The Nativity Story

Daley Plaza in Chicago has played host for the past 10 years to “Christkindlmarket,” a festival that has German roots. It’s less a Christian festival and more a place to sell goods, provide entertainment, and help the tourism industry (for some reason, Chicago isn’t the hottest destination during the winter…). It brings in more than 1,000,000 visitors a year. The vendors all pay taxes to the city, unlike any churches. This is a holiday festival, not a festival to celebrate Christ.

Now, The Nativity Story, a movie that is specifically Christian in nature, is being dropped as a sponsor because city officials fear it would offend non-Christians.

As if Muslim people were totally fine with the whole “Christ-Child-Market” festival in the first place. That’s beyond the point, though.

I’m not strongly in favor of the decision, but I understand why it was made.

If the studio wanted to pay for the publicity, the same privilege must then be extended to other groups that want to use the festival as a promotional tool. If South Park wanted to advertise DVDs of its Christmas episodes, they would be allowed to. Unfortunately, Christians would probably get upset about this because some of these episodes blaspheme Jesus.

So the city has a blanket policy to not allow sponsors that would be divisive to one group or another. Chicago wants to bring people together and the festival lets this happen. People are not going there to glorify Jesus. They’re going to eat pastries and drink beer. The movie is specifically about Jesus, so the blanket policy says no to sponsorship.

This article from FoxNews has the obligatory quotation from a Christian spokesman, who informs us that he knows how to spell:

“The last time I checked, the first six letters of Christmas still spell out Christ,” said Paul Braoudakis, spokesman for the Barrington, Ill.-based Willow Creek Association, a group of more than 11,000 churches of various denominations. “It’s tantamount to celebrating Lincoln’s birthday without talking about Abraham Lincoln.”

No. Lincoln’s birthday is a government holiday. Christmas is a private religious holiday that should not be sponsored by government. Christkindlmarket is a public festival to make money for the city. (And the last six letters of Christkindlmarket still spell out market.) If Mr. Braoudakis was really concerned about Christ, then he should be more upset that Santa, who is nowhere in the Bible, will make an appearance in Chicago in the name of Christmas.

There is an actual nativity scene downtown, as well as “representations from other faiths”– but these are all put up by private groups, and they all have a right to do this. As long as the city stays out of it and does not sponsor any particular religion or prohibit a group from putting up a display.

The point is that government should not be endorsing one religion over another. In this case, they’re not. And that’s a good thing for everyone.

I said I’m not strongly in favor of the decision. My hesitation comes from the fact that New Line Cinema isn’t a Christian movie studio. It’s not like its other movies (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, anyone?) were Christlike in nature. The company is trying to make the most out of the people coming to Chicago for the festival. It’s just telling a story that happens to come from the Bible. No skin off my back.

Had the city just let the studio advertise the movie, very few people, if any, would’ve noticed. Or been offended.

But again, they have a blanket policy. This decision might seem petty, but in the long run, that policy will do more good than harm.


[tags]Christkindlmarket, Chicago, Christian, atheist, Daley Plaza, New Line Cinema, The Nativity Story, South Park, Jesus, FoxNews, Paul Braoudakis, Santa, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Bible[/tags]

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    People are not going there to glorify Jesus. They’re going to eat pastries and drink beer.

    Hey! What are you saying? I think it’s totally possible to glorify Jesus by eating pastries and drinking beer! In fact, it’s one of my favorite ways!

    ;)

  • Siamang

    I think that happened in the famous painting called “The Last Kegger.”

  • Andrew

    As a semi-related comment, my religions professor had an interesting view on Christmas and such in class today (Graduate program). From a technical standpoint, Christmas is no more a christian holiday than Thanksgiving is in our country today. Not that christians don’t celebrate it with reference to Christ, but our American culture treats it primarily as a secular holiday for gift giving and celebration of those you love and care about. In a sense, we’ve been taught that these are still religious holidays. Religous holidays in the way that You celebrate them, not as a christian, but as a part of the American culture’s religion (he loves to run with the definition of religion as a people’s common beliefs, not mentioning the typical association with a view on the divine).

  • Lynn I

    I would appreciate someone answering a couple questions related to this story.

    The first is why do you think the City of Chicago is afraid of offending non-believers by letting the Nativity Story run on a loop and could
    seemingly care less about the believers?

    And the second question – In your opinion is there ever a point where compromise can be reached?

    I look forward to some honest dialogue.

  • Siamang

    Lynn,

    Is it really offensive to believers to have an entity decide to NOT show the nativity movie?

    Is it offensive to believers that right now, at this instant, the City of Los Angeles is NOT showing the Nativity movie in their City Hall?

    I just don’t know how we got into a world where it’s offensive to not promote a movie. Are christians just looking around for offense?

    I think the “compromise” is that the City of Chicago won’t promote the Nativity movie, and in exchange I won’t ask them to promote “The God Delusion” movie, or “The Satan Movie” or “The Wiccan Movie”.

  • KoKoMo Jr

    Hey! What are you saying? I think it’s totally possible to glorify Jesus by eating pastries and drinking beer! In fact, it’s one of my favorite ways!

    ;)

    Fundie tactic # 152) Show everyone what a regular guy you are!

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    Fundie tactic # 152) Show everyone what a regular guy you are!

    Damn! You figured me out. :P

  • KoKoMo Jr

    Yeah, for the predatory rat that you are!

  • Siamang

    Hey partner, smile when you call him that.

  • HappyNat

    The first is why do you think the City of Chicago is afraid of offending non-believers by letting the Nativity Story run on a loop and could
    seemingly care less about the believers?

    Lynn,
    Showing the nativity story would offend many believers. You know not every believer is a christian right? What would muslims, hindus, and jews think of the movie?

  • Lynn I

    Siamang,

    You didn’t answer my question – only posed one to me. I am genuinely interested to know why you think the city leaders are afraid they would offend you – and since you posed the question to me – I’ll send it back your way too – what do you find offensive about the Nativity Movie?

    To Happy Nat,

    You also didn’t answer my question – please try.

  • HappyNat

    Lynn,

    I didn’t directly answer your question because I don’t think they aren’t showing it because they are afraid of offending nonbelievers. If that was the reason in the article and I missed it, sorry.

    I pointed out that other people of faith could be offended, not just unbelievers. I’d guess they aren’t showing the movie because they don’t want to favor one religion over another, not because they are afraid of atheists.

  • Siamang

    Lynn,

    You said I didn’t answer your question. Your question was this:

    The first is why do you think the City of Chicago is afraid of offending non-believers by letting the Nativity Story run on a loop and could
    seemingly care less about the believers?

    I answered by asking “is it really offensive?” That’s my way of answering in a style meant to engage further discussion, and meant to validate people with other views. I’m not trying to be evasive, but rather to be open to discussion.

    I could answer without a question, if you like certanty.

    Here’s my answer:

    No, it’s not offensive. It’s not offensive to people of other faiths or no faith to show it. If it is, they need to grow up and get over it. Christians are being a bunch of winy babies for complaining that their movie didn’t get promoted, and I think they’re pretending offense in this case in order to feed their public persecution complex.

    I think the city of chicago decided against promoting this not because of “offense”, but because of possible lawsuits. In other words, the money they’d spend fighting the courtroom challenges outweighed the money they’d get from New Line Pictures.

    Lawsuits I’d agree with, by the way, because it’s way past time that Christians finally figured out that it ain’t the government’s job to recruit people into Christianity.

    But that’s the blunt way I’d put it. I initially meant to draw you into a discussion about what is and isn’t offensive.

    I find nothing offensive about the Nativity movie. If it gets good reviews I might see it. I happen to like the nativity story.

  • Lynn I

    Siamang,

    Sorry I couldn’t post until today – I appreciate your honesty (I can handle blunt). Answering questions with questions can seem a little evasive rather than trying to encourage discussion. But I digress. I will enter your dialogue about what is and isn’t offensive. From a believer perspective what is offensive (at least to me) is not the subject that is being removed or denied (for example the Nativity Story movie) but rather the act of the removal or denial.

    I look at it this way – I, as a christian, don’t object to the faith (or symbols of that faith) of others or even those without a particular faith – just allow me mine as well – it seems that only the christian faith and symbols of it are constantly objected to… It gets tiring after a while.

    Of course I can’t speak for the entirity of christian believers, but I think for the most part we have been very tolerant (that’s why we were referred to as the Silent Majority) of the faith/belief of others – that’s why it’s so offensive to once again have something I believe in denied or removed.

    It all comes back to finding some kind of compromise – maybe it’s all about choice – for an event like Christkindlmarket, look at the origins and the foundation of it (other than retail) – all symbols and displays related should be allowed. Live and let live should be the mantra!

  • txatheist

    Lynn,
    Can we put a very large sign at every state capitol? It appears at the Wisconsin capitol during the winter holidays?

