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May 24th, 2014
06:00 PM ET

Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

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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. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    The debate about creationism versus atheism is thoroughly boring.

    Why?

    That debate simply misses the point. Creationism versus atheism is actually no issue at all. This debate doesn't really exist.

    It is not the point, if there is a God or not, but the issue is how we can live as faithul Christians in a thoroughly secular world.

    There are very little true believers in God today having the faith of Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and the Apostles. Most so-called Christians are just nominal Christians, and very many people are members of sects, cults and false churches. Strictly speaking, all that people belong to the secular world, and have nothing to do with the Lord, the eternal God who has made heaven and earth. They have never entered the Kingdom of God through the Rebirth.

    My workmates are secularized Catholics, devout or less devout Muslims, Jehova's Witnesses, Greek Orthodox, etc. I really have to struggle to come through there without denying my faith in Jesus. I want to practice unbiased love. My workmates certainly are not unbiased. Finally I will make the following experience I often made on this blog here: All my workmates will characterize me as the bigoted a-ss. I more and more understand what Jesus, the most loveable man ever lived on earth, had to endure. The religious dudes hate the true believers (the Jewish leaders hated Jesus). That is the real issue, a severe issue.

    It is really true what Jesus said: Everybody wanting to follow me has to endure rejection and suffering (to bear the cross of Jesus).

    Only people having endured rejection by the secularworld without denying Jesus Christ, will once get into heaven. When we endure rejection and suffering, we keep the faith in Jesus, and Jesus gives us the power to withstand.

    Be honest: It is not about, if there is a God or not, but you are simply too coward to accept the drawbacks which you had to face, if you would confess faith in Jesus Christ. Be aware that you will not get eternal reward beyond, if you were not ready to suffer here for the Lord's sake.

    Get the real thing!

    Jesus Christ wants YOU!

    May 31, 2014 at 8:19 am |
    • saggyroy

      I only read the first sentence. There is no debate.

      May 31, 2014 at 8:22 am |
    • MidwestKen

      " It is not the point, if there is a God or not, but the issue is how we can live as faithul Christians in a thoroughly secular world."

      How does that even make sense? If there is no god then can there even be any faithful Christians?

      May 31, 2014 at 8:32 am |
    • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      Concerning Islamic bigotry:

      Today morning I gave same goodies to a little girl who is the daughter of a next-door neighbour.

      That girl is very kind and polite. Through the goodies I wanted to express my joy about the behaviour of the girl or her character (strangely enough her father hesitates to greet me though I try to greet him).

      However, when I presented the goodies she asked my: "Does that contain pork?" I answered that she should not worry because these are just goodies. What should goodies have to do with pork?

      Assumed my present had contained pork, and I had been forced to admit it, certainly the girl had refused to accept my present. A religious law (the Muslim law prohibiting the eating of pork) had prevented us from entering into a little friendship.

      Another proof that man-made religion separates us instead of uniting us.

      Me, I am a Christian. I gave the present though I know that that girl has got Muslim parents. I will keep on giving presents to the girls and her sisters, even to the parents I will try. There is a great difference between genuine Christianity and Islam – it is similar to the difference between heaven and hell, and the difference between unbiased love and bigotry.

      May 31, 2014 at 8:40 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        If my neighbor gave my child something even though I did not associate with them, I'd be worried about the giver being safe around my child. Have some decency and ask before giving to those children-they're not old enough to say no, so you should respect their parents and ask permission first.

        May 31, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Our Western World has become quite corrupted, if everybody giving a present to a child is suspected to have evil intentions.

          However, there are still people giving presents because of unbiased love. Not every kiss is the kiss of Jude. Don't make a mistake.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          It's nice that you think of the kids but giving them gifts without the parents permission does make one suspicious and it should regardless of what your uneducated, bigoted, small-mind may think. It certainly doesn't show respect for the parents-maybe the parents don't want their children having those gifts but I'm guessing like so many other things in this world, you simply don't care...it's all brownie points with the big guy for you and yet as stated below, given how horrible of a person you come across as being on here, hell-if it exists (hahahaha), is exactly where you'd be headed.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • Akira

          Rainier, make sure your presents aren't food-based, get permission from their parents, and stop treating them like they're from another planet instead of another religion, and you're good to go.

          If anecdotes are what you use to illustrate things, here's one.
          The Muslim family two houses down has a few children, as well; one of the children gave my granddaughter a little blue toy car, simply because she liked it.
          He is 5; she is 3.
          So, that's the difference between you and I; you judge through the lens of a religion you don't like, and I judge by the generousity of one child giving a favorite toy to another.

          Between the two anecdotes, this child displayed more of Christ's teachings than you, and he's MUSLIM.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
      • Akira

        Apparently, her parents were wise enough to teach her not to take "goodies" from strangers.
        TP is right.
        Although I suspect this never happened, and you made up the analogy to preface your first sentence: "Concerning Islamic Bigotry".

        Asking if pork is an ingredient isn't bigoted, Rainier. It's her honoring the dietary restrictions of her religion.
        Jewish folks don't eat pork either, although I am sure you would be the first to offer some Bavarian Ham to a Jew just for the opportunity to feel outraged at the thought of being refused.

        May 31, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Please read exactly. I am not a stranger to that girl. We are next-door neighbours.

          This occured today morning – full stop!

          The prohibiton of eating pork is no more valid (read Acts 10). The Jews and the Muslims make a mistake when they assume they would not be allowed to eat pork. God has reversed the prohibition of eating pork when he spoke to St. Peter through a manifestation.

          Of course, I would never offer pork to a Jew or Muslim in order to provoke him or her.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • Doris

          Rainy: "God has reversed the prohibition of eating pork when he spoke to St. Peter through a manifestation."

          More of Rainy's inane "because I said so" BS. And all because of something that Luke says allegedly happened? LOL – what pompous, presumptuous BS. Of course I find any dietary restriction, for or against, based on religious belief to be silly.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • Akira

          I guarantee that even though you live next door to her, she is smart enough to have your number.

          Jews and Muslums don't follow the NT. Grow up.

          Muslims ask about pork or pork products in food all the time. It's not some strange thing. It's habit to them because pork products are used in ways that may not be immediately discerned.
          I hear this question a lot. Sorry if you haven't.

          Do you automatically get bent out of shape if you hear someone ask if there is gluten or peanut products in food?
          Think of it that way and stow away your faux outrage. Learn about different cultures.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • bostontola

      Rainer,
      The depth of your delusion is hard to grasp. You are so biased it is invisible to you but instantly apparent to all around you. You start with axiomatic biases that there is a God, and that God is Jesus. Then you anoint yourself King of Scots, declaring most other Christians false (do you actually think you have any authority?).

      You define your world as being surrounded by Catholics, Orthodox, Muslims, etc. (religious people), then complain that the secular are oppressing you (Rainer the whiner?).

      You are completely blind to all this. That is why so many find you a bigot and an ass. I find you a pathetic person who I hope is harmless.

      May 31, 2014 at 9:05 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        My faith rests on the Bible, the confessional docu-ments of the Early Church and the decisions of the ecu-menical councils of the Early Church.

        I don't provide a new interpretation of the Bible, but simply spread the good old doctrine of the Early Church, the doctrine which is spread for about 2000 years.

        Sorry, but you are the pathetic individual. You daily see God's works (the sun, the moon and the stars, good weather, the human beings, plants and the animals, etc.), but nevertheless you deny the Creator's existence. Would you even deny the existence of your mother who gave birth to you after she had died and become "invisible"? God (Jesus) returned to the heavens for a period of time, but that does not mean that he doesn't exist at all. He is just patient, and hesitates to judge us therefore it was/is necessary that he remains invisible (stays beyond) for a period of time.

        Note: When Jesus-God becomes visible again, Judgement Day is there, and you will get judged for every useless word which you have uttered against God and his Church.

        Furthermore you shall not comment other comments but the article above. Lack of ability?

        May 31, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • bostontola

          You really are blind to yourself.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:25 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          If I am blind, you are brain-dead, or dead from the neck up.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:35 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Gee....nice talk from a so-called Christian....your god must be so proud of you

          May 31, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          What is your comment worth?

          Answer: naught!

          What are your arguments?

          May 31, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          I have no argument at all. You believe the bible was inspired by god because you want to, and I believe that the bible was just words written by men.

          My comment, however, was based on the stupidity of your life....where you claim that you are following gods words and laws, yet name call at the same time, which is in exact contrast with what your god wants. Actually, I believe any idiot would have been able to glean that from my comment.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:51 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          That is all we needed!

          May 31, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Rainy: If there is a hell, I hope you enjoy it for being the judgemental, hypocritical bigoted ass that you are! Please stay away from those innocent children-they don't need to be put at risk by someone who supports the immoral crap in your bible.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • bostontola

          Rainer,
          I've seen many on this blog conclude that you are a bigot. I conclude you are a bigot based on your comments. I also conclude that you use Jesus to explain why most around you find you abhorrent. Your words: "All my workmates will characterize me as the bigoted a-ss".

          ALL your workmates. Wow.

          Rainer, you are the emperor with no clothes.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          No, you err.

          We live in a world which has become perverse. For some decades the worldwide power elite has become anti-Christian, and they have managed to establish an anti-Christian system where evil is increasingly considered good, and good is increasingly considered bad, simply perversion.

          I could imagine that Jesus will return soon and execute that herd of bas-tards ruling us.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:00 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Rainer: Dead people don't return from the dead, not even your imaginary friend jesus.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          I experience His assistance every day. How can He be dead then?

          May 31, 2014 at 10:18 am |
        • sam stone

          "We live in a world which has become perverse"

          Then leave it

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

          "Regretably" God still wants to save people like you, and therefore I am not allowed to leave. Certainly it would be much more pleasant on the other side.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • bostontola

          Rainer,
          You are the emperor with no clothes, King of Scots, and the Queen of Denial. Quite the royal pain.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • sam stone

          so, you're a bigot AND a coward

          since you have indicated that pretty much everyone who interacts with you thinks you are a bigot, do you really feel that you are achieving the goals you purport to want to achieve?

          perhaps you are doing more harm than good

          May 31, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Jesus was forsaken by everybody when he died on the cross. Nevertheless it turned out that he was not only a teacher of truth but the Truth himself.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Helmut....capitalizing Truth does not make it the truth

          May 31, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Rainy: I get that you have chosen to remain ignorant but you're wrong to say it is jesus and that he's not dead. To say it is jesus makes you delusional and in need of help by professionals.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          The extreme calamity today is the total destruction of the Church of Jesus Christ. Seemingly the Christian Church has perished completely. That is unique in history. That is unique in history.

          Assumed the CC would still exist, I would tell you that you should observe her service, and you would find that God would still be present there. People confessing their sins would receive forgiveness and deliverance together with physical cure. I am not a Pentecostal, they abuse curing, but nevertheless divine cure is still possible, and would be a clear proof for God's reality.

          May God reawaken his Church or return from the heavens.

          I repeat that the Pentecostal church is no Christian Church. They all will get lost. The kind and manner how they handle curing is a shame.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • bostontola

          Exactly as I said above, you use the story of Jesus being forsaken to explain your isolation from other people. Add delusions of grandeur to your resume. ALL your workmates regard you a bigot and an ass. You equate that with Jesus. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:29 am |
    • Akira

      If your fellow employees think of you as a bigoted ass, it is because this is how you portray yourself.
      You are there to do a job, not proselytize and condemn others for not adhering to your particular version of Christianity.
      You are also stealing time from your employer when you focus your attention from your job. This isn’t fair to your employer. After all:

      Mathew 22:21 [...]Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

      In this case, Caesar is your employer.

      May 31, 2014 at 11:32 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Kiss the pope's a-ss!

        May 31, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Why are any of us responding to this hypocritical, pompous jerk?

          May 31, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Good people always attract the attention of evil people. That is a mystery.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          helmut....I used to think that Theo was the most delusional person on this blog, but I now believe you have taken over the number one spot. There is a reason why your coworkers think of you as a raging azzhole....it's because they don't want to feel left out. EVERYBODY thinks you are a raging azzhole.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • Akira

        Oooh. Such a cutting retort. I'm about as Catholic as you are.

        I realize you don't like to be called out on your bigotry, but if every single one of your coworkers think you're a bigot, it's because you are.
        Truth hurts, doesn't it?

        May 31, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
  2. Reality

    Is it a crime to believe in mythical gods especially when said belief relies on the monetary support from those who believe in these inanities when said money could be used to feed the poor? Provide medical care? Provide education?

