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The worst places in the world to be religious
Rohingya Muslim children at a refugee camp in Burma, where authorities have incited violence against them, according to the State Department.
May 15th, 2014
10:56 AM ET

The worst places in the world to be religious

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - Since 1999, the U.S. State Department has tracked the world's worst abusers of religious rights. 

As the most recent report notes, it has never lacked for material. Persecutions of people of faith are rising across the globe.

Among the most worrying trends, according to the State Department, are "authoritarian governments that restrict their citizens’ ability to practice their religion."

In typically bland bureaucratic language, the State Department calls these "countries of particular concern." But the designation can come with some teeth.

Sudan, for example, where a Christian woman was sentenced to death this week for leaving Islam, is ineligible for some types of foreign aid.

In addition to Sudan, here are the State Department's "countries of particular concern." You might call them "The Worst Places in the World to Be Religious."

Burma: The Burmese government puts a stranglehold on every religion except Theravada Buddhism, says the State Department.

Some government officials even enticed non-Buddhists to convert, and Muslims in the state of Rakhine, particularly Rohingya Muslims, are subject to discrimination and lethal violence, according to the State Department.

China: "The government harassed, detained, arrested, or sentenced to prison a number of religious adherents for activities reportedly related to their religious beliefs and practice," the State Department says.

That includes jailing Uyghur Muslims, one of whom was sentenced to 10 years for "selling illegal religious material," and Catholic clergy who were arrested for not belonging to the state-run Catholic Patriotic Association.

That pales compared with the persecution of Tibetan Buddhists, according to the State Department, who suffered through "an intense official crackdown at monasteries and nunneries, resulting in the loss of life, arbitrary detentions, and torture." 

Eritrea: Just four religious groups are officially allowed to openly practice their faith in this African nation; the rest are subject to jailing or worse.

So if you're not an Eritrean Orthodox Christian, a Sunni Muslim, a Roman Catholic or an Evangelical Lutheran, life could be tough for you here. Harsh detentions for religious dissenters are the norm, according to the State Department.

Iran:  This Muslim-majority country's respect for religious rights has declined in recent years, according to the State Department.

"There were increased reports that the government charged religious and ethnic minorities with moharebeh (enmity against God), 'anti-Islamic propaganda,' or vague national security crimes for their religious activities," says the department's report.

The government has imprisoned numerous members of the Baha'i faith and Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor who has been physically and psychologically abused, according to the State Department.

Iran begins trial for U.S. pastor 

North Korea: Human rights groups provided numerous reports that members of underground churches were arrested, beaten, tortured or killed because of their religious beliefs, the State Department says.

The authoritarian nation has jailed as many as 200,000 political prisoners, according to the State Department, many on religious grounds. The country discourages any religious activity not sanctioned by officially recognized groups.

Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American reportedly accused of spreading Christianity in North Korea, was sentenced in 2013 to 15 years of hard labor.

Kenneth Bae worried about his health in North Korean camp

Saudi Arabia: The oil-rich monarchy doesn't even pretend to respect religious rights for any faith other than Islam.

Sunni Islam is the official religion, and the country's constitution is based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.

The public practice of any other religion is prohibited, according to the State Department, and Arabian authorities beheaded a man in 2012 for engaging in "sorcery."

Sudan: This country has been on the State Department's naughty list since its inception in 1999.

Sudan penalizes blasphemy and conversion from Islam, sentencing a Christian woman whom judges say converted from Islam to death this week.

The country has also arrested and deported Western Christians suspected of spreading their faith, according to the State Department.

Christian woman in Sudan sentenced to death for her faith

The country's "morality police" require strict obedience to its interpretation of Islamic law, beating and stoning women accused of acting "indecently."

Uzbekistan: Technically, this country's laws respect religious rights.

But in practice, the Central Asian nation maintains strict control of its majority-Muslim population, according to the State Department.

"The government continued to imprison individuals based on charges of extremism; raid religious and social gatherings of unregistered and registered religious communities; confiscate and destroy religious literature, including holy books; and discourage minors from practicing their faith," the department said in its 2012 report. 

People jailed on charges of "religious extremism" have been beaten, tortured and even killed, according to the State Department.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Africa • Baha'i • China • Christianity • Church and state • Discrimination • Foreign policy • Interfaith issues • Iran • Islam • Islamic law • Middle East • Muslim • North Korea • Persecution • Prejudice • Religious violence • Saudi Arabia • Tibet • Tibet • Violence

soundoff (2,628 Responses)
  1. ddeevviinn

    This argument from design is the Achilles heel of atheism. Without doubt it is the primary reason the ideology is marginalized and deemed inconsequential by the majority of society.

    May 18, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
    • sam stone

      no, ddeevviinn....it is because comfortable fantasies of a loving god appears to trump the cold harded logic of atheism

      May 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
    • hotairace

      Wrong. Religion enjoys the market share it has because most people centuries ago didn't know any better and the various religions discouraged questioning the childish beliefs parents indoctrinated their children with from birth. The shift away from religion is on, driven by greater knowledge, not to mention the corruption of cults such as the RCC.

      May 18, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        What you fail to comprehend is that when the vast majority of human beings observe the world around them, they see an infinite number of objects that have quite obviously been made by human designers. They acknowledge the fact that those objects ( car, house, telephone, pencil ... ad infinitum ) would not exist had someone/something not created them. These same people then observe the natural and biological world, with its complexities far greater than that of the man made, and they draw the conclusion that design is even more necessary .

        This isn't rocket science. It is why it is.

        May 18, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • hotairace

          Once upon a time the majority of the world's population thought the Earth was flat. Now most, due to education, know it is spherical. Only religion preaches the need for a designer. As people become more educated, and religion is seen for the crock it is, people will understand that a designer is not required.

          But go ahead, go with the uneducated majority and maintain your childish delusions.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "with its complexities far greater than that of the man made"

          Complexity does not equate to intelligent design....

          May 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Are you simply claiming that people reject atheism or accept religion because of the Argument from Design? Or are you yourself advancing the Argument from Design as evidence for the existence of a god?

          May 19, 2014 at 1:54 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Sun

          Both.

          May 19, 2014 at 2:33 am |
        • samsstones

          Philioidiotism
          Theo using BS biblical verse to try and make his point, circular reasoning at its worst. Pompous, arrogant and delusional as usual, Theo.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:07 am |
    • MidwestKen

      @ddeevviinn,
      Ah, trying the Poisoning the Well fallacy. At least it's a change.

      May 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        No fallacy at all. It is common sense and the reason when faced with the option " Creator/No Creator?" the overwhelming majority opt for the former. Now you can try to spin it and say it ain't so, but that does nothing to change reality.

        May 18, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • hotairace

          The overwhelming majority of the undereducated and mentally ill.

          May 18, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Reality is not determined by majority opinion. I know you claim to not use the fallacious argument from popularity, you can try to spin it and say it ain't so, but that does nothing to change reality.

          May 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          You are incorrect. That is a fallacy called "Argumentum ad populum".

          Although I don't disagree that most people claim to believe in some sort of creator, you might want to reconsider your logic because most people in the world don't believe in your creator. If you want to follow the popular opinion you might want to convert to something else.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          hot air

          This statement simply dispels any credibility you may have brought to the table. Just rethink your words logically and see if you don't agree.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • hotairace

          Fuck You!

          May 18, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          How I do wish many of you would learn to use precision in terminology. Argumentum ad populum states that a given premise must be true in that it is held by the majority. My contention is/was that the "Achilles heel " ,the reason that SO MANY dismiss atheism, is that they observe this design/designer relationship in the observable natural world around them and then draw their conclusion.

          Please learn to differentiate.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          hot air

          Telling.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • hotairace

          Just keeping the message simple so that you mind understand it.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          As I said, I don't disagree that many people are theists. The implication that they are correct, because they are in the majority is the fallacy. If you aren't implying that, then why bring it up?

          May 18, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          No. The implication was that it is the argument from design that has caused so many to reject atheism. I'm not sure how to make it any clearer.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • hotairace

          Neither the argument for design itself or the number of uneducated or mentally ill people that believe it means it is a valid argument. After all, there is no actual evidence for any alleged (but never proven) god or designer. No number of words can erase this fact. Without evidence, you are left with an opinion, a delusion.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @ddeevviinn,
          You may be correct in why people choose theism, I don't know, I haven't seen any data on the reasons for belief.

          But why does it matter, unless you are making an argument from popularity? If you are claiming that the argument from design is correct, then argue that. The number of people who are convinced by it is irrelevant.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "My contention is/was that the "Achilles heel " ,the reason that SO MANY dismiss atheism, is that they observe this design/designer relationship in the observable natural world around them and then draw their conclusion."

          So what? The majority of people at one time observed the sun move in the sky and determined that the sun moved around the earth. Was that majority opinion the least bit relative in determining the truth of reality? No.

          Same with your argument...what the majority conclude is inconsequential.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          " so what"

          Come on cheese, I know you are brighter than this. The " so what" is the reason people believe in design/designer and overwhelmingly reject your unbelief. Is it really that hard for you to man up and acknowledge the simple fact that the majority of the human race dismisses atheism because they see glaring design all around them. That's all I'm asking, is it really that hard to acknowledge?

          May 18, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Why does it matter how many people disagree with atheism?

          May 18, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • hotairace

          The majority of god believers believe what they believe because their parents indoctrinated them at an early age and thus far society has actively reinforced those childish beliefs. As people become more educated, they shed their silly beliefs and become mentally healthier.

          May 18, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Because it matters within the context of my initial premise of design being the atheists Achilles heal. It does not matter in terms of proving or disproving an ideology. I would note that it is a common ploy by atheists on this site to portray christians as a fringe, antiquated group of sky fairy believers whose position is that of the minority. I guess whatever works when the need arises.

          May 18, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          ddeev....I don't think Christians are a fringe, antiquated group of sky fairy believers whose position is that of the minority. I think you are a fringe, antiquated group of sky fairy believers whose position is that of the majority...and that is the scariest thing of all.

          May 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          devin,

          I don't care if I was the only atheist on the planet. Your argument is still fallacious. I don't care what the majority think is true. I care what is actually true....and until there is a way to test and verify your assertion....it remains an assertion. I think you are smarter than that.

          May 18, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @ddeevviinn,
          "...design being the atheists Achilles heal."

          If you are claiming that the argument from design is the disproof of atheism then I would disagree. If you are claiming that the argument convinces most theists, then I would say that that does not matter due to argument from popularity.

          As to Christians being a minority, I don't think many would make that claim. Theists are by far a majority in the world, that is not in dispute. Christians although not a majority in the world as a group are the most numerous. None of which means anything as to whether they are correct or not.

          So, again why belabor the point?

          May 18, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Cheese

          And if I honestly believed atheism was credible and the most viable option, I would also embrace it if I were the only one on the planet who maintained that sentiment. But of course, I consider it be a fallacious, illogical ideology. so the point is moot.

          May 18, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Ken

          I'm simply responding to your repet itive replies. I'm afraid you will need to look with in to find the one "belaboring the point."

          Seriously, can CNN not find a word filter that isn't embarrassed by the word t i t !!!

          May 18, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "And if I honestly believed atheism was credible..."

          See, this is where you go wrong. You, like many theists think atheism is making a claim of non-existence.... that is not usually the case. Atheism = non-belief. I don't believe in a god.

          Think of it like I am on a jury in a court of law. I can vote guilty or not guilty. If I chose not guilty that does not mean I necessarily believe the defendant is innocent. I just may not think the prosecution has made their case.

          And I find god "not gulity" as to the question of existence.

          May 18, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @ddeevviinn,
          I'm at a loss, to what repti.tive replies are you referring?

          May 18, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          gul

          Very interesting. I am curious as to what exactly it is you find so "SCARY" about the Christians. Is it their attempt at loving their neighbor as themselves, not returning evil for evil, trying to love their enemies, vying to live a life of integrity? Or perhaps it's their acts of feeding the poor, caring for the sick and homeless, adopting orphans, or otherwise attempting to
          follow the example of Jesus. Scary stuff.

          May 18, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          ddeev....what is really scary is that there are so many people in this country that still believe in an invisible sky fairy that has not shown one iota of care to his supposed creation. The problem really is...that these same people are out in the world with us people that demand proof before we change our lives....and you require absolutely none, except a 2000 year old book with little credence.

          May 18, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Huh? Every reply you made was in reference to this popularity argument, which as stated, was not even my intent.

