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Jesus ‘Love-Bombs’ You

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Posted on Apr 23, 2007
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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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Annie Reitano's avatar

By Annie Reitano, April 30, 2007 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

“Annie Reitano, though, not only assumes you are now my mother (for better or for worse, ha ha) but she also continues to insist that “faith” and “belief” in any genuine spiritual sense must be relegated to the dead wood of customary blind orthodoxy - or even diminished to equate with the thoughts of “schizophrenics”.”

Are you saying the metaphor didn’t fit?  Then you’re an idiot as well as willfully ignorant regarding religion.  I never addressed you.  Yes, it’s an open forum, but you jumped right in like an arrogant little cuss and cast aspersions on someone you don’t even know.  How typically pathetic and religious of you.  You’re really going to “win them for the Lord”.  You and Marina keep this going and NO ONE will believe in your gods; however many you have.  So, thank you in advance for fighting and winning my battle for me.  wink  Keep it up…but whatever you do, don’t face the truth. smile

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By Annie Reitano, April 30, 2007 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

#67386 by Marina on 4/30 at 8:10 pm
(43 comments total)

Annie

> And do correct me if I am wrong.  Anyway, you wouldn’t have backed an atheist either.  That’s just a lie and you know it, Marina. >

“You can tell me what is in your heart and mind, but you cannot crawl into my heart and tell me what I would and wouldn’t do, you don’t know me. I follow the path of Christ, which is to support the truth, no matter who says it. If you wish to call me a liar, that is your conscience to deal with.”

Well, I just felt it needed to be said, Marina. smile aha!  It’s not so nice when it’s YOU who is alluded to in a negative way, is it?  Having said that, you really couldn’t say what’s in Douglas’ mind when he made those statements, could you?  But you placed yourself on that haughty “faith pedestal” that you’re surely going to fall from one day—and assumed to know.  Practice what you preach. But it’s further evidence that you would only stick up for a fellow faithie.  Not to mention, I looked back at your posts and found NO “rescue statements” to any atheist or person who disagrees with your religious views—which have been many.  Also, don’t assume to know what’s in MY mind with the smilies.  I do this all the time and not much riles me.  wink


And since you follow the path of Christ so well, I suppose you own slavesand realize that as a female, you are second class.  wink

I tried to have a nice conversation with you, Marina but you became proof to me that a conversation cannot be had with people of faith because they DO NOT KNOW about people, much less about any gods. Your head is too stuck in DOGMA.  Yours is a faith issue, or as I said, the bible would contradict itself all the more.  But what the hell does that mean to you?  You only take parts of the bible literally.  I would bet it’s the parts the create god in your image.

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By Marina, April 30, 2007 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Annie, Douglas, and Harlon.

Thanks for the post Douglas. It’s nice to know that you understand what I am trying to convey. You mentioned, the smilies: I feel they are passive-aggressive. The people who use them take personal jabs and then stick a smilie face next to it. Anyway, I wish you God’s peace.

Harlon,

>If it does, then the soul has no nerves with which to feel hell fire. Fire is very much a thing of this world. As are nerves.>

Hell is not a physical place, it is a state of being. Hell fire is a metaphor for what we put ourselves through when we develop horrific suffering for ourselves. I believe (this is a belief because I have not experienced it), we will continue to reincarnate until the final days and then, just as fire only merges with fire and water with water -those who will merge with Love (God) will do so, and those who have created their own reality of nothingness, will merge into annihilation. They will exist no more.

Annie

> And do correct me if I am wrong.  Anyway, you wouldn’t have backed an atheist either.  That’s just a lie and you know it, Marina. >

You can tell me what is in your heart and mind, but you cannot crawl into my heart and tell me what I would and wouldn’t do, you don’t know me. I follow the path of Christ, which is to support the truth, no matter who says it. If you wish to call me a liar, that is your conscience to deal with.

>What did you think of whydoesgodhateamputees.com?  I really would love to know.  I am thinking your faith and announcement about your KNOWLEDGE may not be so strong or you would read it.>

Once again, you place personal conclusions on me instead of concentrating on the discussion. I was being courteous because you asked me to look at the website but since you have insisted upon pushing this further, it is time to be honest. I did not read most of it because it looked pretty elemental, therefore, a waste of my time.

As far as your new list of questions go: Due to your calling me a liar and your arrogance in telling me that my personal relationship with God is weaker than I think, I am done speaking to you about these things. I have stuck it out because I know that there are people who read these message boards silently and absorb things so I like to defend Christ and His teachings. I also needed to post the facts that have countered your erroneous statements, but now I see that you are a closed-minded person with anger inside. You need to open your heart to love.

I wish you good things and hope that you find peace one day within yourself. I hope you exceed on your journey through life. Goodbye.

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By David from Florida, April 30, 2007 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Secular Basis for Self-Esteem

  You are the descendant of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm that washed up on an ocean beach 3 1/2 billion years ago. You are the blind and arbitrary product of time, chance, and natural forces. Your closest living relatives swing from trees and eat crackers at the zoo.
 
  You are a mere grab bag of atomic particles, a conglomeration of genetic substance. You exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an obscure galaxy in a remote and empty corner of a vast, cold, and meaningless universe. You are flying through lifeless space with no purpose, no direction, no control, and no destiny but final destruction.

  In short, you came from nothing, you are going nowhere, and you will end your brief cosmic journey beneath six feet of dirt, where all that is you will become food for bacteria and rot with worms.


    NOW…WHY DON’T YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF?


The Christian Basis for Self-Esteem

  You are a special creation of a good and all-powerful God. You are the climax of His creation,, the magnum opus of of the greatest artist in the universe. You are created in His image, with capacities to think, feel, and worship that set you above all other life forms. You differ from the animals not simply in degree but in kind.
 
  Your Creator loved you so much and so intensely desires your companionship and affection that, despite your rebellion, He gave the life of His only Son that you might spend eternity with Him. If you are willing to accept the gift of salvation, you can become a child of God, the King of the universe.

  Your destiny is to live forever in a magnificent kingdom, to reign with Christ over the universe. You will forever enjoy the wonders of His presence and the marvels of His creations. You will spend eternity in intimate and joyful fellowship with your beloved Lord and your precious spiritual family.


  NOW…HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF?

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 30, 2007 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

#67262 by Marina on 4/30 at 8:38 am: “...Douglas shows no hate, spite, or bitterness in this paragraph Annie. You are reacting to him for whatever reason, but his words are not offensive. He was just expressing himself in an honest way. Honesty is not synonymous with hatred or spite. It is your reaction which is disturbing you, not his words….”
 
Thanks for your support, Marina. I could see where you were before with experiencing “personal revelation from within” (”... I do not “believe” Jesus is God, or that God exists, I KNOW it like I know the ocean exists. I have swam in the ocean. I don’t “believe” in the ocean….”).
 
Annie Reitano, though, not only assumes you are now my mother (for better or for worse, ha ha) but she also continues to insist that “faith” and “belief” in any genuine spiritual sense must be relegated to the dead wood of customary blind orthodoxy - or even diminished to equate with the thoughts of “schizophrenics”.
 
And thanks also to Fadel Abdallah (”... May I say, “Haven’t you guys gotten lives outside this?!”...”) for being able to see beyond the malicious and those with a covert personal agenda. In the end, though, little more can be achieved by addressing AR’s chicanery. Its best simply to make one’s own statements and leave it at that.
 
Talking to others instead of at them would have been more useful but banging one’s head against a headbanger’s wall is not considered to be part of the game. I also see that the little man with the smileys has been extremely active in this topic, too. I’m not sure if I am so amused as he is, though, by his(?) interjections.

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By Harlon57, April 30, 2007 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

Marina,

According to your religion, the soul departs the body upon death.
Does the soul leave behind the nervous system of the body?

If it does, then the soul has no nerves with which to feel hell fire. Fire is very much a thing of this world. As are nerves.

I think it is childish to believe that a soul without the body would feel any type of worldly pain.

That must mean that there is no hell fire. Another bit of biblical text that is not literal. 

Once you have removed all reality from the bible, upon what that is left do you base your beliefs?  Do you just decide to make up your own belief? Do all cristians just make up their own belief for all the non-literal portions of the bible?

Does this mean that there is no universal truth to your text?

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By Annie Reitano, April 30, 2007 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Hi Marina,

You know I am not going to let you get away with “I said that because it needed to be saying” baloney.  If it needed to be said, I am sure Douglas is capable—unless you’re his mother.  And do correct me if I am wrong.  Anyway, you wouldn’nt have backed an atheist either.  That’s just a lie and you know it, Marina. 

What did you think of whydoesgodhateamputees.com?  I really would love to know.  I am thinking your faith and announcement about your KNOWLEDGE may not be so strong or you would read it.  As you said, we all learn..but not by just reading things that make us right.  So many of the religious only wish to be right instead of righteous.  It’s one of the things that gives them away.  So, take a deep breath and read it.  Enlighten yourself and then enlighten me.

Also, you spoke of being eternal and all that.  Please answer a few questions for me.  smile

What is a soul?

When does it supposedly enter a body?

If a soul is going to last through all eternity, is it eternal?

If it is eternal, has it always existed, or does it only come in existance when a human is born?

If a soul leaves a body and spends the rest of eternity in either heaven or hell, how does it do that?

Are heaven and hell physical places or spiritual realms?

If they are spiritual realms, why is it a sign of divinity to ascend physically to heaven?  i.e. Why have a physical body in a spiritual realm?

Does anybody ever go to hell (when you are comforted on the loss of a loved one, you are always told that he/she has gone to a better place)?

Thanks, Marina

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By Marina, April 30, 2007 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

Annie, I wrote what I did about Douglas because it needed saying. His religion has nothing to do with it. I defended the truth of the message, not Douglas. If he were a Jew or an atheist I would have said the same thing to you.

You have asked me to visit whydoesgodhateamputees.com. I don’t have time to read every link or every question at the site, but I understand the nature of the website.

Life is a school, we are here to learn lessons and work out our past wrongs. Suffering is not being inflicted by God, it is the law of action reaction/cause and effect. God has nothing to do with the suffering itself. It’s His law, but we set that law in motion for good or for bad, caused by our inaction, unloving thoughts, cruelty, or pain that we have inflicted on others. Suffering is a cleansing, all for our spiritual progress. It is of great value. It is a power that helps us to understand the penalty of our departure from the law of love. Suffering makes us mindful of our divergence; subsequently we become aware of the law.


We inflict our own suffering. We drop a glass and it breaks, we harm another person, an animal, or the earth and get a reaction in return. It may not be in that exact moment but it does come back to us one day, in this life or in the next. No one escapes this law of the universe, and it does not matter what a person calls themselves religiously. No one escapes it.

Each and every person on earth was given an assignment by God. It was more of a contract, chosen together by our soul and God. Our souls willfully and even joyfully accepted that assignment and signed the contract with free will. Suffering has the ability to teach us humility and compassion. It can show us what is truly important in life. It is contrary to our nature to love suffering but we can learnt to embrace it. Life is for suffering and transformation. No pain is wasted, no experience meaningless. We are the result of our own thoughts and actions and create our own suffering.

We all come here with karma, every soul carries it, good and bad. Some have worse karma than others. Sometimes God heals certain souls and sometimes their karma is to live out their pain in its entirety. There is good karma as well as bad, everything good that happens or good fortune is all a result of our loving choices in this life or a past one.

The soul is eternal and everyone has a cross to bear, some worse than others, but that cross was created by our soul’s choices. Without acknowledgment of past wrongs, and of our deviation from the law, we cannot begin the new life that Jesus Christ taught.

Peace and good wishes to you.

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By Annie Reitano, April 30, 2007 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Hi again, Marina,

I am at work so I have just a bit of time.  First, regarding Douglas’ statement, surely you’re not that obtuse. Alluding that my posts and opinions as “not needed” as well as duplicitous and hipocritcal is insulting and improprietous.  I understand your need to come to his rescue as he is one of the faithful like yourself, but please note, I told him he APPEARED to be bitter. He didn’t do me the same courtesy and neither do you with this “rescue” statement.

Also, regarding your post that states that atheists make no bones about Judaism; that’s absolutely wrong.  Go to “Atheist Manifesto” right here on truthdig and you will see that all three of the Abrahamic religions are debated, discussed and debunked by the “godless” <as one Rabbi called us.

Next you said this ” True knowledge, comes from within, not from without.”

If that’s true, then the schizophrenic who believes you are an alien in human form has his truth from within.  But that doesn’t make it MY truth nor does it make it factual truth.

As far as the love of Jesus;  I will get more into the hipocrasy of that little fallacy later.  But let’s keep it civil, okay?  I am not here to banter with anyone and throw around insults.  For now just go to a site called whydoesgodhateamputees.com and tell me what you think.  I seriously would love your feedback. 

Thank you for the link on the newly created “Sanhedrin” in Israel.  We’ll see….wink

Thanks, Marina

Annie R

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By Marina, April 30, 2007 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Fadel writes:
>Take, for example, Zionism. It’s a racist man-made ideology created as a reaction to and result of another man-made racist ideology which was Nazism.>

Fadel, I agree with much of your post, but you are incorrect here. Zionism was created in order for the Zionists to rule the world with a world court in Israel and to take power over the land in which Jehovah promised the Hebrews in the Old Testament. The “reaction to Nazism” is a front, it is a guise that Zionists use for doing evil.

>As is always the case, Zionism uses and exploits the good teachings of Judaism to further its objectives.>

Judaism’s “good” teachings? Have you read an unedited version of the Talmud?

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By Marina, April 30, 2007 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Douglas said:

>>Perhaps its best if you two go on with your personal conversation and the rest of us will simply ignore you. Any arguments either for or against “faith” or “god”, or “inspiration” which you distorted to “revelation”, can best be accomplished without you anyway. At least, we can then all move towards truth instead of the quagmire of hypocrisy and duplicity.>>

Annie replied: >Those are hateful, spiteful and bitter words coming from a guy who claims to have ‘faith’ in the ‘revelation’ of Jesus.  Watch out, Douglas.  Your Christianity is showing.>

Douglas shows no hate, spite, or bitterness in this paragraph Annie. You are reacting to him for whatever reason, but his words are not offensive. He was just expressing himself in an honest way. Honesty is not synonymous with hatred or spite. It is your reaction which is disturbing you, not his words.

Peace.

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By Marina, April 30, 2007 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Annie wrote >Where a Jew Should Do Evil:
Rosh Hashanah 17a. Christians (minnim) and others who reject the Talmud will go to hell and be punished there for all generations.
Sanhedrin 90a. Those who read the New Testament (“uncanonical books”) will have no portion in the world to come.
Shabbath 116a. Jews must destroy the books of the Christians, i.e. the New Testament.>

Annie, I answered you about the Talmud in another message just before this, but since you brought this up, I want to say thank you for posting part of that document. The Talmud has even more disturbing things to say about non-Jews that you did not post, but you did post some of which is never talked about. People love to slam the New Testament, but very few discussion boards ever address the racism and vile teachings in the Talmud.

It amazes me that the so called “Evangelical Christians” love the religion of Judaism and support the Jews and Israel not matter what they do.

