How the Christian Right Twists a Story to Suit Their Purposes

Here’s a beautiful lesson in how the Christian Right distorts the facts, courtesy of the magazine Charisma. Whose mailing list I’m on. Because I’m a masochist.

This is the headline of the email they sent me:

Abortion Superstore Celebrates 6 Million Baby Murders

Alright. I’ll click on that.

This is the headline of the article that email linked to:

Planned Parenthood Celebrates 6 Million-Plus Abortions

No longer the “Abortion Superstore” and no longer “murdering babies,” did Planned Parenthood really celebrate abortions?

No. Of course not. They never have.

What actually happened is that Planned Parenthood just had their 96th anniversary. There was no formal party of any sort, much less a “celebration of abortion.” Just a press release on their website indicating that Planned Parenthood does far more than provide abortion services:

Today, there are nearly 800 Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide. More than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood services are focused on prevention: every year, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide family planning counseling and birth control to 2.2 million women and men, more than 1.1 million pregnancy tests, 770,000 Pap tests, identifying about 94,000 women at risk of developing cervical cancer, nearly 750,000 lifesaving breast exams, more than four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections including HIV, nearly 1.5 million emergency contraception kits, and education programs to nearly 1.1 million people. The work of Planned Parenthood prevents an estimated 584,000 unintended pregnancies and 277,000 abortions each year in the U.S.

Improving women’s health? Silence from the Christian Right.

Preventing unplanned pregnancy? It’s another Holocaust! they insinuate.

Planned Parenthood doesn’t celebrate abortions. They serve women (and men) who have health concerns — and they very likely serve many Christian women along the way. But Charisma, much like the rest of the Christian Right, can’t admit that. So they spin it into something so far removed from reality, you’d have to be religious to be suckered into believing it.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002501884108 Dan Marshall

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with someone on Facebook. He kept claiming that christians were persecuted in America. I asked him for proof, and he replied with several links from sources like Fox News and several sites like ChristianPersecutioninAmerica.com. He offered one story about a man who was supposedly arrested for holding a bible study. After looking it up, I found that the man was arrested for building a structure on his property without any permits, attempting to register it as a church for tax exemption purposes, and having 80+ people come over every week. When they inspected the building, they found almost 100 code violations, most of which were fire hazards. Every story I investigated was like this, twisting the stories and omitting facts in order to make christians appear as victims.

    It seems as though they desperately want to believe that they’re being persecuted. What’s incredible is that this same person said in another conversation that racism no longer exists because minorities aren’t being lynched in the streets. By that same logic (and I hate to call it that), christians aren’t being persecuted because no one is feeding them to lions.

    • Stev84

       In America it’s “having to follow laws = persecution”

    • MariaO

      It is part of the xian credo that xians are persecuted. That xians should be expected to and are persecuted is stated many times in the apostolic letters and they are in the bible so it is true. Doubting this is sin.

      • Ibis3

         Even the early Christians exaggerated.

    • Antinomian

      There most certainly is a lion shortage in this country…

      • HughInAz

        So many xians, so few lions.

    • FractalHeretic

      For most of my Christian life I thought that Christians were a tiny minority in a harsh and menacing world of atheists. Through religious news media I heard about the 10 commandments being taken out of the courthouses and people being arrested for praying in public, and I was taught that these were signs of the end times.

      According to their interpritation of Revelation, things would be darkest just before dawn, Christians would be persecuted, sin would become rampant, and religion would become illegal. Then one day, a pastor mentioned that 90% of America believes in God. I was completely stunned. If we’re the majority, then what are we afraid of?

      As an atheist now, I sometimes think back and smile, knowing that even a handful of atheists seem like an overwhelming threat to theocracy.

  • http://twitter.com/belgianatheist Hugo

    Where does the 6mln figure come from, if the 277k abortions/year have been steady for the full 96 years (which I think is VERY unlikely) then it would be about 26.5mln abortions

    • ortcutt

      You do know about this little thing Roe v. Wade in 1973, right?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States#Abortion_before_Roe

      • Russian Alex

        Which is, obviously, when the abortions started.

        • ortcutt

           Well, it’s when safe, legal abortions begin in most of country.

          • Russian Alex

            True, but PP was formed long before then. That’s what I meant.

    • ortcutt

      You do know about this little thing Roe v. Wade in 1973, right?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States#Abortion_before_Roe

    • prayformojo

      “The work of Planned Parenthood prevents an estimated 584,000 unintended pregnancies and 277,000 abortions each year in the U.S.” The figure indicates how many abortions they are preventing. 

    • CJKlok

      I would hypothesize that the 6 million figure was stuck in there (absent of any source of evidence) because it is the same number of jews murdered during the WWII holocaust. The holocaust was an especially egregious lapse in human morality and, as a consequence, this number is very well known and burnt into the psyche of the civilized world to not descend into those depths of immorality again.

