs the crutch of salvation. BTW confession is really the non-christian, in your mind, catholic tradition, does it make you feel better to spill your guts?

          May 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          samsstones

          You do realize that "false witness" is as simple as telling one lie? And that the Bible says ALL liars will have their part in the lake of fire?

          May 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, you won't have any of those things because they are imaginary.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          What if I told you your family is imaginary? You'd say that's ridiculous because you know them. Same with God. I know Him.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          No, you don't. Nobody does, that is ridiculous.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          It's not ridiculous at all. It's evidenced by my life before, and who I am now. I'm not who I was. I've had a complete change, just like the Bible said there would be. And because I have that Bible, I also have everything I need to know Him.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          YOU changed. You did it. Not a pretend god. I know I can't penetrate your beliefs but from my point of view you just sound like a crazy person.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @ concert "YOU changed. You did it. Not a pretend god. I know I can’t penetrate your beliefs but from my point of view you just sound like a crazy person." wow..how arrogant of you..how do you know that when YOu don't know the guy?? Have YOU lived HIS life? inside HIS head? you been with him everyday???? I think you will answer no (at least I hope so) thus to say such things about another person is arrogant to the least

          May 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          "...arrogant to the least...."

          Interesting choice of words kermit. I agree with you.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Having said that, there are lots of crazy religious people I like and love very much. I am just saying...

          May 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "YOU changed."

          I've changed some of the things, I'm sure that's true. But I don't think I could have voluntarily changed, for instance, my hatred of God. If you'd have known me as a teenager, I was just like many other atheists on this blog. I hated God and hated Christians, often seeking them out to debate them, call them names and tell them how smart I was and how ignorant they were.

          "Not a pretend god."

          I agree "not a pretend god." It was the only one, the true and living God.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          AMEN topher

          May 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, atheists do not hate gods.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          Of course my point was to show that your belief that you have broken the 10 commandments has no basis in reality it is all in your imagination as is your god. You have not committed the "sins" that you have saddled yourself with it is all delusion bordering on psychosis. Best to just shut up about your sickness rather than appear the fool.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "Topher, atheists do not hate gods."

          Have you been READING this blog?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, one cannot hate what one does not believe exists.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          samsstones

          "Of course my point was to show that your belief that you have broken the 10 commandments has no basis in reality ..."

          But all you've done is helped me demonstrate I HAVE done those things. I have dishonored my parents, lied, stolen, not put God first in my life. I've broken all 10.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Why does god need to be first in your life? What is wrong with that dude?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          GOD provides Salvation..GOD will be there when others fail you.....humans do not offer salvation..humans are only creations...they are not the Creator who deserves worship......whats wrong with putting God first?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          It doesn't make sense to put gods first, unless they are real and are going to punish you if you don't worship them and praise them. Fortunately they are not real.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Heisnt going tp punish me cause I don't worship Him...I am punished cause I reject Him...God offers hope, peace and joy for eternity...if I reject that..i don't get it...if I were the only person with a brand new car...there are no other cars in the world...and I offer it to you..you reject it...then you don't get to drive it....it isn't merely about worshipping God..its all about acknowledging him and receiving what he has to offer.....I Worship God BECUASE he has saved me......

          May 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Why would you worship a god you have to be saved from?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I don't need to be saved from God..I needed to be saved from my sins....

          May 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          If you are worried about not doing things then don't do them. What does that have to do with gods?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Didi I say I was worried? Im not worried abutanything..IM saved...I do things cause I love God......I don't just worship Him.....

          May 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          So you do not fear god correct? But if you don't worship him he will send you to hell. But that is love....crazy.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          AS I said..it is more than just worshipping him..IM in a relationship..and I cannot help BUT to worship God.....IM not worried about that ending....I love God..thus it PROMPTS me to worship Him

          May 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Uh huh.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "Topher, one cannot hate what one does not believe exists."

          I agree. But I think the words of the "atheists" here shows they do believe. Otherwise they wouldn't call God the names they call Him.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Names? Like what for example?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "Why does god need to be first in your life?"

          Because He deserves to be. He's holy (perfect) and the Creator of the universe. And when you consider these things and then comprehend what He did for you as the Christ ... He deserves more than you or I could possibly give Him.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          He's GOD TOPHER! What could he have done for you as the Christ???? He can't die, HE IS GOD!! Why all the worshipping and totalitarianism?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          the flesh dies.......

          May 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "He can't die, HE IS GOD!!"

          He did die. And the reason He could die is because as Christ He was fully God and fully man.

          "What could he have done for you as the Christ????"

          He died taking the punishment I deserve, then defeated death by rising from the grave so that when we physically die, we still live. And as if that wasn't good enough, we are given His righteousness so that we are seen as if we were Christ ourselves and He was us. Amazing.