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By Marina, April 30, 2007 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

Annie,

The Kingdom of Heaven is within. People who are stuck in the material world -the outer world- will never be able to understand that Divine discovery (true union with God) comes from within. 

>Marina, there is no Sanhedrin in Israel. >

This past October, the Sanhedrin was reestablished for the first time in 1,600 years, at the site of its last meeting in Tiberias.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/73311

> Calm down.  We’re discussing.>

I am calm, thank you. All I did was writemy discussion points in response to yours. I used no reactionary words or exclamation points.

You are correct, the Jews do wait for the king of this world, the king of this world is exactly what Jesus said, Satan. This world is not the Kingdom of Jesus, this is the earthly realm, the physical plane. I prefer a “lowly carpenter” (as you put it), who taught love and forgiveness, to do good to our enemies, and who gave His life for us—over a warrior “king” who will lead many to their death and destroy the planet.

>No, no.  There is NO mention of Jesus in the Talmud other than as a FORGERY of the Messiah.>

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) admitted to the guilt which belongs to the Pharisees in the death of Jesus, based on the Talmudic account of His trial and execution. Many other Jewish Rabbis, writers, and historians, have admitted the same. The Talmud does not give the Name “Jesus” because Jews know the power of saying His name so they won’t do it. Jews admit that they are instructed in the Synagogues, not to use His Name.

>Well, let’s face it Marina, if you KNEW that Jesus was God and that he existed, you wouldn’t need faith and the bible would contradict itself all the more since it’s a book about faith. >

As I said, I don’t “believe” (your version of “faith”). Faith means trust. I need trust in the sense of my trust in Jesus gives me peace, even in suffering. One day, my trust in Him will give me peace in death. The bible is a mixture of allegory/testimony of God/history/and tall tales made up by the Hebrews who wanted to wage war and steal land.

> Also, you wouldn’t apologize that I need proof as if somehow you were favoured and Jesus gave only YOU proof, which would again contradict the bible since it says he’s no respecter of persons.>

I apologized out of sincerity, not from ego. I am truly sorry that you need proof of God. It makes me no better or no worse that I do not need the kind of “proof” you require.

>In truth, you don’t know—or you WOULD be able to prove it.>

True knowledge, comes from within, not from without.

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By Jim Hanley, April 30, 2007 at 7:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RELIGION IS A ‘PONZI SCHEME’! A CRIMINAL ENTERPRIZE!
THE PUTRID PUKE OF DISTORTED MINDS!
There is no excuse for intelligent people to be so ignorant of facts about the charlatan fantasies and make-believe pretenses of religion, that works to undermine the true Democratic principles and unifying influences of our Democratic Society. To promote, propagate, profligate or publish the same pretentious and pompous falsehoods that are the evil tools used by Fallwell, Baker, Haggard, the Pope, and their ilk to brainwash, indoctrinate, brand, and subjugate innocent children and fools for the purpose of using them to gain ever more money, power, and divisive influence, is tantamount to supporting pimping, and prostitution. And because those charlatans use their evil schemes and lies to control, and enslave those misled ‘bovid-like’ droves by rendering them ‘virtual’ robots that do their bidding; they are criminals, and you; by supporting them, are a criminal cohort, equally guilty of the crimes they commit against humanity, those fools, and the children they sexually molest!
THE WORST FORM OF CHILD ABUSE IS WARPING OF THE MIND!
THE ORIGIN OF NATURE
  Beginning is never found but keep an ear to the ground
  Accept the word of a friend there’s no beginning or end
Nature origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
JH 8/29/06
  The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!

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By Annie Reitano, April 30, 2007 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

#67232 by Fadel Abdallah on 4/30 at 2:27 am
(25 comments total)

“So, my final advice to those who hate faith groups or religion: Look at yourself, and consider that you might as well be fanatical and extremist in your secularism, atheism, agnosticism or other man-made “isms;” for which you also don’t have a proof that they are the righteous and correct paths or ways of lives to follow!”

But we’re not asking for tax breaks so that we can preach our disbelief in some building.  We don’t lie about what we don’t know (god) and teach it to our kids, etc.  You don’t see us pedaling atheism to people on the street corner, or being so intrusive as to go door to door preaching at people.  And no one has ever gone to war over atheism, only different theistic gods.  That’s a lot less “fanatics” killing.  But I don’t blame individual religious people.  Some are actually great people. They’re just duped and being manipulated.  And I strongly disagree with you that religions are in any way helpful.  Do you really wonder why the discussion always seems to get painfully heated—even here?  Look to your own God in your own Book.  Be it the Qur’an or Bible.  Those Gods are wicked!  So, their people are as well.  It is an ingrained message of heated anger.

Also, what you call art, I call disaster.  *shrug*

Your post was well thought out and intellectually written, however erroneous I think you are.  And 25 posts is nothing to cough at.  wink

“Oh, #67226 by Annie Reitano on 4/30 at 12:12 am, I thought that this was a topic “about” The Christian right - I didn’t realise that it was a topic “for” them to post in….... “

Douglas, you seem very bitter to me, but I can’t say for sure seeing as how I don’t know you.  But your tone is less than lovely for a man who claims “peace, love and Jesus” baby.  I have no idea what you’re getting at.

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By Fadel Abdallah, April 30, 2007 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

It doesn’t fail to amaze me how a good number of threads on Truthdig end becoming personal compassionate arguments between a few number of people. On this thread, for example, there is Douglas Chalmers (211 comments), Annie Reitano (113 comments), Maani (44 comments) and finally Marina (34 comments).

Though this activity on part of few can be a sign of intellectual stamina, I would say that it also indicates a certain level of big ego and almost fanaticism in adhering to one’s opinion.  May I say, “Haven’t you guys gotten lives outside this?!” (Just kidding!)

Having said this by way of introduction, I would like to contribute my 4-cents worth to the issue of God, religion, faith, etc. I hope that my comment might add some perspective to cool down this heated passionate exchange between the few of you.

I do believe that God exists; though I don’t have a specific material prove for that, I feel his existence inside myself and through His Work in nature. To disbelieve in God as Creator and as the First Cause equals saying that I, you and all the wonders in nature around us are just the result of an accident. Each work of great art must have and artist creator; and the great artistry we see in humans and nature around us must have an Originator; that’s what we call God. He is a Transcendent Being; He is the God of all humans He is the First Cause.

It follows that believing in and adhering to a socially organized religion is essentially a positive and constructive human endeavor, though it might be used by recalcitrant human beings for selfish and evil ends. To deny the validity of faith and religion is equal to denying a great part of human history and the great works of art, literature, architectural monuments inspired by religious believes.

For me, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and many others in between were historical figures who were great revolutionary reformers sent by a Loving God to reform the spiritual and material lives of those who became their followers. Certainly again, recalcitrant human beings tampered with the essentially universal teachings brought by those great Prophets-Reformers and made out of them personal tribal gods for a certain group, race or ethnicity. And that’s how we ended with some wars, conflicts and atrocities in the name of God or religion, such as the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Catholic-Protestant wars and hatreds, and more recently the extreme Jihadist movements and Sunni-Shi’a conflicts within Islam.

But even with that, conflicts, wars and atrocities in the name of religion actually pale in comparison with atrocities resulting from man-made secular ideologies, such as Fascism, Communism, Nazism, Capitalism, Colonialism and Zionism. Take, for example, Zionism. It’s a racist man-made ideology created as a reaction to and result of another man-made racist ideology which was Nazism. As is always the case, Zionism uses and exploits the good teachings of Judaism to further its objectives.

So, my final advice to those who hate faith groups or religion: Look at yourself, and consider that you might as well be fanatical and extremist in your secularism, atheism, agnosticism or other man-made “isms;”  for which you also don’t have a proof that they are the righteous and correct paths or ways of lives to follow!

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 30, 2007 at 1:42 am Link to this comment

“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 writeand rewritetheir testimonies….....’

Oh, #67226 by Annie Reitano on 4/30 at 12:12 am, I thought that this was a topic “about” The Christian right - I didn’t realise that it was a topic “for” them to post in…....

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By Annie Reitano, April 30, 2007 at 1:12 am Link to this comment

#67198 by Douglas Chalmers on 4/29 at 4:47 pm
(208 comments total)

Hi Douglas,

You seem defensive without cause.  There’s no need.  But for the sake of the discussion, I am posting the definitions of “Faith” and “revelation” for you so that you may understand it better.
faith [ fayth ] (plural faiths)
belief or trust: belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof
I wouldn’t put my faith in him to straighten things out.
2. religion or religious group: a system of religious belief, or the group of people who adhere to it
3. trust in God: belief in and devotion to God
Her faith is unwavering.

rev·e·la·tion [ rèvvə láysh’n ] (plural rev·e·la·tions)

1. information revealed: information that is newly disclosed, especially surprising, or valuable
2. surprising thing: a surprisingly good or valuable experience
3. disclosure: the revealing of something previously hidden or secret

Now there should be no confusion as to who understands these simple words.

”  Perhaps its best if you two go on with your personal conversation and the rest of us will simply ignore you. Any arguments either for or against “faith” or “god”, or “inspiration” which you distorted to “revelation”, can best be accomplished without you anyway. At least, we can then all move towards truth instead of the quagmire of hypocrisy and duplicity.”

Those are hateful, spiteful and bitter words coming from a guy who claims to have ‘faith’ in the ‘revelation’ of Jesus.  Watch out, Douglas.  Your Christianity is showing.  wink

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 30, 2007 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

#67217 by Annie Reitano on 4/29 at 8:45 pm

This is why I interjected into your “conversation” and posed some questions. As this is a public forum, you still are misinforming people of what is faith, what is revelation and so on. None of what you believe as fact is at all correct. Thus your supposition that there is any evidence for what you do assert is utterly false - at least as far as it denies the truth to others. In that, you are no better than the rest of the nay-sayers and trite atheists.
 
Perhaps its best if you two go on with your personal conversation and the rest of us will simply ignore you. Any arguments either for or against “faith” or “god”, or “inspiration” which you distorted to “revelation”, can best be accomplished without you anyway. At least, we can then all move towards truth instead of the quagmire of hypocrisy and duplicity.

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By Annie Reitano, April 29, 2007 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

#67198 by Douglas Chalmers on 4/29 at 4:47 pm
(208 comments total)

Hi Doug, I will break it down for you while putting your words to me in quotations.


“Sad that you profess to believe in faith, Annie, but then demand proof from Marina on what is usually an item of faith to your kind. Such is the hypocrisy of those who rely on orthodox scriptures.”

I demanded nothing, Douglas.  I am having a conversation with Marina.  And of course I believe in faith.  Having faith in one’s self is a good thing.  It bolsters the esteem and makes for a happy personal existence.  However, I don’t believe or have faith in things that lack evidence.  There’s an age old legend regarding the Leprechaun. I have no faith in that.  Sure they MAY be out there looking for that pot of gold, but there’s no evidence for it just as there is no evidence of a god who cares, is coming back on a white horse to take people to heaven just because they believed in him. 

“Personal revelation - intuition or inspiration to some - is not something unique to dead prophets. Of course, it is not possible to explain that in detail to someone who has never had the same level of experience. It is a spiritual faculty which is only developed in a few (SQ, if you will).”

Personal revelation—okay.  But the book of Revelation in the bible wasn’t given to you, therfore it wasn’t personally for you.  It was given to some guy named John on the Isle of Patmos making it second, third, fourth and even fifth hand hearsay at best. You choose to have faith in seven headed dragons which is a common mythogical symbol, but I do not.

“For others, it is understandable that they need external proofs but most civilisations other than in the West have an acceptance of that and a respect for it. Too bad that Westerners pretend about faith when they don’t really even understand what it is they are talking about.”

Most civilizations other than the west, believe in other gods.  The Middle East has Muhammed and Allah, as well as YHWH.  The orient has the Buddha and Taoism which do not make claims to any gods.  And India-a very spiritual country has MANY gods.  I have no doubt that these people have faith in their “personal gods”.  But there is no evidence aside from their intolerance and hatred that their gods even exist.  And as such, any loving god can only exist in their mind since intolerance isn’t very loving at all. 

“I’ve stated what faith really is in this or the other Jesus topic and I don’t intend to repeat myself.”

And Mohammed has shown you in Islam and the Qur’an what faith really is and I am quite SURE he isn’t going to repeat himself, either.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 29, 2007 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

#67183 by Annie Reitano on 4/29 at 2:04 pm:-

#67176 by Marina on 4/29 at 1:24 pm: “.....“My love of Jesus is not “faith” or a “belief.” I KNOW that Christ exists and is God, through personal revelation from within. I do not “believe” Jesus is God, or that God exists, I KNOW it like I know the ocean exists. I have swam in the ocean. I don’t “believe” in the ocean. Jesus spoke of people who needed evidence of Him and of those who knew from within themselves that He is God. I am sorry that you need proof.”.....”

#67183 by Annie Reitano on 4/29 at 2:04 pm: “...Well, let’s face it Marina, if you KNEW that Jesus was God and that he existed, you wouldn’t need faith and the bible would contradict itself all the more since it’s a book about faith.  Also, you wouldn’t apologize that I need proof as if somehow you were favoured and Jesus gave only YOU proof, which would again contradict the bible since it says he’s no respecter of persons.  But, since you KNOW you can throw the bible out, prove it to the rest of us, and the problem will be solved.  In truth, you don’t know—or you WOULD be able to prove it…..”
______________________________________________


Sad that you profess to believe in faith, Annie, but then demand proof from Marina on what is usually an item of faith to your kind. Such is the hypocrisy of those who rely on orthodox scriptures.

Personal revelation - intuition or inspiration to some - is not something unique to dead prophets. Of course, it is not possible to explain that in detail to someone who has never had the same level of experience. It is a spiritual faculty which is only developed in a few (SQ, if you will).

For others, it is understandable that they need external proofs but most civilisations other than in the West have an acceptance of that and a respect for it. Too bad that Westerners pretend about faith when they don’t really even understand what it is they are talking about.

I’ve stated what faith really is in this or the other Jesus topic and I don’t intend to repeat myself.

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By Skeptic Al, April 29, 2007 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Isn’t it great when a bunch of people get together and each take a scratch at the surface of the biggest issue that ever faced the conglomerate intellect of human existance, each thinking that they have the one true answer or even stopping so short as to say that their simpleton two bits is good enough for them alone.  If it really were, would they continue discussing it?
What makes us all such self proclaimed experts each so far greater in his or her own mind then the ones surrounding them thinking the very same thing?  When we honestly cut it down to the basic fact of the matter, we are all idiots, aren’t we?  Isn’t it kind of silly how we bicker and jab at each other?  Isn’t it foolish? 
What makes some people so prideful about their own situation as though they have some great advantage over any other person?  Shouldn’t we all just take a step back and look at the frailty of ourselves?  What are we doing?  If we can’t admit that we don’t really know anything, we can never possibly work together to find the truth. 
At an outside glance, it’s like watching a bunch of spoiled rotten bastard children running around a playground fighting over everything, hurting and being hurt.  Wars have been fought over the same pointless end.  People died and still do today because of this futility.  We all look just the same as the people in the past.  To think that we consider oursleves advanced!  Ha!  The only difference from those that killed the ones that disagreed with them is that we fear some retribution and that keeps our anger and pride somewhat in check.  Doesn’t this all show how screwed up we really are?  Can’t we see it?  Or are we each blind? 
How many will say they alone have the truth?  How many different truths can there be?

