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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. Dyslexic doG

    Since the Bible and the church are obviously mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust them to tell us where we are going?

    – jsharp861

    June 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
  2. SeaVik

    I do not like them
    in a house.
    I do not like them
    with a mouse.
    I do not like them
    here or there.
    I do not like them
    anywhere.
    I do not like green eggs and ham.
    I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

    June 4, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I love that Doctor SeussVik.

      June 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
  3. Science Works

    Hey fred the classic bible belt – do you agree with this ?

    Alabama Bible school puts Hitler quote on billboard to encourage youth indoctrination
    By David Edwards
    Tuesday, June 3, 2014 11:54 EDT

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/03/alabama-bible-school-puts-hitler-quote-on-billboard-to-encourage-youth-indoctrination/

    June 4, 2014 at 10:36 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      WOW, that is way to close to me. But as a Crimson Tide fan that gives me some material to make some Auburn jokes.

      June 4, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
      • Science Works

        There is a few jokes there – one might be fred ?

        When I was at Ft Rucker (back in the 70's I thought it was scary then seeing all the billboards with a bible verse – not much has changed it looks like >

        Hey fred have you heard about the crickets that do not sing ?

        June 4, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
  4. truthfollower01

    An hon-est que-stion to skeptics.

    Let's say hy-po-the-ti-cally that I or another Christian were able to answer every one of your qu-estions to your s-ati-sfa-ction. If this were to oc-cur, would you b-ow your knee before God and follow Jesus as The Lord of your life?

    Please be hon-est either way in your re-spo-nse.

    June 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      Sorry for all of the below posts. Didn't mean to duplicate.

      June 3, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        "able to answer every one of your qu-estions to your s-ati-sfa-ction."

        There are no verbal answers that could come out of your mouth that would convince anyone of anything supernatural without actual evidence of said supernatural phenomenon, unless they already want to believe your honeyed words. No matter how flowery you make them without evidence they are nothing but swine spit. You could stand there and say all day "I've seen God! I've felt God! I've experienced the power of God!" and your words would have less weight than a Carnival barker daring you to go in and see the monster space alien from beyond!

        June 4, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • kermit4jc

          and thus you lose the debate since youreno longer debating..when I was.....

          June 4, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          At least the carnival barker has a short guy in a monster suit in a dark tent he can show people, the religious have nothing but pointy hatted pontifs and s e x abuse scandals to display.

          June 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
    • zhilla1980wasp

      any Christian being capable of answering my questions to my satisfaction that would make me for-go my rational portion of my mind is strictly impossible.

      no matter of explaining an archaic book written thousands of years ago proves as much as if I had a time machine and brought any person from any other point in human history here. they would swear by their religious texts and practices.

      the thing that would convince me of a "super-being" would be if that being showed itself and displayed it's ability to cure in a whim all the world's problems.
      no more children starving to death.
      no more children suffering from abuse.
      no more women being abused.
      etc,etc,etc

      even then I would ask it to explain why it was hiding and what purpose was it to allow so much suffering if it could yawn and fix everything.........well that and which of the millions of gods ever thought up it exactly was.

      hint the Christian god, has no name........I guess all the good names were taken during the application process. lol

      June 3, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        showed itself and displayed it’s ability to cure in a whim all the world’s problems.<-sounds more like youre looking for entertainment than truth...seems pretty dishonest if you ask me

        June 4, 2014 at 2:03 am |
      • kermit4jc

        btw to get rid of l that is to get rid of sin and make people into puppets...is that what you want zhilla? God does not make peo[les decisions for them..what you see is depravity of man without God...and THIS world is temporary....there WILL be nno more starving and painm and such in the next life....

        June 4, 2014 at 2:05 am |
        • basehitter

          If god provides an afterlife with no pain and suffering, he should be able to arrange the same in this life. After all, he is all powerful and can do anything right ?

          June 4, 2014 at 6:56 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Heaven is not a matter of being good and going there..its a relationship with God..we spend this life in building that relationship..its not about having a good life with no suffering..it builds character..I know I know you may ask how does starving children bring character...Gods works to do things in his way..not what You expect....how do you build and grow if you have no suffering..no pain...and such? everything is hunky dory.....

          June 4, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....the Pope says even atheists can go to heaven if they are good people. Are you in a better position than the Pope to dispute that?

          June 4, 2014 at 9:40 am |
        • kermit4jc

          NOPE>.I not..GOD is in better position to say it..and NOWHERE in the Bible does it say atheists go to heaven..Im sorry...Ppope does not reprsetnt me or the church...The Pope is not the Bible nor is He God

          June 4, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....you are not god either. Thanks, but I think I trust the Popes opinion over yours.

          June 4, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Sir..as I said..the Bible does NOT say atheist go to heaven..thus the Pope is in the wrong...youtrust the Pope over the Bible? I did no claim to be God either..I read from Gods word...the pope did not when he said atheists go to heaven...there is absolutely nothing in the Bible to support his position....

          June 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...I understand now....you think the Pope has never read the bible. Or, he used context to determine what the bible meant. Quite a conundrum there.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          kermie there are so many flaws in your statement; however one truth.........
          after this life there won't be any pain,suffering or starvation............because death is what follows life. you can't feel anything if you don't exist anymore to feel anything.

          flaw 1) "god doesn't control people"
          seriously? your god is.......
          all knowing- literally means he knows everything you will ever think or do before he even created this universe.
          ( silence from your all-knowing god, is acceptance of suffering seeing he already knew what path humans would take.)

          all powerful- simple enough the "thing" created a universe from NOTHING. literally nothing was here at all and "god" snapped whatever body part passes for fingers when you have no body and MAGIC,POOF there was everything.

          all present- the thing is watching you every second of every day even though it knows already what you will be doing; seems kindof redundant to me so i guess he's either a perv or just really bored.

          what all that means is literally you have no free will to make any choices because your god set things in motion long before you were ever thought of; he pre-destined your parents to bang and pop you out and all the little naughty things you did......it was god's plan because being all powerful, all knowing, and all present leaves nothing to choice.

          June 4, 2014 at 6:56 am |
        • kermit4jc

          NO flaws...only in your argument all knowing- literally means he knows everything you will ever think or do before he even created this universe.<-God is not a puppet master..he does not make your decisions.. all powerful- simple enough the “thing” created a universe from NOTHING. literally nothing was here at all and “god<- better than YOU having NOTHING come from NOTHING caused by NOTHING lol....God is the cause..you have none..thus it is irrational.. God is a perv or he is bnored......why to YOu there is only one option? why not that He is participating in the life? watching you is not out of being a perv...and not out of boredom..

          June 4, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • kermit4jc

          and we do have free will....your argument that since God is all knowing negates that is ure ignorance since you are thinking only of this realm..and from your finite limited view

          June 4, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Just one more set of delusions to make kermi feel superior and show his true hatred for humanity. I'm wondering why he hasn't been locked in the rubber room of the local asylum yet.
          Tell us kermi, if you didn't have an imaginary supervisor that you use to determine right from wrong, who would you kill or rape first? If you're not capable of living without a god figure, you're not normal.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:34 am |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          "literally nothing was here at all "

          And you know that how?

          No one know what was before the Big Bang, so you are just spouting belief, and your belief is based on pure ignorance. You do not know if there was anything, or nothing, or what existed before the Big Bang, so all you have done is posted your wild speculation as if you know. You don't know.

          June 4, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I know what was here beforr bigbang....God..I know God...so thus not an opinion or belief thank you..its the scientists who are doing this...so youre talking to the wrong person anyhow

          June 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....prove it. Prove you know god.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          All-knowing would be fine, as long as God didn't use this knowledge to select only certain people to reveal himself to through miracles and the like. By doing that, he's messing with people's free will by making it easier for some to believe in him. It's like having a discussion about free will as it pertains to students cheating on an exam where only one of them has access to the actual test questions. Supposedly, you Christians have been allowed to peek at the answer, where we nonbelievers haven't.

          Maybe you should ask yourself how God supposedly knows that he knows everything? If something did escape his knowledge, he wouldn't know, right? All that God can claim, or anyone who believes in God can claim, is that God believes that he knows everything.

          June 4, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Giod does not select only certain people to reveal himself to...He reveals Himself to all....the problem is the person,and those like you are playing the blame game..blame the other person for YOUR troubles

          June 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "btw to get rid of l that is to get rid of sin and make people into puppets...is that what you want ..."

          Very preferable to eternal torture, wouldn't you say?

          June 4, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "Giod does not select only certain people to reveal himself to...He reveals Himself to all"

          But, as kudlak pointed out, he doesn't seem to reveal himself in an identically persuasive manner to everyone, so the opportunity to believe is not equal for all.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          he doesn’t seem to reveal himself in an identically persuasive manner <-again blaming God rather than yourselves...when the time comes you will have no excuse.....God wont buy your excuse....

          June 4, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Not placing blame, just pointing out that it's an unfair system.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          youre still placing blame on others....its very fair....its all up to YOu to make the decision...you have the mind to do so..ou have the capability to make the decisions....you cant say it is unfair.....

          June 5, 2014 at 2:17 am |
        • James XCIX

          Not everyone gets the same level of information (some get it first-hand, for example) on which to base their decision, so inherently unfair.

          June 5, 2014 at 7:57 am |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          "I know what was here beforr bigbang....God..I know God..."

          No you don't, but thank you for the shining example of self-delusion. You have no idea if there are any gods, no way for you to not only conclude your god, but to exclude the infinite number of other possibilities. You have convinced yourself that BELIEF is truth, and that "truth" you have convinced yourself of is actual reality.
          But there really is no way to KNOW that.
          Since you have so deftly displayed you delusion for all to see, perhaps you will see it for yourself, but I doubt it.
          I would suggest you go to a REAL college and learn REAL psychology. You haven't even gotten past thinking objectively, which should beone of your firth lessons...you clearly have not learned it.

          June 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and you sir have displayed how arrogant you are by telling people what they know and don't know....you are not me..your are not in my mind..andyou certainly are nO psychologist..so your stupid claim of being self delusional is presumptuous and arrogant

          June 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Actually, it's spot on.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          BY the way..MY degree is accepted by EVERYONE...so don't tellme the stupid little line of "going to a real college" that is shallow and pathetic

          June 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • igaftr

          By all means kermit, show how you have been not only able to confirm YOUR god exists, and secondly, how you were able to exclude ALL of the other possibilities, including the ones you have not yet conceived.

          I sent samples of your posts to several of the psychologists and psychiatrists at one of the local universities I am associated with. (7 of them to be exact. All are either professors or work in the hospital associated with the university.
          I asked them what they thought. Each one confirmed that you are self deluding, since you refuse to acknowledge that you could be wrong, and that you claim to know things, but have not met any criteria which would indicate knowledge ( confirming your god premise, or excluding all other possibilities) I am certain that I will take their word for it over yours.
          They also pointed out that Simpson University does not make doctors. The most is a masters in psychological counseling.

          June 4, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          rrrriiiiggght you are a liar...sorry to say...they would not have said that..again I work with psychologists and such and they know my beliefs..Im sorry..I do NOT believe for one minute your claim.....stop this stupid game of yours ok? thanks

          June 5, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          I believe igftar. Kermit....if you took a serious look at your posts, you could easily see how even untrained people would be able to conclude you are quite demented.

          June 5, 2014 at 8:18 am |
        • kermit4jc

          and did I say they made DOCTORS? THAT DOES not FRIGGING DISCREDIT THEM.....YOU ARE PRETTY ARROGANT

          June 5, 2014 at 2:00 am |
        • benhoody

          kermit; One thing I found is that you can always tell an athiest, but you can't tell them much.You are wasteing your time Kermit, the fear of the Lord is the beginning, just the beginning of wisdom, Athiests do not even believe in God let alone fear or respect him, they think they know it all and yet haven't even begun to have any true understanding when it comes to God. I think a couple are just playing with you and trying to upset you, just ignore them, your wasting your time, they reject God and mock him and so he has sent them strong delusion so they might believe a lie, an less they do repent and turn to them.

          June 5, 2014 at 5:37 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ben....you seem really sincere about your faith and that is fine...for you. However, I take issue with your claim about atheists. When it all is said and done, you don't know anymore than we do. You do not have any more cognitive reasoning abilities than I do. We are simply looking at all the facts and when you line them all up, just do not make any logical sense to us. No amount of gap filling or context will change our minds. We deal in facts, not ghost stories or illusions of grandeur. We have no need for your god and find him to be a bully, worthless, and quite unnecessary. Many of us, even if we ever discovered god was real, would never worship such a tyrant. But....we are not better than you nor are you better than us. So please, holster your holier-than-thou att-itude. It does not fly well here.

          June 5, 2014 at 8:43 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          If he's revealing himself to everyone, he's being way too subtle about it. If you're going to start pointing at nature, eyes, and little babies and calling them signs of God, you'll have to do better yourself.

          June 4, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Oh yes..blame God again...Im tired of your stupid game of making excuses....go ahead..make excuses then...don't come crying to me at the end

          June 5, 2014 at 2:01 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          No excuse, eh? Sounds like your God has set up the equivalent of one of those notorious speed traps, like that one in Florida.

          June 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • Akira

          Kermit, where did you get your PhD from?

          June 4, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          did I ever say I have a PHD???????????

          June 5, 2014 at 2:09 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Akira: He stated awhile ago that he attended Simpson U-a private Christian university located in California. That should tell you a great deal about his lack of intellect.

          June 5, 2014 at 6:23 am |
        • igaftr

          sorry kermit, not lying. Two of the psych guys are on my golf league, and I talked with them for a while on the course last night. One of them ( Jewish) explained some of the inherant problems dealing with religious beliefs in the field of psychology. Religious beliefs are a sort of sacred ground, and much of religious belief mirrors many symptoms of psychological disorders, but you need to walk on eggshells when disorder and religion meet. Religious belief is not necessarliy a disorder, but mirrors certain disorders, so can be indistinguishable. The way my jewish friend explained it was belief in god and following religion is fine, but all things in perspective, that you need religion to guide you, not lead you.
          The statement you made saying you believe you know things you cannot know, is troubling.

          They said in your case, you claerly are self deluded, simply for the fact you are not willing to admit, or you cannot see that you could be wrong. You also could not possibly be sure, cannot know, and I gave you examples of why you cannot know, you could not answer the questions, but my questions, that you could not possibly answer, you never addressed. More indication of the religious delusion. They expressed concern for anyone with what they referred to as the god delusion, working as a counselor, since you clearly are accepting belief as if it were truth, and that is extremely dangerous. They did mention that if you are able to separate your beliefs from your work, you may funtion as a counselor, but said it was unlikely in your case. They did laugh quite a bit when I showed them you claiming I am arrogant, while you claim to know god. (The ultimate arrogance) They mentioned that you might benefit from one or more of several books that explore the dangers of religous belief in the field of psychology, especially those who deal with patients and clients.

          Sorry kermit, but not lying.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:04 am |
        • kermit4jc

          sorry but you are....I said I work with them all day....I worked with over 100 of them in my career..and ont one of them thinks IM delusional.....the ones you went to are basibng it on mere posts and shouldn't even be saying such things...basically it is unethical for them to say it from a few posts on blogs......so thus serisouly their testimony can be discounted

          June 5, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Is kermie claiming to work as some sort of therapist? If so I find that highly troubling. I doubt anyone who writes such fragmented, poorly spelled, poorly worded along with the constant inclusion of either "..." or shouting with capital letters. Just purely based upon sentence structure I believe kermie may have attended Simpson U but likely flunked out because not even a hard line Christian college would pass such idiocy off as education.

          June 5, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • kermit4jc

          and you sir make a verypoor judgement..This is NOT a formalblog and I respond to others in a short amount of time....try to think about alternatives...you sound pretty bigoted by your response

          June 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • FranticRed

          God being all-knowing is incompatible with free will. For God to know what you will do, what you will do must be predetermined. This means that one of the following must also be true for God to be all-knowing: 1) God is a puppetmaster (and you have said he is not), 2) There is another puppetmaster out there besides God, or 3) We are basically organic computers running on a code that has limited possibilities. Either pick one of those, or accept that God cannot be all-knowing.

          June 5, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • FranticRed

          Correction: cannot be all-knowing if free will exists.

          June 5, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • Akira

          kermit4jc
          did I ever say I have a PHD???????????

          Sorry. Should have been PsyD.

          June 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • Akira

          In every state, to practice psychology, one has to be licensed; to be licensed to practice psychology in California, one must either have a PhD or a PsyD is phycology. Otherwise, one is not a Psychologist.
          Even a Masrers isn't good enough to be able to label oneself a Psychologist.

          June 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
    • basehitter

      Answers from you or another Christian wouldn't do because it's just words. I would become a believer if:
      1. God appeared to everyone on the planet in a way that there was no doubt as to what what he was, like the sun. We all see the sun and all agree about its basic nature.
      2. God healed the sick, fed the hungry, and brought about world peace. Or provided a rational explanation why he refuses to do so . Free will is not good enough.
      3. Explain why he refuses to answer prayers for help from desperate and worthy people.

      I those things happened, I might be convinced a god actually exists.

      June 4, 2014 at 4:05 am |
      • kermit4jc

        seems to me that you believe blind people cannot believe in anything..even other peole existing since they cannot see you or others....second God DoES do miracles today..He still heals the sick and all...and third..."3. Explain why he refuses to answer prayers for help from desperate and worthy people." are You all knowing? Do you know ALl things and have a ceretain plan for the human race? I don't think you do...thus even IF God did explain it to you..you stil wouldn't get it....what You are attempting to do is to fully understand a God and His ways...an ALL knowing God ....you are incapable of being all knowing.....BTW God DoES answer prayers...EVEN a NEGATIVE is an answer If I ask for poison to kill myself..God will say NO...that is an answer....answers are NOT exclusive to yes only

        June 4, 2014 at 4:45 am |
        • Reality

          Sounds like Kermit is the "all-knowing" one?

          And Kermit how goes that perusal of the references regarding the historical Jesus. Said references were provided some weeks ago. Without said perusal, all of your comments will remain moot.

          June 4, 2014 at 6:27 am |
        • basehitter

          According to the bible Jesus appeared before people after his death. Why not now ? Millions of people pray for world peace. No reply. Children at sandy hook prayed for gods help as they were being slaughtered.,no reply. Why does god allow hundreds of thousands of people to die in earthquakes and tsunamis ? If he existed he could prevent all this pain and suffering but he doesn't. If people can live without suffering in heaven why not on earth ? All these questions make sense with one simple answer. There is no god.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:05 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Millions of people pray for world peace.<-never will be world peace..never..people are evil doint yo uknow that? people will make evil decisions.....this life will never see world peace....also..we ALL die..no one gets out of this life alive inthis realm...second..again pain has a purpose..to you it seems it doesn't...

          June 4, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "He still heals the sick and all"

          That's a blatant lie for which there is plenty of evidence against. We know that praying for healing, instead of doing the right thing and seeking out REAL help is damaging and thus the reason people are sitting in jail. It's thinking like yours that causes too many children to die needlessly....then again, you have made it obvious that you don't give a rats ass about humanity or the benefits of science-ignorance at best.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:21 am |
        • Reality

          Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases: (And who also did not get their questions answered)

          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 4, 2014 at 7:23 am |
        • kermit4jc

          we ALL die eventually!!!!! None of us get out of it alive! We are nOT here for good..it is a TEMPORARY place! and I said not ALL prayers are answered with a "yes" ..especially prayers of eternal life on this side...

          June 4, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....god does not heal the sick, doctors do. Nothing ever happens that would not have happened naturally, which is why no human being has ever re-grown a severed limb. God either does not exist, or he is worthless.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:13 am |
        • kermit4jc

          regrown limb...putting the ba higher...dishonest argument..plus did I say God directly heals the sick all the time? no..God uses people in his works...not cause he cant do it..but we are social animals helping one another...we are not islands in the stream here..alone for ourselves only

          June 4, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...dishonest answer? Only to you, of course, because you don't like the answer.

          June 4, 2014 at 10:00 am |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..I don't like dishonest arguments. Of course

          June 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...,still only your opinion, which I will note from your previous posts, is quite worthless.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Why is regrowing a limb a dishonest argument? If it ever happened, it'd be something that we honestly could not explain, and would be far more worthy a thing to be called "miracle" than just an above-average outcome, right?

          If God's big thing is just getting people to work together as social animals, then how is that a better explanation than the evolutionary one for why social animals cooperate?

          June 4, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I felt I made myself pretty clear s to why it was dishonest..youre raising the bar.....on healing...people gethealed by God..butthat does not satisfy you...if a limb is regrown..I doubt highly that you would believe as well.....healing is healing..if other healings don't satisfy you...then regrowhth of a limb wont either..you will just raise the bar again...typical

          June 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Yet, people have claimed that God saved individuals from people with evil intentions. When Ariel Castro's victims were found alive some people claimed that God had answered their prayers, but thousands of young women will never be found despite their loved-one's prayers. So, the question is, why does God supposedly save some, but not others? If it's supposed to be some kind of "sign" you'd think that he'd express himself in something distinguishable from a statistical average, wouldn't you?

          You are right, however, in that there will never be world peace, ... as long as resources aren't equally distributed, anyway. The only way to do that would be to form a single world government which, conveniently, many Christians warn against as the ultimate evil to ever possibly befall the world. It's almost as though they're afraid of the possibility of humanity achieving equality and peace, maybe because it would render their beliefs obsolete?

          Of course, some Christians do have an ultimate plan for world peace in the form of King Jesus returning to conquer the entire planet, and execute (or torture) all who oppose his iron will. Perhaps you can explain how that would be any different than a world where Hitler or Stalin managed to defeat everyone?

          June 4, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Yes..gdo works in ALL things..some people he saves such as those women kidnapped by that guy ariel...sometimes he doesnot save them....all things work in HIS plan that HE sees....you hwoever are looking at it from ignorant standpoint as youdont see all things working together..and as far as the one world government thing..give me a break! youre putting a band aid on the problem..the problemis HUMANITY! Humans hate.....suffering comes from evil people...children starve causeof evil people....children get hurt cause of evil people....everything You do affects another....and sometimes YOUR actions WILL be negative to another.....it aint gonna happen

          June 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....are you really that nuts? What is the purpose of letting those girls go through 10 years of torture before saving them? That is one of the most silly things I have ever heard you say.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I don't know..IM NOT God..but I know God works in HIS ways..not YOUR ways (Thank God) IM not nuts..IM justtrusting knowing God knows what He is doing..sounds silly to you cause yuoare not all knowing and such

          June 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...no, I'm not all knowing, but I do know one thing for sure....if I were truly a god, I sure would not have let those girls suffer for ten years! Your god is a worthless p-rick.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so suffering is worthless? how do you grow and mature then>? youmake mistakes and learn from them (NOT saying that the women made mistakes, however this cn help them to mature) you are judging God based on ignorance..to YOu it seems worthless...and as you admitted yu oare not all knowing with a plan....and I thank God everyday that YOu are not him

          June 4, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit.....uh yes....suffering is quite useless. I didn't even need to read past that part.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so accidently touhing a hot stove will not make you learn nd it is useless? ok..fine....deny realities of this life.....go find someplace where you can have no painin your life so you can coddle yourself

          June 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....yeah, let's compare touching a hot stove to 10 years of torture. And, it would be infinitely better to never touch a hot stove.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          mygod you are pretty dense.....touching a stove..sure... few seconds of pain...but it still stands to reason..I have suiffered from bullying because of my disabilities....and because of that..IM stonger, able to rise abive and show thee guys forgivness, giving them a taste of what forgiving can be and thus leading thenm to God...plus those whom I work with can be insoired and rise aboive their obstacles.....so I guess again you are not in touch wih reality and how things work in this life...you need to get out more often

          June 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....for such a supposed Christian, you sure are a d-ick. I am getting unbelievably tired of you insulting me for not agreeing with your silly points. I think I'm done now.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and while youre there..I suggest you read "The Gift Of Pain" by Paul Brand and Philip yancey....pain IS godo..if youdidnt feel pain you would not have removed your hand from the hot stove...youd then leave it there to destroy the skinon yourhand

          June 4, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Jesus will bring peace by getting rid of evil....not cause of "iron will" God is a JUST God.....sounds almost as if youwant Hitler backthen eh?

          June 4, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Reality

          If there were an all-merciful god, we would all die peacefully in our sleep. Obviously, this is rarely the case.

          June 4, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          "people gethealed by God"

          Stop lying. You do not have a direct cause and effect relationship...not only do you not have causation, you don't even have a correlation.

          There are people who BELIVE they are healed by god, but that is simply assumption on their part. PLease show the direct cause and effect relationship, otherwise admit you are lying.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          sorry.but I know people got healed by God..I did as well...say what you want.....you will not convince me of what I actually experienced myself...

          June 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....you got healed naturally. You are not more special than those who do not get healed.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          lol gulli..excuses excuses..you are nOT mydocttor (thank God) you don't know about my healing...youre pretty arrogant

          June 4, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....nope, I'm no doctor, but I do know for a fact that you can not draw a correlation between your god and you being healed. You were healed naturally. That's not arrogance by the way. Produce the proof and I will take it back.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I can make the correlation cause I know God.....I have attempted to prove God to you..and God has done so as well..but being the skeptic you are....anyting I say wont help ....God is the best proof...He could do it better than I can

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

          Kermit....that's ok....I knew you could not prove that god was the reason for your cure. In your mind it was, but nowhere else. And I need more proof than your imagination

          June 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          right..I cannot prov to someone whos got their fingers in their ears going la la la la la...kinda hard to do so...

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

          Kermit....it's quite simple really. What is your proof outside of your imagination?

          June 4, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • otoh2

          kermit,
          "if other healings don't satisfy you...then regrowhth of a limb wont either..you will just raise the bar again."

