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A World Where Lies Are True

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Posted on Mar 26, 2007
museum
AP Photo / Ed Reinke

An exhibit depicting two archeologists coming to very different conclusions while unearthing the same skeleton is part of the Creation Museum, now under construction near Petersburg, Ky.  Ken Ham’s $25-million facility will argue that God created the Earth and its inhabitants just a few thousand years ago—never mind what modern science says.

By Chris Hedges

“Before they seize power and establish a world according to their doctrines, totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself; in which, through sheer imagination, uprooted masses can feel at home and are spared the never-ending shocks which real life and real experiences deal to human beings and their expectations.  The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda—before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone’s disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world—lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world.”

                        —Hannah Arendt, “The Origins of Totalitarianism”

In the middle of the lobby of the 50,000-square-foot Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., a 20-foot waterfall tumbles. Two life-size figures of children with long black hair and in buckskin clothes play in the stream a few feet from two towering Tyrannosaurus Rex models that can move and roar. The museum, which cost $25 million to build and has a sea of black asphalt parking lots for school buses, has a scale model of Noah’s ark that shows how Noah solved the problem of fitting dinosaurs into the three levels of the vessel—he loaded only baby dinosaurs.  And on the wooden model, infant dinosaurs cavort with horses, giraffes, hippopotamuses, penguins and bears.  There is an elaborate display of the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve, naked but strategically positioned so as not to display breasts or genitals, swim in a river as giant dinosaurs and lizards roam the banks. 

Before Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise, museum visitors are told, all of the dinosaurs were peaceable plant-eaters.  The evidence is found in Genesis 1:30, where God gives “green herb” to every creature to eat.  There were no predators.  T-Rex had such big teeth, the museum explains, so it could open coconuts.  Only after Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of paradise did the dinosaurs start to eat flesh.  And Adam’s sin is a key component of the belief system, for in the eyes of many creationists, in order for Jesus’ death to be meaningful it had to atone for Adam’s first sin. 

The museum has a theater equipped with seats that shake and gadgets that spray mist at the audience as the story of God’s six-day creation of the world unfolds on the screen and the sound system rocks the auditorium.  There are 30-foot-high walls that represent the cliffs of the Grand Canyon, floors that resemble rocks embedded with fossils, and rooms where a “Christian” paleontologist counters the claims of an “evolutionist” paleontologist.  It has the appearance of a real science museum, complete with a planetarium, a gift shop and plaques on the wall with quotes from creationist “scientists” who have the title doctor conspicuously before their names.  It has charts, timelines and graphs with facts and figures.  It is meant to be interactive, to create, like Universal Studios, a contrived reality with an array of costly animatronic men and women as well as moving dinosaurs. 

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The danger of creationism is that, like the pseudo-science of Nazi eugenics, it allows facts to be accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained ideology.  Creationism removes the follower from the rational, reality-based world.  Signs, miracles and wonders occur not only in the daily life of Christians but in history, science, medicine and logic.  The belief system becomes the basis to understand the world.  Random facts and data are collected and made to fit into this belief system or discarded.  When facts are treated as if they were opinions, when there is no universal standard to determine truth, in law, in science, in scholarship, or in the reporting of the events of the day, the world becomes a place where people can believe what they want to believe, where there is no possibility of reaching any conclusion not predetermined by those who interpret the official, divinely inspired text.  This is the goal of creationists.

Other creationist museums are going up in Arkansas, Texas, California, Tennessee and Florida.  Museums are part of a massive push to teach creationism in schools, part of a vast Christian publishing and filmmaking industry that seeks to rewrite the past and make it conform to the Bible.  The front lines of the culture wars are the classrooms.  The battle is one we are slowly losing.  Twenty states are considering changing the way evolution is taught in order to include creationism or intelligent design.1  Only 13 percent of Americans in a 2004 Gallup poll, when asked for their views on human origins, said life arose from the strictly natural process of evolution.  More than 38 percent said they believed God guided evolution, and 45 percent said the Genesis account of creation was a true story.2  Courses on intelligent design have been taught at Minnesota, Georgia, New Mexico and Iowa State universities, along with Wake Forest and Carnegie Mellon*, not to mention Christian universities that teach all science through the prism of the Bible. 

The museum is an illustration of the movement’s marriage of primitive and intolerant beliefs with the modern tools of technology, mass communication, sophisticated fundraising and political organization.  Totalitarian systems usually start as propagandistic movements that ostensibly teach people to “believe what they want.”  This is a ruse.  This primacy of personal opinion, regardless of facts, destabilizes and destroys the primacy of all facts.  This process leads inevitably to the big lie.  Facts are useful only if they bolster the message. The use of mass-marketing techniques to persuade and convince, rather than brainwash, has led tens of millions of followers to accept the toxic totalitarian line by tricking them into believing it’s their own.  Ironically, at the outset the movement seemingly encourages people to think “independently” or “courageously.” 

At first all have, in the totalitarian belief system, a right to an opinion, or, in short, a right to believe anything.  Soon, under the iron control of an empowered totalitarian movement, facts become worthless, kept or discarded according to an ideological litmus test.  And once these movements achieve power, facts are ruthlessly manipulated or kept hidden to support the lie.  Creationism is not about offering an alternative.  Its goal is the destruction of the core values of the open society—the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to advocate for change and to accept that there are other views, different ways of being, that are morally and socially acceptable.  We are beginning to see the growing intolerance that comes with the empowerment of these ideologues. There is a bill in the Texas Legislature to strip all mention of evolution from Texas school textbooks and institute mandatory Bible classes for all students.  This is just the start.

And yet, coming from the modern age, these Christo-fascists cannot discount science.  They employ jargon, methods and data that appear to be science, to make an argument for creationism.  They have created parallel research and scholarly institutions.  They pump out articles in self-published journals to provide “evidence” that homosexuals can be cured, that global warming is a myth, that abortion can cause breast cancer, that something they call “post-abortion syndrome” leads to deep depression and suicide and that abstinence-only education is an effective form of birth control.  This pseudo-science has seeped into the public debate.  It is disseminated by nervous and timid media anxious to give both sides in every argument.  Those who have contempt for facts and truth, for honest research and inquiry, are given the same platform by the press as those who deal in a world of reality, fact and rationality. 

The movement desperately needs the imprint of science to legitimize itself.  It achieves this imprint by discrediting real science and claiming creationist science as true science.  All attempts to argue the creationists out of their mythical belief, to persuade them with logic, evidence, scientific inquiry and fact, will fail.  They have created a “fundamentalist science.”  They know they cannot return to the pre-Darwinian innocence that let them believe the Bible alone was enough.  They need, in the midst of their flight from reality, to reassure their followers that science, science not contaminated by secular humanists and nonbelievers, is on their side.  In this they are a distinctly modern movement.  They seek the imprint of science and scholarship to legitimize myth.  This is a characteristic they share with all modern totalitarian movements, which co-opt the disciplines of law, science, medicine and scholarship to give a modern veneer to their primitive and superstitious belief systems, systems that allow the rulers to dictate reality and truth.  The “paraprofessional” organizations formed by the Christian right, organizations of teachers, journalists, doctors, lawyers and scientists, mimic the activities of real professional groups.  They seek to challenge the legitimacy and the power of the traditional organizations.  The duplication of the structures and methods employed by the non-totalitarian world, the use of pseudo-science to dress up fantasy, is slowly undermining our legitimate scientific and educational institutions.  It is destroying the foundations of our open society.  It is ushering us into a world where lies are true.

* Correction: A representative of Carnegie Mellon University states “Carnegie Mellon University does not teach a course on intelligent design. The contemporary issue of intelligent design is sometimes raised in discourse in courses such as Christianity and Science: A Multidisciplinary Approach. This fulfills an elective in the religious studies minor.”

1 Scott LaFee, “Local scientists, doctors and professors talk about ‘intelligent design,’ ” The San Diego Union-Tribune, F-1, June 8, 2005.

2 Frank Newport, “Third of Americans Say Evidence Has Supported Darwin’s Evolution Theory,” The Gallup Poll, Nov. 19, 2004, http://poll.gallup.com/content/default.aspx?ci=14107&pg=1.


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By velma kelly, April 4, 2007 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:
I read your post with growing anticipation, confident that I was only moments away from true enlightenment. I did so look forward to discovering the “natural organic function of humanity within the living body of earth.” And it seemed altogether too much to expect that I might also learn “the national organic form of humanity essential to the fulfillment of its function.” Can you imagine my dismay, my utter disappointment attendant on your cruel announcement that there are to be “no SURVIVORS”? I am now hopeless, truly devastated. Nevertheless, I do have one last burning question. These suedo-sciences and suedo-religions, how do you recognize their bumbling adherents when you see them? Are some wearing blue suede, a la Elvis of yore, and are some attired in white bucks, like Pat Boone of days gone by? Please writesoon, before the show closes.

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By my left foot, April 4, 2007 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For goodness sakes , when you enter the spirit world governed by god’s , ghosts , angels , bearded Imams , pedophile priests and sexually perverted preachers , you are no longer responding to reality based stimulation . You are controlled by the speaking in tongues events taking place at your local evangelical church a promptly 7 pm on tuesdays each week . Get a grip and listen to what this guys saying and stop trying to justify absolute hocus pocus . It’s nothing but fables , fairy tales ,and overextended imaginations

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By Alex Longboat, April 3, 2007 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding: Comment #61964

You been to the white eyes school, eh chief?

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By Buck Up Soldier, April 3, 2007 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: 61956

Sounds like you have made up your mind Leona. However, the so-called trick with the manuscripts would be like someone saying the television was actually invented prior to the microscope. And the reason for this so-called conspiracy is maybe…I don’t know…........salvation of a soul?
May God grant you peace. I have bigger fish to fry -  this will be my last response…......I have spoken the truth and revealed how I love walking with Jesus…..now I have a worldwide mission to fulfill for Jesus Christ…...peace out.

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By amos hart, April 3, 2007 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re Comment #61763 by Jim Hanley:
I think it was Richard Dawkins who said that a typing pool of a million monkeys would eventually produce “Macbeth.” I was a skeptic until I read your post. I now know that one monkey typing for five minutes can produce something akin to English prose. I’m just not sure if it’s a scriptfor Gen. Jack D. Ripper meets Big Brother or Karl Marx meets Forrest Gump. The reference to the “pristine acuity of innocent children’s minds” was decidedly Ripperesque while the call “to align under one banner
...to overcome the deadly influences of those religious fanatics” was in the best tradition of Marx (Karl, not Groucho.) Then we have the touching concern for the young, the defenseless, the innocent, so reminiscent of Big Brother. And, tying it all together we have a Gumpian rendition of the English language. “Profligate” is suddenly a verb, “disease” is now “desease,” and “who” is now in the objective case. Commas, semi-colons and parentheses are scattered throughout, like bird droppings, to complement the larger theme no doubt. All that’s lacking is a suitable producer and director for this sure-fire Academy Award winner. I hear Al Gore’s looking to repeat next year and Mary Mapes is looking for a job. They’re in the book.

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By TAO Walker, April 3, 2007 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This same argument, between scientific rationalists and religious true-believers, is running in at least two or three other places on this site.  There’s considerable redundancy in the names of those weighing-in on one side or another, too.

Probably nobody has a more legitimate beef with those pushing their creeds on “captive audiences” than people here on the Rez….and that goes for both factions.  European-based Christianists and rationalists have been carrying-out a tag-team assault on us free wild natural human beings here on Turtle Island, and all around the world, for a couple dozen generations now.

So we might be the best-qualified ones around to “referee” this silly squabble.  We can tell you straight-out that neither the suedo-science of “creationism” nor the suedo-religion of “evolutionism” has ever or ever will come up with the answers to the two most fundamental questions about just what in hell is actually going on here, so far as human beings are concerned.

Neither side knows what, exactly, is the natural organic function of humanity within the living body of Earth.  It’s a safe bet nobody of either persuasion even remembers there is such a thing.

Neither knows exactly, either, what is the natural organic form of humanity essential to the fulfillment of its function here.  Such woeful ignorance about the most basic facts of Life Herownself, and their own place in her living arrangement here, pretty much renders everything any of the domesticated contestants commenting here, or anywhere, think or believe, about anything at all, into mere guess-work.

So it’s no mystery to us Indians how our tame brothers and sisters come to be in the dire straits they are today.  They’re completely out of touch with their own essential human nature, desperate to somehow re-establish this vital connection, and looking to do it every way except the one that will get them there.

Bumbling around clueless in a virtual world of hurt, confused almost to extinction by ideological make-believe and electro-mechanical gadgetry, the prey and playthings of forces and entities equally self-intoxicated and ignorant, the peretrator/victims of “civilization” are all squandering their lives in a worldwide ten-thousand-year-long episode of “LOST”....in which there are no “SURVIVORS.”  What an end for “the crown of creation.”  What a fate for “the pinnacle of evolution.”

The real good news is this “show” is about to close.

HokaHey!

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By steve, April 3, 2007 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

you write:
“The danger of creationism is that, like the pseudo-science of Nazi eugenics, it allows facts to be accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained ideology. “

OMG, that’s a perfect definition of evolution.  Lactation in reptiles?  Ignore it.  Irreducible complexity?  Discard it.  It doesn’t fit into the preconceived framework. 

