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A Come-to-Jesus Moment for American Religion

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Posted on Aug 30, 2011
hobvias sudoneighm (CC-BY)

By William Pfaff

The Republican Party in the United States—15 months before the next presidential election—has already burdened itself with an array of front-running presidential candidates (according to the White House press, which deems itself the judge of who is and is not serious among the presidential candidates), who are evangelical or fundamentalist Protestant Christians, with the exception of a single Mormon.

The leading candidates in Iowa are already known to include advocates of eliminating the income tax (80 percent of government revenue), abolishing the Federal Reserve Bank, constitutionally mandating a balanced budget, and eliminating or imposing a moratorium upon environmental regulation. Experience suggests that none of these, except for the Mormon, Mitt Romney, has much chance to become the actual Republican candidate next year, and Mr. Romney is a candidate battered by previous losses.

What is most interesting is that it now seems a necessary qualification for the Republican nomination, at least at the present primaries stage, to be a born-again fundamentalist Protestant. Yet in the United States the majority of the electorate is not fundamentalist, evangelical or Protestant.

Such may compose the plurality among Republican political activists, who turn out for rallies or primary votes, but they certainly do not make up the majority of those Americans who are going to vote for the president next year. That majority, four years ago, in 2008, elected to the presidency a black, urban liberal activist of exotic background, graduate of “liberal elitist” universities and a former editor of the Harvard Law Review.

The man they voted for in 2008 was also a member of a black church whose pastor preached the social gospel. American voters in 2008 elected a figure about as remote as it is possible to be from the politically reactionary, evangelical, biblical-inerrancy-believing, anti-evolution, anti-abortion, anti-feminist, anti-homosexual-marriage, anti-“socialist” American Protestant primary electorate, currently seeming to rally behind Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry.

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Public discussion of the campaign suffers from the fact that few journalists and few academic “public intellectuals” seem able to tell one Christian from another. In the eyes of much of the press and of people who identify themselves as political progressives, it seems that the mainstream Protestant population that dominated the United States from its founding until very recently—the Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists—have all vanished into fundamentalist mega-churches and televangelism.

The biggest and fastest-growing individual Christian church in the United States, the Catholic Church—some 77 million members strong—is usually lumped in with Protestant fundamentalism because the bishops have made their biggest public stand against abortion and same-sex marriage.

But Catholics have traditionally voted for Democrats, and the Catholic Church’s history in America is one of support for social justice movements and trade unionism. The ascent of what 75 years ago was largely a working-class population of churchgoers and school-builders into America’s middle and upper classes has weakened that social tradition, but certainly has not made Catholics into credulous biblical fundamentalists. Quite the contrary.

Further distorting understanding of the American (and British) religious scene has been the so-called New Atheism of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and others, committed to what can be called scientific fundamentalism (science is the only source of truth about the issues of human existence). None of them demonstrates much knowledge of the history of religion, nor of philosophy or theology, nor even of Western literature, embedded in Western religion. It suits them to write as if they were lawyers attacking poor William Jennings Bryan at the Scopes “Monkey Trial” in Tennessee in 1925.

Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin may have their history upside down, Gov. Rick Perry believes that the Federal Reserve harbors potential treason, while former candidate Mike Huckabee endearingly tolerates those “people who want to believe they’re descended from a primate” (without revealing the secret of his own family origin). But the people who deem themselves the superiors of the candidates should demonstrate that they themselves know they are in 2011, not 1925.


Visit William Pfaff’s website for more on his latest book, “The Irony of Manifest Destiny: The Tragedy of America’s Foreign Policy” (Walker & Co., $25), at www.williampfaff.com.

© 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, September 13, 2011 at 3:28 am Link to this comment

“IMHO, you are the only poster I’ve seen at TD who is truly evil.  If I believed in
Satan, and that someone could be possessed, it would be you. Of course,that’s
just an opinion.”  Inheret the Wind

Right. 
Just >your< opinion, occasionally supported by a Zionist clan comrade.
Parallel with your typical, previous opinions, personal, slanted in your desired
direction, supporting your previous opinions, personal, slanted in your desired
direction, etc., etc.  Now with a bit of nutty buddy support. All idiosyncratic.
More recently, with a bit of widely-known info mixed in. A person with your
intelligence could not be as ignorant of, and suppressive of factual information
regarding the NAZI Bush family, without pimping for their clan.  Which places
your blog propaganda and attempted scapegoating in support of the evil forces
that have overtaken the USA.

It is an honor to be attacked by evil, pimp propagandists, whose attacks simply
verify the validity of information presented, and the accuracy of those who
present it.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, September 6, 2011 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Dr. Quack:
Rube Goldberg has nothing on you for absurdly crazy mechanisms.  But his was funny, where yours are just sick, warped and demented.

IMHO, you are the only poster I’ve seen at TD who is truly evil.  If I believed in Satan, and that someone could be possessed, it would be you. Of course,that’s just an opinion.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, September 5, 2011 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

Inheret the Wind in the brain, is the cubicle of your group located in the Bush compound in Florida, in one of those in Texas, in an AIPAC location?  Or, elsewhere?

Your mention of the murder of Terri Schiavo, in a previous email, suggests you have knowledge of her feeder tube murder, when the No. 2 son of GHWBushSr was governor of Florida.

Did someone smother her into unconsciousness, drag her body into the hallway, then fone 911?  Knowing how long to smother her, in order to kill her brain without killing the parasympathetic nervous system requires medical specialization. Reminds of the report of LTC Otto Skorzeny and how he and one other NAZI smothered Nicola Tesla to death. But, their goal was acquisition of his records of inventions, requiring his assassination. Also, instead of 911 workers, FBI agents arrived, stole Tesla´s papers and turned them over to the NAZI leadership of the C.I.A. The history of Terri Schiavo suggests that her infertility was associated with her eventual murder. The variety of MDs in FLA is interesting.  The “Angel of Death”, WWII NAZI, Josef Mengele, M.D., spread his teachings very broadly after being secreted into the U.S.

Your energy and creativity would be neat to have on the side of honesty and altruism. However, considering the history of GHWBushSr operatives who became whistle-blowers, I assume you also would be assassinated. That is, unless you are a common, lower-level “worker bee” carrying out the orders of a supervisor, who tells you when and what to think.

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, September 4, 2011 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Hi Windy!!

You are such a troll!

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By Inherit The Wind, September 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

You forgot one: I pulled off your tin-foil protecting your from zeta rays from extra-terrestrials and that has you infuriated because those zeta rays could eat your brain.

Actually, your posts are so absurd that it almost looks like aliens…no, not even you could buy that.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 3, 2011 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

cpb, September 3 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

“First, you have to know what logic is.
Second, you have to know what reason is.
Third, you have to know what facts are.
Fourth, you must have a mechanism to distinguish valid facts, relevant facts and invalid information presented as facts.”

