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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. Doris

    When I hear about any atheists from this democratic country traveling from here to another country specifically to incite killing and jailing of people based on their world views, I will speak out on it just as loudly as I am about some Christians who have been doing just that within recent years. When I hear about atheists within this democratic country performing honor killings here based on their world views, I will speak out on it just as loudly as I do about some Muslims who have been doing just that within the U.S.

    But I'm not hearing about any atheists from this country traveling elsewhere within the past several years with the intent to incite violence. I haven't heard of any atheists performing honor killings here based on their world view within the U.S. Those activities involving U.S. citizens in recent years have involved Christians and Muslims.

    June 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
  2. colin31714

    Just finished watching a series of Yale lectures on the Old Testament. I always knew that Christians, with their "Jesus died to save mankind" nonsense had added some silly elements to Judaism, but I didn't realize just how much Christianity is fundamentally different to its parent faith and just how baseless Christian claims are. How anybody who objectively looks at the history of Christianity can maintain their faith totally eludes me.

    June 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
    • igaftr

      colin
      It is basic psychology. Believers WANT to believe, so their mind will rationalize belief any way it can. Likewise, anything that challenges belief will be ignored, or otherwise rationaized out of the belief.
      Look at the answers in genesis fools. In their statement, they acknowlegde that they believe the bible and anything that proves the bible wrong, must be incorrect because the bible is right, always. That is 100% irrational, but makes sense to them.
      Religion...helping men to rationalize just about anything he imagines into belief, and then accepting belief as if it were reality.

      June 1, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Atheists do the same exact thing. Atheism is for immature adult brats who are still stuck in the teenage rebellion stage..

        June 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • kudlak

          Ah, the apologist equivalent of "I know you are, but what am I?"

          Which the Urban Dictionary defines as:
          It's quite simply the most retarded comeback someone makes when they've completely lost the argument.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • igaftr

          OK finisher, here is your chance to show you aren't just the ignorant troll you appear to be. You said "Atheists do the same exact thing."
          By all means, show me how atheists do the same thing, at least in regards to NOT believeing in deities.
          Is there some evidence of any of the deities man has worshipped? no...so nothing to rationalize away.
          Is there some way of verifying ANY of the religious supernatural claims? no...so again nothing to rationalize...

          By all means, explain in detail your point, otherwise it will be shown to be "I'm rubber you're glue" from you once again.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
    • thefinisher1

      LOL!!!!!! Now atheists are claiming to be experts on Judaism!!! The lies continue to pile! 😜😊😝😊😝😄😝😊😝😝

      June 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
      • harlow13

        Beavis made more sophisticated comments than do you, and with greater wit.

        June 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          And with far less stupid emoticons....

          June 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
  3. 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, Lord, God, Truth, Love, wants YOU!

    June 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
    • SeaVik

      "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."

      That is completely illogical. If there is no god, why would anyone want to live as a faithful Christian? What a waste of life that would be.

      June 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Just watch the sun, the moon and the stars, and you will know that there is a creator.

        Cars emerge randomly?

        No, they are designed by engineers, and assembled by workers.

        If you see a car, you can conclude that it was made by a bunch of people.

        If you see the great works of the universe, you can conclude that they were made by God. Who else should have made them?

        Cars don't emerge randomly. Rather the highly complicated works of the universe will never have emerged randomly, but of course they were designed by a very high intelligence.

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

          Helmut....how exactly were you able to exclude Zeus as the creator?

          June 1, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Just watch the sun, the moon and the stars, and you will know that there is a creator."

          This is just like saying "Just search for presents under the Christmas tree and you will know there is a Santa." which is really saying nothing at all. It is merely presenting an uneducated opinion.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          As the story goes: Zeus came after creation. Zeus is not the creator. He fought to make himself the ruler.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Story? So....you believe that all other gods everywhere (even the ones that happened prior to Jesus) were just stories? And you eliminated every one of them how?

          June 1, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "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."

          Can you be more haughty and full of yourself? No wonder your workmates can't stand you, you walk around telling everyone you know how Jesus feels. What a total conceited dlck.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Only people having endured rejection by the secular world without denying Jesus Christ, will once get into heaven."

          Ah, so to get rejected you stand in the town square and tell people how much better you are than them and when they tell you to fvck off you scream "See! I'm just like Jesus! I'm being rejected just like you God! Hurrah!"

          June 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Akira

          Rainier's Messiah Complex is strong.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          As you have turned out to be somebody supporting animal torture I am no more keen on answering your comments. You are a criminal individual in my eyes.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, that is not at all what I'm saying. I'm just saying Zeus isn't credited as being the creator in Greek mythology.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Just watch the sun, the moon and the stars, and you will know that there is a creator."

          I've looked at the sun, the moon and the stars and still see no reason to think there is a creator. And your car analogy could be used in exactly the same way to conclude that even your creator requires another creator and so on. It gets us no closer to a satisfactory theory.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • tallulah131

          "Just watch the sun, the moon and the stars, and you will know that there is a creator."

          Actually, Rainy, when you look at the sun, moon and stars what you see is the current development in a long, long process. The sun, moon and stars weren't always like this, and they won't always stay like this. Some of the stars we see now no longer exist, while new stars are being born. Eventually, our sun will die and take the moon and the earth with it.

          You see a "creator" because you are unwilling or unable to look for honest answers and use "god" as a placeholder for what you don't know.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • Akira

          Slaughter is slaughter, and I don't support it, Rainier. I don't like the way they slaughter their animals any more than you do, but you throwing that out was a red herring and you know it.

          You just don't line dissenting opinions.
          You have shown your character again and again here, and what you are is a bigot hiding behind a cloak of false piety to excuse your hatred of everyone who doesn't think just like you.

          As long as you post bigoted material, I shall continue to call you out on it, whether you like it or not.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • sam stone

          Rainy is too much of a coward to go see jeebus himself

          June 1, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • kudlak

          Rainier
          Cars don't procreate either. When you can show me herds of Chevys mating on the Detroit grasslands you might start having a point.

          June 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          When I look at the Sun, I think of Magec, Maasai, Wala, Yhi, Malakbel, Nanauatzin, Saule, Ekhi, Meri, Shapash, Alaunus, Belenos, Etain, Horus, Aten, Ra, Sol, Apollo, Helios, Hyperion, Aryaman, Ravi, Surya, Arinna, Istanu, Inti, Akycha, Amaterasu, Endovelicus, Tama-nui-te-ra, Kinich Ahau, Utu, Wi, Nahundi, Beiwe, Belobog, Dazbog, Hors, and all the other innumerable Sun Gods that man has dreamed up throughout history.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:54 am |
    • Akira

      Bigotry and intolerance should never be applauded. It doesn't matter what source it comes from.

      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.

      June 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        You imply a lot of bad things.

        Nothing you imply is true.

        I don't proselytize, but do my job diligently.

        Of course, during breaks talks emerge, and then I have to utter my Christian opinion. That is no bigotry, but freedom of speech and opinion.

        Yet, I am sure that for example my Muslim workmates would condemn me, if I would condemn Muslim halal slaughter as animal torture.

        But animal torture is animal torture, and that is a significant reason for renouncing or rejecting bad Islam.

        Can a religion requiring animal torture be a divine or legal religion? Never!!!

        God is a God of love, and he even takes care of the animals.

        June 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          http://youtu.be/OksFhIrAmnk

          June 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Akira

          I imply the truth.
          You are there to work.
          Period.

          If you utter your Christian opinions in the manner that you write them here, it isn't any wonder they consider you a bigoted ass. The same freedoms you use to utter are the same freedoms they enjoy.

          Your halal is a red herring, just as your outrage yesterday at your Muslim neighbor asking if whatever "goodie" you were trying to give her contained pork, and you know it.
          Unless you're totally vegan, there is an element of animal torture in every bite of meat that you eat.

          You just dislike any religion but your own, and that's fine; but expecting people to be fine with expressed bigotry is not.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          There is a great difference between Western slaughter and Muslim slaughter.

          By Western slaughter the animal dies within a very short period of time, in the twinkling of an eye – nearly no torture and suffering.

          By the Muslim slaughter the animal has to suffer several minutes up to half a hour. That is outrageous. It is a crime to slaughter animals that way. It should be prohibited.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          http://youtu.be/JVZAVIYdWVE

          June 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • harlow13

          Takes care of animals? Have you ever watched any nature shows? The food chain is brutal. The animals suffer.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Akira

          And please, your religion required animal sacrifice long>/I> before Islam came into existence.
          It is, after all, the reason Cain killed Abel; because God showed favor to the fat parts of the sheep, no?

          June 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          The Old Testament requires to break the neck of the animal to be slaughtered. That is a method without any torture.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Akira

          Cut the nonsense. Slaughter is slaughter.

          The only reason you are up in arms is because the Islam faith is doing it. If it were a sect of Christianity doing it, it's be fine for you, right?

          June 1, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          You are really silly, sorry.

          No, the following is the case:

          Muslim halal slaughter is animal torture even from the stance of science. It is just an objective statement that Muslim slaughter of animals is animal torture.

          Just watch the video of BNP.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "By Western slaughter the animal dies within a very short period of time, in the twinkling of an eye – nearly no torture and suffering."

          What an incredibly naive statement. That is almost as naive as your religious views. There are endless doc.umented examples of horrific animal torture being a routine part of the "Western slaughter" process. If you consume animal products that you didn't kill yourself, you are no better.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Nonsense.

          By the Western method the animal gets deprived of any awareness within a moment, because the nervous system gets destroyed promptly – therefore no torture.

          Muslim slaughter is a slow suffocating and bleeding out of the animal under full awareness. How disgusting. The poor animals, how do they suffer!

          June 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Akira

          I don't watch random videos posted by unknown people on the net. Too many viruses.

          I am not being silly; I am merely pointing out that what you deem brutal is a part of another's faith whose entire existence you thoroughly disapprove of, by mere virtue that it is not your version of religion.
          See, here's the deal: they have a set of dietary laws they adhere to that you fine just plain absurd.
          You don't have to like them. You're not Muslim. It's none of your business.

          It is just another reason for you to demonize a faith that is not yours.

          Just like your example of that little girl yesterday, you are going out of your way to find something to be outraged about.

          If that makes you feel more righteous, fine. But it's really kind of immature.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Delusional!

          June 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Helmut...I agree....you are quite delusional.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "By the Western method the animal gets deprived of any awareness within a moment, because the nervous system gets destroyed promptly – therefore no torture."

          So naive. You apparently haven't spent much time in slaughterhouses. Google slaughterhouse torture and see for yourself if you care to stop living in denial.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Akira

          Rainier, you are condemning not the practice, which is awful, but the people. You really could not be more obvious.

          You make your intentions clear. You are as subtle as the sledgehammer in western slaughterhouse practices.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
      • Akira

        And halal is only followed by those who follow Shariah law, so that doesn't apply to all Muslims; it also encompasses much more than how their meat is processed.

        Slaughter is slaughter. There is really no other way to put it.

        You don't like Muslims. You don't like most Christians.
        I hear you loud and clear.

        June 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "You don't like most Christians."

          He actually stated before that he believes he is the only person on the planet going to Heaven. So actually, he pretty much doesn't like anyone other than himself.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • Akira

          I must have missed that one.

          Such a humble man.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
    • kudlak

      Rainier
      So, you don't think that it's actually important whether or not your God is real, as long as you behave as though your God is actually real, and able to carry out the supposed consequences for believing he's real, or not?

      Oooookkkkk.....

      June 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
    • Doris

      Rainy: "Jesus [blah blah blah] wants YOU!"

      What do you think this is – Craig's List? But if you insist and really think you're going to get anywhere with this, you're going to have to get your friend there to include a selfie.

      June 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Oh rainy, I see you didn't get the hint yesterday....repeating the same old crap....no more true today then yesterday. Senility setting it by chance? There is a way to cure those delusions-locate the nearest asylum and asked to be admitted.

      June 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
  4. wilburw7

    I wish atheists would stop going into schools and shooting their fellow students.

    June 1, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • midwest rail

      Trolling should never be this obvious – or boring.

      June 1, 2014 at 11:43 am |
    • bostontola

      Does that mean you're ok when Christian students shoot their classmates?

      June 1, 2014 at 11:44 am |
    • SeaVik

      Unfortunately the right wing religious folks insist on arming them.

      June 1, 2014 at 11:44 am |
    • sam stone

      only atheists, troll?

      June 1, 2014 at 11:53 am |
    • MidwestKen

      I wish Christians would quit doing similar things, too.

      June 1, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Don't really have to be too specific on this one, pretty much applies no matter who or what you are, don't kill other people. I believe it has been religion that has, in their minds, given many an excuse to kill by dehumanizing other humans as something less, something that can be killed with impunity, an infidel, a pagan, a heretic, the labels go on and on.

        I believe the only time it is okay to take another human life is when that human poses real threats to others because they refuse to accept human society and have themselves killed other humans to prove it. Much like I believe the only thing we should not tolerate is intolerance, the only ones we should ever kill are the killers. It is not a contradiction, it is a necessary part of a growing society built for all and not just the few who have self identified as more worthy of life and liberty than anyone else.

        June 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • igaftr

      wilbur
      Are you falsely trying to imply that he did the shooting BECAUSE he was an atheist?
      How dishonest can you get.

      On the other hand, we have seen christians hearing "god" tell them to kill their children, kill other people, justify their hatred and bigotry with the bible.

      WHy would you post something as dishonest as what yu posted wilbur? Is it that your argument is so weak, you have to attack atheism this dishoneslty?

      June 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
      • bostontola

        Wilbur sounds more like the wrong end of Mr. Ed every day.

        June 1, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I'm sure this Wilbur could spend all day at Mr. Eds' back end translating any and all noises as the word of God... We'd have a new Joseph Smith on our hands before long...

          June 1, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • bostontola

          We're due for a new religion, lol.

          June 1, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Wilbur....I wish Christians would stop coming onto this site and shooting their big stupid mouths off making inane and inaccurate statements.

      June 1, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • Akira

      Wilbur,

      The 9th Commandment. Please review it and adjust your behavior accordingly.

      June 1, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      What special brand of crack are you smoking? Care to share the link that proves your point??

      June 1, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
  5. Dalahäst

    Love thy neighbor (or treat your atheist neighbor with kindness, compassion, patience, forgiveness, and respect).

    June 1, 2014 at 10:35 am |
    • Reality

      As per the teachings of the ancients:

      "As a concept, the Golden Rule has a history that long predates the term "Golden Rule", or "Golden law", as it was called from the 1670s.[1][6] As a concept of "the ethic of reciprocity," it has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard way that different cultures use to resolve conflicts.[1][5] It has a long history, and a great number of prominent religious figures and philosophers have restated its reciprocal, "two-way" nature in various ways (not limited to the above forms).[1]

      Rushworth Kidder discusses the early contributions of Confucius (551–479 BCE) (See a version in Confucianism below). Kidder notes that this concept's framework appears prominently in many religions, including "Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and the rest of the world's major religions".[7] According to Greg M. Epstein, " 'do unto others' ... is a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely."[8] Simon Blackburn also states that the Golden Rule can be "found in some form in almost every ethical tradition".[9] In his commentary to the Torah verse (Hebrew: "ואהבת לרעך כמוך" ca.1300 BCE):"

      You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

      —Leviticus 19:18[10], the "Great Commandment"

      Did the historical Jesus utter a version of the Golden Rule? Luke 6:31 = Matt 7:12- no he did not according to the findings of many contemporary NT scholars.

      e.g Professor Gerd Luedemann [Jesus, 151f] notes the ancient and diverse attestation of this saying in antiquity, including its earliest occurrence in Herodotus III 142, 3:

      "I will not do that for which I censure my neighbors."

      From Ludemann's book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 151-152, " In view of the widespread attestation of the Golden Rule in antiquity and its generality, it cannot be attributed to Jesus."

      See also: http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb033.html

      June 1, 2014 at 11:28 am |
      • Dalahäst

        "You have heard that it was said, `Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:43-48, NIV)

        And The Good Samaritan parable, where Jesus answers the question: who is my neighbor?

        June 1, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....quotes from a book of fairly tales do nothing to prove your case to non-believers. I have no idea why so many of you posters do that.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No sh!t, but he posted Bible verses at me first. So a response with Bible verses makes sense.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, the irony.

          You kill me, gulliblenomore.

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

          Dala....and just what irony are you referring to? And, I wouldn't kill you as that would be against my moral code.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          It's amazing just how many believers consider it "persecution" whenever some atheists disagrees with them publicly, isn't it? We're not even generally enemies with Christians, but only find ourselves on the opposite side of things when it comes to certain issues.

          "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
          So, in context, if God is the example for Christians to follow, how is it accurate to believe that he loves his enemies? He tortures his enemies in hell (or allows it to happen). I, a mere atheist, would never imagine allowing someone to be tortured if I had the power to stop it, and God does have the power to stop people from going into Hell, doesn't he? He has just as much power to help his "enemies", the nonbelievers, as the priest and the Levite did in the parable, but Christians believe that he won't. I wonder why?

          June 1, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Lots of people have persecution complexes. I'm beginning to think it is part of being human.

          I don't think God tortures his enemies in hell. Nor do I think that Christians believe that he will. Sure, some do think and preach that. Most don't. Most I hear say that hell has a door that locks from the inside.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Many Christians, however, tend to take Matthew 24:9 a little too literally, believing that all Christians will be persecuted. Especially, it seems, those Christians who feel that they're the only authentic ones.

          "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me."
          Matthew 24:9

          If it means escaping from the tyrant God of the Bible, then I hope there is a lock on that door. Otherwise, it sound like more "You send yourself to hell" BS.

          June 1, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You reap what you sow.

          June 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          dala, "I don't think God tortures his enemies in hell."

          Maybe you should read the rest of Matthew.

          June 1, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Matthew 13:40: “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world.”

          1. Hell won't exist until "the end of this world"? So nobody is burning in hell right now?

          2. The "tares" (which implies the wicked) are "burned"? Hell destroys the wicked (like fire destroys the tares), once and for all?

          John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

          Again: the wicked "perish"? Die? Cease to exist?

          June 1, 2014 at 11:52 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Hell will also punish the sin of those who reject Christ – Matthew 13:41,50

          Everyone will exist eternally either in heaven or hell – Matthew 25:46

          ... furnace of fire…weeping and gnashing of teeth...
          – Matthew 13:50

          June 1, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Matthew: References at the end of the world when God will destroy evil and set up a new Kingdom.

          eternal punishment = eternal death, not eternal torment

          June 2, 2014 at 12:04 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          I understand that christians interpret the bible to suit their own agenda, but this looks pretty clear:

          Everyone will exist eternally either in heaven or hell – Matthew 25:46

          June 2, 2014 at 12:07 am |
        • Dalahäst

          That is not what Matthew 25:46 says.

