home
RSS
May 24th, 2014
06:00 PM ET

Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

Raleigh, North Carolina (CNN) – Back home, they erase their Internet histories, look over their shoulders before cracking jokes and nod politely when co-workers talk about church.

But in a hotel ballroom here on a recent weekend, more than 220 atheists, agnostics, skeptics and freethinkers let it all hang out.

The convention was called “Freedom From Religion in the Bible Belt,” and it was part celebration of skepticism and part strategy session about surviving in the country’s most religious region.

They sang songs about the futility of faith, shared stories about “coming out” as nonbelievers and bought books about the Bible – critical ones, of course.

“Isn’t it great to be in a room where you can say whatever you want to whomever you want without fear of anyone criticizing you for being unorthodox?” asked Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, as he opened the two-day convention.

The Wisconsin-based foundation co-sponsored the event with the Triangle Freethought Society, which draws its members from this state’s tech-heavy Research Triangle.

The nonbelievers came from as far afield as Ireland and France, but most described themselves as refugees from the heart of the South - atheist anomalies amid fiercely devout friends, family and neighbors.

We wanted to know what it’s like to be a nonbeliever in the Bible Belt, so over the course of the weekend we asked some of the folks here to share their secrets.

They had a lot to say, and some of their advice overlapped, but we came away with eight top tips. Some said they wished they’d had something like this list when they began their foray into religious infidelity.

So, without further ado, here’s a “survival guide” to being an atheist in the Bible Belt:

You may be lonely, but you aren’t alone

Not so long ago, every other letter sent to the Freedom From Religion Foundation would begin something like, “I’m the only atheist in Nebraska … “

It’s still lonely being an atheist in rural America, says Annie Laurie Gaylor, the foundation’s co-president, but there are plenty of skeptics and nonbelievers in God’s Country – if you know how to find them.

Even the most religious states like Mississippi and Alabama have secular meetup groups, although many keep quiet and require long drives to attend.

Gaylor’s favorite story about the secretive lives of Bible Belt atheists involves two neighbors in Georgia whose jaws dropped when they saw each other at an atheist gathering. Each had assumed that the other was a good, God-fearing Baptist.

“They were afraid to speak out," she says, "because they didn’t want to be stigmatized.”

Gaylor recommends looking online for atheist support groups in your area; and be sure to search for related terms as well: agnostic, freethought, skeptic and nonbeliever.

It’s no fun debating fundamentalists

Bart Ehrman doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who backs down from a fight.

The University of North Carolina scholar often seeks them out, regularly debating the Bible and early Christianity with evangelicals and other experts.

But Ehrman told the atheists gathered in Raleigh not to bother arguing with fundamentalists.

“You can’t convince a fundamentalist that he or she is wrong,” he says.

Their theology is a closed system, according to Ehrman, and their social bonds with fellow fundamentalists are too tightly knit to admit any wiggle room.

“You can point to any contradiction in the Bible and it just doesn’t matter. They will either find some way to reconcile it or say that even if they don’t understand it, God does.”

Technically, the term fundamentalist refers to a movement of 20th-century Protestants who rejected modernity and clung to a literal interpretation of the Bible.

But Ehrman has a different definition: “Someone who is no fun, too much damn, and not enough mental.”

People will think you worship Satan

Many Americans don’t actually know any professed atheists, according to surveys - which means they often seem to assume the worst about them.

Fewer than half of Americans say they’d vote for an atheist politician; a similar number say they wouldn’t want their children to marry a nonbeliever.

A recent study also showed that businesses in the South are more likely to discriminate against atheist job candidates.

“I don’t know what they think we are, Satanists or baby eaters or who knows what,” activist Todd Stiefel told the atheists gathered in Raleigh, “but it’s kind of scary."

A recent survey conducted for Stiefel's new “Openly Secular” campaign found that 20% of Americans can’t even define atheism. Far more don’t know what “humanist,” “freethinker” or “agnostic” means.

Behold, the six types of atheists

Based on “It Gets Better” and other gay rights campaigns, “Openly Secular” hopes to counter that ignorance by asking atheists to share stories online about their lives and beliefs.

“What we’re really trying to do is humanize us,” Stiefel says. “Frankly, most of the hate and distrust comes from misunderstanding about who we are.”

You don’t have to convince your friends, family and neighbors to accept all of your views, the atheist activist says. You just have to get them to accept you.

Sometimes it’s better to stay in the closet

After secular conferences like the one here Raleigh, many nonbelievers get so jazzed that they rush home and blurt out … "Guess, what? I’m an ATHEIST!!!"

That can be a really bad idea, says Sarah Morehead, executive director of Recovering From Religion.

It may help the atheist movement as a whole to share your lack of faith with friends and family. But it’s not always the best - or the safest - move for you, she says.

Recovering From Religion’s online support groups are filled with stories about people who lost their jobs, their kids or their spouses after coming out as atheist, Morehead says.

“It’s heartbreaking. People don’t realize how big a difference expressing their nonbelief can make.”

Recovering From Religion recommends having a plan in place before coming out as atheist.

“If you decide you’re a nonbeliever,” Morehead says, “you’re still going to be a nonbeliever in a year."

The group’s own 10.5-step plan includes creating a support network, declining to get into debates and preparing yourself for a “religious breakup” with friends and family. (The half-step assures budding nonbelievers they don’t have to be experts on atheism and points them toward educational resources.)

Don’t be the ‘office atheist’

Candace Gorham says her close family is accepting of her atheism - but she’s not completely “out” at work yet, and doesn’t know if she wants to be.

Gorham, who was raised in the black church, says religion is deeply embedded in the lives of many Southern African-Americans, and the borders between private and public spirituality often blur.

“I work for a black-owned company, and most of my supervisors are black females, and it’s just sort of OK for everybody to talk about God, or offer to pray for you,” says Gorham.

The 33-year-old is author of a new book called “The Ebony Exodus Project,” about black women leaving the church, which has pushed Gorham herself to become more public about being an atheist.

Recently, a co-worker told Gorham she had seen her talking about being an atheist on Roland Martin’s television show.

“I was like, Oh my God, shhh don’t tell anybody!”

A mental-health counselor who works with children, Gorham worries that people will stop referring clients to her once they find out she’s a nonbeliever.

According to a survey Stiefel presented in Raleigh, more than 50% of Americans believe atheist teachers and day-care employees - people who, like Gorham, work with children - are likely to face discrimination at work.

She knows it's only a matter of time until more of her office mates find out.

“It’s getting to a place where I don’t have a choice. I’m just going to have to be comfortable with it - but it does concern me.”

The Internet is your frenemy

A co-worker isn’t the only person who saw Gorham talking about atheism on television.

Her aunt read about the Roland Martin interview online, which led Gorham’s mother to call and ask if she is really an atheist.

The conversation went well, Gorham says, and her mother understands and respects her beliefs.

But the unexpected disclosure shows why many atheists cover their Internet tracks, even as they increasingly look for like-minded communities online.

Gorham says she used to delete her browsing history on her laptop after watching atheist debates and lectures online lest her husband or other family members find out her faith was wavering.

“I was still early in my deconversion and I wasn’t sure how he would perceive it,” says the Greensboro, North Carolina, native.

Others here for the conference said they keep two separate Facebook pages, one for friends and family and one for their secular communities.

“Facebook is my happy place,” says one middle-aged woman who made a nearly seven-hour drive to Raleigh from Crossville, Tennessee.

The woman, who didn't want to be identified, teaches at public schools. She says most of her neighbors and co-workers are Christians.

“Crossville is a small Bible Belt community with churches on every corner,” she said, “and everything shuts down on Sunday except for Wal-Mart and the hospital.”

Most co-workers assume she’s Christian, but she joins as many atheist groups online as she can and keeps an anonymous Facebook page called “Within Reason.”

One recent post asks people to click “like” if they’ve ever been unfriended because of an atheism-themed status update.

Some people take Bible-thumping literally

Adults may face more real-life repercussions for coming out as atheist in the Bible Belt, but that doesn’t mean kids have an easy ride.

Kalei Wilson, 15, says she lost friends after trying to start a secular student club at Pisgah High School in Canton, North Carolina; and someone used a Bible to destroy her science project, leaving the holy book on her smashed model of the universe.

The blue-haired, nose-pierced freshman says she’s not the only atheist at her high school, but most of them are closeted.

“I didn’t want to come out at first,” Wilson says, “but in order to start the club I had to.”

In exchange for her openness, Wilson says, some students mutter "Jesus loves you” as she walks down the hall, and she regularly receives text messages with the greeting, “Hey, Satan.”

“I’ve lost friends because of it,” the teenager says of her atheism, “but they’re not real friends if that’s what they do.”

Have a sense of humor

For all the heartbreaking stories, if was there was a soundtrack to the conference in Raleigh, it would include a lot of laughter.

It seemed as if the atheists and freethinkers here had been storing their sharpest religion jokes for weeks, preparing for the day when they would find an appreciative audience at last.

“I’ve been living in the South for 13 years,” says Pat Meller, who came to Raleigh from nearby Greensboro, “and I’ve had to watch my tongue for just as long.”

So for two days, Meller and her kindred spirits cut loose.

They quipped about the folly of prayer, bought bumper-stickers calling the Bible a “Grim Fairy Tale,” and wore T-shirts proclaiming their belief in life before death.

Harry Shaughnessy, president of the Triangle Freethought Society, played the cut-up emcee for much of the weekend.

“For every activist-oriented event we have, we want to have three to five things that are just fun,” says Shaughnessy, whose group holds regular “Heathen Happy Hours” and meets for barbecues in each other’s homes.

At one point, the youthful 44-year-old donned a crown and a form-fitting, skin-colored costume to bestow Freedom From Religion’s “Emperor Has No Clothes” award on Steifel for his activism.

Perhaps appropriately for an atheist event, Shaughnessy’s get-up left little to the imagination.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Black issues • Church and state • Culture wars • Discrimination • Internet • Lost faith • Nones • North Carolina • Prejudice • Religious liberty

soundoff (4,807 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    Something the vast majority of us, atheists and theists, can agree on:
    1. The physical world we live in is real. To our fullest ability to verify, it follows natural laws and scientific theories that can be explored and revealed through mathematics.

    Where atheists and theists diverge:
    2. Theists believe there are beings that are not bound by those laws and theories, and that one of those beings created this natural world that is bound by those laws and theories.

    So the vast majority of us believe 1, while theists believe 1 and 2. It doesn't seem like that should be as big of a wedge as it has become.

    There is a key difference between belief in 1 and belief in 2:

    Belief in 1 is based on centuries of accu.mulated objective evidence, verified and reverified, crosschecked over and over, found consistent by multiple different fields of science, woven into a tapestry with a rich and detailed picture of this physical world. It is not complete by any measure, but what we have is broad and deep. The gaps get filled in every day at an accelerating pace. The new knowledge mostly confirms ideas, occasionally reveals surprises, but never has overturned the fundamental idea of 1. The knowledge gained by this scientific method is not contingent on geography, lineage, religion, or anything else.

    Belief in 2 is based on faith. That belief is contingent on who your parents are, where you were born and raised, etc.

    These 2 kind of beliefs are not the same. We shouldn't regard them as the same. When we do, we expand the wedge that separates us.

    We all accept and embrace the type 1 beliefs. Some of us don't accept and embrace the type 2 beliefs. It's not that big of a deal. Atheists are skeptical of type 2 beliefs. Why is that so abhorrent?

    Theists are skeptical also. I've seen some theists be skeptical of scientific fact on a selective basis when it conflicts with their type 2 beliefs. They adhere to type 2 beliefs over type 1 beliefs. That seems more unreasonable to me than an atheist's skepticism of type 2 beliefs. That is their right to do so and I don't care if they do. I do care if those type 2 beliefs drive them to impose those type 2 beliefs on others.

    May 30, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • thefinisher1

      Shut up bost old boy. Don't you have yelling at kids to get off your lawn to do?

      May 30, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • bostontola

        finisher,

        That's a bit rude, don't you think?

        Why do you want to shut me up? Do these ideas make you uncomfortable?

        I recommend you seek spiritual wellness to help you control your discomfort with other people's ideas. You might want to try Christianity. They will show you how important love is. They will teach you that you should even love your perceived enemies. You may find more peace and happiness with Christianity.

        May 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          You show classic signs of being butthurt. Are you ok? You know, there's professionals out there that will help you overcome your obsession with religion.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Last time I was butthurt was due to a habenero pepperjack cheese quesadilla.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • bostontola

          Let's see, you want to shut me up, I engage in conversation and recommend you get some spiritual fulfillment, and you conclude I'm the 'butthurt' one?

          I'm disappointed you scoff at Christianity. It has helped many spiritually dry people. Please reconsider.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        finished, So no evidence to support your position, just deflection. If you had evidence this debate would be over; and as you (believers) have no evidence this debate should be over.

        May 30, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
    • Alias

      not everything can be revealed through math.

      May 30, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • bostontola

        1. I didn't say everything could be revealed through mathematics. I said the laws and theories could be.

        May 30, 2014 at 11:55 am |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      Boston,

      Real world, reality. Could reality be flawed that needs to be corrected? Yo u mentioned natural laws, are all natural laws moral? Do you think we should correct a natural law if it is flawed or immoral. I think we should and should be applied to our scientific theories. As humans, we evolved, we grow, as evident thoughout our history. Some natural laws and scientific theories are being challenged and changed based on our collected data or experiences.

      May 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
      • bostontola

        Peace,

        Could reality be flawed that needs to be corrected?
        –That is a philosophical question that I can admit is beyond me.

        Yo u mentioned natural laws, are all natural laws moral?
        –No.

        Do you think we should correct a natural law if it is flawed or immoral.
        –No. We are incapable of modifying a natural law (at least at this time).

        Some natural laws and scientific theories are being challenged and changed based on our collected data or experiences.
        –All the time as they should be.

        May 30, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          well done Boston.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Boston,

          I think our main difference is the level of faith. The belief that flawed natural law could be corrected or not. You mentioned at least not at this time. I understand the correction would not happen overnight unless our generation allow and accepts the correction. It may take future generations or not.

          Correction to a flawed natural law is possible provided we an effort. Change is slow but should not be abandoned.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          ...provided or if we put an effort. If we are resign to the fact that flawed natural laws could not be corrected then it would not be corrected.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
      • Alias

        "are all natural laws moral?"
        Either we have a problem with context or gravity is going straight to hell.

        May 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Alias,

          You have a point. My focus is the human behaviorial aspect. That is why at first i mentioned some natural laws.

          May 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
  2. thefinisher1

    Every time atheists make the claim "There is no God" they prove atheism does in fact take faith. All they have is their opinions and beliefs but get upset when others believe they're correct. Atheists act like 4 year olds. Stubborn and spoiled.