          Gee, one would almost feel sorry for this "God", if he existed – totally stymied and helpless about proving his existence to everyone...!

          June 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          God isn't helpless..we are.....God doesn't coerce people into believing him..you want it..youget it..if you refuse..then so be ith..God cannot make YOUR decision for you..He gives you the dignity to make your own mind

          June 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • igaftr

          " know people got healed by God"
          So by all means, where is the direct cause and effect relationship ( this would require PROOF of the existance of YOUR god)
          without it, you simply spout belief as if it were real, which shows your self delusion.

          June 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          What makes you believe that any god is involved? What has become apparent is that cancers can sometimes go into remission naturally, nearly frozen children can recover from long periods of cardiac arrest, and that modern medicine can heal people that even Jesus couldn't in the Gospels.

          Of course, if limbs were to start regrowing spontaneously such an unusual thing would have to be investigated to determine the actual cause. It would be a complete fallacy to just presume that any particular god, pixie, advanced alien, or witch were the cause, wouldn't it?

          June 4, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Bible does not say Jesus couldn't heal...youre probably alluding to a passage where BECUASE of the peoples UNBELIEF..Jesus did noT heal them....it was a waste of time..he wasn't there to be a side show...His miracles were to back up his claims of being God....and if they didn't believe...then no healing would help them..

          June 5, 2014 at 2:04 am |
        • basehitter

          God doesn't answer prayers even though your holy book says he does.

          John 14:14: “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

          Why not? ,because there is no god to answer prayers,

          June 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I seen God answer prayers..and even NEGATIZVE ones are ANSWERS duh.... btw you have taken this prayer thing out of context..there are conditions about the prayers as well...having to obey God and such....

          June 5, 2014 at 2:10 am |
        • kudlak

          basehitter
          Do you know the popular way many of them explain the hit-or-miss way their prayers get answered? Apparently, what prayers God doesn't answer with an immediate "yes", he answers with either a "no" or a "later", which would leave many people hoping all the way to their deathbeds that their answer wasn't actually a "no", wouldn't it?

          What these folks also fail to realize is that, for anything that a person wants, it will either happen right away, later, or not at all. You can get the exact same results no matter which god you pray to, you wish upon a star, or do nothing at all.

          June 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • basehitter

          It's amazing how Kermit seems to know exactly what god thinks and how god feels about such a wide variety of issues. How does Kermit know what is in the mind of the invisible all powerful creator of the universe ? He doesn't. He is just making stuff up to suite his own personal vision and desire of what he wants his god to be.

          June 5, 2014 at 3:09 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Basehitter.....Kermit is extremely deluded, but takes that delusion to insane levels with his constant attempts to try and demean posters that disagree with him. I am fairly certain he does have some mental issues, but am absolutely sure he has anger issues. I have tried to engage him in intellectual discussions before, but he always goes over the edge at some point. He is a good poster to avoid.

          June 5, 2014 at 8:25 am |
        • kermit4jc

          intellectual??? you cry FOUL when I say context and bring up context..yet YOU NEVER once providd anything to back it up! and you want to say intellectual???

          June 5, 2014 at 9:22 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....absolutely! You tend to use context as some type of broadsword, waving it around as if it answers every question. It never answers the question of why an omnipotent being could not have foreseen the potential issues for future generations. You want to be disingenuous and claim it is lazy on our part for not studying the bible, but that leaves too much open for interpretation. A real god would have made the bible stand the test of time. This one simply has not.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • kermit4jc

          more excuses..I don't use context as a broadsword...and I have NO idea why you people complain about context..I get the feeling people do NOT want context!

          June 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..God forsaw the potentioal issues..because we are HUMANS.....but he didn't leave it at that..he gave us brains to use....

          June 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          And yet there are still many different sects all claiming different elements about the bible and claiming they are right. So....any chance at all you could have misinterpreted the bible and be wrong about its meaning?

          June 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you are referring to minor stuff that we haven't even really discussed in this blog......and ones I have discussed are not minor either...most would agree withme....you see any of the other Christian bloggers disagree with what I say?

          June 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....most of the Christian bloggers here are not very bright. The wrap themselves up in the bible and use it like a shield to keep the bad medicine of science away. There is not a single Christian blogger here I've seen that I would take any advice from. My opinion based on posts I've read

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

          YOU guys make up stuff..WHO says I know the MIND of God??? I never said I know the MIND of God...I know what God has SAID..HUGE difference...so knock off the talk ok?

          June 5, 2014 at 9:15 am |
        • basehitter

          "Out of context ! ". The last refuge of a believer in check mate.

          June 5, 2014 at 3:21 am |
        • kermit4jc

          so IM guessing too that YOU don't believe in context to help youwith your communication skills....how pitiful...when I say out of context..I will ALWAYS SHOW the context....something NONE of yo uever done

          June 5, 2014 at 9:16 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          basehitter: C'mon....kermi's an expert in Gullibles Travels...lol...he claims to have studied it for 25 years year. He's living in an intellectual world of his very own...so special ;).
          I feel sorry for the children he claims to counsel. I once asked him and never did get an answer, how he would respond if one of the parents approached him about the child being gay-now kermi thinks being gay is a choice, so I'm rather curious to hear how he would handle it.

          June 5, 2014 at 8:41 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Are you saying that what God supposedly "said" in the Bible isn't necessarily what he actually feels? That the Bible could be filled with human prejudices and opinions posing as the Word of God?

          June 5, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • kudlak

          basehitter
          Yes, it's a paradox how some Christians can claim that no mere human could possibly comprehend the mind of God while still claiming to know that God is good, loves his "children" more than we love ours, is all about love while also disliking certain groups of people, and so on. Funny how that works, eh?

          June 5, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • kermit4jc

          God does not dislike certain groups..and we can SEE by Gods actions (sending Jesus to take our place so that we don't have to go to hell-he didn't wait for us to clean ourselves...he takes us as we are)

          June 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          He doesn't take us as we are. He only takes us if we somehow navigate the myriad contradictions in his little book of laffs and horrors and do every little thing he tells us ... and also we need to praise him endlessly and tell him how wonderful he is and how unworthy we are. Then he'll take whatever that is that we have become.

          June 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          how unworthy we are.<--whered youget that idea? certainly not the BIble..we HAVE worth.....we are made in His image....and in Romans it says "While we were still sinnners, Christ died for us" If we did not have ANY worth..God wold have witten us off.....sorry..but the unworthy stuff is BS and not in the BIble

          June 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          "youre probably alluding to a passage where BECUASE of the peoples UNBELIEF..Jesus did noT heal them."

          True, no placebo will work unless you believe that it will.

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

          NOT so..it wasn't that he tried to heal them and it did not succeed..it was that he would nOT do it cause of their unbelief

          June 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • Alias

          Kermit
          I think I understand now. You are one of those "experts" like Michelle Bachman & her hubby used to try to pray teenagers straight.

          June 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
      • kudlak

        kermit4jc
        " Jesus to take our place so that we don't have to go to hell"
        So, God couldn't just wave the need for a human sacrifice? Seems like they're his rules, and he could have just sent Jesus to inform people without stringing him up. Honestly, it really does just sound like a bit of theology cooked up for Jesus' failure as a Messiah and death on a cursed tree.

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

          So, God couldn’t just wave the need for a human sacrifice<-I mentioned time and again (and the Bible also says this) God does NOT change...He is a JUST God...not because he FEELS like being just..it is His very nature..he cannot change that..if he were to do as you suggested, hed no longer be God and not be faithful to us. for Jesus’ failure as a Messiah<-do you know what MESSIAH is one who would save.....Jesus died top pay for our sins..thats not failure..thats completing the work

          June 5, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      First off, you'll never personally provide evidence...so many before you have attempted and failed.
      Second, why would anyone pay heed to the god of the bible when it is shown as being a vindictive monster not worthy of respect? If your god were to show itself, it would be arrested and held for prosecution for its crimes against humanity.
      Third, why the need for such stupid questions constantly? You're not showing anything more than the fact that you're not able to think above a 5 year old level.

      June 4, 2014 at 7:55 am |
    • kudlak

      truthfollower01
      Nothing hypothetical about that at all. I'd say that pretty much everyone who was ever converted to Christianity did so because all of their questions about the religion were answered to their satisfaction. The question is whether skeptics would be satisfied with the usual answers?

      Unless they were backed up with some real evidence, you won't be as able to talk a skeptic into believing with just flowery words because that's how con men operate, isn't it?

      June 4, 2014 at 8:44 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I get many answers from believers that I am "satisfied" with, but I don't necessarily believe to be true. But by satisfied, did you mean convincing?

      June 4, 2014 at 8:55 am |
    • bchev

      truthfollower01,
      No. Even if a believer was able to answer all of my questions and provide actual repeatable evidence and make it convincing to a reasonable mind, through real evidence, that the "God" of the Bible did exist, I still wouldn't kneel, bow, or in any way worship him. I consider the actions of "God" in the Bible's story awful and immoral. Jesus was a nice enough guy, but just a small part of the big whole, so that's not going to make up for it. the Biblical "God" is a jealous, petulant, childish, murderous tyrant, and I would never follow him.

      June 4, 2014 at 9:53 am |
      • gulliblenomore

        Bchev.....that is an excellent point! If he really existed, that would make him the greatest mass killer in history! Completely unworthy of any praise.

        June 4, 2014 at 11:34 am |
      • tallulah131

        I concur. The god of the bible is a bully and a brat. I would not worship such a being.

        June 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          IM sorry you don't like Judges...Im sorry you don't like Holiness..Im sorry you hate consequences to your actions

          June 5, 2014 at 2:08 am |
        • tallulah131

          Oh, Kermit.

          It's funny how you say I hate the consequences for my actions, when I'm the one dealing with the consequences of everything I do, by myself, every day. I certainly don't hide behind the corpse of a crucified man and pretend that he will take care if it for me. You are nothing more than a puling sycophant, cowering before to a bloodthirsty myth. You are too weak to take responsibility for yourself. You fear dying so much, you will never live.

          June 5, 2014 at 4:10 am |
        • kermit4jc

          now we are drawing the focus off of you....excuses excuses...you don't like that you have to have consequences for yrou actions...I DO have consequences for MY actions...consequences are not always negative..I can have POSITIVE consequences..the FACT that YOU say God is a bully shows me you don't like having consequences given to you for your actions...don't try to hide on this

          June 5, 2014 at 9:18 am |
        • bchev

          kermit,
          I'm all for responsibility and accountability. I believe that accountability should be seen and experienced here and now in the world we live in too, not just as some nebulous "one day you'll be punished' that goes unseen or unproven by all (you know, the unkown afterlife). But I refuse to associate my morality with an unproven diety that whimsically murders masses of people, for what essentially amounts to thought crime. The "God" of the bible would be a bad person. Being a god does not excuse that. When I do something wrong, I understand comlpetely that I will face punishment; I'm okay with that, I'm a big boy now. The difference we have, and what I don't thin kyou'll be able to wrap your mind around, is that I don't think doubting "god" or questioning the divinity of Jesus is wrong. Until there's proof, it's okay to not believe.

          June 5, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • kermit4jc

          so I see you have not really read the bible->diety that whimsically murders masses of people, for what essentially amounts to thought crime.,-–its never whimsical or out of the blue he suddenly gets mad...for example the Canannites in Joshua....they were given 400 years!!!! And they rejected God......you are spouting out of ignorance of the BIble....

          June 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • hotairace

          What is the point of discussing the characteristics of an alleged but never proven being? Seems to me religion is nothing more than a giant "book club" for people with nothing better to do.

          June 5, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Very conservative Christians are beginning to discover that there are negative consequences to some of their actions as well, and they haven't exactly shown universal love over being judged either.

          June 5, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • tallulah131

          Kermit, you buffoon, your god is a bully for his actions in the bible: for killing Job's extended family in order to win a bet, for drowning almost everything in the world because his creation is not doing what he wants, for blaming humanity for the actions of their ancestors and demanding a human sacrifice instead of simple contrition. Your bible is rife with monstrous acts. Your god is a bronze age bully and you happily kiss his mythological ass.

          I accept accountability for my own actions right here, in reality. I was raised to be accountable for my own actions, no god needed. I was raised to believe in personal honor, not a personal god, and I am not afraid to stand up take whatever consequences my actions deserve. And I'll do it here, in this life, rather than wait for a pretend judgement in a pretend afterlife.

          I owe nothing to your petty god myth. Go hide behind the crucified corpse, little boy, since you aren't man enough to stand by yourself.

          June 5, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • benhoody

          tallulah, you sound like a little baby calling someone else names just because they don't believe like you do, especially when you can't prove they are wrong and don't understand why God did what he did. You simply sound like another self righteous hateful athiest.

          June 5, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so you dislike that God is Judge and one who gave you life..yo dislike he can take it...ok...that's yourj problem not mine..and its sad you see God in such a way thru your emotions and dislike..rather than intellectual

          June 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....my mother gave me life with the help of my father. No deity was involved.

          June 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and what about the rest of what I said..yuo don't like it thatGod is Judge huh? you have to instead say he is a bully and a brat for being a Judge eh?

          June 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....god is not my judge. He does not exist.

          June 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          DOUBLE talkfrom you....YUO say the God of Bible is abully and a brat..but when I respond you say he doesn't exist anyways.....you don't seem tolike my answers..so you dodgeand do double talk...

          June 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....I don't believe that Superman is real, but the Superman in the comic book is a really strong guy. Understand now?

          June 5, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          The only thing the religous have been doing for years is calling everyone they dislike "names". They call them "sinner" and "heretic" and "infidel" even though their God has no power to punish anyone. Sure many of your imagined Gods followers took their Gods law into their own hands and have been dishing out their own brand of judgement for thousands of years, thankfully we non-believers now have a way to express our beliefs without fear of being hit in the face or tared & feathered or worse. Yes, now some of us throw "names" back in your face in retaliation, but I find there is no better way to change bad behavior then to publicly shame those in religion who continue to lord it over others as if they are somehow Gods new chosen people.

          June 5, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          NBHA....I try not to use insults and name calling, but some of them are just unbelievably stupid....it is hard to hold back sometimes. Anybody that says they use logic to believe the bible are first on the list

          June 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • tallulah131

          When someone tells me I fear accountability, is angers me: I was taught that my actions have consequences and that I am responsible for them from the cradle. I don't even have a parking ticket on my record. I have always stood up and taken whatever the consequences my actions produce. It's my very nature.

          Why is personal responsibility so reprehensible to christians. Why do you need someone else to take the punishment for you, and why do you think I am a lesser person for not needing your scapegoat? There is not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of your god (or any god), so why in the world should your belief in that unsupported god grant you special consideration?

          I only insult where I am insulted, and this kermit person throws out insults as easily as he breathes. If defending myself makes you think I am childish, then fine. Your opinion is duly noted. And duly rejected.

          June 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          When someone tells me I fear accountability, is angers me: I was taught that my actions have consequences and that I am responsible for them from the cradle. I don’t even have a parking ticket on my record. I have always stood up and taken whatever the consequences my actions produce. It’s my very nature. <-but when it comes to God....you don't like accountability..you don't like that he is Judge of your actions...and thus you falsely and dishonestly call him a bully and a brat

          June 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          He's really not a bully and a brat....he's invisible, non-existent, and worthless. The god of the bible however was a bully and a brat

          June 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          youonly go by your emotions that the God of the Bible is a bully and a brat....nothing in there even implies such...you are blinded by your emotions

          June 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....wiping out the entire population of the world because you are unhappy with the results is being a bully and a brat.

          June 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          The problem is kermi that the consequences you speak of really don't have pertinence in the here and now, they pertain to your so-called afterlife. The consequences that are beneficial do not involve answering to a god, that you first must idolize or you're doomed regardless. This is almost full circle to the morals argument and it has been shown to you time and time again why secular morality is superior to the morality you claim to hold.

          June 5, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "but when it comes to God....you don't like accountability..you don't like that he is Judge of your actions..."

          Besides there being zero evidence of him even existing let alone being my judge, if he did exist it would completely remove any and all responsibility for any action any human takes, from Hitler to Mother Teresa. One can have their actions lain at the feet of the invisible Lord of evil Satan, and the other at the feet of the ever good and powerful God, humans have no power to control the supernatural so any blame or credit must be given to the supernatural players, that is, if you believe in them. As soon as you accept that neither Satan nor Jesus may exist and everything you have done is you alone, no supernatural power pushing you one way or another, that is when you can actually take responsibility for your actions.

          June 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          power pushing you one way or another, that is when you can actually take responsibility for your actions.<-don't know where youget all that BS from..no one is pusshing me into anything...and there isnothing Biblical about that either....youknow..serisouly..a lot of stuff I see on here from atheists (even they claim to been Christians for years) show me that a lot of what they have are TRADITIONS and not actual teachings of the Bible

          June 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Traditions? How?

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

          Traditions..like fire in hell (no such thing, since the Bible uses fire as a symbol of judgment) or purgatory (RCC tradition) that has no support in the BIble (The RCC had to add the apocrypha which had some writings to support the idea of purgatory) or how about this (I have not seen it here, but still it is a tradition that is not marked in the Bible) Three wise men...the Bible doesnot say how many were there...the number came up cause there were three diferent types of gifts given frankincense, myrrh and gold) ....and they were at Jesus birth (the Bible states it was about 2-3 years after Jesus was born)

          June 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • believerfred

          tallulah131
          "I concur. The god of the bible is a bully and a brat. I would not worship such a being."
          =>like your evangelical friends you never checked out bchev before applauding the complete wrong characterization of God.
          =>Let's begin with the basics. The Old Testament was written by the Hebrew and for the Hebrew who worshiped God because he saved them from bondage. God was their salvation, their King, their redeemer, their creator, their very hope and promise.
          =>the other nations did not fear God they feared the Israelits because God was with them. The other nations did not know the God of Israel.
          =>God created with the purpose to bless man in His image and indeed we have been given the gift of life. Those who desire God also are further blessed with the eternal presence of Glory of God a wonder we cannot even comprehend.

          June 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "don't know where you get all that BS from..no one is pushing me into anything..."

          If you are one of the few zealots who never gives credit to God nor place blame on evil spirits or the devil in the form of temptations or for things you have done then you are one of the few.

          June 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I never say "the devil made me do it" cause no one can make me do what I don't want to do, and besides is Unbiblical (that satan makes us do things) and God does not tempt anyone...however...I will say that the devil does influence people, but we still make the decision to let that influence shape our decisions or not.

          June 5, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • tallulah131

          "<-but when it comes to God....you don't like accountability..you don't like that he is Judge of your actions...and thus you falsely and dishonestly call him a bully and a brat"

          Kermit, I am not accountable to your god because I don't believe in your god. I don't believe in your god because there is not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of your god. There is nothing. Just a bunch of myths no more credible than the myths of the thousands of other gods worshiped by humanity.

          The god of your bible was created by members of a specific bronze age tribe, and he reflects the very primitive morals of that tribe. He's a brute and a bully, and nothing that a decent modern person would worship. But I don't fear him because I have absolutely no reason to believe he exists. Not a single reason.

          So when I say I'm accountable for my own actions, what I mean I am accountable to REAL people for my actions. I'll leave the pretend accountability to cowards like yourself, who hide behind a story of human sacrifice because you're not brave enough to accept the consequences of your actions for yourself.

          June 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          asI said to the other blogger...a god not from the bible would be a bully and a brute..the God of the bIble is not...He doesnot bully people..he is Judge..whether you believe he exists or not..the God in your mind is NOT the God of the Bible

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

          btw you are still misrepresenting my beliefs..I don't hide behind anything..I still pay for any consequences here on earth (If I murdered someone I would go to jail or face the death penalty) as for Jesus paying for my sins, there is nothing wrong with someone doing something for you (ever had someone pay your bill for you?) do you reject it and pay your own way? or do youtajke it as a gift from someone who cares for you?

          June 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • tallulah131

          As previously stated, the god of the bible is a bully because he killed Job's entire extended family to win a bet, because he wiped out almost everything on the planet because the humans he created did not please him, because he damned people for the sins of their ancestors, because he required a human sacrifice instead of honest contrition and for countless other atrocities listed in the bible. These are the acts of a bully. The god you worship is a bully.

          As for taking gifts, of course I will take gifts from the people whom I love and who love me. But if they offered to be tortured to death so that their bully dad didn't condemn me to eternal torment, I would absolutely say no. I would NEVER let someone else suffer in my place. That would be a horrible, childish, cowardly choice. The saddest thing about Jesus is that HE actually taught some decent things, but what christians focus on instead is his brutal death. His message gets lost in your eagerness to scoop up that golden ticket to heaven.

          You can think it's the best thing ever that someone was tortured to death so that you can live forever in some afterlife paradise. If you want to believe that, that's certainly your choice. But don't think that grants you special authority over those of us who look at the roots of your faith and realize it's all a very bloody, violent myth.

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

          youre still letting your emotions run this..not your intellect (cause of your constant reference to God being a bully) enough of the emotional and use intellect instead ok? you keep saying bully yet you cant even show He is a bully...this shows your ignorance of the God of the Bible....I will not argue against someone who keeps doing this

          June 6, 2014 at 2:04 am |
        • dandintac

          Tallulah is stating facts Kermit. Did God wipe out Job's extended family or not? Did God kill almost every living organism on the Earth in a flood or did he not? You cannot dismiss someone's argument as "emotional" when it is in essence, stating the facts. Did God wipe out the first born of Egypt–the innocent children rather than Pharoah and his inner circle? Did God turn poor Lot's wife into a pillar of salt just because she looked back? Facts are facts.

          If I discussed the evil of the Hitler and the Nazis by describing the vast numbers killed in the Holocaust–would you dismiss this as merely "emotional"?

          June 7, 2014 at 2:19 am |
        • kermit4jc

          @dandi....I know he stated facts...you need to read again..He is using EMOTIONAL appeal to say that God was wrong in doing this..rather than actual judgmental appeal (in court of law, judges don't judge based on feelings..but of the law) and Tall and others like hi m insist that God is doing this basedon feelings...God is doing it basedon judgment of law.....so thus my argjument stands...they are doing it based on emotions..not judgment and facts

          June 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

          June 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • believerfred

          tallulah131
          "the god of the bible is a bully because he killed Job's entire extended family to win a bet"
          =>That conclusion goes against what Job himself claims God to be and his revelation of God. Now, Jobs friends had the wrong image of God and as God said to them "You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has", lucky for them God accepted the prayer of Job to give them another chance.
          =>God did not "win a bet" as atheists like to term it. God restrained evil as God does since the beginning. Evil used what it could to destroy Job yet God turned it for the good of Job. This goes to the principle that God works all things for the good of those who believe. The entire Bible reflects the redemptive nature of God, the saving nature of God.

          June 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....even if it worked out fine for Job, I bet his slaughtered family wasn't too happy about it! And, no, it wasn't to win a bet, it was to prove a point to the devil.....a completely stupid and inane concept for anybody, including believers, to swallow. Your god should just have kicked the devils behind right back to hell. He let a Tom Sawyer event ruin Jobs families lives. Absolutely one of the stupidest stories in the bible.

          June 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • believerfred

          tallulah131
          "the god of the bible is a bully because he wiped out almost everything on the planet because the humans he created did not please him,"
          =>no, these were not the humans God created as when God finished creation he said it was very good and rested. These mutants became so wicked there was no possibility of redemption and that wickedness would only increase. The plan and purpose of creation is to bring about an eternal state of goodness that is separate from evil (i.e. a dimension where only goodness ever existed). The flood story is the expression of all that is not of God being cleansed by water and washed away or as the Bible says blotted out from existence in terms of the eternal good.

          "because he damned people for the sins of their ancestors"
          =>People are damned when they choose to follow their way rejecting the way of God.

          "because he required a human sacrifice instead of honest contrition"
          =>no, the consequence of sin is death and there is no getting around that. Honest contrition is what is referred to as repentance. Read Job chapter 42 and you can see Job repented and was restored.

          June 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NO ONE is ever damned for the sins of their ancestors

          June 6, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          "no, it wasn't to win a bet, it was to prove a point to the devil"
          =>Yes, I can see how could look at that way, it is written in an old style of poem. The reason for suffering and Gods role in it, faiths role in it, Satans role it and how to get through it is presented almost in a C.S. Lewis story book form. Yes, the Devil learned something as did Job, his friends all who read it.

          "Your god should just have kicked the devils behind right back to hell."
          =>yes but then we would not understand why God allows bad in the first place.
          Unfortunately for us our faith must be tested. When God tests it consider it a building process as God does not test to destroy but to lift up and make our faith stronger.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....I see you glossed right over the part where even though Job was fine about it, nobody bothered to ask his dead family what they thought about it.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          we ALL die..and Jobs family is perhaps in heaven.if not they are in hell which they received JUST judgment anyways! Their happiness (if they are in hell) is irrelevant since if they are in hell they rejected God who provides joy...if they are in heaven..they are joyful at being near Gods side for eternity!

          June 6, 2014 at 2:24 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....you are crazy....plain and simple. There is no way to have an intelligent debate with you because you have preconceived notions that preclude you from admitting that there is even the remotest of chance that you could be wrong. The bible is hearsay....Since we were not there, we can not know for sure what the reality of the situation was. You believe it word for word, which is fine for you. I do not. I do not care what anybody meant in the bible. I do not take it for the word of any god. I completely reject it....I can not possibly state that more clearly. I completely reject your bible as the word of god, therefore, I do not care what is in it or what context you think they were making. There is not one single bit of evidence that suggests that the bible is the word of god....not one bit. It is all hearsay....every bit of it.