          Read all of Matthew 25. You are posting the end of a parable.

          It references earlier the eternal fire prepared to destroy the devil. Not eternally torment.

          June 2, 2014 at 12:16 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          I'm not sure whether you answered this, but is God actually the "perfect" example for people to try emulating? Never mind the obvious problem with God's behaviour in the Bible, if Jesus imagined that the Father was perfect, is it reasonable to expect perfection from people in this age of anorexia and such?

          Seems like a similar trap to me. Get people all worried about even their minor imperfections so that you can "sell" them the cure: Jesus' magical Salvation. Price? Just setting aside your better sense to believe a set of outrageous beliefs which are used to control you.

          June 2, 2014 at 8:39 am |
        • Dalahäst

          – I’m not sure whether you answered this, but is God actually the “perfect” example for people to try emulating?

          I'm not God, nor should I try to emulate him.

          – Never mind the obvious problem with God’s behaviour in the Bible, if Jesus imagined that the Father was perfect, is it reasonable to expect perfection from people in this age of anorexia and such?

          No. Scripture makes it very clear that we are not perfect. We can't be perfect. Only God is.

          We live in a world that fails to live up to its own ideals. As imperfect creatures we must know we can't be perfect.

          – Seems like a similar trap to me. Get people all worried about even their minor imperfections so that you can “sell” them the cure: Jesus’ magical Salvation.

          That is not what I believe at all. You are way off base. Nobody is preaching that to me.

          – Price? Just setting aside your better sense to believe a set of outrageous beliefs which are used to control you.

          Nope. Not at all.

          Nobody is controlling me with outrageous beliefs.

          What? They are making me serve the poor and feed the hungry? Nope. It doesn't work that way.

          I freely choose to follow Jesus and serve God's people (the widowed, the poor, the hungry, the imprisoned, the refugees).

          June 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "I'm not God, nor should I try to emulate him."

          Yet, Jesus did say Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matt. 5:48

          Was he just a hopeless dreamer, or didn't he know God as well as you claim to?

          "Nobody is preaching that to me."

          What are you being told about Jesus' salvation then? That it's free? Please don't tell me that you think that. It's great that you do good things but, like the Golden Rule being universal, that's something that we humans do without religious prompting. Why? Simply because we know that helping others is the right thing to do. Not everyone, maybe, but not everyone who claims to be religious actually supports actual charities, right? Religion seems to not make any difference in how people actually behave.

          Instead of your belief in God inspiring you to help your fellow man, perhaps you're just using your good deeds as an excuse to believe in this God of yours? Why would you need such an excuse if you actually had good reason to believe in God to begin with?

          June 2, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Matt. 5:48

          Read all of Matthew 5 to put that in context. He is speaking about how we love others. Perfect also has different meanings in the Bible. It can mean "complete", "finished" or "mature".

          Jesus is teaching us to love our enemies, which is a hard thing to do.

          He was saying, "Let your love be complete as God’s love." God loves all people, even evil ones. This is how we can be as "perfect" as God. Our love for our fellow-man needs to grow and mature - including loving our enemies. If we do not love our enemies, we are not acting as sons of God ought to act.

          + What are you being told about Jesus’ salvation then? That it’s free?

          Jesus saves. Of course it is free.

          + Please don’t tell me that you think that. It’s great that you do good things but, like the Golden Rule being universal, that’s something that we humans do without religious prompting. Why?

          I don't think the "Golden Rule" is followed universally. It is a rarity to see it in action. It needs to be taught. And we need to be reminded to live that way.

          + Simply because we know that helping others is the right thing to do. Not everyone, maybe, but not everyone who claims to be religious actually supports actual charities, right?

          Why is it the right thing to do? Some people say it is not the right thing to do. Who says supporting charities is the right thing to do?

          + Religion seems to not make any difference in how people actually behave.

          That is why I follow Jesus. Not religion.

          + nstead of your belief in God inspiring you to help your fellow man, perhaps you’re just using your good deeds as an excuse to believe in this God of yours? Why would you need such an excuse if you actually had good reason to believe in God to begin with?

          Hu? Sorry, it sounds like you are speculating.

          June 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Either way, is it fair to use the God character as a yardstick by which to measure your own behaviour?

          To the Christians who consider me an "enemy" because I'm an atheist, I don't care if they love me, but I wish that they would understand me. You might be amazed just how many times I hear that I actually do believe in God, but am just rebelling (because the Bible tells them so). I would rather be honestly disliked than condescended like that.

          "God loves all people, even evil ones."
          Is it evil not to be convinced that God's real? Except for your belief in this being we're probably pretty much alike.

          "Jesus saves. Of course it is free."
          No, you had to accept that Jesus actually has the power to save you. I couldn't do that without giving up my intellectual integrity, which is too high a price for me to pay for any belief.

          No, I said that the "Golden Rule" is a universal concept, not that it was actually followed universally to an extent that we'd all like.

          "Why is it the right thing to do?"
          What's so hard about wanting people to treat you well, and expecting to have to do that in return? Honestly, wolf packs have more complicated social rules that they follow instinctively. We're social creatures, and following rules of reciprocity is just common sense. That's why the oldest recorded laws all have provisions against murder, theft, bearing false witness, and so on.

          Charity may have originated in stone-age cultures where everyone would share a killed animal, knowing that they may benefit at some future time when they were the unlucky ones. From that, anyone with empathy would help the unfortunate. It's sad that many Christians appear to be more interested in the opportunity to convert the unfortunate, taking advantage of people when they are most vulnerable, than the actual charity work they say they're supporting.

          Following the wisdom of Jesus may not be religious, but worshipping him as a God certainly is, correct?

          Again, I've heard you accuse people of "speculating" that you are a Conservative Christian, but here you apparently declare that you aren't a "moderate". So what's left?

          June 2, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + Following the wisdom of Jesus may not be religious, but worshipping him as a God certainly is, correct?

          I follow Jesus. Not the wisdom of Jesus, but Jesus himself. Worshipping Jesus as God is not religion.

          + Again, I’ve heard you accuse people of “speculating” that you are a Conservative Christian, but here you apparently declare that you aren’t a “moderate”. So what’s left?

          Who cares what guys on the internet accuse me of. They should focus on themselves.

          June 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Just check the first definition for "religion" in a dictionary. Worshipping anything as a god is religion. Believing in any supernaturally-empowered gods is also religion. Thinking that you can still literally follow a rabbi dead for almost 2000 years certainly qualifies.

          I'm not quite sure why denying that Christianity is a religion has become so popular. Changing it's classification doesn't change what it is, does it?

          It matters what you present yourself as because you refer to your personal beliefs and your church's doctrine as extremely positive examples of Christian faith, while being sketchy about the details. You describe your church as the most tolerant of Christian organizations, but don't want to be called a moderate. I think a few people suspect that you're inventing a church and set of beliefs just to win arguments.

          June 3, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Buddhism is a religion: no God. Secular Humanism is a religion: no God.

          I'm saying I follow a living God, not a dead religion.

          June 3, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • doobzz

          " I think a few people suspect that you're inventing a church and set of beliefs just to win arguments."

          Bingo!

          June 3, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Buddhists can believe in some wonky stuff, but if they don't believe in any gods they're not religious.

          Ask yourself what's the difference between a philosophy and a religion if you're still having trouble with this.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          My "World Religions" book classifies Buddhism as a major religion.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          And my dictionary defines it as:
          a widespread Asian religion or philosophy, founded by Siddartha Gautama in northeastern India in the 5th century bc .

          Seems like a lot of people just assume that everyone has a religion, so they classify whatever those people have in place of it as religion. If you believe that Buddhism has to be a religion then you have difficulty not applying that label to being a dedicated football fan, an avid runner, a Trekkie, or any other multifaceted activity that preoccupies people's lives.

          Maybe it's easier to just accept that not everyone needs, wants, nor has a religion?

          June 4, 2014 at 8:24 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "Buddhism is a religion: no God. Secular Humanism is a religion: no God.
          I'm saying I follow a living God, not a dead religion."

          And there you are being insulting towards Buddhists and Secular Humanists.

          You might as well be saying "I'm a football fan. I follow a sport that still has a future, not like baseball or basketball."

          June 4, 2014 at 8:33 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kudlak...it's that holier than thou, and only I know what's best att-itude that Christians are famous for.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:38 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          " Secular Humanism is a religion"
          Secular: denoting att.itudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.
          Humanism: a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings,

          Secular Humanism: An explicitly irreligious philosophy emphasizing the value of humanity.

          So how exactly is that a religion?

          June 4, 2014 at 8:37 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Doc....it's not. Only to people that need to define every belief system as a religion. Dala tried to tell me yesterday that atheism is a religion. I could not convince him otherwise.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:47 am |
        • igaftr

          gulliblenomore
          Dala likes to use definitions of words that he apparently makes up as he goes. It is impossible to have a coherent debate with him because the definitions of words are such a moving target with him.
          You are correct, Buddhism is not a religion and of course atheism CAN"T be a religion by definition. Theism is not a religion in and of itself, neither is atheism, but by dala's definitions, well religion could mean anything since dala is making up his own definitions.

          June 4, 2014 at 9:09 am |
      • Dalahäst

        The irony is that you are criticizing me for posting Bible quotes (on a religion blog dedicated to faith and belief) to "non-believers", when a non-believer was the one who first posted Bible quotes to me.

        June 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....do you know what Reality's religious persuasion is....or what his/her intentions were by posting those verses?

          June 1, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Not really. I assume he is a non-believer, but he often uses quotes from believers and The Bible to make his point. Responding to him it is quite logical and understandable that I would use a Bible quote – since he is using them. As the URL says: religion.blog.cnn.com – you should expect to see Bible quotes here.

          It is not like I was posting to to non-believers to prove my case like you suggested. I was responding to his interpretation of The Bible.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
    • bostontola

      I agree. The idea of the golden rule is one of the best mankind has ever developed.

      "Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you." From Middle Kingdom Egyptian pyramids 4,000 years ago. The idea of Maat goes back to the Old Kingdom hundreds of years more.

      It is remarkable that humans domesticated themselves to great benefit. The job is obviously not done yet if some minorities still need survival guides.

      June 1, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • Dalahäst

        There are so few examples to use where it is carried out well. I think the survival of the fittest, dog-eat-dog world mentality dominates our world.

        June 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • kudlak

          So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
          Matthew 7:12

          So, if you are completely against receiving charity for yourself, you should treat others the same and refuse to give charity as well?

          Maybe Confucius said it better? "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."

          June 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I like how Confucius states that.

          I'm not against receiving charity for myself. I often need it, so I'm not sure how I would answer that.

          I'm not just taught to follow the Golden Rule, though. I'm asked to do more, like if someone steals my coat, offer my cloak as well.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          I disagree. I think the developed world is dominated by good social morals. There are parts where physical strength rules, but by and large, the winner is Consti.tutional Democracies where the rule of moral law dominates.

          June 1, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          This nation is ruled by money. Not social morals. That is why the rich can get away with murder, while the poor and persecuted and taxed heavily. Why are the leaders of this nation so untrusted? Because they lie and cheat. They are giant hypocrites with no morals. But they do keep the economy flowing...

          June 1, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • bostontola

          I disagree. The nation is not ruled by money. If you have money you have a better chance, but plenty of rich people get convicted. Money provides influence, not rule. It's sad that you have such a jaded view. We live better than just about any group of humans in the history of the earth. We're safer, have a better standard of living, etc. by just about any measure.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The nation really is ruled by money. It is why we go to war. Look at Afghanistan and Iraq. And look how many innocent people The United States murdered. That 'You are either with us or against us' mentality that still guides our military today?

          I do have a jaded view, but it is a realistic view. Why do your nation's elected leaders: Presidents, Congressman, Senators – so poorly demonstrate the Golden Rule?

          June 1, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • bostontola

          Again, I disagree. It's all opinion and we disagree. I believe money is influential, sometimes too much so, but that is far from ruling. I see us ruled by law, laws we make constrained only by the Consti.tution. Money allows a person to influence laws, and get the best interpretation of laws. That is far from ruling.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Our government doesn't always uphold The Consti.tution, though. In fact those in power often seem to just ignore it.

          Look how our army treats people overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. Look at the real reasons we have gone to war. And look at what our leaders claim the reasons are for. The number of innocent people we have murdered that nobody knows about.

          Why are veterans so upset about how they are treated?

          Why is it so dangerous to walk around the streets in my city at night? Even during the day?

          Why do we have the highest number of imprisoned citizens in the world? Why are so many of them minorities and poor people?

          Why do we illegally detain citizens of other nations?

          Why do we ignore international law?

          June 1, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • bostontola

          I never said our implementation was/is perfect, it's not. I works most of the time. Again, imperfect implementation doesn't mean money rules. Law still rules, money influences, and there are mistakes.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I feel our nation has lost its ways and is ruled by money.

          I think those with money have more influence than the Const.itution or the people.

          Anyway, I just watched "Inequality for All", sorry if I'm a little jaded and skeptical of the American dream right now.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          I'm skeptical, but I'm not jaded. All organizations should be suspect because they are run by humans. But some systems transcend that, that's how they survive. I believe our Consti.tutional democracy is one of those. Time will tell. I sure hope you are wrong on this one.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've been disappointed. I don't really know what to do but to trust in God, not man, and work to helping those in need.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          You have a cloak?!? (smily face)

          The point is that Confucius said that some 500 years before Jesus was born, and it also appears in other cultures earlier than that. Why? Because it's altruistic common sense, like not murdering, stealing and all of the other laws for good society shared by the world's religions and other ethical systems. All religion did was claim that some god demanded it, which could only have been to better the credibility of the god, not the other way round.

          "Do onto others" was used effectively to fight for civil rights. Too bad that people are even more prejudiced against gays for it to work there as well, eh?

          June 1, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I never suggested nor believed that Jesus was the first to say it. He had to learn it, just like I have.

          Religion did not claim that God demanded it. There are some religions that don't try to follow anything like the "Golden Rule".

          I know a lot of religious people that fight for equal rights for g.ays. G.ays can be religious people, too.

          "The same Bible that the predecessors of Mr. Falwell and Mr. Robertson used to keep white churches white is the source of the inspiration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the social reformation of the 1960’s.

          The same Bible that anti-feminists use to keep women silent in the churches is the Bible that preaches liberation to captives and says that in Christ there is neither male nor female, slave nor free.

          And the same Bible that on the basis of an archaic social code of ancient Israel and a tortured reading of Paul is used to condemn all h.mo.exuals and h.mos.xual behavior includes metaphors of redemption, renewal, inclusion and love – principles that invite h.mos.xuals to accept their freedom and responsibility in Christ and demands that their fellow Christians accept them as well. "

          Peter Gomes

          June 1, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "I think those with money have more influence than the Const.itution or the people."

          That would include quite a few rich churches, pastors and religious-based organizations, right?

          June 1, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes. Of course.

          June 1, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Should a few rich churches, pastors and religious-based organizations go unopposed in gaining power over the government? So far, other Christians haven't opposed their power grab very effectively. It's almost as though they depend on we atheists to speak out for them, doesn't it? Either that, or they actually think that big capital "C" conservative Christians aren't really interested in closing down their "dead churches".

          You're a "moderate" Christian, right? Do you feel that these folks are any more interested in the welfare of your organization than the welfare of atheism in America?

          June 2, 2014 at 8:28 am |
        • Dalahäst

          – Should a few rich churches, pastors and religious-based organizations go unopposed in gaining power over the government?

          No.

          – So far, other Christians haven’t opposed their power grab very effectively. It’s almost as though they depend on we atheists to speak out for them, doesn’t it?

          What power grab? The government seems to be more secular than ever.

          – You’re a “moderate” Christian, right?

          No.

          – Do you feel that these folks are any more interested in the welfare of your organization than the welfare of atheism in America?

          What? Atheism just means you don't believe in God.

          What are you talking about?

          June 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "The government seems to be more secular than ever."
          Except for the National Day of Prayer, and other (almost always Christian) religious invocations during government events. Particularly bad, I'm told, in the military. Except where laws have been passed forbidding atheists from holding office or being jurors. Except in places where people use their "religious freedom" as an excuse for bigotry, and so on.

          You consider yourself a Conservative Christian then? Funny, you seem offended whenever posters guess that of you.

          What am I talking about? Do you believe that the really fundamentalist, evangelical churches out there feel sad when some Episcopalian or Catholic church is forced to close due to poor attendance? Do you think that they consider atheist organizations anything but "the enemy"? To me, these churches only care about themselves. All other organizations, even ones that do a lot of good, they seem to consider the compet.ition, and aren't shy badmouthing them. I've heard pastors badmouth UNICEF, Doctors Without Boarders and Amnesty International. Seems that they are opposed to any charity that they don't personally control.

          June 2, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think of myself as a Conservative Christian. I'm not sure why you need to label me.

          + Do you believe that the really fundamentalist, evangelical churches out there feel sad when some Episcopalian or Catholic church is forced to close due to poor attendance?

          I don't care.

          + Do you think that they consider atheist organizations anything but “the enemy”?

          The really fundamentalist, evangelical churches? All of them? I don't know what they believe. You want me to imagine with you?

          + To me, these churches only care about themselves. All other organizations, even ones that do a lot of good, they seem to consider the compet.ition, and aren’t shy badmouthing them. I’ve heard pastors badmouth UNICEF, Doctors Without Boarders and Amnesty International. Seems that they are opposed to any charity that they don’t personally control.

          Ok. Why don't you go talk to them? I doubt they spend much time posting on religious blogs. Religious blogs seems to attract atheists, not really fundamentalist, evangelical churches out there.

          I have no control over them. I follow Jesus. Not really fundamentalist, evangelical churches out there.

          I've never heard any of my pastors bad mouth those groups. We probably support them in ways that include more than just words. Action.

          Thank God my pastors aren't like the ones you know/imagine.

          June 2, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          It's difficult to talk to anyone if you can't pin down what they actually believe. Labels are a shortcut to that, I suppose.

          If the really fundamentalist, evangelical churches out there don't value your brand of Christianity, and are working hard to assert their brand in as many public places as possible, you really should care as much as we do. Everyone should have there religious freedom not to be unduly influenced by other faiths, correct?

          There are characters here that actually do sound exactly like the most intolerant of actual Christians out there. Are you familiar with the Poe Law?

          June 3, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I talk with passive atheists who don't believe in God and don't try to influence the world in favor of atheism. I talk with evangelical atheists that try to persuade others to give up theistic belief. Active atheists that labor on behalf of causes that specifically benefit atheists. And militant atheists who promote atheism and express a desire to destroy all religion.

