Pope Francis: The Church Has No Right to ‘Interfere Spiritually’ With LGBT People

Building a reputation as the most LGBT-friendly Pope in history, Pope Francis said in an interview published today that the Church should not interfere spiritually with LGBT people, nor seek to cause them any harm.

Pope Francis

According to CNN’s highlights of the interview, published in several languages and 16 countries:

“Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”

Francis said that someone once asked him if he “approved” of homosexuality.

“I replied with another question,” he said. “‘Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being.”

Pope Francis also commented on letters he receives from LGBT people who express their frustration and pain trying to reconcile their faith with their identity. Earlier this month it was reported that he had personally called a gay man to express his support, though the Vatican denied the claim, and in July he famously asked, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

His recent comments echoed that sentiment:

When Francis was a bishop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he received letters from gays and lesbians who said they were “socially wounded” by the church, he said.

“But the church does not want to do this,” Francis said in the interview.

Of course, we shouldn’t be too quick to sing his praises. The Pope did acknowledge the authority of the Catholic catechism, which still refers to LGBT people as mentally disordered. As a result, his comments could easily be interpreted as a classic retelling of “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

“By saying this, I said what the catechism says,” the pope told Spadaro. The catechism, the Catholic Church’s book of official doctrine, condemns homosexual acts, but says gays and lesbians “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”

Pope Francis also made more general statements about the role of the Church in society, women’s place in the Church, and his strict stance on other social issues. He said that “the door is closed” on women’s ordination, but that “the feminine genius” is key to the Church’s and society’s success. As always, same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception are off the table.

Most interestingly, he seems to have acknowledged some of the most substantial criticisms of the Church, admitting once and for all that religion should not serve as a substitute for government, whether in practice or purely in belief:

“The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things,” the pope said, “in small-minded rules.”

“The people of God want pastors,” Francis continued, “not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.”

I would love it if this last statement were an unabashed denouncement of the entanglement between church and state, but I’m sure that kind of analysis is a stretch. Regardless, this is a sign that the times are changing. Officials in the Catholic Church are aware of their waning influence, and they’re trying to do something about it.

This is far from revolutionary — no matter the Pope’s statements, the principles of the catechism will always loom overhead. But for LGBT people who have suffered the Church’s bigotry and mistreatment for years, even the slightest reassurance is a significant step.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at gaywrites.org.

  • islandbrewer

    … a reputation as the most LGBT-friendly Pope in history …

    Not to detract, but that’s kind of a low bar.

    Just sayin’.

    • LesterBallard

      It’s not a low bar, it’s a ditch.

      • Hat Stealer

        Or a pothole.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I would think Popes of centuries past would beg to disagree with him. Now, were they wrong, or is Francis wrong? In essence, what’s happened to absolute morality?

    • islandbrewer

      I believe the appropriate way to phrase that question is, “Catholic Church, were you lying then, or are you lying now?!”

      • allein

        yes.

    • M.S.

      “By saying this, I said what the catechism says,” the Pope told Spadaro. The catechism, the Catholic Church’s book of official doctrine, condemns homosexual acts, but says gays and lesbians “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”
      He is not changing the Church’s stance on gays… he is consistent with what the catechism has always said…

      • The Other Weirdo

        I wonder how much “respect, compassion and sensitivity” there was from the Church toward gays in the centuries past.

        • M.S.

          Hmmm I wonder too. That would be impossible to objectively measure, methinks. I was simply answering your question about who was wrong.

          • The Other Weirdo

            Oh, I realize that. I doubt there were research groups back then recording metrics. :)

  • islandbrewer

    Officials in the Catholic Church are aware of their waning influence, and they’re trying to do something about it.

    How about a Catholicism Wow! campaign with Buddy Christ!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FigprdcBGA

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Everyone should watch this movie despite its flaws. You do, however, have to watch Clerks first so that you at least know who the reoccurring characters are.

      The conversation on the train makes me so sad.

  • Tainda

    I predict the pope will have an “accident” or become too “ill” to be his popiness in a year or less.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Are you suggesting that God Himself who had guided the Cardinals in the voting process has made a mistake? Why, I never.

      • Tainda

        It was SATAN!

        • The Other Weirdo

          So he has finally achieved that penetration of the RCC firewall that he has sought for so many millenia.

          • 3lemenope

            He just asked an intern in IT for the password.

            Apparently, it was “SECRET”.

            • Lando

              And THAT’S why you don’t diddle interns.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Personally this is still how I fell…

  • Andrew B.

    “Pope Francis: The Church Has No Right to ‘Interfere Spiritually’ With LGBT People”

    Interfering physically, emotionally, legally and socially is still OK though.

    In other words: “We don’t want to change our abusive behavior, we just want to stop being blamed for it.”

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ trivialknot

    I approve of small steps forward, but I’m not convinced that the pope has even done that. He’s just repeating what’s in the Catechism.

  • A3Kr0n

    Who care what the pope says? He’s still the pope, and the catholic church is still here.

    • 3lemenope

      That’s kinda the point. He’s the pope, the Catholic Church and its one-and-a-half Billion members are still here. Look, when any group the size of the Catholic Church has a leader where most members still say “how high?” when he says “toke on this”, watching what he says and does is still a good idea, if for no other reason than to know when to duck.

  • Ewan

    “Regardless, this is a sign that the times are changing.”

    No, it’s not.

    “Officials in the Catholic Church are aware of their waning influence, and they’re trying to do something about it.”

    See, no change there – the Church has always done whatever it can to maintain and increase its influence. There is no change to their views, and no recognition that they’re wrong, only that they’ve been using a sub-optimal PR strategy. It’s a shame that people are being so easily conned by this pathetic whitewash.

    • Art_Vandelay

      While I agree that it’s a shame, it’s hardly surprising. These are the same people that have been conned into believing that a stale cracker is really Jewish carpenter flesh. After you’ve gotten them to buy that, I’d think you could sell them just about anything.

      • robert chacon

        Art, that “Jewish carpenter flesh” is what makes me love you regardless of how disrespectful , and disdainful you are to me. So yes, once one is sold that, one can be sold on the belief in love toward everyone, even the people on this site who hate everything I believe in, which does not include bigotry or prejudice against ANYONE.

        • Art_Vandelay

          I have no disdain for you. I feel sorry for you. You’ve been brainwashed by a cult based on the blood sacrifice of a child and they’ve convinced you that you can physically consume his blood and flesh and that’s where your morality comes from. This cult has raped you of your humanity. They took it from you and convinced you that it’s theirs. On the contrary Robert, I simply would like to see you emancipate yourself from this nonsense. I’d also like for you to stop funding the systematic rape, torture, and subsequent cover-up of thousands of children.

  • Nele Abels

    To sum it all up, nice words and warm nothings.
    The business of discrimination can go on unhindered…

  • Anna

    You know, I get more and more annoyed by Francis every time he opens his mouth. He’s so double-faced. What he’s saying now doesn’t square at all with the things he said a mere three years ago.

    “By saying this, I said what the catechism says,” the pope told Spadaro. The catechism, the Catholic Church’s book of official doctrine, condemns homosexual acts, but says gays and lesbians “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”

    Really? Does he think his 2010 comments about same-sex couples and families were filled with respect, compassion, and sensitivity?

    In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts. Let’s not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God’s plan. This is not a mere legislative proposal (that’s just its form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God… Let’s look to St. Joseph, Mary, and the Child to ask fervently that they defend the Argentine family in this moment… May they support, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.

    His idea of respect, compassion, and sensitivity to accuse his fellow human beings of being in league with Satan and work tirelessly to prevent them from having legal rights?

    “The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things,” the pope said, “in small-minded rules.” “The people of God want pastors,” Francis continued, “not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.”

    So the Catholic church is going to stop trying to interfere with the government and its laws? This just seems like an outright lie. They have no plans to stop doing what they’re doing.

    • Stev84

      It’s the same shit when they say that gay people should be denied all rights but still be treated with “dignity”. Nothing but Orwellian doublespeak.

      • robert chacon

        No one in the Church is suggesting to deny ALL rights. It simply advocates for marriage to be a man and a woman to protect the rights of children to have a mother and a father. You really find this a horrible goal?

        • Anat

          Children need adults who care for them. There is no necessity those adults be 2, and there is no necessity they be of different genders. There is no necessity those adults be biologically related to the children. By insisting that children have a mother and a father you are harming those children whose family is of a different structure.

          By insisting that marriage be between different-gendered people you are advocating for discrimination against those people who could have the benefits of marriage with a same-gender person. So yes, that is a horrible goal.

    • robert chacon

      Do you really expect the Church to simply lie down and accept what it believes is wrong. I am sorry, but believing that the right of a child to have a mother and a father takes precedence over the right of a homosexual couple to be married is not hateful. It is simply protecting the rights of the most defenseless. Furthermore, your persecution complex is overriding your objectivity to what the Pope said. He did not say anyone is in league with the devil. He said you are being confused about what we as a society should hold as a priority of rights. It seems fairly reasonable , even without the religious position, that the rights of children should take precedent over our own adult desires. And, when something that seems so unclear to so many people, there is clearly confusion about what is right and wrong , and from the Church’s perspective, God is not a God of confusion. What else do you expect him to say. “We may be on Satans side, so lets just do whatever those on the opposite side of the issue want.” Get real. Dont be so sensitive; it suggests you really care about the Churchs approval of who you are. It is the role of the Church to try to pronounce truths of right and wrong. You are free to ignore it and vote accordingly. But intolerance works both ways. You have intolerance for people that simply disagree with you. Keep working in the political process to obstruct the Church’s position if you dont like it, but dont demand that everyone has to accept he normality of homosexual sex. Thats not what it means to live in a free society.

      • Kodie

        I am sorry, but believing that the right of a child to have a mother and
        a father takes precedence over the right of a homosexual couple to be
        married is not hateful.

        It damn sure is, when they go out of their way to prevent such marriages from happening, especially. In case you hadn’t noticed such a thing, but the Catholic Church doesn’t authorize marriages, the US government does, and the US government does not insist that Catholic Churches marry gay people in them, or to Catholics be gay, or have gay sex, or get gay married. Gayness has not a thing to do with oppressing your religious beliefs, go ahead and have them.

      • Anna

        The leaders in your church can express their opinions all they want, but the line is crossed when they attempt to force their religious beliefs into our secular laws.

        Yes, it is hateful, and the incessant “mother and father” rhetoric is a complete red herring. The two things have nothing to do with each other. Children of same-sex parents (I happen to be one myself) are just pawns in your movement. Denying marriage doesn’t stop us from existing, and your faux concern for our welfare is offensive. The bottom line is that you seek to punish our parents for making what you see as an “inferior” choice. You want to stigmatize and delegitimize them. Your church doesn’t care one iota how that affects us.

        The Catholic church is free to be prejudiced agaisnt homosexuality and preach intolerance from the pulpit. They have no right to push those bigoted beliefs into our government.