Stop hyperventilating and look at things objectively.  You just defined evolution which has a stranglehold on government-run schools and censors all dissent through the media.  THAT is true totalitarianism.

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By Leona, April 3, 2007 at 11:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding: “Proof Jesus existed:
Many preserved manuscripts written hundreds of years before the birth of Christ announce his pending arrival, details included.” - Buck Up Soldier

Come on now. The myth was written to fulfill the prophesies. Hard to swallow? Wash it down with a little “Miracle Spring Water” from Peter Popoff! That’s some goooooood water! (I hear it’s great for making kool aid.)

“Maybe this is the reason that the world’s calendar even uses the term BC (before Christ)”

Pope Gregory killed all opposition so we use the “Gregorian” calendar too. We now speak in terms of CE, Common Era. Welcome to the present.

“Even false religions recognize Jesus’ existence (it cannot be denied)”

They recognize at the point of a sword. All religions are false. But these “false” religions you mention have been bullied into acceptance, as is the “Christian” way, see:  http://hamsa.org/ for one ongoing account.

One of the few “blessings” of our modern media is that much information regarding religion suppressing reason is available to all.

A happy and joyous Eostre to you Buck Up!

PS I hope you don’t mind my calling you “Buck Up”, that is your name?
I think it’s a good name, it fits you. Is it a family name?

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By Ernest Canning, April 3, 2007 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The many inane mumblings in the comments to this article only serve to underscore Chris Hedges central point that “creationism removes the follower from the rational, reality-based world.”

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By Mickey, April 3, 2007 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bravo.  Non-religious people in the US, contrary to the conservatives’ battle-cries, are overly timid about challenging religious belief.  How many open atheists hold publicly elected office?  Science has no reason to reconcile its findings with any of the thousands of religions floating around out there.  That’s the job of the religious believer alone.  This is one of the innumerable reasons why “intelligent design” has no place in public education.  It’s incomprehensible that this is even an issue.

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By Hemi, April 3, 2007 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Only God can answer why He chooses not to give us everything we want or wish for. God however does answer those prayers for salvation: He recently answered a 7 year old prayer I had to save my Ex-Darwin believing son. This son, just last night, led a 17 year old drug addicted boy with parental problems to Christ, through the Holy Spirit of course. Praise God! We are all rejoicing over this event. Now tell me what is happening in your arena with your God?” - Buck Up Soldier

Well soldier, a wonderful story repeated in many faith communities. It is also repeated in schools, jails, sororities, fraternities, P.A.L.s and many places without invoking a god myth or the publicity of a faith community but simply by humans concerned for other humans. People need and deserve human kindness in their lives, if you provide that in any guise, good for all of us.

I give you Milton Hershey, as an example of someone providing for the well being and proliferation of an entire community of people without the threat of damnation or the promise of salvation for any of the participants. Hershey was from Mennonite lineage but as the Hershey Archives States “formal religion was never a part of Milton Hershey’s life.”

The archives go on to say: “Milton Hershey was a doer, not a philosopher. He rarely wrote and seldom talked about his beliefs.  Nevertheless, he obviously thought a lot about such matters as success and the value and purposes of money.  He believed wealth should be used for the benefit of others and practiced what he preached.  That he also understood that doing good works was also good for business did not lessen the depth or scope of his interest in other people’s welfare.”

Hershey knew that when singular human kindness was provided the whole community benefited. By his example, the entire community thus “evolved” into one that had a better chance of future survival. From what I’ve seen, Hershey Pennsylvania continues to prosper, although somewhat “evolved” from Milton’s time.  Hershey was asked what religion he followed he is said to have replied “The Golden Rule.” One might suggest Milton Hershey was “good for goodness sake”.

Hershey’s was the same “Golden Rule” passed down through ancient literature long before being parroted by the fictional Christ as “Do unto others…”.

“This is the sum of duty; do naught unto others what you would not have them do unto you.” — Mahabharata (5:15:17) (c. 500 BCE)

“What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others.” — Confucius (ca. 551–479 BCE)

“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn”. (Babylonian Talmud, tractate Shabbat 31a) — Hillel (ca. 50 BCE-10 CE)

Boy, with that time frame and quote from Hillel, perhaps some of his exploits could have been later attributed to…. Nah, couldn’t be!

There are scads more, but the point is either man invented “God” long before Christianity or you are praying to the wrong “God”. My point is not to diminish your good works but to expose the serious problems religious dogma inflict on societies. The same point as the Hedges piece. If you want to teach by example without caveat (ala Hershey), no harm done. If you want to rule via Bronze Age fiction, we’ve got a problem.

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By Buck Up Soldier, April 3, 2007 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: 61827

Proof Jesus existed:
Many preserved manuscripts written hundreds of years before the birth of Christ announce his pending arrival, details included. Some examples of Old Testament Prophecies compared to the evidence of corresponding manuscripts within the New Testament are as follows:

Zechariah 11:12 compare to Matthew 27:9, 10-
Isaiah 50:6 compare to Matthew 26:67
Psalm 69:21 compare to 27:34, 48 -

Maybe this is the reason that the world’s calendar even uses the term BC (before Christ)

Even false religions recognize Jesus’ existence (it cannot be denied)

I would suggest you visit a place like the Holy Land or Wycliffe Bible Translators, both in Orlando Florida, to view and learn about the evidence God systematically arranged and provided for us to introduce Jesus Christ. It is awesome!

About Him being the Son of God:
Jesus said that He is the Son of God. The bible said He is the Son of God. God said He gave His only Son for us so the we may have everlasting life through believing in Him.

Once a person is convinced Jesus existed, they soon have to come to the conclusion either Jesus was a liar, crazy or was telling the truth about being the Son of God. (there is actually a book written about this)

I personally choose to believe He is the Son of God. I have reviewed the evidence and have walked with Him daily for 8 years now. My daily walk has revealed His existence to me far beyond my expectations. Answered prayers included.
My life is complete and free of stress, worry, and doubt about my existence and purpose. I am delighted for the opportunity to explain this in detail. I hope I have sparked a serious desire in others to seek the truth and compare evidence about Jesus. You have nothing to lose from seeking the truth, but you have everything to lose by following the lies of this world around us. Seek and you will find. I’m not trying to impose my beliefs on anyone, I’m just asking that before a person decides what truth is that they do their own research first. Listening to someones opinions means practically nothing when seeking truth. Each person must seek this on his own.

Living a full life through Christ and encouraging others to join in on the journey of faith,

Buck Up Soldier

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By Buck Up Soldier, April 2, 2007 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 61749
Thank you Zena for your support but be careful not to stereotype large churches/Christians (one in the same). Christians come in all personality types and motivation levels. Just like the people in any workplace, some are serious and some are just there (at church their called pew warmers; just there watch)and they need to get busy serving Christ!

re: 61789
Just for the record it’s not “stupid Christians” that say the heavens declare the glory of God, but it is God Himself that states this in Psalm 19:1.

re:61757
I’m sorry but there are people out there that don’t want Christians to express their opinions or beliefs. Dr. Joel Hunter and many other serious Christians are about to change that attitude. The army of God is strong. Changes are coming soon. We are being called out on missions right here in the United States as well as around the world. I personally have been assigned a mission with a very large worldwide ministry.
Jesus is controversial and will continue to be until His return. (At that time I doubt anyone will have the guts to argue about Him then). As for “taking over”, in case you haven’t noticed our environment is falling apart, our schools are unsafe and struggling financially, and our laws are basically becoming so deformed and twisted they barely resemble any form of justice at all. Therefore, since God gives wisdom to His people, I only suggest they do their job and take care of what has been entrusted to them.

re: 67145
As for missing limbs, well God has never told us He would restore those before we get to heaven. Therefore, I would suggest you take care of your body the best you can and deal with limitations as you receive them. We all have limitations to some degree. Sometimes by dealing with limitations we become stronger and less focused on ourselves. Only God can answer why He chooses not to give us everything we want or wish for. God however does answer those prayers for salvation: He recently answered a 7 year old prayer I had to save my Ex-Darwin believing son. This son, just last night,  led a 17 year old drug addicted boy with parental problems to Christ, through the Holy Spirit of course. Praise God! We are all rejoicing over this event. Now tell me what is happening in your arena with your God?

Life is short, but eternity is well….. eternity

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By Zena, April 2, 2007 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Hanley; there is some truth to what you say. On the other hand, there has never been an evolution of this planet without the work of people who held very deep religious belief. You may think of it this way, guns don’t kill people; people kill people with guns for bad reasons. Religion is not the ends to a means for those who are truly Christian, but merely a door to be passed thru to pure spirituality and a personal relationship to and with GOD. Those who use it to satify their own personal financial gains shall find one day, it will bite them like an adder. And these people u mention is no more a true represention of GOD’S people than emptyness represents Atheists. You cannot compare Apples and oranges. Anyone who claims to represent GOD and is rabidly against freedom theology is a liar and a Satanist. I suggest you research it. Have a great day, Zena

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By velma kelly, April 2, 2007 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Lies, etc. (61429)”
So the German Army’s belt buckles read “Gott Mit Uns.” Well that certainly proves Hitler subverted the church to his ends. If the buckles had read “Curley, Moe, and Larry Mit Uns,” that would have provided proof positive that the Three Stooges were dupes of the Nazis. Seems to me I remember a guy by the name of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was hanged for his opposition to Nazism just weeks before the war ended in Europe. There is a decided difference in going along because you don’t want to hang and willingly having provided grist for Hitler’s propaganda mill. Darwin made statements that justified racism and the murder of the Jews of Europe. Note that they were completely uncoerced and clearly reflected his own “scientific” perspective. Certainly the German church has much to answer for, but it didn’t originate the idea of the survival of the fittest. That was Mr. Charles Darwin.

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By Tim, April 2, 2007 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding: Comment #61723 by Buck up Soldier on 4/02 at 5:33 am

First of all, you say, “Jesus was here (everyone agrees).”  There is no proof that Jesus existed, let alone that he was the son of God. 

Secondly, you say no one can stop any Christian from expressing his opinions and beliefs because this is America.  All well and good, except people like you want to impose your beliefs on other people.  The reason that evolution, rather than creationism, is taught in public school science classes is that the former is based on science, while the latter is a religious belief system.  Because of the separation of church and state, a religious belief cannot be taught in a public institution.

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By Archaeopteryx, April 2, 2007 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re 61429 (Lies…)

1. Please explain to Chris Hedges that evolution “is not a direct frontal assault on religion itself.” I’m afraid he missed that lecture.

2. You say “faith stands firm in the face of all evidence to the contrary.” You must be talking about the “fossil record.” We can’t figure out who the father is of Anna Nichole’s baby, yet Darwinists know that birds evolved from reptiles a gazillion years ago. Yes, that is faith that would be the envy of any Dominionist. “Science dies without revision,” you say. Then let’s get rid of the Miller-Urey experiment, Darwin’s Tree of Life, peppered moths, Darwin’s finches and four-winged fruit flies for starters. These bogus icons of evolution rival anything to be found in the Creation Museum in Petersburg Kentucky.

3. “There are no ‘static’ life forms by which we measure ‘transitional’ ones.” Where shall we send your Nobel prize, Baby Einstein? We know that there are transitional forms but we don’t know what their ancestors looked like. Sounds a bit like faith to me, but I’m just a deluded, superstitious Christian. We’re obviously talking serious scientific faith here. Without doubt, some faiths are more equal than others.

4. “A scientific theory, in addition to providing an explanation for what happened in the past, must also infer what will happen in the future.” See #3 above. Something evolved from something. Now there’s a provable hypothesis. Just look around you and you know it’s true. Whoa! Isn’t that what those stupid Christians say? “The heavens declare the glory of God…” Well, I admit I do sometimes think some people evolved from chumps (oops, chimps) based on reading this thread, but it could be the other way. As soon as we figure out where the avian flu virus is going, we can start on the future (past) of Homo sapiens. Ummm, Given the last century/millenium, do we really want to go there?

