Inauguration Prayer #2: Rev. Rick Warren

As I said earlier, I’ll be making a donation to the Secular Coalition for America for every use of the words “Jesus,” “Christ,” “Lord,” and “God.” I’ll hope you’ll join me in doing that.

Yesterday, we heard Rev. Gene Robinson.

Today, we heard Rev. Rick Warren deliver the Inaugural Invocation. The text is below and the Religious Word Count is below that.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, our Father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you. It all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory.

History is your story. The Scripture tells us, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is One.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.

Now, today, we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time. We celebrate a hingepoint of history with the inauguration of our first African American president of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.

Give to our new President, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.

Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race, or religion, or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.

Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all. May all people of goodwill today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you. We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.

I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesús, Jesus, who taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Amen.

The Religious Word Count for the speech?

God3
Lord2
Jesus4
Christ0

(All the variations of Jesus were counted separately.)

And the Religious Word Count thus far?

God8
Lord2
Jesus4
Christ0



  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    The thing that bugs me about the new evangelical movement personified by Rick Warren is all the talk about “It all comes from you. It all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory…”

    Its all pandering and ego stroking. They really seem to have a low opinion of their god. If you are going to have a god, you might as well invent one worthy of having…

  • Epistaxis

    I thought his speech sucked. Not because it was overtly religious, but because it wasn’t good. Robinson was humanistically provocative and Lowery was inspiringly noble, but Warren’s content was trite and his delivery nervous.

  • Wes Gestring

    The problem with public prayers, is that for some reason the public thinks the person is talking to them. Rev. Warren gave a real prayer as he talked to God with his words …not to man in a “humanistically provocative” or inspiringly noble” way.

  • http://cranialhyperossification.blogspot.com GDad

    I hate to pick nits…. Aw heck, who am I kidding? I LOVE to pick nits.

    Anyway, Rick Warren made a fencepost error in his count of how many times there has been a peaceful transition of power. If George Washington was the first, and the transfer between Washington and Adams was the first transfer, then this will have been the 43rd such peaceful transfer.

    Yes, the little things do count.

  • Siamang

    I also didn’t like the speech. I’ll echo that it wasn’t that good a speech in a day of very good speeches.

    But I really didn’t like how self-centered a speech it was.

    It really sounded like (and you can tell me if this is the hallmark of most evangelicals) it was all about him somehow.

    Like, it was all about his conversion and his god. In the name of the one who changed his life, “jesus jesus jesus jesus.”

    I’m sorry, but saying Jesus 4 times in different languages is NOT being inclusive. It’s the opposite. Saying Isa is saying to the Muslims that they’re wrong. Saying Yeshua is saying it to the Jews. It’s sounds ecumenical, but it’s not. It’s standing right where you are, NOT reaching out toward others and shouting Jesus four times.

    I brought up on Pharyngula how dimly I view this belief:

    When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us.

    Because, really, you should only need to ask God for this forgiveness, not, you know, the PEOPLE you wronged. What a racket, working to unmarry families, to strip families of their rights (including members of my own family), and then if you decide you may have pushed too far, you can just ask empty space to forgive you.

    Well, how CONVEEEENIENT.

    I think the PROBLEM with this country is that we all act like the other people don’t exist, and we’re only accountable to our little shoulder angels. I’m 100% certain that George Bush’s shoulder-angel (who looks just like a miniature George Bush, btw) is totally cool with his decisions on waterboarding, Gitmo, and all his wars…

    And I did mutter “fuck you” under my breath to this one:

    And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you.

    Ah yes, every tongue, tribe and nation. Sorry, that just ain’t cool, Mr. hellfire preacher. It ain’t cool.

  • Erp

    One can legitimately claim that the transfer from the government under the Articles of Confederation to the US Constitution with Washington as president was also a peaceful transfer of power.

    I wonder how many Jews hearing Yeshua thought “Jews for Jesus”/”Messianic Jews”. Two groups that are Christian and try to do extensive evangelical work amongst Jews.