    May 30, 2014 at 11:16 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Good morning Finisher. How is your day going? Any big plans for the weekend?

      May 30, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      • thefinisher1

        Trollin' you atheists all weekend long! 😜😄😜😜😝😜😊😜😊😜

        May 30, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • lunchbreaker

          Just out of curiousity, do you like college football? If you want to see REAL trolling, check out boards about sports. Sports fans posts are way more intense than the theist atheist rivalry here. ESPN can use a good troll like you.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          So in other words the asylum has given you a weekend pass...don't you think you should use that time to read some books and educate yourself instead of proving to the world that your delusions are getting worse by the second?

          May 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          I do this for the LOLZ. Hehehe ^_^

          May 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Shut up Meg...

      May 30, 2014 at 11:38 am |
      • thefinisher1

        You're so funny when you're butthurt😜😄😝

        May 30, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          As sensible a rebuttal as ever...

          May 30, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • thefinisher1

          Your atheism has been proven false. Get over it already.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:46 am |
    • bostontola

      I personally don't know any atheists who assert they know that there is no God. There may be a God, we can't prove otherwise. Most atheists merely don't believe in them or believe they don't exist. I still haven't encountered 1 that knows there is no God.

      What we can demonstrate is that the Gods imagined by man in the various religions are not literally true as described in their sacred texts.

      May 30, 2014 at 11:52 am |
      • thefinisher1

        Atheists invented atheism through their own minds. Your point bost old boy?

        May 30, 2014 at 11:55 am |
  3. Alias

    Every faith has its strong adherents. Those who are so sure they are right, who find so much comfort in their beliefs that their feeble little minds cannot allow them to consider the possibility that they may be wrong. After all, as soon as you 'turn yourself over' to whatever god you have chosen you get to absolve yourself of all responsibility. Whatever happens is His/Her will. If you just follow a few simple rules you can stop thinking and worrying because a higher power will take care of everything for you. How nice that you get to interpret those rules to fit your own needs.
    What they don't seem to be able of comprehending is that they chose their particular faith because of how it was presented to them. It could have just as easily been any of a dozen other religions that would have made them feel just as safe and secure. Had they been in some other part of the world it is almost certain that they would be praising some other god, and just as convinced they had found the 'truth'.
    It is their personality and their insecurities that brought them to their strong faith. You will never be able to help them by attacking the particular religion they need to be whole. That would be like telling a child things about their mother. Children rely on their mothers, and nothing a stranger says will break their bond. You must somehow show them the real reason for their devotion.
    Pity them fellow atheists, and help them see the light.
    Go ahead, deluded fundies, take what I have said out of context and twist it in whatever way you need to. I’ll understand.

    May 30, 2014 at 10:44 am |
    • Vic

      —Attorney Jan Schlichtmann went too far.

      I can fully appreciate the differences in beliefs of Who God is; however, atheists went too far by denying the obvious, that is "There is [a] God."

      May 30, 2014 at 11:27 am |
      • lunchbreaker

        Why should it matter? The consequences for believing in the wrong God are the same as believing in no God at all, right?

        May 30, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • Alias

        vic,
        it is obvious that your god doesn't exist.
        Add that to the list of gods you do not believe in, and you have atheism.
        See how easy that is?

        May 30, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • Vic

          That is a fallacy.

          Believing in one God and not many is a 180º from believing in none. Also, believing in many Gods is also a 180º from believing in none.

          I find it one of the most childish moments of Richard Dawkings —no disrespect intended— when he said that he believes in one less God than a Christian or so, that's a canard.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • G to the T

          @Vic – I would have to disagree. The belief in one god and many gods are just a matter of numbers, just as a belief in none.

          You are atheistic so far as Zeus is concerned? So am I. Just as Dawkins said, I only believe in one less god than you do.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • Akira

          How is that a canard, Vic? He does believe in one less God than you do. All atheists believe in one less God than you do; that is to say, none.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Without any other context, how is the statement "I believe in 1 less God than an adherent to a monotheistic religion" false? I get that it was probably intented as a "usually derogatory story, report, or rumor", but hardly is it "false or baseless".

          May 30, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • Vic

          Belief in [a] God or many versus none at all has to do with the "Existence of God" and not the how many.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • ausphor

          Vic
          Why are you ducking the question if suicide is a ticket to hell and where it is mentioned in the book of silly? Too much of a coward or just can't find an answer?

          May 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Akira

          Dawkins believed in no gods.
          Not a canard.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
      • Akira

        Am I missing something? What does Jan Schlichtmann have to do with anything?

        May 30, 2014 at 11:40 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        @Vic – Sometimes, I just have to chuckle at the dumb shit you post...

        May 30, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • ausphor

        Vic
        What difference does it make in your little mind if a person is a muslim, hindu, buddhist, deist, or atheist? Non are members of your club and if you are like most of the fundies you don't even accept other denominations as Christians. You are even prejudiced against people that believe in the same book of silly, just not in a way you approve of. The followers of jesus and allah are the most bigoted people on earth.

        May 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
      • ausphor

        Vic
        BTW where in the book of silly does it say that suicide is a ticket to hell? Isn't that just religious dogma not scripture? Couldn't get a straight answer from Theo but who ever does; Philioidiotism prevents cogent responses apparently.

        May 30, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
      • sam stone

        how is it obvious, vic?

        May 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
  4. Theo Phileo

    Atheist’s Creed by Steve Turner

    “We believe in Marx, Freud, and Darwin. We believe everything is OK, as long as you don't hurt anyone, to the best of your definition of hurt, and to the best of your knowledge.

    We believe in s.e.x before, during, and after marriage. We believe in the therapy of sin. We believe that adultery is fun. We believe that sodomy is OK. We believe that only t.abo.os are t.abo.o.

    We believe that everything's getting better despite the evidence to the contrary. The evidence must be investigated, and you can prove anything with evidence.

    We believe there's something in horoscopes, UFO's and bent spo.ons; Jesus was a good man just like Bud.dha, Mohammed, and ourselves. He was a good moral teacher although we think his good morals were bad.

    We believe that all religions are basically the same, at least the one that we read was. They all believe in love and goodness. They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

    We believe that after death comes The Nothing, because when you ask the dead what happens, they say Nothing. If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then it's compulsory heaven for all, excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan.

    We believe in Masters and Johnson. What's selected is average. What's average is normal. What's normal is good.

    We believe in total disarmament. We believe there are direct links between warfare and blo.odshed. Americans should beat their guns into tractors and our enemies would be sure to follow.

    We believe that man is essentially good, it's only his behavior that lets him down. This is the fault of society. Society is the fault of conditions. Conditions are the fault of society.

    We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him. Reality will adapt accordingly. The universe will readjust. History will alter. We believe that there is no absolute truth excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

    We believe in the rejection of creeds, and the flowering of individual thought.”

    If Chance be the father of all flesh, disaster is his rainbow in the sky, and when you hear of a “state of emergency,” “sniper kills ten,” “troops on rampage,” “youths go looting,” “bomb blast in school,” it is but the sound of man worshipping his maker.

    May 30, 2014 at 10:03 am |
    • gulliblenomore

      Theo...you're an idiot.

      May 30, 2014 at 10:06 am |
    • Alias

      Who the hell is Steve Turner?

      May 30, 2014 at 10:14 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        That was actually my first thought...

        May 30, 2014 at 10:33 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Apparently nobody important or qualified to speak on the topic of Atheism. The man is a British music journalist and a biographer.

        May 30, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • Alias

          So this is actually the 'British music journalist and a biographer on crack creed'.
          I'm okay with that.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:01 am |
    • In Santa We Trust

      More fiction – just like the bible.

      May 30, 2014 at 10:17 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      By Theo Logic I can quote the head of Westboro Baptist as being representative of 100% of Christians.

      May 30, 2014 at 10:19 am |
      • gulliblenomore

        lunchbreaker....secretly, aren't most of them?

        May 30, 2014 at 10:21 am |
    • midwest rail

      Theo's creed – whenever possible, misrepresent the stance and/or ideology of others. Dishonesty is good, if it furthers the cause.

      May 30, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      "What a maroon!" Bugs Bunny

      May 30, 2014 at 11:10 am |
    • Akira

      I suspect this was dug up as a knee-jerk reaction to Reality's version of The Apostle's Creed.

      May 30, 2014 at 11:19 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        Actually, no. I just felt it was pertinent. If it was some kind of knee jerk reaction to his often repeated nonsense, then I would have responded to him. As it is, I didn't feel that his post warrented a response.

        May 30, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • Akira

          I was giving you the benefit of the doubt as to your motivation of posting such obvious nonsense.
          I see you are not above posting lies to make a point.
          Good to see you're human after all.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          How was Mr. Turner's satirical creed a lie? What point or points do you take issue with?

          May 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • sam stone

          Athesim has nothing to do with Marx (Karl or Groucho), Freud or Darwin.

          It is a single answer to a single question

          May 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          If you fail to see how these men influenced modern atheism, then you need to re-read history.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Akira

          Apparently your definition of
          satire is different than mine.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Do I believe in a god? No, I don't. That conclusion was not in any way influenced by Marx or Darwin, it was influenced by common sense.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • sam stone

          how has freud influenced atheism, theo?

          May 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • sam stone

          or that matter, what has marx or darwin got to do with atheism

          May 30, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      After a bit of googling in turns out that Mr. Turner is a Christian author who wrote what he considered a satire of his perception of atheist philosophy. Not surprising that Theo would post this. Just more Christians purposely posting false arguments that blatently misrepresent atheists. Unless of course Theo is so dumb he thought this was actually written by an atheist.

      So which is it Theo, idiot or liar?

      May 30, 2014 at 11:26 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        "So which is it Theo, idiot or liar?"
        -------------
        Neither. It was written as satire. But everything that he said as satire reflects the ideologies that I have seen portrayed in this blog by countless people.

        May 30, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • Alias

          Idiot and liar are not mutually exclusive.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • Akira

          Satire: the new definition of lies.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • lunchbreaker

          The simple fact that the term "We" is used to represent 100% of atheists, proves it's falsehood.

          Unless you can tell me 100% of atheists believe in horoscopes, UFO's and bent spo.ons, YOU ARE A LIAR.
          Show me 1 atheist who believes horoscopes.
          Unless you can tell me 100% of atheists believe in Americans should beat their guns into tractors, YOU ARE A LIAR.
          I know plenty atheists who are NRA nuts.

          I could go on, but I know you will not get the point.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          I keep getting the feeling like I have to define "satire." The whole idea is that it is a generality... the use of irony , sarcasm, generalities, stereotypes, etc. in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice , folly, error, etc... No, it doesn't hold true in every single, solitary case, it's not meant to.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Satire should have a hint of truth to it and your post did not. What it really pokes fun at is how naive religious people are about what it means to be an atheist.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Satire should have a hint of truth to it and your post did not."
          -------–
          Really? No truth?
          Do you believe in the works of Darwin? Do you believe that to be a good person means you don't hurt anyone else? Do you believe in s.exual freedom? (as long as it doesn't hurt anyone) Do you believe that humanity is getting better and better, and use statistics on the drop in violent crime, because of course, the best determiner of being a good person is that you don't hurt anyone... Do you believe that Jesus was a good person, but he had bad morals, or that he was a bad person, but taught that we should love one another? Do you believe that this life is all that there is? Do you think that the pope is a good person for saying that atheists get to go to heaven? Do you believe that all war is bad? Do you believe that there is no absolute truth, applicable to every man?

          No, I think the article is full of truth about non-theists.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Theo, what you seem to be missing is the fact that none of those things have anything to do with atheism. I agree with some of the points and disagree with others.
          1) Of course I “believe” in the works of Darwin. This has nothing to do with atheism, this is just science. Even many religious people accept evolution.
          2) Being a good person is much more complex than just not hurting others. Again, nothing to do with atheism.
          3) I’m not sure what you mean by s.exual freedom, but I wouldn’t cheat on my girlfriend.
          4) I’m not sure humanity is getting better, but we are getting more knowledgeable and capable. The fact that we’re more knowledgeable is related to atheism, but you didn’t post that fact.
          5) I don’t really spend any time thinking about who Jesus was or wasn’t as I don’t see how that’s relevant. I’d just be guessing.
          6) I don’t think the pope has any impact on whether or not there is a heaven (there isn’t) and whether or not I would get to go there if it existed. I assume he is a pretty decent person, but unfortunately delusional.
          7) Of course all war is bad. Sometimes it’s unavoidable though.
          8) Of course there are absolute truth’s applicable to every man. For example, we can’t walk on water or rise from the dead.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
      • doobzz

        Both, from the looks of his posts.

        May 30, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • SeaVik

      Theo, given the amount of time you spend posting on here, I would have expected you to learn something. Don't you want to learn or are you set on holding your delusional views?

      There's no such thing as an atheistic creed. Atheism doesn't define what we believe, it simply means we don't believe in your fantasies. Beyond that, we can all have completely different beliefs.

      May 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        SeaVik,
        Mr. Turner's "creed" was intended as satire. I know atheists don't have creeds, so does Mr. Turner. The idea is that it lists more of "beliefs by default" or a "creed by default" when one chooses not to follow God. Didn't you read at the end "we believe in the rejection of all creeds?"

        May 30, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Yes, I did read that part. Yes, I realize it's satire. But the idea that those are "beliefs by default" or a "creed by default" when one chooses not to follow God is extremely naive. There's nothing about not believing in fairy tales that has anything to do with any of the things on that list.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
  5. bostontola

    "So says the mind of the unlearned."

    This is the most arrogant statement there could be, even more arrogant and condescending than the most boorish atheist. Look at all the things man has "learned" over time. It's ok to own other people as property, the bible. God punishes 4 generations of the transgressor, the bible. The universe was created in 6 days, as is, the bible. People should destroy all the people of their enemies but keep the property, the bible. Out of proportion sentencing for transgressions is required (e.g. death for audultery), the bible. The list goes on and on. The same can be done for many sacred texts of other religions. If that's what what the "learned" know, I'm pleased to be ignorant of that.

    May 30, 2014 at 8:22 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      It's ok to own other people as property, the bible.
      ----------------------
      As I've said before, although slavery was not ideal, it was not sinful under every instance. It would seem that your only understanding of slavery comes from the history of early America. May I suggest the book "Slave" by John MacArthur...

      God punishes 4 generations of the transgressor, the bible.
      -----------------
      No, God "visits the iniquity of..." This is in Exodus 20:5 in reference to idolatry – this is a sin that tends to run in packs, especially in families. So why wouldn't God visit the sins of generations of families who continue in idolatry?

      The universe was created in 6 days, as is, the bible.
      -------------–
      Yup, so unless you can show me the date stamp right next to the "Made in China" sticker on the earth, then I'm afraid that scientists fall into Plato's cave analogy.