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By Jim Hanley, April 2, 2007 at 9:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A true God would expect credence for reason; not an idiot’s fear!
JH 4/1/07
———————————————————
There is no excuse for intelligent people to be so ignorant of facts about the charlatan fantasies and
make-believe pretenses of religion, that works to undermine the true Democratic principles and unifying influences of our Democratic Society! To promote, propagate, profligate or publish the same pretentious
and pompous falsehoods that are the evil tools used by Fallwell, Baker, Haggard, the Pope, and their
ilk to brainwash, indoctrinate, brand, and subjugate innocent children and fools so as to use them to gain ever more money, power, and divisive influence, is tantamount to supporting pimping, and prostitution.
And, because those charlatans use their evil schemes and lies to control, and enslave those misled
‘bovine-like’ advocates by rendering them ‘virtual’ robots that do their bidding; they are criminals, and
  those supporting them, are criminal cohorts, equally guilty of the crimes they commit against humanity,
those fools, and the children.
The vast majority of “religious” people were: forced into their ‘belief’! They had no say in the matter, they were imposed upon, brainwashed, and indoctrinated when innocent and defenseless! They were not old enough, wise enough, or informed enough to make a decision, or to determine the value of the information passed to them by elders who, they were taught to obey and were not able to question or contradict! And, generation, upon generation the same methods have been perpetually used and promoted by a big gang of thieves as their victimizing schemes to rob people of their pristine mental facilities and their ability to determine fact from fiction! 
Most religious indoctrinated “children” never reach an “age and ability” to recover from the ‘desease’!
‘Religious’ “parents” already mezmerized and ‘indoctrinated’; are the absolute worst ‘indoctrinators’!
(because, they have first access to the innocents at the earliest age!)
Religious parents mind’s are warped by the charlatan’s lies and fairytales, and by passing it on, they
are naive, unwitting cohorts of the ‘criminal’ charlatans’; and are abetting the spread of the infectious
plague-like desease called “Religion”!  These “parents” are criminals! They are guilty of ‘branding’ and ‘warping’ the ‘pristine’ minds of the innocent defenseless children and robbing them of the mental acuity
they were born with.
Religion’s evil bigotry has relegated all non-religious people and realists, to a lower class ‘infidel’ status.
And, the time has arrived for all ‘Secular’ Organizations, and realists to seriously consider aligning under
one ‘banner’ to fight the fight of our lives; to overcome the deadly influences of those religious fanatics
who intend to overthrow our once Democratic Government and accede to domination of our society by
brainwashing innocent children and fools, infecting them with the plague-like desease called “Religion”
and thus branding and converting them into mezmerized, robot-like monsters, and cohorts, suborned
to ever ceaseless efforts aimed at gaining total, and complete control over our entire way of life.
How does the US Government guarantee ‘newborn’ US citizens the “Right” to: “freedom of religion”?
“—-U.S.citizens are guaranteed freedom of—-religion—-” (?)
But; how, can the ‘pristine’ acuity of innocent children’s minds possibly survive the corrupting
influence of mind-warping religious indoctrination they are unable or free to question or object to?
THE ORIGIN OF NATURE
  Beginning is never found but keep an ear to the ground
  Accept the word of a friend there’s no beginning or end
Nature origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
JH 8/29/06
  The worst form of child abuse is WARPING of   the mind!
        .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By Ernest Canning, April 2, 2007 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
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re Buck Up Soldier #61723.  No one, Mr. Hedges included, wants to “stop any Christian from expressing their opinions and beliefs.”  You are right.  “This is America.”  The U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion.

But when you start talking about taking over “our environment, our schools, our laws,” you are advocating something that is decidedly un-American.  The same Constitution that protects your right to believe, shields others from being forced to believe as you do by preventing government from establishing any religion.  The same Constitution that permits you to cling to your irrational beliefs permits others to disagree with your pseudo-science. 

The theocratic state you would create would be decidedly undemocratic.  Indeed, as Mr. Hedge’s aptly demonstrates in his book, the right-wing Christian movement bears all the indices of Fascism and is led by charletons who have enriched themselves at the expense of blinded followers like you.  It is, in essense, a cult.

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By Zena, April 2, 2007 at 8:55 am Link to this comment
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I also agree with Buck up. If people truly believe and have faith, there is nothing that can’t be done. As long as they trust and follow GOD’S lead and words. Still, it IS a scary proposition. But a leap of faith always is….

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By Zena, April 2, 2007 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
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I agree with Mr. Carper. Too many of these big fancy churches have nothing to do with GOD, and everything to do with the leaders worshipping their own egoes. In fact, they are still still selling tickets to heaven. And since many of their people don’t read the bible themselves, are unaware of it. That’s why I don’t go to church. I think we can all agree that everyone has a right to their own beliefs, but not when it violently breaks civil law. And those people who delight in murder and abuses of all kinds against others is directly violating GOD’S laws. They will pay for it. If not here on earth, after death, for sure.

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By Hemi, April 2, 2007 at 8:44 am Link to this comment
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Regarding: Comment #61723 by Buck up Soldier on 4/02 at 5:33 am
“Scientific Fact: Jesus was here (everyone agrees)”

Of course, he’s still here, he’s not done cleaning your pool.

“Biblical Fact: He said that He is coming back and taking with Him those who follow Him (most of us know what happens to the ones who don’t)”

Of course he’s coming back, you pay well and don’t take out taxes. As for those who follow him, his friends need work too. Those that stay at Home Depot don’t get paid. Pretty simple.

“Legal Fact: No one can stop any Christian from expressing their opinions and beliefs, this is America.”

Of course, America. Home of Abraham Lincoln. Who said: ““The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.” Thank god for honest Abe!

“Biblical Fact: God has told his people that they can do anything through Jesus Christ. This includes answering prayers regarding all of the people we pray for to come to know Jesus as their personal king and savior.”

Of course, like the Iraq war amputees praying for return of their limbs. If he can cure cancer why not give back a limb? Well maybe he has and you will “enlighten” us?

“Inspiration to the believer only: If you are a Christian, get bold, get motivated, and start taking control of the environment, our schools, our laws (via voting) all through the unstoppable power of Jesus Christ! It is your job!!!!”

Of course, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). We think you missed on this one. Perhaps a little more study is needed.

Onward Christian soldier.

Happy Eostre everybody!

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By Buck up Soldier, April 2, 2007 at 6:33 am Link to this comment
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Scientific Fact: Jesus was here (everyone agrees)

Biblical Fact: He said that He is coming back and taking with Him those who follow Him (most of us know what happens to the ones who don’t)

Legal Fact: No one can stop any Christian from expressing their opinions and beliefs, this is America.

Biblical Fact: God has told his people that they can do anything through Jesus Christ.
This includes answering prayers regarding all of the people we pray for to come to know Jesus as their personal king and savior.

Inspiration to the believer only: If you are a Christian, get bold, get motivated, and start taking control of the environment, our schools, our laws (via voting)  all through the unstoppable power of Jesus Christ! It is your job!!!!

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By john carper, April 1, 2007 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment
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I actually believe in creation and the possibility of a young 10,000 year old earth. Yet at the same time I do not disagree with Hedges. Our whole political[sic] system depends of polarization, fragmentation and the management of opinion.  Having attended creationism/intelligent design conferences in years 1999 and 2000 I have noticed that while many of the scientists and presenters are sincere the promoters do have a political agenda. It is as if they want to co-opt a potential army of peasants with pitchforks in an upcoming religious war. Once I figured that out I stopped attending.

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By amos hart, April 1, 2007 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
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Re 61429:
My beef is with Chris Hedges, the author of this screed, not Charles Darwin. Hedges, although zealous in his efforts to debunk Christianity, never shines a light on fraud in the realm of so-called science. There is plenty of room for questions about Darwinism. Denying them does not help the cause of science. I have no problem with teaching the Darwinist view so long as it is taught honestly, WARTS and all. How do you expect the questions to be answered if they are not asked? There is a religious tint to Darwinism. We can’t answer all the questions, but just have faith. In time, we will. Sounds just like what those stupid Christians say when asked about why God allows evil.  Faith and science are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they require each other. What scientist invests his life in some field of work without faith that a hunch will pay off in an important discovery? Certainly, Einstein alone could not prove the Special Theory of Relativity. It took his brains to state it but the work of others to prove it. To attempt to draw a bright line between faith and science is simply sophistry. And some have the effrontery to talk about “basic understanding of science and history.” They should pay more attention to dinner and less attention to promoting preordained ideology.

BTW: which way will the avian flu virus next mutate?

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By Zena, April 1, 2007 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
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Dear Mr. Canning , thank you for the comment you directed at me. I have never been soo condencendingly and smugly rebuked before like that. I guess you put me in my place. If only you knew what those ‘big’ words meant that you used you would be amused at yourself; that is if you even understood the problem going on here that you so verbally try to steer in your own direction. At least Christians are not as arrogant and conceited as you are, no wonder people have more sympathy towards them, then people who talk like you do. Only the strong survive, isn’t that what you’re saying?
“Those who are a friend to all are a friend to no one.”

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By Ernest Canning, April 1, 2007 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
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Re comment #61582 by Zena.  One does not have to “believe” in a diety in order to “stand for” anything.  A preference of science and the scietific method is a far cry from a rejection of the Constitution—a documentwhich belies the Christo-Fascist canard that America is a “Christian nation.”

The beauty of the First Amendment’s “free exercise clause” is that anyone is free to believe, as you do, or not to believe, as is apparently reflected by the Agnostic-like views of Dr. Char Lee.  The beauty of the “establishment clause” is that it prevents all religious zealots, like yourself, from forcing their unscientific beliefs upon everyone else.  The “establishment clause” requires the maintenance of a separation wall between church and state.  This is the reason why, under our Constitution, public schools teach the “science” of evolution but do not include the religious views of creationism masquerading under the pseudo-science of “intelligent design.”

If you truly believe in the Constitution, you would not take exception to Chirs Hedges’ well-written critique of the pseudo-scientific confabulations emanating from the Christo-Fascist right.

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By Zena, March 31, 2007 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment
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This is a chilling march back into the Dark Ages and can only lead to the same profound ignorance offered by the Islamic world.  Neither the bible nor the koran are worthy of anything more than a curious glance at the past.

Dr. Char; I am assuming you have a better plan? ‘Cause the idiot you support have been proven not ONLY criminal but wrong time and time again. Seems you don’t believe in anything, not even the MOST IMPORTANT: the CONSTITUTION. Why are you in this conversation if you haven’t anything revelent to say? YOU’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything….what exactly DO YOU STAND FOR???

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By Robert Lederman, March 31, 2007 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
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Robert Sheer while I have alot of respect for your positions and regularly listen to you on KCRWs left right and centre via podcast I am getting really really tired of your vendetta against Christianity. You claim that “creationism” is pseudo science and not based on fact is simply wrong, it is Darwinism that is on the defensive. and not just from a political point of view. More importantly the bible, purely as a historical document(rather than a religious one) is one of the most accurate sources of history around. Time and time again people have tried to discredit aspects of it only to be proved wrong.

“...to accept the toxic totalitarian line by tricking them into believing it’s their own.”

I guess you’ve never been to a liberal left leaning American University, tell people you respect the bible from a historical point of view and see how fast tolerance opened mindedness go out the door.

While there are alot of legitimate complaints that can be made historical accuracy of the bible is not one of them.

If there are any opened minded people out there I suggest spending sometime at http://www.apologetics.org/ and make up your own mind.

Robert in Madrid


While I personally feel that Christians should not be involved in Politics (beyond voting) the simple

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By Lies, Damned Lies and Creationists, March 30, 2007 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment
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Gotta love how the creationists (and their ID bastard siblings) project all their insecurities on evolution.  Conveniently ignoring that:

1.) Evolution challenges a LITERAL INTERPRETATION of their creation story, and is not a direct frontal assault on religion itself.

2.) That evolution is not a matter of “faith”.  Faith stands firm in the face of all evidence to the contrary, whereas science dies without revision and new data.

3.) Evolution is not every organism for itself, because cooperation is even more vital than competition. (Could you imagine a hive run with every bee working for herself?)

4.) There are no “static” life forms by which we measure “transitional” ones.  (Hint for the creationists:  Think calculus, not algebra!)  Pat Hayes at Red State Rabble likes announcing a new fossil discovery with the joke “Look!  Two more gaps!”  (Meaning that if scientists discover a fossil “B” that seems to fall between points A and C, it creates two gaps where there had been one…at least for the creationists.)

5.) “Creation science” is an oxymoron and its bias is two-by-four-upside-the-head obvious.  A scientific theory, in addition to providing an explanation for what happened in the past, must also infer what will happen in the future.  Creationism merely offers a moronically simple blanket-answer (“God did it.”).  It can’t tell you which way, say, the avian flu virus will next mutate.  So it flunks the standard for science. 

6.) Hitler happily subverted the Church to his ends. Just like everything else.  The German Army’s belt buckles read “Gott Mitt Uns” (“God is with us”).  What’s that about Darwin leading to Hitler again? 

7.) Evolution, the Big Bang, Secularism, Liberalism are not part of the same parcel.  It’s unbelievable to me how many creationists start out hollering about Darwin and end up ranting about the ACLU. 

I’d go on, but my despair at some people’s lack of mental subtlety (and basic logic skills, not to mention their basic understanding of science and history and the religion that they claim to follow) is deepening dangerously.  And, more importantly, dinner’s on the way.

Thanks, all, for your patience in reading this far.

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By amos hart, March 30, 2007 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment
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There he goes again:
“The danger of creationism is that…it allows facts to be accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained ideology.”
Mr. Harris, creationism is not the only viewpoint that accepts or discards facts based on ideology. Shocking though it may be, your Darwinist pals have committed the “academic equivalent of murder” in the world of “science.” Says who? Says Stephen Gould. Biologists have known for over a century that German biologist Ernst Haeckel faked his drawings that purport to show that embryos from various classes of vertebrates are virtually identical in their earliest stages and become noticeably different only as they develop (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny). That not withstanding, his drawings continue to be cited in modern text books as evidence for common descent. Douglas Futuyma, a professional evolutionary biologist, used Haeckel’s drawings in his 1998 textbook, “Evolutionary Biology.” I could cite at least a half dozen other modern texts that make use of the drawings to support “a preordained ideology.” Gould himself admitted that he had known about the bogus drawings for more than twenty years, but it didn’t suit his purposes to out the fraud. He did, however, blast textbook writers for “dumbing down” their subject matter to the point of making it inaccurate. Said Gould, “We do have the right, I think, to be both astonished and ashamed of the mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority of modern textbooks.” Yet, for twenty years, Gould let his colleagues become accessories to what he himself called “the academic equivalent of murder.”

