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Jesus ‘Love-Bombs’ You

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Posted on Apr 23, 2007
baptism
AP Photo / Rick Bowmer

By Chris Hedges

There is a false, but effective, fiction that one has to be born again to be a Christian.  The Christian right refuses to acknowledge the worth of anyone’s religious experience unless—in the words of the tired and opaque cliché—one has accepted “Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.”

The meltdown, often skillfully manipulated by preachers and teams of evangelists, is one of the most pernicious tools of the movement.  Through conversion one surrenders to a higher authority.  And the higher authority, rather than God, is the preacher who steps in to take over your life.  Being born again, and the process it entails, is more often about submission and the surrender of moral responsibility than genuine belief.

I attended a five-day seminar at Coral Ridge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where I was taught, often by D. James Kennedy, the techniques of conversion. The callousness of these techniques—targeting the vulnerable, building false friendships with the lonely or troubled, promising to relieve people of the most fundamental dreads of human existence from the fear of mortality to the numbing pain of grief—gave to the process an awful cruelty and dishonesty. I attended the seminar as part of the research for my book “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” Kennedy openly called converts “recruits” and spoke about them joining a new political force sweeping across the country to reshape and reform America into a Christian state.

“I would always go in first, introduce myself, Jim Kennedy,” he told us. “I’m checking the lay of the land and I will look around the living room and see if there’s something there that I can comment about. Frequently, there will be a large picture somewhere and where did they put it, this picture ... why would they put it over the fireplace? Significant.”

“In Fort Lauderdale you don’t find too many fireplaces,” he added, smiling, “but there’s some kind of central focus. Maybe ... golf trophies ... I’m over here looking at these golf trophies ... painting ... I say… beautiful painting, did you paint that? The first rule about looking at trophies, don’t touch them ... did you win all those trophies? So we have a little conversation about golf, but I know enough about golf to have this conversation ... now what have I done? I’m making a friend.”

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“Compliment them on whatever you can,” Kennedy said, “discuss what they do, you’re going to find out what are their hobbies, maybe right there in the living room. Then you’re going to ask them about what they do, where they’re from, how long they’ve been there ... something to discuss with them ... in doing this, you have made a friend.”

We are told to “emphasize the positive” and “identify with your prospect.”  We are encouraged in the green “Evangelism Explosion” instruction manual to use sentences such as “It is wonderful to know when I lay my head on my pillow tonight that if I do not awaken in bed in the morning, I will awaken in paradise with God.”  We are told to paint graphic pictures of personal tragedy that God has helped solve, such as: “I had a Christian son killed in Vietnam, yet my heart is filled with peace because I know he has eternal life.  Even though he was killed by an enemy mortar, he has a home now in heaven, and one day we’ll be reunited there.”  We are instructed to pepper our testimonies with words like love, peace, faithfulness, forgiveness, hope, purpose and obedience and remember to talk about how we have found, in our own conversion, “courage in the face of death.” 

Kennedy warns us not to carry a large Bible, but to keep a small one hidden in our pocket, saying “don’t show your gun until you’re ready to shoot it.”

The conversion, at first, is euphoric. It is about new, loving friends, about the conquering of human anxieties, fears and addictions, about attainment through God of wealth, power, success and happiness. For those who have known personal and economic despair, it feels like a new life, a new beginning. The new church friends repeatedly call them, invite them to dinner, listen to their troubles and answer their questions. Kennedy told us that we must keep in touch in the days after conversion. He encouraged us to keep detailed files on those we proselytize. We must be sure the converts are never left standing alone at church. We must care when no one else seems to care. The converts are assigned a “discipler” or prayer partner, a new friend, who is wiser than they are in the ways of the Lord and able to instruct them in their new life.

The intense interest by a group of three or four evangelists in a potential convert, an essential part of the conversion process, the flattery and feigned affection, the rapt attention to those being recruited and the flurry of “sincere” compliments are a form of “love bombing.” It is the same technique employed by most cults, such as the Unification Church or “Moonies,” to attract prospects. It was a well-developed tactic of the Russian and Chinese communist parties, which share many of the communal and repressive characteristics of the Christian right.

“Love bombing is a coordinated effort, usually under the direction of leadership, that involves long-term members flooding recruits and newer members with flattery, verbal seduction, affectionate but usually nonsexual touching, and lots of attention to their every remark,” the psychiatrist Margaret Thaler Singer wrote. “Love bombing—or the offer of instant companionship—is a deceptive ploy accounting for many successful recruitment drives.”

The convert is gradually drawn into a host of church activities by his or her new friends, leaving little time for outside socializing. But the warmth soon brings with it new rules. When you violate the rules, you sin, you flirt with rebellion, with becoming a “backslider,” someone who was converted but has fallen and is once again on the wrong side of God. And as the new converts are increasingly invested in the church community, as they cut ties with their old community, it is harder to dismiss the mounting demands of the “discipler” and church leaders. The only proper relationship is submission to those above you, the abandonment of critical thought and the mouthing of thought-terminating clichés that are morally charged. “Jesus is my personal Lord and Savior” or “the wages of sin are death” is used to end all discussion.

Rules are incorporated slowly and deliberately into the convert’s belief system. These include blind obedience to church leaders, the teaching of an exclusive, spiritual elitism that demonizes all other ways of being and believing, and a persecution complex that keeps followers mobilized and distrustful of outsiders. The result is the destruction of old communities, old friendships and the independent ability to make moral choices. Believers are soon encased in the church community. They are taught to emphasize personal experience rather than reasoning, and to reject the reality-based world. For those who defy the system, who walk away, there is a collective banishment.

There is a gradual establishment of new standards for every aspect of life. Those who choose spouses must choose Christian spouses. Families and friends are divided into groups of “saved” and “unsaved.” The movement, while it purports to be about families, is the great divider of families, friends and communities. It competes with the family and those outside its structure for loyalty. It seeks to place itself above the family, either drawing all family members into its embrace or pushing those who resist aside. There were frequent prayers during the seminar I attended for relatives who were “unsaved,” those who remained beyond the control of the movement. Many of these prayers, including one by a grandmother for her unsaved grandchildren, were filled with tears and wrenching pain over the damnation of those they loved.

The new ideology gives the believers a sense of purpose, feelings of superiority and a way to justify and sanctify their hatreds. For many, the rewards of cleaning up their lives, of repairing their damaged self-esteem, of joining an elite and blessed group are worth the cost of submission. They know how to define themselves. They do not have to make moral choice. It is made for them. They submerge their individual personas into the single persona of the Christian crowd. Their hope lies not in the real world, but in this new world of magic and miracles. For most, the conformity, the flight away from themselves, the dismissal of facts and logic, the destruction of personal autonomy, even with its latent totalitarianism, is a welcome and joyous relief. The flight into the arms of the religious right, into blind acceptance of a holy cause, compensates for the convert’s despair and lack of faith in himself or herself. And the more corrupted and soiled the converts feel, the more profound their despair, the more militant they become, shouting, organizing and agitating to create a pure and sanctified Christian nation, a purity they believe will offset their own feelings of shame and guilt. Many want to be deceived and directed. It makes life easier to bear.

Freedom from fear, especially the fear of death, is what is being sold. It is a lie, as everyone has to know on some level, even while they write and rewrite their testimonies to conform to the instructors’ demands. But admitting this in front of other believers is impossible. Such an admission would be interpreted as a lack of faith. And this too is part of the process, for it fosters a dread of being found out, a morbid guilt that we are not as good or as Christian as those around us. This dread does not go away with conversion or blind obedience or submission. This unachievable ideal forces the convert to repress and lose touch with the uncertainties, ambiguities and contradictions that make up human existence.

We were instructed to inform potential converts that Jesus came to Earth and died “to pay the penalty for our sins and to purchase a place in heaven for us” and that “to receive eternal life you must transfer your trust from yourself to Jesus Christ alone for eternal life.”  We were told to ask the convert if he or she is willing “to turn from what you have been doing that is not pleasing to Him and follow Him as He reveals His will to you in His Word.” If the covert agrees to accept a new way of life we are to bow our heads and pray, with the convert repeating each line after us.

“Lord Jesus, I want You to come in and take over my life right now. I am a sinner. I have been trusting in myself and my own good works. But now I place my trust in You. I accept You as my own personal Savior. I believe you died for me. I receive You as Lord and Master of my life. Help me to turn from my sins and to follow You. I accept the free gift of eternal life. I am not worthy of it, but I thank You for it. Amen.”

And when it is over the new believers are told “Welcome to the family of God.” They are told to read a chapter a day in the Gospel of John and that they will be visited again in a week to talk about the Bible. They are encouraged to pray, because God “promised to hear and answer our prayers.” They are told to find “a good Bible-believing church and become a part of it.” They are told to join a Christian fellowship group. They are told to witness to those in their family. With this, the process of deconstructing an individual and building a submissive follower, one who no longer has any allegiance to the values of the open society, begins.

Chris Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, is the author of “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.”  He is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a Lannan Literary Fellow.

On May 22, Chris Hedges and Sam Harris will debate “Religion, Politics and the End of the World.” Click here for details and tickets.


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By Danny, March 19, 2008 at 9:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

BTW, Annie, I just realized that my two replies to your last post were listed in reverse order, maybe that’s why I wasn’t to clear about my beliefs, the one that came first, which I feel was more important, is below the other one and I probably wouldn’t have even read it if I were you.  But if you are interested in what I feel is the most logical explanation I can give for believing in God, I give it there.

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By Danny, March 19, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t think I was too clear before.  I was Christian, I don’t know that I can call myself Christian anymore, but I am 100% confident that what I adhered to was Christianity.  The idea that Jesus was cool with slavery is false, however.  The verses you cite are taken out of context and are meant as analogy or parable, comparing serving the Lord to being a servant or slave.  In another parable Jesus compares himself to a thief who overpowers a strong man and robs his house.  Clearly he was not claiming to be an actual criminal.  You can find verses where he tells servants to obey their masters, but this is consistent with his overall teachings of turn the other cheek, walk a mile, discouraging open rebellion against Rome, etc…  But the ones you cited were completely out of context (perhaps you found them on the internet).  Another thing you may have gotten wrong is your story about the death of Thomas Paine.  It smacks of urban legend to me.  I mean, you’d either have to wait a while until his flesh decomposed, or tear him up to get at the bones.  Wikipedia has an explanation that makes much more sense to me, and maybe shows how the legend, be it a legend, got started.  He had an ill-attended funeral, in part due to his controversial beliefs, and some English guy a few years later wanted to take his bones back to England, but never got around to it, so they were lost. 

All said, I feel much more comfortable as a defender of Theism and predeterminism (or is it just determinism?) then I do of Christianity, and I would recommend visiting one of those Christian websites if you are hungry to debate Jesus or the Old Testament.

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By Annie Reitano, March 19, 2008 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

Danny,

Have you ever read “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine?  I am asking because I wonder if it ever occurred to you that you’re a Deist and not a Christian at all?

I say this because your belief that God is a different entity from JC, and therefore it’s okay for JC to say “Blessed are the merciful” when he claimed to be God and is accepted as such in Christianity, makes me believe you adhere to just a “god” in general.

Thomas Paine did the same and wrote about it in “The Age of Reason”.  He wasn’t allowed a Christian burial because he wrote this book.  Consequently he was flung bone by bone into the sea.  That’s a Christian concept for you.  “If they don’t believe like I do, let’s disgrace them”.

Jesus was the kinder face of God, true.  But he was all for slavery. Luke 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

Luke 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

Thomas Paine believed in a God.  He simpley blew holes in the gods of the Bible, Koran and Tanakh.

As far as me giving you one verse that can’t be the same, try this from OT God,

“God is not like men, who lie; He is not a human who changes his mind. Whatever he promises, he does; He speaks and it is done.” - Numbers 23:19

“So the Lord changed his mind and did not bring on his people the disaster he threatened.” - Exodus 32:14


I don’t see how you can compartmentalise these statements.  They are what they are.  God either changes his mind, or he doesn’t because he’s not like men. 

Let me know about the Deist standpoint.  Because what you’re adhereing to is not Christianity.  Christianity holds 30,000 different denominations worldwide—haha—not quite as much as there are people, but this is kind of telling of how confusing the Bible is.  No one can make their opinion meet with their priests or pastors so they make up a new denomination, etc.  Has been that was since the 16th century and the Reformation.

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By Danny, March 19, 2008 at 1:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

PS: Sorry for the double post, Annie, I rambled on and ran outta space.  But on the contradiction thing, if you really want to show contradiction, find two passages that describe the same event, and show that A and B cannot be true at the same time.  The Gospels would probably be a good place to start. 

As for the one you’ve shown, I don’t like it to much. Even from a literal standpoint, it would be possible for Jesus to bless those have a merciful disposition and God to bless a lack of mercy in one instance.  Besides, God recommends being kind to foreigners later in the OT (maybe in Deuteronomy itself, I just got this off the net).  So if anything, we have God disagreeing with God, more than God disagreeing with JC.  If you really want to debate things like this, I’d recommend going to a Christian website like dogchurch.org or that Christian think tank place, from what I’ve seen both are pretty honest and intelligent.  I’ve got a pretty shaky grasp of and commitment to Scripture to get into this stuff to deep so I’m not to comfortable as a defender of the Church.

And as for me being worse than others, I am absolutely sure I was, from first grade till prob my first year of college.  No Christian guilt here, I was a sociopath, just trust me on this one.  Really.  No joke.  It probably wasn’t all my fault, for starters I was surrounded by white people which is never easy, but there you have it.  But man I was a passive aggressive little punk.  I had everyone around me fooled, for the most part.  Every now and then I would get caught in a lie, but I could project angelic like nobodies business.  I was also naturally kinda spacey, which gives lends the air of innocence and I utilized that, make no mistake.  And turning to God saved me from that in a way that was remarkably guilt free after the initial pain.  I really feel completely distant from my old self.  So, while I have utter contempt for the idea that Christianity works for me, or anyone, if it is a fraud, somehow I changed, and not in the negative, Southern-fried, charismatic born again way that the article makes reference to.

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By Danny, March 19, 2008 at 12:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Annie,

What follows is as detailed an explanation for my theism as I can give you.  Now I believe, that the world is just basically one thing after another, meaning that there is no such thing as true randomness, and that that which we perceive as random (movement of subatomic particles)  we only do because we lack as yet the science to explain it.  In other words, the universe is an isolated and determined system, complex to be sure, but there is only one way it is going and only one way it can go.  The only way I can, with my human mind, square this with free will (and to a lesser extent my perception of self-evident moral law, and what I see as the “beauty” of the universe) is to believe in a God.  I simply cannot conceive of how anyone can conceive of free will or even true consciousness without a God.  This belief is distinct from any religious doctrine which makes me “feel good”.

Now onto Christianity.  Christians have always believed in many different things, probably as many different things as there are Christians.  No matter WHAT you believe some people are gonna think you’re going to hell.  When I first accepted Christianity, it was a Christianity that saw Hell as the willful rejection of God’s presence, and Heaven as being in the presence of God.  To accept Heaven, you had to be down with JC no matter who else was there, even if it meant Hitler, and no matter how else wasn’t there, even if it meant Mother Mary, Mother Theresa, and your own Mom who cooked rice for you every day.  And I had personally, from the inception of my Christianity, held the belief that all men were saved.  I reasoned it like this: we were all in the same world together, all hurting, loving, fighting, laughing, living, dying together.  Man needs man and woman to be fulfilled.  Sort of a “universalist” take I guess.  So yeah, I believed in Heaven and Hell.  It just wasn’t the most important thing to me.  Like existence of hell= existence of God, and that’s alright by me.

On to some more of your points, I don’t know if I explained this right, but a God who kills firstborn doesn’t bother me.  A relatively painless death, and even if it wasn’t, many die very painful deaths anyhow, and since this God is omnipotent, I would say that by allowing this to be, He may as well have caused it.  And that would be MY problem.


So what does bother me about religion?  Its that the world seemed not fallen, as Christians hold, but designed to die.  Everything is going to a state of greater disorder.  I would go both further and not as far as Richard Dawkins, who says that this is the kind of world we would expect with no God.  Without a God, I WOULD expect a world tending to greater disorder.  On the other hand, without a God I probably wouldn’t expect any kind of a world at all.

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By Annie Reitano, March 18, 2008 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

Hi again, Danny and thanks for that answer.  It does seem like you believe yourself to be worse than the average person; this doesn’t surprise me.