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By Jim H., April 29, 2007 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“JESUS”? “JESUS”? NEVER! NEVER! NEVER was a “JESUS”!
If you have trouble accepting this, you need your head examined!
After the recent discovery of Essene documents at Kimberth Qumran (Palestine) it has been PROVEN that Jesus was (falsified) the result of falsifiers in the second century! Stop promoting a criminal conspiracy! Santa Clause, “Jesus” and Mickey Mouse are fairytales! They NEVER EXISTED!
Religion is Absolute Bigotry!  A Contagious Disease!  Religion is the putrid vomit of criminal minds! I avoid all contacts with idiots I know to be infected with that horrible infectious ‘Plague-like’ disease called “Religion”. And this goes ‘double in spades’ for any fool who is stupid enough to promote this sort of crap by writing about ‘it’!  The exception being, of course, if the writing exposes the racketeering ‘Ponzi-like’ criminal activities of charlatans who brainwash, mesmerize, indoctrinate, and brand innocent children and fools for the purpose of using them, and abusing them.  There is no excuse for intelligent people to be so ignorant of facts about the charlatan fantasies and make-believe pretenses of religion, that works to undermine the true Democratic principles and unifying influences of our Democratic Society! To promote, propagate, profligate or publish the same pretentious and pompous falsehoods that are the evil tools used by Fallwell, Baker, Haggard, the Pope, and their ilk to brainwash, indoctrinate, brand, and subjugate innocent children and fools for the purpose of using them to gain ever more money, power, and divisive influence, is tantamount to supporting pimping, and prostitution. And because those charlatans use their evil schemes and lies to control, and enslave those misled ‘bovine-like’ advocates by rendering them ‘virtual’ robots that do their bidding; they are criminals, and those supporting them, are criminal cohorts, equally guilty of the crimes they commit against humanity, those fools, and the children. The vast majority of “religious” people were: forced into their ‘belief’! They had no say in the matter, they were imposed upon, brainwashed, and indoctrinated when innocent and defenseless! They were not old enough, wise enough, or informed enough to make a decision, or to determine the value of the information passed to them by elders who, they were taught to obey and were not able to question or contradict! And, generation, upon generation the same methods have been perpetually used and promoted by a big gang of thieves as their victimizing schemes to rob people of their pristine mental facilities and their ability to determine fact from fiction!  Most religious indoctrinated “children” never reach an “age or ability"to recover from the ‘disease’!
‘Religious’ “parents” already mesmerized and ‘indoctrinated’; are the absolute worst ‘indoctrinators’! because, they have first access to the innocents at the earliest age!
Religious parents minds are warped by the charlatans lies and fairytales, and by passing it on, they are naive, unwitting cohorts of the ‘criminal’ charlatans’; and are abetting the spread of the infectious plague-like disease “Religion”!  These “parents” are criminals! They are guilty of ‘branding’ and ‘warping’ the ‘pristine’ minds of the innocent defenseless children and robbing them of the mental acuity they were born with. Any person or entity that intentionally supports, promotes or in any other way encourages a criminal enterprise or activity that victimizes innocent children is guilty of a felony and subject to imprisonment!

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By Annie Reitano, April 29, 2007 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Hi again Marina,

Sorry it took me a bit to find.  But here’s an example of all that is said regarding those following Jesus (Christianity) in the Talmud:

Where a Jew Should Do Evil

Rosh Hashanah 17a. Christians (minnim) and others who reject the Talmud will go to hell and be punished there for all generations.

Sanhedrin 90a. Those who read the New Testament (“uncanonical books”) will have no portion in the world to come.

Shabbath 116a. Jews must destroy the books of the Christians, i.e. the New Testament.

This was after the uproar of these guys (like Paul) who started a new rebellion in Jerusalem under the teaching that Jesus was Immanuel.  However, only one book in the bible EVER calls Jesus “Emmanuel” and it was written last, as an afterthought.  And that is the book of Matthew that was calculatingly placed FIRST in the NT by the RCC and the GOC.

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By Annie Reitano, April 29, 2007 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

#67176 by Marina on 4/29 at 1:24 pm
(34 comments total)

Dear Annie,
>That puts a LOT of gods in the bible.>

“No, only one really. Jehovah is not God, he is Satan passing himself off as God.”

Okay, I don’t know what religion you practice so this confuses things a bit.  I will show you why. 

>...as to why you would use it [the bible] as a tool and guideline for your life.>

“I don’t. I never said I did.” <This statement right here confuses me.  You say you don’t use the bible as a guideline, then how did you find out about a man (god) named Jesus since this is the only account of him known to man? 

“The Sanhedrin have recently been re-established in Israel and they are currently breeding animals for sacrifice on the Temple Mount. In addition, any Jews who still follow the teachings of Jehovah and the Sanhedrin are -in their heart- successors of the original Sanhedrin.”

Marina, there is no Sanhedrin in Israel.  Sure, they have a government but it is no longer referred to as the Sanhedrin.  The Sanhedrin were religious AND political leaders to keep people in line with the Mosaic Law in bible times. 

>that he had come from Jehovah but their father was the Father of Lies from the beginning:  to wit!  Satan.  He was explaining to them why they couldn’t understand him. >

“You are giving the people-pleasing version of what Jesus said, which needs no interpretation or personal conclusions. Maybe you have a problem with Jesus calling the god of the Jews the devil? It is written throughout the gospels and in the Apocalypse that the Jews do not worship the same god as those who follow Jesus”.

I don’t have a problem with gods or devils, Marina. I don’t believe in them.  Calm down.  We’re discussing.  It’s true that the Jews rejected Christ as the messiah.  They believed; and those who practice Judaism still believe that the messiah to come for Israel is to come as a mighty KING not a lowly carpenter.  It was foretold of in the Tanakh—but still they are awaiting someone to set them free.  Jesus never accomplished that so they still wait. 

> But we could reverse that and say that since you weren’t there, you can’t say for sure that there even WERE any apostles, much less a Jesus.>

“Your logic is becoming non-sensical. You mentioned the Talmud at one time. It is written in the Talmud that Jesus existed, the Jews even admit it in their holiest of books. There are also other documents besides the Talmud and the bible which speak of Jesus.”

No, no.  There is NO mention of Jesus in the Talmud other than as a FORGERY of the Messiah.  The Talmud was written by Jewish Rabbis.  OF course they wouldn’t have anything good to say regarding the propaganda of such a rebel.  But they wrote the Talmud in the 1st and 2nd centuries, so they had no first hand knowlege or sight of this Jesus anymore than we do today.  But they were and still are living in the aftermath of a religion made surrounding him. 

“My love of Jesus is not “faith” or a “belief.” I KNOW that Christ exists and is God, through personal revelation from within. I do not “believe” Jesus is God, or that God exists, I KNOW it like I know the ocean exists. I have swam in the ocean. I don’t “believe” in the ocean. Jesus spoke of people who needed evidence of Him and of those who knew from within themselves that He is God. I am sorry that you need proof.”

Well, let’s face it Marina, if you KNEW that Jesus was God and that he existed, you wouldn’t need faith and the bible would contradict itself all the more since it’s a book about faith.  Also, you wouldn’t apologize that I need proof as if somehow you were favoured and Jesus gave only YOU proof, which would again contradict the bible since it says he’s no respecter of persons.  But, since you KNOW you can throw the bible out, prove it to the rest of us, and the problem will be solved.  In truth, you don’t know—or you WOULD be able to prove it.  wink

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By Harlon57, April 29, 2007 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Marina, you said: “My love of Jesus is not “faith” or a “belief.” I KNOW that Christ exists and is God, through personal revelation from within. I do not “believe” Jesus is God, or that God exists, I KNOW it like I know the ocean exists. I have swam in the ocean. I don’t “believe” in the ocean. Jesus spoke of people who needed evidence of Him and of those who knew from within themselves that He is God. I am sorry that you need proof.”

You use the work “know” as if it implied a fact.  A fact is something that can be proven to another, it is verifiable.  Other than your personal belief, you cannot prove what you say you know. Therefore, it is not factual, but belief, faith.  You can prove that the ocean exists, but you cannot prove that god exists.  What a false comparison. Is that the best you can do?

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By Marina, April 29, 2007 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Dear Annie,
>That puts a LOT of gods in the bible.>

No, only one really. Jehovah is not God, he is Satan passing himself off as God.

Look, even Jews admit that they follow a different God than Christians. They know this. It is Protestants and non-Christians who continue to try and tie the two together.

>...as to why you would use it [the bible] as a tool and guideline for your life.>

I don’t. I never said I did.

>Now, regarding John 8:48: Jesus was not saying that Jehovah was Satan.  He was telling his supposed oppressors (the Sanhedrin which we don’t even have anymore—so again, what’s the point)?—>

The Sanhedrin have recently been re-established in Israel and they are currently breeding animals for sacrifice on the Temple Mount. In addition, any Jews who still follow the teachings of Jehovah and the Sanhedrin are -in their heart- successors of the original Sanhedrin.

>that he had come from Jehovah but their father was the Father of Lies from the beginning:  to wit!  Satan.  He was explaining to them why they couldn’t understand him. >

You are giving the people-pleasing version of what Jesus said, which needs no interpretation or personal conclusions. Maybe you have a problem with Jesus calling the god of the Jews the devil? It is written throughout the gospels and in the Apocalypse that the Jews do not worship the same god as those who follow Jesus.

> But we could reverse that and say that since you weren’t there, you can’t say for sure that there even WERE any apostles, much less a Jesus.>

Your logic is becoming non-sensical. You mentioned the Talmud at one time. It is written in the Talmud that Jesus existed, the Jews even admit it in their holiest of books. There are also other documents besides the Talmud and the bible which speak of Jesus.

>I can also say that you didn’t walk the earth with Jesus either so you’re really not even SURE that he exists.  This is your faith.  It’s certainly not mine, based on the evidence.>

My love of Jesus is not “faith” or a “belief.” I KNOW that Christ exists and is God, through personal revelation from within. I do not “believe” Jesus is God, or that God exists, I KNOW it like I know the ocean exists. I have swam in the ocean. I don’t “believe” in the ocean. Jesus spoke of people who needed evidence of Him and of those who knew from within themselves that He is God. I am sorry that you need proof.

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By Marina, April 29, 2007 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Logician,

>Are your feelings hurt, Marina?>

People’s “feelings” don’t get hurt. We all have emotions—negative and positive. I have no emotion towards you at all except that I don’t like to waste my time with people who cannot concentrate on the dialogue and choose to instead show their ignorance by being nasty.

I never claimed to be a scholar so do not place your personal conclusions on me. 

People fly planes into buildings and start wars because of what is in their heart. Although, the blood-thirsty Jehovah doesn’t help with his demonic instructions to the Hebrews. All Jesus taught was to love one another.

>Claiming you ‘KNOW’ the truth of whether Jehovah is god or satan or just a really badly dressed queer from the Bronx is the mark of a person not fit to guide, teach, be in ‘polite’ company or even breed.>

Then you would be very happy to know that I have chosen not to have children due to the lack of food, water, and clean air for future generations, also because of the terrible harm that bringing more children into this world does to the environment in general.

>Nice try, but you are in a PUBLIC forum.  Make stupid statements, get nailed.  It’s the name of the game, Marina.  Live with it, or leave.>

My statements might seem stupid to those who cannot understand higher truths and are instead still using their reptilian brain.

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By Annie Reitano, April 29, 2007 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

#67133 by Marina on 4/29 at 8:39 am
(32 comments total

Hi Marina,

Everything you said is in quotations again, okay? It keeps it less confusing. 

“John 1:1 says that The Word was with God and the Word WAS God, *as in Elohim*, The Father of Jesus. Jesus called Jehovah a MURDERER and SATAN (John 8:44) As I said before, there are two creations in Genesis. Jehovah was a volcano god who shunned the light. Elohim is the Father of Jesus, the pagans worshipped Him as the “Sun God.” Elohim and Jehovah ARE NOT THE SAME.”

That puts a LOT of gods in the bible.  But I agree with what you said about it being a mess.  That makes me curious, though, as to why you would use it as a tool and guideline for your life.  Regarding John 1:1 being about Elohim, only to the Jews who say Elohim as God, the universe and all governing powers (Hebrew translation) The Greeks used it to mean the God of Genesis (Greek translation) It looks like there were always arguments.  smile
Now, regarding John 8:48: Jesus was not saying that Jehovah was Satan.  He was telling his supposed oppressors (the Sanhedrin which we don’t even have anymore—so again, what’s the point)?—that he had come from Jehovah but their father was the Father of Lies from the beginning:  to wit!  Satan.  He was explaining to them why they couldn’t understand him.  If he was of God, how could those people whose father was the devil, understand?  The word “father” in the verse 44 in the Greek means “teacher, mentor”; not a literal “Father” figure that Jesus claimed he was from when speaking of Jehovah.  So, the Jews relationship to Satan was now explicitly stated.  Their problem, according to Jesus here, was spiritual and not intellectual.  Being oriented toward Satan, they were hell bent on murder (back up to verse 37) and eventually would succeed, as they were the ones who were trying to kill Jesus (back to v. 28). 

“You can repeat what the bible has written down, but you cannot say that Jesus used the word “hate” in the meaning you wish to apply. “

This is not the meaning I wish to apply.  I wish that we could sprinkle fairydust and just go to this marvelous netherworld called heaven.  But that’s not the case.  Sticking to facts, the Greek interpretation from the Vulgate bible is “Hate, Hatred, a deep-seated dislike or distaste”.

“It fascinates me that atheists, Protestants, and even Jews continue to try and interpret Jesus and His words when the Apostles were the ones who walked the earth with Christ and knew what he meant. The Apostles were there. You call Jesus a hypocrite but you did not walk the earth with Him. You can call the bible an abomination and have solid ground to stand on, but Jesus Himself you cannot judge.”

Well, to a degree I agree with you.  But we could reverse that and say that since you weren’t there, you can’t say for sure that there even WERE any apostles, much less a Jesus.  There is no historical record of him.  And the records regarding Matthew (a Latin and somewhat British name given to the tax collector ‘Levi’) and the other “apostles” are very different from what’s written in the bible, Vulgate or otherwise.  I can also say that you didn’t walk the earth with Jesus either so you’re really not even SURE that he exists.  This is your faith.  It’s certainly not mine, based on the evidence. (caps used for emphasis, not yelling).

Thanks again Marina.  smile

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By Logician, April 29, 2007 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Re#67133 by Marina on 4/29:

Are your feelings hurt, Marina?  When your psychotic ramblings over whether a make believe character is god or satan are exposed, it IS humiliating, isn’t it?

Newsflash, oh enlightened one: the vulgate bible is STILL nothing more than extremely poorly plagiarized fairy tales.  If, and that’s one really, really big if, you THINK you’re a scholar, you would know this. 