    The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s gilt “Winter Solstice” sign returned today to the Wisconsin State Capitol for the seventh year in a row. It says:
    “At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail.

    “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.

    “There is only our natural world.

    “Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

    or an event like Christkindlmarket, look at the origins and the foundation of it (other than retail)

    Are you familiar with Sol Invictus?

  • Paul

    “The City of Chicago did recommend that a very prominently placed advertisement may be insensitive to the many people of different faiths who come to enjoy the market,” as quoted from the official City of Chicago Mayor’s Office of Special Events web-site on Thr, 2006-11-30 …

    …this effectively puts an end to ANY “offensive” gay-lesbian marches, pro-choice rallies, or other forms of ‘in-your-face’ advertising on Chicago city streets, parks, or other property. I personally have talked to both the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Chicago German American Chamber of Commerce, and they are both aware of these potential class-action lawsuits.

    When questioned, the Mayor’s Office commented that “they (New Line Cinema’s trailer of “The Nativity Story”) want to keep repeating the same thing over and over again in a video loop, and that might be offensive to some people.” But when asked, “so, that means that Gay-Lesbian marchers or Pro-Choice rally attendees will no longer be allowed to CHANT or repeat phrases that might be offensive to some?” the City Official had little comment other than “we don’t want to restrict people’s freedoms, though.”

    Another objection the Mayor’s Office had to the advertisement was that “it is too big”. And when questioned with “does that mean that ALL marches or rallies, Pro-Choice, Gay-Lesbian, and others will no longer be allowed to carry large banners or wave large flags on city property?” the City Official answered “of course not, you need to talk to our legal department now.”

    At stake is either an across-the-board ban on all “prominently placed advertisement (which) may be insensitive to the many people of different faiths” or on the other side is the risk of discriminating against one group over another and thus violating the Constitution.

    Freedom itself is at stake, for many people, across the nation.

  • Siamang

    Paul,

    It sounds like the mayor’s office is acting like a bunch of weasels.

    I thought it was an establishment clause thing.

    Sounds like they don’t want to fight it on those grounds, but on the idea of offense. If that’s accurate, I think they’re being typical politicians here.

    If they want to get rid of it, they need a dang good reason. And “offense” isn’t it. If they’re unwilling to use an establishment clause reasoning, then I’m with the Christians on this one. Offense isn’t a good figleaf to hide behind.

  • Siamang

    Lynn wrote:

    I look at it this way – I, as a christian, don’t object to the faith (or symbols of that faith) of others or even those without a particular faith – just allow me mine as well – it seems that only the christian faith and symbols of it are constantly objected to… It gets tiring after a while.

    Absolutely. And you’re totally free to buy up every billboard in the city of Chicago and put up a “Love Jesus Now” sign. You just can’t use the government to do it for you.

    We seem to act, in this country, like the Government is the only thing that matters. That if you can’t get the government to carry water for your particular religion then it’s like you’re being shut out.

    Well, I work in the private sector. I work for a gi-normous company, one that has a big public image, and frankly Christmas is all over this place like white on rice. We have a christmas tree, not a solstice tree. We sing carols both religious and non-religious. There is a very public reading of the nativity story from the Bible which is very very popular, done as an annual tradition… and it’s all good. Nobody seems to complain. There’s no exclusion of people of other faiths. But there’s no prohibition on religious themes and imagery. And I have ZERO problem with that. I LOVE Christmas imagery and themes. As I said before, I really like the nativity story. I have a nativity scene myself in my house for Christmas.

    And it makes me realize that we have all the freedom we could ever wish for. We can all worship as we please, and we can all symbolize that worship in any way we could hope for… just not on the Government’s dime.

    I am in no way against removing religious speech or imagery from the public square. I think people and companies should be free to say or promote any beliefs they choose. I just don’t want the government picking and choosing which religious messages get the government push and which ones don’t.

  • Lynn I

    TX,

    Good to be engaged in discussion with you again – it’s been a long time! Well I wasn’t real familiar with Sol Invictus – so I looked up a brief description and imagine that —-it’s based in religious belief

    Sol Invictus (“the undefeated Sun”) or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus (“the undefeated sun god”) was a religious title applied to at least three distinct divinities during the later Roman Empire; El Gabal, Mithras, and Sol.

    Unlike the earlier, agrarian cult of Sol Indiges (“the native sun” or “the invoked sun” – the etymology and meaning of the word “indiges” is disputed), the title Deus Sol Invictus was formed by analogy with the imperial titulature pius felix invictus (“dutiful, fortunate, unconquered”).

    A festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) was celebrated when the duration of daylight first begins to increase after the winter solstice,—the “rebirth” of the sun.

    Christian iconography adopted some of the artistic language of paganism. The depiction of Christ with a halo relates to late antique usage, but the radiated crown also appears. (A tomb painting which has been described as showing Christ depicted as Apollo-Helios in a mausoleum discovered under St. Peter’s Basilica and dated to 250[1]. However, there is a counter claim that it cannot be Sol Invictus, as it did not exist at that date[citation needed]).

    From the beginning of the fourth century, Sol Iustitiae (“Sun of Justice”) was used as a title of Christ, in opposition to Sol Invictus [2].

    The date for Christmas may also bear a relation to the sun worship. According to the scholiast on the Syriac bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi, writing in the twelth century:

    “It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day.” (cited in “Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries”, Ramsay MacMullen. Yale:1997, p155)
    Catholic Encyclopedia: Christmas states: “The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date.” However this pagan feast is first documented only in 354 AD

    So it appears that everything is steeped in some sort of religious worship. It seems once again, the only one not acceptable or palatable to the masses is christianity? Why is that?

  • txatheist

    Lynn,
    Do you hear anyone saying Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth or do you hear Christmas is the celebration of Sol Invictus?

  • Lynn I

    TX,

    The public typically sides with the popular majority so I suppose the answer is pretty obvious (Happy Birthday Jesus). But knowing you, I’m sure there is more to your method…Explain if you will

  • txatheist

    My point was the government doesn’t have a Yom Kippur parade or Hanukkah circus but a Nativity movie is seen as discrimintory if that doesn’t happen. No other religion gets this government sponsored status. Is it wrong to have In God we Trust on money? Is it wrong to have One Nation under God in the Pledge? Is it wrong to have a federal holiday for one religion? The answers to those questions are all the same for me. A simple Yes.

  • Lynn I

    TX,
    Nothing is ever simple! I know this is probably a mistake – can open…worms everywhere…but here goes…I believe that this country (and the founding fathers intent) was founded on the basic tenents of christianity. It wasn’t founded on jewish principles, or those found in the koran, or the cult of sol. It was founded on biblical principles. All you have to do to see this is read some of the original documents and read many of the quotes of the founding fathers. I don’t believe the government should sanction one religion and say every has to believe this way or that way – I believe that’s the simple explanation of separation of church and state – it doesn’t mean freedom from religion either. I also don’t believe it should be bullied or intimidated to remove religion either.

  • txatheist

    Ok, let’s just play with this one can then. Find me one US historical document that mentions Jesus or Christianity…..good luck :) No Lord, no Creator, no Providence just Jesus or Christianity in any US document please.

  • Michael

    Lynn,

    >> All you have to do to see this is read some of the original documents and read many of the quotes of the founding fathers.

    You mean, quotes like these?
    “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.” —Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814
    “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” —Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard
    “…I beg you be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” —George Washington
    “Except in the first article in the Christian creed, that of believing in God, there is not an article in it but fills the mind with doubt as to the truth of it” —Thomas Paine
    “If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution.” — Benjamin Franklin
    “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?” — John Adams
    “But the Church of Rome having set up its new religion, which it called Christianity [but which in truth is Athanasianism/Constantinism], and invented the creed which it named the Apostles’s Creed, in which it calls Jesus the only son of God, conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary; things of which it is impossible that man or woman can have any idea, and consequently no belief but in words; and for which there is no authority but the idle story of Joseph’s dream in the first chapter of Matthew, which any designing imposter or foolish fanatic might make.” —Thomas Paine
    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.” —Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823
    “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.” —Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
    “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.” —Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

  • Paul

    So how do you respond to a question like “How did America go from Pilgrims seeking freedom to express their Judeo-Christian beliefs to today’s discrimination against those very beliefs in the name of tolerance?”

    Or better yet…
    “Do these headlines sound familiar?
    Ten Commandments taken down
    ‘Under God’ removed from the Pledge
    Prayer prohibited
    Nativity Scenes banned
    Salvation Army defunded
    Boy Scouts sued
    Christmas Carols stopped
    Bible called ‘hate speech,’”

    Thomas Jefferson himself was a Christian who viamently DEFENDED your right to not believe in anything. But he never would have stood around as you denied him and his family the things listed above.

    In 1774, while serving in the Virginia Assembly, Jefferson personally introduced a resolution calling for a Day of Fasting and Prayer.