..and on and on he goes…

Gee Windbag you’ve clearly got it all figured out!  This is a demonstration of intelligence??  LOL
*********

Well, I don’t know. But your ridiculing how rigorous reasoning works is a definite demonstration of flat-out stupidity.

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, September 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

“First, you have to know what logic is.
Second, you have to know what reason is.
Third, you have to know what facts are.
Fourth, you must have a mechanism to distinguish valid facts, relevant facts and invalid information presented as facts.”

..and on and on he goes…

Gee Windbag you’ve clearly got it all figured out!  This is a demonstration of intelligence??  LOL

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, September 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

My hysteria seems real to me and could even be massive.  But it appears more like my personal hysteria over my ingrown toe nail may be massively construed in the nature of me mind, depending on how I want to perceive it. After all it is my toe just as it is me mind. So if you have never had an ingrown toenail it could depend on how deluded a person I happen to be in the tails of my delusions.  More importantly how sheepie flocky my fellow hysterians perceive such conjured and embellished stories of me toe. Just how much mileage and momentum one can gather from a fantastically over rated toe nail story remains to be seen.

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, September 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind:

If the logic being applied against you here were true,
we should all be worshiping Zeus.

Hang tough. 

Zing

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, September 3, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Hi Leefeller: 

You hit the nail on the head about my post below.  It’s
pretty bad. Glad you found me making an ass of myself
amusing.

Zing

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By Inherit The Wind, September 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

I wonder if Dr. Quack will EVER offer a rational concept or understand even the simplest logical idea.

I don’t believe he ever has, but will he ever? Doubtful

First, you have to know what logic is.
Second, you have to know what reason is.
Third, you have to know what facts are.
Fourth, you must have a mechanism to distinguish valid facts, relevant facts and invalid information presented as facts.
Fifth, you must be able to formulate a testable hypothesis, based on facts and reasoning.
Sixth, you must test that hypothesis.
Seventh, you must accept the results of that test regardless of whether you “like” the results or not.
Eigth, you must formulate an explanation, using logic and reason, and EVERY valid relevant fact.
Ninth, you must use your explanation to reliably predict what you will find with new observations.

Dr. Quack has never done any of these things, yet he makes his crazy unsupported crack-pipe assertions as if they were as obvious and visible as the Washington Monument.  I’m now waiting for his story of when he was abducted by creatures from Space.  I’ll bet he’ll say they are zionists, too!

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, September 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

There is such a thing as mass hysteria. Shenonymous

Interesting point.
I have read about this phenomenon over the years. Descriptions are always fleeting, sketchy. About as sketchy and unsupported as, “You may believe it is, but I do not, for logical reasons.” Logical reasons? Like what logical reasons ? Does not that which one believes form ones belief? Whether logical or not, it is a belief, is it not?

Could the concept of mass hysteria be currently related with the movement that the Bush family has named the “War on terror”?  Or, perhaps the general emotional condition among the populace that the activities associated with the “war on terror” engenders?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, September 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

There is such a thing as mass hysteria.

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By DaveZx3, September 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

“Testimony is not proof by itself. You may believe it
is, but I do not, for logical reasons.”
——————————-

Obviously testimony alone is not proof of anything,
especially that of only one or two witnesses.  When
it gets up into the hundreds and thousands of eye
witnesses and into the millions who give testimony of
their redemption experiences, it probably is going to
carry a lot more weight.  And when it is backed up by
hundreds of accurate prophecies which were written
hundreds of years prior, describing details, and when
ancient historical writings by very reputable secular
historians confirm a lot of those details, and a
growing body of archaeological evidence confirms a
lot of the details, at what point do people quit
speaking as though this is like the “great pumpkin”
as though it lacks any evidence at all?

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, September 3, 2011 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

“Testimony is not proof by itself. You may believe it is, but I do not, for logical reasons.”
Inherit the Wind

Interesting point.
The “testimony ” of Inherit the Wind about a “Dr. Quack”  is believed by Inherit the
Wind, and project mayhem,  but for logical reasons, is not proof of anything other than
the written ideas of Inherit the Wind. Logical illogic.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, September 3, 2011 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

“There is no process that an aircraft can experience in our atmosphere that will result in such velocity so as to ‘vapourize’ the aircraft on impact with the ground.” cpb

Nor, to vaporize an aircraft in our atmosphere upon impact with the ground or anything else. There is no example of such.

Many of us are aware that a huge dimple in the earth, that contains no airplane parts, such as the Shanksville incident you mention, was not made by an airplane. Nowever, all types of explosives have historically made such depressions in the earth´s surface, and continue to make them. And, even novices can blow such indentations in the earth.
However.
It takes experts to load a youngsters drawers like the alleged “Christmas day bomber.” Setting allegedly explosive materials to only partially ignite, not explode, and burn off a youngster´s crotch hairs with limited 2nd degree burns, requires expert facility. Of course, it helps to have several agents seated nearby to intervene and appear to be heroes, and one to make a memorized speech at the exit door.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 2, 2011 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

It is easy to prove what you can observe.  That was not my point.  I was speaking of unique things or events which cannot be directly or indirectly observed, where we need to go strictly by the testimony of others, who say or write that they witnessed or experienced a thing or event. 
************

That’s exactly the point. Testimony is meaningless without valid physical corroboration. 

We have LOTS of people testifying that they have been abducted by aliens.  But not ONE of them has ever brought back a piece of information that could corroborate that, like the secret of Cold Fusion, or exceeding the Speed of Light, that could then be tested. 

Whenever there is a spectacular crime, there is always a spate of people claiming to know about it, or confess to it.  The police always hold back some critical pieces of information that the callers MUST know if they are to be given consideration.

Testimony is not proof by itself. You may believe it is, but I do not, for logical reasons.

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, September 2, 2011 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

“I am told that there are still Americans who believe
that an airliner crashed into the pentagon, without
depositing its aluminum and steel wreckage on the
pentagon and adjoining grounds. Not to mention the blood
and guts and baggage of alleged passengers. And without
starting a fire from fuel spillage.”

drbhelthi

Kinda funny observation considering the more recent
debate about The Great Pumpkin in this post.

Shanksville.  Why doesn’t anyone talk about Shanksville? 
This is always overlooked, generally, within the truth
movement?  The smoking gun is always presented as WTC7,
but no mention of that big hole in the ground, some
smoke here and there, some random bits of this and
that… NO BLOODY PLANE! 

