I’ve Seen the Future of the Church

I’ve Seen the Future of the Church August 18, 2018

In 2014, I visited the famous Mappa Mundi, an oddly un-maplike map, at Hereford Cathedral in England (more here). A few blocks away is All Saints Church. The current church building was completed around 1330, about the time the Mappa Mundi was completed. After a recent restoration, the church was reopened in 1997.

As churches go, this one is smaller than those that usually capture the tourists. It is certainly smaller than the magnificent Hereford cathedral, for example. What is unusual about this church—and it’s a working church, with four masses each week—is that part of it is now a café.

From the church’s web site:

We have played host to a variety of events, from Shakespeare to flamenco, homegrown jazz to the finest touring classical musical groups.

Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and money” (or “God and mammon,” as the King James Version memorably translates it), but this church seems to have found a workable balance. It has found new roles as a meeting place and community center.

Christianity is always changing. At 45,000 denominations and growing (more here), it evolves faster than Ken Ham imagines animals evolved after the Flood. How must it adapt as conditions in the West change?

Harold Camping’s Family Radio is an example of a failure to adapt. You may remember Camping as the idiot who predicted the Rapture on May 21, 2011. It’s almost like he didn’t believe his own billboards, because he didn’t sell his assets even though he was telling everyone else that there would be no use for them after that date. If he had sold, there could now be a $100 million Christian foundation doing good works in the world—not a bad consolation to ease the humiliation of Camping’s being so hilariously wrong. But he held on into a world that he was convinced wouldn’t exist. The organization’s assets lost tens of millions of dollars of value, a pathetic reminder of one foolish man’s hubris and overconfidence in ancient stories.

Another option is what I’ve called Secular Christianity or Christianity 2.0, a “religion” where believers and nonbelievers would all be welcome because belief in the supernatural wouldn’t be a requirement. The focus would instead be on community, inspiration, and service. It might be a gentler landing than church buildings simply becoming quaint museums (or bookstores, markets, art galleries, breweries, event sites, condos, and more).

All Saints Church is reaching out to make peace with the secular. Maybe it’s an early adopter of what religion will become.

Progress is born of doubt and inquiry.
The Church never doubts, never inquires.
To doubt is heresy, to inquire is to admit that you do not know—
the Church does neither.
― Robert G. Ingersoll

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 11/5/14.)

Image by Bob Seidensticker
.

"You said, "I disagree with your first claim here." I think the disagreement is simply ..."

Science and Christianity: A Dangerous Mixture
"I have also been told that "exercising" your prostate is a good way to lower ..."

20 Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage, Rebutted ..."
"Yes, good point. The creepy Quiverful creeps (of which I know several families) are all ..."

20 Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage, Rebutted ..."
"They might make an exception for that. Maybe."

20 Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage, Rebutted ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • RichardSRussell

    I suppose even churches can be improved with coffee and sweet rolls. I’d even venture to guess that mosques and temples could be improved with bacon.

    • Greg G.

      I wouldn’t mind churches if they stuck to ice cream socials.

      • al kimeea

        Bacon-maple ice cream.

    • Liz

      You’ve never tried church coffee, have you?

      • RichardSRussell

        Busted! Fact is, I spend almost no time at all in churches.

  • Godless Christianity is definitely going to be a thing – however, as of 2018, it looks like it’s more likely to become a tool in the hands of far-right groups, a cultural great wall of sorts against non-Christian immigrants…

    • I was an atheist until I discovered I’m “Jesus” – Pharaoh. That will continue to be public knowledge which will of course destroy the church once and for all if they ever get wind of it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5iUxDNCQRo

    • Liz

      I agree. That’s been my theory about the CofE for a number of years now. Some buildings will be sold off, but the bigger and more beautiful or historically significant ones will continue as a kind of historical monument. Services will still be run, but as more of a cultural point of interest, kind of like living history museums with re-enactors. And as you say, it wil used by right wing groups interested in the “preservation of English heritage and values”.

    • Godless Christianity a thing? you’re deceived.

      • Carol Lynn

        Atheist Jews are a thing, so it’s not impossible there could be ‘godless Christianity’.

        • An Atheist Jew is a contradiction- regardless of whether they exist or not.
          To paraphrase- they have forgotten the God of their forefathers.
          A Godless Christianity would be so as well.

        • Greg G.

          To paraphrase- they have forgotten the God of their forefathers.

          That is the definition of an atheist Jew. A Jew can be a practioner of the Jewish religion, a person whose ancestry is Jewish or both.

        • But we talking about atheist Jews here- not other kinds.

        • Or, you could just ask someone who calls themselves an atheist Jew and discover that “Jew” can be an ethnic or cultural thing, not just a supernatural belief thing.

        • al kimeea

          yep, Jewish by birth but not in belief

  • Albionic American

    The crackerbox churches in much of the U.S. deserve demolition as their worshipers disappear (through natural attrition, not because of the rapture, of course). I grew up in Tulsa, and we Tulsans have known since the 1960’s that Oral Roberts built the structures on his university in a cheap and shoddy fashion. The people who run Oral Roberts University now have inherited an expensive maintenance nightmare that has burned through a mountain of cash already; so it wouldn’t surprise me if these buildings have a date with the bulldozer in a few more years.

    The more substantial church structures, the ones built to last, can still have value as perfectly good real estate for secular purposes. One of them became the headquarters of the arts center in downtown Prescott, AZ, near where I now live.

    In general the growing numbers of atheists in the U.S. give our Christians the creeps because we look like an invasion of time travelers from an advanced civilization in the future after Christianity has become a dead letter. Christians have known in their hearts for generations that their religion would eventually whither away like this

    • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

      The trouble with your thesis is that Christianity is growing faster than ever, according to Pew research, and the non-religious population is significantly shrinking proportionally. One often sees this claim of religion dying out, but the facts point somewhere quite different. (http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/)

      • Carol Lynn

        Christianity is NOT growing ‘faster than ever’ according to the survey you linked. “Over that same period, Muslims – a comparatively youthful population with high fertility rates – are projected to increase by 73%. The number of Christians also is projected to rise, but more slowly, at about the same rate (35%) as the global population overall.”

        Also from the link – “In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050.” …”Over the coming decades, Christians are expected to experience the largest net losses from switching. Globally, about 40 million people are projected to switch into Christianity, while 106 million are projected to leave, with most joining the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated.”…

        and my favorite – “Some social theorists have suggested that as countries develop economically, more of their inhabitants will move away from religious affiliation. While that has been the general experience in some parts of the world, notably Europe, it is not yet clear whether it is a universal pattern. In any case, the projections in this report are not based on theories about economic development leading to secularization.”

        Remember, these are *trends* not someone sampling the future and reporting back what the numbers are. And Pew removed any trend towards secularization increasing with economic development.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Read the study carefully and don’t give in to confirmation bias.

        • Carol Lynn

          Did you read it carefully? Christianity is not growing ‘faster than ever’; it is expected to grow at exactly the same rate as the rate of population growth. Islam, on the other hand, is growing at three times that rate. But all that trend depends on children being the same religion as their parents and that may not hold for the future. If there were any analogous surveys 30 years ago, I doubt the trend to the nones would have shown up.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Yes, I read it carefully – Christianity is indeed growing faster than ever (as a raw fact, because the population is growing faster than ever). Yes, indeed, thank God that Islam is also growing – it’s a wonderful treasurehouse of wisdom. The nones are also fine (and very frequently very devoted to some conception of the divine btw), but they are shrinking proportionally.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          What you *neglect* to mention is that xtianity is a smaller and smaller crumb of a bigger and bigger pie.

          Hmmmm, I wonder *why* you’d not mention that?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          It’s irrelevant – I was talking about religion in general

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You’re a liar, and a *stupid* one, too.

          Remember this, from about 4-5 posts up?

          …Christianity is indeed growing faster than ever (as a raw fact, because the population is growing faster than ever)…

          So it IS blatantly dishonest to quote ‘raw facts’ without context.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          No dude you are def off with the fairies

        • epeeist

          Christianity is indeed growing faster than ever (as a raw fact, because the population is growing faster than ever).

          But this is just sleight of hand.

          When our Office of National Statistics publishes things like crime statistics they don’t report in terms the number of crimes but, like other countries, crimes per 100,000 of population.

          So, while we might accept that there are more people reporting themselves as Christian the question is, is the rise faster or slower than population growth.

          Just as a matter of interest, while the number of Catholics went up during Ratzinger’s time as pope the percentage of the world’s population who were Catholic went down.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Also, why are you singling out the US? Are you living in that self-obsessed country or something? What’s so special about Trumpsville?

        • Carol Lynn

          Why, yes. Yes, I do live in the USA. Do you live in a country that is going to the nones and are trying desperately for a religious view to feel important somewhere?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          You should fix your own country, get educated about the non-US world, stop voting in pricks and arseholes, and see that we are not all like you.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          As for the economic well-being indicator, that is certainly speculative, and places like India and much of the Middle East don’t seem to support it very well.

        • Carol Lynn

          And speaking on trends 30 years in the future is not speculating?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Yes, but it’s the best informed speculation available – all prediction is speculation.

        • Carol Lynn

          Yes, so you don’t get to go around claiming “Christianity is growing faster than ever, according to Pew research, and the non-religious population is significantly shrinking proportionally.” Because, according to the same study you cited, it’s not, especially if you go speculating 30 years into the future.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          It’s what the best evidence indicates, and certainly the idea that religion is dying out is very badly supported by the evidence. The study I cited does show exactly what I claimed – you simply need to be more careful in your reading Carol, and give up your dogma so you can think more clearly.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Really? Show me anyplace in the Middle East or India that doesn’t have a de facto theocracy where religion is making gains.

          The rich folk, as they become more secure and comfortable, are abandoning religion.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          The whole of India – check it out – religion is certainly not decreasing. I don’t doubt that rich people get narcissistic and self-focused, absorbed into their egos, which is of course the antithesis of ego transcendence at the heart of faith. Jesus said as much on a number of occasions in the gospel – you can’t serve God and mammon. That’s why the USA is so fucked up – they worship the dollar.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The whole of India – check it out – religion is certainly not decreasing.

          Citation required.

          Then, if necessary, we’ll delve into the rest of your mess of wish-fulfillment.

      • Religion is dying out in the West. That’s what they mean when they say that religion is dying out.

        You’re right that Christianity (and Islam, I believe) are growing in regions like Africa. But the baby-fueled population growth is slowing as Muslims (in particular) are dropping down to replacement rates. So even outside the West, the growth of religion is a short-term thing.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          The West, I think you’ll find, is not the world, as much as Westerners seem to think it is..

        • epeeist

          So how has religion being doing in Australia over the last 50 years?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Badly – which is one reason this nation is so fucked up and superficial and distracted.

        • epeeist

          Badly – which is one reason this nation is so fucked up and superficial and distracted.

          I always love this one, it boils down to:

          I am going to claim on the basis of no evidence or even counter-evidence that the country is going to the dogs and blame this, on the basis of no demonstrable causal connection, on something I don’t like.

          Take it to its limits and you have the Bishop of Carlisle blaming the floods in the UK on (as usual) homosexuality and gay friendly policies.

          EDIT: wrong pronoun.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I am only staying a fucking opinion – get a grip you old cunt

        • epeeist

          I am only staying a fucking opinion

          Which is effectively what I was saying, you have no backing for claiming that things are going to hell in a handbasket nor for the fact that the decline in religiosity is the cause.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You seem *nice*….

          For a flaming, carbuncle-encrusted diarrhea-spewing, well, you can fill in the blanks.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Ah fuck it you don’t get Aussie swearing do ya mate! It’s endearment

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Typical authoritarian gaslighting.

          “It was only a *joke*” is YOUR KIND’s typical reflex rejoinder when called out on being a socially harmful asshole.

          I’m not buyin’ that shit anymore, nor is anybody else around here, with high likelihood.

