Pope Francis’ First Encyclical Shows What He Really Believes About Unbelievers

The Vatican has released the first encyclical letter written by Pope Francis.

That’s big news for Catholics, who comprise the target audience for this sort of document, and who often put a great deal of stock in the pontiff’s opinions on how to live their faith. In atheist circles, the most likely reaction is a shrug, a raised eyebrow, and a big ‘so what?’ But with news about outreach to the ‘nones’ and dialogue with non-believers making headlines in the early days of Francis’ pontificate – and it is still early days, at least in relative terms – this document is instructive. It gives us a window into what the pope really thinks about the irreligious.

The eighteen-page encyclical is the last in a trilogy, so to speak; then-Pope Benedict wrote encyclicals on ‘hope’ and ‘charity’, and was apparently working on the ‘faith’ one when he resigned. (Francis tells us so in Paragraph 7, explaining that he “added a few contributions”.) This encyclical is entitled Lumen fidei (“the light of faith”), and describes the ways in which living a life of religious belief is superior to living without it. (No big surprise there, really. He has to say that. He’s the pope.)

But in describing the superiority of a life lived with faith, Francis has revealed some of the common myths about atheism that he’s come to accept over the course of a life spent really obviously having never come into contact with unbelievers. Some of the most common tropes include:

  • Atheism weakens community ties. For some reason, Francis seems to believe that religious faith is required to “build our societies in such a way that they can journey towards a future of hope” (51). As he sees it, “the light of faith is capable of enhancing the richness of human relations”, while without it “nothing could truly keep men and women united” (51). (Heck of a burden to put on faith, if you ask me.)
  • Atheists make gods of other things. The basic argument Fracis seems to set forth is that atheists secretly know God exists, but we’re scared he might demand too much sacrifice of us, so we pretend to think he’s not real because we are rebellious and naughty. Then we pick something else to venerate in God’s place, because we can’t just not worship anything, and “before an idol, there is no risk that we will be called to abandon our security” (13). It’s a bit of a pat on the back (at our expense) for the courageous faithful.
  • Atheists are self-centered. Chances are, the one thing we’re busy worshiping is ourselves: “idols exist, we begin to see, as a pretext for setting ourselves at the centre of reality and worshiping the work of our own hands” (13). Francis really seems to think that only faith can “guide us beyond our isolated selves” (4) or provide “concrete directions for emerging from the desert of the selfish and self-enclosed ego” (46). By contrast, “faith is God’s free gift, which calls for humility and the courage to trust (14)”.
  • Atheists have no moral compass. Carrying his ‘faith as light’ metaphor to dizzying heights, Francis argues that in the absence of faith/light, “it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads which take us in endless circles, going nowhere” (3). No one can be good without God because they attribute their good actions to themselves instead of to him, and thus “their lives become futile and their works barren” (19). Essentially the only way to be a good person is by pretending it’s not really you doing good things; it’s God making you do them.
  • If we really tried to find God, we’d find him. This one is quite a slap in the face for the many unbelievers who became such after a long and sincere process of religious seeking; it suggests that we were either secretly searching in bad faith, or our efforts were defective. If “he can be found also by those who seek him with a sincere heart” (35), clearly we must have been insincere. It’s our fault, not God’s, if we couldn’t detect him.
  • Atheists lead impoverished lives. Since “faith enriches life in all its dimensions” (6) and is “the priceless treasure [. . .] which God has given as a light for humanity’s path” (7), we can assume he envisions us all living in the psychological equivalent of a Dickensian poorhouse. I get the sense that Francis sort of feels bad for us, that he can’t really grasp the concept that atheists might sometimes feel peace and joy even though we think there’s no God.
  • An atheist can’t really understand love. Francis explains that “only to the extent that love is grounded in truth [read: God] can it endure over time” (27). I don’t really understand why he thinks that, but it seems clear that he doesn’t accept non-God-oriented love as real love. Meanwhile, “those who believe are never alone” (39).

It’s rather hard to tell whether he thinks atheists are to be pitied or feared. On the one hand, we’re just so sad and lonely and confused, wandering in the wilderness of our own moral relativism. But on the other hand, we’re embracing and promoting an ideology that destroys truth and justice and democracy and human morality and “the goodness of sexual differentiation” and “the stable union of man and woman in marriage” (52 – oh yes, he went there).

The encyclical ends with a heartfelt prayer to the Virgin Mary, asking her to “open our ears to hear God’s word”, to “awaken in us a desire to follow in His footsteps [. . .] to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in His love”, to “remind us that those who believe are never alone”, and to “teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus” – even “beneath the shadow of the cross” and “especially at times of trial”.

In other words, dear Mary, I’ll put up with anything he can throw at me, even the trials of Job . . . but please, please, please, for the love of Jesus, don’t make me have to be an atheist.

Thanks, Frank.

About Sara Lin Wilde

Sara Lin Wilde is a recovering Catholic (and cat-holic, for that matter - all typographical errors are the responsibility of her feline friends). She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she is working on writing a novel that she really, really hopes can actually get published.

  • LesterBallard

    Is there anyone surprised by this? He was a fucking Catholic Cardinal, and now he’s the fucking Catholic Pope. Liars, thieves, child rapists. Fuck the Roman Catholic Church and its hierarchy.

    • debbiedoesreality

      Well said. As an aside, you’re starring in a soon-to-be-released movie… how does it feel?

      • LesterBallard

        There should be more necrophilia in major films.

        • LesterBallard

          As an aside, I’d do James Franco dead or alive.

          • debbiedoesreality

            I’m with you on the alive part.

        • busterggi

          Another reason to watch those old AIP films with Vincent Price as I did this weekend.

    • McAtheist

      But how do you REALLY feel about it?

      • LesterBallard

        And I’m not even a former Catholic; imagine if I was . . .

        • DivineWordRadio

          Surprising. Those are the ones with the most vitriol.

    • Jim Jones

      > Fuck the Roman Catholic Church and its hierarchy.

      Bring your own 10 foot pole.

      • LesterBallard

        I haven’t made a dick joke in a very long (he he) time.

      • DivineWordRadio

        You have the right to be wrong.

        • Jim Jones

          I don’t need it. I never am wrong.

          • DivineWordRadio

            Pope Francis was right about you as an atheist.

      • tijeffe

        PRAISE YOUR LORD. KISS HIS ASS, FOR IF YOU DON’T, TO HELL YOU’LL PASS.

    • DivineWordRadio

      You are far sadder than Francis is. God bless.

      • LesterBallard

        I don’t protect child rapists, motherfucker.

        • 3lemenope

          Exactly this. Of *all things in the universe*, sexuality is the one subject on which the RCC should remain quietest out of sheer shame. Between what they have perpetrated against women over the years to their clearly demonstrated chronic moral depravity regarding child abuse, I don’t understand why they expect anything other than jeers and laughs when they offer their precious opinion on the topic. When you fail as big as they have, the proper course is to shut the fuck up.

          • DivineWordRadio

            Sorry, but Truth doesn’t work that way. One would not say that a medical treatment does not work because it was not followed by someone. The same holds true for the teachings of the Church, including areas of sexuality. The fact that you can point out people who have not followed the teachings does not make the teachings any less true. The Church has not perpetrated anything against women over the years. In fact, it was the Church that brought women freedoms which they lacked in Roman society.
            I don’t understand why you expect the Truth not to be spoken merely because there are those who have not followed it.
            Thankfully, we don’t look for your guidance for silence, when Christ calls us to spread the Good News.

            • 3lemenope

              A speaker that is as catastrophically not credible as the RCC–being an unrepentant systemic chronic abettor of child rapists as it is–is on sexual matters ends up doing more harm to their chosen position by speaking up than by remaining silent.

              • DivineWordRadio

                There are a great many people that will have to answer for what they have done, including leading those away from Truth. It makes Truth no less True, and no less desirable to teach. So no, there will be no silence on the issue.

              • winslow

                You don’t understand the difference between individuals the the organizations they belong to, do you? Not surprising you’re confused.

                • 3lemenope

                  Better than you might imagine, actually. But the relevant point here is that moral consequence devolves unto people regardless of how they are organized. Blaming the organization itself is more of a descriptive helper, an acknowledgement that the structure that these individual people have built for themselves itself facilitated and intensified the problem. The Institution of the Roman Catholic Church is responsible insofar as the members which composed it acted under its auspices to rape little children and then cover it up. Priests *used their positions as priests* to access children and gain ther and the community’s trust. Bishops *used their positions as bishops* to shuffle offenders around, conceal assets from civil judgment, and generally defray accountability.

                • winslow

                  “Acted under its auspices” needs proof. There’s no question homosexual priests acted under cover of their office to abuse children. The ones who aren’t dead have been removed from the clerical state or marginalized. By the Church. A good number of them are in prison. There’s no question some bishops, usually homosexual bishops, protected their friends. Concealing assets, especially when the assets belong to the laity, is responsible stewardship. Accusing the Church of the sins of her members is irrational.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  You’re right, there is no evidence that homosexual priests used their office to abuse children.

                  Heterosexual and pedophile priests now … there’s a lot of evidence for that.

                  The Church is her members. If they commit crimes in the church’s name, and work to protect the organization at the expense of the people in the organization, then we can bluntly call that organization corrupt and immoral.

                • winslow

                  Unfortunately you have no facts. Put “John Jay College of Crinminal Justice” into your search engine. You’ll find that 81% of abuse cases involved adult men and teen age boys. That defines homosexual activity.
                  The Church is not her members. That’s like saying the Republican Party is Newt Gingrich.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Oh no, no it doesn’t. That actually defines common a characteristic of a certain type of heterosexual sexual predator- they prefer mature women in consensual relationships, but abuse pre-teen and teenage boys.

                  What defines homosexual activity is consensual sexual contact between two people of the same sex. Or rather, if you define homosexual activity your way, many heterosexual people engage in homosexual activities. You’re also assuming that abuse and non-consent are hallmarks of homosexual sex, and you’re wrong. Abuse and non-consent are hallmarks of abuse.

                  The Republican Party is represented in part by Newt Gingrich, and his actions reflect upon it. When other prominent members stand up for Gingrich and say he did nothing wrong, they are taking upon themselves the burden of defending his actions and tarring themselves with the attitude that he did nothing wrong. Kinda like a lot of bishops and archbishops in the recent RCC sexual abuse scandal, hey? Having a lot of predatory priests is one thing- unfortunately, that does happen. Shuffling them around so they never face prosecution, silencing victims, and generally not giving a damn about survivors? That’s an institution bereft of morals and corrupt to the core. The image of the RCC mattered more to its hierarchy than the people it was supposed to be helping. The Republican Party’s image is mud because of the shit its members say and do and the fact that the leadership backs them up. Well, same goes for the RCC.

                • baal

                  “There’s no question some bishops, usually homosexual bishops”
                  Stop it you fucking bastard!
                  The rot in the RCC is not at the hands of some secret cabal of homosexual criminal pederast underground mafia. It’s in the hands of Ratzinger and the other RCC politicians who sought to protect the RCC from public shame and the costs of treating decently the victims.

                • Baby_Raptor

                  Nice smearing of LGBTs by trying desperately to equate us with pedophiles…Nevermind the reality of the situation, where most pedophiles are heterosexual.

                  Things like this only harm your “witness.”

                • Mike Francis

                  Lying for Jesus is still lying.

                • XCellKen

                  What a little lying Homophobe dick you turned out to be.. I’m soooooooooooooooo surprised

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Thankfully, you have not been placed in charge of doling out justice. as you see fit. The actions of these individuals were wrong, and brought shame upon many good Christians. And the attacks against the Church by others is no more right.

                • Baby_Raptor

                  Are you seriously comparing child rape to people saying things you don’t like to hear?

                  And you call yourself the moral one.

                • Pofarmer

                  When bad things happen to people BECAUSE of the beliefs of the organization that the perpetrators of said bad actions are a part of, then, yes, it is appropriate to blame the organization.

                • XCellKen

                  INDIVIDUAL priests molested children. THE ORGANIZATION known as the Roman Catholic Church, for whom the INDIVIDUAL priests worked/belonged, tried everything in their power to cover up the crimes of the INDIVIDUAL priests. How’s that ?

            • Hat Stealer

              Oh! Oh! Say “metaphysical” next!

              If you do I get to take a drink.

              • DivineWordRadio

                Is it Happy Hour? -Metaphysical!

            • XCellKen

              “it was the Church that brought women freedoms which they lacked in Roman society.”

              BULLSHIT

              • DivineWordRadio

                I give you the truth. You give us profanity. That comes from someone offering nothing of value.

                • XCellKen

                  http://biblehub.com/1_timothy/2-12.htm

                  “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” 1 Timothy 2:12

                  Some freedom

                  DOUBLE BULLSHIT

                • DivineWordRadio

                  You have the right to be wrong.

                • XCellKen

                  And you have the right not to even read your very own Holy book. But that would put you in good company, since the vast majority of Xians treat The Bible like a software agreement: never read it, just scroll down to the bottom and click “I Accept”

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I do read it. But accepting it will also work.

                • XCellKen

                  Ok, you’re correct. I will now willing accpet The Bible. And next time I see a hot sexy virgin, I’ll rape her, pay her Dad some silver, then she’ll be forced to marry me, and never get a divorce: ” If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. Doo Doo rottomy 22: 28-29

                • DivineWordRadio

                  That’s why you need the Church. So you don’t go relying upon your insufficient understanding of Scripture.

              • Brian Anthony

                right to inherit property for one.

            • XCellKen

              But its ok, cause you possess the highly coveted “Get Outta Jail Free Card” known as forgiveness

              • DivineWordRadio

                It may be a shock to you, but so do you.

        • DivineWordRadio

          Neither does Francis. Nor does he make false statments against the Pope and the Church. And you do. And your profanity only shows your inability to compile rational thought.

          • LesterBallard

            Why don’t you go pimp some children for some scumbag Catholic priests?

            • DivineWordRadio

              You are a sad fellow. Call me when you have something to share of value. Oh, and I’ll pray for you.

              • Anna

                How’s that “I’m not intending to be passive aggressive” working out for you?”

              • 3lemenope

                Remember, passive-aggressive Christian == repressed curse-storm. Stop making your mind such a cesspool! Jesus wouldn’t approve.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Are you suggesting that I dust off my sandals, or that this is a cesspool?

                • Jim Jones

                  You put the cess in cesspool.

          • LesterBallard

            Nope, I’m not very rational when it comes to raped children and the pieces of shit who protect the rapists.

            • DivineWordRadio

              It is clear that you aren’t rational at all. Lynch mob mentality as its finest.

              • 3lemenope

                A one-man mob!

                File that under justice that doesn’t judge, and love that is glad to fricassee the loved forever. Didn’t I see you further down the thread accusing me of changing the meaning of words? You’re a trip, you are.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  The Church has not “raped children.” While certainly there have been people who are members of the Church that have done so, just as there are citizens of your nation that have, it does not mean that the nation, or those within it, merit the malicious attacks at all.

                • 3lemenope

                  Its policies perpetuated the attacks long past when it became clear to the Hierarchy it was an endemic problem. It belittled and treated the victims like lepers and dirt. It attempted to make itself judgment-proof, which while prudential from a hard-nosed pragmatic point-of-view, is nothing but scummy for a group looking for absolution.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I disagree with your assessment. God bless.

              • LesterBallard

                Yeah, you keep making excuses for those who rape children, and those who protect the rapists. You and your church have the moral high ground.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I don’t know about me, but the Church does carry Christ’s morals. I don’t make excuses for people who rape children. You, on the other hand, make attacks against those who have done nothing wrong.

                • LesterBallard

                  Okay. You make excuses for those who protect those who rape children, because the “Church” is more important than the raped children.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  It isn’t an either/or. It is a both/and.

            • Brian Anthony

              send your kids to public schools? if so then better stop that becasue the public school system is every bit as terrible on that issue as the Church supposedly is.

          • Baby_Raptor

            Really? The fact that he says words that you don’t like shows he’s incapable of rational thought?

            • DivineWordRadio

              Frequently.

      • baal

        The sadness of Francis is that he seems to have a decency streak but that he’s trapped by his office and the vatacin’s minions continue to lash out against atheists and any moderation of the harm caused by the institution of the RCC.

    • DivineWordRadio

      I keep in mind that when profanity has to be used, one usually has little to say.

      • 3lemenope

        No wonder you miss…everything.

        • DivineWordRadio

          And no wonder you lack the ability to provide anything of value, if you think profanity adds value to conversation.

          • 3lemenope

            That’s not what I said. Try starting with what I actually wrote.

            • DivineWordRadio

              You said, in reply to me, “No wonder you miss…everything.” How am I doing?

              • 3lemenope

                Now for all the points, please derive [3lemenope believes profanity adds value to conversation] from [A person who automatically assumes profanity is a reliable indicator of a lack of content likely misses much content as a consequence of that assumption]. Or did you miss the point of “No wonder you miss…everything” entirely?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Well, at least I now understand your claim, even if it is fallacious. But hey, you have the right to be wrong.

                • 3lemenope

                  I’ll take that as a “yes”.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  No, I received the content. I merely set the value of it.

                • 3lemenope

                  A Christian being passive-aggressively snide generally indicates the same feelings as a secular person swearing their head off. How does it feel to be such a foul-minded person?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Typical. To win an argument, redefine the terms.

      • Baby_Raptor

        Only because you automatically assume that anyone who uses words you aren’t fond of is stupid.

        • DivineWordRadio

          Not really. When they use reasoned tone, and not hyperbole, I can deal with it.

    • winslow

      At last. A genuine intellect weighs in. Tips the scale at zero.

      • XCellKen

        LestrerBallard doesn’t need to make a dick joke. Winslow is a living dick joke

    • Tselin Nyai

      Your vitriol is reminiscent of this guy;

      What nonsense! Here we have at last reached an age that has left all mysticism behind it, and now [Himmler] wants to start that all over again. We might just as well have stayed with the church. At least it had tradition. To think that I may some day be turned into an SS saint! Can you imagine it? I would turn over in my grave…

      — Adolf Hitler quoted in Albert Speer’s Inside the Third Reich

      • LesterBallard

        Is your name really Godwin?

    • DougI

      And slavery, Nazi sympathizers, butchers and spreaders of disease.

  • midnight rambler

    Then we pick something else to venerate in God’s place, because we can’t just not worship anything, and “before an idol, there is no risk that we will be called to abandon our security”

    This makes zero sense. If we’re actually worshipping them, then don’t we also have to sacrifice something to them like they do to God? Otherwise it’s just fanboyism.

    Fuck, I hate trying to make sense of believers’ logic. Especially their claims about me.

    • MisterTwo

      I was just thinking about this last night. When I was a Christian, the preachers always said that Humanism elevated humans to a god-like status. Then I found out what Humanism really is, which is pretty much the opposite. Humanists simply believe that we need to make sure everyone on the planet has the basic necessities, that we ought not do bad things to each other (including personal things in our local spheres, and community things, like waging war), and that we ought to individually do what we can to help others, because we’re all in this together. There’s no room for elevating humans to god-like status in that. There is, in fact, no reason for Christians to not be Humanists… they ought to, in fact.

      In realizing that the god of the Bible wasn’t real, I found that I had nothing to worship. I made a half-hearted attempt to determine if any other gods were real, but couldn’t see enough evidence to continue that pursuit. I certainly would not worship my own species, because I know for a fact that gods were created because of our own ignorance.

      Having a hobby is not worshiping a thing as if it were a god. Even being obsessively involved in some pursuit is not worshiping that pursuit as if it were a god.

      And venerating something does not equal worshiping it, even if the dictionary does list the words as synonyms. I may, in fact, regard the Earth with great respect without believing it is an intelligent being that I must bow to. I may, in fact, regard life with respect, including but not limited to humanity, knowing full well that we are simply organic processes, but with sentience. To venerate, to regard with great respect or to revere, simply means to understand the importance of something, and to act accordingly. I see myself as sharing the responsibility of being a caretaker. If I worship something, I don’t think it needs me, but rather than I need it, and that it demands things of me. I DO need the Earth, obviously, but it does not take care of me out of any benevolent motivation. I do need other people, and they may be benevolently motivated toward me, but in general, no more that I toward them. Homo-sapiens is not my god, we are simply a bunch of creatures trying to make our way.

      Yeah, this subject is big. This claim by Christians is one of the things that makes Christianity a successful meme. It makes me mad.

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

    As an atheist, I do make gods out of other things. Why last week, with the help of my holy hot glue gun, I made a fully functional god out of some old PVC pipe, four acorns and the radiator of a ’56 Buick. Just like the Christian God, he failed to stop war, cure disease and solve world hunger. I even tested my creation with prayer. I prayed and it did nothing. Just like God.

    • ShoeUnited

      The problem is you weren’t praying to Joe Pesci.

      • busterggi

        He does know how to get things done.

        • Mark W.

          Does he? Or is it all his followers giving him all the credit for other peoples work.

    • Tom

      Do you, by any chance, live on a satellite shaped like a dog bone?

      • ShoeUnited

        He will be next Sunday, A.D.

      • more compost

        It is the Satellite of Love.

    • Bitter Lizard

      Even if you give up on prayer, it sounds like God might make a passable bong.

      • VI

        Dude, PVC does not make a good bong. The off gassing when it heats up is distinctly not good for you.

        • Lea Tapp

          LOL! Safety first!

    • islandbrewer

      Your god can at least keep a tarp from blowing away, or show you where to stop the car in your garage so that you can just get the door closed without having to pull in any farther.

    • Compuholic

      Nah, you see there is your mistake. You are wrong to conclude that your God did nothing. His ways are just more refined than ours and beyond our comprehension.

    • KeithCollyer

      Time to repeat the story about the woman who spoke at a church service (I went for a friend’s daughter’s christening, I treat these events as anthropological expeditions) and said she prayed for help from god and god did the most powerful thing he could: nothing. So she had to fix the problem herself, which was clearly god’s intention. In other words, exactly the same result as if she hadn’t prayed, but later. With logic like that, it’s a wonder these people don’t just float off the planet when they walk

    • cipher

      It would have done all those things if you really believed.

  • Gods Starship

    It’s not even an argument. He’s just voicing his bias. He doesn’t understand us and clearly feels threatened by our independence…. so therefore he’s convinced we’re bad. He can’t simply accept what works for him may not work for everyone else.

    • DivineWordRadio

      It appears that you are merely voicing your bias. And no, I don’t believe he is threatened by your independence. He is merely saddened by it. And you are correct, that he does not accept that taking a position away from God “works.”

      • Gods Starship

        Hi Troll of the Day. The pope is saddened by my independence and there’s no bias in that at all. Gotcha. Thanks for stopping by and clearing that up.

        • DivineWordRadio

          He accepts that there is one Truth. The Pope is not saddened by your independence, but your potential loss of salvation. Thanks for stopping by.

          • God’s Starship

            Is he saddened by my independence or not? You’ve now claimed both. Make up your mind. You’re starting to sound like you haven’t thought this through. Either stop making things up as you go along or stop clogging up my Disqus. You’re boring.

  • Hat Stealer

    Love without God: A deep sense of happiness stemming from the joy that you receive from another person with whom you share a physical, emotional, and mental bond.

    Love with God: “Hey, say you love me or I’ll hurt you forever.”

    Yep. Those Catholics have sure got love figured out better then us ol’ dumb atheists.

    • debbiedoesreality

      I’ve been told that our love isn’t real, it doesn’t count since we don’t “have gOd”… and the unnerving thing is that they really believe that.

    • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

      It would appear that Love in the Roman Catholic Cult is a completely different thing from that which the rest of us accepts as love. In The RC Cult, Love is raping little children. It hardly behooves Frank to be lecturing anyone on the act of love…….

      • DivineWordRadio

        Sadly, you don’t know what love is. But you clearly have maliciousness down.

        • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

          What I do know about Love is that raping little children is NOT love! Frankie boy would do well to brush up on its meaning and pass what he learns on to his paedophile clerical minions, who are still, after all the revelations, still getting away with the wholesale rape of the worlds children, entrusted to their care…..

      • winslow

        Oh that again. Can you spell your name, Paddy?

        • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

          For a start my name is not Paddy, and yes I can spell my name;Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh There, is that ok for you?

          • Brian Anthony

            on the side, is that welsh or gaelic?

            • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

              Irish…

        • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

          I sure can, winnie. .Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh…… There. Is that OK for you?

        • Brian Anthony

          that was uncharitable….and you know it.

    • DivineWordRadio

      As with many things today, the solution to get what you want is to define the world as you choose to. And yes, the Catholic Church does have it figured out better than “us ol’ dumb atheists.” Primarily because Faith is not a biproduct of reason, but complements it.

      • Hat Stealer

        Trololololollloolololololol

        I’ve read this comment five times and it still doesn’t make any sense.

        • winslow

          To you. I think you might be on to something.

          • Mike Francis

            And I think you’re on something.

        • DougI

          He has faith and reason so he should be a lot smarter than us. Seems with his extra help he’s failing miserably.

    • winslow

      And you just proved it.

      • Hat Stealer

        So you agree with the Catholic position that God is pretty much the same as an abusive spouse, only worse given that the spouse can’t torture their partner forever?

        Or are you going to respond with the classic comeback of the abusee: “No! You just don’t understand him!”

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com/ Ani J. Sharmin

    It’s rather hard to tell whether he thinks atheists are to be pitied or feared.

    These kinds of misinformed stereotypes about people who don’t share one’s own religion often tend (in my experience) to have a bit of condescension in them. There are people who won’t deny that people of other religions and non-religious people do good things (because they can obviously see them doing good stuff), so they’ll claim to be able to read our minds. Part of what I find so harmful about this is not just that other religious people then believe that about us (though that’s obviously a problem) but also that it attributes any actual trouble in our lives to us being atheists.

    • DivineWordRadio

      Actually, the issue for Catholics is what is referred to as the Fullness of Truth. One may find elements of truth in many belief systems, but the Fullness of Truth is found only in the Catholic Faith.

  • Donatello

    I find it quite amusing that he prays to the Virgin Mary instead of God the father or Jesus. It is just example #Infinity of the RCC’s preferred gender roles: while the males are the nominal heads of the household, they can’t be bothered to actually do something, no, of course it is the only woman around who is responsible to get stuff done.

    • ShoeUnited

      Ever since God got caller ID, he quit taking the Vatican’s calls. So now the Pope can only leave messages on the secretary’s answering machine and hope she passes them along.

      • viaten

        That’s not all that far from the truth. Mary is supposed to be the ultimate intercessor (as are the other saints in their specialties.) You pray to Mary to pray to God for you since her prayers count for way more than yours.

        • ShoeUnited

          Yup. Catholics view Mary as more accessible than Jesus. The individual that isn’t in the clergy is kind of shamed from bothering Jesus too much unless it’s a huge problem. And talking to God directly is right out.

          I merely changed the viewpoint to something a little more humorous.

          • viaten

            I commented elsewhere in this thread about this. Praying to Mary is like getting mom to ask dad for something you want thinking he’s less likely to say no. Mom is more sympathetic and has better influence with dad.

            • randomfactor

              It’s a fractal polytheism.

              • DivineWordRadio

                Not at all, although it seems to give you an excuse not to believe.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Three main deities with many minor intercessory ones? Sounds rather polytheistic to me.

                  I mean, seriously? God, Jesus, Holy Spirit vs. Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna. Saints vs. lesser deities. It all looks the same from where I’m sitting. I’m sure you can tell me why it’s totally different, though.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  One God. Three persons. Not the same. If you want greater detail on the subject, you might check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church beginning with paragraph 249.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Actually, you have just describe Hinduism as well. One divine source, three major aspects, many minor aspects.

                  Try again.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Nope. Not the same. As historian A. L. Basham stated in his 1954 work The Wonder That Was India: A Survey of the Culture of the Indian Sub-Continent Before The Coming of the Muslims, “Early western students of Hinduism were impressed by the parallel between the Hindu trinity and that of Christianity. In fact the parallel is not very close, and the Hindu trinity, unlike the Holy Trinity of Christianity, never really “caught on”. All Hindu trinitarianism tended to favor one god of the three; thus, from the context it is clear that Kālidāsa’s hymn to the Trimūrti is really addressed to Brahmā, here looked on as the high god. The Trimūrti was in fact an artificial growth, and had little real influence.”

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Oh, they’re all very different aspects of the one divine source. They have different portfolios, as it were. But that doesn’t change the fact that they are actually three aspects of one divine source, as you claim your three deities are three persons in one deity. Most Christian prayers go to Yahweh or Jesus, not the Holy Spirit, and certainly not all three at once. You’re pulling out more parallels here.

                  And yes, they are very different religions. I’m just pointing out that if you want to call Christianity monotheistic, you have to call Hinduism monotheistic as well.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  You are ignoring the Truth, and attempting to muddy that waters. Take the time to read what the Catechism says, rather than attempting to redefine things. I notice you ignore analysis that does not conform with your theory.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Incorrect. I refute analysis that doesn’t conform with reality. Minor difference, I know, but to me it’s an important one.

                  I have read parts of the catechism (I was really, really bored, ok?) and it did give an excellent idea on how to cure insomnia. Other than that? Not really helpful. Especially on the trinity stuff, it was entirely incoherent. Why do you even care? I clearly think all theists are wrong, but why do you care if your religion is monotheistic or polytheistic? It doesn’t change anything in practice. You still have idols of Mary that you pray to and that perform miracles, you still have three major deities and almost innumerable minor ones, and you still have ritual cannibalism (or deity-eating?).

                  If you’re going to believe in a religion, you should at least look at it clearly before diving in head first.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I contend that your analysis of Hindusim is incorrect. And your have yet to establish what makes your opinion accurate in this regard, or why Basham was incorrect in his analysis.
                  When you indicate that teaching is boring, or “why do you even care”, you remind me of the old addage, “My minds made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.”
                  Why do I care if my religion is monotheistic or polytheistic? Because it is one, and not the other. We don’t have idols (another example of your attempt to redefine facts), we have one God, and we receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Early pagans used terms like canibal as a justification for killing Christians.
                  If you are going to attack a religion, you should at least understand it clearly before attacking it.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  My analysis is congruent with Basham’s. He made the argument that Hinduism is not similar to the Christian trilogy, and I agree with that. It has only very superficial similarities, chief among them the idea of a singular divine with multiple aspects/personalities. Hindus usually do only pray to one aspect at a time, often Brahma, while Christians more often (but still rarely) pray to two or even all three major aspects at a time. Those superficial similarities, however, are enough for me to call Christianity polytheistic. And you’ve forgotten the saints, who are minor ascended deities. They, too, make Catholicism polytheistic.

                  The teaching is boring because 1) the wording is terribly verbose and, well, boring and 2) it is incoherent. You have yet to explain why it is not incoherent. And given that I am not Catholic and never have been, I’d say the fact I even tried to look it up says a lot about how close-minded I am. Have you read the Qu’ran? The Vedas? The Tanakh in the original order and translated by Jewish scholars? Christianity is one of the most incoherent and illogical religions I have ever had the displeasure of trying to figure out.

                  What is an idol? It’s a statue people pray to that represents a deity and can perform miracles if you do prescribed rituals in front of it. I’ve seen the hysterical crowds in front of “miraculous” appearances of the Virgin Mary or when water is dripping out of the nail-holes in a Jesus statue. What are they doing, if not idolatry?

                  If you receive Blood and Body, aren’t you, well, eating your god? And that doesn’t bother you? It’s definitely not cannibalism (you aren’t eating people), but it’s also definitely ritual deity-eating (I’m sure there’s a term, but I can’t come up with it) which is kinda squicky, honestly.

                  If I really, truly wanted to attack your religion instead of merely telling you what it looks like from the outside (seeing as how polytheism isn’t a bad thing), I’d tell you what I really think about a religion that holds that their omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent god impregnated a virgin with himself in order sacrifice himself to force his all-powerful self to forgive all of humanity for their great-great-many-time-great grandmother for eating a magic apple because a talking snake told her to. He did this during a terribly superstitious and uneducated time period in a minor corner of the world in order to reveal a universal truth. And if you don’t believe this story, this god will torture you forever and ever. But he loves you!

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I disagree with your assessment that Christianity is polytheistic, nor do I agree that your assessment, and Bashaam’s, are congruent, or that he would have seen Christianity as polytheistic. The fact that you choose to call something a particular thing does not make it so. Saints are not minor ascended deities, another example of redefining the actual, and showing your lack of understanding of that which you try to define.
                  You contend that the teaching of Catholicism is boring and incoherent. Those conclusions only address your lack of scholarship, not the topic itself. Catholicism is not incoherent, and teaches of an ordered God. It was, in fact, this understanding that led to early scientific discovery. Had Christian, who were early scientists, believed in a disordered God, and universe, there would be no reason to examine it, as one could not expect to replicate experiments. This is discussed in “How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization,” by Thomas E Woods, Jr.
                  One can be both close-minded, and curious, and yet be ignorant.
                  I don’t contend to be a scholar in the Qu’ran.
                  Your question about idols is very good. A great new book on the subject is written by Elizabeth Scalia, entitled “Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life.” Sacramentals are not idolotrous. Because man is a physical, and spiritual being, God interacts with us in both ways. Jesus clearly didn’t need to pick up dirt, spit into it, make it into a paste, to bring sight to the blind mind. But He did.
                  The Catholic Encyclopedia addresses this: ” God is not restricted to the use of material, visible symbols in dealing with men; the sacraments are not necessary in the sense that they could not have been dispensed with. But, if it is known that God has appointed external, visible ceremonies as the means by which certain graces are to be conferred on men, then in order to obtain those graces it will be necessary for men to make use of those Divinely appointed means. This truth theologians express by saying that the sacraments are necessary, not absolutely but only hypothetically, i.e., in the supposition that if we wish to obtain a certain supernatural end we must use the supernatural means appointed for obtaining that end.”
                  If you read John Chapter 6, you find that eating the Body of Blood of Christ bothered a number of His disciples, and they turned away. We call this a mystery. Why? We don’t know why God chooses to act in the manner that He does, but I must admit to receiving solice both in the receipt of communion, and in Eucharistic Adoration.
                  Your assessment of the covenant in which God stood in for man indicates only man’s weakness, not God’s. And I believe that you have a number of opportunities to understand God, as He is provided to you. That is Church teaching. What you do with that is your choice.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  So … praying to a statue of Mary for a miracle- not idolatry.