I guess if Christianity works for you, then it does!  But I think what you’re practicing doesn’t fall under the guidelines of Christianity.  Christians believe in heaven and hell.  They believe that if you say you believe in Jesus, you will go to heaven.  To say contrary to that, damns you to hell for all eternity.

The point about God killing people, well, yes, all people are going to die but nature is taking care of that.  Why in the world would a loving God destroy(drown, rip open wombs, kill sleeping firstborns in their beds,)innocent women and children etc., just because he’s pissed at another group of people??  That doesn’t spell out the same omnibenevolent God that the Christians say they worship.

IF you want to turn away from the glaring and obvious contradictions from Jesus and YHWH, then you’re just cherry-picking, OR you may not have read the Bible for yourself.

Either way, spiritual awareness of one’s self should come from within each person since we’re all different.  There shouldn’t be just ONE code for any ONE person.  That would lump everyone in as the same.  And that’s not justice. 

Mercy

“Blessed are the merciful” Jesus [Matthew 5:7]
“Leave alive nothing that breathes. Show them no mercy.” YHWH [Deut. 7:2]

As I stated and as you can see from one verse, they’re nothing alike.  Jesus stated that a house divided against itself cannot stand [Matthew 5].  He is now divided from, and has a differeing opinion than the OT god.

The house has just fallen.

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By Jim H., March 18, 2008 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Intelligent Design: The Debate
Wednesday, March 19 at 1:00 PM University of Central Florida, Orlando

THE UNIVERSE
Mass/energy never disappear Ever were ever here!
With nothing to ‘create’, a “so-called “Creator-God”
Is an impossible superfluous nonentity!
J.H.  © 5/8/07

The ‘so called’ “Intelligent Design Theory” is “Creationism” re-visited! And, merely one more attempt to ‘invent’ a “Supreme Creator-God”,  who supposedly “Intelligently Designed” and “Created” everything from “NOTHING”?

But, there is absolutely no reason to believe “there once was “NOTHING”!
But, ‘IF’ there once was “NOTHING”, There would be no such entity as a ‘so called “Timeless Spaceless Being of Unfathomable Power” or a “Supreme “Intelligent Designer” Creator God”!
Saying that ‘some entity’ “always was”, or “always existed”, is to describe the “Infinity of the Universe”!
Any ‘so called’ “Beginning Force” must have a “Beginning Force” unless it be “infinite”! Such IS the UNIVERSE!
And, the so called “Big Bang Theory” merely describes an occurrence resulting from “mass/energy” evolving turmoil that may have occurred ceasless, billions of times!

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
Religion’s pollution is no solution for Darwin’s Evolution
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
J.H.  © 8/29/06
  Religions are absolute bigotry, and contagious disease-like criminal conspiracies!

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By Danny, March 18, 2008 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Annie, You are right, it is about emotions, thats all I’ve got when it comes to God.  Is there right or wrong, or just evolutionary herd tendencies?  The crazy thing about it is, whatever the case, as humans we can’t overcome our programing to look at it objectively.  As for my parents, they would NEVER have told me what religion to choose or that God was angry with me or anything like that.  They don’t even have the same religion themselves, one is agnostic from a Buddhist background, the other devoutly Christian, but neither is religious in a “bad” way, if you know what I mean.
As for me, I was just a punk a—kid in high school, no other way to look at it.  Objectively pretty lame, and yah, a habitual liar.  Most people aren’t this way, even if they never believe in God, but it took a belief in something greater than me, real or not, to overcome this.  And NOT, I gotta stress, NOT the fear of hell, or even the reward of heaven.  These things never really meant a whole lot to me.  I’ve always kinda looked at it, like, when you die you die, and you’re gonna die sometime, so its just important to give yourself some kinda framework to live by while you are still alive.  Christianity was important to me because it gave me a code.  And I believed in Christianity because this code was a better one than society had to offer.  Even some of the more archaic seeming stuff, like “don’t jerk off”—- I’m still convinced that is good advice, liberating rather than repressing, no matter what the prevailing opinion out there is.

Anyways, I was much worse kid then other kids in high school, you’re just gonna have to trust me on that, and the magnificent specimen of humanity you would see sitting in front of you if only you were in the same room as me came about because of my religion.  I don’t know much about Cat Stevens, but Malcolm X, experienced “rebirth” through the Nation of Islam, a group whom he totally repudiated (though he remained Muslim) also had that life altering experience.  So yeah, if all “spirituality” is fraudulent (something the writer of the article argues against in his debates with atheists) it isn’t worth preserving lies (better word then ‘myths’, I think) just so we can feel good.  The truth is all we have, if we have anything.  I’m just saying that being “born again” to me never meant listening to some creepy preacher, it was an internal experience.

As for feeling bad, I don’t really.  Thinking there is a God makes me feel good.  Thinking there isn’t doesn’t really make me feel bad, but the good feeling I get from thinking there is a God kinda goes away.  Now if there isn’t a God, I really don’t think there is right from wrong either, those feelings would just be evolution trying to tell us what to do.

As for your atheism, its strange but we have completely different problems when it comes to the Bible.  I have no ish aligning what Jesus teaches with what the OT says.  To me, it seems like your problems with the Bible are less logical and more what you would call emotional.  My faith began to shake because Matthew quoted prophesies that didn’t seem to be actual prophesies (more like poems, and such), and apologists were not able to offer anything but the lamest reasons for why this was so.  I still believe in God, but there are issues with that too.  I’ve always wondered why unbelievers point to passages in the Bible where God kills masses.  Why not simply look at the world?  Hasn’t God killed, or allowed to die, everyone who has ever existed?  Forget about why God allows us to hurt one another… even without human intervention, we’re all gonna die, and some of us very painfully.

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By Annie Reitano, March 17, 2008 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

Well, Danny, you’re talking about emotions, not facts.  It makes me wonder if your parents or someone you loved made your FEEL guilty and bad.  Or maybe you did that to yourself.

The reason I say this is because my dad had the same “experience” as you are talking about.  But I know what his childhood was like and it helps me to understand why he had this emotion and I didn’t. 

Also, Cat Stevens shares a similar story—only about Islam.

I am an atheist.  I see tons of problems with the Bible.  The first and most obvious being that Jesus said he was God but didn’t act anything like YHWH.  He was a completely different face of the OT God.  You have to wonder why an omniscient being would need to impregnate a virgin (yep, there’s that virginal obsession again) and then give birth to himself so that he could then kill himself in order to save mankind.  This is the only thing he could think of?


Myth.

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By Danny, March 16, 2008 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have to disagree with the author’s notion of the detrimental effect of being “born again”.  My “rebirth” which occurred not among a charismatic congregation but in my own room, really changed my life, and in exactly the opposite way the author of this article seems to fell it would have, by making me beholden to another moral authority. Up until that point I was really morally bankrupt.  After that point, I felt my conscience, really felt it, for the first time in a long time, and it hurt.  I had to start telling the truth again, no matter how hard it was.  I got over my depression, and my longer term anti-social tendencies.  I began to notice that I was forming some strong independent character for the first time in my life.  I began to act out of compassion for others.  Now I’m struggling with my faith.  I don’t see any way I will cease to be a firm theist, and to the extent that I learned of the teaching of Jesus they seemed more imbued with the divine than any others, but I am having trouble reconciling what I see as problems in the Gospel.  Nonetheless, cliched as it may be “turning my life over to God” was the best thing that ever happened to me, and as I have started to lose faith I also feel that these changes in myself have started to erode along with my beliefs.

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By Jim H., July 12, 2007 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 86470

Stumbler

“Know the TRUTH and it shall make you free!”

I say: Lying does not make ‘it’ so!

If you could read, you would know the “Homeland Terrorist” in ‘this’ Country is one Right Wing ‘Republican’ sadistic wartime military deserter, bigot (like you) who delights in sending Americans to die in a foreign country so he could stop the flow of ‘cheap’ Iraq crude oil that was limiting OPEC’s Gordian Knot control of world oil, and preventing the PRICE gouging profits that OPEC, THE BUSH OIL DYNASTY, AND THE CHENEY OIL DYNASTY are now enjoying while enriching themselves for the price of 6,000 american lives, 40,000 dismmembered, and dissabled American Military members, and hundreds of thousnds of innocent women and children. 

Your reference to your fairytale makebelieve “God” is no doubt responsible for your delusional assertions, your indicated bigotry, and your rapid flight to avoid your well deserved comeupance which I dutifully hereby perform, though I realise your numb skull is unable to absorb, nor shall you comprehend the facts which ‘soundly’ dispute your mindless blabbering!

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07
Without something to ‘create! a “so-called “Creator-God”
is an impossibel superfluous nonentity!

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
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
JH 8/29/06

And, GET LOST!

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By American, July 12, 2007 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

you say: These same Religious “Faith” Organizations also use bundles of money to pay lobbyists, and influence all Congressional actions that are destructive of our Democratic way of life and detrimental to all US citizens!                     

Sir it is the left (a.k.a. Homeland Terrorist) that you should focus all of your extreme bottled up anger toward. They are the true enemy of this country. When you have an individual in this group stating they would kill our President if they could get away with it. These my friend are scary times. I could go on with other examples but I really don’t think I have to explain. 

As for intelligence on these pages HA!HA!HA!HA! its all pretty much in house debate and could all just go round and round and round and round were it stops only our Lord God knows.
Go ahead and respond all you want on this one but I will not see for I only stumbled upon this site and will not be back.

Good Night and GOD BLESS!

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By Jim H., July 11, 2007 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

COPY
NOTE: This was first sent to several MENSA email addresses including “National, International, Australia.
——————————————————————
  TO MENSA;
RE: “Mensa’s goals”
“Mensa has three stated purposes: to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity; to encourage research in the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence;?) and to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members.”
————————————————————————-

Hello You-all; With the above stated aims in mind,
What, if anything is MENSA and their Members doing to enlighten the world about the EVILS caused by the propagation of the criminal ponzi-like racketeering scheme ‘Religion’, that indoctrinates, and enslaves innocent childrlen and fools and converts them to shills to proslytize and spread their infectious plalgue-like disease that causes delusional thinking, and an absurd child-like fairytale conception of the world that is a constant threat to those of us who live in the ‘real’ world and are ceaselessly threatened by their illogical TAX-FREE AND (faith-based!) GOVERNMENT-FUNDED, BIGOTRY?

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By Jim H., July 9, 2007 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 83666

DSA

Thank you for your good ‘thoughts’ about Sam Harris!
At:http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070529_sam_harris_fights_back/

He ‘too’, like Rushdie, has taunted a gigantic man-eating octopus, and must take many precautions to prevent a repeat of the Madalyn Murray O’Hair debacle that the “Religious “faithful” fanatics do a dance of joy over! 

Although I too am thankful for “The End of Faith”, I believe no one has come within a ‘light year’ of pointing to, or discussing the ‘epic’ proportions of the ever broadening destructive criminal influence, evil intentions, designs and calamitous results of the Religious “Faith” Organization’s unwavering pursuit of total Theocratic domination our once Democratic, USA, and the entire World!
How many people can even imagine: any ‘one’ organization of any kind, that can, and does accumulate, free from taxes, every day, more money, including donations of taxpayers hard earned funds that are contributed to them by G. W. Bush’s “Faith”-based” operations, than any other company, business, or other type of honest enterprise in the world, accumulates in one month? 
And, how many people can even imagine: the amount of influence all this ill gotten wealth is able to purchase?
Through the use of all type “Holding Companies” and many other similar methods of hiding ownership, the Religious Organizations own, or control a major portion of all Media, including newspapers, radio stations, publishing houses, television stations, and, many Congressmen, and Senators, plus G. W. Bush, and Dick Chaney!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations have repeatedly caused our ‘bigoted’ Congress, and ‘bigoted’ US Supreme Court, to deny, and violate many parts of our US Constitution, and The Bill Of Rights!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations have repeatedly supported, and influenced the installation of G.W. Bush a ‘bigot’, and Military Deserter, into the White House!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations continually object to, and repeatedly violate the Constitutional Law: “Separation of Church and State!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations repeatedly deny “woman’s rights”!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations use the “Pulpit” to electioneer and promote religious bigot candidates for elective office, and use big bushels of their money lucre to help this happen!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations also use bundles of money to pay lobbyists, and influence all Congressional actions that are destructive of our Democratic way of life and detrimental to all US citizens!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations fight against any and all means of limiting family size, including medicines that prevent childbirth, because without innocent children to brainwash, mesmerize, brand, and indoctrinate into their fantasy world of ‘Godism’ their Religious Organizations would soon ‘dry up’ and go out of business!
Of course this is but a mere minute insight into the monstrous behemoth the ‘Ponzi-like’ racketeering Religious “Faith” Organizations embody and represent, and the perpetual horrific infectious plague-like disease they are ever more widely spreading every hour of every day through the means of newspapers, radio, and television, and even door-to-door-proselytising!

And, if we secularists, the rational ‘ones’, don’t soon confront this war on sanity and reason, before long, if it is not already too late, we will be surrounded, smothered and inundated by the horrible putrid dung these Religious “Faith” Organizations are everyday filling the airwaves, and earthly environment with!
Ciao, Jim

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By Harlon57, July 9, 2007 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

Hello Annie and Jim,

It seems obvious that Maani uses his pretend “rabidly atheist” Phd mother as support for his position.

Maani is basically saying “Gee, Mom thinks I’m swell, and you atheists are the worst kind. It’s not just my impression, it’s the impression of my brilliant scientist mom.” His make believe mother is his authority figure that we can’t argue with.

Maani uses his supposed conversion from atheist to evangelical minister in the same way, as proof that he understands both sides of the issue better than anyone else.

On top of that, according to many different posts on many different threads, he has educational specialties in whatever is being talked about at that time.

In my opinion, Maani is a total proselytizing fraud.

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By Annie Reitano, July 8, 2007 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

I also found it highly unlikely, as an atheist who attends political meetings regarding separation of church and state, thereby meeting MANY other atheists—that his mother would be so “calm” regarding any conversion.  It’s possible but it would be the first time I ever heard of any atheist in the field of science who wasn’t “destroyed” by a religious conversion of their child.  Madelaine Murray O’Hair disowned her son. 

Strange indeed. Possible, but unlikely that she wouldn’t try to disuade him and direct him back into rationale.

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By Harlon57, July 8, 2007 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

I can prove Maani lied:

#64778 by Maani on 4/18 at 8:49 am, Truthdig, “Jesus Rides a Donkey”
“Not only was I not always a minister, but I was an atheist (okay, agnostic…) until my late teens; i.e., I was not “raised” in faith.”

#41309 by Maani on 12/07 at 9:56 pm truthdig, “Sam Harris: ‘God’s Rottweiler’ Barks”
“And until I was in my 20s, I was atheist, then agnostic”

For an event as life changing as becoming a believer in god, Maani doesn’t recall from one post to another when he said it happened.

Maani undoubtedly was lying to pretend to have been an atheist to provide some false sense of understanding. As though it adds some credibility to have grown from atheist to evangelical christian.

One can sense Maani’s fake conversation: “Gee, I understand how you feel, I used to be an atheist too. But I had a spiritual awakening, blah, blah, blah.”

Maani also makes various and different claims in different threads regarding his specialty(s) in school. Sometimes its math, sometimes “hard science” sometimes, psychology. Whatever suits him at the moment, he becomes a specialist.

Maani is a lier. Why am I not surprised a proselytizing evangelical minister is a lier?

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By Jim H., July 8, 2007 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
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#85067 by Jim H. on 7/08 at 10:39 am
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 84377

To: Mister Maani; “Evangelical Minister”—- to the poor(?)

You say: “Faith deals with—-the “super”-natural world.”

I say: “Supernatural” is an oxymoron!

Nature is ‘superb’, but, there is NOTHING ‘BEYOND’ “NATURAL”!

“Supernatural” is the realm of fakers, and criminal ‘charlatans’ who sell “Pigs in a poke” saying: “ Trust me!

There is absolutely nothing better than, or “super” to the natural world!

I say “supernatural” “Faith” is unnatural!  And ‘Godism’ is ‘Blind Faith’ in an unnatural superfluous nonentity!

And those who believe in the “supernatural”, and ‘Godism’ are ‘blind’ to the “facts of NATURAL life”!

Dictionary: supernatural (?)
Outside the natural world.(!)
A power that violates natural forces.(!)
Of or relating to a deity.(!)