          This is OUR house…follow house rules or be known as the asshole you so richly desire to be (without consequences, of course, you weasel-wannabe)

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Crap stop making no sense up – gaslighting? Yeah right – give me a fucking break (and a bucket) – utter rot and false libel – your dogma simply can’t cope with challenge or facts

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I was being light the whole time – you misunderstood and it’s insane and immoral to make false accusations – we don’t put up with your kind of violence here in Australia so stop that shit. Calling someone an old cunt is what we do as mates here – so drop your sanctimony and grow the fucj up

        • Dom Saunders
        • Dom Saunders

          Stating an opinion doesn’t give you an excuse to be loud and wrong.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Loudness rules dude – don’t be a wimp and stop being so wrong

        • Dom Saunders
        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Australia has 99 problems, but lack of religion ain’t one.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Yep it sure fuckin is mate

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          That’s not *Australia’s* problem.

          It’s YOUR neurosis.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Nope

        • Dom Saunders
        • And my point stands: religiosity is declining in the West, and the current growth of Christianity (market share) will last for a few decades. The rest of the world may well follow the West at that point.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Yeah, but so what? I wasn’t talking about one little parochial corner of the world. The West is fucked up – why would the rest of the world want to fall into the hole of distracted superficial narcissism?

        • And my point stands: I’m not talking about one corner of the world, either. That rise in Christianity’s market share that’s put a smile on baby Jesus’s face? It’s temporary.

          Or maybe I’m confused. I keep thinking that you’re trying to disagree with me, but you keep agreeing with me. Maybe we’re in agreement? If so, cheers.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Your speculation is that it’s temporary. I probably agree with you on much, but not on the unscholarly and speculative notion that religion is dying out. It’s not, from all the evidence (globally speaking, not in the little weird distracted consumerist bit of the world we call “The West”).

        • You’re right–there’s a lot of speculation behind my expectation that religion is on the way out. But luckily we have you to add a little reason to the conversation.

          Go. Tell us the correct view.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          There’s not a correct view, but Pew research is probably the most reliable indication of future developments, based as it is on a wide network of empirical data.

        • And we’re back to square 1. Yes, Pew is a good source. It shows Christianity becoming an African religion (see the map showing the changes in Christianity’s center of mass) and Islam overtaking Christianity by 2070.

          So what follows? The greater-than-average fertility rate of Muslims (in particular) and Christians is projected to drop to replacement rates by 2050. When religion can’t increase simply by making babies, how will it do when there is no easy market share to take? Christianity in the marketplace of ideas in the 22nd century–how will it compete?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/05/christianity-becomes-an-african-religion-islam-overtakes-christianity-and-other-upcoming-changes/

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e8f40fbd5ddb184c009f89c827243804bd6c48b014a58852af666555a53516ef.jpg

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          It’s pretty much impossible and anyone’s guess how the world will develop 50 years down the track, but the numbers indicate that religion is not dying away (whatever the cause). It’s not easy market share, I would suggest – to me, that sounds very patronising towards African people. Theyr’e not dumb.

        • No, not at all patronizing to Africans. Conditions can suck there, so they go to religion for solace. I’m lucky that my living conditions are fine. I have no idea what it feels like to be so downtrodden that religion’s empty claims would be appealing.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          They may only seem empty to one who is not dealing with those key challenges because of being fortunate enough to not have to worry about poverty etc

        • If I understand you right, yes, that’s what I’m saying. Life is comparatively easy for me. If I were in their situation, the life buoy of religion might be the most appealing option available. And that’s what Gregory Paul’s research has shown (search this blog for more on his work)–religiosity is inversely proportional to the health of the society. When things are good, you don’t need that life buoy anymore.

          In the US, you can almost see the Christian meme as a living being through the actions of conservative politicians. They seemed determined to reduce quality of life (attacking health care, reduced government spending on social programs, rolling back environmental regulations, etc.) to help the meme thrive.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Sadly, big business made use of religion for their ill purposes in that country. It’s sad – religion is by no means so tied to the destructive forces of money-worship in many other nations (including my own, Australia). Most Christians I know are decidedly left-wing.

        • Big business? I can see something like that–slavery supported by the Bible, non-Christians labeled as savages for the financial benefit of Christian settlers, etc.–but today it seems like politics is the one that’s leading Christianity (and Christians) around.

          Maybe things are different in Australia.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Rob, religion is only growing where life sucks.

        And we’all have dedicated ourselves to creating a world where NOBODY’s life sucks badly enough to be desperate for the false hope of religion.

        • Not religious but just plain old false hope nonetheless.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          Check out northern Europe, particularly the Scandinavian countries.

          Democratic Socialism *demonstratively* DELIVERS…and religion is fading out there for lack of despair.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          The false hope is certainly not religion but the dubious promise of consumerism – that should be obvious to all of us by now.

        • Machintelligence

          Given a choice between consumerism and religion, I’ll take consumerism, hands down.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          That’s up to you – to me love, service and ego transcendence (aka religion) are far more valuable than mere ego stroking and comfort.

        • Machintelligence

          To only slightly rephrase my response:
          I’ll take comfort over bullshit, thank you very much.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Bullshit – well, that’s your opinion. My experience varies greatly. And comfort is waaay overrated, and appealing to lazy, fat Westerners sadly. To their great detriment and comotosia (if that’s a word).

        • I’m surprised that nowhere in there is, “I believe Christianity because it’s true,” along with some simple facts that would convince any observer.

          Perhaps I’ve found the weak point in your position.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I don’t see religion as to do with beliefs at all – it’s about what you do, not what you think.

        • I’m not following. Aren’t the proper beliefs important to have to be a good Christian?

          If it’s about what you do, then what should you do?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          My conception of religion is that beliefs are beside the point. What you should do, in my humble opinion (and based in the great traditions) is practice love, compassion, awareness, presence, and serving others, dealing with the shrill demands of the ego and becoming free of them over time.

        • Otto

          OK…what is your opinion on gay marriage, gays being treated equally under the law, gay people being allowed to adopt children, etc..?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Absolutely crucial – thank goodness these things are increasingly becoming law

        • Otto

          Well I am glad we can agree on some points, I had a discussion recently with a Christian who said all the things you did on love, compassion, etc., but then wouldn’t answer those questions, and the reason was obvious.

        • I like that approach, but that doesn’t sound like religion. How many theists would agree with you that “beliefs are beside the point”?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Many – at least in my circle

        • But you must admit that beliefs are of fundamental importance for most Christians? What would you call your brand of religion?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          For some anyway

        • Albionic American

          You don’t have to consume in dumb ways, after all. You can find plenty of videos on YouTube where people claim they retired early by living frugally. Nothing stops a millionaire from shopping for his necessities at Walmart.

        • Nicely stated. Gregory Paul’s research backs up your claim that religious belief thrives when social conditions are poor. Clean up the social conditions, and the need for religion falls away–see northern Europe for an example.

        • Albionic American

          Gregory Paul’s research show that people hold religious beliefs as superficial opinions, and that they let go of these beliefs in well run places which offer existential security, like universal health coverage.

          BTW, now that Republicans in the United States legislature can’t seem to make the Affordable Care Act go away, has anyone looked into whether Americans with subsidized health insurance have become less religious?

        • I’ve not heard anything. Maybe ask that in a comment at Friendly Atheist–they’re more on top of news-y things.

          I wonder how quickly changes in religiosity due to an outside influence happen.

      • Albionic American

        Christianity just has to die out among the people in the world who matter, namely, the ones who can build and sustain advanced civilizations because they have low time preferences.

        I never understood the evangelical propaganda about the conversions of people with histories of making stupid decisions like drug addicts, prostitutes, violent criminals and such. That just implies that they made yet another dumb decision by becoming Christians. Seems to me the propaganda would work better if it showed the conversions of people who already have records of good judgment and sound choices. In other words, you should make Christianity sound like something that smart people choose, not dumb people.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          It’s not showing signs of dying out, thank goodness. The idea that some people are all sorted out and smart is a fiction (clearly demonstrated as fiction by studying history, or current events) is one of the things Christianity radically challenges. Love and selflessness will never become outworn, though of course they may be expressed in vessels other than the noble tradition of Christianity (as they are also in the other great faith traditions).

        • How elitist of you.
          Christianity’s appeal lies in its ability to attract all types of people and cultures without detracting from the message.

    • “Christians have known their religion would wither away”- no- not their religion just its believers- its known as the great apostacy a major sign of the end times.

      • Greg G.

        Is that you Harold Camping?

        List of predictions of the end of the world
        https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/List_of_predictions_of_the_end_of_the_world

        It has been the end times for at least two thousand years.

        • Yet the precise wording of scoffers and mockers was predicted as well….as in when are the signs of his coming…..strange that.

        • Greg G.

          When I was a Christian in the 70s, they were saying that the formation of the nation of Israel was the beginning of the last generation. They decided that a generation was not 30 years so it must be 70 years, which meant it would happen no later than May 14, 2018. It must have been a very small Rapture because I didn’t even get a day off from work.

          There have been scoffers as long as there have been religious nuts. 2 Peter 1:16 claims they were not following “cleverly devised myths”, which implies that somebody was accusing them of doing so, but it tries to prove they are not following myths by citing one of the most obviously cleverly devised myths in the New Testament – Matthew’s version of the Transfiguration.

        • Looks like your understanding of Christianity was as skewed then as it is now.

        • Greg G.

          No, I believed them then. Now I am less skewed.

        • Pofarmer

          How many comments was that before a No True Scotsman? I mean, granted, we’ve had some one and outs but it’s been a while.

        • Yet Christianity’s founder maintained only one brand would suffice and withstand the gates of hell with all the rest imposters,

          Funny that
          .

        • Otto

          Boy you got a lot of work to do convincing your fellow Christians you got this figured out…not sure why you would wanna waste your time here.

          Texas is full of rebels. Lots of work to do in Texas.

        • Sorry old fruit- the only rebels are those who think the way you do…….

        • Otto

          Christian belief is all over the map. Blaming us isn’t going to change that.

        • Then don’t concern yourself with Christian beliefs then if that’s what you really think.

        • Otto

          Oh if I only had that choice I would gladly take you up on that.

        • Greg G.

          A person’s right to swing their fist ends at the next person’s nose. A person’s right to religion ends when they try to impose it on others. We don’t concern ourselves too much with the Jains because they do not impose their beliefs on us. We are forced to concern ourselves with Christianity because they want to impose it on everybody.

        • What I just said above x 2

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Twice nothing is nothing.

          Just so with your incoherent drivel.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          When you xtians stop trying to legislate your superstitions, we’ll be GLAD to leave you, alone or any other way you want.

          As long as you keep attacking, we’re going to keep defending and counterattacking.

        • Sounds like you’re making excuses for your attacks.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Sounds like you’re continually whining about being hit BACK first…

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          How is disbelief ‘rebellion’?

          Do YOU rebel against the Flying Spaghetti Monster (may His Noodly Appendage touch you)??

        • false equivalency

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Then define EXACTLY why YOU consider it a ‘false equivalency’.

          Be specific, and show your work.

        • al kimeea

          LOL, I was gonna post the “we got it figured out” meme, but this is fresh

        • Greg G.

          Christianity’s founder? Do you mean Jesus? He couldn’t make up his mind ffrom one chapter to the next. This is from the same speech:

          Matthew 5:16 (NRSV)16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

          Matthew 6:1 (NRSV)1 “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          And you’re about 20 comments or less fromYOUR OWN COMMENT DENYING xtianity’s founder said that, or if he did, he meant that.

          Are you Rudy Giuliani? “TRUTH IS NOT TRUTH” sounds a LOT like the swill you’re peddling.

        • Guestie

          Paul?

        • Nope

        • Guestie

          Yup.

        • No those words were said by Jesus Christ to his disciple Simon renamed Peter. as in you are Peter and on this rock- in response to Jesus’s question- and who do you say I am -will I build my Church and the gates of hell will never prevail against it,

        • Guestie

          You mentioned the founder of Christianity. That was Paul.

        • No it wasn’t, that’s your erroneous opinion.

        • Guestie

          No, no. God told me I’m right and you’re wrong.

        • al kimeea

          The LORD told me you were right too

        • Greg G.

          I told the LORD to tell you that.

        • Greg G.

          If Jesus built the church, it looks like the gates of hell have prevailed.

          There never was a Jesus, there is no Jesus church, and hell is a metaphor.