Some of the most advanced composite materials we have
available go into the compressor blades and other parts
of a modern jet engine to withstand the incredible heat
and pressure that is required to get you from NY to
London in however long it takes these days.  There is no
process that an aircraft can experience in our
atmosphere that will result in such velocity so as to
‘vapourize’ the aircraft on impact with the ground.  Period.

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By DaveZx3, September 2, 2011 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

It is easy to prove what you can observe.  That was not my point.  I was speaking of unique things or events which cannot be directly or indirectly observed, where we need to go strictly by the testimony of others, who say or write that they witnessed or experienced a thing or event. 

The religions of the world which are made up by men for the purpose of defining God in a way that is acceptable to man, is what the Council of Nicea was all about.  It has no bearing on the doctrines of Christ, which were all established a couple of hundred years before Constantine decided to paganize Christianity. 

The Roman Catholic Church is one of the best examples of what Christianity is not.  Same pretty much goes for her little sisters, the protestants.  Hardly anything Christian about them.  That’s what fools all you atheists, you think someone is a Christian because they say they are.  You really have no understanding of what is transpiring right before your eyes, but you are certainly not hesitant to insist that you do.  You better do better than talking about Nicea, though, because that’s a complete non-issue.

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By bruce, September 2, 2011 at 7:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

for those banging their heads against the wall of
irrational religious belief this sums it up nicely i
think: DaveZx3 says “But, for a person who choses to
believe in God or has experienced God, she will speak
of the “facts” as she knows them.  And her experience
and faith becomes her “overwhelming evidence” for the
existence of her God.” in other words, there is a
reality that overlays the physical world, and that
reality is more important that facts. millions of
people act as if a ancient fable describes the world
more accurately than science does. the fable is only
false if you accept that their is an underlying
reality at all, and they do not. this strikes most
people as absurd when these very same people rely on
science every day for their health, wealth and well
being and then deny its effectiveness when it
falsifies part of the ancient fable. science is an
existential threat to religion and we all know it,
but because the fable is so embedded into our social
framework we would have to construct a new narrative
to replace the religious one.

Report this

By losingit, September 2, 2011 at 6:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit the wind - I would just like to say I thoroughly enjoyed your post. It is wonderful to
see there are intelligent, articulate, and reasonable people out there. Sometimes I fear
we have all but disappeared.

Thank you.

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By tinkdnuos, September 2, 2011 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

@Inherit The Wind

I know it’s dangerous to suggest even the slightest
dissent in the echo chamber, but when you say
“Reagan and his descendants watered it down so
big Pharma could get away with drugs that weren’t
clearly so safe,” you’re only vaguely correct. The
FDA was actually gutted, as such, under the Clinton
administration.

I think Reagan was a dick too, but facts are facts.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 2, 2011 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

“Read the rest yourself.  Basically, Raylan is exactly correct.  You cannot claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ if you are not living out his words. “

Well, that’s the one true thing you wrote. I am not a Christian, nor a “Christian”, so as an outsider it’s very clear that most who call themselves “Christian” follow less of the words attributed to Jesus than I do.

Many things can be demonstrated to be true.  It’s very difficult to understand or even get around Quantum Theory, and even more difficult to design means of proving it, but not impossible.  Yet the fundamental underlying principles of semi-conductors is utterly and totally based on the Quantum Theory.  The computer you type this one “you cannot prove anything” is proof that Quantum Theory is real and works, because without it, there are no transistors.

You cannot prove Newtonian physics works in a local environment? Tell that to the military and to NASA!  Ballistics and the accurate prediction of the flight of cannon shells, and the ability to fly probes as far as Pluto without losing them proves Newton’s physics works in most situations….And where it doesn’t, Einstein’s relativity fills the gap.

Our whole drug approval process, until the Re-thugs watered it down, was designed to prove conclusively that drugs were safe AND effective before being allowed to be marketed.  (Reagan and his descendants watered it down so big Pharma could get away with drugs that weren’t clearly so safe).

Can I prove the Earth is round? Sure! Can you prove the Speed of Light is aproximately 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum? Sure!  These are relatively easy things to prove by a layman, not even needing super-sophisticated equipment or advanced degrees.

By far the best and most accurate and verifiable predictions are made by Science, not religion.  Science can predict solar and lunar eclipses with awesome accuracy, even down to the second of occurrence and duration thousands of years into the future.  Not vague, not open to interpretation, but precise.

I hate to tell you this, but the people who wrote those scriptures selected for the NT were fully aware of the predictions of the OT.  IOW, they were FUNDAMENTALLY BIASED because they already believed Jesus was the Messiah.  Therefore, like all biased observers, one would PREDICT their writings would be tailored to ENSURE that Jesus fit the prophecies of the OT.  You better believe that ANYTHING that seemed to contradict the OT was edited out.

Finally, there were many gospels written. It was a committee that selected those that ended up in the NT and they were making political decisions. Review the Council of Nicea to see just how much politics affected early Christianity, and the books you claim are evidence.

It is against this very kind of bias that the FDA requires Double-Blind testing: First blind is that patients don’t know if they are getting the drug, or a placebo.  Second blind: The doctors administering the tests don’t know if they are giving the patient the drug or the placebo.

Remember: For 300,000 years tens of billions of people believed that there was no way humans could fly without divine intervention.  It is only over the last 108 years that we actually learned that wasn’t true.

“Faith” may have funded the great pilgrimage cathedrals, but it was cold, hard science and engineering that built them…and when the science was wrong, they collapsed or were damaged (Amiens had to have red-hot iron chains added that contracted when they cooled to keep the cathedral from falling down—pretty amazing…and I’ve seen them).

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By DaveZx3, September 2, 2011 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

ITW,

When they write significant books about a “great pumpkin” over 500 years before he appears, AND when they continue to write significant books about the “great pumpkin” over 2000 years after he was murdered, AND when literally millions have given testimony over the centuries of the power of the “great pumpkin” and cling to this power, even unto their own deaths, AND build churches all around the world, even in hostile areas, in which to meet and worship the “great pumpkin” AND, when people meet and discuss the “great pumpkin” even when it is against the law to do so at the risk of their lives, like in Iran, THEN, you would have a really, really good case for the existence of a “great pumpkin”.

But PROOF is another thing.  What can be proven?  Hardly anything.  So, it comes down to the preponderance of evidence and testimony of witnesses.  There is much more evidence and testimony for some things than there is for others.  Sadly, there are very, very few who are willing to give testimony for the existence of the “great pumpkin” even though they would not be risking their lives to do so.  Of course, the case for Jesus Christ is completely different.  Way, way different. 

And since we all cannot experience everything equally, we must give significant creedence when literally millions have witnessed and given testimony to any specific thing or event.  Yes, you cannot prove a negative, but in some cases, where millions have given testimony to certain experiences, it does fall upon the negater to provide compellling evidence that these millions could not possibly have experienced that which they say they have. 