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

    The Old Pope says with a stern-face “The gays are going to hell.”
    The New Pope says with a smile, “The gays are going to hell.”

    • 3lemenope

      To be (undeservedly) fair, he’s saying something more like:

      “The gays are going to hell when they die, but that’s no excuse to be dicks to them while they’re alive.”

      Of course, I’ll believe that sentiment when the Catholic Church ends its long policy of being dicks to gay people.

      • Tobias2772

        They will still continue to be dicks to rational people – miliions times more of them.

  • Edmond

    Hmmph. The Pope did NOT say that the Church “should not” interfere spiritually with LGBT people. He said it’s “NOT POSSIBLE” to do so. This can only mean that he and the Church believe it’s never happened, since they believe it’s not possible.

    He also said that “if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge”. So, if a homosexual person is of good will, but is NOT in search of God, or is not searching in the “Catholic” way, or even a “Christian” way, then I assume he feels he IS fit to judge them? That we SHOULD be judged, as if we’ve committed some crime?
    When will these morally BACKWARDS villains come to realize that LGBT people AREN’T doing anything “wrong” by simply pursuing romance and sexuality in the way which suits us best? When will they see that this is NOT A CRIME? Why is that something that we should be “judged” for, whether we “seek God” or not? If part of the problem is that we’re not supposed to be having premarital sex, then when are they going to step out of the way of our marriages?
    Pope Francis may be advocating kind treatment of gay people, but DAMMIT, that’s how they’re SUPPOSED to be treating EVERYONE. That doesn’t represent a change at all. The continuing attitude that we are “sinners” because we follow our hearts in crafting the happiest lives we can in our own way, will continue to provoke religious condemnation, oppression, and obstructionism to LGBT lives. These people pat themselves on the back for their niceness, never seeing the bankruptcy of simply putting a smile on scorn.

    • Anna

      These people pat themselves on the back for their niceness, never seeing the bankruptcy of simply putting a smile on scorn.

      Exactly, and it’s terribly condescending. Their idea of respect involves telling people they’re disordered and treating them with “loving” pity. They think doing so with a smile makes it all better.

    • The Other Weirdo

      He also said that “if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge”.

      That just means he doesn’t have to judge, his god will do it for him and save him the trouble, ’cause they are all still going to hell and all.

    • M.S.

      Right. He didn’t deviate from what the Catechism has ALWAYS said regarding the treatment of gays. This doesn’t actually extend marriage to gays, and we’re still a long way from that, I think. That said, I don’t expect the RCC to make that change anytime soon if America still can’t….

    • Itarion

      And this, of course, is known as spinning the speech. Or something similar. The word spin is important here.

  • CommentMaker

    For you who are in support of the separation of Church and State, you are very hypocritical. You are trying to push discrimination, which is a State thing, upon the Church. The Church has stepped back under the laws of separation and yet you want to go beyond the law yourself. The Church is not the State. You got what you want and now you want to try to change God’s mind through a man. That is the ultimate larceny of logic and reason. (head shake) Start your own religion and draw the LGBT’s through your love and compassion. I think the Pope is right even though I am not a Catholic.

    • 3lemenope

      The Church has stepped back under the laws of separation…

      Quick, someone tell the Catholics that are fighting hard to deny contraception to women and equality to gays!

      Please. He’s striking a new tone. That’s it. It’s welcome and long overdue, but let’s not act like it erases in a stroke all the many bad things the church has done and continues to do in pursuit of its moral judgments. That will take more concrete steps to unravel.

      • CommentMaker

        For clarification, since your brainwashed reasoning and logic are stuck in hate, I said, “You are trying to push discrimination, which is a State thing, upon the Church.” Your comment doesn’t justify the actions. The State cannot force the Church to go against their biblical morals and truths. Will not happen Gomer Pyle.

        • Gus

          While you’re clarifying, why don’t you re-read that quoted sentence and see if it actually says what you think it says.

        • 3lemenope

          You are talking straight-up nonsense. Much lower quality than your usual material.

          Also, repeating isn’t clarifying. It’s just saying the same thing again.

        • Itarion

          And you, sir, are trying to push discrimination, which is a Church thing, on the State.

          Discrimination comes from a place of authority or power, and goes to people without authority or power.

          There is a difference between requiring individual’s requests be granted, and requiring that everyone make and have granted that request. See if you can find that difference.

          • CommentMaker

            Are you saying that Christians cannot use their Constitutional rights to push the agenda they think is right through the system. We are Americans and can push what you suppose is hideous and terrible. You can, too. It is just a fight, not discrimination. Find another word.

            • islandbrewer

              It’s a fight to allow discrimination, in other words.

            • Itarion

              I am saying that Christians cannot use Biblical law as a reason to enact American law. If there is a secular, intelligent reason to enact a law, then by all means enact it, after following the correct processes, majority vote, etc, etc.

              There are a great many non-Christians in the United States, which is why Christian laws are not to be made US law. USA=/=Christianity.

              • CommentMaker

                Whatever the American law accepts by whatever means is the American way. If it is presented with clarity and has support, it should pass.

                • Itarion

                  Tyranny of the majority, then? I’d rather not.

                • RobMcCune

                  Thankfully CommentMaker isn’t the majority.

                • Itarion

                  In the US, Christianity is.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  As much fun as it is to tear CommentMaker to pieces, it’s easy to forget that there’s a lot more CommentMakers than Hemants out there.

                • RobMcCune

                  If you look at the polls on individual issues, he isn’t.

                • CommentMaker

                  Be glad. It could be worse. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, China.

                • Itarion

                  It could be better. UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Australia.

                  Incidentally, China is in CBS’s top 10 countries to live and work in for 2012.

                  Iran, Iraq, and Syria are all war zones.

                • islandbrewer

                  You forgot Scandahoovia!

                  Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland (yes, yes, I know, don’t be pedantic). All excellently atheisticalish societies, more or less.

                • Tainda

                  And Finland has REALLY hot men. :D

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Except that I doubt this blog would have survived in China.

                • Itarion

                  I dunno…

                  Based on the survey, Yang found that atheists represent 15 percent of the population in China.

                  http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2010/100726T-YangChina.html

                  That’s actually rather significant numbers.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  This blog isn’t exclusively about atheism, though, and much of its content would be banned in China.

                • Itarion

                  This is probably also true.

                • Hat Stealer

                  Yeah, it would be terrible if this were Russia, which is run by those awful… um… evil… uh

                  What religion is the majority in Russia again?

                  (Hint: it sure ain’t Islam.)

                • Kodie

                  Your proposition is identical to those theocracies.

                • CommentMaker

                  So is yours toward Christians. What is the difference?

                • Kodie

                  The difference is you want to make the US a theocracy, thugging your beliefs into every intrusive area you can, and atheists generally don’t mind religion as long as it doesn’t harm people or supersede our fucking rights.

                • CommentMaker

                  You have a great imagination. It was Christians who wanted to get away for a theocracy. You are worse than the NAACP on racism.

                • CommentMaker

                  Not on this blog.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Even if it’s wrong?

                • CommentMaker

                  Of course, we have to pass it by Oprah first. How does an atheist know right from wrong? All of the laws from the beginning were set up by Christian morals.

                • Itarion

                  Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.

                  -Thomas Jefferson

                  Any questions?

                • CommentMaker

                  No question, just a statement, Thomas wasn’t always right.

                • Itarion

                  No, but you should take his word on the documents and nation he helped to forge. Find me an example of a FF claiming Christianity as the religion of the States.

                • smrnda

                  Laws existed in non-Christian nations before the introduction of Xtianity. The Code of Hammurabi was a long time before Jesus was a thing.

                  On laws, I don’t think the US ever had a ‘believe in Jesus’ law, and our Constitution is much more Enlightenment influenced.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  What Christian morals? Human sacrifice? Witch burning? Obey or burn in hell forever and ever?

                  Assuming the myths you keep mistakingly believing are true, all of us, religious and not, know right from wrong, good from evil. Is that not so considering Genesis? Why else are you a Christian, why did Jesus die on the cross? We are all children of a pair who ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

                • CommentMaker

                  Human sacrifice? I have not found that one. Witch burning? Men taking a literal view of scripture after grace. They were wrong and God has taken care of it. Now you can put it away.

                  Is knowing right from wrong instinct? Why don’t animals have that same sense? Does instinct evolve? Prove it!

                • Bitter Lizard

                  You ignored it last time I pointed out that Christians are still burning witches. From a 2009 article:

                  EKET, Nigeria — The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall.

                  His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him – Mount Zion Lighthouse.

                  A month later, he died.

                  Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of “witch children” reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files.

                  Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the Biblical exhortation, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

                  “It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity,” said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria.

                  The idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria’s 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.

                  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/18/african-children-denounce_n_324943.html

                • Gus

                  God has taken care of it? I’m sure that’s a comfort to the children who are tortured and killed for witchcraft by Christians in Africa. How exactly did God take care of it? Was that when Jesus was crucified, or was it after the Spanish Inquisition? Or after the Puritan witch hunts? Or just a couple days ago or whenever the last African “witch” was murdered?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Nearly every Christian in the world is walking around with a human sacrifice idol wrapped around their necks like a noose.

                  So if men lying with men as with women is only an figurative abomination but not a literal one, how do you know that anything at all in the Bible is to be taken literally, like the bits proclaiming the miracles that Jesus wrought? Why even bother with Scripture?

                  Who is talking instinct? Not me. I refer to the creation myths on which the entirety of Christianity is based.

                • CommentMaker

                  Old Testament – Giving of the Law
                  New Testament – Giving of Grace

                  The law is applied to inflict the verdict guilt. Grace is applied to offer mercy.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  What has that to do? You’re still quoting from the Old Testament.

                • Itarion

                  Guilt? Isn’t the old testament mostly history of a minor tribe in the Middle East? I mean, yeah, some laws, but mostly a historical document with begettings and war.

                  The Bible: this book has been rated R for violence and sexual content.

                • Hat Stealer

                  *coughcough* hell *kaffcough*

                  Nothing says grace like thumbscrews forever, eh?

                • Baby_Raptor

                  No human sacrifice? You clearly haven’t read your bible. I can think of two separate stories in Genesis alone.

                • CommentMaker

                  Abraham and Issac was the closet to a human sacrifice, but it never happened. What was the other?

                • Baby_Raptor

                  I must correct myself: The other story I was thinking of was in Judges, not Genesis.

                  Judges 11, the story of Jephthah.

                • CommentMaker

                  Thanks for the reminder. Jephthah was a very unwise man, but he was faithful to his word even though it was the wrong thing to do. This does not justify human sacrifice since they mourned that day every year after.

                • 3lemenope

                  This does not justify human sacrifice since they mourned that day every year after.

                  Wow.

                • CommentMaker

                  So you know everything now.

                • 3lemenope

                  What?