        • You ain’t seen nothing yet.

        • Greg G.

          I have read many of your posts so I have seen plenty of nothing.

        • Pofarmer

          So have we observed an actual Nothing, now?

        • So they all say ………

        • Greg G.

          What is your evidence that your religious beliefs are based on? How do you distinguish valid religious beliefs from imaginary claims?

        • That’s for you to work out- all by yourself.

        • Greg G.

          Well, the Bible says it is your job.

          1 Peter 3:15 (NRSV)15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you;

        • Lol… wondered when that one was coming.
          What about the command to wipe the dust off your feet and move on.

        • Greg G.

          You do neither. Is there another contradictory verse you are following?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You’re doing neither, so don’t try that bulltwaddle.

        • That verse doesn’t apply to atheists bud- they’ve already made their choices- but people looking for answers.
          Context is everything.

        • Greg G.

          Then read the verse in context. It does not exclude anyone.

          It is amusing when someone who pretends they are a Bible believer lies about the Bible.

        • It doesn’t have to specifically exclude its implication is clear.
          It’s elementary dear Watson

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          blogcom -> reality translator: I have no evidence, but am too stubborn and frightened to back off.

        • Greg G.

          There is no such implication. You played the context card without knowing the context. You lied about the Bible, Sherlock.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Really? SHOW ME where it excludes atheists.

          That’s just one more evasion.

        • People who have the answers is not the same as those looking for answers or are you saying you’re still looking? .

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          People who don’t claim to have any answers but just want evidence ARE looking for answers…they just don’t accept untruths, platitudes, and thought-stopppers.

        • So they say ,,,,,,,,

        • Nice one. I’d be embarrassed to reveal that if I were you, too.

        • Not at all- some people will never get it.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I haven’t seen you *offer* anything besides insults, evasions, and non sequiturs.

          Be Better.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          That’s the bleat of the loser who can’t support his/her position.

        • Otto

          Considering the 40,000+ versions of Christianity how could it be any different? We were taught by other Christians…all you have really done with that statement is to admit how Christianity itself is devoid of ‘understanding’.

        • More anecdotes

        • Otto

          Another meaningless reply that does not follow the point made.

        • Greg G.

          blogcom has nothing to say but can’t shut up.

        • Otto

          There has been an awful lot of that recently.

        • Very inconvenient for you don’t you mean

        • Greg G.

          Yes, you are a waste of electrons.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yet MORE projection…

        • You have no point- only disinformation

        • Otto

          Oh I’m sorry, is this a five minute argument, or the full half hour?

        • Michael Neville

          Do you have a point to make or are you just another Christian trolling an atheist blog?

        • Greg G.

          There were 45,000 denominations in 2015 and growing. That is information you can’t handle.

        • Er……you can trot out that thumb suck figure you call a statistic all you like doesn’t mean a thing.
          Neither do different denominations translate into different beliefs for the most part something not factored into your erroneous equation.

        • Otto

          Ok…how is salvation achieved…through works or grace? That should be simple to get all Christians on the same page with if the Christian belief is congruous.

        • Greg G.

          Jesus prayed that his followers would be so united in their beliefs that the rest of the world would be so impressed that they would all believe, too. That makes Jesus the biggest prayer failure of all time. If Jesus can’t get a prayer answered, why pray?

        • The true Church prevails………..and that’s all you need to know.

        • Greg G.

          Jesus prayer failed,. That is all we need to know. There os no true church.

        • Says you

        • Greg G.

          Based on the evidence.

          John 17:20-23 (NRSV)20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

          There is where Gospel Jesus said it. Does the whole world believe? No. Do Christians agree as one? No. The Gospel Jesus prayer is a failure on both counts. I only say so because it is obvious. You should be arguing against the Christians who have led you to believe otherwise.

          In 2015, the Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary released as study on the number of denominations of Christianity. It was 45,000 and projected there would be 55,000 denominations by 2025, which implies there are about 48,000 Christian denominations now. Some of the denominations are single churches that are fiercely independent of affiliations with other churches.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Heretic! You deny the words of ‘Jesus’?

          Downright *pathetic*…

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          In the spirit of THAT particular inanity:

          https://i.imgur.com/REnggBQ.jpg

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          O RLY?

          If they don’t have different beliefs, WHY DID THEY SCHISM/FRACTURE into separate sects?

        • Just because- for instance different ways of carrying out baptism, the eucharist etc.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “Just because- for instance different ways of carrying out baptism, the eucharist etc.”

          “Neither do different denominations translate into different beliefs for the most part”

          Which of these by ‘blogcom’ is correct?

          Since they contradict each other, it’s a logical impossibility for both to be true … if the claim is MADE that both are true, then the claimant is dishonest.

        • You obviously aren’t familiar with the word beliefs and yes sacraments can be observed differently without upsetting the whole apple cart.

          You’re not familiar with creeds either which are statements of belief.

          Disagreeing with these would be a problem though because they’re the foundation of the faith.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Not if one is being honest.

          But honesty has never been an attribute of yours.

        • Greg G.

          Just because- for instance different ways of carrying out baptism, the eucharist etc.

          Whether three is one, whether the serpent was Satan, whether Balaam’s donkey spoke, whether God is a person or the essence of being, whether Jesus’ miracles were magic or exaggerated, whether blood transfusions should be done, whether slavery is right, whether hell is real, praying to saints, whether to treat a sick child with prayer or medicine, whether faith is sufficient or works are necessary, what are the Ten Commandments, for instance. Those are just some of the disagreements between denominational beliefs. The average Christian isn’t likely to know their denomination’s position on all of these things.

          But none will change to try to make Jesus’ prayer unfail.

          John 17:20-23 (NRSV)20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Uh, that’s *projection*, blogcom-dearie…

        • Pofarmer

          It’s just kind of stream of consciousness rambling.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Stream of *something*, anyway

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Evasion (if we’re gonna go monosyllabic…)

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          How about SHOWING your point, rather than just throwing accusations and fleeing?

        • I love it! The Bible both makes clear when the end will come and says absolutely nothing about the end. Ya just can’t lose with God, can you??

          I could demand from you to know when the end is. You’ll respond either with something fuzzy that you can wriggle out of or you’ll scold me for being an idiot and not know that the Son said that no one had a clue when the end would come. Then I’ll offer that the Bible doesn’t say anything useful about when the end will come, and then you’ll say that even the “precise wording of scoffers” has already come true. Ya just can’t lose with God, can you?

        • C’mon Bob here you are plugging an atheist Church for goodness sake yet are attempting to rationalize prophecy.
          Seems like rationalism is pretty much shot at this point. .

        • This is rather ridiculous, isn’t it–trying to make sense out of prophecy? Good point.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Ideas may be offered.

          GOOD ideas will win out.

          RELIGION is *losing*.

          The exercise of this is left as an exercise for student ‘blogcom’.

        • You have it all wrong- hope you’re a graceful loser.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Unless YOUR KIND have some kind of a vile, dishonest, reprehensible, deplorable trick up your sleeve, you’re wrong.

          And if you win by cheating, how could you have any pride in it?

        • Don’t be a sore loser,

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Don’t cheat then claim a win.

        • Now what trick would that be and how would it be achieved in your estimation?
          In what way do you regard being proved wrong as cheating?

        • Why not move from snarky comebacks to giving us some arguments? Tell us why you believe or why we should believe. Give us arguments and evidence.

        • Greg G.

          He prefers the “shake the dust of your shoes” part but he doesn’t understand that he is supposed to leave after that.

        • 😀

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Oh, freakin’ PLEASE!

          If you can’t see that as a defense that only came about AFTER the mocking began, you’re too stupid to be allowed to cross the road without a minder.

        • Nope- the future end times was described nothing to do with a defense,

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “Yet the precise wording of scoffers and mockers was predicted as well”

          Way to PURPOSELY miss the point there…

        • yes- clever wouldn’t you say

      • Damien Priestly

        End-times?.. Should I start spending my retirement savings now? Would not want anything left-over and unused on judgment day.

        Should I go ahead and paint and remodel the house? A good home redo lasts twenty years…but doesn’t make sense if the book of revelation is about to kick in.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Horsefeathers.

        Face it, if somehow your religion was wiped from the face of the Earth, all crevices of the Earth, and the minds of all people, it would NEVER rise again.

        Scientific truths would come back, just with different names.

        • Keep hoping

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Hope isn’t necessary as long as the physical constants of the Universe don’t change.

          It’s statistically CERTAIN that science would come back, possibly stronger for not being beaten and left for dead by fundamentalist religion & spending centuries recovering.

        • And you know for a fact the physical constraints of the universe won’t change.

          If not it’s hope.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Statistically, I can state that it’s so improbable as to be unworthy of consideration that the physical constants of the Universe will change.

          Just like it’s so improbable that any ‘gods’ exist as to be unworthy of consideration, based on the great mass of (competing) assertions and the TOTAL AND UTTER *LACK* OF ANY EVIDENCE OVER A PERIOD OF AT LEAST TWO THOUSAND YEARS.

        • Albionic American

          Christians assume that ignorance can wipe out their religion, otherwise they wouldn’t put all this effort into pestering people to learn about it.

      • Lark62

        When christianity disappears, it can never be recreated. All knowledge of it will be lost. You cannot even reconstruct the exact beliefs of the thousands of extinct christian denominations.

        If scientific knowledge is ever lost, future generations can rediscover Pluto and Germ Theory and Evolution and Atomic Theory and Plate Tectonics and photosynthesis. That’s because reality is real even if no human knows about it.

        • Albionic American

          That doesn’t stop goofy people from trying to reboot dead pagan religions.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Just to be somewhat unpleasant, like bringing back dead languages? (Latin & Hebrew come to mind…)

      • Albionic American

        As I pointed out, religions come and go like everything else. Harper’s magazine a few years back ran an article about the decline of the Zoroastrian religion. In ancient times millions of people across the Iranian plateau and adjacent regions held Zoroastrian beliefs, and these beliefs influenced the theologies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Now only a few thousand Zoroastrians hang on, mostly in India, where they go by the name of “Parsees,” or Persians.

        After the last Zoroastrian dies, the people living afterwards won’t notice their absence. And the same thing will happen to Christianity.

    • An advanced civilization you say- don’t flatter yourselves.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        True, true…we still have asshole like YOU around…

      • Albionic American

        Christian clergymen and theologians don’t have anywhere near the kind of authority they used to have in Western countries, and on average their opinions regarding public affairs in developed democracies carry about the same weight as truck drivers’.

        Yet this didn’t happen primarily because some mean philosophers, freethinkers and atheists ganged up against Christian leaders to discredit their beliefs, though their efforts certainly played a role. Instead market forces over the last 300 years have priced down the value of what clergymen and theologians do, without any central planning to make this happen, because the growth of economic freedom has given us more ability to test things in reality. We can see that the propagation of Christian doctrines adds little or no value to the real world from the fact that degrees in fields like theology, religious studies and biblical languages don’t have much market value. The kid who wasted his college education in studying for a theology degree would have done better by majoring in business or getting apprenticed into a useful trade like plumbing.

        Just extend this trend for a few more generations, and eventually people won’t have the ability to make any money at all from teaching and preaching the gospel.

        • The enlightenment caused some strange alliances united as they were against the Catholic Church but also by extension Christianity as a whole. That was the end of rule by the Church and the beginning of secular government so it stands to reason church voices carried less weight. But it was more complicated than that- like I said strange alliances were formed.
          The ideology/ philosophy of Humanism emerged but enlightenment forces weren’t embarrassed to co-opt Christian doctrine using the ideal of a futuristic God’s Kingdom on earth but converting it to a humanist utopia.
          It’s an erroneous premise that Christianity needs to adopt secular marketing ideas and political ideology to fit in with secular society because it will become just another political institution which was never its mission anyway.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The enlightenment caused some strange alliances united as they were against the Catholic Church

          The Enlightenment and the Renaissance didn’t care a fig for Catholicism or any other religion, as long as it kept the fuck out of the way of gathering knowledge. MOST scientists have ethics & morals (for which no religion is required) to properly circumscribe their search to minimize or eliminate harm in the search.