No free rides, Marina.  The utterly disgusting filth of your beliefs are no longer getting the passover of ‘polite’ discourse.  People all over the world are moving toward a world war over their stupid beliefs and it’s time to stomp that stupidity into the ground.  Flying planes into buildings over the veracity of a couple of books of filthy little fairy tales is not honorable, admirable, or exusable.

Claiming you ‘KNOW’ the truth of whether jehovah is god or satan or just a really badly dressed queer from the Bronx is the mark of a person not fit to guide, teach, be in ‘polite’ company or even breed.  Following the words of a bunch of illiterate, ignorant and superstitious desert dwellers from thousands of years ago is not ‘spiritual,’ it is psychotic.

Nice try, but you are in a PUBLIC forum.  Make stupid statements, get nailed.  It’s the name of the game, Marina.  Live with it, or leave.

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By Marina, April 29, 2007 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Annie,

I will only be addressing you from now on, as you are the only person who is courteous. I have no time to answer those who use terms for me like “ignorant boobies” and “mouth breathers.” I was an atheist for 25 years but still knew that treating others well was important.

I can totally relate to your experience with the bible, frankly, I don’t like that book and think that, as a whole document, it has done terrible damage. There are beautiful teachings within it but as a whole, is quite a mess.

John 1:1 says that The Word was with God and the Word WAS God, *as in Elohim*, The Father of Jesus. Jesus called Jehovah a MURDERER and SATAN (John 8:44) As I said before, there are two creations in Genesis. Jehovah was a volcano god who shunned the light. Elohim is the Father of Jesus, the pagans worshipped Him as the “Sun God.” Elohim and Jehovah ARE NOT THE SAME.

The book of Revelation is not worthless to those who trust in Jesus and Saint John. 

I have been using the Latin Vulgate Bible, first published 1582.  I don’t use Protestant bibles because they have been changed.


You can repeat what the bible has written down, but you cannot say that Jesus used the word “hate” in the meaning you wish to apply. You were not there when He said it, but the Apostles were. They were the ones who transferred His teachings verbally and knew what He meant. They passed those teachings and meanings down verbally. It fascinates me that atheists, Protestants, and even Jews continue to try and interpret Jesus and His words when the Apostles were the ones who walked the earth with Christ and knew what he meant. The Apostles were there. You call Jesus a hypocrite but you did not walk the earth with Him. You can call the bible an abomination and have solid ground to stand on, but Jesus Himself you cannot judge.

I don’t know what your life experience is, and don’t presume to know, but it seems to me that maybe something other than the errors of the bible caused you to become an atheist. Those who are truly alive in Christ Jesus don’t lose their faith because of that book. I would have lost my faith years ago if I had allowed that book to dictate my relationship with Christ.

Peace to you.

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By Logician, April 29, 2007 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

Re# 66931 by Maani on 4/28 and subsequent posts in reply:

Good gosh a’mighty!  I go away on a motorcycle ride through the country to enjoy the beautiful weather and come back to find Maani spanked from one end of the net to the other!

I yawped in shock when Maani was ignorant enough to claim Galileo (GALILEO!!!!) ‘believed’ in jesus, god, cosmic muffin, whatever.  I was all set to rip Maani apart and then I read Annie Reitano’s rock solid reply.

That’s really no fair, Annie.  Using facts, I mean.  How dare you?  Maani bases his/her/its life on pure, unadorned faith, don’t ya know?  What doesn’t fit the faith must be wrong. Things like #67034 on Asimov, a man Maani would not recognize, for he based EVERYTHING he did on EVIDENCE and FACTS. Gosh, what real dud he was, eh Maani? 

But Maani, I have to ask, do you smoke Peyote buttons as a part of your religious/spiritual/transcendence rituals?  Using a man who was imprisoned and condemned by the fabricators of one of the world’s worst religions is evidence that for all the book learning you claim, you just aren’t reading ones having facts contained therein. 

Do you not know what the filthy priests and pope did to Galileo, and WHY they did it?  Do you REALLY not know?  NO person of science, philosophy, religion can claim ANY knowledge if they cannot recite the disgustingly shameful acts of the rcc toward one of the greatest intellects of humanity. It stands as a beacon for all to see throughout the world itself that religions have no truck with the truth, to the point of imprisoning and threatening to KILL those who state the truth. 

The mere fact that you, Maani, could think that Galileo was a ‘believer’ demonstrates for all to see the intellectual cretinism of believers.  Lest you completely embarrass yourself again, Maani, a hint: “dude, like, Wikipedia is like, totally bogus dude, it’s like a bunch of dudes just jamming, ya know? It’s like, not even as full of facts as that filthy books of forgeries, dude, you know, your bible, dude. And ya know, dude, that bible is full of nothing but retold lies, dude, not any facts.” That understandable for you, Maani?  If you want to play with the big dogs, Maani, and claim your intellect is on par with the topic at hand, DON’T use generation X’s answer to crib sheets.

Wikipedia, good freakin’ grief! No wonder you believe in jesus/god/cosmic muffin/Great Green Arkelsiezure.  Widipedia…I still can’t believe that one.  Say, Maani, I have some old Cracker Jacks comics, think they’d be of any help in your cosmic journey?

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 28, 2007 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

#67044 by Harlon57 on 4/28 at 5:00 pm: “...Most christians I have met were not very christian.  If the sermon on the mount really means anything, then most christians aren’t getting into heaven .....They seem to enjoy the prospect that unbelievers will pay for lack of belief with an eternity of suffering .....For all their 2000 years of experience, they don’t seem to be any more christian than your average non-christian…..”
 
I guess feeling that “unbelievers will pay” for all their naughty fun tends to make up for paying all those taxes, ha ha! Don’t ever believe that Jesus ever said that one should “render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar”!

Jesus (whether you believe he existed/exists or not) would have known that it all belongs to the Creator anyway and that we only ever have the temporary use of these molecules we have assembled as a body for a time and then they are inevitably returned to the “universal supply” - dust is to dust” - thus we can never “own” anything, especially Caesar!

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By Harlon57, April 28, 2007 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

Scientists in the public eye may feel the need to show respect for people with ideas they hold in contempt.

I am not in the public eye and feel no need to temper my views.

It has been shown to you that Einstein believed in neither the concept of a soul nor in the concept of a personal god.  He said it was weakness in thought. How much more would he have to say before you realize you can’t count on him for support of your christian god, or of any god?

There is a difference of opinion in the scientific community on whether or not scientists should address the topic of faith.

I believe our best and brightest should state their opinions on these matters, as they have the same rights as the rest of us, and have more facts to bolster their opinions.

93% of the scientists in the National Academy of Sciences do not believe in god. That fact supports my own conclusions about those matters.

Most christians I have met were not very christian.  If the sermon on the mount really means anything, then most christians aren’t getting into heaven.

Compared to the average person (80% living at subsistence levels) on this planet, christians are wealthy, by far. Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, and so on. They covet their neighbors wife and have affairs at astonishing rates. They divorce, commit crimes, many don’t mind abortion. Hate, avarice, you name it, christians are into it. Christians love to tell you that you are going to hell. They seem to enjoy the prospect that unbelievers will pay for lack of belief with an eternity of suffering.
For all their 2000 years of experience, they don’t seem to be any more christian than your average non-christian.

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By Annie Reitano, April 28, 2007 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Maani,

I literally have books and quotations EVERYWHERE so I hope you bear with me.  You were right (I believe you had noted Asimov)—but still he was atheist.

Isaac Asimov, Russian born writer and philosopher (not scientist and I should have known that).  I guess he was known as Nietsche was, although the latter I have read plenty of and I can’t say the same for Asimov.  My bad! Anyway, here goes: 

“I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say that one is an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or agnostic. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.” -Isaac Asimov

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By Annie Reitano, April 28, 2007 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

Hi again Maani,

I am afraid you’ve taken Wikipedia’s propaganda for truth.  Also NeuroSCIENCE is science and would make Sam Harris a scientist.  But no need to split hairs.  I have to type the rest of this for you and it’s going to take some time.  Rest assured I study before I post.
-Charles Darwin [1809-1885]From the age of forty he was, to use his own words, a complete disbeliever in Christianity. He professed himself an Agnostic, regarding the problem of the universe as beyond our solution, “For myself,” he wrote, “I do not believe in any revelation. As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities.”
-Alber Einstein [1879-1855]November 2004

  “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954.

-Stephen Hawking Theoretical Physicist

At a physicist’s conference Hawking was attending after his book A Brief History of Time was published, a reporter approached him to ask if he did in fact believe in God, given the “mind of God” reference near the end of the book. Hawking responded quickly (suggesting his answer was pre-prepared) “I do not believe in a personal God.”

-Carl Sagan-Carl Sagan [1934-1997] American astronomer and author


  In a March 1996 profile by Jim Dawson in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Sagan talked about his then-new book The Demon Haunted World and was asked about his personal spiritual views: “My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it,” he said. “An agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.”

  When asked how he would explain a “genuine mystical experience,” Sagan responded: “Your question presupposes the existence of a genuine mystical experience and I’m not sure what that is. People have vivid hallucinations. How do you distinguish between altered states of consciousness?”

“It is said that men may not be the dreams of the Gods, but rather that the Gods are the dreams of men.”

-;Galileo Galilei [1564–1642] great Italian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist who laid foundations for modern experimental science and gave mathematical formulation to many physical laws.

“...nothing physical which sense-experience sets before our eyes, or which necessary demonstrations prove to us, ought to be called into question (much less condemned) upon the testimony of biblical passages.” as quoted in Blind Watchers of the Sky, p. 101

Thomas Edison, [1847-1931]American Inventor
”  “I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious ideas of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.”
“I do not believe that any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States.”
“So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake… Religion is all bunk.”

There’s more if you like, Maani.  As for the suggestion that the times made it more difficult,; you may scoff and have—but just take a minute to think about how witches perform their craft over the phone and make money from it today.  Their days were much, much different from now and they were men in the spotlight-as you can see from Einstein’s agitation regarding him believing in any god.  This is always the case with the Christian apologists.  They WANT to think these great men believed in God—and I think Galileo most definitely did at one time.  What’s the difference?  Even if he did, he was Catholic and Protestants hate the Catholics and each thinks the other is going to hell.  So, I see no point.

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By Maani, April 28, 2007 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Annie, Harlon et al (Part1):

To suggest that a scientist – any scientist – claimed a belief in God simply because they were “afraid” of doing otherwise is an age-old canard that holds zero water.  Indeed, logic and forensic debate DEMAND that their own statements MUST be seen as genuine UNLESS it can be shown otherwise, by historical or other proof – none of which exists.  So that argument goes out the window.

Re Darwin, Annie’s claims are refuted by dozens of scholars, including secular scholars. Darwin’s only earned degree was in theology.  He studied to be minister.  He never earned a degree in science, though he was mentored by two or three eminent scientists.  And although he had his “moments of doubt in faith,” he remained a believer in God (if not in Christ) throughout his ENTIRE life; indeed, AFTER he wrote his three seminal works, he became a deacon of his church and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

As well, here is the penultimate paragraph from the Recapitulation and Conclusion (final chapter) of “The Origin of Species”:

“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 on 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…”

Thus, Darwin believed that LIFE was created by the “Creator” (God), but that this Creator “set in motion” the “laws impressed upon matter” – including evolution.  In other words, Darwin did NOT set out to disprove the existence of God – or even whether God created “life.”  He set out ONLY to prove that each species was not “independently created,” but were the result of random mutation and natural selection.  And he NEVER disavowed this belief during his entire life.

It is funny how many people will discuss, debate, even argue Darwin – and yet so few people actually READ what he wrote, much less read ABOUT him in scholarly works about his life. Indeed, it is the atheists among you who regurgitate what you learned in school – products of the scientific and educational communities who do not want you to know the FULL truth about Darwin and what he set out to – and did – accomplish.  And don’t put words in my mouth: I am not a creationist, I do not agree with teaching creationism in the schools, and I support Darwin’s theory EXACTLY as he put it forth: with “first cause.”

More coming…

Peace.

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By Maani, April 28, 2007 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Annie, Harlon et al (Part 2):

Here are some quotes you seem to have missed:

“I was a young man with unformed ideas.  I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire.  People made a religion out of them!”  Charles Darwin

“Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to man, and one in the face of which our modest powers must feel humble.”  Albert Einstein

“Either we see everything in life as a miracle, or we see nothing in life as a miracle.”  Albert Einstein

“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical.  It is the power of all true art and science.  He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.”  Albert Einstein

“Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exists between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies.  Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up.  But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration towards truth and understanding.  The source of this feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion.  To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason.  I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith.  The situation may be expressed by an image: religion without science is blind; science without religion is lame.”  Albert Einstein

“In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God.  But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views…I want to know how God created this world.  I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element.  I want to know His thoughts.  The rest are details.”  Albert Einstein

“The chief difficulty I see in the skeptical movement is in its polarization: Us vs Them – the sense that we [skeptics, scientists] have a monopoly on the truth…There is no necessary conflict between science and religion.  On one level, they share similar and consonant goals, and each needs the other.”  Carl Sagan

“It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”  Stephen Hawking (re the anthropic principle).

So tell me Logician, Basho, Harlon et al – if Einstein and Sagan both had not only toleration but respect for faith, religion and the mystical, by what rubric do you – pikers all, next to these intellectual giants – have LESS respect for them?

Peace.

P.S.  If Sam Harris is a “scientist,” then I am God.  He has a degree in philosophy, and is doing graduate work in neuroscience.  Yet even when he attains his doctorate in neuroscience, he will not have any special knowledge re most of the issues being discussed here.

P.P.S.  Re Asimov, he was indeed a humanist.  However, Wikipedia notes that “For many years, Asimov called himself an atheist, though he felt the term was somewhat inadequate, describing more what he did not believe than what he did.”  They also offer the following quote from Asimov: “If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul…”  For the most part, I agree with him.

Peace.

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By Harlon57, April 28, 2007 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

In Berlin in February 1921 Einstein received from a woman in Vienna a letter imploring him to tell her if he had formed an opinion as to whether the soul exists and with it personal, individual development after death. There were other questions of a similar sort. On 5 February 1921 Einstein answered at some length. Here in part is what he said:

      “The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seems to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.”

  The Einstein profile comes from Bucky and Weakland.

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By Annie Reitano, April 28, 2007 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

RE: # 66931 Maani

Hi Maani,

You stated: “Oh, by the way, it might interest you to know that some of the greatest scientists who ever lived were also believers, including Copernicus (who continued to believe strongly even though he thought the RCC was wrong), Newton (also a deacon of his church), Galileo, Leeuwenhoek, Pasteur (a devout Christian), George Washington Carver, Curie, and Darwin (who believed in a Creator).  Even Einstein was more open to the “mystical” - and even “God” - than you seem to be.”

First, Einstein made a clear declaration that there was no god other than the universe, making him a pantheist. i.e, the universe was his god.  Also, Darwin once believed in God but at the end of his work regarding evolution and the end of his days as a scientist, he claimed that it just couldn’t be proven for lack of evidence and concidered himself an agnostic.  i.e. “one who doesn’t believe the existence or non-existence of god or gods can be proven” -Encarta.  Agnostics live lives of atheists—no gods so no masters or churches, etc. 