          May 18, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @ddeevviinn,
          You aren't making any sense. If your whole point was to state that most in the world are believers, then congrats. You've schooled us all. No one had any clue that there are more believers than non-believers.

          I still fail to understand what your point was in rehashing on such an irrelevant fact that no one is debating.

          May 18, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I can't tell if you're kidding or not, Dev. You can spin it all you want, wrap it up and put a bow on it, but the contents of the package remain the same. You are absolutely making the claim that there must be a creator because the majority of people believe in a creator. And the response to your claim must remain the same: Truth is not determined by popular choice.

          May 18, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          tal

          I can only state that you are wrong, I can't make you believe it.

          May 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Ken

          " I still fail to understand your point"

          This is what I've been telling you.

          May 18, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          "This is what I've been telling you."

          So explain it already. You apparently aren't getting your point across.

          May 19, 2014 at 12:35 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Ken

          Last time. More than 90 percent of the world's population looks at the planet and universe and makes the determination it is the result of a creator. This is the Achilles heel of atheism, i.e. the reason there are so relatively few human beings that share your position. Does this prove your position wrong? No. Is it the cause of your belief being marginalized and inconsequential, my original claim ? Yes.

          May 19, 2014 at 1:01 am |
        • observer

          ddeevviinn,

          If you polled the entire earth just over 2,000 years ago and asked how many people believed that the only way to an afterlife was through Jesus, what would the results have been? The answer could be totally different 2,000 years from today. It doesn't prove anything.

          May 19, 2014 at 1:07 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Hello observer, its been awhile since we've done battle.

          I agree with your statement. I am not saying anything to the contrary. If 666 years from now atheism is the predominant world view, there very likely would be a particular Achilles heel issue that was the cause for Christianity being "marginalized and inconsequential."

          May 19, 2014 at 1:14 am |
        • observer

          ddeevviinn,

          Here's something to think about. What if you are BOTH wrong and there is a God, but he's based on MERIT, not guessing right if he exists? Then, it turns out that atheists are wrong about the existence of a God, but are welcomed into his heaven while the Christians who used their religion to trash gays, pro-choice supporters, etc. are now sent to hell?

          May 19, 2014 at 1:21 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Obs

          Then i'm in trouble.

          May 19, 2014 at 2:18 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Chesese

          " See this is where you go wrong"

          I really don't care what nuance you want to give to your particular definition of atheism. It in no wise changes its lack of "credibility" from my perspective.

          May 19, 2014 at 2:56 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          The point is devin you create a false dicotomy with your presuppositional bs.

          May 19, 2014 at 3:09 am |
        • sam stone

          "Why does it matter how many people disagree with atheism?"

          Because it is obviously a popularity contest

          That is the whole point of evangelism, to get others to agree with you so that you feel more strongly that your choice is correct

          May 19, 2014 at 5:58 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Cheese

          " You create a false dichotomy with your presuppositiional bs."

          I won't comment on that because I'm not really sure what you are getting at.

          Just for clarification. I don't know if this will even mean anything to you, but I am not a proponent of presuppostional apologetics, a term you previously labeled me with. I adhere to the classical approach with a sprinkle of evidentialism. All this to say, when I use the term " presuppositon" it is not in defense of that particular school of apologetics.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:10 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          devin,

          When you say things like... "As with many of these issues, we have a fundamental difference in presuppositions", you are using a form of presuppositional apologetics. The idea that essentually our worldview is just 2 sides of the same coin and equally grounded. They are not. I did not come to my position from presupposing there is no god.

          May 19, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          The Westminster divines well said:

          "Q.2. How doth it appear that there is a God?
          A. The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God (Romans 1:19-20, Psalm 19:1-3, Acts 17:28); but His word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually reveal Him unto men for their salvation (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, Isaiah 59:21)."

          May 19, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • Alias

          GOOD JOB THEO,
          The bible is correct because it says it is.
          read it for yourself and know the 'truth'.

          May 19, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • Alias

          devin
          If we had been created, wouldn't there be fewfer flaws?

          May 19, 2014 at 11:02 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Alias, that doesn't make any sense, that's akin to saying "Webster's Dictionary is the dictionary just because it says it is."

          The Bible is authoritative because it is. And it would remain authoritative even if it never said that it was.

          The divines meant by "the light of nature in man" is the natural revelation of God in the human heart and mind that is common to all mankind. The heathen who have never received God's special revelation – the Bible – have a certain knowledge of God by nature, and a certain consciousness of the moral law in their own hearts (Romans 2:14-16). To believe in God is natural to mankind; only "the fool" says in his heart that there is no God.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....I have to say, you are more full of c-rap than almost anybody on this blog site. You can not make the statement that the bible is authoritative because it is. That actually may be the most ignorant statement I've ever seen here.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Doris

          The Westminster divines have a well that talks?

          May 19, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          (Matt. 18:3) “And [Jesus] said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

          May 19, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          observer,
          Look at the word "changed." Other versions use the word "converted." This is how Jesus characterized conversion. Like the Beatti.tudes, it pictures faith as the simple, helpless, trusting dependence of those who have no resources of their own. Like children, they have no achievements and no accomplishments to offer or commend themselves with.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          It fits in with the Bible theme that the smartest people are not smart, and apparently that the lesser intelligent ones are believers.

          (I Cor. 1:19-20) “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

          (I Cor. 1:26) “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards”

          May 19, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The Bible is authoritative because it is."

          No it's not.

          What can be asserted without evidence can be rejected without evidence.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          observer,
          Paul was quoting from Isaiah where the prophet was referring to the wise men of Egypt who promised, but never produced wisdom. Human wisdom always proves to be unreliable and impermanent.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Blessed,
          We know that God is because the universe is. The theological argument from the contingency of all physical existence gives the only answer to the questions raised through cosmogony.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....Greek mythology tells us that the universe was created by Zeus. How did you eliminate Zeus from your calculations?

          May 19, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • samsstones

          Doris
          I chat with my bushy house plants from time to time but none of them have ever answered back, no divine wisdom, pity.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • hotairace

          "Paul was quoting from Isaiah where the prophet was referring to the wise men of Egypt who promised, but never produced wisdom."

          Much like Theo Puffy Words promising evidence for his insane beliefs but never delivering.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • samsstones

          Theo
          And which of the gods would that be? So many gods, so many creation stories and you have convinced yourself that your delusion is the best one of the bunch. Philioidiotism. Gives us a few more bible verses, they are always a hoot.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "We know that God is because the universe is."

          No we don't.

          Having an answer is not the least bit interesting unless it can be demonstrated to be correct. All you do is provide assertions.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • hotairace

          Assertions based on stories in a book without foundation. . .

          May 19, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • bostontola

          Theo,
          "We know that God is because the universe is".

          Even if that were true (which is not been even convincingly shown), it lends no evidence to the Christian or any other particular God imagined by man.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Blessed,
          There exists no hypothesis that can sufficiently explain the physical universe as an eternal enti.ty without delving into that which cannot be shown through observable reality. To believe that the universe explains its own existence requires much more faith than I possess.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....just because we don't know yet how the universe was formed does not mean you get to proclaim that your god did it. Why can't you see the fallacy in that?

          May 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Theo,

          Saying 'God did it' is not an explanation or an answer. It is a claim and an assertion.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Blessed,
          Since it is impossible for something to be its own source, and it can be observed that the universe most certainly does exist, and it is mutable, then what proof would you like to the existence of a Creator?

          May 19, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • igaftr

          theo
          "To believe that the universe explains its own existence requires much more faith than I possess."
          But believing in something that there is no evidence anywhere of, and claiming the universe needed to be designed, with no evidence or logic behind the statement ( if the universe HAD to be designed, then so would the designer, and the designer of the design). somehow requires more faith" than "we do not know, but no evidence of your "creator"...ridiculous.
          The universe itself is evidence of the universe...not how it came to be.
          By your logic, the wind is evidence of the invisible giant dragons flying around.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • samsstones

          Theo
          Actually there are hypothesis that do try to explain the physical universe. They may not be sufficient to you because of Philioidiotism, the rejection of all knowledge and or theories that would prove your beliefs to be without merit. So stick your head back in the sand as the world passes you and your beliefs by, a Christian tradition for 2000 years.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Since it is impossible for something to be its own source"

          Theo,

          Question: What is the source of God?

          Answer: God does not have a Source = Special Pleading.

          Not impressed.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • MidwestKen

          @ddeevviinn,
          "Is it the cause of your belief being marginalized and incosequential, my original claim? Yes."

          Sorry, but what a silly subjective claim.
          1) I doubt your have any basis , other than opinion , as to why "90 percent" of people choose to believe.
          2) "Marginalized" and "inconsequential" are subjective judgements.
          3) Atheism, even if I claimed such, is not a belief.

          May 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          P.s.

          4) so what? Why does it matter?

          May 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Cheese

          " You are using a form of presuppositional apologetics."

          No, not at all. You need to familiarize yourself with the difference between presuppositional and that of classical apologetics. The simple fact that I'm promoting this" argument from design" should have been ample information to make you realize I don't adhere to the presuppositional approach. Classical apologetics DOES NOT preclude all presuppostions. When you understand the distinction between the two, you will realize that were my apologetics presuppositional, I more than likely wouldn't be on this site.

          May 19, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      That is garbage devin,

      You have no way of determining what is designed vs. what occurs naturally. The design argument is a large "god of the gaps" fallacy.

      "I can't explain how this could have happened therefore god did it." Yawn...

      May 18, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        Cheese

        You create this dichotomy between " what occurs naturally and designed". I don't. They are one and the same.

        May 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I know...and that is the problem with your position. Can it be tested? No....and therefore it never rises, and can never rise, to anything more than a baseless claim.

          yawn

          May 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
        • hotairace

          Only the undereducated and the mentally ill would be unable to differentiate between what occurs naturally and what is designed.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Cheese

          And this is why you would do well to remain in your unbelief. Hopefully it will serve you well in the end.

          May 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          It serves me everyday...I remain sceptical when people people try and pull scams. Something religious people are often very susceptible to.

          May 18, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • hotairace

          Saying the religious are susceptible to scams is quite redundant. . .

          May 18, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          I said " the end". Time will tell.

          May 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I said "the end"...

          Sounds like a proxy threat.

          May 18, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          No, cheese, not in the slightest.

          May 18, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          OK, well then in "the end" if I am wrong do I deserve any form of punishment for being wrong?

          May 18, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Yes, your punishment consist of coming back to life, getting your sorry a r s e back on this site, and then apologizing to me for rejecting all of my premises.

          Then, justice will be served.

          May 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          devin,

          I took your response in jest but...

          even if I was wrong, I have nothing to apologize for.

          May 18, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          For me, it's not about apologizing, it's about accountability for our own personal sin. You and I are both equally proficient in our sin. Yours is no greater nor less than mine. As you know, my faith provides a remedy for this sin dilemma. In the event you do not apply this remedy to your own sinful heart, I believe you will perish and not have everlasting life.

          Cheese, I realize this is nonsense to you, but since you asked.

          May 18, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Devin, you don't need a god or a heaven to feel true contrition and to act upon that feeling. You can atone without supernatural help. Your "remedy" is all about you. It's your ticket to a promised afterlife. It has nothing to do with your "sins" and everything to do with your desire to be rewarded for simply doing the right thing.

          I am always the first to apologize and try to make amends to those I wrong, even if that wrong is inadvertent. I don't need a god to do the right thing, and I don't need a reward. If that damns me to hell, then your god isn't worth worshiping even if he was real.

          May 18, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "it's about accountability for our own personal sin."

          devin,

          It isn't nonsense in that I understand the concept all to well. I just don't agree that belief should be a prerequisite to any type of forgiveness from some deity. I don't find that ethical, moral or even honest. Am I sorry for transgressions I have commited against other people? Yes. But if a god requires belief when I, in all honestly, cannot believe then that is the deity's problem...not mine. Can such a deity still punish me by witholding everlasting life? Of course.... but I wouldn't worship such a being anyway so no loss. And I wouldn't want everlasting life if people I love and respect should be rejected....

          I am accountable for my actions, but belief does not make me any more...or less...accountable.

          May 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
        • sam stone

          ddeevviinn: "sin" is a man made concept designed to trap the gullible. looks like you bought into it. congrats.....now get back on your knees and pray for forgiveness

          May 18, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          tal

          You misunderstand, I don't hold my beliefs because it makes me feel good or because of some self fulfilling reward. I believe in revealed, propositional truth. That is what and why I believe. Nothing more, nothing less.