          "Why all the worshipping ..."

          See above.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • sam stone

          it's amazing how people got you to believe that tripe, topher

          May 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • sam stone

          "Have you been READING this blog?"

          You confuse ridiculing pompous cowards llike you with hating god

          You deserve punishment, but lack the courage to take your due

          So, you stand behind this get out of jail free card

          Truly, a cowardly stance

          May 5, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
        • sam stone

          topher: hating "god" and ridiculing the being you describe are not the same thing

          May 6, 2014 at 5:24 am |
      • G to the T

        So the only path to salvation is via knowledge and acceptance of Christianity?

        That seems a very limited method for an all-powerful being to employ. What about the thousands/millions of people that lived and died no where near the middle east untl the last couple hundred years? They all lose out eh? And if they can be saved without this knowledge, I'd say you aren't doing them any favors by forcing the issue.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Yes exactly. Consider the millions of humans that lived and died over 200,000 before Jesus was even born. Hosed.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Bad argument..because God already prophecied the Messiah to come and showed that it wasn't deeds....right in the beginning from Gensis 3 where he said he would send the messiah thru the seed of a woman...the people then knew that God would save..not that they would save themselves..and they had faith in that (read Hebrews 11)

          May 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          kermit4jc, what about all the souls in the past some 200,000 year through the present who never did and never will hear about Jesus and all your mumbo jumbo?

          May 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Go dknows their hearts...even if they were exposed..they would reject God....you cannot blame HGod for this when people have choices and they are serious about hteir afterlife..if they were not serious..that shows they don't really care and even if shown..they still wont care....as I said...the first people (Abraham etc) did not have Bibles and such.....God revealed Himself to them....

          May 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          That was just a horrible post kermit4jc. Horrible.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          which one and how so?

          May 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Kermit
          How long do you believe humanity has existed?

          May 5, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Don't really know...except that it did not exist as long as science will lead us to believe......6,000 years? no....I think longer....just don't really know other than that....the Bible does not make it clear

          May 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          The one that starts: "...Go dknows "

          Poor grammar. Not on point. Hard to understand. Let's step up here a little bit ok?

          May 5, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Topher, I care about people as much as the next person, but I don't feel it is necessary to pester people with atheism out here in first life. I let people do their thing man. To each their own. Keep your nose out of our business sir.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
      • Brian

        Is Christ the only way to Salvation?

        Yes, Christ is the only way a person can inherit eternal life. There is no other way, no other life, no deeds that can lead to salvation.

        Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          LET's Religiosity Law #7 – Circular "holy" book reasoning + sweaty fervor = mental retardation.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Unless one of the other countless religions and their various afterlives and posthumous judges is correct.
          Religions can't all be right, but they can certainly all be wrong.

          You damn only yourself, you save only yourself and in the end, you answer only to yourself.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Brian

          If you don't read the Bible , how else do you expect to hear from God? Yes, there are a few people on planet earth who have had visions, some others a personal visitation by God, for some other a still small voice but for many others – the Word of God, as written in the Bible. Every person has a reason to accept Christ as their savior via the many means of revelation listed above. That is nothing circular about the reasoning.

          In other words, Jesus is the reason for the conviction.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Brian

          What about millions of other gods?

          What about gods? There is God – the one true God of the Bible and then there are gods of this world – satan.
          Every person is free to follow the god of the world – satan or follow God. Every individual is responsible to make that choice for themselves.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study http://www.philly.com/philly/health/132456883.html

          May 5, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          If I said it once, I've said it a million times –

          If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          God/Satan/demons are fictional constructs. Religious superstitions are for the intellectually weak... I pity you.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Brian

          You can say it a million times or even a trillion times, it doesn't matter.

          Ultimately, it's your choice, God has revealed Himself clearly through the Bible, if you choose to walk away, it's your choice. There are people with genuine doubt, they ask God to reveal Himself to them, many people have had a direct revelation from God and have chosen to follow Him, but that initiative to seek the truth has to come from the individual. There is not one person who has sought God and has failed to find Him.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • joey3467

          Brian, I don't know about you, but I have read the bible, and that is how I know that the god it describes can't possibly exist.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
      • joey3467

        And it is this exact reason that I find so many Christians to be annoying.

        May 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
  15. bostontola

    This is what God based religion can do to some people:

    "There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women," he continued, according to a CNN translation from the local Hausa language.

    Boko Haram is a terrorist group receiving training from al Qaeda affiliates, according to U.S. officials. Its name means "Western education is sin."
    ---------–

    Most religious people don't go to extremes like this, but the phenomenon of doing unconscionable things in the name of your God is peculiar to God and scripture itself. Few things generate the fervor of deep religious belief, it can motivate anything.