          June 6, 2014 at 7:16 am |
        • kermit4jc

          because you have preconceived notions that preclude you from admitting that there is even the remotest of chance that you could be wrong.<–and how do you know that? how do you know that my approach??

          June 6, 2014 at 9:53 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....quite simple really. You reject scientific fact about evolution (which is taught in every school in the country as well as every university) yet readily accept the scientific principles of gravity. I know your exact intention. You will always reject anything that goes against your belief.

          June 6, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Kermit….quite simple really. You reject scientific fact about evolution (which is taught in every school in the country as well as every university) yet readily accept the scientific principles of gravity. I know your exact intention. You will always reject anything that goes against your belief.<--wrong..you do NOT know my exact intention..MY intentionis to getthe truth..I don't SEE any truth in Macro evolution..NONE whatsoever..again scientists claim common ancestor of apes and humans..yet they have NO fossils to verify this....same with other transitional forms..NONE whatsoever...

          June 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....there is no such thing as macro and micro evolution. People a lot smarter than either you or I conclude that. It was a term developed by the creationist to help support their position once they realized they had lost the evolutionary fight. By the way....EVERY fossil is a transitional form. You are in a transitional form right now. What did you expect to find, a half man, half pig skeleton?? Evolution has proven that it takes millions of years to complete processes. If you reject the concept that the earth is millions of years old, you will never understand the far more complex evolutionary process.

          June 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I do not take it for the word of any god. I completely reject it<-then why are you here and sometimes posting from the Bible making arguments against it? you don't care...seems more like another excuses to get out of an debate when you don't know

          June 6, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....what are you failing to understand here? I don't want to debate you on Harry Potter either. They were both fiction. Seriously....why do you find that so difficult to grasp?

          June 6, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • observer

          believerfred,

          "no, it wasn't to win a bet, it was to prove a point to the devil"

          lol. It was to win a bet so he could say "I told you so".

          Horrendous. Incredibly HEARTLESS of God to do that to Job's family, servants and animals. BARBARIC!

          June 5, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Fred, your rationalizations and spin don't change the simple fact that good beings don't commit the sort of acts that are attributed to your god. Job may not have blamed your god for destroying his family, but I bet the mother and the people who were slaughtered (so that god could play with Satan) weren't so thrilled. This is the act of a crime lord, not a decent being.

          If your god exists, created humanity and is indeed is all-knowing, he created humans with flaws that he knew would end up making him angry enough to kill them. Instead of changing the plan, he went right on ahead, knowing that he was going to commit mass-murder. This is the action of a sociopath.

          No decent being kills his own kid rather than forgive people for what are in the most cases, mild or invented transgressions. Why in the world have christians spent so long condemning other gods as barbaric, when their own is so blood-thirsty?

          I don't understand how anyone can really look at the bible and see anything nice. I guess christians are just so blinded by the fantasy of eternal life in heaven, they don't care who suffers along the way.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          good beings don’t commit the sort of acts that are attributed to your god.<-good beings don't hae right to judge life......inly God reseves that right...He is Just...we ALL die...not just the ones whom God takes directly

          June 6, 2014 at 2:25 am |
        • kermit4jc

          If your god exists, created humanity and is indeed is all-knowing, he created humans with flaws that he knew would end up making him angry enough to kill them.<-yes..he gave humans the DIGNITY to CHOOSE...he does not coerce people into heaven...and plus it was NOT based on merely feelings..again God is a JUST God..not basedon feelings..but his very nature of being Just

          June 6, 2014 at 2:26 am |
        • kermit4jc

          No decent being kills his own kid rather than forgive people for what are in the most cases,<–no decent being is JUST in his own nature...they have no right to take life....God is JUST..

          June 6, 2014 at 2:27 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I don’t understand how anyone can really look at the bible and see anything nice. I guess christians are just so blinded by the fantasy of eternal life in heaven, they don’t care who suffers along the way.<-becauise most of the stuff I sen from you shows NO understanding of the God of the Bible

          June 6, 2014 at 2:28 am |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          "Fred....I see you glossed right over the part where even though Job was fine about it, nobody bothered to ask his dead family what they thought about it."
          =>"Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine......and died when a mighty wind struck the house". There is a physical death when the physical body is separated from the spirit /soul that all mankind will face since all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. Those who do not find favor in the eyes of the Lord have no hope in the promise that they will see eternal unity in God (eternal life). Job trusted God so he would have no concerns over the eternity that awaited his family. Job 19:25-26 "after my skin has been destroyed , yet in my flesh I will see God" indicated Job believed his family was ok. Job's response was "may the name of the Lord be praised". Yes, there was intense grief and Job has many chapters where we see how victory comes by bringing our issues before God.

          June 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....It was a stupid and meaningless thing to do...period. There is nothing at all you could ever say that would convince me otherwise.

          June 6, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..stupid and meaningless to you..cause you are not God or all knowing or judge

          June 6, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....true, I am not god....but that doesn't make it any less a stupid and meaningless thing to do.

          June 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          Fred....It was a stupid and meaningless thing to do...period. There is nothing at all you could ever say that would convince me otherwise.
          =>I assume you are speaking about the wind blowing down the house and killing Job's sons and daughters while they were feasting and drinking wine. You do not believe in God so you are limited by the natural. In this case life and death are meaningless if there is no purpose for existence. When you believe that only the natural exists you have created a closed system with boundaries. If that system came about by a purposeless accident then that system is meaningless.
          =>Rationally and logically boundaries cannot exist as something would need to limit time and space. What ever limits time and space would exist within that same time and space thus there can be no boundaries. This is why atheists are a fringe group as one cannot claim that only the natural exists. Atheists can dance all they like about some imaginary line between God and substance other than that known or knowable in our time and space but is nonsense as there is something given nothing does not exist.
          The reason you will make up some kind of meaning and purpose within this illogical closed system is because it is self evident to the mind that there is an observation point outside our limited existence (in a quantum field we use tensors to establish various reference points) and your mind must at all times justify position (instinct). Early man perhaps as early as Neanderthal worshiped deity and as far back as recorded history we see the practice of belief in gods to account for position. Most gods have position outside of the natural.

          June 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred.....like I said, there is nothing you could ever say that would convince me that this was not a stupid and meaningless thing to do.

          June 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • believerfred

          tallulah131
          "Fred, your rationalizations and spin don't change the simple fact that good beings don't commit the sort of acts that are attributed to your god."
          =>Doctors cut out cancers and poison cancers and cut out babies and good Americans dropped atomic bombs on women and children.

          "I bet the mother and the people who were slaughtered (so that god could play with Satan) weren't so thrilled."
          =>wait, if there is no God then all there is remains what we see; natural selection in force and effect. The event you describe as Job described was simply that, an event (the sons and daughters were killed in a sudden wind storm , the animals were stolen and burned by fire while the servants were killed by a stronger neighboring group). A Lion will kill off all non biological cubs ruthlessly which is neither good nor bad if the natural is all there is.
          The end result of godlessness is removal of standards for good and bad, right and wrong. The moment an absolute reference is removed from any set all position is meaningless until a new accepted point is established. In short, even atheists have a reference point outside of known natural laws in order to make moral judgement. They may claim there is no God yet they believe in a source greater than what can be proven scientifically.
          =>If there is no God then Job is simply justifying what just happened before his make believe invisible friend. People in grief go through all sorts of phases and so you could understand what Job is going through. Now you want to take up an argument about his make believe friend you do not know and have never seen. The make believe person you are arguing about is one you made up because it certainly is not the God of Job,

          =>to the godless the event happened people suffered and died life continues to evolve and in 1 million years that primate Job was nothing more than a hairy species that walked on two legs.

          June 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • believerfred

          tallulah131
          "If your god exists, created humanity and is indeed is all-knowing, he created humans with flaws that he knew would end up making him angry enough to kill them. Instead of changing the plan, he went right on ahead, knowing that he was going to commit mass-murder. This is the action of a sociopath."
          =>You are attributing to God a linear time line which our minds put into segments of past, present and future. God is not constrained by our limits of space and time nor can the creation of space and time come from within the same dimension. The writers of the Bible certainly could not verbalize the cognitive nature of God and neither can I. That said we are just guessing as to how God observed the same event you just described.
          You appear to be referring to the flood account. The Bible gives us a clue in that man mutated into some wickedness form and all of that "species" were killed by a major geologic event leaving only Noah's clan to continue a race that did not have these negative non redemptive characteristics. There remains all sorts of speculation on this account but I like the flood and the ark version since that is all we have to go on and after all it is the Greatest Story ever written about the purpose of life.

          June 6, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred...accepting the story of Noah, because that is all we have, without examining the logical aspects surrounding it is quite silly. The physical evidence does not match up to the craziness associated with the story of Noah. There are too many holes in it. Science does not support a global flood of that magnitude. There is nothing to suggest that regional animals were subsequently moved to one area, The amount of water involved would not ever recede in a years time. No 8 people alive could possibly care for thousands of animals on a wooden boat for over a year. The story is nuts.

          If you wish to believe in a god, that is your business. As long as it does not affect me, I really don't care. But....to so easily dispose of scientific and physical facts in order to maintain that belief is reprehensible and inexcusable. Since you don't have the proof of some elements in the bible, it is up to you to distinguish that what is real and that which was meant as teaching moments for those potential readers. If you ignore reality in order to maintain your delusion, then you are being dishonest with yourself. As a result, you absolutely can not debate, inform, or discuss rationally anything with creationists.

          June 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          If you wish to believe in a god, that is your business. As long as it does not affect me, I really don’t care. But….to so easily dispose of scientific and physical facts in order to maintain that belief is reprehensible and inexcusable. after al.a miracle would go against nature

          June 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....nothing supernatural has ever been proven. Nothing. Calling something that can happen within the confines of nature (cancer being healed, a person surviving a horrific car crash, a person finding their way out of the woods when they are lost, a tornado missing your house) a miracle is disingenuous. A severed limb growing back, a spinal cord regenerating...now that would be classified as a miracle. But....that has never happened.

          June 6, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          as I said..you are a naturalist....dismissing miracles...thus you would dismiss such things as Noahs flood etc etc

          June 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....I am not a naturalist. I am a realist. I deal in reality, logic, and reason only. If it seems impossible, it most probably is. I'm just saying...believe in your god if it makes you feel better. But to do it while dismissing scientific facts (nobody rises from the dead 3 days later, snakes do not talk, Noahs flood is ridiculous on so many levels, nobody gets turned into a pillar of salt, the tower of babel, parting of the Red Sea....I could go on and on) borders on the delusional.

          June 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • believerfred

          tallulah131
          "No decent being kills his own kid rather than forgive people for what are in the most cases, mild or invented transgressions."
          =>As with the things of God I imagine you noticed there is no evidence of what you say. At best there is some accepted account of some rabble rousing Rabbi being crucified by Pilate while everything else is based on testimony much the same as with all encounters with God up to this very day.
          =>Based on the testimony and accounts from the New Testament your assessment is error. Jesus was crucified by the Romans as a political move to appease the local Priests. God did not kill anyone.

          Jesus was fully man and fully God (according the to account you claim shows God killing his kid). Jesus sits at the right hand of God and those who accept the trinity concept see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as the persons of the God head. If this was a movie would would footnote that no one was killed in the filming of this movie. i.e. you argument is nonsense as the kid is alive waiting to judge the earth.

          The Bible is the story of redemption from start to end. In the beginning the formless dark abyss was redeemed by the God who said let there be light and the light redeemed creation out of darkness. Jesus was the light of men and came to redeem man out of darkness. Light and darkness is representative of the way of God being light and darkness being evil (the absence of light).
          If you want the long version let me know otherwise here is the short and skinny:
          Since the beginning we do not love God more than our own desires and we do not love our neighbor. This is sin in all its nastiness (killing, stealing, marginalizing etc). Jesus was pure innocence and here is what sin looks like on the image of God (man as seen in Jesus perfection) as Jesus was nailed, mocked, beaten, whipped to bloody pulp hanging from the cross. Sin is ugly and cruel and brings death to the beautiful pure image of God in which we were formed. "forgive them Father for they know not what they do" Jesus cried out. Jesus asked his father to forgive us and had only good in mind regardless of what just happened. In short God has only had good in mind for us regardless of all the sin we can throw in Gods face and put on the Son of God. What we did God took upon himself and forgave.

          This is the opposite of the image you have created tallulah

          "Why in the world have christians spent so long condemning other gods as barbaric, when their own is so blood-thirsty?"
          =>It is the nature of man to condemn others and this is not limited to Christians it is one of the sins Christ died for.
          =>blood is the source of life in the physical and the old cultures knew this well.

          June 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          The bible is suspension of natural and physical law, in addition to the suspension of reason, in order to maintain a spiritual belief in something outside of this life.

          June 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • believerfred

          gilliblenomore
          No, it is a history of the revelations of God to the Jew and Gentile.
          It is the complete account of the redemption of Gods people
          It is the foundation of the largest belief in the world
          It is the foundation of the greatest superpower in the World
          It is the Word of God
          It is the power of Salvation
          It is the guide to living and being in the way of God
          It is hope in the promise of God
          The number one best seller for all time year after year

          June 6, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          No....it really isn't. It's the basis for the biggest scam that has ever been known to mankind. A book of fairy tales elevated to superhuman status by a bunch of gullible, extremely needy people, extended over a long period of time.

          June 6, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • benhoody

          Oh please gullible, now your talking just plain goofy while being deluded into thinking you are right and can't prove what your saying. You can't help it though because you reject any knowledge of God and so perhaps like 2nd Thess 2:11 he has sent you strong delusion that you would believe a lie, which we know Atheism is

          June 7, 2014 at 12:29 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ben....if you were honest with yourself, you would have to admit that my idea about the bible is no more deluded than your version. The problem with that would be of course, is that you would have to admit that you might have been wrong all these years that you have been following these crazy rules, making your life a sham. I do the same thing with the book of Mormon, scientology, and all the other crazy middle eastern religions. I believe they are all man-made, it's just that your PR group did a much better job than many of the others.

          June 7, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • Dalahäst

          "I am a realist. I deal in reality, logic, and reason only. If it seems impossible, it most probably is."

          Ah, realism. Interesting philosophy. Yea, most probably impossible to only deal in only reality, logic and reason. What do you do when you fail to live up to this impossible ideal?

          June 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I haven't had any issues so far, thank you. Let me ask you.....do you think Joseph Smith really read golden tablets in his hat? Do you really think that Xenu dropped frozen cadavers into a volcano in Hawaii? There is nothing wrong with pointing out unrealistic beliefs and holding them up to a mirror.

          Seriously....belief in god is fine for some people, but do so for what you feel, not by the inconsistent ramblings of a man made religious book.

          June 6, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That is amazing you haven't had any issues so far. That sounds like an unrealistic belief. I don't believe in God because of inconsistent ramblings of a man made religious book.

          June 6, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Don't get me wrong....I have had issues before, but none that required help from an invisible and uncaring god. I am really glad to see that your belief in a god has nothing to do with the antiquated ramblings of the bible.

          June 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, I don't have an invisible and uncaring God. I certainly don't believe in God because of what you imagine are antiquated ramblings of the bible.

          June 6, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I'm glad for you that your personal god is not invisible and uncaring, but from what I have personally witnessed, he is always invisible and totally uncaring. We all base our beliefs on our own personal experience. And, as I have said more than once now, I am glad that your belief in god is not based on the ramblings of a highly susceptible book.

          June 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
        • believerfred

          gilliblenomore
          just looked and the Bible is not on the list:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fairy_tales

          June 6, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          It's too dark....more violent than Grimm's fairy tales. At least in Grimm's fairy tales the entire planet was not wiped out.

          June 6, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Rhetoric proves nothing. Without proof, words are merely opinion. Providing verifiable physical evidence would be a good start.

      June 4, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
      • kudlak

        Don't you find it interesting that almost all Christian apologetics rely upon generous heaps of what is most commonly referred to as "word salad"? It reminds me of the books I've seen that "explain" how transporters and warp drive work in Star Trek. Very impressive, until you realize that most of the stuff is made up, or merely theoretical.

        June 5, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • tallulah131

          An acquaintance posted a video on facebook, and was all thrilled because she thought this guy "destroyed evolution in 3 minutes". I watched until it became obvious that this guy had no clue about science or evolution, but because he used a scornful tone and presented a lot of invented misinformation, my evangelical acquaintance and her friends ate it up. I doubt a single one of them thought to check the honesty of his words.

          They chose to believe some guy on the internet whose only qualifications are a video camera and a belief in god, over thousands of scientists, the fossil record, the genetic record and even the observation of evolution in bacteria in labs. What can you do about people who willfully chose rhetoric over reality? I guess you can only hope that their children will be wiser.

          June 5, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB-JO2j7MEQ

          June 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
    • harlow13

      The capriciousness of the Christian god sounds so crazy that I don't think my brain could respect such a being. If he could be fooled, I might bow in order to avoid having my head lopped off. The whole game plan; original sin, Jesus the scapegoat, sin, sin, sin, believe, believe, believe. My brain would never think that sounded like the plan of a wise being, The Christian God makes us sick and then commands us to be well, or else. I don't think I could ever respect such a being. I might fear it, but I think it is well that the existence of such a being is unlikely,

      June 4, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
    • FranticRed

      Were a Christian able to answer my questions to my satisfaction (read: honestly and truthfully, without dodging), they would have to at the very least accept that the Bible is a book full of contradictions and, while perhaps it could have been divinely inspired originally, has since lost that inspiration in its entirety. They would not become an atheist; they might likely stop being Christian however.

      June 5, 2014 at 11:38 am |
      • kermit4jc

        I am honest and I do not see a book full of contradictions....there may be a few due to the process of making copies..and those are very minor and do not change theology (for example..how man horses did Solomon have...10,000 or 100,000...theology isnot rooted in the number of horses that Solomon has.....even with a few minor contradictions.considering the size and volume of the BIble..it is still ver reliable in its relaying the message from the original

        June 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "I am honest"

          That was rather dishonest and there are numerous contradictions within the bible and not for the delusional reasons you gave. The men who wrote the bible had never met one another and through numerous translations they are bound to have messed it up but we wouldn't expect a grade school drop-out like you to understand that. No matter how many time you lie and make up fibs to fit the delusion, you're not right!
          The following website lists those contradictions and breaks them down to a level that any 10 year old could comprehend:
          http://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html

          June 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • tallulah131

          If kermit thinks he's honest, he's honestly deluded.

          June 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          If kermit thinks he’s honest, he’s honestly deluded.<-put up or shut up....again people complain that IMnot having an intellectual discussion in here....your post is evidence of you not doing same....if IM not being honest..prove it...show me..back it up...stop making claims without backing them up..thanks

          June 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Fair enough, kermit. I guess if you don't see the contradictions, you aren't really looking for them. Check out the website that TruthPrevails linked. It nicely lays out the contradictions for anyone to see.

          I confess that half the time I think you're a troll, because you seem to parody all the worst about christianity. I have many christian friends and family members, and not one of them is as hateful or obtuse as you are.

          June 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Fair enough, kermit. I guess if you don’t see the contradictions, you aren’t really looking for them. Check out the website that TruthPrevails linked. It nicely lays out the contradictions for anyone to see.<-I seen them all...I think I seen all the websites that purport to have the so called contradictions of the Bible..they are dishonest..cause many of them actually make silly claims (for example..one of them actually has the Bible saying that there is no God!) by ripping out a piece where the writer of Proverbs says "THE FOOL says in his heart there is no God" to make such a stupid and glaring accusation as that shows dishonesty and ignorance of the Bible...sir....the so called contradictions are mostly out of context passages..and I have proved them to be out of context over and over by providing background that has not been made up (as I been accussed of making them up)

          June 6, 2014 at 2:08 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....you've proved nothing. Nothing at all. The bible is heresay and heresay only. Either you believe it or you don't. You believe it. I require much more proof than just words from a book. I take issue with you constantly saying that we who do not take your book verbatim are ignorant. We are not....we just don't tend to believe fairy tales. You do...which is fine and it works for you. That absolutely does not make you right. You truly need to get over that. And, you need to learn how to debate your points better. This is not an absolute here....since you can not produce one shred of evidence outside of your book, you should at least understand why people such as myself can't and don't believe.

          June 6, 2014 at 6:49 am |
        • kermit4jc

          yeah..and all the rest of history is hearsay...might as well say nothing much happeneid in history? Plus I havbe provided much...you cant seem to argue back..you make flimsy excuses and avoid the issues I bring up...such as context...when I use context..you cry foul..when I ask you to prove it..you dance around it....you got nothing...you cant provide anything

          June 6, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....you are making the presumption that the bible is history. I do not believe it is. Therefore, and I have told you this many times, your context is useless. It would like me telling you that Hogwarts was so named because at the time, there was a pig farm on the property that the school now sat, with toads surrounding all the ponds. Your context is irrelevant to me because the bible is irrelevant. It is a fairly tale....you can not apply context to a fairy tale. I do not have to provide any debate for your context theory......because it is an embellished fairy tale to me. That's all.

          June 6, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Kermit….you are making the presumption that the bible is history. I do not believe it is. Therefore, and I have told you this many times, your context is useless.<–then why are you here? why do you ask for "intellectual debate" and when I give it..you make excuses? and one does apply context to ANY piece of literature..in order to know what it issaying..what the author intended to get across...if I were to read about the Hogwarts..Id really like to know the background..how they get thir names, thus the story would have more meaning. IMsory.I don't buy this context is useless thing...and again....why you even here and trying to debate the bible in the first place?.

          June 6, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit.....I think you have me confused with somebody else. I am here only because many of the atheists here on this site are pretty intelligent, and they continually present verifiable, factual information that I use to present to my delusional family and friends when discussing this topic. I expected intellectual discussion when I came here but have found none from the Christian element at all, particularly the creationists. They are especially nuts. They ignore facts, facts, and more facts that the earth is not 6000 years old. They ignore the impossibility of the story of Noah. They make excuses for their god wiping out the entire planet. They make excuses for their god killing Lot's family. They are ignoring logic and reason to accommodate their faith. I'm sorry, but in this day and age, there is no excuse for that. I can understand why people did so hundreds of years ago, but not now.

          June 6, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you make those claims against us yet you never back them up.....Noahs story may SEEm impossible...but feelings don't make truth....YOU don't seem to handle that God is a JUST od (that's not an excuse...youd have to back up that claim) I have provided intellectual debate in this..yet I get ignored or get excuses cause many don't want to hear truth such as you sayagainst us

          June 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....I really hate to break this to you.....but absolutely nobody on this site believes that you have presented anything intellectual. I've seen most all of your posts for the last several weeks, and I'm afraid that I must concur with every one of the other posters. You have a one track mind set and really don't want any type of debate. If you did, you would not make such outlandish claims. I am not the most intellectual person on this site by far, but I enjoy reading the rebuttals of those posters that are much more intelligent than I am. And, not once has that been a religious poster.

          June 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          took a poll didn't ya? I don't see many others saying same thing as you claim...second....you wanna go the route of one track mind..thats what I see from all others as well...even youatheists..one track mindedness...don't be hypocritical here...and you deny my intelligence cause I disagree with you....sorry..thats arrogance as well

          June 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....it was unnecessary to take a poll....I can read. Your posts simply do not meet the criteria for intellectual. You present no facts, mostly because there are none. If anything you presented was factual, everybody would believe. I don't mind you having a faith. What I do mind is you proclaiming that only you have the right answer. I really have no idea if I am right or not, but I do know that if something is not logical, I dismiss it. I would have a lot more respect for people that admitted that maybe the bible might be wrong in some parts, but that they still believe in god. I understand the need for a belief in god by some people. What I don't understand is there insistence that every passage in their book is true. Anybody, and I do mean anybody, that believes the story of Noah as written in the bible, is a complete fool and unworthy of engaging in anything intellectual. The suspension of belief is just too high for any rational person. Same with the idiots that believe the earth is only 10000 years old. They are completely delusional.

          June 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • tallulah131

          There is nothing in the geological record to show that there was ever a world wide flood. You can find evidence of large meteor strikes (such as the one that killed the dinosaurs) and massive volcano eruptions in core samples taken throughout the world. But there is no evidence of a world wide flood. Pragmatic people will look at things like the much older Gilgamesh saga and realize that Noah's flood is yet another "biblical" story borrowed from another culture.

          June 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Noah’s flood is yet another “biblical” story borrowed from another culture.<-no such evidence...justcause Egyptians had it in WRITING first does not mean it came from them first

          June 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • FranticRed

          That is a matter of interpretation – to some the Bible is meant to be read literally, to others you need to extrapolate meaning from words that were put to paper more than a thousand years ago, when some of them had different meanings than they do today. The word virgin, for instance, originally meant a free woman (i.e. unmarried, unbetrothed, and unowned). When I read phrases that state no one can see the face of God, and others that say (insert name here) saw the face of God, I see a contradiction. You look at it with one perhaps being literal (no one can look on the actual face of God), with the other being figurative (a face God chooses to show that won't harm folks or send them directly to heaven). It cannot be argued that both views are an interpretation, however. Yours works for you, and some (or many) others, as mine works for me, and some (or many) others.

          June 10, 2014 at 7:10 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Red....why the ambiguity? The god of the bible must not be very bright.

          June 10, 2014 at 8:20 am |
        • FranticRed

          @gulliblenomore – whenever something is interpreted rather than read literally, it can't really help but come across as ambiguous. As for God being bright or not, we know that men wrote the various parts of the Bible, and men are entirely fallible. To look at ambiguity in it and attribute the ambiguity to God requires the assumption that said deity exists. As an atheist (I believe, correct me if I am wrong please) I would think it would be better for you to state that the writers weren't very bright, although I would have to disagree there. Individuals who could write back then were generally intelligent people. I'd be inclined to say that they simply had disagreements about interpretations of the stories passed down to them, for whatever reason, known only to them.