          May 18, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Cheese

          As with many of these issues, we have a fundamental difference in presuppositions. You believe that as a finite created being you have the rational ability to determine what sin is,what impact it does and does not have on your being, and to what, if any, accountability it requires of you. You are the captain of your own moral ship. I am not.

          May 18, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I don't find presuppositional apologetics honest, intellectually or otherwise.

          "You believe that as a finite created being you have the rational ability to determine what sin is,"

          Sin is a trangression against a god. I don't believe in a god...so I don't believe in sin either, so the issue of me determining what sin is....is itself moot.

          May 18, 2014 at 11:55 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Yes, I know.

          May 18, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Well then you should know the only people who are determining "what sin is"..is believers. And believers have a wide range of sin that often contradict other believers ideas of sin. That being the case the evidence points to believers determining what sin is themselves and then claiming, as you do, that such determinations originate from outside of themselves when there is no reason to think that is the truth of the matter.

          May 19, 2014 at 12:11 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Cheese

          To a broader point. I can't help but smirk when I read this type of response. I find it so intriguing that many unbelievers actually think christians would WANT to make this stuff up. It would be so much easier and self placating for me to believe that we are just products of unguided natural processes, that sin does not exist, morality is relative, and that I have no accountability to my creator, seeing that he does not exist. It would be foolish not to wish this was the way things are. It's just that, well it's not reality.

          May 19, 2014 at 1:26 am |
        • observer

          ddeevviinn,

          Of course Christians make up things to support their own opinions. You'd stop smirking if you read more of fred's comments. It's all pick-and-choose. That's how some Christians pick negative verses on gays and others pick the Golden Rule.

          May 19, 2014 at 1:30 am |
        • ssq41

          An interesting "argument," dev.

          I see you took that from the hom.ose.xual, who argues against those who say he isn't born that way but is making a live-style choice.

          "If this was a choice, why would I want to live in a world of Christians who aggresively persecute me, parents and family who disown me, communities and workplaces that are embarrased to have me around...if this was a choice?"

          I'll thank you in advance for all the hom.ose.xuals you will now apologize to and protect against your brother's and sisters in Christ who abuse them.

          May 19, 2014 at 1:39 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I can't help but smirk when you imply Christians are of one mind concerning their claims of god and evrything that goes with belief. You claim your morality originates from outside of yourself, that it is revealed, as do other Christians that disagree with your morality and they claim the same source for the morality that contradicts yours. Your god does a poor job communicating his message.

          Unless what I said is true. That you and every other believer claim morality comes from outside of yourself when in fact it is determined individually. Then it makes perfect sense.

          May 19, 2014 at 2:03 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Maybe it's because it is late, or perhaps I am just too dense, either way, I have no idea what you are talking about. I really do not care what the particular s e x ua l persuasion is of the poster you are referring to. It is not my business and and has no bearing on the context of my post.

          May 19, 2014 at 2:08 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Obs

          I know myself, I know my family, I know my fellow christian friends. I/we/they do not practice what you say. I am not responsible for the rantings of other internet opinionaters ( I think I may have just invented a new word. I like it). In all fairness I'm not very familiar with "fred" so I shouldn't really state "rantings"

          May 19, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • ssq41

          Ahhh, dev...the expected dishonesty...

          You said to cheese: "To a broader point. I can't help but smirk when I read this type of response. I find it so intriguing that many unbelievers actually think christians would WANT to make this stuff up...."

          Why would a christian make it up if they....

          Now, go back to my post and re-read. That is, if you have any integrity. (Won't hold my breath).

          May 19, 2014 at 2:17 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Aah ssq

          Now it's all coming back to me. The last time we conversed I made a statement to the following:" I find there are three basic types non theists on this site. There are those who I disagree with and yet the conversation is always cordial and never gets to an emotional level. Then there are those who in disagreement, the verbal exchange can at times become heated, and yet there is still a basic level of respect maintained an an ability to compartmentalize the "issue" from the "individual" . And then there is this last group. These are the individuals who simply show up to spout vitriol and berate people of faith. They lack all credibility and as a result, I simply dismiss them and choose not to interact." When we spoke last I mentioned that you were clearly in this last group, and as a result your malevolence has no meaning and I choose to ignore you.

          Nothing has changed.

          May 19, 2014 at 2:31 am |
        • ssq41

          Wow, dev...I expected dahla and kermie to cry like an 8 year old...I had more respect for you...

          But, nice way to avoid having to deal with an argument against you....just the level of immaturity that is the Achilles Heel of the 21st C. Christian.

          May 19, 2014 at 2:38 am |
        • ssq41

          Oh, and dev, thanks for keeping notes on us....

          And, oh, btw, I'm really hurt.

          May 19, 2014 at 2:39 am |
        • sam stone

          "revealed, propositional truth"?

          how is that different than the plain old truth?

          other than being subjective, that is

          May 19, 2014 at 6:09 am |
        • James XCIX

          devin – " I find it so intriguing that many unbelievers actually think christians would WANT to make this stuff up."

          I'm a little late to the conversation, but wanted to add my two cents. I don't think the idea is that believers of today are making stuff up (well, the ignorant ones might), but rather that it was all made up long ago and today's believers tend to focus on the aspects that they find appealing to their personality traits, and disregard aspects that don't fit.

          This, of course, is not unique to any particular religion, but within Christianity we have those who find the idea of humans being basically bad (sinful) and needing redemption appealing (some self-loathing there?). There are those who need the comfort of the idea of a loving father figure. There are those who tend to feel very open and loving, and there are those who are very uncomfortable around people with different ideas or customs and are eager to condemn them.

          And there are many other categories of believers, of course, but each category tends to find something in the Bible that fits their personality and supports their view of the world, and they tend to focus on those parts and ignore or explain away the others that say something different.

          In short, Christianity (and others) offers plenty of different (and sometimes opposing) ideas, and what someone gets out of belief or non-belief is largely dependent on their personality, despite Christianity's tendency to promote cookie-cutter personalities (you should feel this way about these things). But that's my opinion about why we see so many different representations of the "same" religion.

          May 19, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          James....that was a really nice way to put it. I'm still stuck on them all being delusional, needy, nuts.

          May 19, 2014 at 10:46 am |
        • James XCIX

          Thanks. Don't get me wrong, it amazes me that belief in the supernatural persists in the modern age, but I do find the majority of "believers" to be uninformed, uncommitted, uninquisitive people who found some element of what they were taught as children appealing and comfortable and have let that one element become the foundation of their view of what their religion is about.

          For the most part it tends to be a positive thing for them personally and at worst has no impact on those around them. It's the people with intolerant mentalities who find and latch onto the passages that validate their intolerance who are the problem.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • observer

          ddeevviinn,

          It is Christians who choose negative verses about gays who have collected tens of millions of dollars to oppose gay rights.

          Two of the most vocal Christians on here are Rainer who actually advocates changing laws to "force gays to the peripherals of society" and believerfred who has claimed, for instance, that when the Bible says "vengeance" it doesn't mean "punishment". He claimed that the word "tempt" has two different meanings in the Bible. He says that "reality" means the "afterlife", etc.

          Read some of their comments and you will see where some of the nonbelievers find reasons to be upset with Christians.

          May 19, 2014 at 10:54 am |
        • tallulah131

          In your very own words, Dev:

          "As you know, my faith provides a remedy for this sin dilemma. In the event you do not apply this remedy to your own sinful heart, I believe you will perish and not have everlasting life."

          So please explain again how your faith is not rooted in reward.

          May 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
    • ssq41

      Nahhh, dev...wrong again.

      ID is not even close.

      A population that has others do the hard thinking for them....a majority who are so desperate to be rescued from their life-circu.mstances instead of manning up....a society that spends more on a baseball player than on a quality teacher and prefers to dumb-down the populace....and a society that hungers for "bread and circuses" to occupy their mind so they don't have to face the stark reality that life is.

      These and so many more are the Achilles Heel of those who have a much better grasp of the universe we live in.

      May 19, 2014 at 2:35 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Argumentum ad populum fallacy.

      May 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "The argument from design is without doubt the primary reason atheism is marginalized and deemed inconsequential by the majority of society." (paraphrased)
        -----------------
        More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.

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

        May 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
  2. aallen333

    Let us suppose aliens visited our planet after mankind was forced to move the world population to another planet. Now let us suppose these aliens observed the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, the Declaration of Independence, the space shuttle and the pyramids. Do you think we would be right to call these creatures intelligent beings if they automatically assumed these features evolved on earth because there was no evidence of intelligent beings behind their creation.

    May 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      They would see artifacts left over from some kind beings. Strange post, I don't understand your point I guess.

      May 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        *some kind of beings

        May 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
      • aallen333

        Your post is proving my point. Atheism is illogical.

        May 18, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • sam stone

          Atheism is very logical. It is theism that is illogical, hence it has to be taken on faith

          May 18, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • hotairace

          Yup! It's very logical to believe in something for which there is not a shred of actual evidence . . .

          May 18, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • hotairace

          And you never did get around to actually make a point. Come on, quick fu.cking around and tell us what you really think.

          May 18, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
    • tallulah131

      We discover relics of lost civilizations all the time. They are recognizable as human artifacts. I would sincerely doubt the intelligence of any being who saw the Mona Lisa and thought that it had evolved.

      May 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
    • igaftr

      I also am wondering what your point is. If I see something that was something that does not fit into the natural surroundings, like the eiffel tower, I would be able to determine that it was made by refining some of the natural materials, which would indicate an intelligence.

      Life is completely different, since we do not yet know how life works.
      You seem to be trying to put the existance of NON-natural things, such as buildings, as if to compare it to life, which is not going to work, since we do not know how life starts, and what energies are at play.
      Your whole metaphysical, indeterminate, this exists so that must exist ...all arguments that get no where when trying to determine the nature of life.

      If you have something to say, out with it and stop beating around the bush with lame, weak, statements that only imply your point

      May 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
      • aallen333

        By your post I'm assuming you believe the creation of man has no intelligence behind it. The creation of man is in itself evidence of the creation of an omniscient creator. Because the creation of man is as much a product of an omniscient creator as the complexity of the cells in man's body.

        May 18, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • hotairace

          Do you have any facts or actual evidence to back up your thus far unsupported opinion?

          May 18, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @aallen333,
          You don't appear to have said anything. How are cells evidence of a creator/designer?

          May 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • igaftr

          SO , by your own logic, your creator needs a creator, and a creator to create the creator, on and on. Your "logic" is not logic at all.
          Care to try again, since you failed so miserably to use logic?

          May 19, 2014 at 7:57 am |
    • hotairace

      You seem to be trying to build a case for something for which there is little or no evidence. Why don't you just spit it out?

      May 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
    • bostontola

      None of things you mentioned were alive. The aliens would not think that things that didn't replicate with errors (i.e. Couldn't evolve) are the product of evolution.

      Apparently you don't understand the principle of evolution. Enti.ties that can replicate with variation in a population under selective pressure (e.g. where there is limited resources), will evolve. Those conditions are not met for the objects you mentioned. Aliens advanced enough to get here would have a full understanding of evolution so they wouldn't get tripped up as you did.

      May 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Given how incomprehensible your couple of posts have been I'm guessing you're either still in grade school or you never made it past it.
      Maybe ask an adult to help you and try again.

      May 18, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      How would they know what was designed from what occurs naturally? By comparison. If everything is designed how would you know? You have nothing to compare it to. Your analogy fails on that basis.

      May 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      @aallen333,
      I would say that we could not call them intelligent, if they automatically thought that a god created those things simply because they could not explain them.

      May 18, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
    • ssq41

      I always have to laugh at the nonsense of an "argument" like this from the ID'ers. They apparently don't get out of their church pew often enough to take a walk in the woods and see the difference between a man-made structure and a damn tree.

      May 19, 2014 at 1:29 am |
  3. aallen333

    How can you prove thoughts exist – You cannot hear them; You can not smell them; You cannot touch them. But you see the evidence of their existence in the Eiffel Tower; the Mona Lisa; the Declaration of Independence; the space shuttle; the pyramids; and the list goes on. Now answer this question: How can you prove God exists – You cannot hear Him; You cannot smell Him; You cannot touch Him.

    May 18, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
    • igaftr

      You can't show any gods exist, but you CAN prove that men like to make up and imagine gods. Thousands of them.

      May 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • hotairace

      Because The Babble exists and we exist?

      May 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      @aallen333,
      Even in your own example, not that I agree with it, the difference is obvious. You can see the evidence of thoughts, but where is the evidence of a supposed God's existence, provide one doesn't just arbitrarily assign something as evidence, e.g. rainbows.