    The secondary part of this is also interesting, the name of the organization is anti-secular education. Being at war with secular education is not limited to these Islamic extremists. Some Christians are at war with parts of science, take their kids out of scool to avoid it, and create pseudo-science in it's place. Scary.

    May 5, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • kermit4jc

      should we get rid of religion?

      May 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
      • colin31714

        Not by force, but by education. We will never fully eradicate it, but we can drive it down to the point where it is like astrology, an amusing distraction for the uneducated.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so lets get rid of guns too...people abuse them and people get killed all the time...just because some people abuse it doesn't mean we should get rid of it

          May 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • colin31714

          I'm not saying we should get rid of it because some people abuse it, I am saying it is akin to ignorance and we should educate our children out of it.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ignorance? of what..science? so what we disagree with some aspects of scence..theists have been doing very well allalong..I mean look at the Nobel Prize list..more theists/deists than atheists.....and we are ignorant? sure...a mafority of them say evolution is true...but to say religion totally makes us ignorant of reality is not well founded....IM very wellrounded...work with kids in a well paying job...working with allkinds of people (agnotistics, religious believers-of such like Hinduism, Buddhism, etc, atheists...that include my co workers, and families of those I work with....) I have been requested many a time by county behavioral health specialists to work with their families....I have a well known reputation...they know my beliefs....so really...am I ignorant and how does that affect YOU?

          May 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • colin31714

          kermit4jc – based on your posts I would say you are highly ignorant of science and natural history. Not the worst I'v seen on here (that remains Noahsdadtropher who, according to his own posts, thinks Australia and the Americas did not exist until Noah's flood – about 6,000 yeras ago and awanderingscot – who, well, nobody knows what he thinks because he cannot articulate a coherent position) but you are pretty ignorant.

          I would put you at about a seventh grade level. No offense, my friend, I am only basing my opinion on what you post.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          youhavent seen much of my thoughts on science......I am ignorant to some points of it (physics, astronomy, quatum physics,) but are we not all ignorant to some degree? I disagree with evolution not because of ignorance..but because of education.....I am very knowledgeable on evolution, I just don't agree with it.....doesn't make me ignorant...

          May 5, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • joey3467

          I would say that anybody who says evolution didn't happen is ignorant. Now if you just disagree with how evolution happened then that is o.k. because it is not a question of did evolution happen it is a question of how evolution works, and what drives it.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I agree with evolution in that...you have different cat breeds for example....I do not believe in evolution as in cats and dogs have common ancestor..or that man and apes of common ancestor...

          May 5, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • colin31714

          So would I. To say evolution didn't happen is as ignorant as saying the Earth is flat. It is just that simple.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          not at all.....evolution such as cats and dogs or humans and apes having common ancestors has not been observed...they say they have fossils..but those so called fossils (if any) don't show the link..only the scientists biased interpretation of it) as opposed to the earth not being flat.....we can all see it isn't flat by the horizon, eclipses,and those lucky enough..from space.....

          May 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit
          "I agree with evolution in that...you have different cat breeds for example....I do not believe in evolution as in cats and dogs have common ancestor..or that man and apes of common ancestor."

          What mechanism prevents the evolution that you do believe in from becoming the evolution that you don't believe in (as it logically would given more time).

          May 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • joey3467

          Now I would say that kermit is ignorant.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          why....back it up

          May 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • joey3467

          You don't believe in evolution, and as I already said that makes one ignorant.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          HOw sad and arrogant to think that is the only option when one disagrees....

          May 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • joey3467

          Evolution is a fact, whether you are willing to admit it or not, denying a fact, makes you ignorant. If you don't want people to think that about you then don't announce to the world that you are ignorant.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          HAHA...fine..think about it that way with me..I will still continue to express it...it is no longer my problem

          May 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit,

          What mechanism prevents the evolution that you do believe in from becoming the evolution that you don't believe in (as logically it would given more time).

          May 5, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          it is not mechanism I have problem with..i told you..there is no evidence of man and apes having common ancestor, etc

          May 5, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit,
          There is evidence of descent through mammals, primates, apes, to humans – fossils and DNA. If you accept that evolution can happen, what mechanism prevents humans and other apes coming from earlier primates?

          May 5, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
      • flightfromfrostmtn

        the question is would those girls be better off if this guy and his followers were guided by other principles instead of Islam?