        • You protest too much…….

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I tell the truth, and most who see the comment will realize that.

          If YOU consider it ‘protest’, then that’s your psychological handicap and none of my problem as long as you keep it out of SECULAR legislation & jurisprudence.

        • Also you don’t know your Renaissance from your Enlightenment.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Both were opposed by the churches, both for the same reason.

          Time period is irrelevant if the behavior is equally repressive.

          And, checking it, the Renaissance is considered to be the period of 1300-1600, with a certain margin either way. The Enlightenment is considered to have occurred from around 1680-1800-ish, so there’s both a chance of slight overlap, and more likely a continuation of purpose to increase knowledge, culture, and the extension of rights to more and more formerly marginalized groups.

        • No- the Renaissance or rebirth happened under a Catholic Theocracy the Enlightenment under secular government.
          Two different things and the former wasn’t opposed by the Church .

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Really?

          – Galileo was forced to recant the FACTS of astronomy on pain of death
          – Giordano Bruno, too, while on the topic of astronomy
          – Francis Bacon was excoriated by religion
          – Leonardo would have been executed by religious order (if by secular hand) if his researches into human anatomy on cadavers had been discovered.

          I could keep going all day…the *point* is, progress is always opposed by authoritarian religion, and xtianity is an authoritarian religion.

        • Also the Magna Carta Charter- a veritable constitution with its offshoot of traditional liberalism was written during the Medieval period.
          What comparable document can you secularists lay claim to.
          Silence- yes thought so.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Guilty as charged on Leonardo.

          Michaelangelo would likewise have gotten into trouble…

        • Would have……OK

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The laws of the time, under catholic religious influence, forbade on pain of severe punishment the ‘desecration’ of human corpses…just one more facet of history you appear to find inconvenient.

        • Leonardo- really- you must be a student of alternate history.

        • epeeist

          No- the Renaissance or rebirth happened under a Catholic Theocracy

          Which was losing power to the Reformation and was no longer able to shut down movements like the Humanist Renaissance.

          the Enlightenment under secular government.

          Again a period when the churches were no longer able to exert power to suppress people or ideas.

        • epeeist

          The enlightenment caused some strange alliances united as they were against the Catholic Church but also by extension Christianity as a whole.

          They may have been anti-clerical, but this doesn’t mean they were anti-religious. In fact if you read something like Ernst Cassirer’s The Philosophy of the Enlightenment he emphasises that religious tolerance was very much part of their ideas. Given sectarian religious wars (such as the 30-years war) then perhaps this was hardly a surprise.

        • Albionic American

          When the goals of the general humanist way of thinking happen to work, we don’t call them “utopia.” Instead we accept them as practical results.

          Of course lately humanists have run up against resistance to their project of merging humanity into one huge ball of meat, because humans generally don’t want to become atomized, rootless and fungible economic and political units produced for our elites’ convenience. Instead we find fulfillment by identifying with extended families, tribes and nations of people who share a common historical ancestry and a common culture. In other words, many people have rejected the universalist ethics of the Enlightenment because it conflicts with man’s nature, and it doesn’t work in the real world.

          I suspect that as the Boomer retro-humanists like PZ Myers die off who can’t adapt to this reality, the younger generations of humanists will rebrand humanism to reflect an identitarian understanding of man’s nature. And they will succeed at doing so because the dead humanists committed to the older model can’t contradict or dispute them from beyond the grave.

  • Jennny

    ‘…meeting place and community centre..’ the church generally in the UK gets weaker every year. ‘Experts’ have decided the church should ‘reach out into the community’. Several churches I know that have had the same name for decades, e.g. X-town Church have now become ‘X-town Community Church’. The 1st new-build CofE church for 40yrs opened recently with the boast it was also a community centre. And the bigger, the older, the more ornate the church building is, like All Saints, the more it needs money to maintain that building yet it has fewer congregants giving money. My relative is on the staff of a cathedral that needs an eye-watering amount of money monthly to keep going, so concerts, festivals et al pay towards that. And the cathedral can boast it’s ‘serving the community’ and believes this is part of its ‘mission’ and will bring in new people on Sundays..which rarely happens. It’s a counsel of despair, an attempt to keep x-tianity going in secular Britain, basically they are hanging onto the cliff edge by their fingertips!

    • I enjoy visiting grand church buildings when in Europe (not so many around Seattle). As I recall, the Hereford Cathedral had a donation box that said that the upkeep cost was over £1000 per day (presumably that was maintenance of the structure and grounds, not staff costs). I’d hate to see it torn down to be replaced by condos or a grocery store, but the church needs to find some sort of soft landing. Maybe community center is one way.

      • Jim Jones

        Maybe turn it into a grocery store? Two levels with an escalator?

        • Greg G.

          If you buy eggs, mayonnaise, and paprika, you have to vow that you are not going to make deviled eggs.

        • Illithid

          Don’t forget the relish, lest ye court heresy. And a little dry mustard, too.

        • Greg G.

          My only recipe is “Microwave until hot”.

      • Illithid

        St. Paul’s was quite impressive. The tourist volume in London is probably enough to make it profitable just from that. Or as a museum.

      • Jennny

        What I dislike is the spin that UK church leaders put on this ‘we should serve the community and host secular events’ idea. The truth is they just need money. The new-build church got money from its local council which wanted a community centre in that part of town. No way could the church fund it all. Well, maybe it could if its buildings, like cathedrals, bishops’ palaces etc didn’t cost so much. The CofE is dying. Every parish in the Uk had a vicar, now vicars can have up to 12 parishes with a handful of elderly members in each. My welsh village church combined with one in the next village, 6 yrs ago, so the vicar had 5 churches in 2 areas. The bishop spun this as a ‘great new ministry opportunity.’ we were given a new name, which means ‘Twixt mountains and sea’ Unfortunately there is a big mountain between the 2 villages and folk from one never have related much to the other. So in just 6yrs, 3 of the 5 churches have closed and the other are on the verge of doing so. Cue more positive spin from the bishop I expect. He’s probably say that one has been serving the community because local councillors asked to use a vestry for a foodbank as it’s in a central location…though none of the elderly church members is involved…in the magical thinking of the bishop, this is a wonderful ‘mission opportunity’.

        • epeeist

          The bishop spun this as a ‘great new ministry opportunity.’

          I had this argument with someone who claimed that the 30% increase in attendance in services at cathedrals in the UK was evidence of a dramatic turn around in the church’s fortunes.

          I pointed out that there was no way that they could show that these were new people coming into the church, it was quite possible that these were simply people whose local parish church had closed (if you are a pensioner travelling by bus then it is probably easier to get from Little Dewchurch to Hereford than from Little Dewchurch to Much Dewchurch). The cynic in me also noted the cathedral schools where you have to claim to be a regular attendee at church services in order to have your child considered for admission.

          Then you look at the figures, the increase was from around 27,000 to 35,000, i.e. some 8,000. This hardly looks significant given that the church gets around 800,000 attendees each week.

        • Jennny

          Exactly, folk in my village do the same, our cathedral is 10miles away and there are buses. Some have transferred to worship there, either because their village church has closed, or because they worked their socks off for their church and got exhausted by never getting any new people in. In a cathedral, you can be anonymous, recite the liturgy, receive eucharist and go home, free of demands on you. Also, church schools are well-thought of and over-subscribed, so parish churches can insist you attend to allow your child to go there. So, my DD’s former church was full of parents who had promised to attend monthly. There was a book to sign in, I always wondered if some cheated and signed in for friends..the services were pretty boring. but the church could boast a ‘vibrant all-age congregation’, most of whom stopped going once their 11yos transferred to secular high schools. Yet more spin!

        • Liz

          Same, my parents’ church has a very good primary school nearby, so they get tons people coming for a few years, having their child baptised, and then as soon as they’ve got the vicar’s letter of approval they disappear.

        • Tourists like me marvel at the beautiful buildings and thing how fun it would be to live there. I guess the reality is a little more difficult, as usual.

      • epeeist

        I enjoy visiting grand church buildings when in Europe

        One of the problems that the CofE has is that 45% of all grade 1 listed buildings are Church of England parish churches with all the concomitant requirements for upkeep. However as congregations get older and smaller this becomes more and more difficult, especially as they also have the problem of a priesthood that is ageing and becoming smaller (with my conspiracy theory hat on I suspect that this was one reason for allowing women priests). This means that services are rotated around a set of churches, with individual churches having a service once a month or so.

        So the church is stuck with a large portfolio of buildings that are expensive to maintain and difficult to sell (it is apparently selling off on the order of 1 church per week). I used to live in Wilmslow (part of Manchester’s “stockbroker belt” and where all the Manchester United and City players tend to live) which has a parish church which is a small gem. Currently it has a reasonable sized and rich congregation so it shouldn’t have problems for the moment, but what do you do with a building like this when the congregation is too small to fund it?

        https://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/04/15/73/4157368_1044edae.jpg

        • Jennny

          Oh yes, about women priests, my late vicar was the first female to be ordained in Wales, she said openly this was the church trying to keep up with the times and trying to halt decline. Women priests were the answer and were going to reverse the trend. Never happened of course so the powers that be just went on to different initiatives that were going to solve the problem – like the community idea. it too will fade out at some point.

        • According to Wikipedia:

          Grade I: buildings of exceptional interest.
          Grade II*: particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
          Grade II: buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.[31]

        • That’s a beautiful church. I can imagine the upkeep would be quite a burden on a waning congregation.

      • I love impressive church buildings, and don’t mind paying when visiting to help with the upkeep.

        But it’s not just churches. Recently I visited a couple of historic synagogues near the centre of Melbourne, both beautiful buildings. One could fit around 1,500 people, but they had a smaller one on the grounds fitting 30 – 50 which they used most weeks (exceptions being an upcoming wedding, Bar Mitzvah, etc.). The other one fit nearly 400, but the person I was talking to said they usually just make the ten male minimum for a service and that’s about it. He also commented how difficult it is to try and maintain a Heritage listed building to the appropriate standard with such a small congregation (though, to be fair, it sounds like a number of Jewish families pay their annual seat rents to support the community even if they only use them a few times a year…)

      • TS (unami)

        Another possibility is to convert the beautiful old buildings into an art museum or gallery.

        It wouldn’t have to only feature “religious” or period art — it could be anything, abstract painting, sculpture, etc.

        What a great location for an opening! 🙂

        cc: @niamhoc:disqus

        • Nice.

          I think conservative Protestant churches in the US aren’t looking for a soft landing. They’re doubling down on same-sex marriage or first-term abortions as sin (or whatever).

        • TS (unami)

          Well, f*ck ’em.
          Their buildings are ugly anyway. 😉

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Conservative Protestant churches in the US are so many ‘Baghdad Bob’s who figure they’ve got nothing to lose by playing it out as if they’re winning.

        • Hmm. I think you’ve given me a good nickname for Wm. Lane Craig. Or maybe an interchangeable nickname for whichever cocky apologist I’m responding to at the moment. Thanks.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          🙂

          We aim to please.

          I feared offending you by ‘Bob’ being included in the nickname.

        • Baghdad Bob–just one more Bob playing an important role in society (or a pointless role).

  • Doubting Thomas
    • Otto

      You can’t swing a dead cat there without hitting one.

      • Greg G.

        I’d rather swing a dead cat than buy a church.

        • The condos called The Sanctuary is in Seattle. It was a cube-shaped Christian Science church building.
          https://seattle.curbed.com/building/2795/the-sanctuary

          But how do you divide up a building like that? They chose to make vertical columns, so that each condo has about 3 floors but not much square footage on each floor. When you’re up close to some of the architectural features, they look a little out of scale. Still, kinda cool. I think there’s about a dozen condos, with the windowless central space that remained as a shared space.

        • Doubting Thomas

          There’s a church in my neighborhood that I always thought would convert nicely into condos and, unlike the church, the condos would actually support the neighborhood with property taxes. Right around the corner from that church is another church that was turned into an after school care facility for low income children.

  • Jim Jones

    > It’s almost like he didn’t believe his own billboards, because he didn’t sell his assets even though he was telling everyone else that there would be no use for them after that date.