      I find this to be a not so subtle mind game played by the religious to further a very particular absolutist agenda.

      The key difference here was that those jews who were murdered were all living persons with names, memories, personalities, relationships, loved ones… Not a clump of cells. Not to diminish the potential of those particular clumps of cells, but mere potential does not make a person.

      Furthermore, why are religionist so concerned about potential persons while they show, quite often, the most callous disregard for actual persons? Persons quite often with dependents who’s well being would be detrimentally affected without the option of safe abortion.

      The deliberate mind games, factual obfuscations, blatant lies and utter disregard for personal well being really hangs a huge question mark above the supposed morality of the religious.

  • Evertoniancalvinist

    I think abortion is one issue where atheists are 100% completely consistent with their worldview. If God does not exist then it makes no sense whatsoever to condemn abortion. In an atheistic universe all we are doing is killing a glob of molecules for the benefit of another bigger glob of molecules(the mom). To win the abortion arguement, the Christian must first expose the fact that the atheist knows she is more than just a chemical reaction. I would try to do that by trying to prove that we have dignity as humans. This dignity presupposes the Christian God. Not trolling. Just offering a Christian voice.

    • TiltedHorizon

       I’m still waiting on the evidence of “Absolute Morality”, I have only asked for it about 5 times. Feel free to ignore it again, at least in dodging the question you are being 100% consistent in your worldview.

      • pRinzler

        I think we can all agree that someone who does not address one’s opponent’s points is dodging the issues.  It does not take much courage to merely assert; the hard work is beating your opponent on their issues.  We atheists here respond directly to Everton’s points, which is a measure of respect that, unfortunately, does seem to be as well reciprocated as it might be.

      • Evertoniancalvinist

        Alright Titled…I want you to understand that you backed yourself into this corner I’m about to put you in. I’m going to let you prove absolute morality for us. Know I want your answer to this question to be a “yes” or “no”. You should be able to give a simple Y or N to this question. However I predict you will give a long, ambiguous straw man. I want you to be a man and answer this question:
        Q=Is it wrong everywhere, and in every society to rape 3 year old girls for the purpose of fun and pleasure?

        My answer is “yes”… what is yours little fella?

        • Evertoniancalvinist

          *Now…. Not “know”

          • Baal

             How about, “Not now!”

            btw – your argument from eternals is borked.  Being merely able to say you have an idea doesn’t mean that the idea is also a real thing.  I’m imagining a dragon making pancakes.  there are real pancakes, i have eaten them.  I have yet to find a dragon let alone eat it.

            Also, your commentator card is hereby revoked.  You don’t get to claim you’re not trolling and then also talk down to people.   You talk down when you say that you’re putting them on time out or refer to other commentors as “little fella.”

        • TiltedHorizon

          Of course the answer is “Yes”, it is wrong. Unfortunately, for your assertion, this does not meet the burden of “absolute morality”. It is wrong simply because it works against society.

          It is simple, my “free will” allows me to prefer that I to not be raped, beaten, or murdered. I assume you can say the same. I’m therefore given impetus to uphold our common interests to protect myself and, by extension, you. This example of “absolute” morality is therefore explainable by social evolution.

          This dynamic applies to other subjects as well, I prefer to  not be a slave or to marry someone of my choosing (who chooses me in compliance with their free will). This means that *my* “worldview” is somewhat more consistent than Christianity’s where slavery was permitted and interracial, interfaith marriages where once condemned as same-sex marriage is today.

          Funny, this “corner” is quite roomy. Sadly I still need an example of “absolute” morality.

          • Evertoniancalvinist

            You didn’t definitively say “yes” because you made your “yes” contingent upon it “working against society”.(see 1st paragraph) So, stay in the corner for a minute, let’s see if you can get out. Q. If there was a society that was benefiting from the rape of 3 year old girls would it be wrong? Let’s say it was producing a better work ethic in the men doing the raping and therefore the economy was thriving? Is it wrong? Give me a Y or N.

            • TiltedHorizon

              Your question is invalid. See my comment where I state: “in compliance with their free will”. The action of rape is not “in compliance” with “their free will”. 

              • Evertoniancalvinist

                LOL. Let the reader decide. And put your nose in the corner Titled, you’re on timeout. I want you to rethink your worldview.

                Consistency=Absurdity
                Inconsistency=Borrowing

                • TiltedHorizon

                  So no example of “absolute” morality forthcoming then? Figures.

                • Indorri

                  Someone using syntax invalidly REALLY does not have the authority to put others in time out. Go to your room and repeat the mantra until you’re ready to stop playing grown up ontologist.