  • Dep

    GDad,

    . . . unless of course, the people transferred the power to George Washington. He got it from somewhere, right?

  • Wes Gestring

    to Siamang, boy do you have a lot of hate inside you … to spew out such thoughts. Perhaps you should find a site called the “unfriendly atheist” for your ravings !!! As for the statement that everyone will someday stand in judgment before God …it was not meant to be cool … it was prayed because it is true !

  • http://www.noonespecial.ca/cacophony Tao Jones

    As for the statement that everyone will someday stand in judgment before God …it was not meant to be cool … it was prayed because it is true !

    Is that a true fact or do you merely truly believe it?

    Wes, when people like you defend people like Warren for saying such asinine things, all I can imagine is some labourer in Berlin, circa 1937. “Of course we need Lebensraum, we really are the master race! It’s true!”

    Sure, I can accept that if you subscribe to Warren’s brand of Christianity that you probably do believe it. But believing it and abusing your position and proclaiming it in front of millions of people are two very different things.

  • Richard Wade

    Wes Gestring, Few people who frequent this blog have been hurt as deeply and unjustly as Siamang directly by Warren and by the likes of Warren. And few if any respond to most of that hurt with as patient and thoughtful responses as does Siamang. You don’t know him and so your rush to jugement is understandable, although still inappropriate. Warren does not reflect well on your faith. Find out more about the people you criticize and the people you defend before you do so.

  • Siamang

    Wes,

    I don’t have hate for the man. I merely want his voice diminished because of his own hateful rhetoric. Rick Warren is a man who has compared my daughter’s grandmother to pedophiles. *Now* what’s hateful? He’s lied to convince his followers that they must work to get the government power to divorce grandmothers.

    I’m sorry, but you stick your nose into my family’s business and you might get it punched. Metaphorically, of course, since I abhor violence. But he stuck his nose in it. I don’t go down to his church and pass judgment on his family. He’s the rich and powerful preacher who can bend the ear of presidents and can have the whole world listening to him at once. I’m not. I’m just one guy typing on a computer.

    With all the power he commands, and the eyes of an entire planet looking on him, he could have used that moment to reach out… but he didn’t. He could have used that moment to bring people together, he didn’t. He could have used that moment… and his entire life… to be a spirit dedicated to bringing people together rather than pushing them apart.

    It is that spirit of pushing people apart that is the living judge of him this day. Not any imaginary man in the clouds. His actions make him who he is. In this moment, he is less than he could be.

    How different that would have been had we seen Mike Clawson, Jim Henderson, Brian McLaren or any of a number of evangelical Christians who have dedicated their lives to being bridges instead of barriers. These are people who don’t come from the position of power, from on high, claiming to speak for God. But rather people who come from the people, and who claim to speak only for themselves and the people, and who hope to speak TO God.

    I think that’s a HUGE difference in attitude and in inclusion. There’s a difference between someone who claims to speak FOR God telling the people what to believe, and someone who speaks FOR the people and who speaks OF God and hopefully TO God.

    Rick Warren had that opportunity. He had the opportunity to be, heck, a better messenger for Christ by living a generosity of spirit. Instead he took the easy path. He took the path of “I’m right, you’re wrong, you’ll all be facing my God someday, which means Hell, and remember Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus.”

    He says it with a smile, and usually a Hawaiian shirt. But Rick Warren is a divider who doesn’t like my family, and is willing to use his power to hurt ordinary people who never did anything to him.

    And if I’m wrong, may the empty space three feet to my left forgive me.

    But I’ll also ask Warren’s forgiveness, because it’s him that I’ll actually have wronged.

  • Siamang

    I wanted to add this…

    Reverend Gene Robinson also gave a prayer and a blessing for the Inauguration. In part he said these things:

    O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

    Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

    Now I don’t believe in the God that Rev. Robinson believes in. But I don’t get the message from him that I would be unwelcome by his God or by him because of my unbelief. Rather, I feel that what is important to him is our shared values… and one of those values is anger. A righteous anger is a blessing from God as many of us understand, and a blessing from our shared humanity as others of us understand.

    http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/faith_and_politics/gene_robinsons_prayer_for_pres.html

  • Will

    Ironic that Christians will tolerate your beliefs but you cannot find it in yourselves to tolerate theirs.