    In 1779, as Governor of Virginia, Jefferson decreed a day of “Public and solemn thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God.”

    As President, Jefferson signed bills that appropriated financial support for chaplains in Congress and the armed services.

    On March 4, 1805, President Jefferson offered “A National Prayer for Peace,” which petitioned:

    “Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners.

    Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.

    Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth.

    In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”

  • Paul

    Even more intriginly is the fact that Ben Franklin was also a Christian BELIEVER …

    “We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle. (See the Holy Bible – miricles of Jesus) But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy. The miracle in question was only performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of present necessity, which required it.”

  • Paul

    Oh this one is even better PROOF that Ben Franklin was a Christian BELIEVER …

    “I’ve lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth — That God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that except the Lord build the House they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this, — and I also believe that without his concurring Aid, we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our Projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a Reproach and Bye word down to future Ages.”

  • Paul

    Here is where the original “under God” came from which we inserted into the Pledge of Alligence …

    George Washington himself
    “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therfore, to resolve to conquer or die.
    Address to the Continental Army before the battle of Long Island (August 27, 1776)”

    “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.”

    And finally, Washington’s his Proclamation on January 1, 1795 of February 19th, 1795 as a day of national Thanksgiving in this form:
    “It is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe, without the agency of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to reason without arriving at a Supreme Being. Religion is as necessary to reason, as reason is to religion. The one cannot exist without the other. A reasoning being would lose his reason, in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to.”

  • txatheist

    Paul,
    In 1786, James Madison reintroduced Thomas Jefferson’s “Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom,” which had previously been opposed by legislature. I suggest reading it. It’s not real long.

    To your claims:
    Thomas Jefferson himself was a Christian who viamently DEFENDED your right to not believe in anything. But he never would have stood around as you denied him and his family the things listed above.

    He was a Deist and one quote about Jesus doesn’t override his 100′s of others against xianity. He also was a politician and everyone needs the jesus vote so why not pander. I also don’t believe in nothing. I believe your god is nothing more than a myth in a fictional book.

    “Do these headlines sound familiar?
    Yes they do.
    Ten Commandments taken down-And originally not there. The original ones are still there unlike the TX capitol one and the one Alabama courthouse one that were put there much later.
    ‘Under God’ removed from the Pledge-Wasn’t in there originally, put in there in the 1950′s under communist scare tactics.
    Prayer prohibited-You can pray anytime you want, your kid can too but you can’t have captive audience prayer as some kids realize prayer doesn’t work
    Nativity Scenes banned- 12/25 has nothing to do with JC anyway, look up Sol Invictus. Put up winter solstice pieces and xianity was later the only religion to get a federal holiday. How much favoritism is necessary for xianity to survive?
    Salvation Army defunded- Stop bigoted hiring practices
    Boy Scouts sued-Can’t get fed funding if you are bigoted against atheists and gays
    Christmas Carols stopped-I am sure your church will sing them. Public schools represent all kids. Can we sing an atheist tune by Dan Barker?
    Bible called ‘hate speech,’”- Have you read Leviticus lately? Calling people wicked and unjust for not believing like you do is hardly love and nothing close to intellectually honest.

    I suggest reading The Age of Reason. Even the first 75 pages and it’s on the web if you look for it.

  • txatheist

    Paul,
    I don’t know any atheist that denies Pat Henry was a xian but the others were Unitarian or Deist, not xian. We’ll have to agree to disgaree.

  • Paul

    Interestingly enough John Adams even PROVED that the Judeo-Christian “10 Commandments” layed the foundation of the Constitution ….

    “The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shall not covet,’ and ‘Thou shall not steal,’ are not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.”
    A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1787)

    or better yet….

    This is the text of President John Adams’ March 23, 1798 national Fasting and Prayer proclamation; as printed in the The Phenix/Windham Herald, April 12, 1798.
    ====================
    “By the President of the United States of America

    A PROCLAMATION

    AS the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God; and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him,

    but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety, without which social happiness cannot exist, nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty and of danger, when existing or threatening calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity are a loud call to repentance and reformation; and as the United States of America are at present placed in a hazardous and afflictive situation, by the unfriendly disposition, conduct and demands of a foreign power, evinced by repeated refusals to receive our messengers of reconciliation and peace, by depredations on our commerce, and the infliction of injuries on very many of our fellow citizens, while engaged in their lawful business on the seas: —Under these considerations it has appeared to me that the duty of imploring the mercy and benediction of Heaven on our country, demands at this time a special attention from its inhabitants.

    I HAVE therefore thought it fit to recommend, that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next be observed throughout the United States, as a day of Solemn Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer; That the citizens of these states, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies, agreeably to those forms or methods which they have severally adopted as the most suitable and becoming: That all religious congregations do, with the deepest humility, acknowledge before GOD the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation; beseeching him, at the same time, of his infinite Grace, through the Redeemer of the world, freely to remit all our offences, and to incline us, by his holy spirit, to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for his inestimable favor and heavenly benediction; That it be made the subject of particular and earnest supplication, that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it; that our civil and religious privileges may be preserved inviolate, and perpetuated to the latest generations; that our public councils and magistrates may be especially enlightened and directed at this critical period; that the American people may be united in those bonds of amity and mutual confidence, and inspired with that vigor and fortitude by which they have in times past been so highly distinguished, and by which they have obtained such invaluable advantages: That the health of the inhabitants of our land may be preserved, and their agriculture, commerce, fisheries, arts and manufactures be blessed and prospered: That the principles of genuine piety and sound morality may influence the minds and govern the lives of every description of our citizens; and that the blessings of peace, freedom, and pure religion, may be speedily extended to all the nations of the earth.

    And finally I recommend, that on the said day; the duties of humiliation and prayer be accompanied by fervent Thanksgiving to the bestower of every good gift, not only for having hitherto protected and preserved the people of these United States in the independent enjoyment of their religious and civil freedom, but also for having prospered them in a wonderful progress of population, and for conferring on them many and great favours conducive to the happiness and prosperity of a nation.

    Given under my hand and seal of the United States of America, at Philadelphia, this twenty-third day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, and of the Independence of the said States the twenty-second.

    JOHN ADAMS”

  • txatheist

    Paul,
    Deists/Unitarians believe in God. Remember the FF just left Europe where people were tortured for unbelief. What happened to Thomas Paine for writing The Age of Reason? Put under house arrest. No one here denies they believed in a god.

  • Paul

    I don’t get it then .. “No one here denies they (the founding fathers) believed in a god.”

    And please, I don’t intent to be sarcastic or mean-spirited, I’m just trying to better understand those around me and myself in the process.

    First:
    The First Amendment never existed at the time the Constitution was written, but by your logic from above: “Ten Commandments” and “under God”, the First Amendment and all others should not have been added because it was not there originally. And to push this further, “prayer in school” was once common and acceptable, heck the schools even taught directly from the Bible. So your argument is to re-institute this practice since it was there in the beginning, when the Constitution was formed.

    Second:
    If you do agree that most if not all of the founding fathers who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United Sates were indeed God-loving individuals, why then is there a perception that those who do not believe in a god (as over 90% of the human population does), is actively trying to eradicate all mention (Merry Christmas, happy Honokaa), verbiage (in God we trust, under God), icon (nativity, menorah, cross, wreath, peace symbol, Christmas tree, ect), song (God Bless America et al), ceremony (swearing in or opening prayers), public expression (Christmas celebrations in PUBLIC parks), and I could go on and on.
    Why is there this “perception” that God (“God is one, spirit, creator and preserver of the world” from the Unitarian Principles of Faith) has no place in America?
    Why is it “perceived” that a country founded on Majority-Rule is being changed to fit a MINORITY point of view?

    Finally:
    I was raised by a Lutheran mother and an atheist father who were divorced. I had innumerable opportunities to explore both sides of the equation. I CHOSE to believe, but I would NEVER try to take away your right as an American not to believe. My only regret is that I was not there when my father died a few years ago, to see if he returned to his faith as so many faced with death do. We had talked about my “faith” and he called it “brainwashing” but we were still able to love each other and get along fine. I don’t even know if he knew he was dying.

  • txatheist

    nd to push this further, “prayer in school” was once common and acceptable, heck the schools even taught directly from the Bible. So your argument is to re-institute this practice since it was there in the beginning, when the Constitution was formed.

    Yes, but evolution wasn’t taught and a literal interpretation of creation was. We have become a more scientific and pluralistic society. Also, the native americans were fine before we came and they had their gods of nature. We shoved xianity down their throats or killed them. Also, there have been Amendments to the Constitution but they have to do with rights, including civil rights for all, not just for Christians. There are plenty of negative quotes about xianity from the FF. Do you want those taught in school too? Once you go there all parties will comment including anti-xians.