                • KeithCollyer

                  you know, and at the risk of descending to name calling, you really do come across as an idiot. Someone answers your question, you decide the question didn’t mean what it seemed to mean

              • Coyotenose

                 Hardly surprising. All of his arguments rely on ignoring anything people tell him that isn’t convenient for him.

                • Evertoniancalvinist

                  Alright Coyote.. Because all you do is ad Hom, I’m going to place you in the corner with Titled. Read my first question to him…. read his response…. Then read my second question. I want you to answer. This corner will be hard to ad Hom your way out of. Let me give you a hint because you don’t seem as clever as Titled and he couldnt get out. Here is your hint: If you give a definitive “Yes” you are borrowing from the Christian worldview….. If you answer “no” it will expose your worldview as absurd and make you ineligible to babysit children. So please give us a Y or N. October… Same for you.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  I have explained how your example is merely the byproduct of social evolution, and how protecting you is a means of protecting myself, therefore what you call morality is actually a social construct. None of this requires presupposition or a supernatural answer.

                  You have not countered, instead, like a broken record, you re-used your initial example only to give up in the end.

                  Your arguments show limited range and depth, oddly and ironically, as if you were the one in a corner.

                • RobMcCune

                   When it comes to discussing morality with most christians their questions always degenerate into some form of “who’s gonna make me?”

                • KeithCollyer

                   why does answering yes mean you are borrowing from the christian worldview? all it reallymeans is that some aspects of the christian worldview, as presented by you (so you are ignoring the child murder in the inerrant bible, which most atheists would consider abhorrent) agree with some aspects of TH’s worldview. I don’t want to be killed, I guess you don’t. that doesn’t mean I am borrowing from anyone else’s worldview. why is this so difficult for you to understand?

                • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

                  By the way, it’s “TILTED”, genius. Not “TITLED”.

                • Deven Kale

                   A lot of us get our names misspelled. I get “Devan” or “Devon” or even “Davon” once. Hemant gets “Hermant” all the time (even I was guilty of that one).We get used to it after a while, it’s not a big deal. This guy is laughable for so many other reasons than his inability to properly spell names though, that worrying about name-spelling is kind of silly and redundant. ;)

                • Baby_Raptor

                  lol

                  Really? Heads up, sir: The bible is NOT the definitive moral view. There’s not a single moral command in it that wasn’t already pervasive in the world. The bible stole all it’s “good” laws just like christian mythology stole all it’s story elements. 

                  Go on, prove me wrong. Stop dodging. And drop the child punishment analogy…You’re among adults here, and it just shows your sickening punishment mentality. 

                • amycas

                   I vote that CoyoteNose and TiltedHorizon do some naughty atheist things in that corner…like drinking and swearing. Now I want to be in the corner…

            • Octoberfurst

                Hmm, would it be ok to rape a 3 yr old if society benefitted via giving the rapists a better work ethic?   Wow, that truly is the dumbest question I have ever heard.  Could you possibly come up with something even more inane? Personally I think you have won the olympic gold medal in the stupid questions catagory.  Congratulations!

              • TiltedHorizon

                In all honesty I though “calvin” would reply with “but what if the 3 year old chooses to be rapped” or something equally dense.

                • Octoberfurst

                  Give it time, give it time. He’ll get around to it.  LOL.

                • RobMcCune

                  Nah, he’ll just fall back on his “everything is christian” mantra. I’m not sure if he does it to be annoying, or if his view of reality is so warped he actually believes it.

            • Edmond

              Did anyone in this (hypothetical and non-existant) society bother to ask the GIRLS if they are benefitting from this arrangement, or are they excluded from being counted among the members of that society?

              • TiltedHorizon

                 Bingo.

                The hypothetical child is a part of the global society, as such, her “free will” would be ignored which goes against my assertion. Cal’s question is therefore invalid.

        • Glasofruix

          Morality changes according to time and location, absolute morality does not exist.

          • pRinzler

            But don’t make it sound like non-absolute morality is arbitrary.  It *can* change, but that doesn’t mean its equally likely to change in one manner as another.   There are strong tendencies that all societies follow to a large extent.  Molestation is one of those strong tendencies.

            As an empirical question, I believe the answer to E’s question is yes, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean it as an empirical question, he meant it as a judgment.

            • Glasofruix

              It’s not totally arbitrary, some things are quite consistent through time, but it’s hardly the sign of supernatural intervention.

        • Earl G.

          And this universal morality comes straight from a deity that never universally condemned rape and in many instances in the bible outright encouraged it?  

          Ah, delicious irony.  

        • Sacha

          So lets assume we agree that it is wrong, everywhere, and in every society, to rape someone.

          How does that prove there is such a thing as “absolute morality”??

          If you want there to be an absolute moral standard, you have to come up with the set of ALL moral statements that are always true, everywhere, and in every society. You can’t do that, and claiming that “god” knows or is the absolute morality doesn’t get us any closer to anything useful.