                  Praying to a statue of Ganesh- idolatry.

                  I really don’t see the difference. Perhaps, instead of merely stating that you think I’m wrong, you could give me some reasons for it? What have I redefined or mis-defined? How are saints different than minor ascended deities? Why did the Church crack down so very hard on anything science-y for centuries if it violated RCC canon, up to and including burning people at the stake? Why did it take Enlightenment ideals of secularism to break the hold of the RCC over Europe and really usher in the Age of Reason if the RCC is so fabulous about science?

                  How can you possibly explain why there had to be a sacrifice or forgiveness at all, unless you think Adam and Eve really were in a garden, really did talk to a snake, and really did eat a magic apple? How does this make any sense at all? How is infinite punishment for finite crimes just? These are just a few of the questions no Christian has ever been able to answer to my satisfaction.

                • Pofarmer

                  “”My minds made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.””

                  It’s more along the lines of “Spare me the babbling legalistic bullshit. “

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’m certain that helps to you sleep nights.

                • Pofarmer

                  Pretty much, although, I have to worry way too much about the Church’s petty bullshit.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  The Truth will keep you up at nights.

                • Pofarmer

                  The Truth about you one true Church? Yes, that does keep me up sometimes.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  It should. Work on following Christ, and it will help.

                • baal

                  I don’t see how following Christ will help me sleep. I need real world solutions not lies and wishful thinking.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Well, I’m there. I pray you will find it to. God bless.

                • baal

                  Cthulhu sneezes on you. Fear for his coming for it is neigh.

                • Brian Anthony

                  or read St Basil’s works on the subject.

          • DivineWordRadio

            It is not a question of accessibility. It is a question of Holiness, and the relationship between Jesus and His Mother, or the saints. Christians frequently ask those who are Christians to pray for them. This is no different.

            • Pofarmer

              Except your friends are real.

              • DivineWordRadio

                And so are the Saints.

                • Pofarmer

                  Do you ever get tired of making assertions about things which you can certainly not know?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Do you?

                • Pofarmer

                  I don’t see where I’ve made any.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  That would be that the saints are not real. And I’m certain there are others.

                • Pofarmer

                  I think it’s up to the one making the supernatural claims to validate them.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’m called to report them, not validate them.

                • Brian Anthony

                  ok go read Aquinas

                • Pofarmer

                  I am currently reading Twain and Harris, among others. Sadly, superstitous philosophers from antiquity will bd somewhat down the list, unless you have a specific, short, available, suggestion.

                • Brian Anthony

                  um you mean one of the most brilliant minds of the middle ages, who philosophers still study today and who still grapple with many of his arguments becasue they actually do cover alot of ground? yeah ok.

                • Pofarmer

                  Which is why philosophy today is pretty much dead.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Philosophical arguments do not validate supernatural claims. They rationalize them. Word games are only convincing to people who are looking for reasons to be convinced.

                  If your claims to universal truth require elaborate rhetoric using idioms and semantics from specific languages, they’re not compelling claims. Or to put it another way, a god whose existence can only be defended with apologetics discussions in a very particular and highly antiquated version of one or two languages that aren’t even related to the one in which he was originally described, discussions which require years of specialized background to even properly follow, is incredibly fragile. Philosophers are purveyors of ideas, not evidence, and they can and usually do make excuses for the ideas already dear to them.

          • Brian Anthony

            i dont feel shamed to not talk to Jesus directly. your assumption is fasle,. i feel comfortable approaching my God, but his mother is pretty awesome too so why not talk with her occasionally too? haha

      • busterggi

        Typical, even the mother of Jesus can’t rise above secretary in that misogonist organization.

        • DivineWordRadio

          Your ignorance is showing.

    • DivineWordRadio

      I’d encourage you to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church if you are really looking to understand this, rather than making stuff up.

      • Donatello

        Sorry, I forgot that making stuff up is the privilege of the CC. Did you already get your Twitter indulgence? I have to decline your reading recommendation though, when I am in the mood for fairy tales with a religious bend I prefer something of higher quality, like the Brothers Grimm.

        • DivineWordRadio

          Well, another example of where you’d be wrong. That would include your Twitter indulgence claim. It appears your education on the subject is limited to secular media. And all you really show is maliciousness, not interest in Truth. Pity. Oh, and I’ll pray for you. God bless.

          • Donatello

            Well, thank you. May Ra shine down upon your house always.

            • Pofarmer

              Lol.

  • http://code-away.tumblr.com/ Olayinka

    Atheism weakens community ties.Difference in religious believes caused most of the conflict have seen in my entire life.Atheists make gods of other things.Yeah ,right! At least that thing is not testing my faith by asking for the blood of my son, or killing my new bastard baby because, I fucked outside my marriage, or asking me to build a freakishly large boat so it and I can selfishly save the ones we love and destroy 99.999999% of the earth population with a flood.C’mon! Seriously?Atheists are self-centered.This one is just plain naiveté.Atheists have no moral compass.“it is impossible to tell good from evil”If only the Pope can define good and evil.If we really tried to find God, we’d find himI thought I already made mine?Atheists lead impoverished lives.Another dumb one!An atheist can’t really understand love.Isn’t love another illusion of the mind like your God?

    • http://lady-die.deviantart.com/ LizzyJessie

      Love is a symptom of addictive brain chemistry. When we find it, we are rewarded with a flush of dopamine and other hormones that makes us feel REALLY good. After a while we start to develop a tolerance as the target of our affections become imprinted within our brains. If for whatever reason we become separated for any extent of time, then we suffer withdrawal symptoms and need another “fix”. When that love is lost, we become hurt on a physical, physiological, and psychological level. For many it is a pain so terrible that it can take years, even decades to recover — if there is any recovery at all. The entire process will physically change the structure of the brain.

      Combine this with our complex intelligence and social nature and you have something that is only seen in other higher order animals. Creatures with language, culture, and other social systems. It brings us together, enables us to feel the emotions of others, drives us to protect each other against outside harm, and can be both the best and worst thing to happen to any individual.

      No, love is not an illusion of the mind; it can be tested, visualized and measured. Love is very, very real.

    • DivineWordRadio

      That much ignorance and maliciousness in one post?

    • Brian Anthony

      in terms of community ties, he is speaking anthropologically concerning the close knit local communities, that thrived on a central belief system of rituals and doctrines. he isnt speaking about world community or globalization. once that is realized it becomes clear that actually he has a point. small towns are not as close knit and comfy anymore once the central church is seen as less important.

  • Bender

    Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss

    • Miss_Beara

      Tries to be different than the old boss

      Fails.

      • DivineWordRadio

        Tries to follow the Faith. Succeeds.

  • Quintin van Zuijlen

    Yes Frank, I attribute my good actions to myself, who else am I to thank for them? Likewise I attribute my bad actions to myself and when I recognize that I’ve wronged someone I appologize and I try repair the damage because I am to blame. What I want to know from you is who you blame for all you have wronged and what will you do about it?

    • ShoeUnited

      Catholics blame themselves for the falling into temptation (i.e. Satan whispering in your ear). I was a Catholic for a long time. That’s like asking who the hippie on the two-by-fours is.

      • debbiedoesreality

        Technically they blame Satan though, yes? They can’t be to blame because they are redeemed through the flesh and blood snacks. Or do I have this all wrong?

        • ShoeUnited

          Natural disasters and diseases are God testing your faith. People doing evil is falling to temptation. Satan can only tempt you, you have the power to say ‘no’. Really, that’s not even a question or a problem for Catholics (which was the point of my original reply). Within the confines of the religion, there are no problems there.

          • debbiedoesreality

            Thank you. It’s all so mind boggling.

      • Quintin van Zuijlen

        But what do “Catholics” do about it? That’s what matters.

        • ShoeUnited

          They go to confession. The general rule is that you can’t ask God’s forgiveness unless you fix (or are unable to fix) what you broke. But that area’s kinda murky. Since some things you can ask for confession without having to help the party that got hurt (like telling a white lie, cheating on your taxes if you’re not specific, getting angry, cussing, lusting in your heart, or something else minor). But I’m sure you can ask any priest and they’ll tell you when you do something like murder they won’t give you confession (and therefore redemption) until you make amends with the people you hurt (e.g.: turn yourself in to the police).

          I’m curious, are you guys unaware or am I just spelling out something that was unclear before? Honestly, as far as Catholicism goes, this is 3rd grade stuff. I kinda feel like someone is trying to setup a trap or something. I haven’t been a Catholic since meat was brought back to Fridays during Lent. So I don’t consider myself authoritative. But these are the easier answers if I ever got myself into a Catholic quiz.

          • Quintin van Zuijlen

            My point is that even in the short amount of time Frank has been Pope he’s already wronged millions of people by saying the exact same things his predecessor said.

            • DivineWordRadio

              He would wrong them if he said something different.

  • LutherW

    Lets all have pity for those who are priests and all that they are missing in life, and their waste of their only life. Let us also fear that they will be successful in wasting other lives, and particularly fear their institutional propensity for supporting and fostering pedophilia.

    • debbiedoesreality

      Or let’s continue to speak out against their horrible actions and hope for major changes like life without insane religious notions.

  • LIONESS

    SOUNDS like he’s just being a sore loser….lol…i mean his sheep are starting to go astray and atheism is ticking up in numbers

  • http://josephherrera.com/ Joseph Herrera

    With the Pope propping up faith quite so extensively, and going out of his way to provide his unlettered opinion of all who don’t concur with his delusional thinking, he comes off as insecure in his beliefs. After all, if he’s always had faith, on what basis does he form his positions of what life without faith is like?

    The faithful seem to be perpetually seeking God with their hearts. I wonder why an omnipresent, omnipotent being who loves us is so difficult to locate, requiring faith and a desire to find him….

    • The Other Weirdo

      So, umm, pretty much like any other religious person, then?

      • http://josephherrera.com/ Joseph Herrera

        Except the Pope is Christ’s Vicar on Earth. As far as I know, he stands alone in that exalted position.

        • The Other Weirdo

          Or so he says, and he has legions of fanatical followers working tirelessly day and night to make sure the riffraff continue to believe it.

          • DivineWordRadio

            Or, it’s true and your position isn’t.

            • http://josephherrera.com/ Joseph Herrera

              The Pope need only provide compelling evidence of his claim to be the Vicar of a dead Jewish preacher from the Bronze Age.

              • DivineWordRadio

                You are correct, if by “dead Jewish preacher” you mean Jesus Christ, God.

                • http://josephherrera.com/ Joseph Herrera

                  You avoided the point which I now redundantly state: the Pope need only provide evidence to support his claims so others can review the evidence to determine how accurate it is, and if it’s compelling in any way. I don’t presume you speak for the Pope.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  You created a “point” that had nothing to do with what the Pope was addressing. There is evidence out there that is compelling to a great many people. You are correct. I don’t speak for the Pope. But a great many people, of greater intellect, I suspect, of either you or I, have found evidence of God’s existence. And for those who choose to rely upon their own intellect to decide everything, they only establish that the Pope was correct, and that they have established their own “strange gods.”

                • http://josephherrera.com/ Joseph Herrera

                  No sir or madam, I was addressing you because you chose to comment on the thread regarding the Pope’s alleged position with “Or, it’s true and your position isn’t.” The Pope claims to be Christ’s Vicar on Earth. The evidence suggests that the very large majority of humans don’t believe him. If you would like to produce evidence to support his claim, that’d be swell.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Actually, I replies to “The Other Wierdo”, who stated, “Or so he says, and he has legions of fanatical followers working tirelessly day and night to make sure the riffraff continue to believe it.”
                  I agree with you that the Pope claims to be Christ’s Vicar on Earth. And given that one out of 7 believe that, you are correct that a large majority of humans do not believe it. However, lack of belief does not equate to lack of Truth.

                • Pofarmer

                  And belief in something doesn’t mean it’s factual.

                • Pofarmer

                  If they have all this evidence, they should certainly release it. It would be a huge deal.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I understand that you just don’t think it is fair that God created a physical universe in which Faith and Reason go hand in hand, and in which natural law, and revealed Truth go hand-in-hand as well. As I tell my children, “Fair is where they have the Ferris Wheel.” Faith and free will allows us to decide. I’ve made my decision. Have you made yours?

                • Pofarmer

                  What I don’t think is fair, is that some people think they have the right to use superstition and ignorance to control me, and then insist that passing that attitude on to their children is somehow a good thing.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’m clearly not controlling you. But yes, it is fair for me to pass my attitude on to my children, and it is considered fair for you to pass your on to your children.

                • 3lemenope

                  Fair and good are not the same thing. It’s fair to allow someone who has had their eye plucked out to pluck one out in turn. It is, outside of the medical context, never good to pluck out someone’s eye.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  The issue was whether it was fair to me to pass on my attitude to my children. It is also good.

                • Pofarmer

                  So, your Church wouldn’t like to control exactly what I think and what I do with that?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  The Church preserves Truth. As persons with free choice, we can violate that, with consequences, both in this life, and the next. So no, they don’t want to control what you think.

                • Pofarmer

                  I beleive the correct terminology is perpetuates myths.

                • Pofarmer

                  Ya know. If all the Church is doing is “Preserving the Truth” why has it marginalized and tortured and killed so many people to do so.

                • winslow

                  In the Gospel of Matthew we find, “You are Peter….I will give to you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, etc.” The Gospels have a continuous, consistent 2000 year history, with commentary, of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Are you aware of any lie that has sustained itself for 2000 years?
                  None of that will be compelling to you, but it has compelled thousands of the smartest, best educated people who ever lived to follow Him.

                • Jim Jones

                  The gospels are comic books. Quoting them to ‘prove’ Jesus existed is like quoting Mr. Mxyzptlk to prove Superman existed.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Apparently you know less about the Bible than you do Superman.

                • Jim Jones

                  And yet I know so much more than you.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Another example that the pope was right.

                • Pofarmer

                  “Are you aware of any lie that has sustained itself for 2000 years?”

                  How many of them had the force of the pain of death if you disagreed?

                • Pofarmer

                  Also, Hinduism and Buddhism are older. Does that make them true, as well?

    • DivineWordRadio

      I’d say observation.

      • http://josephherrera.com/ Joseph Herrera

        Observation is a very weak position on which to base any judgments. For example, my observations lead me to conclude that the Pope is a sexually repressed virgin whose doubts about the actual existence of a celestial sky kingdom filled with immortal essences of humans force him to repeat ancient rituals and beliefs to rationalize his position in the face of insurmountable evidence to the contrary.

        • DivineWordRadio

          You are correct if your powers of observation are not particularly astute. But then, that isn’t a problem with the Church, and, as for you, I have but a few lines, and they don’t look particularly promising.

          • http://josephherrera.com/ Joseph Herrera

            The Church’s powers of observation are astute are they? Perhaps you can expand on how their astute observations led them to burn women at the stake for 400 years for turning into cats at night and cavorting with the devil?

            Then perhaps you can expand upon how your observations of me have any merit? Expand upon how you come to your conclusions about me?

            • DivineWordRadio

              Joseph, you have made a claim about burning women at the stake for 400 years. Would you like to elaborate, given this was not an action generally taken by the Church, but by Protestants?
              Oh, and as you post more, I tend to become more certain of my initial observations.

              • http://josephherrera.com/ Joseph Herrera

                My point remains the same: Observation is an extremely weak position to make any judgments. Your failure to address my questions directly has grown tiresome. Take care.

                The Church’s long and distinguished history of pedophilia, imprisonment, torture and murder is well documented sir or madam.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Your statement is false, and a generalization. “The Church” did not do these things, any more than “The Church” killed Christ, when Judas turned him over.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    It’s rather hard to tell whether he thinks atheists are to be pitied or feared.

    I cannot speak for all religious believers, indeed that is exactly what the Pope is doing to us, and we must not practice the same ignorant slander in return. But from many of the Christians I’ve interacted with at length, my impression is that pity is a front, and fear is the real emotion they feel about us.

    My impression is that many of them try to dismiss us by assuming that we are depraved, or insane, or stupid, or all three. Then when we don’t live up to those stereotypes, but demonstrate that we are decent, and sane, and intelligent, they become all the more fearful. Here before them is someone who is decent, sane and intelligent, but who does not buy into their beliefs. Scary for them.

    I’m trying to find ways to introduce them to the idea of decent, sane and intelligent atheists and coax them out of their fear at the same time.

    • viaten

      “my impression is that pity is a front”, and so is their saying “I’ll pray for you” which often goes along with it, or what they’ll say instead of mentioning pity. It seems to be either “pity”, taking offense, or else just dismissing the person by saying “You just don’t get it.” And of course you’re always at fault. Perhaps coax them to face their fear as well, but that could be a delicate matter.

      • The Other Weirdo

        “I’ll pray for you” is a Christian euphemism for “Fuck you and horse you rode in on”.

        • viaten

          I don’t much care for that observation worded that way, since some Christians might feel like they’re being sincere. But I’ll admit at many times it’s quite appropriate when Christians say “I’ll pray for you” with a distinct air of superiority. It’s like they’re saying, “I guess I’ll just have to pray for you. It’s my duty.”

          • The Other Weirdo

            It’s like when Spock declined the invitation to the Vulcan Science Academy to join Starfleet Academy instead. The dude in the high chair made a cutting remark about Spock’s human mother–classy move there, buddy, and the one thing absolutely guaranteed to make Spock lose his shit–and then said Spock was disadvantaged because of it. Spock’s reaction to it was priceless, ’cause you know that he’s too much a gentleman to say bad words, and for all I know the Vulcan language doesn’t even have them. So he said, “Live long and prosper,” as a curse instead of its usual blessing.

            • viaten

              Somewhat like the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”.

        • DivineWordRadio

          No, it’s clearly an indication that you need it.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Really? I usually get it at the end of a discussion in which I have trounced religious arguments and shown that evidence is, in fact, sort of important to determining what is real and what is not.

            That statement is the passive-aggressive version of “I hope my God mind-fucks you into being a totally different person who believes in the same irrational nonsense I do”. It’s really not very nice.

            • DivineWordRadio

              No, actually it is your comment that isn’t very nice. And yes, I do hope that God opens your mind to the Truth, rather than what you see it as. God bless.

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                I never claimed my comment was nice. It’s not. I’m glad we both see this particular thing for what it is, though: a request for a super-powerful being to mind-fuck a mere mortal. You are not very nice to hope for such horrible outcomes.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  No, you claimed that Christians are not. And no, you don’t see this particular thing for what it is. And you clearly don’t understand it. God provides us with free will. We can make wrong decisions, and have consequences for them in this life and in the next. “I’ll pray for you” acknowledges that Faith is a gift from God, and something that you lack. You may choose to turn your back upon it, sometimes out of ignorance, and sometimes out of maliciousness. The prayer calls to take away ignorance. Then, you are left with your maliciousness.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  This, right here? This is a variation of “why do you hate God?” Hemant just made a video of 15 things you really shouldn’t say to atheists. You should watch it.

                  It isn’t malicious to look at the evidence available to me and conclude that it is not compelling. I don’t believe in ghosts or faeries or Zeus or Thor or Tlaloc or Amaterasu or Gaia or invisible pink unicorns either. It’s not like your god is special or anything. It’s not like I think your prayers are going to do anything, either. It’s that the intent behind them is vicious and, dare I say, evil. If your god is all about the free will, then don’t ask hir to mind-control people. That’s just wrong.

                  Faith is believing in something without evidence to the point of denying contrary evidence. You’d better believe I try my damnedest to avoid that sort of nonsense.

                • Pofarmer

                  To a Catholic, faith is “Believing in things unseen, more than things seen.”

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Catholics believe in both.

                • winslow

                  Actually there’s lots of evidence to support a belief in God, but unbelievers deny and dismiss it. What evidence do you have the universe created itself. Please don’t respond by asking me for my evidence. I asked for yours.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  How about, I don’t know? There’s some really neat theories out there, but I’m not an astrophysicist and have, at best, an educated layperson’s understanding of quantum mechanics.

                  The two theories I personally favor as making the most sense are 1) quantum fluctuations in the point in space destabilized the little-ball-of-everything that was the universe before the Big Bang, or 2) a massive black hole took in so much stuff (which gets compressed into a single point in space) that it literally tore itself apart on the backside, behind the event horizon. The black hole might still exist in some proto-universe and still be dumping stuff into our universe, which could explain dark matter as matter that is red-shifted from us as well as the accelerating expansion rate of the universe.

                  There’s two plausible explanations for the beginning of the universe, both consistent with the laws of physics and neither requiring any supernatural being at all. However, we still don’t know. That is the intellectually honest answer. Goddidit is the intellectually dishonest way of saying the same thing- if your God only did the things humans can’t explain, ze is shrinking as human knowledge grows. That’s kind of a sad deity, don’t you think?

                  So, now, why don’t you tell me your evidence for an invisible, omnipresent, interventionist deity who nonetheless cannot be seen, measured, or otherwise interacted with?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Actually, neither theory you present stand up as the answer. Both require “something” (to use a layman’s term) to exist within time and space, even within some parallel universe. And, based upon what we know about science, the universe had to have a beginning. See http://www.magisreasonfaith.org/

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Uh, yeah. But then again, what science teaches is that the current iteration of our universe had a beginning, or at least a point in time at which it began to rapidly expand. There’s a theory that the universe expands, contracts back down, and expands anew in cycles. Where all that matter came from? In that particular theory, we don’t know.

                  That’s the honest answer. We don’t know. That doesn’t mean God did it. It means we don’t know. So, please tell me your evidence for an invisible, omnipresent, interventionist deity who nonetheless cannot be seen, measured, or otherwise interacted with? Because the default answer isn’t “Goddidit”. That hypothesis requires evidence too, and thus far it’s drawing a blank, so it gets discarded as having insufficient evidence to even put it in the possible category. The default answer is, “we don’t know, let’s do science!”

                • DivineWordRadio

                  We know that the universe has a beginning. And we know that the beginning lies outside of time, and space. We also know that science is incapable of answering all questions.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Why do you think that beginning is outside of time and space? We don’t know what lies outside our universe, and I don’t see why you think time started when the universe did. Time is a dimension; I don’t know if one could argue the third dimension has a beginning either, since all axes on a graph are, by definition, infinite … but we’re getting into very weird theoretical math and physics now, and I am extremely unqualified to talk about them.

                  Science is, of course, incapable of answering all questions. This question (origin of the universe) lies well within the scope of scientific inquiry, though. We may never know the answers, but the scientific method is nonetheless the proper means to try to find them.

                • winslow

                  Where did you get your little ball of everything. Where did the black hole come from and all the stuff it’s sucking into itself?
                  We start with nothing. Do you know what ‘nothing’ means?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Why would you assume we start with nothing? Quantum particles are pretty weird; they just pop up out of nothing sometimes, and disappear the same way, and it’s really quite odd. Who says matter isn’t just quantum particles that’ve spontaneously arisen from nothing? It happens on a small scale, after all, so there’s no particular reason it couldn’t happen on a large scale.

                  You’re making some grand assumptions there and some fairly sweeping claims. I don’t know where the black hole and proto-universe came from. I don’t know where the little ball of everything came from.

                  I’m pretty damn sure an invisible, omnipresent, interventionist deity who nonetheless cannot be seen, measured, or otherwise interacted with didn’t have anything to do with it, though. Why would you think it did?

                • Brian Anthony

                  please for the Love of jesus Chrsit and his saints leran logical forms and fallacies and argumentation models before you continue i this discussion…your beleifs are sound but really buddy when you say there is evidence, dont present it and then ask someone else for thiers you have committed a debating crime.

                • Brian Anthony

                  and i should learn how to spell and type

                • winslow

                  The discussion was continued. If you read what I wrote to Feninerd, you’ll notice I began a discussion of the first cause by asking her what her theory is for the creation of the universe. She replied, ‘You start with the little ball with everything in it, then add gravity….’ I asked her where she’s getting her little ball with everything in it and her gravity and haven’t heard from her since.
                  My evidence is based on scientific/logical deduction and I’ll be happy to discuss it with anyone who’s interested.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Your language shows your malice. And you, it is like my God is special.
                  Your definition of faith is incorrect. Faith and reason do not conflict. It you think they do, perhaps it explains how you could make this mistake.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Then define faith for me. Don’t just say I’m wrong, tell me how I’m wrong.

          • The Other Weirdo

            Who are you to judge what I need?

            “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 7:3.

            • DivineWordRadio

              Always a nice technique, to contend that the Christian is judging you, when he states the truth. We all need prayer, and your statement speaks for itself.

              • The Other Weirdo

                My dearest co-communicator on this blog. You wouldn’t know the truth if the horse it rode in on stepped on your foot. You know nothing, literally and absolutely nothing, about me or my needs. By this I mean my real needs, not the imaginary ones you’ve made to make you feel better about the fantasy world you’ve constructed. Yet you presume to tell a complete stranger what they need.

                And they call atheists arrogant.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Well, thankfully God provided me with the Church. And yes, a great many atheists are arrogant, because they do not claim to be agnostic, but KNOW that God does not exist.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Yet you also know that Zeus and Odin and Apollo and Thor and Athena and Loki do not exist. You don’t claim to be agnostic about any of tens of thousands of gods that humans have worshiped over the tens of thousands of years our species has walked the Earth. You believe in the ONE TRUE GOD, claiming not only positive knowledge of the existence that god, but also POSITIVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE NONEXISTENCE OF ANY OTHER GOD. In truth, the difference between us that I believe in one less god than you.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I think we drove this most recent troll off …

                • DivineWordRadio

                  If you mean me, then no.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Super sadface, then. Or happy face. It depends on whether you actually have interesting things to say or not.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Actually, what I know about Zeus and Odin and Apollo and Thor and Athena and Loki I know from what the Church teaches me. As to the cute comment about one less god, I’ve heard it many times. It doesn’t change Truth, no matter what you and I declare.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  And it still water-under-the-bridge for you, isn’t it? You hear, but it doesn’t stick. Don’t be afraid to look beyond the Church’s teachings. It stands before you like a rock, immobile, unmovable, filtering out what it doesn’t want you to know for reasons of its own. Past it, however, lies the vast Other, the universe, humanity at its best and at its worst. It’s glorious there, but there are real dragons you must slay. Ignorance, fear, hate, all these exist in the Church and in the Other, but only in the Other are they actively fought, and sometimes even defeated. We are not perfect, after all. We are merely human. And that’s enough.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’ve spent many years looking, before I found my way to the Church. It does stand before me as a rock, as called for in Matt 16:18. But thank you for your charitable approach to this subject. It is certainly one of the most so I’ve seen on this site. We are more than merely humans. We are sons and daughters of God. God bless.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Really? Then why have Christians for 2,000 years been persecuting and murdering my people, the Jews, across all of Europe? Why did Christians murder 6 million Jews in the Holocaust? Are we, then, not also sons and daughters of God?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Your statement is a false overstatement. Yes, there have been Chrstians that have persecuted Jews in Europe, but the claim that Christians murdered 6 million Jews is false, and intended to attack Christians, rather than address the truth. And yes, you are sons and daughters of God, called to follow Him. Are you choosing to do so?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  It is not an attack, it is a statement of fact, Martin Luther’s theology carried to its logical conclusion in a Europe awash with anti-Semitic thought. Add to that some mysticism, Aryan mythology, Christianity’s historical hatred of the Jews, and you get 6 million Jews + others shipped off in trains and no one blinked. Some Central European countries had to be told to stop shipping Germany all those Jews because they couldn’t be killed fast enough.

                  And no, I am not overstating Christian Europe’s persecution of the Jews. Does that mean that every single Christian on the continent was a-slavering for Jewish blood? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean the generalization is false.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  There is no doubt that Europe was full on anti-semitism, and that the Churchincluded no shortage of people to ascribe to it. The overstatement on your part is that Christianity in general, and Catholicism particularly, was responsible for the death of 6 million Jews. That was Hitler, and not the responsibility of Christianity. And the Church stood against the Nazis However, in the Jews, Hitler saw a scapegoat to explain the problems that Germany had following the defeat in the First World War. This is only part of the explanation of Hitler’s actions but it’s a start…

                • The Other Weirdo

                  The overstatement on your part is that Christianity in general, and Catholicism particularly, was responsible for the death of 6 million Jews.

                  Citation needed for my mentioning Catholicism in this thread.
                  You’re talking like the antisemitism of Hitler came out of nowhere, that it was just made up on the spot to scapegoat the aftereffects of WWI. You’re dismissing completely the contemporary predisposition of Europe, and large swathes of the Americas, to the hatred of Jews, and Christian-others. In reality, it was the culmination of centuries of readings of Martin Luther’s On The Jews and Their Lies, as well as the general Christian paranoia about the Jews and well poisonings and pogroms and that sort of thing. It didn’t happen in a vacuum.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Jews were persecuted long before Christianity existed, and by groups not religious at all. Prejudice is not limited to those religious. It is found among any people desiring to feel better putting someone else down. On this site, prejudice comes from atheists.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  So, you’re saying that, since it was happening before Christians appeared, we don’t need to look at the last 2000 years of Christian history to see how it resolved in the Holocaust?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Not at all. But I’m saying that it is a reflection of human frailty, not of Catholilc doctrine, of which you’d like to place it at the feet.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  And once again, citation needed for my speaking about Catholic doctrine.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I stand corrected. I went back and reviewed, and the term you used was “Christianity.” While I disagree with that assertion, in that Catholicism is the Fullness of Truth of Christianity, I do not disagree with you that there have been individuals, in the name of God, that have carried out atrocities.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  The vast majority of those who carried out the Holocaust were educated Christians. Their theology was that of Martin Luther, who founded Protestantism and at the same time inculcated it with rabid hatred of Jews. It’s no coincidence that Lutheranism was strongest in the area in which the Nazi Party took power. Why don’t you people read books?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  That is to say that the vast majority of Europeans were Christian is not a surprise. And the Church stood aginst Hitler.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Not six million Jews over Europe’s Dark Ages. It was probably more.

                  Six million Jews during the Shoah alone. Two-thirds of all the Jews in Europe at the time. In some especially anti-Semitic countries, such as Poland, the death rate was ~90%. They were good Catholics, those Poles, and they listened when the Church taught that Jews killed their God and all Jews were cursed forever because of it. Or are you going to claim that in the 1930s and 1940s, Europe wasn’t overwhelmingly Christian?

                  This is not to say all Christians were like that. They weren’t. But the people who were killing people for no reason other than religion were unquestionably Christian and were doing so in large part because of Christian ideology.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  You are really no different that the Nazis who blamed the Jews for their problems. You’ve simply decided to make Christians your scape goats. This has nothing to do with Christian ideology.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Who said it did? The anti-Semitism was taught as part of Christianity for a long time, which certainly didn’t help in terms of the Shoah, but it is not Christianity that turned people into genocidaires.

                  On the other hand, it’s not like Christianity stopped them, either. The point is that Christianity clearly doesn’t make people any better, and can be used to make them worse. The persecution before the Shoah, though? Yeah, that was all done in the name of Jesus. It was not an uncommon thing on Easter Friday for drunken Poles to get into mobs and go rampage through the Jewish parts of town, beating, burning, and killing any Jews they came across and yelling about Christ-killers and such. Who do you think taught illiterate Polish peasants that, DWR? Did they come up with it on their own?

                  Or how about how the Jews were expelled from England in the 1200s? Or how they were expelled from France? Or how they were expelled from Spain and Portugal, or tortured in the Inquisition if, after a forced conversion, they didn’t actually start worshiping Jesus? This was all done in the name of Jesus Christ. How is that not past Christian ideology, even if it’s been thankfully expunged from most of it now?

                • DougI

                  Wow, add Holocaust Denier to the list.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Not at all. There were 6 million, or so, Jews that died, and thousands more gypsies, homosexuals, and Catholics as well. That it was a Christian plot is the lie, not that you are interested in the truth.

                • DougI

                  So if Christians didn’t kill the Jews and others (that have been on the Christian hit list for generations), then who did? Hitler was a Catholic, so I guess he’s completely innocent according to you.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Hitler was born a Catholic. Many atheists are. So does that mean that the Church is responsible for all the actions of atheists born Catholic? Were you a Christian at birth? Or have you always been an atheist? Am I responsible for your conduct?

                  No, Hitler was not innocent, nor was he a Catholic. And if he were Catholic, he still would not be innocent, nor would the Catholic Church be evil because Hitler was born Catholic.

                  The attitude you have that draws that conclusion is the same as the one Hitler showed, that you judge a group of people by the alleged actions of some (Jews were alleged to be evil people because of the supposed actions of some of them).

                • DougI

                  Religion isn’t genetic moron, nobody is born religious you Holocaust denying fuck. Hitler was a Catholic, he was inspired by fellow Catholic Martin Luther on how to treat the Jews. You think Hitler originated persecution of the Jews? Anti-Semitism was rife in Christian Europe.

                  So tell me again, lying fucktard, if Christians didn’t kill millions in the Holocaust then who did? Asshole.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Well, as I shouldn’t be surprised, you didn’t answer the questions.