    We are not majority rule. The Constitution is about rights for all. Slavery can’t be reinstated because the majority wants to. Women can’t be denied the right to vote because men say so. These things change as civil rights violations become apparant. The gay movement now legalizes marriages in certain states. That certainly isn’t mentioned by the alleged Jesus or the Constitution. We can’t see intolerance until we realize it’s there.

    In short. I want freedom of religion too. I am completely free of religion. That is Constitutional. It’s publc parks/schools/offices and if you want your cross up I want my sign that says god is imaginary. In 1990 9% of the US was not religious, now it’s 16%. When it reaches 51% can we kick out the xians? No and that’s ridiculous as an idea. I don’t know why you think people turn to faith before death. A few do but a content atheist/agnostic does not. I’m a veteran and I already have the government papers filled out that when I die the US pays for my headstone. It will have the atheist headstone. #16

    http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/hm/hmemb.asp

  • Paul

    Thank you, txatheist, for your time and thoughts.

    Headstone:
    I AGREE that you deserve whatever headstone you choose. And thank you for serving this country as my father and grandfather did. I’m only concerned that the court cases filed by certain atheist groups will outlaw ANY use of public money to illustrate any religious (or non-religious) belief, even on your own headstone. If we don’t work together to find a solution, your “atheist” headstone may very well “offend” someone who does believe and they will file a lawsuit against the government for use of their tax dollars going to fund a “religious belief system” such as atheism, and I don’t want that kind of disrespect being thrown about over your grave.

    Freedom of Religious Expression:
    If you want to put up a sign right next to a nativity scene, no problem. I even support the atheist woman who protested on her state capitol stairs on the National Day of Prayer. Of course I SUPPORT your right to have your voice heard. But that’s not what is happening. Instead there are no nativity scenes, no crosses, no freedom of religious expression in public. Rather than a freedom to express both sides, there seems to be a movement to suppress one side over the other, and that is wrong.

    Regarding majority rule:
    Constitutional Amendments can be changed, IF the MAJOR MAJORITY chooses to. If men and women alike went to the polls and voted to take away women’s rights to vote from then on, then it could be done.
    You said, “These things change as civil rights violations become apparent”. OK, I can go along with that. But two things bug me.
    1) the law states that an individual must have “suffered irreparable hard or damages” in order to seek damages for such civil rights violations as we are seeing today in this alleged “war on Christmas”. But there are so many people who claim that by seeing a movie advertisement for The Nativity Story, or by hearing “Merry Christmas” from a US postal worker, or by driving by a cross erected for a young teenager killed by a drunk driver…. Somehow these things cause “irreparable hard or damage” to these people such that they are “damaged goods” and no longer a fully functional human being. Wiccan symbols of witches and goblins on public offices do NOT cause me irreparable harm or damage, why then are these atheists so “fragile” ? (I refer to others and not necessarily yourself)
    2) a belief in a god-like creator has existed in mankind for as long as anyone can remember. In the same light, a belief that there is no creator has existed just as long I would say. Over the tens of thousands of years, neither god-believing nor god-denying belief systems have been eradicated, though both have tried. The concept of “civil rights” is a relatively new idea in human history. The question is, does my belief that there are many gods infringe on your belief that there are no gods or so-and-so’s belief that there is only one god? As with slavery and women’s rights, my rights end when they impose my views on others who have no voice or fair representation. I venture to guess that atheism-vs-theism is NOT a “civil rights” issue UNLESS one group tries to deny the free expression of the other. I believe as James Madison wrote, “The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed”, so I promise you this, IF you find a case where the government is trying to force an atheist not to believe that there is no god or else “suffer irreparable harm or damage” then I will defend you on this unconscionable action. But promise me this, if a someone tries to abridge the free expression of Christmas, then you will defend that person’s civil rights.

    Finally (I know you’re probably worn out by now with all my ramblings), my mention of the idea to bring back prayer is public schools was simply to point out to you your own contradiction in arguments concerning “Ten Commandments taken down-And originally not there. The original ones are still there unlike the TX capitol one and the one Alabama courthouse one that were put there much later” or “‘Under God’ removed from the Pledge-Wasn’t in there originally”. I simply wanted you to see that an argument like “is wasn’t there originally” doesn’t hold much water if you put it to other litmus tests.

    I do however think that we have gone too far in “political correctness” though. Question, would you have felt personally damaged or having suffered irreparable harm if a teacher of yours had worn a small cross on her necklace but never even mentioned its significance? Would you have been crippled for life if your second-grade teacher had told you “Merry Christmas” as you went home for a late December break from school to go play in the snow? Would it have made you less of a person to sing “Oh Christmas Tree” in music class in fourth grade or to say the current version of the Pledge of Allegiance at opening of Homecoming game as a senior in High School?

    I teach my children about all different forms of religious beliefs; they even know that their grandfather did not believe at all. I also teach them NOT to use foul language that they might pick up at school or on TV. We have even discussed on a pretty deep level, creation-vs-evolution. In the end, they will CHOOSE what to believe or not believe, but I don’t think it is best for the school to abridge what is taught based on what “might offend” someone. I can think of a lot of things in public schools that “might offend” me, but that is no excuse to restrict a child’s education or cultural tolerance.

    Who seems to be the most “intolerant” now?

    P.S.
    Could you please point out to me where I may have used accusatory, derogatory, or hateful language? I try to teach and practice love and respect for all. Words like “bigoted”, “intolerant”, “oppression”, and even “xtian” could be taken as hostile or at least practiced political pollution. Seriously, if you ever feel as if I have “hit below the belt”, then call me on it. I always want to BUILD a working relationship of mutual respect.

    Thank you for your time.

  • txatheist

    My military headstone is a benefit/reward for honorably serving. My point was all faiths are represented at the will of the individual. It’s my choice on my plot.

    The freedom of religious expression was what the Rabbi in this story was doing and the gov’t entity chose to remove it instead of honoring more than just xianity. They did the opposite of what we and the Rabbi want so we agree there.

    The Constitution protects the right of the individual from tyranny of the majority. You can’t make a law allowing for society to kill 7 foot people because it would cost too much to have buildings accommodate them. Atheists are “fragile” because we don’t get equal treatment. We have to file that way in our court system, that we have sustained damage. I know it’s ridiculous terminology but that’s the legal system. The TX capitol has the 10 C monument on it. When I asked for a plague citing the Treaty of Tripoli stating “the US is not in any sense founded on the xian religion” I got no response…twice. Any public building with a cross or nativity scene can have that plaque or the FFRF winter solstice sign.
    “At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail.
    “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.
    “There is only our natural world.
    “Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

    Can that same postal worker say that god is for baffoons? Two way street for public officials?

    a belief in a god-like creator has existed in mankind for as long as anyone can remember.

    No it didn’t but I will agree that religions have plagurized ideas from each other over 1000′s of years. Do you believe in Zeus, Isis, Thor, Hercules or Shiva? Neither do I and they all predate JC.
    Yes, certain items of religion are in gov’t buildings but our calendar is based off religious gods names and it’s just that way. I understand the maze we have to look at to see which is original and which got changed.

    I do however think that we have gone too far in “political correctness” though.

    Are you aware of Sam Harris? He says the same thing but with regard to religion. When someone says there is a god or heaven or angels tell them they are loony. That’s being un-pc to me.

    Would it have hurt you to realize that god is only a myth and that christianity and the bible are just stories? You’d be fine right? Kids will be too if we tell them that or we can leave it out of the schools and in your home.

    If it’s any consolation I can meet theists half way and say I understand you believe god created the universe and used evolution to make man-kind.

    I will call you on the bigoted if I see it but I’m not talking about you, but the book of Leviticus where homosexuals, kids that cuss their parents, people who work on the Sabbath and non-believers are to be stoned to death.

  • Paul

    Re: Treaty of Tripoli

    I ALMOST agreed with you, until I read the article in question:

    “Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

    This is CLEARLY a case of a minuet phrase taken out of context and out of time to further some political agenda. Mussulem individuals have indeed declared their “enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of ” US, the United States and specifically hypocritical Christians and atheists. The “Mahometan nation” has declared WAR on the “godless dogs of United States”. The Article originally was to prove to this other nation that even though they might have hear or understood (even back in 1796) that the United States of America was founded by Christians, they could still be fair in trading with another nation who believed in God but who’s Koran spelled out “death to all infidels” (non-Muslims). We have tried to keep our bargain, but over the last 30 years we have been bombarded with Muslim-extremist (to distinguish them from peace-loving individuals) terrorist attacks on our laws, religion (or lack thereof), and tranquility.

    Now I find this interesting that you would WANT to publish such an inflammatory public showing of hatred toward “infidels”. Anyone that reads this article would immediately notice that we meant no harm or disrespect to “Mussulmen” or “any Mahometan nation”, but instead they declare war on anyone who is not a Muslim. Why would you WANT this message on such a gorgeous and prestigious National Landmark as the Texas State Capitol in Austin (I grow up in Dallas)? What purpose would it serve?