          The bottom line is your god doesn’t add anything to the equation.

          • Evertoniancalvinist

            Sacha…Thank you for the very good question. My argument is that because we all do know this is wrong, that knowledge points to an existing absolute morality. So if the atheist story I’d true, where did this knowledge come from. Because God exists and created us, we can account and make sense of absolute morality. Another way to frame my argument would be: Absolute morality exsist –which story(Atheist or Christian) can best account for the absolute existing. The same argument can be spread out to the laws of logic, scientific method,human dignity and on and on. Does that make a little bit of sense?

            • pRinzler

              “My argument is that because we all do know this is wrong, that knowledge points to an existing absolute morality. So if the atheist story I’d true, where did this knowledge come from. ”

              Evolution, in a nutshell.  There is apparently some survival value in humans bonding together, caring for each other, having empathy, etc.

              So, morality actually, truly exists, but it isn’t absolute, even though there are aspect of morality that are universal, as far as we can tell.

              Even monkeys and apes show empathy and a type of morality, as we’d expect if evolution is responsible.  Have you looked at Frans de Waal’s “Good-Natured?”  

              • Evertoniancalvinist

                pRinz said “So, morality actually, truly exists, but it isn’t absolute, even though there are aspect of morality that are universal, as far as we can tell.”

                So pRinz… How would you answer the 3 year old girl question? If you were consistent it would be “no” right? Can you answer the simple question with a yes or no?

                Sidenote: Shouldn’t it be a red flag for the atheist that they can’t give a simple “yes” to the question? I mean, the question is extreme. The Christian can give a definitive “yes” in two seconds. The atheist has to jump thru hoops of fire and add contingencies to give an answer. Crazy.

                • Earl G.

                  Your god condones rape.
                  Maybe you’d like to respond to that?  No, of course you wouldn’t.

                • RobMcCune

                  He thinks it is better to live under the arbitrary whims of a cosmic tyrant than to be alone in a meaningless universe.

                • Russian Alex

                  Aw, come on. The rapist is expected to marry the victim and pay a fine to her father! That’s some punishment, right?

                • pRinzler

                  1.  I already answered your question on an empirical basis.  I think that every society would say that your scenario is bad.  It’s not hard to imagine that evolution has helped shape humans so that child molestation is universally condemned.

                  2.  What red flag?  Why should morality have to be a simple yes or no issue?   Holy Thor, doesn’t the most cursory review of human thought show that morality is NOT a simple issue!?  Even the Christian God couldn’t lay out a clear, unequivocal, complete, and consistent morality in his Book that would cover EVERY single moral question.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  That would be because your “Yes/No” question is framed to achieve YOUR answer not AN answer.

                  The fact that give the answers no credence, solely because they are not in line with your intent, is not just telling, it is willful disrespect. 

                • RobMcCune

                  First you claim atheists have no basis for claiming something is wrong, then complain when someone tries to explain their reasoning. Well, so much for showing us our presuppositions are incorrect,  all you’ve done is shown us that christianity warps ones view of the world to only conceive of the world in christian terms. You’ve gone from “philosopher” to tl;dr.

                • Deven Kale

                   Was he ever a philosopher? I’ve seen him as essentially tl;dr from the very beginning. But since he won’t go away, forcing him to recognize his own immoral “absolute morality” is basically the only option.

                • RobMcCune

                  In his mind he is. Basically he was complaining that others weren’t play platonic dialogue right by giving him complex answers. It contradicts his earlier statements about his intent and motivations.

                  I’m pretty sure he’s trolled this blog under a couple different names. Basically blitzing a days worth of posts in the night, spewing about pet topics like meaning, randomness,  and the multiverse. He also copied a bunch of quotes and the occasional logical syllogisms.

                  My guess is the name EC is his attempt to troll with out getting banned.

                • Michaelbrice

                  Hey Evertonian…etc, I have a question about morality. I think it is a yes or no kind of question, you are good at those right. And unlike we athiests you can probably answer in two seconds flat.

                  Question: if a man is married to a woman, even if the marriage is in difficulty, or even if they are preparing for divorce, is it  immoral for the man to have sex with another woman or women?

                  Thanks for your help with my moral conundrum.

                • Evertoniancalvinist

                  Michael… I’m not sure. You’ll have to ask the 2016 movie dude. He knows.

                • Deven Kale

                   For a man who claims to have some absolute morality, I’m surprised you don’t have an answer. You’d think if there really was such a thing as absolute morality that answers to moral questions like that would be pretty easy. Or like this: What is the most immoral act there could ever possibly be, without qualifiers, compared to which nothing could ever possibly be worse? I would think that both of these would be pretty easy questions for a moral absolutist.