    May 31, 2014 at 7:24 am |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      It's not a crime, but it certainly is silly. The fact you have people saying "Oh, I want to help my fellow man" so they donate to a Church that uses that money to buy more Churches instead of just going down to your local hospital and asking anyone in the emergency room if maybe they won't be able to pay for the medical care they desperately need.

      May 31, 2014 at 8:03 am |
  3. Doris

    You know Liberty University does have one or two good-looking dudes on their baseball team. They must have been forced by their parents or offered some big scholarships to go there. They were probably promised 1st class instead of coach in heaven. At least they get to be on the road some of the time. I mean what's a good-looking man going to do on a Friday night at Liberty – take his date to the Creation Museum there? Pitiful, just pitiful.

    May 30, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      Words such as liberal, liberty, libertarian, and libertine all trace their history to the Latin liber, which means "free". I can't think of a worse name for a school that tries to stifle free thought, limit science and attempt to enslave more minds than "Liberty".

      It's much like the "Patriot Act" is patriotic in name only, this school is one of the biggest jokes in academia.

      May 31, 2014 at 5:56 am |
      • truthfollower01

        "limit science".

        Do you believe it's possible for something to just pop into being, uncaused out of nothing as Doris does? This kind of nonsense is anti-science.

        May 31, 2014 at 9:13 am |
        • bostontola

          truth,
          Do you really feel comfortable as an authority on what is and isn't science?

          May 31, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....Doris does not believe that a bear could just suddenly appear out of thin air in her kitchen. Only an idiot would think that. However, over 14 billion years of time, through the evolutionary process, I do believe that cell activity could spawn many different species of animals. The funny thing is....you don't believe that something could come from nothing, and yet, you believe that your god, first of all, came from nothing, and second of all, created the universe with nothing. Odd concept, really....

          May 31, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible,

          As taken from a conversation between Doris and I. Her response is at the bottom.

          tf: "Doris and/or Midwest, please answer this question (I'm having a hard time getting an answer). Do you think it’s possible that a raging Bengal tiger could just pop into existence uncaused in your residence and start destroying things?"

          "I think that is possible, but based on my observations and what I've learned from the observations of others – it's highly unlikely."

          "Only an idiot would think that."

          You'll have to take that up with her.

          There is a misconception in your post about God. God didn't come from anything. He has always existed eternally. He never came into being.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....I know Doris from her posts and she is definitely not an idiot. I am basing my belief on what we currently know scientifically....and no, a Bengal tiger can not just suddenly pop into my kitchen.

          I am always amazed when you want to use the suspension of believe that god always existed, yet refuse to use that same concept when the debate about something coming from nothing comes up. And, you really haven't addressed my question about your god supposedly creating something from nothing when he supposedly created the universe. You have never addressed that it has been scientifically shown that 97% of all life that has ever existed on this planet are now extinct. Why would your god bother to create anything that was going to become extinct?

          May 31, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • bostontola

          truth,
          If God could exist eternally, why can't the universe be eternal?

          May 31, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          tf, If a god can just "be eternal" so can a universe.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I happen to know that according to current physics energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it just moved from one form to another. The only evidence we have of the big bang is its energy signature and we can't see beyond that. Does that mean energy didn't exist prior to the big bang? No, I don't think so, it just existed in a form we don't understand yet since it can be neither created nor destroyed. Let's stick to the physics we do know instead of inventing "spiritual physics" where your God can break any law he wants to. To argue otherwise would be like playing tag where you keep claiming the ground under your feet is "safe" every time you get tagged.

          May 31, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
  4. truthfollower01

    Who do skeptics think Isaiah is referring to in Isaiah 52:13 – 53? I'm interested to know.

    Here are some excerpts. Verses are taken from the NIV.

    52:14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—

    53:3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
    Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
    53:4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
    53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
    53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
    53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.
    53:9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
    53:10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
    53:11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
    53:12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

    May 30, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
    • G to the T

      Isiah was writing about the people of Israel as the "Suffering Servant".

      What most people don't seem to get isn't that prophets were telling the future. They were telling the future if people didn't straighten up follow God's will. This wasn't a far-flung distance future, it was an immediate and pertinent future to the person speaking and the listeners.

      May 30, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        G,

        This is the common objection, but it severely fails. Were the people of Israel bear the sin of many (53:14)? Did The Lord lay on the people of Israel all of our iniquity (53:6)? Had the people of Israel done no violence nor spoken any deceit (53:9)? What was the punishment that was laid on the people of Israel that brought us peace (53:5)? The list of questions could go on. Are you honestly able to answer each verse with the people of Israel in view?

        May 30, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Did the people of Israel bear the sin of many?

          May 30, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • G to the T

          If "all" equals the jewish people, then yes. That's exactly what it means. This was a statement by jews for jews in the context of jewish belief.

          May 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • Reality

        Today, the Isaiah's of the world are labeled as cons and fortune tellers.

        Theologically speaking, these religious fortune tellers require that God (if one exists) knows the future i.e. if God does not know the future (is not omniscient) then no human knew or knows the future.

        As per the famous contemporary theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx, God (if one exists) is not omniscient. Please read, pause and contemplate the following by Schillebeeckx:

        Church: The Human Story of God,
        Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

        "Christians (et al) must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history."

        "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human activity there is possibility of free choices.

        Therefore the historical future is not known even to God, otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings.

        For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

        i.e. No one, not even God (if one exists) can prophesy since that would violate the human condition of Free Will and Future.

        May 31, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Reality,

          Who do you think Isaiah is referring to? Be honest.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:08 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Also, God does know the future. Why do you think it impossible that God knows what everyone will freely choose in the future?

          May 31, 2014 at 12:09 am |
        • Reality

          As received from a friend a few years ago:

          As to early Christian belief that the coming of Jesus was
          > "predicted" by the prophets: One only has to read Matthew 1:23
          > and then read in context Isaiah 7:14 (which Matthew is quoting) to
          > realize what Matthew thinks Isaiah is saying is not what Isaiah
          > thought he was saying.

          In other words the NT writers read the HB
          > as though it was comprised of oracles of God that could never go
          > out of date, and thus had to have some application in their own
          > day. Hence there had to be a meaning deeper than the surface
          > meaning, so Matthew applied allegory in order to wrest from the
          > text a meaning appropriate to his faith.

          I hasten to add that the
          > Dead Sea Scrolls community also read the HB in the same way but
          > they did not come to the same conclusions that the early
          > Christians did even though using the same texts. So what
          > confidence can one have that such a method will produce a reliable
          > historical "reading"?
          >

          May 31, 2014 at 12:36 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Reality,

          Are you going to answer the question?

          Who do you think Isaiah is referring to? Be honest. Read those verses and be honest with yourself. It is obvious.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:40 am |
        • Reality

          Who is Isaiah talking about? It is not Jesus.

          "there are several different views on who is the focus of this scripture. The main view today is that Isaiah is talking about the nation of Israel, as the Lord’s Suffering Servant. Other views include a righteous remnant,
          the prophet Jeremiah and even the Messiah, but not Jesus. "

          Then there is this:

          "this is especially true of the Book of Revelation, which depends heavily on Isaiah for its language and imagery.[Sawyer, John F.A. (1996). The Fifth Gospel: Isaiah in the History of Christianity. Cambridge University Press

          "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

          Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

          And other than Jewish sources like the OT and Dead Sea scrolls, is there any other evidence that Isaiah even existed? The Jewish scribes, according to the scholars of Conservative Judaism, invented Abraham and Moses. One therefore wonders if they also invented the OT fortune tellers?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:08 am |
    • colin31714

      Donald Sterling. Isaiah was referring to Donald Sterling !!

      May 30, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Some hopefully will be truly open to taking a look at Isaiah's prophecy of Jesus. Others pay a back handed compliment to Isaiah's powerful prophecy by making comments just as you have.

        May 30, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Powerful prophecy my ass. This was purely an ever changing self fulfilling prophecy as the Israelites' who attempted to piece together old and new prophecies for individual benefit and had thousands of supposed messiahs stepping up claiming to fulfill the jumble of disconnected thoughts that that are found in Isaiah. Then two decades after the supposed man lived you have his disciples write down accounts that attempt to tie him to those prophecies after the fact in letters and scriptures that the Israelites themselves do not recognize as part of the bible.

          May 31, 2014 at 5:28 am |
        • harlow13

          Dang. I was going to say Charles Bukowski.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:35 am |
      • truthfollower01

        When you resort to Donald Sterling as the subject, you know the skeptic's side is in trouble.

        May 30, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
    • James XCIX

      truthfollower – Do you think it's possible the stories about Jesus were written to match known messianic prophecies?

      May 30, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        This doesn't square with the consensus scholarly view as below.

        In a debate between Bart Ehrman and Michael Licona, 3 facts are given pertaining to Jesus's fate and what occurred afterward that nearly 100% of all scholars studying this subject at the time (I think the debate was in 2009) accepted. This includes Christians, Jews, agnostics and atheists.

        1. Jesus' death by crucifixion.

        "One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate." – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.

        2. Appearances to the Disciples

        This is short for saying that shortly after Jesus's death, a number of Jesus's followers had experiences both individually and in group settings that they perceived were of the risen Jesus who appeared to them.

        "Why, then, did some of the disciples claim to see Jesus alive after his resurrection? I don't doubt at all that some disciples claimed this. We don't have any of their written testimony, but Paul, writing about twenty-five years later, indicates that this is what they claimed, and I don't think he is making it up. And he knew at least a couple of them, whom he met just three years after the event Galatians 1:18-19)." – from Bart Ehrman's book, Jesus Interrupted

        3. Appearance to Paul

        Short for saying that Paul had an experience that he perceived was of the risen Jesus appearing to him.

        ""there is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus' real but glorified body raised from the dead."
        – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.

        May 30, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Bart Ehrman is one scholar of many–why does everyone like to quote him? My guess is that he's one of very few who have opinions that (somewhat) support the view that the gospel is accurate. I highly doubt that most scholars support the idea that Jesus appeared to the disciples after the crucifixion.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Bart Ehrman is one of if not the leading New Testament critic in the world.

          Not that Jesus did appear but that a number of Jesus' followers truly and sincerely believed that they'd encountered the risen Jesus. Bart Ehrman would not agree that Jesus did in fact appear. He's a skeptic.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Bart Ehrman is one of if not the leading New Testament critic in the world. "

          And Bart Ehrman was a devote CHristian, he isn't one anymore. What does that tell you?

          May 30, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          tells me and I seen how he wrote his stuff that he is pretty close to being dishonest in his presentation.....critics havelooked closely at Barts studies and find he misrepresents a lot of stuff (the thousands of so called "variants" which shows the Bible wasn't accurate is BS...for example..the MAJORITY of the "variants" were due to changing of words such as from "Jesus said.." to "He said" that is nOT being inaccurate at all..."He" referring t to Jesus did NOT change one thing....

          May 31, 2014 at 2:20 am |
        • Reality

          From the editor's topic commentary:

          "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.” (e.g. Theo P, new-man and Truthfollowers)

          May 31, 2014 at 12:17 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "He" referring t to Jesus"

          I know you're all worked up but lets not start stuttering now...

          May 31, 2014 at 7:56 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kermy,

          Once again you completely miss the point. TF was holding up Ehrman as an authority to prove a point. I pointed out Ehrman does not agree on the larger question of the divinity of Jesus...though he once did. And the reasons for him now rejecting the belief is tied to his knowledge and education....the same knowledge and education that TF is using to prop up her argument.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • dandintac

          1) I'll grant this–but so what? Many people were crucified by the Romans.
          2) and 3)–Jesus rising from the dead is the LEAST LIKELY of many explanations for this. As you note, there is no written testimony. We do not know these people, and cannot cross-examine them. Dreams, hallucinations, mistaken timeline (they saw him before he was killed), a trick, mistaken identi-ty, misunderstood hearsay, a hoax, embellished stories retold over time, or even simple lies–all of these are far more likely explanations than Jesus rising from the dead. Think of how many people claim alien abduction with se-x experiments, or the many people who claim to have seen Bigfoot, and so on. To compound things further, even if Jesus did rise from the dead, this still does not prove God exists, or that Jesus was divine. Think of the many people who claim Elvis isn't dead. If some people claim they saw David Koresh alive after Waco, would you believe them?

          The resurrection is an extraordinary claim. We certainly do NOT have extraordinary evidence to back it up.

          June 2, 2014 at 12:58 am |
      • truthfollower01

        James,

        Do you believe people willingly die for something they KNOW to be a lie? Liars make poor martyrs.

        May 30, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          People die all the time for false beliefs they think are true.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          that was not an answer..read again..Do you think people die for something they KNEW to be a lie.....you stated they may die for something they thought to be true...that's not the context....