    Remember the Lemon Test:
    To survive scrutiny, a legislative act must:
    1) Have a secular purpose;
    2) Its primary effect must neither advance NOR INHIBIT religion;
    3) It must avoid excessive entanglement between religion and government.

    It is only my personal opinion, but I think that Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli would FAIL all of these tests.
    …….
    BUT, I do AGREE that your Winter Solstice message could be displayed right along side the 10 Commandments, with only one provisory. Since both are quoting from something or someone, it would be plagiaristic and against the law for the government to appear to be the author of either of these quotations. I would therefore REQUIRE that all placards or messages be cited with author and date at a minimum. It would therefore be more of a “historic account” showing “words of wisdom” rather than an endorsement of one religion over another.

    Do you see the other side of the sword on this one; “quote by God, given to Moses, written in numerous forms of the Holy Bible; around 450 B.C.” verses “quote by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, 2006 AD” ?

    In conclusion, as you can see from both of these examples THAT YOU PROPOSED, sharing of ALL the information is likely to be detrimental to the atheist movement. So look at it this way, the Christians in power today are keeping the atheists from destroying themselves so that they have freedom to accuse others of not giving them more freedoms.
    (that was more tongue in cheek than anything)

    Thank you so much for the back-and-forth DIALOG.
    I do enjoy your points of view, since they make me think and question my own beliefs.
    I do appreciate your time. Thank you.

  • txatheist

    This is CLEARLY a case of a minuet phrase taken out of context and out of time to further some political agenda. Mussulem individuals have indeed declared their “enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of ” US, the United States and specifically hypocritical Christians and atheists.

    Then we’ll just disagree. The FF didn’t care if a country was Muslim as America was religion tolerant nation and it didn’t matter if they were Christian, atheist or Muslim. They in no way considered America to be xian and trading with non-xian didn’t matter because America was a secular nation with no meantion of God/Jesus or Christianity. It would be a great reminder to say we are not founded on judeo-xian principles as so many people have been misled to believe. I lost you on how the Treaty violates the Lemon Test. It does not advance xianity and that’s fine.

    Great, Dan Barker of FFRF will gladly acknowledge the author of the winter solstice sign and the sign notes that’s who placed it. Now, your turn, who wrote the various versions of the 10 C’s? I hope you aren’t going to say god wrote it or gave it to Moses.

    I truly appreciate your sincere concern for the atheist movement(whatever that it) but if we need counseling from xians I’ll ask. Are you asking me to be grateful to xians for keeping us atheists stable? Allow me to yank that pedestal from under your big ego. If you’d keep your story in your home and church we’d be fine but you can’t do that.

  • Paul

    WOW. When you actually said, “If you’d keep your story in your home and church we’d be fine but you can’t do that”, I almost fell off my chair. Do you actually believe that or were you just upset at the time?

    “Well, I never” came to my mind. I was just reading; “Federal court rules in favor of elementary schoolgirl who wanted to sing ‘Awesome God’ at talent show.” Could you imagine what a hypocrite I would be if I felt in my heart that this little girl had the Constitutional right of Freedom of Religious Expression and Freedom of Speech, but then I turned around and told you to “keep it to yourself”. NO WAY!

    I, as almost everyone I know and socialize with, ENCOURAGE DIVERSITY, we PROMOTE TOLERANCE, we EMBRACE ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE.

    Such a (and I left out all of the nasty adjectives I wanted to put in here) comment such as, “If you’d keep your story in your home and church we’d be fine but you can’t do that” is exactly what so many “right-wing conservative nut-jobs” were saying just a few years ago.

    Try this on for size … “If you’d keep your SEXUAL PERVERSIONS in your home and BEDROOM and not in the courts, we’d be fine, but you can’t do that.”

    Now, I am NOT saying any such thing, I simply wanted you to HEAR YOURSELF. How hate-filled and “bigoted” would you call me IF I ever did utter such words?

    Let me put it to you this way, I LIKE discussing issues with you and anyone else who has similar or dissimilar views than my own. That’s the only real way to learn and grow. As a matter of fact, when you asked me how it would “hurt” me to not believe in God, I have been carefully thinking and trying to come up with the best answer which does NOT in any way try to convert you, put down your point of view, cast any type of condemnation, or even which you might feel that I was “preaching” to you. I DON’T WANT TO TREAT YOU THAT WAY.

    I DO want to COMMUNICATE in the name of TOLERANCE.

    But IF you have such a narrow world-view that you cannot “tolerate” others around you sharing their life stories with you (if you ask, like with me), or you can’t “tolerate” others showing their love (possibly though song or “merry Christmas” greetings) for their Creator (as it IS in the Constitution & Declaration), or you can’t “tolerate” others wanting to decorate their workplace or home with what matters to them most in their lives. Well IF (and that’s a pretty big if), you are that “intolerant” of others, then I sincerely apologize for taking so much of your time and I will no longer be bothering you with such conversation.

    … but I sincerely and deeply HOPE you are not that way.

  • txatheist

    ok, yes individual expression in school is fine I wasn’t trying to draw a line crossing over individual freedom of speech/expression. I don’t appreciate “meet you at the pole” but it’s Constitutional.

    If you’d keep your SEXUAL PERVERSIONS in your home and BEDROOM and not in the courts, we’d be fine, but you can’t do that.”

    And that’s fine. The gay people I know don’t want legal rights to have sex in public last time I heard any gossip. But yes, I don’t care what two other consenting adults do in their home and I don’t care if you teach your kid about god.
    Nothing you can say about god/religion is going to hurt me. I understand religion and what you think you know is fine, but I’m content in my views so telling me I’m wicked or going to burn in hell is irrelevent.

    This is a discussion forum. I am discussing my views with no holds barred. I don’t do that in the work place but in public…oh yeah. If someone in public says Jesus came to give US life I say I don’t believe in mythology. My Creator is my parents and the FF were Deists so Nature’s God is fine with me. It’s right there in the Dec of Ind in the first paragraph, it doesn’t say God/Jesus or xianity and that’s a god that I can deal with. God is nature and not a character in a story. I can’t control how you feel or think about me. I really can’t.

  • Paul

    Am I to assume from your last posting that you are NOT as “intolerant” as I feared?
    That it IS ok with you if we discuss issues like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Bible and the Winter Solstice sign WITHOUT you taking any of it personally or feeling offended? For my part I will try never to even imply that you are “wicked or going to burn in hell” (your words, not mine). P.S. I am sorry if others have made you feel that way, it is NOT the Fundamentalist Christian – “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – follow the perfect example of Christ’s teachings – that Christianity is SUPPOSED to be. I would not even consider them to be true Christ-followers at all. (OK, sorry, off my soapbox now)

    Winter Solstice Sign:
    I was doodling and came up with this sign to go right next to the Winter Solstice Sign at the Wisconsin Capitol; what do you think?

    “At ALL TIMES may human compassion prevail over reason.
    No person is a god, a devil or an angel, but HUMAN
    Subject to HUMAN RIGHTS, human flaws, and human JUSTICE.
    Thus there is only our TRUST and BELIEF in our understanding of good and evil,
    That separates us from Nature’s lowly animals without morals or rights.
    Law is but our feeble grasp to PROMOTE HUMAN FREEDOMS.

    10 Commandments:
    And I LOVED your suggestion that we give a more in-depth anthology of who wrote the various versions of the 10 Commandments as they appear in various religious manuscripts throughout the last 2500 to 3000 years or so. We could give the “accepted common knowledge” version of “God spoke to Moses who wrote it on two stone tablets (as illustrated here)” but then we could continue with all of the various copies and translations over the millennia giving credit for each new variation or document. (sarcastically I continue …) We could even give credit to every author throughout history who has ever quoted from one of these versions of the 10 Commandments. Wow, that would be a HUGELY GIGANTIC list of credits. Thank you, great idea ! (snicker, snicker)

    If you are serious about promoting the Winter Solstice sign nationwide, I would be willing to do the necessary research we just discussed to work with you side-by-side in promoting BOTH displays in as many venues as we could muster. Seriously. It’s your call.

    * Lastly I would like to touch on what you called “Christianity in the Declaration or Constitution”. I AGREE with you, Christianity, as one particular form of religious point of view (like Judaism and Muslim religions of the time) is NOT spelled out in either. BUT, “God” “Creator” and other references DO exist, not to mention dozens and dozens of official Congressional documents indicating prayer, and even “in the name of Jesus Christ”. By your own admission, one of the original signers of the Constitution was indeed openly Christian while most if not all of the others where Deists/Unitarians. You even said, “No one here denies they believed in a god” yet you persist on denying that their firmly-held beliefs (so strong that they were willing to fight and die for their religious freedoms), you still insist that these beliefs were not incorporated in some way into these most important documents in human history.