                • RobMcCune

                  I don’t think he knows how to make sense of your comment, I suspect you don’t either.

                • Baby_Raptor

                  You say that like it’s something to be celebrated. He killed his own daughter. There’s nothing good about faith so blind it makes you murder.

                • CommentMaker

                  It is not faith, it was a vow he made. He foolishly made a vow that was unnecessary and then he fulfilled the vow. Human sacrifice is not acceptable to God, not even this vow. It brought mourning on Israel every year.

                • Itarion

                  Abraham and Isaac.
                  Actually, humans took care of that one, and it still happened. The past is not to be forgotten until It is no longer the present.

                • CommentMaker

                  It never did happen with Abraham and Isaac. It was a test only.

                • Itarion

                  Okay, while I don’t know who’s doing it or why, I would like to apologize on behalf of the jackass downvoting all of your comments without regard for content.

                  Now, on to the content. As far as tests go, that is absolutely sick. And also unnecessary, because an omniscient entity would have known the outcome without needing the test.

                • CommentMaker

                  But not the mortal. Both Abraham and Isaac learned a lesson.

                • Itarion

                  The price of blind obedience?

                • CommentMaker

                  Well, you don’t have to worry about that. Abraham became a great leader after that and God blessed him.

                • Anat

                  Actually, if you read carefully you’d see that after the binding of Isaac Yahweh never speaks to Abraham again. Some take it as Yahweh giving up on Abraham.

                • Hat Stealer

                  I am totally regarding the content when I downvote his posts.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Old Testament laws were taken from the Code of Hammurabi.

                  New Testament rules came from Eastern and Greek philosophies.

                  I know that the library was pretty small in jail, CM, but surely you can Google now?

                • Glasofruix

                  Sorry, nope.

                • Hat Stealer

                  See, it’s comments like these that make me think this guy is a troll. Perhaps it’s just hearing the same dumb fallacies and laughably demonstrable falsehoods over and over, but I just can’t take seriously anyone who says something as basic and cliched as “morals come from Jesus.”

                  It boggles the mind that these people can’t come up with anything new.

                • Baby_Raptor

                  Cool. We’ll see if you’re still singing that tune when the majority decides *you* shouldn’t have rights.

                • CommentMaker

                  Not in my lifetime.

                • Baby_Raptor

                  No, of course not. Because you’re part of the highly privileged majority. You’re never going to have to face the majority deciding that they don’t like your beliefs, and therefore are going to outlaw them.

                  But you doing so to others is perfectly fine, apparently.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Thanks for admitting right there that you don’t care about the rights of others.

                • CommentMaker

                  I always distance myself from those who are an offense to me and my morals. I do not necessarily hate them, I just distance myself from the company drug addicts but assist them when they are in trouble. That is the way it is with anyone I know of that is different from me.

                • Anat

                  Unconstitutional laws are not the American way, no matter how many Americans want them. That’s what the constitution is for.

            • RobMcCune

              Denying other people their rights is discrimination, when christians try to use the legal system to do this they’re violating the constitution.

              • CommentMaker

                Same sex marriage was never on the books at one time. That is not discrimination. Gays just made that idea up.

                • RobMcCune

                  Who said anything about same sex marriage? You didn’t, I didn’t and Itation didn’t. Seems like you’re the one making things up.

                • Itarion

                  That said, it was never expressly forbidden by the books, either. The forbidding of either gay, or straight, marriage is discriminatory towards whoever is being forbidden.

                  The LGBT movement, as far as I’ve heard, doesn’t want to ban straight marriage.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Jane has the legal right to marry Jim. Bruce does not have the right to marry Jim. Bruce has fewer rights than Jane, based on his gender. Ta da! Discrimination.

                  You’d think with ears that big, your brain would get more cooling action.

            • baal

              You don’t have a constitutional right to violate the constitution.

              • CommentMaker

                Then vote against it. No one group can go against the constitution and force laws against others. It has to be approved by the majority.

                • smrnda

                  The Constitution is written so that there exist ‘rights’ that cannot be voted away, even by the majority. That’s part of the reason for the whole judicial branch.

            • Oswald Carnes

              Are you one of the ones who rape children personally, or just one of the ones who hold the kids down?

              • CommentMaker

                So you interpret the Constitution, do ya? I do not see that in the Constitution. Useless comment.

                • Itarion

                  And yet, THAT was the one you chose to respond to.

            • Baby_Raptor

              When that agenda breaks laws, then yes. I am saying that. Your problem?

        • baal

          “The State cannot force the Church to go against their biblical morals and truths.”

          The various churches change all the time. If they didn’t all masses would still be in latin and the protestant worship would be catholic.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          I know Jesus loves your silky mouse ears, but does He love your slander and bile? Do tell.

        • AntonioPeYangIII

          [The State cannot force the Church to go against their biblical morals and truths. ]

          Truths? You mean like when the church insisted that beavers are fish?

    • Gus

      Explain to me why we’re hypocritical. I don’t recall asking the State to outlaw the Catholic Church or to require the Church to treat gay people equally or to marry them.

      Discrimination, however, is not a “State thing”. It’s not legal for privately owned businesses who serve the public to discriminate either.

      Really, at least give a little thought to your argument before you hit submit.

      • CommentMaker

        Nele Ables said, “The business of discrimination can go on unhindered…”

        I have to assume that all atheists think the same. BTW, discrimination is wrong by State and Nationally. I just used the State as a term for the law since I mentioned the separation of Church & State. (submit)

        • Roy Gamsgrø

          “I have to assume that all atheists think the same”

          … What? Ooo-kay? I’ll just assume all religious people think the same, then?

          Here goes:

          If you’re religious, you’re a murdering paedophile that promotes genocide and the subjugation of women.

          You’re okay with a statement like that, then?

          • CommentMaker

            If it is Old Testament. But God has already dealt with that and we have a New Testament. Old things have passed away.. But you wouldn’t know that because you live in the past. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZfGTL2PY3E&feature=player_detailpage

            • Itarion

              I live in the now, and look to the future.
              And as of right now, some religious persons – and by your argument, people of the same faith are the same, all religious persons – are paedophilic homophobes who promote violence and the subjugation of women.

            • 3lemenope

              So, that would be a no, then.

            • The Other Weirdo

              Except for all those icky verses dealing with the teh gayz. Except for all those slaves still under the yoke of their masters. Except for all that murder, rape and pillage(no, not that, Christians did that nearly 2,000 years after the NT.) Except for women who are still the property of men. Except for eternal torture. Wait, no, that wasn’t in the OT. That was a horror invented for the NT ’cause they didn’t an a’murderin’ god anymore.

              • CommentMaker

                All I can say to you is if you are right, I lose nothing. I will have no regrets. I will have no memory. I will be nothing. I wouldn’t even have enjoyed the satisfaction you have of trying to make a Christian’s life miserable. On the other hand, if I am right, well, all of those nasty things you mentioned will be sorted out and you will then know why. That is not the time I want to find out. The thing is, I live in peace today with and through the principles of God’s Word. I’m happy now, even though you are an atheist, and I intend to enjoy true happiness when I die.

                • islandbrewer

                  Pascal’s Wager!

                  I have Bingo!

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Do you? I didn’t see “Stalin” anywhere.

                • Hat Stealer

                  And I get to take a drink!

                • Tainda

                  “I wouldn’t even have enjoyed the satisfaction you have of trying to make a Christian’s life miserable”

                  This is where you lose me. You’re the one on an atheist site spamming your gibberish. So it’s ok to make atheist’s lives miserable?

                • CommentMaker

                  Not really. Ya’ll were about to go to sleep and I showed up. Ask Bitter Lizard (see personal caption of his face above). I have given everyone here the opportunity to express themselves. Isn’t that a good thing? Ya’ll were stuck here condemning Christianity and no one was listening. Now you have me, and look at all the misery being dealt to me.

                • Itarion

                  Martyrs tend to not claim that they are martyrs.

                • CommentMaker

                  They can’t, they are dead.

                • 3lemenope

                  Impervious to irony.

                • Itarion

                  “One who endures great suffering”
                  Death is often, but there are multiple meanings.

                  True martyrs do not call attention to their suffering, be they dead, or merely in mental anguish from holding a minority opinion on the Internet.

                • 3lemenope

                  I personally like how Christians use perfectly mundane words in other languages and infuse them with obnoxious layers of meaning.

                  Martyr is a Greek word that simply means “witness”. Angel is a derivative of a Greek word that simply means “messenger”. Oh, but if you give it a different alphabet, make it all baroque sounding, and all of a sudden one’s vocabulary is oozing with profundity.

                • Itarion

                  huh. So they are. I martyred him just means I watched. He was a martyr. He watched.

                  And this is why language sucks.

                • CommentMaker

                  So when Itarian said, “Martyrs tend to not claim that they are martyrs.” He meant to say, “Witnesses tend to not claim that they are witnesses.” So I say, I am not a witness but this is what happened. (blink blind)

                • 3lemenope

                  No, he used the m-word that you Christians have mucked up all to hell, so he meant that, and not what the word used to mean before y’all corrupted it.

                • Itarion

                  No, because I was using the English definition, not the Greek.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Best CommentMaker response yet. Or maybe second best, next to the Excel one a month or so ago…it’s at least in the top five, anyway.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  How do you think God sees what you’re doing here, CommentMaker? Is he proud of you? Thanks for giving us all the ability to express ourselves, by the way–you totally deserve credit for that.

                • Itarion

                  Actually, I’m giving that credit to Hemant. It’s his site. And Patheos, it’s their host site.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Hemant and Patheos only exist because CommentMaker wills it.

                • Tainda

                  You have a point except for your last sentence. Don’t feel persecuted if you come here of your own FREE WILL.

                • islandbrewer

                  Wait, I thought he was a calvinist, and had no choice.

                • CommentMaker

                  “A man’s heart plans his way,But the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

                  Can you see man’s freewill and God’s Sovereignty in this verse? If not, I can’t help you. Both exist and it cannot be figured out through logic and reasoning. That is the atheist missing dimension.

                • islandbrewer

                  I never really thought you could help me, anyway.

                  But yes, I don’t have magical thinking. I’m totally missing that.

                • 3lemenope

                  Ah, so we’re to be finger-puppets. Terribly frustrated finger-puppets who labor under the delusion of freedom and agency.

                • CommentMaker

                  You are free to be and even freer to be is God. He is eternal and time is on His side. Mock all you want. You could be a puppet and wouldn’t know the difference because of the wisdom, knowledge, omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence of God. You just think He isn’t there.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Wait… Did you just describe God the way teenage girls(and some grown women) describe Justin Bieber?

                • 3lemenope

                  We’ll take it a sentence at a time.

                  You are free to be and even freer to be is God.

                  What does the above sentence mean?

                • CommentMaker

                  even freer to be, is God.

                  Thank you.