          May 31, 2014 at 2:14 am |
        • James XCIX

          Short answer, yes. In any case, the stories of the apostles dying painful deaths for what they believed to be the truth are unverified legend and tradition.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          I agree but that's not what I asked. The early believers were in a position to KNOW whether Jesus rose from the dead. Their lives testify that He did.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          James,

          We have first century sources for the deaths of James, the brother of Jesus (from Josephus) and Peter and Paul (from Clement). These are first century sources!

          May 30, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          No, that is the claim. Whether they died for the claim proves nothing.

          You should also understand the reason for the claim is unethical and immoral. It is a sick and twisted mythology.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          James,

          "Short answer, yes."

          Can you give examples?

          May 30, 2014 at 11:36 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          We have eye witnesses who SAW the golden plates of Joseph Smith.

          Needless to say...I am not a Mormon. I am guessing you aren't either.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          the eyewitnesses seeing the Golden plates does absolutely nothing..for it wasn't the mere presence of the plates that was supposed to be the point..bt that Jospeh SUPPOSEDLY was able to translate them..yet NO ONe witnessed that....in FACT Ole Jo had a blanket set up between him and another man who took down notes as Jospeh "translated" so they witnessed nothing....seeing the Golden plates does nothing to their case

          May 31, 2014 at 2:17 am |
        • truthfollower01

          "Whether they died for the claim proves nothing."

          It shows that they sincerely believed that Jesus is who He said He is. It shows that they sincerely believed that Jesus rose from the dead and they were in a position to KNOW if He did or not.

          "You should also understand the reason for the claim is unethical and immoral."

          What do you mean by this?

          May 30, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I don't believe the claim. I don't trust your sources. The claimed writings of Josephus are well known to have intentional interpoltions by early christians.

          And what i mean is .... the idea substi.tional atonement for sin is sick...on many levels.

          May 30, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "We have eye witnesses who SAW the golden plates of Joseph Smith?"

          The "three witnesses" (early leaders of the movement) were excommunicated from the church! Joseph Smith himself indicated they were "too mean to mention; and we had liked to have forgotten them."
          Wikipedia indicates that "In 1839 Cowdery published a tract rejecting the Latter Day Saints and in 1840 become a member of the Methodist Protestant Church."

          May 30, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @truthfollower...yes..very good..and not only that (don't know if you saw my other post) but seeing golden plates did nothing...they are just golden plates..nothing special..what made it supposedly "special" was that Josepsh was able to "interpret" the plates...unfortunately there were no eyewitnesses as he had a blanket set up between him and another man who wrote down what Jospeh supposedly interpreted"

          May 31, 2014 at 2:22 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Blessed,

          The portion concerning Jesus' brother James is not the questionable text. Research it.

          "And what i mean is …. the idea substi.tional atonement for sin is sick…on many levels."

          Please explain.

          Also, did you read my initial post? Who do you think Isaiah is referring to?

          May 31, 2014 at 12:02 am |
        • redzoa

          "Wikipedia indicates that "In 1839 Cowdery published a tract rejecting the Latter Day Saints and in 1840 become a member of the Methodist Protestant Church."

          Wikipedia also indicates that in 1848, Cowdery was rebaptized back into the church. Regardless, none of the witnesses ever retracted their claims of seeing the plates.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:09 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I don't care. i don't trust the source. Early Christians tainted it. But even if everything it said about James were true..it still wouldn't matter. James and the others made claims. Nothing more can be ascertained regarding the claims. People make false claims, even if they think they are true, it doesn't make them true. Your evidence is a joke. The worst kind of direct evidence is eyewitness accounts, study after study have prven that. So why would an all knowing god rely solely on them? It is non-sense. Not that these are even eyewitness accounts. No one knows who wrote the gospels...but like I said it wouldn't matter if we did....but we don't so that makes it worse.

          Substi.tutional atonement is unethical and immoral. If I truy deserve punishment for something I have done it would be wrong for me to allow someone else to "pay" my debt. I wouldn't allow it.

          And I don't know what Isaiah was refering to. But there are an awful lot of knowledgable theists that disagree with your conclusion.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:17 am |
        • truthfollower01

          "And I don’t know what Isaiah was refering to."

          It is obvious. Look at those verses! Be honest with yourself. The Subject Isaiah is writing about is Jesus!

          May 31, 2014 at 12:23 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Redzoa,

          Can you imagine Peter, James and John breaking with Jesus and being excommunicated from the church!?! Can you shine Jesus saying He would liked to forgotten them? Can you imagine Peter publishing a tract rejecting Christianity and joining a different religion?!?

          May 31, 2014 at 12:30 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Sorry. Typo.

          Can you imagine Jesus saying He would liked to forgotten them?

          May 31, 2014 at 12:32 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The Subject Isaiah is writing about is Jesus!"

          Funny how the Jews don't see it that way.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:36 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Blessed,

          Who do you think it is?

          Look at those verses.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:42 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I answered your question. I have no reason to believe Isaiah referred to Jesus. I am not even convinced Jesus was anymore historical than king Arthur was.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:59 am |
        • otoh2

          kermit (and tf)
          ".Do you think people die for something they KNEW to be a lie"

          We don't really know exactly who started these legends and rumors about "Jesus", nor if whoever it was died for them...

          May 31, 2014 at 3:04 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Well I guess that proves that everything in the Harry Potter series is true, I mean, Dumbledore wouldn't have died for nothing, he wouldn't have let himself be killed for a lie, he believed the prophecy.

          Just like Josephus wrote about Hercules he also wrote about other fictional characters that were popular at the time.

          May 31, 2014 at 5:34 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "that was not an answer"

          In other words, you didn't like the answer given and thus, being the expert you like to lie about being you refuse to accept it. Stop pretending to know everything kermi, studying the bible is one of the less beneficial things to do in this world and given that you have zero way of knowing anything about the intentions of the author's you are no more an expert on the book than any of those you argue against...everyone interprets it differently-your version isn't so special. Your arrogance and intellectual dishonesty show why no-one should trust you.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:26 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Blessed,

          "I am not even convinced Jesus was anymore historical than king Arthur was."

          You need to seriously do your homework.

          "One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate." – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.

          “That he [Jesus] was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be.”
          – Skeptical scholar John Dominic Crossan, “Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography” pg.145

          May 31, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....one of the most certain facts of history is that WW2 happened. One of the most certain facts of history is that the Declaration of Independence was signed. One of the most certain facts of history is that Abraham Lincoln was President in 1864. The reason these things are certain? We have so much corroborating evidence that only an idiot would disbelieve those things. Jesus' death was not so corroborated. The record keeping of the day, while usually fairly good, was not exacting, especially in the backwards areas of the Mideast away from the center of the Roman empire. So, to make a statement like that is horribly outstated.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "You need to seriously do your homework."

          I have. You and I have been down this road and you asked for names of scholars that question Jesus' existence. I then gave you 3 names. You then disappeared.

          You need to do your homework on King Arthur. Scholars agree that King Arthur probably existed in some form but the supernatural parts were added later and the current myth is nor representi.tive of the historical man. Sounds like Jesus.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kermy,

          The point is the question is misleading and poorly phrased. Of course that is done on purpose to elicite a specific answer but doing so is extremely dishonest intellectually. The person asking the question is trying to set up a false dicotomy.

          And I am glad you are sceptical of the claims of Joseph Smith. Too bad you pick and choose where to use that....

          May 31, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • kermit4jc

          red herring...the quesiotn wa snOTpoorly posted...you just don't wanna answer it...plain and simple...as for the Jo smith deal and picking and choosing..I don't pick and choose.....as you seem to imply

          June 3, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • James XCIX

          truthfollower – "We have first century sources ..."

          Written near the supposed time of described events does not mean accurate. Just curious, do you believe the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is built on the site of Jesus's crucifixiion and burial, or is that legend and tradition?

          May 31, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • James XCIX

          truthfollower – "Can you give examples?"

          For example, anything involving the preservation of honor for oneself, loved ones, or a group to which one is strongly attached is involved. Dueling comes to mind. Both parties involved usually knew the truth of the matter, but one was willing to die to protect his own honor (or perhaps someone else's) rather than admit the truth and bring dishonor.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • James XCIX

          truthfollower – By the way, you never did directly answer my question (although I assume the answer is no), so I'll ask it again–Do you think it's possible the stories about Jesus were written to match known messianic prophecies? To extend that idea, do you thinks it's possible that the stories about the apostles' deaths were fabricated? Note that I'm not asking if you think either case is likely (it seems clear you don't), but if you think they are possibilities.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • dandintac

          They don't have to KNOW they are spreading lies. They could believe it's the truth–doesn't mean it actually is though.

          How many people died at Jonestown? How about the comet cult that killed themselves so they would go up to join the aliens? What about the many other people that die for the sake of other religions?

          People die for lies all the time–this was a really bad, bad argument.

          June 2, 2014 at 1:01 am |
  5. neverbeenhappieratheist

    A Million Little Pieces is a semi-fictional novel, originally sold as a memoir, by James Frey. It tells the story of a 23-year-old alcoholic and drug abuser and how he copes with rehabilitation in a twelve steps-oriented treatment center. While initially promoted as a memoir, it was later discovered that many of the events described in the book never happened.

    The Bible is a semi-fictional novel, originally sold as divine inspiration, by Moses and several other later authors. It tells the story of a 950 year-old alcoholic named Noah and how he copes with human rehabilitation, and then later twelve brothers and their treatment of Joseph. While initially promoted as the word of God, it was later discovered that many of the events described in the book never happened.

    "20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent." 28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died." Genesis 9:20,21 & 28,29

    May 30, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
    • thefinisher1

      For a "happy atheist" you seem to obsessed with something you hate. That's very unhealthy! Grow up!!!😜

      May 30, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Just spreading the word about being happy just like you, right?

        May 30, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        finished, Provide some evidence and that would end the conversation. The foundational parts of the bible are proven to be incorrect; and as Ken Ham has said, ”As the creation foundation is removed, we see the Godly institutions also start to collapse.". We understand that it's hard for you to live without your delusion, the first step is understanding that it is delusion.

        May 30, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
      • kudlak

        Christians appear to hate a whole lot of things. I guess we should never expect to see a happy Christian then?

        June 1, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • Keith

      There is no more ardent Fundamentalist in the world than an Atheist trying to disprove the bible.

      May 30, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
      • hotairace

        Most atheists don't try to disprove The Babble or the existence of alleged by never proven gods. We merely point out that there is no actual evidence for either. In other words, believers have not proven that The Babble is anything more than bad fiction, of that gods exist, therefore there is nothing to disprove.

        Have a nice day, enjoy your delusions but please keep them away from children.

        May 31, 2014 at 1:23 am |
        • Keith

          Arrogance like yours is evident with most Atheist posters. I am not religious at all, I was just observing that there is little difference between the ardent Christians and the ardent Atheists.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • hotairace

          You are right, there is no difference in believing crap for which there is no actual evidence, and in several instances using those silly beliefs to affect everyone else, and believing things for which there is actual evidence and remaining skeptical until evidence becomes available. Yes, I know you are commenting on how fervently the two groups express their beliefs, but there is a very significant underlying difference that drives the fervor.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        "There is no more ardent Fundamentalist in the world than an Atheist trying to disprove the bible."

        There is no more ardent Fundamentalist in the world than an theist trying to prove the bible.
        ^^Fixed it for you

        May 31, 2014 at 7:28 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          I'm not even sure it is necessary to disprove the bible....either you believe it was inspired by god (even though thousands of texts were purposely left out of the bible because they did not necessarily conform to the thinking of the day) or you believe it was compiled by men for a variety of reasons, most notably to control the current population. There actually is no way to prove either version, as it was compiled over 2000 years ago and the participants are long since dead. Using logic, I have opted for the second reason, due mostly to the countless other stories that have circulated about thousands of other gods throughout history. I am quite comfortable with that option and see no need whatsoever for any god.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • Keith

          They are both accurate statements, neither need fixing.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:45 am |
      • kudlak

        Keith
        The Bible disproves itself with all it's contradictions, mistakes and grossness, but it takes a fundamentalist mindset to deny those faults.

        May 31, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • Keith

          The bible is a book of bronze age teaching stories, anytime you try to make it anything more than that you will have a problem, no matter if you are a Christian or an Atheist.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:46 am |
        • kudlak

          I don't think that you'd find many atheists who believe that the God character actually did all of those horrible things that the Bible says he did. Our criticism is with the believers who believe that he did them and still think that he's a kind, loving god deserving of worship, right?