                  The Church baptizes infants, just as Judaism circumcised at 8 days of age. It is amusing to me, and, I’m certain to Lutherans and Protestants, that you call Martin Luther a Catholic. Certainly, you have a greater claim to that with Luther than you did with Hitler. But it shows your ignorance on the subject, nonetheless.

                  Anti-Semitism was ripe in the Roman Empire, and with the Persians as well.

                  The Christians did not kill the Jews. Hitler, and his followers did. But then, I didn’t expect you to know that.

                  Oh, and the profanity and name calling establishes for anyone who sees it your lack of intelligence or ability to carry on a meaningful conversation.

                  You must have difficulty in relationships.

                • DougI

                  Hitler was a Christian you stupid fuck. Really, how stupid are you? A baptism is not someone being born, did you fail on basic reproduction as well? Moron. This may help explain why you are so stupid:
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPgwlmmvxnQ

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Hitler was not Christian. Baptism occurs as an infant. We use the term in Christian circles that one is baptized “From birth.” Your malice becomes all the more obvious the more you say.
                  As to the YouTube video, yeah, I heard of the study. People far more intelligent than you, and the author of the video, are, and have been, Christians. The fact that, on average, the statement about atheists might be true shouldn’t lull you into thinking it applies to you.

                • DougI

                  Hitler was a Christian you dumb fuck, it’s an established historical fact. Moron. He wrote about how he was a Christian, ignorant fuck. And I see how you like to lie to try to get yourself out of an obviously false statement, immoral twat. Seriously, you have to be one of the dumbest trolls I’ve ever come across. Asshole Holocaust Denier.

                  “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and
                  Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which
                  tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”

                  -Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)

                  And it’s obvious you’re still unable to tell me who really killed everyone in the Holocaust you deny, stupid troll.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Your name calling and Hitler’s hyperbole change nothing. He wasno Christian, and historians acknowledge that. Just as you are no Christian. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

                • DougI

                  That’s absolutely pathetic. Hitler’s own words versus some random stupid website. You are so stupid it hurts. Christians have been doing damage control ever since he lost the war but the Catholic church happily embraced their fellow Catholic. He was raised a Catholic, baptized a Catholic, stated he was a Christian, endorsed by various churches, never excommunicated, but then there are Holocaust Deniers like you that can’t accept obvious facts. Yeah, when it comes to history you certainly aren’t a credible source, fuckwit.
                  http://www.evilbible.com/hitler_was_christian.htm

                  http://nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

                  Then again, you aren’t interested in facts because you are a delusional, compulsive liar and fucking retarded and still can’t support your moronic lie that it wasn’t Christians who killed 6 million Jews. Liar.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Let’s see. You are an atheist, who denies God exists. You have difficulty putting together coherent argument that does not involve profanity. You ignore that while Hitler, while born Catholic to a devout mother and a reprobate father, did not practice Catholicism, or any form of Christianity as an adult, and gassed Catholics as well as Jews, that he was a Christian.

                  I suspect that you were born into a Christian family, if you are like the typical atheist I run across (unless, of course, you are really young, in which case you could be a second generation). Do we have to take credit for you and your foul-mouth as well?

                  Hitler was not a Christian. I posted a site outlining what historians said, from FaceBook, “a random stupid site.” While I am no fan of FaceBook, it is an easy way to provide information about things that are commonly known.

                  Then you post sites from two “objective” sites–Evilbible.com and NoBeliefs.com, and want to tell me you have provided me with the facts. Yeah, right.

                  You are no better than the Holocaust deniers that claim it never happened. Apparently the schools need to go back to teaching the facts.

                • DougI

                  Wrong again nutsack. Clearly thinking isn’t your strong suit, neither is your amateurish attempt at psychology, rotted nutsack. Nobeliefs.com has pictures so you can see for yourself your Christian Hitler going to church, and evilbible.com has the quotes along with the sources. But facts are irrelevant because you have stupid set on 11. Is yours stupidity a genetic trait or are you unique in your inbred gene pool?

                • Brian Anthony

                  wikipedia is a much much better source than yours. in a university classroom your sites would be laughed at…

                • DougI

                  So is your argument that the quotes and photos are completely fabricated? You have any evidence for that or are you completely full of shit?

                • Brian Anthony

                  notice that that speech is from 1922 a good 18 years before the holocaust gets in full swing and remember hitler was an orator he used ideas the people would agree with to moe them to his purpose, the only god he beleived in was himself. and you are absolutely correct that martin Luther was his influence, we can all thank the Lutherans for unleashing the full weight of anti semitism. before protestantism bishops in germany protected jeish communities. St bernard of claiveax recounts an occurence where german crusaders tried to attack a jewish village and the local priests let them all into the churches for safety since weapons were not alowed in church bulidings

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  So when faced when an argument you can’t refute, you just get pissy and stomp your foot. Christ would be proud, no doubt.

                  You’re the one declaring something to be capital-T Truth without evidence, telling other people that they aren’t right in the head because they aren’t doing what you say, and then whining when confronted with BIBLICAL quotes condemning your own actions. Deal with it, hypocrite.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Christ often is proud. And He is often disappointed.
                  I am declaring Truth to come from Christ and His Church. You are free to deny Truth, but it makes it no less true. Oh, and there are no Biblical quotes condemning the Church.

              • baal

                ” We all need prayer,” – DWR
                So, you mean that guy on the side of a mountain in Tibet spinning a prayer wheel while chanting? I think he’s got it covered for me so you don’t have to bother yourself.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’ll do it nonetheless.

    • Pofarmer

      “I’m trying to find ways to introduce them to the idea of decent, sane
      and intelligent atheists and coax them out of their fear at the same
      time.”

      Best thing you can do is just interact on a normal level.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      Religiosity tends to be astoundingly correlated to a measure of authoritarian follower tendency, which in turn tends to be correlated strongly to (among other things) some kinds of prejudice; particularly, against groups considered dangerous — IE, fear. Pity would seem more indicative of prejudice against a derogated group, which in turn correlates to a measure of authoritarian leader tendency that appears to be negligibly correlated to religiosity — but not negatively correlated. Thus, there’s likely instances with genuine pity/contempt, but fear is likely more common.

      See Altemeyer’s “The Authoritarians”, and technical journal articles by Duckitt and Sibley on prejudice against the derogated, dangerous, and dissident. You might find Altemeyer and Hunsberger’s books “Amazing Conversions: Why Some Turn to Faith and Others Abandon Religion” and “Atheists: A Groundbreaking Study of America’s Nonbelievers” to be useful for showing what atheists look like via empirical sample rather than stereotype. Both books appear to be available in Kindle — which is convenient for lending in a way that insures your book doesn’t get thrown in the dumpster. As the conversions book also discusses the irreligious-to-religious transitions the study found, it might make a more outwardly appealing lure. (The religious seem unlikely to like the results of either half of the study.)

    • winslow

      Fear??! Have you any proof of this allegation? Why would believers fear anyone who believes his life is extinguished at death? For myself I believe your beliefs can’t stand up to rational examination. The universe cannot possibly have created itself. Though we share the problem of first cause, the belief that an omnipotent God created the universe is far more plausible than the universe created itself. Science can verify the universe can’t have created itself. It’s just not possible. Fear? You’re kidding, right?

      • Pofarmer

        “God created the universe is far more plausible than the universe created itself.”

        So, an infinitely knowing, all powerful diety, that we can’t see or directly sense, existing outside of space time is more likely, than say, Quantum Gravity?

        “Science can verify the universe can’t have created itself.”

        Uhm, yeah, sorry, science is not Ray Comfort. there is a post on friendly atheist about “Quantum Gravity” I would suggest you watch it. It is very heavy, but informative.

        • winslow

          Save me the trouble by telling me where you’re getting your gravity and the materials you need to make it work.

          • Pofarmer

            Nope, relieve your own ignorance.

            • winslow

              That’s called ‘throwing in the towel.’ You either have an argument or you don’t. You don’t.
              And your juvenile try at sarcasm is just about right. To your list of God’s attributes add ‘unknowable.’

              • Pofarmer

                Look. I gave you enough information to go look for yourself. I am not going to type a 45 minute presentation by theoetical physicists on quantum gravity. By all means, remain ignorant, but for Gods sake, don’t count it as some sort of victory.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  And you might try out http://www.magisreasonfaith.org/ , or remain ignorant, but don’t count it as some sort of victory.

                • Pofarmer

                  Look, many physicists point out that there is no need to add a layer of the supernatural on top of what is going on in the universe. All of that is already satisfactorily refuted.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  As it is not satisfactorily refused, it is only arrogantly done so.

                • Pofarmer

                  There has been volumes written refuting that tripe. There is no reason for me to recreate it here.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  There are volumes of comic books as well. And they have as much value.

              • Pofarmer

                No, it’s called assuming you would like to educate yourself. Apparently, I am mistaken.

              • baal

                An ‘unknowable’ god hardly strikes me as one worth worshiping. If that’s a virtue, I’d like to spend a few minutes talking with you about the elder gods, specifically Yog-Sothoth. He is the key and the guardian of the gate while also being the gate.

                Now that I have revealed this knowledge to you and your now Knowing this, can you truly say it’s the god of Abraham that was the supernatural entity at the start of time?

          • Pofarmer

            Look, I gave you a lead to one of the tools you need. I’m not going to type out a 45 minute presentation by theoretical physicists.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        Hi winslow.
        As I said, this is my impression. As a counselor for many years, I have made my living carefully observing people’s behaviors and exploring the emotional causes of those behaviors. Certainly none of that has made me psychic, and I don’t claim to be; it simply means that I have gained some insight into how one outwardly demonstrated emotion can be a mask for a more deeply felt emotion that the person does not want to be fully aware of.

        For instance, the anger, contempt, and repugnant disdain I so often see many Christians openly and unabashedly express toward atheists hints to me to be a mask to cover a feeling of threat. Having spoken with many of them at length, I get the strong impression that for many (not all) of them, their faith is fragile, like the threads of an old, dry cobweb, and so as I said above, meeting decent, sane, and intelligent people who are simply not convinced of their god causes them anxiety. “If these decent, sane, and intelligent people don’t believe, gee, maybe oh no, oh no, maybe they’re right, no, no it can’t be!” So a defensive reflex is for anger and loathing to quickly bubble up to distract themselves from that. Human beings do this kind of thing about many feelings and many issues.

        This might help to explain why Christians so suddenly take “offense” at an atheist billboard that says nothing bad to them or about them, it only states that atheists live in the area, and they are calling out to each other. There seems to be a strong underlying emotion driving such unwarranted and absurd hostility and enmity at the mere reminder that atheists exist.

        Again, these are my impressions, so I have no “proof of these allegations” as you ask. I have only had my impressions confirmed a few times by atheists who were once very devout believers. They said that upon reflection, they remember that they were actually feeling anxious and insecure when they were outwardly expressing their anger, disgust, and/or the condescending “pity” that were the more acceptable feelings to express toward atheists. It takes an unusual level of self-awareness to see our interiors that clearly, so that kind of insight is rare.

        If you personally don’t feel fear toward atheists, I’m genuinely glad, and I would also be glad to be wrong about my impressions described above. Fearful people are the most dangerous. So far, however, my impressions remain intact.

        As for your assertion that my “beliefs can’t stand up to rational examination,” if you mean beliefs about your god, I don’t have any. I am simply not convinced of your beliefs about your god, which your brethren have been trying to sell to me for many, many years.

        I need evidence to believe an important claim. All you or any other Christian have ever offered me are arguments, like your Cosmological Argument above. Arguments are not evidence. Arguments need evidence. I can show you evidence for the tiniest microbe. You cannot or at least have not yet shown me one shred of evidence for the biggest claim in the universe, your god who is just as unavailable as he is reputedly omnipotent. You are reduced to what I imagine to be the humiliating and frustrating position of having nothing to offer but arguments, arguments, arguments.

        You are the party making the claim. I am simply not convinced. Come up with something to actually show me rather than yet another “God must exist, he’s just gotta exist because…” argument, and I will pay careful attention.

  • Rayne Williams

    Atheists are self-centered? We aren’t the ones who believe God created the entire universe just for them.

    • Jim Jones

      And we aren’t ignoring the evidence that we’re as important to the universe as a ring of mold is to a discarded milk bottle.

      • http://lady-die.deviantart.com/ LizzyJessie

        What I find amusing with a sense of dark humor is that the mold would most likely out last us technological primates in the long term.

    • Humfree1859@yahoo.com

      Ah, the big difference! Christians believe their god created them in its image, while non-believers think that we created it in ours. .

    • winslow

      No, you believe the universe created itself, that if you rub two rocks together, you’ll get a baby rock. You gotta be brain-dead to be an atheist.

      • tijeffe

        That sounds more like what you would believe, especially since you’re the one who just concocted it.

      • Rayne Williams

        I believe the universe came from something earlier, such as a previous universe. Some scientists think dark matter and dark energy may be the remnants of the previous universe or universes. I refuse to try to shut down research and discovery with a baseless ‘God did it’, which also begs the question of who made God? Was it Zeus, Odin, Yahweh, Amaterasu, Shiva or the unnamed goddess portrayed with icons that are tens of thousands of years old?

        To be honest, more atheists probably don’t see a need for there to be a divine being to create everything, there is after all no evidence of design or of any guiding force in the universe.

        • winslow

          No matter how many prior universes you imagine, you’re going to have to go back to the beginning and create matter from nothing. How do you do that?
          As I said to C.L. Honeycutt, I can’t account for the existence of God and you can’t account for the existence of matter. One is a scientific impossibility, the other is a compelling and unsolvable mystery. God makes far more sense than rock begets rock begets life.
          Your ‘no evidence of design or guiding force’ comment is simply wrong and uninformed. It ignores all design, from the elementary to the complex. Start with the solar system and tell me again there’s no evidence of design. Study evolution and tell me there’s no evidence of a guiding force. After that it gets complicated.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Poor angrums, too stupid to know even the basics of the scientific theories involved, too arrogant to bother to learn about them. Poor angrums.

        • winslow

          You don’t think this is the first time I’ve encountered athiests, do you? “[T]he basics of scientific theories,” as you call them, all require for matter in one form or another. Where are you getting all those billions and billions of matter and the wind and gravity to gather them together into billions of stars and planets?
          We will agree on the following: I cannot account for the existence of God and you can’t account for the existence of matter. Two facts are scientific certainties: inert matter cannot create itself and inert matter cannot put itself in motion. There are, as aforesaid, many billions of tons of matter in the universe and it’s all in motion.
          My facts are scientific certainties. There is only one other possible conclusion.
          How about your facts? Got any?

      • Helena

        That is absolutely wrong. The Big Bang Theory/Others has nothing to do with rocks. Stop talking and making a fool of yourself.

        • winslow

          Show me, Helena, don’t tell me. And I think it’s you atheists who are making fools of yourselves, so show me what you got. Tell me about the Big Bang Theory and any others you might like to offer.

          • baal

            Did you have a point to make Winslow? It’s rude to ask others to do your work for you. You call her a fool, it’s up to you to provide evidence. It’s not up to her to give you something and then have you take pot shots at that.

            Really, your method of discussion is, at best, offensive.

            • winslow

              Do you? She flat out told me I was wrong. No evidence, no facts, no nothing. I asked her to show me, not tell me.
              I’ve posted plenty of evidence by inference, well within the range of your post. What evidence have you posted? If my method of discussion is offensive, yours is asinine.

              • baal

                I’ve scrolled up and see that you’re right. Your rock banging to make baby rocks has convinced me you’re right. Your evidence has overwhelmed me. Sorry to have interrupted your haranging.

      • XCellKen

        Unlike your Gawd, who created himself

      • XCellKen

        I’m kinda sorta brain dead after reading your post

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    Seriously, sod this pope. Who the hell does he think he is? Jumped up Brazzer priest.

    • DivineWordRadio

      He thinks he is the Vicar of Christ. Oh, right. He is.

  • Stev84

    A Catholic priest talking about love and marriage is like a blind man talking about colors.

    • DivineWordRadio

      Perhaps you don’t know what either item is either.

  • Ahab

    Ugh. The usual Christian stereotypes about nonbelievers. None of these ugly statements about nonbelievers are true, and Francis knows it.

  • Corey

    Seems to me the most dangerous eople are clinically mentally disturbed, many hearing voices, many believe they are being told what to do, have been chosen. I read that as nar. psychopath

  • viaten

    It’s quite odd that Pope Francis prays to the Virgin Mary to “open our ears to hear God’s word”. Isn’t that the primary responsibility of the Holy Spirit? I thought Mary is mainly there to be venerated and is only prayed to for intercession, essentially we pray to Mary asking her to pray to God for us on our behalf. It’s like if you ask your dad for something directly he might say no. But if you can get your mom to ask your dad, then there’s a better chance he’ll say yes.

    • Theory_of_I

      Could it be Catholics know that god pays attention to Mary because he needs a little nooky (spiritual of course) every millennium or two?

  • Nevermark

    Nothing pulls a large group of people together like finding a smaller group to vilify.

  • Lina Baker

    My sister is a devout Christian, and I’m pretty sure she’s about to make the jump from being a Methodist to being a Catholic. Amid all of the Christian posts, her Facebook posts are filled with laments – she’s so incredibly unhappy about EVERYTHING, she worries all the time about EVERYTHING, she is, in a word, miserable. Someone recently pointed out to me that my Facebook status updates are generally positive – about friends, about good times, about volunteering, etc., and that when I do complain about something, it’s a call to action – to protect some natural space or help educate women in Afghanistan or whatever. So, let’s see – the Christian member of the family is miserable, the Atheist member of the family is generally happy and hopeful. I wonder how Pope Francis would explain it.

    • KeithCollyer

      clearly you are delusional and she has yet to see the true light

      • Lea Tapp

        I hope that is sarcasm. :/

        • KeithCollyer

          oh, yes

    • The Other Weirdo

      It’s a demonic delusion. You, not your sister, need an exorcism, and then you will see that, truly I tell you, you’re just not a very happy person.

      • Stev84

        Fortunately the Vatican still employs exorcists.

        • The Other Weirdo

          You know, I don’t even have words for that. This is the 21st century, not the back-of-beyond Dark Ages of the 1980s.

          • DivineWordRadio

            And evil is still here.

            • The Other Weirdo

              You would think that with all the power of the Pope to call upon the power of Jesus, evil could have been eradicated thousands of years ago.

              • 3lemenope

                Nah. As Christians constantly argue, God is utterly powerless against evil. He’s allergic or something.

                • Anna

                  Also problematic is the fact that Christians contend evil is supernatural.

              • DivineWordRadio

                I wouldn’t. We were given the power of free will. We have the right to be wrong, and that will not be eradicated.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  So, you are saying that, with all the guidance of God that the various Popes have claimed to have, they ALL nonetheless chose not to invoke the omnipotence and omnibenevolence of their patron deity to eradicate evil from the world? That’s very shortsighted of them, I think. Strange that you follow such useless messengers of God.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  God has developed a plan for the eradication of evil from the world, but the plan calls for bringing as manyh of us as possible into everlasting life with Him. That’s mercy. Not shortsighted at all, to give us many chances. And the Popes are there to preserve the Faith, not create it.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  What is this plan? Have all involved parties signed off on it? Where is the Requirements document? Whom did God interview to determine if all the stake-holders have been satisfied? Where is the Implementation and Backout Plan? When will this plan be implemented? How will we know if it is successful? Oh, where is the Disaster Recovery Plan?

                • baal

                  You’re outing yourself as someone who works on software ;p.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Guilty as charged.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I know it is stunning to you that God doesn’t need to check in with you. It seems equally stunning to you that God loves you as much as he does.

            • Jim Jones

              > And evil is still here.

              Dressed as a True Christian™.

              • DivineWordRadio

                And it will be as long as people continue to act against God’s will, and go their own way.

                • Jim Jones

                  I am God. You are wrong.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  It appears Pope Francis was right about you.

    • Lea Tapp

      To be fair, two people’s outlooks on life are nothing to build a case for or against religion on. A drunk may be happier than a sober person, and all that.

    • busterggi

      You only think you’re happy while your sister is happy but doesn’t know it.
      It works for believers.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      To play Devil’s advocate in good Catholic tradition, that might be described as merely an outlier from the general trend.

      And, empirically, the regularly attending, god-believing, strongly religious tend to indicate levels of happiness higher than the levels indicated by the not-so-religious. See the General Social Survey, variables HAPPY, GOD, RELITEN, and ATTEND.

    • DivineWordRadio

      He would explain that some people choose to be unhappy, while others do not. He might even point out the review of Twitter posts, which show atheists as more negative than Christians.

  • DougI

    Cool, we have no moral compass unlike those Muslims who raped in the name of Islam and those Catholics who committed genocide in Rawanda.

    • DivineWordRadio

      Yes, more than the Kmer Rouge. Oh, and as to Rwanda, it was tribal, and not religious in context There were Catholics on both sides.

      • DougI

        Don’t know about their involvement in the Kmer Rouge but leaders in the Catholic church have been put on trial for their crimes:
        http://iwpr.net/report-news/rwanda-church-role-genocide-under-scrutiny

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/21/rwanda.unitednations

        • DivineWordRadio

          And that means that there are evil men that find their way into the Church. It does not make the Church wrong, or evil, any more than Judas made the Church wrong or evil.

          • Pofarmer

            I’m sorry, but when your applied ideology consistently allows/enables/calls for the marginalization/torture/killing of those who don’t agree with said ideology, then, one would begin to think there is a problem with said ideology.

            • DivineWordRadio

              There is nothing wrong with the ideology any more than one would say there was something wrong with a medical treatment that a patient refused to follow. You’d say the patient was non-compliant, not that the treatment didn’t work.

              • Pofarmer

                The Magdalen Laundries went on for over 200 years, and were only closed down because they became unprofitable. There were over 300,000 babies stolen from mothers in Spain and sold into adoption. This is a lot bigger and more organized than a few bad apples.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  The laundries were not founded by the Catholic Church, although they were run most of the time by the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of Mercy, Good Shepherd Sisters, and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity.
                  The public perception of the laundries is entirely negative, due in large part to fictionalized portrayals in the movies. The conventional wisdom has also been shaped by writers who have come to believe the worst about the Catholic Church, and by activists who have their own agenda. So strong is the prejudice that even when evidence to the contrary is presented, the bias continues.
                  How do we know it’s a lie? The evidence is documented in the McAleese Report on the Magdalene Laundries, formally known as the “Report of the Inter-Developmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalene Laundries.” The Report, which was released February 5th of this year, and was chaired by Senator Martin McAleese.
                  The first of many myths to be dispelled is the notion that the laundries were an exclusively Irish or Catholic phenomenon. Not only did they exist throughout the United Kingdom, they were a fixture in many parts of Europe, North America and Australia. In the United States, the first asylum for “fallen women” was founded in Philadelphia in 1800, and spread from there to New York, Boston and Chicago. Depending on the setting, they were run by Catholics, Protestants, and non-denominational lay committees. In Ireland, no new ones were established after the founding of the State in 1922; the last ones were closed in 1996.
                  The first laundries were run by lay women, though in time they would be taken over by the nuns. It was the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of Mercy, Good Shepherd Sisters, and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity who played the key role. The first “Magdalene Home” was established in England in 1758; Ireland followed in 1765, the first asylum being a Protestant-run entity.
                  These were institutions that served prostitutes, and women seen as likely candidates for the “world’s oldest profession.” Unmarried women, especially those who gave birth out-of-wedlock, were likely candidates. Contrary to what has been reported, the laundries were not imposed on these women: they were a realistic response to a growing social problem. For example, in 1868, it was estimated that there were at least 1,000 prostitutes and 132 brothels in Dublin alone.
                  Your claim about profitability is incorrect.
                  This myth, floated by Peter Mullan, the creator of the movid and book “Magdalene Sisters” and the media, is that the laundries were highly profitable institutions run by greedy nuns. Summarizing Mullan’s comments, a CNN story contended that “The laundries were quite profitable—helped by the almost slave-labor of the young workers.”
                  The evidence cited in the Report debunks this myth. The analysis of the financial records shows that the laundries “operated on a subsistence or close to break-even basis, rather than on a commercial or highly profitable basis and would have found it difficult to survive financially without other sources of income—donations, bequests and financial support from the State.” Now if Mullan’s account were accurate, we would have to believe that the donations and bequests were made either by evil persons who sought to keep these women locked in slave-labor camps, or by idiots. That the donors sought to help, not hurt, the women is closer to the truth.
                  As to the claim that 300,000 babies were stolen from mothers and sold into adoption by the Church, despite exciting headline claims about this, the cases where this occurred were handled by Dictator Francisco Franco in Spain, who removed children from who his administration believed were undesirable families, and placed them with “suitable” adoptive parents through the nation’s hosptial system (which was largely run by Catholics). This is really sad that this happened, but I do have to say that not many people understand the structure of the Catholic Church. If a group of Doctors, nuns and priests join a secret society to sell stolen babies, this isn’t an act of the Church, it’s an act of it’s members. It is interesting that there was a flurry of reports about this, copying each other, in October of 2011, and then nothing. Perhaps because the problem pointed, not to the Church, but to the Fascist government.

          • Pofarmer

            “Although the ethnic divisions and tensions between Hutu and Tutsi predate the colonial era, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) report on the genocide states,

            In the colonial era, under German and then Belgian rule, Roman
            Catholic missionaries, inspired by the overtly racist theories of 19th
            century Europe, concocted a destructive ideology of ethnic cleavage and
            racial ranking that attributed superior qualities to the country’s Tutsi
            minority, since the missionaries ran the colonial-era schools, these
            pernicious values were systematically transmitted to several generations
            of Rwandans…[3]

            When the Roman Catholic missionaries
            came to Rwanda in the late 1880s, they contributed to the “Hamitic”
            theory of race origins, which taught that the Tutsi were a superior
            race. The Church has been considered to have played a significant role
            in fomenting racial divisions between Hutu and Tutsi, in part because
            they found more willing converts among the majority Hutu.[4]e a message..”

            .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Rwanda

            • Brian Anthony

              wait so did they like the hutu or tutsis more? your two quotes here CONTRADICT one another. one says they saw the tutsi as superior and the other says they saw the hutu as superior because they converted…contradiction=shotty citation=no argument.

              • Brian Anthony

                Also have you heard the story of the 30 martyrs of Burundi, where Hutu and Tutsi seminarians were gunned down by Hutu rebels. the modern Church has been a victim of the genocide more so than a participant.

                http://www.dacb.org/stories/burundi/martyrs_burundi.html

              • Pofarmer

                The link to the entire article is there. I was simply pointing back to the roots of the issue.

                • Brian Anthony

                  it appears this comment was not properly posted….

                  hers a story about catholic victims of the genocide…the Church in the modern era at least has been nuetral and its seminaries in the region have students of both ethnic groups, but that didnt stop the hutu rebels…

                  http://www.dacb.org/stories/burundi/martyrs_burundi.html

                • Pofarmer

                  Yes, the Church didn’t stop much of anybody from anything, and had several members of it’s clergy declared guilty of war crimes. Bishop was tried and found not guilty, I believe. Outstanding organization.

                • Brian Anthony

                  again so the fact that those seminarians joined together becasue of their shared catholic faith instead of giving each other up to early racial hatreds doesnt phase you at all?

                • Pofarmer

                  In the midst of a horror, you would hope a few folks would do the right thing.

                • Brian Anthony

                  yep, but the fact that it was seminarians studying to be priests means nothing to you? so when clergy do the right thing its only on them, but when they do the wrong thing it invalidates the whole institution? what logic id that?

                • Pofarmer

                  Priests and Nuns were found guilty of war crimes. A Bishop was tried and gound not guilty. The problem is, if the faith were ” all that” there shouldn’t have been any tried at all. You are using the same logic used to rationalize abuse by priests. Well, not everyone did it, is not a very reassuring argument.

                • Brian Anthony

                  again when seminarians and priests and nuns do good things its just their personal virtue, but when they do evil its the Church’s fault? really what the hell logic is that?

            • DivineWordRadio

              And that is supposed to mean, what? It only shows that a secular Aftican organization tried to place blame on someone other than the two African ethnic groups involved in the conflict. As I indicated, there were Catholics on both sides of this issue, and the Church itself was not involved in choosing sides. The Wikipedia article does not say that Catholics brought this idea to Rwanda (they didn’t), but contends that Catholic missionaries there used it to get Hutu converts beginning in the 1800s. Over half of the population of Rwanda are Catholic, comprising both Hutu and Tutsi. The article itself acknowledges that “churches did not uniformly support the genocide.” The article also addresses Immaculée Ilibagiza, a Tutsi woman who wrote a book about the atrocities, who is a devout Catholic and supporter of the Church.

          • DougI

            So the boss isn’t responsible for their employees now? Also, I’m wondering why they hired “evil” people as their representatives. Shouldn’t that be the sort of thing you wouldn’t want in an employee? I’m guessing it’s probably just tradition these days, the Catholic church has been pretty good at promoting death in Africa these days.

            I’m interested in that comment you made about those religious people responsible for the actions in Cambodia. That ought to be interesting.

            • DivineWordRadio

              The fact that you think that a religion is a boss and employees says that you do not understand religion at all. As the Catholic Church is expanding rapidly in Africa right now, I guess you just assume the people there are stupid. How charitable and brilliant of you.
              As to the Khmer Rouge, in Cambodia, it had nothing to do with religion, but an absence of religion, a communist regime.

              • DougI

                If Khmer Rouge had nothing to do with religion then I wonder why you brought it up. As for the Catholic Church not having employees, clearly you have no idea what the Catholic Church is.

                Obviously you are experiencing some massive cognitive dissonance about your beloved Catholics being responsible for so much death in Africa. I suggest you read up on the subject, including the links that I’ve provided.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  The Khmer Rouge was picked to show that evil comes, not from following the Church, but from failing to do so. It is a part of man’s attempt to self regulate.

                  You also didn’t understand my point if you thought I said there were not employees. What I said was that the relationship of faith is not employer/employee. And, the Church is a hospital for sinners, not a house for saints.

                  No cognitive dissonance here. How do you contend that the Church is responsible for so much death in Africa? Your links? Yeah, right. I did look at them. The Church was not responsible for the deaths in Rwanda, because a priest was (one out of 400,000 plus). Is it your contention that the President of the US is responsible every time a person kills someone in this country? Or, closer to your analogy, if a murder is committed by a government employee (such as Fort Hood)?

                • DougI

                  He wasn’t the only employee to be charged, but it continues a long history of church atrocities. The largest atrocity is the encouragement of the church to slaughter Africans by discouraging the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS. How many millions did the Church slaughter for their religious ideology there?

                  So your comments about the Khmer Rouge were irrelevant to my post. I wonder why you bothered unless it was some pathetic attempt at trolling, but it looks like you’re in the habit of trying to change the subject, as if that would clear the blood from the hands of the religious.

                  I could certainly go on about the atrocities of the Catholic church. Heralded “saints” like Mother Theresa that took money stolen from the poor in the guise of helping the poor but directing that money back to the Church so the poor could die in misery. Owning of slaves in places like Ireland up until the 70s when they were forced to release their slaves under protest. The support of fascists and the Nazis in WW2, including aiding their escape. Their worldwide pedophile racket. But, you know, their morally superior like a pack of Muslim rapists so they’re still in business. Had they been a secular institution they would have been shut down by now.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  No he wasn’t. The Church does not encourage the slaughter of Africans by discouraging the use of condoms. That would be hyperbole on your part. Condoms are immoral, in that they are artificial contraception. They discourage sex outside of marriage as well, which does more to stop the spread of AIDS than condom use. In fact, condom use increases the spread of AIDS, in much the same way that so-called safety helmets in football cause football players to have more head injuries that the much rougher sport of rugby. You develop a false sense of security, and develop more risky behavior.

                  Dr Edward Green, who was Senior Harvard Research Scientist for AIDS Prevention at Harvard School of Public Health, agreed with the Church’s position on condoms. “We just cannot find an association between more condom use and lower HIV reduction rates” in Africa. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/harvard_researcher_agrees_with_pope_on_condoms_in_africa/ .

                  My comments about the Khmer Rouge were to establish that evil in civil matters was not a Catholic or Christian trait, but a trait found in those who don’t follow the faith.

                  You could certainly go on about atrocities done by Catholics in 2000 years. It establishes nothing about the Church, except that isn’t very stringent in keeping sinners out.

                  Your statements about Mother Teresa are false, and malicious. It is amazing that the Nobel committee and the Church have been fooled on how saintly she is.

                  As to statements like “owning of slaves in places like Ireland up until the 70s” is false and hyperbole.

                  The Church has certainly worked with communists, fascists, totalitarian dictators, kings, queens, constitutional republics, and democracies in its 2000 years, and it will continue to do so. It aided Jews to escape death, and it aided some of those who killed Jews to escape death. Perhaps it is because the Church believes that capital punishment is, in most all cases, immoral today.

                  Yes, the Truth is morally superior, even if those who deliver it are not. The Church has lasted longer than any other human institution, and will continue to do so long after Western governments no longer exist as well. I agree. Had they been a secular institution, they would have been shut down by now. Because they are a Divine Institution, they cannot be.

                • DougI

                  Wow, there’s just a mountain of stuff you don’t know, probably explains why you’re religious.