        May 5, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • Alias

          Is it not obvious that he is using religion as an excuse to do what he wants to do?
          If he were using any other reigion to justoify his actions it would be no better or worse.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • bostontola

          No one has the right to take children from their families because of their own selfish reasons, never mind because they are getting educated.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          the question is would those girls be better off if this guy and his followers were guided by other principles instead of Islam?–> im sorry..maybe I missed something...have no clue about what this is about..what girls..what guy..etc

          May 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          Bostontola's post was about Boko Haram and the 200+ girls they grabbed....he is using islam as an excuse to sell them off.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          Alias,

          imagine this guy and his group had some other focus.... if Islam, or any other religion wasn't involved, where would this guy be? where would his followers be? i wager they wouldn't be together, they wouldn't have grabbed 200+ children because entire focus would be different. that was the point i attempted to get across but failed to do so.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
      • bostontola

        kermit,
        I wasn't trying to infer that at all. We need to contain extremists though.

        Who decides who the extremists are? Good question. I'd start with people that deny objective facts and use a lot of energy to push those positions on others.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "should we get rid of religion?"

        No. Just sectarianism.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          If you got rid of all the violence, intolerance and vileness and all religions practiced their religions peacefully right now -today,

          within 2 generations we be right back to this point today. Religion cannot be peacefully managed by humanity....too many takes, the doctrines themselves are inflexible and cannot be safely integrated into the modern world.

          ancient thinking, ancient policies.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          AGreed...religion is not the problem..its the people......its like if we take away guns..people will still kill people..guns are not the problem..the people are

          May 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          BTW I support right to own a gun...I myself don't own one..don't want to....but I also must make disclaimer..I don't support NRA either. (personally I think they get too extreme)

          May 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • bostontola

          kermit,
          I might agree if you said the problem isn't belief in God. Many religions are a problem because they teach absolute truth and sanction violence against outsiders. It's the history of many religions and sects.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "religion is not the problem..its the people......its like if we take away guns..people will still kill people"
          ---------------–
          Religion shouldn't be, but is often the problem. The Crusades, the 30 Years War, the Irish 'Troubles', Islamists in sub-Saharan Africa, etc. The religion, essentially, tells people to kill each other.

          Guns are tools that, when operated correctly, kill people. When people have more of them, more people die. Without guns, do people die. Yes, but guns are a force multiplier in the death toll.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
  16. Science Works

    Hey Dala since you posted the video you might want to check this out.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson vs. Christmas: Why creationists are freaking out over “Cosmos” yet again
    In what is quickly becoming a weekly ritual, religious fundamentalists are super-duper angry at Tyson
    DAN AREL, ALTERNET

    http://www.salon.com/2014/05/05/comsos_vs_christmas_why_creationists_are_freaking_out_over_neil_degrasse_tyson_yet_again_partner/

    May 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
    • colin31714

      The amusing thing is that Tyson absolutely rejects the idea of a personal god, the very thing Dalahast seems to cite him to support. lol. I haven't wanted to point this out as it amuses me whenever he posts Tyson.

      May 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Of course I know Tyson is not a Christian, nor a believer in God. I usually use him as a reference when somebody suggests that most religious people are anti-science. But as Neil suggests, they really aren't.

        It is usually a non-scientist making such a statement, so I trust his opinion, not theirs when it comes to that subject. He is respectful. I'm open-minded enough to appreciate people with different beliefs than me.

        May 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          but blindly ignore his actual position? standard tactics, twist and misrepresent

          Most atheists i go so far to say are not scientists....but they have brains, they can think, guys like Neil deGrasse Tyson Make videos so the non scientists can at least understand where their respective fields are at at the moment.

          Yes Christians can grasp science as well as anyone – which makes their view ....wait for it....willful ignorance ...the willful part makes it....dishonest.

          May 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't ignore the fact that he doesn't believe in the same God as me. I have no idea why your or Colin keep imagining that. It would be dishonest for me to say what Colin states I believe.

          I know lots of people I appreciate and love that don't believe like I do.

          A scientist who believes in God is not being dishonest or willfully ignorant. I've read that Mr Tyson tries to distance himself from the 'atheist' label. It might have something to do with beliefs like yours.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "I've read that Mr Tyson tries to distance himself from the 'atheist' label."

          And sensibly so, since he is a public figure. It is career suicide to 'come out' as an atheist.

          There is a class of believers who conflate all atheists as anti-theists. Some do so knowingly and manipulatively. So do so because they appear to be unable to think critically.

          It is a frustrating situation and those who truly are anti-theist, honestly don't help matters much.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think Mr Tyson is worried about his career for identifying as an atheist.

          Just like the class of believers who conflate all atheists as anti-theists, we also have a class of non-believers who conflate all Christians with anti-science fundamentalists.