      People should destroy all the people of their enemies but keep the property, the bible.
      ------------------–
      Do you have any idea how wicked, and deserving of capital punishment the Canaanite people were?
      Deuteronomy 18:9-14 – God promised to drive out the Canaanites (descendants of Cain who killed his brother Abel) from Israel for their detestable practices
      1)Sacrificing children in the fire
      2)Witchcraft – seeking to determine the will of the gods by examining and interpreting omens
      3)Soothsaying – attempting to control the future through power given by evil spirits
      4)Interpreting omens – telling the future based on signs
      5)Sorcery – inducing magical effects by drugs or some other sort of potion
      6)Conjuring spells – binding other people by magical muttering
      7)Being a medium – one who supposedly communicates with the dead (but is actually communicating with demons)
      8)Being a spiritist – one who has an intimate acquaintance with the demonic, spiritual world
      9)Calling up the dead – investigating and seeking information from the dead

      Out of proportion sentencing for transgressions is required (e.g. death for audultery), the bible.
      -------------------
      This is just your misunderstanding of justice.

      “We cannot deny that the New Testament seems to reduce the number of capital offenses. By comparison, the OT seems radically severe. What we fail to remember, however is that the OT list represents a massive reduction in capital crimes from the original list. The OT code represents a bending over backward of divine patience and forbearance. The OT Law is one of astonishing grace. After all, what was the penalty for sin in the original created order? Genesis 2:17 tells Adam and Eve that “in the day that you sin you shall surely die.” In Ezekiel 18:4 we read “The soul that sins shall die.” In creation all sin is deemed worthy of death. Every sin is a capital offense. The penalty was not just death, but an instant death: death that very day… In creation, God is not obliged to give us the gift of life. He is not in debt to us. The gift of life comes by His grace and stands under His divine authority.

      The task that is given to mankind in creation is to bear witness to the holiness of God, to be His image bearer. We are made to mirror and reflect the holiness of God and be His ambassadors, therefore when we sin, we are committing high treason against the one whose image we are to reflect to the rest of the world. As His image bearers, when we sin, we say to the outside world “look at me, this is what God is like.” And God, as our creator, is well within His right to inflict capital punishment.

      In the case of creation and mankind’s fall, the full measure of justice was delayed so that grace would have time to work. Here, the delay of justice was not the denial of justice, but rather the establishment of mercy and grace.”
      “The Holiness of God,” by R.C. Sproul

      May 30, 2014 at 9:39 am |
      • bostontola

        Theo,
        You have every right to embrace the morality and accounts in the bible. I don't I find many parts immoral and many accounts factually wrong. In short, you consider yourself "learned" for knowing the bible and accepting it as fact. I am pleased to find much of that knowledge archaic, ineffective, and obsolete. Surely, there are many lessons in the bible that still ring true today. That is true of Aesop's fables as well. To consider yourself learned and by inference others ignorant that don't conform to the bible is arrogant. Your answers above are arrogant and require tortured interpretations of the bible. To allow the owning of another person is absurd. Your defense reveals a remarkable faith. I want no such faith.

        May 30, 2014 at 9:57 am |
      • kudlak

        Theo
        There are guidelines in the Bible on how to trick your fellow Jews into lifelong slavery, how to sell your own daughters into slavery, and when it's allowable to beat your slaves to death.

        Sounds about as bad as anything in the American slave trade to me.

        May 30, 2014 at 10:26 am |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Interesting thing to note about your list of things the bible says not to practice, almost all refer to supernatural phenomenon. Another interesting thing to note, not a single shred of evidence exists verifying anything supernatural, ever. None of these things are real or have ever been verified as having any power, ever. Not witchcraft nor sorcery not spell casting, they are as harmful as a LARP'er throwing a bean bag at you while yelling "Magic Missile!"

        2)Witchcraft – seeking to determine the will of the gods by examining and interpreting omens
        3)Soothsaying – attempting to control the future through power given by evil spirits
        4)Interpreting omens – telling the future based on signs
        5)Sorcery – inducing magical effects by drugs or some other sort of potion
        6)Conjuring spells – binding other people by magical muttering
        7)Being a medium – one who supposedly communicates with the dead (but is actually communicating with demons)
        8)Being a spiritist – one who has an intimate acquaintance with the demonic, spiritual world
        9)Calling up the dead – investigating and seeking information from the dead

        Another reason the bible falls flat on its face, banning things that never actually worked.

        May 30, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • kermit4jc

          WHO said they worked? the BIble doesn't say such....yet people still practice it..thats the point...they seek things elsewhere rather than God......get the point more clearly....shows you don't really know the BIble

          May 30, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          kermit4jc,
          I saw a "Wizard of Id" comic strip one time where the preacher finished his message, and the king interpreted it to mean something totally different from what was said. He just looked up in exasperation and said "Beam me up, Lord..."

          May 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yeah..I know the exasperation....these people don't seem to get it...seems as if context is a hateful word now that means nothing to anybody

          May 30, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • sam stone

          beam yourself up, theo

          May 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "WHO said they worked? the BIble doesn't say such...."

          "10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. " Exodus 7:10-12

          I guess you don't know the bible at all you moron.

          May 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The Bible made it clear those were not actual "miracles" but illusions on part of the magicians..stop reading only part of the bIble

          May 30, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Please site the scripture where it makes it clear. While your at it look up a few about lying. I have read the bible several times so I know for a fact that no where does it say those egyptian magicians only used "illusions".

          May 30, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Ill get the Scriptures later this evening as I have to return to work..then home in another town..but yes...there is Scripture that pretty much iplies the "sorcerers" and whatnot were not using actual magic (remember.magic canbe defined as "illusions") look at magicians today....illusions

          May 30, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
      • Madtown

        Do you have any idea how wicked, and deserving of capital punishment the Canaanite people were?
        --------
        Were those humans creations of God, or not? Does God play favorites? Do you really believe God made a covenant with 1 group of the humans he created, allowing them to kill and take the lands of another group of humans he also created?! That sounds like simple justification for human action taken in their conquest of a different tribe. Deuteronomy as proof? It's alledged to be the words of Moses!!! Of course they wanted to believe God endorsed them taking and occupying the land that THEY wanted. Good grief, what absurdity.

        May 30, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Gd was not p;aying favorties....Canaan was given 400 years to repent (see Gods Promises to Abraham in Genesis) He was judging the people as w whole for the heinious crimes against humanity.. r ape, inc est, sacrificing children in fire, beastiality, the list goes on and on

          May 30, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • G to the T

          " He was judging the people as w whole "

          Yeah – the whole punishment/benefit granted at the nation/tribe level has never made sense to me. It should be the belief/merit of the individual that is considered, not those of his neighbors.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Because they all worshipped and did things evil as individuals as well..thus on a whole they are all judged....no one was judged based on his neighbor...everyone was guilty

          May 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • Madtown

          judging the people as w whole for the heinious crimes against humanity
          -------
          By authorizing more heinous crimes, got it. I guess with your preferred version of God, 2 wrongs make a right. For other humans who actually use simple logic in their thought process, this is ridiculous.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so you say it is wrong for God to judge the sins and give out consequences? ???

          May 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          besides..u are comparing apples to oranges.....GOD is judge..not people....God has right over life..not people...the Canaanites were very evil indoing heinuous crimes against one another....God is not a human metering out judgment...

          May 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • Madtown

          I say you're a nut for thinking God had anything to do with it. It's clearly inter-tribal conflict. The Hebrews had no covenant. God created the humans living in the other tribes as well. The referred passages in Deuteronomy are human-crafted justification for human actions of conquest, nothing more.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • sam stone

          The threat of judgement is a bad joke played on humanity

          Apparently, you don't get it, Kermy

          May 30, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
      • doobzz

        Guess your god wasn't smart enough to add "Do not own other humans" to the stone tablets.

        May 30, 2014 at 11:38 am |
  6. Reality

    Tis mind boggling that this thread and blog are still in existence. One more time:

    Putting the kibosh/kybosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    May 30, 2014 at 8:08 am |
    • Reality

      Added details:

       AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC/SATANIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni and Satan/Perdition/Lucifer. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God and of course Satan and his demons.

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around) and of course the jinn.

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/ugly/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      May 30, 2014 at 8:11 am |
  7. ausphor

    Why do the jesus freakers thank god that they were saved from the flood, hurricane, tornado, mass murderer, etc. when they could have been taken up to a far far better place, their heaven? The fact is that they do not want to take the chance that their beliefs are just a pile of bull sh!t and desire to cling to the only life that is based on reality, right here on earth.

    May 30, 2014 at 7:15 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      Philippians 1:23-24 – But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.

      Of course it is better to go to heaven, but it is necessary that Christians remain for two purposes:
      1) to evangelize the lost
      2) to encourage other Christians in their evangelism

      May 30, 2014 at 7:34 am |
      • ausphor

        Theo
        Of course that is how a pompous, arrogant, know it all like you would respond. You just can't seem to understand that it is all a clever scam, all religions and beliefs in gods since mankind began scribbling on cave walls.

        May 30, 2014 at 7:43 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          So says the mind of the unlearned.

          May 30, 2014 at 7:48 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          ausphor: They do say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat. Theo is one of those who would repeat much of the bible's atrocities if he thought he could get away with it....a very damaged and dangerous mind.

          May 30, 2014 at 7:53 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          You are a laugh. Pleases, please give us again your twisted logic why there has to be a creator god, pick any of the hundreds of creation myths. You know you want to.

          May 30, 2014 at 7:54 am |
        • sam stone

          studying a comic book obsessively does not make it any more real, theo

          May 30, 2014 at 7:57 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Pleases, please give us again your twisted logic why there has to be a creator god, pick any of the hundreds of creation myths. You know you want to."
          ----------------–
          Please, give us again your twisted logic of why there has to be multiple universes, or pick any of the "infinite" number of "scientific" myths that violate the law of non-contradiction by making this mutable universe also somehow eternal. You know you want to. Or better yet, prove to me how science can be of any use in cosmogony anyway. You know you want to.

          May 30, 2014 at 8:01 am |
        • sam stone

          tell us again, theo, how the jews deserved the holocaust

          May 30, 2014 at 8:01 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "tell us again, theo, how the jews deserved the holocaust"
          --------------
          Or better yet, how about I tell you why the Jews deserved to go into Babylon. Hint: read Habakkuk. The holocaust of our modern age is another Babylonian captivity-type moment of chastisement.

          May 30, 2014 at 8:04 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          Theo Phileo
          "So says the mind of the unlearned."

          i absolutely adore this. the person using science is calling others "unlearned"...........hint correct word would be uneducated theo.

          i find it astounding that a "learned" person as yourself theo can accept that a "god" can be eternal however when it comes to the great minds of human history explaining how energy can't be created nor destroyed and showing that energy and matter can shift from one to the other you fail to accept that.

          what is it, do you believe that the sheepherders, priests and rulers that wrote your "holy book" were somehow more intelligent or had some sort of insight that these great minds lacked.

          well long story short. you are a dying breed theo. the dark ages ended with the age of enlightenment and we are still continueing to educate ourselves as to the great wonders of this universe and establishing that we aren't the center of everything; we are simply a part of it.

          May 30, 2014 at 8:24 am |
        • sam stone

          I see

          Well, thanks for that bit of insanity

          May 30, 2014 at 9:04 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Well, thanks for that bit of insanity"
          ----------------–
          So what did you learn when you read Habakkuk? Why was Israel given over to the Chaldeans?

          May 30, 2014 at 9:17 am |
        • sam stone

          i didn't read it, theo

          point to all the fiction you wish

          to claim that jews in the mid 20th century deserved the holocaust based on iron age mythology is insane

          May 30, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "to claim that jews in the mid 20th century deserved the holocaust based on iron age mythology is insane"
          ----------–
          Until you can understand the past, you will never comprehend the present, and you will certainly have no vision for the future.

          It would serve you well to see why Israel was sent into captivity to Babylon.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....I don't need to know a thing about the past to ever believe that the Jews deserved the Holocaust. That is an unbelievably stupid fvcking thing to imply.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          The captivity into Babylon was a chastisement of Israel for their breaking of the covenant they had with God, made in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 where God said that a failure to obey God would bring about curse, after curse, after curse. This continues even to our time, and will continue to be so until such a time as when Israel will repent of her sins and turn back to the God whom they have scorned. This is foretold in Ezekiel 16, and in many other places.

          May 30, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....What is wrong with you, really? You think the slaughter of 16 million people was justified because of some stupid passage in your silly book? You are out of your fvcking mind......really.....

          May 30, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • sam stone

          i comprehend the present clearly

          you are the one viewing it through the prism of iron age (or older) mythology

          May 30, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • sam stone

          "where man said that a failure to obey God would bring about curse, after curse, after curse"

          see, theo, i fixed it for you

          you're welcome

          May 30, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • Madtown

          in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 where God said....
          ----
          God didn't write Deuteronomy. It's alledged that the writings are the words of Moses.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Madtown,
          And where did Moses get them from?

          Exodus 33:11 – Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.

          Numbers 7:89 – And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.

          Numbers 12:8 – With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord.

          Deuteronomy 34:10 – And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face

          1 Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Of course those rules apply...how else do you suppose the story keeps going if no-one is passing it on? The fortunate thing is that as we advance, more and more people are realizing that the Christian belief system is a very divisive one and one that attempts to take too much control and they're starting to walk away.
        You can have your belief all you wish, as silly and futile as I may think it is...what we'd prefer you not do is go door-to-door or stand on a street corner; or try to use it to take away rights you wouldn't wish taken away (ie; your right to marry who you wish); or to try to impose it on innocent children who are not old enough to comprehend-keep it out of publicly funded area's.

        May 30, 2014 at 7:50 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          2 Timothy 4:2-5 – preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accu.mulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

          May 30, 2014 at 7:56 am |
        • ausphor

          Yes Theo
          Be a good sheep, do not think for yourself, just follow the rules in the book of silly and try really try to brainwash others into the delusion. There I fixed that for you, your welcome.

          May 30, 2014 at 8:05 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Be a good sheep, do not think for yourself, just follow the rules in the book of silly and try really try to brainwash others into the delusion."
          ----------------–
          It is far better to be a sheep under the care of the Good Shepherd than to be a kite without a string.

          May 30, 2014 at 8:11 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Poor wee-delusional Theo resorts to the only book about his belief system and attempts to use it to prove itself true...how very ignorant and silly.

          May 30, 2014 at 8:15 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Poor wee-delusional Theo resorts to the only book about his belief system and attempts to use it to prove itself true...how very ignorant and silly."
          --------------
          Actually, I didn't try to prove the Bible was true, I merely quoted from it. You seem to be pulling insults at random without reading my posts. You do know that you have to be over 18 to post on the CNN blog, right?