          And we also have religious atheists who practice a religion but don't believe in God or gods. And non-religious atheists (the majority) who do not practice a religion.

          What kind of atheist are you? Do you practice a religion like some atheists do?

          Yes, I know Poe's Law. I've been the victim of Poe's posing as Christians and atheists.

          June 3, 2014 at 10:55 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....yes, some people promote some things. What is your point? I can point to any product on any page of the Sears catalog and somebody, somewhere, wants to sleep with it.

          The point is.....I've never heard of atheists knocking on doors promoting their non-belief. I've never seen atheist legislators crafting laws making it mandatory for all citizens to conform to their religious ideals. There are millions of churches all over the country, filled with senior citizens, every Sunday. Atheists are watching football then.

          So again....what is your point?

          June 3, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I have witnessed atheists posting messages promoting their non-belief on religion blogs dedicated to faith and belief. I've seen atheists claim people with theistic beliefs should be banned from serving the public. There are definitely atheists that evangelize like religious people do.

          I personally know atheists that can admit to that. And they try to avoid those people just like the religious people that do that. They have a lot in common. Both are zealous and extremely self-righteous.

          Atheists are watching football? Atheists are also abusing other people. And murdering people. And robbing people. Atheist just means you don't believe in God. And a person who doesn't believe in God doesn't just watch football on Sunday like you do. Most are doing good things. But some are doing horrible things, like scamming elderly people out of money.

          What is your point? An atheist can kill a person and still be an atheist. Or, yes, he can watch football like you and eat potato chips on the couch. Or he can go serve his community like some Christians do after church instead of watching tv. Or he can do something better.

          Some atheists just post on religious blogs all day long arguing about a God that doesn't exist. Most do not do this. Most atheists would rather do something more useful. But, yes, there are couch potato atheists. Good for you!

          June 3, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala.....that was my point. Atheists just do not do things in the name of atheism. Even you know that. Atheists murder people, but not because they are atheists. The same can not be said of many Christians. They lash out at g-ays because they are supposed abominations to their god. Again, even you know this.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • Dalahäst

          As a Christian who serves equally in a church with g-ays, your comment doesn't make sense.

          We just call them people, not g-ays, in my church, FYI.

          Just because some Christians lash out at g-ays, doesn't mean they all do. Or that all will.

          Just like some atheists lash out at g-ays.

          We are all human beings. And are all flawed.

          Here is the thing: atheist after atheist attempts to promote their atheism to me as if it was a superior belief system. They ridicule me and call me demeaning names. Instead of talking with me, they talk down at me and act like hypocrites by accusing me of negative things they do themselves.

          I don't care if they are atheists, Christians, agnostics, Buddhists, or scientists: if you act like a know-it-all holier-than-thou jerk – you are a jerk. Whether religious or not.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....congratulations on being deliberately obtuse. You seem to have it down to a science. I said....some atheists murder people and are mean to g-ays, but not in the name of atheism. The same can not be said of MOST Christians. Just because your 'church' does not do it does not mean that most do not. I have no idea why you are arguing this point. You can not win on this issue at all.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't understand what your point is. And you sound obtuse yourself. You are getting a bit hypocritical on me.

          I know some Christians are anti-g.ay. So what? I don't deny that.

          I also like to inform people that my church probably does more to support g.ays in equal rights in the community than the average atheist has ever done.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          My point is....atheists do bad things, but not because they are atheists. Christians do bad things because they are Christians. And not just 'some' either. The majority do....or every state would allow g-ay marriages instead of just a third. I've no idea why you are arguing this point. These are facts I'm telling you, not opinion. You keep trying to minimalize the conditions.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No, we are all people.

          There isn't anything special or better about being an atheist murderer versus being a Christian murderer. You are just as capable of committing evil.

          Does the opposite hold true? Can a Christians do good things because of Christianity, that an atheist is incapable of doing? That doesn't sound right. But it seems to be in line with your reasoning.

          Christianity can make someone worst. But can also make someone better. Atheism can not make you worst. It also can not make you better. It really doesn't do anything.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I think I'm done here....your refusal to agree with me that Christians do bad things under the guise of their religion while atheist do nothing bad under the guise of their non-belief is very disingenuous of you.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Some Christians do bad things.

          Some Christians do good things.

          Yes.

          Some atheists do bad things.

          Some atheists do good things.

          Yes.

          You are saying Christians do bad things because of their religion. And that atheists are immune from doing bad things because of religion.

          That would lead me to think that Christians can do good things because of their religion. And that can't be said about atheism.

          You seem to be comparing the worst of Christianity with the best of atheism.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Christians do bad things under the guise of their religion. Fact

          Christians do good things under the guise of their religion. Fact.

          Atheists do good and bad things.....none of which are done in support of their belief.

          You are being deliberately obtuse in disagreeing with those salient points. I'm not comparing Christians to atheists... I'm stating facts, nothing more.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh.

          Atheists can do good and bad things in support of their belief. An atheist can be in a religion.

          There is nothing in atheism that prevents that from happening. Not all do. But some do.

          Some Christians do good things, not under the guise of religion, but for the same reason you would.

          We are all human.

          Those are facts.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You are comparing how and why an atheist does things with how and why a Christian does things!

          You are not stating facts. It sounds like you are evangelizing about atheism. That is what religious people also do: and like you, they claim they are stating facts, nothing more.

          You seem to portray the evangelizing atheist I mentioned earlier.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Then you are just not as smart as I gave you credit for. I was stating simple facts, that's all. When a Christian does something bad or good, it is genuinely reflected as part of their faith. When an atheist does something good or bad, it has nothing to do with their belief system. This is a pretty simple concept to grasp....I have no idea why you are fighting against it, unless you are just being a d-ick.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is not that simple.

          Some atheists belong to a religion. They do religious like things that you claim ALL Christians do.

          Some Christians are not really that religious. They don't do things under the guise of religion as you claim. Nor are they trying to "reflect their faith".

          You are the one calling me names and insisting your philosophizing is facts and shouldn't be questioned. Sorry, I'm just skeptical of what you are preaching.

          atheism – disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. (don't yell at me again for that, it is the dictionary that offered the punctuation)

          That is it. It doesn't mean what you do has nothing to do with a belief system. Most atheists have a belief system. It might be scientism. Or secularism. Or humanism.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          It actually is that simple. You are trying to over-complicate it by using the word 'some'. Some people want to fvck toasters.....but not enough to really matter in this type of discussion. I have a feeling you know exactly what I mean but just want to argue. Sorry, but I don't work that way.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think what you are doing is stereotyping.

          Not all Christians believe or are motivated by what you claim. Just like not all atheists believe or are motivated by what you claim.

          There are atheists that belong to a religion.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          The entire position behind the Christian faith is published in a book they supposedly follow. Because of that, it is quite easy to stereotype MOST all Christians (there are exceptions....see my previous toaster comment). Good or bad, they follow their guidebook. Atheists have no such guidebook.

          Feel free to fight against this extremely simple concept if you want, but you are invariably wrong.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Some atheists do follow a guidebook. Lots of people use books.

          I would say most Christians say they follow God, not the Bible. The Bible points to God and teaches about God. But it is not God.

          The entire position of the Christian faith is in Jesus Christ, who lives and is available to us today. It is not just something we read about in a book. And that book points to the future and the now, not the past.

          We are posting our opinions on an opinion blog. You stating your opinions are right, and mine are invariably wrong demonstrates arrogance.

          Thanks for sharing your opinion that I'm wrong. Which is just an opinion, not a fact. And I may be wrong. But in my experience what you preach is not what I believe. So I question your teachings.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I'm not teaching anything, just stating facts.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Why are there atheist churches? And atheist religions?

          I know atheism means disbelief. But why do atheists have belief systems and do the same things you say all Christians do?

          What objective evidence do you have that all Christians act and believe in the manner you claim they do?

          June 3, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Look....now I know you are just being obstinate. I quantified it with the word 'most' when I spoke of Christians. I even capitalized it for you. By comparison....there are very very few atheist 'churches'. I've never even heard of one before except in passing. Mountain from a molehill philosophy seems to be your branding.

          June 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think most Christians believe the way you imagine. Nor do atheists. I was an atheist, and I didn't fit your premise. I know other atheists that probably wouldn't agree with you. I guess you are describing your brand of atheism or something. I really don't know what you are talking about. You kind of lost me when you declared your opinions are facts.

          June 3, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "What, if anything, do these newer atheists have to say? In previous generations, the atheist was keen to insist that non-believers can be just as moral as believers. These days, this is more or less taken for granted. What distinguishes the newer atheist is his admission that non-believers can be just as immoral as believers. Rejecting religion is no sure path to virtue; it is more likely to lead to complacent self-regard, or ideological arrogance."

          Life after "new atheism":

          http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8885481/after-the-new-atheism/

          June 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          What "religion" do you imagine some atheists practice? There are atheists who are practicing Buddhists, or secular humanists, but that would be philosophical systems they're practicing and not a religions.

          I don't believe in any gods, so I don't practice any religion. Simple as that.

          Concerning Poe's Law, the point is that you can never tell who is real or not. There isn't a single poster here that I can identify categorically as a complete troll. You may live in some Mayfair little town with prim Christians straight from a Norman Rockwell painting, but there are real-life Christians out there who sound exactly like new-man and truthfollower01, and I've seen you take your own swipes at their like here too.

          Getting rid of religion may not make people any more virtuous, but there are a whole lot of vices and bigotries that appear to be mostly rooted in religious belief that our society would be well rid of.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "My objection to the new atheists isn't that they're atheists.

          It's that they strike me as hypocrites, which is the charge they unfailingly level, with mixed justification, against the religious. In opposing religion in the manner they do, they betray themselves as possessing the traits they profess to loathe.

          They're smug, dogmatic and mean-spirited. They trot out tired, half-truthful stereotypes, and they cherry-pick historical examples of religious wrongdoing while ignoring the innumerable instances in which the faithful have performed great acts of decency and charity.

          They pretend that all Christians are bigots prone to violence. They claim that Christians are by definition illogical bumpkins who mindlessly accept fairy tales.

          They act as if Thomas Merton and Bob Jones were of one cloth.

          It's absurd, and it's especially grating because it comes from people who flaunt what they consider to be their own relentless logic, superior intellect and brave candor."

          I experienced that to be true in my life. I found non-religious people to be just as bad as the religious people I used to imagine I was better off than.

          Look at how the non-religious people treat me. Just as bad as some of the religious people used to treat me.

          Here is the thing: both groups are extremists, and a very vocal minority.

          Thanks for constantly pointing out flaws of others Christians to me. Those are things I have no power over. Neither do you. And I hardly hear you confess your own flaws or how you work to overcome them. That is what I need in my life.

          And Jesus Christ offers me a way to work on that. I have defects and flaws I want to overcome. I don't want to be a hypocrite anymore – whether I was a Christian hypocrite or an atheist hypocrite: I was still a hypocrite. And I don't want to live that way.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala...if your life sucks and you need Jesus, then fine. But, don't fault atheists because we don't desire him or god in any way. I am not a hypocrite by the way. I have flaws, like everybody else, but I don't care. I still enjoy the heck out of my life and do not need religion in any way, shape or form. I don't fault Christians for their beliefs, I just find it incredibly bizarre that they are willing to believe with no proof, that's all. I don't hate them, I don't think they are necessarily idiots, but there are many here on this site that are rapidly changing my mind. I hate the fact that they think they know something that I don't and that only they have the answer. It is smug and unchanging and smacks of arrogance.

          So.....just how you feel about atheists is exactly how we feel about smug, self serving, hypocritical religious nuts.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't fault atheists. I love atheists. I have great relationships with them. None have ever called me mentally ill or call me derogatory name like the few atheists on here I am talking about.

          I really just don't like smug, self serving, hypocritical atheistic nuts. They do exist. And they don't like me.

          The rest are fine. I work well with them.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I'm sorry, but there are WAY more self-serving, hypocritical, religious nuts on here than there are the same in atheist form. Most of the atheists here are fairly intelligent and have really great talking points. They are usually met with sarcastic, nasty, and dare I say, irrelevant and stupid replies. I defy you to name any atheists on this blog that match down with the likes of salero, finisher1, topher, awanderscot, Kermit, theo, etc.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't want to name names, but there are some people on here that are very sarcastic and nasty toward me. I also notice there are double-standards at play. For instance: 2 days ago Doris posted a list of scientist's quotes ridiculing belief in God. I replied with a list of scientist's that believed in God quotes.

          An atheist attacked me, saying I was committing a logical fallacy. And ignored the atheist doing THE EXACT THING I DID. I think you are displaying that same double standard he did.

          And ironically, the atheist started using the same logical fallacy to try and prove me wrong. All I did was post quotes like Doris.

          I will say Bostontola, GOPer, and MidWest seem like the only intelligent and open-minded atheists that I've engaged with on this blog.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fine....done here....

          June 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, no. Are you not going to tell me how factual you are and how wrong I am. Darn. I'll have to find another zealot atheist/religious person to treat me that way.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Done....on top of all else, you now don't even understand English.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          match down? I give context and you cry FOUL! yet show nothing..and I have stupid replies?????????

          June 4, 2014 at 1:56 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          As you are so fond of saying, all atheism implies is a lack of belief in gods. How is it hypocritical of atheists to behave in any way if they do not have a set expectation of behaviour like Christians do? The only way to be a "bad" atheist is to believe in a god.

          I've been around long enough to know that there's really only one difference between the "old" atheists and the "new" ones, and that's the greater willingness to actually talk about atheism openly.

          You admit to having personal flaws, but are you implying that there are no flaws to your Christianity?

          June 3, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Christian are deeply flawed people.

          A person who happens to be an atheist acts like a hypocrite when they say I'm just insulting people and should stop, and then they turn around and start insulting people themselves, for instance. It has nothing to do with atheism. It has everything to do with the action of the person who just happens to be an atheist.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Fair enough, but you and the atheist in question may have differing opinions on what const.itutes an "insult". I've found that many Christians consider even the simple choice of not capitalizing God's personal pronouns, or referring to the resurrected Jesus as some kind of zombie insulting, but you have to remember that we don't revere, or see the need to revere, this/these characters like you all do.

          June 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
    • SeaVik

      Why the "or"?

      June 1, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      • Dalahäst

        Or, as in, here is another way to say it:

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

          Oh, got it. I read it as, "Or if they're atheists..."

          June 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, it was meant for Christians to see atheists as their neighbor.

          Take the story of the good Samaritan. Replace the first 2 men who passed by with Christians, and the 3rd man with atheists. Jesus would ask us to be more like the atheist, less like the 2 Christians who didn't help.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
    • igaftr

      The golden rule is an evolved trait that is demonstrated in all social animals.

      It has been written in one form or another in all religions.

      The "golden rule" predates humans.

      June 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
      • bostontola

        igaftr,
        I've seen a lot of evidence of morality in other animals, but not the golden rule. That requires a theory of mind. I haven't seen evidence of that in other animals, can you point me to references for that? That is amazing.

        June 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          There have been many studies done on the evolution of social groups and unseen benefits of chimps taking care of other members of the social group for no other apparent reason than to help the group as a whole. You would think in a pure survival of the fittest hierarchy each member would be competing against each other for status and food but instead we find the strong bringing food to the weak and helping care for children that aren't theirs. I believe this is the beginning of what we would call "the golden rule", a social adaptation that protects the social group more than the individual.

          June 1, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • igaftr

          Before Jane Goodall studied her chimps, it was herest to say that animals were just like us, with emotions, language, morality etc.
          She proveed they did. SHe had many who panned her work simply because she named them, and many did not like that she "anthropomorphised" the animals.
          Since Jane Goodall's studies, many animals have been studied in great depth, and the "golden rule" seems to be in place in all social animals (though occasionally the golden rule can be broken). Prairie dogs have one of the most extensive languages that has ever been studied ( with the exception of humans).

          Animals have lanuguages, culture and co-operation. They love, mourn, celebrate new births, fight for their family and friends.
          The "golden rule" is part of that. By co-operating with your socila group, you become stronger through numbers. The golden rule seems to be just another instinctual trait, most common with social animals.
          There are many studies of animals that you can easily apply the golden rule to and see they adhere to it, just like most humans do.
          Look into the varios studies that are linked into studies of animal behaviors, and studies of the differnece between instinctual behavior and learned. the golden rule seems to be both. There are even studies showing plants nurturing their young, co-operating with their friendly neighbors and fighting others...and yet they have no centralized processor ( like our brain). They exhibit nurturing behavior...something that is an atribute of the golden rule...so it seems that it is in many life forms, whether sentient by our standards or not.

          All of that indicates that the golden rule is, at least in part, in our DNA.

          I do not have the links to specific studies, but you shoould be able to find enough to show you the info you seek, and you can draw your own conclusions, but from all I have seen, the golden rule is in most life forms on the planet, and so predates man.

          June 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          Like the cat who recently saved her owners toddler from a vicious dog at risk of her own life.

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

          Having love, morals, and social structure is a lot different than the golden rule. I get your point though.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        I have rarely seen any human beings demonstrate the golden rule in their life. Most fail to live up to that ideal. I know I do.

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

          You must hang out with some pretty bad people if you don't see it everyday, all around you. Occasionally I see where some break it, but the majority follow it instinctually. Also, the golden rule seems to be much more of an overall tendancy, like most insticncts are. Instincts can be over-ridden, most of the time

          June 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          True, and the biggest cause of the golden rule being overridden is Religion, because it places love for God/s over love for fellow humans even children, and it places the afterlife over what happens in this life, and encourages people to believe that certain groups of people are not worthy of the Golden Rule applying to them. Religion is a truly evil belief system.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          What a sad existence Dala must lead. I speak to others every day and virtually every one of them displays some form of the golden rule. Saying please and thank you are the simplest forms of this, a verbal show of appreciation to let another know this is how you would also want to be treated and recognized.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I do see people carry it out in different ways. But not completely. It is rare to see someone demonstrate it as an example in their life. And generally those who claim they do: really don't. They just imagine they do. Definitely not in typical American society.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think generosity is instinctive to all human beings. I teach young kids. We have to teach them to say "please" and "thank you". It doesn't come naturally to most. Neither does sharing. It can be a difficult thing to teach.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          I didn't see where generosity was part of the golden rule, or that generosity was instinctual, so I don't know where you got that from, Oh , right...I should have gotten the definition of the term you are using, since you like to make up your own defintions for words and phrases,
          So please, so we can be on the same page, what are your definitions of the following
          Golden Rule
          instict and instinctual.
          typical
          demonstrate
          the
          of
          behavior

          And any other terms that you use that don't coincide with accepted definitions.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Wow, I rarely go through a day without seeing people treat others using the golden rule. I am sorry you to hear you don't

          June 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          igaftr,

          Yea, pretty much the "Golden Rule" prohibits what you are trying to doing to me. It looks like your natural instincts are failing you.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Bostontoloa

          I do see it carried out. But not as often as it should. As a nation, our country doesn't practice it internationally. Nor do our individuals carry it out so well.