I can (and may) cite several other instances of “scientific” chicanery in support of the preordained ideology of Darwinism. Let’s not pretend that those who “deal in a world of reality, fact and rationality” (Hedges included presumably) are entirely above bending the truth to their own ideological ends.

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By Zena, March 30, 2007 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
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You know what’s REALLY SCARY??? That there are Dr’s (Dr. Char) like you that think the same way, and they are in a business that is SUPPOSED to be about compassion. I feel sorry for you in a way. What do you think your Karma will bring? The bible says to those who show no mercy shall be shown no mercy.

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By Zena, March 30, 2007 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment
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Tolitarian means from these guys language: Freedom from the restraints of law and decency. Eat a bug.

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By Dr Char Lee, March 30, 2007 at 11:51 am Link to this comment
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This is a chilling march back into the Dark Ages and can only lead to the same profound ignorance offered by the Islamic world.  Neither the bible nor the koran are worthy of anything more than a curious glance at the past.

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By Brandon, March 30, 2007 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
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“I would rather live as a believer and after I die find the Bible is untrue, THAN to live opposing God and His Word of Truth only to die and discover, as I lift up my eyes in hell, the Bible is indeed God’s Word of Truth.”

You Guys Sure Like To Capitalize Every Word In A Sentence. Why Do You Do This? It’s Very Pretentious.

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By Frank Steiger, March 29, 2007 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment
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Please visit my web site http://www.fsteiger.com for more information on the creationist movement.

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By rowdy, March 29, 2007 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment
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I,just like these crazed fools, look forward to the end of the world. I want to see it in my lifetime. let almighty god rain fire and brimstone all over the world. let bush nuke iran,let him nuke afghanistan,pakistan, darfur. maybe he will take on mr. putin. i like mr. putin,he’s not as crazy as bush,but he has as many nukes as bush.he’ll fight back. the end of the world is something these KKKristians revel in. let it happen.

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By Zena, March 29, 2007 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
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P.S. You guys are funny. You can’t destroy something or someone you don’t even believe in. If HE’s not real, why are you so mad? Mostly the rich dictators in corrupt communist countries hated the Christians because they stood up for what they believed in. Death notwithstanding. Isn’t that what bothers you the most? They won’t let you get away with ur crookery in comfort? LMAO!

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By Zena, March 29, 2007 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment
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Excuse me for interrupting; but isn’t the whole philosophy behind the ‘evolutionary’ theory is that, “only the strong survive,” and “every man for himself?” The law of the jungle, not the LAW OF THE LAND??? If so, that would make you guys BARBARIANS. Cave men. Dragging women to their caves by the hair to eat them. Now I know that is man’s basic instinct and nature, but the self-control of ur most instinctual impulse to eat each other is truly what makes us ‘Civilized’, is it not? That’s the only thing I can see you’re arguing for. Unless of course, you just like to argue. I’m gonna tell on you all. I’M TELLIN’!! You just wait!

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By myronh, March 29, 2007 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
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In reading the comments of #60932 Saint, it becomes obvious why a scumbag like Bush can get people to follow like a bunch of lemmings. Poor Saint has been led to believe that there is some wonderful future awaiting him in eternity. Just what does Saint think he will do for “eternity”? How long does he think he will be entertained and rewarded in eternity? If g-d has such a wonderful afterlife planned for the believers, why doesn’t he/she provide it on earth for the believers now? Why isn’t Saint happy here on earth? Saint’s idea, life on earth can only be meaningful if one believes, is pure propaganda. I have lived on earth for 72-years and find every new day to be more fulfilling than the previous day. I try to treat all my fellow humans as my equal. I don’t try to force my will on anyone (I can’t say the same for the devout religious). I am very happy to know that I will return back to the earth upon my death, just as all other living things (animals, fish, insects, plants, etc.) will do when they die. What right do I have to think I am superior to any other of Nature’s products of evolution?

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By Jim Hanley, March 29, 2007 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment
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The Great (God) Debate
About 500 people showed up in Daytona Beach, 3/26/07 Florida for :
The Great Debate: “Does God Exist?”
Eddie Tabash, Chair of the Council for Secular Humanism’s First Amendment Task Force.
vs: Todd Friel, host of the Living Waters Evangelism’s “The Way of the Master Radio Show”.
EVALUATION:
Both speakers repeatedly used the “Bible” to support their arguments!
Eddie Tabash pointed to many wrong translations from the Old Testament to the New
Testament, and said that an Omniscient God would never allow such inconsistancies.
Nor, would an Omnipotent God allow all the horror and suffering to his ‘creations’.
He then asked Todd Friel if he could explain the many errors, and falsehoods.
Why the terrible atrocities? And who created the “Creator”?
However, Todd Friel never answered any question posed to him!
  Instead, he often ‘SHOUTED’, as he repeatedy referred to the Bible as “God’s Word”?
Or, insisted there ‘had’ to be a “Creator”.
—————————————————————
Although I would have much preferred a more in-depth treatment of facts extant, or nonexistent about a subject that has such profound, negative influence on the lives of all, whether religious, or non-religious,
I do realize that this; like all efforts to expose the absurdity of this abberational, mentally debilitating ‘infectious plague-like disease, is a worthy effort and step towards arousing intelligent awareness, and resentment thereto; and is illustrative of a more receptive environment for discussing a subject others;
not so long ago, were ‘pilloried’, and ‘burned at the stake’ for!
————————————————————
“Question with boldness the existence of a God; because; if there be one, he must more approve
  the homage of reason than of blindfolded fear”.(!)
Thomas Jefferson
————————————-
THE ORIGIN OF NATURE
  Beginning is never found but keep an ear to the ground Accept the word of a friend there’s no beginning or end   Nature origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
JH 8/29/06
  The worst form of child abuse is ‘warping’ of the mind!
Jim   .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By Tim, March 29, 2007 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #60978 by Steve on 3/28 at 10:52 am

Steve, your premise seems to be that if fault can be found in evolution, then creationism must be true.  I am not a scientist, but have read a lot about evolution.  I understand it fairly well, but there are still some unanswered questions.  How did life originate in the first place?  When did man and the apes split?  What happened to Java and Peking man?  Is mankind descended from Neanderthals?  But these unanswered questions don’t make creationism true.  Why would a creator make bacteria and viruses?  In addition, believing in evolution does not preclude belief in God.

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By Doug Tarnopol, March 29, 2007 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #60978 by Steve on 3/28 at 10:52 am

Obviously, Steve, you didn’t read my comment. Maybe it wasn’t up when you were submitting yours. Take a look at it. You are incorrect in two specific ways. First, there has been vigorous debate about evolution both within the field and between nonevolutionists and evolutionists since even before Darwin, but certainly after. How do you account for the fact that evolution is accepted worldwide? How do you deal with the evidence for evolution, some of it completely unexpected in Darwin’s day, and even later, such as plate tectonics and the deep homology you see in homeoboxes?

Second, in a more “local” sense, people like Provine have been debating creationists publicly for ages.

So, despite what you’d like to believe, and even though you’re acting, possibly unknowingly, according to Discovery-Institute PR, you might want to consider that your private faith should remain just that. For the few dozen hours a child is in public school and has a chance to learn about evolution, your beliefs should not prevent that from happening. For all the rest of the time, teach your children whatever you like.

Doug

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By Broiler, March 29, 2007 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment
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“If I should die and stand before my Maker, it’s doubtful he will be impressed with any claim he didn’t exist and that he didn’t make me. If the evolutionist is correct then even the poor senseless and disillusioned Christians will be equally non existent or whatever the imagination substitutes for truth. What a gamble on the most precious thing we as humans have which is life. That’s not one I care to put all my chips in for.” - Comment #60932 by Saint on 3/28 at 8:07 am

Do what you will with your chips. Saint, you can go “all in” as they say in poker. While you’re betting on a bluff, the real harm comes from you religious fanatics legislating so that non-believers must live based on the fantasy of your “next life”. Please go to heaven, just leave us here, we’ll manage. I say this having had nearly 50 years of Catholic indoctrination. I “been there, done that” with the Christian thing and I never had the compulsion to pull anyone into my beliefs. It never felt right. The reason for that feeling was that it was all myth. There’s nobody home, there is no god. If you have doubts, your pastor/priest/rabbi tells you to read your Bible to find the answers. Those answers are the same run-around myths they’ve been cherry picking and hammering you with for years. Want an example of the run-around? “Prodigal son”, he came back because he ran out of money for hookers and booze for Pete’s sake! Sounds like a chapter out of the Jimmy Swaggert bio. There’s too much factual information available to ignore. It’s been around for thousands of years but suppressed. You see there’s just no way to make big money from and wield power over a society of free-thinkers.

I submit the following, written by a man many sources agree was both brilliant and moral by any standards. This piece is titled the “The Agnostic Christmas”.

“Again we celebrate the victory of Light over Darkness, of the God of day over the hosts of night. Again Samson is victorious over Delilah, and Hercules triumphs once more over Omphale. In the embrace of Isis, Osiris rises from the dead, and the scowling Typhon is defeated once more. Again Apollo, with unerring aim, with his arrow from the quiver of light, destroys the serpent of shadow. This is the festival of Thor, of Baldur and of Prometheus. Again Buddha by a miracle escapes from the tyrant of Madura, Zoroaster foils the King, Bacchus laughs at the rage of Cadmus, and Chrishna eludes the tyrant.

This is the festival of the sun god, and as such let its observance be universal.

This is the great day of the first religion, the mother of all religions—the worship of the sun.

Sun worship is not only the first, but the most natural and most reasonable of all. And not only the most natural and the most reasonable, but by far the most poetic, the most beautiful.

The sun is the god of benefits, of growth, of life, of warmth, of happiness, of joy. The sun is the all-seeing, the all-pitying, the all-loving.

This bright God knew no hatred, no malice, never sought for revenge.

All evil qualities were in the breast of the God of darkness, of shadow, of night. And so I say again, this is the festival of Light. This is the anniversary of the triumph of the Sun over the hosts of Darkness.

Let us all hope for the triumph of Light—of Right and Reason—for the victory of Fact over Falsehood, of Science over Superstition.

And so hoping, let us celebrate the venerable festival of the Sun.”

- written by Robert G. Ingersoll
from The Journal, New York, December 25, 1892.

Don’t you just love a good Dies Natalis Solis Invicti story?

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By Brandon, March 29, 2007 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment
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I’m glad to see the use of the word “Totalitarian” in this article. Even most of my progressive friends are not aware, I would say, of the potential danger religion poses to this country (and all Western countries) in the near future.

When you can take thousands of peer-reviewed, independent scientific studies disproving something, and throw them out the window (or better, burn them) just because some book says otherwise, that just reeks of totalitarian control. Unfortunately, these people seem to be gaining ground, at least in some parts of the country. Some of them want us to “get lost” or just die. Some of them would like to lynch us for “disobeying Gawd.” Read Dawkins’ “God Delusion” for a lot more quotes on this.

Many of the other western countries are likely to experience similar problems over the long term. For example, I’m less sanguine about the future of secularism in Europe than most. Here’s why. Just look at the future demographics. The native-born populations of Europe are in long-term demographic decline, and a disproportionate amount of the births are to Muslim families from south of the Mediterranean. They are not assimilating into the European cultures at all, and in fact their “values” are directly counter to western values. What happens to the European countries in 20-30 years, when the Muslims are a majority there? What is to stop them from setting up the same theocratic cesspools they already have, back “home?” We’ve already seen, repeatedly, what they think of us “heretics.” Remember what they did after the cartoons were published. Remember what they wanted to do to the Pope last year.

So the theocrats, in almost all of the “civilized” countries, are brainwashing the uneducated, gullible followers. The fanatics, both Xians and Muslims, are reproducing at a very high rate like some virus spreading.

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By Zena, March 29, 2007 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
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Isn’t this really just about the crooks and greedy rich who hate their brothers and sisters, and curse Real Christians as ‘Liberals’? It’s funny that you people should keep arguing this point and defending it to your death, yet no one actually cares if you believe in either one or not…One would think you just like to argue. Appparently EVERYONE KNOWS both therories, with all the negative publicity. Or is it just one of ur favorite wedge issues? Divide and conquer.    - Machiavelli

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By michael, March 29, 2007 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
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I would rather live as a believer and after I die find the Bible is untrue, THAN to live opposing God and His Word of Truth only to die and discover, as I lift up my eyes in hell, the Bible is indeed God’s Word of Truth.

This quote from a believer seems to indicate that he is just playing it safe.  It seems to say just in case there is a god I will go along with it.  Is this truly belief ?

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By Adam Q, March 29, 2007 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
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As a Christian I know that the Devil is the father of lies. “Creation science” is a lie and it is Satan’s invention to lead people away from using their God-given abilities to learn and reason from his world and universe. By playing on people’s best tendencies to believe in God and his Word, Satan is actually luring them away from God.

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By C.W., March 29, 2007 at 1:07 am Link to this comment
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Evolution, Atheism, and science are not comforting hopes to take into eternity after death. I find only one plan which is found in the Bible that tells me where I stand. It gives me hope not only in this short lifetime, but assurance that the next will complete the mystery.

So you believe because it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Good for you.