      May 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • tallulah131

      All those things you called thoughts are tangible things created by humans who left evidence of their existence. Gods only exist in the words of men. There is no tangible evidence of their existence, there is nothing on this planet or in what we know of the universe to indicate that gods are even necessary. If you think about it, gods are really nothing more than the thoughts of man.

      May 18, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
      • hotairace

        And The Babble, The Qook, etc. are nothing more than the written form of man's childish thoughts about alleged, but never proven, gods.

        May 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
      • aallen333

        When does a thought pass from metaphysical to physical – When it materializes itself in physical reality that can seen, smelled and touched. But just because a thing is metaphysical does not make it any less real.

        May 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • igaftr

          AHhh, another one with the whole metaphysical argument...which ALSO does not show any gods to exist.
          Thoughts are not metaphysical, ever. They are electrochemical signals between an internal to neurons, and as such can be measured and detected in various ways. Not so with gods. As far as any can show, ALL gods exist in the realm of imagination.

          May 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I deal in tangibles. I leave the "metaphysics" to the people who make excuses for believing in imaginary beings.

          May 18, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
    • Reality

      Strong visual circ-umstantial evidence that there is no god? (or did they all die as martyrs?)

      Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

      1. 300,000,000 approx.
      Smallpox

      2. 200,000,000 ?
      Measles

      3. 100,000,000 approx.
      Black Death

      4. 80,000,000–250,000,000
      Malaria

      5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
      Spanish Flu

      6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
      Plague of Justinian

      7. 40,000,000–100,000,000
      Tuberculosis

      8. 30,000,000[13]
      AIDS pandemic

      9. 12,000,000 ?
      Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

      10. 5,000,000
      Antonine Plague

      11. 4,000,000
      Asian Flu

      12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

      May 18, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So God is like a thought. God is a concept. God is a creation of the mind. God exists just like a thought exists...yep I can agree with that.

      May 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
      • Salero21

        YO, that's soo stupid!

        May 18, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
  4. bostontola

    An omniscient, omnipotent God that divinely reveals its truth to humans must have the ability to get facts right in the book divinely revealed (e.g. the bibles).

    Either:
    1. it intentionally allowed incorrect facts, or
    2. it's not omnipotent/omniscient, or
    3. it's not real.

    None of these explanations is consistent with the loving God portrayed in the bibles. I think if all believers read their sacred texts comprehensively, there would be fewer believers. This is especially true of the bible. Interpreting the bible to make people less uncomfortable with some of its contents has been the full time job of many thinkers over the centuries.

    May 18, 2014 at 11:21 am |
    • Salero21

      Nope you just can't have both. You either believe or you don't. If there is no God as you atheists claim then you can't turn around the next second demanding that God do this and that. Besides God is Love but HE is also a Consuming Fire.

      May 18, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
      • bostontola

        Hence option 3.

        May 18, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
  5. Jill

    Disgusting dimwitted and grossly fat bigot Rainer Brandlein, dessicate your obese self in the venerable primordial yogurt, for there is the deepest vehicle for overweight geese. Understanding this global giraffe preserves key declinations for the introverted chipmunk in the parliamentary icefield.

    Pressurize, evacuate, sigh. That is the only way to satisfaction for you the fat diesel chicken.

    666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
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    666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
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    666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
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    666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666

    666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
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    Rainer is a stupid, fat bigot. And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint mozart.

    May 18, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • MidwestKen

      @Jill,
      While I don't disagree with your general stance on Rainer, I have to ask, is he really worth all this effort?

      May 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
  6. Vic

    On a side note, I would title this article something like "The worst countries to be in with a different religion."

    May 18, 2014 at 10:35 am |
    • bostontola

      Yup.

      "The 8 Worst Places in the World to be a Member of the 'Wrong' Religion"

      May 18, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • MidwestKen

      @Vic,
      I think you are right in this instance.

      May 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
  7. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    It is really sad that people get persecuted for their different belief. I myself am a Christian, and would never support the persecution of people of different faith. Certainly conversion of many people would be desireable, but God forces nobody, and he is very patient. The decision is voluntary.

    One could get the impression that here in the West the situation would be better: Free exercise of religion.

    But that is only ostensively true. There is a religion in the West everybody is compelled to exercise: Materialism, meritocracy, the idolatry of the Mammon in biblical terms.

    Today only the high-performance man matters. People in the West are competing: Better job, higher rank, bigger car, bigger house, better wife, etc. That system is against the principle of love of neighbour, it is anti-Christian. Jesus also loves the weak people. It is a calamity that we no more take care of each other.

    The persecution of Christianity in the West is more subtle: Unbiased love of neighbour undesireable. Only the high-peformance man experiences appreciaton. Forget the weak.

    Solution: We need a new (Christian) power elite which seeks the holistic happiness of the peoples. The current Western power elite is only interested in the increase of the national product of the flocks even on the cost of the soul's health of the peoples.

    Don't get me wrong: The Western laws which protect free exercise of religion are very good, an achievement. Yet, seemingly, nobody notices the evil beast which walks around and eats us up. The laws protecting free exercise of religion are of no benefit for us as long as the beast "materialism" is not tamed. This evil religion suppresses all other religions including Christianity. Bottom line all religions save materialism still exist in name only today. The power elite thinks: Let them (religious idiots) celebrate their ridiculous rites at Sunday as long as it doesn't affect too much their performance during the work week. Actually all religion has been ridiculed today. The only thing matters is your material output. As long as you work like a horse you are allowed to behave like a beast – that is thorougly anti-Christian.

    What means 666?

    If 666 is written on your right hand and on your forehead, you will never get into heaven, but face eternal damnation.

    What is the meaning of 666?

    666 represents evil behaviour: Greed for honor, power and riches instead of unbiased love of neighbour and God. If you sacrifice love of neighbour and love of God for the sake of your personal honor, power and riches you sacrifice your soul's health at the same time. Thus try to get rid of the number 666, the number of the Beast. Don't assume it had to do something with electronics, it is just your anti-Christian behaviour. Don't compete against your fellow human beings, but love them, even love the poor, the sick, the ones having a criminal record, the foreigners, the ugly ones, the stupid ones, the disabled ones, etc. Practice the love of Jesus Christ through Jesus' releasing power, and you will get into heaven.

    Prayer: God, please give us a Christian ruler stopping the legalization of sin, but being patient with the poor sinners until they may convert.

    God gives us time to check out things. We may go one or another wrong way, but if we keep on praying honestly, we will certainly find the real way one day: Jesus Christ. Keep on praying and searching.

    May 18, 2014 at 6:33 am |
    • Reality

      And yet again RB's brainwashing in his version of Lutheranism oozes from his bigoted, inane fingertips !!

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      May 18, 2014 at 7:52 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        What about a new conception?

        May 18, 2014 at 7:57 am |
      • Reality

        Why as you are and apparently will always be a bigoted, inane Lutheran.

        May 18, 2014 at 10:00 am |
    • observer

      Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      "It is really sad that people get persecuted for their different belief. I myself am a Christian, and would never support the persecution of people of different faith"

      Skip all the WORLD CLASS HYPOCRISY and BIGOTRY. You want laws that would PERSCUTE gays so they'd be FORCED to the fringes of society.

      Your delusions about your own beliefs is staggering and sick.

      May 18, 2014 at 9:16 am |
    • bostontola

      I can't even imagine what life would be like for a person whose standard for facts is as low as yours. You state these things, like what 666 means, as fact, even though many other Christians don't have the same meaning. When fact and opinion get as mixed up as they are in your mind, reality ceases to have meaning. Schizophrenics have nothing on you. I feel fortunate to have never met you in person, you are scary.

      May 18, 2014 at 10:30 am |
    • Jill

      Disgusting dimwitted and grossly fat bigot Rainer Brandlein, dessicate your obese self in the venerable primordial yogurt, for there is the deepest vehicle for overweight geese. Understanding this global giraffe preserves key declinations for the introverted chipmunk in the parliamentary icefield.

      Pressurize, evacuate, sigh. That is the only way to satisfaction for you the fat diesel chicken.

      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666

      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666

      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666

      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666

      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666

      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666

      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666

      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666
      666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666

      Rainer is a stupid, fat bigot. And remember, never, ever, pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint mozart.

      May 18, 2014 at 10:54 am |
    • sam stone

      "It is really sad that people get persecuted for their different belief"

      And that exacty what your pr1ck god does, Rainy

      May 18, 2014 at 11:05 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      666 is a number you fooltard!! Geez rainy...only delusional people put anything to it!! As for persecuting-you're such a bigoted hypocrite! You persecute gays and anyone who doesn't share your beliefs in heart beat.
      Seek help, you're obviously mentally ill and needing some good medication to help with what appears to be religious psychosis (Andrea Yates killed her 5 kids and suffers the same condition...so you're not alone in the condition).

      May 18, 2014 at 11:35 am |
      • sam stone

        Don't listen to TP, Rainy You don't need mental help. You need to make a sudden break to go see jeebus in person, a sidearm will do, as will a speeding train

        May 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I suspect that rainy is a very old decrepit man who will return to star dust soon enough, however I do hope that someone ties him to his walker, duct tapes his eyes open and makes him watch both series of COSMOS-paybacks for all his blathering and at least COSMOS is based on facts and evidence...it will either give him a heart attack or he'll finally admit to being a fool for holding his crazy beliefs.

          May 18, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • sam stone

          i get the same impression of theo/corn pone

          May 18, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • sam stone

          perhaps rainy still has his old SS uniform in the closet. he puts it on and goose steps while listening to "a chorus line".....he definitely has that closet queen air about him

          May 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
    • tallulah131

      "Solution: We need a new (Christian) power elite which seeks the holistic happiness of the peoples."

      No thank you, Rainy. I prefer a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The civilized world has rejected theocracy as the outdated and unjust monstrosity that it is.

      May 18, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
  8. Jill

    Disgusting dimwitted and fat bigot Rainer Brandlein, dessicate yourself in the venerable primordial yogurt, for there is the deepest vehicle for geese. Understanding this global giraffe preserves key declinations for the introverted chipmunk in the parliamentary icefield.

    Pressurize, evacuate, sigh. That is the only way to satisfaction for you the diesel chicken.

    And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint mozart.

    May 17, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
    • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      Idle talk!

      May 18, 2014 at 6:52 am |
      • hotairace

        That makes more sense than the sickness you spew, Hitler wanna be.

        May 18, 2014 at 6:55 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Your boring Hitler gossip! It is absolute nonsense to connect me with Hitler. I am more or less an anti-Hitler.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:26 am |
        • sam stone

          "I am more or less an anti-Hitler."

          No, you're not, Fuhrersucker

          Hitler had the concentration camps

          You want to segregate gays

          May 18, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • hotairace

          Why "more or less"? Why not completely? Can't bear to deny your father figure?

          May 18, 2014 at 11:13 am |
      • sam stone

        idle talk?

        Come on, Rainy Fuhrersucker, make some more empty proxy threats about "judgement"

        You remain a snivelling sycophant

        May 18, 2014 at 11:08 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Oh Rainy, so if this is idle talk and bothers you so much could you explain why your delusional rants are any better?? I'm still waiting for you to explain what should be done to gay people without using your bible as a defense...you said it should be illegal to be gay-so explain to us what should happen to those who are gay in the here and now (not according to what you think your imaginary friends would do). Further to that explain how to propose it be stopped that gay children be stopped from being born (yes, regardless of how small minded you are or ignorant of facts you choose to be, it is how people are born and NOT a lifestyle).
        Are you proud of being a bigot?
        In segregating LGBT and condemning them for something they have not chosen, you are very similar to Hitler and well deserving of the comparison.

        May 18, 2014 at 11:28 am |
  9. Salero21

    Well, well that was one good piece of Evidence of what I've been saying all along. All those "imaginations" are a necessity and the only foundation for your interpretations and understanding of nature and the universe. All of which was Created by the Creator who is God.

    In that you reminded me of Neil deGrasse, who at the beginning of one show in NATGEO last year said something in the line of: IMAGINATION is needed to create the show, the visuals and to understand what happened in the so called "big bang". I can't recall the exact phrase word by word, but basically was that the entire show was based on "IMAGINATIONS". Which compared to the Biblical narrative are nothing more than delusions of people under the influence, or under the effects of the wrong medicine. wink, wink!

    May 17, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
    • Salero21

      Was meant as a reply to the post of colin31714.

      May 17, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
      • nojinx

        The post you replied to makes no mentions of imaginations, specially defined or not.