                • Deven Kale

                  Also, if there is really such a thing as moral absolutes, doesn’t that mean that the answer to a moral question should be the same no matter who you’re asking? You’re implying that D’Souza’s answer could somehow be different than yours. Interesting that, when backed into a corner, you answer with moral relativism. Are you sure you’re a moral absolutist?

                  (sorry for the double post, I thought it necessary to make sure EC gets both responses)

                • Evertoniancalvinist

                  Deven… You can’t be serious??? Isn’t it obvious that Michael was being funny? He is obviously making fun of the D’Souza debacle! Either that or he tried to set a very bad trap for me. My answer obviously is playing along. Come on now.

                • Deven Kale

                  Oh I see. Now, when backed even further into the corner, you try to play it off like it was some kind of joke. I don’t buy it. I don’t buy that you’re really a moral absolutist either, since you can’t even answer one simple question: “What’s the most immoral act possible, without qualifiers, compared to which nothing could ever be worse?”

                  Since you can’t answer that question, that tells me that you don’t believe there is such a thing. If that’s the case, you cannot be a moral absolutist because moral absolutists can answer that question. Only one who follows moral relativism or a similar moral philosophy cannot say there is any single unqualified act which is objectively morally wrong regardless of the circumstances.

                  Either that, or you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about when you claim moral absolutism and really are just parroting some harebrained presuppositionalists words and ideas. If that’s the case, then I’ve been giving you far more credit than you actually deserve.

                  Oh, and by the way, “You can’t be serious???” Really? What are you, 13? Why are you making a statement in the form of a question? You know, like when teenage girls raise their vocal pitch at the end of a sentence, and how ridiculous it makes them sound? You just did that with text.

            • Earl G.

              No, it doesn’t make sense.  It’s a god-of-the-gaps argument:  ‘I don’t understand the science behind it, so it must be magic!’
              The science behind empathy, etc. is in fact quite well understood by people who actually study such things.

              Even if you yourself haven’t ever bothered to crack a psychology textbook, take a class in neuroscience, or read the scientific literature on animal behavior, this 
              A) Doesn’t mean that prosocial behavior is actually a mystery, and 
              B) Even if it were currently a mystery, this wouldn’t be evidence of magic, and 
              C) It certainly wouldn’t be evidence for your specific brand of magic and all its absurd baggage and implications.

            • Indorri

              I know what is good or bad music. Clearly that knowledge must come from the absolute conductor.

              Repeat the mantra. You’re really making yourself look silly now.

            • Sacha

              I can certainly see what you’re saying, but the argument doesn’t hold water. Even if we agreed on a set of moral statements and called that Absolute Morality (or, say we agreed on a set of ancient statements made by bronze-age goatherders), that says nothing about those statements coming from a god.

              I just can’t see how the potential reality of an “absolute morality” even implies, much less requires, a god. I mean, it is certainly possible that the statement “it is wrong everywhere and at all times to rape someone” can be true at the same time that the statement “there is no god” is also true.

              So I think you’re going to need more than that to make your case.

              See also the statements made by pRinzler: we actually have a reasonable answer to the question of where morals come from — and, no, in that view, they aren’t absolute. That fact makes living in a society very very complicated, but just because it is comlplicated, doesn’t mean we have to throw up our hands and put everything into the hands of a deity.

            • michael both

              Every single damn story you crank out the same arguments. “Because God exists and created us, we can account and make sense of absolute morality.” You are completely close-minded and brainwashed.

            • Baby_Raptor

              Your argument presupposes god existing. This isn’t a proven fact. You obviously choose to believe it, but it’s not proven beyond deniability for everyone, so you can’t use it as a basis. Sorry, try again.

              • Evertoniancalvinist

                Hi Baby Rap… I do. I presuppose God exists. I’m not denying that. As finite being, we all come to the table with our presuppositions. My argument is that only the Christian world view can account for knowledge, sound reasoning, Laws of logic, moral absolutes, abstract concepts, human dignity etc etc. So my proof that God exists is if you don’t start with Him, you won’t be able to account for these things or make sense of the world we live in. When the atheist is consistent with his false presupposions, he ends up saying absurd things like “we might be in the Matrix” or “it is not always wrong to molest children” or “we can’t know anything for certain” and on and on.

                Need to go to bed now. Good night buddy. There is forgiveness and love found in my Lord Jesus.

                • Glasofruix

                     My argument is that only the Christian world view can account for
                  knowledge, sound reasoning, Laws of logic, moral absolutes, abstract
                  concepts, human dignity etc etc

                  Headdesk…

                • TiltedHorizon

                   ” My argument is that only the Christian world view can account for
                  knowledge”

                  i.e. if you don’t know the answer then the answer is god.

                  “sound reasoning”

                  i.e. lets say it was good for society to rape 3 year olds on tuesday and twice on sunday…

                  “Laws of logic”

                  i.e. repeat the ineffective line of reasoning then give up.