However, some of us are equipped with something called curiosity. We want to learn things about the world. Curiosity isn’t satisfied by believing something because you want it to be true. This may be difficult for you to understand, but some people actually make an effort to tell the difference between reality and wishful thinking.

Personally I find meaning in life by engaging in the world. Working, loving, getting riled up, laughing, crying, sharing affection with my loved ones. To put all your hopes on an imaginary sky-daddy who’ll make everything right after you die, that seems to me like the most empty and shallow form of meaning available.

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By C.W., March 29, 2007 at 12:36 am Link to this comment
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Let’s have the nationally televised debate.

I have a better idea. Why don’t creationists start publishing thier findings and hard data in scientific journals? You know, like real scientists do all the time? That would enable a much more thorough and serious debate than a two-hour TV spectacle, don’t you think?

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By TAO Walker, March 28, 2007 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
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There’s sure a bunch of people posting here who’ve got big burrs under their saddles.  WykydRed (#61012), for instance, says “It’s time for science and reason to rule.”  For a glimpse of some possible examples of a world thus ordered, anyone can read “1984” or “Brave New World”....or the New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal, or The Christian Science Monitor….or watch “The Matrix” and any of several recent movie treatments of rationalist absolutism….or, apparently, just go on a visit to France.

Those who religiossify science are every bit as unbalanced as those who try to justify their religious beliefs scientifically. They’re only squandering precious attention and dwindling vitality on stuff that’s all essentially make-believe anyway.  The commentor here who recommended that the contestants give it a rest makes more sense than any of the adherents of either “side.”  Especially since it’s looking like the domesticated peoples are going to have their answer here one day soon, anyhow….and it ain’t necessarily gonna be just “One way, or the other.”

You won’t see us Indians getting all bent outta shape and going after each other over these things.  We know if anything is alive then everything is….if anything is sacred then everything is.

The science vs. religion fight is nothing more than a schoolyard argument between a bunch of brats who don’t any of ‘em know what in hell they’re hollering about.  They don’t even know their whole civilized world is in fact already a version of Hell….and already as close to Heaven as they’re ever gonna get.  They’ve all got a lot worse things to worry about than wannabe christo-fascists and authoritarian knowledge worshippers, too. 

Neither the creationists nor the rationalists know what the organic function of humanity is within the living body of our Mother Earth.  None of ‘em can tell you, either, what the natural organic form of humanity is, in-keeping with our function.  Not knowing the most elementary things about their own human nature sort of disqualifies all of ‘em as “experts” on the nature of Nature Herself….let alone “What’s it all about?” from Alpha to Omega.

What all of the overaged children here should probably do is just quiet down….and listen.  Life Herownself can tell you everything you’ll ever want to know….and she will.  Just pay attention to the chances you’re given.

HokaHey!

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By David, March 28, 2007 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment
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Having been raised in a typical American “fundamentalist”, Evangelical Christian home and also having worked myself out from under years of “shame and flame”, I think I can pretty well bottom-line this. After all the stained-glass overlay of peace and love, Christianity still has at it’s very core a Father-God who had to be appeased with the blood sacrifice of an innocent. What kind of sick and twisted being is THAT?!!!! Certainly NOT one I want to have anything to do with. And yet, Christians are in such denial that their faith even remotely resembles all of the others which have the same element of blood sacrifice for appeasment, vengeance, and eternal suffering for those who don’t ‘get with the program’. They’re basically all the same thing…an extension of primitive human tribalism and for the life of me, how this can persist in the modern psyche among otherwise intelligent, 21st century beings is beyond me! It defies all reason…..

Eternally amazed,
David…

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By Ernest Canning, March 28, 2007 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment
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re Doug Tarnopol, comment #60929.  Doug, I note that you haven’t read Chris Hedge’s exhaustively researched and academically sound book, “American Fascists: The Christian Right & the War on America.”  I suspect that when you do, you will find that it makes for a frightening but altogether necessary read, as is Jeremy Scahill’s revelations in “Blackwater” that Blackwater USA amounts to the privatized military wing of the Christo-Fascist movement with the potential to become modern-day brownshirts.  The instant article, “A World Where Lies are True” is taken from chapter six, “The War on Truth.”

What I found especially prescient were the words of Vice President Henry Wallace, published in the New York Times on April 9, 1944 (quoted by Hedges) to describe the American fascist.

“The American fascist would prefer not to use violence.  His method is to poison the channels of public information.  With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

“They claim to be superpatriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.  They demand free enterprise but are the spokesman for monopoly and vested interest.  Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they keep the common man in eternal subjugation.”

But for the date of the publication, one would have thought Wallace was describing the 21st Century American hard-right.

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By Howard Kindel, March 28, 2007 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment
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This argument overlooks something true of humans in general and Americans in particular: bigger is better.  God is big; DNA is small.  Therefore, God created the world, not the forces of evolution.  The Creationists may not know much about science in general, but they know everything they need to know about human physchology.

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By WykydRed, March 28, 2007 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment
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The thing NOT to do is allow these hypo-christians any leeway. They brainwash their children and insist others be brainwashed the same way. That is child abuse. Their teams attempting to get “ID” into schools have been found not only guilty of perjury, but intentional lying, putting forward proven falsified information, documents and “theories” and when caught at it and in the face of the judge’s written tirade against their filthy tactics and reckless disregard for law, stood on the steps of the courthouse and told media on video tape that “we will use any method, tactic and threat to get our way, so get used to it.” When asked specifically if they would lie to get their way, they answered “Yes! Of course we do!”

There’s the “religious” in one sack. We are up against the filthiest Facists ever to dictate, and everyone walks around on eggshells as if, simply by declaring themselves to be “christian” despite their own proof to the exact opposite, WE have to keep our voices down and “respect” their religious beliefs.

No, we do not. This country was not founded by christians, yet they teach their children this nonsense and, using Joseph Gobbel’s same strategy, repeat it incessantly because Nazis and christians are right: repeat a lie often enough, and people will come to believe it as unwavering truth.

Hit them where it counts: in their pockets and to hell with their “freedom”. They have the right to practice their religion, yes, but not to shove it down anyone’s throats, not even their own children! Churches call themselves that yet buy politicians every day, funneling millions of dollars into political pockets, even bribring and threatening politicians. So take that money away from them. NO church is allowed a tax-free status, and every penny must be accounted for fully or they lose their property. Take their kids away from them in order to truly “protect the children”. If they want to preach their heritical and inhumane crap, make sure the law clearly states that no one under the age of 21 is to be indocrinated, preached at or ordered to “church camp”. Close them down and fine them for opening these “christian scientific showplaces”. They will be charging people an entrance fee. Nail their asses to the wall for fraud. Punish all those without mercy for bringing religion, bibles, prayer, ID or any other slightly religious crap into schools and close down all the “religious” schools and colleges in the country unless they agree to actual scientific classes that contain zero religion. Get rid of them. It’s time for science and reason to rule. France accomplished it. We can too.

The First Amendment clearly states you CAN start a religion, but that no respect—no respect—can be given that religion by law. If Congress can’t do, states can’t do it.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Treat them like the criminals and Facists they are.

Oh, and by the way, Happy Birthday Benjy! I’m sure you’re ashamed by everyone who has taken a brave man named Benjamin Bar Joseph who had some good ideas and made him into a rapacious, unforgiving, unloving, uncaring creature who demanded his audience rape, lie, kill, use money, steal, abuse children, bully and perjure themselves to get their own way in your name.

They even had to steal a Pagan celebration that has nothing to do with your birthday to con the masses over to their side…

“March 28 0

According to Des Pascha Comutus, written in 243 CE, Jesus Christ’s birthday was March 28. It later became the familiar December 25 after Rome changed it in 336.”

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By Meursault, March 28, 2007 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
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Belief in gods in does not usually survive a kindergarten education.  That there are people so stupid as to willingly confuse superstition with fact is not surprising.  Stupidity is not surprising. Sad, but not surprising.  Look how far Bush has gotten with it. What is surprising is that we don’t legislate against the intrusion of fantasy into our science curricula and community-based science exhibits.  Science rightly prides itself on the rigorous testing, and occasional revision of its hypotheses.  The hypotheses of religion are never tested, especially by their proponents, as they have no clear concept of academic rigour.  Religious fanatics who insist on what the article referred to as the primacy of opinion, endanger the primacy of facts and our way of life.  As Percey Bysshe Shelley observed, “If someone told you he saw God would you believe him or think him deceived?  If these people’s willing self-deception offers them the comfort of the child on Christmas Eve listening to the imaginary hooves on the roof, then fine for them, but when their hallucinations are forced down the throats of the rest of us, and put forward as facts we must be vigilant.  Consider the folly of suggesting that humans coexisted with dinosaurs.  So much for carbon dating. As the article suggests, the making equal of opinion and fact is a precursor of totalitarianism.  As one of the zealots suggested, Hitler would be proud, but what would the giant at the end of the beanstalk think?  I guess I’ll find out when I have to face him and the golden goose.  Belief in deities is the refuge of the weak-minded and/or the drug-addled. Even the pope said that god is a metaphor, but, sadly, the fanatics don’t listen.
Meursault

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By MAR, March 28, 2007 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
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Good again, Chris!  How can these American people be so stupid, ignorant, gullible, unread, untaught by real science?  Is it part of the Dubya Club?

I fail to see how the nation that put men on the moon and found out it wasn’t green cheese can spawn this kind of nonsense. If it were only nonsense it might be OK, but these generations will grow up to be even more bigoted than their parents. Wake up,  America, you have an enemy in your midst!

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By Ga, March 28, 2007 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
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In the bible, we learn that all Scripture is given by the divine inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16), a statement which requires faith to believe.

Ah, I get it! In the Bible it says that the Bible is the divine inspiration of God. And, yes! that is a statement that requires faith the believe, which is logical, for without evidence the only way one can believe is by faith.

I would rather live as a believer and after I die find the Bible is untrue, THAN to live opposing God and His Word of Truth only to die and discover, as I lift up my eyes in hell, the Bible is indeed God’s Word of Truth.

Very commendable! But that does not let you off the hook for being responsible for your actions here on Earth! Forcing your beliefs and instructions on others is not right. Forcing others to your way of life is not right.

And being a kind, generous, ethical, and living a clean, sober life never hurting anyone else does not require YOUR RELIGION.

You do not know for certain, then, by your own admission, unless your statement above was disingenuous (and a lie), that by just living a good life and not believing, one goes to Hell. Does one go to Heaven even if the are rich, liars, cheaters, etc. but simply BELIEVE? If so, that is disgusting and abhorrent.

The wonderful thing about God is that He is a gentleman, and does not force Himself on any one. He requires each individual to choose Him as Lord and Savior. And anyone can choose not to.

You poor, naive, misled human. You know not what you speak. Because it is precisely and in actually the case that the Christians of this country are wholeheartedly trying to force their morals and values upon the rest of us, through laws, through the courts, through the schools, and now through museums and our parks and national monuments.

They—you—do not want debate. You and the others here like you do not want compromise or even tolerance of other’s views or values. You want your way, absolute and without question. You want to stifle science’ you want closed minds that do not ask questions, ever; you want fear and obedience. You want ignorance.

It is people like you who turn the other way when it comes to waging war—war!—yet you never, ever turn the other cheek.

People like you allow non-believers to be killed—killed!—in the name of “faith.”

You do not follow the teachings of Jesus Chirst, you follow the teaching of the CHURCH - two very different things.

And when you let the CHURCH and the STATE combine and you continue to fear and submit to them, people die.

I accuse all you “Christians” of WAR CRIMES and CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.

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By Steve, March 28, 2007 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
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The amount of ignorance from comments on this site by evolutionists is like a crazy maze.  Evolutionists do not want to think too carefully about the evidence.  They don’t want to talk about the facts; just their “falsifiable” interpretation of those facts.  But then that’s not science.  It’s their faith; their religion of the “idols” of evolution.  When you try to say otherwise, they try to scare you with lies that come from their ignorance again.  Let’s have the nationally televised debate. The creationists wil pick their man.  The evolutionists can pick theirs.  Let the public decide, instead of trying to get them to swallow this evolutionary ignorant rehash.  How will you repond to this?  In an immature, babyish response or as someone who really wants to objectively examine ALL facets of the evidence.  If so, then the debate; bring it on!

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By G, March 28, 2007 at 11:33 am Link to this comment
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Here’s a crazy thought…

How about we stop getting uppity over evolution? - believe what you want to, I don’t care… teach science in science class, religion in religion class.  Done… how about we get concerned with the number of, and quality of our science and engineering graduates in this country?  Our schools in this country are falling behind faster and faster because we’re getting into silly arguments like this.  Instead of dumping 25 million dollars into a fantasy park, this moron should have donated it to his local school districts expressly for books, classrooms, and higher quality teachers.  The fact that this lunacy is even getting off the ground has a lot to do with the amount of sensationalist journalism, lack of true education, and American Idol that dominates the average American’s life. 

Lets get our kids up to par with the rest of the first world countries when it comes to basic studies before we start getting too crazy about what theories we want to be teaching 12 year olds….

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By Ga, March 28, 2007 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
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This exposes another clever attempt by the religious right who are filled with hypocrisy and cowardice. Why not a nationally broadcast debate on evidences between the best evolutionist (chosen by the evolutionists) and the best the creationists could muster?  It would not come off!  You know it wouldn’t!  NOT, for the reasons you think.  The creationists would be too scared.  Too frightened.  Too much of THEIR lie would be at stake.  THEY are the totalitarian robots, in active submission to the God to whom they bow down to everyday.  Now, just keep listening to their high sounding lying rhetoric continue.  They are scared half to death of the truth of Science.  They will be judged.  It is just that is is more complicated than simply believing.