          June 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Red....that is why I was really careful about saying the god of the bible. Obviously, since I only deal with reality and not supernatural BS, I do not believe in any real gods. But, there is a god of the bible. The men that created him should have made him a little more intelligent, but I'm guessing they really didn't have much direction to go by. And yes, they were smart enough to put enough loopholes in the bible to keep even the most ardent of believers frothing at the mouth for years.

          June 10, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          That is a matter of interpretation – to some the Bible is meant to be read literally<-the Bible is meant to be read within context...using info such as literary devices (figures of speech, poetry, narratives, etc)

          June 10, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • FranticRed

          If I read the Bible in the context of the time in which parts of it were written, then our current interpretations of much of it simply don't work in modern society. Speaking of context, if you are going to say it needs to be read in context, you should try and be specific and clear about what context you mean.

          June 10, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
  5. truthfollower01

    An hon-est question to skeptics.

    Let's say hy-po-thetically that I or another Christian were able to answer every one of your questions to your sati-sfa-ction. If this were to occur, would you bow your knee before God and follow Jesus as The Lord of your life?

    Please be hon-est either way in your response.

    June 3, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
  6. truthfollower01

    An honest question to skeptics.

    Let's say hypothetically that I or another Christian were able to answer every one of your questions to your satisfaction. If this were to occur, would you bow your knee before God and follow Jesus as The Lord of your life?

    Please be honest either way in your respo-nse.

    June 3, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
    • dandintac

      Hard, verifiable, testable, repeatable evidence? Sure. But after 2000 years of trying, no Christian yet has been able to do this, which is one of the main reasons why I'm an atheist. The "evidence" (if you can call it that) is always lame and incredibly weak.

      June 4, 2014 at 12:48 am |
  7. truthfollower01

    An ho-nest question to skeptics.

    Let's say hypothetically that I or another Christian were able to answer every one of your questions to your satisfaction. If this were to occur, would you bow your knee before God and follow Jesus as The Lord of your life?

    Please be ho-nest either way in your response.

    June 3, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
    • igaftr

      maybe, but following blindly goes against my very nature.

      Now you. If many parts of the bible are proven to be false, would you admit that the rest of it is also imossible to validate, and admit there is an extremely high likely hood that you do not have all the answers?

      June 4, 2014 at 9:54 am |
  8. truthfollower01

    An honest question to skeptics.

    Let's say hypothetically that I or another Christian were able to answer every one of your questions to your sati-sfaction. If this were to occur, would you bow your knee before God and follow Jesus as The Lord of your life?

    Please be honest either way in your response.

    June 3, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
  9. truthfollower01

    An honest question to skeptics.

    Let's say h-ypothetically that I or another Christian were able to answer everyone of your questions to your satisfaction. If this were to occur, would you bow your knee before God and follow Jesus as The Lord of your life?

    Please be honest either way in your response.

    June 3, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
  10. truthfollower01

    An honest question to skeptics.

    Let's say hypo-thetically that I or another Christian were able to answer everyone of your questions to your satisfaction. If this were to occur, would you bow your knee before God and follow Jesus as the Lord of your life?

    Please be honest either way in your response.

    June 3, 2014 at 11:05 pm |
  11. truthfollower01

    An honest question to skeptics.

    Let's say hypothetically that I or another Christian were able to answer everyone of your questions to your satisfaction. If this were to occur, would you bow your knee before God and follow Jesus as The Lord of your life?

    Please be honest either way in your response.

    June 3, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      TF....No. Words are not evidential proof of a god. Now....if your god were to make a personal appearance at the halftime show of the Super Bowl, I would be parked in the pew every Sunday.

      June 3, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Gullible,

        Thank you for the response, but that leads me to ask, what are you looking to accomplish or gain from these conversations?

        June 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          my guess would be to see exactly how long a person can hold onto an ingrained, indoctrinated belief when shown the facts of how the universe ticks.

          me personally, I get on here out of shear boredom. it's fun to see what type of tactics theists use to dance around the flames of facts at their feet. lol

          June 3, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          shown the facts of how the universe ticks. <--we know how the world /universe ticks..no denying that....we just don't accept the foolish illogical belief that their universe came from noting (it had a beginning as most scientists agree now-but to have a beginning must have a cause...cant have nothing from nothing...that is foolish)

          June 4, 2014 at 2:06 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....no, you accept the foolish belief that god came from nothing and always existed. That he got bored one day after who knows how much time went by, and created man. But, at some point, he got mad at his creation and wiped them all out. Them, at another point, sent down his son (himself) to die for the sins that man committed, even though he made men that way and knew in advance they would be sinners. I'm sorry....I could go on and on about how illogical and stupid it is to believe that claptrap, but I am making myself stressed out about it.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:03 am |
        • truthfollower01

          "facts of how the universe ticks."

          What specifically are you referring to?

          June 4, 2014 at 12:02 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Zhilla,

          Speaking of the universe, do you believe that something can come into being, uncaused out of nothing (no thing / not anything)?

          June 4, 2014 at 12:14 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          @ kermie: the universe isn't here because it has to be, it's here because it can be. it's that simple, nothing complex to it.
          if the laws of how this universe acts were off by even a bit, we wouldn't be having this lovely discussion because we couldn't live in such a hostile enviroment.

          @TF01: "something from nothing"

          A) atheists just don't believe in gods, that's it.
          B) i view science as the next logical choice seeing it shows steps and mechanics of how this universe is possible.
          B2) 1st law of thermal dynamics; energy CAN NOT be created NOR destroyed. that means energy is ETERNAL.
          energy has many different states inwhich it exists; matter is created from energy.
          B3) E=MC2 explains how energy/matter conversion is possible and how it takes place.
          not to mention it also shows to absolutes in the universe, gravity is strictly a pulling force that ranges from 0-100%
          (0% being space with no physical body nearby; 100% being a black hole)
          B4) the remaining forces of the universe; strong force,electromagnetic,weak force,gravity.
          these forces demintrate that everything in this universe interacts on a atomic level, literally means when you think you are clapping in church, you really aren't.
          the rason being the atomic forces that repel like charged particules, which you are made of, prohibite your hands from truly touching. if your hands truly were able to "touch" they would then merge as atom slide past atom.
          it's the repulsion of particule against particule that creates a barrier.

          i could go on and on explaining how this universe "ticks" however it's of no use. those that know, know; those that refuse, never will.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:14 am |
        • kermit4jc

          riiiiight zhilla..and that is so totally irrational thought...something coming from nothing without a cause..it "just happened" yes..so irrational that all this came about by chance....where did all things from come? there was a big bang....cause by gases perhaps..where did the gases come from etc etc? there is a starting opint..most scientists agree there was a beginning...

          June 4, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Your god would have come from nothing....and would have created everything....again, from nothing.

          June 4, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • kermit4jc

          ASUMING God was created..which He is not..Bible says he is eternal with no beginnings..thus your response is irrelevant

          June 4, 2014 at 10:00 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...,irrelevant? Only to you, of course. Very relevant to logical thinking people, though

          June 4, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I used logic..LOGIC says if God is eternal and NOT created..then the response was irrelevant cause the causal stuff is about CREATED thing...that's logic right there to figure out

          June 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....that is circular logic, which is useless. However, if it makes you content then fine. I'll never, ever submit to such silliness

          June 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....that is a great question that I have ask myself many times. I truly do get nothing valid from the Christian posters here. Every one of them has experienced, at least in their mind, some kind of interaction with a god character. Because I haven't and won't, they think I have some type of character flaw or 'just don't understand the bible'. I come here because many of the responses from the other atheists are so well thought out and prepared that I take much of it back when discussing this issue with my family and friends that are equally as delusional as the Christians here.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:56 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit , If the stuff of the universe is eternal and NOT created, no need for a god. All the evidence points that way.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          that's what a handful of scientist say..all stuff in the universe is eternal.....not all say such....

          June 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit, They have evidence on their side – you have none.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          santa..which one you respondingto..that theyhave more evidence on their side?

          June 4, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          How is it logical for any being to be eternal, and without origin?

          June 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so everything HAS to have logic to YOU? hahahahaha! arrogance of it all.....we are talking of a mighty and Holy God who is eternal....who had no beginning..of course youre not going to be able to grasp it..youre only a human..not God (THANK God)

          June 5, 2014 at 2:12 am |
        • believerfred

          zhilla1980wasp
          Your error was at point A. Science neither supports nor denies atheism yet science is your basis for denial of God. Einstein who was behind your grasp of relativity rejected atheism on sound grounds whereas you accept atheism from non scientific basis. I suggest you read some of his thoughts on God. In particular the God of Spinoza. The proof of God as provided by Spinoza is not in dispute last I heard. Granted Spinoza's God did not exhibit any anthropomorphic attributes he and Einstein used a capital G out of respect for that which was unknowable yet existed by virtue of the fact there is no such thing as non existence.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • fintronics

          "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

          Einstein

          June 5, 2014 at 10:34 am |
  12. hawaiiguest

    hawaiiguest
    @Dala

    Depending on which denomination you ascribe to. That's something that no Christian I have ever talked to has addressed in a satisfactory manner. You speak of how something was taught, and maybe so in your denomination, but I can guarantee that there is a denomination as old that teaches something different.

    June 3, 2014 at 3:03 am |
    Dalahäst
    So? What am I supposed to believe? Each atheist on here that claims to know things I don't know tells me something different. Some are just parroting the God Delusion or some extremist anti-theist web page. You know, 'evangelical' atheists that try to persuade others to give up theistic belief. They seem completely confused. And often self-describe themselves as logical and reasonable, but don't act that way. It seems like the atheists just cherry pick different philosophies that work for them. Most just try to dictate to me what I should believe, as if there are any valid reasons to trust in some anonymous guy posting on a religion blog.

    June 3, 2014 at 11:07 am |

    This was in regards to you saying that something, doesn't really matter what, is not meant to be taken literally the only reason you gave for this is that that is the way it was taught for a long time.

    June 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
  13. Reality

    My case of the OCDs is driving me to comment five more times so that this thread will make it to 4000 comments. So #1:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    “New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    June 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • Reality

      #2:

      Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-basedreligions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      June 2, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
      • Reality

        3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

        This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.

        And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

        Current crises:

        The Sunni-Shiite blood feud, the mistreatment of women, and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

        June 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • Reality

          #4:

          4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

          The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

          Current problems:

          The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

          June 2, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • Reality

          #5:

          Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

          "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

          Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

          Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

          Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

          June 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
      • transframer

        If Jesus was just an ordinary man, how come so many prophecies were fulfilled by him? Some theologians count about 300 such prophecies.
        Also, RCC appeared after the Trinity concept was introduced, by the Holy Fathers.

        June 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • Reality

          Please cite reputable references to support your claims. My list of references concerning Christianity and the historic Jesus as previously noted many times.

          o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

          2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
          – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication and a discussion of each when you click on the specific reference.

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews
          50-120 Didache
          50-140 Gospel of Thomas
          50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
          50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
          65-80 Gospel of Mark
          70-100 Epistle of James
          70-120 Egerton Gospel
          70-160 Gospel of Peter
          70-160 Secret Mark
          70-200 Fayyum Fragment
          70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
          73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
          80-100 2 Thessalonians
          80-100 Ephesians
          80-100 Gospel of Matthew
          80-110 1 Peter
          80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
          80-130 Gospel of Luke
          80-130 Acts of the Apostles
          80-140 1 Clement
          80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
          80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
          80-250 Christian Sibyllines
          90-95 Apocalypse of John
          90-120 Gospel of John
          90-120 1 John
          90-120 2 John
          90-120 3 John
          90-120 Epistle of Jude
          93 Flavius Josephus
          100-150 1 Timothy
          100-150 2 Timothy
          100-150 T-itus
          100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
          100-150 Secret Book of James
          100-150 Preaching of Peter
          100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
          100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
          100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
          100-160 2 Peter

           4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
          5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
          7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
          8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
          9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
          (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
          by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
          10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
          Presented on March 18, 1994
          ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
          11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
          wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
          12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
          faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
          13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
          mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
          14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
          15. D-iseases in the Bible:
          http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

          16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,
          theologians, eth-ics, etc. religion-online.o–rg/
          17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT n-tgate-way.com/
          18 Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, o–r–al tradition etc.
          n-tgat-eway.com/
          19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
          http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
          20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
          21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
          in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
          22. NT and beyond time line:
          pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
          23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
          harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
          24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
          25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
          27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
          28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
          29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

          June 2, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          transframer.....Nostradamus made over 500 correct predictions....of course most of them were quite generic, just like every psychic ever. And, I'm sure that theological scholars would have found anything that made their religious conviction look good.

          June 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • transframer

          @Reality
          NT and OT are enough for me to show these prophecies. What do you want to do with your referenced books?

          June 2, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
        • transframer

          @gulliblenomore
          Yes, and there are still more like him.

          June 2, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
        • Reality

          So you have read only the OT and NT. Might want to read the references noted to see what the contemporary OT and NT scholars have to conclude about your bible. Many of these conclusions can be found in part 2 of my comments. Or transframer may you also have a PhD in OT and NT Studies?

          June 2, 2014 at 11:52 pm |
        • Reality

          Oops, make that "transframer might you also have a Ph. D. in Religion and/or Bible Studies???

          June 2, 2014 at 11:55 pm |
        • transframer

          @Reality
          I couldn't find anything in part #2 of your commentary regarding prophecies fulfilled by Jesus

          June 3, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • Reality

          Said "fortune telling/prophesying is inferred at:

          " :An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects."

          From Professor JD Crossan, one of the references NT scholars:

          "In those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

          From his book, Who is Jesus?

          June 3, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ant elieve anyone takes ZCrossan and Jesus Seminar serisously..especially when their tactics are less than honest and willfully fixed so as to go their way..Jesus seminar is a crock and a shame to logic and honest seeking

          June 4, 2014 at 2:08 am |
        • Reality

          And once again:

          The Jesus Seminarians: Contemporary NT exegetes specializing in historic Jesus studies. Requirements to join, typically a PhD in Religious History or Religion with a proven record of scholarship through reviews of first to third century CE scripture and related docu-ments. So we ask again, Kermit and transframer do you qualify to be a Jesus Seminarian?

          June 4, 2014 at 6:36 am |
        • kermit4jc

          you are so shallow....I said the TACTICS used in regards to how they determine what Jesus says and such..is a sham....and all..read my post again...apparentloy you gloss over the ways they determine what jesus says

          June 4, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • Reality

          More details on what the Jesus Seminarians are all about:

          June 4, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • Reality

          "The ground-breaking work of the Jesus Seminar appears in two texts: The Five
          Gospels (1993) and Acts of Jesus (1998), both published by Polebridge Press.
          The Jesus Seminar is a group of biblical scholars chaired by Robert Funk, PhD.,
          who took the unprecedented step of voting as a group on the authenticity of the
          teachings and acts of Jesus. The following observations are taken from the
          introductory chapters of 5G and AOJ.

          Every individual saying and action was examined and rated by the Seminar as to
          whether Jesus actually said it or did it, or whether it was primarily the
          product of the author of the gospel. Building on the earlier work of individual
          scholars, the Seminar's research represents an unprecedented cooperative effort
          to separate what Jesus really said and did from what gets added on over time in
          the story telling and writing process.

          In addition to the four Gospels: Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, that we have
          known for two thousand years, the Seminar also included the Gospel of Thomas in
          their considerations. Thomas consists of sayings of Jesus that were discovered
          at Nag Hamadi, along with hundreds of other ancient texts, in a major
          archeological discovery in 1945. Thomas is not in story form, but it is a
          series of sayings. Many of the sayings are very similar to what appear in the
          other four gospels, and it was used by the Seminar as an independent report of
          what Jesus said.

          The Seminar's work assumes that for a period of some years the stories about
          Jesus were passed on by word of mouth as his followers practiced his teachings
          and some anxiously expected his return. Ten years may have gone by before
          teachings and actions began to be written down, and perhaps another ten years
          passed before they were put into larger collections like Thomas. These
          collections were probably taking place about the same time that Paul was writing
          letters (Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans) to various Christian communities.
          Eventually the materials were put together in story form, probably first by
          Mark, sometime around 70CE, followed by Matthew, John, and Luke/Acts, in that
          order. Some of the writing occurred as late as the first part to the middle of
          the second century CE.

          When the Seminar members voted, a red vote received 3 points, a pink vote
          received 2 points, a gray vote received 1 point, and a black vote received 0
          points. The colors were given the following definitions: Red = This statement
          is an accurate representation of what Jesus said or did. Pink = This statement
          very likely represents what Jesus said or did. Gray = This statement is most
          likely a formulation of the author, but the content is similar to what Jesus
          actually said or did. Black = This statement is purely a formulation of the
          author. A statement or event was given a final color code based on the
          following percentages: Red = .7501 or more of the scholars agreed that the
          teaching or event was authentic. Pink = .5001 to .7500 of the scholars agreed
          that the teaching or event was authentic. Gray = .2501 to .5000 of the scholars
          agreed that the teaching or event was authentic. Black = .0000 to .2500 of the
          scholars agreed that the teaching or event was authentic.

          THE SCHOLARS USED RULES to determine if Jesus really said or did something; for
          example:

          1. Primary assumption: Jesus was a reasonably well integrated person whose
          behavior was more or less congruent with his words.

          2. Certain categories, some much more than others, are common to the teaching
          and behavioral materials.

          (a) Itinerant

          (b) Family ties don't bind

          (c) Demon possession and exorcism

          (d) Social deviance

          (e) Association with undesirables

          (f) Embracing the unclean

          (g) Sabbath

          (h) Critics of Jesus

          (i) Healing

          3. Material that reflects knowledge of events after Jesus' death must be looked
          at cautiously.

          4. Material that appears in independent sources is older than the sources.

          5. Material that appears in independent contexts circulated on its own at an
          earlier time.

          6. Similar content that has taken on different forms had a prior life of its
          own.

          7. Oral memory best retains short, provocative, memorable material, like
          aphorisms and parables.

          8. It is more likely that the core or gist of a matter was recalled, rather than
          precise words.

          9. The writers likely put their own words in Jesus' mouth under the following
          conditions.

          (a) Story transitions: for example, "Let's go over to the other side." (Mk 4:35)

          (b) Summarizing the message: "The time is up. God's imperial rule is closing
          in." (Mk 1:15)

          (c) Anticipating the story: "The son of Adam is being turned over to his
          enemies, and they

          will end up killing him." (Mk 9:31)

          (d) Expressing the writer's view: "Why are you so cowardly? You still don't
          trust, do you?" (Mk 4:40)

          (e) Underscoring a narrative point: "He was unable to perform a single miracle
          there, except." (Mk 6:6)

          (f) Clarifying current practices: "The days will come when the groom is taken
          away from them, and then they will fast on that day." (Mk 2:20)

          (g) Eliciting a confessional point: "What about you, who do you say that I am?"
          (Mk 8:29)

          WHEN THE RULES ARE APPLIED an emerging pattern reinforces itself:

          (1) Talks distinctively, distinguishable from common lore.

          (2) Teaches against the social and religious grain.

          (3) Surprises and shocks by role reversal or frustration of ordinary
          expectation.

          (4) Uses characteristics of exaggeration, humor, and paradox.

          (5) Uses concrete and vivid images.

          (6) Uses metaphorical language without explicit application.

          (7) Seldom initiates dialogue, debate, or healing activity.

          (8) Rarely speaks about himself in the first person.

          (9) Makes no claim to be the Messiah."

          June 4, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • transframer

          @Reality:
          OK, but that's too general. How about something very specific.Jesus was born from a virgin. This fulfilled a prophecy from the Old Testament, more than 700 years before the birth of Jesus, in Isaiah 7:14

          June 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • igaftr

          trans
          Don't be absurd. You cannot confirm that. You have no idea if that actually happened or if it was simply made up, so that does not count as fulfilled prophecy, since the writers can simply write a prediction, then write that it was fulfilled. That simply does not meet the requirements. Care to try again?

          June 4, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • transframer

          @igaftr
          I am not absurd. Reality is talking about historical Jesus and many Biblical scholars who study historical Jesus see the virginal birth as real mostly because it fits the criterion of multiple attestation

          June 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • igaftr

          trans
          Multiple attestation? How many people ACTUALLY confirmed she was a virgin?

          I don't know who you think attested to her being a virgin, but I don't see anywhere that was confirmed.
          Why would god ra.p.e such a young girl anyway...and even if she consented, by our standards, it is ra.p.e.

          So you "scholars" are guessing once again.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          God did not r ap e Mary...duh

          June 5, 2014 at 1:52 am |
        • transframer

          @igaftr
          Even today you can make a woman pregnant without s-e-x-ual intercourse.

          June 4, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • Reality

          If you ever got around to reading the a-nalyses of the bible by the experts, you will find that Mary was not a virgin so the fortune telling as do all said cons went and still goes unfulfilled. .

          June 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          only a small handful say such...Ill go with the majority on this

          June 5, 2014 at 2:13 am |
        • kudlak

          transframer
          I'm sure that you could write a story about how your Uncle Joe knew everything that led up to 9/11, but would it be prophecy? The NT authors has full access to the Jewish scriptures. You'd think that they'd know every prophecy about the expected Messiah, but apparently they missed a few. The Messiah was expected to be an ordinary man who would rule over Israel as king. He would also rebuild the Temple, gather together all the Jewish exiles, and usher in a Golden Age where all Jews would observe Torah and there would be world peace.

          None of those things happened with Jesus. If he had any aspirations of being the Messiah, he died a failure. Basically, you can't make Jesus into a Jewish Messiah, but you can make him into a Christian Messiah by misinterpreting Jewish scripture, ignoring a lot of the expectations, and cooking up a theological explanation for why he failed on the cross.

          June 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • Reality

          After exhaustive review of all the records to include the NT, many contemporary NT scholars have concluded that the virgin birth of Jesus historically nil. See for example:

          "Luedemann [Jesus, 122-24] presents four (4) reasons for regarding the miraculous conception of Jesus as unhistorical: (1) Numerous parallels in the history of religion; (2) it represents a rare and late NT tradition; (3) Synoptic descriptions of Jesus' relations with his family are inconsistent with such an event; and (4) scientific considerations.

          More positively, Luedemann concludes that we can extract as a historical fact behind Matt 1.18-25 the existence of a hostile rumor about the ille-gitimacy of Jesus. Luedemann suggests that r-a-pe by an unnamed man, possibly even a Roman soldier, is the most likely explanation. He notes that while such an event would have disqualified Mary from marriage to a priest, it would not have prevented from marrying and have other children.

          Luedemann [Jesus, 261-63] discounts Luke's account as a legend deriving from Jewish Hellenistic circles that were concerned to hold together the procreation of the Spirit, the authentic sonship of the Messiah and the virginal conception."

          See additional details at http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb026.html .

          Then there is this from Thomas Jefferson:

          "And the day will come,
          when the mystical generation of Jesus,
          by the Supreme Being as His Father,
          in the womb of a virgin,
          will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
          in the brain of Jupiter."

          - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
          Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

          June 5, 2014 at 12:01 am |
    • Akira

      You don't have OCD.
      Post what you wish, but don't minimize the suffering of actual OCD patients by using OCD to preface your posts. It's disingenuous.

      June 2, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
      • Reality

        Hmmm, it is obvious that this blog's "traffic" has about fifty people (me included) who make comments at least ten times a day. Are we suffering from a new form of OCD?? Is there a cure??

        Considering that CNN is paying two full time editors/moderators to keep this disorder going, we the sufferers must have a large reading/ad-exposing audience? And if so, should not we get paid by CNN for without us there would be no blog?

        June 2, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
      • Akira

        Reality, you have presented yourself as someone who researches everything rather thouroughly.
        Research OCD and find out why your post makes zero sense as it relates to the actual mental condition known as OCD.

        June 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • Reality

          OCD as defined by the Mayo Clinic:

          "Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repeti-tive behaviors (compulsions). It's also possible to have only obsessions or only compulsions and still have OCD."

          Looks like the latter definition might fit those of us who comment on this blog ten to twenty times a day? Note the question mark.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • Akira

          I shall let tallulah131, an actual diagnosed OCD sufferer answer:

          Do you compelled to post here because you feel if you don't something terrible will happen? Is is something that you cannot control? If not, then you don't suffer from OCD. People like to pretend that OCD is something to joke about, but for those who suffer from it, the joke is not funny.

          I don't have OCD. But given that you are compelled to post the same repetitious things, maybe you do see yourself within that definition. Perhaps you should see a qualified professional. And don't project your fears onto others; quite disingenuous of you, n'est ce pas?

          June 3, 2014 at 12:14 am |
        • Reality

          No need for me to see a trained professional but you do realize that you are not immune to reiterations especially the "thu-mptations" of Christian doctrine.

          And once again:

          As we "thu-mp" along with rational thinking, conclusions and reiteration to counter the millennia of false and flawed religious history and theology!!!------––

          June 3, 2014 at 8:39 am |
        • Akira

          There is also no need to see a qualified professional to know that you're incapable of admitting you are wrong, and you equate your thoughts into the behavior of others.

          Once again,
          tallulah131
          Do you compelled to post here because you feel if you don't something terrible will happen? Is is something that you cannot control? If not, then you don't suffer from OCD. People like to pretend that OCD is something to joke about, but for those who suffer from it, the joke is not funny.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • Reality

          Who is laughing? I have a brother who suffered many years from RCC scruples and the associated guilt trips.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
        • Akira

          Your brother being a Roman Catholic has zero to do with this discussion. If he was diagnosed with OCD, it still would be relevant to his being a RC.
          Tallulah131 illustrates that being a non sequitur quite nicely.