    Not only that. many of these ‘predictors’ are trying to sell goods for money. What use will that be after the ‘apocalypse’?

  • Liz

    I’m not convinced this is heading for church 2.0. I can’t speak for this church in particular, but the times I’ve seen churches doing things like this, it’s as “outreach”. They maynit advertise it as such, but within the church it’s seen as a way of having contact with the “lost”, so that believers can build friendships with the purpose of sharing the gospel. It’s generally got nothing to do with tolerance or acceptance of people, but rather “serving the community” with a hidden motive.

    • Jennny

      My point totally, churches just want bums on seats, money coming in and their ‘community’ thing is a cover. As Captain Cassidy says, x-tians aren’t big on self-awareness, they just jesus on. Some new, as yet unthought of initiative will come to the fore and the community idea will fade away. Before it happened, I was involved in, and trained for, other initiatives that were supposed to make the unsaved flood in, like Messy Church, Open the Book and Godly Play….funny how I spent so much of my spare time and worked so hard to get children, and their parents to these super new evangelistic opportunities, but none became regular Sunday worshippers.

      • Liz

        Yeah, my church has just had two separate outreach efforts which took loads of planning and time, and I don’t think anything has changed because of it. We keep getting told that revival is just around the corner, that we have a vision for church planting, there are all these great ideas we can try, and that this year is the year of the small church. Now is the moment to rise up, the cloud is on the horizon and the rain is coming. On and on, and there’s never any fruit from it.

        • Jennny

          I love the quote ‘the year of the small church’, and the idea that it’s an inspirational motivator! To quote Captain Cass again, the church can’t seem to realise it’s selling a product that no one wants to buy any more.

        • Greg G.

          Many churches seem to think if they leave “Baptist” out of the name they can keep pushing their theology. They don’t seem to get that the theology is what gives “Baptist” the negative connotation.

        • Liz

          Apparently it’s a “prophetic word”, which weirdly enough is turning out to be nonsense.

        • I don’t see anyone being forced to buy so why worry.

        • Greg G.

          Churches don’t pay their share of taxes so everybody else has to pay for their police and fire protection.

        • Another old chestnut.

        • Greg G.

          A tacit admission that I am right is your answer?

        • Just letting you know you speak rubbish

        • Greg G.

          You are weak on evidence…. AGAIN!

        • Otto

          …said every snakeoil salesman ever.

        • The only way to avoid being seen as the aggressor is to play victim.
          A tired old strategy.

        • Greg G.

          Otto is not the one who has laid up a supply of snakeoil.

        • If you don’t like the snake-oil as you put it you’re not forced to buy- simple- unless of course it’s really about other issues with the snake-oil ‘thing’ just a smokescreen.

        • Otto

          Why do you have a problem with people calling out the sankeoil for what it is? Unless your complaint is just a smokescreen.

        • Greg G.

          I am not buying the snakeoil. You have bought it, you buy it everyday, and you are pushing it.

        • Playing the victim again?

        • Greg G.

          You are the victim of the scam.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          J’accuse!

          If you don’t like it, stop doing accusable things.

        • Lark62

          I don’t want snake oil salesmen passing laws that interfere with my medical decisions. I don’t want snake oil salesmen interfering in my children’s education.

          When they can keep their garbage product to themselves l will gladly ignore them.

        • Otto

          I stopped being a victim of Christian snakeoil salesmen long ago…maybe someday you will get there.

        • Your choice alone.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Sounds like you’re dealing in absolutes and false dichotomies.

          Is that the best you’ve got?

        • No I’m right on the mark,

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You have a bad case of Dunning-Kruger Syndrome.

          Look it up.

        • No one is being forced to buy crack, so why worry?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Go whole hog…Krokodil

        • srh1965

          “this year is the year of the small church”. Hmmm, where did I hear that before? Oh yes:

          Marty: The last time Tap toured America, they were, uh, booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on their current tour they’re being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and uh I was just wondering, does this mean uh…the popularity of the group is waning?
          Ian: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no…no, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective.

        • LastManOnEarth

          What’s wrong with being sexy?

    • Kevin K

      It’s generally got nothing to do with tolerance or acceptance of people, but rather “serving the community” expanding the list of regular donors with a hidden motive.

      FIFY

      • Liz

        Well naturally if these wonderful Christians serve you in a way no one else could, you will come to know the love of God and you’ll *want* to give him all your money, right?

        • Kevin K

          Isn’t that what the three-card Monty player says?

    • Churches doing what they’re supposed to do- how dare they.
      It’s not a political institution so no onus on them to follow a particular ideology.

      • Liz

        Other than “love your neighbour as yourself” perhaps?

        • Treat other people as you yourself would like to be treated relates to keeping the Ten Commandments.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Really?

          Let’s start with 1C: “Thou shalt have no other god(s) before me.”

          HOW, *exactly*, does that relate to treating others as one would wish to be treated?

        • Jesus summed up the ten commandments in two parts- duty to God and duty to neighbor and if both principals are adhered to people would keep the commandments.

        • Greg G.

          Jesus summed up the ten commandments in two parts- duty to God and duty to neighbor and if both principals are adhered to people would keep the commandments.

          Then the rich young man answered that he had done all of that since his youth. Jesus told him there was one more thing, to sell everything he owned and give it to the poor. The rich young man hung his head and went away.

          Christians like to point to the Ten Commandments but you seldom see them do the last part. I bet that rich man would have paid you a lot of sheep for your computer. You probably have loads of stuff that would make the rich young man feel deprived. You are failing Jesus by keeping them.

        • Poverty isn’t a virtue nor are poor people more virtuous than others- the trouble with riches is that is dulls a person awareness of their spiritual poverty and that’s the point. To paraphrase Revelations 3.17 For you say I am rich and in need of nothing but you don’t realize you’re wretched, pitiful, poor blind and naked.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          And all your comments do is push people further away from Christianity. Do you think this is what your deity wants from you? Do you think he’s pleased with you? Do you think you’re following his commandments?

          I’m going to block you now, because I don’t give a shit about whatever stupid, snarky, hopelessly witless answer you give to these questions. But maybe a little self-reflection on your part, and what you think you’re achieving here, might be a good thing for you.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t think anything enters his mind unless he hears it from a faux blonde on Faux News.

        • Is the truth too much for you- well just too dam bad. How about a lot of self reflection on your part because you just don’t get it and you really need to Clint W,(doesn’t think 2 much) .

        • Liz

          I’m not sure what your point is with these comments?

        • It’s just as I explained- not sure why you disagree

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I have yet to see you ‘explain’ anything.

          You seem to be an insult, fallacy, and evasion machine.

        • Liz

          What exactly have you explained?

  • Ficino

    Does anyone know how church attendance fared in the diocese of Durham when N.T. Wright was bishop from 2003-2010? Wright is known for his massive books that seek to prove that the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the most likely hypothesis for what happened to kick off the start of Christianity.

    • TS (unami)

      N.T. Wright… I’ve heard a lot about him at my parish, but confess that I’ve only heard a few bits of his on YouTube. So far, I’m not that impressed, mainly due to his anti-LGBT rhetoric. 🙁

    • Greg G.

      It looks like Durham has been doing the worst in the country since 2009, since NT Wrigth left.

      6th May 2013
      Church attendance down by 8 per cent in Durham diocese but up by 7.4 per cent in Ripon and Leeds
      http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northdurham/durham/10402290.Church_attendance_down_by_8_per_cent_in_Durham_diocese_but_up_by_7_4_per_cent_in_Ripon_and_Leeds/

      22 Feb 2016
      Durham is revealed as Church of England low point for Christians
      Durham in the north of England is the diocese where Christians are least likely to go to a service of the Church of England, according to latest figures.
      https://www.christiantoday.com/article/durham-is-revealed-as-church-of-england-low-point-for-christians/80406.htm

    • Treyarnon

      Surely you mean David Jenkins?

      • Ficino

        No, I was asking about Wright. Acc to Wikipedia, Jenkins was bishop of Durham betw 1984 and 1994.

        • Treyarnon

          Sorry, yes, my mistake.

        • Treyarnon

          Sorry, yes your right. I imagine he was partly reacting to the views of David Jenkins

        • Greg G.

          Did you see the references I gave? They happened to show that Durham’s attendance had the sharpest drop of any diocese from 2009, Wright’s last full year I presume, to 2016. It could be coincidence and happenstance, his replacement was just that poor, maybe attendance was inflated by his fame and celebrity, or maybe the new guy just added differently.

        • Ficino

          I did, yes, thanks. I didn’t know what to make of them either.

  • How would a believer be distinguishable from a non believer in these so-called new Churches.
    Obviously they wouldn’t which is the point.
    This so-called revised Church’s reason for existence would be to accommodate non believers as believers wouldn’t exist in reality- a paradox if ever there was one.
    This bazaar hankering for a pack them in type inclusiveness at the expense of beliefs by those pushing this false church never ceases to amaze.
    Can you say Agenda

    • Greg G.

      Under the scenario of the article, there would be no reason to distinguish between a believer and a non-believer.

      How do you distinguish between a false church and a non-false church? Does a non-false church have evidence for their claims?

      • Evidence for non believers is not required

        • Greg G.

          That does not address the question directly but the dodge gives us the answer.

        • Can’t be more direct it’s just the conversation is above you pay grade.
          Non compos mentis as they say.

        • Greg G.

          You got it backwards. Non-believers need evidence. Believers use faith which doesn’t require evidence.

      • Lark62

        How do you distinguish between a false church and a non-false church?

        Gee that’s easy. The non-false church is the I go to. The false church is the one they go to. Duh

        (Of course, I go to neither)

        • It’s important to distinguish the true from the false to begin with.
          And for that you need knowledge.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          True.

          What knowledge do you claim to bring to the table?

          Be specific, and show your work. Bible citations are not acceptable, as they lack academic rigor.

        • Academic rigor flew out of the window some years back. .

        • Greg G.

          I do not believe that academic rigor has ever flown in your window.

        • That’s because mine’s intact so it wasn’t necessary .

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I can actually believe that, re your academic ‘window’.

          In fact, I’d bet good money that, metaphorically, you not only closed the shutters there, but you NAILED them shut, lest any ideas enter.

          You seem to be FINE with your horrible, hateful ideas oozing out, though.

        • Lark62

          It is important to distinguish unsupported by any evidence whatsoever from supported by evidence. For that you need a brain.

          All supernatural claims are unsupported by evidence.

    • Joe

      How would a believer be distinguishable from a non believer in these so-called new Churches.

      How does one accomplish such a thing in any church?

      • Imposters are imposters ultimately- and that includes pretenders.
        But they’ll be put to the test and found wanting.
        That’s the point.

        • Joe

          After the fact. Possibly. Great system.

        • Kevin K

          So you’re saying Pascal’s Wager is bullshit. I quite agree.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Really? There are people who lived out their whole lives as assumed identities, including women who lived as men, and were only discovered when their bodies were examined after death.

          That’s too late for YOUR KIND to do your typical shun/shame in the name of a twisted perversion of ‘love’.

        • Do you have a point?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yep. The fact that it went miles over your head is NOT my problem.

          I write for general consumption, not to coddle willful ignorance and idiocy.

    • srh1965

      The Church of England has never been interested in what any of its members or clergy believes. Read Trollope.

      Oh, and “bazaar” is pretty much what many churches offer in their gift shops

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        I missed ‘bazaar’…*delicious*

        😉

      • sweeks

        “Bizarre”? 😉

    • Kevin K

      Why would you care? If someone is getting “something” out of whatever the heck this is, and you’re getting “something” out of it — why should you care if it’s not the exact same thing?

      • Then have the decency to call it what it is rather than appropriate a name that stands in stark contrast to everything you stand for.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Words are DEscriptive, not PREscriptive.

          And YOUR KIND can’t pull a ‘dog in the manger’ with *any* words or concepts, much as you’d like to think YOUR KIND can.

        • Words are descriptive- right- so why use a description that doesn’t describe you.
          Oh I get it – because relativism.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope. Words change meaning, and that’s not gonna stop.

          It’s especially delicious that it pisses you off, while it’s normally just interesting to watch.