You say: “I VEHEMENTLY oppose ANY attempt by “religion” to foist on—-anyone—-explanations
(about Godism)—-which do not stand up to the scientific method.” (?) LIES!  LIES!  LIES!

As an “Evangelical Minister”, ‘Proselytizing-Preacher ‘YOU’ ARE always “FOIST"ING upon all within earshot your lying “explanations”—-[about ‘Godism’] which do not stand up to the scientific method.”(!) So you are an admitted liar!

You say: “—-my mother—-rabidly atheist—-invites me to discussion-s—-(at) CSI—-(secular meetings)—-her “ulterior motive” is—-”(?) (No doubt an effort to mend your mind! And startle you back to reality!)

You say: “—-my mother, while—-not understanding or accepting my faith—-”.

(Has no alternative but to HUMOR her once sane, but now, the victim of a warped mind, daughter, with whom she is making an effort to bring her back to reality while avoiding insulting, or offending, her once cute little innocent girl, who has somehow strayed from the ‘straight and narrow’ path of natural reality and is the unsuspecting victim of criminal charlatan thieves who may any day convince her to make an oath of poverty, then be compelled to give up all her worldly possessions to those thieves!)

Think!  How would you react to a daughter who renounced sanity, in favor of an ‘addiction, to something you knew was the most evil force on the face of the earth?

What could you possibly do to ‘win her back’ without alienating her, and losing her altogether?

Your mother is smart enough to realize that; just as you are reacting to the information, and criticism provided by some of us here, you would be just as adamant and resentful if ‘she’ were to say, or imply
that you are an asinine fool to believe, or have “faith” in, a make-believe, fairytales assertion of charlatan thieves that there is such a thing as a “Creator-God”!

The very least you should do if you have any respect for the integrity of your ‘highly intelligent’ mother, is, to, ask her to tell you why she is an atheist, and why she does not believe in the “God” you believe in!

You say:”—only true God…” makes an awful lot of presumptions—-”

You have said: “I am an Evangelical Minister” (!)

So! You therefore believe “There is only one True God!”

And, according to ‘your’ “faith”, “anyone who denies “God” is, in ‘your’ “faith” a “mortal sinner”!

I do not know why you would call this a “sarcastic”, “presumptuous” “accusation”!

And why do you say: “—- (the above) has no application in my life and faith.” (?)

PS: I am an Associate Member of CSI, a Member of CFI, and a subscriber of both Skeptical Inquirer, and Free Inquiry!  But I haven’t seen you at any of the meetings?

Are you a momma’s boy?

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By Harlon57, July 7, 2007 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Wow, I can’t believe it, Maani ran to his mother for help.  Mommy says Harlon57 doesn’t play fair.

Maani, you still suffer under the delusion that we believe you and your story about your rabidly atheist mother loving and approving of everything her supposed little baby genius thinks and does.

That you required support from your mother says everything about you.

Are you living in her basement?  I read your post saying you don’t have your own ministry, and that you work with the poor.  Since the poor can’t pay your bills, it must be your mother sitting next to you who pays your bills.

What a loser.

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By Maani, July 7, 2007 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Harlon:

I did not think you could get any lower than making presumptions about me, deliberately taking my words out of context, and generally being denigrating, dismissive and deaf.

However, you have now sunk WAY below the line.  Not only have you now insinuated - more than once - that I am a liar, but you have made absolutely OUTRAGEOUS presumptions about my mother: how she thinks, how she feels, what she “really” means.  You do not - cannot - know the relationship between my mother and me, in ANY regard.  Indeed, having read through much of this discussion over the past couple of days (at my request), my mother believes that you are the epitome of the type of a person to whom the adage “a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing” applies. She calls you an “anti-religion zealot who gives a bad name to good scientists everywhere.”  I can’t wait til she sees your posts today.

However, if this is how you “debate” - by engaging in presumptuous, insulting and hopelessly insupportable attacks, not only against the person you are debating, but against their family members - then I want no part of it.  And you may think or say anything you like in response, and even have the last word (and, I’m sure, raise a toast), because I will not be returning to “debate” you any further - since your definition of “debate” is clearly different from mine - or possibly anyone else’s.

Peace.  (Or some fascimile thereof…)

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By Annie Reitano, July 7, 2007 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

Hello again Maani,

I apologise for the time it has taken me to get set up but I just moved to a different home.  But I wanted to follow up on the below statement of yours with facts.  I feel I know enough of the prison system in the US just by merely being there.  I also believe that personal experience beats out “stats” most any time and on any subject.  However, for the sake of your argument, you may be interested in the following links: http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm
http://www.adherents.com/misc/adh_prison2.html

http://www.adherents.com/misc/adh_prison3.html

There are many more, if you like, that state the very same tripe I was trying to sell.  There are more religious people in prisons than there are atheists. 

Thanks—sorry to be late in response.


“#82540 by Maani on 6/29 at 5:28 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

Annie:

What kind of tripe are you selling?  You are usually far more careful about your statements.

Re the prison population of the U.S., there are actually no completely accurate statistics re religion.  However, what statistics there ARE belie your claim.

According the DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2003 only 54% of all federal and state prisoners claimed to be “religious,” while only 33% actually practiced their religion.  As well, the most recent serious study done (in 1997) by the Federal Bureau of Prisons showed that 31% were Catholic and 28% were Protestant.  Atheists came in third, at 19%. Muslim were fourth, at 6%.  All others were 1% or less.  So your claim that there “some atheists in prison - but not many” is incorrect.”

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By Annie Reitano, July 7, 2007 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Hey Harlon,

“Maani is clearly a man. A woman wouldn’t accidentally call herself a man.”

I haven’t followed all that closely, but I always assumed that Maani was in fact, a man.  We are also not ones to “stick out our chests”—so-to-speak, in regard to our higher intelligence or IQs. 

I did find it interesting that Maani parlayed into the notion that academics were ultimately important while the very bible he claims to uphold makes no such claims.  In fact, intelligence isn’t celebrated at all in the bible—not anywhere.  But wisdom is.  Wisdom can be defined by knowing when to speak and when to stay quiet. 

About the zeitgeist, I think it IS possible that Bush is (one of the men) behind the Banking Cartels and moving the world into one world order.  It did state some things from his grandfather.  At any rate, they’re all in deep; and Bush knows the bible well enough to know that he can use it to terrorize people.  Christians in particular are afraid of the “mark of the beast” and the end times.  The chip at the end of the documentary will only help them to validate the bible in terms of the chip being placed on the hand or in the forehead.  <That’s biblical prophesy from Revelation.  However, the contrary is true.  The bible is a storybook and the head honchos are possibly going to use the fear of it to further the agenda of a totalitarian society.

That’s the part that I really didn’t like.  To state it more clearly, religious nuts will say “I told you so” not realising that it’s the bible stories that are used and not the writings in the book that are correct.  I recently read that GWB reads and studies his bible every morning before he goes jogging…I don’t doubt this and I am leery of the “conspiracy theories”.  I certianly can’t cast it aside as just a theory when so much depends on people knowing the whole truth.

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By Harlon57, July 7, 2007 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Maani must be a man, somewhere around 47 years old. I could find nothing in posts on this and other threads proving otherwise.

Maani, you say that 50 million to 75 million were killed by religious types through the years, and that 100-150 million were killed in a 60 year span by secularists or atheists.

Even with limited ability to wholesale slaughter during more ancient times, when by your admission there were about 300 to 500 million people alive, they killed between 10% and 25% of the total population.

During the 60 years you mention, there were about 6 billion people living, out of which Stalin and the rest killed 1.6% to 2.5% of the population.

So comparatively, religious killing was proportionately 10 times worse. And the horror and fear went on for hundreds of years.

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By Harlon57, July 7, 2007 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Annie and Jim,

I just realized that I made an assumption about Maani that was either wrong, or we were mislead.

I thought Maani was a female. But something I read earlier just hit me. It was this text from Maani’s 07/05 8:08PM post;

“In fact, she invites me to discussion groups of members of CSI (the Center for Scientific Inquiry, publishers of Skeptical Inquirer, arguably the most respected magazine of its kind) because she likes to “show me off” as a believer (a minister, God forbid!) who can hold his own with (and occasionally out-debate) Ph.D.-level scientists and others in their own fields.”

Notice that Maani writes “who can hold his own”.

Maani is clearly a man. A woman wouldn’t accidentally call herself a man.

Jim, I know you thought the same thing, since you recently referred to her as “her daughter”.

Are we just wrong, or has Maani previously implied or stated he/she was a female?

If Maani previously stated she was a woman, then this person is a lying, and we should believe nothing he/she says.

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By Harlon57, July 7, 2007 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Hello Annie,

I got the impression that they were saying Bush, and his family, have been involved in financing or starting wars to assist the world-wide bankers. It had nothing to do with Bush believing that god told him to do it, and everything to do with getting control of oil, and making money on the war.

Either way, many will see the conspiracies as the domain of nut-cases, and will then assume the religious portion was just as wrong.

The difference is that the religious portion requires no leaps of faith to accept.

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By Annie Reitano, July 7, 2007 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

Hi Harlon,

Personally, I wondered why they didn’t put the religious part at the END and then tie it in as the reason for the greed and corruption of governments.  That way it would be easier for a faithie to follow the notion that these things take place BECAUSE of religious lies.

That was my take but the conspiracy theories were fascinating when juxtaposed with wars of the past, people speaking about the WTC buildings, etc.  And I must admit, Bush did sound a lot like Hitler.

For me, there was no denying the bloodied up bodies of children, women and men lying in the streets because of one madman’s belief that his god wanted him to be in office and rule the world.

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By Harlon57, July 7, 2007 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Hello Annie, thanks for the link.

I would have preferred the religious portion be separate from the other parts. I would have sent the religious part to family members.  The other parts have too much speculation, and I’m afraid the conspiracy theories may make viewers discount the religious portion as well.

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By Annie Reitano, July 6, 2007 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

Hi Maani,

Please sit back and watch this movie.  I promise you it won’t hurt…it’s long but extremely interesting.

Harlon, it reminded me of a couple of things you once wrote about on here regarding Mithra and Dionysus.  There’s more to it than just religion, though. I thought the part about the Banking Cartels was particularly interesting.  We always think it’s “them” and not us…
http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com

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By Jim H., July 6, 2007 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You say: “Faith deals with—-the “super”-natural world.”

I say: “Supernatural” is an oxymoron!

Nature is ‘superb’, but, there is NOTHING ‘BEYOND’ “NATURAL”!

“Supernatural” is the realm of fakers, and criminal ‘charlatans’ who sell “Pigs in a poke” saying: ” Trust me!

There is absolutely nothing better than, or “super” to the natural world!

I say “supernatural” “Faith” is unnatural!  And ‘Godism’ is ‘Blind Faith’ in an unnatural superfluous nonentity!

And those who believe in the “supernatural”, and ‘Godism’ are ‘blind’ to the “facts of NATURAL life”!

Dictionary: supernatural (?) 
Outside the natural world.(!)
A power that violates natural forces.(!)
Of or relating to a deity.(!)         

You say: “I VEHEMENTLY oppose ANY attempt by “religion” to foist on—-anyone—-explanations (about Godism)—-which do not stand up to the scientific method.” (?)  LIES!  LIES!  LIES!

As an “Evangelical Minister”, ‘Proselytizing-Preacher ‘YOU’ ARE always “FOIST"ING upon all within earshot your lying “explanations”—- (about ‘Godism’) which do not stand up to the scientific method.”(!) So you are an admitted liar!

You say: “—-my mother—-rabidly atheist—-invites me to discussion-s—-(at) CSI—-(secular meetings)—-her “ulterior motive” is—-”(?)  (No doubt an effort to mend your mind! And startle you back to reality!)

You say: “—-my mother, while—-not understanding or accepting my faith—-”.

(Has no alternative but to HUMOR her once sane, but now, the victim of a warped mind, daughter, with whom she is making an effort to bring her back to reality while avoiding insulting, or offending, her once cute little innocent girl, who has somehow strayed from the ‘straight and narrow’ path of natural reality and is the unsuspecting victim of criminal charlatan thieves who may any day convince her to make an oath of poverty,  then be compelled to give up all her worldly possessions to those thieves!)

Think!  How would you react to a daughter who renounced sanity, in favor of an ‘addiction, to something you knew was the most evil force on the face of the earth?

What could you possibly do to ‘win her back’ without alienating her, and losing her altogether?

Your mother is smart enough to realize that; just as you are reacting to the information, and criticism provided by some of us here, you would be just as adamant and resentful if ‘she’ were to say, or imply
that you are an asinine fool to believe, or have “faith” in, a make-believe, fairytales assertion of charlatan thieves that there is such a thing as a “Creator-God”!

The very least you should do if you have any respect for the integrity of your ‘highly intelligent’ mother, is, to, ask her to tell you why she is an atheist, and why she does not believe in the “God” you believe in!

You say:”—only true God…” makes an awful lot of presumptions—-”

You have said: “I am an Evangelical Minister” (!)

So! You therefore believe “There is only one True God!”

And, according to ‘your’ “faith”, “anyone who denies “God” is, in ‘your’ “faith” a “mortal sinner”!

I do not know why you would call this a “sarcastic”, “presumptuous” “accusation”!

And why do you say: “—- (the above) has no application in my life and faith.” (?)

PS: I am an Associate Member of CSI, a Member of CFI, and a subscriber of both Skeptical Inquirer, and Free Inquiry!    But I haven’t seen you at any of the meetings?

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By Harlon57, July 5, 2007 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Maani, I say you are self proclaimed genius because other than your proclamation, there is no proof.

Certainly no proof of genius intellect in your debating skill. You proclaim to be smart, yet believe your atheist mother is proud of your faith.  You are a bigger fool than I thought.

You said “In this regard, my mother, while perhaps not understanding or accepting my faith, admires and respects it “per se,” since it does not attempt to insert itself in the provinces of science.”

What else would your mother say?  Gee Maani, I’m terribly disappointed that you fall for such obviously false dogma.  This approval you need is a statement only your mother could make for you.

I’m sure your mother the atheist “admires” your faith.  Let’s add delusional to your list of mental failures.

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By Maani, July 5, 2007 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Harlon:

Once again, you “hear” what you want without listening.  This seems to be a pattern with you.

You say, “you, a self-proclaimed genius…”  No, what I said was that my IQ was genius-level.  And while this does give me some confidence in my intelligence and intellect, I did not say that I “buy into” the whole concept of “genius.”

You then say, “You say I am a fraud. You used the word fraud.  Please show me where I have said something about myself which you can prove to be false.  Apparently, you don’t even know how to use the word properly in a sentence.  Some genius.”

Hmmm…where do I begin?  It is clearly YOU who do not know the definition, or how to use it in a sentence.  A “fraud” is not simply one who says something about themselves which someone can prove to be false.  The definition of fraud (since you forgot to look it up) is: “an act of deceiving or misrepresenting,” “a person who is not what he or she pretends to be.”

Re the first definition, your outrageous misuse of my words - cutting and pasting to make it sound like I said something that I did not - is a blatant act of fraud.  Period.  Re the second definition, you “pretend” to be a rational, reasoned person, and yet you have exhibited continual denigration, dismissal, intolerance and personal insult.  Given that none of these are rational, reasoned approaches to debate (to say nothing of human interaction), this also makes you a fraud.

Jim:

My father died when I was 19; since I did not become a Christian until 22, he was never aware.  But you are correct: he would have been horrified.  However, my mother (the rabidly atheist, Ph.D., NAS geologist) does not consider my faith to be an “offense,” a questioning of her “integrity,” or an “insult.”  In fact, she invites me to discussion groups of members of CSI (the Center for Scientific Inquiry, publishers of Skeptical Inquirer, arguably the most respected magazine of its kind) because she likes to “show me off” as a believer (a minister, God forbid!) who can hold his own with (and occasionally out-debate) Ph.D.-level scientists and others in their own fields.  And although she is not a believer, her “ulterior motive” is to show some of the most rabid of them (like you and Harlon) that faith and reason are NOT mutually exclusive, that religion and science need NOT be “enemies,” that “believing” in something unprovable and “knowing” scientifically proven facts are not antithetical.

In other words, as a scientist, she is willing (as are most other scientists in most fields) to accept that the province of science and the province of faith are different.  Science seeks to explain the natural world.  Period.