    God in Declaration:
    I would like to quote from David J. Voelker:
    “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.[1]

    In the “Declaration of Independence,” the founding document of what would become the United States, Thomas Jefferson mentions “nature’s God.” Unfortunately, this phrase is unclear. The religious beliefs of Jefferson were much debated in his time and still are over two centuries later. Through the letters and other writings of Jefferson, it is possible to construct an outline of his beliefs. Although he supported the moral teachings of Jesus, Jefferson believed in a creator similar to the God of deism. In the tradition of deism, Jefferson based his God on reason and rejected revealed religion.”

    To continue:
    There are four references to God in the Declaration:
    · The “laws of nature and of nature’s God” entitle the United States to independence.
    · “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
    · Congress appeals “to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.”
    · The signers, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,” pledge to each other their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor
    Further investigation:
    You said that your “creator” was your parents, correct?
    If that is the case outlined in the Declaration, then HOW did they ENDOW you with rights? Did they somehow alter your genes with the intention of making you somehow different than other animals that have none of these rights? Did they somehow burn a symbol onto your forehead when you were born to distinguish you from all other people in the world who aren’t afforded these rights? Did your parents actually perform some ritual or religious ceremony which gave you those rights? What is it exactly that they DID which ENDOWED you with those rights? (Careful: if you say they had sex, then human rights begin at conception, but if you say ‘gave birth’ then only WOMEN gave those rights but “MEN” is the only word to choose from.)

    One more:
    If you claim that your parents are your “creator”, then WHERE did they obtain the “unalienable rights” to give to you in the first place? You can’t “endow” someone with something that you don’t have. Not all animals have these rights, heck not all humans in the world have these rights. So WHERE did the Founding Fathers assume that these rights would come from if the parent’s could not do so? Just think of it, if my parents “endowed” to me on my first birthday the “right to rob, rape, and pillage at my own will”, how then would the framers of a new government maintain law and order? But if they MEANT that the government (ie: Declaration & Constitution) gives those rights, then am I to assume that we were all BORN from within those parchments? How absurd. So WHERE did they get those rights from in the first place? (Careful: if you use “from my parents, from my grand-parents, from my great-grand-parents, ect” and you believe in EVOLUTION, then you must conclude that the single-celled ameba was the first to poses the RIGHTS OF LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PERSUIT OF HAPPINESS, thus giving every living creature the same human rights as we boast)

    I will continue with an examination of the Constitution later.

    Thank you for your time and especially thank you for your diverse point of view.

    You are appreciated.

  • Paul

    I just re-read a snippet of something you wrote earlier …”Nothing you can say about god/religion is going to hurt me.” That is SO WRONG on so many levels, I just had to step in and say, “I’m sorry.” No one should have ever treated you so badly that you have that point of view, where you naturally ASSUME that any and every discussion of the (non)existence of god or of religious points of view are intended to hurt you in some way.

    For what it is worth, I am sorry, and I hope to never contribute to that pain.

  • txatheist

    That separates us from Nature’s lowly animals without morals or rights.

    I’d throw that out as I consider us just a mammal in the animal kingdom.

    We could give the “accepted common knowledge” version of “God spoke to Moses who wrote it on two stone tablets (as illustrated here)” but then we could continue with all of the various copies and translations over the millennia giving credit for each new variation or document.

    But that is the thing, scholars don’t believe it was Moses and it certainly can’t be said god inspired the writers because that’s not verifiable. I suggest “Who wrote the bible” to you. Good book and I don’t think Moses or Jesus were real characters. I’ve made the call about equal sign representation and they don’t answer my letters.

    I do not deny Pat Henry was a xian and most of the rest were deist/unitarian. I have never denied that. Please find God in an official document. Also, even if you do I’m not against that. It’s the idea that it was the xian God. It was Nature’s God as the Dec of Ind clearly states. There is a reason Jesus is not spelled out, cause they weren’t supporting him in our founding. There is no debate that I know of. Nature was God and deists still think that way. They don’t support story books as revelatins from god.

    My Creators had sex and my mom didn’t give up her right to an abortion until I was born. My rights are natural stemming from nature and as we define US law. My rights you mention came from being born in the right country. North Korean kids aren’t born with the same freedoms and protections I am. I don’t believe in evolution, it’s not a belief system but a scientific fact.

  • txatheist

    Paul,
    I’m not hurt by religious people at all. I just meant that if you call me stupid or an atheist calls me stupid I shrug it off. Thanks for the concern but it’s completely irrelevent to tell me I’m going to hell. There is no hell so I don’t consider it a statement of logic.

  • Paul

    Thanks for the responses.

    Re: 10 Com. / Wintr Sol.

    How about “That separates we as higher animals from Nature’s lowly animals without morals or rights”?

    I will ponder your thoughts on how best to address the origin and thus credit for the 10 Commandments in the Bible, but please think about this “we hold these truths to be SELF EVIDENT, that all men are created equal”. How is it that an entire nation and now the world is embracing an idea that in your words cannot be true “because that’s not verifiable”. Show me SCIENTIFIC PROOF that all men are “created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and of these are the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” PROVE IT, IN SCIENCE.

    (It’s just my opinion, but I think they got that from their FAITH, not scientific proof, because I could surely prove with science that our genes are different and that some people will be smarter, stronger, healthier, and more resistant to cancers. Not very “equal” if you ask me. )

    Re: religious founders

    I know that you have been debating for a long time with other “right-wing Fundie nut-jobs” about the alleged “Christian” influences that might have been present during the formation of the USA. Read my lips, “I AM NOT ONE OF THEM” so please try to take a fresh look at MY points and not spout from other discussions you may have had.

    I will quote myself again, just so that you get it, “I AGREE with you, Christianity, as one particular form of religious point of view (like Judaism and Muslim religions of the time) is NOT spelled out in either (Declaration Of Independence or the Constitution).”

    I hope you will allow me the courtesy of providing these excerpts from Wikipedia on Deism…”deists hold that correct religious beliefs must be founded on human reason and observed features of the natural world, and that these sources reveal the existence of one God or supreme being.” Or “Historic Unitarianism believed in the oneness of God…” Or “Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people. It is one of the first recorded monotheistic faiths, and it is one of the oldest religious traditions still practiced today.” Or “Christians believe Jesus to be the Son of God, who lived a life befitting that of the creator of the universe, free of sin and full of love…” Or “The Koran describes as Muslims many Biblical prophets and messengers: Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus and his apostles. … ‘There is no god except Allah’ ”

    Do you notice a recurring theme? All but the first (deists) hold that the 10 Commandments was from God, but much more importantly, ALL OF THEM, every last one of them from long before July 4th 1776 up to the current administration hold firmly that a Supreme Being of Supernatural Nature is the Creator who endowed us with our rights, the Supreme Judge who knows our innermost intentions, the author of Divine Providence (that all that occurs in the universe takes place under God’s sovereign guidance and control), and He IS truly “Nature’s God” since He created nature and the natural order or things.

    Let that just sink in for a minute… the Declaration, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Amendments, the Federal Laws, the State Laws, and even local laws and school boards we almost exclusively written by men and women who held some form of religious belief system which included a belief in a Supreme God. (and that IS PROVABLE with statistics and science)

    (deep breath) Well, that was pretty intense. Let’s switch gears, OK?

    Re: Natural Law

    “My Creators had sex” sounds like a great line in a Greek Myth. They had a lot of that going on, didn’t they?

    “my mom didn’t give up her right to an abortion until I was born”.
    OK, you believe in a woman’s “right to an abortion”. We’ll pick this one up in just a minute, but notice NO snide comment about her timing. That’s just NOT the kind of person I am. I hope you get that by now. (but please, don’t leave yourself wide open like that, it just invites IDIOTS to attack)

    I LOVE this one though, “My rights are natural stemming from nature”. So PROVE IT! You told me that I couldn’t say where something came from “because that’s not verifiable”. So VERIFY to me that NATURE (without a god) – science only – provided you with HUMAN RIGHTS (such as life, liberty, happiness, ABORTION, marriage, freedom of speech, freedom of religion). Prove to me scientifically that our genes or something is hardwired to grant these rights to all others as we would want them ourselves. Prove to me that nature created in us with a need to express our RELIGIOUS beliefs freely and without oppression (in doing so you also prove that a belief in God is build into us by Nature, wow).

    On the (is use this phrase loosely) “natural law of the right to abortion”, could you show me scientific evidence that a roughly equal percentage of all other animals in the natural world (excluding humans) participate in the INTENTIONAL act of terminating a pregnancy before the natural birth occurs without recrimination from the soon-to-be father or other male figure-head of the animal group. In other words, do other animals prematurely terminate pregnancies? Out of those, how many would you consider to be intentional as opposed to purely accidental? Out of those remaining cases, how many premature and intentional terminations occurred without the “leader of the pack” or father-figure taking revenge on the mother for killing the offspring (I have seen similar occurrences, but not exactly)? Jokingly I ask, and how many of those remaining animals have some form of recorded or universally understood law (written or otherwise)? Now seriously, what percentage of the overall population of that species perform such intentional premature terminations of offspring with NO social ramifications AS COMPARED to humans? Could you please provide this in a scientific format for me, a very large negative power of ten will do fine.