          June 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        The foundational stories are incorrect, so no need to try to disprove it. The comments of most atheists on here are in reference to the christians quoting it as if it had any validity – pointing out the factual errors, inconsistencies, etc.

        May 31, 2014 at 10:58 am |
        • Keith

          I find that many of the Atheist to be as disturbing as the Christians. Their arguments as lacking in validity or facts as any other.

          June 1, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Keith....the atheist posters on this site have well thought out, valid points, and present them quite eloquently. I wish the same could be said of the Christian posters here, but I can not.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • Keith

          It seems you have not been reading the same posts I have.

          June 1, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Keith....you are right, because if you read any posts from salero, finisher1, topher, awanderscot, Kermit, or Theo, you would know that these guys are the most un-Christian like people I think I have ever seen.

          June 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • Keith

          I read them all, I am not defending the Christians at all, I am just saying that there are many atheists that make as little sense as the Christians.

          I come here to argue with them on a whole different basis than denying their "god" I like to argue with them about the origin of their holy books and stories.

          June 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Except that basically atheists state that theists have not supported their claims for a god. Those claims are that the creation stories are the credentials for that god (or gods). All creation stories are proven to be incorrect so the basis for believing in any given god is gone. Tradition may continue but it is not evidence-based.

          June 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • dandintac

          Keith, you say: "I find that many of the Atheist to be as disturbing as the Christians. Their arguments as lacking in validity or facts as any other."

          Please back this statement up, and be specific. Please tell me what argument atheists have used that is "just as disturbing" as the theist arguments.

          June 2, 2014 at 1:48 am |
  6. thefinisher1

    Why are atheists so angry? Why are they acting like fundamentalist do? What "rights" (meaning for them to be atheists) are being "taken away"? They act exactly like the people they hate the most, crying persecution. Sad.

    May 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      I'm not angry, i'm quite happy. However, for the year I lived in Arkansas I did not appreciate the ban on alcohol sales on Sunday in our county or the next county over that didn't sell any at all. Thanksfully I moved so my daughter who is just entering kindergarten won't have to go to a school disctrict that is trying to teach intelligent design along with actual science.

      I have several friends here in California that have been in long term (some over 18 years) loving relationships who just happen to be the same gender, some are now going to be getting married no thanks to the religious community who tried their best to deny them their rights.

      I also get a bit frustrated at being inundated by Holiday marketing where I am constantly bombarded by music and advertisments where I find myself humming "White Christmas" even when I really don't want to, though I do love me some Bing Crosby.

      But to sit there and ask "What "rights" (meaning for them to be atheists) are being "taken away"? " Is pure idiocy at best and total dishonesty at worst.

      May 30, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        So no "rights" are being taken away? You can still be an atheist so..everything you claim is a mere delusion!

        May 30, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          finished. Delusion is belief in something despite evidence to the contrary. We have no evidence of a god and all the evidence we have points away from the gods described in the creation myths of religions.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Santa,

          Concerning " no evidence", do you believe something can come into existence uncaused out of nothing (no thing / not anything)?

          May 30, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          tf
          Concerning " no evidence", do you believe something can come into existence uncaused out of nothing (no thing / not anything)?

          Only theists make that claim. My point is that there is no evidence for the creation myths, therefore no credentials for that god and no foundation for belief in that god.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
    • Keith

      It seems to me that the Atheists need their persecution story as much as the Christians do.

      May 30, 2014 at 11:43 pm |
  7. Reality

    To support our sister and brother atheists and to continue the kibosh of religion:

    The stars are there and you are made from their dust. The Abrahamic god is a figment of the imagination and said imagination is fueled by the Jewish, Christian and Islamic cons.

    The power of religion continues to decrease as it should as the human race continues to evolve in the reality of its existence.

    May 30, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      "The stars are there and you are made from their dust. The Abrahamic god is a figment of the imagination and said imagination is fueled by the Jewish, Christian and Islamic cons."

      Any evidence to back up your claim?

      May 30, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
      • dandintac

        I know you're addressing this to Reality, but I'd like a crack at this if you don't mind. I'll assume the claim you are referring to is a figment of the imaginations of the followers.

        Evidence that indicates an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing God as described in the Bible does not exist. Especially one described as “objectively real”, “exists everywhere”, “all-merciful”, and a God of “perfect justice”, and that this god loves and cares about his followers, and listens to and answers their prayers, and finally that nonbelievers are punished by banishment to Hell after death, described as an “unquenchable fire“ by Jesus himself.

        This is not conclusive evidence of course, after all, we cannot prove the negative for claims of this nature, but taken together, I think I can offer a compelling case that the God described above most likely does not exist. I will use the Christian God for this exercise, although many of these objections could be applied to any god claim.

        1) God’s apparent non-existence. It is often claimed that “God is everywhere”. Yet even after thousands of years of trying, Christians have been unable to demonstrate any hard verifiable evidence of God’s existence. It gets worse. If god is all-knowing, he knows what would persuade us. If he is all-powerful, he could do so easily. I can provide a whole list of things that would persuade me. And if he is all-good, he would provide this evidence, rather than punish non-believers for their honest and rational skepticism. Therefore no such god exists.

        2) The absolute failure of intercessory prayer. Multiple studies have demonstrated that prayer fails to work. They have even done studies where multiple religions were studied, and all compared to a control group. Prayer failed to show any statistical improvement in outcomes for hospital patients. Furthermore, believers who are amputees probably don’t even bother to pray for their limb to grow back. Why not? We all know it doesn’t really work at all.

        3) The apparent mythic roots of the Christian religion. The Jesus myth bears many similarities with other gods in the Mediterranean area, such as Horus, Mithra and others–such as the virgin birth, birth on the solstice, number of disciples, his resurrection, and so on. This is compelling evidence that Jesus is either a myth, or at best, he was a Jewish rabbi who was executed by the Romans, and who’s actual story probably bears almost no resemblance to the Biblical account, but was embellished and mythologized in the decades following his death through word of mouth retellings. If we were talking about any other god, we would not hesitate to call it a myth.

        4) The absolute absurdity of the Jesus Story itself. Christians hate for it to be told this way, but substantively, this is the story. Perfect God created mankind flawed, and hates us for that so much, that he blames Adam and Eve’s biggest mistake–”eating from the tree of knowledge” down to their distant descendants, punishing them by burning them forever. But, there’s a way out! He’ll send his best son (who is really himself) to save them! This son will be a blood sacrifice to create a loophole so that all-powerful God somehow finds it within himself to forgive men for their imperfect nature that he gifted them with in the first place. So Jesus becomes a scapegoat. Think please. What kind of parent would torture their best child (“only son”) in order to be able to forgive the other children? It doesn’t make a lick of sense and is patently absurd on the face of it. Christians have NEVER been able to give a logical account for this.

        5) The Huge Problem of Evil. Never easily explained away by Christians. God is all-powerful. God is all-good. Just look at the horrible evil in the world–and much of it caused by God himself. If evil exists, then God can either do nothing about it, or chooses to allow it, in which case he cannot be called “all-good“. Christian apologists usually take one of two tacks to try to slip out of this problem. A) Blame it all on us–”Free Will”. But first, much evil in the world is not caused by man at all. Also, even if some men cause evil, shouldn’t any conscientious being try to help? Is it good to stand by and let the Nazis kill all the Jews? The fact that men create much evil does not alleviate a “good” enti-ty from stopping it if they are able. B) “God is punishing us”. Including innocent children? This is one of the most repugnant things about Christianity–trying to make everyone guilty from birth.

        6) The Huge Problems with the Bible itself. Forged books, contradictions, inconsistencies. We don’t have the originals–just copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of translations of copies of copies of copies of translations of copies… There are many passages that are absurd or impossible, and there is no guide to say what is metaphor and what should be taken literally, allowing believers to come up with their own individual interpretation–in which case–how can anyone say what is true about it? What kind of all-knowing, all-powerful god who cares about his message getting out would have such a flawed book? Why would he even need a book to begin with? He’s all-powerful–right? His word should be imprinted in all of our minds and in our DNA. Then no one would doubt, and no one would have it wrong.

        7) The huge numbers of Gods and religions, and the geographic distribution of them. What kind of all-powerful, all-knowing God would allow billions of people to grow up in ignorance of his revelation? How can Christians explain the billions of people who were raised Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, and how rare it is for them to convert? This is evidence that people are indoctrinated into their religion, and keep the religion of their society–they do not mass convert because one religion is right. There have been thousands of god beliefs. What kind of all-powerful god would allow this? Especially if he was torturing people in the afterlife for their non-belief–and yet we call him all-good?

        8) The Horror of Hell is completely inconsistent with the idea of an “all-good“ God who is described as “merciful, just, loving“. What kind of all-good God would torture ANYONE for all eternity? And just for the thought-crime of not believing? I know Christians lately have been trying to soften up Hell to get around this, but when they do, they ignore the Bible, and they also ignore thousands of years of doctrine and precedent, as well as what the vast majority of Christians believe. Jesus himself described Hell as “unquenchable fire”. Christians lately are saying “well, that’s symbolic” (as if they know!)–in an effort to quench the Hell problem. But even if it’s symbolic, it’s still apparently horrible enough to be symbolized as such, therefore the problem is NOT side-stepped at all! What does it matter whether it’s an actual fire or not, if it’s still comparable enough to one to be symbolized as such?

        9) The illogic of an all-powerful god. Think of what it means to be “all-powerful”. This means that there is absolutely NOTHING that God cannot do. Sooo–can he create another God? One that is more powerful than he is? A weight so great he cannot lift it? One can get a headache real quick trying to come up with questions like this–and I’m sure you will dismiss it out of hand. But the truth is–once you start demanding absolutes as characteristics of your God, then the universe can get really weird indeed.

        10) The use of coercion indicates that Christians are playing with a weak hand. All too many Christians, if they can get away with it, will not hesitate to punish the unbeliever. Christian coaches will kick young atheists off the team. People will phone in death threats. Christian families will kick atheist children out of their home and disown them. The church lost it’s best argument when they were no longer allowed to literally burn people alive if they didn’t believe. But they still use the good ole Hell claim to coerce people. Ask yourself. If someone told you that Bigfoot exists, and when you say no, they tell you will burn forever for your lack of faith. Is this a sign of a strong claim? Or a weak claim that has to use threats to keep people in line?

        May 30, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Dandantic,

          That's quite a book you've written! I appreciate you taking the time to answer. Due to the size, is there a particular one or two of your points you'd like to really focus on? One thing that immediately struck me was your address of evil. If evil truly does exist, then God exists. Evil on an atheistic worldview is just an illusion.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:37 am |
        • truthfollower01

          To clarify, I take you to mean moral evil. Without God, there is no real moral evil or good. They are illusions on atheism. The existence of real moral evil and moral good prove God's existence.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:46 am |
        • dandintac

          Well first of all, you have not defined "real moral good".

          Second, you have not proven that it "real moral good" actually exists–you just assert that it does, therefore you cannot use it to prove a God exists.

          Third, you have not proven that "real moral good is provided by God–again, you just assert that it is. So again, the moral argument fails.

          Fourth, you have not proven that God is the only source of this mysterious "real moral good".

          Fifth, by invoking the moral argument for God, you open the door to the huge Problem of Evil, which precludes the possibility of an omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omniscient God–characteristics of God Christians routinely insist upon.

          And sixth, you completely ignore many other philosophical theories of morality, which do not depend upon a God for our morality.

          That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure one could finish the utter destruction of the moral argument for God with a little more time and thought, but that's enough of a thrashing for now.

          Your basic problem is that you just make a lot of assertions, ignoring alternative explanations for things. You pretend that "morality" is some sort of mysterious object which only your God can provide.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
      • Reality

        Regarding stardust:

        See for example:

        A Walk Through Time: From Stardust to Us–The Evolution of Life on Earth Hardcover

        by

        Sidney Liebes (Author), Elisabet Sahtouris (Author), Brian Swimme (Author

        And http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/22/water-stardust-life-universal-interplanetary-dust_n_4637628.html

        And http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24907-water-found-in-stardust-suggests-life-is-universal.html#.U4lTD2cU-os

        May 30, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
  8. SeaVik

    As usual, Theo makes a provacative post and then goes dormant. He said:

    "That was actually my introduction to who Dawkins was, and I saw just how hateful that man is. His research was sloppy and his theories and conclusions are all moot because he honestly doesn't understand the material that he is writing about."

    Can you actually back your post up?