          June 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • Akira

          Your brother being a Roman Catholic has zero to do with this discussion. If he was diagnosed with OCD, it still would be irrelevant to his being a RC.
          Tallulah131 illustrates that being a non sequitur quite nicely.

          June 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • Reality

          From the discussion about OCD's and religion:

          "Both women say they suffered from a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder known as scrupulosity. A fear of sin or punishment from deities characterizes this condition, saidJonathan Abramowitz, professor and associate chairman of the department of psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill."

          June 5, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • Akira

          They had OCD first. The manifestation of scrupulosity is the symptom of it.
          If they were not religious, it would have manifested itself in another way.
          Religion did not cause the OCD. Trying to conflate religion with OCD is like trying to conflate religion with cancer.
          As I stated before, tallulah131 negates that non-sequitur, as she is a diagnosed sufferer of OCD and she is not religious at all.
          Stop minimizing it to try and save the false premise of your OP.

          June 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Thanks for trying Akira. I suspect if "Reality" suffers from any disorder it would be Narcissism.

          June 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Reality

          Au contraire as the topic on OCD and religion in particular the previous noted case of the two women show that without the scruples generated by their religion, they would not have OCD.

          June 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Akira

          My case of the OCDs is driving me to comment five more times so that this thread will make it to 4000 comments.

          This whole conversation started off with you making fun of a debilitating condition.
          You don't suffer from it.
          You are in the wrong here.
          Instead of just admitting it, you continually try to justify it with the red herrings you are throwing out.

          Knock it off. You're wrong. Period.

          June 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
  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

    "I think a lot of theology is grappling with phantoms. So theologians have invented this almost self-consistent subject which has no contact with physical reality at all. And they invent all sorts of questions which they then taunt humanity with . One of them is cosmic purpose. They say 'there must be a purpose; you and your science can't explain it.' And typical of theologians, they don't respect the power of the human intellect anyway. And they infer that no one will ever understand it; it is ineffable; God's purpose cannot be discerned. And of course that's – those are fine words, but utterly meaningless–why should the thing have a purpose?" –Peter Atkins, world-reknowned Oxford professor of chemistry

    "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

    "Another thing which I think that science, of any kind, teaches us is that even the simplest things are hard to understand: the hydrogen atom, for instance. And that makes me rather suspicious of anyone who claims to have a quick and easy answer to any deep aspect of reality. I think the most we can hope for in an incomplete and metaphorical understanding. And therefore, I'm not myself someone who can accept any specific religious dogmas." –Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal

    June 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • transframer

      Just a short note. M-theory is exactly this: a theory, incomplete and untested.

      June 1, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        So it does have something in common with Christianity then...

        June 2, 2014 at 1:40 am |
      • hotairace

        It's clear that transframer does not know the correct scientific definition of the word "theory."

        Religion does not rise to level of scientific theory. In fact, due to the complete lack of actual evidence, it is a very poor hypotheses, a collection of myths and lies.

        June 2, 2014 at 2:22 am |
        • thefinisher1

          Same with atheism! It's a lie told by flawed men who think they know everything! Hehehe😜

          June 2, 2014 at 9:34 am |
        • Science Works

          Just a few of them creationists on this forum ha fini ?
          RELIGION 06.01.14
          The Crazy Way Creationists Try To Explain Human Tails Without Evolution
          Human tails are a genetic accident—and a big problem for the faux-scientific creationism known as ‘intelligent design.’ But that won’t stop their wild tales.

          http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/01/the-crazy-way-creationists-try-to-explain-human-tails-without-evolution.html

          June 2, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • transframer

          Yes, religion is not a scientific theory. But I was talking about M-theory, not religion here.

          June 2, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • hotairace

          M-theory is not a theory in the way that evolution, germ theory and other accepted theories (according to the scientific definition of theory) are. M-theory is better described as theoretical.

          Again, religion is an unfounded belief system with no actual evidence to support any of its supernatural aspects. It doesn't stand a chance of being elevated beyond cultural myth status to that of scientific theory because it is all unproven crap.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • kudlak

          transframer
          You're right, religion is not a scientific theory. It's not even a hypothesis. It's just some notion that can't even be tested to determine if it has any truth behind it.

          June 4, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
    • bostontola

      I have to agree with transframer on this one. M-Theory is not really a scientific theory as yet. It is an extraordinarily beautiful piece of mathematics that has been shown to likely be consistent, but it has not been tested yet.

      June 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
  15. 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 8:15 pm |
    • benhoody

      No Doris. That's a lie, that's only from those who profess to be Christian, but are in name only, not in reality.

      June 1, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
      • Doris

        And so says one of the over 41,000 sects about the other.....

        "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." –Thomas Jefferson

        June 1, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          And each atheists makes up their own beliefs. Your point? There are even different atheists...ignorant child.

          June 1, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • Doris

          Summarization of my point (copied from my OP):

          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 9:02 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          People who love violence will spread it...are you this dumb or are you pretending to be? It's not that hard to figure out. In fact, some people would say that when violence is used, it spreads like a disease. Seriously. You can't be this stupid. You want to pack a punch against those you don't like yet...you really can't. There's more to every story but you stick to the one that makes you "proud" while ignoring the basic fundamental facts..there's more factors to every story. You stick to one (religion). You're wrong and very ignorant. Grow up!

          June 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          finished, The point about different beliefs for a religious person is that they believe different things about their god. An atheist is simply someone who sees no evidence of a god – atheists may differ in their beliefs on other subjects as presumably do believers.

          June 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          LOL!!!! You honestly care that those 41,000 think they're right when you yourself stand there and admit YOU'RE right as well?! Ha! Please no more! My sides are beginning to hurt!

          June 1, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • Doris

          Wow – way to avoid the hard truth. I suppose in some twisted way you were attempting to insinuate there would be some justification for Christians from the U.S. inciting violence in other countries. Good job in helping to represent the sword of the Christian sky daddy. (huge eyeroll)

          June 1, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Wrong. Those who love violence will spread it. Has nothing to do with religion. It has EVERYTHING to do with the person. I don't blame one thing (religion) which makes you upset. I blame the person and no one else. It's not that hard to admit and see.

          June 1, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • Doris

          And I did not blame one thing. Perhaps you missed from my OP:

          "some Christians [based on their world view]" and "some Muslims [based on their world view]"

          Reading comprehension issues, finisher?

          June 1, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Atheists always like blaming religion to make others mad. Deep down you know you are wrong😝😊

          June 1, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • Doris

          It's easy to see how reading comprehension issues have kept you from understanding the objectives and issues of others. Forget deep down – you can't even break the surface, fini.

          June 1, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Finisher...did you just call someone else a nutcase? Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you believe in a fairy who created the universe? Perhaps you're not in a position to judge anyone's sanity...

          June 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          @SeaVic I don't know why anyone bothers with unfinished, He/She is just like the kid at school who thinks it's funny to disrupt the class so no on else can work and everyone gets detention.

          June 2, 2014 at 5:08 am |
        • SeaVik

          My mistake responding to Finisher. I forgot he's the idiot troll.

          June 1, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Who said anything about me believing a "fairy" created the world? No wonder atheism is kept hidden. Your immaturity keeps people away! LOLZ

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

          Thefinisher likes to veer off topic. Here again is a summary of my OP regarding the activities of some Christians and some Muslims who are U.S. citizens:

          "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 10:15 pm |
        • kudlak

          thefinisher1
          I don't think that we "make up" our beliefs so much as we are choosy about what we believe. There are some crazy ideas out there, you know?

          June 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • Bob

        bendummy: there are No True Scotsmen...

        June 2, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • benhoody

          What's with the bendummy' again you are showing your hate and intelligence level, all you can do is like a child, call others names.

          June 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Bob

          Ben, do try next time to respond with grammar better than that of a very young child. Otherwise, "dummy" will remain a fairly appropriate term for you.

          June 2, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • benhoody

          Bob, I won't stoop to your level and call you a childish name and show my intelligence level as you did on several occasions, or be the blog grammer cop and look to see if you missed a period or question mark, now that's really important that you do that isn't it, and you call someone else a dummy, that's rather hypocritical of you don't you think?

          June 3, 2014 at 1:08 am |
    • transframer

      Hey Doris,
      What is your definition for honor killing and where did you see such things performed by Christians?

      June 1, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
      • midwest rail

        If you read the post carefully, she is not accusing Christians of honor killings.

        June 1, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
        • transframer

          She said:
          "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"
          It look like she does

          June 1, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
        • Doris

          Thanks, midwest. I guess a ", respectively." would have helped if appended at the very end.

          June 1, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
        • Doris

          The first paragraph should indicate what is inferred by the second.

          June 1, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • midwest rail

          – Sigh – Trans, the 1st paragraph clearly separates the behavior she abhors in Christians vs behavior she abhors in Muslims. The 2nd paragraph is merely a summary.

          June 2, 2014 at 7:54 am |
  16. thefinisher1

    I've never heard a crack addict say that atheism saved their lives. Atheism has no power. It does nothing at all. Atheism is indeed a waste. Grow up atheists😜

    June 1, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
    • Doris

      because it's easier to get people with addictive personalities to switch drugs (crack or alcohol to jeebus) than to get them to give up drugs altogether

      June 1, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
      • benhoody

        What's a Jeebus, sounds a bit corny and childish, you are letting Sam Stone influence you too much

        June 1, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I think the better question is "what is a finisher"? Is that like a "fluffer"?

          June 1, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        "Jeebus"? The immaturity in today's atheists should make people turn away. You do more damage than good, kiddo! Thanks!!!! 😜

        June 1, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
      • midwest rail

        " because it's easier to get people with addictive personalities to switch drugs (crack or alcohol to jeebus) than to get them to give up drugs altogether "
        Either someone forgot to credit another poster for the exact same reply, ot we have someone who forgot to change screen names.

        June 1, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • Doris

          True midwest. I forgot to credit sam for that reply which I thought was an appropriate one, as much as any, for thefinisher1 (from the newer article).

          June 1, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
    • benhoody

      Now aren't you the friendly loving Christian. Doesn't Jesus say to love your enemies and pray for them. Or does he tell them what you do?

      June 1, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Telling atheists to grow up is hateful? Telling the truth is wrong? Wow.

        June 1, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Thanks Ben....I know we don't agree on our religious philosophies, but this guy is really an azzhole, and nothing you say will convince him he is out of line with every single one of his posts....but thanks for trying. He is a d-ick, and we all just ignore him, because he never has anything pertinent to add to any conversation.

          June 1, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Telling the truth about atheism isn't being a "d1ck". It's telling the world a truth atheists don't want told. Nice try, kiddo. You failed😜

          June 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          No....actually, being a d-ick is being a d-ick....and the funny thing is....everybody on this site knows you are a d-ick...you are just too stupid to realize it yourself. And, for the record, just because someone does not agree with your position (and with good reason), does not mean that you are right and they are wrong. So....if you ever want anybody to take you seriously, which I rather doubt based on your childish posts, you should change your approach quite a bit. If not, please continue being a d-ick and have everybody despise you. I really don't care which you choose.

          June 1, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • benhoody

          Gulliblenomore, Boy, I'll second that, am I confused or is this guy actually claiming he is a Christian?

          June 1, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          LOL!!! Not once have I ever said I was correct. Disagrees? LOL!!! Atheists hate it when someone disagrees with their atheism.

          June 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Except that ben is not an Atheist, he is Christian and it looks like even your own fellow believers disagree with you...that should be a sign.

          June 2, 2014 at 6:25 am |
    • kudlak

      thefinisher1
      A lot of people feel oppressed by their faith, and are under a lot of stress trying to make sense of their theology. To many of them, the realization that there's no good reason to actually believe in God comes as quite a relief. I know that it did for me!

      June 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
  17. Vic

    The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of "Love" upon which the Law and the prophets hinge, the "Love" of God and the "Love" of others.

    When I reflect on that, I find it compelling how precise it is. The "Love" of God entails "Belief/Faith†" in Him as Creator and Giver of "Life" and its "Unalienable Rights," and the "Love" of others entails not murdering them, not stealing from them, no infidelity towards them, no false testimony against them, and so on so forth. It other words, what was prescribed as the "Law of Commandments" is a natural outcome of the "Love" of God and others, without it being Law.

    That is the "Pinnacle" of modern society.

    † Hence God's "Saving Grace."

    June 1, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
    • G to the T

      Are you not confusing "love" with "empathy" in some of these instances? Indeed, I would argue that without empathy, love is impossible.

      Ancient moralities were often extremely tribal in nature. While members of the tribe were accorded a high moral regard, those outside of the tribe, for all intents and purposes, were not really considered "people" at all. Thus the extremely internally moral Jews could feel justified in the decimation of the other tribes around them in horrific manners. One of the things Jesus seems to have been trying to do is increase that circle of definition of "people" from a jewish perspective (most likely because he felt the kingdom of god was immanent, though his treatment of the gentile woman is an interesting contrast).

      At least – that's my take.

      June 1, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
      • Vic

        The "Love" of others stems from the "Love" of God.

        Regarding the Canaanite woman, the Lord Jesus Christ was setting a precedent for "Faith in God" AND the "Universality" of the "Good News" of the Kingdom of God to come. He was setting the stage for the "Good News" of the Kingdom of Heaven, "Salvation by the Grace of God through Faith in Him as Lord and Savior," to become "ecumenical" by bringing the folds together through the culmination of His Passion. He spoke of that characterizing His sheep—the Jews—and the other fold of sheep—the gentiles. Apostle Paul followed suit.

        John 10:14-18 & Ephesians 2:14-16, respectively.

        June 1, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Vic....stupid logic....I love my wife, and don't believe in any god at all.

          June 1, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Typical christian atitude. You don't get to credit your god for an emotion that belongs to all of humanity (and likely non-human beings).

          June 1, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The "Love" of others stems from the "Love" of God."

          Maybe for you.

          June 1, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          " Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

          Funny how the god of the bible does not fit this decription of love.

          June 1, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          vic "love" outside the human defintion of such; is simply the culmination of basic animal instincts inside a higher developed mind.
          that's it, nothing amazing about them. just simply part of our evolutionary track.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:39 am |
        • fintronics

          Yes Vic, the god of LOVE!

          1. God drowns the whole earth.
          In Genesis 7:21-23, God drowns the entire population of the earth: men, women, children, fetuses, and perhaps unicorns. Only a single family survives. In Matthew 24:37-42, gentle Jesus approves of this genocide and plans to repeat it when he returns.

          2. God kills half a million people.
          In 2 Chronicles 13:15-18, God helps the men of Judah kill 500,000 of their fellow Israelites.

          3. God slaughters all Egyptian firstborn.
          In Exodus 12:29, God the baby-killer slaughters all Egyptian firstborn children and cattle because their king was stubborn.

          4. God kills 14,000 people for complaining that God keeps killing them.
          In Numbers 16:41-49, the Israelites complain that God is killing too many of them. So, God sends a plague that kills 14,000 more of them.

          June 4, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • benhoody

          You seem to know half the story but you are oblivious of the other half, such as WHY God did these things, being God he certainly knew what he was doing and why. All you are seeing is half the story. All these people you talk about will be given an opportunity when they are resurrected in due time, he didn't destroy them for all eternity, but did so when he did for a reason, like I said, he's God, he knows what he's doing, who are you to say he doesn't. Laugh and mock all you want, it won't change a thing in Gods plan of salvation! If you knew the other half of the story you wouldn't mock as much, but you reject it.

          June 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          ben....because it is nuts, that's why! I suppose that when 294 people are killed in a plane crash, it was really their time to go and they just all happened to be on the plane at the same time? Sheer lunacy, really.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • tallulah131

          ben, I know all about christianity. I used to be a christian. But hearing something and believing it are two different things. Wanting it is yet another thing. Personally, I'm not interested in living forever. This life is enough.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
    • Bob

      Vic, the whole Jesus tale that you base your crazy beliefs on is utter nonsense. 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 ludicrous.

      June 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
      • benhoody

        Bob, once again you just proved you have no idea what you are talking about although you think you do? You call it ludicrous and you mock as usual, but you can't prove anything,

        June 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • Bob

          You should go away and study the appropriate usage of the question mark before you comment again.

          June 2, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • benhoody

          I didn't know you were the grammer cop on here.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:57 am |
  18. Dalahäst

    The parable of the long sp00ns

    Hell

    A man was once taken on a tour of hell and was surprised by what he saw: All hell’s inhabitants sat at long tables in a dining room, sp00ns in their hands, the best smelling and best looking food to have ever graced a dining room filled the air with an exquisite aroma.

    But all the diners’ arms were tied to slats of wood that kept their arms extended. In this position, the poor souls were unable to bend the sp00ns to their mouths.

    Hell was filled with the hungry, tortured by the fact that they were so close to the most amazing food imaginable and yet could not eat it.

    Heaven

    Then the man visited heaven and found the same scenario. Long tables, hungry souls, strapped arms, unable to bend their hands to their mouths to eat.

    But there was a profound difference.

    The souls in heaven sat across from each other, not trying to feed themselves, but trying to feed the person sitting across from them.

    June 1, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I imagine that fairy tale has great meaning to you. To me, it appears that you are writing fantasies in order to make yourself feel superior.

      June 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • Doris

        If I understand the lesson from this parable correctly, and we can think of both these heaven and hell concepts being represented at times in this life, then it seems easily adaptable to all kinds of situations. Such as – instead of some people being apathetic to the cries of those who are in jail in Africa at the hands of some Christians from the U.S., rather being supportive; helping to give those unjustly incarcerated people a voice.

        June 1, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • Doris

          Of course it doesn't require a fairy tale to address morality.

          June 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • Doris

          Oh my – I just realized though, that in my application of the parable, the wood slats are...Christians. lol. Why did we need wood slats again?......lol

          June 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Thanks for sharing that you imagine I am writing fantasies in order to make myself feel superior.

        I think it is a great story that illustrates when human beings work together they can create a better place. The opposite is when we think only of ourselves and essentially starve.

        It is amazing when a fairy tale reveals a truth. I think for human beings who have 2 sides of their brains – rational and imaginative – we should remain open-minded to new ways of learning.

        June 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • igaftr

          "I think it is a great story that illustrates when human beings work together they can create a better place"

          Two people wokring together, or more, can accomplish things, but a "better place"?
          Clearing the rainforests is something that many people are doing....does that make it a better place?
          Much more thought needs to go into this.
          Considering the amount of damage that humans do to the planet, in the name of "progress", seems to be quite counterproductive. In that sense, we are walking farther and farther from the "garden of Eden" that was BEFORE humans "progressed". I think of the area around me, think back to the way it was just 500 years ago.
          Clean clear drinking water in every stream, food plentiful ( in my area), materials to clothe and shelter you. A paradise of sorts...Now...everything paved so the rain can't get into the ground, pollution EVERYWHERE. We are potentially "progressing "oursleves into total destruction. Look in any Walmart or similar store...how much of their inventory will be in a landfill in 5 years? 10 years? Virtually all of it by 20 years.

          Think about it.

          June 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think the story was concerned in how we treat others. Of course it wasn't meant to be taken as an absolute, unquestionable fact. I posted it because under the Wikipedia entry on "The Golden Rule" it referenced the allegorical story as a way to illustrate the concept.

          June 1, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think what you are describing is what happens when people think mostly of themselves. The rich men who control Wal-Mart place them in areas they don't live.

          June 1, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • igaftr

          no dala
          I offered that as an extension to the golden rule, since there is much more at stake than just you and I ( and that can mean any two individuals).
          Even the writers of the bible understood that we are nature, nature is us, That we are caretakers, stewards of nature We are the only animal that has shown we can think on a global scale. We cannot seperate ourselves from nature and expect everything to be ok. We are destroying the planet, or at least we are changing the planet to the point we may make it unihabitable for ourselves.
          So I try to extend the golden rule to include the earth. And it isn't so much do as you would have done, but more a matter of trying to not negatively impact the earth, as I try to positively effect those around me. ( in your case dala, you come across as a thinker, so I am not really trying to anger you, but perhaps see things a bit differently than before, as some of the things you have said, have altered my own perception, my own way of seeing things)

          June 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ok, thanks for the extension on the Golden Rule.

          June 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      Interesting parallels in the story with religion in general. Artificial restrictions, in claims of helping, that often need no help at all. i.e. just remove the boards.

      June 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
      • tallulah131

        It does seem a good "parable" for christianity: Hold people back and try to force them to ingest imaginary belief.

        June 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Except there are too many examples of Christians leading the way for advancements in science, technology, arts, medicine and culture for that too make any sense.

          June 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • tallulah131

          There are just as many, if not more, cases of christians holding people back. Face the facts: Christians are just people. Some are good some are bad. Their belief does not grant them any special virtue, and in fact gives some people an excuse to hate.

          June 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • igaftr

          Dala
          Leonardo Da Vinci...a desit.
          The christians would have put him to death for TWO reasons had they found out about what he was doing.
          1) They would have executed him for working with dead bodies ( even though many of his drawings are still in use today) and
          2) Because he was gay.

          Either one the "christians" would have killed him.

          Individual christians are credited with some great works, but the organized religion parts, the organized churches, have always stod in the way.

          The vaticans own Vatican Observatory had long stood in the way of science, especially when that science refutes the various interpretations of the bible.

          Religions themselves are not where the credit lies, in fact, many scientific findings by Christians were held back or discounted by the organized sides of religions.

          June 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          tallulah

          I think we should look for the good, as well as the bad in all people. 'Holding people back' existed long before Christianity. And if Christianity or even religion left us, there would still be groups of people 'holding people back'. It definitely exists in all groups of human beings.

          June 1, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          ig

          Not all Christians support putting people to death for 1 & 2. In fact, most don't.

          Science and Christianity are not hostile to each other.

          June 1, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          I used an example of a man who benefitted all men with his art, science, literature...among other things, possibly more than any other man before him, and most after.
          This same man would have been killed by the christians as both desecrating the dead and h0m04exuality were condemned by death in Leonardo's time and place. Both would have gotten him killed.
          It was only one example. It is not ALL christians, nor all areas. nor places, but there is this....
          It is extremely easy to find examples of christianity and christians standing in the way of valid science. Since it is so easy to find examples, it is clear to see that it is not isolated, but rather common in history.
          Just look at those who are trying to ban evolution being taught today, or those that refuse valid medical treatment, in favor of prayer. It is very easy and quite common for beliefs to hinder advancement. There are still those today that would kill Leo for being gay, and there are those who would still want to kill him for desecration of bodies.
          Too easy to find examples means it is quite a common occurance, but not the norm ( at least not by today's standards)

          June 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The Christians are fighting to provide equal rights for ho.mos.exuals. The Christians are actually ho.mos.exuals, too. One of my pastors is a Christian and she is openly lesbian. She would not support executing Leonardo Da Vinci for any of the reasons you provided. And she leads a church that has many Christians that believe in fighting for equal rights for all people. And science? Christians fully embrace it. Some are actually paid big money to teach it. They are more qualified to talk about science than you and I. And they are actual Christians.

          This is only one example. It is not ALL christians, nor all areas. nor places, but there is this....

          June 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " The Christians are fighting to provide equal rights for ho.mos.exuals."
          As a blanket statement, patently false. Had you said "some", I would agree with you.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast,
          Some Christians support gay rights, some don't. Some Christians support science, some don't.
          I'm not convinced that Christianity actually helps people be "better" people.
          Some Christians, regardless of their Christianity, do good, some don't.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I was trying to say the same thing igaftr did, but instead of saying "Christians do 'this bad thing'" like he did, I tried saying "Christians do 'this good thing'".

          It seems there is this double standard with some non-Christians on this blog.

          I also, like him, stated that I wasn't say all, but some.

          Christians were executed for their advancement in science – at the hands of political people vainly attempting to use Christianity as a tool to rule over other people. Which failed.

          Not, not all Christians were executed, but some were.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Dala – just scrolled up – mea culpa.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Dala, you simply reworded what I said. Among christians there are good people and there are bad people. But you forgot this: christianity grants no special virtue. It simply give believers excuses to hurt others.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          tallulah

          I have never stated nor do I believe that Christianity grants a special virtue. Nope. I'm glad you are sharing what you imagine about me. It is just your imagination, though.

          In my community I see Christians that are not just harming others like you describe. In fact, they are working with others to help those in need by providing shelter, food and clothing. Some are making great sacrifices for others in need. It is amazing.

          Are you doing anything amazing like that?

          June 1, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • EdSed

          As a great man said, with or without religion, good people will do good actions, and bad people will do bad actions. It takes religion to make good people do bad actions.

          June 2, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
    • Reality

      The parable of the long sp-oons- author unknown but the following "take" on it is interesting:

      "In the Chinese versions, however, the people are eating with very long chopsticks that accomplished the same purpose as the long sp-oons. My own personal view is that my version with the locked elbows is the best because ingenious hungry people could just throw away their sp-oons or chopsticks and eat with their fingers unless their arms were locked in an outstretched position. That's what I would do!"

      http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-23/features/sns-201208221330–tms–godsqudctngs-a20120823-20120823_1_remarkable-story-heaven-text

      June 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Helping others as a way of helping ourselves does not need a religious basis for justification. It just muddies the water.

      June 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        No sh!t. I in no way was suggesting that helping ourselves needs a religious basis for justification.

        June 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Easy Dala....my post wasn't an attack. I know you realize this....but many, many believers think otherwise.

          June 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Whoops, sorry.

          June 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
    • igaftr

      Quote from M*A*S*H regarding war and hell.

      Hawkeye: War isn't Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse.

      Father Mulcahy: How do you figure, Hawkeye?

      Hawkeye: Easy, Father. Tell me, who goes to Hell?

      Father Mulcahy: Sinners, I believe.

      Hawkeye: Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is chock full of them – little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for some of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander.