          May 30, 2014 at 8:17 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          That's a slight contradiction...of course you're using it to prove it when you quote it-geez, I'm not sure where you went to school but they failed you horribly.

          May 30, 2014 at 8:25 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          You aren't very good at turning the other cheek are you, your mythical god would be pi$$ed at your behaviour. BTW how does the "golden rule" apply to the Jews deserve everything they get, even the holocaust? Ridicule, mockery and derision are your lot on this earth, you should really leave, jesus wants to judge you, the sooner the better.

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

          "good shepherd"

          you're a hoot, theo

          May 30, 2014 at 9:11 am |
        • G to the T

          "It is far better to be a sheep under the care of the Good Shepherd"

          Anyone that's worked with animals can tell you – sheep are stupid and need to be driven, goats are smart and need to be lead. It is just our misfortune that god chose a bunch of shepherds...

          May 30, 2014 at 10:41 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Spiritually we are stupid...look at all the evil in this world......r ape, murder, theft, etc etc.......we are not "smart" as you thinnk

          May 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • sam stone

          And beholdin' to Iron Age mythology ain't making us any smarter, Kermy

          May 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      In God I will praise His word,
      In God I have put my trust;
      I will not fear.
      What can flesh do to me? – Psalms 56:4

      we have compassion for those who have absolutely no hope when it's time to die.

      May 30, 2014 at 8:11 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        LET's Religiosity Law #1 – “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

        May 30, 2014 at 8:32 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        I have more hope than you could ever imagine. I will go to my death knowing that I never once judged a person based on their sexuality or tried to tell a woman what they could or couldn't do with their bodies; or called someone a baby murderer for merely supporting a woman's right to abort if she chooses to...I will go to my grave knowing I did my utmost of stand for humanity and against those who wish to take away rights...I will go knowing that I took steps to ensure the longevity of our planet instead of ignoring the evidence and blaming imaginary deities for the good or bad.
        You may think we have no hope but that is merely your silly opinion. If anything we have much hope because we know our actions in the here and now will help future generations.

        May 30, 2014 at 8:32 am |
        • awanderingscot

          "truth"

          that is not hope. not even close to it. you're online so google 'hope' and you'll see where you err.

          May 30, 2014 at 8:41 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          scot: defintion of HOPE:
          1: to cherish a desire with anticipation

          1: to desire with expectation of obtainment
          2: to expect with confidence

          i think the second definiton is what truth was meaning, not the christian defintion meaing, "hoping to go to heaven".

          May 30, 2014 at 9:17 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Some people can't even imagine their beloved pets not having an afterlife so invent Heaven for dogs and other such nonsense, not because they "hope" for some future but because they are such self centered greedy selfish people who can't imagine not getting more than just this life. The disdain for this earth is palpable when speaking to the religious, they can't wait to get out of here. If something is too good to be true, then it probably isn't, but these morons don't care when asked to give up the life in hand for some fanciful fluffy future. It isn't hope their feeling, it's greed, and religion plays to their weakness with all sorts of promises.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Oh I love my lie here and am enjoying it greatly...even though I am looking forward to eternity and waiting for that tiome to come

          May 30, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          TP1. Well spoken. I salute you.

          May 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • zhilla1980wasp

        "What can flesh do to me?"

        it can end you.

        your heart is flesh, it stops you end.
        your brain is flesh, it suffers trama you end.

        for these very reasons religious fight o no end take all sorts of medicines and various routines to stave off the very thing you were taught to fear................your end.

        i have no such fear. i die, i die.
        i require no safety blanket that when i'm dead, that i'm not really dead; that's just a lie. you will not continue on after this life, this is it.
        the person you are simply exists inside the grey matter trapped inside your skull, you take a hard enough hit to your skull you can become amnesic the you currently debating "god" won't even exist.

        May 30, 2014 at 8:38 am |
        • awanderingscot

          "wasp"

          there is hope for you but you need to accept the Lord Jesus Christ. right now you own a very lonely soul. don't continue to deny

          May 30, 2014 at 8:45 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          " you need to accept"

          scot; that above is called "commandive language". it's meant to imply importance and a strict "must do" instructions.
          i was in the army for 8 years before becoming disabled, i know how to use "commandive language" very well, i also know what it's purpose is for; it's to imply NO CHOICE.
          the same i gave my soldiers when i instructed them on how to survive combat. they had no choice but to learn.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:10 am |
      • bostontola

        "we have compassion for those who have absolutely no hope when it's time to die."

        I also have compassion for those with no hope when it's time to die. Most of them are Christian. I have been fortunate. I have been able to endow my children with a good chance at a fulfilled life. I have been able to mentor many young people. I have great hope in them after I die.

        May 30, 2014 at 8:48 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        awanderingTOT: Who are you to judge what hope is to me? I'm sorry but you don't have the right to define that for anyone...it's pure ignorance and arrogance to think you do. If you don't have hope without imaginary friends (god), than you lack compassion and empathy.

        May 30, 2014 at 8:49 am |
    • benhoody

      Everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die..

      May 30, 2014 at 11:18 am |
  8. Vic

    I see this come up all the time by non-Christians, why don't Christians end their lives to be with God?

    The answer is simple.

    God is the giver and taker of life, and He made it "inherent" in us to protect it, it is therefore His Will, it is therefore 'unnatural' to kill oneself, or anyone else for that matter. Man is supposed to believe in God but not test Him, killing oneself to be with God is testing Him.

    Matthew 4:7
    "7 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”" (NASB)

    Luke 4:12
    "12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”" (NASB)

    May 30, 2014 at 7:12 am |
    • ausphor

      Vic
      Your verses prove nothing as usual. Where in the book of silly does it say that suicide is a ticket to hell, be specific? You are babbling about religious dogma not scripture, prove me wrong. Why does god get thanked for saving the lives of you Christians when you should be praising IT for taking your lot to paradise? (see post above)

      May 30, 2014 at 7:25 am |
      • awanderingscot

        our Lord Jesus Christ loves you too and wants you to repent, but He cannot accept you if you keep pushing Him away.

        May 30, 2014 at 8:14 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          "our Lord ODIN loves you too and wants you to repent, but He cannot accept you if you keep pushing Him away."
          "our Lord RA loves you too and wants you to repent, but He cannot accept you if you keep pushing Him away."
          "our Lord ZUES loves you too and wants you to repent, but He cannot accept you if you keep pushing Him away."
          "our Lord KRISHNA loves you too and wants you to repent, but He cannot accept you if you keep pushing Him away."

          it fits all of them, so stop pushing them all away scot and accept their "love". lol

          May 30, 2014 at 8:44 am |
    • Bob

      Vic, while you are dumping bible bile on us from your Christian book of nasty, let's take a closer look at the content from your vile, hateful Christian mythbook. Here's what it claims your ass hole of a god actually instructs you to do. From both foul testaments:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish superstitions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 30, 2014 at 8:56 am |
      • kermit4jc

        The Bible does NOT ask us to do those thing..especially in Numbers as that was during a TIME OF WAR......sheesh..youare ignorant of whats going on

        May 30, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • Alias

          If your god ever wanted anyone to do those things he is not worthy of being called holy.

          May 30, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • kermit4jc

          define Holy..you know what it means?

          May 30, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • doobzz

          Right, kermis. Keep plugging your ears and saying "lalalala".

          May 30, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • kermit4jc

          IM not theoneplugging my ears..you people are..when I bring up context you don't give a darn about context..you wanna make the Bible sound as bad as you are attempting.....by ignoring stuff..I ignored nothing..I gave context...

          May 30, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • doobzz

          So "Don't own other human beings" was too difficult for your god to come up with? LOL.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Youhave a better way for thepeople to pay off debts at that time..with no computers...no files? heck....it seems better than today..cause people were WORKING rather than sponging off of other people and sitting on their butts

          May 30, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • doobzz

          Indentured servitude and slavery are not the same thing, kermie, and you know it.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I know it...but you don't seem to know it...apparently YOU have not read the part of the bIble of the people who were in debt and had to sell themselves into slavery......problem here is you seem to be working on the mind that the BIble was originally written in English by todays people......read the whole of the Bible...the CONTEXT refers to people IN DEBT and needing to pay back......try again

          May 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • doobzz

          Oh, kermie, how you do run on. I was a born again Christian for decades and studied the bible in its original languages for years. I know quite well what it says about slavery, and the language about owning of human chattel, and the very specific rules around how they were captured, bought, sold, traded, passed down through inheritance and treated is direct and straightforward.

          It's only Christian apologists who twist the words around to make them palatable for modern day sermons.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          captured<–as in kidnapped? ifthats case..the Bible strictly forbids kidnapping...

          May 30, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • doobzz

          LOL, kermie, What do you think happened to the virgins that were taken after all the men, married women and children from conquered tribes were slaughtered? That they were given full citizenship and treated as equals? Please.

          May 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Iam very sure they apprieciated the freedom from their evil society..ones that commit in cest and ra pe ones who throw their kids into the fire? and BTW the women did not have to marry the people...those who took them in would then give them away in marriage..remember..the women were to be cared for...so don't "oh please" me....

          May 30, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • doobzz

          You must be one of those people who thinks that slavery in the South wasn't so bad – after all, they got food and a place to sleep.

          "Women were to be cared for" – what a joke. Abraham raped his wife's slave and he's the revered founder of three religions. That's the kind of people you admire – rapists and slave owners.

          Yeah, I'm sure the 12-13 year old girls were just thrilled to watch their families murdered before their eyes and then be carried off as chattel to be used however the men who took them desired. Sure, kermie, right. Keep trying to convince yourself that it was all for their own good.

          Seems like your god prefers to have the young unmarried girls "freed from their evil societies", but their brothers, parents, married sisters, not so much...

          May 30, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          You must be one of those people who thinks that slavery in the South wasn’t so bad – after all, they got food and a place to sleep. you speak out of ignorance....you really that dense...coparing apples to oranges? the slaves in the south had NO rights WHATSOPEVER......the ones in the Bible HAD rights.......

          May 31, 2014 at 2:09 am |
        • doobzz

          Sure they did, kermie, keep telling yourself that bible slavery was different. Anything to explain away why your god approves of, and even commands slavery. LOL.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Yeah, I’m sure the 12-13 year old girls were just thrilled to watch their families murdered before their eyes and then be carried off as chattel to be used however the men who took them desired.<-and IM SURE you are ok that the young women would have STAYED with their families and get ra ped and mo lested and burned in the fire by their own parents...PLUS...the Bible does NOT in ANYWAYS say the men could do whatsoever they desired as if they were se x hungry people......youre grasping at straws....again the women did NOT have to marry the men...but could been married off to OTHERS..they were placed under the RESPONSIBILITY of the men to get them support from a marriage THAT was how I was saying they are to be cared for..

          May 31, 2014 at 2:12 am |
        • doobzz

          LOL. Sure, kermie, sure. The little girls that were carried off as prizes of war were being "saved" from their terrible lives of living with their parents and families to be "cared for" strange men in a strange land. Yes, I'm sure they were treated like tiny princesses.

          Funny that your god was only interested in "saving" the young girls, but not the boys, married women or any adults. They were all slaughtered, but the young girls were "saved". Sure, kermie, that's it, you got it all figured out. LOL.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          It’s only Christian apologists who twist the words around to make them palatable for modern day sermons. <–so you are against reasoned logic, with use of context? that's how I get to my conclusions..I don't try to make it fit to be palatable as you falsely claim

          May 30, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • doobzz

          "reasoned logic" lol. Sure, kermie.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so you don't desire to use context? that's what apologists do.....yet you don't like our answrs..so it seems to me you don't have a desire to use context....

          May 30, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • doobzz

          Perhaps you could point out where I said I don't take context into account?

          As I stated, I've studied the bible as a born again believer for decades. I know the context and don't need you to provide or explain it to me. The language is clear and straight forward.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          uh..were YOU not the one who says we apologists twist things?

          May 31, 2014 at 2:07 am |
        • doobzz

          Yes, I did, and you do.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Kermit,

        go back and read your bible more carefully. There are two kinds of 'servants' clearly identified.

        1. Indentured servants (like you are talking about – time-limited, working of a debt etc)
        2. Slaves (as chattels)

        Leviticus prohibits people of Judea from being slaves – they could be indentured servants. People from other countries could be slaves.

        May 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          BOTH are in reference to those who are in debt..and they are not to stay forever..the Hebrew word forever is an INDEFINATE amount of time....at JUBILEE they ALL are set free and ALL debts are cancelled

          May 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          No "BOTH" do not refer to people in debt.

          Leviticus 25
          39 ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves.
          40 They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee.
          41 Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors.
          42 Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves.
          43 Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.

          44 ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          No Jubilee in "slaves for life"

          May 30, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          BOTH are in debt..the thing is....the ioperative words...not to treat them as same...they still owe...yet..on BOTH they are NOT to be treated ruthlessly..and againlook up the word "for life" and forever in the Hebrew...

          May 30, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Kermit, you are in some serious denial here. The meaning is abundantly clear.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
  9. bostontola

    It's possible that religion is man's way of taking himself prisoner by inventing a captor (God). The story on this captor is that he has killed over and over mercilessly. If you love him, he won't kill you. If you don't, you will get worse than death. Just like in Stockholm syndrome, many love the captor for not inflicting pain.

    Humans did this to themselves. Taken captive by a being they dreamt up themselves, then love him.

    Holy mackerel. And it's the atheists that need a survival guide, go figure.

    May 29, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Curious that you wrote of Stockholm Syndrome here.

      I was thinking exactly the same thing relative to the new-man thread below with his paradoxical loving, almighty torturer, but couldn't muster the patience to write it.

      It's almost sadomasochism of the mind. "I must love the one who punishes me. He punishes me because he loves me."

      May 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
      • new-man

        I never said God tortures anyone.

        God IS love. Love is the very purpose for which we were created. Anyone who abides in God abides in love. To be outside of God's love is torture. It's not God that brings the torture.
        It's funny that mankind is living in hell and doesn't realize nor recognize such.

        Just as back in the days of the prophet Hosea, where Israel was experiencing great prosperity etc. they indulged in vain and convoluted concepts thinking that love is the pursuit of self-gratification, that love could be purchased, and that love could be found in things.

        But it was God who said this is not love. I will demonstrate to my people what love really is.
        "The greatest expression and demonstration of God's love is found in Jesus' sacrifice." The second greatest is found in the story of Hosea – read for yourself and know that you are Gomer. And here is Christ [Hosea] paying to redeem what was already His.

        For no greater love has no man than this.
        No one can out love God, because God IS love.

        Blessings and a peaceful week.

        May 29, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • kenmargo

          "It's funny that mankind is living in hell and doesn't realize nor recognize such"

          If what you wrote is true and you love god so much. Why are you here in hell?