        May 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      @S21

      "I can't recall the exact phrase word by word"

      Then don't comment on it.

      May 17, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Really ? The "Biblical narrative" ? There are two versions of creation in Genesis. They are different. They can't both be right.
      Woops.

      May 17, 2014 at 11:59 pm |
      • gruphy

        Erh boss? Why can't they both be?
        I think you are confusing the reason why there are two accounts with the truth of the accounts. They do not directly contradict each other also.

        May 18, 2014 at 5:56 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          He was correcting a troll and unless you can prove him wrong, you have shown you're just as bad as the troll.
          As he said they both can't be right...explain how you think they can be? Many many things in the bible are contradicted and an open-minded read of the outdated fallacious book will clue you in to that....very little accuracy to the book at all.

          May 18, 2014 at 6:14 am |
  10. colin31714

    I have never felt victimized for being an atheist in the USA. To best explain how it feels, I would like to expand on an analogy I once saw used by Sam Harris in a debate.

    Imagine if you lived in the Dark Ages when most people believed in witches. A good deal of daily life was spent engaged in rituals to fend off withes and every Sunday morning most of the town gathered together in a ceremony related to witchcraft. Further, all diseases were believed to be caused by witches and their spells, storms and other natural events were attributed to witches and mental illness was explained by possession by witches.

    Now imagine if you were part of a small group (about 10%) of the population that did not believe in witches. Instead, you believed that disease was caused by an unknown, but entirely natural cause and that the rituals performed every day or week by your community did not have any effect to alter natural events (such as bringing the rains or preventing violent storms) nor did they ward off witches.

    Now imagine if the 90% of the population also believed it was immoral or at least highly suspect not to believe in witches, that "In Wizards We Trust" was printed on your money, that community leaders made regular allusions to witches in their speeches and that you were regarded as “angry,” or “bitter” for being skeptical of the whole witchcraft thing.
    Imagine further that, when you looked around, you noticed that the smarter or better educated a person was, the less likely they were to believe in witches and that those villages with a greater proportion of nonbelievers tended to be controlling their economy and environment better and flourishing a little more than those where virtually everybody believed in witches.

    You also noticed that 40% of those who believed in witches thought the Earth was designed to be flat and was less than 10,000 years old, and wanted to teach that in schools as “Intelligent Design” and that it was ALWAYS those who believed in witches who wanted to deny people the right to marry people of the same star sign.

    Finally, imagine that you noticed many abuses caused by the belief in witches, such as people giving 10% of their crops to highly suspect priests to ward off witches, belief in witches and elves being used to deny the pollution you noticed building up in your village and laws being passed controlling how a woman must act during menstruation based on witchcraft.

    Think, as a nonbeliever, how much you would want to oppose the belief in witches and witchcraft. Think of how you would view witchcraft as a retarding influence on society and how you would long for the day when the shining light of science and reason would illuminate your village and the majority of the population adopt reason and logic to govern their lives, rather than harboring under the stultifying effects of their belief in witches, pixies and elves.

    Well, that is how it sometimes feels to be an atheist who does not believe in gods, miracles, and angels in a large part of the USA today.

    May 17, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      That was a refreshing post on a hot day.

      May 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
    • nojinx

      Thanks for sharing that.

      May 17, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
  11. Bootyfunk

    i'd like to see an article, the "8 worst places in the world to be non-religious".
    a christian thinks they have it bad in a muslim territory? try being an atheist there.
    the muslim and christian may disagree as to what god exists, but the atheist says there is no got at all.

    May 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      The atheist is the rational person who is not welcome at the dinner table with believers. Believers cannot freely discuss their delusions and congratulate one another in the presence of someone who can easily debunk their claims. It makes them uncomfortable.

      May 17, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
  12. Sheik Yerbouti

    God is the least important topic of discussion I can think of. Yet it is widely debated, contested, and fought over.

    Science is more interesting. If I had to bet, I would say that our universe is just one of many and part of a cycle, not unlike the seasons. I have always noticed that in life, there are many parallels across disparate systems.

    I feel bad that we have let down the children of this world but not teaching truth. It is a wasted life if you live only in the shadow of truth but not in its direct path. I attribute this to fear of death.

    My children are healthy-minded atheists and I admire them for not giving in to peer pressure.

    May 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      There is no coherent definition of the three letter meme pronounced "gawd". Not only is it not an important topic, it's a meme which human brains reference, but has a different meaning to everyone who speaks of it. It's whatever notion they have learned it means.

      May 18, 2014 at 12:23 am |
  13. Salero21

    Aha so he/she deleted my comment! Can't handle the Truth! Is typical.

    May 17, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      You are strange Salero21.

      May 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • Salero21

        You're the strangest.

        May 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      I have read some of your other comments. You are either a troll or an illiterate (or both). Either way you don't seem to have anything to offer.

      May 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
      • Salero21

        You can read?

        May 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
  14. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    It is really sad that people get persecuted for their different belief. I myself am a Christian, and would never support the persecution of people of different faith. Certainly conversion of many people would be desireable, but God forces nobody, and he is very patient. The decision is voluntary.

    One could get the impression that here in the West the situation would be better: Free exercise of religion.

    But that is only ostensively true. There is a religion in the West everybody is compelled to exercise: Materialism, meritocracy, the idolatry of the Mammon in biblical terms.

    Today only the high-performance man matters. People in the West are competing: Better job, higher rank, bigger car, bigger house, better wife, etc. That system is against the principle of love of neighbour, it is anti-Christian. Jesus also loves the weak people. It is a calamity that we no more take care of each other.

    The persecution of Christianity in the West is more subtle: Unbiased love of neighbour undesireable. Only the high-peformance man experiences appreciaton. Forget the weak.

    Solution: We need a new (Christian) power elite which seeks the holistic happiness of the peoples. The current Western power elite is only interested in the increase of the national product of the flocks even on the cost of the soul's health of the peoples.

    Don't get me wrong: The Western laws which protect free exercise of religion are very good, an achievement. Yet, seemingly, nobody notices the evil beast which walks around and eats us up. The laws protecting free exercise of religion are of no benefit for us as long as the beast "materialism" is not tamed. This evil religion suppresses all other religions including Christianity. Bottom line all religions save materialism still exist in name only today. The power elite thinks: Let them (religious idiots) celebrate their ridiculous rites at Sunday as long as it doesn't affect too much their performance during the work week. Actually all religion has been ridiculed today. The only thing matters is your material output. As long as you work like a horse you are allowed to behave like a beast – that is thorougly anti-Christian.

    What means 666?

    If 666 is written on your right hand and on your forehead, you will never get into heaven, but face eternal damnation.

    What is the meaning of 666?

    666 represents evil behaviour: Greed for honor, power and riches instead of unbiased love of neighbour and God. If you sacrifice love of neighbour and love of God for the sake of your personal honor, power and riches you sacrifice your soul's health at the same time. Thus try to get rid of the number 666, the number of the Beast. Don't assume it had to do something with electronics, it is just your anti-Christian behaviour. Don't compete against your fellow human beings, but love them, even love the poor, the sick, the ones having a criminal record, the foreigners, the ugly ones, the stupid ones, the disabled ones, etc. Practice the love of Jesus Christ through Jesus' releasing power, and you will get into heaven.

    May 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
    • igaftr

      666 is just a number. It has no more meaning than the number 13 or lucky 7 or any other number. Any association beyond that is simply rampant imagination.

      Stop being ridiculous.

      May 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Historically seen 666 means the period of time when the Roman popes had also earthly power (today they just have ecclesiastical power). This period of time ended 1742 a. D. when Frederic the Great, King of Pruzzia, finished the rule of the extremly Catholic Habsburgians over the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation. The Habsburgians were puppets of the popes, and through them the popes ruled the whole world.

        Everybody knows that the old popes were extremly greedy for honor, power and riches, and thus the time 666 represents a period of time when the ordinary people had to suffer from the extreme greed of the popes. The old popes sucked the peoples without mercy.

        As we are about to abolish religion, the only remain or legacy of the "pope time" is greed for honor, power and riches, simply the deepest and truest self of the non-redeemed man, the full-revelation of the human flesh or nature.

        Jesus is still ready to delete your 666, but time gradually runs short. Don't hesitate, but accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour right now.

        May 17, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You're an absolute fool if you truly believe any of the mumbo!

          May 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • sam stone

          rainy, a fool?

          say it ain't so

          rainy is god's official spokesman

          May 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Sam Stone still leaves his tender comments according to his good old habit.

          Sam Stone must really love me, when I attract so much of his gracious attention.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • kudlak

          Popes?

          You mean the Roman emperors, don't you?

          May 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          There was a period of time when the Roman popes were higher (had got more worldly power) than the Roman emperors. You don't know that? Poor!

          May 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • sam stone

          go fvck yourself, punk

          May 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Relapse. Get well!

          I still feel that you love me. Ain't I right, Sam?

          May 17, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " As we are about to abolish religion,..."
          Paranoid delusion.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • kudlak

          And now they're been replaced by televangelists and mega-church pastors also greedy for honor, power and riches, I suppose?

          Didn't John of Patmos have people living during his time to complain about? Why do you see this as some kind of prediction of the future, rather than a simple professing of the current state of affairs?

          May 17, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          The only thing which counts today is that you prevail by any means, even on the cost of your fellow human beings.

          Nobody is interested in to which church, cult or sect you belong. You just have to reveal the "appropriate" behaviour at the workplace. Work like a horse, behave like a beast, and everything is okay.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • sam stone

          i hope you take the first opportunity to go see jeebus, via the business end of a 12 gauge

          May 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • Reality

          And yet again RB's brainwashing in his version of Lutheranism oozes from his bigoted, inane fingertips !!

          May 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Around 2005, a fragment from Papyrus 115, taken from the Oxyrhynchus site, was discovered at the Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum. It gave the beast’s number as 616. This fragment happens to be the oldest manuscript (about 1,700 years old) of Revelation 13 to date.

          You have no clue what you're talking about Helmut.

          May 18, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • kudlak

          Rainer
          And there aren't numerous pastors who are willing to make a name for themselves by throwing gays and respected scientists under the bus? Lots of "Let's drive other churches into ruin by bad-mouthing their Christianity and becoming more popular than they are to poach their congregations" going on in America's mega-churches, right? Isn't that working like a horse and behaving like a beast too?

          May 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
    • jwt01

      The only significance of 666 is that is 1 more than 665 and one less than 667.

      May 17, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
      • kudlak

        Sounds like a Far Side cartoon.
        The Devil knocks on #665, and the guy living there says "No, Mr. Beast lives next door."

        May 17, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Okay that's simply silly...no meaning behind the number, it won't cause you any harm and if you were really so worried by the effects it might have on you, why bother writing this absurd blurb at all?
      Fortunately not all are so gullible and superstitous that they let themselves be fooled by such foolish notions. This really isn't much different than the childhood game of stepping on a crack or a black cat crossing your path being bad luck or walking under a ladder.

      May 17, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
      • kudlak

        Oh, 666 was probably code for whatever Roman emperor John of Patmos was complaining about.

        May 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      666 means six hundred and sixty-six.

      May 17, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Ain't you very clever?

        May 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          No, not really. I am simply pointing out something that may have escaped your attention.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
      • sam stone

        it's

        1 x 666
        2 x 333
        3 x 222
        6 x 111
        18 x 37

        May 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • ssq41

          Oh, thanks, Sam....

          I spent 3 decades as an Evangelical terrified of just one set of three digits....now I realize I should have been terrified of so many more of Satan's numbers....and mathematics in general.

          May 19, 2014 at 2:43 am |
    • Jill

      Disgusting dimwitted and fat bigot Rainer Brandlein, dessicate yourself in the venerable primordial yogurt, for there is the deepest vehicle for obese geese such as you. Understanding this global giraffe preserves key declinations for the introverted chipmunk in the parliamentary icefield.

      Pressurize, evacuate, sigh. That is the only way to satisfaction for you the grossly fat diesel chicken.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint mozart.

      May 17, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Voluntary my foot. Believe or go to hell. Real voluntary.

      Liar.

      May 18, 2014 at 12:00 am |
    • Jill

      Disgusting dimwitted and grossly fat bigot Rainer Brandlein, dessicate your obese self in the venerable primordial yogurt, for there is the deepest vehicle for overweight geese. Understanding this global giraffe preserves key declinations for the introverted chipmunk in the parliamentary icefield.

      Pressurize, evacuate, sigh. That is the only way to satisfaction for you the fat diesel chicken.