          I think it is something we definitely need more of. There is not nearly enough of it.

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

          " We have to teach them to say "please" and "thank you". It doesn't come naturally to most. Neither does sharing. It can be a difficult thing to teach."

          Of course, because you have different instincts and then learned behavior coming at odds with each other. The studies that I have seen, they tend to ignore the children as their behavior is changing with their developing minds and understanding.
          Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish learned from instinctual beahvior as there is quite a bit of overlap.
          Sharing is not so instinctual in choildren, but as adults, it is common sense. How much is learned, how much is instinct to co=operate toward a common goal.

          I saw a study where a rat was placed in a trap, than another rat on the outside of the trap, could easliy open. Also in the test area, was some food.
          Rat A was placed in the trap, Rat B, a complete stragner to Rat A, not only opened the trap, but shared the food with Rat A, although he did take 2/3 of the food, leaving Rat A out of the trap,but with less food.

          That was rat behavior...golden rule? certainly aspects of it.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          Why do you fail to live up to it? it isn't that difficult. If you are in a job which requires you to cheat people then find another job.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          "pretty much the "Golden Rule" prohibits what you are trying to doing to me"

          How...oh that's right, you still haven't given the definition you are using for the golden rule, because as far as I know it, I haven't broken it even slightly with you, so please prvide the defintions for words and phrases you are using, espaecially when the defintions exist in YOUR mind, and are not the accepted defintions.

          By the way, I have no problem when someone calls me out for a debate...just with you it is difficult to debate, since your defintion of things is different than others, so......

          June 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Uh, rats also eat their young.

          I don't have the natural instinctive "Golden Rule" installed within me. I have had to learn and attempt to practice it. I'm not sure if that is my parent's or nature's fault, but I know it is true.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          magsmagenta

          + Why do you fail to live up to it? it isn't that difficult. If you are in a job which requires you to cheat people then find another job.

          Because I'm an imperfect, irrational human being that lives in a world with billions of other imperfect, irrational human beings. I accidentally fail to live up to it. Or someone attacks me, and my first reaction is to attack back. Or I'm in a bad mood and I lash out at others.

          It is an ideal I take very seriously. And since I've attempted to follow it, it exposes hypocrisy and weaknesses in me that show me I'm failing to live up to it.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          Your best bet in attempting to live up to the Golden Rule is to try and understand you fellow human beings and how best to live with them, not wasting your time trying to relate everything to how an imaginary superbeing thinks you should act. Once you begin to understand why people behave the way they do it becomes a lot easier to be kind and understanding.
          For example people often attack because they feel threatened, if you learn how not to appear threatening most times they will not attack. I work with people with challenging behaviour and most of the time this does work.

          June 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I definitely do not waste my time trying to relate everything to how an imaginary superbeing thinks I should act.

          Understanding is a good tool to use in treating other's well, yes.

          June 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          Do you see though that for the Golden Rule to work properly you have to apply that understanding to people who may not fit with your religious world view, such as gay people? Could you help a gay person who was having problems fitting in with your community without judging them or trying to reform them?

          June 1, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          – Could you help a g.ay person who was having problems fitting in with your community without judging them or trying to reform them?

          Yes! A g.ay person is just a person, like me. Jesus asks me to love them.

          June 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          @Dalahast I have seen some of your other replies referring to gay people since I wrote that one, so my apologies on an inappropriate example, this is a very big thread and difficult to navigate. Maybe you and your particular Church are better at following the Golden Rule than you give yourselves credit for. It's just a shame that you feel you have to give the credit to your God when in fact it's you doing all the work yourselves.

          June 2, 2014 at 4:58 am |
        • Dalahäst

          We follow Jesus, not the Golden Rule. There is no shame in praising God. None. We are responsible for our own actions.

          June 2, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • SeaVik

          The golden rule is basically about having empathy for others. I think most humans and many animals are born with this trait. I know I feel empathy without having to force myself or learn to and often act on it – the golden rule in action I'd say.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ig

          I generally agree with this Wikipedia entry on the Golden Rule.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

          Part of me attempting to love my neighbor is practicing generosity. That is why I mentioned generosity, which is defined as the quality of being kind and generous.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • igaftr

          "rats also eat their young."

          That is a poor attempt at deflection. There are many reasons that a mother rat will eat their young, but it is NOT the normal behavior. That has little to do with it, and you STILL have not given your defintion of the golden rule...

          so far, it means that sharing and co-operation do not apply if your species also eats it's young, but since some humans have done that as well., I guess that doesn't apply

          Apparently asking someone to define terms they have been using DOES somehow violate the golden rule, so I know your definition and the one the rest of the world uses are different, so...
          I'm just wondering why the tap dancing and deflection, when you could simply put us on the same page by telling me what YOU think the golden rule is.
          The definition that the rest of the world uses, would show I have not broken it even slightly with you, as you claimed, so I am just trying to see what your definition is, so I can see why you think I violated it, since I didn't.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          The wiki definition does NOT appear to be the definition you are using, since you claimed I broke it in dealing with you where I have not, so what definition are you ACTUALLY using.

          If you actually did use that definition, then you might have claimed I broke the siler rule , in treating you differently than you WANT to be treated, but that is an impossibility since I do not know what is in your head...

          So it boils down to this, you were either wrong when you claimed I violated the rule, OR, you lied whn you claimed which definition you were using...which is it? Were you wrojng, or are you lying...it must be one or the other. I have not treated you differently than I would accept from others, so I did not treat you differntly than I would have treated myself. I often have people challenge what I say, I encourage it.

          So which is it, you were wrong in your accusation of me, or you were lying as to what your definition is...which?

          June 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ig

          I'm just sharing my opinion. You insisting I have to provide a definition for all the words I'm using seems silly and bossy. It is not like we are in a debate or attempting to prove anything. We are on a message board for opinions on our beliefs.

          Yes, the golden rule does appear in the animal kingdom. And a person can accidently practice it or do so because they were trained to. Or brainwashed to do so. Or indoctrinated to do so.

          To make it intentional is my goal. And it is just one piece of the puzzle. But the intentional aspect of it is what makes it Golden, in my opinion.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think you broke the Golden Rule when you started getting all bossy.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • igaftr

          I did not violate any golden rule by being "bossy" as I have no problem with someone treating me in like manner, so claerly by definition, I did not violate the golden rule.

          You think I did, showing a different definition than is accepted. How is asking you to define terms being "bossy"?
          As with this line, you have clearly tried to hold me to a definition of the golden rule that even your staated d3efinition doesn't hold me to, so it should be clear that I ask what you mean.
          Now I see that you are simply using a definition that even your stated definition doesn't fit.
          You then added generosity to the definition. How am I supposed to treat others the way I would be treated, but do it generously? That adjective doesn't even fit into the definition anywhere, so by your own admission, YOUR definition is not what even you calimed it to be.

          Now do you understand why I know to ask for definitions from you? You proved the need with this line of conversation.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Sorry if I used words in ways that are not acceptable to you. I guess that is one of my many defects. Thanks for trying to fix me.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
  6. Reality

    The subject of blood and body counts has been noted in some comments so let us look at the facts:

    The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

    M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

    The Muslim Conquest of India

    "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

    Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

    1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

    2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

    3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

    4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

    5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

    6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

    7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

    8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

    9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

    10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

    11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

    12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

    13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

    14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

    15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

    16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

    17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

    18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

    19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

    20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

    *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

    A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

    Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

    A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

    In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

    June 1, 2014 at 12:00 am |
    • Reality

      Indeed the terror and horror that we have wreaked upon ourselves!!! Now compare that to the terror and horror wreaked upon us by the Abrahamic et al. god: (or did the following suffer martyrdom for the Christian, Muslim and Jewish causes??)

      1. 300,000,000 approx.
      Smallpox

      2. 200,000,000 ?
      Measles

      3. 100,000,000 approx.
      Black Death

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

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

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

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

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

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

      10. 5,000,000
      Antonine Plague

      11. 4,000,000
      Asian Flu

      12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

      June 1, 2014 at 12:11 am |
      • Akira

        I'm not sure how you can conflate disease with the Abrahamic God...

        June 1, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
  7. aallen333

    Is it logical to have a term to express a disbelief in something that does not exist. Atheists are the only group that prides itself on identifying themselves with a term whose definition contradicts its very reason for existing. For example if I say I am an adragon to identify myself as one who does not believe in dragons, by deduction there must be a reason to actually believe in dragons. If their isn't any reason to believe in dragons their would be no reason to invent the term adragon. Thus the reason there are no groups actually advertising themselves as adragons because there is no evidence that dragons may actually exist. By broadcasting their atheism, atheists are actually proselytizing to the masses that they actually have reason to be believers. Atheism at its core is a bankrupt philosophy invented by those who are running from the truth. It has no meaning except what the confused choose to give it. Is it any surprise than that so called atheists obsess themselves with someone whom they do not believe in.

    May 31, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
    • Doris

      LOL. That might make sense if there was a God and you were actually God. Outside of that condition, it's one of the dumbest posts I've read on here in a long time.

      May 31, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
      • Doris

        (And of course, if there was a God, I would hope he/she could use better logic–lol.)

        May 31, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
    • hotairace

      There is exactly the same evidence for dragons as there is for any god. Enjoy your delusions but please stay away from children.

      May 31, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      aallen....the minute that dragon believers start legislating and forcing laws contrary to my worldview, I will start my own adragon organization! In the meantime, this belief in an imaginary sky wizard that causes laws against humanity is going to draw all my wrath, as it affects me personally. Is that a good enough reason for you?

      May 31, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
      • aallen333

        Gulliblenomore, there are multiple groups who celebrate their belief in aliens. However, a majority of the population does not believe we'll experience an actual 'Independence Day'. I'm surprised you as an atheist aren't alarmed that non-believers in aliens do not advertise themselves as aaliens. You make it seem like its only natural that they would. No, the reason there are no aaliens is because logical people know there is no chance 'Battle Los Angeles' will actually occur. But the fact that we have people like yourself who champion their atheism gives others more reason to believe Armageddon will.

        May 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          aallen....I'm surprised, but not particularly shocked that you would gloss over the most salient point I made, so I will try to make it again. If alien believers were able to enact legislation forcing me to believe in aliens or segregating a segment of society because their alien sky fathers told them to, you will bet that I would fight them. And....you are quite wrong in your assessment.....your religion is dying. The fastest growing group of quasi-religious people in this country are non-religious. That is a fact....and I must say, it is more than about time.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @aallen233,
          1) aliens probably do exist.
          2) the belief that aliens have visited this planet and it is being covered up by the governments is in the minority, ergo the need to define a term for lack of this belief is not necessary.

          June 1, 2014 at 10:20 am |
    • hotairace

      Your logic is poor to say the least. There are atheists because there are theists who make silly claims without ever producing any actual evidence for their claims. The existence of theists or atheists in no way lends any credibility to the claims of theists. Face it, you have no rational, logical reason to be a theist but can't escape your god delusions.

      May 31, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      allen

      Notice that none of the replies actually addresses your premise. The standard response of "dumbest", "delusion", "sky wizard" is all that can be mustered up. In the face of logic, common sense and lucid thought. the reality sinks in that ridicule is the only available retort.

      I find the poster's line " the dumbest post I've read here..." to be escpecially comical. There can be NO question she does not read her own posts.

      May 31, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        devlin....I know you have a reading problem, but I was one of the first to reply to allens silly dragon question and answered it quite deftly. And, I have read Doris' posts, and she is infinitely more eloquent and succinct than any of the theist posters I have seen here. Finisher1, salero, Kermit, theo, topher, and several others come immediately to mind as being particularly hateful.

        May 31, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          gul

          Actually, I think the problem here is comprehension, and in all fairness, it's on your end. You made some moral generalizations, but addressing the OP's intent did not happen.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          devin.....that is your opinion and your opinion only. I answered the mans question. I know the theists here are constantly trying to undermine the atheists, but fail miserably at most every turn. Generally, you have no case but the words of the bible, which have, over time, never been proven to be divine at all.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          gul

          Not trying to be obstinate or pick a fight here, but while you did express your displeasure with his faith and the consequences it may bring your way, you did not speak to his argument. That is not opinion.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          devin
          The OP is logically-challenged. The reason there are no groups actually advertising themselves as adragons is not because there is no evidence that dragons may actually exist, it is because (as some of the posters have said) there are no dragon believers pushing dragon belief into and onto society in general. No dragon-based laws, no dragon-based education, no dragon texts on public buildings, etc.
          The fact that atheists resist the claims of theists does not validate the theists claims in any way – that's ridiculous.

          June 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Words are used to convey ideas and concepts. In this case the idea or concept to express is to differentiate people who believe in god(s) from those who don't. I would be fine with "non-believer" or "heathen" as much as atheist. Actually if I was to pick what term to be described as, the one that fits best for me is "apostate".

          June 1, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
      • Doris

        OK, backing away from the ad hominem, the OP is merely trying to assert two things:

        "Atheism at its core is a bankrupt philosophy invented by those who are running from the truth."

        Which of course is pure conjecture on a few counts, and this:

        "Is it any surprise than that so called atheists obsess themselves with someone whom they do not believe in."

        As others I believe have pointed out – atheists are concerned about the ramifications of the beliefs of others, not so much the object of the beliefs of others.

        But if you strip away all the useless fluff in the post regarding the term atheism, you're left with those two assertions, which really amount to the same kind of lame arguments that pervert alert, finisher1, and their ilk would come up with again and again.

        June 1, 2014 at 2:09 am |
      • igaftr

        devin
        I read the OP. It is so badly written, and isa premise built on smoke, that responding to it would be folly. the first sentence is wrong, the second sentence is wrong. so honestly, you want someone to address his post directly...here goes.
        There is no logic nor reason to the post, it offers an anology that is simply not analogous, and is based on illogic rather than a logical premise.
        Does that satisfy your addressing of the OP. It is simply written by someone who is very ignorant, that says things that are flat out wrong, and then bases h the rest on that wrong info.

        June 1, 2014 at 9:28 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          iga

          "Does that satisfy your addressing of the OP?"

          Not even in the slightest. You simply stated that you didn't like his position and that it was "wrong", "illogical" not " analogous", "ignorant" and once again "wrong". When you attempt to critique an individuals postulates, you should be prepared to state WHY it is that you disagree with the specific claims, not just the fact that you do and are able to string together some adjectives describing that fact.

          Now if my memory serves me correct, you are one of a handful of posters here who quickly resorts to ad hominems. Let's just see now if you've evolved since our last dialogue and are now able to engage in meaningful conversation.

          June 1, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          devin....several people have answered that OP, and very insightfully I might add. Just because you do not like the answer does not invalidate it.

          June 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • igaftr

          devin
          No, you have it wrong. I do not resort to ad hominem, though I respond to it all the time from people like awanderingscot and his kind that attack anyone that proves their posts as false.

          This one, puts forward a false premise, then illogically leaps to conclusions based on a false premise. That is what I addressed. If I need to each you why it is a false premise, then you need to learn how to make an argument based on more than false opinion, like the OP did. The argument is so bad it OBVIOUSLY fails in his OP....do you not see the obvious flaws in his premise?

          June 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          gul

          " several people have answered the OP"

          I agree. It just wasn't true of anything written before my initial reply.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          iga

          No, I'm quite certain I have been the receiver of your unprovoked barbs.

          But moving on. Check out neverbeenhappier's reply. While I don't necessarily agree with his conclusions, it is an example of addressing the intent of the original post.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      There are a lot of reasons to believe in a god, and a lot of gods to choose from.

      Just because you have a reason, doesn't make it a good reason. I fully admit theists have "reasons" to believe in god....lots of them and they often contradict each other. I can't say your "logic" is impressive....nor your reasons.

      May 31, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      Here is the problem with your premise: Atheists are not the ones who just sat up one day and said "You know what, I've decided to think there might be some sort of "God" thing to disbelieve in! I'll call people who believe in it theists and people who don't believe like myself atheists. Yeah, that sounds fun!"

      It is the ones who profess belief in something without evidence who ask others "Hey, I believe in an all powerful invisible creator being even though I've never seen, heard or felt such a thing, what about you?"

      It takes a group claiming to believe in something for there to be a counter claim. It took those who were claiming the earth was a flat circle with water falling off its edges for there to be a contrary position of a spherical earth. Flat-earther's vs aflat-earther's...

      If someone doesn't make a claim that can (and should) be contradicted then there is no need for the contradiction.

      May 31, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
    • dcobranchi

      In the US, at least, the default is theism. That is, any random person you meet on the street is likely to believe in some god(s). So, defining ourselves as NOT belonging to the majority group makes perfect sense. If most people believed in dragons, I'd probably describe myself as an adragonist so that others would know where I stood on the whole dragon hypothesis. It is the same with atheism.

      June 1, 2014 at 12:30 am |
    • dandintac

      You're right on at least one count. Atheism shouldn't even be a word. It's illogical, and your A-Dragonism analogy is spot-on.

      However, you are completely wrong that we atheists invented the term. We use it–because the word and its usage are all around us. The theists in our culture have always felt the need to label and single out those who do not con-form to the mainstream beliefs. Believe me, with the vast majority of population being theists, if theists didn't accept the word and use it vigorously, and didn't feel the need to distinguish and set apart nonbelievers, the word would quickly disappear from our lexicon.

      Now let's do a thought experiment. Try to imagine that the vast majority of the population DID believe in dragons, and those who did not were nonconformists who were reviled and hated by those who did believe. Do you think it's possible that Adragonism or a similar word might be invented to label these people?

      Now let's go further. Imagine that you are in the minority that does not believe in dragons. All around you, the majority believe, but there is no evidence for this belief at all. For many years, you are quiet and go along to get along. You think this belief in dragons is harmless, ben-ign, maybe even beneficial at times. Then you are woken up.

      Some Dragonists feel the need to serve The Great Dragon by blowing up buildings full of people. You also notice that Dragonists often try to get their beliefs about Dragons legislated into laws you have to live by also. They try to get praying to The Great Dragon mandated in the schools. They want the curriculum changed in science to support their beliefs. They come knocking on your door with pamphlets about The Great Dragon. They start deni-grating you, and kick your kid off the soccer team for failing to pray to The Great Dragon before each game. The president makes a statement that Adragonists should not be considered citizens or patriots. You learn that some states won't allow nonbelievers in dragons to hold office.