    Moving on, could you please point out the Law of Nature that provides any species the “right to life”? This could be an entire conversation unto itself.

    Your human rights, I get a feeling you will eventually concede, had little if anything to do with the laws of nature, but are given to you “from being born in the right country” and are thus “defined by US law” – the same laws conceived, written, fought for, sacrificed for, and maintained by a vast majority that believe in a Higher Power of God who gave them those rights to share with you who doesn’t believe in Him.

    Just think of it this way, IF only the laws of nature were used to write the laws of man (without faith), society would never have survived.

    Thanks again for the spirited conversation.

    I just hope that at no time did you feel I was calling anyone “stupid” or anything about “hell”. I have found that the best way to LEARN is to listen and not shout.

    Thanks.

  • txatheist

    We are not higher animals. Drop the whole line is the best I can do. We evolved from the same common ancestor. The 10 C authors are not completely verifiable so “author unknown”. I can’t prove we are equal, when we are not. We do have the same rights as Americans. Yes, their ideology of what every American should have guided them in the principles to what should constitute our rights. I’m not against Deism. If 90% of the Americans believed God=the deist god then I would be much different in my view of god but currently god=Allah, Jehovah, Brahma and YHWH and that is completely different than God=Nature. I’ve yet to really disagree with a Deist with except maybe the First Cause argument. I didn’t say that our rights are genetic but outlined in the Consitution and our judicial rights. Other countries don’t have the same rights and some have more. God is built into our wiring once a parent indoctrinates a child. I’ll show you another mammal that believes in abortion once you show me an a non-human animal that has graduated from medical school. It’s surgery not a moral issue except to you. When a tiger kill a pregnant zebra is that abortion or just nature? God created nature to you theists because you grant him those legendary powers. Science doesn’t work like that and so you are crossing mythology with science. Two separate fields. Right to life? How about the right to have two stable parents who can function as responsible adults first? Are you aware that atheists have a lower divorce rate than xians. Work on your group and their parenting skills first. I’m grateful to our FF for not being fundamentalist xians and using deism/reason/freethought as the means to construct our laws. I’m also saddened that after 200 years after the Age of Reason and Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was written that the majority still believe in dogma found in the books our FF critiqued for being archaic and absurd. Mostly for the freedom of religion, speech but the others are just as idealistic. I’m more grateful to Copernicus and Einstein for sharing science that saves peoples lives than the bible writers whose work was relevant 2000 years ago. Your hypothetical destruction of society is without logic or merit. It’s irrelevant for someone like you to call me stupid.

  • Paul

    Not higher animals? Do you consider yourself at the same level of evolution, intelligence, social order, morality, technology, logical reasoning, and grooming as the dung beetle? IF that is the case, let me know and I’ll “dumb-down” this conversation a notch or two. LOL

    Re: “The 10 C authors are not completely verifiable so ‘author unknown’”, how about I concede to that point of view IF you concede that science proves that unless you can reproduce an experiment to provide an expected result and submit your findings for peer review and have several independent researchers duplicate your results with the same outcome, that your idea is classified as a THEORY and NOT fact. Thus, because biological evolution cannot be “COMPLETELY VERIFIABLE” with direct and repeatable experiments, it is then scientifically classified as THEORY. (I used to work as a Staff Scientist under guidance of the US military and collaborated with multiple scientific communities for our projects, so don’t even try to argue the scientific process with me)

    Re: Law is not provable
    You said “I can’t prove we are equal, when we are not.” This was in response to my asking you for scientific proof of what the Declaration of Independence clearly stated “we hold these truths to be SELF EVIDENT, that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and of these are the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” You denied the truth of many things on the grounds that they cannot be “completely verifiable”, yet you cling to something like this which is clearly “SELF-EVIDENT” and NOT scientific at all. And based on you answer, “…we are not (equal)”, one could infer that you don’t even take the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States of America very seriously since you believe (no not ‘believe’, ‘find as fact’) that they are incorrect and inconsistent with scientific proof.

    Re: the nature of god
    “god=Allah, Jehovah, Brahma and YHWH and that is completely different than God=Nature”, please, I would like to learn more about this later. My studies of theology and social orders have pointed to a natural “evolution” of religious thinking. Now there are dozens of books sighting hundreds of sources drawing the same conclusions; that early humanoids were atheistic, then poly-theistic “naturists”, then poly-theistic “plurists” (Egyptian), then monotheistic (Jewish), then Trinitarian (Christian), then Muslim monotheists, then Druid polytheists, then Deist naturists (I may have left out a few, I’m not the expert here). I would love to learn more about your points of view here. Thanks.

    Re: Natural Rights
    “I didn’t say that our rights are genetic”, sure seemed like it when you said, “My rights are natural stemming from nature.” And since “evolution, it’s not a belief system but a scientific fact” and evolution uses the scientific principle of genetics, one would naturally conclude something like “my rights are genetic and come from my genetics”. Wouldn’t you agree, with your own words?

    Re: man’s laws
    It is nice to hear you admit that “our rights (are) outlined in the Constitution and our judicial rights” (sorry for the paraphrase). And the fact that “I’ve yet to really disagree with a Deist…” does show me that you may have at least a rudimentary appreciation for those who outlined, enumerated, and protect your human rights, rather than leaving it to some scientific proof that you deserve them at all. Ok, I should throw myself into the mix there, I AM very grateful that I don’t have to PROVE SCIENTIFICALLY AND COMPLETELY VERIFIABLY that I personally deserve the human rights afforded to me and my family. Some things in life I just have to prove by faith and be grateful.

    Re: indoctrination
    If what you said was really SCIENTIFICALLY TRUE that “God is built into our wiring once a parent indoctrinates a child”, then there would be NO cases of grown children being able to CHOOSE a different way of thinking and to follow a different religious point of view. Even ONE case DISPROVES your theory. Very sloppy scientific reasoning. Heck, by your “scientific reasoning” you have “proven” that a parent can influence a child’s behavior in such a way as it appears that the now-grown child is hardwired or even born that way; ie: HOMOSEXUALITY. Do you really want to go on record as having proven that unintentional indoctrination is capable of “building into our wiring” homosexual behavior?

    JOKE (albeit horrifying):
    I can show you lots of “non-human animals that have graduated from medical school”, just ask the young girl who’s parent’s were arrested and convicted for kidnapping her and taking her to an abortion clinic.

    Re: abortion rights
    I never said that abortion is a moral issue with me, I didn’t even give my opinion. You were the one who first mentioned your mother not exercising here nature-given right to have you aborted; I mentioned no such thing until then. And even then, I simply wanted to know HOW did “nature” give her this RIGHT and have you PROVE IT scientifically. I am still waiting.

    Were you being silly when you asked “When a tiger kills a pregnant zebra is that abortion or just nature?” I don’t know that many pregnant zebras that CHOOSE to terminate their unborn offspring. I have never heard of a case when that zebra threw its legs apart and thrust her pregnant belly at the hungry tiger with the understanding that only the fetus would be eaten alive and not her. Prove to me with SCIENCE and not superstition that pregnant animals other than liberal human women try to terminate their offspring before birth thru ANY method; like abdominal trauma, vaginal stretching, vaginal insertions of rocks or sticks, or any other scientifically documented and proven method. IF NATURE gave us the right to have abortions, then there sure better be PROOF in nature of that right being exercised at least somewhat regularly.

    IF nature did not provide for abortion rights, but rather men who believe that their god gave them those rights, then is it not fair to say that “whatever god says about our rights is true”? Or to put another way, allow us to muse that “man created god, man said that god wrote laws for man, man accepted those laws from god and must then live by those laws” thus “in the eyes of man who created god and accepted those laws, if god says that man has a right, then it is so, or if god says that man has no right, then that is also so.” You see, for the Unitarians and Deists and Christians and Jews and Muslims and even Buddhists, they live by laws given them by god and have created many nations based on those laws. Thus if god says “you shall not kill”, then a theist believes god and so it is written in the law. If god says that “you may kill unborn or partially born offspring that you do not want”, then that is our right and that becomes law. Do you see our current societies dilemma which so many other fallen empires have faced in the past?

    Re: social issue of a stable family
    That gave me a great segway for your next quote, “How about the right to have two stable parents who can function as responsible adults first?” On this, you and I could not AGREE more. If you are one of those stable families, than I thank you and comment you. If you have any concrete suggestions, let up discuss them. I am all ears. And again, I AGREE with you that strong healthy FAMILIES lead to a better society.

    Sadly, I will have to leave the rest for later.