My previous post was in answer to anaman51, (September 1 at 2:33 pm) who states that there is “overwhelming evidence” against that which millions believe regarding God, so I asked him to provide that evidence. 

I rarely agree with Raylan, but her post of “September 1 at 7:29 pm” constitutes my exact thinking, and that which I have posted numerous times on this site.  Jesus Christ is what Jesus Christ said, and his followers were commanded to do according to his sayings: 

“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand”  Mat 7:26

Read the rest yourself.  Basically, Raylan is exactly correct.  You cannot claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ if you are not living out his words.  Start with the Sermon on the Mount and see how you are doing so far.  You know, where He says “Love your enemies”. 

Sorry for misspelling “puntuated equilibrium” in my last post.

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By mariap, September 2, 2011 at 2:24 am Link to this comment

Or in the case of aliens of any stripe, a piece of
authenticated physical evidence?  When it comes to the
existence of god or gods, why did you know there are
agnostic theists and agnostic atheists?

Report this

By Dave the Rave, September 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“None of them demonstrates much knowledge of the history of religion, nor of philosophy or theology, nor even of Western literature, embedded in Western religion.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

too funny, Pfaff is another clueless tool.  There is obviously no god, using the common definition of god as an omniscient all powerful superbeing that exists outside of our space time continuum, yet acts to influence and/or judge events/beings in our world.  Anyone who places any creedence in any of the claims or “facts” of any man made religion are deluded fools, too stupid to deserve an answer.  imagine the willful stupidity of someone accepting any supernatural claim, being so patently false.  Pfaff may need a come to hey-suz moment but no one with an ounce of critical thinking wastes a second on such nonsense.  religion is truly the last bastion of the ignorant.  the worst child abuse is indoctrinating a young child with pathetic superstitious beliefs.  if that were stopped religion would go away.  Pfaff’s entire intellectual analytical ability fits in Dawkins’ or Harris’ (et al) pinky toe nail.  Too funny.  what a concept:  a “muslim” child, or a “christian” child.  too funny.  yeah yeah, I know, the devils greatest victory was convincing the world that he doesn’t exist.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  oh the depths of stupidity/inanity/credulousness.  just imagine (tell em John!)....

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By Inherit The Wind, September 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

I know of no great over-whelming evidence that there is no Great Pumpkin.  That doesn’t make the belief in The Great Pumpkin any less ridiculous, nor any less valid than belief in the magical abilities of Jesus, Mohammed, Sidhartha, or Moses.

You cannot prove a negative.  Nor do you have to.  I also cannot prove there is no woolly mammoth alive, somewhere in the world.  Fish thought to have vanished millions of years ago have been found still alive in the depths of the ocean.

So I can’t prove there is no god. But I can’t prove there is one either and neither can anyone else.  Sure religious people “prove” all the time, to each other that God and miracles exist, but that’s not REAL proof.

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By DaveZx3, September 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

By anaman51, September 1 at 2:33 pm

Some of your statements:

“I’m astonished by the “facts” you bible-heads come up with in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

“Nature has its own way of designing things”

“I get a real kick out of watching an intelligent individual try to explain how both evolution and biblical creation can exist simultaneously.”
———————————————————————————

1.  I know of no “overwhelming evidence” that there is no God.  If you happen to know of some evidence that comes close to proving there is no God, let me know what it is. But, for a person who choses to believe in God or has experienced God, she will speak of the “facts” as she knows them.  And her experience and faith becomes her “overwhelming evidence” for the existence of her God.  And yes, it is unshakeable, because it is real to the person who experiences it.  And for the person who doesn’t, it is a “fairy tale”.
But who can prove the falsehood of another’s experience?  Only a fool would attempt it, for experience is not equal, and some experience things which others do not. 

2.  You say nature designs things?  Since design is a function of intelligence, you have unwittingly given evidence for intelligent design.  I think there is “overwhelming evidence” for intelligent design.  You can call it nature, and most will call it God.  But whatever the intelligence was, it was definitely intelligence, because randomness causes chaos, but intelligence causes order, laws and distinct classification, which is what we see in nature.   

3.  It is very easy to explain how creation and evolution can exist simultaneously.  The genetic code was created through intelligence.  Why? because a code anticipates a future event, which is using the code for its intended purpose.  Since exhibiting a desire to control future outcomes by creating a code for that purpose, intelligent design, biblical or otherwise, is most assuredly at work.  This creation event does not negate any idea that organisms posses within their design the potential to subsequently adapt and change or evolve.  So what is the big deal about that?  Creation and then evolution is but one of hundreds of possibilities for origins.  Puncuated equilibrium theories show the possibility that “other” intelligences may have been at work “breeding” the species.

OF course if you have “overwhelming evidence” that the genetic code was randomly generated rather than intelligently designed, please let me know what that evidence is.  I hear a lot of theories, but I know of no “overwhelming evidence”. 

There is not even “overwhelming evidence” for natural, random evolution itself.  Most of science readily admits that there is very, very little evidence, especially in the fossil record, for random evolution.  Here again, please tell me what “overwhelming evidence” you have for random evolution, for if there were such evidence, I would think it would not still be just a theory, but would graduate to “fact”.

I know of no biblical event which has been proven through “overwhelming evidence” to be false.  As archaeology progresses, they find much evidence that biblical events were real.  Here again, if you know of a biblical event which was proven false through “overwhelming evidence”, let me know, as I have not heard of any.

So, bible-heads, as you call them, are just like everybody else, they sift through the evidence available and make decisions about what they will accept or believe as truth.  Science likes to pretend that much of their theory is proven fact, but that is not true.  Science has perverted itself by drifting too much towards abstract mathematical models to anticipate things which they have no way of proving, and so much of modern scientific theory must be taken through faith, much like belief in God.

Of course, if you have some “overwhelming evidence” please let me know what that might be.

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By RayLan, September 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

@christian86
“The Christians are taking over “
Whatever the army is - it ain’t Christian - self-styled Righteous Fascits - but Christian? I think not. A Christian is a follower of Jesus and his teachings.
Jesus recruited and trained no soldiers -
“My kindgom is not of this world”
I am constantly amused by how these ‘Christians’ are Gospel-illiterate remaking Jesus in their own hard-hearted arrogant image - can you say Pharisee?

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By Shenonymous, September 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

I’m looking for a candidate for the people, not some
corporatocrat Republican who is reactionary, evangelical,
literal-Bible-believing, anti-evolution, anti-abortion, anti-
feminist, anti-homosexual-marriage, anti-“socialist”
American Protestant primary electioneer that are currently
rallying behind Michele Bachmann and Rickydick Perry.