          May 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          new-man,
          I still don't get what sacrifice Jesus made. If he is God and knew it, he also must have been his plan. He knew he would be resurrected. I don't see any sacrifice.

          May 29, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
        • sam stone

          ken;s right, new-man....if this is hell, and heaven is sooooo much better, what are you doing here?

          heaven is easy enough to achieve, no?

          do you have tall buildings where you live?

          don't hesitate, jeebus is waiting

          May 30, 2014 at 6:30 am |
        • kermit4jc

          knock off the silly banter sam...again we have a purpose here..it is not up to us to decide when to go....

          May 30, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          What purpose, exactly?

          May 30, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Ive mentioned them several times....to show others compassion, to show our love for one another (I will admit I have a hard time at times in here, but I try not to do with the nasty words) To interact ith others..after all we are social creatures

          May 30, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          I'm not sure that those qualify as actual purposes....I believe those are just part of social interaction. I meet all those requirements without the belief in any god.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • kermit4jc

          but the point is..why kill ourselves? I don't need to kill myself..Im not the judge of my life..IM not the one to determine when to go...I will stay here and do the work until my time is up (which I do not know) God uses me as a testimony to others with my hearing and eye problems...I listen to kids at work..I inspire them with my probloems (I am a professional..and they see me with hearing aids and such, they see I have overcome obstacles...they too can overcome them) SO IM working for now

          May 30, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....I can understand that. If you really believe that you are doing some sort of good trying to influence other people, then it stands to reason you would not be in too much of a hurry to join your particular god.

          May 30, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I would love to be with him for eternity now..but again I am not the Lord over my life..IM not the judge of my life...it is not up toi me to decide when to go....its up to God s time for when I get to go....

          May 30, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...I have an incredibly difficult time believing that. Do you think that you god says....."oh good, I was going to bring up 293 people today....good thing they were all on that plane at the same time!!"?

          May 30, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          God knows before hand everyones time..I don't..I don't know my own time....your argument simply does not compute within that context..God knows exactly when all 293 people were going to be on board.....

          May 30, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • harlow13

          goD isn't love. Love is love. You could say a god is loving, but can't say he is love. You are burdened when you attempt to label the goD of the bible as loving. You can argue the ends justify the means, but there are actions described in the bible that are not loving.

          May 30, 2014 at 8:01 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          "god is love"
          hmmmm

          so your god is basic animal instincts combined inside a higher developed brain? ok if you say so.

          "emotions" are simply just that, just common instincts found in most creatures that our minds combine to make something new.
          i.e. love: territorialism, reproduction and self-preservation. this situation covers the basic needs of human survival.
          jealousy: territorialism, self preservation. the person you "love" becomes an object instead of an equal
          this would be why humans mistake their domesticated animal for "loving them", these animals have the instincts, however lack the additional grey matter required to put them all together into what we truly understand as "emotions".
          just because an animal displays these insticts doesn't mean it "loves" you anymore than any other person that provides for it's basic needs.
          i can get anyone's pet to "love" anyone else simply by providing it with a warm, safe place it can have an stable meal.

          stockholm syndrom works much the same way; beat said target, deprive it of the basic needs to the point of fatigue, then allow another to "slip" that person food,water, kind words. eventually the person becomes a willing prisoner.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:00 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          new
          "I never said God tortures anyone."

          You don't think what he did to Job was torture? And just to win a meaningless bet?

          May 30, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • sam stone

          i'll make you a deal, kermy

          i will knock off the banter when you knock off the pompousness

          in other words, no time soon

          May 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • kenmargo

        Stockholm Syndrome usually involves being actually captured by real beings. It's not Stockholm Syndrome when you invent the captors. It's called crazy!

        May 29, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        "God IS love."

        I never really understood this. How can a enti.ty actually BE an abstract idea? It doesn't seem to make any sense.

        May 29, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • bostontola

          At best, God is conditional love.

          May 29, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOT conditional at all

          May 30, 2014 at 2:03 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: Wow, that is a blatant lie. Your god is very conditional: Don't have an abortion-you'll go to hell; don't admit to being born LGBT-you'll go to hell; don't deny it (your god) exists-you'll go to hell. You need a dictionary, not a bible...your god, no matter what lame excuse you make, is very conditional and you a fool for denying that.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:12 am |
    • kenmargo

      I think it's the greatest con of all time. People talk about him like they saw him, swear they heard him and plan on seeing him. God sounds like big foot!

      They swear life is better after death, yet they don't kill themselves. Why? Because they really aren't really sure. There still is some doubt in their minds. So instead they get on our nerves with this crap.

      May 29, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
      • transframer

        Because killing yourself is one of the greatest sins.

        May 29, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
        • kenmargo

          But if you're going to meet your hero, It's got to be worth a shot! (to the head)

          May 29, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          we have already met our hero...and we have a purpose here on earth..it snot up to us to determine when to go

          May 30, 2014 at 2:04 am |
        • transframer

          If you are a Christian you know that you'll not meet the hero but the punisher

          May 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
        • kenmargo

          Punisher? Isn't he with the WWE?

          May 29, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
        • transframer

          No, it's the real one

          May 29, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • observer

          transframer,

          Do you mean the punisher who sentences souls to spend eternity burning in hell for the CRIME of NEVER having heard of him?

          May 29, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Thereis no excuse....God reveals himself in nature and all...the crime is being a SINNER......you have a choice..you can accept..or deny.....God also reveals Himself to people....remember..Adam and Eve did not have a Bible..neither did Abraham and Moses (until he wrote it) God revealed himself to those people...

          May 30, 2014 at 2:07 am |
        • magsmagenta

          And why do you think that was written in to the mythology? The priests had spent so much time convincing people that their reward would be in the next life so that they would put up with al sorts of abuses and injustice in this one that they had to devise a way to prevent everyone killing themselves in order to reach that reward quickly. If they hadn't made it a condition that god had to take your life himself when he saw fit to do so then all their followers and the source of their income would have killed themselves and that would have ended the cult. It's just good business sense.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:04 am |
        • sam stone

          kermy: sin is a hoax, a man made guilt trip that you have swallowed hook, line and sinker

          enjoy your self flaggelation

          May 30, 2014 at 6:38 am |
        • kermit4jc

          not a guilt trip at all..you make up too much stuff

          May 30, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • sam stone

          That's what it is, with that "we're all sinners" tripe

          I am not making anything up. You are too deep into it to see it clearly

          May 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        They swear life is better after death, yet they don’t kill themselves. Why? Because they really aren’t really sure.<-badl face lie......you are so ignorant..why do I not kill myself? cause it is NOT my job to determine that..God has ME here for a PURPOSE..and until THAT is done..then its time for me to go....you just don't get it

        May 30, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You devalue this life by living for one that you can't show with evidence nor has any other Christian been able to show with evidence. You lack empathy and compassion for your fellow human every day-taking away rights or trying to take them away-rights you wouldn't want taken from you. You make excuses for such a wretched god (regardless of how you twist it, the bible gives the open-mined people a different view). Stop making claims that you can't back and sorry using the bible doesn't back it nor does looking around at the natural world nor do your biased personal experiences. You're living the grand delusion and in the end you'll be star dust, nothing more.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:36 am |
        • sam stone

          it's only a lie if they know it to be wrong, but present it as true

          this is not the case

          is god's plan for you to remain here and fake persecution?

          May 30, 2014 at 6:46 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          "God has ME here for a PURPOSE..and until THAT is done"

          so what is god purpose for the death of young children and infants?
          you have a purpose more important than they did?
          why punish the parents with the death of a child that hasn't even had time to do anything wrong?
          why are infants born "stillborn"? did that infant have no purpose according to your god?

          May 30, 2014 at 9:26 am |
    • transframer

      Actually it was the other way around at least in the beginning. Many of those who loved God died of horrific deaths precisely because of their faith

      May 29, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
      • bostontola

        Only if the beginning is at Jesus' death.

        May 29, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
        • transframer

          Mostly yes, that's when Christianity started, with some exceptions like John the Baptizer

          May 29, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • bostontola

          But Yahweh was purportedly interacting with man long before that, wasn't he?

          May 29, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
        • transframer

          That's not Christianity.

          May 29, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
        • bostontola

          Interesting, you don't recognize Yahweh as God?

          May 29, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
        • transframer

          Yes but we are talking about Christianity, which started with Jesus Christ (hence the name). God, of course, existed before that.

          May 29, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          So the "Jesus" ent.ity of the trinity did not exist before ~7-2 BCE?

          Meaning "God" was not a trinity before then?

          May 30, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
  10. kenmargo

    Christians don't push Santa Claus. Why is that? He's a big symbol also. I'm surprised Christians don't say he leaves the gifts in the lobby for the parents to sort out. As far as the chimney thing goes for buildings without chimneys, christians can say Santa crawled through the trash compactor or incinerator.

    May 29, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
    • transframer

      Santa Claus is Saint Nicholas and is a revered Christian figure

      May 29, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
      • kenmargo

        He maybe revered but he's the one figure we're SUPPOSED TO SEE. The fat guy that is supposed to actually go around the world in one night and give kids gifts. I got 2 kids. Not one time did a fat white guy knock on my door and said "give these to the kids" (I do have a chimney)

        May 29, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
        • transframer

          He is not supposed to be seen, only to leave gifts, secret gifts actually, this is what St Nicholas did. What we see as Santa is for kids only

          May 29, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
        • kenmargo

          If he's only supposed to leave them AND not be seen. How do we know he left them?

          May 29, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
        • transframer

          We don't have to know. Modesty was part of the character

          May 29, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
  11. new-man

    "Isn’t it great to be in a room where you can say whatever you want to whomever you want without fear of anyone criticizing you for being unorthodox?” asked Dan Barker"

    Fear Not. Fear Not. Fear Not. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

    For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

    May 29, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
    • rogerthat2014

      The whole "eternal torture" thing is just tough love. Right?

      May 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
      • new-man

        roger,
        God IS Love. A person rejects Love has subjected themselves through their own choice to eternal torture, because anything outside of Love must be torture.
        So you choose to abide in Love or you choose to abide in 'eternal torture'. How did God make that choice for you?
        He didn't. Only you can choose.

        May 29, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          blah blah blah...read the bible instead of just listening to your Mommy read it to you, you'll soon find that your loving god is a vicious monster who is the equivalent of an abusive spouse and if your god were to show it self, it would be thrown in jail for its crimes against humanity. You are a dolt for believing in such a god.

          May 29, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • benhoody

          Says the hate mongering athiest, never fails, if someone thinks differently than you all you can do is spew hate and name calling, very mature of you, of course that's the only way you can try to make yourself right, at least in your own eyes, but it always fails by making you look stupid.

          May 29, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
        • James XCIX

          new-man – "A person rejects Love has subjected themselves through their own choice to eternal torture..."

          That's just silly. Nobody is rejecting what you describe as your god's love and choosing torture.

          In order to accept or reject either of them you have to first acknowledge the choice between the two is real. Those who acknowledge the choice is real are obviously not going to choose torture. Those who don't acknowledge the choice is real don't make a choice at all, and so neither accept nor reject either option.

          May 29, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          they may mot think they are choosing torture...they will deny it...denying it does not make it go away

          May 30, 2014 at 1:51 am |
        • James XCIX

          How can you possibly make a choice you don't consciously know you are making? That makes no sense.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • kermit4jc

          people choose to be in denial

          May 30, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • James XCIX

          That's very weak.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:53 am |
        • kermit4jc

          it is what it is....sorry you cant handle denial

          May 30, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • James XCIX

          Agreed, it is what it is...weak. And what does "you can't handle denial" even mean?

          May 30, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • James XCIX

          If the torture happens then it happens, but not because it was chosen.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          sorry ben, what you see as hate is actually pity for you. If you're not capable of being good without that book, then you lack intellect and empathy. Some of us are capable of knowing right from wrong without your book. I get that hate comes to mind considering how your god is portrayed as love but is actually hateful, so you obviously have no idea as to what love is...like I said it is pity for you-not hate. Buy a dictionary young one and register for some science courses-they'll at least open your mind.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • new-man

          TP,
          you always claim one doesn't need God in order to be good; yet never once have I seen you display love in any of your posts. why is that – since you should be able to conjure up 'love' on your own and therefore display it as evidence of your 'goodness'/'humanity' or whatever term is being used these days.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • sam stone

          new-man.....yep, nothing says love like eternal torture

          your god is a pr1ck

          and you are a snivelling toady

          get back on your knees

          May 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • benhoody

          More Sam Stone hate, just can't stand being wrong can you Sam, just retaliate with hateful comments and put downs, your intelligence never fails from showing how low it really is. You are now so predictable there are not many even bothering reading your comments, they are beyond foolish.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • benhoody

          A sniveling toady, what kind of comment is that? I have heard a lot of stupid comments but you win Sam, hands down, yours is the stupidest.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • Akira

          I particularly like how benhoody has set himself up to be the blog Miss Manners, but is noticeably absent when his Christian Brethren behave badly.
          Thefinisher, Salero, awanderingscot, et al.
          I wonder why that is?
          Curious.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • benhoody

          Why not try to be a bit more observant before you spew what you have to say. I have had plenty to say about so called Christian brethren as you put it, so quit making yourself look so foolish.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @new-man,
          "A person rejects Love has subjected themselves through their own choice to eternal torture, because anything outside of Love must be torture."

          ... well, that and the fire! right?

          May 29, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • observer

          benhoody

          "Says the hate mongering athiest, never fails, if someone thinks differently than you all you can do is spew hate and name calling, very mature of you, of course that's the only way you can try to make yourself right, at least in your own eyes, but it always fails by making you look stupid."

          Replace "atheist" with "Christian" and you have the PERFECT description of awanderingscot's statements until very recently.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • new-man

          MidwestKen: "... well, that and the fire! right?"

          When a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit and with Fire... is this 'fire' the way man thinks of 'fire'...
          so how is it then that you see the 'lake of fire' as 'fire' the way man sees it.

          Jesus is a righteous and just Savior, Lord and King. Why do you fear Him?
          Torment has no place in Love.
          Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.

          You people keep trying to make it about you and what you need to do, not realizing Jesus has done everything already. You only need to rest in His finished work/what He has already done.
          You need to have a revelation of the Love of Jesus, so your fears will be totally dispelled. To that I say, read the gospel and ask the Holy Spirit to unveil your minds/

          May 29, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • Akira

          benhoody, you have? Apologies. Can you post where you did that? I seemed to have missed them. I would like to see what you had to say to them.
          I think it's grand we have someone who cherishes civility here.

          May 29, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • benhoody

          Either I look it up or you look it up. I know I said what I did so you look it it up instead of playing stupid games, my comments are there, check it out and the apologize.