Also, you might remind yourself that the others were all born and raised in a time when and where Catholicsm and Christianity were rampant and to say anything against it would be heresy and not taken well by the people at all.  Even Thomas Paine didn’t denounce a God—he just denounced the many “bibles of ‘truth’”.  As a result, he was denied a rightful burial and his bones were scattered by a peasant servant into the ocean.  (long story short).

So, let’s take the scientists of our day.  Isaac Asimov-atheist.  Sam Harris-atheist. Carl Sagan-atheist. Stephen Hawking-atheist.  Clearly, we’ve become more aware regarding science and with the eye-opening revelation that Darwin DID give us regarding evolution, and the about face it gave people who had free thought people now feel more free to speak their mind about what they’ve learned. And even though there’s derision, it’s not nearly to the extent as we are more mixed in religious beliefs now and we are hopefully more accepting.  At least no one is burning witches at the stake that I am aware of.  wink

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By Harlon57, April 28, 2007 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Reading the inane comments from christians reminds me of this comment by Bertrand Russell:

“A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

Christians also translate the bible into something they can understand even though it is quite clearly meant to be taken literally.

No sense fighting the truth; You didn’t exist before you were born and won’t exist after you die.  It is really just that simple.

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By William DeMente, April 28, 2007 at 7:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ancient literature abounds in reference to the existence of deities.  Examples of such are the Iliad and Odyssey from Ancient Greece, the Popol Vuh of the Maya, and the Epic of Gilgamesh from Mesopotamia.  The Genesis account is no exception as it begins, “In the beginning, the Elohim…”  The term “Elohim” is plural which would explain why there are so many gods and goddesses in so many conflicting religions.  The term “Lord of the Elohim”, or “Lord God”, does not appear until Genesis 2:4 with the Creation of Adam.
It would seem that the educated approach would be an objective study of these documents.  From what has been posted in this section, it appears that nobody is willing to engage in such a study.  Everyone (deists and atheists alike) appears, however, to be all too willing to dismiss as false whatever they do not understand, like, or agree with.

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By Maani, April 28, 2007 at 6:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Logician, Bashoa, Harlon et al:

Perfect!  Your logic is absolutely perfect!

You set out with a premise: all believers are indoctrinated, duped, irrational, unreasonable, incapable of “thinking,” etc.  Then you make any believer who is NOT these things “damned if they do and damned if they don’t”: i.e., one can be either a “complete” rationalist/scientist/empiricist or a “complete” believer, but nothing in between.  If not, they are “fence-sitters.”

Cool!  When I grow up, I want to be just like you!

Oh, by the way, it might interest you to know that some of the greatest scientists who ever lived were also believers, including Copernicus (who continued to believe strongly even though he thought the RCC was wrong), Newton (also a deacon of his church), Galileo, Leeuwenhoek, Pasteur (a devout Christian), George Washington Carver, Curie, and Darwin (who believed in a Creator).  Even Einstein was more open to the “mystical” - and even “God” - than you seem to be.

But, of course, they were all fence-sitters and their science doesn’t count because they were also believers.

Peace.

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By Logician, April 28, 2007 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

Re#66925 by basho on 4/28:

Indeed.  Rather like throwing peanuts at the monkeys in the zoo, eh?  No, that would be cruel, this truly is fun.  Throw a fact at these atavisms, and they hoot, run around in their cage of superstition and smear their religious feces on the wall, pretty much like the monkeys, now that I think about it…

Sorry to see you beam up, but you’re right.  You’d grow old and gray looking for signs of intelligence in the religious crowd…

Thanks for the laughs.

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By nonsequitor, April 28, 2007 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

maani-
‘Yet I provided it only in response to your stereotyping and presumptions about who I am, what my background is, and what I believe.’

your posts dispel all my presumptions. unfortunately they don’t dispel yours. what you believe is irrelevant as is your background. get your head out of your posterior.

in fact you have become a bit of a bore.
go and argue with marina, like a good christian.
ciao, for now smile

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By nonsequitor, April 28, 2007 at 2:41 am Link to this comment

logician-

‘Really, basho, think you’re making any headway?’

no, but it’s fun baiting these mouth breathers. smile
i’m out of here looking for signs of intelligence on some other topic.

i leave these automatons in your capable hands. smile

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By nonsequitor, April 28, 2007 at 2:35 am Link to this comment

marini-
‘Ah! you see, I have made my point because all you can come back with is a bad joke.

yes, probably, but it was the only way i could think of, after reading your posts, to tell you that you don’t have the horsepower for a dialog on these issues.

you have become a bit , shall i say, tedious.
go argue with maani, like a good christian.
ciao for now smile

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By Logician, April 28, 2007 at 1:30 am Link to this comment

Re#66919 by Douglas Chalmers on 4/28:

Yep, I had to laugh.  It’s just so dang messy, though, culling the gene pool like that, don’t you think?  Too much collateral damage…

Speaking of which, I can’t wait for Marina’s reply to Annie Reitano in #66916.  Faced with FACTS, most zealots simply reach for the sword or the gun.  Will be interesting to see what hate is vomited forth for the world to see, eh?

Stay tuned…

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 28, 2007 at 1:19 am Link to this comment

#66917 by Logician on 4/27 at 11:33 pm: “...Sounds a lot like religion, DC, as well as patriotism, doesn’t it?  I do like the idea of it being a “contagion,” though.  If only we DID have a vaccine for the disgusting stupidity of religion….”

As with excesses of religious fervour, the much-used common therapy has been WAR!

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By Logician, April 28, 2007 at 12:33 am Link to this comment

Re#66911 by Douglas Chalmers on 4/27:

Ah, yes, the old “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” idea from Samuel Johnson, as quoted by Boswell. Further reading of Johnson himself will back you up:

“To instigate the populace with rage beyond the provocation, is to suspend publick happiness, if not to destroy it.  He is no lover of his country, that unnecessarily disturbs its peace. Few errours and few faults of government, can justify an appeal to the rabble; who ought not to judge of what they cannot understand, and whose opinions are not propagated by reason, but caught by contagion.”  Samuel Johnson, The Patriot, 1774.

Sounds a lot like religion, DC, as well as patriotism, doesn’t it?  I do like the idea of it being a “contagion,” though.  If only we DID have a vaccine for the disgusting stupidity of religion.  Ah, one can dream, eh?

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By Annie Reitano, April 28, 2007 at 12:29 am Link to this comment

Hello again, Marina,

That’s a lot to address all at once but I will try to just hit the “high spots”. 

First I must say that I am an atheist.  I used to be Christian, and in fact, I was a missionary for 20 years.  I am aware of the three Abrahamic religions and have studied them for 40 years and still study them.  Just so you understand, I am an atheist by my own experience with the bibles based on the lack of evidence, fluidity, and common sense in any of the three Abrahamic books.

Secondly, I never meant that Judaism was compatible with Christianity.  Obviously not, since one believes in Jesus as the Christ and the other does not and each are willing to fight to the death over that argument.  However, they share the same beliefs as far as the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Laws of the OT.

Next, John 1:1 most surely DOES say that Jesus and Jehovah are ONE and the same.  I will quote for you.  “In the beginning was the Word.  And the Word was with God and the Word WAS God.  And the Word came and dwelt amongst men in the flesh.” [Jesus] Clearly, Jesus was supposedly Jehovah in the flesh as prophesied about in the books of Daniel and Isaiah.

If the book of Revelation was given to John on the Isle of Patmos to pass onto the coming Asian generations, why should we consider that book at all?  Why is it even in the Bible for people to study?  Also, a revelation by definition is something that was revealed to someone—in this case John.  But it wasn’t revealed to me, therefore it’s second-hand hearsay and not a revelation at all. This makes the book worthless to us today.

As far as the Aramaic, this was the language that was spoken when Jesus was supposedly alive.  The oldest complete Bible is the Latin Vulgate Bible.  The Latin Vulgate Bible is a correction (based most on the most ancient Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek manuscripts available in the fourth and fifth centuries) of the Old Latin Bible which itself contains the most ancient form of the New Testament (known as the Western Recension). 

Jesus used the word “hate” because that’s exactly what was meant.  “Jacob I have loved and Esau whom I have hated.” <same translation—same Jesus speaking except this time translated from OT scripture by Paul showing once again that Jesus and Jehovah are the same in the bible.  Also 1 John 5:7 DOES say that the Father [Jehovah} and the Son and the Holy Spirit are the same.  “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word,  and the Holy Ghost: and these three are ONE” (1 John 5:7; Authorized King James Bible).

I will await your response to this and then move forward to show you just exactly what a hipocrite Jesus was and how the propaganda behind his existence and his supposed love has erroneously been taken for truth.  I will also show you John 20:21-23(which you had quoted but which I don’t have room for here) and what the meaning is behind it. 

Thanks, Marina

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 27, 2007 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

#66902 by Logician on 4/27 at 9:36 pm: “...The hate, the guilt, the death and destruction sown upon this planet in the names of various ‘beliefs’ has to stop….”

PATRIOTISM is the worst religion. Each country has its own Veterans’ Day which sadly has evolved into something more than “honoring all who served” and particularly the sacrice made by ordinary people.

Now that we have professional armies instead of conscription, something has to be said about the orgy of ill-informed nationalism which now accompanies these events.

One of the worst countries is Australia which commemorates its ANZAC Day a week or so after Easter. The lesson of the sacrifice of Jesus is quickly forgotten for their real religion - war.

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By Logician, April 27, 2007 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

Re# 66891 by Marina on 4/27:

Thank you so much for such sterling examples of EXACTLY what Maani and I have been discussing:

“The two religions have very different beliefs about life, death, and morality.”

“The entire documentwas not meant for everyone to understand, only those who have knowledge of these things.”

YES!  That attitude is JUST my point about ALL filthy little groups who feel they have ‘the truth’ while others do not.  This attitude leads to divisions, harsh words, violence, and eventually the full scale world war we are seeing between the hateful stupidities of islam and christianity.

And just exactly which ‘morality’ are you saying Jews have that differs from christianity?  Whatever it is, (doesn’t matter a tinker’s damn to me, you’re both ignorant boobies for believing in “what ain’t so”) does it justify the malevolent hatred for Jews so many christians display?  And don’t tell me ‘real christians’ don’t hate Jews.  A burning cross is a burning cross is a burning cross. 

I know you’ll vomit up tons of righteous indignation, giving me so many examples and definitions of christianity, calling me horrible names and telling me how misguided I am, etc.  Don’t bother.  I’ve heard it all before, and it’s always been done to evade the obvious:  religions are simply a crutch for those too simple minded to think for themselves.  Even you admit that:

“I am not certain why Jesus used a word like hate,... I can find out though.  I have a source who can help me on that.”

Nice to have someone do your thinking for you, eh, Marina?  So much easier than having to do all that tedious fact finding on your own and then having to do all that nasty sifting, sorting and comparing to come to a knowledgable understanding of any topic.  So much easier to just ‘let god do it.’  And who likes those pedantic old thinkers, anyway?  Nothing more boring than someone who actually uses their brain, after all.  Much sexier to follow a charismatic leader, one who has “knowledge of these things” eh?

And oh, yeah, tell me again how Jehovah is Satan.  I love the internecine squabbles over something so transparently ridiculous as that most pornographic of all books, your ‘bible.’

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By Logician, April 27, 2007 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

Re# 66869 by Maani on 4/27:

I have to admit, when I first read of your “broadmindedness” I laughed so hard I nearly fell off my chair.  I had declined to comment on it to any great extent because I recognized a false argument and decided to leave it be.  But, since you continue to trot it out…

If, I say IF, you are a believer who yet trusts science, you are the worst abomination to your alleged god: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Rev 3:16.  I’ve actually had HOT christians point out the numerical correlation between this and John 3:16 as being of ‘great significance’ for those who profess to BE christians without actually BEING christians, I kid you not.

A better term for you actually, would be a ‘Cafeteria Christian’, one of those intellectual abominations that are a result of the ‘age of Aquarius’ idiots of the sixties.  You’re quite happy to affect a flawed intellect while picking and chosing what you profess to ‘believe’ in the that most hateful of pornographic books, the bible.  You somehow think that gives you an ‘edge’ of some sort with believers and thinkers. 

Sorry, old bean, it doesn’t.  A true believer, the kind we’re talking about in this article, despises you for your worldliness.  And any thinker worth their salt laughs at you as both intellectually weak and morally indefensible.

And while Harlon57 is logically correct in his statement about the abject failure of your “mommy’s position,” I don’t doubt your “mommy” loves you.  That’s her job, she’s the Mom.  But ain’t no ‘mommies’ here, Maani.  The filth of religion has had a free ride for too long and thinkers are cashing in the chits on this disgusting sh*t.  The hate, the guilt, the death and destruction sown upon this planet in the names of various ‘beliefs’ has to stop.  And it starts by laughing at the mouth-breathers who can actually look straight at incontrovertible physical evidence and say: ‘Iffen it ain’t in da bible, it ain’t so.” 

And as for those who claim great ‘scientific knowledge’ while still having belief in an invisible-guy-the-sky: contempt of the highest order, for they are neither true believers nor real thinkers but chickensh*ts afraid to take a stand one way or the other, hedging their bets because they ‘think’ only of themselves, and not of the truth.

The truth, Maani?  Ain’t no god, no jesus. Never was, ain’t now, never will be.  Trying to act as if you are so ‘broadminded’ you can swallow lies while being ‘oh so educated,’ is both laughable and contemptible.  Get off the fence, you’ll only get splinters.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 27, 2007 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

Some of you have become completely engrossed in your own personal diatribes - even to the extent of producing multiple posts in order to get around the 4,000 word limit - and you have done so several times, not only in this topic but in any other which you can construe to be your own.

That is NOT addressing the topic and it is wasting time for other people. Who are you thus helping? Surely not Jesus?

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

Annie, here is the last one of four…

>Not only does the Bible claim that Jesus came to set man at variance against members of the family, but he demanded that anyone wishing to become a disciple must hate them>

The laws of Christ, by His very life and words, show us that we are not to hate anyone, even our enemies (especially teaching not to die with hatred for our parents). The text you have quoted means that we must be willing to renounce loved ones, and part with everything connected to them in order to remain in Christ. This links back to the sword of truth. If our family keeps us from following Christ and His teachings then we must be wiling to let go of them completely. Mother Theresa and Saint Francis both came from wealthy families, they renounced everything for Jesus. Their families thought they were crazy but Mother Theresa and Saint Francis cared not. 


I am not certain why Jesus used a word like hate, except that it is possible there was no other word in those times to use, or that the original translation was lost or mis-used. I can find out though. I have a source who can help me on that.

Jesus is called “The Prince of Peace” because those who trust in Him fully, have peace WITHIN THEMSELVES, even in times of suffering and death. But also, truth brings peace to those who are uncomfortable with falseness, superficial things, and lies.

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

Part Three….

‘Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division…............>

This quote has been unceasingly misunderstood. Jesus was speaking of the sword of truth. He was saying that His teachings would set brother against brother, son against father, etc. because the truth will always divide people. I am speaking, not necessarily of the truth of Jesus Christ being God, but also of the truth in general. Human beings need to learn that the truth is to be put above all human relationships and needs. Jesus taught that we are to cater to truth, not people, even if it is a family member.