    I won’t defend Rev Warren because I don’t know much about him, but the ideas of needing a savior, being accountable for sin, and final judgment from God are all part of the Bible. If those offend you then you’re being offended by the gospel not by any person, and if it’s the religion itself and not a person that is offensive, then to attack the religion is to be intolerant, ignorant, and ultimately divisive.

    Some of you “Friendly Atheists” strike me as some of the most angry, unfriendly, intolerant people I have ever heard.

  • Siamang

    Ironic that Christians will tolerate your beliefs but you cannot find it in yourselves to tolerate theirs.

    Okay, someone’s totally not paying attention.

    I lavish praise on Gene Robinson and Joseph E. Lowery’s speeches, and I’m angry, ignorant, intolerant… etc, because I didn’t like Rick Warren’s.

    Brilliant.

    Some of you “Friendly Atheists” strike me as some of the most angry, unfriendly, intolerant people I have ever heard.

    I gave my reasons why I don’t like Rick Warren.

    If those offend you then you’re being offended by the gospel not by any person,

    Yeah. Funny thing, that gospel of yours…. written by people. It’s true. So yes, I could actually be offended by things people wrote. I know it’s hard to fathom.

    “then to attack the religion is to be intolerant, ignorant, and ultimately divisive.”

    Ah, so we’re not allowed to criticize religion, are we? Wow. Good luck getting atheists to agree to that one.

    You need to lighten up a bit, dude. It’s just a website. We discuss stuff. It’s not like we’re passing laws outlawing your family or some shit, like Warren did to mine.

  • Richard Wade

    Hi Will, you said:

    Ironic that Christians will tolerate your beliefs but you cannot find it in yourselves to tolerate theirs.

    Sincerely, would you do me a favor and send those tolerant Christians this way? Because in the two years I’ve been coming here, I’ve met four Christians who tolerate my views and without exaggeration, hundreds who consider me to be dog shit. I would very much like to meet the ones you are describing. Earnestly, I’d like to know more than four.

    Then you said:

    I won’t defend Rev Warren because I don’t know much about him, but the ideas of needing a savior, being accountable for sin, and final judgment from God are all part of the Bible. If those offend you then you’re being offended by the gospel not by any person, and if it’s the religion itself and not a person that is offensive, then to attack the religion is to be intolerant, ignorant, and ultimately divisive.

    With respect, you are missing the point. Try to understand the difference between beliefs and applications. Most atheists, myself included, have no objection to Christians believing in sin and salvation, God and judgment. What goes on in your heads is your business and none of our business.

    Where we have objections is with the applications of those beliefs by some Christians onto the society around them, imposing their interpretations into others’ private lives, into public schools, into government and into science. Many Christian preachers believe what you have described, but they don’t find it necessary to tell others who they are forbidden to love, how they are forbidden to love, who they are forbidden to marry, with whom they are forbidden to associate or what they are forbidden to study. Mr. Warren and his ilk make money doing all that and also getting laws passed forbidding those things for everyone, even people who are not of their faith. Then we object, and when they try to justify their oppressive policies with their dogma, only then will atheists attack their beliefs, because religion should not be used as a rationale for taking away civil liberties.

    So please do not confuse fighting back against oppressive bigotry that is sold as religion with intolerance for the central beliefs of a religion. We don’t care about such intangible things. We care about real people, real laws, real injustices, real problems and real solutions.

    Will, I hope you care about those real things too, because we could use your help in resisting people like Warren who have corrupted their faith into a for-profit industry of obsession with conformity and hatred of diversity. Keep your beliefs and apply them constructively to our mutual interest, the well being of our brothers and sisters.