      Then–you might feel the need to speak out. You realize that this is crazy. You feel you need to say something–especially when the current meme is that belief in dragons should be "respected.". You might even try, maybe, to get some people to drop their belief in dragons.

      Then, believers in dragons, like you and other believers in gods, can go on about how your "philosophy is bankrupt" and how you feel the need to "advertise" their nonbelief and so on.

      June 1, 2014 at 1:14 am |
    • skytag

      "Atheists are the only group that prides itself on identifying themselves with a term"

      Do you people actually believe stuff like this? I'm an atheist, but I feel no "pride" in calling myself an atheist.

      "whose definition contradicts its very reason for existing."

      Utter nonsense. More evidence religion makes people stupid.

      June 1, 2014 at 2:17 am |
    • skytag

      "Is it logical to have a term to express a disbelief in something that does not exist."

      Atheism is the belief that there is no god. There is nothing the least bit illogical in having a name for that belief. Why are you wasting time making up this nonsense? Why do you care what the words are and what has a name associated with it?

      June 1, 2014 at 2:20 am |
    • skytag

      "By broadcasting their atheism, atheists are actually proselytizing to the masses that they actually have reason to be believers."

      More illogical flailing. Your whole comment is gibberish. None of your claims or conclusions have any logical basis. You're just trying to discredit atheists because you know you can't produce a shred of objective evidence for anything you believe about God. It makes you look desperate.

      June 1, 2014 at 2:23 am |
    • skytag

      Every religion is a fictional narrative to which people run to escape reality.

      June 1, 2014 at 2:29 am |
    • MidwestKen

      @aallen333,
      The vast majority of the population, especially in the US, believes in some deity or deities. This true to the extent that most people often assume that everyone else believes. "What church do you belong to?" is a common question that assumes church attendance. At one level the term "atheism" is just a quick way to say that one doesn't believe in any deities, as opposed to listing every deity that one does not believe int.

      In addition, there is nothing illogical about the term. It is simply identifying one's position on belief. "I'm an atheist" vs "I don't believe in any deities."
      Case in point is "apathy" an invalid term?

      "ap·a·thy
      noun
      lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern."

      June 1, 2014 at 10:31 am |
    • doobzz

      Use "Santa Claus" in place of the word "dragon". Now can you see how stupid your analogy is?

      June 1, 2014 at 11:22 am |
    • SeaVik

      Congratulations. You managed to talk yourself in more circles than all but the most religious idiots.

      June 1, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • benhoody

        The hateful Athiests favorite words. Fool and idiot, and that's from some who can't prove a thing but only believe in a world without a God of which they can't prove doesn't exist, if someone thinks differently than them all they can do is resort to name calling like a little child.

        June 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ben....I think you need to read the posts of salero, theo, topher, awanderingscot, finisher1, you, and many other so-called Christian posters on this blog. These people produce some of the most hateful, mean-spirited, and dare I say....stupid, postings that I have ever seen. Atheists don't have to prove anything, by the way.....it is up to the prosecution to prove their case. When you rationalize in order to produce an answer, many times the response is, and should be, aimed at the level of intelligence of one that uses that type of illogical reasoning.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • benhoody

          I can't argue with you there, you are right, I have read some pretty nasty comments from those who call themselves Christtian and have commented on some of them as well. When someone starts calling another person an idiot or fool just because they don't share the same belief and wasn't provoking, that kind of bothers me, and that's why my last comment was only directed there, but I do agree with you and can only say both sides are wrong, even moreso a Christiian because they claim to be a follower of Jesus who would not say those things.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • benhoody

          I can't argue with you there, you are right. I have read some pretty nasty remarks from some who call themselves Christian and have commented on that before. I just can't understand why someone would call others an idiot or a fool, with a touch of hate just because they don't believe the same way, especially when it's not provoked. Both sides are wrong and only expose themselves as to what they are really like, especially coming from a so called Christian who claims to believe in and follow Jesus who would not do that and taught not to.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • SeaVik

          I don't hate religious people, I pity them. And I hate what they do to children, which I consider a form of mental abuse.

          Religious people aren't all idiots. Many of them are very smart, but just delusional on one particular subject. The person whose post I responded to is clearly an idiot though.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      allen
      You don't believe in Hinduism, so by your logic Hinduism is validated as believable because if people believe it, it must be correct; if it is valid then that surely puts your religion in doubt.

      June 1, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
    • Woody

      You don't encounter too many adragons because most rational people discount the dragon idea for total lack of evidence, so basically the existence of dragons is considered a myth. Unfortunately, theists can't understand that atheists discount the existence of any god for exactly the same reason.
      You used a dragon/adragon analogy to try to explain atheism. Read the Belief Blog story about the woman who is sentenced to death for not renouncing her Christianity. Using your dragon analogy, she lives in a country where the majority of the people believe their mythical dragon is green. She has the audacity to believe that the true color of the dragon is blue. The green dragon crowd makes the laws which enable them to sentence her to death for thinking in a different way. Thus the danger of living in a country where religion has a large impact on the laws. Many far right wing Christian whackos would love to have that kind of power in the good old USA.

      " Atheism at its core is a bankrupt philosophy invented by those who are running from the truth" – aallen333

      The definition of the word "truth" is "a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like". The existence of any god, fails, absolutely, at meeting that criteria. What you believe to be the truth, in this case, is simply that. It's what YOU believe.

      June 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Belief in gods is something that is a part of human history and it still informs many life or death situations on this planet. Take a look at the middle east or at the struggle for gay rights in this country if you wish to argue.

      At the same time, we have evolved as a species enough to know that there is no viable evidence for the existence of any of these gods, and that the things once attributed to gods are explicable natural phenomena.

      Therefore it is absolutely logical to have a term to express disbelief in something that does not exist because many people are using their belief in non-existent god(s) as an excuse to cause harm to others. It is our duty as human beings to defend our fellow humans (and our planet) against the actions of those who use their gods as an excuse to do wrong.

      June 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
  8. bostontola

    We'll know we've matured as a society when no one needs a survival guide for what they believe (or don't believe).

    May 31, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
  9. Reality

    Some costs for controlling or supporting religions that show that religion was, is and always will be a terrible idea:

    Islam:

    – One plus trillion dollars spent over the last fifteen years to isolate Islam basically to the Middle East, Africa and south/SE Asia not including the :

    – eighteen billion dollars/yr. given to Muslim Pakistan

    – and the four billion dollars/yr. to Muslim Egypt.

    Christianity and other US tax exempt, religion-based "non-profits":

    – The tax deductions/exemptions given to all Christian "religions" to include the Mormon ti-the business empire and evangelical "non-profits" cost the US Treasury and the taxpayers $82.5 billion/yr.

    (-http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/22/you-give-religions-more-than-82-5-billion-a-year/)

    – The faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama cost us $385 million/yr. and another $2 billion/yr. in grants.

    -Giving to USA religious groups mostly Christian in 2010 cost followers $95.8 billion,

    Judaism (not including the cost of supporting Jewish-based "non-profits")

    – Four billion dollars/yr. to Israel.

    Tis time we demand our money back from these religious con artists and time that we send bills to the likes of the Saudis and Kuwaitis for saving them from the despots of Iraq and Iran.

    May 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • thefinisher1

      Atheists also have blood on their hands. Atheists founded communism which has the highest amounts of deaths in the past century alone. Over 100 million were sent to their death by the hands of atheists. Today's atheists ignore the brutal and evil past of their "precious" atheism.

      May 31, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
      • hotairace

        Just as delusional believers forget their history. Why is it so important to you to establish who killed the most people? Do you think it matters if your cult is second best at mass murder? The real question is "Why are believers involved in mass murder at all?"

        May 31, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Atheists claim that only religion causes murder and evil yet ignore the brutal and murderous past that atheism has. Grow up and accept atheism has been used for evil.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • Doris

          True, hotair. In fact, I notice when I mention Christians from the U.S. having blood on their hands just within the past several years in Africa, the Christian commenters here either act like it is justified or that they've never heard of it or that it doesn't represent their opinion. Oh how they squirm through inconvenient facts.

          May 31, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          So do you atheists. When people state that it's a historical fact that atheists founded communism, which was has racked up millions and millions of deaths, you atheists squirm because you can't admit it. It's ok. The truth is hard to accept sometimes!

          May 31, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
        • hotairace

          I completely accept that various individuals, groups, cults and government have engaged in mass murder, no doubt at all. But why are you harping on who is worst when you should be ashamed of your cult's history? Who is denying their history here? Who is deflecting from the absolute fact that there is absolutely no actual evidence for their god delusions, and that quite likely they are mentally ill, given their deep seated but unfounded beliefs that alleged but never proven gods exist?

          May 31, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          I'm part of no cult. LOL. You fail kid.

          May 31, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Also, atheists force events down peoples throats that they had NO part of. Atheists ignore their own evil history but love forcing events down people's throats that took place hundreds or thousand of years ago. Grow up, ignorant child.

          May 31, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • hotairace

          You argue on behalf of delusional god believers which are all cults by definition. Too bad for you.

          May 31, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • hotairace

          Chatter on, azzhole. Only a mentally ill dumbazz, indoctrinated from birth, believes in childish myths. Admit it, you've got absolutely nothing but crappy fiction to support your god delusions, which means you have zippo, nothing, nada, zero, just your own delusions. You will do or say anything to keep the delusions alive. Enjoy them, but please keep your evil away from children.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          I wasn't "indoctrinated" from birth. So your opinion stands wrong. Grow up, child. Time to leave your childish delusions behind you.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • Doris

          When I hear about any atheists from this democratic country traveling from here to another country specifically to incite killing and jailing of people based on their world views, I will speak out on it just as loudly as I am about some Christians who have been doing just that within recent years. When I hear about atheists within this democratic country being able to perform honor killings in the name of their world views, I will speak out on it just as loudly as I do about some Muslims who have been doing just that within the U.S.

          But I'm not hearing about atheists from this country traveling elsewhere within the past several years with the intent to incite violence. I haven't heard of atheists performing honor killings in the name of their world view within the U.S. Those activities involving U.S. citizens in recent years have involved Christians and Muslims.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • hotairace

          Sorry to hear you developed late onset mental illness. A good therapist (not toilet bowl cleaner kermy) should be able to help you escape your god delusions and the cult you are in.

          May 31, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          hotairace "Only a mentally ill dumbazz, indoctrinated from birth, believes in childish myths."

          fini "I wasn't "indoctrinated" from birth."

          Well at least he admits to being a mentally ill dumbazz.

          June 1, 2014 at 4:58 am |
        • G to the T

          "Atheists ignore their own evil history "

          Atheists aren't a community (like Christians are supposed to be). You would have to be able to show that their disbelief was the driving force of their decisions and since no one knows the heart of another, I don't see how you could.

          Also, as stated here many, MANY times – atheism only defines how we answer a single question. "Christian" contains entire library of potential beliefs/answers. Therefore it is much more valid to judge the past actions of Christians in terms of their belief than it would be the totalitarian regimes you refer to in terms of their disbelief.

          June 1, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
      • ruth1940

        "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." ~ Steven Weinberg

        May 31, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
      • dandintac

        One would be hard pressed to find any category or group of human beings innocent of any wrong doing. But no one has ever given me a plausible explanation about how atheism cannot inspire people to kill. There are no doctrines or dogmas, no holy books. No atheist god to propitiate. No list of things you must believe. It's just a single answer to a single question–"no" to the question of the existence of gods. Atheism shouldn't even be a word.

        One could just as easily say that non-believers in fairies (a-fairiests) have blood on their hands also. I'm sure Mao for example, did not believe in fairies. His a-fairiesm is just as germane to his crimes as is his atheism–in other words, irrelevant. So by your way of thinking, nonbelievers in fairies have blood on their hands.

        However, this is not true of religion. People can and do kill directly because of their religious beliefs, or in the name of their God, or because they believe this is what their God wants. This cannot be said of nonbelief in anything–be it gods or fairies.

        June 1, 2014 at 1:22 am |
        • magsmagenta

          Just think of all the fairies that die when you say that you don't believe in them. Terrible isn't it?

          June 1, 2014 at 4:47 am |
      • skytag

        Atheists don't kill people because they believe their disbelief in God requires them to do that. That's the difference.

        June 1, 2014 at 2:31 am |
    • tesmith47

      i agree with all of your post except the very last sentence, no one asked america to become involved in either of those countrys
      internal dynamics, America has been intruding in other countrys for the last century , causing havoc and chaos all over the world. the only difference with the mid east countrys is that they had enough money to buy weapons to strike back at the bully, ameirca.
      trust me if viet nam could of, they would of bombed the towers in N.Y.

      June 1, 2014 at 12:12 am |
  10. Vic

    God Bless The USA

    Freedom is priceless.

    May 31, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • sam stone

      you don't have freedom

      if you think you do, try smoking a joint in front of a police officer

      May 31, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
  11. thefinisher1

    Atheism is a irrational belief. I don't think atheists spend nearly their entire lives obsessing over not believing in Santa Clause. So why are they so obsessed with a belief they don't want to believe? Better yet, why do they want evidence when they "claim" to know its "hogwash"? Doesn't that mean they are biased? Doesn't that also mean they are part of their problem (not being able to get evidence)? Yep. They are too childish to admit they are part of the problem!

    May 31, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
    • Doris

      I guess that within the past several years, some believers have traveled from the U.S. to Africa to incite the killing and jailing of other people might just be one of the things that keep non-believers on guard. Call that an obsession or whatever you like – but keep in mind that it's always an opportunity to focus in on the various activities with which many believers involve themselves.

      May 31, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Doris,

        You should always check what a claimed believer does compared to what Christianity says. Just because someone does something in the name of Christianity doesn't mean it reflects the teachings of Christianity.

        May 31, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • Doris

          "what Christianity says"

          LOL. good one. are you really suggesting that I go into my discussion about the over 41,000 differing sects? Which of my posts on that would you like small, medium or super-sized? I think the super-sized is on special today.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Doris...I hear Fred Phelps had a verse in the bible backing him up for every one of his bizarre ideas.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          You'd need to compare them to the Bible.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Doris

          Who are "them", tf? Would they not be the ones who each believe they have precisely the correct interpretation of said Bible? Or are you inSINuating that only YOU have the correct interpretation?

          May 31, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          tf: How are you so certain that your interpretation of the bible is the right one? If a person follows the bible they are Christian-rather simple.

          May 31, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Atheists don't understand that words in all languages change over time. If they knew more about the bible than Christians, well, that's just a lie because they don't. I bet half of the atheists that claim that can't even understand or grasp the period(s) the bible was written in. They seem to forget cultures and way of life for the ancients and for the Jews themselves! They completely dismiss it on purpose. In fact, they can claim that the bible supports slavery yet...slavery was very common in those days BY ANYONE. That is a historical fact. All races have been enslaved by another. Atheists are a bunch of cry babies who whine about a past that can't be changed. Atheism needs to be put in its place ladies and gentleman!

          May 31, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • Doris

          Some of them do understand. Probably more than you think. Some atheists and agnostics are atheist (or agnostic) because they have spent a good portion of their lives researching the evidence claimed for religious belief and have found it to be severely lacking. In the U.S., theists need to respect the wall of separation. Then things should be OK. And they shouldn't travel to other countries and incite the killing and jailing of other people like we've seen in recent years.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Fight the politicians with extreme money and power who tend to follow the popular opinions...do you know how politics work or are you generally this stupid? There's over 300 million Americans. Want to silence them all so they can't speak their opinions? Go ahead. That's why atheists invented communism! Stupid fool.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • Doris

          I didn't say anything about silencing anyone, idiot. You really have trouble with reading comprehension, don't you?

          May 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          LOL. Atheists will dream up funny delusions so you have a reason to complain and voice your opinions. Awwww! Attention seekers much?

          May 31, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • hotairace

          thefinished can't actually read. He sees words and then believes whatever his god-addled brain comes up with, without actually comprehending what he tried to read.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @thefinisher1,
          "... can't even understand or grasp the period(s) the bible was written in."

          I don't claim to be a Biblical scholar, so please cite the chapter(s) and verse(s) that talk about these periods. Thanks.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          LOL. You're full of hot air! I crack myself up sometimes.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          LOL. If you ignore the way of life surrounding the areas mentioned in the bible...atheists don't know more than Christians. Grow up already.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @thefinisher1,
          Are you talking about the time periods in which various parts were written, or what some would call "dispensation" periods

          May 31, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          it's almost sad watching fini rant and rave, it's like watching a gorilla play with a cell phone, every now and then they put it up to their head like their really using it but we know it's just coincidence as they try to figure out what it is. Fini is as likely to stick a salient point up his ass as have one.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:11 am |
      • gulliblenomore

        Doris.....why are you answering a raving lunatic with a rational response?

        May 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • Doris

          Good point.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Murderers love murder...does not matter about belief. They like it, they do it. No belief justifies it when THEY like it. If they enjoy killing, doing mass genocide or any other act, a belief cannot be blamed. It's sad that you believe they are "justified" because of their belief. Some people love murder. So...you're wrong kiddo.

        May 31, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
        • Doris

          theidiot: "No belief justifies it when THEY......."

          Of course it does....for THEM. Believers constantly talk about how their various beliefs shape and influence their lives, their view of others. If inciting others to kill is not your bag, well good. But your opinion, your interpretation is just one of many often very differing ones.

          May 31, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          When they love killing...it doesn't. You believe what they claim? Holy balls! You are stupid child!

          May 31, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • Doris

          "When they love killing...it doesn't."

          You're a slow learner it seems. Your reply is only your opinion, your interpretation. But others think differently on many issues. That you claim to be the only correct one is a clear sign that you are yet another extremist. There are many different kinds of course.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Not when they ENJOY doing it. Your "opinion" which you think is already a fact is wrong. When they enjoy it, they do it for pleasure, anger, etc. So for you to stand there and agree that their "belief" justifies it when it really doesn't means you have a messed up tendency to believe the lies that come from criminals. Better yet, why do you believe criminals?

          May 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          "Murderers love murder...does not matter about belief. They like it, they do it. "

          Actually, I'd guess that most people who have committed murder didn't like it at all. Most murderers, I think, act as crimes of the moment, not planned out.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • Doris

          Nice try, dufus. For the sake of readers just scanning these posts, I'll repeat my initial reply (and will do so however long as you try to twist it):

          "I guess that within the past several years, some believers have traveled from the U.S. to Africa to incite the killing and jailing of other people might just be one of the things that keep non-believers on guard. Call that an obsession or whatever you like – but keep in mind that it's always an opportunity to focus in on the various activities with which many believers involve themselves."