>Show me where the sacrament of confession is at in the bible. Also, show me where JESUS said anything about Last Rites.  Canon Law was written by the Romans.  I would like you to show me something from the Aramaic and/or Hebrew. >

“As the father hath sent me, I also send you.” “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” John 20:21-23 Jesus did not give His authority to just anyone and everyone, only to His apostles and their successors.

The Sacrament of Extreme Unction (given for the sick or the dying) ties into the Sacrament of Confession above. Extreme Unction can be found in James 5:14-15, “Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up. and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

I don’t know what you are asking when you refer to “something from the Aramaic and/or Hebrew,” Jesus spoke in Aramaic and I gave you His words from the days that He walked the earth.

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

Part Two….

>Well, the two are the same according to the bible, Marina.  John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God…” etc.>

John 1:1 does not say that Jesus and Jehovah are one. It says that Jesus is THE WORD, the alpha, and the omega.  1 John 5:7 also does not state that Jesus and Jehovah are one. It is speaking of the Holy Trinity. Jehovah is the god of the Hebrews, Jehovah is a blood-thirsty demon. There are two Gods in the Old Test, Jehovah and Elohim. Elohim is The Father of Jesus. The Old Test is a tainted book. According to Genesis, Elohim (He-She-they-who-Are) retreats into His seity after the seventh day. Then Jehovah takes over and the mess begins! Esdras, a Jewish Rabbi changed the characters and points so that the Samaritans would not have the correct understanding of the original manuscriptof the Sepher. Jesus Himself called Jehovah Satan in John 8:44.

>since Jesus said he was God and didn’t come to do away with the Law but to fulfill it (in Matthew), then part of that Law is to make war>

Jesus Christ gave us His last drop of precious Blood to show us that war is not the answer. He came to fulfill THE ONLY law that ever was, the law of love and life. If one reads the entire Gospels one can see that Jesus did indeed do away with the law of death (Jehovah’s laws), he defied those laws and gave the correct understanding of the TRUE law.

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

Dear Annie, here is part one of four messages to answer you with. It is too much for one post….

Thank you for accepting my apology but I do want to clarify that my remark was not meant as an attack on you personally, it was a reaction to such a horrific description about Jesus. You say you are “used to the immediate ad hominem attacks from people with faith” but please remember that “People of faith” as you put it, are only human. Being a hypocrite is when a person continues in a behavior that is destructive or ego-based while pretending to be holy. Hypocriticism is not when a person makes a mistake and then recognizes that error and then corrects it. We all fall.

Just because Jews believe that Moses gave them the Ten Commandments, it does not mean their religion can be coupled with Christianity. The two religions have very different beliefs about life, death, and morality.

Regarding the Apocalypse: According to church history, it was originally meant for the churches in Asia minor to strengthen them in their faith, give them perseverance, and to warn them. The church fathers writethat the Apocalypse prophesy was left in the bible to warn and help all people. Also to provide knowledge for those who understand the hidden meanings of the Apocalypse. The entire documentwas not meant for everyone to understand, only those who have knowledge of these things. I do not include myself in that group as the Apocalypse is -for the most part- a very confusing book. However, there are some clear warnings in there, signs that we can all understand.

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By Harlon57, April 27, 2007 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Maani. You elude to your NAS mother as proof of your position and proof against those who wish to belittle your position.
Arguing from authority is considered a beginners mistake in debate. Your mommy’s position doesn’t make your position correct. 

As though we should believe an atheist scientist of reknown is proud of her small minded christian child.

How preposterous.

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By Maani, April 27, 2007 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Logician:

You said, “Now basho, just watch the hate-spewing hit the screen by the righteously indignant over my having the temerity to call their stupidity just exactly what it ALL is: pure sh*t.  I will be called many things, told I’m ignorant of the scriptures, know only hate, don’t know real science, etc., etc., etc. Thus it has been, thus shall it always be for those who dare to state that the earth is not the center of the universe, the earth is older than 6000 years, and no one named jesus performed a bunch of reality defying feats.”

Sorry to disappoint you.  Although you, Basho and a few others have learned the fine art of COMPLETELY ignoring anything of value that any believer has to say (which makes you just as “extremist” as you accuse many Christians of being), you have every right to your opinion.  Indeed, you and Basho are right about a lot of things.

However, you cannot see your own blindness to the very “reason” you so tenaciously argue for.  Many of us (though admittedly not all) have made it quite clear, through both personal information and our positions on various issues, that we are NOT the same type of Christians with whom you have a legitimate problem (and with whom we share your concern).

For example, I have made it quite clear that I believe - fully - in the Big Bang, a heliocentric solar system, evolution, etc.  Yet you continue to make comments like the ultimate one in your quote above.

As well, you and Basho seem to think that providing personal information is simply “egomania.”  Yet I provided it only in response to your stereotyping and presumptions about who I am, what my background is, and what I believe.  For example, you clearly both assumed that I was born and raised as an “indoctrinated” Christian.  As noted in my bio, I was not.  I did not even believe in God until I was 19.  And it did not come from a lack of rationality or reason, or some “trauma” in my life, or some “snake oil salesman” who convinced my of it.  Nor did it “undo” my prior 19-year upbringing in science or empiricism.  That you both choose to ignore this - and continue to put EVERY believer into a little box labelled “Bible-thumping, creationist, anti-science, narrow-minded, ignoramus of the Christian Right” - says far more about you two than it does about those you stereotype.

Again, I am not suggesting that many, perhaps even most, believers are not just as you claim.  But to suggest that there are NO believers who do NOT fit into your neat little box is not simply presumptuous, but patently absurd.  Indeed, there is clearly far more room within the Judeo-Christian construct for YOUR worldview - based on science, reason, etc. - than there is room in your worldview for anything even hinting at God, faith or belief.  So whose worldview is actually more limited?

Finally, although I am sure that it will not impress or move you any, it might interest you to know that my rabidly atheist mother (one of the top women in the world in the field of structural geology, and a member of NAS), with whom I share many of the discussions I have on these threads, thinks that the two of you (and a few others) – as a result of your own extremism, dismissal and denigration - do FAR more damage to the atheist-scientist positions in these discussions than some of the believers do to their faith.

Peace.

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By Logician, April 27, 2007 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

Re# 66802,66799,66796,66794,66782,66781, etc, by basho:

Really, basho, think you’re making any headway?  Maani went to school, you know: ref #64778 on Truthdig Podcast:‘Jesus Rode a Donkey’ Author.  Maani went in to another bit of biography stating he/she/it had read more “hard science” than I had, an “almost certainty.”  And reads lots and lots of books on religion, don’t ya know?

We thereby must realize that anything YOU say has no value, don’t you see?  Maani went to school, read books and, and, and just everything, dang it all, and since Maani believes in a pie-in-the-sky-invisible-white-old-man, why, you should too!  Shucks, Maani evens believes in what has clearly been shown to be a forgery, the Eusebius translation of Josephus’ works.

When confronted with that fact and other crap of the disgusting filth of the christian myth, Maani cried, wept, gnashed teeth and said he/she/it would never talk again: #64778 on 4/18 and #65102 on 4/19.  As you can see, basho, he/she/it is a very, very good christian: a complete hypocrite who’s back on the site telling others they know not what they speak of because they are using their heads instead of their behinds to think, witness the appallingly scientifically illiterate statement in #66790 about Black Holes.

Maani, the completely-from-the-lunatic-fringe-of- religiosity Marina, et al will always have an answer to any proof, statement, evidence, what-have-you, basho.  You see, you are trying to use reason, based on evidence, examined and catalogued with logic.  When doing that with mouth breathers, basho, you automatically blow your argument because they cannot understand a single word you say. 

Religion, ALL religions, MUST, in order to be followed, DEMAND servile, BLIND obedience, basho.  NO truth, NO evidence, NO logic, and most certainly of all, absolutely NO reason WHATSOEVER can EVER be allowed ANYWHERE in the description, discussion, and performance of any religious doctrine, dogma, or ceremonies.  That is why people will kill each other over it, kill in fact anybody they ‘believe’ needs to be killed.  Only emotions, the most simple, raw, and most easily manipulated emotions are utilized in religion, and no reason can ever overcome such blind, atavistic urges.  After all, basho, if ANY religion encouraged thinking for one’s self, one would automatically realize all religions are pure, stinking, mile-high piles of the most foul smelling putrid bullsh*t EVER designed by the mind of man.

So, all you’re doing is sharpening your typing skills, basho.  While I’ve watched you state fact after fact, reason after reason, the droolers spit and yell and rant and rave that you know nothing of peace or love or jesus or god or whatever it is they feel you ‘know’ nothing about. 

Now basho, just watch the hate-spewing hit the screen by the righteously indignant over my having the temerity to call their stupidity just exactly what it ALL is: pure sh*t.  I will be called many things, told I’m ignorant of the scriptures, know only hate, don’t know real science, etc., etc., etc. Thus is has been, thus shall it always be for those whom dare to state that the earth is not the center of the universe, the earth is older than 6000 years, and no one named jesus performed a bunch of reality defying feats.

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By Annie Reitano, April 27, 2007 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Marina,

I am at work and feel a bit rushed.  Here is another example that is in line with what I just showed you.  There’s a ton more but I will let you respond to these first.
Not only does the Bible claim that Jesus came to set man at variance against members of the family, but he demanded that anyone wishing to become a disciple must hate them:

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

-Luke 14:26

[A few desperate apologists attempt to dismiss this verse claiming that the word ‘hate’ here really doesn’t mean what it says. The problem with this approach boarders on complete deception and the ironic dismissal of the Bible and Biblical scholarship. The word ‘hate’ here comes from the ancient Greek word ‘miseo’ which means hate (from the primary ‘misos’ [hatred]). If any synonym could substitute for this word, it would come from a word like ‘detest,’ ‘loath,’ or ‘despise.’ Moreover, virtually all Bibles translate the term as hate. To deny this intent means to deny the Bible and the alleged word of Jesus.]

Whoever calls Jesus “Prince of Peace” obviously never read the Gospels, for he never claims to have come for peace sake, but rather to divide the family as I showed you in the previous post.

Okay, thanks again.  Over to you.

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By Annie Reitano, April 27, 2007 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

#66725 by Marina on 4/27 at 7:38 am
(26 comments total)

“Annie,”

Hello Marina, your apology is accepted.  I am not vindictive necessarily and I am used to the immediate ad hominem attacks from people with faith.  Don’t worry about it.  I will break it down for you.  Then if you can explain what your belief is, we can have a good and fair discussion.  Everything you’ve said is in quotations.

>Since the Judeo-Christian belief is that the bible is the “Divine Inspired Word of God” then you either believe it all literally—or you make God in your image.>

“This is an erroneous statement. “Judeo-Christian” is an oxymoron and Jews do not take the New Testament as the truth and only consider valid the Torah’s first five chapters. And The Word of God is not a book.”

Judeo-Christianity is a phrase used for anyone who believes in the Ten Commandments as a guideline.  Jews not only abide by it but they also have the Talmud, written by Jewish scholars in the first century, and they have the Tanakh (Jewish bible).

>In fact, the very last chapter in the bible, Revelation 22, states that you’re not to add or detract from the book.>

“That direction was given for The Apocalypse, not the entire bible.”

Then why would it be sent down to mankind for all time?  It seems to me if it’s just written to SOME people, there’s no need to trouble our head with these words in Revelation, and they’re just taking up space. 

>I can show you too many places where he is anything but loving—and Christ as well.  Both are masogynistic, infanticidal and genocidal maniacs.>

“You are uneducated and uninformed. No where is Jesus what you say. Jehovah (the god of the Hebrews) is a genocidal maniac indeed, but you are in error to say that Jesus is any of this. Give me an example and I will point out your error.”

Well, the two are the same according to the bible, Marina.  John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God…” etc.  Also, 1 John 5:7 States that the three are ONE.  So, suffice it to say that since Jesus said he was God and didn’t come to do away with the Law but to fulfill it (in Matthew), then part of that Law is to make war.  I.e. ‘Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.’-Jesus Christ   -Luke 12:51-53

“You have asked me where the Sacraments originated from. The essential rites of each Sacrament were given by Jesus Christ. The ceremonial rituals were derived from The Apostles and their Successors.”

Show me where the sacrament of confession is at in the bible. Also, show me where JESUS said anything about Last Rites.  Canon Law was written by the Romans.  I would like you to show me something from the Aramaic and/or Hebrew. 

Thanks very much, Marina.

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

>>If I were to say that murder is not immoral and not against the law then I would be in error correct?>>

>no, you would be george w bush and his 12 apostles>

Ah! you see, I have made my point because all you can come back with is a bad joke.

Do not compare Bush with Jesus, he doesn’t even know who Jesus is and does an iniquity to The Holy Name of Jesus.

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By Harlon57, April 27, 2007 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

Maani said:
  “Consider, for example, black holes.  Scientists tell us they exist, even though they have never actually, physically seen one.”

Next time, try using a correct reference.  Science has proven that black holes exist.  Among other things,  while one cannot “see” into a black hole, one can see where they are in the universe by the light that is bent when passing one.

Do we have to “see” an atom and its’ requisite parts to prove they exist?

What a very childlike understanding of science you hold.  If all the rest of your beliefs reside within this type of grade school analysis, it is no wonder you have been easily led astray.

To make it worse, you believe based on faith, which is holding a belief without reason or fact.

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By nonsequitor, April 27, 2007 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

maani-
Admittedly, when you bring “interpretation” into something (particularly
something as “emotionally charged” as faith), differences will occur.  And,
sadly, those differences can sometimes lead to “blows,” either verbal or
physical or both (which, ironically, is antithetical to the faith itself).

‘God’ created man and man has been trying to return the favor ever since.
...usually by killing the mouth-breathers that believe in a diffent ‘god/s’

it’s happening right under your nose, but to see it would mean you’d
have to get your head out of your posterior. and although it is a possibility,
it has a low probability…like the Big Bank theory you ‘believe’ in.

and if you’re going to preach to me, i’ll return the favor. wake up! you’ve
got a brain, use it.

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By nonsequitor, April 27, 2007 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

maani
There are three types of Scripture: (i) “black and white” (for which the meaning is prima facie evident), (ii) “interpretive” (which has both a “surface” meaning and a secondary, “metaphoric” meaning), and (iii) allegorical (highly interpretive, for which no “absolute” meaning exists until the “mystery” behind it is revealed).

the only thing prima facia about scripture is that is written on a piece of paper

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By nonsequitor, April 27, 2007 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

maani-
‘No, I do not “need a book” to tell me how to “live today.” But that book was enormously helpful in guiding me. ’

change guiding to misguiding and then you’ve got something.


‘Perhaps a brief background (which you may have missed) is in order.’

the only interested in your biography is you. we all have our war stories, yours isn’t very impressive.

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By nonsequitor, April 27, 2007 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

maani-

‘It only shows that you, like so many others here, are prone to broad-brushing and stereotyping.’

you know you may be right maani but then one of you mouth breathers comes along and makes a statement like…
“and show the same love, compassion and forgiveness to gays as I do to everyone else.”