  • Sandra

    Siamang,

    Regarding your response to Wes January 22nd, 2009 at 11:21 am:
    Yesterday, my colleagues and I were discussing thoughts and feelings about the inauguration. In your response to Wes, you wrote very much of the intent of our discussion.

    I felt that Warren didn’t quite grasp the magnitude of the opportunity he was given. I am positive that he viewed the inaugural prayer time given to him merely as a chance to speak his usual, well rehearsed, and somewhat tiresome churchese to the entire world, and the world was watching.

    While watching, I was so filled with happy and hopeful feelings that I actually felt physical pain after Warren spoke. I was quite saddened at the opportunity that was “tossed into the trashcan.”

    During our discussion, I posed the question, “Why didn’t Warren seize the opportunity to be inclusive rather than divisive?” Understand that I have serious positive lenient tendencies. However, one of my colleagues, who marched with Lowery in the 60′s, shook me to my senses. She said:
    “You know Sandra, you should entertain the idea that Warren did give his best. Maybe he was as inclusive as he could be, and maybe he thinks he fit right in with the wave of change running through the hearts of many. If true, it is very unfortunate that Warren’s best misses the mark (by far), but he had the opportunity, and he showed the world his best.”

    Well, that is sad and painful. They are who they are, but I wish the same for Warren as I did for Sarah Palin. That is, I wish both of them had just said, “No. Thank you, I’m just not ready.”

  • Siamang

    Thanks sandra, for that insight.

    Yeah. I think your friend is right.

    But I will say I did very much enjoy Lowery’s benediction. That man had me laughing and crying. I really want to give that man a huge hug and thank you for the world he led us into.

  • vik

    i was an atheist, until i started reading the word of God.
    The statistics are mind blowing in support of a god who created the world.
    why dont people read both sides of the story before commenting on an subjects and drawing conclusions

  • Wes

    I went back and reread Rev. Warren’s Prayer. Great Prayer … not speech!

    Maybe that is the first problem with the atheists who write to this site … they see it as a speech but they must understand that it was a prayer from him to God, not to you or me!

    I read some comments that it was self-centered. When I read the speech it was god-centered. He was rightfully directing us away from looking at ourselves as the solvers of the mess we are in, but to see it is God to where we must look and to whom we are ultimately responsible.

    Read just part of what Rev. warren said below ….

    “Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans–united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.

    When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you–forgive us.

    When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone–forgive us.

    When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve–forgive us.

    And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes—even when we differ.

    Help us to share, to serve, and to seek the common good of all.

    May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy, and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet.”

    Sounds good to me … even if you do not like when he refers to God.

  • Wes

    Richard,

    I hope that you have the same standards for atheists as you have for Christians.

    You indicate that

    “Most atheists, myself included, have no objection to Christians believing in sin and salvation, God and judgment. What goes on in your heads is your business and none of our business.

    Where we have objections is with the applications of those beliefs by some Christians onto the society around them, imposing their interpretations into others’ private lives, into public schools, into government and into science.”

    I hope then that you also believe that atheists should keep their beliefs in their heads and not try to impact society around them, thereby imposing your interpretations into other people’s private lives, into public schools, into government and into science.”

    I dare say that atheists actually do these things and Christians need to be tolerant of those beliefs and actions. In the same way you need to be tolerant and allow Christians to act on their beliefs.

    Do not have a double standard !!! Truly it seems that in our American society today tolerance towards other ideas and actions is allowed for everyone except Christians who want to impact society based on their beliefs.

    Hear the roar of “intolerance” when a Christian expresses his/her beliefs contrary to societal norms and standards, but deafening slience when others want to silence Christians and their actions!

  • Will

    Agreed Wes, except I think maybe on that last part you meant “deafeaning silence when others want to silence ‘atheists’…”, not “Christians”.

    Honestly there is no sitting the fence in life. Whatever you believe will influence what you do and how you act and how you think relationships with other people should be.