Faith deals with (for lack of better term) the “super”-natural world.  Science has every right to demand the utmost rigor in the derivation and acceptance of explanations (theories) for the natural world.  And as my mother is aware, even as a believer I VEHEMENTLY oppose ANY attempt by “religion” to foist on schools, the government or anyone else explanations of the natural world which do not stand up to the scientific method.

In this regard, my mother, while perhaps not understanding or accepting my faith, admires and respects it “per se,” since it does not attempt to insert itself in the provinces of science.

Finally, your sarcastic comment that I “know better than they who are sinners, for violating the Ten Commandments, by ignoring the one and only true God…” makes an awful lot of presumptions about what I believe, and how I express my faith in my life.  Suffice to say that your accusation has no application in my life and faith.

Peace.

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By Jim H., July 5, 2007 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 84288

Maani

You talk about “—-(your) upbringing by Ph.D.-level parents—-”?

If you wish everyone here to fully appreciate the benefits you have derived from your highly educated parents, why not tell us what ‘their ‘stand’ and attitude ‘is’ relative to a “Supreme Being” “Creator God”?

Are ‘they’ the cause of your failure to determine the difference between right and wrong, true and false, reality and farce, fairy tales and fact?

If your parents are non-believer secularists, aren’t you offending them, questioning their integrity, and insulting them by your ‘pedantic’ implying you know better then ‘they’, who are “sinners”, for violating the “Ten Commandments” by ignoring “The one and only true God” their “Creator”?

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By Jim H,, July 5, 2007 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: 84258

Harlon57

You say: “I have no tolerance for fools nor charlatans.
The religious are one or the other.

Those who accept religion on faith are fools, the leaders charlatans.”

I say: BRAVO!  ‘Succinct and factual!

In latin we say: “MULTA PAUCIS!”

An afterthought!    Infant children are not able to “accept” or, ‘deny’!    But, they suffer from the results of debilitating implantations of cancerous mind warping Religious Dogma by forced indoctrination, which is repeatedly reinforced by ‘booster-shots’ of proselytising child molesting charlatans who have spread their tentacles so far and wide, it is difficult to find something ‘their’ rotteness has not penetrated and deformed, or corrupted!          Thus we have a (Bush) THEOCRACY!

Ciao, Jim

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By Harlon57, July 5, 2007 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

Maani, you say I am a fraud. You used the word fraud.

Please show where I have said something about myself which you can prove to be false.

Apparently, you don’t even know how to use the word properly in a sentence. Some genius.

You may not like my opinions, but that has nothing to do with the veracity of what I claim about myself.

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By Harlon57, July 5, 2007 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Maani, you say “Even if we accept that my “genius” IQ, my first-percentile SAT scores, my honors diploma and all the rest of my education (plus the upbringing by my Ph.D.-level parents) have absolutely NO bearing on my “rationality””

I am so sorry if I gave you the impression that I accept that you are a genius.  I certainly never meant to give that impression.

The fact that you believe in bronze age myths brings into question all your supposed achievements.

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By Harlon57, July 5, 2007 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

Maani, you, a self-proclaimed genius, believe myth is truth.

We need go no further. I can’t debate your belief in myth. The fact that you believe in myth, makes you weak.  All your proclamations about your supposed strengths, are undercut by your belief in myth.

I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.

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By Maani, July 5, 2007 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Harlon:

Nice try.  However, by taking the coward’s way out - generalizing, and then disengaging - you show yourself for the fraud you are.

You say I am “weak in the rational reasoning portion of your mind.”  Really?  Even if we accept that my “genius” IQ, my first-percentile SAT scores, my honors diploma and all the rest of my education (plus the upbringing by my Ph.D.-level parents) have absolutely NO bearing on my “rationality” and “reason” (which is, of course, an absurd assumption), then perhaps you can explain how, despite my “weakness,” I could almost certainly out-debate you on such subjects as Darwinian theory, quantum physics, chemistry, biology, metaphysics, history, psychology, politics and a host of other “rational” subjects?  But then, what do I know? - I’m just a “fool” or “charlatan” (or both).

You “quote” me by saying, “Like most atheists…you (are)...closed-minded…intolerant, dismissive and disdainful…”  Again, nice try.  However, like PR firms for films - who “cherry-pick” words from the bad reviews of critics in order to create “good” reviews - you string together a series of words and phrases that were NOT used by me with the intent you provide.  This is, in fact, a truly sleazy form of debate, and I will not even honor it with a response.

You close, “In these blatant assertions about atheists, you demonstrate your bigotry!”  Since, as noted, I never put those words and phrases in that order, they are not “blatant assertions” of ANYTHING, except that you are desperate to find a way to out-think me.  (Oh, I forgot - I’m not able to actually “think” with any degree of rationality or reason…)

Rather, those words were used specifically about YOU. Indeed, just so people don’t have to scroll down to find it, here is the original cite, in its entirety:

“Excuse me?  When did I disparage those who use reason and logic - for anything?  I myself use it, no matter what your intolerance might lead you to believe.  And, again, I do not ‘disparage’ you for ‘awaiting proof before following a god’ (though, as noted, I believe that, given the accepted definition of ‘faith,’ doing so is…irrational, illogical and unreasonable).  I ‘disparage’ you for being intolerant, dismissive and disdainful, and for the blatant hypocrisy of being just as ‘zealous’ and ‘fundamental’ in your own thinking as those you accuse of same.”

Note the subject: “you.”  Not “atheists.”  I have no problem whatsoever with atheists when they offer views and positions backed by reason, logic, common sense, etc. - even if I do not agree with those views or positions.  However, you back YOUR positions with statements like “That statement proves your mental deficiency.”  Hardly the world’s most intelligent, rational, much less supportable, statement.

Let the people here decide who between us has been more “reasoned” and “rational” in their responses and debate - even if they disagree with our separate positions.

Peace.

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By Harlon57, July 5, 2007 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Maani,

I have no tolerance for fools nor charlatans.

The religious are one or the other.

Those who accept religion on faith are fools, the leaders charlatans.

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By Jim H., July 4, 2007 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:83962

Maani

You say: “—-to apply “reason”—-to—-the existence of God—-is…irrational and unreasonable.” (!)

I say: I agree!

You say: “The very definition of “faith” is “the belief in things not seen—-”(!)

I say: Like a “pig-in-a poke”?  That statement proves your mental deficiency(!)

You say: “—-to seek “proof”—- for God is anathema—-”(!)

You ask: ” Please define how I am “weak” or an “addict.”

I say: You are a weak minded ‘compulsive’ religious fanatic, weak in the rational reasoning portion of your mind(!)

Dictionary
addict
To occupy or involve oneself in something ‘habitually’ or ‘compulsively’(!)

I say: Your religious zealotry increases your blindness, prejudice and intolerance.
You say: “Like most atheists—- you (are)—-closed-minded—-intolerant, dismissive and disdainful—-”

In these blatant assertions about atheists, you demonstrate your bigotry(!)

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By Maani, July 4, 2007 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Harlon:

Like most atheists, you “hear” what you want to hear and then respond.  But you don’t actually “listen.”

You say, “While not every person who drinks is a drunk, every person who has gone past the point of waiting for proof of a god is a religious drunk.”

Are you listening to yourself?  “Proof” of God?  This is exactly where atheists begin at the wrong starting point.  The very definition of “faith” is “the belief in things not seen, the certain of things hoped for.”  Now, by this definition you may certainly consider faith “irrational” from a purely scientific standpoint.  But to seek “proof” (i.e., verifiable scientific evidence) for God is anathema to the very definition of what you are pursuing.  If you would like to change the definition of “faith,” be my guest, and feel free to apply “reason” and science to proving or disproving the existence of God.  But doing so given the accepted definition of “faith” is…irrational and unreasonable.

You add, “You are not a casual consumer of your religion, you are a full on drunk. Therefore, we see you as the weak religious addict that you are.”

Please define how I am “weak” or an “addict.” Apparently, you have chosen to ignore the entire educational and personal history I offered (which was only a beginning, by the way).  This is SOP for atheists, who (in a classic example of “the pot calling the kettle ‘black’”) pick and choose what they wish to address.  There is not a single person in my life - believer or non-believer - who would agree with you as to my being “weak” - in ANY way. Nor do even my most rabidly atheist friends (or family) consider me an “addict” of my faith.  They have their issues (on occasion), and we discuss and debate as…rational people.  But like Jim H, your zealotry increases your blindness, prejudice and intolerance to a point that equals, on “your” side, the zealotry of those on “my” side whom you abhor.

You then say, “You think you are rational, yet you think I am narrow minded for not accepting your belief without proof.”  No, that is NOT what I said, or even implied.  I am not suggesting that you should (much less “must”) accept my belief without proof.  What I implied was that your INTOLERANCE FOR believers - no matter how they were raised, what their upbringing and education, or whatever other facts about them might be true - makes you far more closed-minded and self-limiting than many of those you accuse of same.  This is neither rational nor reasonable.

Finally, you add: “Please feel free to continue suspending logic in your attempts to disparage those who use their reason and logic awaiting proof before following a god.”

Excuse me?  When did I disparage those who use reason and logic - for anything?  I myself use it, no matter what your intolerance might lead you to believe.  And, again, I do not “disparage” you for “awaiting proof before following a god’ (though, as noted, I believe that, given the accepted definition of “faith,” doing so is…irrational, illogical and unreasonable).  I “disparage” you for being intolerant, dismissive and disdainful, and for the blatant hypocrisy of being just as “zealous” and “fundamental” in your own thinking as those you accuse of same.

Peace.

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By Harlon57, July 4, 2007 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Maani, none of what you submit is proof.

While not every person who drinks is a drunk, every person who has gone past the point of waiting for proof of a god is a religious drunk.

You are not a casual consumer of your religion, you are a full on drunk. Therefore, we see you as the weak religious addict that you are.

You think you are rational, yet you think I am narrow minded for not accepting your belief without proof.

Were you actually rational, you would realize that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  A person who is rational does not accept myth just to pretend to be open minded. They wait for proof, of which in your case there is none.  I am open to evidence, not your claims of faith.

The vast majority of children of geniuses have average intellect. Your claims are not only not proof, but from your claims to faith, they become questionable. 

Your claim that people who don’t accept faith are less open minded than someone who believes without proof is evidence that you don’t understand rational thinking, nor reason, and that you are not thinking rationally. That is what religion does to you. You suspend reason yet think your are rational.

Your world-view contains room for belief in something that is myth, unsupported by facts, and requires one to ignore all the inconsistencies in the background material. That may seem open minded to you, but I think it is base credulity.

My lack of acceptance of beliefs unsupported by fact does not mean I am not open minded.  I just see all the inconsistencies for what they are. Man-made myth. I remain open to evidence.

In fact, all evidence points to the fact that all gods are man-made.

You, of course, are allowed to think you are being rational and open minded believing things without proof.  Please feel free to continue suspending logic in your attempts to disparage those who use their reason and logic awaiting proof before following a god.

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By Jim H., July 4, 2007 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 83772  

Maani

You say: “—- there is no contradiction—-Nor is there any verifiable—-scientific evidence—-that contradicts my faith.”

I say: YOU LIE!  These are multiple LIES!  WAKE UP!

I have presented here ‘ABSOLUTE’ “VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE” that contradicts your insane fanatical “faith” in a ‘man-made asserted’ make-believe fairytales “Creator God” that is laughable to anyone with an un-crippled, non-warped mind.

Although you likely were born ‘sane’; at some point approaching “20 years of age” you apparently got caught up in some kind of ‘whirlwind’ (maybe involving sex, or drugs?) and were brainwashed, mesmerized, and indoctrinated into that rotten scheming criminal ‘Ponzi-like’ racketeering infectious plague-like disease called “Godism”, and thereupon ‘lost all your marbles’!
And, now, you are working with all those criminals, helping to enlist innocent children and fools into ‘their’, and ‘your’, criminal enterprise. Where many of them will be raped by their confessors! A horrible felonious crime that you must share the guilt for!

I can only wonder if you realize what you are doing by proselytizing, is totally immoral for all the lies you must tell?
And do you also realize that by destroying the minds of those innocent children you enroll, who are no longer able to distinguish between farce and reality once you brainwash and indoctrinate them; that this is the worst type of criminal child abuse, the loss of their ‘pristine’ rational thinking ability?

You are a disgrace to your intelligent parents, and to humanity!
Like a cocaine addict you are entangled with a den of thieves who have stolen your integrity and ability to resist their hypnotic control over you!

To rid yourself of that “monkey on your back” you will have to suffer a shock to your overgrown EGO, look in the mirror and tell yourself you have been an asinine idiot, and, now must renounce those who conned you into their web of deceit, recover the ‘rational’ sanity your family provided you with, and return to a reality conception of the real world!

Here is “scientific” proof there never was, or is a “Creator God”, nor is there the need for any other type of “God”!

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07
Without something to ‘create! a “so-called “Creator-God”
is an impossible superfluous nonentity!

    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
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
JH 8/29/06

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By Maani, July 3, 2007 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Harlon:

I’m surprised at you: haven’t you ever heard of genetics (it’s a…science)?  Of course intelligence can be, and often is, inherited.  But even setting that aside, the degree to which one is the “product” of one’s upbringing - including intellectual-rational-scientific - is the degree to which one exhibits knowledge, understanding, application and, yes, even wisdom in areas of rational and scientific thought.  So while it is true that one’s parents’ “education, thought process[es] and intellect” are not always “conferred” on offspring, in many cases they are.  Mine is such a case, no matter what your prejudice may lead you to believe. Indeed, my mother would be the first to tell you this - and, no, not just because she is my mother.  (By the way, she is a member of NAS.)

I was a product of the NYC public education system in the 60s/70s.  I was in specialized programs from 3rd grade forward, and an honors student in english, math and science from 5th to 10th grades. I was one of less than 100 out of more than 5,000 students to be accepted to all three specialized high schools for which I took tests or auditioned.  I graduated in the top percentile of my high school graduating class.  I was a straight-A student in my three years in college, including in the sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, geology).  Indeed, one of my professors was Michio Kaku (I hope you know who he is), who gave me an “A” in both of my physics courses with him.  And he does not give “A”‘s lightly.

As for my intellect, let’s just say that I turned down an invitation to join Mensa when I was 17.  And my SAT scores were among the highest in NYC that year.

And although I should not have to provide this sort of “defense” of my “intelligence,” it seems that your limited mind will accept nothing less.

As for religion being a “crutch,” that can certainly be true - and may well BE true for many, maybe even most.  But not for all.  Not everyone who has a martini when they get home at night is an alcoholic, nor is everyone who enjoys a social joint a drug addict.  You may want to rethink your comparisons.

Nor do I “cling” to my faith.  I do not “cling” to it any more than you “cling” to science.  My faith is an integral part of my life, just as science is. Yes, there are occasional conflicts.  But these do not apply where scientific explanations of the material world are broadly accepted as “fact.”  As noted, I believe in the Big Bang, evolution and global warming, and support stem cell research (among many other issues).

Nor do I need to do any “mental gymnastics” to hold these seemingly antithetical positions: there is no contradiction within my faith that would prevent me from holding them.  Nor is there any verifiable, falsifiable, scientific evidence or theory that contradicts my faith.

What I find amusing is that my faith-based worldview has plenty of room for your scientific-rational worldview.  Yet your scientific-rational worldview has ZERO room for mine.

So who is actually more narrow-minded and self-limiting here?

Peace.

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By Harlon57, July 3, 2007 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

Maani, one more thing.

People who abuse alcohol or drugs, usually don’t see them as crutches.

Of course to the rest of us, we can see the alcohol and drugs as the crutches to cope with life that they are.

Just as we see your clinging to religion as the crutch that it is.

It is obvious to those who aren’t afflicted.

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By Harlon57, July 3, 2007 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Maani, you said “I have not rejected 99% of my upbringing in a “rational,” scientific, intellectual, cultural household by two Ph.D.-level parents, including a noted geologist.”

I notice you seem to think that the education of your parents confers something regarding your thought process and intellect.

Your parents education, and their beliefs, are not yours.

Ninety-three percent of the scientists who have been nominated and accepted into the National Academy of Sciences do not believe in a creator god. Does that in any way suggest something to you about your departure from reason as proven by those who are the most highly regarded intellects?

Whatever mental gymnastics you perform to accept reason in part of your life, but to ignore it when it comes to religion, does not speak well to the intellect of which you are so proud.

Of course you don’t consider religion a crutch. That would be admitting to yourself that you knew something was wrong with it.