Dawkins’ proximity to zero on the probability of the
existence of a god takes a mathematical equation to decide
where one would place oneself on the number line of belief. 
Is one so tentatively unsettled to not be willing to go that
distance between atheism and agnosticism? Whatever. 
Regardless, his idea does not take into account justification
for belief either of a god or the agnostic’s knowledge or lack
thereof of a god into account.  One might give oneself a self-
imposed comparative region of significance in relation to
zero, or give a quantification of non-existence in terms of
mathematical percentage but it seems to me to be the epitome
of equivocation.  But then equivocation is a place of snugness
for many timid minds.  Much more weight, however, would be
given and would go a long way to determine ‘meaningful’
belief if there were some confirmation the belief was
defensible by factuality.

As famous a writer as he is, Pfaff is a dogmatized Catholic
religionist (and Catholics do not like Mormons, when it
comes to religion, that is).  And he naturally would take
exception to modern atheists, who really hold traditional
atheist views, there is nothing new about their conceptions
of atheism, except they are living in the present, and they
are more vocally articulate than the always unsophisticated
Americans are not used to hearing in the way Europeans are. 
As a matter fact, and I can see why Pfaff is worried, these lucid
and amazingly coherent spokesmen of atheistic views are
educating the historically religion-indoctrinated American
nation and that frightens the shit out of religionists. 
Rationality has its dangerous disposition.  Pfaff is somewhat
of an impersonator of a historian of religion himself having
not himself demonstrated much knowledge of either the
history of religion or the philosophy of religion, and who
writes mainly on foreign political policy.  Those who mentally
salivate at making an equivalence between the promotion of
democracy in the world (even when it isn’t “aggressive” in
the sense that Bush gave it), and Nazi or Soviet expansionism
will find much gratification in Pfaff’s writings.

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By auntikrist, September 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“None of them demonstrates much knowledge of the history of religion, nor of philosophy or theology, nor even of Western literature, embedded in Western religion.”

LOL!  That remark was so petty and whiny of you!  Patently untrue, as well. 

I suspect Harris, Hitchens and Dawkins each have much more knowledge and insight about all of the things you mention than you do.

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By gerard, September 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Mutual understanding of what?

Mutual understanding of anything ... anything at all, especially if it’s something relevant to our
benighted quarrelsomeness, one-upsmanship, conceit
and intolerance.

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By anaman51, September 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

A christer will defend his or her ridiculous belief in the god fairy-tale like a heroin addict defends his connection. It’s an addiction like any other. You do some, and it makes you feel better. When you start feeling like crap gain, you do some more. Like heroin addiction, religious addiction is very hard to end. You can’t pry that myth out of their heads with a crowbar, and they constantly make up even more ridiculous stories to explain away all the proof that Nature has its own way of designing things. I read through all of the responses in this thread, and once again I’m astonished by the “facts” you bible-heads come up with in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Amazing! I get a real kick out of watching an intelligent individual try to explain how both evolution and biblical creation can exist simultaneously. That’s knock-down hilarious! You christers crack me up.

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By drbhelthi, September 1, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Articles and illustrations like this seem to have no other purpose than to stir up controversy.Where are the articles that lead toward mutual understanding?  by gerard

Mutual understanding of what?
That a comparatively few people are manipulating the USGOV and taking over the western world, Middle East, Africa, and have recently introduced a plan to bankrupt the European Union?

Are you the same gerard of April 2011? Or has someone else assumed the alias?

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By tinkdnuos, September 1, 2011 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

I feel like some of you are…well, I’m sort of ashamed to be associated with the left when I encounter the sort of stupidity in these comments.

I’m firmly to the left on almost all issues, and I don’t believe in a personal god of any sort. But I DO believe in reading with an open mind. I can see that many of you don’t believe in reading, at all.

First example: “To say that neither Mssrs. Dawkins nor Hitchens are well versed in either the history of religion or theology rather takes the wind from the sails of this piece. Both men are certainly up to the task of evaluating the relgious right. What a glaring error.”

The very point of this essay is that there really is a significant difference between the religious right, and religious believers generally. You apparently are not aware of this. Dawkins and Hitchens evince a similar lack of awareness. And like far too many intellectuals with big brains and tiny minds, you assume your lack of knowledge means there’s nothing to know. This is an extraordinary failure in critical thinking.

raja1031, I’m afraid you’re just a plain old douchebag. First off, since when did age and educational background determine whether someone’s opinions were worth considering? Perhaps we should consider gender and race in there, as well? Clearly not intelligence, of course, or you’d have had your tongue cut out as an infant and your fingers chopped off before you learned to write or type.

And there are real, significant differences between different christians. Just as there are real, significant differences between different Jews, women, accountants, athletes, scientists, atheists, etc. Biologists are not physicists, and neither are mathemeticians. And catholics are not mormons, and neither are southern baptists.

Finally, Pfaff acknowledges the ignorant, backwards, utterly wrongheaded opposition of catholic bishops to abortion and birth control. But that’s just the BISHOPS.

About 2/3 of self-identified catholic voters in the US are actually pro-choice. And as anyone who’s ever known real catholics will tell you (Zing, I get the feeling that either you haven’t, or you just got WAY too angry for absolutely no discernible, rational reason), the bishops are regarded about as well as most republicans view the current president. The true authority for MOST catholics are the ones who actually do the good work for the sick and the poor, without proselytizing, and usually with full-throated support for contraception and abortion rights…not to mention rights and marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Of course I’m talking about the nuns.

Funny how all the angry white males in the religion-bashing forums forget the women. Actually, no, it’s not funny at all. You people are gross. You’re almost as bad as the fundamentalists.

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By gerard, September 1, 2011 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Articles and illustrations like this seem to have no other purpose than to stir up controversy.Where are the articles that lead toward mutual understanding?

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By DaEggman, September 1, 2011 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If people would just keep their beliefs to themselves, we could all work together to figure out the truth.

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By drbhelthi, September 1, 2011 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

drbhelthi
Are you serious? Someone is a little bit paranoid.  By: losingit (Unregistered)

- a little bit paranoid?  In the western world on 01 Sep 2011?  Who wudda thunk - .

You might first become informed on the CIA disinformation program, Operation Paper
Clip, and watch the videos related with former CIA station chief, John Stockwell at the
link:  http://wn.com/JOHN_AND_THE_CIA

Official CIA chief, William Colby wrote in 1973, that the C.I.A. owns all notable personnel in the US news media. It is now, September 01, 2011.  Who else does the C.I.A. own?

I am told that there are still Americans who believe that an airliner crashed into the
pentagon, without depositing its aluminum and steel wreckage on the pentagon and
adjoining grounds. Not to mention the blood and guts and baggage of alleged passengers. And without starting a fire from fuel spillage.