    1) Why do you conclude Dawkins is hateful? He believes that religion is a terrible thing. He has put his neck out to try to fight what he considers to be a terrible thing (I'm sure he receives constant death threats from hateful religious people). Whether you agree with his position or not, it sure seems like he is loving towards humanity to put himself at risk to help others open their minds.

    2) How is his research sloppy and conclusions moot? There are numerous examples throughout the book where he shows how illogical the positions of those who have attempted to dispute his conclusions are. Can you provide an example where his research is sloppy? You haven't indicated why his conclusions are moot other than brushing them aside since he allegedly doesn't "understand" the topic (in other words, has a different view than you on it).

    May 30, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Theo makes a provacative post and then goes dormant.
      ----------------
      I understand what is mean by 'drive by' or 'hit and run' posting, but surely people are allowed to have lives outside the Belief Blog?

      May 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • SeaVik

        Well I suppose that's ok. But I've seen Theo state before that he posts stuff and then just sits and watches responses rather than defending his position. Sort of picking a fight and then running.

        May 30, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
      • Akira

        To be fair, Theo has stated he posts only on his employer's computer and never at home.

        May 30, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Apparently he has no problem stealing his employers time along with company resources...

          May 30, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • Akira

          A very understanding employer, truly.

          May 30, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
    • Vic

      Whenever I listened to Richard Dawkins, I got the impression that he is an overzealous anti-Theist who thinks he is somehow the heir of Charles Darwin's legacy and holding the fort for securing the 'Evolution of Species' and non-belief in God. To me, he comes across as less of a scientist, who is not sure what he is talking about, and that his vested interest and efforts are in refuting the "Existence of God" rather than scientific accomplishments.

      Interestingly, he just called himself a 'Secular Christian' just yesterday!

      May 30, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
      • Vic

        "..just recently!"

        May 30, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Vic, Obviously you use a computer and the internet, you presumably have been in a car and plane, had vaccinations, use GPS, etc. so you don't deny all science. Why do you deny the science that proves the creation myths to be incorrect? Abiogenesis must have happened – we're here. There is no evidence for a god and the creation myths of all religions are proven incorrect.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
        • Vic

          We are here, there must be an "Origin."

          That "Origin" must be uncaused, hence "First Cause." Therfore, the uncaused "First Cause" must be self-existent, infinite, and eternal in generation, hence outside the realm, begining and time of this finite non-self existence.

          The God hypothesis is the most plausable, whereas 'Abiogenesis' defies logic and common sense.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Even presuming a first cause, there's no evidence of a god and especially no evidence of your god.

          May 30, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
        • kudlak

          Vic
          And why can't that uncaused cause be something natural and simple, as opposed to incomprehensibly complex, intelligent and magical? Except for saying that "he's magical, so we really don't have to try understanding how God is eternal" how do you allow for such a being to exist uncaused?

          May 31, 2014 at 10:22 am |
      • SeaVik

        And why do you think that? Is there anything he wrote in The God Delusion that you'd like to dispute?

        May 30, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • Vic

          That's the impression I got whenever I listened to him before.

          I did not read the 'God Delusion' and I am not really interested in it.

          Meanwhile, I understand that Dr. William L. Craig and Dr. Jonathan Sarfati amongst many have already refuted it with counter books.

          I have a solid belief in Creation and that the "Origin" of matter and life is the basis for understanding Biological Science. I don't believe in 'Abiogenesis' nor do I believe in ignoring the issue of "Origin" of matter and life in develepoing what's known today as 'Evolution of Species.' In other word, if you don't know the "Origin" of matter and life, you cannot possibly know how species came to pass, you can only study finished products.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • kudlak

          Vic
          If you look at the analogy of computers, which have also evolved over time, we have mechanical typewriters going to electrical ones, going to ones that have some memory and the ability to store docu.ments, to word processors, right? It's a gradual flow with very little difference between individual models, but if you compare the word processor to the old mechanical typewriter it really would look like a gigantic leap, wouldn't it? Well, the actual record of evolution is very similar to that flow. You have to examine the flow of change, not just the end points.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • SeaVik

          "I did not read the 'God Delusion' and I am not really interested in it."

          That's too bad. If you read it, you might actually be convinced that you're creation theory is incorrect. No one has effectively disputed the book – in fact, those who have tried have been made to look like idiots for their poor attempts at logic.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:26 am |
  9. bostontola

    The notion of the afterlife rests on the notion of a soul. What is the soul? If it survives death, then it must me separate from the physical brain.

    Is the soul the essence of yourself? Can it change? Does it drive free will?

    These things don't make a coherent whole to me. If your soul is your essence, and isn't tied to the physical brain it wouldn't change due to brain state (drugs, injury, etc.). That rules out your entire personality, much of your intelligence, memories, and free will. All those things are affected by brain states.

    Not much is left to be the soul. Is it even worth having after your brain dies?

    May 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
  10. Alias

    Since we are all off topic in the last few pages anyway;
    I would like to point out that none of the popular global warming models explain the last ice age. They do not support it starting or explain why it ended.
    Shall we just blame SATAN?

    May 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
    • SeaVik

      I've got a better idea. Let's just bury our heads in the sand and pretend conservative politicians know better than actual scientists!

      May 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
      • bostontola

        I think it's interesting that Christians can easily understand Pascal's Wager and can't get the notion of making decisions where the consequences are asymmetric.

        If scientists are wrong and we take action to reduce carbon emissions the consequences are small.
        If scientists are right and we don't take action to reduce carbon emissions there are dire consequences.

        The rational choice is to act.

        May 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • bostontola

          Not all Christians, of course.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          testing.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I like the observation that you made there.

          Human nature is what it is. People keep smoking when they know it will kill them. People keep eating too much and exercising too little when they know it will harm them. People have unprotected s3x when they know what can happen.

          Christians have established a system to encompass such behavior. People will keep 'sinning' despite the 'knowledge' of eternal damnation. So they invented the "repent and you will be saved" get out of hell free card.

          If only natural laws worked the same way. I'd love to drink beer and eat fatty food and avoid the treadmill every day, if I could just say "I'm sorry I did that" and the have the inevitable obesity and diabetes resulting from such cu.mulative behavior just melt away.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • bostontola

          not GOPer,
          It does shine a light on the limited 'delayed gratification' capabilities of most people. It's one of the key differences between humans and other animals, but it is still quite limited in many. The 'get out of hell' card exacerbates the mess, but it is required to retain as many members as possible.

          May 30, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
  11. Reality

    Continuing the kibosh of religion: (only for those who are not reading-challenged)

    Mormonism–

    A business/religious cult based on Joseph Smith's hallucinations which has bought respectability with a $30 billion business empire, the BYU "mission matured" football team and a great choir.

    From: lds-mormon.com/time.shtml

    "The first divergence between Mormon economics and that of other denominations is the t-ithe. Most churches take in the greater part of their income through donations. Very few, however, impose a compulsory 10% income tax on their members. Ti-thes are collected locally, with much of the money pas-sed on informally to local lay leaders at Sunday services. "By Monday," says Elbert Peck, editor of Sunstone, an independent Mormon magazine, the church authorities in Salt Lake City "know every cent that's been collected and have made sure the money is deposited in banks." There is a lot to deposit. Last year $5.2 billion in t-ithes flowed into Salt Lake City, $4.9 billion of which came from American Mormons."

    "The Mormons are stewards of a different str-ipe. Their charitable spending and temple building are prodi-gious. But where other churches spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong. Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples' companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the church holds almost all its commercial as-sets, is one of the largest owners of farm and ranchland in the country, including 49 for-profit parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding in ZCMI, Utah's largest department-store chain.

    All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church's nont-ithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million. "

    "Members of the church celebrate the Lord's Supper with water rather than wine or gra-pe juice. They believe their President is a prophet who receives new revelations from God. These can supplant older revelations, as in the case of the church's historically most controversial doctrine: Smith himself received God's sanctioning of pol-ygamy in 1831, but 49 years later, the church's President announced its recision. Similarly, an explicit policy barring black men from holding even the lowest church offices was overturned by a new revelation in 1978, opening the way to huge missionary activity in Africa and Brazil. "

    May 30, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
    • sealchan

      Sounds like they have their act together to me.

      May 30, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
      • Reality

        As a business cult, indeed they do. As a religion based on a mythical angel, no way.

        May 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
  12. Science Works

    Hey Theo – Vic – and believefred really NO survival guide NEEDED – this would truly be comedy gold IF children were not involved !!

    But maybe an 8 year old can teach the bible belt something ?

    Two days ago the SC State signed into law the 8 year olds state fossil bill without the god amendment – then today this shows up ?

    GOP candidate for SC schools chief wants to teach ‘scientific theory of intelligent design’
    By Eric W. Dolan
    Friday, May 30, 2014 10:14 EDT

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/30/gop-candidate-for-sc-schools-chief-wants-to-teach-scientific-theory-of-intelligent-design/

    May 30, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
    • sealchan

      ‘scientific theory of intelligent design’ = oxymoron

      May 30, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
      • Akira

        Yes. This is why it is hilarious that those who adhere to ID being a science cracks me up.

        May 30, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • Science Works

        But this guy is one of VIC's favorites – the end times are coming Vic really ?

        Pastor: Climate change is not man-made, it’s a sign that Jesus is coming back
        By Tom Boggioni
        Friday, May 30, 2014 14:59 EDT

        http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/30/pastor-climate-change-is-not-man-made-its-a-sign-that-jesus-is-coming-back/

        And the COMEDY GOLD award in a round about way goes to vic with his Hagee quotes .

        May 30, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
    • Alias

      Rather than follow that link I'm going to just assume that te class talks about the intelligent design of cities as they grow.
      Proper management can be essential to traffic flow and utility performance.

      May 30, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      ‘scientific theory of intelligent design’

      It would be hilarious if this wasn't coming from a GOP candidate for a Superintendent of a school district.

      May 30, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
  13. Dyslexic doG

    why do christians speak of what jesus said or did when we have absolutely no way of knowing what jesus said or did?

    May 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • sealchan

      In reading the gospels, one can get a sense of a direct experience of wisdom and truth. Of course, this doesn't mean you should ignore the difficulties raised by examining the gospels from a literary and historical perspective. In the end, knowing the spiritual truths that are spoken to in the gospels is more important than knowing precisely who those words came from. Whether Jesus is a divinely inspired (or just a profoundly inspired) fiction or whether he was and said what the gospels say he said is of lesser importance. Nothing in the Bible is true that can't be experienced independently of the Bible as true. That's what, in "my book", decides the value of the Bible.

      May 30, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
      • ausphor

        seal..
        Of course in recent times we have Trekkies and of course the Harry Potter fans. You can get worked up about pretty much anything, ask Harold Camping fans, nothing spiritual about it. Spiritual is only a word that makes your particular delusion more acceptable to the sheep, it is all the longest running scam in history.

        May 30, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          All true. Except the part about Star Trek not being spiritual.
          : )

          May 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • ausphor

          bostontola
          The force seems to have left me when I turned 55, no light saber for me anymore.

          May 30, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • sealchan

          What's wrong with "getting worked up" working for many different things? Does it invalidate the experience?

          I've thought a lot about what separates a good motion picture or TV series and a religious epic...the main difference is that most religious epics are a consolidation of centuries of acc-umulated wisdom from a previous oral culture whereas, even inclusive of its direct and indirect influences, a motion picture and TV series isn't as densely packed with spiritual wisdom...but they could be. I very much like the latest Noah movie and I am looking forward to Ridley Scott's Exodus.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • sealchan

          My favorite Star Trek series is DS9, of course, because it deals directly with faith. Without loosing sight of his rational faculties, Captian Sisko discovers that the Bajoran faith has not only a basis in scientific truth, but also, it holds for him a guide for personal meaning. All without having to claim superiority over other beliefs.

          Star Wars is great in how it has deal with the nature of good and evil. Its spiritual truths persist. In fact, I see the original Star Wars movie (I was fortunate to be a young teenage boy when it came out) was a major spiritual influence for me.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • kudlak

        sealchan
        Even recognized myth can still contain direct experience with wisdom. The "truth" part relies upon the gospels themselves. Where the Gospels has Pilate show concern for Jesus, Josephus describes a Pilate who would never bow down to the sensibilities of the Jewish authorities, or care the least about the fate of a lone Jewish man. Who do we trust?

        May 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • sealchan

          Both the gospel author(s) and Josephus tell a story. To the extent that that story has a spiritual truth as a goal, the story can stand in its own obvious or not obvious context. A story in and of itself uses historicity as a tool to engage its reader/hearer; historical accuracy is not a primary value in a story. That there are contradictions is of relevance to an historical analysis of the story, not so much to the spiritual analysis. Neither story may be historically accurate, of course, but it is interesting that both story tellers see this figure as worth telling about.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • sealchan

          The att-itude toward Pilate probably reflects the audience to whom the story is told. A proto-Christian audience seeking to separate itself from its Jewish roots might be interested in a Jesus friendly Pilate...a Jewish historian, although a Roman citizen, might not be so inclined to view Pilate as a "friend".