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By Maani, July 3, 2007 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jim H:

You certainly are an interesting and entertaining fellow.  You make Sam Harris, Chris Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher et al seem positively open-minded - even (God forbid!) agnostic - by comparison.  Still, you are, of course, entitled to your opinions.

You note that I “lived for 20 years without that garbage ‘crutch’? And then went ‘nuts’!”

First, I do not consider it a “crutch,” since, as noted, I have not rejected 99% of my upbringing in a “rational,” scientific, intellectual, cultural household by two Ph.D.-level parents, including a noted geologist.  What you call “crutch,” I call an ADDITION to my knowledge and understanding - NOT a rejection of it.  Nor am I “nuts” by any standard of which I am aware, either psychological/mental, physical or otherwise.

You also ask, “Why do you help all those thieving ‘godism’ rats who rape and rob little kids and fools?”

I do not.  In fact, I am as virulently opposed to such people as you are.  As noted, I reject mainstream, “organized,” hierarchical “religion” - particularly in its most fundamentalist forms, such as the so-called “Christian Right” (which, like the Moral Majority before it, is neither) and others who take Scripture out of context to support hopelessly narrow, unloving, unforgiving, and ultimately un-Christian positions and views.  And I certainly reject - indeed, abhor - ANY use of “faith” or “religion” for the purpose of “raping” or “robbing,” whether kids, fools or adults.

Like many others here, if you could find your way past your OWN “secular fundamentalism” and extremism, and accept that not everyone who is a “believer” is either “nuts” or “in cahoots with” those with whom you have a fully legitimate and well-taken gripe, you may find yourself with more allies than you currently have.

Peace.

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By Jim H., July 3, 2007 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 82794, and 83333

Rt. Rev. Maani, Dr. Div. Evangelical Minister

You say: “  I came to Christianity in my 20s—-I consider my self quite intelligent,—-”(?) “I am an evangelical minister—-”(?) “—-(I) do not reject “reality” (?)

I say: Anyone who, at the “age of 20” is so weak minded as to be hoodwinked into believing in a make-believe fairytale, ‘pig in a poke’, charlatan’s conception, of the “real” world we live in, is a dunce!
And “rejects” reality, in favor of a farce! 
There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing that there never was the minutest reason to believe in a farcical “Creator-God”!

You apparently lived for “20” years without that garbage ‘crutch’? And then went ‘nuts’!

Why do you help all those thieving ‘godism’ rats who rape and rob little kids and fools?

Don’t you realize that helping criminal activity is a crime punishable by imprisonment?

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By Maani, July 2, 2007 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Annie:

One of my mentoring ministers has had a prison ministry (his primary ministry) for over 12 years in some of the roughest prison in Tennessee.  Although he doesn’t work with death row inmates, he does know many.

He tells me that death row may be an aberration re faith-based stats, given what have come to be called “death row conversion.”  He tells me that some of these conversions are real, and some are not.  And sometimes it is easy to tell when they are real, and sometimes it isn’t.  So without in any way negating or belittling your personal experience, my guess is that your singular personal experience may not reflect any greater accuracy than DOJ and other stats - and may in fact be skewed.

According to my mentor, he believes that the DOJ and study stats are probably pretty close to what he has seen.  And keep in mind that he works in a Southern state, where one would almost certainly expect to find a higher percentage of Christians anywhere, including prison.  And yet his experience is that Christians do not represent a remarkably disproportionate percentage of the inmate poulation - certainly not one that would challenge the DOJ and other stats.

Peace.

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Annie Reitano's avatar

By Annie Reitano, July 2, 2007 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

Maani,

Sorry haven’t been on in a while.  But in repsonse to this: “According the DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2003 only 54% of all federal and state prisoners claimed to be “religious,” while only 33% actually practiced their religion.  As well, the most recent serious study done (in 1997) by the Federal Bureau of Prisons showed that 31% were Catholic and 28% were Protestant.  Atheists came in third, at 19%. Muslim were fourth, at 6%.  All others were 1% or less.  So your claim that there “some atheists in prison - but not many” is incorrect.”

Maybe you’re right and maybe not.  I was going by my own personal experience as a missionary.  Prison ministry was my primary work—I worked Death Row. On Death Row you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who DOESN’T believe in a god.  That is personal experience—not stats.

Thanks.

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By Jim H., July 1, 2007 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 82794

Rt. Rev. Maani Dr. Div.

You say: “I am an evangelical minister—-”(?)

So! I was right!  “You are” one of the ilk of that gang of criminals Falwell, Haggard, Pat Robertson, Jerry Brown, James Dobson, the Pope, etc. etc.  who steal money from little kids, and convert them through mesmerizing, branding, indoctrination into automaton shills for spreading your rotten cancer of the mind disease to other little childrens minds so they all become robotic donaters of money to sate your filthy, slimy insatiable greed!

Why else would you lie so much? And keep insisting that FARCE IS FACT?

You certainly KNOW that “God” is a farcical tool of rotten crooks! And that it was originally used to describe every type and sort of evil in mythology, the forerunner of all religions!
And that “there NEVER, was a BEGINNING”, thus no “first cause” “Creator God”!

It might help your weak and distorted conception of the world to dwell on the question that: if there WAS a so called “Creator God”; who, or what, CREATED the “Creator God”,? And, Who, or what, created that which created the one, that created the “Creator God”?  And, ‘IF’ you say that “God” ALWAYS WAS”? Then you are in fact describing the UNIVERSE! That “ALWAYS WAS”! Without the need of any so called “First Cause”!

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07
Without something to ‘create! a “so-called “Creator-God” is an impossibel superfluous nonentity!

Conservation of Mass/Energy “E=mc2”
  1.The Universe contains an infinite amount of matter and energy.
    We cannot create nor can we destroy matter or energy. 
2.Matter can be changed in form, or state.
3. Energy can be changed in form.
4. We change matter to energy and energy to
matter never diminishing the totality. 
  ———————————————————
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
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
JH 8/29/06

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By Jim H., July 1, 2007 at 8:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 82794

Rt. Rev. Maani Dr. Div.

You say: “—-Stalin(‘s)—-(Even though)—-he studied to be a priest—-”(?) and Hitler(‘s) (although he was a “Christian” and, practiced) “Christianity”,(re: ‘their atrocious killings’ were not “religious Crusades”—-(?),”or—-religion-related.”

THIS IS A LIE!

There is no doubt at all that both “Stalin” and “Hitler” were “CHRISTIANS”!

They ‘both’ were branded, indoctrinated, mesmerized and enslaved into subjugating allegiance to the “Christian Religion” and the “Christian” “God”! 

And like all the other ‘automatons’ ‘created’ by this mentally destructive mind cancer, every thought and action thereafter, of these two ‘bovine’ puppets of that ‘ponzi-racketeering criminal scheme developed to enrich a gang of thieves now headquarted in the Vatican; was totally influenced, and governned by their ‘hypnotic’ ‘drug-like compulsion to follow the insane ‘Godism’ religious dictates of their cancer riven minds.

There is no way that you can PROVE ‘they’ were not ‘carrying out’ the dictates of their “CHRISTIAN GOD” ! 

All your LIES are for naught!  Your ravings magnify the conveyed insanity of a ‘Godist’ cancer riven mind!
 
Further your ravings about the relative ‘philosophies of ‘mass murderers is an An insane rationale!

If some group of killers slaughter a great number of people but the number of those slaughtered amount to less than a great number slaughtered by a different group, this in no way whatever, mitigates the severity, or atrociousness of the first!!

And, when pedophiles, pimps, and charlatans give lollipops, and paste jewelry, or provide services to innocents and fools as enticements to lure their acquiescence to perform as automatons and support felonious criminal activities, no intelligent person would ignore, and neglect to notice, the evil those charlatans represent, and shout to the world “they do a great deal of good!

  In nature moles aerate the earth which helps things grow, but, they also eat all the things that are grown!

You say: ” I consider my self quite intelligent,—-”(?) “I am an evangelical minister—-”(?) “—-(I) do not reject “reality” (?)

I say: Anyone who, at the “age of 20” is so weak minded as to be hoodwinked into believing in a make-believe fairytale, ‘pig in a poke’, charlatan’s conception, of the “real” world we live in, is a dunce!
And “rejects” reality, in favor of a farce!  There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing that there never was the minutest reason to believe in a farcical “Creator-God”!

SEE ALSO MY NEXT POST!

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By Jim H., June 30, 2007 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 82794

Rt. Rev. Maani Dr. Div.

You say: “I am an evangelical minister—-”(?)

AHA! I was right! “You are” one of the ilk of that gang of criminals Falwell, Haggard, Pat Robertson, Jerry Brown, James Dobson, the Pope, etc. etc.  who steal money from little kids, and convert them through mesmerizing, branding, indoctrination into automaton shills for spreading your rotten cancer of the mind disease to other little childrens minds so they all become robotic donaters of money to sate your filthy, slimy insatiable greed!

Why else would you lie so much? And keep insisting that FARCE IS FACT?

You certainly KNOW that “God” is a farcical tool of rotten crooks! And that it was originally used to describe every type and sort of evil in mythology, the forerunner of all religions!
And that “there NEVER, was a BEGINNING”, thus no “first cause” “Creator God”!

It might help your weak and distorted conception of the world to dwell on the question that: if there WAS a so called “Creator God”; who, or what, CREATED the “Creator God”,? And, Who, or what, created that which created the one, that created the “Creator God”?  And, ‘IF’ you say that “God” ALWAYS WAS”? Then you are in fact describing the UNIVERSE! That “ALWAYS WAS”! Without the need of any so called “First Cause”!

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07
Without something to ‘create! a “so-called “Creator-God” is an impossibel superfluous nonentity!

Conservation of Mass/Energy “E=mc2”
  1.The Universe contains an infinite amount of matter and energy.
    We cannot create nor can we destroy matter or energy. 
2.Matter can be changed in form, or state.
3. Energy can be changed in form.
4. We change matter to energy and energy to
matter never diminishing the totality. 
  ———————————————————
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
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
JH 8/29/06

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By Jim H., June 30, 2007 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 82794

Rt. Rev. Maani Dr. Div.

You say: “—-Stalin and Hitler were not “religious crusades,” or even religion-related.” (Even though) “—-he studied to be a priest—-”(?)

THIS IS A LIE!

There is no doubt at all that both “Stalin” and “Hitler” were “CHRISTIANS”!

They ‘both’ were branded, indoctrinated, mesmerized and enslaved into subjugating allegiance to the “Christian Religion” and the “Christian” “God”! 

And like all the other ‘automatons’ ‘created’ by that mentally destructive mind cancer, every thought and action thereafter, of these two ‘bovine’ puppets of that ‘ponzi-racketeering criminal scheme developed to enrich a gang of thieves now headquarted in the Vatican; was totally influenced, and governned by their ‘hypnotic’ ‘drug-like compulsion to follow the insane ‘Godism’ religious dictates of their cancer riven minds.

There is no way that you can PROVE ‘they’ were not ‘carrying out’ the dictates of their “CHRISTIAN GOD” ! 

All your LIES are for naught!  Your ravings magnify the conveyed insanity of a ‘Godist’ cancer riven mind!
 
Further your ravings about the relative ‘philosophies of ‘mass murderers is an An insane rationale!

If some group of killers slaughter a great number of people but the number of those slaughtered amount to less than a great number slaughtered by a different group, this in no way whatever, mitigates the severity, or atrociousness of the first!!

And, when pedophiles, pimps, and charlatans give lollipops, and paste jewelry, or provide services to innocents and fools as enticements to lure their acquiescence to perform as automatons and support felonious criminal activities, no intelligent person would ignore, and neglect to notice, the evil those charlatans represent, and shout to the world “they do a great deal of good!

  In nature moles aerate the earth which helps things grow, but, they also eat all the things that are grown!

You say: ” I consider my self quite intelligent,—-”(?) “I am an evangelical minister—-”(?) “—-(I) do not reject “reality” (?)

I say: Anyone who, at the “age of 20” is so weak minded as to be hoodwinked into believing in a make-believe fairytale, ‘pig in a poke’ charlatan’s conception of the “real” world we live in, is a dunce! And, “rejects” reality, in favor of a farce!  There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing that there never was the minutest reason to believe in a farcical “Creator-God”!    (SEE MY NEXT POST!

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By Maani, June 30, 2007 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Harlon:

With all due respect, either you missed the point of my comment or you are being deliberately obtuse.

My point was that the murders undertaken by Stalin and Hitler were not “religious crusades,” or even religion-related.  Stalin did not murder some 75,000,000 countrymen because he studied to be a priest, or out of some “religious” notion.  He murdered them for numerous reasons, but HIS “faith” (which was nil) was not one of them.

Similarly, Hitler did not murder 6,000,000 Jews (plus 2,000,000 Christians, plus 3,000,000 others, including gays, blacks, the elderly, the handicapped, etc.) even out of some “pagan” belief he may have had, much less his oft-stated - but totally phony - Christianity.  His goal was a “master race” of Aryans.  As I have explained ad nauseam, Aryan is a bloodline, NOT a faith or religion.  In this regard, Hitler was an equal opportunity murderer - as noted, some 2,000,000 Christians were also murdered because they would not “fall in line” with National Socialism.  And although he “used” the mantle of Christianity to stir up hatred for the Jews, those 2,000,000 Christians would have been joined by millions more once the Jews were annihilated.

Thus, I reiterate that, historically, more people have been killed by atheists (or, at least, non-religious leaders) than by religious people.  And this is particularly true in the last 100-200 years, when people like Stalin, Mao, Hitler et al were ascendant while “religious wars” and such were on the wane.

True, the flames have been fanned again by Islamic fundamentalism, and thus killings in the name of “religion” have increased.  But this still does not change either history or statistics.

Finally, re your comment that “Most intelligent people have grown beyond the need to hide from reality in religion,” this type of denigration is uncalled for.  I consider my self quite intelligent, thank you, and do not feel that I am “hiding” from anything, much less reality.  I am an evangelical minister who was raised in an atheist household by a father who taught university-level statistics and a mother with a Ph.D. in geology who also taught at university level.  I came to Christianity in my 20s, and have never rejected my “rationalist” upbringing: I remain a believer in evolution (though with “first cause,” as Darwin did), pro-choice (though anti-abortion), fully supportive of gay rights and stem cell research, against the teaching of creationism in school, and vehemently anti-war.

And while it is arguably true that the majority of mainstream, organized, hierarchical religion follows their faith “blindly” (i.e., ignoring science, etc.), there are millions of people like me who do not reject “reality” (or science) simply because we maintain our faith.

Try to stop generalizing, and lumping every single Christian into a big box labelled “Bible-thumping, anti-science, homophobic, anti-Darwin creationist ignoramus.”  You only show your OWN intolerance, ignorance and lack of humility by doing so.

Peace.

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By Harlon57, June 30, 2007 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Maani, the quotes were in response to your allusions about Darwin and Newton.

Stalin trained as a Jesuit to become a priest. As dictator, he certainly took advantage of a population of simple, religious peasants. Made so much easier by the fact that they were used to being followers of the church.
Whether or not you like to admit it, Hitler was raised a catholic, and had strange religious beliefs as an adult.
Dictators take advantage of simple minded people who are used to following the dictates of their religion. Faith without reason makes it so easy to take advantage of them.

I would agree that bad people do bad things in the name of religion and non-religion.

We are always going to have some bad people, but we don’t always have to have religion as an excuse to do bad things.

Like someone said; bad people do bad things, but for good people to do bad things requires religion.

We don’t need it. Most intelligent people have grown beyond the need to hide from reality in religion.

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By Jim H., June 30, 2007 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 82554, 82563, 82573, 82577, 82579
All by   Harlon57

Hello Harlon;
Thank you very much for your efforts presenting this so very important message to us here in this venue.

Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we could emblazon it across the sky several times a year for all humanity to see?

If all these variants of the same theme are not presently collected in one “Book”, could ‘you’ possibly do us that great honor?

Although I do not have the usual ‘accoutrements’ for doing so, I am struggling to put on paper (hoping to publish) my personal evaluation of the horrors of religion!

Ciao, Jim

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By Maani, June 29, 2007 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Harlon:

Quotes are cheap and easy to come by.  I could easily post quotes by emiment people (including scientists such as Darwin, Einstein, Gould et al) that would “counter” your quotes in various ways.  However, the “quote” game gets old quickly.