          So I do believe if you are able to understand that you would see it doesn't relate to my opinion about killing, but about the opinion of certain Christians. They are just as righteous in their view as you are of yours, I'm sure.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • Doris

          (my last reply, of course, to thefinisher1)

          May 31, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Let me ask you a question: Do you believe atheists have done evil? Why do you only your anger on one group but ignore your own?

          May 31, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          finished. Although the USA was not too badly affected, Europe and a lot of the world suffered under the joint control of monarchy and religion, communism was intended to break that system. So the Soviets did treat priests poorly leading to some deaths, but most deaths were for power and in fact millions died of starvation in the USSR because of rigid plans poorly executed. Few were killed because of their religious beliefs. And of course Hitler was a christian so you need to leave him out of your rants – but you already know that because you get these answers every time you post this rant.
          Believers, christians in particular, claim the higher moral ground but history shows they are not capable of walking the talk.

          May 31, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Communism HATES religion and Stalin, an atheist, ordered his own men to kill thousand of religious people including babies and children. Time to accept to defeat atheists. Atheists have caused equal damage. Time to stop ignoring it!😝

          May 31, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
        • Doris

          It's time for you to start paying attention to what IS being done, not just what WAS done, tf1.

          Current activities by some Christians and Muslims specifically on behalf of their world view indicate, if given free reign, they would have us back into some Inquisition scenario. Do we see that similar type of activity and sentiment from atheists within our country?

          May 31, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          finished. Is all this deflection because you still can't find any evidence of your god or any god?

          May 31, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Anyone with half a brain can see that fini here is about as smart as a rock, but that's the way religion likes them.

          June 1, 2014 at 4:54 am |
      • tesmith47

        excellent point!!!

        June 1, 2014 at 12:14 am |
    • sam stone

      no "e" in santa claus

      May 31, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Here found your theme song for you...enjoy :)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48TmWrZMeuI

      May 31, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
    • skytag

      Still trolling, eh? If you're so confident in your religious beliefs why do you waste so much time trying to convince yourself of this nonsense about atheists?

      June 1, 2014 at 3:06 am |
  12. ausphor

    new-man and Rainer
    Did you notice the story on the home page "Are you psychotic? Take the test."? Of course it is not necessary we all know you are, but prove it to yourselves.

    May 31, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
  13. new-man

    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.
    – not seeing a good match here either. Jesus was like many other rabbis, liked by some hated by others

    Jesus made people very uncomfortable. Some followed Him for a time because they wanted to have food, healing etc. There was a point when Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. What He taught was so unorthodox or uncomfortable to those hearing it that ALL but His 12 disciples left Him. Jesus didn't beg them to stay. He merely asked them will you leave also?

    Many Disciples Deserted Jesus- Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”
    Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe me.” Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”
    At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
    Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God."

    May 31, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
    • bostontola

      new-man,
      Again, this is a poor fit for Jesus. Like most people, some liked him, others didn't. That is far from despised by mankind.

      May 31, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        "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."

        Wicked – two thieves crucified with Jesus
        Rich – Joseph of Arimathea
        Jesus was perfect. He was innocent.

        May 31, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Jesus was perfect. He was innocent."

          And you would allow a perfect, innocent person to pay for your "crimes"?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          but that seems backwards then as Arimethea supposedly assigned the grave and he was allegedly with the wicked at death.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • new-man

          BatC,
          can you pay for your "crimes"... if yes, how?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I can't pay for my own crimes? What kind of system of justice is that? How does that even make sense?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Blessed,

          If a perfect person willingly died for your sins, would you reject the sacrifice?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....there is no proof that Jesus was perfect or that he died for anything divine. You only have his word for it. No proof.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Yes, it would be unethical and immoral for me to allow someone else to pay for crimes I am responsible for. Wouldn't you agree?

          May 31, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • new-man

          BatC,
          In God's system of justice, you need sinless blood to pay for your "crimes"... so where will you obtain this sinless blood?

          May 31, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          In addition to what new-man said, Jesus has already willingly paid the price with His life. You think the best option is to reject His work on the cross?

          May 31, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....I'm not rejecting anything. I'm ignoring it because it is unproven. I see nothing wrong with ignoring something that has no evidential proof.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Doris

          I agree, Blessed – it would be unethical and immoral for me to allow someone else to pay for crimes I am responsible for.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Doris....and really, you were not even born yet....you committed no crime. And, if this was the only way that god could think of to atone for mens sins (which, by the way, he knew would happen because he is omnipotent), then god is not very intelligent.

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

          Doris,

          The price has already been paid. You think it better to reject Jesus' death on the cross?

          May 31, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Doris

          "The price has already been paid. "

          Conjecture. And this copy of the receipt has been been horribly tampered with.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • Doris

          (alleged "receipt")

          May 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • tallulah131

          "If a perfect person willingly died for your sins, would you reject the sacrifice?"

          Absolutely. I am accountable for my own actions. I would never allow someone else to suffer in my place for my actions. That would be reprehensible and immoral. I would never stoop so low.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @new-man, et. al.,
          "In God's system of justice, you need sinless blood to pay for your "crimes"."

          What the hell kind of stupid system is that?
          How exactly does "sinless blood" (even if the supposed "sin" was in blood) pay for anything, let alone "crimes"?

          May 31, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "In God's system of justice, you need sinless blood to pay for your "crimes"... "

          Wow, your god is a sick one isn't he?

          May 31, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The price has already been paid."

          So Jesus already "paid" for my "crimes"..???

          So much for free will...I never asked for that and would not accept it.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Blessed,

          You reject the sacrifice and gift of God, therefore, God's wrath still remains on you. See John 3:36.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          So god is mad that I don't want Jesus to pay for my responsibility.....ok that makes no sense.

          June 1, 2014 at 12:57 am |
        • MidwestKen

          @truthfollower01
          "You reject the sacrifice and gift of God, therefore, God's wrath still remains on you."

          Accept this "gift" or suffer my wrath?

          Is that a line out of the Sopranos? Sounds like extortion to me.

          June 1, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • igaftr

          belief follower
          "You reject the sacrifice and gift of God, therefore, God's wrath still remains on you"

          Incorrect. I do not deny it, just have no evidence of anything to deny.
          You blindly accept that your god is threatening you, and you "save" yourself from the threat by "accepting" with no evidence at all.
          I simply see no validity to the claim, so I do not deny...I don't think there is anything to deny.
          Don't misunderstand my not blindly acccpting the supernatural, unverifiable, uncorrobarated wild claims as denial, you have simply accpeted a story as if it were true with no evdience at all that it is true.

          You do not follow truth. You follow belief. You do not want truth...you want your belief to be true. Delcaring your belief as truth is dishonest.

          June 1, 2014 at 10:58 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible,

          If Hitler though what he was doing (murdering millions of people) was morally good, was he wrong?

          June 2, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF...that really is a stupid question. If he thought he was right then he was right for him. The same thing for those guys that flew the planes into the World Trade Center. They believed they were right. Of course, society judges people quite differently. But....I know you know all this and were just baiting me.

          June 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....If Hitler thought that what he was doing was right, then he was right....to himself. The same applies to the men that flew the planes into the World Trade Center. They believed they were right. Of course, society judges people quite differently. But....I know you know all this and were just baiting me.

          June 2, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          Hitler justified his slaughter through his religion like many have before him. He essentially took his treatment of Jews directly from Martin Luther one of the major leaders of the Reformation in the 1500s

          June 2, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible,

          Does it not bother you that on atheism, Hitler isn't really wrong?

          June 2, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....not one bit, no. Hitler was a professed Christian, although he didn't act like it. I do not base my life on the belief systems of other people. That would make me an idiot. I base my beliefs on my own education, logic and reason. And, for my money, I have 2 choices. I either believe that your god is a tremendous p-rick based on what I see around me, or I don't believe anybody is controlling the universe. I choose the latter.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:48 am |
        • Akira

          TF, doesn't it bother you that Hitler was a Christian?

          June 2, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
        • Doris

          tf: "on atheism"

          In addition to your lame argument on objective morality, tf, this "on atheism" is equally lame. You previously defined "on atheism" as "in a world without God". –which is silly – because that would indicate that anyone who has beliefs in some deity that happens to not be the Abrahamic God is also an atheist "on that twisted definition"!

          June 2, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          They're not an atheist. They believe in god. They just have the wrong god.

          In addition, you should consider that not everyone shares the same view of morality as you do. I have summed up your view in the past but will do so again.

          On a subjective view of morality, a man can choose to decide that murder is subjectively morally evil and can base that opinion on external references such as the golden rule or he can decide that murder is subjectively morally good and base this opinion on other external references, such as for personal power. As sick as this is, each choice is equal with regards to subjective morality on atheism.

          June 2, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Akira,

          Do you really believe Hitler was a Christian? And please don't give quotes from the 1920s from Hitler. Look at what he said later in his life. Look at his actions!!!!

          June 2, 2014 at 11:05 pm |
        • benhoody

          Hitler was not a Christian, a Christian not only believes in Jesus but he follows him and what he said. To say you believe in Christ makes no one a Christian, a person must also believe what Christ said and obey him, Hitler did no such thing,

          June 3, 2014 at 1:22 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ben....by that definition, nobody is a Christian! Hitler was a Christian, just a really bad one. You simply must get over that fact. He was a Christian. I have no idea why we keep going over this silly argument daily. Hitler was a Christian.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:53 am |
        • benhoody

          I'm beginning to think you just like to argue. Hitler was not a Christian as defined in the bible, he did not have Gods holy sprit but rather the spirit of Satan which was quite obvious. You don't seem to know what a true Christian is and what qualifies them as a Christian. A true Christian will repent of their wrongdoing and seek Gods forgivness, that sure wasn't Hitler. Why anyone would say hitler was a Christian is beyond me. A true Christian doesn't continue in sin, they turn from it, hitler got worse and worse as he went on. Just because someone believes in God and his son Jesus does not make them a Christian, Satan believed that and he sure wasn't any Christian. The bible makes it clear who is and who is not a Christian, and Hitler was defiinately not. To say I'm a Christian but I'm a bad Christian and continue in sin is absurd, that's only a Christian in name only and meaningless.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ben...by definition, hitler was a Christian. The only qualification to be a Christian is belief in Jesus as your savior. Once again, he was a bad Christian, but one no-less. The prisons are full of Christians, by the way....just bad ones. I'm not arguing, just stating reality. I'm sorry you don't like it, but that is not my problem

          June 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • benhoody

          Once again you are wrong, the only qualification to be a Christian is to believe in Christ as savior is not true. A person must not only believe in Jesus as savior, they first must repent of their sins, the bible is very plain about that in various places. The very first words Jesus said was "repent". When the gospel was being preached and some believed in Jesus they then asked what they need to do, Peter told them they had to first repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins. (acts 2:38. Also Acts 3:19 people were told to repent and be converted, (changed) from sinning to stop sinning. Some believed in Jesus and were so sure they made it at the end of their life because they believed in Jesus and also did wonderful things using his name, But when the time comes Jesus will tell them, sorry, but I never knew you etc. Why, because they believed alright but that wasnt good enough, they were still doing wrong and Jesus told them so. In Mathew 7:23 he said to others who believed Jesus was their savior, why do you call me Lord but do not do what I say, their believing means nothing without the other. 7:21 he says not everyone who believes in him will enter Gods kingdom, but only those who does Gods will obeys God. There are many scriptures pointing out the fact that just because someone claims to believe Christ is there savior, doesn't necessarily make it so. Actually we are told to beware of people like this, Check Mathew 15: Some will claim to be Christian but are not, and we will be able to tell by their fruits, whether their fruit is good or bad. So many today just want to believe that all we have to do is believe Jesus is our savior and they don't have to do a thing and will be in his kingdom. Not true says Jesus and many scriptures. Anyway, Hitler was of the devil, he was an evil man all the while claiming to believe in Christ, follow me and my teachings Jesus said, Hitler did the opposite. He may have believed in one aspect but he rejected the rest making him a false Christian which is no Christian at all.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          done here....everything you said is just your opinion or your definition of the bible. Doesn't mean you are right, it just means that's the way you read it.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • Akira

          "Gott Mit Uns"

          June 2, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • Doris

          tf: "Doris, They're not an atheist. They believe in god. They just have the wrong god."

          And you continue to make no sense. Then why did you define "on atheism" when I asked before as "without God". I assume you do mean the god of Abraham when you reference "God", do you not?

          tf: "On a subjective view of morality, a man can choose to decide that murder is subjectively morally evil and can base that opinion on external references such as the golden rule or he can decide that murder is subjectively morally good and base this opinion on other external references, such as for personal power. As sick as this is, each choice is equal with regards to subjective morality on atheism."

          What is sick is that you need to follow something from thousands of years ago that doesn't grow along with humanity. I suspect you well know by now, tf, that I contend that you also make subjective moral judgment even when you do reference something external to yourself. Everyone is influenced subjectively by the society and groups of people we grow up with, and interface with through life. Social morality evolves through the generations.

          And so once again, here you go again putting the wagon before the horses. Prove your God first , then we can talk about your notions of the source of morality.

          Prove that you do not just have a similar opinion that you have derived in the same subjective manner as atheists, only under the guise of something that represents a claimed unsubstantiated source. Without your proof, we can only assume that you, and groups with which you have affinity in addressing moral issues, also developed, and adopted moral views subjectively.

          The over 41,000 sects are living proof that there is quite a variance in moral opinions among Christians.

          June 2, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
        • hotairace

          The facts are Hitler was raised as a catholic, he never renounced catholicism and his actions never rose to that required by the RCC for excommunication, so too bad for believers, but Hitler is yours.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:40 am |
        • observer

          benhoody,

          The most famous Bible passage of all:

          "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

          That's all there is to it, unless the Bible was lying or sneaky enough to have some fine-print like a crooked business.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Thanks Observer.....but, I knew it would be falling on deaf ears.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • benhoody

          Of course, but to believe in him is also to believe what he said and therefore mobey it as he himself pointed out in many other scriptures. There isn't only one scripture in the bible, you need to put them all together to see what the true meaning is. Are all the other scriptures a lie. Believe in Christ does not mean just believe he is and or was, how can a person truly believe in Christ and then reject what he says. He showed us the way and he says follow me. You obviously do not know or understand the true meaning of "he who believes in me".

          June 3, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
        • observer

          benhoody,

          No Christian is perfect so unless they obey ALL of the Bible they really don't believe in Jesus, right?

          It's amazing that you don't know what John 3:16 says. Read it. Where is the FINE PRINT or where does it say "AND YOU HAVE TO OBEY everything Jesus said?

          June 3, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Observer,

          A few verses for your consideration.

          Mark 1:14-15 – Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

          Luke 13:3 – I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

          John 14:23-24 – Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

          1 John 2:3-6 – We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

          June 3, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Hotairace,

          "so too bad for believers, but Hitler is yours."

          I stand by Jesus' words when He said, "Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?" Forget about what only comes out of a person's mouth (which, by the way, shows Hitler's distaste for Christianity if you look at his later life). Look at the actions of the person. Do they reflect the love of Jesus? Do they desire to be like and follow Jesus as shown in their actions? Consider Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

          The scary thing is that on atheism, Hitler didn't really do anything morally wrong.

          June 3, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          "And you continue to make no sense. Then why did you define “on atheism” when I asked before as “without God”. I assume you do mean the god of Abraham when you reference “God”, do you not?

          I'm surprised I have to explain this but here goes. Atheism is a view that believes there is no God. Hence on an atheistic view, we live in a world without the existence of God. The Christian affirms the God of Abraham as the one true God. Someone who believes in another god other than the God of the Bible is not considered an atheist. They would be a theist. Depending on the religion, they wouldn't believe in a world without God. Remember, an atheist believes there is no god.

          June 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
      • new-man

        boston,
        as I said to someone else below, I point you to the scripture which is the Word of God. I'm not here to change you nor convince you, that's the job of the Holy Spirit.

        May 31, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          new-man....the holy spirit is doing a lousy fvcking job....only about 30% of the worlds population is Christian, and that number is shrinking....

          May 31, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • new-man

          For Wisdom [Holy Spirit], which is the worker of all things, taught me; for in her is an understanding spirit, holy, one only, manifold, subtle, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good, quick, ready to do good.

          Wisdom [Holy Spirit] found not a place on earth where she could inhabit, her dwelling therefore is in heaven.
          Wisdom [H.S.] went forth to dwell among the sons of men, but she obtained not an habitation. Wisdom [H.S.] returned to her place, and seated herself in the midst of the angels...

          May 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          new-man.....Wisdom (logic, reason, and education) taught me to question everything for validity. Wisdom (L,R,E) taught me to search for proof before I accept anything as fact. Wisdom (L,R,E) has never failed me in life.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        "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.
        –Very poor match, clearly talking about a man not a God, plus no offspring (please don’t get poetic and say we’re all his offspring)."

        You do know Jesus was a man and God right? What man do you put forth who God made his life an offering for sin?!?!

        Concerning offspring:

        John 1:12,13
        12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

        May 31, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....why are you bothering quoting from a book that the people you are debating feel is a book of mythology and fairy tales? It would be like me quoting from 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' to try to convince you that Santa exists.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible,

          You need to be able to show why the verses I previously posted in Isaiah don't speak of Jesus. In addition, are you at least able to show that Santa is a historical figure as Jesus is? Let's start there with the basics.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....fine.....let's start with the basics. Do you have any proof....any evidential proof whatsoever, that what Isaiah wrote was factually true? Do you have any evidential proof that Jesus was divine in nature? Do you have any proof that the bible was indeed written or inspired by god? No? Nothing? Then I'm afraid I must reject the idea of god completely. I need proof to change the way I live my life, which I am perfectly happy with....you don't have it, then I'm not interested.

          By the way....are you able to accurately prove that Santa is not real?

          May 31, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "Do you have any proof….any evidential proof whatsoever, that what Isaiah wrote was factually true?"

          Have you read Isaiah 52:12 – 53? Who does it sound like to you? Do you believe prophecy is possible?

          "Do you have any evidential proof that Jesus was divine in nature?"

          The historical evidence pertaining to His death and the events after lead to the conclusion that He rose from the dead.

          "Do you have any proof that the bible was indeed written or inspired by god?"

          See the top two answers.

          "By the way….are you able to accurately prove that Santa is not real?"

          I know of no evidence at all that he even historically exists. Are you able to provide?

          May 31, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....you may continue to proclaim that somebody (in this case Isaiah) writing something down is signs of proof, but I need much, much more than that. Nostradamus accurately predicted about 300 different things, so many people believe him to be a psychic. However, what they fail to mention was the 1800 other predictions he had that were pure c-rap.