                  “moral absolutes”

                  i.e. the existence of an absolute sandwich is needed to have a means of determining what is a good or bad sandwich.

                  “abstract
                  concepts”

                  i.e. I am self aware therefore the monster under my bed exists.

                  “human dignity”

                  i.e. which drive you to save face by avoiding challenging questions.

        • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

          First did you notice how many conditions you had to add to the action.   The action in your example is rape.   Which some cultures, including the bible, justify.  So you had to throw on layer after layer.  You had to make it the victim child.  But some cultures allow marriage as young as six.  So you had to go one step further, and make the child 3.  You had to give rapist a motive.  If absolute morality was true, then motive should matter.  Motive makes things subjective and not objective. 
              If the moral was truly absolute, why should the type of victim or the motive matter.  If your meaning of absolute morality means that there can be an action with so many conditions are added to it that everyone agrees that it is bad, then why yes, there is absolute morality.   But at that point, absolute morality is meaningless. Also the term absolute, means that everyone and everywhere would agree to it.  As for your example there are people in this world who do not think it a crime.  There is still the virgin cleansing myth.   So in some places, people do rape children.  As disgusting as it sounds, people do rape babies.  And they feel justified.  

          • Russian Alex

            Also, love how it seems to boil down to sex and children. Not murder, not theft, not any of the crap that happens all day long, and justified away, but child rape. Something, by the way, that we hear “men of God” do all the damn time.

        • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

          Evertoniancalvinist, why are theists like yourself so preoccupied with constructing a black-and-white worldview?

          Also, park your condescension up your ass. Little dork.

        • Russian Alex

          Actually, surprise: no. Tragically. There are some fucked up societies, as well as isolated individuals, in which shit like that is acceptable. Ever heard of pedophile rings? And no, that’s not some imaginary cults in the dark shadows of reality; more than likely, that happens in your city, perhaps right next door.

          Now, before you label me a child molester and throw feces in my general direction, whether we as society consider it wrong, that’s a different matter. We do, and that’s not “because Bible says so” (I’d like to see where, by the way), but for a variety of rational and emotional reasons. The reason we don’t act like assholes to random people is also not because somewhere a guy named Jesus said “love your neighbor as yourself,” but because we have a basic understanding of mutual respect and empathy. And some people lack that and do act like that. That’s why we call them assholes.

        • Antinomian

          “I’m going to let you prove absolute morality for us.”
          You’re the one who’s made the claim, the burden is on you.

          “My answer is “yes”… what is yours little fella?”

          My, my! Are you wearing your big boy panties today?

        • Deven Kale

           You’re doing it wrong again: The question is loaded. You are not only asking about the act, but you’re giving it a qualifier of “for fun and pleasure.” Raping anybody for fun and pleasure, regardless of their age, is something that anybody considers wrong because nobody wants to be raped “for fun and pleasure.” The human ability to mentalize is what allows us to recognize that something which is unpleasant to us would be unpleasant to others.

          Asking the question without qualifiers, “Is it wrong everywhere, in every society, [and in every situation] to rape 3 year old girls? The quick answer is no. The reason for that is simple: If you had the choice between raping a 3 year old girl or having a nuclear missile fired with you and the girl as the primary target in a major city, raping the girl would be the lesser evil.

          Now I have a question for you. With no qualifiers, what is the most absolutely immoral act which could never have a good reason for it, and compared to which nothing else could ever be worse. If there is such a thing as absolute morality, this should not be a difficult answer.

        • Baby_Raptor

          So…You have no answer. Cool. 

          Turning the question back on him just leaves you wide open for more attack.

          And insulting him by calling him little just proves even more how pathetic you are.

        • amycas

           Umm, if morality is absolute, then why would it’s existence be predicated on the existence of a god?

      • Fmf

        I too asked your question years ago.  I can across a fella by the name of Abraham Maslow.  He came up with a list of “needs” – conditions to be met in order to have a life. (of course this could be argued as well).  His hierarchy of needs, to me, is one way to approach morality.  One just has to look at the list and soon you will see “morality” pop out – as I did.  I feel that because he was of Jewish descent he did not develop his theory into something more astounding – fearing this might place him at odds with his religious beliefs.  I truly believe he was onto something.

        FMF – Canada

    • pRinzler

      There’s no need to posit a God to explain morality, science does just fine.  Dignity is a social construct, no less real than if it comes from God.  

      • TiltedHorizon

        I just finished my breakfast. I baked some fresh Italian bread, filled it with eggs, mushrooms, a sprinkle of mozzarella, and two strips of applewood smoked bacon. It was delicious, I dare say it is one of the best tasting breakfasts I’ve made in a while.