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      Rainer is a stupid, grossly fat bigot. And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint mozart.

      May 18, 2014 at 10:55 am |
  15. Salero21

    If the Evidence of the Absolute, Complete and Total Absurdity and NONSENSE of atheism was liquid, it would be enough to replace ALL of the water in planet earth and beyond.

    May 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
    • kudlak

      Oh, please tell us it's enough to cover the entire globe, like in the Noah story! That would totally prove your point!

      May 17, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
    • kudlak

      "Beyond" being all that water that the Bible says use to be up above the firmament, right?

      Too bad that firmament is there. It sure would be nice to go into outer space.

      May 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
      • Salero21

        What part of "and beyond" you don't understand?

        May 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • kudlak

          Salero21
          Just going with biblical cosmology. It doesn't describe anything beyond the water above the firmament. Even the sun, stars and moon were described as being under this barrier. They probably thought YHWH lived up in the atmosphere too. That's why going up on mountains was seen as getting close to where God lived.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Salero21

          @kudlak

          If you lie you fail and DEMONstrate once again what I've been saying all along. That atheists are compulsive and pathological Liars. You just can't stop Lying, can't you huh?

          May 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • kudlak

          Salero21
          Who's lying? What do you think the Bible authors meant by the "firmament"? Go ahead, and impress me with your imagination.

          May 17, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      `Wow, that is one of your craziest delusions yet!

      May 17, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
  16. bostontola

    Proposition A has a lot of objective evidence supporting it and no objective evidence refuting it. There is no proof of it.

    Proposition B has no objective evidence supporting it. There is no proof of its falsehood.

    Does anyone think that these propositions are on equal ground because there are no proofs?

    May 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • nojinx

      I can't answer that as phrased. Can you explain the difference between objective evidence and proof?

      May 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
      • bostontola

        Objective evidence is an observable, measurable thing that is consistent with the proposition, or conflicts with the proposition. Proof is a body of objective evidence that confirms the proposition and leaves no possibility of an alternative.

        May 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • nojinx

          If objective evidence leaves the possibility of alternatives (as you define it) it would be useless. Your propositions would become:

          Proposition A has no proof of itself.

          Proposition B has no proof of its falsehood.

          May 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          Interesting conclusion since courts of law decide cases every day, none are proven by this standard. The question in the OP can be simplified to, do you recognize that some propositions are more likely than others? If so, it is not useless at all. The propositions as stated would be an open and shut case.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          I would add that proof is a logical certainty, i.e. deduction.
          Math and logic have proofs.
          Evidence is testable, repeatable predictions of phenomena in specific situations which can lead to generalizations about how things work, i.e. induction.
          While induction cannot provide logical certainty, the more evidence one has the closer one approaches such certainty.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          Excellent points Ken, thanks.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
        • nojinx

          I understand now, cheers.

          May 18, 2014 at 12:05 am |
    • bostontola

      Propositions of science are of the type A above. Religious propositions are type B.

      Anyone has the right to base belief on B type propositions, of course. It is annoying when religious people claim that their beliefs are just as well founded as scientific though.

      It should be clear that A type propositions are founded on observable, measurable evidence, while B type propositions are founded on thought and feelings.

      They are not the same.

      May 18, 2014 at 9:28 am |
  17. Sheik Yerbouti

    Why is it so important that there is just one god? It seems more probable to me that, if there were gods, there would many. Perhaps "gods" are a species in the universe (or multiverse). That is more believable to me than "the one true god" concept. Our god is a jealous god after all! What is god jealous about if not other gods?

    May 17, 2014 at 10:55 am |
    • igaftr

      Christianity has always been polytheistic. They claim to WORSHIP only their god, but one of their commandments, is god allegedly telling people not to worship other gods, so there must be other gods if their god is telling them not to worship them.

      May 17, 2014 at 11:17 am |
      • Salero21

        YO your ignorance is brilliant! The Commandment precedes Christianity by a few thousands years, so it applies to all believers in One God. Idolatry is Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE and you're a PRIME example!

        May 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • igaftr

          S21
          "thou shalt have no OTHER gods before me"

          Clearly god telling believers that there ARE other gods, but to not worship them before him (what an ego)
          Your ignorant trolling doesn't change that.

          May 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Salero21

          @igaftr

          Your trolling is ignorant!

          May 17, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • Salero21

      The jealousy of God is due also to HIS LOVE. HE, God wants ALL of our Love. Evidently you've never fallen in Love or never love anyone enough. YO you so Stupid!

      May 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
      • kudlak

        He so wants all of our love that he lashes out at anyone who rejects him, or even simply doesn't notice him?

        A little insecure, isn't he?

        May 17, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        @S21

        "jealousy of God is due also to HIS LOVE"

        You make god sound like a drunken step-father.

        May 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • Salero21

          You may be a drunkard.

          May 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
  18. bostontola

    All this violence over differences in mythologies. Everyone thinks their stories have the unique truth of God, while the others have myth.

    I can understand this to some degree. If you are taught this by the people you trust with your life, your parents, it forms the foundation of your entire reality.

    In addition, often myths are preferred to reality. There are times when I almost wish myth busters wouldn't shatter my romantic notions of history or mankind. Recently, scientists did blind tests using top violinists playing Stradivarius and modern violins. The violinists were 100% sure they could tell the difference, they all said it would be obvious. Reality was, they couldn't tell at all, and in fact, chose the modern violin as their favorite. I would have preferred to think that human experts could discern excellence, but no. I love the movie version of Wyatt Earp much more than the historical version also. I understand how myths can be much preferred.

    In my mind, I can deal with that. I retain the mythological versions to use them as guide stars for what to reach for. I also retain the historical and scientific to remember that reality is more complex and messy. It helps me avoid repeated errors.

    So I understand why people stick with their sacred texts. I just wish they'd retain the lessons of reality along with the important lessons of the myths.

    May 17, 2014 at 10:08 am |
    • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      You are a typical modern man. You ridicule any kind of religion, and conceit yourself to be very clever.

      Christianity has a very solid historical foundation. You certainly know that, and therefore you should not lump together Christianity with the myths. It is no myth at all but truth.

      Be aware that one day you will get judged for every useless word you have uttered against the divinity.

      May 17, 2014 at 10:23 am |
      • bostontola

        Do you think Christianity has a more solid historical basis than Islam? No it doesn't. Much of the bibles have been shown to be false, myth busted.

        Your afterlife is one of those myths. Not a very original myth either. The Egyptians had most of those ideas long before Christians did. The Greeks elaborated on those ideas before Christians also. The whole notion of spirit separate from body came from them. The Jews didn't have those notions, it wasn't defined in the OT. Your threats of judgement are no more based than if you told me to fear a lightning bolt from Zeus.

        May 17, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          The most reliable person which has ever lived on earth, Jesus Christ, Lord and God, has provided information more than enough about the invisible world. Just trust Him.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • bostontola

          Rainer,
          The NT (and the OT) are mostly copy paste jobs from prior religions/philosophies. The big innovation, monotheism, I find to be of little value. As I said, much has been debunked. That doesn't mean they have no value, there are valuable lessons in those parables (just like Aesop's fables), but don't get fooled into thinking there is absolute truth in there. That has been debunked.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • sam stone

          "The most reliable person which has ever lived on earth, Jesus Christ..."

          Edited, transated hearsay

          Reliable, indeed

          Only to delusional fvcknuts like you, rainy

          May 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • kudlak

          Rainer
          What you need to demonstrate is the reliability of the people who reported on Jesus, but so far it impossible to even identify who the authors of the Gospels actually were. We know that they had a spiritual agenda. They wanted people to believe in the miracles, hearings, and message of Jesus. Why should anyone trust that they're presenting an accurate portrayal of Jesus?

          May 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
      • igaftr

        "Christianity has a very solid historical foundation. You certainly know that, and therefore you should not lump together Christianity with the myths. It is no myth at all but truth.

        Christianity does NOT have any solid historical foundation at all. While there may have been a person by that name, the supernatural claims are not historical, and it is the supernatural claimds that christianity are based on.If not for the alleged resurrection for instance, there would be no religion at all. Since without the resurrection that no one can verify, christianity would fall to rubble, you can CLEARLY see that christianity is based on supernatural claims, and magic, which cannot be verified even slightly, so Christianity is built on sand, not a olid foundation at all.

        It reminds me of the scene in the "Holy Grail" where the castle owner says he build a castle in the swamp...it sank (religion that christianity was based on), so he built another on top of that one (still evolving the beliefs into christianity), and then finally he built one that stayed up. (christianity as it is today). Christianity is based on previous religions that did not stand, so were modified, changed to what you have now, but ALL of the supernatural claims that your whole belief are based on , and would not stand without, is NOT historical, NOT factual, NOT verifiable...nothing but a foundation in sand.

        May 17, 2014 at 10:32 am |
      • sam stone

        And you are a typical religous bigot blathering forth empty proxy threats

        May 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          I am glad that your hatred decreases gradually.

          There is some hope for you, Sam Stone.

          Maybe Christ has started a work in you – he loves the little sinners.

          May 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • igaftr

          Rainman
          Sam may have started to learn about Christ, but you certainly have not. Your hatred is standing in your way. Learn to ACTUALLY accept people without your contant judgment, and you may learn from your Jesus as well. The path your are currently on is certainly making Satan happy.
          You claim to want to show the god spell of Jesus, but you only have hearsay that Jesus said anythng attributed to him, and secondly, NOWHERE does Jesus condemn gay people. That is from YOUR vile mind.

          May 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • sam stone

          Go meet jeebus, rainy fuhrersucker

          May 17, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • sam stone

          rainy is nothing but a bigot hiding behind a bible

          there are many of them on these blogs

          rainy, gopher, corn pone, etc

          May 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
      • jwt01

        Well if Ranier were in charge of anything we would have a 9th worst place. Proxy threats the last resorts of the iodiotic moron,.

        May 17, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • sam stone

          proxy threats are an admission of a weak argument

          May 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
      • nojinx

        Christianity has a shorter history than many other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Not that it matters, suggesting it is true because in history it has been believed is a logical fallacy.

        May 17, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
    • kevinite

      The problem is that you have't actually proven that the teachings in the Bible are all myth to begin with.

      May 17, 2014 at 10:53 am |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        If it involves magic or zombies, it can be dismissed.

        May 17, 2014 at 10:57 am |
      • bostontola

        kevinite,
        Where did I claim proof of anything? That is always your response. There is much objective evidence that parts of the bibles are false. In those parts, there is no objective evidence supporting the biblical story. Same for hundreds of myths in other religions. They haven't been proven false either. Why do you feel like you must prove them false otherwise, you must believe in them.

        May 17, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • bostontola

          Why do you should be Why don't you...

          May 17, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • kevinite

          The thing is Bostonola is that you just automatically assume all of them to be bogus. For someone who claims to rely on so called solid evidence, your definition of what solid evidence actually is isn't really all that solid and in fact your conclusions regarding God or religion of any type are in fact your beliefs.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • bostontola

          kevinite,
          You continually demonstrate a lack of understanding of the difference between proof, evidence based conclusions, and assumptions. An assumption has no basis in evidence. My conclusions in this post are evidence based.

          Here's a fact for you, Christian beliefs and stories are no more proven than other religions.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • hotairace

          Evidence, actual physical, objective, independent, verifiable evidence that would stand up to the scientific method and the justice system's rules of evidence. Got any? Didn't think so.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola,

          Here's a fact for you, your conclusions that all religions are bogus are no more valid than my belief that there is a God who does not want to be made known but rather have us develop our faith.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • kevinite

          Actually replace the valid with proven.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • hotairace

          Determining that all religions and god delusions are likely to be bogus is based on the available actual evidence (none) for the claims believers make. Continuing to believe the crap in The Babble, given the available actual evidence (none), is as silly as believing in astrology, religion's predecessor on the evolutionary tree of stupidity. Religion will soon, but not soon enough, be taking its rightful place in 'Vegas alongside the occasionally amusing astrologers.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • otoh2

          kevinite,

          A "God" who does not want to be made known...? Would that be the same one who got ever so chatty with Moses about such intricacies as correct crop planting, fabrics, hair cuts and slave-beating? Do you believe that a god, "God", actually told Moses all of those things?