    See when you say that you don’t want God in the public spectrum, what you’re really doing is trying to change everyone to act on what you believe. It is not neutrality, it is not “fair”, it is exactly what you accuse Christians of doing. If we have a prayer and talk about God in the government, then we are “Christian fundamentalists imposing our beliefs.” But if you take God out of everything, then by the same token you are trying to create an atheistic culture, and how is that fair to people of other faiths?(yes, atheism is based on faith too)

    I also appreciated vik’s comment about finding God. Atheists have a notion where they see themselves as all reason and logic, while Christians stumble around on blind emotion. While that may be true for some, I can say for myself that I go where the evidence leads, and that is to a Creator.

    I wish I could break a few people off evolution, but this isn’t the thread for it.

  • Siamang

    Wes said:

    Sounds good to me … even if you do not like when he refers to God.

    Unfortunately that wasn’t the totality of his speech. Those phrases are only part of it. Then he went right around and did a whole bunch of “my beliefs first, everyone else doesn’t count/doesn’t matter”. Which is totally fine for him to do in his church, but IMO not cool when you’re representing all of America inaugurating a president that he himself probably didn’t even vote for.

    Hear the roar of “intolerance” when a Christian expresses his/her beliefs contrary to societal norms and standards, but deafening slience when others want to silence Christians and their actions!

    I’ll let Richard speak for himself, but as for me, I don’t want to silence Christians or their actions. I think the “cure” for speech I disagree with is more speech, not less. I will speak against it, not speak to silence it.

    At the same time, I think that official government action should not serve a religious purpose, no matter how popular that religion might be. IMO, there shouldn’t be any official prayers of the nation for a president. Individual citizens and religious leaders are free to pray for the president. They are free to assemble in a prayer mass, and they should be free to use open parkland such as the National Mall to hold their prayer mass. But IMO, no religious leaders should look as if they were the God-Spokesman-In-Chief, chosen by any politicians.

  • Siamang

    Wes also said:

    I read some comments that it was self-centered. When I read the speech it was god-centered.

    I think you lack perspective. You think it’s God-centered because that’s the god you believe in. If you believed in a different god, I don’t think you’d appreciate his assuming that everyone else wanted to hear his exclusionary definition of God, and claiming to offer a prayer on behalf of you to that (from your perspective) false god.

  • Siamang

    I wanted to add this:

    I think you come from the perspective that eliminating an officially-state-sponsored prayer is non-neutral. But I see it differently.

    Having a prayer to God that is state-sponsored is non-neutral. Having a Humanist celebrant come up and say “There is no God, so let us humans bestow our blessing on Barack Obama…” would ALSO be non-neutral.

    Neutral would be no blessing at all. The God/no gods debate is not something that government has any place taking sides in.

    Eliminating a prayer service that has traditionally been part of inaugurations may feel like a victory for secularism, and indeed it would be, it would NOT mean it would be ANTI-religious. Merely neutral in regards to religion.

    If you wouldn’t like someone going up there, under color of governmental authority and telling people “there is no God”, then you can’t have it your way either.

  • Siamang

    Wil said:

    I wish I could break a few people off evolution, but this isn’t the thread for it.

    No. If you want to convince me, the place to do it isn’t on a website. The way to do it would be to be a scientist and publish in mainstream scientific journals with multiple, non-conflicting, non-falsified lines of evidence that makes useful predictions that have been borne out by experiment.

    Once the bulk of scientists can show experimentally that your idea is better, I’ll go along.

  • Will

    No blessing at all would be the same “victory” for an atheist that having a blessing is for Christians. There is no neutrality.

    Victory is in quotes because I don’t think its quite the right word but I havn’t thought of a better one. What I mean is it would be the sort of catering-to that you accuse Christians of for having prayer. I wouldn’t call it a victory for myself as a Christian, but I think thats how you would see it for us.

    And this isn’t a matter of what I would or would not like. I’m just trying to show you that there cannot be this mythological secular neutral state that atheists seem to idolize. You just want the world how you want it, and Christians want the world how they believe it should be. You cannot take this sort of moral high ground where you say that implementing your beliefs is fair and neutral but implementing mine is not.