                • 3lemenope

                  I wasn’t asking about punctuation. The comma, frankly, didn’t help me understand it at all. What I’m asking you to do is expound on the idea. Make it more than one sentence. The condensed version is impenetrable.

                • Baby_Raptor

                  No, I *know* he isn’t there. I spent years looking for him. I got nothing.

                  So either he’s not there, or he’s using his infinite god powers to hide. And if he’s purposely hiding, then I can’t really be held accountable for not finding him, can I? At least by any truly just system.

                  However, we’re talking about the god of the bible here. The god who created humans with free will, knowing that the free will he gave us would ensure that we could not live up to his standards, and then said god turned around and blamed *us* for how we were created. There’s no justice in that. So it wouldn’t phase me at all if your god decided that it’s my fault he never showed himself to me.

                  Personally, I’d rather rot in hell than bend knee to such a being.

                • CommentMaker

                  Your tough. Even the demons shutter.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Your tough.

                  Her tough what? Write in complete sentences, please.

                • Baby_Raptor

                  Sorry, I don’t take insults from people who can’t manage third grade English.

                  Either way, I wasn’t trying to impress you.

                • baal

                  Raptor’s tough what?

                • baal

                  “even freer to be is God. He is eternal and time is on His side.”
                  I’ve heard that vampires use the same argument. They don’t have to kill you, they can just wait for you to die.

                • Itarion

                  “Man plans, and God laughs.”

                  Or, “Life’s a bitch.”

                  Random chance events are not a sign from the Heavenly Father. They’re random chance events.

                • CommentMaker

                  There is a greater random chance that God evolved and created man and beast than man evolving.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Wait… Evolved? I thought God is supposed to be perfect and eternal—and unchanging.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Did He evolve on gay marriage?

                • Itarion

                  I don’t see it. Explain to me how an infinite, and therefore infinitely complex, invisible, all-knowing, all-seeing entity that encompasses more than the entirety of humanity can possibly hope to comprehend on some meaningful scale is MORE likely than a long timescale, large scale series of reactions in an open system absorbing energy has generated a wide variety of complex chemical constructs? The large scale is what we live on, that’s explained. The long timescale is shown in geographic records, mathematic constructs representing the universe, observations of same said universe. The absorption of energy is from the nuclear fireball sitting ~1 AU from us. We can look through the rocks and find evidence of the chemical constructs throughout history. We have seen all of the second scenario, and none of the first, and the FIRST is more likely? What have you seen that I have not?

                • CommentMaker

                  I have seen the kingdom of God that is not made up of things we see. That is the gift God gives freely when He gives us a measure of faith.

                • Kodie

                  God gives you delusions, ok.

                • CommentMaker

                  Satan gives you delusions, ok.

                • CommentMaker

                  I didn’t cry about being persecuted or miserable. I just said it was being dealt or thrown at me. You have a choice about how you feel. You can take it personally or it can be like water on a ducks back. Hopefully, everyone here can shed water in lieu of treading water.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Yeah, you did. By your own logic, persecution doesn’t exist unless you feel it. If you talked about it, you felt it.

                  Why do you lie before Jesus?

                • CommentMaker

                  I am not feeling the persecution. It is being dealt to me. I would have to receive it for me to feel persecuted.

                • Itarion

                  BTW, it’s like noon where I am. Not gonna be sleeping for hours.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Poor wittle martyr ex-con.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  The Ku Klux Klan are Christians.

                • Itarion

                  Pascal’s Wager is flawed. It assumes only four possible outcomes, while in reality there are thousands of potentially real gods, none of which have been shown to exist outside of their respective doctrines.

                • CommentMaker

                  There is only one God.

                • RobMcCune

                  And he is Tengri.

                • Roy Gamsgrø

                  Yes, that is a flawed presumption of Pascal’s Wager.

                  You got something right, even though I suspect that was not your intention.

                • Itarion

                  Which?

                  “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

                  …Stephen F Roberts

                • 3lemenope

                  …and Muhammad is His prophet.

                • enuma

                  But the Wager isn’t just dependent on the actual outcome, it is also dependent on the possible outcomes.

                  Pascal’s Wager assumes only four possible outcomes, but the assumption is false. There are actually thousands of possible outcomes. If you and I are both wrong and the Muslims are right, then you and I are equally fucked.

                  If you and I are both wrong and the Hindus are right, but my overall karma is better than yours, then I’m going to be better off than you when we’re reincarnated.

                  Etc.

                • CommentMaker

                  I say there is only one God and that is what I believe.

                  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” Deut. 6:4

                  “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19

                • baal

                  you keep clinging to that
                  try letting go sometime
                  the fall is short

                  and the landing soft

                • Itarion

                  I neither believe nor tremble… YAY! I’m not a devil!.

                • islandbrewer

                  You could still be a demon or a daemon.

                • Itarion

                  CS Lewis defined those as insubstantial – in the literal sense – in his book, The Screwtape Letters. Not clear on how incorporeals write.

                • islandbrewer

                  Actually, I was referring to the Tanar’ri and Yugoloths.

                  … *cough* Planescape. Blood War.

                  ….. nevermind. *hides face*

                • Itarion

                  sorry.

                • 3lemenope

                  You gotta throw an apostrophe in there, like this:

                  Tanar’ri

                  Otherwise, people will think you’re talking about Dragonlance or some other degenerate apostasy.

                • Itarion

                  OOH. Dragonlance, I know that one.

                • islandbrewer

                  Please don’t report me! They’ll might suspend my geek license!

                • Itarion

                  For a first offence, it’s just a class on a geek game you are unfamiliar with, and a remedial course on the game you messed up.

                  So, go read the Player’s handbook, and create a character in Tales of Eternia Online.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Gah! I should have read further down.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  He is a detached automated execution monitor?

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  They don’t hardly ever call them tanar’ri and yugoloths anymore, right?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  You told us earlier that the OT is no longer relevant because the NT has been given. Yet here you are, clinging to the OT like it’s a security blanket or something.

                • Itarion

                  Well… It’s not significant. Unless it is. In which case it still isn’t, even though it is. I guess only the parts that I think are significant are significant.

                • CommentMaker

                  Only the truths are relevant. It is not justification for what is considered wrong under the New Testament.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Which truths? How are they determined? Who determines them?

                • Itarion

                  Me.

                • 3lemenope

                  There is significant irony in a Christian, of all people, quoting the Shema Yisrael. Are you sure your God is One? From out here, it sounds uncomfortably like your God is Three.

                • enuma

                  Step 1. Bring up Pascal’s Wager. In doing so, be willing to discuss the non-existence of God as a possibility.

                  Step 2. When other people point out that Pascal’s Wager is dumb because it leaves out a myriad of other possibilities, retreat into repeating Bible verses. Hypocritically reverse your earlier willingness to discuss the possibility of atheism in hypothetical terms. Make yourself look like an inconsistent jackass in the process.

                  Result: Make it impossible for anyone to take you seriously.

                  Good job, CommentMaker. Good job.

                • Itarion

                  Step 1. Make a list.

                  Step 2. ???

                  Step 3. PROFIT

                • islandbrewer

                  I have a statue of Ganesh on my desk. I sometimes clap coconut halves in front of it, but just because I like the sound.

                • Itarion

                  I have a statue of King Arthur I do the same thing with.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Man, do you not even have a squire to do that for you? Atheists ARE impoverished.

                • enuma

                  I’ve actually seen Lord Ganesha. I’ve had a personal experience of him. It was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever experienced. Ergo, Ganesha is real and Jesus is not.

                  Well, that or ‘shrooms are a hell of a drug.

                  That’s pretty much where Pascal’s Wager gets ya.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  So that must mean al-Qaeda worships the same one as you, right? You guys should hang out.

                • baal

                  “There is only one God.” – CM
                  Except for all the others (who are not to come before).

                • islandbrewer

                  So you don’t actually believe in the Trinity?

                • CommentMaker

                  That is the paradox I accept. Both one and three. Goes along with the concept of free will and election. All you can do is put it down with your limited understanding, reasoning and logic. You do not have that other dimension. That is not a put down, it is kingdom knowledge mixed with human knowledge.

                • islandbrewer

                  No.

                  Humanity is not just too stupid to understand how a belief in three separate gods is a type of monotheism. It’s holding contradictory views. It’s a cognitive dissonance that you just shrug your shoulders at, wave your arm, and mutter sotto voce “mystery!”

                  It’s not humanity’s limited understanding, it’s just a bad attempt at reconciling two disparately contrived theologies.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  I wouldn’t even have enjoyed the satisfaction you have of trying to make a Christian’s life miserable.

                  if you think my life is defined by make a Christian’s life miserable, I feel real honest pity for your tiny, insubstantial world.

                • CommentMaker

                  Your challenge is to not think about Christianity for a week. You just can’t do it because you are too brainwashed. You have nothing to do when you do not think critically of Christianity. Double dare!

                • Gus

                  You know, that challenge would actually be easy, if the Christians who surround me and dominate public discourse in this country would shut the hell up about it.

                • CommentMaker

                  It’s a free country and atheist have and use the same freedom. Get over it.

                • phantomreader42

                  YOU’RE the one constantly lying about atheists and whining so pitifully if anyone outside your sick death cult dares even think of using their freedom. You don’t want to live in a free country, you want “freedom” reserved for your cult and ONLY your cult. You’re a worthless lying sack of shit. Of course, everyone already knew that.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  I can’t not think about Christianity because it’s in my face every single day. I pass three or four churches on my way to work every day.

                • CommentMaker

                  For something to be in front of you everyday since your birth and it offend you now, you have a problem. I am not Catholic but I can pass their church with no problem. That goes for Buddhist Temples, Masonic Lodges and so on.

                • 3lemenope

                  For something to be in front of you everyday since your birth and it offend you now, you have a problem.

                  For as long as I can remember, poop has smelled really bad. I don’t think it’s just me, here, I think everyone has had fairly similar experiences with poop. I don’t think we have a problem, do you?

                  I am not Catholic but I can pass their church with no problem.

                  You really don’t understand just why The Other Weirdo is annoyed by the churches on his way to work, do you?

                  That goes for Buddhist Temples, Masonic Lodges and so on.

                  True story. So, two days ago, I was actually in the parking lot of an Elks lodge. Though, I didn’t know it was an Elks lodge until I was leaving because their sign needed repainting very badly. And of course, just to be safe, I did not exit the vehicle until I had left the grounds.

                  Because, you know. Elks.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  But you can’t pass by an atheist blog without libeling people on it.

                  You’re obsessive in your lies and projection. Does Jesus love that?

                • Gus

                  You really do love putting words in other people’s mouths.

                  You: I bet you can’t go a week without thinking about Christianity.

                  Me and The Other Weirdo: Well of course we can’t, we’re in a Christian dominated society, people talk about it all the time, we drive past churches every day. It would be impossible not to think about it.

                  You: Why are you offended? Get over it.