                  Yes, if condoms are worn on the head like a football helmet that won’t help prevent the spread of AIDS. But when put on the pecker it does. Take the case of Uganda. Having an aggressive sex ed campaign where use of condoms is encouraged and the HIV/AIDS rate dropped dramatically. Then when condom use was discouraged and abstinence taught the HIV/AIDS rate doubled. So no, your notion that condom use increases the spread of AIDS is a lie, clearly you’re part of the problem:
                  http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/rough/2007/07/uganda_the_cond.html

                  Christopher Hitchens did a lovely expose on Teresa, exposing her for the fraud that she is. Recently a study came out in Religeuses coming to the same conclusion:
                  http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-03-02/uk/37389641_1_mother-teresa-vatican-study

                  The Catholic Church had up to 10,000 slaves working in their laundry business. There was a pretty good movie done on the subject, you must work hard to remain uninformed, but you insist it’s all a lie (of course you can’t produce anything to the contrary, just empty claims):
                  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57567706/ireland-admits-involvement-in-catholic-laundry-slavery/

                  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/feb/19/ireland-apologises-slave-labour-magdalene-laundries

                  DIdn’t expect you to broaden the scope of the church’s role in working with despotic regimes, that’s rather big of you to admit as much. I don’t see how the Catholic Church aided Communist nations or Democratic ones (since the Catholic church stated that Democracies are an enemy of the church for promoting secularism). I don’t see them returning any of that ill gotten wealth from the Nazis though, and they still hold onto that wealth they got from Fascist Italy (and still stick the Italians with the bill for their greed). Certainly Franco would have had a hard time coming to power if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church. A lot of blood on the church’s hands and the death count continues.

                  Yet I expect more denials from you despite the facts being presented to you.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  1990s. The laundries in Ireland weren’t closed until the 1990s. Sinead O’Connor, the singer, was in one for a time and she’s not very old at all.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Wow, there’s just a mountain of stuff you don’t know, probably explains why you’re an atheist.
                  On the issue of condoms, you try to be cute, and ignore what Dr Edward Green says in 2009, and cite a 2007 PBS video, which intentionally misinterprets what happened in Uganda. As the story points out, President Yoweri Museveni became President of Uganda, as the story says, “in the early 1990s.” Actually, he was President since 1986. The story points out the Museveni reduced AIDS in the country promoting abstinence in a country that is approximately 50% Catholic. From 2004 to the present, the country has promoted abstinence only. Their HIV rate in 2012 was 7.3 percent, half of what it was when he took over. Those African countries with strong Catholic or Muslim influence have lower HIV infection rates, because social mores oppose sex outside of marriage.
                  I’m familiar with Hitchens drivel, and this claim. I love the article–the Church ignored “her overly dogmatic views regarding … abortion, contraception, and divorce.” Of course they did. She was teaching Church teaching on these areas. Hitchens hatred of Mother Teresa was truly sad. A primary criticism of her was her stand against contraception. Of course she did. It is morally wrong.
                  He criticized for her not using her influence in the political arena for anything other than against abortion.
                  On the Magdeline laundry, you use media anti-Catholic hit pieces, and ignore the actual findings of the government commission on Magdeline. For political reasons, the Irish government fell on its sword over the issue, but the Church has not. These women were not slaves, despite your cute claim. In fact, only the salacious headline uses the term slavery. The article, despite being overly dramatic, does not use the term at all. It includes 2 quotes–one from the Prime Minister aplogizing, and one from an anti-Catholic group saying that it wasn’t enough.
                  The popular perception of the laundries is entirely negative, owing in large part to fictionalized portrayals in the movies. The conventional wisdom has also been shaped by writers who have come to believe the worst about the Catholic Church, and by activists who have their own agenda. So strong is the prejudice that even when evidence to the contrary is presented, the bias continues.
                  There is a Facebook page dedicated to the laundries titled, “Victims of the Irish Holocaust Unite.” Irish politicians have spoken of “our own Holocaust,” and Irish journalists have referred to the “Irish gulag system.” But the fact is there was no holocaust, and there was no gulag. No one was murdered. No one was imprisoned, nor forced against her will to stay. There was no slave labor. Not a single woman was sexually abused by a nun. Not one. It’s all a lie.
                  How do we know it’s a lie? The evidence is fully documented in the McAleese Report on the Magdalene Laundries, formally known as the “Report of the Inter-Developmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalene Laundries.” The Report, which was released February 5, 2013, was chaired by Senator Martin McAleese.
                  An analysis of the McAleese Report will show how utterly false the conventional view of the Magdalene Laundries is. First, however, we need to understand the genesis of the popular mythology. Nothing helped to put a monstrous face on the laundries more than the movie, “The Magdalene Sisters.”
                  Media commentary about the laundries eventually led to an investigation about the treatment of wayward youth in every Irish institution. In 2009, Ireland’s Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse published its findings; it became known as the Ryan Report (after the chairman of the Commission, Justice Seán Ryan).
                  News stories about the Ryan Report quickly emerged maintaining that abuse was rampant in these institutions. Upon closer inspection, however, we learn that the Ryan Commission listed four types of abuse: physical, sexual, neglect and emotional. Most of the evidence showed there were no serious violations. For example, physical abuse included “being kicked”; sexual abuse was considered “kissing,” “non-contact including voyeurism” and “inappropriate sexual talk”; neglect included “inadequate heating”; and “lack of attachment and affection” was deemed emotional abuse.
                  Even by today’s standards in the West, these conditions are hardly draconian; in the past they were considered pedestrian. And consider the timeline: fully 82 percent of the incidents reported took place before 1970. As the New York Times noted, “many of them [are] now more than 70 years old.” Keep in mind that corporal punishment was not uncommon in many homes (and in many parts of the world), never mind in facilities that housed troubled persons.
                  Information garnered for the McAleese Report constitutes the most comprehensive collection of data ever obtained on the Magdalene Laundries. A full statistical analysis of all available data was conducted by the McAleese Committee, with the assistance of the Central Statistics Office. Additionally, 118 women who lived in the asylums were interviewed. Though their accounts reflect their experiences of the past half century, they match up well with what many scholars have previously unearthed about earlier times. Moreover, the size of the sampling is significant, especially in comparison to the few women that were the source of laundry-bashing movies.
                  The first of many myths to be dispelled is the notion that the laundries were an exclusively Irish or Catholic phenomenon. Not only did they exist throughout the United Kingdom, they were a fixture in many parts of Europe, North America and Australia. In the United States, the first asylum for “fallen women” was founded in Philadelphia in 1800, and spread from there to New York, Boston and Chicago. Depending on the setting, they were run by Catholics, Protestants, and non-denominational lay committees. In Ireland, no new ones were established after the founding of the State in 1922; the last ones were closed in 1996.
                  The first laundries were run by lay women, though in time they would be taken over by the nuns. It was the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of Mercy, Good Shepherd Sisters, and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity who played the key role. The first “Magdalene Home” was established in England in 1758; Ireland followed in 1765, the first asylum being a Protestant-run entity.
                  These were institutions that served prostitutes, and women seen as likely candidates for the “world’s oldest profession.” Unmarried women, especially those who gave birth out-of-wedlock, were likely candidates. Contrary to what has been reported, the laundries were not imposed on these women: they were a realistic response to a growing social problem. For example, in 1868, it was estimated that there were at least 1,000 prostitutes and 132 brothels in Dublin alone.
                  Those who sought refuge from the streets found a welcome hand in those who served in the “rescue movements.” The nuns soon took over, offering these women an alternative to exploitative conditions. In her research of seven institutions up to the year 1900, Maria Luddy found that the “majority of women who entered these refuges did so voluntarily…just over 66 percent” and that “entering a refuge was, for the majority of women, a matter of choice.” The other facility available to them, the workhouse, was rejected because of the inferior conditions. Luddy also found that the decision to stay was made by the women, not the nuns.
                  Not only is it a myth that the laundries were “imposed” on these women, it is equally fatuous to believe that the nuns forced them to stay. They were not held hostage. Frances Finnegan’s analysis of the Magdalene Laundries up to the year 1900 “also confirm a high proportion of both voluntary entries and exits.” The actual figures of voluntary entrance and exit are higher than what Finnegan found. “It should be noted that cases where women left to re-join family or friends,” the Report says, “or who left to take up employment are not included by Finnegan in the figures for voluntary departure….”

                  As I’ve already suggested, try reading “How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.” by Thomas E Woods, Jr. PhD. I doubt you will. You really aren’t interested in the truth.
                  Ill gotten wealth from the Nazis? What are you smoking?
                  Your false claims about wealth they got from the Fascists is intended to be incendiary. Mussolini settled a dispute that had existed between the Church, and what is now known as Italy, and what was a system of city-states prior to 1871. The new nation of Italy forceably took the Papal State from the Church. The Pope refused to become an Italian citizen, and stayed confined in the Apostolic palace from 1870 until 1929. Italy reached a treaty with Pope Pius XI, who surrendered the Papal State in exchange for the creation of the Vatican City-State and a payment of funds which constituted a small percentage of its losses. And the problem with this is, what? Oh, since it was Mussolini who did this, the elected leader of Italy, then something was wrong. Forget it. You are wrong.
                  You attack the Church for the times in history when it was a secular power, and you attack it for being a religious power now. Typical. The problem is with you, not the Church.

                • DougI

                  Yeah, I ignored a doctor’s opinion from a biased website in favor of the facts. Deal with it. It’s amusing that you say the HIV rate was reduced with abstinence. In 2001, after a long campaign promoting condom use, the HIV rate was 5% (down from 29% when the program was started). Since the abstinence program started the HIV rate increased to 7.5%. That’s not a reduction any way you try to spin it.
                  http://www.avert.org/aids-uganda.htm

                  I see that your rebutall to the Teresa claim is that you personally don’t like Hitchens but you failed to address the study which confirmed everything he said. The facts are the facts, clearly you can’t deny that she took money stolen from the poor to give to the Church while she used poor people for propaganda as they died in misery. It seems you’re cool with that.

                  My two articles for the Laundry story were from mainstream media sources, not anti-Catholic propaganda websites. Thanks for that pathetic lie. The articles from those “anti-catholic hit pieces” refer to the McAleese Report. It’s obvious that you can’t deny the fact that the Catholic Church profited by keeping slaves and your only defense is that most of the physical abuse happened before the 70s. Are you serious? Oh, slavery is okay because the women weren’t beaten so much after the 70s? That’s fucking pathetic. You’re outright advocating slavery, you are a sick, fucking asshole! You have just proven the entire point of this thread, assholes like you feel morally justified to commit atrocities in the name of your religion. You disgust me fucking douche!

                • DivineWordRadio

                  You ignored an expert on the subject to continue to spread lies. Deal with it. The abstinence teaching started from the beginning. The difference came in shifting from the ABC method to abstinence only.

                  The study meant nothing. By the way, study? It is a secular, slanted analysis. There is nothing measurable to study, except, as Hitchens did, to declare that good is not speaking out against abortion, but using your political clout to improve the economic lives of the poor. It is a lie that she took money from the poor and gave it to the Church. Is that simple enough for you? The claim is that because she opened numerous locations around the world, she took money from the poor. That is a judgment call, not theft. And I, and the Church, are “cool” with that.

                  Sorry, but mainstream media sources are anti-Catholic propaganda sites. The attacks are the pathetic lie.

                  You are wrong. I can deny that the Catholic Church profited from keeping slaves. One, they didn’t profit, and Two, they weren’t slaves. Did you bother to read anything I said? The articles refer to the McAleese Report, as if something were wrong, and ignore the conclusions, that do not match up to claims of slavery. The term “slavery” was used only in the headline of the secular hit piece you provided, and no where in the article.

                  And your profanity shows your hatred, and maliciousness. You feel morally justified as an atheist to falsely accuse others you disagree with. The Pope was correct.

                  You don’t disgust me. I just feel sorry for you.

                • DougI

                  You lying sick fuck motherfucker I already presented the evidence from multiple sources so don’t pull your bullshit lying on me, asshole. You obviously lied when you said a increase from 5% to 7.5% was a decrease. Can you even do basic math you moron? Are you stupid or are you a lying asshole? Take your pick.

                  You didn’t read any study on Teresa, you didn’t read Hitchens book so don’t peddle some lying bullshit like you actually read something you had just heard about yesterday you lying fuck. Just like you didn’t read the McAleese report (which you hadn’t heard about until yesterday) which debunks the dishonest bullshit you’re trying to peddle here. You think the Catholic Church returned all those contracts they got from the laundry you lying asshole? You are so fucking pathetic.

                  Thanks for being the picture boy for why fundies are a bunch of immoral, loathsome, dishonest, pro-slavery, hate-filled, lying assholes. Fuck you you paranoid, dishonest piece of shit. Yes, I hate you because you are an advocate for slavery and abuse. I just wish you were in front of me so I could punch you in your fascist little prick of a face.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Again with the profanity. Not really to offer, huh?

                  New research, conducted by the University of Washington in the Unites States, reveals that HIV/Aids related deaths in Uganda have reduced by 53.3 per cent over the last 15 years. The current rate is not 7.5%, but 6.3%. There was a short-term uptick, which has begun to decrease.

                  But the relevant point is your hyperbole, that Catholics are murdering Africans. It is a lie, as is much of what you say.

                  Hitchens was wrong, malicious, and lying. Hitchen’s hit piece, “Hell’s Angel,” was full of blatant misrepresentations. And this so-called Canadian “study” sets its own standards for conduct to judge Mother Teresa by. Those who sit at their computers, typing away critiques, and do nothing to help the poor want to tell her what she should have been doing? You don’t see criticisms from those truly serving the poor, do you?

                  But I’ll be happy to address the two main points of the Canadian “study”: the way she cared for the sick, and her opposition to abortion and contraception. As to the first claim, that the sick and dying aren’t appropriately cared for, yes they do care for them appropriately and even if they didn’t, to the risk of sounding extremely harsh to some, it’s better than dying on the street.

                  The sisters in Calcutta tell volunteers who come to work for a day or two with them that if they don’t agree with the way the sisters’ proceeded, they understood it and respected it but then the volunteers didn’t have to help. And they were completely right. After all, the volunteers are only there for a short period of time when the sisters make this a part of their everyday life. They couldn’t possibly adapt to everything that volunteers would complain about, using big words like “human decency” or “truly helping the poor,” when in a few weeks they would be running away from the dirt of Calcutta back to the comfort of their home.

                  Yes it’s true, Mother Teresa was a Catholic and therefore believed that dying wasn’t such a bad thing. Although you may think dying is pretty bad because you don’t believe there’s such a thing as afterlife, I do not think her attitude was wrong given the context she was working in.

                  Most of the people the sisters care for are physically and mentally handicapped, or very old and very sick. They live in places of the world where it’s hard enough to survive when you are young and healthy. The sisters do everything they can to make these people’s lives better and even though they are strongly convinced that being with God is so much better than being on this planet, it rips their hearts apart to see a child die. Yes, maybe if a child had gone to an expensive hospital in America she would have lived longer. But the fact is that she couldn’t go to that hospital, and ultimately she had a far better life than the one she would have had had the sisters left her in the garbage they found her in.

                  As to the second point, Mother Teresa was adamant and very vocal about abortion and contraception. It is interested that there are those that usually scream loud and clear when they hear any politician questioning what they consider two fundamental “rights”, they tend to not hold it against Mother Teresa. They give her a pass as a necessary price to pay for all the good she has done to this world. Her fundamental belief was that everyone, absolutely everyone in this world deserves love and care. She cherished every single life on this planet more than perhaps anyone since Christ ever did, and that’s why she created the Missionaries of Charity: to help and welcome the poorest of the poor, those whose life had not been judged worthy enough to live and who had been rejected by everything and everyone.

                  Without that belief that every life is worth it and therefore that abortion and contraception are wrong, she would not have created such a powerful organization, nor would she had the strength to carry it on her shoulder all her life. I believe that the sanctity of life was her main driving force to do the good that she did, and that looking back at her work I do not believe that, in the grand scheme of things, she can be criticized for it.

                  The Canadian academics conclude that, based on many books they read but zero visits to the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa was a lot more helpful to the Catholic Church than to the people she said she was helping, and that a lot more should be taken into account before the Vatican decides to make her a saint (she’s on the fast track to become one.)

                  Mother Teresa created 517 missions in 100 countries, helped hundreds of thousands of people, and inspired generations of volunteers all over the world: to me that’s a far bigger miracle than the one the Church credits her with (that she cured a woman who was suffering from intense abdominal pain)!

                  So as a Mother Teresa hater: if you don’t like her, that’s your right and I respect that you have the right to be wrong. And if you think Mother Teresa did such a bad job helping others, why not save that time spent criticizing her to instead try to make a difference in this world?

                  You clearly don’t even know what a “fundie” is, or that the term is rarely applied to Catholics. As you lack a moral code by which to judge this (as the Pope pointed out), you are really incapable of judging me “immoral.” I guess you have the right to declare anyone loathsome, as is your taste, but as to the rest, you would be amusing if you were not so sad.

                  I don’t advocate slavery and abuse. I advocate the love of Christ, and you advocate the tearing down of others.

                  Your threats and anger speaks for itself. The Pope was clearly right.

                • DougI

                  You know what’s interesting, you lying sack of shit. I always back up my claims with links to reputable sources, you don’t. You know why that is? Because you’re a lying sack of shit who loves slavery and abuse. You’ve already been soundly debunked on everything yet you come back for more because you are either too stupid to get an education or too full of pride to admit you are too stupid. Either way you’re an immoral asshole Holocaust Denying slavery advocate who can’t do basic math. Later fucktard.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Well, we all see your objectivity.

                  You lie, and then name call. And then judge yourself the winner. Yeah, right.

                  I can’t be soundly debunked by you. You ignore every fact, throw allegations at me, and then call yourself the winner.

                  God bless you. You need it.

                • DougI

                  Let’s sum up you are:
                  A liar
                  An advocate for theft, slavery, murder, disease and abuse
                  A moron
                  A fucktard
                  and an immoral piece of shit. Did I miss anything?

                  Oh yes, you are stupid with no sense of reading comprehension.

                  I backed all my positions with facts from reliable sources, you never did that once. Why is that? Because you don’t have facts on your side. It’s pretty simple, now continue with your little passive-aggressive temper tantrum and I hope someone goes John Brown on your slavery loving ass.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Then let’s sum it up for you: You are a profanity-laden liar who maliciously attacks people, in hopes of convincing himself and others of his superiority. I’m confident that it is to overcome deficiencies in your life. Did I miss something?

                  Oh yes, you don’t bother to read anything to get to the truth.

                  You did not respond in any meaningful way to anything I said. Why is that? Because you do not have the facts on your side. It’s pretty simple, you are merely small, malicious and hateful. But hey, God still loves you.

                • DougI

                  Stupid fucking troll.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’ve got it. You have nothing but name calling.

                • DougI

                  First I present the facts and you deny them so there’s nothing more to add than insults to someone who is willfully ignorant. Motherfucker.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  You don’t present the facts, only allegations. You are not only willfully ignorant, but malicious, and incapable of carrying on civil discourse without profanity. Basically, a small man.

                • DougI

                  “As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice”

                  Another quote for the lying troll. You fellow Christian Hitler. Douche. Nice projection, man you’re pathetic. Fucktard.

                • DougI

                  And I’ll just bet you’re probably some inbred hick from Alabama. A lot of stupid comes out of Alabama for some reason. Either that or the fundy part of Florida.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Actually, I do like Alabama, though not originally from there. Oh, and you’ve established the ability to look me up. I’m not hard to find. And, based upon what I’ve seen here, apparently more educated than you are in a number of fields.

                  But bigots frequently try to put down others to make themselves feel better. Feel better yet?

                • DougI

                  No, it’s just that I’ve encountered really stupid fundies from Alabama before who really think they are intelligent but present the dumbest arguments on the planet. Northern Florida just has a large concentration of immoral, degenerate Christians. I see you matched quite well and I was right about it.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Then your judgment about that was as poor as everything else.

              • Pofarmer

                “As the Catholic Church is expanding rapidly in Africa right now, I guess
                you just assume the people there are stupid. How charitable and
                brilliant of you.”

                No, they are just extremely superstitious. Prime pickings for the unscrupulous.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  So, you stick to ignorant. It’s amazing the number of extremely superstitious or ignorant people you think there have been in the world, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Catholic_scientists . I’m certain it makes you feel better about yourself. And, it only goes to some of the points Pope Francis was making about the secular world and atheists.

                • Pofarmer

                  Superstitious and Ignorant are pretty much the default settings. That’s why the scientific method was developed, and education.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Again, it is still a free country. You have the right to be wrong. The scientific method was established because of the Catholic Church, not in spite of it. It was the understanding that the Creator was ordered that allowed early science to occur. If one believed that God was random, then there would be no reason to observe nature, and expect it to show any consistency. One might certainly argue that the scientific method predates the Church, but it was the preservation and teaching of Greek philosophy by the Church that even allowed us to know who Aristotle or Plato were.

                  A 2011 article from the New Oxford Review, entitled “No Catholic Church, No Scientific Method,” addresses this. So does the vast amount of Catholic scientists, including Galileo, who developed science to what it is today,

                  Here is a list of some Catholic scientists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Catholic_scientists . And here is a list of some Catholic clergy/scientists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_cleric–scientists .

                  As to education, it was the Catholic Church that developed the university system. In the early Middle Ages, Cathedral schools developed as centers of advanced education, often evolving into the medieval universities which were the springboard of many of Western Europe’s later achievements. During the High Middle Ages, Chartres Cathedral operated the famous and influential Chartres Cathedral School. Among the great early Catholic universities were Bologna University (1088); Paris University (c 1150); Oxford University (1167); Salerno University (1173); Vicenza University (1204); Cambridge University (1209); Salamanca University (1218-1219); Padua University (1222); Naples University (1224) and Vercelli University (1228).

                  Using church Latin as a lingua franca, the medieval universities of Western Christendom were organised across Western Europe produced a great variety of scholars and natural philosophers, including Robert Grosseteste of the University of Oxford, an early expositor of a systematic method of scientific experimentation; and Saint Albert the Great, a pioneer of biological field research. By the mid-15th century, prior to the Reformation, Catholic Europe had some 50 universities.

                • Pofarmer

                  egads. There is so much ignorant obfuscation in there, I don’t honestly know where to start. First off, the works of Aristotle and Plato were largely saved in arabia, then “rediscovered” and brought back when interest revived. A great many science texts were copied over in favor of scripture.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Given your answer, I wonder the same thing. The Arab Moors had only 2 books of Aristole in circulation, Catgegories, and De Interpretatione (On Interpretation). The Catholic Church translated and made available to the world the other 40 texts still in existence, in the 1100s and 1200s. Copies of the Arab texts were in Latin, and readable at the time (the original ancient Greek was no longer the common language) and required Catholic monks to translate and transcribe into Latin, the franca lingua. Thomas Acquinas was able to reconcile Aristotilean thought with Christian teaching in the Summa Theologica.
                  I would encourage you to read “How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization,” by Thomas E Woods, Jr PhD. He also deals with the claim that Muslim thought led to science, contending that it was their abiilty to conquer those who had developed science, rather than their support of science, that led to any real advancement in their culture in these areas.
                  Finally, would you like to provide evidence for your final claim, as salacious as it sounds?

                • Pofarmer

                  “Finally, would you like to provide evidence for your final claim, as salacious as it sounds?”

                  Here’s a fer instance.

                  http://forums.randi.org/archive/index.php/t-82376.html

                  Also, the loss of things like the ability to calculate the tension rate of springs, pointed out by Richard Carrier, or the loss of the use of things like Concrete, used extensively by the Romans, and then not rediscovered until the 18th. Also the loss of the knowledge of things like antiseptics and anesthesia thought to be known by the Romans. The examples are really too numerous to mention.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Thanks for the source–the underlying National Geographic source, not the randi.org source. These were not science texts, but reused parchment, of value because we have only incomplete copies of the original. The post you made intentionally was intended to imply that the Church was destroying scientific writings. In fact, there is no evidence of this, or that these documents did not exist elsewhere at the time they were reused in the 4th century. Wow. Talk about attempts to imply wrongdoing, when none existed.

                  Actually, Thomas E Woods contends that the monastary system created cottage industries throughout Europe, that provided technology to Europe through this time. You seem to be pushing the “Dark Ages” theory, which is false and laughed at by most modern reputable historians as a term created by Protestant, anti-Catholic writers.
                  What is your point, other than the Romans knew a great many things that may have been lost to history. Surprising? Not at all. The Protestant Reformation brought about the destruction of the monastary system in Europe, and destroyed much of what was known in these entities.

                • Pofarmer

                  “The Protestant Reformation brought about the destruction of the monastary system in Europe, and destroyed much of what was known in these entities.”

                  If they knew all of this information, why wasn’t it being used?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  We certainly don’t know “all of this information.” There has been a tremendous amount that was preserved, and developed, by the monastery system. I would encourage you to read Thomas Wood’s book to learn more on the subject. http://www.amazon.com/Catholic-Church-Built-Western-Civilization/dp/1596983280

                • Pofarmer

                  Look, we know that the Church Suppressed, Tortured and Killed those that disagreed with it. Why should I go read several hundred pages revising into how awesome the Catholic Church was because it didn’t manage to stop all progress?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  At the time, the secular world suppressed, tortured and killed those that disagree with it. Why should I believe that the secular world is so awesome, when the Catholic Church did better?

                • Brian Anthony

                  actually the Church merely excommunicated them (which simply means that they were publicly known as being opposed to the official teaching of the Church, other religions, clubs, political parties do this too) the state would punish the heretic, and often the Church can actually be seen in some instances of begging the state NOT to kill heretics because it meant they would die without repenting(which according to Christina theology across the board is rejection of God and thus rejection of heaven) examples would be St Bernard of Clairveax who protected Jews in Burgundy during the second crusade who were targeted by the people who believed that the crusades were punishment on Christendom for allowing the Jews to live. also the Bishops of the Rhineland during the first crusade who opened their cathedrals to Jews who were being targeted by German knights on their way to the Holy Land. And another one would be Pope Clement during the black death who wrote an encyclical condemning any violent action against Jews or heretics as the people were seeing the plague as punishment for not being harsher on these two sectors of the population

                • Pofarmer

                  “actually the Church merely excommunicated them (which simply means that they were publicly known as being opposed to the official teaching of the Church, other religions, clubs, political parties do this too) the state would punish the heretic, and often the Church can actually be seen in some instances of begging the state NOT to kill heretics because it meant they would die without repenting”

                  I’m sorry, but that’s despicable apologetics, and the one making the argument is equally despicable in my eyes.

                • Brian Anthony

                  you care to respond to any of the actual historical examples i gave you? other wise you are declaring openly that you are simply giving into ad hominem

                • Pofarmer

                  This is the argument the Church has used for centuries to say that it “didn’t have blood on it’s hands”. Why, they simply excommunicated those folks and the bad old secular officials( whom the church largely controlled) put them to death, death! How horrible! Spare me.

                • Brian Anthony

                  respond to the examples i gave you, Bernard, Pope Clement, etc, etc.

                • Brian Anthony

                  because the skiled labor didnt exist becasue the same level of societal structure had in ancient rome wasnt around any more. but the skilled labor for the cathedrals existed, and that is clealry a wonderful use of mathematical principles. and required intellectual skill as well as brawn.

                • Brian Anthony

                  and who developed education and the scientific method? Remeber the first universities of Europe, Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, Bologna, etc were all medieval institutions run by monks and the scientific method is not attributed to ahy one scientist but to generations of scientists beginning with men like Roger bacon (Franciscan friar) and of course the Jesuit scientists who were active during the renaissance at many of these aforementioned centers of education. Face it, the modern education system only exists because of monasteries and modern science because of the Jesuit schools.

                • Pofarmer

                  Yeah, but the scientific method is largely a defense. “Look, we did this and this and this, and this is the answer we got. Sorry it doesn’t agree with church dogma.” It seems to have been developed mainly to keep scientists from being persecuted.

                • Brian Anthony

                  defense for whom? is that seriously your response to everyhting i have said concerning catholic involvement in the early sciences as well as the historical examples i gave you of the Church protecting jews in medieval europe?

                • Brian Anthony

                  you mean like the education given in the medieval monastic schools which eventually became Cambridge, Oxford, Paris and Bologna? or the education still given by Catholic universities world wide at a level that is consistently seen as excellent?

                  As for the scientific method lets just remember which scientists propagated that. The Jesuits. They based the method of hypotheses and testing over and over again on the old scholastic philosophy model of constantly reasoning out ones philosophical claims and see if the bear up to human reason and the natural order.

  • http://shitmytoiletsays.blogspot.com/ Crud O’Matic

    Did anyone else REALLY not see this coming? Popes are criminals and liars – look at the stock they draw from, look at their lives BEFORE they were priests/bishops/cardinals/etc…

    The church is nothing more than a front for international organized crime.

    If ANYONE is a danger to society that weakens social bonds, it’s the pedophile hoodlum thugs, swinging incense pots in dresses.

    • DivineWordRadio

      Your malice, and lies, are showing.

      • http://shitmytoiletsays.blogspot.com/ Crud O’Matic

        Lies, eh?

        Pope John Paul I – assassinated, suspected being involved in organized crime & money laundering.

        Pope John Paul II – sold Zyklon-B gas to the Nazis, to help with exterminating the Jews.

        Pope Benedict XVI – Was a brown shirt in the Hitler Youth. Covered up church pedophilia, and issued clerical gag orders on sex abuse victims.

        Pope Francis – involvement in the kidnapping and torture of liberal priests in Argentina for the dictator in power at the time.

        My, my my. A litany of criminal acts, committed by supposedly the most holy men in the world.

        Your Catholic brainwashing is showing.

        • DivineWordRadio

          Yes, lies.

          John Paul I–He was not assassinated. You have been watching too much Godfather Part III, and William Cooper’s lie-filled, “Behold a Pale Horse.” He also claims in the book that the CDC released AIDS on the American people.

          John Paul II–Another lie. Taken from William Cooper’s book.

          Benedict XVI–Another lie. Ratzinger’s family, especially his father, bitterly resented the Nazis, and his father’s opposition to Nazism resulted in demotions and harassment of the family, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/22/international/worldspecial2/22germany.html?pagewanted=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1114340564-13zVUfWUfsfMLXhqWFxrDA&_r=0. Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth—as membership was required by law for all 14-year-old German boys after March 1939, Zweite Durchführungsverordnung zum Gesetz über die Hitler-Jugend (Jugenddienstverordnung) vom 25. März 1939, —but was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings, according to his brother. In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer (air force child soldier), “New Pope Defied Nazis As Teen During WWII”. USA Today. Associated Press. 23 April 2005. Retrieved 10 July 2009. He did not cover up Church pedophiia, another lie.

          Pope Francis–He was not involved in kidnapping and torture of liberal priests. This is another lie by an anti-Catholic, you. In 2005, a human rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Bergoglio, as superior in the Society of Jesus of Argentina, accusing him of involvement in the Navy’s kidnapping of the two priests in May 1976, “Argentine Cardinal Named in Kidnap Lawsuit”. Los Angeles Times. 17 April 2005. The lawyer’s complaint did not specify the nature of Bergoglio’s alleged involvement, and Bergoglio’s spokesman flatly denied the allegations. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed, Schmall, Emily; Rother, Larry (13 March 2013). “A Conservative With a Common Touch”. The New York Times. Franz Jalics, one of the two priests involved in the torture you refer to, stated that “It is wrong to assert that our capture took place at the initiative of Father Bergoglio … the fact is, Orlando Yorio and I were not denounced by Father Bergoglio”, “Pope Francis did not denounce me to Argentinian junta, says priest”. The Guardian. March 21, 2013.

          My, my, my. A litany of false charges, promulgated by a malicious liar.

          Your anti-Catholic hatred is showing.

          • http://shitmytoiletsays.blogspot.com/ Crud O’Matic

            QUICK! Go into apologetics mode to shift the blame away from your child raping cult. Noticed how you didn’t have a rebuttal for that, except “because I said so”.

            The rest is just typical apologetics bullshit you always spew. Of course the Nazi pope is going to say that he was “unenthusiastic”.

            Don’t you have some babies in Africa to infect with AIDS & starve to death, because you lie through your teeth about condoms and family planning?

  • Kenneth Polit

    Lighten up, Francis.

  • Robster

    I’m a wee bit confused. Why are these people praying to the virgin mary? Is she god or jesus in drag or the holy spook in a dress perhaps? Does this mythical mary person perform miracles like the rest of the family? Or is she just a good home maker that whips up miracles like a cake? How many god fantasies do these god botherers need? Isn’t one silent, invisible, improbable and inactive god enough? Old Frank’s barking up the wrong tree.

    • Baby_Raptor

      She’s the only one god actually listens to.

    • DivineWordRadio

      She is the mother of Christ. She was human, and is a saint in heaven. Catholics believe that the saints are with God, and pray for us.

  • Keulan

    So Francis’ views of atheists are no better than Benedict XVI’s. No surprises there. At least Francis hasn’t compared us to the Nazis …yet.

  • Rain

    The encyclical ends with a heartfelt prayer to the Virgin Mary, asking her to “open our ears to hear God’s word”, to “awaken in us a desire to follow in His footsteps [. . .]

    And she does this by appearing in peanut butter sandwiches and cheese puffs! Hearken the cheese puffs O blind atheists.

  • Nick Ellis

    ‘Atheists have no moral compass … in the absence of faith/light, “it is impossible to tell good from evil” ‘

    That’s just wrong.
    It is objective morality that prevents us from telling good from evil. The Old Testament is full of genocides launched by the Israelites at the behest of their sadistic god, and these are moral because they are supposedly god’s will, but the Holocaust launched against them by Hitler (probable Catholic) is immoral because it wasn’t commanded by that same god. Well Hitler claimed to be carrying out “the Lord’s Will”, so he clearly thought it was commanded by god, and therefore was moral.

    You can claim anything you like, but claiming something does not make it true. You have to offer evidence.

    If religious faith gave a faultless moral compass, you wouldn’t need police, or even laws, they would both be unnecessary, and you would attract followers from the obvious quality of your system. This isn’t happening, the opposite is happening and people are abandoning religion precisely because it is becoming clear it is simply a self perpetuating social control mechanism utterly out of tune with reality, trapped in a centuries old model of what society is and should be.