  • Siamang

    No blessing at all would be the same “victory” for an atheist that having a blessing is for Christians. There is no neutrality.

    Why wouldn’t no blessing be neutral?

    If no blessing isn’t neutral, what would an explicitly atheistic or antitheistic invocation be?

    Here, let’s be fair: For every public invocation, we pick from a pool of speakers which includes atheists, satanists, flying-spaghetti monster people, Scientologists, whatever.

    Fair or not fair?

    Every time a Christian is allowed to give a government-sanctioned speech saying there is a god, I get to go up and give a government-sanctioned speech saying there isn’t one.

    Fair or not fair?

    Isn’t this like when the Oregon Capitol had a menorah, and a Christian sued so that he could put a nativity scene, then when they let an atheist group also put up something all the Christians had a shit fit?

    Free speech for me and not for thee?

    And this isn’t a matter of what I would or would not like. I’m just trying to show you that there cannot be this mythological secular neutral state that atheists seem to idolize. You just want the world how you want it, and Christians want the world how they believe it should be.

    I don’t see why you can’t accept government silence about religion being neutral. Sure beats the government telling people that God doesn’t exist, right? Isn’t there a nice, easy to accomplish center ground where neither of us gets government to weigh in on my side or yours?

    You cannot take this sort of moral high ground where you say that implementing your beliefs is fair and neutral but implementing mine is not.

    Oh, we’re not even close to implementing my beliefs by making Government sit out the God question.

    More like: “There is no God, and anyone who says different is trying to either get into your wallet, or use you to open other people’s wallets or get you to pick up a gun and kill some of the poor sonofabitches who believe in a different one.”

    Obama, make me the next public pray-er and I’ll give the believers a barn-burner they won’t ever forget!

    “Tax the churches! Excelsior! Kungaloosh! I have now made all of you official atheists! No take-backs!”

    ;-)

    Hey, maybe we could get the government to print this on the dollar and make the kids recite this to the flag:” There ain’t no God, but praise the almighty dollar!”

    I think we’re better off working for neutrality, because hostility to religion would be bad for you guys, and I’m willing to be fair on this one.

    ;-)

    Anyway, being serious again… why is the center position of “no government invocation” not center to you?

    What about including non-christian and even atheistic or anti-theistic invocations? Is that also not a center position? Why or why not?

  • siamang

    Correction: not Oregon, Washington.

  • http://cranialhyperossification.blogspot.com GDad

    Dep and Erp,

    Re: The Articles of Confederation and transfer of power to G. Washington…

    Very good points. I’ll retract my nitpicking based on your observations.

  • Wes

    Dear Siamang,

    If you hope to see “Intelligent Design” scientific articles published in “mainstream scientific journals”, then you will have a long wait. Not because such articles do not exist BUT because the scientific community is so dogmatically in the evolution camp that they will not publish anything that opposes what they view as the only possible explanation for origins. I really believe they fear a debate on this issue because it will clearly show how much their theory is based on faith!

    You say “Once the bulk of scientists can show experimentally that your idea is better, I’ll go along.” As a scientist who is a christian I do not go along with others who are scientists, or who are christians simply because they are in the majority. I suggest that you do not “just go along” either but use the brain that , yes, God has given you!

    If you have not seen the film entitled, “Expelled” then I suggest that you take the time to do so.

  • Siamang

    If you hope to see “Intelligent Design” scientific articles published in “mainstream scientific journals”, then you will have a long wait.

    Because they have yet to show any experimental evidence. The “intelligent design” crowd is a bunch of crooks and tricksters. I’ve followed them for years and I know what characters they are. If they are your shining examples of Christianity, then epic fail, my friend.

    Name me one, ONE scientific experiment that has ever been done by Michael Behe that has confirmed Intelligent design and ruled out neodarwinian mechanisms. One actual experiment. Not a book he wrote. Not a speech he gave. Not a movie he was in. An EX.PER.I.MENT.