          If you are basing your life on some words written down by some person thousands of years ago and requiring no other proof than that, good luck! I, however, need real proof, and not words written by men. I bet based on that, you probably have visited psychics before too.

          And St. Nicholas (alias, Santa), did at one time exist historically. His good deed of bringing presents to children in the village was immortalized and blown so out of proportion that now, the Santa figure is almost god-like, doing supernatural things that no human could ever accomplish. Sound familiar?

          May 31, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • Doris

          Way to side-step the question about Isaiah, tf.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Quoting the bible to prove the bible is pointless. It proves nothing beyond the obvious fact that you personally believe that the bible is what it tells you it is.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          I am unaware of any historical discrepancy in Isaiah. Is there one you want to provide? I believe the prophetic nature of the Isaiah passage I provided provides strong evidence for Isaiah being factually true.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Doris

          Another side-step. The question side-stepped was:

          "Do you have any proof....any evidential proof whatsoever, that what Isaiah wrote was factually true?"

          I consider the prophetic nature of Isaiah – as connected to the NT as reasonable as the notion put forth by several early apologists claiming that the devil had plagiarized other accounts similar to the Gospels in reverse time sequence (Justin Martyr included). ...that is, not reasonable at all. It all sounds like charlatanism on the part of the early Christians to me. If it were somehow able to make it today to my email account, my spam filter would just pick it right up.

          May 31, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          What would the early followers have to gain by promoting something they knew was a lie?

          May 31, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....900 people drank cyanide laced Kool-Aid following their leader Jim Jones. What did they possibly have to gain? Maybe the sheep truly believed the shepherd.

          May 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "Do you have any proof….any evidential proof whatsoever, that what Isaiah wrote was factually true?”"

          Which part? Are you talking about historically (such as the kings at the time, etc.)? To my knowledge, everything spoken of historically in Isaiah is accurate. If you have a discrepancy, please give.

          May 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....not historically, which again, like Nostradamus, only seemed to focus on the possible guesses of Isaiah and not what he got wrong, which of course was never included in the texts of the bible, but on the divinity. There is nothing at all pointing to the divinity of Isaiah, Jesus, or anybody else in your book. Nothing but words, and we all know how words can be distorted and formulated.

          You absolutely can not use the bible to confirm the validity of the bible. It is circular logic and you must do better than that in order to maintain your belief.

          May 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "I, however, need real proof, and not words written by men."

          There are many evidences of God. Objective morality, the historical evidence surrounding Jesus' death and the events after that point to His resurrection from the dead, creation itself, the inner witness of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life.

          "I bet based on that, you probably have visited psychics before too."

          No, never have.

          "And St. Nicholas (alias, Santa), did at one time exist historically."

          I don't want historical evidence for the existence of Nikolaos of Myra. I want historical evidence for Santa Clause.

          May 31, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....you can argue all you want, but there is no evidence whatsoever of any god, and in particular, not your god. morality? Really? I am objectively moral and don't believe for one second there is any god. And again, you are only using your bible, put together many years after the death of Jesus, to confirm.......your bible. No....I'm sorry, but none of that qualifies as evidential proof. The Greeks, for many years, believed that Zeus was their god, but abandoned that belief when something better came along. I suspect the same will happen with your particular god. Not in my lifetime unfortunately, but sometime there will be.

          May 31, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible,

          Compare your analogy to the early believers. Jim Jones' followers truly believed Jim. That doesn't mean he wasn't wrong. It just means they sincerely believed him. Jesus' early followers were in a position to KNOW whether or not Jesus rose from the dead. Liars make poor martyrs.

          May 31, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....No, they were not in any such position. Mass communication was extremely far off, and people tend to elaborate when discussing anything associated with the supposed supernatural. Most, if not all martyrs, were martyrs to an idea, albeit a good one (peace, love, and understanding.....which, by the way, has been completely abandoned by the current crop of Christians). They never knew Jesus. I am reminded of a line from "The Robe", where Richard Burton was on trial and was asked whether or not he believed that Jesus had made blind people see or lame men walk. His reply was....he didn't know, but he had never heard a story where he blinded anybody or made anybody crippled, and during those extremely volatile and violent Roman times, this was a new concept to grab hold of.

          Sorry....but I just can't base my life on conjecture....it just is not a smart thing to do.

          May 31, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Doris

          tf: "There are many evidences of God. Objective morality"

          Once again, tf, attempts to put the cart before the horses. Sorry, no dice.

          May 31, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • Doris

          "Jesus' early followers were in a position to KNOW whether or not Jesus rose from the dead."

          Except that we only know of this from hearsay accounts.

          May 31, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Once again,

          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 of the debate 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 31, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
        • hotairace

          Note that in points 2 and 3, Ehrman is only conceding that early believers made claims. He does not concede that the claims are true, or even have merit.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible,

          "You absolutely can not use the bible to confirm the validity of the bible"

          Can you use logic to confirm
          the validity of logic?

          Also, do you believe objective morality exists on atheism?

          May 31, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....Yes, you can use logic to prove the validity of logic. But, you still can not use the bible to determine it's validity. You can not accurately make the statement that the bible is the word of god because the bible tells you it is the word of god. That is circular logic and does not present a reasonable conclusion. I don't believe that objective morality exists anywhere, even with Christians. They continual break biblical objective laws constantly, many on this site. I do not subscribe to a mathematically defined set of laws (shellfish is an abomination, gays are an abomination, etc) that the bible defines, and personally, I think that anybody that follows those 2000 year old laws are pretty much idiots. Personal opinion of course, but it does have merit.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible,

          gulliblenomore says:
          May 31, 2014 at 11:11 pm
          "TF….Yes, you can use logic to prove the validity of logic."

          So you accept what you call "circular logic" in some instances but not others? Can you use reason to prove the validity of reason?

          "You can not accurately make the statement that the bible is the word of god because the bible tells you it is the word of god."

          Why can't I make this claim? What is the specific reason or evidence that invalidates this claim?

          "I don’t believe that objective morality exists anywhere, even with Christians."

          If Hitler though what he was doing (murdering millions of people) was morally good, was he wrong?

          Also,

          Who do think Isaiah is talking about in Isaiah 52:12 – 53?

          June 1, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF.....I do not care who Isaiah was talking about anywhere, as I believe that the bible is a collection of myths and fairy tales used to placate the citizens of the time. It is no more holy than the Harry Potter books.

          If you can not understand why you can not use the bible in order to prove the bible, then this conversation is over.

          June 2, 2014 at 8:53 am |
        • James XCIX

          truthfollower – "Jesus' early followers were in a position to KNOW whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.

          I see you've taken this idea to another thread, although I'm disappointed you chose to end our earlier conversation without commenting on my latest responses or answering my latest questions. Perhaps you didn't see them, since there were a lot of comments by others between ours.

          In any case, regarding your statement above, I find it interesting that the gospels mention that Jesus's disciples didn't even recognize him after his resurrection–leads on to consider a possible imposter.

          Who would be behind such a ruse? Perhaps one of the disciples, intent on using the imposter to gain some advantage in position or influence over the other disciples. Absurd proposition? Absolutely, but since it is "supported" by the gospels, we can't rule it out, can we?.

          June 2, 2014 at 9:30 am |
        • truthfollower01

          James,

          I must have missed your previous post if it was concerning this. I apologize

          "In any case, regarding your statement above, I find it interesting that the gospels mention that Jesus’s disciples didn’t even recognize him after his resurrection–leads on to consider a possible imposter."

          Which disciples are you referring to who "didn't recognize him"? What verse(s) says that they didn't recognize Him? In addition, let's consider a few other things. How do you explain the appearance of Jesus to Thomas as indicated in the gospel of John? Do you admit that the tomb was empty? How would you explain the conversion and resulting lives of both Paul and James, the brother of Jesus?

          "Perhaps one of the disciples"

          Do you have any evidence to support your proposition?

          June 2, 2014 at 11:01 pm |
        • James XCIX

          truthfollower – "What verse(s) says that they didn't recognize Him?"

          Mat 28:17, Mark 16:12, Luke 24:16, John 20:14, among others, indicate that the resurrected Jesus was not initially recognized, and it took him showing his piercings for some to be persuaded. And yes, the imposter scenario necessitates an empty tomb, too. Which disciple benefited the most? Peter, probably, but all the disciples could just have easily been in on the deception and wrote about how they, too, didn't recognize Jesus at first in order to persuade others who wouldn't recognize the imposter as Jesus.

          But I wrote the scenario tongue in cheek, just to show how even using what's written in the gospels one can come up with somewhat plausible scenarios that don't involve the supernatural. But to me, the most likely explanation is that the gospels and the stories about the apostles dying for their belief are distortions and fabrications.

          Incidentally, our earlier discussion was on the previous page of comments on this article.

          June 3, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • kermit4jc

          initially recognized, and it took him showing his piercings for some to be persuaded. And yes, the imposter scenario <-no one had to see Jesus pierced hands to recognize im..Thomas was a doubter...the Bible does not say he did recognize Jesus by the pierced hands and side....as for the other things..Jesus was "unrecognizable" for temporary...remember.people didn't expect Him to rise from the dead..and then the empty tomb proves it as well...who would have taken the body? the authorities? if so...why? and they would have shown the body to proved he was dead...but they did not do that....

          June 3, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...there really is no proof of any of this...it very well could of been an elaborate hoax. I just am not comfortable basing such a major life decision on the words of a few supposed prophets. There are way too many variables here and I have to rely on some logic in order to make my decision. It's fine for you that you believe, but you just can't use the bible as your proof to other people....too many questions from it.

          June 3, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • kermit4jc

          @ gullible so you cant do anything unless you have all the info? I mean for example....I had no idea how olanes fly....I got some info....but I still have too many quesiotns about it....yet I been on plamnes for over half my life..going to asia, europpe across usa....

          June 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....you read every word I said and nowhere did I say I don't do anything without all the information. I'll repeat it for you. I don't make MAJOR life decisions without all the information. Flying on a plane is not a major life decision. There is no proof of god....I am not going to make a major life decision on something with no proof. I really have no idea why the Christians don't understand that. You may have had a personal experience which is why you believe. Well....I am unable to have an ecclesiastical experience in my makeup mirror, so I'm afraid I am going to have to rely on other proof, which does not exist.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Hello Kermit –

          "But to me, the most likely explanation is that the gospels and the stories about the apostles dying for their belief are distortions and fabrications."

          That sentence pretty much sums up my view on the subject. The imposter scenario was just to show other possibilities that could be fleshed out further if one really wanted to.

          June 3, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          @kermit: "who would have taken the body? the authorities? if so...why? "
          answer; yes.
          to deny his family the ablity to give him a proper jewish burial.

          jesus was jewish, his family was jewish, they would have wanted to bury jesus (a criminal of the roman republic) a proper burial which means he has to be buried within that day.

          either that of the wild animals got the remains.........i bet on the ravenous animals

          June 3, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • kermit4jc

          sorry...but that dont fly...esopecially against the fact they were trying to quiet down the preaching and all....they would have produced the body..I mean this was only DAYS after the matter....surely they would have done so..and the accoutns say Jesus was put in Jospehs tomb...sorry..but youre making up stuff that has no evidence whatsoever and logic doesnt go with it

          June 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          James,

          Good afternoon.

          "Mat 28:17, Mark 16:12, Luke 24:16, John 20:14, among others, indicate that the resurrected Jesus was not initially recognized, and it took him showing his piercings for some to be persuaded."

          The first two references you give do not indicate that the disciples did not recognize Jesus. Let's look at the last two. The story in Luke 24 indicates that the two were supernaturally kept at first from recognizing Jesus. However, a little further along in the story, their eyes were opened and they recognized who Jesus was. It is unknown exactly how John 20 went down (perhaps Jesus initially had his back to Mary in the garden and she couldn't see His face. I'm not sure. It's not specified.) Whatever the case, she soon realized it was Jesus (John 20:16-18).

          "And yes, the imposter scenario necessitates an empty tomb, too."

          I noticed of my 3 questions, the only one you addressed was the empty tomb and on this we would agree! The tomb was empty. To ask again, how do you explain the appearance of Jesus to Thomas as indicated in the gospel of John? How would you explain the conversion and resulting lives of both Paul and that of James, the brother of Jesus? Remember, the "best explanation" needs to account for all of the data.

          "Which disciple benefited the most?"

          Exactly what do you mean by "benefited"? How would the disciples have benefited according to your proposition?

          "Peter, probably,"

          According to Clement, a first century source, Peter died for the faith.

          "But I wrote the scenario tongue in cheek, just to show how even using what’s written in the gospels one can come up with somewhat plausible scenarios that don’t involve the supernatural."

          Your scenario doesn't seem plausible at all once you have to take in to account all the data as opposed to trying to cherry pick what you feel best suites your theory.

          June 3, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        • James XCIX

          truthfollower –

          Just to be clear, I don't think the imposter scenario is likely what played out, so it’s not important to me to argue the finer points of it as a possibility, although I still think there is text within the gospels that could support the idea–those who doubt, those who don't recognize (even if explained as "supernatural" causes) , he appears in a different form, etc.

          And yes, perhaps that’s cherry picking, but if someone intentionally distorts a story in order to make it persuasive, they are going to keep certain elements in the story that are known truths (resurrected Jesus looked different, for instance) in order to bolster the credibility of the inserted distortions and fabrications (why he looked different, what he said, etc). The resulting story will be naturally prone to cherry picking, as the implausible elements are eventually separated from the more plausible. This goes for other topics within the Bible (and other texts) as well, not just resurrected Jesus.

          As for Paul, well, he didn’t see the resurrected Jesus so most of what he’s supposed to have written are his own ideas, but I suppose I think it’s possible he had a vision, or hallucination, of Jesus. After all, he comes across as fairly rigid and obsessive in nature, and since the story is that he had been zealously persecuting Christians it would have been on his mind a lot, and after his conversion his rigid and obsessive nature seems to have manifested in a different manner, putting a lot of energy into spreading his views and stamping out differing views.

          I suppose the bottom line for me is that a lot of what’s in the Bible appears to be fabricated, so debating how one part might or might not support another part might be interesting but is ultimately not critical. And since there is no compelling present-day evidence of any particular controlling supernatural force, it follows that there’s no reason to accept ancient stories (Christian or other) from a much more supersti.tious time that could easily be fabrications as a basis for believing in anything supernatural.

          June 4, 2014 at 11:03 am |
    • skytag

      Repeating these fairytales here doesn't make them true.

      June 1, 2014 at 3:09 am |
  14. Doris

    Letting go of superstition

    from "50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yceHh5khkXo

    [after discussing inevitable galactic & terrestrial destructive forces out there that want to kill us] "..none of this is a sign that there is a benevolent anything out there…" –Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, host of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey"

    "..but to me saying that there was a designer does not help at all.." –Alan Guth, MIT professor of physics

    "..I'm not militant by nature – and if people want to believe, well then that's their business; I mean what concerns me is when belief is used to influence and corrupt education or politics. And it seems to me monstrous that Creationism or so-called intelligent design is taught next to evolution or instead of it. And I do think that it is almost as a form of madness." –Oliver Sacks, world-renowned neurologist, Columbia University

    "M-Theory doesn't disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator." –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

    May 31, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
  15. 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, Lord God, Truth, wants YOU!

    May 31, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Broken record syndrome? You still look like a dolt and even more so with every repeat post....what a fool you are!

      May 31, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
    • Akira

      Bigotry and intolerance should never be applauded. It doesn't matter what source it comes from.

      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 1:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      gosh, rainy fuhrersucker, looks like your co-workers see you clearly

      the way to impress them is to douse yourself with gasoline and set yourself on fire for jeebus

      May 31, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      looks like you are the coward here, rainy

      jesus is waiting

      flame on

      May 31, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
  16. Doris

    Letting go of superstition

    from "50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yceHh5khkXo

    [after discussing inevitable galactic & terrestrial destructive forces out there that want to kill us] "..none of this is a sign that there is a benevolent anything out there…" –Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, host of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey"

    "..but to me saying that there was a designer does not help at all.." –Alan Guth, MIT professor of physics

    "..I'm not militant by nature – and if people want to believe, well then that's their business; I mean what concerns me is when belief is used to influence and corrupt education or politics. And it seems to me monstrous that Creationism or so-called intelligent design is taught next to evolution or instead of it. And I do think that it is almost as a form of madness." –Oliver Sacks, world-renowned neurologist, Columbia University

    "M-Theory doesn't disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator." –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

    May 31, 2014 at 11:54 am |
    • truthfollower01

      Doris,

      Do you believe it's possible that an ocean liner could pop into existence, uncaused out of nothing on your front lawn?

      May 31, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Are you complete loon? Stop asking stupid questions...it makes you look like a 5 year old!

        May 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          You may be surprised but Doris does actually believe things like this are possible.

          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."

          May 31, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I think you misunderstood Doris...given her rational thoughts and your irrational thoughts, I'd say it is likely she might have been appeasing your weak mind to shut you up with the hope of stopping your stupid questions!

          May 31, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          You'd have to take that up Doris. I'm quoting her. In addition, look at post above concerning the universe creating out of nothing.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....we've already addressed this. Doris is not an idiot. Given what we know scientifically right now, a tiger can not appear in her kitchen. But, we don't know everything scientifically yet, so we can't say for sure that it is impossible.

          Now.....I addressed this once before, but you ignored it. If you are willing to suspend belief that your god always existed, then why are you unable to suspend that same belief towards the universe? And, if you don't believe something can come from nothing, how was your god able to create the universe out of nothing? Very strange.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          tf: The fact remains that we do not know what caused the big bang and it does not give anyone the right to fill that unanswered question with 'god'. Admitting to not knowing is far more honest than saying god did it...care to try being honest for a change?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Doris

          Being what I think might be described by others as highly agnostic, I'm unlikely to say that we know for a fact many things that many people consider unknown. So absolutes like "there is a God" or "there is no God" are equally out the window for me. Likewise, for truthfollower's repeated question, the answer is the same. I find it as unlikely that there is a god as described by the ancients through the oral tradition as the possibility that an ocean liner could pop into existence suddenly. Absolute claims about things for which there is a severe lack of evidence are silly to me. For me, this goes for ocean liners popping into existence, for the Abrahamic God, for absolute moral "truths", etc.

          I also find it silly that truthfollower thinks this argument especially important. There is so little known about the beginning of this universe, that certainly truthfollower should understand that something coming from nothing is not a requirement of the notion that "this universe had a beginning".

          May 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Doris

          Hawking muses what M-theory might suggest.