    • DivineWordRadio

      Objective morality would allow you to recognize good from evil. Moral relativism does not. Comparing Mosaic law to modern Christian understanding of God is the same as comparing parental discipline of a 3 year old and a 30 year old. God was not sadistic. He created man, and decides man’s ultimate outcome, in justice. He allows free will, yet makes good come from the evil selections we make. Hitler was not a Catholic. You’ve merely established what Francis contends–that when one chooses to act outside of the teachings of the Church, that you enter the realm of moral relativism.
      You are correct. You can claim anything you like, but claiming something does not make it true. And that applies to your position.
      You are wrong that if religious faith gave a faultless moral compass, you wouldn’t need police, because you always have free will to go your own way. What basis do you make this claim? Can you give an example that establishes it as factual?

      • Pofarmer

        “Comparing Mosaic law to modern Christian understanding of God is the
        same as comparing parental discipline of a 3 year old and a 30 year old.”

        You just pretty much said that God’s morality is relative.

        • DivineWordRadio

          In your mind, this world is all there is. It isn’t. God’s morality is the same. As Jesus noted when discussing divorce, it was allowed under the Law because of the hardness of man’s heart. But divorce was still sinful, as it always has been. The issue involves everlasting life, not this playground called the universe.

          • Pofarmer

            I don’t think the issue here is what’s in MY mind. I mean, really, how could someone question the reality of something that has ONLY EVER been in man’s mind.

            • DivineWordRadio

              But it is. There have been people who have had experiences that point beyond this world. As Christians, we choose to believe in them. And you choose not to.

              • Pofarmer

                Look, Thomas Pqine had it right when he said if it didn’t happen to you it didn’t happen, basically. The experience of Gertrudes Aunt Sallies best friend doesn’t count, even if that person happens to be st. Womebody.

              • Guest

                Thomas Paine had it right when he said second or third hand evidence isn’t proof of anything. Something happening to Gertrudes Aunt Sallies best friend is proof of nothing to you, even if that person is St. Somebody.

              • phantomreader42

                DivineWordRadio lied:

                There have been people who have had experiences that point beyond this world. As Christians, we choose to believe in them. And you choose not to.

                No, you don’t. You only believe those experiences that your cult finds convenient. There are people who claim to have heard the voice of allah, or seen a statue of ganesh come to life, or gone on a vision quest to meet their spirit animal, or received blessings from the kami, or cast magical spells with their coven, and you don’t believe them. You think such people are hallucinating, or delusional, or decieved by evil, or making shit up. You only believe those alleged experiences that your cult tells you to believe.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Phantom, you have the right to be wrong, and to wrongfully accuse me of lying.

                • phantomreader42

                  In what way do you claim I am wrong? Do you believe that gods other than your own exist, and are equally capable of performing miracles for their followers? Do you accept ANY claim of a supernatural experience at face value? Or am I correct that you only consider “experiences that point beyond this world” when you can pretend they point in the direction you want them to point?

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            this playground called the universe.

            And that completely unsubstantiated opinion that all of existence is just a practice run is why people like you feel free to lie and distort over and over in service of your religion. It just doesn’t matter to you so long as you get your way God’s way, which, oddly enough, always exactly resembles your way.

            One needs no more examples of the dishonesty of Christian defenders than that you dodged his point.

  • Jan Kafka

    I made my own god too! It’s a nifty wall plaque to which I’ve mounted a moral compass, irony meter, social barometer, and bullshit detector.

    Still awaiting the delivery of the ghost clock…

  • The Other Weirdo

    To sum up: “Same old, different flesh bag.” Does sound about right?>

  • h2ocean

    Aren’t divorce rates, on average, LOWER among non-religious people? I can’t remember how well non-believers stack up against catholics, but they do better than several protestant denominations if I remember correctly.

    Also, the stuff about making idols out of other things is rich coming from a religion with all of its trinkets and holy items, a hierarchy of human authority, and thousands of saints (although I supposed these all supposedly tie back to one god in some way).

  • cipher

    Do we have any way of knowing how much of this he wrote? I’m curious as to how much of this is his, and how much is Benedict’s.

    • DivineWordRadio

      I am too. I understand about 2/3 of the encyclical was written by the time he received it. However, he was free to dump any portion of it that he disagreed with.

      • cipher

        Wouldn’t that be tantamount to admitting his predecessor wasn’t infallible?

        I also want to say up front – although my question is sincere, I don’t want to get into a protracted conversation with you. We’re speaking different languages and have no basis for dialogue. I despise religion in general, Christianity in particular, and even if I did not, I think Benedict is an absolutely dreadful man. John Paul II was no bargain, either. From what I’ve heard, I would have liked to have seen John Paul I live longer than a month, but as that didn’t happen, I’ve had no use for any Pope since John XXIII.

        • DivineWordRadio

          Not at all. Infallability exists only on matters of Faith and Morals. I wouldn’t look to either to select the next Super Bowl winner (they keep selecting the Saints).
          I believe that Benedict is an incredibly brilliant and insightful man. It appears that you place value in people, or truth, based upon whether it agrees with the way you want it to be. Pity.

          • cipher

            I’m aware of the concept of ex cathedra. I assumed it was in effect when a pope authors an encyclical.

            Couldn’t resist that little parting shot, could you? It’s inconceivable to you that someone could simply disagree with him, even more so that someone could find him abhorrent. You have to rationalize it by telling yourself I reject the “truth” he represents.

            You aren’t here to clear up misconceptions; you’re here to enhance your feeling of superiority. You’re a very small, petty, narcissistic person reveling in faux piety. Go away.

            • Steve

              “You aren’t here to clear up misconceptions; you’re here to enhance your
              feeling of superiority. You’re a very small, petty, narcissistic person
              reveling in faux piety. Go away.”

              You know I wasn’t even going to comment, but that is the pot calling the kettle black. You rant to someone, without provocation, about how much you despise someone else, that you know full well they probably care much for, and then you accuse them of trying to be superior and petty?

              Wow. That’s just… wow.

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                - Cipher disparages some public figures for well-known negative actions.

                -Guy Plugging His Radio Show responds by making up things about Cipher that can’t even be misunderstandings.

                - Cipher insults Guy Plugging His Radio Show in response to Guy lying about him.

                - Guy Plugging His Radio Show also happens to have a visible history on this thread demonstrating that his behavior is not a one-off and that predates Cipher’s post by quite a while.

                I feel confident that you aren’t a fan of the dishonest Christian “You’re just denying the Truth so you can sin” meme. That’s what that person pulled on Cipher. He got off light.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  No misunderstandings. Just malicous falsehoods.

              • cipher

                I saw his earlier comments. He’s been dismissing people left and right using similarly condescending language, while claiming to be here to dispel misconceptions. I said nothing about him personally until that last comment; I was merely setting up ground rules. His agenda is blatantly apparent to everyone else here. The differences between the two comments are so obvious that I shouldn’t even have to be saying this.

              • cipher

                AND I only replied to him in the first place because he addressed me. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have bothered with him.

            • DivineWordRadio

              It isn’t inconceivable that someone might find the Pope abhorrent, any more than it is inconceivable that someone could be wrong.
              There appears to be plenty of faux piety here to go around.

          • baal

            Benedict looks like the living embodiment of death and his pronouncements were right wing noise. Someone, however, in the vatican noticed the even steeper drop off on RCC tithes under his cruel rule so they had to get a more charismatic front man. It’s interesting to see the vatican consistently under cutting Francis by release retractions and modifications of Francis’s words 2-3 days after he says them. These facts make that shop (the vatican) look like a purely political actor.

            • DivineWordRadio

              “looks like the living embodiment of death?” For an apparent atheist, I thought you thought this was it. Or is it this, plus cosmetic surgery?
              “right wing noise?” It is Catholic, not right wing. Some issues are supported by the right, and some by the left.
              And no, your claim about money is also incorrect. Their investments have not done particularly well since 2008, but contributions have stayed up.
              And what was cruel about his time as Pope?
              As to why the Vatican responds, it is because Francis’ statements are not written in advance, and are frequently misquoted or taken out of context by the all-to-anxious-to-destroy press. And, to deal with the press on their terms, the Vatican has hired press people with secular experience.

              • baal

                epistemic closure

                I’m pretty sure others have already commented about the prior pope’s problem with being knee (hip?) deep in the child abuse cover ups. As to your other points, I’m not willing to take your bald counter assertions w/o evidence.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  The Pope was not “knee deep” in child abuse cover ups. False.

                • baal

                  Go spin the google tubes a bit and see what you come up with. Use terms {pope benedict scandal coverup}. You’d find many links that are relevant including this one. You need to stop believing whoever you’re listening to and start evaluating information from a variety of sources.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’ve seen your site and many others. They are wrong. The Guardian article quotes “critics,” the same ones who claimed that Benedict would be indicted. You need to stop believing whoever you’re listening to and stick to the facts.

                • baal

                  Bene stepped down (which happens often for the popes) to avoid the spectacle of trial or indictment. I would hardly call either google or the Guardian ‘mine’ and note that while i linked to one article, there were many on the search results. Regardless, it counts as a proof of claim for my assertion that he’s “knee deep in it”. You need to show that he had no role or that a substantial (not just 1 and not just by assertion) number of the critics are wrong (suits for libel would work as evidence here).

        • DivineWordRadio

          By the way, what was dreadful about Benedict?

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            If you aren’t aware that he took an active hand in protecting child molesters while claiming that “secularism” and the ’60s were to blame for his pedophile priests raping children, you aren’t qualified to go around arguing about the RCC.

            • DivineWordRadio

              I’m not aware because it isn’t true. Given that your statements are false, you aren’t qualified to go around arguing about the Catholic Church.

  • tijeffe

    The only good the catholic church has done to make my world happier is to provide us with some really scary horror movies. Some of these movies are based on the mythology of good and evil, heaven and hell, demons associated with exorcism which is believed by millions of children and childish adults who take it all to heart and who had these fantasies crammed into their impressonable minds from childhood….a crime of child abuse for the purpose of power and money. No matter what be the source of the supernatural horror disturbing a family or person, the exorcist usually enters the scene waving a crucifix and mumbling some gibberish in Latin.
    .

    • invivoMark

      The scarier Catholicism-inspired movies are the ones that aren’t based on mythology.

    • DivineWordRadio

      The scary thing is that you believe this.

      • baal

        As opposed to the totally not scary nearly slavery sweatshops (laundries) the RCC ran in Ireland or the literally endless and on – going rapes. Just in a story today a RCC envoy was pulled from a mission for more sexual abuse.

        • DivineWordRadio

          Let’s see. 1.2 billion people. Some do evil things. Nope. Not surprising. But Magdaline was overstated. And given that there are over 400,000 Catholic priests worldwide, it would not surprise me to find homosexuals that have hidden out there, and have abused post pubescent teen boys.

          • baal

            DWR – the RCC’s coverups aided and abetted the abuse and it wasn’t at background rates. Had the abusers been given over to the police or removed from every having access to children, we’d see lower rates of abuse from the clergy. That simply never happened and is still not happening. You’re denying reality here.

            • DivineWordRadio

              There have been instances where cover-up aided and abetted abusers, by virtue of following the advice of psychologists who said these individuals could be rehabilitated. You would never know it from the media’s obsessive and lurid coverage, but the vast bulk of reported cases of abuse stem only from a historical anomaly, as most allegations occurred during only a small sliver of time during the Sexual Revolution from the 1960s to the early 1980s. And despite media suggestions of dark conspiracies and cover-ups, the Church – like every other institution at the time – simply followed the then-prevailing view of experts in the field that offenders could be successfully rehabilitated and sent accused priests off for treatment, rather than reporting them to police, which resulted in a temporary spike in recidivism.
              From the 1950s through the 1970s, the Catholic Church, following the then-prevailing societal practice, sent suspected abusers to psychologists rather than calling the police.
              In this respect, the Church was far from alone.
              When the Church was sending accused priests to psychological treatment, “the criminal justice system was doing the very same thing with convicted offenders – sending them to treatment instead of prison.”
              “From the 1950′s to the 1980′s, these treatment-based interventions for sexual criminals were not only enormously prevalent in the United States, but surveys of ordinary citizens showed that they were enormously popular …
              “[T]he science of human sexuality and sexual offending is extraordinarily young. Virtually all of the information we utilize today regarding the treatment and supervision of sexual offenders has been discovered since 1985.”
              – Dr. Monica Applewhite, Ph.D.
              Yet in almost every media account, the media has failed to provide this important historical context that the Church was following the then-reigning advice of experts in the field to send accused priests to treatment.
              “No one would hold a brain surgeon to today’s standard of care for professional decisions he made in 1970. Yet the decisions made in 1970 by Catholic bishops, who routinely consulted with mental health professionals about sick priests, are being judged by today’s standards. Today, the confidence of the mental health community about the likelihood of curing sexual disorders is far less than it was in 1970.”
              – L. Martin Nussbaum, “Changing the Rules” (America magazine, 2006)
              Tragically, sending accused priests to treatment rather than reporting them to the police resulted in a high rate of recidivism among those priests. According to the 2004 John Jay College report, 149 priests were “serial abusers” (10+ victims) and accounted for an alarming 26% of all of the abuse that took place between 1950 and 2002.
              Yet these 149 men represent only one-tenth of one percent of all priests who served in the Catholic Church in the United States between 1950 and 2002. Most accused priests (56%) have been the subject of only one allegation.

              • baal

                TL;DR
                It takes way too long to investigate your excessively long and unhelpful reply. I remain unconvinced that it was a “few bad apples.” There are too many cases in literally every country that has priests and those cases happen every single year.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’m sorry you feel this way. The cases we hear about now frequently happened 20 years ago, but accusers only appear now. In the US last year, out of approximately 39,600 priests in the US, 11 were accused of abuse from cases last year.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’m sorry that my response was unhelpful to you.
                  There are approximately 430,000 priests worldwide. The numbers of cases relative to the number of priests is small. Of course, any amount is unacceptable, but the idea that this is a Catholic problem is ludicrous.

                • baal

                  “…, but the idea that this is a Catholic problem is ludicrous”
                  Nope. The problem is two fold. You do have a kernel of truth in that we can expect and do find child abuse in pretty much all religions and places where adults have hierarchical (or authoritarian) closed door access to children. Problem 1 is that the RCC pushes the hierarchical / authoritarian model, aka the priest will tell you what’s a sin and what is not. This means they have better than average tools to demand obedience Problem 2 is the shear amount of $$, power and ability to do cover-ups (and willingness to put the reputation of the RCC ahead of the needs of the victims). Put the two together and the RCC has a special duty to do better. It hasn’t. Not even close.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  The idea of a Catholic problem is ludicrous, your denial aside.

                  You create a non-sequitur, that because the Church has a hierarchical model, and money, and, your false claim that the Church will put itself ahead of the victims, then they have a duty to do better.

                  Here is the problem with this. Abuse occurs outside a hierarchical model, and children are controlled by fear, and shame in that context. Ironically, the size of the Church has allowed the anti-Catholic press and plaintiff’s lawyers to continue to hit the Church (they are not parasites, because parasites do not try to kill their host). The percentage involvement in other institutions is higher, but the reputation already established against the Church makes collection easier.

                  You are correct about one thing. The Church does have a special duty to do better. And they have.

                  The Catholic Church’s record of aggressive and proactive protective measures is unparalleled in any organization today. Since the beginning of the abuse crisis, the Catholic Church:

                  has instituted a “zero tolerance” policy in which any credibly accused priest is immediately removed from ministry. Law enforcement is also notified;

                  has trained over 5 million children in giving them skills to protect them from abuse;

                  has trained over 2 million adults, including 99 percent of all priests, in recognizing signs of abuse;

                  has conducted over 2 million background checks, including those in the intensified screening process for aspiring seminarians and priests;

                  has installed “Victim Assistance Coordinators” in every diocese, “assuring victims that they will be heard”;

                  has conducted annual independent audits of all dioceses to monitor compliance with the groundbreaking 2002 Charter for Protection of Children and Young People;

                  has instituted in all dioceses abuse review boards – often composed of child welfare experts, child psychologists, and abuse experts – to examine any claims of abuse against priests.

                  No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.

                • baal

                  ” 21st century is the model”
                  except for turning priests over to the secular authorities
                  except for not taking simple standard precautions like limiting access
                  except for taking victim funds and hiding them in the cemetery
                  ….

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Did you bother to read anything I posted?

                  Your hatred is showing.

                • baal

                  “Your hatred is showing.”
                  As is your willful obliviousness (at best) or intentional misinformation (at less than best). My issue with your organization is that it creates harms that it has entirely within its power to solve. These harms are non-trivial and while child abuse is high on the list, other things like stopping condom distribution and rational family planning are there as well.

                  If a guy in your neighborhood helps out the elderly by shoveling walks and mows lawns etc for folks who cannot he’s still not a nice person if he also rapes your dogs and ensures all the cats die from preventable diseases.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  You still have the right to be malicious and wrong.
                  You make false assumptions about the Church, and ignore the improvements made in handling abuse cases.
                  You claim that the organization creates harms that it has within its power to solve. It has, to the extent it can be.
                  Condom distribution will not be changed by the Church, or any artificial birth control. All Christian denominations also held this position prior to 1930. The Church will not be changing. Did you ignore the fact that the Church is right on this issue?
                  Increased condom use in Africa has failed to decrease AIDS. Why? Because people take more dangerous actions when they have a false sense of security. Rugby players have fewer head injuries than those playing American football with safety helmets. Why, when rugby is clearly more dangerous? Because one playing rugby doesn’t think that their head is impervious to damage.
                  Promoting condoms causes more people to die from AIDS. Are you proposing then, that those deaths are on your hands?

                • baal

                  “Promoting condoms causes more people to die from AIDS.”

                  &

                  “Increased condom use in Africa has failed to decrease AIDS. Why?”

                  Citations please. I expect WHO or equivalent agency sources and not from the RCC or religiously funded orgs.

                  Regardless, you analogy is inapt as folks will have sex regardless of protection (or not). It’s hard to imagine substantial increases in rates of having sex (and getting the condom usage wrong) by having condoms available.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  The Washington Post in March of 2009 addressed this issue in an article published by Edward C. Green, a senior reseach scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health entitled “The Pope May Be Right.” He stated, “When Pope Benedict XVI commented this month that condom distribution isn’t helping, and may be worsening, the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, he set off a firestorm of protest…. Yet, in truth, current empirical evidence supports him. We liberals who work in the fields of global HIV/AIDS and family planning take terrible professional risks if we side with the pope on a divisive topic such as this. The condom has become a symbol of freedom and — along with contraception — female emancipation, so those who question condom orthodoxy are accused of being against these causes. My comments are only about the question of condoms working to stem the spread of AIDS in Africa’s generalized epidemics — nowhere else.”
                  He continued: “In 2003, Norman Hearst and Sanny Chen of the University of California conducted a condom effectiveness study for the United Nations’ AIDS program and found no evidence of condoms working as a primary HIV-prevention measure in Africa. UNAIDS quietly disowned the study. (The authors eventually managed to publish their findings in the quarterly Studies in Family Planning.) Since then, major articles in other peer-reviewed journals such as the Lancet, Science and BMJ have confirmed that condoms have not worked as a primary intervention in the population-wide epidemics of Africa. In a 2008 article in Science called ‘Reassessing HIV Prevention’ 10 AIDS experts concluded that ‘consistent condom use has not reached a sufficiently high level, even after many years of widespread and often aggressive promotion, to produce a measurable slowing of new infections in the generalized epidemics of Sub-Saharan Africa.’” http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-03-29/opinions/36866483_1_condom-distribution-aids-experts-epidemics .
                  Interestingly enough, the author of the article took exactly the same position you did on being surprised. He indicates that as a liberal, he expected just the opposite, and asked, “So what has worked in Africa? Strategies that break up these multiple and concurrent sexual networks — or, in plain language, faithful mutual monogamy or at least reduction in numbers of partners, especially concurrent ones. ‘Closed’ or faithful polygamy can work as well.
                  In Uganda’s early, largely home-grown AIDS program, which began in 1986, the focus was on ‘Sticking to One Partner’ or ‘Zero Grazing’ (which meant remaining faithful within a polygamous marriage) and ‘Loving Faithfully.’ These simple messages worked. More recently, the two countries with the highest HIV infection rates, Swaziland and Botswana, have both launched campaigns that discourage people from having multiple and concurrent sexual partners.” He made it clear that he was not in agreement with Church teaching: “Don’t misunderstand me; I am not anti-condom. All people should have full access to condoms, and condoms should always be a backup strategy for those who will not or cannot remain in a mutually faithful relationship.”
                  So it appears that condoms distribution does not work in Africa, and can make matters worse.

                • baal

                  “This review illustrates that it is possible to increase condom use significantly in different types of sexual partnership, and across different continents, and so supports the continued promotion of condoms as part of a comprehensive response to the global HIV epidemic.” per the NIH

                  This is a stub, I have a fuller reply otw.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’ve seen it. It changes nothing. Even the NIH study review indicates that the greatest “successes” (a term that I do not apply to immoral activity) occurs with sex workers. As the stub states “In primary partnerships, postintervention condom use was low unless one partner was knowingly HIV‐infected or at high‐risk, or avoiding pregnancy.” The broader issue was that STD issues arise when condom use is promoted, because there is no standard that sexuality should be between husband and wife. When you remove the cultural taboos, and replace them with a piece of rubber, you have increased negative outcomes. Cultures with no condom use, but strong cultural taboos, have the lowest rates of STDs. As the stub states, “recently the relative importance of condom promotion in comparison with promoting abstinence or partner reduction has been debated.” The stub indicates that condom usage can be increased, and that condom use with couples that are infected can be effective, but not that increased condom use does not promote risky behavior.

                  But, I do want to thank you for your civility in addressing this issue.

                • 3lemenope

                  If a guy in your neighborhood helps out the elderly by shoveling walks and mows lawns etc for folks who cannot he’s still not a nice person if he also rapes your dogs and ensures all the cats die from preventable diseases.

                  In other words, “a good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have it’s own reward.”

                  The Bible: losing on moral advice to fantasy fiction since Don Quixote.

          • baal

            Also, don’t conflate homosexual with child abuser. They are not the same thing and most child abusers are otherwise straight regardless of the sex or gender the child involved (c.f. Jerry Sandusky and all the scientific literature on the subject).

            • DivineWordRadio

              Actually they typically were. And I’m less than interested in the “scientific literature” that says that are are not connected. This comes from the same people who told Catholic bishops in the 1970s and 1980s that these people could be rehabilitated. A majority of pedophiles are heterosexual, because there are 50 times more heterosexuals than homosexuals. According to the John Jay report, 81% of these cases were homosexual in nature. And a majority of these cases were actually ephebophilia.

              • baal

                Again, your understanding of sexuality could fill a thimble. Even if I accept your assertion that the scientists are to blame (instead of the priests) that doesn’t absolve the RCC leaders of their duty (and the sin of letting abuse happen). They could have issued a rule that said no priest may be behind closed doors with a child. They could have taken priests out of places where they have contact with many kids. They could have given the priests to the cops with all the evidence and the secular legal system could have prosecuted the crimes as crimes (for plain old crime it is).

                For having failed the children and for having failed to do even minimal oversight, the RCC leaders are guilty of mortal sin and morally blameworthy for the harms they failed to prevent ( and are still not stopping).

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I understand the place for sexuality. I suspect you do not. I happen to agree with you that I don’t absolve those like Cardinal Mahoney who covered up their actions. The Church has new regulations that place two adults (background checked, and trained to spot abuse) at all activities with children. But the confessional will always be confidential (although the can use claims didn’t center on this). There is no reason that priests should be kept out of contact with children. The vast majority of them are good men who’ve done nothing wrong. Last year, there 11 priests accused in the US that year out of thousands of priests. And while a number of bishops covered these things up 10 years ago, since the John Jay report, the USCCB has promulgated new standards that work. Your conclusion is simply false.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I don’t know why my answer isn’t posted here, as I have already responded. I have much more of an understanding of sexuality inside of marriage, where it is intended, that I suspect that you do.
                  I agree that Bishops who hid what went on, primarily in the 1970s and 1980s, do not get a pass over this. However, virtually none of them face criminal problems, since their actions did not violate the law. A great many people wonder why more priests and/or bishops have not been jailed. Sadly, criminal statutes of limitation, and, actions not being criminal, have resulted in a number of criminal actions not being able to be taken in the past.
                  There is no reason for a rule that a priest can’t be with children behind closed doors, any more than a policeman or fireman or teacher can’t be with children behind closed doors. Plus, why would you take priests out of contact with children? Are you talking about priests who were accused? In some instances they did.
                  And as I already pointed out, the Catholic Church has done a better job of addressing this in the last 10 years than any other institution.

                • baal

                  ” I have much more of an understanding of sexuality inside of marriage, where it is intended, that I suspect that you do.”

                  Yes well, fuck you too. Unless you have a side business as a secular sex therapist, I seriously doubt it. I’ve seen way too many totally messed up people who couldn’t get their desires to conform to the religious version of sexuality (1M1F, married only and best if only for procreation only). Libby Anne (another patheos atheist blogger) does an amazing job pointing up the utter failure if not flat abusiveness of the RCC’s or conservative religious version of human sexuality.

                  As to stopping private time – it’s standard operating procedure in business and top schools that noone who has power over another (such as hire/fire or teacher / coach) ever (and I mean ever ) goes behind a closed door alone with a vulnerable person. Police should never do it but being able to lock doors is important for arrests (else the arestees walk off). It counts highly against you and the RCC that you have not adopted this ultra simple precaution against abuse.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Your answer alone establishes my comfort in my position.

                  You choose to put up disordered relationships as a justification that a standard shouldn’t exist? Give me a break.

                  Your claim about the Church is absolutely false. As I pointed about above, and will copy and paste here, the Church is better on point than any other entity.

                  The Catholic Church’s record of aggressive and proactive protective measures is unparalleled in any organization today. Since the beginning of the abuse crisis, the Catholic Church:

                  has instituted a “zero tolerance” policy in which any credibly accused priest is immediately removed from ministry. Law enforcement is also notified;

                  has trained over 5 million children in giving them skills to protect them from abuse;

                  has trained over 2 million adults, including 99 percent of all priests, in recognizing signs of abuse;

                  has conducted over 2 million background checks, including those in the intensified screening process for aspiring seminarians and priests;

                  has installed “Victim Assistance Coordinators” in every diocese, “assuring victims that they will be heard”;

                  has conducted annual independent audits of all dioceses to monitor compliance with the groundbreaking 2002 Charter for Protection of Children and Young People;

                  has instituted in all dioceses abuse review boards – often composed of child welfare experts, child psychologists, and abuse experts – to examine any claims of abuse against priests.

                  No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.

                  While you claim hiring and firing is done with witnesses (for protection of legal liability only), even this is a relatively new standard in Human Resources. And the two issues are different.

                • baal

                  “While you claim hiring and firing is done”
                  i did not so claim.
                  Literally every boss in the large company i work for and the same for everyone i know in business doesn’t do closed door with regularity for any purpose and most door if not all the rooms have windows and traffic that walks by.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Again, you give examples having nothing to do with children. By the way, I don’t know what type of business you’ve been involved in, but as an attorney, and President of a number of businesses in the healthcare field, your absolutist claim about businesses is false.

                • baal

                  Strategies and methods to prevent abuse of adults also works to prevent abuse of children. Or are you suggesting child abuse will still happen when passers by can see what you are doing?

                  Grats on your gainful employment. I’m more than a little surprised you can be an attny as well as a president multiple times over and yet show up here to make incredible claims in defense of your corrupt org.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  I’m suggesting that the Church has developed strategies and methods to prevent abuse, but that no strategy or method is foolproof, and certainly you know that. The Church’s techniques established in the last 11 years are cutting edge, but nothing is perfect.

                  With those techniques, there were 11 new cases in the US last year, out of approximately 40,000 priests. When the press covers a story, such as one I know of this week, it involved a priest accused of wrongdoing with a 15 year old in 1993. The priest was immediately removed from active ministry pending investigation. Circumstances have required the Church to start with a presumption of guilt, which runs counter to the way most systems operate. In this particular case, the priest has the burden of defending himself over an action which may not have happened 20 years ago, and see if it is possible to establish and alibi this much later. As an attorney, I see this as a down side to open ended statutes of limitations.

                  It has been the gainful employment in the past that has allowed me to work full time as a volunteer for Catholic Radio. My younger brother operates our businesses (and is happy to have a freer reign without me there daily).

                  And I make the defense because of people such as yourself that want to make overblown, false claims.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Either you’re intentionally covering for the fact that the problem with the RCC and child abuse is that the RCC protects child molesters, or you’re too ignorant of the issue to be worth anyone’s time.

            So which is it, Mister Church? Are you talking about things that are common knowledge and yet which you are ignorant of, or are you covering up for child molesters? Take your pick.

            Your vile, toxic slur against homosexuals is a sin. Again, are you lying about what homosexuals are, or are you so ignorant that your opinions are just toxic trash?

            • DivineWordRadio

              My statement about homosexuals is correct and not a sin.
              Approximately 81% of the abuse cases reported in the John Jay report involved homosexual conduct by priests, and the actions were ephebophilia, post-pubescent sexual contact with teen boys. These are people, not homosexuals, who carry out homosexual acts. I’m neither ignorant, nor, as you claim “toxic trash.” I’m simply speaking the truth. You simply don’t like the truth.
              Actually, there is a third choice besides cover-up of child abuse or ignorance. It is a balanced and correct assessment of the Church’s activities. The problems reported, even today, are largely historical in nature. A case I saw this week involved an allegation against a priest from 20 years ago.
               
              The Church is actively dealing with the issue of child abuse. The Catholic Church is likely the safest environment for children today. The Catholic Church’s record of aggressive and proactive protective measures is unparalleled in any organization today. Since the beginning of the abuse crisis, the Catholic Church:
              has instituted a “zero tolerance” policy in which any credibly accused priest is immediately removed from ministry. Law enforcement is also notified;
              has trained over 5 million children in giving them skills to protect them from abuse;
              has trained over 2 million adults, including 99 percent of all priests, in recognizing signs of abuse;
              has conducted over 2 million background checks, including those in the intensified screening process for aspiring seminarians and priests;
              has installed “Victim Assistance Coordinators” in every diocese, “assuring victims that they will be heard”;
              has conducted annual independent audits of all dioceses to monitor compliance with the groundbreaking 2002 Charter for Protection of Children and Young People;
              has instituted in all dioceses abuse review boards – often composed of child welfare experts, child psychologists, and abuse experts – to examine any claims of abuse against priests.
              No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.
              has instituted in all dioceses abuse review boards – often composed of child welfare experts, child psychologists, and abuse experts – to examine any claims of abuse against priests.The Catholic Church is likely the safest environment for children today. The Catholic Church’s record of aggressive and proactive protective measures is unparalleled in any organization today. Since the beginning of the abuse crisis, the Catholic Church:
              has instituted a “zero tolerance” policy in which any credibly accused priest is immediately removed from ministry. Law enforcement is also notified;
              has trained over 5 million children in giving them skills to protect them from abuse;
              has trained over 2 million adults, including 99 percent of all priests, in recognizing signs of abuse;
              has conducted over 2 million background checks, including those in the intensified screening process for aspiring seminarians and priests;
              has installed “Victim Assistance Coordinators” in every diocese, “assuring victims that they will be heard”;
              has conducted annual independent audits of all dioceses to monitor compliance with the groundbreaking 2002 Charter for Protection of Children and Young People;
              has instituted in all dioceses abuse review boards – often composed of child welfare experts, child psychologists, and abuse experts – to examine any claims of abuse against priests.
              No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.
              has instituted in all dioceses abuse review boards – often composed of child welfare experts, child psychologists, and abuse experts – to examine any claims of abuse against priests.2002 Charter for Protection of Children and Young People;
              has instituted in all dioceses abuse review boards – often composed of child welfare experts, child psychologists, and abuse experts – to examine any claims of abuse against priests.
              No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.

      • tijeffe

        What’s even scarier is that you and millions of other people believe the malarky the church dishes out so it can continue to stay in business. Unfortunately for the vatican too many people are seeing the light of reality these days, so it won’t be long before the vatican is out of the confidence game business and just dries up.

        • DivineWordRadio

          We are able to “stay in business” because millions agree with us. The Church has more members now than it ever has in history. And no, what you are peddling is the same self-absorbed thought process that has existed throughtout history. Dream on.

          • tijeffe

            I don’t peddle anything, especially the dogma that strikes fear into impressionable minds. Please go on doing what your conscience allows. It’s none of my business until it crosses the line and starts to interfere with and dictate church “morality” to the federal government.

  • Scott_F

    “those who believe are never alone”

    Tell that to Mother Theresa

    • DivineWordRadio

      She wasn’t, and isn’t.

  • keylockb

    Just stuff and nonsense – and we all know what RC leaders mean by love!! Pervs.

    • DivineWordRadio

      You clearly don’t know what love is. Pity.

      • keylockb

        Clearly more than you, in your deluded world, ever will.

  • eric

    If we really tried to find God, we’d find him. This one is quite a slap in the face for the many unbelievers who became such after a long and sincere process of religious seeking

    Yeah, but you gotta see the humor in it too. Approximately 40,000 Christian sects, and every single one of them proclaims that (their true version of) the message is clear and can easily be found by any honest searchers. It’s Life of Brian’s “yes, we are all individuals” joke taken to an epic level, yet it’s real.

    • allein

      I really need to watch that movie one of these days…

      • Pofarmer

        Me too.