                  Who said we were offended? What do I need to get over? You said we can’t not think about Christianity, we explained why that is in short and simple terms. You pretend you didn’t start this whole line of discussion and pretend that we’re whining and being offended when we’re just describing facts.

                  You did the same thing with Pascal’s Wager. You raised it as an argument and when shot down you said who cares, you don’t need that argument… as if we raised it in the first place instead of you. You are truly not an honest participant in the debate.

                • phantomreader42

                  Have people from the buddhist temple repeatedly threatened to burn you alive, or spent billions of dollars advocating and passing legislation to deny you basic human rights?
                  No, of course not, you’re a straight white christian male marinating in your cult’s privilege, and you tore out any part of your brain that could allow you to imagine being anything other than a priveliged straight white christian male for even the tiiniest fraction of a second. You are utterly devoid of empathy. And you CHOSE to be that way!

                • islandbrewer

                  I’d happily take that challenge if:

                  1) I didn’t have to drive past an Episcopal Church, Church of Christ, and a Mormon Temple within the three blocks when I take my kid to soccer practice;

                  2) I didn’t get both Mormon and Jehovah’s Wtiness knocking on my door on weekends;

                  3) Didn’t have evangelicals standing on the corner near my kids’ school handing out bible tracks (not Chick tracks, but some knock-off);

                  4) Didn’t have to pass by one of those street preachers with the fucking 15 ft signs when I go the neighborhood farmer’s market; and

                  5) Didn’t have christian nutballs trying to legislate the special right to ignore a law I have to observe … because of Jesus.

                  Change all of those for me, Bruce, and I’ll take up your challenge.

                • CommentMaker

                  You know what I think would be a great idea? Have an atheist cruise. Have Hemant Mehta book a cruise ship and have atheist seminars and such with absolutely no signs of Christianity. Just let only atheist sign up to go. Most of the people that serve you on these cruise ships are from godless European countries. Perfect vacation for an atheist, I would think.

                • islandbrewer

                  But when I get back, all the problems are still there.

                  Or, you know,we could just fix the overtly religious problems in this country. That’d work, too, and last longer. A win for everyone.

                • CommentMaker

                  You are a dreamer.

                • islandbrewer

                  And I’m not the only one.

                • Itarion

                  Your challenge is the same. Bet you fail on Sunday.

                  How about we don’t obsess about it for a week. I’ve done that for a month and counting. Bet you fail by Sunday.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  You’ve already had Pascal’s Wager explained to you.

                  Why do you hate Jesus so much that you will lie and drive others from Him, CM?

                • CommentMaker

                  About Pascal’s Wager, you have to assume that I would be willing to go past “God is, or He is not”. When you know, every other silly question is useless. Therefore, no wager is necessary. End of story for me.

                • islandbrewer

                  That … makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

                • baal

                  He’s arguing that Pascal’s Wager doesn’t apply to him therefore it’s not a refutable argument (so when he runs it against us we should be impressed or something).

                  To which I say, yes, Pascal’s Wager is useless since the religious were there already and it’s dramatically non-compelling to the rest of us.

                • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

                  You haven’t even gotten past “gods are, or they are not”. You’ve already made an assumption of only one god. Even the OT talked about “gods”. So why not Thor? He’s done a better job of ridding the world of Ice Giants than your god has done with this “sin” thing.

                • CommentMaker

                  There is a difference between an atheist and a Christian. We already believe in God. There is no other alternative for me to say, “what if”. If I was not a true Christian I would allow that thought to continue. Never will happen.

                • islandbrewer

                  So, a True Christian (TM) is one who is incapable of thinking in hypotheticals or questioning … anything. That explains a lot.

                • CommentMaker

                  Use this one; I’m a male and never think about what it would be like to be a woman or homosexual. I am content with what and who I am. It makes life simple. If you are right, it will be over when I draw my last breath.

                • islandbrewer

                  It makes life simple for you. But you know what? Never thinking about what it would like to be a woman or a homosexual means that you, in your not-thinking ways, make life more miserable for women and homosexuals.

                  You become part of the problem, when you don’t give a flying fuck about women suffering because men like you didn’t think about the kinds of problems women have. You make life miserable for gays and lesbians just by not thinking about what it takes to go through life living in fear because of religious justified hatred, or how difficult you make it for families of gay couples.

                  For some people, smart and sympathetic people, people who have this thing called “empathy” (which is really where morals come from, btw), we can’t help but think about what it’s like for others. We can’t close our eyes to suffering the way you blissfully do. It would be so much easier to be like you, to not think or care about what you’re doing to others. Thankfully, there are enough of us who do care, who do give a flying fuck about how we affect the rest of humanity.

                  That’s why you, and people with your attitude, piss us off so much, because you intentionally and willfully make yourself the problem.

                • CommentMaker

                  Your reasoning and logic is flawed if that is the only conclusion that everyone who thinks like me comes to. There are a variety of answers and you know it. You just take the low road.

                • islandbrewer

                  As you refuse to explain how it’s supposedly flawed, I’ll just assume you’re full of crap, and don’t have any argument or rational response.

                  I take the road you pointed to. You don’t think about what it’s like to be anything other than a privileged white straight cis-gendered man. That’s what you said.

                  I’m a male and never think about what it would be like to be a woman or homosexual.

                  Your vaunted dedication to contentment is based on unintentionally being a jerk to others who are not like you.

                  (Yes, yes, I know you take great offense at our “bad words” and icky profanity and our contempt for people who are contemptible. Boo-fucking-hoo, straight white man in Texas.)

                • Kodie

                  You are severely deficient of a thing called empathy, without which you cannot have morals, only obedience.

                • CommentMaker

                  I just cannot have empathy for those who choose to live without God. You have chosen your path and my empathy is very limited toward you.

                • Kodie

                  Try to stay on the train and not keep falling off, you asshole.

                • Gus

                  Then why did you bring up Pascal’s Wager? You really are inconsistent.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  YOU invoked it, Boobhat.

                  Why do you hate Jesus so much that you are intentionally dishonest so as to drive people from Him?

                • baal
                • aaa

                  “pascal’s wager demolished”

                  Looked at this page, came across this in the comments:

                  “Yes, God has a penis and uses it for the purpose of reproduction”

                • baal

                  JohnH2′s arguments are lacking. I linked to the post to avoid the video embed problem. I wasn’t saying JT demolished it but rather the guy in the video (theorhetoricalbs).

                • aaa

                  I was only pointing out that someone believes god has a penis. New myth for the milky way perhaps?

                • Matt D

                  “I intend to enjoy true happiness when I die.”

                  That’s very morbid….and seems like a cry for help, to me….but that aside…I’m curious…why are you pretending it’s either your religions afterlife, or nothing?

                  Why are you not concerned the other thousand religions could equally be right, eh? That BOTH Atheists and you, could be wrong?

                  You could find yourself in Hades, Purgatory, reincarnated as a flea, alone with a hundred virgins, dining with John Smith, eating part of the FSM…..it’s endless.

                  So something is off here. It’s dishonest of you to pretend that it’s just heaven/hell or nothing, when discussing this with others. Many religions disagree and have equal standing, yet you pretend otherwise. You can silence others by sticking your fingers in your ears, but it sure looks ridiculous.

                • CommentMaker

                  But I am content with my single thought. I have found my true North and am at peace with my God. Why make it more complicated? You must live in total confusion.

                • Matt D

                  1) You’re not content with your thoughts, your in love with them.

                  2) Life is complicated by default, and whether you beleive it was divinely created or not, that is a fact. You can tell me not to think so much, but know I don’t take nonsense for advice.

                  3) If I sound confused, thanks. I find wonder and joy in mystery, so I hope to always be “confused”. That means I’m still learning.

                • 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.

            • Roy Gamsgrø

              No no no.

              You said that all atheists think alike. Following that logic, all theists must think alike. Some theists, even today, promote paedophilia, murder, genocide and the subjugation of women.
              Therefore, -by your own statement-, all theists are murdering paedophiles that promote genocide and the subjugation of women.

              • 3lemenope

                Dude! He’s immune to logic. All that logic damage is just going to hit the next nearest target, and lemme tell you, getting sprayed with errant p’s and q’s is no picnic!

                • islandbrewer

                  Is splashdamage turned on in these blogs? I hate that.

              • CommentMaker

                That is corrupt logic. You are looking in the wrong place. I’m sure that through all your investigation and research that you have found just as many great Christians as you have bad. You just need the bad one’s to justify you unbelief.

                • 3lemenope

                  Wow, it’s like, right on cue.

                • Itarion

                  The logic is sound, the premise is flawed. People of the same creed do not think identically.

                • RobMcCune

                  Someone ought to look to the beam in their eye…

                • CommentMaker

                  Ya’ll quote the same old verses. This verse is between theist, not atheist. It is a verse used to keep Christians in check with their judgmental attitude between each other. It does not fit here.

                • islandbrewer

                  In other words, “I rationalize ignoring my holy book, now. Nyah, nyah, nyah!”

                • CommentMaker

                  Atheist can use the same verse (Matthew 7:3-5) between atheist if they want to. It is a great principle that keeps all in check. Yea Yea Yea.

                • islandbrewer

                  It doesn’t appear to keep you in check. You’re immune to your own logic. You apply fallacious arguments to others, but are incapable of seeing how they apply to you.

                  You’re being logically inconsistent, and people are holding your hand and explaining it in terms a 2nd grader could understand.

                  And you still don’t get it.

                • Mario Strada

                  I could be wrong here, but that passage is thought to be apocryphal by most bible scholars. Meaning that Jesus never said it.
                  Again, I am not 100% sure as I am recalling from memory, but I seem to remember it was among a group of famous passages that most bible scholars think were inserted much later in the gospels.

                • 3lemenope

                  Nah, you’re thinking of “he who is without the first sin cast the first stone”. That and the “it’s totally cool to drink poison and handle vipers!” are both considered to be interpolated stories/instructions.

                • Mario Strada

                  Very possible. In fact, that one I remember clearly being part of the passages I mentioned in my post.
                  Maybe my confusion stems from these passages sounding more like popular wisdom that something needing a Messiah to point them out to us. I should have used the google :)

                • 3lemenope

                  Yeah, the “motes and beams” (Matthew 7) bit does make a very similar point to the “he who is without sin” (John 8) bit.

                • CommentMaker

                  It doesn’t matter. I said that it was directed between Christians and atheist could use the same principle. It’s the principle.

                • 3lemenope

                  On what grounds do you make the claim that that instruction is meant to be applied only between Christians? It doesn’t say anything about that in the text.

                • RobMcCune

                  Actually that’s the first time I have ever quoted that verse, oh well there are plenty of other ways to point out that you’re a hypocrite.

                  That is corrupt logic.

                  Pot meet kettle.

                  You just need the bad one’s to justify you

                  That’s a massive case of projection.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  I’m sorry that you don’t love Jesus enough to not slander and libel non-Christians.