        • Yes its a given some people change the meaning of words because they love deception.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          YOUR KIND don’t get to tell other people their motives, nor to halt the free flow of ideas & culture that modify the meaning of words.

        • Kevin K

          What do you think I “stand” for? I haven’t stated any of my positions on anything, only countered your assertion that those things don’t exist.

          Egad, you’re an idiot.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      I smell projection.

  • Ficino

    So, a new (?) troll. I recommend banning for all the usual reasons.

    • epeeist

      So, a new (?) troll.

      Your question mark was correct, he (and it usually is a “he” isn’t it) has been around before. No difference since the last time he was here.

  • Halbe
    • Michael Neville

      I like the library. But then I like all libraries.

  • Christianity 2.0 with a focus on community, inspiration and service. Where would the inspiration come from?
    So it’s entire existence would be to extol humanity?.
    Doesn’t sound like much of a story but what a cast.

    • Kevin K

      Here you go…inspiration.

      Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.

      Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing. We accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be. We welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.

      Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.

      Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death. Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.

      Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.

      Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness. Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.

      • That’s your rose-tinged looking glass opinion- like I said your politics doesn’t interest me your first amendment rights not withstanding.

        • Kevin K

          You’re invited to not read or respond to my posts, then.

          Every time you respond to me, I will respond to you. Cuz that’s how it works.

          Here, have a meme. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dec60e9a94c73905413472adfdf43e94a30d7cd6c193a94a3858f0773d28e193.jpg

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Cruel…but I like it.

        • Kevin K

          It’s a hobby.

        • DogGone

          Oh yeah, and not just that–ever been behind one of those vans with schools of fishies on the rear window or bumper?

        • Greg G.

          That is what happens when they let their copilot drive.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope, it’s what’s happening, slowly, all over the world.

          Face it, as we make life better, far fewer need the empty, false hope religion proffers.

    • Kevin K

      You may prefer these for inspiration:

      One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
      The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
      One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
      The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own.
      Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
      People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and remediate any harm that may have been caused.
      Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

      • I’m not interested in your political ideology.
        You don’t need a Church for it either.
        Isn’t there some cave somewhere where you can invocate to your heart’s content.

        • Kevin K

          It’s not mine … but you said you didn’t think any existed. I found two within a few seconds of trying that don’t invoke any supernatural anything.

          I’m exercising my First Amendment right to free speech within the confines of the Terms of Agreement of this particular blog. If you don’t like it … well … tough. There’s not thing one you can do about it.

        • Damien Priestly

          Why are you here then?

        • Lark62

          The 7 Tenets are not political. They are simply a far better guide to morality than anything christians could come up with.

          The bible found time for “no tattoos” and “don’t gossip” but nowhere does it say “don’t rape children.”

        • The 7 tenets- not a guide to (political) morality? yeah right.
          So you want to impose this on the Church because in your view its better and justifies you dictating your mores to others.

        • Lark62

          Kevin K: “You may prefer these for inspiration”
          Lark62: “They are simply a far better guide to morality than anything christians could come up with.”

          blogcom: “So you want to impose this on the Church”

          Wow. I suggest a course in basic reading comprehension might be in order.

        • Well you’ve promoted them as far better than anything Christians could come up with- seeing we know you don’t have an agenda- sarcasm on — its the only natural conclusion.

        • Greg G.

          The Church pushes “Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s slave*.”

          I think “To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own” is far superior.

          * That’s in the fine print. You have to pick up the Bible to read it. It is usually omitted from the bits they like to push on gullible people.

        • epeeist

          I suggest a course in basic reading comprehension might be in order.

          You can improve on ignorance, I am not sure that the same is true for stupidity.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      How about celebrating the human spirit, progress, and the human urge for togetherness?

      If that doesn’t inspire YOU, I *promise* you won’t have to attend.

      Wanker.

      • Hello wanker- I don’t like your tone so piss off.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yep, you piss me off.

          BOB gets to decide who hangs out here, you tinpot dictator-wannabe.

        • Oh do I now- tough titty

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You’re a relatively nebulous kind of annoyance, more like a catnip toy.

          The turnabout pun was just too much fun to pass up.

      • Turn into a frog somewhere or whatever else you do for fun.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Is that the *best* you’ve got?

          My goodness, you’re even incompetent at *trolling*… 😉

    • Inspiration? God needs to tell us that community and service are important? I think that’s inherent.

      • He also says there’re more important things yet you choose the lesser ones.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Okay, *what* in religion do YOU consider more important than community and service? And WHY?

          Be specific and show your work.

  • srh1965

    You’d be hard-pressed to find a church in my English town that isn’t some kind of cafe, whether once a week or most days. Without the income, they’d close. Hardly anyone attends on a Sunday.

    • Greg G.

      I visited a couple of Buddhist temples in Melbourne, Australia last January. Both were serving food. I think one may have been celebrating or having some function. We weren’t there very long and didn’t eat. They had a fancy new temple attached to an older structure where the food was being served.

      The other had a large temple and a school on the grounds. The school cafeteria served as a restaurant for the public outside of school hours.

  • Kevin K

    I’m sure some people would be interested in this … I’m more of a Marxist in this regard. Groucho, not Karl.

    “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”

    • Michael Neville

      Je suis Marxiste, tendance Groucho.

  • SeeingClearly

    Secular Christianity? I really like the idea. No time wasted on fantastical stories of gods and devils, on proselytizing, on filling the seats with tithing parishioners or anything else corrupt or worthless. Just focus on the difficult challenges, big and small, that all humans face, and really try to minimize them. Hey, blood-sucking, scam artist church leaders…are you listening?

    • So atheist rats don’t like Church the way it is- big surprise- time to up the ante then- and don’t let the door knock you flat on the way out.

      • rationalobservations?

        Across much of the educated, free, predominantly secular developed western world, it’s harder and harder to find a church that isn’t boarded up or already redeveloped into something of actual use to mankind.

        It’s also clear there are not enough oily tongued priests to lie to the dwindling congregations in the moribund churches that remain as centres of indoctrination.

        • Greg G.

          or already redeveloped into something of actual use to mankind.

          And paying their fair share of taxes.

        • rationalobservations?

          The scandal is that exclusively self serving and obscenely wealthy politico-corporate institutions of “religion” continue amass and hoard further vast cash tax free.

        • Greg G.

          Dealing drugs is similar but it is difficult to launder the money, which can put you in prison. Churches do not have that concern.

          To get a reluctant person to go along with your drug scheme you can threaten their life but that can get you put in prison. A Church can threaten their immortal soul and that is not illegal.

        • rationalobservations?

          Religion is a vile scam. Fortunately fewer and ever more rapidly, fewer and ever fewer folk fall for the scam.

      • Doubting Thomas

        The atheist already left. The problem for churches is that the Christians are also leaving.

        • Sign of the times

        • Joe

          More enlightened times, yes.

        • Where’s your evidence of that

        • epeeist

          Can’t speak for the US but it would seem that even priests in the UK are atheists or agnostics – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/survey-finds-2-of-anglican-priests-are-not-believers-9821899.html

        • But that’s doesn’t correlate with enlightenment it just means the U.K. is now a non Christian nation.
          And honestly the state the country’s in isn’t anything to brag about.

        • epeeist

          But that’s doesn’t correlate with enlightenment it just means the U.K. is now a non Christian nation.

          It means that religion has no longer the power to force people to be Christian and punish them if they were not.

          And honestly the state the country’s in isn’t anything to brag about.

          So what state is it in and why is the decline in religion the cause of this?

        • Pofarmer

          Holy shit but they’re predictable.

        • epeeist

          Holy shit but they’re predictable.

          Absolutely, the above is almost a complete repeat of something I said this very morning.

          When I was just married we used to go to see my father-in-law in (the People’s Republic of) South Yorkshire. This was virulently Labour (in some wards other parties didn’t bother putting up candidates) but also deeply conservative (note the small ‘c’). My wife was a child of older parents and her father and other relatives were constantly bemoaning the state of the nation and blaming it on various things (as much as anything the development of Indian corner shops and Bangladeshi restaurants) for which they had not the slightest evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          I know I’ve beaten this absolutely to death, but Eric Hoffer just nails it in “The True Believers”. It’s a tactic as old as the hills, probably literally. My wife read the book, and she couldn’t overcome her cognitive dissonance to see what he was saying. Her notions about everything going to shit had to be correct, Hoffer was simply wrong. It was at that point that I realized there wasn’t much point in reasoning with her on matters of faith. That and some conversations with MnB, whom I miss on this forum greatly. Part of the deal on that book, was she was going to read it and I was going to read G.K. Chesterton, “The Forever Man” but it was so full of fallacious appeals that I just couldn’t do it. The only way I would do it is if we could discuss all the problems with it, and I didn’t think our marriage would survive that, so I put it down.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          What happened to MnB?

        • Greg G.

          MNb got mad at us over Jesus mythicism.

        • Pofarmer

          I thought he just got tuckered out with the apologists. He’s not posting anywhere anymore.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          FSM! It’s not some absolute knowledge claim, and it’s so far in the past and so “substantiated” with references to the Tanakh that of course people disagree on whether this apparent nobody that Christianity claims as its founder ever really existed. He’s too awesome to not be here over such a disagreement as subjsctive as the existence of some nobody rabbi/fictional character.

        • Greg G.

          Some of us (I can’t take all the credit or blame) spoke with too much certainty about it for his taste.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Sigh… hopefully he comes back like Kodi did.

        • Greg G.

          Is Kodie back? She has been gone a while. I miss her.

        • Otto

          Me too

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          She’s gone again, too?!!? FFFFFFFF

        • Greg G.

          She didn’t leave in a huff. MNb left in a minute and a huff.

          Michael Neville hasn’t posted recently. He just said he would be away.

        • He was a little irrational about the Christ Myth theory. He also accused me on several occasions of being some sort of apologist for Robert Price. I don’t remember him standing his ground to make his point clear in either case.

          He brought lots of energy to his comments, but perhaps this is a reminder that we’re all imperfect humans.

        • Greg G.

          I think he was right far more often that he was wrong, though. (That sounds like a damn eulogy.)

        • yes, agreed.

        • Otto

          He equated mythicism to denying the Holocaust…I get not agreeing with mythicism but rather than actually presenting an argument, that kind of comparison is apples and oranges. I agree with you that really mythicism is beside the point, but I do find it to be an interesting question.

        • Tangent: I believe it was Michael Shermer who had a very short but effective rebuttal to Holocaust denialism: if the Holocaust was made up, those charged with crimes in the Nuremburg trials would’ve said so! Instead, their defense was “I was just following orders” or “Your laws don’t apply to me/you have no jurisdiction in Germany” or something similar.

        • Otto

          I am not certain one way or the other, but I do know that the issue seems to follow a lot of Christian claims that the more you look into the question the less there is to hang your hat on…and I find that troubling.

        • Some people refuse evidence right in front of their noses- explanations are a waste of time for the selectively blind.

        • epeeist

          Some people refuse evidence right in front of their noses

          Oh, I see people suffering here in the UK, but the problem isn’t the failure of religion but rather the policies of the Tories.

          As it is you don’t seem to have provided any description of the state of the UK nor how it is due to the decline in religion. Just evidence free assertions.

        • Well seeing a secularist government is in charge the problem can’t be laid at the door of religion can it now.
          And it’s never been a Christian’s responsibility to run the world- come now you people would be the first to moan if this were the case.
          You want evidence- look around you – if your insist there’s no problem nothing I tell you will dissuade.

        • epeeist

          All I see here is verbiage designed to obscure the fact that despite you whining about the state of the UK you still haven’t come up with any description of the parlous state we are in, nor how this is due to the decline in religion.

        • See here…..your mistake is to conflate non-Christian with enlightened thinking just as those enlightenment leaders did calling the introduction of secular government as the Enlightenment just because……. the Catholics were no longer in charge……… so that must mean enlightenment. The reality is they were just dumb clucks – just like their modern day counterparts- who invoke the name of science in the hope it will make them seen brighter than they really are.
          The decline of Christianity in the west will directly correlate with the decline of civilization because it civilized society to begin with and its removal will be a return to pagan morality and barbarism – just as that God-hating but honest philosopher Nietzsche feared.