    • DivineWordRadio

      It is merely sad. Jesus wanted us to be one. But just as atheists choose to walk away, so have those in the other 40,000 groups, wanting it their own way.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Annnnd there you go into A Caricature of Yourself Land, responding to his point by doing the exact thing he’s describing.

        Not to mention you pretending to psychic about us, just like all your ilk.

        • DivineWordRadio

          Sorry, but we don’t have to be psychic. And, I suppose, you are entitled to find Truth humorous.

  • Shelly Liebmann

    This really shows the narrowness of mind, in this case, of a religious nature, that can’t conceive that human beings can sincerely think in different ways. It also is built on a mythical stereotype religious people invented about unbelievers whose very existence and ability to present facts that invalidates the automatic ‘rightness’ of religious intuition ( often using deliberative thinking and evidence to challenge and correct faulty intuitions-those putting their own intuitions on a pedestal, which is truely self-centered, react very badly to this correction). This blinkered narrowness threatens the overall betterment of humankind, especially since it attacks the wider potential, including the most brilliant human minds that contribute the most to our overall problem solving and give us true, rather than mythic, wonder. These brilliant minds, at least in the sciences, tend to be unbelievers in hugely greater percentages than the general populace. They also tend to evidence a moral compass as good, or usually better, than the general typically believing populace. Whatever door of mutual respect Francis had seemed previously to open has been closed by this idiocy of demonstrable falsehoods and defamation.

    • DivineWordRadio

      I don’t believe that there is a belief by the Church, or the Pope, that human beings can’t sincerely think in different ways. Of course, we don’t accept your claim for invalidity of the Truth taught by the Church can be invalidated by anythiing you might teach. Your claim, by its nature, is mythical. You provide nothing but your own conclusions, including the thought that “the most brilliant human minds” would not be Catholic (or, for that matter, what difference that would make). Throughout history, the brilliant minds supported Christianity, not attaacked it. And what moral compass do these mythical straw men hold? Sadly I see no mutual respect in your post of “demonstarble falsehoods and defamation.”

      • Pofarmer

        I wish you realized how delusional you sound.

        • DivineWordRadio

          I wish you realized how hateful you sound.

          • Pofarmer

            Yes. Disagreeing with the Church = hateful.

  • Frank Key

    It really doesn’t matter how they how are labeled, all ideas – the pitiful, the awesome, the lofty, the gutterish – are of human origin.
    All religious notions can be restated with secular terms to reflect a secular POV of the same ethics.
    Religious thought exhibits nothing more than the unlimited scope of the human imagination.
    All feelings created by religious experiences can be recreated using non-religious stimuli.
    The Pope’s letter does nothing more for me than to reinforce the ideas stated above.

    • DivineWordRadio

      Perhaps something else will come along to change that one day.

  • Monika Jankun-Kelly

    How sad. I never thought he said we got to go to the magic sky kingdom with the believers, but he did seem to say we were capable of being good. Nevermind, he just spelled out very clearly he doesn’t think that at all. That encyclical is exactly the sort of prejudice and ignorance I thought his earlier comments might combat. Color me disappointed.

    • Mario Strada

      Well, being born in Rome and baptized in St. Peter I have a certain familiarity with the coming and goings of the catholic faith, especially in regard to the reality of managing a largely political power.

      Frankie never really threw unbelievers a big bone, he simply stated what every honest religious person has to admit in the face of evidence. But he always thought that at the very least Heaven’s gates would be closed to us for good. They all do. It’s their special place.

      At the same time, I don’t read in this enciclica what “Checco” (“Frankie” translated in Italian) thinks, whatever that may be.
      This is a political tract as well as a religious one. Obviously, his previous comments have created some tension at the vatican. This is hos way to reassure the faithful he is not starting a membership with Meetup.com and frequenting the local atheist meet.

      I would be more propense to believe what one says in the heat of the moment rather than a document written by committee like this one.

      • Brian Anthony

        encyclicals are actually hand written by the pope. committees only handle bulls

    • DivineWordRadio

      I colored you sarcastic.

      • baal

        I color you wrong DWR. I don’t see sarcasm in what Monika wrote. Lots of folks thought Francis’s more humane public statements would be supported by the Vatican but that doesn’t seem to be the case – I present the above encyclical as evidence.

  • rustywheeler

    Ow my sides.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Best reaction yet. I applaud you, Sir.

  • AZDem9933

    Most of his arguments in favor of religion are about what he believes are its salutary effect on human nature and communities. None of which are arguments for the actual existence of a supernatural deity. You could probably demonstrate that 4 year olds who believe in Santa Claus are better behaved in the month of December than those who don’t but that doesn’t make Santa Claus real, or even a necessary belief to instill good behavior in children. So unless and until the Pontiff can prove the existence of his God he is simply peddling a Useful Lie.

    • DivineWordRadio

      The purpose of the discussion wasn’t to convince you of the existence of God, but to state that Christians are in a different place than atheists. And, I believe, your post bears that out.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        First, it wasn’t a discussion. Second, the purpose of it was made clear: he spent his time speaking falsehoods in order to libel a group of people out of some combination of ignorance, maliciousness, and tribalism. And here you are misrepresenting things in order to defend that. Congratulations on your knee-jerk defense of bigotry.

        • Pofarmer

          “Congratulations on your knee-jerk defense of bigotry.”

          Bigotry is mostly what they’ve got.

          • DivineWordRadio

            Apparently you don’t know what bigotry is.

            • Pofarmer

              I’m not the one spouting the “one true church” tripe.

              • DivineWordRadio

                You’ve got the right to be wrong.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              It involves attacking a group of people based on one of a list of qualities, including religion or lack thereof, as opposed to attacking that group for their actions. So, for example, criticizing those Christians who try to deny equal rights to gays based on their religion is not bigotry, while criticizing Christians as being stupid for being Christian is bigotry.

              Your pope’s declaration falls into the latter category. Sorry, ignoramus. Read a book sometime. You might learn what words mean.

              Again, good job defending bigoted statements. Your big man must be proud. But you don’t actually care what he thinks, so that makes no nevermind.

  • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

    We have all broken God’s law. We have all stolen, lied, looked with lust (adultery of the heart according to God) . Because God is a just and holy God, he must punish sin (like a just and good judge who punishes a murderer by sending him to prison.) Each of our sins against an infinitely good God is an infinite offense. God’s prison is hell where the fire is not quenched and the worm never dies. The Bible says God is rich in mercy and loving and He made a way for us so that we don’t have to go to hell. He sent His Son, Jesus, fully God and fully man to live a perfect and sinless life and to die on the cross as payment for our sins. On the third day he was resurrected and defeated death and sin. God has two requirements of us. That we repent of our sins (turn from our sins, turn from our worldly ways) and turn towards Christ and that we believe in and put our trust in Christ’s perfect life and sacrificial death on the cross. So please, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

    • baal

      “We have all broken God’s law”
      I reject your personal human assertion. I find no convincing evidence that this god fellow exists or that the suggested laws of the bible or those from god’s followers are worth following.

      I reject your assertion that we’re all defective from the get go. Some people are but more are not. Why do you value people so little?
      I reject your assertion that we should turn away from the world. There are real problems and real solutions to those problems but we won’t find them in the mists of myth. We will find solutions by using science and empiricism to actually know how things work so we can figure out (using our brains!) ways to improve things.

      • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

        For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

        • baal

          “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability.”

          “From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.”

          “Almost nobody dances sober, unless they happen to be
          insane.”

          “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and
          the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”

          “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the
          inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.”

          ― H.P. Lovecraft

          • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

            So please consider wondering about this. When we die, we will stand before God in judgment and will be judged according to His standard. If you have ever lied or stolen, or looked with lust (adultery), then you will be guilty. God punishes people in Hell. God is rich in mercy and a loving God and He made a way for us to go to heaven. He sent His son Jesus, fully God and fully man, to live a perfect and sinless life and to die on the cross for our sins. On the third day He rose again. Eternal life is for those who repent of their sin and put their trust in Christ.

            • 3lemenope

              Well, it’s a nice story.

              No, wait a second. It’s not a nice story. At all.

              • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                You get to choose the ending. Repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ and it’s a wonderful ending beyond your wildest imagination. If you don’t it’s a terrible ending of eternal punishment for your sins.

                • 3lemenope

                  Repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ and it’s a wonderful ending beyond your wildest imagination.

                  If it’s beyond my imagination, then how can it possibly be an effective appeal to me?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  It’s descriptive of wonderful. Think of the best possible meaning of wonderful and it’s better than that.

                • 3lemenope

                  Ooh, sort of like the Ontological Argument, but for wonder instead of God?

                  Only trouble is, the Ontological Argument is almost laughably fallacious.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Just trying to be descriptive of heaven.

                  God can be clearly seen in creation.

                • 3lemenope

                  Just trying to be descriptive of heaven.

                  Perhaps your difficulties have something to do with the thing you’re trying to describe you have absolutely no experience with, and has hasn’t been described really even by primary religious sources. I mean, point to a description of heaven in the Bible, if you can. Does it have any of the features you described it as having?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Yes, you are right in saying that it is hard to describe something that we have not seen. The Bible says heaven is where Jesus was taken to and to go to heaven is to be in His presence. Nothing could be more wonderful and yes, it is hard to describe that.

                  Hell on the other hand, was taught very clearly by Jesus and was described as the Lake of Fire, where the fire is not quenched, where the worm does not die, and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

                  Please choose eternal life in heaven. Repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ.

                • 3lemenope

                  The Bible says heaven is where Jesus was taken to and to go to heaven is to be in His presence. Nothing could be more wonderful and yes, it is hard to describe that.

                  Where in the Bible does it say (or even imply) that to be in His presence would be wonderful? Most figures in the Bible that are in the presence of one of the Godhead are either terrified (father), confused (son), or suddenly pregnant (holy spirit).

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence,
                  with eternal pleasures at your right hand

                  So His presence there is fullness of joy.

                  In Revelation 21:4, He said that “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

                • 3lemenope

                  So the New Jerusalem is heaven? Interesting interpretation.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  You asked where in the Bible it says to be in His presence is wonderful. But I’ll be happy to post the whole passage, which includes the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,

                  Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

                  5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

                  6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

                • 3lemenope

                  I familiar with the passage, thanks. You do realize they’re talking about the sky, right? “Heaven” is a reference to the sky, not an ethereal otherworldly non-physical realm.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  It is descriptive. If I say the sun rose today, we all know that that is technically inaccurate but descriptive of the situation. We all know the earth rotates and the sun doesn’t “rise” but it is descriptive from my perspective.

                  You asked where in the Bible it says to be in His presence is wonderful. That was the purpose of quoting this passage and specifically:

                  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

                • 3lemenope

                  I really miss the dog I grew up with. Will God make me forget?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  If you repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ, then He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

                • 3lemenope

                  But I really loved my dog. How can I be said to love him if I can’t even remember him properly?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  I don’t know. You will have to ask God.

                • 3lemenope

                  Well, this is kind of a critical issue here. You have told me that I have to choose what to believe now, because when I die it will be too late. But I don’t want to choose an option that means the obliteration of every relationship that helps to give my life joy and meaning (you know, those things that I actually know are real); if I get to heaven, and most of those people that matter to me aren’t there, and there are only two possibilities, then I will have to mourn for them suffering in Hell.

                  So I can’t just wait and ask God. I need an answer on this issue before I die. What do you have for me?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  In heaven your focus will be on God, not of the things of this world (including people.) The Bible says that there is no marriage in heaven. I love my wife dearly, which is why I share with her the good news of Jesus Christ. But I don’t know how God wipes every tear and there is no more pain, just that He does.

                • 3lemenope

                  So what was the value of having a life, if everything about it is discarded in favor of staring at God forever? Heck, I could have done that right out of the womb. Or maybe after I get the magical water cleansing.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  The value in having a life is loving God and serving God by loving your neighbor.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Disquis seems to have eaten my homework. So I’ll try again.

                  The value in life is loving God and serving God by loving others.

                • 3lemenope

                  Holy crap. Just…

                  When Nietzsche said that you guys were life-denying and life-negating, he knew that he was talking about.

                  I. Am. Floored.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Yes, Nietzsche argued that Christianity is fundamentally opposed to life and that the concept of sin makes us ashamed of our instincts and sexuality, and that the concept of faith discourages our curiosity and natural skepticism, and that the concept of pity encourages us to value and cherish weakness. He also said Christian morality is based on the promise of an afterlife, leading Christians to devalue this life in favor of the beyond and that Christianity springs from resentment for life and those who enjoy it. As a result, Nietzsche considers Christianity to be the hated enemy of life.

                  I don’t think that accurately describes me in any way. When you repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus, you are made a new creation and you understand that this life counts. In fact it sets up all of eternity. This life is not devalued, but rather you have understanding of this life in the context of all eternity. There can be no greater purpose in this life than Loving God and Loving Others. That’s not devaluing life. That is living it.

                  Today is the day of salvation. So please repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ.

                • phantomreader42

                  But if you loved others, and some of those others ended up in hell, then god either has to mindrape you into forgetting they ever existed, or mindrape you into not loving them or caring about the fact that they’re being tortured forever, or mindrape you into celebrating the unending torment of your loved ones. In any of those cases, there’s no more love there, and you’re not yourself or even a person anymore, just an empty shell mindraped into the invisible sky tyrant’s unthinking slave. But then, you can’t imagine how anyone could have a problem with that, since you don’t actually have any thoughts of your own, you just regurgitate what the voices in your head order you to say. You aren’t even a person, just a repeater. Your cult is sick and evil and empty, and it has made you sick and evil and empty.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  I have no voices in my head, and take no pleasure in those who don’t believe, because when we die, we will all be accountable to a holy and just God. Because we have sinned against Him, we all deserve hell. Because God is rich in mercy and a loving God, He made a way for us despite our sinful behavior. He sent His Son, Jesus, who lived a perfect life, and died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead on the third day.

                  Eternal life is for those who turn from (repent) their sin and believe in Jesus.

                • phantomreader42

                  Just as I said, you aren’t even a human being any more, just a repeater. You aren’t capable of even imagining communicating with an actual person, you just mindlessly regurgitate the same old shitty apologetics script. Your god is nothing more than a figment of your diseased imagination.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

                • Cake

                  Reality refutes you.

                  If god could clearly be seen in creation, there wouldn’t be all these other regions.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Reality is aligned with the Bible. People don’t want to see God in creation because then they would be accountable for their sins like lying, stealing and looking with lust (adultery)

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Other religions teach that you have to earn your righteousness to go to heaven. The Bible teaches you have to repent of your sin and put your trust in Jesus.

                • Cake

                  Every single religion that has come before yours still refutes you.
                  Call them a liar if you will, the religions that came after yours thinks the same of you.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Every other religion teaches that you have to earn your own form of righteousness to obtain the goal.

                  Jesus is the only who teaches that His perfect life, death on the cross and resurrection is sufficient for salvation to all those who repent of their sins and put their trust in Christ.

                • Cake

                  You’re lying again. in the same paragraph telling people they don’t have to earn anything and in the next sentence laying out the things they need to do to obtain a goal.

                  Really if you’re going to lie in the same paragraph why should we listen to you?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  repenting of your sin and putting your trust in Christ is not “earning” your salvation. Being broken over your sin and put your trust in Christ’s righteousness and death on the cross is different that having a list of things to do to earn your own righteousness.

                • Cake

                  See there you go playing games by redefining words.

                  Really, if you’re not here to talk honestly with people why do you bother?

                • 3lemenope

                  Well now, to be fair according to Christianity all mankind are just worthless scum, so we can’t deserve salvation. If we deserved it, we wouldn’t need it.

                  As soon as you cop to just how perverse this worldview really is, it becomes clear. They aren’t lying. They’re just that fucked up.

                • 3lemenope

                  I have a question. If we are so obviously in God’s eyes useless and broken, such that the only way he can tolerate our presence is if he offers us a freebie in the form of Jesus, why did it take so long for Him to offer it? Were the millions that were born before Jesus out of luck?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  In the Old Testament, they repented of their sins and believe in God and His promise to bring a savior, a savior that died for everyone’s sins, including in the Old Testament. The concept has not changed.

                  Genesis 15:6 says 6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness..

                  We enter heaving by believing and by the righteousness of another, not our own righteousness.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Actually, that’s not in the Old Testament at all, the stuff about sin and saviors and all.

                  The Messiah that Orthodox Jews believe in will come at one of two times- either when the world is totally fucked up, to save us from our own mistakes, or when we’ve made the world a fit place for him. That’s where the strong social justice strand that runs through Judaism comes from- the second idea. Basically, if we make the world a happy place with no more wars, famines, people dying of treatable disease, etc, the Messiah will come because we’ve finally made the world fit for his habitation.

                  This whole sin thing requiring a human sacrifice to cleanse it? All New Testament, that. Jewish sins are personal (specifically not passed down the generations, in fact, except for Adam and Eve which gets weird, and even then it was only the two of them getting kicked out. There were no kids yet). Human sacrifice was specifically banned. Whenever Israelites started worshipping other gods or being bad in God’s eyes, they got sent a nice plague or invader to whip them straight. Substitutionary atonement was not, and is not, a Jewish or Israelite concept. You’re reading through the eyes of the indoctrinated; try reading with fresh eyes for once.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Hey, let’s play a game. I will show you a paragraph and you tell me what person it describes.

                  Surely he took up our pain
                  and bore our suffering,
                  yet we considered him punished by God,
                  stricken by him, and afflicted.
                  But he was pierced for our transgressions,
                  he was crushed for our iniquities;
                  the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
                  and by his wounds we are healed.
                  We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
                  each of us has turned to our own way;
                  and the Lord has laid on him
                  the iniquity of us all.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Who knows? Not Jesus. Isaiah made many prophecies, none of which came true. Nice try, though!

                  The verses after that? In Isaiah 54, talking about what happens after whoever is described in 53 dies? Totally didn’t happen after Jesus died. So whoever it was supposed to be describing? Not Jesus.

                  Sing, barren woman,
                  you who never bore a child;
                  burst into song, shout for joy,
                  you who were never in labor;
                  because more are the children of the desolate woman
                  than of her who has a husband,”
                  says the Lord.
                  2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
                  stretch your tent curtains wide,
                  do not hold back;
                  lengthen your cords,
                  strengthen your stakes.
                  3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
                  your descendants will dispossess nations
                  and settle in their desolate cities.

                  But sure, let’s keep playing the game of random OT prophets taken totally out of context. This can only go hilariously.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Chapter 54 talks about the future Glory of Zion. May not have happened yet. But since we are trying to quote context. I’ll point out the rest of the Chapter 53:

                  He was oppressed and afflicted,
                  yet he did not open his mouth;
                  he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
                  and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
                  so he did not open his mouth.
                  8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
                  Yet who of his generation protested?
                  For he was cut off from the land of the living;
                  for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
                  9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
                  and with the rich in his death,
                  though he had done no violence,
                  nor was any deceit in his mouth.

                  10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
                  and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
                  he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
                  and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
                  11 After he has suffered,
                  he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
                  by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
                  and he will bear their iniquities.
                  12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
                  and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
                  because he poured out his life unto death,
                  and was numbered with the transgressors.
                  For he bore the sin of many,
                  and made intercession for the transgressors.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Uh huh. Sounds like a pretty generic prophecy to me. There’s a bunch of other wandering preacher-prophets around 2000 years ago who got crucified or otherwise killed by Romans. Why wouldn’t it refer to one of them?

                  Besides, Jesus doesn’t count. He wasn’t silent. He wouldn’t shut up, in fact, and he cursed god on the cross according to at least one of your holy books. So definitely not him.

                  Besides, the people who wrote the Jesus story? They knew about this prophecy. You know who else knew about a prophecy before writing about a savior-figure? JK Rowling. Shockingly, her protagonist fit the prophecy spot-on, since she had the prophecy ahead of time and could write anything she wanted. Saying a guy is going to suffer? Yeah, that’s pretty normal. Saying “well, that guy suffered, so he fits the prophecy”? Not. Convincing.

                • winslow

                  “Why wouldn’t it refer to one of them?”
                  Because none of ‘them’ can be found in any writing. Isaiah’s prophesy is an accurate description of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, even to the Roman soldiers shooting craps for his robe.
                  He was silent during His torturing, not completely silent.
                  He didn’t curse God from the cross, He was quoting Psalm 22, which predicted the manner of His death.
                  You really don’t know a lot, Feminerd. No offense intended, but it’s you who are not convincing.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I’m not the one who has to be convincing. You are. I’m not making an extraordinary claim. In fact, I’m making a very ordinary one- that a man was not a god. That’s so ordinary, in fact, that it goes without saying most of the time.

                  If you want to claim that a man is a god, you’ve got a very high hill to climb. Isaiah most definitely did not predict the manner of Jesus’s death; he wasn’t talking about Jesus at all. I suggest you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Isaiah for a further overview of the scholarly understanding of Isaiah.

                • winslow

                  “I’m not the one who has to be convincing….”
                  A very handy refuge for atheists and Protestants. If you have nothing to be convincing about, you believe nothing and have no argument.
                  And you are, by inference, making an extraordinary claim.
                  You deny the universe was created, therefore it must have created itself. You’ll never come right out and say that because you know it’s an absurd claim, but that’s what you are forced to believe once you deny a creator.
                  You are arguing against the god you don’t believe in, not the God I believe in, and you are putting your own restrictions on Him. Our Creator God has no limits and no limitations. He became man to deal with us on our terms, to share life and its experiences with us and to speak directly to us as one of us. We have the uninterrupted Gospel message and the history of the Catholic Church to guide us and we believe by faith. You wouldn’t understand. If you claim it’s all a lie, convince me a lie can be sustained for 2000 years.
                  The factual history of the Book of Isaiah is readily available in many places. It doesn’t mention Jesus’ name, but it does mention a Messiah. Jesus is the Messiah found in the book. The prophesies about Him, including the manner of his death, are fulfilled in the history of his life, which is the Gospels.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Actually, you’ll find that I’ll be honest and say I don’t know how the universe started. I mean, Big Bang and all that, but what caused it? Not a clue. That’s intellectual honesty; saying that I don’t know something when I don’t know it. Saying Goddidit is just ignorance masquerading as certainty, which is intellectually dishonest as well as false. We have some really cool theories about it- one is that when a black hole reaches a certain critical size/mass, it effectively bursts out the back, creating a new universe. This theory would account for dark matter, the accelerating expansion of the universe, and how all the mass in the universe was once in one point all at once, but it does suggest some things about black holes that we aren’t sure are possible. Another theory involves quantum particles, which do just pop into and out of existence with no cause whatsoever. Quantum is weird like that. If enough quantum particles all popped into or out of existence all at once, it’s possible they could have destabilized the point-of-mass that became the universe.

                  Either of those theories could be correct, or neither could be. The point is that we don’t need the presence of a deity to come up with plausible explanations for the existence of the universe. Saying the alternative to Goddidit is that the universe created itself as though that was absolutely bonkers only betrays your scientific ignorance.

                  If your god can do anything, why did ze need to become a person? Couldn’t ze have just known what the experience was like? And why a man? Women lived far more restricted and painful lives at the time, so if a god wanted to experience human privation and suffering, a female body would’ve worked far better for that. Also, your “uninterrupted Gospel message” is only four of the many gospels written, which the Council of Nicaea picked out as canon and then tried to have all copies of the other ones burned. The Gospel of Thomas survived and some few fragments of the others, which is how we know that not all early Christians agreed on much of anything, but it’s hard to say it’s uninterrupted when people fucked it up. Also note that the history of the RCC is replete with corruption, war, power-mongering, fear-mongering, Crusades, inquisitions, torture, anti-Semitism, scientific repression, political repression, and other bad stuff. If the RCC is what God wants, then your god is a monster.

                  You believe by faith? Faith means believing in something without evidence. I try very hard not to do that- it’s a stupid plan. If all you got is faith, then what you actually got is nothing.

                  And yeah, a lie can hold 2,000 years. It can hold longer- the story of Moses is much older than 2,000 years. People have made claims of dragons for well over 2,000 years. People have thought women inferior to men for well over 2,000 years. All it takes for a lie to continue is faith. *spit*

                  You gotta send me some links on Isaiah, man. And you have to explain how Jesus was deformed and ugly (which isn’t in your gospels at all but is prophecied by Isaiah). That’s only one of the prophecies Jesus doesn’t fulfill. You didn’t even read the link on the scholarly inquiries into Isaiah, did you? Isaiah does mention a messiah, yes, but in the context of the Babylonian/Assyrian wars, which were over 2500 years ago. It was also in the Jewish tradition which says that the Messiah will only come when A) the world is so fucked we can’t fix it ourselves, which will then usher in an era of peace, or B) when we’ve made the world fit for his habitation, an era of peace. Your Jesus didn’t do either of those, so clearly he’s not the prophecied messiah. Too bad, so sad, stop believing a myth now please.

                • winslow

                  Your arbitrary conclusions are self-serving nonsense. Saying, to use your insulting term, ‘goddidit,’ is a matter of faith. You have none except your faith in yourself, your prejudices and your ignorance. (See how easy that is?) You seem like a bitter, angry woman. Talking to you is not a pleasant experience.
                  Your ‘cool theories’ are nothing but conjecture, but you pretend you’re really up to something. All of them rely on matter of some kind. We know, to a scientific certainty, several things about inert matter: it cannot create itself, it cannot replicate itself and it cannot put itself in motion. There are trillions of tons of matter in the universe and it’s all in motion, but, by inference, you believe it created itself, replicated itself and put itself in motion. And you have the nerve to call me ignorant. What’s the word for you?
                  And, for your information, quantum particles do not pop in an out of existence. If you have a link to a website supporting that theory, please post it. Otherwise you’re dreaming.
                  There are only two general possibilities for the existence of the universe, no matter what you think: either it created itself or is was created. Since the first is scientifically impossible, that leaves the second. If you think I’m wrong, or just plain ignorant, prove it. Or scurry to the last refuge of those who have nothing to say, “I dont’ have to prove anything, You do!” Genuine intellectual honesty there, right?
                  I am sorry you had to drag out the atheists’ playbook and your Jack Chick bigotry. I will not entertain those matters. If you can prove what you allege or disprove what I allege, we have something to talk about. If neither, may the God who created us bless you and bring you peace.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I am angry, though not bitter. I am angry that you managed to grow up so ignorant about science and the scientific method that you can’t grasp what the Big Bang theory says and doesn’t say. I am angry that instead of looking at what we don’t know and saying, “let’s figure that out”, you contentedly say “well God did that part” and let it sit. I am furious that you think you can dismiss what I say because you don’t like how I say it, but I’m expected to respond to someone who uses ad hominems to try to invalidate my claims. I’m furious that this is because I’m female- I have never, ever seen a man dismissed as angry and bitter before. And I’m especially furious that you’re blind to that aspect of it, or how your religion has instilled the prejudice in you.

                  I’m angry that you don’t understand what the burden of proof is. I’m angry that you don’t understand anything about cosmology, astrophysics, physics, or astronomy. I’m angry that you’re so bound by your faith that you can’t see how bad your false dichotomy really is, and it’s binding your intellect so hard it hurts me to watch it. You think I’m angry? You’re damned right. I have lots of reasons to be angry.

                  Now, to the rest. First, read this for a discussion of quantum particles and the experiments we’ve done on them.

                  Next, read up on how matter works. Atoms form from subatomic particles, which form molecules, some of which replicate themselves under the right conditions, all without the need of any outside assistance. The very smallest subatomic particles are quite weird; some of them are merely excitations in energy fields. They can be measured as particles or waves, just like light. It’s pretty weird and wild. We don’t know where the matter/energy that forms the universe came from- I already said that. That doesn’t mean our only two options are Goddidit or it created itself in an impossible manner- the black hole theory says it came from elsewhere, while the quantum fluctuation theory says it did, in fact, create itself and that isn’t scientifically impossible. Another theory suggests the universe expands and contracts in cycles, which means all the energy/matter is from another proto-universe that imploded. There are other possibilities, and we may never know which, if any, are right. The point is that we don’t know. That does not mean God did it. It means we don’t know. Claiming false certainty is a bad way of going about things.

                  As for the existence of a deity- I’m afraid that is your burden of proof. This video is a wonderful explanation of that.

                • winslow

                  I’m a little busy right now and don’t want you to think I’m ignoring you. I’ll respond to your remarks either tonight or tomorrow.
                  In the meantime, catch a look at the moon tonight. She’ll be traveling through the earth’s penumbra. Not a full eclipse, but something to look at.

                • winslow

                  The fact is you don’t know anything about me, not even what you think you know from this conversation. You don’t about my upbringing, my education or the level of my intellect, but you choose to insult me anyway. That’s what I have come to expect from atheists and Protestants. Your being angry with me for what you think I believe is irrational. But no matter.
                  I have great respect for the scientific process. Like you, I am fascinated by the micro and macro universes and, yes, based on the evidence I’m certain God did it. Further, I think the notion itdiditself, or sciencedidit or itwasaleaysthere are far more preposterous notions than you think God did it is and almost as preposterous as ‘we know the answer is out there, we just haven’t found it yet.’ I think most atheists are intelligent, but you have no idea what to do with your intelligence. You can’t put two and two together in any meaningful way except to use juvenile wit to ridicule people like me. Not an intelligent approach.
                  If the scientific method could determine the origin of the universe, it would have done it by now. Science has spent billions trying to find the Higgs boson particle, which some scientists think is the magic key to solving the ultimate mystery Some think they found it last March, but they’re not sure, and they’re not sure it can do what they think it can do and they’re not sure there aren’t more Higgs bosons out there and on and on and on. What the scientific method usually does is discover the unknown and, at the same time, discover there is much more that is unknown than it thought before it started. God does that, too. He has a great sense of humor, so good luck with the scientific method.
                  I never said, ‘God did it and let that sit.’ I believe what I believe from far more information than you’re aware of. Atheists love to say believers are ignorant (one of your favorite words) oafs who believe in a fairy tale. If they knew anything, they’d know it isn’t a very intelligent accusation. The Catholic Church has a history. It’s populated by some of the smartest, best educated people who ever lived and they all believed what I believe. There is a record in the lives of the saints and in documented phenomena certifying supernatural events, what we call miracles (another favorite object of your ridicule). That’s no reason for you to sign up, but it’s ample reason for any intelligent person to conclude believers just be as intelligent as they are. But atheists will have none of that. Your favorite weapons are sarcasm, ridicule and insult. If you doubt that, just take a stroll around this com-box and review your own remarks.
                  I’ve reviewed my remarks and don’t see a single ad hominum directed to you. The length of this message and the time I’ve spent writing it is ample proof I don’t dismiss what you say. You have a very large and feminist chip on your shoulder, something indigenous to feminism.
                  Your accustion I don’t know what ‘burden of proof’ is, is another uninformed statement. I spent the last 10 years of my working life as a litigation paralegal. I’ve written, among other things, trial briefs in major federal court cases. I think I know a little about the burden of proof, a burden you never assign to yourself.
                  I’m not qualified to read up on the complicated subjects you listed and I don’t claim I am, but I’m not a dunce, as you seem to think. I do know some scientific principles. Your remark that some molecules replicate themselves ‘under the right conditions…without the need of outside assistance’ makes no sense and is certainly not a scientific statement. The requirement of ‘the right conditions’ is all I need to conclude they are not replicating themselves.
                  You deny the only two options are, the universe created itself or was created. What else is there? All your scientific theories require matter in some form, so you have nothing to rely on there. What’s the third option?
                  The existence of God is proven by, among other things, a designed and ordered solar system which has run with the precision and predictabity of a watch for, perhaps millions of years. Your denial of that, and other proofs, is also irrational. God bless you.

                • winslow

                  Saying science would have found the origin of the universe by now if it could is an opinion, of course. That scientists have spent billions looking to the far reaches of outer space and into sub-atomic structures and are still looking for the rudiments of matter inicates to me they aren’t getting anywhere. I believe they are looking for God and its highly unlikely they’re going to find him short of dying.
                  I have resopect for the scientific process. That doesn’t mean I accept their guesses or their hypothetical conclusions.
                  What I believe is supported by the history of the Church, the Scriptures, common sense and, inter alia, documented supernatural ocurrences which science cannot explain. Those are all things you routinely ridicule, but that’s your weakness, not mine. The arguments are not from authority or non-descript miracles, but from facts. You overlooked the words ‘documented’ and ‘history’ which mean things other than what you have used to fill in your opinion. I’ll discuss miracles later.
                  You and Feminerd attempt to prove that molecules can replicate themselves by providing them with outside agents like temperature, reactants, pressure the the rest without even attempting to account for the agents. By replicate itself I mean from *nothing,* a concept atheists seem unable to grasp.
                  The smartest, best educated people who ever lived are quite capable of using their intelligence to prerform critical examination of what they say and write. That’s axiomatic, isn’t it?
                  “The universe either created itself of was created.” You deny that by pointing out that Feminerd proposed several alternatives. That tells me two things right away; you don’t even understand the proposition, and you’re an intelligent atheist who can’t put two and two together.
                  Feminerd’s propositions all require matter, which she doesn’t account for, and they are all examples of the universe creating itself. I maintain my statement is true and ask you again, what other possiiblities are there?
                  Your comments about the solar system do not address my point and what you call ‘the underlying issues’ are irrelevant. I’m dealing with the result. The revolution of the moon around the earth, the revolution of the earth around the sun and around its axis are all repeating and predictable actions which say clearly the solar system performs designed functions which can come only from a super-superior, omnipotent intelligence. Deny it if you wish, but your denial is irrational and, may I say, obstinate. There are zillions of other things in nature about which I could say the same thing. It is your own argument which is an argument from ignorance.
                  As to miracles, about three of which many facts are known, two involve the appearance of the Virgin Mary, the third, the Shroud of Turin.
                  The Blessed Virgin appeared to Bernardette Soubirous at Lourdes in southeast France. It has since become a destination for pilgrims. The waters in the cave where they miraculously appeared have given cure to uncurable diseases and infirmaties. I think the number is over 60 and under 80. These miracles are never accepted as such by a claim, but are investigated over years and sometimes decades. They are all certified by medical science as having no scientific explaination.
                  Fatima is a well known miracle and there are many websites which have information about the events if you’re interested. Most interesting is the testimony of atheists, writing for a communist newspaper in Lisbon who went to Fatima on a day an appearance of Mary was to take place. They wrote they went there to ridicule the proceedings and came away convinced a miracle had occurred.
                  The Shroud has been exained by many scientists using the latest machines. None of them can say how the image came to be put on the fabric. They say it’s a photographic negative and, if it’s a fake, someone in the 16th Century knew more about photography than we know today. Before you scorn this claim, be sure you know more than the scientists do and provide your explanation about how the image came to appear on the fabric.
                  There are many miracles which have occurred in the lies of the saints. Which of the many volumns have you read? Are you aware of any contemporary of any saint who has called any miracle a hoax?
                  Before you ridicule my arguments again, make sure yours are in order. So far you’re batting average is zero.