          Actually, you remind me that historical analysis of scripture should also be important to Christians because it shows how the stories inherited in the Bible are likely to have been influenced in many ways. Although this may complicate the truth for many Christians, I believe that there is always room for complication where truth is concerned. It doesn't take away from my fascination with my faith, rather it adds to it.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • kudlak

          sealchan
          Yes, the gospels are just stories about Jesus, crafted to express a theological position. They likely contain much of the wisdom that he is famous for, but they also contain legendary aspects and fictions invented to help establish those positions. The nativity narratives and examples where Jesus supposedly did something that matches Jewish prophecy are likely cases of this.

          Once you realize this, Jesus just becomes a man hyped by pagan-raised gentiles into being something that really would have been a blasphemy to his fellow Jews and even to himself.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      "when we have absolutely no way of knowing what jesus said or did?"
      -------------
      Sure we do. Read F.F. Bruce's "The New Testament Doc.uments." Just one of many... Sir Frederic Kenyon's book "The Bible and Archeology" is another...

      May 30, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        That's apologetic crap and all circles right back to the bible, thus not proving a damn thing and it is well known that nothing written about jesus was done so until 30-40 years after he died, in turn making the stories unreliable.
        Children fall for stories like that, not rational minded, educated adults.

        May 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Being that you're taking such an opinionated stance on these two books, I take it that you've studied both of them?

          Becuause if you haven't, then you have no grounds to make accusations about what they did or did not say, and you surely are in no position to comment on their methods.

          The interval then between the dates of original composition and the earliest extent evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”

          Kenyon, Frederic (1940) “The Bible and Archaeology,” pp.288-289

          May 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Theo-our Holocaust, Slave Supporter (immoral person): You are being stupidly dishonest. You post stuff from books that you know most wouldn't have read and then you whine when they are judged on the basics of what they are about...you're such a fool. You're not likely to post something that doesn't support your imaginary friend, so your point is moot. My point about the material written about your jesus is accurate, so why do you trust it or are you simply that too simple-minded that you simply don't grasp how stories gets embellished over time and 30-40 years later tells the RATIONAL, EDUCATED person that stories like that are not to be trusted and are definitely not reliable, especially when stories of that time were usually passed verbally.
          Get an education...it will do you good.

          May 30, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "You are being...dishonest. You post stuff from books that you know most wouldn't have read and then you whine when they are judged on the basics of what they are about...
          --------------–
          So you're admitting that you are judging something that you are completely ignorant about. OK. How is that an indictment on me???

          "My point about the material written about your jesus is accurate, so why do you trust it or are you simply that too simple-minded that you simply don't grasp how stories gets embellished over time and 30-40 years later tells the RATIONAL, EDUCATED person that stories like that are not to be trusted and are definitely not reliable, especially when stories of that time were usually passed verbally."
          -------------------
          If you had read or will read those two books, then you'll have a better understanding. But most people wish to remain willingly ignorant of that which tends to cut against the grain.

          Get an education...it will do you good.
          ------------------
          I've got an education. And it has done me very well, thank you.

          May 30, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "So you're admitting that you are judging something that you are completely ignorant about. OK. How is that an indictment on me?"

          Theo, have you read the god delusion? If you really did with an open mind, you would agree there is no god. If not, you're in no position to dispute the belief that there is no god.

          See how stupid that sounds? We don't need to read every ridiculous book trying to manufacture evidence to support the fairy tales from the bible to know they're complete BS. I have picked up those types of books and it usually only takes a few sentences to conclude they're illogical.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "I have picked up those types of books and it usually only takes a few sentences to conclude they're illogical."
          ----------–
          Actually, I HAVE read the "God Delusion." That was actually my introduction to who Dawkins was, and I saw just how hateful that man is. His research was sloppy and his theories and conclusions are all moot because he honestly doesn't understand the material that he is writing about... Sad really...

          May 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Theo, considering your grossly inept attempts at logic, you're in no position to judge Dawkins. And how do you conclude he is hateful? He certainly seems to be much more loving towards humanity than religious people.

          Regardless, the point is, I read that book and find the logic to be extremely sound and irrefutable. You read that book and somehow conclude it's illogical. That tells me that you can't view the subject with an open mind. It also tells me that any books that you think are logical are likely just as illogical as the things you write.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • kudlak

          Theo
          When you say that Dawkins doesn't understand the material that he is writing about, what you actually mean is that he doesn't approach it with the presupposition that it's divinely accurate, like you do, correct?

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

        Theo
        Have you read any books on the historicity of the Bible published after the 1940's. You know, they've made a lot of discoveries and done a lot of revolutionary work since those days.

        May 30, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
      • Reality

        Said books of limited references were published in the early 1940's. Might want to update your library to books with significantly more reviewed references. A good starting point are the books listed at

        o 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.

        May 30, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
      • sealchan

        If you find yourself posting hear frequently as I do, I recommend you try the following two books to help bridge the gap with the atheists you will frequently encounter here (I myself like to lay claim to keeping my inner-atheist happy):

        The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins
        New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, Bart Ehrman

        Both authors are sincere and have respect with the atheist community. I'm half way through the first and have finished the second. If you faith can swallow whole the truth contained in these books, then you may be glad for it.

        May 30, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I only had to read bible cover to cover a couple times to find out for myself it was all delusion.

          May 30, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I read AND studied the Bible cover to cover.....and found out for myself it is truth

          May 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          You read its stories and identified with the heroes and projected your angst against people you dislike and cast them in the role of the villians and decided you want it to be true so bad that you will suspend disbelief in order to get your ears tickled.

          May 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Having studied the bible is not something you should be proud of nor does it make it true. Science has proven it wrong on soooooooooo much and for you to argue that makes you very intellectually dishonest. Studying the bible is akin to studying the Easter Bunny-stories about fictional characters.

          May 30, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          I too have read and studied the Bible cover to cover, and found out for myself that it isn't the kind of truth you seem to think it is.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        @Theo Phileo,
        "The God Delusion" is not Dawkins' best work; "The Greatest Show on Earth" is much better. IMO

        May 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Greatest show on earth" = Great book. Definitely one of his best and a great primer for evolutionary theory for the layman.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually, many contemporary NT scholars have done this. See for example:

      1. http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html

      2. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=Crossan_Inventory

      3. Professor Gerd Ludemann's studies published in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years. pp. 1-695,

      4. The Jesus Seminar's evaluations published in : The Five
      Gospels (1993) and Acts of Jesus (1998), both by Polebridge Press.

      May 30, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        The Jesus Seminar is the decaying flotsam from the shipwreck of Liberal theology that continues to wash ashore, where the only criteria that they use to make judgments is political correctness. If Jesus' sayings doesn't fit Egalitarianism for women, ho.mose.xuality as an alternate lifestyle, environmental activism, animal rights, racial quotas, hard line anti-war doctrine, on and on and on and on, then it's not true.

        Don't get the idea that I think the conclusions of the Jesus Seminar should be discarded lightly. On the contrary I think they should be thrown away with as much force as possible.

        -John MacArthur

        May 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Akira

          Is this the same John MacArthur that is spreading the garbage that the POTUS is a "non-Christian"?

          May 30, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          WHAT is POTUS?

          May 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • kudlak

          What's John MacArthur's qualification as a biblical scholar again? I know that he has a few honorary PH.Ds from Christian colleges, but did he ever earn one from a real school?

          If not, then I question where he gets off criticizing actual professional scholars with doctorates.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • Akira

          Kermit,
          President of the United States.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          akira...what about the President of USA?

          May 30, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • Akira

          Kermit,
          I am asking Theo if John MacArthur he just quoted is the same Rev John MacArthur that is spreading the garbage that the President of the United States is a "non-Christian."

          May 30, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ahh ok..you were responding when I was asking what POTUS meant..ok..thanks

          May 30, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit, POTUS really? Did you never watch West Wing? Or the news?

          May 30, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          never watched west wings..and as for the news..I never heard anyone use the acronym POTUS

          May 30, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          nice rock you reside under kermi!

          May 31, 2014 at 11:26 am |
      • Reality

        "Done this" as in determined through rigorous historic testing the passages and actions of Jesus that are historic. Only 30% are by such testing.

        May 30, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
      • Reality

        So we know now what you think about the Jesus Seminarians but you said nothing about the other references. We assume you are reviewing these?

        Regarding the Seminarians:

        The Jesus Seminarians: Contemporary NT exegetes specializing in historic Jesus studies. Requirements to join, typically a PhD in Religious History or Religion with a proven record of scholarship through reviews of first to third century CE scripture and related doc-uments. Do you Theo, qualify.

        May 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
  14. new-man

    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."

    harlow13,
    GOD IS LOVE. See the definition of LOVE given to zhilla.
    The only ones burdened here are you and those who delight in darkness because you're convinced you're in light.
    By the way, GOD IS LIGHT and LIFE.
    Peace.

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

      new-man, your claim that your god is loving is obviously false, since your Christian book of nasty AKA the bible has your evil, horribly vengeant deity making awful, hateful demands of you such as these, 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 3:11 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        bad argument bob..since you only focus on one attribute of God without regarding the other attributes (Ie, Holy , JUST, Creator, etc etc)

        May 30, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • Alias

          I dissagree.
          If you show one of the things the bible says about god is wrong, it necessarily casts doubt on everything else it says.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so you are the kind to throw the baby out with the bathwater...terrible thing to do in logic

          May 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • Madtown

          JUST
          --–
          Well, except for that unfortunate part about negatively judging the humans he created, for the "sin" of not following christianity, even though he made it impossible for them to ever learn about christianity. That's not the least bit Just.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          bad argument..its not about following CHRISTIANITY...its about following GOD....yougot it all confused sir...thus your argument is irrelevant..

          May 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • Bob

          What Alias and Madtown said, exactly.

          And furthermore, a murderer who contributes to a charity is still a murderer. kermite, your god is documented as a mass murderer in your horrid bible, as you have already clearly been shown.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          u have to prove God is a murderer..that he has no right to take the lives of His own Creation....otherwise your argument does not work

          May 30, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          so you are the kind to throw the baby out with the bathwater...terrible thing to do in logic
          ------------–
          Throwing out the baby with the bathwater is essential in logic.

          What you argue is a form of pragmatic cognitive dissonance. This is very distinct from "logic". You want the nice things about belief but want to overlook all the contradictions that make it irrational.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          You want the nice things about belief but want to overlook all the contradictions that make it irrational.<-arrogance to assume you know my wants....I want truth thank you....so cut the useless arrogance of telling me what I want

          May 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The FACT is Justice and Love all go hand in hand

          May 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • Madtown

          its about following GOD
          --–
          Ah, so everyone's notion of God is now ok with you? Other notions of God are equal in their relevance to yours? If that's true, then you're starting to get it.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          What do you consider the bathwater? What in the Bible is meant to be thrown away, especially in light of Jesus' declaration that he did not come to replace the Law?

          May 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          He came to FULLFILLit...never did I imply to replace it....you know why we don't do sacrifices in the Temple anymore? first of all there is no Temple..second..Jesus was the ULTIMATE sacrifice...no need for another sacrifice....Jesus FULLFILLED that

          May 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • Bob

          kermite, that your "god" "takes lives", and on a massive scale, as plainly documented in your Christian book of filth is sufficient to label him a murderer.

          And mass murdering is only one of your horrid ass hole in the sky's nasty traits. Read your own grisly book of horrors.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NUMBERS do not define murder....lol....so if I went out and shoot ONE man...while this mental case wentout last week and lilled 11 people...he is a murderer..Im not eh? nice logic you got there...sorry..your explanation does not define murder....second..I TEACH the Bible..I know it more than you do..I teach it to adults..studied it over 25 years..both in academic settings and outside of colleges

          May 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Bob

          kermite, regarding your Jesus claims, the whole Jesus-sacrifice-salvation story, the foundation of the Christian superstitions, is bull manure out of the gate. How is it that an omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

          Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourselves there, Christians.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          not at all..pretty pathetic ignorance you have of the Bible and of God/Jesus...again God is HOLY and JUST...He is Love..in HIS JUSTICE>.ALL go to hell...since ALl sinned...and sincan NOT coexist within Gods full presence....it has nothing to do with power...sins are dashed by Gods Holiness... BUT..OUT of His LOVE He made a way so we don't HAVE to go to hell..and Justice is still taken care of.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          "that he has no right to take the lives of His own Creation"
          Well, that sure works against the idea that humans are a "special creation", doesn't it? 't, you think that we actually are like God's sheep: His property and his right to slaughter whenever he feels like it?