      It would seem that hell is not the worst fate.

      June 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • bostontola

      This is not really a Christian notion of heaven and hell. This parable implies the differentiator is behavior not belief. All souls go to about the same afterlife, selfish souls suffer, selfless souls don't. That is a fair fate.

      The notion of hell held by many Christians (I don't think you do Dalahast), is that you can lead a moral life and go to hell if you don't accept Jesus as your lord, and an criminal can go to heaven if they sincerely accept Jesus as their lord and try to do better.

      June 1, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        There is definitely a notion held by many Christians (and pretty much everyone else I know) that heaven or hell can be experienced on Earth.

        Most Christian theologians I've read or talked to express that hell is where God destroys evil. Nobody is sitting around eating. They are completely destroyed. Gone. Dead.

        June 1, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          Well we are close to agreement. I believe I will be dead and gone at death, not because I'm evil, because I'm dead.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          We all die, according to Christians. "The wages of sin are death." But God resurrects the dead. And that is the miracle.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....if there were any real, verifiable, actual, evidential proof that anybody ever rose from the dead (remember....verifiable), and that same proof could be attributed to the god that you believe in and not any of the other 2000 gods, then yes, that would truly be a miracle. With no proof, it's just a fanciful tale.

          June 1, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          I don't believe that. I believe we all die and that is it for us (other than the memories of us in others). I believe there is no soul that survives the brain.

          June 1, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, I know some people that believe that and I can respect that. I can't believe that. I know God.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
        • bostontola

          I'm glad that belief comforts you and helps you lead a good life.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is actually God, not my belief, that guides me. And I'm often guided out of my comfort zone, so... yea. It is a challenge for me.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          Interesting. You know God exists, not just believe God exists?

          June 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have knowledge of God, yes. I believe it is available to anyone that humbly seeks him.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • bostontola

          That is a subtle difference, knowledge of God and knowing God exists. Do you think you KNOW God exists?

          June 1, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know God exists. If I didn't I would be an atheist. Anyway...nice chatting. I'm off to church again.

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

          I know he exists too, its rather easy once I stopped mocking him, stopped judging and criticizing others that believed in him, stopped believing the myth and theory that everything came from once was nothing, stopped hating others who believed in God, stopped being closed minded and truly wanted to know the truth even if it meant giving up my wrong way of living. (although at the time I didnt think of it as being wrong). Then I thought I would call out to the great being I didn't believe existed, or I should say didn't know if existed or not, I asked him to show me and if he did I would truly repent of my sins and believe what he shows me? The rest of the story is, he did show me in such a way I could not refute that he was real. I then believed in him and his son Jesus, repented of my sins which he promised to forgive if I accept the sacrifice of Christ to pay the penalty I brought on myself, and turned from my sins to follow Jesus as he showed through his word. I haven't looked back since and receive a clearer understanding as time goes on. I don't judge, hate criticize or think I am better than anyone. If you don't believe what I do, that's up to you, I'm just saying what I believe once he revealed it to me. It doesn't matter if you disagree with me, hate me, mock me or whatever, that just reveals a hateful character, to me it's real as can be.

          I was once an alcoholic, did drugs of all sorts, was a thief and a liar, an adulterer, cared little for no one, spent time locked up and was hateful toward others. God showed me plainly what I was and what he was, I didn't like what I saw myself as. I no longer hate anyone even my enemies. I don't do drugs or lie cheat or steal. I would never even think of committing adultery on my wife or even look upon a woman in lust, I now can see through all of that deception and evil. No, I'm not saying I'm perfect, far from it, but I'm no where near what I used to be and will daily strive to live the way God shows, when he shows me where I am wrong and I see it, I will admit it, turn from it and ask for his help to change. What's wrong with that as long as I dont bother you. I won't try to force what I believe on you, I can't anyway, Jesus said no man can come to him unless the Father only draws him, I leave any trying to convert someone up to God, that's his job.

          June 1, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ben....you obviously needed something in your life other that what was happening with you. You probably already know this, but it is really funny how many people 'find god' when they are at the low point of their life. That is why god is fairly prevalent in prisons and why the slaves so desperately clung to the hope of god.

          You can't however, fault those that have absolutely no need for a god because their lives are just fine. I have no need for a god and really won't waste any of my time looking for something I really don't need. I think it is pretty sick that your god picks and chooses who he will appear to and help.

          Kudos for turning your life around, but I certainly hope you understand why many of us are so skeptical.

          June 1, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
        • benhoody

          Well, one thing for sure, Yes I do understand why many are sceptical, and thankfully I do otherwise I would be caught up in judging criticizing and hating. Like I said, no one can come to Christ unless God the Father draws him, that does not mean He picks and chooses to show some and not others. Every single person will eventually be given the opportunity to see, sooner or later, if not in this life, the bible speaks about a resurrection of the dead, and then they will be given the same opportunity. Only then can he hold anyone responsible fo rejecting him, only if they know for sure that he exists, not when they don't know for sure. The so called Christians that condemn non believers to hell because they don't know if God exists and therefore don't believe in him, are the ones that are wrong and don't know their bibles.

          June 1, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ben....you are going with the idea that the bible is some kind of spiritual divinely inspired manuscript, when in fact, it has not been proven to be either. I absolutely can not base my one life experience on the basis of some man-made book with no basis of proof. You may believe what you want, but you have no proof for your belief other than your own personal experience, which, while it may appear real to you, it can not be used as verifiable proof.

          June 1, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • bostontola

          Enjoy. Not knowing there is a God doesn't make a person an atheist.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I agree.

          June 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • sam stone

          No, Dala...the miracle is that people actually believe that nonsense

          June 1, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • tallulah131

          So ben, you're another person who found god after being a terrible person. You apparently need to feel forgiven because of your lifestyle.

          I've never been a particularly bad person. I don't steal, I try not to lie and I don't cheat. I was taught the importance of honor when I was very young and that lesson stuck. My honesty has been abused by less scrupulous people, but I wouldn't change, because then I wouldn't be able to look in the mirror. Maybe this is why I can't pretend to believe in a god for which there is no evidence. Maybe I'm an atheist because I have nothing to hide and no need to hide.

          June 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Thanks Ben.

          God's strength is perfected in our weakness.

          June 1, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          @Ben, You sound to me like the sort of born ex atheist Christian who never really was an atheist in the first place. You are working under the common misconception that atheists are angry with God or rebelling against him as a teenager will often rebel against the parent. Many teenagers will do drugs or drink or sleep around because that will get them more attention from their parents while at the same time denying that they want that attention. Most will eventually settle down into a reasonably 'normal' life and find a way to be friends with their parents on a more adult level but unfortunately some will have tragic outcomes.
          Are you sure that isn't what was happening to you? both with your parents and with your God?
          The difference is that atheists either don't believe in God or cease to believe in him so therefore there is no God to rebel against. Some may still rebel against their parents or the Church but that's not the same as rebelling against God. They may make peace with their parents but they will not become Christian again. In fact if they have any sense they will keep quiet about their non belief until they are in a position of independence and can afford to 'come out' to their parents without the fear of losing vital support for college ect.

          June 2, 2014 at 4:40 am |
    • dandintac

      There it is again–that amazing Christian humility!

      I have never run across any other group of human beings who need so make up so many stories and parables to remind themselves of how superior they are to those who don't share their beliefs.

      June 1, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        I don't think that is a Christian parable. It originated from a different belief system. It is definitely not mean to remind myself how superior I am to those who don't share my belief. The exact opposite, actually. I often feel like the people in hell, thinking of only myself.

        June 1, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • dandintac

          Oh come on Dalahast! You can do better than this. Usually you are a pretty reasonable guy, but this story was patently obvious.

          Any reasonable person can see that it's obviously designed to show the moral superiority of those who go to Heaven (the believers) as opposed to the non-believers, by claiming the non-believers must be selfish and the believers must of course be selfless.

          If I were in your shoes I would be embarrassed to have posted it. I think you made a mistake, because it does nothing to show Christianity positively to anyone outside the group–instead it comes across as smug and arrogant, nor does it work to further any argument you might make.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:19 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I read it on Wikipedia, and nothing there suggests what you are suggesting.

          Here is something easy:

          post 3 examples that demonstrate your claim. This parable is used by different faiths, and even of people with no faith. It has been written about and analyzed. So show me 3, or at least 1 other that draws the same conclusion as you.

          One poster, Reality, said it was originally a Chinese parable. And it was chopsticks not sp00ns.

          Anyway, looking forward to you backing up what you claim.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:45 am |
        • Dalahäst

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_long_sp oo ns

          (take out the spaces in sp oo n)

          Go ahead and write your claims into the Wikipedia page. Since it is a pretty reasonable site, it must be wrong since it doesn't suggest what you suggest.

          Good luck. Let me know when your submission is approved!

          June 3, 2014 at 12:47 am |
        • dandintac

          Read the Wiki article, which notes that there are a number of interpretations, but does not list them all. The allegory is not always used with respect to Heaven/Hell, but it's still quite clear that those in Hell (presumably the nonbelievers) are morally inferior, and are either hopelessly selfish or too stupid to cooperate. I don't see how anyone can not see that.

          June 4, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          wiki is NOT an authority of hell or heaven...no one is infierior....that's only from shallow mindedness of those who determine value and worth of others in shallow ways

          June 5, 2014 at 2:20 am |
        • Dalahäst

          "While the parable does not bear out if interpreted literally, the basic idea is a good one: God does not actively punish evil and reward good. Instead, he sets up a situation where good behaviors lead to good consequences while evil behaviors lead to bad ones. It makes more sense than the traditional ideas of Heaven and Hell because instead of making it an either/or situation (and inviting questions like "Does rescuing the lives of 5 children outweigh killing 4 nuns?"), it allows for a gradient. The better a person is, the more he will enjoy the afterlife."

          I found that. I know it doesn't support your theory. I can't find any that do.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:54 am |
        • hawaiiguest

          Yes Dala feel free to just say something isn't "meant" to be taken literally whenever it's convenient.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:57 am |
        • Dalahäst

          It is not a matter of convenience. It is the way it has been taught for a long time.

          June 3, 2014 at 2:04 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....Hawaii is quite right. Just because something is taught a certain way does not make it right. The reason so many people are abandoning the whole god story is that the youth are questioning the concept of worshiping a tyrant, which your god clearly is.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:03 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't worship a tyrant. And that is not the reason why so many people are leaving religion. There are a lot that do believe in God.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....yes, that is exactly why. Science is advancing to the point that early indoctrination to the religious cult concept is being overshadowed. It is not that they are smarter than my generation, it's that they have access to much more intelligent info.

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

          My understanding of God's will is to totally embrace science and reject the religious cult concept. A lot of people don't have faith in organized religion, but they still believe in God. A very small percentage of people identify as atheist.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....science and religion are polar opposite concepts to the religious cults. I have no idea why you would require countless measures of testing, validation, and peer review from science, and then use a musty 2000 year old book for the determination of a god character.

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

          Sorry. Science and religion are studying 2 different things.

          Most religious people fully embrace science.

          What you are describing sounds like scientism, which I don't agree with. There are things that science can not explain. Like the purpose and meaning of life.

          Martin Luther King Jr.:
          “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

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

          Dala....again, you are misinformed. Religions only embrace science when it benefits their belief system. Anything contrary is rejected.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....the religious only accept science when it does not purport to go against their religious concepts. That is not embracing science in my book.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There are religious people that are more qualified to speak about science than you. They do more with science than you do.

          Not all religious people do what you imagine. You are stereotyping. And we don't all live by your book.

          If you decided to master a science, there is a good chance a religious person will teach you about that science at some point.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbvDYyoAv9k

          Religion and science are not inherent rivals. To some people there are.

          Some religions encourage science. My church does. We have scientists in our congregation. We are preparing to send off one of our member's child to go study Microbiology at college after graduation. She loves God. She loves science. It works.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @Dala

          Depending on which denomination you ascribe to. That's something that no Christian I have ever talked to has addressed in a satisfactory manner. You speak of how something was taught, and maybe so in your denomination, but I can guarantee that there is a denomination as old that teaches something different.

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

          So? What am I supposed to believe? Each atheist on here that claims to know things I don't know tells me something different. Some are just parroting the God Delusion or some extremist anti-theist web page. You know, 'evangelical' atheists that try to persuade others to give up theistic belief. They seem completely confused. And often self-describe themselves as logical and reasonable, but don't act that way. It seems like the atheists just cherry pick different philosophies that work for them. Most just try to dictate to me what I should believe, as if there are any valid reasons to trust in some anonymous guy posting on a religion blog.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....I'm afraid you are mistaken. Atheists have only one core principle. They do not believe in any god because there is no evidential proof of such. That's all. Granted, some are more passionate about it, but at the core, they have the same philosophy

          June 3, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No, atheism just means you don't believe in God.

          Adding that there is no evidential proof of such is not inherent in atheism. Some atheists could care less about evidential proof.

          There are definitely different kind of atheists. When someone asks me and starts defining different kinds of Christians and trying to label me as one – it is fair to ask what kind of atheists they are and provide different descriptions of the different types I interact.

          On this blog: there are atheists that promote their brand of atheism and try to persuade others to give up their belief in God. Some claim to embrace science, logic and reason – but when you test them, they really don't know science, are not logical and are very unreasonable. Now, most are not like this: but on here, a lot are.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....you are wrong. You capitalized the word god when you made your statement about atheists belief. Atheist don't believe in ANY god. However, were your god ever able to make an appearance at the halftime show of the Super Bowl, I contend that practically all atheists would be believers.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • Dalahäst

          You are wrong when you philosophize that atheists do not believe because of evidence.

          I just means disbelief. Tacking on the evidence claim makes you a specific type of atheist. And now it is starting to sound like a religion. And, yes, there are atheist religions. Atheism is not a religion. But there are atheists that treat atheism like a religion. There are many examples on this blog.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dala....you have been incredibly misinformed. But, the delusion you have with your own belief probably makes you think this way.

          From what I have read from the posters on this site, all of them just need proof of a god to believe. To date, there is none.

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

          @Dala

          You might actually try addressing my post instead of typing irrelevant bullshit in order to avoid what i'm actually saying in my post.

          June 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm trying to keep conversations with 13 people at once. All I can see is the last post you gave to me. Sorry if I am missing context or not answering questions to your satisfaction.

          June 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          hawaiiguest
          @Dala

          Depending on which denomination you ascribe to. That's something that no Christian I have ever talked to has addressed in a satisfactory manner. You speak of how something was taught, and maybe so in your denomination, but I can guarantee that there is a denomination as old that teaches something different.

          June 3, 2014 at 3:03 am |
          Dalahäst
          So? What am I supposed to believe? Each atheist on here that claims to know things I don't know tells me something different. Some are just parroting the God Delusion or some extremist anti-theist web page. You know, 'evangelical' atheists that try to persuade others to give up theistic belief. They seem completely confused. And often self-describe themselves as logical and reasonable, but don't act that way. It seems like the atheists just cherry pick different philosophies that work for them. Most just try to dictate to me what I should believe, as if there are any valid reasons to trust in some anonymous guy posting on a religion blog.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:07 am |

          This was in regards to you saying that something, doesn't really matter what, is not meant to be taken literally the only reason you gave for this is that that is the way it was taught for a long time.

          June 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What I was trying to say is this:

          Each atheist has his own philosophy or explanation. Just like each denomination has their own. So I hear you: that’s something that no atheist I have ever talked to has addressed in a satisfactory manner. I can guarantee that there are atheists with different definitions of what atheism is and theories as to what and why they believe or disbelieve. In addition to theories on why and what I actually believe (some claim to know better than I know myself).

          My OP was in regards to the open-mindedness and encouragement to education that exists in my church. I used to think all Christians were narrow-minded/atheists open-minded. Now I'm finding Christians that demonstrate open-mindedness and atheists that demonstrate narrow-mindedness.

          Actions speak louder than words.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          dala....is that your opinion about atheists or are you trying to stereotype atheists, like you accused me of doing?

          June 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          And of course it is my opinion.

          I'm in the opinion section of a blog dedicated to religious belief. What else am I supposed to do?

          June 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Well....you can start by not being a smug sarcastic p-rick....that would be a good start.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You, too.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • benhoody

          I agree with you both on that one.

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

          All you do is insult me and insist on your way.

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

          That's what he does with everyone, you just have to get used to him, I know it's tough but he's not a bad guy, he just thinks he's right like we all do.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          At least I don't know I am right, I just think I am. I've yet to meet a single Christian on this site that only thinks they are right. They all know it for a fact, even though they have no proof. It's very odd.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          They all know it for a fact, <-yes we do..and you cant handle that? sorry for you

          June 4, 2014 at 1:57 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit.... No need to feel sorry for me simply because I'm not an arrogant azz that knows I'm right even though I have no proof at all. Actually, I feel sorry for you because you are eating your life with unattainable expectations. Good luck with that.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:37 am |
        • Dalahäst

          We are all the same, basically.

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

          Each atheist tells me a different story and theory about their beliefs or disbeliefs. The same is true of Christians. I'm agreeing.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Not on this site, they don't. They may in your outside life, but not on here.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Definitely on this site. In real not so much.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst

          Yes, there are some open-minded Christians who are honest enough to admit to themselves that they choose between often conflicting Bible passages and choose to ignore others. My guess is that they are more likely to follow the Golden Rule than the others. Hopefully, they will work to convert the others.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think they actually follow Jesus, not the "Golden Rule". I think we openly discuss all Bible passages. We don't ignore Bible passages, that is for sure. Some we admit are difficult to understand. And some were obviously not written for us to try and follow in our lives, but to understand the lives of people before us.

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

          @Dala

          Yes they do, and your continued avoidance of actually addressing what i said shows that you have no answer.

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

          I have no idea what you are getting at. Sorry. Is this in reference to my OP?

          June 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst

          "We don't ignore Bible passages,"

          Of course you do. You do it every time you are appalled by slavery or discrimination against women or the handicapped.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Or anytime they eat shellfish or wear cotton poly-blend shirts.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, that is not it at all.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          Actually you need to read the entire the Bible as you are one picking and choosing. It is suggested we follow food related traditions only so as not to offend, but we are not under the law to only eat certain foods. What are you suggesting anyway?

          June 3, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I actually have read the bible, and I was referring to Leviticus saying shellfish was an abomination and that a person wearing clothes made of 2 different types of cloth are right in the same section as being g-ay is an abomination. You have no trouble with one passage, but ignore the others. I ignore all of them....I don't cherry pick at all.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          As to the clothes Jesus said not to be worried about how we dress. Hopefully you have noticed that God is concerned about your soul not your outward appearance.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....so then what you are saying is to just ignore Leviticus? How about the rest of the OT....what other parts should we ignore?

          June 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you say you read the whole Bible yet you still show ignorance of the laws....different types of laws..building codes, ceremonial laws (ie what to eat, wear at the Temple, what type of sacrifices) you got civil laws and case laws...seems to me you see them as all the same kind of laws.....

          June 4, 2014 at 2:00 am |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          No, you do not ignore them. You actually twist the Word of God in a way to support your mocking. If you ignored the truth you would not constantly need to attack it or those who follow the truth.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          No Fred....I really, truly in my heart of hearts could absolutely care less what is in the bible. It is all a fairly tale for me with a few passages of nice sentiment. It has no more value to me than a Harry Potter book. I'm not mocking you, either. I just find it odd that Christians pick and choose passages from the bible that they feel best suit their argument at the time while ignoring others that are contrary to their thinking. I really want to know....is Leviticus valid or not?

          June 3, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          With the exception of Jesus every hero of the Bible showed they could not follow the rules and certainly we are no different today. The purpose of most of these laws was simply to reveal sin in our lives and thus the need for Gods grace. There are no laws I ignore which reveal sin in my life.
          Now, you reject God and the law so you believe you have no sin in your life or need of grace/mercy/forgiveness. That is godlessness.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....yep....that is me all right. I am godless because I don't believe in god. That means absolutely nothing to me. Actually, because I don't have to worry about the silliness in the bible, I can follow the real law and not be a jerk picketing against the g-ay community, I can leave women alone to make their own decisions about their bodies, and I don't have to go door-to-door preaching my belief. Thank god I'm an atheist!

          June 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          "so then what you are saying is to just ignore Leviticus? How about the rest of the OT....what other parts should we ignore?"
          =>no parts of the Bible are ignored
          =>some verses apply only to a certain tribe, position or time and place of that culture. Jesus boiled it down to two commands to make things simple. You cannot cannot follow even those two and often fail at following those two.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think Fred is describing what my experience has been. I'm new to having faith in Jesus. Well, probably 3 years now. But I've taken a lot of concerns and questions from the Bible straight to pastors and other people. Nobody has tried to ignore anything. But have put things in perspective for me. It is hard to just sit down and read the Bible and fully understand what is being described. I need help doing it. So the OT describes things, but it doesn't mean God approves of it. We have book studies and I'm pretty sure we will go through all the books. We want to know what the Bible says and what we think that means.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          ".is Leviticus valid or not?"
          =>Leviticus is valid and was written to the Israelites and priests regarding access to God. It clarified God's standard of holy living for these chosen people.

          June 3, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          They are not intended to be universal laws. They were specific laws, for specific people, written at a specific time to deal with specific issues. Right?

          June 3, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
        • midwest rail

          My guess is fred won't agree with that.

          June 3, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • believerfred

          Dalahäst
          The problem is evident when you see those attempting to justify homosexuality using the Bible and others using the same verses to justify homosexuality as an abomination. It is perspective where my example is man's perspective whereas the Bible was written for those with a Godly perspective. The key to a Godly perspective is does it glorify God and does it meet the minimum standard set clearly by Jesus (Love God with all your heart, mind and soul. Love your neighbor as yourself). If you are a homosexual and I love God then I would naturally love you as I do myself.
          Being set apart for God is the same today as always. Being holy is the same today as always. Bringing glory to God is the purpose of existence as always. This is what Leviticus was saying and what Jesus said.

          June 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          That's not what Leviticus is saying at all. He was pretty specific about what you should and should not do....there is nothing subjective there....it is all very specific. Dance all you want, but what he is saying is diametrically opposed to what people really believe. I just wish Christians would admit that there are some extremely outdated parts of the bible instead of yelling 'context' all the time.

          June 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @Dala

          You said that actions speak louder than words. And i'm saying that it does. And your actions in avoiding actually addressing anything that I'm posting speaks volumes about your willingness to actually engage in conversations.

          June 3, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          "That's not what Leviticus is saying at all."
          =>sorry but the consensus is that Leviticus tells the Israelites and the priestly about access to God. Access is by atoning blood (yep you guessed it Jesus the Lamb of God). The theme is holiness so it makes clear the standard for holy living.
          Atonement, holiness and access to God is clearly what it is saying. Certainly the laws and customs are relative and specific to the culture. Did you expect Moses to write to some other audience?

          " He was pretty specific about what you should and should not do"
          =>Yes, and the flood story was also very specific about the cleansing by water of all unclean creation. Yet, cleansing by water is a common theme throughout the Bible. 3,000 years later we see the waters of baptism and the living waters of Christ carrying truth and it all ties together under a universal law (all that is not of God will be washed away)

          "there is nothing subjective there."
          =>It is very subjective as this was how the Chosen Ones were to set themselves apart from those around them.

          "Dance all you want, but what he is saying is diametrically opposed to what people really believe."
          =>It is only "diametrically opposed" to what the godless really believe. Those who know God today just as those who had God with them 3,000 years ago strive to follow the law, strive to live a holy life, have a life style very different than the godless around them, respect the Word of God and live in the way and the truth.

          "I just wish Christians would admit that there are some extremely outdated parts of the bible"
          =>Really, are there Christians that believe we should sprinkle blood on the alter, throw a husband and wife out of town if they have sex during her period, burn in the fire a man and his wives if he marries a woman and her mother ....

          June 4, 2014 at 12:53 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Gee Fred.... I'm sorry. I didn't realize you were dealing with consensus opinions instead of actual wording. So....what you mean is...the guess here is what he meant. Nice

          June 4, 2014 at 7:39 am |
        • hawaiiguest

          And once again fred assumes that his interpretation is correct, and anything that says otherwise is to be ignored or chalked up to "you're not reading the bible right because you don't agree with my interpretation". A common and pathetic tactic.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:41 am |
        • kermit4jc

          ou know Hawaii..instead of whining about fred..show him the context of the Bible if you dare.....people like fred and I give context..but when people like you are faced with it...you cry foul and whine...yet cannot back up your arguments sufficiently....try context...you will like it..it really helps when communicating ideas to other people

          June 4, 2014 at 2:10 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          you know, "context" aka "stretch shlt to fit"...

          June 4, 2014 at 2:27 am |
        • kermit4jc

          see? people don't give a rats bu tt about context.....neverbeenhappier is prime example..he don't care...he claims we make things up..but those like him NEVER show the context...they are the ones making things stretch...by ignoring context

          June 4, 2014 at 2:39 am |
        • hawaiiguest

          @kermit

          I hear that context excuse a whole lot, yet never once has the context been presented that makes Leviticus and Deuteronomy not apply anymore, not to mention that fred has consistently claimed context, yet has never actually presented the biblical support for his claims. Would you like to actually present the context, or would you rather claim that i'm missing some mysterious context and never actually present it in order to preserve your delusions?

          June 4, 2014 at 2:50 am |
        • kermit4jc

          ok...you see whatI tyold the other blogger then...I gave context to them...in Leveticus 18..about proper s e x practices it refers to ALL peoples..not just Jews...reading at the end of the chapter it makes it clear..whereas OTHER laws are for Jews onl.y..PLUS...it is very easy to see the distinctions of different laws..for example you got building codes in the Bible..how to have "walls" around the rooftop so people don't fall off..you got civil laws (if your cow gores another) you have case laws and dietary laws and ceremonial laws....they are very clear...I get it right there from the Bible....