                • winslow

                  “Lives” of the saints. Excuse the typos. i tried to correct them, but this absurd Discus system wouldn’t let me.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Jesus sacrifice is New Testament, but there are plenty of prophesies in the Old Testament that point to Jesus and plenty of themes that also support it. The whole sacrificial system points to how serious God takes sin.

                  However, I am guilty as charged. I will look at the Bible from the perspective of the Old and New Testament. As I often tell my Jewish friends, if you want to know how the story ends, you have to read the whole book. :-)

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  The Torah is the whole book from their perspective. The rest of the OT is historical documents that aren’t sacred.

                  Jews know we don’t know how it ends- we’re still here. We’re still writing our own history, in thought and deed, in scars on the Earth and poetry and song. If you want to know how the story ends, start your research into immortality now.

                • 3lemenope

                  And people not within communicating distance of the Ancient Israelites? That is to say, 99% of the people I asked about. What about them?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  I’m assuming that you are drawing the same example as the often asked question I get which is what if someone is ignorant from a really primitive and tribal group and they’ve never heard of Jesus, what happens to them?

                  It’s devastating. Then they go to hell for their sins.

                  Which is why followers of Christ are called to spread the news of Jesus in season and out of season out of love.

                • 3lemenope

                  Well, that’s patently idiotic. No god that sets up a system where people unlucky enough to be born before or too far away from that god’s precious message automatically burn deserves to be called anything other than a monster. Is that what you’re saying? That your monster of a god condemned forever people whose only fault was being born in the wrong time in the wrong place?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  not the wrong time. salvation was possible to anyone in old testament times.

                  We are all guilty and deserve punishment (including me) but only by God’s grace does He make salvation available to those who repent of their sin and put their trust in Christ, His perfect life, sacrificial death and resurrection.

                  You should consider yourself blessed that you live in a culture that the gospel is so easily heard or read.

                  As for everyone else, God calls us to preach Jesus to all the nations.

                • 3lemenope

                  salvation was possible to anyone in old testament times.

                  So now Jesus *isn’t* necessary?! Make up your mind.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Some say that those who lived before the time of Christ were saved by keeping the law. The Scriptures, however, say otherwise. First, the Bible from first to last demonstrates that the saved throughout history come to faith in exactly the same way—by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ alone. The apostle Paul quotes the Old Testament extensively to drive home the reality that no one has been, or ever will be, declared righteous by observing the law (Romans 3:20).

                  Furthermore, Paul points to Abraham, the father of the Jews, to prove that salvation comes through faith apart from works that we perform. In his words, “If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness’” (Romans 4:3; Genesis 15:6; Galatians 3:6–9).

                  Finally, Jesus Christ is the substance that fulfills the types and shadows in the Old Testament (Luke 24:44; Romans 3:21–22; Hebrews 1:1–3). Each year the Jews celebrated the Passover to keep them focused on the One who was to come to die for their sins (1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:28, 39–40). As Hebrews says, “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the realities themselves” (Hebrews 10:1). The Bible from first to last demonstrates that the saved throughout history come to faith in exactly the same way—by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ alone.

                  Jesus Christ stands at the apex of history. Just as people today look back in history to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, so too people who lived before the time of Christ looked forward to his sacrifice for them.

                • Cake

                  Right, now the big kicker is god using the same definition of wonderful that the rest of us do? Or is he, like many of his followers such as yourself, using completely new definitions of words outside the common usage?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Yes, God will “wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

                • Cake

                  So that’s a No then?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Is wiping every tear from your eye, no more death, no more mourning, no more crying, no more pain wonderful?

                • 3lemenope

                  Am I to become *incapable* of those feelings, like if a relative of mine that I love were burning in Hell, would God prevent me from mourning them?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  It is hard to imagine being happy without our loved ones. However, in order to find out, you have to repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus.

                  Maybe one of the reasons God has caused us to cross paths is so that you might receive His grace and mercy and become the instrument He uses to reach your loved ones, for God does not desire that any go to Hell.

                  But, yes, God, promises the fullness of Joy and that every tear will be wiped away and no more pain in His presence. The Bible doesn’t explain how God does it, just that He does.

                • Cake

                  How is god going to make you feel about all the friends and loved ones who cannot join you?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  It is hard to imagine being happy without our loved ones. However, in order to find out, you have to repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus.

                  Maybe one of the reasons God has caused us to cross paths is so that you might receive His grace and mercy and become the instrument He uses to reach your loved ones, for God does not desire that any go to Hell.

                  But, yes, God, promises the fullness of Joy and that every tear will be wiped away and no more pain in His presence. The Bible doesn’t explain how God does it, just that He does.

                • Cake

                  New christian definition of wonderful: A lobotomy.

            • Cake

              Baal’s poetry didn’t change your mind, why should you expect your poetry quote to change anyone elses?

              • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                Because the Bible is truth.

                • Cake

                  Gee, that’s totally not absurd.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  and it’s totally rational to think that everything came from nothing.

                  please, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

                • Cake

                  Where did I claim to know where the universe came from?

                  It must be easy to convince people of your message when you claim they are liars and then stuff words into their mouths.

                  Again I don’t need to be saved from anything. Least of all the colossal fuckup you call a god.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed. How to you think the universe came into existence?

                  with regards to your last comment, asserting that you do not need to be saved from anything doesn’t make it true. We will all be held accountable to God when we die.

                • Cake

                  Fortunately your laughable claims about needing salvation from some mythological being means about as as much to me as your believing that I somehow haven’t committed a sin means to you.

                  Its sad how everything boils down to your magic book that you claim contains the truth even though it contradicts itself in myriad different ways. A book that not only tells people they have a problem with sin but also how to get rid of it. Its like an instruction manual for snake oil salesmen. First get them scared of a nonexistent problem and then sell them something that will protect them from it. When asked for evidence all you can do is point confusedly at the world around you hoping they will stop asking questions.

                  It’s sad because you’ve got nothing new. Your stories haven’t changed and neither have your arguments. You’re just a sorry little huckster trying to keep selling the same thing cause you got into this pyramid scheme and you have to keep selling or else admit how much time you’ve wasted.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Yep, you are right, I have nothing new. Jesus died on the cross for your sins and was resurrected and that you should repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ.

                  The truth doesn’t change.

                • Cake

                  A benevolent god doesn’t need a sacrifice.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  God created the universe. He gets to decide the rules.

                • Cake

                  A benevolent god made the rules to force himself to do evil.

                  Still doesn’t make sense.

    • phantomreader42

      Why should anyone give a flying fuck about your monstrous imaginary god and its shitty laws?

      • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

        Because we will all die someday and stand before God in judgement. And it will be His standard, not ours that we are measured on.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          If God’s standard is belief in a nonrational idea, fuck him. It’s not fair, not right, and not just.

          Also, torture? Evil. I refuse to worship an evil deity, even if it means being tortured. He can fucking burn me, but I have more integrity than to become a sycophantic bootlicker just to save my own hide.

          • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

            It’s not torture, it’s punishment for the sinful things that we do. We will all be accountable to God for everything we do on this earth, including our thoughts and deeds when we die. So please, while you have time, repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Burning someone is not torture? Since when?

              • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                All the more reason to avoid going there. So please repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  So my options are: cowardly bootlicker with no personal integrity, bowing and scraping to save my own hide
                  OR
                  be tortured forever.

                  Yeah, definitely not an evil deity you worship there. I mean, clearly I think Hell is totally fictitious anyways. But why would you ever use that as a good reason to convert? “Love me or be beaten/tortured” is what abusers say. It’s not a good attitude to ever have.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  I’m just sharing with you so that you will be armed with the truth. It’s up to you to repent and believe.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  So you admit you worship an evil deity? You admit you worship an abuser whose idea of love is “adore me or else”?

                  What is wrong with you?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  No. Not sure where that comment came from. but the Creator of the universe deserves our worship.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I said: my options are to be a cowardly bootlicker or be tortured forever, and God is an abuser.

                  You said: sharing the truth, you must repent.

                  So my response was: you worship an evil deity and you admit it?

                  I will repeat, what is wrong with you? The mere act of creating the universe doesn’t deserve worship- only being deserving of worship deserves worship, and the being you describe definitely doesn’t deserve it. Any being that deserves worship probably doesn’t want it, because blind obedience is dangerous and not in our best interests, and a being with our best interests in mind would try to stop that nonsense straight away.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  What you have described above is a god you have created in your mind that doesn’t exist. God is loving, who created man and woman without sin, and yet man and woman sinned against Him and separated themselves from Him.

                  Because God is a just judge, He will punish our sin by sending sinners to hell. But because God so loved the world, He sent His Son Jesus, fully God and fully man to live a perfect and sinless life and to die on the cross for our sins, and was raised from the dead on the third day. Eternal life is for those who repent and put their trust in Christ.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Anyone who tortures anyone is an evil person. Period.

                  How much moreso if they are a god?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  God’s punishment is not torture. It is judicial punishment against sinners.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Huh? We consider it to be cruel and unusual punishment to torture people. It isn’t a valid judicial punishment here on this planet because it’s too cruel, and that torture ends when you die. What’s God’s justification for doing something that violates the 8th Amendment and the Geneva Conventions?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  I’ll let Romans 2:2-11 answer this one.

                  2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

                  5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  If God didn’t want to be judged, he wouldn’t have made us capable of it. I judge based on my ethics and my morals, and I judge harshly- if I, a mere mortal, can figure out that torture is wrong, God can surely figure that out. It’s not righteous to torture anyone at all. It’s even less righteous to do it for eternity. There is no way to make Hell into anything but an immoral, evil, cruel, callous, and grossly unfair thing.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  That is the problem. You are judging based on your standards, not God’s. But only God’s standards are what matters when we die.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  God’s standards suck. Mine are higher. If God doesn’t meet my standards, why should I lower them to meet his? And if God wants to judge me for holding him to a higher standard, then fuck him. I won’t betray my convictions, my principles, and my ethics for the approval of a homicidal, sadistic deity who won’t even provide one bit of evidence for his existence.

                • phantomreader42

                  So, you’re the kind of sniveling coward who would
                  lick the boots of a tyrant forever to save your own worthless hide. You will happily serve any monster, commit any atrocity, betray everyone and everything without the slightest remorse, all to get a cushy place at
                  the evil overlord’s right hand, where you can be a pampered pet. How very christian of you! Sadly, that is not sarcasm, such behavior is exactly what I have come to expect from christians.

        • phantomreader42

          So I should believe what you say about your imaginary friend because if I don’t your imaginary friend will hurt me? That’s the best you’ve got? I don’t negotiate with terrorists.

          You should shut up and quit babbling nonsense or I’ll call a witch to put a hex on you, and send fairies to steal your car keys.

          • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

            No, you don’t have to listen to me. Why don’t you read the Bible and examine the evidence for yourself.

            So please, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

            • phantomreader42

              I’ve read the poorly-written work of fiction you worship. Not impressed.

              • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                Yes, but you should read it with a humble heart towards God.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Nice circular argument there.

                  What the heck, are you STILL pretending to be a Christian after dodging responsibility for repeatedly outright lying about the personal beliefs of the commenters here?

                  ‘Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,’

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Thanks for quoting 1 John 2:4, Let’s look at the verse in context:

                  My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
                  3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

                  C.L., yes I sin and do not perfectly keep God’s commandments. But I do have an advocate in Jesus Christ.

                  There is one big difference between us though, I try to be obedient to God and His commandments.

                • phantomreader42

                  So, anyone who doesn’t believe exactly what YOU believe isn’t being sufficiently humble? And now you’re back to “lunatic who claims to represent the Creator of the Entire Fucking Universe calls anyone who doesn’t mindlessly believe his every word arrogant”. Have you no self-awareness at all? I’ve heard that same stupid argument from muslims. It wasn’t convincing from the cult of the warmongering Arabian pedophile, and it’s no more convincing from the cult of the zombie Jew on a stick.

                  Face it, your book of myths isn’t magic, it isn’t true, it isn’t useful, it isn’t even entertaining. You have offered nothing but threats and arrogance. If you want anyone with a brain to believe you, you need EVIDENCE. And you know damn fucking well you don’t have that, so you’ll just keep on babbling the same incredibly stupid lies and threats.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  creation is evidence of a Creator.

                • phantomreader42

                  No, it actually isn’t. And even if it were, what evidence do you have that it’s YOUR imaginary friend and not any of the millions of others people made up? Oh, the voices in your head told you? They’re not reliable sources.

                • Cake

                  Creation is evidence for creation.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              There are many dozens of people here who are more familiar with the Bible than you are.

              • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                Super. Please direct them to my posts. I would love to correspond with them.

  • Anna

    I see the fundamentalist Catholics have found this thread!

    • DivineWordRadio

      Is that good or bad?

      • Anna

        I guess it makes it more entertaining?

    • DivineWordRadio

      Or are you in a position to judge that?

      • Anna

        To judge what? It’s not like you’re hiding your belief system.

        • DivineWordRadio

          Actually, the posts were in reverse, and I was guilty of trying to be cute. I’d posted initially, “Is that good or bad?” and followed it up with “Or are you in a position to judge that,” a reflection of what the article was ostensibly about.

          • Anna

            Oh. I gotcha. Well, then, yes, I am. LOL.

            You know, if you’re interested in a real discussion, it might be interesting to have one. But you’ve made a lot of passive-aggressive comments which make me think that you’re really just interested in preaching at and insulting us. If that’s not the case, then perhaps some of us would be interested in engaging in a civil, back-and-forth dialogue.

            • DivineWordRadio

              I’m not intending to be passive agressive. As to how I got here, part of what I do each day is review press stories about the Church, and respond where I can. I’m not really trying to preach here. If someone asks a question, I attempt to answer it. If comments are made that are false or malicious, I frequently challenge them. I’m not wanting to be insulting. But, there do appear to be a great many insults toward the Church here.
              But I’m happy to address something with you, if you wish.

              • Anna

                I’ve been down this road before, so I’m not terribly interested in a long, drawn-out conversation. You’re welcome to comment here (it is an open forum, after all), but I do think there would be a better response if it seemed like you were interested in actual dialogue. The snippy little comments just come across as insulting.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Thanks for the input.

                • Anna

                  Also, if your intent here is to change people’s minds about your church, how exactly do you think acting like a condescending jerk is going to make us atheists see the “error” of our ways? You’re just reinforcing every bad impression we already have of Catholicism. The passive-aggressive, patronizing comments make you and your church look bad. I don’t look at your attitude and think, “Wow, that really makes me wonder if I should explore this religion. Maybe there’s something to this Catholic thing after all.”

                • Pofarmer

                  It would be better if this kind of open dialogue was allowed on the Catholic forums. Censorship there gets a little old.

                • Anna

                  Haven’t tried any of the Catholic blogs at Patheos. I visited the StrangeNotions site, but it’s clear from their actions that there’s no genuine interest in dialogue there, either.

                • Pofarmer

                  Give it a shot. If you start making good points, even if they are polite and factual, they won’t appear.

              • Pofarmer

                “If comments are made that are false or malicious,’

                Ah, if it’s something the church disagrees with, then.

            • DivineWordRadio

              I’m not intending to be passive agressive. As to how I got here, part of what I do each day is review press stories about the Church, and respond where I can. I’m not really trying to preach here. If someone asks a question, I attempt to answer it. If comments are made that are false or malicious, I frequently challenge them. I’m not wanting to be insulting. But, there do appear to be a great many insults toward the Church here.
              But I’m happy to address something with you, if you wish.

  • Anna

    If we really tried to find God, we’d find him. This one is quite a slap in the face for the many unbelievers who became such after a long and sincere process of religious seeking; it suggests that we were either secretly searching in bad faith, or our efforts were defective. If “he can be found also by those who seek him with a sincere heart” (35), clearly we must have been insincere. It’s our fault, not God’s, if we couldn’t detect him.

    They’re all insulting, but this one is probably the worst. I think they need to believe this because it lets them off the hook for our eventual torture. If it’s our own fault we’re atheists, then we send ourselves to hell by our stubborn and deliberate refusal to acknowledge their deity. It couldn’t be that the fault lies with the Catholic church to convince people who are not already indoctrinated into the belief system. If we don’t see evidence of their god, then we’re doing something wrong, and we’re apparently doing it on purpose.

    • DivineWordRadio

      You contend it is insulting. I don’t think so. I didn’t know where God was for a very long time, and have walked away a number of times, out of personal arrogance. I do believe some act in bad faith, but I believe most do not. We tend to want to find a belief system that says what I am doing is acceptable, and what God want for me. When we are called to step out of our comfort zone, we find reasons not to do so. If, by defective, you mean that we haven’t gotten what we wanted, then perhaps you are correct.
      If you are an atheist, it is your fault. You contend that God does not exist, not that you lack knowledge of His existence, a basis for agnosticism. Pride settles the matter for you.
      Therefore, the refusal is both stubborn and deliberate.
      If, you claim, that you lack the ability to see God, but do not know if He exists, then we would not be talking about this situation.

      • Anna

        Wow, talk about insulting! That’s even worse than the original statement. And you wonder why people have a bad opinion of the Catholic church?

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Your insistence on lying about people by claiming that you know what they’re “really” thinking, based on nothing, is noted.

        You may wish to ask Jesus to help you not continue to lie about people in the future.

        • DivineWordRadio

          Not surprising that you are unable to recognize a lie from the truth. Seems you are the one trying to put words in another’s mouth.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            You’re claiming that atheists are thinking the secret things deep inside that you want them to think, because the Bible tells you they think those things. This is exactly equal to claiming that your Tarot cards tell you the truth about peoples’ motivations.

            It’s a pretension to psychic knowledge. It’s a lie.

            You are lying about people.

            You are sinning, according to your own beliefs.

            When called out for it, you continue to lie, rather than explain how your special secret knowledge is actually true, or else modifying your positions. You can’t even be bothered to give it consideration.

            Because you are a liar, and they are like that.

            Better hope the Hell thing isn’t real, sinner.

      • baal

        With the relevant corrections:

        I didn’t know where Azathoth was for a very long time, and have walked away a number of times, out of personal arrogance. I do believe some act in bad faith, but I believe most do not. We tend to want to find a belief system that says what I am doing is acceptable, and what Azathoth want for me. When we are called to step out of our comfort zone, we find reasons not to do so. If, by defective, you mean that we haven’t gotten what we wanted, then perhaps you are correct.

        If you are an abrahamist, it is your fault. You contend that Azathoth does not exist, not that you lack knowledge of His existence, a basis for agnosticism. Pride settles the matter for you.

        Therefore, the refusal is both stubborn and deliberate.

        If, you claim, that you lack the ability to see Azathoth, but do not know if He exists, then we would not be talking about this situation.

        The same reason why I’d need to prove up something resembling a basis for Azathoth is the same reason why this god fellow is your burden to prove and not ours to disprove. Any god that can be so simply asserted into existence can be so easy asserted out of existence or displaced by the newest imaginary being.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Should pronouns referring to Azathoth be specifically capitalized? I’d admit to not having read about his Proto-FSMness for a while, but I don’t want any cultists after me for knowing too much, yet not enough.

          • baal

            I think They should be capitalized. I’m not sure that standard pronouns are appropriate though. If He were asked, I suspect He would say His gender is the churning of a cloud caught in a breeze that cannot be felt during the sultry hot night in late August when danced a host of gargoyles to hideous sounds that only they could hear.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              *facepalms* I have this sitting like two and a half feet away from me. I could have just LOOKED:

              http://www.yog-sothoth.com/wiki/index.php/Spawn_of_Azathoth

              The answer appears to be that Lovecraft did not capitalize, but I think that August Derleth did. And Derleth sucked at writing more often than not. Most references to Azathoth, though, have no pronouns at all, as they are delivered in a breathless, prophetic manner with a bunch of Great Old One and Minion shoutouts.

    • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

      Hi Anna,
      I’m not Catholic, but used to be. The Bible teaches that it is very difficult to be saved despite God being so obvious in creation. The difficulty in finding God is that we have to deny our sinful ways, and that is difficult. We have to understand ourselves from God’s perspective, and many do not want to do this. God gave us a conscience, so that we would know right from wrong. So that we would know that lying, stealing, murder and adultery is sin. The problem is that most, including me for most of my life, view ourselves by our own very low standard of “goodness.” I used to say, hey, I’m a good husband and father, I go to church and Bible study and donate to charity, and so I’m a pretty good person. The problem is that I used the wrong standard. Jesus said be perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect, and the Bible says, for whoever shall keep the whole law and stumble at one point, is guilty of all. What that means is that if you sin just once in your life, you fall short of God’s holy and perfect standard. Each of our sins is an infinite offense to an infinitely good, holy and righteous God. In fact, His standard of sin is such that Jesus said that whoever looks with lust has already committed adultery in their heart. In the same way, hatred is like murder of the heart to God. Because God is good, He will punish those who do evil (sin), and the place he has chosen as punishment is hell.

      But God made a way for us, so we don’t have to go to hell. He sent His son Jesus, fully God and fully man, to live a perfect and sinless life so that He could become that perfect sacrifice on the cross for us and on the third day He rose from the dead.

      God only asks two things of us. That we turn from our sinful ways (repent) and put our trust in Jesus and His sacrificial death.

      So please, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

      • Anna

        There are so many things wrong with this comment I hardly know where to begin. You obviously have very little understanding of atheism, or else you would know that what the Bible says is completely irrelevant to us. We don’t believe in gods or “sin” or supernatural things at all.

        • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

          So you don’t feel that there are absolute rights or wrongs?

          • Anna

            Once again, completely irrelevant. The question of absolute morality has nothing to do with atheism.

            • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

              Yes, maybe it has nothing to do with atheism. I’m just asking a question. Are there absolute rights and wrongs?

              • Anna

                I doubt you are actually curious about this topic, but there are certainly secular arguments to support objective morality and many proponents of that view. If you’re interested in learning more about that, I would recommend The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris.

                Your morality appears to based on an ancient book. This is a book that contains positive depictions of genocide, slavery, homophobia, etc. Simply having an objective source for morality means nothing if the source itself is corrupt.

              • baal

                rofl. ” I’m just asking a question.” A JAQer explicitly copped to it.

      • 3lemenope

        [To be read in the voice of William Shatner, beatnik style]

        God believes in Great Justice!
        But his justice is harsh. None shall pass.
        So God utterly negates His Own Justice!
        For those who utter the Magic Name.
        Ooga-booga-ooga-booga-JEEEEESUS!
        And now God is startled!
        So he forgets he has a Justice in the oven.

        And he lets it burn. All that Justice! (*HSSSSSS!*)
        Poof, like steam on the burner…that’s burning Justice! (*PSSSSS!!*)
        Burning it away.

        Jesus.
        Not for Great Justice
        Does he take all your base
        Not for Great Justice
        Does he take off every Zig.
        Jesus!

        • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

          Well, I’m not much into poetic artsy writing, so I’ll do my best to respond to what I’m interpreting you are saying. :-)

          So he forgets he has a Justice in the oven.

          God’s justice never is forgotten. This is a common misunderstanding of God’s nature. God is a just judge and He must punish sin. But for those who turn from their sin (repent) and put their trust in Jesus (His sacrificial death and resurrection) they have eternal life. But God doesn’t “forget His justice” The penalty for our sins was paid by Jesus.

          Let me give you an example to explain. If you get a ticket, you have to pay a fine or go to jail. Someone then comes into the court room and pays your fine for you. Justice is served and your case can be dismissed. Same basic principle, but that stakes are much higher.

          • 3lemenope

            Oh, I see. So God just misplaces his Justice so that the being who deserved punishment isn’t punished, and some other being is sacrificed in the deserving being’s place. This is still justice, because…he forgets why the person who ought to be punished won’t be because Jesus paid him off? I’m not seeing how this is so far away from Ooga-booga-Jesus startling God into forgetting who He’s aiming at.

            Let me give you an example to explain. If you get a ticket, you have to pay a fine or go to jail. Someone then comes into the court room and pays your fine for you. Justice is served and your case can be dismissed. Same basic principle, but that stakes are much higher.

            It takes a seriously warped sense of justice to come to the conclusion that in your example, justice is in any way served. The whole reason why the ticket was issued in the first place is frustrated by the consequence being diverted to a third party! Justice is unmade! Seriously, take your own suggestion and make the stakes higher. If someone murdered someone else’s child, and so was sentenced to die for that crime, and someone else volunteered to take the punishment on for the condemned and die in the child murderer’s place, would justice be served by this substitution? Would the victim’s family think so? Do you think so?

            • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

              Every human example breaks down at some point when you are describing an infinite and perfect God. In the case of God, only Jesus, who was fully God and fully man could pay the penalty. And He willingly went to the cross to die for your sins and was raised from the dead on the third day. Eternal life is for all who turn from their sins (repent) and put their trust in Christ.

              In reality, we all sin against God. He is the one who is ultimately offended and angry with us for our sins against Him. But instead of sending everyone (that means everybody, including me) to hell as punishment that is deserved, He made a way for us through Jesus.

              So please, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                Don’t worry, soon he’ll rebut you again and then you can dismiss him by lying about him and claiming you know his innermost thoughts because a magic book told you so, like you did to at least four people in that other thread, even after the first one set you straight.

                So much for your salvation.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Perhaps. Or perhaps not. I do intend to take a little different approach than some of my other posts. But don’t worry, I will still quote from the Bible. :-)

                  Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father, but by me.

                  For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that, not of your selves, it’s a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Very classy and Christlike of you to evade taking responsibility for lying about people over and over, after being set straight about them.

                  Again, so much for Salvation…

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Hi C.L. No, the Bible still teaches that creation is all the evidence anyone needs to know that God exists. A different approach means just that, a different approach.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Hoo boy. The fact that stuff exists is actually just evidence that, well, stuff exists. How it got there is fairly well understood in some cases (Big Bang for the start of the universe, how stars and planets form, evolution as the origin of species, etc) and less well-known in others (what was before the Big Bang?, how life started, etc). Nothing points to a supernatural origin, though. And yes, a 2,000-4,000 year old book written by Bronze Age goat herders and Roman citzens does in fact count as nothing- their understanding of the world around them was extremely limited. They didn’t know soap killed germs. They didn’t know germs caused disease. They had no idea the stars were each suns similar to our own, they didn’t know the Earth revolved around the sun or that the Earth was round, they didn’t know how lightning worked or how weather patterns worked (and to be fair, we’re still figuring out weather and climate), and they certainly had no idea that the center of the Earth was molten iron.

                  It’s not their fault, of course. The breadth of their ignorance makes it understandable that they thought a supernatural being made it all. What’s your excuse?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  actually science confirms the Bible, including things like the earth was round, you should wash your hands with running water, that wind blows in cyclones. Here’s a link to a simple comparison of what the Bible teaches (all those years ago) vs science now.

                  http://www.livingwaters.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=130&category_id=8&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=199&lang=en

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  The Earth sits on pillars, unmoving in the sky, while the Sun revolves around it. You can cure leprosy by gutting some chickens and sprinkling the blood about.

                  The Bible is not a scientifically accurate book.

                • phantomreader42

                  This just simply isn’t true, Dean. Isn’t that imaginary god of yours supposed to have some sort of problem with bearing false witness?

                  Again, I’ve heard this same incredibly stupid argument from muslims. Why should I believe it from you, if you don’t believe it from them?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Asserting something isn’t true doesn’t make it untrue. You will actually have to point out what is not true and why.

                  Did you know that the third commandment is that you shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain?

                • Cake

                  Sense, you make none.

                • Brian Anthony

                  everyone needs to respond to his argument, not the strawman. he offered a source demonstarating comparisons to biblical teachings and scientific ideas and no one has addressed it. in a debate thats what you do you address with reason the argument given. both sides have so far been rather bad at this, but especially the atheist pov, im sorry but we need to learn to talkwith and not at each other.

                • Cake

                  You’re obviously ignorant of the spam postings of deanforgod so I’m going to let that one slide.

                  If you find the godbots reasoning so compelling you goahead and waste your time addressing it.

                • phantomreader42

                  So, the guy fraudulently claiming to speak for god (which is taking the lord’s name in vain), while regularly making shit up about people (which is bearing false witness), is lecturing me on his imaginary god’s ten commandments, which he can’t be bothered to follow himself. Oh, and he’s doing this on a Sunday!

                  Does your hypocrisy know no limits, dean?

                • Brian Anthony

                  actually they did know the earth was round that was calculated by greek mathematicians in the same era.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Greek mathematics hadn’t spread to Bronze Age nomads from far away who did not speak Greek. Just because one ancient culture knew something doesn’t mean that knowledge was instantly propagated to the entire population of the globe.

                • Brian Anthony

                  once the roman empire was formed…yes it did.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Which is why the Bible says the Earth sits still on pillars and strongly implies it’s flat?

                • 3lemenope

                  You make it sound so exhausting. :)

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Sorry, but it seems that you are the one twisting things here.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  You aren’t “deanforgod”, to whom I was responding… unless of course you’re using multiple names, which we’ve seen a lot of dishonest Christians do here to give themselves the semblance of support.

                  Therefore, you are speaking from ignorance of his posts. But since I referenced those posts, you are aware they exist. So you are INTENTIONALLY making judgments on things you are ignorant of. Which is lying.

                  Does Jesus love it when you lie?

                  Alternately, you can admit to being terrible at reading comprehension. It’s your only other option now.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Somehow you are tof the mistaken notion that you have a clue what Jesus thinks about what I am doing. And I have noticed that you use this technique constantly, as if it brings value to your posts. It doesn’t. I’m making judgments of your posts at this point, for which I have an opinion. So no, I have other options.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  So your defense for lying is to whine about being called out for lying.

                  Again: “Therefore, you are speaking from ignorance of his posts. But since I referenced those posts, you are aware they exist. So you are INTENTIONALLY making judgments on things you are ignorant of. Which is lying.” Your attempt to dodge this statement is only indicative of your hatred for truth.

                  It’s sad that you’re so desperate to defend your right to lie that you’ll denigrate and ignore your own proclaimed savior in order to do so.

                  So no, I have other options.

                  That’s right, I completely forgot that you could choose to keep stupidly trying to deceive people who are used to taking your toxic ilk down.

                  It doesn’t matter a whit to me what Jesus thinks of you. It SHOULD matter to YOU. Obviously it does not. You have no respect for him.

              • 3lemenope

                Every human example breaks down at some point when you are describing an infinite and perfect God.

                OK, then I need to ask you a question. I’ve asked this question of pretty much every believer who has used this argument, and have never received even a bad answer back.

                If every concept means something different when it applies to God than when it applies to humans, how are they the same concepts?

                If justice down here has certain pretty regular features, and Godly justice possesses exactly none of those features, why ought they be called the same name? If God’s love allows him to torture those he purports to love forever in a lake of fire, why call it love?

                And then the money-question, the normative inquiry:

                If god-applied concepts have basically no connection with human-applied concepts, to the point where the god-concepts are utterly incomprehensible, even malevolent-seeming, why on Earth would humans give a damn about what that God thinks/wants/does beyond attrite self-preservation?

                • DivineWordRadio

                  The standards are no different. The understanding is different. God’s standards are just, even if we don’t understand them. You make an interesting point–that if those standards are “utterly incomprehensible,” why would humans care? However, they are not utterly incomprehensible, even when we do not fully understand them.

                • baal

                  “God’s standards are just, even if we don’t understand them.” Thus was born a thousand tyrants. If his infinite wisdom cannot figure out how to speak to us in a way we can understand (and show he’s not a tyrant) then why call him wise or just?

                  When I speak to my children, I actively work on using communication they can understand and do not demand that they follow my rules merely since they are ‘just’.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  It doesn’t mean something different, it just doesn’t fully explain God. We are finite beings with finite examples. God is infinite in everything He does and all His qualities.

                  No matter what finite number you give, it’s can’t describe infinity. three trillion trillion trillion to the trillion’s power is still infinity away from infinity. That’s what I mean.

                • phantomreader42

                  Your god is infinitely evil. Torturing people is evil. Doing so forever is infinitely evil. Therefore, your god is the most evil being imaginable. Lucky for everyone that it’s just a figment of your diseased imagination.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  No, His punishment is judicial.

                  For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life and shall not perish.

                • Cake

                  What does an all forgiving god have to do with punishment. Nothing unless you’re lying.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  God is not all forgiving. You have made up a god in your mind that does not exist. God is loving, just, righteous and holy and will punish us for our sins (lying, stealing, looking with lust) in hell. But because of His great love for us, He sent His Son, Jesus, fully God and fully man to live a perfect and sinless life and to die on the cross as payment for our sins. He was raised from the dead on the third day and defeated death and sin. Eternal life is given to those who repent and put their trust in Christ.