          I think that group bothers him – that vocal minority. Anyway, he says he is not an atheist. People rarely identify as an atheist, because they don't believe they are one.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          when i say dishonest, i refer to the modern era

          There have been brilliant Christian scientists...each one no doubt is no slouch in history, particularly in their own field. Each building on his or her predecessor – and each should know – as most do today that someone is going to come in and carry their work forward when they themselves have reached their limit. That is one big reason why scientist are increasingly atheistic..the work they are doing doesn't need the human concept of god ....there is no excuse for young earth creationism
          there is no excuse for disputing evolution .....dishonesty.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          we also have a class of non-believers who conflate all Christians with anti-science fundamentalists

          Only here I think. It's a deliberate baiting tactic.

          It is an absurd notion that doesn't pass even the most basic scrutiny.

          There are some who (having been one perhaps) will use the term "Christian" synonymously with sects of Evangelical Protestant Christians, in the same way members of those sects use the word to apply only to themselves.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          A Christian scientist is not more dishonest than an atheist scientist.

          Science doesn't prove atheism. It just explains how things work. Not why. When we ask why – that is when atheists and Christians start to disagree.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "When we ask why – that is when atheists and Christians start to disagree."
          ----------------------------
          Well I agree with that completely.

          But there's still no excuse for young earth creationism. It is cognitive dissonance pure and simple and I don't think you really disagree with that.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          – Only here I think. It's a deliberate baiting tactic.

          I hope it is a deliberate baiting tactic.

          I honestly used to think most religious people rejected science.

          Boy was I proven wrong. I started to find communities of believers in God that did more to support science than my skeptical agnostic religion hating self.

          Most anti-theists on here discuss philosophy, not science. For instance, I've never once had an anti-theist on here refer to any of Richard Dawkins' science findings. But have heard a lot about his philosophy (which is not science).

          May 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          GOPer,

          " is a frustrating situation and those who truly are anti-theist, honestly don't help matters much."

          this is what i can grasp..maybe you can help me:

          Everything we have at our finger tips says that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism is false – scientifically, historically, socially – it fails on all levels..why continue the charade? Their own clergy don't believe ( Massive abuse and financial scandals abound). Why allow it special status?

          May 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + But there's still no excuse for young earth creationism. It is cognitive dissonance pure and simple and I don't think you really disagree with that.

          Right.

          Despite what Colin imagines, I really do agree with Mr Tyson on many things.

          Even watch Cosmos (which is not 100% science): Mr Tyson starts talking about non-science things, like his love of science. He says the universe spoke to him. That it is calling him to study it. That is not science. It almost sounds like religion talk.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          It's only the more fundamentalist sects who reject evolution, and let's face it, that's the "science" in question most of all.

          Overwhelmingly, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and Catholics and Orthodox Christians accept evolution. They fit into the 32% of Americans who see evolution as part of God's implementation of creation.

          Here's some data:

          Pew Forum 2009

          % who agree that evolution is the best explanation for the origins of human life on earth

          Total US population ......... 48%

          Buddhist ............................. 81%
          Hindu .................................. 80%
          Jewish ................................ 77%
          Unaffiliated ........................ 72%
          Catholic .............................. 58%
          Orthodox ............................. 54%
          Mainline Protestant .......... 51%
          Muslim ................................ 45%
          Historically black ............... 38%
          Evangelical Protestant ..... 24%
          Mormon ............................... 22%
          Jehovah’s Witness ........... 08%

          May 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          What value is there in mass deception? Why continue the charade?

          May 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          flight

          There is no charade.

          Christians fully embrace science, history and society. Most see that our society fails. Our technological advances are used to kill people, not just help them. There is something wrong.

          Scripture refers to this as living in a fallen world. Which means we live in a world that fails to live up to its own ideals.

          I see examples of people, nations, and communities failing to live up to their own ideals. I see good people become the victims of such things.

          God is present in all this. And he is not condemning us. In Jesus he is providing us a way to live differently. God is interested in our hearts, not just our minds. He wants us to be good people. Not people that follow laws – but people who are inherently good. Like Jesus.

          That is why we reject religion in the traditional sense. In these modern times we follow Jesus.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I think it's telling that American Muslims are more likely to believe in evolution that American Evangelical Protestants.

          I have a theory that Protestants (who claim to be Christian, not Jewish) get hung up on the Old Testament simply because it's there in the book.

          If they ripped our the pages for Genesis and Leviticus and spent that extra time reading the New Testament, their religion would be radically different (and much for the better).

          77% of Jews are happy to accept evolution and while I don't have hard data, I'll bet most of them accept a 13 BY old universe, and Genesis is *their* book – not the Evangelical Protestants.

          May 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Everything we have at our finger tips says that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism is false – scientifically, historically, socially – it fails on all levels..why continue the charade?"
        -----------------
        It fails for you – not for them. The essence of the first amendment in terms of freedom of, and from, religion is the willingness to let other worship as they choose. You may think they are foolish, but it is their choice and you need to respect it.