          Vilenkin, as contributor to BVG Theorem says that this universe had a beginning.

          truthfollower seems to want to make assumptions on what was or wasn't just prior to big bang – on what the possibilities were or were not; as if truthfollower knew something more than both Vilenkin and Hawking, that they didn't share with use yet. Needless to say, based on previous posts – my money is not on truthfollower – lol.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Doris

          correction: didn't share with us yet

          May 31, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Doris....TF wants to suspend belief that something came from nothing concerning his god character, but he can't suspend that same belief with the universe. I find that extremely disingenuous.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        @truthfollower01,
        I think it would be extremely unlikely, just like the existence of an alleged God.

        May 31, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          But you believe it's possible that an ocean liner could pop into existence, uncaused out of nothing on your front lawn?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @truthfollower01,
          Your baiting is silly. I don't think it will happen, however just like a supposed God I don't have any evidence that it is impossible, ergo one seems about as likely as the other.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ken....I disagree with you there....I think a Bengal tiger appearing out of thin air is much more likely to happen than to there be a god.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          How can anything come from nothing? Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever has.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          You misunderstand me. I'm not saying it IS possible, I'm just saying that I don't know that it is impossible. As for how it might happen, I have no idea. We've never had "nothing" to study and for all we know there has always been "something," be it a quantum vacuum or some even more fundamental force.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @gulliblenomore,
          You may have a point. At least we know that Bengal tigers DO exist.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible,

          You prefer The old deny at all cost strategy?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....nope....I prefer the believe when I have the proof logic. I refuse to admit that something exists if I have absolutely no proof.

          So...I'm guessing you have the 'believe at all costs, even without proof' strategy.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
      • Akira

        God can make that happen, right?

        May 31, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
      • magsmagenta

        Only if you had an infinite improbability drive.

        May 31, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
  17. 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, Lord God, wants YOU!

    May 31, 2014 at 10:34 am |
    • Bob

      Rainer, your post is presumptuous and insulting, as well as being loaded with the No True Scotsman fallacy throughout.

      You are a pathetic human being! How dare you call others cowards, when you are the one quivering behind your sky fairy blanket rather than taking responsibility for your own actions, and when all the evidence points to your belief in your tooth fairy in the sky being utter bunkum.

      Now, as for your absurd Jesus statements, they are complete nonsense and bull manure. How is it that your 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 yourself there. The foundation of your crazy religion is complete nonsense.

      May 31, 2014 at 10:45 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Please be aware that once you will become manure again, and God will awaken you again, and judge you.

        God humbled himself and became a man, the man Jesus. In other words: The Son of God incarnated.

        We suffer from the fate of sin, our bad, old, human nature. Evern if we try to be good, we cannot escape the constraints of our old sinful nature, and we sin, even if we don't want to sin.

        A wolf is forced to behave like a wolf, simply because he is a wolf by nature. No wolf can behave like a sheep.

        Only be a divine miracle wolves can become sheep. Only by a divine miracle our bad, selfish, old nature can get exterminated.

        Jesus has borne our sinful flesh when he died for us on the cross. God had to die in the person of his Son Jesus in order to exterminate the sinful nature of man. That is what happened on the cross.

        If we repent, believe, and get sacramentally baptized, we die and resurrect together with Jesus. We die and resurrect at the same moment. Our old life as sinners gets replaced through a life of saints.
        After baptism we have no more life else than the Christian life in Jesus. Jesus is our new life. It is our responsibility to grasp this new life every day again against the lust of our body who is still sinful but declared dead, we as sinners are declared dead.

        Conclusion: It was necessary that the Son of God became man, and died for us. Otherwise it was not possible to release us from our sinful, old nature without violating our free will.

        May 31, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Stop judging people you bigoted fool!

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

          Rainer, again, you are just blathering complete nonsense, and it is you who lacks the courage to look critically at your wacky beliefs. There is no support in evidence for your crazy claims about your vengeful, horrid "god".

          So, read again, but this time actually think through your response:

          How is it that your 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 yourself there, coward. The foundation of your crazy religion is complete nonsense.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:35 am |
    • new-man

      I post a video yesterday by Pastor Craig Groeschel called Practical Atheists. The gist of it is, in the U.S. for example ~94% profess to believe in God. However most people live as though God doesn't exist. This I totally agree with, with regards to many who identify themselves as Christians or believers – they can quote you scriptures, they believe in God, but they don't believe God.

      Thank God, things are changing. In the last days, believers will arise and shine because darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people. But believers shall shine!

      Stay Blessed.

      May 31, 2014 at 11:35 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Who cares? The pastor is biased and is using the No True Scotsman fallacy. You supporting bigot-rainy only shows how ignorant you truly are...both of you wasting this life-such a shame!

        May 31, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Doris

          Indeed – new-man definitely gets added to that list of extremists who should not be trusted with children.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • new-man

          Loving others as Christ loves us, as God SO LOVES US, can NEVER be a waste of a life.

          Love you :o)
          Blessings.

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

          Please talk to your brother Rainier, who thinks his bigotry should be applauded.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          new-man: Your god loving? What special brand of crack are you smoking? Loving is not having a Britney Spears moment of 'oops I did it again' and ordering the mass slaughter of all of its creation. Loving is not allowing your only child to be nailed to a cross for the 'sins' of those not yet in existence. Love is not instructing rape victims to marry their attackers. Love is not impregnating a virgin against her will. Love is not instructing people on how to handle slaves.
          Have you actually read the bible or you like your brother Rainy and merely pick and choose the parts that make you feel warm and fuzzy? If warm and fuzzy is what you need, buy a cat...at least it won't show to the pits of hell for not believing in it.
          Your idea of love in very skewed.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
    • Akira

      Bigotry and intolerance should never be applauded. It doesn't matter what source it comes from.

      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 12:28 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Blah, blah, blah! You have no clue.

        Sweep the pavement! More useful.

        May 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • Doris

          Blah blah blah youself, Rainy. Why don't you go flagellate yourself. Maybe it will help you see more clearly the wretchedness and sanctimonious perversion of your world view.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • Akira

          Hairshirt time, Doris? After all, the outrage over a Muslim asking him a question Muslums ask all the time seems to have unhinged him.
          I am still shaking my head over that one.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Way to show the christard love there rainy! I see you never matured past the age of 5.

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

          Better to be a believing infant than an unbelieving heap of flesh controlled by a minimalist brain.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          oh rainy, you immature child...I'm not of a minimalist mind-you're the one admitting to immaturity and you show your lack of intelligence with every post-look in the mirror to see the one with a minimalist mind...believing in your god is not a smart thing-it merely proves how truly gullible and weak you are.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          I don't give it a damn! Full stop!

          May 31, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Of course you don't care...you're a hateful ass who doesn't care about anyone or anything but your imaginary friend...stop wasting valuable oxygen please and do the world a favor-go meet your imaginary friend!

          May 31, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • Akira

          An infant is unknowing until it is taught what to believe.
          Do you know anything outside of your ken of bigotry, Rainier?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
      • Akira

        Then I suggest you get out there and sweep the pavement, since you cannot refute what I have just said.

        And you are once again wrong; it is you who distort the word of God to justify your bigotry.

        May 31, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
  18. bostontola

    Believers in God,

    Is God something?

    If no, then we agree.
    If yes, then either something came from nothing, or something is eternal. Either equally applies to the universe.

    May 31, 2014 at 10:33 am |
  19. bostontola

    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—
    I don't see this matching the Jesus story at all. Thousands were crucified, many much more brutally than Jesus. There was no mention in the NT that Jesus was disfigured beyond recognition.

    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.
    - not seeing a good match here either. Jesus was like many other rabbis, liked by some hated by others.
    53:4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
    –Where in the NT does it say God struck and afflicted Jesus? I thought Jesus was God. Isaiah was referring to a man, not a God.
    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.
    - Finally a decent match. Poor track record so far.
    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.
    - Nothing specific to Jesus.
    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.
    –Not a bad match.
    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.
    - Not a bad match.
    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.
    –Poor match to Jesus.
    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.
    –Very poor match, clearly talking about a man not a God, plus no offspring (please don't get poetic and say we're all his offspring).
    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.
    –Not a bad match, but still sounds like he is referring to a man.
    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.
    –Could mean anything, not specific to Jesus.

    Overall, I'd say this is very poorly matched to the Jesus story. Isaiah seemed to be talking about a man, not a God or the son of God. I'm sure people will 'interpret' the words to make them fit, that isn't hard to do.

    May 31, 2014 at 10:08 am |
    • new-man

      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—
      I don't see this matching the Jesus story at all. Thousands were crucified, many much more brutally than Jesus. There was no mention in the NT that Jesus was disfigured beyond recognition.

      The reason Jesus was disfigured beyond recognition was what was used to beat Him had hooks and other sharp objects attached to it, that once a person was hit with it, it would have dug into their flesh, and once the soldiers pulled the whip back it would have removed chunks of flesh from the person.
      They were only going to beat Jesus then release Him. However, after they struck the first blow and pulled away chunks of flesh, they expected some form of protestation/or crying out in pain from Him. He bore all this without a word. Do you not think, this was what angered them more than anything, that they could not get a response from Him. It was this act that Pilate was convinced that Jesus was who He said He was and Pilate became afraid.

      Jesus was all man when He was on earth. He was a man who knew how to live from heaven to earth. A man who had complete trust, and faith in God the Father. He could do what He did because though He was on earth He lived in the presence of God – this is not an impossibility for anyone. He showed us the way.
      Enoch did it and was translated.

      May 31, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • new-man

        I should also add Enoch did it at a time when the fullness of the Spirit of God [Holy Spirit/Wisdom] was not yet released to mankind. So imagine how much easier it is now – all because of Jesus' Sacrifice (which I know you still don't get, but you will eventually).

        May 31, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • bostontola

        new-man,
        Please provide me the NT references that describe the hooks, etc as you report.

        May 31, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • new-man

          The Scripture doesn't give a detailed description of the hooks. However, your history books do.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • Doris

          Oh really, newman? Which history books would those be?

          May 31, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • bostontola

          Exactly. We know others were subjected to terrible things, worse than straight crucifixion, many were straight up crucified. Your account of what happened to Jesus is pure speculation. Isaiah said disfigured worse than any man ever. I would think if Jesus was the worst disfigurement ever, so bad he didn't look like a human anymore, that would make the NT.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • new-man

          boston,
          as I've said numerous times, it's the Holy Spirit [Wisdom] who narrated Scripture and saw it fit to report in Psalms and in Isaiah as prophecy what would happen to Messiah. These things did happen and confirmed by scripture. The fact they weren't confirmed in the NT to your satisfaction is unfortunate for you. In all seriousness, you can ask the Holy Spirit to clarify the things which you are having difficulty with, and you'll be surprised- you will have clarification. Just ask.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • bostontola

          new-man,
          All I'm saying is that Isaiah is not prophesizing Jesus. Maybe Isaiah was talking about something else. Is everything in the OT prophesy of the NT? No. Christianity's validity doesn't rest on Isaiah being prophesy.

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

          @new-man,
          "These things did happen and confirmed by scripture. The fact they weren't confirmed in the NT to your satisfaction is unfortunate for you. "

          I'm confused, was the disfiguration of Jesus "beyond recognition" confirmed by the NT or not?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
      • Akira

        You have an awareness of Roman torture devices, but as it isn't mentioned in the NT, there isn't any reason to believe that it happened to Jesus.
        NT purists would disagree with you.

        May 31, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • new-man

          I believe the WORD of God.
          you believe NT purists. I'm not here to change your mind.

          Peace.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • Akira

          I said NT purists would disagree with you.
          I am sure you are aware of those who claim that if it is t specificly in Scripture, it isn't true. You cannot be unaware of these folks.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          no new-man, you believe the word of man with no way of proving your god said anything...such a foolish stance to take.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • igaftr

          newman
          God is inspiring me to write this...right now. God is inspiring me to tell you that men wrote the bible, and never forget that.

          See, you have no way of knowing if that is true, or not. But that is all you have to go from with your bible as well. It is obvious men wrote it, anything more is simply baseless belief.

          Sad really, that those who want to believe so badly, they will throw out obvious logic for their baseless beliefs. The lengths believers will go to in their minds to try to rationalize it, well it is simply irrational.

          June 1, 2014 at 8:28 am |
  20. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Jude (from the Bible)

    14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. 17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

    Ain't you astonished, bostontola, that you are included in the Bible – regretably amongst the people which will be condemned.

    May 31, 2014 at 9:30 am |
    • gulliblenomore

      I'm included as well....but since I believe the bible is a book of mythology and fairy tales, I really don't give a fvck....

      May 31, 2014 at 9:40 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        I believe that you are a junky dead from the neck up.

        That is the reason why you are not able to understand the Bible.

        You are the problem, not the Bible.

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

          Rainy....that's what all delusional people claim. I am perfectly happy in my 'ignorance' of your bible. Because, try as you might, there is absolutely no way that you can prove it was 'divinely inspired by your god'. Good luck trying though. In the meantime, if you truly believe the c-rap that it is telling you, I would strongly advise you to start actually living by it and stop being such a p-rick. I doubt, however that you have either the intellect or the ability to do such.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:00 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Meaningless!

          May 31, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Meaningless only to you. Everybody else on this blog knows you are a pompous, pretentious, lying sack of sh-it. I just thought I would chime in to let you know that there is one more now that agrees with all of them. You really might want to take a mirror to your life, unless you really don't give a c-rap how you are perceived. Personally, I think there is no hope for you.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          You as an inmate of the hell should not talk about hope.

          Hope is a meaningless word within the hell.

          May 31, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Rainy....you are wrong about that. For instance, I hope that people like you are soon gone from society. I hope that people like you finally wake up to the insanity that you reference your life to. I hope that I don't have to deal with nuts like you out in the real world. I hope that the government finally decides to tax churches one day so that the pastoral frauds will pull up their tent stakes and move on. I have lots of things I hope for....just because they do not fit your agenda does not mean they are without purpose.

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

          jeebus is waiting to spray his gooey goodness all over your face, rainy

          don't disappoint him (again)

          May 31, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Wow rainy, hypocrisy is your best ally in this world. Such a judgemental little bigot. Have you ever heard of the golden rule?

          May 31, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Don't talk about things you don't understand.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          rainy: First off, you don't have the right to tell anyone what they can and can't talk about. Second, you have no clue what people know outside of the fact that you disagree with them if they don't pay heed to your delusions. You are a hypocritical bigot-that is a fact. Most Atheists were Christian at one and after a thorough examination of the bible realized it is nothing more than stories imagined by man to control the gullible fools of this world and doesn't hold much fact and most certainly doesn't have pertinence in todays world. And once again, you speak of science but yet apparently know nothing about it...so skip the hypocrisy and stop pretending to be better than others when in fact you're a wretched person not worthy of the apparent heaven you think exists and not worthy of breathing the same oxygen we do.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Ain't you a Nazi?

          May 31, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          First off Rainy; Ain't is not a word! Dictionaries are useful-learn to use one. Second, No, Nazi is what you are...not me. I do not for one second support what my ancestors did-that would be you. Grow up and stay away from those innocent children-you're too much of a risk.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • Akira

          No, you're the one who embraces Nazi ideology when gays are concerned.
          Your words betray your intent.

          May 31, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          You are the real Nazis.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • Doris

          Rainy: "Don't talk about things you don't understand."

          lol – that's the kind of statement one expects from a charlatan trying to sell miracle water to their audience.

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

          You are the real Nazis.

          Why? Because we point out your hypocrisy and bigotry?

          Bigotry and intolerance should never be applauded. It doesn't matter what source it comes from.
          Hiding behind the Bible to do it is innately cowardly.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Keep on kissing the pope's a-ss.

          Ain't I right that that is a pleasure for you?

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

          Now the pope? You're all over the place with your hate, Rainy. You're like a pigeon with diarrhea.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Why shouldn't I reject the forerunner of the anti-Christ?

          Do you even love this spiritual monster?

          May 31, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • Akira

          I am as much of a Catholic as you are, Rainier.
          Your childish insults are indicative of the bigot you are.

          You embody all of the stereotypes that give Christians a bad name.
          Fred Phelps would be proud to call you son.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Akira

          Do you even love this spiritual monster?

          Jesus called upon you to live everyone, have you forgotten that? And you call yourself faithful to Christ?

          Bigot.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          You have no clue of the Bible.

          Have you never read how Jesus called the Scribes and Pharisees snakes and vipers? Jesus himself is true love. Therefore love called them snakes and vipers.

          Love is a person, Jesus (love is not always our distorted notion of love) We love, if our will is submitted to Christ in us. Christ has a special handling for heretics and false prophets. If we allow Christ to act through us, we are ruled by love.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • Doris

          Blah blah blah. Next minute these same type of Christians talk about Jesus' "sword". There is very little evidence of anything Jesus allegedly said. Differing accounts by unknown authors -and it's all hearsay to boot! LOL. But it does give Rainy's little mind a little euphoric feeling of control and superiority to think he has the right take on all the myth. Pitiful, just pitiful.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Akira

          You are the one that distorts the Bible to fit in with your bigoted idealology.

          Words have impact. Your words are more venomous than any viper's.

          Your version of love us anything but what Jesus intended.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          You should not confuse your thoughts with God's thoughts. You think like Daddy Rat. He even implies that his thoughts would be God's thoughts.

          May 31, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Akira....his words mean absolutely nothing to me....he is a talking p-rick, actually.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • Akira

          You should not confuse your thoughts with God’s thoughts. You think like Daddy Rat. He even implies that his thoughts would be God’s thoughts.

          You should read what you just wrote carefully; you are presuming to speak to Gid's thoughts yourself.

          It is amusing to me that you think God would support your hate.

          It also appears that you have a reading comprehension problem. I said I am as much if a Catholic as you are.
          I don't know who Daddy Rat is; if you are talking about Ratzinger, he's one of your own.

          It would appear you pay much more attention to what the Pope says than I do; I guess it's hard to leave your roots behind, isn't it?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • Akira

          Gull, I meant in terms of his proselytizing.
          I don't think one person would be converted based on his arrogant, bigoted, sanctimonious, condescending view of Christianity.

          Any thinking person would run far, far from that. He does more for atheism than Christianity, "full-stop".

          May 31, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Akira....I would imagine just about everyone would run far away from this nutbag....he really does have some serious character flaws that I think are unfixable.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          @Rainer The problem here is you, you are an obvious troll, you aren't here to debate just to try and wind people up by calling them names. And it's no wonder only the 'Special few' big headed idiots 'understand' the bible. It's a complete load of confused babble that struggles to be entertaining let alone informative. Why don't you try reading a true work of genius like Harry Potter? You'd learn a lot more from that.

          May 31, 2014 at 4:45 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.