                • Cake

                  Thanks for admitting your god is evil.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Not being all forgiving is not evil. If a judge forgave all murderers and never sent them to jail, he wouldn’t be good, he’d be evil.

                • Cake

                  Maybe you’d be better off taking your silly argument to the other believers of Christianity who thinks god is all forgiving. You know, take the plank out of your eye, yadda yadda yadda.

                • Brian Anthony

                  actually according to Catholic theology God is punishing or torturing the person chooses hell and remains there because they chose a life absent of God so they chose also eternity absent of God. there is no doctrine of eternal torture. the actual dogma of Catholicism is simply that hell is “eternal separation from God”

                • phantomreader42

                  Cut the stupid bullshit, Brian. You know perfectly well that “separation from god” is not the threat your cult actually uses. You only pull that flimsy dodge out when you get called on the atrocity you worship. When you can get away with it, you’re all about the fire and pain and “god will hurt you if you tell anyone what the priest did to you”.

                • Fred

                  “It doesn’t mean something different, it just doesn’t fully explain God. We are finite beings with finite examples. God is infinite in everything He does and all His qualities.

                  No matter what finite number you give, it’s can’t describe infinity. three trillion trillion trillion to the trillion’s power is still infinity away from infinity. That’s what I mean.”

                  Shorter deanforgawd: God is an exception for everything and words don’t mean what they mean.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  so they describe characteristics of God, just inadequately. We can describe love, but it is an inadequate description of God’s infinite love, even though we can understand the concept of what love means.

              • Pofarmer

                “In the case of God, only Jesus, who was fully God and fully man could
                pay the penalty. And He willingly went to the cross to die for your
                sins and was raised from the dead on the third day.”

                Do you have any idea the miniscule amount of sense that statement makes? Yeah, probably not, but, any who. If Jesus was “All That” wouldn’t it have made a lot more sense for God to leave him around teaching and demonstrating for just a teensy while longer? Ya know, spreading the message and all that? Hell, you’d think we’d have at least one authentic writing from the guy.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Jesus has many “rightings” but alas, no writings (unless you include what he wrote on the ground with the woman accused of adultery).

                • Pofarmer

                  Yeah, that’s a late addition to the gospel, probably due to criticism of he an his disciples being mainly illiterate.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  That may be the best response I’ve seen today! Thanks.

                • Pofarmer

                  Hey, I’m really just interested in what is TRUE.

                • DivineWordRadio

                  Hey, hang with us and you might find out.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Yes, I do have an idea how miniscule amount of sense this statement makes to you. You have to repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus, and then your eyes will be opened.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  So you have to lay aside all rational, logical thinking and just believe in something that makes no sense because someone asserts it.

                  That is a terrible idea. That is a supremely terrible idea, in fact. That idea leads to believing all kinds of ridiculous things- God is real, that dude is totally a faith healer, why yes I can get $1 million if I just send that guy my bank account number, vaccinations cause cancer, childbirth is totally safe, women “ask for it” when they wear certain clothes, beating your children into submission is a fantastic idea, tin foil hats beat government mind-control rays, aliens kidnap and anally probe people, there is no racism anymore … I could keep going forever. The point is that all ideas, including religious ones, must be subjected to logical and empirical analysis before being accepted. The result of doing otherwise is hideous to behold.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Yes, like first there was nothing and then Big Bang, nothing created everything.

                  Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by Me. So please, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Why do you say there was nothing before the Big Bang? There was everything in a point in space before that. You have no idea about astrophysics at all, do you?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  So then this point in space is the singularity everyone is talking about, so you believe the universe always existed in the form a singularity and then an un-caused big bang (objects at rest remain at rest) created everything?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  No. I don’t know what happened to cause that singularity to form, nor what caused it to rapidly expand. I personally really like the black hole theory myself because it neatly explains a few mysteries of the universe, but I don’t know enough to evaluate the math behind it or fit it into a lot of the current cutting-edge theories of the universe. It seems somewhat of a fringe theory from my reading- proposed by a graduate student in his thesis and very interesting, but needs a ton more work to be fully fleshed out and tested against a lot of other things.

                  I don’t believe anything about the formation and beginnings of the universe. Like I said, we have a couple plausible theories, but we don’t know which (if any) are correct. So what I say is that we know this big bang happened, and we don’t know how or why. You know, intellectual honesty, accuracy, and integrity? The ability to admit ignorance instead of claiming an invisible wizard in the sky did it?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  It would seem that the only thing you do know is that God doesn’t exist.

                  Did you know that the ninth commandment is that you shall not bear false witness (lie) against your neighbor.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  1) I know God doesn’t exist in the same way you know that Santa isn’t real, yes. I know a lot of things, but the beginning of the universe is tricky. Why should I know all the answers? What makes you think we’ll ever know all the answers?

                  2) Non-sequitur. What false witness have I made, and against whom? Did you know that Jesus said slaves should obey their masters and that beating slaves was only to be expected?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  All of creation points to God, not santa clause, so your analogy is off from my perspective.

                  With regards to your non-sequitur, I was not accusing you of any false witness, just pointing out an interesting fact from the Bible.

                  As regards to the slave comment, you will have to quote the verse so I can read the context. I will tell you that slaves at Jesus’ time are different than slavery as we know it. bondservants was more appropriate word. We didn’t have welfare the same way we have it today and so people sold themselves into service.

                  Also, obedience and submission is a common theme in the New Testament. Obedience to Christ, slave to Christ, and of course one of the more misquoted and misuses scripture which is in Ephesians 5:21 which talks about wives submitting to husbands. Which has a different meaning than most who misquote it against me for being a follower of Jesus.

                  I would like to respond more thoroughly to your post, but I find myself needing to pack for a business trip and I won’t be returning until Friday a.m. I’ll only have my work computer so no posting for me in the next few days, but I will save the e-mail notification to flag this conversation for response.

                  In the meantime, if you would quote the scripture you are referencing, I’ll need to do some studying as I do not recall ever reading scripture that supports your assertion above.

                  God Bless

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  All of creation points to God

                  Merely an assumption, one shockingly ignorant of evidence and composed entirely of your arrogance made flesh, as it were.

                  I will tell you that slaves at Jesus’ time are different than slavery as we know it. bondservants was more appropriate word.

                  Liar. Terrible, vile, sinful liar trying to rewrite history.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Hi C.L. I am so happy that you are following me around on all of my different conversations. More Biblical truth for you. Thanks for following.

                  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

                • Fred

                  Don’t flatter yourself, you’re just a chew toy.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  I will add that C.L. is right below in one respect, there were the “bad” kind of slavery as well. Just meant to explain that much of what the Bible deals with when it comes to slaves and rules is the bondservant type. Anyway, when you get me those verses, I’ll do more research.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Oh for fuck’s sake, how often do I have to go into slavery. No, it was not bondservants. The Romans practiced chattel slavery- people were bought and sold, slaves for life, children born to slaves were also slaves. Even OT slavery was divided into two types- temporary for Israelite males, permanent for foreigners, children born to foreign slaves were still slaves. Women could be bought as sex slaves and married off to other slaves or the master or the master’s son with absolutely no say in the matter, which still means raped with impunity.

                  Verses:
                  Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5)

                  Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2)

                  The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. “But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.” (Luke 12:47-48)

                  It’s pretty hard to misinterpret this one:
                  I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. (1 Timothy 2:12)

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Hey, I’m back from my trip. I’ll address your last verse on slavery (Luke) because it also teaches a Biblical truth that is worth conveying and then slavery in general, and then we can move to other topics.

                  Here is the link to the full verse:

                  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2012:35-48&version=NIV

                  You have quoted part of a parable. A parable is a story that is told to teach a main spiritual lesson. In this case, Jesus is using a master and a slave as an example in the story, but the point of the parable has nothing to with slavery.

                  In this instance, there is a common theme in Chapter 12 is those who go to heaven and hell and about being ready for that time because it could happen at any time. In this context, Jesus teaches about being ready for that time, for it is like when a master comes home to see his servant. We are then given three examples:

                  1. Someone knows what God’s will is and does the opposite will be cut up and placed with unbelievers

                  2. Someone knows God’s will and doesn’t do what master wants or does not get ready. Will be beaten with many blows.

                  3. Someone doesn’t know God’s will and does things deserving punishment. Will be beaten with few blows.

                  The moral of the story is that if you do not do God’s will, you will end up in hell and the punishment will be according to your knowledge and behavior. In case 1, the punishment will be most severe, case 2 less severe and case 3 least severe. Still all three end up in hell, but punishment according to knowledge and works.

                  So if you know the saving gospel of Christ and do the opposite your punishment will be most. If you don’t know gospel of Christ and do things deserving punishment you will be punished the least and if you know, but don’t do it then punishment will be in the middle. Since we all sin, we all deserve punishment.

                  With regards to Slavery in general, I’ve read a pretty good answer from The Bible Answer Book as follows:

                  A myth propped up by secular skeptics is that Scripture sanctions slavery. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
                  First, it should be noted that far from extolling the virtues of slavery, the Bible denounces slavery as sin. The New Testament goes so far as to put slave traders in the same category as murderers, adulterers, perverts, and liars (1 Timothy 1:10).

                  Furthermore, slavery within the Old Testament context was sanctioned due to economic realities rather than racial or sexual prejudices. Because bankruptcy laws did not exist, people would voluntarily sell themselves into slavery. A craftsman could thus use his skills in servitude to discharge a debt. Even a convicted thief could make restitution by serving as a slave (Exodus 22:3).

                  Finally, while the Bible as a whole recognizes the reality of slavery, it never promotes the practice of slavery. In fact, it was the application of biblical principles that ultimately led to the overthrow of slavery, both in ancient Israel and in the United States of America. Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt became the model for the liberation of slaves in general. In America, many are beginning to wake up to the liberating biblical truth that all people are created by God with innate equality (Genesis 1:27; Acts 17:26–28; Galatians 3:28).

                  1 Timothy 1:8–11
                  “We know that the law is good if one
                  uses it properly. We also know that law is made not
                  for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels,
                  the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious;
                  for those who kill their fathers
                  or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts,
                  for slave traders and liars and perjurers––
                  and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine
                  that conforms to the glorious gospel
                  of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Yes, yes it’s a parable. One in which it is perfectly acceptable to beat one’s servants (slaves) if they knew what they were supposed to do and fail at it. The fact that this parable is not talking about slavery per se actually makes it worse: slavery is so much assumed to be present and moral that it’s taken for granted as a thing. Slavery is taken for granted as moral and just. Beating one’s slaves is taken for granted as moral and just. Process that for a second.

                  And no, you are wrong about slavery. How do I know this? I’ve also read the Bible. Men could indeed sell themselves into temporary slavery. However, women, children born as slaves, and foreigners were all permanent slaves. I present to you:

                  Sex Slavery

                  When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. -Exodus 21:7-11 NLT

                  Beating a slave to death is fine so long as it’s a lingering death

                  When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. -Exodus 21:20-21

                  Biblical slavery: foreigners are chattel slaves

                  However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. -Leviticus 25:44-46

                  Male Israelite slaves must be freed after six years. Their slave wives and children? Not so much.

                  If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. -Exodus 21:2-6

                  Joshua enslaved the Gibeonites as well. There are rules for how to do slavery, and nothing (not one word) saying that slavery is bad, wrong, immoral, unjust, dehumanizing, or otherwise problematic. Not one. That’s a pretty strong an endorsement of slavery, don’t you think? It was the application of Enlightenment principles and the specific rejection of Biblical ones that has led to movements to end slavery, end racism, end sexism, and otherwise treat people as, well, people.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  (Exodus 21:20-21) – “And if a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. 21If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property.”

                  God permitted slavery to exist in both Old and New Testament times. But this does not mean that slavery was a God-ordained system. Slavery was an invention of fallen man, not of God. Nevertheless, God allowed it to exist the way He allows other things to exist that He does not approve of: murder, lying, rape, theft, etc.

                  God also works within the system of fallen man and makes allowances for the freedom and failures of mankind within that system. We see this, for example, in Jesus saying that God allowed divorce because of the hardness of peoples’ hearts (Matt. 19:8). The fact is, people are sinners and do things contrary to the will of God. But, even though people have murdered, lied, raped, and stolen, God has still used people who’ve committed these sins to accomplish His divine will. Moses murdered an Egyptian but was used by God to deliver Israel. David committed adultery but was promised to have the Messiah descend from his seed. This is proof that though God desires that people not do much of what they do, He permits them their freedom, yet uses the system and the people according to His divine will.

                  In the case of a slave being property, that is simply the way things were done back then. God worked within the fallen system of man and put limits and guidelines concerning the treatment of slaves.

                  (Leviticus 25:44) – “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.”

                  In the fallen world that mankind had created, slavery was a reality. God permitted its existence and worked within its system. Slaves were more domestic servants than oppressed field workers. Slaves could be the captives of war (Num. 31:25-47), subjects of debt to be worked off (2 Kings 4:1), born into slavery (Gen. 17:12-13), or entered into voluntarily (Exodus 21:5-6). In the Ancient Near East, some slaves were able to own other slaves and even conduct business and in Exodus 21:2 a slave was required to be set free after six years of service.

                  God works within the fallen system to bring about His will. Slavery was permitted by God and rules of treatment of slaves were given so that they would not be mistreated.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I thought God was all good? Then why not fucking tell people “slavery is wrong, yo”? He had a lot of other rules- no wearing mixed fabrics, no eating pork or shellfish, stone women who weren’t virgins on their wedding night to death, kill people who picked up sticks on the Sabbath, etc. There are 613 commandments in the Torah (five books of Moses) alone. You’d think “don’t treat other people like property” might could be squeezed in there somewhere!

                  And are you kidding me about slaves not being mistreated? There were rules for raping slaves and beating them to death! How is that humane treatment? Remember that only Israelite male adult slaves were set free after 6 years- women, children, and foreigners were chattel slaves, who would never be freed and could be passed to heirs just like property. By the time of Jesus, Roman slavery (also chattel slavery) was the norm. Slavery is wrong. God permitted slavery and condones it in several places. Reconcile that.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  I suppose you can hang onto this, but God told us to love God and love our neighbor as our self. The fact that these are the two greatest commandments speaks to how God wants us to live. The fact that we don’t live this way lead to rules to regulate the sinful activities of sinful people.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Really? The two greatest? I thought there were 10 really important ones that were the biggest deal. None of those involves loving your neighbor at all, just not coveting his stuff (including his wife, who was totally his property, another black mark against your god. Would it really have been so hard to say “women are people, treat them as such”?).

                  How do you reconcile slavery with loving people? How do you reconcile mass murder, rape, human sacrifice, with love? Why do you think your god has anything to do with the Golden Rule, which predates the existence of Judaism by quite a bit, let alone Christianity. And why is loving a god at all necessary for the loving your neighbor bit? Why put any emotion at all into an invisible genocidal maniac? Remember you said that God is all-good. None of this is good. Your god is therefore not all-good and not worthy of worship even if ze exists.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  The two encompass the 10. The first 4 are about loving God and the last 6 are about loving your neighbor.

                  You shall have no other gods before Me.

                  You shall not make idols.

                  You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

                  Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

                  Honor your father and your mother.

                  You shall not murder.

                  You shall not commit adultery.

                  You shall not steal.

                  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

                  You shall not covet.

                  If you’ve broken just one of these commandments, then you have fallen short of God’s holy and perfect standard, and you will be guilty on judgement day.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  How about “you shall not own people”, “you shall treat people with the respect inherent in being human”, “you shall not beat your children”, “no seriously I mean it, people are people. Their genitalia doesn’t matter one bit”.

                  Where are those commandments?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  “There are rules for how to do slavery, and nothing (not one word) saying that slavery is bad, wrong, immoral, unjust, dehumanizing, or otherwise problematic. Not one. That’s a pretty strong an endorsement of slavery, don’t you think?”

                  As I explained in the other post below, God worked within the fallen system of man and put limits and guidelines concerning the treatment of slaves.

                  As regards to slavery being bad and not one word.

                  1 Timothy 1:8–11
                  “We know that the law is good if one
                  uses it properly. We also know that law is made not
                  for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels,
                  the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious;
                  for those who kill their fathers
                  or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts,
                  for slave traders and liars and perjurers––
                  and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine
                  that conforms to the glorious gospel
                  of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  That doesn’t say anything about slavery being bad, just that being a slave trader is bad. Congrats, you have searched and failed to find. If God is all-powerful, why permit rape and slavery? Why order it to occur? Why order genocides and murders and enslavement, why murder countless people himself? How is that good? And don’t tell me “fallen people”- that’s bullshit and you know it. God’s supposed to be able to do anything, and yet somehow does a ton of evil things and gives a ton of evil orders.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Yep. Slave trading is wrong. God doesn’t order those things to occur. It is rules for fallen people.

                  9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Rules for fallen people are supposed to help make them better. You know, things like “all people are people, so don’t treat them like property” or “all people are people, no matter what the equipment between their legs”. God couldn’t manage to figure that out, apparently. It took humans, using human reasoning and empathy, to get that far.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  God also works within the system of fallen man and makes allowances for the freedom and failures of mankind within that system. We see this, for example, in Jesus saying that God allowed divorce because of the hardness of peoples’ hearts (Matt. 19:8). The fact is, people are sinners and do things contrary to the will of God. But, even though people have murdered, lied, raped, and stolen, God has still used people who’ve committed these sins to accomplish His divine will. Moses murdered an Egyptian but was used by God to deliver Israel. David committed adultery but was promised to have the Messiah descend from his seed. This is proof that though God desires that people not do much of what they do, He permits them their freedom, yet uses the system and the people according to His divine will.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  God loves the free will of the rapist. The free will of the victim/survivor, not so much. God didn’t give rules that make people better, or push them to act better. He gave them rules saying that slavery was fine and women were property. What the fuck kind of evil god says something like that?

                • Brian Anthony

                  do you teach a child everything immediately? no. likewise God had to gently push his children along.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  That argument only makes sense if *Yahweh* was the child, a young god learning how to behave as he went along. A dog can learn how to not do something in twenty minutes, and a healthy human can learn the reason why not to do something in seconds. It’s ridiculous to argue that a small group required thousands of years and switchups at near-literal knifepoint.

                • Brian Anthony

                  no its the anthropology of the deelopement of humanity. In the argumetn its the ide that God like a parent had to gradually introduce through reason and revelation to his children, humanity His true will. the people are children, humanity developes just like individuals.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Actually, that, yes I do. Consent is critical and people are people. In toddler-speak, ask first and you wouldn’t like that so don’t do it to others. This is like pre-K stuff.

                  I would certainly never tell a toddler “hey, Suzie doesn’t have a penis so she’s not a real person like you” and expect hir to figure out when ze got older that hey, Suzie is totally a person. Why would God try that approach?

                • baal

                  God could have told them to shape up. Is He concerned about his popularity rating?

                • Brian Anthony

                  you forgot the part in Timothy where he says that likewise a christian master must treat his slaves well especially if they are fellow believers… ;(

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Yeah, so? Slavery is inherently immoral, because it reduces people to chattel status. Rules on how to make it less-bad are still immoral, because they still fucking condone slavery as an institution. Also note that “treat well” does not actually say “no sex slavery”, and there is no way to rape a woman nicely. Neither of these is a hard concept.

                  Also why are you responding to a whole bunch of stuff I said like a month ago? These are dead threads.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Behold that beam in your own eye, sinner, since you’ve been documented as repeatedly making up things about other people’s personal beliefs and innermost lives.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Hi C.L. Thanks again for following me around making comments on my various posts. I appreciate the fan club.

                  Did you know that the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.

                • Pofarmer

                  Why do you assume I haven’t in the past?

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Because repentance is not a one time past event. It is a lifelong repenting (turning from) one’s sins.

                • Pofarmer

                  Dean, I’m sure you’re a good fellow. But the idea of asking a Bronze age myth for forgiveness of sins against an iron age myth doesn’t particularly have any appeal at this point.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Thanks Pofarmer. God is not just the God of yesterday. He is the God of today and the future.

                  Please consider this. Are you 100% sure the Bible is wrong. If you are even 1% unsure, isn’t it worth exploring to see? Eternity after we die is a long time.

                • Pofarmer

                  Are you even 1% unsure you are praying to the right God? May the light of Ra shine upon you.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  No. I am 100% sure because I know God. Your question is like asking me am I sure my wife exists. Of course she does, because I know her.

                • Pofarmer

                  The definition of God normally includes “unknowable”

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Not sure whose definition that is. The Bible teaches that if you repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ for your salvation, God gives you the Holy Spirit so that you can have a relationship with Him, and know Him.

                • Cake

                  Your god can step up and give evidence then.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  creation is evidence that there is a Creator.

                • Cake

                  Water is wet, fire is hot, therefore god?

                  I’m laughing at you.
                  We might as well be sitting around a campfire thousands of years ago and you’re telling me the stars in the night sky are just holes in some enormous cloth.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  No, like if you see a painting, you know there is a painter. You see creation and there had to be a creator.

                • Cake

                  Thanks for reaffirming my claim about the stars in the night sky and cloth.

                • phantomreader42

                  Pascal’s Wager is a worthless load of shit. By using
                  it you’re admitting that there’s actually no good reason to believe your cult’s idiotic dogma, you just pretend to believe it because you’re afraid of the boogeyman. It also implies that your god is incredibly stupid, narcissistic, cruel, and in general wholly unworthy of worship even if it actually existed (which isn’t likely, since by resorting to threats you admit that you don’t have any actual evidence). Your argument is the argument of a stupid, lazy, self-centered, willfully ignorant terrorist. In short, your argument is garbage, and so are you.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Thanks for writing.

                • Cake

                  Thanks for ceasing your increasingly stupid robot replies

                • baal

                  Once you acknowledge your own flesh you’ll see that Cthulhu already has one tentacle on it. Right about then you’ll see how puny and non-existant your god and jesus are.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  We are all going to be accountable to God for every thought word and deed, so please believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

                • baal

                  I’m more concerned about living eternal unlife in horror and insanity in this world when Cthulhu comes.

                • Brian Anthony

                  he letter to the king of Edessa. look it up. its hotly debated matter and im not sure i necesarrily believe its authentic but it is an interesting candidate

                • Pofarmer

                  Yes, i’m certain that couldn’t possibly ne a hoax.

                • Brian Anthony

                  well it is a candidate….its possible its a hoax but its just as possible that its not. any historical document from the period is up for grabs really.

                • Pofarmer

                  It seems there is quite a bit of questionable material that shows up in eusebius time period.

                • Brian Anthony

                  you have read eusebius?

                • Pofarmer

                  Little bit.

              • Cake

                A perfect god would have no need of sacrifice or anything so horrific in the first place. Perhaps your god isn’t perfect, or you’re just not being rational.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  God is a just judge and is angry with the wicked every day, so please repent of your sin and put your trust in Jesus and His sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection on the third day.

                • Cake

                  God gets angry at stuff, why?

                  I guess he’s not Omnipotent after all. Poor thing.

                  I told you before I have nothing to repent I am without sin.

                  If I had somehow sinned, the death of an unconnected third party wouldn’t fix anything.

                  Further, someone pretending to die and actually dying are two separate things.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Do you love people and life? If you do, you should hate murder and be angry with murderers. God’s hate is judicial hate for the Bible says that God does not want anyone to perish, but that everyone come to repentance.

                  With regards to having nothing to repent of, either you or God is lying and the scripture says that it is impossible for God to lie. Romans 3:23 says all have sinned.

                • Cake

                  LOL that’s silly. If I was omnipotent there wouldn’t be any murder, therefore I wouldn’t ever be angry.

                  If god was truly benevolent, forgiveness wouldn’t have any conditions on it.
                  I am not lying, and since god isn’t here to speak for himself, you must be the one lying.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Yes, if you chose to create robots who do exactly as you say, then yes, you could create a world without murder.

                  God is kind, and loving. But He is also just, righteous and holy and so He will punish sin.

                  When we die, we will all be accountable for everything we say and do and we will be accountable to God’s standard, not ours.

                • Cake

                  WOW, tell me more of what your god CAN’T do.

                  You’re totally selling me on this Omnipotence thing.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  No, God made the world the way He chose to. He could have made it differently. I was responding to your imaginary world if you were the creator.

                • Cake

                  So now you’re saying that either god is not good or god isn’t smarter than a mere mortal. Keep shifting what you’re saying. Maybe you’ll convince someone.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  Not following your logic. God is infinitely good and is greater than all of His creation. That is why Jesus sacrifice on the cross was sufficient payment for all sin and available to those who repent and put their trust in Christ. Because Jesus is worth more than all of creation. You’ll have to explain how your arrived at your comment if we are going to take this discussion further.

                • Cake

                  An infinitely good god wouldn’t have required any sacrifice at all. It could just forgive without it.

                  In fact, requiring a sacrifice at all speaks to a level of impotence. Poor thing.

                • http://NeedGod.com/ deanforGod

                  No. God is just and must punish sin. Just like a good and just judge in this world will punish a person who commits a crime.

                  If you get a speeding ticket and have to pay the court $1,000 and you don’t have it, but someone else comes and pays the fine for you, justice is served and your case is dismissed and you are able to go free.

                  We don’t have the ability to pay the fine of judgement by God’s standards, that is why Jesus paid the fine for us by dying on the cross and being resurrected.

                • Cake

                  Now you’re redefining what forgiveness means.

                  Tell me more of what your god can’t do. Your lies are so convincing.

                • 3lemenope

                  He could have made it differently.

                  How? If God created the best universe he knew how to make, then he didn’t have a choice. If, on the other hand, he didn’t create the best universe he knew how to make, he’s kind of a dick.

                • Joseph Essien-Obot

                  Unfortunately, Cake, your logic is not quite there. God is perfect and what he created is perfect. Man was created in his image and to be complete in this image free will is an essential ingredient. What is your humanity if you could not decide for yourself what is good or bad, to decide what to do and what not (like the non-human creation)? With this free-will man is like God, you could say he is a god. This is a defining element. But to be truly free our decisions should be independent, not coerced. To prove our positions there are debilitating circumstances which at the same time serve to sharpen our convictions of truth. In Jesus intense and horrific suffering his perfect humanity shines through. While in the heat of carrying his cross amid beatings and jeers, Jesus saw a group of women weeping for him, ‘But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children’ (Luke 23:28). While hanging on the cross Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34). This is the nature of God to which all mankind is called, in which mankind is created, this is the way to true human life, the life of God himself. The mercy of God brings Jesus to the world that we may see without confusion. This is akin to proving that drug dependency is bad, letting the unexposed to its dangers and leaving it to their freedom to choose. I certainly can’t see what is irrational here.

                • Cake

                  Wrong.
                  A benevolent being doesn’t require a sacrifice to forgive someone.

                  You’re redefining what benevolence and sacrifice means.

                  As an example I forgive you for being a blistering idiot. See how that works? I didn’t kill anyone or demand a foreskin or anything, already I’m one up on your supposed god.

                  God can’t create a perfect being with free will who he gets along with. WOW, tell me more of what your god CAN’T do.

                • Joseph Essien-Obot

                  Sorry Cake, I honestly thought you were a concept guzzler. Sorry to bother you.

                • Cake

                  Gee, a wall of text and now you can’t even get the names of the people you’re replying to correct. You’re a winner.

                  Making excuses for the gathered oral history of a bronze age apocalyptic cult seems to be a solid use of your time. Good luck finding someone who doesn’t poke holes in your ideas so easily.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        and many do not want to do this.

        Another example of you saying the same false thing over and over despite having been corrected, over and over.

        Why do you enjoy sinning so much?

  • phantomreader42

    So, the head of the world’s largest organization for the protection and enrichment of child rapists, who sits on a golden throne claiming to be the infallible representative of almighty god, says I’m arrogant and have no moral compass…
    And every irony meter in the entire Universe simultaneously exploded.

    • Joseph Essien-Obot

      Just wondering phantom, how rich are these child rapists, and what percentage of these child rapists make up the clergy? 1, maybe 2%? How does that define an organisation as for the purpose for “the protection and enrichment of child rapists”? My, my, what would that make the American government? An organisation for the protection and enrichment of drug dealers, murderers, rapists, swindlers? And yet America (its president) claims to be the moral beacon of the world? Wow!!!

      • phantomreader42

        Just wondering, Joseph, how many times does an organization have to provide known rapists and their enablers with employment, housing, protection from prosecution, and fresh new victims before you can consider the possibility that they might be doing something even slightly imperfect and stop defending them by reflex?

        • Joseph Essien-Obot

          Well, actually, the same exact question goes back to you, phantom. Every organisation has its problems, problems that are contrary to their purpose, to hunk around one you have found in another and pretend it is the purpose of that organisation just demonstrates the arrogant bias you carry. You didn’t even respond to the implication of your logic.

          • phantomreader42

            Okay, Joseph, I can see you’re incredibly stupid and can’t be bothered to read my post for comprehension. I’ll explain it slowly for you.
            1. A person who covers up and enables the rape of children is not displaying a functioning moral compass.
            2. A person who claims to be speaking on behalf of the creator of the universe is not displaying humility.
            3. The pope did both those things.
            4. Therefore, the pope is arrogant and lacks a moral compass.
            5. Despite this, the pope asserts that atheists are arrogant and lack a moral compass, libeling others by falsely attributing his own characteristics to them.
            6. Therefore, the pope is also a stupid lying hypocrite with no self-awareness who projects his own immorality onto others.
            7. The fact that the pope’s libel involves pretending atheists have negative characteristics that he himself displays involves irony, a concept I do not expect you to comprehend.

            • Joseph Essien-Obot

              Actually, I thought you were intelligent. I think you have demonstrated his point. Cheers!

  • keylockb

    This ‘DivineWordRadio’ – it is being broadcast from Broadmoor, isn’t it?

    • The Other Weirdo

      What’s Broadmoor?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Archetypal insane asylum, located in Britain somewhere I think.

        • The Other Weirdo

          You mean it’s actually real? I thought “Miss Marple” and “Midsomer Murders” were lying to me.

      • keylockb

        Broadmoor is an institution, in England, for the criminally insane. A number of the inmates are of the ‘Because god told me to do it’ variety.

  • Joe_JP

    Well, given his belief structure and all, he would find atheists pretty sad.

    • Carmelita Spats

      Yeah, Pope Frank believes in a Trinitarian-incarnational-atoning-resurrecting-ascending-soon-to-be-returning-God who was his own father AND who is swallowed every Sunday by wide-eyed devotees opening their yammering maws for a mouthful of Savior. Pope Frank can turn ANY piece of bread, including fried Twinkies, into the transubstantiated (????) flesh of a 2,000-year-old virgin carpenter. Way cool! What do atheists have? Richard Dawkins, lectures on science, blah, blah…stuff that makes my brain hurt. I prefer Pope Frank’s magic show, transubstantiated Twinkies, a case of Bud Light, endless reruns of Knight Rider and those tiny bottles of stolen prescription Percocet… Don’t you?

      • Joe_JP

        You sound a bit bitter.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          You sound a bit making-things-up.

          • Joe_JP

            How? I noted that given the pope’s belief structure, he would find atheism sad. Didn’t agree with him.

            In return, we get a broad attack about “magic shows” and all. Bland comment gets that. Sounds a tad bit bitter at Catholicism. Don’t understand the making things up part.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              You tried to pull a Jesus and transform “making wisecracks while comparing qualities” into “being bitter”. That’s making things up. Not to mention the unprovoked judgmentalism were you to be correct. Funny thing, when I see someone reacting badly to religion, I try to let it go, because if they ARE bitter, it’s because they’ve been abused and don’t deserve to be criticized for reacting badly to abuse.

              • Joe_JP

                I see people react badly to religion for a variety of reasons, so don’t think I can assume it is “because” they were abused.

                ETA: Was in a rush, so an addendum. If your concern is that I should have just let things go, okay, but this is a message board. Responses will be posted. If a person is going to have such a strong response with my bland comment (imho), a basically friendly (it was) comment akin to a “whoa” is not to me necessarily a bad thing.

                People lash out against the felt stupidities of religion or some other cause for a variety of reasons, however, so I’m not going to assume why this particular reply was made. I don’t find that, with apologies, kosher.

                But, you said something about “making up” — I did not. I said “sound a bit bitter” — it does. It doesn’t mean it is bitter. It surely sounds that way given the force of a response to a bland statement that the pope is likely to find atheists sad. He’s the pope! Anyone who found his previous statement to suggest different was a tad naive. And, for stating a bland statement, I got that response. It was impressive — very Lewis Black or Carlin.

                To label my comment “judgmental-ism” is really a tad much. But, if we want to get all meta, perhaps, this underlines the problems with assumptions and putting too much weight to some comment. I don’t think that’s helpful and it can cause problems.

  • Tselin Nyai

    Narcissists and atheists, science is god,
    The Protestant Reformation made it easy to go from Pilgrim to Tourist (Zygmunt Baumann 2001) and from there to “select ” identities. Reading over ridicule as the former helps decisions, the latter shows your fear.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Jesus but you are a nasty little projecting bile spewer.

  • Tselin Nyai

    Sarah I know you need that book published and have possibly chosen a red hot religious flashpoint like many others.
    I encourage you to read Theodor Adorno and some of his later work.
    His examination of Reification has recently been renewed.
    Philosophy searches for truth, publishers for shock and awe.

  • Tselin Nyai

    If there is no god, no utopia then Hitler was right and just in assuming power over any morality.
    If there is a god or utopia, then why work, just diddle the help.

    Reification in a nutshell

  • catsnjags

    Some enterprising Catholic should go grab the domain: shitmypopesays.com


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