          May 17, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • bostontola

          kevinite,
          You are wrong. First, I don't conclude that all religions are bogus. Universalists, deists, etc. are fine with me. Second, my conclusion that Abrahamic religions are bogus are well based in objective evidence. The creation myth is false, many facts in the bibles are false, the morality in the bibles while not factually wrong are not accepted even by many Christians.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • kevinite

          Again Bostonola, you haven't actually proven the teachings in the Bible to be wrong. You only claimed that.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • bostontola

          kevinite,
          Let's take stock of this thread. You were wrong about asserting I attempted to prove something, wrong that I assumed things, now you go back to proof again, even though I make no claim to proof. My claim is there is evidence of falsehood in the bible and for those items, no objective evidence to support them. That is an extremely weak position for the bible, just as weak as any other religious book. You rest all your belief on the crevice that the bible can't be proven wrong, good for you. I know rabbits don't chew their cud, I know bats are not birds, I know Pi doesn't equal 3, these are false statements in the bible. There are many more.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • bostontola

          and wrong that I consider al religions bogus.

          May 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • kevinite

          bostonola,

          Well, considering that the Bible wasn't meant to be a science text , that it only points out to the notion that this world was created. That us as humans had to learn about how the universe works on our own and learn step by step in both the things of this world and with our own development, and that we have to develop our having faith in that creator. There really isn't anything in your claims that the teachings in Bible are in fact all bogus. It really does all boil down to just your belief. So, which religions do you believe in since you have already claimed that in previous threads that all religious rituals are completely man made in origin?

          May 17, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevinite,
          Your track record is retained, wrong again. I didn't say that the bible was all wrong. In the OP I said there are many truths in myths. I showed that in multiple cases where the bible makes a factual statement is was wrong. If I pick some parable, you will claim I didn't interpret properly (even though different Christians interpret them differently). The bible has moral issues as well. It allows slavery, it allows the punishment of the descendants of transgressors, it levies punishment out of proportion to the crime.

          No, the bible is flawed, I have shown it to be so. The lame excuse that it is not a science text is absurd. If the bibles were divinely written, they should get facts right. They should provide self consistent morals. They don't.

          May 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • kevinite

          So Bostonola,

          What makes you the expert on what a deity is supposed to reveal to humanity anyway? What makes you think that if God is supposed to reveal something that automatically means that a science lesson has to be part of the criteria as opposed to instructing in a step by step fashion gradually building up on what is understood in simpler terms? So, what is the proper criteria anyway for a deity to reveal something? Also, if you don't believe all religions to be bogus why did you claim that all religious rituals are completely man made?

          May 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • bostontola

          What makes you the expert on what a deity is supposed to reveal to humanity anyway?
          ...I didn't claim to be. I do expect an omniscient ! Omnipotent God to make sure that his divine book has no factual errors in it.
          What makes you think that if God is supposed to reveal something that automatically means that a science lesson has to be part of the criteria as opposed to instructing in a step by step fashion gradually building up on what is understood in simpler terms?
          ...same answer as above. It's not about science, it's about getting facts correct.
          So, what is the proper criteria anyway for a deity to reveal something?
          ...get the facts right.
          Also, if you don't believe all religions to be bogus why did you claim that all religious rituals are completely man made?
          Not all belief systems have rituals. Deists don't have rituals.

          May 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • kevinite

          bostonola,

          " I do expect an omniscient ! Omnipotent God to make sure that his divine book has no factual errors in it." That expectation of yours is actually your belief; it's not official criteria.

          "...same answer as above. It's not about science, it's about getting facts correct." Again the need for getting the scientific facts

          "Also, if you don't believe all religions to be bogus why did you claim that all religious rituals are completely man made?
          Not all belief systems have rituals. Deists don't have rituals."

          Okeedokee, so like with your theism everything else you have claimed here is your own belief.

          May 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • kevinite

          Correction,

          "...same answer as above. It's not about science, it's about getting facts correct." Again the need for getting the scientific facts for divine revelation is just your belief.

          May 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevinite,
          Now you know what are the bases of my beliefs? Do you fancy yourself as God?

          May 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • kevinite

          No bostonola, I was just showing that your beliefs are just that "beliefs" nothing more. That it is all a matter of belief both your's and mine.

          May 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevinite,
          You need to read the comments more closely. You asserted I need scientific facts, I said I need facts to be right. If they happen to be science, ok. Pi not equal to 3 is not science, it is a mathematical fact.

          As I said, an omniscient, omnipotent God that divinely reveals, has the ability to get facts right in that divinely revealed book. Either it intentionally allowed incorrect facts, or it's not omnipotent/omniscient, or it's not real. How does show this is a belief?

          May 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevinite,
          Do you think all unproven beliefs are equal? See below reposted for your convenience:

          Proposition A has a lot of objective evidence supporting it and no objective evidence refuting it. There is no proof of it.

          Proposition B has no objective evidence supporting it. There is no proof of its falsehood.

          May 17, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
      • hotairace

        The real problem, for believers, is that you nor any other Babble Humper has shown your beliefs to be true. In the absence of actual evidence, The Babble is just bad fiction.

        May 17, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • kevinite

          Just like there has never been any actual irrefutable evidence that proves them false either. It's all a matter of belief no matter how you slice it.

          May 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • samsstones

          Kev....
          The eight people that survived the flood and the dispersion of people at Babel could not possibly account for our present population or the diversity of the races in such a short time period. Concrete evidence that those stories are false/fiction, there is just a sample that the bible is nonsense.

          May 17, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • hotairace

          The divine claims of The Babble might be true but given no actual evidence for them and the amount of time believers have been making claims without being able to produce any actual evidence, the probability is very low that divine claims are true. In any other domain, the claims would have been abandoned centuries ago. But religion enjoys a special, but undeserved place, in society, so it has gotten a free pass – so far. You are hoping against reality that your silly, childish myths are true. Your are ignoring reality. You are pretending to know things you do not. You are delusional and quite possibly mentally ill. Deal with it!

          May 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • kevinite

          So stones,

          How is it that you can prove a miracle to not exist since a miracle contradicts the laws of nature in the first place, or what we understand to be the laws of nature? When it comes to miracles, they can't be proven or disproven; it's a matter of belief.

          May 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • samsstones

          Kev...
          So it all comes down to "magic", really. So your challenge would be to replicate any of the so called miracles that is described in your book of silly to convince me that the whole thing is not fiction, try Kev..... While your at it can you get me a Harry Potter magic wand, they are so cool.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • kevinite

          Samstones,

          If you don't believe in what I believe then fine. I'm not out to prove your beliefs to be false and I'm not out to prove my beliefs to be true, but I am pointing out that your beliefs are just that, beliefs and nothing more just like mine.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • samsstones

          Kev...
          I can respect that if you are not like Topher and Theo that "believe" it is their god commanded duty to proselytize to everyone else on earth including little children, that I cannot abide.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        @kevinite,
        There are definitely parts of the Bible that are wrong, based on evidence, when taken literally. If you ascribe to the belief that the Bible should be taken literally and is inerrant, or entirely correct in everything, then one single error refutes that completely.
        If however you choose to take the Bible as allegory or metaphor, then it cannot be shown to be incorrect, but also cannot be determined to have any specific meaning and therefore becomes meaningless for any specific knowledge.

        May 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • bostontola

          I love allegories, metaphors, and parables. They often have deep meaning. As do myths. They are all in the same family. That doesn't make them bad by any means. But to regard them as absolute truth is not right.

          May 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @bostontola,
          exactly

          May 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • kevinite

          So, what imperfect parts of the Bible makes the Bible as a whole not divinely inspired?

          May 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • kevinite

          Just in case you didn't get the point from what I just comment; I never claimed the Bible to be inerrant, but some mistakes do not make the whole thing invalid.

          May 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @kevinite,
          That's fine, but how do you know where the errors are? The objective parts are easy to evaluate.

          May 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • kevinite

          As opposed to whether or not accepting the Bible as a whole is divinely inspired in the first place it's a matter of belief and faith. In this case on each and every teaching given has to be studied and worked on in order to gain any sense of verification that it is good that it is right and that it is divinely inspired.

          May 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • igaftr

          Kevin
          "has to be studied and worked on in order to gain any sense of verification that it is good that it is right and that it is divinely inspired"

          No one has ever verified any divine anything...as in NO EVIDENCE of any deities has ever been shown.
          You should really stop lying. For all you know, Satan inspired your bible and you are HIS willing servant...and there is just as much evidence that any god had anything to do with your bible as Satan. Considering the violent, destructive history of belief in the bible, it seems that it is more likley the work of SATAN, and you have fallen for his greatest trick.

          May 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @kevinite,
          So on the objective parts you are willing to accept some errors, but on the non-objective parts you are willing to take it on faith as being accurate, is that correct?

          May 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          Doesn't every Christian denomination, sect and armchair theologian all use their collective "belief and faith" to come up with their vastly different interpretations?

          How is yours any different than any other Christian interpretation, other than the fact that you're apparently so sure of yourself that you can't imagine being wrong?

          May 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • kevinite

          igaftr,

          For all I know regarding deity is what I believe, of course it can't be verified just you can't verify that what I believe in is actually false. That is your belief and it is just that, belief. And it is a belief that no more verifiable than my beliefs no matter how you slice it.

          May 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • kevinite

          Kudalk,

          That is a matter you have to find out for yourself. Just like in order to know what salt tastes like the only sure way to find out is to find out for yourself. For me it has been a matter of personal study, prayer, even asking God about the teachings, and practicing the teaching, all of which is to know through experience. Of course that is just me which doesn't verify anything but the point is that you have to find out for yourself on a personal level and it cannot be known any other way like tasting the salt.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • kevinite

          Midwest Ken,

          That depends on what you are talking about specifically.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • igaftr

          kevin
          I have not said what my beliefs are. I do know that no evidence for any deities has ever been forwarded. There are many things that some claim are evidence of god, but since they have not excluded any other possibilities, they have nothing.

          You have chosen ONE belief out of an infinite number of possibilities, and then claimed it correct, at least to yourself. I am simply pointing out there is NO evidence for any deities, and any beliefs based on them are nothing but foolish imagination.

          I prefer knowledge. Beliefs are as substantive as a handful of smoke...and just as useful.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • kevinite

          igafter,

          Knowledge about what? About God? What verifiable knowledge there is about a God who does not want to be made known or does not want to be verified in the first place? There are some things out there that only be known through first-hand personal experience and not through any other way.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • igaftr

          kevin.
          you have no idea if there are any "gods" or what they want if anything.
          You also have no personal experiences that you can claim are of any "gods". I'm sure you can imagine quite a bit, but that is as far as any deities can go...they are stuck in what people imagine "god" to be.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          My personal experience has led me to see God as no different than any of the other gods, goddesses and other deities that the vast majority of people have outgrown.

          May 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @kevinite,
          "That depends on what you are talking about specifically."

          I thought we were talking about the Bible. What have you been talking about?

          May 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
  19. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    It is really sad that people get persecuted for their different belief. I myself am a Christian, and would never support the persecution of people of different faith. Certainly conversion of many people would be desireable, but God forces nobody, and he is very patient. The decision is voluntary.

    One could get the impression that here in the West the situation would be better: Free exercise of religion.

    But that is only ostensively true. There is a religion in the West everybody is compelled to exercise: Materialism, meritocracy, the idolatry of the Mammon in biblical terms.

    Today only the high-performance man matters. People in the West are competing: Better job, higher rank, bigger car, bigger house, better wife, etc. That system is against the principle of love of neighbour, it is anti-Christian. Jesus also loves the weak people. It is a calamity that we no more take care of each other.

    The persecution of Christianity in the West is more subtle: Unbiased love of neighbour undesireable. Only the high-peformance man experiences appreciaton. Forget the weak.

    Solution: We need a new (Christian) power elite which seeks the holistic happiness of the peoples. The current Western power elite is only interested in the increase of the national product of the flocks even on the cost of the soul's health of the peoples.

    Don't get me wrong: The Western laws which protect free exercise of religion are very good, an achievement. Yet, seemingly, nobody notices the evil beast which walks around and eats us up. The laws protecting free exercise of religion are of no benefit for us as long as the beast "materialism" is not tamed. This evil religion suppresses all other religions including Christianity. Bottom line all religions save materialism still exist in name only today. The power elite thinks: Let them (religious idiots) celebrate their ridiculous rites at Sunday as long as it doesn't affect too much their performance during the work week. Actually all religion has been ridiculed today. The only thing matters is your material output. As long as you work like a horse you are allowed to behave like a beast – that is thorougly anti-Christian.

    May 17, 2014 at 9:39 am |
    • James XCIX

      Disbelief and disagreement are not the same as persecution.