          May 29, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
        • rogerthat2014

          I would not torture one of my kids for 1 second, but then I have morals and actually care for my kids.

          May 29, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          God does not torture his kids either

          May 30, 2014 at 1:54 am |
        • Akira

          Oh! I see. You're one of those.

          May 29, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @New-man,
          “so how is it then that you see the 'lake of fire' as 'fire' the way man sees it.”

          It sure seems like actual fire in the Bible:

          "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." -Matthew

          “They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

          “It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.”

          “In a similar way, Sod[]om and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to se[]xual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” – Jude

          “Jesus is a righteous and just Savior, Lord and King. Why do you fear Him?”

          I don’t. I just don’t see how you can consider eternal torture to be fair or just, either for incentive to worship or for punishment of sin.

          May 29, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          right hay buddy read my story some time, i fell in love with a human you god killed he and my children imprison me for 70 generation then did it to countless number of my loved ones.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0w2kQf0bjI

          May 29, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          hoody, You have access to all your posts; we have to search (and I can't always find mine with a search). Why not provide a link?

          May 29, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          new-man: I'm not showing love and yet you are?? I'm not the one telling LGBT they are sinning or telling women what they can and can't do with their bodies or using the threat of hell against people...that would all be Christians and if that is what you call love than your definition of love is very messed up. I'm not going to call your god loving or say anything positive about it when the bible shows that this so-called loving god had man do its dirty work and kill many. I'm not going to call you loving when you use your belief in an attempt to tell others how to live or what their 'final' destination is if they fail to give in to your beliefs.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:19 am |
        • sam stone

          ben: if someone wants to come on and have a discussion, i am all for it

          if they want to come on and preach, i will be rude

          if that bothers you, i suggest you put on your big boy pants and deal with it

          May 30, 2014 at 6:59 am |
    • sam stone

      fear not.....

      i do not fear your god, or any god

      that was simple enough

      May 29, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Unless of course you don't believe in this god, then you suffer eternal torture. Your god is not loving and is the epitome of hate...no better than the spouse who controls his/her partner placing fear in to them!

      May 29, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
  12. new-man

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PojH4KAIn0

    May 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
    • Reality

      Again for the "new man on the blog" in case he missed it the first time around:

      The Apostles'/Agnostics’ Creed 2014: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

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

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      May 29, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
  13. kenmargo

    Why doesn't god solve problems? I don't need to mention them. You read about them everyday. God could shut up every atheist in world by solving urgent problems people face everyday. The individual "prayers that are answered" don't measure up to the massive suffering many people go through.

    May 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • kermit4jc

      we do no tlive in a perfect world..nor will it ever be perfect..this is a temporary place.....even if God would do such...many will not shut up.its their natural tendency to be skeptical....they will find more excuses not to believe in God

      May 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
      • hotairace

        There are no rational reasons, backed up by actual evidence, to believe in any god. Only the indoctrinated, brainwashed, delusional and mentally ill believe in supernatural beings, again, for which there is no actual evidence.

        May 29, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          whatever....you can call me all you want..and be a liar.....I know what I know...you cant accept that...ok

          May 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • hotairace

          When it comes to your alleged but never proven god and associated myths, you don't *know* much but you do have faith in many several childish myths. Faith: pretending to know things you do not. Peter Boghossian.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          too bad he isn't God who knows the mind of others..but only PRETENDS to know other people's minds and what they know

          May 29, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
      • Reality

        And we still await Kermit's perusal of the historical Jesus references. Until he does, his comments have no meaning.

        May 29, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
  14. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." — George Carlin

    May 29, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Funny! As George Carlin always is.

      But surely the average person is neither stupid or smart – just average?

      I like this one:

      A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow. – Agent K, Men in Black.

      May 29, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Curiously, you can find both of these quotes here:
      http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Stupidity

      Also this one:
      "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful. Ignorance is one thing, but out society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable." – (Satanist) Anton Szandor LaVey

      Pithy, but I'm not sure it is fully accurate. It works for the tea party. I'd say the media emphasis is on promoting ignorance or vapidity more than stupidity.

      May 29, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
  15. Science Works

    Hey fred where is your creationist web site you said you had ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBdxDFpDp_k

    May 29, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    "when you know Christ ..." some folk say.

    It's a delusional statement really. We have absolutely NO idea of anything your book character may or may not have said or done. In a time when stories were passed on verbally and people had no idea of how the world worked and so wanted their "god" to be bigger and better than the next man's god, the stories just got better and bigger and more far fetched. You couldn't trust the accuracy of a story written down a month after the supposed happening, much less something written down the staggering 60 years, 100 years, 200 years after all the "jesus said" and "jesus did" parts of the bible supposedly happened. And even more laughable is that the "jesus" parts were written by people who weren't even there when it was supposedly said or done!!!

    It's all just so stupendously, mind numbingly asinine, I have trouble even knowing where to begin pointing out the myriad flaws in this whole cultish belief system.

    May 29, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • Reality

      Rigorous historic testing (number of attestations, time of recording, archeology, grammar, prior history) by a number of NT scholars has determined that ~30% of the NT is actually true. References were previously given.

      May 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
  17. new-man

    The convention was called “Freedom From Religion in the Bible Belt,”

    When you know Christ, you do not spend your time fighting for what you already have, because "if the Son sets you free, you are truly free". Free from vain philosophy, free from religion, free from man-made doctrines, and best of all, free from yourself.

    Be Blessed and Free my atheist friends. That's a FREE gift given to you by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

    May 29, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
    • Alias

      I tkind of sounds like you want people to accept your religion and stop thinking.

      May 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
      • new-man

        no. in fact, you and they are the ones who need to do some thinking, because as I've said you're fighting for something you already have. now, tell me, who has suspended their thinking.
        Jesus is not religious and never was during his time on earth, so this has nothing to do with religion.

        This is about ident.ity. If you know who you are, you cannot be convinced otherwise.

        May 29, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          We have no desire to be a slave to your form of religious stupidity...

          May 29, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "and best of all, free from yourself."

          Why would that be the best of all? Do you really not like yourself that much?

          May 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • new-man

          LET, you're 100% proof of someone who has suspended critical/logical thinking, one who is steeped in darkness, yet somehow thinks that darkness is light.
          you can only reflect the world you're most aware of – and that's Egypt (Bondage). To pretend your reality is all there is, surpasses blindness and foolishness.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Alias

          Jesus was a Rabi.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Madtown

          you're 100% proof of someone who has suspended critical/logical thinking
          ------
          Astoundingly hilarious irony alert.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • new-man

          Alias, you've said this before and I never bothered to correct you.
          Jesus was a carpenter. During his time, if a son was not accepted to be a student, the son had to learn the trade of his father, hence Jesus did not have formal training in being a Rabi.
          Yes, He was called a Rabi, but not because of schooling. It was because of the inherent wisdom and authority he worked/walked in through the Holy Spirit.

          for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Christians have an amazing skill at taking a plain and unambiguous sentence from the bible and surrounding it with escape hatches and self imagined fine print and obscure interpretations and shameless rationalizations and somehow saying that what is written in plain English actually means something entirely different. The bible is 'the unerring and unchangeable word of god' until it doesn't say what you want it to say and then any phrase can be changed to any extent a Christian wishes in an outrageous display of cognitive dissonance!

          new-man, you're a fraud!

          May 29, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so context doesnt mean anything to you?? what example were you thinking of when you posted this dog?

          May 29, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Alias

          That's what the Jews called him, even the Sanhedrin called him a rabi. Remember he taught in the synagogues until he started saying he was God and the Kingdom of Heaven was upon them. Jesus didn't exactly fit their preconception of what the messiah was supposed to do and look like.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Blah blah blah... I've noticed you say the same tired crap over and over again. 'Fools babble when the unknown confounds them' ~LET

          May 29, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          LET's Religiosity Law #3 – When a Christian reaches for their book to reference a quote... you know they are about to lie their ass off...

          May 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Superstitious nonsense that perpetuates ignorance...

      May 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
      • new-man

        thanks for your eloquence LET. How exactly is this achieved?

        May 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          you are the perfect example.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • sam stone

          familial pressure, community pressure, evangelism.....what drew you into christianity?

          May 29, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
    • Madtown

      "Who's Christ? Never heard of him. Why don't you follow my preferred ways of thinking about God? They are your only chance at salvation."

      – signed, your human brother who God placed in an area of this world where christianity doesn't exist

      May 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
      • new-man

        are you a more righteous judge, king, priest, savior than my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

        May 29, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Madtown

          Even today, right now, at this very moment, there are MANY humans across the globe that have no concept of Jesus' existence. Why do you doubt God's power?

          May 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • Alias

          Jesus has been dead for almost 2,000 years.
          His days of judging are over.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Mad-Town actually posts on this blog. That puts him ahead of Jesus.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Whoops. Madtown. No hyphenation.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • new-man

          Madtown, I'm not the one who doubts God's power. That's you.
          You have determined in your heart that He must show up in a certain way, and you will almost always miss Him because God hardly ever shows up in the manner in which we expect Him to.
          In reality, if you're a born-again believer, you have the exact same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living on the inside of you. It is that Spirit that want's out – to manifest itself through you. Not because God is incapable of having His work done otherwise, but He requires obedience, and it's only when you begin to obey that you begin to realize that you meant to be a co-creator with God, to transform all that's around you that needs transforming.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Madtown

          new-man
          I'm not the one who doubts God's power. That's you
          -----
          Hardly. Since God created the universe, clearly he's quite powerful. He didn't need your help to create the galaxy we live in, why would he need your help to distribute "his word"? You make the common mistake of thinking there's only 1 version of God........the one you prefer. But, that's the point. Your preferred version isn't universally available, and with an all-powerful God it easily could be, and WOULD BE if we're all created equal. Therefore, it's clearly a creation of the human mind. Your thoughts on God are exactly equal to the thoughts of our brother in the jungle who's never heard about christianity.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          why would he need your help to distribute “his word”? <-who said God needed help to spread the word? youthink God just has us sit heer and do ntohing for one another? sit and do nothing but twiddle out thumbs waiting for His return? we are HUMANS..and thyus we INTERACT with one another.....we are anbassadors for God....we represent Him...He doesnt need help..he had it that way for our own interactions and to show our love for one another

          May 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • Madtown

          <-who said God needed help to spread the word?
          ----–
          Humans wrote the bible, you peerless fool. If God wrote it, humans would have nothing to do with it. Pretty simple concept, which is likely why it passes cleanly over your head.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          AGAIN...WHO says God NEEDED the help? Just because the Bible was written by mwen does NOT mean God NEEDED the help

          May 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Madtown

          we are anbassadors for God....we represent Him.
          -----
          If you are an ambassador of God, God is likely very embarrassed.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yeah..God picks ONLY perfect people who makes no mistakes and such...right????

          May 29, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • new-man

          Madtown: "If you are an ambassador of God, God is likely very embarrassed."

          Are you Madtown embarrassed by your child who is learning to talk or learning to walk?

          God is NOT embarrassed by His children! He delights in their obedience. They will not get things right immediately, but one matures into Christ, it's not obtained overnight. Hence, the reason obedience is SO critically important.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • new-man

          Scripture was narrated by the Holy Spirit (Wisdom) and written down by the men Wisdom made it's dictates to.
          Jesus Christ, who is the very word of God read from Scripture. He had no dispute about it's accuracy or authenticity. Scripture is good enough for God the Son, it's MORE than good enough for me.

          Scripture =WORD of GOD
          Jesus/Yeshua= WORD of GOD becoming flesh/man. LIVING WORD
          There are NO disagreements between the two.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • Madtown

          but one matures into Christ, it's not obtained overnight
          ----–
          No kidding it's not overnight! Many people NEVER "mature into him" because they go their entire lives never learning about him, and God wants it this way. I wonder how many people God has created today, who will pass from this life never learning about christianity? I don't know how many exactly, but I do know it's a lot.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          because they go their entire lives never learning about him, and God wants it this way<-not at all..God wants that all be saved..btu he does notforce them into it...he does not make their decision for it

          May 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • Madtown

          Scripture was narrated by the Holy Spirit (Wisdom) and written down by the men Wisdom made it's dictates to
          --------
          And, you know this how? Let me guess...........the authors said so! Extremely convincing. If this were true, why do you think God just didn't similarly inspire other humans, living in other cultures throughout the world, to write the same concepts? That way, EVERYONE would have the same message, and you'd have a more legitimate argument that this word was truly inspired by God. As it is, you just have a group of humans trying to convince others to accept their opinions, by saying their opinions are actually the "word of God".

          May 29, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • hotairace

          new-man, I fixed your post above:

          Scripture was allegedly narrated by the alleged but never proven Holy Spirit (Wisdom) and written down by the men Wisdom allegedly made it's dictates to.
          Alleged but never proven Jesus Christ, who is allegedly the very word of the alleged but never proven God allegedly read from Scripture. He allegedly had no dispute about it's accuracy or authenticity. Scripture is allegedly good enough for the alleged but never proven God the alleged Son, it's MORE than good enough for me.

          Scripture =alleged WORD of alleged but never proven GOD
          Jesus/Yeshua= alleged WORD of alleged but never proven GOD allegedly becoming flesh/man. LIVING WORD
          There are NUMEROUS disagreements between the two.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • Madtown

          God wants that all be saved..btu he does notforce them into it
          -----
          No kidding he doesn't force them into it, he doesn't even give them a choice! Again, they've never heard of christianity. You cannot possibly accept, or reject, something you have no knowledge of. God wants it this way, because he continues to create these human beings, and place them into areas of the world where they will never learn the first thing about it. If he wanted them to learn of it, he'd provide a way for them to know it. He doesn't.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          he doesn’t even give them a choice! Again, they’ve never heard of Christianity<-its not Christiianity people need to hear of..but Jeswus..and God..and the yCHOOSE to accept other gods..God ALREADY knows their hearts and he will reveal himself to those who WANT truth..not merely take it cause mom and dad believed it..etc.......so no..he doesn't "want" it that way..it only looks to you like it out of your ignorance of people....God has made himself known in the Creeaiton..but people like atheists will deny it...their own choice...yes..CHOICE..peop,le ARE able to make a choice...stop playing blame game with God and take responsibility for willfull ignorance

          May 29, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • sam stone

          "God wants that all be saved"

          So, he can forgive without having people accept his son as a savior?

          May 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          God is a JUST God..He cannot change his nature...Justice still is served..he desires all to be saved..He does not make their decisions for them

          May 29, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • sam stone

          i am no kind of judge, savior, etc than jeebus

          but, i am real so i have it all over your sainted pincushion

          May 29, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • benhoody

          There's that Jeebus word that someone thinks is supposed to be funny but only shows the persons child like intelligence, then followed by the put down. Coming from someone who claims he is real is rather funny, you are real alright, but a real what?