                  Why do you hate Jesus?

                • Roy Gamsgrø

                  Oh, I know that those that promote evil are the minority of theists.

                  But how come one group of people, here atheists, have to think alike if their opposite, theists, don’t think alike?

                  -That- is corrupt logic. If you assume one, the other follows.

                  So, if you stand by the comment that all atheists think alike, then all theists must think alike, and then the statement that all theists are murdering paedophiles must be true.

                • CommentMaker

                  All theist think alike about the gospel of Jesus Christ. If they claim to be theist and have a different way to get to heaven than through the finished work of Jesus Christ, then they only claim to be theist and are more atheist than they think.

                • Tainda

                  True Christian™

                • RobMcCune

                  How Orwellian, you’ll believe something self-contradictory rather than admit your statement is wrong.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Ahmygod, stop ruining my hypothesis by citing Orwell correctly!

                • Roy Gamsgrø

                  Did you just say that Islam, Hinduism, Judaism et cetera ad infinitum aren’t religions? :D

                  You still haven’t answered: You said that all atheists think alike. It then follows that all theists think alike. Ergo, all theists are murderous paedophiles.

                • 3lemenope

                  Jews are theists.

                  Jews don’t think as you do about Jesus or his Gospels or whether he should be called Christ.

                  So, what you’re saying is, Jews are all atheists.

                  I think I speak for everyone when I say, whenever you type, nobody knows what new and very original thought is going to emerge.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Jews are theists.

                  Not all of us. :)

                • Itarion

                  The “No True Scotsman” is a (informal) logical fallacy. If someone claims to be something, you should take them at their word, and admit that not everyone holds up to the standard “best” of any division.

                • baal

                  um, there are a ton of theists who don’t think alike about the gospel of paul. Hindu theists for example. They tend to think about brahma, shiva, vishnu, ganesh, hanuman, laxshmi etc.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  So why are there so many subcults within Christianity? 44000 at last count, more or less.

                • Itarion

                  Please. They prefer the term denomination. Cult has such a… culty ring to it.

                • islandbrewer

                  Obviously, 43,999 get it wrong. Bruce, here will tell you which the correct one is.

                • Itarion

                  check math.

                • CommentMaker

                  There is only one Christianity. Atheist lump everyone who believes in a god into Christianity. Only faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work is true Christianity. All others think they need to add good works to get to heaven. That narrows it down to one.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Atheist lump everyone who believes in a god into Christianity.

                  Now that is a patent lie.

                • Gus

                  So is Catholicism Christianity?
                  Episocpalianism?
                  Presbyterianism?
                  Lutheranism?
                  Methodism?
                  Calvinism?
                  Baptism?
                  Southern Baptism?
                  Pentecostalism?
                  Branch Davidianism?
                  LDS Mormonism?
                  FDLS Mormonism?
                  Christian Science?
                  African Methodist Episcopalianism?
                  Seventh Day Adventism?
                  Jehovah’s Witness?
                  Mars Hill whatever the hell they are?

                  Since you’re the keeper of the One True Religion™ it should be easy for you to give a simple yes or no to each of those…

                • CommentMaker

                  I am not the keeper of anything. Many of these are non-Christian and some truly are Christian. Even the ones that know that it is by grace through faith seem to add works and nullify the truth of faith alone. Ceremony, tradition, idols and legal requirements will never have an affect on how God responds to us. He alone decides without anything we do.

                  The Bible is my only reference to True Religion. It says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9

                  You have the wrong concept of True Religion. Then again, you don’t believe in God and none of this even matters to you. So why ask?

                • Gus

                  There’s a pretty good definition of who I, as an atheist, would consider a Christian given by Bertrand Russell here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F6J8o7AAe8

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Why yes, your logic IS corrupt. Good on you to notice, mate!

            • islandbrewer

              So, God changed his mind and is inconsistent, you’re saying. Doesn’t sound very trustworthy.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              So your god claims to have stopped being crazy and evil. Good for him. Man, you set a low bar. You’re lucky you’re cute.

        • Itarion

          I’m not finding the rest of that quote. Where’d you find it?

          All atheists thing the same

          I tell you this, here and now. No. That doesn’t work that way. We are not the Borg, we do not have a hivemind.

          • islandbrewer

            Although, I have had fantasies of being “one” with Seven of Nine, I’ll admit.

          • CommentMaker

            Think.

            I read your blogs. You say the same thing, all of you. It is because you have the same hate.

            • Itarion

              I don’t hate you. I pity you.

              • Bitter Lizard

                I love CommentMaker. He’s my favorite theist in the whole world.

                • Tainda

                  Mine too. We should start a fan club

                • Hat Stealer

                  We always have such a good time when he’s around.

              • CommentMaker

                Thank you. I need some pity from time to time, even if it isn’t sincere.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  I pity the fool (Commentmaker), thinking himself wise!

                  - Mr. Jesus T. Christ

            • islandbrewer

              We all hate injustice and discrimination. So … that invalidates our position?

              • CommentMaker

                Look at your Friendly Atheist posts. About 95% are against Christianity. Is there any other subject that interest atheist? Golf? Football?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  As atheists on an atheist blog? No. As people with meat lives? Absofuckilutely.

                • Itarion

                  It’s an atheism advocacy channel based in the US, where the dominant religion is Christianity. What are you expecting?

                • islandbrewer
                • Tainda

                  Yes, we also like dirty, dirty sex

                • baal

                  Preferably with bisexuals or sluts.

                • Itarion

                  Multiple bisexual sluts.

                • Tainda

                  I WIN!

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  It’s funny you would say that, since there was an entire article on this page debunking this stupid, stupid claim of yours YESTERDAY.

                  Commentmaker, if I stroke your sexy, sexy boobhat ears, will it help you to pray that honest, informed words will come out of your mouth one day?

            • 3lemenope

              Think.

              OK.

              I read your blogs.

              OK.

              You say the same thing, all of you.

              Well, we do all use the same twenty-six letters, if that’s what you mean. Except for folk that use other alphabets, but they’re greedy.

              It is because you have the same hate.

              Cilantro? Fuck yes we hate cilantro. Lemon-flavored soap in grass form. Spice, my ass.

              • CommentMaker

                You are on the border of me not responding to you. You make arguments of foolishness. You have taken a few steps backward yourself.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  And you are still mired in the muck.

                • 3lemenope

                  What is it like to be on the border of a binary action?

                • islandbrewer

                  Confusion and indecision.

                  …. oh wait a minute!

                • Itarion

                  I would like to have a conversation in private, then. Is there any sort of private message system on Disqus?

                • islandbrewer

                  When all you give him is nonsense that doesn’t follow any logic, what else is he going to do?

                • RobMcCune

                  Arguments of foolishness aren’t a reason not talk to someone, for example we all respond to you.

                • Tainda

                  Oh shit, 3lemenope! You’re on the verge of not getting a response!

                  How did you manage that? If we all do it…NIRVANA!

                • 3lemenope

                  I think the trick is to take everything literally, like a fundie does, but then take it to an unexpected place. They don’t like surprises. I think it reminds them of how slippery all the contradictory ideas they need to keep straight on a daily basis really are.

                • Itarion

                  Cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

                • baal

                  And you can even tell them that’s what you are doing, while doing it, and it’ll still work.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  You might want to ask yourself why you get responses like that every time you come at atheists.

                  Here’s a hint: it’s because you act the same way every time, on every blog: Petulant, irrational, dishonest, and arrogant in your ignorance. Your bad, un-Christian behavior is the common thread in the pushback you receive, snookums.

                  Why not pray for the strength to lie less often?

              • enuma

                You are crazy. Cilantro is delicious.

                Shit! Now the atheist hivemind is going to come shut me down, as I am clearly a defective drone.

              • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

                Agreed. Except I can’t get any lemon flavor out of cilantro, only soap.

              • Gus

                I love cilantro. You must be No True Atheist ™

            • Tainda

              I can say, with all honesty, I have zero hate in my life

              • The Other Weirdo

                I can feel your anger. Let your hate flow through you.

                • Itarion

                  Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Suffering leads to the Dark Side.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Only the Sith speak in absolutes.

                • Tainda

                  I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Release the evil!

                • allein

                  But they have cookies…

            • RobMcCune

              I’m sure viewing everyone who disagrees with you as clones of hatred is exactly what Jesus would want you to do.

              • islandbrewer

                I also love it when moderate christians comment here complaining that we’ve painted all of them with a broad brush.

        • Gus

          I really don’t think I understand a word you’re posting here.

          The Church is entirely capable of discriminating. Which it does. And that is ethically wrong. So are you.

          You seem to be arguing that it’s only discrimination when the State does it, or that it’s only wrong when the State does it. Or that the Church is somehow unique in that nothing it does is actually discrimination, no matter how discriminatory it may seem to us poor benighted atheists.

          I’m not sure which of those is your argument, but they’re all wrong.

          It is true that in general we do not apply anti-discrimination laws to churches, though baal is correct above in pointing out that they should apply with regards to employment outside of those with primarily religious duties. But with regard to who a church decides to admit as a member, allow to be a priest, or whose marriage the church must sanctify, there is not, and ought not be, any legal restrictions placed upon the Church.

          But I’m not going to stop telling people that the Church is being unethical and downright discriminatory.

          • CommentMaker

            It is discriminatory because you do not recognize God. That is not a basis of a Church being discriminatory. I believe in God and His morals and try to live by them. You do not believe in God, so the morals you have can be made up as you go. Therefore, you can attack anyone you wish if their morals disagree with yours. Doesn’t fit. You are a moving object and that is instability. Most people do not wish to live like that.

            • baal

              Most folks would like to live peaceful lives without a lot of guilt, anguish or wasted time. Following the church’s teachings leads to a lot of all three. Billions of people manage to get on with their lives and have never ‘heard the word’ and yet manage morality just as well as those who have. That tells me ‘moral instability’ is not a problem and regardless, god is not the solution.

              • CommentMaker

                Many people also live empty lives, too. Emptiness, like atheist have, would be a drain. If there were no entertainment in the world you would be miserable and empty.

                • Baby_Raptor

                  I do not have an empty life simply because I don’t believe in your god. I know you desperately need to believe this so as to reinforce what you think is right, but the sooner you stop projecting what you think about Atheists onto us and start listening to what really happens in our lives, the sooner you’ll have half a shot at actually meaningfully talking to us. You can’t build real communication without being willing to listen and put aside ideas that are demonstrably false.

            • Gus

              Is English not your first language?

              What is discriminatory because I don’t recognize God? What does discrimination have to do with recognizing god? What is not a basis of a Church being discriminatory?

              Seriously, you seem to not even know what the word means.

              • islandbrewer

                English is his first language. It’s logic and communication that to which he’s new.

            • Itarion

              Because God, you have perfect morals?

              You realize that the Bible is used, and has been before, to endorse both sides of any social argument, right? The morals of the Church, and of individual churches, has changed just as much throughout time.