I have yet to get a reasoned response to something I posted ages ago.  But then, for all the “reason” and “rationality” the atheists here profess to believe in, they simply ignore anything they cannot refute, rather than showing even the slightest humility and accepting that they just might be wrong about something.

I noted that the most liberal estimate of those killed in all the Crusades, religious wars, inquisitions, witch burnings and other religion-related incidents IN THE WHOLE OF HISTORY is 50-75 million.  Yet between them, Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot - atheists all (despite Stalin’s nominal support of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Hitler’s phonily-claimed Christianity) - murdered between 100-150 million people IN JUST 60 YEARS.

This single fact speaks louder than all the volumes of quotes, claims, and anti-faith rhetoric on this thread.

However, I also noted that, while there is no question that “religion” - and specifically Christianity - has caused great suffering in the past, this has not been true for decades, if not centuries.  For example, I noted that every major social movement of the last 100- 150 years - abolition, child labor, suffrage, civil rights, etc. - was either founded or led by Christians: Southern and Northern Protestants (particularly Lutherans and Quakers/Mennonites) founded the “underground railroad,” Protestants and Baptists led the child labor reform movement, Northeastern Protestant women led the suffrage movement, and Southern Baptists (among others) led the civil rights movement.  As well, Christian relief organizations, such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army, have provided more disaster relief to more people - without regard for gender, race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, etc. - for longer than any secular organization ever created (though Doctors Without Borders certainly deserves mention).  In addition, Christians are responsible for the creation of more orphanages, hospitals, schools, universities, community centers, etc. than even the U.S. government, much less any secular group.

So to simply dismiss Christianity as some “cancer” that must be excised from the world flies in the face of logic, common sense - and history: more people were murdered by atheists than by religious fanatics; more social movements were the result of Christian “morality”; and more people have been helped by Christians than by secular groups.

Prove me wrong.

Peace.

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By Harlon57, June 29, 2007 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

Last, but not least;

“Once every people in the world believed that trees were divine, and could take a human or grotesque shape and dance among the shadows; and that deer, and ravens and foxes, and wolves and bears, and clouds and pools, almost all things under the sun and moon, and the sun and moon, were not less divine and changeable. They saw in the rainbow the still-bent bow of a god thrown down in his negligence; they heard in the thunder the sound of his beaten water jar, or the tumult of his chariot wheels; and when a sudden flight of wild ducks, or of crows, passed over their heads, they thought they were gazing at the dead hastening to their rest….” - William Butler Yeats

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By Harlon57, June 29, 2007 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

“The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning.” - Voltaire

“Science, testing absolutely all thoughts, all works, has already burst well upon the world—a sun, mounting, most illuminating, most glorious, surely never again to set. But against it, deeply entrench’d, holding possession, yet remains (not only through the churches and schools, but by imaginative literature, and unregenerate poetry) the fossil theology of the mythic-materialistic, superstitious, untaught and credulous fable-loving, primitive ages of humanity.” - Walt Whitman

“I think I could turn and live with animals
They are so placid and self-contain’d ...
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God.”
  —Walt Whitman, from Ira D Cardiff, What Great Men Think of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

“The nineteenth century is a turning point in history, simply on account of the work of two men, Darwin and Renan, the one the critic of the Book of Nature, the other the critic of the books of God. Not to recognize this is to miss the meaning of one of the most important eras in the progress of the world.” - Oscar Wilde

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By Harlon57, June 29, 2007 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

“A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature, and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined…. Nothing is esteemed a miracle, if it ever happens in the common course of nature…. There must, therefore, be an uniform experience against every miraculous event, otherwise the event would not merit that appellation. And as an uniform experience amounts to a proof, there is here a direct and full proof, from the nature of the fact, against the existence of any miracle.” - David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

“He who has made great moral progress ceases to pray.” - Immanuel Kant

“The nature of the universe has by no means been made through divine power, seeing how great are the faults that mar it.” - Lucretius

“We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.” - H L Mencken, 

“No man who ever lived knows any more about the hereafter ... than you and I; and all religion ... is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry.” - Edgar Allan Poe

“So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence; and in this respect ministers of religion follow gospel authority more closely than in some others.” - Bertrand Russell

“If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature is made for their destruction.” - Percy Bysshe Shelley

“The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing one young soul with the superstitions of the Christian religion.” - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“He killed all those people—every male.
    They had offended the Deity in some way. We know what the offense was, without looking; that is to say, we know it was a trifle; some small thing that no one but a god would attach any importance to. It is more than likely that a Midianite had been duplicating the conduct of one Onan, who was commanded to “go into his brother’s wife”—which he did; but instead of finishing, “he spilled it on the ground.” The Lord slew Onan for that, for the lord could never abide indelicacy….
    Some Midianite must have repeated Onan’s act, and brought that dire disaster upon his nation. If that was not the indelicacy that outraged the feelings of the Deity, then I know what it was: some Midianite had been pissing against the wall. I am sure of it, for that was an impropriety which the Source of all Etiquette never could stand. A person could piss against a tree, he could piss on his mother, he could piss on his own breeches, and get off, but he must not piss against the wall—that would be going quite too far. The origin of the divine prejudice against this humble crime is not stated; but we know that the prejudice was very strong—so strong that nothing but a wholesale massacre of the people inhabiting the region where the wall was defiled could satisfy the Deity.” - Mark Twain

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By Harlon57, June 29, 2007 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

“He is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong” -Thomas Jefferson

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”  -Douglas Adams

“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.  The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality” -George Bernard Shaw

“What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient allies.” -James Madison

“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.” -John Adams (2nd U.S. President)

“What gods are there, what gods have there ever been, that were not from man’s imagination?” -Joseph Campbell

“I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations.”
—Charles Darwin

“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.”
—Benjamin Franklin, the incompatibility of faith and reason, Poor Richard’s Almanac (1758)

“The most henious and the must cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.”
—Mohandas K Gandhi, Young India, July 7, 1950

“You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion…. Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.”
—Aldous Huxley,

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By Harlon57, June 29, 2007 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

Maani, I only quoted you because I wanted to be clear which post I was responding to. My points about Darwin and Newton stand.  We have millions of pieces of evidence proving evolution. We have learned volumes since their deaths.

“In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in a pitch-black night a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see.

When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind old men as guides”

—Heinrich Heine, Gedanken und Einfalle

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By Maani, June 29, 2007 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Annie:

What kind of tripe are you selling?  You are usually far more careful about your statements.

Re the prison population of the U.S., there are actually no completely accurate statistics re religion.  However, what statistics there ARE belie your claim.

According the DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2003 only 54% of all federal and state prisoners claimed to be “religious,” while only 33% actually practiced their religion.  As well, the most recent serious study done (in 1997) by the Federal Bureau of Prisons showed that 31% were Catholic and 28% were Protestant.  Atheists came in third, at 19%. Muslim were fourth, at 6%.  All others were 1% or less.  So your claim that there “some atheists in prison - but not many” is incorrect.

As well, I think even the most rabid atheists here would agree that simply because someone “self-proclaims” as Christian (or even “religious”) does not make them one.  Given this, the percentage of prisoners who are truly “Christian” decreases even further.

Re the 2000 election, voting statistics show that 56% of Protestants voted for Bush, while 42% voted for Gore.  However, more Catholics voted for Gore (50%) than Bush (47%).  As well, Jews voted heavily for Gore (79%) versus Bush (19%).  “Secular” voters were for Gore (61%) over Bush (30).  In 2004, the number were: Protestant (59% Bush, 40% Kerry), Catholic (52% Bush, 47% Kerry), Jews (25% Bush, 74% Kerry) and Secular (31% Bush, 67% Kerry).

Setting aside the fact that these numbers do not show a significant enough difference to make a solid claim that “faithies” put Bush in the White House, we all know that Gore won the popular vote in 2000 by over 500,000 votes - DESPITE the religious vote. Thus, it was not the “faithies” who put Bush in office, but the Supreme Court, who “coronated” him re the Florida debacle, despite the clear popular will.  In 2004, it was, again, not so much the “faithies” who put Bush in office as the election chicanery and skullduggery in Florida, Ohio and elsewhere.

Finally, it might interest you to know that every poll done shows that the so-called “Religious Right” represents less than 35% of all religious voters - including evangelicals.  It only SEEMS like they have greater power because they are able to monopolize the media (public eye) re religious/moral issues.

Peace.

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By Annie Reitano, June 29, 2007 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

#82353 by Jim H. on 6/29 at 8:00 am
(Unregistered commenter)

Jim, we’re going to have to agree to disagree.  There are many people who once had faith in the religions of their parents and piers, etc. who began to see the truth behind the lies.  “Losing Faith in Faith” by Dan Barker might be an interesting book for you as well as “Infidel” By an ex-muslim woman whose name eludes me right now and writings by Father Jean Meslier.  All of the writers were once extremely devout (as was I) and now they are atheists.  You underestimate the intelligence of people who earnestly seek the truth through reality instead of unholy books that are destroying us daily.


“I say again: It is ‘virtually’ impossible to ‘reason’ with il-“logic”-al religious nuts, who ‘dispute’ “Science”! and it can be very dangerous, ‘they’ killed Madalyn Murray O’Hair.”

That statement is incorrect.  Madaleine Murray O’Hair was murdered and chopped to pieces by one of her own agents—for money.  He knew her book and thought he could get away with stealing from her.  Google for more information on this.  I’d send a link but I am at work and lack the time.  smile

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By Jim H., June 29, 2007 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE:82341

Annie Reitano

You say:”—-show evidence(?) then let it be with wisdom, reason and logic.”(?)

I say: that is good advice for all those insane religious fanatical bigots who promote fantasy as truth, with atrocious lies that there is- NO “EVIDENCE” FOR!

I say: Have you ever tried “reason”-ing with ‘screwball’ religious fanatical ‘godist’ nuts?

I say: “evidence”? What evidence? Evidence of What? You have it backwards! It is not the duty, incumbent upon, nor an onus of others to disprove ridiculous absurd lies!  Or, to come up with “evidence” to debunk their atrocious illogical and insane assertions! 

It is the responsibility of anyone who postulates a premise, to support it with comprehendable “EVIDENCE”, or suffer the nomenclature of “lying, asinine imbercile”, or “devious criminal scam artist”! 

You say: “—- using words of logic and evidence from Science and the “Bad Books” can open the eyes—-”(?) 

I say again: It is ‘virtually’ impossible to ‘reason’ with il-“logic”-al religious nuts, who ‘dispute’ “Science”! and it can be very dangerous, ‘they’ killed Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

You say: “—-“Bad Books” can open—-eyes—-”(?)

I say: This is another absurdity in your thinking!  ‘Those’ stinking, slimy, filthy, pornographic, ‘killers
manual’ “Books”, are the tools of ‘those’ rotten crooks who promote that criminal enterprize religion, and their existance should never, ever again, be acknowledged!

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By Annie Reitano, June 29, 2007 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

#82285 by Jim H. on 6/28 at 9:52 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

Ok, Jim and I see your points but you can’t show evidence on a site like this while using ad hominem attacks and “shouting type” script…i.e. all caps.

If you want to show evidence then let it be with wisdom, reason and logic.  Faithies are very into their god and are brainwashed—that’s very true.  But I was once a faith head as were many, so I can tell you that using words of logic and evidence from Science and the “Bad Books” can open the eyes of the otherwise blinded.  It’s not their fault entirely.  They were born atheists just as you and I were.  It’s a matter of geography as to what god you are going to claim.  (as well as who your parents are, etc).

As far as GWB, yes, he lost the popular vote but it was faithies that placed him into office the first time and again the second time.  Google (if you haven’t already) what the stats are on electing an atheist for president.  The majority of the people said that they would first have a gay president then an atheist president.  And we all know how much they hate gay people. We are the pariah.  But if we can show the world enmasse, the stupidity of religions and gods, then we have a start.  As it is, there are no tax paid churches for the atheist, so we have organizations which are paid for by ourselves.  It’s the best we can do for today.  But my advice to you would still be to flip both sides of the coin before you respond hatefully to someone.  Afterall, isn’t it the faithheads position that we’re an immoral, hateful lot since we are “godless?”.  It is! And yet prisons are full of Muslims, Christians and otherwise religious persons.  Not many Jews—none-the-less, they tend to have better upbringings than these “converts”.  There are some atheists in prison—but not many.

Just something to think about.

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By Jim H., June 28, 2007 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 81794

Rev Sister Annie Reitano, Dr. Div.

You say: “—-91 percent of the people in th USA, believe in god.

I say: More than 91% of people in the USA are virtual robotic mentally deficient imberciles! Most of whom when much too young to understand, question or complain; were forcefully brainwashed, mesmerized, and indoctrinated into that infectious plaguelike discease ‘Godism’ by parents or others who had suffered the very same experience when they were in their formative years also unable to understand, question, or complain,
and this system of early hypnotic indoctrination, or acquiescence is traceable back through several generations to a time when non-believers, “heretics”, and atheists were “BURNED AT THE STAKE”, “STONED TO DEATH”, OR “PILLORIED” AND “TORTURED TO DEATH” by the orders of the written words of that pornographic manual for slaughter the “Bible” which your “91%” (imberciles) call their “HOLY’ BOOK!

You say: “I think it’s incumbent upon us to show ‘them’ evidence of their foolishness—-”

I say: I have displayed the “evidence” in my Posts! for all to see! Who want to!

But it is impossible to teach the truth to those who are not permitted by their ‘Godism’ to even THINK there is no “God”! It’s a “mortal sin” which may cause their death!

I say: If Idiots, even “91% of the population” want to believe in make-believe fairy tales, or about something that has never, never been proven to be true, they are hopeless idiots, and there may be no hope at all so long as ‘the powers that be’ benefit from their automaton-like responses; and fail to acknowledge that Religion is nothing but a ponzi-like racketeering criminal enterprize that thrives on the naivete of children, and fools, with the aim and intention of eventually dominating the entire World!

And, GWB, that sadistic military deserter, Muslim, lost the 2000 Election, but was ‘illegally’ ‘installed’ in the white House by a ‘rubber stamp, bought and paid for US Supreme Court after John Roberts with Jeb Bush’s help interrupted the vote counting in Dade County, Florida!  The count when continued afterwards shows that Al Gore won the 2000 Presidential Election!  Also, their were so many discrepencies in the 2004, Presidential Elelction that very likely with Voting Machine fixing and other crooked means, ‘that’ Election also was the result of cheating, and not “THE PEOPLES CHOICE”!  So you are in error about that idiot being elected by “60% of the idiots you refer to!

You say: It DOES make sense to provide evidence through science.(?)

You say: “I think it’s incumbent upon us to show ‘them’ evidence of their foolishness—-”

I say: Intelligent people know there is no necessity to dis-PROVE the UN-PROVEN!  Nor is it possible.

I say: I am doing my part, and, if you would read, or have someone read to you, my prior Post, you would discover that I have “provide"d (all the) evidence an INTELLIGENT person needs to rid themselves of “Blind Faith” in a “Creator God”!

Have you tried recently to “prove” that “Elmer Fudd” a “talking pig”, never existed, or “talked”? And do you say about ‘this’:  “Science must have something equal or more verifiable to explain why we disbelieve in the existance of: “Elmer Fudd” a “talking pig”?

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07
Without something to ‘create! a “so-called “Creator-God”
is an impossibel superfluous nonentity!

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
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
JH 8/29/06

Sensible people, even if everyone else does, do not buy a “Pig-in-apoke”. Or, donate money to buy food for Mickey Mouse!

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By Annie Reitano, June 27, 2007 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

ag·nos·tic     /ægˈnɒstɪk/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ag-nos-tik] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. 
2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study. 
–adjective 3. of or pertaining to agnostics or agnosticism. 
4. asserting the uncertainty of all claims to knowledge. 


————————————————————————————————————————

[Origin: < Gk ágnōst(os), var. of ágnōtos not known, incapable of being known (a- a-6 + gnōtós known, adj. deriv. from base of gignskein to know) + -ic, after gnostic; said to have been coined by T.H. Huxley in 1869]


So, Maani, you can see that by definition, Darwin did not believe whether the existence of a god was discernable.  To say that he believed in “god” is not the truth.

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By Annie Reitano, June 27, 2007 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Maani,

Since you’re a Darwin fan, or seem to be, here’s a link that may enlighten you. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V81-4KST3CG-1&_user=10&_coverDate=09/30/2006&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=7bdb790f3c01e72a03ba1862acea7098

This is “Darwin, In His Own Words”  He explains his belief in God until the age of 40 and explains how he started doubting and was most comfortable with the description, “agnostic”. 