          May 29, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • new-man

          sam stone: "So, he can forgive without having people accept his son as a savior?"

          Jesus is already Savior, whether you believe it or not. The question is do you choose to make Him your Lord.

          Savior – one who saves you.
          Lord – is one you must obey.

          You had no choice in Him saving you. He did it out of Love.
          You do have a choice in making Him your Lord. You do this out of love, grati.tude...

          May 29, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • Akira

          Madtown's point is clear: if one has never heard of Jesus/Bible, they cannot be saved in the Christian sense of that term.

          May 29, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "because they go their entire lives never learning about him, "

          Gee kermi, did it ever occur to you that perhaps belief is taught and not something one is born with? You seem to know a lot about this god that has never been shown to exist (no, your personal delusions are not evidence...they merely tell us that you are biased and ignorant and uneducated in real facts) and you seem to make a tremendous amount of excuses for the immoral actions of this god. If you had not been indoctrinated to believe in this god and instead indoctrinated to believe in another god, what do you suppose the result would be? Stop pretending to know something that you can't possibly know,
          it's intellectually dishonest (not that honesty or intellect are expected of you).

          May 29, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • sam stone

          new-man: jesus is long dead, christ is a myth, whether you believe it or not

          see how easy that was?

          May 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • benhoody

          Says the guy with no proof.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • sam stone

          "God is a JUST God..He cannot change his nature"

          God is a myth

          People see that myth the way they want to see that myth

          Angry pr1cks see god as a vindictive monster

          Such as you, Kermy

          May 29, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • benhoody

          So predictable of your answers, first a hateful comment, then the hateful put down, so mature Sam, so mature, that's no way to react just because you are wrong.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          don't speak for me...I don't see God as a vindictive God..I see Him as a JUST God...vindictive means seeking revenge...its not about revenge....sorry you have a dim view of that

          May 30, 2014 at 1:53 am |
        • hotairace

          hoody, you've got the easy part done – the talking. Now all you have to do is prove Sam wrong. I'm betting you can't.

          May 29, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
        • benhoody

          Neither can he prove what he is saying can he? It's not hard to prove someone wrong when all they do is call others names and make hateful comments, they prove themselves wrong. Someone having a different opinion is one thing, but the nasty hateful comments are not called for especially when he can't back up what he is saying.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:31 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          ben: Nor can you prove any of your statements correct and yet you people put others down constantly. Don't call others out if you're not willing to back your opinions of your god with hard-core, scientific facts. The burden of proof doesn't ever lie on the asking for it, it lies on the one making the claim and so far no Christian has ever met that (the bible doesn't count). Skip the hypocrisy...you're no better than those you argue against.

          May 30, 2014 at 3:55 am |
        • sam stone

          no, ben, YOU'RE wrong. there is no reaching you

          May 30, 2014 at 7:20 am |
        • sam stone

          kermit: how is it justice if he knows what we are going to do before we do it?

          an omniscient god is inconsistent with free will

          if free will does not exist, then this is not justice, it is entrapment

          May 30, 2014 at 7:25 am |
        • kermit4jc

          you assume it to be inconsistent with free will...but you are looking from wrong viewpoint...youre looking as a finite human with limited knowledge in this realm....doesn't work in all realms

          May 30, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • sam stone

          "It's not hard to prove someone wrong when all they do is call others names and make hateful comments,"

          That's not all i do, ben, but fair enough, i react to irrational preaching harshly

          i will be more mindful of it

          now, answer this.....if god is omniscient, and knows what i am going to do before i do it, and cannot be wrong, how does free will exist?

          May 30, 2014 at 7:33 am |
    • tallulah131

      No thank you, new-man. What you offer has absolutely no value to me. Perhaps if there were any evidence that the god you believe in actually exists - or indeed that any gods exist - I would have a different opinion. But there is no such evidence so I'll leave religion to those who need that sort of thing.

      May 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
      • new-man

        Tallulah,
        it's not my offer you reject. of myself, I have nothing to offer you, but all that is Christ Jesus- His righteousness, His obedience, His Sacrifice, His Holiness, His Peace, His Wisdom. See, all that the Father has, He's given to Christ, and all that Christ Jesus has, He's given to us.
        So you reject an indescribable gift. If you had the slightest idea of what it is you're rejecting you'd weep for being so nonchalant about so great a gift. But the beauty and love of our God is such that, you have the FREEDOM (there's that word again) to accept or to reject what He has freely given you.

        Stay Blessed and abide in Love in all you do.

        May 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Ridiculous nonsense. You seem to be good at parroting your cult's mumbo jumbo though...

          May 29, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • believerfred

          new-man
          I hate to agree with Lucifer, but what you say does sound like nonsense to those who are godless and have no desire for anything other than godlessness.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • new-man

          haha,
          thanks fred.

          How is it those who claim to be non-religious are the most vociferous, and angry in their disagreements with those of differing faith.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • Madtown

          all that Christ Jesus has, He's given to us
          ----
          Define "us". Certainly doesn't mean every human throughout the entire world.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Madtown

          does sound like nonsense to those who are godless
          -----
          What about someone who believes fully in God, but doesn't follow the same religious traditions that you do? Will it make sense to them? Are they too "Godless", since they don't agree with you?

          May 29, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • believerfred

          Madtown
          There was a reason Jesus blasted religious traditions and nothing has changed. Religious traditions are cause of disbelief to this very day because they are of man not God.

          May 29, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Akira

          Destroy the heretic! Her choices shame us all!

          May 29, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • Akira

          How is believing in God a false religion, Fred?

          May 29, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • sam stone

          fred: God, Jesus and the Bible is of man, too

          May 29, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • believerfred

          Akira
          The true revelation of God was given to the Hebrew and carried down for all generations. This was their duty. By the time of Christ that truth was stuffed with all kinds of "religious" nonsense to the point the Hebrew themselves were further from God than those who were not part of the religion. Their vision and presentation of God was no longer true. The love of anything other than the one and only true God is godlessness. When you create your own god it is godlessness because that is idolatry.

          May 29, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • believerfred

          sam stone
          You do not know God or Jesus you only know about them. I would agree that what you know about God and Jesus is of man. It is God who opens hearts and minds to the reality that is far more than man could imagine.

          May 29, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • tallulah131

          new-man, your religion is based on one of the most horrific acts imaginable: The crucifixion of an innocent man. And why? So that you don't have to be accountable for your own actions.

          All I see in your religion is a thuggish god who required human sacrifice because he was too petty to accept honest contrition and human beings so cowardly that they would rather that a man be murdered than be responsible for themselves. I find nothing beautiful in that. In fact, it disgusts me. I am grateful that there is not a single shred of evidence to show that your god exists. But even if your god were real, I would not worship such a bully.

          May 29, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • Akira

          Placed properly:
          That really didn’t address what I was getting at, Fred; let me elaborate…if one believes in God and Jesus, but does not follow a particular Christian denomination, are they godless?

          May 29, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • sam stone

          perhaps that is in response to the pompousness of believers, new-man

          May 30, 2014 at 7:42 am |
        • sam stone

          "You do not know God or Jesus you only know about them. I would agree that what you know about God and Jesus is of man. It is God who opens hearts and minds to the reality that is far more than man could imagine."

          It appears as if you are equating BELIEF with KNOWLEDGE.

          Is that the case?

          May 30, 2014 at 7:46 am |
        • sam stone

          'The true revelation of God was given to the Hebrew and carried down for all generations. This was their duty. By the time of Christ that truth was stuffed with all kinds of "religious" nonsense to the point the Hebrew themselves were further from God than those who were not part of the religion."

          or.......

          it's all man made mythology

          May 30, 2014 at 7:50 am |
      • believerfred

        Madtown
        Jesus asked Peter "who do you say I AM" and Peter together with 70 others followed Jesus yet all fell away at different times and in different ways.
        Knowing God is not a matter of the shingle outside your church door. Jesus said depart from me you wicked and perverse generation for when I was hungry you did not feed me, when I was thirsty you gave me no drink , when I was sick or in prison you did not visit me. It is when your nature is to bless others because of Christ in you that you can claim to know God.
        I do not get hung up with understanding what "Christ or God" my look like because if God wanted us to have the same picture in our wallet he would have painted one for us. The image God did give was sufficient so that 98% of the world knows if they love their neighbor as themselves. God on the other hand is not that easy. To love God with all your heart, mind and strength takes revelation from God not man.

        May 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
      • Akira

        That really didn't address what I was getting at, Fred; let me elaborate...if one believes in God and Jesus, but does not follow a particular Christian denomination, are they godless?

        May 29, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
        • Akira

          Oops; misplaced post...sorry.

          May 29, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the "new man" on the blog:

      The Apostles'/ Creed 2014: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

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

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      May 29, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
      • believerfred

        Reality
        With exception of the 3 center paragraphs : "believe there was...preacher-man... born of a young Jewish
        girl named Mary...crucified " You have no evidence for any of your other speculations.

        So, exactly what gives your speculations greater veracity than than the accepted works of Paul or the Bishops of the those churches established long before A.D. 170 and as much as 1,000 years or longer before the skeptics came to the front lines to defend the godless?

        May 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Reality

          References used to update the Apostles' Creed- as requested:

          o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

          2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
          – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews
          50-120 Didache
          50-140 Gospel of Thomas
          50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
          50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
          65-80 Gospel of Mark
          70-100 Epistle of James
          70-120 Egerton Gospel
          70-160 Gospel of Peter
          70-160 Secret Mark
          70-200 Fayyum Fragment
          70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
          73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
          80-100 2 Thessalonians
          80-100 Ephesians
          80-100 Gospel of Matthew
          80-110 1 Peter
          80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
          80-130 Gospel of Luke
          80-130 Acts of the Apostles
          80-140 1 Clement
          80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
          80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
          80-250 Christian Sibyllines
          90-95 Apocalypse of John
          90-120 Gospel of John
          90-120 1 John
          90-120 2 John
          90-120 3 John
          90-120 Epistle of Jude
          93 Flavius Josephus
          100-150 1 Timothy
          100-150 2 Timothy
          100-150 T-itus
          100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
          100-150 Secret Book of James
          100-150 Preaching of Peter
          100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
          100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
          100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
          100-160 2 Peter

           4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
          5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
          7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
          8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
          9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
          (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
          by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
          10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
          Presented on March 18, 1994
          ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
          11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
          wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
          12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
          faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
          13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
          mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
          14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
          15. D-iseases in the Bible:
          http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

          16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,
          theologians, eth-ics, etc. religion-online.o–rg/
          17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT n-tgate-way.com/
          18 Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, o–r–al tradition etc.
          n-tgat-eway.com/
          19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
          http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
          20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
          21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
          in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
          22. NT and beyond time line:
          pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
          23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
          harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
          24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
          25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
          27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
          28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
          29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

          May 29, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • believerfred

          Reality
          Stopping in AD 160 it was seem we have a lot of writing that took place before the conspiracy to fool all people for all time with stories that don't look contrived. How do the skeptics of 1977 have better information? Were many of these skeptics also the same ones who denied the Old Testament up until the day the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered?

          May 29, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          fred, The Dead Sea Scrolls only prove that the OT stories are old, not that they reflect reality. We know that Genesis is mostly fiction, probably all fiction.

          May 29, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • believerfred

          InSantaWeTrust
          We know Harry Potter is fiction but you could not possibly know Genesis is fiction yet alone what portion is or is not.

          May 29, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @fred,

          except you mean that Genesis 1 and 2 are clearly two different and inconsistent stories, written perhaps centuries apart, and then welded together and that the Noah fable is myth borrowed directly from ancient Sumeria.

          May 29, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • believerfred

          GOPer
          No. Genesis 1 and 2 are revelations of God. In Genesis 1 the word for God is not the same as in in Genesis 2. We went through this before so I will not go into great detail. God is revealed to His creation throughout the Bibles account over time. In Genesis 1 God is revealed as eternal creator bringing about creation. Genesis 2 we see God resting from creation then the key word shifts over to Lord God as we begin the account of man. The revelation of God in Genesis 2 is a personal God. Here we have detail about man formed by Lord God out of the earth and the breath of God. Very important as a relationship between Lord God and man was personal we see Creator God is Lord God.
          If you cannot understand the basic nature of God in these two chapters you cannot grasp the wonder of the flood. The flood story is not about the geology, physics or the working of natural laws known to man. The flood story remains the best summary of the plan of creation and Gods love. The story was the same in day of Noah as in the day of Jesus and at the final End of Days. If you have the life created for you then you will be in Christ as Noah was in the Ark when all wickedness is washed away.
          I suppose you believe in some other construct for existence but this is the one revealed by God. I have not heard of a better one have you?

          May 29, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "I suppose you believe in some other construct for existence but this is the one revealed by God. I have not heard of a better one have you?
          Existence simply is.

          Sure it would be nice to know why we are here, but after millennia of late nights by philosophers we're no closer to an understanding. At this point it's not something I spend a lot of time worrying about. We are here and might as well make the most of it.

          I certainly don't accept what I see as Middle Eastern myths written and modified over centuries as a comprehensive explanation – either literally or allegorically.

          May 29, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          fred, Man made fully-formed from mud. Woman made fully-formed from rib of mud-man. Talking snake. Only two people on earth had one surviving son yet he found a wife. Woman turned to salt. Global flood. All fiction. What in Genesis is not?

          May 29, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • Reality

          Some 21st century reality about the OT via the studies of Conservative Jewish scholars:

          origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

          New Torah For Modern Minds

          “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
          Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

          The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

          Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

          The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

          The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

          May 30, 2014 at 12:20 am |
        • kermit4jc

          many od todays Jews are not really reliable to get information from..if you study the history of the Jews since time of Christ..many have become whats called Rabbinical Jews...they nearly become atheists themselves......not a good source of info from those who were never like the Jews of Jesus time

          May 30, 2014 at 2:09 am |
        • kermit4jc

          btw the Exodus is that..an exodus...a raveling party..WHErE are they gonna have pottery?? they are traveling around all the time...your enot gonna find a whole lot of stuff....kind of silly to think you will find things from such an expedition

          May 30, 2014 at 2:10 am |
        • Reality

          Obviously, Kermit's library is limited to one book. On the other hand, OT and NT scholars use rigorous testing of all docu-ents and archeology from the time periods involved.

          May 30, 2014 at 6:44 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I am an avid reader..what makes you think my library is limited???

