A Ten-Year Project

I'm starting to build a plan for a ten-year project for myself. The goal will be to produce a multi-volume critique of Christianity, with a focus on Evangelical Christianity, but I would also like to touch on Catholic Christianity and Liberal Christian views. One objective would be for the critique to be systematic and comprehensive, so I'm thinking about Topics and Issues to cover. Since my educational background is in philosophy (ethics, philosophy of religion, logic, critical thinking, … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 15

Part of MJH (the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis) is that Jesus was a Jewish male. Jesus was "Jewish" in both senses of the word: he was an adherent of the religion of Judaism, and a male descendant of the Hebrew people, according to MJH. We saw in Part 14 that Mark represents Jesus as both a follower of Judaism and as a male descendant of the Hebrew people. What aboout Q? Does Q also represent Jesus as a follower of Judaism and as a Hebrew man? I will use the International Q Project … [Read more...]

Brigham Young: Racist Prophet of the Mormons – Part 3

In January of 1852, Brigham Young encouraged the Utah territorial legislature to pass a law that prohibitted sex between white people and black people, and publically declared that black people (or people with a black grandparent or great grandparent) "Cannot hold the priesthood": ======================================= Mormon Anti-Miscegenation in Utah Law Brigham Young addressed the Utah territorial legislature on January 6, 1852 to push through a law that not only legalized slavery in the … [Read more...]

Brigham Young: Racist Prophet of the Mormons – Part 2

It is not clear why Brigham Young followed the racist pro-slavery views of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery from 1836 instead of the more liberal-minded abolitionist views of Joseph Smith from 1842 to 1844.  However, confronting the reality of mixed-race marriages and sex between black men and white women appears to have pushed Young further in the direction of racist beliefs and practices: ================================= One of the most significant, and simultaneously most obscure marriages … [Read more...]

Brigham Young: Racist Prophet of the Mormons – Part 1

Brigham Young was a racist white man who initiated racial discrimination into the official policies and practices of the Mormon church (more specifically: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement). One key racist policy of the Mormons was to exclude blacks from "the priesthood". In the Mormon faith "priesthood" was not limited to just a few select members of the church (as in the Catholic faith). Any adult male or boy who is … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 14

Fake and Real Jesus

Mitt Romney is a lying sack of human excrement. Which is one of the reasons why he lost the election. Among MR's many moral failings was his promotion of a racist religious tradition: Mormonism. MR grew up in a publically and openly racist Mormon church. As a young man he went to France to encourage French citizens to join his then openly and publically racist Mormon church. But MR is not the only believer in the USA who comes from a racist church background. The largest Protestant … [Read more...]

Initial Impressions on the Andrews-Schieber Debate: Part 3

In parts 1 and 2 of this series, I reviewed each debaters' arguments for or against Christian theism. In this and future posts, I want to selectively comment on statements from their rebuttals which caught my eye. I'm emphasizing the word "selectively" because I'm not simply not going to be able to parse the rest of the debate transcript with the same level of detail found in parts 1 and 2. In this post, I'm going to comment on Andrews' first rebuttal. Andrews writes takes issue with (23), … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 13

I have taken a quick look at the L-source passages in Luke, and my conclusion is that the L source does represent Jesus as a flesh-and-blood person. So, Bart Ehrman is clearly the winner of the first round. But there are several more rounds to go before I will have enough facts and data to make a reasonable general conclusion about whether and to what extent the sources of the canonical gospels support the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis (MJH), and then after that we need to look at the non-canonical … [Read more...]

Initial Impressions on the Andrews-Schieber Debate: Part 1

Christian Max Andrews and Atheist Justin Schieber recently had a debate on the existence of the Christian god. Both audio and a transcript are available online. I think it's well worth listening to or reading. In what follows, I want to offer my initial impressions of both debaters' opening statements. Max Andrews' Case for Christian Theism Andrews offers three arguments for Christian theism: (1) the Thomistic Cosmological Argument; (2) a fine-tuning argument; and (3) an explanatory … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 12

Back in Part 10, I took a look at Mark and (in the Comments section) Q, and determined that they both represent Jesus as a flesh-and-blood person. Now I'm looking into the M-source, the unique material used by the author of the Gospel of Matthew, to see whether M also represents Jesus as a flesh-and-blood person. One problem with M, at least in terms of the material that G.D. Kilpatrick concluded was from M (in Origins of the Gospel of St. Matthew, 1946), is that it does not include … [Read more...]