          June 4, 2014 at 3:09 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....and shellfish? And men wearing shirts of two different cloths? And the fact that I can sell my daughter into slavery but only to neighboring countries? And death to any man that sows his field with two different crops? And forcing a woman to marry her ra-pist? God intentionally messing up Jobs life in order to prove a point? Lot handing over his daughters to an angry mob? Sorry...,your context BS does not work.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:48 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Lot handing over his daughters to an angry mob?<--whats that got to do with argument..Lot was a sinner...that was not something commanded by God....as for your argument elsewhere...I guess you don't like consequences and you don't like that the daughter is part of helping family get out of debt..... (we are not talking of little children here..but those who can work) I know the welfare system was not perfect..to me it seems a little better than what we have today..where people sponge off of others for free and no work...for people to abuse it and such

          June 4, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Nice try at a deflection, but not really answering much. And, no debt is worth selling my daughter into slavery...,under any condition.

          June 4, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • kermit4jc

          first of all..no deflection at all..nice try.....you didn't even show what was deflected..and second..you don tneed to sell your daughter into slavery...things are different to where you have OTHER options NOW to pay off your debt..the point is...again a way to HELP out the family to pay off debt.....sorry you cant handle having to WORK to pay off yoru debts..you almost sound like you would rather sit and do nothing..collect money from welfare to pay off your debts for you

          June 4, 2014 at 10:02 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit.....got all that from me saying I wouldn't sell my daughter into slavery? Wow, you really are demented.

          June 4, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • kermit4jc

          theBible does not tell YOU to sell your daughter..so it is moot anyways

          June 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Leviticus does...among other things

          June 4, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          oh really? so you are an Israelite about to take the Land of Canaan???

          June 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          So....only h-omos-exuality is an abomination to the Israelites? Give it up....you already blew your credibility when you stated you knew the bible better than the Pope.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          context, context, context. lol

          now that is funny.

          here is a context that theists and athiests can agree on to view any religious text from.................. literal.
          better known as; reading it how the words are written. if a word said steal, it means theft,to take illegally.

          "interruptation" literally means seeing things from your perspective, seeing as humans find it difficult to see things from others perspective because we are loving trapped inside our own skins.

          literal will make read and discussing the object in question that much easier to debate.

          June 4, 2014 at 7:58 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Zhilla....if you were to take the bible literally, it would be impossible to explain. That's why Kermit is always screaming 'context' every day. Of course, 'context' just stands for 'making up any sh-it I want in order to backup my stance. I find it really amazing that people think this is acceptable.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:31 am |
        • kermit4jc

          context’ just stands for ‘making up any sh-it I want in order to backup my stance. I find it really amazing that people think this is acceptable.<-not at all..it means using the language, culture....literary devices used.....etc etc..and I sghown the context..but all I get from You people is "foul!" and yo don't even back up your side.....Imsorry you have a distaste for context and wanting to know what people are trying to communicate

          June 4, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • kermit4jc

          “interruptation” literally means seeing things from your perspective<-I see it from context....from THEIR point of view..not mine thank you....and seems to me you don't like context..you don't care to understand what the people are telling us..you wanna make up your own stuff....youre the one doing what you accuse me of....I use contextof language (nowhere did it say to steal from others btw) I use context of geography, culture..etc etc...

          June 4, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....no, you don't. You plug in the missing gaps with your interpretation of what you want the bible to mean. Every Christian does it and many different interpretations result from it. Why should we take your opinion on this? What makes you right?

          June 4, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • kermit4jc

          You plug in the missing gaps with your interpretation of what you want the bible to mean<-first of all..that is a pompous arrogant statement..you don't kNOW my wants.....second of all....you say such..but you don't show it..I gave context..I use context of language....geograophy..etc etc....if I do as you say..youd show it..but all of you atheists I spoken to do no such things..you don't show the "correct" context....you just cry foul....that's not debate....

          June 4, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....you've made it pretty clear what your wants are. Sorry you don't like being so transparent, but you are. You proclaim context as a reason for every inconsistency in your book, even to the point where you are saying you know better than the Pope. Talk about arrogant!

          June 4, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Kermit….you’ve made it pretty clear what your wants are. Sorry you don’t like being so transparent<–I cant help it that I aint stupid and throw in the towel because I find a supposed inconsistency.....youre asking me to make them guilty untilprven innocenbt..youknow why we have the law saying INNOCENT until proven guilty.....I am not going to go your dishonest way....IM going to CHECK to see IF there is an oinconistsecny...if scientists did it your way...wed have NO science at all..cause everytime they come across inconsistencies..they keep on looking into it....but you are encouraging to throw in the towel....don't use the double standard heer ok?

          June 4, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I'm not using a double standard here. Science is fact and religion is BS. The two are not compatible.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you ARE using a double standard..YOU say you find inconsientcies in the Bible (supposedly) and then you throw in the towel and give up! You don't ook to find if it ACTAULLY iS an inconisitency.....you use the guilty until proven innocent approach......scientists do no such thing when they find inconsitencies..and you know it...thus it IS a double standard.....

          June 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Your opinion only

          June 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          not an opinion at all..you are showing it very clearly of being double minded, using a double standard....

          June 4, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....still your opinion only.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Ultimately context does not matter even to the believer, as believerfred once pointed out, he would believe in the Hebrew God of the bible regardless of what faults are found in the bible and regardless of the lack of any evidence. That is why they call it faith instead of fact. So all Kermie here is doing is shouting up and down about context trying to rationalize his own faith that doesn't make any sense when measured up against the facts. He knows the fact is that owning any human as a slave is wrong so he has to invent context to make it okay when the bible says its okay.

          Just admit it kermie, you don't really care whether the bible is consistent or meant to be taken literal or figuratively, you just want to believe because you like how the promise of being turned into some immortal spirit being to roam the universe or heaven after death makes you feel. You like feeling important instead of impotent, and no matter what the facts show you are going to choose the outcome you selfishly desire more. The other thing it does is remove any and all responsibility for you to have to work hard in the hear and now to fix the planet and take care of your fellow man, you can shirk those responsibilities by leaving it up to your God to rescue us.

          You've already thrown in the towel as shown by your words "never will be world peace..never.."

          We never will have peace if two thirds of the world are religious morons with that kind of defeatist attltude.

          June 4, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Just admit it kermie, you don’t really care whether the bible is consistent or meant to be taken literal or figuratively, you just want to believe because you like how the promise of being turned into some immortal spirit being to roam the universe or heaven after death makes you feel. You like feeling important instead of impotent, and no matter what the facts show you are going to choose the outcome you selfishly desire more. <-just admit you are a pompus arrogant pwrson who thinks he knows what I want..I study the Bible to get truth..THAT is what I want....if I find some alledge inconsistency I will checkto see if in fact IT IS such.....if scientists did as YOU are suggesting I do....then wed have no science...science find inconsistencies allthe time..do they give up? NO! don't try to use double standards here ok?

          June 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The other thing it does is remove any and all responsibility for you to have to work hard in the hear and now to fix the planet and take care of your fellow man, you can shirk those responsibilities by leaving it up to your God to rescue us. <-where the heck did you get this BS from? We are told to take care of things here andnow as well...I have no idea what got youthinking that other BS

          June 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          You’ve already thrown in the towel as shown by your words “never will be world peace..never..”<-its FACTS man..HUMANS are evil..and stop blaming the religion...even if we did not have religion..HUMANS WILL find other reasons to hate....Im surprised you havenot figured that out..THAT is why we wont have world peace ever...we are HUMANS......you are expcting the unnattaiable

          June 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          ... here and now...

          June 4, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • bchev

          kermit,
          Context is a cop out, and a weak one. The Bible is supposedly the road map of how to live your life according to "God", a god that is supposed to be all knowing, all loving, and all powerful. Supposedly every word of the bible is directly inspired by "God", and completely inerrant. If an infallible diety writes a rulebook that the people he's created are to follow for all time, and he knows everything about them and everything that they will one day experience and one day be, then context wouldn't matter. The book would be written to transcend all times, all cultures, and all peoples to give absolute and immutable truths. The fact that the Bible does not do that is a problem. Every time a Christian says "that was for a different time, you have to understand their context", they are essentially saying, "we support moral relativism, and our "God" is not a versatile writer."

          Short version- If "God" was a great as everyone says he is the context of the words would be irrelevant.

          June 4, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Context is a cop out,<–how DOYOU survive in thisworld without proper communication then??? lol..Im sorry but that statement is absurd.!!! COntext is EVERYTHING in comunnicaiton..without context , you would NOT know what the other person is telling you! and youwould not know how to respond..as for Bible context DOES matter..for US to understand what GOD is communicating to US we need to know the context the Bible DOES afdrress all those things.....you are just too lazy to do any work in trying to understand anyone else..for that matter...since you don't like context in communication..I will not respond to anymore of yoru foolishness until youdecide context is important in everyday communication..cause otherwise it would mean nothing to you or me and a waste of time

          June 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey Dala you might want to review this since you keep posting that video – as the tail grows – oops mean tales..

          n the interview, which was filmed last week in New York City, the Cosmos host said that denial of scientific truths generally goes through three stages: First, skeptics say it can’t be true. Then, they say it contradicts the Bible. Finally, they admit the clues were there all along.

          http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/02/neil-degrasse-tyson-when-the-rich-start-losing-money-theyll-take-climate-change-seriously/

          June 4, 2014 at 10:30 am |
        • James XCIX

          bchev – "The book would be written to transcend all times, all cultures, and all peoples to give absolute and immutable truths. The fact that the Bible does not do that is a problem. "

          Well said. The idea that in order to correctly understand what the god of the Bible wants you must study the Bible, the languages in which it was originally written, and the ancient cultures in which it originated is very elitist, and just plain silly.

          June 4, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • otoh2

          kermit,
          "for example you got building codes in the Bible..how to have "walls" around the rooftop so people don't fall off..you got civil laws (if your cow gores another) you have case laws and dietary laws and ceremonial laws."

          Listen, "Moses" declared that all of these handy hints were specially spoken to him by the "Lord God". Many other ancient cultures, both preceding the Hebrews and those who had never heard of the Hebrews, figured this stuff out on their own. They are obviously man-made. No god necessary.

          June 4, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "..whereas OTHER laws are for Jews onl.y..."

          How do resolve that idea with the idea that Christians are the spiritual descendants of Abraham (i.e., proxy Jews)? Shouldn't laws that apply to Jews also apply to all believers?

          June 4, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Ceremonial laws deal with the Temple..is there a Temple? no....however..we can stillapply the PRINCIPLE....Jesus spoke many times of not whats outside..but whats inside...about being "ceremonially clean" when coming before God

          June 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • James XCIX

          So, ceremonial laws that nobody can follow today aside... I'm not clear what your position is on the other laws.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Jesus said to love God and to lov eothers, that all the law na dthe prophets hang on these two things..if I love my nrighbor, IMmot going to want to envy what he has..but rjoice with him..IM mot going to want to kill another person...we can say all we want about how its not good to kill others..but we can take it a step further by having compassion on our fellow man

          June 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          " I didn't realize you were dealing with consensus opinions instead of actual wording. So....what you mean is...the guess here is what he meant."
          =>No, Gods truth is absolute and universal not subject to man
          =>Mans interpretation of the culture and ways of the Hebrew shortly after the Exodus from Egypt (times of Leviticus) is based on consensus. As with Science there are no facts only current consensus as to what is accepted as fact.

          June 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....spin it all you want, you will never find consensus on guesses with the bible. You would think an intelligent being would have been able to remove the ambiguity and make his 'truth' beyond that of a guess.

          Science depends on way more than consensus. There are theoretically studies, backed up by methodical testing, analysis, and peer review. Bible study is a collection of people sitting around wondering what other people 2000 years ago, were writing about.

          June 4, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....fvck off....I don't particularly like being called an idito....whatever that is.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • believerfred

          hawaiiguest
          "And once again fred assumes that his interpretation is correct"
          =>when I cite current consensus the consensus is not my interpretation as I am not an expert in a 3,000 year old nomadic peoples. Do you just want to pick a fight..............if so you just lost the first round now go to your corner

          June 4, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          "Zhilla....if you were to take the bible literally, it would be impossible to explain. "
          =>Read the Bible and note that Jesus flat out stated he does not present the mystery of God in a literal manner. He further said this is done so that only those with eyes could see (i.e. those who truly seek God)

          June 4, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....how ambiguous of him! Not very smart I would attest, but certainly a fail safe for believers to fall back on.

          June 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • believerfred

          James XCIX
          "bchev – "The book would be written to transcend all times"
          =>and that it does. One does not need to be an expert. One only needs the Holy Spirit. Jesus said when I go the Holy Spirit will come and open your heart to the truth. Take note the truth requires more than just knowledge of culture etc. it requires a heart that longs for God.
          We all seek and we normally find what we are looking for in life (or think we have). If you seek God with a willing heart you will find God. An actual experience with God opens your eyes so you can see the reality that was always there which is dependent on God not an improbable accidental existence without purpose.

          June 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          "Fred....how ambiguous of him!"
          =>really? Tell me what is it God expects from you. I bet you know very clearly exactly what that is.

          June 4, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....nothing....I don't believe in the existence of any god.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....you can't even get all your religious cult members to agree what god wants. That's why you have so many sects

          June 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • James XCIX

          fred – "One does not need to be an expert. One only needs the Holy Spirit."

          And yet so many who profess to have the Holy Spirit still come up with differing interpretations of what the words of the Bible mean.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          "Fred....nothing....I don't believe in the existence of any god."
          =>I understand that. You made the statement "Fred....how ambiguous of him!". I asked if it was clear to you what God expects. Again, what does God clearly say is expected from you.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....clearly? Really? The bible is hundreds of pages long. There is no clear answer to that and you know it. Otherwise Kermit would not be arguing with me that he knows more than the Pope does. You guys need to get together on this a little better.

          June 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • believerfred

          James XCIX
          No two people see the world alike as that is how we were created. This diversity allows for unlimited creative expression. Made in the image of God were we (as Yoda would say). God is creator and creation itself out of that essence or substance we bundle up under the word God. Our creative capacity by design opens the gateway to be in awe of creation, creator (God). This is the plan of God as expressed in all we see and are. The plan is eternal existence in the Glory of God or as Saul of Tarsus said to be in Christ. The purpose of man was to fully embrace and experience that wonder reflecting it back in Glory onto God with the full broad spectrum of creativity within us waiting to explode beyond time and imagination.

          Mankind has drifted far from the God of Abraham and the God of the Apostles to the point were are loosing sight of God as revealed. The Bible says for each has gone their own way. This is what you see, each going their own way and expressing what they see as the plan and purpose for existence. Believers and non believers alike create their own vision of God (yes non believers have an image of God) based on their lifetime experiences and dispositions. That does not invalidate the truth or the Word of God it simply reflects the end result when mankind drifts away from their designed purpose.

          June 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          Seriously? You claim you have read the Bible yet you cannot in 10 words or less tell me what God expects from you? This is not a trick question. To make it less personal in 10 words or less what does God expect from man.

          June 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....I'll not be baited. You can't simplify what god wants or there would be no need for a thousand page bible...it can't be that easily defined, even though I know the exact words you are wanting as a reply.

          June 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • bchev

          Believerfred,
          I can very honestly say, that there are very few things I can think of that would be more dissapointing than living my life thinking that my greatest purpose was to glorify an praise an "all powerfull" being, that can snap universes into existence. If a god created an immeasurably large universe, then spent almost 4 billion years steering the development and evolution of life on a single planet, so that he could one day have 7 billion people to potentially praise and "share in" his glory, then that god has some UNBELIEVABLE self confidence problems. That is a whole new level of narcisism.

          No thank you, I will stick with making the lives of those I care about better and finding what happiness I can along the way as my life's purpose. Way more productive.

          June 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Bchev....excellent! I really don't mind if these people want to believe in a supreme being with no proof of existence. That is up to them. It's the arrogance that only they know, only they have the right answer, only they have the truth....that is the most galling. Today, Kermit said that he knew more about the bible than the Pope. A few days ago, theo tried to use the bible as justification for the holocaust. Crazy.

          June 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ahhh yes..the Pope is ALL knowing of the bIble....he knows everything and I don't....come on gulli...that's pretty shallow..just cause he is called "pope" does not mean he knows it all..thats why thereis so much trouble...the people made him into a god by aying he makes no erros....problem with that is he is HUMAN

          June 4, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...you think you know more about god and the bible than the Pope? Complete arrogance.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I di dnot say that....come one..I was talking of ONEissue you idito.....does the Pope know EVERY single thing in the Bible/ NO..just because I know something The POPE doesn't know does NOT makeme know more than Him! The pope knows other things that I don't know about the Bible......youre trying to stir up trouble with your semantics here

          June 4, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • believerfred

          We are to trust and obey. Jesus gave the best summary: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and with all your strength.

          June 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • believerfred

          bchev
          Whow, you have a vision of God that came right out of atheism 101. How exactly did you come up with that image of self and God?
          God is not some human like being that you bow before as depicted by Hollywood and Satan most likely does not have horns and a red tail. You are not some worthless peasant crawling on your hands and knees. Typically our image of God says more about ourselves than it does about God.
          Your very existence has been crushed by this poor image you just expressed. Moses, Isaiah, Jesus and all the great ones of the Bible who believed never saw this God you imagine. God is best described as a burning holiness, purity so great it is searing. There is no way you could glorify and praise Him. Not because of the nature of God but because of who you are (based on what you expressed in your post).
          When you truly love another you would never express desire to be unified in the terms you used. In terms we can understand God presents you with your hearts desire revealing how beautiful you are in the true wonders of your very essence embraced with eternal love so pure even time stands still is the souls position before God for those who love God.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • bchev

          kermit,
          Just saw your response to the post about context earlier (your posts are appearing out of order on my forum). In day to day human to human communications, context is absolutely essential, right up there with tone and subtext. BUT, in directive communications from the divine, context should not be a part of the consideration. An omniscient being should be able to tell his little humans what is right from beginning to end in one way free of context, he should know the words to use so that it would always be perfectly understood, and he should be able to give the text mystical properties to ensure that it is NEVER mis-translated. NONE of that is true of the bible, so if "God" really wnated it to be used by people forever and ever he didn't plan very well.

          Also, claiming context is important is the same thing as admitting that moral relativism is a thing. I'm fine with that, I believe it's an important part of human society, that different cultures implicitly develop the rules necessary for their prosperity; but the Christian view poitn is that "God" is the universal moral authority, and he is unwavering. If that is the case, then context CAN NOT be a consideration, or you're now putting parameters on "God's" laws, and they are conditional, not absolute.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          BUT, in directive communications from the divine, context should not be a part of the consideration. <-so youre advocating for laziness and no incentive to study the Bible.....and seems You are telling God how HE should do things...God is doing this for OUR sake..not His....in other words.....God will use writers and we are to be responsible for studying and understanding

          June 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • bchev

          kermit,
          No, I'm saying that a diety that actually loved the followers it created, if it wanted them to successfully follow its rules, would make the rules easy to understand. Making somehting unnecessarily difficult so that people prove how much they want somehting is a VERY human thing to do. it is one of our more petty group instincts to trst people before they are allowed to belong. IT stand to reason that a perfect being, would not have those kinds of flaws. Demanding that instructions be followed, and then making them hard to follow, is illogical, and an infallible being would not be illogical. Believe what you want, no skin off my nose, but when you really look at teh "God" of the Bible the character doesn't match the narrative, and it makes the whole thing hard to swallow.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          the rules aRE easy to understand....albeit you have to get to know the language and such..again you are promoting laziness and no gaining of knowledge ..communication is communication no matter who is doing it

          June 4, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Doris

          Exactly, bchev. Thousands of years of subjective claims, hearsay and interpretation that theists must ignore hoping that, for someone, there was some divine connection with unquestionable communication. (Or, that they are themselves perceiving such a connection). That's quite a lot of ignorance about the subjective nature of the Christian experience that people like truthfollower refuses to acknowledge.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • Doris

          refuse to acknowledge

          June 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • bchev

          Believerfred,
          Talk to your bible and other believers, they painted that picture, not me. I don't believe in god, at all. I believe the universe is inconstant fluctuation and this current iteration came from energy solidifying into matter and exploding outward and I think gravity is the ever present force that pulled primed the spring. IF there is a god, I'm quite certain that the Bible has it quite wrong. Moreover, I'm quite sure that any universe crafting beings that might be floating around out there, don't care about humans. Still, people kneeling, heads bowing, and tongues confessing, that's all straight out of your book. And the premise that our purpoe is to give to the glory of "God" comes from other bleievers on this very blog, I think it's all hogwash.

          I'm not sure what about my existance has been crushed. I'm a happy well adjusted dude with a solid job, a wife that I loev, and a very young frustrating/cute son. I enjoy my life, adn really have no need or place for gods in it.

          Now let's take a quote from you- "We are to trust and obey. Jesus gave the best summary: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and with all your strength."

          Why on Earth would I do any of that? "God", if he did exist, would be an absentee diety, who doesn't ahve to take part in the day to day struggles for life that we humans do, and would have made it readily apparent that he doesn't care who ro what lives or dies. Why would I trust or obey something like that? And why would I expend even one ounce, let alone all, of my energy loving "God" who would not need my love, when I could put all of that energy into loving my fellow humans, that actually inhabit and struggle through this life with me?

          June 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          who lives and who dies/ LOL..we ALL die..hellooooooooo

          June 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • bchev

          kermit,
          I am an Officer. If I give a command, and the command is unclear and my people fail to follow it correctly, that's MY FAULT. That failure is on me because I didn'tcommunicate clearly and directly. I manage to do pretty well at preventing that, and I'm just a little old human. SO, if the orders given by an all knowing all powerful diety aren't perfectly crystal clear at first glance, then I'd saiy the failing is on the part of the all powerful being, not the fallible human. How bout we let the challenging part be living a good life despite temptation, not trying to figure out what living a good life is. And remember "God" would know before it ever happens that a person isn't going to understand his words, and would know the exact words that person would understand, so when he doesn't use those, he's just being an intentionally obtuse jerk.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          terrible analogy....God made it very clear..youre assuiming that since you are clear everyone will underdtnd....you seem to deny reality there....and also the BIble isnot just commands...its narrative..PLUS..those whom Yospeak with do not ALL speak English...do you know the commands youmust give in EVERY language? itsimportant that the people who come here must study SOME English to get to know the commands....again youre advocating for laziness

          June 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Bchev....that was a great analogy, actually. The bible, were it truly written by god, would have accounted for all the ambiguity that future generations would come to know from reading it. Actually, a real true god would have waited to make himself known during the days of mass communication.

          Ignore Kermit....he thinks everybody that disagrees with his nonsense is arrogant, pompous, idiots, dense, etc...without even realizing those words describe him.

          June 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • bchev

          kermit,
          When I'm working with people who don't speak english (it happens) I actually do learn the basic key commands in their language (or you use hand signals), we find a way to make it easy to be understood. What I'm saying is that the most powerful thing in this or any concievable universe should be held to a higher standard than me. And yes, I do advocate laziness, because knowing the rules shouldn't be difficult, especially when the penalty for breaking them is burnig for eternity. I am aware that the bible is more than rules, it's also poorly written narrative, really whiny songs, and incredibly boring geneologies; I've read a lot of it, having trouble bringing myself to slog through the rest.

          So now you tell me, why would "God" want people to have to study the bible to actually understand its meaning. Why wouldn't he just lay it out so that people understand it perfectly on the first go and can then go about living their life according to his word. How is being a poor communicator better?

          June 4, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          again all you are advocatuing is laziness...period..no more to argue..You are making excuses to not study the Bible..you cant stand to take the time to look into it..and if that's the case..I am wondering how you managed to pass your courses without studying for them...seriously..Im not trying to insult you...Im merely pointing out your laziness and making excuses

          June 5, 2014 at 1:54 am |
        • bchev

          kermit,
          And let's remember the original point. The bible is very clear sometimes. It makes it very clear that you can beat your slave as long as they don't die from it that day. It makes it very clear that if you ra pe someone, the punishment is paying them 20 bucks and marrying them. It makes it very clear that if you don't do what a person claiming to represent "God" tells you, even because "God" makes sure you will say no, he will kill all of your nation's first born children. The bible is very clear, that the "God" of the OT is an absolute di ck. I say that everything I just listed is morally reprehensible, at any time, from the big bang till now. The Bible not only allows those actions but celebrates them. Now, how do you explain that being okay? Because if you say that you have to put those things in context, then there was a time when "God" was a murderous endorser of ra pe and owning humans. There is no historical context that makes that excusable for a good god. Humans back then were ignorant, we can put their actions in context, but you cannot put the words of a supposedly infallible, unwavering, benevolent god in context. If he tells us doing those things is wrong now he should have said that doing them was wrong then too, because it was wrong, always has been, always will be. THAT is why if "God" relies on context, he's not very good at his job.

          June 4, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The Bible does NOT say you CAN beat your slave that is a CASE law..in FACT..if your slave gets injured (put out the eye, break a tooth) then he is to be SET free! only idiots who don tknow how to read would say it was ok...only people who never actually read the whole of the Bible assume it and it isn't GOD who relies on context..it is US....my God yo uare so stupid for blaming God for all your problems....play thye blame Game..im tired of people like you not taking responsibility for communicating....

          June 5, 2014 at 1:57 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....from your posts, I can only determine that your disability that you referred to earlier is a mental one. Bchev actually wrote some extremely lucid and strong talking points yesterday and because they disagreed with your opinion your replies were snarky, demeaning, insulting, and really childish. I should expect that from you by now, yet I am still amazed at how ignorant and downright nasty a person you really are. I've noticed that the stronger a persons arguments are, the nastier you are. I have no idea why you are even on here except that you must be really lonely. You should probably take an anger management course or two.