              • CommentMaker

                Wait a minute. We need to separate your thinking a little. Yes, I have perfect morals based upon the applied righteousness of Jesus Christ upon my heart. That is what is acceptable to God and allows me into heaven. It also produces change in the way I live. No, I do not have perfect morals based upon me still living in the old flesh that cannot live perfectly. When I die the old flesh falls away and I will stand perfectly righteous before God at that time only.

                Your comment says that I believe in works salvation. That is what I have been trying to explain to you guys. Get off of thinking that perfect works gets people to heaven. I do not believe that way.

                • RobMcCune

                  We need to separate your thinking a little.

                  Seeing how scattered and incoherent you seem to be, I don’t think that’s a good idea.

                • CommentMaker

                  Your reasoning and logic can only work without a paradox. Therefore, when you ask for evidence you will never get any from the true religion of Jesus Christ.

                • RobMcCune

                  Case in point, that has nothing to do with what I wrote.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  People with perfect morals don’t lie, libel and project like you do.

                  They also don’t show their disdain of Christ through their arrogance, as you just did.

            • Baby_Raptor

              1) Your personal belief that god agrees with you does not magically make you incapable of discriminating. You’re still discriminating, you just have the ability to use “I think god says so” as an excuse.

              2) Never presume to speak for anyone but yourself. You have no idea how “most people” want to live. You do not get to falsely assume that most people agree with you so as to give yourself fake credibility.

        • islandbrewer

          Doh! Wrong comment replied to.

        • Amor DeCosmos

          “I have to assume that all atheists think the same.” Yes, yes we do, but only on one subject : There are no gods. Other than that, it’s a free for all of thinking. Some atheists even believe in reiki, homeopathy, and acupuncture!

          • CommentMaker

            That is what I was talking about. But there are a few others that you all agree upon, too.

            • 3lemenope

              Please name some.

              • CommentMaker

                That’s always the come back. You do and you know it.

                • 3lemenope

                  Yeah, “Name the things!”: It’s a pretty handy rejoinder to “There are things…”.

                  See, I think you can’t name the things. That’s why I challenged you to name the things.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Asking you to clarify whatever it is you’re rambling about at the time really is a nasty comeback, huh?

                  Do you think God is proud of you, CommentMaker? Why or why not?

                • Itarion

                  Here’s one: evidence before belief.
                  So, where’s the evidence? I’ve got you started.

                • CommentMaker

                  Everything with God is spirit. There is no evidence for your eyes. Anyone can believe after the fact. That is easy believism. That is for sissies.

                • RobMcCune

                  Anyone can believe after the fact.

                  Of course. that’s the point, to be certain.

                  That is for sissies.

                  Yeah, it’s tough to be taken in by false promises over and over. The solution isn’t to tough it out though, but to smarten up.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Science is for sissies… even though you, personally, owe your life, health and wealth to it. Jesus would likely not appreciate your ingratitude and hypocrisy.

                • enuma

                  Uh, no. Asking for two or three concrete examples after you make a nebulous, open-ended claim is not a come back. It’s a request for clarification. We can’t have a meaningful discussion with you if we don’t know what the fuck it is you’re babbling about.

                  What are these things that all atheists agree upon besides the nonexistence of god or gods? If you’re so right about this atheist hive-mind, then all you have to do to put us in our place is name these things.

      • baal

        Actually, I want the State to tell the church in no uncertain terms that the church must allow anyone otherwise fit to clean their floors and teach math in their church schools. It’s absurd to let them require religious adherence as a term of general employment.

        • islandbrewer

          … and they have to pay taxes.

          • CommentMaker

            All church employees have to pay taxes.

            • islandbrewer

              And churches don’t. Multimillion dollar Texas glassed-in megachurches don’t. And pastors often live on the largess of the wealth held in the church’s name … without paying taxes.

            • Gus

              Except if they’re the pastor, in which case housing is tax exempt, while it must be included as part of taxable compensation in other professions.

        • CommentMaker

          Churches should have the freedom to set their rules for their schools. There are loopholes that abound.

          • Itarion

            Which is his point. The loopholes should be closed.

    • Bitter Lizard

      Hey everyone, CommentMaker’s back! You know what this means…

      • 3lemenope

        They’ll be comments made. Oh, yes, there will!

        • Bitter Lizard

          It’s hard to say what my favorite thing about CommentMaker is, his borderline illiteracy or his complete and total lack of dignity.

          • Tainda

            My favorite thing is how he thinks we’re the ones brainwashed!

            • Itarion

              I don’t know about the rest of you, but I clean my mind regularly.

              • baal

                I believe in mental hygiene but I’m sure my mind is filthy.

      • Itarion

        I have see the True Face of the Lord, and as it turns out, he’s kind of an ass.

      • Tainda

        Doggie pooper!!

      • Hat Stealer

        If you look reeeally hard, you can see Jesus’ face in that dog buttcrack.

    • islandbrewer

      You are trying to push discrimination, which is a State thing, upon the Church.

      Really? How so? Where do you get that? Explain, please.

      The Church has stepped back under the laws of separation and yet you want to go beyond the law yourself.

      Again, from where did you just pull that out? How so? That requires a lot more explanation.

      The Church is not the State.

      Thank God! (pun intended) That would be a miserable State if it was!

      You got what you want and now you want to try to change God’s mind through a man.

      I want to change the mind of God as much as I want to change the mind of unicorns. (In other words, I don’t, for the obtuse.) Neither exists. Your god can go on being as bigoted and genocidal and as horrible as he was written in the first book he starred in. Doesn’t affect those of us here in reality.

      That is the ultimate larceny of logic and reason.

      Since nothing you’ve said has made sense so far, you’re going to have to explain your statement. Otherwise, it’s merely a bald unsupported assertion.

      Start your own religion and draw the LGBT’s through your love and compassion.

      Thanks, but we’re capable of love and compassion without the religion. The religion just tends to get in the way.

    • Ewan

      “now you want to try to change God’s mind”

      We don’t, because there is no god. I’m not sure how we can make that any simpler.

      There is, however, a church, and it hurts people. We’d like /that/ to change. Wouldn’t you?

      • CommentMaker

        Join it, live it and it will change. The church has been influenced by Hollywood ways of influence. We need more transparent Christians. It is a tough life but only a few can live it.

        • 3lemenope

          “Hollywood ways of influence”

          Unfamiliar with the concept. What is a “Hollywood way of influence”?

          • CommentMaker

            Many churches today have been influenced by the Hollywood entertainment scene. Church has become more entertaining than instructional biblically. Check out some churches and they have live bands, big screens and entertaining speakers. Not all, but some.

            • 3lemenope

              Ah, I see what you’re talking about. Yeah, I like the Quakers better than most other Christians, too. None of that fooferah.

    • Mario Strada

      I was born where the pope now resides. And I know my history. There is a portal in the fortification wall that rings around the city of Rome, called “Porta Pia” (where incidentally “pia” means “pious”). That’s where the secular forces of General Cadorna breached the portal after a 3 hours cannonade. The Pope knew he couldn’t keep the city from the secular forces, but instead of surrendering he forced the issue so it would be clear that the vatican state was being conquered by force and did not voluntarily give up its territory.
      Apparently, the only way the Church could be convinced to relinquish its secular power was by cannon and on the edge of a bayonet.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Hi, Commentmaker, sweetie! Did you get out of your newest trouble with the law already? Impressive, but then, you’re documented as being quite a determined liar, so you probably had no trouble snowing the judge.

      • CommentMaker

        You accuse people with lies and gossip. That is very typical of someone trying to knock holes in dikes.

    • Baby_Raptor

      We’re trying to push discrimination? How?

      • phantomreader42

        By expecting christians to obey the same laws as everyone else, and stop trying to hijack the government and steal tax money to promote their sick death cult.

  • Gary

    “The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.”

    The people of Earth need representatives, not bureaucrats and government officials acting like clergy.

    • Itarion

      WEW! GO ‘MURICA!

  • Roy Gamsgrø

    “it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person”

    So, no more Catholic missionaries?

    • Itarion

      That’s not actually interfering, it’s… interceding. Which is different, and certainly not the same, and I definitely didn’t use a thesaurus to come up with “interceding” from interfering.

    • Nomad

      OMG, yeah. Well that kinda finishes this new pope off, doesn’t it? You can’t trust a word that comes out of his mouth. I’m not convinced he’s duplicitous, he could be a loose cannon, but it’s clear that he is saying things that are divorced from reality and that cannot be trusted, no matter whether he is intentionally lying or simply being used as a warm and fuzzy firewall.

  • Lori F

    These are still the people who believe recreational sex is bad and should be banned from the world.
    I would really love it if someone would ask these public figures who espouse abstinence how old their youngest child is and to follow up by questioning if they have abstained from sex with anyone that entire time.
    ‘Go forth and multiply’ was fine when infant mortality was high but now it’s reckless.

    • Ewan

      “I would really love it if someone would ask these public figures who espouse abstinence how old their youngest child is”

      Can’t see that one really working on the Pope.

      • Itarion

        Sure it would: So… Pontiff. You have no children. Are you virginal? No? Well, then…. awkward.

  • the moother

    So, Francisco…, how/when are we going to address that pesky condom/aids issue?

    • Itarion

      Well, as we know, AIDS is bad, m’kay? There are two main ways to protect against it: condoms, and not having sex. However, condoms are bad too, m’kay? So, in order to not spread AIDS, everyone has to quit sex forever.

      Edit: Thank you islandbrewer.

      • islandbrewer

        After “bad,” you need to say “m’kay?”.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Francis said that someone once asked him if he “approved” of homosexuality.

    “I replied with another question,” he said. “It was a rhetorical question that nobody can answer anyway, and then I followed it with a sweet sounding but essentially nonsensical babble about ‘the mystery of the human being.’ This is an excellent technique called ‘the dodge’ that I learned by watching politicians, and I intend to use it frequently.”

    • Roy Gamsgrø

      Yeah, he never gave an answer. :|

      • CommentMaker

        Yes he did. He cannot speak against the Catholic Catechism and he has to believe it or he is not the Pope. Silence speaks very loud here.

        • 3lemenope

          “Yes he did.” Followed by the excuse why he didn’t.

  • Stev84

    Don’t worry. There will be soon be an official clarification, telling us what he really meant.

    • Itarion

      Which, of course, will be a small step back from this small step forward.

  • viaten

    And what exactly would count as “spiritual interference”?

  • Fred

    Spiritually.

    Is this the same sense of spiritually that those end of the world nutbags meant when they claimed the world ended “spiritually” last year?

    • Itarion

      Right. Everyone’s souls died. Or would that be spirits?

      Could someone clear up the difference between a soul and a spirit? They’re used differently, but they’re both immaterial aspects of a human (and sometimes nonhuman) entity. What’s the difference?

      • islandbrewer

        They go to different Planes?