Being “a little paranoid”  in the USA and western world today?  A novelty.

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By bruce, September 1, 2011 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i guess i understand the compulsion to balance the
equation with so called scientific fundamentalism,
but to suggest that these men are uneducated in
religious history, theology or philosophy is just
lazy if you ask me. i’ve read each of their books and
the thrust of their argument is that religion is a
distorted lens through which people perceive reality;
its a story, a narrative, a mythology that bears less
and less resemblance to the real world with each
generation of retelling. their urgency and stridency
comes from their realization that basing important
decisions on a fictional worldview is leading us to
the end at a breakneck pace. science has given us the
technology to do powerful things, but if we do not
use science to advance our cultural understanding,
and insist on relying on ancient fables for guidance
we’re going to run screaming “la la la la la” into a
brick wall. its becoming more and more important that
our social intelligence starts keeping pace with our
technology and the main hindrance to that progress is
religious teaching. some people feel we can reconcile
religion with modernity, others do not. i think we
are running out of time for the former.

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By losingit, September 1, 2011 at 6:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

drbhelthi

Are you serious? Someone is a little bit paranoid.

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By bogi666, September 1, 2011 at 5:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

christian96 is a confused person, he doesn’t know Christ from the Antichrist, which does not mean opposition to Christ but those pretending to be christ. 96 doesn’t even know what 666 means. 96 is an agent of the Antichrist along with the fundamentalist evangelists with their false doctrines, such as the rapture; only the church can provide salvation; salvation is granted in this dimension,the dimension of vibratory creation. Salvation is in a spiritual dimension and the resurrection of the Christ proves this to be the case. Jesus couldn’t walk through walls, like Christ was able to do. Only a Christ could access spiritual dimensions and the Transfiguration alludes to this when, in the company of James, Peter and John when Moses and Elias appeared. Long since dead, they could only exist in a spiritual dimension, dimension which can only be accessed by the spiritually adept.

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By PatrickHenry, September 1, 2011 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

While Jesus is up that pole see if he can get the electic turned back on.

Irene hammered Southern Maryland and alot of my guys who I depend on are still without power, a hot shower after work is highly underrated.

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By Leefeller, September 1, 2011 at 2:19 am Link to this comment

Somehow Zing, I find your posted emulation of Pfaff’s wondering soliloquies amusing. So do not insult Zing by calling him an Atheist, the Catholics are Ass Holes and most TV perversions of religion are of a guy in the sky with a beard? Actually a tidy bit more than amusing…drum roll… so Zing….bong!

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By drbhelthi, September 1, 2011 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

“That majority, four years ago, in 2008, elected to the presidency a black,
urban liberal activist of exotic background, ” William Pfaff

Which is more exotic, the writings of Pfaff or the background of an
illegitimate birth, developed into an illigitimate USPresident, who sports an
illegitimate name?  One wonders if Pfaff is also an operative of the CIA, and
offspring of the WWII NAZI in the US and Germany that designed and carried
out Operation Paper Clip? 

Organizations that can falsify 2,000 family histories and USPassports for
NAZI and family members, 1945-1952?  Against the directive of the U.S.
President? And provide all of them with USGOV stipends and income?  With such
capabilities, manipulating and falsifying an academic history in good ole
Yale, home of Skull and Bones fraternity, with solid connections to Bohemian
Grove in the redwoods of sunny California?  Where “exotic” men of the world
meet annually to make “mock” human sacrifices to the huge owl and engage in
male-male orgies among the redwoods?

One wonders if Pfaff has been an exotic member of the CIA longer than Obama?

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By D.R. Zing, August 31, 2011 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

I dunno. I read this article twice and each time I got the
feeling William Pfaff took a bong hit midway through,
forgot what the hell he was going to say, winged it,
fell on his ass, published anyway. 

First off, Catholics are liberal when it comes to
drinking, buggering and blowjobs, which, you know,
all in all can make them pretty fun to hang out with
—at times. 

Catholics are total fucking assholes when it comes to
birth control and atheism.  They have destroyed
cultures across the globe, particularly in South
America, with their brainwashings about birth control,
again making it handy for blow jobs and buggering but
not so much for the future of humanity. I can say this
first hand: The Catholic jokes and sermons and snide remarks
about atheists are ...  hmmm despicable sounds over the top,
reprehensible, again, too much ... put it this way
replace the word “atheist” in Catholic jokes, sermons
and snide remarks with the word “African American”
and you could rightly call Catholics of the 21st
century a bunch of bigoted assholes. 

Alright? The Catholic Church is not liberal. It’s
backwards. It’s why it has all the well known
problems that it has. 

Next:  Moderately religious Christian philosophers are not
allowed to speak their minds regularly on television. 
The fundamentalist Christians dominate the airwaves
with their sermons and programs, and the television
news media is scared shitless to allow anyone who
does not believe in the old man with a beard, who instead has
a more sophisticated view, speak his or her mind.  Also,
unless an evangelical gets caught snorting meth and
buggering a male prostitute the television news media
is afraid to point out that claiming to have a personal
communication channel with a divine entity is a sign
of psychosis or pathological lying, not enlightenment. 

And I’m not an atheist. Don’t insult me with the term. 

The most sophisticated, well known metaphysical
thinker of the twentieth century was Albert Einstien.
Given a choice between him and the rest of the lot,
I’ll go with him. The universe is God. It’s laws are
God. And we better damn well understand it or it’s
going to cause us incredible problems.  See our modern
world for details. 

So, how, pray tell, Mr. William Pfaff, is a politician
supposed to discuss God when morons all around want
to say if you don’t believe in an old man with a
beard tuning into what I’m writing right now, then
you’re an atheist? 

How is someone supposed to discuss metaphysics when
the common belief is if you don’t believe in heaven
and hell then you’re an atheist? 

How is a sophisticated statesman or journalist
supposed to discuss God when if you don’t believe in
souls and spirits then you are considered an atheist? 

How is someone supposed to speak about metaphysics
when doing so would destroy their career, be they a
politician or a television journalist? 

No. You’ve been drinking the Kool Aid, the belief
that Democrats are missing the boat because they
don’t talk about God. That’s not the problem.

The problem is the only speech about God that is
tolerated on television is the child-like, anachronistic,
reactionary superstitions of fundamentalist Christians.

Break your bong before you write your next article
about religion, my friend.

You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

Hmm. Seem to be feeling a little pissed off tonight. 
Not sure why. Apologies all around.

Zing

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By DaveZx3, August 31, 2011 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

That Jew is still hated by much of the world even
after 20 centuries.  It was not good enough to hang
him from a cross, they have to crucify him over and
over in ridiculous pictures such as the one
accompanying this article. 