    Come on. He’s got a lab at a university. He could do the experiment. He could post the results and all the procedures and all the data on his website. WHY HASN’T HE??

    Just a little question.

    As a scientist who is a christian I do not go along with others who are scientists, or who are christians simply because they are in the majority.

    I go with the bulk of the scientific consensus. Glad to know you’re a maverick. Tell me, oh “scientist” what kind of science do you do? Hey, I have a GREAT IDEA! How about you DO an EXPERIMENT that supports intelligent design and rules out neodarwinian mechanisms! YES! THIS IS PERFECT! You’re a scientist, right?!? So here’s what we do, you and me…

    You come up with the experiment, and actually DO the experiment. Write up all of your methods, write up all of the data. Write up all of the references and previous work in the area… and this is the great part, I will publish it for all the world to see! You see, we have this little thing called the internet. That way we’ll get around that dogmatic Big Science cabal that squishes out the intrepid little ID scientists and all of their unseen, hidden experiments that all totally work 100% with no holes in the ‘theory’!

    You do the experiment and I’ll publish it. Better yet, I bet HEMANT will publish it for all to see on this website. MAN, this will be great! The first ever Intelligent Design proving experiment!

    So, Mr. Scientist, tell me, what IS your experiment going to be? And when will you do it?

    If you have not seen the film entitled, “Expelled” then I suggest that you take the time to do so.

    I saw it in the theater! What a load of complete bullshit! I can’t believe you were taken in with that crap!

  • Richard Wade

    Wes,

    In saying this…

    I hope that you have the same standards for atheists as you have for Christians…
    …I hope then that you also believe that atheists should keep their beliefs in their heads and not try to impact society around them, thereby imposing your interpretations into other people’s private lives, into public schools, into government and into science.”

    I dare say that atheists actually do these things and Christians need to be tolerant of those beliefs and actions. In the same way you need to be tolerant and allow Christians to act on their beliefs.

    …you have paraphrased what I said to sound like I am demanding a total abolishment of religious expression from all forums in society, that my tolerance is one-sided and that I have a double standard. I will assume that you misread me and did not deliberately make that mischaracterization in order to create a straw man argument which you could easily knock down.

    There is a difference between the free expression of religious opinion in a public forum and the imposition by law and policy of one group’s religiously-based opinion upon all. Stand up in church, in the town square, in the city council meetings and express what you think and I will fight side by side with you for your right to do that just as energetically as for my own right. I also get in the faces of my fellow atheists just as much as theists if they are rude, irrational, unfair, unkind or if they advocate removing your equal rights under the law.

    When a public policy forces the teaching of a particular religious sub-sect’s view in a public school science class funded by all citizens, when a law takes away the civil rights of some citizens because a particular religious sub-sect thinks they are degenerates, when in a myriad of ways a particular religious sub-sect is favored by government in symbol, in statute and in practice over all others, that is the erosion of your freedom, Wes, even if you happen to be a member of that sub-sect, because sooner or later those suppressive policies, laws and practices will go against your views as well. When people advocate compelling by law all citizens to follow their particular religion’s practices and views, they begin to braid the rope that will hang them too.

    Religious people should be the strongest advocates of keeping church and state separate. Ask yourself when you have ever completely agreed with how the government has handled something really important. They tend to screw up precious things. Whenever government does someone a favor, they always want something in return. When religion creeps into government, inevitably government creeps back into religion. If (heaven forbid) ever a state-mandated religion is established, it will be the religious people who will regret it first, because it will not exactly match their particular views. They will no longer be free to worship as they see fit, but will be compelled to follow state standards. They will long for the days when they had to put up with those pesky atheists.

    Wes, you and I are not in opposition over freedom of thought, speech or religion. For us to both benefit from our freedom, we must tolerate each other’s difference in views, and unite in opposing by policy and law any and all impositions of even our own views upon everyone. We all are free or none are free.


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