        • epeeist

          your mistake is to conflate non-Christian with enlightened thinking

          So where did I do this?

          The decline of Christianity in the west will directly correlate with the decline of civilization

          No, I asked you to tell me what state the UK is in now and show why the decline of religion is the cause.

          its removal will be a return to pagan morality and barbarism

          And that is the only thing that can happen is it? And you base your conclusion on what precisely?

        • I already explained why- removing a culture responsible for the civilization of the west (in the west) will lead to rapid decline – as is happening right now- its not difficult to understand- and you want more of the same? .

        • epeeist

          I already explained why- removing a culture responsible for the civilization of the west (in the west) will lead to rapid decline

          No you didn’t “explain” why, you made a series of assertions for which you have provided no justification.

        • rationalobservations?

          Your misguided propaganda is confounded by the fact that the top ten most peaceful nations today are also ten of the least religious nations in history. These most happy and prosperous countries are also highly civilisef, well educated free secular democracies.

          Far from regressing to the barbarity of a world brutally dominated by religious torture, terror, oppression and totalitarianism – it appears that education and free secular democracy has already proved to be the antidote to the bhai poison of religion.

          Thank you for making me smile at your “god-hating” bunkum. It would be almost as ridiculous to “hate” all the millions of undetected and undetectable non-existent gods and goddesses invented by men as to believe in any of them.

        • Be careful of those fables- reality is what shapes our understanding of the world creating your own to suit your likings or prejudices isn’t profitable.

        • epeeist

          Be careful of those fables

          Fables? I suggest yo have a glance at the UN Human Development Index. The US is in there, after Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland. It is just in front of Canada, New Zealand and Singapore.

        • Tell me beside looking at stats- which basically can mean whatever you want it to- do you ever follow the news- geopolitics and the like.

        • epeeist

          which basically can mean whatever you want it to

          Is that you Rudi?

          do you ever follow the news- geopolitics and the like

          I generally look at up to four news-sites a day, the UK Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Le Monde. I also read the New Statesman and take Prospect magazine.

        • Do you have anything against independent media or do you prefer news delivered by 6 companies owning about 92 percent of mainstream media in what is called monopolization.

        • epeeist

          So which “independent media” do you suggest? I have named the news sites I look at, what do you read on a daily basis?

        • Too many sources to name

        • epeeist

          Too many sources to name

          Oh go on, I gave you the four journals I read on a daily basis and a couple I read on a monthly basis. Why don’t you just match my list?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Folks, I’ve got it figured out!!!!

          ‘blogcom’ is SARAH QUITTERFACE PALIN!!!

          😉

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why are you attacking the messengers rather than the message?

          That’s lazy and dishonest.

        • Nothing dishonest about it the messengers deserve being attacked they monopolize both input and output creating a skewed reality no wonder people are so dam dumb. Don’t defend or shed any tears for them.
          Journalists rank below average in the I.Q. ratings and that’s not even counting the lying liars, con artists and the sold- my-soul – to -corporate- media types.

        • Joe

          You answered your own question in that post.

        • Greg G.

          I follow the news, but not Fox News, because I prefer to stay informed.

        • MR

          I try to keep an eye even on Fox News so I can keep track of the whack-a-loon bullshit that is being spread. I love how they use primal fears to ping their readers’ amygdala. They almost always have a story about alligators or snakes on their front page, usually juxtaposed next to a story about some Democrat or those crazy Lefty Liberals. Scary!

        • MR

          I also like to imagine What-If Scenarios to put things in perspective.

          Just imagine: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a350a89fb6828b942d72ea5e7c79304868d9911ce368aef47eb4735ed0d759d4.jpg

        • Trump tweets more damaging stuff before he gets out of bed in the morning than any conservative nightmare of what Hillary would’ve/could’ve done as president.

        • epeeist

          What odds his “independent media” are the likes of Breitbart and Infowars?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yeah, I dubbed that Faux Noise a while ago.

        • Greg G.

          I considered typing “Faux News” but blogcom would have read it as “Folks News”.

        • epicurus

          I tried watching some fox a while back, I actually don’t mind the actual news people like Mike Wallace and Shep Smith. It’s the commentators who don’t seem to have any journalistic background that make me gag, (Fox and friends, hannity, judge whats her name, etc). Ironically, it’s the latter group that seem to influence Trump, not the Wallaces or Smith’s.

        • epicurus

          I should qualify my comment by noting it’s all based on only a few hours of viewing.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          While it’s *possible* to lie with statistics, if you’re going to claim that the onus is on you to demonstrate it. The stats are out there, and freely available.

          If you want to *play* with the stats, go to Gapminder.org ( https://www.gapminder.org/ ).

        • rationalobservations?

          Hilarious from someon so entrenched in myths, legends and propaganda.

          Evidence based facts are anathema to folk lost in fables they (and you) fail to contradict through presentation of logic, reason and evidence.

          Thanks for underlining and validating the facts by your inability to contradict those facts.

          Your condition of denial is noted.

          Denial is not rebuttal!

        • epeeist

          Denial is not rebuttal!

          And assertion (another of his favourites) is not evidence.

        • rationalobservations?

          There is not one single shred of authentic, original, 1st century originated historical evidence of the existence of “Jesus” and nothing validates the legends written, rewritten, amended and exaggerated so many centuries after the time in which those confused and contradictory legends are merely set.

          The dishonesty of religionists is only exceeded by their ignorance and egotism..

        • You’re so indoctrinated by secular political propaganda how can you even tell.

        • rationalobservations?

          On the irony!
          I suppose gullible folk like you who exclusively deal in and believe baseless propaganda must imagine free thinkers and actual scholars are as gullible as you demonstrate yourself to be?
          We are not.
          So how about moving on from your childish denial and pitiful projection and see some evidence from you?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Hmmm, ad hom *attack* rather than producing *evidence*

          …not surprising in the least, sadly…

        • Your condition of denial is noted- good and I’ll note yours as well.

        • rationalobservations?

          Hahaha.
          Your inability to present evidence of your claims is pitiful.
          I make no claims. I merely point out that no evidence supports the claims of any religion. Including the one that holds you in thrall.
          You have my sympathy but earn no respect for your gullibility and infantile dishonesty.

        • As you have mine.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Sympathy from a deluded person is a worthless coin.

        • rationalobservations?

          You’re truly pathetic, son.
          Grow up!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Denial of *what*?

          Be specific, and show your work.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Be careful of condemning data as ‘fables’…one day somebody may choose to use your religion fable’s methods on you rather than real medicine or other useful results of secular pursuits.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          your mistake is to conflate non-Christian with enlightened thinking

          Nope. Our correct position is that authoritarian religion is to be strongly associated with benighted thinking, and we’ve got a LOT of empirical, statistical evidence to back it up, including the fact that the least religious areas in the world today have the highest scores on quality of life measures.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Measures of quality of life are greater in the U.K. than just about anyplace outside Europe, and certainly higher than in the US.

          So it DOES correlate. Whether it’s *causative* is a different question.

        • Lark62

          I think it’s safe to assume most catlick priests don’t actually believe their nonsense.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, I dunno. There are certainly some that do. Dealing with their crap is a prime reason I’m an atheist today.

        • DogGone

          I think that’s been true for a long time.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          See Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature, or even just the Wikipedia entry (subset quoted here):

          The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined is a 2011 book by Steven Pinker, in which the author argues that violence in the world has declined both in the long run and in the short run and suggests explanations as to why this has occurred.[1] The book contains a wealth of data simply documenting violence across time and geography.

          for very strong evidence that times are more enlightened.

        • Joe

          Everywhere.

      • Damien Priestly

        This is an atheist blog…most atheists don’t go to church, but can re-imagine it — like the OP does.

        The question is — why are you here calling people rats? You are free to go to a Christian blog and imagine church any way you/they like.

        • Rats, infiltrators whatever.
          Most atheists don’t go to Church but re-imagine it must be the mantra of the year.

        • Damien Priestly

          Get out of here…if you have nothing to offer.

        • Greg G.

          Do one or the other. I suggested 1 Peter 3:15 but you countered with “knocking the dust off”. You are supposed to leave when you knock the dust off.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nahh, ‘blogcom’ can’t stick the flounce…

        • Greg G.

          He has nothing worth saying and can’t resist proving it.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        YOUR KIND can’t claim a gathering of like minded people for a common interest, even people who CONGREGATE for a common interest.

        That’s HUMAN, and y’all stole it millennia ago…we’re taking it back.

        • Why not- it’s perfectly logical.
          Stole what millennia ago?
          The pagans did try and appropriate Christianity at the beginning but they weren’t entirely successful if that’s what you getting at.
          Therefore you won’t be taking anything back,

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Who’s talking xtianity?

          I’m discussing groups congregating from a common interest and a common purpose.

          No deities required (with apologies to Phil Collins for the title twist)

        • Groups have always congregated but calling a non-church a church is a bridge too far.

        • Greg G.

          That settles it then. I would have been against calling it a church but since you don’t like it, we shall call it a church, especially when you are around.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          Maybe we should call it, “The Church That Blogcom Hates Being Called a Church”.

        • Greg G.

          That’s great and the acronym has a cool pattern: TCTBHBCAC.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Looks like a DNA strand, except for the B & H

          😉

        • Greg G.

          That proves blogcom is an alien.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I was expecting a riff on B & H Camera, looking back on it 😉

        • Greg G.

          When I see B & H, I always think of Bark & Howl.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why?

          Just because you don’t like it?

        • Because nobody except fakes like fake.

        • Greg G.

          What do you call someone who hates something because he thinks someone else likes it?

        • Try using reason however difficult it is

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Try answering questions directly, no matter how devastating it may be to your heartfelt delusions.

        • Greg G.

          That answer to my question is quite cumbersome. It seems that there is a word that has become synonymous with “difficulty trying to use reason” and that word is “blogcom”.

        • rationalobservations?

          The 4th century originated Roman religion they called “Christianity” was cobbled together from mostly pagan components and exclusively pagan feast days and festivals.

    • Dom Saunders

      But why call it “secular” Christianity? Christianity doesn’t have a license over good deeds.

  • Syzygy

    This has rekindled my lack of interest.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      I’d procrastinate, but I just can’t get around to it…

      😉

      • Otto

        There is an interesting list of top 10 reasons for procrastination.

        1.

      • Syzygy

        Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after.

        • Greg G.

          Never put off for the day after tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely.

        • Otto

          Hard work pays off after time…but laziness pays off now.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Yeah, especially since ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ is a terrible movie! Outrunning a “coldsnap” is still such an “were they high?!!?” scene.

  • eric

    Standing up, sitting down, ritual chanting and imbibing with a group of like-minded people on a Sunday morning….

    I already do that. Let’s go Raiders!

    • Greg G.

      I have attended a couple of Catholic weddings. They were like calisthenics.

      • Damien Priestly

        Exactly what I did when my mother died at her Catholic funeral Mass. Not the time to be a stoic atheist and just sit there. But I remembered all the moves from my years as a Catholic kid.

        It was not taking the Eucharist at Communion that got me the looks from everybody…a dead giveaway that you are an ex-Catholic!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          That, and being willing to keep your head up and eyes open while everybody is ‘supposed’ to be bowing their heads in prayer.

        • MystiqueLady

          I’ve do that, and generally end up catching the eye of other non-believers and smile my wickedest smile. 😉

        • Otto

          We have to deal with that at family events…my wife and I call it ‘casting the spell’.

        • MystiqueLady

          My (now deceased) husband was an ex-Catholic. When he passed, I rejected the last rites (I told my SIL that the only comfort I would get was if the little bottle of magic water could bring my husband back). I then refused to hold a Catholic Rosary and Mass for him, even though his aunt (through a cousin) asked me three times. I finally said if SHE wanted to do that, I would give her some of the ashes and she could knock herself out. (True story — she didn’t.)

        • epicurus

          My mother wrote out instructions for a heavy duty Anglican funeral for herself, which I followed to to letter with one exception out of respect for her wishes. Interestingly, the minister was reluctant to have everyone recite the Apostle’s Creed as he said there would be people from many and no faith’s attending so he usually omitted it at funerals. That was fine by me, as the whole thing was torturous enough to get through.