It must make someone nervous that over 300 prophesies
written hundreds of years BC, continue to be
fulfilled by “The King of the Jews”  And hundreds
if not thousands more are fulfilled by the Jews,
themselves, although they are equally hated.  In my
opinion, the amount of hatred shown towards Christ
and the Jews is way, way out of proportion relatively
speaking.  No other people have been intensely hated
for literally thousands of years. 

Seeing Christ hanging from that telephone pole brings
Isiah 53 to mind,

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of
sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it
were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we
esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him
stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was]
bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our
peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are
healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have
turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath
laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was
oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not
his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he
openeth not his mouth.  He was taken from prison and
from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?
for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for
the transgression of my people was he stricken.  And
he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich
in his death; because he had done no violence,
neither [was any] deceit in his mouth.”  -Isiah 53  
(Written 5+ centuries BC)

It is also written that you can’t know the hour or
the day, but you can know the season.  Well,
thousands of years of prophetic writing is tracking
right along, and there is no doubt the season is upon
us.  But like in the days of Noah, most will just
laugh.  But you have to ask yourself, how were they
able to write so clearly and thoroughly about the
birth, life and death of the Messiah, over 500 years
before he walked the earth, including the fact that
the Jews would reject him?

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By champion of truth, August 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You include Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin but don’t mention the MOST PRINCIPLED MAN IN U.S. POLITICS??

Why don’t you mention RON PAUL, whose ideas you began your article with?

Or the fact that he delivered 4,000 babies and personally witnessed an abortion where the baby was thrown in the trashcan trying to gasp for air while other doctors pretended not to hear the cries for life?

Or that RON PAUL has never voted for a tax increase in 30+ years of political service?

Or that more military people support RON PAUL with their funds than all other candidates combined (including Barry Soetoro)?

Wake to truth.  I beg you.

Laws don’t save people but righteous decisions.

Righteous decisions come from unrighteous mistakes.

Unrighteous mistakes come from having the freedom to make our own decisions.

If I want drink raw milk then let me.

If you to say whatever you want, then I have no problem as long as it doesn’t damage the rights of others.

For real hope and real change, THE ONLY VIABLE CANDIDATE IS RON PAUL.

I dare you to research about him with an open mind.  You may be convinced yourself. Or not.  But the history books will be on his side, save the NWO is successful then he will be demonized.

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By cpb, August 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

@ Gerard

Your point is valid, and so I try to strike a balance;
employing enough humour and sarcasm as possible so that
I don’t tick off too many other posters while admittedly
contributing to the distraction to some extent.  I give
them the benefit of the doubt and speak as politely as
the situation demands or allows.  I also participate
genuinely, as my interests and ability to contribute
allow, so I rest assured that most readers will
understand that I am not what I rail against.

I believe there is a need to call them out, to call a
spade a spade.  A troll is an enemy of civil discourse
and progressive debate, for whatever reason.  I aspire,
wherever possible, to be the equal and opposing force.

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By gerard, August 31, 2011 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

The more attack, the more defense.  That’s what “reactionaries” are all about, isn’t it?

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By cpb, August 31, 2011 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

c96 - You’re correcting other persons spelling!  Thats
ironic.  Which version of the bible did you learn from?  I
don’t seem to recall the one known for being full of
spelling errors.

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By Sandorvaal, August 31, 2011 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A recent PEW survey revealed that atheists know more about Christianity than
Christians do.

Kinda’ blows a Texas-sized hole in Mr Pfaff’s argument. But then again, as a
Catholic, Mr Pfaff doesn’t have any apparent need for facts or science. He can form
his opinion based on more important things, like wishful thinking and prejudice..

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By Aaron Ortiz, August 31, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

The enormous swing of voters from liberal to conservative is not based on
reason, but emotions: fear, frustration, anger, anxiety.

They’ll give the presidency to anyone who can allay these fears. Once the
president shows that they are not omnipotent, in the next cycle the voters
choose the opposite candidate.

The reelection of Clinton and George Bush break this trend. Paradoxically the
reason for both may have been a scathing attack by the opposite party. I
suspect the attacks triggered a defense mechanism, which led to their
reelection.

All this pendulum swinging has left me dizzy and nauseated with politics. I feel disenfranchised. What’s the point of being able to vote, when it makes little
difference who is in power?

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By SarcastiCanuck, August 31, 2011 at 8:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jesus Bill,what about dyslexic,agnostic,insomniacs who stay up all night contemplating the meaning of DOG.What party do they vote for?Dog bless you Bill…I don’t know what the right denomination is anymore so think I’ll join them all.One of them’s gotta get me to heaven..

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By Leefeller, August 31, 2011 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

Like some other posters here, I found Pfaff’s article telling in its ambling nature to nowhere!

Gebeebiz on a cracker Pfaff, your idea of making light or insulting, dissing by calling attention to groups of disconnected, disjointed people and lumping them together in this article without an ending is genuine only in its search for poster hits, I find this article lacking of any substance not known to anyone who may not be from Texas!

Again we see the word “fundamentalist” used as a fuse for the increased hypertension of people, whom I suspect who cannot afford over priced for profit medical coverage the silent majority!  So once again we are to play with definitions, the only thing I find interesting in this article, besides some of the posts, is the photo, of the Gebebeez on a telephone pole, a new one on me, well after Ozark Michale’s call to attention of Hunky Gebebeez!

Even here in Hoot Owl where I live,... I am reminded every time as I dive home, of the presence of mouth breathing knuckle dragging missing links, no,....not a Gebebeez on a telephone pole, instead I view a large hand painted sign which says “HE IS” and every time as I drive by, I think to myself, how nice it would be to place an “S” just before the “H”!

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By Jim Yell, August 31, 2011 at 7:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The scary thing about Fundamentilist belief and it matters not if it is Religous or Political those who have this opinion think it gives them permission to lie, to murder, to advocate murder, to ignore other peoples rights, to ignore the separation of Church and State which was a necessary component to unit our various peoples.

The biggest error committed by the founding fathers is in not realizing that they had created an all or nothing election process which silences the various opinions in the country. We need more political parties and they need to have influence according to their proportion of votes. No one winning less than 50 percent should even be allowed to take office and we should have a process that allows people winning lower percent of votes to use those votes to fill in the short falls of the better positioned candidates, which would mean that there wouldn’t again be a President Like Baby Bush, who thought his bare election was a landslide.