        • Itarion

          So… They’re perpendicular? What are we calling the line of intersection? HA! The Self.

          Too much Geometry class, sorry.

  • CultOfReason

    As far as I’m concerned, this is just a marketing ploy. He’s just looking to take some heat off of the Church by de-emphasizing its positions. He in no way is trying to change the positions.

  • Aguz

    Well, he does come from a country that legally allows gay marriage despise the fact that the constitution points out is a Catholic country.
    I just wish I could believe that he truly intents to change the way the Church works, so far is mostly PR.

  • Matt Bowyer

    Why stop at “interfering spiritually?” How about stop interfering period?

  • smrnda

    I’m not concerned with spiritual interference. I’m more concerned with the open advocacy of *LEGAL* interference against GLBTQ people.

    • M.S.

      But what is legal has nothing to do with the RCC right? In the spirit of separation of church and state? I’m not intending snark, if it comes across that way… but the Pope has no authority on the legal interference against GLBTQs….

      • Baby_Raptor

        Religion has no legal grounds in law, no. However, this fact has *never* stopped religious people from trying to make their beliefs law. It’s an inconvenience at best.

      • Anna

        If the Pope was actually serious, he would tell leaders in the Catholic church to stop interfering with same-sex marriage laws in the United States and other countries. They have a huge part in gathering signatures, organizing rallies, etc. But I really doubt he’s going to do that. After all, his own comments as bishop in Argentina revealed that he views such laws as an attack by the devil himself.

  • viaten

    As the sarcastic, rhetorical expression goes: “Is the Pope catholic?” I’m not so sure anymore.

  • http://manojpontificates.blogspot.com/ Manoj

    The
    “who am I to judge them?” attitude is to be commended. But let’s not
    forget this Pope’s earlier stand, strongly opposing same-sex marriage
    and adoption of children by same-sex couples in Argentina.

    Here
    is what he said then. “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a
    political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is
    not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies
    who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/cardinal_bergoglio_hits_out_at_same-sex_marriage

    • Anna

      I really think this can’t be stressed enough. The mainstream media seems to be falling all over itself praising this new “tolerant” Pope, but have any journalists tried to get him to address those previous comments?

  • Darric

    “…The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” he said.

    This seems to be the more pertanent thing that the Pope said. So basically they still dislike women and homosexuals but they are just going to keep quiet about it so they dont look bad.

  • Heidi McClure

    Well, this guy is definitely an upgrade from Pope Palpatine. Which, I suppose, isn’t saying a whole lot, but still. He seems ok for a Pope.

  • CommentMaker

    Good night folks. We will have another day in the future. Thanks.

  • Tak

    Too little too late and I give less than a shit what the pope says.

  • LesterBallard

    I still want the institution to disappear; if that isn’t possible, I want its influence and membership to be drastically reduced. Oh, and I want to tax the shit out of it.

  • LesterBallard
  • Robster

    Frank seems to be upsetting the apple cart with his suggested humanity and feigned humility. His seemingly friendly mutterings on gays probably has offices full of freshly tarted up bishops running around like headless chooks wondering what the hell to do. What they usually do is trot out a spokesman (never a woman) to say that what Frank said was wrongly interpreted and what he was really saying was the recipe for making the magic crackers and jesus blood chaser for sunday brunch.

  • rwlawoffice

    The comments here are the repeating example of the intolerance of the LBGT community. Anything less than moral acceptance is viewed as continued hate. The only way the Catholic church or any other church would be viewed favorably is if they changed their doctrines to accept homosexual behavior as no longer being a sin. I appreciate the honesty.

    • 3lemenope

      Anything less than moral acceptance is viewed as continued hate.

      He gets it! Yay!

      Yes, that’s right. Jesus done said unto you, treat peeps as if they were me, for if you diss even the least of peeps, you are dissing me. There’s no “except the icky gays” asterisk in my copy.

      • rwlawoffice

        Jesus never said that the sin should be accepted and no longer a sin. When he talked to the woman at the well he accepted her and told her to go and sin no more. So as Christians we love the sinner but don’t have to view the actions, the sin as moral. However, your proves my point- the LBGT community won’t take that. You will do whatever it takes to silence that viewpoint all in the lie of seeking tolerance.

        Should we do the same with other sins like adultery? Should we now view that as morally acceptable so that we don’t show hate toward the adulterer?

        • 3lemenope

          D’oh! He don’t got it!

          So as Christians we love the sinner but don’t have to view the actions, the sin as moral.

          I’m gonna do this really slow-like.
          We don’t care how you view the actions.
          We really don’t.
          I, personally, think that people who eat cheese from a can are committing a horrible sin.
          I do not view eating cheese from a can as a right thing.
          There is something intrinsically disordered about such people.
          But, they’ll just do it anyway.
          Right in front of me.
          Abomination!

          Now, am I moved to offer my opinion, unsolicited, to all the canned cheese slurping weirdos of the world, how what they are and what they do is wrong?
          No.
          Why not?
          Because to do so would be to be a prick.
          And I don’t want to be a prick.
          So I endure, in silence, all the slurping and the Wheat Thins and the cheese-can farts and that damn smell and society goes on, perverts and all, only without the additional pain of a prick going around telling everyone how they ought to be.

          Jesus didn’t approve of people being pricks.
          He emphasized, “don’t judge self-righteously”, and “don’t throw stones”.
          Which, even literally, is pretty good advice.
          He also said, “this wedding could use some wine” and “fucking fig trees!”.
          So, he’s got a batting average.
          But still.

          • rwlawoffice

            But you do care. Thinking we hate because we think that certain actions are sins shows that you care. insisting on moral acceptance and anything less is hate shows that you care. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t act this way, you wouldn’t call it a crime or hate speech, you wouldn’t call those that hold these beliefs bigots, you wouldn’t pass laws that force people to violate these beliefs just because they have entered commerce by calling it discrimination. In short, you would tolerate these different beliefs if you didn’t care. But you do, and that is why moral acceptance and nothing less is what you will accept. All religious beliefs to the contrary have to be silent and not acted upon.

            • 3lemenope

              You clearly either didn’t read the whole thing, or didn’t understand it.

              Try it slower.

            • Kodie

              What’s actually going to happen to you if you sell cake to a homosexual? How are you violated?

    • islandbrewer

      Anything less than moral acceptance is viewed as continued hate.

      Ding, ding, ding, ding!

      Wow! And people around here were saying you were too stupid to get it! Now we just have to see if you still hate gays.

    • Anat

      Yeah, for some odd reason people want to be treated like everybody else. People who harm nobody. Isn’t that surprising?

  • Jeff Jackson

    I too choose to operate with hope. A few months ago I wishfully posted on Pope Francis’ FB page a link to the Confessions of a Gay Married Priest memoir written by my husband of 25 years, Maurice L. Monette. It’s starting to look like he may have read it!

    It’s encouraging to me how several Catholic leaders have supported the book with testimonials. Franciscan priest and author Richard Rohr says of Maurice’s book, ““This story illustrates one of the most counter intuitive messages of world religions, how our failings, heartbreaks and disappointments can be stepping stones to the spiritual joys of the second half of life.”

    Any of us close to the Catholic Church have certainly had the “failings, heartbreaks and disappointments” Rohr speaks of. It seems Pope Francis may be offering some “stepping stones” for oppressed and oppressors alike, and perhaps for his own “second half of life”.

    Dare I say we might be seeing some influences of Latin American liberation theology which was my introduction to the Catholic Church when working in Chile in the 80s. I’m looking forward to actions by Church leadership that match the words of Pope Francis.

  • robert chacon

    Is bigotry the simple act of proclaiming something sinful? Then, by your own definition, you are a bigot for declaring the Church’s behavior as wrong. How have LGBT suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church? By being told their behavior is sinful? Really? Im told every day my fornication is sinful, and I cant think of any damage! My point is not to rant like a kid about who started it first , but to set aside the name calling and demonizing and try to trust.

    I understand the cases where individual clergy has condemned the dignity of a homosexual , and where they are made to feel unloved. That is wrong! But that is NOT what the Church has EVER taught. It has always claimed homosexual activity is sinful. That is true, but its also taught many other natural behaviors that we all have are wrong! But we ALL maintain the dignity of God regardless of our sinfulness. We are ALL sinners.

    So, Is the proclamation against homosexuality damaging in your mind because it impugns the very nature of the homosexual? Well it doesnt!
    It seems to me that it is the homosexual that has identified his very essence as gay or homosexual. The Church does NOT. Ones sexual orientation is NOT WHO one is, it is simply a trait, just the same as my appreciation of art and nature, or my temper and lack of patience are traits. The individual soul is comprised of far much more than simply his sexual orientation. If it is the Church which condemns the homosexual, then it would also seem that it is the homosexual himself that condemns himself because of the equation he makes in which sexual orientation equates to the individual. My short temper could condemn me but its not who I am.

    The Pope is trying to explain that ones salvation, ones spiritual reality resides in the entire persons relationship with God, that while the Pope does not deny that homosexual sex is a break from what God desires for us as an ideal, hence the definition of sin, it alone does not define our spiritual life! To some this may not be much of a distinction. At some later time I suspect he will delineate on the theology of humans sexuality to explain why the Church believes sexuality is a single privilege to the married man and woman.

    But at this point, I think it is clear that the Pope has been lead to realize that at this time in history when so many people question basic tenets of faith,that the Church cannot simply continue to reiterate its position on the issue, and must be clear of the underlying Gospel message that animates ALL of the Church’s teaching, and that is the love and mercy of Jesus Christ and that he wants us all to know Him. Believe it or not, the issue of homosexuality is related to that message and is not just a deep seated animosity and prejudice or other nefarious cause that so many people need to believe about the Church.

    As the Pope continues his papacy and attempts to reach out to ALL people including homosexuals, I believe it is only fair that instead of demonizing one another with charges of hate mongering and and bigotry, we could work closer in understanding as the Pope builds trust that the real motivation in all the Church is proclaiming is the love of God. If the Pope fails in his efforts to reach out, and reverts to a message that still seems bigoted, well then you have every reason to not trust. Also, I realize that a great deal of this trust starts with setting aside that the notion that naming a sin is hateful. And as I stated above, the very condemnation of the Church for doing so regarding homosexuality is also seen as hateful in away, or at least also intolerant. It is hypocritical to call out a sin for calling out a sin. So it seems , at least while Pope Francis is on good behavior, we could call a truce and try to simply , carefully and compassionately understand one another. And trust that both sides really are truly motivated by love. That is what Pope Francis is doing.

    • Kodie

      They can proclaim all they want, and that alone does make them bigots. However, you clearly underestimate the damage they are willing to cause against people whose sexuality they don’t like. Their god doesn’t like it, so what? Why should they get to say who people fuck and who they marry, and who they can adopt, or where they can live, or where they can work.

      “Try to trust”???????????????????? How are you so fucking ignorant?


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