        We can draw the line when sectarianism rears it's ugly head and then we can fight hard to prevent it spreading.

        "Their own clergy don't believe ( Massive abuse and financial scandals abound). Why allow it special status?"
        -----------------
        You can't possibly know that to be true. Sinfulness and the failure to live up to their own standards are intrinsic to their beliefs. You may see this as a cop-out, they will see it as an opportunity for redemption.

        May 5, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          This was to: flightfromfrostmtn

          May 5, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          "You can't possibly know that to be true. Sinfulness and the failure to live up to their own standards are intrinsic to their beliefs. You may see this as a cop-out, they will see it as an opportunity for redemption."

          the conflict between Islam and Christianity is heating up- it will be what undoes us...one will not cave to the other ever....this is a problem. Christianity has been acting a giant social anchor – it permeates our politics ...the harm it has caused along its entire history is shocking....devastating and destroy whole culture of people....and its still freaking here... i cant escape it so i will fight it.

          May 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Christianity and Islam are really only facing off in sub-Saharan Africa. It's a real problem there.

          Most of the time Islamic sects fight against each other – in Syria, the Sunni v. Shia in Iraq, secularization in Egypt etc. Islam is not monolithic. It never has been since the death of the Prophet.

          The problem with our politics isn't Christianity per se, it is that people (of the Karl Rove school of manipulation) are willing to use religion as a political tool to polarize the electorate. People who don't think critically are the target. They demonstrate through their faith that they are willing to buy into a brand and people are standing in line to sell politics to them exactly the same way.

          Shine a light. Don't try to tear down their deepest beliefs – they just get defensive and don't listen.

          May 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          "Shine a light. Don't try to tear down their deepest beliefs – they just get defensive and don't listen."

          GOPer, what is a moderate tack here? Let me clue you in on something – none of them believe any of this.. They harp on prayer.. has anyone gotten an actually answer ever? No..not once ever in the entire history of humanity not once. Yet we are all supposed to pretend and give respect to this.... this is insanity. It is brainwashing on a grand scale.

          May 6, 2014 at 1:09 am |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          this islike an EMT is always responding to wrecks at a faulty stoplight that nobody bothers to fix. What im trying to do is fix the bloody light.

          May 6, 2014 at 1:37 am |
    • Dalahäst

      Those crazy, religious fundamentalists! Tyson clarifies they are a very small vocal minority. It in no way represents all believers.

      Just like most atheists are not religious-hating bigots. Just a small, vocal minority are.

      May 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
      • Science Works

        Hey Dala

        But then you have fundamentals like this –
        http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/02/alabamas-chief-justice-buddha-didnt-create-us-so-first-amendment-only-protects-christians/

        if you go to end of video you posted Bill Nye's can be viewed too !
        http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/04/30/bill-nye-the-science-guy-has-no-patience-for-your-candy-assed-science-illiteracy/

        May 5, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes. I've read about that fundamentalists. You sure do love to talk about them!

          May 5, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
      • flightfromfrostmtn

        Bigot is someone that attacks attributes of a person that are beyond their control.

        Belief is very much within the realm of control.

        May 6, 2014 at 1:20 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No.

          The dictionary says: a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

          Atheists can be bigots toward a religious group. Most are not. But some are.

          May 6, 2014 at 1:29 am |
  17. Concert in an Egg

    TOPHER

    May 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      Yes, sir?

      May 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Oops, sorry about that. Anyway, Topher, GOP answered some important reasons why you shouldn't be giving out religious propaganda to children below. I would add that if you are poisoning them with religious music well then that is really stepping over the line mister.

      May 5, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        I dislike MOST religious music.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Alright then...

          May 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
  18. Concert in an Egg

    I have been volunteering at a church off and on (but they don’t know I am an atheist). So I am close to the Christians and their rituals. They pray constantly but other than that (and their basic dorkiness) they are great, giving folks. So why the need for the delusions? Everything else seems to be firing normally in them, but then they just drop sanity on the floor, trample it for a few minutes and then it is back to business as usual. It is mysterious to me, in much the same way as bologna sandwiches are sometimes just the thing you need.

    May 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "why the need for the delusions?"
      -----------–
      Isn't the answer evident in the fact that you chose the word "need"?

      Some people need to believe. Not believing is hard and scary for lots of people. If it helps them live 'good' lives, then empirically, it is good for them.

      So long as they aren't rabidly proselytizing and trying to convert everyone in earshot, why does it matter?

      May 5, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Well it would be more fun with beer and party favors.

        May 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
      • samsstones

        GOP
        You mean like Topher handing out religious tracts and DVD's to kids at Halloween along with some goodies in an attempt to brainwash others peoples children? That kind of disgusting proselytizing.