        I just had an epiphany, by what benchmark can I judge if this was a “good” tasting breakfast? The fact that I can judge what tastes “good” must mean there is an “Absolute” breakfast; Oh FSM, how can I have doubted you.

        • Ibis3

           Sorry, that does sound like you made the Absolutely Good breakfast.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

          You just made me hungry. That sounds amazing!

    • Indorri

      Repeat the mantra. The morality of abortion is predicated on deciding whether a foetus has rights, not on the presupposition of no morality (note the keyword “deciding” and repeat the mantra.)

      • amycas

         Actually, the morality of abortion is predicated on deciding if the woman carrying the fetus has rights (i.e. bodily autonomy). If she doesn’t have these rights, then the fetus is free to use her body for as long as is needed. However, if she does have these rights, then it is perfectly moral to withdraw consent at any time.

    • Earl G.

      “This dignity presupposes the Christian God.”

      Apparently Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jains, atheists, etc. have no dignity, and neither did anybody who lived before Christianity was invented.

    • RobertoTheChi

      So only christians and the christian god have dignity? *facepalm*

      • Evertoniancalvinist

        Hi Roberto.. Try to understand the argument before you do a “facepalm”. My point is not that only Christians have dignity. My point is that the entire human race has dignity. That’s why we have things like funerals and birthday parties. The problem the atheist has is ACCOUNTING for this dignity if the the atheist story is true. The Christian story can make sense out of this universal dignity. Reality fits within the Christian story, not so much in the atheist story. Understand?

        • Glasofruix

            Reality fits within the Christian story, not so much in the atheist story. Understand?

          I don’t think that there’s much reality in christian story, sorry to break it to you but skyfairies don’t exist.

          • Evertoniancalvinist

            Glaso… That is a wonderful, well thought rebuttal to my argument. You’ve been hitting the books lately, haven’t you? You crazy guy!

            • michael both

              I think we’ll save good, thoughtful rebuttals for good quality arguments. If you bring crap to the table, expect crap to be given back to you in return. You think your ‘arguments’ are good and based in reality. Well, they simply are not.

            • Glasofruix

              Argument? You mean that this ill constructed verbal diarrhea is an argument? Sorry i just saw bullshit falling out of your mouth so i thought it would be polite to point it out for you.

              • Antinomian

                Don’t forget to tell him about the Satan Booger hanging out of his nose and that his ‘sin door’ is unzipped..

            • Edmond

              Did anyone in this (hypothetical and non-existant) society bother to ask the GIRLS if they are benefitting from this arrangement, or are they excluded from being counted among the members of that society?

        • Octoberfurst

          In a precious comment I gave you the Olympic gold medal for stupid questions. Now I am going to award you the gold medal for dumbest statements–i.e. “Reality fits within the Christian story, not so much in the atheist story.”  In what universe is your statement true?  You are saying that fairy tales have a better grasp of reality than science and common-sense.  So earth being only 6,000 yrs old and created in 6 days is completely in sync with reality?  Uh-huh.  Are you taking any meds?

          • Glasofruix

            I think the problem lies with the fact that he must’ve stopped taking them…

        • Coyotenose

           Empathy.

          It’s been explained to you numerous times.

          You’re a sorry, shoddy liar.

        • nakedanthropologist

          No, I think you may not understand.  That, or you are willfully misconstructing the issue at hand.  The Christian story fits with reality because it was construed within that reality.  It is one mythological story, out of the many mythological stories that people the world over have constructed and added upon over and over again, from time immemorial.  You believe in Christian mythology, and good for you.  However, just because you were enculturated to that belief and/or chose it, does not make it more valid than any other mythological praxis.

          The Hindu story of Rama and Sita fits reality, too.  Is the whole world’s reality contingent upon Rama, Sita, and the Hindu worldview, then?  Maybe.  But I personally don’t believe it.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great story (I’ve always like mythology) and so is the Christological mythos – but they both fit with reality – reality does not fit itself to them.  Can you dig it?

        • RobertoTheChi

          I understand that christians and much of their story was taken from earlier religions. The whole virgin birth and other stories were ‘borrowed’ from other religions as well as a lot of their morality.

        • Baby_Raptor

          Reality does not require that things make sense. And why does dignity need to make sense, anyway? Why can it not just simply be a thing? 

          That’s a recurring theme with theists…You fear things you don’t understand, and you have to shoehorn everything into little boxes. Maybe you should get over your fear of the world not being a perfect little picture.

    • KeithCollyer

       where in the bible does it condemn abortion? and don’t give me the ten commandments, killing is not even in the top five and contradicts other instructions to murder all the inhabitants of a town, including the children

      • MariaO

        The commendment should be translated “Do not murder”. Killing people is fine, as long as the order is given by the proper authority. And what could be more proper than “god”, your king or even your commanding officer? (Not that removing a lump of cells can count as killing anybody.)