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By Zena, March 28, 2007 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
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What would that mean exactly? That human beings would gain the rights and respect that is inherent in the virtue of being human and a child of GOD…or by the Political mob’s political opinion that GOD should serve and obey them; while justifying lust, greed and murder through the manipulation of the scriptures and has nothing to do with GOD, and everything to do with Satan. Because we have already seen that it is nothing but a lie when their coldness, cruelty, greed, and hatred hurt the very people they are supposed to be loving according to GOD’s word. Which is it you’re most worried about?

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By Doug Tarnopol, March 28, 2007 at 9:38 am Link to this comment
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Oops! Correction: the google video link is a tribute to Johnson; Provine’s name was only in the description. He’s not there.

Anyway, get the DVD and you’ll see the debate.

Doug

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By Doug Tarnopol, March 28, 2007 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #60868 by Steve on 3/27 at 10:13 pm

My undergraduate thesis advisor at Cornell, Will Provine, regularly debates creationists (especially Phillip Johnson), and has for years. Having studied the history of science, concentrating on twentieth-century evolutionary theory both as an undergrad at Cornell and a masters student at Penn, I have benefitted immeasurably from Provine’s wisdom and fearlessness, among others, including Stephen Jay Gould, whom I happened to know because my father grew up with him. (I met Gould in 1978, when I was 8 and he was unknown outside his field.) Gould took on a creationist paleontologist as a PhD student, even though he completely disagreed with the student. The student was a good paleontologist, however, inside his theoretical construct. Gould also argued for separate spheres (I hate his overblown moniker, so I won’t use it) in religion and science. Philosophically, I disagreed with him, but both of my main teachers in evolution and its history were not the shrinking violets or closet totalitarians you suppose.

There are some evolutionists who are currently making complete asses of themselves, as I pointed out in my earlier post: Dawkins among them; Dennett and Harris (not professional biologists) as well.

I am an atheist, as is Provine. Gould was an agnostic in the original Huxleyan sense. None of us had any problem with debating evolution, disagreeing among ourselves (I was priviliged to be tolerated in such esteemed company!), and so forth.

So, you’re simply wrong. I wonder whether this “fact” will penetrate; here’s an example of a debate:

http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/video_show_item.php?id=2

I’ve seen this online, or one like it, such as this one:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1083658656812380816&q=provine+johnson

Here’s another public debate between an evolutionist and a creationist (“ID-er”):

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4939727766326133358

So much for the “conspiracy.” I suggest you do your homework. Facts matter, which is Hedges’ point.

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By Gray Bobcat, March 28, 2007 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
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Thanks for an excellent and well-presented article, even though it points out some very frightening matters, among them the blinding of the mind by extremists who indeed want the United States to become a Totalitarian Christian Nation.  As a clergyman with a deep Christian commitment, I am extremely concerned that there is such a concentrated effort by those whose concept of God is so fragile that they wish to cut off scientific investigation because they fear their God will be destroyed.  Long ago, I came to the conclusion that the creation accounts in the Bible are expounding theological and spiritual matters that begin to enable our understanding of “WHY” our universe exists.  A second conclusion is that science explores the “HOW” our universe came into existence.  Therefore, I see both as complementary—both helping us to be in awe of our universe.  Furthermore, each one of us has the opportunity to have our own understanding of “WHY” our universe exists because this is a spiritual and faith matter, and science continues to explore “HOW” it all came about.

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By Donald, March 28, 2007 at 9:16 am Link to this comment
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Let’s, for one calm and rational moment, ask a few questions about God and his “son”.  God is accepted by all Christians (and the “other” holy contestants as well), as being “He”.  All the “holy” books written by god-possessed channelers say so.  (Doesn’t this also forever keep “Shes” as second-class citizens?)  Accepting God as He, then God must undeniably, somewhere under those robes (have the courage to think about it), have a penis.  With this thought in mind, of course, all men will immediately wonder about its size, shape, bulk and length; and how theirs might stack up against the Big One.  (Free-thinking women might speculate also.)  Courageously conceding there might be a God-Penis, might there also be sperm-laden Testicles?  After all, this equipment would be necessary if God decided, after all those millions (okay, thousands) of years we’ve been wandering about on the tectonic plates, to select a young virgin girl in the Middle East to squirt some Holy Semen into; as “He” did with the other virgin mothers of Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, etc. (Look it up.)  It appears “He” prefers virgins; most of them assumably unmarried. (Isn’t that adultery?)  As to the mortal Jewish “son” of Christians (possibly a member of the Essene sect), one might wonder if his brother James was also of a virgin birth.  Probably not; it would be clumsy having competing saviors, same family.  A possible answer to all this is the “Holy” wars have always been fought over a mythical being in some wishful thinking place, by people who follow their nose blindly (“my momma and daddy believed it”) over some writings by illiterate men, poorly translated and rewritten by fanatics (Romans, and then Popes), who manufactured the concepts of “heaven” and “hell” to control the populace, and led “righteous” men to slaughter hundreds of thousands of women and others for three hundred years (the Medieval Ages), another “Holy” war.  My, my.  Déjà vu.

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By Saint, March 28, 2007 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
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This isn’t a place where there is time or space to post my total response to this discussion. I say this humbly to anyone who will listen.

At the end of the day when all is finished I find it hard to believe the evolutionist or atheist have much comfort. I realize that theories aren’t emotional. To feel good isn’t the ultimate goal of life but someplace in there is voice that cries for understanding and relationship to something or someone more than this life produces.

There’s only a theory these (atheist
evolutionist)must warm up in and wrap around when the lights go out. They ignore and dull that place inside that cries and calls out for more. In the final end of their lives this is the same comfort they have to look forward to.

Nothingness, despair, and emptiness are the bedfellows of modern thought. Humanity is more than this and life proves it to everyone time and again. Many are great at ignoring it and killing that urge and pull that is inside them. What you fall back on when calamity comes knocking becomes your God. I’ve yet to hear of a soldier in a foxhole under fire quoting Darwin.

Evolution, Atheism, and science are not comforting hopes to take into eternity after death. I find only one plan which is found in the Bible that tells me where I stand. It gives me hope not only in this short lifetime, but assurance that the next will complete the mystery. For some reason that kind of faith bothers these people of science. 

What’s more is that if I’m wrong, my life here is filled with hope, peace, and love of my fellow humans - no matter what they believe. Not a false hope that amounts to the opiate of the masses. A true hope that I can test anytime I choose.

If I’m wrong then I will end up like all the others, no matter what any of them believe. But if on the other hand I am correct in fitting into God’s revealed plan, then I have an incredible future awaiting. What is it in this life that is worth missing that for?

Yes Virginia, there is a difference between right and wrong, good and evil, nothingness and eternity. It’s black and white for those who live by faith, and by faith doesn’t mean to bury one’s head to reality. To face the ultimate reality without God is the greatest tragedy one could ever experience. There is a world of absolutes and with it a plan for our lives. It’s not relative and it doesn’t change.

This present world condition is more than proof for me that there is a design against humanity and God. It continues to hide in the shadows but the effects are impossible to deny. The designer of that war on truth uses stealing, killing and destruction as it’s tools. It blinds the hope of mankind with a flood of false claims. It manipulates leaders like puppets to carry out the plan to undermine the ulitmate authority of a loving God who is always present in history to reveal truth.

The theory of evolution is but one lie handed to the masses to explain the world apart from God. Like the original lie to Eve it promises a greater enlightenment and tries to step beyond the Creator.

If I should die and stand before my Maker, it’s doubtful he will be impressed with any claim he didn’t exist and that he didn’t make me. If the evolutionist is correct then even the poor senseless and disillusioned Christians will be equally non existent or whatever the imagination substitutes for truth. What a gamble on the most precious thing we as humans have which is life. That’s not one I care to put all my chips in for.

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By Doug Tarnopol, March 28, 2007 at 9:02 am Link to this comment
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Once again, Chris Hedges draws the proper conclusion from the available facts. The creation of an alternative reality is the first step toward fascism, as Orwell taught us long ago.

Articles like this, and Hedges’ new book, which I’ve yet to read, may break through the pseudo-religious claptrap. I am an atheist, but the key point of Hedges, for me, is that these fascist yahoos are not particularly good Christians, in the “acts” sense or in the sense of knowing the texts, from which they cherry pick as dishonestly as they do from nature.

Truthdig has been the site of some silly anti-religion tracts by Sam Harris. Those miss the point completely: how people act in the public square is what matters. Hedges believes in God, I assume. Great! What do I care what his personal beliefs are? Or MLK, Jr.‘s? I care about public behavior, not philosophical rectitude, as per my own commitments.

Alienating fascist-hating religious or theistic folks—the vast, vast majority of progressives in this country, no doubt—is not only political suicide but is also immoral…and a bit totalitarian, I might add.

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By Ernest Canning, March 28, 2007 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
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The one thing that rings clear from the many rants of the religious right contained in the comments to this article—there is no point attempting to engage the indoctrinated with rationale discourse.  Their programmed belief system is so profound, no amount of fact or logical argument can dislodge them from their stubborn effort to cling to what their Christo-Fascist leaders have told them is Biblical “truth.”

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By Richard Gilbert, March 28, 2007 at 6:40 am Link to this comment
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The United States is a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world to emulate. How did we get to this leadership position? The founding fathers looked to Europe and saw the alliance of State Governments with Religion. The alliance allowed the Government to exercise religious authority and political authority over its citizens. That is far too much power for mere mortals to have. We need governments of men and women, people with whom we can argue and throw out if we cannot reach an agreement. We need laws that flow from the people and are enforced by elected governments. We will not abide dogmas to pass as law. We need governments of men and women who understand that all the people have a right to worship or not worship their chosen deity.  When governments get into the religion business one thing is clear. One form of one religion is chosen to the exclusion of all others. This is never the end of the troubles; it is the beginning of trouble. Insist on your right to worship or not to worship as you please. Insist on your brothers and sisters right to worship as they please. Render to the government that which is the governments and to your chosen God that which is Gods. Do not render to the Government the right to establish close ties with religion or to form an official state religion or to teach religion. If the alliance between Church and State rises again then the government will cloak itself in the “divine right” to rule and will extinguish America’s beacon of freedom. Remember this: when you stand in judgment in front of a “church” you stand in front of men who believe they are the chosen representatives of God. These churchmen know what God wants them to do for you. They know somehow (never explained to me) what God wants them to do and say on your behalf all the time. Scary.
theoldindian.blogspot.com

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By Broiler, March 28, 2007 at 5:30 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #60868 by Steve on 3/27 at 10:13 pm

Stevie boy, “Get thee to a nunnery!”

Sorry Skippy, I wont bow to YOUR creator.
That loving deity will fold my tired carcass
into a fleshy origami and then fling me into
the eternal hellfire where demons will consume
my rotting flesh for all of eternity. Then you
can shout at me from your mansion in the sky
and say “I told you so!”. I’m wetting my pants
in anticipation of my final judgement by the
“Lord Jesus” borrowed from the “God of the Jews”
borrowed from the “God of the Summarians” or
whatever primitive tribal god the similarly primitive
Jews and Christians borrowed from.

Do a little research Steve. It’s scary at first
but blasphemingly fun over the long haul. Does
your pastor know your viewing Truthdig? I don’t
think so! Hasn’t he warned you enough times about
the evils promoted on the “www”? You know the
“www” represents “666”? Al Gore invented it and
that makes him, well, you know…
Ooooooooo!!! Pretty spooky!

You’re not a Christian, you’re a loon!

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By C.W., March 28, 2007 at 4:19 am Link to this comment
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The thing to do, since it would be basically harmless, would be to stop arguing with those people, let them believe what they want, and they’ll eventually go away.

Sorry, but that’s just naive. These nutcases are anything but harmless. And they most certainly will NOT go away; why should they?

True, arguing with someone who considers blind faith a virtue is pointless, and AiG is beyond the reach of satire. Leaving the fundies alone won’t suddenly bring them to their senses. The only option left is ridicule. Let’s all have a good laugh until blasphemy is criminalized.

After all, if the consitiution does its job, there’s nothing to fear from creationists.

If. Constitutions can be changed or reinterpreted.

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By Ghetta Grippe, March 28, 2007 at 3:28 am Link to this comment
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The whole idea of the Creation Museum is enough to make Christ roll over in his grave.

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By Jim, March 28, 2007 at 1:45 am Link to this comment
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Let´em. The poetic justice about this is, that the creationists will run right smack into their own ideological wall, given time. Contrary to widespread american assumptions, their are other peoples on this earth, and these will not subscribe to this abstruse line of thought. Which means, these other peoples will advance scientifically, leaving America hopelessly behind. See what happens, when science is sacrificed for an authoritarian ideology based on faith: it happen to Islam, which was once the leading scientific culture, and has since stagnated to the point of degeneration, evolving to its ultimate form, the Taliban and cohorts. This is a fate that is easily projectable onto the “christian” culture, which is being propagated by the right wing creationists. Just keep it up, it´ll fix itself someday.