        May 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          No brainwashing needed. They can read the material, watch the video and decide for themselves.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • joey3467

          At best it is attempted brain washing, and knowing you, the DVD's will only make the poor kids stupid.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher did you really do that???

          May 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Topher, you don't live in Alabama do you?

          May 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I give out Gospel tracts, yes. I'm a Christian.

          And no, I don't live in Alabama.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, please don't give out religious paraphernalia to children. That is just wrong.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          ....and creepy. Topher it is wrong and creepy.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          I wasn't making any jokes, just that I know a fellow named Christopher who has a son named Noah who lives here in Bama.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Why is it wrong?

          May 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I don't endorse proselytizing in any form, other than in responding to an inquiry by an adult.

          If an adult wants to understand your beliefs, great, go ahead and tell them.

          Personally I find proselytizing to children to be very wrong.

          Legally it's a thor.ny first amendment question. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion do conflict frequently and it is very easy to create strawman arguments in this space that distract from the behavior.

          Don't get me started on the moral ambivalence of missionary work.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          How did you get to the point that you admit to having broken all ten commandments? Take it step by step....
          !. You must have had another god before you settled on your current favorite.
          2. When you were making craven images what was the subject?
          3. At one point you didn't give a good god damn about dissing jesus, bad boy.
          4. Keeping the sabbath but which one, the one in the bible or the one made up later, Sunday?
          5. I bet you cursed your old mom and dad for bringing you up to be a do-rk.
          6. The big one, you have murdered but only in you addled mind, never really killed anyone. How weird is that.
          7. Again you probably only committed adultery in one of your wet dreams (not about your wife).
          8. Stealing, like everyone else but were tried and convicted by the state and did your time?
          9. While you were inside did you become a jail house snitch for the man in order to get your sentence reduced?
          10. When you visit your favorite po-rn sites did you covet some of the great t!ts and a$$ you saw there?
          Can it be just reading the bible or some parsons BS that has got your head so fvcked up? Of all the deluded on this blog you are the best.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • Alias

          Topher
          Would you thinkit were wrong if I handed out material supporting the true satanic religion?

          May 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Alias

          "Would you thinkit were wrong if I handed out material supporting the true satanic religion?"

          No. It's your right to believe whichever religion you want AND your right to talk about said religion.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Whatever you think of Topher's beliefs, I would hope that nobody would actually try to censor him.
          There is no harm in children being made aware of various worldviews – even those that others may find obnoxious. Don't deny kids the opportunity to explore different persp.ectives.
          If I found a DVD in my kid's hallowe.en bag, I'd examine it first (ie: watch it myself) before my kid popped it in the DVD player just like I examine all the candy before I let her eat it. Of course, as a parent I would let her know my own opinions of whatever is presented, but I believe that more information is a good thing.
          If you believe that the information is incorrect, it is our duty as parents to teach our kids the tools to think critically and decide for themselves.

          Funnily enough, a few days ago my kid gave me a home made birthday card with little drawings of the stuff her Dad likes.
          She drew a guitar, the T.A.R.D.I.S., and a Bible!
          She even asked Mom if I'd like a new Bible as a b-day gift.
          Mom said that I've already got a nice one, but a book about the Roman gods would be a good choice....

          May 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • igaftr

          topher
          "Would you thinkit were wrong if I handed out material supporting the true satanic religion?"

          No."

          Would you allow the child to view that material, without your supervision ( since you aren't supervising the children you give your propoganda to) and if that child decided on satanic worship, would you let them? And be honest.

          By not giving out material to the children on ALL religious choices, you are not just giving them material and letting them decide, you are pushing YOUR beliefs on others.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          moind control eh? you sound like you believe in conspiracy eh? cmon..sure..children have a harder time than adults..but you think the parents would not notice something? you saying the parents never check their childrens bag of candy??? the parents are out of the loop that someone just handed out a tract to their kids....who is supervising here then??? sounds like from what IM getting from you..the parents are doing a very poor job of supervising their children and what they read and eat..plus..people can make their own decisions to ignore it....so really..its not being forced...they ddint hold a gun against the heads of the kids and say "Read it"

          May 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          igaftr

          "Would you allow the child to view that material, without your supervision ..."

          No. That wouldn't be responsible parenting.

          " ... and if that child decided on satanic worship, would you let them? And be honest."

          No. I can't make them be a Christian. But they would not be allowed to worship Satan while under my roof.

          "By not giving out material to the children on ALL religious choices, you are not just giving them material and letting them decide, you are pushing YOUR beliefs on others."