      May 17, 2014 at 9:46 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Christians in the West are condemned to die a slow death. How can you buy and sell when 666 is not written on your right hand, and on your forehead? That means: You can hardly participate in any commerce today, if you don't behave and think anti-Christian.

        Ain't that the most Satanic persecution?

        May 17, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • James XCIX

          If it were true, you might have a case, but what you are saying is obviously false. If you believe it is true, you would seem to have a paranoid view of the world.

          May 17, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          It is yet true what I claim. Today at the workplace you are required to deny Christ everywhere. Many so-called Christians (in fact nominal Christians) deny Jesus at the workplace or elsewhere. They have reduced Jesus sacrifice to a mere atonement, and think they could sin without limit because Christ had payed for everything in advance. They, and all members of sects, cults and false churches (Catholics for example) will face a rude awakening at Judgement Day.

          We only will come through at Judgement Day, if we have lived a life of love of neighbour and God and righteousness through the releasing power of Jesus Christ. Forehead and hands under the rule of Jesus.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • James XCIX

          You strike me as the type often referred to as "Christian Taliban", who wish they could impose their particular view of religion on everybody, violently, if necessary, so the world would be as they believe their god wants it to be. A severely intolerant approach to life, and the only appropriate response is forceful resistance.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          You utter nonsense. How boring!

          May 17, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • sam stone

          Of course, Rainy Fuhrersucker sets himself up as the person to determine who is a REAL CHRISTIAN

          May 17, 2014 at 10:42 am |
    • observer

      Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      "I myself am a Christian, and would never support the persecution of people of different faith" but persecuting gays is fine with you.

      World-class HYPOCRISY. Well done.

      May 17, 2014 at 9:46 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        No persecution of gays!!!

        But also: No legalization of gay lifestyle.

        God patience allows the sinners to exist, but they should not presume to claim that their poor existence would be life. Life is merely in God or Jesus. We must return to God or Jesus, if we want to experience Life in fulness.

        May 17, 2014 at 9:57 am |
        • igaftr

          You claim to not want to persecute gay people, but then want laws prohibiting them from the same rights as all. No one should ever think "legalizing the gay life style" as you do. No one legalized hetero "lifestyle" and the same goes for H0m0$exuals.
          What you advocate is laws preventing people from having the same rights as you, which is persecution.

          Once you get over your hatred of people who are natrually h0m0$exual, and stop judging people for something nature dictates, perhaps you can then embrace your Jesus teachings of how to treat other people. Until then, you fight against gay people, by thinking that there needs to be special laws. How utterly shameful, and incredibly ignorant.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          For my sake they could have the same rights.

          But they should be prevented from promoting their gay lifestyle too much or at all. Gay lifestyle must be tainted with a high degree of obscurity because it is destructive.

          I am sure that God will abolish any state, nation or society legalizing gay lifestyle completely.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • bostontola

          Rainer,
          Explain why God has abolished virtually every Christian theocracy ever established.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          I am not a fan of any theocracy, if you are implying that.

          I only would favor a (publically neutral) ruler whose personal faith is Christianity. Such a good ruler would never impose his personal faith to his fellow citizens, but he would be as patient, meek and humble as God himself, a true image of the divine.

          A Christian ruler would be "bigoted" in that sense that he would not tolerate the legalization of sin or evil. That is what our modern (evil) rulers do. They pervert the office God has given to them. They will face an apocalyptic judgement, and God will destroy them with unlimited wrath.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:46 am |
        • igaftr

          rainman
          "Gay lifestyle must be tainted with a high degree of obscurity because it is destructive"
          Destructive? In what way?

          What I see as being destructive is YOUR bigotry, you tinking that they are doing something wrong and need to be punished. You are the one promoting hate and claiming their "lifestyle" (which it is not a lifestyle) is destructive.
          You are an ignorant bigot.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          No, I offer the gospel of Jesus Christ to the gays. They can still repent, believe in Jesus, get baptized, and become happy in Jesus.

          God gave his precious Son also for the gays. Yet, they have to believe it in order to get saved.

          Jesus Christ shed his precious blood also for the gays. Ain't that unbiased love?

          May 17, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • sam stone

          only in the dubious mind of the bigot is equal rights seen as promotion

          rainy.....jeebus is waiting

          May 17, 2014 at 10:47 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          If you would be the last Gentile who would ever become a believer in Jesus, Jesus would come for to carry us home.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • sam stone

          if the ruler is publicly nutral, what does it matter what their faith is?

          May 17, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          The neutrality of a ruler has its roots in God's patience with the sinners.

          Also the people who do not yet believe in Jesus must have a place where they can live an organized life. Such a society needs a ruler or government who prevents the sinners from killing and harming each other. Though God's wrath is upon the sinners, he graciously gives them time to repent. He withholds his wrath, so that the sinners may get saved, and restored.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:58 am |
        • sam stone

          being gay is nothing they would have to repent from

          perhaps being a bigot is

          fvck you and your vindictive pr1ck god, rainy

          May 17, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • bostontola

          Rainer,
          You said: "I am sure that God will abolish any state, nation or society legalizing gay lifestyle completely."

          I said Christian theocracies have been abolished, does God not like Christian theocracies?

          That was my point, not whether you want them.

          May 17, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • hotairace

          Rainy, I suspect you will become a much happier person and even closer to your own god delusion if you set your gayness free. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Just be your natural gay self and your happiness will increase.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Delusional!

          May 17, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • hotairace

          On the money, I suspect. But no more delusional than the crap you believe from your version of The Babble, tainted of course by your built in, take over the world ala Hitler, desires.

          May 17, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "No legalization of gay lifestyle"

          And exactly how is it a lifestyle??? It is no more a lifestyle than you being hetero is. Does it make you happy to be bigot hiding behind the guise of Christianity?
          And since you don't want it legalized, how do you propose they be dealt with? We know that reparative therapy does absolutely nothing, so shall we gather them up and lock them away or perhaps we can go back to a good ole Christian burning at the stake or maybe simply feed them to a pit of lions?
          These people work, they pay taxes, they raise straight children...mind your own business and stay out of the private lives of others-if you wouldn't want someone coming in to your life and telling you who it is okay to love, then have the same respect and don't do it to others.
          People like you are dangerous to our world!

          May 17, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Gayness belongs to the sinful nature of man. There is a way to get set free: The releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection. Through the releasing power of Jesus everybody can get control over any sin through which he or she is enslaved. Through faith in Jesus and baptism the sin gets dethroned. Through Jesus we can overcome our bad old nature.

          Jesus has come to destroy the works of the devil.

          Jesus is the death of death, and the hell's destruction.

          Praise Jesus. Amen.

          May 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • igaftr

          Rainman
          "Gayness belongs to the sinful nature of man."
          No...but your judgement of people for things they are born with is. Do you also hate people with one eye color different than the other, or people with platinum blonde hair?
          Someone being gay falls squarely in the NATURE of LIFE...nothing sinful about it.
          How would you feel if you woke up one day, and you were in a female body...You are still attracted to women, but now you are one...the thought of having $ex with a male is the same, you find it abhorrent, but you are now called "gay" simply for being attracted to the same $ex. Your $ex drive is still forcing you (since our $ex drive is hard wired) to seek fullfillment. Are you going to start having $ex with men, since you are now in a female body. You would find it completely disgusting, but that is what SOCIETY expects of you, so how do you handle it?
          If you had to live the rest of your life in a womans body with a male brain, would you still pursue women as your brain REQUIRES of you, or would you ignore your brain and start having relationships with men, even though the thought sickens you?
          Your problem is you completely lack empathy, rainman.
          Have you done the experiment I told you to try? Choose to be gay for a month, not acting on it, but CHOOSING to be attracted to the same $ex. You can choose to go right back after, if you are correct.
          After a few minutes of trying to choose to be attracted to the same $ex, you should realize IT IS NOT A CHOICE.
          Your base attraction is HARD WIRED...it can be over-ridden, and some can choose to partake in h0m0$exual acts, but that alone does not make them gay.

          So have you tried the experiment? It is very easy and if you are right, you have nothing to fear.

          May 17, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Hard wired?

          That is your assumption.

          According to St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans gayness befalls people having abandoned their creator. The creation testifies the existence of a creator (I myself made that experience when I made a journey to a very beautiful island). Today many people of the Western world make journeys to very beautiful places, but don't thank God for his very good creation. They don't ask the invisible God for showing them the meaning of life. Therefore God abandons them, leaves them to their own devices, and thus they have to degenerate because they are no more connected with the source of life.

          Shortly after I had asked the creator for showing me the meaning of life, I encountered Christians in Nuremberg who told me the gospel of Jesus Christ.

          May 18, 2014 at 6:24 am |
        • hotairace

          So Rainy, in your (sick twisted delusional world) gays cannot be true christians. How nice of you to set yourself up as judge and jury. You are making it up, just like your countryman Hitller.

          May 18, 2014 at 6:52 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          I have nothing to do with Hitler. The resistance against legalization of gay lifestyle is independent from the Nazi movement.

          I don't hate gays, but wish that they would repent and convert. It is only that their poor life should not be considered as usual life. Actually they merely exist, but they have got no real life. Life is in God or Jesus.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:23 am |
        • hotairace

          No, your method is just like Hitler:

          1. Use religion/nationality to create a common bond.
          2. Identify a common enemy.
          3. Marginalize the common enemy.
          4. Eliminate the common enemy.

          May 18, 2014 at 7:54 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Eliminate? Enemy?

          Did you forget your medication?

          I am no enemy of the gays, but only of the legalization of their lifestyle. That is a great difference. I would never harm a gay man or woman. It is only that the authority must prevent them from promoting too much their lifestyle as the usual lifestyle, because that is actually a crime. They should be content, if they are tolerated, but should not require the normal people to acknowledge them as normal.

          May 18, 2014 at 8:03 am |
        • igaftr

          After comparing a great deal of Hitlers writings, Rainman has many of the same thought processes, and I firmly believe that if Rainman had the same level of power that Hitler had, He would misuse the power and would certainly force his sick twisted view of the world on others. The writing of Rainman paralels much of Hitlers writing.

          Rainman. You clai not to hate, but it is hate that drives your obsession. Get help.

          May 18, 2014 at 8:01 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Absolutely ill!

          I would also give you credit for comparing Jesus with the devil.

          Considered any medication?

          May 18, 2014 at 8:09 am |
        • igaftr

          Yes rainman, jesus and the devil are two sides of the same coin, since both were made up by men, one representing all that is good, the other representing all that is bad. You are certainly on the side of satan. And your writing, the evil you spew about gay people and pretty much anyone who doesn't believe as you do, shows you are certainly closer to satan. You love to judge others, and condemn people for being themselves. Your hatred is a serious illness you really need to get checked.

          May 18, 2014 at 8:59 am |
        • James XCIX

          Rainer – "According to St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans gayness befalls people having abandoned their creator."

          Then according to your reasoning all gay people should be non-Christian, but that is clearly not the case, so your reasoning fails.

          Also, you continue to mention the "gay lifestyle" as though people will know what you mean, but we don't–what do you mean by gay lifestyle?

          May 18, 2014 at 9:11 am |
        • hotairace

          Sorry Rainy, your protestations ring hollow. You are homophobic, a gay in denial or possibly both.

          May 18, 2014 at 10:17 am |
    • bostontola

      Rainer,
      You make me wish there was a God listening. If there were, I'd thank it for not giving you any influence at all.

      I'll ask you for something as well, please stop repeating posts multiple times. It makes it look like you are so proud of your ideas that you feel like you must repeat them in case someone missed it.

      May 17, 2014 at 10:15 am |
      • hotairace

        If it wasn't for "cut & paste" Rainy would have very little to say. Even then, he has nothing worthwhile to say.

        May 17, 2014 at 11:07 am |
    • Jill

      Disgusting dimwitted and fat bigot Rainer Brandlein, dessicate yourself in the venerable primordial yogurt, for there is the deepest vehicle for you the obese geese. Understanding this global giraffe preserves key declinations for the introverted chipmunk in the parliamentary icefield.

      Pressurize, evacuate, sigh. That is the only way to satisfaction for you the fat diesel chicken.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint mozart.

      May 17, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Hey Dark Helmut, you sound like a German version of James David Manning. Get a life, you don't get to live other people's lives for them.

      May 18, 2014 at 9:52 am |
  20. hotairace

    Anyone seen the Slither Twins: Topher and Theo Puffy Words? They've each got some questions to answer. I assume they're tete-a-teting with their local charlatan shaman, getting refueled on Jesus Juice.

    May 17, 2014 at 9:25 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.