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By TAO Walker, March 28, 2007 at 12:16 am Link to this comment
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A Navy corpsman who was a friend of this Indian’s older sister came to visit us on the Rez one time.  We all got into a lively discussion about the fatal finality of certain natural “facts”.....like gravity, for instance (Randall2 #60826).  The landlocked sailor was pretty vehement in his insistance that nothing could ever free us from the operations of “the law of gravity.”  And in 1946 he looked to be on pretty solid ground. 

So when Older Sister said that just wasn’t so, he got a little red in the face and demanded to know just what in hell she was talking about.  She looked him up and down, reminded him of some earlier remarks he’d made about the hard life of so many of our people there, and said, laughing, “Us Indi’ns rise above our poverty and the gravity of our situation here all the time.  We do it with levity.”  The sailor said she had to be kidding, and caught the next bus out of Chadron back to Salt Lake. 

So, yeah, “gravity is just a theory,” and laughter is for sure the best medicine.  We’ve got the living proof right here in Indian Country.  So when you rationalists and religionists get sick and tired of runnin’ scared all the time, all-the-while beating-up on each other over differences without distinctions, come see us.  We’ve been saving you all a good strong dose of the cure for everything that ails you.

HokaHey!

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By Steve, March 27, 2007 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment
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This was another clever article from one filled with hypocrisy and cowardice.  Why not a nationally broadcast debate on evidences between the best creationist (chosen by the creationists) and the best the evolutionists could muster?  It would not come off!  You know it wouldn’t!  NOT,  for the reasons you think.  The evolutionists would be too scared.  Too frightened.  Too much of THEIR lie would be at stake.  THEY are the totalitarian robots, in active rebellion against the God to whom they will bow one day.  Now, just keep listening to their high sounding lying rhetoric continue.  They are scared half to death of the truth of the Creator.  They will be judged.  It isn’t as complicated as some would have you believe.

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By Randall2, March 27, 2007 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment
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Gravity is just a theory.

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By Pope on a Rope, March 27, 2007 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment
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Responding to: Comment #60733 by GV on 3/27 at 9:53 am

“More dangerously, he asserts that the goal of the creationists “is the destruction of the core values of the open society” (p. 116). (How ironic, we should note, that our so-called open society of today won’t tolerate any questioning of the evolution belief system in schools and other public places.)” - Mark Looy, CCO, AiG–U.S., excerpted from his piece “The New Fascists?”

Oh that dangerous duo of fact and reason raises their ugly heads again! What friggin’ irony? Bring tangible proof and it will be taught. Bring your beliefs and it gets tossed out with Santa Claus, Thor and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

It makes perfect sense that our greater society wont tolerate the moronic beliefs of creationism. We could teach the whole gamut of crackpot ideas in our schools and institutions and then kiss any future goodbye. Let’s teach an alien colonization theory too, what fun! Everything goes, right GV? You open the door to nonsense and chaos. Where can I send for my 8 x 10 glossy of Noah and the pterodactyl? Maybe someone will suggest we bring back the Greek gods and that rendition of the birth of the universe. The Greeks were bright enough to move on, why not you? Oh, I know, only your myths are real!

Take your Bronze Age ideas back to whichever of the “four corners” of this Biblically flat world you came from. The Bible says it’s flat, you do believe the Bible don’t you GV? You know those space photos are all phony, the work of the devil!

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By Bold4Christ, March 27, 2007 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment
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In response to, “The one thing I would like to ask all religous people is simply this: Why do you beleive that just because you ask your God, he/she/it will make it so?”
  It is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that we communicate with our God the Father.
  We believe that we can ask “whatever” of God and receive it 1)because He promises in His Word that whatever we ask for in His name, it shall be given (Matthew 7:7), and 2)in my own life, I see the evidence in answered prayers, time and time again.
  Being a part of God’s family has definite benefits, but only His children can know that.~ ~

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By GrannyGeese, March 27, 2007 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
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Sounds like a Theme Park without the fun stuff. So until they have a Roller Coaster, Water Rides, Fun House, Carnie Show and Fairy Princess Castle, we wont be going there. After all, in addition to the fantasy, isn’t that what Theme Parks are supposed to provide? Fun, entertainment and laughter!

For now, I’ll continue to take the grandkids to places that challenge and stretch their minds, like Museums of Natural History, Archeology and Paleontology digs, Aquariums and Wildlife Parks.

How come the “smart” christianists don’t have a problem with the way they, their minds, their children’s minds and their personal decisions are controlled (dictated) by a small group of people with tons of money? Now I ask you, did Jesus need big buck backers to deliver his message?

I didn’t think so.

Searching the New Testament, I find a lot of reference to the “wicked and adulterous generation seeking after signs.” But I can’t find one single reference to a “wicked and adulterous generation who accepts in faith and without ‘scientific’ proof, the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

Reading the Beatitudes I find, “Blessed are the Peacemakers.” But I can’t find one single line that says “Blessed are those who lie to make war, and kill and plunder for profit.”

However, I do find frequent mention in the New Testament of the Pharisees. The self-righteous, arrogant, powerful, murderous hypocrites who dominated society, made profit from peoples need to worship, and killed others in the name of God. In fact they didn’t hesitate for one minute to murder that man called Jesus Christ.

And here we are. Once again being dictated to by a bunch of “Pharisees”. Self-righteous, arrogant, powerful, murderous hypocrites who dominate society, make profit from peoples need to worship, and kill others in the name of God.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

By the way DJ Johnson (Comment #60480) Before you run for your Bible, pick up a dictionary and look up liberal.

From the Latin root: liberalis [noble, generous] comes liber [free] comes liberty [liberal, liberalize] comes deliverance.

I can’t find a New Testament reference to liberal as evil. (Or Old Testament, for that matter) but I do find deliverence in there.

“Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.” [Ambrose Bierce, “Devil’s Dictionary,” 1911]

Pick your poison. As for me I prefer being called LIBERAL in pursuit of LIBERTY. As found in the Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the pledge of allegiance.

Peace.

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By Tomack, March 27, 2007 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment
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Dear Anonymous,

You are obviously forgetting the Flinstones! While I don’t have all the facts, I do have it on good authority that Dino was buried in the family plot right next to Fred, Wilma, and Pebbles. One wonders why Pebbles wasn’t buried in the Rubble Family plot because of her marriage to Bam Bam Rubble. However, some of the old news scrolls from that time tell a sordid story of a bad divorce and legal fight over the Rubble fortune.

No news exists of the Flinstone Family saber tooth tiger, but then again, you know cats.

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By GV, March 27, 2007 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
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You can read Answers in Genesis’ comments on Hedges drivel here:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2007/0308new-fascists.asp

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2007/0313fascists2.asp

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By Lord Byron, March 27, 2007 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
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When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

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By ChaosTamed, March 27, 2007 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
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I will never be able to understand the ego of most humans. Why do we all seem to believe that there must be an ultimate answer or ultimate explanation. There are things of this world that can and never will be explained.

The manipulation of information to benefit one’s goals usually has dangerous consequences. Are we ready for that? Are we willing to stop the ramifications?

The one thing I would like to ask all religous people is simply this: Why do you beleive that just because you ask your God, he/she/it will make it so?

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By Patt, March 27, 2007 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
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Presbyterian
Wondering if anyone is interested in a civil dialogue about ordination, John Calvin and the mainstream Presbyterian Church USA -all within the context of Chris Hedges book on American Fascists?

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By RAE, March 27, 2007 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
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As the man said…

“YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.”

To which I’d add, EVEN IF YOU KNEW THE TRUTH WHEN IT HIT YOU.

After 68 years on this planet I still cannot understand the mind that insists there is a God, that he/she must be worshipped as prescribed by the world’s religions, and that the Bible’s teachings are infallible and must be taken literally because God wrote it.

I’ll bet P. T. Barnum understood those minds though!

This “God” may have given us BRAINS but he/she/it forgot to leave operating instructions.

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By anonymous, March 27, 2007 at 7:58 am Link to this comment
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people are buried with and next to their beloved pets all the time, it’s acceptable and considered a moving gesture, but i have yet to read anywhere about a human being buried with his beloved pet t-rex.

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By Jim H, March 27, 2007 at 6:29 am Link to this comment
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I really liked Hannah Arendt’s observation that totalitarians prefer a uniform dreamworld of thought.  I think that religions can be helpful as they record people’s thoughts on our spiritual existence, but are needlessly divisive and deceptive when they pose an “Us or them” world with no alternatives as the creationists do.

If you want to get into something really wild, just read Zecharia Sitchin’s books “The Twelfth Planet” or “Genesis Revisited”.  He explains that the short sections in Genesis on creation are edited notes on an ancient Sumerian scientific book, the Enuma Elish.  As related by an extra-terrestrial race, this book describes the natural creation of the world where the asteroid belt now is, and a collision which forced it into its new orbit.  It goes on to describe the succession of plants and animals, but says that humans were created as a result of these extra-terrestrial “Gods” genetically engineering us some 240,000 years ago as a servant race.  This is the same time frame that our mitochodrial DNA is said to have begun.  They used their sperm and the ovum of a clever anthropod to create us.

My take is that this is a lot of scientific knowledge to have been written on 5,000 year old tablets.  I also think that we are engaged in a spiritual world, but we can work it out ourselves.

P.S. I agree with “Hemi” that 9-11 was an inside job.  It was followed by laws increasing surveillance and police powers, just as happened with Oklahoma City and Littleton.

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By bold4Christ, March 27, 2007 at 6:23 am Link to this comment
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In the bible, we learn that all Scripture is given by the divine inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16), a statement which requires faith to believe.
I would rather live as a believer and after I die find the Bible is untrue, THAN to live opposing God and His Word of Truth only to die and discover, as I lift up my eyes in hell, the Bible is indeed God’s Word of Truth.
The wonderful thing about God is that He is a gentleman, and does not force Himself on any one. He requires each individual to choose Him as Lord and Savior. And anyone can choose not to.

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By gimmesometruth, March 27, 2007 at 2:09 am Link to this comment
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3 points:

1) Europe (where I have lived as an American ex-pat for some years now) is more-or-less immune to this movement because THE MEMORY OF THE TRAUMA OF NAZI FASCISM IS KEPT ALIVE in the culture and learned from.

Even a country as conservative & devoutly Christian as Spain emerged from 40 years of dictatorship to embrace gay marriage & modern science.

What can we learn from European mechanisms for coping with fascist tendencies??

2) Now that Chris hedges & others have informed us about the looming catastrophe, we need a STRATEGY for maintaining US democracy.

Let’s start by raising 50 million to build a museum of natural history next door to the Nazi propaganda center described above.

Scientists and teachers need to integrate resistance to this movement into their daily lives.

Universities and centers of learning must aggressively promote science literacy.

We need to see “Evolution is God’s Gift” t-shirts being sold on every street corner.


3)  Young people who feel oppressed by this pseudo-religious, totalitarian environment must be offered easy routes. These should be provided by the legitimate American religious community.

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By Barber, March 26, 2007 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment
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No matter what they learned in the Billy Bob Babtist Bible College - It ain’t science, Bubba.

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By Freedem, March 26, 2007 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment
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When all the known world was the connected places of Africa and Eurasia, Noah’s little voyage was less threatened, But as the number of kinds of critters has gone up, even in the imagination things seem a bit crowded, without going beyond the big mammals.

But two of each species of insect is far greater by weight than two of each species of mammals, and when you look at nematodes, the sheer volume of even one of each species exceeds, by weight, all of both and then some.

But if even the vision of elephant and grasshopper drowning in nematodes is not ridiculous enough, there is the slight problem of redistribution. Getting the Dodo’s back to Mauritius, the Kiwi’s and Moa back to New Zealand in time to be killed off again, to say nothing of all the flightless fruit flies in Hawaii, and all the Galapagos Tortoises each to their proper island.

And sending the poor flightless cormorants halfway around the world to an Island in the middle of nowhere, when all the others stayed closer?  But hey! if thought experiments weren’t the work of the devil there would not be any believers to argue the points.

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By Expat, March 26, 2007 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment
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Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Evolution is not a proven fact…it is a Theory!

Creationism is not a fact…it is a belief!

Go back to school!

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By Broiler, March 26, 2007 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #60567 by Michael Boldin on 3/26 at 2:24 pm

“I know this might sound strange to many people, but THIS is exactly the reason why I strongly believe that government should stay out of schools altogether.”

Well then who sets the curriculum that is agreed to?
What should be learned? What if I don’t agree?
Teach yourself and we can go back to the Stone Age.
Then we can all have delusions of Noah and the pterodactyls.
Maybe he sent a pterodactyl out to see if it could find dry land?
What a glorious sight that must have been when the pterodactyl
delivered the olive leaf to Noah. “And that’s why we don’t see
pterodactyls today Billy. No, there was no great extinction,
they choked to death on olive pits!”

The government should represent “we the people”
and not the religious, special interest, Nazis.
Reason rules or everything falls apart.
How can you build a society when nothing is factual?

Grass is green! No it’s blue! God made it!
Aliens planted it! It evolved from algae!
What do you suggest, a different take on reality
for everyone? Reason and science must rule and
the rest is for you to daydream about on your own
damn time and your own damn dollar. You want to
live in a dream world? Pay for it yourself and get the
hell out of the way. Reality train coming through!
Next stop progress and the future. You don’t need
to get on board, there are millions of humans living
in the third world that your gods have abandoned
and they will take your seat in an instant.