          May 30, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • Akira

          They had gold and the tools to fashion the golden calf; they carried their household goods when they started their exodus. Not a giant leap to think that their household pottery traveled with them.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          however....did they have resources within reach...the clay to make pottery....they wandered from place to polace..think they would be reckless with all their belongings? I would think strategically theyd save the clay from the broken pottery and reuse it again...and if not...the desert is a huge place..youre talking of looking for a needle in a haystack anyways...just because none have been found yet doesn't mean they wont find any

          May 30, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Kermit,

          the "wandering" in the desert (supposedly) took 40 years. If that is true, (which it probably isn't), they would have built all kinds of semi-permanent towns along the way, living in each for months at a time. For a bronze age society to function for 40 years, they would have had pots.

          The whole story is far-fetched. The Sinai peninsular is a pretty inhospitable place. The ancient 'thoroughfare' is alone the coast line. It's about 400km from Cairo to Jerusalem along the coast (thank you Google). At the relatively slow pace of 10km per day, (6 miles) it would take 40 days, not 40 years if you actually knew where you were going.

          May 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          did it say they did not know where they were going? they were forced to stay ion the desert.....and again as I said to the other blogger....its a huge place....youre looking for a needle in a haystack....

          May 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          You did say:

          "the Exodus is that..an exodus...a raveling party..WHErE are they gonna have pottery?? they are traveling around all the time...your enot gonna find a whole lot of stuff....kind of silly to think you will find things from such an expedition

          Which was pure nonsense. They supposedly traveled for 40 years. Yes, they had pots. Are you familiar with how the Bedouin traveled? Tents, goats camels rugs, and pots. That's the only way a society travels for 40 years. You've got to stop looking at the pictures in your bible for children or watching the Ten Commandments movie where they have nothing but the shirts on their back.

          If their goal was Palestine, there's still no way it could have taken them 40 years. I guess Moses was like the joke about guys driving the car, he was too embarrassed to stop and ask for directions.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • Akira

          I am not "looking for a needle in a haystack".
          They would have visited outposts. They would have replenished supplies.
          I am simply pointing out the reality that they had taken their household items with them at the beginning of their Exodus; they had gold and the tools to fashion the Golden Calf. It isn't beyond the realm of possibility that they took their pottery, also.
          Beyond that, any conclusion you draw from my post is yours, not mine.

          May 30, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I am not “looking for a needle in a haystack”.
          They would have visited outposts. They would have replenished supplies.<-however the Bible does not say they did...again the desert is a VAST area....trying to look for things left by the people of the exodus..especially when there is no specific route stated is a terribly difficult thing to do....just because nothing has been found YEt does not mean it did not happen...scientists have NOT found all the answers to things yet..and they do not give up..as critics do with the exodus thing

          May 31, 2014 at 2:04 am |
    • Reality

      John 8:36

      New Living Translation (NLT)

      "36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free."

      But what about this passage from an historic basis?

      From Professor Gerd Ludemann's studies in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 402:

      "The conclusion is that none of the statements supposed to have been made by Jesus or the Jews in John 8: 30-59 was spoken during Jesus' lifetime".

      In addition:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

      "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

      May 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    Yesterday morning there was a knock at my door. A pleasant and enthusiastic young couple were there.

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "In this town, Hank is the same as good luck. All good things are attributed to Hank'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it plausible that it might be made of cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists don’t know everything, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    May 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "NOBODY GETS IN TO SEE THE WIZARD, Not Nobody, Not No How!"

      May 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
  19. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    "History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it." — Robert A. Heinlein

    May 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
  20. lunchbreaker

    The only thing that we can conclude from a universe that had a beginning is that something outside of our universe caused it to begin. As of yet, no one has observed anything outside of our universe and we do not know if that observations is even possible.

    May 29, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      then what caused that "something outside of our universe" to begin?

      why does there have to be a beginning? The universe is infinite. There is no need for a creator, especially not the fairy tale version imagined and written down by bronze age desert dwelling goat herders.

      May 29, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • Alias

        The goat herders get too much credit. It was the fishermen that did most of the writing.
        Case in point – someone got swallowed by a whale for three days. That is clearly a fish story. If goat herders had written that we clearly would have had something else swallow people whole. I can't help but wonder what it would have been .....

        May 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        "then what caused that "something outside of our universe" to begin?"

        If "something outside of our universe" exists, I couldn't say if that thing needed to have a beginning or not.

        "why does there have to be a beginning?"

        I don't know for sure if it had to, but I lean towards observable universe, yes; outside observable universe no.

        "The universe is infinite. There is no need for a creator, especially not the fairy tale version imagined and written down by bronze age desert dwelling goat herders."

        Agree 100%

        May 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
    • Madtown

      We could be the result of a high school science experiment. Our entire universe may exist in a fish bowl sitting on some kid's desk.

      May 29, 2014 at 11:58 am |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      Much like most people misunderstand "empty space" since it's not really empty, I believe the vast majority of people misunderstand physics, dark matter and dark energy leaving them with very narrow possibilities as to how things got where they are. This is what leads some to make comments like "something outside of our universe caused it to begin." even though they know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed and matter is just energy in another form. Logic would tell us that energy was still there before the big bang, just perhaps in a totaly unknown form. The religious want to call that unknown form of energy "God" and they assign it human emotions like love, jealousy, anger, hate and regret and then claim to have a personal relationship with it. I think that is a pretty silly thing to do when we have so much more to learn about this universe and its energy.

      May 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      I get the impression that those who would lean solely on science to answer the big questions of life have never read Plato.

      In Plato’s “The Republic,” he uses an illustration to show the difference between what he called “knowledge,” and “opinion.” Imagine men who are chained to a wall inside the dark interior of a cave. They receive both warmth and light from a small fire. All that the men can observe are the flickering shadows cast on the wall of the cave by the fire. The only reality that they know outside of themselves is that of the shadows. It is not until they are freed from the confines of the darkness and emerge into the light of day that they can perceive reality as it is. Until then, they confuse the shadows on the wall with the real truth.

      Opinion rests on as.sumptions drawn from shadows. All knowledge that rests solely on observations of this external world is not true knowledge, but is a mere shadow of the truth. To get to the truth, one must get beyond the immediate realm of sense perception, and into the eternal realm of ultimate reality.

      May 29, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • Alias

        Nice analagy Theo,
        except that you took it a step too far.
        You want people to see things that are not there in order to understand the reality you live in.

        May 29, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        In the example you use you say "It is not until they are freed from the confines of the darkness and emerge into the light of day that they can perceive reality as it is"

        Well compared to Platos time humanity has invented huge spotlights that have illuminated some of the furthest reaches of the universe and made wide ranging discoveries from germs to quantum physics, yet you still want to sit in the dark chained to your ancient scripture claiming that no one can see past the shadows. There is nothing more pathetic and unnecessary than a person who refuses to come out of the darkness because they are still waiting for some magic man in the sky to rescue them from reality.

        May 29, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          I think what Plato was getting at was that it was the very trappings of our "creatureliness" that prevented us from seeing reality as it truly is. Sure, we can make a brighter spotlight, but if we're still inside the cave, then all we're doing is making the shadows go away – from our vantage point, we can in no way shed light on that which is outside..

          May 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Alias

          But you are not just leaving a cave theo,
          You are seeing things that are not there. Plato did not mean it was a good idea to include figments of our imagination in to reality.

          May 29, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          It has been religion in its many forms that has been the chains on humanity. To say we have not peeked outside our cave is extremely ignorant and somewhat offensive to the great strides humanity has made in improving the quality of life and understanding of our reality. I understand the philosophical nature of not understanding whats outside our realm of experirence, but so far there has not been a single verifiable shred of evidence to suggest there is anything outside of the universe we find ourselves in. You might as well say our universe sits in an undetecable bowl of cosmic cotton candy but until you get some tiny piece of evidence to suggest that is true why should anyone believe you? Because cotton candy taste good? Is that really a viable reason?

          May 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Theo, "... we can in no way shed light on that which is outside."

          Then how can you claim to know what is outside and what is your evidence?

          May 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Because Him who was outside the cave has come in to set me free from chains, and escorted me outside, and revealed truth.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          What if "Him" never actually came from outside, but only from a smaller cave inside yours? How would you know the difference?

          May 30, 2014 at 8:10 am |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        While you wait in the dark Theo, think about this:

        “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank

        Don't wait on God to fix things, don't wait for Armageddon to wipe away the ills of this world. Get off your lazy religious asses and work to help improve things, not by trying to get others to believe in your brand of deity, but by opening yourself up to others and being empathetic, compassionate and passionate about love, life and the human condition.

        May 29, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Don't wait on God to fix things, don't wait for Armageddon to wipe away the ills of this world. Get off your lazy religious asses and work to help improve things, not by trying to get others to believe in your brand of deity, but by opening yourself up to others and being empathetic, compassionate and passionate about love, life and the human condition."
          -----------------
          Not that I have to prove myself to you, but in the spirit of Paul who gave his credentials to those who questioned him in the same way as you seem to be questioning me – I have helped drunkards and drug addicts to overcome their addictions, I have been a missionary both at home and abroad where I aided the infirm in making modifications to their homes to make them more accessible, as well as provided construction services to those in need after hurricanes. I have helped Habitat for Humanity, and have been involved in giving local school children backpacks and meals for school.

          Sir, I have done what I could to make this world a better place. We are called to do that in Scripture, but we are also told to "preach the word in season, and out of season." And I have also done that in this country and elsewhere.

          May 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Madtown

          You are called to that in scripture......by the humans that authored the scripture, not by God. God is powerful enough to distribute any word he'd desire to write, to everyone equally without human as.sistance.

          May 29, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Well then I applaud you for getting up and doing something with your time, though the preaching part is again just more fluffery and doesn't do anyone any good. I liken it to the stone in the story of stone soup. It is merely a convenient excuse to gather hard working farms around the table where then each shares the actual ingredients they have worked hard to produce. The guy that brought the stone gets to have some amazing veggetable soup for free because he convinced everyone to share not only among themselves but with him as well. It is the placebo that many can point at and say "See, soup kitchen! Good. See, helping the poor! Good. See, providing a sense of community! Isn't it all good? Well the actions being taken by the people are good, but the religion didn't lift a single finger.

          May 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        Theo, isn't the only way into "the eternal realm of ultimate reality" death? If not, could you please clarify the path to "the eternal realm of ultimate reality"?

        May 29, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "isn't the only way into "the eternal realm of ultimate reality" death?"
          --------------------
          No, not of necessity. Only that any means of our own observations are going to be tainted. In this life, since we are finite, there is no way for us to peer into the infinite – we may be able to gaze with sophisticated tools, but our vision is still limited, and we can in no way intrude upon the infinite.

          The infinite however can intrude onto us, but to get into that, one must at least recognize as a possibility that the holy can exist amongst the profane – that it is a possibility that God exists, and that He is a revealer of truth.

          May 29, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo: "The infinite however can intrude onto us, but to get into that, one must at least recognize as a possibility that the holy can exist amongst the profane..."

          LOL – what a nutcase.

          May 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "The infinite however can intrude onto us, but to get into that, one must at least recognize as a possibility that the holy can exist "

          If your God actually existed then it would intrude onto us whether we believed in it or not. To say you have to first believe something without evidence before the evidence will present itself is simply laughable.

          May 29, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "If your God actually existed then it would intrude onto us whether we believed in it or not."
          -------------------------
          Jesus was an intrusion of the holy into the world of the profane. And He has come despite your lack of belief.

          May 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          As have many other humans claiming to be prophets or messengers of the divine. So far not a single shred of verifiable evidence exists of anything supernatural, ever. If you start down the road of unverified prophets the list gets very long. The only thing all of them have in common, from Joseph Smith to Jesus is that none left a single shred of evidentiary proof that their message came from anything other than themselves.

          May 29, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Madtown

          "How come he didn't come to see us? If he was too busy, how come God didn't send his brother?"

          – sincerely, humans in North America at the time of Christ

          May 29, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "So far not a single shred of verifiable evidence exists of anything supernatural, ever."
          --------------------–
          What do you consider verifyable evidence?

          May 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          If your imagined divine exists and has ANY effect whatsoever on our material, physical world, then it should be measurable. If following your God and doing what you claim he wants for us, then there should be a measurable difference between the lives of those who do follow his every request versus those who do not. That would be acceptable proof, though I would prefer a deity who cared enough to just tell us individually of his existence and let us know what he/she/it wants of us. Do I think that would ruin free will as many religious persons claim? No, it wouldn't as evidenced by your own book speaking of one of your Gods creations who knows God, has stood before God and yet still does what he wants and rejects your Gods right to rule him.

          May 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          "What do you consider verifyable evidence?"
          Let's take the example of your God. If he exists, and if he actually interacts and even affects our reality we really ought to be able to measure that effect, right? If we can't, then how is the experience that people report of God in their lives any different from a delusion?

          May 29, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          " that it is a possibility that God exists"
          Sure, God could exist. So could Zeus, Isis, Quetzalcoatl, and all of the other gods and goddesses. You wouldn't accept the reality of some other god based on the faith of his followers, so why do you ask us to do that for yours?

          May 29, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
      • tallulah131

        It's amazing how much humanity has learned since Plato's time, yet in all that time, with all that learning there is still not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of gods. After a while, a rational person stops making excuses and stops believing in myths.

        May 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

        May 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Yes, we shouldn't confuse perception with reality.

        The problem is, that by that standard, there is no way to define reality. Making stuff up isn't a subst.itute either.

        "Truth" is the domain of the philosophers and they're not out of a job yet.

        May 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        So your imagination then. Why discuss as if science and knowledge were important to your conclusions?

        May 29, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • kudlak

        Theo Phileo
        Well, not all "big questions", but certainly the ones about the physical universe. Other big questions, ones related to morals, ethics, relationships, and the meaning of life can perhaps be better answered through philosophy, literature, poetry, art, psychology, and even religion, although the last one on the list suffers from pretensions of knowing the absolute truth for everyone, and truths about the physical universe unsupported by any evidence. That pretty much makes it the least useful source of knowledge available to mankind.

        May 29, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
      • hotairace

        It is impossible to argue with a believer about whether or not gods exist because they are in control of the definition and characteristics of their alleged but never proven imaginary buddies. Of course, they don't have any actual evidence for any of their supernatural claims, evidence that would stand up to the scientific method or the justice system's rules of evidence, but that's not a problem as they just simply change their definitions anytime they find themselves cornered. Or they simply run away. We shouldn't expect mentally ill delusional's who believe crap without actual evidence to behave any differently. Clinging to their childish myths, at any cost, is way more important than actual truth and reality.

        May 29, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • kudlak

          Yup!
          You'd likely have better luck playing the "I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100" game with someone allowing you only one guess.

          May 30, 2014 at 10:22 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Perhaps I should rephrase that as "Our observable universe". At some level there had to be something that had no beginning, even if that something was just the potential for something to exist. I'm partial to brane theory, just because it's the first "before the big bang" theory that makes sense to me.

      May 29, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Advertisement
About this blog

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