        • Otto

          If there was one piece of evidence that Christianity is bunk it has got to be the Apostles Creed…what a crock.

        • epicurus

          I don’t even think most Christians even know why it has the specific words it does – as a response to what the dominant, state-backed group considered heresy thousands of years ago. With 40 some thousand protestant denominations and growing, reciting creeds at all seems silly.

        • Otto

          I think there is a good reason the Christians that understand the history of the Creed don’t talk about it to others.

        • MystiqueLady

          My husband instructed me to NOT have the Catholic funeral thing, for which I was grateful! (Do you know how expensive that gets???)

        • Otto

          “(Do you know how expensive that gets???)

          There an Indie movie that Kevin Smith put out called ‘Red State’ that was about a Christian cult that was being investigated by the Feds…2 agents had this exchange looking at the large Cross in the yard and your question made me think of it.

          Agent 1: “How much do you think a cross like that costs?”

          Agent 2: “Do you mean in dollars or common sense?”

        • epicurus

          That’s interesting, the bill from the funeral home included the fee paid to the minister/church, but didn’t break down exactly how much it was. Because most Anglican churches in small towns only have about 7 people attending, all pretty much seniors, I just assumed it was just a hundred bucks or so for the minister, but maybe not! as the funeral home bill was certainly not cheap, even though she was cremated.

        • MystiqueLady

          The funeral industry is much like the wedding industry — everything is jacked up and all sorts of “extras” are loaded into the fees. When my father died, since it was unexpected, we had a funeral then had him cremated. My mom does not want to be cremated — she wants to be in one of those above ground things and she wants dad’s ashes to be entombed with her. Initial inquiries revealed that to do that would require the “chamber” to be sealed for mom, then additional fees are charged to unseal it to put my dad’s ashes in it. We’ve agreed (mom included) that we will sneak dad’s ashes into the coffin with my mom.

        • Kevin K

          My ex-church invites everyone to eat the cracker — with some weird caveat about believing the cracker is really Cracker Jesus. At my father’s funeral, I ate the cracker, even though I didn’t believe in Cracker Jesus. My Catholic cousins did not eat the cracker — I think they must have thought the minister used the wrong magic ju-ju, and it wasn’t really Cracker Jesus after all.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Papal-robics?

        • Greg G.

          I’m pretty sure they don’t call it Pilates.

        • Otto

          Pontius Pilates?

        • Greg G.

          That is the connotation they would avoid. Maybe they could go with Jumping Jehoshaphats.

        • Otto

          and kneeling Kegels

        • MystiqueLady

          Wrong group — those are the Pentecostals. 😉

        • TinnyWhistler

          This is the best laugh I’ve had all day

    • epicurus

      And if you were a Vikings fan in the 70’s like me you would also additionally have the Christian end times let down of the final victory that never happens – 4 trips to the Super Bowl, 4 losses. Their helmets should have had a choking hazard warning on them.

      • Otto

        I was…and I still am. Always good to meet another long sufferer.

        • epicurus

          Amen brother!

        • Otto

          My Grandfather lived in Minny and had season tickets starting with them in 1961. I used to go to games with him in the 70’s. Then I was personally present in 1998…nuff said

        • epicurus

          Wow, nice. I still have it on the bucket list to fly to Minny one day and see a game, since I grew up a long way from there.

        • Otto

          If you do let me know, I live about 4 hours away. I have been to one game in the new digs and it is well worth the effort to check it out. Hope to go to one this year.

        • epicurus

          Will do

        • epicurus

          Wouldn’t be near Fergus Falls would you? A cousin was doing some ancestry.com digging told and my great great grandfather is apparently buried there.

        • Otto

          Nope, I am SW from Minny, that is a nice area though.

        • dorcheat

          My Mother’s side of the family lives in nearby Maine, Dent, Richville, New York Mills, and Underwood. Indeed, I need to drive up there soon and see my aunt and uncle in Dent as they are well into their 80s. It is a lovely area as Otto says, lots of pretty lakes.

  • It’s incredible how you people dish out obnoxiousness yet cry like bitches when responses aren’t to your liking.

    Your exaggerated sense of your own importance combined with your rabid anti intellectualism and an inability to interpret reality beggars belief.

    Not to mention you severe arrested development issues, lack of social skills and ape like group cohesion.

    Stuff each and every one of you.

    • rationalobservations?

      Your impotent fury is typical of the humiliated dwindling cohort of religious who fail to justify, validate or excuse their indoctrinated delusions.

      Your childish bunkum remains debunked.

    • Bruce Gorton

      That, seems to me to be an almost perfect description of your own behaviour. You came in and declared atheists to be rats, which is most obnoxious, and when people responded to your illogical brain dead ravings, you put this post up, which essentially just amounts to you crying about it.

      I say almost because, well, I’m not a misogynist so I don’t particularly go for the simile you chose. It appears to me that if your girlfriend, or mother, or various female acquaintances greet you with tears of such magnitude that this is how your would describe people disagreeing with you, that aside from your religion you have a problem with women.

      But then of course Christianity has always been associated with such issues, after all one only needs to look to Tertullian to see how deeply at the heart of the faith hatred of women dwells.

      • And you just proved my entire point- way to go!

        • Bruce Gorton

          Dawww did the widdle kwistian baby not like getting called on his bullshit?

          I’ve seen more points on a beach ball than anything you’ve put here.

        • Psst……..and you’re still RATS.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Dawww, look everybody, the widdle kwistian baby continuing to cry about how everyone is treating him, the way he treats everyone else. What a little wuss.

        • If operating far above your pay grade is considered meritorious there’s a problem.

        • Bruce Gorton

          You know, I don’t believe in the Bible but I do remember a bit about how you should treat others the way you want them to treat you. Personally I think tastes differ, but you’re a Christian so, when you act a certain way that tells us that this is how you want to be treated.

          And you treat people like shit, so I’m just treating you the way you want to be treated shithead.

        • Then I’d be careful about demonstrating false piety or attempting lectures if I were you.

        • If your past comments on Pathos are any indication you seem to have a major problem with just this.

          For a heathen you sure waste a lot of time hectoring believers and using Christianity to justify your politics so just cut out the charade will you,

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Dafuq? Talking to yourself?

        • Greg G.

          You are like a moth to a flame. You hate this place but you can’t find anywhere on the internet where you would rather be.

          You cannot justify your beliefs. You want to shake the dust off but you can’t do the leaving part.

          Following the Christian lifestyle must be miserable if all you can do is complain.

        • Bruce Gorton

          As I said, I don’t agree with your religion, but I do note the hypocrisy of you and your fellows. You demonstrate the falsity of everything you claim by simple examination of your deeds.

          This is how I am better than you. I have my flaws, I am not a nice man by any stretch of the imagination, but when I believe in something I act accordingly. I don’t particularly believe in civility so I do not demand it, but I do demand consistency.

          Now if you don’t want to support immigration that’s fine, people are entitled to hold different views, but don’t then claim to believe in your Bible when it says that how you treat immigrants is how you’re judged to have treated your God.

          If you are going to set aside your Bible when it comes to immigration don’t then pick it up when it comes to gay marriage. If you want your religion and your politics separate – okay but then don’t try and sneak your religion into public schools.

          And don’t whine about the morality of others when you don’t follow your own stated morality. You insult people, and then you claim offence at being insulted. It is not the word of your God, but is clear your standards are doubled and thus you are unconvincing.

          If you complain about anti intellectualism and I read through your discussion and I see you dismissing academic work that goes against your biases, how convincing do you think you really are?

          Be consistent, if you’re going to claim to believe something don’t fuck around on it, act accordingly, but you can’t do that can you? You want us to accept your Bible as infallible, but not for these bits that you disagree with.

          If you’re conservative you tell us to believe in the Bible when it tells us to endorse conservative shit, and ignore the liberal shit. And If you’re a liberal it is the other way round, God does not govern you, your politics govern your God.

          That’s a good thing, your Bible is unworkable trash. The doctrine of forgiveness enables abuse, without judgement there is no learning, if the slave continues to obey his master, then slavery continues.

          But even so your treatment of your own idea of the sacred shows exactly how sacred it isn’t – and that is why you’re losing adherents. To swing this back to the topic in the OP – your churches are shutting down, or converting to other kinds of venues, not because of people like me, it is because of people like you.

          You provide far more convincing arguments against your faith than I ever could.

        • Right back at you heathen.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Not sure how that would work, but okay fuckwit.

        • What is that supposed to mean? “Back at you” means that Bruce is guilty of the same errors that he accuses you of, and it’s pretty hard to see how that’s the case.

          Sounds like you mean “Nuh uh.”

          Nice retort.

        • Lark62

          FYI “Heathen,” which means “not stupid enough to fall for religious bullshit,” is a compliment.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Uh, we don’t believe in the hypocritical, sanctimonious superstition of yours.

          So we can be genuine without any fears of myths.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          ‘Operating above one’s pay grade’ is how one gets PROMOTED, in the real world.

          It’s showing talent and dedication.

          Typical that YOUR KIND would decry it.

        • Ha- not if you don’t have the wherewithal and trust a heathen to warp the meaning of the term as well

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Only in your weak-minded, evidence free daydreams.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Uh, remember the old adage:

          “If you meet an asshole, well, you’ve met an asshole”

          “If you meet a *couple* assholes, well, same”

          “If EVERYBODY you meet is an asshole, YOU’RE THE ASSHOLE!”

        • Not in your case.

        • Susan

          you just proved my entire point-way to go!

          You just proved Bruce’s!

          We could do this all day.

          It’s a variation on “I know you are but what am I?”

          As dishonest as the rest of your comments.

          When you say your point is proven, you need to do some work to show it.

          Exclaiming “You just proved my point!” doesn’t qualify.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      What’s the over/under on ‘blogcom’ sticking the flounce?

      • Kevin K

        Do you think this is “Frank” again? It smells like Frank.

    • Greg G.

      That is an excellent way to shake the dust off your shoes. Don’t forget the part where you leave. That is the most important thing.

      You came here with nothing here with insults and mindless drivel but you blame everybody else for responding in kind.

      • How can someone sans a mind identify mindless is the real question.

        • Greg G.

          A person with a functioning mind wouldn’t pose the question.

    • Damien Priestly

      You have not offered one reasoned comment about the OP which is reconsidering what people do in church.

      You just came here to fling mud…and now you complain about how you are treated.

      • Since when are you the arbitrator of what constitutes a reasoned comment.

        • Damien Priestly

          Because you make it easy. Many people comment on this blog and even those who disagree are engaged with appropriately if they don’t come just to spew crap…call a group of people rats and bitches and otherwise divert the entire thread.

          After all of that — you claim victimhood and complain about how you are not treated in a socially appropriate way. Yes, you make it easy to arbiter.

        • markr1957

          If you ever make one I’m sure somebody will let you know. The rational among us know the difference even though you clearly don’t.

    • Jim Jones

      When is back to school day? This one needs smaller kids to bully.

    • Otto

      >>>”Your exaggerated sense of your own importance”

      Says the guy who thinks he is on the side of God.

    • Kevin K
    • Is this you saying goodbye? You forgot the “goodbye” part.

  • Brianna LaPoint

    Ironic. Yet when i deconverted, i became more into spirituality, and not less. Perhaps because i was a seeker that found something much different than a transition from Christianity to Atheism. No, i felt a glow of energy when i left, and people make up all sorts of things as to why i felt it. I felt something guided me out of darkness.

    • Michael Neville

      So you changed from one flavor of woo to another. That’s nice. I suppose. If you like it. Maybe. Perhaps.

  • Snagglefritz Sagenschnitter

    Christianity 2.0,
    a “religion” where believers and nonbelievers would all be welcome
    because belief in the supernatural wouldn’t be a requirement. The focus
    would instead be on community, inspiration, and service

    Religion will never get to be that cute. Religious leaders want nothing more than complete and utter control over the flock, and the mugs in the pews always want an under-class who can be treated as the “whipping boy” whenever problems arise.