          That means that we're more like livestock, toys or some other property to him, and not independent beings he would consider worthy of sharing his existence with, right?

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

          and his right to slaughter whenever he feels like it?<-still ignorance..its not based on FEELIONGS..and it is NOT at any time..its not a spur of moment thing.....ALL have sinned..ALL people die a physical death whethr God is directly or indirectly a part of it....and ALL will be held accountable...alllive eternity..either in hell without knowing the eternal joy, peace and hope that God offers..or in heavenand reap the benefits of eternal peace joy andhope

          May 30, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Voluntary association with livestock as a metaphor is a weird aspect of Christianity.

          Christianity is rife with such terms:
          "good shepherd"
          "flock"
          etc

          Q. Why does a shepherd keep sheep?
          A: To fleece them, kill them and eat them.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • Madtown

          since ALl sinned...and sincan NOT coexist within Gods
          ----–
          Which is the last full grade you completed in school? Your writing is atrocious.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "ALL have sinned"

          I don't believe you, so prove it.

          You first have to define sin, then you can explain how babies in the womb sin and young children sin and so on. Get to it, i'll wait.

          May 30, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          OK..sorry I did notmake myself clear...ALL have sinned are those of age of accountability....sin is a conscious decision one makes to reject Gods goodness or laws..babies do not make such decisions......

          May 30, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • sam stone

          kermy: if you are so big on logic, kindly explain to me how free will and an omniscient god can be compatible. i have posted this to you and other christians on here before and have never gotten a response that wasn't total horsedung

          May 30, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I gave you an idea already..ya need to read my posts.....youre limiting your logic and using stuff from what WE know HERE in THIS realm....God is NOT of this realm..He CREATED thisa real that we live in....He is outside of it....He knows what you will choose..you still make that choice..even if he knows it already....he di dnot make it for you...he forsaw the future and knows your choices you will make

          May 31, 2014 at 1:53 am |
        • sam stone

          "ALL have sinned are those of age of accountability....sin is a conscious decision one makes to reject Gods goodness or laws..babies do not make such decisions......"

          So, we are not born sinners?

          Perhaps people make a conscious decision to reject the laws of iron age sheepherders

          May 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          So, we are not born sinners?<-if you mean by what you assume the Bible to say? Born into sin...no....what THAT means is we are born as humans who have the propensity to sin....no one can escape that fact when they become old enough to do so (age of accountability) we all make wrong decisions

          May 31, 2014 at 1:55 am |
        • Akira

          Then we are right back at what the unborn and the newly-born did to deserve drowning in the Great Flood.

          May 30, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          they didn't do anything..but you got to think man..if ALL the parents are gone..WHo will take care of the babies? duuuuuh.....God took them into His care out of a wicked society....

          May 31, 2014 at 1:56 am |
        • sam stone

          akira: not to mention the unborn and the newly born jews that theo says so justly deserved the holocaust. and, of course, it has to be right because theo has studied the bible for 30 years

          May 30, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • sam stone

          come on, kermy, are you going to answer or are you going to take the gopher way out and just ignore it?

          May 30, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          EXCUSE me sam? I have a frigging life..I WORK...I don't sit on my butt all day at the computer doing nothing..be patient..you will get the answer..in fact I just did answer

          May 31, 2014 at 1:57 am |
        • sam stone

          figures. kermy turns tail and runs.....just like gopher

          May 30, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          see my last post to you I said I have a LIFE.I actually WORk for a living..do you?

          May 31, 2014 at 2:05 am |
        • Akira

          I have noticed that bigots of a feather stick together, sam.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you implying I turned tail and ran???

          May 31, 2014 at 2:06 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit "... sin is a conscious decision one makes to reject Gods goodness or laws..babies do not make such decisions......"

          How many babies did your god kill in the flood? Must have been many thousands.

          May 30, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          the Bible does not say..and so what how many? why does the numbers matter to you...are you saying taking life of thousands of babies is worse than taking life of ONE baby???

          May 31, 2014 at 2:07 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Explain why it wouldn't be.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • sam stone

          Akira: Yep, and I would wager that they would be the first to claim persecution.

          They make statements, and when the statements are challenged, they either go back to their big book of nonsense or they run like scared little children

          May 30, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • sam stone

          if he KNOWS what i am going to choose before i make the choice, and he CANNOT be wrong, then there is no free choice. sorry about that logic thing biting you in the behind

          if murder is the UNLAWFUL taking of a life (your definition), then abortion, being legal, cannot be murder according to YOUR DEFINITION.

          May 31, 2014 at 8:13 am |
        • kermit4jc

          sorry..your logic fails...since you dfail to take into account this is God from a different realm from ourts..you are attempting to use THIS realm we are in.....thus your argument fials in ignorance..nothing you say can save your argument...

          June 3, 2014 at 2:08 am |
        • sam stone

          Yes, Kermy, I do have a job, and my hours are M-TH from 7:00 to 5:30

          You seem to a-s-s-ume that there is a being that exists "outside of space and time". I see no reason to believe such a thing.

          Also, the concept of "sin" seems absurd to me, and the idea that others should avoid their due punishment by the murder of an innocent man is a particularly immoral position. Yet, not only do christians flock to it, they fvcking brag about it

          May 31, 2014 at 8:36 am |
        • kermit4jc

          ok..listen up buster...MY job varies as I work in the field according to the NEEDS of the family....at present my hours are mostly lmornings and evenings..i don't get home until about 8:30 PM Pacific time....as I requested ...knock off the talk of me running scared or afraid to answer..you will get your answers..ok? leave that subject lone

          June 3, 2014 at 2:11 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          You see, I can get a God who rewards those who believe in him, but I don't get a God who feels the vindictive need to torture those who just aren't convinced that he's even real. I get the feeling then that it's a human need to have God bring everyone to account, and not the his. Somehow, I don't think that you can imagine a God loving enough to not torture the people who reject what you believe, which makes me suspect that it's your ego that finds this vengeful quality necessary to have in God.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
  15. new-man

    zhilla1980wasp: "god is love" hmmmm so your god is basic animal instincts combined inside a higher developed brain? ok if you say so.

    zhilla, you have displayed the same convoluted concept of LOVE that the Israelites did thousands of years ago, and that still permeates today's "modern society"... what is it you guys say... 'love ya... love ya to death'... what does this mean.. I can tell you what it's not. This is not LOVE.

    GOD IS LOVE.
    and He defines LOVE for us.
    [ Love Is the Greatest ] If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. ...

    Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circu.mstance.
    This IS LOVE & God IS LOVE.

    May 30, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      God. The one who loves you so much, that he created hell in case you don't love him back... LOL

      May 30, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        yeah..pick and choose Gods attributes and ignore the others to try to make an argument.....one cannot separate Gods attributes..He is a Just and holy God.....not only a loving God....he cannot change that

        May 30, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • Alias

          I agree that you cannot seperate the parts of your god.
          Disprove one, and you disprove them all.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          nope..that don't work either....love and justice goes hand in hand..thus you cannot do such..if you work with them altogether..then it cannot be disproven by your "logic" so to speak

          May 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • Bob

          Again, kermite, a murderer who also contributes to charity is still a murderer. Your "god" is documented in your horrid bible as being a mass murderer. Take your murderous ass hole in the sky that you call a "god" and shove it.

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

          wow you sure are hateful

          May 30, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • Bob

          No, kermite, I am not hateful, in case it is me you are referring to with that remark. I am a very happy man with a loving family. I am merely presenting to you precisely what is in your own nasty storybook AKA the bible.

          Look it up. Actually read your horrid bible with a critical eye, for a change. All that murdering is there, along with many other horrid and hateful acts by your vicious "god".

          I consider my pointing out of that to you to be not hateful, but rather a public service to help you see past your sickness, your horrid Christian delusions. Mankind will be better off once people such as you get past your silly ancient myths.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Look it up. Actually read your horrid bible with a critical eye, for a change<–I said I know more of the BIble than you do..I know whats in there...I study and teach it..I have yet to see a murderous God (youhave yet to show how he is murderous, only to say numbers mean something-and that does not define murder..youhave to show that God as Creator of Life has NO right to take away the life

          May 30, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Did or did not God send an angel to kill all the first born of the Egyptians, order the wholesale slaughter and enslavement of the Canaanites, and personally annihilate all but 8 humans in a great flood?

          These are individually worse than anything that any human mass-murderer has ever done, correct? If God's perfection is the standard for his judging us unworthy of Heaven without his grace, then it works the other way around too, and we can judge God according to our standards as well.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Tell me...HOW is a God who is the CREATOR and giver of all life NOT have a right to take it?

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

          Kermit, Why you bother answering that BOB character is puzzling, he has no knowledge or understanding of what he talks about. He can't in any way prove God doesn't exist, and anyone who believes otherwise he only mocks, calls names, is hateful towards, is very bitter and self righteous. He really isn't even worth reading, ignore or flag him.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I think kermie has a problem with the word "murder" because by definition it is the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. He claims it not to be unlawful if God does it. Sort of like when Nixon said it's not illegal if the President does it, regardless of how illegal it would be for everyone else.

          So here is the problem kermie, I don't accept your God or any other God/gods authority over me or my family. If he shows up and lets me know he created me and proves it by some supernatural means then I might accept his authority, but until then he's just an empty suit you all keep bowing to.

          May 30, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          by definition it is the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another<-operative words unlawful and human being on another...YOU said GOD is a murderer..He is nOT a human being...and second....prove God has no right to take the life he gives...prove it is unlawful for GOD to do so

          May 30, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          So far there is no proof your God has ever killed anything or anyone. Sure, lots of your Gods followers have killed in his name and there are many stories in the bible written down by men who credit God with the killing of millions in the flood and tens of thousands with plagues and earthquakes or fire and sulpher raining down from heaven or the ground opening up and swallowing disgruntled Israelites, but again, no evidence your God did any of those things.

          When a non-believer accuses your God of being a violent murderer, they are really just trying to put a mirror up to your attempted proselytization where you claim your God as loving and wonderful, like some sort of cosmic bunny rabbit who you'll get to go play with in fuzzy fluffy bunny heaven but you don't bat an eye at the accounts that read more like the killer rabbit of Caerbannog with its nasty big pointy teeth!

          May 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I don't bat an eye cause I know God has that right to take life..and NO one has yet to show me God has NO right to take life...someone earlier today defined murder as UNLAWFUL taking of a life of a human being by another human being......GOD is nOT a human being..and one has to PROVE God did it UNLAWFULLY..that is he had nO right to take life that HE gave

          May 31, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • sam stone

          "by definition it is the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another"

          so abortion is not murder? perhaps you should get with your fellow christians on this

          May 30, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ortion is murder....premeditated taking of a life...and the woman has no right to choose to have it taken away...especially for the pitiful excuse of "convenience" putting it that way demeans the human...devalues....a baby is valued ONLY when wanted....such a shallow and egotistical way to view another person

          May 31, 2014 at 2:02 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          So the near 70% of all conceptions that end in miscarriage is God doing it but the 22% of conceptions that are aborted in the US are from vile murderers who should have their own personal rights stripped and they should be jailed?

          Your God has no power so I don't blame him for those miscarriages, but that also means i'm not going to blame a woman who has a blastocyst removed from their bodies prior to 20 weeks gestation which is the line in the sand that the law has delineated as to when this new mass of cells inside a woman's body becomes another human with human rights that equal (not trump) the mothers rights.

          May 31, 2014 at 5:48 am |
        • kermit4jc

          who should have their own personal rights stripped and they should be jailed?.but it isnOT exactly same as moms..thus making them unqiue..as far as the courts go they are stupid and they are not biologists and they play to the masses who are being self centered and egotistical

          June 2, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          The problem with the anti-choice argument is that there is no legal precedent for anyone to be obligated to save another person's life, even without threat to their own. Even today, pregnancy is risky. Women still come to harm delivering babies and some even die in the process. That puts pregnancy in the category of a voluntary activity, as the state has no right to demand that someone risk their lives for another, even in the case of someone's actual, live children. Say your daughter needs a kidney. Does the state have the right to demand that you give one up? Of course not!

          If it did then blood transfusion and organ donating would be mandatory, but the state recognizes that this is an individual's right. Therefore, donating a womb for the incubation of a fetus is also the individual's right, see how that goes. It's not murder if you don't donate a kidney to save someone, and it wouldn't be murder if you don't rush into a burning building to save someone, so it isn't murder if you don't want to be pregnant. That simple!