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By losingit, August 31, 2011 at 7:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

christian96 - “The Christians are taking over and there is nothing
you antichristian atheists can do about it.  Now
put that in your pipe and smoke it.
THE GOD SQUAD”

Do you remember why people came to this country? Isn’t American suppposed to be the land of the free? Should we all not be able to practice our own religion? Just because one may be an Atheist it does not mean they are anti-Christian. Your posts are disturbing and angry. I thought Christians were supposed to be loving people. Apparently not.

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By Mad Rabbit, August 31, 2011 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One way to earn fundamentalist disapproval is to deny Christianity; another is to practice it in earnest. Nothing frightens these evangelicals more than mercy, pity, peace, and social justice. I believe the term for such individuals is “pharisee.” Freud asserts we create God in our own image; when I imagine a God like Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann, however, it’s enough to make me feel sympathy for Milton’s “rebel angels.”

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By prisnersdilema, August 31, 2011 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

Yes, it’s Jim Jones time in Amerika….

The right wing of the Evangelical Republican Party, is going to do everything possible to turn Amerika, into Jonestown…..

With, each Republican candidate vying to be the next Warren Jeffs, beyond reason, beyond morality, imposing it’s fundamenalist views on all of us. Along with a hefty gulp of Cool Aid.

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By Shenonymous, August 31, 2011 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Amerika’s major export is now snake oil! – berniem,
I thought it was shake oil! 

Gee, mrfreeze, what other god is there?

A question for agnostics, has there been in all of
history, one teensy weensy bit of fact obtained about
the existence of supernatural beings, gods or what have
you?  Or in the case of aliens of any stripe, a piece of
authenticated physical evidence?  When it comes to the
existence of god or gods, why did you know there are
agnostic theists and agnostic atheists?  Oh yeah, no
knowledge, no truth, no existence, or maybe existence, right? 
If human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational
grounds to justify knowledge whether God exists or does not,
doesn’t that position, conveniently, set up a situation for
irrational belief that a god exists, or does not exist?  It can go
either way.  Many folks bask in irrational belief.  My authority
is Leefeller from uncountable TD forums. 

Mindlessness comes in many forms.

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By christian96, August 31, 2011 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

raja1031——It’s “there” not “their.” Better learn
the language and become a Christian.  Your life
will be easier.

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By raja1031, August 30, 2011 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just looked this guy up on wikipedia.

1.  He’s a catholic—graduated Notre Dame 1949—degree in lit and political studies—- probably never took any math beyond algebra and undoubtedly knows absolutely NOTHING about science.

2. Born in 1928—-83 years old and probably losing his ability to think critically.  There are no significant differences between christians.  They all believe in fairy tales—- virgin births—- bodily resurrections from the dead—-bodily ascensions into never never land.  If their are catholics who support social justice movements it’s in spite of not because of their particular brand of un reality.

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By cpb, August 30, 2011 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Hey c96 you trolling SOB! 

Message to psyop HQ - if you are paying c96, you are definitely overpaying the guy.  How can he be an effective troll when he’s just so darned transparent?  Better put in for more funding for training.  Or better yet, you might consider contracting out to a unit in Bangalore.  At least those publicly funded university educated wage slaves can spell and complete a coherent sentence; coherent paragraphs even.

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By christian96, August 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

The Christians are taking over and there is nothing
you antichristian atheists can do about it.  Now
put that in your pipe and smoke it.
THE GOD SQUAD

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By Ivan Hentschel, August 30, 2011 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To say that neither Mssrs. Dawkins nor Hitchens are well versed in either the history of religion or theology rather takes the wind from the sails of this piece. Both men are certainly up to the task of evaluating the relgious right. What a glaring error.

The issue, I’m afraid, is that the fervent group singled out here may be smallish in number, relatively speaking, but they have the innate capacity to roil the emotional state of the populace, and not the thinking element. When emotion prevails, your religious persuasion means very little, when it comes to making decisions about humanity. While the religious right “prays”, poor people suffer, unnoticed.

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By OzarkMichael, August 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

So much to comment on, yet it is poor form to try to cram it all into one post.

Some Truthdiggers at the “Fundamentalism Kills” thread(John Best at their helm)) didnt seem to know that ‘reactionary’ refers to a conservative. I will not bore you with Best’s erroneous and prolonged defense of his mistake. Please note that William Paff uses the insult ‘reactionary’ quite correctly as follows:

American voters in 2008 elected a figure about as remote as it is possible to be from the politically reactionary, evangelical, biblical-inerrancy-believing, anti-evolution, anti-abortion, anti-feminist, anti-homosexual-marriage, anti-“socialist” American Protestant primary electorate, currently seeming to rally behind Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry.

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By ardee, August 30, 2011 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Experience suggests that none of these, except for the Mormon, Mitt Romney, has much chance to become the actual Republican candidate next year, and Mr. Romney is a candidate battered by previous losses.

A rather odd description in an article decrying the intolerance being demonstrated by the fundamentalist movement I think. Shall we now describe folks by their religious preferences?

I do not know if many are aware of the growing influence of fundamental christian movements in our political arena. There are currently three such organizations, each with a radical agenda that does imperil that which makes this nation unique, or used to do so.

I was made aware of such recently , as a devotee of perhaps the best interviewer working today, Terry Gross, host of ‘Fresh Air’ on NPR radio, when she interviewed an author, Rachel Tabachnick , who has done some in depth research on these groups.

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/24/139781021/the-evangelicals-engaged-in-spiritual-warfare?ps=cprs

As an agnostic, not an atheist as I believe firmly in the scientific methodology of proof and disproof, I can only wonder at a theology that goes directly against the grain of the teachings of Jesus as I , in my limited knowledge, understand them to be.

I thought Jesus noted that we all should “render unto Caesar” not attempt to create a theocracy of our republic. Odd that some who curse the Muslims for violence condone the potentially violent fringe here in the USA, and make no mistake, these groups are preparing for violence. In both cases it remains an extremely small number of devotees who preach such heresies.

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By anaman51, August 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

The very last thing I want to happen on election day is for another deluded bible-whacker getting his hands on the Presidency. That’s something this country doesn’t need—-we’re screwed up enough as it is, without mixing in a load of fairy-tale crapola. I will not lend my support to their ridiculous made-up god any more than I would support a President who was getting mental messages from Peter Pan. I had to wait through eight years of that crap with that moron Bush in the White House, and that was enough to last me a lifetime. More biblically-aligned laws and wrong-headed stuffy prudish morality we do not need.

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By berniem, August 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps all of this bible thumping fundamentalism is merely a reflection of the fact that for the most part, Amerika’s major export is now snake oil!

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By Heather, August 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wait… what?

Is this only half the article? Is there information missing about the religious make-
up of U.S. voters? Is this article mostly uninteresting, vague, obvious nonsense
created as an candy coating for the atheist bashing near the end?

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