          It's only pushing my beliefs on others if I'm forcing them to comply with my beliefs. I'd rather they understand the position and make the choice on their own. I can't force someone to be a Christian, even if I had the physical or legal will to compel them in that direction. Being a Christian has nothing to do with going to church. It's a personal decision between you and God.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • joey3467

          Topher, I have a very hard time believing that there is anyone alive in this country over the age of 5 or 6 who hasn't heard about Jesus. If you really want to save some souls i suggest you move to a new country, perhaps one where everyone hasn't already heard the story.

          May 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          joey3467

          Hearing about Him isn't enough. I don't need to go to another country. The unsaved are right here in my backyard ... or on Belief Blog.

          May 5, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • sam stone

          so, topher, you have no problem handing out verses from your belief system to children, but you would not want people from others handing theirs out to noah?

          if you want to preach to an adult, have at it

          adults have the reasoning ability to spot your bull droppings

          children do not have that ability

          that is why they believe in santa claus

          pick on someone your own size, coward

          what you are doing is creepy, and i would be amused if the parents of one of those kids found out who was pushing that tripe and confronted you.

          p

          May 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
        • igaftr

          topher
          "No. That wouldn't be responsible parenting."
          Of course it wouldn't be, but since you give out the material to children, you apparently have no problem being irresponsible with OTHER peoples children. You have no way of knowing if the child you give your propoganda to will have supervision while looking at it.

          As far as you throwing out a child that believes differently than you, you clearly have learned nothing from your Jesus character. That would make you a hypocrit and a bigot.

          May 6, 2014 at 8:02 am |
  19. Salero21

    That the Bible, God, or Christianity promotes or approves of "Slavery" is one the many Absurd of atheism/evolutionism/ and idolaters. NO SUCH THING! God, the Bible and Christianity only dealt with an existent and undesirable Condition/situation that existed centuries before the Law was given to ISRAEL. Most extreme hypocrites and compulsive Liars atheists who constantly post that charade here, are usually thinking on the Slavery that happened in the Southern States of the US. That however was NOT the slavery that happened in Israel. Much less the type of Slavery that was HEAVILY RESTRICTED & REGULATED by the Law. Above all it is as it was, a Condition and Situation brought about by SIN and men NOT by God's Commandment in the firs place.

    So atheist your arguments and accusations against us on the issue, are nothing more than the Stuff of what Charlatans are made of!

    May 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      I disagree with your well-considered, reasonable and rational point of view!

      May 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • fintronics

        LOL

        May 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
      • Salero21

        Do I care? Nah!

        May 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Salero21, I can assure you it is not necessary to tell us you don't care. "I don't care!" screams out from each and every one of your posts. Your lack of caring and imagination is among those things seriously wrong with this world. You and people like you not caring and not doing anything to be part of any solutions can have a crippling effect. You are a shame.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
    • bacbik

      Too much unnecessary capitalization and emboldening.. too much PANIC... too much BS

      May 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
      • Salero21

        Is this supposed to be an atheist disprove/refutation of what I said or just another PRIME example of the Total NONSENSE of atheism?

        May 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I believe bacbik is saying you work way too hard on these posts considering they are so lame.

          May 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
    • Alias

      If god did not approve of slavery, then why did he tell his followers how it should be dome instead of telling them not to do it?

      May 5, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
  20. bostontola

    Mr. Mohler's argument is founded on: "the Bible clearly calls for capital punishment in the case of intentional murder."

    The following are a number of other things the bible clearly calls for capital punishment (copied from a Wiki):

    Ad.ult.ery (Leviticus 20:10-12, man and woman)
    Lying about vir.gi.nity. presented to husband as a vir.gin. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21)
    The daughter of a priest practicing pro.sti'tut.ion (death by fire) (Leviticus 21:9)
    For men: Se'x with a man in the same manner as se'x with women. (Leviticus 18:22)
    Marrying a woman and her daughter. They are all burnt to death. (Leviticus 20:14)
    Worshiping idols (Exodus 22:20, Leviticus 20:1-5, Deuteronomy 17:2-7).
    Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:14-16,23).
    Breaking the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14, Numbers 15:32-36).
    Practicing magic (Exodus 22:18).
    Being a medium or spir.itualist. (Stoning) (Leviticus 20:27).
    Trying to convert people to another religion. (stoning) (Deuteronomy 13:1-11, Deut 18:20).
    Apostasy – If most people in a town come to believe in a different god. (Kill everybody, including animals, and burn the town.) (Deut 13:12-15)
    Non-priests going near the tabernacle when it is being moved. (Numbers 1:51)
    Being a false prophet. (Deut 13:5, Deut 18:20)
    Striking your parents (Exodus 21:15).
    Cursing your parents (Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 20:9).

    The blatant picking and choosing reduces Mr. Mohler's argument to absurdity.

    The bible is a poor guide to capital punishment (and many other things).

    May 5, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
    • Salero21

      We wouldn't have survived in the Israel of old huh!!

      May 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.