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By Maani, April 27, 2007 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Basho:

If you are going to argue semantics, at least get your definitions correct.  According to Webster:

“Think: to form or hold in the mind; to reflect on, to ponder.”  Synonyms: imagine, reflect, reason, speculate

“Believe: to have, form or hold an opinion; to consider to be true or honest.”  Synonyms: speculate and…think.

Thus, not only are these two terms NOT mutually exclusive, they are synonyms.  Indeed, even from a practical standpoint, I “think” there is a God, and I “believe” there is a God.  No contradiction.  And you “think” there is no God, and therefore you “believe” there is no God.  No contradiction.

What you probably meant to cite was the difference between “belief” and “fact.”  Yet even here, the line can be quite thin.

Consider, for example, black holes.  Scientists tell us they exist, even though they have never actually, physically seen one.  However, they speculate/think/believe that they exist because the circumstantial/supporting evidence weighs heavily in their favor.  And since I trust the scientists in this regard, I both “think” and “believe” that there are black holes - as do you.

And there is nothing wrong with this; indeed, we could not survive if we did not “think” and “believe” things without absolute, incontravertible proof.

Try again (LOL).

Peace.

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By nonsequitor, April 27, 2007 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

If I were to say that murder is not immoral and not against the law then I would be in error correct?

no, you would be george w bush and his 12 apostles.smile

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By nonsequitor, April 27, 2007 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

“First, to suggest that the NT was written “in order to keep the Roman state from falling apart” is absurd.  Rome did not NEED Christianity in order to maintain control of its empire.”
.........................Constantine
“First, to suggest that the NT was written “in order to keep the Roman state
from falling apart” is absurd.  Rome did not NEED Christianity in order to
maintain control of its empire.”
.........................
Tradition tells us that he was converted to Christianity suddenly, and by a miracle. One evening during the contest with Maxentius, he saw a radiant cross
appearing in the heavens, with the inscription, “By this thou shalt conquer.” The tradition is first mentioned by Eusebius, in his De Vita Constantini, written after the emperor’s death. This miracle has been defended. with
ingenious sophistry by Roman-Catholic historians and by Card. Dr. Newman (Two Essays on Biblical and on Ecclesiastical Miracles, 3d ed., Lond., 1873, pp. 271
sqq.), but cannot stand the test of critical examination. Constantine may have seen some phenomenon in the skies; he was no doubt convinced of the superior claims of Christianity as the rising religion; but his conversion was a change of policy, rather than of moral character. Long after that event he killed, his son, his second wife, several others of his relatives, and some of his most
intimate friends, in passionate resentment of some fancied infringement of his rights. In his relation to Christianity he was cool, calculating, always bent upon the practically useful, always regarding the practically possible. He
retained the office and title of Pontifex Maximus to the last, and did not receive Christian baptism until he felt death close upon him. He kept Pagans in the highest positions in his immediate surroundings, and forbade every thing which might look like an encroachment of Christianity upon Paganism.
....(omitted 4000 word limit)

Christianity had, indeed, become something
in the air which no one occupying a prominent position in the Roman world could remain entirely foreign to. But the singular mixture of political carefulness and personal indifference with which he treated. it presupposes a relation of observation rather than impression. He knew Christianity well, but only as a power in the Roman Empire

(description of edicts omitted because of 4000 word limit)

One thing, however, puzzled and annoyed the emperor very much, - the dissensions of the Christians, their perpetual squabbles about doctrines, and the fanatical hatred thereby engendered. In the Roman Empire the most different religions
lived peacefully beside each other, and here was a religion which could not live in peace with itself. For political reasons, however, unity and harmony were necessary; and in 325 the Emperor convened the first great oecumenical council
at Nicæa to settle the Arian controversy. It was the first time the Christian Church and the Roman State met each other face to face; and the impression was very deep on both sides. When the emperor stood there, among the three hundred
and eighteen bishops, tall, clad in purple and jewels, with his peculiarly haughty and sombre mien, he felt disgusted at those coarse and cringing creatures who one moment scrambled sportively around him to snatch up a bit of his munificence, and the next flew madly into each other’s faces for some
incomprehensible mystery. Nevertheless, he learnt something from those people. He saw that with Christianity was born a new sentiment in the human heart hitherto unknown to mankind, and that on this sentiment the throne could be
rested more safely than on the success of a court-intrigue, or the victory of a hired army.
(4000 word limit)
He was more and more drawn over to the side of the Arians, and it was an Arian bishop who baptized him.

http://www.earlychurch.org.uk/constantine.php

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Correction to Annie, I apologize for saying you are uneducated, I have no idea what your level of education is. I am sorry. But I do stand by the rest of my post to you, including that you are uninformed about Jesus. Someone has mislead you.

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

More references for Maani,

Luther: “Sin and sin boldly”...“sin will not destroy in us the reign of the lamb, although we were to commit fornication or murder, a thousand times a day”

Epist. Melanc. 1 Aug. 1521. Apud Audin, p. 178

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Maani,

Protestantism does indeed emphasize “faith alone” because Protestantism is based in the idea that even if a person commits offenses against their neighbor and harbors hatred in their heart then they are still going to Heaven if they believe that Jesus is their “Lord and Savior.”

You ask how exactly this goes against the very words of Jesus Christ? I will provide you with The Words of Jesus. You seem to be a biblical person so you can probably find the references quickly. I am not a biblical person but I do know the words of Jesus so here you go:

‘He who does the will of God will see the Kingdom of Heaven’

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, the merciful, the clean of heart, for they shall see the Kingdom of God’

‘whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment’

‘You have heard that it said, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ but I say, anyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart.’

‘If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna’

“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

‘love your enemies, do good to those that hate you.’ (Every Protestant that I know has said that George Bush will go to Heaven -in spite of his war crimes- just because he calls himself a “Christian”)

‘in order to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven you must become like little children’ (He means, with a pure heart)

‘Whatever you do to the LEAST of my brother, you do to me’

‘If you only love those who love you what reward shall you have?’

‘By their fruits ye shall know them’ ....‘Every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit’

‘take up your cross and follow me’

‘Be perfect as the Father in Heaven is perfect.’

Superficial Protestant sects do not demand CHRIST-LIKE BEHAVIOR, they step on it and the only commandment Jesus gave us ‘Love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul, and love your neighbor as you love yourself’

Protestant sects who have decided to label themselves Christian - do so, without having to HEAR AND PRACTICE WHAT JESUS TAUGHT.

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Dear Maani,

I am sorry that you are having trouble understanding the dialogue and facts, it’s a shame that you consider my post as ” rote memorization of an actor; like the regurgitation of an indoctrinated person.”

It would do you some good to not demean others, but concentrate on the content of their message.

I will provide you with the evidence you ask for.

Satan did indeed tell Luther to destroy the Mass and he did it, he obeyed Satan. (Wittenb., Germ. ed, VII, 443;Jena, VI, 87; Walsh, XIX, 1489, page 170) If you want Internet references you will be disappointed, true research quite often does not come from useless Internet searches.

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By nonsequitor, April 27, 2007 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

maani-
take your pick-
(or add one of your own)

-Belief: any cognitive content held as true.
-Belief is assent to a proposition.
-Agreement with a given world view. Eg Belief in the existence of God.
-Belief, for Kant, is a form of judging something to be true, intermediate between mere opinion and certain knowledge. To believe something in this sense
is to judge that it is true by virtue of “a ground that is objectively insufficient but subjectively sufficient”; in mere opinion neither are sufficient, in knowledge both conditions are met.
-An unproven assertion based on one or more fundamental assumptions.
-An attitude of acceptance or assent toward a proposition without the full intellectual knowledge required guaranteeing its truth.

thinking & believing >> mutually exclusive

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

Basho,

It is a truth that murder is against the law and immoral, correct?

If I were to say that murder is not immoral and not against the law then I would be in error correct?

The Church laws and canons are no different in religious terms. They are facts of the church, laws, thus religious truths. This means that anyone who comes up with a new morality and a new law for the church, which is in defiance of an existing law, is not just giving their opinion, they are in error. What they say is a deviation, an aberration.

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By Marina, April 27, 2007 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Annie,

>Since the Judeo-Christian belief is that the bible is the “Divine Inspired Word of God” then you either believe it all literally—or you make God in your image.>

This is an erroneous statement. “Judeo-Christian” is an oxymoron and Jews do not take the New Testament as the truth and only consider valid the Torah’s first five chapters. And The Word of God is not a book.

>In fact, the very last chapter in the bible, Revelation 22, states that you’re not to add or detract from the book.>

That direction was given for The Apocalypse, not the entire bible.

>I can show you too many places where he is anything but loving—and Christ as well.  Both are masogynistic, infanticidal and genocidal maniacs.>

You are uneducated and uninformed. No where is Jesus what you say. Jehovah (the god of the Hebrews) is a genocidal maniac indeed, but you are in error to say that Jesus is any of this. Give me an example and I will point out your error.

You have asked me where the Sacraments originated from. The essential rites of each Sacrament were given by Jesus Christ. The ceremonial rituals were derived from The Apostles and their Successors.

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By nonsequitor, April 27, 2007 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

marina-

‘Your quote from the dictionary supports me, not you.’

Good, now that we’ve got that cleared up.

““It (heresy) was given wide currency by Irenaeus in his tract Contra Haereses (Against Heresies) to describe and discredit his opponents in the early Christian Church. He described his own position as orthodox (from ortho- “right”
+ doxa “belief”) and his position eventually evolved into the position of the early Christian Church.

Used in this way, the term “heresy” has no purely objective meaning: the category exists only from the point of view of speakers within a group that has previously agreed about what counts as “orthodox”. Any nonconformist view within
any field may be perceived as “heretical” by others within that field who are convinced that their view is “orthodox”;....”“

‘point of view’ = opinion etc etc
nothing has changed.

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By Maani, April 26, 2007 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marina:

Your post sounds like the rote memorization of an actor; like the regurgitation of an indoctrinated person.  It shows no evidence of thought, or even common sense.

Far from being “an attack” on “the teachings of Jesus,” Luther was trying to bring Jesus’ actual life and ministry back into an increasingly corrupt church.

Neither did Luther “construct a new religion.”  He saw clear errors in the way the papacy and church had been “constructed” - foundational errors - and sought to correct them.  He was correct in some, and not correct in others.  But what he said had to be said.

Re Luther and Satan, methinks thou dost protest too much.  Satan did not “instruct” Luther to do ANYTHING.  Indeed, Luther’s remarks on Satan actually show a brilliantly Christian spirit and mind at work.  You might want to check out the following: http://www.issuesetc.org/resource/journals/luther.htm

Protestantism does NOT emphasize “faith alone.”  If this is what you were taught, then you were taught lies.  Protestantism certainly focuses heavily on faith, but NOT to the exclusion of “works.”  And exactly how does this go “against the very words of Jesus Christ…?”  Please provide Scriptural support for this statement.

Protestant theology does NOT “contradict…much of the Four Gospels.”  I have been a Protestant for my entire Christian life (over 25 years), and I have NEVER heard this, nor seen it in the Protestant churches.  Again, please provide Scriptural support for your statement.

Finally, let me ask you directly: how does one attain “salvation?”  Through “faith?”  “Works?”  A combination of both?  Something else entirely? Again, please cite Scripture for support.

Peace.

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Annie Reitano's avatar

By Annie Reitano, April 26, 2007 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

Casy #66569

Hi Casy,

By your own admission people arrogantly create God in their image.  Then you said that you took the bible to be literal and you saw it as literal, metaphorical and allegorical.  <You just made God in your own image.  Since the Judeo-Christian belief is that the bible is the “Divine Inspired Word of God” then you either believe it all literally—or you make God in your image.  There is no way around that.  Because there’s nowhere in the “Bad Book” that tells you which is symbolic, metaphorical, literal or otherwise. In fact, the very last chapter in the bible, Revelation 22, states that you’re not to add or detract from the book.  So, by adding your thoughts—that’s you creating a god in your image.  Therefore, you decipher for yourself and thereby make God in your image.  He is an extension of you. Nothing more.  My guess is that you are a good and loving person.  I say this because that is how you see the God of the bible when I can show you too many places where he is anything but loving—and Christ as well.  Both are masogynistic, infanticidal and genocidal maniacs.  Both condone slavery straight across the board—yet they are supposedly not in favour of any one person over another?  Come on.  And you stated: “Religious freedom has been a hallmark of our 231-year old experiment in democracy. We may have been fashioned as “one nation under God,” but we should also respect the rights of those who would call their God “Allah,” “Jehovah,” “Yahweh,” or some other name. Live and let live. If it brings them closer to God and makes them love their fellow man, should it matter what name God is called by?”

Can you honestly say that religious freedom has made people more loving of their fellow man?  Freedom to impale, behead and otherwise kill our neighbours and their children who call their god BY a different name?  Freedom to be intolerant of the other guy’s imaginary friend?  That’s not ‘live and let live’.  That’s a sure death.  And society is showing us that right now.

Harlon57 and Tucker,

Right no.  Keep the non-faith.

Marina,

Who decided what the “sacraments” were?  Man did.  The RCC.  And nowhere in the bible does it state that Peter was to be the first Pope.  That is a latin word and was borrowed by the RCC.  There had already been many churches in Corinth, Galatia, Judea, Syria and elsewhere promoting a “Christ” that Paul the apostle had never even met.  Yet the RCC claims that Peter was the first Pope of the first “true church” of Christ.  Not true at all according to the bible.  The RCC has claimed a lot of things, though.  And their history is more than just tainted wink  But again, I ask you, where do you get the “sacraments?”  Don’t be a sheeple.  smile

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By Marina, April 26, 2007 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

Maani:

Jesus was not a heretic, he IS, WAS, and WILL always be the Alpha and the Omega. He IS and always was THE truth. The truth never changes, nor does it commit a revolution. Jesus taught the law that always existed, but man was following Jehovah’s laws of death so He came to show us the way back to Life.

Facts about Martin Luther:

In the 16th century the way which indulgences were being granted had become abusive. These abuses were corrected by the Council of Trent but had presented an open door for the enemies of the Church to attack Catholicism’s belief and worship. Thus, the Protestant Revolution began. It was an open revolt against the heart of the Church that Jesus founded on the Rock with Peter. It was an attack on the foundation of the Church, the Mass, the Holy Sacraments, and on the teachings of Jesus.

The leaders of the Protestant revolution were bent on the destruction of the Church long before their plans were finally implemented. Luther hated the Mass and was set to destroy it. Abuse of Indulgences were only the open door. The revolution was also set on attacking the priesthood and the Papal See.

Luther constructed a new religion, it is not a Christian religion, but a spawn of Satan. Luther admitted himself that he saw and had conversations with Satan. Luther himself said that Satan told him to destroy the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Luther even said, “Sin and sin boldly” and “sin will not destroy us,” even if “we were to commit fornication or murder a thousand times a day.”

Luther and the Protestant churches have developed a religion where faith alone is emphasized. This goes against the very words of Jesus Christ, who is God Himself.