    On a very slightly personal note, what has been your take on these conversations? Do you feel that they have been at all productive? I know that I have learned a great deal in the process. Do you feel as if I have contributed to a little “deep thinking” or have you been falling asleep on me? LOL. Do you dread my next message or do you look forward to my alternate point of view as much as I do yours?

    In any event, thank you.

    Sincerely, Paul :)

  • txatheist

    A dung beetle is not a mammal but I’ll hold a chimp up to us any day and say it’s 99% the same genetically. The 1% difference is not because we are superior. It is you that is saying the 10C are from a source other than unknown, you prove your case that it’s not. Bring on your scientific basis for evolution not being a fact. Stephen Weinburg of the U of Texas has witnessed it and it is a fact based on predicted outcome. When we find a new fossil that fits right in line with predicted theory that fossil is a fact of evolution. Of the billions we’ve found, ALL have been classified and proven evolution. Someone’s ideology can’t be proven. Our ideology and system of law is far from perfect. My point of view is we are supposed to intellectually progress concerning religion, not digress. No, my rights come from US law as a US citizen. I can prove my rights by US law, not faith. Parents programming their kids to believe in one god can be unprogrammed by a new teacher or self-discovery. We are capable of learning more and altering our belief. Some people are taught to be Republican and then realize they are really a Democrat and alter their view from then on with things more Democrat as they learn more. Very sloppy of you to presume it’s a set belief system. Do I want to go on record? Who are you? Scientific American or Nature magazine? You’re just some guy and I’m not the official voice of science.

    Your joke is sick because you’ve put yourself on the moral pedestal to determine what others should do that has no effect on you. Allow me to yank that pedestal out from under you and send you crashing on your head.
    US law gives women that right to an abortion, medical science is the method. I’m still waiting for you to provide me with a non-human animal species that graduated medical school. Then I’ll get to the abortion idea of choosing on their part. No one lives by god’s laws, we live by US law. If you lived by your god’s laws and took them literal you’d be in prison for many offenses. I see our current society’s dilemma. It’s call being nosey. Your message is typical of the conservative xians I talk with.

  • txatheist

    Paul,
    I have a few questions. You said that god gave us our rights? If he did such then why were women not allowed to vote? Why were blacks treated so poorly by being beaten, enslaved and killed for trying to get equal rights if god created us all equal? If god created us in his image then were Neanderthals also created in his image? Why did god create Neanderthal if he knew they were going to go extinct? What is completely verifiable in science? Can you prove that the sun will rise tomorrow and the earth will revolve around it? How about in 100 years? Does that mean the earth revolving around the sun is just a theory? If god made us all with inalienable rights then why are some people wrongly imprisoned and some even put to death? Did these mistreated people put their faith in the same god as you and god let them down? If my mother can’t have an abortion can she have a period? That is an egg not being conceived and born? Is that a form of abortion? If a woman has a miscarriage thru no fault of her own did god do that or does he get a pass for that too? What dogmatic laws are Deists and Unitarians bound by? What guide book do they use? Christians are bound by the bible right? Why do people work on the Sabbath then? Do you ever work on the Sabbath and yet not get stoned to death? Why are you above the laws you say we are under? If you can answer these questions I’ll have a much better understanding and appreciation for your thoughts.

  • Paul

    txatheist,

    Your thoughts and questions are WELL WORTH my time to devote some serious thought. Could you afford me the weekend to give them the attention they deserve? I’m not trying to stall for time or anything. I do have some thoughts already. But several of your questions require me to do some serious introspection, and I just don’t want to make light of them.

    I did however find two comments that you made with which I AGREE:
    1) “we are supposed to intellectually progress concerning religion”
    2) “Our ideology and system of law is far from perfect.”
    Both of these go together in my world-view and tie nicely with science. You see, science requires us to INVESTIGATE, LEARN, HYPOTHESIZE, and TEST. Since clearly a vast majority of the human population throughout the history of mankind has held one form of religious belief system or another, then the nature of religion itself is worthy of scientific study. It would seem to a lay scientist such as myself that ONE, but by no means the only, thing that we as humans share most with each other but not with the rest of the animal kingdom is our enduring need to feel connected with a supernatural Creator – our religion makes us human or at least our religion enabled us to create a civilization. So, as a scientist, I study where religion came from and why, how it has changed over time and what influenced those changes, and ultimately what effect has religion had on the establishment and durability of the human society. Every social scientist I have ever met acknowledges the need to study a society in terms of its religious underpinnings, you just can’t separate the two.

    So, I AGREE that we do not have a perfect set of ideologies or laws, but it is through our deeper understanding of where those things came from that we can hope to improve them. That is WHY I enjoy conversing with you so much, to better understand.

    Thanks for the help and I will spend some time this weekend in deep introspection to answer your other questions.

    Thanks. Paul : )

  • Paul

    Now that’s a kicker!

    Here’s a name I have not heard in a long time, Steven Weinberg (get the spelling right next time). It was the Winter of 1987-1988 when Steven was giving a symposium at a Dallas-area college regarding super-string theory. I was well-know within my school district as a Senior having received numerous scientific awards and having sparked a number of open-forum discussions at my school. My physics teacher happened to be on the Texas Academic School Board which reviewed curriculum and text books for the state. I’m not sure how, but we were both asked to attend the symposium and my teacher decided to make it into a field trip for a very select few of us who showed the most interest and potential.

    I remember arriving after dark and sitting in a college auditorium for the first time, and I listened intently to his discussion of Super-String theory. It was definitely geared to a college-level education, but I kept up just fine. I even brought my own thesis and hurriedly scribbled notes when I disagreed with Steven.

    After his presentation, he shook hands with several people, chatted for a few minutes, then moved on to the next person. After what seemed like an eternity, my group was introduced to Steven and most of my peers said that it was fun, but I had some questions. Steven actually took the time to clarify some of his points and to listen to some of my ideas. We conversed for almost half an hour before my teacher decided that we really needed to get back to the school. Steven shook my hand and told me that I could call him “Steven”, and maybe look him up after I graduated from college.

    I kept the handouts, notes, and synopsis from that fateful meeting. I even followed his career for a while, noting some of my ideas being incorporated into the newest theories. But I chose a career in Electrical Engineering rather than Theoretical Physics, so I never had a chance to talk to him again. Maybe I should “check-up” on his work and see what he is up to these days.

    Txatheist, I have you to thank for jogging my memories. As always, thank you.

  • txatheist

    Paul,
    Steve said it was ok to mispell his name, it happens all the time he said.

  • jkeen

    I’m sorry, but I’m not an xian, I’m a Christian. And the world was literally created in 6 days. Dinosaurs included. The earth is roughly 6,000 years old, not 60,000,000. If that seems incredible to you, go to http://www.drdino.com and watch the videos under downloads. Dr. Hovind in credible. Anyway, In one of your posts, you said that the native americans were fine with their gods of nature. They may have been fine in this life, just as athiests and christians are, but only those that put their faith in THE God will be ok in the next. It’s either Trust in God or you will send yourself to hell. God has given you the chance to live in heaven with Him for all eternity, but then again, that’s your choice! You can reject Him and go to hell if you want, but personally, I wouldn’t want that for you.

  • txatheist

    Dr. Dino is not credible. James Randi has offered him 1 million dollars to prove his creation stuff and Dino has refused. Xian is a shortened way of saying it. God is real to you, I accept he’s nothing but a myth. There is no hell except in your storybook. If god made me, then god knew I was going to be an atheist and by your logic he gave me that choice. I and your god are fine with it.

  • Siamang

    Kent Hovind?!?!?!

    Isn’t he the scam artist just convicted of fifty-eight counts of tax fraud and is currently facing up to 288 years in prison?

    Why yes, yes he is.

    http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061103/NEWS01/611030338/1006

    This guy’s an A #1 Snake-oil Huckster. A scam artiste extrordinaire and a multi-millionaire from taking the believers’ money hand-over-fist. Hope you weren’t one of them. I really feel sorry for the employees and investors he ripped off. Don’t know why you’re shilling for that crook. Are you one of his cohorts? Tell me, what do you think about his criminal record? What do you think about his endorsement of the anti-Semetic hoax “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”? What do you think about his assertion that the Oklahoma City Bombing was a secret operation of the US Government? What about his wacko UFO beliefs? Do you really think that UFO’s exist and are controlled by Satan?

    Don’t make an idol or a martyr out of that conspiracy-theorist, UFO wacko and convicted criminal. Stick to Jesus Christ if you feel that call, but don’t worship at the feet of a liar with a made up doctorate like Hovind.

    He and the other creationist scam artists make a pretty penny off of ignorance, and they have, it seems, an endless supply of people willing to fight their battles on the internet.

    Don’t make a false idol of Hovind or any medicine-show huckster.

    If I were you, I’d take a long, hard look at my criteria for calling someone “credible.” If you don’t, you’ll get taken by a scammer like Hovind the millionaire convict who got rich by fleecing the Flock.


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