BTW, vote them all the hell out! New game, new players.
Shuffle the deck of scumbags, it can’t get worse.

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By katsteevns, March 26, 2007 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment
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Thanks Tyler…..you said it all….

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By Kellina - Part I, March 26, 2007 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment
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Part I:

Belief in a deity (either God the father or God the son) who is both omnipotent and omniscient is impossible; God cannot logically be both. Think of the recent Tsunami, with 125,000 innocents dead in minutes. A benevolent God wouldn’t have allowed that to happen; an omniscient God would have known ahead of time that the Tsunami was coming and would have warned everyone. Religion strikes me as not only as an absurd waste of time, emotions, and money (in the form of funds diverted to the Church), but as downright dangerous to boot. If it weren’t for the gullible masses shoving it down my throat I wouldn’t give it a second thought.  I would rather joyously live the one life we know we have rather than the guilt-ridden pale alternative the pious hold in such high regard.

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By Kellina - Part II, March 26, 2007 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
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The entire Judeo-Christian-Muslim movement has done more to subvert freedom, science, free thought, people’s rights to dignity and freedom, including specifically women’s rights, and advances in civilization than every other creed or social movement combined. Christianity is responsible for the Dark Ages. Remember the Crusades, the Inquisition, the burning of the books at Alexandria? Recall how the Church persecuted Galileo and countless numbers of other intellectuals? What about the burning of so-called witches and heretics?  Think about the current medical (e.g., stem cell) or scientific advances (e.g., evolutionary biology) that the Church is still attempting to squelch in favor of such dumb ideas as creation “science.” Advances in art and science were so severely restricted by the Christian movement you so revere that our civilization was probably set back by 1,000 years. Just look at the advances we have made since we loosened the religious shackles during the Enlightenment and compare that to the Christian inspired Dark Ages. Man may have been on the moon in the 10th Century if it hadn’t been for this continued religious madness.

What about the Bible’s promotion of slavery, genocide of indigenous peoples around the world, the persecution of homosexuals, Jews, and others?  In fact, virtually every major war, including civil war and genocide, has in some way been inspired by religion; millions upon millions of people have died needlessly. What about the unspeakable acts conducted by clergy even in very recent times (pedophilia of alter boys and followed by the subsequent cover-up by the Catholic Church)? The God of the Bible sanctions the keeping and beating of slaves as well as approving of the rape of one’s own daughter. Typical biblical morals there – now pass the loot. What about sanctioning the eating of your own children? What about the dashing of infants to pieces or the ripping open of pregnant women – more and more child abuse; small wonder child abuse is so rife amongst God’s peddlers.  What about women having to submit themselves to their husbands?  Or that women should not speak in church – more stellar examples of civil rights. I really do think that the confusion of morality with religion is perhaps the most pernicious crime perpetrated by Christianity and other similar cults. Using this crudely written barbaric Bronze-age text for inspiration for how to live one’s life today is misguided at best and “socially sanctioned lunacy” at worst.

In addition to the deity-sanctioned murders, wars, looting, filth and obscenity so prevalent throughout the bible there is of course a prestigious list of failed prophesies, absurdities, and, at the last count, some 200,000 contradictions in the New Testament alone (but of course the bible is rewritten every year, each time removing some of these ‘problems’). You would think that absurdities such as incredible tales of longevity, the sun standing still, a talking donkey, a molten sea, pi=3, a tower of Babylon, and the sun revolving around the earth would give the fundamentalists pause for thought. You’d think the fact that even the crucifix/cross never appears anywhere in the bible would raise an eyebrow in those waiting at the rope line to heaven.  Sadly, no. Brainwashing through the sickening practice of indoctrination is a powerful control tool – you really can make people believe just about anything.  As many neuroscientists will tell you, and what warlords have known for centuries, is that with the right phrases, words and imagery, you can persuade the gullible masses to do anything, provided it is repeated often enough.

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By Kellina - Part III, March 26, 2007 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
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The contradictions in the bible make Christianity truly a laughing stock. The new and old testaments are testaments to how internally incoherent a book can be and still be called a book. Which is it? Shall we “turn the other cheek” or take an “eye for an eye?” Genesis contains two creation myths. The supposed “witnesses” of Christ’s life and death cannot agree on the simplest of details. My personal favorite is the crucifixion and the Easter story. Can you explain what happened on the day the most important Christian doctrine was born? Take each of the four Gospels, start at Easter morning and read to the end of the book: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20-21. Also read Acts 1:3-12 and Paul’s tiny version of the story in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. Can you write a chronological narrative of the events between resurrection and ascension?  I think not. What time did the women visit the tomb? Who were the women? What was their purpose? Was the tomb open when they arrived? Who was at the tomb when they arrived? Where were these messengers situated? What did the messengers say? Did the women tell what happened? Did Mary know Jesus was resurrected? When did Mary first see Jesus? Could Jesus be touched after the resurrection?  After the women, to whom did Jesus first appear? Where did Jesus first appear to the disciples?  Did the disciples believe the two men? What happened at the appearance?  Did Jesus stay on earth for a while?  Where did the ascension take place? Whew, a long list and guess what?  Each and every time these books are found to be in contradiction. No one knows. The bible is clearly a book of multiple-choice. And these books were the best of the numerous forgeries available at the time of the bible’s invention. Not much to work with, I guess.

The bottom line is that there is not a single shred of reliable evidence that anyone called Jesus Christ ever existed. Despite supposedly conducting miracles that would make 9/11 pale in comparison as a historical note, no historians who lived during Christ’s purported lifetime left any record of such miraculous occurrences or of Christ himself. These 40 or so writers, historians, philosophers and politicians, all writing at the time of the Christian savior’s supposed “advent,” make not a single mention of his existence, deeds, or words.  Their silence is deafening. Christian scholars cling to one passage (Testimonium Flavianum) by Flavius Josephus in “The Antiquities of the Jews” written around 95CE.
Despite writing numerous volumes, the exciting news of the alleged Jesus finds its way into just one tiny passage of Josephus’s work.  I suggest you read the passage.  If this is the strongest and earliest evidence for the historical Jesus then the Jesus scholarship is on the shakiest of grounds. The passage has been shown conclusively to be a forgery; even the most conservative scholars admit it has been tampered with. The passage contains anachronistic phrases and terminology and did not even show up until centuries after the death of Josephus; church “historian” Eusebius is widely credited with the forgery. This dismissal of the passage is not based on “faith” or “belief” but on intensive scientific scrutiny. Such investigation has been confirmed repeatedly by numerous scholars who were mostly Christian. And this is the most important evidence for your savior!  Clutching at more straws, apologists usually cite Pliny the Younger (writing in 112CE) or Tacitus (writing no earlier than 117CE), none of whom lived at the time when Jesus was said to have lived and are also widely discredited by scholars.  They certainly offer nothing to support the historicity of Jesus.

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By Kellina - Part III, March 26, 2007 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment
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The contradictions in the bible make Christianity truly a laughing stock. The new and old testaments are testaments to how internally incoherent a book can be and still be called a book. Which is it? Shall we “turn the other cheek” or take an “eye for an eye?” Genesis contains two creation myths. The supposed “witnesses” of Christ’s life and death cannot agree on the simplest of details. My personal favorite is the crucifixion and the Easter story. Can you explain what happened on the day the most important Christian doctrine was born? Take each of the four Gospels, start at Easter morning and read to the end of the book: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20-21. Also read Acts 1:3-12 and Paul’s tiny version of the story in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. Can you write a chronological narrative of the events between resurrection and ascension?  I think not. What time did the women visit the tomb? Who were the women? What was their purpose? Was the tomb open when they arrived? Who was at the tomb when they arrived? Where were these messengers situated? What did the messengers say? Did the women tell what happened? Did Mary know Jesus was resurrected? When did Mary first see Jesus? Could Jesus be touched after the resurrection?  After the women, to whom did Jesus first appear? Where did Jesus first appear to the disciples?  Did the disciples believe the two men? What happened at the appearance?  Did Jesus stay on earth for a while?  Where did the ascension take place? Whew, a long list and guess what?  Each and every time these books are found to be in contradiction. No one knows. The bible is clearly a book of multiple-choice. And these books were the best of the numerous forgeries available at the time of the bible’s invention. Not much to work with, I guess.

The bottom line is that there is not a single shred of reliable evidence that anyone called Jesus Christ ever existed. Despite supposedly conducting miracles that would make 9/11 pale in comparison as a historical note, no historians who lived during Christ’s purported lifetime left any record of such miraculous occurrences or of Christ himself. These 40 or so writers, historians, philosophers and politicians, all writing at the time of the Christian savior’s supposed “advent,” make not a single mention of his existence, deeds, or words.  Their silence is deafening. Christian scholars cling to one passage (Testimonium Flavianum) by Flavius Josephus in “The Antiquities of the Jews” written around 95CE.
Despite writing numerous volumes, the exciting news of the alleged Jesus finds its way into just one tiny passage of Josephus’s work.  I suggest you read the passage.  If this is the strongest and earliest evidence for the historical Jesus then the Jesus scholarship is on the shakiest of grounds. The passage has been shown conclusively to be a forgery; even the most conservative scholars admit it has been tampered with. The passage contains anachronistic phrases and terminology and did not even show up until centuries after the death of Josephus; church “historian” Eusebius is widely credited with the forgery. This dismissal of the passage is not based on “faith” or “belief” but on intensive scientific scrutiny. Such investigation has been confirmed repeatedly by numerous scholars who were mostly Christian. And this is the most important evidence for your savior!  Clutching at more straws, apologists usually cite Pliny the Younger (writing in 112CE) or Tacitus (writing no earlier than 117CE), none of whom lived at the time when Jesus was said to have lived and are also widely discredited by scholars.  They certainly offer nothing to support the historicity of Jesus.

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By Kellina - Part IV, March 26, 2007 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment
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And for the record, in case you didn’t know, the Gospels were all written long after the purported death of Jesus (approx 33CE). Scholars agree that Mark came first, and was followed by Matthew, Luke and John and since Mark mentions the destruction of the Jewish temple which happened in 70CE then there is a gap of at least four decades where we hear nothing of Jesus apart from the Apostle Paul.  And if Jesus did exist, well no one seems to have told Paul. In all his letters and some 80,000 words, Paul had never heard of Joseph, Mary, Bethlehem, Herod, John the Baptist, any alleged miracles – in fact he never mentions Jesus having a ministry of any kind at all.  He doesn’t mention entry into Jerusalem, Pontius Pilot, the Jewish mob, the trials etc. There you have it. The supposed most important contemporary of your savior doesn’t seem to know anything about what we would call the story of Jesus. He mentions the resurrection and the ascension but tellingly Paul does not place these allege events on Earth. Just like the dozens of savior Gods that co-existed and predated the Jesus myth, Paul’s Jesus died, rose and ascended in a mythical realm. And there’s the problem. Jesus supposedly existed until 33CE. Then everyone forgot all about him for decades. Jesus finally re-appears with an uncanny resemblance to the traditional Hero/Savior-God pattern. Using Raglan’s measure, you can see the folklore similarities with the likes of Oedipus, Theseus, Romulus, Hercules, Perseus, Zeus and Robin Hood. Justin Martyr seems to agree. Go read how he compared Jesus to the sons of Jupiter. And that’s it.  Mythology, folklore, forgery and no reliable contemporary evidence. Not one jot. Jesus was no Julius Ceasar in this regard, but just another God in a long line of Gods, that existed only in the imagination of mortal man – the quintessential God that wasn’t there.
 
There is no doubt in my mind that Christianity is just another man-made identikit religion following the same old tired formula used for Gods going back thousands of years. There is substantial evidence to support this hypothesis; just take a closer look at many of the elements of deities that pre-date Jesus. At least 25 other deities (e.g., Attis, Buddha, Dionysus /Baccus, Hercules, Horus/Osiris of Egypt, Krishna of India, Mithra of Persia, Prometheus of Greece, Quetzalcoatl of Mexico, Zoroaster) share many characteristics with Jesus. Here are just a few you may recognize: (1) born of a virgin on December 25th; (2) visited by three kings bearing gifts at his birth, guided by a star in the east; (3) taught in a temple at age 12; (4) reemerged at age 30 after an absence of 18 years; (5) raise one from the dead called “eL-azuras” (6) was crucified between two thieves; (7) his father was a carpenter; (8) he was transfigured in front of his disciples; (9) that he fed multitudes from a small amount of food; (10) that he walked on water. The list goes on and on. We also see the ubiquitous flood story, the sermon on the mount, the 12 disciples, John the Baptist, etc. Horus was even called KRST (‘The Anointed One’), The Lamb of God, The Messiah – yawn! And what do the apologists say about these known facts? “The Devil Got There First,” they say – another logical fallacy. And of course, we know the Vatican is built upon the papacy of Mithra – the cave of the Vatican belonged to Mithra until 367CE. And virtually all the elements of the Catholic ritual, from miter to wafer to altar to doxology, are directly taken from earlier Pagan mystery religions. Of course, Christians don’t like to discuss these things. “Ignore the evidence, and keep the faith,” your priest will say, closely followed by “pass the loot.” Anything but face the reality that the Gospels are not history; they are religious propaganda, contradictory, exaggerated, and mythical. .

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