        • KeithCollyer

          how do you know that’s how it should be translated? Or are you going to create yet another version of the inerrant bible?

          • Coyotenose

             That isn’t MariaO’s personal version. It comes from Bibblecal scholarship.

            • KeithCollyer

              true, but if the bible is to be taken as inerrant, would it not be better if it didn’t need so much translation?

      • Gus Snarp

        Actually, the Bible not only doesn’t condemn abortion, it gives one person explicit instructions in how to perform an abortion on another person, without their consent. Of course, it’s a magical abortion using “cursed” water, so it probably wouldn’t work anyway, but if you believe in the rest of the Bible then you ought to believe in God’s Magic Abortion Water.

    • smrnda

       What dignity? The Christian god, particularly as envisioned by Calvinists, envisions human beings as loathsome and horrible even when they are trying to be good, and views the only fit purpose for humans is to have their minds wiped clean to praise god in the most mechanical fashion. Humans are just toys for god to play with, some dignity.

      Dignity has to come from, in my opinion, being given the right to live your life in relative autonomy, free from oppression, where people can be okay with you making your own choices and they don’t try to screw you for making choices they just don’t happen to like. So I guess my vision of dignity and many religious ones are just at odds.

    • Coyotenose

       Once again, your entire claim relies on your deliberately ignoring what has been explained to you in earlier posts by many people. Your post has thus already been refuted dozens of times. You’re a shoddy, stupid liar.

      You’re also trying to change the subject again, as per your dishonest ideology.

    • Antinomian

      Yep, we need more lions..

    • Antinomian

      First, prove your god, unlike all the gods before,  exists. Then and only then can you comment on the supposed morality of your god.

      By the way, save us the thoroughly debunked ontological and cosmological arguments…

    • Baby_Raptor

      Even when I was a christian, I was pro-choice. Why? Because even if you choose to believe heart-string tugs over science and scream about abortion being murder, NOT EVERYONE DOES. And nobody, NOBODY, has the right to strip others of their bodily autonomy, no matter what their excuse.

      You can crow about that clump of cells having human DNA and therefore being “life” til the cows come home, but that doesn’t give you the right to dictate how I should live.

      Also, I’m fully aware that I’m more than just a chemical reaction. If you honestly think atheists believe that, you’re just setting up strawmen to knock down so you can feel superior. Oh, and I still believe that an embryo is just a clump of cells. Not a life. 

      Dignity does not prove that the christian god exists. The christian god strips people of dignity by demanding that they be utter asshats in his name. 

      • Deven Kale

        Actually sorry, but I happen to believe that humans are, at the basic level, just a bunch of chemicals. Chemicals are what our cells are made of. Our cells survive through chemical reactions. Each cell communicates with those nearby through chemical reactions.Our thoughts are emergent properties based on chemical reactions, which makes even our emotions and imaginations nothing more than chemical reactions. There’s very little about being human that isn’t explained by chemistry. So yeah, I seem to believe that we are just chemical reactions, at the root of it.

        LOL I’m starting to seem like a bit of a caricature lately because of this guy, but whatever. I just say things how I see them.

        • Glasofruix

          Also some electricity.

  • TiltedHorizon

    Like all “believers” there has to be a suspension of disbelief for the
    fantastical to find purchase. Once it has taken root they have to
    operate with blinders for fear of reality’s endless assaults. Take Evertoniancalvinist as an example, who has ignored the point of the article, choosing to focus instead on abortion rather than explaining or defending the actions of the Christians who taint facts to get their way. 

  • KeithCollyer

    nowhere on the Planned Parenthood material is there anything that gives any indication as to how many abortions were provided or paid for by Planned Parenthood. It certainly isn’t deducible from the numbers quoted.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

    They have had 2000 years of practice at Spin. Getting a good portion of the population to think the big man is going to come back at any moment takes some Spin Doctoring.  

  • vexorian

    Well, it is not their fault. It is not like the bible ever said anything about lying being wrong or stuff.

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt E

    American Christians are a great object lesson in faulty reasoning, in particular, starting with the conclusion and reasoning backwards.
    “I believe in God, look at my wacky reasoning to explain it.”
    “I believe Christians are persecuted, look at my lame ass examples of what we suffer.”

  • Russian Alex

    Ah, I reckon the Abortionplex has seen some good business lately!

    (for those unfamiliar: http://www.theonion.com/articles/planned-parenthood-opens-8-billion-abortionplex,20476/ )

  • kaydenpat

    Just shows how disrespectful Christianists are to women.  I’ve never heard of a woman celebrating an abortion. 

    I have a feeling that many Christianists actually are happy that abortion is still legally available despite their huffing and puffing.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/10/scott-desjarlais-abortion-pro-life_n_1953136.html


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