          June 5, 2014 at 8:11 am |
        • kermit4jc

          THAT was not it at all....not cause they disagree..but because they were dishonest..and don't try to compare me with someone who had "lucid" thoughts....first of all..my disabilities are nOT mental...they are physical..second..this is NOT a formal blog.and I am responding to several at once with short amount of time cause I work..ok? so please do not infer from that...again typical atheistic thinking (so called free thinking) when they only infer one thing and do not look at alternatives

          June 5, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...you are clearly demented, really. Nobody is being dishonest, they are just disagreeing with your viewpoint. You do not need to be so snarky with your comments. You choose that because your delusion is being challenged. Try a civil conversation once....you may actually get something out of it. Otherwise, I have no idea what you are doing on this site.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:32 am |
        • kermit4jc

          oh..as if you guys have not been civil? look at truthprevails...one of the worst (I think even more snarky than me) but serisouly..you gys are hardly doing a thing....when I say context you guys complain..and don't show me anything..how is that a debate?

          June 5, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....because there is nothing to show. You are just guessing what was meant, that's all. You do not know for sure what they meant because you don't have all the clues. Your religious fervor makes you want to believe it all, but scientifically and logically, it is not reality.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • kermit4jc

          There IS something to show....you need to PROvE IM guessing and not looking into things....as I said..I gave context (for example the women must not teach -see in Timothy, because of what was happening in Ephesus_ why do I mention Ephesus..because that's where Timothy was a pastor at- and the religious climate in Ephesus-history outside of the Bible shows us the climate....cults where women dominated over men, cults that added Gnosticism into their repetiore, and the fact these were creeping into the church-how do I know? read the Book of EPheisans...those are NOT made up as you claim they are..now it is UP to YOU to prove me wrong..prove to me wrong that there were no cults in Ephesus at time of Paul that women were dominating over men..prove to me that Timothy was not a young pastor in Ephesus, prove to me Gnosticism did not exist at the time of Paulor such. Stop merely saying "foul" everytime I bring up context

          June 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....still guessing. You were not there, you have no idea what they really meant.

          June 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I thought you wanted intellectual debate...when are you going to stop making claims and back them up...if I am guessing prove it....otherwise don't waste your time and mine..btw I know what they meant cause I use a thing called communication skills and use my brain to interpret it

          June 6, 2014 at 2:17 am |
        • bchev

          gulliblenomore,
          Thanks, but I can't resist. As long as they reply I'll keep going. I know I won't change them (though honestly some of the sstuff that gets said my brain just assumes that a lot of the "believers" here are really committed Poes), but it's good practice for adressing non-linear thought, and maybe, just maybe, someone else reads something that gets said by someone with a good idea and learns from it.

          June 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • Doris

          kermie: "God made it very clear"

          Wow – some dufus sounds pretty sure they could read the mind of an alleged deity and knows what it was thinking....

          Of course, if there were deities, it's just as likely that it was Satan and not God. After all, it was the early Christian apologists who claimed that Satan was able to perform plagiarism in reverse time order involving the Gospels. If Satan could do that, he could have done much more than beliebers know......

          June 4, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Wow – some dufus sounds pretty sure they could read the mind of an alleged deity and knows what it was thinking…....youre the doofus for assuming its about reading Gods mind....don't twist this..i don't play that game

          June 5, 2014 at 2:02 am |
        • fintronics

          "permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent."

          In what context would this not be considered a bigoted statement?

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

          HOW abot what was happening in Ephesus? The cults there where the woman were preaching false gospoels and trying to dominate over others (Paul wrote that we ALL should submit to one another..even men shoud submit to others) sorry to say finitronics...you are pretty ignorant of the atmospehere in Ephesus and what was happening...go read the Letter to the Ephesians to see what {aul was saying about false doctrines being spread there

          June 5, 2014 at 2:08 am |
        • believerfred

          fintronics
          "In what context would this not be considered a bigoted statement?"
          =>In the context of order it is not bigoted. God brought order out of chaos. Proper order is never bigoted. Jesus did the will of the Father even onto death. Mary was humble and an example of the virtue of being submissive. Being submissive or humble is only a problem when we see life from the perspective of man never the perspective of God. Jesus said I came to serve not to be served. Man is head over the women as Jesus is head over the Church. It is simply about proper respect.

          A woman who cannot humble herself to man certainly cannot humble herself before the burning holiness of God. A man who cannot humble himself to do what is right before a woman certainly cannot humble himself before God.

          June 4, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • observer

          " Man is head over the women as Jesus is head over the Church."

          Yep. Just another example of DISCRIMINATION in the Bible. All humans are not created equal according to the Bible.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          no.IN

          June 5, 2014 at 2:14 am |
        • kermit4jc

          no.IN your shallow mind you get that....just because man is over woman does not in ANYWAY make her UNEQUAL as a human being..see...there is the proof of atheists who have shallow minds of human worth.....being head over woman does NOT mean she is anything less than human.....

          June 5, 2014 at 2:16 am |
        • believerfred

          observer
          How is Jesus as head of Church discimination? The need and example of order is not discriminating.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred

          "The need and example of order is not discriminating."

          There is no "NEED" for the women who give birth to ALL HUMANS (including MEN in case you forget), to be INFERIOR to men. Just more mindless DISCRIMINATION in the Bible.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • believerfred

          Observer
          Jesus came to serve not to be served. Was Jesus a clear example of someone who treats anyone as inferior

          June 4, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred

          "Jesus came to serve not to be served. Was Jesus a clear example of someone who treats anyone as inferior"

          Yes. It is better to CHOOSE the example of Jesus rather than CHOOSE other verses in the Bible advocating discrimination and inferiority.

          June 4, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Nothing in the Bible does such thing...advocate inferiuority...to You it seems to do so cause as an atheist and evolutionist..yuohave shallow ways of what determines value and worth on a human....this is also evident by the pitiful excuses people ty yo make for saying abortion is ok...when in reality they downplay the value of life

          June 5, 2014 at 2:18 am |
        • believerfred

          Observer
          You fail to grasp that God works through creation as it is not as God would have it. Does it seem to you that Abraham should have embraced homosexual marriage and Christians today should stone homosexuals? You are aware that this is what you claim to be right in your eyes.

          June 4, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred,

          You seem to be saying that God was POLITICALLY CORRECT for the times rather than being PERFECT and telling people what is RIGHT regardless of the times.

          June 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • James XCIX

          bchev – I don't recall seeing you post before, but you've made a nice contribution with your set of posts in this thread. Well done.

          June 4, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • believerfred

          observer
          You seem to forget man did not desire the perfect existence God provided preferring instead to satisfy his own desire (Adam and Eve). The first generation beginning with Cain and Able reflected one who desired the way of God while the other did not. God gave a strong clear warning as with Adam and Eve yet Cain like his parents did not want Gods way. On we go to where only Noah desires the way of God and all mankind after generations of rejecting Gods way becomes evil beyond belief. Noah's kids mess up and do not follow the way which is the pattern through to this day.
          Nothing has changed, God gives a clear warning yet mankind prefers their way leading to death rather than the way of God. Political correctness is not even in the equation.

          June 5, 2014 at 12:55 am |
        • believerfred

          observer
          Just to make sure we are on the same page God was perfect and did tell man what is RIGHT for all times.

          June 5, 2014 at 12:59 am |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "You are making excuses to not study the Bible"

          Kermit, you continue to insist that in order to understand the Bible one must study it, but you apparently continue to dismiss the ideas that naturally follow from that idea, even though they are continually pointed out to you..

          First, studying it for oneself requires one to be literate. You have a comfortable, elitist, first-world point of view that you don't seem to recognize. Not everyone is literate or has the time or resources to become literate, and even if literate not everyone has the leisure time you have that would be required for studying the Bible.

          Also, plenty of people have studied the Bible and reached a different conclusion about it than you. I don't know any statistics, but my guess is that a high majority of Western non-believers were raised in a Christian household and are very aware of what the Bible says, but it's that very awareness that caused them to conclude that most of it was fabricated.

          And among those who study the Bible and end up concluding it's all true, we still get countless different interpretations of just what that the god of the Bible demands of today's humans. Surely you've noticed that not every Christian believes the same way you do. And some go so far as to say even fellow Christians aren't really Christians because they believe differently. Clearly, the Bible isn't a good medium for transmitting clear ideas.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • kermit4jc

          first of all..one doe snot need to be literate to study..one can get the info from speech..rather than reading...ever thought of that? second...most of us agree on the MAJOR tenants...Jesus is God, that He is Salvation, that thru Him we come to the father, not of our own deeds...and that we can KNOW Him personally..THOSE are the important things for salvation..anything else pales in comparison...

          June 5, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "one can get the info from speech..rather than reading"

          Then you are just taking someone else's word for it, which is not really the studying that you continue to advocate.

          "most of us agree on the MAJOR tenants"

          I'm not sure everyone even agrees what the major tenets are, since so many are willing to condemn those who disagree, even to the point of saying they are doomed to eternal punishment. Obviously, they think those others are wrong about a major tenet.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:32 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Then you are just taking someone else’s word for it, which is not really the studying that you continue to advocate.<--that happenes evenin reading..hello....so nomuch an argument..second.yes..most do agree on them....I studied and been to diferent denominations (not all f the ind yo,but eough to know)

          June 5, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • James XCIX

          "that happenes even in reading."

          How are you taking someone else's word for what the Bible says if you are reading it for yourself?

          "most do agree on them"

          So, by most you mean 51% or more?

          June 5, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • kermit4jc

          how do you know what the person writing in the Bible is true? you gonna justread it and take it at face value? same as for person being illiterate..how abou tBLIND people who cannot read? sir...see...there are intellectual who are blind (physically) its not hard to do....as for the churches..Im willing to say 51% and more agree on the major tenants that I mentioned before

          June 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "how do you know what the person writing in the Bible is true"

          Kermit, you're straying from the original topic, which was your insistence that the Bible needs to be studied in order to be correctly understood and those who don't study it are just being lazy. My point was that not everyone is able to accomplish the study you say is needed (i.e., by reading the Bible for themselves). You're just making my point for me when you bring up blind people.

          "Im willing to say 51% and more agree"

          I'd say 51%, or even 80%, agreement is pretty dismal on such supposedly important matters as what it takes to be saved.

          June 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          s..and people would often times use their own agenda rather than seek whatGod says..and many forget to use context..I will admit that when I first started studying the Bible..I was reading it as if the Bible was originally written by modern day AMericans using moder day language and culture...I did not do this willfully...I did it out of habit (of reading other English materials as such) then I started realizing that I had to read it from the Jewish perspective....and I am finding especially here that many are looking at the Bible in same wayI used to do..againitsnot God..itspeople who don't really study or read it....they don't really use their minds to comprehend it

          June 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          James....Kermit believes that the Pope is wrong about a major tenant....how to get into heaven.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:51 am |
        • James XCIX

          Yeah, I'd say that's a pretty high level of disagreement.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • kermit4jc

          The Bible made itvery clearJesus says "I am The Way and THE truth and THE Life..NO ONE comes to the Father EXCEPT thru me" very clear and implicite.....I really don't think IM smarter than the Pope..I think the Pope is being disingenuous and watering down the Gospels..playing to the masses rather than to God

          June 5, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit..,,you do not even agree with the Pope on the most major of issues!

          June 5, 2014 at 9:57 am |
        • kermit4jc

          youre right..I don't..the Pope made up BS about atheists going to heaven...which has nOT come from the Bible..agains the Pope is watering down stuff to tickle the ears of people who don't like judgment and such..hes playing to the masses rather than going by what God says..NO ONE has even challeneged me by showing in the Bible (which the Pope SUPPOSEDLY got his info from-which I suspect he didn't get it from there) of the claims that atheists can go to heaven...the Pope is NOT God...I rather trust the Bible over the Pope

          June 6, 2014 at 2:10 am |
        • observer

          believerfred

          " You seem to forget man did not desire the perfect existence God provided preferring instead to satisfy his own desire (Adam and Eve)."

          You seem to forget that Eve was just ONE PERSON who supposedly listened to a talking non-human MILLIONS of years ago. She was not all of humanity anymore than Fred Phelps was all of Christianity.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "one doe snot need to be literate to study..one can get the info from speech..rather than reading...ever thought of that?"

          Very good kermi! Stories that are passed verbally tend to get embellished, that is why the fools who wrote the bible were able to make it a fools game-the more elaborate the story-the bigger the promise with a little hidden manipulation in there-just enough to keep you from wandering away. They made one story to cover up another and when one of the other men writing the book wrote slightly differently they changed context to make it fit. This book is the story of your god, it however fails to do one major thing-prove your god. To use the book to defend your god is pure ignorance when it is extremely dishonest and extremely circular.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • believerfred

          observer
          You missed the point. You claimed God was not Perfect and did not give Perfect and right instructions for all times. I showed you where God did just that and nothing has changed since Adam and Eve.

          You also could be wrong as to the nature of Adam & Eve. The original Hebrew allows for the possibility that they are representative of mankind or individual physical beings. When we get into the letters of Paul he sees them as singular man and women. I would defer to Paul only because he knew the Jewish teachings inside out even though he was taught by the same Jews who got many things wrong. Either way what makes the Bible Divine is that it does not matter how you view these two the truth does not change. The truth is the perfect expression of God establishing the way for man.
          Are you taking issue with the way as expressed by God? Your nit picking verses does not change the way as shown by God.

          June 5, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • fintronics

          ""permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent."

          Ignorance is the deluded believer that refuses to see that this is a bigoted statement REGARDLESS of context.
          they love to dance around the truth with deluded interpretations based on fairy tale imaginations.....

          June 5, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • bchev

          believerfred,
          Let's go throw a quick exercise-
          1) Did "God" make Adam and Eve? Bible says yes
          2) Were there any influences other than "God's" driect ahnd that determined what Adam and Eve would be like? Not according to teh Bible.
          3) Did "God" know EVERYTHING that Adam and Eve would ever do, from the moment he made them (I'm not saying he decided what they do, but he knew what they would decide)? Bible says yes, "God" knows all about everything.

          SO- "God" and only "God" made these two humans, and made the one rule they had to follow. Even before he was done doing that he KNEW that the humans would be tempted, and he KNEW they would fail. And "God" did nothing to prevent or change it. He knew his rule would fail, but he made it anyway, and supposedly all of man kind forever is in trouble for it being broken. That really doesn't make any sense.

          Also, "God" didn't give Adam and Eve perfect laws for all time, because he knew they would fail, he knew they would gainthe knowledge of good and evil (really really dumb concept that we're just gonna gloss over), and he KNEW that the lives of humans were going to be infinitely mroe complex. But he waited, in Bible time, thousands of years before he told ONE guy (Moses) the new rules to deal with all the stuff people had going on. And even then, the rules he gave those nomadic tribesman wouldn't touch on A LOT of "God" knew Humans would one day come to face- and in fact, we now see that may of those rules were deplorable. milenia and a half later (giver or take), and "God" would FINALLY decide to give the "last" update to his rules by puting on a human suit and saying- love each other, thank me for what I am about to do for you, adn I wil forgive that you broke that rule way back when and let you in to heaven. Then he let his human suit die, so he could revive it, and bring it up to heaven with him. Still, that was 2000 years ago, and "God" failed to clarifiy on more than a few topics. And even if you believe that "God" passed on messages to Muhammed and John Smith to keep the book up to date, eveything humans recieved was still incomplete, and subject to interpretation by our fragile little mortal minds (dude made us out of dirt and clay, what was he expecting)? So please, tell me, at what point in that, admittedly snarky, narrative did "God" ever give a set of single clear unfailing laws and directions?

          June 5, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • believerfred

          flintronics
          The verse often shown from Timothy is regarding the church. A woman who will not be submissive to man will not be submissive before God and most likely has serious pride issues. Many Muslim women wear submissiveness and embrace it as holiness. This order of man over women is viewed wrongly by non believers. In your very wrong view it would be a bigoted verse, however since your view (perspective) is wrong two wrongs do not make a right.

          The context is clear as Timothy is addressing godliness and a woman is to adorn herself as if before God when in the church. That means a humble submissive posture. It is given that men are to be likewise so there is no bigotry. Further, before God all are equal.

          Outside the church body clearly my guess would be women were put in their place back in days of Jesus and certainly back in the days of Moses. Well some cultures put rings in the woman's nose while the men adorned their little poker. It's what people do.....

          June 5, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • believerfred

          bchev
          "at what point in that, admittedly snarky, narrative did "God" ever give a set of single clear unfailing laws and directions?"
          =>Eve repeated the clear command "God did say, you must not eat fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it or you will die." That law is unfailing, there is the way of God and the way of man. The way of man is to do what man desires which is NOT the way of God. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life. Nothing has changed in this simple clear unfailing law and directive. You will die it was said and yes death it is......clear unfailing law.

          June 5, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Well....I'm clear then! I always buy my fruit at the grocery store....it's already been picked.

          June 5, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • bchev

          believerfred,
          I try very hard to be respectful in these posts. Certainly not to the church or the religion because I find them both to be wrongheaded and strange, but to the individuals, because a persons faith is their faith, it's just a part of them. But this reply is ridiculous.

          ""God did say, you must not eat fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it or you will die." THAT is the clear and concise rule for life that "God" passed on for humans to follow for all time. THAT is all you can give, because that's crap. Tell me, according to that clear, universal, unchanging law- is it okay to self pleasure? Is it okay for me to do the dirty business with a lady before we're married? I know some very cool lesbians, are they going to hell?I read in the news that someone ran someone else over in a car and killed them, is there any way that that was okay? I have to ask for clarification, because the "rule" that you gave, means and says nothing.

          It isn't even accurate, Eve didn't die. She got in trouble, adn if the story was true, died like 1000 years later. So I think you mean "God's" one clear immutable law is-
          ""God did say, you must not eat fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it or you will die... eventually"

          Do you see how someone could feel that maybe, just maybe, the directions given in the bible arent' good enough?

          June 5, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • believerfred

          bchev
          "he KNEW that the humans would be tempted, and he KNEW they would fail. And "God" did nothing to prevent or change it. He knew his rule would fail, but he made it anyway, and supposedly all of man kind forever is in trouble for it being broken. That really doesn't make any sense."
          =>we are probably not "in trouble for it being broken" we are in "trouble" (poor choice of words) because of our nature. That nature is to go our own way after our own desire.
          =>The rule did not fail as it was the rule and that rule as well as all the law serves the same purpose then as now which is to bring our sin to our attention. Seeking our way and rejecting Gods way brings death. As God said you will die, Eve knew the rule and death was immediate. Death is separation from God as suddenly Eve saw she was naked. Their eyes were opened just as the serpent said they would be. Suddenly two stinky hairy animals saw what was outside the pure holiness of a loving God.
          =>Good and evil was what they now were aware of. A combination mankind could never handle. The deception of the serpent in contrast with the pure love in the presence of God.
          =>The Bible says when God finished creating he said it was very good and rested from creation. As with all things of God what God says it is. The purpose of creation was onto God and so it is. Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord and is in the eyes of the Lord. Those who desire the way of God will be in the way of God as that was the purpose of creation.
          =>you missed the fact there were two trees in the garden. The tree of life was the other tree and it was there before Eve ate yet that was not what she desired was it?

          June 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • believerfred

          bchev
          "Tell me, according to that clear, universal, unchanging law- is it okay to self pleasure? etc."
          =>The knowledge of good and evil and how to separate that is what you are wrestling with. The Bible shows generations of man erecting laws and rituals to deal with our desires that are not of God. Jesus simply said follow me. Even when following we see the Apostles get it wrong often. The process as shown in Genesis is a thousand years of hard labor and thousands of generations seeking God. You are going to self pleasure along the way but what is important is the inclination of the heart. Abraham and Moses never entered the promised land they lived in the hope and that is the process......living in the hope is where you find the way...................it is the way.
          Did Genesis give a massive set of rules and directions Able and Noah followed to find favor in the eyes of the Lord? No, we see only they were devoted and gave their best for God.

          "I have to ask for clarification, because the "rule" that you gave, means and says nothing."
          =>It says everything you need; go your own way or follow the way of God. Do you seriously not know the difference between your way and Gods way or at a minimum understand there a direction that appears more Godlike?

          June 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred,

          Guess you missed where God said he wasn't going to punish children for the sins of their parents. It's been probably MILLIONS of years since Eve was a parent.

          June 5, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          God Never said..nor did the Bible ever say children are punished for the sins of their fathers

          June 6, 2014 at 2:28 am |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          (Deut. 23:2) “If a person is illegitimate by birth, neither he nor his descendants for ten generations may be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.”

          June 6, 2014 at 8:33 am |
        • James XCIX

          ""permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent."

          kermit – "HOW abot what was happening in Ephesus? The cults there where the woman were preaching false gospoels and trying to dominate over others"

          So what? Even if that was the case, why discriminate against all women just because a few were preaching "false" gospels (translated: gospels that Paul disagreed with)?

          And anyway, why are you so sure Paul was correct and these women weren't? Going to the level of attacking them based on their gender and not their ideas seems like a low blow.

          June 6, 2014 at 9:11 am |
        • kermit4jc

          So what? Even if that was the case, why discriminate against all women just because a few were preaching “false” gospels (translated: gospels that Paul disagreed with)? <-sheesh do I have to spekk it out for you more? first of all Timothy was a young pastor...best to not have the women speak rather than "weed" out those with false Gospels..second....Paul always sight for ORDELY worship.....preconceived ideas will cause a stir when some people ..especially new converts see the women preaching! to the new person it will seem as if the Christians are contradicting themselves by allowing women to "dominate" over men like they did in the cults......kind of like Paul talking about not doing things to make others stumble in their faith!

          June 6, 2014 at 9:57 am |
        • James XCIX

          "best to not have the women speak rather than "weed" out those with false Gospels"

          You can't really be serious about that, can you? The best approach to correcting the "mistakes" of a few who happen to be women is to impose a sanction against all women? (Although the god of the Bible does often seem to take that approach). Man, what a lazy, ham-fisted approach taken by those in relative power against an already oppressed group. Unimpressive, to say the least.

          And my guess is that there are only a handful of believers who are aware of this context you mention (nice how you supposedly know so much more than the average believer, isn't it?), so it's not non-believers who need educating on your contexts, it's the believers so they'll stop taking outdated directives as being meaningful today.

          And you still say the Bible is written in a clear manner?

          June 6, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "The Bible made itvery clearJesus says "I am The Way and THE truth and THE Life..NO ONE comes to the Father EXCEPT thru me" very clear and implicite.....I really don't think IM smarter than the Pope..I think the Pope is being disingenuous..."

          You don't think the pope believes he gets to the father through Jesus?

          June 6, 2014 at 9:13 am |
        • kermit4jc

          sir..the issue was not about thr POPE getting to heaven..the issue is his edicts saying that ATHEISTS would go to heaven

          June 6, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • James XCIX

          Oh, I see, I misunderstood. It's just that so many non-Catholic Christians are convinced Catholics are going to hell because they don't "think" about Jesus the right way, and I thought you were alluding to that. My mistake.

          June 6, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • kermit4jc

          that's fine..apology accepted....I do that toosometimes...btw I don't bashagainst Catholics too much...cause not all believe in purgatory...and its like with othrs (Bpatists, Methodists, etc) the denomination does not save..itis Jesus....so I don't say "The Baptists are going to hell" cause pretty much the majority of the denominations agree Jesus is the way to heaven....not our good works..that Jesus is God

          June 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
  19. Reality

    Tis the weekend and RB is back spouting his normal bigotry. Apparently, he does not realize that he is an embarrassment to all good Lutherans. And by the way RB, my mother in law was a good and gracious Lutheran. She passed away a few years ago and in the 30 years that I knew her, not once did she utter words about the anti-Christ or had anything bad to say about the RCC. She even attended our local RCC parish for services when there were none available at the local Lutheran church.

    June 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Rainy appears to be the sort of person who needs to vilify all others in order to make himself feel superior. I would pity him, if he weren't such an odious being.

      June 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
      • Akira

        Odious. Good word.

        June 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
  20. Doris

    Letting go of superstition

    from "50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yceHh5khkXo

    "..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

    "I think a lot of theology is grappling with phantoms. So theologians have invented this almost self-consistent subject which has no contact with physical reality at all. And they invent all sorts of questions which they then taunt humanity with . One of them is cosmic purpose. They say 'there must be a purpose; you and your science can't explain it.' And typical of theologians, they don't respect the power of the human intellect anyway. And they infer that no one will ever understand it; it is ineffable; God's purpose cannot be discerned. And of course that's – those are fine words, but utterly meaningless–why should the thing have a purpose?" –Peter Atkins, world-reknowned Oxford professor of chemistry

    "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

    "Another thing which I think that science, of any kind, teaches us is that even the simplest things are hard to understand: the hydrogen atom, for instance. And that makes me rather suspicious of anyone who claims to have a quick and easy answer to any deep aspect of reality. I think the most we can hope for in an incomplete and metaphorical understanding. And therefore, I'm not myself someone who can accept any specific religious dogmas." –Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal

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

      And way before contemporary scientists we have this observation:

      "The Two Universal Sects

      They all err—Moslems, Jews,
      Christians, and Zoroastrians:

      Humanity follows two world-wide sects:
      One, man intelligent without religion,
      The second, religious without intellect. "

      Al-Ma'arri
      , born AD 973 /, died AD 1058 / .

      Al-Ma’arri was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer.[1][2] He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion and rejecting the claim that Islam possessed any monopoly on truth."

      June 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
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About this blog

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