          May 31, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • dandintac

          No Kermit–it is you and other Christians who overlook the horrific aspects of the God character of the Bible. The evidence of the Bible. Please watch this. Note and list all the horrific deeds of the God character as outlined by the concentration inmates in this clip. And this is not all–I could add more horrors. Then see if you can come up with a list with specific deeds of God of equal length–and "saving" us from the very imperfect nature he made us in–I don't think that counts, because it was his mistake to begin with.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx7irFN2gdI
          The concentration inmates in this clip conclude that God is NOT good. What would you say to them–really–if you had to look them in the eye in real life, and try to explain how God is good?

          June 1, 2014 at 12:26 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          kermie – "abortion is murder....premeditated taking of a life...and the woman has no right to choose to have it taken away"

          me "the 22% of conceptions that are aborted in the US are from vile murderers who should have their own personal rights stripped and they should be jailed?"

          kermie – "who should have their own personal rights stripped and they should be jailed?."

          Are you really this dumb or is it just an act?

          June 2, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          EXPLAIN what you are talking about...I couldn't make heads or tails of your post.....

          June 3, 2014 at 2:19 am |
    • bostontola

      If God is Love, then I believe in that God. If God is the Laws of Nature, then I would believe in that God too.

      I don't believe that God created the universe or life though. I also don't believe that God has relationships with humans, intentionally causes floods or any other phenomenon.

      Defining God in those limited terms is easy to accept. It's all the other trappings that are hard to believe.

      May 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
      • transframer

        –If God is Love, then I believe in that God
        Then stop right there. Forget about the laws of nature, universe/life creation and others. All they do is just help us understand God and reach the same conclusion: that God exists and it's a God of love. But if you arrived of this conclusion without the help of the other information you don't need it and it's all right.

        May 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • James XCIX

          transframer – "Then stop right there. Forget about the laws of nature..."

          So your advice is that if you find one element of a religion believable, stop thinking about any of the things that might cause you to question the rest of it? Was that the approach you took?

          May 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • bostontola

          trans,
          Great. Even if we all agreed that God is love, we'd develop different sects regarding all the other aspects of God. For instance, my God of love isn't sentient, doesn't act, or create physical things, etc.

          May 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • transframer

          James: No
          Boston: if you really believe in a God of love, you'll eventually see that's the same for everyone, even if now appears to be different

          May 30, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • James XCIX

          transframer – OK, that's what it sounded like, so thanks for clarifying, if not elaborating.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        so basically you want a God that meets YOUR standards....in other words..youre making up the god now huh? (and I thought we were the ones accussed of making Gods in a way we want it) lol

        May 30, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • bostontola

          I never said I want a God. I said that if you define God is Love, then I can go with that. I just can't go with all the other baggage. I didn't say I wanted a God.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ok..so you would like a God who is Love..and nothing more? No Just..or Holy God?

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

          kermite, not being a mass murderer would be a good start, unlike the murderous Christian "god" that is presented in the bible.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • bostontola

          kermit,
          Someone declared that GOD IS LOVE, period. You saying Gos is Love, Just, and Holy, (and maybe more). I simply said that if a person defines God Is Love, I can go with that definition. In that definition, God is not the creator, God is just Love.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Youre right..if God isONLY love ..and not Just, Holy and such..then yes..your argumnent can work the God I serve and know is not only Love...He is Just, Holy, Righteous and Creator of all life....

          May 30, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      The issue now lies in the fact that you can't prove your god said any of that...all you have are the claims of men that it was god, nothing more. I'm sorry that your Mommy failed you and didn't love you in turn not teaching you what love is.

      May 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
      • benhoody

        And you can't prove God didn't say it. Of course you had to add your hateful put down comment as you usually do, why,who knows, except I guess it must make you feel superior some how, but your not, everyone can see right through your hateful bitter comments.

        May 30, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Skip the hypocrisy ben-you come across as hateful yourself! The burden of proof lies on the one making the claim, not the one asking for it.

          May 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
  16. 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 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
  17. new-man

    boston: "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."

    boston, Yes Jesus was sacrificed before the foundations of the world. Things you see on the earth are a reflection of things that took place in the heavens.
    For the religious among us see [What darkness the Lord in his anger has brought upon the daughter of Zion! He hurled down from heaven to earth the glory of Israel, and did not remember in the day of his anger that Zion was his footstool. (La 2:1)NEB
    So Zion existed in the heavens before she was cast down by Almighty God.
    Why did God do such a thing? Read Lamentations 1:8-22 to see what transpired in the heavens to cause such a great fall. I’ll give one egregious instance here.
    The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation. (La 1:10)KJV]

    so while I get the gist of your question boston, you are missing many important keys as to what took place in the heavens, spiritual laws, and how restoration must be made but within the paradigm of these laws. God cannot break His own laws!

    another time, I'll get into more detailed explanation about this.

    May 30, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "another time, I'll get into more detailed explanation about this."
      -----------–
      We can hardly wait.

      May 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Jesus/God most certaintly did give a sacrafice. You see folks, God isn't accustomed to feeling the pain that He created specifically for humans to have to deal with. So for Him, that little bit of temporary pain was a HUGE inconvenience for someone used to living in the pain free paradise of Heaven. After an eternity burning in hell, most humans will get used to pain, but God just isn't built for that. So although it might not seem to us to be the ultimate sacrifice to us, to God that was kind of a big deal.

      May 30, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        cult speak.

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

        lunch,
        In all honesty, I can't tell if your response is serious or sarcastic.

        If you're serious, then please change your verbiage to "Jesus was inconvenienced for our sins".

        May 30, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • Alias

          your inability to understand posts is well documented in these pages.

          May 30, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        All the Christian posters think I'm an atheist and most of the atheists think I'm a theist. I'm either a very good or a very poor agnostic.

        May 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • bostontola

          The funny part is, as outrageous as your sarcastic comment is, there are people who would make a similar one in complete seriousness.

          May 30, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          I attended a private Christian school, located in the Bible belt, from the ages of 4 to 18. So I had a lot of practice.

          May 30, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • bostontola

          lunch,
          I will definitely defer to you in the future on matters of religious doctrine. I had sunday school but was publicly educated.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
  18. new-man

    new-man: "It's funny that mankind is living in hell and doesn't realize nor recognize such"
    kenmargo: "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 |

    ken, as believers, though we are in this world we are not a part of this world. believers dwell in the secret place of the Most High, they live from heaven to earth, not the opposite. we dwell in Christ, and He in us, we're not a part of Egypt/Bondage.

    May 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "we are not a part of this world"
      -------------
      Well, isn't that special?

      Classic fallacious 'special pleading' argument.

      May 30, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
      • new-man

        believers, take heed.
        “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.

        May 30, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • ausphor

          newman
          I distinctly remember that passage. I was in a hotel and had run out of toilet paper so I grabbed the gideon and tore out a few pages and guess what I noticed your quote was on the pages I wiped my anus with, best use ever put to it.

          May 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          AUSPHOR, that is NOT appropriate! The material those pages are made of just cause it to smear. They are not absorbant at all.

          May 30, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • ausphor

          lunch..
          Well I did have to take extra time to wash my fingers, sh!t happens!!!

          May 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • doobzz

          Ah, the book tells you not to pay attention to those who question the book, that you are special and have special knowledge because you believe in the book. And you don't see a problem with that?

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

          NOWHERE does the Bible say not to question it

          May 30, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • doobzz

          "But, my friend, I ask, “Who do you think you are to question God? Does the clay have the right to ask the potter why he shaped it the way he did?" Romans 9:20

          Oops!

          May 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • benhoody

          No problem what so ever.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The last thing I would trust is something that tells me I shouldn't question it. I'm an adult. Only children or the terribly naive take things at face value.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The last thing I would trust is something that tells me I shouldn’t question it. <-thankjfully the Bible doesnot tell us to not q

          May 30, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The last thing I would trust is something that tells me I shouldn’t question it. <-thankfully the Bible does not ask or tell us to not question it...

          May 30, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • doobzz

          "But, my friend, I ask, “Who do you think you are to question God? Does the clay have the right to ask the potter why he shaped it the way he did?" Romans 9:20

          May 30, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • James XCIX

          doobz – "Does the clay have the right to ask the potter why he shaped it the way he did?"

          Well, why not, especially if the clay was formed in some perplexing manner?

          May 30, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit
          For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
          Isiah 55:8-9

          May 30, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
          Isiah 55:8-9<,,,yes? and?

          May 30, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          and that's an example of the bible saying "don't question the bible"

          May 30, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isiah 55:8-9<,,,yes? and?hahah..nice try...that's in no way saying we cannto question...its merely saying we cannot KNOW all of what God knows and why He does things.....youre stretching it

          May 31, 2014 at 1:51 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          What does it mean if not "I know better than you"?

          May 31, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • James XCIX

          doobzz – I see now that I read your comment that I replied to out of sequence in the thread. My apologies for misunderstanding.

          May 30, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          another example I should have said. doobz gave an example earlier.

          May 30, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Sure, more 'chosen people' nonsense, now in a NT setting.

        May 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • ausphor

      newman
      Do you read the crap you write? You are psychotic, have lost all touch with reality, born agains have to be the stupidest people on earth.

      May 30, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

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

        May 30, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • benhoody

        Millions disagree with you, and you can't prove what you are saying, I wonder who really is the stupi one.

        May 30, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Yet LET posted a link that proves ausphor's point...just proves how hypocritical you truly are-you expect us to take on word your claims about your god but yet when actual facts are posted, you gleefully ignore them and show complete ignorance and hate towards others...such a typical Christian. You're not only wilfully ignorant, you're intellectually ignorant-an education; 13 episodes of COSMOS and following the Golden Rule will make a difference for you in this world.

          May 30, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
    • Madtown

      believers dwell in the secret place of the Most High
      ----
      Christian arrogance knows no bounds.

      May 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • new-man

        Madtown,
        you just can't hate on a person for knowing their ident.ity. Father [My God] told us, my people perish for lack of knowledge. This clearly suggests He wants us to have knowledge of who we are in Him, to know how beloved we are, and therefore we can go out and conquer all things- because we dwell in Him.
        Here's another arrogant statement – those who know their God shall do exploits!

        Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord:
        He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

        May 30, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Bob

          new-man, fear, not trust, would be an appropriate sentiment for you to have about the horribly vengeant ass hole of a god that your Christian mythbook presents, if you actually are stupid enough to believe the crazy stories in it.

          May 30, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          clearly you know hardly a thing about the Bible and God

          May 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • Madtown

          This clearly suggests He wants us to have knowledge of who we are in Him,
          ----–
          You haven't been paying attention. How many times have you been reminded that not everyone in this world knows of christianity? Who is "us"? How are you defining "US"? Your approach is the christian one, so when you say "knowledge" you are referring to knowledge of christian-based teachings, and the christian version of God. I'll remind you again......many of your human brothers/sisters have no concept of christianity, because of where God placed them in this world. How can "he want us to have knowledge of who we are in him", when "he"(as you define him) isn't available to all people in this world? Do you always struggle so completely with such simple concepts?

          May 30, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • otoh2

          OR as another "neuman" said, "What, me worry?" He was a pip also.

          May 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • new-man

          Madtown,
          the only person struggling with a concept of who Christ is and who we are in Him is you.

          I understand clearly, and your need to constantly bring up the fact that there are people who have never heard the name Jesus has been overly noted.
          Obviously what I said to you yesterday was either not understood or ignored.
          All the people before the time of Christ where are they now?

          May 30, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Madtown

          the only person struggling with a concept of who Christ is and who we are in Him is you.
          -----
          If you say so. You're also the resident dypshyt, so what does that really mean?

          May 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • Madtown

          the fact that there are people who have never heard the name Jesus has been overly noted
          -----
          It has been overly-noted, and overly-ignored by you and your ilk. It's just simple logic, that calls into question the bulk of the rhetoric and dogma you cling to. You're just too dense to see it, or too stubborn to admit it.

          May 30, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    "when you know christ ..." people in the bible belt say.
    "I have a personal relationship with jesus ..." people in the bible belt say.
    "jesus said ..." people in the bible belt say.

    All delusional statements 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. How do Christians justify it? Do they lie knowingly? Are they just deluded?

    May 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
    • Bob

      Great post, DdoG, and I especially agree re your final paragraph. Thanks for speaking out.

      May 30, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
  20. lunchbreaker

    Anybody here hang out on Quora?

    May 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.