Protestant theology contradicts much of The Four Gospels. The result of the Protestant idea that each individual can personally interpret the bible, is that there are over 30,000 different Protestant denominations. They can’t even agree among themselves! Those are the fruits of Protestantism.

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By Harlon57, April 26, 2007 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Well Douglas, how impressive, you can copy information.
I have a BSEE from UCLA, where did you get yours? Wikipedia? The Illustrated Brief History of Time? No, that would be difficult for you to read, but it does have pretty pictures. From the scattered post you just made, I guess you have nothing beyond high school science. Am I right?  You seem to think copying a few lines of very little significance makes you appear to be a learned man, well it doesn’t.

It all comes down to the ignorance that is required to believe in your religion.

Is the earth still the center of the universe? No.
Could the solar system appear in the order found in genesis. No.

It goes on and on.  One must possess a weak mentality that requires hope of an afterlife to face this life. You can’t get what you want out of this life, and are terrified of dying, so you invent a god who will save you from yourself.  You are weak and pitiful.

Answer this bright copy boy; what prevents the observation of an isolated quark or gluon?

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By Maani, April 26, 2007 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marina:

Let’s not forget that Jesus was the most famous heretic of all time.  And Martin Luther understood Jesus’ original message FAR better than the RCC, which had not only become arrogant and focused on largely dead ritualism, but had been selling “indulgences” - suggesting that people could “buy” their way into heaven.  Funny how you have not addressed THAT aspect of the “church” you seem to support.

Of Luther’s 95 theses, three were most important to him: the church’s corruption (e.g., selling indulgences), the church’s paternalism (i.e., that only they could interpret Scripture), and the church’s focus on “works” instead of “faith.”  Luther’s primary teaching was that salvation is a gift of God’s grace in Christ by faith alone.  And although James tells us that “faith without works is dead,” so works alone cannot earn salvation.

Casy:

Bravo and Amen!  A beautiful and important post.  Thank you.

Peace.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 26, 2007 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

#66559 by Harlon57 on 4/26 at 12:33 pm: “...I assume that your simple state of mind is what is required to accept jesus as your saviour, and all the other bronze age myths….”

Nice to see that you are slowly awakening from your slumbers in your temporary state of existence. Pity, though, that it will all be over for you before it can make much difference.

E=MC^2…. Indeed…maybe not…?!?! Energy exists in limitless abundance in the cosmos…....We mostly have no appreciation of what energy really is and how to utilise it…..it is not really a derivative of mass or matter but the source of matter.

Electrons and other atomic partices are really only packets of energy manifesting form…..... “energy never disappears, it only changes form…... the most important factor is…..the release of all belief systems, boundaries and fears…..”.

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By Casy, April 26, 2007 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Being Christian is not about belonging to some organized “Christian institution.” I have always taken it to mean living a life that is Christ-like in its attributes - that of love, inclusion, tolerance, and the understanding that no one has a monopoly on God’s love and grace simply because he or she professes to be Christian. God’s love and grace transcends all religion and has never singled out specific groups as particularly special or worthy.

It is quite lamentable that rather than embrace having been made “in God’s image,” man has become so arrogant as to have fashioned a “God” in his image instead. We have conjured up a false God that is to be feared; one that is judgmental, vindictive, intolerant, impatient, exclusive, and prone to playing favorites. Sadly there are so many out there leading their various “flocks” down this path. They preach intolerance and exclusivity and pass it off as God’s word simply because they quote verses directly from the Bible – what they consider to be the final word on God’s intent.  They cloak it with the authority of the Divine, when it is for the most part an instrument of man. It is perhaps divinely-inspired, a point I am more than willing to concede. But it is a human instrument nonetheless, subject to the entire gamut of errors possible in human translation (translated any Aramaic lately?), interpretation and nuance.

There are people who take every word of the Bible literally; and while I do not agree with them, I do respect their freedom to choose the manner in which they interpret it. We have all been bestowed with free will after all.  I happen to view the Bible from various perspectives – the literal, the metaphorical, and the allegorical. What my faith tells me is that my God is a loving god, and it is that loving example that he seeks to spread with us as his instruments. Now, shouldn’t I also be free to view and express my understanding of the nature of God in that manner, without the judgment of those who would disagree with me just because my views don’t conform to their literal interpretation of the Bible? After all, it is not entirely unsupported by biblical scripture. But even that aside, shouldn’t I be allowed to do it simply because I treat my fellow man better? Shouldn’t I be allowed to do it since I am simply expressing love to a fellow human being? Isn’t that precisely what is needed in this era of such divisiveness?

Religious freedom has been a hallmark of our 231-year old experiment in democracy. We may have been fashioned as “one nation under God,” but we should also respect the rights of those who would call their God “Allah,” “Jehovah,”  “Yahweh,” or some other name. Live and let live. If it brings them closer to God and makes them love their fellow man, should it matter what name God is called by?

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By Harlon57, April 26, 2007 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Douglas is happy to proclaim how low I am. How very christian of you.

You stated that you were glad people like us would cease to exist as we were so useless.  I’m learning so much of what it means to be christian by your example.

You were too simple to understand how to get used to the idea of non-existence. Well Douglas, the obvious point would be to get used to the idea while you were alive. Can’t do it once dead.  How could something that simple confuse you? 

I assume that your simple state of mind is what is required to accept jesus as your saviour, and all the other bronze age myths. 

Science is negating your bible more and more by every century. Soon, there won’t be any room left for your incredibly shrinking god of the gaps.

Spiritual Quotient.  What a riot.  Another fabrication to make the faithful feel superior.  My guess is that your IQ is not all that significant.

93% of the scientists in our own National Academy of Science are atheists.  These are some of the brightest people on the planet. They don’t believe because they are sufficiently happy in the knowledge that science is quickly answering all the major questions, and burying religion in the process.

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By Marina, April 26, 2007 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Dear Basho,

Your quote from the dictionary supports me, not you. It says that the “opinion” is that of the person who commits heresy. The law (the fact, the truth) is the doctrine of the church. The “opinion,” is that of Protestantism.

And where exactly did I say I am Jesus?

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By Maani, April 26, 2007 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Basho:

Two specific responses.

First, to suggest that the NT was written “in order to keep the Roman state from falling apart” is absurd.  Rome did not NEED Christianity in order to maintain control of its empire.  It did this by force, which it always had.  Indeed, one could argue that exactly the opposite is true: that the downfall of the Roman Empire was caused by the nature of Christianity, which was antithetical to the entire idea of rule by force and the growing decadence of the Roman people.  [N.B.  Admittedly, this is almost as silly as your position.  As is well-known, Rome was destroyed from within by a combination of its own decadence and economics.  Still, Christianity is likely to have had more of a negative than a positive effect on the empire as a whole, despite the way in which the people could be manipulated by it.]

Second, you say re the NT that “the whole thing is a metaphor.”  Not quite.

There are three types of Scripture: (i) “black and white” (for which the meaning is prima facie evident), (ii) “interpretive” (which has both a “surface” meaning and a secondary, “metaphoric” meaning), and (iii) allegorical (highly interpretive, for which no “absolute” meaning exists until the “mystery” behind it is revealed).

Admittedly, when you bring “interpretation” into something (particularly something as “emotionally charged” as faith), differences will occur.  And, sadly, those differences can sometimes lead to “blows,” either verbal or physical or both (which, ironically, is antithetical to the faith itself).

But if every Christian simply read and followed those passages that describe Jesus’ life and ministry – both His “temporal” ministry (love, peace, forgiveness, compassion, humility, patience, charity, selflessness, service, justice, truth), and His “spiritual” ministry (individual salvation and redemption) – Christian violence and “spiritual aggression” would disappear.  It is because too many Christians are either “Old Testament” Christians or seek primary knowledge and understanding through Paul or the apostles that they “miss the forest for the trees,” and end up ignoring the very personage they claim to follow.

Peace.

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By Maani, April 26, 2007 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Basho:

No, I do not “need a book” to tell me how to “live today.”  But that book was enormously helpful in guiding me.  Perhaps a brief background (which you may have missed) is in order.

I was raised in an atheist Jewish household by two rabidly atheist parents: a left-wing father (for whom religion was “the opium of the people”) and a Ph.D. scientist feminist mother (for whom religion was “superstition and hooey”).  My two brothers and I were brought up in a highly intellectual environment of science, empiricism, rationality and reason.  I fully accepted this, and was an excellent student, particularly in math and science.  My parents also brought us up with what might be called “solid moral fiber”; they were progressive liberals (so we were anti-war, pro-civil rights, etc.), but also taught us discipline, self-control, respect of others, etc.  I did not become “spiritual” until 15 (when I started taking yoga and studying eastern philosophy), did not become a “believer” (in God) until 19, and did not become a Christian until 22.

At 15, I began immersing myself (both in and out of school) in what became a solid 5-year study of comparative religion.  During this time, I read the underlying texts of the major (and many minor) faiths - the Vedas, the Baghvad-Gita, the Old and New Testaments, the Qur’an, the Egyptian and Tibetan Books of the Dead, the Book of Mormon, the Shinto texts, and the underlying writings of the “Great Spirit” and other Native American belief systems (Lakota, Apache, Navajo, Iroquois) and the Australian aborigine “dream time” belief, among others - and discussed and debated them with swamis, rabbis, priests, ministers, imams, and others.

I found much to recommend most of these belief systems.  However, as I read, studied and discussed them, I was drawn toward Judeo-Christianity (and such it is, since one could not have the latter without the former) - as I understood it vis-a-vis Jesus’ life and ministry - as the faith that I could follow most “whole-heartedly”; i.e., with the fewest reservations. Yes, it, too, has its occasional inconsistencies and troublesome aspects.  But they are fewer (in my opinion) than in other faiths.

Thus, while I certainly had the beginnings of “solid moral fiber” (ethics, morality, etc.) prior to becoming spiritual, it was my studies - and particularly finding “primitive Christianity” - that “rounded” and completed the process.  Indeed, it was only AFTER this that I grew to believe in the “deeper” theological aspects of Jesus, including His divinity and resurrection.  And no, this was not the product of “indoctrination” or the teaching of “some priest or preacher.”  It was the natural result of my growing faith.

Nor did I “stop thinking” when I “started believing.”  Indeed, as noted earlier, I am as well-read in “hard science” (including physics), psychology, philosophy, metaphysics and other subjects as I am in my own faith and religion in general.  I believe in the “Big “Bang,” evolution, stem cell research, and the complete separation of church and state; I believe in a woman’s right to choice (though I am anti-abortion), and show the same love, compassion and forgiveness to gays as I do to everyone else.

Thus, your pigeon-holing won’t work.  It only shows that you, like so many others here, are prone to broad-brushing and stereotyping.  Yes, there are lots of “Christians” who do not exactly bring credit to the faith.  And I have as much problem with them as you do.  But there are also lots of Christians who DO bring credit to the faith.  So perhaps you (and others) might want to temper your comments just a tad.

Peace.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 26, 2007 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

#66497 by basho on 4/26 at 7:03 am

IQ = intelligence quotient
EQ = emotional   “
SQ = spiritual   ”

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By nonsequitor, April 26, 2007 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

hi douglas-

‘Some understand what EQ is but how many of you really know what SQ is?’

what is EQ and what is SQ?
i don’t recognize these 2 acronyms, please define. thanx

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By nonsequitor, April 26, 2007 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

marina-
‘Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a “theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the Roman Catholic or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system,considered as orthodox.’

heresy is opinion. opinion is ideas. ideas are not truth and you ain’t jesus smile

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By Marina, April 26, 2007 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

>here’s a ‘true’ christian speaking.>

Basho,

Those who are alive in Christ speak the truth to one another. Jesus was not a people-pleaser.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 26, 2007 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

#66454 by basho on 4/25 at 10:09 pm: “...‘In Luke 2, we are told that “the child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him.”

in order to say this luke must have understood the meaning of these words. if so he was equally ‘full of wisdom’, a peer.

assuming this has some validity: if not it is just opinion, his opinion. it is my opinion it was his opinion….”
_____________________________


“The grace of God” is something you CAN experience. For those who haven’t and yet express an opinion, it is certainly only an opinion - I agree as far as that.

Some understand what EQ is but how many of you really know what SQ is? Beyond the self-centred , self-interested individualistic view of the world there is a cross-over into unselfishness and sharing and impersonal Love.

At that thresh-hold, self sacrifice and service are seen to be paramount virtues. When one has devoted oneself to such selflessness in one’s living, the higher “doors of perception” can be opened. In floods inspiration and the Light of Wisdom - known as “the grace of God”.

Knowing then becomes sharing the Truth of the Original Creative Force as you become a more active part of the Whole instead of a self-righteous fool demanding that the Universe comply to your inane childishness. This is the result of co-operation with the subtler Forces of Nature, if you will.

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By nonsequitor, April 26, 2007 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

#66419 by Harlon57 on 4/25 at 7:15 pm; “...Before you were born, you did not exist. After you die, you will not exist…..”

>Do you mean that you joined TruthDig just to tell us this rubbish?

hey douglas - how do you know this is rubbish?


>How does one “get used to” not existing?  Frankly, I am glad if people like this do cease to exist at some point. They are so useless to others.

hey douglas - you seem to be contradicting yourself here - ‘that we can find a better future by improving ourselves and the ways in which we interact with the world and treat each other.’

>What you really are saying to everybody is that ”...you are no better than any other human that ever existed…”  simply because you yourself can’t be bothered facing the fact that you are as low as any who ever existed. As a result, you can only expect to “...get the same end…” as you want for others - “Non-existence”!

hey douglas - how do you know what he is saying if you are telling him what he is saying: ‘What you really are saying to everybody is that…’

>Instead, wouldn’t it be better if you accepted that humans are imperfect

hey douglas, why should anyone take your word for it?

and that we can find a better future by improving ourselves and the ways in which we interact with the world and treat each other.

hey douglas, you seem to be contradicting yourself here, but then i’m repeating myself.

>Nobody needs you to affirm the policies of the old order of self-destruction and ignorance.

definitely not, you’ve done that.

lol

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 26, 2007 at 2:59 am Link to this comment

#66419 by Harlon57 on 4/25 at 7:15 pm; “...Before you were born, you did not exist. After you die, you will not exist…..”

Do you mean that you joined TruthDig just to tell us this rubbish? How does one “get used to” not existing?  Frankly, I am glad if people like this do cease to exist at some point. They are so useless to others.

What you really are saying to everybody is that  ”...you are no better than any other human that ever existed…”  simply because you yourself can’t be bothered facing the fact that you are as low as any who ever existed. As a result, you can only expect to “...get the same end…” as you want for others - “Non-existence”!

Instead, wouldn’t it be better if you accepted that humans are imperfect and that we can find a better future by improving ourselves and the ways in which we interact with the world and treat each other. Nobody needs you to affirm the policies of the old order of self-destruction and ignorance.

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By nonsequitor, April 25, 2007 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

assuming this has some validity:

‘In Luke 2, we are told that “the child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him.”

in order to say this luke must have understood the meaning of these words. if so he was equally ‘full of wisdom’, a peer. if not it is just opinion, his opinion. it is my opinion it was his opinion.smile

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