Here’s another perhaps “less objective” site, but it still quotes him. http://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml9725.htm

And another more objective: http://www.starcourse.org/jcp/galileo.html

A quote from this piece: “Charles Darwin’s own loss of the Christian belief he had held as a young man is thought to have been at least as much influenced by the harrowing death of his daughter Annie at the age of ten, as by his scientific discoveries.  In assessing Darwin’s later cautious utterances on religion one must remember his sensitive wish not to offend his wife Emma, who was a person of religious faith, but he never became an out-and-out atheist.  Even Huxley did not go so far as explicit atheism, coining the word ‘agnostic’ to describe those who, like himself, felt the question of God’s existence to be beyond settlement. “

All I need do is search the net to read about Darwin. There’s a wealth of knowledge right here at my fingertips.  I don’t need to be a Darwinian scholar to see that even the objectionable viewpoint is that he was agnostic as that was his own self-described mindset.

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By Annie Reitano, June 27, 2007 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

#81617 by Jim H. on 6/26 at 6:42 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

WHO? DO YOU “HAVE TO GIVE EVIDENCE-(TO) FOR WHY- (YOU) DISBELIEVE?

CAN’T YOU READ YOUR OWN WORDS?  If there’s: “not—-evidence (of)—-“god” exists”. 

What more do you need to “disbelieve”?

Do you ask “science” for more “evidence” that “Santa Claus” does not exist? 

“Blind faith” IS ‘NO’ “evidence at all! for anything, except the insanity of the “blind faith”-ful!”

Well, 91 percent of the people in th USA, believe in god.  60 some percent of these people place someone like GWB in power.  In other words, they’re ruling your world.  I think it’s incumbent upon us to show them evidence of their foolishness so that we can acclompish more than just “praying for God to make it all better for his favourite country”.  Afghanistan believe their god is coming with the 12th Imam and that they’re his favourite as well.

It DOES make sense to provide evidence through science.  Yet, isn’t that your position as well?  Or do you think we should just sit back and be apathetic to the religious freaks who are wreaking havoc on our world?  What do you say, genius?  Should we just sit back and QUIT?

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By Jim H., June 26, 2007 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
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81388

Rev. Sister, Annie Reitano, D.Div.

You say: “The religious have blind faith.(?)  That is not sufficient evidence to suggest “god” exists.”(?) 

Then, you say: “Science must—- explain why ‘we’ disbelieve(?) in a creator(?) god.(?)  ABSURD!

Then you say:”—-we have to give evidence for why we disbelieve.”(?) WHAT?    ARE YOU NUTS?

WHO? DO YOU “HAVE TO GIVE EVIDENCE-(TO) FOR WHY- (YOU) DISBELIEVE?

CAN’T YOU READ YOUR OWN WORDS?  If there’s: “not—-evidence (of)—-“god” exists”.               

What more do you need to “disbelieve”?

Do you ask “science” for more “evidence” that “Santa Claus” does not exist? 

“Blind faith” IS ‘NO’ “evidence at all! for anything, except the insanity of the “blind faith”-ful!

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By Jim H., June 26, 2007 at 8:55 am Link to this comment
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Re: 81388  

Rt. Rev. Sister: Annie Reitano, D. Min. 

Thanks for reading, and critiqueing my intentionally efficacious words.

And, of course, it is no surprise ‘you’ don’t understand them.

You say:“I have no idea what you just posted—-?

You say: “—- we have to give evidence for why we disbelieve.(?)

AND ‘you’ say: “Science must have something equal or more verifiable to explain why we disbelieve in a creator or god.” (?)

YOU ARE TOTALLY OUT OF YOUR MIND!

If ‘you’ or any other imbercile do not know “why” or “need” an explanation “why”, you do not (or should not) believe a totally absurd lie, your minds are too far gone, to hope ‘any’ “explanation ” could help you.

Because your “creator god” rates for belief with all other make-believe, fairytale characters; do you also say that: “Science must have something equal or more verifiable to explain why we disbelieve in “Mickey Mouse” and all other comic book characters?

You lie when you say ” “I” am an athist”.(?)

Athists do not “buy a pig-in-a-poke”!  Or, donate money to buy food for Elmer Fudd!

Athists do not ‘equate’ farce with “science” or truth.

Atheists do not ask “why we (should) disbelieve—-”. (?) Atheists ask “why” ‘should’ ‘‘we’ ‘believe’!

Atheists don’t ask “Science” to tell them “Santa Claus” never existed either.

You say ” I feel very strongly that there is no god—but I cannot prove that(?)—-.  But neither can YOU prove to ME that “god” does not exist”.

I say: Intelligent people know there is no necessity to dis-PROVE the UN-PROVEN!  Nor is it possible.

Have you tried recently to “prove” that “Elmer Fudd” a “talking pig”, never existed, or “talked”? And do you say about ‘this’:  “Science must have something equal or more verifiable to explain why we disbelieve in the existance of: “Elmer Fudd” a “talking pig”?

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07
Without something to ‘create! a “so-called “Creator-God”
is an impossibel superfluous nonentity!

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
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
JH 8/29/06

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By Maani, June 26, 2007 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
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Annie:

You cite only a single source.  Yet that source does not address Darwin’s decade as an active deacon of his local church before his death.

How much have you actually read both OF Darwin and ABOUT Darwin?  My guess is, little.  At the risk of sounding un-humble, when you have read as much as I have re Darwin, you can feel free to cite single sources to support your positions.

Indeed, you failed completely to address Darwin’s own comment about his work and his conclusion, in which he sounds suspiciously like an advocate of “intelligent design” (as that phrase is defined NOT by those attempting to bring creationism into the schools, but by those - including many highly respected scientists in evolutionary-related fields - who believe that there are holes in evolutionary theory large enough to drive a truck through).  As noted, Darwin never rescinded that conclusion, not even in later books, nor during the remainder of his life.  And he could easily have done so.  Indeed, quite the reverse may be true: some biographies (though admittedly not all) note that, in his last few years, Darwin began to question some of his scientific conclusions.

I have to wonder how many people here have actually read Origin and truly know what it says.  And I’m not talking about having read it ten, twenty, thirty years ago in high school or college, and HOPING that one’s memory is correct about what it says.  I’m talking about having read it recently, and having it fresh in one’s mind.  Because it is clear to me that many people here do not have a clue as to what it actually says.

As I have noted, Darwin did NOT set out to disprove the existence of God.  He set out to prove that each species was not “specially created,” but was the product of random mutation and natural selection.  Origin does go a long way to proving this, and later evidence does continue to support and buttress it. But there are still troubling holes in the theory. In this regard, to suggest that we should not even QUESTION Darwin, much less actively seek out other explanations and evidence (yes, scientific evidence) to “fill the holes,” is anathema to the “scientific method” that many of your so tenaciously cling to.

It matters not whether Darwin was a Christian.  He believed in God, and believed that God created “life” and the “laws” that govern the universe.  To suggest otherwise is historical revisionism and a denial of Darwin’s own life and words.

Peace.

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By Annie Reitano, June 26, 2007 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

“Annie:

Actually, you are not correct….” 

Hello Maani,

Keep reading.  smile  “CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN BORN 12 FEBRUARY 1809. DIED 19 APRIL 1882”. Although an agnostic, Darwin was greatly respected by his contemporaries and the Bishop of Carlisle, Harvey Goodwin, in a memorial sermon preached in the Abbey on the Sunday following the funeral, said “I think that the interment of the remains of Mr Darwin in Westminster Abbey is in accordance with the judgment of the wisest of his countrymen…

http://www.westminster-abbey.org/library/burial/darwin.htm

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By Annie Reitano, June 25, 2007 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

#81344 by Jim H> on 6/25 at 6:32 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Father Jim,

I have no idea what you just posted as it was incoherent.  But try and comprehend this, even though I am acutely aware that you are out of your mind and most probably a schizophrenic or manic depressive.  It’s either one of those, which are excusable, or you are willfully stupid, which is not excusable.

I am an atheist.  I feel very strongly that there is no god—but I cannot prove that to you.  But neither can YOU prove to ME that “god” does not exist. All your childish scribbling on the keyboard with BIG WORDS and many exclamation points!!!, and ad hominem attacks, doesn’t make anything happen and doesn’t further your cause for disproving the existence of said entity.  So, having explained yourself to you; we have to give evidence for why we disbelieve.  The religious have blind faith.  That is not sufficient evidence to suggest “god” exists.  Science must have something equal or more verifiable to explain why we disbelieve in a creator or god.  Therefore, the two are held to the same standard for measurement.  To wit!  Evidence.  With Science in the lead, of course as religion has nothing but old books of hearsay written by desert dwellers from years ago, and re-translated and added onto by the RCC.

Read it twice for I feel sure that you will need to do so.

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By Maani, June 25, 2007 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment
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Harlon:

You misread.  The statement was Darwin’s, not mine.  It is included in his own work, as part of the summary.

Annie:

Actually, you are not correct.  Although Darwin had his “moments of doubt in faith,” he never renounced his Christianity, and in fact became a deacon of his local church (a Christian church) and was buried in Westminster Abbey.  Nor did he renounce or rescind the comment he made in “Origin” which I have posted here.

Peace.

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By Jim H>, June 25, 2007 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE:81208

Rev. Sister Annie Reitano;

You say: “—-  God and the Universe must be held to the the same standard of measurement.” (?)

I say; Only the cancer ridden, ‘warped mind’ of an asinine religious fanatical imbercile, could ever ‘imagine’ a sentence like ‘that’ would make any sense at all, even to some ‘Godists’ who are not as far gone, mind-cancer-wise, as ‘you’!                           

You say: “—-standard of mesurement?    What STANDARD of measurement?

Are you implying that “STANDARD” OIL not only controls the UNIVERSE, but, also “The Vatican” and all the temples where those poor robotic imberciles who have been brainwashed, mesmerized and enslaved into being ‘shills’ and cohorts of those criminal charlatans who use that tool and symbol of enslavement, and criminal insanity: “GOD”?

I say: Because ‘your’ “God” is of the same make-believe, fairytale farcical comic book catagory characters as “Elmer Fudd”, “Mickey, and Minnie Mouse” “Donald Duck” “The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe”, ” Little Orphan Annie, “Santa Clause”, “The Tooth Fairy, and “Humpty Dumpty”; SURELY? YOU JOKE (Ha! Ha!) ?when you suggest ‘lumping’ ‘that’ make-believe fairytale character with the (‘not’ make-believe or fairytale) ‘Real World’ UNIVERSE, we all are a ‘REAL-LY’ LIVING part of?

And, I say: you can have Reverend Harlon! He’s nuts too!

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By Annie Reitano, June 25, 2007 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

#81215 by Maani on 6/25 at 10:53 am
(Unregistered commenter)

Hello Maani,

Darwin started out as a believer just as Newton was.  But as he got further into scientific studies, he became increasingly aware that there was more “out there” than just blind faith.  Christian apologists always have the same argument that he was a Christian.  In truth, he died an agnostic.

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By Annie Reitano, June 25, 2007 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

“As for Newton, he was both scientist and devout believer.  Indeed, for all the athiests who use him as an example, please see the following:”

No need for me right now.  I have just been reading about Newton over the last week.  He was not a devout Christian as you understand it.  In fact, he fully believed in a creator god—but that was the foundation of his day. He dealt with what he had at the time.  But being intelligent and curious, he practiced alchemy and didn’t believe in demons or diabolical beings at all.  He most definitely did NOT believe in a trinity but praised on “Creator God”.  Because of his very unorthodox teachings, he was ex-communicated from the only Christian Church in his day—-the RCC who called him a heretic and ousted him because of his practices.

To sum up: Newton practiced his own religion.  But even if he were a trinitarian monk, that still wouldn’t have made him right regarding any gods.  He was a scientist and brilliant physicist.  That doesn’t mean he was good at everything or was a scholar in the field of religion.  Obviously, the contrary is true.

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By Harlon57, June 25, 2007 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

Maani said “Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created”

The most eminent scientists with the most up to date understanding of science belong to the National Academy of Sciences and they disagree with Maani’s view.

Same for Britain’s Royal Society.

Newton is not regarded as an eminent evolutionary biologist.

Much has been learned since Darwin’s contribution in the 1800’s.

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By Harlon57, June 25, 2007 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Hello Annie,

Well put, and thank you.

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By Maani, June 25, 2007 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
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Glenn:

Fabulous post!  Perfectly put.  Amen!

All:

Here is an interesting assessment of evolution: “Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created.  To my mind, it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed upon matter by the Creator that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes…There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms, or into one…”

The writer is suggesting that a “Creator” (God) “originally breathed” life into “a few forms, or into one,” and set the “laws of matter” (including evolution) in motion.  This is the essence of “intelligent design.”

Who made the above statement?  Darwin, in the Recapitulation and summary of The Origin of Species.

As for Newton, he was both scientist and devout believer.  Indeed, for all the athiests who use him as an example, please see the following:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/06/18/newton.papers.ap/index.html

Peace.

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By Annie Reitano, June 25, 2007 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

I know, Ted.  That’s one thing I say to myself all the time “you could have been having guilt free sex instead of wasting your time on the peeping Tom-god.  lol

Jim H,

I believe Harlon is saying that God and the Universe must be held to the same standard of measurement.  You want evidence of the Universe?  Buy a Hubble telescope (haha).  Isaac Newton and others brought about verifiabl evidence.  If one is to believe in ID, then there needs to be the same measurement of evidence.  No less should be expected.  And anything less is complete blind faith.

I know Harlon will correct me if I am wrong.  He’s done it before.  But he makes the most sense. And that’s what we need in order to learn.  Not blind faith but reason and logic. 

Hi Harlon. smile

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By Jim H., June 25, 2007 at 8:37 am Link to this comment
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ATTENTION! ALL COMMENTERS!

NOTE:  REVEREND HARLON, IS A CONFUSED SADISTIC DISRUPTER WHO WILL GO TO ANY EXTREME TO ANNOY ANYONE WHO POSTS HERE! HE ARGUES BOTH SIDES OF THE SUBJECT OF THIS ‘REPORT’ AND CLAIMS TO BE AN AETHIST, BUT THEN ARGUES TO PROTECT AND DEFEND FANATICAL GODISM! HE IS UNDOUBTEDLY INSANE, SO PAY HIM NO MIND!

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By Glenn Shrom, June 24, 2007 at 11:34 pm Link to this comment
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There are many good things about this article, which warn Christians about the dangers of cults and cult-like behavior posing as true Christianity.  Some of the problems with the article ...

- Accepting Christ as one’s personal Lord and Savior has nothing to do with whether one comes from the right or the left regarding politics or Bible interpretation.  Jesus was not part of the Christian right, and neither need his followers be.

- The higher authority is in fact God, not the preacher, in true Christianity.

- Christianity is not a political force or a movement intended to bring about a Christian state.  The most Christian society on earth gave us the separation of church and state, with freedom of religion.  Dr. James Kennedy may envision using his Christian listeners to assist his political goals, but this is being done as something extraneous to Christianity.

- Christianity is not about the law or about rules; it is a relationship with Christ and being led by the Holy Spirit.  Abandonment of critical thought is contrary to Christianity, since Christians are called to love the Lord our God with all our mind!

- The persecution complex, demonization of people, and blind obedience to people are all part of a psychological brainwashing which is completely foreign to the idea of making Jesus lord and receiving his gift of salvation.  Reasoning and the reality-based world are key parts of Jesus’ world view.  He didn’t just talk about healing or imagine healing, he healed!  He didn’t flip off the Pharisees with a bunch of empty sound bites or try to end the discussion by claiming to have more authority than they; he answered their questions with the purest forms of reasoning, talking to them on their level and answering in their terms.

-  To shun the unsaved person or the backslider go against Christian teaching.  There are biblical commands to not have fellowship with committed sinners as part of the community, but there is never any disgrace in relating to them with respect, reason, kindness, and understanding.  The Bible says that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against unseen spiritual powers.

- Christianity never justifies or sanctifies hatreds.  The most important thing is love.

-  Christians are to grapple with moral choices in the light of the Bible, the leading of the Holy Spirit, the faculties of the mind, and in dialogue with others.  How can he writethat Christians don’t need to make any moral choices?

-  It is a tremendously awesome and good thing to be freed from fear of death based on the testimony of the one who came back from the dead.  If God does not free someone from the fear of death, then external brainwashing will not succeed as an alternative method of salvation.  Anyone who fears death should be free to share about it and deal with it, but really the best way is to let God handle it and believe what He has to say.

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By Harlon57, May 14, 2007 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

There is no evidence in favor of intelligent design: only alleged gaps in the completeness of the evolutionary account, coupled with the “default” fallacy we have identified. And, while it is inevitably true that there are incompletenesses in evolutionary science, the positive evidence for the fact of evolution is truly massive, made up of hundreds of thousands of mutually corroborating observations. These come from areas such as geology, paleontology, comparative anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, ethology, biogeography, embryology and - increasingly nowadays - molecular genetics.

The weight of the evidence has become so heavy that opposition to the fact of evolution is laughable to all who are acquainted with even a fraction of the published data. Evolution is a fact: as much a fact as plate tectonics or the heliocentric solar system.

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By Harlon57, May 14, 2007 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

If complex organisms demand an explanation, so does a complex designer. And it’s no solution to raise the theologian’s plea that God (or the Intelligent Designer) is simply immune to the normal demands of scientific explanation. To do so would be to shoot yourself in the foot. You cannot have it both ways. Either ID belongs in the science classroom, in which case it must submit to the discipline required of a scientific hypothesis. Or it does not, in which case get it out of the science classroom and send it back into the church, where it belongs.

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By Harlon57, May 14, 2007 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

Please consider:

It is intellectually barren to assume that a gap in scientific knowledge can be filled with a god that requires no similar proof.

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By Ted, May 14, 2007 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment
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Annie, I know what you mean about leaving the fold. I wasn’t 100% happy. Funny how the Catholic church is infamous ex-communication, because that’s basically what happened to me with my church and youth group. People tried their best to welcome back into the club, pleading with me, but I could not lie to myself. Friends thereafter avoided me for being a “back-slider”. I was chastised, pitied, ridiculed and such. It was definitely hurtful, but I got through it.

I love the fact that I can look at a naked woman and be aroused without feeling guilty about my natural sexuality. I love the fact I can look at my fellow everyday human beings as simply human beings and not in terms of “saved” or “unsaved”. I like the fact that, although I stopped worshiping the majority of my imaginary friends by age 10, and I finally got rid of the rest of them by age 24 smile

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By Annie Reitano, May 14, 2007 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t it enlightening, Ted?  It tends to have the reverse effect than was intended.  smile  I wasn’t happy to be “lost” like you.  I felt sad that I had wasted so much of my youth.  It took me time.  But!  Suffice it to say, I am glad I am “lost and going to hell” now.  Absolutely nothing in my life has changed since the days of speaking to the imaginary friend I once loved. It may as well have been puff the magic dragon—or I may as well been ‘puffing the magic dragon…’  wink

I find it amusing that Christians had the fantastic luck to be born into a family, that lived in a country, that believed in the one “true” religion. Islamics had that same fantastic luck. Jews had that same fantastic luck. Muslims and Buddhists had that same fantastic luck…..and we thought there wasn’t a God?  lol

The only description of Satan in the bible is a reptile/dragon.  As we know, there are no dragons so there’s no need for a dragon slayer. [God] But I also find it interesting that in Eastern Religions, which are concidered much more docile, the dragon is a symbol of goodness. 

I guess it’s all about where you grew up!

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By Ted, May 14, 2007 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
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I can relate to a lot of people here. I, too, was a one time born-again and a missionary. I traveled to Indonesia to do mission work and to destroy people’s cultures under the guise of good-intentions. I met so many different kinds of people: Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Hindus, Animists, etc. Some were even my age yet much more learned and educated than I was, though I admittedly took them for basically “unsaved savages” at the time. Amongst nearly all of them, I found the same devotion to faith and conviction of being right that I had. This greatly troubled me.

How could I minister to a Hindu when he was just as fervent in his belief in Rama as I was in Christ?

Of course, my own evangelical group had the implication that we were right and all of our fellow christian sects were wrong, and they would say the same about us. It’s really not hard to knock the blocks apart and see how all religions pretty much have one thing in common: They all believe they are THE way, and are incapable of being fallible.

This is in contrast to science. In science, scientists MUST be open to the fact that a theory or hypothesis could be proven to be wrong.

As happy as I was when I first got “saved”, nothing could compare to my elation when I became “lost” again. Of course, I have people just like Observer telling me I wasn’t a truly dyed-in-the-wool christian, that I didn’t believe strongly enough.

It’s funny, because I used to tell former christians the very same thing when I was a born again.

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By Logician, May 14, 2007 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

RE#69628 by Observer on 5/12:

Aww, did widdle tweedums get his widdle feewings hurt?

Before I rip your new stupidity apart, I review:

#69250: You enter the fray with undirected, snotty snarks that are nonsensical as well as grammatically horrendous.  You “suggest” we need to know how “we” sound, never noticing the irony of how pathetically ignorant YOU sound.

#69462: An infantile attempt at allegory that is both ridiculous and sad.  And your hate-filled loathing of others not as atavistic as yourself begins to show its filthy head.

#69510: You orgasmically delight in informing me how everyone, EVERYONE! who doesn’t “believe” EXACTLY the SAME as you will BURN FOREVER. GOD!, doesn’t it just give you a woody!!!!!!

#69628: Now for the heart of the matter.  Again, “Observer,” ‘observe’ a TEXTBOOK! You attacked the laws of nature as if you could change them yourself. NO MAN has EVER walked on water, etc.
That is absolute FACT and if you dispute it, you only show your inability to ‘observe’ anything but what your perverted masters order you to see.  And again, just for the record: there is NO devil.

Yes, “Oberver,” I HAVE heard your testimony. NOTHING you have said is in ANY manner original or unique.  You’re like any other mouth-breather who drools, “Jesus is Lord!”  You’ll have a life of stress and strife, trouble and toil, you’ll have strayed from the flock, back-slid; but then, you’ll “see the light!”  Just more ignorance. But, you’re no better than the other mouth-breathers, so I’m not surprised.  Nor does your disgustingly hate filled parrotings of the filthy sh*t of Christianity come as any surprise.  Just more filth from the bible and its believers…

#69782: You DO NOT WALK IN TRUTH. YOU ARE DELUSIONAL. I CATEGORICALLY DENY that ANY HUMAN has EVER seen “God,” talked with “God,” heard “God,” or any other manifestation of insanity you wish to defecate out of that anus on your face.

Again, have someone look up some medical research sites for you.  Have them read the big words and explain the big scientific concepts being elucidated.  For instance, current research on the human brain has illustrated that with the right electrode placed in the correct spot of the brain with just the right voltage will cause the subject to “see” “God.”

But here’s what’s really fascinating: the subject ALWAYS “sees” the “God” of his/her youth.  NEVER the “God” of another culture.  To simplify for you, atavism: An American subject NEVER “sees” Ganesha, and an East Indian subject NEVER “sees” Jesus or the Virgin Mary.  It is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, *ALWAYS* the “God” of their OWN CULTURE.  Carl Sagan years ago pointed out the same thing from analyzing testimonies likes yours, “Observer.”  Just to save your reader the time: Sagan, 1985, Gifford Lectures on Natural Theology.

There are, of course, many other studies being done all the time.  And I KNOW there’s one you’ll just love: the dissertations on the schizophrenic visions of the Prophet Mohammed.  Since all Muslims are going to burn in agony FOREVER, according to you Christian nincompoops, (getting that woody again?) you’ll love to know that it is widely understood that Mohammed was a text book paranoid schizophrenic.

So no, NONE of your, or any other mental defective’s, statements about how you “walk with God and talk with God” are true, valid, nor deserving of ANYTHING but the utmost CONTEMPT and the best medications we can shoot you up with.  In fact, if a person INSISTS that he/she REALLY talks with “God,” they are usually locked up.  For good reason: they are INSANE.

Your “God” is not real, NONE of the filthy, pornographic sh*t in the bible is true, and it is time you stopped being given the free ride you have been for your insanity.  People are dying in the name of “personal” “Gods” and it HAS TO STOP!!!

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By Lordadirael, May 14, 2007 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

annie:
currently, i have not read much of thomas paine.  though again, i have heard of him and the publication you are talking about. thank you for bringing it to mind fresh again.

i will be going to the library this evening where i will also be looking up some of the information harlon has mentioned. my persuit of a degree in psychology did not take me down the road of physics or astronomy, though i was one of the ones who chose physics while still in high school, so im not completely uneducated on the subject.

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By Harlon57, May 14, 2007 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Lordadirael,

They haven’t given up so much as they are currently working on solving the remaining questions on the beginning of the universe.

There are thousands of creation myths throughout time.
None of them took into consideration what we already know about the actual universe.

Take the bible.  Genesis.  Whether or not you make each of the six days a year, or ten thousand years, it would be off by about 14 billion years.  Religion didn’t correct itself, and figure out that the universe was billions of years old, that took real science.
Religion didn’t even know how to tell that the sun wasn’t circling the earth.
Everything that religion said about the universe, how people and animals came to be, has been shown wrong, not by religion, but by science.

Religion made up what it didn’t know, and it shows.
Knowing that, and knowing that the god of the bible is nothing more than a copy of earlier pagan gods, why would one continue belief?

Regarding deism.  What’s the point? Just to feel good.

how about feeling great in the knowledge that you aren’t fooling yourself.

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By Lordadirael, May 14, 2007 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

harlon
“Astrophysicists do not believe that nothing happened before the big bang, they believe that it is already sufficiently complicated tracing backwards in time to the first cause, that what happened before time started in this iteration of the universe is a question that provides no illumination on where the universe is going.”

this is why i do not hold dear to science either.  though it does stand to give more answers than any religion i have encountered, it does not give them all.  i know it may be futile to be looking for all the answers, but here in what you say, it is not important for science to know because they believe it does not shed light on future, it is as if to say that the beginning is not important. the future is irrelivent to me after my last day.  why has science given up on finding that first cause, because it is truthfully too difficult for them to attain, or because they are afraid of what they might find. thus science does not have all the answers either, though again, scores are better than any religion.

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By Harlon57, May 14, 2007 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Lordadirael,

I have pointed to the disciplines required to learn of our best understanding of the current iteration of the universe.

Setting up simple domino mind experiments does nothing to illuminate the complicated science behind our understanding.

As I mentioned in my last post, if you really want to know what is currently the best understanding of first cause, pick up some books on the topic. Take some university level physics and astronomy courses.

When you set up mind blocking theories, and don’t study what is known, you are just wasting your time.

Astrophysicists do not believe that nothing happened before the big bang, they believe that it is already sufficiently complicated tracing backwards in time to the first cause, that what happened before time started in this iteration of the universe is a question that provides no illumination on where the universe is going.

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By Lordadirael, May 14, 2007 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

harlon: point taken.  though, i am not wishing to add, nor am i looking for a ‘god’. action must have started somewhere, leading to reaction, and so forth.  if you set up dominoes, does it not take some sort of action to move that first domino.  regardless of what it is, the wind, your little brother, or just the earth shifting underneath it, that energy was transferred somewhere.  that is what i am looking for, that initial energy what set everything in motion. it doesnt have to be a ‘god’ persay, but something does have to be there. to say energy is neither created or destroyed, as we all agree, states that it has always been and will never go away, but where did it come from.  that is my search. even to look at evolution, everything comes from something else, but you cannot get something from nothing.
Im not holding to a crutch.  i am running as far and as fast from any religion as possible. im not looking for a religion.  i am looking for a reason, not for myself to exist (all other aside, my existance here is to make life for my children better than it was for me) but just an answer as to where it all came from. what was at the beginning and how and why did it all start.  no religion, or science can answer that at this time. all both have given are more questions. 
science has answered more than religion, but the backward question of “ok, then where did that come from” still has not been answered, though it has been taken back to the nth degree.
so you see, neither science or religion has ‘all’ the answers, though science does seem to be ahead in the race.

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By Harlon57, May 14, 2007 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Lordadirael, you said: I find it hard to believe that many learned people will believe that particles existed to initiate the big bang, but then in turn cannot believe in a being that may have existed as well.

Once one studies cosmology, quantum physics, evolution, etc., one has sufficient explanation for the physical processes that occurred to shape our universe and all within its’ boundaries.

Looking to add a god, which is the most complicated possible thing, is just saying, ‘insert magic here’.

A god would be the most complicated thing we could imagine, and as we know, complicated things enter the picture late. We know that all things evolve.

If you wish to assume there is a god because all things need a creator, then it is intellectual fraud to say that god wouldn’t need a creator as well.  That’s just making up rules to fit your predisposition.

It is time for you to completely throw away your crutch.

There is so much information available to explain the universe, being ignorant, not learning about the processes, is inexcusable.

Religion used to answer the scientific questions. Science has taken over the role and is ever expanding our understanding.

When a theory is found lacking in some way, it is science, not religion that makes the correction or adds to the body of knowledge.

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Annie Reitano's avatar

By Annie Reitano, May 14, 2007 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

#69898 by Lordadirael on 5/14 at 10:59 am
(2 comments total)

Thank you for that laugh, Lordadirael.  (Sunday Saints, Monday ain’t's)  haha.

Have you ever read anything by Thomas Paine?  “The Age of Reson” is a great book and really easy to read.  I ask because his beliefs are very much like yours.  The people who admired Paine and his thoughts are referred to as “Deists”.  That is, they believe in a Creator or devine beginning, but they do not adhere to the “holy books” at all.  In fact, Thomas Paine tears both the Bible and Qur’an into silly little pieces in “The Age of Reason”.  As a result of his unwillingness to recant upon his death bed, the Christians did the typical thing and refused him a “christian burial”.  So, his remains were scattered—most believe—in the ocean.

I loved his writings when I first came upon stuff in the bible that was daunting to me (to say the least).  There came a time, regarding the city of Tyre, that I just had to say “that’s not true!” —And look for the reason.  As much as “Christian folk” like to come here and ridicule me and others for waking up, it was extremely painful and took me a long time.  My point is that Thomas Paine’s writings were really helpful to get me through that time period of adjusting to the notion that I had been duped all of my 40 years (at the time).  I was a Deist for awhile.  After a bit I decided that if there were a Creator who didn’t speak to me or was just “the Artiste” of the universe, then it really isn’t necessary to consider such a being.  Thus the move into a-theism.  Which just means I don’t believe in what theists have to say.  wink 

Thanks for the post.  I hope you at least look up some of Paine’s writings online if you haven’t already.  I love the net for that very reason. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there.

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By Lordadirael, May 14, 2007 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Annie: I am right there with you.  though i was not a missionary, I have been on many mission trips.  though i was not in it for 40 years, i grew up in a christian school, with christian parents(hypocritical sunday saints, monday aints), and for 23 years of my life devoted to christianity. at this point in my life i totally agree it should be freedom FROM religion, not of religion.  I dont believe that i should have any religion shoved down my throat, because thats how it was presented to me growing up.  Even as an evangelical christian, i was not the “hellfire and damnation” type.  i never believed that was the way i had any right to tell someone they were going to “hell” for their ways. the choice was not up to me, though i did not abstain from evangelism. and most would tell me that i was good.  but that is another story alltogether.

Harlon.  you do speak much truth, but in the same, i always thought 0=0 until my calculus professor showed me mathematically that 0=1, but that was 10 years ago and i couldnt begin to repeat the multiple boards of work he used to do so. I only say that to say this. Even science is proving that not all truths are such. I do appreciate the history lesson though that was listed for observer.  though i have heard of many of those listed, truthfully i never studied them.

Observer.  I apologize that you mistook my post as an invitation for you to begin attempting the redemption of my soul. if you had read the post you would hve seen that i willingly walked away from it, not because of any particular church, as i attended many thinking that to be the problem as well, but because of my observations across the board. but unlike annie and harlon, do not believe there is nothing.

Personally i believe there is something or someone that started everything in motion.  I find it hard to believe that many learned people will believe that particles existed to initiate the big bang, but then in turn cannot believe in a being that may have existed as well.  i admit that i may not be as educated as some that post here, so if there are flaws in my logic, i accept that, but i am not uneducated either and am always open to new information.
the persuit of truth has been lifelong for myself, and seems to be a quest throughout the ages, as seen in the many religions over time searching to give purpose for life.
I dont see the arguments, or the quest ending any time soon, as new people come up with new ideas, and science proves and disproves new things every minute.
I apologize if some of my thoughts seem flighty as i am at work and have 5 million other things going on at this time.

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